I have written about this before, but it is still alive in my immediate awareness, and wants to be explored further…
There is a perfect (slightly asymmetrical) symmetry in how Existence is filtered through the head and belly centers.
Through the head center, it is awake emptiness and form. Crystal clear. Empty luminosity. Awake emptiness in the foreground, and form as nothing other than awake emptiness. It is transcendent. Detached. Free. Absent of any separate self. Full of the whole world. Masculine. Yang. Solar. The Ground of all form, and all form as no other than this Ground. Impersonal. It is the traditional enlightenment.
Through the belly center, it is luminous blackness. Velvety. Smooth. Fullness. A full void. Nurturing. Giving birth to and holding all form. That which all form arises within, as, and that which is in all form. Immanent. Absent of any separate self. Nurturing this individual, allowing it to deeply heal, mature, soften, be more rounded, become more deeply human. It is feminine. Yin. Lunar. The ground of all form and that which is the context for, is, and is within all form. Deeply personal. It is the endarkenment.
Difference in emphasis
The head center gives an emphasis on awakening as awake emptiness, and as form which is no other than this awake emptiness. It gives freedom. Transcendence from identification with any segment of Big Mind, including this human self. But alone, it is detached, aloof, impersonal.
The belly center gives an emphasis on the deep transformation of this individual. A deep healing, untying of knots, maturing, softening and rounding of the personality, deepening into the human.
The coolness and nurturing of the belly center balancing out the fire and the impersonal of the head center
Having been familiar with the head center awakening (spontaneously in my teens, and deepening over several years), I now deeply appreciate the belly awakening as well. It gives a new depth, richness, sense of peace, of being deeply nurtured, of a coolness to balance the heat of the head center awakening. In addition to what I have described in other posts on this topics, I have, over the last few weeks, also had glimpses of an amazing (to me) new depth and richness of being, far beyond anything I have experienced before.
New realms of being opening up through the belly center awakening
Through the head center, this whole universe is nothing other than God, an alive presence behind and as everything, and without any separate self anywhere. And through the belly center, there another facet of the void and selflessness, but also new realms of being – of this individual – revealing themselves and deepening. Even the few glimpses I have had so far, over maybe just minutes or hours, are far beyond anything I had ever imagined.
I should also mention a few words about the heart center. Existence filtered through the heart center seems to have two aspects: Big Heart and the indwelling God.
Big Heart is a love and compassion that is independent of any particulars of form. As Big Mind, it has no beginning, no end, no form, yet can take any form. It is both impersonal and personal, when expressed thorough an individual, but the impersonal tends to be in the foreground. It is the love and compassion that comes up spontaneously and naturally when Big Mind awakens to itself while still connected, and functioning through, a human being.
The indwelling God is an alive presence, located in the physical heart area. Infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, and responsive. A most intimate guide. It is an aspect of God, placed in and for this particular individual.
While Big Heart is connected with Big Mind, universal and slightly impersonal (although can be made personal when expressed), the indwelling God is experienced as intimately personal, an alive presence in the heart area of this individual.
In both cases, it is universal, and this is in the foreground with Big Heart, and in the background – or as a context – for the indwelling God. And in both cases, it is personal, and this is in the foreground for the indwelling God, and a possibility – when made personal through a human self – for Big Heart.
Again, when the indwelling God became more alive in awareness around Christmas, it was something new opening up (yet also very familiar somehow.) An infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive alive presence, in the heart area. An aspect of God, for this individual. A most intimate guide.
Here is one way of slicing the cake of our being, into three realms…
First, the formless… Awake emptiness, capacity for the world. Selfless, timeless, spaceless.
Then, this awake emptiness as form, including innumerable individuals (selfless), unfolding in space and time.
And finally, not less important than the two other, me as this particular individual self, as an individual soul and human self alive here and now, in this little spot of the whole wide world of form. And this is where shadow work, healing, development, maturing, and unfolding as an individual takes place, deepening over time, endlessly (at least as long as this individual is around.)
This corresponds roughly to the three centers…
Spirit filtered through the head center reveals itself as the formless, as awake emptiness, as form as awake emptiness, as individuals inherently selfless.
Spirit filtered through the heart center reveals itself as formless love, and all forms as no other than formless love. It also reveals itself as love for all form, including all individuals, no matter their particulars, as Spirit.
Spirit filtered through the belly center reveals itself as a felt sense of all as Spirit, and as the luminous blackness which, among other things, gives a deep sense of nurturing, fullness and healing for this particular human self.
Each of the three centers include the formless, form and selflessness, although the head center reveals the formless in the foreground, the heart center form – including individuals – in the foreground, and the belly center this particular individual in the foreground.
When I see and feel into whatever arises, the heart seems to follow.
Seeing, feeling and loving
The seeing is the witnessing of whatever is, it is free from what is seen, and can even be a recognition of what is seen as no other than awake emptiness itself. The feeling into it is a felt sense of what arises, it is the body joining in feeling what arises. And the heart is a receptivity and love for what arises.
The head and the belly sees and feels what arises. There is a being with what arises as seeing and feeling, and really as seeing-feeling since when both are there, they are just two aspects of being with whatever is, with the experiences as they are here now, with the content as it unfolds. And this seems to invite and allow the heart to join, to soften, open up for whatever is, here now (with the sweetness and pain, rawness and tenderness, a sense of the universal and personal, that often seems to come with that for me, at least right now.)
The process reflected in stories
Last night, after having seeing these dynamics throughout the day, I wondered how this would be represented in stories and mythology, and if I could find any stories that reflects this process?
The view, seeing, witnessing, is from the head center, and is yang, masculine, transcendent, free from what is seen. The feeling into, the felt sense, is from the belly center and is yin, feminine, embodied, engaged with what is felt. And the heart is the receptivity, openness, love, with equal amounts of yin and yang aspects (which is probably why the Bodhisattva of compassion – Avalokitesvara, Kwan Yin, Kanzenon, Chenrezig – is depicted as sometimes male and sometimes female, and always quite androgynous).
Our lives mirroring the dynamics of head and belly coming together, awakening the heart
So of course, the natural way to depict this process of the head and belly coming together, inviting the heart to follow, is of a man and woman coming together, awakening love. And not only is there no lack of those stories, it is at the core of our existence as humans. Our very lives are metaphors, or mirror, this process.
Also mirrored as Spirit, human and soul
At another level, the seeing is Spirit, the felt sense is the human self, and the love is the soul. So here, we can say that when Spirit and human comes together, love awakens. And this is the typical process of a Buddhist practice where there is an emphasis on Big Mind and the human self, which allows the love (and the soul) to unfold.
Parallels with Breema and Gurdjieff
In Breema, they say that when mind and body comes together, the feelings join. When attention is brought to the body (the movements of the body, posture, tone of voice, weight), the feelings join – as a sense of nurturing fullness. From the little I know of Gurdjieff, it seems that these are the three centers as he described them: head is in this case attention, belly is body, and feelings are heart.
(This is quite different from how I experience the three centers: The head center filters Spirit in its aspect of pure seeing, awake emptiness, seeing all as Spirit. The belly center as feeling, form, feeling all as Spirit. And the heart center as love, loving it all as Spirit. The centers and the dynamics between the centers as described here seems to be similar, but the descriptions – and experience – of them, apparently quite different.)
I keep repeating this, and many other things, so I must need it!
Three centers, unified individually and together
When the heart is unified, open to all and everything, it invites the head (view) and belly (emotions, feelings) to be unified as well, and all the three centers tend to function in a more aligned way. (From the little I know about Gurdjieff, I think he talked about something similar, and it is one of the main guidelines in Breema as well.)
Three centers formed within a sense of I and Other, or all as Spirit
Heart, view and emotional patterns formed within a sense of I and Other naturally tends to function in a split way. The heart is open some times and towards some people, and closed other times and other people. The view is split, seeing Existence as inherently divided in various ways. The emotions are reactive. The three centers are often not very well aligned.
Heart, view and emotions formed within a sense of all as Spirit naturally tend to function in a unified way. The heart is open to all situations and people. The view reflects more of a nondual realization. The feelings gives a sense of fullness, nurturing and support. The three centers are aligned.
This is very much alive in my daily life. I notice my heart closing off towards someone or something, and the view and emotions automatically follow. The view becomes more dualistic, gives a stronger sense of I and Other, and becomes more rigid and inflexible. The emotions are reactive. And I experience not only the world as split, but my individual self as divided as well.
But if there is the intention of well-wishing, maybe even in the form of prayer for the other person (for all the best unfolding), it changes. My heart becomes unified, open to the world. The view is less split, seeing myself in the other, and all of us in the same boat. My feelings become full, nurturing and supportive. I experience the world and my individual self as more unified.
There is of course an infinity of things happening when our individual self is organized within a sense of I and Other, and then reorganized within all as Spirit.
For instance, when there is a sense of I and Other, there is also resistance, and this resistance is reflected in each of the three centers. The heart is closed. The view sees a split between I and Other, and resists certain ways the world is and certain experiences. The emotions are reactive.
When the centers are reorganized within all as Spirit, the resistance gives way for receptivity. The heart is receptive and open. The view is receptive and more fluid. The feelings are receptive and nurturing.
These seed patterns are reflected throughout our being, including our physical bodies. Within a context of I and Other, our body becomes more rigid, tense, defensive, inflexible, and armored, just as the rest of us. And within a context of all as Spirit, or rather a felt sense of all as Spirit, it becomes relaxed, receptive and supple.
This happens over time, making our bodies a literal embodiment of our sense of the world. And it also happens instantaneously. I close my heart off, and immediately, my muscles tense up (for me, especially the calves.)
Our body, as every other part of us, naturally reflects a sense of the world as split, or of all as Spirit.
From the past, I am familiar with God as the field of awake emptiness and form, always and everywhere. This seems to be Spirit filtered through the head center, showing up in its impersonal, transcendent, yang aspect.
More recently, filtered through the belly center, it showed up as fertile darkness, and also as the alive luminosity, and now as alive luminous blackness. Intimate, deep, fertile, alive, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive. Spirit filtered through the belly center, showing up in its personal, embodied, yin aspect.
And what happened last night may have to do with Spirit filtered through the heart center, as alive presence, as an aspect of God awakened and present in the heart region. The experience of it is really of an aspect of God right here, alive, present, right here in the heart region. Responsive, infinitely loving and intelligent. And something to communicate with in a very direct, simple, quiet way. After being with this for a while last night, I mentioned it to my partner, and then realized that this may be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, mentioned frequently by Bhagavan.
When I first heard him speak about it last fall (in a video interview), I couldn’t quite connect with it. I have been familiar with the impersonal head center awakening of everything as awake emptiness and form. But here, there is no inside or outside, and it is all Spirit, so the term “indwelling God” does not make so much sense.
But what I noticed in my heart region last night is experienced very much as an aspect of God right there, in the heart center, as an indwelling God.
From an email I sent to Barry and Karen following the diksha Sunday:
Lots of things happened for me during and after the diksha and codes for the three centers.
The main one happened the same evening, after I went to bed: An alive, infinitely intelligent and loving, receptive, responsive light everywhere, including streaming in, through and around the body. It is an infinitely alive luminosity I can communicate with, and I offered my intention to it for having many issues resolve in my life (reactiveness, relationships, clinging to identities, health issues.)
From my initial awakening, and since then, I have been familiar with empty luminosity, and everything as awake emptiness and form, in an impersonal form. Its intelligence and love was there but more in the background.
This time, there are the same elements, but as immensely alive. Its aliveness, responsiveness, intelligence and love is in the foreground, to be touched. It is infinite, yet also immensely personal.
I also notice a double thing happening since Sunday: asking the light for it to be resolved, and also giving it to the fertile darkness for composting. Something comes up (a contraction, identity, fear, resistance), and I ask the alive light for it to resolve, and give it to the darkness for composting.
I wonder if the impersonal empty luminosity, and the impersonal awake emptiness and form, has to do with the head awakening (enlightenment), while the personal infinitely alive luminosity has to do with the belly awakening (endarkenment).
It is almost as if they are two aspects of the same empty light, one revealed through enlightenment and revealing mostly its empty and impersonal nature (and the awake empty nature of all form), where this one is revealed through endarkenment and reveals its intimate, personal, alive, receptive, responsive, intelligent and loving nature.
In any case, it is yet another whole new dimension opening up for me.
After having been in the enlightenment for several years, I remember feeling a little “bored” by it, there was not much surprise there, and I felt that there had to be something more to it. Something was missing, and it had to do with embodiment and aliveness. The endarkenment, and the alive light, have these qualities. And it seems that it will only keep unfolding, revealing itself (to itself) in always new ways.
There was also a synchronicity (one of many): I read the first chapter of Facets of Unity by A. H. Almaas on Saturday, and was intrigued by the titles of another chapter: Living Daylight. After the experience of the alive luminosity, I skimmed through this chapter, and his description of living daylight is a very close match to how I experience the alive luminosity, including its personal, loving, wise, receptive and responsive aspects. He even mentions the three soul centers (head, heart and belly), and describes them in very much the same way I as experience them, and as you describe them as well. A nice support for me.
Some other things:
Sunday night, as the alive luminosity cursed through me, there was so much bliss that at some point some fear came up, and the bliss reduced in intensity – although has remained very much alive since then. I slept for twelve hours in the two following nights, and could have slept much longer (lots of processing and reorganizing needed).
I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous email, but here is how I experience the three centers for now (using some of your terminology):
Enlightenment. Awake emptiness and form. Seeing all as Spirit. Reorganizing view (nondual context). Yang. Male, masculine. Light. Heaven. Transcendent. Impersonal
Endarkenment. Feeling all as spirit. Reorganizing body/emotions (Less reactive. Sense of fullness, nurturing, being held. Composting anything arising, any resistance, anything coming from a sense of separation, anything at a body/feeling level not coming from all as felt Spirit.) Yin. Female. Feminine. Dark. Earth. Immanent. Personal.
Enlovenment. Loving all as spirit. Reorganizing the heart (open to all form). Embracing, allowing, holding Yang and Yin. Male and female. Masculine and feminine. Impersonal and personal. Heaven and Earth.
As with the other forms of One Taste, this one seems to have three centers: seeing, feeling and loving. There is a seeing of it all as Spirit, centered in the head, a feeling of it all as Spirit, centered in the belly, and a loving of it all as Spirit, centered in the heart.
The seeing allows the view and cognition of our human self to reorganize to all as Spirit, the feeling allows its emotions to reorganize to all as Spirit, the loving allows the heart to reorganize to all as Spirit. It is Spirit seeing itself, feeling itself, and loving itself.
As I tried to describe in the previous post, this also happens in terms of the world as a mirror for our human self.
I see, feel and love what I see in the outer world as also right here, in this human self.
And there is a deepening into it, in both cases.
A deepening into Spirit seeing, feeling and loving all as itself, allowing the view, emotions and heart of the human self to reorganize to all as Spirit.
And a deepening into seeing, feeling and loving the world as a mirror for my human self, allowing the view, emotions and heart of the human self to reorganize to the world as a mirror, in a very detailed and specific way.
The first One Taste is that of emptiness and form. Of all as awake emptiness and form.
The second One Taste is that within form. If the wider world of form as a mirror for this human self.
So in summary…
There is the One Taste of emptiness and form, of all as awake emptiness and form.
There is the One Taste within form, of the wider world of form as a mirror for my human self.
There is the seeing, feeling and loving of it all as Spirit, and of the wider world of form as a mirror for my human self.
The two main aspects of One Taste, and the three centers…
Awake emptiness and form
The ultimate one is Spirit awakening to itself. The field of awake emptiness and form, awakening to itself as a field, absent of I anywhere, with a center nowhere and everywhere. Everything arises as Spirit, as awake emptiness and form, as Big Mind, Brahman, The One.
There is typically an intuition of this, maybe a taste or a glimpse, a deepening intuition and sense of it, more tastes and glimpses, all of it allowing our human self to reorganize to this new context, and then it eventually pops and stabilizes.
And as with the other forms of One Taste, described below, this one too seems to have three centers: seeing, feeling and heart. There is a seeing of it all as Spirit, centered in the head, a feeling of it all as Spirit, centered in the belly, and a loving of it all as Spirit, centered in the heart.
The seeing allows the view and cognition of our human self to reorganize to all as Spirit, the feeling allows its emotions to reorganize to all as Spirit, the loving allows the heart to reorganize to all as Spirit. It is Spirit seeing itself, feeling itself, and loving itself.
The world as a mirror for our human self
The other aspect of One Taste is the world as a mirror for our human self.
Whatever I see in the wider world, is also here in this human self, and the other way around, whatever I see in this human self is also out there in the wider world, somewhere, at least as a potential. Any quality, any characteristic, any skills.
As with One Taste of all as Spirit, this one has three centers.
There is the seeing, feeling and loving of what is out there as also right here, and the other way around.
And this one too involves a deepening into it, an increased familiarity with it, an active engagement with it. Specifically, it involves making the qualities seen out there known, intimately familiar, as a lived reality in this human self. It is not only something seen out there and merely recognized in here, but it is a lived reality right here, something that is actively explored, known, lived, in always deeper and richer ways. It becomes part of the active repertoire of this human self.
Other aspects and examples of One Taste
Then there are some other aspects and examples of One Taste.
One, which is implicit in the two other ones, is the heart. The One Taste of the heart, open to all of the infinite forms of Spirit. It is a whole heart, wholeheartedly embracing whatever arises. It is all loved as Spirit, independent of its particular form. It is Spirit loving itself.
And then there are other ones, such as the ones found in Buddhism where we remind ourselves that all beings seek happiness and release from suffering. We are not different there. We are in the same boat. And the practice of refuge in Tibetan Buddhism, where we visualize all beings taking refuge in the Buddha Mind, as we ourselves do.
My sense of the (early) endarkenment awakening is that much of what I have done up until now helped set the stage for it, yet is not directly connected with it either. It cleared the path, and that was about it.
Clearing the path for endarkenment awakening
Some of the things that helped clear the path seem to include…
Breema, with its emphasis on being participation (the whole of our being participating), the hara, and natural ways of being in the world. I did a lot of Tai Chi some year back, and that probably helped as well.
Projection and shadow work, including The Work. This reduces the internal compartmentalization and the energy that goes into this compartmentalization, allowing this particular ground to be revealed and noticed.
The dikshas, in particular the endarkenment diksha, initiating energetic shifts which in turn function as a catalyst for shifts in consciousness.
Meditation, allowing what is to be as it is, to live its own life, which again makes it easier to notice the ground that is always there (in this case, the ground of fertile darkness, the ground of form).
Clearing the path for enlightenment awakening
This seems similar to the enlightenment type awakening, where certain practices can clear the path for it, but where the shift still seem to happen more on its own. It happens on its own time.
The practices that can clear this path includes the ones above, and maybe in particular meditation and self-inquiry. Shadow work can also be very helpful here, reducing the inner struggle, drama and compartmentalization coming from aspects of our being pitted against each other.
And clearing the path for a heart awakening includes any number of second person practices, such as bhakti yoga, devotion, prayer, service, projection work, and so on.
Here is what Barry wrote about the session, with comments from me in brackets.
P came for a session feeling there was more to what he was doing with feelings which was witnessing them and watching them pass from the enlightened or emptiness state. He also was still feeling some remorse from his “fall from grace” or descent back into more normal consciousness after his enlightenment experience.
[I have been sensing that there was a need for a shift in how I relate to what comes up and wants to be seen, beyond just witnessing. What I realized was missing was to feel into it (which I have in the past, but I got more stuck in just the witnessing lately. And although the despair about the fall from grace has been resolved quite a bit, there is still something left. There was a sense of not seeing something important about it.]
We went into a feeling within, and a black hole opened up within him.
[I saw my life before the fall from grace as golden, and the fall from grace period as blackness. I felt into the blackness, and was surprised that it was a comforting, velvety blackness, peaceful, and full. At some point, an image of a black hole (the astronomy type) came up, and also of being drawn into it – first my feet and legs and then the rest of me, being spaghettified as they say in astronomy circles.]
He was both drawn to and afraid of the black hole and the dark light. It feel very peaceful and soft and velvety, and he was very drawn to this. As he went toward the black hole he came into a large knot of fear. A fear of dissolving and becoming nothing.
[My body was slowly being absorbed into the black hole, and there was no way to resist it. At the same time, there was a fear of letting go – especially of allowing the chest and head area to be drawn into the black hole. There was a fear of disintegration, of not having any identity, and of becoming nothing.]
I asked him to simply be with the fear and thoughts and simply hold them in the inner space. As he held the fear it began to dissolve and he continued closer into the black hole. More fear arose and passed and as it did, he began to experience ripples of joy which became more and more intense. It got so intense he didn’t know if he could take it.
[There was so much joy coming up that I felt I couldn’t stand it…!]
Then more fear arose. He went halfway into the black hole, so that part of his body was in and part of it was out. More fear of dissolution, then full surrender and he was in the black hole. Then he had a major realization that his body was one with everything, that at a manifest level he was one with all that is.
[With Barry’s encouragement, I was able to allow the velvety blackness to hold the fear, which made it OK and I was able to fully go into the black hole.]
Sitting in the black hole little knots began to pop up. Consciousness would travel around the body, embracing each knot in the blackness. As this occurred the knot would dissolve. He saw that each of the knots was a knot of judgment or separation, hardness.
[I saw how the hardness of judgment and a sense of separation was not compatible with the velvety blackness. It was too hard. To contracted. And I also saw how my voice had some of this hardness in it, and would have to change within the velvety blackness.]
Then the knots began to unfold into golden light. He was all golden light from the heart up and black light from the heart down. Then it reversed, and he was all golden light in the lower part of the body, and black light in the upper. Then his right arm turned gold and the rest of his body black, then this too reversed.
[I had held my abdomen area with my left hand up until this point, and then shifted to using my right hand. That is when I noticed how the velvety blackness was in my whole body except my right arm, which was golden light. After a little while, the blackness went into the right arm, and the golden light streamed through the arm and then out through the rest of the body.]
He then remembered an image that his wife Jennifer put up on the refrigerator of a blackness void and the sun rising above it.
[I looked up and saw this Rumi card, black with streams of golden light swirling through it and a golden sunrise. I realized that it was the perfect image of what was going on for me right then, and that Jen had put it up and that she was my teacher in all of this. It was amazing.]
He was blown away, as he realized she got it also. She too was at the enlovenment diksha.
[Jen got the Enlovenment diksha right away, more than I did. I was puzzled by it, she just dropped into it. The night before this phone session, I had asked her to give me an Enlovenment diksha so I could experience it more fully and learn more about it. She did, holding my heart area, and we both experienced it strongly.]
He became aware that he had been reading about the darkness and knew mystics talked about it, but now he was beginning to understand. I found myself saying he had experienced the enlightenment and now he was becoming endarkened. He broke into joyous laughter of acknowledgment. He realized that Jennifer had been in the endarkenment all along and began to again laugh with joy and gratitude.
[It was pretty funny to go from the Enlightenment to the Endarkenment, and seeing that there is a larger whole holding and embracing the two. Even in the midst of the Enlightenment, I knew there was more. I somehow knew there was this too, but didn’t know what it was at the time. Only that it had to do with far deeper, fuller and richer maturing and embodiment.]
There was a discussion about the three soul centers and how enlightenment is the head, enlovenment in the heart, and endarkenment in the hara. He could see he was moving into totally new territory, more than a new dimension of experience. A whole new dimension of being. [This is a whole new territory for me, although there was a small intuition about it much earlier – without knowing what it was. Everything has to change now, within this velvety darkness. Everything changes.]
P was very grateful and commented on how he felt Karen and Barry were different than other teachers he had in the past. He saw that they were him, one the same. I told him that was the most joyful thing I had heard recently, and thanked him very much.
[I realize that with any teacher I have had, no matter how much I appreciate them and love them, they have still remained just teachers and/or friends, there has always been a sense of distance. In Barry and Karen, I see Source. I see right into Source and back to myself.]
P went off in the experience on his own, knowing it went on and on into a whole new dimension of being. I commented that he should take J out to dinner and to thank here for being his endarkenment master for so long, and what a tough job it was, just like it was for Karen with me.
[I am amazed that Jen has put up with me for so long. I can also see that I have helped her along towards Enlightenment. There has been some huge shifts for her there over the last couple of years. And how she has helped me along towards Endarkenment. There is a beautiful and amazing symmetry there. Perfection.]
I went out in the living room and thanked Karen again and acknowledged her realization of a Master of Endarkenment, realizing how this may very well be the essential new frontier of awakening on this planet.
[It is certainly a new frontier for me, in this lifetime. Although somehow, it seems familiar at a deeper level. And it may well be a part of shifts in the collective as well. I don’t know.]
[Notes later in the day: Having been with this for a few more hours, it still seems to be a significant shift – along with many other previous ones. And as the empty light dropping into the body, this one of black fullness dropping into the body seems stable. I also see that this is most likely a taste of what mystics from many traditions talk about. There may not be anything new here, although the way it is expressed and unfolds is always new, it is individual and colored by the times and culture it happens within. I also realize that this process is pretty slow for me compared to how it is for many others. I have heard and read about this for a while, but not even tasted it until now. Which is OK of course. It all runs its own course, in its own way, at its own pace.]
Jen and I went to our diksha group last Sunday, the one that started last fall and has met monthly since. Barry and Karen mentioned how it has shifted for them, and it is more an Enlovenment process now rather than Enlightenment. Enlovenment, centered in the heart, connected with the Christ energy/consciousness, and embracing the Enlightenment centered in the head and the Endarkenment centered in the belly.
Initial diksha: empty light
After my first diksha last July, there was a sense of empty light falling into my body, followed by a shift into the pure Witness consciousness, a strong and shifting headache for several days, and then a shift into realized selflessness, Ground awakening, which lasted for a couple of months. After this, and as part of the process with our monthly diksha group, there was several months of processing things coming up – mostly just witnessing, feeling into and allowing it to unfold. And then some months where everything was experienced as space, all dials went to zero, and everything went to neutral.
Enlovenment and phone session
During the Enlovenment gathering this weekend, a very similar headache came up, and came and went for a few days. There was also a sense of dark fullness in the chest area, a very unfamiliar sense while knowing it was part of the next phase for me.
This morning, I did a session with Barry over the phone, and it was amazing.
I wanted to work with my dark night phase which has lasted for several years now. I had a spontaneous awakening in my teens, awakening into Witness consciousness for about a year when I was 15, and then into Big Mind when I was sixteen. This deepened and unfolded over many years, including when I lived at the Zen Center in Salt Lake City for three full years and then sporadically for the next couple of years.
Then, I got married, we moved to another state, and I moved to another state as well…! For a few years, I woke up with nightmares almost every morning, dreading a sense of the awakening and its clarity, insights, wisdom, passion and sense of guidance slipping away. And it did slip away. Everything that had given meaning to my life slipped away, and depression came up in its place. It was awful, and although I knew I could probably reverse it by moving back to the Zen Center, I couldn’t. There was a sense of being chained to the ground, and also of this being a hugely important part of my overall process, in spite of it nightmarishness.
Gradual shift out of dark night
After some years, we moved again to another state, and I shifted into another state again as well. There was a sense of everything opening up again, and of the moist earthiness of the Pacific Northwest being part of my next phase – one of deepening into earthiness and spirit simultaneously, as part of the same process. I found Breema and Waking Down in Mutuality, going fully into Breema and staying at the periphery of Waking Down.
And then I found the diksha, first going to John’s diksha gathering in the Bay Area in July of last year (after a Breema intensive), and then joining the monthly diksha group here in Oregon led by Barry and Karen. There was a deep knowing that this was a part of my next phase, the next deepening.
Phone session on the dark night
So this morning, working with Barry over the phone, we started working on what is left of my despair over the dark night phase, of losing just about everything that was important to me – the awakening, the clarity, the insights, the passion, the worldly education process and career.
A black, velvety, peaceful, silent fullness
I saw my early awakened life as golden light, and the fall from grace as darkness, so I went into the darkness, feeling into it. And it revealed itself as a black fullness. A velvety full silent alive darkness that held everything that come up – any experience, any emotion, any feeling, any thought, any memory. Holding it, allowing it all to unfold. It was there when I stayed with a sense of a dark point in my hear, a ball in my throat, a sense of fogginess in my head, allowing each of them to unfold.
Golden light streaming through
The dark fullness then fell into my body, into the lower body from my heart down, and the head was golden light. Then, they shifted and the golden light went down into my feet and the dark fullness into my head. Then, the darkness fell into the whole body – through, within, around, as a ground of the body and every cell. My right arm left as golden light, then darkness fell into the arm as well, with streams of golden light through it, and then streams of golden light through the whole body and the full darkness.
I realized that this must be full darkness the mystics talk about, and which I had never understood before.
I looked up, and saw a card my wife had put up on our altar in our bedroom. A card of blackness with streams of golden light through it, and one I had not paid much attention to before now. I realized how my whole fall from grace was about this, deepening into the full darkness, being embraced by it, embracing it, maturing within it (this is the card with the Rumi quote shown above: Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually take us back to the truth of who we are.)
I then saw another card she had put up on the altar, again darkness with streams of golden light going through it. This one from Bodha in Nepal, where the two of us met. And I also saw how, when we sat on that balcony at the Zen Center in Salt Lake City, wondering if we should get married or not, I saw a meteorite flashing through the black desert sky as a stream of golden light, the first meteorite I had seen that went at an angle upward. I took that as a sign, yes, and it was what brought the fall (by us moving), the dark night, and the now still very early awakening into the black fullness, the Endarkenment. The whole dark night was now revealed as the greatest gift, in spite of its horrors as it was happening.
Barry said that this shift is as significant as the initial awakening, and I see that as well. I also see how a dream I had a couple of years ago, where my physical flesh-and-blood body was deepening and maturing into a fuller and fuller awakening, was about this.
And I see how everything changes within this Endarkenment, within this full blackness. Everything changes – my life, my body, my identity, how I am in the world, my relationships, my focus, what I do, my posture, my voice. It all has to change within this. It all changes.
Throughout the session, I saw the shift between seeing something (visually) and feeling it, and how following the feelings, within Witness Consciousness, brought me into the full darkness.
I also noticed that empty light fell into my body during and after the initial diksha, and this time, full blackness fell into my body…! Both times, with headaches (brain reorganizing) and a sense of reorganization of all levels of being, including the physical body. The empty light stayed and is still there, and this black fullness seems to stay in the same way.