What is Love beyond the Imaginary?

Updated: Apr 7, 2018

By Atma

Atma, a previous retreatant, recently returned to the Ashram to further her inner work, working with Shunyamurti, deepening her meditation practice with our resident muni, Marjiva, learning more about the dynamics of the ego and Atman in gyana classes, participating in community karma yoga, and recharging in pristine natural surroundings of the tropical mountains of Southern Costa Rica. During her time at the Ashram, she went through a life-transforming event that she was able to metabolize and grow from, which she shares below.

Atma, with Shunyamurti during satsang at a recent retreat.

When I made the decision of spiritual renunciation, I truly did not know what I was getting into. I knew that I had to let go of everything to fulfill my desire to be a vessel for the Divine and to return to Source. It was part of an imaginary idea of the ego but also a deep longing of the soul. The ego had more or less created an idea of what this was going to look like. Obviously, it was not at all as the ego had envisioned it, but I did not know that back then.

So, the choice was made. I left my house in Ibiza, my soul family, all my belongings, and my beloved partner. He and I were on the spiritual path together, and we were about to start being of service together. The dream was to walk the earth as the Twin Flame and spread the message of Love. We knew that we experienced many lifetimes together. We made the decision to part ways, and then, after a couple of months, return and see how we felt and see if we wanted to continue walking the path together.

I went to Guatemala for two months, and we were in contact regularly which made everything feel very safe for me. A couple of days before I went to the Sat Yoga Ashram, I received a message from him, saying that he had fully let me go now, and there was no more magnetic connection to me; therefore, I should let go of all our ideas of returning and let him go.


I dropped into a speechless void before I could even get my emotions together. When I got them together, everything came up: Abandonment. Rejection. Disappointment. I felt deadened.

Luckily, I had my first session with Shunyamurti as soon as I arrived in the Ashram, and in that session, another bubble popped: the realization that the Twin Flame Love relationship that I had created for myself was an illusion, that it was never true, that all the romantic love, all the seeking, all the stories I had created about that ultimate dream couple were a lie.

This had been a creation of the ego to hide from the loneliness, to avoid the pain of the core wounds, to distract itself from the Truth, to feed into duality, separation, to make itself important, to feel the love from another, to feed off the love of another, and to be an object of desire and projection.

I could feel the truth within all my cells. The veil lifted, and Truth had been revealed. I felt so trapped. There was no way back to believing that I would experience the fairytale dream that the ego had created. It was devastating. I dropped into an empty void. Luckily, I was in a safe space, and I knew within my heart that I just had to keep trusting.

After some time of grieving over the loss and going deep within the pain, I felt a deep sense of surrender. I could not hold onto the pain. And suddenly, I remembered a promise that I had made to my partner before parting: “I just want you to be happy—with me or without me—that is true unconditional love.“

Of course I was not living up to my promise. I was not loving him unconditionally, but projecting my pain onto him. As I realized this, a deep sense of forgiveness and love overcame my entire being. I had to cry and release, release all. I sent him a message, and with that, I turned my phone off and felt a sense of relief and freedom.

I could allow myself to go deeper. I was coming in and out of maya. At times the pain would return, and at other times I would feel innocence and joy. Rushes of divine love where overcoming me, and I had to cry out of humility and gratitude to be able to experience God’s love. When the beauty and love were there, all seemed so effortless and natural. But when the pain came, I felt so sad and upset because I wanted to return to the beauty, as I was still in resistance to the pain.

Shortly before the retreat, I decided to turn my phone back on and share my revelations with my dearest friends and with my previous partner. As there was still a sense within me that we might return to each other, and might be together in a brahmacharya relationship, walking the path of devotion to god. But I knew that if

God chose differently, it was OK.

God chose differently. As soon as I turned my phone on, I received a message from him that he was already with another woman, actually a dear friend of mine.


My whole body started shaking, I could not breathe, all my cells went into shock as fear and anxiety were overtaking my whole being. It felt like the deepest sense of primordial fear, unbearable pain. I could not believe the message, and I could not believe all the pain that was still within my being. It was so painful. So intense.

All the feelings that I felt I had previously worked through came back a hundredfold. Abandonment. Rejection. Betrayal. Denial. How could this be my karma? I was frightened of everything. No, I did not want to go back there into the realms of suffering. So, I was trying to cancel the story out and focus on the stillness. But the anxiety returned, this deep sense of feeling unsafe. I had to go into it. So, I went.

I saw myself as a little girl, I felt all the abandonment of my father and all the pain that I experienced as a child. Again? I had done this so many times, “I have worked through all the corners and pieces of my childhood”, I thought. This was the last piece. The unbearable pain of the rejection and abandonment of my father when I was in the womb and as a child.

I went into it. I sat with it. I allowed the anxiety to overtake my body and focused on breathing and surrendering. Suddenly a sense of safety came in, slowly and gently. All is good. I am safe. The anxiety and the pain were just a protection of the wound. But I am safe.

The innocence returned. I opened my eyes, and everything was brighter and shinier. I felt like a little girl that was locked in a dark room and the door to the outside world opened for the first time. 

I was at the doorstep, but I could not step out. I felt too vulnerable. So, I accepted myself in that position and nurtured the little one with love.

It started to feel confusing, so I fell into a space of total disorientation because I could not go further, something was blocking me, and I did not know what. I definitely did not want to go back into the pain, the dark room behind me, but it was still lingering within my consciousness.

I felt trapped again. I did not know who I was anymore, or what I was. The mind was going on, and I realized it was a broken record playing in my mind. It felt like it was saying the same things over again, and I could recognize it as a robotic entity. But I did not know how to stop it. I just had to breathe and pray.

Days were passing within the total disillusion and disorientation, and I was so grateful to be in a safe space because, honestly, in the outside world I believe I would have gone mad. I felt detached from the world and that freedom was giving me a further sense of safety.

“Why can I not cross the doorstep?” “What is it?” A deep sense of longing to returning home was residing within me.

I sat in my room and realized, I had not gone the whole way. I had been numbing myself to not go further. Suddenly, with this realization, something released from my heart. Tears and the most intense feelings came up. This time it went even deeper than ever before.

There was still so much pain stuck within the body. I totally surrendered and cried intensely as my whole body was shaking. I realized the feelings again: pain, loneliness, abandonment, separation—separation from God.

That is all it was. The whole time. No father, no mother, no story. I had allowed myself to separate myself from Source and that was so painful.

I had created all of it. Every single bit. From the beginning of history till the end. It was all my story. Though the pain was still there.

This time, I allowed myself to experience it purely as feelings. To feel it but not to be it, to not relate it to my father or a partner or any other story. But simply be with it and allow it to flow through. To witness it like a visiting guest.

It felt so freeing to allow myself to be with these intensities in totality, embrace them as they are.

I slowly started to feel it as God.


This is God. This is Love. It was such a paradox. All these emotions were just Love. True Love. Streaming through me and freeing me from the densities. That is why it was so intense. It was Shiva cutting through the veils of illusion and freeing me from Maya. Oh wow, how grateful I started to feel. And I started to breathe into the intensity. Slowly it transformed. My whole body transformed into light. Into Love. As I was allowing it more and more to flow through without any resistance it was flushing my whole body with light. I finally understood so much.

All the pain, the fear, the anxiety—all it was was just love, but I was scared of that love. That is why I was resisting it all this time. That is why I was creating stories around it: to avoid melting into it and dissolving.

I slowly came back to the body. I opened my eyes and felt how I was sitting in it. I am sitting in love. I am sitting inside God. And God was sitting inside me. Within my heart, there is the Source. It was the source of all those experiences. The source of life. And I found it right within my heart! I could not believe this feeling, it is so impossible to even put words to it, to describe it. Everything made so much sense. Everything. It was all just a game. A play of myself trying to find myself.

I have found myself. I have found home.

There was only one thing left. I knew I had to skype with my previous partner and his new girlfriend. I was avoiding it, but I knew it was important to close the circle. As the screen came on, I felt tears in my eyes. All I could feel was love. It did not even make sense to my mind at all. But I felt the perfection in everything. How all of this needed to happen in order for me to be free. For all to be free. I realized how we were one. There was nobody. It did not matter if he was with her or with me because they’re just bodies. But we are all one. I just had to take them into my heart. I had to take all into my heart. Only that way could I become the Oneness. Of course, how can there be Unity if one piece of the whole is rejected or resisted? The story of “Why?” did not matter anymore, since it was and is just a story.

After that, I kept feeling the Unity. Unity with all.

All is the Divine. Every aspect of life, every experience, every pain it is all the divine. How can it not be?

I felt it on all levels of my consciousness, the suffering is over. I could not believe it—all seemed like a dream, the realization that the suffering was finally over seemed like a beautiful dream—and it is a dream. I had woken up into the dream of creation.

It was hilarious and so paradoxical, completely impossible to be understood by the mind. I understand now how the mind will never understand—because there is nothing to understand. It is a mystery. God’s game is a mystery. There can be only Surrender. Every thought is ultimately an illusion because in Truth there is no thought.

Therefore, I realized as the thoughts are ceasing but still coming in at times to just let them be, as they will slowly release themselves. To not give them importance, to not get affected by them but just let them be. Let all be a part of the beautiful Lila. It is all God’s creation. We are not here to do anything but to be the instruments of the Divine. It is so easy, so effortless that it is incomprehensible for the ego.

I truly tried so many things until I realized that the trying needs to be given up. Total surrender is to allow God to do it and for me to be within God. That there is nothing to do, and there never was anything to do. Only allowing and being. It is so delightful, freeing, and easy.

And I allow myself to go deeper. Beyond the feelings of Joy, Love, and Bliss lies the Absolute Aloneness which contains these beautiful feelings.

I am not scared anymore as this majestic miracle is coming in. Within that aloneness, there are no words. There are no objects. There is nothing—but everything at the same time. It’s the deepest serene silence. No one is there. No one am I. Slowly, this vessel is starting to become It in totality, without resistance and through that is it so effortless. It is the totality and pure beingness. So peaceful, silent. Silent Beauty.

What an interesting game has God created for Itself.

Atma, during an Omprov! class. A theatre and movement based creative expression class.

I’m ready now to play in a new way. The way of Love. The way of Goodness. The way of Truth. As an Instrument of Source in devotion and surrender to all the beauty and blessings that are given.

Gratitude to all of Life and all the lessons that I have learned within that Cosmic Game of Lila.


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