In the Zen Buddhist tradition, a dharma transmission, called shaktipat (Sanskrit for ‘sending energy’) can pass spiritual wisdom down through an unbroken bloodline of teachers and disciples following a certain lineage.
This same tradition can be found in the ancient Christian gnostics, in the Aboriginal shaman, in the American Indian spirit journey, in Japanese “secret transmissions” as well as in almost every culture throughout the world. What does it mean though, to receive a transmission, and how do you know when you’ve received one?
Transmission of secret knowledge or esoteric wisdom can take many forms. It is often holistic and sometimes incorporates mystical language. It is practical, transcendent, and life-changing, often to the receiver, and to those whom they choose to share the wisdom with.
A transmission does not speak to us in the language of the ego, but instead uses the heart’s wisdom, and our collective understanding of symbols to transmit a message which could be easily misunderstood if transmitted in a different way.
For example, the Sri Yantra was transmitted during meditation to a yogi, who then passed it down as a complete representation of the human-spiritual experience. The Sri Yantra can be talked about in any language, but it’s true secrets are only realized by those who also meditate upon it’s sacred geometry.
While we can look at the basics of the Sri Yantra – a complete transmission – to understand its usefulness, and to begin to open ourselves up to multidimensional intelligence, the successive series of triangles within a circle, also invites us to look within to discover our own transmissions from the Divine.
There are other forms of spiritual transmission, too, which don’t necessarily form into symbols, but symbolic language has become increasingly important for spiritual transmission from the wise to their seekers and students. More than 100 indigenous languages from the ancient Aboriginal culture alone have become extinct due to white colonization.
Another fascinating civilization we can look to are the Siberian shamans, called the Sky Shamans. These remarkable healers are still aware of ancient, transcendental intelligence, that speaks to us about how to heal our bodies, ourselves, and how to live in accordance with Universal laws to find happiness, joy, and fulfillment. They transmit their wisdom to only a few disciples, and to those whom they deem fit to receive this wisdom.
To the shaman, the wise man, and the yogi — all who who might bless us with a transmission, the material world is an incredibly limited view of reality. The shaman can perceive the Universe outside of the normal parameters of time, space, and distance.
They understand that time is not linear, nor is anything – even inanimate objects – without consciousness. Invisible forces permeate everything.
This is the level of consciousness that allows a spiritual transmission.
Usually a transmission occurs in an altered state of consciousness, such as in meditation, in trance, or as a matter of course for those who are still young, and have not cluttered their minds with a limited understanding of a purely physical world and its constructs.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences (INS) describes a certain “psychophysiology” of a spiritual transmission. They say that a transmissions can be given from teacher to student through:
- At a distance
- Through a recording
- Through the written word in a book
- Through the spoken language, or simply with sound
INS also states that,
“Effects reported range in valence and intensity, but they appear to involve arousal of the parasympathetic nervous system in some, hyperactivation of the limbic system such as that observed during a manic or psychotic episode. These effects often occur in the context of several environmental cues, and therefore could be in large part attributed to a kind of placebo or expectancy effect, but this explanation is limited by the fact that there are many subjective reports of this phenomenon by people with apparently no prior expectancy or spiritual orientation. There are also notable similarities in the subjectively reported experiences of spiritual transmission across cultures, across spiritual traditions, and across reports that have been documented in the spiritual literature for centuries.”
In brief, this means that anyone at any time, such that their soul is ripe for the experience, can receive a spiritual transmission.
Listening to a friend describe a “transmission” that occurred spontaneously, she said that it did not have words. She was looking at the waves come in at a beach and observed how each wave made an interference pattern with other waves to create an infinite sea of change and organized motion. She began to walk away to get to an appointment. All of a sudden, she was overcome with a sense of peace and profound connection to all things.
She received a transmission of spiritual clarity that was important for her at that time in her life, and was a nudge by the universe that her spiritual practices were taking her in the right direction. As soon as she tried to analyze the transmission, however, with her egoic mind, the feeling of awe and bliss dissipated.
Every transmission is different, but when you’ve received one, it will leave you completely changed from the person and perspective that you maintained before receiving it.