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Dealing with the Dark Night

Dark Night moving with the seasons

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Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
12/27/15 7:21 AM
Dear DhO,

This is more of an open reflection than anything else, but I'm curious if other people are also dark nighting during this period of seasonal darkness and cold weather, at least on the upper hemisphere of the world. It seems like either a huge synchronicity for me personally or either a larger, natural cycle that I'm only now falling into closer harmony with, or both. I wonder if traditionally, before the advent of iMacs, fluorescent lighting and the industrial revolution if people and tribes would cycle consciously through the darkness in accordance with the seasons, perhaps together or off individually. Obviously, it can't all happen at once, as there's too much individuated variability to predict such a straightforward pattern, but it seems like Mother Nature does offer and invite one to go deeper in times like these. Which brings me to another, related thought: the idea of dark room retreats. Some traditions, like the Bon that used to be commonly practiced in Tibet before Buddhism, and some traditions of Buddhism as well, use dark room retreat to go deeper. In my experience it seems like external darkness can show you inner darkness, the physical manifestation of the unknown. It certainly can make things more interesting emoticon


If anyone is looking to connect, feel free to reach out.

Responses are very welcome, but not necessary.  

Wishing everyone the best during these times of transition.

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
12/27/15 7:21 AM as a reply to Michael.
Hej,

I'm also in this "Is this DN or am I just depressed?" stage... Not sure that I have much to say on it. Except that continued practice should hopefully lead to EQ soon enough if it's the former. And if it's the latter, well, exercise and light therapy will have to do the trick emoticon

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
12/27/15 9:09 AM as a reply to Michael.
Michael, you should Google "seasonal affective disorder." It's a very common sort of depression that occurs for many people during months with short days and long nights. It's an epidemic in places like Alaska, where in winter the darkness can last the entire day.

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
12/28/15 8:44 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Michael, you should Google "seasonal affective disorder." 

Also: Buy yourself a full-spectrum lamp (less than 50€£$ if I remember correctly). Try to spend some daylight time outside or at least in front of a big south-facing window every day.

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
12/30/15 9:24 AM as a reply to neko.
http://meaningness.com/metablog/sad-light-lumens

He's a Buddhist author too, check him out

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
12/31/15 11:27 AM as a reply to Michael.
Yeah my friend has seasonal affective disorder and he said a high quality full spectrum light really helps him.  He likes to read so he uses the light to read with.  You may also want to consider high quality vitamin D supplements at least during the winter months.  Many researchers suspect that seasonal affective disorder may be in a large part due to low vitamin D levels.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-breakthrough-depression-solution/201111/psychological-consequences-vitamin-d-deficiency .  Vit D is the only vitamin that is a hormone and strongly regulates mood.  UV light does not make it through the atmosphere much in colder regions of the world and the UV you need for vit D production especially does not make it through any time the sun does not have a direct shot (your shadows are longer than you) or if it's cloudy or overcast or if you are behind glass.  If you spend a lot of time indoors in general even in the summer, then its all the worse and there is tons of research to back it up with latitude correlating strongly with many autoimmune diseases and probs like the common cold as well.  Vit D Also consider that most humans not only spend less time in the sun these days but also eat much fewer vit D rich foods.  It's also very hard to get adequate vit D from food alone and D is only processed in the gut if in the presence of a fat source so things like fat free vit D fortified milk will not result in D uptake unless you are eating a fatty food with it.  Just be advised research suggests that you won't feel better in 5 minutes from the supplements, it takes a while to build vit D levels in the blood, you will need to supplement the whole winter to build and maintain blood levels, but if you combine vit d supps with high intensity full spectrum light, there is a very good chance you will feel better.   

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
1/6/16 10:12 AM as a reply to Michael.
Thanks for the support guys.

Nice to know we have options! 

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
1/30/16 8:37 AM as a reply to Michael.
When I used to cycle, I think my dark night nanas were worst october to january. the rainy grey overcast weather had me get seriously disturbed, with buildings bending over to engulf me as I walked past. Likewise most of my second jhana stuff happened april to july. using the feeling of the sun on the skin, and the blue sky made it easy to focus on gross bliss

RE: Dark Night moving with the seasons
Answer
2/28/16 6:17 PM as a reply to josh.
Josh,

That's interesting. 

I've never experienced buildings falling over, but I hope you continue to cycle.

It's fascinating all the different kinds of bliss we can experience in this life...from sensory bliss of sunlight on the skin to internal bliss in the mind born of seculsion from the senses. I hope it continues for you!