Meditation - A Modern Mystic
by Suma Varughese
Master charles cannon is an internationally recognised spiritual teacher best known for bringing technology into the meditative experience
Master Charles Cannon is known worldwide as a master of meditation, contemporary spiritual visionary and holistic educator. He is the originator of the Synchronicity Experience and author of the spiritual autobiography, The Bliss of Freedom. Born in New York, Master Charles experienced visitations of the Blessed Mother (the archetype of the Divine Feminine) since his childhood and had many profound spiritual experiences. In his 20s, he came to India and became one of Swami Muktananda's closest Western disciples. When Swami Muktananda passed away, Master Charles returned to the United States and founded Synchronicity®, Foundation for Modern Spirituality, promoting what is known as the Synchronicity Experience, Contemporary High-Tech Meditation and Holistic Lifestyle. His approach is a combination of high-tech musical CDs that create meditative vibrations within the listener, and a holistic lifestyle to bring balance to the physical, emotional and mental. He does these through advocating a balanced diet, aerobic exercise for the body, encouraging love-based feeling for balancing emotions and healing the mind through affirmative thinking. He will be coming to Mumbai and Bangalore in late January / early February to introduce the Synchronicity Experience in India. Excerpts from an email interview:
You first came to India to receive wisdom and now you are coming to give it. Does not India have enough wisdom resources of its own?
First of all, I want to thank you for inviting me to be a part of your fine publication, which is one of the very few of its kind that is so consistently focused on the positive in these increasingly negative and polarised times.
I honour India as the ultimate source of authentic spiritual wisdom on the planet. By spiritual wisdom, I am referring not only to philosophical wisdom, but most importantly to the highest wisdom of spiritual experience… the experience of unified consciousness or what I call holistic awareness.
This is what my guru, the renowned Paramahansa Muktananda, always emphasised… experience over concept.
As to my coming to India, it is not that I presume to have wisdom that is not already there, but rather it is my particular focus, as directed by my teacher many years ago, to update and contemporise the ancient wisdom of India and bring it into the world of today. After all, we are evolving and updating our science, education, socio-cultural values and everything else in our world… why then do we leave our spirituality in the past?
What is your USP?
Referring to the previous question, what I am offering specifically is a modern form of spirituality based on the cutting edge of technology. Everything that India has already evolved in its rich spiritual heritage is complete and perfect – it only remains to update it and include what modern technology has to offer to bring precision and acceleration of results. India is fast becoming a world leader in technology… why not apply this to the meditative journey?
Could you explain what the Synchronicity Experience is and how it delivers on its promise of wholeness?
The Synchronicity Experience is a modern system of high-tech meditation and holistic lifestyle utilising precision sonic technology that balances the brain hemispheres, and delivers holistic awareness (or wholeness), in accelerated time frames. Synchronicity technology is embedded within musical meditation CDs that are listened to with headphones. The technology operates on the basis of vibrational entrainment that acts like a tuning fork for the brain. As you listen, the CD literally meditates you by entraining brainwave frequencies corresponding to more holistic states of awareness. We have a variety of CDs that target alpha, theta and delta frequency ranges for light, medium and deep meditation.
Are you suggesting that these technological soundtracks can actually bring a person to enlightenment?
Insofar as what may be termed “enlightenment” is an ever-evolving process rather than an end point, these soundtracks certainly facilitate that process to a remarkable degree. For many years, I have observed very consistent states of holistic awareness as delineated in the ancient scriptures in many Synchronicity practitioners.
Does it preclude the need for other spiritual practices or for a guru?
Meditation is a primary balancing technique, but I have discovered over many years that one must simultaneously address what I refer to as the “Primary Trinity” of mind, emotion and body that represent the three densest dimensions within human experience. That is part of the “holistic lifestyle” component of the Synchronicity experience and together with Synchronicity High-Tech Meditation, actualises an ever-increasing integrative wholeness.
As far as the role of the guru is concerned, that remains central to the human spiritual journey, for the guru provides the guidance and empowerment that is essential. But this precision system of high-tech meditation and holistic lifestyle makes the guru’s job a lot easier because it delivers to him or her a disciple who is more substantiated in wholeness, and therefore less challenging for the guru to work with.
How did your experiences in India as a follower of Swami Muktananda change your life?
In India, I was extensively trained in the orthodox contexts of the Vedic / Tantric wisdom that was my teacher’s wisdom tradition. It was there, under his guidance and through his example, that my life was transformed into one which is consistently focused in wholeness. From him, I came to understand that for me, the only worthwhile endeavour in life is to live consciously and holistically. My teacher was a perfect embodiment of wholeness as evidenced by the palpable power of his presence. As many are aware, he was highly acknowledged for the energetic transmission (or shaktipat), that he gave so freely.
Has the fact that you are in touch with both the East and West brought about wholeness into yourself?
I would say that a cross-cultural perspective has added depth and richness to my experience of wholeness. To witness the actualisation of the classical experiences recorded in the most ancient scriptures through the use of this modern empirical system has been most rewarding for me, as you can imagine.
Standing as we are today in the cusp between a dying world order and an emergent one based on spiritual laws, what does the world most need today?
Your assessment of the current state of the world is very accurate. In a word… what the world needs most of all is balance. What we have is extreme imbalance. Imbalance of what? Of the negative over the positive… objective over the subjective… fear over love… concept over experience… illusion over truth…separation over wholeness. When there is such imbalance, humanity suffers individually and collectively. There is conflict, dysfunction, misery, and confusion everywhere we look. When balance, positivity and love emerge, experience replaces concept, truth becomes available, and wholeness is restored. Humanity begins to live with a greater awareness of its unity while celebrating its diversity.
What do you see in future for mankind and the world?
I see humanity at a crossroads. In one direction, there is the possibility of global sectarian conflict on a scale never before imagined – conflict that could result in the end of life as we know it upon this planet. In the other direction, there is a greater possibility for humanity to open to the awareness of its innate divinity. I believe this is what you referred to in your previous question when you said, “the cusp between a dying world order and an emergent one based on spiritual laws”. Human beings are unique in that we create our future based upon our choices in the present.
How would you sum up your philosophy?
My philosophy, based on my experience, is one of inclusion, which means that in truth, all and everything is an expression of the same One Consciousness. There is nothing that is not Consciousness and therefore, everything is appropriate and all experience is valid. The great diversity of unity is a delighting Play of Consciousness, the magnification of its own bliss through myriad forms of itself.
When this becomes our moment to moment reality, we experience everything in our world as an appropriate reflection. We may choose to agree or disagree, but we do not invalidate or negate anyone because given the context, everyone is doing the best they can. We can acknowledge the experience of another even if we do not choose it for ourselves. Again, this is not mere concept, but is based upon the experience of unified consciousness in which this is the truth of life.
Since the Blessed Mother has been a source of inspiration for you, what do you have to say about the role of women in spiritualising the world?
It is the nurturing, harmonising and creative power of the feminine that is missing in our world today and especially in our dominant models of reality as exemplified in the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This is reflected in the way that women in general have been marginalised and relegated to a less than powerful position in many cultures. The result has been the dominance of an aggressive, rigid and reactive authority that exemplifies our spiritual life. So, I think women play a very key role in re-defining what it means to be human in a spiritual age.
Would you like to share some of the experiences that have most influenced you?
I would point to one from the many years I spent with my illustrious teacher, Paramahansa Muktananda, who had a very large ashram. It included a library that contained a most comprehensive collection of spiritual texts from all the world’s traditions (including, of course, the Vedic / Tantric tradition of his own lineage), that would have been the envy of any major university or institution.
Interestingly, he kept the library locked and the key was always with him. A group of us who were close disciples would ask him from time to time when we could be allowed into the library to study the great texts. I have never forgotten his reply to us: “When you yourselves have had the experiences described in those books – then and only then will I let you in. Otherwise, you will be confusing experience and concept.” That was always his perspective – experience first – and that has since become my own. My students do not read much – we have few books in my sanctuary. Our “library” is the library of meditative holistic experience.
What do you see as your mission?
My mission is modern spirituality – to contemporise the ancient art of meditation and holistic lifestyle and to bring the cutting edge of everything that Consciousness has created to the human evolutionary journey.
In this way, I share my experience of wholeness and fulfilment with those who endeavour to discover it within themselves.
Quite often the West commercialises spirituality and converts it into materialism by creating products and services that need to be paid for. Is that true of Synchronicity Experience and how would you justify it?
Rather than viewing the spiritual and material as separate and mutually exclusive, I suggest that they are but expressions of the same One Consciousness. The subtle dimensions of Consciousness are what we refer to as spiritual and the dense dimensions as material. It has been said that we are spiritual beings living in a material world, and in many ways this is true. The point of human evolution is to come to the experiential recognition of this truth and live the multi-dimensional reality that is our birthright.
It does take material resources to live in this world, and also to be able to share spiritual wisdom and experience. Ashrams are communities with real financial obligations just like families – people have to be housed, fed, clothed and kept warm. Their health needs must be addressed. This is of course, true of Synchronicity as well. We cannot pretend that spirituality is exempt from the requirements of material self-sufficiency. It is when the material dominates the spiritual that we lose integrity and authenticity in a spiritual understanding.
When balanced and in proper proportion, both material and spiritual operate in support of each other and there is fulfillment.
"The nurturing, harmonising and creative power of the feminine is missing in our world today"
What according to you is a holistic lifestyle?
A holistic lifestyle is one which supports and nourishes the human evolutionary journey. It addresses what I refer to as the Primary Trinity which comprises the three densest dimensions within human experience: the physical, emotional and mental dimensions. These are the dimensions that are most imbalanced and fragmented and are also where most human beings are anchored. Therefore, to meditate alone is not enough to create the necessary degree of balance to bring
a human being to a level of consistent wholeness and fulfilment. It actually requires addressing each of these three dimensions in addition.
In a nutshell, the physical dimension is addressed through a balanced diet and aerobic exercise. The emotional dimension is handled through flowing love-based feeling, and the mental dimension is brought to balance through directed affirmative thinking. When this holistic lifestyle practice is incorporated into daily life along with Synchronicity High-Tech Meditation, the result is nothing less than human fulfilment.
What is your programme in India?
I will be presenting programmes on Synchronicity High-Tech Meditation – its mechanics, the science behind it, and the experience it delivers. I want the technology generation of India to experience what technology can bring to their most sacred spiritual traditions.
Your thoughts on India.
The many years I spent with my guru in India were the most precious years of my life, and to be truthful, I could have stayed in India forever and been quite blissfully content. India is a magical place and I regard it as the source of the world’s most ancient and authentic spiritual wisdom. That is why I am returning… to give back some of what I have been given and to share with India what has been so gracefully shared with me. Perhaps it is time for India to update its living spiritual traditions in the light of modern technology and lead the world into a spiritual revolution.
Contact: for CD / book inquiries
www.groupimpressions.com; for general inquiries www.synchronicity.org