With about ten days to go, it remains to be seen whether or not I will fullfill the goal of becoming an arahat. And while it may seem on the face of it a wildly unattainable goal, especially given the level of effort I’m able to actually give this practice, I must say the results have been fairly impressive.
It seems I can usually give three days a week to intense jhanna practice, and on those days, do between 6-8 solid hours of practice, with maybe three more middling hours. I feel I now know more about this practice than ever before, in many ways. It’s much easier to hold stronger concentration states for long periods of time, and I can make distinctions in the various jhanna factors that I was never able to do previously.
I also now understand the difference between what are called ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ jhanna states, where the latter is more of mental taste, the former is like swimming in it, or being embedded in a solid block of a certain kind of vibrational quality. This obviously makes practice much more rewarding and powerfull. I had a very compelling glimpse into a strong version of the 5th jhanna, or the 1st formless jhanna, sometime known as the base of infinite space. So that aspect of the plan is on track.
The insight side remains my strong hand, however. Last week I had two experiences that together or seperately could be considered powerfull fruitions. The lasting increased sense of peace and dramatically improved level of concentration ability leads me to think at least one of them was. Certain aspects of reality seem much more obvious and non-conceptual in a way that is very hard and sort of annoying to explain.
” Isn’t that what you said before?”
” yeah, but I GET it this time!”
Which leaves the conduct or morality side of the equation. It can be slippery to see where your thoughts and speech and actions aren’t carrying the weight of your realisations, but there is a certain kind of unpleasant schizophrenia that points you in the right direction. After the latest apparent fruitions, I became acutely aware of poorly chosen words to other people, my seeming inability to say the right things, or at least, keep my yap shut.
So I think I’ll just focus on not swearing or talking behind peoples backs for now, which feels like a pretty good idea, and I probably ought to have been doing all along anyway.
The most rewarding thing in my life, and the thing I think this website speaks to the most, is the pleasure and fulfillment of endless self-discovery. There are few things in this world that are endless, but to always be able to learn and explore your own creative potential is one of them.
So, if it transpires that I have to continue this project beyond the deadline, I shant be too disappointed about it.