“Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.”
This is an auspicious time of year for me. Three years ago almost to the day I experienced the first earth-shattering surge of Kundalini energy rising through my Being, which opened my chakras from root to crown and showed me realms of existence beyond my wildest imagination. It was a day that changed my life and perspective on ‘reality’ thereafter. The following year, 2015, at around this time, I became a Yoga teacher, drank Ayuaschsa for the first time, and sent my first soul to The Light. Then in June 2016 Kundalini again came into my life. While in Dharamkot, Dharamsala, the site of my initial awakening and where I did my Yoga Teacher Training course, I was initiated into the Siddha Kundalini lineage by teacher Dani Sher. Three days ago, helped perhaps by the Super New Moon, I finally started the 21-day purification practice given to us during our initiation to activate Kundalini energy and clear my inner Being so that I can step fully onto my path as a healer.
Powerful stuff, I can tell you!
So much change has occurred in the last three years to my inner and outer worlds that it’s no surprise really that I needed time to integrate all that has happened. Being catapulted from the Third Dimension into states of consciousness that I never knew existed was a lot for my thinking, ‘rational’ mind to take in. Because of that, and other reasons (resistance, denial, escape, a.k.a. FEAR), I have found my spiritual awakening difficult to get my head around, and to talk about. Now I feel it’s time. One thing I’ve learnt during this period of ‘silence’ i.e. without sharing my journey to the big wide world web, and even with close friends and family, is that EVERYTHING happens at the perfect time, no matter how hard our conditioned minds try to rush us forward to the finish line (which of course is imaginary, as there is no end, and no beginning).
Let’s go back to 2014, so I can give some context to the journey I am on. This was the year I decided to leave The Matrix, for good. Many years of depression and months of crippling anxiety had lead me to what is known in the West as a ‘nervous breakdown’, and what I now know was the start of the beautiful process of Coming Home.
Rather than kill myself, which I’d considered many times, in a Divine twist of fate I was guided to India and to Yoga, both of which opened doorways to emotional and spiritual healing and gave me the courage to begin life again in a way that was true to my heart. New to yoga and meditation, I began to feel things on a deeper level than ever before, tuning into painful memories stored in my emotional body, and releasing old patterns of thinking that had kept me chained to my desk, technology and material possessions for years beforehand. After the week-long retreat in January 2014 which began this process of self-enquiry, I booked a one-way flight back to India with one intention: to be happy.
At the time of my awakening in May 2014 I’d spent nearly three months allowing myself for the first time to ‘just be’. This wasn’t an easy concept for me to grasp, or to practice in the beginning; there were many mind programmes to become aware of and let go of, particularly the belief that by not ‘working’ I was not a valuable member of society. My self worth for so long had been determined by academic grades, money, and externally acquired knowledge. I had no idea about another type of knowledge that could only be accessed from within.
In Dharamkot I met Sophia La Pastina , who’s powerful awakened Spirit no doubt had a direct impact on my own awakening. After my first experience of her teaching I returned each morning to practice Tantra Yoga, where through Pranayama (breath-work), Bandhas (energy locks) and Kriyas (energy cleansing practices) I began to feel an incredible power inside that I never knew was there. I was learning to stoke my inner fire, the Yang, masculine energetic force, bringing an empowering inner strength and determination to my practice, and positively affecting my thought patterns and emotions once class was finished. I was discovering too about another aspect my Being – the Yin, feminine side, the passive energy of receiving, of holding space – an energy which is demonised in Western society and which I did not fully understand until I was told to stay in one place and ’surrender’ (perhaps the most powerful word in the human language).
Through Sophia’s teaching, and the example of others I was meeting on the spiritual path, I was learning to let go of a lot of what I had thought made me ‘me’. I was taught for the first time how to observe the mind, the body, and the world without attachment or judgment, and to exist without the need to ‘do’ anything. I was beginning to understand I had the tools inside to ‘become’ anything I wanted, while knowing there was no pressure; that everything happens at the right time and place, and all is perfect just as it is. The shackles of my Conditioned Western Mind were lifting and I felt for the first time in my life free to be my true authentic Self.
And that’s when it happened – in a moment of absolute peace and contentment, The Divine Feminine energy which resides within us all, woke up.
I was lying alone on my bed in my room in Dharamkot, naked, in Savasana. After a beautiful long night with friends, talking and sharing with hearts open, I was attempting to get some sleep so that I could enjoy some of the day which had already begun. I felt incredibly horny. Rather than tend to the urge, I lay flat, eyes closed, and began observing the feeling of sexual energy building in the lower part of my Being.
Suddenly the sensation cranked up a notch, so much so I became a little alarmed. I was distinctly aware for the first time not just of a tingling energy in my physical body, but a swirling force that engulfed and surrounded me. I must be feeling my sacral chakra, Mind reasoned.
I continued to watch and feel what was happening, and then suddenly, it exploded. The swirling intensified and began to rise like a snake up to my belly and into my heart. I was becoming increasingly hot, my whole body now consumed with the electrifying sensation of orgasm and it showed no signs of waning. No longer in control of my movements, I rose out of bed and found myself on the floor performing asanas (yoga postures) and mudras (hand gestures) which I had never before been taught. I was moving as if possessed, with a grace and strength I found astounding.
No thoughts entered my mind for the hour or two that followed. It’s hard to say exactly how long this experience lasted since I had no concept of time or space. I was on a different plane entirely. From the bedroom floor I moved to the bathroom, where I continued to sway and undulate without will, my body moving in mysterious ways, consumed by a Divine force that overwhelmed and moved me. I remember looking at my naked body in absolute awe, seeing it for the first time in my life as perfect in every way. I caressed my skin with tenderness, crying tears of gratitude at this gift of a body I had been given – so beautiful, so powerful, I felt my heart might explode.
Then, as the energy moved to my higher chakras I saw a brilliant bright light through my Third Eye tunnelling away from me to infinity. I knew instinctively that I could move to it, if I wanted. Kneeling on the bathroom floor, my hands in prayer, I stared into the light and started to say out loud, over and over, ‘I surrender, I surrender’.
And then, just as I prepared to leave my body and rocket launch into the cosmos, I heard a knock at my door. It was my friend, coming to see if I wanted to join our group in town to sign up for the Dalai Lama’s upcoming talk. ‘Bring my passport’, she shouted.
At first I wasn’t sure I’d be able to speak. Though I heard the words ‘just a minute!’ come out of my mouth. I glanced in the mirror and was relieved to see my body still in tact, though my pupils were rather more dilated than usual. I grabbed my sunglasses, passport, pulled on some clothes, and tentatively joined my friends outside.
Though in shock about what had just occurred, a profound sense of peace came over me as we strolled down the mountain to Maclaud Gange. I didn’t speak much, preoccupied with seeing, as if for the first time, the world around me. The nature had come alive – the colours so magnificent and the light so bright I was glad to have my glasses. My friends too were glowing iridescently. I could see their auras surrounding their physical forms. On reaching the town the energy became more difficult to take – the bustle of the crowd and beeping of horns was overwhelming in my newfound active state. I felt dizzy, and was relieved when the administration process was over and we returned back to the tranquility of the forest.
Kundalini energy continued to work through me for the 11 days that followed, during which I saw demons, angels, Gods, monsters, and accessed ‘portals’ to what appeared to be past dimensions. Scenes of soldiers in tin hats carrying weapons, for example, appeared to me as I viewed the world with my Third Eye and Crown Chakra open. Ganesha was everywhere – in the rocks, in the clouds, in the trees – and other physical objects became ‘inscribed’ with sacred symbols that I recognised, though could not fathom with my regular two eyes. There was no longer just a physical world in my vision but an indescribable convergence of ‘existences’ simultaneously present in time and space. (Needless to say, neither concept has since made sense to me.) I understood exactly what was this ‘Bliss’, ‘Nirvana’, or ‘Enlightenment’ people were seeking. It was, as Tantric master Osho puts it, “a deep orgasm with the whole”.
“On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. You die, and you become a god. You disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes into existence.”
It was just as Osho describes. I was One with all that was, ever was, and ever will be. And the feeling was of pure, unadulterated Bliss. On top of Mount Triund, which I climbed after two days of no sleep (so consumed with life-force I had no need), I looked out at the mountains, valleys and sky and weeped tears of joy that, finally, I understood why I was here on this Earth. And the answer was: just, to be.
When I left India the following day however, the visions ceased, the energy settled and I was left again with my over-thinking mind, wondering what on earth had occurred. Naively I had thought I’d stay up there with the gods and the angels, that nothing could ever penetrate the ecstasy I felt in the Himalayas. Naive I was, indeed.
What I now know, three years on, is that Kundalini Awakening is a process. It is a process of un-learning ALL we have been taught, ALL we have believed to be true and ALL we have become accustomed to ‘being’, thinking and doing. To maintain this state of Enlightenment, there was work to do. To live fully in The Light means living fully in Awareness, the true aspect of our Being which exists beyond the mind, beyond the body, and beyond society. To access this, our full potential, takes regular practice. Meditation is vital. It also takes a lot of courage – to face our deepest fears and let go of anything and anyone which stands in the way of our destined path, is not always easy in ‘reality’.
Of course I resisted. My Ego – meaning the conditioned personality I have been given and developed throughout the course of my time on Earth as ‘Olivia Wood’ – clung on, and I soon found myself back to the same old patterns of negative thoughts and behaviours which had clouded me for so long. It wasn’t as easy to merge with the whole when back in London. I was surrounded by people who’d most likely think I’d lost my marbles if I told them what had happened, and whose lives and belief systems were very far removed from those I’d met in India. As hard as I tried to ‘trust the Universe’ and ‘surrender’, I wasn’t yet ready to take this huge leap of faith into the unknown without the guidance of people who understood the journey. I hadn’t yet found my support network or my voice on these matters.
And so, I put to the back of my mind my brief moment of Enlightenment and tried to fit back into the life from which I’d fled. Soon I’d fallen back into old habits and addictions – drugs, comfort food, toxic relationships, social media, and most depressing, ‘work’. After a few months the pressure to do, do, do became overwhelming and I booked another flight to India to begin again the process of letting go.
The same pattern repeated again, and again. India would heal me, and London would break me, although never in a way that it did pre-awakening. Though I’ve had periods of deep sadness, regret and pain in these last few years, a consequence of ignoring my intuition, repeating the same patterns, and refusing to learn the lessons I needed to, never have I given up on life like I did before. Because what that experience in Dharamkot showed me is that giving up on life simply is not an option! Life goes on, and on, and on, for lifetimes, whether I choose to participate in it or not. My body will die but my soul cannot; it is eternal. This 3-Dimensional realm is as illusionary as the images we watch on the television. Time is a man-made notion which distorts our sense of reality. We really are all connected – to each other, plants, animals, and everything else in this Universe. And so, while allowing myself times of despair, self-pity, anger, and resentment, they have gradually become fewer and further between, and each time I’ve returned to India my inner powers have grown stronger and stronger.
This year, 2017, I decided would be different. The number 17 is special to me as it’s my birthday. I see this number often, accompanied with my sister’s date of birth, 11 (11:17) – when I’m one with the whole. This is also known as being ‘in the flow’ and happens during times of intense creativity when I feel I am downloading straight from the cosmos, free from my Egoic Thinking Mind. After making the same mistakes again in 2016 and ending it in low vibrations, I was determined to make 2017 ‘my year’.
I set my intentions to live exactly as I pleased, without any outside interference into my actions. I decided to live purely from the heart, in places that bring my soul alive, doing just what feels good in the moment. I promised myself to trust that all would be OK, knowing that whatever is meant to be, will be. And I decided once and for all to put my own healing process as number one priority. No more toxic relationships, no more guilt-driven actions, no more compromising on what and who I want to be, or more accurately, already am. No fear would stand in my way (of being lonely, of not making others happy, of not having enough money, of not being able to look after myself). With no plans whatsoever, I would fully surrender to The Universe, TRUST, and see what happened …
Well, I can tell you, it’s going better than I could have ever dreamed of!
Since I let go of my fear of money, I’ve been given everything I need to survive, and thrive – a home in Bulgaria, a home in India, food, friends, a new wardrobe, and job offers coming out of my ears. Since I let go of my fear of death I’ve been given good health, free healing treatments, the most transcendent meditations, Reiki, and firsthand knowledge of plant medicine (from the plants themselves). Since I let go of my conditioned need to ‘do, do, do’ and any remaining desire to fit into the Western model of enslaved living, I’ve found that doing even the simplest things in life can be a ceremony and a celebration. From showering, to washing my clothes, to walking to the shops, I find gratitude and enjoyment in every moment. There is no longer a need to get somewhere; the beauty is always in the Now.
The more I surrender, the more I feel Mahamudra: at One with the Whole. Though it is a constant practice. I must catch myself when I become identified with my future-fearing thinking mind, reminding myself: ‘these are not my thoughts’. These are programmes from outside sources; the real me is in my heart. I bring my awareness back to my breath and into my heart, and I arrive again in the present moment, remembering with wholehearted acceptance that everything is just as it is supposed to be, whether pleasurable, or painful.
From this place of inner peace and gratitude I’ve found again my creative spirit. In India this March, while living at one with Nature beside a beautiful waterfall in the jungle, I began for the first time since I was 18 to paint. And I’ve begun again, as you can see, to write. I’m even working on a book.
Doing ‘nothing’ however is still high priority and I spend a great deal of time simply being, and observing. In allowing myself this God-given right to be my authentic self, which is not defined through activity, money or status, but a state of Being, I have come back to the frequency of love which makes life flow so effortlessly. As in fact, life needs not my effort, simply my attitude of non-resistance.
I am eternally grateful for the lessons that this journey keeps bringing, for the people I am sharing it with, and most of all to know that the only place I ever need to look for guidance is right here inside me.
More to come.
With so much love