Friday, June 28, 2013

My Dilemma

More than 25 years ago I threw out the baby with the bathwater, as the saying goes. For seven years, I'd been a devoted follower of an eastern spiritual path and guru, beginning with a Shaktipat initiation at an ashram in California. The initiation stunned me. I can still recall it vividly — my anger at being asked for the third time that day to help with the dishes, the energy moving up through my body and out the top of my head as I stood at the sink, and my total immersion in gratitude as each dish passed through my hands.

I'd never before in my life experienced anything remotely like gratitude and it affected me deeply. Then, after two days of emotional turmoil bordering on hysteria and near terror, I took a leap of faith. In that moment, it seemed as though I were standing on the edge of a precipice, knowing I had to jump. The risk I was about to take was monumental. I recall my fear as I looked to my friend who had accompanied me and asked: "What if it's not real?"

By the end of that weekend, I had begun to view the world and myself in a new way and I understood that there was no turning back.

I was to immerse myself on that path for seven years and to have many other experiences which strengthened my faith and reinforced my conviction that I had been graced. I viewed the source of that grace to be the guru, a perfected master.

Seven years later, shortly after his death, I learned that my beloved teacher had committed immoral acts and that the knowledge of his behavior had been well-known and kept hidden by those in his inner circle. I was faced with the very disillusionment that I had feared so many years earlier, and although I was devastated, I continued for a long time to protect his image and rationalize his behavior.

In the years that followed, I became a skeptic with regard to matters of faith, spirit, spirituality and gradually dissociated myself from the path that I had devotedly followed. I often spoke to friends of having lost my faith. However, I continued to struggle with the dilemma of how to honor my "kundalini" experiences while believing that their source was an imperfect, dishonorable person.

More recently, following my husband's death in 2011, I've begun to yearn for the openness I once felt which gave meaning and direction to my life. And as I've come to understand the psychological needs that led to my emotional entanglement and dependency on the guru, I've asked myself whether, given that my experiences were real and true, I can disentangle and liberate them from the person who I thought was their ultimate source.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Anything Said About the Tao is Not the Real Tao

I had to begin with that title. No other way. It has to be said that the words in this post are not the Tao. It is the slipperiest Teflon philosophy, that is, neither a philosophy, nor a theology. It is the reality underlying all existence. One becomes the Tao. One walks "The Pathless Path," as Osho put it. The path of contradictions and paradoxes.

I have a tattoo of the yin-yang symbol on my forearm. I have been asked by various people, a lot of my Hindu friends and members of my close family, why I chose that symbol. "Why not a nice OM or a Ganesha?" they asked. I explained patiently that this symbol does not belong to a particular philosophy but includes them all and covers the totality of deities, methods of worship and disparate traditions. The non-dual nature of existence is the crux of Hinduism. The practices collectively called Hindu-ism originate from the philosophy known as "Advait Vedanta." Literally, this translates to "Non-dual end of Vedas." The four Vedas are the original sacred texts. The end of the Vedas, or the culmination of the knowledge expressed in these texts is the one, indivisible, "not-two" reality. Dvait means dual. Advait means 'indivisible' or 'not-two'. Atman and Brahman, loosely translated as the soul and the outside universe, are a part of this totality that is one indivisible whole. The almighty absolute consciousness we call God, hides this reality from the localized point of consciousness we call our individual self. This is the veil of illusion called Maya. Once the veil is lifted, one is self-realized and finds that Atman and Brahman were one and the same now and forever. Like the Indian saint Kabir said on his deathbed, "Today the droplet has swallowed the ocean."
The Tao is not a Chinese philosophy that is only relevant to that culture. It is a universal truth of the nature of reality. The play of yin and yang which just happened to be discovered by the great sage Lao Tzu, just as Zen was discovered and codified into practices by Japanese monks and Yoga was discovered by Patanjali. The same interplay of indivisible opposite polarities is expressed as Shiva (yang) and Shakti (yin) in Kashmir Shaivism. The Tao cannot become a theology because theologies believe in addition. Creating vast tomes of knowledge that further occlude the truth and keep the seeker further away from THAT. The Tao is a process of elimination. When one sheds every extraneous layer — all that is not the true self — one arrives at pure, unvarnished truth. That state of being is the Tao. You blend with it, you surrender to it; you don't comprehend it intellectually. Rather you realize that you were always a part of it, never separated from it.

The concept of Dharma, as described in Hinduism, is often mistaken to mean your religion, i.e., the faith that you were born into or the faith you chose later on in life. The true meaning of the word Dharma is the essence of your being. The totality of the individual created by a combination of your genetic makeup and the formative factors that created you. An expression of the divine within that body, unique to that person, never to be repeated again. Swami Vivekananda once said that there are about 400 established faiths in this world, but I long for the day when there are as many faiths in the world as there are people in it. A mix and match of whatever suits your purposes — and some new faiths yet to be created. The methods are merely tools at our disposal, to be used to achieve self-realization as we please. They are not doctrines for creating rigid rules or means of self-flagellation at the altar of the ego.

Over time, however, religions have evolved into social practices. They have become more about mindless rituals, repeated blindly and guarded zealously by those that believe in rigid adherence to "how things are supposed to be." They are interested in making sure they impose "our dharma" on the individual seeking to find "my Dharma." The individuals or groups that are busy making sure no one strays from the "path" are to be avoided at all costs if one wishes to realize his own true essence and attain self-realization. Such imposition has nothing to do with spirituality. This is assimilation into the Borg, to borrow a concept from Saint Roddenberry of the Star Trek canon.

A close friend of mine, one who prides himself on his vast knowledge of all things spiritual, makes it a point to mention, in a dramatic fashion, that the actual Chinese pronunciation of the Tao is Dao, and therein lies the irony. Lao Tzu and other sages take great pains to emphasize that the word Tao (oops... Dao) or any other words that describe the Tao are but fingers pointing at the moon. To mistake the finger for the moon itself is to be caught in the superficial outward appearance of things and never fathom the deeper reality itself. To argue about the name given to something that cannot be captured in names is the worst kind of misunderstanding. It reminds me of the Magritte painting: "This is not a pipe." A picture of a pipe is not the real thing. It cannot be stuffed with tobacco and smoked.

In fact, a man of knowledge cannot grasp the Tao. It is when one drops all knowledge that knowing can occur. All knowledge is stagnant and miles away from the truth the minute it is calcified. Knowing is in the present moment. Awareness is in the now. Knowledge is a barrier in the perception of truth. As one drops knowledge or even the concept that one knows or is supposed to know, one grasps the essence of the Tao. By a process of elimination, one arrives at the truth. "Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality," as Bruce Lee said so eloquently.

So how did I put the Tao into practice? After my kundalini awakening, there were vast amounts of trauma churned up by the energy moving up and down my spine. Thoughts of resentment, shame, guilt, animosity, despair and every other kind of extreme emotion. I had to train the mind to see it all with an objective observer's calm. As a witness watching a river flow. However, this was not easy. Mindful awareness helped, but it was the "middle path" technique that really came to the rescue. With every extreme thought that was generated, it helped me to remind myself to "Accept the ALL."

Accepting the totality and knowing that every point of view is just one side of the coin with an equally valid opposite. Coming to the middle point between the two sides is a most useful practice. This helped me navigate some very stormy seas and allowed the energy to do its job safely. Simplifying all extreme thoughts to a simple duality and then adjusting my consciousness to accept both sides, moving in the direction where I would not have gone in the past helped the mind assimilate my new revelations, adjusting gently to my new reality. It became a habit that comes in handy to this very day, preventing me from being my old self and others from pushing my buttons to create polarized perspectives that they can exploit. Mindful awareness and detachment allow me to avoid all emotional extremes and stay centered in the middle path.

"Sat Chit Anand" the last stage before Samadhi, translates to "Truth Awareness Bliss." When the mind is emptied of all thoughts, concepts, words and labels, reality can be perceived. The original state of bliss achieved when the mind is still. This stillness can be achieved by centering oneself. Allowing things to happen, floating like a leaf on the river that is this being, allowing the droplet to swallow the ocean.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Avoid the Spiritual Path if You Are Afraid

The title of this post is something I have been mulling over for a while. The first question a reader might ask is 'why' — what is there on the spiritual path to be afraid of?

I have often thought that any spiritual book or practice should come with a health warning that says, "From the moment you open this book and/or take on this practice, your life is not going to be the same." The minute one says "yes" to the spiritual, no matter how tentative that yes may be, new neural patterns are laid down in the brain that one day, if the conditions are right, will result in a Kundalini awakening.
2013 UK Kundalini Conference
Brighton Street - April 2013
My spiritual journey began when I was nine and has continued on and off for all of my life. The most intense period were the years  I spent studying and practicing Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Pulled along by some invisible force I didn't understand, not knowing why I was doing it, all I knew was that something bigger was propelling me along this path. I would sit in meditation and be totally and completely bored, vowing "this is the last time I am going to put myself through this." Once the session was over, my memory seemed to be wiped clean of the torture I had suffered to the point that when it came time for the next sitting I walked meekly in like a lamb going to the slaughter. The slaughter of being alone with the contents of my own mind — with no escape.

I thought life would get easier, be smooth and harmonious. In fact, the opposite happened. My relationships with people seemed to be even more fraught and my despair at ever being understood only escalated. At one point, I asked myself, "Why am I continuing to meditate and pursue a spiritual path when life just seems to get more and more difficult when I do?" Still I persisted.

What have I retained after so many years of dedication? A practice like meditation brings deeply buried issues to the surface. Those years of uncertainty stirred up the mud at the bottom of my subconscious.

The process is similar to water dripping into a bucket. For a long time it seems no water is going into the bucket — the practice merely releases pain, and then one day there's an experience — and the bucket is overflowing with water. It's important to keep a practice going no matter what is happening in everyday life. It's easy to give up when the results aren't noticeable, but the spiritual path is like water dripping into a bucket; it's not an overnight thing.

Courage is essential on the spiritual path, courage in the face of fear and uncertainty. The path is as narrow as a razor's edge. There are many places where the consciousness can get stuck. There is no guidebook for the expansion of consciousness, specifically for YOU. Or perhaps, there are too many. The writings of the sages and saints, yes, but the journey by the Alone to the ALONE is done alone and it requires courage.

The first spiritual experience is of greatest importance. In my case, the overflowing water resulted in a first rising of energy from the base of my spine (Kundalini) and this experience shifted my consciousness from without to within. Instead of looking outward I focused completely on the energy within. This altered perspective that consciousness takes on changes knowledge into experience which ultimately becomes wisdom.

After it happened, spiritual literature became a source of validation for my experience rather than a source of seemingly unattainable knowledge. This altered consciousness is so profound and, at the same time, so deeply threatening to the mind that, in the days and weeks following my experience, the mind threw up all kinds of fearful thoughts as to what the experience meant and the possible consequences of being called to a celibate life as a nun which I had no interest in. Staying steady in the face of these kind of thoughts takes courage and I am forever grateful to my years of Buddhist training for keeping me steady during what were often scary and uncertain moments.

If you are not prepared and willing to live life from a place of uncertainty, then do not go near the spiritual path. It is not what you think it is. I had no idea when I went to my first Buddhist class in 1988 that there was a powerful spiritually transformative energy lying dormant within the body that would make itself known to me and shift me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was drawn to it. I loved the Buddha without any expectation of material or other sort of benefit. And while life is truly balanced and harmonious now, it wasn't always so. There are so many surprises on the spiritual path, unexpected rewards that are incompatible with fear. That is why I say, "Do not approach the spiritual path if you are afraid. Stay with the known. Don't venture into the choppy waters of the unknown."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Believing in Yourself

To me individually, to my heart has been revealed a knowledge beyond all doubt, unattainable by reason, and here I am obstinately trying to express that knowledge in reason and words.
~ Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Although the title of this post has become a cliché, shopworn and ubiquitous, it still has a lot of meaning. So much so, that I for one, having heard it a thousand times before I was 21, never understood the real meaning until after Kundalini altered my mental processes and changed my being. I was too busy flirting with the suffering artist paradigm and Billy Strayhorn's seductive LUSH LIFE syndrome, too busy feeling my pain and drowning it in alcohol, drugs, and women. All I knew was I wasn't where it was at.
Spontaneity Removes Inhibitions
Like the two previous posts on this subject (Neven Paar's Spiritual Evolution and Margaret Dempsey's Casting Pearls Before Swine), I learned to believe in myself when I discovered there was something out there, something beyond the material world, something beyond feeling sorry for myself.

Up to then I'd had my preceptors' sentiments on the great orthodoxies of life (religion, education, goals, ambition, status, marriage, success, politics, accomplishment) beaten into my brain without really accepting what they said because so much of it didn't jibe. If there was really something out there, it must reside beyond the limits of my indoctrination. And if it did, I wanted be in on finding it. Trouble is, I didn't know where or how to start. In the meantime, I wallowed in nothing to believe in, so why bother.
Five minutes later he has a follower
Spontaneity Attracts Followers
Later, drawn into Yoga and meditation, possibly because they were outside traditional Western orthodoxies, I practiced in fits and starts, again without any idea that what I was practicing — if I took it seriously — might lead me to that something beyond the world I'd rejected. That was forty years ago.

Now that I know the "metaphysical dimension" is real, like the two previous posts cited above, my first impulse was "to spread the word." And I did. Once.

Thankfully, I paid attention to my listener's reactions; I watched her face. It wasn't that she blew me off; it wasn't that she didn't try. She had no idea what I was saying, no way to relate. I didn't feel resentful; it wasn't her fault; it was mine. As if I had all of a sudden started a lecture on metallurgy at a baby shower. I had two choices: never mention my experiences to others again or pick my opportunities judiciously, usually in situations where I could transmit a practice or concept through example.

I became very selective. I cannot, you cannot, they cannot transmit the reality of metaphysical experience into words that a listener understands — until the listener becomes receptive.
Home Sweet Home is an illusion
The World Through Rose Colored Glasses
My education was all about preparing myself to do my part. Move the nobler precepts of Western civilization forward. I took a different approach. Now approaching elder status, I see acquaintances who took that other path frozen with looks of surprise on their faces, surprised that the end is near. That after retirement, things wind down rather swiftly and there's nowhere to go, so book that Caribbean cruise, reserve that barge trip down the Rhine, plan the bicycle excursion through Thailand, pencil in the monuments of ancient Egypt. And once that's done, collapse into the waiting arms of death — without a thought of what lies beyond.

I found that path too limiting. So I went another way — a way that's shown me:
  • There is no death (death is only a change of state),
  • We keep evolving,
  • There is meaning in the Circulation of the Light,
  • We pass our Kundalini magnified consciousness through genetic mutation to future generations.
My path was a choice; my choice a path. One ordained by Karma; one that had to happen. And now, looking around, there are more and more people acting spontaneously, less bowed by the weight of orthodoxy. More interested in self-realization, whether it be dancing in the park at a street fair, meditation, Yoga, study of the occult, energy healing, astral travel.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - See more at:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - See more at:
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - See more at:
Trouble is, Dylan Thomas, great poet that he was, didn't understand that the Light doesn't die. So, heed my words: There's lots of time. Go dance in the Park!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Beings of the Cosmos

I get jacked up when I hear people speak of fear. When they are going through pain and suffering while this Kundalini Fire is purging them from the inside. Reason is I know what is happening; I know the end result. I know where it's headed. I know how the system works. It's all part of the master plan. And once you know the master plan, the fear just vanishes. It's like you're stuck on a scary ride in an amusement park. You're strapped in, but you've never heard about what happens when you're dropped from 200 meters in free fall.

The ego wants to know. It wants to calculate so that it can have a nice bow wrapped around its conclusion and say, "I saw it all along." Well, the thing is this is a process the ego can't know about. In fact, the ego is the only variable inside you that cannot know where things are headed. Because it's slowly dying. Not in the true sense of death, but in the sense of new life. All things must be destroyed in order to be renewed. Such is the law. Fact is when you are dropped from a 200 meter height, yes, you're strapped in, but you still feel the fear of uncertainty. And this fear must go. In removing fear, you develop faith.

How are you to heal others, speak in God's good name, and speak the inner truths of the universe, unless you have faith. In yourself. Yes. The process is to build Willpower. Without willpower, your inner powers are nothing. Willpower moves everything, from your thoughts, to your emotions, to your life. And now you've dropped! You're diving down 200 meters in free fall, feeling the fear in the pit of your stomach. And boom. You survived. And lived to tell your story.

Way up high, you couldn't know about it. That's the secret. The secret is that you are safe. You are safe in the mind of the All, which is God, where you are its thought in its eternal dream. You are safe. You can't die, you won't die. Nay, your life is important cause you are going to change everything. By becoming the change, you will induce change in the lives of hundreds of people. You will communicate. To thousands.

You weren't born a prince, but you will end up a king. Never fear. Fear binds the ego and feeds it illusive thoughts. It lowers your vibration, lowers your emotion, lowers your Willpower. And most importantly, lowers your inspiration. Inspiration is the key to going through this process. If you are inspired, in-spirit, you will resonate a higher frequency of thought and emotion. you will induce others, put a smile on their faces, raise their vibrations. You will change everything. You are a warrior in God's army. This is a fact. But you are in training.
Alex Grey, kundalini awakening
Alex Grey's depiction of the Kundalini awakening event
You're Neo in the Matrix. But even Neo had to learn to control his powers in order to use them. A quote from Spiderman always resonated with me. "With great power, comes great responsibility." How are you measure up to this great responsibility until you learn to control your power.

And fear is your test. It will test you for a long time. New doors will be opened, new karmas thrown your way. Why? So you can learn to defeat your fear. Listen. You were never born, you will never die. This world is an illusion. This is a fact corroborated by modern science. Everything around you is empty space, including you. You are a point of consciousness localized in a physical body, in a material universe. The kundalini raises your vibration, thereby raising consciousness and making you  able to see beyond your normal frame of mind. You start to see like a Demi-God. Now that's a lot of responsibility. Cause now you have a mission. Your mission is to tell others about this. Ones who are poor, who are suffering, who are hungry. Who are down on their faith. They need YOU. And you will change everything. Give it time.

Chakra system, Kabbalistic Tree of Life
Hindu Chakra System, Kabbalistic Tree of Life, and Egyptian Caduceus
The human body's spiritual framework works like this. Your aura has layers. These layers contain different subtle bodies. Physical body first, then astral body with the emotional nature of karma, then your lower mental body partaking in the moving of the astral, then higher mental, partaking in the lower spiritual body and its connection, and finally your spiritual body of light. The Qabalah is the blueprint of all existence. It contains within itself everything in this Solar System. The 4 elements, 12 zodiac, 7 ancient planets. It states that this World consists of 4 worlds in one, all existing at the same time. These worlds are as follows: Earth, the physical universe; Air, the mental or rational universe; Water, the astral or emotional universe; and Fire, the spiritual universe or White Light.

So the human being is a totality of the 4 elements. These elements are found in the lowest 4 chakras. Kundalini awakens all the chakras since the "snake" travels upwards through the spinal column terminating in the head. And the charkas are found in the subtle bodies along the points of the spinal column. Once fully awakened, the chakras are all awakened and function at top speed.

Hence the emotional and mental turmoil after awakening that continues for years. It's basically too much for the old ego to handle all at once. Coupled with the spiritual heart awakening and boom, you have a whole lot of skeletons in the closet that appear quite scary because  you experience them in real time. Every thought is as real as you and me. Scary stuff for the ego cause it's been hiding a lot of demons for a long time. So look at the elements in isolation. The Qabalists termed the name of God to be YHVH, otherwise called the Tetragrammaton in the Qabalah. Yod-fire, Heh-water, Vav-air and final Heh-earth. Four elements, seven chakras.
The Tetragrammaton-YHVH
The four elements are found in the lowest four chakras. The highest three chakras are of the Aethyr variety. What is Aethyr? Spirit. A kundalini awakening is essentially an awakening of the Spirit. Hence the awakening of all of the chakras at once. Your ultimate goal is the crown. The crown is non-dual, hence it doesn't contain karma. The chasm between the ego and Higher God-Self is called the Abyss. Ego disappears once you have crossed the Abyss. Everything below the Abyss contains the ego. The Abyss is the place where the so called "Devil" exists. He guards the abyss. The "Devil" is duality. If there is God, and there is God, then in terms of duality it must also mean that its arch-nemesis exists as well. The Devil! But he only exists in the mind.

Once you have crossed the duality of the mind, the Devil and his demonic minions (fallen angels) disappear. Fact is they never even existed in the first place. Only in your head, only in your mind.

The ego developed as a result of that illusion, to separate good from evil. Ego feeds on fear, fear feeds on karma and karma exists as a part of past conditioning. Past conditioning is found in memory. Memory is found in events. Events are found in time and space. And at the root of it all we have nothingness and its opposite, pure unlimited potential. The Holy fire. The White Light. This limitless existence is only limited by the degree of consciousness within you. And the degree of consciousness and its vibration is limited by the perceptions of the ego.
Name of Jesus
The name of Jesus, the Pentagrammaton-YHShinVH
The name of Jesus is very peculiar and symbolic in nature. Jesus is essentially the prototype of the kundalini awakening process. His Hebrew name is Jeshua, spelled YHShinVH, otherwise called the Pentagrammaton in the Qabalah. In other words, Fire, water, Hebrew letter Shin, Air, Earth. The four elements with the letter Shin as the reconciler. Now what is the Letter Shin, this letter symbolizing the element of the Holy Fire in the Qabalah? Therein lies the answer to who Jesus really was and why now you are assuming the role of Jesus. As he prophesized when he said he would come back. The letter Shin consists of three strokes symbolizing three flames. These three flames are termed the threefold flame of the soul in the Qabalah. In other words, the KUNDALINI. Ida on one side, Pingala on the other and Sushumana in the middle. So when Jesus said he would return, he basically said that all the world will eventually evolve and have a kundalini awakening and transformation as he did.

Simple stuff, veiled in allegory, found in symbols and numbers. All of this is God's master plan. And you are part of it. In fact in a microcosm, you are the universe. Every human being is a microcosm of the macrocosm. The macrocosm is the solar system we are in, with its center as the sun, the source of Light. The sun's power is found in your chest in the spiritual heart centre. This is our soul (Sol) and its connection to the Light of the Sun. Around the sun are the powers of the planets of our Solar System. Kundalini awakening opens up the powers of these planets inside you. These are the powers of the Higher Self, or God-Self. With Aethyr as the medium of thought and vibration you become an antennae to the vibrations within this solar system.

But first, you gotta go through a lot of cleansing. Remember, great power, great responsibility. God wants you to be a King or Queen; it's just a matter of time. A matter of cleansing, a matter of testing, and a matter of building you up to be a vehicle for this higher power. So never despair, never fear, it's all an illusion. It's Maya. This world you see and perceive is not real. What is real is the power and light inside you. And once you've traversed the path, and opened up your own inner universe, attained to the higher powers, unleashed the psychic powers of the chakras through hard karmic work, you will see the ultimate light, you will see the end of your journey here. And at the point of your physical death awaken in a different solar system to learn of its lessons. This is truth, let those with ears hear.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Casting Pearls Before Swine

For some reason I have not been able to read and forget the second paragraph of Neven Paar's last post, Spiritual Evolution. It’s hung around in my brain and while I did write a comment to his brilliant post, something more begs to be written. In the second paragraph of his post he writes: “Don't bother explaining yourself. You will be persecuted if you do. People are afraid of things they don't understand and base their judgments on their fears. Instead, don't speak about the light; BE the light. Become the source of light and lead the way. Others won't understand, but they will be intrigued, inspired. They will follow. Become special through your actions and others will be convinced. You can speak of riches all you want, but once you share them with others, only then will they believe you. Only then will they want to have the riches for themselves, too. This is your purpose. This is why you had an awakening. To open the eyes of others so that they too might see the light as you do. Only then will you be fulfilled. You will find the unity which you seek.”

I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the first three sentences because it is true that actions, not words lead the way. Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.” He didn’t say by their words or what they share. People are afraid of things that they don’t understand and that fear takes many forms — dismissing, rationalizing, faulty logic, strategies the ego uses to prevent the individual who has awakened from recognizing the dream of who they thought they were. Just try saying to someone “You are not who you think you are” and, at least in my case, you will met with some very funny looks. The safest way to navigate through an awakening — until the awakening experience achieves critical mass — is to BE. Gandhi knew this, “BE the change you want to see in the world.” He didn’t say speak about, or share this change. He said BE THE CHANGE.

Where I find myself disagreeing with Neven’s post is in the following three or so sentences: "Become special through your actions and others will be convinced. You can speak of riches all you want but once you share them with others, only then will they believe you. Only then will they want to have the riches for themselves, too."

In my experience, sharing with others doesn’t mean others believed me. I am very careful to limit my sharing to what I have experienced, namely the rising of energy up through my spine on two occasions and the corresponding effects. I will write more about this later in the post.

But the final three sentences beginning, “This is your purpose…” stuck with me. There have been times in life when I have read something and it’s like the words screamed out at me from the page. Reading these last three sentences was like that. I read them and my soul cried YES. At some level I know this. At the same time my ego groaned inwardly as it sensed that, having given up on attempting to touch, move and inspire people with my experience concerning the transformative energy within all of us, I just might now try again. Reading these last three sentences hit at my very core and woke me up from a tranquilized complacency I have been in. A complacency rooted in resignation.

When I found Mahayana Buddhism in 1988, I had no idea that there was anything to be learned from it. I was disillusioned with the Catholic dogma I had been brought up with. It wasn't validated by my own experiences, so I began looking for something more authentic. I loved Buddhism for its own sake, not for anything I might "get" from it. When Buddha said it was possible to become awakened in one lifetime — while not understanding what he meant — I had a childlike faith in the ultimate truth of his words. I was also clear that I didn't want it for myself, but rather for others. This wasn't an an ego projection on my part, but a sincere wish to share so that everyone might be able to access to the riches within themselves.

Two parts to the Self: The I and the Ego
As I set off on my Buddhist spiritual journey, wanting only to share my discoveries with others, I found myself feeling not connected with these same others, in spite of my passionate desire to become involved. The meditation sessions were very difficult. I often felt like quitting, but something kept bringing me back. I was the most reluctant and resistant Buddhist imaginable. Yet I loved the Buddha passionately. I read all the sutras and complicated Abhidarma texts, but the meditation practice — when I was alone with myself — was torture most of the time.

My discomfort with fellow spiritual people stems from feeling uncomfortable with anything that smacks of specialness. Looking back now, I realize I sensed the presence of spiritual egotism without knowing its provenance. I sensed the veiled superiority that many on a spiritual path exude. I wanted to distance myself from it, yet I craved the teachings. It was the teachings and an overwhelming inner pull which kept me in the Buddhist environment for almost 10 years.

Then in 1998 I experienced the first rising of energy up my spine, in a non-Buddhist, non-spiritual setting. Being familiar with mindfulness through meditation, I connected fully to the energy and noticed that it didn't appear to move too far up my spine, but the effects of this experience in the weeks and months following were transformative — physically, mentally and emotionally.

There are so many theories flying around about this energy that it is easy to become lost. I hear so many accounts of energy — often referred to as Kundalini — rising up the spine. And with each account I find myself referring back to my own experience, as this is the only authentic evidence I have. I cannot rely on interpretations of the experience, only on the actual experience, the actual rising of the energy and its corresponding effects.

Because this experience was not accompanied by any great spiritual insights and because I had no idea of this energy existed, I didn't speak about it much. I didn't share with people because I didn't think that it meant anything.

So where is this post going? Back to Neven's words, "Only when you share them with others, will they then believe you." This has not been my experience. I began to speak and share. I was met with either blank looks or avoidance of eye contact. Rapid excuses to leave, to go or do something else. For about a year I shared openly in a blog which I wrote reverently about the physical, mental and spiritual changes I was undergoing using my body as a laboratory. I wrote and shared until eventually I began to be written and shared out. I believe that to have a spiritual awakening that is relatively smooth, it is imperative that there be a desire to share the fruits with others. It comes down to a question and an attitude. The question, "Why do I want this?" The attitude, "I don't want it just for me." These are critical because ultimately we are all one and so not wanting awakening/enlightenment for oneself alone validates the faith that we are all one.

After my second experience with this energy a year later in a spiritual setting when the energy went to my brain and descended to my heart, I experienced deep love and compassion for everything.. Now that my ego has been largely subdued (not totally because it never can be), the drive I had to share, speak to be seen as special has disappeared. In the early weeks and months of awakening, the wish to be recognized as special is there as the ego prepares to defend itself because it recognizes that the awakening experience poses a threat to its survival.

Before reading Neven's post I was the prisoner in Plato's cave allegory who escapes and realizes the unreality that his friends are living in and races back to share with them what he has realized and his friends kill him because they don't understand and don't want to be jolted out of their cozy complacency. The world we live in is much like that. Those of us who are awakened see the unreal world of the unawakened not as inferior, but as unnecessarily limiting. What I have seen thanks to Neven’s post is that I had sold out on what might be possible if I don’t hide out.

And yet just talking and sharing is not enough. The only thing that awakens is experience and until those of us who are awakened can provide this for others all we do is cast pearls before swine. I sometimes watch a YouTube satsang that Mooji gives. I marvel at the frustration of people in the video who sit at his feet. Intuitively they know he is living another reality, but they unable to access it for themselves. With a mixture of story, parable direct confrontation with the ego, Mooji tries very hard to transfer his vision, but without the ability to confer what is known in the East as Shaktipat — direct guru transmission of energy to enable the consciousness to awaken and shift from its identification with the body/mind — he seems unable to make much progress as the same people come to sit at his feet time and time again. This leaves me with the question: Is it worthwhile speaking or sharing when it isn't accompanied by the grace of awakening?