Chronicle Section Eight:
SUDDENLY COMPLETE SURRENDER
Unbeknown to my mother and sister and in that loving hermitage, I endured all manner of spontaneous yogic posturing of the body and mental contortion, those several weeks at their apartment. To all appearances, I did in fact rest and relax in the daytime. But the nights were a slow transition back to a consensual reality.
One night at the height of agony I suddenly completely surrendered.
Surrendered to what, I was not sure. I can only verbalize it as a streaming shaft of sensual energy possessing what apparently was my body and received as an apparent "presence:" perfect equanimity, perfect ecstasy flowing though the body core in the wake of perfect peace. It was the familiar sensual bliss of that psychedelic awakening, a year earlier. All sign of panic vanished, replaced by love .
I looked forward to the return of that pleasure and presence each evening for many months after my retreat at the apartment. The anticipation would always be rewarded. No two episodes were alike in character or intensity. There were times when the bliss arrived but the "presence" did not. I experimented with what conditions or attitudes of the day might be determining diverse qualities.
To this day, I have yet to figure out what conditions if any are necessary for a visitation. The sensation that I am calling "bliss" is a core body feeling so pleasurable as to be even disruptive in later months, even years later. The closest descriptor that I have found is "Kulakundalini" and "Samadhi." After my boss at the ad agency had hired me back, I would even have episodes at work.
There would be times at my drawing board that everything stopped for those spontaneous minutes of pure pleasure. I would intuit that this was a private moment of intercourse with the cosmos of consciousness, and there would be no one disturbing us. Love-bliss is another descriptor I found years later that communicates not only that feeling of lower body bliss , but the sensation around the heart.
A sensation that can only be identified as "love ." With no particular person in mind, the sensation simply orbits the heart and chest, radiating in all directions. Whereas the bliss seems to be an inward flow, the love seems to be an outward flow. A flow of what, I am not sure. An "ecstasy" in the heart and "bliss" in the rest of the body would be my verbal description of this experience of love-bliss .
The two sensations were not always felt together, yet each was felt as often as the other. Just as orgasm is indescribable to one who has not experienced it, the feeling of bliss is overwhelming pleasure and on a scale where orgasm is 10, bliss is 10,000+. However, the source of bliss is not actualized nor realized as sexual, nor did the experience of that overwhelming love have any romantic component.
We're talking the first several years out from 1966. Years later; I experienced a version of unconditional love arise that I would come to call "compassion." It was opening day of Trungpa Rinpoche's Naropa University, on the summer campus of UC, Denver. At his opening lecture, I was standing at the rear of the auditorium scanning the arriving audience.
As the sensation arose, looking out at all these "others," I thought to myself: "Of course, this is what 'unconditional compassion" feels like. I am ashamed to say that I have also experienced the opposite feeling. Once during that retreat at my mother's apartment, while everyone else was asleep, I was feeling that kind of love for my mother in the form of an umbilical conduit from my heart to hers.
But regrettably, in that very moment and in an instant, I had the thought to retract that love. The umbilical "snapped" with a backlash that I felt as a shockwave, as if a steel cable had been cut, hitting me with a sharp stinging force to my chest. Over the years, I have remembered that wound, but more so the wound I might have caused my mother, if she had known of the event.
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