Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Andrew S 3/24/24 4:35 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back kettu 3/25/24 3:05 AM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back shargrol 3/25/24 7:36 AM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Andrew S 3/25/24 9:22 AM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back shargrol 3/25/24 3:33 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Jonas E 3/25/24 6:44 AM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Jonas E 3/25/24 2:28 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Jonas E 3/25/24 3:04 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back kettu 3/25/24 3:27 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Robert PASHAYAN 3/25/24 6:36 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Andrew S 3/26/24 3:35 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Robert PASHAYAN 3/26/24 6:22 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back streamsurfer 3/28/24 4:13 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Jonas E 3/28/24 5:06 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back Andrew S 3/29/24 4:58 PM
RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back shargrol 3/29/24 5:15 PM
Andrew S, modified 2 Months ago at 3/24/24 4:35 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/24/24 3:51 PM

Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Hi guys, I recently went through the most horrific dark night in existence induced by kundalini. Before all this I had adhd and what I now realize was underlying OCD symptoms. Basically I would get lost in thought and compulsively think about shit all the time constantly in my head. After kundalini awakening the thinking got amplified to a million. Once I hit the dark night the OCD started and became hellish.

My obsessions were all over my worst fears. First existential, then to horrific deaths, then to pure-o harm ocd. I would get horrific intrusive thoughts and imagery about killing my loved ones in horrific ways and then my mind would go 'what if?' and the more I try to argue with them, the more intense they got until a part of me would genuinely believe it was true, which made me ruminate more in a feedback loop. I was in hell, ruminating about this stuff non stop. I then started getting obsessively ruminating about the obsessive rumination. Worrying about the fact that I will never stop worrying.

The suffering was ridiculous and I wanted to die every day. I prayed that a nuclear war would wipe out the human race so no one would have to experience this shit. Due to kundalini, i did not have a meditation practice but this was so bad that I decided to start. Sitting meditation was absolute hell and I struggled to do it for 10 minutes. I practiced mindfullness in my day though especially through walking which was slightly easier. It was slightly helpful at first but a few days ago, it created a weird in between state where I oscillated between 2 states, one where I was in absolute ocd hell and one where I was in the present moment. It was like there were 2 parts of me. I suspect this was re-obsevation.

Being in the aware, present moment state somehow made my OCD worse. As soon as I was in the state I felt an intense fear and wanted to go back to worrying immediately so I would suddenly not be present. Its like I was losing control of myself and dying. The ocd just got worse and worse. I realised that my entire life was ruined by this constant worrying about a past and future and clinging to a sense of self instead of being in the present moment. I kind of got an idea of was samsara was like and decided I wanted it to end more than anything. I decided to stay in the present moment no matter what. This made the thoughts go crazy but I used the noting from MCTB for the first time and just noted the crazy thoughts.

I was on a walk doing this when my mind suddenly shifted. It was like suddenly being aware that the past and future were just sensations and the do-er was also a sensation. My visual field also felt like it became much more spacious. It was like the meditation was doing itself.  This I think took me to equanimity which is a huge upgrade from the state I was in before. However, the ocd thoughts did not stop. They did however, become less sticky and I was able to see through and dissolve them more. The anxiety and trapped trauma in my energetic body also did not really go away. The effortless awareness and spaciousness fell away after a few hours and I began to catch myself identifying with thoughts again although much less severely than before. I suspect as per Ingrams model that I will fall back into reobservation soon.

​​​​​​​I'm not sure what to really do in this situation. I'm seeing a therapist for my OCD but I suspect it will not help me due to the anixety amplification from kundalini. I fear falling back into the hell I was in before but I am scared of moving forward as well. My mental trip is not in a good place. I have no job and I am living at home with my parents and have nothing to do except worry all day. I also have kundalini activating all sorts of stored traumas. I am not an experienced meditator at all and I don't know if I can make it to streamentry or if that would even solve any of my problems. I was advised my people to not do meditate and ground myself until I got a stable footing in life but I don't think that's possible.What should I do? Continue meditating to streamentry? stop and go the the psych ward and take meds for the rest of my life? Idk and I need some guidance.
kettu, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:05 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:05 AM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 48 Join Date: 10/31/17 Recent Posts
Well I don’t know you or the maps but you seem to be in trouble, so here’s my not-guidance that you probably do not need either. 

What if the advice you got is right and you just need some time to get into a slightly more balanced and ordinary situation? What if no carastrophe nor a sudden realization is going to happen, and at some point you start to like life as it is?

All the best!
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 7:36 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 5:52 AM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 2517 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
It's tricky, even people with really well established meditation practices will fall back from equanimity. It's a very normal part of development. We might go up the nanas during sit, but we will fall back to our "average" state. It takes a while to slowly raise up our average state, so going back down is very normal.

And it's tricky, because the temptation is to rush through the difficult stuff, the scary dark night and reobservation type stuff, but that's actually a tricky way of avoiding it. When there is a lot of fear and rushing... then we get hit with a lot of psychological intensity but we don't really develop the foundational skills to fully experience the scary stuff. It's sort of like we just get traumatized with nothing to show for it -- like going to a gym and working out too hard and all it does is tear up our muscles and take forever to recover before we can workout again.

The important thing when training the mind is to build a strong foundation of basic human self-care and sanity. We can be our own worst enemy by trying to "fix" too much too fast. I'm very sympathetic to your situation, having done something similar in my life, so I'm definitely hoping you can learn from my mistakes.

The first thing I learned is something you already notice -- having nothing to do all day except worry is not good. Unless we're already a very experienced meditator, we can't "meditate" all day. It just doesn't work and makes things worse by turning into worrying all day. So we need to find constructive stuff to do in the off hours. A good goal would be to slowly start finding and working a job, pretty much no matter how stupid or silly it is. I really didn't like this advice, but it turned out to be the best thing even though it was scary to think about. What I had to do to make it acceptable to me was to pretend I was on a meditation retreat and treated working like "work practice" like the monks do each day. Mindful working. They don't just meditate and chant, they also do normal work around the monastery. Take the money and give some to your parents and keep some for yourself. You will feel better in so many ways. If you can't leave the house, figure out how to help your parents or neighbors do work around home. 

Don't worry about all the big life questions about job and career and money. Just treat work as a kind of moving meditation. Kundalini and anxiety are really helped by physical motion. 

Then get serious about psychology and therapy. (No big deal if you are also still serious about meditation, but look at it through the lense of psychology.) I can guarantee you that when you slow down and treat your body and mind more thereputically you will realize some really interesting stuff about yourself. It might not be all pretty, but things will make sense. A lot of problems that come up with meditation and psychology happen because we can't simply and directly experience what is going on in our life. It's too overwhelming, usually because we're thinking about it in the wrong way. Mediation and life in general is easier when we don't overcomplicated it by feeling shame about the past or worrying about the future. All that mental stuff gets in the way of being an adult and doing what we need to do.

It's okay to have these mental set backs in life, but it doesn't mean that we need to do something really advanced to make up for it. Basic human sanity comes from slowing things down, taking care of ourself, and just doing normal stuff. It seems so boring, which is why people want to skip past it, but getting good at anything ---  meditation, athletics, technical skills, education --- is all about getting good at the basic skills. When you master basic skill, you are a master.

So hopefully you'll use this opportunity to make things really simple and work on the basic things in your life. 

A good sign that you are ready to "ready to meditate to streamentry" is when you finally have full confidence that your life is going in the right direction. Then your body-mind is in a good situation. Trying to meditate and get to streamentry when you are not ready is like trying to swim while carrying a backpack full of rocks. Not good. It is much better to figure out how to empty out the rocks and take off the backpack before starting to swim.


Best wishes!!
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 6:44 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 6:40 AM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 93 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
Hi Andrew

I also have ADHD and I think it never goes away, but we can learn to live with it, accepting it. Negativity hit me verry hard as well sometimes, like horrible as you are saying. We can learn to ge through it more skillfully by noting it, accepting. I managed to increase my concentration a lot, but it is unstable and I sometimes get energy bursting out or getting a bit messy like in the "Dark night". But not like stumbling around anymore. I was in a dense cloud yesterday, but after some talking with friends and meditation, it just went.

HOWEVER, I think shargrol comes with some really good guidance. Even though I was meditating like crazy when I had those horrific dark nights, and every other day, it works! Even verry efficiently. But also efficiently challenging. When it get efficient it can be easy to get overconfident and make bad decisions, or just get lost by being overwhelmed.

SO, thats why I think the way of shargrol is a good one emoticon Take it easy, you most likely will get through if you made it this far.

Exercise is verry helpful also, like fotball or whatever. Meditative walking or wandering.
Andrew S, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 9:22 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 9:21 AM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Thanks shargrol
​​​​​​​ I really wanted to go back to normal and that was my goal, however the dark night plus kundalini plus the OCD hell has made it impossible. I find myself dissociating into panic every day and I'm so exhausted I struggle to get out of bed. I don't think I could do any job at the moment, even doing basic tasks can be a struggle. I actually planned on slowing down, getting a job, volunteering, etc months ago but it all fell apart.

I know that streamentry is an unrealistic goal right now but the dark night is so unbelievably bad in my case, as the kundalini and my ocd amps it up to a million. My ocd thoughts have gotten so bad it has traumatized me. I've fallen back into re-observation again and my kundalini symptoms are returning so i don't really know what to do. When I got to equanimity I felt so much more free and thoughts did not bother me as much. It was the only time I felt remotely functional.
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I don't think getting to streamentry is possible but i want to at least be able to stay in equanimity if possible.
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 2:28 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 2:15 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 93 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
I was traumatized as well, having panic attacks. But I'm calm now. I would just get scared, shaking, sometimes swetting and drying out, drinking but the water just went through to urination. Sometimes incredible experiences.

I recognise, hell, fear of falling back. Just let the the thoughts go. Not possible? Accept! It changes

Even though it can be verry challenging. It is a great opportunity for insight! It is a lesson. Acceptance of the way it is.
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:04 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 2:36 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 93 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
At one point in a hellish mad dream, a light of an angel embraced me. And I felt like a innocent child in the midst of that mad world. There can always appear calm anywhere!
kettu, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:27 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:26 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 48 Join Date: 10/31/17 Recent Posts
Shargrol is to the point as usual.

Similarly to Jonas’ story my experience is that going into the greatest fear and shame was the way to develope otherwise lacking basic sense of security. It may be that intense meditation is not good idea before some sense of basic security is established.

Sticking to a favoured state is understandable wish but likely unrealistic.

Once i got the advice in a crisis to sit only very short moments (1-5 minutes) during the day to find some balance but not to exhaust the stressed psyche. But it was not in buddhist context.
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Compassion to anyone dealing with panic and horror.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:33 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 3:33 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 2517 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Andrew S
Thanks shargrol
​​​​​​​ I really wanted to go back to normal and that was my goal, however the dark night plus kundalini plus the OCD hell has made it impossible. I find myself dissociating into panic every day and I'm so exhausted I struggle to get out of bed. I don't think I could do any job at the moment, even doing basic tasks can be a struggle. I actually planned on slowing down, getting a job, volunteering, etc months ago but it all fell apart.

I know that streamentry is an unrealistic goal right now but the dark night is so unbelievably bad in my case, as the kundalini and my ocd amps it up to a million. My ocd thoughts have gotten so bad it has traumatized me. I've fallen back into re-observation again and my kundalini symptoms are returning so i don't really know what to do. When I got to equanimity I felt so much more free and thoughts did not bother me as much. It was the only time I felt remotely functional.
​​​​​​​
I don't think getting to streamentry is possible but i want to at least be able to stay in equanimity if possible.

Staying in equanimity can be part of the plan, but definitely remember there is normal everyday equanimity and meditation equanimity --- definitely first focus on normal everyday equanimity! Equanimity Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

I'm not a therapist, but It seems like it's going to be important to keep working with your therapist and maybe finding connecting with support groups that can help out with OCD like:
OCD : Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (reddit.com)
PureOCD (reddit.com)
MagicalThinkingOCD (reddit.com)
OCDRecovery (reddit.com)
(that was just a quick reddit search)

Again, best wishes!
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Robert PASHAYAN, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 6:36 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/24 6:31 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 20 Join Date: 5/11/23 Recent Posts
Hi Andrew, can you share what kind of practices are you doing ? I'm not very familiar with the Theravada path, as I practice within the traditions of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, but take a look to this interview with Dhammarato who's a Theravadan monk but he present a way of meditating which is very close to how I learned to meditate from my traditions.

https://youtu.be/uhbc5suOwlY?si=B-8iycRgjc1p951W

Sometimes goal oriented practices can become very exhausting and create more anxiety, bacause you're trying to get somewhere and faster you run further the goal seams, the good analogy to compare here would be like chasing a rainbow, you'll never catch a rainbow but realizing the illusory nature of it will allow you to stop your pursuit as there's nothing which is graspable. Now dragging the self to stream entry is very exhausting, while realising there's no self whatsover that get's to stream entry might bring you a huge relief. If there's no self then no one is identifying with the thoughts or being afraid to be afraid.

I feel you need to loosen up some samskaras, and to be able to do that you need to get in touch with the OKness that you already have in present moment, chasing Enlightement and running away from suffering is Upādāna, and is one of the links in dependant origination which fuels the viscious circle of suffering.
As Padmasambhava said "Emptyness can not hurt Emptyness", you'll be OK my friend. Don't force things try to relax and take things easy, Ahimsa(non violence) starts with your attitude toward yourself.
Andrew S, modified 2 Months ago at 3/26/24 3:35 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/26/24 3:35 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Thanks for the replies guys, I guess I was thinking about this neurotically. I may take a break from intense meditation.
Something really weird happened to me yesterday. I was in my usual neuroses while watching a video from a nondual teacher when I read something like 'everything is ok, will be ok and has always been ok'. I was then doing some metta and acceptance meditation when that quote came into my mind and suddenly I felt a deep sense of stillness in me completely unlike any other sensation I had felt before. It was like a vast emptiness that illuminated everything. I guess I could describe it as love or acceptance in its purest form?

I was able to tap into this state and felt an incredible sense of ok-ness.I was aware of all me suffering and negative emotions, but in this stillness there was perfect acceptance of them and no suffering. It wasn't pleasure or pain but something beyond either, something that transcended the duality. In that state I did not care if even the most horrific thing I could imagine happened. There was neither a clinging to existence or non existence nor an aversion to either. There was also an insane perceptual clarity although still some sense of subject and object. Once I started trying to make the state last longer it became more unstable until it mostly ended.

i feel much more equanimity now but I really want to go back to that state. Which of course is an obstacle to that state...

What do you guys think happened? And how do I tap into that state again?
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Robert PASHAYAN, modified 2 Months ago at 3/26/24 6:22 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/26/24 6:22 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 20 Join Date: 5/11/23 Recent Posts
Hi Andrew happy to hear that man, if you're interested in non duality I'd suggest "Waking Up" app, or google for Loch Kelly and Stephen Bodian, they use modern language and have very effective ways to get you to that non dual state.

And don't worry wanting to get to non duality is not an obstacle, there are many doorways to get there but and the easiest one in my experience is the relaxation of the mind to the point where the ego(center behing your eyes) drops. Gradually more you'll get there more doors you'll discover to the point that your anxiety would become a doorway into non duality(talking from my own experience).
Tap into that OKness my friend I'm sure you know the way into it, it's an amazing journey and deeper you go more efforless it'll become and your problems will become your friends.
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streamsurfer, modified 2 Months ago at 3/28/24 4:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/28/24 4:13 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 101 Join Date: 1/19/16 Recent Posts
I can only second the previous answers. You are stressing out about this to much. I understand ur wish to succeed to stream entry. But do you know what waits after stream entry? same old, same old. Plus more nanas to suffer from ;p 
You've climbed the mountain pretty far. How about u gather some strength and then move on? So why not get into concentration, make your mind stable and clear? Then shredding the sensations out of equanimity itself. When you've got the insight, SE will happen.
And also, dry vipassana in high doses brings insight progress, but is also often painful and has good potential for destabilization. It is not the best approach for everybody an every situation. I would advise you to practice maybe less, but constant and having a stoic approach to it. That is, treating it like showering. You do it every day, you know its important, but when its done, you dont think about it all the time.
And as shargrol said, having other things going on besides meditation is so essential. A big motivation of mine for meditation was/is avoidance. From emotions and stuff in my life. So, you can ask yourself, what do you expect streamentry to solve for you? Most things it probably won't solve. You're on the verge to a new phase in life, which is to explore, get on your own feet and build up a life you are happy with. Just thinking about all that leads to analysis paralysis. Doing something about it will lead to knowledge. The path is made through walking. 
So, enough with the cheesy life advice, I wish you all the best in these endeavors.
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Jonas E, modified 2 Months ago at 3/28/24 5:06 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/28/24 5:06 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 93 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
It's easy in this present moment. For me for you. Worries makes it difficult. It's ok now. It can go on and on. Up to you when to drop it, just lose it. It's useless.
Andrew S, modified 2 Months ago at 3/29/24 4:58 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/29/24 4:58 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Thanks guys, I'm in a slightly better state now with regards to mental symptoms. I guess I wanted streamentry to escape worrying about my life which has been destabilized by kundalini. Now I'm not even sure if I even should be pursuing it at the moment.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/29/24 5:15 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/29/24 5:15 PM

RE: Severe OCD hell, dark night, equanimity and fear of falling back

Posts: 2517 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Sounds good. Save streamentry for when it fits naturally into your life, if it does at all. There's lots of way to live a good life and streamentry is not required for it.

And definitely prioritize good mental health, good sleep and diet, good relationships, good education/employment. Many people here maintain solid mediation practices and even advance practices while living a normal good human life. If you have a good life foundation, adding in meditation is pretty straight forward. Create a good foundation for the rest of your life! emoticon

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