I am going to do a very brash thing here because it’s my website. I’m going to talk about stuff no one seems to know about. This territory is a continual exploration for me because once you move past the Therevada 4 path model there is no one to discuss these things with until you find them.
The transition to Arhat is a fundamental perceptual flip it seems.
Stage 10 practice is Arhat practice:
Stage 10 is fully developed samatha and it is not as exciting as the stages before. stage 10 you sit and there is broad spacious knowing and vivid clarity, and a deep sense of peace, fundamental rightness. The body always seems to be pleasantly buzzing or if there’s pain going on it seems equally valid and the mind does not discriminate based on vedana. It’s a very clear shift and it is one of those things you just feel this fundamental mismatch has been resolved, but you experience it “in” your sense perceptions. It’s hard to describe but really interesting. That’s outside of meditation. Meditation is not fundamentally different than any other activity we do. Spiritual searching is no different than any other activity we do.
You sit down and there is pervasive, deep equanimity toward all sense arisings. No hindrances, ever. With the last two fetters cut. there is a distinct difference in the orientation of self to objects and it breaks. There is no perceptual separation between self and other. Everything is perceived clearly and nothing causes clinging. What happens in stage 10 is something I will keep writing about, but cutting the last two fetters has a distinct effect on what happens during “meditation”. There is no timer, no planning, you sit for as long as you want. There is a gentle slide into pristine spacious knowing and a deep sense of tranquility and contentedness. Time takes on a different feel, and the equanimity and mindfulness of arisings is automatic, matter of fact. It’s almost like everything is so directly- matter of fact known to be right where it is all the time without even trying. The mind can rest in an objectless state and perceptually it feels like somehow I’m now actually “in my body” and I’m fully experiencing this moment, for once. You can simply sit, with no intention or goal whatsoever, and your mind will abide in non-duality. Mental objects are not perceived to be fundamentally different than any other object, and since all objects are seen clearly, everything appears to have a perfection and “rightness” to it. Everything is mind. You see through objects completely and you will directly perceive non-duality moment by moment. That is a direct moment by moment knowing for an Arhat at stage 10. It’s my opinion that one cannot access stage 10 without being an Arhat and stage 10/ attainment of the end of suffering are co-arising related phenomena. One leads to the other and comes with the other they are inseparable. The causes and conditions that lead a person to stage 10 are the same causes and conditions that lead to awakening.
To maintain stage 10 requires certain causes and conditions, and the person at stage 10 will tend to maintain the conditions they can control that lead to mental peace. Stage 10 is about getting the state of tranquility to permeate very facet of life and daily life awareness is very strong. The seem to always present and engaged with whatever they are doing with a gusto and there is no stress holding the mind from what it intends to do. A person at stage 10 will not engage in useless things that lead to dukkha. A person at stage 10 has a feeling of automaticity with everything they do, there is no sense of fundamental strain between self and reality and thus they can get on with being an effective useful person.
In stage 10 you are actually in a state of meditation and awareness at all times, and as such there are the same mental factors that develop on the cushion off the cushion in daily life. Jhanas are seen as normal mind states and my experience has been that any experience can be dissolved into emptiness in the moment.
There is a default, automatic knowing of emptiness at this stage, and you can see it and feel it in your sense perceptions. Stage 10 allows you to see directly the nature of mind without the obscurations that block it.
The state of stage 10 allows one to see a thing called Rigpa…
Feelings of done-ness complete-ness, relation to done-ness
Feelings of relief and deep peace and resolution and blissful crystal clear peacefulness. Those are good to have. That’s what it feel like when you’re “done” in the sense of the Therevada 4 paths. There is a fundamental felt sense of fit-ness. Reality is no longer mismatched with the perceptual apparatus, they have become one in perfect harmony. This feels amazing and when you get to the end of the Therevada path your insight and awareness are keen- you have an understanding, your actions and intentions and baseline way of being is free from all imperfections of intention- when you leave ill will and desire, clinging, and the unhelpful habits of mind behind, the mind enters a new manifold of reality it seems. Where before, everything was motivated in some way by the prospect of a better future, better next moment, better version of myself, some different perceptual “idea” of myself superimposed on the sensations themselves – these clinging actions of mind at the subtle level, very quick, those cause the mismatch, the sense of “off-ness” that is felt as the mind experiences fundamental craving – that mismatch between self and reality, and that’s dukkha and contraction- the mind takes an experience and proliferates a relationship with it instead of just experiencing sensations as sensations, mental sensations as mental sensations, they will see self sensations arising and passing just like every other sensation, and there is no dukkha when the perceptual apparatus is oriented this way.
There seems to be a fundamental “reservation” in the mind before the switch to default non-dual perception. The “reservation” is the self holding out and there is still an aspect of self that hasn’t been fully integrated. It’s at the level of awareness, it’s within perception, but the mind’s problem computing capacities are still deciding it’s better to make a self- it’s primal fear of death So you get Nibanna. And you let the mind soak in jhana and nibanna. Show the last bits of the mind with some reservations holding out that there is nothing to fear. Deep jhana. Zhan Zhuang and standing practice is so stupidly simple in showing you- wait, am I meditating here or what? And stage 10 samatha which you will have at that point shows you you’re always meditating, always aware, always learning. It feels good to be a human in this body. I am a biological organism and I can listen to the signals my body and mind system are telling me, and with the unsurpassed mind one continues to comprehend reality through this non-dual default perception, the yogi learns that they have a fluid ability to observe emptiness in real time and they use these skills and abilities, dukkha gone, and they start to see that there is still dukkha in the world, these people are confused maybe I should help them. It’s not about me, there’s an energy that moves through me that is part of all of us, energy transfer occurring right now.
In the moment there is always movement and change and flux, and after ending suffering on a personal level and coming to a functional understanding of myself, what makes this being work at an optimal level, one can then use those skills and perceptual abilities to help others. There is a compassionate sense of energy and focus and direction that gives me a conviction, yes, keep going, keep learning in this direction. But there is always only ever this one luminous spherical never-ending, never beginning moment- the union of the perceptual apparatus and phenomena in perfect harmony and embrace, dissolving the being into the universe.