My hope is that if I’m ever lost, I’ll come back to this entry and be reminded of how I’m meant to be living.
I scribbled these truths on a piece of notebook paper in a moment of clarity. I was in the process of integrating a sacred experience—
You have guardians protecting you
You are strong and protecting yourself
There are few true ways to move through this world:
We are all one big energetic family
God is the breath, the heartbeat
You are meant to be
because the universe exists.
We live in a mystical cosmic structure, naturally. It is only our stubborn Minds and years of conditioning that prevent us from accessing mystical experiences daily; the mystical is always here, awaiting our attention. Mystical experiences are difficult to describe because they exist in a realm beyond language and reasoning. In fact, ineffability is one of the trademark qualities of a mystical encounter. As soon as we attempt to put our mystical experiences into words, we have already shrunken them, regardless of how beautifully we speak. Still, it is in our nature to want to share our understanding with each other—so we do the best we can. I’m going to attempt to recount my understanding of the mystical here.
How sweetly I remember the first time I ever fully stepped outside of my Mind. It was during a sacred ceremony the night I met a Brazilian shaman who we call the Medicine Father—a healer, doctor, and conduit between the material and spiritual worlds. “Show me what you’ve got!” I challenged the spirits before we began. “I’m ready. Bring it on full-throttle!” An hour later, I was curled into a ball on the floor (far from the respectable lotus pose I was meant to be maintaining) crying underneath a pink blanket, completely in awe and entirely transported to a more real Reality than I’d ever experienced before. The initiation into that Reality had begun with the removal of my Mind. It was sucked out from my ear, to be exact, by some sort of spirit-creature entities.
I remember watching my Mind from the outside in and realizing how severely it had been limiting me. My Mind was not the be-all-end-all definitive source of ‘what is’ or ought to be. It was a sea of self-constructed thoughts that had little to do with ultimate Reality.
The following morning, I shared the ongoing struggle I’d had detaching from the pervading impressions inside my head. “I can’t get my mind to leave sometimes,” I said. “And I’m not sure the spirit-creatures will always be there to help me! Even more disturbing: if ever I manage to steer my Mind into a neutral state, it doesn’t stay there long. It has the tendency to drift to a place of imagining negative possibilities. What the heck is that about? Why not drift somewhere amazing? Why always the downward spiral?!”
A gentle-souled man then posed a suggestion to me, “Instead of trying to forcefully push your Mind away, or in any direction at all, why don’t you simply acknowledge your Mind’s presence with gratitude?”
And so I did. During the second night of ceremony, I showered my mind with pure, unadulterated gratitude.
Thank you for being there, Mind. You do so much for me. Thank you for your creative imaginings. Thank you for your power and insights. Thank you for accompanying me when I need you.
And you know what? My Mind got out of the way. With no fuss or frustrations, my Mind quietly dissolved, revealing something much more immediate, essential, and timeless: Reality.
I danced for the first time I’d ever danced in ceremony. My body moved effortlessly. I was dancing without watching. Alive without contemplating. Open and empty of all of me, but filled with all Reality. I felt connected to everyone and everything—my tribe, my other human beings, the mountains and valleys and deserts and trees—all of us rejoicing. I felt it energetically.
As I rolled through a list of all the people in my life I wanted to give more to—more thanks, more awareness, more understanding—I suddenly realized, “It’s everyone! It’s infinity! You don’t need a list. Live in gratitude.” Giddy with gratitude.
The undeniable inter-connectedness of all people, things, elements of nature, past & future happens, and cosmic entities is a core element of a mystical experience. I have yet to experience an awakening accompanied by a feeling of superiority. In fact, the exact opposite holds true: a deep sense of humility prevails over me. I return from ceremony with an undeniable urge to serve humanity. I return a better, sweeter, more open-hearted, more connected me.
During a mystical insight, one may see this connectedness as a matrix-like grid or web of energy. Or, the wholeness may be felt as a shared consciousness or unity. It’s important to note that this sense of unity is not merely intellectual; it is known as a deep understanding. I often feel this connectedness at the primal, tribal level. Sitting in a circle during sacred ceremony with my fellow healer-explorers and our guides, I am overwhelmed with the feeling that—
This is how it’s supposed to be! This is what it means to be alive. We are all here together making music, exploring consciousness, supporting each other’s discoveries. We are in a place of great spiritual integrity. There is no need to defend because there is only understanding. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.
At the end of one such ceremony, a diva sat atop a fuzzy white pillow and reached for the glass bottle of Voss resting at her feet. I crawled over to her feet and told her she reminded me of a snow bunny.
“I’ve wanted to tell you something, too,” she said. “You are so beautiful.”
“So are you,” I smiled. Thanks for noticing me.”
“I can’t lie about my truths anymore,” she said. “Not to others and not to me. No more lies!” the snow bunny smiled. “Not even white ones.”
“Did you feel the high-vibrating alien presence here tonight?”
“Yes,” the snow bunny nodded. “Don’t worry. They’re friendly.”
Vivid imagery of the pyramids and other Egyptian symbols had come to me during the evening, just before I realized the ever-present eye in the sky was watching. My college boyfriend and I first encountered the presence together, trekking through the Valley of Fire one night after our car battery died. We noticed the presence, noticing us.
“Know we’re here,” it said to me this time around. It was as non-threatening as a flower or a tree. It twinkled as it spoke to me. The only reason it could have been perceived as scary was because it was so other-worldly.
“Why me?” I asked ridiculously. “Why are you talking to me?”
“Because you’re here,” it said, or rather sent telepathically. “You showed up,” they continued. “You’re the one in ceremony. You’re the one suddenly paying attention. We are always here.”
They are always here. Watching.
We originate from dimensional universes beyond your current ability to comprehend.
You are undergoing a massive reconstructioning, down to the cellular level. This is necessary so that your physical form is capable of receiving high-level vibratory transmissions.
The wave pattern energies we send to Earth are altered, translated, along their journey. This occurs at various points or places which can be called ‘conversion stations.’ As you ascend, you will pass through these stations, shedding layer upon layer of your lower-vibrational being.
Although we might appear far away or separate from you, we are not. We are the part of you that could be called your Divine Self. We are the part of you which did not choose to descend.
Now that the Call to Remember has been issued, you have begun to rise and re-awaken. We are your map Homeward. The Stars are your Brethren.
From the Angel of the Stars, by Solara
Encountering the Divine – Gifts & Protection
God is force beyond all comprehension that supports the entire cosmic structure with its energy. I think of God as the sustaining heartbeat of all eternity. The breath that moves the universe inward and outward through a series of Big Bang expansions and collapses.
God may appear in a variety of forms during a mystical encounter. Accompanying the presence is often a sense of sacredness, reverence, and wonder
One of the first Goddesses to ever visit me in ceremony was a flowering Goddess, Shakti. I bloomed alongside her in the center of a lotus flower. Little did I know, she was about to bestow an incredible gift upon me.
She entered me as a serpent, penetrating deeply down my throat. I didn’t realize it was her at first, so when she arrived in my belly and planted a seed, I thought, “Great, now a demon baby grows in me.” I quickly corrected my thoughts back to Reality. It was not a demon baby, as strange as the seed inside me seemed, it was the idea of a child being born in me.
I saw the child first as a beautiful Hindu God (truly of Shakti). Then he became a human, and he was of me. He was a conscious being, sitting beside me, waiting to be guided. I’d never felt that before—what it would mean to me to bring another consciousness into this world and support its growth and journey.
Later my boyfriend would laugh and say, “You couldn’t get to that point on your own?”
“No,” I said. “That’s what these ceremonies are for. They get me to where I need to be.”
Thank you, Mother spirit, for planting that seed in me.
It could have also been a creative seed that was planted in me—a reminder of my power to create anything. Perhaps I was meant to bring all of my root, sexual energy up through my chakra system so that it could be expressed more fully, in higher forms of creativity, rather than just through sexuality.
Another gift given to me during a deep meditation was a reminder to marvel.
Sometimes I try so hard to figure out the world (judge, analyze, compartmentalize, desire reasons for everything) that I have difficulty letting go. I demand certainty before I feel comfortable moving on. I ponder endlessly, existentially. And I don’t need to. I need only to look around and marvel.
Marvel at the struggle. Marvel at the joy. Marvel at the way we dance, at the art we create for each other, the food we eat, the homes we build for our families. Marvel at the love, the heartache, the trees. Marvel at the Mind’s fanatic wandering. It truly is a miracle to be here at all.
I went walking through an olive grove in the Sacred Valley and knew I was protected. It wasn’t just the nurturing trees against the sky protecting me—it was saints and prophets and ancestors and angels and all things heavenly. I’d forgotten how ever-present and protective these blessed spirits were, but they were always there to save, warn, cradle, console, and guide me.
One ceremony, a friendly spirit made of rocks sat atop my shoulder and used a stone tool to remove an unwanted entity from my back. The entity had been latched there for several weeks. I’d been feeling it, curiously watching the world with me; it didn’t feel harmful, but wasn’t exactly helping me either. I was glad it was removed. Later that evening, I was so caught up in another member’s energetic release that I momentarily blacked out until one of guides brought me back. I knew then, I needed to work on protecting myself (I am at times an overly-empathetic human being.) Upon that realization, several spirits appeared and constructed a white shield surrounding me. The shield was strong, solid, and filled with iridescent light and protective energy.
The Medicine Father had warned us of this: during and after ceremonies, our energy systems are exposed, wide open, for all the world to see. We need to be careful of who we come in contact with and where we go, as we are very sensitive and open to receiving all sorts of energies.
After returning home from that retreat, I climbed into my bed and was kept awake by a crystal clear vision of a super-imposed reality. It was Saint Francis of Assisi, kneeling near a forest stream. I knew he was there to watch over me. He wasn’t too alert; he seemed rather peaceful and at ease. His calmness told me I did not have anything to worry about; there wasn’t anything dangerous anywhere near my vicinity.
During another ceremony, I found myself in a protective, crystalline transport device—floating through an unexplainable kingdom of jeweled mysteries. I was given a glowing, bright, ruby-like gem upon entrance to this mystical place. The gem felt like an initiatory reward, a “Good job, you’ve made it to the next level!” boon. The transport device and gem lingered with me post-ceremony, much in the way St. Francis had continued to watch over me. This time, the lingering felt physically tangible; I could feel the weight of the ruby beside me as I moved through the physical world to places as mundane as the gym! It glowed brighter whenever I was in the company of someone I could trust, someone with whom I could be vulnerable, somebody who understood cosmic mysteries. It was another form of protection, like the white shield. These gifts were meant to help me make my way through the world.
Transcendence of Space & Time
I was once asked, “Where do you go when you meditate deeply? What is this other place? Is it here, physically?”
To this I say: the places one encounters during a mystical experience are always here. To transcend, one need not go anywhere physically; transcendence is a level of awareness accessed which allows the individual to perceive multiple dimensions, planes, ‘times’, and spheres of the cosmos simultaneously. The union of past and future are merged into the present so that everything is always happening now.
Those who share the details of their mystical encounters often describe a sense of arriving at an ultimate Reality, claiming that their experiences were “more real” than the ordinary state of consciousness we experience during day-to-day living. I sometimes try to explain it like this: when you are dreaming at night, no matter how real the dream may seem, once you wake in the morning and begin to move through your day, you can typically look back and say, “That was a dream. Now, I am awake. I understand the difference between the two.” Similarly, in the midst of a mystical experience, I can clearly look back at day-to-day living and say, “That is but a mere dream when compared to this Reality.” The things experienced during a mystical encounter cannot be qualified as hallucinations, beliefs, or even versions of reality; what is encountered is known as fact.
Often accompanying a mystical experience is a new and deeper appreciation for what it means to be alive. This could be due to an ego death, re-connection with one’s most authentic spirit-self, or visionary revelations experienced during the encounter. During a mystical experience, a deeper sense of self-acceptance, purpose, and personal calling are often unveiled—and after having felt these things so purely, it can be difficult to return to regular life without integrating these discoveries.
In fact, returning from a mystical experience can be downright painful! This has been the case for me when I haven’t been living 100% congruently with my highest calling.
“Mind the gap,” my dear friend says, “Between where your life is now, and where you know it should be.”
People often return from transformative retreats and quit jobs, leave long term relationships, and mentally uproot from old patterns of mind-behaviors that were no longer serving their development. Had we been living more congruently with our spirits pre-retreat, we wouldn’t have had to perform so much reconstructive surgery on our lives upon return!
A friend shared the difficulty she experienced when returning from one of her own mystical encounters. “I became so depressed,” she said. “I had just spent an entire week playing with God. I didn’t want to return from that. I wanted to stay forever playing with Divine energy.”
We can. We can construct our lives so that we are always playing with God. The ability to integrate one’s mystical experiences into everyday living is key to long-term empowerment and peace. It is not enough to experience mesmerizing, blissful, perception-altering encounters with the Divine. Individuals blessed with mystical experiences are blessed so that they may return to the ‘regular world’ better equipped to make lasting, positive, truth-inspired change. These initiates are meant to help evolve humanity. This does not make them prophets, saints, seers, or revolutionaries (though they can be), nor does it make them innately more important than other human beings—what it does give them is an added sense of responsibility. They cannot un-see what they have seen.
After a sacred experience, one’s consciousness will never return to its prior state of being. It has reached ever-higher planes, and there it will reside.
What I remember most from my journey to the Sacred Valley was the incredible love I felt for my boyfriend, for all of my Beloveds, and most profoundly—objectlessly.
During the portion of the meditation when my heart-space was focused on my boyfriend, the amount of love I felt for him terrified me. It was so raw, real, and pure. I realized my boyfriend was not just someone I was dating, he was the man in my life (and that meant a lot to me!) Perhaps he was even the man of my life. I realized he and I were similar because neither of us wanted something ‘ordinary.’ Our visions for what we did want may or may not align—that was yet to be discovered—but we were neither ordinary.
No matter how much love poured out of my system, I was always replenished with more from within. I had never felt a love with such intensity and clarity. I was not ‘in love with love’ or ‘in love with possibilities’ or ‘in love but from a wounded place that needed some sort of completion or healing.’ I was just Love. I was Loving. It was my reason for being! I remember thinking of my boyfriend, “I wish you could feel this feeling! I will spend my entire life trying to give you this feeling. You mean so much to me.” I began to laugh and cry simultaneously. The fact that I could feel such profound love—the fact that I could generate that—astounded me. And suddenly, the love was no longer solely directed at my boyfriend; it was out-pouring for everybody… and then—the love began flowing through me objectlessly.
The fact that we humans are capable of such a powerful feeling brought me to ever more tears of depth-filled joy. Surely it must be our greatest gift, to feel this love. We go through so much—our hearts are so broken so many times—yet we continue loving. What beings!
This is a true gift: to love as a human being.
I was brought to tears (again) by the music the Medicine Father and the prayer singers created. Their singing was filled with such sincere and powerful healing. “They are my cosmic parents,” I thought. “This music is their love, healing.”
A beautiful tree enclosed in a bubble emerged from my heart and set off on a journey through the cosmos. I felt myself elevating. The Medicine Father approached and tapped between my brows. “I’m here to take you deeper and higher,” he said. My third eye was blown open, and I was taken to the center of the cosmos. It was then I realized: the center is everywhere. We are always located at the twinkling center of things. I could call this place Mt Meru, Shambala, or Mountain Qaf. I did not know a name until the Medicine Father told me, post-ceremony, then I began researching pictures, prayers, descriptions, and I knew—
“Yes, I am intimately familiar with that place.”
I can’t explain it this evening. My soul-friend wrote from thousands of miles away. But you are becoming powerful, my love. He had always wanted power for me.
“Are you there?” the Medicine Father whispered beside me in ceremony.
“Yes, thank you,” I smiled. “I’ve arrived.”
Update: If you’re curious to read additional personal stories about spiritual transformation. I have several others, but I’ve created fictional stories out of them, and the stories will be published soon so they cannot appear online.
As always, feel free to share your comments below.