I was nine years old when my first miracle happened. It was June, and a school field trip to the zoo was about to be cancelled in light of a monsoon-like morning. The torrential rain was forecast to continue well into the next day. I’d been looking forward to this outing for weeks and, like any good Aries, wasn’t going to take this lousy weather lying down. Home for lunch, I headed to the living room, pressed my hands together, knelt down and whispered. “Dear God, please stop the rain.”
You can guess where this tale is going—as soon as I returned to the kitchen, my mother (who had been washing dishes at the sink) declared she had just witnessed a glimpse of blue sky through the window. It was still pouring hard but by the time I finished eating and returned to my class, the day had transformed into a hot sunny afternoon. And yes, the field trip was on.
Looking back, I realize I made this petition to a diety of weather management from beginner’s mind. I wasn’t raised to believe in God, but had heard from my devout grade five teacher that Jesus was a miracle worker and prayers were meant to be answered. I simply believed him. This direct and immediate response to my request for a sunny day would become the spring board for a life of questing for the miraculous. And a life of wondering why sometimes the divine seemed to be on-call for my requests and other times, missing-in-action entirely. At age nine, the mystic in me was born and along with it, the seeker.
I realize now that one of the primary drives of any spiritual seeker is to swap ordinary reality for an array of non-ordinary experiences. In my case, these looked like kundalini risings , sexual tantra and drum-induced shamanic trances. For other seekers, it can involve reality altering substances like Ayahuasca, psychedelic mushrooms and mescaline, plant medicines that open doors of perception. And then there is the whole metaphysical angle where what is sought is extraordinary phenomena, from psychic surgery to hands-on healings to reliable predictions of the future. Simply, there is a deep yearning to trade in the mundane for the numinous, to abandon the everyday for a wild ride on the mystical side.
But the catch is that the capacity to engage the miraculous, when sought from the vantage point of our separate self, often remains stubbornly unfound. Sure, we might have hit or miss moments with our Super Normal Powers (what the Hindu’s call Siddhis), but the full blossoming of these abilities perhaps requires first the emptying out of the self that would misuse them.
In waking up from the dream of being a separate self, I often used the word “emptiness” to describe the sense of being a borderless vastness. Now, it’s clear that I called it emptiness because what had spilled out was the individual mind, leaving this boundless container that one could name God, Presence or even Awareness. The name we give our true nature is not nearly as important as the recognition we are the very thing we seek—we are the miraculous. It’s not out there. It’s in here.
In the film the Matrix, there is a scene where a boy under the tutelage of the Oracle, bends a spoon without touching it, while Neo, our hero, watches.
Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
The teaching here is crystal clear: We access the miraculous when we remember our true nature is the very stuff of reality. We are the script writer, director and actor in this grand play of life. And if we want to walk on water, we simply need to know we are both the walker and the water. When this unity is apparent, then miracles become ordinary and the ordinary, miraculous.
Awareness is here, (levitating soon in a theatre near you, and most recently, talking with Christian clergy about miracles and awakening on the Way of Consciousness radio show)