The Critical Path to Enlightenment: Concept and Value Proposition

The project is still early in the research, outlining, and drafting stage. It has several times been on hold, moreover, because of the schedule demands of a collaborator. But as plans firm up and execution is further under way, I will reveal more specifics.

The Project Management Concept of Critical Path

The book builds on the Pragmatic Dharma ethos in the sense that it includes a western future-oriented manifesto and a map-driven structure at the top level. It is written in modern, accessible plain English aimed at busy western laypersons. Critical path is a concept borrowed from modern business project management theory. It is the delineation of all the necessary stages and steps toward a project goal, the longest expected duration of each step, and the “dependencies” of the beginning of one step on the completion of some prior step or steps. A critical path yields the shortest possible beginning-to-end representation of the route to a goal. Thus, the book, The Critical Path to Enlightenment: Model, Map, and Method, is a whole-path project management template from zero to Buddhahood.

Value Proposition for the Dhama Book Concept

The concept for this book sprung from a stark lack persisting in the burgeoning western dharma book market: Although countless niche books exist on this or that isolated theory or practice morsel, nothing exists to empower the practitioner to plan the most efficient whole path toward the goal of enlightenment, to document and interpret preliminary results, to diagnose stable attainments, and to confidently navigate the order of stages and levels of meditation practice efficiently.

To illustrate—a friend who is a teacher mentioned to me recently that one of his new students, a beginner, was diving into wrathful deity practice as a first entry to meditation because that student thought a book on the specific practice “sounded cool.” My teacher friend and I laughed, but this situation is the norm rather than specific to this student. The dharma book market is currently a buffet with no defined meal courses governing menus governing, in turn, recipes. Without continuity-of-care whole-path guidance, the practitioner risks misdirection toward the ultimate goal—enlightenment—as well as toward the mastery of the currently alluring practice morsel.

The Critical Path to Enlightenment solves this pervasive problem by delineating in plain modern English a coherent model of enlightenment, a tested syncratic map of the stages and substages of spiritual realization, and diagnostic criteria for the completion of each substage. The practitioner traverses the “critical path” honed for overall efficiency: Model informs map, map drives method, and method drives specific modules of practice and their before-and-after diagnostic criteria. 

Unique Contributions to Pragmatic Dharma and Beyond

Although, as summarized, this pragmatism may initially sound dry to meditators who currently labor under the misguided but culturally pervasive notion that meditation is relaxation therapy, its fuller execution departs from other works of Pragmatic Dharma in ways that will inspire all practitioners. Specifically, the pragmatic eclecticism of this book means significant inclusion of Indo-Tibetan-inspired practices, among others, not just Theravadin practices. Additionally, this book addresses psycho-emotional challenges and works with them with meditatively as such.

Perhaps most different from other Pragmatic Dharma works is this book’s explicit commentary on the shifting fulcrum between the “masculine principle” and “feminine principle” as ways of conceptualizing practice approaches as a practitioner advances: The beginning of the path emphasizes the masculine, the middle-to-high path emphasizes the feminine, and the highest end of the path reaches a new extent of masculine-feminine integration by reintroducing the masculine. The aim is wholeness. Specifically, The Critical Path brings into relief the ways current hypermasculine modes of practice and concomitantly patriarchal dharma politics must be balanced by the feminine archetypal principle in individual men and women alike if the dharma is to survive, evolve, and thrive in the West. This book drives what is at stake into fertile open ground.

To achieve its aim as a complete workbook for awakening, The Critical Path to Enlightenment includes illustrations, tables, and templates to support concepts and diagnostic comprehension, retention, and reference. It includes sections on logistical questions, such how to choose and interact fruitfully with a teacher, how to instill daily practice as a habit, and how to approach retreats. Audio recordings of guided meditations are planned to follow.

Dreams and Astral Outings:
Feeling-Seeing Coherence,  June 2018

June saw the continuation of the move away from the sheer wow of traveling in a second phantom body and toward a deeper, more theoretically sound understanding that no body whatsoever is necessary for “traveling,” because traveling has nothing to do with Space and therefore matter. All traveling is time traveling and of mind only.

Eradication of the last vestiges of belief in space and matter, specifically in the sense sphere of sight, will empower coherency between the feeling sense sphere and the seeing, not only in nonphysical matter reality (NPMR), but also in physical matter reality (PMR). To this end of enlarging access to one larger reality, I’ve begun attending lucidly to state ambiguity among waking, hypnagogia, and dreaming. In this way, I’m coming to know that the enlarged NPMR reality is not superspace containing PMR but a coexisting expansion of reality available right here, right now in a PMR unleashed from illusory limitations.

Observations and lessons in NPMR this month seem to be the key to overcoming barriers such as the speed of light constant and dense matter impenetrability. Intuitively, my path forward reveals itself to me.

June 1: Transition to and from Vibrations and into Sleep: Utility of Jhana

I think I have something to say, but I’m unsure I know how to say it well enough to justify this entry. Here goes nothing. I got to bed at close to 3 a.m. again because of Kerry-related delays. I did a really good bardo practice for Terri, with lights appearing in midvision (the tantric “butter lamp” dissolution phenomenon) and jhanic-type afterglow bliss lasting till I was asleep. Contrary to my resolution not to listen to SOD audios while falling asleep, I put on my favorite: “I am the dreamer,” whose lines I’m determined to transcribe, as this is probably the most profound guided meditation I’ve ever heard by anyone. I was noticing rigpa, checking rigpa, even though I don’t do so normally anymore. I started sort of thinking about why my being rigpa might not be crossing the threshold into sleep. Basically, when we fall asleep, we are falling into Mother, kunzhi. If there is not sufficient brightness of rigpa to illuminate it, then Stupid Sleep is the result. So goes the theory. Rigpa was strong. In fact, the bardo practice juiced that up to euphoric high-energy add-ons, booster rockets. So I have been puzzled over what the real issue could be with lack of control and stabilization. I’ve been reflecting that the default Dzogchen practice is one of nondoing, allowing, surrendering to whatever arises, and so forth. That practice is conducive to stabilizing nondual unbounded wholeness, UW1, which is the Mother-heavy “vast” version of unbounded wholeness. I’ve also been mulling over how emphatic well-known astral travelers and lucid dreamers are about the criticality of personal intent and laser-like concentration.

I let J know months ago that I feel that results of my main practice have stalled out for a year because I’m being asked to develop knowlege of a cosmological scale and nonphysical compass. This development will require reintroduction of the masculine principle, the Magician, as opposed to the pure potentiality of the Void, the feminine High Priestess.

Whatever shifts what I call unbounded wholeness 1 (UW1) to UW2 in waking reality, a shift which has happened and is for me stable, needs to happen in the nonwaking. Is this just a matter of higher rigpa? Is rigpa still limited by subtle dullness? I don’t think so, at least not in waking reality. But if there is some high I’ve not yet hit but of the same ilk, then how would I know? Well, intuitively, I think the problem must be resolvable without recourse only to rigpa intensification. After all, many people can apparently astral travel and lucid dream who have no realization on the Path of Surrender at all.

So, after 3 years emphatically off this tack, I am now reconsidering concentration practice and individual intent from where I am now on the Path of Surrender. My thinking, as I observed my body-mind relationship while falling into sleep last night, was that I perhaps need to exit my sense of a physical body through the portal that is the central channel. I had the further thought that returning to heavy-duty jhana practice (formless realms j7 and j8 only) may be required, particularly because the more concentrated one becomes, the more completely that the subtle mind is drawn into the central channel, my target.

The thought is that I would rise to j7 and then absorb into the central channel while still awake. I have done so a couple of times while on retreat. I have a hunch that this is the way that what A. H. Almass calls unilocality happens with regard—specifically in this case—to one’s mind taking one’s own subtle body as object to penetrate, debunk, and thereby (paradoxically) “exit.”

Unilocality, after the New Physics description of quantum entanglement, is the notion that the separate particulars of manifestation remain important after realization. Specifically, each particular contains the whole of the unbounded wholeness, quite literally. If clarity is high, and intention is sufficiently particularized, then one with stable UW1 realization can know another’s mind, travel, and effect other experiences ordinarily considered impossible, or at least paranormal. Thus, UW2/unilocality differs from the nondual model of mystical oneness with two inseparable grand aspects (kunzhi and ripa). UW2 is marked, in fact, by a collapse of the spaciousness or vastness that gives kuzhi its positive characteristics of space, stillness, and silence. The collapse leaves all boundless but without the UW1 sense of positive Space. The feeling is bright, clean, clear, immediate, and utterly spaceless. Thus, UW2 is from one point of view indeed a stabilization of the rigpa  aspect at high intensification. (I’m currently revising and editing part of my whole-path map that addresses all these distinctions in far more detail than I’m providing in this cursory mention.)

The immediate challenge for me in “traveling” is to find all of outside space, and indeed outer space, in the particularization of myself—namely, the central channel just in front of my spine. The central channel, you see, is an unfindable, always functual portal. That concentration likely is the method to realize unilocality to the extent that “traveling” results comports with the traditional linkage between concentration and siddhis, including traveling, multiplication of consciousness, and even bilocation. Why else would the higher concentration states be called formless realms?

J has typically contrasted concentration with Dzogchen in our conversations. He remarks that he dislikes having to enter into concentration states at all but has to do so in order to teach concentration to meditation novices. He says, “It is not what my deeper intelligence wants to have happen.” I totally get that. I’ve been downright averse to concentration practice for 3 years now myself, and my nickname is Jhana Jenny! But just as one can remain in UW1 for decades, not progressing to UW2 and realization of the Indra’s net–like unlilocality of all particulars vis-à-vis all other particulars, which again differs from classic rigpa/kunzhi nonduality, I think that Dzogchen can lead one to reify “nondoing.” The result can be lack of discriminating wisdom. The result can be imbalance. Eventually, one must grow up from supplicant to shapeshifter. 

The usual cautions apply. What I’m stating here applies to a high level of practitioner, mind you. One should not pursue unilocality and siddhis prematurely. Doing so can be and usually is a distraction, at best, and a derailment at worst. UW1 comes first and is the fruition of Buddhist texts. It is difficult to find mentions of what amounts to unilocality and what I call UW2 in the Dzogchen literature, unless you know ahead of time what to look for. By the time unilocality starts showing itself naturally, one has little need of literature, however. Meantime, be honest with yourself. Understand that shortcuts are almost always long cuts.

As I was falling asleep last night, I was intently focused on concentrating all the diffuse energy, all the light in the universe, down into my heart center. Something happens when I do this, but I’m not sure how to describe that something. I think I will need to dig up my old rusty jhana practice and see if it still works. I hypothesize that j7 and j8 are the keys to stabilizing ability to “travel,” which I keep placing in quotation marks because the realization of unilocality is the realization that spacetime, particularly Space, is only an illusion, even though it is scaffolding for UW1.

I once aligned all the formless jhanas in this way:

  • j5 is a conditioned simulation of Dzogchen Mother consciousness (kunzhi). I have no further use for this one.
  • j6 is a conditioned simulation of Dzogchen Infant consciousness (rigpa). I have no further use for this one.
  • j7 is absorption into the central channel, and taking the central channel as object fruitully hardens the j7 aborption.
  • j8 is bardo, in-between state (of dream, death, and resurrection/becoming).

I say I have no further use for j5 and j6 because they are early pointers to the rigpa and kunzhi aspects of the natural state. By early 2015 I could no longer separate j5 from j6 in my jhana practice: They were indistinguishable, one state, just as rigpa and kunzhi are inseparable.

Also, in Daniel Ingram’s rendition of crosswalks between Progress of Insight stages and jhanas, crosswalks with which I agree, there is embedded the notion of “cycling” endlessly though the insight stages. After MCTB first path, vipassana and samatha are difficult, if not impossible, to experience without bleed-across from each other, according to Daniel, and again I agree. In a sense, then, one is cycling through jhanas until rigpa is opened and stabilized in daily life.

What Daniel characterized as fourth path when last I looked at his model is accurate in my own experience, as well as the experience of others, with a few exceptions. One of the key exceptions is his claim that those who reach MCTB fourth path keep cycling through the POI stages and, by logical extension, the jhanas. As mentioned here several times before, I’m unsure why Daniel is still cycling, or was when I last conversed with him, but I can assure readers that the natural state obliterates the POI stage cycling completely. The harbinger blending of j5 with j6, and the fractalization and stage-desquencing of the POI in third path, are signs of and preparation for the complete ending of cycling among conditioned stages and states. Where you want to end up is the natural state, not stranded on a not-so-merry-go-round of other states. Even MCTB fourth path plus no-cycling doesn’t finish the Path to enlightenment, but it marks the end of fundamental suffering. It is dramatically life-changing. It is also necessary to the realizations and integrations that follow it.

When J talked with me in January, he excitedly was lining up the same pairings I had of formless jhanas with Tibetan aspects of high realization. We had come to the same hypotheses independently, which is reassuring.

I think it is time to dust off my jhana practice and to develop a deeper and more reliable engagement with the central channel absorption by building on method I already know: calling up j7. Taking the central channel as object in j7 is “how to disappear completely.”

A more detailed, methodical, and didactic treatment of these complex matters will appear in my book.

June 4: Visions in the Dream State after a Long Time with None

I was very sleep-deprived today because I got too late of a start on practice last night after painting Kerry’s room. Today I was reflecting that I used to have visions in dreams that became lucid all the time but haven’t now for months. Also, my OBE, lucidity, and even dream recall has dried up again.

About an hour ago, I lay down for a nap. I fell asleep quickly and instantly was gazing on my two hands held out in front of me in some kind of weird reverse light—like xray, but color, like the Illumination card in that old Voyager Tarot card deck I own. I was soon noticing the ring on each hand, that the jewel was a tigle. Then the tigles popped off my hands, turned into peaceful mandalas, and then into connected crosses, which started expanding into a net of light. This made me realize I was lucid and, hey, I used to see such things in dreams all the time, many months ago. Then I was undecided whether I were actually asleep or awake. I decided I was asleep. The excitement attending this realization woke me up, so I got nearly zero rest. The experience and realization were worth the lost sleep.

This dream reminded me of how I look at my “astral” hands when I’m out of body, but it also made me think about that instruction in Boundless Vision to concentrate on the lights wrapped around the fingers when the visions are suspended between increase (third vision) and retreat back into the heart (fourth vision). I still have no idea what to make of that instruction.

June 6: Vibrations as the One Nightly Constant

Just a quick status note—I’m not having outright travels, lucid dreams, or even regular dreams that I can recall lately. The constant, though, is that I’m experiencing the intense vibrations every night when I get in bed, and then some kind of shift in awareness/attention that I don’t yet know how to describe, except to say that it is nonconceptual yet completely aware (of its own being aware). Both the vibrations and the weird awareness state repeat if I get up to go to the bathroom and then go back to sleep. The vibrations are what happen right before the second body separates from the first, but I’m losing consciousness right after the vibrations start to settle down. I then remember nothing.

It is hard to know how to practice or what to emphasize. I really need better recall. Or something. I’m not giving up. I’ll persevere.

I should probably more widely research what should and shouldn’t be done once the intense vibrations begin. Different people say different things. I guess the fact that I get to the vibration every single night, usually several times, is progress, yes?

By the way, I’m not trying to get vibrations. Ever since that first time I left my body and looked at the phantom body in my bedroom mirror, the vibrations just come—nightly. It is as if my mind learned how to get to that stage of astral projection and retains the ability. I just cannot get past the vibrations consistently.

June 8: Seeing Red Alarm Clock 9:02 through Closed Eyelids

More alarm clock weirdness. I’ve had a migraine all afternoon and evening. After work, I took a bunch of migraine medicine and herbal remedies for nausea. Finally, when none of this worked, I lay down on a heating pad in my bed and listened to “I Am the Dreamer” through flat earbuds I bought for sleep.

I was relaxed and aware the entire time, but I don’t remember parts of the audio, so who knows where I was or in what real state. Nevertheless, it didn’t and doesn’t feel like I ever fell asleep. I was aware the whole time that I was in bed. Toward the end of the 18-minute audio, violent bodily vibrations began, and I thought about how I normally dive off and am lost after this point. I’m hearing the audio, and suddenly I’m seeing the large red numbers on my alarm clock across the room on my dresser. They say 9:02. I know and have known the whole time that my eyelids are closed. Yet I’m seeing out, through my closed physical eyelids.

This is not a dream. I’m not asleep. My point of view had to be upright to see the clock, not reclining on my back in the bed. Yet I knew I was reclining in the bed. It seemed an impossible geometry for me to be both lying down and upright, but I had to have been. I remembered that, when astral traveling, I see through closed eyelids, so I wondered if I were traveling. However, I was not this time aware of being embodied in a phantom body. In other words, I did not look down and see ghostly arms. As I looked at the 9:02 I also knew that was not the right time. It had been 10:01 when I went to lie down. When I realized that the 9:02 was not real time, the 9:02 began warping and wavering, like a shaky mirage. Then I was suddenly not seeing the red numbers through my closed eyelids, but seeing only the ceiling from lying-down perspective in my bed. Now I’m up out of bed, even though “Cosmic Wind” audio started next, and I was getting into it.

June 9: Two Formless Beings Reconfiguring Kerry for Path

I had what felt upon waking as a long but largely irretrievable dream. I lay in bed a full hour upon waking, keeping my eyes closed and body still, to see if the dream would float up in a more continuous and complete form. It never did. It remained a dream that was sliced up into numerous shards and then put in a blender so that none of the pieces could be laid out in sequence for a cohesive narrative.

All I can retrieve is that I am in a vacation house with Kerry, maybe a beach house. It has a big walk-in closet with louvered doors. The louvers are clear and consistent. I am sitting in meditation and begin praying that my guides or buddhas descend and “fix” Kerry so that he will live a life of virtue, service, and path-seeking.

Immediately, numerous happenings ensue, cut up and scrambled events. Two guides suddenly visit us in that closet. Kerry is sitting in the middle of the dark closet, on the floor, not awake and not animated. These two guides are formless, but definitely there. They are psychically “asking” me, without words, if I am sure I want to intervene this way in Kerry’s absolute freedom.

I am suddenly concerned why these beings would be asking this if there were not some heavy risk involved. So I think carefully about my request, wondering if it is too manipulative of someone else’s life (Kerry’s). In the end, though, I decide the request is wholesome. I give these two beings the go-ahead. Then, rapidly, Kerry himself, his being and not his body, is shredding into ribbons. The two beings rearrange the ribbons that make up Kerry and then reconstitute him. This is both awe-inspiring and frightening. It is clear that I am morally responsible for interference that is a heavy shift in constitution of my son’s being and will.

These two formless beings, like aliens from an alien abduction, then similarly cut up the dream so that all I have are these shards, fragments, not anything like the whole true story. They are formless, powerful, and neutral. They may be the same two formless beings that visited me last month and taught me, without words, how to transform things in dreams.

June 16: Lucid Car Crash and Recall of Prior Dreams in the Dream

About 3 hours into first sleep, I had a short dream I was driving my red Honda to a T-shaped intersection.

Dream

I am driving up to the perpendicular short stroke of the T, on the long vertical stroke, so to speak. I am on an elevated road in some sort of western state, maybe Colorado. When I reach the intersection, I stop my car. I see four cars smashed up, totaled, with human bodies thrown around. Prominent is a purple car that is smashed up and almost flattened. It is in the middle of the intersection. I think that the occupants must surely be dead. All is eerily silent and still.

There is a black car ahead of me, also damaged, and another black car on the left short stroke, also showing front-end damage. To my right and ahead of me, there is a black car stopped parallel to mine. The back seat has been ripped out the back. I can see that a man in a dark suit, in his thirties, has been thrown into a heap.

I exit my car and find myself lucid in the dream. The purple color of the totaled car in the middle of the intersection triggers the lucidity: It is the color of a butterfly in a significant lucid dream I had months ago. I remember this prior lucid dream about the butterfly: how I made it huge, purple, and content to fly to and rest in my open palm.

I also look at my red car, a dream sign in my dreams. Lastly, I notice that the geometry of a four-car crash involving these cars is impossible: The cars are not even touching each other, and the damage to each car doesn’t line up with the damage on any of the other cars.

I recognize that this is a “test dream,” another one surrounding my longstanding phobia about driving on highways and out of town. I also start recalling the dream (or whatever it was) of the two formless entities who performed a shamanic dismemberment-reconstitution of Kerry’s being. Not only am I lucid in this current dream, but I’m remembering earlier lucid and test dreams, and am contemplating current action in light of them.

I pull my cell phone out of my pants pocket to call 911. However, I stop dialing because I hear sirens already approaching. I do wonder who called 911, as there is no one else breathing at the scene. I wonder whether to pray to revive the dead, but I’m cautious because my prayer that Kerry enter the Path resulted in some creepy interactions with the formless beings. I feel defiant toward the formless ones, and I start saying Gautama’s Buddha’s mantra and praying not for revival, but for what is best for all beings’ evolution. Then I decide to wake up from this dream, and I do.

Evaluation

This dream marks for me a new level of dream lucidity. In it, I not only quickly realized it was a dream (alternative reality), and I not only controlled what was happening with some of my thoughts, but I had actual memory of several prior dreams and contemplated my current in-dream choices in light of choices I exercised in those prior “test” dreams and the consequences that followed. I cannot remember a single time in my life in which I remembered earlier dreams from within a current lucid dream!

Tom Campbell writes and often speaks of there being tests administered, often in dreams, to practitioners trying to access nonphysical matter reality (NPMR). The tests are administered to gauge fear and teach lessons so that the practitioner will correct his or her fear. In his model of enlightenment, all negative states are fear-based. Only those dreamers with low or no fear and high unconditional (not exchange-driven) love are permitted reliable, stable access to NPMR and what we think of as siddhis. The test dreams are also teachings.

My test dreams seem consistently to concern either my travel phobias, or my codependent urges to save others from their own hard knocks. DreamWalker raised concerns with me that I permitted shamanic dismemberment of my son Kerry on June 9 without his permission. The danger of this magical intent, if actualized, is immense, because actualization means depriving another (Kerry) of his own free will and consequence feedback loop for learning and growth.

I was concerned for about a day when discussing these matters with DW, but I think that the dream of Kerry was actually a test dream, a nonactualized simulation run as a training program on me, as it were. This current dream was retesting me on my impulse to “save” others from cross-life or intralife lessons they may need to learn on their own. It is not always best to try to “save” others from themselves. My notion of what is helpful ultimately may be wrong. This is what I must thoroughly learn to reduce my own virtue entropy and attain to unconditional, radically accepting, nonmeddling love. When one is is in an abusive codependent relationship, then love means refusing to be a doormat and leaving the entire situation behind as a high-entropy situation for all involved. I have indeed learned to take leave from these kinds of abusive relationships. This lesson forbidding abuse doesn’t apply to Kerry, however. What applies to Kerry is the need for unconditional love without messiah complex projections on my end.

Method

Method last night was this: Before bed I was thinking about my abandoned bottle of Valerian root in the fridge. I went downstairs and looked at the dosage: 28 drops. That dosage, the one time I tried it, keep me awake and in mild hallucinations all night, which is why I abandoned it. I started considering that my reaction to Valerian confirmed that it induces lucid brightness, but just too much so. But since I need more memory power, I decided to microdose Valerian to see if I can find a dose that is a sweet spot. I put just 5 drops in water and drank it, skipping my usual herbal teas. I quickly became heavy with sleepiness and could barely get through my night practices.

But I did the bardo practices for Terri, invocation and chakra tantra with Salgye du Dalma (asking her especially for memory, protection, power, and guidance), and “I Am the Dreamer” audio at a louder volume.

I will continue the Valerian experiments to try to determine the reliability of its effects at a much lower dose than is recommended on the bottle. I’m very sensitive to drugs and substances. Normally I have to do much lower doses than other people for same effects.

Other Results

The nightly body vibrations remain stable. They tend to start at L1 and then spread throughout the body. It feels like a mobile phone ringing on vibrate setting. I remember no separation from body from last night. After the audio was over, I shut my phone off and fell into deep sleep till the dream occurred close to the 3-hour mark. I think I had some other dream in the second sleep, but It is almost completely irrecoverable. Kerry and I were discussing whether some work could be done in a 40-hour workweek and whether my Jhana Jenny posts were bad publicity. Kerry was saying he would clean up my site if I’d pay him and that he did not think I should change the content (ie, the publicity was good). That’s all I remember, and the visuals are largely absent from memory.

June 19: Dreams of New Beginnings and Suspect Spiritual In-Groups

Running a sleep debt because I had to get up early the day before, I took 7 drops of valerian root extract (low alcohol). The only dreams I recall were in the morning, disjointed, and mundane.

Dream

First I am in an open grass field in my wedding gown (with the figure that fit in that size 10 gown!). It is an afterparty at sunset, or maybe a reception for a renewal of wedding vows. I see my ex Wayne there and hope we might have a sweet time dancing together while reciting poetic lyrics at each other, as in days of yore. Others are starting to dance, and there are brass instruments playing. I am just slowly walking, dragging my candlelight-white taffeta train behind me, with regal posture and calculated grace.

There is at this point a dropout of dream memory.

I am dressed casually in a shopping mall. It is New Year’s Eve, nighttime. Kurt is with me at times; other times I’m alone. The mall is rather deserted. I wonder why we are choosing to spend the marking of a new beginning at this mall when I do not like the fake glamour confronted in mall shopping.

I enter one shop. It turns into a church. A spiritual leader is handing out liturgies for some of us to follow in a ritual. However, as Jesus multiplied fishes to feed a mass gathering, in this case the texts start vanishing until there is only a single copy, and it is in Tibetan. The leader comes to me in distress. I tell him I can find someone to translate the text, but the person needs to be trustworthy and not distort the truth. I tell him to beware of certain spiritual leaders and fear-mongering organized groups. I take the text for safekeeping and leave.

I go into a sweater shop and admire a blue-and-green sweater; however, it doesn’t fit me, and I don’t buy it.

Now I find myself in a darkened movie theatre in the mall. There are more people now at the mall, in the movie theatre. Kurt is beside me. We are watching a movie of a live New Year’s concert. I know the band playing but cannot think of the band’s name. The movie audience starts clapping and cheering over the music. Kurt says, “Who would have thought that so many people today would enjoy that old band so much!”

Evaluation 

“To see or attend a wedding in your dream symbolizes a new beginning or transition in your current life. A wedding reflects your issues about commitment and independence. To wear a wedding dress in your dream indicates that you are evaluating and assessing your personal relationship.”

“To dream of the New Year signifies prosperity, hope, new beginnings and an opportunity to make a fresh start. It also represents the start of some new project or a fresh outlook in life. On a spiritual level, the New Year represents enlightenment or newfound understanding.”

“To dream that you are at the mall symbolizes the choices, decisions, and options you have in your waking life. These choices will help shape who you are as a person. You are trying to establish your sense of self, your role. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you are trying to make a favorable impression. The mall is also symbolic of materialism and the need to keep up with the trends, fads. Consider the type and name of stores that you see in your dreams.”

Both dreams are about time-marking milestones during big transitions (wedding and new year). In the shopping mall dream, there is a contrast between the old Tibetan text that I secured to have authentically translated, and the faddish clothing that didn’t fit me. The message here seems to be about rejecting certain postmodern fear-mongering cults as inauthentic fads that do not fit me.

“To dream that you are watching a movie suggests that you are watching life pass you by. Perhaps you are living vicariously through the actions and decisions of others. Consider also how the movie parallels to situations in your waking life. Observe how the movie characters relate to you.”

The movie characters were simply a band playing uplifting music. In the wedding dress section of the dream, there was a live band; here the band is merely projected and from the 1990s. Not sure what this means, but the mall dream was also concerned about clothes (fads, outer identity), and my wedding dress, like the bands playing, were old (original).

Overall, this dream is expressing my current issues concerning independence and self-determination of what I consider an authentic path of spiritual growth and my role as a spiritual teacher, over against suspicious current fads and fashions.

I was watching Twin Peaks last night and noticing Lucy’s ornate sweater. So that is where the sweater metaphor came from.

June 21: Contemplation of Immature Intent-Wielding

I had an intense bardo practice for Teresa, followed by “just sitting” with subtle inclination toward formlessness absorption, followed by “I Am the Dreamer” in bed. The only jhana I’m inclining toward is j7, Nothingness, because j7 aligns with complete absorption into the central channel, which is a portal to NPMR. My body felt like mere fragmented fill patterning, not of surface and contour, but through and through. Then body was gone. I was tired and practice was short. I think I’ll build on this foundation. I was surprised to find that, even though I haven’t done this kind of meditation in years, my mastery of it has progressed behind the scenes anyway.

In bed I noticed that my intentions toward dream, astral, or NPMR access are, when I examine them closely, shaky and indecisive. Without clear, strong intent, says everyone on psi, it won’t happen. Or it will happen with diffuse results and won’t be recalled afterward. The test dreams that I’ve failed make me hesitant about intending anything. But I guess this caution is just a working-through bump, not a persistent fear obstacle. I must coherently focus what I intend, once I figure out what that is, or it will fall apart before even launching. Meantime, I think it best to literally do nothing, or very little, on the Path of Knowledge (POK) end. This is a calculated “giving up,” a waiting for fullness and clarity.

I did experience the intense vibrations and some flashes of going “out” and flashes of Tom Campbell as present. But this outing was super-fast and largely beyond recall after the “sandbox” juncture-point. I had 5 or so instances while listening to “I Am the Dreamer,” of reaching for things, especially my cell phone, and realizing only after I had it in hand that neither it nor my “hand” was my PMR reality. As soon as I realized the nonphysicality, even the subtle form would evaporate and I’d wake up a bit to being in bed and hearing the audio again. Apparently, my mind is not yet “getting it,” but stabilization takes time. I’m being shown how “real,” meaning physical, the less dense nonphysical matter can seem.

June 21: Weird Flashes and Learning in Hypnagogia during a Nap

I just arose from lying down for about an hour. I was weaving in and out of consciousness, I guess, never really entered good sleep. (I’ve nearly lost the capacity to ever nap.) Quickly, my body began vibrating intensely, and I just relaxed. Suddenly there was a series of flash narratives that don’t make much sense:

  1. I am wondering about Tom Campbell, whether he really did visit me that time, and suddenly a bright symbol appears: Bright green arrangement of square outlines into a cross or hopscotch formation. The green is like the green command line DOS of the 1980s. This startles me into full waking.
  2. I am at Cape Hatteras at Sunset. The breeze is blowing. The sunset is gorgeous pink. I hear Tom Campbell’s voice trying to explain to me the difference between meddling in someone else’s learning and truly helping the person evolve. He seems to be saying that I should try PMR solutions before practicing magick on others. But then he is explaining that intent is being sent all the time nonetheless, manipulating others, so I should attend to my (magickal) intentions. This seems confusing and contradictory to me. I don’t catch in words all he is transmitting. I wake up again and ask him to repeat what he said. But I’m awake, so he doesn’t.
  3. I see a human pilot flying a plane. Suddenly, in a parallel reality, I see an in-game cartoon animation that looks a lot like Speed Racer guy, flying a craft. I understand that I’m really always inside a computer game that is a superset of the PMR game.
  4. I’m at work and certain people who have been unusually crazy and toxic for the past couple of weeks are seen to be hollow shells, maybe possessed automatons or tulpas. I see right through them and others, and I can tell who is a possessed shell and who isn’t. Suddenly I see a scarab beetle. I pick it up and the zombie workers each fall forward and burst into flames.

Not a very restful nap.

June 23: Seeing through Eyelids and Hypnagogic Flashes of Boxers

I have been taking Valerian every night. It makes me drowsy and itchy. I’ve not noticed a repeat of the lucidity in correlation. I’m taking about 15 drops an hour before bedtime. Last night I did the bardo pointing-out, only about 10 minutes of “just sitting,” and only about 10 or 15 minutes of candle flame gazing. I was too tired to work up to j7 and cc absorption. I tried telepathically communicating an object to Andrew, first by connecting with him from heart center, then third eye, and then throat chakra. I then “pushed” the size, shape, color, and scent of the intended object, a coniferous pine-smelling tree such as grows in the Northwest. While formulating this image, I thought of a squared hedge at first. Andrew the next morning reported visions of a long, tall hedge. No conifer, but hey, something!

In bed, I listened to “I Am the Dreamer.” The vibrations started up and lasted the duration. I cut in and out of hearing the audio. I noticed early, before I had any sense of cutting out of hearing the audio, that I was seeing through my closed eyelids. I even reached up to confirm that my eyelids were completely closed. (They were.) I could see the entire room in the dark: my bedposts, the faintly illuminated windows, the alarm clock, and so forth. Looking at the ceiling, I found that I could see through the ceiling to constellations of stars, some of which changed to white tigles.

I was focused on reality testing, on whether I were “really” seeing what I “thought” I was seeing. I was indeed seeing through my eyelids as clearly as if I had my physical eyes open. However, the stars didn’t look realistic. They were more like special effects in a movie. The stars were a kind of matrix background. The fact that some of them changed back and forth from stars into tigles suggested to me that the nonphysicality or not-out-there-ness of vision was being stressed by whatever or whoever is apparently teaching me.

Next I entered the side of hypnagogia that is closer to dreaming—the high-res flashing of seeing-in visions. A main one was the sight of two men in a boxing ring, with gloves on, punching each other in the head. I have an aversion to watching boxing or violent sports in the Waking, so it was hard to watch this. It didn’t last long but was vivid. This may have been triggered by Andrew’s recent test dream. In it, two guides showed up and started punching him in the face repeatedly to make him courageous in the face of physical pain. In that dream Andrew suffered a busted lip, which remained in a subsequent dream the same night! These formless teaching thugs are really something! And they travel in pairs, like Jehova’s Witnesses!

An aside—I’ve been watching Twin Peaks: The Return. I’m a huge fan of David Lynch, but, of course, he comes up with the most disturbing visual sequences imaginable. Last night’s surreal sequences involved some spawning of evil into the world during test atomic explosions in the New Mexico desert of 1945. Demons were born from the fallout, and there was a graphic scene of a demon crushing a woman’s skull and then a man’s skull till their brains squirted out. Normally, I cringe and look away, but I remembered that Andrew mentioned that J mentioned that watching horror movies can be good emptiness practice. So I rested into the emptiness of these horrific sequences, which is indeed challenging. Maybe this is behind my seeing through closed eyelids to galaxies and tigle: what’s “real” anyway? Many of my dreams the past few months have been showing me that death is a PMR rule-set constraint, ultimately an illusion brought about to make us more efficient in learning from the current lifetime.

June 23: Multiplying My Consciousness Channels while Lying Down

I took some gabapentin, NSAID, and muscle relaxer and went to lie down with my sick headache in my bed after watching 1.5 hours of Tom Campbell’s BATGAP interview. I was listening to “I Am the Dreamer” and lying on a heating pad. Very soon, the vibrations began, even though I was not even in hypnagogia that I could tell. I was relaxing and just letting go of the very difference between being in pain and being free of pain.

I was thinking about the vibrations and wondering what they could be. I began to understand from some deep place that they are a feeling-sense-sphere version of togal visions. Both are simply, as Campbell would put it, data streams that, interestingly, are loudly announcing their ontological status as only data. In fact, I think that the vibrations and the visions are basically virtual training programs. These training programs exist to put on explicit display liminality, the state of being “between,” or rather straddled over, two reality frames at once: PMR and NPMR.

My path is unfolding exactly as it “should” be. There is no reason for me to be angry at the lineage, as I explicitly have been for months. There is no reason to concern myself with whether I finish the most esoteric path before my body dies. What matters is the equanimity, love, and compassion with which I meet x. That’s it.

Anyway, I’m lying there and suddenly I realize (become lucid to the fact from a metalevel) that I’m in an interview for a job. I wonder whether this is precognition of a future that will be actualized, or whether this is some random possibility generator. I’m not attending to the content of what is said in the interview. I’m more interested in identifying what state I’m in. Am I dreaming? Am I awake? Am I daydreaming?

While the interview continues, I start reality checking my state. I’m not hearing “I Am the Dreamer,” but I can tune into it if I choose to. I notice that my body is no longer vibrating. Instead, it is gone, migraine and all! How can I know I’m in bed and feel located there but have no body? And how can I be having a job interview, be reality checking, and be moving in and out of awareness of the FLAC file all simultaneously? I can only conclude that maybe this is what Campbell means when he says you do not need to project another body or be sleeping to “travel.” He says it is more like ability to change channels. That description fits this meta-experience.

From this experience of being “in” several scenarios at the same time, I also understand that all humans can do this and may actually do this but simply lack the metalevel that knows and remembers this multi-channel liminality. I think that metacognition of what is already happening is what is meant by “access to NPMR.” I think part of me is “waking up” on the Path of Knowledge. Time will tell.

Interestingly, when I resumed listening to Campbell’s interview, he was saying that fear is the basis of all reactivity, period, and that once love becomes the intent at the level of Being, then traditionalists will label that experience something like agencylessness. In actuality, we never lose agency, says Campbell. The “decision space” has simply expanded, and the “decision” to be love is made at the level of “who you are” and not at the level of intellectual wagering. Intellectual wagering, wherein you feel good about yourself for choosing love or being helpful, is not love. Love is without such contemplation of how ego will benefit from love and compassion. Love is 100% unconditional, or it is not love at all.

Campbell talks at this point in the interview about how we normally locate the Fear that motivates all negativity, which means most of our reactions all day long, in the subconscious. Then he makes this radical statement after explaining that fear-motivations come from the subconscious: “Once you have a larger consciousness, a larger decision space, then the subconscious disappears.” If taken literally, as I think it is meant to be taken, then being love eradicates dreaming. This eradication of dreaming matches what the buddhist, especially Dzogchen, texts mention as marking progress on the the ultimate path to buddhahood: the Path of Togal Visions. Buddhas do not dream.

The dividing line between sleep and nonsleep is being eroded, perforated, and the vibrations are the transition or interference patterns between separate “channels” or data streams. People who become expert at “traveling” eventually stop experiencing the vibrations as their experience space, or decision space, expands to include several former reality frames at once, naturally. This is the same thing as the disappearance of the subconscious. The disappearance of the subconscious eradicates fear and opens love. So this is how the Path of Knowledge, which enlarges the perspective, connects with the Path of Service. This is also, I believe, how the Togal visions eventually disappear, never to arise again, together with a separate state of dreaming.

June 24: Incubated Dreams: Boundaries in the Workplace and Wolbe

Before I fell asleep, I tried to form a single intention for what I wanted to learn. I was divided between asking how my job situation might change and asking what I need to learn to finish my main, laid aside esoteric path.

In response to the first query, I dreamed I was in my office, finishing work on the 607-page book I’m trying to finish. In the dream, I fell asleep at my desk, only to wake up when my boss IM’d me, “Doesn’t it feel good to be almost finished with this book? Great work, Jenny!” I hit the “Ignore” option and didn’t respond to her. I rose to go make some hot tea. In the hall a stranger asked me why Emily’s door was no longer fake wood but transparent glass. I said I had no idea, maybe she was trying to seem transparent. Then I started examining all the office doors down my office hallway. I noticed that they were all rotten, splintered, and chewed on by something like a rat.

In the second dream, I was given one word, in writing. I thought maybe it was a mantra. It was “Wolbe.” I did a Google search, and Rabbi Wolbe was an orthodox jewish rabbi who wrote two volumes on conduct, ethics, and virtue on the path to perfection. He states that a virtuous person keeps a strict schedule, is meticulously organized, rejects secularism, and learns virtue by observing closely all beings and objects in the world as teachers. 

With regard to my queries, the first dream is presenting a scenario in which I’m bored and disengaged. The disintegrating doors are warning me about disintegrating energetic boundaries and invasion by others at work. Emily’s glass door seems like the future we are all facing at work: increased scrutiny and lack of privacy. The only solution this dream seemed to present was reinforcement of my boundaries against others in that environment. Implicitly, the dream is saying this environment will only increasingly disintegrate.

I don’t know what to make of the second dream. I hope I’m not being told to read a tome on orthodox Jewish ethics! When I run searches on Wolbe, the main passages that come up are about the cultivation of patience and elimination of feelings of time-pressure. Since 2015 I have been very aware of the remaining obscuration of time-pressure. I worry that I will die before I finish the path, die before I get this book written, and so on. I also feel time-pressure at work and mentally flee to a desire to escape that job and escape mundane career altogether. Wolbe has a formal kabbalah method for cultivating patience. Impatience is a specific type of time-scarcity-related fear and and responsive annoyance.

I have nearly 100% success with dream incubation, always have since I first tried it in 2015. I guess I should use it more frequently and figure out how to expand its possibilities for querying the kosmic database and receiving answers from NPMR.

June 26: Lucidly Unable to Tell Sleeping from Waking (Again)

I came home right after work, exhausted. I ate and lay down for 3 hours, at first listening to “I Am the Dreamer.” I am fairly certain of my status of “sleeping” and “dreaming” for only the second 1.5 hours. During the first 1.5 hours, I kept experiencing bodily vibrations and visions of talking with Vicki and Cecilia at RTI. Even the visions of them where “vibrating.”

Finally, I formulated a query of the state and asked what all the vibrating was about. I received an answer. I think it came through Vicki, but not from Vicki. She said to me, “Vibration is a probability distribution.” She continued: “You are not for sure asleep, and not for sure awake; when you observe and decide, then retroactively it will have been one or the other.” I thought this answer very strange and indicative of Tom Campbell’s manner of explanation. I kept bouncing in and out of state, which I found jolting, and mildly depressive-anxious in feeling-tone. When I finally got to sleep in earnest, in the dream I noticed how comforting the total immersion into escape was, my recognition of just this fact notwithstanding.

I’m getting a feeling of resistance to my efforts to gain an interview. Part of it is that I feel uncertain how much spellcasting is helpful, as opposed to “meddling,” although it is with myself I’m “meddling.” Not sure what form intent should take. I am open to discussion of this issue. Apparently, my intention-wielding is weak because I’m unsure what I want, even when it comes to what I think I’ve formerly been clear about wanting. I’m ambivalent at a deeper level than I’ve ever noticed before this month. I know from my time studying with Daniel, that ambivalence is disastrous in casting for results. 

June 28: More State Ambiguity and Lessons from Tom Campbell

Interestingly, I continue to experience stretches of time at night wherein I’m lucid but not quite sure after reality checking whether I’m dreaming, in hypnagogia, or awake. The state I find myself in has characteristics of all three states. If I’m actually in some sleep stage during these episodes, which is likely the case, then my lucidity is sufficiently strong that I’m cutting through the dream-like quality of the dream. The states lately are all “cut up” and rapid flashes, so any narrative is something I’m constructing from scrambled scraps in the morning. However, this also seems to be a new level of clarity, because it is what we really do all or most the time: take the scraps of our dreams and rearrange them and fill in for narrative sense. The rapid flashing reminds me of hypnagogia, of course—the end that is closer to dreaming.

Current Theory and A Fresh Clear Goal

I’m in heavy contemplation much of the time now of the sense that I can easily “let go” of my somatic body sense to “travel,” whereas vision as the instrumentation marking off Space is fucking difficult to let go of. This is something Buddhist and Togal texts actually do address: Subtle duality remains, even for those with realization, for the sense of sight.

Sight is the sense sphere that the Dzogchenpas associate with the Mother/matrix (kunzhi) aspect Space. Togal visions arise  and retreat to eradicate some remaining subtle out-there-ness in (PMR) vision. Now I know what is meant by all these texts, because in “traveling” or other psi adventures, I can close my eyes, and without even sleeping or entering hypnagogia, feel that I’m out of my body or no-body, which is not that surprising, because since stream entry, or shortly thereafter, I have had access to the formless jhanas.

But, if I’m awake, then I cannot open my physical eyes and see through the illusoriness of Space. On the contrary, I “see” distance between objects, and between my general point-of-view location and theirs, despite nondual sight-consciousness (what Daniel usually means by the attainment “luminosity”). There is subtle belief in Space as “real” and therefore inherent distance, unsolvable difference, and impenetrable matter. Now, conversely, if I fall asleep, enter hypnagogia, or relax meditatively in bed, I can open my nonphysical eyes, seeing through my closed physical eyelids, and then there is perfect coherency with the body’s being gone from the coarse body in bed (being, in other words, in NPMR). In fact, what the body feels in astral, the nonphysical eyes see.

It is important to understand that NPMR includes and pervades, as opposed to transcends, the subset PMR, which is governed by a rule set that makes us believe we really exist in spacetime. “NPMR” is therefore the maximally enlarged reality Tom Campbell means for us to open. It is only subsetted PMR, the constrained rule set of the unenlightened, that harbors some distorting hardening-off of the visual object or field. This hardening has to be softened, and NPMR is the perfect learning lab within which to practice softening.

Campbell mentions in an interview that, for novices, sleep and dreaming are often associated with traveling because “letting go” of the physical (PMR) senses is difficult except when one is falling asleep. Sleep, however, is unnecessary and nonoptimal for “traveling.” Even meditation is unnecessary after a while, although deep concentration is usually necessary at first. Deep concentration means (1) stilling the mind to nonconceptuality, yet (2) forming strong specific intent about what one wants to do, where, with whom, and why. Again, the ultimate goal is for dreaming and meditation, as special states, to cease. These requirements are in fact part of the definition of buddhahood.

In that interview, Campbell gives more specifics—do’s and don’ts—about OBE traveling than he seems to in My Big TOE. The interviewer asks him, for example, how, since the data in NPMR is “untagged,” one can know whether an entity that is encountered is a “real” entity or the dreamer/traveler’s projection. Campbell says this is a good question, because it is true that the whole AUM consciousness system is ultimately generating the data, and the data is indeed “untagged.” He says that for novices it is very difficult or impossible to know, that it takes a lot of practice and a lot of time spent in NPMR before one gains a strong sense of the difference between projected imagination and other beings. He does provide this helpful clue, though: If the entity is a real being, that you make contact with and learn from, then that entity will be accessible again merely by your thinking about that entity and intending renewed contact.

One reason that it is crucial to be fearless before entering NPMR is that fear projects monsters. True, entities with bad intent do exist in NPMR subrealities, but they are almost wholly confined to fringe, nearly lawless reality systems that Campbell mostly avoids. These loose-rule-set systems are chaotic and rough; it is extremely rare for a being to be destroyed in NPMR, but it can happen sometimes in these harsh environments, although even there true destruction of a being is rare. Meanwhile, the AUM itself is love. There is nothing ultimately to fear. People who project fear about other beings in NPRM (astral or other planes) will encounter those beings precisely because they are generating the monster data and then freaking out in reaction. Beware of teachers and spiritual groups that rely on scare tactics while passing the plate or signing you up for their lessons. 

Persons fearful of other beings in NPMR should stay home in PMR. They are increasing their own entropy instead of raising their consciousness every time they make it out. In Campbell’s model, all personal choices, which are what matter, come down to Fear versus Love. Fear accounts for the many unenlightened astral traveling texts and websites that warn everyone of risks of being raped or infected with schizophrenia in astral realms. Campbell says all this widely published fear is nonsense. I agree. I do recommend, for efficiency, that people take the Path of Surrender as far as they can in PMR before entering into the Path of Knowledge. Fear, however, has no place or benefit in any of this.

Incubated Lucid Dream of Somantic-and-Sight-Sense Integration in NPMR

Last night, thinking about my initial contacts with Dream Tom and my problem of incoherence between traveling body and traveling vision, I relaxed deeply in bed and formed the intent to reach Tom again in NPMR. My motivation was to receive confirming and clarifying lessons on my subtle problem with vision.

Lo and behold, Tom appeared! Moreover, he was with me in a college classroom setting with a long black pointer that he was pointing at the blackboard, on which appeared numerous symbols and equations I couldn’t understand. There were many flashes and more “learning without words.”

At one point a sequence happened that was exceptionally clear and reminded me of the time that I reached out with astral fingers and plucked a tigle figure from the visual field to find that it was coherent with feeling and not just sight.

This time, I was telling Tom I had a migraine, which I actually did before going to bed. Two yellow elliptical pills suddenly appear in midspace between Tom and me. He says to reach out and take them. I reach out and am surprised how solid the tablets are in my fingers. I bring them to mouth and swallow. As soon as I do, the sequence replays, from the beginning. Tom says to reach out and take the yellow pills. This time, I can see them, but it is as if I have no stably embodied line-of-sight perspective from which to grab them with my fingers in midspace. My phantom hands and fingers could grab, if my phantom sight were integrated with the  direction and coordinates of the pills and with a stable perspective embodied opposite the pills. I cannot manage to grab the pills this time.

Tom was showing me, through rerun simulations, that the feeling-body as a hologram needs to be coherent with seeing, such that I know with zero doubt that seeing space and matter is an illusory experience and therefore poses no barrier even in PMR: Bilocation is possible; passing through dense matter is possible. Moreover, some remaining subtle boundary between feeling and seeing must collapse for a consistent rule set to usefully organize the data in both PMR and NPMR: Sense-sphere integration is useful in the nonphysical; sense-sphere permeability is useful in the physical. The first supports astral traveling in NPMR; the latter supports bilocation, psychokinesis, and the like in PMR. Ultimately, seeing-in must be realized as seeing-out in both NPMR and PMR reality sets.

This lesson delivered experiential confirmation of what challenges must be overcome.

“It’s all data,” says Tom Campbell. What he is referring to is the realization of emptiness, through and through. And I believe this is why someone who has finished third vision is said to be able to pass through matter and have all the lower siddhis. This is my working hypothesis.

This concludes June 2018.

When you turn the lights down low

Lemon color, honey glow

You feel it coming right through you

The color of your mind

You feel it coming right through you

It’s on the other side

Dreams and Astral Outings: Test Dreams, May 2018

This month continued my adventures in dream lucidity and “traveling,” mixed with some regular dreams and plain old stupid sleep. It follows on my April log: http://jhanajenny.com/dreams-and-astral-outings-april-2018/. May and June mark some falling away of astral-type embodiment, in favor of instantaneous “channel changing,” as author, physicist, and psi theorist/experientialist Tom Campbell calls the phenomenon of splitting consciousness among two or more realities. I continue to experience some remarkable evidence that our reality is much more rule-set diverse and  ultimately devoid of spacetime than we customarily think.

I seem far from able to control or rely on these experiences to arise on command, but I’m persevering. Campbell theorizes three paths, which increasingly converge: the Path of Service, the Path of Surrender, and the Path of Knowledge. When one goes far on one or two paths, the shortfall must eventually be back-filled. I have a complex hypothesis drafted that I’m not ready to publish, but the upshot is that I’ve paused on the first two paths to back-fill the Path of Knowledge, which includes knowledge of an expanded reality rule-set beyond your wildest dreams. Most remarkable has been the presence of two formless guides.

May 1: Hypnagogic Flash of Light, Opening Third Eye, and Full Moon

I’ve had a bad migraine all day and should not have gone to work, as I didn’t get anything done while there except driving Monica home when she got a blood sugar attack. Tonight I took a bunch of supplements, gabapentin, and prescribed migraine escape narcotic. None of this fazed me, even though I slept only 3 hours last night.

About an hour and a half ago, I got in bed after stretching all over, and listened to the “Hypnagogia” audio. I quickly entered hypnagogia. But I wasn’t following the narrator’s instructions. As I sank into near-sleep, a bright light shone in my eyes. I thought it was a white street light, but it was blurry. I demanded clarity. Then I felt my third eye (center of the brain) open. Immediately, the full moon was shining at me, close and overwhelmingly bright white. I was so stunned by this second opening of sight that it made me realize I was dreaming, and that realization woke me up. I couldn’t regain hypnagogia or sleep thereafter, so I’m up with hopefully short-lived insomnia again, writing this account.

The “Hypnagogia” audio instructs visualization of some sweet destination to travel to. I’ve been working on creating a beach I long ago visited on Sanibel Island. I added this huge outdoor Gazebo-type of shrine room on the beach. It has silk orange and purple curtains for doors. It is a hexagon, and silk orange, golden, and purple floor pillows and mahogany meditation benches line the walls. On the far wall is an altar with a golden buddha, exotic fruits, seashells, incense, and a full display of water bowls and flickering butter lamps. In the middle of the room is a farm table for working and eating. Also there is a small wine cooler full of fine wines. I walk out on the pristine beach, and I invite Andrew, Jim, and John into the dream. We are standing in a circle, holding hands, and praying on the beach for everyone’s deliverance. The wind is blowing our hair. I start rising. I’m flying.

May 3: Lights, Multiple Astral Arms, and Shared Dream Elements

I felt no tiredness or sleepiness, so I didn’t go to bed until nearly 4 a.m. I was lying on my back with a bolster under my knees, listening to the “Astral Affirmations” audio, with earbuds in to pick up the binaural beats, but also tuning into the green dakinis Wangyal says are protecting me, and to Salgye du Dalma as a warm bluish-white light spreading from my heart center. Pretty quickly, the all-over rumble of vibrations began. I was pretty darned awake when this began. It is not subtle. I remembered the Lucidology guy’s saying to refrain from trying to do anything, including separating from body, during the vibrations. He insists, contrary to most books, to simply relax into the vibrations because when they stop then the astral body will peel off naturally. 

The hypnagogic lights looked like northern lights, but they were white and made approximate pentagon shapes in the dark very brightly. Occasionally during the night, these directed lights would fan out or sweep by. It is really weird how often I’m seeing actual lights in my dreams and pre-dream states. The light seems to be functioning as a dream sign for lucidity.

I did start naturally rising out of my body. There was some weird confusion at some point because it seemed that I projected multiple arms out of my body, instead of only two arms. I realized I was dreaming or astral, or the like, and I paused there to sort all the arms and make some of them go away. In retrospect, this was quite funny. Although I was lucid for this body separation and one place I traveled to, this experience was not crystal clear the way my first travel was when I looked in the mirror, or the ones where I was with Kerry.

Suddenly, after I made sure I had only two proper arms, I was in a waiting room in the children’s hospital at UNC Hospitals. It took me a few moments to recognize where I was. Then I realized I was back in time. I was waiting for Kerry’s hernia repair surgery to be done. This was real, and I was lucid to the fact that I had traveled back in time to that moment. I was re-experiencing waiting for Kerry’s surgery to be done from two different time perspectives simultaneously. I was my past self and my present astral self equally. This was very Twilight Zone!

I’m not sure whether I slept, or whether whatever all that was included sleep. I was aware the whole time that my body was lying in my bed. I returned to my bedroom after the hospital scene. It is funny that I travel to such mundane scenes, such as going to the bank, parking at work, or waiting in a hospital. This was the longest I’ve ever traveled while maintaining the lucid knowledge that I was indeed traveling.

My recent tarot card reading seemed to refute my changing course to traditional sleep yoga. It was urging play, creativity, and experimentation outside the Buddhist tradition. Apparently, that was a good call.

I almost forgot something until I read the word “cars” somewhere else: Between the hospital and my bedroom, I was floating above I-40 and looking down at all the cars rushing. I had the worried thought, “Those cars are going too fast.” I noticed that all the cars started looking wavy and slowed down. Then I realized that this was happening because I was consciously imagining such an event the moment before it happened. So then I started making the cars do whatever I wanted—float, change shape, whatever. I had the power to transform objects and events.

Postscript—Imagine how amazed I was when, on the morning after this travel, I read my friend Andrew’s dream log from the same night and saw that he dreamed of a woman with multiple arms who was a leader a clearing house for the dead. He wrote that the arms were ghostly and came off at her elbow. She was making them go away!

May 5: More Weird Light and Seen on Waking

Only thing to report from last night was that I again saw one of those bright directional white lights that wakes me up. I did wake up, and when I opened my eyes, the light was visible a few seconds in my bedroom in real life.

May 6: Dream about Enemies and Heart Purification

I am sitting at a picnic table in a park, reading MCTB2-D and typing notes for my own book on the laptop. At a distance, I hear what sounds like Daniel’s voice. I look up and it is him. I have some questions about some POI stages, and I work up the courage to walk over and ask him the questions. I say, “Hi, Daniel. Congratulations on your publication.” He says thank you in a lofty, smug way. I then ask him if he’d be willing to discuss some details about POI and vipassana. I plan to tell him about unilocality and Geoff’s getting insight toward it before stream entry. Daniel starts fidgeting and pacing clockwise circles around me where I stand. It is as if he is casting a circle to constrain me. He then says that I do not own the POI.

“True, and neither do you.”

“I cannot trust you with anything I say because you will steal it for your book.”

“I’m not hiding the fact that this information would be to help me with my book. I’m coming over to you for help.”

“Why would I help you with your book?”

“Um . . . because you claim to be an arahat?”

“I don’t have a lot of time.”

“You are retired, I heard, so you have infinite time.”

“I will set a timer and give you 5 minutes, but first you have to look me in the eyes and say that your confusion caused all our complexities.”

“Daniel, I’ve already repeatedly apologized for my confusion and mistakes in our year of interaction. You’ve never accepted my apologies. Nor have you apologized for your role in the difficulties, which was the more considerable role, as you well know. I realize you have other issues, but you are also a rational being who knows the form if not the heart of matters of apology and forgiveness.”

“My offer is firm. You will have to confess wrongdoing before I will grant you any time.”

“This book is my coauthor’s, too, and piss off, Daniel Ingram.”

I am suddenly walking through rain slush on Dixie Trail in Raleigh. I stop and go upstairs in a house where Anne-Marie, another frenemy of mine from many years ago, is lying sick. I say to her, “Anne-Marie, I don’t want anything from you. I just want to say I’m sorry for arguing with you.” She is nice to me and pushes her little girl forward toward me and asks me to take care of her. I take the little girl’s hand and continue walking Dixie Trail with her.

Somehow this route ends up at Tallahassee Mall, where the fountain at front is nonfunctioning, dry. The mall has expanded since I last visited. I enter and begin searching for the law offices to get some advice regarding Daniel’s confusion over copyright law. When I reach the law office, I ask them for a part-time job, citing my paralegal certificate. They say that the only job opening they have is cutting men’s hair. I’m amused by this, thinking of how Delilah cut Sampson’s hair, depriving him of his strength. I start filling out the papers for the job, reflecting that now I will have more time to write because not working a day job full time.

Daniel is supposed to show up at the law offices, but he doesn’t show. Then I start noticing that the law offices are flooding. I am ankle deep in water. I ask the lawyers what is going on . A janitor who looks like Barry appears and says the flooding is temporary. He says he has fixed the broken fountain, and the flooding is cleaning it out. He assures me that balance is coming so that the fountain will display without flooding the ground. I ask what was clogging the fountain. He says, “You know it is the strangest thing. It was a gigantic reptile. like a serpent or lizard. Water pressure pushed him out of the fountain, and he seems to have disappeared into the sewers.” I realize that Daniel had taken the form of this reptile, and that is why he didn’t show up in human form.

The meaning of this dream is rather obvious. Fountains are traditional symbols of the human heart. Water is the element of emotion, or tears. The reptile is the reptilian brain, which is the seat of a lot of trauma, as the reptilian brain reacts to threats with survival fear. If I were to actualize this dream as the Jungian-Senoi handbook enjoins, then I would do some heart opening and purification practices. Maybe I will.

May 6: Naptime Nonlucid Dream of Conducting Lucidity Practice

I was exhausted today after having a slept debt that included two nights the past week of severe insomnia, which is such a tiresome pain that I’m ordering more mugwort just for insomnia emergencies. I took a nap. I debated whether to do lucidity practice first and decided my body needed sleep, so no.

Even though I had just had a cup of coffee, I guess I fell asleep immediately. But I didn’t realize I was asleep, not right away. I was aware that I was in my bed trying to sleep. I’m calling this “nonlucid” because I did not realize that I was already sleeping when I was. I was frustrated that I could not get to sleep, so I started doing my Salgye du Dalma and green dakini practice, all the time I was already asleep and merely dreaming that I was doing this practice.

At some point I came up to the surface from sleep for a few moments. That is when I realized I had been dreaming of doing lucidity practice. The waking was only for a minute or so, and then I continued the same dream.

Suddenly Jim is standing by my bed with his big grin, chewing gum and grinning. I say, “Wut?” He says, “I can teach you how to transform objects in dreams, but you have to first have control to move your mouth and say some special words. Can you do that?”

I say, “Aren’t I doing it?”

He says, “Well, you have to know that you are doing it and not just take my word for it.”

I say, “It is puzzles all the way down then, huh?”

So then Jim is trying to give me the magic words to say, but Simon and Garfunkle’s “Bridge over Troubled Water” begins playing over and over again at an obnoxiously loud volume. I am like, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, now I know I’m dreaming because I don’t even like that song and know I didn’t put that thing on.”

Then this dream ended before I learned the magic words from Jim.

Then I had another dream about living in this loft and Skyping with several of my workplace authors about coauthorship and motivation. At some point I was in trouble with someone for breaking the handrail to the stairs that went up to the loft. I didn’t need the stair rail because I floated instead of walked. I didn’t understand why everyone was making such a fuss over a stupid handrail. It was like I’d be sued for someone’s else’s injuries.

May 7: Another Thinking I’m Awake when I’m Asleep: Strange Nonlucidity

I was listening to “Mind Awake, Body Asleep” last night. I think I am going to lay off these audios. I weave in and out of sleep while listening to them, which is probably good for some hypnagogic liftoff, but invariably the longer ones startle me all the way out of sleep at some point, which often triggers insomnia. I am trying really hard to cultivate patience and devotion as I try to figure out which methods work best for me.

Last night, during the audio, I didn’t think I was sleeping at all. But I must have been in sleep paralysis, because when I stretched out my hands to turn off the audio, I found that I was trying to use several ghostly pairs of “astral” hands, which didn’t work to shut up the audio. However, I was so surprised to feel and “see” duplicate astral arms and hands that the surprise woke me all the way up so I could turn the thing off.

Kerry and I napped a lot yesterday and were low energy. Somehow I knew he was up in the middle of the night, just like me. Again, I thought I was awake, lying there waiting to fall asleep. Then Kerry knocked on the door and entered. I said, “What are you doing in here?” I could see him from the faint light in the room. He was in his fishtail hoodie and those expensive Rick Owens tennis shoes. He looked like he was dressed for a party.

To my question, Kerry replied, “I need to call Aunt Sharon.” Then he reached over to my dresser and picked up the receiver of a white landline phone. I don’t have any such phone, and Kerry would never call Sharon. These facts alerted me to the dream state. I woke all the way up, went downstairs, and found Waking Reality Kerry at the kitchen table, playing online poker. He said, “Hi, Mom. I couldn’t sleep so I’m just playing a little poker until I get sleepy again.”

I’m sitting here reflecting on the whole of the past couple of months or so. It seems like I’m existing more often on the border between the two worlds: The Dreaming and the Waking. And the two worlds are bleeding over into each other. Maybe this is progress.

May 11: Dream of the Dalai Lama and My Bitten-Down Fingernails

In bed I prayed to Salgye du Dalma and focused into my heart center. I fell asleep rapidly. I dreamed all night, but the only dream I remember was the last one in the morning:

I’m in a beach vacation cabin in Florida. Some kind of retreat is going on. I think John and Geshe Gelek are here, but I don’t actually see them. In walks the Dalai Lama. I walk to the front row and sit on a cushion, hoping he is gonna lead a meditation or give empowerment or something juicy.

I remember that Kerry is in town. I text him to hurry the hell up because, hey, Dalai Lama! Kerry texts back, “I’m chilling with friends.” I text back, “No, you have to come here right away—you don’t understand: This is the Dalai Lama; he is famous and will give you once-in-a-lifetime empowerments.” Kerry texts, “You are talking gobbly-gook again, Mommy.” I look at my phone and realize it is cracked, like Kerry’s phone. I begin thinking hard, trying to remember something about my phone, but I cannot retrieve the memory. I give up on Kerry and pay attention to the retreat. [I had lost my cell phone in real life the week of this dream.]

Now I’m at a dinner spread, and someone has assigned me to sit to the left of the Dalai Lama. As we are eating, His Holiness looks at my hands. I make fists to hide my chronically bitten-down fingernails. Dalai Lama sort of chuckles at me in his impish way. I say, “What? Are perfect fingernails in the 72 minor marks of a buddha?” He just chuckles and chuckles, like someone quite high. I am hoping he will tell me how to see lights wrapping my fingers, which cinches fourth vision. Finally, instead, he says I should do something about my nail biting. I respond, “It is a brain disorder with some fancy name; it is also, among vices, a relatively victimless crime.” He shrugs and shifts his attention to someone else. I feel defiant, rise, and leave the scene to go be with my family.

On the way out of the beach house, I hear HHDL in a bedroom, talking with a woman. Psychically, I can see into the room and see that he is lying on the bed in his robes, and my stepsister Marian is lying on his left. They are talking and laughing. I wonder about karmamudra as I leave this scene.

May 12: Dave Dickey, Astral Scones, and Time Slicing and Splicing

I had insomnia all night. I spent most of the night, and well into the broad morning light, practicing.

When I went to bed in the morning and did the drop part of “stop, drop, and roll,” I entered into hypnagogia characterized by my vocalizing inquiries, and responses flashed up concrete high-def photo-real images. I remember only a tiny part of what I sense in retrospect was a longer hypnagogic state. Specifically, I remember asking something to the effect of whether any acquaintances of mine had, in this life/reality structure or another, access to much higher truth than I have access to. The answer was immediate: It was a piercing animation of David A. Dickey (DAD), one of my authors and world-famous statistician and professor. I started interacting with this image of DAD, and he was chanting, “set theory, probability, forecasting.”

I’m not sure whether I will ever tell actual Dave about this. . . . The book we just published is on forecasting time series. There was something intense and almost shocking about this query-and-response session, and the DAD info nearly woke me all the way up out of the lucid half-sleep.

Then I later became lucid again as I seemed to be already in-process as a phantom at a social gathering and started eating these yummy cheddar-and-bacon scones. I was hungry before I fell asleep but too lazy to go down and get a snack—besides, we were out of groceries. While eating one of these scones and enjoying the hell out of it, I realized that my hand was phantom-like, and that my mouth was in a facial plane that was horizontal, as if I were lying down—rather than vertical as if I were standing upright at that social gathering.

I then realized that my dream body was trying to feed my coarse sleeping body in bed. I reflected that I’m on a gluten-free, ketogenic diet and shouldn’t be eating scones. But then I realized that none of what was happening had any material reality, even though I could taste and feel the texture of the food. So I just continued reaching into the dream scene for scones and then bringing them to my mouth in bed. For months I’ve been having these astral eating episodes. Weird!

Today, while driving to deliver some no-longer-used appliance to the Goodwill center I, was listening to the Tom Campbell My Big TOE Audible file. Suddenly, I started trembling because I realized that a big chunk of time that should have been experienced as passing while driving was simply sliced out. I was on Waldo Rood Drive and suddenly I was far down Davis Drive. This was not like when you concentrate on something and don’t remember the drive because on automatic pilot. This was experienced as actual time slicing and splicing. I was completely gone (not experiencing) during about 10 minutes of real time; however, when I reemerged, I had all the knowledge that played on Audible during that missing time segment.

May 14: Death to Practice Paradigms, Death to Ego, Hurrah for Resurrection 

I took longer than I intended on throwing and interpreting clarifying cards around Death last night. Consequently, my energy rose, hypnagogic visions of galaxies and vajra chains was intense, and I couldn’t fall asleep until I drank a second cup of Nighty Night tea and took a second Epsom Salt bath. I really have to stop energizing practices close to proper sleep time!

I feel that I am in the midst of an intense awareness upgrade of some kind. Paradoxically, the more knotted up my frustration over lack of Buddhist esoteric knowledge access becomes, the more intensely a simultaneous release into a dogma-free, tradition-free wider reality context proceeds. This is what the Death card is signifying and codifying for both my comfort and my discomfort.

The short of clarification reading is that three other cards mentioned “death,” and the cautions were about communication with others, probably my dharma friends. Nonetheless, my original query was about my path of practice. My query formulation for the one-card draw that turned up Death was this, born of my knowledge-access frustrations around practice: “In the next 3 to 6 months, how should I contemplate and actualize in practice all the messages and signs I’m receiving now?” The import is that some dramatic event is going to happen that will be experienced with all the shock and awe of sudden death.

The final card at the bottom, Judgment, shows a phoenix rising from the flames into new life. This card’s message is Resurrection, arising with a new body. I talked with DreamWalker last night, partly about this spread. He told me that in shamanic and New Age astral travel communities it is said that, when you first leave your body in PMR (physical matter reality), this happening is called “Crossing the Guardian of Death.” When you realize the new astral body, second body, or whatever any tradition wants to call it, this is called “Resurrection.”

On this night, when I fell into hypnagogia, several successive hyper-real visions of Tom Campbell appeared. First just his head surrounded by a lemony glow. He was poking his head through this matrix I often see in hypnagogia. I’ve seen a white cat do the some thing at times since my awakening of July 2015.

Suddenly, I’m in a scene on an asphalt walkway among shrubs, pink azaleas in bloom. Tom is in front of me on the path, and now appears as his whole body. He is walking on ahead of me on the asphalt path, but looking back over his shoulder at me, saying, “Follow me.” I follow. I don’t remember anything after that, except I was in the narrative-less awareness for some unknowable amount of time before sleep usurped.

I am loving this School of Dreaming audio I got called “I Am the Dreamer.” It is supposed to be done in the daytime to see waking reality as a dream. I tend to do it in bed, though. It is powerful and seems almost as if scripted by Tom Campbell with some Dzogchen spice dashed in. 

May 16: Flashes of Travel Including Car Crash Test Dream

Last night I listened to “The Crystal Lake” while falling into hypnagogia. These audios seem to have a cumulative effect over calendar time. When the narrator said to feel my feet in warm pools of water, this time I actually felt submersion of my feet in warm liquid. I was surprised. In fact I kept having little surprise reactions throughout hypnagogia, which kept pulling me out and into waking reality.

Several times my entire body was wracked with strong vibrations. One of these was so strong that it aborted mission. When I finally separated (I guess), I didn’t notice—but I also didn’t try to notice—a phantom body. I was driving from the airport. It was dark. It was from last Monday at 5 a.m. when I dropped Kurt off at the airport in the Waking. As I got to the intersection with I-40 in this rendition, a black SUV didn’t yield right-of-way and was about to smash into my car and kill me. But right before impact, knowing I could do so, I simply woke up and escaped collision. I think I’m supposed to experience the collision, though, but failed that test at this time. I think this because I have long had a travel phobia. It virtually disappeared after stream entry, but returned after MCTB fourth path during dharmakaya release, which is ongoing still.

Another short trip this night was another time travel. I was standing and looking in the mirror in Kerry’s bathroom at my face, eyes, and torso. I realized while gazing on the emptiness of my body that I was back in time, again Monday, when I actually did this same gazing into the same mirror. I was wearing the teal top that I was wearing Monday. I became aware I was back in time. I looked deep into my left eye with my left eye. Some nonconceptual, nonverbal understanding was met with there.

Toward morning I had a regular dream. I don’t remember all of it. One part was that Kurt and I were camping out in a Christian church. I saw John come in the side door, but he was sort of undercover and no further part in the dream. Everyone was sitting up and singing hymn, except Kurt and me. Kurt was sitting up and listening to his mp3 player. I was lying down in a pew and sleeping. At one point, I floated up out of my body to go get and drink a bottle of mineral spring water. This was not an OBE but a dream of having an OBE, like Andrew’s last dream.

May 18: Flashes of My Friend Teresa and of Kurt Padlocking my Face

Last night I had two extremely concrete, extremely rapid flashes out to scenes from hypnagogia. In the first, my lifelong friend Teresa, who just entered Hospice with terminal spinal cancer, was sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car in motion. She looked about 30. She had big sunglasses on and a scarf around her neck. She was giggling in that furtive, girlish way she always did. The sun was shining into the car and on her body. There was something so deep about this flash in. I knew in that moment that I was saying goodbye to her. I plan to do the full intensive 49 days of bardo practice for her after she goes. She is the one who first coaxed me into beginning a meditation practice.

The second flash was supremely weird. It was like I was down in a glass box submerged in the ground so that I was upright and only my head was above the ground, in a glass casing. Kurt (I think it was Kurt because I could see his body, though not his head) bent down and tried to slap a huge padlock on the box in the region of my left cheek. This startled the fuck out of me, made me panic, and I flashed out of the scene by waking up. Then I proceeded to have insomnia until sunrise. I was not tired at all today, however, until nighttime.

Kurt was trying to imprison me, keep me from talking, let me suffocate. Not sure what was up with that! The glass case was maybe like Snow White’s casket. But here Kurt was not kissing me awake; he was separated from me while I slept on in the transparency.

May 18: Postscript on Tarot Comments of May 14

Those clarifying cards around Death were thrown right when my now deceased friend Teresa unexpectedly entered hospice care after years of suffering uncomplainingly the assaults of cancer and chemo. My query for the tarot was specifically about my own path of practice for the next 3 to 6 months. When I first saw the Death card, however, I instantly thought of Terri. Now that she did in fact die 5 days later, plunging me into the most profound practices of bardo connection with her for the next 49 days, I am reconsidering that this reading may be about her death and my intermediate-state practices piercing into the reality of death and the unreality of it as some entropic end state. The February-to-April bardo practice for Kory, Kerry’s tragically deceased friend, opened new terrain of the heart and the paranormal (a second body in which I travel, launching from hypnagogia).

So soon I’m doing the practices again for someone who was my best friend in my formative years and someone who had meditated several times a day for two decades. She was the one who coaxed me into taking up meditation in 2010. The life interpenetration with her is profound. In short, if this practice does anything for real, then it has a high chance of success this go around. I know she was and is not afraid, but prepared. She was used to being formless and will remain calm and concentrated. She died peacefully. She has a good opportunity of complete liberation, I’m confident. Maybe the cards are showing more death on my part via my entrance into her death.

The unused blank space on the separate, full Tarot post is now filled in with the clarifying cards. Just this fact tells me that this adjustment or amendment to the reading is correct. Here is the tarot reading, with pictures:

http://jhanajenny.com/path-death-ego-death-resurrection/

May 22: Relentless Insomnia

I’ve not logged any sleep stuff because of my not having the sleep part of the practice. Insomnia has been relentless, extreme, and annoying. I wonder if I should be more concerned during the day about my lack of sleep. I am in what others think of as meditation all the time, so I do not notice that I’m tired. I do not feel sleepy. My family worries that this cannot be good for me, but I don’t know what to do about the fact that my body and brain do not want to sleep. Maybe going to the gym will help.

Past two nights I got 3 to 3.5 hours total of sleep. I do not remember the content of my dreams. I remember hopping out of my body several times, being surprised to find myself floating, and then being snapped back into my body and awake by the surprise. I wish I could drive this thing! Apparently, stabilization will take time.

May 24: Reaching for Dream Mobile Phone with Astral Arms

Finally, I got way overdue good, long sleep last night. No dreams. I didn’t care.

Only thing I remember was that in hypnogogia I reached for my cell phone with dream arms—to my nightstand—and began checking messages from others and reading some of my own. I suddenly questioned if this were real, realized it wasn’t, and bolted awake out of surprise or excitement. The first-person perspective was stable the whole time and I could actually read the messages. What clued me in was that I had just resolved to put devices away and go to sleep, but here I was on a device.

Another way that I will get pulled awake is that I will realize I can see and am seeing through closed eyelids. Last night I read that this is a thing in astral.

May 24: Follow-Up to Car Crash Test Dream

On May 16 I recorded here a dream in which I was rerunning the trip back from the airport, but this time an SUV exiting I-40 didn’t see me and was about to plow into me. I escaped right at the moment before impact by jumping up out of the dream to wakefulness. I have been assuming that this was a test dream and I failed the dream, should have let the crash happen.

Ordinarily I have some some level of anxiety while driving on I-40 even just from Cary to Chapel Hill. I’ll often take back roads to avoid the Interstate. Sometimes the anxiety is mild, subtle. Other times I can barely get through the drive. If both Kurt and Kerry are in the car, my anxiety is worse because they start criticizing my driving. I used to be relaxed if Kurt drove, but now I prefer to be the one driving.

Anyway, I drove to Chapel Hill and back again on I-40 yesterday and experienced zero anxiety. I kept checking and thinking, “Wow, this is weird—no anxiety. What is going on?” So maybe I didn’t fail that test dream? Maybe something was healed. Or maybe it is the Inositol I’m taking. Time will tell if it holds. Just following up.

May 25: Meeting the Guides of the Rainbow Fabrication

Actualizing some hints from chatting with Jim yesterday, I was able to contact two formless Guides in hypnagogia. Here is an audio-log of remarkable lucid access to two formless guides, entities who began teaching me how to transform things in dreams:

I was not embodied in astral body in this event. My perspective was consistently first person, though. Also, although the two beings were totally formless, they had directional location: one was up to my left; the other was up to my right. I will continue to experiment with intensifying my intensity. After I recorded the log, I fell into sleep.

May 26: Two Clashing Instructions and Two of the Wrong Teachers

The following dream took place late in the morning after I had awakened and bid Kerry farewell as he’s driving to the casino in Maryland. I remember little of note from the previous night’s sleep.

Preamble

After Kerry left, I had listened to the “Hypnagogia” audio and to the “Astral Affirmations” audio. While listening to these audios, especially hypnagogia one, I became aware of a frustrating tension between the audio instructions and those I’d heard or read elsewhere. Namely, it was instructing me to imagine the scene that I wanted to travel to, which was the park where I met Tom Campbell the other night. By contrast, it was also instructing me to stay aware that I was the dreamer, not the dream I was entering.

To preserve awareness that I am the dreamer, I normally focus on my body, specifically the heart center radiant, while the body falls asleep. If I am going to separate out into a second body, there is first some intense bodily vibrations, but if I relax through them, then the separation often occurs after that. Now this audio was saying astral projection can happen just by visualizing myself into the scenic destination.

I realized during this morning’s session that it is more fruitful for me to keep my awareness local until I feel that I’m floating above the bed with radiance pouring out of my heart. It is difficult, or impossible so far, for me to step into a ready-made scene and keep my aware second body. For now I want to set aside from my practice the technique of visualizing the scene and then a visualizing myself in the scene. The problem may be that I am not really committed to a specific scene, but to exploring whatever larger reality presents. perhaps more importantly. I want to be present while the second body is separating from the coarse body; otherwise, it’s not technically astral traveling, and I may not get it through my coarse head that second body, or more generally nonphysicality, is real.

The dream was prefaced, as well, with first my thinking about Nighty Night tea and then finding that my dream arms were trying to pour tea into my coarse mouth. When I realized that I was dream eating/drinking again, I was surprised and amused, which jerked me awake. I believed I would not go back under, but I did. I asked for my two teachers, meaning the ones of the rainbow fabrication, to appear. The dream that follows was a lesson in what happens if you do not state your intent with high specificity: The teachers that appeared were from my PhD committee, not the NPMR!

Dream Series

I am book-writing on weekends in what looks like an expansion of the dining room in my mother’s home. My PhD professor Bill Harmon is there as my co-author. Many distractions in the home keep preventing our progress. Finally, I rise and enter the next room to turn down the stereo, but the controls are incomprehensible and create an echo distortion. Bill Harmon is not upset by the distractions. He is perfectly easygoing even though we are getting no real writing done. He says to me, “We actually are getting the authoring done right now.” I find his words incomprehensible. I realize that Bill and I go through this same routine every weekend, amidst distraction and physical scene instability. In all iterations, I enter my car outside and go for a drive out of fatigue, frustration, and desire to escape thoughts of how off task I am and how little writing is being done for our book.

I drive on my same street level up to a building facade that is fronted by the top level of huge parking deck. Many construction workers are working on the site, sweating and lifting heavy beams to build something new inside. As usual, I go inside the edifice at this high level, but all the stores are empty of wares and people. There is nothing much to see. I realize that coming here is a distraction too, so I end up having wasted the whole day. I return home, annoyed that I have my job work during the week and have other obligations during the weekend, such as some ridiculous Sunday School tasks in connection with Kerry.

It is now a new weekend. The same sequence repeats.

It is now a new weekend. I try to make something different happen this time. I meet Bill Harmon to waste all day in trying to write a book among the distractions. I depart the house again, but this time as I approach the construction site that was on the level with my vehicle, I decide instead to take an exit at the last minute. The off ramp goes to the right and down to an old cobblestone street that runs underneath the new edifice. I exit my car and find that this lower, older level beneath the new edifice is like Underground Atlanta. I begin walking into all the delightful shops of this Underground. Everytime I pass an ATM or any kind of device with a screen, even a vending machine, I see Andrew’s screen avatar, name, and green dot. I see his text rapidly filling up the screen. I feel his trying to reach me, but I avert my eyes and refuse to engage, even though I vaguely know that if I do engage then I will stop forgetting this is a dream. I decide that I don’t have time to engage him. I walk the other way to do whatever it is I want to do, without responding to him. Part of me doesn’t want to know this is a dream.

I am thirsty and walk into a juice bar. All these juices are lined up on the shelves and bar. I want the mango and carrot juice, so I reach for it. Suddenly, the lights in the in the shop shut down. The Underground is closing. The juice bar shopkeeper tells me he is closed and I cannot buy the juice. I take a small electric juicer and ask him to sell it to me. He says he is closed but that I can take the juicer home with me if I promise to return and pay for the juicer when he is open next. I am suddenly very concerned that he know that I am of impeccable honesty. I say to him that yes of course I will come back and pay it right away. Then I say, “I was for truth and honesty long before I became a Buddhist, but if you need the Buddhist seal, then I’ll sign an IOU as a Buddhist.” He tells me I must sign my right hand with my left hand. I write “Buddhist” in terrible penmanship on my right hand with my left. He is satisfied. I leave with my juicer under my arm.

I walk out and along the old cobblestones of this Underground level, aiming for my car. On the way out I see Professor Linda Wagner-Martin sitting at a gigantic farm table that runs the length of the Underground. She is dressed in a pink and orange short dress with her long legs and high heels looking fabulous. I say, “Hey, Linda, you look fabulous!” She says, “Oh, Jenny, you look fabulous too!” I say, “Well, that’s nice of you, but, no, I’m pretty much a mess all the time.” She asks what I have been doing with my life. I say I’m writing books. Then I say that right now I’m writing two books, each with a different coauthor. Then I remember that, in addition to writing a book with Bill Harmon, I am also writing a Dharma book with a coauthor whose identity is secret. I keep both authors’ identity a secret from Linda, who never stops smiling in that ironic way she has always had of smiling.

I leave the cobblestone shopping complex with my juicer under my arm. Before returning to my car I see some concrete steps that are moss-covered leading up a hill. I decide to start climbing the steps even though this is a sidetrack. I know psychically that at the top of those steps is a home that D and C lived in. They were gone now, but for some reason I want to spook around the abandoned house. When I reach the top of the stairs, I see the house. It is painted golden mustard color with brown trim. It is on a shady elevation and looks inviting. However, I suddenly decide that it is ridiculous and boring for me to waste time going to look at a home where they used to live. I backed down the stairs and then start toward my car. I have hope that because I can now make my own juice at home, I won’t waste so much book-writing time driving around to seek escape from the knowledge that I’m getting no writing done.

Evaluation

This dream was fairly mundane and obvious in content and in mode. The meta-message to me is that I was not specific enough in formulating intent and prayer for the two teachers to appear. My English professors appeared, and I was harried because of self-caused distractions from writing. The juice was energy to work magic. The old Underground structure suggests the Dharma Underground. The new structure at the higher level is my level of practice built on the DhU foundation. But it is still being constructed, and no one else is inside it. The repeated iterations of the scenes of distraction with Bill Harmon are runs of the simulation a la Campbell.

I have been noticing that I really have to amp up intensity and intent before bed if lucidity or the astral thing is going to happen. I’m pretty out of practice on that kind of jhana-to-siddhi emphasis because “resting” and “allowing” is the order of the day in Dzogchen. I’m not sure how J would feel about my powering up with individual intent, but I have definitely noticed that this mitigates my passivity as “dreamego,” which mitigation seems necessary. Bardo practice for the dead certainly juices me up. I’m in a distinctive jhanic bliss state afterward and am prone to seeing lights (big ones) and feeling my entire body tingling or vibrating. Funny—I found last night in a dream that I had the power to rerun it as a simulation.

I don’t remember much of the main, nonlucid part of the dream. It was dull, vague, instead of bright and lucid. Apparently I was standing by Terri’s death bed and apologizing to her. I was doing so because she died on May 18, a Friday, not a Thursday, but I performed the long bardo practice on Thursday, mistaking the one-week anniversary day. (One who is practicing for the dead is encouraged to add long practices like the King of Aspiration prayer, or the Amitabha practice, every week on the anniversary.)

Standing there, I stopped talking to her and started thinking. I suddenly understood that time was a fractal digital process, just like Campbell claims. Although my doing the long practice on the wrong day had already been actualized, I realized that I could back up the fractal and run the what-if simulation for Terri. That would show how things at this point would be different if I had done the practice on the correct day. My strong hunch was that no difference would be seen. I realized that smaller worlds existed inside of bigger ones in scale—all in a fractal pattern whose world results I could see in my mind’s eye. I did not rerun the simulation, because neither Terri nor I was concerned that mistaking the day had significant detrimental effects on my prayers.

As Andrew has in the past mentioned about some of his dreams, I was lucid to my powers to control the dream in this one, but I don’t think I was entirely lucid to the fact that I was dreaming. Maybe I dimly was, but not brightly. This was more of a powers dream than an awareness one. In addition, the images and the being-there were unstable and sort of vague.

I should mention, I think, that my bardo practice was intense last night. In addition to the standard bardo practices, I got the notion early on last week to actually do pointing-out of the Mahamudra sequence for Terri. I know that she had jhanas and emptiness of self and body, so I began with Emptiness of Time. I’ve done that for a few nights, so last night I introduced Ocean and Waves, with the visions of the bardo being seen as just “waves.” During these practices, I have felt her presence very strongly, and I’m convinced it is not my imagination. I was not that close to this person in later years, so I do not think this is mere projection on my part.

Every night I go through the options with her that would be good: (1) human rebirth in a wealthy place, (2) a pure dimension where she can quickly finish the path, or (3) full enlightenment now. Last night, when I began describing the bright white light that leads to the pure dimension, something happened. A rather big white-gray-violet light started scintillating and then revolving around and through the center of the room. Although the light was not white-bright like an actual waking world lightbulb, the light was definitely there, and this was happening. I felt that either she or some entity, or entities, were making this happen. I nonetheless reviewed all three options. When the light was sweeping the room, I was taken aback with awe that bordered on tinge of fear for my sanity, but then I just breathed and reviewed all the signs that I’m not insane! After the practice was closed, I lay on my back to do my physical therapy exercises (I had a torn meniscus repaired back in October). The ceiling looked like roiling snakes of light, and then it started breathing and fluxing as if it would burst open. I said to myself that this was showing the holographic nature of the matrix.

When I got in bed so late that it was early, I listened to the “I Am the Dreamer” audio, which is about 18 minutes in duration. I must have quickly fallen asleep, because next thing I knew was that I was listening to the end of it, with no sense that I had fallen asleep or lost time. These experiences are showing me that in hypnagogia territory, I’m completely gone more than I think.

May 30: Lucid but Unable to Wake Up

Last night I had numerous dreams but remember almost nothing of them. I did have a strange one that stood out. In it I was just going through a routine day at work and afterward when I started thinking, “This isn’t real.” And as soon as I said that, everything start wavering, like a mirage. I realized that all was dream, so I wanted to wake up. However I could not wake myself up! The dream was about to turn into a nightmare because of my feeling stuck in the dream, but then I woke up and shook off the strangeness. This was another dream in which I was confronted with the running of a simulation day; this time I was not even sure the day was actualized.

May 31: Monster, Rerun of John Moments, and Removing Men’s Shells

I was very tired again last night because of painting Kerry’s room after work, but I was also extremely blissed out for reasons unknown. I listened to “I Am the Dreamer,” which is one of the best guided meditations I’ve ever heard by anyone on any topic/method. This meditation is meant for the daytime to instill that the field is a dream and that I as dreamer am the awareness source and not the dream. I’m using it for post-hypnotic suggestion because I have an extremely high hypnotizability.

This meditation shakes me to my core. Nonetheless, soon after I got the intense vibrations, I fell asleep, and then I was jolted awake shortly thereafter by the usual line that brings me back: “Nothing needs to be added to this awareness.” I fell back in and out, and in and out, and at one point felt like second body was separating, but I don’t think it quite made it, or I don’t remember.

I decided to practice pointed observation of the moments of transition. I noticed that, contrary to what I said the other day, successful astral traveling is a matter of both (1) maintaining difference of the dreamer from the dream, and (2) allowing the visualization of myself in the scene to happen. If I do only No. 1, then I do not “let go” enough for the second body or lucid dream to arise, and the repeated pull back to the waking ruins the session. On the other hand, If I let go too soon or too completely, then I go into Stupid Sleep instead of powering my individual intent.

Someone needs to nuance instructions along these lines. Maybe I’ll have to be the one to do so someday. All the instructions “out there” have poor reliability. There are some remaining haphazard elements because no one has gotten granular enough on the instructions.

My current plan is to shift to doing that meditation during the day, and then in bed I will try to keep awareness radiating from the heart as I fall asleep. I need to try to go to bed earlier (always) so that I don’t fall into a virtual coma by the time I get into bed. Also, I will try to lay off the mugwort in my night tea because mugwort sends me into a deep dreamless sleep all night, which is the opposite of what it is touted to do.

As I was passing through flashes in hypnagogia, one particular image/presence was very strong and startling. Before sleeping I had asked to see some of the guides or beings from the LCR (larger consciousness reality). This being that showed up was like an exotic deep sea creature. It had a small bright green head, a big single blue eyeball in it, and hundreds of stark white, extremely long “legs” or “arms.” It was vaguely like an octopus, but this was no octopus or anything Earthly. This did not feel like “just a vision.” It felt like the responsive presence of an entity.

After I fell into sleep . . . and this may have been in the second sleep cycle . . . I had dreams of J. Specifically, in rapid succession, I reexperienced different flashes of my past with him. One memory in this sequence stood out because, for whatever unknown reason, I often replay this memory. It was at the very end of one of the weekend retreats. All the young women were crowding around him. He cut through them and came over to me and hugged me. He was smiling, with his hair all messed up from the reclining meditation, and said, about the retreat and not the hug, “How was that for you?” There was something so boyish and innocent about his face and manner in that exchange. No narrative, but just quick flash animations of successive scattered moments with him. It felt like a dream of bonding with him, for which he was actually present.

Toward morning, I had a hazy and largely gone-from-memory dream that had something to do with my teaching meditation. I was before a row of caves, and I was admonishing these young men cave yogis not to bring peeled hard boiled eggs into their caves because the eggs would quickly spoil. I was showing them how to peel a hard-boiled egg so that they would keep the shell on until ready to eat and thereby avoid spoilage. No idea what this means!

This concludes May 2018.

To your sons and daughters
Bending at the altar
Disappearing in the mirror

Watch it as it burns out
(It is just a flame)
Freckle faced young virgin
(It is just a game)

Platinum vision
Bringing you down again and again
Again and again

Black clock looming distant
You’re a great white
They were never listening
Waiting for the light to come again

Deep beneath the waves
Lilies of the day
Garden of remains
Diamond maiden chained

To your sons and daughters
Bending at the altar
Don’t you disappear in the mirror again and again
Again and again

Deep beneath the waves
White-winged birds of May
Run from hollow hills
Walk into the night