Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

I believe in spirits and other paranormal stuff. I have had several very real encounters with spirits. Here is one story of an encounter that I had.

When I was married to my first wife I became very active with Tibetan Buddhism. I co-founded a Buddhist center in Albuquerque back in 1984 which still exists today. I donated some money with several friends and we bought a small house in the North Valley of Albuquerque. On this property was a detached garage. The garage had an extension that was a shop built by the original owner. We worked hard and converted the garage/shop into a Buddhist temple.

The house in the front of the property was rented by a member of the group. The tenant worked for an insurance company. She also was a Buddhist and a spiritualist. She claimed to have psychic abilities and she was very talented in reading Tarot.

We had many high lamas visit and give teachings and empowerments. We transformed that property into a thriving Buddhist center. It was an exciting time.

After I divorced I decided to concentrate on my meditation practice and move into the garage/temple. I was sort of like the temple caretaker who lived on the grounds doing chores and helping with events.

I didn't have much back then, so the sparse accommodations were no problem for me. I led a very simple life for about a year in that converted garage. I ate a strict macrobiotic diet, but that is getting off the story. The real story is about the ghost who visited me.

I had this recurring experience that I would be awakened by knocking on the door to the temple. I would get up and open the door only to find that no one was there. At first I thought that I was dreaming the knocking. You know that state of mind when you are about to wake up in the morning and you are half asleep and very susceptible to noises. Sometimes a noise is transformed into an element of a dream.

However, this happened over and over again, so it could not be a random dream. It got down right spooky.

Then, one evening after a group meditation session, everyone had left except for a friend. We were engaged in a casual discussion in the small entry to the temple. We were talking for a some time and the night was quiet. Suddenly, we were scared to the core by the horrendously loud sound of a door slamming shut.

I have never heard such a sound in my life. Imagine a very strong person slamming a large wooden door right next to you. The sound was that immediate and personal. It did not come from some distance away. We could almost feel the breeze from the movement of the phantom door.

Both of us just stared wide-eyed at each other for what seemed like several minutes. We were visibly shaking as if we just survived a crash. We were frozen with fear. Slowly we recovered from the shock of hearing this frightful sound. Eventually we turned away from our stare and surveyed the room.

There was nothing that could have made that sound. There were only two doors in that small room. Both doors were within a radius of 6 feet from where we stood. The one to the bathroom was wide open and still. The entry door was closed before the sound had occurred and it had not moved.

The sound was clearly a door slamming shut in our immediate vicinity. There was no other door within 75 feet of us. It was an impossible perception, yet one that my friend and I shared. When we both had gathered our wits, we walked together to the house in the front of the property. We still had not uttered a word between us.

As I mentioned before, a women from our group was renting the front house. She claimed to be psychic and was quite good at Tarot. We knocked on her door and started to explain what we just experienced. However, a full explanation was not necessary. She knew better than we did what had happened. She told us that a spirit had moved through the property.

She said that she clearly saw a dark figure come through her living room from the back to the front several minutes before we knocked on her door. She said this plainly and with no drama. She said the spirit was an occasional visitor that seemed attached to the property, but meant us no harm. Oh, that was all?

Knock, knock, knock, who is knocking at my door?
On Being A Seeker

When I say that I am a "seeker" it is not the way people mostly think about the term. I am not a seeker in the sense of the troubled youth seeking to be rescued by religion or a magical tradition. I am not seeking to believe in something greater than my self in order to find refuge or protection. I am not seeking an omnipotent being to answer my prayers. I am not even seeking a spiritual identity or acceptance by a group. I am comfortable in saying that I am passed that.

What I am seeking is evidence of other humans who have broken through the illusion of culture, language, science, logic and myth and have seen truth with their hearts.

Sometimes I follow a promising trail only to find that it leads to a dead end. I have come across many cold, worthless pieces of propaganda masquerading as spiritual evidence. Other times I find a glowing gem of great beauty.

Sometimes I learn about an ancient manuscript that hopefully will reveal an important teaching, but it takes reading a half dozen translations in order to find the one translation that does not corrupt the original. For example, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B K S Iyengar is such a jewel. The Sutras of Patanjali are the oldest known writings about Yoga. This one work has been translated by many "spiritualists" in order to validate their own dogma. However, in my opinion Iyengar's translation is evidence of a human heart touching truth. It takes a great yogi to know a great yogi.