I discovered the meaning of life at the moment of my spiritual awakening, late one night, Jan 4th1998. I was working my night shift. As an architect, a family man and a community activist my life had two shifts. One for the day to interact with my clients and the public. The evening is when I did my architectural work. It was then that my life changed forever.
Around 11:00pm I saw my brother and his children drive down the driveway. He had not said goodbye. I knew he was pissed at me. He and his family had come to stay the weekend but, as usual we had little time together.
A sadness came over me. The recognition of how my life was always too busy, too caught up with my own interests and pursuits to be there for others. But then the sadness grew. It became grief, and soon after a deep sorrow I was swept along in a black current that took me down a rabbit hole of despair. I saw all the times in my life that was like this one. Where I had what I wanted, what I made more important that served my interests, not others. How the single focused self-made man had cut love out of his life.
I then had visions of other lives where I was the same way. It was like I was experiencing an ocean of grief, an endless list of moments in my many lives where the opportunity to receive and express love was missed. But it didn’t stop there. I was in touch with a sorrow of love lost, missed moments, of being, of love being given and received. All this was much bigger than my own experience. I was connecting to a collective condition of mankind. As this continued I was eventually overtaken, and lost consciousness.
When I awoke on my drafting table a few moments later something so extraordinary had happen that my mind stopped in awe and unspeakable gratitude. Tears and tears poured down my face. Words could never describe this. I was in a moment so vast and immediate that all I could do was be in this state of wonder. I did know something. I knew that I had just won the lottery of all lotteries. The Universe had revealed Itself. I had awakened to a state of being that I had consciously or unconsciously been seeking my whole life.
It was at this moment the Meaning of Life revealed itself to me. I saw that all along I was seeking this. It was the meaning for my living, for my very existence. I now know this as a current of being, consciousness and love that animates all existence. We are each an individual expression of this Will to Be. Part of a Becoming that so vast and diverse it is impossible to know. It seeks to exist, to be, to experience, to learn and grow and finally, like me, to wake up to this meaning, this purpose of Life.
All of life is this vast interconnected multiplicity. All these endless forms are striving to fulfill this purpose. To express this will to Exist, to Live, grow and expand, in the process to continuously discover and experience what it means to be alive. Seeking, questing for something without knowing what it is. And without knowing, like myself, to ultimately wake up. To become the vessel through which the Universe can experience Its own existence.
This is the Meaning of Life. It came to me like an eruption, revealing to me this Truth. We are all destined to discover this hidden reality that lies latent in all of us, sooner or later. But at this moment in time, and for these 20 years since, I have never lost this sense of Meaning. It has become the organizing principle of my life ever since. Meaning gives life to our lives, bringing a richness and depth that enlivens and fulfills. We can experience this for ourselves. It is not an abstraction. It is the most real thing that can be known or experienced. The Meaning of life is found in each moment love is shared, each time we see something we did not know before, in each discovery, revelation and moment of intimacy. To know what is the Meaning of Life is to experience this Love. A love without conditions, love without demand or insistence. In fact we live in an Ocean of Love that is just waiting for us to discover it.
What happens when a successful architect and community activist in 1998, in a moment of despondency and alienation, collapses onto his drafting table—and wakes up hours later with Ecstatic energy coursing through every cell in his body?
Because an awakening is only the beginning of the spiritual journey, not the end. And when, as in Sat Shree’s case, there had been no preparation, no spiritual questing or even desire for a more spiritual life, this kind of rude, “kundalini” awakening can be easily mistaken for enlightenment. Somehow he knew it was a temporary state and therefore not the final answer.
And so his journey began, leading away from his middle class life in Nevada, to a meeting with a teacher far ahead of him on the path, to years in an ashram in India, through increasingly ecstatic—and equally challenging —meditative experiences, through four distinct stages of enlightenment, and back to the United States.
He is now the spiritual director and co-founder along with his wife, Satyamayi, of the New Dharma community in Nevada, where the force that is at work within him is shifting the reality of people that are drawn to it. Sat Shree’s mission is to manifest a new spiritual culture that is in alignment with universal spiritual principles, and by doing so inspire mankind to create a sustainable future.
“My work,” he says, “is to show people how to collaborate with the natural maturation process that occurs when one is on the spiritual path. A process that, in fact, all of mankind is going through.”
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