Here in San Diego, I’ve just begun to feel the slightest touch and the earliest entry of the autumn. I love this sense of transition as if I see the lightest brush stroke on a piece of white rice paper. My sense becomes sharpened after the long heat of the glaring sun.
Thank you as always for your patience and kind friendship. Though I’ve been very busy in various writing activities, including with my local writing groups, I am sorry that I have been unable to post any poems or essays here on MEDIUM for a month.
I also appreciate your support for my debut memoir, which will be published in less than a month, on September 6th. In the last couple of months, I’ve received several excellent “Five Star” reviews from Readers’ Favorites, Foreword Reviews, and Kirkus Reviews. In addition, I received three book awards in the Mind/Body/Spirit, Multi-cultural Non-fiction, and. Grief categories, and the honor to be one of the “Indie Book Club Picks for the 2022” by She Reads.com.
This is the first time that I share an excerpt from my book: I’ve chosen the scene from pp. 176-178, in the Chapter of Our Spiritual Foundations®.
This excerpt describes my vision and associated reflections around my first special meditative sitting that took place in September 1999. My late husband, Patrick, and I began to practice Buddhism since we moved to San Diego, California in the previous year. The experience shared here was one of my earliest spiritual experiences yet remains to date as gold in my heart.
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A couple of days after the succession, while I was taking a shower in the morning, I saw a clear image of my own answer to the question that had been raised at my July meditative training sitting—whether I should place my own hand into a vase if the Buddhas asked me to do so. Before, I’d wondered about the contents of the vase; now, in the shower, I saw them clearly.
As I experienced this supreme clarity, my face was soaking wet, as much from my tears of awakening as it was from the shower. The vision put me into further awakening. I felt I was staring at the image; perhaps it was only in my imagination, but it didn’t matter whether it was or not. The message was what mattered, and it was the most important and profound message I’d ever received from the Buddhas.
What I saw in the vase was the infinite space where the concept of time and space means nothing. It didn’t matter when and where it started or ended. There were uncountable stars, planets, shooting stars, galaxies and milky ways, and zillions of sparkling lights. The space was in the clearest, cleanest, coolest, and darkest black, with a bluish tint in its depths. When zillions of translucent biological capsules made of soft membranes suspended in this infinite space. Then I realized all these capsules were actually the stars, looked upon from afar. They were radiating their own light, some brighter and crystal clear like diamonds, others with tints of various colors. And they were alive; I could hear their breathing and heartbeats in my ears. Within each capsule dwelled a Buddha, Bodhisattva, deity, or other creature. Each capsule was an incubator, nurturing its dweller until he or she was born.
In one of the capsules, I saw the baby that was me, and I heard her breathing.
Most important of all was that all these capsules were interconnected. They were “unconsciously” conscious, awakened. They knew the truths of the universe.
In this vision, I sensed three beings: “me” in a physical form; my Self, the essence of my being; and the essence of the universe—the whole. This, I thought, must be the Dharma body. All three versions of me knew this vision was “truth.” All three shared the same knowingness.
The reverend had asked me at my sitting if I had the courage to place my hand into the vase. In reality, though, it wasn’t really a question; rather, it was an invitation for me to take the journey to the absolutely unknown.
Whatever journey I took, it would be filled with unknown wonders. The spiritual image that came to me in the shower depicted the Buddhas’ wisdom, loving-kindness, and compassion—the Buddhas’ world. This was the very message of my vision: Don’t be afraid. I felt sure that I would find the Buddhas in every person and event I encountered in my spiritual journey. They were all connected in the truth.
Now I felt no fear of the unknown. I wouldn’t be afraid of anything in this timeless space, now or ever. As long as I held the Buddhas in my thoughts, speech, and actions, I would always find the knowingness in me. The answers were right here inside me. All I could do now was to continue practicing.
This knowledge wouldn’t change me immediately, of course, or make me sit, all of a sudden, on the throne of the awakening. I was still a baby in the biological capsule in the image of the universe. But it did encourage me to keep making efforts as a trainee in the world of the Bodhisattvas.
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I hope my book stays beside you; it sometimes whispers to your heart, and other times it stimulates to make you feel like screaming. I know it will. Thank you for reading it 😉