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10/26/17 10:44 PM
Hi Guys,

For one of my final assessments of my under-grad degree, I am going to be writing a bit about the clinical ramifications of secularising mindfulness for its use in psychiatry and psychology. In particular, I want to talk about how well those disciplines are prepared to deal with the 'Dark Night' and the pathologisation of spiritual crises. 

Naturally I'm going to be leaning a lot on the work of Wiloughby Britton, but am hoping to get some recommendations for other sources dealing with these issues. Can anyone point me towards some primary Buddhist (or other spiritual traditions') sources that detail some of the shadow sides of meditation, or any other contemporary research that is done into this field and may be helpful for this project.

Thanks guys! Peace and love,
O'lorin (Josh)

RE: Research recommendations
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11/1/17 1:19 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
Bumping my post in the hopes that someone will be able to point me towards any clear mentions of 'dark night'-like phenomena in older Buddhist texts. I have plenty of contemporary sources to draw upon, but would like at least one reference to a primary cannonical text such as the Visuddhimaga, or any other similarily aged text if possible.

Is anyone able to please point me in the right direction?

With metta,
Josh



RE: Research recommendations
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11/1/17 4:31 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
I don't know anything directly but Shinzen Young talks about 'The Dark Pit of the Void' in reference to Dark Night. I would guess he got that from some text originally which might have some material of interest to you.

RE: Research recommendations
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11/1/17 10:49 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
O'lorin:

...
In particular, I want to talk about how well those disciplines are prepared to deal with the 'Dark Night' and the pathologisation of spiritual crises. 
...
Can anyone point me towards some primary Buddhist (or other spiritual traditions') sources that detail some of the shadow sides of meditation
...
Maybe you have already looked into the originator of the term "Dark Night":  search Google for: 

st john of the cross the dark night of the soul

RE: Research recommendations
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11/1/17 12:46 PM as a reply to C P M.
C P M:

]Maybe you have already looked into the originator of the term "Dark Night":  search Google for: 

st john of the cross the dark night of the soul


Good point. In the Christian contemplative tradition, St. John of the Cross wrote an entire book preparing people for the dark night.

I think there's much more emphasis on preparatory reading in the Christian tradition. In the Buddhist tradition, much less so. People are even discouraged from reading ahead. See Daniel's critique of the "mushroom culture" in MCTB.

RE: Research recommendations
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11/1/17 4:52 PM as a reply to C P M.
Thank you but yes, I have looked into that one. I just need one more Buddhist source though - either from the suttas, or one of the older commentaries.

RE: Research recommendations
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11/4/17 2:28 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
Check the Abhidhamma, typically found as A Manual of Abhidhamma, specifically p478 of this book here: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf


C
heck out A Path with Heart, the section on Expanding and Dissolving the Self, in the Dissolving the Self section.

Definitely check out the Vimuttimagga, a few hundred years older than the Visuddhimagga and more practical often and easier reading, pages 299-301.

http://urbandharma.org/pdf1/Path_of_Freedom_Vimuttimagga.pdf

RE: Research recommendations
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11/4/17 10:38 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Yes thank you so much!  This is exactly what I need.