Sunday, November 3, 2013
And on the 7th day… daddy worked is BUTT OFF! LOL...
What exactly is transcendence?
How do you know when you've experienced it?
It is a one-time-thing, or can you "make the jump to light speed" many times?
Transcendence is a word that I have been wrapping my tiny little monkey brain around now for probably a good year now. It's one of those "things" that I knew of, but never really bothered to 'take it on,' until, well, since May for sure, but I probably started seriously reading book after book on it beginning a year ago.
This weekend I had the joy of working an event with my mentor, Christine Stevens. She led a small team of us in leading a drum circle at a seminar of about, oh, I'd say about 200-300 participants. I had the joy of playing the bass drum to 'lay down the heartbeat' for everyone to sync to. Great experience, but what made it really interesting were two exercises/experiences that led up to it.
One of the cooler stages I've seen at a seminar...
The seminar was a multicultural event where lots of thought leaders and spiritual leaders from really diverse walks of life shared different practices and rituals that promote health, prosperity, and transcendence. Our job was to promote the power of music. Some of the other speakers were Don Miguel Ruiz, Joe Vitale, Marci Shimoff, and Indian master, Pandit Samavedula.
Master Samavedula performed a vedic yagya, which was a really interesting experience. He chanted a mantra 108 times as he ceremoniously added some sort of indian butter to a small fire… almost like he was making incense. As I was watching this, at first I was just 'watching' it like a spectator, which was pretty boring, let me tell you. I mean, who wants to listen to some priest chant the same thing in a foreign language 108 times in a row? Then, something happened. Can't put my finger on it, but at some point, I got my posture into the meditative posture I use when I meditate in the morning, and I slipped off into a meditative state. It was really sublime, until two of the production team dragged me out of it with their talking. Grrr… Still, there was a moment where 'something' happened in me. It's hard to articulate. I went… inward… like part of me disconnected from my body, any yet I was really connected to my body at the same time. I didn't leave my body or the room, I was really grounded in that very moment.
Is that transcendence?
I had to wonder, as Master Samavedula was reciting this mantra that many times, where was he? Was he on auto-pilot, thinking about other things? Was he right there in the moment? My dad used to pray the rosary. I prayed it a few times in childhood, but it was tough to stay present for 59 consecutive prayers as a kid. I wonder, if anyone reading this blog prays the rosary, what is it like for you? Do you find your mind wandering? Do you find yourself praying other prayers while you are reciting the Hail Marys and Our Fathers? Do you ever experience what you might call transcendence when you are 'in' the rosary?
After that, we did a really sweet exercise where all the participants gathered in two concentric circles facing each other. We were shoulder to shoulder, and about a foot apart. Our instructions were to get into the circles in complete silence, and once we were all in, we were to look into the left eye of the person across from us without talking. Just be with them. Don't 'do' anything. After about a minute or so, a bell rang, and the inside circle shifted one person to the left, and we did the same thing with a new person. All the while, a beautiful song with just piano and a female voice gently played in the background. The song's refrain was singing something about, "You are the face of God."
As I gazed into each person's eye (really great instruction to just focus left eye to left eye, because we really got to 'lock in' with the other person), some really great moments occurred. First of all, I was struck by how beautiful the human eye is. I marveled at the beauty contained in each one I looked at. Then, in other moments, I was able to really connect with the human at the other end of that eye! That may sound funny, but in some moments I could perceive a whole person. Other times, I was marveling at the brilliance of the eye itself. Still others, I could the reflection of me and the room in the person's eye, and almost see what they were seeing. But finally, for a couple of brief, fleeting moments… I thought I was looking into an entire universe, and in one of those moments, I thought I spied God way off in the distance somehow smiling at me, even though I wasn't perceiving a face… it was just an energy that gave off that feeling.
Was that transcendence?
Whatever those moments were, I was filled with peace, love, and a deep, profound connectedness to these otherwise strangers, and to God. I was grateful that I got to partake in such tender moments, and it was very mind-opening to be exposed to other ways of reaching that same place, for the master was every bit as reverent and humble as any priest or minister I've encountered.