Meditation and Spiritual Awakening

Lord Ganpati for Ganesh Chaturthi festival of India

The '90s Internet

At the time of my awakening, in the spring and summer of 1998, the internet was around and I could access topics of interest, but it's not like it is today.  We had web rings to navigate and loosely structured communities that were surrounded with equally unstructured material and that were managed by no one in particular, but that's one way we navigated the internet at the time.  I remember using a dial-up modem from the Marine House in Lisbon to navigate New Age topics that were in English, rather than having to deal with the local bookstore.  Although reading and writing in English is commonplace in many places overseas, at the time, most everything that you could find in a Portuguese bookstore was in their native tongue.

Learning the intricacies of a foreign language is a beautiful thing, and the ability to speak through multiple tongues is a gift that I've grown to admire.  It was common to work alongside State Department personnel, including Foreign Service Officers, that were not only fluent in one or two foreign languages, but were fluent in three, or four, or more tongues that were not native to their own.  These FSOs, and many of those in the Defense Attaché Office, always had a long list of academic accomplishments behind their names, and it was always encouraging to see such smart people working throughout these diplomatic missions.  Of course, to them, we were just the Marines on Post #1 – the eyes and ears of Diplomatic Security – but for us, we were young people that would one day leave active duty, and most likely pursue undergraduate studies for themselves.

My awakening with Peter wasn't just one experience, and then everything went away.  It was many months of baby steps that were leading me to greater levels of awareness, and with that, to a greater understanding of myself and the importance of his divine intervention.  Although I hadn't been career orientated at the time, and found myself having achieved the goals that I had set out to, I was increasingly anxious to leave active duty and in one piece.  The threats that were coming from the Arabian Peninsula were as real as they were going to get, and for the first time in my life, I found myself confronting the face of terror, and in the form of radical Islam on a daily basis.

Security Details with the Secretary of State

One of the great things about Europe, and about being a Marine that's posted to an embassy in Europe, is the amount of diversity that you're always being exposed to.  From fine arts and dining, to traveling, local sites, and their history, you're always learning something new if you're open to their possibilities.

There is also the added bonus of being assigned to work in a security detail for a visiting Secretary of State, or for a Presidential visit, for example.  For the enlisted Marines, these assignments usually only last a few days, and always serve as an adjunct to the Diplomatic and Secret Service details that were already in place.  These hotel security details were far from glamorous, and the most exciting part of our shifts were escorting cleaning crews into secure living areas, or coordinating with the host detachment and Regional Security Office, or even watching the DoS comm guys squabble in the hallways.

Our downtime, however, was ours to use as we see fit.  As long as we reported to our posts on time, and ready to go, there was no problem with visiting the host cities.  It was during this time, and while I was assigned to work a three day security detail in London, that I found myself exploring a mystical, New Age store near the Piccadilly Circus area of this historic city.  Finally, something's in English!  A language that I could read, and this place was packed with all those things that make a New Age store worth visiting.

Since this was my first visit to a New Age store since I had left the States, and everything was in English, I remember being overwhelmed with the amount of information that was available to me.  The narrow aisles were crammed with topics that ranged from angels, psychic mediums, and channels, to afterlife experiences, crystals, and drums – even the light scent of an incense that was smoldering in the background – all those things that I had been searching for, were in this store.  It was during this trip when I began my crystal collection, first with an amethyst, that would enhance the abilities of my third eye, and that was followed with a nearly clear piece of citrine, that's always spoken to me in just the right way.  This trip to London is also where I was first introduced to meditation, with the use of a meditation CD, that included the promise of inducing a trance, with its mind-altering states of consciousness.

I was now ready to explore this new awareness as it was presenting itself to me.  A crystal?  Check.  Music?  Got it.  Now onto learning meditation in my downtime between shifts.

The Blue-Skinned Elephant God

The thing with a meditation CD, or being introduced to meditation without an actual person to teach you, is that you won't really know what you're doing right, or wrong, for the duration of the meditation.  I suppose some guided meditations have predetermined intervals to help the recipient along his or her way, but without formal instructions, it's just you against whoever made the CD.  In this case, this trance meditation was the most significant investment that I had made in my spiritual health at the time, and I remember being a bit awestruck at its psychedelic art design, and the notion of entering the trance itself.

As I lie on the bed of my hotel room, I decided to go the more traditional route, and skip the clothing for this first round of meditation.  I'm not sure why, although the appeal of being connected to nature, and without anything to hide, seemed to make sense at the time.  And since I was sharing the room with no one else, there would be nothing to hide from, and therefore, there would be no harm caused in the process.  If there's one thing that the Marine Corps has taught me, is that it's one thing to share a room with your bunkmates, and it's another thing to be nude in the privacy of your own room.

As I lay out the crystals, first on my sternum, and then with the amethyst held loosely in my hand, I closed my eyes and began listening to the music.  At first, it started with a low mellow bass that increased with frequency in time.  Then, it was followed with those two eyes that I had met Peter with, now opening in the warmth of my brow.  After a moment or two of catching myself with this gaze, the eyes shifted into those of a serpent that were moving into the darkness of my now closed eyes.

I remember the meditation being very colorful, and very vibrant, as the movement of the sounds began pulsating with light, and the music faded away.  It doesn't take long, but after a few moments of silence, you're gone with the flow of the moment and with those energies that have carried you away.  It was here, during this first meditation, when I remember meeting the blue-skinned elephant god, as his torso and face illuminated themselves against the void of where I was, at that moment in time.  He didn't say a lot, but he was in that space with me, and the significance of meeting him during that meditation has been with me to this day.

After a short while had passed, and after the music had stopped playing, I opened my eyes to the now darkened hotel room.  With one crystal in place, and the other having fallen from my hand, I reached down to double check the rest of my body, only to find that I had experienced an orgasm while in meditation.  How bizarre it was to feel the aftermath of your own excitement, that occurred without manual stimulation, while in deep mediation, and in the moments surrounding my first encounter with the blue-skinned elephant god, Ganesh.  There must be something to this, I decided at the time.

Kundalini Awakening

With the recollection of several of my previous incarnations, and with the presence of the serpent in my meditations in London, I discovered that I had been through a series of Kundalini awakenings with Peter, and with those allies that would later re-emerge in my shamanic practice.  Most American yogis won't tell you this, as many have not experienced Kundalini themselves, but spontaneous awakenings do occur in our lives and it's with the dormant serpent energies that exist at the base of our spine, and that are capable of awakening in their own time and way, that won't always need our conscious intentions to arouse from their slumber.

I wasn't practicing Kundalini yoga, a foreign topic for a guy from Ohio, and have found that when we read too much into this material, or are only coming from an intellectual understanding, that our egos tend to focus only on the sex, with its energetic and emotional attachments, rather than the actual practice of Tantra as a path of liberation, with its heart-centered relationships.  There are a lot of people that read about Tantra, and consider themselves well-versed, when, in fact, they're stumbling upon a practice that is literally thousands of years old, and comes from an energetic and physiological transmission whose origin is beyond the immediate self.  And while I profess no expertise in Tantric sexual practices, and is a subject that I don't offer to the public, I have found that when you dissolve the separation between self and other, that's what this spiritual practice is all about – a blissful heart that is neither gay nor straight, but is rather filled with the knowledge and abundance of only pure love.