This is part of a series of articles on the subject of “The Path to Enlightenment”. To read all the articles click on the Category “Enlightenment”.
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One day, I was reflecting back on what got me onto the path of Enlightenment. I remember attending an introductory session and hearing that an Enlightenment Intensive weekend would guide you to that place of experience similar to what Jeshua, Mohammad, Buddha and all the great wise men and women had after years of meditation, and esoteric studies. So I was hooked. We were asked to choose one of 6 questions to meditate on for the entire 3 days:
- Tell me Who You Are
- Tell me What You Are
- Tell me What Another is
- Tell me What God is
- Tell me What Life is
- Tell me What Love is
The workshop began with everyone handing over their watches, wallet, cell phones, car keys, vitamins, medication, shaving kit, perfume, cigarettes and lighter. Everything except your medication or vitamins were all sealed in an envelope and locked in a safe until the end of the weekend. Immediately, I went into panic mode with my thoughts running the show: Is this a cult? Should I leave now? What would people think? Because I came with a friend who drove us to the workshop, I couldn’t leave unless she also agreed to leave. I looked over my shoulder to her, and she was excited, smiling, and couldn’t wait to get started. So I stayed.
The format for the weekend was laid out for us: our day would start at 5 am, and end at midnight. During that time, we would be working with partners in the form of a dyad, or by ourselves in the form of conscious meditation, eating scheduled meals and snacks that have been specifically measured (including any vitamins or any medication that you had brought with you), and sleeping for a set amount of time. I had to choose a partner to work with on my question, alternating between listening and communicating my experiences, thoughts and feelings. Although we were taught to communicate honestly, in a non-judgemental and non-injurious way, it was the most difficult thing to do: looking into someone else’s eyes and allowing them to see all the things that are going on with you – all the good, the bad and the ugly. You couldn’t hide or run away. So, I buckled down and did what I had committed to do: to find that Enlightenment experience that had eluded me all my life.
By the end of the 2nd day, I literally felt stripped of all the projections, assumptions, negative and positive emotions, of who I thought I was or what others, life or God was. When I felt that I had run out of words, emotions, and even thoughts, I immediately found myself in this alternate reality where everything came into instant, sharp focus. I felt the vibration of the room, the person in front of me, the chair I was sitting on, the air I was breathing. Even the laughter in the room had a specific tone and vibration to it …. I felt I was at one with everything around me, and there was no separation between me and life, or me and another person, or me and God. There was this incredible sense of wholeness, love, and light that ran through all the molecules in the air. I didn’t disappear, but in fact, was clear! This experience kept expanding the more I put my attention to it. I was trying to find the words to describe something profound, yet indescribable. It was a pure spiritual awakening, a direct experience of Life, and I was encouraged to communicate it to as many people as I could, so that I could contribute that gift and help others to wake up to their experience of the truth (which really is the experience of what is).
At the end of the workshop, we had an “integration day”, of gradually moving back into our daily lives. We were taught to not expect this level of clarity or honest connection or communication out there in the world because the distractions in one’s life were all-pervasive, and the commitment to non-injurious communication is not a standard that everyone lives by. However, we now have the skill to distinguish between what is real and what is not; what is from our heart, and what is from the mind. And in so doing, we can make the choice to be in one experience or the other with the full knowledge that one will bring direct experiences of oneness and wholeness, while the other will bring painful experiences of separation, denial and confusion. We learnt that we can change the world by expanding our enlightenment experiences and answering the big questions that drive us to seek the truth of who we are, what we are, and why we are here.
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So, here I am after my 15th Enlightenment Intensive, and life since then has been a very long roller coaster ride. But despite the ups and downs, there was one thing that remained unchanged: my passion for evolution and mastery, and my vision for creating a pathway for everyone to live a conscious, loving and empowered life. Hence, a life worth living!