My daughter was probably three years old. She and my father would play for hours. She would be the waitress, the doctor, the maître D’. My father would indulge her every game, role-playing along in various accents and scenarios. This one particular day, they were playing the role of teacher-student. My father was giving Tia a test. He would ask her a question and she would scribble an answer (scribble being the operative response as at three years old she couldn’t yet write anything other than a semblance of a letter or two, kribbel krabbel we called it in Flemish). I remember my father’s questions to her…How deep is the ocean? She would scribble out the answer. How high is the sky? Lyrics from one of his favourite songs were his questions, her answers then put to page. How much do I love you…
At the end of the ‘test’ I was asked to be the examiner and to mark the test paper. I took the few pages of kribbel krabbel, and ticked various ‘answers’ playing along with the game. I then turned the page and noticed clearly amidst the scrawl, the words: “I am free.”
I was amazed. There was nothing intelligible save a few random child-like letters that showed a child’s learning in process. And then in the middle of the pages, these cursive words “I am free.”
I lost my brother 20 years ago. His life had been a deep struggle characterized by mental illness, tragedy and an unexpected and seemingly untimely death. Six weeks after he passed, he appeared to my mother in the space between wakefulness and sleep. She reached up to him and he said to her, “I stepped out of my body and into freedom.” This message and its timing had allowed us to feel the perfection of his passing. It allowed for the recognition of the incarceration of the body and the release of the form into freedom on death. When I read Tia’s play-play test results, it felt to me like my brother Shaul had spoken through Tia to say that he is free and that his spirit remains omnipresent and eternal. And that the fact that he had died five years before her birth didn’t preclude their interconnection as well as continued communication and contact with us.
And then tonight, something caught my eye from the inside flap of the book I am reading. The book, ‘Papaji: Amazing Grace’ by Premananda is a series of interviews with disciples of Papaji (Sri H.W. J Poonja) who was a disciple of Ramana Mahrshi, both of whom I am in deep connection with. There was this picture of his writing, these three singular words:
I have no knowing of anything at all. This is pretty much the only knowing I have. Yet this felt like a message to me coming to me in a moment, where I needed reminding of the freedom that I am. Something in me makes me wonder if it was not Papaji who wrote those words all those years ago through Tia. Something whispers that Shaul, Papaji, Freedom. Same, same. And the lyrical perfection of timing gives us the divine messaging just at the moments we need to hear them. Right when we need to remember the truth. The truth of freedom. The freedom of truth. That we are all free. That the shackles of the body and mind are simply illusory separations from our essential freedom. That I am free.
Both Papaji and Shaul passed in September, just before the Jewish New Year.
In gratitude to Shaul Forman who stepped out of his body and into freedom exactly 20 years ago.
In memory of Papaji who took mahasamadhi and left form for formlessness exactly 19 years ago.
In reverence to the One that is Infinite, Eternal and Free.
And to the recognition of that One within us all and to the freedom that is our essential nature.
I am that.
I am Free.
Om Namah Shivaya
Sat Nam and love,
In connection with the Infinite all healing is available, we can tap into the reservoir of healing, manifest the miraculous and remember that this body, mind, spirit that carries your essence is always whole, healthy, holy and healed. All that we shall do together is be reminded that all is healed already. And let body, mind and spirit follow! It requires one simplicity: connection to the innate infinite essence.
The body is a healing machine! Its capacity is to heal from anything irrespective of what the mind might misguide us to believe. This is not a delusional idea that I hold. It is my direct experience through my own body as well as through clients, family and friends who are able to tap into the portal to this healing.
This portal is not an inaccessible, hidden doorway that is available only to some. This portal is accessed through a simple shift of identification. In general our identification is with our bodies, our mind and its array of fluctuating, incessant thought processes. We identify with the finite, tangible aspects of self. We do this by force of conditioning that happens mostly immediately, from when we are already in utero. I am this child, name, gender, role, religion, type of person. I am this “…” construct which can be filled in with limitless labels. I am this body, these thoughts, these emotions. In fact many of them are not even ours. They are imbibed through conditioning and ancestral and social inheritance.
In truth we come into form as pure, infinite consciousness. Satchidananda: Truth, Consciousness, Bliss. Yet almost immediately as we incarnate into form, we unconsciously limit this pervasive awareness into bounded construct. These constructs create an illusory chasm that somehow conceals our true essence as Satchidananda. Our identification with body, form and self mesmerizes our attention to the mind and its thought processing. These thoughts become cemented as beliefs, notions of reality and petrified ideas of who we are, how we operate in this world and in fact what this world is. Our thoughts morph into our word, into action and become our reality.
As emotional beings, we identify with thoughts and their instruments of action, the emotions, and by nature of our humanity, emotional blocks ensue. These blocks manifest into physical form as dis-ease, illness, abundance issues, and obstacles to love, work, creativity and so on. The expression of the emotional block is just the flavor of the moment. Its manifestation may be subtle like a cold, a skin rash or headache. Or it might be stronger, more alarming as depression, chronic illness, auto immune dysfunction, or the all time favorite flavor in history, cancer. Its guise is less important. Equally insignificant is its likelihood of healing. The pimpled teenager and the terminal patient share the same commonality: the propensity to heal miraculously, irrespective of medical prognosis.
This healing may take place at two conceivable levels. The first is cellular. We experience an emotion which is repressed, codifying the cell with this new memory. The cell then replicates with this information which leads to various manifestations. When we begin the process of healing, the emotional blockage stored in a cell is identified, released and cleared. The cell is then free to replicate devoid of this old cellular coding. However long the organ/part affected needs for its cells to replicate, will be how long the cellular healing will take to be fully effected.
My sister Kim’s healing is a magnificent example of cellular healing. She was terminally ill with tumors in the lungs and brains that were non responsive to medicine. She given a few months to weeks left to live. Within seven sessions of Journey work, she was completely cancer free. The cells free of the old patterning replicated healthily. She remains cancer free today.
The second level of healing is spontaneous healing. These are those healings that may merit a shout of ‘Hallelujah’ simply for their incredulity and miraculousness. Here there is instantaneous healing. One where the disease or block immediately vanishes. This facet of healing has no empirical basis to placate the rational mind. It’s the skeptic’s worst nightmare or best persuader. It’s where the miracle of healing is thrust into view. And it’s fucking magnificent!
My personal experience of this was when my father was diagnosed with a tumor on his heart that was, irrespective of its malignancy or benignity, threatening to implode. Within minutes of healing, the medical echography showed that a 5,2 cm tumor was no longer there, having miraculously disappeared. Skeptics, eat my dirt! My father at almost 81 continues to be the embodiment of the miraculous. He is proof of spontaneous healing in action.
To access either cellular or spontaneous healing requires one simplicity: connecting to the Infinite. What the heaven is that, you might wonder? The Infinite indeed is our quintessence, our intrinsic nature. It is the Source of being beneath the barrage of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, identifications and conditioning. Our nature as this Infinite has a bouquet of possible fragrances: Truth, Love, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Abundance, Joy, Light, Silence, Stillness being but some of the flavors of this Divine innate that may be opened into being.
How do we open into this portal? Just by this shift of identification. By giving the mind tools to entertain it, so that the essential nature of Being is free from the obfuscation of the mind’s clutter. My preferred methods of stepping through into the Infinite are inter alia, meditation, yoga, prayer, nature and Journey work. All really speaking the same language of Truth in different dialects. They distract the mind, release the emotional blocks and allow us to abide as the Infinite, pervasive awareness that is our true nature. From this awareness, healing is not just possible. It is inevitable. And how it works is really none of our business. Some things indeed need to be ascribed to the Great Mystery. This is certainly one of them.
What we can actively do though is draw all of awareness into the moment. This present moment with all its contours, just at it is, is indeed the confluence of the finite and the Infinite. It is the awakened state of being. It is here Now. Here is the portal beyond the finite, beyond time and space. Now is the Infinite, as your soul always knew itself to be!
Be realistic. Plan for a miracle. We are indeed miraculous without needing to prove it with a story, anecdote or even a body! Sometimes though our bodies, our emotions and life’s dramas draw us back into the knowing of this and enforce an application of this knowing. And when it does we can humbly bow to its calling us home with a gratitude so human that its prostration opens us into our Divinity.
Each block will be that reminder to abide as Self. Each healing a reminder to mind that we are not in service to it, but rather in service to this Truth. And each moment a reminder to rest our awareness on this that is our nature. To stay safely ensconced on this side of the portal, where healing and the miraculous are our play ground. Where we abide as this that is Satchidananda, gracefully attuned to the here and now. Healthy. Whole and Healed.
Om Namah Shivaya!
Sat Nam and love,
There is a distinct and fascinating correlation between our spiritual heart and our health. Sitting at the physical heart center is the thymus gland which is responsible for regulating the body’s immunity against disease. At the exact same location energetically is the heart centre, known in yogic parlance as Anahata chakra. A chakra is a vortex of energy and Anahata, literally translates as unstruck, the soundless sound of all of vibration.
In yoga when we focus our kriya (exercise) or attention at the heart center, we simultaneously work to strengthen the body’s immunity. By doing the physical (yogic) movement at the heart, we are releasing old repressed emotions, perhaps of loss, grief or heartache. Often here we might meet the root of our unworthiness that may be at the core of many of our blockages. Through the movement, the emotions are liberated, experienced in totality and then as with all energy, they shift and release. In its place is infinite space and a renewed, heightened awareness of this space. This may feel like a remembering, which it certainly felt for me. It wasn’t that this space was a new experience. It was as if I had cleared out a closet of debris and in that new space, the truth of what was always there was able to be experienced in its all pervasive nature.
There is no coincidence that there is a physiological and energetic correlation between this emotional release and physical health. Clear the emotions that are sitting in the cells there, and the body reaches back to strengthen against disease and illness. The physical area is strengthened, the emotional aspect is cleared and the energetical vortex is freed from any blockages. Whatever emotions might be present, experienced or released, there is still one final step for full transformation to take place. That is forgiveness.
Today happens to be the Jewish Day of Atonement. It is a day which asks for forgiveness for what is perceived to need forgiveness. This is a fragile concept too, the judgment attached to actions. We might believe in a force outside of ourselves sitting in higher judgment. It might just be our personalized sense of ethics that constrains our actions. Whether it be God or any other personalized notion, I’ll simplify our concept of forgiveness for now, as forgiveness for that which we are ready to let go of, for that which is not in service of our highest interests. Through that forgiveness, be it of others or ourselves, that is where the true healing and liberation takes place.
Yom Kippur, this Day of Atonement is for me not a day of self flagellation or deepening guilt. It is a day of liberation where I clear my body of food and water and through the austerities of fast and focus, I welcome all that is present so it may be experienced in its fullness. I can then let go of that which does not serve me. Today’s dialogue between self and God is a deeply integrated one in which I realize that there is no separation at all in fact. That the concept of forgiveness is not a reaching out but a diving within, to the God self. Through this merger of self and Self, I endeavor to forgive, not just others, which tends to come easily to me, but mostly myself, a much more challenging effort. In this gentle embrace of all acceptance, of non judgment I set myself free. I cultivate a landscape for wholeness and health and set against that backdrop, all may be healed.
In learning the sacred Hebrew language, I learned that the word for sin is ‘chet חט’ except that it does not translate as sin. In fact there is no direct translation for sin. ‘Chet חט’ directly translates as ‘to miss the point’. On this Day of Atonement, may you be liberated from straying from the target of Truth, may your heart be healed, may you release all burden of judgment and separation and may you remember now and always who you truly are. And in the inspired expression of a beautiful soul in Canada, Mary Ann that I read this morning, may ‘atonement’ really be ‘at-one-ment’!
Divine opportunity and celestial abundance has afforded me the opportunity to satiate the calling of my soul in the pursuit of Truth and in the quest for wisdom. My whole life has been parenthesized by one singular compulsion in this pursuit. I remember as a child sitting in existential angst, a deep void of emptiness, one that was clouded by despair, questioning the existence of God, and the purpose of life. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up then, but I always had a deep knowing that there was something Divine about existence, something grand about the bigger plan. That the form of this body was a container for something magical, something more. Indeed it had to be as there seemed a void of futility without some understanding. I spent the next four decades exploring this mystery and seeking answers.
In my lifetime I have tasted freely of the Smörgåsbord of Divine offering. On this sacred buffet I first sampled the dishes of which I was deeply familiar, the religious inclinations into which I have been born, and then through a ravenous insatiability, I read, and learnt and travelled the spectrum of religion, mastery, technology and yogic technique.
In all these pursuits I received the Prasad (blessed food) of the deepest of wisdom. I imbibed of the elixir of Truth, an amrit passed through the darshan (transmission of light) of some of the greatest sages to be incarnate on this earth at this time. I have prostrated at their feet, awed at the blessing of such Infinite exposure, be it to their teachings, satsang or simple blessing. The devotional Bhakta (Devotee) in me delighting in this heart opening experience of boundless Love.
My extremely analytical mind demanded its own consumption, so course after course, lineage after lineage I greedily shoveled in platefuls of knowledge and teachings. Piling my plate with Jnana Yoga (yoga of wisdom) after Jnana. I sighed in grateful satisfaction yet only momentarily. Even a taste of Truth it seemed offered only instantaneous gratification.
These efforts of using the body as a temple and the mind as a conduit for Divine connection has proven deeply fruitful and generated boons, of which shining health, happiness and wholeness have been accessible and attained. I have helped heal from depression, participated in the service of supporting other’s through healing and transformation and generally become fulfilled, whole and clear. Yet simultaneously underlying this was a sense that I was like a donkey pursuing a carrot on the end of a stick. This goal oriented approach of seeking some perceived sense of enlightenment outside of myself, an almost impossible attainment, formed the backdrop for this lifetime’s pursuit of Truth.
And then Arunachala! How is it that a mountain, a so called inanimate, elevated structure of the Earth, could evoke in me so deep a revelation. As it turns out, I was called to her. I felt this compulsion instantaneously and I followed it, as I always have with all the spiritual callings that have propelled my journey so far.
There I was met and greeted by a sanghat (community of Truth) of the Journey, led by Brandon Bays in a manner teeming with Grace. As she recognized the mastery in each of us, suddenly a real shift started to take place, a possibility that indeed she might be right. That we are all masters, simply deluded by our egos into thinking we are anything less than that.
Arunachala’s welcome was magnificent. The mountain replaced my feet with wings, and I glided along her effortlessly, joyfully. It was a veritable falling in love, a mutual marriage of mastery as mountain and Mohamed met in spiritual matrimony. And yet as with all marriage, things were not going to be easy.
The week at the foot of the mountain was arduous. Despite the beauty of the surroundings, the excellence of service, the most opulent of luxuries from food, and accommodation, to care, to all forms of nourishment, this was no easy baby. The mountain demanded nothing less than the fire of real tapas (austerity) and Arunachala, Ramana Maharishi, Papaji and Brandon exacted the proverbial walk into this fire. I literally wanted my mommy! This was deeply challenging. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. Nothing to do but to sit in the core of this fire and let it consume me.
A great despair overcame me during this time. It was somehow a negation of all that I had learnt, an eradication of the spiritual crutches I had so carefully amassed with a consequent instability, and the hopelessness of the futility of the fabric of my and all existence. I was caught between a rock (in this case a mountain) and a hard place. The ultimate impossible bind of having spiritual tools and technology and yet being so displaced, so consumed by the fire of the mountain, that they could no longer even serve me.
And then the words:
“Nothing to do. Nothing to learn. Nothing to unlearn. Nothing to achieve. Nothing to attain. Nothing to become. Nothing but this. Right here, right now.”
In the simplicity of this, the rebirth of epiphanic clarity, the get out of the illusory jail free card in the Monopoly game of consciousness. The realization that I was not the donkey frantically pursuing the carrot on the end of a stick, but that I was the carrot all along!
And indeed who is this I? A deep fascination with this awareness that observes the machinations and manipulations of the mind and a recognition of the maya or illusion that is the projection of the ego. This is my tratakum (focused point of concentration). The mind has an anchor and Self has its realization. Satchidananda. Truth. Consciousness. Bliss. Everything that I have been seeking, is right here, right now, wholly accessible. It is a simple shift of perception. Into this moment. Now.
Quite simply, I am that.
Deepest pranam to Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Papaji and Brandon Bays and the Journey luminaries for an Inspired Journey into the recognition of Self.