Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Path?

Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Path? Callum John Greet 10/28/23 4:44 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Dream Walker 10/28/23 6:28 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Callum John Greet 10/28/23 2:03 PM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat shargrol 10/28/23 6:12 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat finding oneself 10/28/23 4:58 PM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Callum John Greet 10/29/23 3:11 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Jim Smith 10/28/23 6:24 PM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Callum John Greet 10/29/23 3:09 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Jim Smith 10/29/23 9:55 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Callum John Greet 10/30/23 5:01 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Jim Smith 10/30/23 7:48 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat ‎ ‎Nihila 10/31/23 8:41 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Jonas E 10/30/23 2:51 PM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Jonas E 10/31/23 3:33 PM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Papa Che Dusko 11/1/23 5:06 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Papa Che Dusko 11/1/23 5:13 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Callum John Greet 11/1/23 5:44 AM
RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat Papa Che Dusko 11/1/23 11:18 AM
Callum John Greet, modified 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 4:44 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 4:44 AM

Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Path?

Posts: 16 Join Date: 9/27/23 Recent Posts
Please bear with me as I'm fairly new to the maps. I started meditating 18 months ago, and hit the arising and passing away stage within the first 2-4 months (Kundalini activation, bright lights, less sleep, astral visions etc). I entered into a dark knight soon after (to much confusion) and have been residing in and around these stages since. After coming across the maps I would like to diagnose myself at 'Reobservation' and here I'll list some symptoms I have been experiencing...

•EXTREME neurosis
•Existential despair 
•Suicidal ideation 
•Restlessness 
•Borderline psychotic episodes 
•Perpetual music/songs/melodies being played in my head 
•Disgust and aversion towards practice 

The suffering has been immense, as you can see, but I know this cycle of insight now has to be completed. I feel a bit like what Daniel refers to as a "chronic dark knight yogi" as I am clueless as how to excactly get past this stage...

​​​​​​​I would appreciate anyone giving me advice, offering a call, and generally helping to guide me through this. Any input is appreciated as like I have said, I feel pretty clueless and overwhelmed. Thanks
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Dream Walker, modified 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 6:28 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 5:57 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Callum John Greet
The suffering has been immense, as you can see, but I know this cycle of insight now has to be completed.
I am clueless as how to excactly get past this stage...
I would appreciate anyone giving me advice, offering a call, and generally helping to guide me through this.
Any input is appreciated as like I have said, I feel pretty clueless and overwhelmed. Thanks
Hey dude, 
If you are in Re-Obs then you are in a blender of fear, misery, disgust etc. All three are continuing to mix in different ratios.
It feels like you are totally stuck, but you are not stuck, everyone experiences different levels of intensities, you seem to be getting a strong one. You are not alone, reach out to your support system of friends,family and professionals for help.

Send me a message using the button up top, give me your email address (gmail preferred so we can vid) zoom info, whatever and i'd be happy to chat with you. You can use discord, whatever works for you.
https://discord.gg/fKdch8WWGT​​​​​​​

Read Shargrol's advice below....it is great.

​​​​​​​~D
shargrol, modified 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 6:12 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 6:12 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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I'm NOT a psychological professional, so definitely don't believe or 100% trust what I'm saying...

First of all, these are all very serious diagnosis/experiences. Just because something happened while being a meditator doesn't mean that it should be fixed by more and more meditation. Sometimes people have old trauma, PTSD, addition, or just unhelpful ways of thinking that get revealled as we get older or face new challenges... There are a lot of mental health hotlines including suicide hotlines that have good-hearted people that can help people navigate these situations, both short term conversations and helpfing people find professional therapist that specialize in reducing these experiences. 

A quick internet seach got me these, but I'm sure there are others too.
National Mental Health Hotline | 866-903-3787   
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA
hotlines - SuicideWatch (reddit.com) 

As a psychologist friend who consults with meditators once said, in a supportive yet humorous way, "let's make sure you don't harm or kill yourself because you can't get enlightened if you're dead." emoticon

Reobservation is it is just thoughts and worries and fears and catastrophizing and worst-case-scenario-making and a lot of cortisol and adrenline dumping. It's sort of like PTSD in the sense that there is hyper-vigilence and it's very hard to chill out. In monestaries it's the "rolling up the meditation mat and leaving" stage. People have had enough and want to give up. The problem is people are believing their thoughts. It's basically that simple. Which is easy to say, yet hard to deal with because we naturally believe our thoughts.

This is where professional help and meditation help are similar but different. Professional help will guide a person through an investigation of all the ways their thinking is not correct and not helpful. Many many many people benefit from this kind of help. Unless we have a good guide, it's very hard to see that thoughts are the empty display of the mind and are not really real. Thoughts happen, but that doesn't mean they should automatically be believed. Professional help is also good/needed when people are completely disassociated with their thoughts and "hears voices" like in mild or serious forms of schizophrenia.

Sometimes we get caught in binary thinking: this is GOOD or BAD, this is TRUE or FALSE, I'm ENLIGHTENED or CRAZY, I'm SAVED or DOOMED... this sort of thinking is too simple and and exhausting. We need to learn to develop a mature relationship with our own mind, neither ignoring thoughts nor believing them totally. We need to have thoughts like "it seems like this might be true, but I'm not totally sure, so I'm going to investigate this and ask other people and slowly form a better opinion".

And sometimes things in life REALLY ARE WRONG and need to be addressed directly, like relationship problems, employment problems, health problems, family problems, housing problems, addictions, etc.  A professional can help someone better understand what problems are real and need fixing and what problems are worries and are just worries. When life is difficult, sometimes it's hard to figure the differences only by ourself.

Pure meditation-based reobservation is more like intense frustration with meditation itself, not frustration with aspects of life. It often goes along with another stage called "desire for deliverance". It's well described here: 
9. Desire for Deliverance – MCTB.org
10. Re-observation – MCTB.org

If there are any imbalances in our meditation practice, it will definitely be revealled during DfD and ReObs. If we are overly ambitious, then DfD will show all the ways we're "using" meditation to push away bad experiences and repress them, instead of gently welcoming the mind to be itself during a sit. If we still have psychological issues we haven't worked through, then ReObs which show us all the ways we go into a reactive patterns or trances or moodswings or emotional flashbacks and lose our sense of mindfulness.

Most people need to be very very very gentle with themselves at this stage. It's not something you "get through". In fact, it's almost the opposite. It's something you live inside of and slowly learn from. All of these "problems" need to be welcome and accepted and slowly and maturely dealth with. Many times we need to slow or stop meditation practice and fix the problems in our real life before we can keep going -- that's perfectly fine! We can't run away from life problems though mediation.

The trick to being a dark night yogi is to realize that the darkness is ultimately our teacher, our friend. Even though there are things we don't want to see in our lives and our mind, we need to learn to deal with it in a very adult way. For many people, the dark night is part of the maturing process, part of the wisdom process. It kind sucks, but it's the kind of sucking that motivates us to change our life and habits for the better.

I think the most effective path forward is often a combination of psychological/therapeutic guidance AND some very very gentle meditation. It helps to have other meditation friends to talk to, too. And psychology friends. It's very cool that now that there are all sorts of hotlines out there for people to call or even just text. 

Hopefully, when you look back at this time in your life, you'll see that things were out of balance in the way you were doing things and it was time to find a more gentle and loving way to relate to your mind and practice. 

I'm just a guy on the internet, so definitely feel free to ignore what I'm saying.
Callum John Greet, modified 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 2:03 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 2:03 PM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

Posts: 16 Join Date: 9/27/23 Recent Posts
Yes, feeling stuck and overwhelmed with an unmanageable sutuation is prominent here. Thanks for the reply, I will message you now...
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finding oneself, modified 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 4:58 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 4:58 PM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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I'm still technically a "dark night yogi". From my experience perhaps you may eventually look back fondly on these days. As another commenter said, this stuff can be sort of a teacher. I still have tons of problems with my life, and have not yet finished the first cycle... but my dark night symptoms have apparently waned. And to this day, I do appreciate all that I went through, as a sort of a teacher. Sometimes the harder it is, the more you will appreciate it later. Again, at least IME
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 6:24 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/28/23 5:32 PM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

Posts: 1624 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Callum John Greet
...

​​​​​​​I would appreciate anyone giving me advice, offering a call, and generally helping to guide me through this. Any input is appreciated as like I have said, I feel pretty clueless and overwhelmed. Thanks

One possibility is that the amount of samatha (tranquility) and vipassana (insight) you are developing is out of balance and you would benefit from cultivating more samatha.
​​​​​​​
I recommend this for cultivating samatha:
https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/08/preparing-for-meditation-with.html

This article discuss the role of samatha and vipassana:
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/NobleStrategy/Section0012.html

Something else the might help is doing some research into how diet can affect your mood. In my experience if the carb/protein ratio in my diet is too low or too high it can have negative effects on my mood. Protein supplies the precursors to neruotransmitters and carbs help them get into the brain.
​​​​​​​Alcohol and other intoxicants can also cause problems.
Callum John Greet, modified 4 Months ago at 10/29/23 3:09 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/29/23 3:09 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Hi. I have actually NEVER ever practiced Vipassana meditation. I've only ever done concentrative practices. Could this be a problem? Thanks
Callum John Greet, modified 4 Months ago at 10/29/23 3:11 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/29/23 3:11 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Thanks for replying. Yes, when it gets to much I try to frame my mind so that it sees this as a challenge that will bear fruit in the future. Some people say "hope" is a terrible thing when it comes to fruition but it's what has kept me ticking over in a weird way...
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 10/29/23 9:55 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/29/23 9:14 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Callum John Greet
Hi. I have actually NEVER ever practiced Vipassana meditation. I've only ever done concentrative practices. Could this be a problem? Thanks


I don't know if those maps apply if you are not doing vipassana. Maybe someone else knows.

I find that intense concentration practices can have the effect of suppressing thougths and emotions and in general are not concucive to producing a positive emotional outlook. That is my opinion. I interpret samatha/tranquility/serenity  more as relaxation than pure concentration. I find relaxation to be very helpful.

And it is not so much the technique as it is how you do it in detail that cultivates samatha or vipassana. For example, meditating on the breath can be used to cultivate samatha or vipassana or both.

Anyway I would still suggest the link I gave, it is more about relaxation than concentration. I think it could help you.

Also, you might get additional suggestions if you would explain how you meditate.

I understand all those symptoms you listed are unpleasant, one thing that can make it worse is if your ego is involved in that you feel you should not have these problems and it is somehow a failure or a fault. If you can get your ego out of it, sometimes those kinds of symptoms while not pleasant, are not really the problem they seem to be. 

I'm not a psychiatrist but the kind of symptoms you describe seem to me to most likely be explained by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That's why I suggested looking at your diet and avoiding intoxicants.
​​​​​​​
Did you have those symptoms before you began meditating or do you think they are all triggered by meditation?

I am pretty sure that for some people, certain ways of meditating can have a bad influence on their brain chemistry so if you think those symptoms are caused by meditation you might try to notice if meditating makes them worse, and you might try a different technique or meditating less to see if that makes a difference.
Callum John Greet, modified 4 Months ago at 10/30/23 5:01 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/30/23 5:01 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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I think the stages of insight listed within the maps are applicable to every human being, not just those who practice Vipassana. I know people who've never meditated but have had A&P experiences, dissolution etc. 

The symptoms all came on from meditation, although, I have a feeling they may have been dormant in the subconscious and maybe this just opened them up. 

In the last 2 years I have practiced watching the rise and the fall of the abdomen, I have practiced mantra meditation, and I have practiced 'do nothing' meditation. 

I feel my nutrition is pretty spot on, I eat a whole foods mostly vegetarian diet with no intoxicants except coffee. I've also tried working with 5 or 6 different therapists and medication, but unfortunately it hasn't had any positive effect. This is why I feel it is imperative to complete this cycle of insight. 
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 10/30/23 7:48 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/30/23 7:48 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Callum John Greet
I think the stages of insight listed within the maps are applicable to every human being, not just those who practice Vipassana. I know people who've never meditated but have had A&P experiences, dissolution etc. 

The symptoms all came on from meditation, although, I have a feeling they may have been dormant in the subconscious and maybe this just opened them up. 

In the last 2 years I have practiced watching the rise and the fall of the abdomen, I have practiced mantra meditation, and I have practiced 'do nothing' meditation. 

I feel my nutrition is pretty spot on, I eat a whole foods mostly vegetarian diet with no intoxicants except coffee. I've also tried working with 5 or 6 different therapists and medication, but unfortunately it hasn't had any positive effect. This is why I feel it is imperative to complete this cycle of insight. 


With all those symptoms you have, I would suggest you try eating meat just to see if it makes a difference.
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Jonas E, modified 3 Months ago at 10/30/23 2:51 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 10/30/23 2:51 PM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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I was going through something similar more then a year ago. Psychosis, insomnia etc. I think it was a mix of dark night, trauma and ADHD. I began with sleeping pills because I had to sleep! After one month trying everything I could think of; practise, alternative medicines and food.

Now I'm still struggle to penetrate my issues with insight. Just a couple of hours ago I was trembling in my body, which sometimes happened since this started. I sat down to meditate and it came a strong determination from within. Now I will get through this! I got very good concentration from that. And came into deep jhana. I'm just so fascinated how  something so difficult can turn into something so positive in only one hour.
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 8:41 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 8:40 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Jim Smith
With all those symptoms you have, I would suggest you try eating meat just to see if it makes a difference.

This. I've found meat to be great for grounding myself when I get too loopy, along with excercise. As a dark nighter myself, keeping, diet, vitamin and mineral levels optimal makes a big difference. If you're not getting them through diet, supplements can help a lot.
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Jonas E, modified 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 3:33 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 3:33 PM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Fitline makes effective supplements. Am I trespassing the boarder of making commercial here? It's a sensitive one.

Also going into food as a solution can be counter effective to insight. But sure it is a part of morality.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 5:06 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 5:06 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"EXTREME neurosis
•Existential despair 
•Suicidal ideation 
•Restlessness 
•Borderline psychotic episodes 
•Perpetual music/songs/melodies being played in my head 
•Disgust and aversion towards practice "

Except the suicidal ideation I've had all of the above pre-Stream Entry and yes Post A&P. The seeing of the whole of universe however happened to me long before I begun meditating. Ingram calls this an A&P Event. 

I've done similar meditation to what you did when I've got into DN. Was struggling for several years until I decided to try the one thing I never really believed in and that was the Noting meditation. So I contacted Kenneth Folk and did Noting Aloud as described by him. This was the missing part in my practice. After several months of daily noting aloud practice the path cessation happened and I've got Stream Entry. 

Noting Aloud is very helpful as it gives that auditory input and when I can hear myself clearly I also get into the rhythm of noting matter of fact experience better. Also less chance to sink too deep into the feelings you describe. More feeling of "job well done" after the sit. 

I can post a video of how I did noting aloud with open eyes fixed on a Kasina spot so to be as alert as possible. This worked for me. Kenneth has a very good few and short instruction videos on what to note; body sensations, feeling tones, thoughts, mind states, mind images ... I can link to these videos of his if you are interested to give this a shot. 

Also all this being suggested by me I would like to second what Shargrol wrote above! Do have a handy phone number or friend if suicidal stuff gets overwhelming. 

At the end you will start seeing that all this emotional stuff is but fluffy clouds and have no self behind it nor are they really real. But there is this lovely human being here unfolding in thisness which seem to be rather compassionate and loving. 

Wishing you and your practice ALL the best! emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 5:13 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 5:13 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Here is a demo of me doing noting aloud meditation 
https://youtu.be/9FeajWRJcXA?si=mQo7VpTxmdZuJYF1
Callum John Greet, modified 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 5:44 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 5:44 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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Thanks for the reply, that is excellent. Funnily enough, I came across noting for the first time recently and have been practicing it throughout the day. I already feel so much better, aware and mindful. I'm doing it pretty intuitively though with no guidance, so yeah I could really do with some proper pointers/instructions. Please insert those links and resources you mentioned, I'd be most grateful. Thank you again.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 11:18 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 11:18 AM

RE: Need serious help with what I believe is 'Reobservation' before 1st Pat

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I've made a list for you! 
Make sure you also give a listen to Shinzen Young on this list. 

May it if benefit to you! 
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLky8N7-NqOd95njMDZ3LD7-i24cqKmtQO&si=Nyv2kyMast_l4ZM4

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