Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry Aeon . 3/23/23 5:04 AM
RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry shargrol 3/23/23 6:20 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry shargrol 3/23/23 3:10 PM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry shargrol 3/26/23 7:03 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/28/23 9:20 PM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/1/23 4:43 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/1/23 9:39 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/1/23 9:43 AM
RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry Aeon . 4/7/23 1:49 PM
RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry ‎ ‎Nihila 4/8/23 11:44 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry shargrol 4/10/23 9:41 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry shargrol 5/26/23 9:08 PM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry ‎ ‎Nihila 6/20/23 12:09 PM
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 5:04 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 5:04 AM

Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
I have been dark nighting for more than a decade.
If it wasn't for Ingram, MCTB2 and Shargrol and their respective post collections, I honestly think I would have never figured it out.

Why StreamEntry? All I want is to permanently end the misery and depression, so I have a chance at actually living my life.
First I thought the problem was depression, then addictions, then trauma, now I feel like I have found the major root cause: The dark night (DN).
You name it, I have tried it: Positive psychology, psychiatric medications, self-image psychology, energy unblocking, hypnotherapy, gestalt, family, psychedelic- therapies, quitting addictions, eliminating negative beliefs...
None of it made a permanent difference to the ball of black misery, shame and depression I constantly have in my upper chest.

...Only the jhanas applied to vipassana seems to make a proper difference; if I generate the third jhana on whatever feeling the DN presents, it shifts into EQ, so I feel like a human being for while.
Without consistent, focused daily practice, I slip right back into DN again.

I struggle a lot with accepting that EQ can lead to SE; can it really be this easy? Am I doing it right? How long will it take? Is this just me bypassing spiritually by generating EQ with samatha instead of vipassanizing my way into EQ? Am I supposed to investigate the suffering of DN or can I achieve SE by causing EQ and investigating the pure felt sensations of EQ?
Damned hindrance of doubt keeps screwing with me. I guess practice, trial and error will tell.

All opinions, suggestions, feedback or questions are welcome.
May everyone be safe, protected and free of all suffering.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 6:20 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 6:20 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Have you decided on a practice?
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 7:02 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 7:02 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Great to see you @shargrol ! emoticon
I was quietly hoping I would have the good graces of your attention.

What I have learned through trial and error is that applying the general shape-of-attention (disintegrating object of focus, expansive) of the 3rd jhana to the feelings of the DN causes them to evaporate, allowing EQ to come through.
With EQ as an object, I investigate impermanence in it, allowing my field of attention to expand while gently investigating everything in it, essentially causing a 4th jhana to arise.
It's subtle business; not to force the samatha jhana, but rather investigate sensations inside the shape of the jhana.
I think I intuit why the vipassana jhanas are called as such, and why I have repeatedly fallen back from EQ.

I don't know if this actually makes sense outside my head, but it seems to release the DN and enable progress. I am still wary and doubtful tho, is it really supposed to be this easy after this much effort and suffering...? Seems to good to be true, but I stick with it.

I suppose this is wet vipassana, preferably lying down, for as long as I can without causing pain, as often as I can without getting sick of it.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 3:10 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/23/23 3:10 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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sure. it definitely makes sense. sounds good.

When someone is finally not "fighting" within the dark night, it does become very jhanic. Dark night yogis often really enjoy the kind of cool numbness of the 3rd vipassina jhana.

When EQ happens it can be good to notice things that make EQ what it is, thinks like space, ease, comfort, calm, relaxation, openess, simplicity, etc.  Basically noticing/noting those sorts of things is what is involved with continuing to do vipassina within EQ. 

Mostly trust yourself and continue to maintain a consistent practice and explore!
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/24/23 6:14 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/24/23 6:14 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Thanks so much @shargrol
I have lost count of how many times I have been stuck with something, looked over your post collection and found an accurate answer.
The consistency of understanding of this territory is staggering. I would have thought I had lost my marbles long ago if it weren't for you.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/24/23 6:18 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/24/23 6:18 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Today I reached high EQ in an hour of practice - that profoundly quiet, expansive feeling of the whole world being frozen in time.

As I deepened that experience by gently investigating with the quality of attention (expansive, neutral, integrating) I learned from the 4th jhana, I suddenly got very sad and began crying. No logical sense to it at all, I just kept gently focused on my best n11.vj4.
Felt as if something released, but still something lingers. More practice later.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/24/23 3:12 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/24/23 3:12 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Another hour of meditation, another round into EQ followed by emotional release of something in my chest/throat.
Felt like my sense of self shifted from inside head to that chest/throat area, as if I felt I was really just sadness at my core.
Afterward I felt so tired, I couldnt stop yawning and could barely walk around.

Now my sense of self seems malleable - I can shift it around my body somewhat, and even into my perception of impermanence/flux.
When I shift my self into impermanence, I feel oddly free and blissful.
Life works a lot better without a 'me' in it.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/25/23 9:02 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/25/23 9:02 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Ripped through the DN nanas today with 3rd jhana. What a relief to have an antidote to all that madness!

In EQ I was troubled by choosing between practicing by investigating EQ, or allowing my investigation of impermanence/flux to "take me out".

I spontaneously came to learn the cue: "Perceive how impermanent your perception of impermanence is". That makes everything vibrate 10x quicker, and runs energy up the spine into my crown chakra.
After that I felt my sense-of-self in upper chest and third eye area as a deep tiredness. Couldn't quite nap through it, but found my perception of impermanence, and ability to let that deepen my ability to feel no-self had increased.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/26/23 4:23 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/26/23 4:23 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I managed to get a proper taste of not suffering yesterday. 10 minutes of not being in emotional pain, simply feeling content.
...Then a trauma I thought I had worked through with +10 hours of EMDR resurfaced, stronger than ever. Couldn't stop crying.
Why the fuck am I even doing all of this.

Between dopamine deficiency from long term addictions, dark nighting and traumas lurking beneath the surface, I can't figure out what to do to really move forward without slipping back.

Can't even do dry insight today because literally every thought I have is a hindrance, making investigation nigh on impossible.
Jhanas seem weak and far away. Everything just hurts.
Only decent moment of practice was when I gave up completely, and meditation started doing itself, somehow. No idea how that works.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 3/26/23 7:03 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/26/23 7:03 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Aeon ........
I managed to get a proper taste of not suffering yesterday. 10 minutes of not being in emotional pain, simply feeling content.
...Then a trauma I thought I had worked through with +10 hours of EMDR resurfaced, stronger than ever. Couldn't stop crying.
Why the fuck am I even doing all of this.

Between dopamine deficiency from long term addictions, dark nighting and traumas lurking beneath the surface, I can't figure out what to do to really move forward without slipping back.

Can't even do dry insight today because literally every thought I have is a hindrance, making investigation nigh on impossible.
Jhanas seem weak and far away. Everything just hurts.
Only decent moment of practice was when I gave up completely, and meditation started doing itself, somehow. No idea how that works.

It's hard to give advice for this sort of thing, especially when people have had past addictions/trauma etc.  Everyone needs to be respectful of their own situation and adjust practice, rest, therapy, treatment, etc. to fit their situation. 

But it's important to know that moving through the nanas, especially during home practice, is never a stepwise climb. It always involves going up and down and back up again, sometimes over the course of a week, sometimes several times in a single sitting. So it's never good to get attached to where we are on the maps as a fixed place and judge progress based on rising and falling from that place. Especially as our mind gets cleaned up, we can go up and down the nanas, almost like the mind is playing scales on a piano. It goes searching for remaining knot and lessons we haven't learned completely yet. And when all of our insights are well-developed, there is nothing that drags it down and into nibbana we go...

I'll mention that this sort of thing has a feeling of classic desire for deliverance and reobservation, especially since it seemed to arise unprovoked within a meditation practice. Desire for deliverance and reobservation are some of the shittiest of the nanas but it's also the ones where the most purification occurs. It can feel like slipping back, but it is actually moving forward. All our triggers get triggered, almost like our mind is trying to pick a fight with us. Ironically, it's a test to see if we will take the bait and "get involved" with all this stuff. Giving up and just letting things be, without trying to fix and without trying to avoid, is the only way through... And usually it ends with soft tears, a gentle sobbing that feels healing.

In desire for deliverance and reobservation is like we're given a choice: we can go back to the drama and trauma of our old life... by buying into our dramas and traumas... or we can learn to let it go and see what is on the other side. And mostly that involves a lot of giving up control within the meditation practice. We don't get to choose what happens, we just have to experience it.

The tricky thing is none of these "idealized" statements about meditation are perfect descriptions for an individual. Some people might need to go back to therapy or slow down their practice --- that's why I led off with my initial statement. Be good and kind to yourself and respect your actual situation. But hopefully what I've written gives you some options to think about.

And it can be really good review the desire for deliverance and reobservation section of MCTB: 

9. Desire for Deliverance – MCTB.org
10. Re-observation – MCTB.org



 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/27/23 12:11 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/27/23 12:10 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Thanks Shargrol, I really do appreciate your guidance and support.
This DN stuff feels like emotional waterboarding. It's really hard to practice insight properly, but at the same time I feel like a momentum keeps meditating for me when I really give up. I think that puts me at re-observation? Letting go, surrendering restarting the process indicates reobs I think.

Maybe I should just hone the jhanas for a few days. I found the pureland jhana 1 with the mantra "Namo Amitabha" the other day, and it is beyond words blissful.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 3/28/23 9:20 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/28/23 9:20 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You've got a good piece of insight right there! Insight isn't really something that anyone can do. It just does itself from awake awareness when we get out of the way. Still, most of us really need to fuel that process with consistent work. It can seem paradoxical, and maybe it is, at least from the point of view of the-individual-that-wants-to-get-enlightened, but then again, that's not what gets enlightened anyway. 

Reobservation is in my experience a ñana that really gives the process lots of fuel when we manage to practice in it. It makes it so extremely obvious that the whole idea of a self being at the center is a huge pain in the ass. Even if we are unable to see that then and there, because we identify so strongly with it, something just can't help but noticing it. That's why it has to collapse. Lots of people here seem to fear the reobservation ñana, and in a way I can understand that because in many ways it feels unbearable. Yet, I always kind of liked it, because it makes things move forward. It has to. It's impossible to get stuck there, it seems to me. It's too exhausting to be sustainable. Therefore it's inherently unstable. 

It's totally okay switching to feel-good practices. You know, insight doesn't only happen in specific insight practices. Nurturing practices are great to have in the tool box. Sometimes they deliver insight in a more subtle way that causes less resistance, and that can be very powerful.

Neurotransmittor deficiency sucks. I don't have substance addiction in my baggage, but I do have traumas combined with three different neuropsychiatric diagnoses. I find that even with both antidepressants and ADHD medication, balancing on the sweetspot where both dopamine and serotonine are sufficient and in the right places can be really tricky. One aspect of it seems to be to eat exactly the right amount of proteine. Too much proteine leads to serotonine deficiency and too little leads to dopamine deficiency, and for me the sweetspot seems to be very narrow. I don't know if that's something you have already been looking into - you seem to be just as nerdy as me when it comes to searching for those kinds of hacks - but if not, maybe worth a shot. Practicing is so much easier when the neurotransmittors are in relative balance. 

Take care! Don't be too hard on yourself! You've got this. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/30/23 9:57 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/30/23 9:57 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Thanks @pollyester , encouragement is always much appreciated! It's been a tough few days with a lot of variance.
Had completely missed that "automatic meditation" was an insight, if you hadn't pointed it out.

About neurotransmitters and proteins/amino acids.. I'm as nerdy as a layman can get I think:
Recently I have been trying supplementing the main precursors for dopamine, L-tyrosine and in particular DL-PhenylAlanine (DLPA).
At the start they could take 95% of withdrawal from caffeine! Powerful stuff. Not at all psychotropic or euphoric, but a marked boost in mood.
They might be why your protein requirement is so hard to pin down; Too little protein is too little precursor DLPA, too much will add too much methionine and tryptophan, which can aid overproduction of serotonin (I think serotonin excess is entirely a bad thing).
If you had DLPA supplemented, you might have an easier time regulating protein intake.

If you are running ADHD meds, a word to the wise: Metabolism.
The stress hormone increase ADHD meds can cause are insane, and the energy production decrease (metabolism) that can cause can wreck health long term.
If they are necessary for you, I get it, but you would be wise to consider bioidentical hormone replacement theory with at least progesterone and thyroid hormones. Maybe also androgens and/or youth-associated steroids like DHEA, pregnenolone etc.
It's always mind boggling to me why this isn't standard practice when doctors prescribe for ADHD, but then again... Bioidentical hormones are not patentable, thus hardly researched, and thus not considered "evidence based" (they are actually evidence based, just not marketed well).
Depending on country these are either over the counter or prescription required.
Most of this is stolen from the late Dr.  Ray Peat. His wisdom about biology, health and endocrinology really helped me and family out more than I even can describe.

There is also a chance that processing trauma will indirectly cure ADHD. I have known people that happened to. While I don't think trauma is always the root cause of it, it's worth looking out for - if you cure ADHD you might suddenly get wired like a powerplant from ritalin etc.

Give me a topic, and I will EXHAUST it! xD
I venture to guess you likely know most of this, but in case you don't, I think it's worth mentioning, because it's rarely talked about and can really make a difference.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/30/23 12:41 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/30/23 10:10 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I thought I was dark nighting, and had real trouble keeping my shit together, needing all the samatha and anapanasati I could muster to not freak out.
30 seconds of half-assed insight meditation would have me in Misery or Reobservation.
Then I freaked out and binged caffeine, after a 3 day attempt at quitting - and all the dark night symptoms vanished.
Goes to show how important morality in all it's nuances are: messed up neurotransmitters = messed up meditation.

I went from feeling like a fish being fried to a shark in the ocean.
EQ came and found me, as did the focus cues:
"Observe Self everywhere" and "Let Self everywhere observe you. "
I have this funky feeling my felt center of self is spreading like fog into my field of consciousness outside my skin.
Occasionally I feel energy tingling up my spine, then up and through the crown, blooming into the atmosphere (see current profile picture).
Fingers crossed my head explodes soon and catapults me to a Path moment like it happened for Frank Yang - I am that sick of being a person.
"Self improvment is masturbation.. ..Self destruction, is the answer." Comes to mind.

Now what to do when I (have to) quit caffeine again, and have to endure funky neurotransmitters?
Insight will be like running in a suit of armor.
Maybe if I harden a jhana enough, I can investigate from it without tilting completely... Or training of moment to moment concentration with anapanasati could perhaps work. I guess time and experimentation will tell.
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supermonkey :), modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 3:30 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 2:42 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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"Fingers crossed my head explodes soon and catapults me to a Path moment like it happened for Frank Yang - I am that sick of being a person."Self improvment is masturbation.. ..Self destruction, is the answer." Comes to mind."

Probably Disgust. 

​​​​​​ " Now what to do when I (have to) quit caffeine again, and have to endure funky neurotransmitters? Insight will be like running in a suit of armor." 

"Maybe if I harden a jhana enough, I can investigate from it without tilting completely... Or training of moment to moment concentration with anapanasati could perhaps work. I guess time and experimentation will tell."

Probably Re-Observation.

 I'm saying this because mapping can sometimes really help take the edge off.  I think the best advice I can give is that you have to let the deeper layers of your mind figure out that you are constantly trying to manipulate experience. This is what you need to see. It might be clear at some level, but as this goes, there are usually hidden layers of mind that simply don't see it.
 suggest you try to slowly let your mind become more aware of reactivity, resp. let your main object of meditation become reactivity itself and maybe, for cases of emergency, keep in the back of your head that making reactivity into an object too quickly is reactivity.

​​​In my experience reactivity is clearest after +/- 30 minutes and you don't have to search for it. The mind will find it, because it knows that it needs to see something here. I think it's just important to first let a general awareness develop and not, as I said, try to fixate on it right away. ​​​​ Then the mind can do its thing and find out what it needs to find out.  ​​​​​​​And eventually you will develop enough insight into your reactivity to let go into EQ without having to go back to Re-Observation.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ I hope this makes some sense to you, although it's basically repeating shargrol's advice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 4:43 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 4:42 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Gee, I think I might be outnerded in one of my nerdieat topics! Didn't see that one coming.

I can't follow the advice, though, because DLPA makes me sick (along with caffeine, which also makes me panic) and progesterone makes me hellishly depressed. My issue isn't overproduction of serotonine, but rather the opposite, which is why I need to take both antidepressants and 5-htp (my psychiatrist knows). From what I have heard, when you eat too much proteine, dopamine will attach to serotonine receptors too, making it hard for the body to make use of the serotonine. That's why I can't eat too much proteine, among other things (also, it literally stinks). As for the ADHD medz, I'm taking a ridiculously low dosis of dexamphetamine. I seem to metabolize it very fast, so if I were to take a normal dosis, it would be too much at the same time. I also very rarely take it as many times per day as I'm allowed to, so I'm not overly worried about that. I'm pretty sure I had ADHD from the getgo. I was a hyperactive infant.

When I was on ritaline, I tried the fast pills to get started in the morning and they had the opposite effect on me. They would make me fall into such deep sleep that it was impossible to wake up. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 8:51 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 8:51 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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@supermonkey
"I think the best advice I can give is that you have to let the deeper layers of your mind figure out that you are constantly trying to manipulate experience. This is what you need to see. It might be clear at some level, but as this goes, there are usually hidden layers of mind that simply don't see it."

I think you are right... It seems that when I let go of all effort for a moment, meditation somehow does itself, and problems and feelings vanish.
Thanks for pointing this out.
I often can't see the dark night at all when i'm in it.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 8:53 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 8:53 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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@pollyester I should have guessed you would have thought ahead of all those things.

I don't know why, but the fact that you are intolerant to all these seemingly natural things, somehow further my suspicion that you are secretly a higher life form than garden-variety-humans.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 9:06 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 9:06 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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It seems the EQ nana is available within minutes, if I focus on the cue "let it take you out" (it being the ever fluxing whole of aware reality). It feels as if impermanence draws the self out; instigating no-self.

I had struggled in the past with feeling like my mind "jammed up" and I forgot how I was practicing. Instead today, I got the impulse for the cue "let your self be forgotten", and as I did that, no-self arose quite powerfully, organically, and easily continues itself.
...This self-forgetting makes the flossed-tired-angry-sad-yucky-feeling of DN in my upper chest evaporate like dew in sunlight.
What a blessed relief to not be a person for a while!

Somehow this also had a sense of purpose arise. Now I am doing all my chores and cleaning, gearing up for a 10 day solo retreat.
Let's see what happens if I give all my attention all day to deepening this.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 9:39 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 9:39 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Aeon:
........
@pollyester I should have guessed you would have thought ahead of all those things.

I don't know why, but the fact that you are intolerant to all these seemingly natural things, somehow further my suspicion that you are secretly a higher life form than garden-variety-humans.


Haha! Nah, just weirdly wired in so many ways. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s so obvious that I have inherited all sorts of traits from my earthly parents, I would have suspected that I’m an alien changeling. So… a mutant perhaps, but aren’t we all? (Funny story, though: a psychic yoga teacher did tell me that I had difficulties connecting with earth because I came here from some other realm. She saw and could describe the energetic tentacles from me that I myself had felt doing all sorts of disentangling all over the place during the restorative yoga session, so I don’t know… it all sounds kind of crazy. Another person who said she was psychic said something similar on another occasion, although she was talking about ”angel anergy”. I thought that maybe she picked up on the changes from having had stream entry. Either that or that it was crazy talk. People sure do like their stories.)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 9:43 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 9:43 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I have that sense of all the heaviness and all the tensions evaporating, too, when I shift into EQ and reality sort of turns inside out and I become part of the spaciousness. 

​​​​​​​Best wishes for your retreat! 
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supermonkey :), modified 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 10:47 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/1/23 10:39 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Yes, we often don't see that we are in the dark night and when somebody points it out, it becomes obvious. In the very same manner you will find out which issues keep you going back to the dark night, just that this time your awareness is refined enough so that you notice it yourself.
I think what makes the DN the center of gravity for long periods is that we are overlooking something that we need to see in order to go on. That's what I was trying to say.
I wasn't intending to say "let go of all effort" , and certainly not in order to make all thoughts and feelings go away, because that's not equanimity, that's spacing out. One aspect of true Equanimity is being able to hold experiences in awareness precisely without wanting/needing them to vanish. Or at least to a much lesser degree. ​​​I was rather trying to point out that the point is to get to a point where awareness is refined enough to point itself out to it's own blind spots, so to say. (let me point out that that's a lot of points .. XD) 

Best wishes! 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/7/23 1:49 PM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I have found 3 major problems that keep kicking my ass: Traumas causing addictions, addictions (mostly caffeine these days) draining my energy, lacking energy meaning I can't focus enough to do proper insight meditation to bust out of DN, more DN meaning more addictions, meaning more trauma, the cycle goes on and gets vicious.

From what I gather, the best I can do is self-therapy to process the trauma that is at the root of the cravings and addictions that drain me.
Can't seem to quit anything by raw effort and whiteknuckling.
Can't seem to practice vipassana deeply and long enough to attain SE and bust DN for good.

Which is why your boy Aeon is retreating for 10 days. No electronics, no social contact, no caffeine, no sex, no fancy food, no distractions;
Merciless focus on trauma processing with EMDR, and recharging energy/focus when I can't do anymore EMDR.

I have made a big-ass-list of every single trauma or energy block I am conscious of, and will do EMDR to process the stored pain out of j4.
If I am fried from EMDR, I will generate subtle tension energy and enter a jhana with that as meditation object, in order to recharge.
If I can't focus for jhanas, I will relieve DN with anapanasati.
Throw in some mindful walks and simple mobility training to not be in physical pain.

If all goes well, and I vanquish everything on my big-ass-list, I think I can do insight meditation without DN. They say some don't get it right?
Like Delson Armstrong and Goenka didn't seem to.
My best guess is DN = festering from unconscious trauma. At least it appears that way for me, in my body and experience, it's almost like clockwork.

Wish me luck, dharma friends.
"Per ardua ad alta."
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 1 Year ago at 4/8/23 11:44 AM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Good luck. Sounds like you might be in dfd territory btw, could be worthwhile to keep in mind.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/10/23 9:27 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/10/23 9:27 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I got steamrolled and quit early.
Haven't been hurting this bad since I came down from dutch amphetamine.

Optimism bias had me forget/underestimate how bad the after effects ("hangover") of EMDR can get.
Can't recommend doing EMDR retreating, I couldnt focus,couldnt jhana or anything.

wtf even is my life
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 4/10/23 9:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/10/23 9:38 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Intense practice/retreat is often like this. We set off to steamroll our hindrances -- with the best of intentions -- and then our hindrance steamrolls us. It usually isn't a problem of wrong intention, just wrong method (too much, too fast, too harsh, etc.)

The tricky thing about all of this is our hindrances are there ultimately because they intended to protect us, even horrible addictions are a (very confused) form of self comforting and protection. So usually a strong but gentle/compassionate touch works best. 

No big deal, everyone that has a dedicated practice will at some point need to re-balance their effort. It really is tricky to find "right effort", so to speak. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/10/23 4:49 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/10/23 4:49 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Thanks @shargrol

I think you are right, and it is worth remembering, hindrances try to protect. Kinda takes the sting out of it somehow.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/13/23 4:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/13/23 4:07 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Still around, still practicing. Somehow I always end up doing insight meditation. It's like it pulls me.
Somehow I have developed a preference for dry insight now, but I can't really figure out why.

These days practice is 30 minutes rounds of EMDR to deal with trauma, repeated until my brain melts. 
Then I do insight with enough focus to not feel the EMDR aftermath/hangover.
It's tough to do, but doesn't really seem there is any other way to progress.

I have also figured out how to connect willpower to investigating the three characteristics.
Not whiteknuckle willpower, more like a cat right before it pounces; just enough tension to keep the body and mind focused.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/20/23 10:17 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/20/23 10:17 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Did 19 hours of EMDR therapy over the last 5 days, on my oldest, deepest, nastiest trauma, despite being sleep deprived and emotional flashbacks. My brain feels like porridge.

Body recalibrating, muscles releasing tension, spine crackling and re aligning, side nadis rushing energy, weird stinging pain where blocks used to be.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 4/24/23 10:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/24/23 10:54 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Always have been so drawn to and fascinated by insight meditation, but never understood why until today.

I have had a rough few days with loads of emotional flashbacks, and I was about to get sucked into one again, but then I remembered a quote from a zen master that Jim Smith shared with us: "A direct experience of suffering doesn't have suffering in it."
I intuitively fluxed the feeling with everything I had in me, and as if by magic, I experienced a negative emotion without any pain or suffering in it.

I can barely believe it... It actually worked... This stuff actually works!? Life doesn't have to have suffering in it.

Now I'm really torn whether to go for stream entry or heal through my trauma with EMDR therapy.
I think I also read somewhere here on the forum, that healing energy blocks and trauma is a very different game after stream entry.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 5/26/23 5:10 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/26/23 5:10 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I thought that because insight tended to bring up traumatic stuff to work through, that meant insight wasn't working, and I had to do trauma therapy.

In reality, doing trauma therapy seems to be largely identical to insight - focus on dukkha/traumatic feeling, generate no-self to activate releasing catharsis, remain focused on how it changes, repeat.

Trauma therapy leads to insight, insight leads to trauma therapy.

The three characteristics work as advertised - they end suffering. It just so happens ending suffering involves suffering more intensely for a while.

Still with me? Yea I'm not sure I fully grok it either.

Basically I think I need to stop being a bitch and keep meditating even if doing therapy. Powering the flux of impermanence is the only real, congruent antidote to the Pain I have found so far.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 5/26/23 9:08 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/26/23 9:08 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Aeon ........:
I thought that because insight tended to bring up traumatic stuff to work through, that meant insight wasn't working, and I had to do trauma therapy. In reality, doing trauma therapy seems to be largely identical to insight - focus on dukkha/traumatic feeling, generate no-self to activate releasing catharsis, remain focused on how it changes, repeat. Trauma therapy leads to insight, insight leads to trauma therapy. The three characteristics work as advertised - they end suffering. It just so happens ending suffering involves suffering more intensely for a while. Still with me? Yea I'm not sure I fully grok it either. Basically I think I need to stop being a bitch and keep meditating even if doing therapy. Powering the flux of impermanence is the only real, congruent antidote to the Pain I have found so far.


Yup, you got it. The way to get past is to go through -- through the apparent suffering. But not wallowing in suffering or endlessly retraumatizing ourself, but actually learning something about the nature of the suffering by experiencing it more directly, more intimately, and more throughly. (Usually we learn that, a lot of the time, we're our own worst enemy). 

And yes, the other side of it is learning not to be a bitch/asshole. That's mostly what a saint is: not a bitch, not an asshole. emoticon

It turns out that when we're clear minded enough to not be mean to ourself, we lose our desire to be mean to other people, too. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 5/29/23 12:22 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/29/23 12:22 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Thank you wise dragon @shargrol  (I am convinced Shargrol is a dragons name. You will fail to change my mind at this).

I find it relieving to know that what I go through makes sense outside my head too. It can get real confusing to do this work.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 5/29/23 12:24 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/29/23 12:24 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Investigating anything within the body reliably triggers more processing of trauma or energy knots.

Conversely investigating impermanence in outside vision and hearing seems to reliably mute the pain of energy blocks.

All I want to do is cool down and gather energy for another round of intensive EMDR. That stuff is real painful with legit aftermath hangovers.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 2:29 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 2:29 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Was doing insight with meditation in a rocking chair, feeling amazed at how I get glimpses of perfect equanimous wholesome states, thinking "maybe all this sitting is paying off"
..and then a coin fell out of the chair. There are absolutely no places it could have a coin lodged tho. Funny little synchronicity.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 7:32 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 7:32 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Been doing EMDR to process trauma around my solar plexus.
After this it feels like insight meditation almost happens on it's own. I put on music and it meditates for me; impermanence is so vivid and fascinating.

 I wonder if insight is supposed to instigate processing of stored Pain, or if it's just my personal path being weird that way.
This has to be the trippiest, most non-linear goal I have ever attempted. Keeps surprising me.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 8:26 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 8:26 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 6/1/23 6:05 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/31/23 8:30 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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sorry, i didn't see that the link cut off at the end --- just google "eckhart tolle pain body"  (I'm not saying that the pain body is "really real", or that Tolle's theory is the right one, just pointing out that people have gone down a similar road and come up with some similar ideas about the pain/body work that is needed to see and live more clearly... and you might be interested. Definitely take what is helpful and discard the rest!)
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/1/23 12:42 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/1/23 12:42 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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That does make sense, now that you mention it, I remember Tolle saying people working through their pain bodies, and the ones with the most pain often awakened the fastest because what else could they do?

What I wouldn't give to have an Eckhart-Tolle-miracle happen to me tho. Just wake up in the night one day, swirling energies and the wake up enlightened next morning. Thats the dream.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/6/23 10:07 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/6/23 10:07 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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I got the bright idea to reverse the investigation of no-self: Can I find/feel/experience an unstable, all-encompassing sense of self everywhere?
This feels so much more wholesome than whittling away the little contracted knot of self that seems to be in the third eye area.
It almost feels like cheating!

I think I can relate to what Frank Yang said, that after SE and higher paths, the knot of self became a bigger bubble, then much bigger, then 99% infinite, and then boundless.

It also gives me the feeling of glorious, everlasting love and serenity that I had after my first A&P years back.
Still triggers body memories tho, which is distracting. Guess I just have to work through that before I can meditate properly and consistently.
Nothing to it but to do it.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/7/23 8:44 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/7/23 8:44 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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So depressed today that even doing metta felt painful. Didn't know that was even possible, but here we are.
Can't concentrate on anything. Insight and energy meditations feel so far away, somehow.
EMDR seems to work better if I force a feeling of safety while the catharsis happens. That's the only tek I could pull off today.
I don't know how much more of this I can really take before I burn out.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 5:46 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 5:46 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Sounds like a good time for walking meditation. Ideally walking in a safe/nice place, allow thoughts and emotions to arise as they will, don't repress or indulge, simply note something every dozen steps or so... feel the body walking, feel feet on the earth.

Take the lid off the boiling pot and allow it to vent and cool, but continue to very gently practice. Meditation works best on a gentle simmer.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 11:30 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 11:30 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Attempted slow noting while lying to see if I could "meditate around" an annoying body memory that tends to get triggered by dry insight.

Noting dukkha made dukkha vanish, but only when I didn't expect it to work like that. Insight meditation is such a mindfuck.

After noting and vanishing dukkha a dozen times, EQ arose. Staying mindful of EQ turned it into mild rapture (piti-sukkha?).
That rapture energy moved it's way up the spine, down from head through the front line, and caused mild energetic release of blocks associated to self-esteem, complete with random, forgotten memories resurfacing.
All I did was stay mindful and laugh through it, and it caused the same feeling of relief and release when done, that EMDR-therapy does, minus the pain of confronting old stuff.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 11:36 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 11:36 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Also been experimenting with microdoses of san pedro and psilocybin mushrooms.
That stuff is really good medicine for dark night and burnout! @nihila  Thought microdosing might be interesting for you.

It's amazing how it causes the subconscious to just deliver convoluted and ready-to-use ideas too.
Somehow I found the conviction to become celibate, remembered a taoist technique called the cooldraw, and found it actually work as advertised now, years later (transmutes libido into physical and mental energy).
Makes a lot of sense why it's a precept it buddhism to avoid unskillful sex, it's a powerhouse of potential energy for personal and spiritual growth.

I also out of the blue figured out how to rehab my shoulder girdle to avoid arm-nerve and neck pain. That has been bugging me for years, researched to no avail, now the solution is just delivered on a silver platter.
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 12:09 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 12:00 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Aeon ........
Also been experimenting with microdoses of san pedro and psilocybin mushrooms.
That stuff is really good medicine for dark night and burnout! @nihila  Thought microdosing might be interesting for you.
Absolutely not, I've had enough mind-opening experiences, substances or not, for a good lifetime or two. Thanks though. emoticon

Cooldraw sounds interesting though, might look into that as my libido don't seem to be decreasing any time soon, lol.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 12:31 PM
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RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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@nihila Fair point! xD

Cool draws I learned from Mantak Chia's book "Cultivating Male Sexual Energy".
It's a really pleasant experience, if you can run energy up the spine to the head.
..now that I mention that, be careful you don't aggravate the asymmetry even more.
I'd be curious to be tagged and know how you get along, if you end up applying them.
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 12:48 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 12:48 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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Yeah, I don't think I'm able to, all energy just go up the left side/nadi, even when I try to sort of push it up the center spine. Maybe inbalance needs to be fixed first.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 6:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/20/23 6:04 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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@nihila That's unfortunate. Cooldraws feel really nice; it's like they quench the "thirst" of libido while funneling into productivity and clarity.


No matter, it's good to see in your logs that your mood and progress are trending upwards.
If you would like some assistance to figure out how to exercises to straighten the lower back properly, or accountability, let me know.
I have sorted my own crooked lower back, with the same tilt and curve pattern that you and decafwolf described.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/22/23 12:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/22/23 12:55 PM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

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After a week of doing cooldraws and celibacy with zealous commitment, insight meditation is VASTLY different.
It's like energy, rapture and tranquility comes and finds me just by  observing the fluxing impermanence of anything.
It's as if that process wants to speed up, and almost drags along investigation of no-self and dukkha as well.

I feel like I can investigate all three characteristic at once now, and that feels like the most blessed freedom. 
Also get's me high like a parachute jumper. It's funny how that energy starts to run up the spine, down the front, tingling brain areas active along with clearer perception, like a natural process that knows just what to do.

Dark nighting is also vastly less these days. Still have occasional trauma triggers and am somewhat reeling from destructive addictions, but overall feeling much better.

Memory is still shot. I feel like I keep rediscovering things and not fully applying them. I blame stress from caffeine and resulting bad sleep for this.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 5:47 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 5:46 AM

RE: Aeon's log: DN & EQ to Stream Entry

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Messing around with TWIM to cope with EMDR hangover had me accidentally discover how to recreate the blissful feelings of my first A&P:

Metta with sincerity to generate serenity coupled with "feelings of blessings" investigated until radiating outward = Best feeling ever.
Now I can die in peace. Rest of life is optional. I feel like a pampered panda with all the bamboo in the world.

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