RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

How is stress related to the insight stages? Jonas E 11/25/23 10:15 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Bahiya Baby 11/21/23 9:57 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Jim Smith 11/21/23 8:22 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Papa Che Dusko 11/22/23 3:54 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Olivier S 11/22/23 5:25 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Jim Smith 11/22/23 4:30 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Bahiya Baby 11/22/23 1:23 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Bahiya Baby 11/22/23 1:36 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Martin 11/22/23 2:09 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Olivier S 11/22/23 2:57 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Chris M 11/22/23 2:50 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Olivier S 11/23/23 9:32 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Martin 11/23/23 11:29 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Jonas E 11/25/23 11:42 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Martin 11/25/23 6:25 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Olivier S 11/26/23 6:51 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Olivier S 11/26/23 7:10 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Martin 11/26/23 3:52 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Geoffrey B 11/25/23 8:12 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Bahiya Baby 11/26/23 9:41 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Martin 11/26/23 11:16 AM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Jonas E 11/26/23 3:14 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? finding-oneself * 11/26/23 8:27 PM
RE: How is stress related to the insight stages? Jonas E 11/28/23 10:55 AM
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Jonas E, modified 6 Days ago at 11/25/23 10:15 AM
Created 10 Days ago at 11/21/23 9:42 AM

How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 85 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
Is stress verry likely to appear in the "dark night of thee soul"(DN)? More then in other stages?
I mean, since the only way out of the dark night, in my observation, seems to be complete surrender, complete insight, into how reality is changing and there is no way we can control life to be something it is not.

So, I think space is needed in the DN. Like stressing about making your life function, working, shopping etc. won't allow you to come through the "DN-body mind cycle". Until we can fully come to insight of the constant changing reality that doesn't allow us to be in control, stress.

That is often something verry intriguing to us that we have to give up, what will happen? Nothing? chaos?

So, is it helpful you think to give space for insight, like stopping in the midst of stress and be still until it settled to peace? Or can it just happen through dynamic insight practice, so the space for insight can appear whatever you are doing?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 10 Days ago at 11/21/23 9:57 AM
Created 10 Days ago at 11/21/23 9:57 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 174 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Interesting question. I would say yes, but stress is a vague term. 

Lots of path and stage phenomena can be stressful in the context of a contemporary life. Even blissing out can be a bit over-bearing sometimes. 

Ultimately all phenomena, including stress and the events, emotions and thoughts that go along with it have to be investigated. 

A lot of very stressful stuff is happening in my life, so that's what I have to practice with. I am dealing with a series of complicated life situations that I have no control over and I have to deal with. It's also apparent that much of the reactive patterns that color these experiences and cause me to see them as difficult hurdles are the most pressing layer of reactivity that requires my meditative attention.

You might explore what triggers stress or panic, what is its origin? What individual sensations make up the stress you experience? 
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Days ago at 11/21/23 8:22 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 11/21/23 8:03 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 1586 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jonas E
Is stress verry likely to appear in the "dark night of thee soul"(DN)? More then in other stages?

I mean, since the only way out of the dark night, in my observation, seems to be complete surrender, complete insight, into how reality is changing and there is no way we can control life to be something it is not.

So, I think space is needed in the DN. Like stressing about making your life function, working, shopping etc. won't allow you to come through the "DN-body mind cycle". Until we can fully come to insight of the constant changing reality that doesn't allow us to be in control, stress.

That is often something verry intriguing to us that we have to give up, what will happen? Nothing? chaos?

So, is it helpful you think to give space for insight, like stopping in the midst of stress and dear to be still until it settled to peace? Or can it just happen through dynamic insight practice, so the space for insight can appear whatever you are doing?


I find that relaxing meditation helps with stress. So whenever you are feeling stress I would recommend that.

Sometimes too much carbohydrates or sugar in your diet can lead to low blood sugar and the body signals itself to release suger into the blood stream by means of stress hormones which can cause feelings of stress and anxiety. In that case you should fix the stress by adjusting your diet if possible.

But for you post, I don't really understand your question. Are you asking if you should stop practicing when you have a dark night? Or should you stop stressful activities when you have a dark night? I would say it depends on the specific person and situation but the answer in some cases could be yes to both questions. My personal experience, which I am not implying would be the same as other people's, is that meditation doesn't cause emotional disturbances that I would call "dark nights". And also, since I don't know what other people call dark nights I can't say what the situation is for them.

I have experienced meditation causing some unpleasant feelings to come up from the subconscious, and other things like that, like when I realized letting go can feel the same as actual loss and I realized to be non-attached I would have to give up my attachments to all my material possessions and accept every unpleasant thing that could happen. But that lasted for a couple of days and didn't impare my ability to function in life. So I would say I never had any experience that you could call a dark night from meditating or mindful practice. The only things that I would say approach being a dark night in terms severity are, as I have discovered over my life time, have nothing to do with meditation, but are either unpleasant life events, or that what I eat has large effect on my mood. So I have learned to correct it (when I feel the first diming that might lead to "darkness") by eating right. Mainly this means getting the carbohydrate/protein ratio correct (not too high not too low) taking into account the glycemic index of the carbs.

I've had lots of life events that were emotionally upsetting but that were not caused in any way by meditation and those are helped by the relaxing meditation I linked to above.

UPDATE: I should add that I find meditating while trying too hard to concentrate causes irritability. I find it is better to let concentration develop gradually with gentle meditation, not by trying to force thoughts out of your mind but by relaxing and persisting - in observing thoughts and emotions that arise without judging them and gently returning to the focus of meditation. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 3:54 AM
Created 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 3:54 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 2575 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"observing thoughts and emotions that arise without judging them and gently returning to the focus of meditation."

I would call this "gentle ignorance". (Useful tool for a beginner meditation). 
Creating the good thing over here which is the focus of meditation and the things over there which are less good, the thoughts and emotions. 
Duality 101. 

Where are these emotions and thoughts and this focus on meditation? Where do these happen? 
How can they be different from each other? If all is just "smoke" how can there be anything better to move to or away from the other. Gently or not gently? Relaxed or not relaxed. 

Also, it's less confusing talking about DN as Dukkha Nanas than Dark Night of the Soul. 

The Knowledges of Suffering (DN) and how one can flip out in these stages when not seeing stuff as they are.

In my experience; 

Back in 2010-11 I was practicing Calm-abiding on the whole body breathing based on relaxation, gently relaxing and gently returning back to calm abiding after acknowledging any other sensations. 

My meditation and life has little stress as meditation "was working well". I was into green tea and D3 vitamin believing it is giving me better health and I was having less stress. 

Then one day I was sitting and my gentle focus disappeared. My calm abiding disappeared. My way of being good at this meditation disappeared. Trying to gently return wasn't working as the focus and all just disappeared! I had no clue what was happening to my meditation that worked so well before" !!! Why did it disappear??! Day in and out I could not get back that gentle returning to focus meditation. I was losing it. Until a friend mentioned Ingram and his book and I read it.

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
Olivier S, modified 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 5:25 AM
Created 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 4:50 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 839 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
And also, since I don't know what other people call dark nights I can't say what the situation is for them.

Hi Jim,

FYI this list of publications may help get a sense of what it can be like for people, on top of what Papa che (hi!) just shared. There is more to this than just meditating wrong, too much, or having the wrong diet, although these can definitely be factors.
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  65. Wielgosz, J., Goldberg, S. B., Kral, T. R. A., Dunne, J. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2019). Mindfulness Meditation and Psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology15(1), 285–316. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093423
  66. Wilson, B. M., Mickes, L., Stolarz-Fantino, S., Evrard, M., & Fantino, E. (2015). Increased False-Memory Susceptibility After Mindfulness Meditation. Psychological Science26(10), 1567–1573. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797615593705
  67. Wong, S. Y. S., Chan, J. Y. C., Zhang, D., Lee, E. K. P., & Tsoi, K. K. F. (2018). The Safety of Mindfulness-Based Interventions: a Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Mindfulness9(5), 1344–1357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0897-0
  68. Yorston, G. A. (2001). Mania precipitated by meditation: A case report and literature review. Mental Health, Religion & Culture4(2), 209–213. https://doi.org/10.1080/713685624
  69. Zhu, J., Wekerle, C., Lanius, R., & Frewen, P. (2019). Trauma- and Stressor-Related History and Symptoms Predict Distress Experienced during a Brief Mindfulness Meditation Sitting: Moving toward Trauma-Informed Care in Mindfulness-Based Therapy. Mindfulness10(10), 1985–1996. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-019-01173-z

Cheers!
Olivier  
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Jim Smith, modified 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 4:30 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 10:20 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 1586 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Olivier S
Jim Smith
And also, since I don't know what other people call dark nights I can't say what the situation is for them.

Hi Jim,

FYI this list of publications may help get a sense of what it can be like for people, on top of what Papa che (hi!) just shared. There is more to this than just meditating wrong, too much, or having the wrong diet, although these can definitely be factors.
...

Cheers!
Olivier  





"meditating wrong"

I would include in that category meditating for too many hours at a time. It can cause brain damage. By damage I don't mean physical damage but that if the brain doesn't work right anymore it's broken, it's damaged. Like rewiring your computer would break it, rewiring your brain can break it.


If a pianist gets tendonitis from practicing too much, they don't blame the piano.

And they don't think the solution is more of the same. They might practice less. They might change their technique. 

If meditation can produce bliss, it can also produce intense unpleasant emotions too, but it is the technique that does it. Just as concentrating on pleasure intensifies it and produces piti, concentrating on an unpleasant emotion can intensifiy it too. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 1:23 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 1:21 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 174 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
You say what doesn't cause dark nights

He actually didn't say that. He seems to simply be communicating that there's a lot to it and taking this opportunity to provide us all with a potentially useful list of resources to understand what dark night might mean to different people. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 1:36 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 11/22/23 1:26 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 174 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
While I've had all manner of issues with depression and so on in my life. I would personally exclusively define the dark night as stages of the progress of insight that, certainly early on, arise after the A&P. While they may seem connected to trauma, life and whatever else, in my experience there's a certain quality of DN meditation needed to progress through them or integrate them.

.... It's also, for me, really worth stressing that I'm talking about the Dukkha nanas. And like the dark night is a whole cultural thing. I have often thought it's perhaps a little unfortunate that we use that phrase because it has a lot of cultural baggage. 

I'm not saying dark night experiences aren't Dukkha nana experiences... It's just Dukkha nana has a lovely specificity to it. It's directly pointing to insight stage experiences.  

and so I guess I'm positing that in a simple way, the dark night is an inevitable part of the POI. I don't necessarily know if the POI causes it persay. 
Martin, modified 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:09 PM
Created 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:09 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I would actually take it to be reasonable to understand "There is more to this than just..." as "You say what doesn't cause dark nights" but I don't see disagreement between any of the positions, especially with the clarification you mention. It can be that the dukkha nanas accompany POI and that things reported as dark night can be brought about by multiple causes and conditions other than the POI. It's nice to have these broad and complementary views put forward.
Olivier S, modified 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:57 PM
Created 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:13 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 839 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Hey Jim,

Simplicity is nice but in this case I believe it can be harmful. This is not something simple. Your claims seem to come from a desire for things to be simpler than they are, from my perspective. One person's experience cannot be generalized to the rest of humanity, although we would all like that to be the case.

Other resources:

John of the Cross. (1991). The collected works of Saint John of the Cross (Rev. ed). ICS Publications.

Salguero, C. P. (2023). “Meditation Sickness” in Medieval Chinese Buddhism and the Contemporary West. Journal of Buddhist Ethics30, 45. https://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/files/2023/08/Salguero-Finalized-ms-for-publication47.pdf

​​​​​​​Cooper, D. J., Lindahl, J. R., Palitsky, R., & Britton, W. B. (2021). “Like a Vibration Cascading through the Body”: Energy-Like Somatic Experiences Reported by Western Buddhist Meditators. Religions12(12), 1042. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121042

Skoubourdis, A. (n.d.). Philokalia Of the Holy Neptic Fathers (Vol. 5). https://www.wob.com/fr-fr/livres/anna-skoubourdis/philokalia-volume-5/9788709694997/GOR013051031?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=Shopping&cq_src=google_ads&cq_cmp=17823055677&cq_con=&cq_med=pla&cq_plac=&cq_net=x&gclid=Cj0KCQjwuZGnBhD1ARIsACxbAViU3u2kfExmU_Y43QIM1CWE9fKAX0b5UVKemoticon4DZaaPjwrXSSizl558aAlahEALw_wcB

Grof, C., & Grof, S. (1995). The stormy search for the self: understanding and living with spiritual emergency. Thorsons.

Grof, S., & Grof, C. (Eds.). (1989). Spiritual emergency: when personal transformation becomes a crisis (1st ed). Tarcher ; Distributed by St. Martin’s Press.

Bragdon, E. (2013). The Call of Spiritual Emergency. EBookIt.com.

Brook, M. G. (2021). Struggles reported integrating intense spiritual experiences: Results from a survey using the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences Inventory. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality13(4), 464–481. https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000258

Evans, J., & Read, T. (Eds.). (2020). Breaking open: finding a way through spiritual emergency. Aeon.

Judah, S. (2022). The Clinicians Guide to Spiritual Emergence. Helm Counseling.

Cheers,
Olivier
 
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Chris M, modified 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:50 PM
Created 8 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:34 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 4901 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I can clearly recall entering and experiencing Dark Night symptoms. These were clearly not caused by poor meditation but by successful meditation. These symptoms and related issues were progress on the path of insight pushing me to fully face and examine the nature of my prior experiences, my psyche, my habitual ways of interacting with other human beings, and my relationship to that inimitable chimera, my self. Noting, and noticing, the nature of the processes at work, it's far from a simple thing, but rather as complex as the relationship of a human being to the totality of their environment, both "external" and "internal."

The path of insight requires us to see without blinders that which we truly are. To, for maybe the very first time, confront the real, unvarnished nature of me can be stark, ugly, painful, and the stuff of dread. It's this self-exposure, this process of x-raying ourselves, that causes the symptoms, at least in my opinion.
Olivier S, modified 8 Days ago at 11/23/23 9:32 AM
Created 8 Days ago at 11/23/23 9:20 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

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I might start a thread where I will elaborate on the above. I do believe that in many (perhaps most) cases, simple interventions (like stopping meditation, changing one's practice or diet, normalizing, sharing with an empathetic person, laughing, exercising, grounding, relaxing, going into nature, etc.) can help people navigate challenging meditation-related (or other modality-related) challening experiences and psychological difficulties, without there being extensive or long-lasting challenges. BUT, there are also many people who do end up in such territories, sometimes for years, with no obviously applicable one-size-fits-all approach. As part of my research work I've been working on a multidimensional framework for just this reason, that may help better understand these complex dynamics and make hypotheses. I might use this opportune question to test this framework emoticon

There is a comment I heard Daniel make recently, which I think is really helpful here. He was talking about emergency medicine  training and the reality of clinical practice. According to him, for something like 80 percent of patients that arrive at an emergency department, a nurse is actually perfectly capable of handling the case, diagnosing and doing what needs to be done. Then, in about 15% of patients with somewhat more complex cases, having a person with some more specific training is necessary. And then, there is about 5% of cases that actually require much more extensive study and training, something at the level of the 11 years of study it takes to become an ER doctor. With emergency medicine being a relatively recent specialty, that required extensive work to be established and then turned into a standard curriculum.

This is probably what is going on here. The stuff that people run into through meditation — and other modalities, or even spontaneously for that matter, like me: I ran into a full blown Dark Night without having ever formally meditated — is really wild. In fact Daniel thinks actually answering these questions at a level that is beyond just various more or less competent experts giving their experience-informed opinions, will require establishing a new medical specialty. We just finished writing a long article that makes an extensive argument for just this. It has just been submitted to Frontiers in Psychology, and we are waiting for the review process to start.   

Edit: Many current debates sort of remind me of ... has anyone seen Outlander? It's a series where a 20th century doctor travels through time and ends up in 18th century scotland and then US. There are these scenes where she is trying to take care of wounded or sick people, and you just have these "healers" from that time period who all have different opinions about what is going on and what should be done (I can't recall specific examples now but things like "the patient just needs a few leeches!!!" when actually they have appendicitis, and when she tries to do something they say she is a witch or a necromancer). It seems completely preposterous from our perspectives because medicine has changed so radically, but at the time it was really like that. Who knows if this is not what will happen with this whole emergence business. "No, it's just that your winds have entered your central channel, all you need to do is ... deepen shamatha!". emoticon
Martin, modified 8 Days ago at 11/23/23 11:29 AM
Created 8 Days ago at 11/23/23 11:29 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Nice! This kind of research is fantastic. 

I am hopeful that some triage/screening approach can be developed.

In this case, Jonas (whose question, unfortunately, I cannot answer because I don't have the knowledge necessary to work out the connection between Jonas' stress and insight stages) is an experienced meditator and it is possible to look back here on the DhO and get some sense for where he may be. I would think that anything that supports relaxation and well-being would be helpful and that, also, it would be helpful to talk to an experienced professional meditation teacher regarding insight stuff. 

Jonas, have you worked with any one-to-one mediation teachers and is that something you would be interested in? I'm asking because I'm wondering if maybe some people here might have suggestions for teachers who have worked with people who have experiences similar to yours. 
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Jonas E, modified 6 Days ago at 11/25/23 11:42 AM
Created 6 Days ago at 11/25/23 11:42 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 85 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
In this case, Jonas (whose question, unfortunately, I cannot answer because I don't have the knowledge necessary to work out the connection between Jonas' stress and insight stages) is an experienced meditator and it is possible to look back here on the DhO and get some sense for where he may be. I would think that anything that supports relaxation and well-being would be helpful and that, also, it would be helpful to talk to an experienced professional meditation teacher regarding insight stuff. 

Jonas, have you worked with any one-to-one mediation teachers and is that something you would be interested in? I'm asking because I'm wondering if maybe some people here might have suggestions for teachers who have worked with people who have experiences similar to yours. 

Wow Martin I could feal you spoke right to me! Many advanced and good posts here, but a bit off my question. Even though "inimitable chimera, by Chris M." Was a really nice picture of a disturbed self image that has to be dissolved in the DN.

​​​​​​​Well Martin, I don't know. I have difficult to map my self. Now I been through some old habits I haven't experienced in a long time. Maybe a one-to-one meditation teacher would be a good idea, since I felt the way I did when you addressed me, it been a good sign before.
So do you know anyone? Unfortunately I think I'm not able to give any donation, because I simply don't have any money at the moment. But that might not even be expected...
Martin, modified 5 Days ago at 11/25/23 6:25 PM
Created 5 Days ago at 11/25/23 6:25 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

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Jonas, I'm glad it sounds appealing. Working with a teacher has helped me a lot. The teacher I have been working with has more TMI training than POI training and, from your questions and background, I'm thinking a POI focused teacher would be best. 

There is a list of teachers who work remotely, which is a little out of date but should still be mostly OK, here:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21564331

You have to google the teachers' names to find out about them, but you can also ask here about specific teachers. 

As Olivier has a lot of expertise in this area, perhaps he could suggest someone. In fact, there are probably lots of people here who have worked with teachers who know their way around the POI and have experience in working with trauma and other psychological issues. Folks? Suggestions?

I also understand (someone please correct me if I am wrong) that Daniel Ingram is open to practice questions. My understanding is that he does not take on the role of teacher but can sometimes respond to specific queries. As you have read his book and been a member of this group for eight years, I would not be surprised if he were willing to give some advice. Reading your past posts, it seems that a question that has come up a few times is whether the disturbances you experience are part of the dukkha nanas (and therefore something to work through by more insight practice) or whether you should take another approach in dealing with them. That sounds like a question he might have an opinion about. (Daniel, if you are reading this, and I'm off base, perhaps you could set me straight.) 

If nobody has any ideas, I will poke around a bit more, but my fingers are crossed that someone more experienced than I am will have a suggestion.
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Geoffrey B, modified 5 Days ago at 11/25/23 8:12 PM
Created 5 Days ago at 11/25/23 8:12 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 50 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I don't think it matters all too much if stress is from meditation or from life - try to handle it skillfully. Like if you're ill, the DN will probably make it seem worse, but you should be taking care of your body and examining it in meditation. Similarly if you're in a relationship or job that is really untenable you should try to fix that situation appropriately and ethically, but also examine those feelings as they arise. 

It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.
Olivier S, modified 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 6:51 AM
Created 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 6:42 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 839 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
 Hey Jonas,

So first I just want to give a caveat about teaching and learning in general:
In most circumstances where, at various points in my life, I received direct personal advice one-on-one from people related with spirituality, psychology or meditation (whether a priest when I was a child, psychologists when I was a teen, university teachers when a bit older, meditation colleagues, forum pals, or meditation teachers when on retreat or other contexts when I was very into meditation) — I have basically always felt that I knew better than them what I needed. 

I benefited from the words and perspectives of many, many people — as I used to immerse myself daily and try to absorb as many inspiring texts, talks, philosophy, dharma, spirituality, ethics, as possible — but this was in some ways mostly indirect, ie, it wasn't specifically meant for me, but it was applied to my situation and integrated by the person who perhaps knows me best: me. There was a time in my practice when I started to feel the need for a one-on-one teacher, but all the interactions I had with teachers I found or got in touch with just gave me that same feeling: it wasn't that they didn't have deep wisodm of great value to share, it was that the only person who could successfuly take this and apply it to my personal situation was... well, me. They couldn't do that for me.

So, I sometimes wonder about the benefits of one-on-one teaching.

But this is also very much my learning-style in general. And I do know of people who have benefited from one-one-one stuff like this.

So anyways, here are some thoughts if you are someone who learns well this way.

First, unfortunately I don't know of many good meditation teachers that could help you work with habits and not require a fee. perhaps the link Martin provided may help with that. There are some people here on the forum that you could try to reach out to and see if they would want to meet with you regularly. I can provide suggestions by DM if you wish.

There are also peer groups that meet regularly which may be a viable alternative for you. Plenty of these now. I think there are even a few peer groups led by experienced members of the DhO that use discord servers to meet and chat: @dreamwalker and @adivader might have more info on this. You could also check out this website, which is an EPRC ally: https://meditative.dev/web/. They do regular practice sessions that are for free, I think, and also offer one-on-one coaching (donation based), although none of them has formal psychological/coaching training AFAIK. I have reached out to one of them I know from the EPRC who I think runs a regular meeting group, and I can update you as I find out more, if you wish.

As Martin suggested you could always get in touch with Daniel Ingram, keeping in mind that he is really busy these days and will likely not have any bandwidth for regular, meaningful interactions, but he well may have other advice about your specific question, and very likely will have ideas of people or groups to put you in touch with. If you do want to get in touch though, it will likely have to be next year, as he is unavailable for the next two months (on retreat and other things like that).

There is a specific person he recommends for psychology and insight stuff who is supposed to be very good, but she is a professional working for a fee though. Always worth asking if these people have a sliding scale going on. Again, reach out to me on DM if you want names. If I was seriously considering working one-on-one with someone with a deep practice/knowledge of the POI and also training in other psychotherapeutic modalities, I would likely try to reach out to this specific person. They may also be able to put you in touch with other interesting people.

It might be worth exploring a plan like: finding the money to do 1 paid meeting with a specifically trained and competent person per month for 6 months, while also finding a peer group where you feel comfortable to meet more frequently, and having a regular daily personal practice for that whole time, including journaling, for instance. Sharing with others who are in a similar situation, or have gone through similar things in the past, can be very helpful.

My 2 cents emoticon

Cheers,
​​​​​​​Olivier
 
Olivier S, modified 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 7:10 AM
Created 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 7:10 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 839 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Also, Cheetah House might have interesting resources. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 9:41 AM
Created 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 9:41 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 174 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Also, I just want to add... the original question here is a little vauge. If we could refine this into a question more specific to your practice, then you can actually get some awesome FREE advice right here. 

I have been through a lot of dark nights, I think I have a pretty good meditative approach to them and have lots of practice specific advice I could give. I know there's others here that can say the same.  

So... If you can ask the right questions here you're probably not going to get better free meditation advice anywhere else. 

If there is a more therapeutic aspect to it and you need to really talk about it then by all means find someone to talk to but I didn't get that impression from original post. 
Martin, modified 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 11:16 AM
Created 5 Days ago at 11/26/23 11:16 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
A handy way to get some backstory is to click on the "Recent Posts" link at the end of the post header. It will show you all of their past posts and, with a few minutes of reading the question often becomes clearer. 
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Jonas E, modified 4 Days ago at 11/26/23 3:14 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 11/26/23 3:14 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

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Yes, I know you're right Oliver. It is up to me, I know the solution, I just have to trust and concentrate to get through it. Bo On my way! Oh my Phone write for me and makes sense.
Martin, modified 4 Days ago at 11/26/23 3:52 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 11/26/23 3:52 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I see that you are getting some replies and hopefully, there may be some more. 

I also want to mention that another approach to deciding if something is the result of a dukkha nana or another psychological or physical factor is, of course, to talk to your psychotherapist about it, if you are still seeing someone. I would expect this to be especially useful if you are still taking medications or have recently stopped them. I think there is sometimes a risk of putting the focus on spiritual maps to the exclusion of help from doctors. This is particularly true when we are trying to diagnose things by ourselves, or with the help of random people on the internet (like me). This is a topic for which there are different opinions. Some people advise continued investigations of the 3C in situations that seem to correspond to dark night. I notice that this is not always reported to be successful and, in some cases, pushing through when we feel bad makes things worse. For me, personally, I would focus on relaxation, such as Jim suggested, metta, and samatha practices until a teacher becomes available who can provide reliable guidance in the POI. I would also be looking for a teacher who has at least taken some formal teacher training and, even better, some formal psychology training (again, that is to say, I would not put much stock in my advice). 

As Olivier says, it's you who will make the decision. I hope you keep posting about your progress. 
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finding-oneself *, modified 4 Days ago at 11/26/23 8:27 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 11/26/23 8:27 PM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

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I was almost not gonna post because  this is a really basic obvious thing, but no one else mentioned: You could try a more lounging posture, as in reclined in a really comfy chair or lying down...

 But IDK how condusive to concentration style meditation that would be for you. Some people fall asleep easy. I like to alternate between sitting on the cushion and lying on the floor.
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Jonas E, modified 3 Days ago at 11/28/23 10:55 AM
Created 3 Days ago at 11/28/23 10:52 AM

RE: How is stress related to the insight stages?

Posts: 85 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
I know a psychiatrist, but I didn't want to talk to him formaly, I think our relationship has been better not formal, I have difficult to trust him. I met another mentor as well and thought; well it is up to me again to find the way. Actualy I think the most useful mentor, currently, has been a friend who I had verry good conversations with in the sauna and at the same time the sauna and ice bathing does a cure. And the choir I been to is uplifting as well. And of course meditation. Still I have stress and I think it should be related to my sleeping problems (I take pills)

I think I just got to continue with the insight practice and metta, yes, thank you for bringing it up!

I meditate in various postures, yoga etc. Sitting with crossed legs, laying down etc. It works, it's good...

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