As I travel this path with an open mind and open heart I have been blessed with a multitude of transcendent experiences. Many of which have taught me how to live beyond the limited understanding of my localized awareness and earthy Taurean logic, which was once so fixed to this physical realm that I could not see the forest for the trees. And with this last journey into the sensory deprivation tank at The Float Lounge, I realized once again that all must be surrendered, for nothing is really ours but rather temporarily on loan to us from the Infinite Creator.
With each breath I took I delved deeper into timeless dimensions and was faced with my remaining attachments - one by one they materialized in my mind's eye and I had the choice to hold on or to let go. I knew with all my heart that I would only become more free in letting go and so I faced the pain and fear that my ego stirred up, and surrendered everyone and everything that I hold dear. I cried as I let go, even though I've let go of so much already, for the truth is letting go of attachments is as painful as it is liberating.
Yet, the truth remains that this sweet surrender cannot be forced, it must be as natural as the changing of seasons and as graceful as cherry blossoms falling from the branch. If we try to force ourselves to let go before we are ready then another attachment will simply take the place of the last, and even if the outer form is different, it is yet another person, place, or thing that we will have to trust God enough to let go. Eventually, we will learn that letting go is just as much a part of life as it is a part of death, and it is in this continual letting go that we will discover the truth of who and what we are.
After letting go of everything and everyone, including my self, I felt so free and boundless! I decided to start a meditation to tune into the Heart of Jesus. The mantra for this meditation consists of repeating the mantra, "There is no me, there is only Jesus," from within our spiritual heart until our sense of self dissolves in the Infinite Ocean of Consciousness we call Jesus.
I was proceeding with the meditation as I normally do, but after some time I didn't merge nor did I receive any response, so I figured that I should attempt to work with another teacher. I tried the meditation with a few others and could not connect with any of the Divine teachers until I tried Don Juan Matus. You may have read about him in Carlos Castaneda's books in which he documented his apprenticeship with the wise old Yaqui Indian Sage.
Although I've felt a great sense of wonder and appreciation for Juan Matus through Carlos Castaneda's books, I never tried to connect with him in this manner. I always had the hunch that he may have had something to do with the old copy of 'The Teachings of Don Juan' appearing on a book shelf in my house, because of the manner in which I discovered it and no one knowing where it had come from. This book started my path into the Toltec teachings and changed my conception of who I am and what the purpose of my life is.
My interaction with Juan Matus was deeply personal and would be of no real benefit to you save for satisfying your curiosity, so I feel that it's right for me to keep it to myself. However, I am called to share a conversation my spiritual teacher Vladimir Antonov (http://swami-center.org) had with Juan Matus which may be of benefit to all of you spiritual warrior's out there. However, please note that it would be helpful to have read some of Carlos Castaneda's books for context.
“Many people on the Earth, who become involved in religion superficially, believe that their ‘religious duty’ is to weep.
“Yet, spiritual warriors neither weep, nor complain, nor pity themselves. They see their own defects and — without stopping to fight — get rid of them once and for all!
“When we are concerned only with seeking our defects and grieving about our imperfections — we miss the opportunity to perform a really serious work on helping people and developing ourselves.
“We have to be able to take our attention off the personal ‘I’ — and to look at the One Whom we love! We have to learn to live and to act by His example and follow His precepts!
“We have to ask Him to help us to understand our mistakes and to reform — yet, we should keep in mind that the success depends, first of all, on our own efforts.
“And the main thing — we have to change our attitude towards events which look unfavorable to us. We have to learn to regard them from His standpoint, i.e. from the standpoint of the Evolution of the Universal Consciousness and spiritual growth of individual consciousnesses on the Path to Him.
“… Do you know, for example, how to master the art of perfect control over matter? It is very simple! One has to learn to laugh!
“I like to laugh! Do you want Me to tell you about the laugh of Nagual?
“Spiritual warriors from the very beginning must learn the laugh of Nagual: they laugh at their own vices and thus make them burst like soap-bubbles — vices burst together with the inflated feeling of self-importance!
“Many people believe that it is weapons that make man strong. This is wrong! It is laugh that makes man strong! The laugh of Nagual turns the envelope of the ‘I’ into nothing. The only thing one has to add is calm and love — and then… There is only infinite, flowing, free consciousness…
“Search for personal power is just a hook, a trick which the One Power*(God) uses for ‘catching’ and teaching them who do not hear when they are told about Love… or Tenderness…
“If they do not learn this from the Power, they are not going to progress…
“There is the following law: the Power does not belong to anyone, only you can belong to the Power.
“The Power just is, and It is the Power of Love.
“When you gain Freedom, you just merge with It into One… Your desires and the desire of the Power become the same, your choice and the choice of the Power become identical…
“They who try… to ‘command’ the Power fall into Its trap. The Power catches them by this desire, and they become Its tool, even without knowing about this. They live as the blind, stricken by the feeling of self-importance, and may never become sighted.
“And the process of growing coarse power can become irreversible like a cancer process…
“… On the other hand, the ability of laughing at one’s own vices, making fun of them is the first step to the real mergence with the Power!
“They who have learned to laugh so that their vices, which they laugh at, cease to exist — they are about to perform great deeds!
“The spiritual warrior can laugh only at oneself and never makes fun of other people!
“From the state of union with the Truth, the warrior looks at his or her own imperfections and laughs at them! And when there remains nothing of them — the warrior becomes Everything, becomes a true Nagual, the warrior’s laugh unites with the joy of Beingness, with the Freedom and Power!
“Then the warrior gains the ability to affect the particles of the Great Whole, removing everything that prevents the joy of beingness, prevents the Radiant Light of the Power from becoming manifested in others — in those who entrusted this warrior to be their leader, their Nagual on the Path to the Freedom.
“See how beautiful the laugh of Nagual is: it heals souls, ridding them of burden and pain, it makes them capable of flying into the unknown…
“Do you understand now the basics of the art of perfect control over matter?
“When you have mastered this, I will tell you further… And do not forget to put on My hat*(“To put on the hat of don Juan” is one of the powerful meditations given to us by Juan Matus.): this can help.
“… Impeccable acting of the spiritual warrior in interaction with the Power fills the warrior’s life with special acuteness and silent passion.
“And the life of Nagual becomes a manifestation of the action of the Power.
“One can learn wisdom in universities — and this is good. Yet, one can and should learn the higher Wisdom interacting with the Power. When you seek solutions for the Nagual’s party, when you find methods for teaching the students — you gain Wisdom.
“Genaro and I are Those Who live and act, and not just speak about this. We have always lived and live now a life filled to the brim with the state of impeccable Love and Power.
“Feel this state of Nagual’s life in the moment of ‘now’, feel that the Power of God fills every moment, everything:
“… This burning campfire…
“… The quietness of the forest…
“… Earth under your body…
“… This place of power, which allows one to cognize the living consciousness of the Earth… and further, deeper… even deeper…, where there is only Great Love and Power of the Creator!
“… This cannot be conveyed to others by means of words. This has to be ‘tasted’: as one bites off, chews, and swallows a piece of bread — only then you can know it.
“Such is the spiritual Path: if you have chosen it — walk it! Then every moment of life in interaction with the Power becomes an invaluable experience for the soul.
“In the life of true spiritual warriors there are no holes, they never feel bored, cannot be depressed by past failures or worries about the future. The spiritual warrior has only life to live and lives it to the end with maximal efficiency, with full awareness of the Goal, with full responsibility for his or her own decisions! And then the Power fills this life to the brim…
“You can be the Hands of God if you do not separate yourselves from the Ocean of the Creator. It is the Ocean of Love-Power that pervades your bodies and cocoons and manifests Itself through them. We called it — kindling of all emanations of the cocoon, aligning their energies to the subtlety of the Primordial Plane.”
Wow! What a powerful teaching from Juan Matus! I am so grateful for His Being and hope that you all seek to connect to him through Carlos Castaneda's books about him and the teachings of Vladimir Antonov who has been working with him in the spiritual realm for many years now.
That said I wish to remind everyone that the pain and fear which often accompanies letting go is part of the process and we would do best not to resist it when we are faced with it, otherwise we just make the process more difficult for ourselves. Sensory deprivation tanks can be used as a tool to learn to let go for those who wish to have the optimal conditions for simulating this process. Wishing everyone reading these words the faith and courage to let go and let God.