For over 30 years Mitchel Blair has studied and practiced a spiritual way of life.
He grew up with a religious background, but he claims no religion. His first introduction to spirituality, outside of church, was with a twelve-step fellowship where he learned from many loving people the principles behind the twelve steps. These twelve steps were designed and created to lead people to a spiritual awakening, and away from addictive and compulsive behaviors.
Since, his introduction to a spiritual way of life, he has studied and followed the teaching of the Siddha Yoga lineage through the teachings of Swami Muktananda, and engaged in a devotional practice with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.
After 12 years at Gurumayi's Ashram in Oakland, California he concluded that the path of devotion too one's guru, bhakti yoga, no longer worked for him. His studies turned more inward, with the practice of meditation as prescribed by the twelve steps and—still drawn toward Hinduism—with another aspect of Hinduism called raja yoga.
For years, Mitchel Blair followed many different paths, outwardly and inwardly, in search of relief from his tormented mind. He experienced many shifts and changes, but deep abiding peace still eluded him. Despite all of his searching, he was still filled with regret, resentment, anger, and hate for himself and others.
Another teacher came into Mitchel’s life, and underneath his resistance he was ready for what this teacher offered. Following this teacher's advise, for six years of daily self-inquiry – a written inventory and search to discover what was underneath all the torment he struggled with – Mitchel discovered the peace that had always been. He also noticed that regret, anger and resentment had dropped away. He talked with his teacher about this happening, but his teacher had no experience with this inward change.
Mitchel continued to practice this form of self-inquiry. One day his heart was broken open, and at that moment he knew that there was no way to close it. There was no way to go back. After a lifetime of having a 10' wall around his heart, he had to learn a new way to live: He had to learn to live with his heart open to everything. Once again his teacher had no experience with this, and no direction for Mitchel to follow. Not understanding what was happening, and not having any real direction, Mitchel just “showed up,” and learned how to live a life with his heart open. He even experienced the dropping away of many so-called positive human characteristics … and this left him baffled. No one in his spiritual communities understood what was happening.
But one day a friend from work approached Mitchel and asked if he wanted to watch a DVD of his friend's teacher. Mitchel wanted nothing to do with another teacher, so, he said, “No”. He’d been with enough teachers and didn't want another one! But Mitchel’s friend was persistent: one day he dropped the DVD on Mitchel’s desk, said, “Just watch it” and walked away. Mitchel shrugged his shoulders and decided to watch the DVD—just to get this guy off his back.
As Mitchel watched the DVD, he realized that this teacher was talking about what had been happening to Mitchel over the past years. He didn't know it at the time, but this was his last formal teacher.
After five years with this new teacher, the denial of Mitchel’s own awakening dropped away, and he saw that there is nothing but awareness. He understood in a deep way that it is always present.
He has been directed by an inward movement to share his experience with us. Come share in the Sangha (Spiritual Community), because it is more than a teacher and the words expressed that leads someone inward to awakening.
"Our Path - Our Life is the Path to Liberation." Mitchel Blair