But when Moses rose higher and became more perfect, he saw God in the darkness

Moses’ vision of God began with light (Exod. 19.18); afterwards God spoke to him in a cloud (Exod. 20.21). But when Moses rose higher and became more perfect, he saw God in the darkness (Exod. 24.15-18).

— Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Song of Songs, quoted in An Anthology of Christian Mysticism edited by Harvey D. Egan. Via Anamchara – The Website of Unknowing.

This is a beautiful quote. What does it mean?

He saw God in the darkness.

Moses may have found refuge in unknowing, recognizing that no story can touch God or reality, perhaps even finding what he is as the Ground prior to any form. When we realize we don’t know, we are metaphorically in the dark.

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Childhood nightmare – luminous black – diamond

Notes from a session with Barry:

Recurrent nightmare

As a child, I had a recurrent nightmare.

I climb up the ladder to the attic, and as soon as my head enter the space everything disappear and I fall through the darkness. After a while, a witch appear stirring a large cauldron. She looks up at me and grins. I am about to fall into the cauldron and wake up.

I stay with the different parts of this dream. What happens if I fall into the cauldron? I dissolve. Everything I am dissolve. I emerge with a light-body – a body made up of the black and golden luminosity combined. The witch transform into a young woman with the same light body. We merge. We are one. We always were one.

In the dream I dive headlong into my greatest fears. I have no choice. The witch holds me to it. She gives me no choice. That’s why she appears as a witch to me. My fear of my fears makes her appear as a witch. In reality, she and everything is love. The process is love. It helps me find my wholeness, it helps me discover who and what I am.

The attic is black.  The space I fall through is black. The witch and the cauldron is black. It is all held within the deep velvety luminous blackness. It is all the luminous black. Soft, velvety, nurturing. Infinite love.

It is OK to lose control. It is OK to fall. It is OK to dive into my greatest fears.

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Forms of darkness

How do I perceive darkness?

How do I experience literal darkness? Does fear come up? Do I welcome it? Does it feel safe and nurturing? Can I find more comfort with it?

How do I use darkness metaphorically?

Do I use it to describe something that is undesirable? A dark period in life I would rather have been without. The light good guys vs the bad dark guys. The whiteness of heaven and angels vs the blackness of hell and the devil?

Do I use it to describe something that appears undesirable but has something of value hidden within it? I may go through a difficult period and come out of it with more clarity, humility, strenght and compassion. I may own my shadow and find the gold within it. I may go through a dark night of the senses, soften identification as a me, and find all revealed as God. I may go through a dark night of the soul, stripping away the remaining identifications – and in particular the identification as an I.

Do I use it to describe something of great beauty and value in itself? I may get to a point where I recognize difficult situations in life, the shadow, and the dark nights as of immense beauty and value in themselves. I may recognize that dark and light – in any sense of those words – are equal expressions of life and the divine. I may recognize that the velvety luminous blackness (belly soul center) is as essential to life and the divine as the brilliant golden luminosity (head soul center).

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Head, heart, belly

Something else I keep coming back to…

There is a clear sense of awakening happening at the levels of head, heart and belly, even if those are only metaphors.

And as they happen separately and in different combinations, there is a clearer sense of the qualities of each one.

The head awakening happened for me in my teens, then combined with heart awakening and what I can only call “cosmic consciousness”. More recently, there has been times where there has been a clear head awakening on its own. The head awakening is a clear seeing of all as God. No separate I to be found anywhere. Ground awake to itself. Content of experience awakening to itself as a field, all as awakening, as no thing appearing as something, inherently absent of an I with an Other. This human self is living its life on its own, as everything is. There is no doer. No thinker. No chooser. No observer. No witness. Just the field.

The heart awakening is a love of everything as God. The love of God for itself, when all is recognized as God and this is lived through a human self. This love can be independent of content of experience (of feelings, emotions) and only appears as love when it comes out in actions. This is the love of the right hand helping the left, simply, effortlessly. In addition to this, it can also come out as content of experience, as a feeling, emotion, a bitter-sweet love. Bitter because of the suffering in the world. Sweet because it is love and it embraces whatever/whomever comes up, independent of its characteristics.

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Dropping into the luminous black

I keep noticing how each way of allowing experience has a different quality and flavor, and how the luminous black is what I am invited to explore more now. Dropping into the luminous black, and from there see, feel and love whatever content of experience is here, as it is, as if it would never go away, and with a special emphasis on feeling.

It is difficult to describe the luminous black… although the energy drawings give a hint. It is experienced literally as luminous black, no metaphors there. (Apart from what is inherent in any word.) It is velvety soft. It seems to be an aspect of emptiness, moving slightly into the form side. It is inside of any form, and that which all forms are. (In addition to emptiness/awareness.) In the body, it is centered in the belly, and it invites emotions to reorganize from reactivity to a sense of nurturing fullness.

It is an allowing of experience that has the feeling aspect as its focal point, inviting in and deepeing a belly awakening – a felt sense of all as God.

Energy drawings

I got the inspiration to make some energy doodles last week. As usual, I don’t assume they reflect anything you would actually find in the energy system. (Although it could happen). Mostly, I take them as projections telling me something about where I am right now. (Even if they did reflect something actually going on energetically, they would still be important and useful as projections.)

What I mostly see in these is an emphasis on the luminous dark below the body. A velvety luminous blackness, seen through and in everything, centered in the body in the belly, inviting in a healing at the emotional level and a felt sense of all as God.

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Dream: African American woman

Over some years now, I have been going to individual Process Work sessions with a local process worker. It has been off and on, and partly to deepen my familiarity with PW and partly to explore my own life.

I have had a nagging dissatisfaction with these sessions for a while now, mainly because of a sense that my process work faciliator is not able to follow the process where it wants to go and unfold. He seems more comfortable with staying at the surface and verbal level. This is obviously a projection – I can find it in myself – but also says something important about him and these sessions.

A few weeks ago, I had a dream where he is replaced with an African American woman. She is able to go exactly where the process wants to unfold, and she has a deep, earthy and heartfelt quality and an embrace wide enough for the whole world as it is. She seems to be a personification of the luminous dark which I continue to experience throughout everything that is, and – in terms of my body – centered in the belly.

Since I had this dream, and guided by the qualities of this African American woman, the process has been able to go where it needs to go, and be seen, felt and loved there. Things are shifting in ways they haven’t before.

Earth heart

I am taking a body-symptom class with Arny Mindell, and had an interesting shift during our exercise period yesterday.

Here are some of the main points… (If you are not familiar with vector work, that part of it may not make much sense.)

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Facets of reality

Not only are there different forms of awakenings, but there are also different facets revealed within each one.

For instance, within an awakening of what we are to itself, there are facets of emptiness and fullness.

When this awakening is lived through human form, love comes in.

At the soul level, there seems to be innumerable facets, including luminosity, alive presence and fertile darkness.

Independent of – or coexisting with – any of these, is the experience of oneness. All form is one. All is God.

And when any of these are lived through our human self, insights can also come in – which is another facet.

There must be many more, but these are the ones I am most familiar with from (very limited) own experience.

I also notice how there seems to be a natural shift among any and all of these. Any one of them is sometimes in the foreground and sometimes in the background. Said another way, the volume of each is sometimes turned way up, sometimes moderate, and sometimes turned way down.

Another aspect of this, which Adyashanti pointed out at his most recent radio broadcast, is that each of these are revealed as complete and omnipresent – because they are.

So it is understandable how some, at least in the very early phases of their awakening, take whatever one is alive for them in the present as all there is. (And sometimes get into slightly comical debates with others around it.)

I must be lucky here. Even in the midst of my initial awakening, it was clear to me that in spite of how amazing and complete it seemed (in that case a mix of Big Mind, Big Heart, alive presence, luminosity), it was only a small aspect of what God is. And whenever there is a shift into any one of these, or one new to me, and even if the volume is turned quite a bit up, it is still clear that it is only a small facet of God.

The lesson in all of this, including for me, is to not limit God.

Whatever experiences and insights I have is always very limited. And whatever story I have about reality or God, God is untouched by it and goes far beyond. If I attach to any of those stories as true, I only create struggle when experience moves on… which it will.

Quick journey: heaviness and velvet blackness

I woke up this morning with an unusual and very strong heaviness, centered in the belly area. I stayed with it for a while, and then decided to explore it through a journey (tracking, allowing the process behind it to unfold, similar to active imagination although using any channels including visual, sound, sensation, movement, etc.)

  • The heaviness is everywhere, then becoming a quickly contracting sphere centered in the belly area. As it becomes very small, the movement stops.
  • Attention stays with the small sphere there for a while.
  • Then, everything else – the whole world – contracts into the same small area, and then disappear. Leaving only nothingness.
  • After a while with nothingness, the smooth velvety round full blackness emerges as a field.
  • Followed by the world of form again appearing as an overlay to this velvety blackness.
  • I see how this is an invitation to notice the world of form as the smooth full blackness, in my daily life. It is there, and I can bring my attention to it more.

After following this journey, which probably took half a minute or so, the body went out of bed and started on its morning activities. The heaviness is still there, but now as a nurturing smooth fullness, with the qualities of the velvet blackness.

Three centers

These are some things from preliminary explorations of the three centers… or rather, how Spirit is filtered through the three centers, and then in turn filtered through this human self. (As it is alive in immediate awareness.)

How Spirit is filtered through each…

  • Heart… as alive presence. In general as a field of alive presence, in the heart region as the indwelling God, this alive presence specifically for this individual.
  • Head… as awake luminous void, and all form as this awake void, inherent absent of an I with an Other.
  • Belly… as smooth velvety round full luminous blackness.

Each of these are a field… what form arises within, to and as. Each one, transparent to the Ground, and no other than Ground itself. Each one, impersonal and personal (specifically for this, and any, human self) at the same time. Each one, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, and responsive to this (and any) individual.

When these centers are awakened, even in an early phase, it allows for a seeing (head), loving (heart) and feeling (belly) of all as Spirit (Big Mind, Brahman, Tao). It is Spirit filtered through each center, and then seeing/loving/feeling itself through them.

At the human level, an awakened (even partially) center, allows for…

  • Heart… receptivity, seeing myself in others, recognition, empathy, sense of intimacy, no separation.
  • Head… receptivity, seeing stories as only stories, seeing the grain of truth in all the reversals of any story, revealing the inherent neutrality of the situation.
  • Belly… a felt-sense of deep trust, safety, allowing for a deep reorganization and healing of the human self, especially at the emotional level.

The three centers are really one system… the deep felt-sense of trust from the belly center invites for a receptivity of the heart and head centers. The receptivity of the heart centers invites a receptivity of the head center, and also a deepening felt-sense of trust and safety. And the same goes for the head center.

The beauty of Spirit filtered through these three centers is how it allows for the impersonal aspects of Spirit and also the personal, the ones specifically for this and any other individual. It naturally and effortlessly seems to allow both into the foreground of awareness.

I also see how they each have come through in different phases of my life, allowing for an easier differentiation of each one. During the initial awakening, the head center awakened allowing for a seeing of all form as awake luminous void, inherently absent of any separate self anywhere. Then, the heart center awakened strongly, allowing for a loving of all as God, as Spirit. Then, over the last few months (partly through Breema, and partly through the endarkenment shift) the belly center, revealing all form as luminous blackness, velvety smooth, round, full, allowing for a deep sense of safety and trust for this human self, and a reorganization especially on the emotional level.

Journey: rocks

I did a process work session earlier today, and started a process, which I continued on my way home, and then now. (In Process Work, the unfolding can be similar to what is described here, but they also include a more active exploration of the meaning of the process and how to bring it into daily life. When I do it on my own, it tends to unfold easily, but the meaning of it may not surface until much later if at all. Somehow, it still allows for a shift that is sometimes profound.)
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Belly area spine, and energetic hole

During fall and winter, I experienced a lot of (energetic) activity in the hara area, and specifically around the spine (L3-4)…

Since the initial awakening in my teens, I have been aware of an energetic hole that area. I also had scoliosis (side curve) right there, which since then has improved quite a bit with consistent work, shifting into a slight kyphosis (in-out curve).

With the endarkenment shift, there was a sense of a good deal of activity and work happening in that area. And now, the energetic hole is filled in and the area feels much stronger and more solid in general. The remaining alignment of the vertebrae has also improved (just a subtle in/out alignment left for a couple of vertebrae).

The area also seems connected with basic trust, in Existence, life, and ultimately God. The energetic hole seemed, even back in my teens, associate with a lack of basic trust (even in the midst of experiencing all as awake, empty luminosity, and as God). And now, with it filling up, there is a much deeper sense of basic trust… of being held… in and as the luminous blackness.

Shift in taste and smell

I seem to have gone through a shift in taste and smell. I noticed it first on Saturday, when the air seemed very different… as crystal clear, smooth, round, full, mountain air. It was very tangible, and I thought it was just fresh air coming in form the coast, and rounder because of the humidity content.

But then it continued, even as it dried up and the physical air changed. And I also notice the same when I drink water… it is very different from before, and with the same brilliantly clear, smooth, round and full quality. It is very obvious (not subtle at all) and stable.

It wasn’t until tonight that I realized that this must be a shift with me, and not the air or water itself. And I also realized that the quality is the same as I experience with the endarkenment, especially the alive luminous blackness.

In the initial endarkenment shift, the luminous blackness was inside of everything and everything inside of it… everything arising from, within and as this luminous blackness. And now, it is reflected even in my sense of taste and smell…

I not only see it, but (literally) taste and smell it.

Certainly not what I had expected.

Additional note: after staying with this a little more, I see how it could be called nectar or ambrosia, which I know are terms used in some traditions, but I don’t know if there is a connection. The air and water now do have that quality, of something infinitely fresh, smooth, round, nourishing in a new way. As with the endarkenment, it is difficult for me to find the right words for it.

How to see all posts on endarkenment and related topics

Note: This relates to Blogger, before the move to WordPress, but you can still check out the links.

As mentioned in the previous post, when you display posts with a certain label, only the most recent 20 are shown.

To get around this and see all posts on endarkenment and related topics, go here:

The older posts are at the bottom of the page. Also note that many of these posts will show up under more than one label.

Dream: snow on fire

I see a snow covered mountain landscape with the snow on fire. A voice also says “snow on fire.”

I woke up from this dream image, and when I fell asleep again, it came up again, with the same voice saying “snow on fire.”

The snow covers the whole landscape, apart from some peaks, and is fresh and white. The flames are clear, calm, tall and stable.

This reflects what comes up in daily life these days: passion with a depth of clear calm peace.

This depth of peace is partly the void, ground, emptiness, which is the depth of anything arising, and it is partly the luminous blackness (two aspects of the same.) It is the nurturing peace of Spirit filtered through the belly center, balancing out the fire of the head center.

More about this:

After a long period of dryness and lack of passion during the dark night, there are now more moments of passion surfacing, a passion with a deep calm depth, beautifully reflected in the dream image of snow on fire. The passion is the fire, rising out of the depth of peace, void and stillness. (I am amazed of the creativity of what they in Process Work call the “dream maker”, the source of the dreams. This is an image I would not have come up with consciously.)

Exploring it more consciously, I see that the peace has two distinct (although closely related) aspects. One is the void, ground, emptiness, which is the depth of anything arising. The other is the fertile darkness (composting) and the luminous blackness, with the same void, ground and stillness, but also nurturing. Both allows passion to arise, with a depth of peace.

Dream: Gathering of yogis

I am in a gathering of yogis, and a voice introduces a couple of people to the group, and then me as yogi rajma. The yogis are all mature and seasoned, and very familiar with the vast terrain of the divine human.

As I woke up from this dream, the name was opaque to me and didn’t ring any bells. I only thought it sounded vaguely like a (Sanskrit) yogi name.

What struck me the most from the dream was the depth of maturity of everyone there, and also that I – somehow – was not out of place at all. Nobody questioned by presence there, including myself, as it was obvious to all that we were all intimate and familiar with the same terrain. This is quite a contrast to my conscious view of myself which is (a) not at all a yogi (don’t practice any conventional forms of yoga), and (b) as not very seasoned or mature in it either. The dream may be telling me that this is yet another identity I use to box myself in with, and it is time to allow it to soften, to open for some other possibilities – at least in the future.

Although all of the yogis are deeply familiar with the same terrain, and are deeply intimate in that way, there is also a wide diversity in appearances, flavors and approaches. I am a wild Milarepa type yogi, or that was at least my background. I didn’t know what my flavor would be now or in the future.

I went to our monthly diksha group meeting (we are doing other things right now) and asked a Kundalini Yoga instructor there for help with the name, Rajma. She didn’t know either at first. I mentioned that I thought it may be a composite, Raj-ma. She then noted that raj means royal. And ma of course means mother. The Royal Mother. Or the divine feminine.

And this, of course, makes perfect sense. The divine feminine. The fertile darkness. The luminous blackness. Spirit filtered through the belly center. Yin. Feminine. Nurturing. Deep silence. The coolness to balance out the fire of the yang awakening, Spirit filtered through the head center. The nurturing and immanence to balance out the impersonal and transcendent.

Since this shift, there has been a sense of deepening or maturing in a different way – a beginning, with some glimpses of the depth it may lead to.

Right now – I am one led and guided by the divine feminine, the fertile darkness – allowing hangups and knots of this human self to be composted, and the luminous blackness shining from within everything.

Dreams often correct, balance out, or expand the embrace of our conscious view. And this dream certainly does so. It is very difficult to think of myself as a yogi, and even thinking of myself as one guided by the divine feminine is quite a stretch. (In spite of the ways I have explored it on this blog.) So the dream invites me to soften those old identities, and make my conscious embrace a little wider.

It is funny that I was a wild Milarepa type yogi in the dream. That part at least fits how I see it, as an unintentionally slightly wild guy not following any particular traditional path strictly. Again, that is not what I consciously would have chosen for myself. I would be very happy and comfortable with a more traditional path, if I only had found one inclusive enough, where I am located, and where the cultural gulf was not too wide… (I was happy at the Zen center until a sequence of events was set in motion so I ended up – against my deeper wish – moving to another state.) It is at least open for something else now, and in the future.

Fertile darkness and luminous blackness

There is a clear sense that the fertile darkness and the luminous blackness are distinct, although I cannot quite put my finger on how…

The fertile darkness is like rich crumbly soil, allowing for a composting of anything from this personality… any contractions, any fears, any patterns of reactivity, anything formed within a context of a separate self. In the physical body, the awakening to it seems centered in the belly or low pelvis area. It seems specifically to help reorganize the body and the personality at a very deep level, reaching to its most basic fears.

The luminous blackness is different, and seem centered a little higher, maybe even in the heart area. This is the luminous blackness that is a vast void, transparent, empty, a deep peace, arising within and as all form.