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,
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’!
My story is one that needs to be documented. Not just because of its miraculous nature, but because it holds within it, the promise of infinite possibility. It breaks the perceived constraints of limitation and mainly it needs to be written because the urge inside of me to share it keeps waking me up at night. So my soul clearly demands to be heard.
Six months ago, I came to do the Journey Intensive with Brandon Bays. To get a sense of my background, I am a voraciously hungry seeker of Truth. I am an ardent yogini, deeply engaged in the theoretical and practical study of various lineages of yoga as well as a teacher of different forms of yoga. Yoga in addition to various other areas of study has been my passion, my life force, my way of life for many years. I have found within the teachings I have been exposed to, a technology for healing and self transformation, one that has been hugely successful in aiding me to overcome depression, anxiety and generally overhaul my body, mind and kick start my soul. I didn’t even know beforehand what the Journey was. And yet something still brought me to it, a knowing that when I heard Brandon would be visiting Israel, insisted I had to attend the course.
At that time, my sister Kim had been diagnosed and treated for metastasized lung cancer with additional tumours in the brain. Her prognosis was worse than dismal. The doctor’s response to her diagnosis was that “death is not the worst thing.” So I thought maybe this might be something for Kim.
What I experienced at the Intensive in April was the potency of a healing modality, one so simple that the physical body was not even necessary. It felt for me like a concentrated therapy that abridged twenty years of therapy into an hour and a half and was expansively more effective. The beauty for me is that the technique opens a portal into Source, which is the Journey nomenclature for one’s personal expression of God, creation, Divinity and so on. Through Brandon’s divinely inspired technique, Source becomes an accessible point of awareness, which in and of itself is an awakening to Truth. The course literally blew me away. I was flying beyond the realm of understanding, experiencing myself as Truth, a witness to the miraculous healing nature of forgiveness and connection to Source. At closure, people stood up and spoke of spontaneous healings, miraculous tales of remission from cancer, bones growing, eye glasses becomes superfluous. I walked out of there, got Kim on the phone and began to enthuse.
What I hadn’t known during those three days of Journey euphoria was that the doctor’s had told Kim that they had done everything they could and that there was no plan B. That Kim had been crying for the three days that I had been flying. I told her that this is our plan B. The next day I found her a practitioner in Johannesburg and set up an appointment for the next day. With a prayer for her and a trust that God would bring exactly what was in the realization of the highest good for all, I handed it all over. I let go and let God.
The same day, my son Jay came to me with fascinated interest. Now Jay is not your average spiritual seeker. He’s your typical grounded boy, in love with TV, physicality and with an aversion to all things yogic. Indeed he has been schlepped all over the world to ashrams and courses since a baby, and for many years referred to India and the ashrams we stayed in there as kaka India. In fact we had just returned from 2 months in an ashram in Rishikesh a couple of weeks beforehand. On our return, my house doctor insisted we do some medical checks as Jay’s growth concerned him.
Since he was born, Jay had been very small, his physical body two years smaller than his chronological age. I had done all the necessary medical testing over the years, many of which were invasive to confirm that he did not have a growth hormone deficiency. It was postulated that he had delayed growth that would likely catch up during puberty. After many years (and countless yoga) I was no longer worried, but Jay still felt deeply insecure about his smallness and had to face other children’s teasing about it. It remained a big issue for him.
My GP insisted we test him and keep a measurement of his height which he himself measured on the 17th April. The Journey Intensive ended on the 25th April. Jay, my antiyogi came to me asking me to do a Journey. I put on the children’s Journey CD two days in a row at his request. On Sunday the 28th April, Jay came running into my room yelping with delight. On his own accord, he had measured himself: had grown almost 4 centimetres in ostensibly 11 days!
Later that day, I went in for a massive abdominal surgery that had been scheduled for some time. As I entered into anesthesia, it was as if I descended the ten steps into Source, where I stayed in a blissed out Samadhi like state for the next six weeks, detached from physical pain and ensconced in the envelopment of the Divine embrace.
After these six weeks, we heard that the tumours on Kim’s lungs had disappeared. Two weeks later it was confirmed that there were no detectable tumours left on her brain. She had gone from inevitable death to no cancer in eight Journey sessions.
I have so many more stories to share of how miraculous the Journey has been in my experience. It literally feels like a magical wand that combined with intention, prayer and surrender realizes the highest possible outcome from any given situation. And yet I know that many more stories are yet to be written in the fabric of timelessness. That the infinite possibility revealed through my story is simply a departure point on an endless virtuous cycle of Divine connection.
This last week I attended another Journey Intensive with Brandon Bays in Israel. Here at closure, the energy was entirely different. If six months ago, closure was about the healing power of the body, this closure was entirely different.
A woman stood up and told of how three years ago, her husband had murdered her three children. And yet she was here, in the wake of her own soul’s desire to heal itself, to seek (if not yet find) forgiveness for the most abhorrent act conceivable. If forgiveness could be found for this horror, this was a metaphor for overcoming the impossible, a most cogent metaphor for Israel. This beautiful woman stood as symbolic of the awakening to peace that this country and the people in and around it may realize. She is the reminder of infinite possibility, of the realization of the impossible and the desire for Truth, for Peace and for Love to be known. We have the tools, we have so many emissaries of light working in support of this intention. Let this be the invitation to go into the heart of Truth and expand with the ultimate prayer for a global awakening and a realization of Peace for all.
9 November 2013