meditation to deal with panic attacks, anxiety and other painful feelings

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Watch this video on YouTube.

Unedited transcript

When I was young, around seven, eight years old, I developed panic attacks. I had panic attacks when I was young. And this panic attack is very very strong, fearful. And although I had nice family, my father was great meditation teacher, and my mother was very nice, kind, and she care of me more than herself, and we have lot of nice friends. But although I have very good environment, loving family, but panic was following me as like shadow. Even there is no big problem, I see big problem, I have fear. I have fear to the nature like thundering, lightening, and thundering, and wind blowing too strong, and fear to the strangers, many things. And I am looking for solution for my problems and sometimes I went to the caves because I was born in northern part of Nepal, right in the middle of Himalayan mountains, we have a lot of nice mountains. And in the mountains there is nice caves. I been to the cave, and sit there, and pretending that I am meditating. I have no idea about meditation but I just sit there. And I found one technique of meditation. I am not going to tell you now this little secret, I will tell you later. Don’t worry, be patient. And it helps little bit. Then special when I was around nine years to old I asked my father to teach me meditation. And he accept. And he begin to teach me meditation techniques. And I was very happy during that time. But I am lazy boy also. I like meditation very much but I don’t like to meditate.

But then I was around thirteen years old that time I was in India, a place called Sherab Ling monastery. There was traditional three year retreat going to begin in Sherab Ling. And I thought, oh I should join three year retreat. And I ask my father to ask the head of our monastery which is His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. And he accept me to join three year retreat. The three year retreat, there is this center where everybody sits together and each one has their own room. And in the room there is a meditation box, something like this, high like this, like box. What we call meditation box. And we sit in the box for whole three years try to practice meditation. And first three year retreat, my panic get worth. I have fear for everything, and special we join group prayers, means everybody gather together in big hall, and we pray together and we use a lot of music instruments. There is ???, I think if you translate that in english maybe you can say horn, big horns. Very noisy. And Gyaling. And cymbals. And these noises drive me crazy. We don’t have to chant this too long, everyday maybe two hours, dependent two to three hours. Morning one and half hours, afternoon one and half hours, like that. But even that makes big problem for me. And sometimes I have to go out of the prayer hall, in the middle of the prayer I have to go out because this noise is too loud for me. And during that time I was so unhappy that my panic become very strong, get worse. Then one day I ask question to myself. Because I learned lot of meditation techniques from my father and other great teachers such as His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche and Saljey Rinpoche. But I am not really applying this meditation techniques with my panics. That is why then I asked some question, the question was: Do you still want to spend two more years like this way or do you really want to apply meditation technique with your panic. You know I asked this question for a few days. Then in the end I thought I am really going to apply my meditation technique with my panic, with my panic attacks. I decided to apply meditation techniques with my panic attacks. Then I sat in my room for three days, even I didn’t join the group prayers. Only by myself alone in my room and try to practice meditation with the panic. How? I used my panic as support for meditation. And I will tell you this more later. This is the main important point of this meditation retreat here, that is why I will tell you more about this later. But main important here is I am using my panic as support for my meditation. Panic becomes object of the meditation. So nice.

What I found is there are two ways to make your panic longer, stronger, and panic becomes problem. Two ways to make panic become problem and longer and stronger. First you follow to panic and you believe in your panic because your panic tells you that everything is fearful, everything is problem and you think yes there is a problem, everything is truly, really fearful. So you totally believe into panic, you totally listening to the panic. That means you are following panic. This way your panic becomes your boss, you are always saying to the panic, yes Sir. Always saying yes Sir, yes Sir, that is why panic becomes your boss. Not good boss. Bad boss. Don’t worry all the boss, I am not saying all the boss. I am referring here is the bad boss. Maybe some boss are here, joining meditation retreat here. So I am not telling you guys. And the bad boss is not good isn’t it. You don’t want to become your panic as your bad boss. Okay. And the second way to make your panic get worse is you don’t like your panic, you hate your panic, thinking that is no good, terrible, the panic is ruling my life. And because of panic I lost all my opportunities. Otherwise I will achieve something something something because of panic now I lost. And how I can get rid of panic? And you try to get rid of panic and you have fear of panic. Maybe you can say you have panic of panic. And sometimes that fear of panic is more stronger than panics. And this way, if you think like that way, if you don’t like your panic, if you have aversion to your panic, then panic becomes your enemy. Also no good. Panic becomes stronger, your mind becomes more sensitive. And then you cannot avoid panic. This is why you don’t want to become your panic as your enemy either. Then you might think. How? How to do? Now what should we do now? Because if you like panic, then panic becomes your boss. If you don’t like panic, panic becomes your enemy. Then, how should we do, because we don’t have third opportunity? Seems like we don’t have third opportunity isn’t it. You always like to put into the boxes. What I call boxes. What is the box? Yes box. No box. Yes I like this. Yes I don’t like this. You always make decisions about whether I like, whether i don’t like. Most of the time. That is why you may think I like my panic, I don’t like my panic. But most of you, you don’t like your panic. Some of you you like your panic but you don’t realize you like your panic you just follow the panic. That is why at this point you might think now we have no hope. Isn’t it like that? But actually no. There is a hope. Why? There is third option. You don’t have to treat your panic as your boss or enemy. There is third option. There is third option. Okay now I will ask you a question. Do you know what is the third option? You can think, I will think also. I will think on behalf of you. No I am just joking. Think a while, little bit. Maybe you can find some solutions or you know the third option. Okay. Have you found any solution? Okay, anyway, now I will tell you the third option. The third option is to make friendship with the panic. That is very important. How? Through meditation technique. You cannot make friendship with the panic just thinking that I want to become my panic as my friend. You cannot make it like this way. You have to know the right method to make panic as your friend. How? Through meditation. What techniques? There are three techniques. First, shamata, means calm abiding meditation. And second is loving kindness and compassion. And third is, vipassana. Main focus here is the first one, the shamata meditation. Okay. If this way, if you totally transform panic into your best friend, then you can transform all problems into your friends. The panic is just example. Because I had panic attacks that is why I am telling you my own experience which is connected with the panics. But normally you can apply these techniques with any other problem such as depression, anger, pride, fear, shame, guilt, low self-esteem. You know I am no good. You can apply with any other distractive emotions, problems in every day life. Then everything becomes support for your happiness. You can find happiness everywhere, any times.