My name is Noah Nichols. I am the founder of Mantrapiece. Mantrapiece was built on a realization that I had in the year 2017, which had come to me moments after a good friend of mine performed a kind of guided meditation on me, while I was experiencing a massive panic attack. This realization could be somewhat compared to as a miracle of sorts. Mostly, because of the radical affect that it had on my mind. And yet, at the same time, not so much of a miracle at all, but a revelation to a deeper feeling. A feeling that seemed to have always been there, silent and deeply submerged beneath the clatter of everyday life. And for once, I was able to established a connection to that feeling, and recognize it for what it was - the truth. I would like to share with you my deepest and most sincere feelings about how this realization changed my life, and what happened exactly. It is a story about something we could only refer to as ''inner transformation''. Or as some would call it, ''awakening to your true nature''. It is a story about transcending all that is false within you, and discovering what it truly means to love and embrace life as it appears before you right now.
As this story begins, I was experiencing a massive panic attack, which I believe was due to thirty something odd years of depression. And this depression seemed to have finally taken a toll on my mind. As I no longer had the strength to continue on pretending to be so strong. I could no longer fight off these tormenting memories of the past, filled with unresolved problems, hate and anger. And my fearful thoughts about the future, of how I'll never amount to anything. I was finally giving in to the struggle, the pain and the suffering. I was finally giving up. At least, that's what I had thought at the moment. And my body trembling as much as it was, believed this to be so. I could see the shell, which had encapsulated all of my memories and thoughts about the past, and all of my hopes and dreams about the future, which made up everything about who I was, cracking and tearing at the seams, as if this me that I am was soon to be no more. And all I could think was that, I was losing control of me. I was going to die. That was the most terrifying feeling that I had ever felt. It was the feeling of absolute certain death. And I knew, there was no way of escaping it. But at the same time, through the torment of this horrible mental and physiological breakdown, I knew the grass just had to be greener on the other side. I had heard this phrase multiple times throughout my life. And it was always about people who were triumphant in their struggles. And so, I had this increment of hope, radiating somewhere deep within me. I knew it was possible that I could overcome this. And I wasn't giving up. I knew that I had to make it through. And I knew that the only way out, was deeper in. I just had to hold on a little while longer.
Sure enough, in the midst of this chaotic and agonizing event. And at the near climax of it. As my heart was rapidly pounding completely off beat and at random bursts and intervals. A sharp physical pain that felt like a knife was slowly being pressed into my heart. My body trembling and struggling to catch it's breath. I was somehow fortunate enough to have a nearby friend sit me down and talk me through a kind of guided meditation psychology known as, "NLP Timeline Therapy". I managed to sit down, and focus enough to listen to his instructions. The first thing he asked me, was if I could see my life's timeline. He asked me this question as if one actually did exist. And I have a pretty good imagination. So, it wasn't too difficult to imagine a golden line radiating with energy, spanning from the far left to the far right. The left representing the past, and the right representing the future. Once I confirmed that I could see it, he had me close my eyes. And through softly speaking to me, he guided me into the deepest depths of my life's past. Immediately, he instructed me to imagine my favorite childhood memory. It took some time, but eventually, I found it. And I just sat there thinking about it, or starring at it, or imagining it, as if in a way I was reliving it. After a moment of envisioning this childhood memory, I began to feel slightly better. The timeline therapy seemed to be having a positive affect on me. I also didn't hold back. I was completely opened to him and his every instruction. It was as if I was an innocent child who was begging for mercy, and was receiving it. After I had spent enough time taking shelter within this favorite childhood memory, he instructed me to go back 5 years before I was born, and imagine my mother and my father happily together. And I did. I imagined them as a dating coupling, planning to get married one day and have some children together. This was by far one of the most pleasant imaginations that I had ever imagined before. And it brought me greatest of comfort.
At this point we were about seven minutes into the journey of my life's timeline. The trembling of my body had began to seize. The beating of my heart began to normalize. The knife-like pain in my heart had also subsided. And my breathing became calm and relaxed. Soon after imagining my parents and their life together, he instructed me that we would now travel forward in time. We would travel to what I believed to be my future. The first benchmark of my life's future was ten years out. He instructed me to imagine that I was forty three years old. And possibly had a new job, started my own business, had new hobbies, passions or friends. And then taking me another ten years forward, he had me imagine that I was fifty three years old. And this time, I was possibly a grandfather to my daughters children and even retired. And then taking me another ten years forward again. We did this until I reached the old age of about eighty three.And then finally, he asked me to imagine my life subtly coming to an end. And all of my family and friends gathered around at my funeral. They were standing around my casket, crying, laughing and celebrating. It wasn't a sad moment for me either. In fact, as I imagined this, I felt the strangest feeling come over me. It was the feeling of great accomplishment. It was a feeling that I didn't understand then, but completely understand now. It was a feeling of knowing that death is the greatest accomplishment of all. Death isn't the end of a life, but the completion of a life lived. It is the missing piece to understanding the whole of life. And every life ultimately and inevitably reaches this point of completion. Rather it be early or late.
After my death and funeral, he then instructed me to imagine my body slowly ascending up into the sky. The higher I ascended the smaller my life's timeline appeared. Eventually, I reached outer space. And as I continued to ascend, I could see the earth slowly becoming smaller and smaller. I continued ascending until I reached deep space, where there was nothing but emptiness and blackness in the distance. At this point, he instructed me to imagine that my head was slowly opening up from the top, as if a flower were blossoming. And from within the center of my head, emerged a glowing bright white light. After about thirty seconds of silence and imagining this glowing bright white light pulsating above my head, he instructed me that it was time to return home. He then instructed me to imagine this glowing bright white light slowly descending back down and into my head, and my head closing up. After that, he instructed me to imagine myself slowly descending back down to earth. And upon reaching this location that I was sitting in at that moment, I could open my eyes whenever I felt ready to. I was completely unprepared for what was going to happen next. And so, after I had imagined my decent back down to earth. And arrived to the location that I was sitting in at that moment. I took a brief moment to contemplate, that I hadn't died, and I was still alive. I could feel great peace and comfort within my body and mind for the first time in a very long time. And so, I took a deep breath and I opened my eyes.
Upon opening my eyes, I was greatly overwhelmed with an incredible feeling of shock and absolute disbelief. In that moment of opening my eyes, my entire life flashed before me, as if it were never really there to begin with or nothing more than a story I read in a book once. It appeared as though it was a fleeting imagined fairy tale. And the entire world, as it appeared before my eyes and all around me, seemed to be appearing from within me, and not actually outside of me. And yet at the same time there was an astronomical amount of space and distance between me and this world. It was as though, the consciousness of my mind and the physical nature of reality were in two completely different places. I was on one side, and everything else was on the other. It was as though I had never actually been acquainted with anything. And was only ever aware of it all, this whole time. It was as if, I was looking in at everything from some far out distant place, somewhere outside of and beyond the universe. A place which has no definable name or location. And I could see the entire perimeter of the universe faintly appearing before me, as if I was on the outside of it looking in.
And it was in that moment of intense shock and revelation, that I realized some of the most unimaginable things that anyone could ever realize about themselves or their existence as a human being. I couldn't help the feeling of knowing, that maybe I had always known that I was not separate from the universe and yet entirely it. A feeling that I must have forgotten a long time ago when I was a young child or even infant. I must have temporarily and unknowingly put this feeling aside as I explored the possibility that there was something else other than I. A material object or an idea perhaps, that was far more profound or valuable and could somehow replace me. But, I was wrong. Nothing could ever replace this existence that I am. And nothing could be more significant, profound or valuable. This is the feeling that I was referring to earlier when I said that it was no longer submerged beneath the clatter of everyday life. There is nothing other than I. This feeling of knowing that I was all there was had once again emerged, and for the first time I understood it. And knew it to be the absolute truth. I had seen a glimpse of the totality of all existence, and I knew myself to be it, without a doubt.
I had always been there throughout every experience of my past, and I had always been there throughout every future projected thought about what my future might be like as well. There was never a moment in my life that I wasn't present for any of my life's experiences. I was completely aware of my entire life's story. I was aware of it in such a way, that I could see it appearing in mind-sight just like any ordinary story that appears as a simple thought. And so, the question that was starring me dead in the face was this.
''How can I be aware of my life's story, and also be my life's story?''
The answer was simple. And logically, it made all the sense in the world. I am not my life's story or any of the fictional characters in it, including 'Noah'. I am not a story. I am not an idea. I am not a thought. I am only aware of these things. I realized, that whatever I was, this awareness or consciousness of things, is absolutely prior to every thing, and from it come all things. And that was when I arrived to the conclusion that I didn't know what I was. But I was absolutely certain that I wasn't an idea such as being a person.
I was no longer stuck behind this idea that I was something such as a person, that desperately needed to accumulate worldly things to maintain a reputation in order to survive. Nor was there any fear that if I didn't maintain such a person identity, I would fall into despair, be outcast from society, abandoned by my friends and family, or end up depressed and wanting to end my own life. All fear was gone, as though it never were. I could be absolutely no idea at all, and thrive! From this one realization, I transcended every idea that I had ever believed. I was free! I was a full grown healthy man's body, with the consciousness of an infant, and the intelligence of a bachelor's degree level university student. Existing in the middle of nowhere, as nothing and everything. I knew my life was about to get really really good. And I would be ok for the first time.
Yeah, for sure, the joke was on me, big time! And not before long after opening my eyes, I began to cry. They were tears of pure joy, washing over every fiber and cell in my body. I could feel it washing away all that pain and suffering that I unknowingly had stored away within the deepest recesses of my mind. And had been carrying with me for so long. It was the first time that I had ever cried and it actually felt good. And it didn't just feel good! It was the most incredible feeling that I had ever felt! And I laughed the most joyous of laughter as well. I had finally found what I had always been searching for. And I was it. And what makes the whole thing so unexpectedly fascinating and mind shattering, is that I hadn't any clue, that throughout my entire life, I only ever wanted to be free from all of these ideas, and remain knowing that what I am, is all there is. To be reunited with this knowing is but what life and living is all about. And to be absolutely honest with you, if I could take a not so wild guess, I would say that everyone wants to be free from all of these ideas as well. And wake up to re-realize their own infinite and eternal true nature as well. They just don't know it yet.
Since then, every moment of my every waking breath, comes as an unfathomable feeling of gratitude. That what whatever I am, is, and has always existed in this complete, whole and unobstructed form, eternally ever present, right now, as I.