Tuesday, March 14, 2006

If You Feel the Urge to Fly, then Fly You Must

Last night my mother and I watched TD Jakes on television; Jakes is one of my mother's favourite Christian teachers. Jakes told a story that I'm going to paraphrase:

An orphaned eaglet is being raised by chickens. Though he tries to cluck and fly like the chickens, he feels he doesn't belong. As he grows bigger he starts getting the urge to fly. One day he looks up and sees this huge bird, an adult eagle, flying by. It is then the young eagle realises who he is. The young eagle spreads his wings. Just as he's about to take off he says to the chickens "See ya."

I can so relate to that story.

I remember how excited I was after reading Paramahansa Yogananda's book, Autobiography of a Yogi. I went to the Self-Realization Fellowship centre in London to find out more about the Fellowship, ostensibly so I could study with a teacher. In the meditation room were pictures of the lineage of gurus Yogananda had written about in his book: Krishna, Babaji, Jesus, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, and Yogananda. I stared at them in awe feeling really connected to them. While we were meditating I heard a voice speaking to me. "What are you doing here? You don't need to be here, you are one of them. You don't need to follow anyone; just be yourself." Despite the Voice, I still tried to find out about courses the Fellowship had to offer but they were by correspondence, which didn't appeal to me. On my second and final visit to the centre, I felt like an eagle in a chicken coop; I never went back.

I was still very much hung up about the idea of getting a guru. At the time I was training in Pranic Healing. After I'd taken the main healing courses, I decided to go for the advanced courses designed for students who are serious about the spiritual path. I took the first level of Arhatic Yoga, which is a synthesis of various Yoga disciplines; it also enables you to develop spiritual powers. At this level you have to decide whether you are willing to accept the Master as your spiritual teacher. The Voice urged me to move on; it was time to fly.

From then on I listened to my inner guidance, the Voice within. The Voice never forces me to do stuff; I always have a choice whether to follow the Voice or not. When my inner guidance suggested that I study Science and Health, the Christian Science textbook, I did. I even attended church services for a few months and considered becoming a member and training as a practitioner. But the same Voice suggested that it was time to leave. At first, I didn't listen as I was convinced I had found a path that was right for me. Then I started having the eagle in a chicken coop feeling, which meant it was time to fly.

I had always been interested in writing from experience, but what I was writing never flowed. It came in fits and starts. However, when I started writing about my spiritual insights and realisations, the ideas were endless. I filled several notebooks of ideas. I only shared them with a few friends. There came a point when the Voice urged me to go out and share my experiences with the world. I guess I was ready to spread my wings.

Who is the Voice? The Voice is me, my true self, the one experiencing life.

On my spiritual "journey," I've met many young eagles trying hard to be chickens. Some have stayed in the coop trying to perfect their clucks, while others have left and joined other chicken coops and got stuck. I've always known I am an eagle that is meant to fly.

From a big picture perspective, we are not separate at all. All is one; a chicken is an eagle. While we are all the One, each of us is a unique representation of the One. Thus, a chicken is the One, and an eagle is the One. Being my true self means being the One in a way that is uniquely me.

It's natural for me to fly.
I've got to be me.

With love,