New Year Thoughts and Who is Shiva?

Dear Family of Light,

In ageless times, we awaken our real mission. While all is in transition

Visions of the past and memories of the future.

2007 comes from Sevens Heaven and a year of Transformation and Determination welcomes your call. No fear to fall, just fly with new wings.

~~*~~ They have been there all along.

Stop the world around U… become still as a star beyond this world.

Sit next 2 God and Feel His~Her Energy soothe your mind.

Sometimes we need controlled amnesia to forget the past and remember who I really Am. A flying bird with the wings of a condor.

I Am Light, Peace, Love, Bliss and Power.

A Flower is awakened like the Lotus above it all. Call your ancestors, there love has never died.

Honor who U are and stop doing what U don’t like, flow like a river and be love in action. Use your mind to heal the world –then U will heal in the process.

A few days ago I got a great email. It was about a woman who had a vision of Shiva. Many years ago, I also had a vision of Shiva.

I was sitting on that same sacred mountain in India and was going thru some turmoil. I had a book and opened it to any page and the words came out.

“Be still and know I am with you…As the Sun of Peace come to me and be free.” I am Shiva.

I was watching the sunset and felt myself leave my body as a star of light floating into the sun. When I came out the other end, all was released. I was clean and pure, like a massage of the soul and showing me who I really was.

Every now and then I reemerge that vision to remind me of my mission.

Who is Shiva?

The first worship in the copper age years before Christ was to Shiva, the Seed of the World Tree, the Benefactor and the Light.

Shiva also means “One who purifies everyone by the utterance of His name” or “the Pure One”. The name Shiva is the Holiest of Holy names and for me He-She is alive and well. He is only a thought away. Tune into the right signal and receive the transmission.

So back to the email and the visions of Shiva…

Enjoy and have a blessed New Year,

From the heart,




A Funny Thing Happened On My Way to Nirvana

by Sharon Janis

I am neither the conscious nor the unconscious mind,

neither intelligence nor ego, neither the ears nor the tongue

nor the senses of smell and sight,

neither ether nor air nor fire nor water nor earth.

I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!.



Chapter Twelve



IT WAS MARCH, 1980, and I had been going to the meditation center in Ann Arbor for nearly a year. By this time, I’d moved into a large house owned by one of the local devotees. He wanted to make it into a kind of annex, where people could live with others who were also on the spiritual path, without having to follow the strict schedule of the meditation center itself. We called it “Mike’s House.”

There were four or five people staying in the house at a time. The owner lived in the basement, and rarely came upstairs. He was a complete recluse. I hardly ever saw him, even though we were living in the same house. Mike was quiet, pale, and seemed unemotional, with an odd sense of humor to boot. He reminded me of my sister’s nerdy boyfriend from high school, who had once developed a plan to take over the world by blowing up Australia with anti- matter. I couldn’t figure out if Mike was a potential psychopath or just a good yogi, spending his time in silence and contemplation, but he was always respectful and friendly to me, so I wasn’t too uneasy about it.

Then there was Hari, who lived there for a while during my stay. I had never met anyone quite like Hari. He was thin and had a very flexible, yogic body. You could tell he practiced hatha yoga, the physical exercises, because when he sat in the lotus posture, which is like crossing your legs with your feet on top, he seemed to do it perfectly.

This guy was passionate in an unusual way. He may have been a contemporary version of the archetypal “mad lover of God,” or possibly, he was totally nuts. I guess I think of him as a little of both.

Hari was always falling in love. His heart was so open that he would walk through the woods nearby, weeping as he hugged each tree. He would feel love- energy flowing into him from the leaves and would lie on the ground embracing Mother Earth.

Hari used to tell me about this clear, blue light, the light of consciousness in the space of the head. He explained that the bones in his skull were somehow blocking his flow of kundalini, the powerful force that is said to move up through the nerve centers along the spine. I had not yet learned too many details about the ancient science of kundalini, and so this all sounded a little far-fetched to me. While we were meditating or chanting at the center, I’d occasionally look over and see him undulating with his hips, as though a spigot there turned on a flow of energy that seemed to move up his spine and into his head.

Hari fell in love with a different woman every week. He would become totally obsessed with each one, worshipping them as manifestations of the Divine Mother. When I moved out of the annex, he fell down to the floor and grabbed my ankles, shouting, “Goddess! Don’t leave me!” I guess you could say I was flattered. I had certainly never thought of myself as the goddess type, and this was my first experience of being worshipped! I couldn’t imagine that he wasn’t faking this whole divine love thing to some degree, but looking back on it now, I can’t imagine that he was. For him, the experience was very real. Maybe it also had something to do with drugs.

I never saw Hari take drugs, but occasionally we spoke about them. By age seventeen, I had stopped taking anything more than an occasional pipeful of pot. And now even that had fallen away. Drugs did not seem to be necessary or accepted on this spiritual path.

One day, it was announced at the center that a holiday called Shivaratri was coming up in two weeks. Shivaratri means the “Night of the Lord,” and is a widely celebrated holy day in India. The meditation center was going to celebrate with an all-night chant of the powerful mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, which means “I honor Shiva, the source of the universe.”

I thought to myself, “I can hardly stay conscious when we chant Om Namah Shivaya for ten minutes during the evening programs. How on earth am I going to chant all night?”

Along came Hari with a suggestion: peyote, hallucinogenic cactus. I had never taken peyote, but thought it would be a challenge and adventure, and accepted his offer. Hari bought eight grams of peyote for me, and meticulously cleaned it all, He then was kind enough to boil the cactus for six hours, so I could drink the drug without getting sick from the plant fibers. Peyote was known for its side effect of nausea. We hoped this process would protect me from a potential puke-fest, which would have been really out of place in the holy and peaceful meditation hall.

I was a little nervous while drinking the nasty-tasting brew. After all, once it’s in, it’s in. Each sip made my body convulse, as if someone were shaking me violently. Finally, I managed to choke it all down, and went to the chant. As I sat in the meditation hall, my vision became more acute. I could see the colors in the picture at the front of the room glowing brightly. Through the dim lighting, it was still possible to see some faces. I began to see a bright yellow glow emanating from some of the people sitting around me.

Then, for the first time, I experienced my personal power in a tangible way. There was a wonderfully strong, bright, deep golden radiance surrounding me like a big ball. My personal power. My will-power. My aura. I could see it in my mind’s eye as a bright golden light. My focus changed from that of the physical body to this explosion of power that was also there. I could feel the energy pulsing through me so vividly. It seemed to be a new perception of a force that had always existed inside and around me, though perhaps not as powerfully as in this moment.

I perceived the same glow around other people, and noticed a few lines of light-energy stretching across the room from one person to another. My intuitive understanding was that these represented the strands of relationship. I saw some particularly strong energy lines connecting from one of the married people sitting up front to a woman who was not his wife, and wondered if there was a deeper relationship going on between them that I wasn’t supposed to know about. The thought made me smile. I thought, “This must be what it is like to be psychic — watching people pretend to be one thing while you can see through to who they really are or what they are really thinking.”

The chant began at 8 pm. and continued until morning. In the deep dark hours of this holy night, I had the most subjectively REAL experience of my life.

Soon after I closed my eyes, the inner show began. I saw myself as a white bird with large, expansive wings. I could feel myself flying, becoming aware of how familiar it was to soar so freely.

The sensation awakened memories from my childhood. I used to fly every night in my dreams. I’d fly to distant lands, gliding through the sky. This had been one of my main modes of transportation in dreamland. But as I grew older, I had found myself unable to fly as high. My dreamtime flying abilities declined like an elderly person’s ability to run. I kept getting lower and lower, slower and slower. At one point, I was unable to soar at all. I could only hover above the ground. One night, while floating from my bedroom down the stairs around age eight, my feet touched the ground, and I had to walk down the rest of the steps. After that, I couldn’t fly anymore. Even in the dream state, I grieved for the loss. And here I was after all these years, soaring through this expansive space of personal consciousness with huge, white wings. It was breathtaking.

I saw amazing things that night.

At one point, there was a scene from what I assumed was a previous lifetime. I was a young, bald monk wearing light blue, silky robes. A man who seemed to be my teacher at that time was also in the vision. He was oriental, and quite old and thin. I can still see his kind face in my mind’s eye.

This was interesting to me, because I had been recently having thoughts about being a monk. Right after I started going to the meditation center, they had showed a video about the rites of passage involved with becoming a monk or swami. I had never, ever had any thought, in any way, shape or form, about monkhood before this. They would have had to call me “Swami Atheistananda!” Yet while watching this video, I had been surprised to find a deep longing inside myself to renounce the materialistic world in favor of a contemplative, monastic lifestyle.

After this inner vision, I again became aware of the chant that had been moving through me. Even without any kind of drug, chanting can be totally intoxicating. The powerful rhythms, deep breath cycles, and open-hearted devotion, put the mind in a uniquely peaceful and fertile state.

Throughout the night, we were chanting the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, over and over. I started to contemplate, who were we really singing to? Who was this Shiva? Was he just a Hindu deity, or was Shiva an integral part of my universe in some way? Who’s name was I chanting? The peyote had created a more intense focus on my actions. I was no longer content to sit and simply sing this phrase without deeper contemplation. I was filled with a determination to know what it really meant.


Traditional image of Shiva

In my mind, I began to repeat my own mantra along with the chant:

Who is Shiva…?

Who is Shiva…?

Who is Shiva…?

My voice continued to chant Om Namah Shivaya with the group, but my mind was splitting its attention between the two lines:

Om Namah Shivaya…


Who is Shiva…?


Om Namah Shivaya…


Who is Shiva…?


After several hours of this focus, I experienced another shift. With my eyes closed, I could see and feel the expansive world around me. As I watched, this world began to fold in on itself, as one might fold in all the flaps of a box to flatten it. I perceived a large, multidimensional area of the world and my various points of interaction with it, which kept bending and folding in. Flap after flap of this reality I’d been living in moved from being multidimensional into flat, two-dimensional, compact forms.


As this folding process took place, I began to see faces of people from my life. Some stood out for a moment, while others passed by in large groups. Some manifested symbolically as a particular type of person or relationship. I acknowledged each recalled presence with a silent Om Namah Shivaya, as they appeared and then folded in with everything else.

I saw people I liked, people I loved, and people I’d had a hard time with. But in this space, I loved them all. Each one was precious, a special part of my experience of life on this planet. I repeated the mantra with as much care and intention as I could for each person, each face or archetype that appeared before me. Every one received a well-wishing repetition of Om Namah Shivaya, as they dissolved into the psychic void. I knew something important was taking place, and participated with full attention.

Now there were several things going on in my mind at once. Externally, I was chanting the mantra; inside, I was repeating “Who is Shiva?” and, in my vision, I was saying the mantra to all these faces from my past. It was my way of thanking them for whatever role they played in this life and universe that now seemed to be undergoing a massive transformation and collapse into itself. It was as though a black hole had appeared in reality, drawing in everything that was familiar to me.

I wondered if this was it, if this was the end of the world as I knew it. I wondered if I would ever be able to, or would even want to recreate that construct of reality again. Even if I desired to put all the boxes of that life experience back together again, would it be possible? This was new territory, and by now it was profoundly out of my hands. There was no congressman to write to, no friend to confide in. There was no turning back, because the land I had come from no longer existed – never to return.

Everything I knew had been stripped away, folded up and dissolved into the black nothingness. It was obvious to me, watching this reality folding in on itself, that none of it could have ever been real. It was like seeing a sideshow disassemble after the carnival; watching the tattooed man washing off the ink, and the sword swallower reset all the retractile devices in his swords. I had been fooled. I had been so gullible and naive. I had fallen for the illusion of this world. I thought things were important and they didn’t even exist! I should have known better. How could I have fallen for all this again!

As soon as the idea of again popped up, I slipped into the awareness that this had all happened many times before, perhaps many times before. Then, the final folding of the universe took place, to the farthest reaches of anything I had ever conceived. It all folded in and smashed through the entire physical universe, until there was only flat, infinite darkness.

But right in the middle of this vast darkness was an amazing, still point of light. It was like a star or a small flame with no flickering at all. It was more peaceful than anything I had ever known. I knew this was the seed from which had sprouted the entire world, including who I thought I was and every thought and idea I’d ever had. This point of light was my innermost source, the source of all. Everything originated from that point, and now, had folded back into it. So this was Shiva, the source of the universe!

For a moment, I wondered if this point of light existed in me or if I existed in it. But then it was so obvious. Both were true. In this place, even opposites coexisted perfectly. I remember thinking that, for many people, this experience is available consciously only after they leave the physical world. I knew without a doubt that I had been there before. In fact, this space was absolutely the most familiar place I had ever known. It was familiar in a deep way that nothing else had ever come close to. I later found a poem by T.S. Eliot that described this experience wonderfully.


At the still point of the turning world.

Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point,

there the dance is,

But neither arrest nor movement.

And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered.

Neither movement from nor towards,

Neither ascent nor decline.

Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

I can only say, there we have been;

but I cannot say where.

And I cannot say, how long,

for that is to place it in time.




Resting in the presence of this still point, I was suspended in a space between me and not me. There was just awareness. I was somewhat conscious of the personality and circumstances I had been living in, but I was not identified with being those circumstances.


I wondered if I would ever go back to the illusion. It didn’t seem possible to return to things as they had been, because it was clear when everything folded in on itself that it would never reappear in exactly the same configuration. If the seed of my life sprouted again, it would be a whole new illusion, a new life-dream, a new flower on the branch of this soul – although I might not realize it from within the mirage. What a play!


I hoped I would never be fooled again. I wanted to stay with this peaceful light and not jump back into the mirage. Well, not only did the mirage reappear again, but it has reappeared in new and different manifestations again and again throughout this dance I call “my life.”


After seeing this “faceless face” of God, I no longer considered myself to be an atheist.

Journal notes:

This is an attempt to capture the depths of this experience in words:



How can the Ultimate be described?


The mind always tries to categorize and organize,


Yet when it turns toward That


and ceases to manufacture its intellectual illusions,


it is shattered, dissolved,


or deflected by defenses arising from


…a distorted sense of self-preservation


…a fear


…a passive submission to the sleep state


…a bright silver toy, dangled above


To distract one’s attention


and re-crystallize,




re-move one’s awareness


from the process of dissolution,


turning one back


– again –


thus maintaining the underlying,


fundamental process of oscillation.


The continuous oscillation of contraction


and expansion, being manifest through


infinite dimensions


of cycles and frequencies,


Patterns upon patterns


upon patterns.


The highest, most infinite states of expansion


and the most compact states of contraction,


being (not becoming!) one,


in a simultaneous, eternal…






Bringing into one’s awareness the highest truths


whose very being form a total lack of knowledge,


a lack of mind.


A state of awareness far beyond the world


and universe.


Not beyond in space,


but right under, or under-lying


in an all-pervasive, enfolded kind of way.


Yet it is really not enfolded…




And nothing else is.


It’s not that this array of worlds and universes is not,


but only that point of infinite space,


time, knowledge, love and emptiness IS


Manifest as the point of light


Shimmering in the darkness,


A symbol of a state of transcendence


over the illusions


that bind one in so many ways,


and on so many levels,


to contraction…


or to the cycles of expansion and contraction,


as these cycles underlie and maintain


the qualities into which they crystallize.


Thus all of these qualities,


and their underlying cycles,


and the time flow that sustains them,


and the infinite other dimensions of pattern,


are all contained within this point…


Yet they’re not really there at all,


for the point contains nothing,


perhaps like a channel of unlimited potential


that is always manifesting, pulsating, creating,


yet which never moves or changes at all.


It is we, who by interacting with this potential,


manifest or create these patterns


of world or universe.


And yet we ourselves are,


at our most fundamental level,


completely one with both that potential


and its manifestation


or lack of manifestation.


Om Namah Shivaya


I honor Shiva, the source of the Universe.

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3 Comments on “New Year Thoughts and Who is Shiva?”

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