In 43 years of following a spiritual path, what has always amazed me is that my own inner experience has very seldom coincided with the written and spoken teaching I had been exposed to. There have been exceptions. When I first read The Buddhism of Totality by Garma C.C. Chang, the teachings of esoteric Hua-Yen Buddhism, I found an exact description of what I had known – but never heard – for many, many years. Meditation will often take one to a “higher” level of vibration, in which case numerous other universes may be experienced. These will not in any way resemble this universe, which scientists mistakenly, and chauvinistically, hold to be the only one. Experiencing these, it is not known if what is seen (interconnecting shafts of light and such) are even creatures. Other universes described in some Buddhism, which I presume the Buddha experienced, have strange descriptions of places where there is “neither thought nor no-thought” or “neither form nor no-form,” entirely beyond our ability to comprehend. Such sights, of course, tear to shreds conventional church views, and so would not be admissible even if experienced. Little theology is based on experience; most on theory and blind faith. When asked about such experiences, my Indian teacher would answer, “Why should you doubt your own experience?”

That some energy, possibly combined with wisdom, comes “down from above” hardly fits my preconceived notions (being an iconoclast) but, nevertheless, I have seen and felt it. T’ai Chi Chih practice, if coupled with meditation, will strengthen the possibilities of such experience, but, if you are a devout church believer, it would be unlikely that you could go beyond your own religious conditioning.‌

The devout bhakti is said to go into ecstasy at the creaking of a waterwheel. Read Kabir’s poetry. On the other hand, the jnani is following the way of inquiry, to separate the Real from the unreal. In my view there is no unreal, only transformation. What is alive stays alive, only it changes. And my own experience has been, “Everything is singing the Glory of Creation.”

This article is published in Spiritual Odyssey.