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Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi

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Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi
Answer
8/23/15 4:00 AM
 Hello anybody reading! My name is Bronson. I've been meditating for just over a year now, though I've had some experience with informal meditation/lucid dreaming etc. 
I started with just concentration practice then found the MCTB and realized that I crossed the A&P when I was 16 or 17 and am a "chronic dark night yogi" so I decided to do whatever it takes to get out of this terrible loop.

I would be very grateful for ANY advice or input of any kind. I am starting to experience some strange things and am not able to diagnose where I'm at in my progress of insight.

So my insight meditation started with a 10 day Goenka course and during that time my concentration really took off and I experienced some body distortion stuff and at one point my perception of reality started to strobe very clearly at about 3-4 frames per second. After this retreat my meditation practice became very irregular in frequency but in the last three months I've started to meditate daily. At first just 15-30 minutes/day using noting technique.

I was never able to notice "vibrations" or weather the center was focused or my focus was wide or anything else until one day the blackness behind my eyelids started to sort of shake. I got excited because I remember Daniel saying this needs to happen to progress through the dukka nanas. After that I felt much lighter as if some weight was lifted and like I could really practice now.

That night I was meditating lying down before bed and suddenly I had intense euphoria flood my body, the blackness went very bright, my awareness razor sharp and it felt like I was under some cool thick euphoria inducing goo. It was really great but I didn't get too excited about it. Just kept noting.

This was about a month ago and since then I've been practicing for 1-3 hours per day of formal meditation and a lot more often throughout my day. I've stopped listening to the radio in my car because I now prefer to just remain aware and sort of note as I drive. I was watching several hours of TV per day before but now maybe one hour if at all.
For the first two weeks after that event it would happen at least half of my formal sits, although usually to a much lessor degree/intensity. Then for a week it never happened and my concentration was suddenly shot. Finally yesterday about 40 minutes into my meditation it happened again with VERY high intensity but it was different. It was very rich and thick feeling but also icy and painful mixed in with the euphoria and then reality started to strobe again at maybe 4 FPS quickly moving to about 10 Frames Per Second and then everything just stopped leaving me feeling cool and very aware of everything. I laid down and started meditating again with the intention of falling asleep and I think I did but I didn't know I did. I was suddenly struck with intense fear and it sounded like... "demons" were  whisper-yelling in my ears and I thought "if this is the fear nana I can't handle this for long" then woke up super afraid for a few minutes.

The weird thing is that I've been in a great mood for the last month. I haven't felt high or low except for last week I was a little low (during the time I had poor concentration) but all day today and the last three days before that I was feeling very calm, even keeled, happy and just content.

My meditations typically go like this: I sit down, close my eyes and start to watch phenomena flicker in and out. Usually starting with my lips and hands because they are always tingling if I focus on them. I am usually pretty distracted for the first five-ten minutes and then there is a little shift. Everything gets much more focused and the blackness behind my eyes gets more...I don't know... black? solid?  Then after a while there's another shift and I start to feel a little euphoria in my chest and behind my eyelids gets much lighter. After a while it usually seems like it gets more... deep as in 3D. like behind my eyelids goes on for several feet instead of just right behind my eyelid. Then I drop off for a second, get distracted or something and quickly refocus and with my refocusing, sometimes, comes that insane euphoria where I lose the ability to tell where my body ends and space begins, everything feels really weird and fuzzy. I get weird pressures in different places during and before this happens. Lately it's been in my forehead. Sometimes I will have to check to see if there is something touching me because it feels so real.

After a while of this it goes away and it either goes to one of those previous ways or everything is super solid.. I can barely perceive any flickering or anything and I usually stop meditating.

That's all I have for now...Any questions, input, advice or comments would be great!

And by the way... I know to just keep practicing. I know I don't have to label everything or map everything etc but I would really like input so I can better know what to expect, what to avoid, what traps to watch out for etc.

Thanks and I'll check back soon!


RE: Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi
Answer
8/24/15 3:30 AM as a reply to Bronson Michael Miller.
Hi Bronson,

Sounds like you may have passed the A&P event again. In every sit you rise through the nana's upto your 'cutting edge', which explains reaching that strong energetic phase in most of your sits, and feeling overall pretty good for the last couple of weeks. (a couple of months of good practice should be enough to pass the AP for most people). 

Keep tracking your sits, and see if you can catch the fifth nana, Dissolution, next. You may get sleepy, posture may start drooping, will become hard to catch the beginning of sensations, etc. After that it's off to Fear, Misery, Disgust and that whole show.

Just keep practicing, and keep logging here through those phases. It may be easier for you than for others (or not), but the most important thing is to just keep practicing!

Good luck!

RE: Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi
Answer
8/26/15 12:54 AM as a reply to Bronson Michael Miller.
Thank you so much for your response! I was really hoping I maybe got into EQ but I think you're right. Now at my "cutting edge" it's really hard to feel sensations in the center of my attention. For example my lips may be tingling but if I zero in on them or at one spot of them I can't feel anything really but everywhere around them is tingling. I'm thinking this is what is supposed to happen in one or all of the DN stages... I can't remember exactly.

I'm really worried I'll never get out of the DN. I don't know why I keep dropping back to the AP instead up getting up into EQ but this time I'm really dedicated to trying consistently for as long as it takes. 

So I've been wondering what is happening when I experience everything like a strobe light? Everything (smell, taste, feeling, hearing, seeing) all comes and goes several times per second sometimes while meditating for a while and then eventually just goes back to normal...

And by the way I think I'm in the disgust stage right now... everything is just so disgusting right now. TV, food, sex. I even have an aversion to reading about meditation or Buddhism which I normally always like doing.

Even though I know I've crossed the AP and DN several times before, this is by far the most consistently I've ever practiced and also the most focused and for longer periods and more often each day than before so I can really see the different stages a little more clearly whereas before, I couldn't see them at all (except AP)

RE: Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi
Answer
8/27/15 5:45 AM as a reply to Bronson Michael Miller.
Well, I'm not a officially state-licensed dharma diagnostician, so don't just take my word on where you are emoticon

Best thing is probably to work with a good pragmatic dharma teacher that can monitor your progress. And keep a meditation journal (either on this site, or for yourself), so that patterns can become more clear.

And in the meantime, if you are heading into a DN: reread the advice in Daniel's book, and try to stick to it as much as possible!

But most importantly: just keep practicing!

RE: Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi
Answer
10/17/15 1:57 AM as a reply to Bronson Michael Miller.
Hi, Bronson!

Thanks for sharing your experience!

I believe everybody has an unique path, and trust me, some VERY weird stuff can happen during one's spiritual journey, so
don't be very surprised with the reactions you had.

I too feel that I might be (or get) stuck in the dark night.
I'm a member of a support group for people like us on Facebook. It's a small group, but anyone who feels like joining it is more
than welcome to join. I figured you could be interested in joining the group. What do you say?

Best wishes for your journey, and hopefully we'll all see sunlight again... emoticon

RE: Diary of a Chronic Dark Night Yogi
Answer
10/19/15 1:30 AM as a reply to Thassio Queiroz de Araújo.
Thassio, I would definately check it out and see if it's something I would like. 

I'm not sure if that would feel like I was identifying with being a dark night yogi and therefore make it stick even longer but it sound like it could be a great way to get tips on getting out or past that and that would be cool.


Anyway, just to check in and fill my last 6 weeks or so:

I kind of just started feeling like I was just spending all my time experiencing altered states made my my mind or whatever and like I wasn't gainaing any insight and I was kidding myself or something so I've really pulled back on my meditation times per day. I was hitting 4 some days and averaging 2-3 for a little over a month. Maybe two. I got super depressed for a while and then sometime between getting depressed and feeling better about two months later I stopped meditating so much.Since then I've just been meditating as I fall asleep and recently I've started remembering to become mindful a few times a day which I wasn't doing much of before.

Now when I meditate it's much harder to get that laser focus. I sometimes give up now or just try to fall asleep even and stay up later than I shoud to meditate and it may be partially due to the fact that it just doesn't feel that good anymore.. Now that I say that I realise it doesn't feel NEARLY as good and that's Deffinately a large part of it.

My spike in daily meditation was purely because meditating felt so much better than anything else I could be doing would feel and that may have given me .... I dunno, an unpure  goal or something..

Also, now that I'm living in Washington I've started smoking pot a lot more. With the amazing variety of dabs you can get it's become quite fun and I'm smoking daily and at the very least nightly which is when I usually meditate the longest (1-2 hours) and now I sometimes just sleep...I just don't know if that's the chicken or the egg.

I'm rambling. G'night