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Dealing with the Dark Night

Dark night post stream entry

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Dark night post stream entry
Answer
7/7/19 5:24 AM
Hi! I’m wondering how you would describe the dark night post stream entry. Do the MCTB2 descriptions still fit, or should there be a discernable new level to it? How did you deal with it? Would you recommend noting as a method? Something else? How do you do to perceive broader phenomena when the details are all fuzzy?

I wrote some more about my specific struggles, but that was so obviously dark night bleedthrough that I think I’ll spare you from it, even though it clarified some things for me to see it. In fact, that generated another question:

Is it possible to cycle the dark night several times per day in daily life shortly after crossing the A&P? If not, is there something else that can easily be mistaken for that? Maybe I’m just having a burnout. In any case, this really takes impermanence to a whole new level. Post stream entry is too soon for those famous fractals, right?

RE: Dark night post stream entry
Answer
7/7/19 6:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
On the road to 2nd path everything becomes very very confusing. That's the main description.

Post SE, the meditator has better perceptual ability, access to light to very hard jhanas, they are making progress on the nanas but can jump to pre-SE versions of the nanas, new psychological material comes up, and the body and mind feels like it is re-wiring itself with strange new sensations occuring in the torso and head. So it basically feels like being on a strange roller coaster that seems to be moving forward, but we have no idea what's going on! emoticon

Of course it's possible to cycle the dark night several times per day. Even several times per sit!

Yes, imperminance get's seen/experienced at a whole new level. The fractal view (stages within stages) happens too.

So it is very important to adjust the effort of practice. Most of the time, all you have to do is sit down and close your eyes and the mind takes you on the ride.

There are no rules for how the dukka nanas show up post-SE. For some people, it's easier now because they have access to jhana. For other people, new psychological material comes up. For some people, they use way too much effort and burn themselves out. For other people, it's a wild and strange guided tour of the mind. 

So, it sounds like you are having a pretty normal road to 2nd path! emoticon

RE: Dark night post stream entry
Answer
7/7/19 7:46 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I appreciate your kind and informative answer, Shargrol. Thankyou! Still, I’m not sure that I do ”measure up”. I don’t have access to jhanas all the time, and not to all the jhanas. Should I? I think I have only accessed hard jhana once. That was when time stopped being time and became solid.

At least it seems that I wasn’t imagining the rapid cycling. What about outside of sits? Can it happen while you are trying to describe where you are?

The mind used to take me on a ride as soon as I closed my eyes both before and after stream entry, but that isn’t at all reliable now. Quite often there isn’t much of a ride. Then suddenly there is, and then it isn’t. Maybe I have a too narrow idea of what constitutes a ride. Is stuttering and stalling a part of the ride? It used to be a strange guided tour of the mind. Now it’s more like reoccurring traffic jams with short fast rides interspersed and a tendency to drive in circles. The rollercoaster metaphor leads my thoughts to something that moves fast and with intensity. This is more like the ferris wheel, more stuttering and stalling than actual ride and returning to the point of departure over and over again. Conditions do change ridiculously much, though, so I guess that could be referred to as a rollercoaster ride.

I have had new sensations in the head and torso, including the headache from hell in what I believe was the three characteristics. On the more pleasant side, I have had sensations of things cracking open and veils drawn away. I don’t have them all the time, though. The clarity that was there around stream entry is gone. There was great clarity again for a very short while, and it revealed new insights, but then it vanished again. The daily life perception is definitely better than before stream entry (some diagnosed perceptual distortions have disappeared), but no way near the exceptional clarity that was there in the early review phase.

Does it still sound normal?

RE: Dark night post stream entry
Answer
7/7/19 8:35 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yes, very normal.

(The headache from hell is also classic after SE. It can feel like the entire brain is going through some change.)

RE: Dark night post stream entry
Answer
7/7/19 8:49 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Okay, thankyou very much!