Three Pelicans Circling

Photograph © 2020 Peggy Kornegger
Last week, on my morning walk, three brown pelicans flew overhead, high in the sky, as I tilted my head up to watch them. Slowly they turned in perfect unison and began to circle above me, directly above me. They circled three times, large sweeping circles of which I was the epicenter below them. Then they turned back the way they had originally come and flew off into the distance. As I watched them leave, my spirits uplifted by their brief aerial presence, I thought, “Why did they fly here, circle three times, and then return? Was my presence somehow connected to theirs?”

I am inclined to see the synchronicities of the universe, believing that everything is somehow connected in the greater tapestry of life. We are part of an energy dance, we living beings, and we all affect one another. The thread between us seems invisible, but it does exist. Their circling and my seeing happened simultaneously. No visible cause and effect, yet I felt as if my seeing reached out to them and drew them into a circle. Just as their circling reached out to me and drew me into heightened seeing. A bit like what physicists call quantum entanglement.

Humans on this planet are involved in a similar dance of circling and seeing, invisible much of the time but highlighted when synchronicities catch our attention and expand our awareness. A friend and I recently had a conversation about how everyone affects each other in the dramas of daily life. It became a wider discussion of the polarities of light and dark and the evolution of consciousness on Earth. We came to the mutual “conclusion” that every person and event plays a key role in the expansion of our collective consciousness. Nothing is just a disaster or a godsend. No one is just a hero or a villain. We all have bits of each of those extremes within us, and when we can embrace that polarity, we are free to live the nuances of life. Our life purpose is to accept what is challenging as well as what is inspiring, to come into harmony with everything.

It all gets down to something my friend/teacher Panache Desai has shared repeatedly: “Everything is perfect. Everything is God.” I receive that wisdom at deeper levels within me each day I live my life. This past week it filled me completely, permeating my cells like oxygen, like light. It was light. I saw that we are all here to come to that awareness, to embrace that full expression of compassion and love. We are here to embody divine Presence in the world. A Presence in which all polarities come into harmony within us and thus within the world. That is humanity’s role and destiny at this time.

The pelicans demonstrated that greater circling and surrendering to invisible energies that carry us to where we’re meant to be. Each detail of our flight is part of our soul’s journey, which we chose before birth. We are living our lives to align with our soul’s overview and to align with the love that connects all of our hearts—human, bird, animal, star. To live in “loving awareness” (Ram Dass), with kindness and generosity of spirit, is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, each other, and the world. You and I are God meeting God everywhere every day of our lives. And it’s all perfect.

Illumination on Vancouver Island

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
There comes a time when you realize that your life doesn’t really belong to you, like a bicycle or car that you can control by shifting gears or braking. Your life is actually part of something much greater, an expansive beingness that includes you in its infinite Presence but over which you have absolutely no control. When you reach this level of awareness, this overview, you find there is nothing left to do but let go completely and turn everything over to that Presence, or God. Within this surrender is liberation. Your soul becomes the acknowledged divine force in your life, and your human personality begins to flow with that newly accelerated energy. In releasing your grip on your own life, you are free to live it the way it was designed to be lived, the way you planned it before you were even born. God and your soul have known this all along, and you recognize who you really are at exactly the right moment in the greater scheme of things. It’s called destiny.

When we come face to face with our destiny, it is often a moment of illumination, when everything shines with clarity and coherence. We see a timeless expanse within which we are playing a small part in the unfolding of the universe. My own moments of illumination have occurred over time in increasing power and resonance. With each radiant surge, my consciousness has expanded further. Most recently, I experienced a major life-changing illumination during a six-day immersion with Panache Desai on Vancouver Island in Canada. This particular immersion, “Dynamic Enlightenment,” was dedicated to intensive traditional sacred ceremonies and activations, such as shaktipat, to bring each of us in our group to oneness and illumination, or enlightenment.

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger

During the week, I began to experience an electric vibration throughout my body, expansive pressure in my head, and tingling in my crown chakra. I felt as if my entire physical system was being recalibrated to accommodate the power and magnitude of the divine energy that Panache was transmitting. Then one evening after dinner, I took a walk as the sun was descending slowly in the west and a strong wind was rising off the water. As I looked up at the towering evergreens silhouetted against the sky, the wind began to sweep through them with a powerful force that caused them to sway back and forth dramatically. The wind was literally dancing with the trees, and the air itself was alive with life-force energy. In fact, everything I looked at was alive with this energy (prana). The very basis of all life was being revealed to me wherever I looked. The trees, bushes, birds, wind, and sky were filled with a shimmering luminosity and vibrating aliveness: God’s living spirit. I stood transfixed in absolute awe.

As I remained motionless, in an altered state of expanded awareness, my attention was drawn to the sun itself. I closed my eyes to take in the full radiance of this beautiful shining star. A golden glow shone through my eyelids, filling my senses with warmth and light. Then, after about ten seconds, the glow increased significantly, as if someone had turned the switch on “high.” The amplified light seemed to come not only from the sun itself but from within me as well. In fact, everything was light—golden divine light, in which I was immersed. God presence everywhere—in the trees, in the sun, in my human body. The soul of the universe clearly visible in that golden light. It was extraordinary, and I’ll never forget the feeling. I carry it within me now, a light that illuminates everything each time I take a deep breath and look with God’s eyes on the world around me.

We all live our own versions of illumination, sometimes dramatic, sometimes as simple as opening a door to a new way of seeing everything. En-LIGHT-enment is nothing more than stepping into the ever-present light of our own being and seeing ourselves for the divine souls we truly are. Our collective destiny is to know ourselves as God and to live as that all-encompassing harmonious love within our human forms. On the other side of all the extreme polarities now occurring on this planet, we will finally come back into balance and align with the sacred soul light and oneness at our core.

 

A Lifetime Longing

Photograph © 2013 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2013 Peggy Kornegger
In a recent teaching, Panache Desai talked about how so many of us have unconsciously yearned to know God or the truth of existence all our lives. We didn’t always have words for it, but at our core was a deep-seated longing to understand the universe, to feel a connection to something beyond our own separate selves. In our individual aloneness, we reach out for contact, for meaning, even in our early years. I certainly did, although I did not recognize it as a desire to know God. My reaching or yearning took the form of fear. Fear of eternity, of an infinite universe. It scared me so much that I was unable to sleep at night, and my mother would sit at my bedside to comfort me.

I was not raised within any particular religion, so God was just an idea to me. A possibility, my parents said, a question that each person must answer for themselves. I suppose, in their own way, they were referring to what Native Americans have called the “Great Mystery.” Nothing I could relate to at 6 years old. What I was seeking was relief from the terror I felt whenever I thought about the universe going on and on forever. God’s existence had no relevance to that, at least in my own mind at the time. As I saw it, eternal life (heaven) and eternal death (the void) were both eternity and thus equally frightening. I lived for years and years with that fear embedded in my consciousness. Many times, I thought it would drive me crazy.

It wasn’t until I met Panache and began to work with him that the fears I had carried all my life began to gradually transform. Through him, and later on my own, I experienced infinity as divine presence, or God. It filled me with the most profound peace imaginable—absolutely no fear. I felt at one with everything everywhere, beyond time and space, and my consciousness shifted completely. It was then that I began to realize that this was what I had yearned for my entire life, this immersion in oneness and unconditional love that is God. I had always longed, as William Blake wrote, to “hold Infinity in the palm of [my] hand” and know it as pure love, not fear at all. And here it was at last—God’s loving gift of presence within my own heart and soul. In truth, that sacred connection had always been there. It is who I am, who we all are.

Sometimes you wait your whole life for a key experience that changes everything in all directions—past, present, future. Often you can only reach that experience after having lived your way to it. Ultimately, that is why we came to this Earth: to experience our separateness and find our way home again; to recognize that separation is only an illusion within that greater oneness which encompasses all of existence. That is the human journey, during which we can feel so lost and alone at times, but looking back, we see nothing but grace and love. In that moment of realization, of conscious awareness of our oneness with everything, we step into ananda, or bliss. We know in our deepest heart that all of life is a blessing and that we ourselves are a part of that blessing because we are part of the infinite presence of God.

 

Interview with Panache Desai

PanacheSpiritofChangeThis summer I interviewed Panache Desai for Spirit of Change magazine, and the interview, “We’re All Family Here,” is currently in the fall issue. Visit their website to read this moving and inspiring conversation with Panache, as he talks about his work as a vibrational catalyst, facing crisis in life, and the planetary changes we’re all experiencing now: http://www.spiritofchange.org/Fall-2016/Were-All-Family-Here/.  If you live in New England, the print version of Spirit of Change can be picked up locally at bookstores, health food stores, and various other sites.

Amma’s Hug

Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
For years I’ve wanted to see Amma, the “hugging saint,” considered to be an embodiment of the Divine Mother. Her appearances in the Boston area, however, have conflicted with Panache Desai’s summer programs at Omega Institute, so I’ve always chosen to go there instead. Ironically, it was Panache who recently provided me with the opportunity to see Amma in person. So often, life’s completely unanticipated events are filled with more magic than anything we could have planned. Therein lies a tale….

In early July, I flew to Washington DC for an Initiation weekend with Panache, which included a vibrational activation connecting participants to their essential divine self and life purpose. Those of us in attendance found ourselves immersed in profound divine connection and soul awareness, an experience that seems to expand exponentially at every one of his events. Within the larger group of 70, there were about 18 of us who have been taking part in an ongoing accelerated program (OAP) with him. On Saturday evening, after the Initiation finished for the day, Panache asked our OAP group if we would like to see Amma, whose weekend events were taking place not far from ours. And the adventure began.

Arriving in several cars, we gathered outside the main hall where the Atma Puja ceremony for world peace was soon to begin. Mind you, people arrive hours early for Amma’s events in order to get a seat and also to stand in line to receive a token that will allow them to stand in line again to receive a hug and blessing (darshan) from her. The hall was already filled to capacity, and we were redirected to the overflow hall, where the main-hall events could be seen on a large screen. We sat in one long row holding hands as the ceremony began. In both halls, hundreds of voices chanting in Sanskrit filled the air. I felt as if I were hearing all of India, all of humanity, calling for peace in those ancient sacred sounds that reverberated in my heart. Afterward, small cups of water blessed by Amma were passed out to everyone, and she herself spoke to the gathering, with a translator. More chanting, and then the ceremony ended, lasting about an hour and a half.

At this point we were going to leave. Panache, however, had something else in mind. He led us to the front entrance to the main hall, closest to the stage. We saw him consulting with several different Amma volunteers. Apparently, the protocol is that spiritual teachers who come to see other teachers are welcomed as honored guests, as are those with them. It seemed that we were going to be given tokens so that we could join the front of the line to receive darshan. We took off our shoes in preparation. Not so fast. One of the volunteers (who evidently did not know of this protocol) said that we were not allowed to be there and should leave. After much discussion, Panache told us that we were going to leave. Shoes back on, leaving. But wait. One of Amma’s assistants came up to Panache and told him not to leave, that everything could be arranged, that we just had to wait a half hour or so.

Over the next 2–3 hours of uncertain waiting, every time we decided to leave, this sweet assistant appeared and asked Panache to please stay, that all would be arranged. As a group, we surrendered the outcome again and again—yes, no, yes, no, yes…. Finally, five us were sent with tokens to join the line. Excitement! More than five would be too many, so the rest of us were just happy to hug the other five as they came back from being hugged by Amma. Okay, time to leave. Wait, no, the assistant appeared again: “Please stay, I think I can get more tokens for you.” We stayed. More time. Maybe we should leave. Then magically, the assistant brought back enough tokens for everyone who wanted to receive darshan. Not only that but they were “fast-track” tokens with tiny red circles on them.

I was among the last group of four to go. Within minutes, I went from no to yes to then following a volunteer around the back of the small stage where Amma sat, surrounded by helpers, and immediately up onto the stage to within a few yards of her. At this point, I entered a slightly dazed state, in which I stepped forward and did everything I was directed to do by the helpers: take off glasses, kneel, move forward inch by inch. Panache was ahead of me, so I was able to see him being hugged by Amma and the expression on his face afterward: sort of, well, dazed. Then I was immediately in front of Amma, and she drew me to her in a hug and said something that sounded like “my daughter, my daughter” in my ear. Her beautiful smiling gaze rested briefly on my face afterward, and light shone from her being. She radiated light, like the sun. I turned and slowly made my way back to the others on the opposite side of the hall, a rose petal gift in my hand.

The energy of the entire evening was so powerful that it raised us to a higher vibration—we could feel it. I can’t even say how much was Amma, how much Panache (who also embodies loving divine presence), how much the Atma Puja, and how much our group, which was so cohesive, so completely joined in oneness. The gestalt of it all taken together was mind-boggling. I learned something about destiny and synchronicity that night. We kept being shown over and over that we were meant to be there, having the experience that we were having. We surrendered, together, and were carried by that surrender. Right through the whole incredible weekend and back into our lives, changed.

As I look at people now, I see reflections of that radiant light-filled energy in every single face. We are the radiance we have sought so long outside our selves. Increasingly, at this amazing time of huge shifts in human awareness, we are realizing that we too carry within us a light that shines from our souls and moves us to live openheartedly, with absolute love for all beings, everywhere. Like a saint, like a smiling hugging saint.