Quelle.5) Knowledge of dissolution - bhanga-nana
Now we enter an interesting stage of the practice characterised by a series of nanas known as the dukkha-nanas. Remember that the meditator has already attained the purification of overcoming doubt and the purification of knowing and seeing what is and what is not the path. The essentials of the practice have already been revealed, and in the process the meditator has experienced faith, rapture and bliss. What is essential to this practice is seeing the arising and passing away of experience. In attaining to knowledge of arising and passing away, the meditator has already done this.
What happens next? The meditator’s awareness and concentration continues to develop. As a result, he now sees only the passing away of phenomena. It is as if his awareness is so fast, it is faster than the experiences he is examining, As soon as he places his attention on some aspect of his experience, it disappears. This is the knowledge of dissolution (bhanga-nana). In a weak aspect, this can take the form of the meditator apparently losing his concentration. It seems like he can no longer focus on anything; his attention keeps sliding off whatever he tries to look at. It can be lie trying to grasp something that slips out of your hand the moment you touch it. In a stronger aspect, it can be like falling into the black hole of Calcutta. Wherever you look, there is nothing - only blackness. The meditator is shocked, because he used to be able to focus on anything. Now, it seems, he can focus on nothing at all. All his good work has dissolved into nothing.
Another thing that meditators report at this stage is the disappearance of the form of the body. Before, the meditator saw experience break up into specific and discrete experiences, but he always knew that they were experiences of something. For example, the experience of the rising movement of the abdomen when breathing in breaks up into movement, pressure, tension. But there was always the sense, while examining these sensations, that they belonged together, as different aspect of the same thing. But now movement is just movement; pressure is just pressure; tension is just tension. There is no sense of what part of the body these sensations belong to. The sense of the body disappears; all that is left is a series of apparently disconnected individual sensations. There is no "body" as such.
6) Knowledge of fear - bhaya-nana
This gives way to the knowledge of fear, (bhaya-nana). In the disappearance of everything examined, the mind at some level begins to realise: there is nothing beneath this parade of changes. There is no foundation. At a fundamental level, there is nothing at all. The result is existential anxiety. In its strong form this can manifest as panic. In its weak form, it can be merely a sense of existential unease, a sense of nothing going right, a sense of helplessness, a sense of loss of control. At this stage of the practice, the meditator’s insight into anatta, not self, usually takes the form of a sense of loss of control. The realisation that "I am not in control of ‘my’ life".
7) Knowledge of danger - adinava-nana
Next comes the knowledge of danger, (adinava-nana). The meditator realises there is no rest, no security, in anything. Notice that the emphasis here is on anything. The meditator by this time is fantasising about escape from, the meditation centre. He is wondering why he is not in some comfortable job making a comfortable, secure living. But the power of the insight-knowledge is such that he knows there is no escape. He knows that this danger, this disadvantage, remains. Because he knows this is the nature of experience as such.
8) Knowledge of disenchantment - nibbida-nana
Hence the knowledge of disenchantment, (nibbida-nana). Nibbida, or disenchantment, is simply the opposite of enchantment. Normally we are enchanted by experience. A man sees a beautiful woman and instinctively is drawn into her circle of charm. He is "charmed", enchanted. He feels there is real satisfaction to be gained by possessing her, and so pursues her to gain that satisfaction. This whole movement is based on the notion: if only I possess that, then all my problems will be solved. The essence of the knowledge of disenchantment is that, even in the very fantasy itself, the meditator knows that the object of his desire will not solve his problem. He knows that even if he leaves the meditation centre and attains his most heart-felt desire, this too is unsatisfactory. There is no situation that he can imagine which is satisfactory. All his desires and fantasies are like ashes in his mouth.
9) Knowledge of the desire for liberation - muncitu-kamyata-nana
Closely allied to this knowledge is the knowledge of the desire for liberation (muncitu-kamyata-nana), known by some meditators as the "get-me-outa-here-nana". And of course, this knowledge includes the understanding that, whatever situation the meditator escapes to, that too will be unsatisfactory, and the urge to escape will still be there in that new situation. Symptoms of this stage of the practice can include a great deal of physical pain and restlessness. The meditator may be unable to hold any posture of the body for any period of time - any posture is painful. Sometimes meditators retreat to bed to sleep for long periods of time, just to escape the pain involved in being conscious.
10) Knowledge of re-consideration - patisankhanupassana-nana
These dukkha-nanas culminate in the knowledge of re-consideration (patisankhanupassana-nana). This is characterised by two things. Firstly, the meditator may be assailed by all the kinds of suffering he has gone through before, as well as some new experiences. He may feel as if he has lost all insight he may have had before. He may feel he has lost the ability to concentrate. He may even go through periods when he "forgets" how to do the practice itself!
Ebenfalls gibt es ein Dark-Night-Project, in dem "missglückte" Meditiationserfahrungen gesammelt werden, teils werden diese mit den Dukkha Nanas in Verbindung gebracht.
QuelleAls langjähriger Zen-Schüler gibt es in diesem oder anderen Artikeln über das Dark Night Project nichts, was mich besonders überrascht. Tatsächlich sind viele der beschriebenen Erfahrungen häufige Erfahrungen, vor denen Zen-Lehrer ausdrücklich warnen und diein klösterlicher Umgebungerkannt und bearbeitet werden. Aber durch eine Kombination aus unsachgemäßer Vorbereitung und inkompetenter oder fehlender Anleitung wurden die Leben der Menschen tatsächlich zerstört. [...] Die verschiedenen „dukkha nanas“ sind Einsichten in das Elend, aber wir können nicht aufhören, unglücklich zu sein, bis wir das Elend gründlich verstehen. Das Durchlaufen einer dukkha nana-Stufe ist eine Art dunkle Nacht der Seele.
Einige Auszüge von Erlebnissen aus diesem Dark Night Project:
Quelle, ebenso alle nachfolgenden Zitate"I started having thoughts like, 'Let me take over you,' combined with confusion and tons of terror," says David, a polite, articulate 27-year-old who arrived at Britton’s Cheetah House in 2013. "I had a vision of death with a scythe and a hood, and the thought 'Kill yourself' over and over again."
Michael, 25, was a certified yoga teacher when he made his way to Cheetah House. He explains that during the course of his meditation practice his "body stopped digesting food. I had no idea what was happening." For three years he believed he was "permanently ruined" by meditation.
David outlines the history of his own contemplative path. His first retreat was "very non-normal," he says, "and very good … divine. There was stuff dropping away … [and] electric shocks through my body. [My] core sense of self, a persistent consciousness, the thoughts and stuff, were not me." He tells me it was the best thing that had ever happened to him, an "orgasm of the soul, felt throughout my internal world."
David explains that he finally felt awake. But it didn't last.
Still high off his retreat, he declined an offer to attend law school, aggravating his parents. His best friends didn't understand him, or his "insane" stories of life on retreat.
"I had a fear of being thought of as crazy," he says, "I felt extremely sensitive, vulnerable, and naked."
Not knowing what to do with himself, David moved to Korea to teach English, got bored, dropped out of the program, and moved back in with his parents. Eventually, life lost its meaning. Colors began to fade. Spiritually dry, David didn't care about anything anymore. Everything he had found pleasurable before the retreat—hanging out with friends, playing music, drinking—all of that "turned to dirt," he says, "a plate of beautiful food turned to dirt."
He traveled back and forth from Asia to home seeking guidance, but found only a deep, persistent dissatisfaction in himself. After "bumming around Thailand for a bit," he moved to San Francisco, got a job, and sat through several more two- and 10-week meditation retreats. Then, in 2012, David sold his car to pay for a retreat at the Cloud Mountain Center that torments him still.
"Psychological hell," is how he describes it. "It would come and go in waves. I’d be in the middle of practice and what would come to mind was everything I didn't want to think about, every feeling I didn't want to feel." David felt "pebble-sized" spasms emerge from inside a "dense knot" in his belly.
He panicked. Increasingly vivid pornographic fantasies and repressed memories from his childhood began to surface.
"I just started freaking out," he says, "and at some point, I just surrendered to the onslaught of unwanted sexual thoughts … a sexual Rolodex of every taboo." As soon as he did, however, "there was some goodness to it." After years of pushing away his emotional, instinctual drives, something inside David was "reattached," he says.
"There is a sutta," a canonical discourse attributed to the Buddha or one of his close disciples, "where monks go crazy and commit suicide after doing contemplation on death," says Chris Kaplan, a visiting scholar at the Mind & Life Institute who also works with Britton on the Dark Night Project.
Nathan Fisher, the study's manager, condenses a famous parable by the founder of the Jewish Hasidic movement. Says Fisher, "[the story] is about how the oscillations of spiritual life parallel the experience of learning to walk, very similar to the metaphor Saint John of the Cross uses in terms of a mother weaning a child … first you are held up by a parent and it is exhilarating and wonderful, and then they take their hands away and it is terrifying and the child feels abandoned."