Dreams and Astral Outings: Test Dreams, May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 5: More Weird Light and Seen on Waking

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

May 6: Dream about Enemies and Heart Purification

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

“True, and neither do you.”

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

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

“Why would I help you with your book?”

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

“I don’t have a lot of time.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 6: Naptime Nonlucid Dream of Conducting Lucidity Practice

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

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

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

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

I say, “Aren’t I doing it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 16: Flashes of Travel Including Car Crash Test Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 18: Postscript on Tarot Comments of May 14

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

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

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

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

May 22: Relentless Insomnia

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

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

May 24: Reaching for Dream Mobile Phone with Astral Arms

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

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

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

May 24: Follow-Up to Car Crash Test Dream

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

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

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

May 25: Meeting the Guides of the Rainbow Fabrication

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

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

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

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

Preamble

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

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

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

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

Dream Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 30: Lucid but Unable to Wake Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This concludes May 2018.

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

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

Platinum vision
Bringing you down again and again
Again and again

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

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

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

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

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.