My Spiritual Odyssey

Dhamma Mahavana, North Fork


The challenges of life have lead the path of Carl Gustav Jung’s individuation. A path of self discovery. Of growing up and facing the amoral adult world all alone. Of demolishing constructs that I was fed by the society. I have learnt to see things as they really were, not as we were taught that they are. I have learnt to hear the secrets hidden behind the words we speak to each other. To see the world through a new set of eyes that rips thru human personas and masks. I have learnt to find my place, position in the world.

It was not always so and for my growth, I credit the path less taken. For this understanding of the universe, I am indebted to my education in Fresno State, the Buddhist Teachings, Meditation, Jung’s analysis of Book of Job, Bhagvad Gita and my journeys into the realm of Shiva. The fifth book, My Spiritual Odyssey, details my spiritual growth in the face of life challenges as I head into the evening of life.


I had sat there for over an hour, cross legged, eyes closed, hands neatly folded in my lap, absolutely still, unmoving, willing myself to endure the sore knees, and the unbearable pain in my lower back ,and my legs, over the last seven days. Adhishthan. The  power of will to endure. The pain was transient, as all trauma in life is. I knew that. I was here, at California Vipassana Centre, to train myself. To learn how to handle life without breaking apart by the hardships.          It was the eighth day of the ten day Vipassana Meditation Course. I was doing hard work. I knew from experience that the results were worth it. That the dispassionate observing of the unfolding drama would alter my neural structure. Increasing my resilience. Making me stronger. And I sat there, meditating, emptying my mind of all the crap I had accumulated since birth. I had sat there, hour after hour until I lost count of hours and then days. I lost all sense of orientation. I was lost in space and time, drifting in and out of reality until the chimes beckoned.

            Heat. My body was generating heat, as if I stood inside a furnace. The feel of sweat…everywhere…on my body. The drops on my scalp…drops on my forehead….drops pouring down my underarms, falling into the hollow between my arms and my waist. My pants felt wet. The underside of my knees dripped. My feet were wet, my hands sticky. I could hear the A/c whirring gently. I knew it was me. It was something inside of me. I had experienced it before. I tried to keep my mind clear…clear of thoughts about what was causing this state of being…..focus…on Goenkaji’s voice in the background. Instructing, singing, chanting……….slurry….repetitious….hypnotic……. Focus on observing…body parts….. Part by part……all at once…..up/down…. Side by side.,…thru the body…..inside the body….on the surface of the skin…inside the skin. Pay attention to tiny sensations…..barely there……empty your mind….let go….feel…..observe…. a trance like state…..loss of time….loss of space… Mr Goenka’s voice fades into oblivion…. I feel alone….in the moment…in the spacetime….the 300 students in the meditation hall disappear …it is just I here…I and the sensations….crawling, sweeping, rushing, tingling, jingling, mingling……I….the sea of sensations…. observing….and there is no me anymore…. I am my awareness…..only awareness remains in the spacetime continuum….without an I….observing…being aware….

            The vision of a snake suddenly jolted me out of my state of being. A ginormous cobra. As thick as a trunk of a slender banana tree. Mustard in color, with patterns of dark brown across his slithering body. Unfurling swiftly from its coiled state…like lightening… hissing….loudly ….rotating as it spins open, upwards….its large beady eyes staring deep into my soul….its tongue lashing out as it gently sways after it completes its ascend. Was it malicious? It was contained in a large circular glass-like cylinder that arose from his base, his heard emerged from the  top of the container, and his fangs were open, and he looked like a multiple headed snake.

I jerked violently, startled, pulling away from the restful space and time of my being. The adhishthan had been drilled into me by years of meditative practice, and I willed myself to remain still. I must not move. I did not move. Nor did I open my eyes. After the initial shock had worn off, I observed that I was unafraid. Sameer could not reach me. He could not reach my inner core. He could never harm me, or destroy me, unless I let him in and allowed him to do so.

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