In the stage of mid-life and at the height of my career in executive management, traveling throughout the Pacific Rim and working eighty-hour weeks, I started to question the "why's" of my life and with it came a very powerful impulse to find the answers. I had no strategic plan, no path to start my journey, no particular ideology, only many years of self-study of the wisdom traditions. All I knew was that I had an aching in my heart, a longing in my soul, and a chaotic mind without knowing where to go.
When I finally decided to say yes to this impulse, feeling imperfect, with a messy life trailing behind, I met a very gifted teacher. I continued my professional life as a consultant during the thirteen years of deep meditative practice. I learned to move through life from the inside out vs. from the perspective of seeing the world through the lens of my self-centric ego mindset. However, it took several years to stablize these two extremes of relative and Absolute. It was then that I encountered a radical shift of perception and how I viewed life itself.
THREE EPIPHANIES FROM THE INSIDE-OUT
October 2003 - 2012
Four years after meeting my first teacher, a dear spiritual friend, I committed to a deeper practice and spent six-month in semi-silent retreat. For the most part of seven years my practice was Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and spiritual healing apprenticeship. Through this practice and guidance a firm foundation and ethics toward my practice was established.
In January of 2011 the unmanifest Absolute opened up. I was directed by my first teacher to meet with Adyashanti, a Zen Buddhist to further verify this epiphany. At one of Adya's silent retreats, I had the opportunity to speak with him in one of his open sharing sessions. After some dialogue Adya expressed, "You were totally into the Absolute, it is clear as day...you got your foot in the door of reality."
In late 2011 during one of Adya's five-day silent retreats in Monterey, Ca, another opening came. I was walking alone on a serpentine boardwalk enjoying the sand dunes and shoreline when with eye's wide open the entire landscape became stereoscopic and transparent. Everything, every person, every object was translucent and bright with light. The "I" was just a thought, an idea of a "me". I can only begin to describe this epiphany as being in the mind of God, seeing through the unconditioned eyes of God. The field of awareness was hyper-acute. In time, the view returned to normal except my perception of life changed at that moment.
In 2012 I met Anam Thubten Rinpoche for a private meeting at one of his weekend retreats to discuss the prior awakenings. It was my first retreat with Rinpoche. During meditation, a realization broke through to reveal that the Absolute and the relative world were undivided Oneness. The world and everything in it, including the illusion of person-hood is the manifest Absolute. Nothing is excluded, all is sacred, there is only the Oneness. Rinpoche gave witness to this beautiful opening. It was the third piece of the mystery that brought the other two epiphanies together.
In 2012 I took the vows of the Bodhisattva ordained by Anam Thubten Rinpoche.
When I started a more formal spiritual practice I never expected, nor had much knowledge of the type of awakenings one could have. I only thought of myself as a simple yogi at heart with a great respect for the timeless wisdom traditions. My journey led me to many beautiful traditions, and three remarkable spiritual friends. Each pointed me inward to where the great mystery of life is found. My heart embraces each one of these beautiful souls for their gift of presence and their guidance and teachings.
I have often thought my spiritual life started late in life, however when looking back in time, presence was experienced at a young age. I remember when I was about three years old living on a farm when my dog and I climbed a small hill in which a large pepper tree grew. We lay down together with my head on his out-stretched body as he slept. His breathing was calming. Looking up, my gaze took me through the canopy of leaves and out to the open sky above. It all seemed so natural as a child to become one with the sky and drift with the breeze. I knew the stillness intimately before I knew how to tie my shoes.
This intimate experience of oneness is not unique to just me; it is a natural human experience we all have access to. That brief moment of becoming one with life stayed with me and gave me a deep appreciation for how nature opens our mind and heart to life itself, and then embraces each of us in its vastness and natural beauty.
*quotes are from transcribed public audio recordings, writings, and correspondence.
"To Realize the ground of being is to awaken within to the deep stillness from which life, wisdom, love and compassion arise" Lila
To speak with Lila directly email her to schedule a private meeting
The fastest path to liberation is as the bird flies through the empty sky leaving no trace. The shortest way is straight and narrow, like a swift arrow reaching its mark. Let the penetrating wind blow away the sands of conventional wisdom. Let the moonless night swallow the ten thousand things. Let the clouds of delusion of a separate self drift away. The Oneness is waiting. Dive deeply into the uncharted Ocean of Oneness and meet yourself. There is Absolutely Nothing In Your Way. Lila