First Attempt at Attaining to Nirodha Samapatti
Following Daniel’s public instructions and private encouragement, I tried for nirodha sampatti tonight, but I couldn’t do it. What I noticed about the sit is that it was on the vipassana side much more than on the samantha jhana side—a lot of vibrations, flickers, tingling, and so on. In the third vipassana jhana (vj3), the center was grayed/blacked out, and the vibrations were more like jagged lines in the periphery. Boundless Space (sj5) was clean and unforced where it used to be, and sometimes still is, thick and compelled. Boundless Consciousness (sj6) is almost seamless with Space.
Nothingness (j7) Intensely Vibratory
Nothingness was intensely vibratory. At one point I saw flashes of colbalt blue and vivid red, so what the . . . ? I mean, it is supposed to be Nothingness, right?
I have seen tiny glimmers of white, like glitter, in Nothingness before. This was the first time I’ve seen flashes of color, and these were for but a fraction of a second. Oddly, Nothingness is the most vibratory and strobing of all the states for me. When I emerge from it, I’m tingling hard all over my body. And while in it, it visually sparkles, roils, or varies from itself somehow, even though it is very black.
Eric asked whether vibratory sj7 was perhaps fractal. Maybe sj7.sj2? But, actually, I was experiencing a lot of upsurge of exhilarating Fear during this sit, the whole way through. So maybe vj6.sj7? Or even vj6.sj7.sj2.
Stabilization of a Jhana by Working the One Above It
Whatever jhana I think I’m working on stabilizing, it normally turns out that the one below it is the one that strengthens. This is an interesting observation. I work above what I’m really ready for, and the effect is that it matures the jhana below it. Working above my cutting-edge jhana stabilizes the lower jhanas. So, to stabilize seventh, I work on eighth and then find seventh automatically stronger. This is an important practice tip: Don’t stay in a lower jhana just because it isn’t yet perfectly stable; it may well be that working above that jhana will automatically finish the one below it.
I just need to spend more time on Nothingness and NPNYNP. I’m naturally drawn up to them quickly.
Hmm, well, I just looked at MCTB2 instructions, and I’m doing it wrong! Daniel says one goes into eighth, then emerges to that post-eighth junction point, and then sometime after that, nirodha samapatti just happens without warning. Sounds bizarre. I was thinking it happened after a few moments in eighth, but that is not how Daniel lays it out. So this fits with my noticing that stabilization of X comes with going to Y.
Resolve Over Time as a Condition
Daniel also says thinking about it and intending it for days or weeks beforehand can help it happen. I think that nirodha samapatti has to be intended and tried more than a few times before it happens. I’m merely curious, but I was also a bit psyched out, I admit. It is probably premature for me to be trying for N.S. Failing to get it may just frustrate me, but oh well. I also think I’m currently psyching myself out with regard to N.S. If I keep trying for a while and finally give up, maybe I’ll relax enough to let it happen. Or not.