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The 1000 Petal Lotus Unfolding and Unfolding

45 year-old female, housewife, mother

      Why did I want to take Ecstasy?

      I have been feeling an emptiness inside -- a loss of meaning for my life. I visualize myself as a chrysalis -- something is dissolving and something is reforming. But I do not know the shape of what is there -- I am not in touch with my Essential Self. I want to find my spiritual connections -- the sound and taste of my own Emerging Self. My outside persona is still pretty intact, pretty recognizable, but there are profound physiological and psychological changes happening as I move from being a fertile woman and a wife and mother to being an Older Woman alone. I want to accept the changes with more serenity and inner joy.

      So I am asking my Self how I can best come to some acceptance of my life as it is today? Where do I find the courage to make the further changes that are necessary and to let go of the rest of the stuff that is no longer relevant? Where are the rose-colored glasses to change my attitude so that I can truly enjoy the freedom of living alone? How can I best achieve the serenity to take each day as it comes and not try to recreate the past or worry about the future?

      How can I open my heart again? I feel so shut off from Love. I feel afraid to be loving and light-hearted and foolishly affectionate with anything or anyone. I want to reconnect with that innocent, joyful part of my Self.

      Yesterday my guide gave me a great gift of Ecstasy. It took about 45 minutes for the drug to take effect, so we sat in the living room and talked together. It was so lovely just being with her.

      We started with music of Kitaro. I drifted a while. Then I began to see amazing patterns. I had thought that there was a void but it was so complex and intricate...wonderful. I thought about trying to capture them and paint them or reproduce them, but I knew that I did not want to do that. I could not hold onto them -- I just had to let them be and enjoy them. Some of the patterns were like feathers -- peacock feathers and pheasant feathers. I felt like the designs were a message to my Self -- that there is all this complexity -- that life is very rich.

      Then there was star music -- very swooping. I saw a great tree against the sky with dragons at the ends of the branches and milkweed against a blue October sky - cranes flying and great blue herons. I felt as if I were flying. My legs tensed and my shoulders and my back arched and my jaw tightened. I felt as if I were poised to fly.

      I realized that I do not have to do anything different with my life. It's all here now. I don't have to change my life. It is very full now! That feels good to me!

      The essence of this experience for me was a deeper Knowing. I did not hear voices or see psychedelic pictures with colored shimmering edges. I seemed to tune into a source of strength and knowledge that has always been there but that I have forgotten. I 'saw' with new clarity and without sentimentality.

      I checked in with some of the people I love. I thought a lot about Love, that there is love all around us, that there is lots of love in my life and I haven't given enough credence to all that. All these people I have been checking in with love me and I love them. I found that I don't know if I really want another marriage partner -- or even a sexual partner -- that I don't want to do trips with people, that I am afraid to put the effort required into making another marriage, that I want someone to play with and to have fun with -- but that there are lots of loving people in my life already.

      I saw a far-off bright field with sunlight shining on it and a path leading away from some gates and over a hill. I saw some men walking away from me down the path and over the hill out of sight. I realized that is probably true -- that there are not going to be any more men in my life, at least as a real partner. Then the gates swung closed. However there are lots of people in my life and I don't need a man. I don't need anyone else. And someone may come, but I don't need him. It is the sense of neediness that is so awful.

      Beautiful flute music, skimming over the California landscape, appreciating how beautiful the world is. Then I came to some wide adobe steps leading upwards in a slow spiral with a flat building at the top. The whole structure seemed to be turning around a fixed axis -- the North Star. This is the experience of the Divine for me -- I am a humanist -- I don't need a supernatural god. There is so much beauty all around -- and so much love -- and so many wonderful people. That is enough. I feel very open and I have felt so closed off and unloveable for so long. I feel that this is a process of polishing the glasses and seeing what is there.

      Then I got something about Trust -- I got that you can trust other people to live their own lives, that I don't have to mother people anymore or take care of them. I know that my task now is to work on myself and to find my own strength, that I don't need the other person anymore. I feel that I have connected deeply with a source of Strength. I didn't hear any words and I didn't see very many pictures, but there was a deep KNOWING that I could connect with. I feel wonderful about myself -- I don't have to try so hard. Just to be! Simplify things a bit and spend more time with myself.

      During this experience I had various body sensations -- I felt very light most of the time except for the muscle contractions that were not all that distracting -- added to the sensation of flying. I checked throughout my body and I feel very healthy -- no pains or aches or problems. My body is serving me well.

      I checked around to see if there was anything that I could discard in my life, any way that I could simplify things. Actually there isn't very much that I want to give up. But I could go more slowly. All the people in my life are very important to me and I cannot stop seeing any of them. But I have to be clearer about how much space I need for myself. I want to stay connected with all the people I love, and I know that staying connected takes work and time and loving energy and I have lots of that loving energy now. But I know that people will respect my need for more space and it will be easier for everyone if they don't perceive me as being so needy.

More lovely peaceful flute music that sounded like wind -- like the breath of God -- and I really came to know that there is Spirit all around us. I experienced the 1000 petal lotus unfolding and unfolding and unfolding and I knew that you can never really get to the Center -- but that it is there!

      We talked again about Love and my feeling so shut off from it. This whole experience has been an Opening of the Heart. I want to move through each day more slowly -- being here now -- not quite so frantically, not in such a panic about being left alone. I want to enjoy my solitude. I saw that this could be a time to make some commitments that would serve to keep me in this space of Inner Peace of Heart.

      I am just starting out on a Path and I don't know what is going to happen, but I want to allow whatever is going to happen to happen.

      After the experience I felt incredibly high and relaxed and happy, but the next day I started to come down and felt so exhausted that I began to question the whole experience. Did I really tap some Inner Truth? Or was this all a clever pre-programming by the music and the discussions that we had while the drug was entering my blood stream?

      For a few days I was unsure about accepting any of the Wisdom I had touched. Then I realized that what I had experienced was an enlarging of my reality, that the Truth I had seen was only a part of a larger whole and that there was even more -- and that it was all true. That ended my doubting and made it easier for me to integrate the experience into my everyday relationships.

      I decided to secure the experience by making some changes in my life. I decided that I wanted to begin to meditate regularly every day again, and I have been doing that since day 4. That has been very calming and has helped me get back to the peaceful space that I experienced with the drug. I decided to listen to music more regularly -- just listen to music, and not use it as background, but listen with my heart and that, too, is wonderful.

      About day 8 I realized that I knew what Unconditional Love means! I feel this great gently loving feeling -- it doesn't require doing anything -- I don't have to earn love from anyone by doing something for them. I can just be there, with them and love them and with most people that is wonderful. I got lots of feedback from the other participants in my graduate school.

      Now I feel easier with all the people that I love -- fewer obligations and neediness. I feel that I have dropped my concerns for their happiness, that I can trust them to find their own way. This is an extension of my growing awareness that I am through mothering other people-- I am finally ready to focus on mothering ME.

      It is now two weeks since my Ecstasy experience. I am sleeping much better -- no aids for 4 nights. Mostly I am feeling calmer and more at peace with the universe than I have for years. I made a couple of lovely monoprints to illuminate Rumi's poem:

       The clear bead at the center changes everything
       There are no edges to my loving now.

      It is still difficult for me to accept the truth of my knowing -- so much of my everyday reality seems contradictory. I am beginning to accept the paradoxes.

From Through the Gateway of the Heart, by Sophia Adamson

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