My name is Shan,
I'm not a sage (not yet), not a saint either (thanks God). I am closer to a neo-mystic 'in a making'. Although, do we ever stop evolving? When I mention the word "mystic", what I mean by that is that I'm a lover of the Divine. It is my innermost passion since I'm a child, and this passion hasn't stopped growing since then, taking me through all kind of life paths and experiences. I don't belong to any religions, nor any spiritual movement. However, non-duality (or Advaita Vedanta) is what describes with the most accuracy, where I "stand" in this existential groundless ground.
I was born in a family of multiple origins (Switzerland, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Tunisia), which allowed me to discover the unity of the Self beyond our national identities. Being bisexual has given me the opportunity to enjoy the unity of 'beingness' beyond our gender identities. Having several other names (sannyas, civilian), has helped me to realise the nameless nature of Existence, beyond and prior to any self-identity. This recognition of Unity has therefore been experienced through a variety of ways, though not as significantly as one event that occurred years ago...
At the age of 29, in late 2002, by a graceful cosmic accident, I was given the amazing chance to discover who I truly am: That. That which was never born, and will never die. The infinite silent presence of Love & Consciousness. The Nothingness and the Absolute. In fact, no words can even get closer to this Truth. Only silence does. Words, as Zhuang Zhou used to say, are only fingers pointing to the moon. This awakening, this "good look at the Truth" as Samarpan used to tell me, happened right after a mystical experience, in the presence of one of my dearest friends, Viviane, my 'shaman' friend - or rather, 'our cosmic nurse', as my friends and I love to affectionately call her as a significant amount of people have awakened in her presence. During a Sunyata practice that she gave me this very day, moved by her gentle touch, guided by her soft words, I suddenly saw myself floating in the infinite space, gently carried by the hands of the Divine Universe (I can't describe it in a better way). At that moment, I could see that I was the Space, I was the Stars, I was Everything. After opening my eyes, it took only a few sentences to my friend to help me integrate this now then unavoidable reality: the Truth of who I Am. My ego tried to resist a bit longer, but intuitively knowing that the battle was already lost, I sat down in silence, aware that this was the only answer left: silence. This. This. Yet and again, This. No need to do anything anymore, nowhere to go. Just [...] !
The merging of Here and Now, dissolving in the Silence of the Heart.
After two weeks of Nirvana: the fall. Back to the "limited" reality of our daily life. A painful fall. Very painful... Years of struggle followed, with a constant dance between this limited self and the unlimited Source. Misunderstandings, confusion, depressive states, suffering occurred, almost constantly. The dark night of the soul. Feeling abandoned by the Divine, I cursed 'It' and begged once the Existence to take my life away, as I felt that this life was totally pointless. Unless....unless I could soon be given the meaning of it... The perception of time through our mind is incomparable with the Absolute, within which no time exists. Identified with my egotic mind, my patience was challenged. I moved through life the best I could. Going back to my spiritual guides, books, and even psychotherapists.
Today, I am much more at peace with this journey. A deeper integration and realisation of this Truth is actually slowly, subtly, taking place. I live an 'ordinary' life. After having spent three years in Scotland to undertake a PhD, I now spend most of my time in Slovenia, from where I'm writing my thesis.
In the meantime, I enjoy expressing the sound of silence on my Dilruba.
In silence of course.....the Silence of the Heart.