Author Topic: On the Dark Night  (Read 25554 times)

Rocket

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2011, 03:37:47 AM »
it will help lots of people when it sinks in

Morning Dew

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2011, 07:49:50 AM »
Che,  I've been wondering,  which planet are you from?

I am from a small planet called Betelgeuse 5. My father (and uncle) was from Betelgeuse 7, which was decimated during the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758. After this, he moved to Betelgeuse 5, where he died of shame because I, his son/nephew was not able to pronounce his name, which wasn't really a surprise because he was named in an obscure Betelgeusian dialect that died out with the planet.
My actual name is "Ix" which, in English is "boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a hrung is or why it should choose to collapse on Betelguese 7.

 ;D

Rocket

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2011, 02:17:42 PM »
I wonder would that be so if I hadn't practiced Shamatha but something else, like concentration on the nose or belly or koans or scanning the body etc...?

Che

Che,  the Shamatha technique is exceedingly simple.  In light of that fact,  your sentence here makes me think you either do not want it and are here for some other odd ball reason  or  you are not capable of it ....   the sentence is so disjointed.  Ie it does not seem to originate from a person who has "got" the simple process it is,  or someone whose cognitve processes are keeping it simple,  as it is.



« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 02:40:22 PM by Rocket »

Rocket

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2011, 02:35:23 PM »
Hello Rocket, ...



My comment was a general one,  not directed at you ....

Morning Dew

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2011, 05:19:27 PM »
Glad you have found the way to simplicity I am still threading the path in this swamp of sensations, emotions, thoughts, ideas, downs, and ups ...

Dont worry about it Rocket. Let it be. Its all good.
I am not in best of moods tonight.

kidnovice

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    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2011, 05:32:32 PM »
I wonder would that be so if I hadn't practiced Shamatha but something else, like concentration on the nose or belly or koans or scanning the body etc...?

Che,  the Shamatha technique is exceedingly simple.  In light of that fact,  your sentence here makes me think you either do not want it and are here for some other odd ball reason  or  you are not capable of it ....   the sentence is so disjointed.  Ie it does not seem to originate from a person who has "got" the simple process it is,  or someone whose cognitve processes are keeping it simple,  as it is.

I completely disagree, Rocket.  As one begins to attain benefits in meditation (i.e., calm, quiet, concentration, kindness, etc.). It is natural (and intelligent) to reflect on how you achieved those benefits. You should look back on the method(s) you used, and ask, "what was most essential to my attaining calm?" Then, continue practicing whatever worked! It is also wise to wonder, are there other methods that I might use to cultivate calm?

That is what I heard in Che's question. It sounded to me like he was engaging in this sort of reflection process. As long as it doesn't carry you away from practice, I think it's healthy.

Hopefully, Che, once you have become fairly proficient in your current method of attaining calm abiding, you might feel free to "answer" your own question.s How does it affect you to focus on a small point above the upper lip? How does it affect you to focus on the abdomen? How does it affect you to scan the body? You're entitled to find out!

When you're ready, a few hours of experimentation on the cushion would give you some idea of what the answers are. But there is no rush. Take your time.

With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

kidnovice

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2011, 05:37:43 PM »
Glad you have found the way to simplicity I am still threading the path in this swamp of sensations, emotions, thoughts, ideas, downs, and ups ...

Dont worry about it Rocket. Let it be. Its all good.
I am not in best of moods tonight.

If you think it might help, Che, sit... Even if that means just accepting what you have to accept. I'm about to do so. You are welcome to join me!

With metta,
Dylan
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Rocket

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2011, 07:02:28 PM »
Glad you have found the way to simplicity I am still threading the path in this swamp of sensations, emotions, thoughts, ideas, downs, and ups ...



The first competent instructor I met maintains we can spend years at it and if our minds are all over the map the whole time we will not get anywhere.  He was born and raised capable of going right into it ie from a healthy family etc.  was trained by the dalai lama from the ago of about twenty.  

I had to spend tons of effort,  decades,  to quiet down big time afflicted emotions before Shamatha was within reach.  Then when I met the teacher I began to have profound experiences immediately.  That doesn't mean anyone else must spend decades.   When I started nobody was doing it  or only a small number of people.  Now there are many more opportunities,  ways to do it more efficiently.

My conclusion is good therapy accelerates it by decades or centuries.   If we carry so much garbage around from unstable upbringing Shamatha may not be within reach immediately unless we quiet it down some.

Ken Wilbur wrote a book back in the 70s with Engler and Brown I think it was,  "transformations of consciousness", he concludes that too.

If you know an extremely stable psychedelic therapist or guide or whatever that can make stabilization go quicker too.  That can be very harrowing but its similar ... while having  direct experience of those "demons" that jerk us around from the back of our own mind is the process of them on the way out of our system ....   after that is when we begin to experience the crystal clear...

Carl Jung taught us about it .... Stan Grof too ....  he's been training people and there are some in Sweden I got to know during my training with him....    and then shamatha practice is the fine tooth comb to polish us up,  send us to higher states around the clock.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 07:12:33 PM by Rocket »

Rocket

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2011, 08:43:47 PM »
. I wonder would that be so if I hadn't practiced Shamatha but something else, like concentration on the nose or belly or koans or scanning the body etc...?

Che

I was misinterpreting where you were coming from here ...  so ...  apologies if I came across heavy handed.

Morning Dew

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2011, 08:29:41 AM »
Dark Night is so dark because the self is ridding the practice, taking over it. If there is no self there is no Dark Night.

The is too much input, the whole mind gets carried away from the body. Body stays on its own with all that input... mind carries away from it ... body gets stressed this further agitates the mind ... the ego self is side tracked needs comfort ... get none, the game goes on.

To simplify all there is

Masauwu

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2011, 11:48:57 PM »
Dr. Willoughby Britton

CSRL 11 Chris Oates

It seems science is trying to catch up and figure out this nebulae of phenomena that we call dark night. Mostly pioneer research by Dr. Willoughby Britton who (unlike other researchers?) experienced herself these dukkha nanas and is trying to figure out a pragmatic way of translating these stages and learning how to deal with them.
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

nibs

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2011, 12:20:38 AM »
Dr Willoughby Britton on Buddhist Geeks: The Dark Side Of Dharma

http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2011/09/bg-231-the-dark-side-of-dharma/
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 12:24:12 AM by nibs »
"Awakening is like taking a satisfying dump." Some anonymous yogi

Jeeprs

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2011, 04:44:27 AM »
It is interesting to reflect on the origin of this term, 'Dark Night of the Soul'. It actually originated with a Christian mystic, St John of the Cross, whose story was one of intense suffering and hardship, culminating in mystic esctacy.

About the only thing I know about him was the chapter on him in Richard M Bucke's 1901 book, Cosmic Consciousness wherein this verse is attributed to him:

Quote
"I entered, but I knew not where, and there I stood, not knowing, all science transcending.

I knew not where I entered, for when I stood within, not knowing where I was, I heard great things. What I heard, I will not tell; I was there as one who knew not, all science transcending.

Of peace and devotion, the knowledge was perfect, in solitude profound; the right way was clear, but so secret was it, that I stood babbling, all science transcending.

I stood enraptured in ecstasy, beside myself, and in my every sense no sense remained. My spirit was endowed with understanding, understanding nought, all science transcending.

The higher I ascended, the less I understood. It is the dark cloud illumining the night. Therefore he who understands knows nothing, ever all science transcending.

He who really ascends so high annihilates himself, and all his previous knowledge seems ever less and less; his knowledge so increases that he knows nothing, all science transcending.

This knowing that knows nothing is so potent in its might that the prudent in their reasoning can never defeat it; for their wisdom never reaches to the understanding that understands nothing, all science transcending

This sovereign wisdom is of an excellence so high that no faculty nor science can ever unto it attain. He who shall overcome himself by the knowledge which knows nothing will always rise, all science transcending.

And if you would listen, this sovereign wisdom does consist in a sense profound of the essence of God; it is an act of His compassion, to leave us, nought understanding, all science transcending."

Andrew

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2011, 05:18:10 AM »
Dude, that is the quote of the year.

Straight to the Pool Room with that one.

The Castle- This is going straight to the pool room
getting it done

Andrew

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2011, 07:21:03 AM »
If there is no self there is no Dark Night.

exactly  ;)
getting it done

Jeeprs

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2011, 07:48:48 AM »
 :D

no Dark Nights in the pool room, I bet...

nibs

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2011, 03:22:29 PM »
If there is no self there is no Dark Night.

exactly  ;)

But there is a flow of becoming, no? Dark night coloured becoming maybe?
"Awakening is like taking a satisfying dump." Some anonymous yogi

Morning Dew

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2011, 07:17:26 PM »
Yes something is becoming. Not sure where from but it is. Harbored traumas or harbored karma. There is something becoming to be clearly comprehended and seen for what it is.
Keep looking, keep looking!
All phenomena are based on becoming and passing away; birth-peak experience-death-birth- peak experience-death-birth-... ... ... ...
Just keep looking until it cracks open or you drop dead  :)

Be well

hopper

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2012, 01:56:35 PM »
a late entry here but just to say that I agree with the long post from nibs above, in particular:
  • My personal experience was that the Dark Night was pretty much a non-event, perhaps some irritability and sadness about previous life experiences and the difficulty of continuing but little more. Others far more experienced (e.g. Shinzen Young) have said the same about themselves and their students. Looking at the hypothesis about Samadhi Jhanas being helpful, perhaps my long experience of Yoga-style meditation was contributing factor?
  • Perhaps one's association with the ego and how flexible one is about releasing this concept is a key issue.  It certainly is in the area of psychology where people analysed the effects of LSD and other hallucinogens i.e. 'bad trips' were commonly caused by people being terrified by a loss of apparent control.  The 'Dark Night' concept and 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' were both commonly used by people investigating themselves this way when it was a big movement in the 60's (e.g Timothy Leary). There are quite a few parallels between the deeper stages of Vipassana and the psychedelic experience - although obviously Vipassana provides a cleaner, safer, more consistent and longer-term change of perspective
As I survey the landscape here and on Dharma Overground and Kenneth Folks site I wonder if an over-emphasis on the 'Dark Night' might not always be helpful?  The Progress of Insight map that is so widely-accepted - particularly by adherents of Mahasi-style - cannot be seen as an exact science. I'm not saying it can't be helpful or valuable sometimes, but as far as I am aware its original form was from a text (Visuddhimagga) written many 100's of years after Gotama died and 1000's of miles away and which was then re-translated.  This text has other differences that show it not to be an exact replication of the ideas of Gotama - see e.g. Roderick Bucknell's clear demonstration of how the description of the Jhanas there appears to be inconsistent and the work of the Sri Lankan Pali expert and Buddhist Monk Ven Nyanananda about the definition of Nibbana.  Both important and central concepts.

If we over-emphasise the 'Dark Night' then are we not in danger of introducing it as an expectation to people who might not otherwise experience it, and at a time when their mind is sensitive and vulnerable?

mdr

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Re: On the Dark Night
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2012, 05:09:23 AM »
Dark Night Part Deux

"Funny" thing that happened to me is that albeit i had long discontinuance in Vipassana practice - i did practice other techniques... yet the so-called dark night stroke again quite soon after i started doing prolonged sessions regularly! Mine lasted for couple of weeks this time - yet it sucked, it really did. I don't have a teacher - but i read I Ching, so that's what i did, i casted a reading. I did read on boards here that there are two ways to deal with it - either go through with all your might, while hoping that shall pass too - or reducing the meditative time significantly and all in all chilling out... Well, according to the hexagrams i got - for me the first option was better and that's what i did; it did pass eventually. (I am not including detailed description of my own horror story because knowing how suggestive i get on times - someone might read it and make some kind of negative self-fulfilling programming, no need for that; but objectively it was tough, really tough.)