Gratitude for Friends who Share…!
Updated: October 10, 2016
Gratitude for Friends who Share…
I woke up feeling extreme gratitude for so many things I wanted to write about all of them but decided that I would focus on one. Its actually really hard for me to focus on one thing I am grateful for because one connects to all, nothing being separate from the others, all part of the rich tapestry of experience I get to share with you in bits and bites.
I had a wonderful email last week from a dear friend who also happens to be a brilliant writer and Academy award winner who shared with me an excerpt from her blog she had written 3 days prior to my book release. Her sharing was a celebration of how connected we are as we both have been considering co-creation and “What That All Means”.
Of course, we mutually agree the meaning is personal, and universal and quirky and strange and all that. Isn’t it true that when you remain open life is a never-ending story that keeps on going? And, it’s always a journey to the Uncharted as soon as you have discovered the answer there will be so many more questions and more rabbit holes that you can count to fall through.
We need our stories, we need to be brave to share them, to gently blow on the magic flame of hope and wonder, faith and trust, even if we are in the dark. We won’t always be.
So to encourage you to contemplate and share your story of how Spirit shows up in your life, with her permission I am sharing hers (she being the writer Sarah Kernochan. If you have ever seen the movie Somersby with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster, blame Sarah for the tears):-
“ The year: 1994. Location: bed. Propped up on pillows, eyes closed, I was in a trance, and I was bored. Meditation seemed like flying coach from New York to Guam with an hour’s layover in Tahiti: that is, a few minutes of halcyon mindlessness hardly seemed worth all the effort of getting there.
Letting go of mind shouldn’t have been so hard for me. I blamed my mantra. I’ll tell it to you right now. I figure this is no longer verboten, since I’m not using it anymore. It was “hirim.” It was pronounced “ee-reem,” with the ‘h’ silent and a wet guttural ‘r’, on account of being purchased in France.
Now, a mantra is supposed to be a shred of nonsense that has no associations whatever, to lure the mind away from its usual perch which is lording it over consciousness. However, every time I’d begin inwardly reciting my mantra, the frog accent sucked my mind into a whirl of associations: remembering that one winter in Paris, 1990; the room where for six sessions I met with my French TM instructor, who was uninspiring, mechanical, and smug. The bastard made me give up smoking grass before he would sell me my mantra; what’s more, the mantra was wildly overpriced, given the exchange rate…
…And so on. So much for quieting the mind. To get through the snarled traffic caused by my French mantra, I wound up having to break up the mayhem by head-butting my mind out of the way.
One cool thing happened while meditating in my instructor’s presence. In trance, I was transported to a beautiful pavilion, where his guru appeared and huffed on my third eye. Afterwards, I assumed that my 20-minute twice-a-day meditation practice would feature more thrills of this kind.
Sadly, no. Twice a day I flew to Guam with no movies on board.
Still, I needed those layovers, however brief, in Tahiti. With my thoughts finally quelled, I would suddenly be lifted up, as if by elevator, to a plane where my head filled up with sunlight. But the moment was too brief. Too soon, thoughts returned and blocked the light; I would feel the elevator descending. My Self clamped back on and started whining that mindfulness is actually kind of boring.
One day, just as I began my descent, I asked no one in particular: is that all? Where’s the cool stuff? Where’s the guru?
To my surprise, I got an answer. Not a voice, but rather a thought, instantly imbedded in my mind, and translated into words for my benefit. Weirdly, it was in French.
Vous avez oublié de composer le ‘un’.
You forgot to dial the 1.
I burst out laughing, breaking trance. Eyes open, I knew what the guru meant. I’d been reminded to connect with the One. Not God. The ‘1’ was Unity, the Flux to which all souls and spirits belong, the Everything, the Great What-Have-You. That’s where the cool stuff is.
It’s not somewhere else. No elevator necessary. We’re already there. It’s like waking up in your bedroom, which your sleep momentarily erased. You’ve traveled in your dreams, and forgotten where you came from, but upon waking you realize that all along you’ve been lying in your bed.
Henceforth I would begin my sessions by dialing the One, to wake up in the Flux. The idea was to breathe, since breath itself is fluctuation. Different from reflexive breathing, I breathed with purpose, putting my full consciousness into it, as if to say Here I Am. Awareness dawned, and I’d wake in the true Here. Our real home, empty of furniture, blazing with blank light.
It also became my habit, on my way back from that place, to pause for a lesson from my guru, to ask questions and receive answers. Clearly the teacher was not some Indian guy. It was I, with my little third eye. I had held these answers all along, was born with them, and was now learning how to access them, as if a locked drawer had suddenly become unsprung. I suppose this source is what’s called our Higher Self by some. In any case, it was inseparable from my being.
For example, in one session I asked how to handle my persistent digestive problems. In answer, I was shown a bar of soap on a shelf. I was told to wash every part of my body with it – inside as well as outside. I reached it down from the shelf. The wrapper said Appomattox Soap. This I took to mean: in order to end the Civil War in my body, I would have to surrender to the Union (the ‘1’ again), and maintain peace by faithful physical and spiritual cleansing.
But the lesson wasn’t over. I felt suddenly invaded by a heavy paralysis. I couldn’t move a limb. And then some presence took hold and lifted me free, to observe my body from above. The splendor was dazzling. It shimmered like a palace, richly appointed, to be lovingly maintained. I had never truly felt the beauty of our mortal housing, and when I was gently placed back inside my body, I was able to revel in it for the first time. I emerged from this meditation with tears flowing down my face.
Another time, the message I got was: “Food dies.” I wrote the interpretation in my journal: “To fill up the stomach is to feed life that dies. To fill up with Spirit is to feed the life that lives.”
The most memorable of all my lessons came when I was shown a park scene. A light wash of green and blue suggested trees and sky. Vague calliope music played in the distance; amusement rides, horses and ponies, chattering people were sketched in pencil, like a rough draft for an animation sequence. That’s what this life is, I was told, a beguiling sketch that will lead, in the end, to a majestic finished creation – or Creation itself.
After I emerged from this meditation, I went for a walk in Central Park. The carousel music was playing, passersby chattered, love was everywhere, and my nostrils filled with the aroma of flowers that weren’t there.
The last experience I’ll relate here was also on the subject of creation. In one of my trances, it was depicted as a luminous shower, as if a ladle of pure radiance had overturned. I was shown that to be a creator oneself, a single step sufficed: simply step under the shower and be a part of it. Stand still and receive. True creation is co-creation.
While I noted this lesson in my journal. I understood it, but not how to apply it. That would come later…”
So here is what I know and what I’m so grateful for. I have a community of like- minded people who are willing to share their stories and find ways to stay connected to the Spirit that infuses their hearts and all of life. We do it together. You are part of that community ( if you’ve read this far!)
My personal friends like Sarah are brave and courageous and they live in the world, work in it, and contribute as best they can. One thing they all have in common is a willingness to seek, learn, create, unpack, fall down, get up, get honest, get real, get going and share the journey stories and do it all again and again.
One thing my friends have taught me. To learn is to listen, to pay attention to what is shared.
Isn’t it so true that life is a continuous sketch that leads to Creation. Be a good idea to keep our pencils sharp.
I am grateful to be part of a “we”.
Love to hear your stories!
Always… your fellow traveller into the Uncharted.