Sunday, January 28, 2007

Touching the Mystery

[Image by Alex Grey, found here]

I want to warn you all up front that I'm going to try to write about something that feels to me beyond the ability of words to convey the true mystery of the experience. So please excuse me if I ramble.

I've been practicing as a Buddhist on and off for many years now. In all that time, I've never had an experience of pure being. I've been fortunate to grow from the work I have done, to become more grounded and more compassionate than I was when I started. But I have never really been able to transcend myself in any sustained way -- until last night. It was only for a few hours, and it was certainly tied to the time, place, and events of the day, but it had nothing to do with meditation. I am sure, however, that it would not have been possible without the other work I have done.

I don't know what to call the space I found myself in last night, though I'm sure someone, somewhere has a name for it. I don't really care what it's called. And for all my usual reliance on rational thought, it feels completely irrational to me, which is to say beyond the rational.

What I experienced last night felt like an immersion into pure love. And I don't mean sexual love, although I suspect that sexuality is the battery that fuels a lot of higher state experiences. And I don't mean romantic love, as in "I'm in love." It's bigger than all of that. (Feel free to electronically slap me for using such dumbass phrases.)

When I was in that space, there was no craving, no expectation, no attachment, and no sense of past or future. I was simply present, and really, I wasn't even "I." It felt to me, as goofy as it sounds, that I was love. That somehow I had been subsumed by this tender, open-hearted love that is our true nature. It swallowed me whole and made me its manifestation in that moment.

I didn't "make" it happen, and still I am sure that I have been working toward this for years. The only way I can rationalize it, and I know it's foolish to even try, is to say that I simply opened my heart and it was there. And again, as much as it seemed beyond any personal sense of self, I am also sure that it was contingent upon the actual situation in which it occurred.

It felt healing. And allowing myself to even acknowledge that it happened makes me cry.

For a few hours, I was who I am meant to be. It's one of the most amazing experiences of my life. And as I have been sitting with it all morning, I find myself wanting to hold onto it, grasping for another taste. I know that it can never be replicated in the same way ever again, and yet I hope that I will have other experiences of this type in the future. So I struggle to just allow it to be what it was.

For a few hours, I touched the mystery of who I can become. Maybe someday this experiential state will become a developmental stage that I grow into.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Bill. I've had similar experiences only a few times in my life. Such moments inspire hope that can lift your spirits for a long while. Enjoy.


william harryman said...

Thanks Bob.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Bill. You've had a little Grace coming after the last few months I think. My mob would call that gnosis and we'd say it's your birthright. Sophia is always there, just behind you, waiting to catch you when you're ready to fall.

Much love, my brother.


william harryman said...

Thanks Tim!

Yeah, sounds like your mob has it down -- I used to study in that direction until Buddhism grabbed me by the neck -- still respect the gnostic tradition.