It wasn't an unusual evening. Something to eat, orange juice, a 5km walk with my dog, a long talk by phone with my daughter, who's enjoying her new school, a little red wine, a bit of cheese before bed - had been up early doing yoga before work, so was tired. Woke in the night, not unusually. Awake for a few hours, again normal. But I was tired, mind racing hither and thither, so I sat against my Orbus-forme backrest, a fleece blanket over me, and meditated, over and over the same mantra, the one I've been silently intoning for at least 15 minutes a day since September 1994. The mantra and I know each other well and have been through a lot together. I've used it for many different purposes besides general receptivity to 'what is '- working out problems, kick-starting creativity for a project. It always works: whatever the intention, going through the medium of the mantra causes what I need to happen in my inner insights and motivations. I've used it to understand how to manifest pathways to what I might need at times too. In the middle of the night I turn to the mantra to calm me, and, when I'm tired, and it's dark, it can succeed in stilling my mind long enough for me to roll back into sleep, even an hour helps. I am grateful to this little mantra for all the ways it enables me to be as I want to be.
Only last night I experienced one of those 'mind shifts' during meditation. And I didn't enjoy it. It was like I expanded beyond my body. Like I was dispersing. I was floating in the air all about myself larger than I am. More expansive. Being blown outwards.
I thought, 'Oh, no.' And remembered the other times in my life when I had significant mystical experiences with various forms of mediation and the ways in which those experiences changed my life. In my 20s I was safely enrolled in a doctoral programme in English Literature when I had a few months of extraordinary mystical experiences of light, in dreams and in meditations; they were so powerful, I left the doctoral programme and embarked on a crazy course that never found completion. I applied to Interdisciplinary Studies and fought everyone in the department to get my thesis proposal accepted and was going to write some massive ambitious thing covering imagery of light from cave art through mythology, religion (oh, East and West, if you please), art history, literature, science, psychology, and so on. I might even have completed it, I was a workaholic who rose and began working at 8am right through to 11pm every night, 7 days a week, no social life, who cared, I was driven. But my father went into ICU for 6 months, then passed away, a brother had a break-down, and I took over looking after the family holding companies, then got married and had children. While a lot of that research and thought about light goes into my prosepoems, it was a wild goosechase triggered by mystical mediative experiences. In my 40s, after starting to learn Kundalini Yoga, begining the mediation that I have since done daily, I began to experience energy waves and other phenonemon during my private sessions. A sense of deep inner transformation once again. The upshot of that phase was that I left my marriage in 1997 and who knows what I've done since besides raise two children alone with barely any work. Never mind. Creatively I produced writing and art that I would never have done in the confines of my marriage. But was it all worth it?
So when I experienced one of those 'energy shifts' last night, differently expressed to any of the other times I've gone through a radical shift in my consciousness, I felt fear, and tried to back off. But the experience took me anyhow. I remained larger than myself for some time, like I was a nebula floating, understanding universal process from the vantage of the stars, it was beautiful, oh I'll admit it, stunning, deeply mystical and peaceful, and I did manage to fall back to sleep for a short while.
Following these visionary escapades aligns me perhaps with my 'soul journey' but it's been damn hard on my life, these mind-altering experiences that cause me to make major shifts in my direction.
From my previous experiences, I would say that there is no way if a series of mind-altering shifts are coming that it won't affect the path of my life.
And I'm not so sure that is good.
Okay, each time it has opened creative potential and greater creative expression.
But each time I've left the conventional road and slipped off into the unhewn fields where there's no security. I've followed these visions to the utmost of my ability, been true to them, let them guide me. But they have been visions which always abandon me at some point - meaning the energy which fires them and my crazy leaping about in unknown fields disperses -leaving me in a completely different locale with nothing but my day-to-day mind to cope with a life that looks less and less normal and on which no-one has ever been able to advise me.
Why do I tell this tale to you, dear reader? I suppose, if it's happening again, I ought to track it, note the mystical experiences as they occur, see where they lead. For surely they will lead off the beaten track...