dark night territory

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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 8:06 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 8:06 AM

dark night territory

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: ngakpakonchuknorbu
Forum: Practical Dharma

i was wanting to hear others experience with these stages.
1 when you first crossed the anp did you stay in the dark night or fall back down and have to repeat all the stages leading up

2 how have some of you managed to get out of the darknight. how long did it take you to work your way out
and any other relevant comments
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 11:50 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 11:50 AM

RE: dark night territory

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
The best thing you can do is read the chapters on the Dark Nights in MCTB and practice sitting as much as you can with your preferred technique. Open up fully and try not to resist the "tug of the path." Don't get lost in content, pay attention to awareness. Anything else will require more detail in your question.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 2:53 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 2:53 PM

RE: dark night territory

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
@ngakpakonchuknorbu:

I'll do my best to answer your questions.

1.) The standard theory, if I understand it correctly, is that there's only one "crossing of the A&P" per insight cycle. That said, there were times in my practice after first attaining to 11th nana (equanimity) where I recognized what appeared to be a cycling from 1st through 11th nana. This only happened for a couple days, and I remember to experiences that could very well have been A&P crossings if they were in a different context. After that I was hanging out in either 10th or 11th nana until I attained Fruition. After first crossing the A&P, it took me around 7 months to attain Fruition. But that's after about 5 years of meditation.

2.) There's no simple answer to this, because the Dark Night is a sequence of dukkha nanas (5th - 9th nana, and maybe 10th, depending on who you ask). These stages are distinct if one pays attention, so what one may need to do in order to get through it could be different at each stage. Plus, there isn't just one thing. There could be lots of lessons to learn at each stage. There's a general framework for the progress of insight, but it doesn't unfold exactly the same for everyone.

Is there a particular stage you're having difficulty with? If so, feel free to share it. There are a lot of experienced practitioners in this forum who have traversed many a Dark Night and would be happy to give you some tips.

Jackson
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Kenneth Folk, modified 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 4:25 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/19/09 4:25 PM

RE: dark night territory

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Hi ngakpak,

It's very common for a yogi who has attained the A & P to fall below that level and have to work back up to it. There is no limit to how many times this can happen. In fact, one of the big advantages to attaining First Path is that after that you "own" the A & P and you cannot slide below that point. That doesn't mean that you cannot revisit the first three ñanas; you can, but they are just shadow versions of their former selves and no longer cause you problems. After Path you always have access to the 4th-11th, 15th and 16th ñanas. 12,13 and 14 are one-time events.

Eventually the mind gets tired of the First Path territory and you find yourself back in the first ñana, at which point you have to go through the whole Progress of Insight again to attain 2nd Path.

Kenneth
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 3/3/09 3:51 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/3/09 3:51 PM

RE: dark night territory

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: ngakpakonchuknorbu

well, as for myself my practice is very up and down, and very quickly. its usaully an hour or so of clarity, then a period of relaxation, maybe laxity, glimpes of no subject, and then that background collapses, and over again. i cant really ask many questions because by the time i get a response im in something else.

My intention for this thread was more of creating a body of dark night experiences and nitty gritty details of practicioners own proccess experiences. so this question was directed to everyone willing to participate. I would be very pleased and it would be a very good resource for future D.O. members.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 3/3/09 6:49 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/3/09 6:49 PM

RE: dark night territory

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: GhostLLP

It's unclear to me if the term "Dark Night" is being used in the traditional sense, or if the term is just sort of being hijacked into a different model.

If it's the former, I would point anyone experiencing the Dark Night to the original treatise done by St. John of the Cross. This will be your best source of information.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 3/3/09 8:05 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/3/09 8:05 PM

RE: dark night territory

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
hi ghost,

the term 'dark night' is used here to mean 'the knowledges of suffering', aka the dukkha nanas (from dissolution to re-observation) of the path of insight set out in the visuddhimagga. its cross-traditional use as such was popularised in the book 'mastering the core teachings of the buddha' by daniel ingram, which can be found for free at www.interactivebuddha.com - a recommended reading if you would like to have a common vocabulary with active members of this forum.