Breaking Out In Enlightenment

A temple I visited in India.

In the same way that an athlete develops certain muscles through specific exercises that are appropriate for his or her sport, consciousness also needs to be specifically exercised. The exercises for an athlete are usually designed by long-standing experts in the field. That is also true for meditation and in the gaining of understanding of that experience the mind and heart are developed to accommodate their more expanded values. There does need to be a desire and regular practice to achieve any lasting success. Fortunately it is much easier to naturally bend the mind than the body. The human mind can be conceived to have infinate flexibility, it would be impossible to imagine the body in the same way.

I use the words “Breaking Out in Enlightenment” to emphasize that permanent self-awareness arises simply and without fanfare. It kind of wells up from some unfathomable, limitless source and is then found to be occupying the whole heart and mind. And all the preliminary activities that I engaged in that lead up to the awakening experience all had their practical and necessary functions. But when the final moment came not any one activity, whether meditation, prayer, understanding or behavior seemed to be the specific cause, in fact the cause and the experience of self-awareness were discovered to be one and the same. I found that I had been living in, what I thought to be a temporary, very partially explored home. Until I wandered around and appreciated all the rooms I had no way of knowing the vast extent and what the ownership of my mansion actually meant or was.

The Senses And Desires Are Central To Awakening

Detail of one of the watercolor paintings.

In many circles the senses are considered to be hindrances or blocks to the development of higher states of awareness. This has not been my experience. If the always changing senses, the wandering mind, the too active intellect or the raging emotions are our only focus then it behooves us to look for a state of steady, quiet inner contentment that first underlies and eventually saturates and enhances all these layers with its influence. Now keep in mind that the purpose is not to get rid of anything, but to not be consumed by them. The purpose of life is not to get rid of it but live the full value of each and every aspect of it. Fortunately for me and everyone else this is not only possible but a fully awakened consciousness is the source and full value of every stream of experience.

As I moved through the various periods and states of awareness that I been and will be describing, every aspect of my life has come along for the ride. I have become more exuberantly talkative, exited and out-going, which for Finnish born fellow is quite extraordinary. (Here again check with my wife.)

Here is a typical Finnish joke to clarify this. (A very out-going Finnish man in a lively conversation with someone will look at the other person’s feet rather than his own while speaking.)

The senses independently and altogether are very interesting. We all know five of them, they do not compete but work together to convey all kinds of useful, enjoyable or unpleasant information. And who is the recipient of all this streaming info? There is an individual experiencer who naturally does the processing and has a choice in choosing what is useful and what is not. Now this experiencer is our overall consciousness which is flavored by our intelligence, personality, our feelings and our limitations. The thing is, most people lose pure-awareness when they are engaged with any of the senses. The question is how to influence self-awareness to clearly step out and become a conscious perception.

There is an expanded, abstract location or experience where every feeling and every thought sits at its source. Where even the senses are in their quietest state. This where the mind is naturally attracted to go because it is enjoyable. Where obstructions and limitations have not yet arisen. The pure-awareness of everyone as a conscious experience is this state. Meditation techniques are the simplest way to have this experience. With repetition this unbounded state gradually become permanent. Then the activity of the mind, heart and senses do not obscure realization. Deep understanding step by step makes it permanent and integrates pure-awareness with daily awareness in activity. The great thing is that the heart and mind are already configured to move in this direction since this is already their very idea of existance. In fact the reality is that the main purpose we have a life is to uncover this fundamental truth. The human heart, mind and body are the reservoir of this fundamental experience of truth. Like any treasure we have to desire to find it.

Imagine if even the senses were aware of and always in the presence of unbounded consciousness. Then it’s most basic quality, expanded happiness would also be lived in daily life. Hard to argue with happiness. There is not much of a jump from happiness to love. In my experience they are so similar that I do not differentiate between them. I could however say that, purely for the sake of understanding, that happiness is a general feeling and love is a specifically directed flow of happiness. We all love that which is closest to us most, then our friends, our community, our country, the whole world and finally if possible even the entire universe. My experience has all these different gradations of the heart-felt feeling of love. The main quality that has developed is that all the layers of love are experienced continuously as abstract universal love and constantly flow as specific streams of love within it. I will of course at any time take either one.

I am accepting and cherishing the outside as the inside and the inside as the outside. When this unity of experience where everything feels as familiar as ones own awareness, when it has become permanent is the mature experience of enlightened-awareness. The senses when they are known as and deliver nothing but qualities of pure-awareness then they do not disturb the experience of unbounded awareness and unbounded awareness does not disturb the senses. Then pure awareness has become the ocean in which all aspects, all layers of consciousness reside. This would be a very happy person.

The Primary Quality of Universal-Consciousness

My pencil drawing of my wife Cathy, from when we were first married.

A short passage from my upcoming book.

For me, only the simple, genuine experience of love transcends and expands all limitations. Just like universal-consciousness but much fuller, warmer— far more personal. In the early years of marriage I was very focused on the intense feelings that united us. This feeling was such a tangible force it only allowed me to move in concentric circles around the center of my attraction. However far apart we were, in fact, the farther we were the stronger I felt the pull. It was this point of love that years ago catapulted my first awakening into a more expanded, all-encompassing daily reality. If I were to give a name to the primary quality of all the states of awareness that I have traversed— that delightful something that united everything, it would have to be the almost indescribable experience of love. What I enjoy the most in my life is the immergence and quiet dominance of love as the whole liveliness of realized-awareness. Love is like a delightful spark in a vast ocean of inner to outer light that constantly kindles my whole awareness into a heart-full blaze of universal-consciousness.

Bad Things Just Happen Good Things Just Are

Detail of my painted marble sculpture.

Awakened consciousness is a very good experience that has always been available, yet all kinds of obstacles seem to get in the way. There is no end to the struggles and difficulties that arise in most peoples lives and from this has arisen the understanding that it must also be very difficult to achieve the benefits of a permanent, awakened state of consciousness. This has not been my experience nor do I feel is must so be for others.

Everybody experiences times of calmness and happiness in between the struggles and it is in these quiet, effortless moments or days when the basic state of expanded awareness has the opportunity to easily move to more expanded, rewarding levels of experience. We do however have to set up the right conditions through meditation and understanding for these life changing events to blossom.

A Delightful Nothing Does Not Compare In Any Way To A Delightful Everything

Not to labor a point, but there is so much talk in self-development circles about an awake consciousness being completely empty or at the most a very pleasant experience of nothingness. And that anything else is just so much fluff. A continuing part of the journey can certainly be an experience of pleasant, uninvolved silence. For me this silence was the beginning of a grand unfolding. The main reason I called it silence was because it was not clear and that was all I experienced at first. However from even a logical or intellectual point of view why would anyone with a mostly nice life trade their present way of life for an inside experience of the absence of everything. Would a pure-awareness experience be robust or satisfying enough to alleviate all the life stuff that needs alleviating or at least seen from a grander perspective. It has been my experience that consciousness can be experienced so full and rich as the grandeur of a personal to universal joy that only then can all trials of life be experienced in relation to that unbounded self-realization. A completely new relationship develops in relation to obstacles or personal problems. A permanently expanded heart and mind has more capacity to deal with life problems. The issues are then as if swimming in a vast reservoir of expanded awareness.

I do experience an all-time unbounded field of almost infinate stillness that is the source of all the diversity of personal and cosmic existance. It is an all-pervasive experience that I can describe in numerous ways without taking anything away from it. If I appear to not talk much about silence it is only because in my life it has always been a part of a much larger detailed whole.

Beyond Imagining

In the same way that beautiful sights and wonderful sounds, in fact all breathtaking experiences are the greatest aspect of our lives. Imagine for a moment if this were also true of our inner awareness. What if the very fullness, divine content and structure of consciousness itself can be so subtle, so permanently expanded that it becomes an all-time addition to our regular lives. And if the heart can feel its divine radiance, the mind can understand its all abiding unity, the eyes can see its exquisite structure and the ears can understand and hear its reverberating intelligence all the time in regular activity what an addition it would be. Add to this that there is a beauty beyond imagining, an understanding beyond imagination and all within reach just for the finding. Finally imagine a very quiet but tangible contentment that cannot be shattered, which is a love and universal understanding beyond anything previously experienced. Sounds too good to be true. Remember that I am describing a state so quiet so subtle that it in no way hides or interrupts but only wonderfully adds an other element of conscious awareness to whatever is going on in our lives. And whatever is then our regular lives does not disappear or hide our new unbounded awareness. It is known to be so natural that I could easily call it an advanced state of what we already have. Also remember that all great traditions speak of gaining enlightenment or unity with God as the most worthwhile goal of our lives. It does however surely need to be experienced to be understood and appreciated.

The Churning Of The Ocean Of Consciousness

At one point I began to experience a tiny drop of exquisite, fluid light emerging at the end of a long spinning string of pure vibration. This drop of nectar at the center of my consciousness was so clear that it illuminated a vast vista of Absolute, celestial and brilliantly subtle physical details around me. It was all exquisitely sweet and sublimely nourishing.

Suddenly, part of me was a huge cone of spiraling energy that had at its leading point this concentrated drop of pure bliss. I was experiencing absolute immovable silence and could locate a crystalline, concentrated, central point within the mechanics of this sparkling stillness that was both the center and the result of this powerful stirring.

At the heart of this cosmic Ric of conscious sound and light I saw standing immovably still, dynamically awake, a glorious God, I was also co-occupying the same sublime space. I could hear a deep rumbling roar, like some great stone boulders rubbing together and emanating from this vast hub within and all around my awareness. I saw enormously long, glittering, curving string-like rivers of consciousness composed of uncountable devas and asuras, arrayed on opposing sides pulling together in unison. They were all arranged in distinct eight multi-dimensional spiraling arms up and down the whole length of this liquid mountain of cosmic joy and perception. They were pulling in unison and in complete balance in opposing directions— each layer of personifications maintaining its distinct place and influence, all the while spontaneously integrating the dynamics of the whole churning phenomenon with each other.

I experience this wonder of an Absolute manifesting point, as a universal multi-layered humming, singing togetherness— the activity of the natural administrators of nature, the very Absolute in its eternal motions of universal wholeness being personal wholeness. Each layer of churning creates an infinitely vibrating point of collapse that further sounds and expands as specific laws of nature being expressed as the wholeness of that element mixing into the universal organizational details of universal reality becoming personal experience.

The various aspects of my body, contain the entire geography of this phenomenon, the soma drop is the condensed whole value of absolute perfection. It requires all of the devas, all of the asuras and absolute God and Goddess to affect this great happening— the Absolute remaining Absolute curving as itself from its smallest point to its unbounded expansion, with all of creation, as if strung in between eternally expressing over and over.

I am, we all are the physiologies of this divine knowledge that is able to hold, be and receive this immortal nectar— an infinate process of sharing the heavenly home of the family our Gods as the entire content of our conscious awareness. This experience transpires from within itself, in the center of a cosmic happening that is my consciousness and my body. I am this eternal process, we all are this eternal process. Floating as the Absolute with understanding awake and senses intact we are the one great fountainhead of this process.

I experience at the very center of my body a subtle column of spiraling light that on all of its levels and points corresponds exactly to the reverberations of expanded universal intelligence. The divine, shimmering environment around my body is also moving around in a huge knowable, perceivable spiral of pure knowledge. All the countless layered spirals of consciousness fit into the dynamics of this eight-fold, ten fold layered universal perception. I the see immovable Absolute and the lively value of its synchronous, humming nature as the knowledge of my breath, of my heart, mind and body already eternally embedded as a pure unbounded structure, knowledging, curving throughout self-awareness.

The Unfolding Unified Consciousness

Pristine unbounded knowingness, where every single thing and all experiences are known to be unified within and as one continuous awareness— has been open to me for some time. This experience arose almost suddenly from an experience where divine and physical awareness had been as if outside or separate from unbounded Self-Awareness. Unified consciousness was at first very abstract, more like a clear sense and perception of the connectedness and harmony of the all layers of my experience and immediate life in general. In the beginning days it was not very clear who was having the experience—while shimmering and bright with the liveliness of the unitary nature of expanded awareness my consciousness was predominantly intangible in its detailed structure.

Then everything started to dramatically change again. Deep throughout awareness I noticed that something wonderful was stirring. I could see a kind of almost constant zooming or river of reverberating, organized, brilliant patterning—a sequencing intelligence that was whirling and expressing as understanding. This continuous combination of clear perception, pure liveliness with its structure of wakeful knowledge created a delightfully tangible, even physical over-all unified brightness to my awareness.

I could distinguish that the glittering, knowingness structure within any arising experience immediately rendered it permanently whole, yet somehow maintaining the integrity of the part. How very interesting. It was like detailed cosmic existance was describing and enacting itself to me within the physical layers of my heart, mind, body and inviroment. It all felt like I was being restructured and unified into the image of universal and divine aspects of nature. But now because nothing could possibly be smaller or less than the whole even the smallest twinkle was as vast as the brightness of the whole.

The abstract values of my mind and heart expanded throughout a vast bed of all seeing, shimmering stillness. Then I watched my senses one after the other expand to unboundedness dimensions—they also remained with their normal functions in tact— since now nothing could be excluded from this all-encompassing realization. Finally, with all physical values included, both individually and cosmically my body became perceived also as a body of universal dimensions.

Then surprisingly all the expansion and contraction stopped but continued to quietly roar, Rik and blaze as the brilliance and totality of infinate universal existance—where even the planets and galaxies have located their home in relation to my unbounded awareness. It all goes on and on in the daily activity of my and everyones life.

Very Practical, Too!

I walk, talk, drive and thrive in this bustle of divine activity, which is not limited by physical space. There is no limitation to the sphere of this activity; I see it filling up immeasurable space. It is the same universal environment that is the very fullness of the relationship of the Creator to His/Her creation.

Heaven is not in a heaven somewhere in the far distant sky. It is right here, right there, wherever we might look or be. The divine beings that reside in these regions are personified, Selfluminous, universal consciousness. They have been perceived and described by ancient cultures and spiritual teachers of the world through religious teachings, myths, fables and in artistic expressions. These beings are very beautiful. Their beauty does not lie in how they look or are attired, though they are of great splendor, but rather in the perfection of their existence and divine purpose. Their existence is the source of our lives and we are the source of theirs.

Heaven has a very practical function; it is the home and source of the universal activities of nature and from where they are administered for the benefit of all creation. Similarly, on a more personal level, the mother and father in a family look after and love their children and get great fulfillment in return.

We love our own families most, and when we finally see how closely our daily lives are aligned with our sublimely cosmic family the expansion and happiness of our love naturally extends to universal proportions.

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