Ice-Blue Nimitta and A&P with Stable Fourth Samatha Jhana
Fractal Stages and States
Well, I’m not going to belabor this sit, because there is little to say about it, and I wish to finish my Tarot reading around the Three of Swords.
I was deeply content, productive, and calmly energetic today—very productive at work and then after work on MCTB. I felt warm and somewhat out-traveling to others, yet I was content to be alone, listening to my electronica and gazing at those charcoal clouds with silvery outlines. Such a beautiful world. It goes fast, but now that is okay, too.
I sat for an hour, intending to work concentration. Early jhanas are plagued with raptures that amount to mild fear, clearly an avoidance of something I would have insight into if the raptures (I) would allow me to concentrate.
I naturally paid no attention to which jhana I was in, but the center of gravity was the formless realms, especially Nothingness and NPNYN. I think I had a Fruition coming out of eighth. It was preceded with a vision of my last dog, the basset hound Homer. His eyes. I think my Fruitions are weak for the same reason that my concentration in j1 and j2 is shit: I’m blocking direct insight into something. Why? Well, it is easy to see why Freud invented the subconscious. Now we are plagued with it.
I am frequently annoyed during the early jhanas by itching, stinging, odd skin things. Posture is good and without pain. At certain points, though, I felt like I was shaking. At the end of the sit, after I opened my eyes, I saw and felt those big undulations, but how could I be in Equanimity still? Also, I felt vibratory interference patterns, so I’m getting mixed messages and am not sure where I am in cycle. Mood is neither hypomanic nor negative, though, so that would certainly suggest Equanimity. In general, my stages seem all mixed up since April. Confusion.
There were some really deep black hole types of shifts in this sit. I was startled by them.
I’ve a decreased need for sleep—very obvious, which fits with A&P.
I drew the Magician, reversed, which indicates something is blocked, a hindrance. It could be from within or without.
Best guess on stage/state is ñ4.j2.j1, which means I’m in immature A&P with some raptures involving fear and fine shaking. Well, this would make sense after the glorious Equanimity I had recently, so I’m back at the A&P. I was quite hard in formlessness, though. How do I note that?
I’m fairly exhausted, or should be, having slept only 4.5 hours after vowing to stop doing this to myself. I didn’t even sit last night. I became obsessed with trying to straighten out some confusion I’m still experiencing with Daniel over the MCTB2 topics of formations and the Three Doors. I was going to push hard to finish Part II before my retreat, but he’s going to the beach, I just found out, so instead I think I’ll take a private vacation to read my mahamudra book and work on concentration in preparation for my retreat starting Friday, July 24.
Workplace Sangha, Metta
I had a lunchtime sit with my workplace sangha, with whom the energy is always palpable and incredibly supportive. Despite my sleep deprivation, I found little resistance and entered into concentration readily with only slight and very brief pulse of fear-rapture around j2. Around j2 to j3, much metta and compassion practice arose spontaneously. This took the form of visualizing and mentally speaking to each person. At the height of this there were two back-to-back blip-outs and bliss waves, preceded by a slight spin. After the meditation had ended, I was surprised to find tears had run out the corners of my eyes during this phase of the sit. These were tears of gratitude, joy, and love. All that I most need and want seems to arise timely, and this includes all the dear people I reviewed in turn before my mind’s eye.
Stable Bright Nimitta in sj4 (Samatha)
I had to push myself a little to leave j3 and rise because we have only 30 minutes to sit at these. So then j4 arose gloriously. Soon emerged an ice blue nimitta—bright, filling the whole visual field, and impressively stable (sj4). In this current moment, I want to register to myself that this is an accomplishment of sorts because just months ago my nimitta would always bloom, roll, shift, shrink, and change shape. That these lights are full, bright, and solid now is amazing. I noticed that there is a sweet spot between allowing and intending in keeping these going. Too much of either makes them collapse into darkness, and then I have to feel again for that sweet spot. It is a kind of extremely relaxed, trusting, interactive intention with the light.
Next I called up j5, and it was very stable. The nimitta disappeared from awareness as awareness was the spatial. Then j6 was a bit more difficult today, maybe because I’m so sleep deprived and I normally find j6 very draining of energy somehow.
Then j7 was cool collapse to blackness and later a turning away from even that little input, which may have been j8.
Lost with the Maps in Hand
I’m very confused as to my insight stage. Earlier my guess was A&P; now I feel very locked into Equanimity. However, this was a heavily samatha-side sit, so maybe this is still A&P post-NS and j4 dominant. I’ll look at the tables again in a minute.
Okay, just looked at all the handy new tables and lists in MCTB2. Equanimity and A&P are very, very often confused for each other. So I’m ñ4.j2.sj4, which means that I’m in the A&P insight stage (ñ4), the rapturous second phase of that insight stage (j2), with my sit being heavily pulled toward the samatha side at the fourth jhana (sj4).
Preparation Toward Change Already Under Way
I asked my friend Barry for advice about this retreat. He said that it can really take a lot out of one because so much is happening below the conscious level. He told me that it isn’t just that J will point discursively; it is that he will enter the meditation with us. There is empowerment in this, a magickal dimension. I feel strongly, but perhaps too expectantly, that this is the new direction and new teacher that my cards have been portending for months. We shall see. Barry told me that the best thing to do is to go in with trust in the situation, trust in this teacher (who is indeed trustworthy), and love for everyone there. He said that this loving openness would best sustain me, and I think that was wise advice. Again, more friends to be grateful for. There is so very much . . . yes, I feel A&P with all this gushing.
I’m looking forward to casting my resolution “spell” this weekend and finish my Tarot reading on the formidable Three of Swords Reversed. Oh, I think I still have a couple of sits to record, too. Overload here.
I need to work on kindness to my body: proper schedule regulation, sleep, nutrition, exercise, skin care, balance. I will cast for this and especially sleep and weight loss.