As someone who has drifted into the Samatha route having originally worked with the Maharsi technique, it’s very clear to see what the problem is here. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to persuade people who have not had some experience of both routes. In the interests of harmony, I’m going to give it a go and hope people can keep an open mind as I try to explain what I think the issue is.
The way this process develops is very different for people who do Samatha before they do vipassana. As you get to Stage 7 of TMI, you will experience ‘purifications’. These often feel like bad trips during meditation which when they peak can overflow into your daily life and feel a lot like a dukka nana. These purifications often come back again and again but with less intensity and shorter duration as you progress through Stage 8. After this you start to feel piti sukka during meditation which begins to increase in intensity and eventually coincides with energy currents. This feels a lot like A&P but it isn’t. It’s just how these experiences are unleashed if you are doing concentration meditation rather than insight. These energy experiences peak in stage 9 and by stage 10 you achieve equanimity in meditation. To experience this equanimity permanently in daily life you will need to then do vipassana If you do this, you will still go through the insight stages but they will be barely noticeable. (noting of course that experiences vary tremendously this is just a kind of typical case)
For people doing Maharsi, its totally different. The energy currents will come out during the A&Ps and much of the nasty emotional stuff comes out during the dukka nanas. By the time their concentration has reached stage 7/8 they miss out on the energy experiences and purifcations that those who do Samatha experience. There’s just not much left for the Samatha to clear upThe problem is that there are 2 very different ways of unleashing these meditation experiences and many are only aware of the route that they undertook. Some people who do Samatha are only vaguely aware of insight stages as they were such a small impact on their practice Many who did Maharsi are just unaware of how the experiences that for them occurred during the insight stages occur if you do Samatha.This causes a considerable amount of confusion and unnecessary conflict.
The idea of mapping insight stages to the TMI stages is therefore pretty unhelpful. For example, if you are mid way through stage 8 of TMI, you could be experiencing energy currents one day, some fear purification the day after, aches and pains the day after that and then back to energy experiences and piti sukka the day after that. On a day to day basis it can be pretty random and the PoI maps are of no help at all.
If you want to combine TMI with Maharsi practice, my best help would be to say to use TMI to get to stage 3 or 4 and then do noting to cross the A&P By the time you get to the end of the equanimity insight stage, you might want to be aiming for stage 6 or 7 of TMI in order to maximise your chance of getting a cessation. If you get to Stage 8 however, you will start to enter into the Samatha route where the insight stages are no longer relevant.
My past experience of this has taught me that it is very difficult to persuade those who do Maharsi that what I’m writing is actually true I hope people will keep an open mind as a better understanding of the Samatha route would help enormously in getting past these issues.