Dream of the Heart Lamp on the Dark Path
I’m a little frustrated with myself for not adhering to my dream yoga practice, but I’m scattered and have been since September 2014, when I began working on MCTB2 with Daniel. After that scene exploded, I had a hard time winding down from it. I sought replacements for him and for the Dharma Underground, which I considered my ragtag sangha. Meantime, my teacher urged me to stop. He told me I needed to feel my losses. He told me that the real sangha is always already with me, to feel that, connect with that. He told me to pull all my energy back into myself instead of playing the Helper, that doing so would deepen my practice. And deepening the practice, finishing the Path, is Mission 1.
Only in the past couple of months have I begun to really withdraw. Now it is hard to do anything but withdraw. Dharma scenes are not my scenes. Although I can touch into scenes from time to time and enjoy other people there as friends, gone is the notion that any are going to enrich my practice. Honestly, very few are practicing at the level I am now. There is nothing to talk about, therefore, and my journey will be unique from here on, less subject to mapping than what came before. I cannot even write here about my main practices, not yet anyway. I’m keeping a private journal again. Maybe it won’t always be private, but it needs to be for now. My teacher is right, you see.
Moreover, I’m more and more finding that I need to be metacognitively aware of how I’m interacting with those seeking my practice advice. Sometimes people pretend to want help, but then they reject the straightforward advice and want to spend time verbally pushing back against me. In short, they are externalizing a loop they are caught in, perpetuating; they are projecting onto me one end of the loop. Funny – I now understand well how I did the same thing to Daniel on some occasions. And when he was like a Refusing Wall over and over and over again, that actually ended up being what I needed. I was thrown back on myself and the “no escape” of the here-and-now of suffering. “It always amazes me – the lengths to which people with go to avoid looking at their own suffering,” I still hear him saying.
For the past two weeks, I’ve wanted almost nothing to do with dharma, including practice. Incidentally, I injured my knee while sitting in half lotus, and that has been an excuse not to practice. I’ve suddenly wanted to excel at my day job, watch movies with my husband, drink vodka martinis whose recipes I create, and plan trips to historic Savannah. I’ve done so. I’m moving further inward, back into my very human life. Even my dream practice hasn’t been appealing: I’ve wanted only to sleep deeply through the night, plunging into that holdout of Ignorance. I know my teacher would approve, strange though that may sound.
Over the past week, on four or so successive nights, I had a series of dreams that were part of a single narrative. I remember little detail about any of the dreams, but they all concerned my planning a solitary retreat into the dark woods. In one I was discussing matters with my husband, who wasn’t sure I should go. I told him I was going, that it would be fine. DreamWalker’s young daughter was in another of the dreams and was significant, but I’m not sure why. It was as if I were going into solitary retreat partly for her sake.
The climax of the dream series, and the clearest part, was my going before some kind of oracle on a throne before departing onto the dark forest path. I had my backpack ready to go. I put it down and looked up at the throne above me. I told whoever this oracle was that I was going to journey alone into and through the dark and that I needed healing. Suddenly, I was looking down at my open palm in which lay an amulet with a long cube-shaped perfume vial. The vial was filled with my own tears.They had been transformed into liquid light. I tied the pendant behind my neck, and the vial fell between my breasts, at heart center. The light it gave off was brilliant, never dimming. I bowed and departed on my lone journey.
Given all that I wrote before writing the dream narrative, there is little about this series to evaluate. One point I want to note, though, is that the lucidity of the amulet was self-illumination of the dream: It was the one part of the dream series that I remember with clarity and sharpness. If I decide to explore this dream further, it will be to learn more about who the oracle is. I feel it is someone I know but who remained hidden, cloaked, while bestowing the gift that was already mine. It is a Wizard of Oz or a Glenda the Good.