Can you recall the last time you looked up at the stars on a clear, moonless night?
Very few experiences can compare to the feeling I had when I experienced the vastness, the magnitude of that view. I saw my favourite constellations in the Milky Way, and tried to comprehend the place our small planet occupies in the galaxy of stars that is actually merging with another galaxy of stars called Andromeda, which is itself just one of innumerable other galaxies.
I contemplated the fact that each star is a sun with possible planets orbiting, creating life as yet unknown to our imaginations. Trying to imagine that there are more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on Earth was too much for me to comprehend.
But then, looking up, I was infused with a sense of vastness and, at the same time, humility. How incredibly blessed was I to be able to witness such a miracle?
Wonder, awe and breathless gratitude filled every cell of my body and pure joy burst through me out into the night. My heart felt so big, so expanded, that I thought it would explode with love for the beauty I was witnessing and then for the world and everyone in it.
Perfect peace was present as I tried to hold the beauty of that vista inside me for as long as I possibly could.
I have faith that you have had a similar experience?
As human beings we are wired for it – to have expansive experiences like this at unexpected times in our lives that let us glimpse the greatness of our existence and maybe, to remind us of what is possible – to feel this way all the time? And, why not?
Thinking back on that experience, I pondered on what made it so amazing. Granted, it is easy to feel amazed at creation when experiencing the stars, but what made it different from my day-to-day experiences? And could I recreate it at will?
How could I experience the present moment (for that was what it was) with the joy it brought, in every moment, without the obvious stimulus of something so great I couldn’t help but drop everything and go ‘Wow’?
I recalled: the thing that started the transcendental experience was opening myself to what I was observing and whatever it had to offer, with no expectations. I allowed it into me and I into it. The boundaries of who I was, in relation to what I was observing, just dropped, along with my preconceived ideas and judgements of what it was or should be or who I was, as the ‘experiencer’.
Past worries, present obsessions and future fears fell away. No mind.
And that was the key.
I realised I could not experience the present moment as well as worry, fear, judgement, guilt, blame, obsession or an attachment to labels and identity at the same time. It is not possible.
Without self-imposed constrictions, without my mind doing loops trying to analyse what I was experiencing, I literally became as expansive as that which I was observing.
Power, Peace, Joy, Love, Grace, Magic and Beauty – all these things that I could not put words to in the moment, I experienced and became, because, I realised, I AM IT.
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