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Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?

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I’m going through the dark night again, and I thought it might be interesting to talk about personal experiences from it, such as which of the stages one thinks is worst. I’m guessing that preferences differ.

For me the worst of the dukkha nanas is dissolution because of the brain fog and fatigue it gives me. Being unable to think clearly is so disorienting, and the inertia strengthens the executive dysfunction that I already have because of my neuropsychiatric diagnoses. Waking up with fear this morning was a relief because at least the brain fog is gone. While the nagging feeling of anxiety is unsettling and the nightmares creep me out, I appreciate and welcome the energy.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 2:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Haha great question!

For me - desire for deliverance. This is the stage that can still sometimes momentarily trick me into embedding and thinking that something in life “out there” can provide an escape from this stage! It can also be extra awful if you’re going through a concurrent depression. 

I also relate re the brain fog in dissolution!

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 3:04 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Interesting. That does sound tricky, and yeah, depression makes all of them so much worse. I’m grateful for good antidepressants.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 3:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I wonder how many years I have spent in dissolution before I knew what it was. Knowing what it is makes a huge difference. I thought I had ME.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 3:26 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It’s really tricky (in my experience) to separate out medical conditions from dukkha nanas. E.g. I’ve also had EBV and post viral fatigue and still get swelling and petechiae rashes sometimes when I have a “flare”. Although if I observe carefully these flares do not always correlate with dukkha nanas. In fact, I think the petechiae occur more during A&P!

So, for me, I seem to have the dual diagnosis thing happening!

And yes, I think I went through many cycles of DN before realising what it was. Possibly a dark night yogi since childhood ;) 

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 3:41 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Yeah, my weird food sensitivities remain throughout the stages. Maybe long-term cycling in the dukkha nanas sometimes causes physical health problems that stick, I don’t know. It’s possible that I have been darknighting since childhood too but I know for certain that I have been for at least a decade.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 4:04 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Maybe long-term cycling in the dukkha nanas sometimes causes physical health problems that stick, I don’t know. 

I’ve also often wondered whether that could be the case ... It probably doesn’t help!

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 4:45 AM as a reply to Anna L.
They certainly cause stress, and stress leads to illness, so I'm sure it's related! I do tend to get more colds in DN, anecdotally.

For me it's disgust, mainly because it sneaks up on me. Fear and misery are unpleasant, but it's at least obvious. Disgust seems to creep up slowly and it can often take a specific trigger for me to realise that's what it is. It's not very often full on revulsion, more of a subtle thing that effects thinking to be negative about the world. I'll be doing noting practice outside walking and suddenly realise that I've been fixating on how the colour of a parked car is really grating and then be like "oh shit, I've been in disgust for the last 2 days!" 

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 5:44 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I'd say in depends on the intensity they hit you with. A bit of agitation is tolerable but if the fear hits you hard, surely that's got to be the worst one. You can be in serious trouble if that happens.  A bit of courage and belief will get you through. Other than that the misery can be debilitating. Disgust I find just a bit wierd and not particularly troublesome. And at least the desire for deliverence gives you some push to keep meditating and not give up like the others can.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 11:55 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
I’m not sure how disgust distinguishes itself from misery for me. I’m still figuring that one out. Maybe they come as a package for me. I think I have dealt with the main part of these before starting my meditation practice. I have not yet dealt with any of them knowingly, but I’m certain that I have spent a lot of time in them before.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 12:00 PM as a reply to Adam M.
Yeah, that’s true. My worst experience of fear seemed to come as a part of reobservation, though. Fear seems to mostly involve anxiety with regard to my life situation, work and the political situation. That didn’t mess with my practice. In reobservation, on the other hand, there was terror during practice. Being stuck in that phase would have been horrible.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 7:03 PM as a reply to Lewis James.
I'm going to second disgust. If not handled skillfully by recognizing and cutting the DO chain early, motivation gets flatlined by feeling like you aren't making progress, and then you feel disgust at momentarily taking an unskillful mindset, and then you feel disgust at the egoic idea of progress, and on and on in a train of little disgusts. It's like having the mindset of an edgy 16 year old haha.

Edit: And for me anyway it is the hardest DO chain to catch and cut early because it tends to come in the form of an accumulation of seemingly minor things. Sort of a death by a thousand cuts.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/19/19 7:18 PM as a reply to Milo.
Sort of a death by a thousand cuts.

Yes, exactly! With big fear, it's unpleasant, but it's noticeable straight away and so you know what to do with it. With disgust it can be so subtle that you don't notice it until it's built up over a long time. Great observation with the 'disgust spiral' on various levels of the mechanics of the mind - that's been my experience too. 

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/20/19 1:45 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
This turned out to be a great thread for learning what to watch out for.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/20/19 9:30 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I think technically the answer has to be Reobservation, I say only paritally in jest. emoticon emoticon

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/20/19 10:00 AM as a reply to shargrol.
In many respects, yes, obviously, but at least in reobservation there are peripheral clarity and mind speed, whereas dissolution is utterly useless. I really appreciate clarity and mind speed. That is probably a clue to what I cling to and identify with the most, which proves that dissolution isn’t that useless after all.

RE: Which of the dukkha nanas is your least favorite?
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2/22/19 4:38 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I think I actually kind of like certain things about re-observation. I really don’t appreciate the physical pain. My body is a mess. The lack of clarity in the center of attention is a nuisance. The mind speed, on the other hand, is something that I have relied on a lot, to compensate for executive dysfunction. This stage is very ADHD, and that’s familiar territory for me. The ability to see clearly what one is not looking for is something that I have learned to trust. I thought it was intuition. I have cultivated it as one of my greatest strengths over the last years. I think I may have done some of my best work at this stage, academically. I have sort of a backward approach that I thought was due to my being neurodivergent. I can sort of glance at my analytical focus from the side, many different sides, and get to know it while not looking at it directly and before I know what it is. I have a sense of something really interesting being there, and I’m usually right. It tends to be something that nobody has seen like that before, because it differs from what is usually taken for granted. Thus nobody comes searching for it. You have to sort of stumble over it to see it,

I think I may be clinging to this stage despite disliking so much of it. I need to let go of the false sense of control that the mind speed gives me. I need to let go of the ADHD hyperfocus in favour of a less directed and less controlled open awareness. I have to trust that I will still be able to see things clearly, not all the time, obviously (dissolution is hopeless in that sense), but eventually.