Chetana is a Sanskrit word-often translated as ‘inner awakened consciousness’. In 2003 I met Chetana, the form and formless versions-really they are the same. And fortunately they are inside us, waiting to be discovered.
At the time, I was hanging around the Adyashanti Satsangs that were taking place every week in Santa Cruz. I had no idea why I was hanging out with Adyashanti (though his name does mean: primordial peace). All I knew was that a point had been reached where I wanted ‘Truth more than anything else’.
Most of the group hanging around Adya (as many called him) in those days were ‘seekers’ (seeking in this sense, an egoic movement, now had apparently ‘traded up’ into the mighty spiritual realm of great value–but it was still seeking–not unlike any other form of seeking). Adya revealed this egoic movement pattern of the so-called seeker—but most were looking for a better more, always more, well-adjusted persona. Though I was certainly a seeker then, I was not interested in a better persona. Intuitively I could feel there were ‘finders’ in the midst–those true devotees who had stopped seeking because an awakening to truth had come and showed that ‘they are what they sought’ and only the seeking had prevented them from discovering their inherent nature. These finders were there to celebrate, share the wealth, the simple beingness. They danced among the group of seekers, celebrating joyfully at the end of each satsang. An aliveness so profound, that I would stand in the circle of 50 or 60 people as they shared from a deep place of peace. I would just watch in awe. Even though these finders were spiritually awake, most and probably all of them, were still navigating the ground of partial abidance (not full abiding wakefulness –often called Liberation or Self-Realization). These finders were still letting go of aspects of doubt and fear that would bubble up to the surface, releasing all concepts and beliefs. This release allowed and nurtured a self-perpetuating depth and ever increasing sense of freedom.
It was among this crowd I found myself in the spring of 2003, having recently ended an 8-year relationship. The spiritual path I had been on was about to implode as I was grabbed by the boo-boo, so to speak.
Chetana, arrived later that Fall, the human form and the inner awakening. I was not seeking for the awakening, only for Truth and yet it came. Awakening came pouring through, not all at once but in growing waves, like a rising tide. It came gradual but also suddenly. And in my direct experience awakening to inherent oneness keeps deepening, not for you, that ‘you’ just becomes more and more distant and obsolete.
I met Chetana, the woman, at the acupuncture clinic I was working and her Rumi-esque laughter was of a quality I had never experienced. It blew the cover off of the serious guy; though a closet comedian, I had never experienced this type of laughter-real laughter. The usual form we call laughter relates to making fun of someone or something and causes a sudden shift from overwhelmed mind consumption to forgetting one’s self. Certainly this kind of laughter is a blessing and quite nice to experience. Yet, this mystical variety, what I refer to as real laughter comes from beyond the stars and under the earth and from a place so free that it captivated my entire being. I couldn’t laugh with her that afternoon and there was ample opportunity to do so –as her ecstatic parade of sound continued on for half an hour or more. All I could do then was smile in amusement. Later that night, like a time lapse movie replay, I began to feel into the place whence that laughter had come and suddenly it happened: uncontrollable laughter that lasted for 45 minutes interspersed with short silent interludes, before more laughter unleashed—over and over it went. The joy of Life was pouring out of me. Life wasn’t serious after all!
Ever since that day with Chetana, we’ve been inseparable, falling deeper and deeper into the Truth of being, And as for the human Chetana, we are no longer a ‘couple’ in the traditional sense, yet we are and always will be married in Spirit, in Truth. We never had the traditional vows: “Until death do us part.” Because there is no death; Spirit never dies. So we live that celebration each day.
The great thing is: we all have Chetana inside us and she is calling us home with a still voice that is actually quite loud if you pay attention. I invite you to meet your Self, this Chetana. And please laugh your ass off; you might actually enjoy it.