Sunday, January 31, 2010

One of These Things is Not Like the Others...

Recently, a question was raised on a bulletin board that I frequent: What is the difference between an Ouija Board, a crystal ball, and tarot cards? The context of the question was why the Ouija Board wasn't considered as being similar t the other items. This is my 2 cents:

There is a big difference between an oracle (tarot cards, crystal ball, runes, I Ching), and a tool to contact disembodied spirits (Ouija board). Consulting an oracle is a way of centering your self and talking to the "inner sage". This is an introverted process. The Ouija board is an extroverted process: you are asking for contact with entities outside of your psyche. This is the same as allowing yourself to be a medium, where spirits use your body. With an Ouija board spirits are borrowing your energy and using your arm. The Ouija board was designed specifically for communication with disembodied entities.

An oracle is simply tapping into your inner self. In Christian cultures, there is a big misunderstanding regarding the use of oracles, and they have been labeled as "evil", just as the Ouija Board. Of course,there are misguided people who use oracles believing they are contacting spirits, not understanding that they are connecting with their own subconscious or shadow aspects of their psyche.

Psychologist Carl Jung studied oracles and found them to be statistically significant in regards to synchronicity : two or more things connected acausally (i.e. with no chain of action and consequences.) He found that observing synchronicity enhanced one's ability to achieve their hidden innate potentials (individuation).

Speaking personally, I have collected/studied/used Tarot cards now for 36 years, with no trouble with spirits or entities. However, my brief use of a Ouija board as a teen did cause a problem that was solved by burning it. I have found similar stories among other people.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"The Void", Emptiness, Sunyata

I was recently asked by a reader if I had any information on "The Void". The man who asked the question had encountered "The Void" in a meditation practice he had been doing. He found the experience very peaceful, but wanted more information. He quoted some sayings of the Buddha in his question.
Below is my response to him. (Any mistakes are purely my own and do not reflect the teachings of my teacher.):

Here are some other names for The Void:
India/Hinduism: Shunyata, Sunyata

Tibetan Buddhism:
Clear Light
Emptiness (state of being empty)
Skylike Vastness (where our perceptions are clouds)
Basic Space
Luminous Emptiness
Tibetan metaphor: Sky, Mirror-like
In Vajrayana, we steer away from the term "void" because Westerners often mistake it for nihilism

Zen Khensho: seeing one's true nature

Kabbalah: at the top of the tree of life is the sphere Kether ("crown"), and above the crown is AIN, nothingness

Sufi: The Unknowing that is Knowing, Invisible Black Light, state of Spiritual Poverty (were "poverty" emptiness)

This is an authentic spiritual experience.  My understanding of the Buddha's teachings on emptiness is this: All that we experience is an illusion, in the sense that it is like a dream. We are all wisdom beings who reside in Pristine Awareness  but we have forgotten this fact. That is why humanity is said to be asleep. They have forgotten the Vast Pure Wisdom that they really are. Glimpsing the void is remembering who you really are. The point of true meditation and an authentic spiritual path is to create habits that will support remembering our true nature.

The tricky part is this: the ego is afraid of the Void, because it senses it may be annihilated. The work of the path is to trick the ego into experiencing Insight in a spontaneous way. In Western Occultism, there are many sad tales of premature exposure to The Void. This why an authentic teacher is so important.

My personal experiences include a near death experience: I was not able to be in my body. I found myself trying to talk to my daughter (who couldn't see me), then I was in the future witnessing future events. Finally I was in that beautiful space that you described in your question to me. All this took place in 45 minutes. 

So, you see, your glimpse into the The Void as brought you to the very core of why we have Spiritual Traditions.

Like you have pointed out, this is a hard topic to describe. Forgive me if i have not clarified very well!


Synchronicity Note: withing minutes of posting this I picked up a book at random from by bookshelf: MOEBIUSTRIP, by Giti Thadini. The book opened on the last page and these words jumped out at me:

"It is the face of zero, of sunya.
It has a unique enigma.
It is indivisible."

The writer ends her story at a goddess shrine in Kunzam Pass (India). Upon opening it she discovers a mirror: emptiness.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Poem Synchronicity

My first post on the Pandora's Feast blog was an unplanned poem that flowed out of my pen the day I posted it:

It was a time of tricksters and thieves,
a liminal point between aeons.
Chaos reigned.
(Her name was Eris.)
Pandora freely bestowed gifts upon humanity
in the form of epidemics, plagues & mysterious illnesses.
Pan had been displaced, or maybe he had a sex change.
Who Knows??

Last night, four days after the poem was written, was our condominium HOA (Home Owner's Association) meeting. My husband is on the board, and I fill in where needed. I almost didn't make it due to illness. 2 board members could not attend due to illness. One homeowner was in attendance needing approval for a project.... because of illness.

A new homeowner who had just purchased a unit came to just to say "Hi". The name???

In the poem the goddess of chaos is called "ERIS", AND Pandora is spreading "epidemics, plagues, and mysterious illnesses".
Hopefully no thieves were there!

Now I need to write something about abundance, lottery winnings and random acts of awesome-ness.

Is that way this sychronicity and creativity thing works?? :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Awkward Psychic Moment

I usually write my blog in the mornings, but this evening something happened that was a little unsettling. Usually, there are days of relative quiet here, but this evening there was a commotion in our home. A neighbor came the door at the very same time the telephone rang. My husband took the phone and I went to the door. The sun was setting and there was a beautiful light on the buildings facing our unit. The neighbor at the door wanted to give me her keys, because she was leaving town on a trip. I went outside to chat with her, admiring the last rays of sunshine. Another neighbor, "T", came walking by with her two children.
I said to "T"; "I have saved two sturdy boxes for you to pack dishes in." She stops, her jaw hanging open. Her children stopped too, and were staring at me.

"Uh-oh", I thought. "Was it something I said?"
"T" then said "How did you know we were moving?"

I quickly went through a mental index, searching.... and not finding a reference point, I quickly asked "Didn't you tell me?"

"No, I didn't." she said. "Debra, we didn't even know we were moving until today. We weren't going to leave until April, but we got a call about a new place today, so we are leaving this month."

The other neighbor pipes up "Well, she knew you were moving because she told me!"

There is no social etiquette for times like these! What does one say?
"Well, I'm sorry, I am psychic, and sometimes I have no clue I know things!"???

"T" and her two children walked off with the boxes. I had been saving the boxes since Christmas. At least we all had a good laugh.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

We use the saying "once in a blue moon" to refer to something rare, or unusual. Last night's blue moon was such an event. The second full moon for the month of December 2009, and it was on New Year's Eve.

I had a dream last night- the details escape me- but I woke up knowing that an obstacle had been removed. I woke up to a bright sunny CA day. As I pulled my curtains back, I found an unusual sight. There was a small newly opened iris growing in the clay pot outside my window. Now, these plants were given to me 2 years ago by my neighbor. They just wouldn't bloom. In the 3 years I have been here, they have never bloomed. Yet, still, I watered them. It was very sweet seeing this bloom on New Year's morning.