About


In 2009, I went through my 1st transformation, where my being “opened” to dynamic silence and I knew that I was neither the body, nor the emotions, nor the mind. It was the 1st detachment from an illusory identity. For the past 8 years, this state has been evolving.

I have been meditating for over 20 years, and studied under several teachers. I am very grateful for their help and guidance. They include Sri Chinmoy, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Baba Mukhtananda (through his writings), and my most recent teacher (who has passed away and shall remain in anonymity). My gratitude to them goes beyond what words can convey. Now there are checks and balances built into my being so that I can continue to grow, change, give way to innocence, and serve others to the best of my ability and without falling into the various traps of delusion. (The tests do not end and the stakes become higher.)  The safest check is to keep returning to the pure note of the Soul and allow It to guide – especially during challenges. I have become rather impersonal, but there is plenty of expression that appears very personalized. It is a paradox….

My yearning started at about 10, which surprised everyone in my family because no one in my home was religious or knew anything about meditation. Complementing my yearning was also a deep-seated fear that I was somehow unworthy and awakening would never happen to me.

The intensity of yearning for the infinite, and the belief that it was impossible for me, created a conflagration of spiritual fire – and I burned in this fire for years without frequent personal contact of teachers. In meditation, I would feel myself reaching for awakening, and It was reaching back to me. Occasionally, we would unite, but the experience would not last. Eventually, the teachers came but much was left up to me to work through – as no one can do this for someone else.

After the 1st transformation, which happened quite unexpectedly and without any fanfare, the veil of separation dropped away. The chatter of the mind was silenced by the Dynamic Emptiness – an Emptiness that paradoxically felt Full of possibilities, creativity, and love that transcends emotional love.

The 2nd transformation was quite a surprise. I noticed the world arising – creating itself from moment to moment: complexity birthing from the hidden source of simplicity that underlies our physical life. I could feel the interconnections of life like a fine Web permeating everything. I was watching myself arise too as an atom in this Life….

The 3rd transformation took place over a period of only a couple of months, where my identity was established as the infinite and dynamic Awareness. To what degree? I do not know. But the need to live “for myself” was completely gone. My attention became rooted in Spirit. It became clear that transformation does not end, and each state is a dramatic shift from the previous – not an additional piece of knowledge.

I don’t know how to describe what I experience….. Rather than growing further away from the Earth and rushing to leave, I feel as if I dove ever deeper into it – expanding and connecting to the life process. I realized that awakening is just a series of transitions, but never the goal.

All this means is that I have the apparatus to begin my integration consciously of the One Life that lives everything, and I am only beginning this now when the previously abstract ideas, like infinity, are more accessible to intuition.

Imagine an atom in your body and assume for a moment that this atom is conscious – it feels you, but how deeply does it identify with you (rather than just feeling its atom-ness)? I am such an atom in the One Life, and am but a baby in the vastness. I can also tell when I am not ready to open to new awareness because it feels overwhelming – something else must be prepared first….I honor that and respect the vastness in which we participate. So, awakening of the human being is really just a gateway to go deeper to the core of Life, as much as possible, and continuously serve others in the process. In fact, attending to others becomes natural and fluid.

After each transformation, I have continued to purify the debris of the body and mind. My purification process has been very intense because my body and mind were not properly prepared for these changes.  Many of the books I read on meditation hinted to this, but I did not take them seriously and pushed harder. In hindsight, I would have done more preparatory work to clear the body and mind of dysfunctional energies prior to awakening – especially my self-loathing, which caused so much internal chaos.

But my path is what it is – it happened backwards and I made it through with no ease. Others had and will have different experiences that lead to Union – and hopefully more gentle. Sometimes I feel like my life and process is rapid because I must reach a certain point before I pass on – so that I am fit to help. At this point, it is not a drive from Ego, but the continuation of the work set before me when I was young – more as an intuition than anything else. I do not yet have a full understanding of my service, and have only glimpses. I continue to follow the bread crumbs.

Over time, I’ve felt a kinship to Sufi mystics – especially the Russian mystic Irina Tweedy and the Danish mystic Sri Sunyata. I was born in a part of the world full of stories about Nasruddin – a wise man on a donkey. Mostly, I fell deeply in love with the spiritual fire of transformation. One of my teachers called me Agnibhakti – ‘a devotee of fire,’ and now I better understand why. But even there, I have had to learn to properly manage the fire – both its embodiment and expression. I have much more to learn. “Fire,” as it turns out, has a profound interpretation, and is not simply a physical fiery form.

Initially, I did not think to share about my awakening. I live an ordinary life, with a job and a family. However, it seemed like the right time to invite others to explore the possibilities of being beyond the mundane – if they so choose – and offer another voice. Right now, I am doing this mostly through writing. I only write when there is something to say, which is not always the case.

The signs are all around us that we and the rest of life are not separate in a very practical way. And the expression of a true global community,  based on intuition, wisdom, and creativity, will emerge when we embrace and nurture it. Our uniqueness, fully healed, will be honored. Outdated dreams of the past, founded on self-absorption, will be supplanted by visions and gestures of a happy reality and value for all life.

I’ve learned that both creating the new and destroying the old are service. Each of us will add something new and different to the mix.

The more of us free our awareness into the union of Spirit and World, the richer becomes the participation in our intricate existence. And, more importantly, we can assist with this creative birth and serve with integrated Will, Heart, Intuition, and Action – with a Love that transcends the personal and the self-absorbed.

– Arel

Breaking Free from Illusion to Nurture Relationship of Self and Planet

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