THE NIGHT BEFORE I MET MY TEACHER...
The night before I met my Teacher for the very first time in this life, I had a profound dream, hauntingly beautiful and prophetic. I dreamt of Shiva’s eyes as pure, infinite Light – those eyes were my Teacher’s eyes as well as mine simultaneously. The radiant light that was shining through them illumined all of existence as "the play of consciousness," while at the same time I was being held in deepest Silence and Bliss.
A few days later, during a meditation session in my first immersion with him, Vamadeva laid his hand on my head. A bolt of lightning rushed through my whole being and split it open. Light was everywhere. Was it coming from below, from above? I don’t know. Everywhere was light. And the water broke. There was no way back. The labor of birth had started. Every cell of my being answered this powerful call and I was overtaken by unknown intensity. I screamed like I have never screamed in my life. What felt like lifetimes of terror, of pain, of despair were brought to the surface of my Consciousness to be expressed, acknowledged, seen... to then merge back into the ground of my Being, into this intense stream of Bliss that was simultaneously there at all times. My face was wet from tears. My body was shaking uncontrollably, it performed all kinds of intense backbends — wheel, fish, shoulder bridge... my heart was broken open... Shiva began to claim my being as it had been revealed in my dream. There and then, Hearts recognized each other... my Gurudev had manifested before my eyes — again.
I can only touch the deeper meaning of this path from deep inside my Heart. Every time I try to write about it, I’m amazed in which direction the words flow this time. As if the very presence, the very power inherent and alive in this Teaching does not want to be captured in the same words twice. To me this very presence is the Great Mother Herself, Ma. She has a thousand different faces and endless possibilities to express Herself, or if She wishes, to veil Herself. She is pure Love. I can see Her awe-inspiring dance in the Being of my Teacher. He is the empty and overflowing vessel for Her sacred energies, the embodiment and powerful conduit for Grace. If you ask me, I would say, Vamadeva himself is the path. That’s what he truly is. He himself is the Teaching. Since I met him the first time, I never left his presence again. Wherever I am, I sit at his feet. And through his Grace I recognized that there is no Teaching outside of my own Self.
If you hear the calling to walk this Path of Beauty, the invisible Path of the Heart, gently place your heart and full trust in the hands of God, as the expanding Light of your awareness will illumine your shadows, as you will be split open. You will be molten by the fire of transformation and finally drowned in pure, intoxicating Love, in this stream of Light that flows from the source, from the Guru’s Grace, from the ocean of Bliss, the place of union, the place of Oneness, the place where words are not yet born, from where this universe spills into existence — this world, how you perceive it. Your world.
Through this evolving radical process of awakening and the awe-inspiring working of Grace within ourselves, the mind surrenders into the Heart, the Heart takes over, and we begin to live from the Unknown, the depth of our Being, no matter what happens around us. Feet firmly placed on solid earth, we begin to feel and hold the most terrifying as well as the most tender expressions of the Mother in the throbbing silence of our Hearts, where even the darkest spots are morphed back into the fluid ecstasy of Love.
It is through the most precious of all relationships, the indescribable bond of Love between Master and disciple, between Guru and Shishya that this Teaching takes root and unfolds... in the Heart of Hearts. This path in truth is “your” path, it is there for you and because of you. It doesn’t exist without you. It unfolds through your own perception, through your own understanding. It unfolds through the reflective power of your own awareness, through that which is mirrored back to you in the sacredness of this relationship – until all mirrors dissolve. It has always been there, beyond any tradition, like the hidden nectar in the bud of a flower. However, to simply know about this path is not enough. The doorway needs to be revealed through the touch of the Guru’s Grace. And with the first steps on this Path, and your unwavering commitment, the real work begins.
I have had many spiritual Teachers in this lifetime, yet no one was able to answer my deepest prayers, to take me to the “further shores of Love”, to quench the thirst and intense longing of my soul to know God. I do not know why I am so incredibly blessed, but I know that I am. In Vamadeva I recognized the eternal Teacher, who through the powerful Light of his presence reveals our essence, the Truth of Love. I have surrendered my life in service to what he truly is. The veil was torn by his Grace, he took my hand and guided me to the sacred lotus-garden of union within my own Heart, the abode of Shiva and his eternal beloved Companion, the Devi. This revelation made me drop to my knees, speechless and humbled, because the ever-new, raw and intimate presence of all life, the Goddess began to reveal Herself spontaneously there and then as the luminous power of my own perception — and through the very portal of the senses... the sound of my breath, the words of a friend, the humming of silence, the earthen bowl in my hand, a withered leaf, the fragrance of a rose in full bloom, the thunder in the distance, the rising of the crescent moon, the first sip of sencha in the morning, the mud on my shoes, the soapy dishes, the tears on my face... I realized that Life and the Beloved are One.
I know from my own experience that this Teacher is a rare Master of the true art of alchemy, the Master of the Heart, is Shiva Himself, who transformed my Being, melted what was of no use anymore and shaped it anew — the way soft clay morphs into a unique piece of art in the hands of a gifted potter; who invokes the hidden song of my soul, polishes my heart, and is able to polish yours as well, so that it becomes like a crystal clear lake. This is the whole Teaching. When your own image is mirrored back from the surface of this lake, blissfully laughing for no reason, eyes radiant and heart overflowing with joy, you will know that you walk the pathless path of this One Heart – your Heart, which gives birth to this magnificent world.
Jai Guru Dev, Jai Ma!
~ Sundari Ma