Dissolution and a Wall with Jhāna
I have been very sleepy and sleeping a lot the past couple of days. I’ve been really fatigued. This normally means Dissolution. Then I had surges of Fear today and began my sit with Fear in the forefront.
Second was very tingly.
I went up the jhanas and back down. Coming back down makes the factors of the lower ones much clearer.
I may have Pure Land 2. Pure Land 1 had the bliss coming in waves.
Before falling asleep, my body tends to start tingling intensely. It starts across the small of my back and then spreads. I’ll often wake with the same.
Last night’s sit was so mediocre and boring that I wouldn’t even record anything about it.
I’m feeling that I’m at a bit of a wall with jhana practice and need to do some insight practice again. I couldn’t remember what to even do, though. I decided to work with this, from one of Daniel’s DhO posts:
Feel the going out into new territory with its confusion, tedium, frustration and creepiness as the thing itself: that which wants it to be known, mapped, predictable, safe, familiar is part of the thing that you need to see as it is: see those patterns in the head, chest, stomach, throat, etc. as more shifting, fresh patterns: that freshness keeps you honest, keeps you really paying attention in that slightly violating, slightly personally-taboo way that really helps in the end.
There is another part of the same post by Dan, and it entered into this sit, too:
If you have 5th, or even 4j.5j, meaning the spacious aspect of 4th that is not truly formless but still quite open and wide, that is a really good pointer, just allow it to also go through anything you think is you, working on that seeming boundary line, as above, but allowing it to breathe, to flux, volumetrically, like moving blobs of space with texture all together, all of them just the natural world doing its rich and empty thing
So I sat and immediately noticed a lot of bad bodily pain—all over. Pain in my hip flexors, shoulders, shins, and feet. Really distracting and annoying. I allowed myself to notice how vulnerable and unsure I feel about heading back into insight practice in this apparent third path territory. The sensations were in the region of solar plexus and moving up toward the heart, also the heart had no warmth of its own. So I sat with the confusion, gut-wobbly effect, and bodily pain and tried, somewhat, to notice how, in being threatened, this was “me.”
At one point I reflexively went for the spaciousness Daniel mentions just above. I could feel out to the furthest reach and felt much more comfortable there than with the solar plexis ickiness. I also started thinking about my dharma friends and drifted into those pleasant thoughts. I noticed how all this was a way of escapeing that uncomforable core feeling. I considered pulling that far reach of the spaciousness in and through the core, but then I realized that I couldn’t do that. What I could do was allow it to happen, though, which I did. And I was able to observe that blobby phenomenon Daniel mentions. The space can cut through and out any side.
Observing can itself be investigated, but I didn’t get that far. I’m still in a lot of pain. I feel like stretching and sleeping.
I think it would be good to get with DW and Steph and list all the core processes that can be listed. These, along with the jhanas, are what Daniel vipassanized in late third, according to his narrative.