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This was a very significant, clear dream. I later told it to my teacher, and he asked me why the fuck I got in the back of the van with the crazy clown man, hahahaha! He said that this is tale of abduction of a little girl!

He told me to look at my dreams in terms, first, of how I, the ego, is moving through the dream. Here I’m being led along by others, am gullible and unquestioning. He stated that I am probably feeling that way at times during the day and that if I can figure out how and why I become obscured from awareness during my dreams, then I might better recognize when I’m obscured during the day.

Until I just relistened to this, I had forgotten that I became lucid at the end of the dream. My teacher had said I was not aware, gullible, but I was lucid after I saw Daniel, saw through his deception and bluff.

I had a series of dreams in 2015 about Daniel. They were all extraordinarily clear and real. They all were quite remarkable to me. They are documented in the prequel to this practice journal, in the backlog I’m slowly moving to the online version: http://dharmabydarknight.tumblr.com/.

The gypsy caravan continues the theme of traveling, homelessness, featured in my dreams for months now.

Hot Dharma Injection

Jenny

I Woke with misery, fear, and disgust. I am guessing it is Reobservation. It could be hangover from yesterday’s unpleasantness, though, with D.

DreamWalker

Fun. What can you do with it? Where is it felt in the body? Can you unwind it?

Jenny

Body turning hot and cold with fear. Can’t eat. Shaking. Solar plexus.

DreamWalker

How exhilarating! Is it causing thoughts?

Jenny

Yes.

DreamWalker

Or is rigpa flaring?

Jenny

Thoughts of death, dread over deadlines, thoughts that my family is in danger. Thoughts of Daniel hurting me. Fear of cancer.  I had a medical test this morning. Fear of having another breakdown.

DreamWalker

Right. That’s a very busy mind.

Jenny

Fear for my sister who was fired from her job of 30 years as bureau chief. Yes, busy mind.

DreamWalker

Are you mindful of the thoughts, or lost in them?

Jenny

Mindful.

DreamWalker

Great.

Jenny

But that doesn’t mean the pattern itself changes, and on the level of relative reality, psycho-dynamics, it needs to change. It is all very well that it is “empty,” but tantra, magick, physio-energetic work, and even psychological work are necessary to change the trauma patterns—“karmic” propensities, if you will.

DreamWalker

I would just bump up some jhanas to equanimity, but I’m not working on emotional crap, hee hee hee.

Jenny

Low blood sugar. Eating first.

DreamWalker

That’ll screw your noodle. Eat something disgusting.

Jenny

Also my thyroid med ran out and I started taking the brand from Thailand. Missed some doses. Could be migraine too–face tingling.

I cried this morning over Daniel, before I had that pelvic ultasound. Not missing him. Just sad and horrified at his own obvious suffering.

My goal is not to stop him It is just to be able to legally put the right version out there. I want severance and peace. I also want this better version available to people.

DreamWalker

Good thing that doesn’t happen during your spells.

Jenny

Pelvic ultrasound this morning. Thoughts of cancer. 

Food seems to be helping some. I will sit with third chakra and then maybe nap.

DreamWalker

Or wherever the feeling pattern is.

Jenny

Did you see that tarot reading? http://jhanajenny.com/post/140842609207/legal-dispute-tarot. That was right before my copyright registration application was kicked back.

DreamWalker

Your app got kicked back again?

Jenny

No. That reading was before events of yesterday. Tarot spread showed lots of fire and darkness. Middle and last card both have flaming lions in them, interestingly. These are indicating the dark side of awakening, integration of demons and the profane into the sacred. Yea, there be a dark side. First and middle cards were both numbered 5. The number 5 in tarot means that power and control issues in a specific relationship are at the forefront.

DreamWalker

Fire . . . as in flaming.

Jenny

That too. Lion is strength. The reading says that I am completely in control of the situation, or completely submissive. Which?

DreamWalker

Fire, fire, fire!

Jenny

Hierophant reversed means that a religious figure is trying to rule with an iron fist and that this is causing me to question or rebel against the conventional morality of the religion or tradition and ask whether what is happening is really fair and right by me, ever has been. So I’m confronting the dark side of this tradition, the shadow side of the subconscious forces dancing with each other. In this position of my own state of mind, though, this card indicates straight-up rebellion, rejection of conventional morality, and entrance onto a new path.

Interesting—reading this: “Distortions–overattachment and blind acceptance or following. Just as you are eventually kicked out of your mother’s physical and emotional nest, so too will your own mind kick you out of an outdated mental nest that is no longer comfortable. To the neurotic, this looking outside of the self for the accepted norm of behavior can become literally ‘the voice of God.’ Hegel argued that we exist only as part of a system; he called it organicism. The only problem here is Hegel’s use of the word only. We exist in a system, by the grace of that system into which we are born, but then we must decide for ourselves how we want to use, to adapt, to change that system and so pass it on to the next generation. Some of us choose a personal system very much like our parent or predecessors, but we must choose it, not blindly follow it. Others of us strike out on very different paths from the map handed to us.”

What tradition am I upholding? 

What tradition am I rebelling against? 

What am I learning? 

How do I express all this?

DreamWalker

I’m getting motivated to understand the pointing-out instructions.

Jenny

Ah, well, good. Finally!

DreamWalker

I should take notes. I wish there were less bullshit around it, no fucking guru lama transmission bullshit and secrecy. It would be refreshing to actually have just a bunch of samples from western dudes. I’m looking at Ken McLeod right now. He’s explaining the not-doing stuff okay.

I hope he gets to the doing stuff soon!

Jenny

Hahaha! Good luck!

DreamWalker

“Reason. How many of you had an emotional discussion with somebody and somebody resorts to reason? Okay. And it’s perfect for our anger types because they don’t have to acknowledge their anger. They can just say, ‘Well, it’s like this, it’s like this, it’s like this,’ and it’s completely ineffective in an emotional argument, because it’s not about how things are, it’s about connection. But they don’t have to worry about any of that emotional stuff because they can just sit, quite content, and be perfectly right. They never have to actually embrace their emotion in the situation. Anger types do this all the time—it’s very irritating. So if somebody pulls that on you, don’t get into the argument. Just say, ‘This is how I feel. How are you going to relate to that?’ That will drive them completely nuts. ‘I don’t care whether it’s right or wrong. I don’t care whether it makes sense. It’s just how I feel.’ This is a good approach.”

You’re a master, Jenny!

“A traditional approach is guru yoga. Every practice tradition has what I call a repository of faith. In the Zen tradition—Soto Zen particularly—the repository of faith is the posture. That’s why they make such a big deal about the posture. Trust the posture, call it a repository of trust, too. In Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition, it’s the bell. In the Theravadin tradition, it’s the Dharma, the teachings. That’s why they’re always talking about “the Dharma.” Drives me nuts. In the Tibetan tradition, the repository of trust is your teacher.
That’s where you place your trust, it’s where you place your faith, and he or she holds that. And if they don’t, then you have a big problem, as many people have experienced, unfortunately. But that’s one of the functions of the teacher, of the guru, in the traditional Tibetan approach—they are the repository of trust. And that links up with what I was saying right at the beginning, that you regard teacher as Buddha, which means it’s how you connect with awakened mind.”

I gots trust, yes I do. I gots trust, how ‘bout you?

Just not into the Tibetan type of trust, hahaha. I’d say it’s dharma I trust, but not the buddhisty crap dharma—the real unfolding of how the universe works, the dharma that has unfolded nonstop to get me to awakening.

Jenny

Alrighty then!

DreamWalker

The same thing that will get me the rest of the way.

Jenny

My “guru” dear J says, “This moment is Buddha; the medicine is Dharma.“

DreamWalker

The moment is the infinite now. The religious-y crap does not speak to me much.

Jenny

That’s fine.

DreamWalker

Though most seem to love, love, love it.

Jenny

I used to dislike it. There is a place for it now. I find ritual and transmission pragmatic. I don’t feel in any way enslaved by it. I don’t have a teacher (anymore) who lords it over people. There really is no difference between ritual and meditation. A good ritual is
the meditation.

DreamWalker

So says Frank.

Jenny

He’s right. 

And I’m righteous.

DreamWalker

Rite-eous.

Jenny

I’ve been praying for guidance. Is that wrong?

DreamWalker

“Resting without reference—you’re going to fall forever. Get used to it, you know. It’s a very good way to approach practice: You’re just going to fall. Forget about doing it right, just do it and use whatever methods you’re familiar with from your own practice so that you have the sense of opening to whatever arises in experience.”

Jenny

Well, that’s a trusted teacher’s instruction, though, ironically.

DreamWalker

The secret to falling well is to figure out there is no bottom, no splat.  In the falling, just the falling, hee hee!

Jenny

Okay. Not sure what that actually means. I think J calls that pattern one of resting into the ground–only over and over and over, moment by moment by moment.

DreamWalker

There is no self. You are falling without one.

Jenny

Oh. That old metaphor. Yes. All right. Whatevs, you know?

I have no time to read. I’m going to nap and then head to the office. Have to work my ass off all holidays to meet my fiscal year goals. I wish I had time to read all these books I have. Or transfer my journals to my own site.

DreamWalker

Work?

“Energy is very egalitarian, it goes everywhere in the system. In particular when you raise energy in the system it goes to both what you’re keeping out of awareness and also the mechanism for keeping it out of awareness. It goes there as well as it goes everywhere else. The consequence of that is that what is operating out of awareness begins to operate more strongly. And the blocking mechanism operates more strongly.

“Over time, you end up torn in two, necessarily, and you see this phenomenon in many, many teachers. It’s particularly common in yoga teachers who work with pranayama. And you can tell because—not all of them—many of them have a kind of strain in their face. You ever notice that? Because they’re exerting so much control and they have to keep exerting more and more control to keep that stuff out of attention.

“And how it shows up in behavior is that people who are doing this will have these areas of their lives which are somewhat out of control. Maybe obsession with sex, money, power—they’re the usual culprits.”

* * *

Jenny

I’m back now. What work is that from?

DreamWalker

http://www.unfetteredmind.org/retreat-teachings-pointing-out-instructions-mahamudra-5/

Jenny

It’s very much like what Daniel writes in MCTB2 about energy, about the dangers of a concentrated mind at high energy. And he uses the metaphor of fire. Ah, my elemental friend, fire.

“As the balance of energy and concentration matures, strangely it may feel like there is little energy or concentration. Reality may be clearly perceived naturally, with little effort. Experience may seem quite wide and inclusive rather than focused and concentrated. This change surprises many people, and they may cling to the immature phase of developing concentration, which feels narrow, and the immature phase of developing energy, which feels effortful; but, when these faculties mature, the feel is wide and easy, natural and clear, gentle and broad, and rich and subtle: Everything is just showing itself all the way through, on its
own.

“As we apply effort to practice and build our concentration, the mind will strengthen, which in general is positive, but I should mention a downside: However we are when our mind is more energetic and concentrated is written more strongly into the
brain. Thus, when you cultivate an energetic and concentrated mind, guard it well and direct it to skillful practices and skillful ways of being so that skillfulness is written deep into the mind. Do not allow it to go down unskillful tracks and channels for longer than it takes for you to recognize that it is doing so; otherwise, those unskillful mental habits and tendencies will be written on your mind with that same power. Moreover, when energy and concentration begin to come online before mindfulness is strong, the mind may
be prone to obsessive thinking fueled by the strong energy and concentration, so watch for this pattern and generally stay grounded in physical objects until some more skill is developed.

“A cultivated mind is like a fire. The hotter the fire, the more rapidly it can help accomplish all kinds of useful ends, like cooking food or melting iron for forging. However, the hotter the fire, the more rapidly it can also get out of control and burn things down if not properly monitored and tended to. Thus, when practicing, particularly on retreat, but even in daily life, be careful and respectful of the power of an energetic and concentrated mind. Use it skillfully, just as you would any powerful tool. Imagine that a really strong
mind is like an acetylene cutting torch. It is really useful for cutting through obstacles, such as delusion, but it can also cause hurt if not directed properly. Keep this analogy in mind, and your practice will likely fare better. “

Ironic, ain’t it? On oh-so-many levels.

Hey, I  dreamed of Daniel during my nap just now. He was sitting across from a younger ghost-like me, across his desk in his doctor’s office. He was writing me prescriptions (see Dharma is medicine above). In the dream, I realized that I was third-person Jenny and could remotely view anything. So then I floated out of that office, across time, and saw him driving through the rain to his hospital, middle of the night.”

Wow, that Ken collection looks awesome!

DreamWalker

I’m reading it. He flaps his gums a lot. Not bad, though. He just needs to get to the point.

Jenny

You say that about everyone. Sometimes a grand tour is doing something to you just by virtue of being that grand tour. I’m
not saying that it is true in this case. I don’t feel, for instance, that it is true in the case of A.H. Almaas, hahahahahaha! Almaas so needs an editor; someone tell him I’m now free, only it will cost him in the end, heh heh.

DreamWalker

Yeah. No one gets to the point. Why that is, I don’t know.

Jenny

Wow. You are really just not getting the whole nonlinearity concept, are you—not to mention the nonconceptual concept, hahahaha!

DreamWalker

I just want the hot dharma injection . . . and done!

Jenny

That’s maybe a problem? The problem?

DreamWalker

Nah. I am very, very patient. You could take lessons.

Jenny

Um, “I just want the hot dharma injection?” That’s “patient”? A-hahahahahaha!

DreamWalker

You’re the speed freak. Looky how fast you do stuff. You don’t even get to enjoy your suffering along the way.

Jenny

No one is more patient than someone who went through a decade of PhD work just to end up a godforsaken editor. I suffered a
lot, believe me.

DreamWalker

Overachiever.

Jenny

In my dream I became sort of lucid in that I realized my viewpoint and the Jenny I was watching were split. And then I started, with viewpoint, going anywhere I wanted. Remote viewing. I started playing, testing it.

DreamWalker

Nifty. It is pretty obvious that it’s not real.

Jenny

What’s “real”?

DreamWalker

The movie of your life, starring . . . some other you-point.

Jenny

Oh. But usually in dreams I don’t question that. I don’t say, “Wait a dang minute.” Wallace says the way to regularly have lucid dreams is to take critical judgment with you into the dream. So you recognize “Hey, this isn’t how things work when I’m awake.” So much to do. So many practices. So much sweet glittering-pink mind candy!

DreamWalker

Well, I’m gonna guess that the instruction for dream yoga that you got so far is shit. But that seems to be a repeated theme with you. Then you will finally get good instructions, and wham!—overachiever Jenny will bang it right out.

Jenny

His bookis in two parts. First is lucid dreaming. Second is dream yoga. I’ve barely begun the lucid dreaming part.

DreamWalker

I’m really guessing it might just be turning up the awareness dial, and then it happens on its own.

Jenny

He says to do samatha into falling asleep. So see all the images flashing behind closed eyes, no matter how subtle, and, with awareness, follow them into dreamtime. He has a shit ton of methods. I’ve half-assed it so far. This is kind of a back-burner project right now. But I at least try a bit every day. My main interest right now is to heal the body. And to sit with volatile dark energies
from current situations and “contain” them while opening into them. That takes a lot of intention setting by means of old-fashioned morality.

It isn’t easy. And there are, yes, always blind spots and usually no way to be perfectly “good” and harmless.

DreamWalker

You?  Blind spots? Noooo!

Jenny

Oh, but yes. Which is why I’m trying hard to slow down this runaway legal train.

DreamWalker

What you can’t see is not blind. It’s nonexistent.

Jenny

Right. “Blindness” is a supposedly revealing metaphor. But it is only a metaphor—in other words, overshooting signification.

DreamWalker

Till it bites you.

Jenny

But being bitten is perhaps good, part of the learning. And perhaps unavoidable.

For who casts no shadows?

What has come to me is not to interfere with Daniel. Rather my emphasis is on doing what I want. He can have his do-over or whatever he wants. So long as the good version gets out to people who can use it as a practice manual. That is all that matters.

And so long as my future interaction with him is minimized or stops completely.

1. Severence
2. Peace
3. MCTB2-J out there

DreamWalker

Sounds reasonable.

Jenny

I think so. And not going after him per contract if I can simply accomplish those goals without going there. I want no further entanglement with him. And I don’t want to hurt him or his family. He is suffering enough as it is. Without my pouring it on. He has fucked up, but he can’t help it.

DreamWalker

It sounds like you’re getting aligned with the universe.

Jenny

That is why I was crying this morning: seeing that he is suffering.These are very hard lessons, because it isn’t clear where
the boundaries should be between what the other person “gets away with” and my having compassion for myself and the readers depending on this edition.

So that Tarot card advice card was reminding me to go back to basics. What do I stand for? Awareness. Majesty. Revelation. Keep everything at that level.

So I take the steps I need to, as calmly as possible, and no more. And let “revelation” happen from there for everyone involved. For that is what always happens anyway, despite the delusion of control.

Under Almaas’s system, No. 5 for Investigator (Dan) and No. 2 for Helper-Reformer (Jen) have the same blind spot: Resistance rather than surrender to Holy Will. That is the flavor of Basic Trust both Daniel and I lack. The universe as will. As opposed
to our own need to cope with patterns of resurfacing trauma by exerting delusional control.

Numbers 5 and 2 are linked this way. Ahhhh, Number 5! The number in my reading! ‘Tis Daniel.

The universe writ as Holy Will. Have to work on that.

So if I have to oppose someone for some greater good, best to do that as gently as gets the job done. And trust that alignment with Holy Will. Even if it kicks me in the proverbial teeth.

DreamWalker

No way! Who told you that? You’re getting all wisdom-y. You been listening to me?

Jenny

Prolly can’t help listening to you when you repeat yourself so much.

DreamWalker

I do babble on so, don’t I?

Jenny

Yeah. You should be quiet. Like me.

An opponent—if you see that opposition as suffering, really really really see it, then that helps. It is hard to do when they are attacking you. But necessary nonetheless.

I am Kane

LOL!

DreamWalker

 “In the moment of compassion, compassion’s essential emptiness is nakedly clear. This is the union of compassion and emptiness. But this is not an emotion joining with emptiness. This is mind itself, which is simultaneously empty and clear, and that’s how it manifests in experience. The reason this is important—or one of the reasons—is that you don’t have to do anything at this point. It just arises. And referring to the remarks I made earlier, that level of compassion—non-referential compassion—arises because you’ve eliminated everything that gets in the way. Third step in training; you become empty, and the way emptiness expresses itself is as compassion.”

Jenny

Right. I’ve had moments of experiencing what he is talking about. It isn’t the pedestrian notion of “compassion” at all. So I’ve been saying for months now that the Tibetans have conceptualized the topmost bird’s eye view of the practice as having two wings: wisdom and this super-refined agape-style love. So insight is not enough. However, if it goes far enough, then I think that wisdom and compassion become nondual too. (Ken’s pronoun ambiguity is a bit maddening.) Compassion is infinitely more profound than the sila (morality) version. In many cases, compassion will not resemble morality in the least.

Hey, I just sent a pain-in-the-ass book to print! Yay me! Two years working on it. Boy, did that super-suck.

LOL!

DreamWalker

To print? Oh, you are at real work, if that’s what you mean.

Jenny

Yeah, buddy. Now I’m all SASified!.

DreamWalker

“Real” . . .  hahaha!

And to think, I thought you only fought with authors.

Jenny

Oh, no! I love my authors. Except one. And I’m trying to find a way to slap a hormone patch on his ass when he’s paying no attention. That may end by giving him the wrong idea, though. Maybe, instead, I’ll just give his ass the hot dharma injection–you know, a heart-to-heart.

Final Post to the Dharma Underground Journal

18 April 2018: Context

What follows was my last journal post to my Dharma Underground journal, although I later posted to discussions in the DhU until October, when I was banned a second time. As soon as I posted what follows, within moments Daniel was in my journal space replying to it at some length right there in my journal, after having said many times to me that he reads no one’s journal.. The rest of the Underground slept while these posts were made. I went to Skype IM after he wrote some harsh things to me, and I told Daniel we should both remove our written argument from the DhO. He agreed. We both deleted what we had posted. I still have a copy, somewhere, of what he wrote, however.

I was about to go on my first retreat, a Mahamudra retreat with my new teacher, which is where I attained MCTB 4th path. Before I left, I pleaded with Daniel to have a mere 2-minute call with me just to agree on some logistics for resolving our argument so we could finish the book on my return. Instead, the problems escalated. We fought by email, and he would not call me from his beach vacation place. He later told me he had turned off his phone to go for a swim and nap.

At his ignoring my request for a short call, I felt hurt, betrayed, and furious. I issued an ultimatum. It was ignored. I delivered on that ultimatum by telling him by email in strong language to leave me alone and that I was not going to work on MCTB2. 

At 8 p.m., 3 hours after the deadline for the ultimatum, he texted a bit to me about how it can be a good thing to go into retreat with a sense of breaking with the past. 

I went on retreat with my new teacher, thinking my concentration would be ruined. It was not ruined. I practiced well, even though I sometimes cried in the bathroom and texted Daniel that we had to resolve all this and finish the book. He finally texted back only that he had already found a new editor.

We very slowly became cautiously friendly again until October, when he reacted with rage at my sending him a tantric meditation I learned from my new teacher.  I was then banned a second time from the Dharma Underground and Dharma Overground, for life.  I retain an email from moderator Claudiu, which states that I had broken no DhO posting rule but Daniel was “concerned” about one of my (completely appropriate) posts. This was right after Daniel had gone into a rage over my emailed tantric instructions. I was banned because of Ingram’s politics. There was no love lost in separating from the DhO, which I had never enjoyed in the least. But being banned from DhO included being banned from the small DhU group I had revived. After I was locked out, that DhU group died away. I retained my friendships and my journals in my own virtual space.


2:11 a.m.: Disgust (ñ8)  Reobservation (ñ10)

This was a very hard sit, 39 minutes that felt almost torturous. I quickly gave up on trying to do a concentration practice. I leaned toward insight. Disgust tends to hit me harder than Fear, Misery, and even Reobservation. Emotionally, it is as if embarrassment and paranoia reduces to the hatred of a lowly cornered rat.

I’m tired, sleepy, and trying to change my sleep schedule, so that made it really hard for me to stay with the feelings at the level of sensation, but I did my best. Although I felt like I was “getting nowhere” and should just quit, I remembered Daniel’s writing once, “Good. There is nowhere to go,” and “There is no way that practice isn’t doing something, even though it may not seem like it at the time.”

So I did the time. Many physically painful sensations would tear through my body, and then the next moment I would notice that they weren’t really there at all. Then they would flare again. Very strange. I tried to investigate how and why these sensations arose, but I was stymied.

Seven of Wands, Reversed

This card is right on. It indicates feelings of exhaustion, hesitation, embarrassment, loss of reputation, and malicious talk of me behind my back. Mainly, in the present situation, I think it mainly stands for embarrassment, overreaching, self-doubt, and anger at myself for not taking a big step backward sooner. This too shall pass.

2:16 a.m.: ñ11.j4 (High Mastery), Then ñ11.j4.j4 (High Equanimity), and Then ñ15 (The No-Self–Suffering Door to Fruition)

Indeed, I now know why the Three of Swords (Reversed) mysteriously and ominously arose the other night. It is a confusing, turbulent time for me. Key efforts at a human connection have failed. Meantime, I have blossomed anyway. It never was about this other person. It was all a dream, an unreality that I stoked and subtended constantly to give myself something, someone else, to believe in, someone of magically brilliant capacity and kindness too exalted to stoop.

And then there is the reality: The way his kindness is only from a safe “pragmatic” distance, the way I’m verbally contextualized as a burden, a pest even. The way I’ve been called polarizing at the very moments when I’ve been most brave, most true, most touched into the greater good as our collaborative goal. The way in this so-called community I’ve continually been sacrificed as a scapegoat in a politics that I never bargained for, did not create, and do not welcome in my life.

I have hundreds of friends better and truer than this, a goodly number of them intimate. There is in this world sweet, straightforward people who are naturally with me when I’m with them, and even when I’m not. None of this continual struggle, complexity, and emotional unavailability to sort issues. None of the talking down, down, down, to me, as if I were stupid, nothing, a gnat, an insect, even less.

The questions I patiently ask over and over and over and over and over again, for months, never receiving an answer on behalf of this so-called community of people who deserve answers that make at least some semblance of sense. Just self-contradiction here or refusal to engage. And excuses and excuses and excuses.

The only answer I receive, repeatedly, is that everyone is dispensable, including me. I’ve even been told that my leaving is not a “threat,” as if my being kind to myself is only force for threatening him. That is not a compassionate answer from someone who gives a damn whether other people awaken. No one who is true to even his own model of enlightenment would say and do such things to me.

It is one thing to be gravely mistaken and humanly flawed; it is quite a worse and unenlightened thing to never ever admit publicly or even privately to having made mistakes. It is quite another thing to contradict everything you’ve stood for so vehemently as the truth, to violate that supposed truth with subsequent actions and words, never resolving anything for the “audience,” as he calls us.

For just one instance among many, there is an injunction in MCTB that people follow a tradition that is “time-tested” and “proven to get results.” Is Actual Freedom either of those? No. Yet the utterer of those words engaged in something not time-tested at all, stating that he was mistaken about being done in 2003, was in fact not satisfied with his attainment, which he has elsewhere claimed is so satisfying that it satisfies instantly even his question whether it exists.

So which is it, Daniel?

Why was that injunction tossed aside by its own utterer? Why, years later, will he still not answer this question as all the high-level practitioners leave his site, distance themselves from him, and contact me with doubts as to his attainments precisely on the terms I’m presenting here. And his only response to me is that his “audience” comes and goes for reasons that are “random.” This is a man who will not own up, be honest, be transparent, be emotionally and spiritually present. This is a man who is protecting himself, a self, an emphatic self, not a self seen through, not a self burned through with compassion and wisdom.

The way I have repeatedly been chastised or publicly sacrificed by this person for being somehow at fault, not merely inadequate, but faulty at the very moments I was at my most openhearted. Those who love me, and whom I love, understand exactly what I’m doing and am about: They commune, abide, and are at ease with me. They are honest, forthcoming, transparent, pure. They don’t sacrifice me, use me, put me down, set me aside, accuse me, threaten me, and refuse all explanation why things have to be this way between us.

My true friends don’t refuse to call or Skype with me unless it is recorded for political and self-defensive purposes. They don’t call me names and accuse me of lying and foul motives. They reciprocate, naturally, without a single reservation or self-guarding fear. I don’t need this fake version of that. I don’t need a merely virtual sangha strangled with ugly politics, ridiculously attainment-feuding secularized leaders, and self-guarding, self-guarding, self-guarding defensiveness and retreat from human intimacy.

Something is now deeply turning in me, and it has been for a while. The ocean within has drawn undertow, has turned slowly, and now pauses at the quiet peak before it rushes thunderously to a shore.

I have never been cherished here and never will be. Here I will only be tolerated when not devalued, then rebuked, and then thrown under the bus and hung out to dry on the DhO, a sacrificial example made of a woman with so little self-respect that she continues to permit being thus used.

There will be no heart connection. Without that, there is nothing of value here pragmatic or otherwise. I will give, and give, and give, and give, and there will be nothing there to give to, no one there to give to, but just a glittering straw man in a mirage of a vajra throne. All my invention, my fabrication, my misdirected, rejected, rebuked, set aside, deferred, condemned love and kindness.

So it returns to me, where it belongs.

Anger can be righteous, said Shargrol, can sometimes be the only way back to adequate love for who I am, for this precious life, for purity, for this brief ecstasy of feeling truly alive.

After our last quarrel, which ruined my 51st birthday, though that is nothing to my disrupting his current beach vacation, I felt something was permanently ruined. I was right. And so something is done. I worked like crazy on MCTB2 to try to finish Part II before my retreat. He didn’t even bother to inform me [as required by our written agreement], meantime, that he was taking off for vacation. This is the same  discourtesy he exercised months ago. A doctor’s time is most valuable; an editor’s emphatically is not. He has all the privileges, and I have no right to complain.

I sat on my pillows and blanket tonight. I lighted the white vanilla-peppermint candle that is still weeping white wax out of the eye I carved into it during a ritual I performed to resolve to see the entrances and exits Daniel can see. I cried. For a full 20 minutes, sobbed. Daniel is wrong if he truly believes that crying like that in Equanimity is not meditation. It surely is.

Something happened, something was surrendered, something cut anchor lines, and I floated. Everything floated, everything was rocking into everything else. Everything was flashing in and out of everything else like quanta, ephemeral. Then it all merged and lifted. Forms were barely there. I was barely there, although I was gazing at the pure bright whiteness of the flame and the oozing, weeping vanilla-peppermint wax. Something let go completely. “I have been doing this for eons,” I said. “I have been doing this for eons, and I can stop now.” There is nothing forthcoming, nothing that is not already here, already in and through me, already pure, already known beyond understanding, already reciprocated.

I was staring, and I was what was stared at. There was a clockwise spin, a cessation, and bliss as if I were spirited out on sparkling silver wings.

“No heart connection will be reciprocated,” I said.

“Truly,” he replied.

I need for this statement issued to me so many months ago to sink in deeply, to the point where I earnestly and completely choose the higher path, believing it, to the point where I take the step to leave. “Too busy” is an excuse. “Pragmatism” is an excuse.

“You don’t know who you are dealing with. I don’t want to hurt you. Please help me not to do that.”

Are these the words of an enlightened being to an aspirant practitioner, a friend in the dharma, a member of his sangha, someone who has tried to help and has helped?

Who in this relationship has the lowest threshold for feeling threatened and in return threatens? Is this person enlightened to even his own published standards? Can he even stand this question? Will he ever fucking answer? No, he won’t. I know that now. And so I have my answer, and I’m looking henceforth at a bifurcated path.

Eric M W’s Response

I hope this situation is resolved in a way that is beneficial for all involved.

I am thankful for all your work on MCTB2. You’ve dealt with a lot of stuff along the way and still kept at it.

I hope you are well.

Metta,

Eric

Dishonesty in MCTB2 about Actual Freedom and Recantation of Arahatship: To Daniel

1 April 2018

This note that I appended to Daniel’s editorial “to do” list on 17 July 2015 was the communication whose reply began the fight that ended my role on MCTB2, which culminated in total destruction of that version and ended my relationship with Daniel. There was protracted raw ugliness involved in those endings, including my banishment from the DhU. Even so, after the late July blowup, we started becoming cautiously friendly again until October 2015, when he unaccountably became furious with me for sharing with him the tantric practice instructions now publicly posted here on my site for everyone’s benefit: 

http://jhanajenny.com/paragon-tantric-practice/

In October 2015 I was banished again after sending this practice to him. Daniel withdrew my agreed-to option of writing an editor’s preface to MCTB2. He also withdrew promised editorial cover credit, which had already been added to the front cover design. Eventually he denied me even a nod on the Acknowledgments page. We had completed 350 pages of work that I had given up nearly all of my free time for almost a year to complete.

After conflict ensued, I offered many concessions so as to simply finish up the little work we had left. Daniel was, as my attorney later stated, unwilling to compromise. I had filed for joint copyright of the work on the basis of coauthorship. That copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and valid. 

Daniel sent two lawyers after me, as recounted in my Dharma by Daylight journal. The first emailed wild, rambling threats to me, including threats to make me look “mentally incompetent” in front of a jury. Daniel was copied on the emails conveying these and other over-the-top empty scare tactics. He apparently endorsed, in fact authorized, these attacks.

The second lawyer drew up and sent me a bizarrely on-and-on emotional draft settlement agreement that offered me $10,000 to cancel my valid copyright and suppress the truth about my having any role on the book whatsoever or any relationship with Daniel. I declined this hush money, which, by the way, was less than a third of what my rate was for editorial work at the time. Because of the validity of my copyright, Daniel had to begin all over again with his original manuscript. He was unwilling to make a simple acknowledgment on his Acknowledgments page that I had done the work I did. This was all I asked for in exchange for copyright, and he refused. He sought to remove my name and take full credit for what was in truth a substantive collaboration.

I wrote this plea you see below to Daniel below back in July 2015 because a friend from the DhO had pointed me to audio Daniel had long ago posted to his Integrated Daniel site. You will notice my reference in this plea to that audio, in which Daniel states that his claim of “finishing” his path to enlightenment in 2003 was wrong. In that audio, he also states that “there is one more thing to finish,” and then apologizes to everyone for MCTB1.

In his cognitively dissonant written reply to my plea, Daniel says to me that he leaves the (damning) audios and videos posted on his site when he could just have taken them down. Well, note that after our legal scuffling, he did take the one in question down. This whitewashing history portends to me that he is maintaining in the forthcoming MCTB2 what I saw in the last draft of it. What is that? It is that he holds his four Actual Freedom comrades out as a dark cautionary tale of what happens when you try to get rid of your emotions. It is also that he conveniently excludes all mention that he himself joined them in the emotion-neutralizing goal and exercise. Finally, it is also that he conveniently omits mention that in 2012 he recanted his being finished with his path to the extent that he even apologized to the public for MCTB1. 

Daniel’s reply to my plea below was a masterwork of cognitive dissonance and gaslighting. It answered to none of the point about his suppressing the truth from MCTB2. Instead, he avoided answer to that, reconstructing the problem as my being, with regard to Actual Freedom, in a “box” that I find “comfortable” and “sacrosanct.” In essence, instead of answering my plea for truth in MCTB2, he constructed me as narrow-minded and sectarian about Actual Freedom. Even if that had been the case, it was far beside the point of my plea, a red herring—and more personally, gaslighting. 

His reply, which I still have in my files and reread today, says he found the AF experiments fun and fruitful. If so, then why did he whitewash from draft MCTB2 that he ever even participated in them, presenting instead there the old narrative of arahatship attainment in 2003? Why does he make his four old friends into a cautionary tale against things like Actual Freedom? And why has he now, after years of leaving them up and pointing to that fact as a defense of his truth-telling, taken down the damning audios upon the advent of MCTB2 publication? We are all waiting to see what is and isn’t whitewashed in the forthcoming MCTB2. It is to be hoped, although far from expected, that Daniel will come clean about the whole path he has truly followed.


17 July 2015

Many in these communities discuss and debate “being done,” with the vast majority eventually concluding that there is no such thing as being done with “practice,” whatever that means. Even you say in your draft that continuing insight practice is a good idea, which is a statement that puzzles me if you are truly done.

Bill tells me that tantra is where one goes after fourth path is attained—this is to work on the emotional/psychological axis, which, imho, is what you should have done rather than messing around with that stupid AF stuff and going on record as renouncing MCTB1’s rejection of the limited-emotions models. Tantra would not have necessitated that recantation. It could have empowered you to be vulnerable with your emotions and not reactive against them. Someone who has seen through to the true nature of all sensations does not exclude those sensations that make up “emotions,” doesn’t try to get rid of them. If I realize the true nature of the sensations that make up a visual object, does that mean I should then go blind? No. Nor should seeing the true nature of emotions entail their eradication. How Tarin could be so foolish as to think otherwise is mind-boggling; how you could follow his lead is even more so.

For one claiming arahatship, you seem to have a fair amount of work to do on emotions/psychology; therefore, coming completely and publicly clean about this matter can only restore people’s faith in you, which is very tarnished in both your own community and in Kenneth’s, whether you realize that fact or not. I’m not saying this in anger, Daniel, at all. I’m saying this as a friend who cares about you—not Daniel the arahat, Daniel the Overlord, Daniel the author, Daniel the meditation master, Daniel the teacher, but Daniel the still vulnerable and fallible human being.

Where is all this coming from and why now? Well, certain people in the communities brought forth to me the audios made by you and Tarin, a series of old posts from the AF controversy, and Kenneth’s audio denouncing you for lack of compassion evidenced by your trying to rid yourself of affect (I didn’t find Kenneth’s particular take that [theoretically] convincing, for the record). This is all very, very complex ancient history to you, I know. But you have made yourself a public figure. You’ve been out with everything up to a certain point, and that means, as you told Jim, you get to see what comes back at you, and this is it—what I’m telling you about the harm that is ongoing because of what you said and did under the apparent influence of Tarin.

You even believed for a long time that Tarin et al., had attained Actual Freedom. You recanted, publicly, “being done” in 2003. You apologized for MCTB1. I listened to all the audios, and they are damning and embarrassing. If you blip past all this in your book and elsewhere entirely, this wound will fester and none of this will ever be healed in these communities, no one will trust you ever again, no one will believe you are enlightened, and therefore few will heed you and learn. This much has been said to me by people long members of the DhO—very longtime members.

For the record, not a single person I’ve listened to or talked to buys that your “relative modifications” a few years ago were not ultimate insight attainments. I myself don’t buy that those changes weren’t insight-driven. Your explanations are merely puzzling. Call a small attainment a “modification”—makes no difference, for a small attainment is still an attainment, and one concerning specifically perception (the field distortion, the veil, time pressure). You were practicing intense mindfulness [rather than the more properly Actual Freedom exercises], and you got new insight attainments that removed distortions in perception.

Luckily you utterly failed to get rid of your emotions, failed to repress them, so actualism was shown to be a complete failure, which it is, in both theory and results. How one could make the logical-thinking error that “seeing through” emotions would equal eradicating them frankly stuns and bewilders me. Your latest comment in the DhU space was to the effect that when the ultimate and the relative converge, then the relative is the point; this statement mirrors what the mahamudra texts say.

There are not two Daniels: a relative one who needs to get rid of emotions, and an ultimate one who has seen through to the true nature of them and doesn’t in that way seek. In your so-called relative reality, there ought to be shining through the wisdom of the ultimate—this does not mean neutralization of emotion but quite the contrary. It should mean ability to feel and use passion fearlessly; it should translate into loss of self-guarding and ability to have human intimacy.

So were you mistaken when you followed Tarin’s lead? Will you at least acknowledge that? Did you finish up some work in the perceptual field, no matter how small? Will you at least acknowledge that? Your reputation as the brashly honest and utterly honorable Daniel we all were drawn to via MCTB1 depends on these acknowledgements, or some explanations that make sense.

The difference enlightenment should make to the emotions is considerable. I say that from experience, not theory. And that difference is not eradication but willingness to feel, ability to stay with that vulnerability of being emotionally present through all, including embarrassment (not run from it). In short, enlightenment should bring not the limitation of emotions, but the enrichment of the full range of them—minus reactivity. Reactivity is the act of guarding a self from vulnerability. A Daniel who has fully seen through the “self” shouldn’t guard himself as intensely from intimacy as you do, shouldn’t fear people, shouldn’t marshal forth the defense mechanisms and cover-ups that you so intensely do often enough, shouldn’t retreat, shouldn’t threaten, shouldn’t vanish.

I do not doubt that you are the most realized and wise person whom I’ve had the good fortune to meet and get to know. And that is why it does pain me that you cannot talk about any of this, cannot come clean. My awakening is transforming my emotions and psychology directly—meaning that insight into the Three Characteristics is. August lopped off my phobias, and my family is amazed how much less reactive I am just generally, naturally. In fact, these effects are so pronounced that my husband now wants to meditate, something that stunned me. No, this is not from Morality Training. It is from insight, and very logically so. When I’m driving on the Interstate and the conceptual thoughts that used to cause physiological fear response to arise—well, they get nowhere, because I see through those sensations. Because I’m okay with feeling afraid, I’m not afraid. I trust reality rather than stand in opposition to it, guarding myself, bracing for impact.

So you have a blind spot, one you and your models completely overlook but everyone else sees and knows. We are just trying to understand how what you said and did during the AF era fits in with everything else, your path.

I’m nobody. I’m just a newcomer and your editor. You may dismiss what I’m saying as old hat. You may truly believe you have nothing more forthcoming on this front. You may truly believe that you are not only as enlightened as you can be, but as enlightened as anyone can be. You may truly believe that emotions can and should be compartmentalized off as a special set of sensations that insight can’t and doesn’t have to touch or see through till they are just happening and not reactively defended against. You can do all that, or continue to, but you would be wrong.

And you are my friend—you have no choice in that matter, either. In my heart you are my friend and you are the teacher that led, is leading, me into awakening. You may think that I don’t even know you, but you would be wrong about that too. You may not know me, but I know you. I’ve dwelled nightly in the textures and cadences of your words and mind intimately for a year. That has changed and is changing my life. I wouldn’t write all this if I didn’t feel intense gratitude that you exist and do what you do for so many.

JJF

Settling, Patience, and Letting Go: A Community Project

Jenny

One thing Daniel told me recently was to practice patience in the face of my recent intense (and distressing) Desire for Deliverance, which went on for almost two months. He tells me to investigate patterns “gently” and mainly just to let my recent (January/February) attainment “settle.” He says the brain can only rewire so fast, and I got stream entry less than a year ago. I said to him, “Then why do I feel like I’ve been doing this for lifetimes?”

What do I mean by “vipassana”? Only that the Three Characteristics will show up in the concentration states, breaking “pure” samatha. Reality will show itself, its true nature, as it were, until even that “true nature” is undone and the Three Characteristics vanish for good.

Vasily

Jenny, I’ve found myself coming to the same conclusion about patience from an experience that I think stems from a very similar place as your recent Desire for Deliverance, but probably not as intense.  By listening to something Adyashanti has said, and some things that Daniel has said, and some things that I have experienced, it feels like usually the cause is in some notion we are holding on to that either

  1. This can’t be it so I will try and in very subtle ways manipulate this experience, which clearly isn’t even a “thing,” nor does it help.
  2. That we have some notion of what our practice or reality should look like.

I have found useful incredible, incredible honesty about if I’m in any way trying to manipulate reality, as well as the fact that “awareness” doesn’t really care if it’s having a “bad” or “good” time; it’s this weird constructed notion of ourselves that gets really fussy about that. This has helped me remember to (my recent mantra): Chill the fuck out.

Jenny

Vasily, you have such useful insight. I really appreciate your Zen-inspired perspectives. They are  an often useful antidote to the crazymaking effort-manipulation and refuge-seeking knots we suddenly find ourselves in. I usually actually take perverse pleasure in Desire for Deliverance—I love all the cathartic weeping, praying—”melodharmas,” as Daniel calls them, haha. But when it goes on for 7 weeks? Not so fun anymore.

Upthread, you will see that I sent out strong intention after one of my sits to draw the card that would respond directly to this painfully long Desire for Deliverance. I drew the High Priestess, and that is an emphatically Yin card, one urging passivity, openness, and a “practice” consisting of patience.

I had told Daniel about my drawing the High Priestess, who urges patience. Here is what he wrote, and after reading it, that night I sat and went to High Mastery Equanimity and had the clearest experience of formations to date (I still haven’t posted here my entry for that sit by the way).

Jenny (to Daniel)

Lately, even “watching the motions of attraction and aversion” is taking me nowhere.

Daniel

Good. There is nowhere to get to but here. That’s the sort of response that drives people nuts, but it is still true. It is also not possible that practice isn’t doing something, even if you can’t see that right now.

I think that you can combine settling, patience and strong concentration. Settling is settling into right now, into this. Patience is allowing that sense of pulling to be embraced now and letting go of something (not a phrase I use lightly, but it seems to apply here). Concentration has to be grounded in this moment, in this plane, in these sensations, so it is also patience, and it is also settling. “Let it settle,” as Christopher Titmuss so wisely said to me one day. I would still be with the settling. That’s what comes to me this early, circadian-ly disrupted morning.

Jenny (to Elizabeth)

I too am looking forward to the dropping of MCTB2. We got really bogged down in the two most difficult chapters of the book—”Equanimity” and “Path and Fruit,” the latter of which includes the “Three Doors” section, which has always driven me bonkers and which caused me to drive Daniel bonkers over my being bonkers about it.

Exhale

He’s also even more overworked than usual now because three of his colleagues resigned.

We have finished “Equanimity,” which is fantastic and the most important chapter in the whole book. It was worth it that he and I took the time to haggle over every little part of it. We are both very, very happy.

We are almost done with “Path and Fruit,” now that we spent some 15 pages of email struggling with each other over just the No-Self/Suffering door, which is hilarious if you think about it! This one little section generated a ton of exchange with Daniel and exemplifies what a strange and wonderful, if often overwhelming, period in my life this has been—the challenges and opportunities of considering with Daniel every single passage in this book.

We have a chapter to get to on the Vipassana jhana models, which should be a walk in the park in comparison with the foregoing. Then we have another chapter that is a kind of catch-all space for the notation system detail, Nirodha Samapatti, and other advanced practice instructions. This is a brand new chapter.

Daniel’s most off-hand email can cause for me an opening, and did, leading directly to path, to luminosity as persistent shift. He is not my Teacher by his own definition of what a Teacher is (someone sitting with a student in person, on retreat with him). We’ve expressly sought not to make editing some exchange for teaching. Nonetheless, he is my teacher, even if he disclaims me as his student.

In short, what a wonderful period of my life this has been, what a unique opportunity it has been to get to know Daniel personally and to have these conversations. I also feel this morning like expressing high gratitude for this little space, all the people here in the Underground. May I catch up on journals (mine and everyone’s) this weekend.

Vasily

I remember before my latest shift seeing what I believe to be formations really clearly. I agree with Daniel about the “if you’re seeing formations, enlightenment is close” thing.

Regarding the second part, “The river naturally empties into the ocean.”

Regarding the letting go of something, I find myself contemplating a phrase by T. S. Eliot from Journey of the Magi:

But set down

this set down

this.

In terms of letting go, what has helped me is feeling the suffering of grabbing, holding, and in the same motion of letting a hot coal fall out of our grip, by simply opening our hand—let go.