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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!”
“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Dreams and Astral Outings: April 2018
Following are selected and edited entries from a dream log I maintain on a private server with a few Pragmatic Dharma friends who are doing the same. Since the death of Kory and my bardo practices for him, while focusing my practice on stabilizing lucidity throughout all sleep, the more frequent experience has been separation of a second phantom body from my coarse in-bed body, followed by “traveling.” So far, the travels have seemed brief and close to home. I have poor control over induction, with most of this happening spontaneously and, except for the heraldic bodily vibrations that precede OBEs, sporadically. It seems that my various experiences in bardo states since the death of, and thrice-repeated nightmares about, Kory are eradicating my fear of death, which is, for us all, the chief obscuration of the clear light of empty but timeless awareness.
The first time I left my body this way, I quickly determined to float over to my bedroom mirror to have a look at my “astral” body. I did so. The body is a kind of silvery translucency, with a trailing effect accompanying any movement. My age in the mirror was shifting nonchronologically and was overall undecidable. One of my friends on the private server mentioned that looking at the second body in a mirror fulfills Don Juan’s Third Gate of Dreaming. That’s a fun fact if ever there were one! I’m not sure “dreaming” is the applicable word, but Don Juan, like the Buddhists, knows every mode of being is dream mode.
These experiences are hyper-real, with an intense sense of my embodiment and five-senses immersion and coherence. Although time can be distorted while out of body, and some of the spatial layout is inverted at times, the physical world is much more consistent and concrete than in a dream. Visually, it presents at a higher sampling rate and therefore vividness and definition than the Waking. Moreover, I am awake-aware the entire time that the second body is separating from the first body. The point of view is consistently in the second body until the bodies collapse into one. No one can be more surprised than I that all the New Age stuff about astral traveling turns out to be true!
Beyond the spectacle and awe, however, what matters, as mentioned, is my now self-confirming hypothesis that traveling beyond physical matter reality dovetails Buddhist Truth aim with the Therapeutic. Eventually, on the path one has to confront fear of death with the reality of the Deathless. This, I feel, is the beginning.
April 4: Almost-Lucid Dream about John and Being on a Conveyor Belt
I fell asleep around 9:30 p.m. for a couple of hours. I had a dream about John.
I am living in an unfamiliar, rather large house. There is is big conveyor belt in the basement, as big as an airport concourse. It is making a racket. Also, Kerry is sitting on the floor in front of the TV, which he has turned up too loud. Kerry keeps changing to different ages, from about 6 to 22 years old. Suddenly, I start realizing something is not right about this reality. I have a few minutes of lucidity and decide to call John . . . just because I can.
I walk to the kitchen, pick up the phone, and fumble around to locate John’s phone number. But I hear John breathing on the line already, clearing his throat and talking to his children on his end. Kerry turns the TV up louder, and I tell him harshly to turn it down. Then John yes, “Jenny, yes, what is it?” Now, because Kerry is being so distracting, I cannot remember why I was calling John. I say, “Oh, you are already there.” He says, “I’m always here.” Now I’m becoming embarrassed because I cannot for the life of me remember what I wanted to ask him. I am struggling for words and then remember it has something to do with sleep and dreams.
During the awkward silence, I feel like I have to make some reason up for calling, so I say, “John there are all these people doing strange things in my dreams.” He says, “Yeah?” And I say, “Yeah. They are taking off their clothes.” John laughs and says, “Well, of course they are!” Kerry is turning up the TV again, and I am almost screaming at him to hush. But then I remember, “Oh, John doesn’t yell at his kids, so I better not yell at Kerry.” But I can barely hear John or think because Kerry is being such a little shit with the noise. Finally, caught in a bind, I tell John, “I will let you get back to your studies now.” He says okay. Then I’m on the conveyor belt in the basement. It is scary because it is going fast and under overhangs that bump my head.
This dream seems to be about my having the impulse the other night to send John a note, but then I didn’t do so because I really had nothing urgent I needed to ask him and he is busy.
The conveyor belt is an interesting dream sign because I had an important dream in 2016 about my karmic connection with Daniel. In that dream I found myself on a conveyor belt at the end, traveling into a storehouse (karmic respository). At the time, in 2016, I had looked up “conveyor belt” in a dream dictionary. It indicated that the symbol means “repeated patterns.” The dream about Daniel was about my breaking our habit-patterned karmic bonds. Because a conveyor belt indicates repetition, from a meta-level it is funny that this sign from the Daniel dream is repeating in this dream of John.
Also of interest about this dream, as in the last dream, is that I was momentarily lucid and knew something was unreal about the “reality,” but I couldn’t quite establish and maintain full-on dream lucidity. At least I’m noticing in the dreams that something isn’t quite right, so I’m verging on reality checking within the dream.
April 5: Continuous Thread of Awareness through First Sleep
Before I went to bed, I was thinking about Andrew’s reported sense of some subtle thread of awareness through a duration of sleep. I believe I experienced this during my “first sleep” of about 3 hours. There were flashes of images and a sense that I dreamed, even though I couldn’t remember any dream narrative. More distinct was the sense of that thread of awareness through all—subtle and nondiscursive, but there. I woke up and then drank mugwort tea for the first time this night. I fell out as if dead. No dreams. Nothing. Mugwort has the opposite effect on me that it is supposed to. It is great for insomnia and Stupid Sleep, though! I’ll keep it stocked only for that purpose.
April 6: More Alarm Clock Time Weirdness
All I remember concerning dreams is some vague scenes of Kurt and I touring homes for retirement again. Retirement must really be on my mind!
Something strange happened yet again with my alarm clock and hypnapompia: My alarm clock sounded and I rose at 9 a.m. I went downstairs to make coffee and wondered why Kurt was still home. Then he left and I went upstairs to wash my face and dress for work. Then the alarm clock sounded all over again. It now said, “9:00.” So I guess I got up at 8:00 instead of 9:00? But why did my alarm clock sound at 8:00? I checked my settings and my clock was and is set to sound at 9:00. Is my alarm clock possessed? I’m also sometimes experiencing other time-slicings some days. Weird. And a little disturbing at this point as I feel a little crazy or demented when radical time distortions happen.
April 7: Dream of Virtual Space Becoming Shared Physical Space
I am at a computer screen, an interface to various online dharma communities. Vasily is sometimes sitting beside me and sometimes on the other side of the screen, fluidly and unpredictably passing back and forth across sides, like a bardo body. I accidentally land on the Dharma Overground site. Suddenly, the DhO style of interface goes to the old green and black command-line screens of decades ago, the way the Dharma Underground used to be.
Because of some accidental key combination I execute, the bottom fourth of the black computer screen manifests a physical panel that opens like a window casement. Vasily is beside me again on this side, and I realize that I’m about to have surgery on my MCL because Dr. Summers messed it up when he repaired my meniscus tear. I am thinking that surgery always carries risk and I could die.
The panel that opens in the computer screen is a physical window into a physical scene. I hear Daniel’s voice. Curious, I get down on my knees so that I am eye level with the open computer screen panel. I can see Daniel there, sitting at a bar and enjoying a cocktail. It is as if my panel is part of what is the bar mirror from his point of view. I realize that this is so real that I could reach in and pick up his cocktail and drink from the some cup. I want to say something to him, to reconcile, or reach mutual forgiveness, or something before I possibly die in surgery. I realize that I have the physical power to reach out to him, literally, but I lose the courage to and reflect that he would never be reconciled with me. I settle into the sacred openness of relationship in timeless, silent suspension.
This dream is like another that I had months ago and recorded—Daniel and I were at a Buddhist Geeks conference, on our respective computers in separate hotel lounges. In the wall beside my computer screen, a wormhole to the wall beside Daniel’s computer opened. I think some of the current dream, such as the cocktail bar mirror, was triggered by my reading a book on astral travel before bed, particularly a section on the “Alice in Wonderland effect.” Alice went through the looking glass, like an astral traveler. My college friends nicknamed me Alice back in the 1980s because I played Alice in Wonderland in a piece of in-situ theatre back in the day, and I kept an Alice monologue ready as one of my standard audition pieces.
April 8: Hypnagogia via the School of Dreaming
I’ve been up all night, sleepless but hours at a time in hypnagogia. I keep forgetting to mention this in my dream logs, but in hynagogia I have periods in which I am seeing the bedroom through my closed eyelids. Seeing through eyelids used to happen often during jhana practice, too, so this isn’t novel, but it is nonetheless weird. I’ve not managed to go out of body or lucidly dream tonight, but I was close on both fronts from the shores of extended hypnagogia.
This return of long-duration hypnagogia confirms that mugwort was killing it, as well as my dream recall, although stupor is opposite what mugwort is touted to do. Conversely, valerian induces outright hallucinations, whereas it is supposed to promote sleep. I learned from Elthea, who works in an herb shop, that valerian does that to her, too, and happens to 1 in 100 people. For now, I’m going to refrain from substances. I may look into ways to improve my memory in general, because older folks have more difficulty with dream recall than younger folks—simply because memory declines with age even in healthy brains. I am, however, drinking Nighty-Night tea with the passion flower. It helps me sleep, but not in the obliterated way mugwort does. . . .
After I woke up and wrote the this account, I fetched a snack and then slept the Stupid Sleep for a few hours. Then I woke up and decided to try following the School of Dreaming guided meditation “Hypnagogia.” I didn’t really expect to fall back asleep, and I felt like I’d be merely wasting my Sunday by going back to bed, but I’m trying to change my attitudes around sleep because this is my central practice now. So I went back to bed and played this same audio that I played last night.
I noticed how many aches and pains I have all over my body. Then I guess I was in some jhanic mode since I saw the violet nimitta, which never really developed into the geometric beginnings of hypnagogia. My body started disappearing, though, along with the nimitta, and I felt as if I were floating, levitating, because I didn’t feel my body. The audio instructs a dream incubation to go to a favorite destination. Both last night and today I chose Sanibel Island, Florida, which has pristine sugar-sand beaches and crystal clear aqua water with sparse gentle waves. It is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever experienced.
Last night I was definitely in hypnagogia and lost time: I was in and out, and in and out, of hearing the audio. This morning the experience differed. I don’t feel as if I ever slept at all, and I never saw the geometric patterns. In both cases, I failed to project into the Sanabel Island destination. In both instances, I went to other hyper-real places, as usual, from the hypnagogic state. This occurred today even though I never saw the early geometric beginning signs of hypnagogia.
From apparent jhana, I fell through flashes of different places from real life. I was in one running an errand at the credit union and noticing the exquisite raindrops on the sidewalks and windows—extremely real! In another I was back in high school drama class, behind the racks of costumes, where Bill Lickson suddenly pulled me up and kissed me long. . . . All this time I was aware of being in my bed and didn’t feel I was asleep at all, but I guess I was asleep at least some of the time, because the 54-minute audio felt like 25 minutes at most, and I retained lost body sensation of my in-bed body. The thing is, I was aware of all this in real time, omissions and all. The audio was on a timer so that my regular music library wouldn’t start up afterward; when it abruptly ended, the abruptness of silence woke me up out of the state. So now the day. . . .
I think I’m not ready to combine hypnagogia with incubating a specific destination. I think focusing on a specific destination is introducing too much effort and performance pressure. I think I need to let the hypnagogia just rip, with the only goal being to stay with it in awareness. It could be, though, that my intent is weak because I really am undecided where to go and why. This is, now that I think about it, likely the problem.
Oh—I nearly forgot to mention this: The violet nimitta, which always seems to be in front of, or somehow connected with, my physical eyes, changed several times into this strange profile of a directed spotlight of white light. Unlike a nimitta, this light seemed to be on the very border between true eye-consciousness and “inward” dream consciousness. It ushered in the the flashes of drama class and credit union errand. It reminded me of the white peripheral light that woke me up from those three repeated nightmares about Kory being in his casket and my being his mother. The spotlight revolved, too. It seemed to fan out from some black hexagonal lighting unit, but I could barely see that housing.
April 9: Hypnagogia Lasting Hours and Punctuated by Vibrations
I fulfilled bardo practices for Kory, including the King of Aspiration Prayer, and then tantric merging with lucid sleep goddess Salgye du Dalma. I did not this time see the smoke, fireflies, and central “butter lamp flame.” I did, however, see everything in the visual field “roiling” like boiling water. The “bubbles” were large, so almost formation-grade warping.
I had set up the School of Dreaming audio in the hopes that it would play only the 18-minute “Astral Affirmation” track, but after that track played it went straight on to the “Hypnagogia” track and perhaps the beginning of “The Crystal Lake.” I was easily in what I’m about to describe for a full 2 hours. My awareness of the audio went in and out, which in itself is interesting, as this happened many times—my weaving close to the border between waking and sleeping. The narrator of the meditation says this will happen; it is an expected effect.
In bed I made an MP3 audiolog in the early morning hours to prevent losing more memory than I did. So here is what happened:
One detail I forgot to mention in this audio is that I did retry incubating myself into a Sanabel Island, Florida, scene again. This time I had partial success: I flashed in and out of that scene for just a few moments at a time. Even while this was happening, a part of my mind was metacognitively commenting on the experience. The comment to myself was that this inability to ground my mind instead of being swept away to some other scene was just like what Holecek writes about the after-death bardo: Mind is powerful but unstable and is blown about when without a body to ground it.
April 12: Questions of Control versus Drift across Boundaries
Last night I played the School of Dreaming “Hypnagogia” audio, which is 52 minutes long. There are a couple of places in this audio that seem to consistently jar me out of the state, one being in the middle of the meditation, where the narrator again defines “hypnagogia,” which distracted me up out of the state, even though I was so far from the sound to begin with.
I’m gaining insight, I think, just from investigating closely how the flashing visions take me over, and then how the audio returns to my consciousness. I’m trying to zoom in and notice what may be happening at the boundaries. I need to start earlier!
I tried for Sanabel Island, but that place was unstable. To make it more interesting, I added a tikki hut with silk floor pillows, Jim, Andrew, and John. That was more interesting. I think I need the scene to be peopled. Anyway, Sanabel was not strongly present. But, weirdly, I would have the merest half-thought about another place or person, and bam: I would be there. I thought of my mother and suddenly I was in her kitchen with by sister Jill. It was extremely concrete and real. Then. like a flash from there, I was on the Building C lawn at work, next to the silver pi sculpture.
Therefore, one interesting finding is that I have difficulty holding the state, especially when it starts turning from visions behind closed eyelids and into the beginnings of dreams. My mind slaps like a magnet onto whatever mere half-thought passes through and makes that into an entire scene: The dreamer falls into the dream, seduced. I’m unsure whether to continue to try to force a certain scene, modify toward a more interesting scene, or simply allow the hypnagogia to have its way with me. Dzogchen has made me too passive, I feel. I need to incorporate, however much with the usual warnings in mind, the masculine magician. John remarked in 2015 that my dream ego is gullible, led too easily along by others. Time to amp the fierceness!
April 12: Control from the “Other” Side of the Dream-Waking Split
I was exhausted last night from two nights of standing-room-only concerts in Chapel Hill and Durham. I chose the 18-minute “Astral Affirmations,” audio, knowing I would zonk out quickly. I again experienced seeing things in my bedroom through closed eyelids. I later saw white versions of networked tigles and, later still, hundreds of tiny crescent moons that were the color of goldenrod. I don’t remember going into a scene, and barely even tried because so tired, but I did in fact experience the fine vibrations said to precede astral projection.
The audio did vanish from my consciousness (or memory of consciousness?) for a long stretch; however, interestingly, the part of the audio that I wanted to hear again, when it started, pulled me back into my bedroom to hear it. Right after this happened, I had the distinct sense that my “other” awareness, from the dream side, actually pushed me back from that other side. In other words, that other awareness is monitoring everything on this side as much as, or more than, my waking consciousness is able to monitor the submerged (other) awareness. So how do I proceed to facilitate erosion of that illusory boundary between two “awarenesses”?
It was the part of the of the audio discussing the vibrations that I wanted to hear again and returned hearing-consciousness to.
April 15: Brief Experiences of the Decider-Manipulator in Hypnagogia
I downloaded a new School of Dreaming audio called “Mind Awake, Body Asleep,” which is a full 2 hours long. (As an aside, Susannah, who narrates these audios, mentions that the best time to practice with them is in the early morning, 2 hours before normal time to wake up. Doing so would mean I need to enter Stupid Sleep much earlier than I normally go to bed, which is logistically difficult. In general, I need to organize my lifetime better, which is a constant struggle because of my moderate hyperfocus ADD and general aversion to exerting effort all the fucking time since I have to be a project manager at work.)
This audio is a complete, extensive guided meditation to enter sleep with awareness fully intact. As usual, I was crisscrossing between following the narration and being absorbed in hypnagogia. The few remembered highlights are as follows:
- One of the times that I came back to hearing the narration from wherever I was, I knew with certainty what she was about to say, and it was to allow the third eye (pineal gland area) to expand. I knew the words in my awareness, and then she said them. So this was some kind of psychic forecasting, or per Daniel Ingram, a spell toward its happening just as it did.
- I saw visions. I was aware of them as illusory, but I was more in a dream state than in the first level of hypnagogia where one sees lights projected onto back of eyelids. I saw this cluster of spheres that is common in togal visions. The form is like that of a blackberry. I decided to lift my dream hand, reach out with dream thumb and index finger, and pluck it as if picking a blackberry from its stem. I did so and then revolved it between thumb and finger. I was actually reflecting on this experience while it was happening. One reflection was that, oh, the visions are not just sight-consciousness, but also feeling-consciousness. And the other reflection was that the visions are a dream but just as real as all sense experience in waking life.
- After another crossing from Susannah’s voice to hypnagogic vision, I wondered if Kerry were okay, and I was suddenly on the landing between Kerry’s bedroom and mine, concretely embodied. Kerry was standing there with his Bernie tee shirt and tighty whities on, his untrimmed hair an Einsteinian mess. The hallway was dark, but there was an uplight illuminating his face, as if he were holding a candle or flashlight, although I didn’t see or look for the latter, focusing on just his face. We didn’t say anything to each other. It was a silent meeting and recognition, an acknowledgment of union in this alternate dimension.
- The last crossing back from the audio to the dream/hypnagogic space was simply Daniel’s face. Specifically, I was face to face, very close to him, at the moment that the photo was being taken of his avatar image on the DhO. I was momentarily surprised that I was face to face with him this far back in time. He couldn’t see me. It was as if I were the camera lens that took his photo back before the DhU formed. He was extremely vivid, concrete, real, and close up. I decided not to engage him further. The dream instantly disappeared.
It seems to me that the thread that unites all these flashes is that of the Decider. I was writing or altering the dream as it was happening. Even so, there was simultaneously a sense of all “just happening,” so agencylessness. This is hard to explain. I was the Doer, yet there was no experience of force or even differentiation of self-will from the scene’s unfolding.
Yet I was definitely modifying the reality in accordance with my preferences and agendas.
Perhaps I should clarify something about No. 2. The hand that I used, my right hand, was an astral-embodied hand, so it was much closer to “real” than any lucid dream, and somatically tied to my sleeping body. It wasn’t an object hand typical of the objectified self of a dream. The point of the touching of the 3D visionary figure seemed to be to invite comparison with the integrated sensory reality of waking life.
April 16: Astraling My Way out of Creep-Infested Sleep Paralysis
I went to bed 2 hours earlier than usual because a hard rain brought on a migraine. Despite sleepiness and pain, I did the extended practice for Kory, including heartfelt recitation of the King of Aspiration Prayer. This was the 49th day of his bardo in traditional Tibetan terms, so my final practice for him. I played the lengthy “Mind Awake, Body Asleep” training audio. I don’t remember hearing much of the background audio until the very end, when only music and binaural beats are playing, This audio guides several meditations and implants posthypnotic suggestions, such as one that, when a little chime is heard periodically throughout the audio, the listener will think, “I’m dreaming; this is a dream.” Anyway, I was sleepy and fell out. I dreamed I was in my bed sleeping, only something about it wasn’t quite my room.
I am in my bed, on my back, sleeping. I cannot quite place what about the setting is not quite right, but I think maybe the bed is against the wrong wall, the opposite wall. I think, “I’m dreaming; this is a dream.” I think about getting up out of the bed, and I feel I have the choice to, but I’m so tired that I just lie there in the dark. Suddenly I feel like there is an ominous presence to the right of my bed, someone, some mysterious being, in the room with me. I remember that this feeling of an ominous presence can happen during sleep paralysis in the hypnagogic state, according to lucid dreaming and astral projection literature.
I remember not to be scared of sleep paralysis. I think I have the choice to wake all the way up, but I’m so tired and not sure I can move. So I decide to separate from my body and rise up against this ominous presence. I find that my meditation cushion is in bed as a bolster under my knees. I pick it up between my legs and crash it down on the bed three times. This is in defiance of the ominous presence. I’m showing it that I can control the scene and transcend paralysis. I float out of the bed and out on the the stair landing across from Kerry’s bedroom.
Suddenly, I’m standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up into the darkness. I’m feeling like banishing or fighting that presence, as I am worried about its getting to Kerry. I decide to walk up the stairs and turn on the light at the switch at the top. I run my right hand along the wall as I walk up. Surprisingly, I feel a series of light switches. I flip each one up as I pass, but none of them turns the lights on. When I reach the top of the stairs, still in the dark, I reach out my left hand and feel Kerry’s bare chest there. He collapses into my arms, and I feel that he is not breathing. I find that I can pick up and hold my 6 foot, 2 inch, son, so I carry him. I am surprised how calm I am, but it is because I know I’m dreaming, as real as Kerry’s slumped over body feels. I carry him into his small upstairs bathroom, John is there in the bathroom. He is reciting aloud the heart sutra. This recitation banishes the ominous presence. I hear John saying, “Even better, read the eighth sutra; it is about dying.”
Then I wake up. Like the last dream of my reaching out and feeling a 3D visionary figure, this dream proceeded by sense of feeling with my astral or dream hands. Now I’m drinking passion flower tea, about to take a spearmint-eucalyptus Epsom salt bath, and will try to return to sleep. I read that in the astral realm, the spatial relationships are often mixed up, with, for example, the door on the opposite wall from where it should be. The astral realm is susceptible to spatial mirror reversals.
April 22: Insomnia and Image Incorporation from the School of Dreaming
I couldn’t fall asleep until nearly sunrise, perhaps because I ran out of gabapentin. I left the School of Dreaming audios on, so they played back to back. After I slept, interestingly, I had dreams of being on Astral Island with dharma friends, a dragon that is featured in the audio; other imagery from other audios, such as “The Crystal Lake,” entered in. Noah was there on Astral Island, and I was demonstrating that I could psychically read anyone’s Progress of Insight stage-substage out as notation, but because of copyright restrictions, I couldn’t distribute the notation lookup tables in my head. The notations floated in the air, but apparently only I could see them. Of interest is that my spot for trying to assemble friends in a lucid dream has for weeks now been a beach, Sanabel Island.
There was another dream scene. I was transported to a movie theater. Monica from work was there in her pajamas. Everyone was sleeping or about to fall asleep, except me. I was watching the blank (void) cinema screen and waiting for the show to begin. Suddenly my boss popped up in the row in front of me, looking back at me. I instantly played dead, or asleep, so she wouldn’t talk to me or ask me to do some stupid batch work. I dreamed that I met Susannah, who narrates the meditation for the School of Dreaming, sidestage of the screen. There were a few moments of lucidity in this dream, but neither this dream nor the Astral Island one was super clear or detailed as memories.
Notably, every night now, well into one of the SOD audios, I’m experiencing intense vibrations of my entire body, which is what is said to happen before projecting out of body. Interestingly, I’m noticing that the vibration is strongest and always initiates in the area between small of back and hip, left side. I just Googled “OBE vibrations,” and, sure enough, they are said to occur most noticeably at the L1 lumbar location.
April 23: Impressive “Crystal Lake” Meditation
I took inositol, holy basil, and brain magnesium last night. One or a combo of these substances made me extremely chill, dreamlike, and high. However, I was very different all of yesterday in ways I find difficult to describe. I guess I’ll just say that visually everything was so vivid and high-def as to be obviously unreal. And somatically I felt, and still feel, not bodily located. I am barely here, but everything else is extremely vivid, like a very concrete dream. The body dislocation is beyond what I normally feel. I can feel a vague and broad “region” of space in which I’m, I guess, embodied, but there is no one body and no outline of the various shifting bodies, and the variety of bodies creates an overall effect of being a regional blob of somehow vaguely differentiated-from-the-field embodiment. This feels like an intensification of the shift I had in May 2017. Since I’m going on these supplements, I just want to note that this was all yesterday before I took the supplements, so it is not the supplements that are causing this.
I seem to be doing something other than lucid dreaming work. I’m not sure why, but I’ve drifted into focus on astral projection bodily. I followed the entire “Crystal Lake” meditation last night, without falling into Stupid Sleep for any of it for a change. This is one of the most intense meditations I’ve ever done anywhere at any time. It is profound. I came out of it in tears. It seems like instructions for rainbow body to me, as the end phase of the meditation is merging with the stars and all the celestial beings and turning into traveling light. I felt expanded bodily, like the lake and the sky. I felt like I was floating for most of the meditation. I do not think I was full-on projected like that time I looked in the mirror, but there were brief moments, I think, that were equivalent, and the whole thing was just as impressive, if not more, than any formless jhana I’ve experienced. During the part about the stars, I could actually see stars and galaxies through my closed eyelids.
April 26: Intense Pre-OBE Vibrations Every Night
I was in sleep debt again last night so couldn’t stay awake for the whole Crystal Lake. But as I crisscrossed in and out, I was interested in what brought me back to the audio. I was lucid whenever I went into sleep paralysis. I tried moving my hands and couldn’t and I thought “Oh, sleep paralysis.” I didn’t freak out that I couldn’t move. I knew what was happening and I remembered that Lucidology says that when one is scared in sleep paralysis to simply change the breathing pattern. Breathing will not be paralyzed. I wasn’t scared, though, so I just breathed deeply for the pleasure of it.
Every time I come back to hearing the audio, I was experiencing intense vibrating of my whole body. This is so strange. The sources I’ve started looking into on astral projection state that this vibration is some kind of friction between the physical state and the astral. They also state that this happens to all of us every night. The difference is that we usually don’t remember leaving our bodies and taking action in the astral or dream realm. Now that I’m observing the vibrations every night, they are intense.
When I lit a candle for my regular waking practice last night, I was seeing little. Then my candle just spontaneously went out. I lit it again, and it went out again, so I gave up and went to do the sleep practice. Then tonight I was lighting a different candle, and as soon as I got ready to focus on the flame, the candle snuffed itself out. I tried relighting it, but it wouldn’t relight. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was really eerie as experienced. It was as if someone were saying, “No!”
April 27: Out of Body to Hyper-Real Workplace Garden
All I remember from last night was this point at which my astral body suddenly rose from my on-my-back sleep-paralyzed body to perpendicular position and then instantly being in the English garden in front of the fitness center at my workplace. I was so happy to be standing there and gazing on the flowers, which were hyper-real. But then I was so surprised, when I remembered that I had just gone perpendicular to my sleeping body, that I was knocked back into my coarse body, in bed. I remember nothing further.
The rise out of my body happened after I simply relaxed into the intense vibrations.
April 28: Creeping Lucidity during a Nightmare
Running a sleep debt, not only did I fall right into stupid dreamless sleep during “The Crystal Lake,” but I woke up when the next audio, “Astral Island,” began and was shocked but sank again into Stupid Sleep anyway. I was shocked because it felt as though zero time had passed, just a blink of the eye, but here was playing the audio after the one I turned on. I must have cut out for the entire “Crystal Lake” meditation! I reset the audio to the “The Crystal Lake,” but I fell into deep dreamless sleep again. In the morning I woke up and decided to try the Lucidology body-exit techniques, but found it much harder without the SOD audio. I got the vibrations, and felt like I was beginning to rise out when my husband dropped something heavy in the attic above the bedroom and therefore destroyed the session. My whole body was aching all over intensely, so I just rolled over and went back to sleep.
I dreamed that I am seeing several healers, but no one can help me. My right knee will not heal, and Dr. Summers has told me that my leg will need to be amputated above that knee. He says not to worry because I can get a mechanical leg and that they have greatly improved over the past few years. I start to protest that I do not want only to be able to move, but also to be able to feel and a mechanical leg cannot feel. He replies that there is no other solution, that’s that, and that I need to work with my spiritual advisor to overcome my clinging to bodily feeling. This doesn’t sound very compassionate to me, but Kurt and my mother tell me I really need to comply and that if I were really awakened then I would have no problem letting go of my right leg. I fall into a kind of compliant stupor and also “realize” that my awakening was fake, that I’m still in samsara and my earlier “progress” was pure delusion. So I allow myself to be led along by others.
Kurt is driving me to the hospital and then we are checking into the hospital to have my right leg cut off. The hospital is dilapidated and creepy in the Bates Motel sort of way. I’m shown to my room, and it has a doorway leading to a mirror image room behind it, only the one behind it has no windows. A nurse asks me which room I want for mine and which room is for receiving visitors. I reasoned that I should take the darker back room and let the sunny one be for visitors. Once I settle into the back hospital room and the nurses begin prepping me for surgery, I’m overcome with terror at losing my leg. Kurt is there calling me the Suffering Buddha as he always does, and I start feeling shame on top of the terror because my realization is not there when I need it most. I look around the room. I begin noticing the dreamlike quality of what I’m seeing. I reflect that this hospital is not the nice WakeMed one in Caryland but resembles the madhouse in Chattahoochee, Florida. I become suspicious that everyone around me is counterfeit and nefarious participants in a conspiracy against me.
I start thinking very hard. I start praying, too, asking for John to appear before me and help me. John does not appear before me, but he appears in my memory. He is there in my mind and he reminds me not to be gullible. He tells me my dream ego is being led about by others and I need to cultivate fierceness to awaken fully. Then my little daydream-memory of John and his actual words from 2015 about my dream ego fade.
I tell the nurses to back off and give me a few minutes. They argue that the operating room runs on a schedule and that I need to comply. I tell them, “Tough luck!” I get up out of the bed where they are trying to put me to sleep. I find that I’m floating, and I float to the front room where the windows are and look out of the windows. It is sunny, but this is not Cary, North Carolina. It is Chattahoochee, Florida, the mental institution. I say, “This is not right.” Then I sit on the bed and and bend my right leg to inspect it closely. The knee is swollen and stiff, but it works. I inspect my foot and I remember having had a plantar’s wart, but again I find nothing justifying amputation. I decide this dream is bullshit and I tell everyone I’m not going along with their plan. I wake up.
Some real-world inputs to this dream were that my cousin Dawn messaged me last night that an effort to save her brother’s leg by inserting stints failed and now he faces amputation. Also, Kurt and I watched first episode of second season of Westworld last night. I yawned throughout the show and could barely stay awake for it. There was a scene in which some character grabbed one of the host’s legs and was poised to use it as a club against those closing in on him. I’ve been focused on all these daily exercises the physical therapist assigned me to rehab my knee.
I have been reflecting on the conversation with Jim today over this dream. I tend to think of dreams as esoteric messages, even though Geshe Wangyal says they are not messages but are just samsara. Rob Olds also said even lucid dreams are “just more samsara.” Nonetheless, my dreams seem like messages. At first Jim and I discussed how this dream might be telling me to let go of clinging to the body. But that notion actually was a message conveyed by the confederate hollow characters in the dream. They were preying upon my spirituality to unnecessarily wound me and render me immobile. By contrast, John was the spiritual help I summoned, and he did not instruct me to let go and stop guarding my body. On the contrary, he repeated the 2015 dreamwork advice he gave me to cultivate fierceness and power, and to refuse to be led around by others both in my dreams and in waking life. He said to stop being so gullible.
What does this message have to do with whether or not I become lucid in sleep? What possible adjustment in method does it imply? I fall into a kind of compliant stupor and also “realize” that my awakening was fake, that I’m still in samsara and my earlier “progress” was pure delusion. So I allow myself to be led along by others. My realization wasn’t “fake,” though; those who were discounting my realization were what was fake.
April 29: Semi-Lucid Crystal Formation of Stars and Galaxies
After some failed attempts at astral projections and lucid dreaming last night, I got out of bed. My body was aching, especially my right knee, which I’m trying to rehab per the physical therapist. I ate very little yesterday—just a salad—and was hungry. I went to the kitchen for some cheese and nuts—and Advil. I felt mildly blissful with calm clarity. I was wanting to do flame gazing instead of retry astral projection or lucid dreaming. I went back upstairs, sat in a chair, and lit the candle on my nightstand.
I would normally record this in my regular journal, but I think it is connected to a semi-lucid dream I had in the morning, when I woke and went back to bed with “The Crystal Lake” audio.
I have never seen visions remotely like what I saw. Nor have I seen these kinds of experiences described in texts. Normally, a roundish large “veil” of background light pops open to the side of the candle. This time no veil of light formed. Instead it was as though the luminous “material” that would normally make a flat veil instead started spinning itself into hundreds of “yarns” of light. The background was the pitch black darkness of the bedroom.
Rapidly, the spinning yarns of bright golden light before me started connecting to one another. The connections formed a hyper-dimensional crystal, something that looked like a golden diamond. At the points where separate yarns of light met, at the intersections, were what the Tibetans call thousand-petaled lotuses (what I normally call “starbursts”). These lotuses were rainbow-colored, as if one had gathered up a handful of twinkling multicolored Christmas lights. The whole crystal was multi-dimensional, but these lotuses at the points of the crystal were also multi-dimensional and spinning in a way that was not geometically logical with respect to the multi-dimensionality of the whole crystal. The whole crystaline mandala was about the size of a bread plate. Several times I stopped and rubbed my eyes, thinking my eyes were messed up, but each time I looked, there was this amazing huge crystal formation.
After about 30 or 40 minutes, the crystal vanished. I blew out the candle, crawled in bed, and listened to another SOD audio with no interesting results to report.
I slept in because, as you can undoubtedly deduce, I got little sleep with all the dharmic circus shows going on. When I woke I wanted to get up and start my day, but because of my commitment to sleep practice I decided to listen to “The Crystal Lake” while it was morning, as the SOD team suggests. My concentration was subpar because of body aches and my consequent urge to move. I decided not to sweat it but to just listen without ambition. I felt the vibrations arise at the point in the audio where they normally arise. I just released into them. Then the next part of the audio I heard was at the end, where the narrator brings me back to my bedroom. I figured out that I had “cut out” of listening at my favorite part of the audio. I was shocked because it felt like no time had passed and that I had not slept at all. It was like a part of the audio had just been sliced out.
Then I remembered the dream that took place during that “cutout.”
There are stars and galaxies throughout vast outer space. There is no dream ego, no me. But pervasive awareness knows. The stars begin connecting with all other stars by means of “whiskers” of light that fan out to the side of each star. A complex crystaline stellar geometry draws itself by means of these fine shafts of light. Creation is merged with awareness.
This was a dream. There was no narrative, and there was no me. The witness was the same as the drawer of the geometry of light, which was the same as the stars and light itself. This matches up remarkably with what the SOD guided meditation narrated in the part where I cut out and had this dream. It was not a lucid dream, because there was no remembrance of Jenny as an individual, and there was no notion of dream versus not-dream. It was like lying in the Clear Light: The only “story” was the endlessly self-drawing connections between stars and between whole galaxies.
The resemblance to the crystaline mandala I saw in waking visions is obvious. I don’t know what to make of any of this. As usual, time will tell if any of this has significance to current trajectory.
In just reading something that Andrew wrote about the heart energy, I remembered something I forgot to recount: Right when the crystal disappeared, there was a thunderously sonic-boom kind of explosion at the heart center and out limitlessly. I felt for a second as if I were falling into a cessation-fruition, but it wasn’t that. My head disappeared, and I was in some kind of formless realm; or, rather, I was the formless realm. This experience was so intense and new that at the tail end some exhilarating little fear arose that seemed to stop the experience. Put another way, I experienced something like an anvil dropping on my chest. It sent my awareness out like an endless sonic boom while my head vanished. It was not a cessation, because I never had disconnection from the singularity at the heart center region, but my head-mind distinctly vanished. It was like a decapitation—a cessation of ordinary mind with remainder that was correspondingly limitless.
April 30: Flashes of Spontaneous Astral Projection during Attempts to Nap
I listened to SOD affirmations and then “Mind Awake, Body Asleep.” As usual, I wove in and out of attending, or even registering, the voice and other sounds in my ear. I remember three distinct flashes:
- I was feeding myself something like capers with a spoon held in my astral hand. The astral hand suddenly lifted from my coarse body, while I was lying on my back, and started shoveling food into my—I guess—astral mouth, which was located at my physical mouth. When I noticed the difference and illogic of the astral hand action and my physical body, I was pulled all the way back to physical body, and the other evaporated. I reflected that this is the “remembering” the physical plane that seems to need to go away for me to sustain traveling; on the other hand, I’m not sure I’ll remember traveling when I wake up if I don’t keep some connection with the physical plane. By the way, I’ve had this ridiculous “feeding myself” thing happen many times in hypnagogia over the past year and a half. I can actually taste the food. I think I had capers on my salad yesterday. Ridiculousness!
- During another outing, I suddenly realized that I was in my astral body, in an upright lotus position, meditating and levitating over my in-bed body, which I was aware of as just beneath me in my bedroom. Again, at the moment of realization that I had gone astral and that my physical body was in bed beneath, the spell was broken and I was conscious in my in-bed body alone. This astral projection had low energy and lacked the clarity of that first one in which I checked out my astral body in the mirror.
- In a third outing, I was floating out of my bedroom and down the stairs after a figure wearing my black-and-white cotton robe. As I caught up to it, I made out that it was Kerry, and he was floating ahead of me like an angel. It was like we were playing chase. I wondered for a moment why he would be wearing my robe, and then I was back in bed. This outing had higher clarity than the levitating/meditating one that came before it.
My last observation is that an obstacle that is driving me crazy is hard body pain when I lie still in my bed. This has me so puzzled. I’m not in pain while awake and moving around, but when I’m lying in bed, the aching builds to a fierce crescendo that is nearly unbearable. It is as if every muscle and bone in my body is screaming, and only moving relieves it. In fact the main difference I noticed between being out of body and being in body was that, when I reentered my body, I was reentering a body made of pain. When out, I was light, ghostly, and pain-free.
This concludes April 2018.