RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Aeon , modified 1 Month ago at 2/9/23 4:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/9/23 4:53 PM

Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 75 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Have anyone experienced a change (for better or worse) in the experience of psychological trauma following attaining a path (SE through to arahant)?

We all know enlightenment is supposed to end suffering, but does it really?

I know Ingram and Tina Rasmussen mentioned still having ego material, even after enlightenment, which I find disheartening.

Maybe I am just overthinking it, but I would love to hear anyones direct experience with this, if you would be willing to share it.
thumbnail
Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago at 2/9/23 4:58 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/9/23 4:58 PM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 307 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hello Aeon...
It would be good if you kept all your questions in one thread (aeon's dhamma curios?). You're clugging the "recent posts" page with your stuff!
​​​​​​​Cheers
Aeon , modified 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 7:26 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 7:26 AM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 75 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
<span class="lfr-ac-content"><a href="https://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/smiling-stone">@smiling-stone</a></span><span><br /><br />I think that approach would be less organized than it could be.<br /><br />With separate threads with separate topics, they are easier to navigate and reply to.</span>
thumbnail
Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 9:24 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 9:24 AM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 307 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Fair enough as you stopped at three threads, hum... but yesterday, as they were multiplying quickly in a short time span, I felt slightly concerned.
To your question, insight practice may or may not help with trauma (intense practice may trigger painful memories or reveal depths of the psyche one is not equipped to face at the moment). As for attainments... I'll let others chime in. It seems that some people far on the path of insight remain with lingering psychological stuff that remains untouched by their practice (for instance, Culadasa acknowledged that in his last years after the scandal)
The common view here is that a psychological work with some kind of therapist is a good adjuvant to (and not the same thing as) spiritual practice.

Also, you might dig a bit and find relevant threads.
with metta
smiling stone
...
Aeon , modified 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 11:29 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 11:29 AM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 75 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
@smiling-stone Acknowledged, I will pace my frequency of posting in the future.

I wonder if insight might reduce suffering to such an extent, that it could make immoral behavior easier to do.
If I have no suffering, no negative emotions, no guilt, shame or remorse, I would be one very illuminated sociopath.
Nihila , modified 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 12:32 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 11:43 AM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 80 Join Date: 1/19/23 Recent Posts
Practice usually has the opposite effect than what you're alluding to, in that it requires you become more intimate with feelings. It seems to me to be the only way to progress past Dark Night territory. In short, insight practice doesn't ultimately eliminate negative feelings, you just stop fighting them.

If you're lack guilt and remorse from beforehand however that's a different story.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 1:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/10/23 1:05 PM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 540 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Aeon wonders "If I have no suffering, no negative emotions, no guilt, shame or remorse, I would be one very illuminated sociopath" and that "could make immoral behavior easier to do." This makes sense.

But immoral behavior doesn't just automatically happen in the absence of guilt and shame. It has to be motivated by something, such as greed, hate, cruelty, or intentional callousness. All of those things, in and of themselves, just by arising, and without any need for the specter of future consequences, are unpleasant. Someone who can see how the mind works will not cultivate such mind-states. In addition, greed, hate, cruelty, and intentional callousness are generally fueled by the idea that, by acting on them, some pleasure will arise. But that is a delusion for which a realized person is unlikely to fall.

So, yes, I think that insight can make the mind more plastic and give people a wider range of behavioral options. But being sociopath is not most pleasant lifestyle choice out there, so you should not see a lot of liberated people opting for it.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 2/11/23 6:45 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/11/23 6:45 PM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 6975 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I have had some childhood traumas disentangling themselves in meditation, which has taken away reactive behavior that was tied to that. However, I can't be sure that the practice alone would have had that effect if I hadn't already gone through therapy. 
thumbnail
Kim _, modified 1 Month ago at 2/13/23 9:00 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/13/23 8:59 AM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 708 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
Q: Have anyone experienced a change (for better or worse) in the experience of psychological trauma following attaining a path (SE through to arahant)? We all know enlightenment is supposed to end suffering, but does it really? I know Daniel Ingram and Tina Rasmussen mentioned still having ego material, even after enlightenment, which I find disheartening. Maybe I am just overthinking it, but I would love to hear anyones direct experience with this, if you would be willing to share it.

A: Hi. It's a really good question that can't be answered in just one or two sentences. I'll explain this in nutshell and link a video that goes into this in more detail.

There are two types of subtle bodies: one made of one kind of channels (commonly known as nadis and chakras) and other made of different type of channels (commonly known as meridians). The meridian system is very closely associated with the physical body to the extent that traditional chinese medicine uses physical acupuncture needless on nonphysical meridian points to heal physical organs. The nadi system on the other hand is farther away from the physical body, though still connected with the body through the meridian system. If we look at these three bodies, the continuum is set like this: physical body, meridian system and nadi system. From grossest to subtlest.

Enlightenment through wisdom insight, as taught in buddhism, takes place in the nadi system and while all the bodies are connected and one event might have effect on all bodies, as a rule, it can be said that even if wisdom insight makes great changes in the nadi system of mind, the meridian system of mind and whatever is stored there can still remain mostly untouched. It's the meridian system that stores traumas (mostly). If we leave the whole vehicle (skt. yana) discussion out of this and think of buddhists at large through the same lens, this explains (at least in some way) why some teachers who were considered to have been highly realized, acted badly or abusively because of their trauma. If you're solely focused on wisdom insight, most of trauma goes unnoticed and unadressed.

My present understanding of shamatha/calm abiding and jhana/meditative absorption is that they're buddhisms answers to adress the meridian system, though to this day I have not seen a presentation that would discuss them as ways to heal trauma, instead of being presented as concentration practices. I've recently been listening to talks by jhana-teachers and was just about to watch Tina Rasmussen's interview if they present this aspect in her tradition. View and instructions are everything in this art and largely define the results. I know lots of people who practiced shamatha solely from concentration/samadhi perspective that left their traumas pretty much entirely unadressed.

More in this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iuNj_zU8A8

Hopefully you find this helpful.
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 1 Month ago at 2/13/23 9:47 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/13/23 9:42 PM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 652 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Hi Aeon! You may find encouraging this Daniel Ingram's entry:  Bliss-iconize your own list of traumatic life events

https://danielpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#jump-to-265 ​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​In Daniel's posts compilation you'll also find a whole section (4th Path) with entries that address your worries
thumbnail
Oatmilk, modified 1 Month ago at 2/16/23 12:44 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/16/23 12:44 PM

RE: Does insight stage attainments affect trauma?

Posts: 136 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
Hey Aeon, the Theravada path is not the end; only the first "major" awakening. Depending on what it is that the person feels bothered by, it won't necessarily change. So even if you have unresolved "Trauma" (and I am careful with that term, since you probably would not be able to practice Vipassana/meditation thoroughly then) meditation won't  necessarily change it. Since there are too many factors that play a role in that you could see certain faculties of the mind as structures that are used to navigate through the world. One example of these cognitive structures would be the self, or your attachment bond. The function of these structures remains relatively stable long term, although Vipassana tends to mess with it short term. Or in any case of a major awakening, your system blows open and remains in shutdown for awhile, alternating between sympathetic activation and dorsal vagal shutdown. This usually results in dissociation/disorganized mind-states and needs external regulation (eg. somatic therapies, breathing techniques, co regulation etc.). In short, the path itself is a practice of a lifetime that needs certain psychological frameworks and support along the way. If you experience psychological difficulties along, take a step back and adress this first.
The above is also just a neurobiological attempt to try to explain what's going on. You could also look into depth psychology, whatever suits you. 

Breadcrumb