Monday, August 24, 2015

The Tibetans Call It a Bardo

In my early thirties, I attended a Silva Mind Control course to stop smoking. Others were there for weight control, memory training, and self-healing techniques. Over several weeks we were taught relaxation and visualization techniques, including the development of a mental laboratory complete with desk, calendar, files, visual screen, a door beside the screen, and healing medications. 

We were also told we'd have an experience of extrasensory perception on the last day of the training, which I found intriguing but presumed impossible for me. For that last session we were instructed to bring in three slips of paper, each showing only the name and city of an individual we privately knew to have an illness or physical problem.

To start the morning of the last day, we practiced by placing the body of a friend on our mental screen and scanning for problems of any sort. Following instructions, suddenly I saw and heard a motorcycle hit by a car. The motorcyclist's face wasn't visible, but because the man I was scanning owned a motorcycle, I expressed my alarm to the instructor, who suggested I find the date of the accident and send healing light to my friend. 

I closed my eyes, went to alpha level, visualized the calendar in my mental laboratory, and was astonished to see the pages turning rapidly until they stopped at a date in June. I assumed this to be in the future, as the session took place in February, so I did as the instructor suggested and pictured my friend bathed in white light.

After a break we were assigned partners, and the first one, whom I'd never met and didn't know would be a partner, handed me a piece of paper with a man's name and location written on it. In alpha level, I visualized a man on my mental screen, and saw his whole left side was darker than his right. I didn't know what it meant. 

Using a technique we'd been taught, I imagined putting on this person's head, and was immediately torn by depression, sorrow, and resentment. I could feel my left side was crippled; I had no hearing in my left ear and no sight in my left eye. I knew hearing was intact in my right ear, but vision in my right eye was limited in some way, though I couldn't describe exactly how.  

Afterwards, my partner said this was the son of a dear friend; 21 years old and bitter because he'd been crippled on his left side in a motorcycle accident at an intersection where a car had ignored a stop sign. He had no hearing in his left ear and no sight in his left eye; hearing was normal in his right ear, but he had tunnel vision in his right eye. His recovery was slow and he was despondent.

As I almost feared when asking her the accident's date, she named the same day in June I'd seen on my mental calendar. The motorcycle crash I'd pictured earlier that morning, before being assigned to this partner, had occurred the previous June!

Interactions with my next two partners were less clear but equally mind-blowing. With one, I pictured her subject with a brain like a walnut, the right side shriveled, then found she'd given me the name of a friend with brain cancer in the right hemisphere. With the other I kept seeing The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz, focusing especially on the size of his nose. She admitted she didn't know anyone with a critical injury or illness, so had given me the name of a friend with chronic sinusitis.

I was disoriented for several weeks. The world as I perceived it had changed. In The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche refers to a bardo as a juncture "when the possibility of liberation, or enlightenment, is heightened." My experience of this unexpected, new reality opened my mind and heart.

Since then I've had many instances of knowing something that either had not happened yet, or had happened at a distance, without my direct knowledge, and was later confirmed. At first I was frustrated by the lack of specificity, but over the years I've learned to relax into what I now believe is a universal flow. 

As a coach this has manifested as psychic intuitions. I've learned to slip into a meditative state and seek information beyond the obvious. My clients often comment, "I was just thinking that, but wasn't sure I was ready to talk about it," or "How did you know that? I've never told anyone."

My bardo experience has left me with a lifelong sense of awe, triggered by the recognition, "If this is possible, anything is possible."

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Symbol of the Wave

Alan Watts, in an essay on zen,
used the metaphor of a wave ~
each wave appears to be
separate and distinct
but waves are also part
of the ocean they share.
Likewise, there are seemingly nine
distinct personality styles, but
we have a common ground in that
in our essence we are whole and gifted.