Most of us who have been on a path of spiritual growth have had a “peak spiritual experience” along our journey. What does this mean? How do we remember and integrate an extraordinary spiritual experience into our ordinary life? One of the key elements of a peak spiritual experience is an exaggerated sense of timelessness. This different awareness of time brings one more fully into the present moment. Living in the present moment intensifies and enhances the sensory world. Colors are brighter, sounds are clearer and the body is awake! As the physical senses come alive, feelings of wonder and love also intensify, and there is a palpable sense of “other worldliness” that envelops the soul. In addition, there is a sense of being connected and part of a greater whole. Some call this connected feeling God, universal consciousness or the infinite all. These experiences of the divine can be gateways that invite us to alter the way we live, allowing the mystical realms to infuse the ordinary aspects of life.
Years ago, I practiced fire-walking to help me blow through some fears I had about bringing my psychic work out into the world. In the dark of the starry night, in a field near some redwood trees, a fire taller than myself burned fiercely, surrounded by a group of twenty people deep in meditation. As the huge logs burned and then crashed down, the hot burning coals were carefully raked into a long bed. It was time to walk! I wanted to go first so I wouldn’t change my mind. I remember feeling as though I was being carried lightly over the 1200 degree coals by an invisible force of love. The coals were warm, like a hot pavement, but no worse than that. When I reached the other side of the 12 foot coal bed, I danced with joy and said, “If I can do this, then I can do anything!” My feet were unscathed by the hot coals. While fire-walking, I felt more alive than ever before and my belief in the power of mind over matter was strengthened. This experience enlarged my faith and translated into the courage I needed to enlarge my business life.
It is unrealistic, however, for me to think that I can live every moment of my life with that sparkling enthusiasm and faith in the invisible force of love that I felt that starry night. I admit at times, fears come up and I yearn to feel as deeply trusting and radiantly alive as I did when I completed that fire-walk. Mystical, spiritual experiences leave a very deep imprint on our minds, hearts and bodies. When they are complete, our human frailties remain, along with the daily duties we have to face as we live our lives. To integrate the feeling of divine connection the mystical experience brings, we must surrender to the now. For it is in fully living in the present moment that the spirit of life and love can be truly felt. We breathe deeply into this body, into this breath, and we reconnect with our essence. Then we can move forward and carry the memory of the miracle as a golden jewel kept sacred in our hearts for strength, courage and faith when we need it most. We stay open to the presence of spirit in both the ordinary and the mystical, and time expands into eternal space.