vipassana tears and other symptoms

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Aziz Solomon, modified 11 Years ago.

vipassana tears and other symptoms

Posts: 24 Join Date: 4/9/10 Recent Posts
Having left vipassana for a few years, I found that when I started again I was weeping in every session. It wasn't "boo hoo" emotional blubbing with any apparent content-specific cause, but more like having uncontrollably watery eyes, almost like a runny nose. It did feel fairly cathartic afterwards though.

I'm still trying to figure out roughly where I might be on the maps, and am wondering whether this kind of thing might be particularly indicative of any specific stage. Identifying my position in the progress of insight is important to me because my location in relation to the Dark Night has major implications for the kind of practice I want to pursue in the immediate future.

Up until recently I had very little equanimity and was breathing very chaotically and seeing lots of vivid random images from the past (though not so vividly as to be hallucinatory). I also used to have lots of minor convulsions, especially around my shoulders, but that seems to have eased up too. Although it wasn't pleasant in a hedonic sense, meditation did always feel cathartic in a positive sense, as though I was exorcising the demons of my unconscious.

Does all this sound more like Cause and Effect, Three Characteristics, Dark Night, or something else entirely?

Vipassana has definitely produced in me feelings of bliss, rapture, wonder and clarity too, but if that was A&P, it didn't appear to be a distinct stage that entirely eradicated the other manifestations I have described above. Can those things be experienced prior to actually entering A&P?

For about a week now I have been experiencing much more equanimity, very similar indeed to what Daniel Anderson Thorson describes in his post (http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/435747).

Echoing Daniel Anderson Thorson, I have no idea at all if I’ve actually entered the formal Equanimity stage or whether I am still somewhere in an earlier nana and have yet to experience the Dark Night.

In case it helps with diagnosis, my total vipassana experience to date is one 10 day Goenka course about 7 years back, some very irregular home practice, and then after a few years without any meditation at all, the recent beginnings of a more disciplined home practice and a 3 day retreat a few months ago.

Many thanks in advance for any input...
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Clayton James Lightfoot, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vipassana tears and other symptoms

Posts: 41 Join Date: 1/21/10 Recent Posts
Hey Aziz,

I remember tearing up during insight practice. It still happens sometimes to be honest. The stages where that happened to me were in three characteristics and dark night. Its hard to say where you exactly... (hopefully the more advanced will be by shortly). My gut feeling is three characteristics... I know for me my last A&P was unmistakable as a huge opening, I was in dissolusion before I ever saw the maps (thanks Goenka haha) but my experience lined up very closely... Ecstasy, Mania, tons of energy... Feeling more enlightened... it does seem possible for you to get into some calm equanimity before you go through the rest of the stages... did you go through A&P on your retreat years ago?

Good to hear your back at the practice... take everything I say with a grain of salt, hope it helps some...

Clayton
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Aziz Solomon, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vipassana tears and other symptoms

Posts: 24 Join Date: 4/9/10 Recent Posts
Hi Clayton,

Thanks for your comments. I just can't tell whether I've experienced A&P yet. I have definitely experienced a sense of profound wellbeing after long periods of meditation, as well as more short-lived moments of ecstasy, but definitely nothing like those bright lights that some people see. I wish I'd written down my experiences after the 10 day retreat, but I can't remember a singular, momentous "event". Years before I had even heard of vipassana, however, I did go through a couple of spontaneous spiritual experiences that were more like discrete events, characterized by an almost manic euphoria and followed by a much longer dark night-ish period. But I don't remember those events being preceded by anything particularly like the pre-A&P nanas.

Aziz
J Adam G, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vipassana tears and other symptoms

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
It's not too uncommon for the first four nanas to be subtle, including the A&P. Yes, lots of people hit the A&P really hard and have crazy experiences, and the same can apply to Mind and Body and Three Characteristics. But the opposite can easily be true. My A&P was nothing special. None of these bright lights, meditating during dreams, kriyas, or anything along those lines. It's very possible that you hit the first three nanas softly and then had some A&P experiences that were not as powerful as some of the ones that Daniel describes in MCTB, but were still A&P.
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Clayton James Lightfoot, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vipassana tears and other symptoms

Posts: 41 Join Date: 1/21/10 Recent Posts
Just to echo what J Adam said, not all nanas are experienced equally. Mine was pretty intense, however it wasn't quite as earth shattering as some of the descriptions in MTCT. I did meditate during a few dreams though haha... My first 3 nanas were subtle I only recognized them after the fact. If you had several spiritual experiences before doing vipassana then I would guess you have had an A&P at some point. Just because I figure most people with enough insight sickness to be on a site like this have... thats not to say you won't have to recross the A&P before you finish your (I assume first) insight cycle. Well man, diagnostically I don't have anything really to add... I would just encourage you too keep practicing and posting and maybe with more time your location along the maps should become clearer...

Clayton

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