Parker H&SMy name is Parker. I am a professional artist and educator. I am a father to two remarkable children. I have been a seeker most of my life, beginning at age nine and continuing right up to the moment that awakening began to flower. Awakening was a seismic process for me that changed so much in my life, some of which was hard to deal with.

Awakening changed so much, and while the change was hard, it also returned me to that which I really had needed all along. I had, in many ways, been hiding out in a sense, trying to make sense of this life which I had been moving through that was lacking something that I could not put my finger on, but that I knew was to be found through inner self-inquiry.

I wont say that my life was an ordinary one prior to awakening because it wasn’t. I was as a small child having what I now know was a form of out-of-body experiences. At age three until about six, I would go into a state where my body would freeze and I would be transported to a place I understood was where spiritual energy would come into physical matter. These experiences were spontaneous, it was as though some part of me just gravitated to this one place over and over.  It seemed that as I stood there and watched these life forms that looked very much like an orb of dandelion fluff come floating down into our density of matter that there was some lesson in it, perhaps only to remind me that yes, there are other worlds.

These experiences were never explained to me, but as I grew older, I would find myself helping people on the opposite end of life to make their way back. It seemed that in my dreams of helping people to cross over that I was in some kind of training or other.  There was even a second person who worked with me from time to time.  I later learned that there were other people like me who had these experiences and it helped me to understand that this is not just the work of angels.

Now I know that for some of us, such dreams or experiences, even in waking consciousness, might not make that big of an impression. For me, though, dreams as well as consciousness itself was not what most people seemed to experience. You see, all through my childhood and into adulthood I had precognitive dreams. These dreams would foretell, in detailed and accurate fashion, major events like a tsunami in Asia, a nuclear disaster in Russia, an earthquake in Mexico city, a stand-off between a religious group and the F.B.I., as well as the births and deaths of many people in my community. I always knew who was going to win the U.S. Presidency about a month before it was decided.  I always would have a dream where I would shake the hand of the person who wound up winning the presidency beginning with Ronald Reagan.  It was interesting when the Bush/Gore contest came around because I would shake the hand of Gore, but then he would look worried, check his messages, disappear and then reappear, over and over at the hotel where he was staying.  It turns out that this was exactly what happened, with both Bush and Gore returning to Florida many times to check on the progress of the counting of the votes.  And while Gore won the election based on actual votes, Bush won as the result of a Supreme Court decision. Now the whole point here in my mentioning this is to make clear that I am not just imagining these things, but to help establish the long history that I have had with dreams of this type and also to explain that as a result of dreams like this, I developed this sense early on in my life that when we talk about time, we don’t really know what time is.  If one person can have as many dreams as I have, then it points to events that do actually exist “in the future” and which we can visit and experience using our own consciousness to receive impressions from those times in our future. I knew that there was no way that time was just linear or that once an event happens, it disappears.  Reality is much more interesting than we have ever imagined.

In addition, I also had educational dreams where I would learn things I didn’t know about before I dreamed them. One interesting example of this is how I learned how to ride a bike in a dream and then got up from bed the following morning and got on my sisters bike and took off riding as if I had learned it a week before. I learned how to do a number of important things I never knew how to do in dreams. I learned early that our consciousness is capable of way more than we think it is. In my life I saw this take place many times.

As a result of these experiences, I grew up to be something of a mystic. You never would have guessed this was so because I didn’t have a predilection for dressing up like a yogi or wanting to study in India or to act a certain way. In fact, my whole life my inner compass has told me never to join any system of belief, philosophy, or religion. I often wondered why this was so and the answer was that I would someday learn why and it would allow me to see my experience, my life, with as few filters in place as possible. I was told that the answers would always come from within. I live my life this way so that you too can have the courage to do so also. The message I am passing along here is yes, you can listen to that voice within.  You can.  There is a supreme intelligence within us all and it connects us both to the universe, to each other, and to something that is quite mysterious, a force which I think people have been wanting to call God but I halt at calling it that because it is just too large for me to even get my head around.  Sometimes when I am looking into the walls of a subatomic particle and see its presence in such a small space as that, I stop and think about it.  It is a presence that lives inside of every single subatomic particle and does so in a watchful way, a quiet way, as if it is learning through the entirety of creation while honoring in an absolute way our freewill.

You could say that I feel very religious about this experience, but I am not here to try and get you to believe something that your own mind might tell you is impossible.  You would simply need to do the work and then see if you can encounter a similar reality.  until that time, my experience is only a novelty to you.  No one believes what they themselves have not yet experienced….unless it is religion, in which case, all bets are off.  I prefer to confirm the reality of these things directly.  I think that the directive to not join any group or religion has had this effect: confirm do not merely believe.  Why believe in a life after death, why not confirm that it exists and thus wipe out your fear of what comes next?  Wouldn’t THAT be a great way to live your life, no fear over what might happen if you  died? And why believe that God is a reality when you could go confirm it for yourself?  I mean, why not?  It seems that no one in our most popular religion in the West has ever sought to find these things out.

I have come at spirituality and awakening from a holistic perspective. While all of the spiritual traditions in the world bear their own unique cultural stamps, my focus has always been on finding what rises to the top in our traditions that speaks to me the same way that kundalini speaks to me, teaching me now while I am awake instead of while in slumber. So, as a result, I seek in my work here and alone, to do as many have been doing the last thirty years or more, which is to develop a broader understanding of what all of the traditions have had to say about the mystery that lies within each of us. And maybe to integrate the great traditions so that we can help to evolve a larger or broader picture for how we are all speaking the same story but using different words in different traditions only.

My experience has been remarkable, and none of it has been couched within a religious context. It doesn’t need to be. Religion has failed us because it has given us how to be unquestioning adherents but they have never given us the keys to illumination, the experience all the great teachers sought to convey to their followers. Today, we argue about religion like we argue over different brands of water….they might have different labels, but it all comes from the same source. I have to ask; what are the great traditions saying about this experience of enlightenment, illumination, and waking up?

I feel that if we are to get to the next stage in our development as a species, we are going to need to understand how we are similar, linked, instead of different. The powers of division have given us wars and untold strife that as a species we simply do not need  anymore. Things will change or we will very likely cease being here on the planet. Something has got to give, and awakening is beginning to show one important avenue. And indeed, something very curious is happening with hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people all having an awakening experience and all within the last decade or so.  Something is up, don’t you think?

Since I was not steeped in a tradition when I awoke, I was free to observe what this presence was doing within me without labels or any bias…..mostly. No one is truly a clean slate, but in some instances, by living my awakening as I did, I proved that what I experienced those first six months to a year was written about in other traditions I knew nothing about. The reason why this is important is it shows that this experience is not a prerequisite in a religion. Awakening is a distinct and specific human phenomenon and every tradition that has had brushes with it will report on it, describing it in their own way….different labels, all the same experience.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you can only awaken with a guru, or that if as a Christian that feeling the serpentine movement many experience is not some Garden of Eden snake, but what everyone feels regardless of race, creed, or religion. This is a human phenomenon and shame on anyone seeking to demonize this experience, which is a way to great illumination and true understanding. We are currently in a passage from a world of belief to a world of knowing, of experience.  Everything I do is couched in experience, in seeking it and finding it instead of taking anyone’s word for it.  And for that matter, don’t you dare take anything I say on faith.  Only take it when you find that it agrees with your experience.  That will mean that you woke up and began digging as deep as I have dug.  There, you might feel the presence of my hands and the shovel marks of others who have been hard at digging deep.  I very much want you to know that I am always aware of the person, you, in all of this.  If I say I was able to achieve something, I don’t say it as a boast or a brag, I say it to make YOU aware that it is possible.  It is amazing how incredible things can be discovered simply by mentioning them to someone.  We each have this cosmic compass that allows us incredible intuition and knowing….we just have to learn its ways, that in the past the ancients called it kundalini shakti, but may actually have more to do with our left and right brains in context with an energetic force we don’t really fully understand scientifically yet which is called prana.  I hope that in the next two decades someone will begin doing the scientific work to understand this force…..certainly no one in the West has dared to do so.

What I seek to do here is to give you some of what I have found along the way not by reading what others say, but observing my own experience and then seeing how it correlates with others in a sincere desire to help demystify the experience so that we can continue to step out of our collective shadow as a species. My desire is to help raise awareness and thereby raise everyone’s boats.
Most of my work here is entirely unplanned. It is what I can do between working in school, my life as a parent, my studio business, and my own inner journey and work. However, as is most often the case, the unplanned opens the door to possibilities that I could not have known had I planned it all out. This is the kundalini shakti, the right brain, the cosmic door inside of each of us.  I teach glassblowing in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I run a production studio.  I teach because I love, but I produce in order to survive.  All of life, a balance.  I am currently working on how to move in the studio to facilitate the flow of prana and to be an artist who now works with this force in a day to day way in the hopes that I can pass this on to another generation of wiser and more aware individuals.  And who knows, I might just figure out how to wake people up just by how to match movement with energy.  I can dream.

I am glad you are here, and I hope I can provide some nuggets of useful truth for your journey forward. If you are writing on your own experience, I would love to hear about it-follow me so I can follow back! In this light-

नमस्ते

Parker

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Image copyright Parker Stafford

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