During my year in India, I ignorantly approached my desire for spiritual awakening with the fervour of an ambitious young architect. As a consequence, I blew open my psychic field and was challenged to find the balanced link (or yoga) between spirit and matter.
Nine months of intense burning fevers and long periods of spiritual bliss fuelled by intensive sadhana (spiritual practice) awoke subtle energies and connected me to “otherness”. A neophyte along the path, I thought spirit and matter were separate. I wanted to meet God. And to me, God was “out there”. I had been inadvertently telling my body that I no longer needed it, so off I went, higher and higher until a near death experience forced me back.
The fever that I had when I landed on Indian soil grew into an array of physical challenges. That, coupled with the intensity of my spiritual practices, culminated in an experience that changed everything. While traveling in the desert in Rajasthan, I collapsed and was brought by an inn-keeper on the back of his motorcycle to a hospital due to high fevers. Bedridden in the hospital, I had the classic NDE (near-death experience), traveling down the tunnel of light that led “to the other side”. At the end of the tunnel of light, I was greeted by a group of beings who welcomed me to travel over. I remember vividly what happened next. As I went to merge with them, a voice I can only describe as the voice from the root of my soul said: “I want to live!”
Within every ounce of my being, a total redirection occurred. At that moment I very quickly found myself falling down that tube of light, landing into my body and waking up in a hospital bed unsure how I had gotten there. I had no idea whether I had been at the hospital for a day, a week or a month.
As I have shared in the past, I was a child sensitive to “otherness”, skills I suppressed through high school and university. Well, our puny willpower is no match for the force of nature or the evolution of the soul. My natural gifts were now roaring with a vengeance. What followed was a period of extreme bliss and fierce psychic skills housed in a weakened body. Though my spiritual self had never been stronger, I needed to learn to befriend and heal the neglected body. Standing tall at 5’9″, I was then barely 105 pounds. I had lost nearly 20 pounds over the year.
My year in India ended after I had an intense dream and gut sense that something was wrong at home. Following my instincts, I began the long journey towards my flight back. It took me almost a week to travel from the middle of the Rajasthani desert in northwest India to the southeastern city of Madras, where I would catch the plane back to Toronto.
Suddenly back in the West, I felt as though I had been catapulted from the Middle Ages right into the heart of the twenty-first century, in the space of a few hours on a trans-global flight. I understood that it was now my time to open to my healing. My mind had become quiet though the all-embracing year of intensive meditation practice. My yoga practice was deep, resounding in my cells. I was listening to nature and operating at a rhythm that was different from what I saw in the highways, concrete structures and speeding lights in the West. I needed to integrate the East I had found and loved with the West I was born into. Everything flowed in perfection while I was in India, so surely that same flow existed in Toronto, or wherever I would be.
Stationed temporarily in my parents’ home, I got rid of everything I could and slept on the floor. I meditated for hours every day and thought only to be a dedicated spiritual practitioner, create art and sing. These habits still form the foundation of my character and daily practices today.
Continues next month with part 4
Known as the Positive Possibilities Lady, Parvati inspires magnificence through music, yoga, words and activism. An award-winning musician, Parvati brings joy and hope to top 40 radio with her celestial pop songs “I Am Light”, “Yoga in the Nightclub”, and “Shanti Om”. Founder of “YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine” and author of “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker”, Parvati has been featured on radio and television talk shows and news and wellness magazines globally. She is the founder of Parvati, a not-for profit dedicated to realizing MAPS: The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary to help stop global warming. More about MAPS, free YEM videos, self-help articles, her music and more at parvati.tv and parvati.org.