Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spirituality May Not Look Like What You Think It’s Supposed To Look Like

Two rather weird things have happened to me over the last several weeks. The two are independent, but triggered by the sudden death of my very dear friend Amy.
First: About a year ago, to help out a friend who was getting a license in hypnotism and needed some practical hands-on experiences in hypnotizing folks, I was hypnotized and then led through a past-life regression. It was a very unique experience. I had never done anything like that, although I had read some interesting articles on the subject.
As I was in the past-life regression part of the exercise, I could see myself (as a Spirit) floating/flying  - not sure how to describe it. I could see myriads of very bright lights or orbs flitting all over the place. It was similar to watching an intense gathering of fireflies on a summer evening. Random movement. Quick-moving. Flashes of light.
All of a sudden, two orbs or lights – in unison – broke off from the others and were making a bee-line for me. I felt significant and knew they were coming to me! Suddenly I “recognized” the orbs as my sister Shirley (who died at the age of 30 about 45 years ago) and my maternal grandfather who died at the age of 104 about 20 years ago.
How did I know it was they?
I have absolutely no clue – but I am absolutely convinced it was the two of them. I simply knew.
Several days ago that image of the flitting orbs came to me again during a meditation, but this time there were three orbs of light. Without a doubt in my mind the third was Amy.
Second: I am in the process of following the Workbook for Students in A Course In Miracles (ACIM), which consists of 365 daily lessons.  Lately, the lessons are encouraging a deeper sort of meditation than suggested in the earlier lessons. These are referred to as “Down-And-Inward” meditations. The guidelines ask you:
  • ·      To sink deeply into the center of your mind,
  • ·      Use concrete methods (often, simply repeating the title of the day’s lesson) to pull myself back when my mind wanders, and
  • ·      To maintain a heightened sense of intention, i.e., really be willing to want to find peace and calm and light and knowledge and the trusted love of God.

These guidelines are artfully summarized in A Workbook Companion, Allen Watson and Robert Perry, Vol. 1, Circle Publishing, 2005, pp 124-6.
A very good friend and Course student has used this technique with a remarkable result that changed his life. So, here I went – as I did in AA – simply following instructions. Doing as I was told.
The Course said this practice would enable me to find that peaceful center of my True Self – the Self that had never severed being a part of God, the Self that knew the Truth of Love, and the Self that existed in the reality of Spirit, which is without fear.
It is a neat meditative practice. I’ve used it now for a week or so. However, I wasn’t seeing bright light. I wasn’t being overwhelmed with peace. I wasn’t being blown away by the presence of God’s love. But, it was a nice meditative regimen. What I did know was that the meditative time went by very quickly, whether it was a 6-minute or 30-minute meditation. Badda Bang; Badda Bing. Where had the time gone?
Several days ago another good friend in the Course simply happened to mention that he had had a deep meditation and he knew he was at his peaceful center. “How do you know?” “Because the time goes by instantly.” Wow! That was what was happening to me, too!
But I didn’t see it.
What was I expecting? What was I anticipating? Why was I allowing my expectations/anticipations to skew my meditation experience? Then I stopped criticizing myself. It didn’t matter what my expectations were. What mattered was a little confirmation – a deep meditation where time elapses instantly. Where there is no time. That is peace.
It was the same déjà vu all over again.
I remembered, early in my sobriety, listening to a member of the Fellowship who kept asking the group – week after week – when her desire to drink would be lifted. It got old listening to her whine and complain. Then, one evening, listening to her repetitive “When is my desire to drink going to be lifted?” I realized I hadn’t thought of taking a drink in a long while. When was my desire lifted? I didn’t know. I remembered thinking there should be lightening bolts and thunder claps and choirs of angels. None of that. My desire to drink simply faded into the night.
From ACIM: “In the presence of those who hear the Holy Spirit’s Call to be as one, the ego fades away and is undone.” [T-5: IV, 1, 11]
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#4 February, 2013
Copyright, 2013

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