I am also you
By Cielle Backstrom
from:Dancing in the Fire: Stories of Awakening within the Heart of Community, edited by Bob Valine
Senior Waking Down Teacher, Sandra Glickman asked, "Who are you?"
I thought for a moment in silence. "I am dual, both limitless and limited."
"Tell me more," she prodded.
To describe my unlimited nature was easy. I had been aware of it for many years. "I am unbounded, eternal, omnipresent. At the base of my existence is fundamental non-separateness, fundamental wellness, seamlessness. There is an "is-ness" or in "am-ness" that I am always identified with. It transcends, stands apart from all relative change and yet is the basis of all creation. I am that non-separate basis of all relative existence, all fields of change. I am That."
"Tell me about your limited nature," she commanded
That answer also seemed easy. My hands patted my thighs, "My limited nature is my body, my ego, my mind, intellect, emotions and feelings." Something whispered inside that there was more to my limited nature. I wasn't sure what that more was. I paused to see what would arise. My gaze was fixed on hers. I sank deep into her eyes. Words formed around a thought in a whisper. The thought was pure blasphemy, yet True. This Truth had to be spoken, and yet it seemed so unbelievable that I could only speak in a whisper.
"When speaking of my limited nature...."
I paused, tears welling in my eyes, choking back the words. Then I dared to speak the Truth so new and tender, "I am also you."
"Say that again," she insisted.
"I am also you."
The tears flowed now. My body shook with this recognition. The denial that had separated me from that Truth was like a thin pain of glass. I had dared to crack it. Kali, the very thing I had feared the most in her, sprang into action. Sandra's words became like hammers (or maybe they were skulls) to shatter that pain of glass, already weakened,
"That is the Second Birth! That is the Second Birth!" She showed no mercy. I was sobbing, hyperventilating, transfixed by her gaze. She continued to wield her hammers, "Nothing else you have spoken of up until this time is the Second Birth. This Is!"
As the shards of the glass that had separated me from this reality fell around me, I exploded like a supernova. Suddenly I found my limited nature simultaneously centered in all things. I was all things. It was awesome, unbelievable, yet True. Namaste took on a new meaning. My eternal nature bows to itself as found in all things, as found in you. I continued to shake, cry and hyperventilate. I grounded myself in her gaze.
"Yes, yes." Her voice softened, "This is who you are."
I started to relax into this expanded state. I had often heard the expression "holding the space" for someone going through a "process." I needed someone as big and powerful as she to hold the space I was now experiencing while I integrated this new level of Reality. After a short time, I realized that my unmanifest, limitless ground of Being could hold this new realization for and with me.
I felt the exhaustion of both having just given birth and having just been born. I realized that the Second Birth was more than just an embodied feeling-witness consciousness; it was a true and awesome knowing that I was not just the unmanifest basis of all creation, but also that I was centered in all manifest creation, all things simultaneously. Non-separateness was experienced on the level of the unmanifest, but also on the level of manifest creation.
....................I feel a little shy sharing this story with you. Thanks for reading it. I hope to hear from you. I hold your stories sacred, every one of them and hope that sometime you will share some of them with me. I am here to listen.
You may reach me at:
learn more about me at:
much love, Cielle
PS Thank you Linda and Saniel for catalyzing this enormous shift in me.
Dancing in the Fire was published previously under the title "The Second Birth"
The Surprise of Your Awakening
Gazing - 4 Fairfield Teachers
Gazing with Cielle
Invitation to your Soul
Waking Down and Shamansim
Listen to My Awakening Story - a recording
Greenlighting - via Inner Relationship Focusing
My students have taught me
Claim Your Second Birth