Author Topic: Dark Night vs Simply Overthinking?  (Read 197 times)

NewPathForward

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Dark Night vs Simply Overthinking?
« on: April 07, 2020, 07:56:17 PM »
I have been following a consistent breathing mindfulness meditation for a few weeks now, in the last two weeks doing at least an hour a day spaced out over 3-4 sessions a day.  Started Metta Bhavana as well, it doesn’t seem to click as well as unguided but I’m still gonna keep giving it a shot.

A few days ago I went outside by my lake and sat to observe the trees, and tried to observe them as they are without any preconceived notion as to what they were, and I got incredibly anxious.  This anxiety lasted all evening.  Since then I’ve been a little bit more depressed than usual.  I have been trying not to listen to my thoughts and emotions but rather observe them, and I think it’s only leading to me obsessing about them.  Constantly telling myself “Stop thinking that way, observe your breath and surroundings!”.

Is 1+ hr a day of Vipassanā overdoing it at first?  Are these recent negative emotions something I should embrace, or should I be careful and perhaps tone down my practice a bit?

Thanks.

Alex

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Re: Dark Night vs Simply Overthinking?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2020, 08:02:21 PM »
1 hour a day is not too much. You might benefit from some guidance, though.

Look at what's happening:

tried to observe them as they are without any preconceived notion as to what they were, and I got incredibly anxious.

What does that even mean? It seems that whatever mental activity it was (forcing? judging?), it created anxiety...

and I think it’s only leading to me obsessing about them.

Constantly telling myself “Stop thinking that way, observe your breath and surroundings!”.

So what are you practicing here?
Self-judgement?
The illusion that 'you' can 'make' your mind stop thinking?

None of it is a problem, though. Don't make a problem out of it. There will be thinking, there will be judgement, there will be desperately longing for inner peace. There will be doubt ("Is it because I'm overdoing it?")
But can you wake up to the thinking, the judgement, the doubt? And how could you then respond? Maybe as you suggested in the other thread: with curiosity, with kindness and wisdom...

Kindly
Alex

NewPathForward

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Re: Dark Night vs Simply Overthinking?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2020, 10:20:09 PM »
1 hour a day is not too much. You might benefit from some guidance, though.
...

None of it is a problem, though. Don't make a problem out of it. There will be thinking, there will be judgement, there will be desperately longing for inner peace. There will be doubt ("Is it because I'm overdoing it?")
But can you wake up to the thinking, the judgement, the doubt? And how could you then respond? Maybe as you suggested in the other thread: with curiosity, with kindness and wisdom...

Kindly
Alex

Thank you Alex; always there to bring the wisdom.

Yes I think these struggles over the last few days have brought me to realize that mindfulness and wisdom must happen on it’s own.  Thank you.

Much metta,
Charlie

Alex

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Re: Dark Night vs Simply Overthinking?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 07:24:28 PM »
We do need those struggles to come to such realizations, don't we  ;)
And the text Thanisaro85 posted is indeed a nice reminder...

Take care
Alex

 

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