How brilliant when a friend teaching mindfulness to a room of four to eighty-year olds asked of them three things: “1- stop when I ring the bell, 2- bring your willingness to play, and 3- take care of your own body.”
What great advice to attune to the mysteries of life! Stopping gives time to notice and begin to believe our experience. Believing what we notice is the heart of it all!
Willingness to play and enter the moment requires our choice to step over resistance to a bigger reality, to open filters, and engage with curiosity.
To take care of myself is to operate within my personal power to shape creative contributions, play for the heck of it, and rest. Learning to be me might be my biggest influence on the world.
Many of us pray to a mysterious Source, personalizing it to make the relationship more manageable. I don’t doubt that we encounter unusual energy, voices, presences, visions, dreams, coincidental events, or inner senses. We have thousands of names and stories for otherworldly experiences. Yet who gets coached on how to nurture and respond to spirit interactions? What school does a young mystic attend? Sunday School? Temple? No school? Is there an adept mystic in the house who is out of the closet and grounded?
No wonder Harry Potter is so popular. Mystery Schools fascinate us.
Fearful of blundering forth into uncharted fields, we discount our awe-filled moments as mistakes, keep them secret, and suspect other people’s mystery encounters as errors in judgment. What if we are sitting on a gold mine of technology for healing and creating the life we want? More and more of us realize that this is the case.
When I started seriously exploring the mystical territories in seminary I felt like I had to sneak around. Was the Spirit world dangerous, taboo, ridiculous, too powerful, unpredictable? Mystery needn’t be ominous, in control, or the opposite of sanity. Hadn’t I already been awakened by wonderful, unbidden (?) experiences. Didn’t holy books speak freely of such encounters?
My own ancestor, Hiram Wentworth, appeared in a Kansas newspaper at age 80 for his ability to heal people a thousand miles away. Medium Edgar Cayce. a devout, popular Sunday school teacher shared the same mainstream denomination that ordained me. Apparently, they gave him the boot for being too controversial. Or was he ahead of his time?
As a dancer in church, I began to learn to animate a larger field and how to access “the Big Body.” The arts gave me core practices that taught me the difference between performing and being performed, how to begin and end a “higher moment,” the necessity of outside eyes, and how to stop and see. Eventually, it was the Berkeley Psychic Institute that gave me tools to manage my sensitivity. I learned that I could drop cosmologies and focus on tools for managing energetic fields in and around me.
It is ironic that in the 21st century, a time of great sophistication, many collectively subscribe to being mystical dummies. We rely on machines to connect while on every continent teachers offer technologies for communicating on the big web. The teachings of the east, including those used by Jesus, arise from practiced wisdom.
Wouldn’t a basic “How to book,” and a kind teacher be a blessing? Perhaps we need a driver’s manual for moving onto greater high ways. What are the rules of the road?
When I finally understood about sending and receiving information from something greater, something I occasionally did, I took delight in the following smart, caring instructions about communications coming from any “higher source.” (Channeled by Lee Carroll)
i. There will be useful information for everyone.
ii. The message should be uplifting.
iii. Spirit (God) will never, ever send a message that asks you to give up your free will.
iv. Spirit will never give you a message —ever—that asks you to violate the integrity of what you believe.
v. Spirit will never represent itself as being the only source.
vi. Watch for the fact that the information is normally new information.
vii. Watch for the fact that the information should have spiritual solutions presented.
Smart Mystics navigate reality without forfeiting any part, keep their wits as well as losing them, and forego balance long enough to get to higher or more interesting ground. How? Mystery is close to home. It’s experienced directly as body wisdom, communications felt in muscles, breath, sensations, images and thoughts when we slow down enough to let the information communicate. Even ascetics who negate the body, do so by narrowly focusing on specific channels of physical communication.
Meanwhile, artists, children, and others open up to sensations and let their imagination resonate to energetic forms, fields, and patterns. The gifted catch and build on imaginal processes as they create unique dialogues with the subtlest of perceptions and projections. In visionary states, they follow sensory cues, receive directions and interpret information into words, dances, music, art and just being. Sometimes they share their encounters with others.
Baseline for Relating to Mystery
I believe that varied “energy forms” carry a wide range of intent, some profoundly benevolent, some self-interested. In the same way that I need to choose my friends I need to be selective about the intimacy of my spiritual encounters.
I believe that Creation is bent on giving us unique, full lives through a magnificent mechanism called free will. Everything plays, (even elements that behave in instinctual ways).
I believe that freedom is fundamental to the Universal design and that destructive and evil choices are inherent parts of the web of energy. Accepting this, I gratefully plug-in to generativity.
I believe that Creation is pervasively, qualitatively founded in Unconditional Regard, manifesting as peace, joy, and serenity and that we know this secret even when we forget or pretend we don’t know it.
I believe that freedom to play, live, and meet the Unknown is a joy, privilege, and adventure. It isn’t easy, but it feels alive, even when we endure oppression. Claiming such fundamental freedom may tire us out but won’t disappoint us.
Based on Creation’s generous freedom, this is my mystic code of practice.
1) Living life is mystery enough. A mystical practice needn’t subvert ordinary experience if a person is enjoying a good life.
2) Free will is a rock bottom value. The Divine does not ask us to disappear or give up. Instead, love needs our get-up-and-go to co-create and play.
3) Love, the golden rule, applies equally to people and to “higher authorities,” voices, and inner pulls.” If love is lacking, question it. I am as important as an angel, book, or niggle.
4) When opening to voices, images, intuitions, senses, and presences, I expect respect from all forms of energy I receive, including any that might overwhelm or trouble me.
5) Being human is about limits. Divinity is endless. Embodying both, only I can claim humanity as my condition and priority. On the earth, I am not endless, nor required to act like it.
6) When mysticism is triggered by trauma, accident, spontaneous awakening, or affliction I can shut down until I have healthy supervision and support.
7) Living with mystical reality requires extra time, energy, tools and support. I can negotiate when to invest these resources.
8) Mystical gifts can trouble others and me until the best practices for me are in place.
9) Only by relaxing into humility can I continuously refine skills to work with Great Things.
10) If called to a higher purpose, I am free to negotiate about how, what and when to participate. If unable to comply, Love remains.
11) Anyone desiring divine contact need only “ask and it shall be given.” Just prepare for it to show up in surprising forms.
12) Since I am not separate from God, I do not need to add, carry or hold any more divine energy, people, or beings inside me. Instead I prefer that my highest good gently communicate with me in a manner other than possession.
13) I am free to protect myself from any higher power.
14) As the above is true, it is also true for anyone who might mistake me as a higher power. I seek to be a companion and playmate only.
As a playful, sensitive person, I enjoy demystifying mysticism to uncover easy practices for inviting, managing, and sorting through the challenge and awe of relating to the big, dynamic field at play all around. And, my initiations into mystery come at the right speed for my bodyspirit, even though I’ll confess that my hair did turn white at age 35. (See Chasing the Dance of Life)