Think I did the DN, and now..?

B free, modified 10 Years ago.

Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 3/5/11 Recent Posts
Hi!
I've meditated almost daily for 5 years or so, and a little over a year noting.
I think I may have passed A&P before, but a couple of weeks ago it seemed like I did this time with awareness emoticon
There weren't many bells & whistles, but during sitting I was startled by a sudden great increase of light intensity, feeling of expansion and nice calm.
And more notably I went into DN. Passed through fear, misery, disgust and I guess reobservation (this one was tough).
It spilled over a bit to my off-sitting life.
However, after this passed, my sits have been mainly calm. Sometimes clearly seeing how different emotions move through my body. Often with some episode of some kind of combined feeling of motion and vivid imagery. A little like my mind is a blender or laundromat. But with no negative connotations if that makes sense.
But I can't really fit this into descriptions of equanimity.
I am not bored, losing attention, becoming sleepy or so...
And between sits often anxiety or sadness comes like a background to what I'm doing.
So, if anyone has any ideas on what I can do from here?
Thanks all!
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Florian Weps, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi B,

Welcome to the DhO.

Assuming you did get into equanimity, yes, there can be a sense of "what now?". There are many suggestion; what worked for me was to keep going, using whatever it took to keep going. Doing more noting was helpful, changing the focus of the notes, maybe noting just the feeling-tone (pleasant/unpleasant/neutral) of whatever I was experiencing, or trying to note really quickly. Also, I had popped into 4th Jhana at some point in the Dark Night, and so I started sitting in 4th Jhana a lot as well, experimenting with different objects such as kasinas. I also did and do a lot of walking meditation, and I try to maintain mindfulness during the day as much as I can.

But these are just things I did and do, they may not be useful to you at all.

Can you give a clear description, without diagnosing any of it, of a typical sit? That will present a much more detailed picture of what you are doing and experiencing. I'm not saying your self-diagnosis is wrong, just that it's more useful for another person to see the unfiltered version - sometimes something important pops up which seemed unremarkable and was left out of the self-diagnosis, for example.

Cheers,
Florian
B free, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 3/5/11 Recent Posts
Hello, Florian!
I am normally quite reluctant to selfdiagnose in the first place. I just guess I wanted to skip a couple of steps and get to some bare bones suggestions emoticon

It's kind of a difficult question.
The thing is, until this episode when I left what I believe was the most intense period of my DN, I had quite a clear sequence over my sits in general.
I would sit down, close my eyes and experience a pulsing sensation. After a while it would clear and calm down.
Maybe a little lighter.
Then I would get very intense itching in different body parts. Then I had this "the light suddenly went up a lot" experience, paired with calm and expansion (sometimes pictures of the big sea or something). Right after this, anxiety and fear would rise. Then tough sadness, tears, feeling like the most pitiful character on earth. Followed by anger at other people and life in general.
Then a sort of cranking it all up into a great mix.

But... a couple of weeks ago most of it all lifted. And since then when I sit, I mostly get pretty calm quite fast.
I may feel like a second of the pulsing that I was so used to. But expanse, light. Then I get anxiety, tension, anger, etc... but I just look at them. And they lift after a while, and this (I don't like to use the vague term 'energy') inner turmoil comes.
And it is composed of motion and color, and maybe voice and stuff to, and it whirls around for a while.
I normally find I am quite intrigued by it. And after a while it calms down and I am just calm for a while.
And some times itches and impatience come up at the end of my sits (normally 45-60 minutes).

This is the best I can describe how a sit looks like now. I really feel I am a little lost when it comes to what the sequence really is, even though I am very much present during all of it.

(perhaps not the clearest description one would wish...)

Thanks for your comments!
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Florian Weps, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi B,

From your description, I'd say you now have access to A&P, whereas a couple of weeks ago you were in 3C territory. Rising inner turmoil pseudo-energy sensations, interesting phenomena - that's typical of A&P.

Regardless, the advice is the same: Investigate. If you are doing noting practice, note it, note the interest generated by the pictures and voices (I once had a snickering gnome pointing at my nose where I was concentrating on the breath - quite startling), note the images and sounds and sensations, and any feelings of satisfaction with having got this far and so on.

If you are not doing noting practice, well start it emoticon Or do whatever you do when you investigate how your experience presents, with curiosity and insistence. Don't be afraid to experiment, you can't break anything; but assume you are up against a clever opponent who learns your moves almost as quickly as you, and you need to keep ahead.

This approach is useful in both in A&P and equanimity.

Cheers,
Florian
B free, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 3/5/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Florian!
I am doing noting for 1.5 years or so!
I just reckoned it was A&P followed by DN based on the intensity of the experiences. Especially the dark parts, and order in which they appeared.
But I could very well be wrong (no sense in trying to place myself further along the progression path than I am :-).
Thank you for your comments and suggestions!
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey B,

I'd agree with Florian actually, it definitely sounds like 3C's then into the A&P and the reason I agree with him is that I recently made the same error myself. In my experience 3rd ñana can be a really difficult and painful stage, but it's usually over a whole lot quicker than the Dark Night which doesn't always have to be an epic and punishing experience to go through. Sometimes we can pass through it within hours, perhaps even less, depending on conditions, but there's always the 5th-10th ñana to go through and it's worryingly easy to confuse 3rd ñana, Knowledge of The Three Characteristics, for 10th ñana, Knowledge of Re-Observation, due to their similarities which is where I went wrong.

I like your attitude, you seem to have your head screwed on and I also agree that underestimating ones position on the maps can prevent us becoming deluded and confusing ourselves. It's really great to see another yogi making progress and posting good questions, as you've seen for yourself these stages are pretty much universal so there's always going to be help available since most of us have cycled through them a few times already!

Good luck and welcome on board!
B free, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Think I did the DN, and now..?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 3/5/11 Recent Posts
Thanks, Tommy!
Great to get some assessment and advice!
I'll probably get back with new questions when I come to the next step where I wonder about things emoticon

It's so nice wirh a place with people with whom one can discuss these things!