By the end of last year, I’d made a promise to myself.
I’d told myself that anything I feared or felt hesitant to do up until this point would be done. I knew I wanted to write a book. I also felt, instinctively, that I was ready for a drastic career change and felt compelled to become a meditation teacher and life coach.
I’d realized, by that time, that I’d been playing small for the majority of my life. I was a prisoner of self-doubt who wanted to reach through the barbed wire, grab the key, and set myself free from the perceived limitations that kept me on the other side of fulfillment and love.
For years, I’ve been a student of spirituality. I’ve read books, dabbled in energy healing, astrological analysis, and a slew of other metaphysical modalities, in the hopes of figuring out what it all came down to and to help me figure out my place in the grand scheme of things.
Then, finally, in early 2021, it all made sense; all of the pieces seemed to come together to form a clear picture. It dawned on me that everything that had happened to me up until then was either directly or indirectly preparing me for my awakening. My soul had been knocking on my window possibly for several years in various ways, shouting from behind the curtains, begging me to let the light of unity-consciousness shine through. It was as though God had handed me my lost optical lens. No longer was I spiritually blind.
Everything I had experienced—missed opportunities, illness, divorce, financial distress, and generally feeling like a foreigner unable to assimilate—had been sent to remind me of everything I was not. Chronic fatigue, for instance, was like a warning on the dashboard, telling me I wasn’t living life in alignment with my true nature, which craved stillness, nourishment, joy, and peace. It held me back from entering into a field of work that would have drained me and taxed my inner resources. It also made eating less-than-wholesome foods difficult for me and therefore catalyzed me to live a healthier, organic lifestyle.
I also realized that I had to leave my marriage in order to find my soul and that in letting go of my attachment to the body and mind of another, I was breaking the illusion that kept me feeling separate from the only real love there is—the love that is intrinsic to all things that emerge in and from emptiness.
But this time, instead of understanding this in a purely academic sense, I wanted to know this, to truly resonate with it in every crevice in my heart. So, I took the plunge into the depths of the unknown and am, ever-so- slowly but surely, learning to unlearn. Awakening, I am realizing, is just that: a lucid recognition that this physical reality is but a grand cosmic performance.
It is ultimately a remembrance of the truth of who we were before the world programmed us. How do we do that, you might ask. The answer to that question is so simple, an overanalytical mind wouldn’t believe it. To unlearn and remember, we must be still and present. Then, we become consciousness experiencing itself as itself. We align with the Creator and see the creation as only a byproduct of a much greater universal intelligence that is beyond the limits of our comprehension.
There is a quote attributed to Rumi which reads, “Past and future veil God from our sight; burn them both with fire.” The busy mind is a great barrier to Christ-consciousness.
So, this past week—perhaps more so than ever before—I’ve been practicing the art of turning away from thought and tuning in to my inner body, to the sense perceptions, and remaining entirely in the immediate moment. This, by default, has also meant losing contact with certain people in order to confront any residual codependent patterns and starve the fear-based energy that tells me it is lonely, sad, and even frightening to be by myself. It has meant withdrawing from media in its various guises and shutting off all the noise to hear the music of primordial wisdom. This has meant quieting the mind and focusing on activities that placate it and keep it only in the here and now.
As challenging as it felt to remain only in the here and now, a couple of days into it, I felt an aliveness and vitality I hadn’t felt in many, many years—perhaps since I was a small child. I spent a lot of time in a quiet nearby park whenever I could, meditated, listened to gentle sound healing music, and even colored Mandalas in my adult coloring book to keep intrusive thought patterns at bay and thus calm the natural fluctuations of the human mind.
When I tuned in to my sense perceptions, I tried to be there entirely, witnessing all the sights, sounds, and feelings without labelling or judging them as I normally do. I rewatched the whole “Samadhi” documentary series, which became like listening to a meditation in its own right.
Eventually, I began to experience my own glimpse of Samadhi. When I looked at a dog, for instance, which usually makes me smile widely on what I call even a normal day, I didn’t just see the thing we call a dog; I actually felt the spirit of the dog itself. I felt the divinity of the dog, and a deep river of love flowed through me. I loved dogs more than ever before, in that moment, because I could sense that the dog and I were no longer in a subject versus object relationship; instead, I felt that we had merged into one.
Similarly, I remember driving home and taking in the trees and surrounding bushes through my sense perceptions, without the usual mindless mental chatter and judgment. I, too, felt the dissolution of the subject-object relationship and actually smiled to myself the entire way home—but this time, I was smiling with my whole heart, knowing I was one with the trees. Everything seemed more vibrant and more beautiful in this state, and even when the inevitable stories and mental chatter arose, I felt as though it was somehow on the surface. This time around, it didn’t feel quite as deep, nor quite as important.
Last year, I met a deeply spiritual man who had his own awakening years ago. He told me he felt everything I’ve just described, many times since then. Listening to him, at that time, I cried, realizing that deep down, I felt separate from “God.” I felt like a branch cut off from the vine due to my anxiety and depression. While I understood that I wasn’t separate from anything conceptually, I knew I didn’t really resonate with what the mind only understood to be true. Understanding is to the mind as experience is to the soul, and we are more than our minds—even though our minds question this and don’t like that statement because it seems too “simple,” too “vague,” too “whimsical,” and the mind requires endless verification, analysis, and proof, no matter how variable, shifting, biased, and ultimately imperfect any research findings can be.
The mind works on a system of duality, of plus versus minus. It is clever, but it isn’t wise; it does not encompass the world. There is an intelligence far greater than the mind, and no one particularly enjoys that statement, either. The mind wants to understand what cannot be understood and instead only experienced.
In my moments of undulating presence, however, I finally knew what it felt like to know love—true love, that is, and not the counterfeit, conditional, and fear-based brand we’ve become so accustomed to and even downright dependent upon for emotional sustenance. No. This love was so much deeper and not rooted in duality-consciousness. Love and I merged into one. I became love, and everything around me, in turn, reflected that love back to me as an inseparable part of the totality of “God,” which is in and around us, waiting to be witnessed and felt.
A day or two after this big energetic shift in my consciousness, conflict arose between the people around me and I was put in the middle of it. I packed my bags as quickly as I could and left only to hear the mind coming in through the back door and creating stories around the event. Living where I was wasn’t comfortable nor was it conducive to maintaining this state, and so the mind took me down one rabbit hole after another, despite my previous intentions.
Before I knew it, I was back to engaging in typical mind stuff. Even though I used my time to accomplish important things in my life, which I was proud of, I felt I’d gained the world and lost my soul. Disappointment ensued, and so did judgment. I felt as though I’d fallen from a pink wispy cloud and found myself, suddenly, in the middle of a war zone. This must be what was meant in the Bible when it said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in paradise when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I thought.
However, in experiencing such a stark contrast, I learned something valuable about myself and could see what I call my past more clearly than ever before. One of the things I learned surprised me.
For years, I see, I’ve tried to build a superstructure without a firm foundation. That is, I’ve tried to become something without first embodying who I really am. To a large extent, this is part of the human condition. We take on identities and create a role without really knowing who we are and what is truly being asked of us. Thus, the act of doing without being becomes a focus in our lives, a preoccupation, and even if it drives us to the brink of insanity, we’re often unwilling to give up playing a part simply because we’ve come to depend on it for our own survival.
I knew at this point that I had to be unabashedly honest with myself about what was truly important right here and right now. I came to a couple difficult but hard-won decisions.
I’ve decided, dear reader, that I will be taking a year off of writing for publications in order to align more fully with presence. This isn’t an easy decision to make, by far, but I owe this time to myself, to live, to expand in awareness, and to grow so that I can be all that I am but have been asleep to for so many years. Writing will forever be a part of my life, but as I am taking the time to do profound spiritual work, I feel I need the space to quiet the mind and stop creating stories about myself and my life that co-create some kind of form identity on the surface level.
I want to simply be and experience a return to love, a return, if you will, to innocence. I want to go into the cocoon and emerge as the butterfly so that I can fly by the wings of love and carry out what is asked of me (by God) out into this physical dimension. This requires solitude, introspection, and also some sacrifices here and there. I can always write to get published, spend time with and make more friends, and a slew of other worldly things, but this time I have now to become and embrace who I am more fully is the most precious time I have, and I’ll never get this moment back.
I can write a book, but anything I write will ultimately be a reflection of my state of awareness, and in order to write what I want to write, I must first be in that state. On planet Earth, we do, do, do, do without any real regard for the condition of our spiritual hearts. Art in the modern world reflects this, too, and I don’t want to write from a place of ego. I care about the quality of what I do and not just the quantity of what I can produce in order to appear as though I am someone or something and prove something to the ego and appeal to the egos of others. I have goals and things I intend to accomplish in the so-called “real world,” but the outer is a byproduct of the inner and I must first attend to that alone.
Our state of consciousness, I realize in hindsight, is primordial and spills over into everything in our lives. It is reflected in all that we say and do. Wherever we go, there we are, and there is no escaping our truth. Truth is truth no matter how much we try to hide or deny it, and in the words of Carl Jung, what we resist, persists.
The cost of forgetting, of believing in the illusion of what the Buddhists called Maya, is far too great. As I’ve observed many times in my own life and through the lives of others, dis-ease often happens when we are out-of-alignment with our true north—when we adhere to social conditioning and become subservient to the ways of the world, which tell us we have to go, go, go, that we have to get somewhere all the time, in order to be happy.
When we resist the cries of the heart, we create a conflict within and store unresolved psychic junk in the spam folder called our organs and tissue. We become ill. We feel dissatisfied and unhappy, believing that the source of our fulfillment can be found outside of us and so we become like perpetual wanderers who’ve lost their night vision walking through a blackened wasteland.
If there is one thing I’d like to leave my readers with it is just that—that you can’t escape yourself. You can never escape the truth of who you are, and if you try to do so, life will find a million different ways to remind you of the real you, eventually.
“God” loved so much that it created duality to experience its opposite so that it could know evermore clearly that it was precisely that: pure, unconditional love. It is the same with each byproduct of “God,” which is you and I, and virtually everything else. We are all here to remember by experiencing all it is that we are not.
For some, it takes decades, a catastrophe or two, or possibly even many lifetimes, to awaken from this amnesia. For others, the awareness is right at our fingertips early on in this lifetime and we can’t resist the calling to uncover the truth. Whichever is the case, give yourself the gift of knowing who you are and resonating with that, with a spark of the divine essence that you are.
Drink from the cup of love, of which you were born.
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