(Written in August 2003)
Dear Guides & Guardian Spirits, I’ve been sad a lot lately. Probably partly let down after the summer’s activities, and partly another layer of mourning for the end of my marriage. Please help me.
Dear Jenny, we love you a lot. The Universe is rooted in love, the creative source is an outpouring of Divine Love that springs like a fountain in the center of every created being. This love creates, sustains, supports each unique, irreplaceable being — which is why everything is sacred. Beings feed on other beings, this is a necessary condition for material life, but the sacredness of each being – even as it offers itself as food for another – must be remembered and honored. In this embodied life pain happens because of limitation and adjustment. If you refuse to feel the pain, the adjustment does not happen. Instead, more pain is created. Pain begets pain until someone is willing to accept and feel the pain, bring it into the present where it can heal. This is why the major spiritual discipline of human life is learning to be present to pain: not as a victim but as a witness. Learning to be present to pleasure is not difficult unless you have been practicing denial and dissociation as a way to deal with pain. The practice of being present to your own pain, to the pain of others, is central to the healing of the world. Do not deny your sadness but recognize how, even as you are present to the sadness, the Ocean of Compassion holds you up underneath.
The “Ocean of Compassion” refers to an experience I had at Findhorn in 2001. I was having a very hard time with hypervigilance. I went to meditate in the Nature Sanctuary, a small round building based on a spiral, with a sod roof. As I was sitting there, I experienced something like a layer of invisible substance that was holding me up, as though it were water, coming just to the level of the heart. I experienced it as compassion. It’s the first time I experienced compassion that was not coming from a person. Instead, I understood that it was a layer, like an ocean, around the whole planet, coming just to the level of the human heart. Later I learned that “Ocean of Compassion” is one of the names of the Dalai Lama. For several years I was able to recall the experience and be helped by it. Now I don’t re-experience it, I just have a memory of the experience.