Todays news changed everything.
If you make it all the way through this you may understand a little better.
I’m reeling in disbelief at the moment.
I imagine I will cry about it later.
This post was written in the preceding week
Ceremony #3 – 130ml
Intention – Purpose
When I was living in Raleigh, North Carolina I became very close friends with Antoinette. Antoinette led a meditation group that I was a part of. She is a healer. She currently makes her living through massage and reiki, but is in the process of becoming a midwife. I spoke to her on the phone before leaving for Brazil and she offered to be available during the ceremonies if I wanted to reach out to her in some way. I said something stupid about how I’d tell her what she was wearing when I saw her. She said that if I wanted to meet up on an astral plane than that could be fun, but that she was hoping to meet up somewhere higher. I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant by higher, but I agreed and left it at that. I then forgot about it and never told her exactly when the ceremonies would be.
This ceremony is the hardest to relate by far. It was an exceptionally personal manifestation of the transpersonal and is also just fucking weird. The back story is just personal, though not just my person. I will do my best to set up the experience without saying too much.
I fell in love when I was about 13. We were neighbors and used to sneak out of the house at night and look at the stars. She always had a boyfriend and I never told her how I felt. Many years of intermittent friendship and silence followed before our paths crossed in NYC. We spent beautiful, drunken nights kissing in the rain and declaring our love. We moved in together shortly there after. Less than a year later I asked her to move out to take care of herself. We maintained something long distance for a few months leading up to a party at a friends house.
Many young couples were there; many of them with their children. I knew that this was what I wanted, a family of my own, but the events of the evening showed me that she was not yet ready. I told her that I did not want to see her until she had three months of health (I’m being vague cause it’s only partially my story).
Some months later it was new years, I was in Boston writing music with David and I needed to go pick up my cat, Agape, from her apartment. She calls me the night before and tells me that she is 4 months pregnant. It is not mine. We had not been together in about six. She looks pregnant when I see her.
We still talk a little and are friends. I will always love her in many ways, but our lives do not seem to be aligned. She is in a tough situation with the unplanned, but wonderful gift of pregnancy and I want to be supportive of her as a friend. That was about how far I had considered the situation and it was not my (conscious) intention to dig much deeper. I had my own selfish work to do. This ceremony was to be about my purpose.
I decided to attempt to keep my eyes closed this time. In the previous two ceremonies I tried to keep my awareness in the room. I kept my eyes open and called for all hallucinations to work with that which was already present. This time I invited any and all visions to come as they choose. I started this process by closing my eyes and attempting to envision a door directly in front of my third eye. This alone was very difficult to hold at first.
I did not work with any type of mantra or other words. If anything, this night I was attempting to access emptiness as a means of creation more than any other. Other than the door, I worked to free myself from any and all thoughts as they arose in my awareness. I began to cultivate a stillness as I sat in my meditative posture.
I laid down much quicker this night than the others; well before the one hour mark. This is where the discomfort began and it became extreme.
My ex-girlfriend came into my awareness. It became clear to me that I had not dealt with her impending baby. She was then about 7 ½ months pregnant. I was aware and at peace with this as a fact, but had not in any real way dealt with this new person as a person.
As I lay on my back it started to become clear that this is what I was doing. For some reason this unborn child was firmly planted in my awareness at this moment. To say I chose this wouldn’t quite make sense. I started to feel a pull to curl up into a fetal position. As in meditation, I simply noticed this and then did my best to remain still with it as we had been instructed by Sylvia. When meditating I have often been informed that when impulses to act arise it is best to notice them and let them pass. If I am sitting on the cushion and I think ‘Oh shit, I need to call the vet!’ it is best to recognize this, create a space for this to be necessary, but to recognize that it does not have to happen now. If the thought arises again, then the same noticing, labeling, letting go is used. If the thought arises 4, 5, 6 times, then quite possibly you should get up off the mat and go call the fucking vet. Meditation is not to be used as an escape from our responsibilities to the world. If something is important, than by all means give it your attention. Much in this way it became important for me to curl up on my right side facing Cida, Nara’s mother. What followed is quite difficult to explain and was amazingly hard to experience. I will do my best.
What I eventually began attempting to do was to bring her unborn child into the room with me. I can’t explain why, but it seemed like something I needed to go through, something I was afraid to confront, or just something that was happening that I needed to be present with. The explanation that I am offering from here on in should sound impossible. What I experienced felt true and may always be possible and/or happening, but only as the result of a vastly increased, or strongly altered, perception of reality.Time, space and the boundaries of self/other become incredibly transparent. I experienced many things at once that consensus reality claims must exist separately. I’m not claiming some sort of power nor am I claiming to have lost touch with reality. I will simply explain my subjective experience as I experienced it. This is one form of truth, let’s call it truthfulness.
I began by simply attempting to visualize or visually hold this unborn child in the room. She did not come easily. Luckily when she did come it was with the womb, as this might have otherwise been fairly messy. What I experienced in my attempts to hold her there was, ultimately, the process of becoming her. I must be clear that I was not interested in picturing her in my mind. I was attempting to share something much more profound with her. It felt as if she was reaching out to me in this moment and it was less of a choice and more of a realization that what I needed to do was share this moment with her. I needed to hold her here with me….as me.
In my attempts to do so, in my attempts to be with her, despite the necessary ‘breaking of the rules’ of time and space that this implies, I was not able to only break the rules in the ways which might make this easy for me, they were simply disappearing all together.
What the hell am I talking about?
With each glimpse, with each moment of her entering my awareness came a flood of other information. In my attempts to be with her here and now the enormity of the ever present eternity that is now came rushing in. It was intensely painful, joyful, uncomfortable and overwhelming. I honestly felt that it was destroying me and that there was no way that I could do it myself, if it was possible at all. It felt like way too much information for me to handle. I was writhing on my mat, letting out gasps and sighing as I swallowed the enormity of so much truth. I felt shattered and alive, awake and overwhelmed. I was instantly experiencing her throughout many different, perhaps all moments in her life. I met new people, went different places at different times in her life. And in each and every moment I was feeling things, places and people through her….as her. I/she fell in love, went to college, experienced joy and loss and adventure. This remained incredibly uncomfortable for quite some time. I can not accurately describe the sensations. There were far too many of them all at once.
At some point though it seemed to begin to be possible to be with her here and now. She came into the ceremony space with me. I wasn’t sure how, but something had changed. Later, when things had calmed and I was able to be more aware of some of my other senses I would realize that there was someone behind me, a warm mothering presence that was helping me to hold Addison here and now. Antoinette had come to help bring this child into my world. I didn’t have to look, but I knew that she was there.
Part of an unborn child’s experience, the most stable part at this moment, is being in the womb. This obviously involves an almost constant in and out of liquids; a feeding and dumping cycle that is incredibly fluid in the most literal of ways. With increasing doses of ayahuasca one thing that seems to be present for people is purging…..puke. I have theories about why this is, but haven’t had much direct experience to confirm/deny these theories with. I have a relatively solid stomach and other than the fleeting awareness of the possibility and the momentary sensations that accompany this I have not seriously considered doing so…until now. Something about sharing this experience, how ever real this was or seemed, made the possibility of purging incredibly real and present. I maintained, kept that part of my insides internal. But it was a very real sensation of being in such a vulnerable and formative state. And something else did come up.
What became apparent, through a wall of tears and sighs, of pain and smiling, deep breaths and long moments without any, was exactly what was happening here in this mess of time and space, as self and other were falling away. I was falling in love with my ex-girlfriends unborn child. It is a strange realization that I don’t expect to completely make sense to you. In many ways it does not matter if this child is a part of my day to day life or if I never actually meet her. I already love her. Always will. Perhaps always have…not really sure how that one works. I don’t mean this in any superficial or easy going sense. The implications of this were huge and difficult to digest; such a sense of what can be lost and what gained. I felt overwhelmed, grateful, scared and absolutely full of love. The impact of this realization is enormously powerful to me still.
In relation to my initial intent in this ceremony, to explore purpose, I now felt the weight of my creative potential in a whole new way. The enormity of creating a child carries a whole new weight. The question of what I am doing, right now, to make life easier for this and every other child in the world is present in a new way. The many ways that we are each connected (ultimately have never been apart to be connected) holds a bit more weight in my mind than it ever has before.
Many have long recognized that dreams contain symbols, metaphors, archetypes. Dreams allow us to not only see, but experience situations that can be symbolic of greater truths. What I experienced with this child was a connection to the unborn, to the life that is to come and also to the process of life as it is now coming, being, suffering and rejoicing. It was an intensely personal experience, but the implications of it were so far beyond me and her, my life and hers. The whole experience was simultaneously an individual realization of potency and smallness, of responsibility and of insignificance. It compels me to witness and to embrace, to provide for and to appreciate. I’m rambling on because words suck at relating such an experience. I think I’l
It would be mistaken to view my transpersonal interpretation of this personal experience as being a distancing from the personal aspect. It is intensely personal, all the more so because of the universal truths that it symbolizes.
When I wrote this I realized that before I published it I should call my ex-girlfriend to have her read it and tell me if she was ok with it being online.
I just got off the phone with her. She asked, “Devin, when did this happen?” – I told her the date.
“Devin, what time of day was this?”
The ceremony described above happened on the night of April 6th leading into the morning of April 7th. “Devin, I was in the hospital at that time.”
At 3:27am on the morning of April 7th, while I was in the ceremony space, her child was born.
She was 10 weeks premature.
She died 4 days later.
I will never meet her.
…..now I’m crying