After completing the Landmark Forum in 2003, I found myself in state of bliss that lasted for five days. I thought that I had finally achieved enlightenment. I experienced my mind being very quiet and the world around me to be a very kind, peaceful place.
For several weeks prior I had been suffering from a miserable state of depression. I had just gone through my second divorce six months earlier. I was out of money and living in my parents’ home. My life was not working. One evening I was visiting with Carol, my then former wife, and describing the unsettling condition I was in when she asked me why I hadn’t gotten some help. My response was, “I don’t know where to go for help. I need someone better at facilitating than I am.”
She had just registered to attend the Landmark Forum, mentioning that she was told that the Landmark Forum leaders where the best facilitators on the planet, and invited me to attend with her. The Forum began in four days. I accepted and the Forum experience transformed me.
My peak experience came after the third day of the forum. I was in a state of inquiry about my response to failure. After several moments of looking, I realized that what I did was quit, whether it was about work, my marriage, church, etc. I saw the pattern in every area of my life. That wasn’t what lit me up though. I lit up when I realized that after I had quit, I would pretend that I hadn’t quit. As this realization dawned on me, I began to laugh and laugh as each area of my pretense was revealed to me. This laughter accompanied an internal vibration that rose to a very high octave inside of me. A feeling of peace and bliss filled me. I experienced great joy that stayed with me. It was there when I went to sleep, and was still there when I woke up the next morning. This deeply present experience continued throughout the next few days. My mind was clear of chatter and filled with insights. For example, while I was at A Course in Miracles study group a few days later, I experienced getting the material at an enlightened, core level unlike previous classes.
For five days I had a peek into Heaven.
Here is the message. There is Heaven on earth, I’ve experienced it. And even though I tried to recreate the experience, it is clear that my experience was a state of Grace and there is no formula for recreating it. My experience of Grace was not something I had earned; rather it was a gift from spirit. When the experience left me, I literally felt like I was falling and with a thud, found myself back into the world I had previously known.
It appears that I could not sustain that level because I didn’t have mastery of it. I have work to complete at the level I am at. I experienced what was possible though.
Some of the tools for mastery that I am working with are: Integrity – honoring my word; completing the past by cleaning up the mess I made with the people in it; inquiring into my stressful thinking and undoing my limiting beliefs; and living life being fully responsible.
I live inside a promise for the world now. I promise to bring joy to each moment, be present, live life full-out, experience the talents of others with gratitude, and celebrate Heaven on earth – NOW!