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A Life Changing Dream

Some years ago I had a dream that touched me and in a way empowered me to follow through with the journey/transition that was taking place in my life.

In the dream I was in India (although in the waking state I’ve never been to India). I’m standing in front of a large cave. I walk inside and I see my teacher Sahajananda (of Hridaya Yoga) sitting on a large rock, wearing all white.

He’s talking, but the words coming out of his mouth were completely unintelligible. He pointed to his left, directing my attention deeper into the cave. There is a small pool of water, fed by a gentle trickle running down over some of the rocks. I think ‘I could live here’, ‘there is fresh water, what else could I need?’. Then I noticed, just to the side of the pool a very young Ramana Maharshi, younger than me. (I was around 28/29 at the time.)

I look at the young Ramana, just sitting, eyes open, utterly motionless. It seems like he’s looking into another dimension and doesn’t register my presence at all. The dream becomes incredibly psychedelic and I become aware of my physical body in the bed asleep while simultaneously aware of the dream scene unfolding. My heart is pounding.

A powerful, nearly overwhelming sense of awe comes over me. I’m blown away by the intensity of the recognition that there are really human beings in this world that literally fall so deeply in love with ‘truth’ that they could willingly let go of everything, their lives, their dreams and everything else, just to pursue that glimmer of truth. This insight is literally breathtaking.

Tears come to my eyes, both in the dream and physically in my bed. The energy and psychedelic quality of the scene increase to such an extent that I eventually wake up.

I’m now laying in my bed, still trying to catch my breath, my mind spiraling trying to make sense of this crazy dream.

Ramana Maharshi age 21 sitting on a rock in a cave
The Earliest Photo of Ramana Maharshi - Age 21
Hridaya Yoga founder, Sahajananda
Hridaya Yoga founder, Sahajananda

Trust the Truth of Your Own Experience

Later, a deeper layer of significance of the dream revealed itself.

I was contemplating the incredible certainty and unquestioning resolve that I had felt radiating from the dream image of Ramana Maharshi. A level of intensity of focus and purpose I had tried to understand and to cultivate many times, but had never been successful.

Then I understood. Ramana Maharshi didn’t cultivate that capacity. He simply trusted himself. It wasn’t will power, but an unwavering faith in whatever it was that he had come to know within his own being.

I believe this dream was a kind of empowerment. A message from deep within my being to stop trying to follow someone else, to stop trying to copy my teacher or be like him, and instead to take the hero’s path. The path of trusting unconditionally in the unfolding of my own experience.

If you are unfamiliar with his story, allow me to resume the pertinent thread in a nutshell.

Ramana Maharshi in Brief

At 16 years old this boy had a sudden insight into the nature of his being. (triggered by the fear of death, and totally un prompted by any kind of prior spiritual practice or training). After that moment he left his family, school etc. and went to a sacred mountain, where he would live for the rest of his life.

He spent 10 years in totally silence, absorbed in deep meditation. He didn’t even feed himself. He himself later said that if other renunciates that lived and practised in the area had not force fed him, his body would have died.

All of this came without being told, or guided by a teacher, friend or any other kind of human example. This conviction was born in him through direct experience, and he trusted it so completely that he seems to have effortlessly dedicated his entire life to that truth until his physical existence became a perfect mirror of that reality, shining in this world. Even Carl Jung met him and said of Ramana Maharshi that he was like a white dot on a white page.

The Fruits of trusting Yourself

I listened. This dream came right at the beginning of a several year process of stepping away from the community that had been the central, and sole focus of my life for the last 7 years.

It was a long and painful process of stepping out of something that had been at once an incredible source of support, inspiration and guidance, and simultaneously a comfort zone that I had become identified with. Ignoring the calling in my heart to find my own way, I had come to take my place in this community for granted. 

It became clear to me that there was no longer room for growth in such a situation. I knew that I had to leave, to find my own feet, to figure out my own next steps.

This dream served as a kind of inspirational kick in the ass from my life. It gave me the impetus to jump. There was a longing or a yearning to find ways to express and share the beauty and depth that I had discovered through my own practice.

This way a truly terrifying process, riddled with self doubt, fear of the future, shame for the unhealthy patterns that had developed in the previous circumstances. It took many years to find my own way.

But here we are, at the launch of a new project. The fruits of many years of seeking, practising, often feeling quite lost and confused but never quite able to turn away from the fire in the heart. Even when I wanted to.


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