Tuesday, October 29, 2013
“If you touch the phenomenal realm deeply, you touch the ultimate realm, which is Nirvana. It is God, and it is available to us twenty four hours a day.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I recently returned from a holiday in San Diego celebrating among other things the publishing of my latest book, “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart.” During the trip I began to realize that for the prior few months and throughout the trip, I had been experiencing a longer and higher level of contentment, joy and peace than ever before. Strangely enough I didn’t become fully aware of this blessing until I returned home and noticed it was slowly slipping away.
Instead of continuing to be at peace with What Is, I was drifting back to the more normal human condition of feeling isolated and separate, which can make us perceive ourselves as inadequate, disgruntled and dissatisfied with our lives. Wanting to reverse this situation, I quickly turned to the part of me that is committed to seeking a closer, more constant and aware personal relationship with God.
Even though I had experienced fleeting flashes of inner bliss before, they were few and far between. When I turned within and asked what am I to learn from this experience, I realized it was to continue serving my life purpose which is to grow through life and share my insights with others. I already knew that this wonderful state of bliss was so desirable that I wanted to learn how to live in and from this level of consciousness on an ongoing basis.
Almost immediately I started thinking of biblical stories of instantaneous spiritual awakenings, along with some more recent contemporary examples, and the impatient childish part of me kicked in. I indulged myself for a micro-moment wondering if that kind of instant spiritual transformation might be in the future for me. But good sense and a strong memory of how long it had taken me to get as far as I had on the spiritual path prevailed. I immediately gave the child part of me a mental hug that said, “It’s all good. No worries.”
This was also meant to be a reminder to my inner child, my ego and me of the uselessness of spiritual fantasizing. I realized I was a budding spiritual seeker when I was 10 years old, and then life happened, and it wasn’t until decades later that in desperation I seriously turned to God and was determined to have a personal connection. I was successful in doing so in 1999, and after my husband’s death in 2002, I answered yes to the call to become a spiritual warrior of the heart for God.
During all these years, there were a few times when I wondered what it would feel like to be in an accelerated spiritual process. My Higher Wisdom Self let me know immediately that my soul knew the path, pace and timing of my journey to God. I was also guided to do daily inner work to release invalid thoughts, beliefs and life patterns to further my ability to align with a higher energy vibration. The changes caused by this release of energies, I was told, would require time to be totally integrated into my body, and the slower pace was to allow this and protect my health and well-being.
I’m well aware that it took more than a decade for me to heal enough of the doubts, fears and invalid thoughts that created resistance to my finalizing the spiritual warrior book and to releasing it for publication. From my experience, it’s obvious that we’re meant to follow our own inner timing in preparation for our journey to enlightenment. I’ve settled into mine and am content with the pace of my individualized process.
I also realized fully that instant spiritual awakenings don’t happen that often, and they usually happen to individuals who – subsequently and sometimes surprisingly to themselves and others – are then fully prepared to step forward and be a light for others. They willingly do everything in their power to help humanity evolve by lifting the veil a little higher between us and the mysteries of Life. This confirms that my purpose as a word-warrior-messenger is to plumb the depths of my ongoing process and to write about the insights I gain to help others.
Still, because of my recent experience, I wasn’t surprised that spiritual awakenings that touched on bliss continued to intrigue me. When I returned home, I picked up a copy of a New York Times bestselling book titled, “My Stroke of Insight,” by a Harvard-trained brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
The author, at age 37, experienced a massive stroke that rendered the left hemisphere of her brain unworkable. This is the part of the brain that allows us to talk, walk, read, write and operate in the external world.
She captured my rapt attention by describing in detail the euphoric bliss she experienced in the right hemisphere of the brain, which she termed “Nirvana,” or God. This section of the brain is considered the creative/intuitive part that isn’t concerned with the details of living in the external world.
While Dr. Taylor was tempted to live in the blissful right hemisphere, she knew as a scientist that by making that choice it would mean existing as an invalid, in bliss, with no self-awareness or connection with the external world.
After eight courageous years, she was able to fully reclaim her life, knowledge, memory, skills and career. Knowing that the information she shared about her experience was a gift to all spiritual seekers, peace activists and stroke victims, she has embraced every opportunity to spread her message – which is the wonder of being human, and that people can choose to live a more peaceful, spiritual life.
Now I understand more fully why I am so fascinated by such spiritual transformations; whether they’re instant or not. It is the heart and soul desire of every spiritual seeker and rational human being to make a difference in the world. When a fellow soul is spiritually awakened and living life fully at a higher level, this is Life-confirming and we are all elevated by it.
When I thought about the widespread acceptance of Dr. Taylor’s book, I realized it is already bringing hope to countless stroke victims who seek to heal from their brain traumas, and this translates as a challenge to the medical profession to change their approach to the care and treatment of those patients.
I believe that such awakenings are a gift from the Universe reminding us that many individuals are needed to turn within and learn to create better lives and a world that works for everyone. Every human being is destined to evolve into a personal relationship with God, and when it’s our time (whether by choice or desperation) there’s a deep soul urging that rises from the depth of our being that cannot be denied. This primordial energy activates our desire to create a healthier and more humane world. That’s why we’re here on Earth.
This is also why so many of us are moved and uplifted by Dr. Taylor’s accomplishment. In a dire situation, she was able to scientifically “map” the physiology (function) of the right hemisphere of our brains as a receptacle of bliss-compassion-Nirvana-God. I imagined that it’s like an electrical outlet designed specifically for us to plug into when we do so with a true heart and soul desire.
Her enlightening experience caused me to reflect on my own journey, and I gained the following insights. I’m now totally clear and greatly relieved that I’m not in line anytime soon for a humongous spiritual awakening. Actually, knowing the good that has already come into my life – and the fact that my daily d.i.y. approach to God is now resulting in flashes of bliss – this is way more than enough to keep me on the path. Also I’ve moved past the stress of thinking the only way to connect with God was by somehow controlling my wild monkey-mind. There were times in the past when sitting quietly was simply an invitation to melt into the moment and I either fell asleep or visited the Twilight Zone. When I “returned,” I judged myself harshly for being more human than holy. No more of that negative thinking.
Now when I go within, after walking in nature, reading uplifting words of wisdom, or dancing, or singing along to beautiful music, I know that God-bliss is only a thought away. And the best part of all is the knowing that whatever does or doesn’t happens is okay and … I can do nothing wrong. I simply speak the following intentions, then in trust and faith … Let Go and Let God:
Today I bring everything I am, was, or ever will be into God. I claim being open to the evolutionary process of Life. I claim living in and from God-Bliss-Love-Truth.
Copyright 2013 by Fern Stewart Welch
The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart” (2013), “Tea with Elisabeth” (recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction), “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” (Nov. 2008), and “The Heart Knows the Way—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” (Feb. 2008), are available at Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.