Aborted Travels, Earthbound Dreams
For reasons not fully known, I became interested in the past few days with the notion of astral traveling in the sense of outright out-of-body transportation like I experienced spontaneously when I was about 18 or 19, and like I experienced more profoundly during the stream entry event August 8, 2014. I was motivated by a vague feeling that the texts are not telling the full truth about my current practices, that I am missing a piece of information that I may need. Even so, as I prepared to experiment with astral travel, I felt this undertow of lazy disregard for doing much effortful work merely to fly.
Here in this post I’ll document what unfolded, although I’m redacting parts about my current formal practice, which is documented in a journal that remains private for now.
Powers-y Fun Back in the Dharma Underground Days
In contrast to my current, demotivating No Problem-ness, as DreamWalker calls it, back in the old Dharma Underground days, in our intimate little exclusive tree fort secreted below the Overground, we used to have the most fun experimenting and dreaming of the days when our “arahatship” would be “done” and our siddhis would stabilize.
From my voluminous private correspondence with Daniel Ingram, moreover, it was evident to me that he was more excited over western magick, and any evidence of its results, than he was in furthering his own awakening, which he publicly states has “gone as far as awakening can go.” (Despite his public stance, in October 2015 he messaged me on Skype indication that he had privately and thousands of times taken Bodhisattva vows and didn’t know how to finish the work toward full enlightenment, meaning buddhahood.) I never believed in magick before I met Daniel. He was “out” about his interest in it and at least some of his results from it. That made it okay and even interesting for me to follow him into a magickal view of reality. Truly, the influence Daniel Ingram had on me in just one year was intense and life-altering.
After I experienced the Mahamudra awakening of July 29, 2015 (equal to MCTB Revised Fourth Path), I found, by contrast, that the prospect of siddhis motivated me enough to act with pointed intention only rarely, during intense flares of some oddly emergent A&P stage, which is the only cyclical insight stage I notice anymore. I’ve had some amazing psychic stuff open for me in the past, but, oddly, never from my worked up intent – only by accident, as documented in my blue Dharma by Dark Night journal, which, by the way, is my favorite journal, which I’ve been adding to over the past two weeks steadily.
Well, all powers were accidental unless my resolving hard for 3 months to attain nirodha samāpatti and then attaining it counts as successful intent.
The past 24 hours has shown that this pattern of accidental-only powers hasn’t changed. The post-awakening exceptions to this are some incubated dream experiences, some lucid dream-visions, and a new ability I seem to have to directly know other people’s minds and emotions (a power that turns on automatically, especially when someone is lying to me).
My current formal practice may be thought of as siddhi-related, although what is required seems almost anti-intent on my part.
I think that the lesson here regarding feats like astral traveling is that I’m simply not to pursue power on a separate track, as something that is “mine.” My path departs from Daniel’s specifically in this respect, among several others: I’m serious about cultivating conditions for buddhahood and what it requires or entails regarding surrender to the whole. I must leave everything alone and allow this awakening to proceed to buddhahood naturally. I return to resting into what naturally unfolds when I come home from work and have time and natural inclination to practice.
A Highlight from Last Night’s Practice
My first sit last night was in an Epsom salt bath, as usual, which I know sounds like a strange way to practice, but it has worked best for me over the past 6 months, and every night I’m called to it. I was preparing to draw my practice to a close when I thought about an astral travel video Kurt and I had watched the night before.
Now, pertinent here is that for a few weeks now I’ve been helping this young man I know, one of my son’s lifelong friends who grew up in our neighborhood, addressing some medical issues that no one seems to be helping him with. This guy is a follower of Steven Greer, the UFOlogist, and a follower of many other conspiracy theories. He meditates. He thinks he is a star seed and he follows some “ascension” practices. He says he personally has seen UFOs, and in particular told me about his once seeing a huge one in his back yard at night. It consisted of three white spherical lights in triangle formation.
So as I was sitting there in the bathtub, thinking I was missing some piece of information about my current practice and thinking that I should ask this young man for a link to traveling instructions, I suddenly saw in front of me three small white-light spheres in triangle formation! This happened the instant I thought this young man’s name.
Poor Concentration and Aborted Astral Travel Mission
After chatting a while with DreamWalker about traveling and shamanic soul retrieval, I decided to use what I was already good at as a platform for travaling: jhanas, especially formless realms. The plan was to ask for help in seeing what I need to know to aid me in practice and in writing a book to help others practice. Well, this session was terrible! My breath felt jerky, and no amount of adjusting it helped until I was about a frustrating hour into the sit, when I started deliberately taking very deep, slow in-breaths, and equally slow out-breaths.
Finally, I was calm, but then I had difficulty with the jhanas. I used to call them up and they would manifest on command. Not so now, and the more I tried to exert control, the worse the sit became. Finally, I decided to just drop all notions of jhana factors and getting anywhere. The sit still was less than stellar but I did get to some soft form of arupa jhana, either j5 or j6, though I’ve not been able to tell the difference between Boundless Space and Boundless Consciousness since second path, as documented in my blue journal. Maybe I can’t tell them apart because, ultimately, there is not any difference between space and awareness. Makes sense, yes?
I never seem to get to j8 anymore, but I’m out of practice at that sort of thing and really have no insight to gain from it and no motivation to practice jhanas. J7 is an interesting state, but it takes quite a bit of wrenching intent for me to gain it anymore, and I’ve rarely tried. I didn’t see the point in trying last night. If I had had more time and no traveling goal, I think it would have been fruitful to simply watch the jhanas happen, without trying to call them up. But I’m short on time these days, and nights.
In fact, as the sit continued, I didn’t see much point in what I initially thought I was after. I was tense, and there was perhaps even some fear associated with traveling, but I’m not sure. I didn’t think I was afraid when I started. There was definitely a sensed undertow pulling me back down and away from the impulse to travel, though.
I finally opened my eyes and started my usual practice, which is always profound. Interestingly, this time nothing happened. Even after 15 minutes, it was more practice dessert! This was interesting and I took it as kind of a sign that down this traveling sidetrack wasn’t where I should currently be going.
Dream Incubation Spell
Through my chat with DreamWalker, I had settled in my mind mainly on an extraordinary-being teacher of cosmological-scale knowledge that will help with my writing a dharma book. Instead, my dream took me to Daniel Ingram, standing before a gallows on this planet Earth, about to hang an innocent child.
I am standing at the foot of a gallows in the middle of a green grassy field. It is early morning, springtime, and birds are singing. Daniel is standing up on the platform and is placing a noose around a blond little boy’s neck.
I’m looking up at Daniel’s face from below, sobbing, begging him not to go through with executing this pure child. Daniel blithely ignores me, humming to himself, and proceeds in workaday fashion to string up the child. As he does, I look down to my right and see a clone, or twin, of the first boy. Still crying hard, I pick up this little boy and hold him in my arms, tight against my body. I’m sobbing, furious, and scream at Daniel, “You will never take this one from me! You will never get away with such black evil again, not on my watch!”
I woke up from this dream. It was morning but I was still sleepy. I took out my incubation text and reread it. I placed it back under my pillow, and, after I lay back down again to sleep, I asked for another dream to clarify the first.
Arrive that dream did:
Now I’m driving in my car at night. Every few blocks, I see a young man in his twenties whom I know to be having mental health issues and to have no money or wherewithal to get help. I pick them up in my car and transport each to where he can get help. I give each money to pay for the services he needs.
Now I hear on the car radio news that MCTB2 has been posted for commentary. I suddenly have the impulse to stop the vehicle and email Daniel to ask him to consider removing his claim to arahatship from the cover and the book, and to tell the truth about the Actual Freedom era, when he admitted in an audio recording that he was not in fact “done” with his awakening. But then I think better of my impulse and decide not to have anything to do with him. I decide instead to drive to a little gym in a strip mall and get a workout on the elliptical machine.
I enter the little all-night gym. As I do, I’m surrounded by reporters who try to get me to comment on the posting of Ingram’s MCTB2 version that excludes our yearlong collaboration. I tell all of them “no comment” and push past them all to a stairwell at the back of the gym. I tell them that I’m going to the Women’s restroom, not to follow me, that I want to be alone, that being a woman has to pay off in at least this one respect.
So underground I go. I enter a dim, dirty restroom and then enter a stall. On top of the commode tank, there is a box of chocolates with “Jenny” writ large on a Christmas card that is atop it. I open the card, which plays Christmas music, a glass harmonica, as I do. The card says to take one candy and to pass the gift on to others, anonymously. The card doesn’t say so, but I psychically know that the candy keeps replenishing so long as everyone who receives the gift takes only one piece and pays the rest forward. I also know psychically that my best friend since high school, Robyn, sent me the chocolates and card.
I leave the restroom with the candy and card. I walk down the basement hall until I find a door. I enter a conference room with a table in the middle. There are some high windows on the far wall. They are open and daylight is pouring down into the basement through them. Paige and a few other dharma students are sitting around the table. I place the gift and the card on the table, and I push them across to my teacher John, who is sitting below the windows. When I meet his eyes with mine, all the emotional pain surrounding Daniel and MCTB2 evaporates.
Again I woke from the dream. Again, I decided to go back to sleep once more. I asked once more for further clarification.
I am back in my car, driving away from the little gym with the underground dharma meeting. It is night. I resume my practice of finding young men who need help and transporting them to where they can receive appropriate help. But I have a new idea: I pull the car over, get out ,and look up at the night sky. Then visions begin in the sky, revealing psychically to me that they are maps of interstellar routes and tracking systems. Gradually, I understand how to read the sky visions as a map. It tells me where to find those young men in need. This quickens my work in locating and transporting them in my vehicle, which I resume doing. Then I awoke for the last time.
The boy that Daniel hangs looks to be 3 or 4 years old. He has white-blond hair, but is not my son when he was small. The boy reminds me more of my son’s cousin, Matthew, when Matthew was small. Perhaps the connection here is that I have to attend a court ordeal with my son tomorrow, and his attorney’s name is Matthew.
In the scathing letter that Daniel wrote me on the day that my copyright registration of MCTB2 was approved, he referred to MCTB2 as his “baby” and to me as a criminal. In fact he compared me to a thief, a stalker, and a rapist. Mind you, this was my first mentor, dharma teacher, a self-proclaimed arahat, who wrote these devastating words to me. So one obvious meaning of the hanging of the boy is that MCTB2, his “baby,” was annihilated by Daniel, not me. And for Daniel the important point of the execution was that I watch it, bear witness to it, for it was all meant to punish me, not the boy. The clone of the first dead boy as a second living one that I picked up and protected is my own writing, own book.
Another meaning of the little boy and the young men I drive around to help derives from the fact that Daniel’s public forum, the Dharma Overground, consists mainly of young men.
The radio news, reporters, and attempts to question me point to Daniel’s fame and jealous-god-like attachment to fame and competitiveness. This dream is a warning against attachment to the Eight Worldly Dharmas. That is why the Christmas candy and card are anonymous and come with the understanding that we all benefit only if none takes more than his or her share personally. This dream is a warning against personal gain, personal powers, as ends and goals.
The basement room with the light-bearing windows around John’s head is a new Dharma Underground. The vision of John thus positioned reminds me of the painting by De Vinci of Christ’s last supper.
These dreams mark the first time in a long time that I’ve dreamed of my car as “vehicle” of awakening, something that occurred often for many months after the scene with Daniel exploded.
The sky as vision as map was just a hint of what I was initially looking for via travel or dream. It is saying to keep to my personal vehicle for traveling, which is to practice as I have been, that my current practice will tell me where I need to go and how to help other beings. Power and fame and special feats are still a mere sidetrack. And that sidetrack leads to a dead end.