Archives for category: awakening symptoms

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I have been doing a lot of research now on a subject near and dear to me: early esoteric Christianity. As a result of this work, I have begun to discover a few things about Eastern tradition as it relates to awakening, and most specifically kundalini.  When I say “Eastern” I include Indian, Chinese, and Japanese traditions for the most part.

Before I touch on that, let me say that I made a fascinating discovery about esoteric Christianity that happened concurrently with my awakening experience in the first few months of my awakening: they, early Christians, were describing kundalini in their own way. Sure, the words being used were different, but by cross-referencing throughout their documents, it was clear what they were describing. My research is about this and I am hoping to develop it into a decent guide that helps to show that Jesus was indeed teaching a secret doctrine. This was a secret because not everyone was ready for it. And no, I am not remotely suggesting Jesus travelled to India or Tibet to “get” this. For my money, my theory is more fascinating and hopeful than that. I think there is ample evidence to suggest that anyone who has awakening can describe and then teach about it after having experienced it if they are good at being able to understand its many facets and can convey the information in a cogent and direct way….and even in indirect ways.

This, though, is about a link to awakening that was picked up by Jesus that does not appear to be taught in the East. At least not in any direct way. I know this link because it was a clear and certain element in my awakening. Coincidence? Nope!

This missing element strikes me as the essence of what opens us each to awakening. This link, a seed really, if understood properly, could help awaken more of us. Maybe.  Probably. It would mean having the right teacher who knows how to relate a person to what this missing link means in our consciousness. It would mean learning how to be different, or how we relate to what we are deeper down. Its just a seed, but great things grow from them. Like a mustard seed, maybe. Winks.

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The interview with Ian is now up and is now permanently installed on its own page, which you will see along the header for the blog.  My thanks to Ian for being willing to go along with this project. I hope that it helps folks gain a broader perspective based on those who have been going through it.  ❤

 

Sleeping, slumbering, rolling deep within is that part of you you always suspected must be there, your link to the infinite.

Bigger than you, scary when it first comes, its resources are amazing. Like a deep ocean, an aquifer moving silently beneath your awareness, the path to its ineffable reality lies in the innocence of your heart, the desiring of your soul, a few chance encounters with eyes closed or an event that shakes you out of your workaday world. It is like a mystery, and yet there it is, shining new in each moment that you find it. Or did it find you?

Letting go puts you in its grip. Dissolving the rational allows it to step forward. Now this is usually where most “normal” people stand up with raised hand, seeking to interject a “Yes, but!..”  But what I am explaining to you is not business as normal.  Humans have, for centuries, sought to control by way of the rational, and this, I will point out, is precisely the problem.  Anyone, most great teachers in nonduality have pointed, who seeks to go this path will find only trouble and difficulty.  Shoals await you in such an effort, and this is where many remain.  No, the path forward is letting go of those tendencies that have hung us up since forever.  The way to cosmic consciousness, this larger stream or sense of presence, does not lie through the limited rational mind and it’s left brain.  Instead, it is the right mind or brain that has the demonstrated capacity for handling the broad sweep that is cosmic mind.  Listening, expecting miracles, bids it to come near. Every single teacher, every single experiencer all comes back from this experience and explains that this is not a thing tied to “doer-ship.” Are you getting the picture?   Wiping your slate clean is how it can communicate with you, or rather, perhaps even better, letting go of what it is that you think you know is one of the cracks in the wall between the mundane and the ineffable. Let go the small to grasp the big, and yet it is no grasp, no trying. It is the one that can bring you so much.

People struggle saying how hard it is. Only if you let the rational and its playmate, ego, have its way. This teaches you how not to be so you can BE. It is a great windswept silence that returns you to those places long forgot. So simple, this is no place for a linear mind. This is our multidimensional nature. How could anything so linear as the rational left brain ever hope to guide you? You need the nonlinear, holistic part of your mind, which is a mirror for that part of your eternal consciousness to channel and express itself through this body, this self. Learn its secrets which are breath, movement, and quiet intuition. The Sophia within.

When awakening came I saw that there was another part of me, clearly tied to both body and mind, that had come on line.  A switch flipped, a new world of a kind, a very new kind.  Awakening is not some kind of exotic, it is not tied only to consciousness.  The body must also follow, as it is a mirror of consciousness.  I observed that my ability to see the bigger picture increased significantly to the point of increased intuition, and psi ability. These are the symptoms of awakening.  The Hindu call these siddhis, and they have been extensively reported by those in eastern traditions as well as those who are awakening today more or less spontaneously.  We also know that the two hemispheres of the brain are oriented differently.  One deals largely with linear processes, handles language, and does not show a masterful ability to tap into feeling.  The right brain, however, is not linear, but shows every sign of being able to process many streams of information at once.  The left brain abstracts, finding the most important aspects of an idea or object and it highlights those.  Very useful for certain things.  The right brain, however, is able to see the whole picture without any need to abstract.  This is one reason why artists are said to be “right brained” which is that they “draw what they see.”  However, the right brain does not appear to have an ability to pinpoint the important aspects of this big view.  It is the right brain that has the capacity to comprehend cosmic consciousness.  Remember, the right brain is not here judging or prioritizing. It is this capacity that makes the right brain so good at this “new” state of mind because it is less apt to be biased or creating some sort of preconceived bias which would color what the whole mind or person thinks they are seeing.

Perception is not done at the level of the physical senses only, but it is has been shown to be “formed” by the individual as that person “thinks” about what it is that they believe they are experiencing.  As a result, you will get all kinds of explanations about what people think awakening is.  Luckily, we have a host of pretty specific symptoms to help this hold together pretty well, but it also leads to a lot of speculation based on thinking.  This is both good and bad, a double-edged sword.  As one remains unbiased in what they think they are experiencing, the more the phenomenon leaks through over time and informs the individual.

If you would like a primer on what it is like to have the left hemisphere shut down for a time, I recommend that you go to YouTube and watch Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk entitled, “A Stroke Of Insight” which describes her experience of how a stroke in her left hemisphere left her, a neuroanatomist, without many of the functions of her left hemisphere.  What she describes in her talk is nothing short of a brush with samadhi, and samadhi is the cornerstone experience of awakening (or is eventually once the person has gotten a handle on this new kind of state of being).   You can see her talk HERE. So what is the point in this little brain primer?

Let the rational observe. Let it watch from a distance. Don’t let it get any ideas. Take notes but don’t pretend that you know. The more empty you are, the more you can be filled by it. The more empty that you are, the more you can be guided by its great mystery and power. The more you have it figured out, the more it eludes you. Consider the choice you might not usually take but that keeps bubbling up around the edges of your awareness. That is the corner stone that most toss away as unimportant.

You have this, but to gain it, you must let it all go in order to grasp the bigger. It is like embracing the wind. Now let it it take you. This befudles most people and sounds like wishy-washy bullshit.  But this time, it is not.

There is a sleeping giant within. So many never find it because the way to it cannot be known by what you know. Instead, feel. Who wants to do this?  TO learn how to orient yourself to deep feeling would also mean that the closet within your consciousness that we now call the subconscious would suddenly be opened.  That is terrifying to many people because, as Carl Jung has said, people will run from this their whole lives in order to not face up to themselves.  But there is more on offer here than a blast from the dark past.  It is a kind of existential deal on offer that has the power to free you, to remake you, to save you and resurrect you (to the degree that you avail yourself of its power which I note is greater than your own). Open to mystery, and trust that it will come, a giant ready to merge with you to lift you into a new awareness. Let it do the work. It has all of this. It alone is perfectly suited to take care of anything that feels beyond your ability. Trust. Ask. Wait. Be patient. Believe it could come, and it will.

 

POST SCRIPT – There are myriad methods and means to aid in awakening.  Ultimately what these methods achieve is a bringing together of the opposites within awareness and the mind.  No method is some kind of magic, but aims at bringing a person to a certain state of feeling.  This is why awakening has been so elusive to so many for so long.  The answer is not in patting your head and standing on one foot.  It is not only in breathing, it is not only in visualizing a force rising up the spine, but rather tapping into the primal feeling state that actually knows the way.  More people have awakened as a direct result of becoming inspired and led along in that state to reach a whole new level.  Ultimately, something breaks down within the vigilant left brain and a stream begins, first a trickle and then a blast that can be both bizarre and bewildering while at the same time life-saving.  Every culture on the earth has described this experience in one form or another, emphasizing some aspects of it over others, but it is clearly not something that comes about because of a religious viewpoint or belief, but as a result of a hitherto poorly understood mechanism within every single human being.  That said, it has been found that a religious framework often serves to help or assist a person through this process, but it is not required.  It is also true that some fundamentalist ideas held within numerous religions can  lead to demonizing the experience, resulting in misunderstanding this gift.

I’m an artist by profession and was trained in being good at observation. I have been involved in fairly technical media during my training and career, so I have spent a lot of time testing things for a wide range of results and insight. I have had to pay attention to a broad range of phenomenon in order to properly understand what is happening, from melting metal to melting and forming glass.  This power of observation stemmed from learning to be a good observer, to really see what is in front of me without my applying my own bias on what I think is happening and why.  It just so happens that because of how technical my materials are, I have had to expand that power of observation into more arena’s than when I was drawing from the figure in drawing class all those years ago.

If you learn how not to bias yourself with what you think you are seeing, the data often will lead you right to the issue and you can then begin to formulate solutions from there.

Hang on, there, this does tie into spiritual or energetic work, I promise.

By my second year into awakening, I noticed that while I was having lots of synchronicities, I had this feeling, though,  like there was something more to this facet of awakening than met the eye. Was there a way to test this phenomena so I could learn more about it? It seemed reasonable to me.

I began with a hunch that synchronicites were in fact part of a poorly understood phenomenon that was creative in nature.  I just felt in my bones that synchronicities were just the tip of the iceberg.  That said, I was careful not to be blinded by my hunch.  Instead, I just watched and observed.  if there was any truth to my hunch, I would know.  in the meantime, I would have to be careful not to try and make any evidence for my feeling to fit my own preconceived notions, a pitfall that every scientist can fall into.  Or any person when doing this kind of work.

Let me explain for you how it is for me with kundalini, first.  Through this unusually high level of prana flowing through my body on a consistent basis, I found that the nature of events in my life began to shift right along with my awakening experience.  Was it coincidence?  After having read countless accounts of others’ awakening experience I knew that this was not unusual at all.  Like I said before, synchronicities are a regular experience.  They are the “new normal.”  I also identified that I had been experiencing various layers or levels of what the Hindu call “samadhi.”  This is a high level of bliss brought on by the prodigious flow of prana in the body.  I say that prana causes bliss not because I read this somewhere but because I saw it directly in my own experience.

The period of time in which I made this discovery or observation was in 2009 when I was able to break out of a five month cycle of high adrenal output, another fairly common occurrence for many people who awaken. This was really a horrible time because of how high my adrenal levels were on a consistent basis.  I knew that this was something I had to break out of or else it would wreck my body and put me into adrenal collapse.  Through sheer will, and observation, I learned how to regulate adrenaline in my body.  After five months of this horror-show of an experience, I emerged out of this into a fairly clear place.  This was accompanied by a number of releases of old stored trauma from earlier in life, which also helped my state of mind resolve into a more peaceful state. That said, what I found was that while my energy was no longer in “fear mode” it was replaced or was transmuted into something much finer in quality.  The energy was every bit as high, sometimes higher, but was now a powerful vibratory force that would create a shimmer effect all through my body.  Still, it was a lot to take but I was happy to be at this point in the process because adrenaline 24/7 is simply dreadful.

It was against this backdrop that I was able to see if there was any correlation between my energy levels and the incidence of synchronicities.  While my energy levvel was pretty high at this point, I did have dips and rhythms.  I might have one week of powerful energy followed by a week of quiet energy.  This was not unusual, and it seemed a good reason to begin paying attention.

During this time I noticed when the energy got to a really high in frequency, I would begin having more synchronicities. If the energy cut out, so too would the synchronicities. This was repeated many times.  I watched and observed for months to see if this were mere coincidence or if it was a pattern.  I found, at least to my own satisfaction that each time energy peaked, so did the incidence synchronicities.

It was at this point that I then began thinking about the concept of manifestation as being connected or responsible for what we think of as the synchronistic event.  Now I needed to find a way to test this idea to see if it held water.

Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity and wrote a short book explaining the phenomenon.  The thing about synchronicities according to Jung was that they all had an aspect to their occurrence that involved a coincidence that was meaningful to the person they were happening to.  As a result, these were almost always highly personal or tailored to that person.  There is also an aspect to the phenomenon which is the seeming impossibility of the event taking place in the way that it does.  He described one such synchronicity in which he was in a therapy session with a woman who was describing a dream she had which had Egyptian symbology or archetypes in it.  While he was listening to her in his study in Geneva he watched as he saw a beetle climb across the outside window.  This was no ordinary beetle, though.  This was an Egyptian dung beetle, an insect that is considered sacred among Egyptians.  This is the scarab.  There was absolutely no way that this beetle could have flown from Egypt to be on his window at that precise moment in time, and yet there it was making its appearance.  Jung intuited that this was sign to him, to prod him in his analysis of the dream.  he brought up the scarab symbol and found himself explaining to the woman what her dream meant.  this led to her having a major breakthrough in her inner work as a result.

Taking all of this into consideration, I had felt like there was a lot more “juice” behind what drive synchronicities.  I felt like this was just scratching the surface.  But how could I develop a way to see if I could shift these events into a more meaningful way? Many people who experience these events nowadays almost always describe seeing unusual numerical sequences.  Mostly it is on clocks that are at “11:11” or “3:33” for example.  There are even people who try to decode what these numbers all mean.  For all I know there might be a meaning, I mean, I think for the most part these events are like the subconscious trying to communicate to the conscious level of the self.  It seemed that if I did a little digging I might find a way to expand this more, to see synchronistic events for what I felt like they were.

First, I knew that any event that you would like to see happen has to be something that you really feel like could happen.  There can’t be any “yeah but” feelings in your wish or intention.  The problem with this is that the negative feelings mingle with the positive ones and can either cancel each other out or deliver you a manifestation that has been tinged with both sides of your intention.  To do this form of creative visualization as Shakti Gawain wrote about in her book so many years ago of the same name, you had to have a way to leave out the negative parts so they did not co-create along with the positive part of the energy.  Then, all that was left was to have something that I was really engaged in that I really truly wanted.

Around this same time I began writing a manuscript for a book about the awakening process.  Most of it was first hand, but there was a chapter in the book that I felt like needed to be sound tried and true methods for helping people to cope with awakening.  I knew that I needed to find sources for this because the methods I used were just too hard to explain to people. I didn’t follow a method or teacher of any kind.  I felt like I needed to have things taken from outside my experience.  The truth was, I had no idea where to start.  A week later, though, I had a series of synchronistic events that came in threes that were simply bizarre.  To explain them, I need to set them up for you.  First, these events happened at a time when I had not spoken to anyone about this chapter I was writing.  I had no idea how it was going to turn out and it was ore or less “in the wings” at this point.  The second condition was that I did not in any way initiate the event, it merely happened on its own and involved, usually, another person who was the unwitting participant.  With that explained, let me describe this one set of events.

It was about a week into my thinking about this chapter, but I had written nothing on it.  I had a friend who began telling me about how as a small child she found that in order to cope with the effects of kundalini she happened on shaking as something that made her feel better.  She would go into a closet and shake for extended periods and this would help to ease the effects of the energy.  While she was telling me this, I had this feeling like this was something that I was looking for.  It felt significant.  Almost like a bell ringing in my head, I sat up and took notice.  I didn’t mention how I was looking for just such a technique.  It gets better, though.

A day later, I take my friend to the airport and return home, running a few errands in town and stopping by a friends house who had been going through a battle with cancer for many months.  I showed up completely unannounced and thought I would say how I was thinking about her and to wish her well.  I was greeted with her smiling face and her ushering me onto her back deck as she was eager to tell em about the events of the last year.  As soon as she was finished with her brief history, she said, “you know, I have just finished a book written by an animal behaviorist…..”  Once she said this, I felt that bell going off in my head.  I sat up, took notice, and listened intently.  She went on to describe how the author had observed that prey animals who had survived attacks by large predators (lions, tigers, bears) would universally go through a shaking fit for about fifteen minutes and then go about their way as if nothing had happened.  he considered that this may have been a way for their nervous systems to literally “shake off” the trauma of the attack they had just survived.  He applied a technique of shaking on soldiers returning from the Persian Gulf and found that it gave them relief.  Bells were going off in my head like crazy.  But wait, it gets more interesting!

As soon as I let her house, I decided I should probably try to research some books to see if I could find anything that might be useful for my chapter on techniques for coping with kundalini.  I in fact found very few books on the subject of kundalini at our university library.  I did find one book by Gopi Krishna that was a second book he had written later in life that I was not familiar with. I headed to the stacks to find the book.  Along the way, well before I got to the row where the book was, I walked by a small book that just caught my eye.  For no real reason, I plucked this book off the shelf and took it with me.  In a minute or so I had reached the book I had actually searched for and I headed to the desk to check out my randomly plucked book and the book on kundalini.

It turned out that the book by Krishna had no usable material in it.  No bells, not interesting coping methods.  My “random” book was interesting but it too contained nothing in it as I had suspected all along. I held onto the books for about two weeks and on the evening before they were due back at the library I was lying in bed and I picked up that small book and flipped through its pages really fast,  like how you shuffle cards. I opened the book to a random page (bear in mind I had not read through the book, I had only skimmed to see what it was about and had dropped the book as anything meaningful) and my eyes fell on the last paragraph on the right side page. This paragraph began to describe how a therapist named Arthur Janov had cured a patient of a long-standing trauma from his childhood by getting him to feel the full breadth of the emotion that he had, Janov felt, had been repressing since an early age.  There, on the page, was a description of how just before being cured of this trauma the young man went into a shaking fit while lying on the floor.  Immediately after he stopped shaking or convulsing, the young man looked up at Arthur Janov and exclaimed, “You did it, you cured me!”  he no longer had this hanging over his head anymore.

I was dumbstruck.  I leafed through the book to see if there were more incidences like the one the author had described.  There were none.  In fact, the author did not identify the shaking as even important, only as an element in the retelling of Janov’s own account which was being retold in this small book. I had literally found the one account in this book that described how shaking was part of a healing process. I realized that this concept of shaking was not something that was really understood, not until the animal behaviorist had written about it.  My random book had been written at least a decade before the first one my friend told me about earlier in the day when I had met with her.  What I realized I was dealing with was a quintessential needle in a haystack.  For me, however, this was a huge plus because when you think about it, how was I going to find books in print in a library that would tell me about this method that I would go on to write about in my manuscript?

I went on to have a number of these similar events while writing my book, all just as strange or bizarre as the one I just recounted. I had another set of three events that all pointed me to a philosopher whose ideas conformed to my own and helped me in fleshing out what I was dealing with as a central theme to both awakening and the book as a work.  I will, however, resist telling you about that series of events.  The point here was that I found that if I needed something in my book (or in my life for that matter) and had not real way to get to it “out there” the resource would magically find me by hook or by crook. I remember trying to describe this to someone once and she so distorted the concept that she retold the story as though I had been working some kind of magic on people to get my way.  Nope.  But it was a lesson in how some people will quite naturally misunderstand the nature of a phenomenon by applying their own inner biases on what it is they believe they are seeing.

For me, intention is key as it is in all teachings related to manifesting your desires.  I found that after I found a way to use intention to go beyond mere funny number sequences, those events tended to lessen and the more significant events took more form.  Always, there was a pressing need, a clear and pressing need and desire for something but without any understanding about how that was going to take place.  All on its own, those events would form around my own life and would repeat three times, often providing additional needed material in order to understand it better. For me, the number three is important because it deals with the trinitarian quality of kundalini itself and served as a kind of code or signal to me to sit up and pay attention.  Even when experiencing the first of any of these events, they always have this feeling that I experience, which is that of being somehow significant, even if I don’t always know how.  Once the number set of events completes itself then I always have just enough material to go on to get to the next point in my writing.

I wanted to pass this along for anyone who has either had this happen or who wants to test it for themselves to see what results they get. I hope this adds a little new wrinkle to your day. ♡

(Copyright, Parker Stafford)

My awakening came gradually. It came in somewhat measured steps. The first step clearly opened me to a strong flow of prana and my first experience of nonduality. Then, over five months, I began having innexplicable events occurring that led me deeper. A friend loaned me a hemisync cd for clearing emotional baggage. Another gave me a meditation technique I have detailed in the last post.

A Voice spoke in my mind telling me to close my eyes and focus on the center of my brow. Complying, I awakened my third eye, a process that expanded over several days once I focused my attention there and saw the fiery brightly lit eye emerge into my field of vision. Then I was taught or tutored in how to alter my consciousness to take advantage of the wave-form part of our consciousness, the part we call the feminine, the Shakti, the right brain and left side of the body. Everything was unfolding, gradually, carefully, as if by some plan. I wrote about it to close friends. I had no idea what it was leading to.

I had several events that all directed me along a path to awakening in a way that left me the last to know what all of these things were adding up to. Clearly, a higher intelligence was involved. This is not to say everyone must awaken the way I did. What is clear to me, because of my own experience, that at the base of awakening is an effort to break through a logjam of trapped energy to liberate or open a hole within us that will let the water of life stream in. First a trickle (for me), and growing stronger each day, each week, until my body was conditioned enough so the full rising event could come. A breaking through this logjam.

One of the events that took place in October of 2006 was a day-long acceleration of prana, which was a preview of what kundalini would bring. I had a vivid vision-a certainty in inner vision and through intensely felt feelings-about how all life feels prana or life force in the same way when it is felt abundantly (which is all kundalini really is—unusually high levels of pranic flow).

Getting ready to go home, this information nagged and pulled at me until I put it down on my computer starting at 7:30 pm and finishing at 7:34 pm (I had no idea why I should note the start and ending time but I did…now try and type what I typed in under four minutes).

This writing spoke of prana and how it was affecting both my body and mind. After writing this, I would find myself experiencing an odd synchronicity involving my finding the only magazine on a rack full of popular magazines whose content was uninteresting to me except one magazine I had to hunt for around a corner, blocked by a card rack placed in front of it. Without anything on its outside to suggest its contents, I would find that it had an article that read in bold: “When it comes to seeds, it’s all about sex.” Here is the piece I wrote to try and get that stuff out of my head, a first brush with a powerful burst of prana.


The Yearning

The fields are wet from rain after the corn has been harvested. Trees slowly turn from green to yellow, then gold. The air cools and the mind thinks back on days when life was brimming over and the air was thick with the smell of pollen. The same corn, now nothing but stubble, stood gold and green with tassels swaying with the breeze, releasing its sweet nutty smell. To some it was just a delightful thing that marks the passage of seasons. To me, its more than that. It speaks of life seeking its own, making itself over; a new generation. A yearning, a leaning toward the wind in the hopes that Nature will take care of Nature, and carry its life giving sweetness on the air to waiting seeds, waiting for that breath of life, that germ of passion that makes the flowers grow, and makes life turn ‘round once more in the endless cycles this world is known for.

Seeds and plants and pollen, all lean into passion in ways we can scarcely imagine. For this is the glue that keeps life going. For them, it must be pleasurable, a passionate act of giving, a release, an immersion into a mystery far older than our own known seasons, our own individual lives and experiences. For this is the gravity that pulls them, moves them to continue. How can it be any other? Why then would life seek to replace itself through an act as perfunctory as the dropping of an apple from a tree? No, the drop of the apple is not perfunctory, or a second thought, but part of a yearning to become, a part of merging with some larger dance. If trees can’t feel this, then why continue? Why go on? Perhaps in measures we can only guess or imagine, there is some divine spark of wantonness, of passion and pleasure bound up within their shells of being. How can it be any other? Perhaps there is a secret life these rooted beings feel that is beyond our ken, beyond our too quickened ways. We have been “beyond” these beings for so long that they are now “just plants.” And yet, they are more. They will speak if only you will listen, and they yearn to tell of this ancient dance, this incredible desire and passion bound up within every cell of their being, so it pays if you will only listen.

I know that seeds seek and yearn and hope and dream; dreams perhaps that are so different I could never scarcely imagine or see them for what they are. And yet, it seems inescapable that these creatures, ancient as all of life here, yearn for the touch of pollen upon their seed pods and enclosures, waiting patiently for the bee to carry their spawn beyond them into other regions where others await the touch of the life giving sparks that enliven and awaken a new generation. Even the warming caress of sun and drenching rain is an act of divine providence, or giving in a wheel that knows no end and no beginning. Quiet and still, these beings mask their greater inner lives.

So even we do these same things, even we make this dance of longing and yearning, so old and ancient that its root can escape us as we are caught up as if in some whirlwind, some deeper dance both of passion and letting go as we give ourselves to life’s great mystery, to its passionate embrace, and longing that brings us to this place, this wonder filled state where our minds and bodies and hearts are excited beyond the normal trebling that life gives or provides.
To touch my eye with your eye, to touch smile to smile, or hand to hand, we join in this ancient dance, this passionate longing for life seeking to complete itself, and in so doing, complete ourselves. Round and round we turn, like stars upon an endless wheel that rolls and ducks and sways in the lost night of time. We are carried one by the other, some by our imaginings, some by the reality, but always by the same glue that keeps life turning turning back and forward at once, calling to the roots of what it was to the heavens of what it will become.

So as our hands embrace, our smiles merge, as face becomes face, and eye becomes eye; as flesh becomes flesh, we excite in this dance, this subtle movement first tentative, then more certain as we are gathered by the compass of its certainty, of its need to move as it moves, which is ever forward into endless days and tomorrows.

We came here as boundless beings who knew neither limit nor touch, and followed down into narrow pathways into minds of earthlings, like spirits on a cosmic voyage, we entered the world of limit and pain and loneliness, only to be called back by forces that were brought to bear in this world, moving us through realms of limit and bounding to that greater reminder that this is a dance of mystery, passion, and love. In this love we touch the infinite, wrapped in that which pulls and grabs us like hawk talons grasping talons in a spiral dance of yearning, moving us one step beyond this one, seeking the divine, seeking the infinite. 10/13/06 – 7:30-7:34 p.m.

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Sunset over St Marks Nature Preserve, Wakulla County Florida. Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

 

Several years ago I decided to interview people who had experienced awakening for inclusion on this blog.  This was an effort to help bring the perspective of those who have experienced the phenomenon to the fore in order to help others who have gone through this life changing event to gain perspective, understanding, and perhaps greater awareness. I have recently published two of those interviews and they have been given their own page which are located under the header at the top of the page.

 

It is hard to know how much awakening can change your life.  It is like a quantum leap into the unknown.  It is bewildering.  It crowns just as it crucifies.  Navigating it is at once easy, difficult, with old rules now completely out the window.  It leaves many feeling scattered to the four winds sometimes, and yet it is also a saving grace.  It is powerful medicine.  Many awaken without a background in any philosophy or religion to provide a framework for the experience.  My sense, as it was perhaps my own experience, that we have much more to learn from awakening when we don’t have those frameworks in place. This is for the simple reason that we face the phenomenon without preconceived notions of what it is that we are experiencing.  We don’t get “captured” by the “rules” of other groups who, I note, have been unable to glimpse the larger potential that awakening offers us. While the experience happens in every culture and corner of the world, there is also a rising tide within the Christian church, factions of it, who would paint this as an inauthentic experience, what is called a “counterfeit spirit.”  Sadly, there are those who would resist the universality of this experience and they do so out of nothing more than ignorance.  The only way to deal with ignorance is with education, with information, and with what we find to be true (rather than what we believe) from direct experience.

 

There are plenty of frameworks that do speak of awakening and many of them wind up, for me at least, to include just as much belief as they include factual information, which to my mind makes it a mixed bag.  To know the truth, it seems, we have to go beyond what the masses are saying about it in order to learn to trust our own experience.  This is a lonely proposition and can put us at odds with the mainstream (like Advaita or Neoadvaita for example).  While awakening has very specific symptoms and signs, it leads us to an awareness that places us in a whole new kind of mind and heart space.  This can be a lonely road for many of us.  The interviews reminds you that you are not alone, that you are part of what appears to be a growing number of people waking up all around the same time frame.  Curious, perhaps purposeful, we can each learn from each other.  This is my hope.

 

My hope,too, is that we can build a library of these interviews for the assistance of anyone wanting to learn more about the experience, be they curious or an “experiencer” themselves.  If you have had an awakening and would like to add your voice to the chorus, your interview is welcome here.  Interviews are kept anonymous if you wish, but very real people are behind them.  You can simply respond in the comments section and I will arrange to receive your answers to the questions (which are just a jumping-off point) for inclusion here.  I am interested in whatever insight that you feel that you have, regardless of what others may say about awakening (or even myself) because we all have a lot to learn.

She was the one who was touched by the growing bloom of desire. Each center opened to a presence that moved all through her. It was little more than a wisp, really, like a rising tide of water. Just like that. This touched her at every level of her being. Pulling him close, though he was far from her, she initiated a dance that she was never able to complete perhaps because the prize was just that precious and powerful a thing; fire from heaven.

The truth amongst our kind is that once touched, we are forever changed. We cannot pretend to be the same. We cannot act as though the genie has gone back into the bottle. We try, many times we do, just as she had done, hoping to return to her Kansas and her blissful ignorance. We all do, if the truth is told. We do grow accustomed to it though and in its big roaring realm of a shift it awakens us to deeper truths, and not all of them sit comfortably with us. With such power, with such roaring realms as these, we are ourselves made into instruments of the emanations that is our universe. The Gods and Goddesses speak through our fiber, our bone, our idiosyncracies, our desire, our failings and our triumphs. We face up to the fact that to be spiritual is to be sexual, which is to be creative, which is about begetting both spiritually and physically. We cannot nor will we ever remove ourselves from the truth of this which is that at its core, all of this awakening is creative. She wants to create with him, to feel his words and his presence upon her lips, drawing out of her a consummate creation born of a love that is transcendent….something more than just she and more than just he. Through every center she feels how the truth of this touches her inwardly just as it touches him inwardly. They are carried, touched, enlivened…. by this fire to know how they both share in an inuterable truth about it and each other….Such a truth draws souls together unlike anything else.

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People can turn their backs on these things but so strong are these events that they make indelible marks on our lives, our souls, our hearts, and even our bodies. For as much as we seek to seem normal, to fit in, to fly under the radar, we are rendered an exotic forever after and for always. All of the heresies come to live in us all at once, shaking us to that inevitable conclusion that each of us make, which is that the world is both backwards and upside down. …and it has been that was for a long time.

We, even touched as we are by this, remain backwards and upside down creatures until we relearn and allow ourselves to break under the pressure of the great force that is the divine bearing down on us and on the falsehoods of our innermost lives. The difference is that we are pilgrims who travel not without comprehension to the Promised Land but with full realization that we each ARE what was once promised us.

She is the kind who can sense and even smell him before he arrives. Her innermost senses are so enlivened by him that her own senses begin to form a world around him that is made up of him. Something in her is made to know him perhaps as much as he knows himself. It is at this great level of intimacy that she can never again pretend she had not caught glimpse of the bringer of that fire to her frame in this life or that she served as the crucible within which their surrender became the Great Revealer. She knows him and he knows her in a way that defies any idea that we are in any way separate or that the universe itself is not strung together in an incredibly intimate fashion such that no lie about separation can stand long before the roar of this world washes over it and topples it, washing its pieces away as we stand gape-mouthed wondering over what just happened, and also over how we could build such castles to honor the deeper heresy of separation.

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And even those who have parted still meet in the breathless silence of their innermost realm at night and between the sentences of spoken words and between the architecture of our thoughts. They are just too large for that not to happen, and we must learn to forgive ourselves if the fire is ever to make any sense to us and not burn us to a crisp in fear or in anger, or in jealousy, or in uncertainty. It is in the in-between that it calls to us and does not care the channel or vessel who carries it. It seems to need us to tell its story, like some wordless presence, like some vivaciously creative mute that is suddenly tired of keeping silent but has no means itself with which to speak or caress or to love the other in the way that we are equipped.

For many, it’s just too much. It’s too much as long as we resist being as big as it is. It’s too much as long as we refuse to stretch into its being and learn to give that higher self a place in our lives. We resist because the higher self is not uncertain but knows…..and we, the children waking up to its presence within us, are limited and do doubt and are afraid that it might mean our end…..even though that never seems to happen.

He can feel how she visits him. It’s often only after she falls completely asleep. Some nights he waits up and others, he slips off into a sleep that contains chapters only the two of them know, but mostly know peripherally or secretly (even when its secret from themselves sometimes). It isn’t always clear, and there isn’t always a narrative to paint the sky so it can be seen, or a room or a sense of place…..because this now belongs to the timelessness that we each touch when our bodies open their eyes and as our mind is dragged along for the ride. He holds his hand up; this is all he needs do to transmit the ripple of pure bliss which penetrates and travels faster than light and ignores the laws of our world because of how it lives and breathes the one Law that has ever really mattered and is the one Law upon which worlds have been built. This Law lives within him and its movement into her is what remains a world of endless pleasure and delight.

This plays out in this way with many today. Married, single, alone but connected….it has taken all of us into its arms regardless of our laws and rules or conventions. It asks us to tell the truth by BEing the truth, and so it changes our lives when this enters them. We are shaken by this and it is hard, but it is like leaving Kansas with no hope of ever returning, perhaps never wanting to return. The genie is out of the bottle and the truth turns in us until we learn to face it more fully each time it swings us ’round in its pulsating dance of both pleasure and becoming. This truth, if ignored comes back around in other years, seasons, and lives. There is all the time in the world and yet, it seems to make us all feel that there is little time left. I think that this is because of how long we have remained ignorant of how much we have lived outside of its Law even as some of us proclaimed to know it intimately. This force does not care about how our lives are composed it seems, and will clear a path in us to see that its will is done. Eventually, the truth catches up with all of us….and until it does, it exerts a steady pressure on each of us until we give way and forgive in order for the resistance to allow flow again. He remains in silence until she acknowledges that nothing has the power to stop this…

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Their opposites, both as the Cosmic She and He attract. Karma attracts, that which is left undone attracts. But what is really at the root of our misgivings after all? In each case, it is always something that felt that we did not reach in its fullest apogee for our hearts to feel filled with it. We return to lovers who died too soon for us to play it again just as we turn the wrongs other have done to us into the force that cracks our insides open to reveal the greatest bliss one could ever imagine. In each case, we feel a sense of lack that always has us forever chasing it, forever yearning for it, forever focused on it even if it is done subconsciously. We hide so much from ourselves that our lives do not adequately allow fulfillment for. But how

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do we correct for a wish never filled that is now thousands of years old, covered over by ten lifetimes or more? These bones form the substance of our desire in some of this as we wake up…..and there is nothing so compassionate a hope as this; to free ourselves and to know the force of love not as something that we feel FOR someone but a force that we finally ARE.

There are many stories that remain silent and secret but that live vibrantly in the luminous realm. Don’t let its grace pass you by.

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As I look over our history as a species, from the Middle East and the religions it spawned, to the East and the philosophies, the almost-religions that stopped short of being those because they do not espouse worship of a deity or a god of any kind, I see a pattern emerge as it relates to our creative energy and all of its relatives; except under very specific conditions creative energy is only allowed to be expressed in certain ways.  I am dealing with creative energy in a very broad sense here, so if you thought creative energy was that part of us that solved problems or helped create new things like cars or rockets to the moon or music and art, hang on.  Creative energy, I have come to see includes all aspects of our being, from our desire to create art to our desire to build bridges and civilizations.  Our creativity also includes the forces that maintain our bodies and it also includes our capacity, our ability, to create more of ourselves through sexual intercourse between men and women.  All of this to my mind and experience is part of a cosmic strand that divides out in numerous ways in our consciousness but has at its root an energy that in its origin is wild and free.

The problem in our world today is that except as noted previously, creative energy has been tamped down, controlled.  Churches have done this by instilling a sense of shame about our sexuality. We were to not trust our sexuality or our urges least of all so we relied on our religions to tell us what was what.  And you know, I am not convinced that it was for good.  Look at the scandals rocking the Catholic church and they don’t seem to stop. The Pope speaks out about it, but its like it is some monolithic structure with little accountability or willingness to change.  If you doubt what I am saying here, just do a historical church of the scandals that have taken place with the Catholic church over the years and you will begin to see how difficult this issue is.  Part of it stems from requiring priests to be chaste.  I am just going to say that when our creative fires are so narrowly focused there will always be trouble. Creativity was meant to be wild and free, not tamed, and here we are with our religions trying to tame what really was meant to set us free.  And instead, we are prisoners.

I will admit that what I say about prana is my take.  People are keen to try and point out that our perception is just perception, so human, so frail, so likely to be distorted.  But you know, this time, I don’t think so.  As I read about the hundreds, thousands, even, of experiences describing the bliss of the flow of prana, I see the same thing. It’s seen as a goddess, perhaps, wild and free, powerful.  But this energy is in all of us, the place where our inner man and inner woman meet, the explosion of opposites.  That is the definition of kundalini….which is nothing more than this: prana in supreme abundance (finally!). What I observe is what everyone else observes.  People may have different reactions to it.  Some might close down, some might open up.  Some might open and close in turns.  Some will be highly insightful, some will realize there is more to their ability to plumb their depths.  All through it, prana is the wild child to me, a liberating and spiritually lubricating force.

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Torus form with multiple sheathes/fields

Prana is creative.  It stimulates all centers of the body when there is an abundance of it.  The ancients described bliss that was off the charts due to the increased flow of this energy.  As I sit writing this, I feel a steady-state experience of bliss.  I came to this level of bliss as a result of a lot of inner work.  I instinctively knew that if I followed what kundalini was doing that things would get easier.  They have.  I still have my challenges that I deal with, but they change with every realization or inner breakthrough.  I know that in my case that prana has fueled wildly vigorous creative energy.  In fact, I had to be creative in the arts in order to build enough of a flow in my body to sustain the current level of bliss that I feel.  When I go into the energy I can feel its wildness.  I can feel that it was never intended to be tamed.  yes, it is like water and will flow into any container in which it is poured, but the vessel itself is what limits or allows the flow of this force.

As someone who deals with awakening on a daily basis for over a decade, I luagh at the videos of teachers telling people how to awaken the kundalini.  The “Sat Nam!” breath that is one part hammer and one part release into the Mystery.  i know that if I had to depend on an exercise like that to awaken I think I should wait a very long time.  Maybe someone figured out that it worked for some folks, but I direct the flow of prana by way of feeling only.  This has always been what has opened the gates….always.  Even teachers who say prana is breath are wrong; prana is a fine energy that is in no way contained in the air.  No, prana moves by way of feeling. In fact, feeling is how we actually communicate to the cosmos. it is how the dream is made manifest (I write about this extensively in the blog so do a search to find out more).

The chakras are energy centers and every one has an emotional vibration connected to it.  This “emotive power” inherent in the chakras is born out of this feeling quality I am talking about.  No, people shut down their chakras and thus prana when they feel a hard feeling instead of a soft opening feeling.  And even if a million teachers say prana is breath, it does not make it right even once.  It just means that they themselves do not understand prana or have not been able to stimulate prana with anything other than breath (and this tells me as the observer that they may be lacking in their ability to connect with their feeling side of themselves to boot!). I know it might sound pedantic, but I promise you that it isn’t.  When we understand something so simple as prana responding to feeling, we can get ourselves on the right track in our own work for bringin in more of it so that its flow can heal (which it does).

Breath, when properly used, has a stimulating effect on the body which in turn stimulates prana. It isn’t even that the chakras respond to thought, it is deeper still than that.  Feeling….the whole world is lacking in feeling and awareness of their power to feel.  People who are not awakened will laugh at this, but trust me, the world carries a level of numbness in them…..even awakened people.  The journey to full feeling can take some time.  I know that I have been gifted with a kind of energetic “reset” by a healer who revealed the true depth of my woundedness, which sent me into a very real sense of physical pain (which was itself emotional/spiritual but now boosted by the presence of prana so it feels physical), so I know that we can go merrily along with the work of awakening only to find, “holy bejebus! there is so much more!” even years later.  So this is why all of this can become such a journey for people.  This is a journey to realization.  Realization comes about as a result of awareness.  Sometimes, once in a great while, we can meet people who we connect so deeply with that they share something about themselves that can spark all sorts of realizations within ourselves.  Some are direct, some tangential.  Some are unintended.  But this is why relationship has been so important in awakening and is also one aspect that is largely denied by the world’s religions as a bona fide religious or spiritual “practice.”

Yes, prana is creative. There are stories of how women who have undergone awakening have experienced a sense as though they were pregnant, that they were going to birth something. A close family friend confided in me during one of our talks about her awakening process that she went through a period of time when she could feel her body wanting to physically birth something. She sensed that this was part of her awakening process, but it was a curious experience to her.  When I explained to her that many other women have reported the same experience it made her feel a little less crazy. The experiences have all been extremely similar and I think that it points to powerful energies that are creative in nature but that operate at higher dimensional levels and are having their effect in our day-to-day lives (because it’s all connected now).

So I think that when we are faced with the spirit and the higher self, it is quite natural for higher-order experiences to be transmitted into the language of the body, to be related to our bodies as well as all other levels of ourselves.  I have noticed that at a certain level the self knows itself to be One with all things, so naturally the creative energy of prana is the same as the creativity of our personalities, the same creativity of our physical bodies in making babies, and who knows what other forms of creative output there are in other realms of experience that we have yet to discover as sentient beings. What is universal is that creativity always feels blissful.  When we create babies in the physical our bodies provide us with an orgasm to make the experience that much more filled with reward, but creative energy also brings chills and goosebumps to creators of music and art.  It at once expresses and evokes powerful feeling. People who have awakened almost all go through intense creative bursts.  As an artist I can say that my awakening has fueled a number of new directions in my work that would have never existed before.  It’s a little crazy in a way just how crowded my inner landscape is with ideas.  My only challenge is in bringing these ideas to fruition.  And, in the way that prana also works, it speeds up manifesting many-times over.  For example, when I began thinking about how close I was to reopening my studio practice after teaching, without saying a word, but thinking how I would like to have some good assistants, I received one highly qualified request for being involved in some part-time capacity at the studio making work as well as two beginners who expressed a sincere desire to learn the discipline.  The interesting part of this is how well-timed it was.  By now, I am not surprised by any of this, but I know that when my prana flow increases, it accelerates manifestation of desired outcomes.  That said, it might bring me a person who WANTS to work in my field, but it does not guarantee that they will be excellent or that they will decide to stay with it a year or even a week later. Sometimes, you have to dig deeper to find where these glitches exist.  But that is for another time.

But here is the problem as I see it, at least as it relates to many of our institutions on earth,  which is that our creativity has been hijacked.  It’s not some demonic conspiracy to enslave humanity, just a desire to tamp down creativity because it scares people who are in positions of power.  One thing I know about power is that the vast majority of institutions and the people within then have a great need to control.  This control on the one hand may have been intended to keep people from killing each other or behave badly, but the other side of the coin has been that it also limits freedom.  It limits our creativity.  When I look at what I have seen in my meditations about creativity and how wild and free it is and when I look at the human race, I see a big disconnect.  And the problem? Here is your problem…..

We value war and destroying in the name of greed and the usurpation of land and wealth through military invasions and keeping our race held hostage by the fear of the next fabricated threat that the military industrial complex decides to come up with next (read your history on this—most of our wars have been coups on the part of the CIA or an effort to fool us into war, this didn’t start with the invasion of Iraq, this has been going on for a long time). We are taught that to be a man we must be warlike, unfeeling.  Women have their place, perhaps one of the greatest fonts of creative energy alive on the planet and our women are shut down to such an unbelievable degree. Their thought process mimics men in their rational approach, with that fabulous intuitive and feminine character of soul nearly gone.   Really, you have no idea.  But so are the men shut down.  We all are, so don’t think I am picking on anyone in particular.  But men are shut down in such a way that it creates this rage and it just keeps feeding their desire to go to war so they can just kill something.  This, my friends, is creativity turned into itself.  This is the dark side of the creative force.  Do I really need to point this out to you? Men who don’t know how to command their sexual energy, women who are afraid of these men, and then women who aren’t in command of their own sexual energy too, and use their emotional forces of manipulation to work things in their favor.  It is a crazy mixed up mess if you ask me.

Our institutions by and large forswear sexual expression as a necessity to make babies, but by and large, we have incredible taboos placed on our sexuality.  While there are good reasons for governing behavior in theory, my observation is that our attempts to govern sexual energy result in greater dysfunction than ever.  Men pitted against women, the war of the sexes, men not in possession of their source of power and women not in full possession of their source of power either.  All the while we are taught that our sexual nature is dirty, that lust is not redeemable, and forget having sex if its lustful.  In fact, most of our institutions teach us how to sublimate sexual energy as a convenient way of side-stepping the issue altogether. In many parts of Asia its as though the teaching of Zen Buddhism and Taoism and other strands of Buddhism would rather deal with packaging bliss so that its no longer sexual as their axis mundi for solving the problem.  Women no longer in possession of themselves will never engage a man at the level of his divinity for very long, but the exact same can be said for men with their women.  I ask; how did we get here? I feel like I am in that video by the Talking Heads for the song Once In A Lifetime where a clearly out of control David Byrne seeks to illustrate the chaos of our lives as controlled beings while desiring finding the flow of life.

When I step back from this madness, I can feel a world within me swirling with the forces of creation in a way that I had always hoped to be able to feel, actually.  I had always hoped prior to awakening that creative energy was this vivid and strong (and it is). But when I look at the world I see we have a long way to go, baby.  We have a long way to go because we have squashed the creativity of the feminine and masculine both.

It’s interesting to me how as men begin to soften, kundalini is coming onto the scene also as women are learning how to find their own strength and their own sovereignty.  I observe that on a collective level humans are reaching across the aisle and integrating more of their opposites into their lives especially over the last twenty years (which also corresponds with the sudden increase of awakening (I could be wrong, but I don’t buy that these awakenings are due to someone decided it will be, but are the result of a myriad of factors all resulting in the changes we see today.  If you know how awakening is itself defined by the fusion of opposites in consciousness, then you can perhaps appreciate how it is that we now have a mass awakening taking place on the planet. Right. Now. And honestly, I observe that the progress we have made not just for hundreds of years, but especially during this last century, just happens to be of a kind that favors the fusion of opposites.  What if instead of this being some grand cosmic event as many want to say it is, we are simply glimpsing the natural result of people having reached a kind of threshold point in their development with awakening being the result.  This period has shown us more possibilities and people have been able to shrug off the control of their institutions just enough to begin to evolve in new directions, directs that favor awakening.

I think we need to be less concerned about how others will react or treat us.  We already are made into a kind of outcast by the differences in our experiences moment by moment from the average Joe and Josephina.  I mean, admit it, even as you go through your life undercover as the awakened being on the planet, you also find that this makes you feel so singular and lonely.  Social things for social creatures.  I think that the teachings of Tantra have a lot to explain about bliss.  While tantra is itself not necessarily sexual, the parts of tantra that are do not seek to shy away from confronting issues in our consciousness (well, it is the same with white tantra or black, both head straight-away right into the center of the fire which is how all emotional release work is done in fact).  The lesson is that you never skirt the briar patch, you head right into it and liberate it of whatever hitches that reside within the self.  Free yourself from shame, guilt, and repressed emotion. I know that in my life I have worked to dissolve as much of it as I can.  I have more to go, but as this last block rears its head I am reminded that if I am to be able to hear the voice of my intuition and my inner guidance as clearly as possible, I have to continue to be clearer.  Don’t be tamed, friends.

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Wakulla County, Florida, Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

I have been doing a lot of travel recently ( I plan to do more now that I am officially an “empty nester”).  Some of it has been traveling to  places I grew up in, others to places I haven’t been before.  What is interesting to me is how when I travel, how it impacts the way I dream. This summer my daughter and I spent some time along some islands in the Gulf of Mexico.  As we traveled further south, every night for me was like digging deep into some deep barrel to lift out something long forgotten.  I have found over the course of ten years that the things that have led to releases energetically have been extremely broad.  I have used movement, Qi Gong, meditation, breath work, shaking and TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), dream work, and I even released a block on the advice of my guidance by drinking alcohol one evening just enough to get tipsy (and the next morning the release came-magic!).  No matter what the yogis or masters tell you, if you have a voice of guidance, follow it.  If that guidance says “find the nearest body of water” or something odd-ball like that (which happened to me) trust it.  Follow it.  And even if you don’t have a clearly defined thought-voice in your head, follow your gut, follow your urgings, and even try doing something you are afraid to do or that you have resisted. So much of our buried emotional material has to do with what we resist or bury, or try to ignore.  The bodhisattva in me wishes very much to assist you in realizing even more the bodhisattva that is within you…

In the case of this Summer, being in places where I grew up but have not been in for a very long time seemed to have an  effect on my state of mind and a kind of reverie I felt that extended into dreaming. In my case, the place I was in I hadn’t been to in close to 20 years, and before that, another 20 years which takes me all the way back to my early childhood. I find it interesting how traveling to familiar places that you haven’t seen in a long while can help spark or catalyze transformation, a kind of reclamation of the soul and its lost parts through buried hurt or trauma from the past.  This is actually what yoga seeks to do for the individual, which is to help clear the energy body of this stuck energy so that the primordial self might know itself in presence. I know that when you think of yoga you think of all of these postures, but true yoga is actually about realizing the divine within you.  This is its ultimate goal. Now as to whether yoga teachers are teaching yoga with this emphasis/awareness or not is another question altogether…

It has been a great Summer for me because I was able to spend time with a child whom my ex has worked diligently for years to lessen my exposure to.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my children and how engaged I am with them.  It has been a hard seven years but my child turned 18 and she was able to assert her rights as a person and that has meant that we finally were able to have a real summer together traveling and enjoying each others’ company.  We have been out boating, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, taking walks,  and laying in the hot sun. We have been able to visit old family friends, and for my daughter, meet people from my past who are like family who my daughter had only heard in story.  All the while, in a way I can’t quite explain, my insides are being effected as I sleep at night and have these dreams that seem to access long forgotten parts of myself.  Some of it feels so peripheral I am not completely sure what is happening (sound familiar?) and some of it feels more familiar or known.  There is a lot in dream that has felt like accessing points or places within me that were concurrent with a certain place and time….

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Sunset over St Marks Nature Preserve, Wakulla County Florida. Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

I’m writing this urging you to consider breaking up your regimen by going to places you haven’t been to in a long time.  If you are  like me, and moved from your childhood home a long time ago and haven’t been back, try going back.  But relax, enjoy your time, see the sights and soak in what it was like to be there. Even if you didn’t like growing up there, there is really something to be said for returning to those old brambles….sometimes only to find that the brambles are all gone, or are ready to be rooted out of you. Sometimes just being there can be enough to connect you by way of geography, the smell of the place, the change in altitude or weather, or even the slight disorientation that comes from being in a new place.  We generally think of these things as disquieting, but in release work, it really can be the very trigger that lets an energetic loop slip out of your energy body and fall away.  I think that it could hold some surprises for you as it relates to release work. Sometimes dropping a pebble into long undisturbed waters can make for change….

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Key Largo, Florida. Copyright, Parker Stafford 2018.

 

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I think I have always wanted to know the thoughts of God.  I was never convinced that God was what we said “he” was.  It seemed that there was something much more to all of this.  I grew up feeling this way but having no way to back that feeling up with sound, solid proofs or contentions. I didn’t know for a long time why it was that I had a kind of amnesia about this knowing, at least not until recently. We all have this kind of amnesia, and it serves a purpose, I think.  We even have a name for it, we call it the “veil” and everyone talks about it so much.  It is everywhere you look. We have anthropomorphized it, essentially taking what is in us and projecting it out onto the world.   But this veil is within us….it is not outside of us or in the world, no matter how much it might seem to you at the time.  It does express itself in the beliefs of men and women, yes, but that only speaks to the ubiquity of this meme in people’s minds. The veil is discussed as part of attaining a clearer view of reality or how the world works, “Once I pull the veil completely back, I will then know what the real truth is” many think to themselves. Admit it, if you have read about the “Veil” you have thought about this at least once.

The secret to attainment is in unrolling these illusions and getting down to the deeper fundamentals of who and what we are, not doing what those who are not awake do, which is to see the surface of things and think they understand the forces that are at work.  This type of attainment means that some beliefs are going to die. This is in fact the very act of “pulling back the curtain.” This opens your awareness in such a way that you are now capable of being able to glimpse a new world, or at least what seems to you to be an upgraded version.  All along it was because the lenses and blinders were being  dropped within you (and me and the rest of us who are engaged in this process of awakening on the planet).

The problem is, as I see it, is that we don’t even know what God is.  We have created many many forms, but these are human creations. The biggest challenge I faced when I awakened was this thing we call God.  It just wasn’t at all what stories had tried to describe God as.  Obviously we had each created “him” and ourselves in each others’ image.  But what I found when my soul was cracked open like a walnut by awakening was that a force that was lacing itself through the entirety of creation and which lay nested within every single atom and lay there watching, quietly, observing.  In fact, my very first experiences when I encountered what I would later learn was samadhi, was the presence of this force that was ever-present all around me. I just came into an awareness that only seemed possible once the brain or mind had been altered by awakening….it just wasn’t something that I had any real direct experience with.  If you know me, I am a big one for direct experience and not just quoting the experience of others (but both are good). It was less that I stood before a great man being and more like living in the bloodstream of a light being that is so huge you can’t even glimpse what it is.  Something that huge is just hard to even wrap your head around.  I found it flabbergasting to be honest.

Another aspect of my experience with this grand living presence that was everywhere was the silence of this presence.  In fact, it could be said that silence was its hallmark.  I wondered about this for years.  Why was it so silent?  I mean, I am now aware of it and it must know I am now aware of it….aren’t there going to be some kind of recognition of that?  To date, there has been none. Instead, it seems that this is still very much an inside job, and I have been getting hints that this Presence does want to commune with me, but it wants to do so in silent knowing.  It already lives inside of me, albeit silently.  But this observation about its silence is nearly universal amongst mystics and people who describe such encounters.  Mother Theresa has mentioned this silence as have Buddhists of every persuasion.  Saint John the Cross wrote, “The Father spoke one word from all eternity and he spoke it in silence, and it is in silence that we hear it.” This perfectly matches the kind of silence that I experience…I feel the presence seeming to be pulling me into it.  It seeks union with creation, and it is not just content to be inside of everything looking out.  But when I say this, I have to stress that this Presence does not force anything.  In fact, everything that it has done thus far shows very clearly that free will on our side is absolutely crucial, which means, I supposed, that it remains inactive in a way, but vibrant in its longing to engage with the Creation which has sprung up around itself and which it, “God” (if you want to call it that), has cleverly hidden itself within.

Without realizing it, I had my own personal “God is dead” moment. The final tossing of that old dry construct of God as a man in a beard or something roughly mimicking human was replaced instantly with something wildly different, but also extremely interesting.  God had indeed died, but it died in the way that an idea dies; it wasn’t ever really real per se. It was like watching this old play set fall down around the actors.  It wasn’t even tragic, it was more like it needed to happen.  I guess on that day was when I really met God, or the thing that we all would agree or are yearning to know.I know how hard it is for those who very much want to believe in Christian doctrine to hear these kinds of things.  I don’t say them out of anger or upset or some deep seeded need to tear down the church.  Its just that…..we kind of have been getting wrong for a long time and I think it is time for us to wake up to something that appears to be much much more amazing.

I found that now I felt things that I had not felt before.  I related to the “spark” in me that is said to be divine.  What I mean is that I became aware of just how it is that our divine spark IS this “God” or Presence or divine intelligence in the universe.  I imagined feeling a thread that moved through all parts of me down to my deepest core.  Somewhere, in what seemed like the mystery of nothingness, I could feel that thread dive deep, somehow tying me to All That Is. Just beyond that inky dark, I sensed a world that was unimaginably vast.  I imagined or considered that this void was in fact God’s own veil in order to help us maintain our sense of self here in our reality.  When I would feel into this void, as I experienced it, I really did see that in the great void, there was simply nothing.  It was like the nothing state you encounter when you fall asleep….just…no consciousness.  But this isn’t a scary thing, not for most of us.  And I think that we really all known the Void as it is discussed in my mystic circles because we encounter it every single time we fall asleep.  We cross over in those moments.  Its a kind of non-event.

When I would feel a little overwhelmed by all of this, I would take my third eye and go into an atom and scale that up until it was like I was standing on a football field with the atom’s parts all around me (I suggest you try this sometime-it can lead to amazing discoveries about matter).  Here, I would feel the energy animating the atom.  I would feel the presence of those beings that orchestrate the creation and sustenance of the atom, these wildly creative and gleeful beings I encountered my first year of awakening, but I would also feel something else that was this amazingly constant presence that was…everywhere and everywhen.  I experienced it initially as a flash of brilliant white light, after which everything in my experience changed from that day forwards.  Shade of Paul on his way to Damascus.  In the case of Paul, I sense quite strongly that Jesus was sharing with him the light of his own attainment because they were, oddly, kind of like brothers of a weird sort, displaced by about 20 or 30 years in their births, but with a connection to this same light.  Paul was less converted from a distance by Jesus as he was touched and healed by the light that Jesus and all other initiates are connected to, regardless of religion.

When I read about the Chinese concept of the Tao, I see how their experience mirrors my own. Yes, I have felt this marvelous quiet and stillness that is the Tao. I have, however, also experienced another aspect of the Tao, which is that each time I go back to it, it has changed.  I don’t mean that it has changed its essentially nature, no, but something energetically has changed.  To explain what I mean, it is like how a lightning strike could be absorbed by a vast lake.  This lightening bolt is streaming in all of the time, and this lightening bolt is actually information coming from the Creation.  There is energy that is streaming out from the Tao also, but it is not seen as a lightening bolt because the creator is IN everything, actually sustaining everything that exists.  As a result, you just don’t see a big production happening. But this Creator is registering all of the change in all realities which is quite a feat.  I became aware of the Creator presence as this thing that looked almost like an atom, this thing that mirrored itself all throughout creation in the atom, the cell, in so many forms. Even as I say this, I know that this was not the truth, it was simply a way that I saw it.  It was inside of all things, like how you have DNA inside of your body at the base of your entirety of being. Having said this, I also must admit that it could be that the change that I see as taking place in the Creator as a result of being a part of its creation, may in fact be my own inner change.  I am always keeping my mind open because what I think I know is often changed by what actually is.  What I do know though is that as a kind of mile marker in my jounrey that what I have experienced privately is very much in line with what people describe during moments of enlightenment or while experiencing samadhi.

In fact, what I experienced while encountering this prime creator was that it was not masculine or feminine. It could not be said to be a God or Goddess at all.  It was radically different from anything we have ever as humans been taught.  I found that when I was feeling this prime creator, I did it best when I was deep in samadhi.  The deeper I could go, the more of it I could glimpse. I wanted to expand my consciousness more and more in order to take in a larger view. This Presence was so perfect, so wonderful to me, I wanted to know what made it tick and how I might be more like it.  Over time, though, I have found that my ability to feel it moment by moment has improved along with my own inner work in awakening.  That said, my ability to comprehend its mystery appears to be tied to what level of attainment I have matured to at the time.  The spark in me knows that in order to really change our world, we need to teach how to bring this spark into the world and nurture it into a flame.  We need it because it represents a balancing of our innermost natures and of a path to activating the latent abilities in the left and right hemispheres in the brain (which are activated when awakening is itself activated).

I am not alone in this sense about the creator as a vast presence.  Nearly every person who has had a near death experience (or NDE)  reports much the same as those who have had brushes with enlightenment.  Those who have had NDE’s as well as those who have awakened both often say that after the experience “God” was more a quaint idea for people to carry with them until they were ready for what I call the Big Kahuna of Realization.  It seems that awakening and NDE’s both share similar traits, in that both involve an encounter with a brilliant white light that always results in a significant change within the person taking place.  I have read extensdively on NDE’s over my life and this trait is nearly universal. People talk about the veil being pulled back in awakening, but really all that ever is pulled back are the beliefs that you had in place that kept you from being able to see things as they are.  Both an NDE and awakening promises this kind of glimpse and the changes that take place in their wake.

This is why, I think, people describe Awakening as a destructive process.  It is destructive because by rewiring yourself for awakening, you enable your mind and begin to glimpse the truth of things, sometimes only for mere seconds in the beginning, but a glimpse is all that it takes.  In time, you have more glimpses, and hopefully it melts the beliefs that have been wrong all along and which have also kept you from facing the prime creator and understanding your relationship to it (as a divine spark seeking to grow into a flame of creative energy).  But once you get past that sense of having lost so much, a new world begins to unfold.

I found myself watching a youtube last night of a man who I have known peripherally.  I have friends who know him and have studied with him.  His name is Joseph McMoneagle.  Joe was a military Chief Warrant Officer and a gifted Remote Viewer for 19 years in the military and intelligence agencies.  He has gone on to form a business where he remote views for companies and he speaks about his experience as well as having written books on the subject.

Joe had two NDE’s and when he talks about them, he describes how his old notions about
God were put to rest. What he believed about God as a result of growing up and what he actually experienced during his NDE’s were so vastly different from each other that he was left grasping at straws.  He saw that there was this vast presence and it was in this white light.  His whole inner spiritual paradigm got shifted through those experiences.  This, though, is part of the “growing up” that we each do in order to be able to face the much bigger truth that waits for all of us.

Knowing this is such a big thing. By this, I mean that the Presence that we wind up experiencing is just so incredibly vast.  Faced with this presence of the Light, and the lack of all of the things that we thought was God (ala Moses and the Ten Commandments), we can be left with a paradigm shifting experience that leaves a giant hole open, which is a vast mystery and really hard to wrap your head around.  It really takes a level of spiritual maturity I think to be able to deal with this. While we each face this when we leave this body, we also face a curtain of forgetting, too, which means that most people do not remember what it was like in between their lives.  I know that for as many lifetimes as I have wound up remembering this go-round, I have precious little in the way of what it is like to be in this place called heaven.  I suspect that this is something that we can’t cheat on, it is something that we have to be able to obtain for ourselves, this presence of the white light. But what I do know is that when I encountered the white light and what it brought to me, I had this singular experience of remembering, not as clear as you might think, that yes, I had experienced this white light before, I just could not place it (it existed, it turned out, outside of time, something that makes placing something so tricky).  Until we do this, we are simply caught on the cycle of reincarnation, trying to grow up and mature enough so that we can handle to news that things were different from what we had thought.  And to be honest, its not a devastating truth, its just….different.  No more Santa Claus, yes, but something else more subtle and bigger.

I tend to feel that by knowing this great mystery, as the Native Americans called it, that we are kind of setting things right again and getting more right with the way of the world and the way of the entirety of Creation. It seems based on my observations that the prime creator does not speak through burning bushes but by simply being present inside of every subatomic particle, inside all of us, looking out, and waiting for the moment when we get quiet enough and clear enough within to be able to see how we are connected to the Creator and how what this Creator has is freely given.  Many of our leaders in the past encountered their own spark turning into a flame and had visions that they believed were of God speaking to them.  That’s great, I guess, but given our new understanding of how things are, it is more likely that it was Moses’s own inner spark speaking to him and not the Presence in the white light.  I say this because when it comes to people who talk about God speaking through them, just knowing how silent the White Light is, causes me to doubt the very nature of these communications.  I have no doubt someone like Moses had an experience with an inner presence, I’m just not convinced that it cam directly from “God.” I think anyone having experiences with awakening or NDE’s will likely have similar feelings.  We, it seems, are here learning how to receive these gifts as the sparks of the divine that we are, and we are bounds to get the truth only partially correct sometimes. Additionally, learning how to use the energy that comes from that divine spark in us for beneficial purposes also seems to be an important aspect to growing up and seeing that this White Light is this powerful force that is love.

Namaste

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