Awakening Pamela Wilson
The awakening of Pamela Wilson
Paula Marvelly: So could we focus on the way things were when 'realisation' occurred?
What came with my practice was an arrogance that built up because I thought, 'OK, I can handle life because I have all these tools. If the going gets tough, I can release my way out of it or meditate my way out of it or enquire my way out of it'. There was a kind of artificial bubble of peace that really had to be maintained through effort. Life was very much a trickster and would say, 'Oh yes, you think that you're so peaceful.' And then whack!
Finally the life just started to fall apart. All of a sudden there was a maturity, seeing that I have absolutely no control. There was also a seeing that I couldn't even manage the thoughts and feelings and I certainly was not in charge. And luckily, at the same time a friend took me to see Robert Adams — this was about 1994- Just walking into the room, there was an instant recognition of this immense peace. And since all I had done was to walk into a room, that was a big clue. It was like, 'Ah ha, maybe you don't have to do anything.' Robert then confirmed that and he said, 'Just let satsang dissolve everything, let grace dissolve everything and just enquire into who you are.' Now I didn't have an affinity for formal enquiry and yet somehow awareness was always enquiring into what was true without realizing it. So I guess a kind of natural enquiry would be going on.
I knew something was going on because the body would deeply relax in satsang, in a way it never had with all these other tools. And there was a trusting in that, which was undeniable. The brain couldn't discount or reject it. Robert was very welcoming — he didn't see you as a mess that needed to be fixed or that you needed to do anything. He knew that there was full realization and just because it was obscured, that meant nothing. So there was such a sense of'aah'. I felt for the first time, other than in the presence of my mother, unconditionally loved and welcomed and in that there was such a melting. I felt safe. I felt that I was taking refuge in this immense mountain of love. There was a maturity in that recognition of how rare it was to sit with somebody like Robert but there was also this immature naivety that would follow any whim.
PM. Where was this happening?
In Los Angeles, there was this one house at the top of a hill where he gave satsang. After that I moved up north. I started to go to satsang a lot in Marin County and it was one of the benefits that you could go and sit with Gangaji or Catherine Ingram or Francis Lucille. There was a seeing that it was the grace at satsang that was the ultimate guru, not really the body or whoever was there. And yet when I heard that Robert was going to leave the body, I went to see him in Sedona and it was very beautiful to have his final blessing. It was quite intense.
PM. Didn't he ask you to come and stay with him before?
On one of the visits to Sedona, I asked him whether I should move there to be with him and he hesitated and then he said yes — and those sorts of things are not to be taken lightly. But of course I took it lightly and I said, 'Robert, I don't like Sedona!' It was me being the me I thought I was, which was actually being true to itself, which was immature.
PM. Then you said you crammed his tapes.
I went to his satsang, which was supposed to be his last and luckily I got a private time with him — he kept his hand on my head for a long time. Then, a few weeks after that, he left his body and that was the second wake-up call. My mother was the first when she died and then, when Robert died, it was like, 'Oh my God, let's be a little more alert here! This is rare and wonderful and this is not like going to the movies. Time to get serious.' So, I listened to Robert's tapes all day. Luckily I have friends who had 60 or more tapes so they made me copies. I listened to about three of his tapes a day and any other satsang tapes I could get hold or because then I was teetering on the brink of falling into the heart. There would be samadhi for half-day periods but it would never last.
One of the big breakthroughs was in this samadhi state of sedated aliveness, which is the only way I could describe it. There was this very deep calm but it was vibrating with awe and wonder. I looked at the body and I thought, 'I get it, it's just a body, not my body.' And then at one point the cat walked by and I thought, 'It's a cat, it's not my cat.' So the conditioning of ownership was starting to dissolve just through the grace of going to so many satsang. But it would never last.
I would sit with Francis Lucille, who is so exquisite, and then Gangaji and then I found a beautiful lady called Neelam, who's Polish, from Papaji. About half a month alter Robert had left, I was sitting with her and this shakti kept rising up and it made my body nervous. Once I asked her about this and I said that it was really scary and strong. And she started laughing and just said, 'Let it have you!' It was helpful to be around the women teachers because it dissolved a lot of concepts of what I thought freedom would look like. It was reassuring as they were very accessible and you could just be friends. So I spent time with Neelam and we went to Sedona — it was very beautiful and this time I was fully honouring presence. There was this decision that I was not going to be stupid about it.
Then one day during an outdoor satsang, there was a shift and it was just literally a falling into the heart. It was so simple and it was so true. I couldn't deny it and no amount of brain activity saying 'no' could cast a shadow over it — it just was.
PM. You said it was like sunstroke.
Well, it was funny because the brain thinks it is your freedom coach. It's saying, 'You're identified today! Oh, that's a judgement!' It was trying to assist me in this goal of freedom — it had read all the books and decided it could be a good coach. So when this shift happened through grace, it said that either I had sunstroke or I had realized the Self! It was so funny. The mind really is a parrot or a little computer, it's not this immense thing to be opposed.
There was just quiet and well-being and still some wondering about the mystery. But everything would get revealed just as grace decided to reveal it. The brain was still trying to figure out the mystery. It was very quiet compared to before but, if it did move, it would move in a little bit of judgement or it would move to assess the mystery. Finally, after about a year and a half, it realized, 'Well, it's a mystery.' And it really quietened. But there was definitely a change in the sovereignty of the mind over the heart or presence. There was a dissolving of the conditioning. Some people have described it as a deepening but that's not really accurate. People often use the analogy of the petals in a lotus - it's blooming.
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