Loving Kindness

Loving Kindness

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Beautiful Life with Christ Yeshua: The Circle is Completed, Part VI

As I mentioned in an earlier installment of this series, forty years ago, when I was sixteen years old, I had what would end up being a life changing experience.

At age sixteen I had the first powerful and memorable spiritual awakening/kensho/samadhi/mystical experience of my life, at least that I am consciously aware of. This ended up being only the first of several such experiences I would end up having throughout my life. As I have also mentioned earlier, each experience, including this first one, contained several of the standard elements many people in certain spiritual circles have now become very familiar with. These include an unexplained experience that seemingly comes completely out of nowhere (now here), a total feeling of oneness with everything in the large and expanding cosmos, the complete disappearance of a sense of separation with all of creation of any kind, including the disappearance of a sense of there being a separate “self.” There was also the sense of a seamless oneness with everything and everyone, and a complete sense of inner and outer peace, loss of time, etc. It was also my first experience of what I would call complete and total bliss.

There was also an aspect of this experience that involved the fully human yet fully Divine Yeshua (Jesus) as well as an intense connection to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that has never, ever left me.

At the time of the experience I believed that Yeshua had in fact come to me in physical form. In the ensuing years I have come to believe instead that during the experience I must have fallen asleep and that it was in a dream state that I experienced Yeshua. This does not make the experience any less real nor any less powerful for me in the slightest. It simply helps me understand it more clearly and I believe more accurately. 

During this presumed dream, that was a part of the overall experience I had, Yeshua placed his right hand on his chest, over his heart area. He then extended his left hand and touched my chest, over my heart area, and then said, “We are of one heart.” This aspect of the overall experience, without question, was the most powerful, most moving, and most impactful aspect of the entire thing for me. This aspect placed me on a lifelong quest for mystical union with the divine, cemented in my heart connection with Yeshua that I received in that vision/dream I had during that first consciously aware mystical experience in this life.

And so for the last forty years I have formally and informally studied, practiced, and immersed myself in as many wisdom traditions of the world that my heart and mind could handle.

From there the world became my religious, spiritual, and wisdom oyster, as it were. I delved deeply into Judaism, went deeper into Hinduism by studying Advaita Vedanta, studied Sufism, Native American spirituality and many other earth based spiritual traditions and practices, and I also studied Buddhism, and established a Buddhist practice, first beginning with a Vajrayana practice and then moving onto a serious Zen practice.

Early on it became very clear that I had a very prominent appetite and very natural inclination toward mystical traditions of every stripe. Meanwhile, in the catholic seminary while studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood, I studied both the Old and the New Testament very deeply as well as Catholic Church history and the lives of the saints in the Catholic Church. I became an amateur hagiographer in the process and still am to this day.

Somewhere along the line, while not completely losing my Christian faith, it somehow definitely got placed somewhere on the back burner. In the 1990s, for example, in America, Christianity, at least the fundamental expression of it, became deeply enmeshed with very conservative politics. For me this seemed very much like a marriage made in Hades. For much of those same 1990s I also lived in a conservative southern American state—Kentucky—and so this made it doubly worse for me. And so it became very natural for me to distance myself from the prevailing expression of Christianity in the USA and the prevailing consciousness I was living in at that time.

I however, didn’t shun the Christian faith completely. I found my way to Unity and Universalist Unitarian churches for my Christian fixes and they kept me connected to Yeshua in ways that were quiet yet fairly fulfilling. Other practices and other wisdom traditions were always more at the forefront though; always more receiving of my attention and my heart.

This more or less remained the state of affairs with me with regard to my Christian faith until that fateful day last June when I walked into St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bremerton, WA. I cannot stress enough the importance of this day. Perhaps I have even mentioned it in every single part of this series. That is because that day and what was rekindled on that day is the bridge that connects my sixteen year old self, forty years ago, to my fifty-six year old self today.

Forty years ago Yeshua came to me and symbolically connected his heart to mine. Forty years later he came to me again, this time in a church, and said to me—“I have not forgotten you my beloved brother and I know you have not forgotten me either. Unburden yourself. Come to me, and I shall give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me. For I am meek and humble of heart. And you’ll find rest for your soul. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Forty years. Two messages of love and connection from and with Yeshua. A universe of experiences of both fear and love separating the two points. A fierce and fiery return to Love.

It took me several months after the revelations I received on that first day at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bremerton to accept that Yeshua had come back into my life in such a powerful and meaningful way—that our heart connection was still there, real, alive, and not just something created in my very active imagination. It took me that long to believe words like…”and he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand.”

So many of us sing and proclaim words like those so much in Christian life. Yet, most of us do not believe we are at all worthy of these words being true, at least not as applied to ourselves. I was no different. I too fought this truth with every ounce of my strength. And finally, finally during this recent Holy Week, while in prayer, the overwhelming love of Yeshua was made so clear and so pure and so present to me, I simply could no longer deny it. I could not deny that it was and is making itself available to me freely and generously and completely. Alleluia!

And something else has been revealed to me that may be very shocking and unbelievable to many Christians. Yeshua is not the only eternal savior who has walked the earth who has this unfathomable amount of love for all creation that is available to all humankind. Additionally, the word salvation itself has very different meanings throughout the world, all of which are correct. Yeshua however, is the one who has connected with me deeply for reasons that are not entirely clear to me at this time. I will perhaps say much more about all of this much later as more is revealed to me should it feel like information that needs to be revealed, information that will increase the probability of healing and transformation, should they be revealed.

With Yeshua at my side and The Holy Spirit as my guide, much has been revealed to me in the last several months. I now know what my true vocation is in this life. I understand the things that I must do in order to live my life in the way that has been ordained. I now understand that everything that has occurred in my life has been a preparation for what I will do from this point forward. There have been no mistakes. I have no time to waste now. I have a lot to do. Much of it is crystal clear to me. Some remains mystery. None of this makes me special. During a moment of grace (while at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) I had a moment of openness. It only took a moment. If it had taken longer I might not have been able to remain open. However, it only took a moment. Hallelujah!

Humility and Love must now become my two most enduring and foundational traits. It has taken me forty years and two exquisite moments of grace for my heart to be broken open—to go from being broken to being broken open. Praise God! It has taken me fifty six years to discover what my true vocation in this life is. Many people come to understand such things much earlier in life. I am not special. And yet again we all are because we are all filled with the Light of God which is to say we are all filled with LOVE!

To read all the essays in this series simply follow the label at the bottom that says, My Beautiful Life with Yeshua (series) 

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