Today I have the pleasure of sharing my student, Brandy’s, awakening experience. I love it because it does a wonderful job of conveying the simplicity of awakening, and I love being able to share it with all of you to remind that awakening doesn’t need 30 years of meditation, a specific chant, a perfect guru, or any of that. You don’t even have to consider yourself spiritual. It just needs space to arise.
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did. After you read it, you may find this post interesting:
I watched the black bean burrito sauce ooze down my perfectly white, freshly-pressed shirt noticing that my usual internal tremor of anger and irritation as a result of this occurrence was missing. I was simply grateful that I came home for lunch so that none of my colleagues could see the klutzy mess.
Humming my way up the stairs to choose another perfectly crisp shirt, it was as if I was doling out gratitude to each and every perfectly-placed piece of home décor that I simultaneously recognized as useless, undesirable junk. I then had a sudden vision of imaginary letters hovering over each item as if my home mirrored the page of the catalogue in which its design was chosen.
Shortly thereafter, I met with my perfectly color-coded wardrobe closet and chose my favorite turquoise shirt. This shirt typically signified one of three things: It’s Friday, I’m in a great fucking mood, or both.
All the way back down the stairs—without missing a single utterance of gratitude to each person in the picture frames on the way—I attempted to understand why I felt possessed by Pollyanna and how humming a tune replaced my usual “F the man for making me go there” mentality. I decided it wasn’t wise to contaminate a cost-free good mood by questioning its origin, so I resumed the paused Oprah episode (as well as the humming) while shamelessly devouring a now lukewarm burrito.
In the midst of carefully avoiding black bean sauce incident number two, a mysterious tsunami of inner peace arose from my heart and slowly radiated throughout my body to the tip of each extremity. Seemingly endless waves of joy crashed ashore on my eyelids, destroying the foundation (make-up) I laid to create the illusion of perfect pores earlier that morning.
Shortly after this otherworldly experience, I darted back over to the waste bin to retrieve the package for my burrito. I carefully studied the ingredients to be certain that the beans weren’t indeed magical for more reasons than the one popularly stated. I quietly vowed to buy a case of said burritos on my way home from the office that evening.
It was just then that Oprah asked the audience, “Do you ever get the feeling that there is something more to your life? Like you have it all, but something is still missing?”
I quietly answered, “No. I have it all. Everything. Right here. Right now. I get it. I get it. And it’s so beautiful.”
I quickly looked around the room to see if someone else had entered because the voice I had just heard was not a familiar one.
Knowing I was going to be late returning to the office, I continued to take inventory of my sanity by utilizing the common institutional questionnaire:
- Who is the current president?
- What is your address?
- Do you know your name?
Everything checked out, so I set out to return to my “corporate cage.”
As I skipped back to the car—still humming an unknown, upbeat tune—I noticed the leaves on the tree above my parking spot dancing in the sunlight using the reflection of the sun’s rays as a form of communication that rendered me speechless. I could feel every leaf’s movement as if my own extremities were the branches from which they sprouted.
I was not-so-gently removed from this Technicolor, 4-D dream by the motorcycle-rev ringtone of my phone. It was my best friend calling for our daily chick chat, and the excitement of sharing my new-found joy for life was overwhelming.
After 10 minutes or so of failed attempts to explain what I was experiencing, she said, “I think what you’re trying to explain is called an acid flashback.” I explained to her that I shared her opinion, and perhaps someone had slipped a Mickey in my burrito. But then everything within and without became quiet. The unfamiliar voice returned, and I heard myself say, “I don’t know, dude, it just kind of feels like I’m awake for the first time, and nothing is ever going to be the same.”