Two of the most defining events in my life both took place in Tokyo in 1985. The first was my marriage to a Japanese man with whom I would have two children and acquire the surname Urabe. The second was a date with divine destiny; meeting my Spiritual Master. Youichi and I were married in mid-November and went to the Philippines on our honeymoon. Ironically the trip was such a disaster that we returned to Japan earlier than anticipated, just in time for me to participate in a Shaktipat Intensive with an Indian Guru at the end of December.
“Shaktipat”, or “the descent of Grace”, is a mysterious process by which a Realized Master awakens the dormant Kundalini energy in a seeker. During the actual Intensive it did not appear that anything out of the ordinary had taken place. I didn’t consciously feel different and in fact, when the Master was going through the rows of participants giving the symbolic “touch” on the head to give form to the esoteric nature of what was transpiring, I was passed over! I felt her robes as she walked past me but no touch on the head. It would take me several years to understand that this, too, was a profound and deeply personal teaching.
Despite the initial sense that nothing significant had occurred I quickly began to receive what I now call “Orders From Headquarters” and the first of three pilgrimages to India was undertaken in November of 1987. One experience that quietly shook me to the core and which would remain a guiding light for me from that point forward was a vision I had during a meditation. I saw myself riding a train and as I sat and looked out the windows, I understood that on one side were things that I had previously labelled as good or desirable while on the opposite side were things I had judged to be bad or undesirable. The “pre Shaktipat” me would have easily been distracted by emotional reactions to the attachments and aversions associated with my likes and dislikes. But I instinctively knew that everything had changed in the moment of initiation and that I no longer wanted to succumb to the desire for distraction or attempt to project my pain onto any external object or circumstance.
The train was zooming past karmic impressions at such speed that I was barely able to recognize them but I did see clearly how much time and energy I used to expend jumping off the train on the whim of ego, which was just as likely to chase after pain as it was to seek pleasure. And I somehow instinctively knew that, because I had been initiated into the nature of reality by a true Master, there was now only thing required of me in order to most effortlessly reach the goal and destination of full Self Realization:
TO STAY ON THE TRAIN.