Buba

What to do in dark night of the soul?

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I have had depression before and was on antidepressants. When I started to meditate I was unaware of its spiritual meaning (buddhism, enlightenment and etc) and started to do it just to decrease my depression (heard it helps). Then I found this forum when I searched google how to meditate properly. After asking my questions about meditation here I investigated other topics as well. So after meditating for 4-5 months (20 minutes everyday) and doing very small self-inquiry my mental state started to deteriorate. I almost stopped anti-depressants (with the advice of doctor) and thought the deterioration was linked to this issue. But now I see I may have Dark Night of the Soul. Because I feel horrible emptiness and meaninglessness. What can I do to escape this state or should I just wait, it can pass only by itself? To be honest I dont want enlightenment, I just wanted to improve my psychology. I read reports of people who have been stuck in Dark Night of the Soul for years. It is scary. Because I have attachment to my loved ones and to life. I just want to live an ordinary life. Now I dont know what to do. I am not even sure if I should rely on spirituality or on science (medicine). I have zero motivation, bad appetite. I searched google but did not find practical advice what to do in such a situation.

The reason why I dont want to chase enlightenment, because I am afraid of being stuck in the middle. I would prefer mundane life over such a risk. I cant even meditate because I think it may make my state worse. I am so desperate right now. The only thing I do, I try to be in the now. And I try not to follow my thoughts and bring my focus to something. 

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Hey Buba,

how nice to hear from you. As you can see this path is calling you. Circumstances like depression make you let go of the superficial and look for the meaning or deep questions of life. Here are some insights that helped me to navigate through the dark days.

The idea that "everything is meaningless" has nothing to do with the emotion or the deep whole that you feel inside. I right now I can think everything is meaningless but that doesn't bother me because of the state I am in. So realize there is this dark emotional cloud inside of you and that your mind needs to come up with a fitting story to it "everything is meaningless", because that is what it does.

In truth everything is meaningless but at the same time everything is absolutely meaningful can you see that?

Trust. One thing that you slowly develop is to trust that everything is perfect as it is. You are being taken care of, even if from the perspective that you have at the moment you can't really see it (yet). The more trust you develop, the better life will become. Can you trust? (what you trust is really doesn't matter that much, pick your favorite). Here is quote of einstein:

"The most important decision we can make is wether we believe in a friendly or hostile universe."

Buba, I have absolute trust that you will do exactly the right thing at the right time. 

 

 

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@Buba  I feel for you, as it once was a familiar state.  I only know that facing and coming to terms with the shadow work and its darkness can be put off indefinitely, with medication and/or other bypass options, but eventually it must be encountered and processed -- however seemingly terrifying it may be -- otherwise it will just be suppressed and left unresolved. At some point the resistance has to fall away -- yet there will never be an easy way through it. I did it on my own, as that seems to be the way I'm predisposed to go about this life, being reclusive and solitary by nature. However, I can't recommend that approach, as others may be better off seeking more conventional therapy and help. Just know that there is a way out of it, and you are far from alone in undergoing that journey through it, and that the 'light' that awaits is not only attainable, but ultimately undeniable. Blessings.

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@Buba

Strange coincidence is that I am going through the dark night of the soul myself. 

Here are the two most important things I can think of.

1: The dark night of the soul FEELS permanent, just like our cravings and addictions. Remember that it is temporary and it will pass.

2: While you are going through this, the fastest and clearest way to deal with it is to be as authentic and as self-honest as possible. Self-honesty will always lead you to truth, and that truth will serve you, you just have to trust it. One way to also do this is to listen to your intuition. Your intuition is never sad, emotional, but always present in you, it is you, and it always chooses health over the ego. Listening to your intuition like a soldier, in my opinion, is the best way to get out of the "circular traps."

Lastly, remember that these are the barriers that keep most people living a mundane life. If you can pass each barrier of depression, you will permanently grow each time. I am not saying you will never have a "low" again, but your overall consistent happiness will go up.

Anyways good luck keep us updated with your journey if you ever feel up to it because we are here for you :)

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These are meant to be helpful pointers of our tricky mind. I'm not trying to say I'm right about these and I'm not an expert. But even if you are having dark night of the soul, please understand that your issues are no match to the light within you. Even if they were to be advanced issues, you can still pursue enlightenment. Please do not kid yourself by saying you wouldn't on any level want to be let go of your pain.

If you feel meaningless, then maybe it means that you see your attachments and ego as meaningless. You do not see their job as necessary anymore, but since you still identify with you being responsible for them, which means you think you are meaningless. It may feel like you have failed your job of tricking yourself. Isn't that funny how our mind works? All of this does not take away the spontaneous joy in life. That can still remain even without it.

1 hour ago, Buba said:

I just want to live an ordinary life.

If you want to just suffer, you're already doing it. (All the issues are still there but in different forms if you go back)

1 hour ago, Buba said:

because I am afraid of being stuck in the middle

Look at where you are right now. Does it feel free? Or does it feel stuck?

1 hour ago, Buba said:

The only thing I do, I try to be in the now. And I try not to follow my thoughts and bring my focus to something. 

This doesn't sound too bad. You could try watching this, mainly the techniquelessness.

When your mind attacks, nothing is going wrong. Your mind is just showing you where you have thoughts and attachments related to personhood left. Once you just are, they won't have power. If you're afraid or feel like you can't do it, it'll get easier once you just stay as water for a while.

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Thank you, friends.

To be honest I dont want to try to get enlightened. I am surprised that there is such a "should" exists. Millions of people devote themselves into this path and only some dozens get enlightened. And what happens to those who never get enlightened no matter how hard they practice. I even saw a guy who was a monk for 30 years and had not get enlightened. I dont want to take such a risk. Is happy life impossible with ego?

The idea "enlightenment" is like an obsessive mission for me, as I have OCD. I know that if I start this journey I will desperately stuck to this procedure and miss the life. The idea "enlightenment" does not let me live in the now. Really, what happens to those who never get enlightened despite the hard work they did? Are they happy or devastated? 

People say, do self-inquiry. I have done them a lot years ago, when I was unaware of enlightenment and that just made me depressed. 

So do you guys advise me to live my life and not pay attention on the dark night of the soul, as it will go away naturally? Or is enlightenment the only way to escape this terrible state?

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@Buba  Whether there is self-identification with enlightenment or not, the darkness will not go away by ignoring it or by suppression. It will only be resolved by facing it and decomposing the shadow. Life goes on with or without it, but eventually the falling away of resistance is the only option to find freedom.

Edited by snowleopard

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@Buba Hi bub.

 

When we feel emptiness and meaninglessness it is an important stage of emotional growth, where your emotional body goes on a vaccation, as it integrates all the immense growth it had undegone. The more we relax into it, the faster it passes and makes space for more pleasant experiences of joy and gratitude.

 

Whether or not you’re interested in enlightenment is not too important. What you might be interested is living your life and commiting to your life no matter whether you wanna discover the Truth of who you are, or wanna win the lottery.

 

So take this message as an invitation to embrace everything about you and to be an active participant in your life, no matter what comes your way. 

Love yourself through all your experiences no matter the feelings or circumstances at hand.

Love your heart, your body, your emotions and your mind.

Invite love into your life by making “I love you” one of the most frequent phrases in your consciousness, and in your interactions with others.

 

My love is with you my friend.


Hey, you are cute!

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@Buba

It is fantastic that you are honest about your intentions. It's healthy to not force yourself to "attain or pursue" enlightenment. It really has to be your choice and to be an authentic desire. Don't be afraid to listen to that honesty and to let go of all the self inquiry and stuff. If you really want to see which type of life is better for you, just go ahead and chose regular mundane life, do whatever you desire to do, but make sure to do it mindfully. Just observe, like an experiment, if the mundane really makes you happier than your pursuit.

 

Lastly, it is true that some monks can spend their whole life meditating and never become enlightened, let alone have even one "awakening." In my opinion, this probably happens because they are using an efficient method that doesn't work at all with their personality.

Some people spend their whole life, while others have miracles overnight. You just have to find what triggers your awakening.

For example, what I have discovered is that meditation in my dreams trigger full blown awakening experiences, and the "symptoms" seem to be just as powerful as people who had psychedelic awakenings. I've only been seriously meditating for about a year now, so it can come sooner than you think if your serious about it.

Basically, if you eventually find the motivation to continue your journey, you just need to find what method clicks for you. That method might mean something completely different from vanilla mindfulness and self-inquiry.

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15 hours ago, snowleopard said:

@Buba  Whether there is self-identification with enlightenment or not, the darkness will not go away by ignoring it or by suppression. It will only be resolved by facing it and decomposing the shadow. Life goes on with or without it, but eventually the falling away of resistance is the only option to find freedom.

What does decomposing the shadow mean?

 

12 hours ago, Martin123 said:

@Buba Hi bub.

 

When we feel emptiness and meaninglessness it is an important stage of emotional growth, where your emotional body goes on a vaccation, as it integrates all the immense growth it had undegone. The more we relax into it, the faster it passes and makes space for more pleasant experiences of joy and gratitude.

 

Whether or not you’re interested in enlightenment is not too important. What you might be interested is living your life and commiting to your life no matter whether you wanna discover the Truth of who you are, or wanna win the lottery.

 

So take this message as an invitation to embrace everything about you and to be an active participant in your life, no matter what comes your way. 

Love yourself through all your experiences no matter the feelings or circumstances at hand.

Love your heart, your body, your emotions and your mind.

Invite love into your life by making “I love you” one of the most frequent phrases in your consciousness, and in your interactions with others.

 

My love is with you my friend.

Thank you.

I want to love everything but I cant. I cant force myself. What can I do?

10 hours ago, Justin Evans said:

@Buba

It is fantastic that you are honest about your intentions. It's healthy to not force yourself to "attain or pursue" enlightenment. It really has to be your choice and to be an authentic desire. Don't be afraid to listen to that honesty and to let go of all the self inquiry and stuff. If you really want to see which type of life is better for you, just go ahead and chose regular mundane life, do whatever you desire to do, but make sure to do it mindfully. Just observe, like an experiment, if the mundane really makes you happier than your pursuit.

 

Lastly, it is true that some monks can spend their whole life meditating and never become enlightened, let alone have even one "awakening." In my opinion, this probably happens because they are using an efficient method that doesn't work at all with their personality.

Some people spend their whole life, while others have miracles overnight. You just have to find what triggers your awakening.

For example, what I have discovered is that meditation in my dreams trigger full blown awakening experiences, and the "symptoms" seem to be just as powerful as people who had psychedelic awakenings. I've only been seriously meditating for about a year now, so it can come sooner than you think if your serious about it.

Basically, if you eventually find the motivation to continue your journey, you just need to find what method clicks for you. That method might mean something completely different from vanilla mindfulness and self-inquiry.

I meditated for several months and got depersonalization/derealization. I was seeing around through a tunnel. As If I was two - one who talks, walks and one who observes. I did not like this. Has it ever happened to you? Do enlightened people see around like this?

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Seeing around through a tunnel is very common, although it varies in different ways. Sometimes there are physical sensations such as vibrations, feeling empty, light, energetic, and more. Other times it is like a geometric singularity, there may be a feeling of timelessness, feels like you are traveling the speed of light, and sometimes there is an undeniable raw intuitive understanding of whatever you experience. A combination of these can occur as well. Depersonalization / derealization has happened to me many times, and I get mixed feelings. Sometimes its blissful, but other times its horrifying and leaves my ego curled in a ball days or even weeks after those moments. However, I always heal, grow stronger, and understand more over time because I let myself work through it and I can connect the dots when later insights come. Derealization and the "wormholes" occur frequently but they aren't permanent for me. I don't feel like I am separated, but more like everything is happening to me, in a holistic type of a way. I'm honestly not sure what enlightened people see because I don't consider myself to be enlightened yet. I think derealization and depersonalization certianly has its place in enlightenment, but our glimpses are "filtered by our ego" which makes it feel negative because its still unknown, we don't have a full understanding of it yet, and when everything becomes clear, peace follows.  

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1 hour ago, Justin Evans said:

Seeing around through a tunnel is very common, although it varies in different ways. Sometimes there are physical sensations such as vibrations, feeling empty, light, energetic, and more. Other times it is like a geometric singularity, there may be a feeling of timelessness, feels like you are traveling the speed of light, and sometimes there is an undeniable raw intuitive understanding of whatever you experience. A combination of these can occur as well. Depersonalization / derealization has happened to me many times, and I get mixed feelings. Sometimes its blissful, but other times its horrifying and leaves my ego curled in a ball days or even weeks after those moments. However, I always heal, grow stronger, and understand more over time because I let myself work through it and I can connect the dots when later insights come. Derealization and the "wormholes" occur frequently but they aren't permanent for me. I don't feel like I am separated, but more like everything is happening to me, in a holistic type of a way. I'm honestly not sure what enlightened people see because I don't consider myself to be enlightened yet. I think derealization and depersonalization certianly has its place in enlightenment, but our glimpses are "filtered by our ego" which makes it feel negative because its still unknown, we don't have a full understanding of it yet, and when everything becomes clear, peace follows.  

What if somebody gets stuck in the procedure, in negative feelings? What if somebody kills his ego, but cannot connect to the source.? I am in a huge emptiness, meaninglessness, pain, horror. Is enlightenment the only cure for this? Do you feel happy in this journey?

I have read of reports of long term meditators whose psychology deteriorated because of meditation and psychiatrists started to cure them.

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8 hours ago, Buba said:

What does decomposing the shadow mean?

It just means uncovering the subconscious self-identities and their emotional attachments that compose the shadow, finding their roots, investigating and deconstructing them, so that they are seen for what they truly are. As long as they remain subconscious and repressed they just keep recreating the same patterns of behavior, over and over.

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6 hours ago, Buba said:

What if somebody gets stuck in the procedure, in negative feelings? What if somebody kills his ego, but cannot connect to the source.? I am in a huge emptiness, meaninglessness, pain, horror. Is enlightenment the only cure for this?

Killing the ego and connecting to the source are one and the same. If you can't "connect to the source," it's the ego that's preventing you. 

Quote

Do you feel happy in this journey?

Even better, you'll be free of the need for happiness. :) That's why it's called liberation.

Quote

I have read of reports of long term meditators whose psychology deteriorated because of meditation and psychiatrists started to cure them.

That seems rather unlikely. Meditation isn't some weird practice you do. Meditation is simply being. If that's unhealthy, than life itself is unhealthy. 

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@Buba

What to do in dark night of the soul?

Turn your light on. 


The Truth is unbelievable.

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To me, the dark night of the soul means something specific.  It’s the point where you first realize that the self is a lie, and your ego and shadow briefly unite like opposite poles of a magnet.  The depression that follows that is you coming to terms for the first time of your now deceased self-image.  It lasts a week max, and it feels like a death. You will go through the 7 stages of grief.  

Edited by Joseph Maynor

Check out freeCodeCamp

https://www.freecodecamp.org/

 

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On 2/13/2018 at 3:39 AM, Buba said:

The only thing I do, I try to be in the now. And I try not to follow my thoughts and bring my focus to something

This is a good thing, keep it up. The thing with the dark night of the soul is your just gonna have to ride it out, it will eventually pass, whether its months or years, don't worry about it, it will pass. Be gentle and loving with yourself. If you don't want to mediate thats ok, don't mediate.  Sitting out in nature can be a huge help, I suggest to do that if you can.

Edited by nightrider1435

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20 hours ago, Buba said:

Thank you.

I want to love everything but I cant. I cant force myself. What can I do?

Youre welcome.
Great question. :)

You can love the one who can't love anything.
and if you find yourself in a situation where loving yourself seems impossible (And by loving yourself I literally mean saying I love you to yourself in a relaxed manner) You can just breathe and accompany whatever is arising in that moment, which is the first step into self love, It is self-companionship :)
<3
Happy Valentine's day!!


Hey, you are cute!

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16 hours ago, snowleopard said:

It just means uncovering the subconscious self-identities and their emotional attachments that compose the shadow, finding their roots, investigating and deconstructing them, so that they are seen for what they truly are. As long as they remain subconscious and repressed they just keep recreating the same patterns of behavior, over and over.

How can I do it? With self-observation? 

 

15 hours ago, DoubleYou said:

Killing the ego and connecting to the source are one and the same. If you can't "connect to the source," it's the ego that's preventing you. 

Even better, you'll be free of the need for happiness. :) That's why it's called liberation.

That seems rather unlikely. Meditation isn't some weird practice you do. Meditation is simply being. If that's unhealthy, than life itself is unhealthy. 

Then why does dark night happen?

If somebody is not yet enlightened, how can he get liberated and feel better in the journey? Until enlightenment life is a misery, is not it?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/23/is-mindfulness-making-us-ill

There are far more such reports on internet.

12 hours ago, Joseph Maynor said:

To me, the dark night of the soul means something specific.  It’s the point where you first realize that the self is a lie, and your ego and shadow briefly unite like opposite poles of a magnet.  The depression that follows that is you coming to terms for the first time of your now deceased self-image.  It lasts a week max, and it feels like a death. You will go through the 7 stages of grief.  

I am in depression for 3 weeks now. I suspect my self-image is a lie. I cant connect to my true-self.

 

10 hours ago, nightrider1435 said:

This is a good thing, keep it up. The thing with the dark night of the soul is your just gonna have to ride it out, it will eventually pass, whether its months or years, don't worry about it, it will pass. Be gentle and loving with yourself. If you don't want to mediate thats ok, don't mediate.  Sitting out in nature can be a huge help, I suggest to do that if you can.

Ok. I feel incomplete because I have not got enlightened yet. But I dont want to feel like that. What if I never get enlightened, like millions of people in this journey. My life then will be a misery. But I want to enjoy the life. To marry. To have kids.

 

5 hours ago, Martin123 said:

Youre welcome.
Great question. :)

You can love the one who can't love anything.
and if you find yourself in a situation where loving yourself seems impossible (And by loving yourself I literally mean saying I love you to yourself in a relaxed manner) You can just breathe and accompany whatever is arising in that moment, which is the first step into self love, It is self-companionship :)
<3
Happy Valentine's day!!

The problem is the idea enlightenment became an obsession. I think about every second. This is not healthy.

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3 hours ago, Buba said:

Ok. I feel incomplete because I have not got enlightened yet. But I dont want to feel like that. What if I never get enlightened, like millions of people in this journey. My life then will be a misery. But I want to enjoy the life. To marry. To have kids.

@Buba

What I'm going to say may sound harsh, but please don't take it too personally. I have never been diagnosed with depression and I probably don't know your hell. 

Your life was misery before you started meditation. What it does is simply revealing to you the extent of what is happening. What you're doing is simply sitting and observing it. Observing it is only possible because you stop chasing all the beautifully real things around you for a few minutes each day.

Look at it this way: when surgeon opens up his patient, it's ugly. If the surgeon was not prepared for what he's about to see, he may throw up. He'll feel better, but the patient will not. He may even die. 
With what you're trying to do, you are the surgeon and the patient. Keep at it and it will get better, even if you get sick and throw up, and it will get worse. You weren't trained for this. Learn from your mistakes and keep going. After some practice, you will learn to appreciate the beauty of the ugly. Just like any good surgeon.

Edited by tsuki

I post to share wisdom and read my ignorance.

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