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Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?

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I had a very intense lucid dream two nights ago. I basically dreamed that I was visiting past lives. The mood was fearsome and after one or two visits I basically wanted it to stop.

The first one was at a conservatory for plants and animals, it was worn down and I was searching for something valueable to sell on ebay to rescue the place. I found very old books. One was in a bag of a competition game from old tibetan times. It had the book on dying in it (maybe the book on living too).

The second one was a soldier in ww2, who knew he would be dying in an instance. Then the granade hit. And we died.

The third one was not so important.

The fourth one was with a girl who was sent to a cave or house to change her behaviour for whatever reasons. We were in the house visiting the witch. She wanted to talk to the girl, but I demanded attention. She looked into my eyes and she saw everything. I saw something back in her eyes, it was me but I couldn't recognize me. Her eyes began flickering and she passed out somehow.
I didn't want all this to happen and fleed over the acres. Maybe on a horse, maybe flying. To get rid of this past live experience, I started noting "IMPERMANENCE" "IMPERMANENCE" rapidly.
Then everything flickered. It was gone for a short time, then everything was black, the acres reappeared and vanished again. Backward rationalizing it had to be three times.
Looks like an A&P event for me? Especially because of the fitting to the description of the three doors whith Impermanence and Suffering.
But I was not in A&P phase. And my insight meditation skills are not too good. I only got a dim sense of vibrations bevore.


The evening bevore this dream I meditated half an hour on my breath, concentrating. And I tried ten minutes with a torchlight, I saw some impermanence in it, but couldn't fixate it in my mind with eyes closed.

Coincidental I read this about past lives that day:
Culadasa on Past Lives

And also I read Nagarjuna's Book of the middle way. On this day the chapter about rebirth. Without buying into it.

Two weeks ago, I quit antidepressants I took after a disc prolapse.

Now I fear continuing meditation and making more experiences that are too much for me. And I fear not doing meditation, and prolonging the dark night (again?).

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/8/12 4:06 PM as a reply to Peter Plan.
I don't want to jump to conclusions here, but it's a fact that going off antidepressants can be really disorienting. That may not be the explanation for what happened here, but if you've just quit them then it's likely that you're getting withdrawal symptoms. Did you taper the medication carefully with a doctor's input? Or did you just stop taking it? Be careful with that stuff.

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/9/12 6:57 PM as a reply to Peter Plan.
Peter Plan:
I had a very intense lucid dream two nights ago... Now I fear continuing meditation and making more experiences that are too much for me. And I fear not doing meditation, and prolonging the dark night (again?).


There is really no definitive criteria for diagnosing an A+P experience outside of Vipassana practice, as far as I know. Chances are if you have had some kind of mind-blowing experience that was also terrifying, especially if it changed how you see your life, it was a kind of A+P. Chances are, if you're preoccupied with the question of whether or not to meditate, you had an A+P experience at some time. And, chances are, if you're experimenting with concentration practices and fascinated by past lives, you're going to stumble across the question of what composes your moment to moment experience of reality, if you haven't already. Once that happens, the only cure (known to me, anyway) is insight practice.

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/9/12 9:19 PM as a reply to Peter Plan.
You'll almost certainly be OK if you keep going with the meditation. You can handle the experiences you had in your dream, and it's pretty unlikely that the meditation you did caused the dream content anyway, though it may have had something to do with the lucidity.

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/10/12 3:29 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
I agree, dreams are safe and learning that they are safe is a very important part of lucid dreaming, but even if you don't learn it, they are still relatively safe.

My first A&P I am sure of also was scary, and involved a witch blasting me to flashing fragments, and I had no obvious build up that was A&P-like, nor any obvious post-A&P glow, just the flash, the explosion, and about 10 seconds later that was it.

I still think that powers, practicing in dreams, and that sort of stuff is very, very suggestive of A&P territory, so that would still be my best guess.

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/10/12 2:39 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Jane Laurel Carrington:
I don't want to jump to conclusions here, but it's a fact that going off antidepressants can be really disorienting. That may not be the explanation for what happened here, but if you've just quit them then it's likely that you're getting withdrawal symptoms. Did you taper the medication carefully with a doctor's input? Or did you just stop taking it? Be careful with that stuff.


The doctor said that they would not lead to addiction. And the dosis was very low. I didn't feel withdrawal symptoms, just that I'm more alive and have a wider spectrum of emotions. Thanks for your remarks, I will keep it in my mind though.

J B:

There is really no definitive criteria for diagnosing an A+P experience outside of Vipassana practice, as far as I know. Chances are if you have had some kind of mind-blowing experience that was also terrifying, especially if it changed how you see your life, it was a kind of A+P. Chances are, if you're preoccupied with the question of whether or not to meditate, you had an A+P experience at some time. And, chances are, if you're experimenting with concentration practices and fascinated by past lives, you're going to stumble across the question of what composes your moment to moment experience of reality, if you haven't already. Once that happens, the only cure (known to me, anyway) is insight practice.


Haha, very down-to-earth comment! Motivating!

Daniel M. Ingram:
I agree, dreams are safe and learning that they are safe is a very important part of lucid dreaming, but even if you don't learn it, they are still relatively safe.


Good to know, that takes some fear from me.

Daniel M. Ingram:

I still think that powers, practicing in dreams, and that sort of stuff is very, very suggestive of A&P territory, so that would still be my best guess.


Is it possible to verify if it was an A+P?

Given my limited capacity to experience my moment to moment reality: How can I distinguish between limited capacity in the sense of lack of training from dark night ramnifications?

MCTB:

Whereas one might have felt that one’s attention had finally attained the one-pointed focus that is so highly valued in most ideals of meditation during the Arising and Passing Away, during the Dark Night one will have to deal with the fact that one’s attention is actually quite wide and its contents unstable. Further, the center of one’s attention becomes the very least clear area of experience, and the periphery becomes predominant.


Given my present identity crisis it is not easy to distinguish dark night dark mood from dark mood because of identity crisis.

MCTB:

There are two basic things that happen during the Dark Night, one emotional, the other perceptual. Our dark stuff tends to come bubbling up to the surface with a volume and intensity that we may never have known before. Remembering what is good in our life can be difficult in the face of this, and our reactivity in the face of our dark stuff can cause us staggering amounts of needless suffering. On top of this, we also begin to experience directly the fundamental suffering of duality, a suffering that has always been with us but which we have never known with this level of intensity or ever clearly understood. We face a profound and fundamental crisis of identity as our insight into the Three Characteristics begins to demolish part of the basic illusion of there being a separate or permanent us. This suffering is a kind of suffering that has nothing to do with what happens in our life and everything to do with a basic misunderstanding of all of it.


My plan is to keep my life functioning. And to try to ecperiency my moment to moment experience as it is. To learn noting. To see vibrations. How can I do the step from seeing the flow of sensations to see it "blink"?

MCTB:

Meditation can be the same way, and until one breaks out of this, things can get a bit mired down in the overstuffed cushions of Dissolution. However, when the perception of things ending becomes clearer again, there arises...


Perception of things ending... Can I fasten this up with the Note Gone technique from Shinzen Young? To learn all this seems like the right thing to do, independent of being in the dark night or not.

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/12/12 9:20 AM as a reply to Peter Plan.
The other day I experimented with the flame again. This time when I closed my eye after getting a sense of the flame, a black "eye" or an "O" lying flat on a side appeared at my center of attention. There was a blueish light shining from the edges. An orange dot appeared in the middle of the black eye, seemingly solid. My eyes hat to (inverse?) blink sometimes, I think because I was irritated from seeing something with my eyes closed. After that the black eye and the dot most of the time reappeared instantly, sometimes the black eye became a little bit orange. After a while the orange dot with the black eye in behind began to move. Afterwards it became bigger and eventually split up in 3 or 4 dots. I thought my concentration was fading and the 10-minute-bell set in.

MCTB on the dark night:

...those who are using some other object as a focus will notice the same phenomena of the width of attention being wider and the basic sense that attention seems to sort of be out of phase with phenomena. Those doing visualizations may notice that they see a black spot in the center of their attention with some sort of patterns or visions around the edge of it spreading wider and wider out into the periphery.


Seems that I'm quite in the dark night. Is there any more I can do to put it under trial?

Daniel wrote, that the attention in the dark night widens. That one should focus on bare sensations like the breath. To perceive things clearly again. With a lighter and wider touch.

MCTB:

Moving from the second to the third jhana is like going from focusing on the donut hole to focusing on the outer edge of the donut, except that now you are sitting in the center of the donut. Remember this when you get to descriptions of the Dark Night in the section on the stages of insight, as the Dark Night has as its foundation the third jhana but adds the Three Characteristics.



Another dream I had, the night after my above mentioned meditation:
I was watching a crappy 90's shaolin movie, but then it zapped and there was a wise old monk speaking to me throught the TV. He took a figure I already dreamed of (the buddha?), made it to ice and put it in a big wooden cup. He then shook (shaked?) the cup, it made no noise or just bumbing. He told me that is how i perceive reality. Then he broke the ice-figure apart (or did it burst?) and now the cup was full of small ice like a caipirinha. He then shook the cup and it made like kling-kling-kling-kling...


Now the dilemma I'm in:
If I'm in the A&P stage right now I would prefer to not cross it now, to be able to sort some stuff out and finish my electrical engineering diplom.
If I'm in the dark night I want to keep practicing, not sort my stuff out but finish my diplom nontheless.

Practice to verify If I'm in the dark night could lead me to cross the A&P...

Is there any way to solve the dilemma?

RE: Lucid dreams of past lives and A&P event?
Answer
6/19/12 2:02 PM as a reply to Peter Plan.
Experimencing with mantras again, but there was nothing strange about it that I noted. Just that I got bored and lost in stories often, like in my other forms of meditation recently. Seems to be a lack of energy. People tell me that they think that I'm lethargic or ask if I take drugs.

MCTB:

When energy is deficient there is sloth, torpor, dullness, and tiredness. When energy is in excess the mind and body may be restless, jumpy, strained, and irritable. It may even be unable to focus at all because so much emphasis is being placed on effort itself. When concentration is deficient the mind won't stay with an object and tends to get lost in thought. When concentration is in excess one can get lost in one's objects or be focused too narrowly and tightly for reality to “breathe.”


But how can I get more energy?


MCTB:

Once we have sorted out what is mind and what is body and begun to see a bit of the Three Characteristics, this in itself can produce lots of energy, the third of the seven factors. This can be just a bit scary at first until we get used to how quick and powerful our minds can be. As mentioned in the Five Spiritual Faculties, energy is a very good thing, as it obviously energizes our practice. We can almost always call up just a bit more energy when we need it, and this is a good thing to realize. However, being mindful and investigating diligently can also lead to increased energy, so now you have more than one way to go about this!


The Three Characteristics are either a pain in the ass or frustrating me with not revealing themselves to me, so there is no energy for me to find right now. Being mindful feels more energy and motivation consuming than giving. If I'm in the dark night I should focus on physical sensations like Daniel wrote. Or should I do "Energy practices"? But then I'm focusing on mental/emotional sensations...

Same here with rapture, concentration doesn't give me rapture right now. It's more a feeling of tranquility.


The other day I was working out big time at a fitness center. After that I had to rounds of sauna. The relax moment after that was sooo relaxing. I did some focus on rest, my whole body was resting, which was the first time I experienced this completeness of rest. Then I began noting, noting everything, noting my breath, noting my heartbeat. Focusing on the arising and passing away, focusing of the beginning and the end of every heartbeat. Amazing stuff.

The next day I dreamed I was in Paris. Had a hot pursuit with an ambulance, in which the world began to bend and passways appeared and disappeared. I realized I was dreaming. Then I was flying in a sougarish comic-3D-landscape. That got boring and I started noting IMPERMANENCE - IMPERMANENCE - IMPERMANENCE - IMPERMANENCE - ... I realized that - you name it - everything is passing away. The sougarish landscape and its skyscrapers began to crumble like in the end of Fight Club... everything collapsed. The dreamworld suddenly disappeared. And I woke up in my Paris dream again.

I'm starting to think that all this is infused by my reading of the MCTB. Or that I'm in dark night after all..