Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 8:08 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ‎ ‎Nihila 2/19/24 8:49 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 10:16 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 10:24 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Jonas E 2/19/24 1:05 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 11:25 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 12:19 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/19/24 11:10 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 11:41 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/19/24 12:01 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 12:12 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Jonas E 2/19/24 11:45 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Jonas E 2/19/24 1:13 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/19/24 1:56 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Jonas E 2/19/24 1:15 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 2/19/24 3:49 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Papa Che Dusko 2/19/24 8:37 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 3:04 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 7:00 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? brian patrick 3/3/24 4:31 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 3/4/24 7:04 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Papa Che Dusko 2/19/24 8:47 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 3:06 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Martin 2/20/24 9:54 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Chris M 2/20/24 10:03 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 11:32 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 11:26 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 2:56 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 2/20/24 1:23 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 3:15 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 3:31 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 2/20/24 8:23 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/20/24 11:17 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/21/24 7:28 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 2/21/24 8:38 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/22/24 4:03 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Martin 2/22/24 4:04 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 2/22/24 4:10 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 2/23/24 8:12 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? finding-oneself ♤ 3/2/24 4:44 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 3/3/24 12:09 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Papa Che Dusko 3/2/24 5:19 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 3/3/24 12:10 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Dream Walker 3/2/24 10:42 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Dream Walker 3/2/24 10:47 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 3/3/24 12:16 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Papa Che Dusko 3/4/24 7:11 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 3/4/24 11:50 AM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? Olivier S 3/4/24 2:55 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 3/4/24 3:37 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? shargrol 3/4/24 4:19 PM
RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night? ANDRE BARROS 3/5/24 3:08 AM
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:08 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:02 AM

Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Hey guys!
I have seven years of daily practice, one hour a day. I use notation as a basis for practice.
I did a Goenka retreat in July 2022, I reached dukkha nanas (maybe more) and since then, in 60% to 70% of my practice, dullness has been present. I start climbing the nanas and after approximately 30 minutes I get stuck in dullness. Sometimes I can get out of it after 20 to 30 minutes of pratice.
Could this dullness be a facet of the dark night?
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:49 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:49 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 339 Join Date: 1/19/23 Recent Posts
I've only really had dullness outside of the dukkha nanas, so I wouldn't say that it is.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 10:16 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 10:16 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Ok Nihila. Thank you! This help too.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 10:24 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 10:24 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Maybe @shargrol can help me!
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:05 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:05 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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I think it is a remainer. A sankhara that have not yet been dissolved.

Welcome the dark night by practicing vipassana to go through to equanimity. With respect to how difficult it can get.

Sankharas can grow until it is completely eradicated. It seems also, when we go through a dark night some old latent stuff can come up to the surface, however, with diligent noting/observing it eventually goes away.

But if you really mean dullness I think it is not from the dark night. Maybe it could be related. It sounds like an earlier stage. Can you notice how the dullness arise? Or is it a blind spot? Does it just come?

If it is dullness and not in the dark night. Then raise your energy and samadhi (concentration) to penetrate with vipassana.

I say samadhi, because in the west concentration sometimes have a different meaning.

​​​​​​​Metta
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:10 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:10 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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However, those who wish to keep doing formal practice may find
Dissolution frustrating. Whereas just one stage ago they could sit for
hours and perceive the finest vibrations of reality in exquisite detail,
now reality appears to be slipping away, out of focus, vague, and hard
to get a handle on
. Whereas we may have had stellar posture in the
A&P, now we go back to being run-of-the-mill mortals. Images of the
body may become vague or even seem to disappear completely, similar to
that which happens in formless realms but without the clarity.

...
In the face of Dissolution and the
stages that follow, noting practice can be very useful and powerful.
Additional notes to add at this point include things such as, “vague”,
“dissolving”, “vanishing”, or Shinzen Young’s famous “gone” for when
things disappear again and again in Dissolution.



Here's a practice question for you. What's the difference between vagueness and dullness?
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:25 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:25 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Thank you, Jonas! I think you are right. I have recently been trying to throw love into the situation, especially when I wake up and have consciousness again. With time it will pass!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:41 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:41 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Hi Geoffrey. First thank you!

I think that, when we have "vagueness", sati is present and strong, but seeing things appear so quickly that we get lost. In the case of "dullness", I see that sati and energy are weak, the mind has little interest in seeing the 3C's and so goes towards sleep.
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:45 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 11:45 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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I added some text in my answer. But I see you figured it out your self, at least partly
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 12:01 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 12:01 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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How do you know sati is weak?
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 12:12 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 12:12 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Because I often catch myself coming back to consciousness. I catch myself turning to little dreams.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 12:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 12:19 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Yes I can see it coming. It comes little by little. I see a cloudiness in the mind, difficulty noticing the 3C's and slight drowsiness.
Can you notice how the dullness arise? Or is it a blind spot? Does it just come?
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:13 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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So, you can see it coming which means you noticed impermanence and you are looking for something else to be the 3C's which means you experienced unsatisfactoriness. Can you see that there is no you that last from moment to moment?
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:15 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:15 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Now, if you just relax to get some samadhi
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:56 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:56 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Jonas E
So, you can see it coming which means you noticed impermanence and you are looking for something else to be the 3C's which means you experienced unsatisfactoriness. Can you see that there is no you that last from moment to moment?

Yes. I think you're right. When I see the "dullness" coming, I start trying to reverse it. I breathe deeper, force myself to have sati, etc.

Now, if you just relax to get some samadhi
I've tried relaxing and it hasn't helped. But I must be doing it the wrong way. I'll keep trying. Accept the situation and relax.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:49 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:49 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Keep noting.

Note dullness
Note weak sati
Note weak energy
Note little interest
Note practice method thoughts
Note going toward sleep
Keep noting whatever comes next
And whatever comes next
And whatever comes next


Don't forget to...
Note mapping
Note comparing
Note manipulating
Note judging
Note preferring
Note avoiding
Note worrying
It's fine to note "wanting to stop" and "wanting to quit" but don't stop or quit

There is nothing to fix. Note.
Note, note, note

If something is going poorly, note
If things are going well, note
Note, note, note

Note one thing in your experience on every outbreath, that's about 6 to 10 times a minute - no big deal
Note a sensation
Note an emotion
Note a thought
Even note confusion, blanking out, vagueness, uncertainty... just note
Note for at least 30 minutes, and then probably keep noting for the rest of your sit.
Note, note, note
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:37 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:37 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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I will just add to shargrol's post; use whatever keeps you at noting! In my case Noting Aloud as suggested by Kenneth Folk worked wonders for me! 

Here is how I did it for 45 minutes 1-2 times a day for 5-6 months with some rather good results

https://youtu.be/9FeajWRJcXA?si=wy91xypAJ9IbDMPq
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:47 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:47 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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"It's fine to note "wanting to stop" and "wanting to quit" but don't stop or quit"

Here its good to lock onto the "feeling tone" and note "unpleasant, unpleasant, unpleasant," and lock into the body sensations that enforce this wanting to stop "body jerking towards the move to get up" minds intention "to get up" ... al this can be note hence objectified! emoticon If an object hence not you. So what is it if its not you? emoticon Note it! 
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 1:23 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 1:23 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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And it's also important to say -- use your best judgement. There is no need to have a meditation practice if it isn't something you really want to do. There are lots of ways to live your life. Nobody must meditate. 

Sometimes there are other priorties in life. Sometimes there are other modalities (exercise, art, therapy, etc.) that are more healing and rewarding and that will lead to a more full and enjoyable life. If meditation isn't connecting with you, no need to stay with it. 

(So definitely ignore advice that says "keep going" if you don't want to keep going.)
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 2:56 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 2:56 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
shargrol
Keep noting.

Note dullness
Note weak sati
Note weak energy
Note little interest
Note practice method thoughts
Note going toward sleep
Keep noting whatever comes next
And whatever comes next
And whatever comes next


Don't forget to...
Note mapping
Note comparing
Note manipulating
Note judging
Note preferring
Note avoiding
Note worrying
It's fine to note "wanting to stop" and "wanting to quit" but don't stop or quit

There is nothing to fix. Note.
Note, note, note

If something is going poorly, note
If things are going well, note
Note, note, note

Note one thing in your experience on every outbreath, that's about 6 to 10 times a minute - no big deal
Note a sensation
Note an emotion
Note a thought
Even note confusion, blanking out, vagueness, uncertainty... just note
Note for at least 30 minutes, and then probably keep noting for the rest of your sit.
Note, note, note

Thank you so much, Shargrol. I'm a big fan of you.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:04 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:04 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
I will just add to shargrol's post; use whatever keeps you at noting! In my case Noting Aloud as suggested by Kenneth Folk worked wonders for me! 

Here is how I did it for 45 minutes 1-2 times a day for 5-6 months with some rather good results

https://youtu.be/9FeajWRJcXA?si=wy91xypAJ9IbDMPq

Hi Papa Che Dusko! I will try and watch the video. Thanks so much!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:06 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:06 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
"It's fine to note "wanting to stop" and "wanting to quit" but don't stop or quit"

Here its good to lock onto the "feeling tone" and note "unpleasant, unpleasant, unpleasant," and lock into the body sensations that enforce this wanting to stop "body jerking towards the move to get up" minds intention "to get up" ... al this can be note hence objectified! emoticon If an object hence not you. So what is it if its not you? emoticon Note it! 

Interesting. Thanks!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:15 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:15 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
shargrol
And it's also important to say -- use your best judgement. There is no need to have a meditation practice if it isn't something you really want to do. There are lots of ways to live your life. Nobody must meditate. 

Sometimes there are other priorties in life. Sometimes there are other modalities (exercise, art, therapy, etc.) that are more healing and rewarding and that will lead to a more full and enjoyable life. If meditation isn't connecting with you, no need to stay with it. 

(So definitely ignore advice that says "keep going" if you don't want to keep going.)

I think you got to the root of the lack of interest. Six years ago I was terrified to read that I could fall into the lower realms and so I started practicing every day. I even thought about becoming a monk. Maybe the initial motivation was bad and generated bad seeds that still grow unconsciously today, although today there isn't as much fear of it anymore.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:31 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 3:31 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Despite the difficulties in meditation, I think I managed to make a lot of progress and suffer much less out of the cushion. I'm much more patient, I'm less afraid, I'm more compassionate, etc. In short, I identify less with emotions. That's why I see the value in knowing the mind and I'm motivated to continue.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 7:00 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 7:00 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
I will just add to shargrol's post; use whatever keeps you at noting! In my case Noting Aloud as suggested by Kenneth Folk worked wonders for me! 

Here is how I did it for 45 minutes 1-2 times a day for 5-6 months with some rather good results

https://youtu.be/9FeajWRJcXA?si=wy91xypAJ9IbDMPq

I watch your video. It's interesting that you have your eyes open, talking and moving and still managing to progress in practice. When I discovered the notation method, 5 years ago, I thinking it was foolish because I had to think/speak. Because in the beginning I learned practice only with shamatha meditation.

Good for me to balance the method. I end up relaxing a lot and the more active notation keeps me energetic. I'm saying this because today after reading all these comments I did 50 minutes and had a slight dullness and for a short time.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 8:23 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 8:23 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Any amount of dullness is fine if you are able to recognize and note dullness as it occurs. (And remember there are lots of details to dullness, there is calm, vagueness, softness, quiet, ease, etc. Plus there are lots of thoughts about dullness. And there are often emotions like worry, concern, anticipation, sadness, etc.) See how many different aspects of dullness you can note. Make a game of it, try for two things in your next sit, then try for four things in the next sit, and so on.

What IS dullness?
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 9:54 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 9:54 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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100%!

It's funny, early in practice we tend to think that wanting to stop, wanting the bell to ring, getting frustrated, and so on are bad results. But these are movements of the mind that show us how desire and clinging work. Wanting to stop the thing that we wanted to do just minutes earlier is like a visit from a master teacher. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 10:03 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 9:59 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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It's a meditator's rite of passage to see that everything that comes up is the object to observe. We then use what I'd call "tunnel meditation" and decide what's worthy of focus and what's not. We choose an object, or we decide as objects arise, that they're the "right" ones and observe, or the "wrong" ones and ignore. Habit dies a hard death.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 11:17 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 11:17 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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shargrol
Any amount of dullness is fine if you are able to recognize and note dullness as it occurs. (And remember there are lots of details to dullness, there is calm, vagueness, softness, quiet, ease, etc. Plus there are lots of thoughts about dullness. And there are often emotions like worry, concern, anticipation, sadness, etc.) See how many different aspects of dullness you can note. Make a game of it, try for two things in your next sit, then try for four things in the next sit, and so on.

What IS dullness?
Very interesting.. This will increase interest in practice.. increase energy.. thank you so much!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 11:26 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 11:25 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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100%!

It's funny, early in practice we tend to think that wanting to stop, wanting the bell to ring, getting frustrated, and so on are bad results. But these are movements of the mind that show us how desire and clinging work. Wanting to stop the thing that we wanted to do just minutes earlier is like a visit from a master teacher. 

​​​​​​​Yes. This shows how the mind operates based on conditions. I need to see the non-self there.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 11:32 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 11:32 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Chris M
It's a meditator's rite of passage to see that everything that comes up is the object to observe. We then use what I'd call "tunnel meditation" and decide what's worthy of focus and what's not. We choose an object, or we decide as objects arise, that they're the "right" ones and observe, or the "wrong" ones and ignore. Habit dies a hard death.

​​​​​​​I am from Brazil. It's a precious thing for me to meet people like everyone here. I am extremely grateful for all the placements.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 2/21/24 7:28 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/21/24 7:28 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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shargrol
Any amount of dullness is fine if you are able to recognize and note dullness as it occurs. (And remember there are lots of details to dullness, there is calm, vagueness, softness, quiet, ease, etc. Plus there are lots of thoughts about dullness. And there are often emotions like worry, concern, anticipation, sadness, etc.) See how many different aspects of dullness you can note. Make a game of it, try for two things in your next sit, then try for four things in the next sit, and so on.

What IS dullness?
Today I apply this. Around 25 minutes the torpor began to appear. I noticed and tried to see the characteristics of that. I noticed "dropping energy", "weakening sati", "vague vision", "vague consciousness", "forced breathing", "constricted breathing", "aversion to breathing", "desire to change the situation", "ill will", etc.. but also I noticed the opposite of these things.. because I had ups and downs.

Thanks again!
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/21/24 8:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/21/24 8:38 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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nicely done!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 2/22/24 4:03 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/22/24 4:03 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Today I broke the solidity of torpor. Seeing its various characteristics, the session had ups and downs, but more ups than downs. I saw it more as a package of features.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 2/22/24 4:04 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/22/24 4:04 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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Nice!
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 2/22/24 4:10 PM
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RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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If we take a more psychological mindset, when there is dullness or torpor then we say "I am dull" or "I have torpor."

But when we take a meditation/vipassina mindset, when there is dullness or torpor and we have sufficient mindfulness we say things like "wow, dullness and torpor are a package of features". 

It's a small yet big difference! emoticon 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 2/23/24 8:12 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/23/24 8:12 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

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shargrol
If we take a more psychological mindset, when there is dullness or torpor then we say "I am dull" or "I have torpor."

But when we take a meditation/vipassina mindset, when there is dullness or torpor and we have sufficient mindfulness we say things like "wow, dullness and torpor are a package of features". 

It's a small yet big difference! emoticon 

So nice! emoticon 
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finding-oneself ♤, modified 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 4:44 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 4:44 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 398 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
IDK if you've heard of it. But when you mention dullness in meditation, I think of The Mind Illuminated. It has a whole couple chapters, at least, dedicated to learning to work with so-called "gross dullness" and "subtle dullness". It's a solid book for a lot of people. Kinda neat, and fun, containg stages of progression even.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 5:19 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 5:19 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 2730 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Dullness to me has nothing to do with the Dukkha Nanas which are very busy with the sense of disgust, fear, misery, concentration being screwed up, and desire for all this shit to just stop and never come back! emoticon So ... as you see there is too much fun in the DN stage to be dull.

Dull state has more to do with the pre A&P stages. The lower Realms (Animal realm likely)
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 10:42 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 10:42 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 1687 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
ANDRE BARROS
Hey guys!
I have seven years of daily practice, one hour a day. I use notation as a basis for practice.
I did a Goenka retreat in July 2022, I reached dukkha nanas (maybe more) and since then, in 60% to 70% of my practice, dullness has been present. I start climbing the nanas and after approximately 30 minutes I get stuck in dullness. Sometimes I can get out of it after 20 to 30 minutes of pratice.
Could this dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Climbing Nana's, dark nighting,
Perhaps you might try noticing the actual POI stage you are in, then notice exactly where the 'dullness' kicks in, then reread MCTB, instead of doing vaguely something in POI maybe.
Lemme point to the stage 5- Dissolution. That is most likely the first place to research.
Specific questions get better quality answers usually. Knowing where dullness might not matter as much as the many ways to deal with it.
Good Luck,
~D
Good luck,
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 10:47 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/2/24 10:47 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 1687 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Dull? Stand up and meditate. Walk and meditate. Brightens ya right up. Check posture. Grit teeth and move on thru. Whatever works
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 12:09 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 12:09 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
finding oneself
IDK if you've heard of it. But when you mention dullness in meditation, I think of The Mind Illuminated. It has a whole couple chapters, at least, dedicated to learning to work with so-called "gross dullness" and "subtle dullness". It's a solid book for a lot of people. Kinda neat, and fun, containg stages of progression even.

Yes, I've read about it. But as I have been using the notation technique (vipassana/insight), I thought that the tips there would not be appropriate.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 12:10 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 12:10 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
Dullness to me has nothing to do with the Dukkha Nanas which are very busy with the sense of disgust, fear, misery, concentration being screwed up, and desire for all this shit to just stop and never come back! emoticon So ... as you see there is too much fun in the DN stage to be dull. Dull state has more to do with the pre A&P stages. The lower Realms (Animal realm likely)


Yes. I think you are right!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 12:16 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 12:16 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Dream Walker
ANDRE BARROS
Hey guys!
I have seven years of daily practice, one hour a day. I use notation as a basis for practice.
I did a Goenka retreat in July 2022, I reached dukkha nanas (maybe more) and since then, in 60% to 70% of my practice, dullness has been present. I start climbing the nanas and after approximately 30 minutes I get stuck in dullness. Sometimes I can get out of it after 20 to 30 minutes of pratice.
Could this dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Climbing Nana's, dark nighting,
Perhaps you might try noticing the actual POI stage you are in, then notice exactly where the 'dullness' kicks in, then reread MCTB, instead of doing vaguely something in POI maybe.
Lemme point to the stage 5- Dissolution. That is most likely the first place to research.
Specific questions get better quality answers usually. Knowing where dullness might not matter as much as the many ways to deal with it.
Good Luck,
~D
Good luck,

Yes. Like Papa Che Dusko said, it's probably that I am before A&P nana.
brian patrick, modified 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 4:31 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 4:31 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 51 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
I will just add to shargrol's post; use whatever keeps you at noting! In my case Noting Aloud as suggested by Kenneth Folk worked wonders for me! 

Here is how I did it for 45 minutes 1-2 times a day for 5-6 months with some rather good results

https://youtu.be/9FeajWRJcXA?si=wy91xypAJ9IbDMPq


Oh I like this. So "seeing" is like the drone note or almost the mantra and the others are more active noting? That's what it looks like to me. I had heard Kenneth Folk talk about noting outloud but couldn't get a sense of how it would work until I saw this. 
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 7:04 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 7:04 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 2409 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
brian patrick
Oh I like this. So "seeing" is like the drone note or almost the mantra and the others are more active noting? That's what it looks like to me. I had heard Kenneth Folk talk about noting outloud but couldn't get a sense of how it would work until I saw this. 

"liking"
"practice realization"
"wondering"
"concluding"
"remembering"
"confusion"
"understanding"

Just for fun, I did the notes for your post -- as if it occurred during a sit.

There really isn't a one right way to note. The people that go the furthest with this technique are the ones that find their own style and make their own "notes". The only important thing is that the person is aware of body sensations, emotions, and categories of thoughts in their practice (otherwise one the three dimensions of experience will be unobjectified and unconsciously identified with -- like identifying with the body as the self, or the emotions as the self, or thoughts as the self... instead of seeing how all of these occur within the mind, so to speak). But beyond that, there is a lot of flexibility and creativity in how you can do it. 

It's also important to understand that noting doesn't "make" progress happen, but rather the consistency of paying attention allows the nature fo the mind itself to make the progress. The notes help provide feedback on whether there is consistency. Progress happens beyond our doing, but we can help create good conditions for progress by finding ways to be consistently mindful of the present moment.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 7:11 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 7:09 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 2730 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I would not disregard what Dream Walker is saying! 

If you have reported with more detail (start a daily log here at DhO so we can follow) about the previous stage then we could point out with more certainty if this is indeed the dissolution and dulling of the sharp concentration from the previous A&P stage or not.

Since you have been practicing for 7 years it very well could be the dull aspect of the not-sharp-concentration and the dissolution of the central aspect of the field observed. The bliss state of the Dukkha Nanas can also cause one to feel blissfully dull. A bit dumb, stupid, and dull. This nebulous disorientating non-clarity. 

However if such presents itself you can either investigate it as is or you can open your eyes and start noting aloud so you hear yourself clearly noting matter of fact 1-3 notes a second. I am a big fan and heavy user of Noting Aloud as taught by my old teacher Kenneth Folk.

Decide on the method you want to follow and stick to it for at least 6 months!!! I can not stress enough about this! Imagine if you follow TM for one month which equates to digging a hole 1 meter deep. Then you follow one month the MCTB POI which also equates to digging a hole 1 meter deep. Then you follow Zazen for a month which equates to digging a hole 1 meter deep. Then you follow Tibetan Shamatha for a month which equates to digging a hole 1 meter deep.

Then you look at the practitioner who only practiced POI (or any of these) for 4 months which equates to digging a hole 4 meters deep and he/she found groundwater to build a water well, while you have 4 empty dry holes and you are very thirsty. 
Both of you invested the same energy but only one got the fruits! 

​​​​​​​Best wishes to you and may you be free from suffering, may you awaken, may you be happy! emoticon 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 11:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 11:50 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
I would not disregard what Dream Walker is saying! 

If you have reported with more detail (start a daily log here at DhO so we can follow) about the previous stage then we could point out with more certainty if this is indeed the dissolution and dulling of the sharp concentration from the previous A&P stage or not.
...
​​​​​​​Best wishes to you and may you be free from suffering, may you awaken, may you be happy! emoticon 

You are right! I started logging: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/27247071

Thanks!
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 2:55 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 2:53 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 890 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
 Hi,

Dullness can be a major aspect of a mature version of going through the "dukkha ñanas" when the psychological difficulties associated with them have been dealt with, in my experience. That was basically the most characteristic aspect of it for me at the time, I would get up to the A&P, then everything would slow down, become dull (hard to practice, notice, or anything), vague, diffuse, etc., and then eventually move to something more spacious that was not dull at all anymore... Whence, according to some, and contrary to MCTB interpretation, the name "re-observation": the phase when you become able to observe things again. Initiating a lot of momentum at the start of sits, and then maintaining it through the dull phase, rapidly led to moving through these various phases more rapidly, and eventually to other stuff. emoticon

Best,
Olivier
 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 3:37 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 3:36 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Olivier S
 Hi,

Dullness can be a major aspect of a mature version of going through the "dukkha ñanas" when the psychological difficulties associated with them have been dealt with, in my experience. That was basically the most characteristic aspect of it for me at the time, I would get up to the A&P, then everything would slow down, become dull (hard to practice, notice, or anything), vague, diffuse, etc., and then eventually move to something more spacious that was not dull at all anymore... Whence, according to some, and contrary to MCTB interpretation, the name "re-observation": the phase when you become able to observe things again. Initiating a lot of momentum at the start of sits, and then maintaining it through the dull phase, rapidly led to moving through these various phases more rapidly, and eventually to other stuff. emoticon

Best,
Olivier
 
I've had a heavy dhukka nanas phase out of the cushion since my last retreat (2022-Jun) - the psychological difficulties. I haven't felt them for about 6 months.  The psychological difficulties associated with them have been dealt with.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 4:19 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/4/24 4:15 PM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 2409 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
If the psychological challenges have been dealt with, the dukka nanas can show up (as Olivier says) as a kind of vague, confusing, out-of-sync phase --- that's all the (first path) dukka that is left to deal with at that point.

Eventually the dukka nanas can show up more and more as the third vipassina jhana, with a sense of coolness or numbness on the skin or a kind of numb-blissy feeling in the mind. (Not the orgasmic pleasurable bliss of the second jhana, but much more cool and/or numb feeling.)
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/5/24 3:08 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/5/24 3:08 AM

RE: Could dullness be a facet of the dark night?

Posts: 121 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Cool! I will work with this hypothesis. I started daily log. This way all you can help me more to diagnose.

​​​​​​​Thank you very much!

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