It’s been 3 months and 15 days since the Great Gathering. The Awakening experience continues. The world is full of pain and sorrow, suffering is promised until we find our way out. This Vale of Tears beckons us with its siren-call of heartache and excitement, passion and joy. We choose to return, to be with each other and to experience, each time. We die, and then we come back. I come back for you and you come back for me.
There has been no return to my previous state of mind or being. In fact, there has been a further deepening of the condition. As discussed in previous articles in the Practical Enlightenment series, there was a flattening of my emotional ties to past events and traumas that has continued. While that remains the case, as mentioned previously as well, old patterns of thought and behavior do continue to echo, although, for the most part, they grow fainter and fainter. A few behaviors continue that are deeper rooted within my psyche. According to Sadhguru, once Full Enlightenment is reached, the spirit automatically leaves the body. That is, unless something of the Earth is held on to. Some desire. Mine pertain to my family and mission.
For the Buddha, that desire was to teach. He held on until he had transmitted enough of his experience to his disciples and then he left the body in a conscious ceremony witnessed by humans, Devas and Brahmans alike. Siddhartha who became Buddha the totally Awakened One achieved his state of Being after 6 years of asceticism. One day, while sitting beneath a tree, he heard a musical instrument being played by a student on a passing boat. When the instructor explained to the student how the instrument should be tuned, neither too tight nor too loose, the idea of the Middle Way came to him. He immediately got up and went to the water to drink. Food was given to him by a village maiden. His disciples left, convinced he had given up the search for Enlightenment.
The 6 years of mind training served Siddhartha well because when he took his seat beneath the Bodhi tree determined not to move until he attained his goal the mental strength and purification of his neural net and synaptic connections he had meticulously honed during the previous years provided him with a solid, clear container within which Cosmic Consciousness could reside. His decision, 6 years prior, to leave his newborn son and wife and set off to find the answer to suffering set him along the path and, following his victory over Mara, the Lord of Maya, under the Bodhi Tree, Siddhartha attained Enlightenment and became the Buddha.
For some who attain enlightenment in these days and times it comes out of the blue. Some were not previously on a spiritual path while others had been seeking for years. It can occur spontaneously or it can be the culmination of a long period – potentially many lifetimes in the making – of mind-training and meditative practice. For many who attain Enlightenment, there has been no previous meditative immersion to the extent and intensity that Shakyamuni practiced. There has been no clearing of the neural networks. And so, for these souls, the process must occur after Satori. For me, I achieved the state first when I was 12 years old.
It was Oklahoma City, I was in 7th grade. Something had happened, I cannot recall the particulars. But I do recall the sense of despair. Overwhelming, raw, grief. Those were days when I could not look in the mirror at myself I was so ashamed of who I was. I was outcast in school, the subject of jokes and I was overwhelmed by the negativity and callousness of the other children. I did not know how I could go on. I remember a clear sensation of letting go, of being so tired of life, that I wanted to die. I totally let go of my self, of my ego, of my life. I sank within a pool of sadness that emanated outward from the center of me, encompassing my entire consciousness, until something was born there. Something that scintillated and shone, that began to spread like wildfire through me. Something like, joy.
The grief mixed with the joy to become an overwhelming symphony of compassion and then, I was elsewhere. The feelings of the space come through still most clearly, even after all of these years. The transcendent joy and sorrow; my oppressors were no longer that, they were my companions, and the compassion that I felt for them was so much that I knew that I could die for them, for the world, if need be. That life was not important because life was never-ending and I would never really die, that there was no true death! Floating, ego lost, no I, no consciousness, the I that I speak of was a vast and impersonal We, I was immersed within the void that was filled with an energetic presence that I can only describe as the most intense, soothing and perfect love that I have ever felt in this life.
I do not know how long I stated in that space of supreme bliss and enjoyment, basking in the revelation of my inner eternal nature, of our shared, infinite portion of sublime contentment. But upon my return, life continued. I cannot remember the exact timing or date of this early Awakening experience but what I do know for certain, is that I was different then. Something about me had changed. And people could tell.
The remaining primary and secondary school years were revelations of difference and I was an observer, even of my own participation. I had no context outside of the terror of sleep paralysis that had been happening to me by then for a few years. No teachers, no books to inform me as to the nature of my experience. And so, I forgot about it. I erased the memory from my mind to the extent that only the faintest of recollections would disturb my waking slumber in later years, but no full recall until I was well on the way down my spiritual path.
But the echoes of it must have been apparent in my behavior. The particulars of my incarnative choices; black, American, male, and the synchronicities of life experience, of location and situation led me into extreme expressions of the experience of being Other during my youth. Of being different, the only black kid in all white environments, the familiar – to minorities around the world – refrain of the outcast versus the system. It seemed to be a constant reminder that I was different, I didn’t belong, something about me was off when compared to everyone else.
The problem was, there was no community where I fit in. Not black, not white, not integrated. Black kids teased me and bullied me, so did white kids. But I felt. I felt deeply. I felt compassion and love for my fellow beings. I was drawn to the sanctity of the Christian Church, the expression of a lived and vibrant spirituality. And yet, my social life remained problematic until I grew to the height of 6 foot and made the choice to pursue athletics again, as I had under the tutelage of my father during my primary school years. Then, things changed. My strangeness was offset by my ability and successes. I could dance and was, apparently, handsome. I was acceptable, with a few caveats.
I studied people and, where I could, made a place for myself in alternative communities, among the literary youth, interested in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, among the Artists, the Musicians, among the neighborhood kids, usually younger and with the girls, who accepted me for who I was. Friends, family members and casual acquaintances would on occasion look at me strangely because of my words or behavior. They thought I was arrogant, disrespectful, or uncaring and told me as much. I could not see myself the way they saw me. My ignorance of how or why I had changed left me puzzled by people’s reactions to me. I remember asking my mother, after the Satori experience, about leaving the body. Astral traveling, probably in relation to the experience itself. I do not remember if I told her about it. She informed me that evil spirits could possess me, which ended that line of inquiry. But, somehow, I made it through all of the confusion with a minimum of harm to myself or to others.
The kenshō experience of my youth is now unmistakable. It fits all of the koan-like and parable-based descriptions of the Buddhist traditions as well as those of the modern Enlightenment Gurus who describe it directly in the Western tradition of academic exposition. As soon as I graduated from High School and went to College, my spiritual explorations took off and I began to study and practice meditation. The Great Gathering returned me to that exact same space, the Master encountered during that visit to the shining city of Shambhala smiling gently as emanations of pure magnetic love and compassion swept over me, his gesture sending my astral form flying backwards and upside down and back into Nirvana. It was as if the intervening years since my last experience passed in the blink of an eye and I had returned home. But these were not my only two experiences of that space. The intervening experience – which I’ve written about previously and has been published in a collection of learning stories – was a bit different.
I was in the military, the Army, learning Morse Code. The course was what was called an Additional Skill Identifier, so I was sent there directly after completing my primary communications course of 14 weeks as a Single Channel Radio Operator and before a month’s vacation back in San Antonio before being shipped off to Germany for what would become a 4 year tour of duty.
Tapping the telegraph key for 8 hours a day. The goal was to learn the language and to be able to tap the characters fast enough to complete groups of 5 characters. We were responsible for being able to type 10 groups a minute by the time the class ended.
One day, about two weeks into the four week course, as I was listening to the code, tapping the key, there was a bending in my mind and, suddenly, I was again in a vast, formless space of nothingness, void-like in nature. And yet, there was something there. The symbols for Morse Code were there, in more than just symbolic form, they were also being expressed as a form of music, of resonation. I was the symbols, they were a part of me, I was a part of them and we co-existed together in this formless space as One. It was a pure form of knowing and instantaneous in nature. In the moments of my submersion within that morphogenic field I knew Morse Code. There was another sudden, forceful bending of my mind, as if a mental muscle had been engaged, and I was back, exhilarated. And I knew Morse Code perfectly. In the space of the next 15 minutes I progressed from 3 groups a minute to 12. The instructor walked over, disbelief in his eyes. By the end of the course, I could tap out 28 groups a minute. The next closest person was 14.
The above-related event occurred in the middle of August, 1987. The Harmonic Convergence, as predicted by the Maya – ending the 5,125 year Great Cycle of History and beginning the 25 year energetic shift culminating on December 21, 2012 – occurred on August 16-17, 1987. The Harmonic Convergence was marked by a number of planets in Leo trining Jupiter in Aries and that also trine Saturn and Uranus in Saggitarius, an auspicious alignment, indicative of a collective energetic realignment and unification of purpose. This event marked the planetary embarkation upon a direct, spiritual path of evolution and ascension. As that has been the primary impetus of my life-path thus far, the correlation of my kenshō experiences with significant astronomical and astrological alignments is not lost on me. As I cannot date my initial experience, its relationship to astronomical factors remains a mystery.
The experience of Nirvana in this instance was as Knowledge. My first instance was as Compassion, as was the last, a full-circle reminder of the first. Perfect, pure insight that informed my spiritual explorations throughout my 20s and 30s. The other strange events I experienced in those years – to include the Remote Viewing and the OOBEs – make sense as the expression of Siddhis gained as a side-effect of my mental experimentations. As I have never felt pressed to explore them too deeply after becoming aware that I was able to access these alternate modes of perception, my current perceptive ability and paranormal experiences are limited to synchronicities, flashes of insight and the ability to access other’s auras and energy fields. As I currently explore these capabilities regularly through my work with BioEnergetic Holism™, they continue to deepen and I grow more and more confident in my abilities as a Seer.
The silence within deepens daily. Mindfulness is now second-nature and I can still the discursiveness of the sub-mental chatter at will. Meditation practice progresses, with the capacity to sit in shamatha meditation no longer tied to the breath or to the other mental tricks used by different traditions to get the mind used to stilling itself. I see no need for other forms of visual-based meditations, although those are quite popular in recent years.
The journey continues. As mentioned previously, I have determined that the “village” of my latest Satori was, indeed, the sacred city of Shambhala. The golden vibrancy, the peace, the extraordinary psychic abilities of those who lived there and the Master, he of exceptional presence and wisdom, who could only have been a Rigden King. After the Great Gathering, I basked in the expanse of Nirvana and unity consciousness for only a little while before deciding to return to my life and share the experience for the purpose of collective realization. There is no end, the deeper states of meditative exploration remain and the desire to document what I experience for the edification of others accompanies my desire to continue to love those who love me through the rest of their lives. I do not expect to return to this Vale of Tears again in human incarnation. The Bodhisattva in me desires only the enlightenment of all sentient beings.
That means you.
The Enlightenment Series
6. Practical Enlightenment: The vale of tears