Phases

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Spirituality, mysticism, the spiral path, whatever you might call it, well…certainly at this point I’m aware I was misled in childhood to think that religion was somehow static.

No, indeed, it is dynamic and fluid, ever changing and morphing and bringing me to greater and greater insight, plunging me deeper as I move through phases again and again.

Which is to say, I’m moving out of the “Pagan” phase and into a Christian phase again.

What am I trying to learn? What am I being taught? I wish I had more insight. I wish I could sit and meditate, but I can’t. My mind is focused and tied up to so much else.

But life is sweet currently, lovely in a way that perhaps only Spring can bring. Maybe it’s the season, or maybe it’s something else.

I want to know.

Steve

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And Now, Fullness

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In December, I had the most powerful experiences of Emptiness, and yet…yesterday, I had the totally opposite experience, the experience of an unending FULLNESS of Reality, pushing through and bursting forth with meaningfulness.

The FULLNESS of Reality appeared to me in a more feminine form, and I’m inclined to refer to It as a Goddess, and specifically, the Goddess Aphrodite. This is surprising to me as I’ve had an affinity for Aphrodite previously, but she didn’t seem to necessarily appear directly in my life.

My husband and I went out for a Valentine’s Day date one day late, and we stood by the ocean as the sun set prior to attending a local play. This is where I most strongly felt the power, the absolute FULLNESS and knowing that things will be well, that all is good, that even in the most terrifying moments, Reality isn’t totally horrifying.

I have no idea what’s going on. My Buddhist phase got knocked out- as I predicted it would. It’s not that I’ve rejected Buddhism; far from it, as it seems to guide me and underlie a great deal of my experiences and thoughts. But…just wow.

Worthy to note is that I’ve returned to doing the Tarot Meditations from Stephan Hoeller’s book- this time, however, I’m doing the meditations for two weeks at a time, so that’ll take up most of the year. The goal isn’t to rush through but to sincerely absorb and psychically “build” the paths in the Tree of Life.

Let’s see what happens, shall we?

Steve

Finally, Freakin’ Vibrations

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Without having the particular experience of something, the explanations in Buddhism can seem kind of obtuse.

Even though the Noting Meditation seems bizarre to me, I’ve still been doing it because, well, it’s a good idea to give it a go.

So tonight, I was doing Concentration Meditation instead, and I got into what was probably the 3rd Jhana. I’m reluctant to claim 4th Jhana at this point because my visualizations don’t really come to a vivid, stable image, and that’s supposed to be a 4th Jhana characteristic, but it may also have to be built up.

Anyway, I didn’t exactly switch to Insight Meditation, but suddenly, I stopped trying so hard, and I started experiencing vibrations.

The vibrations aren’t terribly strong, and in some ways, they aren’t what I expected- it was more a sense of what it’s like to be in the ocean, with the waves rising and falling and be moved around by the current of the water. That’s what the experience was like, and it continued, though the currents weren’t from any one particular direction, and they were CONSTANTLY changing. So, impermanence was definitely something I experienced, but impermanence seems to be something I live through in daily life anyway.

So, yeah, I’m sticking with this Buddhist meditation thing because it’s for real.

Steve

Crash, perhaps?

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I dunno if I crashed into the Dark Night or what happened, but at some point in time yesterday, I ended up exhausted. Almost two weeks of being able to access the awareness of the Buddha Nature/kundalini energy/whatever the heck it was, and here we are.

Earlier, it was more difficult to turn again to the Buddha Nature and such; and it’s possible I’ve entered a Dark Night, but it’s largely difficult to tell because again, I have no clue what’s going on with Vipassana.

I’m trying the Nothing Technique. I really am. But perhaps I don’t understand the theory or something; I can seem to just pay attention to my senses instead, and that seems to be easier. Noting seems like it causes me to think in the middle of meditation, and I’ve also learned the technique in question is a relatively new one, only developed in the last 100 years or so.

So…yeah. I’m still giving it a fair shot, though, to see if it works, to see if it can get me to a deeper level of reality where I can feel through the vibrations and such.

At moments, when I focus now, my mind can find a great deal of silence.

What’s happened?

But through it all, I’ll sit through it and try to be okay with it and just accept what happens.

Steve

 

 

Just Now

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Being somewhat at the end of this particular experience, it’s still “fresh,” as it were.

I was looking up information the instrument used in Tibetan Buddhism known as the “vajra.”

Outside, I suddenly heard wind chimes, and then…I remembered something. But what I remembered is impossible to describe, except that suddenly the mind was still- the mind stopped, no thinking, no song in the back of my head, and the front of my head felt kind of numb and then RELIEVED.

So, this seemed like the exact opportunity to investigate the Three Characteristics of Reality (impermanence, suffering, no self), and I went for it. To the shock and awe in many ways, I had this sudden realization that these things, in a way, are what give reality meaning. The lack of self is what allows for the Buddha Nature to endow things with meaning- it’s all garbled sounding at this point, but I could see directly into this, especially with situations in my past.

In the moment, staying here, it was more difficult, but I did experience phenomena “just where they are” as Daniel Ingram says, and a sense of separation between me and everything else was gone (even though I didn’t just MERGE into all things and disappear).

So…wow.

More signs that I’m on the correct path, perhaps?

Steve

Kundalini Dreams

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Last night, I vowed to seek the Buddha in my dreams, and I apparently did that.

I was WIRED for hours before falling asleep; the last time I checked the clock, it was past 3 AM. (I lay down around 1:30 AM and turned out the lights around 2 AM).

In the dreams, I had a bell that was also a statue of Avalokiteshvara. (The Shiva statue on my altar represents Avalokiteshvara, so I guess I’m meant to work with him.) I began ringing the bell and chanting to Avalokiteshvara, and the kundalini began doing its thing and rising through my body.

Then, I woke up in a manic sort of state- feeling so blissful and so deep of mind and amazing.

This is the sensible thing to say: don’t make decisions from that state of mind because it will fade and isn’t grounded. While it’s useful to have such good feelings, many things were also distorted with what I guess are subconscious perspectives on people and my surrounding life.

That’s all okay as long as I don’t take it as an absolute and unchanging reality. Within an hour or two, the experienced faded, but I still got up and meditated again for about an hour.

Insight meditation is beginning to make more sense; I don’t think I’ve been in a deep enough state of mind previously, and the “noting” practice is useful if my mind starts to wonder and I’m not just paying attention to all the various sensations that arise.

In the blissful state, I could *kind of* zero-in on the micro-phenomenon, and at one point when I was meditating later this morning, I could see that my breath was what someone described as “textured,” which is the sense of the various places in the nose where the breath is hitting and where it isn’t. In other words, what normally feels like a “smooth” in and out breath is more complex and detailed than that.

Sooo maybe that’s a step in the right direction, eh?

Steve

More Practice

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Perhaps I can safely say that I’m not entirely sure how to do insight meditation. For one thing, beyond the “noting” practice, I can’t seem to get a consistent definition of what it is, and the noting practice is something I’m either doing incredibly wrong or incredibly right or also not grasping because it irritates the shit out of me and seems pointless.

That’s fine, though.

Today was a day for getting over migraines, cos I’ve had a migraine the past two days, and even though a migraine seems like a GREAT thing to investigate the vibrations of, it was just too overwhelming in and of itself.

Later on, I read about the various Buddhist families in Vajrayana Buddhism, and I was like, “Yep, I’m definitely in the Vajra Family” because of how central anger is to my experience. I did sit with some negative feelings in meditation, just letting them rise up, REALLY FEELING THEM for what they were, seeing where there was tension and what the psychological reality of them was (is this insight meditation? Buddha, some help here!)

I think I was in the First Jhana when that happened, and later on, when something negative came up, I stayed with the feelings, and then…suddenly, the sensations were like tickling on the inside, and I started laughing. Then it dawned on me that this might be a demonstration of impermanence because the sensations and feelings changed so quickly. But who knows?

In ordinary waking mode, I can still intuit the underlying Buddha Nature in all things. It can take some focus, and if I get too tired, I can start to lose a sense of it, but I allow that to be.

Earlier today I went into a much deeper than usual meditation, and I have no idea what jhana I was at or whether or not it’s even useful to refer to jhanas or use the maps I’ve been given.

Oh, I also set up a small Buddhist altar because let’s complicate things, amirite? So that means I effectively have a Christian altar, a Buddhist altar, and a Pagan altar set up in my home. How very Gnostic of me, indeed. *biggest eye-roll ever*

I wonder if the migraines have anything to do with my spirituality? Then again, it may be better to not know that at this point because there’s no telling how I would react to such knowledge.

Steve

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