Letting Go as Second-Path Method: Dark Night Done Right 

Dark Night of the Soul and Release

One the of the frustrations I’ve had so far with second path is that, as soon as I think I’ve figured out a kind of meditation plan, BAM! It goes to hell and I feel compelled to go in a different direction, often even within the same sit. I didn’t experience this pre-path: I at least was consistent for months at a time in the methods I was employing. X_X [Shargrol] had told me, accurately I think, that I have to show up and roll with the tour, let it happen, which dovetails, I think, into what Tarin was suggesting in those old DhO posts of his on second path. I follow the Thai Forest teachers a lot, and sometimes it can seem that they are saying to “just let go,” when, from a more “Daniel” point of view, “letting go” is an effect rather than a method of surrender. Now I’m not so sure there is that much difference between the two views. In other words, maybe letting go is, in some odd way, a method or technique.

Equanimity was very tricky for me first time around—just so slippery. The Dark Night stages were at least more straightforward, if agonizing. I didn’t even meditate much during that first Dark Night; I just hung on for dear sanity. Now, this time around, it seems that I’m being “asked” by something in the process to bring my Equanimity methods back down into the Dark Night territory. Very interesting! And if this is true, it shows me pretty clearly what I did not quite see during the last cycle.

As for Daniel’s book, when I get to this section, I think I’ll query him a bit on how particular path might change the “stock, standard advice” for DN, as he calls it. But, then, I guess he could write a 2,000-page book and still not be done!

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