Imagine walking on the moon and then returning to earth in Apollo 14? That’s what Edgar Mitchell, the 6th astronaut to walk on the moon, talked to us about for our radio show and in our book, Be The Change. Few of us ever get to see the earth from outer space, but it was entering the vastness of space that led Mitchell to a deep, personal transformation, one of those moments that change us forever: unexpected and unlooked-for moments that take us out of our normal, rational selves and offer us a glimpse into another dimension of reality.
“We were coming home after being on the moon. As we rotated, a 360-degree panorama of the heavens appeared in the spacecraft window every two minutes. As my job had been the landing craft on the moon, I could now sit back and enjoy the view. I became immersed in the vastness of space. Suddenly, I realized the connectedness of everything, like the ancient mystics all said, and it was accompanied by this feeling of ecstasy, an overwhelming experience that I had never had before.”
Having a glimpse of a different reality can have the effect of turning us inward, as if the outer world loses its relevance while the inner world becomes alive and vibrant. As Mitchell continues:
” I wanted to know what had happened in that transcendent experience so when I got back to earth I started talking with Eastern mystics and holy men, and with spiritual people from all over the world. I studied virtually all the meditation disciplines and techniques and practices that there are. The only answer I came to was that I was in resonance, a deep quantum resonance with the ground of my being. A theologian would say the ground of our being is God; I would say it is a field of infinite energy and potential and that when we have such experiences we are in quantum resonance with that deep reality. And when we get in resonance with that reality, we have this feeling of deep peace and the sense that everything is really okay.”
Such transcended moments can take the form of dissolving our sense of being a separate self. For Deb’s mother, it occurred when she was washing the dishes and heard the sound of a wild bird’s song; in that moment, she became the sound and lost any sense of being apart from it. For Deb, it occurred when a worm crawled over her foot: “I was barefoot and had been walking slowly and meditatively across the grass. I had stopped and was standing very still and silent when this worm crawled out of the earth and traveled across my foot before disappearing back into the grass. I felt this intense gratitude that it had deemed me safe enough to walk over, and then I suddenly became it, there was no difference or separation between us. I too disappeared into the grass. In that moment I ceased to be a separate, ego-defined human. It changed the way I saw everything.”
Transcendence also awakens our heart to the love that is the essence of all life. Ed had this experience when he was on the ferryboat going from NYC to the Statue of Liberty. It was evening and he was gazing at the starlit sky. “It seemed the sky was clearer than usual with the stars shining brightly. It was if the microcosm became the macrocosm and there was no separation, just one breath. The universe was breathing and I was part of this universal breath, my whole body was breathing along with the whole cosmos. I became breath, and then it all became a bright light. All I could feel was that everything is love. I spun around and in every direction it was love! Within and without was love! Up and down was love! My whole being was blissful love!”
Such moments stay with us; they alter our fundamental awareness and constantly remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, that we are way bigger than we realize, and that that vastness is always available to us.
See our award-winning book: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Edgar Mitchell, Jack Kabat-Zinn, Byrone Katie, Jane Fonda, Marianne Williamson, and many others.
If there is one book you read about meditation Be The Change should be the one. Hear about some of the cool people who are doing it and why you should do it too. — Sharon Gannon, founder Jivamukti Yoga.
Deb is the author of the award-winning YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND, Decoding the Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Messages That Underlie Illness.
Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: www.EdandDebShapiro.com
Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You And The World, with forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman and Winner of the 2010 Nautilus Gold Book Award. Deb is the author of the bestselling book, YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award. They are featured bloggers on Oprah.com/spirit, HuffingtonPost.com/Living, and Care2.com. They have 3 meditation CD’s: Metta — Loving Kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi – Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra – Inner Conscious Relaxation. See: www.EdandDebShapiro.com
Listen to Ed and Deb’s VividLife Radio interview with Edgar Mitchell 6th Man to Walk on the Moon:
VividLife Radio’s Ed and Deb Shapiro welcome Edgar Mitchell, an American pilot, engineer, astronaut.and the sixth person to walk on the Moon to discuss realization , oneness and walking on the moon. Edgar Mitchell was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1970 by President Richard Nixon.