Karmic Windstorms before Retreats

Residue of the Last Wind

Back in July, immediately before Mahamudra retreat, the karmic windstorm was rage toward Daniel out of feelings that he was excluding me, ignoring me, breaking promises, putting me down, and betraying me. This was the ripening of a clearly longstanding karmic connection, and it was pivotal. Has this dream been resolved? Have I learned anything? Why did this happen, my side of it?


This time, before a weekend Dzogchen retreat, it is dysregulation at the mundane physical level. I forgot to pack my migraine medicine and had to return home to get it, making me late. Then after I got it, I realized I left my bottle with my other medicine in it back in my office when I took the bottle out to look for the first medicine. So I had to double back yet again.

Agitation and Fear to Rapture

Once on the road to Virginia, fear arose in connection to “being trapped” in a car I didn’t control. I used John’s words about the liberation of crucifixion to descend straight into the fear sensations, thereby igniting brush fire lucidity in all directions, illuminating the field. Terror can be the fuel, and the illumination it brings is rapturous. Bliss and equanimity and terror are all waves. The Natural State doesn’t change. Don’t be fooled by Tsal. Tsal is the momentary expression, in and of the natural state. It is no destroyer. And so terror dissolved as the miles got behind us and we climbed the hills toward the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge rose into the sky; the terror flattened out and went undertow.

Lost Belongings

In my room at the retreat center, the dysregulation kept arising as Lost Belongings. My pink sock ball — I know I put it in my purse while in the Gompa. I could find it nowhere. I finally gave up, and then it appeared in my computer bag somehow, even though I never took that bag to the gompa, which is where I had taken off my socks. This happened with about five other objects. It was as if by magic that they kept disappearing from where I just knew I had placed them and then kept mysteriously appearing after I gave up on finding them. Over and over and over. I was being asked to pay attention to this pattern.

Recollection in the Waking and Sleeping Dreams

I’ve been strongly called for months to dreamwork, including lucidity, as readers know. Now I’m deepening my approach to this work with a quirky manual my teacher recommended. I was reading in this manual the night before all the losses, and here is what I had read: “It [memory] is not the lack of mental capacity to recall past events, inner and outer, which causes forgetting. It is a defensive part of ourselves which blocks us from re-experiencing what we have chosen at some level to consider negative. . . . Thus, if you are not recalling many dreams vividly, analyze your own shut-off mechanism.” It continues: “A basic principle to check things out with is as follows: ‘If I have forgotten something [,then] I have wanted to forget it.’ And this: ‘I do not remember by will power but by letting go and becoming a vehicle.’”

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