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Does anyone else feel like complete shit when you ramp up your practise?

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My meditation practise is pretty 'casual' and small and prone to bouts of laziness. Recently, I've been training a little more intensely and I unexplicably feel like complete ass out of nowhere. I don't have a history of depression nor have I had any insight experiences so I doubt it's anything not relating to my practise.

This always seems to happen whenever I focus on meditation and really start striving for awakening, and I have no idea why. It is a  very big de-motivator because anytime I try and take meditation seriously I always start feeling like shit and I start not to gain pleasure out of anything. Surely, I can't be the only one?

This is not an uncommon experience. Meditation forces introspection, which is typically something we avoid. Introspection causes us to see what our minds are really like - busy minds, selfish minds, self-absorbed minds, critical of everyone and everything. That revelation -- of the nature of our everyday mind - can make a new-ish practitioner feel pretty shitty.

I agree with Chris. It can go like that. Funny thing is, and teachers often point this out, it's a sign of progress. So it should be encouraging, except in practice it usually isn't. This is also the time teachers say you should apply more effort and press on through the difficulties. But if it's inhibiting other areas of your life, then it might be worth doing either of these 2 - go on a long retreat and work through it, or do some Samatha practice since that usually brings about bliss and calm, or at least some more comfortable states. Either way, you can't escape the price we eventually have to pay for a lifetime of ignoring the 3 characteristics! All the best with your practice and the hard work ahead!

Peter S:
Either way, you can't escape the price we eventually have to pay for a lifetime of ignoring the 3 characteristics! 

Well said, Peter! emoticon

RE: Does anyone else feel like complete shit when you ramp up your practise
Answer
9/1/17 5:29 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
This is not an uncommon experience. Meditation forces introspection, which is typically something we avoid. Introspection causes us to see what our minds are really like - busy minds, selfish minds, self-absorbed minds, critical of everyone and everything. That revelation -- of the nature of our everyday mind - can make a new-ish practitioner feel pretty shitty.


Is there an end to this slightly further down the line, or would I have to get stream-entry to definitively stop these weird restless depression-like states?

I guess it's a good indicator of progress, but it really sucks when it starts flaring up and I start seeing suffering everywhere.

Is there an end to this slightly further down the line, or would I have to get stream-entry to definitively stop these weird restless depression-like states? 

Yes, and no. You're getting to know the nature of mind. That's a lengthy process but the mind is nothing if not agile and elastic. It quickly gets used to the latest thing, so you won't continue to always feel like crap. It will happen, but it will be episodic and you'll get used to it. You may even figure out when to expect the next episode. It's helpful to explore directly what you're seeing when this stuff crops up, too -- what's really going on when you feel so shitty?

You don't need to get stream entry for this to happen and... a major shift you will encounter before that is called equanimity. Equanimity will be your friend. These are all stages of insight that almost everyone practicing in the tradition of vipassana seems to progress through in order, for whatever reason.

RE: Does anyone else feel like complete shit when you ramp up your practise
Answer
9/2/17 4:06 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

Yes, and no. You're getting to know the nature of mind. That's a lengthy process but the mind is nothing if not agile and elastic. It quickly gets used to the latest thing, so you won't continue to always feel like crap.


Looks like you were completely right. The shitty phase has ended, after I beared it and didn't construct a story around it. I actually wouldn't mind if it occured again now. My objective in striving for awakening is to not be swayed by any sort of suffering, and this is one step closer to that ideal.