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Dukkha nanas or DP/DR?
Answer
1/17/20 12:46 AM
Hi, Here's my Dharma journey so far in a nutshell:
0. About 1 year ago, after some personal circumstances changed in my life, I gradually and eventually realized the pointlessness of my life, which felt inauthentic, sub-optimal and not fullfilling. I knew that this is going to be the case no matter what changed in my life. So I looked for Buddhism as a way out.
1. I started practicing for concentration, mainly to get to Jhana which I read (in MCTB was a good place to start.
2. After partly getting there, I attended a 10 day Goenka retreat. It was very tough but I liked it. The main point which I got from Goekna (at day 6~7) is that you can dissolve leg pain by looking at it intensly with equanimity (equanimity + concentration = purification).
3. After some weeks, the existensial crisis/depression began manifesting itself again but this time I had the skills to locate it as a sensation in the body.
4. Eventually it became kind of unbearable and I knew I had to do something about it. So I decided to use what I learned and look at those emotions really intensly with equanimity and see what happens. I really focused on the suffering until "I got to the other side", which was a very sweet experience of "grace". At the time it felt like something outside me gave me a present (I kinda asked for it because I sorta "surredenred to Krishna" as a way to lose the ego).
5. After that experience, It felt like I started a fire which could not be stopped until it consumes everything (though I didn't realise what that means). And at the same time I realised that this was the game and continued looking at suffering intensly and that became my practice/non-practice.
6. During a couple months period I saw the Ego unfold and dissolve as I realised some of the classic experiences described in Buddhism: The void/emptiness/simulation-like quality of the world, glimpses of agencylessnes, dips in my medidation where I would sorta fall asleep and wake up suddenly in a sharp moment (cessetion?), experiencing sounds as reverberating inside myself when I would fall asleep (and they had no extra interpretation), seeing that consiousness is both the observer and behind the observed. All those experiences were'nt pleasant or happy, there were just kind of "meh..", "ok, this is how it is, what's the point?".
7. At the same time, I also had good experiences (although far too little) of seeing the beauty in nature, one extermely pleasent Jhana with a kind of unconditional love embracing me, In my investegation I was also able to see Sat-Chit-Ananda (ie. I am essentially the bliss itself) after which I realised that love was it (love is the purpose, being one with everyone is the purpose).
8. I can see cycles of good -> equanimity -> bad appearing over and over. But when I ask myself: "Am I generally happier due to these realissations?" the answer seems to a solid "No". All these things are interesting but they do not answer my fundemental question about finding permentant happiness. So I find my spiritual journey to be dissapointing, and also regular life equally disappointing (maybe that's the point leading to enlightenment, i.e everything sucks all around)

I didn't find my default level of well-being/happiness increase due to these realizations. I'm pretty sure the beast is going to devour me completely at sometime in the future, and I'm not sure at all if its a good thing. I didn't realise at the begining how deep the surgery is going to be and I feel like wanting to back out though I know I probably can't. In the meantime cycles are getting worse and worse.

Also, I'm being frustrated stuck on the point of: was 4. the infamous A&P, was it the enlightenment event itself? Is enlightenment sudden or gradual? This is really frustrating...

So my question: Have I fundamentally missed something, or is this all "part of the plan"? Am I just leading myself to a very bad case of DP/DR or is this just a Dukkha nana? How can I differentiate the two?

A suggestion: Maybe taking some LSD will show me the full-blown experience and click the missing piece into place for me.

Any suggestions/kind words?

RE: Dukkha nanas or DP/DR?
Answer
2/13/20 6:37 AM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Hi Matan

I'm sorry to hear you're going through some difficulties. Re your questions ... 

1) Also, I'm being frustrated stuck on the point of: was 4. the infamous A&P, was it the enlightenment event itself? Is enlightenment sudden or gradual? This is really frustrating...

Insights are sudden but integration can be a long process. Your experience sounds like it was an A&P/altered state/mystical experience.  

2) So my question: Have I fundamentally missed something, or is this all "part of the plan"? Am I just leading myself to a very bad case of DP/DR or is this just a Dukkha nana? How can I differentiate the two?

This article explains the difference between DP/DR and Dukkha Nanas. 

3) Maybe taking some LSD will show me the full-blown experience and click the missing piece into place for me.

You can't really rush these things and psychedelic experiences don't always provide insight. Psychedelic experiences don't correlate perfectly with meditation experiences. Sometimes they are wildly different. 

From what you describe, it sounds like you could be mistaking an intellectual sense of nihilism for an insight into emptiness OR you could very well be having insights but also have depression/low mood on top of that, which might explain why you are still feeling bad. Meditation doesn't automatically resolve psychological issues and it was not designed to cure clinical depression. Meditation doesn't bring 'permanent happiness,' it is designed to 'awaken.' (and awakening might not look like what you expect it to look like).

I would suggest you find a good teacher you can work with, read MCTB section on the dark night, and also check out Cheetah House for more resources. 

Please keep reaching out to teachers and other practitioners for help! (definitely contact Cheetah House)