If I may, please allow me to provide a little background for this post. I have practiced Raja Yoga meditation for 17 years, and Kriya Yoga’s One Breath meditation for about 15 years. When I had my “Enlightenment Vision” on May 27, 2010, my crown chakra opened. The opening of the crown chakra leads to a very different way of experiencing everything, so if what I write does not make sense to you, I hope it will one day.
For a few months, I lived at a higher state of consciousness, until my father died that fall. Since then, I have found that I still have had a lot of work to do on myself emotionally and spiritually. Last fall, I had the experience of the “pearl in the lotus,” which I experienced as the bliss of non-attachment, but which I recently read refers to the Bindu, or 8th chakra, which is beyond the crown chakra.
From what I read on this site: http://www.swamij.com/yoga-vedanta-tantra.htm , expanded consciousness follows the connection with Bindu, and precedes Samadhi, which is Self-Realization, and then Moksha, which is full Liberation and God-Consciousness. I am truly grateful for this website and the friend who sent it to me!
Since I have not had a physically-embodied guru teaching me these things, I believe it might be helpful to others for me to share what I am experiencing along the path. So, I would like to share with you some of my recent experiences of expanded consciousness and awareness during times of meditation.
I have previously had experiences of becoming the consciousness of a small animal like a mouse. Recently, I had the experience of being (during a meditative vision) on a ship in the middle of the ocean, and then falling in and facing my greatest fear of the ocean: being bitten by a shark. Immediately, though, rather than going through the agony of the pain and fear and resenting the shark, I became the shark, and knew that, of course I had bitten a human being. Then I became the ocean, and sensed the teeming life in the ocean – amazing how it is brimming with life forms on all levels – microscopic on up.
During another meditation, I was standing on a cliff, and then jumped off, and instead of falling down, splat, I was floating as if I had jumped out of an airplane. Then I became the air. Yes, I became the air, at least, the consciousness of the air. I felt amazed at how much is going on in air. Particles rising and falling and blowing and interacting – so many different kinds of particles; apparently air is “busy” all the time. Who knew?! Well, I am sure some scientists know, but maybe not from inside the consciousness of the air.
Then I became the cliff. I did not spend much time in the consciousness of being a cliff. I also spent some time being inside the consciousness of a tree, although I found it hard to get there. It was easier to perceive the consciousness of a bird in a tree, but then I shed my own body-consciousness to become the tree and one with its consciousness. I have to say that I did not feel very comfortable with the stiffness I felt as a tree -very dry and stiff. Again, it was easier to experience the tree’s consciousness of other things, like birds and air and the sun shining on it. The dry brittle feeling of the tree itself was strange to me.
And at some point (I realize this description may be out-of-order from the actual stream of expanded consciousness I experienced during meditation), I went from being air to rising up to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, which felt very different from the air near the ground. There, the “air” is aware of being a boundary, which is cold on the outside, while being bombarded with different particles that flow through its “thinness.”
Next, I became space – well, “I” was out in space, but my consciousness was the consciousness of space. What amazed me there was that the particles (or solar wind, or whatever the technical name is for particles and waves of light and radiation) that pass through space are felt by space, and that space experiences them as “messages.” In other words, space somehow knows the source of these energies and particles, as well as their nature, and what connections they are making throughout the universe. (I know this sounds strange, and to the uninitiated, unbelievable.)
My conclusion is what I have believed for many years: that consciousness exists throughout the universe. Or, as I have expressed it (mostly to myself) for years: the universe is organized consciousness.
I have only recently learned that this is a belief in Tantra as well. Tantric philosophy posits that the universe is composed of energy and consciousness. Another way this concept is expressed is that the universe is comprised of Shiva (the Absolute, unchanging, uncreated) and Shakti (pure energy). Shiva being the male principle, and Shakti being the female principle, Shakti and Shiva having been originally united.
I find this fascinating, because there is a Hebrew Bible scholar, Phyllis Trible, who wrote Eve and Adam, and pointed out that in Hebrew, it is clear that the original Adam was one being comprised of the male and female aspects, and then was split into two, implying an original wholeness through the unity of the masculine and feminine. Echoes of Shiva and Shakti therefore resonate in the Hebrew meaning of the name Adam, or “Ha-Adam,” which means earthling (without gender).
I have also long thought of “God” as being a loving energy consciousness that permeates creation. That, of course, would be Shiva and Shakti.
So, on this spiritual path, we seek to unite with Shiva and Shakti, but the ultimate consciousness is the awareness of the uncreated Bliss of the union of the two as one, the Absolute which exists beyond the world of form.
The highlight of my adventures in expanded consciousness was when, from outer space, I perceived a broad ray of pure white light, and I was invited to become one with that ray of light. The only “problem” with this was that, in order to become one with it, I had to completely drop my “body/sense of self as a human being/separate entity.” It took me a couple of tries to be able to do that. Once I became one with the ray of light, I became aware of particles streaming through it, of directionality, of the wave aspect of it, and then, I heard: “Welcome to pure potential.”
That, I believe, is the union of Shiva and Shakti. The Absolute. The One. Only, as I experienced it, the One was not in its unmoved form; rather, it was streaming from its Source into the Universe as Shakti. So, maybe it was just Shakti, not both, but either way, it was amazing. I believe it was Shiva/Shakti streaming into the universe, or, as it seemed to me, streaming along the edge of the universe, bringing the creative power of the universe as it went. (I have also experienced consciousness outside this universe, seeing it as a blue-ish infinity symbol, a figure-eight that is also twisted like a mobius strip. I realize that shape may not fit the concept of the Big Bang, but I think there must be an important metaphor in the visual.)
Later, it came to me that the original split of Shiva and Shakti is the split of energy and consciousness; the two dance together throughout creation, not really separate yet with space or separation between them as though they are a dancing yin-yang symbol, whirling and revolving throughout the universe. It is not, I believe, actually possible to separate energy and consciousness, yet they represent the dance of Shiva and Shakti, as the one “sends” out the other, and then re-unites with it in the world of form.
Perhaps the universe is very Tantric after all, with the original sending being metaphorically understood as the original thrusting of the male principle into the female principle who then gives birth to form out of the active uniting of consciousness and energy in new ways.
While the original Union of Shiva and Shakti might be called “sexless” in the sense of not being split into two genders, the original creative act is the separating and uniting of the two, which results in this whole amazing and wonderful universe on an on-going basis.
Our end goal, spiritually speaking, however, is to unite the two principles within us in peace and wholeness, and become One with the Absolute beyond form, and so, dropping the concept of sex and gender ultimately results in becoming the True Self, the Avatar, the Uncreated, which is always capable of creating whenever and whatever is needed in this world of form.
May you find love and peace and bliss on your journey of expansion into Ultimate Consciousness,