April’s Fool on the Watchtower
I’ve been trying to get back into insight practice after a couple of months of obsessive samatha jhana practice. I felt at first like I had amnesia—could not remember a thing about how to do insight meditation. So I just sat and noticed all the stress and longing to escape “having” to do insight practice.
Today was this bright beautiful (perfect) Wednesday in April. The sky is like a peerless sapphire. The daffodils are batting. The dogwoods and redbud are in bloom. Everything is luminous and so close. Last night massive bright white clouds were racing across a pale, almost full moonface. I felt fused to it all.
Time is moving much faster than usual. Much. The day zips by. So does the week.
I’m feeling the need to pull out of some particular obsessions that have gone on for months to do things like clean, plant flowers, exercise, and cook. I want to find some kind of delight in my work, whereas I’ve gotten very behind at work because bored with the work, really.
Monday and Tuesday I was in the A&P. Today I was in Dissolution and fell asleep after work. I woke around 10:30 p.m., feeling like shit. Nausea, indigestion, loss of appetite, and a cold, creepy, unease. DW had to talk me down from the tower—speaking of which, the Tower was the card I drew to study tonight from the new Tarot deck. He told me to go back to my cushion and hug the cactus, haha! I wanted to escape. He said hugging the cactus was better than running around barefoot in the catcus patch. He was right, of course.
A couple of notable details about the past two sits are this: First, fluxing. Okay, if I go out to boundless space/consciousness and then let it pass through anything that feels like me, there is movement, big warps, no concentricity (is that a word?). There is no clear, sharp boundary, but just big warps of energy. The other detail, tonight, was that for the first time I understood vj3 (third vipassana jhana). Yes, I was probably in Reobservation, but I was mainly picking up on the jhana aspect of the Dark Night—a creepy feeling and a cold back. My back gets cold in third samatha jhana, so this was a significant link for me tonight—to experience precisely this bridge between jhana and vipassana stage. Maybe there is a good reason that I’ve been so driven to master the jhanas lately.
I hit low EQ tonight during sit and noticed that my mind was chattering. DW and I often note in convos that this occurs: a dumb rattling on by the mind in low EQ. It feels like I’m meditating poorly. Then I remember, “Ah, this is that stage where meditation is feeling like nonmeditation.”
Down from the Tower
This new Tarot deck gives devastating readings, the kind you scramble to reverse engineer, haha. I am taking up the assignment in Kraig’s Ceremonial Magick to draw and study for 3 minutes one major arcana card a day.
Today I drew XVI, the Tower. Visually, this card speaks to me of the following: the four elements, yet the building itself is manmade; dark stormy purple and bright firey orange-yellow, so inner oppostion, tension, contrasts; Vortex is formed and in spin, and on reverse it has spun out to the point that even the vortex has disintegrated into an energetic sprawling tangle of Chaos; between the more orderly vortex of building blocks/windows/fabrication and the uttery disintegrated one on reverse, is a vague suggestion of an infinity symbol. This symbol looks fiberous and seems to be holding the two towers–formed and disintegrated–together, just bearly, suggesting tension on a cosmic scale. The symbol suggests to me a knot of barbed wire, too, so more fabrication of ad hoc, band-aid nature, and too prickly to touch. The purple sky backs a perfect storm. Some parts of the sky are fibrous; other parts are smeared. Fire is falling from where lightning has already struck, and there is the faintest hint of sun breaking through the apocalyptic sky. There is something suggestive of a dragon’s or serpent’s scales in the building blocks/windows that form the vortex. This is a beautiful card that inspires awe and a little fear, like a hurricane that was disastrously undercalled by the forecaster.