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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

An Experience of Non-Duality

Carol Marcy, PhD

During our Wednesday morning seminar that focus on Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhism and Phenomenology, Rudy started to pass around the microphone, asking that people share their experiences from the brief meditation that we had just experienced. I just finished writing down the names of some articles that he gave us to read, when I realized that the mike was being passed to me. My meditation experience didn’t feel like there was much to report. I easily slipped back into the experience of being within a large sphere of orange gold light that contained the whole room and beyond. Although there were about forty people in the seminar there was no experience of any one person there, not even me really. My mind was amazingly still, filled with no thoughts only the totality of undifferentiated subtle orange gold light. There was no breath.

Rudy said, “How is it to experience oneness?” Oneness. I hadn’t thought of it like that. I knew that there were others in the room but there was no sense of anyone, not even my body. “There is such simplicity. Undifferentiated simplicity,” I replied.

Then he asked me to open my eyes and the strangest thing happened. I could now see that there were people in the room but they were just part of a complex tapestry of finely woven strands of different colors of light forming the people and objects in the room. All glowed subtly with orange golden light. At one point he asked me about the light and he used the words “clear light” to describe it, which wasn’t exactly my experience because of the color. The glow began to fade and every thing became more differentiated. When I explained what was happening, I made the comment that we had all better find our fig leaves, which seemed so funny at the time. The words and laughter bubbled up as if out of nowhere. It didn’t feel as if there was a thought that was then translated into words. They were just there in the Field of Immanent Awareness when needed.

As I sat quietly the glow began to return. Rudy asked the group to focus on the Guru. The thought of the Beings of Light surrounding me/us arose and the glow grew more intense. While he and I continued to sustain the experience, he asked the others to sit in pairs and focus on each other, which they did. He then asked them to share their experiences with each other and the sounds of their voices filled the room. It became like another layer in the complex fabric.

This experience continued for quite a while after the seminar. I had to drive my car home, which felt like a monumental task in this vast sea of energy, light and awareness. I asked for help from the Deva of Protection and drove much more slowly than usual. My friend Steve and I stopped at Whole Foods, which was part of our normal routine, to grocery shop and get food for lunch. Whole Foods was particularly crowded. I was having to go slow and focus my energy on the task at hand. Steve kept asking me questions about his grocery list. I had to tell him I couldn’t help. I was having a lot of trouble managing my own. When we finally left the store my heart hurt.

As I was driving home I found myself eating my food (yes, I was eating while I was driving) much more slowly than usual and really enjoying the subtlety of the flavors. The driving became easier as we came out of Washington. Amazingly enough, I managed to get us safely to Southern Maryland. The intensity of the experience gradually faded but I know now that it is always there just on the other side of the awareness of separation.

Since that initial experience I have been recognizing the light defusing and I have a sense of filling up from the inside out with a fullness that moves me into belonging to, being connected to, being a part of everything well beyond my body boundaries. I can still see/feel the individualness or separateness of the parts but there is an intrinsic sense of the totality of the blending into one huge pattern of life with a sense of unboundedness. For example, when I walk in the woods and the golden sunlight is streaming through the greenness of the trees who are so magnificent and filled with light, I experience myself as a part of the fullness of green and gold, and blueness of the sky and the living being of the Earth underneath. We are all part of this totality of light. I am so filled with the joy and beauty of it and gratitude for it.

This new way of experiencing has affected my intuition. It is so readily available and comes with clear light. My work as a therapist feels more engaging, present and connected to my clients and what they need. Our partnership in the process feels enhanced through awareness. I am able to cut through to what is needed in the moment. The crucible of awareness, the process of awareness and the connection to it all feels very alive, exciting and fruitful.

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