ardacigin

Am I Still Feeling Crazy Happy All The Time - Report Update

15 posts in this topic

Short Answer: Yes.

I've talked about how my emotional baseline and overall mood has been dramatically elevated about 4 months ago after a hardcore meditation session. You can find my earlier posts if you are interested in this :)

I'll just update a few things I've learned while getting to know this joy and happiness more in these last few months.

I forget to remind people (sometimes even myself) that I used to be quite depressed. Now, it is more apparent how depressed I was but even then, I always asked:

' I'm so sick of boredom, impatience, sadness and loneliness. All this meditation is good but why are my overall emotional states are so fucked up? There must be some really deep shit in my psyche since happiness seems so hard to experience let alone sustain. I wish I knew a way to consistently increase happiness and contentment without drugs or psychedelics. Meditation is not really helping me...'

There used to be permanent levels of low-key anxiety all the time. My mood was dipping below neutral very consistently and happy moments where I truly smiled were few and far between. I wasn't clinically depressed but I was inclining towards that line.

Now, I can't quite remember those times. I feel so radically content and happy all the time that anxiety and depression eludes me in their strong forms. If I'm having a confrontation with someone, anxiety can come up in a subtle way, resulting in forgetting joy, muscle contractions, sweaty palms etc. but the fight or flight response is extremely weak and short-lasting. This response coincides with all this joy and happiness in the mind so there is a positive overall tone within anxiety. It feels closer to 'bouncy excitement' when I experience the same emotion I've called 'anxiety' due to all this joy and happiness.

So my experience of negative emotions are being contextualized within a joyful mind. I can't hold on to negative states like anger and frustration towards people.

The moment my mind goes idle, my mind starts to produce pleasant sensations in my head area, I start to smile a little bit and joyful responses to people and events starts to arise. The opposite of clinical depression starts to occur.  Happiness goes into a vicious cycle and even without drug levels of pleasant sensations, you are still in a joyful state of mind with contentment and equanimity. This means that happiness is not tiring and actually changes depending on your intentions. Slowly my personality is being re-shaped in real-time and deeper emotional purification occurs.

Again, if you are interested in this, I recommend reading my earlier posts. I just wanted to update the report since some of you guys might want to know how lasting this happiness and joy is.

There are still moments where I forget the joy. In those moments, I also forget mindfulness. But these are few and far between. I still experience more joy and happiness than someone who takes strong anti-depressants as long as I'm mindful and I have strong intentions to look for the joy. 

Smiling is enough to support this process. My mind is already habituated into joy so much that I wake up with quite a bit of happiness.  A few smiles to strengthen the joy is all I need to experience more happiness with more stability than someone who takes Xanax. So drop the existing paradigms you've developed in times of depression and sadness.

The mind can train itself to radical happiness with jhanic practices. Emotional work lays very deep in the psyche and your insight practices suffer for the lack of care you give to these emotional processes. More mindfulness and effort to reverse the negative cycle must be exercised until you get to effortlessness.

Every single moment is tainted with frustration and aversion. Those little reactions you give to people. Walking to the fridge to eat some chocolate. Speaking to someone even if you don't really feel like talking.

Life is full of these small moments of aversion. Imagine that you rarely experience these moments of aversion. And replace those with joy, happiness, contentment and equanimity. That is what slowly leads to deep emotional purification. Self boundaries goes down.

What Leo describes as 'Godhead' already requires all this emotional purification as a requirement to access such advanced states in the first place. Your insight attainment potential is being limited by subtle traumas and emotional dysfunctions in the psyche. Working through these layers (which I'm still going through) is actually a part of insight attainment. Don't downplay emotional purifications. Don't just 'note' and move on. Rewire those layers, reduce craving and smile more. 

If you experience persistent dark night symptoms down the line, realize that you do so because you've neglected the emotional purification process. 

I hope this helps or inspires some of you. Feel free to ask me questions and let me know how you are feeling day to day :)

Much love,

 

 

Edited by ardacigin

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What meditation technique are you using and where can I learn it?


 

Every dark night always has a bright end. 

- Author unknown

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Do you do concentration meditation everyday to be able to sustain that joy? How long do you practice every day?

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8 hours ago, Buba said:

Do you do concentration meditation everyday to be able to sustain that joy? How long do you practice every day?

@Buba Yes. I need to do some concentration on the joy and pleasant sensations until the joy becomes stable and effortless. When I wake up, there is an ample amount of joy and happiness. So I don't need to re-create joyful or pleasant sensations too much.

But it is unstable because of sleepiness, lack of attentional stability. metacognitive awareness etc. So while I'm drinking coffee, I also stabilize the joy. 

The crux of the matter is to do some of this awareness of joy while moving and talking to people. So first, I try to slow down movements and maintain the joy while walking. And then I try to do it while talking to someone. If I can manage to all of this, the rest is relatively effortless. Negative states of mind like sadness, anger, anxiety, etc are virtually non-existent after this point.

Like I said, even if anxiety would occur, I experience it as 'bouncy excitement' rather than anxiety. Same with sadness. If sadness occurs, it is sweet melancholy rather than depressing sadness.

I practice all the time. I can't compartmentalize my life to meditate at this point. If you want to maintain joy and happiness like I'm doing prior to awakening, you need industrial-strength level practice. Maintain the joy all day until you go to sleep. And go deeper with equanimity in formal sits. Maybe add insight practices etc. But the baseline joy cultivation in informal daily life must be a foundation. And this is a powerful practice in and of itself.

Edited by ardacigin

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On 06.02.2020 at 10:39 PM, AwakenedSoul444 said:

What meditation technique are you using and where can I learn it?

@AwakenedSoul444The Mind Illuminated by John Yates, Culadasa.

Start reading the book and do the practices. Let me know how it goes :)

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On 2/6/2020 at 6:31 AM, ardacigin said:

What Leo describes as 'Godhead' already requires all this emotional purification as a requirement to access such advanced states in the first place. Your insight attainment potential is being limited by subtle traumas and emotional dysfunctions in the psyche. Working through these layers (which I'm still going through) is actually a part of insight attainment. Don't downplay emotional purifications. Don't just 'note' and move on. Rewire those layers, reduce craving and smile more. 

This is so so so important.

Thank you for such a great post and the openness into your journey 🙏🏼

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Yo, I have a tendency to fall into dark nights extremely often. Anytime, I push my meditation hard enter dark night territory. It actually becomes hard to enter jhana since it feels like I'm in some sort of fear jhana lol. 

 

My inclination this time around (happened a couple days ago again) was to regain concentration as I was feeling extremely anxious. However,I gave myself a break, went for walks and watched a bit of anime. I feel good again now. Im not sure if I made it through the purification or if exited out instead and will have to face this again in the future,

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1 hour ago, PenguinPablo said:

My inclination this time around (happened a couple days ago again) was to regain concentration as I was feeling extremely anxious. However,I gave myself a break, went for walks and watched a bit of anime. I feel good again now. Im not sure if I made it through the purification or if exited out instead and will have to face this again in the future,

@PenguinPabloIn my experiences, you need to get to that equanimity shift and stay with these emotions for long periods of time until they disappear to do deep purification. Otherwise, they come back over and over again until you can stay with it and watch it go away.

Dark night-like symptoms are really demotivating. I understand you. You need to push through without burning out.  It is quite worth it to rewire the emotional circuits. I speak from personal experience. I'm tripping steadily for 4 months straight due to TMI meditation.

 

Edited by ardacigin

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5 hours ago, PenguinPablo said:

Yo, I have a tendency to fall into dark nights extremely often. Anytime, I push my meditation hard enter dark night territory. It actually becomes hard to enter jhana since it feels like I'm in some sort of fear jhana lol. 

You're familiar with the Progress of Insight map right ?

And if so do you think you crossed A&P ? If that's the case there might be some specificites due to that compared to someone who will exeprience aversion but without having crossed A&P

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I’m not sure. I think I’ve cycled through at least once entirely at a retreat.

@Jordan94

 

all I know is I started contemplating on the impermanence of things. Noticing in everyday mundane things, my sense of self, borrowing from modern psychology concepts regarding memory as well and sort of questioning it like that. Emotions and all that too, as well as all other sensations. This brought a strong surge of anxiety that persisted for several days until I lost sensitivity from reverting back to my gluttonous tendencies being the miserable ape that I am :) 

 

I’ve reviewed PoI map before and even have Mahasi’s book as well as Daniel Ingrams but still don’t know how it fits whatever the heck I’ve gone through

Edited by PenguinPablo

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8 hours ago, PenguinPablo said:

@ardacigin thank you. I know what's ahead of me now :) 

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/34-the-vipassana-jhanas/

just re-aquainted myself with this 

Okay. I've started reading that article. I'm not too familiar with vipassana jhanas. Daniel says:

'The vipassana jhanas are a way of describing the stages of insight that is a bit broader than the map that breaks the stages down into sixteen ñanas. They are two descriptions of the same territory, and both have their uses. The vipassana jhanas differ from the shamatha jhanas in that they include the perception of the three characteristics, rather than the “pure” shamatha jhanas, which require ignoring the three characteristics to get the meditation object to appear stably and vividly. However, the two may share many qualities, including very similar breadths of attention and other aspects.'

I kind of agree with this 'ignoring the 3 characteristics to stabilize and clarify'. For me, it definitely feels like I'm creating stabilization in my emotional circuits. And sometimes I may not be too willing to see into the 3 characteristics (no self, impermanence, emptiness). That is definitely a challenge in Samatha style work. But there are also payoffs like emotional purification. 

Insight process will also significantly differ in samatha path vs pure insight. But I think that vipassana jhanas are quite similar to samatha jhanas with an emphasis on insight attainment. So in my mind, you use these practices with 2 main goals.

1- Samatha jhanas: Emotional work, stable attention, powerful awareness.

2- Vipassana jhanas: Insight attainment.

They are not as distinct and unrelated as one might think but they have different strong suits. I'm interested in trying vipassana jhanas. But Daniel's idea of 'cycling after awakening' seems wrong to me. You do cycle the insight stages until awakening. But once you are sufficiently awake, the cycling process stops and you are in equanimity.

He seems to claim that you go through challenging cycles even after awakening. I understand what he is saying but that seems incomplete to me. I'm not awake to that level but that doesn't line up with my experiences or some of the other teachers I learn from. Both Culadasa and Shinzen denies that this happens. Also, they claim that Daniel needlessly emphasizes dark night aspects as if they are too common, extreme and life-debilitating. 

Dark night is more of a rare but extreme condition of not being able to integrate spiritual insights. But the knowledges of suffering is a process within insight cycle. It can be super gentle for Samata meditators. Some people experience it for a few moments before getting to equanimity. 

Daniel seems to teach as if this happens too dramatically for a long time and happens often in a meditator's life. In my experiences, once sufficient equanimity arises, knowledges of suffering are rarely dramatic. And things must be even less dramatic after awakening. So I don't understand why he is so fixated on these negative experiences after equanimity. 

That creates the wrong expectations for most people. Maybe pure insight path is so dramatic like that but samatha-vipassana tends to have a different process of insight cycle. Especially equanimity is more stable prior to awakening. I can tell you that much.

 

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@ardacigin It has been life-debilitating for me personally. Making things much more difficult. Presumably, due to mixing in with my own psychological issues it brews the perfect storm. Additionally, yes iirc you go through a macro-cycle to reach the next path. The first path you get into after awakening is Sotāpanna aka stream-entry, where you drop the first three fetters: identity-view, ritualistic clinging, and doubt regarding the path. How to measure where we are is another story as everyone interprets differently and their own subjective experience would be impossible to know. 

However, ime I do feel that to jump to have a significant shift along the path, it has included this pattern of mini cycles and eventually a macro cycle.  Probably could get there with more or less of either one of the two but yeah it makes sense to me. 

 

Edited by PenguinPablo

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