My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

John Smith, modified 4 Years ago at 1/15/20 10:17 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/15/20 10:17 AM

My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
One year ago, during by 3rd vipassana retreat I went through what I think was the Arising and passing way. Felt the body was opening up energetically, specially in the spine, even though there were some parts that were still "blocked". It coincides a lot with the descriptions of Kundalini awakening.
This energetic phenomena was accompanied by a dream which I relate to a past life. The content of the dream was about past traumas that I relate a lot to what i'm going through now (If you're interested i'll be willing to share). Also it was exceptionally vivid, full of detail and emotional ressonance. To the point of when waking up, i just questioned what was real, because it seemed so much "palpable" as being here in the now.

Now comes the part hard to explain, which is kinda blurry after 1 year. It felt like by solving the traumas i experienced in that life i would wake up spiritually, would solve a paradox. Because i keep doing the same mistakes perpetually, and this keeps dragging me in time (time seems relative, because it looks as if I solve my traumas in this life, it will also have repercussions on the past, and viceversa - if this makes any sense). It looks like my whole existence on this "plane" is a fruit of those unresolved things and that by solving this puzzle "I" will cease to exist.
On this topic the movie "The Fountain" hits me so hard, it ressonance deeply in all ways to what I am going through.

Could it be that by gaining particular insight into that experience I would hit Stream Entry?
Back to the sensations, it felt like the whole body was energy except a few particular areas that i associate with those issues being dealed on. It felt like I was close to something "orgasmic".

Anyway more less around this time, my life gained a grey flavour, noticed having less energy, less enthusiasm and more apathy. This is still happening now, after 1 year.
This symptoms kinda match the time where I started meditating more seriously (have been meditating 2hours a day for the last 1.5 years)

Because I couldn't easy my sufferings, I started to look in other ways for answers, which eventually lead me to Ayahuasca (a shamanic medicine, of DMT composite). Did 2 ceromonies. While the first was deeply insightful the second was a nightmare and ended up having a paychotic break. I figured i was taking things way too fast, on this quest of spiritual emergence.

Nowdays I am recovering from the paychotic break. The doctors recomended me to stop meditating at least for a year because it could help trigger psycosis again.
I don't know if Vipassana in the first place  was influencing me negatively, because as I said, the time my mood deteriorated was like 3 months after my first retreat. Or it could be consequence of, accodding to what i hear in these forums, the so called Dukka Nanas.

In your experience, to those who have been trough awakening, are there any similarities with this story? Could I associate my negative feelings and apathy with the process of individuation or am I overlooking things?
Also, if someone went through something like a paychotic break i would like to know if it affected your capacity to experience insight and the overall capacity for inner development.

My english isn't the best, hope I could make clear my points. ( without sounding overly wacky emoticon )

Thanks for reading.
svmonk, modified 4 Years ago at 1/15/20 9:03 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/15/20 9:02 PM

RE: My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

Posts: 403 Join Date: 8/23/14 Recent Posts
Hi John,

It sounds to me from your account that your psychotic break had little to do with meditation and more to do with your second Ayahuasca experience, which is not to say that some people don't run into psychological difficulties with meditation. I think your doctors' advice is quite sound and I would recommend following it. The other issue I see is getting bored with life, which I assume is what you mean by life having a grey flavor, and trying to spice it up with psychedelics. My experience is that this is a somewhat risky proposition. If the greyness you experienced was part of the dukka nanas, the stages of the Path some folks here call "the Dark Night", then indeed I would expect difficulty to come out of psychedelics. If after a year you are feeling no worse or possibly better, talk to your doctors if they think resuming meditation makes sense. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
John Smith, modified 4 Years ago at 1/17/20 12:48 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/17/20 12:48 PM

RE: My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Hello Svmonk. Thanks for your reply.

When I speak of life turning grey is more like there is a lot of apathy (perhaps of supressed emotional stuff?) and lack of energy to fullfill objetives.
I don't feel any tendency to get into psychadelics or even poit after this, so it hasn't been a challenge.
Anyway, how can I know if all this is due to personal stuff, or it can be of spiritual emergence nature (aka Dark Night)? Could it be that stopping Meditation is hindering this process to be "through"?
Bill T, modified 4 Years ago at 1/17/20 6:17 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/17/20 6:16 PM

RE: My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

Posts: 108 Join Date: 11/22/19 Recent Posts
Hi John
If you went through A&P on the course, then the 'grey' feeling after is almost certainly 'dhukka nanas'. I'm speaking from experience here as I've been through that process many times, and just kicked off a new cycle with an A&P during home practice last week.

I can already feel some of that problem emerging myself - life seems very dull after such a powerful and magical experience. The trick is to dig into reality and 'just accept' the coarse, rough emotions and sensations as they emerge - the dullness is symptomatic of your mind state.

Have you read MCTB? Ingram gives loads of advice on navigating this difficult phase.

As svmonk says, I'd follow your doctor's advice for now, but when you feel ready I'd recommend trying some 'concentration' / samatha type practice in addition to what you've learnt in Vipassana.
John Smith, modified 4 Years ago at 1/19/20 5:12 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/19/20 5:12 AM

RE: My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Yes, MCTB had some helpful tips to follow and made be understand that it all might be part of the process.

I am also quite curious to know a couple of things, if you don't mind emoticon
How long did took you to cycle through dark night? Do you think that
stopping Meditation can make be regress back to 3 caracteristic or a lower stage of insight? This is because everything seems really dull and
i don't experience any particular insight (everything seems apathic and

Anyway people here say a lot to strive for Stream Entry. Do you think "reaching" SE gave you a improvement in your overall
quality of life?

Thanks again folks.
Bill T, modified 4 Years ago at 1/26/20 5:51 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/26/20 5:50 AM

RE: My experiences with Vipassana Meditation

Posts: 108 Join Date: 11/22/19 Recent Posts
Hi John, sorry I missed your reply. I still can't figure out how to get email notifications reliably from this board.
Re. Progressing through dark night / dukkha nana territory: Seems some people with strong concentration, deep in a course, can get through dukkha nana stuff in a few hours. Others get stuck in them for decades! 
Yep, you can regress back from A&P to 3C's or other stages. That would certainly mirror my experiences. This post is really useful:
 don't believe I've reached SE, but I've seen many reports that reaching makes a step change in attitude to life, suffering etc. - in a much more powerful and permanent way than an A&P event.