Guru on the move • 20 May 2009

Another earthquake today. I was in my office, retrofitted, secure. Like the quake in ’00 in Seattle—I was five stories up in the Casy building at Seattle University—watching the quad sway back and forth while the psych professor next door screamed that we were all going to die. Strange. Today the sociologists all said, “Oh it’s nothing. There’s nothing new going on here.” That’s what they always say. Conservatives.

But do you feel it? A little shape-shifting in your universe?

In addition to the super-evolved identity-snatching spam bot, there is also a Fed-Ex poltergeist here this week. The delivery guy rang three separate days and I let him in, only to go downstairs to meet him and find the courtyard empty.  So finally I picked up and asked him, “Where ARE you man?” He named an address a half mile away and I told him that under the circumstances I’d be remiss to buzz him in.

Not to grasp too much for meaning, but in my personal symbolic lexicon, action at a distance means SKPJ is on the move. Wonderful soul! What is it like out there? Is there any resonance of our love and loss, any power whatsoever in our pujas?

I am not suggesting one take the Tibetans literally, but it’s interesting what they say about the bardo. A being might take 42 days to cross over, they say; or much much more… but in any case those first days are crucial. This is the first big opportunity, they say, but most souls miss it because frozen by fear.

This passage is from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, a.k.a. The Art of Dying a.k.a. How Not To Do It Again. Listen how beautiful.

First of all there will appear to you, swifter than lightning, the luminous splendor of the colorless light of Emptiness, and it will surround you on all sides. …Try to submerge yourself in that light, giving up all belief in a separate self, all attachment to your illusory sense of self…

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will for seven days appear to you in their benign and peaceful aspects. Their light will shine upon you, … Wonderful and delightful though they are, they may frighten you. Do not give in to your fright! Do not run away! Serenely contemplate the spectacle before you! Overcome your fear! …Realize they have come to receive you into their realms….

But if you miss this realm, you will next be confronted with the angry deities, threatening you and barring your passage…. All these forms are strange to you…. They terrify you…  and yet it is you who have created them. Do not give in to your fright… flee them not! They are but the contents of your own mind… If at this point you should manage to understand that… you will find yourself in a kind of paradise.