Experiences During the Practice of
The Penetrating Insight
Shirley B. Matthews

The first practice I tried was called Discovery. I was staying with a client on the second floor of an apartment that had a balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. She slept late so I got up before sunrise and found a very comfortable niche on the secluded balcony with many coconut palms just below my line of sight. A playful breeze rustled the palm fronds and caressed my body.

I began with inquisitive vision, relaxed body, harmonious feelings and a quiet mind.

First, I noticed the waves continually and effortlessly coming to the shore. I got the feeling of the rhythm of their sequential parade until I became the wave(s) and discovered much I had never noticed before. The edges of the waves spread out as they approach the shore and crash into each other somewhat canceling that part of the waves. Waves can crash onto land or ocean surfaces and they roll across either surface until their momentum is spent (it felt like the wave reached up and up pulling the water skyward all the while moving toward the shore until it could reach no more and feeling off-balanced it began to fall like rain breaking into droplets that fell to the surface below in a graceful arc which hid the force that broke the wave into bubbles of foam that slid over the water and land until its motion was spent for an instant. I felt the strong pull of the following wave as the water returned to wave form once more).

After a time I went deeper into the wave and noticed that the strong pull of gravity brought much of each wave crashing through the ocean surface causing swirling eddies which felt like rolling turbulence. Closer to the beach, I noticed the eddies swirl with sand and water. I experienced "layers" of ocean which "slide" over each other at different depths and move in near opposite directions. Then I noticed the silty bottom and followed the wave motion more forward than back (incoming tide) to the beach. I discovered that the bottom of the ocean where I was and the beach were both quite still but were gently brushed, one by the water, the other by the breezes which at times disturbed their surfaces moving grains of silt or sand brief distances. I shall plan to do this in a storm one day.

I discovered that the sun warmed the ocean deeper than it warmed the sand and it nourished the palms. I experienced the sun energy heat a grain of sand and a droplet of ocean until it was full of heat and radiated it outward to others of their kind, while the palms received that energy and transformed it into their own "growingness" and "continue-ness".

There were boats on the ocean, people on land and in boats, sea birds, and a tractor that very early every morning raked the shoreline of flotsam.

There were clouds along the horizon as the sun began its day and I watched entranced as it sought the spaces between the clouds to peek through and shine its lovely reds and oranges to one and all. It emerged above them a brilliant yellow orb which my eyes could not bear to see directly but my body felt a mantle of warmth come over it and relaxed surrendering to its silent nurturing.

My hostess joined me on the balcony bringing this exercise to an end.

"The second practice, called Merging Vision, is a way of communicating and communing with all the inhabitants of Nature: people, animals, birds, insects, trees, plants, rocks, earth, clouds, everything that has consciousness. By Robert Neil Boyd from his "The Penetrating Insight".

In merging with the ocean, I experienced a harmony of interdependence such as I have experienced in forests and woodlands. The overriding agreement was survival of one's own form although surrendering one's form to aid survival of other life forms, when unavoidable, seemed agreeably harmonious. I experienced a heron catching and eating a fish too large to swallow whole. I felt an ordinary willingness to hack at the fish, eating pieces until it was small enough to gulp down. And I experienced the acceptance of the fish to being hacked and swallowed after many vigorous convulsions had failed to return it to the ocean and the survival of its own form. I could feel no pain in this entire event.

I merged with the tractor and boats and experienced manmade "earth" components of fiberglass and machines interact with natural "earth" components of water and land. I felt that the speed of the machines did not surpass the speeds of sound and light. The tractor vibrated as much as a Harley motorcycle but I got the feeling of strength and durability. Later, I learned that the tractor driver picked up turtle eggs in season and brought them to concerned volunteers for incubation and eventual return of the young turtles to their home in the sea. The boat engine was more harmonious in its vibrations and it had the feeling of strength and power. With engines off, the boat and the water enjoyed the interaction of waves and wind as they danced together harmoniously. When I merged with the people (there were only 5 at this early hour) I felt embracing the elements, relaxation, joy and excitement in playing with the surf, restlessness, yearning and release. When I merged with a wild parrot, I was looking for food and alert to dangers. I also felt the wind as my partner in flight although I did not know that the parrot felt that (it felt like the parrot was unaware of the effects of the environment on its body).

This was my first experience with merging vision. Then Neil suggested I try soft vision with trees.
I tried several different types of trees that night and was fascinated with what was there to perceive that I had not seen before with "normal" vision. Each tree like each human being had a different aura pattern. What surprised me were the swirls of energy at the end of strings of energy emanating from them. It was like the trees had millions of "lungs" so that there was always outgoing energy/substance and the same amount of incoming energy/substance and the impression was that the trees were breathing! The swirls could have been where some type of transformation/exchange of these energies/substances was occurring because they were so actively twirling. Interestingly, I was standing near one tree and viewing another and as I "merged with" the distant tree, the close one began to merge with me! Is this a form of communication with them? I applied the penetrating insight and it seemed that I "knew" that indeed that is the case as they are in a universal consciousness that is in harmony with all in Oneness. I felt "welcomed" as I would when people I meet give me a hug of appreciation and acceptance. The biggest tree (it would take two people to encircle its trunk) was radiating more energy/substance that it was taking in. I have been told it is dying from old age by "experts" who informed me that it only lives 50 years and is now 49. I did not get a sense of dying, but rather a sense of reaching for something. I will try another time to see what Penetrating Vision discovers.

Next I practiced Soft Vision and here is my report on my practice with that. I would like to add that I notice that many times all of my "visions" are active and what I experience and learn goes on and on and on through the different "visions" giving true dimensions to consciousness.

I have been practicing driving with soft vision when the traffic is light and have had precognition of events that could have been accidents in time to avoid or prevent them. I also seem to feel what the people in the cars are feeling. I do not have the confidence as yet to try this in heavy traffic. I like to do this in malls also and to pass through large numbers of people without being stopped by always "feeling" the directions they are intending to travel. So far I only have a "knowingness" that non-physical beings are with me although I seem able to locate them in a general "spot" in space. There is however as yet no fog or vague vision of them. Perhaps I am on the wrong side of a dimension.

Since the purpose of Soft Vision is to "see" what human eyes do not normally see, I have continued the practice. I was in a room of meditators who were sitting across from each other sharing a meditation. As I went deeper into the soft vision, I began to see a bright fog around the duos. It was a bright golden yellow and thin enough to see through. I began to notice the mental auras around each person. These did not have color but rather emanations in string-like energy forms that undulated with vibrating energies. As with the trees, there were places where these "vibrating strings" swirled but I got the impression that these "swirls" went into the past or the future while the others that simply vibrated were NOW thoughts.

Some more experiences:

I went to sleep last night thinking or being (merging with) on a Moebius Strip, which became a kind of path or stream and walking on it I always almost ended up where I began until I let go of data and just experienced. Then I experienced a flowing inside a closed universe (the 4th dimension?) that had awareness without purpose which seemed like penetrating insight without an objective. I hope you can follow this because I'm struggling for words.

The next scene is awareness of my bedroom and my body under the covers. Most of me was still in that other dimension and there was a wonderful peace and harmony and warmth (not physical) there and I was without the me that is writing this report. There was no time in any of this; a sort of timeless motion perhaps. Then an instant burst or explosion and I was consciously the me I am now writing to you. I had been wondering what if any was the difference between awareness and consciousness for several weeks. Perhaps I received an answer although it is not fully clear to me yet. What is clear to me is that the timeless part of the experience was in awareness mode and the burst was exploding into human consciousness mode.

More on practicing: The burst or explosion that I first experienced has since become a portal or doorway between the two states or dimensions. So far, I have only managed to enter the 3D physical universe and not the other. I simply become aware of being there but not how I got there. The portal appears to be an opening surrounded by waves like ripples on a pond caused by a stone dropping into it. The area is very energetic.

I have reached the end of this programs memory for a page so I will close for now. I will continue practicing and report on my experiences in the near future.