As a new member, having just completed the Transformation Course, I wanted to share a few thoughts about spiritual experiences and ask if anyone else relates to them.
I've been a lifelong meditator, off and on. After a couple of years of more intense meditation, I started having startling awakening experiences about six months ago. They were experiences of great joy, peace, love, and unity with what I'll call the Great Light. I also had flashes of how the universe "works" and developed a very tender heart that was easily touched to tears by many things. There was also a new extroversion to my personality, a joy at being with others that had not been there before. Some of this has subsided but left a very positive residue of change in my life.
At the time all this was at its peak, I questioned my sanity. After meeting several spiritual teachers, quite synchronously, I was reassured that this was a wonderful time of spiritual growth and sanity need not be a concern. I now recognize that my soul knows where it is going, and I am no longer worried about any "unusual" experiences along the way. Has anyone else had a similar spiritual emergence-y? If so, did you find that you needed guidance from someone, or did you get through on your own?
I also have a background in many religions but settled about 10 years ago into Catholicism. After a time of questioning that connection, I am slowly realizing that the Christian faith has within it the seeds of transformation, but they are deeply hidden. The mystic saints found it, and more recently there are better role models, like Richard Rohr (living), Thomas Keating (living), and Bede Griffiths (deceased). It has been a struggle to reconcile my new, much more alive and open view of God and the universe with Catholicism/Christianity, but they are slowly integrating in my mind. The main thing is to recognize that Jesus clearly expressed unity consciousness, as evidenced by his many non-dual statements. These expressions are plainly present in the Bible ("I and my Father are one"; "I am in the Father and you are in me," etc.) but they go unrecognized or misunderstood by the churches. Are others here also Christians, and have you been through this process of integrating direct spiritual experience with a faith tradition that on the surface does not seem to support such an experience?
Finally, I have found wonderful support from a number of helpful online teachers and resources that I would like to share. It's an eclectic mix of religious (Zen, Catholic, Hindu) and non-religious sites:
Candace O'Denver: www.greatfreedom.org
Richard Rohr: http://www.cacradicalgrace.org
Bede Griffiths: Bedegriffiths.com
Sadguru Sant Keshavadas: templeofcosmicreligion.org
Soul Workers (Bob Mackura): www.soulworkers.com
And, of course, the Transformation Team, whose link I need not post here. I owe a great debt to all of the above and hope some or all may be helpful resources to others on this forum.
Thanks for "listening" and please feel free to share your thoughts on these topics. I look forward to reading them.