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11:11 - A Personal Narrative

11:11 - A Personal Narrative
by R.M.L.

It all started during the fall/winter seasons of 1972. I was a university student living and experiencing the personal and collective angst and volatility that was the world at that particular time - war, protests, the continuous struggle for civil rights and marching for justice. There were those around me who went with the flow - and that meant drugs and promiscuity. Others (and I felt a kinship with this segment of the body politic) were becoming interested in peaceful resistance, non-materialism, spirituality - New Consciousness if you will.

I was emerging out of the darkling antechambers of my own fears. Reading Hesse and Watts and Castaneda. Subconsciously on the verge of abandoning religiosity and going back to the Source but still full of youthful cynicism - and I wouldn't have been able to define words like 'metaphysics' and 'mysticism' because I was a temporary agnostic, sitting on the fence, suspending most spiritual decisions and judgments and simply biding my time. All I knew for certain was that those nuns and priests had lied to me (or at least just given me their version of the 'truth'), that orthodox religion had been co-opted, was fear-based and erected on a foundation of half-truths and premeditated manipulation - and this was not a path I would ever venture onto again (much to the chagrin of those who had raised and taught me).

Then that one quizzical transcendental week. That one night. Myself and two friends were alone in the resident lounge debating some obscure matter (which escapes me at the moment) and I, in a moment of sheer bravado and impetuosity, declaimed - "I'm as sure of that as I am of the fact that it's 2:43 a.m." (I did not then and continue to this day not to wear a watch). With no clock in sight one of my comrades ran into my open bedroom, looked at the digital clock radio, and came back with a grin, stipulating - "It is 2:43 a.m.!". I ran into the room myself to verify and the three of us had quite a chuckle. What a fortuitous coincidence! And the smug look on my face lasted for the rest of our gabfest.

During the next two days this experience occurred a few more times. It was no longer a coincidence. I seemed to be in sync with my inner clock or something - and I started to get these Twilight Zone supra-natural sensations running through me so that Thursday evening, before turning in for the night, I vividly remember sitting on my bed, contemplating these strange incidents, and then saying aloud to myself - "Okay, if you're so smart, what time will you get up tomorrow morning?" I closed my eyes and instantaneously the numbers flashed into objective consciousness. I "saw" eleven minutes after 11 a.m. I immediately shrugged it off. I had a 9 a.m. class I had to get to - so the answer was wrong.

As was my wont in those days - I used to miss a lot of morning classes. I would sleep in until the spirit moved me to get my sorry butt out of bed. That Friday morning, having forgotten the events of the night before, I eventually sat up, rubbed my eyes open and turned to look at the clock radio. It was 11:11 a.m.!

After this happenstance whatever mini psychic ability I had had that particular week, for all intents and purposes, deserted me. But it was a catalyst that spurred me into an interest in psychism, metaphysics, the path towards self-realization and meditation that has lasted to the present moment.

During the years 1973 to 1990 I commenced my wisdom trip, my spiritual quest, reading voraciously, joining a fraternal, mystical organization which schooled me in the basics of pragmatic mysticism, laying the spiritual groundwork for the path that I had literally been pushed onto. And during those 17 years when I had specific moments of 'quiet desperation', when I felt that life was against me, when obstacles seemed insurmountable, I would somehow (intuitively) raise my gaze and confront that 11:11 on my trusty clock radio. It became my personal secret code. It was my bond with the Cosmic. Someone or something was looking after me, telling me not to give up and that the world and my life was unfolding as it should. Everything was purposive. I was not alone. Those numbers were my pact with otherworldly forces - and I shared the 11:11 with no one.

Fast forward to 1991. I'm reading a monthly periodical and am about to throw it into the paper recycling bin when I notice an article on the very last page. There is a picture of the woman being interviewed and then my eyes fasten onto the topic she is expounding on - the activation of the 11:11. My jaw drops. My immediate response is - Who is this Solara person and what is she doing with my numbers?

During the next few months I attended a number of local meetings and came face to face with a score of individuals who had 11:11 stories of their own. I felt a little like the Richard Dreyfuss character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And, needless to say, I began to read all of Solara's books.

Saturday January 11, 1992. I sheepishly get off the subway (it's the heart of winter in Toronto and we had all been instructed to dress completely in white) and I head towards St. Lawrence Hall. I really don't know what to expect. When I enter through the portals I am confronted by about 250 smiling individuals, all decked out in milky raiment - and I experience one of the most profoundly supersensory, ethereal and blissful days of my life. All of us meditate, perform unified movements, fill the atmosphere with our starry names, giggle, cry and eventually hug one another good-bye.

About a year and a half later. The second Initiation is approaching and I'm debating whether or not to attend (the rationale is too lengthy to explicate - stretching from mundane factors like time and distance to intrinsic determinants having to do with feelings of 'separateness' and unpreparedness and ego).

One Wednesday morning I am sitting in bed reading a novel. I have taken one vacation day in the middle of the week just to recharge my batteries - to get away from the occasional pressure of workaday life. The telephone rings and as I answer it I haphazardly glance towards my clock radio. It's 11:11 a.m.

The woman at the other end of the line introduces herself and explains that she is part of a small core of individuals who are planning the next local 11:11 Initiation. They have managed to get their hands on a partial list of about 40 names registered from the previous Initiation and they are calling to ascertain whether or not those people are still at the telephone numbers indited 16 months ago.

The sequence of events astounds me. Here is this woman randomly calling 40 numbers one morning. I had no message machine at that time and if I had not taken a spur-of-the-moment vacation day in the middle of the week - something I had never done before - I would have missed the opportunity. And on top of this - I turn out to be the one individual from that group of 40 whose phone incidentally rings at exactly 11:11 a.m.

There is no choice. I know I have to be there. On June 5th, 1993, I spend the day with a smaller band of ivory clad souls - about 40 - but the sheer joy and memories of those hours often bring a smile to my face - even now as I'm typing these words.

I have always wanted to be part of the Core Group with Solara but the past four initiations have been beyond my means - either fiscally because they have taken place in faraway exotic locales, or because of other commitments of a personal nature. But it seems that the Fifth Initiation / Activation is looming just over the horizon. Perhaps I'll see you there. Introduce yourself and share an anecdote or two. I'll be the guy with the distant yet ecstatic eyes and the wide serene grin.

ADDENDUM: November 1st, 2002


The clock radio woke me up at 4 a.m. I knew it was going to be a long day - and it was. About five hours from Toronto to Los Angeles. Another five hours from L.A. to Honolulu (after an hour and a half delay on the tarmac). And then a long wait before the thirty minute flight from Honolulu to Kona on the Big Island. It was 8 p.m. Hawaii time when I emerged from the airport and was met by my ride - Debra - and then with a major hug from Solara herself. All that time spent sitting on my butt was suddenly well worth it.

This was going to be my first Master Cylinder experience. I had participated in various local anchor gatherings during the initial four activations but for the Fifth Gate Initiation - the Gate of Personal Freedom - I knew I had to be with the core group. There was not a lot of notice but I managed to get two weeks off work. It was going to be expensive but I didn't think twice. This pile of undervalued Canadian dollars was now just coloured paper - a means to an honourable and sublime end.

On October 11th, 2002, about fifteen of us (who had arrived in Hawaii a few days early) piled into a van for a day-long circuit of the Big Island. We gathered in a circle around one of the steam vents and purified our One Being. We ambled through lava tubes and formed a circle once again deep within the darkest innermost recesses of the volcano and sang a chant of welcome, purity and homage. We wandered through lush vegetation - trees and foliage and florescence the like I had never seen before. We left little flowers for the menehunes (Hawaiian nature spirits). And then we arrived at the summit of Kilauea and threw our leis into the massive crater to honour the Goddess Pele. I found myself standing less than two feet from the edge and then retreated rather quickly after realizing that an accidental slip would certainly put the kibosh on all my plans and expectations.

It was quite amusing when I got back home and heard quips like "You lucky stiff; two weeks on the beaches of Hawaii". Little did my friends and acquaintances at work realize that attending a Master Cylinder is not a vacation per se. For eight days we had sessions from 9 a.m. until about noon and then a break for lunch (giving everyone a chance for a speedy ocean dip). We would gather again from about 1:30 to 5 p.m., stop for dinner, and then come together once more until about 9:30 or 10 p.m. We certainly had fun but we also had a very serious prime objective - and that was the significance of what we were doing and the urgent need to expeditiously learn eight to ten sacred dances / movements.

We did have half a day off to go snorkeling and everyone enjoyed sailing the ocean for five hours or so. And many also burned the candle at both ends staying up late into the night renewing friendships and just 'being' together. I myself ate very little and, whether due to the different time zone or not, managed very successfully on only four hours of sleep each night.

At 5 a.m. on Saturday, October 19th, we assembled for the two and a half hour bus ride to the designated activation site. The Initiation was going to take place that day regardless of the weather - scorching sun or pouring rain. In fact, as it turned out, the elements couldn't have been more ideal. The temperature was in the 80's but the entire sky was overcast with a solid layer of grey cloud - thus protecting us from the white-hot rays of the sun god that had been beating down on us all week.

The core group was 44 souls strong and another 25 locals had arrived to serve as anchors around the periphery of our venerable circle, holding the energy as we performed the sacred movements. The location was absolutely surreal - ancient Lemurian ground; an untrodden botanical valley surrounded by green mountains and varnished with a purple mist. It took some effort on my part to not get lost in the panorama and concentrate on the task at hand.

Everyone entered performing the mudras for all five gates. The musician Omashar was filling the air with his lyrical harmony. There were Hawaiian chants, the sound of flutes, and birds occasionally circled overhead - attracted by the white raiment of 70 beaming individuals emanating one dynamic Being; one unified presence.

The highlight of the day for me (and many others) transpired around noon. We had just completed the Greater Central Sun dance. We were standing, holding hands, in a huge circle. Solara started to lie down on the ground and we all followed suit, still holding on to one another, forming a human mandala. I looked up at the beclouded greyness above me and then closed my eyes. Mere seconds later I noted a warmth on my face and reopened my eyes. Directly above us an aperture was lacerating the solid blanket of cloud. In the centre of this small hatchway was the sun. This symmetrical cavity in the overcast sky remained open for about a minute or so and then quickly closed. For the entire 8 hours of dances / rituals this was the only minute that the sun showed itself, albeit briefly. I had never seen a completely overcast sky create such a phenomenon - and I'll probably never see such a happenstance again.

On the plane ride back to Toronto I spent the better part of the day in recollection - thinking about everything from the magical misty site where souls from around the world had gathered in service because they had been called to be there - to the final Golden Lion Dance, at the end of which we formed a circle, turned outward, and then marched symbolically forward, into the mundane world once again - to do what needed to be done.

All I can say about Solara is that she is a multi-faceted Wise Woman. Her journey / mission has been an especial one - from traveling to every corner of our globe and meeting the famous and not so famous to experiencing the aches and pains that are so familiar to all of us. She laughed with us. Hugged us. Lectured us when we stagnated or veered off course. Assisted those who were falling into individual sinkholes (dealing with old emotional issues / patterns that were rising into objective consciousness, ready to be resolved, healed and released). She spent a lot of time rubbing ointment on her damaged feet - and then minutes later would be dancing with us as if she didn't have a care in the world. She taught us about Personal Freedom - which did not translate into a license to do everything we felt like doing, but rather the autonomy and scope of independence that goes hand in hand with responsibility and the successful completion of our personal Cosmic missions.

The Sixth Gate activation is being planned and will take place around the month of May / June 2004 - probably in the British Isles. Will I see you there?

ADDENDUM: July 1, 2004

It was absolutely electrifying to see all those familiar faces again - and all the fresh and new smiles as well (even though my luggage had been lost at Heathrow and it took two days for them to find it). Fifty-four of us from twenty-two countries were seated in a circle in our hotel meeting room in the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland. We intoned our starry names, stated where we were from, and had a couple of minutes to share a few thoughts and goals for the ten days ahead of us.

The Sixth Gate was going to be activated on May 29, 2004. This would be the midway point of the 11:11 Doorway. Everything would be turned inside out. We would be shifting from an 11 resonance to a 22. It was serious work but we were going to have many insights and laughs along the way.

As already stipulated above (in previous Initiations), the initial week was going to follow a similar pattern. There would be three sessions a day and we would be talking, questioning, listening to Solara and, most importantly, practicing our sacred movements / dances / mudras.

The seven days disappeared quickly. We felt the energies around us. One evening we went around the circle again and each one of us held the floor and personally described what he/she wanted to manifest in his/her life; what we really desired for ourselves. Another afternoon we all stood / sat in a circle for an hour and a half as Solara held aloft cards with the names of every country on our dear planet. They were shouted aloud in English and in as many languages as possible - as we sent our combined energies and petitioned that the One Being be activated there. A number of sessions stopped in mid-stream because the energies became somewhat overwhelming for certain individuals and time was taken to assist them with healing touches.

Anecdotes were shared. One of our brothers from South America had taken a early morning stroll and noticed a large number of cows in a field. They noticed him also and came running, surrounded him, and the ones nearest to him starting licking him on the face. On a whim he counted them and discovered there were 22 animals - coincidentally (or not so) the same number we at the Activation were all resonating.

On the day of the Initiation we arrived early morning in a field gladly loaned to us by a local family. The view was spectacular - with us standing by a rocky Oceanside and gazing at the water and the land forms in the distance.

For the next eight hours there was a little sun, a little rain, very little calm, and a wind that gusted steadily from 20 - 40 mph for the entire Activation. All the elements were celebrating with us. And though we were all arrayed in white - we also had layers and layers of clothing to shield us from the cold (so that many of us looked like we were refugees from the North Pole). By the end of the day a number of us (including myself) had been initiated with colorful wind burns on our faces.

As we assembled and marched in two's through the Gateways of Initiation, we were met by Solara who christened our foreheads with glitter. As our faces sparkled - the clouds were swirling above us - fashioning interesting variations and conformations. A list of all the Anchor Groups around the world was read out loud. We felt their presence and their energies. We proceeded into the Starry Processional and the Lotus Dance (which was quite powerful). We took quick breaks. We danced anew. During my turns as Outer Guardian a number of sudden gusts were so powerful they almost knocked me off my feet - but I braced myself and held firm. The wind could frolic and tango with me but I wasn't going to let it playfully launch me onto my rear end. Other Guardians later explained how the energies had been so powerful that they had almost collapsed themselves.

A number of days previous at our dinner table an American lady had told us of a dream she had had the night before where four ravens had appeared to her. She then stated that she had looked out the window at breakfast that day and four ravens were sitting on the roof outside. On the day of Activation when I was Guardian during one of the rituals I had looked up and spotted exactly four ravens circling above us. I didn't know if they were the same birds but they would have had to travel a bit - since our site was a 45 minute drive from the hotel. The Core group was focused on the dance and most of them did not see the birds - who quickly disappeared into the distance. Unlike other Initiations, there were few if any representatives of our feathered tribes in sight for the entire day - and I found it "interesting" to say the least that these ravens found us, saluted us, and flew on their merry way.

We ended the day with the Golden Lion Dance. We had to do it a few times because people were tired, a little unfocused, and Solara wanted us to get it right. We did - and then formed our circle, turned around, and marched literally and symbolically in all directions - to start and restart the work that needed to be done in our home countries.

During the next few days people shared what they had seen and experienced. A few individuals had 'seen' the Kings/Queens of the Faerie / Nature realm surrounding and interacting with us. Sprites and other entities were there. The various personal visions made us all bond as a group.

During the week Solara (for the first time ever) had had to miss a few sessions because her tooth had become infected and she had to have it extracted. But she had been her usual inspiring self. Since the burden of most of the work (organizational and otherwise) had fallen on her shoulders she informed us all that the Second Wave was being activated and that sceptres were being passed. It was time for others to take up some of the responsibilities for future Activations and many of the tasks that now lay in front of us. People responded.

On the plane ride home my mind wandered from memory to memory (I didn't know then that my luggage was going to be lost again - this time for a week). But there was going to be little time - no rest for the weary. For the first time ever - we were going to have two Activations in the same year. In the Fall we were all going to be assembling for the Seventh Gate Initiation in the wonderful country of ........

ADDENDUM: December 1, 2004

The direct flight from Toronto to New Delhi was about 18 hours long so it wasn't much of a surprise that my dorsal region was a bit paralyzed as I stepped off the plane. I would never have traveled to India during the course of my life if the Seventh Gate Activation had not taken place there - and now I'm so glad that I did. The people in this country are filled with a non-materialistic, loving spirit and smiling children are everywhere - even though most of them live very simple lives.

The airport receiving area was sheer chaos. A hotel representative was supposed to meet me and drive me to the hotel. One problem :- as I left customs and walked into the lobby I was greeted by a couple thousand people. There were about 150 individuals holding up signs with the names of arrivals on them. I couldn't find mine anywhere and finally decided to take a cab (and held on for dear life as I swept along in what could only be described as a glorified golf cart at about 500 mph). It was terrifying and fun all at the same time.

The Seventh Gate Activation was taking place October 30 - 31st, 2004, in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Sixty-four people had gathered from around the world and, once again, those all too familiar smiles and heartfelt hugs made the plane ride a distant memory. Seventh Gate was about 'Seeing the Unseen', breaking out of our personal patterns, the 'old' way of doing things, and shifting into Oneness - the new way of functioning on our planet (and I will not go into the symbolism / meaning of this Initiation here, as I have also not done in any great detail with the previous Activations. Go to the NVISIBLE site itself and all the food for thought you will ever desire is inscribed there).

The week leading up to the Initiation was again saturated with thrice daily sessions of practice and music and questions and answers. This time we were all outside. We had an entire hotel to ourselves and they had set up a huge tent-top in the yard - where we breathed in the fresh air and had occasional visits from various creatures of the field - including a few cute white monkeys.

We witnessed a lunar eclipse. We took numerous sojourns into town and visited castles and sacred sites. The press was very interested in us (unlike many of the other countries where activations had taken place) and we ended up in all of the local newspapers - described as "lovers and bringers of Peace". The locals welcomed us, liked us, and understood us - and for this they'll always have our undivided appreciation.

Our Seventh Gate took place in Jagmandir Palace, in the middle of Lake Pichola. This palace was where Shah Jahan had had his dream of building the Taj Mahal those oh so many years ago. As we left the hotel and walked in two's for a couple of blocks to the end of the street - we were met by a marching band, an elephant, camels, horses, carts and carriages arrayed in white. We climbed on board and thoroughly savored the half hour ride to our destination. We felt like royalty - and we were soon to discover that we were be treated as such at Jagmandir.

The Palace - with its gardens, its lights, the scenery - was absolutely magnificent. As we entered the grounds a flock of about 200 - 250 birds materialized above us. I could hardly believe it as, for the next hour, they swooped in formations, divided into two groups and sometimes three, united as one, and then fashioned various patterns that quickly dissolved and were restructured into new designs. This again proved the theory that members of the animal kingdom are attracted to energy - and the 64 of us were vibrating pure joyous vitality.

We entered into our circle and one of our brothers blew a conch shell seven times - after which his partner improvised a sacred hula. We completed a few of our sacred dances and were then treated to a rather sumptuous feast (whereas at other Activations we had brought a few victuals / water with us to get the group through the day). I was hoping this wouldn't spoil the lot of us and make us expect similar perks for the remaining Gates.

It was after the group had completed the Greater Central Sun Dance and the Lotus Dance that something remarkable occurred. As people were disbanding a group of about 15 were drawn to join together again. Whether it was an intuitive personal calling or a collective prompt - they started swaying back and forth in a mini circle. When they described the experience later to all of us they were almost at a loss for words. Some felt that they had "gone off the map". Some deemed that this was probably when the Gate was activated (even though the energies of the Initiation were activating throughout the entire week - and are still activating). All involved delineated the utter joy they were feeling and the euphoria that encompassed this gathering.

The Activation was to last from about 3 p.m. on the 30th, go through the night, and then end around noon on the 31st. Blankets had been provided and the Palace had many comfortable nooks where people could ensconce themselves and have a bit of sleep. I had decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wasn't going to miss a minute of it. Throughout a rather chilly night we needed a number of guardians to surround the perimeter of our sacred space. There were about a dozen of us who didn't sleep that night but deemed it our duty to hold the energies. It became a little taxing at times to stand in one position, in the cold, for an hour or more at a time - but it needed to be done. During the evening/night many individuals were also prompted to dance by themselves in this spiritual arena.

Again, many powerful insights were shared. Many tears were shed. Many of my brothers and sisters experienced personal lows and then highs (as they awakened to and resolved subconscious issues rising to objective consciousness). We stepped into our Oneness. We radiated pure Love. We again finished with the Golden Lion Dance and symbolically marched away in all directions.

The plane ride back to Toronto was not as arduous. I was filled with the elan vital of memories and feelings that would last a lifetime.

Eighth Gate will be taking place near the end of 2006 - probably in South America. Perhaps you'll join us?

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