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The Image: An immense tunnel, which seems to have been carved from crystal. There is a blazing fireball at the end of the tunnel, with a Happy Face on it.

Disneyland. We're in line for Space Mountain. There are two lines running parallel to each other, each filled with literally hundreds of Rama's students. The lines twist and turn back on each other as they wind towards the doorway of the ride. Sometimes one line moves faster, then the other, so you wind up watching friends pass you on the right, then your line moves, and you pass them on the left. Rama is in the opposite line from me and the group of friends I am with, and he's having fun with this zigzagging. Every time he passes us, he flashes a different smile, makes a different funny face, radiates a different banding of light.

The lines wind and wind and wind into the building itself, around the long spaceship suspended in the center of the hall, and down the final catwalk to the loading platform. All along the twisting path, Rama has been sometimes in front of us, sometimes behind, but as we near the point where you board the cars for the ride, it's a tossup as to whether he'll be in the same group of cars as we will. Finally, however, when we reach the end of the line, I see Rama getting into the first car of the cluster of four, just as I and several other students are ushered into the last two. Hot damn!

The cars take off, round the first turn, and start the long, slow climb up the 'blast-off ramp.' The Disneyland special effects come on, a series of red laser beams emanating in a circle from the top of the ramp, turning the ride into a long tube of light. Just as I am thinking that the effect reminds me of descriptions of the Bardo in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Rama starts adding his own special effects.

The opening at the top of the tube turns golden and begins to emanate beams of golden light that completely overshadow the red laser beams. Time slows down, and what usually is a 20-second climb to the top turns into a long, slow-motion glide through a tunnel with walls of brilliant, multi-faceted crystal. The overall effect is that we are being slowly but inexorably drawn upwards, towards and into a golden ball of light. We see the first car - the one containing Rama - melt into this ball of light and disappear. Then our car reaches the top of the ramp, glides into the light, and goes over the top.



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