help

A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 9:10 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 9:10 AM

help

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
-weeks without quality sleep

-meditating and more meditating, basically nothing else

-super long sits/reclines (10 hours+) that seem to bring on re-observation cycles looping back on each other with tracker beams of hell ripping me apart + hallucinations

-generally feeling like my life completely sucks, thinking about stuff doesn't help, and i don't take care of my responsibilities

-feeling like i am going to die of fatigue

-heart chakra is not aligned - don't feel love or compassion, lower body feels semi-paralyzed at times thanks to a really fucked up root chakra...its like a meat grinder

-whining on sites like this

thanks
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 9:16 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 9:16 AM

RE: help

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...oh yeah and the world ends today
Some Guy, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 10:26 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 10:12 AM

RE: help

Posts: 343 Join Date: 8/9/11 Recent Posts
My approach would be to tend to the physical side, since it has more variables you can actually control. Taking care of your diet, exercise, vitamins all can make a difference. Light yoga or qi gong may help. If your insomnia is chronic, it may be treatable.

Vince Horn told me the dark night is like a Chinese finger trap. Don't push too hard. Personally, I'd cut way back on sitting time. (I did a lot of vegging out in my first dark night - it was great!).

When you say hallucinations, do you mean images arising during meditation, or something else?
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 10:35 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 10:35 AM

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Jason B:
My approach with would be to tend to the physical side, since it has more variables you can actually control. Taking care of your diet, exercise, vitamins all can make a difference. Light yoga or qi gong may help. If your insomnia is chronic, it may be treatable.

Vince Horn told me the dark night is like a Chinese finger trap. Don't push too hard. Personally, I'd cut way back on sitting time. (I did a lot of vegging out in my first dark night - it was great!).

When you say hallucinations, do you mean images arising during meditation, or something else?


Physically, I don't have much energy for anything. I literally am limping around the house today. My spinal column is way jacked and I have been spending the last 6 months trying to re-align it with meditation. I am on several vitamins as well as a lithium supplement as per the request of my parents (it makes me feel sick but I don't have much choice). If I do anything other than meditate (mostly lying down) I get tired and cranky very quickly, so usually I keep my activities limited. I know this sounds like I am exaggerating, but I really am not. It floors me how people are able to hold down jobs and other assundry while on the insight trip.

As far as hallucinations, they come in various forms. Usually they focus around some kind of shimmering light and can involve color, but usually not a whole lot. When I get into the Reobservation area things start to get a tad bit more 3 dimensional, with maze like corridors and sometimes a fairy that flies around or dances.

4th Jhana is the goal right now. I am hoping I can get there sooner or later without having to do too many more of these epic multi hour sessions without moving (whole body in super intense pain - I don't like doing them, but if I move than I lose my "cutting edge" and have to go through it all again, or at least that is what it feels like)
Some Guy, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 11:06 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 11:05 AM

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A D R:
I am on several vitamins as well as a lithium supplement as per the request of my parents (it makes me feel sick but I don't have much choice).


If your med makes you feel sick and tired, talk to your doctor (not your parents!). That's not normal.

I know this sounds like I am exaggerating, but I really am not.


I believe you.

My spinal column is way jacked and I have been spending the last 6 months trying to re-align it with meditation.


As far as I know, meditation is not a cure for back trouble even though it does seem to help sometimes. I'm a big believer in acupuncture, which can also help with sleep. If that's not your thing, maybe massage? When it comes to alt med, find somebody who comes highly recommended.

I am hoping I can get there sooner or later without having to do too many more of these epic multi hour sessions without moving (whole body in super intense pain - I don't like doing them, but if I move than I lose my "cutting edge" and have to go through it all again, or at least that is what it feels like)


My guess is that pushing this hard is creating your biggest obstacle, especially if you're going for jhana. Jhanas are hard to get during the dark night, anyway. And you can only get them by focusing on jhana factors like joy and happiness. My humble advice is, ease up, take care of yourself, vipassanize your misery to find the 3 c's. Equanimity is around the corner.

I trust someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 3:05 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 3:04 PM

RE: help

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This thread is very negative. I am very sorry...it seems that most of my threads on here have been negative or whinny. Mods if you see this you can delete this thread.

I hope if I contribute here in the future I can actually share beneficial, non-ego gratifying posts.

Thanks Jason...
Some Guy, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 3:20 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 3:20 PM

RE: help

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Don't be sorry, it's fine. I have my share of whiny and negative threads. We're all here to share our experiences and help each other through a weird and sometimes difficult process. Hang in there. I want to hear about your progress.
Brother Pussycat, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 5:14 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 4:32 PM

RE: help

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What Jason B said plus:

Do a few pushups and situps. Do them SLOWLY. Just three or four every hour. Notice your muscles relaxing once you're done. Also, lie down on your back and pull your legs up SLOWLY until your thighs are roughly perpendicular to the floor. Keep them there for some time and then lay them down again SLOWLY. Feel the release in your tummy and chest.

Eat less carbs.

Cut the mediating down to a minimum and do metta instead. Remember to also send the metta to yourself. Yes, you can do metta even if you feel incapable of love or compassion. That's cause what you're really incapable of is feeling the sensations normally associated with love or compassion, not the love or compassion themselves. Do the exercises above, feel the release in your body, and in that release try to accept whatever sensation you feel is blocking the sensations of love or compassion. You will get some kind of opening or loosening there, and riff metta off that.

Generally stop spinning stories around how this or that chakra is messed up etc. Ditto with how your life purportedly makes no sense. If such thoughts arise, go back to doing metta or try sending metta to those thoughts. Remember that they're just thoughts, just objects like stones, grass, dog crap or anything else.

Don't apologise for asking for help.

For sleep, try the following:

- do a few pushups and/or situps and/or pulling the legs up before going to bed. Again SLOWLY.
- lay your head on the opposite side of the bed.
- lie down on your back, your feet pointing slightly away from each other, the palms of your hands upwards. Make sure you're lying symmetrically.
- progressively tighten and relax all muscles, starting with the shoulders, then from the toes upwards. Remember to include head and face muscles here.
- metta yourself to sleep.

May you be free from all this and any other suffering, may you be happy, healthy and protected.

BP
Professional Idiot, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 4:37 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 4:37 PM

RE: help

Posts: 23 Join Date: 5/15/11 Recent Posts
I would agree with not going for jhana.

For me it was during the anapana phase of a Goenka retreat that did it. My mind was rolling in fear, anxiety and distress the whole time - my concentration was appaling.

Remember, you're not trying to beat it, just get through it. Experience it and it too will pass.

A few moments before it happened I remember thinking "This is too big for me, I can't beat this."

Then I received some words of encouragement from the course manager, and at that moment I surrendered.

I sat the final session of the day, tears streaming down my face and trembling uncontrollably. "I'm so scared.... I'm so scared" but at the same time felt an incredible release.

Good luck.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/27/12 10:01 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/27/12 10:00 PM

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I must still have a ways to go because my concentration seems alright at the moment...

Basically there are two modes I can be in at any given moment.

1) "concentrated mind" - everything is fine, not great, just fine...but fine nonetheless

There is really no thinking of future, past or anything "out there" or even "here" because to "reach" or "look" with the mind brings...

2) "suffering mind" - anything but the above, almost always something hellish or nasty, sensations that imply egoness, etc


That's about all I have for right now...the trick at the moment seems to not get caught in the second mind on a moment to moment basis..
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 3:28 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 3:28 AM

RE: help

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If you have to meditate, metta would be better than most other things.

What are your local resources and supports, both meditative and psychiatric, as well as social?

What psychiatric diagnoses do you have? Any other meds you are taking?

I generally don't recommend really strong practice or even moderate practice when things get like that: it can be very counter productive.

TripleThink: you around and reading this? Care to chime in?

Do anything for fun?

What is your life like now? Who do you live with? Job? Friends?

When you say "sensations that imply egoness" why not "sensations that imply there is no self at all?" as that is what all sensations imply.

Have you talked with any seasoned, strong, stable, experienced meditators about this?

Daniel
Keith Alan Johnson, modified 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 7:09 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 7:09 AM

RE: help

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500mg L-Tryptophan before laying down to go to sleep. It is a precursor to both melatonin and serotonin. The melatonin may help you sleep and serotonin might help your mood.

Regarding the unpleasantness, looking straight at my moment to moment experience of my body with bare attention without identifying with it or trying to control it has always worked best for me.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 9:23 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 9:20 AM

RE: help

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Daniel M. Ingram:
If you have to meditate, metta would be better than most other things.

What are your local resources and supports, both meditative and psychiatric, as well as social?

What psychiatric diagnoses do you have? Any other meds you are taking?


At this point in my practice I am not really sure what metta is...

Basically I take a low dose of lithium orotate (which is over the counter) and a few other non-prescription supplements (around six, assuming I am not out of anything which is currently the case). I consented to the former after my parents (who put me up rent free) got very concerned when I didn't come out of my room for a week and a half (about a month ago) and was complaining that I couldn't sleep. I really didn't like this, but it seemed I had no choice, so I comply and try to be happy about it. I have become a little more guarded in what I say as a result.

I did get a formal diagnosis of Bi-Polar and was put on Saphris after a particularly acute outburst a few months ago, but I had a very strong reaction and didn't continue the medication.

I have seen several mental health professionals but am not currently seeing anyone.

I have been going to a class on a weekly basis with a local Tibetan Geshe who has been a great resource for me...although we don't really talk about "nanas and jhana." There have been a few times when I was freaking that he helped calm me down, made me dinner, etc.

Daniel M. Ingram:
Do anything for fun?

What is your life like now? Who do you live with? Job? Friends?

When you say "sensations that imply egoness" why not "sensations that imply there is no self at all?" as that is what all sensations imply.

Have you talked with any seasoned, strong, stable, experienced meditators about this?

Daniel


My life is pretty basic. Don't have a job. Am trying to do more things around the house in a joyful way, with a job being some kind of goal. Like I said despite my perceived difficulties my parents have been really great.

Don't do a lot with friends, although I do have a few and I maintain close contact with my "ex"-girlfriend who has been very supportive of me. Do more with family..am actually going to a wedding today.

All in all, just be happy and present in the moment here and now, not having a practice agenda.

This morning my practice seems to consist of me tensing and relaxing my muscles over and over, this seems to be the "backbone" of my "concentration." Calming the body seems to be the name of the game.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 9:35 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 9:35 AM

RE: help

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Two quick more things to add:

Sleep has been much better. Maybe not the best, but ok. The way I do this is I just consciously make the intention to enter into a state of mental "laxity" or "fogginess" and at a certain point nature takes over. Usually after a few hours I will get "kicked out" of sleep and will not reenter. I will generally then toss and turn for a while, not sleeping but not mindful, and then I make a conscious decision to "come out of it."

As to not practicing. I am in complete agreement on this. The problem, however, is how to make this a reality.


Thank you all for your suggestions...
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 5:38 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/28/12 5:38 PM

RE: help

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A D R:
This morning my practice seems to consist of me tensing and relaxing my muscles over and over, this seems to be the "backbone" of my "concentration." Calming the body seems to be the name of the game.


Exactly.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/1/13 3:19 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/1/13 3:19 PM

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So I have broken down a few different types of physical sensations that I have been working with:

1. Feeling tones associated with some specific nana

Generally seeing the three characteristics works well here..I noticed, for example, that I was still identifying the early eq stages of relief and the middle eq stages of peace as something distinctly pleasurable. By investigating these sensations I saw that they were just a unique combination of sensations that I was labeling "pleasant"

2. Unpleasant thoughts/emotive states

Seem to be experienced if I lose the object of mindfulness. Something to be watched on a moment to moment basis

3. Coldness in body

I have not had as much trouble with this one in recent days as perhaps in previous weeks. What I would say here is this kind of sensation arises when I am identifying body as self. Rarely if ever an issue during sits. Sometimes an issue if I wake up during the night and am craving sleep.

4. Numbness/fogginess in body

The verdict is still out on this on. I just lied down for a while and noticed that if application of effort was not lucidly tied to the body then mindfulness of the body would become numb and hazy.

5. Heat in body

Probably the least certain about this one. In the same short session that I described above, I was able to counteract the usual effect of mindfulness of body becoming foggy but after a short time noticed that the body was becoming hot and sweaty. My current thought is that this could be the result of over-application of effort.

Would appreciate any feedback on this...
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/1/13 3:37 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/1/13 3:35 PM

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Just had another thought. It seems that for each successive stage of effort being lessened and refined in regards to mindfulness of the body, there is a complete set of nanas. When I experienced heat earlier, it was shortly after a new and more refined sense of effort emerged in regards to tightening and relaxing the muscles in the body. I didn't make the transition to 2nd VJ and thus heat emerged.

If I am setting myself up for trouble with this line of thinking please let me know.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/2/13 2:34 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/2/13 2:34 PM

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Ok this is getting scary...

My mind is not slowing down, I have not been able to slow down practice, Manic phase is really getting into full swing.

Body is getting very tired, and what's most troubling is the hallucinations are starting to get a bit more personal... am starting to imagine giant snakes around the house that want to keep me from getting up from my sits.


This is quite disturbing. Hallucinations are scary. Meds for hallucinations are even scarier (along with the mental health care professionals). I can't get a hold of my teacher.


I really don't know what the fuck I've done to deserve such misery. I have tried so hard to be a good person and can't catch a break...
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/2/13 2:43 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/2/13 2:43 PM

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OK I am going to try to calm down, eat a meal, watch some tv, do some grounded things.
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The Xzanth, modified 9 Years ago at 1/2/13 3:06 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/2/13 3:06 PM

RE: help

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Greetings A D R

I don't know about you but the moment something (voices, hallucinations, etc.) gets in between me and my sense of will (if it orders me to do something, forces me, or threatens me) is the moment I get angry and Banish that influence away. If I don't act like the boss (in my own head) who will?

I would stop practicing altogether (something you appear to be aiming for) and as suggested by previous posters take a step back to ground through exercise, rest and wholesome nutrition.

At the risk of sounding pejorative (though that is not my intent of course), It might also be a good idea to walk before learning to run; perhaps learning to manage the deceptively simple routines of life such as work (or volunteerism), an artistic outlet and/or a social life would be, in the end, a more productive spiritual pursuit.
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Dan Cooney, modified 9 Years ago at 1/4/13 7:25 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/4/13 7:25 AM

RE: help

Posts: 60 Join Date: 10/22/12 Recent Posts
in addition to all of the good responses here, I would also suggest the inner smile and 6 healing sounds. smooth out the flows. dont over analyze. cultivate and recreate the buoyant shining joyful and shine it. enjoy taking your tests, heh emoticon
Brother Pussycat, modified 9 Years ago at 1/4/13 8:46 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/4/13 8:46 AM

RE: help

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
A D R, how are you doing?

Have you read this ? Post there and chances are Tom Vitale will be able to help you.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/6/13 10:12 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/6/13 10:12 AM

RE: help

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Brother Pussycat:
A D R, how are you doing?

Have you read this ? Post there and chances are Tom Vitale will be able to help you.


Hey,

Doing ok the last few days.

If I "see" stuff with the minds eye (at this point not completely vivid or in sync with the 5 senses) I have realized that I don't have to see it as a separate self (I just ground into my five senses).

One of my main big issues that has come out of posting this thread is that Limitless, Effortless's story of his experience "rolling in fear" right before he surrendered has been looping through my mind almost continuously. Its like my mind wants to believe there is going to be this huge thing that is just going to be ridiculously painful, traumatic, etc.

Practice wise, I have noticed my practice usually falls into two main styles (what exactly those are is becoming harder and harder to say): one where my right brain is more dominant and one where my left brain is more dominant. I have come to such a conclusion by watching the breath and which nostril is open, as well as itching sensations in the ears. Sometimes such a distinction is hard to determine (when the breath is faint, etc). Right now the left brain is more active (right nostril open).

Last night while going to sleep my mind kind of noticed this kind of other, settled space. I was visualizing some of Chopin's music when the thought "Oh my god, he died." popped in. With this thought came a hint of this open space that I equate with a extremely intense dmt trip that launched me over the A&P the first time about a year and a half ago. Operating under the delusion of a self, the words "extreme awe" or "extreme fear" could both apply to this state.

Needless to say, my mind has not settled in such an open state as of now...

The only other thing worth mentioning is that I will, many times of the day, become somewhat tired and lie down. At some point my attention seems to stray enough that I enter into somewhat of an obscure reverie..this pulls me right in and there is some sort of "click" or state shift and suddenly I am awake(ish) again. My attention is getting closer to being "on it" when this happens, but as of yet I have not experienced such a shift in a fully lucid fashion. I have heard of something called a Wake Induced Lucid Dream and feel this may be the way to get into it (perhaps the wide open space mentioned above)..
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/12/13 10:41 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/12/13 10:41 AM

RE: help

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help help help


Should I see a doctor about my insomnia? It is really affecting my life in a bad way. My body feels completely burnt out...
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Simon Ekstrand, modified 9 Years ago at 1/12/13 11:27 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/12/13 11:27 AM

RE: help

Posts: 245 Join Date: 9/23/11 Recent Posts
A D R:
help help help


Should I see a doctor about my insomnia? It is really affecting my life in a bad way. My body feels completely burnt out...


Hi A D R,

Did you follow what seems to be the general advice of this thread and cut back on your meditation and focus on other aspects of your life for a while? I wouldn't hesitate to see a doctor if I was in your position.

Metta, Simon
Tom Tom, modified 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 3:35 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/12/13 8:05 PM

RE: help

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Should I see a doctor about my insomnia? It is really affecting my life in a bad way. My body feels completely burnt out...


Hi ADR,

You're sitting way too long (and unnecessarily so) each day (10 hours is way too much if you have bipolar symptoms - see the post I wrote here http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3373753).

I would recommend you stop meditating (on cushion) completely for (between) a few months to a year (and take up a yoga/tai chi class or something to keep up momentum so you're not completely overwhelmed by dark night symptoms, you might even be able to get path just doing that if you do it several times a week - and mix the yoga/tai chi with walking meditation - noting out loud, not in your head). When you start up (on cushion) again, start with 20 minutes a day for a week. When you start sitting again do not note in your head and stay grounded in physical sensations (keep your eyes open). If you can sit for 20 minutes a day for a week with no problems, then increase to half an hour for a few weeks and then increase to an hour (I understand there is a strong compulsion to sit, but your mental stability (short term and long term) is more important. Over-doing it now may cause problems that will ring out into the future and may linger as residual mental health symptoms for possibly long years afterward. EDIT: Even if you were to get path (by "powering through") at this point, the review phases will likely not be pretty.

If you wish to see a doctor about your insomnia, they are likely going to prescribe you sleeping pills. Sleeping pills are problematic in that they generally cause dependency, and then when trying to get off of them you end up having an even greater problem falling asleep than when you started on them (in addition to whatever other withdrawal symptoms the particular drug may carry). You're probably not sleeping much because you're not really doing that much other than meditating in your room all day (sleep needs will go down dramatically in these situations). If you don't have to be anywhere, then is it a big deal if you didn't sleep much? Your body (rotting, tired, etc) feels like it does due to dark night symptoms and these are impermanent insight symptoms. If you stop sitting, they will likely become less pronounced and you will start sleeping more - especially if you start going outside and doing more things.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 11:19 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 11:19 AM

RE: help

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Thanks for your advice.