The awakening of Bonnie Greenwell


It was only after 25 years of spiritual practice that I finally heard the spiritual expression “To wake Up!” So I know firsthand how easy it is to wander in and out of spiritual practices, fall into exotic energy experiences without knowing their true function, and explore the many pathways that lead to mystical experience, while knowing you are not quite finished.

Through a combination of deep meditation and energy work I had an awakening of kundalini energy is 1984. This begin with a great and ecstatic rolling of energy through my body from tailbone through the top of my head, and my heart opening in a spontaneous love I had never felt before, love for everything and everyone.

It shook me out of many psychological and emotional patterns and freed me from what I would call neurotic tendencies (based on my psychological training.) I was able afterwards to easily access bliss, to move forward in activities without being self-conscious or overly attached, and I can see now that there were many moments when I was awake and free of myself. And yet I could not see how this position was realization or freedom, and I knew something more had to happen. I no longer felt drawn to seek a teacher or a teaching, yet I knew that I didn’t know if it was finished. It seemed highly unlikely to me.

Then one day, when I was in Switzerland to take some courses at the Jung Institute in Kusnacht, I found in the library at the Institute the collected teachings and letters of the great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi. There I discovered for the first time the teaching that there was only One Self, the implication being that I as a separate entity did not exist. My initial reaction was shock. I had thought I was an individual having some wonderful transformative experiences. Now I began to question just who it was that was having these experiences.

Several months of meditation were focused on this thought, that perhaps the I that had seemed to be a “me” was not real, and the real “I” was this universal presence that was alive in everyone, simply scattered into billions of reflections of itself. This was my introduction to Advaita Vedanta, which paradoxically led me ultimately into the arms of Zen.

As I begin to explore the teachings of non-dualism, through books and occasionally, with Advaita teachers, the possibility of a universal Self, or as a Buddhist might say, the condition of having no personal self, became more comfortable, and the teachings on the direct or non-dual path resonated more and more with me. I was beginning to glimpse the possible condition of awakening, while still having no clear understanding of its implications. I knew a lot about kundalini awakening, heart awakening, spiritual awakening as it occurs within phenomena, but this other awakening, to the true nature or the real Self was still somewhat vague.

One day I heard about a young teacher who was doing something called Zen satsang in my neighborhood, so I stopped by to see who he was and what he was teaching. We had a pleasant exchange and I decided to do something I had never yet done, spend ten days in a silent retreat he was holding in a few weeks. I had meditated for nearly 30 years, but never sat in extended silence in the kind of program he offered.

Adyashanti is a western man with an ordinary life and a great gift for putting the power of the infinite into simple language. He himself awakened after 9 years of strenuous Zen practice under the guidance of two teachers, and embodied this awakening during six more years of practice. When he began to teach he sought a faster and more efficient method for his students. He admits he will say anything if it will “wake someone up.” He asks people not to believe his words, which are only noise in the silence, and not to make concepts out of any teachings. Only go into your own being, your own presence, and discover who you are. This Self-discovery is waking up.

As I sat with Adya in retreat my searching for truth with the mind melted entirely away, and consciousness fell through the heart into an awakening beyond any phenomena I had ever known. Remarkably, when I opened my eyes a new way of seeing was still there, and I realized,  just as Adya had said, that the consciousness that looked through my eyes and was living my life was this one Self, this source that was the only thing real and eternal.


Original article here