Jhānas and the Natural State

All-Over-the-Place Stages

I was in abject Misery yesterday, all last night, and today. It was bad, so bad that I wanted only unconsciousness and took joy in nothing. I wondered this morning if I had accidentally missed some doses of my SNRI antidepressant, and I may well have. I certainly remembered to take it this morning and felt better by late afternoon or early evening.

I am puzzled about my cycles now. The month of May was chaotic, and now I seem to flipflop back and forth between Misery (which I don’t usually even notice) and Equanimity.

Naturalizing the Jhānas

My sit tonight was nice and equanimous after a run of terrible, uncomfortable sits. I formally set some intentions. I got lost in discursive thought in fourth jhana, realized it finally, and then started to stop the thinking. But then I remembered Clarifying the Natural State and decided instead to just ease my awareness onto thinking instead of trying to crush it into nonexistence.

I’m also very much now into gently calling up states but then letting go after I call one, letting whatever may or may not happen do so. So I’m trying to find a middle way between the high artifice and fabrication of the jhanas and a naturalness of dharmas.

On the insight side, there was one point in fourth where the scent of my candle and the rocking of space through my center meshed into what I guess was formation. There was a little discontinuity in fourth and another on the other side of eighth. The bliss wave of the second one was remarkable, but, otherwise, I’m never sure these are really fruitions and not something else. But what else? They aren’t really state shifts, for they happen within the state, or so I think. 

Resolve to Explore Boundless Consciousness and Pureland Jhānas

Sixth jhana, Boundless Consciousness, was the center of gravity for this sit. I really want to spend some sits hanging out here and exploring it for as long a time period as I can. This is a good candidate for that technique Daniel mentioned back in February about holding the state past where I want to let go of it, and then letting go fast and watching the next state “bloom.” So it would be super cool to catapult from the intense presence (Consciousness) to intense turning-away-from all (Nothingness), and noticing the similarities and differences between these two states. These jhanas are labs wherein one can isolate surviving aspects of “self,” to see in isolation how they work.

All Afterglowy (High as a Kite)

I’m in an intense afterglow right this minute, at least as intense as the best series of multiple orgasms—and longer lived. Too bad I need to sleep through it. I really should sit earlier in the day.

Kith and Kin

This past day was my son’s 20th birthday. It doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed since I first saw his perfect little face and luminous eyes. Having a child is the most intense experience in life, hands down. What immense blessing he brings.

Steph is in Germany; Daniel is in New York. I wish them well in their adventures, and safe return to tell us stories.

Judgement (sp), Reversed

This card is a call to decide. In reverse, it shows the clarion call being made by the giant angel, but the central human figure is covering his ears and not heeding the call. So this card is warning me against procrastination and the danger that if I wait too long to move into a different direction or environment, then I will miss my true calling. It can also represent a person I’m connected with who has procrastinated too long on a matter important to me, who has not taken responsibility or action to commit to a different future. So, again, this card is telling me that I will have peace when I make a firm decision about the direction I will take on my own, away from all this.

One interim decision I’ve made is to post my practice journal, from the beginning, out on my own blog site. I will keep what I have here in the DhU, too, but something is urging me to make this public to a community that is not the DhO. I want total control over what and how much I say, and how it appears, and who can comment on it. If certain DhO people who have been asking me to start posting my journal out on the DhO again really want to see it, then I’ll post a link to the DhO. However I will not be subject to DhO culture or its shit moderation. No forum foolishness. 

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