PORTALS OF PRESENCE – ZAHOR – YOGA OF VISIONS
DIVINE SIGNS AND PURE INTENTION
How to turn our life into one pure intention for Being, the Source and God’s work.
Follow the Signs.
These Signs manifest as portals, or times and places in our lives that we can use to transport ourselves deep into cosmic consciousness when we have presence.
I call them Portals of Presence.
Chapter 1, Samye, is about the vibration of dreams. When we have dreams, certain dreams resonate with us as Signs. Dreams are the first portal of presence in the book ‘Diary of a Yogi’.
The Sign Altair was given as a child, was a dream, a dream of a Tibetan monk, on the bridge of Samye Monastery.
For Altair’s mother Mary, a Maori Elder guided Mary into knowledge and wisdom that the Source wanted Mary to have about this dream, to pass it on to her son, to help him accomplish his mission here on earth.
Chapter 2, Zahor, is about the vibration of visions. When we have visions, certain visions resonate with us as Signs. Visions are the second portal of presence in the book ‘Diary of a Yogi’.
The visions and dreams Altair writes about are only to give you inspiration to follow your own visions and dreams as Signs.
The vision at Zahor was a Sign for Altair.
We all receive visions that are signs at different times in our lives.
Visions come in the form of the light and also can come in the guise of darkness, beckoning us to transform into light.
Trust your heart and your path.
Everyone of you is unique and no one path is identical to another’s.
Some of you, through life’s circumstances, being naturally very positive and light, use the light to radiate more light and reach balance.
“If your eye is single, then your whole body is full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)
Some of you, through life’s circumstances, may be very negative and heavy, and use the darkness to transform into light and reach balance.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)
Great saints and yogis suffer from feelings of isolation, abandonment, depression, fear and loss. St Ignatius, whose spiritual exercises I practiced as a child, spoke of the desolation and turmoil he felt in God’s absence. Yogananda plunged into two years of depression at his mother’s death. So we all touch times in our lives when we feel light and other times in our life when we feel darkness.
All ways lead home and all paths are by nature One.
That is the Way of the Source.
Zahor – Yoga of Visions
Over the years of visions arising spontaneously I have learned a great deal about the mystical side of presence. Gurus, Masters, Saints, Mandala deities, Christs and Buddhas, Krishnas, Divine Mothers and Bodhisattvas would appear to me and give me Signs, messages and teachings and sometimes activations or initiations into various paths. I did not go looking for them. More to the point, I surrendered into the vast Pure Light of Being and allowed the Light to enter me, praying to Divine Mother to take me where She willed. In that wisdom dance the world about me becomes a mandala and the people around me Bodhisattvas and the energies of that Circle of Light transforms the space into pure vision. Visionary experience as an expression of the Divine has manifested through many Masters, from St Anthony whom my mother Mary loved, to Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal and Princess Mandarava, whom I revere. Revelations can come in dreams as I often experienced, in deep meditation, and full blown sensory experiences where the vision is so real it fills me with rapture and bliss and I am so fully immersed that it has more reality than what we call the ‘real world’. Some visions also appear like a piece of theatre, as if a movie is playing out in front of me. Many of the visions that I recorded in Diary of a Yogi played out like that.
Just like we can train our consciousness to participate in and transform our dreams into dreams of other worlds and Source, so we can train our consciousness of vision. How we see the world and what we see is directly related to our perspective and what we believe we should be seeing. We can train our vision to see the truth, to see beyond the veil, beyond what we have been led to believe, namely that our senses perceive all there is. We can, though deep visualization training see right into the Heart of Source.
Just as dreams can be transformed by presence so can vision. When I was 10 years old I had a dream where I was drawn up into the stars, and the stars were drawn into me, as if by a huge magnet, and light burst in my heart. I was very present in that dream and I realized the same presence could occur with visions in my waking hours, that I could cultivate presence in visions and see the cosmos directly with great clarity when my mind was not engaged.
Just as we can learn to dream with presence so we can learn to see with presence. Learning to see in vision with presence requires us first to free ourselves of the mind and thinking, to liberate ourselves from the thinker, to pierce the veils of illusion by seeing the thoughts of the thinker as they arise. Watching thoughts as they come activates a whole new level of consciousness. This is why mindfulness of breath is so important. The simple act of saying “Breathing in” as you are breathing in and “Breathing out” as you are breathing out and watching for the thoughts that arise in between is a very powerful beginning act of realization. You begin to observe the thinker at work and you realize that you are not the thinker. You can see the flow of thoughts that are not you. You can observe a “me” that generates those thoughts. If you observe those thoughts very very carefully you become a witness. You become aware there is a “me” that is thinking and a presence that is watching those thoughts. This I AM Presence is beyond the mind. You may become aware of the patterns of thought that “me” creates, patterns that repeat, habitual tendencies that have no need to be in your head and in fact drain you of vital energy. If you pay very careful attention to the stream of thoughts you will notice there are tiny gaps. These tiny gaps bring stillness and silence and peace.
These gaps, when they deepen, touch our True Self, the natural states of Being and can bring true vision and deep insight.
These are not visions created by the imagination. They are pure visions from Source, nurtured and birthed by the practice of deep presence.
Just as I was able to touch the stars and have the stars touch me in dreams through presence so the magic of deep presence in visions can give rise to direct experience of cosmic consciousness such as I experienced with Yogananda and Swami Shyam. In those moments of deep silence and stillness, the mind, which usually acts as a veil to direct perception, ceases its chatter and opens the doorway to the cosmos itself. You experience the universe as your Self. The sense of identity and thought we know as “me” is surrendered into the silence and stillness and is extinguished. A vast space of presence opens up and you literally experience your body as the body of the cosmos. There is such joy in this presence that the ancients called this satchitananda pure existence pure consciousness pure bliss.
I was in a day-long mindfulness retreat when I reached a state of deep presence and stillness. The same vast vista of space expanded out beyond my peripheral vision and my mind streamed out and was extinguished within that awareness. Into that virgin space came the purest of visions, totally uninitiated by any thought of mine. I discerned a light flowing into that vast universal sight and I saw appearing in front of me, as real as if you were standing there, a young girl, glowing with light and luminescence, holding a pearl out in front of her.
“I am Long Nu, and it was I who brought the pearl to you,” she said.
An incredible joy broke out across the stillness of my mind and heart and bliss enveloped my being and swept the entire cosmos up and into that gesture of reaching out. I realized in that moment that all I needed to do was to offer the same pearl, the same gift of inner awakening, which is the true Chintamani Stone, to all Beings, wherever I roamed.
When we truly devote our attention to something fully, extraordinary powers of love are released. We know that, simply from the act of falling in love with someone. Everything is more radiant in our world and the person we are with virtually glows in our eyes. So we experience the same power of love by focusing our attention on our consciousness in the present. People accomplish great sporting feats through focusing attention on a target and when our target is the present moment, miracles that are contained in that moment are uncovered and released. When we are intensely aware of our consciousness in the present moment in meditation for example, astonishing visions and extraordinary peace can be revealed within that space of presence.
When we meditate for example we generally look or gaze at a point between the eyebrows we call the third eye area. When we begin, that space can be like looking into a dark place with our eyes closed. Various colors may manifest from time to time and images may appear as we become still and quiet.
As we develop more awareness and can hold our attention and awareness on a single point with our full attention, paying close attention to the movement of consciousness from that point, and to our breathing, our present moment awareness expands to embrace many other aspects and manifestations of that one single moment in time.
We become aware of the movement of consciousness within us through very keen and alert senses, the sound and feeling of the consciousness and the way it moves. We become aware of a silent, still and powerful presence. Into that presence comes peace.
As we continue to breathe into the stillness of that consciousness a deeper awareness develops. Because in that stillness and silence which was dark comes the light. The Light of consciousness. It is natural to us all and with stillness comes light. Light manifests as the play of God through visions and miracles, because the delight of God is for us to behold the Source. Be still and know the Light. Be still and know God. This is a literal experience, the awakening of Light, of God Within, from the practice of silence and stillness.
As St Teresa of Avila says in the Interior Castle
“To journey into the interior world within
love must already be awakened.
For love to awaken in us:
Let go … Let be … Be silent
Be still in gentle peace
Be aware of opposites,
Learn mindfulness and forgetfulness.”
Visions of God and the many manifestations of Source or Love all come from this journey into the interior world of the True Self.
PRACTICING YOGA OF VISIONS
Here is a simple yoga of visions technique to try.
The same presence you are practicing during your waking and dreaming hours, being mindful of the breath, try applying to your inner world of visions.
Meditate using some of the meditation practices I have on the website or Soundcloud or your own practice or by following Yogananda’s handbook on Kriya Yoga that is available. Try doing at least 10 minutes at morning and night.
As you go to meditate, use the conscious breath or being mindful of your breathing to help you go deeper into your inner world.
Keep a journal of visions beside you so you can note anything that occurs immediately following a vision.
Note down the vision at the end of the meditation and return to mindful breathing throughout your day.
Practice conscious presence during visions
A more advanced practice from Tibetan Buddhism
Work with the vital energies through Kriya Yoga as outlined by Yogananda and Babaji while you are meditating. Gather the vital energies into the central channel, dissolve them and allow the experience of the clear light of being to enter. Then when visions occur recognize them as visions.
If this proves challenging then cultivate a strong resolution to retain conscious awareness and presence in the meditative state. When meditating, meditate on the third eye or ajna chakra especially. Stay focused, still and present with eyes slightly uplifted and your energy and intention directed to the third eye area. Do not force the energies, surrender to the Source within you that will always be your guide and support.
Even if you are not trained you can sometimes experience a clear vision and retain awareness in it. If you concentrate strongly on a particular activity all day you may often experience it in a vision and be aware of the vision.
For example, it is most useful to meditate upon yourself as the mandala deity, so as the Christ or Guan Yin or any other deity you are attuned to as your Self and meditate also upon the guru within and practice devotion to him or her. Offer prayers that you may experience many visions, that your visions be clear and auspicious, and that you retain awareness in your visions. You can practice using the mantra syllable OM and visualize it inside the central channel at the center of the third eye or ajna chakra and hold awareness on that spot.
THE YOGA OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The penultimate visionary experience, the ultimate baptism, as received by Jesus and described by Yogananda in ‘The Yoga of Jesus’ is to be baptized by the Holy Spirit and with fire, which means to be permeated with God or the Source Presence. By contacting God Within through meditation, we bathe our consciousness in the fire of the Holy Spirit which vibrates within so we remain awake to the infinite presence. The method of contacting this cosmic vibration, the Holy Spirit, can be achieved through deep prayer and meditation techniques such as Kriya Yoga and the Tibetan Yoga of Clear Light, which Jesus was also taught in the years called the hidden years of Jesus when he traveled to learn from masters in Egypt, India and Tibet. Through the blessings of communion with the Holy Spirit, the cup of the human consciousness expands to receive the waters of the Christ Consciousness bathed in the fires of bliss, which is why it is often described as a baptism of fire. One of my experiences of the Holy Spirit was after a deep intense experience of the pure light of Being in the Kalachakra initiation with the Dalai Lama. Two weeks after the pure light manifested, tongues of fire literally descended over me as the Holy Spirit merged in the Son and Daughter, or Christ and Magdalena Consciousness, and gave realization of God the Father and Mother and the infinite presence of the Kingdom of God or Source. This gave me direct realization of the meaning of the second coming of Christ, meaning the Christ Light appeared a second time in my consciousness, bestowing indescribable bliss in Spirit through practicing this technique of contacting the Holy Spirit.
When asked on numerous occasions about the process of using Kriya Yoga in the Kalachakra Tantra to experience the Holy Spirit, I realize how unique or even foreign this may seem to some in terms of unity, drawing together the essence of Krishna, Babaji and Yogananda (Kriya Yoga), the Buddha, Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara Guan Yin (Kalachakra Tantra) and Yeshua, Mary Magdalene and John the Baptist (deep prayer and the Holy Spirit) as a God or Source experience.
The process of unfolding vision in the presence of the Holy Spirit manifested the following experiences which may be helpful and are described in the Six Yogas of Naropa. Remember this is only a humble presentation of what I personally experienced and is in no way an attempt to say this is what you should experience or to undervalue your own path or suggest you do not have these experiences already. I experienced them this way, although not always in this order, and it is always my hope that this may simply and humbly inspire your own path.
The experience can be as follows, as you surrender the physical body into the light body, the soul into Spirit. Initially you experience the element of earth, the physical body vividly as very heavy and eventually lose all ability to move. You are totally relaxed and may feel as if the body is sinking into the earth. Inwardly your vision will begin a process of manifesting Light so you may see numerous visions like a mirage. This is a sign that the earth energies in your body are dissolving into water.
As the water energies dissolve into fire you may begin to feel completely dry or void of moisture in the mouth and your visions may be like through a mist or smoky haze.
Then the fire energies dissolve into air. Your body heat may begin to drop with the heart chakra noticeably warmer, and you may see the light as orbs, points of light at the 3rd eye, or like fireflies.
The energies of air then dissolve into the universal mind. The vital energies begin to dissolve into cosmic consciousness. In Kriya Yoga practice I have found the external breath does not always result in a following inward breath, so the breath effectively stops, and I have felt another, inner breath, which I do not control, which I call the Babaji Breath. So I am no longer breathing as one normally would. At this point the inner sign is a vision of the Light as if it were a beacon of consciousness. I have experienced Guan Yin or Long Nu, as I explained, holding this lamp of consciousness out to me.
This is an experience of emptiness or the vision of appearance of Spirit where the soul experiences The Holy Spirit as a pure sky of being. The visions that occur vary from the experience of Spirit as tongues of fire or the brightest light of the sun at sunrise rising above you, and then sometimes an experience of utter night, the pure darkness, in balance, prior to emergence and rebirth and the clear Light of Spirit. This point of darkness can be very brief and instantaneous and one can lose consciousness as has happened to me. Odd siddhas or powers can occur like levitation which happened at one point unexpectedly as I was about to pass out and instead found myself moving spontaneously some inches above the ground.
Arising into Pure Spirit or the Clear Light of Being is like experiencing the Sun (Father) and Moon (Mother) awakening in Presence in your soul through the clear light consciousness or Christ consciousness. Pure consciousness, existence and bliss or satchitananda, Divine Father Mother God. Manifesting in the silence and stillness of the One Shared Heart.
You should apply yogic techniques for increasing reliability such as can you repeat the experience several times and experience it and transform it if you wish and can you meditate in the vision and retain presence and experience the clear light of being.
Love and soul blessings
NOTE : We are all exploring consciousness, existence and bliss together in the One Shared Heart. The dialogues we have here and the experiences we share are all important to our awakening so for this next week please share your visions as you experience them, if you feel guided to, and I will too.
NOTES FOR DIARY OF A YOGI
Here is a little more about the book ‘Diary of a Yogi’ by Altair Shyam.
We all want our dreams to come true.
Altair successfully made his dreams come true by following Signs from the age of two, when he had a dream of being a Tibetan monk.
You can help your own dreams come true on the path by knowing how to recognize and follow your own Signs.
When Altair met his wife Padma, they both saw three massive shooting stars, one after the other.
Padma said she felt a magnet-like destiny drawing her to that star celebration and to Altair, as if she was one of the stars, finally coming to earth.
At that point she really connected deeply to Altair and had strong faith in the true nature of their relationship.
It was Her Sign.
The book ‘Diary of a Yogi’ is like those three shooting stars.
It is a Sign.
It is woven with magic and the power of the stars within us.
It can awaken in you Signs that you will be drawn to that will help you to follow your destiny and make all your dreams come true.
In the same way as you are reading this, and resonate with it, so that resonance helps you to feel and really connect to your destiny and have strong faith in the truth of it, with the courage to follow it wherever it leads you.
Consider this. The resonance, when you feel it, is you, connecting and realizing and awakening to what is already within you.
The True Self.