This is an audio entry I made during the months after I was banned from the Dharma Underground / Overground (though I broke no rules, for I wrote the friggin’ rules, haha). Anyway, I made a number of audio entries, and instead of transcribing them, I’ve decided to just upload them for some variety and so people can hear what I sound like if they are curious. I made some audios that are too personal for me to make public, so I won’t be posting the whole collection I have, but selectively.

This one has some afterthoughts about a tarot card reading, some comments about increasing depth of jhana experience during an intense A&P phase, and a weird vision I had of some primitive bipedal beings jumping off a natural bridge and swimming around to shore and jumping again and so on.

Clusters of Cessation-Fruitions

Characteristics of stage and sit are as follows:

♦ No good idea where I am.

♦ Mind babbling most of this sit, yet I seem to rise up through the jhanas anyway, regardless of thinking. Can one really think this much and still be in jhana?

♦ Slept 11 hours Saturday night, which I needed. Dissolution?

♦ Crazy dreams I’ve been having for months have suddenly stopped.

♦ Had little surges of fear early in the day. Fear?

♦ Had some arising of misery, but nothing really heartfelt. Misery?

♦ Maybe mini-Dark Night.

♦ Have had strong feelings past few days that I need to return to my nondharma life—grounding, flight from obsessions.

In Sphere of Nothingness, I’m pretty sure I had a decent fruition tonight—There was a reverie of some sort that suddenly arose, some idea that I could dive into Nothingness, something like that, but then a forgetting, and then bam, I was gone. Then I was back (in Nothingness), a warm intense bliss wave rose up, like a flush.

I didn’t get a good entry into eighth tonight, but the post-spot is wonderful—I’ve been continuing resolutions for nirodha samapatti from here.

PL (custom) Jhana—OMG, I thought I wouldn’t get this tonight because I’m so neutrally, but then it came on suddenly, and a few minutes later a second, more persistent wave of it came on and it was just incredible! This is an amazingly divine and healing state, and damned fun!

Questions esp. for Daniel at DhU Hangout are as follows:

Most of us, I think, have lately been sensing that there is something crucial about mastering the jhanas—crucial to insight and therefore enlightenment, despite separation of the Three Trainings. And I was driven to work on the jhanas after both paths. Is this part of anagami trap–delusions, or are we right that there is something crucial here?

Nothingness—Often, oddly enough, this state seems to have more going on in it than the others: More fluxing, strobing, even sometimes flashes of something, roiling of black on black, dimension itself, even dream-like hints of images that are obviously mental like a dream. For weeks I was getting air hunger here, but that seems to have passed and now knocks me out of eighth. Anyway, it seems that because there is so much turning away from and contraction, there is a much keener sense of remainder, background presence—or there can be. However, last night I seemed to have a decent fruition from within this state—I was fixating on the nothing within the Nothingness, the blanks, and then there was reverie, gone completely, and then back in Nothingness, and then bliss wave. Odd. I don’t notice that I have fruitions except in clumps for a week or so every few months, and they are more annoying than impressive. This was semi-impressive and insightful. Nothingness is really something!

From within eighth, which is hard for me to stay in for long—I am having these odd little clicks or blips, not like the more full-on fruition, but really rather annoying and more like head drops in a way, only they are more like spasms of being out, unconscious for a second, and then instantly back but dislocated, like a jerk, but I’m not sure it is physical. What are they? They seem to disrupt the state and knock me out of it because I can’t help but pay attention to the big jerk that just happened, and then I’m self-aware, and then out of the state. Many happen in a row. I’ve even wondered if they are a weird kind of seizure.

So-called Pure Land jhanas—I find these super easy to attain and just heavenly. However I recently had some odd things suddenly arise in them: a massive reverie ending in an explosion of orchid petals (A&P Event), and then during the recent very hard Reobservation this horrible blackness, like a dead seal flipped up on the heavenly beach, and I was suddenly choked with sobs. WTF? How can these stage extremes be happening from within PL? Is this just a coincidence? Have you ever heard of something like this?

What do I do with this profound doubt?

Vasily already gave me the correct answer. Yet still I ask, and still the asking is unsatisfactoriness. I guess I will be caught in this tangle until I’m not.

Weird and Turbulent at Rest

Oddly, after experiencing several nights of unprecedented impenetrably solid concentration, last night’s sit was just very difficult for almost the whole hour. It started with extremely fast fine vibrations. 

Soon Fear arose–free-floating fear not clearly connected with any object of fear. So it seemed that at least I was going to clearly see and be able to investigate the cycling that is supposed to occur after Path. Interestingly, earlier in the day I drove on the Interstate with no fear, and do so is normally a phobia for me, so to have free-floating fear arise so clearly during a formal sit, connected with no apparent object, does strike me as a call up of the Stages of Insight (Review, cycling). Also, since the event of August 8, I’ve totally lost the sense of contraction around the heart that is associated with all strong emotions. This was the first time I felt this in more than a week, which is interesting.

Misery stage is harder for me to pinpoint, but after Fear there was not emotional Misery but physical Misery – uncomfortable, with sevel jolts of migraine-like ice pick pain through my head, crawling scalp, hyper-awareness of this body and its failings.

Disgust stage arises as physical nausea for me lately, and it did again at this point into the sit.

Desire for Deliverance arose, I guess, as desire for fruition. And then, interestingly, this evolved into
desire to stop desiring fruition.

Reobservation stage I did not see.

Equanimity stage – maybe I had a few moments of Low Equanimity during the final minutes of the sit.

I’m not experiencing post-SE fruitions that I can tell, but I don’t think it is helpful for me to continue to hyperfocus on this fact. I feel so different from the way that I did before the event, both perceptually and emotionally by the way, that I don’t care what anyone calls it or whether it is vetted as stream entry. If it wasn’t stream entry, and I still think it was, then it was nonetheless what I have most needed. So I think that I now should bring more nonresistence to my sits and tweak the way I’m “looking for ” fruitions.

I feel floaty, with smeared-out boundaries; gone is the contraction in chest or heart that I formerly identified with as myself.

[Postscript – Actually, many months later I figured out that I had been experiencing “fruitions” (cessations), many in a row during a certain phase (Review phase is the norm), only to have them cease again until another Review phase. The reason I missed that these blips were fruitions is that they lacked the staggeringly profound aftermath that the stream entry one had. The takeaway I want for others is not to chase after Review fruitions as proof of a path. What matters about any experience is the wisdom you gain from it, the insight into reality. I will go down to the mat in maintaining that cessations in themselves are to be completely disregarded.]