Buddhist Practitioner and Guide Jenny Jennings Foerst
Category: Dharma by Daylight
Maintaining and publishing practice journals is a longstanding Pragmatic Dharma rite. Many Pragmatic Dharma practitioners have journaled their entire path. What is personal when written becomes, in combination with others’ journals, nothing less than a postmodern Buddhist commentary. It is important that practitioners with realization leave these “breadcrumbs” for those who follow, showing what is possible and what making it so typically requires. For the writer, meditation journaling is in itself a contemplative practice. My journals, offered here, exemplify what it means to put in the practice blood, sweat, and tears and let them dry into such digital ink records. They model for students of meditation what it means to bring 100% of one’s being to practicing well.
This journal begins in June 2015. It marks a radically new beginning on my Path, after the Mahamudra awakening of July 29, 2015. It covers integration work with the Unconscious and subtle body: dreamwork, dream incubation, tarot divination, tantra, lucid dreaming, and, beginning February 2018, some kind of “traveling.” It begins from a period of both grieving loss of the past and joy over the new normal. I still occasionally post here experiences fitting these descriptions, but my main practice is now in the Lighthearted journal, which is for now password protected. Much of the beginning of this journal has not yet been cleaned up after I migrated the posts from Tumblr and old private copy. I’ve had to set this cleanup aside because of other demands, but I will clean it up from 2015 on eventually.
Much time has passed since I posted to this site. My family, including extended family, has managed to evade COVID-19 and have had the luxury of working from a beautiful climate-controlled situation. We have been able to order our food and enjoy nature and solitude. Many people have not been nearly so fortunate.
Although I continue to keep several private journals, I have not continued to post entries to this site, for several reasons. First, I think for most people, or at least me, after realization comes a diminished motivation to commit practices and experiences to verbal form outside the situation of teaching. This loss of motivation is just as well, because anyone who might benefit practically from my current journals would already be in automatic dharmakaya release and therefore not need them and likely not even benefit from them after all. Most practitioners will relate to the Dharma by Dark Night journal here, which is complete and static. Someday, I hope to return to finish editing the missing beginning of this current journal. I have a third journal that is password protected. I have not decided what to do with that journal, which is my most extensive, detailed one. Another post-realization feeling is to keep experience private to keep it pure. My other site will have a new blog that is frankly didactic, featuring draft sections from the book.
The chief reason for not posting, however, is more down-to-earth: I continue to work through more than 6,000 pieces of writing to draft a rather ambitious book, one that consists of a progressive map in plain English, with methods hanging off each mapped segment along the way. Although I am pleased with the work and find that the writing flows as automatically as the 2022 New Year’s champagne from its uncorked bottle, the work takes more calendar time than most nonwriters might expect. Finishing this book is my primary mission, and I have found the need to sacrifice more and more to dedicate myself to it sufficiently.
In addition, I’m teaching a few dedicated individuals. I lack time to take on additional students at this time, but when I make my teaching site live to the public, I will post a link here to a contact form there so that people can be added to my waitlist. Some people contact me for Dzogchen guidance, general path advice, or diagnoses. Please understand that I teach only a syncretic progressive path and will not teach Dzogchen cold even to my own students. If you want to begin with Dzogchen, which is not something I ever advise doing, then there are many teachers out there who offer that. I also will not diagnose anyone outside the context of my own map, for that is the map I know from experience, study, and teaching others. It takes months of knowing someone and following his or her practice closely before diagnoses are appropriate or sound, anyway. As for general advice, I simply do not have time to engage that way until the book is finished. I prefer to go deep with only a few practitioners at a time and otherwise enjoy private life.
Thanks for your understanding, patience, and continued support. Happy New Year!
No Room in the Inn: Eviction Dreams of January–April 2019
As you can see, my dream and Clear Light sleep practice fell off even further in the first quarter of 2019. This entry covering 4 months is shorter than former ones were for a single month. I was no longer deliberately practicing sleep yoga by this time, and as Garchen Rinpoche and others state, sleep practice is the most difficult of practices, requiring intense persistent effort. I was during this period still under intense pressure at a job I only increasingly wanted to end so that I could pour my remaining life into teaching and writing the Dharma.
During this time, tensions also persisted, or escalated, between John and me over poor or nonexistent communications, finally resulting in a sharp break-off and a silent stalemate beginning late April and lasting 6 months. The dream of February 2, given below, was the harbinger of the loss. At the time, I thought the break-off was permanent, and I was deeply shocked and confused over what still seems its inexplicability. This said, there was some inner misalignment that propelled me toward the break, some need to touch bottom with my own two feet and stand alone. In truth, although fraught with loss, the period brought on a new opening consisting of a pure confidence that has nothing to do with pride. All pride is, after all, only an inverted expression of shame, and for the first time I was experiencing completely shame-free confidence. Often dependencies must be shed before a new level of awakening will open, or at least I’ve found that to be the case.
My formal sitting practice and the more personal details of this period are in my password-protected journal. As wisdom matures, I find that I keep more and more private, for multiple reasons and mostly by intuitions that lead me further afield from expressive drives.
January 10: Dream of Smothering and Trying to Reach Lucidity
I came home 4 hours early with a severe migraine (Day 2). I took a handful of pills and fell asleep. I had this weird dream that I was short of breath and lacked enough breath to coherently tell my mother, Kurt, Jill, and others that I was dying and to get me to the hospital. Finally, Kurt realized what I was trying to say and drove me, but at some point he got out of the car to switch seats with me. I was forced to try to drive to the hospital myself, but I lacked oxygen and kept falling unconscious at the wheel. I kept thinking and then losing the thought that this was a dream and that all I needed to do was fully realize that fact to reach lucidity. I pulled the car over and got out of the car and started crawling on the ground to the passenger side, forcing Kurt to resume driving. He didn’t understand that I was really in trouble and needed help.
I think this dream was triggered by my looking up the symptoms of meningitis this morning after my severe headache went on into Day 2. I was hospitalized with meningitis in the 1990s. One of the symptoms I read this morning was “shortness of breath.”
To dream that you are suffocating signifies that you are feeling smothered or oppressed by some situation or relationship. Something or someone is holding you back.
To dream that you are trying to catch your breath or that you are out of breath indicates that you are experiencing some anxiety, tension, or fear concerning a new situation in your waking life.
To dream that you cannot breathe indicates that you are feeling exhausted.
Most interesting about this dream was that I knew that I needed to become lucid, and knew that I was trying to, but didn’t because I kept passing out or becoming confused.
Later note on psi: Andrew informed me the next day that he had a bad headache the night before the morning I had this dream.
January 26: Dream of John as an Aged Alcoholic
I had many fragmented dreams last night, some featuring authors and pressure from Julie/Sian to find authors to sign. But the one part I remember clearly was being in an unfamiliar house, sitting in the back of the house on the floor, and waiting for John to arrive and lead an Open Ground retreat. He finally came in, and I was shocked because his head and beard were white and he was shuffling like an old man. Instead of sitting and beginning the retreat, he mumbled that he was sick and went into a back room. After about 10 dream minutes, as everyone was giving up and rising to leave, I went to the bedroom where John was and knocked on the door and entered. John was slumped on the bed and saying “Jenny, I can no longer teach; I’m sick.” I said, “Oh, that’s nonsense, John.” I continued with “Just take some time off to heal, and then you can return.” He then pulled out a flat pint flask of clear alcohol and started swigging it. He was letting me know by this action that he was an alcoholic and addict but had been hiding it for years.
In a later part of dreaming, after the SAS authors bit, I was standing at the bottom of a hill and looking up at it. It was covered with graves and headstones. Fog covered the hill but was illuminated by sunrise, which gave the whole scene an ethereal peach-colored cast. This scene seemed somehow connected to the scene with John.
February 2: Lucid Dream of Taking Form on the Ground of Nosara
I slept from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. I was both asleep and awake. I was aware of my body, my bed, the bedroom, my heating pad, and aches and pains the whole time.
I am in a conference room in a large resort in Nosara, except that I’m not fully there, not embodied. I can see the scene from a vantage point slightly above the room at an angle. I cannot touch anything, only see, as my body isn’t embodied physically in the location. It is as if I were remote viewing. The room has a palatial window to right of where John sits, white walls, and a white marble floor. John is supposed to be leading a retreat, but I don’t see anyone with him. He is sitting by the grand window in white. The distant ocean, dark, can be seen through the window, its undulating surface sparkling in the daylight. His hair is long and tied back with a white ribbon, eighteenth-century style. He is playing a sad melody on a cello propped up between his legs. I speak his name, but he doesn’t see me, hear me, or reply.
I wonder why John cannot hear me. Then I register my North Carolina body in bed, aching. I understand that the problem is that I’m not physically located in Nosara, not one of the admitted retreatants. But I know that I’m dreaming, so I begin a little game with myself. I practice intent to touch my bare feet down in Nosara and take embodied form there. This then happens, but I am not in the white room with John. I’m standing outside, down in the dark. My feet and toes are digging into cold wet sand, and the dark ocean is lapping about my legs. I remember that some woman was murdered in late 2018 outside a resort in Costa Rica. There is a thrill running through me of daring, danger, and rebellion. I begin running fast toward land, half afraid and half exhilarated, and I eventually reach dry coarse sand. I can feel it with my feet, but I can see nothing but darkness. I search the horizon for any relieving light from the resort, from the high room in which John is playing the cello. But there is only ink-black darkness, no reference points in this darkness. I wake up.
The following quotes are from the Dream Moods dictionary:
“The cello is a large instrument held between the legs that makes beautiful music. Sensual or creative achievements. The violin and the cello in dreams are popularly thought to resemble the female body, To dream of a cello represents feeling that nobody cares about you.”
“A beach in your dream symbolizes the meeting between your two states of mind. The sand is symbolic of the rational and mental processes, while the water signifies the irrational, unsteady, and emotional aspects.”
“The beach is also a place of transition between the spiritual and the physical matter reality.”
These kinds of dreams are still not as frequent as Stupid Sleep, but they are increasing in frequency. They are neither Clear Light sleep, nor merely lucid dreams, but something in-between: It is as if my consciousness is divided between my bedroom situation and the dream situation. Each situation is a lucid extension of the other situation.
The Nosara situation became increasingly lucid in that I remembered that I should be able to control the dream and did, at least to the extent of controlling my embodiment in the dream. However, I didn’t control entry to the room John was in. In fact, so long as I was feeling textures, I couldn’t see, whereas at the outset, I had no body or sense feeling, but I could see everything. This in some way reminds me of the dreams in which Tom Campbell gave me lessons involving reaching out for a vision and touching it for full-on simulation. At the time, I understood these lessons as pointing to NPMR as the training ground for integrating some remaining separation between the sense spheres—not in daily life, but in some more ultimate way concerning the larger NPMR and what we call siddhis.
[This dream was prescient on multiple levels. Some dreams you remember for life. This was one of those for me.]
February 16: On Retreat with John and More Cello
I sat in retreat with John today. During a meditation he led, he referred to himself as a poet and a cellist, sly private reference to my recent dream and email to him in which I referred to him as the dream cellist and poet, respectively.
Then there was this psychic component that John dropped ever so nonchalantly. John was sitting next to the door after the retreat ended. He was conversing with Michael. I was standing as another point in the triangle, listening. John told Michael that his kids were loving the Waldorf school, that they needed a school with soul because both of them have artistic temperaments. Then John said, “Bodhi has started taking cello lessons.” Then Michael replied, “Oh, you play the cello, don’t you, John? John said, “Not yet, but I have been wanting to learn to play the cello.” I said, “Cello?” And John gave me a level look and said, “Yes, cello.” Then he rose to exit. He gave me a deep hug and a kiss on the cheek; then he was gone.
February 24: Dream of Shop Shopping after Eviction
I slept well, although I woke up every few hours. I gave up on waiting for Kerry to come home around 2:30 a.m. and fell asleep immediately to my new School of Dreaming audio, “Ocean of Dreams.” I didn’t rise for the day until 1:30 p.m. I feel productive today. The sun is out after 10 days of darkness, freezing temps, and continuous rain. I fixed a problem with my business email setup whereby Outlook was failing to save emails to a Sent folder and was failing to sync with Outlook.com Web mail. I also began decluttering the house, which I will continue to do. Little things like a completely ordered, clean, and comforting home seem especially important when my workplace situation is so out of control, volatile, unpredictable.
Now for the chopped up dream. This dream happened, I am sure, as a coherent story. But when I woke up, it was all just bits and pieces, so that is all I have. I will try to put the pieces back into something like a post-hoc narrative form.
I am a shop owner on a hilly avenue in a town. I think it is Asheville, but sometimes it is like my hilly hometown of Tallahassee, Florida, near Florida State University, where I used to buy hippie jewelry in the hip thrift stores in the late 1980s. I am having some kind of problem with a business partner, and I’m being evicted or moved. I go to pick out a new storefront, but I need a partner. I think about asking my bestie Robyn, who lives in Asheville, to go into business with me.
I go outside to the hilly, sunny avenue. I walk back down whence I came and into a shop selling New Age articles and Buddhist articles. I go to the glass case counter, and there is a woman who informs me that I am not welcome in the store, that it is owned by Daniel, who will no longer speak to me or endure my presence. I tell her that I understand, but I would like to buy some dangling earrings and ask if Daniel will relent just a little. She then pulls out a tray of earrings on black velvet. There is a note written by Daniel and lying on the velvet, saying, “These are to remain hidden and accessible only to Jenny, who otherwise must leave the premises.” I pick out some silver dangling earrings from the tray, pay the price, and walk out.
Once I am back on the street, I see Ira and Daniel in another shop. They have some strange markings on their respective foreheads. On Daniel, it looks like some thin short horns are beginning to grow out of his forehead. On Ira, it looks like he is mimicking this look by having drawn a mustache on his forehead with some black makeup. I am puzzled. I continue walking and see Renae, who suddenly and completely unexpectedly died at age 49 while coming down with a cold. I call out, “Renae! Why and how did you die so young while in apparent perfect health?” Renae morphs into her younger body from the late 1980s. She doesn’t know what I’m talking about. She is now young and doesn’t know that she is going to die prematurely or has done so. I ask her why Ira and Daniel have these markings on their foreheads, but she just looks blank at my question, so I walk out of this shop.
Back out on the Avenue, I see that thousands of people are pouring out of shops into the street for some kind of rally and March. I suppose that it must be for Bernie’s new presidential campaign. Kerry walks up beside me, and he tells me of his and Ana’s plans to have mustaches tattooed to their foreheads. I plead with Kerry not to do so and ask what this sign means. Kerry says, “It is just the cool thing now to have this marking.” I again plead with him not to have permanent markings like this added to his face, but he hustles past me, through the crowd, to go to the tattoo shop. I go back into the storefront I’ve chosen. I find debris and broken glass on the floor, but I begin mentally planning for this space to be a dharma center, with or without a partner.
This is obviously a dream about my office being moved at work, if I’m even still there when the move is scheduled, in April. It is about my desire to devote myself to the dharma and not knowing what my immediate future will be regarding such a vocation.
“To see the horns of an animal in your dream represents conflict and confrontation. You are at odds with someone.”
“If you dream that you or someone is wearing a fake mustache, then it indicates that you are trying to draw attention away from a minor issue or problem. . . . To dream that you shave off your mustache denotes that you are revealing your true self. You no longer have to hide under some disguise or some shield. Alternatively, the dream means that you are trying to reestablish your reputation, by renouncing your previous activities.”
“Dreaming that everyone has a mustache indicates that you are suspicious or untrusting of others.”
As far as I can discern, I was dreaming of foreheads because I was practicing last night with a blue scented palm wax candle that was themed for third eye chakra. Daniel’s growing demon horns in this area and my loved ones’ mimicking that seems to suggest that even good people are following wrong path by going along with the crowd.
March 19: Deliberate Checking on the Real World during Sleep
This is just a note to document that, most nights, when I first fall asleep or am on the sleep end of hypnagogia, some part of me is making decisions to complete tasks, and then my hands or eyes complete the task, and then I realize that my hands or vision are not the waking world physical real things. For example, the other night, I was at the grocery store and over an open frozen foods case. I reached in and started moving frozen meat aside to look for the right cut/weight. Then I was surprised that my hands were not real, physical, even though I sort of knew all along that I was sleeping, or nearly.
Last night I was falling asleep while Kerry was driving back from Chapel hill at 2 a.m. As I drifted off, I decided to simultaneously check on Kerry and sleep, to see whether I could pull that off. Suddenly, my vision was at my bedroom window and looking through the slats of the blinds. I saw a flashing light, as on an emergency vehicle. Then suddenly I was out of the room and at a place where an accident was being responded to. It didn’t involve Kerry. So then I was back in bed sleeping, assured that he was okay.
There was this interesting moment last night when I realized that I didn’t need to stay awake for Kerry out of some kind of hypervigilance predicated on superstition that my abstaining from sleep somehow keeps him safe. If, when I’m asleep, I’m not completely sunk into unawareness, then there is no difference that my remaining without rest makes. This whole thing—often my family thinks it is really just an extension of my former travel phobias. But it really has more to do with the time, at age 19, that I was sleeping and my mother fell, had a grand mal seizure, turned blue, and stopped breathing. That event, when I was a freshman in college, began my sleep issues.
March 22: More Strange Vigilance over Kerry while Sleeping
So last night (Wednesday night) Kerry was running late again to get home because a tournament was ongoing. I fell asleep as with the last time, but this time I don’t remember any dreams or outings. I had earbuds in, listening to binaural beats promoting Stupid Sleep. Interestingly, I saw a white light in, I guess, dreamtime, as is often the case nowadays. The white light was by my bedroom window and moved as if down our street, like car lights. This woke me. I sat up in bed. The very next moment a similar light made a similar motion in PMR. I pulled out my earbuds and heard Kerry’s car door slam and his horn sound from his locking the car door. I looked at the clock. I was after 3 a.m. I went to the window to verify that he had just returned. He had. Kurt tried to blow this off as my hearing him come down the street, but I had earbuds in and was listening to beats.
In short, I was awakened by a dream of car lights sweeping my room by my window. Then I woke, sat up, and that very thing happened immediately. It was Kerry, just as in the dream moments beforehand.
March 29: Clairvoyance Connection to Lucid Sleep
I am continuing to work on purifying the auric fields and clearing karmic “contracts.” I’m focused on codependency and empowerment. Last night, I had a lot of dreaming that was lucid. Nothing really in the way of a story happened. I saw red light, then an orange light, and then a yellow light. I recognized (remembered) that these were the colors that I saw during my recent clairvoyance practices. It seemed that, for a long time, there were just those three colors. No story, no scenery, no seer.
Then, in the lower right-hand side of the field, I saw it—that drop with the multiple rainbow rings. At first, I forgot that I was asleep. I saw the figure, and practice just started up. But then I remembered. Oh—I’m asleep! For a moment, the sight faded. But then I thought through the theory that the Dream and the Waking are of the same essence. At that conclusion, it reappeared, clear as day, and I resumed practice—only there was no embodied “I,” just the experience of looking.
April 3: Split Consciousness and Use of Second (Hypnagogia) Body
I’m beginning to be aware of and remember that most of the night I’m in some sort of hypnagogia-like state. There is no story as in a dream. There are these brief intentions, mundane, and I’m suddenly in a second body and performing the intended action. Last night I was putting drops in my eyes and typing on my laptop. There is an exhilaration in the freedom I experience in this weightless body—how I can instantaneously be elsewhere, doing whatever. However, I’m not completely, concretely embodied as I was that first time I rose out of my body and saw the second body in the mirror. The body is now more kinesthetic sense and action than thing. Also, I don’t lose connection with the fact that I’m asleep in bed. So it is more of a split view than a true OBE. I’m not sure why this is happening. I’m not doing any sleep practice or intention-setting anymore. And I have no idea what, if anything, more this is leading to.
I’m extremely sleepy every morning. I started arising a half hour earlier so I can drink coffee without rushing around. After coffee I go all day, but man, that first half hour is tough.
April 29: Lucid Dream of a Falling Elevator
I dreamed I was at some vague conference, maybe a retreat. I got in a freight elevator, and then other people followed me in. The door closed. We erratically went up and down, up and down. Then the elevator cord was cut and we were in free fall, falling a long long time, with our solar plexuses up in our mouths. I looked at my companions on the ride. They were terrified and screaming that we were plunging to our death. I yelled over to them, “This is a dream! Say it with me and believe it. This cannot kill us.” Just as we were about to hit bottom, the others I was with managed to become lucid and knew the Deathless. We landed softly, as if the cable had never been cut. I woke.
April 30: White Light with Mary, Joseph, Angels, Wise Men, and Jesus
After DreamWalker called me, I lay down for a nap, with earbuds in for binaural beats for “Sleep.” I was 10 minutes in when suddenly I saw in the center of my visual field what looked like a cut-in-half drop, with the two halves not quite put back together edge-to-edge to form a perfect sphere. I stared at it, understanding that this was happening in hypnagogia, although there were no other hypnagogia visuals, just this one. I maintained gaze on it. Then it grew bigger, with a large white light center, and pale rings around it.
Inside it I recognized Mary, the mother of Jesus. I could see her holding a baby, and Joseph, angels, and wise men flanked. It was a manger scene, but realistic. It is very hard to describe the nature of the images. They were both realistic, yet were like post-image retinal flashes. Then I saw the scene in which that angel comes to Mary and tells her she is with child. Then I saw Joseph and Mary walking with the donkey. The light was stable, but these scenes and the figures in them were constantly moving. I was very sure of what I was seeing.
I was so stunned that I couldn’t sink into sleep or even stay in whatever this state was. I sat up and came downstairs to type this account. I am not sure whether my eyes were closed or open when I “saw” all this.
In his book, Zen and the Brain, James H. Austin cites speculation that regular meditation develops a specialized skill of “freezing the hypnagogic process at later and later stages” of the onset of sleep, initially in the alpha wave stage and later in theta.”
This concludes January through April 2018.
. . . In a shack as remote as a mansion You escape into a place where nothing moves
And I’ve been locked out, and I know we’re through But I can’t begin to face up to the truth I wait so long for the walls to crack But I know that I will one day have you back
And the hills are as soft as a pillow And they cast a shadow on my bed And the view when I look through my window Is an altarpiece I’m praying to for the living and the dead
This entry comprises the final 3 months of 2018, showing that my sleep and dream yoga practices were falling by the wayside. Extremely difficult situations at work, along with my fatigue and noctural body aches, had me abandoning conscious effort toward sleep lucidity or traveling. I chose Stupid Sleep to vacate reality. I could see clearly the moment of falling into oblivion upon craving it.
There was also part of me that that felt results were stagnating in these practices. When that happens, I begin avoiding a sense of failure by simply dropping the practice. This has happened more than a few times along the path, because I find sleep practice maddeningly slippery and unreliable.
What is so difficult about sleep and dream yoga is finding the fulcrum between forceful intent and surrendering dispassion: both of those poles are difficult for me. let alone the perfect balance between them. It seems that when I lean on one more than the other, the result sours after a while; then I go toward the other pole, success revives, and then it sours. And so on. How can one discern and reliably apply the correct balance while one is sinking into the ultimate lack of control? Methods revolve this way, too, in terms of success.
I was mainly giving in to some sense of failure and general stagnation also because of the delays concerning the book and collaborator. As I reread all these entries in September 2019, it doesn’t seem to me that I was failing at this practice at all! Apparently, limiting beliefs still do distort my judgments about my practice. This is another reason that it is important to keep practice journals: When you review them, you better see larger trends in your practice and how life circumstances color momentary self-assessments.
October 4: Boyfriend Dream into Super-Lucid Hypnopompia
I had an interesting experience this morning. I had a dream, but the first part of it is hazy. The part I remember was being in some big dharma retreat conference center. I am standing outside a conference room I’m soon to enter to present a paper on the dharma. John is there and talking with me about some points in my paper.
Abruptly, I’m outside in a sunny courtyard with numerous pretty round stone tables for eating. I go through a buffet and bring food to one of the tables, sit down, and begin to eat. Two men who know me sit at the table, too. The first one is a friend, but I don’t remember getting a good look at him. He is shadowy and unknowable. The other man is in his 30s, is tall, and has strawberry blond curly hair. He is wearing a plaid button-down shirt, sort of “business casual.
It is is a chilly fall day. Suddenly, the friend guy drapes a quilt on my shoulders. It is the old quilt my parents had that we would take to the beach and cuddle in when we were sick as children. I’m surprised. The friend lifts me from my shoulders and lays me back. The other guy lifts my legs. They are carrying me back into the conference center. I surrender to the comfort of the quilt and being held and carried—like a baby . . . or a corpse.
The two men lay me down on a couch. The curly blond kneels by the couch and opens the quilt. He gets on his knees and begins kissing my right dangling hand. He continues kissing up my arm until he reaches my neck, and then he is really going to town kissing me there. I get chills from this necking and feel like I might weep from the tenderness. I cannot move, but the lyric from the Radiohead song goes through my mind: “Different types of love are possible.” At this I remember the dharma, and lying there in erotic love gradually changes into lying expansive in the light, one half in the dream and one half in my bedroom, until the dream fades and there is only the light of consciousness, and the quilt is my duvet in my bed.
I lie there in this state for a few minutes. When I think it might fade, I remember the Dzogchen instruction to visualize the white Ah upon waking. I do so, and this amazing state lasts about 5 minutes, after which I rise to get ready for work.
October 23: Intentional Hypnagogia on a Dream Screen
I sicked out today because I’ve had early-rising insomnia night after night and I feel that I need to take care of myself. Kerry had his gabapentin in his car, which he takes for migraine prevention. I take a small dose before bed for migraine, restless leg syndrome, and delayed sleep phase. This morning, when he finally came in, I made him go back into his car and get some because I’m out. I took one, took a hot Epsom salt bath, and feel asleep at around 10:30 a.m. I woke at 3:30 p.m. I’m really messed up now with my sleep schedule, but I don’t care because it felt so good to finally sleep.
As I was in bed, listening to “sleep” binaural beats, I began thinking about all the wild flashing imagery and geometric psychedelia of hypnagogia and was thinking about Andrew’s last experience. Suddenly I was seeing a lot of rapid light patterns, geometry, and photo-real images—even though I was completely awake! I realized that all this was flowing from my intention to see whatever appeared.
Then I must have sunk deeper into true dreaming: The flashing crazy sequence of stars, planets, forests, women, and dizzying geometry cartoons continues, but now it is on a movie screen, with the curtains framing on each side. I am lucid and remember TWR’s injunction to speak to any apparition that appears. I feel the probable presence of a teacher. I am not embodied but just pure perspective watching the screen (called a witnessing dream). But I “say” psychically, “What is this that I’m seeing?” And there is a telepathic reply from a female entity: “Everything.” I say, “Why?” And the reply is “The Everything is what you need to see.” Shortly afterward I sank into black sleep.
I have had other recent nights in which the hypnagogia started out as intentional, but it isn’t as if I’ve deliberately been practicing sleep stuff. I think this dream may have been telling me to have a broader and intentional Everything perspective while I’m enduring this shitstorm at the office. It also seems to be an invitation back to sleep and NPMR focus.
November 9: Dispelling Dark Entity or Force in Hypnagogia
Lately I’ve been having some solar plexus flares and mild nightmares, likely because of the amplification of chronic lies and persecution at work.
As I lay in the dark last night, as I grew sleepy, suddenly swooping in from my left was a feeling of threat and a mental visual image of a black amorphous shape. The dark shape seemed like an entity. It entered my body. I was then not only feeling the fear but fear of the fear. However, I instantly became lucid, meaning that I knew I was in bed and falling asleep.
I decided that this dark force was not going to take me over. I thought for a few moments what to do. I decided to practice intention, but it was an intention to allow the dark being to be there, to offer no resistance and thereby to defeat it. This worked, as suddenly my entire visual field was white light, with loops and textures sometimes passing through. The light was powerful. I held it open, and the dark force fled my body toward the left and vanished. Then I fell asleep.
Quite often, ever since the three repeated dreams of Kory’s death, I see my whole visual field turn to light as I’m falling asleep.
This was an instance of that new level of lucidity that began relatively recently—the lucidity that can recall other dreams and the waking world, can analyze the situation in all those contexts, and can conduct the sleep practice from memory and understanding of that full instructional context. I never cultivated this kind of lucidity, and when it happens I’m surprised.
I want to mention two other variables. One was that Valerian was in my sleep tea that night—not sure if that is related, but data. Another is that when I say that the amorphous ink-black “entity” was mentally visual, I’m not sure it was dualistically “mental.” I was “seeing” it “out there” in my room, but I had a blackout eye mask on and eyes closed. The situation was like when I see through my closed lids during traveling. It isn’t clear that there is difference between see-out and see-in. I think that is part of the value of these experiences—breaking down that specific barrier. That is the barrier keeping me from reliable access to NPMR.
November 14: Another Instance of the White Light
I tried to nap tonight. I’m generally exhausted after work, but rarely can actually get to sleep. Tonight I had that experience of lying in the dark and being sleepy but never losing awareness of the room. In other words, I was relaxing but lying there awake. With eyes closed, I saw that bright white light bloom forth again. There were a few moments in which I didn’t realize this as strange, so maybe I was semi-dreaming. But quickly I fully recognized, “Oh, this is that weird light that appears as I’m falling asleep.” The recognition brightens me to the point that I open my eyes and am just mundanely awake.
This is not Clear Light of sleep. The Clear Light of sleep is a metaphor, not actual light. What I’m experiencing is actual light that I’m seeing “out there,” except that my eyes are closed, do it is like seeing through closed eyelids. It is a quasi-physical light. I’ve no idea what this state is. When it happens, I think I’m just awake, yet the experience is strange because I’m in the dark with my eyes closed.
November 17: White Light Visitation in a Dark Bedroom
The white light visited again, but I remained what seemed awake in that I was aware of bedroom, bed, and body. The white light brightened forth. I don’t recall that it came from the left this time. I noticed in this instance that its contour in the center of my dark vision was that of an iconic lotus. It reminded me of the lotus icons I kept running into while working on my new teaching website. It filled almost all of my visual field. My eyes were closed.
The interior of the white lotus icon was filled with somewhat rapidly changing line drawings, mainly of arrows and what looked like fish skeletons. They made highly ordered geometric patterns, a set of kind of gray line drawings on the white light background.
I was awake and I recognized, “Oh the white light again!” I also remembered that all the other times, when I recognized the situation as such, then I roused all the way up and lost the light. This time I decided to hold still and see if it kept going while I very gradually came up to a more coarse level of mind. This worked, to the point that I even moved and opened my eyes and could still see the lotus light with the line drawings in it—although it was much duller than the very brightly present light before my eyes when I was sleepy and drifting in.
I want to emphasize that the white light is experienced not as a dream (seeing-in) but as out in front of me and engaged through my physical eyes. However, when I recognize that I’m in a dark bedroom and that this is “impossible,” then this bewilderment arises. It is as if there is zero difference between seeing-in and seeing-out while I know that this is impossible. Whatever this phenomenon is, I think the point of my seeing it must be to begin to dissolve this boundary between physical seeing and mental seeing. This is the same paradox that the Dzogchen Togal visions purportedly address. It is just that here the conundrum is also that between sleeping/dreaming and being awake in daily life. It is said that enlightenment means that the subconscious ceases to exist.
To dream of arrows signifies goals. Conversely, “to see fish bones in your dream refers to old insights, thoughts or views that have already been brought to light. You have processed these ideas and gained knowledge from it.” And this: “To see a lotus in your dream represents enlightenment, growth, purity, beauty and expansion of the soul. The image of the lotus serves as encouragement and provides hope in dark and murky times.” “To see light in your dream represents illumination, clarity, guidance, plain understanding, and insight. Light is being shed on a once cloudy situation or problem. You have found the truth to a situation or an answer to a problem. Also consider the color of the light for additional significance. If the light is particularly bright, then it indicates that you need to move toward a higher level of awareness and feeling. Bright light dreams are sometimes common for those who are near death.” Gee, I hope not; I have too much to do.
November 18: Magazine Editing and Jumping Into an Idyllic River
I am in some vacation spot vaguely like an island paradise, but not tropical—more like somewhere in Europe, England, or perhaps northern Panama mountain area. I am finishing writing a dharma article and I circulate in the place I’m staying to gather others’ articles to edit them. I’m stressed under a journal deadline. All these articles are going into the journal.
Suddenly, I’m outside and on this very high bridge over a flowing, pristine river. Kurt and Jill are calling to me to stop working and take in this view. I look upstream (from the bridge) and gasp at the beauty of distant mountains, lush green trees, and clear blue-green water. The sun is shining from upstream. Then I look downstream and see all the water flowing to a reservoir at rest. I walk to the edge of the bridge. Kurt tells me to jump in. I hesitate because I am so far above the water and because I know the water will be freezing cold. Still, I jump. While falling I think how this will be a baptism and wash away all stressful dream scenes. I hit the water and swim to the shore, laughing.
December 3: Otherworldly Scene-within-a-Scene after Mental Video
I executed the Silva Mental Video technique flawlessly, first with eyes open at beta after going to alpha. I then went to bed and executed the problem video to the right, as the past. Then I played the fast forward to the solution I want to the left, in the future. I was listening to some new beats I bought from an artist on Bandcamp who has made various alpha, theta, and delta tracks. I was doing this in-bed video visualization at alpha.
I then immediately slid into theta and near delta, which Silva calls “The Delta Doorway to the Other Side.” When I realized that I was in an altered state, I called on whoever my guide or guides are and visualized/felt the two videos being sent across for evaluation and guidance.
Suddenly I was in a weird dream plane, and for a while still aware of myself in bed. Time is messed up—nonlinear, recursive, at unpredictable speeds, and scene-within-scene. A series of scenes happens, and I’m not sure I have these in chronological order, because time is scrambled and unstable. At one point I am lucid enough to say, “Oh, this dream is on some nonphysical plane—that is why time is making no sense.”
I am in a darkened theatre with very few people in it. Kurt finds me and sits to my left. I have my feet up on the theatre seat in front of me. There is a play going on but I am bored with it and can’t see that much forward motion is happening. Occasionally I yell at the director, who yells back at me and various people in the theatre. I am indifferent toward Kurt.
Finally, after an eternity, the house lights come up. The theatre is seen to be a church. Everyone starts cleaning up their trash and putting these red velvet sashes on their shoulders. I am lazy and don’t want to move when the others do. Kurt is following the director’s orders, but I am belligerent, and step all over the red velvet and refuse to pick it up. I do find a drawing of Leo the Lion on the floor. I pick it up, see it as myself, and carry it through all the scenes
When I make it to the back of the church, suddenly I’m looking into a tablet and wondering whether it is showing projected content, or whether my current scene is the projection. The tablet is showing a series of snapshots at my sister Sharon’s home. I see Buck, her husband who died a few years ago. I remember that he is dead. After I remember, then I notice that every time he appears in one of the snapshots, he sparks up like a white sparkler tip, fizzes out, and is gone.
Now I am inside the tablet of snapshots, live. My sister Sharon walks up and hands me another tablet that shows the beautiful Sanibel Island beach. I decide to go into that tablet, but before I do, I see that others in the room are sparking up, which means they are dying. I wonder why I haven’t noticed this sign before, but then I realize that I’m dreaming.
On the beach, I start thinking how weird all this is. I realize that I’m sparking up and fizzing out to move from scene to scene.
Now I am in a new scene. It is rainy. I’m looking at a home with a portico. I call out to Kurt to come look at this portico. I say, “I can put a gate up and make a little play area for Kerry here.” As soon as I say this, I see a bunch of toys in the portico, but I’m startled to find that they are all a glowing alien yellow. I see Kerry at about 3 years old run toward a doll made of a corn cob and stuck in a planter. I yell at him to watch out because the doll is fragile. He knocks it over, and the toys and Kerry himself disappear. I turn to ask Kurt what happened, but Kurt is not there either. I realize that this is a different life of mime. Then a guide, formless, is beside me. I say, “How am I going to solve my problem? I sent you videos.” The guide says telepathically, “We will travel back to show you past lives.” I then ask, “Will I have to keep sparking up and burning out.” The guide says “yes.” I say, “Oh, that is annoying.” Then I open my eyes in bed and lie still so I can remember all this.
I had slept about an hour and a half. The guide in the dream seems to be suggesting. that I try past life regression to look for clues.
I’m going to try to sleep again. I’m supposed to look for indications for 3 days that my proposed solution is right. The problem has to do with John’s lack of time and my own lack of time. Time was distorted in this dream sequence, and travel to past life was recommended. What is this saying about the solution: timeline-hopping is the only way to fly?
December 7: John’s Driving the School Bus and Jenny’s Performing the Back Bend
Last night I had a dream about John. He is driving a big yellow school bus full of practitioners. I am sitting in the first seat on the right-hand side of the bus, so I’m looking at his profile. Someone in the back yells out that John was in his dream. I yell to this person, “He will say it wasn’t him.” I look at John and say, “Am I right?” John chuckles and keeps driving.
Suddenly, John and I are in a big old church that has been converted into something like a Montessori school for young adults or teens. I enter the first room, and see all these young people working on AI. This young woman cannot get the metal plate on the bottom of her laptop to open. I go over to it and flip it over. I begin using a penny to unscrew the bolts. I burn myself because the metal is hot. I jump a little from being burned, and John is suddenly to my right and behind me. He is saying something about not jumping when I’m burned and how my not jumping will retroactively make the burning not have happened. I give John a level look.
Now I’m in the yoga room. My work friend Amy is here and excited to meet John. I push myself up into a back bend, so my head is hanging upside down, and everything is upside down. I introduce John when he walks in, but I don’t get up to do so. For some reason, this pose feels incredibly good. And I like the way everything looks when topsy-turvy. So I stay in the pose. I start wondering why I’m not getting tired and why the blood isn’t rushing to my head and face. I realize that I’m dreaming. I stay in the pose indefinitely, until I apparently moved into another sleep stage.
December 7: Some Second-Body Moments during Attempted Nap
I took a nap after the sugar blast I had at the Press holiday lunch at the country club. Or I tried to. I was listening to the new Mixbern alpha and theta beats I bought, and I never thought I was asleep, because I was aware of the beats, the room, my body, the bed, and the fact that I was trying to nap.
However, a couple of strange little things happened. First, I remembered about the white lights I see in sleep. As soon as I started musing over this topic, a round white spotlight appeared directly in front of me. I managed not to get too excited. Instead, I stared at it and wondered again at the fact that it appeared at all, let alone in connection with my prior lucid thought. Then I noticed that the beats coming in from my earbuds were too loud, so I reached over and picked up my cell phone, read the front, and lowered the volume. But the volume wasn’t lower. Then I realized that I was in an altered state, that my hands were my second-body hands, so the phone must have been a figment. It was so real that I was shocked. I opened my eyes to see my coarse hands and real phone. It was playing the track that I was just trying to lower the volume on with my nonphysical hands. I still didn’t have the sense that I had slept or woken up.
December 16: Quick Note on Recurring Phenomena
Last night I was up most of the night because every time I would doze off, light would sweep in from the left and wake me. The light in this case was the yellowish light as from an incandescent lamp, like the one on my nightstand. There were also instances of a black sweeping ultra darkness, along with nonspecific foreboding. The other night I went to bed hungry and had that weird thing where I feed myself nonphysical food with my nonphysical hands. When I realized I was doing this, I laughed (nonphysically, of course). Vibrations, white lights, and brief tasks with nonphysical hands continue to be frequent, although I haven’t been recording in my log much anymore.
December 27: Note on What Continues
I am just noting that I continue to experience bodily vibrations and often to feel like I’m diffused and floating just above my body in hypnagogia. I am increasingly experiencing a thought in hypnagogia of doing something such as eating a snack, checking my alarm clock across the room, or doing some other little task and then doing it, only to realize that I’m not in my coarse body.
These episodes are brief and impressively real until I realize that they aren’t, whereupon I’m snapped back into my in-bed body. There have been no more arisings in the silvery body of light of February 18, 2018. I think that my hearing from Campbell that the body was unnecessary has blocked it from recurring—but I have no proof that this is why it hasn’t recurred.
I’m suffering chronic fatigue syndrome, which I beat more than 7 years ago. Early every evening, I’m extremely exhausted and sleepy, which is opposite my usual nighttime experience. When I get in bed, I desire oblivion. I’m not putting any effort or inclination into lucid sleep or “traveling” so long as my physical body feels so wasted. I am trying to figure out what is going on that could be causing this fatigue. I’ve even gone off keto, but that hasn’t helped. I’ve been doing adrenal cocktails in the evening, and these do seem to help a lot temporarily. I will step those up to twice a day, drink fresh raw veggie juice, and drink bone broth. I tend to be low in potassium, and I’m guessing keto has worsened this problem.
I will also make an appointment to see my integrated medicine doctor and get some blood tests. The doctor said yesterday that my knee arthritis has progressed significantly over the past year. That isn’t really surprising. I’ve read online that the surgery he did a year ago is controversial for accelerating arthritis. Well, at least I don’t have a blood clot! That would have been, according to the doctor, an “ordeal.”
Oh—last night a violet light came in from the right (not the usual left). It seemed to be coming in from a cabinet. I was dreaming while this seemed to be happening in my bedroom, but I don’t remember the dream and have had no interest in remembering my dreams. I was lucid while this was happening and thinking and analyzing the situation while it was happening. I sort of just—metaphorically—shrug my shoulders, which is the best response, because any kind of excitement or surprised reaction brings the state to an end. DreamWalker calls me a bliss bunny, always hopping up to chase the high. I guess aborted states will eventually cure me of my excitability. Or maybe not. . . .
I also saw the domed matrix with cryptic geometric runes or some such thing in them. Like primitive or Egyptian symbols.
This concludes 2018.
Recollect me darling, raise me to your lips Two undernourished egos, four rotating hips Hold on to me tightly, I’m a sliding scale Can’t endure, then you can inhale clearly Out of body experience interferes And dreams of flying, I fit nearly Surrounds me, though I get lonely slowly
Moving up slowly, inertia keeps She’s moving up slowly, slowly Moving up slowly, inertia creeps . . .
The Seminal Second Body Brought to Mirror: 19 February 2018
Over the past week, I have taken some time away from book writing while I’m sick to finally transfer selected entries from my 2018 private practice journal. I realized while reviewing my secret password-protected journal that I failed to include the event that began my out-of-body experiences in February 2018. No OBE since this first one has been as extended and mind-blowing, so it deserves its own post here, however belatedly.
For a couple of weeks before this OBE, I had been journaling an intensified prominence of bodily emptiness when I viewed myself in the bathroom mirror.
The date of this specific entry is February 19, 2019. The second body was translucent, and my limbs visually “trailed” upon being moved. Kinesthesia was as consistent and concrete as in normal embodiment and matched the body in the mirror. One consequence of this event was that fear of death lessened remarkably. I experienced firsthand, after all, that the mindstream does not depend on the coarse physical body of this incarnation.
For months now, I’ve frequently been in hypnagogia for about 90 minutes at a time, aware that I’m resting (sleeping?) in bed, but watching rapid, often immersive “movies,” mosaic patterns, bright lights, tigle, and faces.
Last night this was happening. It was so rapid and bright that I was literally nauseated and dizzy. So I started praying for help. And then I found that I could move my dream hands. Then I left my body and floated up in the bedroom. I floated to my dresser mirror and decided to check out the illusory body.
I saw myself in the mirror. I was oscillating in age but not in time-order: teenager, young mother, old woman, and some form that was ageless. I was surprised at the control I had, and then I was back in my bed. I’m actually “traveling” and probably have been for a while but without knowing how to control it. Effective control seems to be a sweet spot—too much control is a kind of over-excitement or fear. There is a sweet spot whereby even control is natural and not exactly mine.
I’ve been prickly the past 3 days, with some anger. All the anger dissolved after email exchange with John, in which he stated that he believed me, that I need to amp the powers a bit now. He said the downside is that it can become a distraction. He said a lot of stuff I need to go back and sort about oedipal stuff with my father and my needing to be aware of the dangers if I’m going to amp up the masculine energy in myself. He pointed me to Almaas’s Spaceship Cruiser book.
John has seen something about freeing ourselves from patriarchal authority. I said, “You don’t sound very lineage anymore, and I don’t feel like an editor.” He said, “Lineage comes from the future, too.”
Much blissful purity today after this exchange with John. Warm bright white radiant love. Absolute purity.
Fall from Sambhogakaya to Nirmanakaya: Letting Go of Dreams, September 2018
September 2018 saw my commitment to dream and sleep practice begin to dwindle. I was undergoing chronic pressure at work as our unit was on the cost chopping block, and management made greater and greater demands as we slid toward inevitable layoff. I wanted to move on much sooner than I was let go, but I stayed to keep peace at home. I was also struggling with chronic fatigue that was either because of a change in my usual thyroid medication, or the beginning of Epstein-Barr virus reactivation.
In other ways, I was feeling stuck and stagnant. I was too exhausted to work on my book nights and weekends. I waited for my coauthor for more than a year, but he never threw even a crumb of time my way for preliminary discussions. In fact, after promising not to, he kept me shut out in the dark, with no updates as to time he might sort the rest of his life enough for a mere 30-minute dialogue. I’m sure he had good reasons. However, the silence and chronic waiting for two key situations (work and coauthor) to decide my fate drained my energy, including the considerable energy and patience that a practice as difficult as sleep practice requires.
By waiting many months for others to confirm or cut their alliance with me, I drifted out of alliance with myself and my new calling. For another 6 months I was to feel like a forgotten ghost adrift in most of my dharma relationships, as well as in my workplace and publishing career. I had to pull back down and in to take care of myself in the most rudimentary ways.
After the awakening that drops subject-object reference points, dharmakaya release begins. Even though that very gradual release of karmic traces differs completely from the Progress of Insight cycles, it still tends to move in much longer cycles of ascending and descending, ups and downs, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya, as the human being who has woken up continues to grow up.
Along most of my Path, practice has alternated for 6 or so months at a time between juicy magical exhilaration, and coming back down to Earth, work, relationships, and the body. This month saw the decline of juiciness and sangha intimacy. I was beginning to retreat inward to sort complexities as I neared several endings that proved necessary to clear space for the mission ahead.
September 2: Hours of Hypnagogia and Lights
I completed a decently long meditation composed of bardo for Virginia, a secret practice, and some (too rushed) j7. From 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. I lay in bed listening to TC binaural beats. I was in some state closer to being awake than to being asleep, although there was a sliding scale. At one point I crossed over into sleep and on the way thought of Tibetan tigles and then made them appear before me. Then I passed into a scene with a sacred mountain ahead in the dusk. I made daylight happen, with full lucidity that I was controlling the sunlight. I became sufficiently excited that I was pulled back into my bedroom and actually saw my room illuminated momentarily as if I brought the light back with me while crossing over from the Dreaming to the Waking.
I have discerned that one of the reasons I’m pulled back so quickly out of liminal states is that I’m afraid of forgetting. I come back so as to be able to remember, log, report, analyze, and so on. What a Catch-22! Anyway, I lay there with my body resting and saw lights typical of hypnagogia for 3 hours, whether I had eyes open to my bedroom or not. Then I went downstairs to have a snack and my second cup of a new dream tea. I went back to bed and got some Stupid Sleep. My dream plan (left) had been to meet up with White Cat, but I do not remember any appearance of Cat. However, I saw my white hypnagogia lights, and Cat often pokes her head into those kinds of visions.
This new tea contains many different herbs, blue lotus included. It is delicious, and I enjoy it as part of a calming pre-sleep ritual in Zen-like contemplation.
September 4: Attempts at Difficult Sleep Yoga Instructions
I tried following Dan’s instructions for Sleep Yoga. It was extremely difficult. My concentration while I’m lying down is shit. I kept being drawn into the hypnagogic imagery and off the red lotus at the throat. I guess the idea is to let the hypnagogic imagery flow but to keep coming back to the red lotus. Very hard, and it is also hard for me to check rigpa while falling asleep because naturally I’m falling into dullness, which is precisely the problem. This lucidity stuff seems really difficult, and Dan says it is. Also, the Dzogchen texts say to focus on a blue lotus at the heart, not a red at the throat. Red at throat is for dreams; blue at heart is for Clear Light Sleep. I did have a few moments of Clear Light sleep that I can remember, but wow this is hard AF.
Comment 1 year later: A Dzogchen text via Longchenpa says a rigpa tigle should be envisioned at the heart center. There seems to be wide variation on instructions for which chakra to focus on (throat versus heart), but generally throat is for dream manifestation, and heart is for Clear Light sleep. The latter term, Clear Light sleep, is also used or translated in a variety of ways. Some texts indicate that it is simply dreamless sleep with full nondual awareness steady; others seem to indicate that it means simply the cessation of all dreaming; still others clearly mean that the Togal visions are practiced in sleep as a kind of witnessing dream. In a witnessing dream there is no “I” and no action taken; there is simply a field that is self-arising and self-liberating.
September 8: Dream of Scrums to Rat Out Demons and Avert Collapse
As soon as I let go of all attempts to dream and remember dreams, of course I have a bunch of dreams!
I am living and working in a woodsy lodge that seems to be located in North Raleigh. The rooms are cool and dark, with lots of dark wood and much surrounding shade outside. my lifelong friend Ira is there with his wife Julia. There are other people I know, as well, maybe some from work. For whatever reason, my role is to organize and psychically inform people, and I call others into a conference room time and again. It is hard to make them listen and concentrate on the importance of what I’m telling them, so I decide to start running our meetings as scrums. I remove all the chairs from the room and call everyone in to tell them to stand and listen.
At the first scrum I call, I realize suddenly and sharply that Julia is possessed by a demon, despite how sweet and completely positive she always completely is. I tell her, “You are being dragged down by a demon who is hijacking you, so you need to do this practice I’m going to give you to protect yourself.” Ira laughs at me and says, “Oh come on! Julia possessed by a demon, really, Jenny?’ And I say, “Yes, I know it sounds crazy but I can psychically detect the presence of demons, and she is infected.” I tell them to please just do the practice, whether they accept my diagnosis or not. I say it cannot harm them, so humor me. I think I almost have Julia convinced to do it, and I give her the instructions that I got from a teaching on dispelling negative forces (demons).
Later I call another scrum. I tell them that there is about to be a Collapse, to hurry up and do the purification practices, as you don’t want demons hanging onto you when the world crashes. Then I’m standing on a balcony and looking at the Raleigh skyline. Suddenly, I decide to make the sky bright. In this moment of lucidity, the sky brightens up white. Then I see the moon. It is hurtling toward us rapidly, as if it will impact the Earth right where I’m standing. The others start screaming in terror. I tell them to hush, that everything is okay. They scream, “Okay? How can this be okay!” Then as the moon is about to hit us, I focus on it and it pops as if it is a balloon and my concentration is a pinprick.” I tell the others, “See, empty?” The ephemeral shards of the moon surface melt in the sun.
I would not call this dream lucid. There was no really clear sense that I was dreaming and in bed sleeping. There was, however, a clear sense that I had siddhis and some considerable power over what was detected and what the outcome would be. This is a far cry from my dreams of 2015, when John told me I had a gullible (codependent) dream ego that was led around helplessly by others in the dream. If you want to discern what you need to change about how you interact in the Waking, then look at how your dream ego moves through your dreams.
In the new dakini text I’m reading, it is written that the lower psychic powers develop upon one’s no longer caring whether one is in samsara or nirvana. This is sort of funny to me, because once I stopped caring about recalling dreams, I have this one about powers and remember it.
There is something I just remembered: at one of the meetings, I had these rectangles of light I was distributing. I said that these sheets of light can annihilate unwholesome beings but to be very conservative about using this power. These rectangles of light matched the retinal after-image when I looked at my cell phone, turned it off before settling in to sleep, and then saw it revive later in hypnagoia, where I willed it to light up the entirety. It did, and I had a few moments of what I think was Clear Light Sleep before everything plunged into darkness and then regular dreaming.
September 9: Attempts to Communicate with DreamWalker and John
I am on a bus, riding through the downtown of some charming city, maybe Raleigh or Portland. I am texting on my mobile phone to DW, but the messages keep going to the wrong people (Daniel, in one instance, I think). I arrive at some kind of Sunday school building and enter. I go to the bathroom at one point and find that there are no closed stalls, all the toilets are broken, and shit is everywhere (literally). I go out in the hall and locate a new toilet. I drag it into the women’s restroom to use but feel exposed because the stalls are collapsed and now there are men in there.
I have to pee, so I do so anyway and leave. Now I’m out in the hallway and some dude with long dark hair is teaching people tummo and tantric sex. Couples are in these red tents in the hallway, having sex. I have this feeling that this teacher is a bit of a charlatan. I walk down the hall, searching everywhere for John so that I can tell him about The Hidden Keys text and what I now know about fourth vision being death. When I finally find John, I try to hug him, but he will not hug me back. I try to talk to him, but he is like an unresponsive zombie and talks about other topics right through me to other people in the space. I’m sad and frustrated that he will not see me or respond.
September 11: Hypnagogia Most of the Night
I went to bed after 3 a.m. I didn’t fall into stupid sleep until around 6 a.m. after a snack. During the first (sort of) sleep, I saw rapid imagery flash for hours, along with lights—sometimes total light. There was a strong sense of John in my mind and coursing throughout my channels and chakras, which felt like being taken over. I told him “Leave me alone,” which is what I used to say telepathically to Daniel. Jesus!
September 16: Death of a Key Relationship and Death of Vocation
Evidently triggered by a three-card tarot reading on my future, I dreamed I am in a prison visitation room, sitting across from Daniel. Daniel is stock still and silent. He looks just as he does in his DhO photo. I say only this: Goodbye, Daniel. He says nothing. Then I awake up into another dream.
I am waking up on the floor beside my desk at work. I’m surprised to find I’ve been sleeping on the job. I sit up and notice that there is a corpse sheet laid over my desk, and my computer and monitor have been taken away. I realize with some fear response and grief that I’ve been laid off and will soon be escorted out of the building, never to return. I sneak out to tell the other editors and to write down their cell numbers. On the way back, I run into my boss and say, “So I’ve been fired.” Her lips start moving, but I hear nothing. Again I wake up from the dream.
I woke up in my bed but decided to try to go back to sleep. I don’t think I ever went under completely but lay there in awareness for 2 hours. I was surprised when I got out of bed that 2 hours had passed. I must have slept even though it seemed I was awake and aware of my room and body in bed the whole time.
September 23: Long Run of Dream Fragments about Being on Retreat
I had a long dream, or dreams, about being at this sort of spa campus in the country, maybe in Florida since sinkholes were at the ends of dirt roads.
John is in one conference room, but I am not allowed in because I can’t afford an admission ticket. Vasily is there, and he can afford to attend John’s gig. After he comes out, we go floating in this indoor salt pool. Everything is white instead of dark, though. It is almost like a deprivation tank in effect. Vasily is trying hard to theorize something, saying he understands now that he has been keeping part of himself behind a “wall,” but that enlightenment is about change in meaning, not change in emotions. I sort of argue with him, saying that eventually and very gradually emotional reactivity recedes but that this change lags behind perceptual baseline change. These pompous book authors hop in the pool with us and start a snobbish intellectual nitpicking of some book that has nothing to do with awakening. I leave the pool.
I am lying on a message table. Dr. Weir, my thyroid disease doctor, shows up to take my blood pressure and listen to my heart. This makes me tense because I am on retreat and want a spa experience. I close my eyes, and when I opened them, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, who wrote The Prime, the detox book I’m following, is there in place of Dr. Weir. That was more like it, because she pulls a massage therapist in to give me a Swedish massage for lympathic stimulation.
I am staying in a little cottage on the retreat campus, with Kurt, who is just vacationing, not doing any of the spiritual stuff. I suddenly am disgusted with everything spiritual and want to go home. Kurt reminds me that we do not have a car and must wait to the end of the retreat stint to take a bus back with everyone else. I say, “Fuck that,” I remember a car I saw parked next to one of the sinkholes. I decide to steal it. I go on my lappy and read how to hotwire a car. So I gather my things and hike down the sandy dirt road where I had seen the car. However, halfway up the road is a thick group of teens on spring break or some break. They are drunk and moshing, and for some reason I know that I can not penetrate them to get to that car I want to steal. Reluctantly, I turn back to the spiritual path, unable to escape it.
This dreams seems to be chiefly about ambivalence toward further spiritual healing. It is true that sometimes I get dope-sick on dharma, yet cannot stop it. This sense is likely because I spend so much time in dharma discussions and dharma texts, studying so that I can teach. Otherwise, I think integration might descend (and ascend) to other planes. It is akin to being attached to dreams of ignorance because they are fun where lucid sleep implies responsibility. Here, I just want a fun vacation, but healing modalities and intellectual combativeness keep disrupting my relaxation. Below are some quotes from a dream dictionary:
To dream that you forget or can’t find where you parked your car indicates that you are dissatisfied or unhappy with an aspect of your waking life. You do not know what you really want to do with your life or where you want to go. Ambivalence.
To dream that your car has been stolen indicates that you are being stripped of your identity. This may relate to losing your job, a failed relationship, or some situation which has played a significant role in your identity and who you are as a person. If you dream that you are stealing a car, then it implies that you are trying to take credit for someone else’s work. It may also mean that you are downplaying the role that others had in your success.
To see a parked car in your dream suggests that you need to turn your efforts and energies elsewhere. You may be needlessly spending your energy in a fruitless endeavor. Alternatively, a parked car may symbolize your need to stop and enjoy life.
To see a pool of water in your dream indicates that you need to acknowledge and understand your feelings. It is time to dive in and deal with those emotions. Alternatively, a pool indicates your desire to be cleansed. You need to wash away the past.
To dream that you are seeing the doctor indicates your need for emotional and spiritual healing. The dream could also highlight medical concerns. Perhaps it is time to go and get a physical checkup.
All in all, this dream seems to be suggesting a need to purge spiritual scenes and persons. It is interesting that I chose this time to begin a deep detoxification of my body in the Waking.
September 28: Wild Hynagogia
The long sessions of hypnagogia continue without my practicing anything to do with dreaming or OBE. I feel while in these states and afterward when I reflect on them that these experiences are close-to-the-bone for purity of mind, meaning they are the mind as it really is with the filters removed. It is constantly creating new visions and scenes, rapidly, ceaselessly. It is amazing to be able to be in the visions yet aware metacognitively of them as such the entire time.
Another experience I continue to observe is a sense of seeing out versus seeing in. But both hover close to the boundary. I hypothesize that this boundary is false and has to dissolve. Maybe death is necessary for that?
The other night I had a particularly stunning hypnagogic vision: My entire visual field was tigles. Then they multipled into the millions, swirled like the whole expanse went into a vortex, and then were replaced by a night sky dense with stars and planets. The sequence was breathtaking.
I also feel guilty for not practicing this or anything lately except for book writing and detoxing. But I guess as autumn approaches, I’m going out of a magically gooey phase and into a no-nonsense nirmanakaya phase. The alternation happens all along the Path.
September 30: Nightlong Dreams and Relationship of Recall to Letting Go
All night long, first and second sleeps, I saw both sessions centering on a mixture of workplace (RTI) themes and retreat (John) themes. I don’t feel like writing it all out. It doesn’t matter anyway, just samsaric dreaming. However, I wanted to make a record here that my memory every day of dreams has been continual since I quit trying. That is an interesting data point to me, and I’m not sure what to make of it. Am I more on track by surrendering more? Or was I more on track when I had stopped dreaming because cessation of dreaming is the eventual goal? Sleep practice is hard to get even a theoretical handle on.
This concludes September 2018.
I was always right About the morning Okay, I’m an old shoe
Danced above the blaze Never stopped crawling Over the black dunes
And I’m waiting for you Waiting forever Are you awake now, too?
I’m always one Without a warning Old days re-appear
Lift away, past the gate Desert keeps forming Underneath the black moon
And I’m waiting for you Waiting forever Are you awake now, too?