The person in peak-experiences feels himself, more than other times, to be the responsible, active, creating center of his activities and of his perceptions. -Abraham Maslow

Many of us have had peak experiences that have shown us a new level of understanding. These peaks are those moments in which time seems irrelevant. A sublime feeling overcomes us and permeates our consciousness. We are changed. They usually happen spontaneously and last from a few minutes to a few hours. They are usually intense, often unbidden, and quite frequently life-changing. For some, it was at an event like a drumming circle, Burning Man or Renaissance Faire; for others it was a substance-enhanced adventure; or perhaps it was an extreme physical moment like a near death experience or being pushed way beyond your limits. Almost anybody, at any time, at any age, can have a brief peak experience.


These altered state occurrences transport us from the mundane to transpersonal, supra-mental levels of our own higher potential. They often decisively answer the nagging questions inherent in faith and may show us our place in the grand universal plan. Some people get a feeling/knowing glimpse of being one with nature or with their God. Others have flashes of inspired insight that compels the creation of art and inventions. Some are haunted for the course of their lives by the vision they had during a peak experience and spend much of their years yearning to recreate it. That doesn't seem to work that well. Many people have sought to mimic their experiences through continued engagement in the activity that triggered the initial event to no avail. They end up feeling futile and frustrated.


There is a way to take what is gained in a peak experience and turn it into what Ken Wilber calls a 'plateau experience' which is more constant and enduring. Here's how. Take moment and remember a peak experience. Can you feel it still? Is it like a window to a different state of being? That is what this type of experience is designed to do. It is a gift to show you what is possible for you and the development of your consciousness. It is a kind of initiation that introduces you to the next level of energetic development that is available to you now. Now that you know what is possible, the trick is to learn how to sustain that energy in order to make that level of consciousness your new plateau.


The answer is simple but not easy. Prolonged practice with consistent enthusiastic effort is what it takes. Fortunately, most of us have done this before when we have wanted to excel at something. From sports to music to public speaking, many of us have invested energy into learning the technique and art of whatever it is in which we are interested. The area in which we need to apply these proven training techniques to transform a peak experience into a plateau is sustained spiritual practice.


A sustained spiritual practice does not necessarily mean that you have to go from five minutes of meditation or prayer a week to moving to an abbey to become a monk or nun. It means that you start where you are and build on it, holding the sacred vision of the peak experience as your desired result. You decide that you are fully responsible and active in creating and perceiving your life. Once you accept that responsibility, you may proceed authentically as a master of your fate to live on the plateau you have created.


When you are well established on that plateau, be sure to stay open. The next peak experience is on the horizon and you want to be ready for it.




Cristina enjoys the peaks and plateaus as a medical intuitive and Sustainable Wellness™ coach. Her website is and you may feel free to contact her at


©Cristina Smith 2012. All rights reserved.

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