Goddess, Priestess, and Near Hit on Nirodha Samapatti
May 27, 2015
I’m summarizing this from an audio-recording I made right after the sit of May 27, 2015, because I needed to get to bed. Short, 30-minute sit, and a very interesting one it was. It was very, very late, and I was sleepy, which is especially good for balancing my usual high energy with surrender.
Queen of Wands, Reversed
On DW’s suggestion, I am trying drawing a card before my sits rather than after. I drew the Queen of Wands, reversed. I drew the Queen of Wands, upright, recently. That is a good card with a dragon (wisdom) and lion (friendship, loyalty) on either side of the Queen. However, in reverse, this card signifies love run to lust, possessiveness, rage, jealousy, codependency, or some combination of these unsavory manifestations. The look on her face is one of naughtiness, the men on either side of her are slaves, and the large dragon’s eye behind her is glaring down on her, watching what she is up to. This was accurate for how I’ve been feeling. Not so positive in this position, but true, and at least knowing allows me to reflect and temper action, speech, and further thought with hopefully better intent.
Drowned Goddess, Sands, Uprooted Weeds, and a Floating Nervous System
Yesterday I was in Misery, but I must have passed through the rest of the Dark Night rapidly, because tonight I was in solid, magnificent Equanimity. My posture was pure, regal, and I felt like sitting all night.
Although I didn’t push or pull the jhanas up, I was quickly in fourth. Rapid-fire flashing mental “visions” started, behind my closed eyelids, many images. Early on there was a goddess with aqua-blue skin and white, white long flowing hair. She seemed to be from the bottom of the ocean, as if an apotheosis of a drowned woman. She was spooky in a fun sort of way.
Then, prominent for quite some time were images of sand—sands on a vast track of beach, individual sands, sands running through my clenched fists, sands sinking into a hole like a drain that all the sands on the beach were falling into, to the center of the earth. Then instead of clenching sands, my hand was clenching uprooted plants, weeds, and I kept yanking them up. And then one of the yanked plants became a jellyfish-translucent brain with spinal cord and nerves dangling as if roots. . . . Weird stuff.
Infinite Space and Consciousness, Unpushed and Unpulled
Suddenly—BOOM—the visions stopped. There was vast, vast, vast spaciousness, further out by far than I’ve ever felt before. Then in a bit I brought in Consciousness, which was rich and just amazingly vast as well. I entered Nothingness, NPNYNP, and P8JP, where I resolved for nirodha samapatti, which I never get. And from there that BOOM and out to vastness happened again.
May 28, 2015
This entry is for the sit of May 28, 2015, and is also from an audio-recording I made right after the sit.
Possibly Nirodha Samapatti “Lite”
This sit was for an hour after I meant to sit for only 40 minutes. I had a lot of discursive mind babbling, but that didn’t hamper the jhana’s from coming on at all. I made note of that, for the second night in a row, the jhanas seemed to have dropped to a new benchmark of profundity since that first “real” cycle completed on this new path. Amazing depth. Someplace in Equanimity it seems—started in early but seemed to end in High Equanimity. I had a discontinuity out of eight that I guess was a fruition. Also, later, out of P8JP, I had a kind of powering down of the body and mind; however, I was never completely gone, coma-like, the way Daniel describes, so I’m going to say only that “something interesting” happened.
[Postscript, 2018—I agree with Daniel that this “lite” thing, which was in vogue as a claim on the Dharma Overground and Awake Network back in 2012 or so, is not an attainment of nirodha at all. Nirodha means cessation, complete nonexistence of consciousness and the world, with absolutely no sense of time’s having passed across that interval of being “out.” One does not “experience” this state, but only the shift down into it and the powering up out of it. Then a debilitating 13-hour bliss afterglow ensues, which is the confirmation. This is a difficult attainment. It took me 3 months of resolution, prayer, and precision practice to nail it. It is written that only anagamis and arahats can attain to it. I don’t know about that, as those terms anagami and arahat are extremely inflated terms these days in pragmatic dharma circles. But the point is that it is advanced and the “lite” version is at best a near hit and not any attainment whatsoever.]
High Priestess, Reversed
I drew the High Priestess, reversed. This card is a very feminine card and connotes power based on passivity, waiting, drawing in. The priestess has no body but instead an unraveling of ribbons of cloth, a deconstruction of her clothes, with nothing discernible underneath them. On reverse, all those masks in the background mean that pleasantries are going on superficially, but someone or something is underneath that, behind the scenes, working something toward me that may be good or ill. The card warns me not to make decisions but to wait and remain watchful, maybe even suspicious.
I noted that I was sending good thoughts DW’s way, for some tough issues, and that I enjoyed two chats today with Daniel, with whom everything seems sweetness and light even though I’m giving him hell on the boards. Something feels completely “done” about all our former fights, as if the last one just completely unmasked something and now everything is more real, more disappointing maybe, but also more sustainable. Although maybe all that is all superficial wishing, even now.