Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Adam Jason DuHame, modified 7 Months ago.

Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/29/20 Recent Posts
Hey everyone.

I recently got turned on to Daniel Ingram and in his description of A&P I finally found some reference points for the crazy shit that happened to me on and after a Goenka course this past January. I've got to say that it's really nice to know that I'm not totally alone in this. Because this forum seems to be to some extent an erowid of meditative experience I figured I'd go ahead and tell my tale. 
I've been sporadically meditating for probably 8 years. Nothing too serious. Then last summer, in Thailand, I attended a ten day Vipassana course apparently in the style of Mahasi Sayadaw. We were taught a technique of alternating walking and sitting, and when we were sitting we alternated focus on the breath and various points of on the body. I had a pretty nice time on that course, had some strong emotional stuff come up, fell in love with some ants, and at one point felt I was experiencing myself as an observer outside my personality structure. The important thing for what I'm talking about now is that when I got back to the states I started practicing this style of meditation pretty hard. For several months I did 2-3 hours per day at home. At some point I started drinking a fair amount, stopped meditating, and got pretty depressed. 

So when I showed up at the Goenka retreat last January I was very much there to try to save myself from the mess I was making of my life. The first few days of Goenka are straight Anapana - just observing the sensations of the breath at and bellow the nostrils. I had been drinking, smoking weed, and drinking a lot of coffee so these days were a detox for me and I slept whenever I wasn't meditating. Then on day four we were taught the Goenka body scan method and things changed. I picked up each new element of the body scan instruction quite easily and I attribute this to the months of concentration meditation I'd been doing. I think that this might have been part of why things ended up going astray for me. Goenka courses are meant for beginners; they don't expect you to come in with a ton of concentration already available to you. I quickly became aware of subtle vibrations all through my body and could "play" with them at will. The rest of the course was extremely trippy. Each night I slept less but awoke with full energy, immediately aware of the subtle energies. In my non-meditative time I started playing a game I called "what drug does it feel like I'm on.'' Sometimes it was acid, sometimes MDMA or mushrooms. In Goenka language I passed many sankaras. During mediation I would find a dark or painful area in the awareness of my body, hang out with it, and watch it dissolve. Moments or hours later I'd feel some intense emotion, usually sadness, and then cry for a while. Then later still I'd have a memory come up - the time my parents installed a lock on the outside of my bedroom door and how I'd screamed and kicked the door down when then tried to use it - or whatever. Where in my drinking and depression I'd felt mentally dull now I seemed to be able to think in complete paragraphs and at one point I decided to try to make sense of my life, this is where I got into trouble, by remembering every important thing that ever happened to me. I had a single thought process go on for 6 hours uninterrupted until the thoughts started to go into slow motion and I found I couldn't verbally cognate anymore. I could speak and know what I was doing but I couldn't say words in my head. It was very strange. 

So the course ends, I get to finally meet the other meditators, and then go home. It was a long drive home and I didn't get there until about 3am - having woken up about this time the day before I've now been awake for 24 hours. As I look at myself in the mirror before bed I notice that my eyes and facial expression look a lot like pictures I've seen of Ram Dass where he looks totally blasted on bliss. I also, strangely as I am a dude and don't normally think about myself this way, think that I look incredibly beautiful and lean in and give my mirror self a little kiss. Finally in bed I make a little bath of love for myself out of subtle vibrations and lay back saying "anything, anything." It is the most contented moment of my adult life. 

This is when shit gets weird. Suddenly my body starts rolling around on the bed all on it's own. I kinda feel like I'm being pushed around but I can tell the energy is coming from the inside. I get the sense that I could stop it if I really wanted to but it definitely doesn't feel volitional. As I've just completed a ten day course where the main focus was letting things rise up as they will without reacting, I decide to go with it. Pretty soon I'm up off the bed and dancing. "Ok,"I think "I've got the dancing mania, cool." Then I'm spinning my arms all around and my finger brushes across my chest and in a way that feels... seductive. The sensation at this point is hard to describe but I can only say that I became a sexy woman. I felt that I was a woman and I felt sexy as fuck. I strutted around the room feeling just so hot. Then I felt strong hands push me onto the bed and begin to ravish me sexually. I went through all the posititions of sex as a woman and felt all the emotion if not all the sensation. But I'm talking rauchus sex and I moaned and screamed as would be appopriete. When this ended - maybe 20 minutes later - I decided I'd better go tell my roommate what was going on as she'd obviously heard me. As I talked to her I kept feeling hands trying to pull me back into the bedroom and I could feel my gender changing from male to female and back again. When I allowed the female version to take over I moved and spoke in a feminine way and was super affectionate towards my roommate. The problem was... it didn't stop. All night long I had these bizarre sexual experiences with my ghost lover even though I was exhausted. By the time morning came I was panicking a little. What the hell was going on? Was I a trans woman and this was my subconscious way of letting me know? Was I possessed by a fucking spirit? Was all of this shit random. I called a friend and he gave me the shitty advice to go see a medium. I did so and thank god she just said that I should call the meditation teacher. His explanation was that my subconscious mind had become too intertwined with my conscious mind and that sleep would fix me. But that night sleep was again impossible, and on the third day I had my friends take me to the hospital. 

I'll spare you the story of the hospital other than to tell you that when they gave me Ativan and Seroquel it felt like I was being blasted through a DMT tunnel and I only slept for an hour or so. A week later I was discharged with a prescription for a powerful antipsychotic in hand. After a month or so I could sleep without the drugs but I became severely depressed. It's only in the last few weeks I've felt like I've come out of the depression and started meditating again. 

The Goenka people didn't have much of an explanation for me. When I posted my story on their subreddit it was deleted by a moderator. So last night when I came across Ingram's description of A&P on his personal site, which included having percieved sex with invisible magical beings, I was pretty stoked. So there is some point of reference for this. 
A couple questions. 

After having one of these experiences, and having it go badly, how do I go forward? I don't plan to stop meditating and I certainly want to continue to explore my consciousness, but how do I do so safely now that I know I have this propensity for going manic? 
While I'm excited to see the sexual stuff mentioned on Daniel's A&P page I still don't know what to do with it. Did my experience mean something? What the hell was that? 

If you've come this far thank you for reading and I look forward to talking with you all.

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Oatmilk, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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That was such a nice read haha!emoticon 
You definitely don't have to stop meditating, it seems like you are pretty hooked and doing well - I'd say keep it slow with Vipassana for a while and let the experience sink in. Maybe inhabit a little Qi Gong routine and work on building a foundation in Shamatha practice, or do some Metta for the time being.
-O 
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Zachary, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

Posts: 199 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
Adam Jason DuHame:

A couple questions. 

After having one of these experiences, and having it go badly, how do I go forward? I don't plan to stop meditating and I certainly want to continue to explore my consciousness, but how do I do so safely now that I know I have this propensity for going manic? 
While I'm excited to see the sexual stuff mentioned on Daniel's A&P page I still don't know what to do with it. Did my experience mean something? What the hell was that? 

If you've come this far thank you for reading and I look forward to talking with you all.



Hi Adam, welcome to DhO. 


Like you say, a lot of what you've written sounds diagnostic of A&P territory. This particular stage can be pretty wild and mind-blowing but in the long-run it's not that big of a deal. I can definitely recommend reading Daniel's book "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" if you haven't already, as this book goes into more detail about all of this, including aspects of dealing with the intersection of mental health issues and practice that might be relevant for you. 

There have been quite a few people who've come to this forum (sometimes as a result of Goenka retreats) having had experiences that were destabilizing or disorienting like yours. I think many of us here (including myself) have fried ourselves to some degree at one point. Reading some older practice journals or posts here could be helpful in not feeling so alone with your experience at this time, you might even want to start your own journal here if you feel inclined to. 

The questions I would ask now (and no need to respond on the forum if you don't want, just things to think about) are: 

- What does your daily meditation practice look like right now? 
- What is your support structure like now for your mental health and meditation practice? Do you have a teacher, therapist, etc.? Do they know about your practice? 
- Have you been able to carry on "good enough" in life with work, health, relationships, finances, exercise, family and so forth? 


There are a lot of helpful practitioners on this site and hopefully they will also chime in with suggestions. The link below could also be good for you to review. All the best. 

https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/wiki/health-and-balance
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J W, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Wow, yeah, crazy and interesting story. It seems to me like you have a pretty positive attitude about it at this point, all things considered, so I think that bodes well.  I'm sure you could probably find some good advice on this site.  I do wonder how much of this you think is sleep related.  I feel like sleep deprivation can make manic episodes way worse than they would be otherwise.  Getting very little sleep for over a week in a row seems like it would create issues for anybody.  Best of luck to you!
Derek2, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Adam DuHame:

While I'm excited to see the sexual stuff mentioned on Daniel's A&P page I still don't know what to do with it. Did my experience mean something? What the hell was that?


Hypersexuality is common during manic episodes. I don't know if it means anything other than to confirm that you experienced a manic episode.
agnostic, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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I've had similar sexual experiences from meditation, not quite as intense but then I never did a retreat. I don't think it's anything serious to worry about. Most of sexuality is mind constructed so it's not surprising if you start debugging mental constructions that it can have unusual sexual effects. In my experience it's not permanent although you will probably end up being less attached to your sexuality. Before I meditated I thought that sexual pleasure (or ecstasy drug) was the greatest pleasure, but deepening pleasure and bliss in meditation leaves all that in the dust. It's almost like sexual pleasure is a forced localization of the body-mind's all-over pleasure generating capability (piti). Ken Wilber has an essay on this in the book Kundalini Rising.

As for your practice, it sounds like you handled it all relatively well. I doubt it will get more extreme than that because now you know where your limits and can back off a little when you feel yourself approaching them (a good idea, we are aiming for sanity here). Check out Mahasi Sayadaw's Progress Of Insight which is Chapter 5 of this book. He doesn't mention sexuality explicitly being a monk and all that, but he basically says that any amount of weird, blissful or terrifying stuff can happen and you should always just note it and return to the breath. It's a very cool attitude and has helped me to keep my shit together more than once. emoticon 
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

Posts: 321 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Hey Adam

Thanks for your account. I agree with the other guys here: This sounds like A&P stuff, you seem to have a healthy attitude towards it, and you shouldn't be too worried – but cautious, of course. I have had a similar experience on a Goenka retreat (my fourth), so I might add some things. First of all: Here is my almost one year old post about the Goenka retreat where I totally lost it and got hospitalized. There were some sexual components to my break down, even though I don't mention them in the post.

What I did afterwards was turning meditation time down to one or two times twenty minutes a day (in stead of 2 x 60 minutes as I usually do), backing off from vipassana and doing metta in stead. I suppose samatha would be just as good. But no body scan, no noting, no open awareness – rather these more constructive practices where you don't investigate experience, but try to create or manipulate it, in this case in a soothing direction. So: Slow down, be gentle. And do add in some physical practices, yoga, tai chi, excercise – if it doesn't create unpleasant agitation in the mind or body. Experiment and see what works for you.

I did this for a couple of months. Then I cautiously restarted my vipassana, shifting from Goenka style body scan to Mahasi style noting (or just noticing). After yet another couple of months I had worked my way through the dark night territory without loosing my wits again (but still with a lot of rather shitty sits) and slowly and gradually entered into the Equanimity nana around February/March of this year, so about four months after the psychotic breakdown (as it was labelled – I prefer the term "Spiritual Emergency", cf. the book with this title, edited by Grof).

Some months later I decided to start my first practice log here on DhO to get some feedback from peers and especially more advanced yogis so as to fine tune my practice. That has turned out to be extremely helpful, and I highly recommend that you do something similar. To me it's even better than having a teacher (although there would be nothing wrong with having that also, or in stead), because I get different people's opinion and have to form my own from that, which is empowering and maturing. So I am currently still working my way through the vast EQ nana, as you can see in my second practice log.

Hope this is of some help. Feel free to ask if you need more info. Wish you all the best!
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Helen Pohl, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Just a thought(and a caveat since I have no real knowledge of this) re the sex stuff: might it be that you experienced your anima?
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Adam DuHame, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Helen Pohl:
Just a thought(and a caveat since I have no real knowledge of this) re the sex stuff: might it be that you experienced your anima?


Yes! This part of it was wonderful. When I was "her" or the feminine version of myself. I felt soft, beautiful, loving, and wise in a way I never had before. It was like everything I'd repressed from being a western man suddenly came to the surface. When I asked her who she was, she said in her beautiful voice "I think I'm a part of you, Adam". It was just that the way she appeared was so damn bizarre. Now I'm coming to understand that I tend to return to my masculine self in the same way that I always return to my normal sense of humor, way of speaking, ect. My personality is firm. And yet just to know that I can go to this place, that I don't have to always be just a "man" is really wonderful. I wonder if there is a way to integrate her into my day to day consciousness without - ya know - losing my mind.
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Helen Pohl, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Adam DuHame:
Helen Pohl:
Just a thought(and a caveat since I have no real knowledge of this) re the sex stuff: might it be that you experienced your anima?


Yes! This part of it was wonderful. When I was "her" or the feminine version of myself. I felt soft, beautiful, loving, and wise in a way I never had before. It was like everything I'd repressed from being a western man suddenly came to the surface. When I asked her who she was, she said in her beautiful voice "I think I'm a part of you, Adam". It was just that the way she appeared was so damn bizarre. Now I'm coming to understand that I tend to return to my masculine self in the same way that I always return to my normal sense of humor, way of speaking, ect. My personality is firm. And yet just to know that I can go to this place, that I don't have to always be just a "man" is really wonderful. I wonder if there is a way to integrate her into my day to day consciousness without - ya know - losing my mind.


Perhaps try and invite her in while meditating?

As a further comment-in what few sex dreams I've had in my life I've always been male. And what I've thought of as "me" in daily life is more or less genderless. 
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Adam DuHame, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Also I want to thank everyone for their responses. Even though I'm not replying to everyone I'm reading everything and taking the wisdom of the group to heart. I'm feeling really reassured. After my experience I had really come to believe that there was something "wrong" with me. 
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Olivier, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Hi Adam,

Hope you take this the right way, but great story and humor emoticon I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading, and that I actually thought the way you described your experience was really hilarious, honestly !! 

Not the hospital part of course...

I've also at times in my life experienced weird sex stuff and I know it's one of those areas which can be so very hard, shameful and conflictual, but it seems you are reacting in just the right way. Kudos to you.

The only thing I will underline is : excessive effort is rarely beneficial and I think this is something you've understood here, as should be. Goenka retreats tend to be traumatic for a lot of people it seems...
 
Best wishes,

Olivier
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

Posts: 49 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
I've noticed that holy basil reduces sexual urges. Do not eat garlic, onions, gluten and dairy. All these worsen my mental state. 

Lithium is a relatively safe, even neurologically beneficial drug that helps with mania. I take low dose lithium ororate (approx 2 mg) every day. This can be bought without a prescription, unlike lithium carbonate. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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"Do not eat garlic, onions, gluten and dairy. All these worsen my mental state. "

emoticon oh shoot! In that case I'm screwed! emoticon 
Emil Christian Stillhoff Jensen, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

Posts: 264 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
Haha, that was a fun read. I hope you're alright btw emoticon
Someone above suggested to read Daniel's book, MCTB (get the 2nd edition). I reccomend as well. It really helps putting all the crazy shit into perspective, as well as "explains" it to you, and teaches you to navigate the territory. I've meditated for 5+ years, but only recently started doing this myself. It seems like a really good thing.

I've had so many crazy experiences too, I suppose it doesn't hurt pitching in here as well. When I started having weird shit happen to me, it was always good to hear that I wasn't alone. It took a while, though, and in the mean time I thought I was just really special and also felt a little crazy.

I think my first A&P was when a blue vortex tunnel opened up for me while I was in sleep paralysis. It pulled me in, as if it had imense gravity. I resisted, tried to move, but a voice that really felt as if it knew what it was saying, asked me to just let it go. Then WHAM! I go through the tunnel, spent what seemed like 1-2 hours in an alternate reality similar to this one, go back the same way I came and was just taking the rest of the day to try to comprehend wth had just happened. I mean, it felt REAL, realer than real perhaps even. Super crazy stuff.

Of sexual stuff, ough! I almost don't know where to start. I've also tried feeling like a woman (ofc super sexy too) and I just go with it. I think it's nice lol, and very harmless. Not like that one time I was doing fire kasina practice and started having super realistic visuals of a blue/green/red orb like, morfing, blob-creature that I just felt super attracted to. That was a little like oookay, what now? Or the one time I felt haunted by a creepy old lady which took me to outer space and swallowed me up. After weeks of being tormented by seeing her in the mirror and basically just being super scared, I started feeding her sex, rather than fear. I slaid that old lady poon poon, and also gave her lots of love straight outa the heart. Quickly she was no longer tormenting me. She got what she came from and more lol.
I just came home from a 10 day solo retreat. One of the days I was having strong visuals of tantric/south-east asian kind of sex scenes. In one case I was sliding down a seemingly infinite wave of naked bodies. In all of these cases heterosexuality seems not to be a thing. Sexual urges are sexual urges, and the visual objects they are occurring with are whatever they are...

Keep dancing emoticon
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Zachary, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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In one case I was sliding down a seemingly infinite wave of naked bodies. In all of these cases heterosexuality seems not to be a thing. Sexual urges are sexual urges, and the visual objects they are occurring with are whatever they are...

Haha, reminds me of something I read recently in one of Robert Monroe's books, a visit to what he termed the "Human Sexual Pile": 

When I was able to perceive, I found I was standing a few feet away from an enormous pile of writhing forms. It reached up, slanting back as high as I could see. In each direction, right and left, it swept off into the distance. It reminded me of nothing so much as the interweaving of huge fishing worms in the bottom of a can after being left there overnight. The motion was continuous, thousands upon thousands, each wet slippery form wiggling in and out among the others in the pile, searching, trying to do something... but never achieving satisfaction.

Three perceptive shocks hit me simultaneously. The forms were not worms, they were human! Second, the incredible, staggering radiation of sexuality, both male and female, that emanated from the seething mass. Third, they all were physically dead. I wanted to turn and run, but some other part of me held me in place. I finally calmed down enough to become analytical. Did I want to join in? My whole being shuddered in rejection. No vestige remained of the sexual drive I found so important moments before. I had the strong percept that it would come again, but never where it would control wholly what I thought or did.

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Ole Henry, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Adam DuHame:
Hey everyone.

After having one of these experiences, and having it go badly, how do I go forward? I don't plan to stop meditating and I certainly want to continue to explore my consciousness, but how do I do so safely now that I know I have this propensity for going manic? 
While I'm excited to see the sexual stuff mentioned on Daniel's A&P page I still don't know what to do with it. Did my experience mean something? What the hell was that? 

If you've come this far thank you for reading and I look forward to talking with you all.

Hi friend.
I've had some of the same experiences and a few other weird ones, but the main point of them is to rest assured that there is nothing wrong about it, in fact (to me), they all are divine blessings/healing, maybe even feminine divine in their way of playing it all out. The first thing I did was to go along with being medicated, not because I felt fine with it, but for people around me and the ignorant society, we live in to stop watching me as a "case" of some sort. They just confirmed that I was totally messed up, and that's fine because that fits fine with my own beliefs. This world is crazy, and that's a nice new starting point. 

It's all just energy going wild, like in kundalini awakenings. So my way of taking care of this gift is to ground the energy and stabilize it. To do so I had to stop believing being a manic and stop taking medications because they were hindering full awareness, and trust in my continuous practice of mindfulness and different breath works. 
Maybe this video can be of some help to you now, it sure did it for me when I was searching for answers. 
https://youtu.be/Az9SCgaeKdc
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Just so thankful this community is here and has depths of experience to share with others and support this strange journey. Glad these resources have been helpful.

If you want to talk about what happened, do let me know.

Best wishes!

Daniel
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HouseOnFire, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Daniel M. Ingram:
Just so thankful this community is here and has depths of experience to share with others and support this strange journey. Glad these resources have been helpful.

If you want to talk about what happened, do let me know.

Best wishes!

Daniel


I appreciate that! Sent ya a PM
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p s i love you, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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@houseonfire, I know I'm very late to the conversation, but in case it is helpful to compare, I recently posted an account of my own experience with goddess energy, kundalini, gender transformation, sexual encounters, and the like (see here). I was not hospitalized, but came this close to losing my shit since I had no idea what was happening at the time. Fortunately, in my case, all of the messages I was getting were about love and protection, and in the end, the experience became an important fork in my path since it led to spontaneous arising of bodhicitta (see here and here and here).

I also learned an important lesson from this experience (and its aftermath that continued for 4 months) that I don't have to treat everything *just* as passing phenomena. It is that, of course, but there are also important lessons about love and emotional connection that came out of it for me that really positively affected my life. Hoping you'll experience the same. 

In case you're still being affected negatively by this experience, or for the benefit of others that read this thread, there's a lot of scary stuff about kundalini online, but I found a number of helpful resources for how to deal with kundalini energy in a safe and down-to-earth manner. I highly recommend the following: 

https://www.amazon.com/Kundalini-Guide-Companion-Journey-Companions-ebook/dp/B00JV32SZW/
https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Kundalini-Symptoms-Proven-Techniques-ebook/dp/B08DRKNBNQ/

They're both going to sound like lightweight new age fluff in comparison with the "hardcore" posture of this forum, but they're filled with really helpful grounding advice from some gentle women with a lot of experience in this territory. I also really connected with Rob Burbea and John Predergast during my journey through this phase. 

Best wishes and be well. ❤️
Robin Woods, modified 20 Hours ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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AND - this is why the people making loads of money off the Headspace app need to be WAAAY more honest with people about what they're actually getting into...
Eudoxos ., modified 19 Hours ago.

RE: Goenka Course, Strong A&P, Sexual Weirdness, Hospitalization

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Hi Adam, seeing this thread resurrected, my 2c to that. I hope you are well meanwhile.

I know personally someone who had an ordeal after just a few days of intense vipassana, with no prior meditatoin experience, not even much attraction to meditation — left in an obvious A&P (full of feelings of love, rapture, excitement and such) and stopped practicing after leaving; she fell into anxieties and had to be on anxiolytics for a week to be able to get some restorative sleep; she never practiced again.

What I see as common with what you describe (and this is not your fault) is developing the "corruptions of insight" during the A&P (see this chapter of MCTB2), such as energy, knowledge, rapture and attachment to them. I could talk to her about the practice in some detail afterwards; she'd be noting "love, love, love" but actually ignoring the liking and the attachment to it, without letting it go; my sense of it is that she was continuously accelerating the manic (and later depressive!) rollercoaster. Similarly,  you write about "single thought process go on for 6 hours uninterrupted" or playing games with the drug-like exprience off-cushion (I heard a teacher saying: "Don't play with the mind, otherwise the mind starts playing with you").

Sujiva, malaysian monk & teacher in the Mahasi lineage (former student of U Pandita senior), writes in his Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice (pp. 200–201; emphasis mine):

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
In the process, of course, there are a number of things to watch out for. The meditation manuals always warn the yogi against the pitfalls. Some of them is described in the part on upakilesas, which we call the imperfections of insight. These can arise very sharply and very clearly when one reaches a certain level of meditation. The pitfalls is often described at the lower udayabhaya ñana [=A&P], the lower knowledge, of the arising and dissolution. Not that it does not arise anywhere else but it arises very vividly here. The point here is that whatever experiences we come across, no matter how pleasant, how wonderful, or how profound, they are just to be noted, just like all other things. They just arise and pass away. Unless you can see its impermanence, it can become a pitfall. It can arouse craving, conceit, or wrong view. Craving is when you find it so wonderful that you keep wanting it increasingly, and attachment arises. You feel that you have something wonderful, so you are great, and you are so proud of it. That is another form of attachment and defilement arises thus. Alternatively, you think you have found the highest state because you experience very calm and beautiful mental states, and you think that is Nibbana. You cling to the view that this experience is the highest state. That is wrong view. When that happens, you not only stop progressing, but you can run into further problems. In the extreme case, you can become psychologically defective, a bit psychotic, or neurotic. Therefore, you must be really warned about this because although people hear about it, they are overwhelmed when it happens to them and they fall into this trap.
I see diagnosing this on-retreat as the teacher's role and responsibility, though the conditioning of the yogi comes to the mix (such as openness in reporting the experience to the teacher, the ability to follow the instructions etc).

I hope reading this can somewhat normalize your experience of being "a bit psychotic". It must have been a rather difficult experience for you, especially with the feeling of not being understood by others. I understand what a relief it must have been to read Daniel's A&P descriptions & am glad you could return to the practice afterwards. I am curious to hear how it went since then for you, if you are willing to share.

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