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Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/21/17 5:35 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/21/17 6:26 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/23/17 4:18 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/23/17 7:19 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/23/17 6:58 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/23/17 7:00 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/23/17 8:42 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? seth tapper 11/23/17 9:27 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/23/17 9:35 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/24/17 10:47 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/24/17 11:18 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/24/17 4:41 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? seth tapper 11/24/17 6:43 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/25/17 7:10 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? seth tapper 11/25/17 10:24 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/25/17 11:37 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? O'lorin 11/22/17 7:09 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/24/17 8:23 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/24/17 10:46 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/25/17 3:13 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/25/17 5:23 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/25/17 7:14 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? seth tapper 11/25/17 10:31 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/25/17 12:12 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? seth tapper 11/25/17 12:45 PM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/26/17 1:24 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/26/17 2:05 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/26/17 5:19 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/26/17 1:56 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 11/26/17 8:16 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? David Blair 11/27/17 5:41 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? shargrol 11/27/17 9:58 AM
RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana? Yilun Ong 12/1/17 4:40 AM
Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/21/17 5:35 PM
Just had a really horrible experience driving home from work.  I have a practice log here so there is a goodly amount of background for anyone that cares to look.  To boil it down, about two weeks ago I had body exploding in fireworks kind of dream that seemed very crossing A&P-ish; didn't make too much of it because things didn't seem to change much afterward.  

But then last week, I got a quick whiff of fear.  Just sitting at work, it occurs to me that this whole dharma thing is just an invention of my mind.  The whole idea of dharma? All me.  Everyone out there in virtual-dhama-land is part of the fiction too.  That certainly explains why I find advice that is just what I need whenever I look.  It occurs to me that I am making up this elaborate story to explain away my dissolution as I jump into insanity.  This all lasted about 30 seconds or so and then I moved on.  For the next week sits are fine but off cushion I feel pretty yucky and I can feel this uncertainty lurking.  

Tonight, sustained whiff of fear.  Leaving work I start thinking that maybe I'm going to roll up the mat.  Driving home from work I notice that I've got double vision when looking at red lights (stop lights & tail lights). I think to myself, "shoot, just like when I was 17 and didn't know what reality was; this time however, I'm armed with a MAP!  This won't be so bad."  Wrong!  15 minutes later trapped in traffic on the freeway the idea that everything is a product of my mind returns.  This time it really bites hard and I get into a positive feedback loop of paranoia; it's all just a friggin' delusion.  I feel a gigantic wave of stress, hot flashes and a certainty that if I don't hold on, I will go completely insane right then and there on the interstate.  I open the window, turn on the radio and just try to break the feedback loop of thoughts.  Half an hour later, I make it home, kiss the wife and kids, walk the dog.  

So, what do you all think, vanilla fear nana?  Worse? 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/21/17 6:26 PM as a reply to David Blair.
Sounds a bit like reobservation too. Time will tell. Straight ahead!

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/22/17 7:09 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Hey, my bouts of fear and anxiety also centre around the idea of solipsism! The most recent bout which occured shortly after this A&P event was a fear of everything being in my mind, coupled with the idea that I was immortal. The thought that I was some kind of mad-god that was doomed to exist eternally kept recurring - bizzare stuff. 

Anyway, strange as it was, it passed. Just like everything always does. 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 4:18 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Well, whatever it is I'm definitely in over my head.  The intense paranoia wasn't terribly long lived but I'm struggling to deal with the aftermath.  This has definitely opened up a lot of stuff in my chest and abdomen that used to be really solid (and selfy).  Tension in heart area and nausea in abdomen.  Oh yeah, I can't sleep (maybe 1-2 hours each of the last two nights).  When sitting I've noticed generally intense vibrations with a new sense of a very rapid dull localized pulsing at the base of the back of head but also lots vibrations around tension in chest/heart area.  That's a pretty objective statement of what I'm sensing and is pretty mild.  Subjectively, I am suffering like I have never suffered before.

I know the only response to any of this is "keep sitting".  I suppose it would be helpful to get a more specific recommendation since I have no teacher.  How long do you think I should sit?  Walking vs sitting?  At what point does the lack of sleep become a real danger?  Thanks in advance for anything you've got.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 7:19 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Edit: I think you had best ignore this post. Follow shargol's advice! Sorry and sincerely wishing you well...

Perhaps as you already read elsewhere, you have to accept it with true equanimity, i.e. to put your face/being into it and be absolutely present throughout it all, for as long as you can (aim for at least 90 minutes, after 3 hours and no next stage, probably something wasn't done right - reboot), genuinely summon the courage and embrace the suffering as neutral/empty as you can (like how Bruce Lee would look at the street thug who punched him), with as little aversion as you can. Note any avoidance or wish for it to end (try not to), aversion and ill-will (have great compassion for yourself). 

You would want to get past this as soon as you can (take leave?), getting stuck is well getting sucked. See this as good practice for what is Life, such suffering will come and it is best to know how to deal with them in a dry run.

I recommend doing whatever to make yourself positive, starting with Metta practice and build up strong self-compassion...

And take a look at the advice from Andrew S., Shargrol, Doctor Avocado, etc.

All the Best... 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 6:58 AM as a reply to David Blair.
David Blair:
Well, whatever it is I'm definitely in over my head.  The intense paranoia wasn't terribly long lived but I'm struggling to deal with the aftermath.  This has definitely opened up a lot of stuff in my chest and abdomen that used to be really solid (and selfy).  Tension in heart area and nausea in abdomen.  Oh yeah, I can't sleep (maybe 1-2 hours each of the last two nights).  When sitting I've noticed generally intense vibrations with a new sense of a very rapid dull localized pulsing at the base of the back of head but also lots vibrations around tension in chest/heart area.  That's a pretty objective statement of what I'm sensing and is pretty mild.  Subjectively, I am suffering like I have never suffered before.

I know the only response to any of this is "keep sitting".  I suppose it would be helpful to get a more specific recommendation since I have no teacher.  How long do you think I should sit?  Walking vs sitting?  At what point does the lack of sleep become a real danger?  Thanks in advance for anything you've got.

Okay, now it's time to be gentle with yourself. Sounds like you are close to damaging yourself, so if you can't calm things down, honestly seek professional help. Okay?

Hang out with the wife and dog and forget about practice for a while. You are allowed to relax and it will be better for you, your practice, and your wife and dog! emoticon

It's important to have consistent practice, but if we are becoming unhealthy it's time to take a moment to assess what we're doing... It's time to back off the intensity of practice. Don't worry, your practice will still be there waiting for you -- there can be a temptation to say "but if I push a little harder maybe I'll get it!" but that's pretty much always not the wise part of our mind thinking.

First of all, do whatever makes sense for bodily health. Eat if you are hungry, sleep if you are tired, go for a walk or exercise if you have extra energy. Get back to baseline. Forcibly pushing through and having your mind and body deteriorate is not a productive path forward.

In these situations, what has worked for me is taking a long shower and putting on clean clothes, eat whatever seems tempting, and I go for a walk. If I'm really stressed out I watch a movie so that I don't have to think about myself for a while (some mindless but positive entertainment like superhero type movies - simple entertainment where you don't really need to think). The whole goal is to reconnect with my normal self and then gently question my core motivation: "what am I really doing to myself?"

Take your time to get cleaned up and find some perspective. The moment we start martyring ourselves we need to stop and go back to our intentions.

Usually, we're pushing hard because something is bothering us and we want to get past it, instead of experiencing in a neutral objective way. What usually happens is that we have hopes and fears --- hopes that the practice will fix things and fears that practice doesn't fix things --- and instead of really experiencing those hopes and fears, we push past them and practice harder. Then things get goofy and we focus on the wierd emotions and sensations associated with that, and it becomes a weird negative feedback loop. Sometimes there can be a hope that our parent's or friends will respect or admire or love us or take pity and care for us if we martyr ourselves or push ourselves too far... and a fear that we won't get what we want unless we go to extremes. These are compelling emotions and thoughts but they rarely stand up to scrutiny...

Usually there is a mixture of something in those hopes and fears that is both true and false and we really need to slowly and calmly tease it out.  The negative feedback loop is a way to avoid facing the sensations, urges, emotions, and thought in a simple and calm way. 

Once your more calmed down and caught up on sleep, go back to super basics: what sensations and urges and emotions and thoughts are you having? about yourself? about practice? about making progress in practice? about your ability to make progress in your practice? 

You might be surprised that you are overlooking a bit of wisdom that is right in front of your face. What beliefs are making you suffer? What habitual thoughts are unhelpful?  Whenever you fall into an unhealthy pattern, you need to tease out why. 

Hope this helps.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 7:00 AM as a reply to shargrol.
By the way, sometimes the hope and fears are as simple as... I hope I'm getting enlightened and I'm afraid I'm fucking up my mind. And instead of looking closely at those thoughts, we amp up our practice intensity as a way to get the enlightenment and not have to face the fear that we're fucking up our mind...

It's very good to face these hopes and fears and acknowledge them. 

Sometimes we really are pushing to hard and need to dial it back. Admiting that isn't weakness, it's wisdom.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 8:42 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol you are a treasure.  When I referred to what is happening while sitting in the last post, I was actually putting on a brave face; I haven't done much sitting since Tuesday night.  A few 10's of minutes here and there mostly to see if I can dissolve my suffering (which I can do temporarily :-).  Honestly, my immediate reaction Tuesday night was consistent with what you've said "Whoa, going too fast".  Nonetheless, pretty much the standard dharma-line is what Yilun initially said : "just plow through it" so I've been feeling some guilt about my sense that I need to be really careful about any sitting I do.  Hearing you say that it's probably good to chill is incredibly helpful.  Most of what I have been trying do in the last 36 hours is reconnect with baseline : focused a lot on work, grocery shopping and cooking for thanksgiving, watched some soccer on TV etc.  I've also been trying to make sure that I've got radio or music on in the car.

So I still have the problem that I haven't yet figured out how to turn meditation off.  The most worrisome aspect of this is the sleep; I can lay down and get very close to sleep and then little tidbits of dharma start creeping in (basically vibrations of some sort).  Essentially like an energy that I can't quite turn down enough to get to sleep.  Last night I had a glass of wine and that seemed to get me my one hour.  Clearly at some point in the near future, sleep deprivation is going to become a serious compounding factor.  Awareness of that is likely contributing to my insomnia.  Feedback loops, can't live with 'em can't live without 'em.  By the way, I have broken the MTCB "don't let your dark night bleedthrough" rule and I have discussed everything that is going down with my wife.  She has been unbelieveably supportive and non-judgemental and I've made it clear to her that I may wind up needing to get help.  When you refer to professional help, do have any more specifics to provide?  I was thinking that I might might reach out to Ron Crouch to see if he might know anyone in my area that might have the right background.  I'm in Massachusetts so we've obviously got a goodly amount of dharma and medicine to draw from.

I think where I got ahead of myself was the off cushion stuff.  Initially it seem kind of pointless but at some point it clicked a bit and I was getting a lot of noting and some KF 2nd gear done off cushion.  Add to that two hours of sitting time and maybe I was in "hair-on-fire" mode.  

I've got more stuff want to pour out, but I'll leave it at this.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your insight.


RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 9:27 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Here is some excellent advice that will seem crazy: 

Worship your dog.   Just accept that the only thing you know to be true is that your dog is lovable and love it.  Whenever a thought or fear or other problem arises in the mind, ask yourself if your dog loves you less because of it.   No matter what you are doing, only care about what arises in the mind if it would make your dog love you less.   If it wont, then it is just mental chatter, no matter how important it feels, and you can just let it go.  

Mediattion has the effect of lowering your defense mechanisms and hard and scary and incredible feeling stuff will arise.  The farther you go, the more amazing and unendurable.  It is all fake.  Everything that has ever scared or concerned you is like a monster in scooby do, there is a silly old man in the costume if you look hard enough.   Now is the point you need to really accept that.   Let love be real and the rest nonsense and the path becomes easy. 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/23/17 9:35 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Sounds good. You'll go to sleep pretty soon I think. You might want to remind yourself that vibrations are just vibrations, they aren't anything particularly special otherwise everyone riding a bicycle down a gravel road would be enlightened. emoticon  

I think most people go through a stage where they misuse the ideas of dharma, meditation, intention, effort etc. Hopefully we get the kind of feedback we need so that we can actually see how much trouble we have been creating for ourselves. Then looking back, it's obvious: instead of observing with clarity, non-manipulation, and acceptance... we've been making everything into a big fucking deal. When you see that, then you can drop a lot of the drama, reset, and the start again with a new appreciation about how easy it is to get over-excited and carried away. 

It's actually very easy to turn meditation off--- just notice the greed and the pride and clinging and become just a little disgusted with yourself. I don't say that to be mean, but rather to be helpful. Don't take it personally, even the buddha was such a dumbass that at one point he nearly starved himself to death. emoticon

It won't feel great to see how you have turned dharma into something unhealthy and materialistic, but that's kinda where you are at right now and what you need to see.

It's funny, when you look at metta practice, most of the lines are all about establishing a sane body and mind so that we'll see the dharma that is always here. For example, in the one below, only the last few lines are about awakening, the first about about having a healthy mind and body. Taking care of mind and body is important.

May you be calm and at ease
May you be healthy, rested, and whole
May you be safe and free from danger
May you face the difficulties in your life, but wisely avoid unnecessary problems
May you awaken
May you be free from suffering
May you be happy


RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/24/17 10:47 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Hope you are doing well David. Let us know how things are going.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/24/17 11:18 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks for checking, its a mixed bag.  Yesterday, lots of cooking and then people around for dinner.  Good therapy, towards the end of the day I was feeling pretty darn normal, albeit exhausted.  Unfortunately only got 1-2 hours of sleep again.  I basically was was falling asleep on my feet by the end of the day and was able to get to sleep but we had some extra kids in the house and they were super loud; eventually I woke for good and couldn't get back down.  I watched a bunch of TV and could feel myself being really tired but when I closed my eyes the wave of exhaustion would pass through me and leave a bunch of energy in its wake.

I tried to do a little math this morning as that has always been one of my goto's for insomnia in the past and was finally feeling like I might be able to concentrate enough.  This got me really tired but again closing my eyes I just experienced a bunch of conflict trying solve problems in my head; felt unhealthy.   Did some dog walking and my wife has been great about getting me up and about.  I'm currently feeling a little ragged and we're going to head out for a walk.  Send more metta emoticon

Comments about my practice having been unhealthy ring true but it's really confusing how it got there.  I started all of this a few months ago because I saw a reference to TMI and MCTB in a blog comment, was intrigued having never been able to practice in the past.  Got TMI and the instructions just sort of worked so I jumped in.  Kind of innocent really.  My self is really wrapped up with the idea that I didn't really have much sh*t and that I had worked through something dark nightish as a teen, so I missed the message about how sucky this can be.  Bottom line, the idea of awakening seemed kind of cool and I certainly had awareness of suffering but as I wrote in my first post here : I loved my life (my wife, my kids, my dog, my moral "accomplishments").  All of that attachment and worry about how changes in me might negatively impact my loved ones seems like the fuel for my suffering and ultimately the root of a feeling that I don't want awakening at all.

Thanks for the continued care and advice.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/24/17 4:41 PM as a reply to David Blair.
Good to hear things are going in the right trajectory.

Yeah, the whole spirituality thing can tend to be a bit of a trap --- seemingly all sunshine and rainbows, and it gets described almost as some kind of "addition" -- attainments, getting enlightened, etc.  -- but really it's more like strategic loss, but a loss none the less. Most of it is about letting experiences come and go without getting excited or depressed -- which is easier said than done. It's powerful medicine that needs to be taken carefully.

Best wishes and much metta!

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/24/17 6:43 PM as a reply to David Blair.
Do you have a set of beliefs about what is true and what is important?  What is your fundamental understanding of what is actually happening? 

Having a family causes very particular challenges to "awakening".  I have found that you need to really ground yourself in a unified view of reality to make progress.  As a monk, you can just let it all go.  As a family man, you cant want to just release because it seems like you will cause harm to the ones you love.  Actually, awakening is just becoming rational and it only makes you a better husband and father, but it really doesnt feel that way along the way.   Having a fixed rational view of what reality is will give you the confidence to let the anxiety that will arise just pass away.  

If you have particular concerns, share them and folks here can help. 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/24/17 8:23 PM as a reply to O'lorin.
This will help, follow the instructions and put things in clear perspective:

Metta sent! emoticon

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/24/17 10:46 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Thank you, this definitely helps.  I think it's time to stop fighting and sit for a bit.



RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 3:13 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Shargrol, Yilun and Seth thank you so much.   After about 4 hours of just being, not worrying and getting quite deep letting stuff happen, I got a little snap of energy and something that could be described as "reboot".  I feel good and content but not too blissy.  I feel very much like me; maybe a little embarrased of being such a drama queen. I don't feel certain that any permanent change has occurred.  I can already see some negative feelings floating around but they don't have much bite; perhaps they'll get more bite and I'll drop back into DN.   I am not certain that I am sane.  I am cautiously optimistic.  I miss my mother.  I am live blogging here so there is potentially a lot more future embarrasement in store if I keep writing emoticon

Yilun, the timing of that video was perfect.  I had taken an over the counter sleep aid in hopes of getting some solid sleep.  After falling asleep I experienced this brutal sensation of being dragged back awake.  I looked at the clock and when I saw I had only been asleep for an hour.  Horror and panic ensue as I realize I can't fix this.  I was literally on my computer making sure I had passwords sorted out so I could give them to my wife so she could take me to the emergency room.  I saw the email with your post and stopped in my tracks.  My wife and I sat down and watched it together a few times.  I followed the instructions.  I want to be awakened so that I can fully feel, without attachment, my grief at having lost my mother as a teenager and my love for my wife, children and the world.  I asked my wife if it was OK to become awakened.  I laid down in bed next to her and now I am here (where?).  I have to admit I am a little creeped out by how impossible the coincidences seem to be.   On the other hand, if examined closely enough, everything that has ever happened  is an impossible coincidence right?



RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 5:23 AM as a reply to David Blair.
What's there to be embarrassed about? I can write a book about all the embarrassing things the old me did that I'm proud to declare over haha. I think most will feel a great warmth hearing your most recent good fortunes, envious perhaps? You sound like you have a most wonderful wife! 

I'm not one to go to for advice on taking breaks (am still hacking away at it) but it does seem a great idea to spend quality time with your family now. Drop practice for awhile and let thoughts about Big-E sync. It's great to get comfortable with not knowing where you are on this journey (same with life) and yet plough on smartly regardless.

Wishing you and family a great many happy coincidences! emoticon

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 7:10 AM as a reply to seth tapper.

This is a really hard question(s) to answer, much that has recently happened has challenged my rationality.  Let me try.  If I get really rational I might say that I still buy into something roughly like quantum physics.  Existence is a real phenomenon e.g. something like a "universal" wave function evolving via Schrodinger's equation.  Subject/object duality is a useful approximation of reality at times but it is fundamentally incoherent e.g. difficulty with the interpretation of the measurement problem.  Since consensus reality is based on subject/object duality everything in it has a friction resulting from the fundamental incoherence.    There is some manner of locality in existence, something like a substructure to the universal wave function that manifests as matter and ultimately with more complexity what we think of as life.  Mathematically I may say that the universal state space may be approximated by tensor products of "smaller" state spaces that correspond to that substructure.  A key point here is that representation of the whole as combination of the parts is only an approximation.  What is happening to "me" is just evolution of the universe substructure that corresponds to "me".  As for what matters I believe that something we call love matters because it's just the way the universe is; this is something I think you express and it has always resonated with me.

I'm just riffing on the questions at this point, but it feels like it was a fruitful exercise.  Thanks.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 7:14 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yes, my wife is amazing in ways that I couldn't have imagined.  If anything is permanent about what has changed, I hope it is the extra depth of love I have for her.

A break sounds lovely I don't plan on sitting unless it seems I have to (like last night).  On the other hand, sleep is still elusive and the path seems to be doing me.  After the previous post I lay in bed and instead of sleep it seems like I did a cycle.  In the post I mentioned that I could sense negative sensations lurking and when I lay down it seems like the nanas just unfolded utilmately resulting another blippy reboot followed by a wave of happiness (took maybe an hour).  I was not reactive during the process so it wasn't upsetting at any point. I was not in dreamy eq land except before the reboot.   I could feel another round kick off soon after, so I came downstairs and picked up the computer.  The act of responding to Seth dragged me though DN.  I think I'm in eq right now.

Related to shargrol's comments about how materialistic I was being, something in me says that there is something a bit unhealthy going on with all this excess mental energy.  I'd appreciate any insight here.  I'd pick up MTCB and check into myself but I think I need to maintain some distance from hardcore dharma. 

For the moment I seem have a new perspective that says I've done some major rewiring and perhaps 1-2 hours of sleep is all I'm going to get for a while.  It's just a fact, nothing to be averse to.  Be mindful and understand that I might get grumpy because I'm tired so I should take care not to treat anyone badly.  Once again, anyone that thinks "nope, your going to fry yourself if you don't get more sleep" please let me know and we can discuss a strategy; I now know that self medicating isn't a good option emoticon

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 10:24 AM as a reply to David Blair.
I found two things that may be useful for you. 

1.  Reality is beyond the ability of the human conceptual framework to describe or analyze. 
2. Love is all we really care about anyway so 1 is irrelevant. 

Given that, can you construct a non falsifiable (within the bounds of day to day life) operating model of reality that allows for your family and their love to be real but that excludes: 

a.  flaws in the universe
b.  true seperation between things (e.g. objects and people)
c.  personal agency or responsibility

The goal is to be able to look at the universe as if there were no human drama- just nature unfolding according to the laws of physics.   I find that simple newtonian physics is a clear through line. 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 10:31 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Just to add here - the experience of "impossible coincidences" is a common human one and it is false.  I have battled that for years as the mind draws connections and takes it as evidence of the supernatural or the "truth" of some narrative it is secretly holding onto.  Your mind is not important and you are not important and all the shit that happens is random.  Any other set of beliefs is a doorway to mental illness.  Accepting this obvious truth as true leads to freedom. 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 11:37 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I think what I was throwing out there is somewhat consistent with what you are suggesting.  Saying there is a evolving wave function for the universe says that reality is a black box/beyond comprehension (wave function is utterly uninterpretable in QM).  Saying that the wave function has the pockets of concentration says that things are "approximately" separate but in fact inseparable.  Saying people are manifestations of the pockets of wave function says that we just evolving physically (no agency).  I'm not really sure about how weave love into this narrative other than to take it a self-revealing fact.  I need to be really careful about doing this much thinking though, this may be something to queue up.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 12:12 PM as a reply to David Blair.
I'm going to keep posting because handling this territory is probably challenging under the best circumstances.  Handling this during a thankgiving weekend with extended family dropping in and out is, how shall we say it... special.  Please look for signs that I'm going off the rails and that I need to hit the eject button (i.e. professionally administered anti-psychotics).

I can feel nanas drop in and out with varying degrees of stickiness/aversion/clinging.  For the most part I think I'm pretty non-reactive.  That non-reactivity is coupled with something I'll call detachment : which is to say a sense of "observing" the sensations.  I am also watching myself in social situations.  On the one hand I may be aware of some chest sensation but simultaneously I'll also be aware of myself cracking a joke and making people laugh and being really happy.  Social David is part of sensation space (i.e. not-self).  Sometimes all the activity around me starts to feel a bit like chaos but so far nothing that doesn't arise and pass away.  Particularly interested in perspectives on the detachment aspect of what I describe as it smells like that could lead to danger.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/25/17 12:45 PM as a reply to David Blair.
I have been through all the same kind of experiences you are going through.  In my experience, the best way forward is to try to be as present and loving in the real world as possible.  The entire narrative of you gaining insight or having non ordinary experiences is also a delusion.  It is just you with the family and they are real and their love is real - the rest is nonsense.  

I was going to reply before your last post anyway.  It is helpful for me to think this through as well.  Thanks for the opportunity.  I doubt anything below will make any sense to anyone, so ignore it. 

The reason why people become monastics is because it is very very hard to live with two radically opposed operating models of reality.   The traditional dharma view of emptiness and unsatisfactoriness of phenomena is impossible to hold while also making sure you show up on time for the school play.   What ended up happening for me was a split personality.  I literally had one mind that interacted in daily life and another almost completely seperate mind that wanted to  see emptiness.  It was hard to even concieve of one mind with the other. 

Eventually I saw that there is no "real" reality.  Hard to wrap the mind around, but there is no truth to find or be consistent with.   We are completely free.  My mind constructed a model of reality that allows for both zero suffering (actually 100% non aversion) and Harvey Weinsten.  I just see humans as loving systems behaving according to their conditioning.  Same way I always saw Dolphins.  I do not love dolphins less because I do not hold them responsible for their actions.  Same is true for humans.  This view essentially empties the universe of narrative and drama and flaw, but leaves love manifest. 

The only problem is my own mind.  Feelings and intuitions and thoughts and anxieties arise all the time in response to all kinds of internal and external stimuli.  I just view it all as completely meaningless.  Just electrical activity in the brain.  The more I drain the phenomena of the mind of meaning, the more this is Nirvana and always has been. 

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/26/17 1:24 AM as a reply to David Blair.
You might be torn between an old selfing process and a newfound capability to detach your emotions from what you really are. It is a loss and you are at a loss for words to describe it other than it reeks of fear. Fear of losing yourself, the love you had for life, the love you have for those you cherish, of facing the reality that someday, it will all be gone. There is a change but you cannot put a finger on it.

It might be useful to walk all these emotions to their end, to see them for what they really are, get lost in them by using analysis; when there is nothing else to think about, feel and embrace the inevitable feelings that erupt. After you have done so, you may find emptiness, you may see the contrast, you may find solace in seeing how, with or without them, you remain the same and that you have the power to hold sway over them, to love more than you could ever love, yet stronger you have become.

Use this strength to embrace the uncertainty that Life is, explore it with child-like curiosity; feel how it moves, with or without you: the winds blow, the waves crashes on the shores, rain comes and goes, the earth beneath you quakes and moans perhaps from the passing traffic perhaps from spinning so fast, it doesn't matter, you feel what you feel. The Sun brings heat, the night moon shivers, all of it goes on and on, whilst you are asleep and you find that you have the choice of what to wake up to.

Yet, you feel you are this lonely island, seeing the world revolve around you but the joke is that you are not the centre of the universe but it is beautiful from this vantage point, wherever that is and whatever happens, all you feel is that it adds colour to the screen that you are, in all its glory and sadness. And all you have to do, no wait, what else can/should you do? Is to enjoy it, soak it in: all the happiness and all the heartache, you find one in the other, are they one and the same? Emotions and thoughts come and go, you see clearly that they are not you. You understand them, you feel compassion, you are love. 

On a practice level, maybe you are a sotapanna. Go soak in that reality. Then go soak in the reality that you are not a stream-enterer. Ask yourself, what the difference is, and if there are, what difference does it make? What is useful from the insight/s that you can use right now? You feel all these nanas and raptures. You know they are not you, just like the worst possible emotion, you have the power to watch them, maybe even switch to a happier mode of operation; is there a point in believing in them and making them real, making them 'you'? See them for what they really are; more waves, more breeze, more heat or cold and the 'you' stands like a cactus in the desert, unmoving and not swaying to their beat.

You want to sleep but they beat you up; go on and tell youself, I can sleep with or without them, I shall will myself to do so. And at this point, the only sense of free-will that is rewarding is that you really do have the power over them. And the only danger lies in believing whatever happens, without investigating them with the skills you have. Realize that whatever is real is whatever weight/volume/colour you give to them.

I feel you but you have to feel 'you' yourself...

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/26/17 1:56 AM as a reply to David Blair.
After feeling and exploring all of that, or if that fails? Just go be the real you, something a monk cannot do:-

Sneak into bed with your wife or kids and watch them sleep. See that they are dealing with the 'cycles' whether they know it or not. Maybe we all are enlightened already. Let the intellectual layer of perception melt away, and let sleep take over whatever's left...

With Love,
your friendly monk

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/26/17 2:05 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.

Thanks again.  Honestly, I wasn't super dedicated the idea my little reboot was SE, I was merely hopeful.  I give some credence the Culadassa opinion notion that cessations are overrated as an indication of path.  He says that cessation with a unified mind will bring you path but cessations with an un-unified mind merely  gets you closer to unification.  I've had a few little blips and dips during meditation over the past few months to buy that theory.  I totally admit that experiece of that first cycle got me suspecting SE, but equally my annoyance at the almost immediate start of a second cycle got me suspecting it wasn't.  By the end of the day, I was feeling really, really normal and I was leaning towards this simply being transition to EQ.  Still a big improvement !

Experience tonight seems to reinforce that.  I did a formal sit that was largely EQ with a taste of high EQ and occasional drops into reobs.  Somewhat similar to a sit I might have had two weeks ago but deeper experience of high EQ.

None of this matters in some sense because I'm broken on the sleep front.  Any attempt to just sleep turns into a meditation session.  It's not like when I first mentioned it that I'll just start noticing vibrations.  The nature of the meditation may vary.  For example, a recent one started out as a kind of innocent "notice any effort and try to move away from it" reminiscent of something I think Stirling mentioned about his sits.  Then it morphed into to a really intense tearing into self.  Really, I just wanted to catch some z's.  I really haven't had any success with Shargrol's "notice the greediness, be mildly disgusted with it and the meditation will stop" idea.  I think any further attempt at sleep (at least tonight) will just throw me back into DN.

So basically I've decided I need to hit eject and get professional help (i.e. get medicated).

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/26/17 5:19 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Frankly all kinds of mapping are flawed. Whether cessations do something, do the most, do nothing at all" are simply educated guesses as no one has the proof. I am pretty sure you are experiencing the same phenomenon as KundaliniLinguini- some threads:

His symptoms:
I never or very rarely can find stillness in meditation because as soon as I close my eyes, my attention focuses within my head naturally and there is sensation of the heartbeat there which gets more and more intense and soon I am just deeply surrounded by this whirlwind of pressure and throbbing and pulling all in time with my heartbeat and it is constant motion and jostling and there is no balance or stillness or silence or peace, only rhythmic chaos like riding on an amusement park right that just jerks you forward and backwards constantly. 

Things I have noticed are the following:
  • when I am interested in what is happening, like having sex or eating or watching a cool movie or talking to an intelligent person, there is no headache at all and in fact there are pleasureable sensations throughout the body.
  • when I am bored or uninterested in what is going on around me, the headache starts up
  • when I try to make it go away it gets worse
  • when I stop thinking it goes away
  • it is much stronger during meditation and much less after meditation
  • smoking weed (which I don't do very often) has occasionally completely loosened the knot and I have experienced oceanic perception and a smooth rising flow from the root, through the heart and coming out of the forehead and top of the head. On a side note, I often notice that when I smoke weed it gives me a few months "preview" of upcoming developments in my spiritual unfolding.
  • the knot's main locations are in the back of the head, the top of the head and the forehead and in between the eyes
  • i also feel knots in the throat, chest and abdomen
  • loving myself also seems to cause the knots to loosen
  • letting go of the hope of ever understanding or achieving enlightenment seems to provide some relief
  • the sensations seems to radiate from a bubble of numbness around the core in which the delusion of self seems to reside
  • the sensations are attached to the side channels
  • I can't really feel my spine or the back of my throat (sushumna / central channel is unavailable to me)
Get it checked for:

Daniel Ingram:
And then there is the good old medical question which the doctor in me can't help but wondering about: might you actually have something like a bruit (sound made by a flow problem in the vessels to your head) that might benefit from imaging, like a carotid doppler (ultrasound)? Not to pathologize anything, and it all might just be meditation stuff, but sometimes sounds like that actually mean something medical, and you might get that checked out.
This could be the effects of over-meditation. Another possibility is that this is part of the rewiring process. Some people like Ramana, U.G. Krishnamurti, etc. come to mind. They sat with it for days and pop they become enlightened. However, your best course of action is to get it checked and let us know how it all goes.

Much Metta to you...

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/26/17 8:16 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
UG's account:
Then, on the eighth day I was sitting on the sofa and suddenly there was an outburst of tremendous energy -- tremendous energy shaking the whole body, and along with the body, the sofa, the chalet and the whole universe, as it were -- shaking, vibrating. You can't create that movement at all. It was sudden. Whether it was coming from outside or inside, from below or above, I don't know -- I couldn't locate the spot; it was all over. It lasted for hours and hours. I couldn't bear it but there was nothing I could do to stop it; there was a total helplessness. This went on and on, day after day, day after day. Whenever I sat it started -- this vibration like an epileptic fit or something. Not even an epileptic fit; it went on for days and days.

(For three days UG lay on his bed, his body contorted with pain -- it was, he says, as if he felt pain in every cell of his body, one after the other. Similar outbursts of energy occurred intermittently throughout the next six months, whenever he lay down or relaxed.)

The body was not able to.... The body feels the pain. That's a very painful process. Very painful. It is a physical pain because the body has limitations -- it has a form, a shape of its own, so when there is an outburst of energy, which is not your energy or my energy or God's (or call it by any name you like), it is like a river in spate. The energy that is operating there does not feel the limitations of the body; it is not interested; it has its own momentum. It is a very painful thing. It is not that ecstatic, blissful beatitude and all that rubbish -- stuff and nonsense! --- it is really a painful thing. Oh, I suffered for months and months after that; before that too. Everybody has. Even Ramana Maharshi suffered after that.

A great cascade -- not one, but thousands of cascades -- it went on and on and on for months and months. It's a very painful experience -- painful in the sense that the energy has a peculiar operation of its own. H'm, you know, you have at the airport a Wills cigarette advertisement. There is an atom: lines going like that. (UG demonstrates.) It is clockwise, anticockwise, and then it is this way and then this way and then this way. Like an atom it moves inside -- not in one part of your body; the whole body. it is as if a wet towel were being wrung to get rid of the water -- it is like that, the whole of our body -- it's such a painful thing. It goes on even now. You can't invite it; you can't ask it to come; you can't do anything. It gives you the feeling that it is enveloping you, that it is descending on you. Descending from where? Where is it coming from? How is it coming? Every time it is new -- very strange -- every time it comes in a different way, so you don't know what is happening. You lie down on your bed, and suddenly it begins -- it begins to move slowly like ants. I'd think there were bugs in my bed, jump out, look -- (Laughs) no bugs -- then I'd go back -- then again.... The hairs are electrified, so it slowly moves.

There were pains all over the body. Thought has controlled this body to such an extent that when that loosens, the whole metabolism is agog. The whole thing was changing in its own way without my doing anything. And then the movement of the hands changed. Usually your hands turn this way. (UG demonstrates.) Here, this wrist joint had terrible pains for six months until it turned itself, and all the movements are now like this. That is why they say my movements are mudras (mystical gestures). The movements of the hands are quite different now than before. Then there were pains in the marrow of the bones. Every cell started changing, and it went on and on for six months.

And then the sex hormones started changing. I didn't know whether I was a man or a woman -- What is this business?" -- suddenly there was a breast on the left-hand side. All kinds of things -- I don't want to go into details -- there is a complete record of all these things. It went on and on and on. It took three years for this body to fall into a new rhythm of its own.

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/27/17 5:41 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I was able to get hooked up with a psychiatrist.  My first night with a medication got me some sleep.  Shargrol as always was spot on with his/her last post about needing to realize how unhealthly my practice had gotten.  Guess what, I still got shit!  



RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
11/27/17 9:58 AM as a reply to David Blair.
That's great David, seems wise.

The buddha is a good example in this regard. He got caught up in his own practice, nearly starved himself to death... so he put things on hold, got healthy again, and then reflected on a "middle path" forward between the extremes of excessive effort and no effort.

Best wishes!!

RE: Garden Variety Fear Nana?
12/1/17 4:40 AM as a reply to David Blair.
Hello David! How are you, my dear friend? emoticon

I hope you have had great insight from the good rest!