Strange question

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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

Strange question

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: bboyYen
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

When someone is in the re-iteration stage.

And mental states or thoughts get worse in worse in this sort of cycle.

What exactly happens if you don't practice, or is it necessary to practice if you get out.

This might seem strange but if it does get worse and worse (which is what I've been complaining about for some time but I would hesitate to say if it has been for the past 7-8 ish years or maybe even 9).

But here is a description of what I thought, I was pretty certain that I was headed for inevitable decline, a fear I held that I eventually would commit suicide due to misery, or faily and drop out of school (although the fear of dropping out of school is... not a real worry) anyways, I had certain progressions of insight in which my understandings or insights and understanding of the dharma were "deeper?" then before, but I felt worse.

Also the decline in mental states and thoughts, was bad, more suicidal ideation, constant anxiety et.c

So my question is, if I really am in the dark night.

Particularly in the stage of re-iteration which seems to fit so well with what I suspected before and suddenly coming upon this site that describes it so well.

Must one meditate? Or is it natural leave?

Also, what happens if I die in re-iteration, having reached a point of no return.

What effect does that have on future lives, or are you a cula-sotapanna? who is incapable of dying without attaining stream entry.

Also, here's a metaphor that I was keen on saying if I had attained

"If you want to pull out the knife, you have to pull out the knife"

Which may seem redundant, you could also say arrow.

Basically if you want to reach the end of suffering or the pain of the knife, you have to pull it out, which is painful.

Also "I assure you, take the leap of faith" or
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

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

"Do you have the guts?" but you can disregard these last two as well. yeah.

ya know.
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

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

imo you are clearly in the dark night dude. as to whether or not one (you) must meditate, i dont know. im guessing, from the level of obsession you've posted with these last couple days, and the topics of the posts (all of which scream re-observation from where im standing), well im guessing that you wouldnt be able to stop it as a background process in your mind even if you tried. whether or not that will be sufficient momentum to reliably get you into equanimity regarding formations, and then on to path-moment, however, is another matter, and if the number of chronic dark night yogis is anything to go by, my guess is that it probably won't be enough. in light of this, i recommend that you find an effective and well-proven technique and practise the hell out of it on intensive retreat without stopping for even half a second.. or back off completely (as completely as you can) and get involved in doing stuff you can enjoy in every day life, until such a time when you feel it is the right time to press forward.

the thing about re-observation (re-iteration in your words) is that it really does often seem like there's no way forward and no way back. but that's just part of the territory, which too will inevitably change.

also, please dont kill yourself. ive considered suicide on the path many times, but never went through with attempting it, and most people i know are probably glad for it, as am i as well, to be honest. no living creature endowed with survival instincts - as we are - truly wants to die, and the anguish and disappointment that drives us to want to pwn ourselves is truly bitter, i know. but do persevere, and if you find yourself asking what's the point?, remember how things can be simple, and good, and that the universe is not a cruel joke. the screaming you hear in your head is truly just a call to awaken.

with metta and uppekha
take care
Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi bboyYen,

I don't have any practice suggestions as I'm pretty new to this myself, but I just wanted to say "hang in there." I've been there too and suspect that I am heading back into it. You might be miserable, but you are not alone.

theprisonergreco, thank you for your words. Your empathy shines through them.

B
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 11 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Hi bboyYen,

As one who seems to wander in and out of the Dark Night on a routine basis, I can identify with what you are dealing with. Below is a c&p from a teacher I worked with a while back addressing some difficulties I was having with a "bad mental state". It may not fit your present situation exactly, but I hope you find it useful to some degree, either now or at some point in the future:

"...depression and so on is a result of past action or karma. But if you accept it with patience you are “spending” it. That is, it’s running its course. When it runs out it won’t come back again. You are eradicating it little by little. But if you react by being upset when it's there you create new karma which will give a new result for the future. As Achan Sobin says, you lose double. So the attitude we have to cultivate is: I don't care if I'm experiencing good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant things. I'm just going to watch it without getting involved. Let it all come at you without fear, because it's all the result of past actions, so you can't control it or stop it. But you can control how you respond to it in the present. This approach seems difficult at first, but it really works. And it becomes easy with practice..."
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: AngelinaChan-Ong

It is normal to feel that way, bboyYen.

The dreaded feeling should lead you to a sense of urgency, but know that if you wish to terminate your own life, you'd end up in places you don't want to go to. This dreadful, dragging feeling that makes you feel like you wish to leave it all is heavy and intense and it is called samvega (sorry, can't remember the spelling). Transform this energy and put it to meditation, you'll be able to find relieve soon enough.
Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 74 Join Date: 5/13/09 Recent Posts
Fwiw:

Article outlining samvega & pasada:
http://here-and-now.org/wwwArticles/samvega.html

(brief) perspective on it:
http://dhammareflections.blogspot.com/2008/02/grief-samvega.html
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James Hao Yen, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Hello Dharma Overground

I am not in the dark night.


aright slong

kthxbai
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James Hao Yen, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Hello Dharma Overground sorry if I split this site sorry if I insulted you

I just don't want to be screwed. I don't want to be screwed. I kinda just want to renconcile this site (to gain merit). It feels bad. I wish you all to be happy.


aright slong

kthxbai i feellllllbad
J Adam G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Okay, if you are not in the dark night, then what is going on for you? Could it be Three Characteristics? Could it be reobservation? You're definitely not at equanimity, and you're past cause & effect.

How are you deciding that you aren't in the dark night? I'm not trying to argue with your decision, because I'm not having your experience so I don't know, but I'm wondering why you're so certain it isn't dark night when you're feeling so negative. It's normally pretty clear cut: If you've had A&P stuff happen, and everything sucks, it's the dark night. Have you not had any A&P stuff?
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James Hao Yen, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Hi J Adam G

I pretty much never experienced any AP stuff.

There is a lot of other things I could go into that would invalidate my crossing the AP and entering the dark night. Such as the amount of demerity I've made, never actually seeing the arising and passing of an object et.c et.c

aright slong

kthxbai
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James Hao Yen, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Hello Dharma Overground

I am Pre AP Pre Progress of Insight

I am not enlightened


aright slong

kthxbai
J Adam G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
It's very doubtful that you've had absolutely no insight progress at all. It's possible, but something like the Three Characteristics stage is more likely. If you haven't had any A&P stuff, and everything sucks because you meditated, there's a very good chance that it's Three Characteristics.


Meditation advice for getting through Three Characteristics: keep observing whatever you're observing and stay at the bare sensate experience. If you aren't noting, then it's definitely something to consider. If you aren't at Three Characteristics yet, then it doesn't matter because these instructions will get you there and then get you through them.

It's likely that at some point, you'll be able to observe reality happening too quickly to use specific labels as notes. When this happens, stop using specific labels like "pain" or "in-breath" or "feeling." Switch to something that isn't a word like "bip" or "beep" or "da" or whatever sound you like.

Eventually, things can get so fast that even the non-word noting slows you down. At that point, completely drop noting and just stay with pure observation of the sensations. Whatever they are, observe them. Keep observing them. If you get distracted, go back to mindfully observing something. What you're observing doesn't matter nearly as much as the fact that you need to be mindfully observing. Even if you experience much suffering, keep observing.

If suffering distracts you from whatever thing you're trying to observe, then observe the suffering. This may make the suffering get weaker, or stronger, or different in any other way. This may be a useful thing to notice, but the main idea here is to observe the fundamental nature of whatever sensations you're observing. So, PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM CONTENT. Don't get yourself stuck in thoughts like "it sucks to be in Three Characteristics!" or "I hate meditating!" or "this is impossible" or anything like that. All of that is content, which is incorrect for insight meditation. It's actually doubly unhelpful because those kinds of thoughts increase your suffering while distracting you from the insight work that you're doing to try and get out of the suffering!

When those thoughts exist, just stick closely with bare sensations of something that you're experiencing. It's true that thoughts are made up of bare sensations that can be correctly observed in insight practice. However, it's no easy task to stay at the bare sensate level of thoughts about suffering. Thoughts about suffering practically scream, "look at my content!" So just don't stay with those thoughts. Use your faculty for mindfulness to maintain your attention at the fundamental, bare level where insight practice operates. This is much easier with something like touch or vision than with thoughts.

So, to summarize the instructions for this: no matter how much anything sucks, the only thing that will cause you to progress past this state is to keep observing bare sensate experience. Content is USELESS here. If you're having thoughts of protest or complaint at how much things suck, then you need to redirect your attention to bare sensory experience and mindfully guard your attention so that it stays there. If you absolutely have to stop meditating because you're about to fry your brain, then fine, rest for a while. Perhaps do some metta -- this could be very helpful in toning down the aversion and suffering to a more manageable level. But this rest period should exist only for the purpose of resuming effective insight meditation soon.
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James Hao Yen, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
hi thanks

actually I was thinking about confessing that I am in three characteristics

I remember long time ago the really fast impossible noting and the general sweat irritation, coarse et.c

like my mind was screwed up

but I'm pre AP

kthxbai
J Adam G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Strange question

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Yeah, Three Characteristics can really be a bear. But the thing is, it often doesn't take nearly the amount of time to get through it that the dark night can sometimes take. If you clear out, say, 8 hours and resolve as stubbornly as possible that you're going to meditate until you're through Three Characteristics stage, then it's pretty likely to happen. Alternate between sitting and walking meditation as necessary to avoid hurting your body, but STAY MINDFUL while you're making the transitions between those two types of meditation. If you keep switching back and forth to try to get out of mental suffering, then it won't work.

Your resolve might be tested very heavily, or you might push through in 45 minutes that are easier than you thought it would be. But either way, you can do it. Just stay at the bare sensate level the whole time, and remember that most sensations don't include any strong element of negative vedana. If you are able to focus on non-miserable sensations, like say the breath happening at the nose or at the abdomen, or the feelings in your feet as you're walking, or basically any visual information, it will make it much easier. Attend to the miserable sensations only when they're so distracting that you can't ignore them through any force of will.