Message Boards Message Boards

Miscellaneous

Energy Crash - what's Happened?!

Toggle
Energy Crash - what's Happened?!
Answer
12/23/13 3:31 AM
Hello,

So I'm relatively new to all this, I have been meditating on and off for a couple of years, without any real ambition other than because I wanted to find some sort of peace (vague I know) - but since having completed a retreat not so long ago, I've returned with a much more focused outlook, have been reading lots and am taking it all much more seriously. Needless to say, I am very much in the very early stages of my journey... I'm becoming more and more overwhelmed with the information, the techniques, the potential outcomes and experiences, and am now feeling overall very confused. I cannot for the life of me understand where I am, what progress I have made, and do not really understand the experiences I am having. As there are many, I will start with the most recent, and motivation for my post...

I meditated for two, 1 hour sessions yesterday - the first was great, during the concentration aspect of my sitting, I was focusing on sound and all merged into one giant awareness, the sounds in my head were not separate from those outside and I felt extremely connected (I wonder as a sub-question, and forgive me if my immature understanding is wayward, is this feeling of connectedness, of essentially feeling at one with everything, a by-product of the understanding of no-self? the exact understand of there being no me did not arise, more that, everything just is, and I - or not as you might say - am everything...). I then focused on my sensations which were more intense than they usually are and very pleasant. I came away from this sitting feeling very light, positive and happy. I late meditated just before I went to sleep, again, I had pleasant sensations but was very tired and although I felt as though I may have fallen asleep (despite my efforts not to) I was still sitting firmly upright so do not know quite what happened... After this I had an extremely restless sleep, I was agitated and woke often. At 5.30 I decided to get up and so having done so, meditated for an hour - I really struggled to concentrate, not to say I didn't have some good spouts of concentration. But I felt restless and more prone to frustration and less open to acceptance of the suffering within it than usual. Afterwards, I crashed, I mean, I could barely keep my eyes open! I went to write a log about my experience but fell asleep for 2 hours with laptop in hand... Perhaps just a result of lack of sleep? I may well be reading too much into these things! would be grateful for any insight though...?

Thank you

RE: Energy Crash - what's Happened?!
Answer
12/23/13 3:33 PM as a reply to Ashley Young.
Ashley Young:
I'm becoming more and more overwhelmed with the information, the techniques, the potential outcomes and experiences, and am now feeling overall very confused. I cannot for the life of me understand where I am, what progress I have made, and do not really understand the experiences I am having.


My experience with meditation was somewhat similar; in the beginning, trying to learn about Buddhism and put the whole thing together in a cohesive and understandable way was quite difficult, and there was much confusion as to what to do, or what could potentially be the outcome of meditation. Frankly, this is the sort of thing that comes with time and experience, so as you have begun relatively recently, I would say don't worry too much about it, confusion is natural in the beginning.

More than really trying to figure things out, I would say if certain things resonate with you, then pay attention to that. For instance if you read about the stages of insight (not a bad idea) and the idea of having crossed the A+P resonates with you, then pay attention to that..

Ashley Young:
I meditated for two, 1 hour sessions yesterday - the first was great, during the concentration aspect of my sitting, I was focusing on sound and all merged into one giant awareness, the sounds in my head were not separate from those outside and I felt extremely connected (I wonder as a sub-question, and forgive me if my immature understanding is wayward, is this feeling of connectedness, of essentially feeling at one with everything, a by-product of the understanding of no-self? the exact understand of there being no me did not arise, more that, everything just is, and I - or not as you might say - am everything...).


I would say don't worry about it too much. Temporary meditative experiences like this feeling of connectedness are not only unreliable, but extremely temporary. Thus, though it may be tempting to be drawn to such experiences and attempt to recreate them; a) likely you will fail to recreate them, and b) they are temporary anyways so even if you manage to re-experience it, it will just go away again. In my opinion it is a much better use of effort to focus on cultivating insight as the primary goal. That way you at least have a clear goal for practice, which is necessary if you are to progress.

Ashley Young:
After this I had an extremely restless sleep, I was agitated and woke often. At 5.30 I decided to get up and so having done so, meditated for an hour - I really struggled to concentrate, not to say I didn't have some good spouts of concentration. But I felt restless and more prone to frustration and less open to acceptance of the suffering within it than usual. Afterwards, I crashed, I mean, I could barely keep my eyes open! I went to write a log about my experience but fell asleep for 2 hours with laptop in hand... Perhaps just a result of lack of sleep? I may well be reading too much into these things! would be grateful for any insight though...?


This just sounds like you were tired and eventually crashed. Doesn't really sound related to meditation, or like anything to worry about. Ha I know if I woke up at 5:30 a similar thing would happen.

RE: Energy Crash - what's Happened?!
Answer
12/23/13 5:37 PM as a reply to T DC.
Greetings Ashley

This thread,An idiots Guide to Dhamma Diagnosis is a pretty good place to start and get a sense of where you are on the path.

Why would you want to know the whole path and everything? Because without a the constant company of a good teacher (who's advice you actually take) around the corner, it really helps to know where you are and where your going.

Sleepiness can be a direct response to either to much relaxation (lack of attention) or too strongly fixing your attention for periods. When you strongly fix your attention, in the short term you can get to really good places, but over a day of mediating for 12-14 hours or over a week, this becomes less affective. Ask yourself next time your concentrating, how much tension is there? In your neck, forehead or anywhere? You might notice a subtle desire to see the clarity of the object more clearly, along with a push to make this object more apparent! This object could be light, space, bliss, equanimity or the breath. With the breath, in insight practice, I used to have a lot of denial about the clarity of my perception of the breath, about accepting it the way it is, I didn't realise how hard I was trying. And how that hardness was actually interfering with the practice. When doing samadhi/concentration practice (anapana), and modifying one experience, modifying because there is a direction for the meditation towards pleasant states. Such as by making ones self more relaxed at the start, and then focusing on pleasant states. Or by trying to become more attentive and absorbed in the object, to give it clarity and increase pleasant states. In the practice of samadhi we need to be careful about exerting, as there is a tension connected with this.

A good model is relaxation, stability and clarity. If you want clarity you need stability and relaxation. If you want stability you need relaxation. But relaxation must be balanced against the forces of laxity and excitation, using relaxation and clarity/attention.

So for example, clarity of the object is improved by actually staying with the object, and not missing it for brief moments of distraction. If your getting sleepy, you can use that quality of focusing harder to see the clarity of the object. But if that's your main or only tool for developing, rather than a tool you use for balancing laxity and excitation, then you will have trouble developing your concentration. Be that momentary or fixed! The best way to build the full-house of concentration is on the foundations of relaxation, then with the walls of stability and lastly with the roof of clarity.

So maybe your sleepiness is nothing! But good samadhi makes you wakeful through the night! and if you continue to get sleepy this is because of the things i have stated that maybe within your practice. Balancing laxity and excitation is a continual, process throughout the development of meditation, including insight. But in insight it is balanced more with mindfulness, but the seven factors of enlightenment point to the choice of a quality of interaction, rather than allowing the 7 factors to become present through continual mindfulness and allowance. As is usually done in dry insight.

All the best and good Luck, from neem.