Friday, April 23
Because Mom's coming over this afternoon, I wanted to take my shower early this morning, right after I got up. In the midst of this process, (while I was thinking about how I'd recently been forgetting how conducive our living situation is to Dhamma studay and practice, and how I should rejoice in that) an important insight arose, striking with the full force of illumination. These despressed moods, these suicidal fantasies: they're perhaps Mara's most useful tool. They knock me out of balance and very effectively distract me from practice. For a long time I've seen how Mara uses conceit, but this is really the first time I've seen how depression is used.
This is huge.
And not only that. The stuff I attribute to Dad (which essentially boils down to "You're bad, and here's why...") is actually not Dad at all. It's Mara, it's an aspect of this very mind. Just as "I'm great" is a conceit (because it conceives and affirms an "I am"), so too is "I'm awful" a conceit. In reality, it's all just physical and mental phenomena arising and ceasing very very quickly. And that's all. Nothing to get chuffed about.
There is a lighter feeling today, the opposite of that heavy, downward-pulling feeling from yesterday, and before. And there is happiness.