MONDAY NIGHT wasn't
as intense as the previous hell night, but again I awoke at 3:00AM
with my mind racing. I could only yell inside, "shut up!" From what
Lawrence had told me, it was easy to see how the mind was reacting
by racing, avoiding the identification with the utter stillness
of Being. I finally managed to get to sleep and woke up late in
the morning, fully aware that I was not going to get to work in
the morning. But I didn't care one bit. Around 12:30PM I drove to
work and while stopped at a red light on Sir Francis Drake, a wonderful
thing occurred. While sitting in the car, minding my own business,
I became Radiant. I was radiating intensely in all directions; for
someone who sought so heavily for spiritual nourishment through
"others", it was such an incredible revelation that this body could
be a vehicle for transmission. I walked into work madly in love!
I wanted to hug everyone there, which is highly, I mean, highly
unusual for a work situation. I walked around and talked to people,
just letting them be in the field that was being generated. I began
to notice eyes, and it soon became an occupation to meet everyone
eye to eye. It was a very enjoyable thing to do. At 2:00PM, I attended
the weekly managers meeting at work, an hourly session around a
huge oval table. Twenty set of eyes to gaze into. The Ground of
Being was so loudly evident in the early moments of the meeting,
but I also noticed that no one could see it except for me. A part
of me wanted to get up and yell, "Can't you see it, you idiots!
It's right there in front of your face!!!". But I refrained, feeling
the weight of sleep all around me. It didn't take a rocket scientist
to see that I was in a totally different position than all the others
there. I was carrying around such a big Secret that I couldn't share.
People have hard enough time with the esoteric sayings and poems
adorning my office, let alone this!!
I also noticed, that
even though the knot at the crown chakra broke, that the headaches
persisted. The ache seemed to move lower down the back of my head,
and it wasn't until Wednesday that they finally subsided. I began
to get the feeling that there was a powerful shift in the physiology
of my own body, brought on by the opening that was caused on Saturday.
It felt like it was affecting me to the deepest core of my physical
and cellular body, as if I were changing into a new body. New energy
pathways also seemed to be present, though this was something that
I felt was a secondary result of a fundamental transition.
The next day I had another
session with Arjuna, and I discussed in a rather harried tone of
voice some of the insights and experiences I had over the past few
days. At one point he stopped me and tried to help me see that the
kind of frantic retelling of my story was blowing off energy and
not really conducive at that point to "stabilizing" what had occurred.
He said that stabilization (or perhaps a better word, integration)
was as important or more important as the event of Awakening, and
this was the reason for structuring four to five weekly sessions.
He did enjoy my story of blessing the people at work, and actually
reached over and shook my hand, saying, "Now that's real service!".
We spoke for a bit about the purpose or role of a person after Awakening
and how it can be a blessing for everyone, though not everyone who
passes through that doorway will become a formal teacher. In fact,
some may not say a word to anyone and simply go on with their lives.
The session ended with
a hypno-dharma session after another good bit of eye-gazing. Arjuna's
influence on me is very strong, and even though the gazing was powerful,
the session "cooled" me down in some deep way. Identification with
the Background Consciousness was very strong and frequent, still
feeling the "hole in the back of my being". Meditations only served
to intensify the obviousness of the Ground, accompanied by bodily
feelings of slight panic, with a rapid heartbeat and the arising
of fear. Meditation was a wonderful event of opening and recognition
of who I Am, followed by the reactions of the body-mind to the emptiness
of my self-nature. It was all such an intense adventure. Walking
around I would go through a merry-go-round of being aware of the
Obviousness of the Utter Still Ground, then a second later to be
followed by great fear and panic in the body-mind, and then a return
to a somewhat ordinary state. Though this time, however, even the
ordinary state that I am accustomed to was different, as this mysterious
"shift" was apparent and consistent.
The second session with
Arjuna seemed to have both a stabilizing effect and an intensifying
effect. The intensity began to grow with one particular sitting
meditation just before bed on the Thursday after meeting with Arjuna.
In that session, the Ground rose up, so to speak, to be completely
evident all around, as if attention was in the center of the emptiness,
whereas before it seemed to be "behind" me, as if I was living in
a conch shell. But what was surprising was that not a bit of fear
or panic arose. It was gone! Somehow, some way, I now could really
accept the Utter Emptiness as my own self-nature with little or
no reaction. I felt this to be truly significant, and I was relieved
and overjoyed by the acceptance in my being of the unconditional,
The intensity was also
effecting my sleep in a very profound way. Of course, ever since
I began sitting with Saniel, Lawrence and Ardeliza, my sleep had
been disturbed by the intensity of the shakti, but now it took an
even wilder turn. After that Thursday evening meditation, I began
waking up in the middle of the night totally in the condition of
utter emptiness. That Friday morning around 4:00AM I woke in that
condition and full of energy, so much so that sleep was again impossible.
So I figured I would make the best of a "Sleepless In San Rafael"
situation and sit in meditation. Just as in the previous sitting,
the Ground was all encompassing, 360 degrees around. But something
very unusual happened. Before there was still a sense of attention
having some location amidst the non-locality of the Ground. But
this time, all of a sudden, any feeling of the boundary of attention
"popped" or dropped so that there was no attention left at all.
Attention and the Background Consciousness were now truly one and
the same. After a short while, I "came to", having attention in
its normal position. I heard a voice behind me say "I am limitless
Being". What? Voices now? Well, it did nicely sum up the activities
of the night.
Sleep became an ally,
and in the next few days, I would wake up numerous times as the
Ground of Being, the Void, etc.. What was even more startling was
this new found capacity to dissolve attention into the Background
Consciousness. This was incredible! What a gift, I thought. I then
realized that with death one could jump off "the wheel of samsara"
by finally dissolving attention into the Ground, the One Being At
Rest. This hit me like a ton of bricks. Was it possible for me to
get off this wheel, to truly be free at the moment of death? Just
the possibility of it was an ecstatic thing for me. With subsequent
meditations, I was able to simply "abide" in my own self-nature.
Attention could simply drop in Being. Meditations were incredible.
This was a whole new ballgame, and a revelation that left me feeling
that I never, ever really meditated before.
The next Friday, I went
to satsang with Lawrence and Ardeliza alone, as Anne was not feeling
well. It was very crowded and I sat in the back of the room. This
time, during meditation, I noticed how intensified in group meditation
the stillness was, how apparent Being was. When people spoke, and
a lot of it was talk of devotion and blissful experiences, I was
feeling that they were missing the point, the obviousness of their
own nature amplified in the atmosphere of shakti and satsang, focusing
on experiences and temporal spiritual arisings. Hey, so what, I
was having an attitude!! After the evening was over, I talked at
length with Lawrence and Ardeliza about what was going on for me.
Lawrence replied that the fact that I was not in control was being
amplified for me and this was something important to recognize -
that I never had any control. But what was most joyful was that
they did acknowledge that I had the signs of a 6th stage Awakening.
Ardeliza said, based on what Joel and I communicated in detail,
that we were two people that they would be able to work with. Even
though I felt like I had dropped the need for their acknowledgment,
it was still very, very heartening for me to hear it, as I and many
hold them in high regard as to their sense of basic intelligence
and discrimination. What's more, their acknowledgment signaled to
me that I could work with them intimately through this period.
The following Saturday
night I again awoke in the middle of the night, but this time I
was having a kundalini experience. I have had these on rare occasion
since I was 20 years old, where I would wake up with light and sound
filling my head, as if my spine was a roman-candle or something.
It was frightening the first time, but like any experience, it loses
its glamour due to repetition. This time especially I had no interest
or excitement about it - it served no more purpose for me as far
as I was concerned. But then in the midst of watching the swirling
lights in my inner vision, I heard that same voice again behind
me say, "There is no observer. There are only events in consciousness".
What the hell was going on, some kind of Divine lesson plan? I was
a bit suspicious of voices and such psychic events, but the message
sounded important and contained a great deal of Truth. Then again,
it could be a Daughter of Mara, of Buddha fame.
The next evening I had
the following dream snippet:
The dream to me was a kind
of corroboration of the unconscious mind relative to "understanding".
After all these years, I finally understood! The fact that it was
my grandmother whom I understood, who lived to be 100, lends itself
that the spiritual process is a legacy from antiquity, and could represent
a very unexpected form of the Goddess. I was very pleased by the dream,
but then again, maybe it was grandma!!
- I am walking around
in an old house, well furnished with antique like furniture. I
look to my left to see my grandmother (my mother's mother, who
only spoke Italian, and could not read or write) who has been
dead over ten years. She begins to converse with me in English!!
I am joyfully shocked that I can understand her finally after
all these years.
Monday evening meditation
brought a very new voice. As I was sitting there, a rather demonic
voice spoke from behind me and said, "It's all so fascinating, isn't
it?". It sounded like Gollum from Lord of The Rings and was frankly
a bit scary! But its message was loud and clear. The intensity of
what occurred in the past week did leave me fascinated with my own
experiences, insights and capabilities, and this was something that
somehow felt a little off, even though I didn't have any control
over it. But having seen "Little Buddha" recently, it was refreshing
to hear the story of Mara and his seductive daughters. Perhaps my
own schoolboy quality of "oh wow" wonder was an obstruction to the
process, but then, maybe not...
The "fascination" incident
marked a disturbing new phase in my post-awakening process. Having
the capacity to dissolve attention was such a joy, but in meditation
Tuesday morning, it was ALL gone. I felt like I returned back to
what seemed to bean ordinary, un-awake state, with no capacity for
meditation or awareness of my nature as unqualified Being. I panicked,
looking high and low in the strata of my being for a hint of something
other than ordinary bodily feelings. I felt like I lost it, "landed"
by identifying too much with the resulting experiences of the awakening
process. A period of joyful non-seeking was replaced with hyper-seeking,
like someone hearing his or her lottery numbers called out, but
unable to find the damn lottery ticket!! I was distraught and upset,
but fortunately was going to see Arjuna again that morning. Arjuna
was straight with me, and confessed multiple similar incidents in
his own process, which were all very painful. His message to me
was to be mindful of the context of what things are arising in,
instead of the arising phenomena themselves. He brought back to
me the View that one's self-nature can not be lost if recognized,
but attention can get caught up in its own fascinating arisings,
especially experiences of Emptiness or the Void. He gave me
the advice to practice relaxed diligence relative to my own tendencies
towards fascination with results. Arjuna also gave me a poem, called
"Trust In Mind", by Tsen-Tsan, the third patriarch of Zen Buddhism.
However, while reading it, much of it sounded familiar, and then
I realized I already had the poem hanging up in my office, under
a different translation, being called "The Mind of Absolute Trust".
It is something, along with another poem called "Free and Easy"
which is very, very useful to read, as it gracefully describes the
practice of simply accepting what-is, and helps to map out the pitfalls
that many may fall into in the spiritual process. Both poems are
at the end of this report. The lesson of trying to "own" awakening,
to try to "grasp the ungraspable" was a painful one, and certainly
one that I remember clearly.