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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

information processing problems/enlightenment?

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Hello dear all,

Im meditating since around three years and since 1,5 years I have some severe functional brain problems I wanted to ask you about because Im suspecting they are related to my meditation experiences. It is that I have severe problems with information processing when its coming to reading texts and sometimes even following conversations or watching TV programs. I mean its very hard for me to understand abstract information or read rather difficult books and it hasnt been like that before. These defects became a real problem in my life because I had to interrupt my law studies one year ago and Im not sure if I will be able to continue.
To tell what stage I have reached in meditation: I think for some miracolous reason I developed in the past 1,5 years (so since Im having those problems) some very powerful concentration skills without having much experience in meditation really, meaning this process went very fast. Right now my concentration seems to be stabilised completely. I read Culadasas, Ingrams and Brasingtons books (rather parts of them, because they were too difficult due to my cognitive problems, haha) some weeks ago and discovered that since nearly one month Im able to reach the jhanas between level 1 and 7 without much effort nearly anytime I want (at least I think I can do so, I didnt talk with an expert yet). I guess I might have reached some enlightenment stage right now, because my perception of the world changed completely on a permanent basis. Since this time Im feeling more or less permanent good, Im having nearly no worries (although by objective standpoints Im having a rather troubled life), Im feeling nearly no desires (sexual, food, etc.), my sensual experiences (esspecially in nature) are completely mindblowing, as if I was on really cool drugs and Im having only few thoughts coming (although the amount changes) and if I really want to I can Stop them completely and the thoughts which still come, even very dark ones, have nearly no emotional intensity. So in fact Im quite lucky if there werent these information processing issues, they dont seem to improve in 1,5 years although my concentration and clarity is extremely high and has developed greatly in this time.
I should also mention that I am diagnosed with ADHD due to concentration and learning problems I had all my life. Since 5 years I was having a mediocre to severe depression and I was taking all kinds of antidepressents and stimulants against these conditions in a pretty high dosage. Since one year I was reducing the medication until I stopped it this January completely from one day to another because my general condition improved so greatly. In certain periods I also exaggeradet hugely with dosages due to psychological instability (in retrospective I have learned that a pretty heavy Dark Night of the Soul might have been involved, although there also have been a lots of personal issues I worked through, it was really a hugely chaotic time) so that Im also wondering if a brain damage might be possible.
So here are some questions I hope you might be able to say something to:
1. Are the described information processing problems a known issue in the meditation process?
2. Is there some relation between the development of concentration skills/information processing abilities?
3. Would these problems be rather related to ADHD or meditation or medication abuse?
4. Is it possible to solve this problem with meditation? Or should I try medication again? (Im in contact with psychiatrists who unfortunately dont know anything about meditation or the described phenomena)
5. Am I maybe doing something wrong in my meditation? Is there a special meditation technique I could use to improve my information processing abilities?
Im very thankful for any idea or advice to these questions. Unfortunately Im completely alone and have no contact to anyone who practices meditation or knows something about it. I was somehow quite lucky that some experimentation with meditation led me this far and Im still in the process of understanding what has happened to me because as I said the effects seem to have changed my experience of the world completeley. But I am also a bit worried, because right now Im not able to function in society, considering continueing studies or taking a job. Much love to you all and Im hoping to hear from you!
Btw.: Daniel Ingram, if you read this, I would be really very very curious to hear your opinion due to your achievements in the Dharma and your medical training (your book has been very helpful in understanding what was happening to me) although I guess it might be difficult to give a clear advice in this form, nevertheless..
Regards, Matheus

RE: information processing problems/enlightenment?
Answer
5/8/17 5:21 PM as a reply to Matheus.
Hello Matheus,

I hope you didn't start self medication by now, that's something for I would rely on a skilled psychiatrist.  Concerning your other questions: If you have strong concentration your mind can get stuck at a particular object, that is what can break the natural flow while reading. Especially when you read analytical or texts with an high information rate, your mind works with a lot of thoughts. If there is clinging to whatever (see for yourself what exactly) you stop the minds thought work. I know this problem too (lot to read for my studies) and I could handle it through:
1. not practicing for a day or two and reading for hours to force the breakdown of my clinging to whatever feeling/mind state (when it vanishes you will probably notice)
2. not doing concentration practice but noting: noting has the advantage to point directly to what is in the moment and trains your attention to switch fastly from one object to another. Training to kill any clinging so to say.

In general the idea of that reality have to feel a certain way (which it wasn't in that moment) was the main reason blocking me from intense studying. 

My experience so far, hope you can get some out of it. 

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