SWAMI KARASANANDA SHARES HER PROFOUND EXPERIENCE AROUND UNLIMITING THOUGHTS THROUGH MEDITATION
"By sharing my mystical journey with you, I hope you, too, will experience true freedom." - Swami Karasananda (Kathryn Romani).
Since I was young, I have envisioned my spiritual life as a pathway going up a steep mountain, with junctions where I must choose one of two paths. Invariably, I choose the less-traveled path, letting intuition guide me. Often, I wondered if I was a fool for not choosing the easier path. But I had to be true to myself and my soul always urged me to take the more difficult path. I spent my young adulthood gradually ridding myself of selfishness, anger, rebelliousness and egotistical attitudes such as “I know more than you, I can do it better than you, I need to be the one in control.”
I learned to meditate and had an experience where I saw the path to enlightenment being blocked by a high stone fence with a heavy wooden gate. To journey onward, I had to pass through the garden gate which was protected on each side by ferocious, snarling, wolves. I looked for a weapon to use against these wild animals or a shield to protect myself from their razor-sharp teeth. I knew my strength was no match for their powerful jaws and my heart said “violence is not the answer.” Then I remembered that animals can sense a person’s fear and become even more vicious when they smell fear. So, I withdrew into a meditative state where my fears were quieted. That was the answer! I could meditate and choose my mood — the dogs could not. They had no choice but to be fierce protectors of the gate. I closed my eyes and sent out peaceful thoughts to the wolves. I felt like I was in perfect harmony with the animals. We were one — as I gently walked right between the now peaceful guardians, opened the garden gate and slipped through it, unnoticed. This opened up a beautiful imaginary garden where I could meditate.
In mid-life, the garden was replaced by a glass staircase extending into the dark blue, star-studded void of outer space. With each spiritual that lesson I learned in life, I progressed up one step. As I climbed this staircase without handrails, I noticed that the steps stayed the same length but the depth of each step became narrower. Eventually I reached the top where the steps abruptly ended. The last step was so narrow that I had to balance on my toes. There I was, precariously teetering on the edge of eternity.
I became filled with a horrible, gripping fear. I was absolutely terrorized at the possibility of falling into the great abyss of nothingness, where I would be a lost soul falling through space for ever and ever. My body was sweating profusely. My breath was heavy. Nevertheless, my intuition told me that the steps continued upward, but they were invisible. Dare I trust my fallible intuition? If it was wrong, I would fall through space FOR ALL OF ETERNITY! For a fleeting moment I thought of turning back, but going down the steps that I had struggled so hard to climb was not a viable solution for me. I reasoned that life was not worth living if I could not make spiritual progress. I HAD to move forward.
My heart raced; my ears filled with its thunderous beat. My stomach knotted. My hands began to sweat. I screamed but no sound came out! I could feel the blood drain from my face as tears poured down my cheeks. With all the faith that I could muster from every cell of my being, I threw my arms up in humble supplication and cried aloud: “Universe, have mercy on me!” as I took that terrifying step.
All of a sudden, my tears of terror turned to tears of laughter as I stood triumphantly on the invisible step. I was Conqueror of my fears. I was exhilarated! I was deeply thankful. I had completed a spiritual initiation.
In my older years, I stood on the glass staircase again. I could see a beautiful tower at the top of the staircase called the “House of Answers.” I realized that I had to learn a lot of spiritual lessons in life in order to reach the top, one step at a time. I became frustrated by my human frailty and despaired that I would never reach the top in this lifetime.
Then my intuition whispered: “There are no limits, except those in your own mind.” At first this idea was incredible! I couldn’t believe it. I had been taking one step at a time, progressing very slowly up the staircase with each lesson learned. Now this voice was suggesting that I could have just walked up all the steps, right to the top — if I had chosen to do so? Only my own thinking limited me! If there truly are no limits, then I didn’t even have to ‘take steps.’ I could fly to the top and transport myself wherever I want to go. I could enter the House of Answers at will and get answers whenever I need them.
Joyfully I flew through space, tumbling in somersaults and giggling like a child. I reveled in the absence of gravity. I became a leaf and floated through space, feeling what it was like to actually BE a leaf! I became a snowflake and felt its coldness and wetness from the inside out. I could merge into nature - not just look at a tree and admire it, but enter into the tree to become part of it and understand it intimately. I was free!
Although I had heard this truth before, I never internalized it. Now, this realization became a part of me. I KNOW that if there are no limits except those in our mind; ALL things ARE possible! If this is true for me, then it is true for you, too, my friend.
Take the time to stop, make a list of your thoughts that limit you, and then allow yourself to break free of them.