Suddenly…

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Another one of “those” experiences is happening as I write this. What does it mean? I’m not entirely sure.

This time, I had a sudden insight into the “now” in a way that I’ve never had before. Suddenly all the talk about senses and sensory input and all that by-passing emotional circuitry makes sense.

This isn’t about forcing myself to my senses- it’s about accepting WHAT IS.

While reading questions about the origin of the universe according to Buddhism, it just suddenly happened- there was a weird sense of, “Why do I concern myself about what happens after death?”

Maybe my fear of death will never go away, but if “die before I die,” perhaps it will.

I do kind of have a song playing in my head (an ear worm, as they call it), but that’s okay. No worries here. It can play all it wants; no reason to get caught up in it.

There are so many more things to unlock, so much greater of an adventure to go on. Going with Buddhism has been the best decision I’ve made in so long.

This gives me the confidence that yes, one day I will attain Nirvana. This is no longer some kind of abstraction but a real, lived experience I’m going through.

God help the people who might one day become my students because on the other hand, I have no idea what I’m doing. HA!

Steve

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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

Second, Third Jhana?

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In bed this morning, I was able to attain the first Jhana, just lying down and meditating. That’s encouraging. I made sure to focus on the pleasurable sensation and the allowed it to “grow” for lack of a better term and fill my body, and basically, I could feel the the “current” running through my body, in this case a “current” of pleasure.

I came out of the first jhana, got up for a while and had breakfast, and then spent some time with my husband and online.

My husband left to go to the gym, so I decided to take the opportunity to begin cleaning the house and sat down to meditate.

Again, I accessed the first jhana and stayed with the pleasure, allowing it to suffuse my body. Even then, it doesn’t ever feel “complete,” as there are gaps everywhere in the pleasure, but it’s still substantial and something I can see a person wanting to maintain all the time.

So I decided to try to shift to the second jhana, which is done by moving from the physical sensation of pleasure to the emotional component. That’s easier said than done because we often experience our emotions on the more physical level.

But lo and behold, the “shift” moved me into what I might call the “warm fuzzies.” While the first jhana and the pleasure has a sense of being almost sexual and in the lower chakras (though it can felt everywhere; this is my experience), the second jhana (or what I think might be the second jhana) radiates more from the heart is…”fluffier.” That’s a good word for it. The emotional content is like being on a cloud or a bunch of pillows or something; very lofty.

That felt great, and I could see myself staying at the second jhana for the rest of my life.

However, today I felt ballsy, so I decided to jump to the next jhana, the third jhana, and…I’m not sure entirely sure what happened, it’s just kind of more of like stillness. The “warm fuzzies” go away even though there’s some echo of them and the pleasure sensations, and of course thoughts still arise here and there and such; that’s fine, because there’s not really an attachment to them, and it’s easy at that point to maintain focus.

Again, I’m not entirely sure that was the third jhana or maybe even the second jhana, but I’m fairly confident that I’ve attained the first jhana.

I tried insight meditation as well in these states, trying to see the Three Doors and so on, and the impermanence aspect seems blatantly apparent because none of this is perfectly still or stable, and I can kind of see the anatta aspect as if I’m experiencing it, it can’t be the experiencer, per se, and the suffering aspect is that these states, while lovely, aren’t complete; they haven’t finished or aren’t perfect, no matter how wonderful they feel.

I could be doing the insight meditation entirely wrong, which is fine as I’ll eventually figure it out.

But yeah, this is all pretty much fun and something worthwhile and a map that finely seems worth following.

Steve

Buddha Nature

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Since sometime last week, I’ve had the burgeoning sense of what I’ve called the “True Self” or the “Buddha-Nature” appearing.

The sensations are located in the stomach area, around where I might have referred to the “Black Fire” being, but this seems like it’s more than that.

The essential fact that I see about the Buddha Nature (the term I’m using currently) is that it underlies everything in reality; in all my moments of my lifetime, I can see that somewhere, I was aware of it, and it connects everything I’ve ever done.

The most fascinating thing is that it’s untouchable- no horrible thing in this world, no amount of suffering, can touch the purity of the Buddha Nature.

This random discovery and appearance of consistenly experiencing the Buddha Nature led me to start reading Daniel Ingram’s books Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. I’d started it a while back but didn’t get far and decided to give it another go. I’ve started meditating again, though the “Insight” aspect is new to me (but probably not nearly as new I think as it; I have a hunch that I know what is meant by the Insight meditation but haven’t properly identified it in my own experience), and well…things seem to be going forward.

All the things that I’ve found meaningful in life, for instance, the experience around Christmas and such, go back to these things become vehicles, reflections, and manifestations of the Buddha Nature. To wit, so much suddenly makes sense.

This is not something I could’ve claimed before.

Whether or not this will continue, I don’t know; it is interesting to see how Buddhist cosmology and Gnostic cosmology do indeed overlap, down to a mentioning of the Demiurge in one of the books I was reading (though by a different name).

I’m excited and inspired and ready to clear some meditations hurdles.

Steve

Holy Eucharist at Home and Some on Bernadette Roberts

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Recently, I decided to join my husband’s Unitarian Universalist church. Several reasons contribute to my decision, but I’m not going to bother with them here.

I’ve decided to start doing the Holy Eucharist at home. No, I’m not an ordained priest, and so perhaps it isn’t “valid,” but here’s the thing: I’m tired of doing this idiotic dance of ordination. I’m tired of hoping, waiting, wishing for a Gnostic church to appear here.

It’s probably not going to happen.

In practice, I’ve gone to the UU for four years now, more than I ever did to the Episcopal Church- I still have fond memories of Saint Michael’s, of course.

At the end of the day, it’s just easier for us to go the UU and the come home and have Holy Communion.

And I’ve taken the liberty of creating a UU-esque Holy Communion as well. It has definite inspirations: the Liberal Catholic Church’s liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, and a few Unitarian Universalist Holy Communions I found.

When I mentioned Holy Communion on Facebook, several UUs expressed interest in having this house Eucharist. I’m down for that while explaining to them a definite belief in the Priesthood of All Believers- I am no more or less a priest than anyone else around me.

I’m excited but have to do a few “test-runs” to make sure things will go smoothly. It’ll be nice to celebrate the liturgical  year with the people who are interested in it.

Shifting gears, I read a new article by Bernadette Roberts. I’m not sure how I missed it, but…let me say that whatever’s happened to me recently has also allowed me to see that I think she’s ridiculously aggressive in her approach and sometimes misrepresents other people’s positions. Some of her latest article sounded like word salad.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Incarnation being God creating Its own Human Nature and uniting It to Itself has anything specifically to do with Jesus of Nazareth if the Incarnation is not also God the Son appearing in the flesh as Jesus Christ. I mean, why bother calling oneself a Christian?

But then I haven’t journeyed as far as Bernadette has.

The most bizarre aspect of my dear Bernadette to whom I’ve turned for so long is that she’s fairly unhelpful as far as what to actually do goes- are we to sit and still the mind? Receive Holy Communion frequently? A combination? Seek to help others? All these things and more? From everything I’ve gathered, she began having mystical experiences pretty early in life and proceeded from there. I’m not sure we’ve all had those kinds of experiences from the beginning.

My own experiences have shown me that the Green Man for sure exists, but there’s not much evidence I’ve had for other Gods, at least not anything that’s totally conclusive.

I just wanted to note that her unnecessary aggression will likely push people away.

Steve

So Far, So Good: The Experiment

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Using a set series of correlations among planets, elements, days of the weeks, and Greek deities, I’ve been meditating the past few weeks to draw energy into myself and prepare myself to really dive into the study of magic.

So far, the interesting thing about these meditations is that several of the designated deities didn’t “show up” in the meditation- instead, other deities appeared.

This began with Selene not showing up for Monday but instead an image and imagery of Persephone.

Tuesday continued with Ares not being present but Hades.

Wednesdays, Hermes is definitely strong; so with Zeus on Thursdays and Aphrodite on Fridays.

Then, tonight (a Saturday), meant for Cronus…Hecate shows up. She especially seems interested in me. Hecate and Thanatos alike.

This is an interesting path I’ve taken. I’m looking forward to the Full Moon.

Steve

New Daily Magical Practice

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This my new magical practice that I’ll be doing from now on. It corresponds with the cycle of the week, so everything happens in terms of the 7 Days.

I begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Then I trace the symbol of the day’s corresponding planet. Today is Wednesday, May 4th, so I trace the planetary symbol of Mercury in the air.

Next, I focus on the element associated with that planet- in this case, the element is water. I imagine all kinds of water as well as a shimmering, glowing, ethereal water that washes over me.

Then I focus on the planet itself and its “soul” or “essence” and allow the energy to enter me- I allow myself to really feel what the energy of the planet is like, what it accesses in my consciousness.

After this, I use the corresponding Greek name of the planet’s associated god and chant the name over and over, attempting to “tap into” the god or receive the god and so on into myself.

I’ve spent a huge chunk of today reciting the name “Hermes” over and over again, for instance.

Eventually, I plan to integrate this into Kabbalah meditation and ritual.

Speaking of which, a weird thing happened earlier. I was at the local Unitarian Universalist church, and I looked at a guy’s watch. From a distance, it looked like he had Hebrew letters inscribed on it. I realized it was just the way the watch was positioned, but I tried to make out the letters- I wasn’t sure because some Hebrew letters look similar.

When I got home and was checking out the digital Tree of Life online, I saw that Mercury was associated with the Sefirot called “Hod,” and I saw the letters and realized that’s what I saw in the watch!!!

That’s a pretty bizarre synchronicity. I guess my unconscious mind was primed for the associations that exist.

Anyway, people are free to use and adapt this mini-meditation however they wish. I’m using it as a personal practice because I need to build up the energy and have gotten out of the rhythm lately.

Steve

 

 

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