The Surrender Experiment : Life’s curious synchronicities

In 2021 I embarked on a year long pilgrimage via road across the US, Canada and Costa Rica. There were some remarkable events that took place on this journey which I describe below.

Right before this trip, I read the “Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer which was beautifully timed. The book touched me deeply and instilled an attitude of openness and trust which has since guided my journey.

The book is Michael Singer’s life journey where he becomes more and more attuned to a higher intelligence directing and shaping his life. The book weaves one event after another where Michael’s ability to courageously trust the Universe turned those events into remarkable synchronicities.

According to Carl Jung who also coined the term, ‘a Synchronicity is a set of circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection’. This points to a non causal connection that could be referred to as the universe or the divine.

Michael’s life seems analogous to flowing through a river in a boat, where one has the privilege to use the oars to move left and right or down the stream but it wouldn’t be wise to steer against the current. The current is the guiding current of life and it seems to always surprise us towards actualizing amazing possibilities that we couldn’t have imagined.  Deep down I knew this was already what life was showing me but somehow I wasn’t trusting enough yet. The book implanted the idea of living a life of surrender moment to moment, willing to be surprised by the mystery. 

Surrender to what?

In context of the book title, ‘The Surrender Experiment’, it is important to highlight what one is surrendering to!

The universe or the divine is not separate from us. To discover this is in fact an important aspect of self knowledge. So, paradoxically one is in fact surrendering to oneself. It seems that this has to be repeatedly discovered and that’s why there is a need for ‘Experiments’. As we confirm our true identity our intuition (supra rational knowing) about our oneness with things becomes stronger. So, the journey is one of Self-honesty, authenticity and being true to one’s higher Self. The universe is guiding us through our trust till the process of our unfolding intuition is complete. Singer’s journey is one of experimentation in an open call and response with the universe. For most of us the motivation to begin this journey is pain & the gift is harmony.

Below I highlight some of the events during my trip. You can scroll through these via the table of contents on the right or top.

Synchronicity at Boulder, Colorado

Even though I was in Boulder for just a couple of days the mountains and the feel of the town was inviting. It seemed like a place I would love to live in. People in this town just like my encounters in Asheville, NC were surprisingly friendly. My opinion is based on a few intimate encounters with strangers at various stores in town. Unlike other places Boulder also seemed to embrace the Native American people and their heritage.

Desire to prepare for an exam

As I explored the streets of the town, I felt that I needed to prepare for my approaching Citizenship exam back in California and I wished I had a physical copy of the exam guidebook. Secondly, I was also in the mode of exploring Native American presence in Colorado. What happened next was a bit surprising!

Cosmic Wink — The library

While exploring Boulder I discovered a beautiful library in downtown. As I entered inside, my eyes laid sight on a notice board with a hundred if not more brochures, etc. The first thing my eyes rested on was a notice for a citizenship test preparation class which was going to start in just 15 minutes. This startled me a bit, I felt the universe winking at me! I stepped right in and asked the folks at the kiosk if I could attend. They told me I could and that this was the first class since the pandemic had begun. As I entered a nice boardroom, I was welcomed by a very kind lady and five or six folks who were there to study. It felt nice to be among people who were preparing for an important milestone in their life. Two very personal surprises awaited me in the classroom,

  • The teacher choose to teach Native American History for the full hour with a custom historic map of Native American tribes across United States. This was surprising because the citizenship test has 100 fixed questions with only two questions (2%) about Native Americans which doesn’t require any study since the questions are known in advance. It felt that my hearts desire was to explore Native American culture was responded to.
  • At the end of the class after an intimate conversation the teacher told me to wait and asked me if I had the exam prep booklets which I didn’t. She gave me two, a full and abridged version and also her contact if I had any questions before the test. This was a deeply meaningful gesture to me.

 

Synchronicity at Mount Shasta

This event precipitated when I was about to leave Oregon towards California where I had to be for an exam. I had wanted to goto Mt. Shasta for a little while, however, in all honesty I didn’t know much other than the fact that it was considered important by New Age folks and Native Americans. I also had some friends who had been there in the years gone by and I had missed out on at least two opportunities of being part of such a group visit. 

Desire to visit Mt. Shasta

So, this time Mt. Shasta was on the way. Having been to Matu Tapila (Devil’s tower) earlier in my trip I didn’t have much expectation from this visit. The plan was to spend a couple of hours and make headway to San Diego where I had to be for my interview.

Change of Plans & Detour

As I planned to head out to Mt. Shasta, I got a message from a friend of mine who had recently moved to Oregon from Los Angeles. She suggested that we meet for breakfast. It was a detour from Mt. Shasta and added an extra four hours of drive so I cancelled my plans to visit Mt. Shasta in order to still be on track for my interview in San Diego.

After the meeting on the Oregon coast I took the 101 S highway to head straight to the Bay but two hours into the journey I found that the 101 was closed off due to a landslide for 3-4 hours. I quickly decided to head to I-5 S, an alternative route that put me two hours behind. 

Cosmic Wink — The Mysterious Restaurant & Gift shop

Shortly after getting on the I-5, I felt hungry and asked my smart-phone using voice to find the nearest organic restaurant. I stopped at the first recommendation. As I walked in, the front desk had chocolate bars with Mt. Shasta written on them with a picture of a snow covered mountain. This piqued my interest a bit and I inquired about the quality of the chocolate and ended up buying a few of these.

Next I saw a gift shop connected to the store with pictures of several spiritual masters on the wall. I knew quite a few of them and inquired about them. The cashier connected me to the restaurant owner and we had a good connection. I ended up learning quite a bit about camping and climbing Mt. Shasta. It turned out that I was right next to the town of Shasta. As I took my food and got out of the shop, it seemed magical on how I got routed back to Shasta and how I also got a lot of information about the mountain itself.

It took me a few minutes to see the bigger picture and decide to camp at Mt. Shasta for the night. This involved taking a small chance to miss my citizenship exam in San Diego.

The meditative Natural Spring

As per the advice of a fellow traveler in town of Shasta, I ended up visiting a natural spring of the Sacramento River. I filled up some water there and also decided to sit and meditate. I felt a charged atmosphere there and found it easy to settle in. The place was packed with spiritual seekers and travelers. 

A Surrender to Death

A friendly traveler told me about the campgrounds on the mountain and following his instructions I ended up camping at Panther meadows at the base of Shasta Mountain at nearly 8000 ft. The mountain was pretty smokey from the climate induced forest fires and as I pitched my tent in the early night I felt a wave of light headedness and nausea overtake me. I felt the fear of death creep in and panic soon ensued. I wanted to tell the nearest campers that I needed help. However, I noticed that the closest campers were singing a song and enjoying a bonfire on top of the forest fire. I saw that my mind was bluffing and so I accepted my fate and ended up lying down in my tent. It was a strange night, although I slept I was in the twilight zone, neither asleep nor awake. At I felt an energy coursing through the body.

Good & Evil – A Meaningful Conversation

In the morning I was fresh and ready for the journey ahead. I climbed up the mountain a bit and took in some incredible views. I met a rugged older woman who had been in the mountains for quite some time. We had a brief but deep conversation where we shared our thoughts on good and evil and that which is beyond both. I felt reassured to hear her conviction on the truth that transcends all that’s good and bad in this world, especially in these troubled times.

Sharing with friends – Mixed Response

I shared my Shasta experience with a few close friends and it was interesting to see people’s reaction. To me the experience was uncanny and full of synchronicity which seemed to defy the normal chain of cause and effect and space time. To one friend my explanation was irritating and a mere coincidence and perhaps evidence of my stupidity. Another friend, told me that had I not made the choice of camping in Shasta that night, I would have regretted that. I really feel that to be the case!  

Synchronicity in Portland

I don’t have much to say about Portland as I spent just two days there. It was a big city with an interesting downtown. I made a stop at the famous Powell’s bookstore which was probably one of the biggest bookstores I ever came across. It was also packed and super busy.

Cosmic Wink — The ‘Akashic Field’

I made my way to the philosophy section and was impressed with the huge collection, it felt like a library. My eyes settled on a book with the title ‘Akashic Field’ a term I had heard before and know a bit about. I read a bit and ended up googling the author Ervin László who is a Hungarian philosopher and originally a classical pianist. 

Later that evening while meeting a dear friend I came across a book that had the phrase Akashic Field’ in its title, ‘Tryptamine Palace: A journey from Burning man to the Akashic field ‘ . It piqued my interest and I asked my friend about it and she encouraged me to borrow it. Since then I have read it twice. It shares the bold spiritual adventures of one late James Oroc with the ‘Everest of psychedelics’ 5 meo-DMT, also known as the spirit molecule. The author James had quite the intense personality that suited the extreme edge of this medicine that by the way is extracted from the venom of the Sonoran desert toad. He was a competitive para glider and died in a para gliding accident in 2020.

I probably will write a separate post about this excellent book. I have recently interviewed a few folks on their experience with 5 MEO-DMT, in case you like to check it out.

 

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