CREDOS : Enlightenment — III

What kinds of things do you see?

Many, many things. Sometimes, it seems to me like I’m in the woods and I’m seeing the sunlight breaking through the trees. Other times, I have visions of rainbows or mandalas or particular spiritual teachers I’ve had. And sometimes, it’s just mysterious to me what I’m seeing.

What do you think is really going on when you are seeing these visions? Is your mind playing a trick on you, or is there something that you are actually seeing?

I don’t know quite how to answer that, and I’m not too concerned about it, either. It’s just something to be present with, and you see if anything comes of it. Sometimes, there have been teachings that have come to me. And sometimes, it’s just a visual. I’ve also heard sounds and even smelt fragrances that aren’t like anything I’ve ever smelt.

In our culture, we’re taught since our childhood to fear the darkness. It’s built into our myths and popular culture. Do you ever get frightened on a retreat?

No, but I do know people who have been scared. I’ve led a lot of these retreats, and my sense is that generally that doesn’t happen. What happens when you are very relaxed is that you don’t tend to get into those kinds of reactive fears. Actually, one of the main concerns that people have is that they will be incredibly bored. That doesn’t tend to happen either, and I think it’s because a lot of boredom is about a desire for stimulation. —