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

Dream Shopping with Hypnapompic Psychic Event

This post is a somewhat cobbled together and edited few scraps from my private space with friends. It is beyond my energy and inclination to detail the complex web of nexuses and multilateral associations that have been my spiritual fare over the past 9 months. Purity is silence.

I will say just this: My main practice in Dzogchen progressed rapidly for the first year (June 4, 2016, to the end of May 2017). Then the outward signs of both its progress and egress were suspended. The inward psycho-emotional transformation has been nevertheless phenomenal.

I’m in what is known as dharmakaya release. This is the post-awakening gradual self-arising and self-liberation of all karmic traces from all lives, current and past. It becomes tricky, like the ultimate Myst puzzle, because the approach is closer and closer to my deepest, earliest traumas and therefore obscurations of the clear light, our true and deathless state. Much refinement of the trauma narrative happens as the release continues. But as my friend Barry says, those are, in the end, also just narratives. For all of us, they all reduce to fear of death. This post is at the nexus of dream yoga, the release of and from Patriarchy, and practices transforming for me the meaning of death.

Concerning tragic death, my son’s close friend died suddenly and unexpectedly in February. The death had a tremendous impact on me. I began having a nightmare that repeated itself three times over several nights, and I’m not prone to having nightmares. In it, I was looking down at him, as one would look down at a baby in his crib, gazing on him in his open casket.  I was realizing gradually that I was actually his mother and he was dead. The loss I felt was unbearable. Anguish, terror, and rejection shot through all of reality, like an earth shattering scream, like a jolt of black lightning. Then . . . gradually a blindingly bright white light shone into the scene out the corner of my left eye. The light then filled my bedroom, where I realized I was sleeping. The light woke me from the nightmare.

After the third repetition of this dream, and some key support and exchange with my teacher, I had a dream of Vasily, another young man, a longtime dharma friend from the Dharma Underground. He was driving me in my car, and we were laughing with hair blowing around in the wind from the open windows. This dream was affirming life.

The rest of this post documents a remarkable dream a couple of days ago, and an even more remarkable psychic event the morning after.

Directional Confusion in the Dharmakaya Release

Another month has passed. I feel that I have too many dharma practice irons in the fire and keep vacillating from one to another, doing none of them with full, enduring commitment. I could easily commit to one practice, or no practice, but I don’t know how to know which option to choose.

I went through months and months of lucid dreaming and even clear light in deep sleep many nights out of the week, but with the suspension of my main esoteric practice’s results, this too was suspended. Now I am experiencing dharma goal overwhelm, frankly, paired with not knowing how to move forward on any of objectives shifting in the shallows. I think that is why I’ve been so focused lately on finishing the posting out to Jhana Jenny the rest of my old journal: That is something that is a straightforward task, and I know how to do it. J  seems to think I should do nothing. The work is emotional, and it is doing itself. I have been gravitating toward doing deep devotional and compassion practices. I’ve been trying to lead Kory through whatever bardo he may be in.

I can see where and when my remaining obscurations are—boundaries between sleeping and waking. Not practicing something feels counter-intuitive, even if it is just a supplication practice, which really is what I’m practicing. But for many weeks, I did virtually stop practicing because I was getting sick and tired of “dharma,” feeling it to be an artificial device at this point that separates me from life and even from genuine humility and humanness.

J says that what I’m really tasked with doing now is letting go of “patriarchy,” his word. It may seem that I’m getting far afield here from dream and sleep practice, but it is all one topic. My hypnogogic states are awake and wild, generally for 90 minutes after I lie down. But as I slip into sleep proper, right at that perceived boundary, there is often a sharp flash of terror. Then in the morning, as soon as I open my eyes, there is a feeling of clinical depression, which I used to suffer from. It is stultifying enough not to know how to work with these boundaries, but it is even more puzzling to consider that nondoing of all practice may indeed actually be the practice available and effective.

And there is no teacher or guide to help me solve it, as teacherlessness is itself the patriarchy test. Even though I still have little surges of impatience, overall for the past year a substratum of just simple patience is setting in. I started studying death practices because I’m gradually accepting that I may die before finishing the path to buddhahood, so I’m treating that as a real possibility, because it is.

I was telling Barry that I had refined my narratives of what my chief obscurations were, and he said at one point something like “those are still just narratives” and “the obscuration for all of us is fear of death.”

I spent hours last night on the cushion with tears streaming after the practices for Kory. I felt deeply what it was to wish for someone else’s liberation and that extended to everyone. It is a deepening of the Bodhisattva motivation naturally. When spaciousness first opens, it is like water let out of a silo into a surrounding lake: there is a new equilibrium of inside/outside. That is this but on a different pathway, heart pathway, as J says.

Tantric Bardos Practices: Smoke and Sparks A-Flying

I’ll describe the sit fully in my regular journal, but several details are germane to the dream I just had. One is that I did a heartfelt practice to guide Kory through the bardo toward a good human rebirth. One is that at one point in the practice, when I was invoking Salgye du Dalma, the space became visually filled with “smoke,” then with darting tiny lights like fast fireflies, and then with a central flame-like flickering light. (This same sequence happened the night before during practice, but I dismissed it as a fluke.) I absorbed the goddess Salgye du Dalma down into my crown chakra and let her descend the chakras. The energy was shockingly intense in third eye, throat, and heart. It stayed in the heart, not descending further for whatever reason.

The other detail is that I wrote out a dream incubation. The spell was to evoke some teacher or teachers to appear within the next three nights’ dreams and point out to me, via signs, how I can bring and stabilize rigpa into sleep and what, in general, I should be doing with my practice now. And immediately came the dream.

Dream of Sleepers in the Holding Environment

I, and sometimes Kurt and I, are traveling to look for a place to retire. I’m keen on retiring so that I can devote my daily life to writing and to dharma. Kurt drives us up the same hill that was in my recent dream about Vasily–the same hill Vasily drove me up, seemingly in Chatham County. I enter a duplex, or townhouse apartment. There are two presumably widowed men living there as roommates. They each have a baby boy about a year old. One of the babies is conked out on the floor, sleeping, and I start to wonder why the baby isn’t in his crib. One of the fathers is holding the other boy, who is starting to fall asleep.

One of the fathers sits in a recliner katy-corner to the couch where I sit talking to the other father. I ask this other father if there is space to rent on the other side of the duplex, but he seemingly cannot focus on me, or doesn’t care about my presence there in the least. He, too, is beginning to fall asleep in sitting position with his sleeping boy held in his arms.

I rise and decide to look around by myself. I open a door past the couch and enter another room. It is filled with smoke and darting lights like fireflies. I remember that I’ve seen these while meditating, but I do not at this time reach lucidity. Then the room becomes the night sky, and the fireflies become white tigles and then stars and galaxies. Again, this reminds me of . . . something about meditating, but I’m busy shopping for retirement, so I back out of the room and close that door.

Suddenly, Kurt and I are in a suburb of Atlanta (where Kory lived and died). We’ve always thought about moving to Atlanta since it is more of real city than Raleigh. We meet a young, pretty dark-haired woman who is going to show us a condo. We begin walking through the lobby of the high-rise, and everyone I pass falls to the carpet and begins sleeping. I think this is strange, and it seems like the pattern is trying to tell me something, but I cannot quite make out what. We continue on, but then I wake up in my bed.

When I woke up in my bedroom, I did not open my eyes. Nor did I try to remember this dream, which floated up as memory only after I came downstairs for coffee. Instead, lying there with my eyes closed, I suddenly felt an intense imperative to guess what time was on my alarm clock across the room. In my mind, still with eyes closed, I saw the red alarm clock numbers: 1:11. I knew with absolutely certainty that it was 1:11. I sat up, opened my eyes, and saw that my alarm clock read 1:11.

Dream Evaluation: Wakeup Call (Literally)

This dream is as much about death as it is about sleep. I had been providing a loving holding environment for Kory in the bardo practice I was doing before I slept. In the dream, the fathers are doing a half-assed job of holding their boys because they themselves are prone to sleeping through daily life. I eventually traveled to Atlanta, where Kory died and where, it so happens, I was born. I have been thinking a lot about my wish to retire, the lifetime that is running out, and how my fear of death is the same barrier as my fear of sleep, which triggers my staying up too late and, after 90-minute lucid hypnagogia, experiencing a flash of terror as I fall into sleep proper. That everyone was dropping to the ground and into sleep in the midst of life was a dream sign that was like death and was trying to wake me up in the dream. The room that turned into visions and then outer space was the dharmakaya of all bardos.

With regard to my dream incubation, the teaching is just a confirmation that I’m making the connections between childhood, death, bardo, and dream lucidity that I should be making. The people’s dropping in their tracks and sleeping was a pointing out. It may have been a dream sign to wake up in the dream, which I failed to do completely. It could be a warning that death comes suddenly in the midst of life. Or it could be a commentary that almost everyone I encounter is asleep instead of awakened, and I need to be awake all the time, even when my body is sleeping.

I just went to Father Google to search for any meaning of 1:11. Here is the first thing that popped:

1:11 or 11:11 is certainly a magical sign. In fact, The Magician card is number 1 in the major arcana of the tarot. When you see repeating 1s it’s like a wakeup call from the mystical realm. Look around and really pay attention to where you are. This is a cosmic confirmation that you’re moving in the right direction. There’s further to go as 1 is the first step, but you can be assured that you are on your path—and things will evolve so you won’t stop here.

Eleven is a master number in numerology, and connotes a spiritual path. It is a confirmation that you are a lightworker, here to uplift human consciousness and restore a sense of oneness and harmony to the world. You’re getting the thumbs up to just be yourself and let your light and magic shine.

I’m taking all this as the sign I incubated. The message is that, although I having been feeling “stuck” in my main practice and releasing my chief obscurations, I’m in fact on the right track. I need simply to relax, trust that the path itself is leading me correctly, and continue the current trajectory.

Postmortem with Andrew

Andrew

That’s a hell of a dream and psychic event.

Jenny

Yeah. I agree. The smoke and firefly lights wigged me out a bit because I remembered that those are signs of inner dissolution when someone is in the Painful Bardo of Dying.

Andrew

Is that covered in Holecek’s book?

Jenny

Yes! This has happened twice as I was invoking Salgye du Dalma, the Bonpo goddess of lucid sleep. Before I crawled into bed after practice, I started Googling like crazy on my phone to see if this meant I was gonna die soon.

Andrew

Yeah . . . good question.

Jenny

Then I paused to reflect that, even if that were the case, I had to be okay with that.

Andrew

Right.

Jenny

Anyway, then I finished Googling. It turns out that this inner dissolution is common in tantric practices. It signifies the dissolution of the Jenny identity to emptiness before becoming the deity.

Andrew

Oh, now that’s interesting.

Jenny

Isn’t, though? I had no idea! So it seems to me that the momentum of everything that has happened the past two practice-dream cycles is toward my continuing tantric sleep and death bardo practices while my other practice is held in suspense until something via this “sidetrack” is resolved. I asked for direction and incubated that request. This dream and 1:11 sign is the message that I’m receiving.

Andrew

So, given that, how are you going to proceed practice-wise?

Jenny

First, I’m definitely going to keep the holding environment for Kory going, as this is for him chiefly but is also helping me with my motherly fear of something horrible happening to Kerry. It is showing me that I can hold this being even though he has passed out of this life. So, as I’m actually experiencing the death of myself to enter the bardo to find him, I’m feeling and coming to certainty that there is continuity beyond this life. This practice will resolve something that needs to be resolved to stabilize lucidity in sleep and move forward in my Dzogchen practice..

Andrew 

Presumably for the duration of his bardo period? Which is 49 days?

Jenny

Yes. He was taken off life support February 25. This is an opportunity for me to sit as the mother of all beings by entering into the death space and bringing love, reassurance, clarity, and guidance. I can feel that this is happening, as I volunteer 100% of my being to this end.

Andrew

Is this a practice that came from Holecek’s book or something just inspired by it?

Jenny

I have talked to friends of mine who suddenly died in much the same way as I’m talking with Kory, and in much the same way as I’m sending love to my friend Teresa’s hour of death in the future, because she has terminal cancer. I read the Tibetan Book of the Dead in the distant past and saw a movie about the 49 days of saying the script aloud to the person. But the Holecek book is comprehensive on all the available practices for the dead, from very simple to elaborate and so complex that only a monastic can do them. So I’m using a combination of practices from Holecek.

Here is what I’m doing:

  1. Thinking lovingly of him while reciting mantra om mani padme hum.
  2. Talking aloud to him to remind him that he has died and not to look back; to be calm and relaxed, to recognize that everything that he is encountering is just the expression of this own mind as in a dream; to slow down and not be distracted but tether his focus to my voice and words; to stay away from any dull alluring colored lights; to move toward the very bright lights even though they may seem too bright, to stay away from the yellow, red, and green lights and instead move toward the bright white or blue light; to choose human parents; to choose a continent with tall buildings and other signs of wealth; to know that if he fully recognizes all he is experiencing now as his own mind then he will be instantly liberated from all suffering.
  3. Practicing tonglen compassion practice wherein I breathe in Kory’s fear and confusion, and breathe out a line of white light I use to connect his disembodied mind to me and my guidance.
  4. Dedicate my practice to the liberation from suffering of all beings and currently especially Kory.

On Sunday evening I add another practice: heartfelt recitation of the King of Aspiration Prayer. This was recommended in Holecek for every week on the day of the week that the person died. Try reciting that aloud sometime and see if you don’t shed tears.

Holecek mentions that the dead person’s mind is 9 times stronger than in embodied life. He is clairvoyant and clairaudiant. They are psychic and can read your mind and heart, as well has hear your voice. The problem is that, for people who have never meditated, it is usually confusing and frightening to suddenly be in a formless state.

Out of confusion and fear, bardo beings get carried away by the visions and sounds in the state, and they basically make the state into a nightmare situation. So they may out of terror jump at the first parents that appear, which are likely not human. Or they may go into a dream cave or dream flower bud to hide from the terrifying visions. The texts say that beings can in this way become stuck in the bardo for eons, until some master volunteers and guides them out.

Andrew

Thats really interesting. I’ve bought the book. Probably going to start reading it later today. Terrifying as well. Really motivates…

Jenny

The other thing is that, although the being’s mind is powerful, it is unstable without a body. He keeps losing focus, which is why you have to talk to him over and over again and remind him how to keep calm and move steadily forward.

Yes, terrifying. but people who have in their lives meditated plenty know what it feels like to be formless. So meditators usually fare much better. Such is the dogma, anyway. Someone who has practiced Togal is said to avoid the bardo altogether and go, at the very least, to Amitabbha’s pure abode, where they will finish the path.

Andrew

Well, we surely had some previous practice to end up where we are now.

Jenny

It is pretty fascinating. It is also fascinating that most everyone around me has absolutely no idea about any of this or his or her own situation. So it is easy from that perspective to see that this life is itself a dream state.

Andrew

Yeah, the sense of others being asleep is interesting.

Jenny

That’s what was happening in my dream last night—everyone dropping into sleep, ignorance.

Anyway, I’m not going to focus on my Dzogchen practice so much right now. I feel that the path itself is showing me that dropping back to these tantric approaches will help me resolve some main obscuration in the bardos so that later my main practice can once again advance. Tantra is, from a Dzogchen view, dropping down into remediation. Where the chief obscuration is, remediation seems like overall optimization.

Andrew

That makes sense.

Jenny

Normally, I might doubt my intuition, but not when the signs are so clearly given upon dream incubation, with a psychic showstopper on waking up afterward. All this is reassuring and motivating. J’s latest interactions with me were all about Diamond Guidance awakening and replacing the teacher (patriarchy). He was saying that, where I am, the path itself will reveal itself to me. All I have to do is not argue. The “work” now is emotional, and doing it while not “doing” it is the supreme paradox.

Andrew

That makes sense. There’s the perspective that all of this is ornamentation and its doing itself anyways. So you may as well let it play itself out.

Jenny

Yeah. My being “stuck” is always a delusion. There is no “stuck” apart from taking it to be the case.

Dark red
Light years
Brought near
Cold gun
Glowing
Night scene
Started remain
Brought fear

Cold wind
Light years
Brought near
Dark gun
Glowing
Night scene

The world’s colliding
A new dividing
The color’s missing
Upon the dark spring

Super/Natural: A Choice between Magick and Enlightenment

The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse, 1913

The following conversation is a somewhat edited excerpt from my current (private) practice journal. –Jenny

Jenny

I’m not even documenting my practice in Heartlighted anymore.

DreamWalker

Well if nothing is happening. . . . “This page left blank intentionally.”

Jenny

I feel that something interior has to work itself out and take me to a new level of nongrasping, naturalness. Something is “happening,” but not what you would think. It is a release of the spectacular, the special, the magickal. It is a letting go of magick and pointed intention as any part of the goal, which is enlightenment.

DreamWalker

What’s the boundary that keeps the special and normal from merging?

Jenny

See, that is a mechanical question. At this level of practice, I’m done with analysis of mechanisms. In other words, here is the mechanism, haha: The boundary is that between will and naturalness.

DreamWalker

Okie-dokie. . . .

Jenny

My practices, including visions and dreams that are sought, feel highly artificial now.

DreamWalker

Let the effortlessly natural mix with the naturally effortless. . . . 

Jenny

Just let be.

For I’m sitting in the stupid bathtub, surrounded by lit candles, and wondering what is supposed to happen next and why whatever that is isn’t actually happening . . . analyzing. 

DreamWalker

LOL!

Jenny

Desire is being burned out of me.

DreamWalker

Hmm . . . okay.

Jenny

Desire for the next stage

Desire for a teacher to cling to

Desire for magickal powers

Desire not to desire all of the above, because all that is not “enlightenment,” which is what I chiefly and rightly desire . . .

DreamWalker

That don’t sound like too much fun.

Jenny

Desire for “fun”. . . .  That desire for the supernatural wow factor is the boundary. Desire for beautiful novel visions and spectacular lucid dreams is the boundary. Desire is the self-alienated state of nonpresence.

DreamWalker

Ah, I see. . . . 

Jenny

So how the fuck is the thing supposed to sync with itself if I’m desiring (a thus future) synchronization? And so begins and circulates ever to its own beginning this practice level’s Analysis Trap.

Now, truly, this desire has, most of the time, been exceedingly subtle. But I now have to acknowledge that it has been operative since the inception of my main current practice. And when the insight-stage cycling reemerged around Thanksgiving Day, it was because I proceeded from that subtlety to plunging down the rabbit hole of experimenting with magical transmissions, astral traveling, and similar feats of identity solidification. If I were already fully enlightened, those actions wouldn’t introduce errors, but I’m not, so they do.

DreamWalker

Desire is at the attention level rather than the awareness level of mind, right?

Jenny

I don’t know that desire is attention to the exclusion of awareness. Awareness and attention are not opposed but stably interpenetrating for me in everyday life. You are taking some split that is more fundamental and dragging it back under a duality subframework that has already been resolved for me by an earlier level of practice.

At my current practice level, your question is too much mechanization of my experience for me to work out. Desire is simply desire. It is the fundamental state of all imperfection and alienation, which I believe is what Gautama Buddha taught. If I am desiring a preliminary result of completion practice, then I’m living in the future, which I cannot. This split is what keeps time segmented, linear. In other words, I have not brought the Fourth Time (timeless time) online. This is the point: I believe that the final boundary is Time.

DreamWalker

What is grasping?

Jenny

Desire on steroids.

DreamWalker

Desire is grasping? Nah. . . . Grasping is patterns.

Jenny

Desire-feeling that amounts to personal neediness, narcissism, is grasping.

DreamWalker

Programmed patterns of desire and grasping are directing attention.

Jenny

Yes, fair enough. But even in my attention to particulars, there is awareness in its usual breadth and clarity. Maybe it is just not complete, which accords with doctrine since rigpa cannot be at full measure until third vision has reached culmination.

The funny thing, given this understanding of the need for rigpa to come to full measure, is that I currently intuit that I need to pull back on the rigpa pole and reemphasize the Essence, the Mother, Emptiness pole. And I’m sensing on the periphery of my mind that this return to emptiness practice will be through body-based modalities.

DreamWalker

Perhaps you are needing more karmic release.

Jenny

Well, that release happens on its own in the causal dimension. So nothing to do with anything I do at this point here. You are searching for a comfortingly mechanistically distancing label, such as “patterns,’ for what is experienced nonmechanistically and naturally as a feeling of lacking. But, yes, if you like, grasping is desire that is patterned into identity and its sustaining identification processes.

My higher-level counterpoint is that analyzing things mechanistically is one of the key forms of grasping that has to go at this level, for me, for you, for everyone. Maybe not at your current level, but at this level. We are both saying that I have to work with the narcissistic wound, the feeling of lacking, the feeling of being incomplete.

DreamWalker

Sounds good to me. How do you do that?

Jenny

Not sure.

DreamWalker

Exemplar tantra?

Jenny

Probably some bodily reengagement with Trekchö, but this is a question for the teacher. And, at least for motivating theoretical context, probably understanding deeply what Almaas is pointing out. Trekchö feels natural; all other, including my main “special” practice, is now feeling fake. Think about it: I’m sitting and cultivating the conditions for some extraordinary states, getting high on the jhanas that unfold as a result, but all this feels strangely wrong.

It is like when you are making love and suddenly see yourself and your partner as two mindless bog frogs humping mere flesh-form mechanistically and you feel your naturalness as a higher-level human being peel off and evaporate. There is a split there, a loss of authenticity when humping is divorced from agape.

DreamWalker

Hmm. . . .  Wonder if J’s Gonna recommend a trip to R for you.

Jenny

Doubt that. J doesn’t have time to answer me until late March, anyway.

DreamWalker

Does that nonresponse make you feel abandoned?

Jenny

I’m not exactly emotionally spinning about it, because I trust J’s good heart, implicitly and always. I know his plate is full to overflowing. However, the motivation-analyzing thought-habit does sometimes arise, “Hmm, is he cutting me off on this plane? Why?” So sometimes I wonder if it is intentional even if I don’t question the basic total goodness of the motives behind any such intention of his.

No, I don’t feel abandoned by J, just sometimes a fleeting twinge of impatience at having to wait, which is good fodder for practice. Nothing like the depth and extent I felt with Daniel, which was Kalpa-Extensive Abandonment as High Betrayal. A twinge is just enough to wonder, have that thought-form arise, and see it evaporate.

I experience the same sort of twinge with my family, but it is more difficult with them because they are not sane, whereas J is the exemplar of sanity. I’m looking at them and their defensiveness as the setting that is expected from all family members when we meet, a collective, mutually reinforcing neuroticism. Then I feel myself start to be entrained by their energy and crazymaking. So I stop. I go silent. I disengage. I watch them continue to be obnoxious, but I ground my own energy as though slamming a stake through the center of the Earth. I’m there, and my twinge of defensiveness melts into feeling sad for them. This is genuine sadness, a love-compassion that, right now, I cannot respond to with speech or action in a way that will help them. I cannot fix this burning world, despite my longing to, my desire. 

I tried to explain all this to Kurt. And all he said was reductive: “All that is because you feel holier than thou.” So I had to stop right there, stop with him, too. Shut my mouth. Same thing: not defend territory but generate the entirety of space in silence. And if a gulf gapes open between us meantime, then that gulf is a matter of Time, linear time, mean time indeed.

All I have to do, haha, is overcome Time.

DreamWalker

Right. . . .

Jenny

Not to be understood even by my husband: This central lack in me is not being understood, not being known even by my closest loved ones.

DreamWalker

It’s lonely.

Jenny

This is the wound that alienates us from ourselves across a gulf of defense mechanisms. And it is the boundary that is keeping me from enlightenment.

DreamWalker

I’ve got that wound . . . not being seen.

Jenny

Right. It is common as rain. But I’m figuring it out. This being unable to share even the most precious thing I’ve found: the path to liberation. It hurts.

DreamWalker

Well, spontaneous perfection in action sounds pretty good.

Jenny

If I knew what that was like. But I understand now what I didn’t even a month ago: that my chronic retreat to solitude is about this. I find it very hard to be around people since the Mahamudra awakening. It is easier at work because at work everything is superficial, transactional, polite. But with my family it is difficult. With my friends, close ones who aren’t spiritual, it is hard. With dharma folk who I see as spinning and not getting through gates that ought to be easier to cross . . . hard. It is like being on this other side and the deep gulf that divides is horrifying. Because I cannot help them. And they think they don’t even want or need help. So where is the boundary between holier than thou and effective compassion? Hard.

Bunch of psychological stuff coming up as though now is second path at a deeper level. What is prominent is mental echo, past tense itself as personal patterning. That boundary is a gap in time, and it has to close. That is why J keeps telling me to hold these people in my heart outside of time. To see them as the buddhas they will be but now.

DreamWalker

Ahh. . . .

Jenny

But I’ve not quite figured out how. Maybe J can specify the practice. I’m not good at it yet.

About your telling me that maybe N should skip Mahamudra and go directly into Dzogchen, tell me who you know that got awake awareness by starting with Dzogchen.

DreamWalker

Who?

Jenny

One person.

DreamWalker

Who is that?

Jenny

I’m asking you.

DreamWalker

Tibetans?

Jenny

Unverifiable.

DreamWalker

Totally.

Jenny

Dzogchen begins after MCTB 4th path. So how does one use a method whose prerequisite is 4th path to get 4th path? How does one actually practice Trekcho? Out of the blue? With no ground realization? What is the instruction for that?

DreamWalker

No idea how it is done.

Jenny

Okay, LOL! So why did you say that Dzogchen and skipping Mahamudra might be better for N?

Oh my. This bird thing is a bit off from exemplar tantra. I cannot tell from N’s writing where he is “seeing” all this. Is it during a sit? Is it out in front of him with eyes open? Is it behind closed eyes in his imagination? Is he really flying through the actual sky, circling in for a landing at Amazon?

He seems to be caught up in an entire story, narrative that is not part of the meditation instructions.

You aren’t feeding him shamanism stuff are you?

DreamWalker

Who me? Nooooooop.

Jenny

Gooooood.

DreamWalker

LOL! No more than I feed you.

Jenny

Because we are not practicing shamanism. We are practicing tantra.

Don’t confuse your spewing with my swallowing.

DreamWalker

Tom Campbell’s My Big TOE!

Jenny

That book isn’t going after what I’m after.

DreamWalker

Well . . . kind of. Speculation. But simulation as holographic universes, and the bounding egg cracking. . . . 

Jenny

Does Campbell have nondual enlightenment? If he did, he would write about that.

DreamWalker

Yes. He is nonduality. 

Jenny

But told from the objective side of things because he is a scientist. Campbell is a buddha? Monroe isn’t.

DreamWalker

But his model is for basics of understanding the theory of everything.

Jenny

That stuff doesn’t matter until after buddhahood. It is a distraction.

DreamWalker

Monroe wasn’t in life.

Jenny

Lots of people can be open in weird ways without being enlightened.

DreamWalker

Right. Apparently, Monroe continued after death.

Jenny

Unverifiable? LOL!

DreamWalker

Unless you visit him.

Jenny

SIGH. LOL!

My current theory is that focus on magick subtends duality. Hence, magick’s being a hindrance, a major one. Western magick users will try to tell you that what they are doing leads to the same end, enlightenment. Not true. Because it objectifies at the level of mode: The self via intent versus the world as the manipulated.

So best to lay off all that, which is essentially what I wrote on that post Daniel deleted because, deep down, Daniel knows it is true and feels threatened by his own approach to that truth. Because magick is for control, just like the Overlord’s Delete button is, a major detour back up own ass. It is a tool of the deluded identity structures, a toolbox filled with defense mechanisms. 

It is best to put away your tool and wait for marriage.

In N’s case, he has publicly claimed a mental illness. So another reason not to pump magick into him. Tantra can be dangerous, after all, and requires prior stabilization to avoid danger.

The reason I logged on is because there is something in the back of my mind, something about the four visions mapping to the four vipassana jhanas and therefore to the four paths. So Dzogchen really is the fifth path, the echo that is the formless realms. 

I’m thinking more and more about this. Because fourth vision ends in what? Cessation and fruition.

And there is something creepy about third vision, with the wrathfuls and intensity. Fourth vision is Equanimity. It is like shedding the jhana factors as one moves to j4 and the formless realms.

DreamWalker

Magick at the level of attention traps you. Thus cycling.

Jenny

Even if you have awake awareness, maybe especially then, magick is a trap. The only place where it is not a trap is buddhahood. This thing about needing naturalness to permeate all “attainments” is predominant. So it goes around again: I’m back to looking at Sid’s Suffering 101.

Post Daniel Ingram Deleted from the Dharma Overground 

Someone today pointed me to a thread on the DhO, where I don’t ordinarily go, and there was Daniel going on about how Progress of Insight cycling continues after MCTB 4th Path. I had a DhO sockpuppet that I never used, but I thought someone, chiefly Daniel, might benefit from what I had to say about cycling, its stopping, and its restarting. So I posted. He is supposedly on retreat, but he swiftly deleted it. I had copied my work, thank goodness, and tried reposting it. Again, he swiftly deleted the post and banned the poor declawed Bodhi Cat. Meowwwww! Not to let a good post go to waste, I’ll paste it here, where the “Overlord” holds no scepter. Good information ought to be welcome on the DhO, but then that wouldn’t be characteristic of that space. I wish I were kidding. Below is my reply to Daniel’s comments in the “5th Path” post on the DhO, a reply addressing his claim that insight stages continue to cycle after MCTB 4th path is attained, “at least for me,” he writes. After he deleted and banned Bodhi (which means enlightenment), there ensued some private texts and emails with him. I remained calm, but his envy and ill-will were apparent. His current retreat is not doing much opening or lifting, it seems. Maybe that is because he is spending it closely monitoring the DhO. I truly hope he finds his way to someplace higher. Comrad Bodhi concurs, or would had he lived.

R.I.P. Bodhi Cat

* * *

[Reply to Daniel on the DhO Post “5th Path]

I attained MCTB 4th Path. There is certainty about this attainment, unmediated direct certainty. For whatever it may be worth in terms of credibility in this conversation, I underwent months of my teacher’s probing for any sign of the contrary, and this attainment was confirmed by the teacher, as well. I was doing awareness practices on retreat when the center dissolved permanently almost 2 years ago.

Since then, I’ve experienced a deepening and deepening and deepening that is not a series of distinctive “shifts,” but instead is what feels like a continuous slow seeping into every nook and cranny of the self (which does exist but as pure presence without identity content and without the identification process that makes people normally experience even their own subjectivity as an object, a representation). I cannot say what the nooks and crannies actually are, or were, but the feeling is of a continuous sonic booming to greater oceanic depths of that original awakening.

I cycled hard before 4th path, with intense A&P stages and some devastating, ruinous Dark Nights. But the day the center dissolved, that cycling stopped. To be completely honest, I did occasionally notice mild A&P emergence. Whenever that happened, I would actually try to track whether the Dark Night stages followed. But I could never tell that they did, even when I looked for them. And the A&P stages were much milder than they were before 4th, and rare. I stopped identifying with insight stages. They ceased to be interesting in any way. As patterned experience, they paled in the blazing light of rigpa (clarity) and the one taste of emptiness.

Incidentally, I have a friend in this community who I’m convinced reached 4th path, and this is the only other person I know whose descriptions seem absolutely credible to me. He also stopped cycling at 4th path.

Oddly enough, recently, the cycles seemed to restart for me, after a year and a half of not being able to discern any cycles (other than rare and mild A&P). What was I doing or experiencing that made them restart? I’m still trying to sort this out, which may require time to give perspective, but I had at the time gotten into some pretty weird spaces with esoteric practices. I became extremely antisocial and locked myself in a bedroom for many hours every night, talking to nonphysical beings and practicing. I also was at a point at which I was rebelling against Buddhism, against the very lineage that got me so far. Part of this is the natural shedding of the Path as some new Fruition nears, but I don’t think that’s all of it.

This topic is too complex and personal to go far into here, but the rebellion was apparently in part a resurgence of narcissistic stuff from early childhood (and late childhood, too, most likely). According to some mapped psychological correlates of awakening, essential (not necessarily neurotic or pathologica) narcissicism (neurotic in me, though) intensifies before major new levels of awakening. It might manifest, for example as idealizing transference with one’s teacher, along with mirror transference (intensified need to be seen as special and to be appreciated as uniquely talented by the teacher).

It was like 2nd path turmoil, but at a much deeper fundamental level of bare existence and without spinning me out into reactivity. Speaking of reactivity, even though reactivity is rare and mild when I’m pulled out of rigpa by something intimately connected with said childhood stuff, this is the domain (childhood trauma) that remains an identity barrier or obscuration. This is fine, because I have a highly qualified teacher, and the practices are doing themselves at this point in a way that is clearly progressing and deepening the former awakenings toward ultimate fruition, by which I do not mean MCTB 4th. path.

I no longer think of things in terms of four paths, and I certainly no longer believe revised 4th path is “done.” I don’t identify myself as “arahat.” What is missing, or deficient, in my view and experience, when cycling persists or resumes is rigpa, and, specifically, the emptiness-of-time realization. There is a deeper surrender necessary after 4th path, one that requires giving up magick, for starters.

There is a deeper magick than that of the tantrikas. It is the magick that unfolds when you do not do magick. It is the magick of simply being present as pure being, a vessel through which cosmological-scale magick happens. It is best to lay off deliberate magick and wait for this scale of knowledge to unfold naturally, in my view and experience, and according to my teacher. Practicing magick from the still knotted holdouts of identity post-4th-path is one surefire way to derail the path to Buddhahood, I’m told, and my preliminary assessments are that my cycling reemerged largely because I began casting spells after a long hiatus. The spells were nothing dark by any means, but I was “sure” about the ends and was rebelling against lineage cautions about the “means.” I became increasingly pulled out and ungrounded, and the cycles reemerged temporarily. Magick is a side track, a derailing, golden chains. And when sufficient depths of surrender have been reached, magick will naturally lose all allure, all glamour. This is a sign of progress.

I don’t have time right now for rigpa wars or omniscience debates, for treading that conceptualized territory that consumes, unfruitfully, so many forums. Such theoretical debates are of little use and can actually cause confusion for those who are not ready for, say, the completion practices in Tibetan Buddhism. I can certainly have those discussions at a separate time, but not today and probably not publicly.

So what can help the cycling to stop? Practices beyond Mahamudra, and certainly far beyond ordinary vipassana. For example, your mind may indeed be liberated, and there is no more “doing” at the level of identification and perception (those processes have unknotted), but the attainment of 4th has to be allowed to unknot the rest, including the subtle body, including psychodynamic (second-person relationship patterns set in early childhood). This requires certain specific allowing/surrender practices beyond Mahamudra if one is aiming for Buddhahood in this lifetime. Buddhahood, not just 4th path “arahatship,” is absolutely possible in this lifetime. And buddhahood means to be nondefective on all “axes,” as no “axes” of the person are actually separate from pure nonrepresentational Being, and that means on the level of personality disturbances, neuroticism, and even the defects of “normal” psychological health.

What I’m saying cannot be proven. No debate will show the truth of it where communion has failed. It isn’t subject to third-party verification processes, as you know. But, for whatever it is worth, I promise you that it is so, that there is more territory beyond MCTB 4th, that miraculous deepenings are so very possible, that complete healing and “magick” beyond your imagination are in the offing.

Tantra can help with subtle body and psychodynamic duality at specific trouble spots for the practitioner, but Dzogchen is the only tradition that has the means to buddhahood without the need to go through the dying process to reach it. It requires very deep surrender, total naturalness, beyond what sustains the Two Truths as two truths. There are not true truths; there is only wholeness for those who realize it.

There are many ways to maintain and deepen surrender to the Unbounded Whole, adjuncts to Dzogchen. For example, when my recent reemergence of cycling started causing me to drink vodka martinis and eat beef after esoteric practices, I knew I had a problem, that I was trying to ground magick energies that had got too pointed and hot. My teacher prescribed, along with a certain prayer/invocation, yin yoga, which quickly calmed everything down again by rebalancing energies and emphasizing surrender at the bodily and energetic (meridian) levels (fascia, and even bone structure is altered). I assume each asana, which is intense, for 3 to 5 minutes and continually release into gravity (these are passive stretches, yin). I meditate in the poses, folded over in full surrender even to the pain.

One is not fully enlightened until subtle remaining exteriority of vision is corrected via Togal visions. Rigpa (luminous awareness) doesn’t reach full measure until third vision is completed. Fourth vision apparently ends with a massive cessation-singularity and “return” to life. Everything stops and restarts, just as in an MCTB “fruition,” which is extremely interesting in the context of this discussion about insight stages. The visions are not “magick” that you “do”; however, they open up a nonphysical dimension co-occurring with physical matter reality eventually, the height of rigpa, the completeness of Unbounded Wholeness. No other tradition has this, not even essence Mahamudra. Alternatively, one can “finish” the path to buddhahood when the visions arise in the bardo after death.

MCTB 4th path can be a trap, velvet handcuffs. It feels so, so “done.” And it is done, as far as what can be done via vipassana (ordinary special insight) and Mahamudra (extraordinary special insight) goes. Dzogchen maps call for stabilization and deepening of what you so far think cannot be deepened, namely MCTB 4th. In Dzogchen, this first level of deepening is Trekchod (“cutting through all solidity and reactivity”). Then there is is the Path of Togal. Until you have gone through all four visions, had that fruition, and are lucidly aware throughout both dreams and dreamless sleep, you cannot say that you have taken awakening as far as it can go in this lifetime. It can indeed deepen—and how. Emptiness does indeed become “more empty,” but you cannot know what you do not know experientially for yourself. 

Another sign that deepening is occurring via these other maps is that moral codes are shed, hyper-classification notions like “separate axes of development” are dissolved. This is because ultimate compassion-love is arising spontaneously, and all codified behavior is abandoned as the exteriorized identity crutch that it is. Of course, one has to be cautious, have discriminating wisdom, for apparently I shed too much too fast recently, and the resumption of POI cycling was the sign, which I was greatful for having so that I could remediate and regroup.

A book that I’m currently reading that maps awakening from a western depth psychology and object relations theory perspective is A. H. Almaas’s The Point of Existence: Transformations of Narcissism in Self-Realization. I cannot put this book down, and I highly recommend it, if for no other reason than his phenomenological descriptions of what seems equivalent to MCTB 4th, but in much different language than yours, and from a linguistic perspective of the former Subject rather than the Field of sensations. A very, very nuanced treatment.

My qualifications are that this book misunderstands Dzogchen as method. This is a old book, and Almaas states that he thinks westerners will be alienated by Eastern methods. His own methods seem to be inquiry with students that goes to far more subtle depths than psychotherapy but, to me, resembles it. So this is not a methods book. It is a phenomenological description over against developmental psychology, so it is a correlate map. The guy is a genius, and his precision is a huge theoretical help. This book addresses central narcissism in awakening. Next I’m going to read the Pearl beyond Price and The Void, which I think address other psychological disturbances/disorders and barriers. Despite his method that looks a lot like therapy, Almaas states that therapy cannot actually resolve narcissism or other psychological patterns; only realization can.

https://www.amazon.com/Point-Existence-Transformations-Narcissism-Self-Realization/dp/0936713097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487029835&sr=8-1&keywords=the+point+of+existence