Spiritual Awakening Story with Gautami
I love stories of spiritual awakening! Awakening can be inspired within each one of us, just by hearing someone else's experience. This story came in from a dear friend of mine and it's such a goodie! I felt a shift happening when I read it. Would love to hear your reaction. If you'd like to share any spiritual stories of your own, please EMAIL ME HERE
Are you familiar with breathworks? It’s an interesting and intense thing to undertake. One uses a breathing technique to enter into an altered state of consciousness, where anything really, is possible. It’s been compared to psychedelics and shamanic journeying, though because it is linked with the breath, the individual is completely in control- rather than waiting to ride out the effects of a substance. The breather never fully loses conscious awareness- your mind still knows that you are laying in a room with another participant sitting next to you, holding space for you, and there are trained group facilitators present in the room to assist you in the process. However, the technique allows your consciousness to be taken down, within yourself, so that the physical body and physical surroundings fade into the background, and the more subtle, spiritual body takes over the breather’s awareness. People have a range of experiences, from reliving the birthing process, to remembering past lives or journeying through space, or simply, giving up and letting go of a traumatic experience that has been holding your subconscious down. The work is an intense undertaking, certainly, but no two experiences are ever the same, and the results it yields are profound.
This is the story of one such experience. It was June of 2009, and I was skipping the walking ceremony of my college graduation in favor of an afternoon of breathworks. It began as it normally did; we picked partners, created our spaces with blankets and pillows, then settled in for an hour of spiritual adventure. The music began, and the primal drumbeats synced with my breath, taking me into the depths of my being.
My body became cold, awareness of my flesh faded away as I became hyper aware of the prana in my body, flowing through the spirit channels in the same way blood flows through veins. There were like blue channels of icy fluid, running up and down my body. My body vibrated and pulsed; I was shivering under the blankets from the cold fire that burned inside of me, but I was not uncomfortable. I was a river onto myself, contained, and yet connected, with tributaries and offshoots joining that which I was at present with all that I have been or would become.
I continued with the breath. Time was of no value, and at some point I found myself in a gorge. The icy blue fire stretched the length of my body and far beyond my toes and head- I was long and curved all sorts of ways. I was that fire, that river, bending and flowing against the hard, rocky nature of all my physical incarnations, molded into different positions by various life circumstances and choices. Then, as the experience progressed, my past and future selves- all the faces I had ever worn, my spiritual ancestors, and the human forms of my spirit guides and totem animals stood at the top of the canyon, towering high on either side of my river- body. Some faces I recognized and knew who they were by name, others I didn’t know at all, and still many more I could not discern. They stood there, looming over me, watching the rapids of blue fire course and pulse through my river- body as my chest swelled and sank with my physical breath. They were there to bear witness as I experienced the essence of my soul’s manifestation.
Again, I had no concept of time during this process, but as the experience neared its climax, they all dove into my body and became one with me. The features on their faces, their limbs, their torsos, all merging together as they rose up to form a tidal wave of blue energy that matched my own, before swan diving off the cliffside. Waves of them fell into me, and I absorbed their beings, their memories, emotions, and stories into my own. Some of these things I knew intimately, others remained a far off and lucid memory. As each wave crashed down upon me, the height distance between my river-body at the bottom of the gorge and where they stood atop the canyon closed its distance. By the time I absorbed the last wave, it was not diving from a cliff top into the river below, but rather it flopped over from right beside my physical body lying on the floor, and I again noticed the corporeal container I currently inhabited. The music had softened to flute playing and my breath had slowed. The experience was coming to a close and my consciousness was returning the physical world, reacquainting itself with the tips of my fingers and toes, the sounds of those shuffling quietly around me, the smell of the air in the room, and the soft bits of light that beckoned from the other side of my eyelids.
“Thank you” I whispered, and rejoined with the present tense, weighted with awe of the reality beyond. This ocean was stored inside each of us.