Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Dharmakaya 

This morning, I ran across the term "dharmakaya" and looked it up on Wikipedia, that amazing all purpose encyclopedia. Here is what I found:

The Dharmakaya (lit. Truth Body or Reality Body) is a central concept in Mahayana Buddhism forming part of the Trikaya doctrine that was first expounded in the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra (The Lotus Sutra), composed in the first century BCE. It constitutes the unmanifested aspect of a Buddha out of which Buddhas and indeed all phenomena arise and to which they return after their dissolution. Buddhas are manifestations of the Dharmakaya called Nirmanakayas. Unlike ordinary unenlightened persons, Buddhas (and arhats) do not die (though their physical bodies undergo the cessation of biological functions and subsequent disintegration). In the Lotus Sutra (sixth fascicle) Buddha explains that he has always and will always exist to lead beings to their salvation. This eternal aspect of Buddha is the Dharmakaya. The Dharmakaya can be considered the highest or truest reality in the universe corresponding closely to the post-Vedic conception of Brahman and that of the Father in the Christian Trinity.


In the Pali Canon The Buddha tells Vasettha that the Tathagata (the Buddha) is Dharma-kaya, the 'Truth-body' or the 'Embodiment of Truth', as well as Dharmabhuta, 'Truth-become', that is, 'One who has become Truth' (Digha Nikaya). On another occasion, the Buddha told Vakkali:'He who sees the Dhamma (Truth) sees the Tathagata, he who sees the Tathagata sees the Dhamma (Samyutta Nikaya). That is to say, the Buddha is equal to Truth, and all Buddhas are one and the same, being no different from one another in the Dharma-kaya, because Truth is one.'

During the Buddha's life great reverence and veneration was shown towards him by persons from the highest to the lowest social classes. The Buddha understood that this veneration was sometimes misguided based on superficialities and appearances and he warned people against turning him into an object of worship. Thus he forbade carvings and sculptures that represented his physical form. Nonetheless, a mythology developed concerning the physical characteristics of Universal Buddhas. In the Pali scriptures it is claimed that all Buddhas have the 32 major marks, and the 80 minor marks of a superior being. These marks are not necessarily physical, but are talked about as bodily features.

After the Buddha's Parinirvana a distinction was made between the Buddhas physical body, rupakaya; and his Dharmakaya aspect. This was an understandable and necessary development. As the Buddha told Vakkali, he was a living example of the 'Truth' of the Dharma. Without that form to relate to, the Buddha's followers could only relate to the Dharmakaya aspect of him.
Trikaya doctrine

Later Mahayana Buddhists were concerned with the transcendent aspect of the Dharma. So therefore if the Dharma is transcendental, totally beyond space and time, then so is the Dharmakaya. One response to this was the development of the Tathagatagarbha Doctrine. Another was the introduction of the Sambhogakaya which conceptually fits between the rupakaya, now renamed nirmanakaya or created body, and the Dharmakaya.

The Trikaya doctrine (Sanskrit, literally "Three bodies or personalities". . . is an important Buddhist teaching both on the nature of reality, and what a Buddha is. By the 4th century CE the Trikaya Doctrine had assumed the form that we now know. Briefly the doctrine says that a Buddha has three 'bodies': the nirmana-kaya or created body which manifests in time and space; the sambhoga-kaya or body of mutual enjoyment which is an archetypal manifestation; and the Dharma-kaya or 'Reality body' which 'embodies' the very principle of enlightenment and is omnipresent and boundless.

The Sambhogakaya is that aspect of the Buddha, or the Dharma, that one meets in visions and in deep meditation. It could be considered an interface with the Dharmakaya. What it does, and what the Tathagatagarbha doctrine also does, is bring the transcendental within reach, it makes it immanent.

This last paragraph is of especial interest to me, since I have often viewed the Buddha as both exterior representation and inner "vision" during my morning practice. I also had a most moving experience of similar nature during the workshop "journey" I described a few days ago. The encounter with the archetype was quite profound, and I am still processing the effects. In the vision, I become one with the manifest Buddha. Beyond that lies the Dharmakaya itself, that from which all phenomena arise and to which they return at "death."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On Channelers and Group Souls 

An idea which has long appealed to me is that of "group souls," essences drawn to one another by their similar vibrations after their (human) death. I think of these "collective souls" as retaining their individual identities while at the same time participating in the group spirit. Similar ideas sometimes pop up in esoteric literature.

Recently I took down a volume by Alice Bailey, a major esoteric writer of the last century who was a student of theosophy, which she interpreted in her own terms through dictation from a "master" (a disincarnate soul.) I have not studied Alice Bailey closely, but as I skimmed the volume, I discovered that she speaks of "egoic groups," collectives of the "causal bodies" of those with similar vibratory patterns. (A "causal body" is not a physical body at all, but rather the "center of egoic consciousness," the core self which is retained from one incarnation to the next.)

Here is her comment on "egoic groups": "These (causal) bodies, which are the expression of the Ego, or of the individualised self-consciousness, are gathered together into groups according according to the Ray or quality of the particular Ego involved."

(Note: here "ego" is not a negative term, but merely used to refer to that sense of self which hold the psyche together.)

She also mentions kundalini in her writings, and advocated moving the energies up from the "lower triangle" (lower chakras) to the "upper triangle" (upper chakras). Some of her critics accused her of referring to sexual energies per se, and saw this as an inadmissible practice. These critics insisted that the lower chakras were the site of the lower "animal" nature, and, to them, no good could come from focusing on those centers.

Alice Bailey wrote numerous books, almost all "channeled" by her inner guide. In this regard, she resembles the channels of our own age, who sometimes produce works which become widely popular. "A Course in Miracles" is one example and "Conversations with God" another. I also think of the "Hathors," who speak through Tom Kenyon, and the Tobias channelings of the Crimson Circle. These messages (and similar) have attracted a wide following in recent years.

It would be interesting if someone did a study to see how well the various channelings match one another in content and perspective. The writer would have to be selective. I just looked up "channelers" on Google and found 74,000 entries. The information highway is now a river overflowing its bounds.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Carolyn Myss on the spiritual life (part two) 

(This is the second part of the interview with Carolyn Myss which appeared originally in her newsletter. Part One was posted on kundalinisplendor May 4. The final section will be presented later.)

If we are craving spiritual experiences and encounters with God, why is
it that we have such deep
fears about the Divine and the ways that encountering God and our own
Soul will change our life?

You can thank the Catholic Church, and many Protestant denominations as
well, for the groundwork
on that one, because they have done such an effective job of separating
the authority of heaven
and earth, body and soul, church and state. As a result, many of us
still have a child's polarized
view of God that goes something like this: "If I am good, I will be
protected by God and that's
all I really want. I want my things to be safe. I want a good job. I
want my family safe. I want
my health, and I want access to a few miracles in an emergency. In
exchange, I will, on occasion,
go to public worship and behave myself as best I can (within reason, of
course)." At some primal
level, most people are afraid - indeed, terrified - that getting
close to God will result in the
loss of their money and earthly goods, and will end up causing them
untold physical suffering, not
to mention celibacy. That's the role model from centuries of saints
and monastics who did live
lives of poverty and celibacy and physical suffering. But as I point
out in my book, years ago
sophisticated medicine, hospitals, and emergency rooms did not exist.
During medieval times and
before, everyone suffered from disease, not just those devoted to God.
But those in the
monasteries chose to respond to their illnesses as spiritual devotions
and thus the association
was born that God makes people suffer who enter into a deeper spiritual
path. But for all our
medical advances, people still suffer with illness and disease. Disease
and suffering are a part
of life, as the Buddha pointed out long ago. One need not be on a
spiritual path to know what it
is to experience depression, the loss of a partner, betrayal, or a
devastating loss of one's
finances. Look at the Enron crisis. You think all those people who were
betrayed by that company
suffered that experience because God wanted it to happen? That's
ridiculous. Actually, that's just

How do we avoid being spiritually isolated after experiencing an
encounter with the Divine?

Isolation is as highly misunderstood as are the consequences of a
mystical experience. Mystical
isolation does not result in an individual feeling that she is lost in
a sea of confusion, or left
to encounter life within the experiences of her own soul for the
remainder of her days on earth.
That is the outsider looking in through a terrified imagination. A
mystical experience is a
profound awakening to a cosmic truth in which that truth goes from
being a mental idea to an
animated force within your soul. Such an experience does not isolate
you. It empowers you. A
person can talk about healing in theory, for example, and he or she can
even believe that people
can be healed. And then there is the mystical experience of healing
grace, in which you feel that
grace running through your veins. In that moment, you understand how it
is that people are healed.
That doesn't isolate you. It empowers you and fills you with a depth
of compassion that you did
not know you were capable of feeling for another person. It requires a
maturing prayer life to
cope with the growing requests for help that come to you after that.
Prayer is your support
mechanism - and not petitionary prayer, but mystical prayer. I teach
that in my workshops.

Why is this "spiritual life crisis" unique to this era of human

Many times during human history people could have said that they were
living at a time of
unparalleled change and it would have been true - for example, during
the Great Plague or the
beginning of the Nazi era. But the ingredients that make up our complex
personal and social lives
today present unrivaled challenges, and so, it's fair to say that we
are in the midst of a
Mystical Renaissance. Three factors come to mind. First, time has
become the servant to
timelessness; that is, we have entered the era of timelessness. We are
now linked to the internet,
to systems of communication that are essentially instantaneous -
timeless. And people are addicted
to this timeless medium. Timelessness is a characteristic of their
interior self. Secondly, the
speed of change has increased as has the breadth and width of it, so to
speak. All change is now
universal. A change in Iraq affects the whole earth, as does a change
in California or Washington
or North Korea. Instantly the entire world is affected. All news on the
Internet affects the
whole. We have never been instantaneously affected by the whole of the
world before. And third, we
have evolved into the body/mind/spirit template, although most people
only pull out that template
at the doctor's office and remain unaware the rest of the time that
they are, indeed, a
walking-talking-functioning, multi-dimensional creature of
consciousness. Yet, you are exactly
that, a multi-sensory human being, who is now fully connected to a
global system of information
and energetic data, and who, for the most part, lives unaware of the
impact all of that
information has on you. Amid all of this energetic chaos, the practices
so necessary for inner
balance are completely missing - practices such as reflection and
contemplation. Instead, we are
offered therapy and tranquilizers in their place. Reflection is the
practice of taking time to
reflect on the information that has come into your body and mind that
day and how it has merged
with your conscience and your soul. How are you being affected by the
new thoughts that have come
to you that day? And how are your choices affecting you and the people
around you? Are you able to
live with your choices? Do they have integrity? Are they honorable? Did
you take the time to pray
before you made your significant decisions? And if you say that you
didn't have time to pray
before significant decisions, what does that tell you about your inner
life and how you maintain
your spiritual devotion and your priorities with God? It says that you
don't take your interior
life seriously at all. God, for you, is a crisis operation, a
superstitious force to turn to when
things are confusing. God is a panic button and nothing more.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"I Am Struck" (poem by Michael Black) 

The following poem was written by Michael Black, a dear friend and one of the most spiritually dedicated persons I know. Michael is truly "one who loves nature" in all its aspects and hence he has devoted his life to the preservation of our physical universe, which he reveres as a manifestation of the divine. He is also acutely attuned to the vibratory levels and is a gifted healer.

I am struck

I am struck
by the moss
extending its verdant
tendrils over the
fallen trunk.

I am struck at
how the tree
offers itself up
as a home to those
beyond itself.

I am struck
by the extending
carpet of green as it
envelops its host in a
sacred shroud.

I am struck at how
the moss-bound corpse
offers itself up to
me as a consecration
of G-D's blessing.

One day moss will
wash over this body,
its tendrils cool and sweet,
transmuting thereby my flesh and
bone back to its essence.

The very same essence
From which I am struck.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mountain Sounds (Shih Shu) (poem) 

mountain sounds carry a chill wisdom

By Shih Shu
(1660? - 1740?)

English version by James H. Sanford

mountain sounds carry a chill wisdom
an upwelling spring whispers subtle tales
pine breezes stir the fire beneath my tea
bamboo shadows soak deep into my robe

I grind my ink: clouds scraping across the crags
copy out a verse: birds settling on branches
as the world rolls right on by
its every turn tracing out non-action

-- from The Clouds Should Know Me By Now: Buddhist Poet Monks of China, Edited by Red Pine

Here is Ivan's comment about the poem:

"Shih-shu" is a term that can be translated as "rock and bark poetry" -- nature poetry that often poked fun at the bustle of city life and city mind. Rather than brushed onto fine paper, shih-shu poems were scratched into pieces of bark, bamboo, or rocks.

In the early 1700s, one poet took the term as a nom de plume, making it difficult to know much about the author... other than through the poems themselves.

Somehow, I (Dorothy) find this kind of poem quite fascinating. The notion that the poet writes not for fame or glory, but for the honor of writing the poem, is truly delightful. Like the Navajo or Tibetan sand painter, he creates his work of art and then leaves it to find its way to whoever might need it (or perhaps just for the wind and "mountain sounds.")

It also recalls the ancient Tibetan termas and tertons--ancient wisdom sayings and prophecies, hidden by gods in stones and trees for later humans to discover.

In a way it also reminds me of some poets today who do not publish in book or magazine format, but post their work for all to see, free of charge. These sites, like many of the shih shu writings, are probably destined to be ephemeral, but then isn't everything?

(I found this poem on Ivan Granger's wonderful newsletter which he publishes free of charge, and sends to anyone who requests it. See his www.poetry-chaikhana for how to sign up.)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ecstasy and Clear Mind 

Tom Kenyon and the Hathors, his interdimensional guides are strong proponents of ecstasy, as a way to raise not only one's own vibratory rate, but also that of earth itself. On his website, the Hathors present techniques for arousing ecstasy, and it sounds quite simple as they describe it. For those who cannot "feel the bliss," they suggest simply focusing on gratitude for all one's blessings.

Tom has called for a universal "ecstasy meditation" on July 8 (2-4 Pacific Time), in which participants will enter ecstatic states for two hours to send these vibrations into the earth for healing purposes. You can check the details on his web site (www.Tomkenyon.com)

There is much that is attractive in the overall message of the Hathors. They are not "messianic," in the sense that they claim to be world saviors. They present themselves in the role of elder brothers and sisters come to aid, assist, and advise. They do not claim to have all knowledge, for they recognize that they exist in a niche in a much greater hierarchy of nested consciousness (extending to the planets and solar system and galaxy and perhaps beyond.)

On the one hand, I am extremely gratified that ecstasy is acknowledged as a legitimate and essential state for both personal and planetary evolution. Many teachers and systems reject the feeling level entirely (puritanical religions in their fundamentalist expression, both East and West). In these belief systems, feeling is traditionally associated with the female, earth energies, and evil. Hence the suppression of women in their practices.

I have sometimes been told by teachers of yoga or chi gong that ecstasy was not a legitimate response, and that I should either ignore it or try to get over it.

And, of course, I did not listen. Hence, it is deeply gratifying to find someone who openly advocates ecstasy as a means to spiritual transformation.

However, Tom and the Hathors do not speak in any detail of the perils of awakening ecstasy. (They merely say that if issues arise, then one should continue the exercises until they disappear.) Kundalini was a secret practice for ages, in part because it could be extremely damaging to the unprepared disciple. Yogis spent years carefully disciplining their bodies to prepare them for kundalini experience. Even contemporary literature is filled with accounts of those who have suffered greatly from emotional or physical repercussions of kundalini awakened in persons not ready.

Kundalini sensitizes the body (including the emotional, physical, and energetic bodies) beyond belief. Often, every single psychological issue one has encountered in one's life will rise to the surface and demand to be dealt with. This can be a very disturbing and even painful experience. Some people more or less go to pieces, and have to seek extreme psychiatric counsel. The kundalini also intensifies pain and symptoms of illness where there are physical blocks. It is as if it roams through the entire body, bringing to light all the imperfections and flaws.

The Hathors do not tell us what to do in such extreme circumstances. More than one follower has been thrown into chaos and grief through receiving shaktipat from a guru who awakened the energies and failed to take responsibility for the consequences.

And, although the Hathors instruct as to how to enter ecstasy, they do not (again, as far as I am aware) tell us how to exit these states and return to "normal awareness." Ecstasy can lead to a sense of spaciness, mental fuzziness, inability to concentrate on the mundane tasks of the everyday world. We do not want to become a race of "bliss bunnies," wandering about in a state of mental fog. We need to find ways both to go in and go out of such states, and to maintain our alertness and mental clarity as we function in the everyday world.

And I have another concern about the Hathors' role. I am glad they do not say they have come as "messiahs" to save the world, but I find no reference to some truly divine or sacred connection. Theirs seems to be a strictly secular mission, cast in the form of awakening higher vibrations on this planet and elsewhere. For me, ecstasy, bliss, and all such states, are connectors to the divine itself (the creative life force which extends constant and universal love). Indeed, ecstasy is just that--a testimony of the love-force which animates and sustains our universe.

As many have said, we cannot "think god," but we can (to some extent) feel "it."

That is when we forget who we are (the small self) and experience our role as an infinitesimal atom in the infinite and ongoing reality from which we come.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Higher Vibrations, Channeling, the Evolution of Consciousness 

Most channelers cover the same or similar ground and tell us things which are indeed true, but which we have heard before in one way or another.

They remind us that the earth is in danger, that our way of life must change if we are to save both ourselves and the planet we inhabit, that we are undergoing massive transformations on all levels (physical, mental, spiritual) and so we can expect worldwide dislocations to occur. We are warned to look out for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, great hurricanes and giant floods. And we must expect many people and groups to become unbalanced, and commit acts of aggression against others.

These beings (the vibrational entities who bring the message) say that they are from another planet, or another vibratory level. They exist within and amongst us but we cannot perceive them because we ourselves vibrate at a lower level. They come with their warnings because they have our own welfare at heart.

And I think most of what they tell us is right. It is easy to look around and see massive confirmation of most of what they say—certainly in terms of the disruptions and upheavals now wracking the planet, and the impending threats of planetary extinction through misuse and abuse of its resources.

Those of us who have undergone kundalini awakening find it easier to understand the messages about vibratory rates, for we have experienced states of consciousness which verify the possibility of moving into a more subtle level of vibration. We literally feel as though our vibrations are (in those moments) higher, more refined, more exquisite than any we have previously known. We often enter “ecstasy states,” and these are (I think) produced by these seeming “pulsations of light.”. Sometimes we develop paranormal abilities, and can see farther distances, hear softer tones, or smell more subtle scents. We become more prescient, more given to synchronicities in our lives. We may become mediums or psychics ourselves, learn to heal, or counsel others on the path.

In the simplest terms, higher vibration equals ecstasy equals entering a higher state of consciousness equals evolution of consciousness. This evolution has already begun. It involves a reconnection with what is ancient (the enduring underground spiritual/metaphysical stream) and with what is most “new” (new channelers, spirit guides, teachers of all kinds who are coming forth at this time.) Our external civilization appears to be in a state of collapse (though it can be salvaged, even now). But our internal structures of spiritual being, our realms of authentic soul essence, are being reinforced and reconstructed in many ways and from myriad perspectives.

What is our task during this time of critical change? To adhere to our deepest and truest values, to open ourselves to new challenges and embrace unfamiliar ways of thinking and being, to allow ourselves to move into these higher realms. Evolution is difficult and sometimes painful or frightening. But the path gets easier as we go. As more and more make the transition into renewed spiritual identities, the easier it will be for others to follow.

But we must also proceed with caution. We must use judgment, winnow out the “false prophets” among us, test and select carefully what paths we will follow. We must be dedicated seekers on the path, receiving that which is of true benefit, guarding against all that is false and deceptive.

As Jeannine says, “We are here to carry the vibration.” And when enough of us are engaged in the task, the morphogenetic field will be created, the tipping point will occur, and then, who knows what the next stage will be.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tom Kenyon and the Hathors 

Tom Kenyon is not only a sound healer, he is also a channel for a group of interdimensional entities known as the Hathors. (Hathor was an ancient Egyptian goddess, who is sometimes presented in the form of a cow, sometimes as a female with cowlike horns on her head cradling a sun disk.) Tom's sound channelings are quite powerful--I am still feeling the effects, some two days later.

Here is his channeled description of who these beings are:

Who Are the Hathors?

The Hathors say that they are a group of interdimensional, intergalactic beings who were connected ancient Egypt through the Temples of the Goddess Hathor, as well as several other pre-history cultures.

In the late 1980's, I was "contacted" by them during meditation, and they began to instruct me in the vibratory nature of the cosmos, the use of sacred geometry as a means to stimulate brain performance, and in the use of sound to activate psycho-spiritual experiences. While I was intrigued with the information, I was, at the time, uncomfortable with their self-described origins. I was, after all a practicing psychotherapist and involved in brain research at the time. In short, I was a rationalist. And these beings-whoever they were and wherever they came from-did not fit into my views of reality at the time.

In the nearly twenty years since first-contact, I have tried and tested their "inner technologies" many times, and have always found both their methods and their perspectives illuminating.

While the Hathors do offer information in the form of language, their primary mode of communication is through catalytic sound patterns. These sounds are "channeled" through my voice during "sound meditations," which I often offer during workshops and retreats. I personally find it interesting that my vocal range has expanded (along with my mind, I might add) in the years that I have been working with them. When I started, I had a range of nearly three octaves; now it is just shy of four. This extended vocal range only occurs when I am actually channeling sound from other dimensions.

In the Hathor Material, a book I co-authored with Virginia Essene, here is how they introduced themselves:

"We are the Hathors. We come in love and with the sounding of a new dream reality for your earth. If you are ready to build the new world, we invite you to join us on a journey of the mind and heart. We are your elder brothers and sisters. We have been with you for a very long period of your evolution on this planet. We were with you in eons past - even in the forgotten days before any trace of us is known in your present written history. Our own nature is energetic and interdimensional. We originally came from another universe by way of Sirius which is a portal to your Universe, and from Sirius we eventually proceeded to your solar system and the etheric realms of Venus.

In the past we have specifically worked with and through the Hator fertility goddess of ancient Egypt. We also made contact with Tibetan lamas in the formative period of Tibetan Buddhism. Although we have interacted with some of Earth's early cultures, we are an intergalactic civilization with outposts that span parts of your known Universe and beyond.

We are what you might term an ascended civilization - a group of beings existing at a specific vibratory field, even as you have an energy signature. It is simply that we vibrate at a faster rate than you. Nonetheless, we are all part of the mystery, part of the love that holds and binds all the universe together.

We have grown as you have grown, ascending to the One Source of all that is. We have grown in joy and through sorrow, as have you. We are, in terms of the vastness, a little higher on the spiral of awareness and consciousness than you are; therefore, we can offer you what we have learned as friends, mentors and fellow travelers on the path that leads back to remembrance of All That Is.

We are not saviors; we're not messianic. We want to clearly step out of that projection so that the reader understands that we are simply elder brothers and sisters offering our understanding and what we have learned. You may take it or leave it but we offer it freely. In our understanding, the belief that different alien intelligences are going to save you, is just a projection of human unconsciousness. The hope that someone or something will save you, that you will not have to make any changes in yourself, that you will not have to be responsible, is unrealistic.

The belief that you can stay in patterns of lethargy and unconsciousness, then take something or have something given to you that will transform you without any effort on your part, is sheer folly. It won't happen. Now, there may be alien intelligences that land, for they certainly exist, but those humans who count on others to bring in their ascension and elevation without any work on their part, are going to be very disappointed.

Ascension is a process of self-awareness and mastery on all levels and it necessitates bringing all those levels of one's existence upward. That is how we see it and that is how we have done it for millennia.

By offering our aid, however, we do not wish to interfere with your other spiritual helpers and cosmic relationships in any way, nor with any religious beliefs, affiliations or organizations of help to you. Even so, there is a great deal we would like to share.

We know Sanat Kumara well for it was he who asked us to enter this Universe. As an Ascended Master, Sanat Kumara has taken on numerous responsibilities associated with the elevation of planet Earth and this solar system. He is working for the ascension, the evolution of consciousness in the solar system, as we are."

To learn more about the Hathors and their message, read The Hathor Material: Messages from an Ascended Civilization (ORB)

There are currently two CDs with Hathor sounds.

"Infinite Pool: Entering the Holographic Brain," thirteen Hathors vocalizing through me to stimulate increased activity in the corpus callosum. A powerful tool to create altered states of mind.

"Sound Transformations," a series of sound meditations from Hathor workshops.



© 2007 Tom Kenyon. All rights reserved.

You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media as long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include this copyright notice and web address.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shamanic Journeys: The Shadow 

I have done shamanic journeying before. Once,in a Michael Harner workshop, we traveled into the underworld to find our sacred animal. I quickly found mine on the first journey--it was a white bear, but not a polar bear as such. We quickly became friends.

Then we made a second journey. This time he was no where to be found. As I stood there wondering what had happened, I stumbled forward (in my mind). He had come up behind me and playfully butted me over. I scrambled up and got on his back. We then danced like a cowboy astride a wild mustang. Great fun!

But yesterday's journeys were different. The purpose was not to discover a power animal. Tom (who is also a trained psychotherapist) told us we would be transformed by our journey. (And, in fact, in my recent meditation I had heard Ganesha, agent and herald of transformation.) This journeying held many surprises for me.

We first (mentally) descended a flight of steps, then went through a kind of tunnel or passage, then climbed steps back up on the other side to enter "celestial consciousness." I found that I was reluctant even to go down these steps. I moved very slowly, as if somewhat fearful of what I might find below. And indeed, what I found was fear itself, something I had not anticipated and didn't realize I was carrying with me. So, in my anxiety, I called for a spirit guide to help me through and an angel promptly appeared at my side. (After all, I reasoned, even Dante had Virgil to steer him through hell.) My "angel" somehow became a Buddha (perhaps a more familiar image in my mind), and together we crossed the tunnel and started the climb up. At this point the guide became a young Asian man, naked to the waist, who went ahead of me and danced on the stairs as we ascended. (Was this my old friend "sturdy boy" who has sometimes come to me during meditation?) Sturdy boy (for me) represents strength and joy (and of course youth itself.)

When we arrived at the celestial realms, I was all but overwhelmed at the thought of where we were (literally, in heaven, ultimate reality.) I felt great humility and bowed as low as I could before the great glowing Buddha I found there. I realized how totally insignificant and vulnerable I was. Then I was taken into the energy field and body of the Buddha, relinquished (with a bit of regret) my personal ego-self, and became part of the universal life force which the Buddha represented. Soon the Buddha closed his eyes and there was only deep serenity.

We did the exercise again at the end of the workshop. This time I moved with greater confidence, even though there were threats (snakes and scorpions and such) along the way. Tom sang and drummed to us throughout both journeys, and the hypnotic drum beat called up a figure of a tall, confident, and poised Native American brave. As I climbed the stairs back up, I saw several Native American dancers moving to the rhythm of the drum.

About this time, someone in the audience (a male nearby), broke into uncontrollable sobs, and these continued through the rest of the journey. Tom simply drummed and sang louder. Tom instructed us to go the the highest point we could imagine. I found myself becoming the "Indian brave," standing on a mountain peak, sensing the great power and purposefulness I now carried within.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tom Kenyon's Soundhealing Workshop 

Today I attended a fabulous sound workshop by Tom Kenyon, noted channeler, musician, composer, and healer (and probably lots of other things as well.) He did an outstanding job of integrating sound, shamanism, and transpersonal psychology, all with great wit and insight.

The room was filled with healers of various kinds, and this combination always helps to raise the energy level. They were an inspiring group.

Here is one of Tom's funny stories. He was about to do a workshop elsewhere, when he discovered that the sound amplifying system didn't work. So he asked his friend Don, himself a major energetic healer, to help fix it. So Don came over, spread his hands over the machine, and said, in the manner of a fundamentalist preacher/healer, "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to HEAL!" And it worked!

Tom mentioned that ecstasy and bliss were the spiritual manifestations of our transformed, basic, earth energy, which is more sexual in tone. I was grateful to him for recognizing the importance of spiritual energy (bliss). Many teachers do not.

Tom believes that earth is going to do just fine in coming years. It is humanity which is in big trouble.

At the intermission, I got to play a "healing harp," a beautiful instrument which weighs about 7 pounds and which the healer can carry to hospital patients, who are able to play it and feel the vibrations in their bodies. It has a beautiful tone as well. Wonderful stuff going on in our world these days.

The lovely woman next to me (a sound healer/flutist/therapist/traveler from Tennessee) and I agreed that transformation is speeding up, that things are happening faster and more easily than in the past. Her husband was born in India, and she has traveled there six times(also once to Tibet). She also encouraged me to go and seemed to think that if I only had a positive attitude, I could make the trip without trouble. But I am still hesitant about such a large undertaking. We'll see.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Two Buddhas and a Ganesha 

Things that go on in the city:

Yesterday, as I opened my meditation, I saw two Buddhas, different versions of the Master Teacher. I noted that the second had the flat cap adorned with the "snail motif" of tradition, and that he was somewhat plumper, though he was not the fat Buddha of certain depictions. I wondered why two such images came to mind, and then remembered that, in addition to the thongka on my living room wall, I also had a small China Buddha in the kitchen, one which had belonged to my mother (who was drawn to the mystery of the Buddha, though she never followed it up through any formal study.) Then I recalled that it was Mother's Day, and I wondered if that was why the "second Buddha" had come to mind.

The sun was out, so I decided to go on the bus to Golden Gate Park to view the rhododendrons, now in full bloom. As I waited at one of my stops, I gazed into the side window of a shoe store, and there, before me, in the midst of the items on display, were two metal Buddhas and a Ganesha. I took the above picture of this rather unusual site. And as you can see, one Buddha wore the flat cap and was a bit plumper than the other.

Then, this morning, as I began practice, it was Ganesha who appeared to my inner eye. It was, I realized, the first time any teacher other than human had appeared to me. And, as I watched this inner image, I heard him trumpet (again, an inner rather than an outer sound.) Ganesha's bugle is a sign of transition or change, for Ganesha is a threshold god.

Now, the appearance of Ganesha might be explained by my having seen the sculpture in the window, but I saw the inner Buddhas before I saw the sculptures. Synchronicity?

Today, I enjoyed a delightful lunch conversation with a new friend who has developed a remarkable multimedia presentation of Dante's Inferno, primarily for use in schools. We discussed the many realms of Dante's circles of the condemned, and remarked how each level of malefactors (hypocrites, usurers, liars, and such) has its counterpart in today's world. We wondered if people were so cut off from their inner feelings and so lacking in love that they lost their moral center, and became enemies of the "good society." (Witness the scandals coming to light today.)

Well, as I walked home, I experienced a vivid example of someone cut off from love. A city "weirdo" began to harass me verbally (after giving me a poke in the ribs as we waited for the light to change.) He even stood in front of me blocking my way.
Finally three sweet high school students came by (two Buddhas and a Ganesha?) and I asked if they would escort me to my door (not very far away.) They were glad to help and I arrived home safely. But I realized how fragile is the delicate fabric of safety and civil order which we rely on,and how easily such trust is challenged. And I thought of all those in our world are are constantly at risk, who suffer perpetual loss and deprivation, and are the victims of the many dislocations in our world.

May we all be bathed in light and loving protection!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Clearing the Mind 

Can you coax your mind from its wandering and
keep to the original oneness?
Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see
nothing but the light?
Can you step back from your own mind and
thus understand all things?


At times, it seems all but impossible to concentrate the mind on deep meditative practice. At others, concentration comes easily.

Yesterday, I had only ten minutes for my morning energetic meditation, but somehow those ten minutes were sufficient to allow a profoundly centered practice. Somewhere I have read that Zen monks of certain traditions were required to send energy into their big toe to demonstrate mental clarity and proficiency. That seemed quite remarkable to me at the time. But yesterday morning, because circumstances were right, I was able to do just that, and sent sweet currents down through my legs and to my big toes, first one then the other, at will.

Later that afternoon, I came back after "being in the world" (riding buses, eating in a noisy restaurant, generally being buffeted by the energies of a city). I then tried to pick up my practice once more, but found I could do almost nothing by way of sensing energies. So--I simply did my "preliminary chi gong exercises" (simple stretching) and let that be my second practice.

I for one cannot "make the experience happen" just by desiring it. I can "let the experience happen" by responding when the occasion is right. But "it" determines the actual result. And, for my part, I must come without expectation, in an attitude of non-attachment.

And, for me, the ecstatic experiences are not continuous throughout the day. I usually snap into a different state of consciousness once the meditation is over. And that is good, because, since I live in a city, I cannot afford to go forth in an altered state. I must stay alert, follow my friends' advice not to "space out," lest I stumble on the curb or lose awareness of who or what is around me. City life can threaten in many ways.

Only when I am in a totally safe environment can I afford to relax into "mystical consciousness," and become what I see (and there are one or two places even here in the city where such relaxed mental states are possible--among the flowers and trees of the botanical garden, or on certain nature walks along the edges of the ocean and bay.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Be Prepared to Swelter 

Be Prepared to Swelter

If you want to go there,
check your boots and your
water bottle carefully.
Find the map
that the old one gave you
so long ago
and do your best to
follow it,
though often
you will make the wrong turn,
go astray.

Be prepared to swelter
under many suns,
in countless rivers.

You will meet beasts
who have no names,
beings descending
from the sky
or rising in clouds from below.

They will tell you
how to continue,
what paths to follow,
but check carefully
what they say.

Sometimes you will fall
into canyons or caves,
and will not know
how to get out
until you see a
a faint light coming
from a crack or crevice,
lit wings beckoning.

When you finally arrive,
you may not remember
who you are,
what you were seeking.

It is then that you
will be wrapped
in radiance,
your body suffused with joy
as you cry out,
Oh, yes,
this is the place,
finally I am here.

Dorothy Walters
May 8, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Then One Day (poem) 

Then one day

How can I know there is god
unless I feel it in my flesh?

For countless years
I read the books,
the wise sayings.

Then one day
my body was shocked
by brilliance
and I fell to my knees.

Dorothy Walters
May 8, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nama Shivaya (Poem) 

Nama Shivaya

That lover
is at it again.

I can't control Her.
She comes when She wants to,
leaves as She pleases.

I can only open the door.
Invite Her in.

This morning
She stroked my aura,
led me through the
true mudras
(not the one they teach
in schools,
so complex,
so hard to remember).

What should I do?
Hang out a sign,


Slam the door
on god?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

If When You Arrive (poem) 

If When You Arrive

If this is what you are wanting,
you must ask for it.

You must go
on hands and knees,
follow the sun in
navigate by the stars
at night.

You will be shipwrecked,
many times over.
Sometimes burnt to cinder,
dust among the dust.

If, when you get there,
you have forgotten
your question,
why it was you came,
do not worry.

It will not matter.

Now only silence will do.

Dorothy Walters
May 6, 2007

Friday, May 04, 2007

Carolyn Myss on the Mystic Path (Part One) 

The following appeared in Caroline Myss' Newsletter recently. It offers an extremely clear descriptiong of the mystic path and of the circumstances which led her to write her book on Teresa of Avila. I received the letter through an e-mail, and hence the peculiar spacing and (possibly) some glitches in the script.

A Message From Caroline Myss


This past March Salon has had so many responses that we have decided to
share it with the entire
Myss.com Newsletter. Enjoy!

Now that ENTERING THE CASTLE is out, I am on a book tour, which
includes a fairly constant
schedule of interviews. I thought I would share with you the most
frequently asked questions about
ENTERING THE CASTLE and “The Divine Miss T,” as one of my dearest
friends now refers to Teresa of

How did you discover Teresa of Avila, the extraordinary 16th-century
Spanish mystic and saint who
inspired your new book?

I knew about the life and work of Teresa of Avila as the result of my
studies in mysticism in
college, actually beginning in high school. I did not study her work as
a high school student, of
course, but all of us were certainly introduced to her as a great
saint. But that was as far as it
went until a few years ago. I have an educational institute called CMED
(Caroline Myss Education)
through which I teach two extensive programs that are divided into
three seminars per year. During
the second seminar of the course that was originally listed as
intended to teach a full day on the Christian mystics and a full day on
the mystics from the
Eastern and other traditions. I intended to begin with St. John of the
Cross and his classic work,
"The Dark Night of the Soul," but on my way to teach I had grabbed, by
accident, St. Teresa's great
spiritual work, "The Interior Castle." I thought, "It doesn’t matter,
I'll start with her." As I
introduced St. Teresa, the individual, to the audience, I felt myself
surrounded in silence. I
couldn't hear my audience. It was as if I had entered a soundproof
room. And then I heard the
words, "Follow me, daughter." I knew instantly that St. Teresa was
speaking to me. That was the
beginning of our work together. We had an extremely subtle
relationship, one that demanded prayer,
silence, and isolation. Our communication was extremely subtle and very
soft and rare, but like
the most refined perfume, a small drop was sufficient to direct the
outline, structure, and
content of each chapter. Into my expanding relationship with Teresa I
then wove my research about
the spiritual struggles of the contemporary world, and the result is

Why are this medieval nun's life and thoughts and practices relevant
to our lives and spiritual
practice today?

What makes great spiritual teachers great? Why does their work remain
relevant for centuries? The
reason is that they transcend the boundaries and limits of their own
traditions and reach the
level of cosmic truth - truth that applies to the eternal human
experience. That is the nature of
St. Teresa's work. For example, she addresses the human struggle with
power, the need for
recognition, the delicate struggle with the control one's family has
over an individual and the
need that individual has to break free in order to discover her or
himself. I don’t know any other
spiritual teacher who even articulates that need, and yet I have met
hundreds of people who
struggle with the crisis of feeling divided between their desire to
explore their interior life
and still remain a primary nurturing figure in the family. Exploring
your interior life, by the
way, does not in any way mean that you have the desire to leave or
abandon your family. Yet, that
is so often the fear on both sides of the deeper spiritual experience:
that an individual cannot
have a rich interior life and a rich exterior life. This is simply not
true. The ideal is to blend
the two. By dividing the two, keeping your soul separated from your
physical life, you create the
endless suffering that comes from always searching for where you belong
in this world.

In ENTERING THE CASTLE, you use the same symbolic image of the castle,
which St. Teresa used, to
represent the soul. How can St. Teresa’s image of a medieval castle
with many mansions be
effective today?

The Castle was St. Teresa’s metaphor for the soul. She was from the
Spanish town of Avila, which
is a castle town. It is still a castle town, surrounded by medieval
walls in the design of a
castle. The image of a castle is positively seductive to our
imagination. It works and that's all
that counts. The idea of crossing a drawbridge and closing that
drawbridge to your outside world
and finally being in an interior place where no one can find you is
very effective. The Castle
represents your inner soul, your deeper soul, the part of you that
requires prayer, reflection,
and the pursuit of self-knowledge to access. It's divinely seductive
inner work.

You suggest that people are craving a breakthrough - a means to
connect to a grounded,
contemporary theology that they can practice every day. What are the
means that we should use to
do this?

Prayer, a devotion to contemplation and personal reflection, and an
application of your interior
life to the whole of your exterior life. That is, the Western person is
fond of the
God-in-their-mind, a rational concept of God that is accessible through
books and seminars and
discussion and perhaps group worship, such as church, synagogue, or
mosque. But the type of
breakthrough that I am referring to is a mystical breakthrough; that
is, to move past a mental and
behavioral relationship to God and into an experiential relationship
with the Divine. That
actually defines the mystic and the nature of a mystical experience –
to experience the power and
authority of the divine with complete abandon as opposed to defining
the nature of God through
intellectual definition.

What does it mean to be a “mystic without a monastery?”

Mystics are people who are called to experience life at the visionary
level, to experience the
power of God as opposed to thinking about it, or keeping it at arm’s
length because they fear it.
Traditionally, mystics were found in monasteries or ashrams or, in
earlier centuries, living as
recluses in the forests or desert, like the Indian sadhus or the Desert
Fathers. Like all ways of
being, those mystics served the world effectively at that time. But
times change and demand that
all models and forms of human expression change their garb. There was a
time when all Western
women were more repressed and had to "wait to be asked to dance,"
so to speak, but that model is
no longer effective. And there was a time when all men accepted war as
a necessary evil, but now
they see that they can resist and oppose it openly. Times change and
ways of being in the world
change to accommodate our changing times and the shifting patterns of
chaos, both outside and
inside of ourselves.
We are living at a time of great transformation. The spiritual
awakening that began in the 1960s
needs to mature to its next level, which is a deepening into devotion
to a mystical practice while
remaining an effective force in the world. And by that I mean remaining
in your skin, in your role
as who you are. Mystics knew how to channel grace through prayer and
they knew the power of that.
They knew how to receive guidance through reflection and contemplation;
they knew how to share the
gift of illumination with each other. These are great gifts of life and
profound grace that we are
capable of providing for each other and the world. This is what it
means to be a mystic without a
monastery. You make a commitment to your own interior illumination and
through that discover the
“sacred" part of your "contract" and the true meaning of your
highest potential.

(To be continued)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ivan Granger's Experience, Continued 

Here is Ivan Granger's description of what followed his initial awakening experience. The great saints and mystics are said to enter into and maintain a constant state of bliss. For the rest of us, the bliss tends to be intermittent, varying in intensity and duration. Sometimes we feel abandoned when the bliss states no longer occur.

The latter are sometimes called "dry periods." For the deep mystic, such times can be profoundly troubling, suggesting some inner unworthiness, some failure to "please god."

However, ecstasy, like many other areas, requires attention and time to cultivate its presence. Recently, when I was feeling dismay during a such a "dry spell," I realized that I had not been doing any kind of regular practice to allow it to manifest. My friend Jeannine said that this reminded her of her own experience when she had written to our small internet circle of friends, and no one had responded to her letter. Then she realized that in fact she had never opened the computer to see.

And in fact many of us, given the choice, would not opt for continuous ecstatic flow. We have work to do in this world, and need to shift our attention to the outer, as opposed to the inner realms. Honey tastes good, but sometimes we yearn for plain bread and cheese.

For me, each ecstatic moment is an act of grace, something which I receive but which I do not and indeed cannot "make happen." It is the ultimate verification of connection with divinity, the reminder that there is indeed much more to this universe than any of us might dream of. It is a form of prayer, a blessing which I frequently receive as I bow before Buddha and feel streaming bliss enter my head. Then for twenty or thirty minutes, I am "with god" and know truly unconditional love.

And as I finish, I send this "body prayer" out into the universe, in the hopes that all sentient beings will benefit therefrom.

Yeats said, "Man (sic) can embody truth, but never know it." For me, to experience bliss is to emobody truth and the closest I ever expect to come to the untimate.

Here is Ivan's description:

For me, the most consuming aspect of the experience, where I was only minimally aware of even a body, lessened within maybe an hour. But the permeating glow that we've all called bliss remained very strong and fairly constant for maybe four or five months afterward, where the sense of an entity named "Ivan" seemed to be more of an interesting idea rather than an inescapable reality. This was also the period when I particularly tasted the flow of nectar. Eventually even that awareness lessened as well, or perhaps you might say it has moved to the background. It started to come and go, often requiring more focused effort to recognize it. As I committed to more of an active life and work, particularly after moving from Maui back to the mainland, the spaces between sometimes seem spread further apart.

When I first noticed those gaps, it felt almost like abandonment to me. But these days I feel very content with the pattern. Well -- I periodically shift things in my focus and life to stay more intimately connected to that bliss, but it's not necessarily my goal to be immersed in it all the time. I feel like I've got work to do where I still find a functioning "Ivan" still useful.

It is my belief that every experience, even a profoundly spiritual one like I've tried to describe, is a phenomenon of awareness that comes and goes. The real goal, I think, is to dive deeply into Reality, not so much to have impressive "experiences" of that reality. Of course, those experiences of bliss and nectar are important. For me they are like an initiation. They let the mind know that a threshold has been passed, and I am not what I once thought I was

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ivan Granger's Awakening Experience 

Ivan Granget has written this beautiful account of his kundalini awakening (a few years ago.) Among other things it included the experience of amrita (divine nectar) flowing down his throat. I know of only a few people who have had this wondrous experience, and I have long been fascinated by their accounts.
Ivan's website (the poetry chaikhana page) is listed among the links in the margin. I encourage you to look at it if you have not done so already.

Several years ago I was going through a quiet crisis. I had just left the spiritual path I had been following intensely for more than a decade. At that time I was living on Maui, meditating and praying, eating a simple, pure diet, fasting a lot -- and suddenly I had no framework for all of these practices. I had lost my spiritual orientation. Christmas came in the midst of this psychic collapse, followed quickly by New Years. A few days later, in early January -- POW -- I was catapulted into an ecstatic stillness. Perhaps what surprised me the most was that I realized I had been in that state always, I just hadn't noticed it. I saw that everyone is always in that state, they just have to settle into themselves enough to recognize it.

And -- accompanying this bliss was a sense of a subtle liquid-like substance descending through the head and down the back of the throat. It felt like I was drinking something, something utterly pure and nourishing, satisfying a soul hunger I didn't even know was there until it began to be properly fed. This drink has an ethereal sweetness on the tongue that can't easily be described. Drinking it, my heart grew warm and expanded until it felt to me as if the entire universe was held in my heart. Everything and everyone was alive inside my heart.

My body was so overwhelmed by this experience that it began to tremble, not in seizure, but surging to a powerful wave that couldn’t be resisted. And who would want to resist it? The joy was all-consuming! My eyes were closed and I have no doubt that a silly grin was plastered crookedly across my face. Anyone watching me would have thought I was drunk!

The intensity of that initial "taste" subsided slightly as I resumed my normal activities, but the flavor has remained with me. . .

(I want to give a quick disclaimer: I am not suggesting that I am spiritually "perfect" or anything like that. My wife can all too easily attest to my humanness and imperfections. Like you, I am on a journey. I share this special part of my journey in the hopes that it can open a doorway for you too, one that leads to the tavern.)

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

- Omar Khayyam (1048 - 1131)
"The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam," translated by Edward FitzGerald

I began to write about the deep opening I was going through in a journal, but I soon found that what really wanted to come out was -- poetry. Naturally, I began to read spiritual poetry, as well: Rumi, Hafez, Kabir, Ramakrishna, St. John of the Cross. And, you know what I found in all of their work? Wine! Honey! Nectar! They were endlessly singing of the Celestial Drink. The more widely I read other mystic poets, the more I found this divine stream flowing through all religions and sacred traditions.

That's when I conceived of the idea of the Poetry Chaikhana website as an Internet resource for sacred poetry from around the world. What is a "chaikhana"? It is a teahouse, a place that serves the Celestial Drink...

(copyright, Ivan Granger)

Note: It is important to keep in mind that references to "intoxication" and "taverns" and "wine" in the mystical traditions have nothing to do with ordinary alcohol and drunkenness. They refer to the mystical states one experiences when one draws near to the divine source, a kind of spritual "high." Think how wonderful you felt when you had a "peak experience" or fell in love. At those times, one feels "intoxicated" with abundant joy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Entered by the Goddess 

This time, for the first time in recent years, my "inner teacher" was female. She was, in fact, a goddess, probably Cambodian, with a headdress of some sort (more like a tiara) but not the ascending coils of my (earlier) male teacher. She was seated with one leg extending down from her throne, the other curled underneath. She had many arms. She was the Mother herself, the Womb from which we come and to which we return at death. (Note: I think my inner teachers are mainly male because of the Jungian anima/animus relationship. Women are often led on the inner journey by male guides, and men by females, according to Jung's system. The animus is male aspect of the female, and the anima the feminine aspect of the male.)

Standing before Buddha, I moved only a little, mostly as micromovements of my neck and head from side to side. I think this is why the Eastern dancers rely so much on similar, but larger, neck movements. Each move sends sweet swirling energies through the body, often all the way to the feet. As always, I am convinced that this is how dancing began--from movements which aroused bliss, and then were incorporated into sacred dance. To dance in this way is to entertain the god/goddess in your body.

And, again, the experience was delicate, ecstatic, unbelievably subtle. It was like entering--and being entered by--a field of light. The vibrations seemed even higher than before, and as always, sensuous in tone, but not sexual per se. Once more I realized why these practices have been so carefully guarded throughout the centuries--one can stand in such a field only for a short time, and the unprepared aspirant might be seriously affected, even damaged, by such attempts. It is like entering the presence of an angelic being and sensing its incredible emanations--are we prepared to receive such love?

And then another image came up--this time it was a crone who was in fact an absolute hag, the state that all of us (at least the females) may arrive at should we live long enough. In other circumstances this might have startled me, but I remembered that the crone is the natural outgrowth of the mother (maid, mother, crone), and so I accepted the image as an indicator of the transitoriness of all human conditions, and indeed the ephemeral quality of all things. Like the Buddhists, I believe that all things are temporary and illusory, even the moment of highest bliss which would seem to confirm our notions of the sublime.

And at the same time these moments are infinitely real. They are the actual set against the temporal, the abiding reality shining through the veil of the transient.

They are the contradiction which rest at the heart of the Mystery itself.

Later on I went to see my doctor (a routine visit), a wonderful woman who loves dogs and horses. I tried to describe some of my experiences to her, since I feel it is part of the responsibility of those of us undergoing this still esoteric experience to inform as many caretakers as possible, so they can be alert to symptoms of others which often get misdiagnosed. Her eyes got wide and she listened sympathetically, but she didn't really get it. Virtually no one does who has not had the experience for themselves. After all, what do you say to someone who is telling you they make love with the goddess (or god) each morning in their living room?

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