Radical Gradualism

A Journal of Awakening

By Phil Servedio

Chapter 3

December 1994

IN DECEMBER, I began to feel “flatlined” based on my experiences in satsang. Surely, there were blissful feelings in those events and other times, but I felt like nothing was arising - no issues, no anything. I felt that there was some kind of shift in me, possibly in the unconscious, or something more fundamental than that. In any case, I felt a certain freedom in just living my life simply and directly, even though seeking was still active (but to a lesser degree). I was reminded of Love-Ananda’s story of visiting Muktananda’s ashram a second time, where nothing arose for him. Could this possibly be the same thing, or just a simple experience of equanimity?

A number of events began to occur in and out of satsang. One seemed, on one level, to be particularly disturbing. At certain times, when the intensity of shakti seemed almost crushing, an irrational fear began to arise, like I was going to die. I noticed it and it wasn’t a completely overwhelming feeling, but I did feel the strong urge to bolt out of the room through the nearest wall, no matter how thick it was. Another more frequent event was a feeling of utter vulnerability, as if I had no walls, no boundaries. It felt frightening to feel so unguarded and subject to whatever. I wondered if women feel this vulnerable all the time or some of the time.

In late December I had the following dream:

I am driving on a road in the wilderness next to a vast canyon on my right in the twilight. It seemed that I was supposed to go over the bridge on my right which spans the canyon, but I keep on driving. As I drive on, I see an animal in the shoulder on my side of the road. I approach, stop the car and look at the animal. It is a coyote who has captured a small animal in its mouth, such as a squirrel or chipmunk. The coyote turns around, walks across the road and goes into the grassland. The scene shifts where I am in the grassland on the path with the coyote approaching me. As it walks towards me, it transforms into a female Bengal tiger, with the creature in its mouth. Sitting near me is a huge male Bengal tiger sitting on all fours. The female offers the the male the creature, with a host of other animals watching. The male tiger eats the creature, then gets up and walks towards me. As it gets near me, it goes to my right and transforms itself into a large man, who reminded me a bit of a friend, Michael H. He is also large and I know that though he appears human, he is really a ferocious tiger who could hurt or kill me. But he simply asks me to follow him along in some exercises and I am relieved.

I told this dream to Saniel, who told me that it was similar in content to a very big dream that he had previously, where he had contact with four humongous Siberian tigers on four corners. It is clearly a dream about transformation and integration of some very powerful energies into consciousness, and was a source of inspiration for me.

Text copyright © 1995 Phil Servedio. Used by permission.

When we published this journal in 2000, Phil Servedio was 45 years old, worked as a software engineer, and lived in California with his wife Annie.

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This page was published on February 22, 2000 and last revised on September 3, 2019.


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