Oldriska Balouskova, 2

Interview with Oldriska Balouskova

Oldriska:

Do you mean when I first started at 14 or later on in my early 20"s or just in general?

MP:

I'd like to hear about the progression, beginning with these early years– what occurred in the way of inner landmarks up until the present. I suppose this is much to ask, so what I am wanting most is to know about the first real powerfully significant "aha" moment in your life of meditation.

Oldriska:

When I was 24, my heart opened during a shamanic journey and I was in a state that might be called awakened for about 2 months after that. Then some hard stuff came up and the opening became covered up by my "usual self" once again. This experience deepened my commitment to meditation because I felt that meditation was taking me to the "same place".

It is not so much the a-ha moments as it is the difference between the state of simply being and the state of perceiving everything through the filter of mind and thoughts that keeps me interested in meditation/awareness practices. Initially, it was the “a-ha” moments. Now it is simply too painful to be in the egoic mind for too long or too much.

When I first started meditating on a regular basis, I put too much effort into it. I tried to get somewhere. Eventually I realized that meditation is another name for simply being aware of what is– that I am already "home"– that there is nowhere to go– that the only thing "to do" is to allow myself to sink deeper into this moment now.

MP:

You say "my heart opened" and I want to get some deeper details on that experience if you don't mind– sensation, awareness, the shamanic journey that triggered it, etc. Would you mind sharing some of the details of what happened at 24?

Oldriska:

The journey itself involved a lot of shedding of old skin. For example, I realized that I was holding back who I truly am for fear of losing people close to me; and then, I let go of that fear. I just let go of a lot of fear. On my way out, the guide said to me: stay awake– and I did not quite know what she was talking about. When you are awake that label no longer matters, at least in my experience. One simply is.

During those two months, I would be with someone and without trying to do anything the person would just naturally come into a state of complete presence. The presence that was coming through me would naturally align other people as well. It was as if I suddenly became the most amazing healer but I was not doing anything at all. I was completely permeable– not driven by ego at all.

I saw the Buddha in the cashier in the supermarket and the cashier completely expressed the Buddha in herself while she interacted with me. I did not feel drawn at all to any spiritual teachers during that time because teachings would pour down on me like rain simply because I was open to them. No need for outside guidance whatsoever– I was simply and completely guided by life– there was no separation between me and life.

When I looked at paintings, I would see so much life in them– I would be moved so easily. An artist friend of mine commented to my boyfriend that I must have had a lobotomy of some sort– that I had completely lost any sense of judgment– that the worst art looks amazing to me. Yet during those two months, I also read a few pages from a friend's journal without her knowledge. I felt compelled to do so and then I felt compelled to tell her what I did. She got amazingly angry. Her anger poured down on me and all I felt was gratitude for her allowing me to see how she felt.

Interestingly, that state of openness did not prevent me from reading her journal. She later expressed gratitude for the way I received her rage. It was not "my" doing, of course. I thought this state of being was there to stay but then as suddenly as it came, as suddenly it disappeared again. As you can imagine, I spent some quite time after trying to regain the paradise lost. To know that it is possible to live like that– and then for it to go away– it was hard to be "back" in ego-land.

MP:

I am so glad you went into those details. It is inspirational. I especially like your references to how being present and alert (awake) draws others into being present. It is as if we are all ready to welcome that opportunity and just need an open heart to come along. Can I assume that you are now in a similar space (in terms of being open) that you were during those two months? Also, have you had the opposite occur where your presence posed a threat, repelling someone who was not ready to meet you there?

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