Around 2004 I was living over a bike shop where I was fabricating gates and railings in workshops in the back yard. I had just sprayed a large gate with xylene based paint, and had a very chaotic busy mind as I was suffering under the toxic fumes.
I went up to my flat and decided to sit. I had to stop this rattling madness in my head.
Learning to Meditate with the FWBO
I had been learning how to follow the breath in meditation at the local Buddhist Centre. Back then, it was known as the Friends of the Western Bhuddist Order (FWBO), founded by Sangharakshita. I believe it has since changed its name.
There, an ordained Buddhist teacher by the name of Vadanya, and leader of our Mitra group, gave instruction on how to meditate in this manner, coupled with counting the breath. And boy did I really have to count loads until my mind had settled.
I can’t remember why or how but I started to have a visualisation of my breath moving around a circle. It was rather like having a hoola hoop that went over my head, down front of body, between the legs and up the spine.
Probably after about 40 or 50 minutes the manic clouds of thoughts had cleared and I was just, kinda, hanging there. To begin with I was just hanging there at the end of an out breath, and then at the peak of an in breath.
Then, like a batholith of magma below the surface of something, a large bubble of white energy or light, started to arise – from somewhere. There were physical sensations too, like a bubbling of champagne in my groin. The first time it happened, it was quite fleeting, but long enough for me to think – oh my God! What the f*k was that!
Now, I’ll just fast forward a few meditations, cos obviously I wanted to make this happen again, even though this desire be the same as a moth on a kamikaze with an infinity watt light bulb.
Samadhi – The Stream Enterer
Over time I was able to sustain this experience of Samadhi a little longer (Sam=With, Adhi=Light), and each time there was a sense of awe and fright all in one go. Awe, since this is what was written about in the books and seemed to be just a pipe dream and felt really good, and fright because it was like tapping into something that could easily totally overwhelm me in an instant.
It was one or two years later in September of 2005, that I met with my Guru, Swami Satchidanand of Brazil.