January 8, 2022

 I took a break from the Imaginal for a few weeks, largely because I felt like I was being drawn out of myself and needed to go back to the basics of a meditation practice. Also, I traveled up to northern Michigan at Christmas time to visit my mother. While I was there, she experienced a fainting spell due to problems with her blood pressure meds and spent three days in the hospital. I was there when she fainted and stayed with her until the paramedics arrived, driving to meet her in the emergency room at the hospital. I ended up spending most of Christmas Day with her there and a good chunk of the following two days.

This will sound clinical but the experience gave me the opportunity to really observe my consciousness, taking particular note of the effects of adrenaline and trauma. By employing the tools of my spiritual practice, I was able to stay with the ‘baseline’ of awareness, watching the ways my consciousness, in the location of my soul, morphed from moment to moment. I realized there is always a ground of awareness that is unaffected by the events of time. (It’s not really a ground because there is no up or down but you get what I mean.) The practice for me that weekend was staying with the neutrality of the ground of awareness and watching my consciousness change from this neutral standpoint. 

‘Standpoint’ isn’t a great term because you are not standing on anything. In fact, that’s the point: You don’t have a perch. Unlike ego awareness, there is nothing to hold onto because there is nothing. Paradoxically, it’s this nothingness, this absence of a ground, that is needed for our soul to relax. If the soul can abide in this ‘place’ of no ground, it can rest and relax. I know it sounds counter to everything we know but it’s nonetheless true.

My practice became abiding in this state of being Non-Being. This is the practice of Non-Doing. One simply is relaxed and at ease, not saying yes or no to anything. It is represented by the moodra of the left hand held palm upwards and parallel to the ground and the right hand held palm outwards perpendicular to the ground. The left holds allows all awareness while the right maintains a neutrality to everything that arises, neither inviting it nor pushing it away. 

This morning while meditating, I understood why my heart has been activated lately. There is a fullness that arises in this neutrality, this ‘place’ of neither pushing nor pulling, that my heart loves. It feels rich and in contact with many beings from many different realms and yet it remains in place. There is something important about the remaining in place. It feels critical because it allows holding all experience with compassion and love that is objective. I understand a little bit of Buddha’s experience sitting under the Bodhi Tree. He allowed everything to come to him but remained steadfast in his abiding in the emptiness of awareness. I understand how this is necessary and how it is a gift to all beings. This residing in the emptiness of neutrality lifts all beings, it makes one a doorway into Being.

While I sat today, I opened my eyes to find myself in a vast boneyard. As far as I could see in any direction, the ground was piled high with bones. It was a bright landscape, an unseen sun blasting the place with blinding light. I know this sounds austere but it wasn’t. I didn’t feel afraid or any sense of dread.

A figure appeared before me. It was bright orange, the yellow-orange of an egg yolk, the radiance of life itself. You might mistake it for fire but, if it was fire, its flames were of joy and compassion. I bowed to the figure, welcoming it within me. As it approached, I saw a line of people behind it. These were people who had died and the figure was guiding them on their journey. I bowed to them as they neared me, welcoming them within me as well. One by one, they passed through me and there was a sense of joy and sadness and hope. Somehow, I knew that by seeing them and recognizing them as they passed through me, they would be reborn. More importantly, they had the chance to remember. This remembering was a precious gift bestowed not by me but by Being. Some alchemical process happened as they passed through me. I was both a doorway and a catalyst. Their souls caught fire as they passed through, the fire of cleansing and of awakening.

I see how important it is to be awake, to be alive and to be completely human.

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