Some authors have written books and articles that describe
their experience so well, you can almost feel it happening
We've located as many books and articles of that kind
as we can. This page provides links to them.
Photo courtesy Sweet Home Ranger District, U.S. Forest
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description of what it's like to become enlightened.
The author, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, lived
in the second half of the twentieth century.
Nothing Existed Except the Eyes of the Maharshi
N.R. Krishnamurti Aiyer
Maharshi's gaze ignited a college professor's Kundalini
and caused his heart center to open. Nine years later,
his mind subsided permanently.
Depression Helped Me Break Through
By Jim Dreaver
Dreaver, a student of Jean Klein's Advaitan teachings,
describes how an episode of depression led to his self-realization.
Ramana's I-I Feels Like
of Ramana's devotees describes what it felt like to
experience the Self for the first time.
When Kundalini Breaks
the Last Block
activity made the author happy and healthy for over
a year -- until the night it broke through the last
block and entered his head, causing a devastating neurological
Gradualism: Journal of Awakening
is the best long account we've ever read of what it's
like to become enlightened. Impatient readers might
want to start with Chapter 5. The author is alive and
well in California.
short account of awakening. The author is alive and
well in New York.
Day My Kundalini Woke Up
explosion -- a perception of blinding light and thundering
noise entering the head from the lower body -- is one
of the most dramatic experiences in Yoga. One of our
contributing editors describes in detail how he deliberately
provoked this experience and what it felt like. The
event left him in an elevated spiritual state for three
days, and he concludes (without making any special claims
for himself) that Yoga is a technology for turning people
into saints. This article includes a good phenomenological
description of apana.
the Ego: Does It Hurt?
macho streak in some traditions that makes them say
killing your ego is a terrifying ordeal, a kind of suicide.
But our editor in chief's ego is slipping away after
years of meditation, and she says it feels absolutely
great. Nothing she wants is being lost. Here she describes
what it feels like and how it affects her life, including
her relationship with her husband.
Life With a Contemporary Master
By Alan Scherr
practicing Transcendental Meditation for 25 years, this
former college professor met Master Charles, a contemporary
Western disciple of Swami Muktananda, and was plunged
into an extraordinary state of blissful awareness beyond
anything he had known before. This experience was the
catalyst for a remarkable journey of surrender; the
author soon learned he had been found by something he
hadn't searched for; and two years later he and his
family moved permanently to Virginia to live and work
with Master Charles. This autobiographical article describes
these experiences in detail.
Master Charles Met Swami Muktananda
the age of 24, Master Charles looked at a photograph
of Swami Muktananda and experienced an extraordinary
state of consciousness that brought him face to face
with the divine. In this excerpt from his autobiography,
he describes the experience.
Yoga of Three Enlightenments
to Petri Einiö, there are three different types of enlightenment:
witness-consciousness, Brahma-awareness, and awakened
kundalini. He describes in unusually concrete (and difficult)
language how he accomplished these tasks.
Krishnamurti's Meeting With Ramana Maharshi
Krishnamurti describes the impression that India's most
famous sage, Ramana Maharshi, made on him: not much.
Mystique of Enlightenment: Part One
Krishnamurti's autobiography, in which he describes
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in Insight Meditation
two months of formal training in vipassana, the author
(a professor at an Australian university) spent several
years developing a method of mindfulness meditation
that could be practiced continuously during ordinary
activities. He noticed that two mental states alternated:
either he was aware of his thoughts or he was lost in
them, and only in the latter case did they affect him
emotionally. To help himself remain in the aware state
as much as possible, he invented a technique of retracing
trains of thoughts backwards and forwards. From the
website of the Chieng Mai Dhamma Study Group in Thailand.
Experience of God-Realization
describes what it feels like to have surrendered his
ego to God. A wonderfully straightforward, plainspoken
account.. From Noumenon.
Remarks on Enlightenment: for Douglas Harding
description of enlightenment with particular emphasis
on what it feels like to lose the self. Extremely clear.
Experience of Cosmic Consciousness
sober and precise account of an uninvited experience
of cosmic consciousness. As the author, a 38-year-old
doctor, watched a sunset, his mood became ecstatic,
the world became for him an undifferentiated field of
light, and time seemed to stop. He merged into the light
and felt an absolute ineffable oneness and knowingness.
After this experience his life changed. From the website
of one person's experience with Theravada mindfulness-of-breathing
and loving-kindness meditations. From the website of
the Chieng Mai Dhamma Study Group in Thailand.
describes his experiences with vipassana meditation.
From the website of the Chieng Mai Dhamma Study Group
That Time, I Was Light: Attainment of Kundalini Yoga
meditation retreat, conducted in isolation for nine
days, culminates in an ecstatic Kundalini experience.
The meditator is subjected to sleep deprivation and
a semi-starvation diet based on a beverage that induces
vomiting. This first-person account by a young Japanese
woman is from the website of Aum Shinrikyo, the cult
that carried out numerous murders including a poison
gas massacre in the Tokyo subway in 1995. The "Master"
referred to in the article is Shoko Asahara, the cult
leader, who is now in prison. For more information about
the cult, see this interview with Robert Jay Lifton
from Tricycle here.
For more information about the sort of isolation cell
in which this retreat probably took place, see here.
For some interesting snippets about the cult, including
the fact that members were allowed to drink only the
leader's used bathwater unless they paid money to drink
his blood or semen (the semen cost $10,000 a shot),
Challenge: My Experiences With Famous Gurus
Australian seeker describes his experiences with Muktananda
and Mataji Nirmala Devi, and expresses interesting opinions
about several others.
Night: An Encounter With A Ghost Who Wants a Body
on a beach at night, a traveler meets a ghost or spirit
who wants to invade her body. Later she obtains confirming
evidence that the encounter really happened from another
person. This article is exceptionally well written.
On the website of Salon.com.
online journal that publishes first-person accounts
by scientists of transcendent (mystical,
psychic or paranormal)
experiences. Edited by Dr. Charles T. Tart. The acronym
stands for "The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent
sort of combined clearinghouse and coffeehouse for practioners
of Advaita Vedanta (Jnana Yoga) and other people who
are drawn to a nondual perspective. Numerous links of
various kinds. Two especially interesting features are
a list of 200 "confessors" and an excellent
(extraordinary, really) mailing list whose participants
include several of the confessors. It's our impression
that this list has more realized participants than any
other list or electronic forum we've found. The list
is very friendly and beginners feel welcome.