Into the Mystic?

On the journey of spiritual self-discovery, us explorers are often driven by the search for that great mystical experience that will enlighten us…or at the very least, give us an answer, ANY answer to whatever it is we are questioning about life. Whether it is in the solitude of a cave in the mountains, a vision quest in the forest, a pilgrimage to a sacred site, sitting at home on your own meditation cushion, or even standing in the Produce department of the grocery store…sometimes we are waiting for that one big A-HA moment that makes it all seem clear (whatever “IT” is…). I have to admit that part of me was kind of hoping for that here in India – maybe I would have a big “samadhi” moment and I would be transformed from one who doesn’t get it to ONE WHO DOES GET IT.

Here in India, we are learning breathing techniques and meditative practices that all assist in cleansing our bodies and clearing our minds in order to create the conditions for insights to occur. Because we are immersed in the practice daily, there are many opportunities for clarity and there have already been a lot of “lightbulb” moments where we are starting to figure things out. But the big revelation for me came after a series of Kundalini classes.

In addition to our teacher’s signature Hatha-Raja practice and the Akhanda holistic yoga we are studying, we have been learning Classical Kundalini. This is an advanced practice that includes mantra, movement, and breath…LOTS of breath. So much breath it is rightly called “breath of fire”. It heats you up, and makes energy move, and when energy moves it comes out in very interesting ways. This release or manifestation of kundalini energy moving up can often be un-nerving and downright freaky. Some of us were shaking like mad, some had tears, some barely felt a thing, and some were just looking on not sure of what to think! At first it scared me…and like anything out of my comfort zone, I didn’t like it. I tried to resist and the shaking just kept on. After a few more classes, Q & A sessions, and the assurance that this is indeed ok, I decided to change my perspective and go to the class without expectation, judgement or negative attitude. That’s when the remarkable happened…

As we progressed through the chakras, an electric feeling moved up my spine and as the energy grew stronger I reached a crossroads point. I could resist or I could surrender…and I chose surrender. For me this was THE pivotal moment because I took a breath, relinquished all control, relaxed my forehead (I can still hear my teacher, Vishva-ji, telling me to soften), and gave myself over to the experience. I made the decision – this was so empowering! How many times in my life when faced with challenges have I held back, doubting myself, questioning, digging my heels in wanting things to be different? How many times have I fought acceptance and preferred to live in denial? How could I have thought this was freedom, when in fact I was still stuck in my own perceptions of what was right?

Surrender doesn’t mean giving up…it means giving over to what is. In that moment during my yoga class, I did not feel fear, I did not worry, I did not cling, and I didn’t even try to hang on to any blissful feeling. Without any attachment or aversion, in that moment I truly was just ME, completely free. It is very difficult in words to explain this…it was the most free I have ever felt.

What happened next was actually insignificant (even though it was the most incredible electric feeling that ran all the way up my spine, into my arms and legs, and up the back of my head to my ears) compared to my moment of choosing to let go. The great mystical experience turned out to not be the end result after all (i.e. the full body sensations of electricity), but rather it was precisely the moment before, when I chose SURRENDER.

In the days since, I have felt clarity like I’ve never felt. I have felt compassion, and unity and an even deeper love for my friends and family whom I miss so much. I have felt so happy, like a weight has been lifted. Turns out that I am not one who does not get it after all… I am one who feels IT. IT is connection, IT is love, IT is God…I am trying to practice this surrender in all moments and I have to say, it is a wonderful way to live.

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9 Comments

  1. Mary Hardwick said,

    December 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Doug and I have just spent an inspiring Sunday morning reading all your blogs on this magical adventure.
    We laughed, had tears in our eyes, were overcome with delight in your insights and your capacity to express deep and personal experience for us far away. A gift to us all.
    However, Doug says he would have to take a pass on the detox phase!
    You look glowing, Anne.
    Many blessings ,
    Mary

  2. Edna Kennedy said,

    December 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Wow Anne what a wonderful experience for you – totally amazing… I am actually in awe of this wonderful experience you are now enjoying and I actually wish I could have joined you on this wonderful trip…. maybe next time. Love you xxx

  3. yogafreak7 said,

    December 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I love your blog!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Nancy Lowry said,

    December 2, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Blessings, Anne. You have experienced the power of a seismic awakening….. to surrender.
    Nancy

  5. Arnold Stotz said,

    December 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Anne your messages inspire me. Most of my day my mind gets tangled between heaven and hell.
    Reading your posts makes me strive to be a better person.
    Dream of the heavens cut out the hell.
    Let that candle flame be your guiding light.
    Make that piece of bread be your 5 course meal.
    Dream big….inspire all.
    Imagine that cold stone floor can be your warm feather bed.
    Let a scrap of paper and a stick of charcoal inspire you to write that novel.
    Let a sip of water quench your inner soul.
    Bless someone you never met with a big smile, because your smile is like the biggest arm clenching hug to some less fortunate.
    Leave your mark on India like you leave your mark on me every day.
    I await your arrival at home. Be safe. I miss you.
    I share your mystic journey with every word you write.
    YOU inspire ME

    Arnold

  6. ANNE STUBBS said,

    December 5, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Thanks to everyone for your comments, both written and sent energetically…I feel them. It’s what keeps me going when I doubt myself. That doubt is becoming less and less, for I know my worth. As my teacher says – happiness, joy, pride in yourself, being fearless – these qualities are everyone’s birthright. It is in our own power to uncover our true nature, but we have to do the work to peel away the layers of misunderstanding. Not always easy, but necessary for transformation. Looking forward to taking my readers on the ride with me…

    Shanti, shanti, shanti (Peace, peace, peace…)

  7. joanne mikita said,

    December 11, 2013 at 12:16 am

    hello beautiful soul….sending you love from our hearts to yours…thanks for sharing your experience with us!
    we love you anne
    J&J xo

  8. Pamela said,

    December 12, 2013 at 9:02 am

    You continue to inspire and amaze me…..miss seeing you but thinking of you often
    Best wishes for your remaining days and a safe journey home

  9. Donna & Jeff said,

    December 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Echoing all the sentiments above – enjoy, embrace, be brave! And thanks for letting us share your journeys.

    Safe travels- the ‘hood eagerly awaits your return with family, friends and fellow yogis


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