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>Spiritual Emergence

26 May

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I haven’t quite yet been able to define my spiritual orientation and a part of me says that’s okay.  It keeps me learning, but I also realise I am developing a personal relationship with spirit that is over and above anything I read, hear or even believe. The way it works is that I have an experience and then in my readings, or my everyday life, I come across something that validates or emphasises the very thing I had experienced.  I will try to give an example.   In my last post, in which I wrote about my experience following Andre’s death, I mentioned being struck by the silver flecks in a little white orchid in my garden, and remarking on how beautiful the flower was, seeing it as I had never seen it before.  The next day the flower was back to being an ordinary, boring white flower.  I couldn’t believe it.  I even got myself a magnifying glass and still I was unable to see what I had been carrying on about that day.
Then, sometime later I was reading the book, When the Impossible Happens, by Stanislav Grof, and came upon a section in which he recounted an experience his mother had after recovering from a serious illness.  One day she remarked to him that she had never before noticed how beautiful his property was, and marvelled at the beauty of the pine trees, with silver flecks.  I remember it was 10:00 one night when I read this and I immediately got on the phone and called my cousin and said, “I’m not crazy…listen to this.”
Grof refers to this sort of experience as a spiritual emergence, a state which often manifests at a time of stress or loss. This reassurance that I wasn’t crazy seems to have served as a turning point for me, because I reasoned, “If I’m not crazy, then I really experienced what I thought I experienced, and that means there IS something beyond death, and if there is something beyond death, I want to find out what that is.”  In that space, I began to grow from Lorraine Jones, limited, materialistic, to something more open to exploring.  It was a tremendous shift, because I had always been concerned about being ‘normal’.  Now that I look back at it, I realise I was always aware of a wilder, deeper side to my personality that I had felt compelled to manage and minimise. Also, looking back, I realise that, left to my own devices, I would never have taken on this journey of exploration if it had not been for the loss of the thing dearest to me.
For someone who had grown up in a conservative Christian home, mysticism was not a word with which I was comfortable, and I had studiously kept clear of its trappings, except for my attraction to Reiki which just felt right.  But suddenly, here I was, not just believing in the afterlife, but knowing, with certainty that there is an afterlife, and that the resurrection seemed not to be the future event promised by the Church, but something that was occurring everyday. I was also convinced that I hadn’t happened upon this experience by accident, but that this was being offered to me as a learning path if I chose to take it.  I attribute the ease with which I shed my Judeo-Christian inhibitions to the fact that this glimpse of another reality had been associated with Andre, and Reiki, two of the things I trust most.
The next experience that propelled me onto this path, was a guided meditation by another Reiki master, Roz Walker.  I had been to see Roz once before for a Reiki treatment, but I had been hearing her name for some time from the people with which I studied Reiki and reflexology.  Anyway, when I couldn’t seem to shake the sense of wonder  I was feeling when I felt I should have been grieving my son more appropriately, I felt the need to talk to someone face to face.  Call it a hunch, but as someone who has some experience with grief counselling,  I didn’t think a visit to a psychiatrist or family counsellor was going to yield any diagnosis beyond either that I was still in shock or denial, or maybe a combination of both – shocking denial?
Anyway Roz seemed like my best option, and it turned out to be a tremendous starting point.  I remember we talked about a lot of things, including the uniquely human expectation that parents should necessarily precede their children despite the experience of the animal kingdom, where the death of offspring was more the norm than exception.  But the most profound outcome of that meeting was a guided meditation that she did for me, during which I met my Reiki guide.