After an entire week in the A&P stage, I seemingly hit
Dissolution yesterday: I had no interest in anything dharma, including
meditation. I was very sleepy all day and wanted only to sleep, which is
classic Dissolution for me. I had a social obligation, a wedding, to attend,
but I sneaked out earlier to go home and just be and sleep in peace.
No Dark Nights
I’ve not had any clear sense of cycling through all the commentarial/MCTB insight
stages since my July 24-30 retreat began—just alternation between intense
A&P stages and Equanimity. How lucky is that? O so very lucky! In other
words, no Dark Night stages, with the exception of Fear that lasts but a few
minutes, and Misery lasting at most a couple of hours, with only 2 or so
instances of even that. No Desire for Deliverance, no hair on fire for
anything, no Disgust, no Reobservation.
It has been only 3 months since the center dropped out and
all the boundaries came down, so it likely has not been long enough to venture
any conclusions about what this awakening or further stabilization of it means,
if anything, for ending the cycles of insight stages.
It occurs to me, though, that
if, say, Daniel, is really “done,” then it makes no sense that the cycles would
continue for him—no sense at all. Why would one experience Desire for
Deliverance, for example, if one were already delivered? That longing would be
gone, and, so far for me, is gone. Persistence of cycling indicates to me that
something is not in fact “done.” Bill says the cycles become fainter, and that does
make some sense—that, like all emotional or sense content, they would still
arise, but enveloped in the spacious equanimity of the “mother.” Maybe it
completely goes away only with full buddahood. Maybe, with good fortune and
good practice, we shall see.
Thoughts about Writing a Dharma Book
I’ve had many thoughts about an eventual dharma book, which
I think needs to be a practice manual for American dummies. My PhD in American
culture and literature should give me the knowledge resources and cred to do
this book. The gap that I think is frustrating is that the Dan Ingrams and the
Dan Browns are pioneers, but they are not out of their little self-contained rooms
and in the hall to profitably talk with one another. I myself am frustrated by
their lack of interchange. I’d like to see a pragmatic practice manual that
draws on all the traditions, including Hinduism—taking the most efficient and
effective practices, adapting the collection for results-oriented busy Americans,
and aggressively laying the rest aside as cultural dross. The idea would be to
tear down those boundaries between the often warring traditions, extract what
is most pragmatic and efficacious for a new path of awakening, and stitch them
into a comprehensive program for busy western laypersons.
My only personal reservation about all this is its lack of
poetry and lack of doctrine; however, MCTB2 does a decent job with all that
already, and poetry isn’t so much the selling point for the American
mindset—results are. Besides, I’m sure the poetry will flow from my heart
anyway, as necessary. I would work on the pragmatic practice steps first; then
I would back-fill the necessary doctrine, inspiration, carrots and so forth.
This book, to my knowledge, has not been written and needs to be. For all of
the two Dans’ pragmatism, both are still locked up in their respective sects,
much to the detriment of students wishing to go from stream entry to awakened
wisdom as efficiently as possible. Let’s finish the job by bringing all camps
out of the closet and into the open light of American culture, with its
particular strengths and limitations.
This book would have to ask, too, the question whether
western psychology is really an adequate replacement for the magickal
practices. My hunch is that it is not. Therapy may be helpful and even
necessary for those with stubbornly reemerging issues, but I have and had
stubbornly reemergent codependency issues and, as DreamWalkr points out, that fact
certainly didn’t slow down my awakening progress in the least. In fact, my
progress has been so extremely fast (11 months from stream entry to awakened
awareness, or MCTB fourth path) that I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t believe
me when I say this in fact happened.
So is psychotherapy really a necessary
adjunct? Is it a wholesale replacement of the siddhis, despite the fact that
the siddhis are doctrinally supported and do tend to open whether one wants
them to or not? But how do we sell magick to materialists? This, and how to
westernize tantra and magick, is something I would like to have an ongoing conversation
with Daniel about—and John. Both these teachers feel that Buddhism will not
survive here without adaptations to our mythic resonances and culturally
enforced initial mindsets. Probably a whole book could be devoted to this topic
of magick alone. Maybe it is Volume 2.
What Is Lacking to Support Authoring of a Book
I am a cultural scholar with highest
credentials. I know how to turn a library upside-down. I know how to write and
self-edit. Moreover, I’m a technical editor and former teacher; I know how to
turn experience into instructions, which I did for the first 350 manuscript
pages of Daniel’s book. I’ve also won awards for my poems when I’ve been
sufficiently urged to write them down and submit them. I’ve also quickly
reached a high degree of realization. These are all plusses that tell me I can
do the job.
What is lacking is time—if I could retire, then I would have all the glorious
time to research and write this book before dementia or death overtakes me. But
I cannot retire. My family depends on my income and incredibly generous health
insurance. I guess I will have to cut out all that does not support this goal
and do the best I can without burnout.
What else is lacking is a long history of practice and a history of teaching
meditation. However, I think this drawback may be overcome to a large degree by
my new private highest practices dharma group. Those people all have histories,
results, and practices to report. I will
also have to read widely and attend conferences.
I’m having strange dreams. There are no images or story. There are just voices, disembodied voices talking to me. I wake with them echoing.