* A Spiritual Experience is a Spiritual Experience
I recently met someone who glowed with love, spirit and zest for life. He spoke about his many adventures of spiritual transformation, including sitting at the feet of his guru, a kundalini awakening, Tantric love-making rituals, and various consciousness practices. His out-of-body meanderings, paralyzing illuminations, and other phenomenal manifestations woke him up to the joyful person he is today.
I was captivated as I listened, and noticed small twinges of self-judgement as I compared my less-than phenomenal spiritual adventures to his. I’ve learned from many teachers, but haven’t been a guru’s devotee, and my epiphanies and realizations appeared less dramatically.
Thankfully, I do understand the signs of egoic self-judgement, and as it crept in, I slayed it with my inner sword. Of course my spiritual experiences were and are as real, significant and life-enriching as his, albeit less exotic. My awakenings and transformations have come through hikes in the wilderness, meditations, music, books, teachers, and listening to others.
An epiphany or awakening is a matter of our ego recognizing our soul, and our soul merging with the Universe. In that moment of multidimensional expansion when soul and Universe connect, a secret of the Self and Universe is revealed. An answer is provided, a door is opened and information that enhances life’s journey is delivered. Life becomes much greater than body and ego, and instead becomes a meaningful gift through which the soul expands. Blissful feelings of infinite love, inner-peace and joy emerge. In an instant, we become a different person.
In an outer- and inner-world of possibilities, the methods and forms of awakening are infinite and can occur when we consciously strive for it or spontaneously from out of nowhere. Meditation, prayer and gurus aren’t the only catalysts; a hard rock song, a sunset, a glance into a stranger’s eyes, a hug, even deep despair – any of these can spark a divine connection. Whether the feelings last a minute or several days, this flash will have a permanent effect on your outlook of life, and is a touchstone that you can return to again and again.
Comparing your own spiritual development – or anything else, for that matter - to another’s is a dangerous path. No one’s journey is “better” than ours, and no form is more effective than another. Our individual paths are a unique as snowflakes, and like any road trip, can be dramatic or mellow, and can get you to the same destination of personal growth.
We can live a spiritual journey every minute of our lives, merely by remaining fully-present, observing our physical and spiritual worlds and listening to our own soul. And also by constantly appreciating ourselves, exactly as we are at every moment, and from striving to discover the deepest essences of ourselves and our place in the Universe.
The lessons here are to know that you are radiant enough, loving enough, spiritual enough. And that a spiritual experience is a spiritual experience, no matter what the form. Don’t compare yourself to others and their moments of insight, for yours are just as expansive and your personal journey is taking you where you need to go.