04/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

There Is a Beauty Within You #17: Part 1 of 2 - My Experience of Being Pure Awareness --

It is the day I came to know each of us as pure awareness in a universe composed entirely of intimate, personal, blissful love. Combining overwhelming power with profound intimacy and compassion, the experience threw out the old questions, raised and answered new ones, exposed my former self as a fraud, my new self as always present, and the work of realizing this truth in the day to day as life's purpose, gift, and meaning.

It was a summer morning in 1992. I arrive at the college to teach a morning class. A few students are waiting outside the classroom, room 225. I reach the corner of the first set of offices in the 210 building. Suddenly, I find myself out of my body.

Over the top of my head I see an 8 foot orange column of light about 2 feet in diameter. It looks like a cylinder of liquid orange energy rushing downward. Its size remains constant, even while it appears to be rushing downward into my head. I watch amazed for what seems like a few seconds, and then I am back into my head once again. I am aware of the pressure building over my head as the orange light continues to pour its orange, liquid energy downward.

Next, I am somehow pushed down, out of my head, and into my throat! My mind spins, trying to make sense of what is happening. I am frightened.

"How can I get back into my head?"

Still within my throat, I turn my attention upward, looking through the tube of my throat and into my skull area. I realize I am no longer looking out at the world from behind my eyes. Somehow looking up through the tube of the throat, I see light stream in through my eye sockets suffusing the inside of my skull with a soft yellow light. I struggle to remain calm.

"I am not my brain."

Here I am in my throat, no longer behind my eyes, still aware and thinking. I am both amazed and anxious.

"How am I going to be bet back up into my head?"

I struggle to piece together this new reality. "I can still think. I am still me. Somehow I am still me."

Me? The word now seems like some cruel trick of the mind. Me? How can I make any sense out of this. I am not my brain, but somehow I am still thinking. How? And who is thinking? What am I if I am not my brain? Question bumps into question. Identity cracks, pronouns crumble, lose their meaning - Me? You?

"I am ... I am ... "

The sentence stumbles, begs for completion. Almost in a panic, I try to complete the sentence, to build an identity quickly.

"I am ... "

It won't complete! Who am I? What can I now say about me? All the adjectives have been stolen, all the certainties swept away, except, except one -- I am.

My thoughts are interrupted as the pressure builds above me once again. The same force pushes down on me, moving me further downward, out of my throat and into the center of my chest. I am just below the sternum, right where the bottom ribs come together from either side. I find myself looking out at the world from the center of my chest!

All panic disappears -- the eye of the storm is found. A deep sense of peace engulfs me.
The thoughts spill out before I have a chance to review them for meaning, coherence or sense.

"I am home. This is where I was made to live. This is what I miss, what I search for, what is beneath every desire and wish, every love and affection."

Being in my heart space gives me the sense of finally being in the place I was made for. The restlessness of an unknown wanting that lived always just out of sight, is now in the self same moment both fully known and fulfilled.

"Ah! This is what I have always been looking for."

I feel like I could easily leave my body from this location in my chest.

"So this is how I can step out of my body when it die."

(Continued in There Is a Beauty Within You #18: Part 2 of 2 - My Experience of Being Pure Awareness)