|What Am I? Galen Sharp
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#4435 - Thursday,
November 24, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Happy Thanksgiving to our U.S. readers!
I interviewed Canela Michelle Meyers yesterday and transcribed a portion of the interview below. She's such a cool person.
Canela's website is
Interview with Canela Michelle Meyers
Nov. 23, 2011
When you are asked to talk
about your spiritual biography, is that tiresome?
It comes into the moment newly, depending on the question and the questioner and the moment. I didn't really look at all the past events until someone was going to interview me and suddenly I needed a bio. What would a person want to know about this shift in awareness? It's somewhat connected in the human details and it's not at the same time.
We'll get into some biography later. But how are the human details these days?
In this moment they're great, it's warm, it's not snowing here in North Vancouver, unlike out there in Nova Scotia. I have a partner who is my husband and one son who lives with us.
The response can become more and more fine if I start talking about the felt sense of the body or hearing my voice speaking, because awareness includes that there is a human being here.
I like to include the human details because it seems there are quite a few ideas about not existing or nothing's here, which is also true. But in the midst of that, something keeps appearing and it seems to be connected to this human being.
What are those appearances?
The more I looked the more I saw in my own direct experience they were always pointing to awareness again.
What about the nature of direct experience itself?
I have found that life is a loving experience, that love is loving us, no matter what it looks like.
I got curious about the details of my own life that were very uncomfortable. I would look at those details and I would ask, "How is this love? How is this loving?" Just in asking those questions it would sometimes right away be revealed to me, or sometimes through a series of happenings. That questioning has never failed no matter what appears to be going on. It finds its basis in an expression of love.
Just to repeat the inquiry: "How is this love?"
We've all heard it's all love. I started looking at how things were love. It was easy to see that when there's a wonderful sunset, pink clouds, birds chirping, and everything expressing its own beauty. At other moments the details weren't quite like that, and yet they were if I explored them more deeply than the initial appearance.
Is this inquiry something you commonly share?
I don't so much teach this point. When people come to satsang, if they offer up a scenario, I can support them to find the love in it. I am unable to see the love in other people's experiences or details, but they can. So I support them to find the love. Because we're all personally involved with our own details. It would be from the perspective of the person experiencing these happenings that he or she would be able stop and relax into seeing how it is love speaking.
You think that works for everything happening, all the thoughts, sensations, physical pain, temporary suffering?
Yes. "How is this love?" Ask yourself out of curiosity. If there's a demand on it, such as asking, "Tell me how this is love," then often it will still work somewhat, but it's meant to be put to life in a truly curious way: "How is this love then?"
When there's physical pain, it's natural that the system wants to stop it or change it. It's very tricky for a person to notice an energy that's painful in their body and actually allowed to be there when it's still called pain. Lift that label "pain" off, and experience it as energy directly. It will become easier to be with. You're not attempting to stop it. Depending on the situation, say it's stress from an argument, the stressful feeling will shift quickly into a different sort of expression.
You had an awakening experience in the company of Isaac Shapiro
Everything fell away completely and has not re-formed into some appearance, as if everything was not occurring in this moment.
I was travelling with Paul Lowe, who invites a full inclusion of what's going on, including yourself as a human being, as a woman, a man, the details of who you are. He invites an aliveness, going for what's true. When I met Isaac nobody could explain to me what the word satsang meant. I decided I'll have to go to this event because I couldn't get what people were describing.
I met Isaac and through a series of events ended up at his week long retreat starting that weekend. In the first night of the first gathering it happened, in direct contact with Isaac. I had been noticing in the explorations I'd been doing with Paul Lowe and with energy and with Reiki, that it was all expanding. I was seeing and experiencing more and more and more of life. It was quite phenomenal.
In that moment I was looking at Isaac and I could see that there was all this blue light coming off him and there was incredible light coming off the pictures of Ramana and Papaji, and a lot of movement of energy in the room. I was aware of all this and watching all this energy. It occurred to me, as I focused on that, all I got was more of it. I knew that awareness itself wasn't really that somehow. I put up my hand and I asked Isaac, "Is it beyond perception?" And he said yes.
At that moment, what was there before, let go. There was awareness that was aware that everybody was still there in the room, but for quite a while even speaking wouldn't happen. Isaac was laughing away, laughing at what had happened. Awareness encompasses perception. As soon as he said yes awareness was just there. Or here.
Some people lose the awareness of awareness. Can you talk about losing it?
In the satsang with Isaac there were other people who were saying they've experienced this before yet they would lose it. That's the first time I'd heard that because I hadn't been a longtime seeker. I didn't even know this awakening was available until four years prior to meeting Isaac. The idea that this could occur, that awareness would somehow lose awareness of itself, prompted me to fool around with presence to see if I could lose myself.
Was it like trying to kick awareness out of bed or something?
This was a few weeks after the event with Isaac. I smoked some pot to see if I could somehow get lost in that. Once I drank a lot of alcohol to see if I could get lost in that. Everything got distorted and I was even seeing double, but I was completely aware of the whole experience. It kind of happened naturally as well, so when I was invited to indulge I got curious. Usually I check with my heart when someone offers me something or when there's an invitation. I check whether it feels right, whether my heart opens to the idea, and that's how I move in life.
After you figured you couldn't lose awareness, then what?
After this occurred I spoke with Isaac and asked, "Now what?" Because my whole life had been committed a hundred percent toward whatever this awakening would be. That gave my life direction. Now that it happened, I was so surprised. I don't know why I was surprised but when I looked at it, I saw it was because I assumed it would take thirty years. When I said, "Now what?" he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Follow your heart." That's what I've been listening to since then.
That testing of awakening is curious. Do you think a lot of people do that testing?
I don't spend a lot of time wondering about other people because there's so much happening here in this ... what I call ... life. Something has to show up in a certain way for me to explore it. Sometimes people would come and say to me, I see you're going to Paul Lowe gatherings and ask me whether I felt he's awakened.
I was always surprised by that because it wasn't my qestion whether he was awake or not awake. Sometimes he would say things and I would feel the truth in my body, but I wouldn't know it unless I had the direct experience. I would take those moments of what Paul Lowe would say and then explore them directly myself to see if they were true. That's always been my way. I don't take people's word for something even if it feels truthful. I try it out myself to see if it's really true. I recommend that approach because then it becomes yours. Paul Lowe invited me, but I'm the one who actually explored it. The direct experience is with me and I can support other people directly experiencing whatever they're ready for or whatever they're curious about.
Where did Isaac's advice take you?
This was unbelievable. When Isaac said follow your heart, I asked myself, "Where do you go now?" The whole future I had envisioned disappeared. I knew awakening would happen in this lifetime but I didn't expect it to happen any time soon.
What occurred in my heart was to be with my two sons. They were living with their father in Massachusetts at the time, so I headed to Massachusetts. After a year and a half of living there, where we shared the parenting, I came back to Canada with the children. I was a single parent for five years. With their father living in the U.S., I was really on my own.
Also he was contesting me for child support and custody. What happened was an invitation to go into court. This is stressful, not only being there for my sons, but handling regular life details of being a mother, as well as my reiki practice, and satsang I was offering. Add the court pressures and energies of needing to pick up the sword so to speak. If I didn't show up in court, if I let it go and did nothing, the boys would end up living in Massachusetts, and that's not what they wanted.
I sat down with my sons and had a conversation. After the shift in perception, one of the realizations was how equal we all are, that there's no authority greater than a person's own heart and their heart for them is a greater authority than my heart. In re-uniting with my sons, there was this incredible equality of them being, be-ing, with me. So there were three of us that were the same. From that time I always spoke to them as complete equals.
If there were times, as a parent, when my heart said something wasn't safe, I openly talked to them and told them I will step-in in this position as your mother, in which I show up. And, I reminded them, they showed up in connection in my life as these sons. Sometimes I will need to point to that and make decisions to the best of my ability as a mother. Otherwise, we decided everything together.
In the court process I sat down with them, the three of us in a circle. They were ten and eleven years old, and I told them what's happening. I said your dad is wanting you to live with him, and of course I'm enjoying being with you. But what do you want? What does your heart say to be true?
Because if they felt they needed to be with their father, I would support that. I feel they chose their dad just as they chose me as their mother: from a soul perspective. There's something in that connection for them with their dad, and I never stood in the way of that, and I supported them connecting with their father. At the time, they wanted to live in Canada and therefore wanted to live with me. One of them was very clear about that and the other wanted to be with his brother. It was completely honest. They were truthful. I said there's no sense going to court unless you guys want this too. If that's what it is that wants to happen, if they want to move to Massachusetts to live with their father, I would need to handle that myself and go in that direction. But that wasn't the direction.
There were three years of court proceedings. It culminated in a five day Supreme Court trial in British Columbia, where I represented myself. I had represented myself for the last year and a half of proceedings prior to that, because of finances and because the lawyer I'd been using said that he felt I would be capable of representing myself. And I also knew the whole story and the details much better than he did.
~ ~ ~
The remainder of the story and more from Canela will be told in a forthcoming book, which will be announced here.
Canela's new book is Right Here, Right Now Meditations: Satsang Invitations for Expanding Awareness
Further info and ordering at
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