Saturday, December 7, 2013

Infected or Impregnated

How big is your soul? Does it ever ache? Does it ever glow?

Where is it? I know where my brains, my heart, and my guts are. I can put my hands over the skin that holds them and feel their energy. I can especially feel them when something’s wrong and they ache.

But my soul is not to be found within my body. For all these years I’ve been searching around inside looking/feeling for that soul of mine.

It’s only in middle age that I’ve started exploring this soul beyond my skin. Is there something about middle age where we realize just how vulnerable we are? How we don’t contain all the answers and solutions within our carefully constructed ego-selves? When we open up to the need for solutions beyond our own fingertips?

It was Reverend Nico VanderStoel who introduced me to Therapeutic Touch back in the nineties. Unlike its more spiritual cousin Reiki, TT is a purely scientifically-based art. I was taught that we all have energy zones surrounding our bodies. They can expand and contract. But we all have this exterior personal “space”. We can feel it when someone enters into our zone – just like we can feel the energy “ball” between our two hands when they are held close but not touching.

This modern healing modality led me to explore Reiki, Tai Chi, and Qui Gong. There are people who are particularly attuned to the energy flows and blockages within our skin and the energy fields surrounding each one of us. While each of us can learn to become better attuned, some are simply gifted with this ability.

For myself, imagination and metaphor make up for what I lack in the gifts of attunement.

to be still
is the first step

to enter the silence
is the next

to become a part of all that is
is to awaken

as Rumi wrote….
The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”
In this awakened place there are mysteries revealed. Mostly these mysteries are suddenly “noticed”. We simply “see” the awesome everyday miracles of god’s wonder-filled creation that we pass by when busy and asleep.

In this awakened place we become a part of the flow of all things. In the stillness we become “grounded”. And from this grounded place we also become aware of how we are also green and growing.

This garden of Eden, this kin-dom of god, this sacred space however, can become infected.

Like the snake in the Eden story that gives our first couple the facts of life, the day-to-day drama of life’s struggles can put the problems of the world onto our shoulders. Between our ears rises the deafening sounds of doubt, guilt, worry, and fear. Instead of behaving like the evolved god-like beings we are, we become caught up in our monkey-minds. The noise and traffic and busyness of the monkey-mind workings put us back to sleep.

New conflicts encountered become caught up in emotion as we worry and wait for them to unfold. But instead of just waiting, we project ahead a future path from the seeds of this new problem. Old stories of conflict - the pain caused when we’ve risked vulnerability - the high payback costs of our bigger mistakes - the agonizing sting of past betrayals - and worst of all – the random tragedies - they hit us unawares arising from our nightmares and lay unfair fates upon us so that it seems god must be asleep at the switch. They all – all these past histories find their way into this new future story we’re writing before it even happens.

Our souls become infected with the story-making. We lose sight of the ground we stand on. We fall asleep to the sound of our inner wisdom’s song. Our defences are down and we’re not sleeping and making poorer and poorer choices trying to prevent the future that hasn’t even begun to happen. 

How important it is to tend to the garden of our souls. How important it is to clear our souls of such noisy story-making. How essential to our spiritual, physical, and mental health to guard the grounding place. Just as the Maker put an angel with a fiery sword at the entrance to Eden, so must we also keep our sacred spaces safe.

This is where imagination and metaphor come in.

Imagine your sacred space and its boundaries.
It might be within the limits of your skin.
It might be within the reach of your fingers and toes.
It might be within four walls.
It might occupy a larger outdoor world.     Yes, lets go outside.

My sacred space is a seventeen acre triangle.
From the cabin where I sit I can see the falls and just beyond it a rock ledge where I put this new conflict, this new story in the making. It is out there beyond my sacred space.

Close by me is a stone I carried from the Reeve homestead of my grandfather. In this stone I keep all those histories that have shaped me, taught me, made me who I am.

But I am not only those stories. There is a living word here in this place. There is a powerful and shadowed warrior who speaks with the authority of my deepest longings, my highest calling. This warrior guides my temporary role in the unfolding of ancient purpose. I am impregnated with god-seed. Like Mother Mary I have within me the living holy seed of salvation. It is the same salvation hidden within all god’s creatures. It is the impossible vision of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Marley of a garden world.     

Behind me, with a heron’s view of this land and its boundaries, stands a grandmother pine. Above it all she watches. Deeply rooted in this place nothing happens here that she doesn’t know of.

Like the shield I’ve fashioned with four directions and five totems, the grandmother pine guards this sacred garden from clifftop to riverbed.

And at the heart of this place. At the point of the triangle. Where the river falls onto a stone tongue of bedrock - is my place of renewable energy, of healing, of clearing and cleansing. This is where I go to wake up.

I awake to the neverending suffering of the world. I awake to the power of life’s flow. I awake to the healing energies of air, water, and love.

Wherever I am, I can go there. Whenever I need to, I can be there. I can push from within the infections of the busy, noisy, heedless world. And I can hear instead the calming sure song of the ancients. I can feel the pregnant weight of a new thing god is doing.

All I have to do is remember. And this, I keep forgetting. 

With thanks to Ayuna and my sister of Mercy, my gardening teachers, and to all of you who help wake me.

No comments: