Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

The Path to the Center, a Story

December 9, 2013

As a holiday gift I decided to impart a deep story that I hope will inspire your musing during this season of going into winter’s darkness to create a cave for reflection and the birth of something fresh and new, divine and human. This is a look through a portal, a view into the deep mystery that we live in this incarnated life.

It happened at about this time of year in 1993. I was completely awake but it was like I was in a dream. Some friends and I were having dinner in a restaurant, a lively conversation taking place. Suddenly, unbidden, I slipped between worlds. A story much longer, more intricate and complicated than War and Peace, one that took aeons it seemed, unfolded clearly. I saw every detail, every character, plot twists, deaths, births, meanings, outcomes. It was as if I was reading the record of ages of time, all in an instant, not one tiny element left out. At the conclusion of the vision I heard inwardly the words, “the only path is the path to the center,” and I saw how the movement of the entire story demonstrated this point.

When I slipped back into the conversation at hand I don’t think I had missed a word. I was still on track with what was being said, not even distracted from it, yet acutely aware of what had just taken place. Though I could bring back no details of the saga, the clearly demonstrated message was solidly with me. Strangely, I felt more centered and grounded than almost any other time I can think of in my life. I was not stunned or disoriented. There was a calm, like now I know, and I’ve always known, and always will know, knowing happens. There was a profound sense of peace and solace.

After that I realized more than ever before that my long quest for discovery of spiritual truths, which had taken me all over the globe and back, and my very busy life of running from point a to b, then to c and d, and back and around – none of this was “the path.” The path is within. It is always here. Never over there. It is where I am. I am the center, God is the center, the center is everywhere, in every one, in every thing. The words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of Luke came to mind: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Certainly the immense story I had witnessed in my dream-like vision, with its profound meaning, was within me – always there in the space between the frames of perception in outer conscious life.

And so I feel moved to offer this story to you hoping that in your moments of stillness during the joyous and often stressfully busy days of this time of year you will find connection to the profound mystery of our existence, that you will feel peace and solace, and gather strength in this. I wish for you every blessing of grace and abundance, and that all of your deepest dreams and desires will manifest sacredly and beautifully.

I love being in touch. Please write to me when you feel moved to.
With love,

In the Manger

December 25, 2011

I truly love the traditional Christmas story – that this very morning Mary and Joseph were sitting in stunned and happy quiet after the successful birth of their baby boy, tucked into a  manger cave behind the inn, having swaddled their son and placed him in the warm straw. The animals who lived in that manger kept them warm and adored with them this newcomer. Then shepherds arrived who had heard angels singing, telling of the birth. Then Wise Men of the East had known of the prophecy and found the baby through their astrological wisdom; they followed a star shining in the East. And, the New Testament says, Mary saw all of these things and held them in her heart. I always loved that line.

I just know it can be so that this very morning some new impulse of innocence, power, beauty, divinity and love can be successfully born in each of our hearts too. A new possibility. Let’s each behold what is born, swaddle it, be quiet with it today, at least in that interior place where silence can be held even as life swirls about. In that manger the animal spirits will watch over, the protectors will come to see and honor, the new gestation will have a silent and tender beginning. I hold all of these things in my heart with you.

Whatever name or story for the mystery you love and celebrate, I pray you will be infused with the love and magic in it as our earth turns toward the new season and new year. It does seem a good time to begin again and believe freshly. May love be yours.

Rites of Passage, Death and Mystery

July 14, 2011

Rituals are symbolic acts, gestures that create a relationship between individuals or communities with the larger reality. There are daily rituals, which indigenous cultures describe as maintenance rituals, and radical rituals which address larger questions and transitions in life.

Then there are Rites of Passage. These are rituals that take one from one stage of life to another and are irrevocable. Birth is an irrevocable rite of passage. You can’t put a baby back in the womb. Penetration in sexual intercourse is irrevocable; once experienced the person has moved beyond virginity. Motherhood is irrevocable. A child delivered, living or dead, turns that woman into a Mother. Death is irrevocable, a rite of passage not only for the soul who transitions but for all who have loved that soul. We are never the same after experiencing death.

Since the recent passing of my Mother, the mystery that death has represented for humans since the beginning of time is highlighted for me not so much “death is a natural part of life” as they say, but as death being a mystery.  I have experienced significant personal deaths before – including that of my first boyfriend, my father, my dog – but this one inches me closer, not to understanding death but to appreciation for mystery.

Mystery surrounds us. Every time a tiny seed becomes a plant, sweet love-making becomes a baby, a cut on the body heals – though science tries to describe it, mystery is never eliminated. Somehow the Western mind, with its addiction to reason, rationality, explanations, control and answers – along with an alarming capacity for numbing denial – robs us too often of the experience of simply reveling in mystery with a sense of wonder, allowing ourselves not to know a thing and be comfortable fools in that.

A Rite of Passage is like a tunnel, a birth canal. Whoosh, you enter another world, one you have never known before. Or, better said, by labor you enter that other world. The Rite generally, in Earth reality so far, involves pain; not that there is anything wrong with pain, but more with our acceptance of or relationship to it. The passage, and the pain, are doorways to a new reality.

Part of this mystery for me personally so far, is the life-review aspect of death. They say that in dying one’s life flashes before their eyes. I think that must be true not just for the one dying, but for those who love the one dying. For a slide-show at the Wake we found ourselves pouring through family albums that have been collecting dust for decades. Clearing out the house, family clothes, portraits, letters and treasures have to be reviewed for their meaning, present value, and where they should go next.

When I went through an extended initiation with a Nigerian shaman he wanted me not just to discover who I am now and where I want to go, but where I came from, who were my ancestors, what are their deep stories. Apparently there is no successful birth to the next life without a sense of continuity with the one left behind.

This look back for me, at the moment, is more mysterious than the look forward into the world beyond. Ahhhh. I can barely say what mystery it holds. That “other” world feels so much less mysterious to me than this.

Indigenous people infallibly teach that we need the dead, we must be in relationship to the dead. Our ancestors carry those keys for us. And the dead need us.

Mom, what can I do for you now? And now that we are birthed through this passage, how can we help each other in the new world? Let us enter together this mystery.