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

My Journey Towards the Experience of No Doubt

Elizabeth Ebaugh, LCSW-C, LICSW

Born with the doorways wide open learning to trust the flow of the light; learning to live in complete gnosis; learning to embrace all circumstances; learning the nondual experience of pain and pleasure; learning to stay open in the face of what seem like obstacles and knowing that they are also light and perhaps pointers on the path. I have learned that on the path of luminosity there cannot be judgment only discernment. That on the path of luminosity all is equal. And on the path of luminosity resonance is the guide.

What if I was given a map that could show me how my experiences in life are points upon a continuous thread of light? Or an opening into the experience of the essential luminous nature of my being. What if I knew without a doubt that the seeming imperfections of my childhood and the challenges that came after were part of a journey to a blissful liberating consciousness of becoming who I really am. What if I knew that there is a realm of reality where all of the wisdom of the universe exists and that when I can tap into it I can be in touch with gnosis that guides each and every moment from within and without. How would I greet each experience through that lens? With a sense of indestructibility!

It is only in retrospect that I know that consciously and unconsciously I have known the energy of faith and indestructibility since I was born.

Like many seekers my life has not been a straight arrow.

I landed on the earth with floppy ankles put into a cast at birth and congenitally defected knees that would 10 years later need to be rebuilt. Grounding and processing life was quite challenging and embodiment felt like a foreign country. Growing up as the youngest in a family of intellectuals I was on my own as I figured out how to live on earth as a very emotional being which often felt overwhelming.

When I was 10 I relearned how to functionally walk with rebuilt knees but It would be 30 years before my feet would truly touch the ground. Thirty years fixated in my mind alone buffeted about by the tumultuous waters of the emotional tides. Truly thinking that this was the only reality.

Today, I know that the threads of light, of courage, of tenacity and somewhat delight in the indeterminate phenomena of life were also very present. When I jumped off the high dive at the age of three not knowing how to swim I didn’t realize that act of crazy trust would become a metaphor for many of my experiences of this lifetime. Learning through experience, leaping into the unknown and trusting that I would be held…somehow.

When I landed in Washington DC in 1980 I was 25 years old and I had no idea what an intense path of transformation was ahead of me. Two years before I had asserted my independence, cut off, literally, from my parents and very unconsciously walked in the footsteps and received the transmission of Jesus, Mary, Moses and Miriam as well as the Pharaohs and Goddesses in Israel and Egypt during a 2-year hiatus.

I returned to the US choosing to check out living in DC on a whim, I thought, and as I have done several times in my life to date, I began once again to establish a life for myself. Blind to the consequences of my decisions, I followed my heart as I changed my focus as a social worker from organizational development to clinical and I trained to be a volunteer at a crisis hotline. Both of these decisions would later help me tremendously on my path to transformation and freedom.

At the age of 30 messages began to appear through friends and inner impulses that I might resonate with meditation and spirituality. I had flirted with these energies as a young child and felt the resonance as I slowly traversed the central isle of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris at the age of 12, and the giddiness of the lightness of being that I felt in the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru at 14, but I had never followed up on these impulses.

After graduate school, beginning my career as a clinical social worker, I met the man who would become my spiritual, professional and personal mentor. In our first meeting, during an interview for the Gestalt Therapy training program he ran with his wife, we went into meditation and I met an inner power that I never knew existed, a power that I now know as kundalini was awakened. Little did I know then that this experience would later feel like preparation for a complete rebirth that would come through an experience that threatened to end my physical existence. An experience that would echo that jump off the high dive. An experience where those floppy legs would save my life!

Six months after I enrolled in the Gestalt therapy training program, thinking I was moving forward professionally, I was catapulted into a personal leap the intensity of which I could only have been prepared for as it unfolded. My mind could not have fathomed the deep seated, internal confidence that was buried in my beingness at that time. Just a month before I had enrolled in a human growth seminar in which I found myself expressing with more yearning than ever before, my deeply felt pain, a sense that I was lost and confused by screaming in a room full of other seekers that “I just want to know how to live in this world”. I could never have fathomed in the level of consciousness I lived in then that these two deeply felt spiritual moments with my mentor and the human growth seminar would become such life changing events.

However, that consciousness was completely transformed a few weeks later. After a long day at work, and 10 days of fasting on lemon juice and maple syrup I stopped at the local shopping mall to buy some orange juice to break my fast in the morning. The lightness of being from the fast and the many growth experiences I was having at that time had put me in a state that led me to be singing with all my heart “The Greatest Love of All” as I drove into the shopping mall parking lot … “because the greatest love of all is happening to me…. you can’t take away my dignity”! Then the darkness truly met the light! Returning to my car I was met with a man with a knife who would kidnap me from the mall, drive me around for several hours, take me to a hotel and rape me and then throw me over a bridge into freezing water 40 feet below with my hands handcuffed behind my back. Somehow, throughout that night I knew that this man had my body but not my soul.

When I climbed out of the wintery freezing river somewhere in me knew I was more than free from my captor. Just the day before I had been in the shakti filled basement on Swann Street fighting off 2 of my colleagues in a prescribed experience as I went deeper into the experience of getting free from being trapped inside myself during the Gestalt Therapy Training program. And then 24 hours later all of me, literally all of me, was opened up, like a volcano had gone off internally, to be metabolized and processed. It was impossible to pretend anymore, impossible to hide. There was no more strength in me to use my defenses. It felt like I could either process all that came to my awareness or I would die.

Many in the dualistic world saw a woman broken and on a physical and emotional level, a mind alone level, they were correct. I had a lot of work to do to embrace this power that had given me the capacity to survive this ordeal. And looking back I can see that the map had been drawn. The best therapists, healers, and community to support that process had just arrived at my doorstep only months before. Even the police and states attorney assigned to my case were amazing.

At the time of the incident I was totally unaware on a conscious level of the field of awareness and the archetypal realm of reality let alone that of dark luminosity. But even as I was driven through the streets of Montgomery County with my hands handcuffed behind my back, I gazed into the darkness of the night, I felt the life force of the trees in the forests, I extended to my friends and family, I prayed that I just wanted to live. I had visions of one day laughing in my living room with all of my community knowing this was far behind me.

Getting out of the river was the easy part. Even though from the moment I was found I had the very best resources for healing, those that were truly healing on many levels, it took me many years to feel free from the fear of that night. At times I could only stay alone for 15 nail biting minutes. For weeks after my body shivered uncontrollably until an energy worker who had just arrived from Poland 10 days before gave me a treatment that felt like a horse tranquilizer. Soon after some friends introduced me to the first body worker and shaman of many I would come in contact with and it was she who facilitated my experience of feeling my feet on the earth for the first time in my entire life!

Nine months later I met the first outer Guru that came into my life and her message was to “keep in touch”. At first I thought this meant to keep in touch with her. Yet it meant so much more. KEEP IN TOUCH. With the light, with the gnosis, with my body. The practices of meditation, chanting and selfless service I learned with her continued to support the kundalini awakening and shift of consciousness so present on this journey of healing and self-discovery. Soon after our first meeting I went to India and was able to bathe in the energy of and in the water of the hot springs of my root Guru Baba Nityananda. There as I chanted and meditated in the ashram deeply imbued with the energy of the wisdom of Kashmir Shaivism I was able to cut through lifetimes of pain and grief. Clarity came more easily and I was able to move on with my life on earth more fully. Continuing to practice meditation and chanting I felt the amazing support of the awareness field as I met each circumstance as best I as could. I was able to grow professionally, marry and have a child. Yet I was still seeking.

Many years later, after the birth of my son, I discovered the practice of extension of Dzogchen Buddhism which gave me for the first time the experience of complete embodiment. After a few years of not being in touch, I had contacted my mentor and without clarity of what his seminar was all about I knew I needed to be there. And that was the beginning of another cycle for me in this amazing existence. I will never forget the first time I extended in the seminar in the Swann Street basement, the amazing feeling of connecting to the earth and at the same time knowing my connection with all. Through the Dzogchen teachings I learned the power of transmission, I have tasted the experience of the inner Guru and the indestructible quality of existence. And my trust in the light that exists in every experience grows. I have experienced in mind, body and spirit the truth that I am so much more than this physical manifestation and that the nonmanifest is real. My capacity to meet the challenges of life with openness grows stronger all of the time.

Held in the field of the siddhas, the lamas, the dakinis, the angels, the sangham of meditators in DC, many companions and the light of many healing hands I slowly become more and more of who I really am.

Today I know that what seemed like an experience that threatened my life has become an experience that set free the dark and the light within myself. Somewhat of a rebirth, one in which I was completely welcomed with love and light by strangers and friends and family and given all that I needed to meet the tasks at hand. One where I could meet all of my emotions with tremendous support. Even my legs were now strong enough to kick so that even with my hands stuck behind my back I could get to the bank of the river and climb up to the road where I would be rescued! Meeting each experience from that day forward sometimes more consciously than others through the lens of an awakened kundalini, the luminous nature of all phenomena, I know I am truly on the path towards liberation. On the path towards being in the world with “no doubt”. Not always a comfortable journey. Not without despair and pain. However, I can never completely forget the presence of the light ever again as I keep putting one foot in front of the other each day.

Connecting these threads of light does give me more confidence in my journey on earth and more capacity to know how to live this life. However, it also gives me more confidence that when the day comes for me to cross over it will indeed be another rebirth!

Born with the doorways wide open learning to trust the flow of the light; learning to live in complete gnosis; learning to embrace all circumstances; learning the nondual experience of pain and pleasure; learning to stay open in the face of what seem like obstacles and knowing that they are also light and perhaps pointers on the path. I have learned that on the path of luminosity there cannot be judgment only discernment. That on the path of luminosity all is equal. And on the path of luminosity resonance is the guide.

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