Tag Archives: channeling

All the Difference

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I did it!
I taught FOUR yoga classes today, sweet lawd!
What amazes me about all of this
is that when I’m there with the students
I am so much in the zone
and so energized by the flow
that I feel awake even if I’m tired;
I feel strong even if moments before I felt weak.
Something magical happens when I do this work I love.
If you don’t yet have work that you love,
I highly recommend you find some.
It will make all the difference in the world, my friend,
it will make all the difference in the world.

The Teachers

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Each morning, right after I finish my thirty minutes of passage meditation, I open myself to be a channel for a group of non-physical beings called the Teachers.  They are there to assist me on my path of self-realization, and they give me daily instructions–something to work on and assimilate each day–that I might experience and apply spiritual awareness in the midst of my real life joys, challenges, roles, and responsibilities.

“Open yourself to be a channel?” You might be asking.

I might be imagining the whole thing, but that’s okay.  I started this channeling practice at the prompting of some inner voice 930 days ago, in August 2011–when I was pregnant with my second child, spiraling out of control physically and emotionally, feeling dreadfully sick, moody, reactive, and desperate.  I cried out from the depths of my desperation:  “What can I do? Help me!  I want to evolve, I want to be peaceful, loving and kind!  What can I do?”  Out of nowhere, a clear voice within me said, “You will meditate each morning.”  That was the first instruction.  After hearing that voice, I was curious to see what it would tell me next. So I showed up for a short session of meditation the next morning; it was probably ten or fifteen minutes long.  After this meditation, I felt prompted to listen for more guidance, so I cleared my mind, waited, listened.

For some reason I decided to record the instructions  using the voice memo app of my iPhone, speaking the words I was hearing from within as they appeared in my mind.  I was surprised and excited by the wisdom that came through, so I showed up for meditation and instructions the next day and the day after that and the day after that.  Through the rest of my pregnancy, through the early days, weeks, months of my son’s life and beyond (he is now two!) I have continued with this practice.  After each meditation I have listened, imagining that I hear the collective voice of this group of loving, compassionate beings offering me guidance.  Most of the time I’m whispering because I don’t want to wake my children or alarm my husband.   The majority of the recordings have been about a minute long, but some have been over five.  When I remember the instructions during the day, it is like a direct line to this loving source of wisdom, reminding me that I can be awake in this moment, I can choose my thoughts, words and deeds and live in alignment with my deepest values.

At some point, maybe it was a few weeks in, I wanted to know the name of this group of beings.  For a few days the words “The Elders” and “The Teachers” kept appearing in my brain.  I finally settled on “The Teachers” because this resonated on a deep level and just seemed to fit.

It has been 930 days and I have never missed a meditation session; there have been a few times–maybe four or five–when I was traveling and I wasn’t able to find a place to be alone and record the instructions, but I have shown up for the overwhelming majority of those days, and will continue to do so until the inner voice prompts me to stop.

Now, I will be the first to stand up in a crowd of skeptics and say, “This is complete bullsh*t!” I have had to overcome my own doubts and resistance each morning I have opened myself to channel.  I have declined to talk about this with most of the people in my life because of my fear of being called crazy, delusional, schizophrenic…but I have continued to allow the Teachers to speak through me each morning because the wisdom that has come through has been valuable to my growth and development.

It doesn’t matter if I’m imagining the whole thing, I’ve decided.  So what?  I’m grateful for the guidance I am given; whether it is coming from a group of non-physical beings or from a wise part of myself–it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is showing up regularly in a receptive state of mind, with the intention to grow in awareness of my true self and benefit other beings through this growth.

At some  point I was sharing the instructions with my twin sister…it was for maybe a week back in September of 2011.  I just found an email I sent to a group of close girlfriends, my two sisters, and my mom in October of the same year, telling them about this experience and sharing with them the instructions I had received that day.  Although I was nervous about what kind of response I might receive, my urge to share was stronger than my fear of being misinterpreted or misunderstood.  My mom answered, “Wow, this is wonderful.  Keep it up.”  She might have been the only person who responded.

And I haven’t told anyone else about the Teachers until today.

I felt moved to share on this particular day because earlier I started writing a post in which I described my frequent lack of focus in meditation this morning;  I recounted how I asked during meditation what I could do to strengthen my ability to focus, and I found myself wanting to include the Teachers’ s instructions–which ended up being practical guidance in response to my question.  I didn’t think I could just drop a perfunctory blurb about the Teachers and expect my readers to have the slightest idea what I was talking about:  Oh and by the way, there’s this group of non-physical beings I channel every day, and this is what they told me, isn’t this great? I figured that if anyone besides me is reading this blog at all, they deserve to know the real story, and so I decided–what the hell–to just go ahead and tell the whole thing.

So there you go.  Tomorrow, expect a post about how I’m practicing how to focus in my daily life in order to enjoy more depth, stillness, and focus in my meditations.

Memories of Spiritual Unfolding

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My earliest memories connected with anything spiritual involve my dad, which is completely ironic because he is a self-proclaimed atheist who belongs–as he says–to “the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.” One day, when I was young enough to be held in his arms, I remember talking with him about God, insisting that I knew what God looked like, even after he repeatedly said that no one knows what God looks like. We were in my Mom-Mom’s old house on Wilson Avenue in Parkville.  A devout Catholic, she had depictions of Mary and Christ in several strategic places around her house.

“There,” I said, pointing to a picture of Christ hanging on the wall, “That’s God.”

“No,” my Dad corrected, “That isn’t God. That’s Jesus.”  I was disappointed. I could have sworn that this sweet looking dude on the wall with the kind eyes was God. Not God?? Really?

Another memory involves my Dad showing me a newspaper article about a yogi who meditated for ten days straight, neither eating, nor drinking, nor sleeping, nor using the bathroom the whole time. The man in the picture was in full lotus pose, eyes closed, and his expression was serene. I was mesmerized. How could he suspend the recurring needs of the body for this inordinate length of time?  This guy knows something I don’t know, I said to myself, I wonder what it is.

Growing up with an atheist dad and a mother with quiet spiritual leanings, I was given lots of space to decide on my own what to think or believe about the great Beyond.  I yearned to explore the realm of spirit, but lacked a guiding hand that could point me in the direction of getting my questions answered. And yet, is that true? Because, aren’t we always guided, whether we know it or not?

I remember being interested in ghosts and ESP (telepathy, clairvoyance) as an elementary schooler. In the fourth grade I checked out every book in the school library that had any mention of ghosts or special powers.  Stories about past lives intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to cultivate my mental powers to read others’ thoughts and transmit my own thoughts wordlessly.

My twin sister and I read a book about channeling in the seventh grade:  Opening to Channel, by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer. We wanted to learn how to connect with spirit guides who would transmit information to us beyond our present understanding, that we might grow and evolve and transcend our challenges.  And we had plenty of challenges in the seventh grade. Painfully thin, tall, straight A students, twins–we were the target of a great deal of ridicule on a daily basis. What sets us apart makes us vulnerable. Many an afternoon, after stepping off of the school bus, the first thing I would do would be to burst into tears.  We wanted to find answers. We wanted to transcend our suffering. Sitting together in stillness and listening for guidance proved to be helpful. The guidance that came through was always kind, loving, compassionate–never vengeful. I remember being surprised that there wasn’t the slightest hint of meanness, no suggestions on how to get back at those who were harassing us. There were invitations to consider how our peers might have arrived at such a state to say the things they did, and we were offered the thought that these experiences might be serving us in some way. Radical acceptance, and the promise that eventually it would all become more clear.

My aunt gave me a book called Meditation by Eknath Easwaran when I was in high school. I began a fairly regular meditation practice that lasted until my freshman year of college.  I thought meditating would be too weird in a small dorm room with a roommate, so I axed the practice and didn’t return to it for many years.  Looking back, I wish I would’ve stayed with my practice; I think it would’ve given me a much more stable foundation on which to build an understanding of myself and my behaviors in this world. Of course, what use is it to wish for the past to be different? My past led me to this moment, here, now. It was the time spent not meditating that helped me to fully appreciate the return to my practice when I was ready.

I kept my first diary in second grade. I remember starting another when I was in fifth grade, and it was eighth grade before all of the pages of that second diary were full. I remember turning to my diary in my middle school years when things were tough and I wanted clarity, wanted to vent, to grieve, to explore. Weeks, months even, would pass in between entries; my writing was spotty, emotionally raw, my handwriting was slanted and a bit messy.

My real writing practice began in my sophomore year of high school with a three week journal project assigned by a beloved English teacher. I found writing so enjoyable, cathartic, and satisfying during those three weeks that I decided to keep going after the assignment was over.  Thus began my decades long love affair with journal writing, an affair that continues today. Nowhere have I experienced more spiritual growth than in the pages of my journals.  Nowhere have I felt safer, clearer, and at ease. Nowhere have I felt more like my Self.

As I approach the second of the twelve steps this month, as I work on coming to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity, it is only natural for me to do some exploring in my journal. Magic happens when I touch pen to paper, especially if that pen is a fountain pen and the ink is flowing fast and fresh and unsmearing (I’m a lefty).

Perhaps if I give myself some unstructured writing time about this idea of “coming to believe,” some unexpected wisdom might flow forth. I might be surprised. Maybe I can overcome the doubt, the voice of the father who told me that I don’t know what God looks like. Maybe I can  sidestep my awe of the yogi who knows more than I do and bring my focus back to the self who knows exactly what it needs to know. Maybe I can sit in stillness, and listen to words of wisdom coming from somewhere beyond the little self that is afraid of losing control, afraid of change.

The most important element here is my own receptivity, my willingness to be with what is, to open to awareness beyond my daily recurring thoughts. I look forward to what can happen in such an open, curious innocent place. Time to meditate now.