Midnights with the mystic - A little guide to freedom and bliss

How much do I want to read more? 9/10

The story seems fascinating. The story of a seeker, her lifetime seeking for answer in search for enlightment, and what more there is with Life.
She's very rational, and at the same time very serious about her search, that's why many can relate with her story.
Probably the next book about spirituality I really want to read.

FOREWORD - Richard Vogt, aka “Richard from Texas,”

I first met Sadhguru in 2005 when a very dear friend, who had transformed so much herself, invited me to attend an introductory Inner Engineering Program.
Well, to be truthful, she just didn't invite me—she bought my airline ticket and paid for the hotel and the class, so I couldn't say “no, I'm too busy, blah, blah, blah,”
I was sitting in the hotel meeting room and in walked this presence who actually made my body tingle. Then he turned and faced us.
I looked into his eyes and became dizzy;
All I could think of was, “Oooohhhh, I'm in for some wild stuff.” And then he opened his mouth and began to speak. When he talked, it resonated so deeply within me that I almost had a physical experience of his words. I felt that I was touched on a cellular level. To be more succinct, I was completely blown away.

The doctors told me there was nothing more they could do and suggested that I get my affairs in order.
My treatment, individually designed by Sadhguru (as it was for all participants of the program), consisted of a combination of yogic practices, diet modifications, Ayurvedic therapies, and Siddha medicines. Voila! After a month I was living in a different body. My symptoms were no more. And the grim reaper—well, we put him to bed.

the benefits of his myriad “technologies,” and above all being showered with the Grace that flows so freely from him, is transformational. My life today is one of effortless living filled with joy, a deep sense of serenity, and freedom from many of the day-to-day entanglements. I feel so exceptionally fortunate and grateful to have this consummate gift of Sadhguru in my life that I bestowed it upon my two sons, who now are on the path of Isha Yoga.

Midnights with the Mystic offers the unusual and insightful opportunity for you to share that personal space with this precious being and be a part of the metamorphosis that Cheryl underwent.
When you read this book, I know you'll resonate with its truths, be touched in ways that can trigger your own transformation, and realize, as I have, that a peaceful, fulfilling, and vibrant life is available for one and all who open themselves to receive the abundant Grace of this unparalleled being.

FOREWORD - Pat MacEnulty

Simone is absolutely clear on one thing: Sadhguru is the one person who can answer the questions that have been driving her for a lifetime, and she is not going to let the opportunity to find those answers pass her by.

About eight months after I initially read the manuscript, I was able to take an Inner Engineering course with one of Sadhguru's teachers. Though Sadhguru himself was not there, his presence permeated the class, and some of the participants obviously had extraordinary experiences. The other thing I noticed was that all the volunteers who had been following Sadhguru's practices had a light shining in their eyes. I had never met people so kind and loving.

Two weeks after taking the Inner Engineering course, I went to Sadhguru's ashram in Tennessee to take another program with the master himself.
Two days into the program, my life was changed. In my journal I wrote: “I spent the weekend with a guru who slew my heart and turned my blood into furious rivers. I gasped for breath and plunged into those hungry waters. I wept in agony until I felt myself floating, held up by tiny goldfish. On the shore, my broken shadow wailed and waved a dull sword.
Now that I have been following the practices that I learned in the programs, I have begun to experience the benefits that Simone described in her book: better health, more energy, greater focus, and moments of inexplicable joy.

For so long we've been told we need to live in the now. We've been told that “all this is an illusion” and that the “kingdom of heaven is within.” Intellectually we may understand these ideas, but the difficult part for most of us seems to be how. How do we get from an intellectual understanding to a living experience?
It offers us great hope that we may not be limited to this merry-go-round of lifetimes. Enlightenment is possible. For us.


There is a
Force within
That gives you life
Seek that

-- Rumi

I met the mystic and self-realized Yogi Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev after many years of fruitless searching. It was after I had hung up the search and vowed to live my life as best I could without the deep inner realization and serenity I sought that he came into my life and changed it.
In this man many people worldwide have seen someone beyond our imaginations. He is a being who is intensely alive in every possible way—in every human way and in every spiritual way. Whatever I had thought being human meant, he is more than that, and whatever I had imagined being a guru meant, he is also more than that.

I attended dozens of spiritual retreats, read many books on spirituality and philosophy, and traveled to spiritual places all over the world, including India, Nepal, Tibet, and Brazil. Still, after many years of trying, I hadn't gotten any closer to the answers I was seeking. I felt I'd actually come up empty-handed despite my considerable persistence and the intensity of my desire.
So, after more than thirty years of searching that only resulted in disappointment, I was at a loss for what to do next.

running the gamut from distraction to destruction. They drink, take drugs, have affairs, become obsessed with their work, or exercise like crazy. I tried to suffocate my own longing through comfort and keeping busy. Even though I knew in my gut that what I was looking for I would only find within myself.
Is permanent inner bliss possible for a person?

This book is the story of how I came to spend time with the Indian mystic and yoga master, Sadhguru, and how I discovered, in the course of exploring the subjects of life, death, and destiny with him, that real and lasting inner transformation was not only possible for me but was becoming a living reality. Several years after he initially came into my life, Sadhguru stayed with me for a week at my home in the mountains.

CHAPTER ONE - The Seeking: An American Story

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields . . .
I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.

-— Bono/U2, 1987

Surely there was more to life than to be born, grow up, work, eat, sleep, make some money, and then die.
This book was different from anything else I ever read. The Autobiography of a Yogi. self-realization. enlightenment. the knowledge of one's true self beyond all illusion.
It sounded as if we were all collectively suffering from a distorted view of reality in which we thought we were separate from everyone and everything else, when we were really all one energy.
Yogananda describes self-realization as the dissolution of the sense of a self as a separate ego personality into a blissful, ecstatic, boundless oneness that is free from death. Instantly I knew this is what I had been looking for!

There was (of course) one major drawback. Yoga works best under the guidance of a guru.

As soon as the LSD hit, I noticed that everything—the grass, the sky, the trees—seemed to be alive and teeming with a vibrant cosmic energy. Everything was living, loving, laughing, flying, crying, and dying all at the same time.
It was incredible. Bliss without discipline. Excellent, I thought. I was convinced I was experiencing some of what Yogananda had described only without doing any of the work. What luck to have discovered this. A shortcut!

I had always sensed that there was a part of me that seemed to be observing my life as I lived it.
I could retain nothing, not any wisdom and definitely no permanent expansion or love from the experience.
What it did leave me with was the frustration that there really was much more to life than what I normally experienced. Why was I only able to have a temporary glimpse of oneness, unconditional love, and bliss?
I knew that if I did not change my life, I was going to self-destruct.

Ted was nineteen when we met, and soon to be eligible for parole. Despite the fact that Ted was incarcerated, he lived like a yogi. He had his own cell and spent most of his time reading, meditating, fasting, and doing yoga. He was quite shining and beautiful at the time, and he seemed much deeper than anyone I'd ever met.
We fell in love and planned to be together as soon as it was possible.
My father had endless discussions with me about what an enormous mistake I was about to make.
he got so exasperated that he not only refused to attend the wedding, he also quit speaking to me.
For a time, I was dead to him.
This was a huge loss to me because I was crazy about my father, and I knew that he adored me.

Ted had somehow managed to create a spiritual cocoon of sorts for himself inside a very harsh environment when he was in prison and had a lot of time to work on himself. But when he got out, the distractions of being outside in the real world and trying to earn a living created new challenges for him.
He was extremely responsible and was obviously capable of great discipline, but with working twelve to fourteen hour days, the meditation, fasting, and yoga he had been doing became a thing of the past. The radiance, peace of mind, and sense of humor that had been present in him before was no longer as accessible.

Things became so uneasy between us that we could not even do something simple together, like go to a movie, and have it go smoothly. Little by little we lost our intimacy and our sense of fun. We became just another mundane, at odds, unhappy couple.
Getting divorced felt like getting ripped to shreds. I had never before experienced such a personal loss.
It made me understand in a very real way how all things eventually end.
With anything that's impermanent, and relationships are a prime example, whatever happens, however good or bad, someday it's over.

So, what is it that's never over? Is there something in us that does not die?
I was not only completely on my own, I was also totally clueless about how to be a good mother and how to make money.
I realized just how important money was to me once I didn't have any.

I sank into what we'd now call a clinical depression. I woke up depressed, went to sleep depressed, and felt depressed throughout the day. I couldn't shake it. It was as if I were enveloped in a thick, heavy fog that possessed me. It suffocated me. The depression was like a living entity.

I did not need anyone else to make me happy; it was within me and me alone. I was very careful after that where I would allow my thinking to take me and what I would allow my thoughts to land on.
Over the years, I found a wide variety of other living teachers as I took part in many classes and retreats. In addition to yoga, I tried a variety of other things: Transcendental meditation, Zen meditation, Vippasaana meditation, and Tibetan Buddhism. Each of these paths had their own success stories about individuals who had found enlightenment, or at least transformation, through their practices.

Each practice interested me at first, but despite several years of involvement with these various paths, they left me feeling hopeless.
Small things were happening, but it just seemed to me that even if I dedicated my entire life to one or more of them, it would take an eternity for something substantial to happen.

I was more comfortable with business people and intellectuals than with spiritual seekers and people in the New Age community.
I started to think that in order to experience real lifechanging inner transformation, I needed to be around an enlightened, self-realized being—if there really was such a being.

Finally, one day I broke down, set aside my pride, and asked the universe—or the infinite or whatever I was calling “it” at the time—for help. I have never been comfortable asking for any kind of help, so this was not a casual request. It had come only after a long struggle to find the object of my quest on my own. I concluded that without some sort of extraordinary help, nothing of a truly deep and transformational nature was ever going to happen to me. Faster than I could imagine the end of my life would arrive, and this ephemeral gig would be up, once and for all with or without the answers I had searched for so many years.
Within months, I found myself placed in front of a person who would prove to be as mystical as he was simple.

CHAPTER TWO - The Finding: Encountering Sadhguru