My life can be divided into two parts: Before my meeting of my Self in the form of Jesse Kalu, and afterwards. Before awakening to Freedom, and afterwards.
I did not realize this until I awakened to the Truth of who we really are, but I can tell you definitively, we are NOT our story. Though we each have a story in our appearance as this human existence. My greatest wish for you is the realization of the Grace of Awakening in this lifetime, so that you uncover the Freedom that is your birthright and understand how we attach waaaay too much significance to the drama and separateness playing out as our life (our story).
Because we attach to our story, we do not uncover who we truly are. We are enlightenment. And divine, infinite love. The great secret is that the Truth of who we are is so simple we have overlooked it. In fact it is so simple that you will laugh when you discover it. It is a grand joke. The Buddha knows this and it is no wonder he is often laughing.
My Welcome Home happened 15 or so years ago, yet I rarely shared this truth or my story with others, until now. I did not feel that I could adequately articulate this grace and have always been afraid that what I said would be judged. It still may be, yet I realize this is the greatest gift that can be received and infinite love and grace are meant to be shared. They are who we are and all that is.
I have lived a very fortunate life and you may not have had that same experience in this lifetime. Many people who awaken are at the depths of despair, so it can happen to all beings regardless of the current existence. I hope in some way that by telling my story it may help you see that you don't need to do anything to get to Awakening or Enlightenment, as that is what you already are.
You simply need to lift the veil.
In this life I had not been a spiritual seeker. I wasn't religious or even necessarily "spiritual" at the time of Awakening. And there was nothing I had done to prepare me for the ultimate gift of Grace. There was, however, a mountaintop and a sage who reflected my Self back to me and pointed me to the greatest gift of all.
My mom was Catholic, and my dad Episcopalian, so in accordance with the rules of the Catholic Church, I was raised Catholic. Though my parents weren't particularly religious, as a child I attended church on Sundays, went to catechism (aka "Sunday school"), and we celebrated Catholic holidays (that's me on the far right, Easter Sunday, circa 1965).
It was when I went off to college that I moved away from believing in the practices and dogmas of the Catholic faith. I didn't believe in many of its teachings and biases, its rote services, a god looking down on us from above, etc. I do know that I wasn't seeking any replacement, nor higher consciousness, enlightenment or nirvana. I didn't meditate or read books of spiritual teachers or follow any particular spiritual practices.
But in my late 30s or early 40s I wound up in Sedona, Arizona, with a friend and that was the beginning of the end of life as I'd known it.
I'd lived in Arizona and had been to Sedona several times to enjoy its awe-inspiring scenery. On this occasion many years later, my friend "M" (I'll call her) and I flew out to Phoenix from the east coast and took a shuttle to Sedona, where we stayed several days. M wanted to have lots of deep conversations on this trip, but I wanted to enjoy hiking and the outdoors and forget the profound questioning of life. On our last day, before catching the shuttle back to Phoenix, M requested we go up to the vortex by the Sedona airport.*
Atop the mesa, overlooking the incredible landscape, M suggested we ceremonially throw something off the mountain. Something that no longer served us. M went first and tossed off a weight related to her difficult relationship with her mother.
I was desiring to leave my corporate career, put all my possessions in storage, and go to Montana for a year to work on a ranch, sleeping in a bunkhouse and doing physical work outdoors; yet I was feeling caught in the bind of meeting other peoples' expectations in my career and as a mother (I was going to uproot my 7-year-old, take her with me, and have her attend school there). So I ceremonially tossed off "my preconceived notions about what life is supposed to be".
Little did I know what was coming and how quickly I would receive exactly what I asked for.
* All of Sedona is considered a vortex, which is a place thought to be a center of energy that is conducive to healing and self-exploration. Four or five (depending on source) places in or near Sedona are identified as vortex sites where energy is particularly intense. The airport mesa is one of these.
M and I hiked down off the mesa, returned to our house and collected our belongings for the trip to the airport. As we were loading our luggage in the rear of the shuttle van, a passenger in the back seat with long dark hair (who looked to me to be Native American, but whom I came to find is from the Mariana Islands in the North Pacific Ocean) reached over the seat to protect his hand-carved flutes and make room for my luggage. He commented on a painted wooden walking stick I was placing in the van which I had purchased in Sedona.
Thus began my meeting with Jesse Kalu (later to be realized as my own Self in the form of Jesse). I got into the van, took a place on the seat in front of him, and M sat in the shotgun seat next to the driver. We were the only ones in the van. About 10 minutes into our 2-hour ride, I felt a strong pull to move to the back seat and sit with him. I did so and we held hands the rest of the trip.
"What do you see when you look at the sky?" he asked me. With my usual seed thought of being afraid to say something that could be judged as stupid, I hesitated and shrugged my shoulders, a little embarrassed at not being able to answer the simple question out of fear of being judged. "The sky has no beginning and it has no end," he said. "Ahh," I returned, understanding that to be so, superficially, but not to the depth I subsequently discovered. Jesse went on that "we are the sky and we also have no beginning and no end".
We are the sky, we are the universe, we are all that is and all that will be. We have no beginning and we have no end. We are the oneness and the everythingness.
Jesse continued to share with me on the way to Sky Harbor Airport (serendipitously named) and I was enthralled.
At our destination we exchanged contact information and Jesse said he would send me some videos to watch and a book to read if I were inclined. M said she could clearly see his aura, and she asked me if I were in love. Well, "no," I said, "though that was amazing". In hindsight I would answer that question differently, as I now realize we are all love reflecting back to our selves.
Maybe this story is TMI (too much information), but all is to say that the gift of Grace & Freedom can be realized, once you give up the search. I wasn't seeking, or at least I was not searching for anything like what I found when I met Jesse.* However, I unknowingly was ready and the teacher appeared.
Jesse sent me a video of a satsang with Gangaji, an American-born spiritual teacher, and one of her books, "You Are That". Jesse also recommended a CD of Kirtana's, This Embrace. There was no pressure from him to watch or listen to these, there was just a "pointing to".
I watched the video and read the book, both of which I connected with somewhat, though I didn't spend effort trying to "get" what Gangaji was saying. I ordered the Kirtana CD, which initially I did not like very much, but then I found myself listening to it over and over again and I found some of the lyrics irresistible.
When everything changed, my moment of complete Freedom, I was laying on the floor in my den listening to Kirtana's lyrics. In one moment of absolute Grace, my life changed forever. I was overcome by a spontaneous and radical shift of what I understood to be reality. The worlds "epiphany" or "aha moment" are not at all accurate to describe the revelation.** In that instant it became perfectly clear through direct experience who and what we are--which is that we and all of existence are one big glom of nothingness and everythingness all at the same time: expansive conscious awareness. That we--and all that exists and ever has existed--are divine, infinite love. We are not separate from the everythingness. We are divinity.
It was--and is--a knowing. Not an understanding. Not a thought. Not a belief. Not a philosophy. Not a concept. It was conscious presence revealing itself. A bursting open of any concept of what life is supposed to be. I remember saying aloud, "NO way!" (more likely it was "holy sh*t" lol) and "It can't be!". I was left with "It's so simple, how have we overlooked it?!". It was the most defining moment of my life as this human entity. Everything changed. It is complete Freedom. It is Grace. And I realized nothing matters. It was the greatest gift imaginable.
My hope for you: Throw off the mountain all your preconceived, taught, learned, and thought ideas of spirituality, enlightenment and who you are. And be still. Then what is still there? All ways.
In unconditional service to love.
Love & Light,
Carol Marty, aka your True Self
Be still and see.
*"Every now and then, the Universe conspires to cross our path with someone in a way that feels like they were put on this planet just for us. Had a particular meeting not taken place, perhaps you would have remained asleep?" (words of Rebecca Campbell in "Light is the New Black")
My own note: I manifested his presence, which is really my presence looking back at me. There is no separation. Just as there is no separation from you who are reading this.
**In reality, Awakening is not actually an experience. It doesn't happen to a person. It doesn't actually happen. It is recognizing you are the everything-ness, the everywhere-ness, and you seeing that you've always been the only one here--you've always been the "field". You've always been the whole infinity of it. (words in this footnote are largely from Andrew Hewson)
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