An excerpt from What AM I , a transcript of dialogues by Albert Nahmani.
Can you please tell us about your Non-Duality-Advaita experience?
I am somewhat reluctant to share it as there is always the concern that others may attempt (or expect themselves) to follow or duplicate the process that led to what I call my peak experience. In fact, each one must learn to listen and follow their own heart during their inquiry for each of us can meet our Creator only via our own unique way.
As a young man I held a rebellious attitude, staying away from authority and resolving not to belong to anyone or organization. I must say though that my negative experiences were truly my best teachers. Once I understood this, it was up to me to review my life experiences through my new understanding of my true nature as a non-personal being. I was able to find in them hidden insights and treasures full of guidance that were there all along, ready for me to uncover them.
My inquiry and subsequent Advaita peak experience happened seemingly without the help of a teacher. In fact I did have many guides but I just wasn’t open to such possibilities at the time and therefore I didn’t and couldn’t recognize them as such. Their common characteristic is that they seem to help me transcend through a new paradigm and or transition to a turning point in my life. Such teachers appeared in the form strangers I met and listened to for brief times, feeling that they knew and recognized my spiritual core better than friends or family with whom I lived for decades. During such a magical short time, this stranger suddenly says something that is so meaningful and needed for me to hear right then and there that his or her insights shifted my previous perceptions to such an extent that I found myself entering a new paradigm. Sometimes my teacher is an author and the teaching is passed on through books which at times seemed to literally fall in my lap. Teachers also came to me through plays I had not even heard about beforehand. A pivotal one happened when I discovered the script “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Becket and again in 1984 while reading profusely J. Krishnamurti’s books. When I look back through the years it seems that such moments are in fact awakenings, little windows, tests of the flavor of our interconnectedness and peeks into the all knowing nature of our true being. Teachers come in endless forms always here around us, guiding us to the gates of our creator, of the only absolute that is and there is, Consciousness, our absolute reality.
In my case, after decades of self inquiry, meditation and spiritual group dialogues, my search for who or what I am came to an end in 1987 when I experienced the absolute reality (Non-Duality, Advaita) known in Buddhism as the “Clear Light of Dawn,” and in Kabala as “Beyond the Barrier.” Again, during that same week a teacher appeared. I met Murshid James MacKie, a follower of Meher Baba, founder of Sufism Reoriented.
In those days, I was as usual meditating daily for two hours in the early morning in my bedroom facing East. My state of mind was to sit and wait for the unexpected while expecting nothing. Whatever came up, I let it express itself. On that day, a vision of a small monkey appeared within me at the base of my spine. Determined and agile, it climbed up my vertebrae, hoped into my skull, walked between my temples to my pineal gland and sat Indian style inside my brain right behind and between my eyes. Still in trance, the meaning of this vision is revealed to me as I see myself walking along a wall and suddenly a great light shines on it and I have to move away from it to be able to read the 5 feet high gold Hebrew letters etched on the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem. The wall was immense and I felt frustrated because I couldn’t make sense of the mysterious writings. I felt like the monkey, agitated and desperate to find a way out.
Still in trance, the meaning of this vision is revealed to me in a thought moving like a meteorite written across the starry sky which I interpret to mean that an imminent paradigm shift is close. Suddenly a pure ball of bright white light appears in the horizon in front of me and in seconds it is now a few feet away revealing a bride’s dress made of white light and loving energy. I feel that I am ready. For months before my peak experience, I had a series of extremely clear visions and messages through meditations or lucid dreams.
On that glorious day I was as usual watching my thought with great intensity and without interruption or interaction. Within an hour of such observations, I found myself out of my body ( this was not an unusual development for me as I had experienced it numerous times before) and watching myself from above sitting in a yoga position, I realized that if I drew an outline of my silhouette it would look like a triangle. So I decided to have a triangle represent me for each of the seven Chakras, energy centers in my body. Then playfully at the base of my spine where Kundalini energy resides I decided to place the Ark of the Covenant and visualized all my ancestors assembled and praying around it. Suddenly a roar, like a huge waterfall, came rushing through my head and as soon as fear rose in me, it quickly retreated and subsided. I knew from experience that I needed to stay fearless and observe without reaction.
Knowing that something was imminent because of previous premonitions I resumed my efforts to stay still and focused my visualization on the seven triangles within me and the Ark of the Covenant which sat at the entrance of the base of my vertebrae. I brought in protective and inspirational reinforcements. I produced around me a halo of pure healing and protective light. I asked that spiritual developments within me should be to benefit society not just me and I asked my ancestors and the great ones, prophets and teachers, to stand around the covenant and protect me during this extremely dangerous but exhilarating moments as I slowly opened the door of the arch. A beam of the purest light gently rose from it and through the left side of my column vertebrae all the way inside my head up to the crown area. Because I was sitting with one hand over the other and my thumbs touching each other I visualized a focusing lens and as I did the beam of pure light became a powerful laser beam of light. Something guided me to bend the laser beam of light rising along my vertebrae into a right angle as it reached my crown so that it is directed towards my forehead.
Still visualizing, I sat as a miniature triangle inside my forehead in the location of the third eye and then I asked this light to simply show me what I truly am. The tempo and intensity went crescendo, I knew through experience that if I desired anything specific or for myself I would not succeed and that I could endanger myself by arousing my Kundalini energy from the right side of my vertebrae (known in Kundalini as the fiery side) and thereby create a flaming energy which could drive me literally mad. Quickly this intelligence inside me visualized a lens inside the crown of my head in a way as to bend the laser light rising along my vertebrae into a 90 degree angle, redirecting it into a horizontal line between my temples and lifting me on its way through my forehead, just above the ridge of my nose. Each time I came this close fear would take over me and my miraculous process and visualization disappeared. And yet, each time I failed I grew more resolve as I was encouraged that something was real here since I was able to duplicate it again and again. I felt my maker was near.
After a few trials, the power of my attraction and love for love was greater than my fear of death. A roar, like the Niagara Falls, came rushing through my head, my mind and time stood still…..A sharp electrifying Dzzzzennnnn sound struck from the back of my head through my left side of the brain through the front of my third eye and like fireworks burst out there into the sky. At that instant, the all knowing eternal and blissful mantle of consciousness unveiled itself.
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