ABOUT shaping Experiences

Memory is relationship across time. In this “story of memories” I wish to give you a sense, through my own eyes, of how the exploration of Self is only a means for meeting and realising consciousness, meeting Love. It is an entangled story to which no linear description can do justice, and yet...

 

I was born in Israel in 1972 to a complex family. When my parents told me at the age of 7 that they had decided to divorce, I remember that – I listened, I understood, I nodded, and I got back to playing with my friends. 

 

I have always related to things intuitively. People and events held no secrets for me. In spite of all the difficulties, life has been a long journey of love letters to my Soul. 

 

I remember coming back from school, day after day, finding my mother sitting in the living room in the dark, crying. Later I learned it has a name – mental illness. She has tried killing herself several times without success. Her parental functioning never did impress me, but I wasn’t all that concerned. There was no one really to tell me what I could or could not do: I took my freedom with both hands. 

 

But the lack of normality in the circumstances of my life could not dissipate the dreadful shadow of normalcy that was all around me: to be or not to be (normal/myself) was a question I was to carry for many years. Little did I know then what power society has in life.

 

When I was 16, Mum left home. In the middle of the night she woke my sister and asked her whether she wanted to join her. My sister chose me instead. The next day, while my sister and I walked around the streets contemplating the confused letter Mum had left, explaining nothing but a big theft from my grandparents’ bank account and that she had decided to leave (who knows where to), my sister broke her leg...

 

After a while Mum came home for a brief period, during which time she burned through everything we had, only to disappear again, never to return. All the photos, dolls, clothing, furniture – everything was gone. A spontaneous lesson in non-attachment and letting go. 

 

For years after I had a very “normal” life. I knew that all I wanted was to be myself, but I had no idea what this meant. I finished high school like everybody else. I joined the army like everybody else. I got support and rented my own flat and made my own living. I chose to pursue a degree instead of travelling to India like the other half of everybody else.

 

Throughout all those years there was one love I couldn’t let go of – dancing. I even became a professional dancer until my lack of confidence told me I wouldn’t get much further, so I stopped and pursued my degree as a special education teacher. I also got married – like everybody else.

 

Yet the small changes I created as a teacher didn’t satisfy me. My confidence in my capabilities started growing, I decided to go on to a Master’s degree and left a relationship that was no longer aligned with the fuller Being that I was becoming. 

 

I was heading for a PhD in the US when I started meditating....

 

The first time I sat on a meditation cushion I felt something I had never felt before, and I was able to give it a name – Home. At the end of the meeting I asked the teacher about my experience and she suggested I go on a retreat. I signed up right away without wanting to know anything about it – nothing would distract my heart from this Knowing, I felt.

 

I left university. I even threw away all the questionnaires I had collected for my research, knowing that if this should ever need to be finished in some mysterious way it would. By then I was following a Buddhist meditation teacher. When he invited me to join him on retreat in Germany, I put myself once again in Life’s hands. I cut loose. 

 

Back to Israel, I needed to make a living. I entered a restaurant kitchen, something I was passionate about, and discovered a new talent. In time, I established my own catering business, then another business selling sandwiches. But when I opened a coffee shop in the centre of Tel-Aviv, dissatisfaction came to visit again. The Self still wanted full expression.

 

I left the food business to go back to university. I finished my Master’s and started offering my services as an independent evaluation consultant for social activities. Things started to make sense. By then I had already had 10 years’ meditation practice in the Theravada and Dzochen traditions, as well as yoga, chi-gung and aikido. I was able to bridge the divide between the mind and heart, translating the fruits of my spiritual practice into evaluation and training programs for NGOs, businesses and public offices. I even became one of the best known consultants in my field in Israel.

 

I loved my life. And yet, again, this bird of unfullfilment knocked on the window, as if to announce yet another change in seasons. I got tired of feeling dissatisfied, and decided this time to go all the way to meet this thing that wanted to be expressed without titles and forms. I had already entered the world of mystics and was channelling and working with energy.

 

I have now lived three-and-a-half years as a nomad, two of which were spent mostly travelling in the East. To follow my life-long flirtation with being a spiritual teacher, something had to die for a rebirth to take place. I have also laboured through three intense years of constant lower-back pain.  

 

That little bird of dissatisfaction finally flew to its freedom when the passion to understand myself became the realisation that – by meeting myself fully I meet all there is, all that exists within and without. 

 

It was a moment when everything felt as Nothing, everything made complete sense – I am enough, I am connected, I am Love. My back pain, too, disappeared at that moment.    

 

Today I live all that I have wanted to live – but no worries, there are plenty of passions still to be explored.

 

I live in Zurich, Switzerland where I have always felt at Home, with my soulful partner and two white cats. I feel a great awe for this magic we call life, and immense curiosity towards the unknown.

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©  Shelly Sharon 2018