I had an experience during a group meditation several years ago where I felt like I became an infinite beam of diffuse white light extending into space. I felt tremendous love. Even the soft breeze on my skin felt like love. I’m not sure how long the experience lasted. It felt like a long time, but it might have only been minutes.
As I reflect on this experience now, I recognize it was a peak experience and not the consciousness in which I live my daily life, but I wanted to share it because of what it points to. It is an experience in which I lost identification with my body and the “me” of the personal Rohini. I had awareness, but it was not the awareness of the personal self. There was an awareness that still existed even when my personal self dissolved into a column of light.
This was a glimpse into how who I am or what I am is not tethered to my human body.
I have not had this experience since, but my curiosity about who I am and how not to simply identify with my personal human form continues.
It seems relevant to share because I think we all have experiences in our life where we lose our personal identity even if just for a moment as I did in the meditation. And these moments can seem insignificant or too significant to be relevant for day-to-day life. I had dismissed this moment as not relevant to my daily life.
I boxed the event up and put it down to a fleeting peak experience. And I don’t want to dwell on the passing experience. I certainly don’t want to become attached to it so that I miss it or spend time trying to attain it again. It is like any other experience it came and it went, but there is an understanding within it that I see more clearly now and am grateful for.
I see how my relationship with my personal self shifts based on my state of consciousness. I recognize how my reality completely changed in that space. I was not aware of my body or my personal self, and I felt very free. Then I contracted back into the experience of me.
On a more subtle level, I see how the same thing happens to me in very ordinary ways every day. I have moments when my heart feels open. I am not thinking about myself. I simply do what is needed without self-concern. I might be listening to my daughter or being with a client. I am not on my mind. Other times my heart feels contracted. My daughter might be in a mood with me, and I take it personally. My feelings are on my mind.
When I was that beam of light it felt impossible to take anything personally. The “I” existed because I remember the experience, but there was nothing personal in it. It was all observation.
This is as true now as it was then. Just because I have the experience of being a body doesn’t mean that is all of who I am, and just because I identify with being me, it doesn’t mean that anything is personal.
The thoughts, the feelings, the behaviors, my personal identity, they come and go, but the witness remains.
This is my experience. I encourage you to look to your own life experience where you can remember witnessing life rather than being identified with life. What resonates with you? I encourage you to reflect inwardly so you can recognize this within yourself.
There is very little emphasis placed on looking within and with getting quiet enough to be reflective. This can be dismissed as pointless navel-gazing and a waste of time. But what if it is actually how we fill ourselves up and resource ourselves? What if the living of our lives is changed by where we come from inside? What if this is the place to start if you are experiencing suffering in your life or if you simply want to have a deeper, richer, and more meaningful experience?
I work with clients in all areas supporting them to open up to their potential and move beyond their perceived limitations. This is the direction we look in together. We do not concern ourselves with what they are doing out there. We know the results will be taken care of by looking within and having a deeper relationship with who they are beyond their personal psychology.
This might seem impractical, but it is what I have found to be the most impactful and transformative. When we look beyond our ideas of who we are, we step into the unknown and possibilities open up that we haven’t even imagined.
I can’t give you a session in a blog post, but I can point you in the direction that I point all of my clients. Forget about what is upsetting you or what you want to change. Instead, look beyond your personal upset or your perceived lack and see who and what you are. This is a question that cannot be answered from the intellect. It is a question that requires reflection. It is beyond your habitual identifications.
You are not your experience. Whether it is the experience of being a beam of light, or your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
You experienced these, but you are not the experience. What is present in all experience no matter what the content? What is the consistent through line? Who or what is present and unchanging no matter what your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are?
If your head is confused, you are looking in the right direction. Follow your heart as you look to the unknown. It is in the disintegration of the conditioned habitual thoughts of you and life that the presence of what exists beyond your personal identifications reveals itself.
That presence has everything you need in it. It is the solution to whatever problems your personal mind makes up. You have the capacity to access that within. We all do. All it requires is being curious enough to look and to listen.
I love working with people, but ultimately my work is to put myself out of a job. I am only ever pointing to look within and eventually, no pointers will be needed because you will remember, and see for yourself, who you are. In the meantime, we can be on the journey of remembering together.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate private couples' intensives that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.