Edgy in the dark night

Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 8/2/15 3:44 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/2/15 3:42 AM

Edgy in the dark night

Posts: 11 Join Date: 7/10/15 Recent Posts
So after being 'diagnosed' as crossing the A&P a few weeks back on this forum, I've definitely hit what seems to be the dark night.

After learning about the maps I understand that this is just a process one must go through with a resolution to keep noting and not getting caught in one's 'stuff'.

My attitude has just been to roll up my sleeves and get on with it so I'm setting aside what time I can each day to maintain a decent practice of around 45mins in the am and say 30 mins in the evening. Whilst continuing to note as much as I can during the day.

The problem is that I'm feeling extremely edgy and uptight and have some very strong negative emotions that come in waves throughout the day - I suppose typical DN stuff - or could this be the result of having too much concentration?

Are there any other practices that might compliment this stage to take the edge off? Or is it wise to ease off a bit on practice? I had a couple of glasses of wine the other night (first in a long time) and felt more relaxed and back to my normal self but I know this is not a solution as it will only make me slide backwards down the path.
I have experimented with mantra style concentration practices in the past and they only seemed to make things worse in terms of irritabilty and negative mind states.
Any advice you have would be much appreciated.
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Don Merchant, modified 7 Years ago at 8/2/15 9:35 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/2/15 9:34 AM

RE: Edgy in the dark night

Posts: 202 Join Date: 6/9/15 Recent Posts
Jamie,

Nice to read you've crossed the A & Pemoticon

"My attitude has just been to roll up my sleeves and get on with it so I'm setting aside what time I can each day to maintain a decent practice of around 45mins in the am and say 30 mins in the evening. Whilst continuing to note as much as I can during the day."

That's about where I aim for every day and I try to have the same attitude.

As for the DN stuff, I couldn't or wouldn't even try to tell you yes or no as to if you are there or not. However, that being said, I will say that I believe i've been there a few times now. But, who knows for sure. Regardless, take what I say as anything you like. How I've dealt with these issues is by adding metta on the days that seem harder than others. That helped lessen the effects it was having on me. Plus, I was able to then confront issues and dn stuff, but with a calmer mind. Most of the issues involved much needed forgiveness.

I am going to stop. I should leave enough alone.

May you find peace
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago at 8/2/15 12:44 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/2/15 12:44 PM

RE: Edgy in the dark night

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jamie:
Are there any other practices that might compliment this stage to take the edge off? Or is it wise to ease off a bit on practice?
Any advice you have would be much appreciated.
I have no idea how you are practising but you might want to try this, it was my standard for many years -

1) Start with counting breaths to ten over and over - do this as many times needed to get a little concentration going - like 5 to 20 times. Notice how many times your mind moves off of counting breathes in the beginning vs later, get used to what your "normal" is so you can modify around that.
2) When you feel like your mind has settled a bit move to counting to one. Do this for up to 5 minutes, perhaps more if you keep on drifting away from the sensations of the breath and the counting to 1. If you find you are doing crappy some days, move back to counting to ten.
3) Move to the sensations of the breath at the stomach and focus on that without the counting if you can.
4) Notice the sensations at the stomach can be very pleasant and a bit like being on a swing set as a child....cultivate this nice giddy happy feeling. Grow it by taking these nice sensations as a concentration object and staying on it.
5) Grow the pleasure ball in your stomach big enough so it gets to the heart area. Notice that the sensations change from happy giddy to move of a loveing kindness in the heart. Focus on the heart and grow these sensations...Sometimes I keep up the counting to one and sometimes I can drop it and stay on task. Notice the quality, size, and thru-put of the loving kindness sensations. Work on these aspects over time to stretch your love hole and increase your ability to access this loving kindness.
6) Ten to 20 minutes have gone by and I am concentrated as much as needed for now so I move to-
7) Move to noticing the 6 senses as they happen in the moment and give them a mental label of saying-1)Hearing
2)Feeling
3)Seeing
4)Thinking
(rarely smelling or tasting but do that if they come up)
This is the simplest noting possible. You can complicate it from there if you wish with more disciptive labels, if you have to, but anything that slows you down really doesn't help as much as getting as many notes in as possible with as much clarity as possible....do not go faster that you are clearly seeing. If at times you can drop the noting part without losing what you are doing then great....that is fine, but in the dark night I had to stay on the noting hard as nothing seems to be happening, but it really is. Trust someone who has been thru this area hundreds if not thousands of times...this too shall pass...it too is impermenent
I always meditated longer and more often to get thru the dark night as fast as possible. Usally twice a day for at least 45 minutes but 3 times would probably be optimal if you have time at lunch for a little loving kindness to get you thru the rest of the day. YMMV
If things get bad move back to loving kindness sensations in the heart or shift back to the pleasantness of the breath at the stomach.
Best of luck,
~D
Jay, modified 6 Years ago at 9/23/15 1:58 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 9/23/15 1:58 AM

RE: Edgy in the dark night

Posts: 11 Join Date: 7/10/15 Recent Posts
Thanks, I will try some of these methods, I already found that the metaphor of the swing for the belly rising and falling really seems to help emoticon