Mastering Harder and Higher Jhānas

Obviously, I’m heavily into mastering the jhanas now. I’ve not been doing any insight, really, except to “clean out” or “disentangle” some selfing from Jhanas 5 and 6 (haven’t really gotten to 6 with this yet), via DW. I think I’ve convinced Daniel to break out part of the current, overlong jhana chapter from MCTB2, specifically the fire kasina instructions and dedicate a whole chapter to nothing but instructions for advanced samatha jhana practice—bleeding into investigating the states, though, at the end of this new chapter.

Last three sits, including tonight’s, have been remarkable for the clarity and hardness of the jhanas. I’m able to get second easily now (again) by tuning into the rapturous pleasure rather than anticipating the equanimity.

The formless realms are extremely seductive, heady, and heavy on the afterglow. I have a hard time ending the session. I have to come slowly back down the arc, which makes the lower rupa jhanas much more intense and clear with regard to their jhana factors.

Tonight, Nothingness was a bit easier to hold onto; eight was harder.

Pure Land 1 is pretty easy to hold onto after eighth. There is a brightening of the visual field, a lightness, and then equanimity as the bass note. On top of the equanimity, lightness, and brightness, there begins “blooming” rapturous waves of gratitude, supplication, and love. These waves were very clearly starting from the level and area of my navel, and spreading out but mainly up. A very interesting state.

I am unsure why I’ve so driven after a path to work on the jhanas instead of insight. It is very odd, this urge. Who knows?

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