Hurrah for Nothingness and Siddhis
I have two new phenomena to report: Nothingness and siddhis. First, I think I got Nothingness (j7) last night, but I’m not really going to draw that conclusion firmly until I can reproduce it and steady it again and again. I was actually trying to practice insight in Equanimity, but damned if that just isn’t happening lately: The jhanas seem to be taking over and taking me for a ride no matter what I try to do otherwise.
Practice in Accord with Nature and Intuition
One thing I seemed to realize last night, after sit, was that the jhanas have been prodding me to move along, up the arc, whereas I’ve been “stuck” in weakened jhana states because I didn’t just go along with whatever new one was leading the dance, or “trying” to. Instead I assumed that I wasn’t “ready” for the new one, precisely because the lower one was worn out or weakened or something, so I stubbornly tried to strengthen the lowers ones, not realizing that I was supposed to let go and move on.
I’ve been a little frustrated lately with how dense I am in practice. For whatever reason, I seem to have been smarter before August. Probably another illusion, but whatever.
Gigantic Bright White Nimitta in Real Space before Me
Secondly, while in a hotel suite in Georgetown Saturday night, in the early (dark) morning hours, after an intense talk with my son for most of the night, I sat in a kitchen chair in the cross-talk of two loudly humming opposing heat fans. I was sleep deprived, but alert and interested. A spherical white nimitta filled my Washington DC hotel room and appeared to be a window or portal into another world. Again, vipassana just wasn’t going to come on, so I relaxed into samatha, rose to j4, and then quickly had a big bright pure white visual nimitta, with my eyes closed. The cross-hum of those fans made everything really otherworldly, nicely so. My nimittas are usually a lavender color, slipping into white only briefly now and then. This was the first time I had a bright white one, right off the bat, and saw it grow mammoth, filling the kitchen, and stabilize. Oddly, this didn’t surprise me. When I opened my eyes, in the dark, lo—the nimitta remained and in fact grew huge and 3D spherical, filling the hotel room. Then it became a kind of door into somewhere else and there were blooming roses with skulls in the folds, fountains of flowing dust, Buddha images—all kaleidoscopic projections on or from within the orb.
So, much new territory this week, consisting of 3D, before-me manifestations and maybe Nothingness. It is funny that before I wrote this, this past week felt like a meditation failure. I am “supposed” to be working insight, moving toward second path. Every time I try to investigate my frustration, because that is the chief thing, either I get nowhere or jhana takes over.
Is this a trap? Is it avoidable? Should it be?