April 25, 2022

 I’ve been steering clear of the Imaginal for a while because I have been focusing on simply meditating. I know the Imaginal is there if I need it; it’s always there, always available and so I’m wary of overusing it. It seems like something that should only be accessed sparingly, although maybe that’s not true? 

My edge of inner work is pretty obvious right now. My mother’s health continues to fail and this is triggering anxiety for several reasons. One reason is that it brings up the still mostly unconscious state of my dual unity with her. You know, that state from infanthood when I was merged with her. She was depressed, empty, afraid and overwhelmed much of the time and used me for her stability. She got reassurance out of merging with me and I had to precociously ‘grow up’ or at least pretend in order to give her the emotional stability she craved. In doing so, I got what I needed from her but I also got unbridled access to her screaming emptiness. This incredibly deficient emptiness filled with overwhelming fear is the legacy from this merged state with her. It comes up whenever I perceive my security (usually financial security but sometimes physical) is at risk. Or when she is in jeopardy. She exerts an unconscious gravitational pull on me and I feel responsible for pulling her out of the pits of despair when she is overwhelmed. Obviously, this is happening a lot now that she is declining.

Griffin also plays a role here. He was my emotional and physical rock in my previous life, my caretaker, my protector, my everything. Without his steadfast presence by my side, I would not have made it. Consequently, his presence has had an outsized influence on my inner state of wellbeing. Being reborn without him was its own black hole of sorts and I was extremely ambivalent about committing to this new life in 1970’s Leelanau County. My new family was deficient and quite honestly brutal, especially after I’d been so protected and coddled by Griffin. I had relied on Griffin for everything external and this allowed me to focus on the internal. Now in this new life, he was gone and I felt completely unequipped to handle the external demands placed on me. My only solution was to fake it. I faked stability both for my and my mother’s benefit and did a pretty shitty job of it, I must add. My childhood in this life was traumatic because I was so sensitive and so easily beaten down by external forces. Somehow, I limped along but never really felt the inner stability that I so desperately attempted to project to the outside world. I’ve always felt like a fraud when it comes to being a Three on the Enneagram. I’ve never believed my image of success because I am so shaky inside.

And here I am now, still feeling the lack of inner support. This triggers a lot of anxiety at times, although fortunately these episodes of anxiety attacks don’t tend to last long and aren’t debilitating like they were when I was younger. I have integrated some support, of course, over the years, probably far more than almost anyone else. The thing about True Nature/Divine is that “it” always presents us with the ways our realization is incomplete. That’s life. That’s learning. It’s not a problem but a gift, although sometimes it’s hard to recognize the gift because it can be covered in a lot of manure.

Thank god for meditation! I don’t know what I would do without my daily practice. Today, I didn’t seek out anything in particular but sat down feeling weary from the drag of my anxiety. Not giving into it takes effort, necessary effort but effort nonetheless. As I sat, I became aware first of Diamond Will. This is the vehicle of Presence that appears in our consciousness as a mountain. We are this mountain, a mountain of support aligning us with True Nature. In religious terms, it would be considered God’s Will, although the experience is of knowing oneself to be this Will, this support. Being and Support arise unified.

Diamond Will has the impact on my soul of aligning it with the truth and wisdom of Being, moving the locus of my experience from the rickety ego structure and grounding it in the mountain of Being. It brings ease and confidence and reassurance, alleviating the anxiety and soothing the soul.

As I sat as Diamond Will, the experience shifted into the Imaginal. At first, I was aware of swirling green, white and blue clouds. After a while, these resolved into a mountain so immense that its vastness was mostly obscured by mists. This was the Emerald Mountain, a sacred Buddhist site, a mountain of white and emerald, drenched in mists and alive with green. The place is tranquil, soothing, healing and also immense, solid and permanent. It is permanence as impermanence, living compassion boldly present in all worlds, inner and outer.

This experience of being the Emerald Mountain is corrective to the split I’ve been experiencing between inner and outer. I tend to be more comfortable in the inner worlds, feeling confident and at ease. Support and trust are easy in the inner worlds. The outer world, though, is different. I almost never experience the same level of trust in the outer world. My experience is that the outer world is harsh, unpredictable and unforgiving. I feel small in the outer world. I feel at risk.

Being the Emerald Mountain balanced out my experience, helping to alleviate the dichotomy between inner and outer.

As I stayed with the experience, I met a jade dragon. He appeared like a Chinese dragon, attenuated and elegant yet also immensely strong and resilient. His scales were jade and white, shimmering with both at once. The feeling of meeting him was of awe, humility and melting. I immediately began to cry. The dragon saw me, all of me. All of my inner turmoil and conflict. All of my history. And he understood.

The dragon reached out with a dagger-sharp claw and touched the wounded spot in the center of my chest, the place where Griffin’s knife entered my heart and ended my first life. This place is the nexus of all of my current confusion and discord and suffering. It’s in some ways the origin of it all. Everything hinges on that wound.

The dragon touched the wound and, even though its talon was razor sharp, it didn’t hurt me. It simply touched the place of all of my agony, as gently as a breeze but with diamond precision. I cried and cried and cried, eventually wrapping my arms around the dragon’s sinuous neck and pressing my face into his scales.

After a while, I realized the dragon had changed into an emerald buddha, a being of immense wisdom and compassion. He told me that he came because I called to him. I put everything into words but there was a gnosis between us, a sharing beyond words in which I opened to him and allowed him to witness and touch all of my wounded places. In return, I received his blessing and his teaching. His exhortation was to be open, to receive and be transformed. Openness was key, an open heart that is touchable and tender. The paradox of strength through vulnerability, through utter undefended nature, is key here. I could feel his support for being open, for being vulnerable, for receiving the gift of Wu Wei, the teaching of non-doing that is also the teaching of non-separation, of radical openness.

This is a living teaching and I have a lot to learn. I don’t feel like today’s meditation resolved anything, although it did serve to open my heart further. Support/Will will do that through basic trust. To trust requires openness and vulnerability and brings radical oneness with Being and Being as support.


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