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Going mad or part of the path?
Answer
7/20/18 10:50 AM
Hi everyone, I need some help to reassess my progress on the path of insight. I might be going trough a seriously long period of dark night, with tremendous amounts of suffering, or I could just be going trough a very long period of depression, to be honest I have a very hard time telling the difference.

Before stumbling upon Vipassana I did a great deal of work on myself, and have traveled many places all over the world to find a cure for my suffering. Until this date Vipassana is still the purest and strongest form of relief I have found, however it gets more and more clear to me how long of a path it is to get out of the suffering.


I have read MCTB, and go back and read it for more depth on the maps and various other subjects.

Former Vipassana Experience:
2015 - January, 3 Day course, Ko Samui Thailand
2017 - August, 10 day Goenka Retreat, Sweden
2018 - March, 10 Day Goenka Retreat, Sweden2018 - May, 15 day Dhammacari, Germany.

I have kept my daily practice of 1-2 hours after each retreat for 3-6 months, and then from there meditating more sporadically and about 20-30 hours pr. month.

Whenever I am at a course I reach a very blissful stage of very high insight, and the knowledge that I dont need anything but just being in the present moment. I obtain a very strong inner knowing that everything is perfectly all right, and everything I have been going trough until know is lessons on the path of insight. Everything becomes very clear during the ending of the courses (I usually suffer tremendously the first 6-7 days). I feel a deep peace, a coming home, a connection to the universe and everything around, and a very strong connection and communication with my body.

As soon as I get back to regular life I try to keep the momentum, keep the practice very steadily, but within a few days up to a week, I am back in the deep suffering, and have a hard time coping with “real life”. It feels almost like my nervous system is inflamed and I react very strongly on the sensations, feelings and thoughts that arise from doing just simple everyday things.

In my earlier days I would ride the wave of going from craving to craving, and getting satisfied for a short time until the next craving arose, this would mean a burnout as entrepreneur and quitting my job in 2013, and I never worked for anyone again after that.
Now I see clearly that anything I can obtain materialistically does not do any good for me long term, and it brings a sort of disapointment with life. I see everyone around me living purely materialistic lives, and I see how shallow it is, and how it only brings us further from the truth.

I dont care for eating out at good restaurants, watching good movies, traveling to special places, working out, or doing “fun stuff” like I did before, and all my goals of this life I had earlier and everything else just seem very dull and not exciting, since I know it will not help me get closer to ending suffering. Sometimes my mind tries to trick me with old thinking patterns, e.g. “if you obtain this materialistic object you will be happy”, or “when this happens you will be happy” and I actually feel the sensations of happiness for a short time until I realise that it wont satisfy me long term, and just distract me from the truth, and I go back to feeling dull.

I thought about becoming a monk and meditating until I reached the final stage, however my obligations as a father and householder keeps me from doing that at this point.

I am curious to know how most of you here deal with the daily life as householders while trying to be equanimous and working on the path of insight. I find the life of very little interest, and really just want to meditate, but all the trouble of paying bills, taking care of my family, and everyday tasks and problems create a tremendous amount of tension in me.

I know this is a good chance to practice Vipassana in the daily life, it is just to tough for me to be aware of the sensations and stay in the now with all the things going on in the “real world” and I get overwhelmed and become disappointed with myself and my abilities to practice outside of a safe setting.

I do get very good present moments with my daughter, that helps me trough the day, but I have a hard time keeping the spirit up on that alone. I also get the sparesome equanimous moment when driving, walking or doing something else, and I suddenly remember what it is all about. Like the veil of ignorance is lifting for short periods of time (I guess its all about expanding those moments?)

Most days and hours though are spent in ignorance, and past and future stuff and ramblings of a crazy mind.
Even though I know exactly what I need to do to become free of suffering, I keep putting blocks in front of myself and excuse for why it cannot be like this.

I have been lucky with some good investments the past years and dont have to go to work, though I am still struggling to figure out where to move, and how to live and incorporate the teachings in a normal life without suffering trough a materialistic hell of endless choices.
My plan is to build an off-grid house, and be more or less self-sustainable with produce, and live a simple and modest life in nature with our small family, and practice Vipassana everyday and 1-2 times on intensive retreats.


Until I am able to do that (hopefully next spring 2019) I just feel stuck, and in a waiting position until I can start living the life.
About a month ago I was at Dhammacari in Germany doing the 15 day Mahasi noting Thai style, and had a strong resolution about reaching stream entry. Though I did feel like I went trough re-observation I believe I failed to go much further than that.

I do feel that each intensive retreat brings me closer and closer, and with more and more insight. However when back in the Daily life it just becomes more and more gruesome, maybe its part of the learning process?

Really thankful for any tips on how you are dealing with this yourselves, and where I could be stuck, or if I need to see someone outside the Vipassana world?

Thanks

Metta
Samui, Thailand

RE: Going mad or part of the path?
Answer
7/20/18 12:55 PM as a reply to John Smith.
Hey John If Im honest at least for my point of view Stream Entry, having a fruition, is not that spectacular and live changing but also is really good to have, so go for it! What I want to say dont put your happines and peace in "I will be happy and full again when I reach stream entry", Please don't ^^u. happiness, joy, peace, you can find that now, in the present moment in the little things. Stream entry will not resolve all the problems of your life and will not end the suffer, maybe you will undesrtand more deeply why you suffer and the way you suffer. Of course it helps and its really good but will not fix all the problems of your life! 

With what you have written I see a  stream of thought like a pattern that is very pesimistic and demotivated. I will make this your object of meditation. Every time this type of emotions, thoughts arise just note it, put the tag you prefer. You are identifying yourself with this stream of thoughts that are pesimistic, you say unconsciously "that's totally me". I will do more chamanic approach and haunt that "me". Put all the effort and determination to observe it day and night, every moment non stop! 

If you can really see that, not only in a cognitive level, you will see the big joke and laugh at it, and there will be more freedom!

You said :
I dont care for eating out at good restaurants, watching good movies, traveling to special places, working out, or doing “fun stuff” like I did before, and all my goals of this life I had earlier and everything else just seem very dull and not exciting, since I know it will not help me get closer to ending suffering. Sometimes my mind tries to trick me with old thinking patterns, e.g. “if you obtain this materialistic object you will be happy”, or “when this happens you will be happy” and I actually feel the sensations of happiness for a short time until I realise that it wont satisfy me long term, and just distract me from the truth, and I go back to feeling dull. 


You said MY MIND SAID, MY MIND TRIES TO TRICK ME, but there is not mind, just a thought doing this stuff, sharing a point of view and then passing away and then appers other thought saying "Until I realise that it wont satisfy" this is also another thought doing also his stuff but you identify that this thought is more YOU than the others that are not you.

The thing is all thoughts aren't you, all emotions aren't you. There are thoughts, there are emotions but no I having them, they come, they do their stuff and pass away. Try to observe the attachment of some type of thoughts, that are more me and you validate them like good thoughts, and the aversion of others; that they aren't to much you and the ideas they expose are like attacking your "moral code" or "what you are".

Then also observe your moral code and see why is not more exciting and fun going to eat with family, watching a good movie, traveling to special place, being in nature, stay all day in bed one sunday, having a goal etc. Why belif is blocking that happines in the mundane world?What truth is that, that not allow you to be happy and enjoy simple and mundane things?

With the dullness thing hmmm I felt it like a very draining emotion or mind state, the more you fed it more power have and more dull you will be, more pesimistic etc. Strong dullness is like anything can't make you feel alive again, everything is like "yeah, whatever, doesnt matter, why bother etc" Is important to activate yourself in some way.

What worked for me is going outside and enjoy the little things of life, the sun, the air, the colors, a good view, the feet on the ground, try to live the day, put life on your days, weeks months and years, not be that guy that just watch his life pass. Do something cool and exciting that make you feel alive and proud of yourself, do good to yourself or others ! Find your motivation emoticon !

Hope that helps in someway!

Peace and joy!

RE: Going mad or part of the path?
Answer
7/20/18 2:15 PM as a reply to John Smith.
John Smith:
Hi everyone, I need some help to reassess  my progress on the path of insight. I might be going trough a seriously long period of dark night, with tremendous amounts of suffering, or  I could just be going  trough a very long peri  od of depression, to be honest I have a very hard time telling the difference.   
   
Before stumbling upon Vipassana I did a great deal of work on my self, and have traveled many places all over the world to find a cure for my suffering. Until this date Vipassana is still the purest and  strongest form of relief I have found, however it gets more and more clear to me how long of a path it is to get out of the suffering.   


I have read MCTB, and go back and read it for more depth on the maps and various other subjects.

Former Vipassana Experience:
2015 - January, 3 Day course, Ko Samui Thailand
2017 - August, 10 day Goenka Retreat, Sweden
2018 - March, 10 Day Goenka Retreat, Sweden2018 - May, 15 day Dhammacari, Germany.

I have kept my daily practice of 1-2 hours after each retreat for 3-6 months, and then from there meditating more sporadically and about 20-30 hours pr. month.

Whenever I am at a course I reach a very blissful stage of very high insight, and the knowledge that I dont  need anything but just   being in the present moment. I obtain a very strong inner knowing that everything is perfectly all right, and everything I have been going trough until know is lessons on the path of insight. Everything becomes very clear during the ending of the courses (I usually suffer tremendously the first 6-7 days). I feel a deep peace, a coming home, a connection to the universe and everything around, and a very strong connection and communication with my body.

As soon as I get back to regular life I try to keep the momentum, keep the practice very steadily, but within a few days up to a week, I am back in the deep suffering, and have a hard time coping with “real life”. It feels almost like my nervous system is inflamed and I react very strongly on the sensations, feelings and thoughts that arise from doing just simple everyday things.

In my earlier days I would ride the wave of going from craving to craving, and getting satisfied for a short time until the next craving arose, this would mean a burnout as entrepreneur and quitting my job in 2013, and I never worked for anyone again after that.  
Now I see clearly that anything I can obtain materialistically does not do any good for me long    term, and it brings a sort of disapointment with life. I see everyone around me living purely materialistic lives, and I see how shallow it is, and how it only brings us further from the truth.  

I dont care for eating out at good restaurants, watching good movies, traveling to special places, working out, or doing “fun stuff” like I did  before, and all my goals of this life I had earlier and everything else just seem very dull and not exciting, since I know it will not help me  get closer to ending suffering. Sometimes my mind tries to trick me with old thinking patterns, e.g. “if you obtain this materialistic object you will be happy”, or “when this happens you will be happy” and I  actually feel the sensations of happiness for a short time until I realise that it wont satisfy me long term, and just distract me from the  truth, and I go back to feeling dull.
 
I thought about becoming a monk and meditating until I reached the final stage, however my obligations as a father and householder keeps me from doing that at this point.

I am curious to know how most of you here deal with the daily life as householders while trying to be equanimous and working on the path of insight. I find the life of very little interest, and  really just want to medi tate, but all the trouble of paying bills, taking care of my family, and everyday tasks and problems create a tremendous amount of tension in me.

I know this is a good chance to practice Vipassana in the daily life, it is just to tough for me to be aware of the sensations and stay in the now with all the things going on in the “real world” and I get overwhelmed and become disappointed with myself and my abilities to practice outside of a safe setting.

I do get very good present moments with my daughter, that helps me trough the day, but I have a hard time keeping the spirit up on that alone. I also get the sparesome equanimous moment when driving, walking or doing something else, and I suddenly remember what it is all about. Like the veil of ignorance is lifting for short periods of time (I guess its all about expanding those moments?)
 
Most days and hours though are spent in ignorance, and past and future stuff and ramblings of a crazy mind. 
Even though I know exactly what I need to do to become free of suffering, I keep putting blocks in front of myself and excuse for why it cannot be like this.
 
I have been lucky with some good investments the past years and dont have to go to work, though I am still struggling to figure out where to move, and how to live and incorporate the teachings in a normal life without suffering trough a materialistic hell of endless choices. 
My plan is to build an off-grid house, and be more or less self-sustainable with produce, and live a simple and modest life in nature  with our small family, and practice Vipassana everyday and 1-2 times on intensive retreats.

 
Until I am able to do that (hopefully next spring 2019) I just feel stuck, and in a waiting position until I can start living the life.
About a month ago I was at Dhammacari in Germany doing the 15 day Mahasi noting Thai style, and had a strong resolution about reaching stream entry. Though I did feel like I went trough re-observation I believe I failed to go much further than that.
 
I do feel that each intensive retreat brings me closer and closer, and with more and more insight. However when back in the Daily life it  just becomes more and more gruesome, maybe its part of the learning process? 

Really thankful for any  tips on how you are dealing with this yourselves, and where I could be stuck, or if I need to see someone outside the Vipassana world?

Thanks
 
Metta
Samui, Thailand

Hi John . I’d like to help you to point where it goes wrong. 
See when you’re having those blissful stage of strong insight, these are the upekha you obtains from jhanas. It will not last of course. 
Imagine a tree of fetters ; dana can cut the leaves,  sila can cut the branches, samadhi can cut the trunk, but only panna can remove the roots of the fetters.  
You’re simple having the strong samadhi, entering jhana states then after the blissful you become equanimous. Strong insight, clear knowledge, illuminating. After they are gone the roots of fetter re-grown the branch, that ’s the moment you fall back. Becoming mo k or layfolk isnt the problem. 
 
These whole vipassana is to mean to look at the nature of reality, with fetters bounding , we never gets anywhere closer to reality of life. 
Imagine your doctor tell you only have a few days left to live. Only then you starts to still whats this whole life about, why you here you finally ask, those are moments people looking for reality, money , relationship, those identity you built seems not important anymore, but hey it’s a bit late. 
So next time you went into equanimous, try to study about life, the reality with your wisdom, what makes you chasing these identities? What makes you doubt? What makes you fear? These are illusions , dont you agree? But how and why we creating those you must investigate with depth insight of wisdom, thus when the strong insight of samadhi leaves you, you’re a whole new person. You’d be living wi  less and less resistance to life, less and less entanglements.

Luxury or cheap life isnt the problem, wonderful or painful relationship isnt the problem, healthy or sick body isnt the problem, money isnt the problem. But the way you look and expirience all these are the problem. Samui beautiful view or nasty underground beggar life isnt the problem, the way you identify and feel about these are the problem.  Becoming monk or layfolk isnt the problem, but the investigation to your source of craving is the problem, is it deep enough, anywhere closer to reality? 

Getting back in regular life is exactly where you start the investigation strongly, what are the cause of your tensions? The source of cravings? What makes you guilty about having a luxury life? Luxury life is a thing you achieved of good karma from past life and the right effort you put in this life, is it? If you’re not in equanimous it’d be hard to look into that depth. I hope for the best you get back into those states and practise wisdom, your regular life will change into wonderful life, like mine ;)