Between Something and Something: The No-Mapping Zone
Equanimity or Crap
Well, I’m oscillating between something and something. DreamWalker recently told me that he doesn’t really drive himself crazy trying to pin down what part of the Dark Night (DN) is showing up: It is just “crappy” or its “equanimity.” I’m finding that perspective less stressful thannhyper-mapping.
Mapping Difficulties after Stream Entry
It seems that after first path, things become much harder to map much of the time. If I had to guess, though, I’d say I’m oscillating between Low EQ and Mid- or High EQ. All those itchy, pin-prickly things and boredom occur for me in Low EQ, and I’ve been there enough times to clearly see that pattern. Low EQ is surprisingly kind of crappy—for me, anyway, but it is much, much better than DN, which goes to the bone. This crappiness is much more superficial, with a lot of thoughts just roiling on the surface and with the feeling that I don’t know how to meditate anymore.
Reobservation Seldom a Thing for Me
The odd thing about Reobservation is that it tends to be the one part of the DN that doesn’t show up clearly for me. Dissolution, Fear, Misery, Disgust, and Desire for Deliverance are very clear—they were especially so prepath, crystal clear. But after Desire for Deliverance, I just sort of experience a weird mixture of mild ordinariness/boringness and crappy feelings. The alternating “good” sessions are based in Boundless Space and feel very much like Mid-High EQ.
The Confusion of Second Path
Second path is confusing. I had a brutal DN in the last prepath stage, but at least what was going on was clear. This feels much more like I’m just on a ride, and it is usually a surprise where a sit takes me. I seem unable to plan or predict how a sit will go, whereas my sits were consistent and progressively skillful prepath; I really did plan how they would go. Aha! Something interesting there, no doubt.
Diminishing Delusion of Control
I’m guessing that there is some utility or usefulness to the crappy-feeling sits, and to the oscillation, feeling that I’m not in control of this thing. Prepath, I was so, so resistant to the DN that I stopped practicing, went on antidepressants, and tried to blot out what was happening to the extent possible, which wasn’t very possible. I never learned any “lesson” from that DN except that suffering can make you want to do
anything to end it. I never developed any equanimity toward it, never even tried,
because that would have been laughable.
This time, I’m trying hard to go into whatever pain and suffering presents, but this is hard work. It is amazing how strong the impulse is to recoil from shame, humiliation, rejection, and just plain aches and pains.