Iconoclastic Modern Mystic - Master Charles Cannon
Master Charles Cannon - Iconoclastic Modern Mystic
by David Rivers
A Tantric Master of the highest order and an iconoclastic modern mystic, Master Charles Cannon took the vows of monkhood known as Sannyas in India, thus joining the ancient Vedic/Tantric tradition, the world's oldest religious order. During his initiation he was given the name Swami Vivekananda by his own master, Baba Muktananda. After returning to the West following his twelve years in India, Swami Vivekananda took on the name Brother Charles, which he felt was more appropriate in the Western context. This later evolved into Master Charles at the request of his students. The term Swami literally means "Master of oneself.”
Master Charles radiates an immense and palpable field of transformational energy, and in this interview that was certainly the case. As I engaged in conversation with Master Charles, I found myself flooded with the most sacred of vibrational fields, as if in his presence the whole universe opened up, revealing its innermost secrets. In the guru's world, this transmission is a natural and spontaneous happening; it is simply Love communicating itself, to itself, for the sake of itself.
This process, known as Shaktipat (literally, energy-transfer,) often effects great changes and spontaneous awakenings in many of those who are drawn to visit him and other great gurus.
Having undergone a deep spiritual awakening in his early childhood, the young Charles lived a relatively normal life outwardly, while inwardly his world was the domain of the Mother. His was a world in which the profound transformational energies of consciousness worked their magic, effecting great changes in the innermost recesses of his being. During these early years, young Charles was blessed with ongoing visionary experiences of the Divine Mother, visions he refers to as the
apparition. These encounters with the “apparition” gently and consistently expanded his awareness, eventually flowering into the fullness of Divine Awakening in his adult years, under the guidance and tutelage of his own Master.
Master Charles may be said to be the living embodiment of the Tantric ideal of Conscious Embrace, celebrating and affirming all of life as an equal expression of the One. Wholeheartedly embracing our modern world, he specifically utilizes advances in sound technology in the service of conscious evolution.
He recognizes that our inherent Divine nature Shines, no matter what the times or cultures we find ourselves in. “Everything,” he affirms again and again, “is a celebration of consciousness.” He is a Divine Jester and Crazy Wisdom Master, forever pointing out the absurdity of our human masks, and then suggesting (as we laugh) that our very laughter is the Divinity we are looking for, right under our noses.
While he has already written a detailed account of his own energetic awakening in his book The Bliss of Freedom, I felt that this interview would allow me to explore the territory afresh.
In order to give us a platform from which to launch, I undertook the interviews with some basic themes in mind. The topics I hoped to cover were Master Charles' early childhood experiences, which included profound and transformational mystical visions of the Divine Mother, his subsequent full Kundalini awakening during his twelve years of living with his own Master, and finally the piercing of the Blue Pearl, resulting in the full and spontaneous abidance in and as Non-dual Consciousness. However, I soon learned that interviews of this nature have a life of their own.
After a gruelling flight from Australia, which included a twelve-hour layover at Los Angeles Airport, I finally arrived at Master Charles' home, which he calls The Still Point Monastery, a modern-day spiritual sanctuary nestled high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Utterly exhausted and sleep deprived, I had few days in which I could rest, and then along with extensive interviews with Master Charles, I was to be participating in a weeklong retreat called the Mastery Program, with people who had gathered from all over the world.
I wasn’t at all prepared for the jet lag, and my readjustment to the American time zone wasn’t easy, yet as the days passed I found myself progressively relaxing. As my mind began to quieten, I found myself in the most magical of environments, high in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where Master Charles has been living for many years with a small community of truth lovers.
All around us squirrel and deer played about in the autumn leaves, as, from speakers in the trees and on the rooftops, ancient mantras sounded against a background of beautiful celestial music. Specially designed rooms, set aside for massage and various types of energetic balancing sessions, dotted the landscape. I marvelled at the beautiful meditation hall that had been designed according to the ancient principles of sacred geometry and hand-built by the monastic residents. Everything in the environment was clearly intended to support the inner awakening process by fostering balance and evoking a sense of the sacred. Indeed, it was akin to a heavenly realm, hidden away in the Virginia mountains.