As I sit by the fire sipping red wine and watching the sun set behind clouds that are obscuring the full moon, I am reminded of what has become a very important lesson I received as a teenager.

I have many friends who are life coaches, motivational speakers, Tony Robbins fans etc who are into what I think of as the “Push Mindset.” Simply put, they are constantly pushing themselves, pushing their bodies, pushing their lives…and aren’t happy unless they are pushing. Some of them even enjoy screaming motivational lines to themselves as inspiration.

Nothing wrong with this approach as it does have its merits, feels good…and will certainly wake you up in the morning.

But I am reminded of a time when I was a teenager and was as type A as could be…always full of questions, always wanting more, etc.

I had the opportunity to spend several periods of time with a Japanese meditation master. Our 10 day trainings were very structured – they would start before dawn and include hours of meditation and work practice known as “samu-gyo.” Samugyo is well known to anyone who has done it as it is essentially mindless work. In our case it often involved hours of pulling nails out of boards.

Curiously though, between all of the intense structured activities, Sensei would schedule breaks…2 or so hours of rest time where he would retire to either work on one of his books or just take a nap. This puzzled me as it seemed like a waste of time to someone who wanted to ask more questions, wanted to push harder, go on a hike, learn the secrets of wizardry, etc.  Lunch and dinner were also long ordeals that sometimes lasted so long that my legs would become numb sitting on the floor.

As I got to know him more and more I realized he was one of the few people I had ever met who truly had his life together…and while always busy with what he called the “next challenge,” he always took lots of time for rest, tea, and light hearted conversation. And he was the happiest person I had ever seen.

This led me to realize over the years that one of the secrets that has helped me create success is perhaps the opposite of this push mindset. It’s the notion of creating space and allowing. Within this sacred space that can be the matrix for anything we wish to manifest, there is no need for screaming, no need for pushing, and no need for constant output or ego strengthening.

Simply put, it is the way of getting out of our own way so that we can *realize* our true potential as opposed to attempting to force it.

All things in the universe seek to be in balance. Yin seeks yang and yang seeks yin hence the bonds that happen between male and female. This push mindset is very akin to the behavior of American football coaches in that it is way out of balance yang. This tends to be a very American mindset as we do much to engage our egos. It’s ingrained into the fabric of our culture.

The major problem with the Push Approach is that it creates an addictive behavior pattern – not unlike meth, you have to get your daily fix whether that comes from your own rituals or needing to attend the next seminar. Additionally, you an never have enough – what is the end point? What’s the goal even?

It also strengthens and builds the ego in that it creates an identity that becomes part of who you are and you are left maintaining a persona.

Many of the coaches and speakers I know in this category must exert a lot of energy maintaining their personas when the reality of who they really are they keep buried but it is very very different from what they show the world.

The thing about my early trainings with the Japanese master is that they were perfectly balanced. Periods of yin meditation were balanced with yang work. Periods of yang hiking and exertion were balance with rest. And the meals were an elaborate interplay of yin and yang. The end result – balance.  There was no need to strengthen our egos because every moment of the training was so real.

As I’ve traveled around the world, I’ve noticed that other cultures move slower and lighter, they take more time for meals and for rests during the day. How often do we find ourselves rushing to the next meal with so much on our minds that we forget something we left behind? This kind of living stresses the adrenals and leads to premature aging.

So my challenge to anyone who reads this is to ask yourself if you need to SLOW DOWN. Would it be helpful for you to create some space in your day and reflect upon how you get in your own way? If you want to manifest something in your life, do you have space for it or are you spending energy chasing? The act of chasing actually pushes the goal away.

And, how much of a hurry are you in? Do you Need to have it now or are you willing and able to create the space and trust the proper timing to the Universe?

Ultimately is the goal to prove that you can accomplish or to accomplish while evolving into a peaceful and balanced life.

As the Japanese monk used to say: “So you good practice everyday, soon you get creative life, happy life.”

Halloween1

It was a cool fall night in the mountains of Utah and the rest I was trying to get before an all night adventure was proving impossible. I was so excited for what was to come but never could have guessed how monumental a turning point this night would end up being.

I was on the heels of a disaster I had just gone through and was spending a lot of time healing in the area. On my previous visit the man who would become my teacher, to my surprise, said to me “next time you come out, we’ll go ghost hunting.” You see, I had met this shaman years earlier and it seemed to take an endless amount of time to get him to give me the time of day and more years after that to convince him to begin teaching me his ways.

We left to head up into the mountains around midnight. Our destination was a very old cemetery that held the bodies and some of the souls of both Natives and Westerners who had been killed by war, illness, and natural causes. We spent the entire night in that cemetery and over the course of that time, I came to understand there is a veil between the physical and spirit worlds. It seemed my teacher had lifted that veil for me, giving me a glimpse into this other parallel yet mysterious reality.

I was already a senior practitioner of the traditions i had been studying since I was a teenager and was doing my best to bring the Japanese/Vedic fire ceremony to the western world as my teacher had instructed but what I experienced that night ended up being the first initiation that would change the course of my life and path.

Halloween seems the most appropriate time to write about this experience as in America, Halloween has become a very fun holiday with costumes, partying, and imbibing. However looking back over the haunted roots of the holiday can provide us some insights into what happens during this seasonal transition from fall to winter.

It is thought that Halloween developed out of the original Celtic harvest festival of Samhain “sah-win” which ushered in the darker half of the year. Most cultures have some form of harvest festival; in Japanese Shinto, Shyuki Taisai is celebrated to offer food from the harvest and thanksgiving to the deities. It is natural for humans to thank the divine for a prosperous harvest season.

In modern society, of course we have become disconnected from the cycles of nature but a quick look through our past can allow us to more clearly see our roots as human beings who are inseparably bound to great nature. Without the harmony of 4 the elements of

Earth
Water
Fire
Air

and the abundance of food and blessings of Great Nature (Daishizen), We cannot sustain our existence.

Spiritually, Halloween was a pagan holiday known as All Hallows Eve which was Christianized like many pagan holidays. It is thought to be the day when the veils I speak of above is at its thinnest and spirits are said to more easily be able to come into our world.

The celts believed that during Samhain, the spirits of the dead would return to mingle with the living and the spirits of those who had recently died could more easily transition into the other world. Transition points in the physical world tend to open the gates to the spiritual world and one of the most profound transition times we have is from the abundance of summer to the stillness of winter.

It is believed by many that costumes, jack-o-lanterns, bonfires, and other Halloween traditions were originally used to both ward off evil spirits and aid departed spirits in their journeys. Food offerings were left on doorsteps to aid the spirits of the departed.

That tradition has filtered in our modern culture as a fun dress up holiday.

Samhain became Halloween with the early Christian Missionaries who attempted to convert the celts from their native spirituality. All Hallows Eve was renamed “All Saints Day;” a more Christian appropriate label.

This Halloween we will celebrate with a traditional Japanese Fire Ceremony with Vedic Roots known as Goma. However you spend Halloween, please enjoy yourself and try to remember that with the veil being thinnest, it may be more easily to tap into your intuition and messages from the universe.

In this series I share crystallized moments and profound lessons gleaned from my journey studying various traditions and with teachers around the world with the goal of finding the wisdom to craft my life exactly the way I want it

 

It was an unusually warm spring afternoon in May of 2013 and I was in San Francisco’s Japan Town. My mentor had come up to spend some time with me to prepare for a trip we were to take to South America which would prove to be life altering.

It was a particularly fun trip because I got to show him all of my favorite spots in my favorite neighborhood in SF where I maintain an apartment and visit Alcatraz for the first time.

We were sitting on a cement bench and talking over some things. I asked him how he juggled trips to the Far East to work with his teacher while being a father and if that had been challenging. I also began to complain about some things in my life that were not exactly as I would have wanted them to be.

You know the feeling right – “If only I could deal with X” or “If Bob would just go away, I’d have so much less stress” or “This situation at work is just holding me back.” We all have plenty of examples of the above and being the Type A person that I am, I am not comfortable feeling restricted.

This teacher always knows exactly what to say and precisely when and how to say it so much so that trying to recount the life changing lesson I was about to get almost seems silly because it was so present, in that moment, in that conversation, and in that energy.

Anyway, he looked up and said:

“You know DJ, I just don’t let things restrict me

Wow. That sounds so simple and like kindergarten advice doesn’t it? I have found in my path through the esoteric that it’s usually the most obvious advice that really isn’t obvious at all. It’s what is right in front of your face that you can’t see and when you do see it, it can be embarrassing.

Kind of like having a friend point out that you have food stuck in your teeth or that your zipper is down.

 

I took this picture on our subsequent trip to South America

This led me to look into my life and examine what situations and people I was allowing to hold me back. Restrictions act like a ball and chain….they hold us back oftentimes to the point where we don’t even realize they are holding us back.

Yes, when we cut free of them, it’s like realizing you’re driving with the parking brake on.

Imagine you are running with a parachute behind you, you pull out a sword, and cut it free…see what I mean?

As I took the next couple of months to examine what was restricting me…and I mean what was really restricting me…all the insidious little subtle things that pop up in thoughts, words, and actions that were holding me back, I discovered that the well of untapped power was deeper than the last time I looked at it.

How about you? Are there any patterns in your thoughts, words, or actions that others might easily notice about you that you don’t notice yourself?

Do you constantly affirm the same things and then find that you keep complaining about them because magically they are still there?

Well here’s the secret – YOU are creating them and strengthening them.

This is the basis of affirmations in NLP and hypnosis – affirm what you want and allow your mind to create your experience.

I’m taking it a step further –

What are the actual physical tangible things in your life that you want to change because they are restricting you?

and

What are the unconscious thoughts, words, and actions that you are putting out to the universe that are creating or co-creating exactly what you experience?

and

What are the attachments you have that keep you from being able to let go. 

As an example of the latter point, consider if you are thinking of moving to a new place, yet you hold yourself back with self chatter like “but I can’t go because I grew up here or (insert any logical excuse.)” That place becomes a restriction.

What if you’re dealing with a difficult client: Do you wish them well and tell them they are a better fit elsewhere knowing the revenue will be replaced or do you let them become a restriction on you because you are attached to the income?

These are just two examples of the many, many different ways we restrict ourselves everyday.

It’s amazing how encumbered we have allowed ourselves to become and how much many of us hold onto things out of fear of letting them go such that they actually become part of our identities. (More on identities later)

There are a lot of programs and people out there that will claim to get you out of your own way but the truth is that only YOU can do it. Others can help but we are the only ones who can pull out the sword and cut away that which we do not need.

In my case, I had a mentor who was there with the exact right words exactly when I needed to hear them.

How about in your case? If you make it a point to pay attention to your own restrictions for a week, what might you find?

In my experiences with my teachers, I’ve come to know that reaching a state of purity is the biggest key to success in life. By purity in this case, I mean paring down the layers of restrictions to get to the core.

Many people look at me and think I have the perfect life and they are right, I do. If I had a dime for every time I heard “ah man you are so lucky…” There is no luck involved.

However, it wasn’t always the case, I created it and continue to create it that way. Life is a never ending process of learning, understanding, experiencing, and letting go.

And ultimately this is about building your personal power and your ability to generate results and happiness in your life. How many unhappy unrestricted people do you know? I’d venture a guess the answer is “hmm not many.”

I’d love to hear your experiences.

I know a few people who recount stories of college professors who really had an impact on them but it seems these stories are becoming more rare. I was one of those fortunate few.

Flashback to me as a teenager in high school..years before I was running into burning buildings and driving drunk students to the ER, I had just begun training in the warrior martial art that I continue to practice today and was like a sponge soaking up anything to do with Asian spiritual traditions.

As a child I had wanted to be a Catholic Priest and then started looking eastward in my teens before finally settling in on enjoying the common threads at the core of all traditions before man began to shape them.

I was full of way too much energy, too many stupid questions, and not much life experience and drove everyone around me nuts.

I had decided that I must go to Miami University in Ohio in order to further my martial arts training with my teacher there and while visiting the school, of course had to meet the professor of Asian traditions.

In I walked to the office of religion and looking for any available professor to chat with. There behind the desk in an office full of thousands of books sat a white bearded laid back man who looked like the perfect quintessential scholar. He spoke with eloquence in a tone reminiscent of the ivy league scholars of old. He had time to speak with me and took an interest in my passion and all of my teenage energy. His name was Dr. Alan Miller and I remember him telling me his dream was to retire in a library.

Over my years in college, I took every class he taught but beyond that, whenever I found myself lonely or misunderstood, I would stop into his office and minutes of conversation would turn into hours to where he would realize his next class started 15 minutes ago. He was always available, always tolerant, and always willing to listen to whatever was on my mind and share his own wisdom from his scholarly path.

But perhaps the most notable thing about Dr. Miller and the one thing I continue to appreciate to this day above all else is that he got me. If I needed to take 10 days off from classes to spend time with one of my teachers, he made room for that. When I either refused or was simply unable to write papers in the correct academic manner with appropriate footnotes and references because I was quoting my teachers, my experience, and sometimes couldn’t even remember whom had given me an insight I was using in a paper, he allowed me to get away with it. He once even told me I would probably have issues with other professors but he liked my style because I “did it well.”

And have issues with other professors I did.

Where other professors tried to make me conform, he didn’t. And where I judged other professors for being too academic and disconnected, I respected Dr. Miller because he was a non judgmental scholar of the highest order who could discuss any topic in any subject from religion to history to engineering .

At one point a 6 page paper he assigned us turned into a 32 page paper for me because it was of a topic of my choice. And I sure chose…at the expense of all my other classes!

At some point during my junior year, Dr. Miller told me he was retiring and moving to washington state. I remember being very sad however he also told me that the Department of Religion had told him he could teach a class on any topic at all and he chose “Spiritual Autobiography.” The class began with 6 students and involved reading autobiographies from different religious traditions around the world.

Great class

About 1 month into the class, Dr. Miller announced he had been diagnosed with some health issues that required surgery and would be out for 6 weeks. He suggested we work on writing our own spiritual autobiographies and reconvene when he returned.

In his honor, the class continued to meet every Tues and thurs at 11am without him. When the religion department attempted to assign a grad student to monitor the class because “DJ Siclari is not a suitable proctor,” we just took our meetings off campus…meeting at ponds, lakes, restaurants, fields etc.

Dr. Miller returned from surgery with a positive outcome and joined the class. But the dynamic was different as he no longer felt like a professor but seemed more like one of us. We were all working on our spiritual autobiographies and he was too. Finally all 7 of us, including Dr. Miller, shared our stories with each other. At the end of the semester, we took him out for Indian Food and gave him a copy of all of our biographies compiled into a bound work complete with pictures from the class for him to remember the last class he was to teach.

I was able to visit him and his wife several years later in Washington State and visited him again last week. Though it was a short drive from the ferry station to his house, when he met my sister and I at the top of his driveway, he was engrossed in a book. I realized he is living his dream as I walked through the stacks and stacks of books in his small cabin and asked him if he knew how many he had.

His answer “About 7000.”

In an age of e-books, kindle, and audiobooks you can download on your phone, I’d say he has indeed retired in a library.

It was wonderful to reconnect with an old friend and professor who was there for me when I felt there was no one else I could talk to about my real interests. For Alan Miller religion was his rebellion…he was pursuing a degree in engineering and switched to religion because it was out of the norm. He walked the path and continues to walk the path of an academic scholar very well and continues to be full of gems of knowledge and insight when I see him.

We reminisced at his house and over Thai Food. He updated me on his health and let me know he is loving teaching a class for adults and we discussed how few of the undergrads who came through his classes at Miami really had any interest in the material and he was feeling more and more generationally removed coupled with the fact that many of the students were Christian Missionairies planning to go to Asia to proselytize their beliefs.

Our time together came and went far too fast and before we knew it, my sister and I were on the ferry back to Seattle.

He and his wife recently acquired a puppy named “Mujo’ in honor or impermanence which as fate would have it ended up being a perfectly fitting name as Mujo destroys everything he comes into contact with!

Moments with Sensei 3: The Power of Choice over Emotion and the Haunted Hospital

It was a warm night after dark in the mountains. My teacher and I sat outside on a balcony in our room in a 1920s hospital converted to a hotel and known for being extremely haunted. Our view was astonishing, we could see for miles over the valley from this balcony with doors that opened to allow in fresh evening air. This corner of the building used to be the insane asylum and old creepy lobotomy and gyn tools sat on display outside our room.

I probably had already had too many drinks (or he was waiting for me to have too many drinks) and the conversation turned to relationships then to the work I have done with stalker protection. We discussed everything from masculinity to the dynamics of a spiritual relationship to control issues and stalkers.

I remember bringing up how people seem to like to create drama and he commented how much of the control elements I’ve dealt with in stalker scenarios arises out of desperation. And desperation is the least attractive quality in a person. Generally it’s an instant deal-killer much like turning off a light switch.

(Here’s an article on cutting root of neediness)

He got up and walked over to the door as he often does with no explanation. Looking out at the stars, he stood there in peaceful silence for a few moments doing what he does, his long grey Native hair flowing down his back. He then came and sat back down noticing how I was waiting with baited breath to hear what he had to say next.

This man, who for some reason still unknown to me had agreed to mentor me in his ways years ago after years of persistence on my part, has lived an extraordinary life and has been my primary role model for what it means to be a man.

He then said “You know I had a good friend whose wife suddenly told him she was leaving with no explanation. He right then and there made a decision to just accept it and therefore create or accept no drama.”

The conversation twisted and turned as time and space seemed to shrink and blend together as it often does when I am with him. I wasn’t sure whether I was still sitting on a balcony or in some other reality. We discussed a recent case I had worked and finally settled into some personal introspective work. We went deep. As if guided by something beyond myself, I asked questions that surprised even me and I came out with some very cool realizations and insights about things that are really important to me in my life…and how they contrast with the control dynamics I often have to deal with in the case work that I do.

Though I typically like to illustrate lessons I learned with personal stories, I am not able to share any details on the security work that I do.

In my work, I have discovered several common denominators that indicate strong potential for control and stalking dynamics. I’ve written quite a bit on the subject and will post more here periodically. But the first one I want to address is intensity.

Oftentimes a person who has control issues will present way too much intensity in the beginning of a connection. To the receiver, this can be extremely charming as it feels as if you are being showered with affection. In reality, the other person is planting the seeds of their control mechanisms and it’s important to have the awareness to know the difference between genuine intensity and control dynamics.

New connections are often intense with excitement. When I met the girl who knocked me on my butt, it was extremely intense, like nothing we had ever experienced before….and quite scary in some ways as well as exciting as I knew I would have to really “step up” to be supportive of her and also in my own work on myself. I was in for a heck of a ride but I also knew that attempting to control the connection and its timeline would get me nowhere. Patience was the overarching theme and one of the lessons I was to explore.

In contrast, in the potential stalker scenario, the showering of affection continues for some time. As soon as there is a change in the response or the object of his affection pulls away or doesn’t comply with his demands, the dramatic side begins to show. First with small comments that seem innocent and caring. And then with more dramatic moves and eventually culminating in outright desperation that causes the other person to completely pull away and in worst cases can lead to emotional and/or physical abuse. When the person pulls away, the other partner will often begin to talk of what is “owed.” For example “You owe me a phone call.” Or “I want to see you just one more time.” These are manipulation tactics designed to pull on your heartstrings and only lead to more control dynamics.

Or, the other person is “ready to change” if you will “just give him/her one more chance.”

This is why the average woman will go back to the abusive man SEVEN times.

Some simple advice on dealing with these potential scenarios:

1. Develop the awareness to see through these dynamics. Ask yourself “Why am I drawn to this person?” Is it because of a genuine mind blowing connection or is it because you either 1) want to help or save him/her or 2) Need all the affection as validation of your self worth? Hard questions for sure, but worth asking.

2. If you decide it’s time to end things, end them completely. Tell the other person you are at a point where you need to go your separate ways and do it. Friendship is certainly possible in a health relationship but I am talking about relationships characterized by control dynamics which, by definition, are not truly loving or healthy.

3. Burn all memorabilia associated with the relationship and throw salt on the fire. This helps you both detach and move on and also opens the doors for new opportunities.

4. Do not accept emails, phone calls, packages, etc from the person.

5. If the person continues to push, consider tactics to protect yourself such as leaving town for a bit, being aware of your surroundings, changing your phone number, etc. True control freaks will not give up easily and will do everything they can to regain control

6. If you are the person who is longing after someone, give that person some space. Do NOT push or become desperate. If it’s over, it’s over. Let it go. One of the most attractive qualities in a person is having the self esteem to honor where another person is and being there to be supportive. This is love. Control is not love.

7. Restraining orders are a mixed bag. They can work in some scenarios but in others they only piss off the other person more and put them in a position where they are going to “prove their love.”

When I was in executive protection school, we watched videos of every public assassination attempt and physical assault on a public figure that has been recorded and studied them in detail. For example, John Hinckley shot President Reagan to attempt to catch the attention of Jody Foster who was a student at Yale University at the time and wasn’t responding to his advances. Obviously this is an extreme scenario example but I use it to illustrate the extremes that some people will utilize to accomplish their twisted goals.

It’s incredibly unlikely that you will ever face anything very threatening or dangerous. However, developing the awareness I spoke of above can assist you in many, many ways in life and in relationships of all kinds.

Growing up I was something of a slob. It was so bad that I would spend all day cleaning my room or the garage only to have my mother come home and say “That’s clean?” Incidentally my mother used to comment on how neat I kept things on the ambulance when I was a medic and well, I think I owe it to my patients to know where everything is.

Anyway, during one of my early visits to study the native spirituality of Japan from Rev. Koichi Barrish, the first non Japanese person in history to be ordained a priest of Shinto, we were sitting with some other guests who were there and he noticed some of my clothes weren’t folded. Always seeming to be particularly tough on me he said (in front of everyone) “Siclari, get your stuff in order. When I traveled with my teacher, his clothes were always perfectly folded and everything was meticulous.”

That moment marked a turning point in my life. I could no longer be comfortable with things in a state of disarray around me.

Indeed one of the hallmarks of Shinto, and indeed anything truly spiritual, is purity – the purity of returning to the basic bright state of connection with self and between self and great nature/universal energies. As with all things in life, the external reflects the internal and a neat, organized, and clean space mirrors and creates a neat, organized, and clean internal state and vice versa.

As a suggestion, I recommend cleaning your personal space at least once a week and making an effort to keep your desk, clothing, and personal items arranged in a neat order. You may find doing so alleviates chaos in your life and draws more abundance, happiness, and connection with the divine. And it will save you time looking for misplaced items too. J

As always I am forever grateful to my teacher for such a simple yet powerfully life changing lesson.

I have decided to begin a series of short stories of profound moments in my life. Some of these will be of time spent with my teachers, some will be solo, and some will be downright hilarious! In this series I hope to recall some of my profound lessons, funny moments, and embarrasing realizations as a student of life.

Memoirs of moments with Teachers 1: The most profound peace

It was a crisp October day in Vermont and I was visiting my teacher. When I first met this particular teacher, a Japanese monk, as a teenager, he was living for the summer months on a 70 acre old farm house in rural Vermont that he had adapted to a temple. The house was complete with a kitchen table that had been sawed down so that guests could sit on the floor Japanese style. I recall only seeing one chair in the entire house which, not surprisingly, seemed to be more decorative than practical as it was never used.

One of the highlights of being in Vermont in the fall is the spectacular changing colors of the mountain foliage. One side of Sensei’s house faced the mountains and the other faced a huge open field. It was mid to late afternoon (my memory has become a bit fuzzy) before dinner and Sensei, his wife, and myself were sitting on the floor in the guest room having green tea looking out over the field. This room had sliding glass doors and gave us a spectacular view. Green tea is almost sacred in Japan and is a nectar of relaxation and peace so to this day when I sip on hot Sencha green tea, I am transported to a place of gratitude and peace.

In those days most of our interactions consisted of me asking silly intellectual questions about spirituality and much to my dismay, Sensei retorting with questions of his own about how school was, how my sister is doing, if my mom is healthy, and how we would all wear neckties if Bill Clinton san visited his temple.

At some point, Sensei and his wife began to quietly sing a Japanese children’s song that began “Aki no yuu hi ni…” I did not know the meaning of this song however I listened as they sang while sipping tea and gazing out over the orange hues of the sun beginning to set captivated by the rainbow of colors that covered the trees in the field. At that moment, I was both gently nudged and fully shaken into nakaima the center of now..completely in the present moment. It was the most profound feeling of complete and magical peace I had ever experienced and remains so to this day.

After the singing was finished, I asked Sensei about the meaning of the song. Turns out it was about how the mountain wears a kimono in the fall as the leaves change. I remember thinking how our American nursery rhymes have children falling off trees in their cradles where this Japanese tune spoke of the mystery and beauty of nature. But that is a hallmark of Japanese culture – a perfect intermingling of the modern world and the wonder of nature.

I think often about that moment. And it’s likely Sensei doesn’t recall it at all which I think it so interesting – how what is just another moment in a teacher’s life can be such a powerful crystallized moment for a student. And it’s those moments that help us realize just how powerful, wonderful, and fully actualized an ascended master’s life truly is.