By Cyrus Ryan
Experience Meditating in the Elora Caves at Midnight
Buddhist cave I had chosen to meditate in. I entered the blackness of the Buddhist temple and set a small candle at the foot of the deity and also lit incense. Then moving back about 15 feet, I sat on my inflatable pillow and sitting cross legged I began to meditate. At first I felt very uncomfortable, alone, and still uncertain as to why I was doing this. As I mentioned there was no one at all wandering around the caves at this time. Inside the cave it was so quiet you could almost feel it. The candle glowed eerily casting dancing shadows on the cave walls. Then after about 40 minutes into the meditation, suddenly there were 3 very loud bangs on one of the walls of the cave. More like, “Boom, boom, boom, that echoed even louder!” My hair stood on end, literally! The sound vibrated and echoed through the entire cave much like when you strike a giant cymbal. I immediately had thoughts to get up and flee back to the safety of my motel room. I could see myself running out of the cave like some cartoon character. It took allot of effort to sit still, center and continue with the meditation. But I persevered! Then I became aware that there was a huge bat slowly moving towards me. It moved very slowly, and its wings seemed to stretch from one cave wall to the other. I was frozen in fear as this giant demon bat moved closer and closer. Its movement was more like what you see when watching slow motion action in a movie. I started chanting and chanting at a furious speed silently focussing my attention on the chanting and visualization of a deity. Yet I could still see this apparition of the enormous bat slowly and ominously moving towards me. I held my ground. Then just as it was about to reach me, it exploded and in its place, there appeared a radiant figure, actually just the head and shoulders, just above me, smiling at me. It was not really a blissful feeling as a force seemed to rain down from this great being through the top of my head down through my entire body. The vision itself was in Technicolor and emanated a vibration of peace and a transcendental loving feeling. So I could feel both the transmission of shakti and the feeling of peace and grace. This experience only lasted a short time but it taught me about one of the laws of higher experiences. Once this experience was over I didn’t feel it was necessary to remain in the cave for too much longer and I headed back to the motel. I recognised the yogi who appeared above me immediately and I was totally surprised as I never felt a strong connection with this historical yogi. He appeared in his ‘samboghakaya’ body which is his subtle immortal form that he maintains on the inner spiritual plane. I do not feel the need to mention his name as that aspect of the experience is too private. When I left the Elora caves I eventually headed north toward the mountainous region of Kashmir.
The next experience that happened to me, a short time after I had left the Elora Caves, created quite a lot of confusion in me. I was in a Himalayan town called Pahalgam in north India in the area known as Jammu/Kashmir. Pahalgam was a small town in the Himalayan foothills sort of a jumping off point for treks into the higher mountains of the Himalayas. The following day after arriving there I was walking upon a mountain path high above the village visualizing the Shiva Lingam and chanting Om Nammah Shivaya silently as I walked. Continued in my book…