Leonard Jacobson: It had taken three years to integrate the experience of that first awakening.
During that time, I read extensively and visited several Masters in India in an endeavor to understand what had happened to me.
Gradually, I was returned to the Oneness and love that I had experienced three years earlier, but it was much softer and I was able to function more easily in the world.
I began to run groups, sharing with others what had been revealed to me.
In December of 1984, I returned to the Jasmine Retreat Center, where I had experienced my first awakening. This time I was running the retreat. There were about thirty people in attendance and most of them had worked with me for over a year.
It was a very powerful event and almost everyone opened into the deepest levels of awakened Presence.
On the last day of the retreat, I began to open into the eternal dimension of existence. Time had disappeared and I knew that I was entering into another peak experience. This one seemed even more powerful than the first. I experienced Oneness with everything I encountered. It was magical. It was full of mystery and wonder. I was in a state of perfect silence, Presence and love.
I spent the next few days in blissful communion. The trees, the flowers, the birds, and even the insects were experienced as loving friends, sharing this beautiful world with me.
On about the fifth day, I lay down on the grass to rest. I closed my eyes, stretched my arms out wide and relaxed deeply. I could hear the sound of the river in the distance. I could hear birds singing. My mind was silent and I was in a state of perfect Presence.
Then, all of a sudden, I found myself transported through time into another dimension. Somehow, I was on the cross, experiencing the crucifixion in perfect detail. It was as though I was looking through the eyes of Jesus, hearing all the sounds and feeling all the feelings involved in that experience. I felt the physical pain of the crucifixion and I experienced that terrible moment on the cross, when he cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Then followed a series of revelations about what really happened to Jesus on the cross, and what has happened to him since his death.
This process of revelation unfolded over the next few days. I was in several different realms of consciousness at the same time. It was very confusing and quite a difficult experience to go through. I felt overwhelmed by these revelations. Although they affirmed the divinity of Jesus at the deepest level, nevertheless there were some startling departures from traditional Christian beliefs.
By the time this awakening began to subside, I was completely exhausted. I had not slept for many nights, nor had I eaten much.
Some close friends drove me to Byron Bay and I stayed in a cabin behind their house. I collapsed into bed and slept for three days. When I awakened, I was in Heaven on Earth.
It is difficult to describe what it was really like. I can only say that I no longer existed as an individual. I had been completely absorbed into Oneness. My mind was utterly silent. The past and future had disappeared. Quite literally, there was no life outside the present moment.
The cabin was set in a beautiful forest. It was quiet and secluded and all I could hear was the sound of birds singing. For the next three weeks, I lay in bed or sat in a chair by the window, totally immersed in the mystery of existence. Occasionally, I went for a walk, but my body was quite weakened by the experience.
I had very few visitors during this time, and the few that did come did not really know how to be with me. I was not able to engage in conversation, but if anyone asked a question or sought guidance, I could respond. I was in a constant state of profound love and Oneness.
Then one day, these words spontaneously arose from deep within me.
“No one will come.”
Somehow these four words conveyed a message to me. I must come down from the mountainous heights of consciousness and return to a more normal level. Then I could function in the world of time and make myself available to others seeking guidance.
“If no one would come to me, then I would go to them.”
It was difficult to come down from that peak but, after about three months, I was able resume a life within the world of time.
I had no expectation or desire for any more awakenings. I was more than content to live a quiet and peaceful life, going for walks, sipping tea in the local cafes of Byron Bay, and sharing the teaching with those who found their way to me.
In December of 1990, I scheduled a residential retreat, once again at the Jasmine Retreat Center. I was about to enter into my third awakening.