Dream: Nazis and crown prince

I am related to the crown prince through marriage, and we are in the same room. Nazi WWII soldiers come and occupy the house we are in, and the town as well. I am passive in the dream, faced with a situation I don’t seem to be able to do much about.

Well, this is a typical shadow dream, with the shadow taking the form of one of the favorite bad guys in European culture – WWII Nazi soldiers. Knowing that showed me that there are shadow elements in my life now that “wants” to be made conscious (not a big surprise) but didn’t tell me much more, so I decided to use active imagination to explore it further.

I notice that I was relatively passive in the dream, but to engage with the soldiers I need to take on – and engage – with more strength. I talk to the soldiers, asking them who they are and why they are there. Initially, they don’t answer, but one sits down and smokes a cigarette nearby. I notice the strength in him. After puffing a couple of times, he starts talking and says that he represents an active attitude to life – strength, activity and engagement. I take on these qualities myself, and as I do, the soldiers fade more into the background and the situation shifts into becoming far more manageable and workable.

The dream is showing me something I have noticed in my waking life, but not taken all that seriously… it is nudging me to pay more attention to it, and to take it more seriously.

My conscious interest lately has been in surrendering identification with the content of awareness, including the different aspects of this personality. In theory, and when it happens more fully, this allows the whole of the individual to be expressed more fully, including its strength and active engagement in life. But before that shift happens, there is a tendency to disown the active engagement in the process of surrendering.

There is a lack of differentiation between surrendering identification with any content, and of the content itself, so there is a disowning of aspects of the content – in this case the active attitude.

My job then is to allow more fully the active attitude, and also surrender identification with it. And in my daily life, noticing headlessness seems to be the easiest way to do that.

Additional notes

When something is disowned, it is because our conscious attitude does not fully allow it. It is seen as “bad” one way or another. So when it shows up in dreams, it takes on an image which our culture tends to view as “bad” as well, in this case Nazi soldiers. As the qualities they represent are more fully, wholeheartedly and consciously embraced, their form typically change into something more benevolent. (In this particular case of active imagination, I consciously took on their qualities, and they faded away.)

And I still need to explore the presence of the crown prince in the dream.

Parade: seeing myself as others see me

This happened as I was about to fall asleep on the second day of the Breema retreat at Breitenbush (posted the Monday after)…

There is a parade of people in my life, one after another, and I see myself from their perspective. I see my appearance and actions, and experience in first person how this may have been experienced by the other. Then, I see myself as if with an x-ray vision, seeing the inner machinery (thoughts, emotion, confusion, motivations), and how this would have been experienced by the other if they had seen it. This happens for each person, one at the time, going from my current life to past and into childhood. Then, the same happens with animals in my life, including ants I tortured as a child (!)

There is an emphasis on the pain, confusion and suffering my behavior triggered in others, and there is a sense of a sweet openness to it all, taking it in, allowing it to sober me up and see myself more as I would see myself from another persons perspective. There is a sense of sweetness, painfulness, space, quiet receptivity, taking it all in, allowing it to work on me.

This parade was very similar to the parade of sinister characters from some weeks ago. Both happened as I was about to fall asleep, both were similar to a waking dream (happening on their own), and in both cases, there was an inside – first person – experience of each character. As with that one, this parade was very sobering.

I see the pain I inflicted on some animals as a child, seeing myself as a giant, powerful and as evil as they come. I see myself as completely oblivious to the pain I am indirectly inflicting on animals through some of my food choices, and the miserable conditions of laborers creating many of the things I use and wear. I experience the pain triggered by my behavior and words in those close to me, in innumerable situations, in many different ways. I see myself acting and behaving in patterns from my past, not corresponding to the current situation (including not living up to my potential in certain situations, just out of old habits.) And much more.

In each of these cases, I experience myself from the outside, as I would have experienced myself if I were in the other persons (or animal’s) position. The whole parade lasted for maybe thirty or forty minutes, although it is difficult to say for certain.


Over the last few weeks, I have (in no particular order) been…

Reading in

  • Freedom to Be, A. H. Almaas.
  • Seeing Who You Really Are, Richard Lang.
  • The Interior Castle, Theresa of Avila.
  • Anatomy of the Psyche, Edward Edinger (on alchemy.)
  • Transformation of the Psyche, Henderson and Sherwood (also on alchemy.)

Listening to

  • Riot on an Empty Street, Kings of Convenience.
  • Quiet is the New Loud, Kings of Convenience.
  • Brazilian Lounge, Putumayo.
  • Arabian Travels II.
  • Fifty Gates of Wisdom, Ofra Haza.
  • Djangologie/USA, Django Reinhardt.
  • Aerial, Kate Bush.
  • Eight Seasons, Mari Boine.
  • Unfolding, Axiom of Choice.
  • Canticles de L’Orient, Seur Marie Keyrouz.
  • Music in Twelve Parts, Philip Glass.
  • Passio, Arvo Part.
  • Tabula Rasa, Arvo Part.
  • Faryad, Masters of Persian Music.
  • Bulgarian Custom Songs, The Mystery Of Bulgarian Voices Choir & Dora Hristova.
  • etc.


  • Infrequent sitting practice.
  • Infrequent use of The Work (Byron Katie’s inquiry process.)
  • Headless experiments.
  • Some Big Mind process (to look at particular voices.)
  • More frequent use of other forms of inquiry, such as noticing the difference between forms (limited in space and time) and awake emptiness (timeless, spaceless), and where there is identification.
  • Self-Breema and Breema bodywork.
  • Working with dreams (active imagination and some Process Work.)
  • Worked with Source Codes (with Barry and Karen.)
  • Relationships (ongoing!)
  • Walking and hiking, mostly healthy diet (fresh, lower on the food chain), some strength.
  • Curiosity (the most important practice!)

Revising my ideas about this blog

Reality periodically comes up against my beliefs and ideas of how this blog should be, and when it does, it is time to revise my attachment to those ideas. This blog is already more of an online journal than a blog as I think of it (frequently linking to other sites and posts, a place for lively comments and discussion and so on), so I’ll just settle with having it be a log of one person’s journey.

What this blog is, for me…

  • A journal of some aspects of one phase of one person’s journey (leaving out most of my life, but including the parts I find more interesting to explore in writing.)
  • A way to explore some select and few parts of my life more in detail.
  • A depository for some of what the mind produces, allowing space for something else to come in (if it wants.)
  • Only temporary and limited insights, at best.
  • Allowing for repeated themes, as long and as often as they come up on their own (it means there is more processing to do there.)
  • Written for my own benefit, mostly.

What it is not…

  • A comprehensive journal of my life (obviously.)
  • Reflecting any final insights (any insight is only temporary and limited.)
  • A blog that links to a great deal of other blogs and sites.
  • Written for others (although if anyone finds anything interesting or helpful to them here, they are of course welcome to read it…!)

New look!

After sticking with the not-so-attractive blogger templates for a while, I decided to go for a more earthy and simplified look. This template was developed by Derek Punsalan at 5thrityone.

(I hope the text is not too small? Will take a look at the source to see if I can make the default size a little larger.)

An afternoon in front of the fireplace…

Some of the many things I am grateful for in my life right now…

A quiet afternoon in front of the fireplace… A place to practice Breema. Shelter from the cold rain outside. Listening to good music. A soft, friendly cat. Good tea. Someone coming home soon.

Exploring a sense of a separate I in three general ways

When I explore this sense of a separate I, I notice that I tend to do it in three general ways.

The main one is to be with the experience of a separate I, to fully allow it – including any resistance to this sense of a separate I, any hopes for it to change, any struggles around it. Fully be with it, allow it, embrace it, as it is. To see it and feel it as it is, here and now (which allows loving it, as it is, to come in as well.)

The second one is to amplify the experience of a separate self. How can I make the sense of a separate self stronger? I find that I do it by tensing up muscles, by strengthening an image of a split between me here and the rest of the world out there, and also by emotions such as anger, fear, desire, and so on. This helps me see how the sense of a separate self is created, and how I do it in my daily life.

The third is to inquire into what is already more true in immediate experience, such as exploring if I am content of awareness, if I am awareness itself, and if the content is anything else than awareness. (Am I any of this content? These sounds? Sights? Sensations? Thoughts? They all come and go, but something does not come and go. What is it that does not come and go? It is awareness itself. Am I this awareness? If I find myself as awareness, I notice that its content arises as a seamless field. What appeared as inside and outside, when I took myself to be a part of the content, is now all a seamless field of no real inside or outside. Where is the boundary between awareness and its content? Does the content appear as anything else than this awareness? The content of this awake emptiness arises as nothing other than awake emptiness itself.)

Together, there is the full allowing of a sense of a separate self, including any associated resistance. There is an active exploration of how the sense of a separate I is created. And there is an exploration of what is already more true in immediate awareness.

Beliefs anchored in sensations

Yesterday morning, I woke up and saw how a range of beliefs are anchored in specific sensations.

I have seen for a while how the sense of a separate self, or rather the belief in a separate self, is anchored in particular sensations in the head area (lower center of the head.)

And it is also becoming clearer to me how any belief in similarly anchored in particular sensations.

The most noticeable example for me are the many beliefs that strongly says that an immediate external situation should be different, which – when triggered – are anchored on tension in my calves.

The belief arises, are placed on particular sensations in a particular location of space, that is then used as a base for a sense of a separate self, and the trigger – arising in another location of space – is seen as Other.

It even seems that if the usual sensations are not already present, they are made present through contractions, so there usual place of anchoring the particular beliefs becomes available.

Releasing the charge

It seems almost comical, and that is one of the reason there is a release from this whole process when this is noticed. The process may still occur – with ideas arising, a physical tension, and a placing of the ideas on the location of the sensation of this tension – but there is a release of identification with it.

With the release of identification, it is all revealed as just arising in space, and the sense of I – placed on particular sensations, and Other – placed in another location in space, is also released.

This takes the charge out of what is happening, independent of the strength of the process. And it also takes the charge out of the process itself, weakens it in the moment and weakening the habitual pattern over time.

Spirit and soul allowing a shift from tragedy to comedy

In periods, and especially so over the last year or so, my experience of myself shift… Partly, it because space & awareness goes into the foreground, partly because the soul (alive presence) goes into the foreground, and partly because this human self is shifting and reorganizing.

Sometimes, there is also a discrepancy of the experience of myself and how this human self presents itself in the world. I see old patterns acted upon (often in quite innocent ways) and then surprise comes up. Wow – I haven’t seen that one for a while, and it is certainly not how I experience myself…!

These are typically patterns formed early on in life, coming from more contraction than what seems necessary now. Coming up, there is an opportunity to see them, and holding them in awareness while feeling into it (the witness/feeling into combination that gives an engaged teflon mind.)

When I taught a Breema class last night, this came up quite strongly: seeing the personality behaving in ways other parts of it is not so happy with, with less fluidity, warmth and engaged presence than it would like (I have been physically off for a few days, and it invites some of the older patterns of awkwardness to come up.) It is quite clear that there is no doer in this. It just happens. Materializes out of thin air. Sometimes to the embarrassment of the personality itself. And that too just happens.

Since it was a Breema class, the Spirit (awake emptiness and form) and soul (alive full presence) were in the foreground, which allowed more space around it. The personality happens as ripples of the surface of the vastness of Spirit and soul. And this makes for more of an amusing show than anything else.

What my personality takes as a tragedy, the presence of Spirit and soul reveals as comedy. When the personality is in the foreground, and the Spirit/soul levels are distant, it takes itself very seriously. When Spirit and/or soul is in the foreground, the habitual patterns of the personality not only softens but is also taken, in a friendly way, as comedy.

This seems to happen whether Spirit or soul, or both, are in the foreground. But it happens in slightly different ways.

Spirit allows for a cool detachment. It is impersonal. The personality arises as no other than the awake emptiness itself, so cannot be taken as very solid, substantial or absolutely real.

Soul is an alive presence, and – depending on which aspects of it surfaces – gives a sense of fullness, warmth, nurturing, being held, soft bliss, intimacy. And this warmth and fullness offsets any hardness and habitual patterns of the personality. The patterns of the personality softens, including the way it judges itself. The edges are rounded. It soften, relaxes, releases. And this not only makes it more comfortable right here now, but also allows these patterns to reorganize over time.

Identities, cycles and alchemy

Over my life so far, this is by far the phase where I am most exclusively focused on the inner process. In the past, there has been times where the attention has embraced the inner and outer equally, and the outer more than the inner (my time in very active sustainability work), and now there is a focus mostly on the inner process. It goes against the grain since I have never wanted to see myself as someone emphasizing the inner more than the outer (activities in the world), so I guess it is good for me. Another identity that has to bite the dust.

Within this, there are also cycles, and one is the cycle of active exploration and investigation, and of rest (at least in that area). In alchemical terms, I guess the active exploration is a combination of differentiation (separatio), clarification (sublimatio), and developing new patterns (coagulatio), and the passive phases is the letting go of patterns (solutio), a minor death that allows for something else to emerge.

It is similar to clutching, taking the gears out of action so it can shift into something else (although the gears here are innumerable). Or the fall and winter allowing for a period of rest and rejuvenation before the new activities of the spring and summer.

Deeper layers of the shadow

It is pretty easy to notice the surface layers of the shadow, the ones that come up in everyday life, projected on my neighbor, political figures and others. But there are also deeper layers to the shadow, layers that reflect deep patterns in our culture and in our biology as human beings, layers that mirrors our core identification as a separate I.

The journey that happened some days ago is an example of an exploration into these deeper layers of the shadow. And as it shook me to the core, it is clearly going deeper than I am familiar with…

In this vision (or journey, or spontaneous active imagination) there was a parade of dark, shadowy and evil characters from many cultures and times, animal like, human like, gigantic, tiny. I found myself on the inside of each of them, living and breathing their life. And this I was not a separate I but the same one transcendent I in each of them, living and breathing their life. It was the I without an Other.

In the very beginning, seeing a dark large male figure in a black desolate landscape, silhouetted against a dark sky, staring out with red eyes like searchlights scanning the landscape, there was fear coming up, because there was still an identification with a separate I. But soon, there was only the one transcendent I, and an absence of Other and of fear. (Fear requires an Other, and in the absence of Other, there is also an absence of fear.)

Of course, even as powerful a shift as this was, it is another drop, another phase into owning more fully deeper layers of the shadow. There is always further to go, more to see and notice, additional layers to own, befriend, embrace, become more intimately familiar with.

Maybe the most surprising part of this was the fear that came up after the journey was over. A fear of speaking about this, or even writing about it anonymously here… Who can understand? Only the few who themselves have gone here. Those who have befriended these deep layers of their own shadow, seeing that this too is Spirit, this too is God.

And as I write this, I am (by coincidence) listening to Misread by Kings of Convenience…

How come no-one told me
All throughout history
The loneliest people
Were the ones who always spoke the truth…

A close reflection of the sober and somber mood I found myself in writing this.

Not that I see this as “truth”, it is only how things appears for one individual at one phase of his path. But to speak this provisional truth is one way to find myself as lonely…!

Prayer and the indwelling God

My prayers have been quite different since the alive presence in the heart area came up around Christmas. This alive presence which is infinitely loving, intelligent, intimate, personal, receptive, and responsive. A fragment of God right here, for this individual. The indwelling God.

My old prayers were directed outward in space, and had a yang quality, as talking. Now, these forms of prayer seem a little noisy. Instead, there is just a very quiet and simple going to the alive presence in the heart, and an equally quiet and simple intention, more like a whisper.

The content of the prayers is maybe not so different, but their quality is. Going to the alive presence in the heart area. Quiet, still, like an intimate whisper.

Praying for knots to unravel, for a deepening into humanity and awakening, for living a life benefiting all beings, for all beings being freed from suffering, for all beings awakening and blossoming deeply, fully and richly.

Ecological Footprint

I tried a simplified Ecological Footprint calculator again, and got a number that seems a little low. (From more comprehensive calculators I have used in the past, I suspect that the number may be more in the 10-15 acre range.)

FOOD : 2.2




Voices disowned in the self-inquiry process

The voice of resistance is one of the voices battered by my approach to self-inquiry… Put down, tried set aside, ignored, not wanted, resisted, disowned, placed in the shadow.

It is a subtle disowning compared to what is possible when there is a strong sense of a separate I and a particular identity, but also a crass disowning compared to how it can be when all is allowed.

Other voices pushed away in this process may be the sense of I, hangups, contractions, and duality. And the voices identified with when these are pushed away, are the voice of self-inquiry, of seeking (seeking to realize selflessness.), and maybe even the voice of seeing selflessness.

The irony is of course that in the process of attempting to allow all, some are pushed away and resisted.

Compassion for what is disowned

As I write this, I notice a good deal of compassion coming up for these disowned voices.

And this compassion is similar to the compassion that has come up lately for the vulnerable animal, this human self as a vulnerable animal, sometimes confused, scared, contracted, reactive, blindly wanting, trying to protect a particular identity, loving and hating, trying to survive, find its way in the world for the short time it is around. This vulnerable animal is a voice in itself, and it is also the reason all the personal voices are around, it is what the personal voices serve, guide and protect.

Voices to dialog with

So some voices to explore for me right now may be…

Voice of resistance – voice of allowing, sense of I – Big Mind, contractions, hangups, duality – nonduality, self-inquiry, seeking mind – nonseeking mind, seeing selflessness, the vulnerable animal, and maybe even Big Belly (the voice of endarkenment.)

How do they each serve the self? How do they function right now? Are they appreciated? How are they treated? How can they serve the self better? How can the self serve them better?

What is alive in pushing away

As I write this, the quality that comes up when certain things are pushed away, such as resistance, is very much alive.

The hardness of it. The sense of pushing away. Of a split. The aggression of it. A sense of something to protect and defend. A sense of the possibility of the wall breaking down and being invaded by what I am trying to push away and defend against. The precariousness of the situation. The paranoia that comes with it.

Always looking for signs of the wall breaking down. The ambivalence towards life and other people, not knowing what they may say or do that can threaten the identity built up around this. The energy that goes into building up a particular identity, and holding what is on the other side of the wall at bay… at all cost, in any situation. It is terrible, but also seems so desperately necessary.

Until it isn’t. When the wall falls, it is OK. But that is certainly not how it seems when the wall is up, when all energy is used to keep it up, to defend against what is on the other side… whether it is certain experiences, disowned voices, human qualities not included in our self-identity.

Dream: Informing and a backlash

I inform on somebody in my own circle, and end up spending a good deal of energy hiding from them.

I don’t remember many of the details of this dream, but this seems to be the essence. I was part of a larger social group, and some were involved in very questionable behavior (organized crime of some sort.) They had initially invited me to join, I said no, and then later decided that it was in the public interest to inform on them. In this case, the public interest was clearly more important than (misguided) loyalty. They heard about it, there were quite a few of them (5 or 8), they were ruthless, and they were looking for me, so I went into improvised hiding. First, part way down a convoluted streambed leading down a hillside to the ocean, then up on a loft, and some other places. The others wanted to help me, but didn’t quite know how.

This dream is very similar to one I had in November, and also to some previous ones.

Staying with the dream after waking up, it seems to have a connection with self-inquiry. When I do self-inquiry, discover that the whole sense of I seems to be a fabrication, and also is the immediate cause of any dissatisfaction in my life, it is, in a way, a betrayal of who I have taken myself to be.

I take myself to be this person, yet through examination find that not to be so, and betray my old identity, what I have spent a (short) lifetime to build up, what I am most familiar with.

In voice dialog terms, the voices (subpersonalities) that were often taken as an I, closely identified with, placed on the king’s throne, are revealed to have no inherent I, become less closely identified with, and do not get access to the throne very frequently. If it is done skillfully, they will find their new role and be happy with that. But if it is done hastily and with less respect for these voices, they may certainly become upset, want revenge and try to sabotage the new order, and for good reason.

I haven’t done voice dialog/Big Mind process on myself for a while, so this dream is an invitation to do that again. To see how the voices are doing, who are disgruntled (always for a good reason) and how things can be set more right.

One issue I see, and have seen for a while, is that when I do self-inquiry, there is a slight element of pushing there… of “knowing” what to look for, a slight impatience to “get there”, and of revealing the selflessness of what I often take for I. There is a disrespect inherent in this, a forcefulness, a resistance to what is and how the voices currently show up, that does nobody any favors (not what I then take as myself, which is the voice of self-inquiry, nor any of the other voices.)

There is probably more to this dream as well, maybe other areas where this pattern comes up.

Practices surfacing

It seems that many practices surface on their own these days…

This morning, I noticed lots of hangups coming up…. over someone delivering soggy firewood to us, careless housemates, the infernal rain… And then, a very tangible sense of this all coming from the soft little animal. This little vulnerable animal, which has been hurt, scared, confused, lost, so many times over its life (especially early on, when everything was new and utterly confusing.)

So instead of going into the contractions and stories coming up, there was space around it, and also a deep compassion for their source – which is this vulnerable, scared, hurt, confused little animal. This human self, as an animal, trying to find its way in this world, and sometimes being quite reactive and contracted. There was deep compassion for this little animal, and a seeing, feeling into, and loving of it. Holding it in gentle love, allowing it to relax, unwind, maybe even heal a little.

This is what many intentional processes do, such as Process Work, Voice Dialog and other ones, but it is nice when it surfaces on its own, as a spontaneous practice. A practiceless practice.

Another one that has come up for me over the last few days is the question is this worth getting contacted over? So far, the answer has always been no, and a release of the contraction.

Aspects of what is… right now

As I walked up to the downtown bus station this afternoon, between lunch and diksha, I was struck by the deep silence everything was arising within and as, and I took some time exploring the different aspects of what was alive right there and then (and now)…

A deep silence and stillness everything arises within and as, that allows all form, all sounds, all movement. It is beyond deep, free from deep. It is a formless silence, arising as and allowing all forms.

A sense of crystal clarity, although right now with a sense of fullness, smoothness. This too as formless, arising as and allowing form.

Awake emptiness as form.

Luminous darkness, formless allowing and arising as all form. As Almaas said it, there is a sense of this luminous darkness peering out through all form.

Each of these, the silence/stillness, the crystal clarity, the awake emptiness and the luminous darkness, arises as and allows all form.

At the same time, there is a sense of the field being slightly condensed around the head area, giving a slight sense of an I here as a center of the field. But this too arises as awake emptiness, crystal clarity, luminous darkness, and silence and stillness. There is a sense of a slightly separate I there, and that is more than OK.., it is an essential part of the process right now, and may or may not change at any time. That too is God, and God’s will, right now.

Mirror practice

I notice that I am used to feeling this body (and human self) as Spirit, and seeing others as Spirit, but I am not used to seeing myself as Spirit. So sometimes when I am in a bathroom, I take a few seconds to gaze into my own eyes, seeing, feeling and loving even that strange person as Spirit…

Blue spheres

Luminous blue spheres are coming up again, this time in and around the knees and elbows…! There seems to be one on either side of each knee, and either side of each elbow. I know that the chakras are just about everywhere in and around the body, although only the seven main ones are usually described in the literature. These blue spheres may be some of the minor chakras.

Their qualities are of… a luminous blue, deep, soft, cool, infinitely quiet allowing any activity.

Headlessness and three centers

Since hearing about Douglas Harding’s death this morning, I have explored headlessness again as I go about my activities. I notice a slight difference in exploring headlessness, and it seems to has to do with the three centers. It is still quite new so I am sure more will unfold, but for now…


Being capacity for the world, or the awakeness the world unfolds within and as, has a slightly different quality since the endarkenment shift. It is somehow softer, fuller, more yin, and has a sense of being a ground in a different way, more as something to just allow, relax into. The sense of crystal clarity is there, yet that too as somehow rounder, fuller, softer.

First and second person

And I also see how the second and first (zero) person views are there at the same time. The first person view is being the capacity for the world, the awake emptiness it arises within and as (although this is really a zero person view, as there is no Other, and it is not even a view, just the ground of everything arising, of the seeing and the seen.)

And the second person is everything arising as love, and as love for everything arising. First person is Big Mind, second person is Big Heart, where everything arising as love is a very subtle second person, and the love for everything arising is a more clear second person.

Three centers

These are also two of the centers. Being capacity for the world is Spirit filtered through the head center. And everything arising as love, and loved, is Spirit filtered through the heart center.

The third, belly, center, is including the body and emotions in this, allowing them to reorganize within Capacity and love. The belly center specifically includes our human self, allowing it to deepen and reorganize, at an emotional level, into the felt sense of this.

Personality contrasted

Within this context of (early) belly awakening, the contrast between this endarkenment and my personality is very vivid.

Throughout the day, I notice all the hardness of this personality, a hardness, rigidity and narrowness that comes from not being aligned with the endarkenment. And my task is simply to notice, and surrender whatever comes up to the endarkenment.

I see how the endarkenment invites (and it is an offer I can’t afford to refuse) this personality to allow any hard edges, anything coming from fear and resistance, so soften, to become more rounded, whole, mature, more deeply and thoroughly human.

It is a reorganization of the whole individual self. A transformation from what was created from a sense of separation, and the subsequent fear, resistance, clinging to exclusive identities, hard edges, and a sense of something to defend, to being aligned with all as Spirit, also in a deeply felt sense, allowing the personality to be more rich, full, whole, rounded and mature.

Sense of I

Just some of the more obvious things about a sense of I, one that is separate, placed on an aspect of the field of the seeing and seen, creating a sense from I and Other.

It comes from, and perpetuates, a sense of I and Other, a split in the field.

It is usually placed on aspects of this human self.

It is fleshed out by various identities, of being this and not that, wanting this and not that.

It comes from a belief in the idea of a separate I, and the identities added onto it comes from beliefs in other thoughts (I am/want this and not that.)

It works in space and time, creates an I and Other within space and time, and a sense of being finite in space and time.

The finality of it brings up fears of nonexistence, and also of pain and suffering since I am to a large extent at the mercy of the whims of larger whole.

It is fluid, always changing moment from moment.

The sense of I is placed on the most likely candidate arising in the moment, often what is familiar as an I.

It is made up of conglomerates of sensations and identities.

Right now, I notice a sense of I floating around. It is placed on a set of sensations in the neck/head area, creating a sense of I here, as a center, and Other out there, in the periphery. It is associated with identities of wanting the current comfort to continue, of liking the music I am listening to (Salvatore), of enjoying the softness of my sitting surface and the warmth, of wanting to be clear and at least moderately perceptive, and so on. Infinite identities, filtering the field of what arises into I and Other, and splitting in my own experience.

Since what arises is mostly OK with the identities fleshing out this sense of I, the sense of I and Other is not so strong. But as soon as something happens to threaten these identities, a disruption to a quiet evening, then the sense of I and Other becomes stronger, and there is a desire to reinforce identities and change circumstances to not threaten identities, including all the wants embedded in them.

The simplicity of being with and being

There is a simplicity in being with, and then just being, whatever arises.

Being with experiences, then just being

Something comes up, I notice a resistance to it, and can then just be with it all – the experience and the resistance to it. It is simple, quiet, without drama or stories. And there is a sense of an energetic shift from confusion to something that is more organized and has an almost crystalline structure, which I also notice when I do sitting meditation.

In just being with experiences, as they are, there is also the being with any resistance coming up. The resistance becomes part of the field. And eventually, the resistance to the field itself is included, allowing the field to arise to itself as it is, as a field with no center, inherently absent of I and Other. There is just being, the same field but now revealed as already absent of I and Other, of someone being with something else.

From second to 1st or zero person

It is a process from a 2nd person relationship, of a sense of I being with experiences, of the seeing being with the seen, to a 1st or zero person relationship, to just the field absent of I and Other, which is no relationship at all of course. It is just the field being with itself, as seeing and seen as one.

It is first person, in that the field as a whole is an I to itself, and it is zero person in that there is an inherent absence of I as any part of the field.

Habit of identifying with resistance

It is so simple. So available. Yet also so difficult sometimes. The habit of identifying with resistance is so ingrained. Resistance arises, there is an identification with it, a sense of I is placed on it, a sensation is associated with this resistance and serves as an anchor in space for this sense of I, what is resisted is made into Other and at another location in space, and from here it is fleshed out with all sorts of additional stories. The stage is set for drama, and it plays itself out very well.

Soft docking, and everything the same yet different

At the same time, just being with it all, simply, quietly, meeting it as and where it is, as a soft docking, changes it all. Everything is the same, as it is, yet also completely different. From a sense of drama and confusion, and the sense of reality of I and Other, the field arises to meet itself as a field, already and inherently absent of I and Other, with its crystalline structure and clarity.

Even the discouragement of seeing habitual patterns coming up, over and over, can be included. That too is OK when it is revealed as just a part of the field, already and always absent of I, just the field of awake emptiness and forms unfolding.

Spheres of blue light

Since the dream last night, the small spheres of blue light seem very tangible, placed in each vertebrae close to the spinal cord. It is like a cool quiet awakening happening there, an awakening of the intelligence of the vertebrae as the guide in the dream told me. A quiet cool intelligence coming alive, at 24 (or so) different points along the spine. (And the quality of the brilliant cool blue intelligent light is really quite similar to the cool blue of the stars in the Pleiades.)

Dream: awakening of the vertebrae

A spiritual guide, in the form of a young man, tells me that this is an awakening of the vertebrae intelligence, not the usual awakening of the spine intelligence. A bright cool blue light is placed, or awakened, in each vertebrae, by the spinal cord. I see swirling light around the whole spine, and especially in the hara and solar plexus area. It has blue and light green colors, mixed in with golden, red and the other colors of the rainbow.

This dream happened after I spent some time before falling asleep connecting with the alive infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive luminosity. (It seems to be most present in the heart region right now.)

Earlier last night, I realized that this must be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, Bhagavan mentions.

The young man in the dream is a guide, an awakened one, and reminds me of the young Buddha Sakyamuni or Bhagavan’s senior male dasa. He is a more mature version of the person who, in a previous dream, helped me climb up the final few feet up a tall building He was very clear that this awakening of the intelligence of each vertebrae is more specific than the awakening of the general spine intelligence.

The small sphere of brilliant, cool blue light placed, or awakened, in each vertebrae, by the spinal cord, has the same quality as the brilliant blue of another dream, and it has come up in waking life through photos of the Pleiades showing up in different contexts (for instance a few days ago when some friends of ours showed us a photo of the Pleiades they have hanging in their bedroom).


After dropping into the fertile darkness (belly awakening) and then the alive luminosity, there is now a luminous blackness which shares characteristics with both of those.

It is experienced as luminous and infinitely alive, loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive, and in that sense intimately personal. And it also has the universality of the fertile blackness, the ground of all form, the womb of the cosmos.

The last few days, there is a sense of a doubleness, of being two at once. Of being the familiar personality, and the luminous blackness.

(In Hameed Ali’s terminology, this fertile blackness is one aspect of essence or presence, and I tend to think of it as soul. It is individual and in that sense personal, but also universal in its characteristics. And when we drop into it, it becomes a guidance for our unfolding as soul and human being, and also a guide towards realizing selflessness. For as with our human self, there is no I in essence either. It is another aspect of the field of awake emptiness and form, inherently absent of I anywhere.)

What is interesting is how tangible the experience of doubleness is. I find myself surprised by it throughout the day: there is this personality, and then the alive essence, both there, occupying the same space, as twins although with quite different characteristics. The personality is made up by identities and habits, formed by family, culture and personal experiences. The essence is something entirely different, and infinitely loving, intelligent and receptive.

I see how attention goes to one or the other, and sometimes both (which is when I am taken by surprise by the doubleness of it). Sometimes, there is being caught up in the personality, riding the familiar patterns of this personality. Other times, there is the surrendering to essence of anything coming up, allowing it to be composted there, becoming fertile soil for something else to emerge.

Death and resurrection

This dream is a direct reflection of what happened as I fell asleep, where I continually surrendered anything and everything to the alive luminous blackness: any identities, all knowing, anything familiar, any remaining toeholds.

There is a real sense of fear here, of death, of complete annihilation. But it is needed, and I feel ready for surrendering it all, completely, over and over. There is no other way. I know deeply that it is the least painful way. Holding onto anything is suffering, and there is no way out except for surrendering it all.

Death and resurrection

Since this came up related to the Christ meditation, I also thought of how Jesus (the man) mirrored this process in his own life. He went through a process of awakening, then a death, and then resurrection.

At some point, we are invited (a polite term!) to surrender it all. To die to all that we know ourselves as. We surrender all identities, all knowing, anything familiar, any remaining toeholds. It all has to go. And it really is experienced as a death, with all the fear and terror that can come up around that. And through that process, that complete willingness to surrender it all, we do die as anything we know ourselves as, and are resurrected into a new life.

Although it isn’t really an invitation. It is a process that goes far beyond our intention or will. We are just swept along with it, almost helplessly. The only thing we can do is to willingly surrender to it, which makes it a little less painful.

And it may also happen many times, in many different ways. Each time surrendering new layers, dieing to current identities and familiar ways of living, and being resurrected into something new. Over and over.

Deaths and resurrections within realized selflessness

Even in the midst of realized selflessness, there are these deaths and resurrections.

There is the realization of everything as always fresh, different and new. There is a deepening into realizing and living from realized selflessness. There is a deepening into new realms of being.

Each of these involves a continuous dying to anything familiar, and a continuous resurrection into a new life.

Dream: leading me to execution

I am led by the alive luminous blackness, and it takes me to my execution.

It is very vivid. I follow the alive blackness, and am led to a very physical place where I am to be executed by hanging. There is a real sense of fear and terror faced with death.

See next post for more about this.

Sequence of unfolding of fertile darkness and alive luminosity

As I mentioned in the previous post, there has been a sequence of unfoldings of the fertile darkness and the alive presence, in how they appear to me.

First, I dropped into the fertile darkness, a belly awakening, a deep smooth fertile blackness, a feeling of all as Spirit, allowing the emotional level to reorganize.

Then, the alive luminosity, infinitely alive, intelligent, loving, receptive and responsive.

Then, in my dream from yesterday, the luminous darkness, where the fertile darkness took on the qualities of aliveness, love, receptivity and intelligence of the alive luminosity.

And then last night, during the Christ meditation, the soft luminosity, where the alive luminosity took on the smooth deep soft embracing qualities of the fertile darkness.

As I also mentioned, it seems that this is the way the two are revealed to me as not two.

All of these have the same qualities of infinity, timelessness, presence, omnipresence, emptiness yet inseparable from form. It is as omnipresent as space, yet also independent of space and time. And as Almaas points out in his book Essence (which I skimmed through for the first time last night) there is a definite quality of substance to it. An alive presence with substance.

Christ meditation

I did the Christ meditation last night, and noticed a new shift and a few familiar things as well.

In the Christ meditation, I visualize Christ in my heart, and in front and behind, on the left and right, and above and below, about 5-8 feet out. Christ can be visualized as a presence, a light, or even in the physical form of Jesus, depending of what resonates the most and gives the strongest sense of presence. For me, a combination of presence and golden light seems to work best.

Soft alive loving intelligent receptive luminosity

The difference this time was the quality of the light. This time, it had a soft rounded quality, as a soft luminous deep infinitely loving, intelligent and receptive luminosity, with an alive presence. It has the deep velvety quality of the fertile darkness, and the aliveness and love, intelligence and receptivity of the alive luminosity.

In my dream that morning, the fertile blackness took on the qualities of the alive luminosity, revealing itself as luminous blackness. And during this meditation, the luminosity took on the deep soft quiet qualities of the fertile darkness. They seem to be revealing themselves as just two facets of the same, in different ways, with one in the foreground, then the other.


I also noticed the experience of the directions again, as I often do.

The front seems to have to do with my conscious daily life and interactions.

The back with my individual shadows, maybe shared with people in my groups such as culture and nationality, and in general what I tend to be unaware of in my daily life.

The sides with community and relationships with humanity, animals, plants and the Earth.

Above with traditional yang spirituality, such as transcendence and ascension.

And below with deep feminine spirituality, and also deeper collective shadows.

Placing, or noticing, the Christ there allows the light of awareness into these realms, allowing them to reorganize within the light of consciousness.

Unique quality

I also notice the unique Christ quality. It involves the heart center, but so do anything else related to Big Heart, such as Avalokiteshwara (Chenrezig, Kanzeon, Quan Yin). It involves the head center as well, especially the crown. But it also has a very distinct quality, a fiery alive presence that I have not experienced with anything else.

Tongues of fire

I also took the opportunity to look at the tongue of fire in the mirror afterwards (I know this is weird! I am definitely pushing my comfort zone by writing about this.) It looks like a cylinder of very clear light attached to the crown, maybe about 1.5-2 inches wide and 5-6 inches tall. When I move my head around, it follows exactly, as if solidly attached to the crown.

So it doesn’t really look like a tongue of fire, but it is very understandable why it may be described – and depicted – that way. It is of clear brilliant light, attached to the top as a flame to a candle (!), and it also has the fiery quality of the Christ presence itself.

Dream: Alive luminous blackness

There is a starfield with strikingly deep velvety blackness and brilliant cool blue stars. The blackness is luminous and alive with infinite intelligence, love, receptivity and responsiveness. A voice says “this is the end of anything organized”.

The starfield has the fertile deep black qualities of the endarkenment, and also the aliveness, intelligence, love and receptivity of the alive luminosity. It combines both.

And there is a knowing that the presence of this alive luminous blackness means the end of anything organized, in the sense of pre-structured and planned, coming from the outside or from the mind. From now on, the luminous blackness is a guide for what unfolds.


It is interesting how the recent shifts all seem so unremarkable. There is the discernment that statistically, it may (or may not) be relatively unusual, and there is certainly a curiosity about it. At the same time, it feels completely unremarkable.

From amazing to familiar

During the initial awakening several years ago now, awakening to all as God, it did seem amazing and remarkable. From perceiving myself as this human self, and the world and universe as dead matter, it was all revealed as a seamless whole of Spirit. And it was experienced as even more remarkable since my conscious view prior to this was atheist (God obviously has a sense of humor) and I had no interest in anything spiritual. Over time, that shift, and other similar ones, become ordinary. The remarkableness burns away with time.

It is what is awakening to itself, just noticing what it already is.

More remarkable: that Spirit can temporarily forget itself as Spirit

In a way, and from the context of Spirit, it is maybe more remarkable that it can be temporarily identified with a segment of itself, with a human or any other form, than that it can notice what it already always is.

Most remarkable: that anything is at all

And, of course, what is truly remarkable is that anything is at all. Everything else, any particulars of how Spirit manifests, really pales in comparison.

In the context of the absolutely amazing fact that anything at all is, all the specific manifestations takes on the same taste. It is yet another flavor of One Taste.

Feeling all arising as Spirit and me

Throughout the day, and especially when lying in bed before falling asleep or waking up, the practice of feeling all as Spirit and me comes up.

Whatever arises is felt as Spirit and as me. It is awake emptiness and form, and it is me or a mirror for me as a human self.

I especially do this with anything arising that is outside of my habitual identities, such as fear, people I am attracted to or feel aversion towards, fatigue, pain, even countries and the Earth as a whole.

I feel into it as Spirit and me, and along with this is the seeing of it as Spirit and me, which in turn awakens the loving of it as Spirit and me.

Reorganizing the three centers, and allowing anything human to be experienced as me

This helps reorganize the three centers of view, emotions and heart within the context of all as Spirit.

And it helps transform my identity as a human being to be more inclusive of anything human. To feel, see and love anything human as not only it, over there, but also me, right here.

Dream: destroying the boats

I have crossed a vast river with a group of people, and we are just settling in. I tell somebody I am going down to the shore to destroy the boats.

The sense in the dream and after I woke up is that the river is the river of Samsara, of blind identification with our human self, with a segment of Spirit, the field of awake emptiness and form. The river is so wide that it forms the horizon. There is a sense of quiet calmness in destroying the boats, we all know it is a good thing to do.

Although it doesn’t quite seem that I am on the other shore yet, it seems important to destroy the vehicles that can bring me back in the other direction. These days, I am more acutely aware of the identities I still hold onto which splits the world into I and Other, and the importance of seeing through them.

The dream has a slightly dualistic feel to it (awakening good, delusion bad), but it has a Manjushri’s sword feel to it as well, decisively cutting through delusion.

Beyond sanity and madness

I notice that I am at the edge of what is comfortable for me when I write about these things. It is at the edge of familiar identities, of how I am used to appearing in the world. It is easy enough to write about the different forms of inquiry, because anyone can explore that for themselves and see how it works, and it is also closely aligned with the safe territory of cognitive psychology, and the respected traditions of Buddhism and Advaita.

But these things. The belly awakening, the endarkenment, the alive luminosity, the tongues of flame. Those are areas that are less immediately accessible for most people. It cannot so easily and immediately be confirmed by anyone. Only some fall into it on their own, unintentionally, and not many more fall into it through practice and different forms of catalysts such as the diksha. It feels like more of an uncharted territory, especially for me with a background in western psychology and Zen.

Fortunately, there are some who themselves have explored this and talk about it, such as Karen and Barry, the diksha givers, and some who also write about it, such as A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali).

There is a definite sense of going beyond sanity and madness here. Of going beyond the sanity and madness as defined by culture and respected traditions, and also by the conventional parts of myself.

But this is also what we do any time we go beyond our familiar and usual identity. Our old identity may be more or less comfortable, but it is at least familiar territory and predictable and safe in that sense. Going beyond it brings us into uncharted territory. It brings up fears. It can feel like stepping into madness.

Certainly, as defined by our old identity, it is madness to leave the confines of our old identity and step into new territory.

It is the madness of any explorer, whether of the outer or the inner world.

Recent energy drawings

From Sunday evening, after the diksha group and the additional activation of the three soul centers. I have experienced light below me quite strongly recently, since the endarkenment, initially as blobs of light (as in some of the previous drawings), and now as a very large field of light below me. I notice how the blobs above seem to merge and become larger.







Also from Sunday evening, with a little more color. It was made just before the other one, so it does not as accurately mirror what is going on as that one (but worth including because of the color).









From December 6, with the blobs of light above and below, more or less symmetrically. The drawing also has a clear differentiation between above and below, as there has been since the endarkenment shift.

The lines below reflect the sense of dark, fertile fullness of the endarkenment, centered in the belly. And the rays above, centered in the heart area, reflect the luminosity of the enlightenment, centered in the head. (Both are in a process of unfolding. There is still a slight sense of I, and there is no sense that there is an end to the endarkenment process.)




A drawing from November 30, similar to the December 6 one. Here too, the blobs of light above and below, and the differentiation above and below. I think this is the most beautiful one, although it represents only one (brief) phase and the light below is now far more expansive and luminous.

Dream: Communication between allies

It is in the 1940s, and Norway and the US are allies but the communications leaves something to be desired. Messages are intercepted and either transmitted to the recipient as blank or garbled. I show an officer one of the blank messages and explained the situation.

Nobody can come up with a solution so I explore it more intently. Finally, I find a way to set direct communication between the two countries, so that there is redundancy built into the system, with many parallel lines of communication sending the same messages.

The system is direct, bypassing any efforts of intercepting and blanking or garbling the messages, and is redundant, so the messages will get through even if blanked or garbled in some instances.

Sunday night, when the alive luminosity came strongly into the foreground, there was a fear coming up as well. Will I loose the connection? Will the messages I send be received? Do I have a clear enough intent?

The dream points to the possibility of a direct communication, and multiple and parallel lines of communication, and possibly that this is already happening. Resiliency is being built into the system, at least if my intent to have it so is clear.

Dream: I am a woman in a play

I am a woman, and one of the actresses in a theater. There are thousands of people in the audience, the play has started, and I am told I am to play the lead female character. I say that I have not seen the script yet, nor the play itself, so I won’t know my lines. My understudy takes on the role this time, and I get the script, watch the play, and will play it from then on.

The endarkenment has all to do with the deep feminine. Yin. Darkness. Earth. Embodiment. Feeling all as Spirit. Reorganizing emotions. And I have had several dreams of this dark feminine, including being in the womb of an immense black goddess.

This time, I am invited to act from and as this deep dark feminine. The audience is seated. The play has started. I am to play the lead female character. But I am unprepared. I have not seen the play, I have not seen the script, nobody told me I would play this character. Luckily, my understudy could take on the role this first time, I can watch it and learn about the role and character, and then play it from then on.

This parallels my experience in waking life. The endarkenment opened up a whole new dimension of being, whole new realms. And it takes some time to compost everything within and as this darkness. To allow emotions to reorganize to everything as felt Spirit. To learn how to live from this. It is a whole new way of being, equally significant as a shift from male to female identity.

Fall from and into grace

Following my years of (head) awakening, there were some years of a dark night. There was a reversal from deeply realizing all as Spirit, and luminosity, clarity, insights, effortless practice, and incredible energy and activity in the world, to the opposite of a complete absence of Spirit, being just a separate human being steeped in confusion, hopelessness and fatigue, unable to engage in any form of practice.

During these years, it definitely felt like a fall from grace. I was blessed with a spontaneous and quite clear awakening, and then fell down into identification with this human self and all its confusion and weaknesses.

Now, I can still see it as a fall from grace, but even more, it seems as a fall into grace. It is true that it did take me off track in terms of my plans of continuing my Zen studies and eventually becoming a teacher, and also getting a degree which would allow me to practice and do research in the mind-body field. In that sense, and in many other ways, it was a fall from grace. But in another sense, it was a fall into grace. It allowed some edges to soften. It allowed me to experience from the inside the suffering that so many experience, at least at times in their life. It allowed me, possibly, to drop into the endarkenment.

And it allowed me to learn about surrender. And loss.

Surrendering even that which seems, in every way, so good. A surrendering that allows space for something else to emerge, something not part of my plans, something that was not being “on track” as I saw it, something completely different.

It is certainly a fall from grace. And it is equally a fall into grace.

Seed resistance and flowering tree of resistance, and composting it all

Resistance comes in many forms…

The seed resistance is the field resisting itself as a field. There is the field of awake emptiness and form, inherently absent of I, yet resisting noticing itself as this field absent of I. So then, there is the sense of I and Other.

And from this seed resistance, a whole flowering tree of resistance emerges.

There is resistance to what is, to what is not, to what may be, to what was. There is fear, aversion, attraction, anger, resentment, a sense of identity, wanting something else, and much more. All the fruits of a sense of separation.

And in the endarkenment, it can all be composted within and as the fertile full darkness. Resistance arises, and composts itself in and as fertile loamy darkness.

They become nutrients for different plants and flowers. Plants and flowers coming from a felt sense of all as Spirit.