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Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/20/14 11:02 PM
When I first started smoking marijuana, it would sometimes give me a cool visual effect where everything looked hyperreal and super-3D. I could sometimes re-create this effect while sober by focusing intently on my visual field for 5-10 seconds in the right lighting. Around this time, I had been reading a book relating "effortless effort" to jazz improvisation, and had become interested in trying psychedelics. 

Then one time (while sober), I was "re-creating" that subtle visual effect on a street corner when, out of nowhere, I was overwhelmed with emotions about the beauty of the universe and the incredibly fine detail and complexity of even the most ordinary objects. Ran down the street crying for a few hours. A few weeks later I read Mindfulness In Plain English and I immediately loved it. It felt like a solution to my long-held problem of deferring my happiness to the future, and I decided that meditation is the most important thing in life. 

Since then, I discovered MCTB and felt empowered by the clear instructions and excited at the idea that enlightenment is achievable. Now I get anxiety whenever I smoke too much pot, especially when my visual field is reduced to 5-10 frames per second. Also, I'm disinterested in most of what this world has to offer besides the extremes like BASE jumping, avant-garde art, and alternative lifestyles, but I may have been headed in this direction anyway. 

Personally, it all feels more like personality quirks than anything to do with meditation. I don't recall any bright lights or vibratory phenomena. It could just be perception bias. But I thought I'd see what you guys think. 

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/20/14 11:34 PM as a reply to Paul Kinkade.
Paul Kinkade:
I thought I'd see what you guys think...
I was overwhelmed with emotions about the beauty of the universe and the incredibly fine detail and complexity of even the most ordinary objects. Ran down the street crying for a few hours. A few weeks later I read Mindfulness In Plain English and I immediately loved it. It felt like a solution to my long-held problem of deferring my happiness to the future, and I decided that meditation is the most important thing in life. 
Standard A&P
Paul Kinkade:
Now I get anxiety whenever I smoke too much pot...
Knowledge of fear
Paul Kinkade:
interested in trying psychedelics.
Would not recommend it until you get past the dark night area
Was there a particular question you had?
~D

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/21/14 12:31 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Wow. I guess I never thought it would happen to me. I don't usually feel Dark Knight-y. (Until I do weed or acid, that is.) I thought there would be more bright lights, and perception of phenomena actually Arising and Passing. But I wouldn't know. Things did seem to add up...but I thought I was deceiving myself.

So I guess I have "insight disease" now.

Thanks for verifying my suspicion.

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/21/14 4:10 PM as a reply to Paul Kinkade.
Paul Kinkade:
Thanks for verifying my suspicion.
One opinion....I'd be a bit suspicious of the verification...lol
Here is how it usually goes here....

Hey guys this is my first post....something weird happened <---- A&P
5 posts later ----> I'm in the dark night...help me

Paul Kinkade:
Wow. I guess I never thought it would happen to me. I don't usually feel Dark Knight-y. (Until I do weed or acid, that is.) I thought there would be more bright lights, and perception of phenomena actually Arising and Passing. But I wouldn't know.
Some people get no bleed over off the cushion of the effects of dark night area and the other Nanas. Lucky them. I also think that you can use drugs to get into states that are not mastered but just visited over and over....meditation tends to lead to a more permanent mastery.
Good Luck,
~D

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/21/14 5:18 PM as a reply to Paul Kinkade.
I wouldn't worry too much about the dark night.  Most of the people here talk about it because Daniel makes such a big deal in his book and this is why they end up on this forum. I don't think this is very standard to meditation, though. Maybe if you're following MCTB you'll get one, haha.

If it makes you feel better, I haven't had any experience of these cycles of horror during meditation, and my real life hasn't been effected aside from getting a little obsessed with meditation for a while when it started to give great experiences like what you referenced.

If you DO have bad experiences, though, you can get out of them fairly easily. People who are in the dark night are trying to solve all of their problems by simply staring at them. This is a great way to feel horrible - it's just rumination.

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/21/14 5:36 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I wouldn't worry too much about the dark night.  Most of the people here talk about it because Daniel makes such a big deal in his book and this is why they end up on this forum. I don't think this is very standard to meditation, though. Maybe if you're following MCTB you'll get one, haha.

If it makes you feel better, I haven't had any experience of these cycles of horror during meditation, and my real life hasn't been effected aside from getting a little obsessed with meditation for a while when it started to give great experiences like what you referenced.

If you DO have bad experiences, though, you can get out of them fairly easily. People who are in the dark night are trying to solve all of their problems by simply staring at them. This is a great way to feel horrible - it's just rumination.
The intensity of the Dark night is quite variable. Those who have not experienced things tend to discount them due to lack of first hand experience. I would be hesitant to take advice about the DN from a person who lacks direct experience with it. Of course that is somewhat universal.
~D

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/21/14 5:50 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I've had lots of experience with rumination. Actually, a number of people have posted on here about being in the dark night, and when I offered advice about on how to stop ruminating, they came back a little later and said that had been their problem.

The noting method, particularly, inspires rumination because it says to watch all phenomena impartially to see the three characteristics in them. When this includes negative mindstates, a person disables the natural aversion to focusing on the mind state itself, and this opens them up to cycling around into deeper and deeper pits of misery because they haven't replaced that aversion with healthy analysis and modification of the emotional state.

That said, there IS a phenomena linked to insight practice that can cause fascination with/fear of death and inspire visions and dreams about death - but this isn't what most people on here are describing.  Dissolution is a kind of existential crisis. What people are here are usually describing as a dark night are depression and anxiety issues which are being exacerbated by noting practice.

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/22/14 7:06 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
There IS a legitimate dark night and it is distinct from mere rumination. It occurs when a person genuinely follows a spiritual path and is "struck", or "victimized".

I literally just spoke to someone about this, he describes a very similar experience to the one I had. The kid is 18 now, he was fine in middle school but in high school something ticked, he dropped out and came out of it and upon coming out of "the haze", he retained no memory of the previous few years.

Moreover his psyche was well-integrated after the experience and he now is better adjusted, he describes to me various energetic experiences post-haze (such as dreaming that there are foreign presences within his room, only to wake up to a loud humming sound that crescendos while his entire room vibrates).

This painful, being-ripping experience is common to anyone on the authentic path to human maturation. In my case I was struck and left mute for two years, I only started talking after I was put on medication, and even then there were further adjustments to be made over the years, along with a lot of idiosyncratic behavior.

But after some years I was fully acclimated in the completeness of the state.

This journey is not voluntary, someone is chosen, and then you have no choice to continue.

You can mimic the behavior of a genuine seeker, and my guess is, is that's what causes the victimization to occur.

I say that I meet a lot of people in this state, but come to think of it I can actually count off the ones I know for sure with my fingers, there are about three.

Although there may be a higher density of them within forums such as this.

RE: Possible A&P in daily life?
Answer
11/22/14 9:46 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I wouldn't worry too much about the dark night.  Most of the people here talk about it because Daniel makes such a big deal in his book and this is why they end up on this forum. I don't think this is very standard to meditation, though. Maybe if you're following MCTB you'll get one, haha.

If it makes you feel better, I haven't had any experience of these cycles of horror during meditation, and my real life hasn't been effected aside from getting a little obsessed with meditation for a while when it started to give great experiences like what you referenced.

If you DO have bad experiences, though, you can get out of them fairly easily. People who are in the dark night are trying to solve all of their problems by simply staring at them. This is a great way to feel horrible - it's just rumination.

I haven't been around for a while but I signed in just to respond to this.

I crossed the A&P over 2 years ago and the Dark Night was horrific, and I still deal with the negative after-effects every day, being pre-path. I feel like all the meaning is gone from my life and everything is falling apart.

Now, Bill Hamilton had a theory that each Path has certain psychological patterns embedded within, and these must be dealt with while working on paths. It's different for everyone, though. So someone could have a horrible Dark Night while gunning for stream-entry, whereas another person could sail right through (but perhaps only to be hit with heavier psychological stuff later). Kenneth Folk had the hardest time at the anagami level, working towards 4th path.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter how much the Dark Night sucks as long as you note it.

Alright, back to lurking...

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