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New Beginnings and Subission


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#1 cioran

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 02:24 PM

I want to preface this by giving a bit of information about myself and current situation. I work for an art studio and, during the pandemic, I’ve managed to stay employed working in my Brooklyn apartment. It’s somewhat run-down, but inexpensive by NY standards and I live alone. As much as I can find things to complain about there are things too for which I am grateful. One being that these months away from the atmosphere at the studio has been restorative to the point of feeling medicinal. On one hand I feel a bit privileged to be working at an art studio in NY where I make enough money to continue saving, but also find that my world is sort of restricted to these soulless aspects and that crushes me. I read something recently which described how one can feel more alone among others than when by oneself for being out from under the constant reminder that one doesn’t seem to fit in. Add to that a micromanager who goes out of his way to remind those under him of what he sees as their shortcomings and it starts to feel like an oppressive environment, in the way that unremitting summertime heat can leave one exhausted. I recognize that there are folks in this world who struggle to acquire the very basics needed for themselves and for loved ones and that there are those dealing with hardship much more pressing than I, and that on some level what I’m describing pales besides that. But I also feel that the commonality there is the desire to overcome hardship, large or small, so as to make the most of life. Be it some shitty mental magic, a matter of perspective that has me feeling this way, or the possibility that the energy at my place of work is truly bad; both are real in a physical and metaphysical sense. 

 

A few days back I bought a new bag. I can’t identify for you the strain, just that they were mushrooms. I had the feeling that I wanted to really go for it. Wanting to really go for it and then backing down is also typical of me. I find I deal with self acceptance versus a feeling that I’m not where I am in life, not doing what I most connect with, while falling back into routines of staying at a job I detest and practicing yoga and such in order to not fall into self destructive habits while maintaining my course. Rather than go big I decided to test the waters at 1.5g: a de-stemmed cap and an intact fruit body down the hatch and chased with some grape juice. I pulled on a sweatshirt, set my N95 face mask in place, and went for a walk as a sort of post-work palette please before they kicked in. Celebration residual from Puerto Rico Day audibly mixed with anticipation for The Fourth punctuating the night with staccato pops from fireworks and laughter as I strode down the sidewalk. The concrete bore resemblance to a sort of soft cream and gray camouflage of layered leafy shadows cast by the streetlights hanging above the trees which lined the streets. Quietly lit exteriors, with an occasional raspy hum of an AC, began to beg for notice with greater insistence. The lace-like brick-work vignetting the black windows of dwellings caged in writhing, ornamental iron bars took on greater presence. I felt the magic beginning to stir. I walked a few more blocks up to Gates Ave, made a right at a cheap jewelers baring a sign advertising, “we do gold teeth,” before looping back for home. A police siren sounded somewhere bouncing off of the buildings. Two men stood outside the corner deli under the awning the thin light. It was 11 o’clock and it had ben a full half-hour since ingestion. I went up the steps and put the key into my door: I was back again. I took a quick shower thinking of holy ablutions and the dewy cleansing of the roji garden to which guests submitted before entering the tea hut for the ceremony. I dried off, threw on some shorts, entered my bedroom, put on my Sennheisers and sat in the darkness; butt and back to the wall on my bed, and I waited. I selected something like Kirtan, some Hindu devotional pieces offered to a goddess of compassion. 

 

Often I liken the onset of these things to listening to a piece of minimal music, wherein listening straight through you find it challenging to point out when and where any changes or progressions occurred, but finding that if you stop the piece to skip around from beginning to end you can’t help but wonder how it so seamlessly moves given the contrast at different points. Also I want to say, despite having read little on the subject and wishing I partook of these things more to test my own personal theories of cultivating naivety in approaching something like navigation of these realms, I’m not sure what to do with my mind. As with meditation I sometimes forcibly come back to my awareness of my body and breath, but notice how the magic responds when my mental content shifts to certain material. I’m convinced I’m not supposed to just sit and watch but actively call things to mind (perhaps on some level there’s no difference), but I don’t know. I tried to set an intention, I begged that I be brought up, that the awareness and parts of my ego by which I construct resolve and make decisions with confidence and strength, be brought to the fore; that I see my weaknesses and fears as they are, so as to stop nurturing them. The thing began to churn. My mind felt energized and I breathed deeply and regularly inviting attention and encouraging submission, while with closed eyes I felt an oscillating between content of heart, mind, and closed-eyed visual field. Thoughts of a long time friend with whom I’ve been having trouble communicating came up. Do we really no longer relate enough to be friends? Why is this happening? My heart swelled and I felt small for my attachment to him, wondering were these not but memories that ought be let go of, trying to recall that the world is bigger, but lamenting that he couldn’t be there along side me as we swam in admiration for the power and majesty of it all together. I felt full of love and compassion. And then it would stop, “am I seeking these feelings out of want of comfort? Do I not also need my ass kicked? Is not some self-pity masquerading as love needing to be exorcised?” I felt as though there was some sort of presumption to what I was feeling and that the magic itself was calling me a coward, it urged me to get up and go to the freezer and to knock back a few more of the wrinkly, dry things and to throw control to the wind. How serious was I about finding and sharpening my edge? How serious could I be if I wasn’t about to push to find my limit? Is this how strength and courage are built or might I risk irreparable damage? I was scared that this question implied the answer. I thought of work, pictured my boss, imagined the U-haul van that I, of late, imagined renting to leave NY, to leave my job. The visuals intensified with eyes a predominant motif. Feminine eyes; full, round, deep, incisive; with long, glistening lashes gazing penetratingly into me. What does a man do? Continue baring his burden or pack up and leave? There is no way out but only a way through, I’ve heard it said, but which way is through? Are there not many ways? Surely one is better than another? I felt like I was deferring to concepts and ideas out of fear to act, appeasing myself with silly explanations carrying me away from the immediacy of action. The visuals subsided as I rode these cerebral trains. The magic seemed to respond most to those emotions which sprang forth from south of my neck and less to things noetic. I thought of work again and saw it not as work, the activities in which I could lose myself; but as fear, the raw sensation and how I hated it, how it seemed to poison me. The Visuals peaked again; overtop an ink wash ground a delicate, and electrified latticework described an architecture which cascaded into existence racing, small at first, from a single and definite point in the background, forming a swell and a valley of the lay of a landscape where a moment before had been blackness; and then up it shot; tall slender structures detailed in electric lemon, a webbing of some roller coaster scaffold, minaretes, bell towers, soaring spires, and then rolling down again to the level of huts and smaller structures. A hollow formed; like the pattern on an owl’s feathers or the inner composition of a dreamcatcher; gray lines overlapped forming arcing grids where stern faces of noble elders gazed from the spaces between…this expanded to fill the frame of my visual field, although my eyes had not opened. Soft fleshy pinks, citron yellows, and softened Prussian blues feathered the edges of this thing as it turned to show me its integrity as it moved, how it held up and maintained completeness and uniformity even as it moved. Again I had the feeling that I was falling short and that I needed more. But what I wanted, and this too began to feel familiar, was to rid myself of whatever bilious filth weighed me, had accreted, perhaps, in my joints, my hips, at some bend in the pipes preventing movement which this thing encouraged like the some perfect, and graceful dancer. There was chanting in my ears, female voices, layered whispering with the meeting of lips audible for organic wetness. I felt warmth and wholeness, pleasant thoughts of people who had been there for me, a friend who’d moved back to China and how, even though far away, through texting we brought pleasantries to one another’s days. I noticed how the feeling was there, even after I turned off my phone. Where does it go, this feeling, to come out now? It swelled and grew to fill me. I laughed, smiling, feeling my love for her and again, lamenting the feeling that we were not together now, and how things like that, connection, touch, seemed to promise to have the power to transform fear and to empower. Maybe being adrift isn’t so bad, as it permits of the possibility for this sort of connection yet to come. I suppose I knew that, and that that’s why I seek confidence, courage, and empathy…so as not to be so affected by things that I can’t fully live. I sat for about three hours, trying my best to be present, to entertain feelings of gratitude and submission to it, and that whenever I found myself feeling weak or self pitying for cowardice I tried to recognize that that feeling itself was negative egoism and that gratitude for the ride and for whatever was shown was not only the antidote but where I needed to train myself to be at all times. I thought of Zen texts that said the goal you seek is the practice itself; be one with it. I don’t want to push away my lamentations and self pity entirely though, since, as I stated in the beginning of this, they seem to be real, and suggestive of something significant. I’m still processing this. I feel like ingesting and sitting with these things is like weight lifting which is why I find myself feeling that these things are magic, the efficacy of which only increases the more one practices using them. With that, I’ll likely have another post soon. 


Edited by Myc, 19 June 2020 - 04:32 PM.

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#2 Skywatcher

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 03:07 PM

Welcome cioran.

I really would like to read your trip report, but black type on black makes it near impossible.

Huge blocks of writing with no paragraph or space breaks is also really difficult to get through.


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#3 ElPirana

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 05:25 PM

Sounds like you had a good experience ciaran. I find often that these lower doses can be especially helpful in uncovering emotions and feelings that may just be just under the surface, and it can be healthy to allow those to flow through, to feel them in their entirety and allow them to pass.
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#4 cioran

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 10:46 AM

Welcome cioran.

I really would like to read your trip report, but black type on black makes it near impossible.

Huge blocks of writing with no paragraph or space breaks is also really difficult to get through.

 

Understood, Skywatcher; I appreciate your suggestions. Being a noob and not having posted much at all, upon seeing the preview I guess I presumed the text would appear in a lighter color upon approval from mods. My mistake. Still figuring this out. There doesn't appear to be a way to edit once posted, do you recommend I remove this version and repost? Thanks. 



#5 Skywatcher

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 04:10 PM

Hey cioran,

You can edit a post for about 6 hours after you make it, just for your future reference. After that it can only be edited by a moderator.

We will see if we can change the text color for you................


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#6 ElPirana

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 05:40 PM

Hey cioran,
You can edit a post for about 6 hours after you make it, just for your future reference. After that it can only be edited by a moderator.
We will see if we can change the text color for you................

Looks good now. I had copied to a text editor in order to read it the first time through.
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#7 Myc

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 10:47 PM

I suspect that the original post may have been copied and pasted from a text editor.

 

When doing so, there is an icon in the upper left hand corner of the "Reply to this topic" editor.

Select all of the text in the post

And then click on the pencil eraser icon - white with pink located in the middle

This will strip all of the formatting and the text will appear "normal"

Handy thing to know if you copy text from external articles in a post.

 

I need to write this up as a Helpful Hint. It comes up quite often.

 

Welcome cioran !


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#8 cioran

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 12:17 PM

ElPirana, I fully agree with your feelings on the low-dose experiences. I've had the feeling that I'm working through something and that these experiences are encouraging/ enabling me to trust the process more deeply. They sort of feel like a cheat-code for meditation that leave me feeling grateful and humbled. The following is from a 2.3g session last weekend. More to come :)

 

   Situated a few inches before my closed eyes and between my ears, the upended landscape, like some mural from the wall of a Cambodian restaurant, with cascading steppingstone-falls, scintillating opacity over a black ground; all in a valley basin, shaped in form like a satellite dish flanked by vacuous blackness....in the same space as this landscape, apparitional representations of timbre and vibrato sprang forth from the voice of a woman (I had headphones on.) These repeated sounds, a chant, also with inexplicable solidity, separately unfurled as a color-changing ribbon over the scene; a royal banner…and as the visuals of the landscape stood in the same space as the apparitions of the sounds, so too did the sensations of coolness and itching beg to be noticed, taking on visual form. I realized that these were the feelings of tension in my ankles and knees as I’d been sitting half-lotus for some unknown duration since from before the presentation began. And with these feelings came the impulse to quash the discomfort by adjusting my weight, and on the heels of this impulse came the desire to exercise denial, with interest in the sensations, to hold my posture while watching all these plates spin for as long as I could...And how long would that be? Isn’t it always now? Wasn't now as good a time to move as any would prove to be?  Each moment born anew from that which preceded it however uniquely distinct from it? And what was this movement of recognition and denial; a decision? A series of decisions? The discomfort, the desire to move, and the subsequent attraction to restrain sprung to mind as if from the same place, though surely not me.

 

   As if spurred on by that next thought, I beheld this organic thing like an accordion made entirely of uncooked calamari, puffing and wet, white jelly hoses heaped on the floor, glistening and bathed in dancing rainbow lights, as though cast from unseen prisms hanging someplace above...from this thing emanated another plate, another thought-form to behold within that living space: the sensation/ realization that this was the watcher, me...gazing on this was like looking into the mirror and marveling at the sensation born of seeing that thing reflected back at you...and recognizing that it gives rise to the marvel...and when you notice its eyes (your eyes)....throughout this I would notice the tether keeping me bound to my personal narrative, that it was disintegrating, and how I felt a need to cling to the things which I’d told myself were me out of desire for something vaguely akin to self preservation. And in addition, somehow it felt like I was continually dividing my steps by halves in my approach to the source, and that awareness of each preceding thought would itself become a thought; each an object of awareness like so many tires in an obstacle course where new tires were continuously being deposited to impede, if not prevent, the completion of it. What would completion be exactly? I’ve experienced no-self before…in the heat and grass, sitting among the flagstones with my glass pipe and waxy crystals…was that what this was about? It feels as if this tension existed as an affront to thinking; that thinking was a sort of problem. But thoughts clearly had a function insofar as they’re useful to navigate the world outside of this moment, outside of this so very idealistic experience (as in a sort of Berkeleyan, "mind-only" Idealists)…is the world only that which occurs between one’s ears? But it can’t be? What of suffering out there? And joy? This suddenly became so Cartesian...the people on the street...their music and fireworks...my feelings suspended in the air as I neared to passing them; timid, waiting for a sign from these pedestrians...a wink, a scowl, a glance cast to their shoes...all this a hallucination? On one hand I felt there were obvious answers to these questions immediately accessible to me, but in this moment everything felt uncertain. 

 

Stay with it! Don’t stretch your legs yet! 

 

   The visuals evanesced and reformed, the stream of sounds continued; these two main sources of input at times indistinguishable from each other. The pauses between the woman’s verses bore some commonality to the notion of the space which I anticipated to follow after I move, after I’d stretched, after an action was made...her voice flowed like water in some stream which existed as a sort of devoted subservience to gravity with no apparent volitional servant; obeisances made like the howl of the wind, like the plant’s deference in bending towards the sun. But how the mood changes when she pauses, an approaching storm the coming of which foretold by the light on the leaves, caught in the feathery swell of the clouds. After you stretch and leave the cushion when the magic no longer holds you spellbound...will you maintain this vigil over these spinning plates? You know that they're always there...is to see them always what it's like to be a seasoned practitioner? Or is this tension felt in dancing with thoughts, the dancing itself a thought, meant to goad you to action? As watching is so passive...this motif of passive self-acceptance versus that of striving to make certain your edge, to feel for its sharpness with an intrigue like that which the dangerous types of fun which so beckoned in childhood promise...to make all ostensible obstacles into sources of curiosity to be physically engaged with...to gaze on the pricks with endearment and delight in the possibility of that endearment enabling incantatory transformation; a magic that will soften them if only it’s strong enough. THIS is why you eat these things and sit...so that you may be shown the spaces between, to dust out the cobwebs and to draw light in, for therein lays the way by which each moment bestows the gift of training and emboldening your magic.


Edited by cioran, 24 June 2020 - 12:18 PM.

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