I get to Mark's late Friday night. The full moon is just peeking up over the pine woods' zigzag horizon. He's snow-blowing the driveway through a few feet of fluffy snow. After hugs and some happy to be here humor with him,
I leave my stuff in the spare bedroom I use. Then, at last, as if some part of me is letting go of a long held breath, I go into the sanctum of Mark's meditation room. With gratitude, I lay out my prayer rug and give myself to the longing that pulled me here.
Devotion quickly floods my heart. I know throughout my being, with a jubilant cry of "Oli oli ocean free," that here, I need cling to nothing but that Presence. I open and offer myself completely. The divine Shakti brings healing kriyas that tremble throughout my body. As usual recently, I find sharp pain sits in my Hara, my Belly Chakra. Focusing on it galvanizes strong contractions, doubles me up, chin to hunched knees, every muscle in my body screamingly taut. I give myself to that too with full confidence, though even my eyelids seem to bruisingly clench.
Then, mercifully, it releases in a trembling, body flinging discharge. My deepest tensions and defenses dissolve through all the levels of my being leaving radiant aliveness. Now my Hara's anguish is fully exposed, like a dagger in that Center of nurturing and belonging. From recent teachings in my life, I'm reminded to be present to my pain, to bring that hurt to hold in my Heart.
Prayerfully, hesitantly, I open my Heart's defensive fist and expand its aura down to embrace that agony in my Hara Belly Chakra. Though touchy, the connection holds, and soon I come to some sense of stability between my Heart and Hara Centers.
I focus on my Third Eye for conscious awareness of this interaction between my Heart and Hara. Although I'm in altered, visionary consciousness, I still hold the ideal of balanced attention to what all the three Chakra Centers experience. This gives me an unusually clear sense of what it is to 'embody' this experience rather than disembody from it, as I usually do; it makes it personal experience as well as transpersonal.
This realization completes an important integration of aspects of my being for me and opens the way for another process to begin. I'm now guided to lay out my shamanic Mesa altar over my prayer rug and to put on the two ceremonial rings that are part of it. These rings are distinctly energized through much ceremonial and haling use. They guide me through clearing my aura using breath, movement and gesture and to bring my spine's central channel into alignment. This opens circulation of the exalted life-force from my 8th Chakra over the Crown of my head down the channel in the center of my spine and to Earth Center beneath my tailbone. All the levels of my being are thus linked through this radiant flow.
I'm guided to raise my right hand in a praising ceremonial gesture skyward towards the Heavens and my left to reach downward, with the same mudra --thumb tips to the two central finger tips. I vision and sense it connecting, through me, the Heavens with mid-Earth. These two energies grow very present to me, tangible, expanding their totally disparate vibrational polarities out from the rings, up through my hands and out to fill each side of my body, my right side with the Heavenly energy, my left with the Earth's.
As I'm suspended in this pose, I recognize these two source energies are also each resonant with my spiritual and human selves. Now, both vividly side by side within my perception, I acknowledge that there is no single accord, no commonalty between them at all. Instantly, I know that this confrontation has always been the primary torment in my being: my eternal self and my matter encased one. I sense only the bitterest mutual rejection between them as my awareness is drawn along my body's centerline where I imagine they must eventually meet in terrifying collision. I'm certain that the quality of my awareness and intention will somehow affect how this meeting will happen.
All my torment at picturing this merging get projected right there where these totally desperate parts of me are to encounter. Overawed imagining what might happen, I'm gifted with the recollection of a mystic poem I'd written some years before:
"My joy is in the Shimmering.
Not the one World nor the other.
but the in-between,
where neither and both are.
Through this, I fathom with relief that in this Shimmering I'd found between my two sides, there is place enough for This and That -human and god-self. The poem suites this innermost confrontation perfectly. It gifts me with images as a way to hold what had seemed irreconcilables. Perhaps it is even a means beyond that paradox. I prayerfully ask for the Shimmering to enter my being and I'm shown and experience a new energy from yet another Realm. But as if from beyond all Realms. Still mystery to me.
A very fine, immensely high aura vibration that I perceive as a yellow-gold mist appears along the center plane of my body, crown of my head to my groin. It holds the presence of neither side and both. And I recognize that "power" can withstand whatever forces come at it. I am protected from annihilation. Though there's enormous relief in this poetic resolution, the layer of Shimmering between my selves offers a space barely a micron thick. I still feel mashed between them, even though no longer trapped in their discord.
Another verse of that poem flashes into my mind:
Where neither World and both are,
Can be a Portal,
A means to go beyond that Paradox that persists.
Through it you can open to Eternity
And still be in the body.
You can own your known self
And your unknown self too,
In the Unity beyond all Paradox.
Recalling the poem is unbinding. It opens my perspective to recognize this Shimmering at the center of my being as a doorway. It brings a reconnection with that Knowing the poem birthed from. Through this, I'm guided and empowered to use invocation and gesture to open and expand this film of Shimmering at my body's center plane. I begin at my Heart. I widen the band of Shimmering within it where these two selves --my human creature and my god-self-- may meet and interact, without need of fear or conflict, I pray. My Heart is relieved of a great burden and constraint.
As I continue this spiritual energy work up from there, each Chakra reveals a great new range of possibilities in this wider band of Shimmering. At my Third Eye Chakra, I note with pleasure as my mind's process is cleansed of its compulsive either/or reflex. This liberates my consciousness to ascend to my Crown Chakra, the nexus point of my High Self. and
In a rush of elation, the Shimmering becomes a flow of Shakti life force. This surges up from my limited, personal self into the transpersonal. I experience this in my 8th Chakra, about a foot above the Crown Chakra. Here my awareness expands into my cosmic reality, unbounded from the narrow space/time dimensions. As this consciousness blossoms and illumines my whole reality, I know why its called Cosmic Consciousness.
Now I'm led to channel that divine Self energy down from my 8th Chakra down through each of the 7 Chakras below it --Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Hara, Root, at the base of my spine, and down into Earth Center below the floor of Mark's meditation room. As this pours through, it expands the plane of the Shimmering through me to the width of my shoulders and hips and leaves my arms and legs still in their full,
uncompromised polarization --Heavenly and Earthly. There's healing relief in my Hara Belly Chakra too. It feels reassuring to me that opening to my paradox selves need not involve the terrifying risk of annihilation.
In this expanded path of the Shimmering, there is consciousness enough to hold awareness of my aliveness through all my Chakra Centers, simultaneously. I am my uniquely personal self having this miraculous cosmic experience.
Embodying all my selves together is blessedly redemptive.