DEEP FIELD I
Biophysical Effects of Meditation, Tantra and Pineal DMT
DEEP FIELD, HIGH MOUNTAIN, DARK CAVE
Grounding Systems, Meta-Syn and Rebirth
by Iona Miller, 10/2006
Waning Moon and Yeshe Tsogyel Tsog-khorlo Envisionment:
"From within the Lucid Shining Emptiness of my own Being,
I instantly arise in the Iridescent Form of the Great Enlightened Dakini;
Khandro Chenmo Yeshe Tsogyel. My Gaze is at once Soft and Penetrating;
Compassionate yet Playfully Wrathful, in token of my ability [to]
infuse all circumstances with vivid opportunities for Realisation.
My Wide Open Eyes Sparkle with the Electricity of Existence
and Non-existence and communicate the immanence of Liberation
for all Yogis and Yoginis."
"My mouth is open and my tongue is flickering.
My Strong Laughter overpowers all dualistic conceptions."
"My hair is wound up in a Yogini's bun on top of my head
and ornamented with a golden takdrol topped with a flaming skull.
I am naked in token of utter lack of pretension and complete fearlessness.
I am open to the entire universe and the inescapability of what is."
CONTENTS: Hidden Ground * Splendid Isolation * Deep Field * Luminiferous Ether * Tibetan Peaks * Tantric Lunar Resonance Meditation * Retreat Cave * Alchemy of Enlightenment * PART II * Entering the Earth * Fractal Embryogenesis * Pitch Black * Clear Light * Bardo Retreat * Buddha Fields * Conclusions.
Introduction: Hidden Ground
The hidden ground of our experiences is the deep source of our inspiration and transformation. Conscious experiences belong to slipstreams of consciousness, and these streams are part of nature’s process. They can be described in physical and psychological terms.
Experience is a process rooted in the stream of consciousness and happens “to” a person in that stream of consciousness. Each person is an aspect of nature’s process whose stream can flow forth like a fountainhead to quench and nourish many over the course of time.
Phenomenal experiences, including altered states, happen to specific people in specific places, perhaps never to be repeated. The mythic soulscape of a place is formed of these personal events and the holographic memories they infuse in that place, particularly in the case of sacred ground. They condition the way we think about that place from such a time forward.
The archetypal field of illumination encompasses the All and Everything. It is the soulscape of The Journey, the Pilgrimage to the sacred heights and depths, which is more than a symbolic or metaphorical journey. It is a journey to the center of the earth, our earth, our own spiritual Ground of Being, whether we conceive of it in eastern or western terms.
As described by Dr. Maila Davenport (2005), pilgrimage is a primal, embodied prayer, a reiterative pattern of spiritual movement in the physical world. It is a ritual to root a being into a specific sacred field, a deep field.Without rootedness, we remain aliens in our own world.
Pilgrimage as an archetypal motion need not be literalized. We can be pilgrims of the heart and mind, moving from profane to sacred space by directing our attention inward. The internal journey into the deep field carries its innate metaphoric form into the verticality and expansion of transpersonal and imaginal realms.
Ritual pilgrimage opens limitless soulscapes--imaginal and terrestrial, simultaneously inner and outer, esoteric and sensual. The soul finds its home in personal practice, and ritual within the imaginal world. At the cultural level, shallow ground and the bowels of the earth transform into the luminous world of the seeker, uniting inner and outer life.
As Wanderer we hunt our place in the cosmos. We seek our place in the Heart of the Wilderness. Classically, this has meant staying on a mountaintop, in a hidden cave, perhaps even deep in the harshness of the Himalayas.But what do these hinterlands offer that no others provide? Is it “space” or the sense of absolute space? How about the direct experience of absolute space?
The Wanderer seeks the hidden, the mysterious, the wild. We know the changes we go through while searching are as important as finding what we seek. We are not in a hurry. Wandering is as valuable as anything else we might do. We wander through both psyche and nature until we can no longer tell them apart. As seekers, we adopt a meandering style as our way of life. (Davenport, 2005)
In much the same way we can meander through the furthest reaches of the transpersonal imagination, purposefully seeking that which as yet remains unknown in the depths. Mankind has wandered in the fields of reality seeking its true nature since the dawn of time. Science is on an essentially spiritual quest. Both science and mysticism are searching for Unity.
Happiness and misery are both transient states. Incubation and emptying the mind are part of the cycle of creative withdrawal and return. To create, to find passion and divine inspiration, mind must withdraw upon itself for a time to focus its forces and then project an image of itself onto an external medium.
Connection to Source is the basis of creation, which manifests something unique from formless nothing. We draw apart from our fellows, whether up the mountain, into the desert or shore, or away to our closet, but always into a solitary silence. Being creative requires a capacity to be reborn anew every day. The will to be, the emergent property, the unfolding of self-in-reality is always potential, until the moment of existence - then, there you are!
Nature and wilderness invite flow between spirit, soul and ego. We go for expansion, to feel more than our puny selves. Nature’s threats are not to the ego or self alone, but to the entire organism. They require instinctual, intuitive and visceral responses involving the whole person.
Being in the wild is an opportunity for ego and instinct to cooperate in a dynamic balance that paradoxically challenges and fosters ease. We lose our small personalistic view in expansive vistas, glimpsing the eternal now.
The nature mystic experience is one of the most awesome and easily accessed non-ordinary states. Every landscape resonates with soulful stories. Untainted wilderness is possibly one of the least realized yet most valuable healing resources we have, particularly pristine areas of desert, water or mountains where we can enjoy solitude as clock time and concerns seem to melt away.
The Response Experience is called a nature-mystic, oceanic, or a peak experience. It opens us to the numinous element. We may begin with spiritually invitational procedures such as pilgrimage, creativity or meditation, but numinous experiences appears as grace states.
Grace exemplifies emergent qualities or degrees of expansion, which are glimmers at first that later may stabilize as intimacy or compassion, generativity, integrity and self-actualization. The integrated person is open, empathic, spontaneous, expressive, effortless, and innocent.
Our experience of the numinous transforms from a dreadful and uncanny mysterium tremendum to aesthetic arrest and expression, and finally to a transpersonal, universalist or integral perspective. Our spiritual voltage rises culminating in greater degrees of existential freedom. The transformed becomes a transformer.
Tibet is a land of both shamanic and meditational “power places,”: mountains, valleys, rocks, caves, springs, rivers and lakes are identical with sacred Buddhist shrines. The sacred caves deep in the Siltrom Snow Mountain in the Holy Dzogchen Area are among the most highly revered pilgrimage sites, globally. This rugged and legendary land inspires challenge, awe and reverence in those of all religions. To move about its landscape is to be moved in one’s core.
The “Tibet of the mind” represents echoes of the hinterlands of our primordial consciousness. Finally, we move beyond all local landscapes into the holistic or holographic field. The Bardo Thodol, (Tibetan Book of the Dead), said that in the Fifth Stage of the world's development, a stage not yet actualized, "Ether" will dawn in the consciousness of man.
An ether is a propagation medium. The bardo is the threshold between the formless and manifest, the virtual body and the “real” body. The template of life resides in the primordial ether, the fifth element. This Ether is correlated with spirit and relates to the change in consciousness from dense to subtle body, during the period between death and rebirth. This also applies to the ego death and rebirth of daily meditation. The all-pervading luminiferous ether is synonymous with consciousness.
The void is a plenum. Any momentary state of consciousness can be considered a bardo, as are our lacunae, our empty places. Lacuna means a resonating gap that describes a space of missing or formless information. This liminal state lies between our past and future existences. It provides us with the opportunity to experience reality, which is always present but obscured by the projections and confusions due to our previous unskillful actions.
This Bardo Thodol metaphysical statement about the ether conjures up woolly Theosophical abstractions and outmoded 19th century science theories of a universal medium. But new physics confirms this modified “ether” theory of the DEEP FIELD, hyperspace. It is a revisioning of the nature of deep space itself as infinite energy and potentiality, absolute fullness that propagates all pattern and form.
Creative Physics is based in the negentropic potential. In plenum physics, this primordial creative field of Zero-Point Energy (ZPE) is the dynamic vacuum of scalar physics. It is a virtual condition. The vortices of space itself carry the electromagnetic oscillations or vibrations. Light is basically information emanating from the void. We can learn to wrap our minds experientially around this quantum reality that we are not separate from the ongoing process of creation, even if a universal energetic field of information defies detection.
Scalar ether is being seriously reconsidered as the medium of electromagnetic and light waves. It is the dynamic basis of the subquantal and biophotonic energy body in integral medicine and healing. The subquantal realm of quantum physics is every bit as awe inspiring as any earthly landscape. Just imagine subspace as a luminous ocean of ceaseless virtual photon fluctuation, popping into and out of luminescent existence in every instant.
In this dynamic model there are no “things”, just energetic events. Light and sound (acoustic cymatics) modulate all matter. This “holoflux” includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and all possible forms. All the objects of our world are three-dimensional images formed of standing and moving waves by electromagnetic and nuclear processes. This is the guiding matrix for self-assembly, and manipulating and organizing physical reality. It is how our DNA creates and projects our psychophysical structure.
Our brains mathematically construct ‘concrete’ reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension. This information realm of meaningful, patterned primary reality transcends time and space. Thus, the brain is an embedded hologram, interpreting a holographic universe. Supernal light emerges from this ground of being, both in the cosmos and our human brains and bodies.
All existence consists of embedded holograms within holograms, fractally embedded waves within waves of clear light. Their interrelatedness somehow gives rise to our existence and sensory images. When we embody this intimate wisdom, our bodies become temples of the living spirit.
Absolute space is the womb of creation and the physics of virtual photon fluctuation reflects not only Nature, but also our nature. Only now are we learning just how literal that experience of Light is, and the interactive mechanisms it engages in our holistic psychophysical Being.
Is this “process zero” of the Mother Luminosity what the Lamas see when they look deeply within in their meditations? Is what is true for subspace true for superspace? It is a fact of physics that at the subquantal level the fabric of reality and our bodies flicker in and out of existence each nanosecond at a phenomenal rate.
In music theory, a lacuna is a contrasting period of no music, which acts like “negative music,” inducing a state of serenity, experiential silence. This is likewise true of the space between our breaths, particularly in meditative states when we recalibrate our consciousness to the baseline of Ground Zero.
All “things” arise from the vacuum potential, including the three great illusions of space, time and personality. This mystical realization means release from the triple prison of personal isolation and illusion. We are all simply connected: self, others and cosmos. Superspace is a virtual-state hierarchy of infinite contextual and potential fractal levels on a fine gradient from 3D into higher dimensions from which all creation manifests; and it is, of course, also zero-point energy.
Space is not empty, nor are the relatively vast empty places between our atoms in the body. Modern physics theories recognize space or the vacuum as a very active medium saturated with quantum energy fluctuations. It has been described as a turbulence of particles, miniblack and miniwhite holes, and a sea of bubbling foam.
The psychical attributes of "Ether" as conceived and defined by the Lamas are, in modern terms, precisely those of the Deep Unconscious, seamlessly welded psyche and matter. They believe, in fact, that what we call the Unconscious is a "transcendental" consciousness, an undeveloped higher than normal awareness, where imagination is reality.
The Heart Sutra says the Void is all forms and all forms are void. The formless field gives rise to itself. Both the vacuum and the psyche are expressions of the virtual plenum of ‘in-form-ation,’ the virtual photon flux.
The gist of the holographic paradigm is that there is a fundamental reality that is an invisible flux not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness. The holographic paradigm is one of reciprocal enfolding and unfolding of patterns of information. All potential information about the universe is holographically encoded in the spectrum of frequency patterns constantly bombarding us.
In the quantum world, everything is in self-organizing flux, including the subquantal virtual photons popping in and out of existence. The foamy Zero Point fluctuation of subspace perturbs and determines the behavior of quantum systems theoretically through radiant EM fields. Radiation is absorbed from the zero-point background. The stability of matter itself is mediated by the zero point fluctuation phenomena.
Mindfulness and pure awareness is the active consciousness of the next stage of the world's development, which the Lamas estimated would begin in the twentieth century and flower in the twenty first. It is not passive absorption in the collective state, but empathic psychophysical engagement and active participation. It is certainly more foresighted to prevent the onset of problems than to resort to supernatural heroics as a last resort.
The process of mind-expansion produces unusual byproducts and powers called siddhis. Seldom seen naturally, they are said to be "developed" by yogis and others as a result of spiritual training. Siddhis include life extension, healing, ESP, telepathy, precognition, prophecy, time distortion, healing, pain anesthesia, psychic heat, clairvoyance, levitation, OOBE’s, psychokinesis, and autonomic control.
But the compassionate aspirant remains unattached to these potentially hazardous powers and egoic power traps, in general, continuing toward enlightenment, the Buddha fields of the ground state.
Ervin Lazslo says, “The interaction of our mind and consciousness with the quantum vacuum links us with other minds around us, as well as with the biosphere of the planet. It "opens" our mind to society, nature, and the universe. Mystics and sensitives, prophets and meta-physicians through the ages have known this openness.”
Biophysicist and leading proponent of the theory of quantum coherence in living organization, Dr. Mae Wan Ho, postulates that, "a pure coherent state for the entire system would be a many-mode quantum electrodynamical field with a collective phase over all modes. It may be attainable only under very exceptional circumstances, as during an aesthetic or religious experience when the ‘pure duration’ of the here and now becomes completely delocalized in the realm of no-time and no-space.”
Specifically, the amygdala, parietal, temporal and frontal lobe circuits which orient us in spacetime quiet down.Our sense of self goes offline and “we” dissolve in openness, connectedness and transparency.
What's New with My Subject?
Is there living proof of these mystical scientific theories, or are they simply mythopoeitic concepts? If so, how can we access that state with those anomalous phenomenal experiences? Each culture has its means, but at their core they share common elements. From shamanic times onward it has required an inward Journey into one’s own depths.
A fiercely lived life is an artform -- illumination in action, based on discipline, practice and service. The specific “Art” is alchemical, a merger of inner and outer reality in One World. The Hermetics had a formula from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes for this realization, encoded in the anagram VITRIOL. It is a formula for visualizations which take one to a precise location in the inner landscape, for the specific purpose of uniting body, soul and spirit.
The formula, a call to meditation, is Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem. These seven words relate directly to the seven chakras, whose activation is the key to making the Philosopher’s Stone, wholeness. When the chakras function corre
ctly, a rayof incomparable coherent light is created that is more than metaphorical.
Roughly translated the alchemical formula means, “Visit the interior of the earth, and by rectification you will find the hidden stone.” Rectification implies alignment. It relates to inner practice the same way in Tibet as it does in Egypt. It correlates with Illumination and activation of the Third Eye, which allows us to “see through” and beyond. It means all truth is found within our own human consciousness, and the lives of great saints and mystics reflect this Truth.
The chamber of reflection is literally the cranial cavity, a holographic resonant chamber which can read out the cosmic sourcecode from the void. In a hologram all the information is contained in each part of the energy dance, just at lower resolution. There are enfolded potentialities inherent in each moment of time. Physical reality is a potentiality for an experienceable event. Conscious experiences are real and they have tangible effects.
What is true in physics holds in mysticism. Individuals enter the theory in a manner similar to actual scientific practice. They are experimenting agents that set up conditions, observe and perceive outcomes. These people are not ghosts, nor mystical figments, And their conscious choices are highly efficacious.
All the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Diamond Way, are contained in the exemplary life story of Yeshe Tsogyal, (later 700s-800s), a Tibetan princess who became enlightened living in the wild with her Guru, Padmasambhava. Moving from sophisticated palace life into stark wilderness caves for contemplation must have produced quite a perceptual contrast.
Buddhism had just arrived in 8th century Tibet, in the fertile Yarlung Valley, home to Tibet's earliest Kings. Tsogyal was one of the first disciples. Teachings whose time was not yet ripe were hidden in the landscape by the dakini. Many of these were instructions she received from Padmasambhava on retreat in places to the east, like Terdrom, and above all in the caves of Chimphu above Samye, where the first monastery of Tibet had just been established.
In Tibet and the Himalayas there are thirteen Karmo Taksangs, or Tiger lair caves - meditation caves of Guru Rinpoche. One of these caves is to be found near Dzongsar Monastery in Kham. Guru Rinpoche consorted here with Yeshe Tsogyal, in their visionary manifestation, meditating on Dorjee Telpa for one month.
This founding mother of Tibetan Buddhism consciously decided to tell her spiritually erotic story in sacred biography. Her Chemical Wedding with Guru Padmasambhava inspired future aspirants. The tale of her enlightenment is one of Tibet’s greatest, male or female. This dakini or “sky dancer” lived with her Guru at the yogi's cave of Langlesho, above Parphing.
She is one of Padmasambhava's (Guru Rinpoche) two mystic consorts, former wife of King Trisong Detsen. This yogini is one emanations of Vajra Varahi. She had a perfect memory and recorded the teachings faithfully. Tsogyal is an emanation of the Goddess Sarasvati, who cuts away ignorance and attachment with her hooked knife. Tsogyal hid Guru's spiritual treasures, which were to be found in the future when the time was ripe.
Padmasambhava also took another princess Mandarava, daughter of Shastradhara, the king of Zahor, as his consort. They went to the mountain cave of Maratika, presently known as Halesha, Nepal. There they performed rituals of longevity for three months and actualized the Immortal Vajra Body which marks the attainment of an Immortal Life Awareness Holder.
The name Yeshe, which Tsogyal received later, refers to unending primordial wisdom. Her whole name means Victorious Ocean of Wisdom, or Ocean of unending Primordial Wisdom, which implies she is one with the subquantal ocean of virtual motion, known in physics as ghe Dirac Sea. This historical being became a Buddha in her lifetime. The spiritual child of this union is that of the reborn soul symbolically reliving embryogenesis and birth. Yeshe Tsogyal's residential cave is in Drikung Terdrom, which has a hot springs.
A recent translation of the life story of the Tibetan yogini, states that she and her young male consort (chosen for her by the Guru Padmasambhava) went to a cave that no one had ever found before (now known as the Secret Cave of Tsogyal in Drikung Terdrom). There for seven months they devoted themselves to the tantric cultivation of the Four Joys.
This concentrated tantric yoga practice, which included sexual rituals, allowed her to cultivate powerful siddhis. “The Lady Tsogyal could pass through any kind of object, and her body was no longer subject to the phenomena of aging, sickness, and decline.” It would seem that the Medicine Light of meditation had worked its alchemical magic as an elixer of life.
Later, she took up various solitary ascetic practices in order to develop her spiritual consciousness further through the generation of tummo (inner or psychic heat), stabilizing her yoga attainments and having the following vision of VajraYogini:
“A woman, red skinned, naked and without the ornaments of bone, appeared and pressed her bhaga to my mouth so that I drank deeply of the blood that flowed from it. My whole body was suffused with bliss, I felt as though my body had become as strong as a lion, and in my meditation I realized the ineffable truth.” (Changchub & Nyingpo)
Tantric Lunar Resonance Meditation
There is a tantric meditation on certain dakini symbols synchronized to phases of the mooncycle, designed to add 'soma' to the body. The times of optimal practice are two alternating phases of nine meditation days, yielding 18 resonant trigger points in each cycle. Though the nature of soma has been hotly debated, most agree it produces optimal spiritual growth.
Less well-known is that the moon may be used as a means of spiritual regeneration and accelerating the growth of the "diamond body," or spiritual vehicle. Psychologically, the ritual for absorbing soma is designed for relating oneself properly to the feminine principle -- what has become popularly known as the Goddess. It is likely rooted in reproductive cycles.
This Goddess not only confers 'immortality,' but also wisdom and inspiration. She is our medium, mediator, inspratrix and intercessor with the divine. Soma is a universal life power dispensed in great abundance during the waning moon. It is absorbed directly in meditative states without having to ingest any substance to experience this mysterious psychic energy.
Through communion in the meditative process, an individual becomes acquainted with his/her own limits, depths and ultimate reality. The highest incarnation of the divine feminine confers the deepest revelation.
The higher arc of Lunar consciousness is a more diffuse awareness, a dark-adapted Third Eye, an ability to penetrate the Void by discerning the dimly lit regions or 'Dark Matter and Energy' of the deepest layers of the primordial unconscious to the Ground State of Being.
The veil is part of our spiritual nature; it epitomizes the blocks to our enlightenment as embodied in our personalities and our souls' attachment to our minds, and to Universal Mind. To raise it means to dis-identify and deconstruct ourselves until we find our fundamental unification with divinity. It means to transcend the limits of individuality and become consciously immortal (or, conscious of our inherent immortal nature). The soul is released from the constraints of time, space and ego-orientation.
This inner marriage of intentionality and inwardness, of masculinity and feminine components gives birth to the inner child and release from the power of death. In a sense, in meditation one learns to "die daily." But this also means to be reborn daily.
Death becomes a familiar guest, and brings Grace in its wake. Ego-death is induced by withdrawing the external focus of the senses and focusing attention at the Eye Center. Successful accomplishment of this process, this child, is the Self in embryonic form, ever renascent, the fruit of psychic development.
Soma is also associated in yogic practice with the "inner moon" chakra, which correlates with the pituitary and pineal glands. This "inner moon" is said to shower subtle secretions, or soma drops, which nourish the psychophysical organism. These glands directly influence physiological processes. The pituitary regulates, among other functions, sex hormones, metabolism, and growth and development of the individual.
The pineal develops from specialized tissues and is flooded with cerebrospinal fluid connecting it with crucial emotional and sensory brain centers. It is separated from the hypothalamus and visual and auditory relay stations only by a resonant cavity -- one of the brain's fluid-filled ambrosial 'lakes' or ventricles.
The pineal hangs from the roof of the ventricle or ‘inner cave’. Certain practices, such as intense fine-tuning of attention and awareness, can amplify or prolong its chemical effects, making us see, hear, feel and think differently.
Stress as well as meditation activates the pineal. So does immersion in darkness. The ancient Indo-Iranian lunar traditions ascribe the "holiest power" of the month to the dark of the moon. In terms of this tradition, the soma (energy for spiritual regeneration) most fully saturates the earth during the waning moon, when the "invisible" (or higher) light is brightest.
The dark of the moon is associated with maximum life elixir flow. The new moon is the period when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction. This symbolizes the alchemical Coniunctio, or Divine Marriage. Immortality teachings state that growth of the higher body during life allows full consciousness to remain even after physical death. (Miller, 1981)
It is a wisdom cliché that the aspirant to enlightenment meditates exhaustively in deep caves in the desert or snowy realms. Yeshe Tsogyal's cave in Drikung Terdrom is terrible, dark, and freezing rains blow through it when blizzards rage outside. This unsurpassed practice cave of Yeshe Tsogyal is called the Secret Accomplishment cave. In the dark caves, pilgrims are challenged by several high ladders and slippery ropes. They confront their fears on the precipice even before entering the cave mouth.
The deep and dark labyrinth complex, Drak Yangdzong, is a secret meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogya. Another of these caves in the snow is found near Dzongsar Monastery in Kham. It is said that in this cave Guru Rinpoche meditated with his consort Yeshe Tsogyal.
This Tibetan princess became the tantric consort of Guru Padmasambhava. Her miraculous life story describes the ideal path for a female practitioner, providing a blueprint for every woman who aspires to Buddhahood. In the Mother Essence Lineage, Yeshe Tsogyal and her incarnations and emanations are of primary importance, because she is the Mother of Vision, Bliss Queen and Mother of non-dual experience. In Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, Dzogchen - the Great Perfection, Maha Ati - is considered the ninth and highest “vehicle” of the Buddhist teachings, the Diamond Way.
While living alone in the wintry cave of Nering Senge, her mate having retreated to warmer climes, Yeshe Tsogyal began to face all the demons of her mind. Visions rose up before her in the process of her meditations, equal to those of Buddha Sakyamuni beneath the Bodhi-tree, or Christ in the throes of his Temptation, or St. Anthony in the Desert, full of hideous and terrifying intensity.
Hordes of phantoms advanced upon her: fearsome, seductive, malignant, and evil. With these, the product of her own traumatic passions, she wrestled, while remaining unmovable in her vajra-like samadhi, the immutable poise of impartial contemplation. For days the onslaught continued, until finally she was left in peace. This was the ordeal of her final spiritual catharsis.
Afterwards, at the lonely cave of Paro Taktsang in the highlands of Bhutan, with her consort Atsara Sahle, she disciplined herself through vigorous fasts and long meditation. In the spiritual practice known as karmamudra, she blended the refined positive and negative seed essences (bindus) of her heart nerve-plexus (chakra) and branch nervous-systems (nadi).
The five major and five secondary bio-energies (vayu) of the living body emerge, crystallizing the whole of her Presence as the basis of an inner vajra-body – the Diamond Body. This rigorous blending together of refined nerve substance (the white and red seed essences), and the undoing of the last psychological knots of the heart center, pertains to the final stage for winning Buddhahood in a single lifetime. Yeshe Tsogyal's retreat at Paro Taktsang would be the last austerity practiced for her own benefit. (Davenport, 2004)
In Paro Taktsang after pursuing her goal with incredible diligence, Yeshe Tsogyal attained the level of world-encompassing insight. Thus she gained the basic stages of Enlightenment. Later she traveled all over Tibet with her Precious Guru, the Lord Padmasambhava, blessing particular locations and depositing Treasure texts for the benefit of future mystics.
She went into an isolated Meditation Retreat in 796 and did not come out until 805, after her great Guru had already left Tibet. She finally emerges as a fully Enlightened Buddha. Possibly in 837, but perhaps later, she transcended worldly existence, ascending bodily to the manifest pure field dimension of the Sacred Red Mountain, the luminous sphere of her Guru, the Lord Padmasambhava
Yeshe Tsogyal Tibetan Buddhist Dakini is called Lady of the Lotus-Born: The Life and Enlightenment of Yeshe Tsogyal embodies the Journey theme. There are the archetypal aspects of her pilgrimage and the places and symbolism, and then there is her PRACTICE and its alchemical results. Just what happened to Padmasambhava and Yeshe in those caves?
The Alchemy of Enlightenment
Enlightenment is a neurological and biochemical process also connected with the energy body. So is tantra, which modulates dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin levels of “feel-good” neurotransmitters. Consider the complex biochemical symphony of engaging day after day in meditation and tantric sex in complete darkness.
Tantric sex prefigures the union of personal and universal. The transcendent is perceived by contact as well as active imagination and vision. The activity is sacramental in essence, a ritualized union of male and female in sitting position with little or no movement, and alchemical retention of charged sexual fluids. Carnal contact becomes ineffable contact, love awareness.
Buddha Hero of Pure Pleasure, do as you will.
Guru and Lord of Pure Pleasure,
With true energy and joy, I implore you to inject
The seed into the inner mandala.
And I will guard the secret of the method with my life.
Lovers become symbolic, shedding the ego to unite with the divine in existential nakedness. United as a hermasphroditic being, they no longer live in time but in the eternal present. They become hyperdimensional embodiments of archetypal God/Goddess in the primordial generative act. Depth of knowledge transmutes into Being. Outwardly, they are potential, but inwardly they are a cosmic dynamo, dynamically and energetically radiant with creative intentionality.
This oceanic union balances the opposites, and manifests pure consciousness, which is the experience of primal cosmic potential. Sexual intercourse is probably the clearest simile of complete and pervasive spiritual union that most mortals understand. Mystic rapture, as a vastly enlarged domain, exceeds it.
Different states of consciousness produce different psychophysical phenomena. States of consciousness are supported by patterns of brain activity. They are modulated by certain high or low thresholds in various parts of the brain. Extremess in states of consciousness are generally rare, but those with spontaneous glimpses are more likely able to recreate or amplify them with practice. They are also more likely to have a desire to do so.
Meditation stimulates and modulates pineal activity, creating a standing wave through resonance effects that affects other brain centers with both chemical and electromagnetic coordination. The pineal also modulates thermoregulation and may be an influential aspect of tummo. Unrelenting efforts in meditation have shown that certain places are more conducive to results, and caves are among them.
Resonance can be induced in the pineal using electric, magnetic, or sound energy. Such harmonization resynchronizes both hemispheres of the brain with high-amplitude cascades of alpha and theta. This results in a chain of synergetic activity leading to the production and release of naturally occuring hallucinogenic compounds.
Sacred images are generated by the lower temporal lobes which also respond to ritual imagery, facilitated by prayer and meditation. Religious emotions originate from the middle temporal lobe and are linked to emotional aspects of religious experience, such as joy and awe.
Intensely positive or negative emotions and unpleasant subjective states arise in the amygdala and generalize in the limbic system. They are limbic system disturbances. Limbic stimulation can produce hallucinations mapped onto and eliciting the symbolic imagery of the temporal lobes.
This is also the root of the ‘hallucination’ of self, the sense of self, and self-image. We experience our self as real through the senses. In sensory deprivation or rhythmic driving that sense distorts and/or disappears entirely in oceanic bliss. When one hemisphere of the brain is over- or under-stimulated it rebounds into its opposite, flooding the opposite hemisphere with its rebounding signals.
This ‘interhemispheric intrusion’ may b the source of instananeous enlightenment. Connections drop out of service from burnout or excessive stimulation. The clue is that ephiphanies often follow very negative experiences.
Metabolic snapback is the name for this process when it happens in response to magnetic signal stimulation, and when it happens (in theory) to keep rarely used matrices of neurons active, it's called dynamic stabilization. The amygdala itself is much more labile than the structures it's connected to. It is more prone to localized seizures than any other part of the brain (Murphy).
So meditating and engaging in Tantric practice for long periods of time in a cave could suppress certain cognitive and emotional circuits and encourage large amounts of sexually-related neurotransmitters and endorphins which mimic opioids. Love or bhakti generates amphetamine-like chemistry, while bonding mimics opium. Dopamine and norepinephrine levels surge when a person is confronted by the unknown. In the initial phase of romantic love, they engender such exhilaration that we lose the desire to eat or sleep.
Elevated levels of dopamine and norepinephrine electrify the reward system in the brain. The awe of dopamine eventually subsides, followed by love's rear guard, vasopressin and oxytocin, hormones that lead to long-lasting attachment. Sex elevates testosterone which revs up dopamine.
Long sessions of sexual encounter stimulate pain-reducing endorphins. Dopamine has been implicated in the reward and motivational aspects of sex. Oxytocin and prolactin, are released in large amounts during orgasm, even without ejaculation. The thrill and power of dopamine increase by embracing new adventures, since novelty prompts the brain to pump out this chemical. Novelty raises dopamine levels and probably lowers the threshold for ability to feel romantic love
Reemergence might generate enough signal to overwhelm normal amygdala function , spreading it to the non-verbal hippocampus, which contextualizes experience.
The amygdala's social functions favor anthropomorphic hallucinations, so the appearance of a demonic entity becomes more likely as the experience gains in intensity. As the signal rebounds through overloaded brain circuitry, inhibiting synapses go offline and the overloaded mind is silenced in bliss and ecstasy. Darkness and sensory deprivation or overstimulation modulate this process by lowering response thresholds. A new nonlinguistic sense of self is reconstituted on reemergence.
Yet neural correlates don't mean that these experiences exist "only" in the brain or are merely illusory. They are associated with distinct neural activity. There is no way to distinguish if the brain causes these experiences, or actually perceives spiritual reality. However, visions of bright lights, portals, and spiritual icons strongly correlate with endogenous or natural pineal DMT.
Could it be that human beings have actually evolved specialized neural circuitry for the sole purpose of mediating religious experience? Neurologist Ramachandran says so. He claims, “there may be certain neural pathways—neural structures in the temporal lobe and the limbic system—whose activity makes you more prone to religious belief.”
If this is true, it is easy to see how much this mind-altering chemical could amplify all of the tendencies toward mystical apprehension originating in other parts of the brain.
The pineal contains high levels of the enzymes and building blocks for making DMT, and it may be secreted when inhibitory processes cease blocking its production. It may even produce other chemicals, such as beta-carbolines that magnify and prolong its effects. PART II NEXT