roma-hammel-radical-transparency

Radical Transparency

For decades, I had been blessed, very blessed, by spontaneous blissful experiences of unbounded consciousness — where everything is oneness . . . vastness . . . emptiness. But still — oscillations occurred — between the spaciousness of unity consciousness and the density of my ordinary consciousness. Far too frequently I experienced an anxious division within myself and a sense of separation between myself and others.

I remembered being shocked at the end of a beautiful Zen retreat. In an intimate moment, the revered teacher’s most devout students collectively voiced the same aspiration – to no longer experience a sense of separation between themselves and others. If these students who had devoted thirty years to their practice had not yet attained nonduality, then what hope was there for me?

Then on a clear crisp December Sunday morning, my perceptions shifted. That felt-sense of a separation vanished. I was at Esalen for an amazing week-end workshop with New York-based psychotherapist and spiritual teacher Judith Blackstone. She led us through a series of gentle precise exercises, teaching us to attune our bodies to fundamental consciousness, also known as nonduality, pure consciousness, Brahman, Buddha-nature.

That sunny Sunday morning amid the wild aliveness of Esalen, we walked through lush green gardens overlooking the crashing grey-blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly I experienced a spaciousness different from anything else I’d ever experienced. Yet it wasn’t an experience, it was space. Space pervaded my body and also the entire environment. The space inside and outside my body was the same continuous transparent space. I was space. It felt like coming home.

This realization – this radical transparency – has never left me. This subtle, unified, luminous spaciousness is still my ongoing moment-to-moment experience of life. Deepening the embodiment of this realization is my life’s work.

Come meditate with me.
Feel vibrantly present and radiantly alive.
Let us attune to awareness, emotion and sensation.
Let us integrate breath, emotion and consciousness.
Let us perceive more subtly.

Come meditate with me.
Realize the stillness of transparent luminous space.

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Hebrew Sabbath Prayer
Days pass and the years vanish
and we walk sightless among miracles.
God, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing;
let there be moments when Your Presence,
like lightning, illumines the darkness in which we walk.
Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns unconsumed.
And we, clay touched by God,
will reach out for holiness and exclaim in wonder:
“How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it!”
— Chaim Stern