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Spiritual Path

Pieter Schoonheim Samara

cont - pg2

The Spiritual Path Of Rijk Pieter Schoonheim Samara is continued on this page.

The sky was crystal blue, the air crisp and fresh. I remember I had sneakers, maybe Keds, and a rabbit skin jacket against the cold. About half an hour later over the horizon of the distant mountains appeared a sole small black cloud that gradually made its way over the valley towards where I was standing.

As it passed overhead it began to snow, heavily, so that within moments I was entirely caked with snow at my feet, on my head and shoulders, and the cloud disappeared over the mountain range not far behind from where I stood.

Almost immediately after a long funeral procession of black limousines and cars passed by where I stood, slowing as they passed with all the passengers gawking at me from their windows in apparent astonishment at seeing a lone figure on the road caked with snow, where there had not been a snow fall in weeks. Then at the end of the procession, was a green car with the stenciled writing on the side "US Government Department of Agriculture."

The car stopped and the driver rolled down his window, and asked if I wanted a ride. I said I did and got into the car, brushing off the snow before I got in, and telling him about the bizarre story of the cloud. In those days, nothing surprised me. It was all a kind of a bliss in which the whole world seems to cooperate with the path you were on.

Then he asked me where I was going, and I told him that someplace up ahead was a turn off to the farm of Tom and Lisa Law. As it turned out, he was going to the same place to meet with Lisa, so that whole 10 mile trek up the dirt road off the highway to their place in the mountains was avoided.

When I got to the farm, Lisa showed me some yoga exercises I hadn't seen, such as cat cow and a couple of others. I told her about my experiences, and she said I should really discuss them with Tom, and that he was coming back to Espanola that afternoon.

So, I was again back at the Ashram in Espanola and met Tom Law. After again describing the experiences I was having, he told me that the only person that could really guide me was his teacher, Yogi Bhajan, who was a Master of Kundalini Yoga, and who had direct experience and knowledge of all these kinds of experiences.

So the next morning I was off to LA, and by 7 pm, I found myself on Melrose Avenue, and just before me was the Yoga Center of Yogi Bhajan. I went in and the class was just about to start. Moments later Yogi Bhajan came out and the class started abruptly. It was a class in which Yogi Bhajan gave a Kriya in which at the end we were to experience ourselves diving into the cosmos, and amazingly mind and body vanished altogether and I found myself diving through space with the stars and planets in and around me. Every class was like that, other-worldly.

After the class, I went up to Yogi Bhajan and asked if I could talk about some of the experiences that had happened to me so that he could tell me what to do next. I told him what practice I was doing, and the various experiences, in particular the experience going to sleep at night.

He explained that everyone has this experience when they go to sleep, they're just not aware of it. He said that yogis call it "nerve vacuum" and that as we fall asleep we get sucked back into our source, and loosing the sense of separateness merge with the Self of the Infinite.

He then explained that, while this is an interesting experience these have nothing to do with the experience of Kundalini, in which these and many other experiences occur while wide awake wherein the voltage of the body can increase a thousand times.

When we reached his home, he instructed me in several kriyas that he had me do. Then he told me that if I practiced every day, within months I would have an experience of the Truth of True Being, and that in 30 years, I would not be able to imagine what that initial experience would bring.

I stayed a few more weeks, in LA taking all the classes at his Center and the other Ashrams and the homes that he went around some evenings to teach. Everyone took detained notes, a notebook next to every student in class, and often mimeographed sets were distributed after the class. Having collected a small volume of sets and kriyas, I left LA.

Over the summer, I happened to be back in NH for a wedding of my stepfather's niece. The day after the wedding, I was on the beach and happened to meet my eventual fiancé, who had a summer job as Au Pair with a wealthy family. After she returned to France, I got a job loading ocean cables on ships at the Simplex plant in Portsmouth NH, and after several weeks, I was able to follow and joined her in Paris.

Shortly after, she found this house in the small village of Joncourt and I began my Sadhana in earnest that fall of 1970 with all the sets and Kriyas taught to me by Yogi Bhajan. This Sadhana, as described above, was very intense. The radiance was so pervasive in and through the body that when I looked at the sun it seemed dim. A greater and greater inner pressure developed of trying to "Break on through to the other side" (Jim Morrison's mantra of the time)

Then, on February 10th I was in Paris, where there was an English bookstore. I asked if they had a section on yoga, and was told to look in a particular corner of the store that there might still be something there. There was only one spiritual book: "Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge."

I began to read the miraculous life and the particular spiritual instruction that came out of the book as I read. It was not just the pure life of a spiritual person, but the many ways that he responded to questions about the nature of the Self.

I discovered that I had virtually stopped breathing and that my whole body radiated inwardly and outwardly with an intense radiation in the Hrdayam, the Spiritual Heart Center to the right of sternum that Yogi Bhajan calls "Ik Tar" - the One Star, where he says the Truth of the Infinite Being is realized and experienced.

I could also feel the nerve (nadi) between That Heart and the brain, and the whole brain area glowed and radiated. But I was so intent not to let the sensations distract that I kept reading on, intent to "hear" every word.

By the time we reached Dunkerque, the home of my Fiancé's parents, I had finished the book. That evening something began to happen. On the one side you hardly notice its happening because there is no reference, and that part which references is entirely in abatement. What began to happen was a sense that just below the back of the cranium the sense of "I" became severed from the thoughts and images of the mind and sensations of the body.

When I awoke up the next morning, my 23rd birthday, I did my usual Kundalini Yoga set, but shortly after this same experience came up again, and remained for most of the day. Then the next day it was the same, even through the fiancé's party that evening of the 12th.

I even described the experience I was having to some of my fiancé's friends. Then the next morning the whole family went out for a walk on the beach. There was no longer a doer, no one to see and hear, no one to think, no mechanism of attention or focus in the mind, no body.

Thoughts would percolate up from the heart, almost like bubbles that materialize in consciousness, but there was no one thinking them. Everything happened by itself. The body was space- like, not near or far. Looking at the sun setting, I was the sun, no distance, no separation. The body had a multi colored flame rising from the base of the spine through the top of the head, while the One Star / Hrdayam radiated intensely, with the amrita nadi between the heart and crown filled with incandescent Light, the crown also in a halo of light, but no sense that these phenomenon were of interest or importance. 

Within a few days the experience subsided, but there remained a steady pulsing of "I" in the heart, through the nerve to the brain and radiance in the brain that continued, like a mantra that had entirely taken over, or as though the First and Second Commandments of the God ("I AM") given to Moses had established Itself and entirely taken over, admonishing radically not to have any images before this "I AM" and not to have this "I AM" in relation to any other thoughts (using the Name in vain), as in "Vanity of Vanity, all things are Vanity" (Ecclesiastics).

I wrote a number of people. Ram Das wrote back saying that he also was a student and to keep up. Yogi Bhajan wrote me back as well stating that he understood exactly what had happened and to go to London, where one of his teachers, Vikram Singh (former lead guitarist for the Animals, "House of the Rising Son") had a small basement ashram.

My fiancé and I packed up and went to London, where Vikram explained that he had received a letter from Yogi Bhajan that for the next several months I wasn't to speak at all, apart from a small chalk board. So all we did was do a morning Sadhana, come to his Kundalini Yoga classes, and the Sikh Gurdwara to chant shabads.

After this I went off on my own again, started to teach Kundalini Yoga in New Hampshire, and eventually went into various entrepreneurial businesses like my grandfather, who had started me in Yoga back when I was 11, who was always telling me to be still and listen. Later I taught Kundalini Yoga in Paris, and Belgium and the Netherlands, and though my business involvements resulted in more and more travel I kept up my 2 to 3 hour daily Sadhana.

Due to the constant traveling my contact with 3ho over the years became less and less, with little communication from anyone in 3ho for years. Except for the occasional response to a letter or email from Yogi Bhajan, to "Always abide in the Non-Dual" I had no contact at all.

Then 6 years ago (2001), after living for 3 years in Bangkok, one of Yogi Bhajan's closest students called me that he had been told that a Kundalini Yoga student was living in Bangkok, and asked if I could arrange classes for him to teach.

Since then, that teacher, Sunder Singh Khalsa, has come to Bangkok many times for one to 3 weeks, also visiting other countries to teach. As a result of that, I also began to teach Kundalini yoga classes 4 to 5 times a week. Now there are many certified KRI teachers and teacher trainers in Bangkok and expanding steadily throughout Asia. My own classes have focused more and more on the Path of One Star Spirituality.

This is a whole approach to Kundalini Yoga oriented to bring about the experience of "hearing," "recollection" and "abiding."

This "hearing" is the key phrase one hears and reads in all Religions. When we have a daily spiritual practice, impurities are distilled, and there arises a crystallization or perfect soundless sound of the "I" pulsing as "I," wherein there are no objects only a dissolving sense of "I" – single pervasive Awareness of Being.

I could tell many other stories about Yogis and Saints that I've met, also more about Yogi Bhajan, my experiences with Yogi Bhajan and his "God Conscious" teachings, that together give some sense of what happens on a spiritual path, and what the experience could be, but that might be better for another time. What I can say is that what he promised happened, as he said it would.

Spiritual Path of Pieter Samara pg1


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