I am convinced that my recent mystical experience was a result of the convergence of various synchronistic occurrences, but then again mystical experiences are always just that. They are grace points eternally available; waiting for us to see and experience.
My mind has felt scrambled lately as if I was going through some kind of alchemical change. Perhaps I am reading something into my experience, but I am oriented that way. I am steeped in a mystical life of meditation while presently facilitating four groups rooted in transformation, meditation and mysticism.
My true North is where inner and outer worlds are simultaneously made manifest. It is what I practice daily. It is what I teach. It is what I have learned and am still learning.
This convergence of events has included living a more monkly COVID life, walking closely with the teachings of Mary Magdalene, reorienting to less practical spirituality and leaning in to mystical magical grace in order to remember the gift of asking. I have also been doing a live instagram meditation every day, going out to my island every weekend and then came Easter.
Mary Magdalene teaching’s reveal something called the Eye of the Heart, which in The Fourthway world refers to the opening of the Higher Emotional Center. The Buddhists would call it the blossoming of the Heartmind. Whatever you want to call it, an established foundation of stillness and contemplation is ripe soil for this garden to bloom. One can practice a great deal, but in the end, this station requires both surrender and the fertile soil together.
It’s not about our accomplishments, goals, triumphs and great thirst for higher places. It’s certainly not about being good or perfect. It’s about the moment we are deeply alone, sometimes forgotten and even lost. It’s about the risk we take to accept what is and let the chips fall where they may.
The grace point arrives when suddenly we are seeing the outside as the inside through the eye of the heart.
In a very subtle way, each meditation I have recently taught on Instagram to a general public has been about this. Learning to meditate with our eyes open offers the initial clue that we can have inner experiences while the windows are open to the outside world. It is not only about our inner experience. It is the interstice of the two where the miracles occur. We begin to see that our inner stillness gets reflected to us in our outer world through synchronicity. We see what we could not see before.
We see the Divine contained in the Ordinary.
There are strange and subtle aspects to a mystical experience. We may have lofty expectations about these things; expectations that create grandiose scenarios of Sacred Being visitations or burning bush type events, but mystical experiences have certain parameters. They are outside of time and space. In the thirty years I have been immersed in deep spiritual practice, I have had some very grandiose experiences myself, but I can name them only on one hand.
However, having said that, i can also say that the mystical experience has become for me the ability to hear what is in my heart, distinguishable from the egoic structure. It is experiencing another dimension though I never leave the dimension in which I regularly live.
My seeing is expanded to encompass the Being World and beyond within a functional existence.
Which brings me to the miracle of Easter morning.
I am blessed beyond measure to escape to the woods during this pandemic. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the 15 acres of completely disturbed forest that my husband and I purchased two years ago. I have walked these woods dozens and dozens of times now, tripping over hidden barbed wire where cattle were once kept in place, getting stung by nettles, being attacked by hawthorne bushes, and getting tangled in deep thickets 3 feet high.
I have wandered around imagining how and where the school will function. I have studied the way two streams flow and delta out into a wetland that will one day be beautiful gardens and large ponds. I have scoped possible scenarios for two years, trying to see the potential in what is there.
Recently, we took down lots of dead trees to make way for a few more glamping tents…one could call it mega-weeding. We are preparing for our womens’ group retreats, sound camp, all the Awareness School open weekends and week-long retreat, and wondering in the back of our minds if it is going to be possible with this virus, quarantine, and travel restrictions.
Nevertheless, we forge ahead in faith and that means weeks and weeks of massive branch burning. It has been our own private burning man for a month now. My ever-lingering scent is campfire. It seems to remain permanently in my hair and on my clothes. In clandestine guilt, I have blessed and thanked all of the wandering and precarious felled alders multiple times. When we first arrived two years ago, we felt bad about cutting down even the tiniest ocean spray!
Easter morning came in all its glory with a bright welcome sunrise, rays streaming through our newly lit spaces. As I loaded more branches onto last night’s still glowing embers, I thought of all the people without a church to go to on this most glorious morning. I remembered how much I had loved Easter morning because it was my chance to wear the new Sunday finery we all got each year. I would sit in the pews and admire my white patent leather shoes and feel how wonderful it all was.
It was my favorite Christian holiday because the black cross got filled with bouquets of flowers. There is life after death. It was a given that we were all automatically reborn… no matter what… just because Jesus had risen. I didn’t feel reborn at all, but I did feel hopeful and I felt loved because of my new shoes. In song, I felt the warmth of community with whom my grandmother and I sang at the top of our lungs.
No one would be going out in their finery today to sing and celebrate anything with anyone.
I sat in my camp chair in stillness, listening and praying. I let the great plumes of smoke engulf me as if it were incense wafting from great gold thuribles. I felt the presence of Mary Magdalene and Jesus living deep within me as I have before in one of the previous mystical experiences I counted on my one hand.
I stood up, turned around and found myself in a place I did not recognize. This was not my usual camp. All of the trees (none less than five stories high) formed a living cathedral where I felt held and at one with their presence. I found myself staring in disbelief at the lofty treetops that now formed vaulted ceilings of a Holy Basilica where sun rays streamed through thin vertical spaces between its fifty foot columns. I was not looking for potential and possibility, but seeing with new eyes a tree nave and chancel. I cannot express the awe and dismay I felt. I had stepped into another realm.
My inner stillness was in communion with the quiet peace of this extraordinary sanctuary of God. I was standing in nature’s Notre Dame, my heart full of grace, full of gratitude, and full of wonder. I could not get over how magical and other worldly this familiar place had suddenly become.
I looked down for a fleeting moment, noticing my filthy ash covered island shoes and felt more safe and more loved than I ever had in my life.
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