Son’s Entrance on the Path

My 21-year-old son and I met with the local little Bön sangha this morning and practiced the Nine Breathings of Purification and Tsa Lung. After we ate potluck with the others, he and I went alone to a local cafe, where I gave him some high-level theoretical materials I wrote up, as well as a concentration practice and other marching orders for the week. 

Teaching and Writing

Thus begins my teaching my beloved son Buddhist view and meditation practice. He is a philosophy major at University and took to the theory like a swan to still water, comparing some points to Marx and Hegel. He asked intelligent questions about the dangers of nihilism and the role of renunciation, which tells me that I need to think about addressing those topics earlier than I first thought. He also said he felt the effects of the energetic practices this morning and wishes to return. 

My meeting with him weekly to teach him is a win-win for us: I organize him into and guide his practice, and his questions and “test subject” reports back to me help me with the writing and revision of the new Pragmatic Dharma meditation manual I’m now drafting for all the others out there like him. He found the tables I had prepared over the past three weeks engaging and clear, and we talked much longer than I expected about just the Three Trainings. 

We also talked about the differences between how Buddhist practice is being mapped on-the-fly in the West from the ways it is traditionally mapped in the far different cultures of the East. Specifically, we discussed the fact that in the traditional settings in the East, people will engage morality practice, devotional practice, and prostration practice for many years before having access to the higher teachings, if ever, whereas here in the West people tend to jump right into the endgame and then need to circle back around to clean up the so-called preliminaries. 

If he establishes daily practice as a habit, my intuition is that he will progress rapidly, like his mom, because we both are predominantly flighty air energy, which is associated with fast attainment progress, although longer efforts to stabilize the attainments. When I told him that most people combat dullness and sleepiness at first, he said, “I won’t; I’ll have to contend with agitation and excess energy.” Like mother, like son.

Dreaming of Vincent’s Insight Stages

When I returned home, I took a delicious nap. But I had a weird dream in which I was nervously trying to match up each of Vincent Van Gogh’s 39 self-portraits with the specific insight stage (ñana) represented by each. I was looking at each portrait to determine whether the artist were depressed or manic in it and as he was painting it. I was also pointing to each of the five colors of the Buddha Families, energies, and wisdoms.

A Word about My Current Formal Practice

My nightly formal practice continues, but I’ve not been writing about it here for several reasons. One reason is that I’m exploring some practices whose methods and results I’m unsure of as yet. The main reason, however, is that I’m not gaining new territory currently through meditation. I could write, “Oh, I had another delicious jhana-a-thon,” but that would serve little purpose for my readers. 

In my own view, this journal is nowhere near as interesting as its prequel, Dharma by Dark Night, for the latter was composed during my most intense acceleration of awakening. Most practitioners will therefore gain better hints and inspiration from that journal than from this one, this one being increasingly one concerned with dreams, visions, energetic cleanup, rituals, and signs – the very individualized magickal playground that can be explored after correcting misperception, fundamental suffering. Which brings me to my final reason for backing off recording formal practice here: I need to finish transferring the most interesting parts of that prequel journal to its online home here (Dharma by Dark Night).

Spoken Word Dreams with Son

My 21-year-old only son was staying at home last night so we could put his car in for repairs before he drives to Ohio for a Magic the Gathering tournament. Fairly often, and repeatedly last night, I am dreaming conversations between us as I rise up out of sleep. There are no images, but there are our voices. I often don’t remember the gist of the conversations; they are usually mundane, I think. The one this morning mainly concerned his asking me for gas money. There are apparently some constants across planes of existence, and one of these is that college students continually ask parents for more money.

Bewildering Altercation / Remarkable Child

I’m having a rough night. I’ve been up crying for hours. I’ve had some bewildering altercation with Daniel. I tried to meditate but could not. I just sat on my cushion and let loose with the tears. 

I’m not even sure why he reacted as he did to what I wrote him, but he sent me the link to his FAQ disclaiming being anyone’s teacher, accused me of trying to manipulate him, accused me of quickly feeling “entitled.” implicitly accused me of “drama,” implied I didn’t have stream entry, said that this altercation was my “hyper-projecting” onto him and that he “resented” it, said my message was “caustic” and “venomous,” which it was not, and more. He listed 3 points for me to think about and dismissed me in his hyper-dismissive aloof fashion. And he said everything that happened tonight was insight-stage diagnostic on me. 

He cited having spent 3 hours of his time advising me by email, which advice consisted of the story of his getting 4th path, and didn’t even charge me for this service! No mention of the many more than 3 hours every single day that I’ve spent donating my time to professionally structure and edit his book. I didn’t mean to manipulate him, if that is what I’ve done. I really revere him and I feel crushed at the crisp cold words with which he has dismissed me.

Middle of the night, and in walks my 19-year-old son on the way back to Chapel Hill from being out of town. He walks into my bedroom and sees me there crying on my cushion. He was so wonderful, sat on the bed with me and held me in his arms, rocking me as I once rocked him.  And then, he said, “Mom. Cheer up. You’ve been such a good, kind mother to me all my life. I love you very much.”

He lives 30 minutes away near his college campus. He never comes home, yet past midnight, when I broke down crying on my meditation cushion, he suddenly came in the kitchen door, bounded up the stairs, and swooped into my bedroom, saying, “Oh, I’m sorry I interrupted,” but then saw that I was crying. I did cheer up, sat with him a while, and talked about all the music shows we are going to see (we have a deep music bond). It was as though this guardian angel had swooped down out of the black of night, and its face, of holy course, was that of my own only child.

[Painting of Queen of Disks, Mary-el Tarot, courtesy of Marie White]