RE: Dukkha Nanna

Jim H, modified 24 Days ago.

Dukkha Nanna

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/25/21 Recent Posts
Hello Everyone,

This is my first post. I am just wondering a bit about Dukkha Nana. Two years ago - exactly - I had what I could best term as a "mental breakdown".  This was a complete shift in my life that took place in a single moment.  It was as if there was the old me and then instantaneously a "new me" was crammed into the same space. I spent a few months in very acute emotional and existential pain. The existential aspect of the pain was insight into suffering, but not just my own, but everything around me appeared like suffering. I would see a married couple and instantly think of the unhappiness of the couple and how their relationship is just a cover for their unhappiness, etc. (all of which was just a projection of my own suffering). I was completely incapacitated for the most part and needed to lie down all of the time. Sometimes I would go into a half-sleep where I"m not really asleep but almost comatose, and these short "lie-downs"
 would help replenish me. However during these three months I also experienced heights that I had never experienced before. For example with the above incapacitating energy, I once surrendered myself to it, and it completely inverted and I realized that the energy that was incapacitating me was actual the energy of a level above me coming down. It was purifying me. 

Another experience -  I was meditating once, after a long time of emotional difficulties, and finally realized that I had come to a complete stillness. I was doing nothing but sitting. I noticed a little flame of consciousness in my brain where all mind activity originates. It was this that plagued me. There was a little switch there that was responsible for all of the restlessness. I fought with it and tried to hold the switch in the "off" position (this is a metaphor) and then felt a surge of energy up the middle of my body and was in a blissful state for the next week.  

There was another more intense experience as well, but you get the picture. 

Now two years later, in the auspicious month of May, I am having the same experience although a lot weaker. I am seeing suffering everywhere and am having moments where I can feel the dark "energy" sort of trying to switch inside me. It's kind of like I can see the dark sadness surrounded with a bit of space and that a moment of renunciation may be close by.  

My question is.. Is this how Dukha Nanna works?  I see it listed in stages in the progress of insight, but I seem to go through waves of denseness - inability to meditate - followed by struggle and then renunciation of my effort which leads to a moment of equanimity. This process seems to repeat a lot. Sometimes intense, as described above and as I"m experiencing now, but also sometimes just as a "spiritual frustration". What can I look forward to? This process is annoying!
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J W, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Dukkha Nanna

Posts: 410 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Hey Jim,
I feel like I can relate to this a bit.  I think it's not uncommon to 'dip' or 'cycle' from a place of equanimity back into DN (reobservation), or to find yourself revisiting previous negative experiences and mindstates.  That's kind of what reobservation is, as I understand it.  Dipping back into reobservation means that you still have something left to learn.  But every time, you are learning.  You mentioned that the experience is weaker this time - good, right?  I think as time goes on and you get more used to the cycles, become familiar with them, progress occurs and you can sort of abstract your 'self' out of this whole process, seeing the cycle as a whole rather than get hung up on each phase.  Just what I've sort of noticed anyway... hope it helps.

Peace!
JW
Jim H, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Dukkha Nanna

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/25/21 Recent Posts
Awesome. Thank you for the words. I have started to read the article posted by Pepe as well and already things are resonating. I know kind of what these dark nights are coming to me for. There is a certain detachment that is their end goal (equanimity actually is a good word) and in the last week I have made very significant progress towards equanimity in a very specific piece of my life. As far as the concept of re-observation goes that also rings a bell with the experience as the emotions and feelings in my body are of the exact same quality as those two years ago, even to the point that they are re-awakening emotions very specific to the experience two years ago that were altogether surpassed outside of the re-observation. Also this quote from the linked website describes some of the feeling exactly:

"People who have more physical experience tend to feel like they are being wrung out like a wet towel or maybe "beat up" like being in a washing machine. After the sensations die down, there is a sense of being "cleaner" and "less solid" --- the classic detoxing feeling. "

Thanks again!
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Pepe ·, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Dukkha Nanna

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Hi Jim, welcome to DhO!

Adding to what J W wrote above, you might check some posts that Shargrol (a seasoned meditator) wrote on Dukkha Ñanas and the transition to Equanimity. Start reading from  Dark Night ñanas: physical vs mental people  onwards. 

Metta!

​​​​​​​Pepe
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J W, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Dukkha Nanna

Posts: 410 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Thanks Pepe - second your recommendation!