Books and Meditation Recommendations

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by mihmihero, May 22, 2019.

  1. Hey guys! I would really like some help with a couple of topics. I've been doing some reading into psychology lately and I learned some pretty interesting things about myself. I've been aware of some of the emotions that I've been struggling with all of these years: envy,frustration, futility, self loathing however, I never really looked past them. After doing a bit of introspection, I saw that they all stem from a seething anger that's been in my life for as long as I can remember. I really want to work on that and I thought meditation would certainly help. Does anyone have any phone apps that can guide you through it or any other way to get into mediation for that matter?

    As for books, I'd prefer some books that look into the psychology of anger a bit more but any other book recommendations are welcome! I've already read "Healing the shame that binds you" and "Unwanted".
  2. Souvent08

    Souvent08 Fapstronaut

    If you are religious then I would highly recommend a book on spiritual exercises called “The Ignatian Avdenture”. Its a book that gives you readings from the bible to meditate on mostly on the life of Jesus. I would be happy to share more in you are interested. It helped me a lot and I credit it with being able to have a 83 day no pMo streak.
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  3. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut

    To get started in meditation is not complicated, I would encourage you to continue learning about it and in context of an actual spiritual tradition with a system of teachings though. I think all the people using an app and putting in time without really looking at the teachings are really not going to get very far except feel better around the time they meditate.

    Matthieu Ricard, who is a Tibetan Buddhist monk with a PhD in molecular genetics has been found to have the highest levels of gamma brain waves previously unreported in neuroscience literature and increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, leading them to call him the happiest man alive. He was meditating on compassion, and he calls happiness a skill. Of course this guy have been on long meditation retreats and stuff but research has found as little as 20 minutes a day for three weeks show benefits, so if you want a number there you go.

    And specifically to your concern about anger, here is a little something from an interview he did from The Atlantic:

    If you read the rest of the interview, you'll notice he mentions a 'flow' state a couple of times. I believe he is eluding to the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
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  4. inglorious_guy

    inglorious_guy Fapstronaut


    Hey thanks for that advice. Looking to get back into meditation. I know its different to what you suggested, but just hunted out my books on Huna as probably better than as you put it "just using an app".
  5. properWood

    properWood Fapstronaut

    You have two types of emotions, primary and secondary. Secondary emotions are the ones that rely on primary emotions to manifest themselves. Anger is a secondary emotion, and can stem from fear or sadness. Additionally, fear can represent itself as anxiety, overthinking, worry.

    Whenever I am angry I'm trying to look a bit deeper and identify what other emotion was triggered.

    I did this analysis for a friend a few months ago. I indicated her to park in a place that was inadequate for her car. She came out at me mad, fuming with anger that she knows how to find a parking space and doesn't need my help. Behind her anger wasn't my attempt to help her, rather the confusion of why I indicated her to park in such an impossibly small parking place.

    Now, controlling anger basically means first understanding what's behind it. Anger is not anger, it's another emotion in disguise. Often, anger is seen as the impossibility to communicate the underlying emotion. Once you recognize the underlying emotion, your anger is likely to subside, because you can express what you feel. But that's my theory, not anyone else's, so I can't vouch for it's validity.

    To conclude, I took my friend for coffee and cake after the incident and normality has been restored.
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  6. koolpal

    koolpal Fapstronaut

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  7. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut

    I'm not familiar with Huna and would like to know a little more about it, maybe you would care to share a bit in another thread?

  8. glide

    glide Fapstronaut

    The best app I've seen for meditation is called Headspace. It's guided meditation that you do for 10 minutes a day
  9. inglorious_guy

    inglorious_guy Fapstronaut

    Hey, I will do. But will be later on today. Got some chores to do (really wish I didn't).
  10. Those are some ggood reccomendations! I'll definitely do more reading about psychology. The thing with meditation though, what I really wanted to learn is how to do it in the first place. Like where? Do I have to be in a specific position to relax? What do i think? Do I listen to music or something? I really dont know where to start or where to learn about those things if not from an app that guides you? Ill start reading some books about it but I would really like some tips to get started
  11. properWood

    properWood Fapstronaut

    Meh, let’s not overcomplicate things. Long post, warning.

    Here’s a way to get you started on a journey of self discovery (includes meditation).

    Sit alone in quiet. Phone on airplane mode, no people around, no music, no tv. Sit on a chair, on the sofa, lie on the floor, almost any position. Keep next to you a notepad and a pen, you may need it. Stay like this for 20-30 minutes, use the phone’s basic timer function. Take a few (from one to any that feels comfortable) deep belly breaths, then return to your normal breathing without controlling it and when you inhale say in your minds eye ‘in’, when you exhale say ‘out’. You’ll get bored and your mind will bring you thoughts (hey, let’s fap, let’s start Netflix, this is boring). That’s ok, once you notice you derailed from in-out, quiet the thought and return to in-out. Don’t judge the thought (‘why do i think about this?’, ‘ugh, i cannot do it damn it’), go back to in-out.

    You may remember some unpleasant crap, stay with it if it comes and cry if necessary. You may get a fuckin awesome idea, write it down in the notepad.

    It takes a few sessions to wind down. Think of it as there’s a small child inside you that you berated for years and doesn’t want to come out of fear. You may want to take your time to convince the child to trust you.

    You don’t need to repeat a word 1000 times, no need for the lotus position, no need for music of any kind.

    Let me know how you feel after 5 days and 5 sessions ;)

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  12. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut

    I'll come back after work but Ricard has some short books you can look up. Of course the important thing is to try it, you may use some tips on posture like hips above the knees to avoid strain, but it's a good idea to learn why certain things are done or else you'd go at it blind, or like some people might dismiss details because they don't know why it's there. You don't have to do everything they teach but if you understand why it's done you understand whether it's relevant to you and your goals, and in time when your mind changes and you're in a different place in your life you may have an idea of what to try instead of just doing the same thing over and over indiscriminately.
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  13. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut


    So since you mentioned anger, a challenging emotion and Proper already mentioned the basics I'll throw in the four heart practices of loving-kindness, equanimity, sympathetic joy and compassion. These four actually predate Buddhism, and of course Buddhism is already 2,600 years old.

    In the beginning you can look up guided meditations, but I don't recommend using them forever. I think people become reliant on them, which is why I don't particularly suggest meditation apps. I think what they are doing is like listening to music, and while there's nothing wrong with that it's a very passive way and it's like never taking the training wheels off your bike. If someone has a really wired and busy mind and will just go nuts sitting quietly, okay they may need to work up to an open awareness meditation, but don't get hooked on the nice voice of the person talking and that kind of stuff. The point of meditation isn't to change your experience into a positive one, (which is only going to be temporary anyway) it's to be able to handle anything that happens with the mind - and by sitting with it you realize you can and it's not going to kill you.

    A good thing to keep in mind is the two qualities of concentration and insight work together. Some repetition for concentration like on a phrase is helpful, but also try the open style. Do each consistently so you can get a good sense of the effect it has on the mind, that would be a good way to start.

    Edit: Oh yeah if you haven't looked it up already, Ricard has a little book called "Why Meditate?" that looks pretty good, like you can keep referring back to it as you progress. It's ten bucks for the eBook.
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  14. koolpal

    koolpal Fapstronaut

    A couple audiobooks helped me a lot. (In my case, it was anger coz of rejection.)
    1. "Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts" by Guy Winch.
    2. "How to Fix a Broken Heart" by Guy Winch.
    3. "Unfuck Your Brain: Getting Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs, and Triggers with science" by Faith Harper.
    They all recommend mindfulness & meditation among other things.
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  15. olsen

    olsen Fapstronaut

    but meditation doesn't help me. a cup of hot tea and classical music helps me more
    properWood likes this.
  16. Insanemainstream

    Insanemainstream New Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the advice! I will be searching that topic since I am a catholic.
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  17. properWood

    properWood Fapstronaut

    Great argument! Mozart and a cup of tea can be an amazing meditative experience indeed.

    We all get so hooked up with the word meditation and the sitting positions and the incense and guiding voices. It’s just one method, that is popularized by some people that found it useful.

    The goal is not to quiet your mind, silence your thoughts or be blank, rather to allow your inner observer to catch up with your emotional self, and process the crap that happened during the day.
  18. Thank you so much. Such a great post! Thats exacly what I was looking for, some basic tips to get started. I'll definitely start doing this like once a day and see how it works.

    Thats a pretty good point you made about music. I was kind of worried about music during meditation because I felt like I would sort of go by its "flow" instead of my own. Plus it can get quite addictive and become a source of dissociation instead. That was a pretty informative and interesting post, Thanks!!
  19. Hi, re your post. Not enhance myself but I have a MA in Counseling Psych. I've BT/DT and your on the right track. Check out the WOEBOT app for your phone. It's more than elementary and less than $175 a week for therapy. LOL . If you need help I'll be hear working on my own shit. LOL
  20. Tibo87

    Tibo87 Fapstronaut

    You were quicker than me! I love M.Ricard, and his different approaches to deal with negative emotions and focus more on the present.

    Then do what makes you feel good and relax, and practice that. I have found that doing 10 affirmation of being grateful in the morning were helping me more than meditation.

    Experience different things and find your path toward happiness and relaxation.

    You can try the Taoist Inner Smile meditation as well.

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