It was the willingness to open my heart to everything – including the darkness of suffering – that allowed the radiant luminosity of being to reveal itself in my life. It was a radical awakening which changed everything from the inside out. In the beginning, it stripped me bare of any structures in my inner and outer world that did not serve this awakened consciousness. Psychological defences were seen through and collapsed, relationships and friendships based on co-dependency dissolved, and mental distractions simply stopped. At the same time, a deeper purpose to the creative flow of my ‘work’ in the world revealed itself, and any action not in alignment with this new purpose rapidly fell away. Later on, this radical awakening gave birth to my book, Radical Awakening, and to my teaching.
It all happened unexpectedly in the midst of my everyday life whilst living in the busy metropolis of London. I wasn’t looking for enlightenment or liberation or even happiness; the search had stopped a long time ago. But life had brought me to the edge of an inner barren landscape, an existential void that threatened to engulf me in its darkness. I recognised this as something that had haunted me as an adolescent and young adult, and which I had invested a lot of energy in avoiding. This time, I seem to have had no choice but to stop running away and turn towards it. It happened in two parts (within a few weeks of each other, although I didn’t really connect the two experiences until much later.
The first part came as a visionary experience that spoke to me personally and also gave me the keys to the transformation of humanity’s suffering. In this vision, I am walking through the Valley of Death, a landscape so barren it is devoid of all hope. Surrounded by hungry ghosts and tortured souls, a cold darkness creeps into my veins and my body feels heavy with the suffering of all humankind. All I want to do is lie down and die. As the flame of life flickers one last time in the centre of my heart, I look skywards as if to say: “Thank you for my life so far, now it is time to go.” But just as I am about to shut my eyes forever more, I see a faint glow in the distance... like a dream of a brighter future. But this is no dream: my eyes are wide open. Rooted to the spot, I watch in disbelief as the light spreads before me like a carpet. I summon all my strength and prepare to wearily climb the golden steps that appear in front of me. I am amazed how light I feel. “I have died and gone to Heaven!” I shout. But the steps are real and I have to keep climbing without looking back. With each footstep I become increasingly humbled by this state of grace, for I have become a Child of God.
When I arrive at the top and stand at my Father’s feet, I am innocent and naked as a baby. There is nothing to hide. I climb into His lap in such a state of humility and surrender that I am ready to die once more for this love, to sleep sweetly in His arms forever. But no sooner do I lay down my head than I merge with Him completely. And in doing so, I achieve the Sacred Union in which I am Him. And in that same instant, I am also His Consort, the Holy Mother who sits by His side. From my womb springs a Golden Child and from my breasts flows the Milk of Human Kindness that creates an eternal river to ease humanity’s suffering. And, in time, the Valley of Death becomes the Land of Milk and Honey... a true Paradise here on Earth.
What this vision says is that the journey of transformation means becoming naked. If we want to move towards the light, we need to stop hiding behind the mask of ego and become as little children, ready to bare ourselves completely. Walking on our path through life with the innocence of an open heart is the only way to transform our suffering. And this means steadfastly taking one step at a time. It’s something we need to do as a day-to-day, momentto- moment practice. It’s not easy, because fear pullsus back. It requires us to stay resolutely present without looking backwards or forwards. What this means is that we neither give in to being a victim of the past nor do we grasp for some imaginary goal in the future. Ultimately, it means sacrificing our ego on the altar of God.
Whilst this visionary experience was profound and had enormous ramifications on my relationship to every aspect of my life, it wasn’t until the second part, that the undeniable realisation of awakeness was integrated into my cellular being. There was a moment as I was sitting on the couch in my small one-bedroom apartment – which I still remember so vividly today – when an incredible terror arose; it was as if I was absolutely alone in the whole of existence, like a microscopic pinprick of ‘something’ hanging within the infinite vastness of ‘nothing’. For the briefest of moments, the belief that I had been abandoned by Life/God/the Creator flashed through my consciousness. And in the same moment, I saw with incredible clarity that this belief had always been with me as the ‘core wound of separation’. I saw how my mind created defences, distractions and contortions in order to avoid facing the horror of this abandonment. But instead of turning away by getting up to make a cup of tea, or reading a spiritual book (my two most common strategies), I somehow recognised that this time there was no denying the fact that the void of nothingness was right here in my experience of this moment. And so I chose to give myself to it totally.
The surrender was absolute: I surrendered all fear and all hope, I surrendered all imagination of how things should be and even the idea that my life as I had known it would continue in any way at all. I was 100 percent willing to be extinguished and absorbed into an eternity of unknown emptiness. And so, I fell into the dark abyss of being withouta safety net. But to my surprise, this was not the end of it! Not only did ‘I’ dissolve into emptiness but, simultaneously, ‘I’ merged with the totality of existence. And this was experienced as the fullness of love. It was a psychological death, a liberation of self from the knot of ego.
From that moment on, there was no more story of separation and I was no longer a victim of life. In the torchlight of awake awareness, all that remained was the translucency of being, an unbounded spaciousness that allowed an ever-deepening unfoldment into inner silence. This silence is today experienced as a non-dual awareness that embraces both the mystery and mess of the human experience. It is a radical awakening because it has included everything. Not one vestige of inner division can survive when 100 percent allegiance is given to the fire of truth. The ever-changing nature of life is fully lived and yet the unchanging radiance of being at the core of all that is experienced is deeply recognised.
God is seen to be in everything.
This article is an excerpt from Amoda's book "Radical Awakening" and was first published in PARADIGM SHIFT MAGAZINE (Jan - Feb 2016)
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