High Priestess, White Flowers, and Medicine Buddha: Karmic Linkages
This was another natural jhana sit. I should pay attention to why my mind easily goes into daydreams and discursive thought in the lower jhanas. Whatever my cutting edge is—Boundless Consciousness and Nothingness—that is completely absorbing, but the climb up is full of distraction. I need to get my concentration very strong before the retreat.
Nothingness was the “place” of interest today. I suddenly started paying attention in this jhana to the “visual” field. And there was a staring down. I was staring into the abyss, into “nothing.” Despite the name of this state and the nothingness I was facing, the facing itself was a thing. Without objects, I could sense just raw opposition of myself to X. And yet, that fluctuates: Sometimes there seems to be no difference between my looking and that nothingness looked-at. It is like looking into your own soul, only it is not there; yet there is an abyss, a nothing, so there has to be a looker. Nothingness is so stripped down that it offers the opportunity to see almost pure relationship itself, mind itself. That’s why I like it.
Daniel wrote a comment that “vibrating formless realms” refers to oscillating between seventh and eighth jhana. I need to follow up on this draft MCTB marginalia.
I made intense resolutions aloud to draw the card responsive to my Desire for Deliverance, my situation. I drew the High Priestess, upright. I have much to say about this. I wrote about this reading to Daniel, so I’ll copy what I wrote to him here.
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Out of my sit, I drew this card, upright, after strong, said-aloud resolutions, some of which were to draw the card that was most responsive to all this DFD anguish and my general situation.
The High Priestess is an emphatically feminine card. The figure has no form, no body, but only ribbons of clothes that are continually “unraveling” and “wrapping” by turns. This continual flux between presence and emptiness/mystery derives from her control of the elements (the world).
The scroll you see that she holds in her hand is her knowledge. It is firmly in her grasp. It remains a secret and will be read only by her and those of her kind.
The moon in the center of this card represents the triad of womanhood across the lifespan: the girl, the woman, and the crone. The pomegranates and womanly shapes in the background represent issues related to the core of her womanhood.
So both the (patriarchal) degree in her hand and her mysterious (feminine) formless form are key identifiers here. This figure is me.
The deep purples and aquas of the card (our favorite colors) play on the notions of the darkness of night (the Dark Night) and the reflective-illuminating depths of still water (A Still Forest Pool of Equanimity).
The Priestess patiently waits for everything to unravel, including her own form. In this waiting, she is in control of all things in her life. While the world around her is in constant flux, she stands firm on her ground of logic. And her logic tells her to let her intuition guide her through.
The High Priestess is the voice inside us that calls to us to heed our intuition.
The High Priestess is the voice inside that tells us to interpret our dreams, read the signs, and follow gut feelings.
The High Priestess embodies Wisdom that comes through time and patience, and she is asking me to practice that same patience.
This card comes up during a period in which the seeker is having a series of coherent dreams, which for me has certainly been the case lately. It is telling the one who draws this card that the current run of dreams is offering previously veiled insight, to interpret the dreams fully, to pay much attention to them, to look for synchronicity springing from them, and to take all the connections seriously.
This card traditionally represents the indwelling of the divine and secret arcana. The figure dwells in silence, rest, and private reflection between two poles, one being negation (emptiness), and the other being beginning (manifestation).
The number is II, and in the journey of the Fool, this figure is the counterpart to the Magician, who is No. I. The Magician is out in the light of day, confident in thepower he displays. This figure in the dark and represents power, insight, and knowledge that is secret, hidden, veiled, and instinctual. She is also a complement to the Hermit, who shines an artificial light and is more restless (active) in the quest for knowledge, whereas the High Priestess is associated with the natural luminescence of the moon and stillness, quietness, reflection, solitude. This card urges time alone to meditate and reflect, to draw on powers that spring forth naturally, on their own. It is not a time of activity, but a time of waiting and intuitive feeling in and feeling out. She also complements the Hierophant, who is often a High Priest of esoterica who is bossy and can be rigid and proscriptive in relationship .
Here is where it becomes really fascinating. The pomegranates associated with the High Priestess are first associated with Persephone, Queen of the Underworld (I referred to myself in the DhU recently as Queen of the Underground, which is funny in this context). Persephone is the Goddess of springtime, beginning, Source. She is often shown descending into the Underworld amid white falling flowers.
Now, in the emails I sent over the weekend, I told you of that A&P dream I had that complements the whiteboard-Daniel-equation dream. In this other dream, I’m facing a Priest across an altar. He tells me to drink down a chalice overflowing with my own tears, which I look into and see are luminous. When I do drink them down, the dream explodes into a rain of white flower petals. The flowers were orchids, and I think this flower was chosen because I had recently started wearing a nontoxic essential oils scent called White Orchid.
Okay, falling white flowers have another association for me, a strong one. When I was attending the Kadampa Center, soon after I first started a meditation practice and while I was clearly in a long A&P stage, I had a dream that was very clear and significant. I was walking in a blank grassy field, down a narrow path. I could see just ahead of me a white gazebo. Floating over the floor of the gazebo, in classic lotus position, was the Medicine Buddha, the Great Blue One. He was looking down and across at me, holding me with an intent gaze. He said nothing, but he was psychically beckoning me to keep walking that path toward him. I did so, but I noticed that I was never arriving and not even getting closer. He nonetheless kept beckoning me forward.
Then it started raining blossoms, white perfect blossoms. The blossoms carpeted the whole field. Everything was beautiful, snow white, silent, and soft. I held one of the blossoms. It was shaped like a cross and looked like a dogwood blossom. Dogwood blossoms symbolize the scars of Christ, the tips looking like blood-tinged nail holes, and the center looking like a crown of thorns. The dream ended this way, with my still walking toward the beckoning eyes of the Medicine Buddha, who had a psychic connection with me.
I told this dream to one of the nuns, who told it to the Geshe Gelek. She told me that I have a karmic connection to the Medicine Buddha. I subsequently attended Medicine Buddha pujas, and I made and painted and blessed a little Medicine Buddha statue that I always keep in front of me when I meditate.
A few months ago, for whatever reason, I stopped meditating and pulled out a binder I had of Kadampa Center materials. In there was a picture of the Medicine Buddha, and I had the urge to take it as object, so I did. I also had a candle lit, because I now seem to always want the fire element present, too. Well, after third jhana, the Buddha became 3D and kept morphing into different shapes and positions. His lips were moving.
Here is the creepy part. Three different times during that sit, I felt a cold hand rest on my right shoulder. It was so real and compelling that the third time I actually looked behind me to see if someone were really there. The next day, a gal from work who is getting certified in Healing Touch and Reike came to my house to do a free session with me. She was supposed to work on my plantar fasciitis. But, during the session, she went right up to my right shoulder, where I had felt that hand, and she laid her hand there a long time. She was actually weeping! She asked me afterward what had happened there, but I thought she was talking about injury. I had forgotten about the MB from the night before. But when she left, I remembered and told her at work.
So, long thread pulled here from one card. I wanted to share this with you. Don’t feel you need to reply.