Dreams and Other Outings: Fourth Quarter, 2018
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 . . .