Message Boards Message Boards

Dealing with the Dark Night

What is the Dark Night, really? [James Yen] [MIGRATE]

What is the Dark Night, really? [James Yen]


James Yen - 2014-04-23 21:42:03 - What is the Dark Night, really?

According to Ingram et al the Dark Night is a phase of meditation wherein the mind undergoes intense pain, depression and angst that supposedly results from having seen some basic metaphysical truths through meditation.

There is no dark night, not in the sense that Ingram describes.

There is in fact however, painful and pleasant progress.

There is painful progress for one who, does not abide in jhana, but rather relies on the perception of loathsomeness, of loathsomeness in food, re:

Here, bhikkhus, a certain one abides reflecting loathsomeness in the body, loathsomeness in food, detachment from all the world, seeing impermanence in all determinations and the perception of death is thoroughly established in him. He abides relying on these five powers of a trainer- Such as the powers of faith, shame remorse, effort and wisdom. The five faculties of faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom are blunt in him as a result he realizes the destruction of desires slowly with successive leading. Bhikkhus, to this is said the difficult means and slow realization.


But this can hardly be termed a Dark Night, simply because a Dark Night applies to someone even when they are not making progress.

Ingram makes the Dark Night out to be a state of being, whereas the Buddha delineates a dark night as a mode of progress.

This is the fatal flaw that Ingram has made in convincing eager meditators everywhere that they are in fact doomed for emotional misery.

Peace,

James

-------------------

tom moylan - 2014-04-29 11:47:10 - RE: What is the Dark Night, really?

Hi James,
are you intentionally missing the point? are you being semantic or are you splitting hairs or are you explaining profound truths?

the dark night is not ingrams term but is attributed to San Juan de la Cruz.  it is not a "thing" any more than the phase of the moon is a thing.  it is a concept describing some of the less pleasant experiences dedicated contemplative people go through.

you know that right?

tom

-------------------

James Yen - 2014-04-29 11:55:27 - RE: What is the Dark Night, really?

Hi James,
are you intentionally missing the point? are you being semantic or are you splitting hairs or are you explaining profound truths?

the dark night is not ingrams term but is attributed to San Juan de la Cruz. it is not a "thing" any more than the phase of the moon is a thing. it is a concept describing some of the less pleasant experiences dedicated contemplative people go through.

you know that right?

tom


Yes, I understand that.

I am debating the idea that everyone who practices contemplation goes through these unpleasant experiences. I simply don't like Ingram's idea that the Dark Night is a set stage in the path, that it is a "characteristic" of the path.

Maybe I'm just being contrarian.

The Pali Canon asserts that practitioners have pleasant or unpleasant and rapid or slow progress in dependence on their faculties. They do not assert that painful progress is necessary.

Also, as a personal favor to me, don't be a dick when talking to me. I realize everyone here treats me like shit, but that doesn't mean that you should jump on the bandwagon, so to speak.

-James

-------------------

SK R - 2014-04-29 16:30:12 - RE: What is the Dark Night, really?

James Yen:
They do not assert that painful progress is necessary.

Yes, the Buddha's Dhamma is traditionally said to be

So, there is something different in the Pali Canon's Buddha Dhamma, and something must be missing here - the missing of which causes "the dark night". What is that something?

-------------------

tom moylan - 2014-04-30 15:39:20 - RE: What is the Dark Night, really?

Hey James,
i will not be a dick to you anymore.  I didn't know that "people" treat you like shit.  I responded to your post.  I don't recall having read anything else of yours here. I won't again either.

tom

-------------------

James Yen - 2014-04-30 15:45:36 - RE: What is the Dark Night, really?

Tom,

This is sincerely my bad then. I apologize. I often feel that I'm persecuted here, that's all.

I hope you understand. But to actually answer your question I'm probably just being contrarian.

-James