Article from Parabola Magazine, Written by By Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
THE PATH TO ECSTASY BEGINS with awareness of the breath. Ecstasy is not so much about going out of your body as it is about coming into your body fully, touching this great beautiful earth with all its ugliness, with all its majestic moments. The breath becomes something wonderful to you, something that’s always at hand to remind you that you are indeed in the moment. You can’t breathe for yesterday and you certainly cannot breathe for tomorrow; you can only breathe in the moment, and the moment is rich.
To live in the richness of the moment, you must first acknowledge the Mother, for all of life is the Mother. All of form is the Mother: All of pain is the Mother. All of sorrow is the Mother. AIl of joy is the Mother. All that moves is the Mother. All that speaks is the Mother.
The silence is the Father. Christ, Shiva–the Father is in all of us making us complete. We are complete in ourselves, and yet we think we are two parts, an inside part that is separated by flesh from the outside part. This is an illusion, yet for most of our lives we live in this illusion.
The goddess Kali prepares us for the one- ness. Kałi is she who swallows the universe.
She consumes your smallness, your pain, your guilt, and finally your ego, if you will allow her to. Kali is the Black Mother, the dark mother of the night. It is she who kills the ego dead. But that is the only thing she kills- -just the ego. Do not be afraid of Kali, for the Black Mother will never hurt you; she will only devour that which will. On the spiritual path, you do not need your pain and negativity, and you do not need your ego, your small self.
When I talk about the cremation grounds and Kali’s dripping blood, her garland of skulls, her belt of severed hands, her skull cup, her sword, I am talking about this goddess and the Hindu philosophy, mythology, and religion.
She devours pain, devours truth, devours falseness, devours all that is, and leaves just the purity of the heart. She wanders the skies in scarch of any kind of sorrow so she can absorb it inside of herself. You don’t even have to know her name, but you must believe that there is a Mother and that this Mother will wrap her arms around you and hold you no matter what. She will love vou and touch you and give out compasion, and in the same breath strip the flesh away from your bones and leave you free. She does this because nothing, no pain in your life, no guilt, no desire, no attachment, is so big that it is worth forgetting God.
NOW AS YOU SIT IN Meditation with less ego to burden you, the tongue automatically turns up. It touches the upper palate, making an opening to the brahmarandra, or the baby’s soft spot on the top of the head. As the head opens up, it allows the gentleness of the Mother, this shakti, this spirit of Christ, to come into the body and touch the space of the heart. The heart then opens like the lotus. The amrith, which the great sages speak about, then begins to fall, sometimes as a liquid, more often in the form of bliss. Your whole body begins to tingle. It’s a profound experience, for inside and out- side at that moment do not exist. There is only Om Tat Sat, that which is that.
You realize, “l am that which is that.” But first you must walk in the darkness of the cremation ground, with the hyenas screaming out and the spirit of the dead all around. You must face your own fears and consume them. And then, how safe the night is, the stars, the moon, when you are walking with the Mother Kali, she who carries the sword dripping with blood–to me that is ecstasy. For the blood is that which comes from evil thoughts, evil deeds, as she slays the demon foes and makes heaps of their heads.
Why is Kali dark and terrifying? That is your darkness, which she takes from you. She takes from you what you do not need. As she grows darker, you grow lighter.
As the ego disappecars and you are in touch with the spiritual aspect of your being, you bring down into the flesh the very essence of God, the very essence of the now, the very essence of truth. Literally your flesh begins to change: your body gets very straight yet very relaxed, and there is a glow about you, a glow that lights up everybody you meet. So when you sit watching the breath, feeling the breath going in and going out, you begin to feel lighter, more centered, more alive, more in love, more passionate.
Then, when you go up and out of the top of the head in a meditation or a spiritual exercise, the body that has seen and felt and become that light becomes very spirit-filled and very strong, very knowing. From bliss we let the ego call us back. But as you fall back upon the pillow of earth, the ego can’t follow your spirit as easily as it can control your thoughts, and your body does indeed become filled with light. As that light touches your heart, the bliss penetrates all of you.
IN THE SAME WAY that you need to understand and know your higher self, you also need to understand your own body. You need to feel your toes and be aware of them, your heels, your knees, your thighs, your waist, your chest, your sexual organs, your fingers, your hands. When the Buddha was asked, “What is it you teach your monks?” he simply answered, “My monks sit, walk, eat, go to the bathroom, sleep, beg, and work.” The question was asked again, “But so many do that. What’s different about your teaching?” The Buddha smiled then and said, “When my monks are sitting, they know they are sitting, when my monks walk they know they are walking. …” He was speaking of this great awareness that makes the flesh alive with passion, and the breath is the tool to go back into that godhead, that joy, that state called bliss.
In actuality, ecstasy is leaving the body, watching the journey become a brilliant light, and then bringing that light right back into the body, and being aware of it in everything you do.
So ecstasy comes when the flesh makes the journey from ego into spirituality. when all of the flesh and all of the chakras become one with whatever is outside.
I was asked, “Do we go into God or does God come into us?” The answer is both. Eventually you have Kali Tantra, the ecstatic merging with the Mother herself. But if you want to put it in a way that could be understood by the lay person, yes, God goes into you. Yet that’s not fully right, for God is already there. On the day of conception, God’s mind was being formed in your mind, hidden in the deepest crevices of your being. On the day of your first breath, the Mother breathed into you her own breath, her own being, and her own joy.
Eventually, as you meditate and feel the essence coming through you, the room begins to fade, the temple begins to fade, and the body begins to fade. Ecstasy is not about you being separate from anybody else; it is about the oneness, the great oneness, for without the oneness there is no bliss, without the oneness there is no ecstasy, and without the oneness there is no joy. Oh yes, there is always that which brings instant gratification and goes as quickly as it camne, but the ecstasy of God re- births itself, over and over again: the rebirthing of God in every moment of your life, the rejoicing of life, is indeed what you’re about.
With Human Love, you love one person. Your bodies come together and then apart. With Gods Love, you are are that person you love, and you need never to part, ever. Once you have been touched by God, the touch becomes part of you–your cells, your fingers, your face. Once you have been loved, the love becomes part of you and you can never be alone. That is true tantra. That is the joy in my life and that is what I am rying to share with all of you.
So when you breathe consciously, you are awakening in yourself a vision of the Mother’s black, dark feet. Or you awaken in you the reincarnation of the spirit that was once yours without flesh and has ceased to be—you have forgotten it. You have forgotten, and now as you enter into the silent cave of God, this cave which exists inside of you, you begin to remember. Perhaps not in words that go back and forth in your mind, but in a feeling that you were there, and you are there, and you are that which is there–Om Tat Sat.
Truly it’s quite simple. Look at who you are, get inside your soul, literally feel what it feels like inside your soul.
Travel down to the base of the spine. Do that with an in-breath, and with an out-breath climb out again. Indeed, you will see that what is outside is the same as what is inside. Melt away this ego flesh, and let your true flesh become bright