May 28, 2014
Early Autumn chill with frosted shining leaves
dazzling garnets nesting in the green
haunts the World
the Hidden Things dance unseen
beautiful they dance
to the song in my heart.
May 23, 2014
May 17, 2014
Last night we drank the ayahuasca.
Our guide, Adrian, had brewed it himself. He is from South Africa, and I think he is in his late 20s, early 30s. He’s taken ayahuasca at least a dozen times, himself. The first time he did it was in Taiwan, some four years ago. When I said I didn’t know much about drugs, he said, “It’s not a drug; it’s a medicine.” He is definitely right about that.
He had four bottles, two for me and two for Eileen. The first set was only about a quarter full. The second set was a little over half full. First we drank the quarter-full bottles, and waited 25 minutes. We were supposed to try not to throw up within those 25 minutes, but neither of us needed to, anyway. Eileen said she felt like gagging because of the drink: the texture, taste and smell. It didn’t seem bad to me. It was bitter and pungent, but it wasn’t bad. It was, I thought, green, but later it turned out it was brown. It was quite thick and grainy.
After 25 minutes, we started drinking the half-full bottles; we were supposed to drink them a bit at a time; a third and then a third and then a third. Adrian said, “If you can drink half now, that’s fine too.” I drank half.
Within 5 minutes I felt it in my body. I felt like I could feel moving through my veins, a bit warm, a bit like a tingling. After 5 more minutes, I started to get a lagging sensation. Things started to get trails on them when I moved my head, like the ghost trail of a mouse cursor when you draw it across a computer screen. After 5 more minutes, I felt the need to throw up; I couldn’t resist it. I went to my bathroom and threw up. It wasn’t bad; it was not so painful nor unpleasant. I thanked the ayahuasca for taking it easy on me. That is as easy as it would get.
I went back and sat down. “Can you try drinking some more?” Adrian asked. I took another sip. By now I felt very strange, indeed, like my body was humming. A short time later I felt sick again and only made it as far as Eileen’s bathroom. I threw up many times. I was nauseous and it was exhausting. I sat down on her bathroom floor and rested, feeling quite bad. I don’t mind throwing up so much as I mind feeling nauseous; the nausea was the worst part.
After some time, I don’t know how long I was sitting there, I noticed a strange buzzing sound: quite audible, continuous. I thought someone was running a machine outside, like a weed whacker or something, but it was a sound without breaks or pauses. I almost asked the others what it was. I don’t know how much longer I sat there but eventually Adrian asked me if I would like to come back in the room. I said yes, but I needed his help. He helped me get up and I’m glad he was holding me up, keeping me from tipping over. Everything had those laggy visuals on them and it was quite disorienting. They had turned the lights off, which I had no opinion about. I laid down on the floor with a pillow. The buzzing sound grew louder and louder, until I finally asked, “Do you guys hear that?” “Hear what?” “The buzzing sound. It is very, very loud.” “No, we don’t hear anything.” “Oh, okay… Just checking…” Adrian suggested I follow the sound. I could see myself look behind myself in my mind, looking for the source of the sound, but I couldn’t get out of my body and I couldn’t move.
I don’t know how much time passed, but then I was suddenly seeing a lot of things. It was extremely fast and extremely intense. My thoughts were all over the place, it seemed, and I couldn’t control them, but I didn’t want to. At first I thought I was just having a very elaborate, intense dream, but I was not asleep. I became aware that I was being shown these things, and I sensed that I was being shown them by three beings. They were guiding me. I was watching, in third person, a series of situations. They looked very real and were intense in their detail. They feature people and places that I was unfamiliar with. Each of these situations was a test, and as I watched them I became aware that I was supposed to solve each situation. I have no recollection of the details of each situation, each “problem”, nor how I solved them, now. In the beginning they guided me, step by step, through the solution. After I solved the first one, the entities gave me their approval, “Good job.” Then we moved on to the next situation. These entities were distinct but of the same…source? They were genderless, but I got the distinct impression that one of them was male, and when they spoke, they spoke with one voice, and that voice seemed, to me, to be male, but it was not important.
At some point, during this time, I think, I sensed Adrian moving. In my mind I saw him get up and come over and crouch down beside me. He was wearing different clothes; they were long-sleeved and dark. He put a hand on my shoulder. He was exuding a great compassion towards me. I opened my eyes, but he was not there, he was sitting across the room from me, leaning against the wall; I think he was wearing no shirt? I felt myself drawn back in.
They continued showing me situation after situation and they were coming faster and faster. I knew I was not understanding what they wanted me to understand. They were showing me how to solve each situation, but I was missing something. They told me that the solution was very, very simple, so simple that I could choose to see it if I wanted to. I wasn’t sure what they meant, or what to do. The problems seemed very complex and needed time to fix them. Then I got sick again. Adrian brought me a bag. I have no idea how long I was taking these tests, but Eileen was no longer in the room, I became aware at that point. After I threw up, I said, “I don’t know what they want me to do.” Adrian was immediately attentive and he asked me some questions, but I can’t remember them now. I told him I was being shown things, and had to solve them, but I was missing the solution. The solution was very, very simple, and the same for all the situations, but I couldn’t figure it out. He put a hand on my foot. It felt very warm and very real. It was a strange sensation. I still felt sick. “I’m going to try again,” I said. I laid back down and was drawn in again.
The situations continued. I wondered why I was seeing them in third person. I especially wondered this when I saw myself in some of the situations, responding to them very emotionally. Some of the situations were happy, some terribly sad (I saw myself sobbing), some made that other me angry and some were frightening. But I felt…very little. I felt disconnected, an observer. I became aware that this was intentional, that there was a reason they were showing them to me like this. I pressed on.
The situations were so fast and so close together and I began solving them faster and faster, but that thing I was supposed to be understanding still wasn’t sinking in. Eventually I felt sick again. I sat up and threw up so much, I was practically choking up only bile. I couldn’t believe there was still anything in there. As I was throwing up, the tests continued. They were happening so fast that they made the vomiting seem slow. I was seeing them even as I was sick. They were pressing me, but not in an unkind way. “I’m trying,” I said. And I was. I laid back down.
And then a strange thing happened. Suddenly I understood the solution they were trying to help me see. I was looking at a situation, trying to figure out how to solve it, when I realized that it wasn’t real. The instant that I realized it wasn’t real, the situation solved itself before my eyes. The entities seemed very encouraged by this, and they encouraged me. “Good.” They showed me more and more, and it went even faster and faster as I realized each one was not real, and each solved itself. I also realized, quite happily and peacefully, that we were One: they and me and what I was seeing were One.
All through this “test” phase, they would periodically draw me back up, encouraging me to take breaks. Then we would go again. During these times, I would sometimes open my eyes or become aware of outside sounds. Sometimes I saw Eileen moving around the room. She seemed to be wearing her hair down and she seemed to be walking without putting her feet down. She was moving much faster than her feet were moving. Also all through this time, I became aware that I was making lots of sounds. Some of them were short moans, some were sighs, some were sounds of recognition, I think, when I figured something out. At one point when I was very deep, I was jerked back to reality when Adrian put some water down next to me. I must have startled him too. “Sorry,” I said. “It’s okay,” he said. I became aware, at times, that people were going in and out of the room. I think Adrian went out to check on Eileen a few times. Once I heard them having a conversation, but I don’t know about what. Eileen was laughing. She sounded really happy. Then back inside, back down I went again.
Once I realized that the situations weren’t real, things seemed to slow down a bit. Things became easier. I got sick again and went back down. I started to look at all the situations in a similar way. I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t experiencing them firsthand, but they explained to me that I wasn’t because if I had been, I would have been experiencing the very intense emotions I was witnessing. This satisfied me; I trusted them. Later I realized that they were doing their very best to keep me focused, to reduce distraction. They knew me very well; they knew that if I felt those emotions, I would be extremely caught up in them, maybe to the point where I couldn’t keep progressing, and there was limited time. I also realized that this was partly the purpose of the buzzing sound; the outside, “real” world had become full of sounds: people, animals, machines running, other things I couldn’t describe. If I had become more curious about them, I would have been extremely distracted. The buzzing sound covered those other sounds quite effectively. I also became aware that there were at least two other sounds. They joined the buzzing one by one. I realized that, together, the three sounds made sense. Individually, they seemed quite unpleasant to listen to, but together, they formed a strange harmony that made sense. I realized it was another way of communicating with me, because when I would “get something right”, the harmony of sounds would raise in pitch and frequency, a way of telling me “good job”. They were very encouraging and immensely patient. They knew exactly how much I could handle and when. They were very very compassionate to me.
A bit later I became aware that they were tugging on me, I think on my consciousness. It felt like they were trying to lift me out, or up, I’m not sure. They wanted me to move on, I think to the next frequency. I was reluctant, “I feel so sick,” I said. They tried to entice me by saying that Eileen was already there, that I could and should join her. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t bring myself to. I felt so sick. They stopped tugging. A bit further on they told me I needed to drink some more. “Oh, please, please, I can’t, I feel so sick, so sick,” I begged. The begging was unnecessary. “Okay,” they said simply and with complete understanding.”Maybe next time.” “Oh,” I thought, that was simple. There had been a sense of urgency, because in order to go on to other things I would need to maintain the connection by drinking more, but when I said I couldn’t, the urgency disappeared, and we finished working on what we had been working on.
At some point Adrian left. I was aware of him getting his bag and leaving the room. I didn’t want him to leave, it was comforting having him nearby, but I was also aware there wasn’t much he could do. I felt grateful that he had been there before.
I understand why he left now… It had been hours. At least three.
I was shocked when I called to Eileen and she came and told me that. I thought maybe 20, 25 minutes had passed. I couldn’t believe it.
I went in for about another hour, but the most significant things had already been done. I did get sick again, and then slowly it started to ease off. I started to feel disappointed that I didn’t go to the next part, where Eileen was, but they assured me that it could be saved for another time, that I had done exactly what I needed to. Eventually I stopped hearing them with such clarity. I fell asleep.
When I woke up, I was no longer so clearly psychically connected to them. I can’t say that they left, because they are always around. I have always known this, and I knew it before and I know it now. But being connected to them so clearly through ayahuasca was so nice. If I had been less sick, I would have been able to appreciate it more. I know they are looking at my mind now as I communicate this; I know they know I am grateful to them and I feel that they are very loving and compassionate towards me and towards… Everything? (It’s strange, but the things they showed me that were true are very certainly true, but they also don’t want me jumping to conclusions. I guess they want me to be open.)
The last thing I realized was, they are not God. There is no God.
I am god, they are god, everything is god, together. Individually we may be god, but it is much more important that we are god together. God is not about power, I think. God is about connection and life and love. All of us together are god. All of us. This is really important.
I have a lot of hard work ahead of me. I have some ideas of things I need to do next, but I will have to be dedicated if I want to make progress. I understand that it can’t be like before, with the energy, in church; they were very careful to stay away from powerful emotions with me. They wanted me to gain a spiritual and psychic understanding. But if I don’t feel it, I don’t easily devote myself to it. I think they want it that way; they want me to work towards understanding, not just to take their word for it, not just to take the easy path. I guess this is faith, this trying to move forward without a guarantee or assurance. But I do have their encouragement.
Thank you. And I will be in touch. But you already knew that.
May 15, 2014
I’m hoping to get some clarity on any of the following…
My relationships– with my mom, my dad, my brother, my friends, my previous partners, my future partners. How are these things affected by the past, as I suspect they are? What can I do to improve them?
My Self– things about myself that I don’t understand, things I might be lying to myself about, things that I should try to improve about myself, things that are positive about myself.
Other people– is there such a thing as collective consciousness? I believe there is, but how can I understand it? Can I access it? How am I connected to other people, how does my energy affect theirs, how does theirs affect mine?
The World– not just people, but everything else that makes this World what it is. Do I have a place in it? Should I worry about it? How can I tap into the consciousness of the World?
The Universe– where does it come from, what set it in motion. Is order an illusion? Is everything actually in chaos?
Love, Truth, Oneness, Freedom
These are some things I want to know about.
February 2, 2014
2014 certainly started off with a bang. Or several. Or rather, it has begun as a bumpy road; nothing overly traumatic, but it hasn’t been easy. The Year of the Horse has begun no easier, either.
Tonight Eileen did a tarot reading for me that illuminated many things… I saw many pieces of the puzzle, even if i didn’t see the puzzle in its entirety.
We did a pentacle spread, to ask about abusive relationships. The four elements, plus my personal state and at the top a spirit card. We both shuffled the cards, as the reading was in part for both of us; Eileen is very much a part of this situation. All cards were read as “right side up”.
My personal state card, in the center, was The Moon. I have often had this card turn up in readings… Tonight it seemed spot on. A transitioning between two realms, through the veil of perception. My sign, Libra, is also a balance between existence in the spirit realm and the physical realm. In this card, I have just come from the High Priestess (a card that frequently comes up for Eileen and possibly represents her in some way), who has offered me guidance. On one side of the veil I felt perhaps confident in what I knew, but on the other side, i question everything i thought i knew. Nothing makes sense as it once did. Dogs and wolves fight and howl at the moon. A crayfish (very much resemblant of a Scorpion…) crawls from the water below, perhaps drawn out by the light of the moon, but what does it mean? The Goddess looks down from the face of the moon (also possibly symbolic of the High Priestess, who is associated with the Goddess, and thus Eileen), wise and a source of inspiration. But the land is dark and full of chaotic entities, which could be magical and enticing…or unknown and terrifying. Everything feels confusing, frightening, uncertain. Who to trust? Where to go? i could fight with the elements of the land in resistance; i could join them in madness. Or i could get into a boat on the river, and let the current take me, drawn by the Moon… i think this means i need to let go, just as my forecast said. To let the current carry me, to trust that i will be pulled in a direction that will help me (and others?). It’s not easy, letting go and relenting control. In fact it is scary… But maybe that’s the only way out of this dark place.
The second card and first element card was Earth, representing stability, prosperity, security. My card was the five of cups: the “spilt milk card”. I stare down at my feet, wallowing in regret over what has been lost, perhaps in shock, feeling devastation, disappointment (perhaps in someone), sorrow. My stability feels shaken, i have no security, i feel. Yet behind two cups remain upright… I need to acknowledge that not all has been lost; nay, much has been learned. I need to lift my head and look ahead. But did I not need my cups kicked over as they were? I think I did… I thought Pon was a project, that I could change him, “better” him– my own ego blinding me to whether that was even a good thing to do, nevermind whether it was even possible for me to change him… I did learn so much from him, even though he hurt me. He taught me that my body is not bad, that sex can feel good, connective, that it is okay to want it, need it. I have a new respect, I think, for my body, in this regard. This card also reinforces the idea of letting go, especially in order to move forward…
The next card in the spread was Air, my sign, representing communication, intelligence, ideas, imagination, dreams, wishes. My card was the nine of wands. i’m in a protective stance; i am guarded and wary. i am expecting the worst– being paranoid even! (Surprise, surprise.) Maybe i’m letting this paranoia get in the way of my relationships with others; maybe i’m treating them with a mistrust they don’t deserve (…Q). i lash out at others for things i suspect they will do, which they haven’t even done yet, which goes strongly against my concept of fairness. i’m feeling wounded, and remembering the blows of the past… But when you’re knocked down, you have to get up again. This is true in life, and maybe in relationships too. Keep going! The way is forward! Again, i think this card wants me to look ahead, not back; to keep trying, to pick myself and dust myself off, not to give up (on humanity, on myself, on Q?), to move forward.
Next came Fire, the Destroyer, but also energy, passion and love. This card was the eight of swords, a card suggested to be connected with abusive relationships. This card reinforces the aspect of fear and uncertainty in The Moon. This card is the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t card”. i am bound and blindfolded, surrounded by swords which will cut should i move. i feel trapped, confused, overwhelmed; i don’t know which way i should go. Yet i need only remove my blindfold to see that there is a way out: in a way, the blindfold and the binds have been my own… i was blinded by my own ego. Indeed, these circumstances are in part my own doing, and i shouldn’t allow myself to feel merely a victim. By acknowledging this i can remove the blindfold. It’s painful; the truth was maybe something i did not previously want to see. my ego needs to be crushed in order for me to see past it. But now there is hope for a way out… A way forward.
Then came Water, (Q’s sign), emotions, the subconscious, purification, the soul… This was The Hermit, another card that frequently turns up for me. Actually, i’m growing quite fond of The Hermit… Well, i am walking with my lantern out in front of me and my staff in my hand as a guide. i am reflecting on all that i have come through. In some (many?) ways it feels like i have arrived back at square one… i can no longer make assumptions about what i know. i thought i knew Pon, after all, and those blinds were torn down to the naked light of day: what can i say i really knew? Yet it is not hopeless, for i have gained some insight about myself and others through these experiences… i no longer walk with my staff on my shoulder and lantern behind. i now illumine the dark, or at least try to, no longer taking anything and everything at face value. i can acknowledge some progress, though i should do so humbly… i take stock of all i have learned, and keep moving forward with that knowledge in mind. This card could also be representative of Q in a way: the association with nighttime and twilight, the colours of grey and silver. He has given me help; i have learned much from him about myself, relationships, other people, in a short time… Perhaps knowing him and learning from him is helping me take stock, just as Eileen (the High Priestess/the Moon?) has offered me guidance in a time of uncertainty…
The last card, Spirit, was the Page of Cups. Rather disappointing, i had to admit. Why is he looking at that fish in the cup in that way?! This card is about emotion, intuition, intimacy, and lovingness… Eileen says there are other fish in the sea. Time for Pon to go out of the cup… Not that i have loved him in a long time, but it is time for me to Empty My Cup of many things– pain, regret, doubt, fear, anger– and move on. i should trust my intuition, and allow things in… Allow people (Q?) in? i should be open to guidance, both from within and from others. i should listen to my dreams, and my intuition. Trust my gut… Maybe it is okay to again be led by my heart, which comes naturally to me but which i have been strongly resisting for some time. i think this says a lot about the future, and my fears and hopes about Q… Eileen is right, though; “owe nothing”. i owe him nothing, and he owes me nothing. i shouldn’t judge him, i shouldn’t expect changes– rather, i should allow myself to be the catalyst for changes only if that’s what he needs… And the same is true for me, too. Don’t stay with him, i need to remind myself, if we are not moving forward…
Eileen spoke truly… There is surely more clarity in our house now. The clouds have begun to lift… I feel optimistic. I need to talk to a certain someone…
January 1, 2014
It seems strange to me that I most often remember this blog when the year is changing. Not that I always write in it at those times… So it goes.
As you know, I am not one for making new years resolutions. Nevertheless, I feel there are some promises I must attempt to make and keep for myself. They are simple, but will be very difficult to fulfill…:
First: Be open. If i am to learn anything about myself, or anything at all, i must be Open. i think this Expanding has begun already, but i hope it will take me to new heights this year and every year from here forward. Admittedly, i’m scared, but “fear is a friend whose misunderstood”, which leads me to…
Second: Be brave. Don’t be afraid of others. Don’t be afraid of yourself. Don’t be afraid of the New. Of the Old. Of the Known and the Unknown. Or of Fear. Perhaps i don’t known what fear is, but i intend to try to understand, this and else. Which leads me to…
Third: Let go. If i am to be open, i must let go…of much. i must let go of my anxieties and fears, my desires and hopes, in order to understand them. i must let go of my expectations. i need to be flexible, which is always a challenge for me… i need to learn to bend. if i can let go, i think it will help me gain perspective on what i really Need and Want, that it will help me understand my Self better…and maybe others, to some degree, as well.
Finally: To Know is to Love. i don’t know if this is true, but regardless of how well i come to know myself, i intend to love my Self better. i am an infinite spirit in a finite person; if i do not love my Self, how can i love anyone else? How can i love the Universe? Therefore: Love Thyself.
Every day i must remind myself of these simple koans, meditate on them, and do my best to live up to them. i will start right now by saying,
i love you.
December 31, 2012
Things are often late in coming to Cambodia, especially movies. So by the time I picked up Cloud Atlas at the Night Market, I’d already heard a fair amount of reviews– though I always stopped them short of plot-spoiling even a tiny bit. I can’t stand plot spoilers.
This was a movie about slavery. And simultaneously, freedom.
Through various times past and future, through the interconnected lives of many characters, the story plays upon the theme of standing up for what is right…even when we think we lack the courage.
the tower where the composer awaits his lover
the satellite at the top of the mountain
Overcoming great odds
Dark vs Light
Succumbing to fear
Resisting fear, even when we lack bravery
race; gender; sexual orientation; age; socioeconomic status;
fighting back against insurmountable odds
a drop in the ocean… “Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”
November 14, 2012
I’ve always been a pretty good student. Well, that may actually be a slight understatement. I am. such. a. nerd. I mean, I have a PhD in molecular biology for God’s sake. I learned pretty early on that schoolwork was something I just got. Trigonometry? No worries. Advanced American History? Check. In high school, I was in Science Olympiad AND History Bowl. In college, I only stopped calculus when they somehow worked in a 4th dimension (that insanity does NOT make sense). But for everyone, there’s something. There’s some achilles heel. For me, it wasn’t organic chemistry or P-chem (yes it was. P-chem is not okay); it was spelling.
Now, please keep in mind that I WRITE FOR A LIVING (I’m a medical writer), but spelling man, it’s rough. Alphabetical order made me cry in 3rd grade–no, really, I cried AND my teacher sent a note home to tell my…
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March 10, 2012
Seasons come and seasons go.
The sweeping piles of dusty blue clouds backdrop the open airport fields. Scoldingly, lovingly, they remind me of my temporal nature, and I call back to them,My loves, my time here is drawing to an end, but for fear I cannot lift my head to look beyond. Wither will you carry me?
Playing coy, they hurry on without reply.
To the assumptive eye, Kampuchea has merely two seasons, or rodow; it’s a fact, however, that there are countless seasons here, their edges patching into one another in a way that those assumptive eyes will never see. My Younger Self belies me, even as I tell quote Descartes to her, Question Everything. She wants to believe that it’s her own original thought, and yells back at me: Don’t believe it just because the pundits, the professors, the presidents said it! Rumify your understanding of the Universe! Then she calls me an ignorant bastard and retires to her room to pout.
Rumify, indeed. Ways of Knowing have become blocked, clogged, for me. Phaedrus’ lateral thinking can move me out for a time, but the ultimate progress is when I recognize, even in a brief nanosecond, that i am a Way, and so are all the entities which fill the mattered Universe.