Turtles, Mangoes and Hearts

I was there in God’s heart.

It was not that I imagined myself there.  It was not that I brought myself there.  Rather, I awakened to that reality that I was already there: had always been there, would always be there.

I was there in God’s heart with Everything.  All the people I have ever loved.  All the people I thought I lost.  And I felt my boundaries being slowly absorbed, the things that comprise me preparing to return to the source they began in.

My own heart was like God’s heart: Deep calling out to deep.

And also, my heart was God’s heart.  Somehow they were the same thing, and impossibly, I was swimming there, within my own self, and in that me, a homunculus-clone within, there was a heart, and that inner heart that was also God’s heart: so it continued, an infinite regress.  Turtles, as they say, all the way down.

It was delicious and it was too much.  Almost like a mango.  Almost terrible.  I am thinking about the original meaning of the word ‘awesome.’  I am thinking about what it means to fear God.

And as I get further away from it, my memories seem to re-convey the experience with  increasing duplicity, and my awareness grows that words are such tiny little containers to try and cram Truth into.

Breathing In With Adam, Breathing Out to God

This morning, with my in-breaths, I breathed in with Adam.  As God breathed life into him, I felt that breath coming into me.  It comes in as physical nourishment, of course.  But also life itself.  A primal spark I am re-living.

And with the out-breaths, I knew I was saying God’s name: the Hebrew words given to Adam, carrying a nearly impossible-to-translate meaning, sounds without teeth and tongue.  It is a name above other names, in that it is a thing said through out our lives, countless times.  And it is name beyond names in that it is a thing we do.

When I breathe this way, it feels as though God’s primal spark which enters me with an inhalation, leaves me as an act of worship…  As all worship does, it is begun in Him, comes from Him, returns to Him.

And breathing in that intimate space, lips near mine, like some primal mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, like a kiss.

And when I had done this for some time, as I breathed in, my mantra was “Jesus lived.”  With the held breath my mantra was “Jesus died.”  and as I breathed out “Jesus is coming again.”

And after thirty minutes of this, I was such a mess, a wonderful mess.  These strange sobs– not bad things– were coming up from the deepest parts of me.  I felt the space between God in me to be less than nothing.

There was a part of me that knew I would return to the ordinary way of perceiving.   These flood gates that were thrown wide open wood close.  And I had this sense that this was my doing, this was my act of self-defence, that God would have me that close to him, all the time.

I will head to church in a while, and I will then go about my Sunday.  And then I will enter my week.  I am going to try and do with all those doors within wide open.

 

There was this one time I was crucified by Love…

The first time it happened I felt like I had been crucified by joy and love.  I had this sense of this cross beam, not so much behind my shoulders as going straight through them.  This was mounted on a similar post, which went through me.  It was overwhelming but not painful, clearly a thing that was not physical.

I felt lifted in the air on this thing, even as I retained the physical sensation of sitting in my seat.  My breath came fast.  I imagine if you could have monitored my brain, you would have seen all the pleasure-centers lit up; all the neurotransmitter which transmit euphoria and peace were working overtime.  I mostly had absolutely no idea who I am.

And the second time, I was so keenly aware of Jesus, living in me.  And God, everywhere, just Everywhere, around me.  And Jesus within me, reached upward, and God reached downward, and the Holy Spirit somehow bridged the space between them, and the three were one with me at ground zero.  I was, again, mostly lost, in the best way possibly.

During my college years, I had a fairly limited set of experiences into morally and legaly questionable practices.  These two experiences blew all of those away.

I have been wrestling with what to say about my recent mystical experiences.  I don’t want to brag or give somebody else reason to feeling inadequate.  That is part of the reason I want to say so firmly this wasn’t me, I didn’t earn these experiences or deserve them.   Wise and holy people allude to these sorts of experiences but seem to avoid very specific discussions of them.

In the end, I decided I wanted to share.

I think that in truth a part of my motivation to meditate is related to seeking after these experiences.  Despite some folks being tight lipped, you hear about them from others.  And it sounded pretty awesome.  And my experiences were pretty awesome.    I am thankful for them.  I decided to share partially because I wanted, on the one hand to just throw this out there, in case you are waiting, wanting them, or just curious:

Yeah, this stuff happens.

But the other reason I wanted to share these experiences is to share the idea that  these things bring with them their own set of challenges/  Possibilities/ difficulties/  Pains in the ass.

Though I was eager to meditate after they happened, I didn’t find the sessions afterword very fruitful.  I was, I think, doing it for the wrong reasons.  Though I did my best to remind myself that these experiences were not the point, I didn’t do a very good job of listening to myself on this.  In some way, I was seeking after a repeat performance because the pleasure was quite pleasurable, and the sense of going beyond myself was so refreshing, and frankly, because it made me feel special.

I am growing to suspect that this experience– getting past all those surface things– there is growth in that.  There is growth in the act of getting past these sorts of distractions.  It is, I think, one more place where I can practice calm acceptance, learning to open my hands to whatever comes my way, resisting the urge to close my hands, once they are filled with things I want to hold on to.

As we engage in our meditative practice today, maybe you and I can agree to work on this.  Maybe both of us can come at contemplation of something we do just to do it, not for any extrinsic benefits.  And when they come up?  Well, we can take them for what they are and enjoy them while they last.

Please feel free to drop a comment below and share some thoughts.  I would love to hear from you.