Tag Archives: intuition

Listening

It is late in the day. I am driving out with my husband and my five-year-old son to Lake Park to observe autumnal rituals. When we arrive, the park is deserted. The trees have dropped their leaves. Parking the car among a basswood-maple-and-pine forest, we take a moment to collect ourselves and our things. Leaving the car behind, we walk into an area where large groups camp in-season.

After setting our things on a picnic table, we gather downed sticks and dry twigs. With everything gathered, a fire is soon blazing in a favorite, rusted truck wheel, which serves as our official fire pit. As the wind comes up and the fire matures, the remaining firewood fractures in the heat, turning to red-orange coals. White ashes organize themselves into miniature dervishes performing a holy sema.

Spirituality
Spirituality

With the coals from the fire now fully formed, foil wrapped onions, potatoes and yams are tucked in to roast while we warm ourselves and wait. The prayerful dance of the ashes progresses. We sit to eat the roasted potatoes dressed in cottage-cheese pesto.  Then, with the flames gone, our fingers grow cold and the spell of the fire is broken.  Spreading what remains of the ashes and coals, the last wisps of smoke go skyward.

We walk.

It is a trail we know, over a small wooden walkway, past the beavers’ lodge and through a low, marshy outcropping of land that breathes with the Lake. Shallow patches of water are frozen over with thin sheets of glass. Mid-October. Cattails are tan, brittle and broken. Large skunk cabbages and other marsh plants are hunkering down for the winter, their leaves already appearing wet and wilted after two hard frosts.

The last harsh gusts of autumn wind accompany us on our walk. Some of the remaining brown oak leaves continue to scatter.  Only the pines remain erect; their needles threading erratically through the wind, sewing the clouds to the sky.

When the wind is bellowing through the woods in strong, irregular patterns, it becomes fiercely difficult to think. For the contemplative walker, it is sometimes impossible to discern internal dialogue from the wind’s messages or the voices belonging to the trees themselves. Like an old-folks’ home at bedtime, the woods snap, groan and creak.

In an effort to clear my head, I walk on without my family, leaving partner and child behind to enjoy a shouted, nature tutorial.  Then looking up, I see a crane take flight from the top of a singularly tall pine; this is when I am told that my father will die.

“But, when?” I ask,  as if the information, shouted over the wind or by the wind, is not enough.

After returning home that night, I lay in my warm bed reviewing our family’s relocation schedule, which I have been holding carefully mapped out in my mind. Then, addressing any higher power who will listen, I ask that, if my fifty-four-year-old father’s death must be soon, please let it happen within the next year. I need to be close to home for my mother. Leaving her alone at this time is not an option.

On Sunday morning, just as I had seen it happening and forgotten about seeing it. I am standing in the doorjamb of our bedroom, four days after the telling and four days after the hearing. My mother is on the other end of the telephone, asking me whether or not there is someone there who is close enough to hold me. I want her to just spit it out.  My father is dead.  It is not a surprise; it is a shock.  It happens sooner than it should have and sooner than what I thought the telling had told.

Only hours ago in a dream, I saw the close-relative pallbearers. They carried a polished, red-mahogany ship hull up out of the main marshy area on my parents’ property. The sun was breaking through the pines’ thin needles in ribbons, glinting off of the boat’s polished body. My father was not among the pall-bearers. With that image, I knew that my father was being carried away. Dead. Again, I stand among the long-needled pines, in the cold wind, watching a crane take flight.

Spiritual Listening

Visiting the office of an alternative-care practitioner, I learn from the receptionist that both she and the practitioner have been attending weekly seminars on opening to their intuition.  We talk briefly about what it means to be intuitive–how it is more about listening to the subtle cues from one’s own body and heart than it is about going out to gather information or “do a reading” regarding another person’s affairs.  Being intuitive would best be described as spiritual listening.

Spiritual listening to the physical frame and one’s own highest Light, set deep within the heart, only requires a series of relatively modest commitments in terms of time, space and dedicated practice.  And, such a series of commitments prevents the beep, beep, beep, beep, repeat…if-you’d-like-to-make-a-call, please-hang-up-and-dial-again from becoming a physical or spiritual emergency.

Spirituality

Once, I had the privilege of speaking with a working, Yoruba Shaman who had recently relocated from Cuba to the United States.  He described to me how incredibly loud it was to live here–because, in his own words, “No one is listening to the Spirit World.”  I concurred with him, explaining that in my own work as a Pranic-Work practitioner much of what I do involves reconnecting people to the Light within their hearts, so that they can open a dialogue with what Vedanta refers to as the Self.  Most of us, as Americans, possess overly-full calendars. We are well ensconced in gadgetry, as well as enjoying a staggeringly wide variety of entertainment and sense stimuli. For many of us, life is lived with the phone receiver to our bodies and hearts consistently and, or almost completely off the hook.

Spiritual listening comes most easily to us when we are relaxed and at play.  This is not the social, interactive play we experience at parties, but the joyful, solo and introspective play of collecting leaves for pressing on a fall day, working in our in-home woodshop on Saturday, visiting a children’s playground or doing a jigsaw puzzle on a Sunday afternoon with the low sun streaming across the pieces.  This is when we are able to depress the clutch of our whirring minds, pull the stick shift into neutral and rest with our engines in idle to actually listen.  Such circumstances create the most organic flow of the Spirit’s buried wishes, as well as communications with the cellular body so that latent hankerings, actual needs and genuine priorities may move to the fore.

Group seminars on awakening intuition are fun, and they may certainly assist us in loosening the strictures we often have on excessively rigid energetic forms and beliefs, but the actual joy of an authentic connection with the Self is a very individual, private and sacred affair.  So, pull out your calendar and set aside a full, half-day to explore the world again–your world.  Let your body relax.  Allow your heart to open.  And, listen with an easy, gentle and kind ear to what is being said.  Take some notes.  Make changes.  Take real action.  Falling into alignment allows moment-to-moment clarity to begin streaming.

Of the Spirit, Dreams & Dreaming

Spirituality

“I do not know how you feel about dreams and dreaming, but I have been having a reoccurring dream about you,” the sentence comes out of my mouth with explosive apprehension.  My discomfort is growing, yet my sense of obligation to report what I have been seeing in my dreams is greater than my personal discomfort. “Sometimes I see things—in real time or in dreams—and, I feel an obligation to pass them on, unless someone demonstrates an observable, radical shift in behavior.

Deciding not to wait for feedback, I plow ahead, “In the dream, I keep seeing you in this studio space, splayed out on the floor.  You have suffered a massive heart attack.  My sense is that you need to slow down professionally—to make some changes in the number of work duties that you are committed to.  That is all that I have to relate.”

Silence. Then, we both return to business as usual.

In a few weeks, I learn that the recipient of my news has resigned his administrative duties. My Spirit feels a great sense of relief and hope for the future.