RE-OBSERVATION – 10th Stage of Insights – Part 6 of THE DARK NIGHT

A woman has hit a brick wall. Concepts: futility & frustration. Some copy space on the wall.

This stage is often, though not always, like a brick wall,

particularly the first few times we collide with it.

It can be as if all the worst aspects of the Dark Night stages

converge for one last important lesson,

that of Re-observation.

We must perceive the true nature of the sensations

that make up our ideas of perfection, all the ideals we cling to,

all images of how the world should and should not be,

all desire for anything to be other than exactly the way it is,

as well as all desire for awakening to be anything other than this.


Re-observation need not be a problem if you have very solid meditation skills.

One of the hallmarks of the early part of this stage is that

we may begin to clearly see exactly what our minds do all day long,

see with great clarity

how the illusion of a dualistic split is created in the first place,

sensation by sensation, moment to moment,


there is not yet enough of a meta-perspective and equanimity

to make good use of this information.

This stage is a profound opportunity to see clearly

the pain of the dualistic aspect of our attachments, aversions, desires, hopes, fears, and ideals,

as our awareness of all this

has been amplified to an unprecedented level.

At its best,

it is very humanizing and very emotionally honest.

This is the stage that makes possible the path of heroic effort,

the diligent investigation of this moment based upon

the powerful wish for awakening,

because at this stage all the unskillful aspects of this wish

are beaten out of the meditator with a force equal to

the suffering caused by them.

The framework of the three trainings and the three types of suffering

that are found within each of their scopes can be helpful here as well.

Since most of us are generally not used to facing fundamental identity crises,

which is the basic issue in Re-observation,

we are not familiar with the misery of fundamental suffering.

In an ideal world,

we would really have our psychological trip together,

be able to stay with the practice during these stages, and thus

cross quickly through the Dark Night and finish this practice cycle.

It can be done.

Drawing from the agendas of mostly psychology and confused morality,

in which there is concern for

the specific thoughts and feelings that make up our experience,

we fail to make progress in insight,

whose agenda is simply

to see the true nature of all sensations as they are.

Try to navigate the Dark Night with

panache, dignity, self-respect, decency, gentleness, poise, and if possible,

a sense of humor, which often seems to be

the first thing to be sacrificed at its bloody altar.

Remember that – This is vipassana.


Notice that every little background sensation already is its own comprehension,

where it is, as it arose and vanished, and that

trying to pretend to be a little point in space observing and

controlling all that sensate complexity is absurd and just causes suffering:

that is the lesson here.


That is the three characteristics,

and the three characteristics are the key in this stage.

As soon as you get back on your game even a little bit,

get back to noticing all this come and go on its own, naturally, effortlessly,

at a basic, fast, sensate level.

This is the most important paragraph of this whole section.

One way or another, when we finally give up and rest in what is happening

without trying to alter it or stabilize it, when we can accept our actual humanity

as well as be clear about the three characteristics of

naturally flowing mental and physical phenomena,

there arises…


This song is performed in the Hawaiian slack key of D Wahine.

View on YouTube with inspiring Hawaiian Sailing Photos

From my


The Progress of Insight

Inspired by Daniel Ingram’s book Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha,

With this section “The progress of Insight”

Inspired by Mahasi Sayadaw