After a peaceful but not spectacular meditation, I sat overlooking the ocean, calmly working thru a minor "problem", wondering why a certain woman seemed to speak to me in a condescending way. "She seems so nice to everyone else - what would make her feel the need to do that to me? And why would I care, or react internally when she does? I barely know her!" The related emotion surfaced and then I realized - "Oh, it's Bhagavan's teaching about comparing! The mind is always naming & comparing everything and the ego keeps identifying with it all. Hahaha!" So that released the emotional charge and I felt free & joyful again. Perhaps that's what precipitated the experience to follow...
I left the gardens at sunset, around 6 pm that day. At the top of the long stairway I heard a soft voice whisper, "Walk with God". I had heard this before and as I would descend the stairs I would be more in the Divine Presence. But this time the awareness became much more intense than usual. With each step everything around me seemed to melt, physical boundaries disappeared, and I felt as if I were swimming in slow motion through a Sea of Love and Consciousness itself.
By the time I got down to my car, the experience was so all encompassing I just sat back & let it "hit me like a ton of bricks," as Sri Bhagavan (founder of the Oneness movement) used to say. I watched the river of thoughts flowing by in wonder, completely unidentified with any of them. They passed like the occasional cars going by, like little packets of data travelling on the internet, mobile mind energy completely distinct from me in this state of awareness.
There was no way I could drive at that moment, so I sat there & thoroughly enjoyed every second. I drank some cool water in slow motion from my trusty little steel container. Every perception of sight, sound, taste, and touch was extremely slowed down. I was filled with immense bliss, and occasional laughter at how different this all was from previous perceptions.
At one point I realized, "Oh! this is what they were describing on the Oneness website." In Self Realization Fellowship ("SRF", Yogananda’s organization), we didn't usually talk about our mystical experiences, but I knew that in Oneness they want us to share. So I briefly wondered, "How could I talk about this?" As I tried to put the experience into words, it immediately started to go away - words being so inadequate, second hand hearsay in the Face of Infinity.* "OK, no words then, just be..." and it came back again full force.
After about 45 minutes in my car, I thought I'd better get going. I needed to pick up more juice for my 3-day fast and get to Bhaskar & Sudha's for the Deeksha Blessing event at 7:30. Then the funniest thing happened! I – who was not into cars at all, other than to appreciate their function – became One with my car!
As I turned on the ignition, I felt every vibration of the engine ripple through my body. A liquid sound, like a loud stream, gurgled gleefully right past my ears as if I were swimming. Eventually I realized it was the gasoline going from the gas tank to the engine! I burst out laughing! I asked God to keep everyone around me safe as I slowly drove the back streets to my destination, feeling every bounce in the road and giggling at how amazing even the most "mundane" activities of life can be.
An hour later, when I gave the Deeksha Blessings and prayed for each receiver, I felt fully translucent as each divine quality poured from the Divine through my hands into them. The Grace was so strong that night that no one could talk afterward. I didn't mention anything to anyone.
The intensity diminished by the time I got home, but I was awake till 6 a.m. When I awoke again 4 hours later I felt a sweetness in my heart, but all the intense sensory awareness was gone…
Now, several years later, it often returns after I go to the gardens to meditate or when I walk along the magnificent Pacific Ocean down below. And sometimes when I turn on my car, I hear the gasoline traveling (more quietly now) and smile in Gratitude. :-)
*And in spite of the inadequacy of words, I offer these that you might get a glimpse, or a reminder, of what glorious surprises await us all - at any moment - in the ever present Infinite Divine Journey of the One.
Awakened Oneness Trainer
Image: Encinitas SRF Meditation Gardens
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