A personal approach to Zen

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Being Anxious

I’m meditating now for several months on different schedules and methods, from extended (for me) 15 minutes to half an hour or just very short sessions.

The effect surprises me because I’m getting more and more anxious and the opposite was expected.

Actually, I do feel emptiness and fear especially after I tried transcendental meditation. I feel isolated and alone and I am more afraid about the future than I ever have been.

Plus, I do feel socially isolated, though I’m living with my family, my wife, my wonderful kids who I love a lot. It’s crazy but I feel like I don’t get a connection to them.

Maybe this is supposed to be and to happen when you confront yourself with your inner self without layering noise and actions above your inner life in order to numb your inner voice.

But actually, with the anxiety growing, I do tend to do exactly this, trying to numb it down. Playing music because I can’t bear the silence, drinking in the evening because I can’t bear my own thoughts.

I do worry as I ever did but it scares me even more and my gut feeling is very bad, I do feel ‚dark clouds‘ or something similar like a weight in my belly and I definitely don’t feel free or light or happy at any time of the day.

The only pause is when asleep and in deep dreams and certainly the short time after awaking, there I feel ok. But then the other stuff crushes in immediately.

So, does this mean it does me badly or shall I confront myself with every fear and try to knock it down or try to resolve it through deep changes in my life?
I can’t narrow it down. It doesn’t make sense and makes sense. Everything is coming up where I made compromises and didn’t feel well with them.

And there are those things that I don’t want to admit to myself.

Mostly, it’s connected to my vulnerability and the inability to post it to other human beings, especially the ones who are near to me. The reason for sure can be found in the way I was brought up and the way I think I have to behave in this world, being strong, not showing my fears.

The stillness is also frightening because I see the ‚normal‘ life as a failure, our consuming, producing, polluting strategy. War in Afghanistan, people kill other people for no reasonable reason.

Climate change is inevitable and will affect my children. My children getting addicts and fuck up their lives. Anything.

It’s more than being worried.

No strategy is to be found yet, and I can’t accept the Zen saying that everything is meaningless and life is suffering.

Yes, it is but I can not overcome it, I feel it and to numb it through meditation seems counterintuitive and wrong.


I don’t care that much about money unless I don’t have any.

Money is a concept, I’m really only interested in the freedom I can buy with it. And of course the goods I can acquire.

Although in recent years, consumption is no longer so important to me, on the contrary, it even gets on my nerves.

The fact that our economic system and our prosperity are based on the fact that we exploit our earth and probably inflict considerable damage on future generations annoys me.

It is also annoying in western countries to exploit other countries and other people for our consumption. A consumption stop is a clear sign against it.

But I am also wracked by my own behavior, my urge to buy things. Things that I don’t really need. And I notice how quickly the short happiness from consumption fades, and the things I have do weigh me down.

Then I try to get rid of them again, which is nonsense, wouldn’t I have bought them in the first place.

I’m brought up in the ’80s, in the white, western world, and material possessions and consumption were the number one goal for us. Wealth, more and more, better and better, newer and newer.

Today I feel freer the less I own but also secure when I have money in the account. Being able to travel. Although I know that also pollutes the environment beyond measure, our urge to be constantly mobile, traveling gives me a sense of freedom and happiness.

I like a few things I would miss; a few clothes, a lot of books, DVDs I want to have on the shelf because I want to look at the spines and both books and DVDs remind me of the content. A small watch tick is also there and my motorcycle gives me the feeling of freedom.

For me, not having money means not being able to participate in society. Not that society is that important to me but being excluded is no fun.

The distribution of money is unjust and this injustice is growing every day. Maybe we need a new relationship to money or a new concept that distributes our goods more fairly.

Property obligates, I try to consume less and thus be happier.

But I can’t be without money either, because I am afraid of the social isolation that comes with it.

I am aware of my wealth, even though I am far from being upper class in the country I live in, I am grateful for not having to worry about basic needs like good food or medical care.

I should be even more grateful and be aware of it every day.

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