Oscillation in Itself and Intention as Mental Echo
The Meta-Pattern Across Sits Now
Remarkable sit in the wee hours. Remarkable oscillations. At the highest level of consideration, I’m oscillating between profound sits with profound hard jhanic states, boundless, and noticing—and then crappy sits that feel like I no longer even have access concentration. I wonder what this pattern is about. The main possibility it brings to mind is simply how not in control I am of this path.
I’m in new territory, this pattern of oscillation, and it came to the fore with that tree that I saw that way the other day—with the thoughts of the tree and the sight of the tree all with the tree, with nothing on this side while those flowed yet stayed. Before it happened I experienced about 5 minutes of oscillating over here and over there. It wasn’t subtle.
I’ve spent many weeks now actually “falling” into Boundless Space (j4.j5), even at work while sitting at my desk. I’ve been interested in its spatial reach and the sense that it is a thing, but what manner of thing? And where do “I” go when I’m feeling out into that seeming expanse and nothing is left in the center? There is an aural component to fifth jhana—multitudes of pitches, some tonight very high and loud. I open my eyes and everything is kind of warping, rocking, and so much of what I would identify with as “me” is out there, in the space felt into.
There is not synchronization; in fact there is marked lack of synchronization. That is interesting.
Trailing-behind as Mental Echo
I tried turning my attention, by turning my eyes, to different things in the room. This motion produced a distinct sense that “I” was trailing behind my own movements. For several weeks this sort of experiment has produced only an unpleasant ratcheting effect. But now the motion is smooth yet still not in sync with what is happening somehow. I can clearly see this fact: There is turning of attention, which is motion, and then there is the constellation of my thought, being, and even intention trailing behind it.
So next in this sit I found that this Boundless Space flipped over into Boundless Consciousness that was hard, hard, hard—meaning utterly pervasive and present. I tried to see if I could flip back and forth between Boundless Space and Boundless Consciousness, and I could, sort of, and I noticed this gap in the turnaround, which in itself is interesting, vertiginous. But Boundless Consciousness is arising hard now, ever since I saw that intention trailing behind my actions.
I wonder if this is what DreamWalker means by “thought as an echo.”
Consciousness, even though “boundless,” seems like a thing, but it is odd as such. I have to wonder how it is that I’m aware of and can observe this thing-y “consciousness.” It makes no sense to split this way, yet how else would what we call consciousness work?
Well, I’m in mid-Equanimity stage, quite evidently, at least for tonight, so thoughts, reveries, arise easily, just like all the sensory flow-forms in the room. I went with them, the thoughts, setting observation of consciousness itself aside.
The thoughts were visionary and realm-like. Deep in meditation, I saw silver leaves flapping back and forth, revealing structures, church steeples in a chilly predawn purple. At one point I saw my own face and eyes from when I was about 19, the long blonde ringlets, the dilated eyes, paleness.
The Forgetting–Toward Nonduality
Then, I can’t remember what I was dreaming of, but suddenly I was aware that all those thoughts had been happening without me, literally without that sense even of consciousness or awareness, but with just this new and subtle but positive sense of the absence of that. This is important somehow. I should try seeing these matters this way during the day, not just when sitting. This is what Equanimity is about, this forgetting and then retrospectively seeing what was left behind, the bother that didn’t need to happen, and doesn’t need to happen. And it is like the tree. It is like intention.
I resolved hard. I have sat with the intensity of my yearning to be enlightened.
May it be. May the path come on. May it end this separateness. May it be for the benefit of all.