A face stared back at me, watching me from the darkness. Despite the near pitch-black surroundings, I could make out a face and it was not one that I recognized. It wasn’t a vivid image in the common visual sense but more of a strong impression or feeling of a face. It had an odd expression too, one I couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t angry or maniacal but it wasn’t particularly serene or happy either. It had an eerie subtle smile with pupil-less, blank-looking eyes, almost as if it was looking through me, although I knew it wasn’t. It was looking at me and only inches from my face. What added to the oddness of the experience was a strong sense or feeling that this face was not conjured by my own consciousness. I felt like it was from outside of me.  Even compared to some psychedelic journeys -apart from my hero dose in Feb of 2022- I still felt that the images I saw were of my own consciousness. This face was not. As unsettled as I was,  I didn’t get the feeling that I should be afraid. I managed to draw upon my experiences with past psilocybin journeys: I stayed calm and observed the phenomenon. I then asked the entity why it was there and if it had something to tell or show me. It responded with the same stare, one corner of its mouth upturned. I decided to tell the face that I was going to continue with my meditation and that it was welcome to stay as long as it needed. It continued to stare as I settled back into focusing on my breath: imagining the air coming into my body through my heart and exiting on the exhale, out the top of my head- a common focused breathing aspect of my recent meditation practice. My mind wandered. I re-centered as I always do and then remembered the face. It was gone. It had vanished as quickly as it had appeared. I hadn’t even noticed. I wondered who or what it was and where it had come from.

I wrote of this account the day after the experience. It has now been a couple of weeks and the face has not returned to me in my subsequent meditations. I don’t exactly know what to make of the experience. I am only beginning to stretch my consciousness in new ways and open my mind to the possibility of alternative realities. This is a moment to ponder and examine. Has my recent consciousness work, which has included dissolving decades’ worth of familial and societal conditioning, started to tear the fabric of my consciousness enough that new states are trickling through?

One thing is for certain: experiences like these have become more common during my meditations. As my practice develops, I have begun to have odd experiences like the one above. Another common experience revolves around my sense of awareness, usually up in the head and seated behind the eyes- like most people- relocating to my heart. It will feel like my mind is in my heart. As if, my left arm is where my left ear should be and my head, floating at a distance above me, was another appendage. This sensation doesn’t usually last long. It is more of a feeling that I pop in and out of. 

I am certain this sensation is a direct result of my heart-focused breathing. Although becoming more common, it is still a novel experience each time it occurs. Other experiences include visions of multicolored lights and patterns, shape shifting and traversing distances in my closed-eye field of view. I have even (quite recently) had an experience in which the light show continued after my meditation, outdoors with eyes open in the sun of the day. After a session on a mid-February afternoon, I went outside to sit on the porch and look out towards the sea as I often do after a mediation. Immediately upon sitting down, my field of view became filled with iridescent swirls, and little, jumping curved lines, shooting across my vision. The best way I can describe it is a miniature fireworks show from a lit sparkler but without a fuel stick. My eyes felt strained as I tried to focus. I tried to relax them but the more I tried, the more strained they felt and the more intense the visual light show became. I finally had to close my eyes as they began to water. When I opened them, I grabbed my phone to catch the fantastic sight, thinking that it might be occurring outside my body, but it vanished.

As with the face in the darkness, and other remarkable occurrences in my meditation practice, I am left baffled and unsure how to process or interpret the events. I am by no means a seasoned meditator, but I do have thousands of hours of practice under my belt and these experience are unlike anything I have previously experienced. All I can think to do is continue with my practice in an attempt to gain greater insight into what these experiences mean.

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