The Realest Thing I've Ever Experienced
by Chris Cooper

Computers have always been my life.  I was diagnosed with Asperger’s when I was still very young.  Social interactions were sometimes difficult, but logic always made sense.  I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of success in the tech development world.  It was what I did before OM, and it’s what I still do now, but everything has shifted.

I wasn’t just logical. I was suspicious, even contemptuous of anything that wasn’t strictly rooted in math and science.  At the same time, I had this hunger in me for a deeper connection.  The problem was, I didn’t believe that there was any realistic way to satisfy that craving. I spent time searching for alternatives, and then dismissing them. 

I first encountered OM in London. I was alone in a huge city I didn’t know, and I felt lonely.  I didn’t know anyone in the area. I started looking online for interesting events where I could meet people.  That’s how I ended up at my first OM related lecture.  I came in wary: it sounded like it couldn’t be real.  When I walked in, I saw these men and women who seemed to radiate warmth. A man came up and gave me a hug.  It wasn’t a presumptuous hug, it was just a very good one that I felt in my spine.  I hadn’t been held like that in a long time. 

My first OM didn’t happen for another month.  I was still figuring out how to get started, when this woman who had been doing the practice for a while asked me to OM. My partner made clear adjustments that guided me to her spot and kept me on it. My nervousness melted away and I found an ease.

I started OMing regularly.  Soon it hit me, I was consistently sitting with another person for 15 minutes without talking, without checking my phone, and without solving a problem.  That was just so unlike me.  The big shift happened one day when I was stroking and I felt this huge buildup in my body.  At first I thought it was just sexual arousal, but then the build just kept getting bigger, and it was in my chest instead of my genitals.  Then I burst into tears.  I never cried like that in front of someone, but I just started sobbing.  The connection between my OM partner and I opened something up in me that I had just locked down for so long.  We didn’t stop the OM; rather my tears seemed to intensify the sensation. We were sharing this incredible connection, each of us opening things up for each other.  We rode the wave together.

I came in expecting another thing I could dismiss. What I found was the realest thing I’ve ever experienced.

I still look to my work life to measure real progress.  Yes, business has gotten better for me since I started OMing, but it isn’t just about me.  I’ve been able to change the company a great deal.  Women are a tiny fraction of those who work in tech, and they’re even more rarely on the development side.  Too often, they’re in the background rather than a position of leadership. 

I’ve made a conscious effort to hire women.  This isn’t just about empowering women because they deserve more opportunities.  This isn’t a particularly political thing I’m doing. It’s that I learned in OM about the extraordinary energy and power women have, and I saw how that energy brought so much more creativity and connection into my own life.  I want to give women a chance to bring that energy into the company.  This benefits everyone. 

OM brings together these two powerful energies – masculine and feminine, structure and creation – around a very specific practice, and it unleashes so much, both for the people practicing it and everyone around them.  If a guy as practical as I am says this is world-changing stuff, then there’s a deeper truth here worth exploring.