Dark night caused by IRL events?

Michal, modified 3 Months ago.

Dark night caused by IRL events?

Post: 1 Join Date: 6/9/20 Recent Posts
so, basically - I'm 100% I'm either in knowledge of fear or knowledge of misery (during daily life, probably a wider range during meditation)

It started by failing a few important exams (multiple times) and some financial issues.

The first question is - is it usual for it to be connected to real life events? I have an intense meditation practice (1 - 3 hr daily) but the last few months seem to have catapulted me straight into a dark night.

The second question is - I suspect I made it to equanimity (after the dread of the DN the noting session became amazing). So, assuming I made it to equanimity - how long until I get a cessation? 
Say, I bump up my practice to 3h again (wouldn't be easy, but could be done) would it take a few weeks? Months? Maybe one session that's long enough??

​​​​​​​Thanks in advance for the input.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Dark night caused by IRL events?

Posts: 5894 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The way I see it, the practice can't really be separated from daily life. It's all part of the dependent origination, entangled. So I'd say yes.

It's impossible to tell how soon you can get a cessation. Chasing after it with a time perspective like that makes it harder. It happens sooner if you just stay with what is. It could happen within minutes or decades or not at all within this lifetime. It's probably more likely to happen if you meditate more, but not if those sessions turn into a cessation chase. Ramp it up as much as you can while still just being present to the moment to the best of your ability. If it turns into a race, then it's probably better to rest more and have a lighter approach. 
Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Dark night caused by IRL events?

Posts: 58 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Just to support what Linda said - life and practice cannot be seperated, I had stages of insight happen super synchronistically with real life events and people. I was recently listening to one of Daniel's podcasts and he said he had the same. There are countless examples of people thrown into A&Ps and Dark Nighs due to real-life stuff (typically really shitty stuff, car accidents, etc.) - so yes.

On Equanimity - the trick really is to "stay with what is" with no expectations. Let the mind do it's own thing, incl notice striving for attainemnts. I would recommend you have a look at Shargrol's compilation of posts on DhO - he has some written some great stuff on Equanimity specifically:

The equanimity stuff starts here (scroll downwards from there):
Eudoxos ., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Dark night caused by IRL events?

Posts: 80 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
To support what other said already, in the Thai-Mahasi tradition (and perhaps elsewhere), there are even aditthana (resolution) practices when you wish for various stages of insight to appear on/off-cushion, outside of retreat. The interconnection is very real and known. Our separation of practice vs. "real" life is just a (sometimes useful) designation. Something like: "I had pneumonia when I was under x-ray. Is it possible that I still have it now at home, without the x-ray?" Practice is the x-ray, not the penumonia.