Several years ago I had one of those very memorable dreams in life. I recalled it this morning only because it was brought back into my consciousness while holding a very special stone in my right hand. I had asked for help, and whenever I ask for help it comes. This stone, an ordinary river rock, is one of the most profound teachers I have ever experienced in this life and continues to reveal invaluable, insightful wisdom to me along my evolving human path. You see, I would not have learned the language of the stone if I hadn’t been on a ‘feeling path’. Instead of learning one of the many beautiful human languages such as Spanish, Portuguese or French, I have been re-learning the awe-inspiring language of the Natural World. It comes in handy and it is serving me well on my travels through a long-lost and more benevolent future way of life.
In the dream I found myself flying alongside a very wise and beautiful male teacher. He was clothed in the usual robed attire of what one would expect from a profoundly spiritual teacher. Then in what felt like a flash, we were hovering over these spectacular peaks of sharp-ridged mountains. After my initial gasp of breathtaking joy – in just being witness to the beauty of these peaks – a strangely familiar feeling crept into my body and being. I then turned to my teacher and said something very odd – at least it was odd to me upon my waking recollection. I said to him, “Oh no… You’re not saying that I have to do THAT again, are you?” As I said it in the dream, I was recalling visual/feeling images of my trek as some sort of spiritual student or monk across the very tiny width of these mountain ridges, in the dark…as if I had a blindfold on. At this point the dream shifted, with those sudden rushing and roaring sounds that announce the coming of full lucidity. My last visual memory of this nighttime flight was one of my teacher smiling and opening his mouth to respond to my concern. But wouldn’t you know it, his image faded and his words were drowned out by the giant WHOOOOSH that preceded the great thud – back into my body, back into my bed. “Damn!” I said. “I’ll never know the answer now!”
Not so. These past few days I’ve been feeling a touch of the familiar pain around being different and doing things differently than what has been expected of me, including my differing views on making a ‘living’ in the ‘real world’, as they say. Now I have found that what most refer to as ‘making a living’ has little or nothing to do with being and feeling alive. It has more to do with survival based on the very seductive belief that there isn’t enough in this world and that by god it’s just something that everyone HAS to do. I am certainly not addressing those folks who actually love their jobs and whose jobs help them to feel joyful, fulfilled and alive. I celebrate your good fortune! Sadly, I never really experienced fulfillment from the myriad of jobs that I have performed over the years; I suppose I felt more of that from what the western world calls a ‘hobby’ – music, poetry, healing, writing. Alas, I learned to be two people, with two concurrent lives (sometimes more) over the course of my adult life. Until recently, that is.
I am walking that ridge blindfolded again. Now understand, I don’t even know if this is a real thing on this planet with monks somewhere ‘walking the ridge’, but it’s a very real feeling in my body from both then and now. (If someone does have knowledge of this on Earth I would LOVE to hear from you.) In response to my feeling afraid and asking for help, this glorious and faithful teaching stone brought the imagery of this dream back into my knowing mind as if it had just happened moments ago, and informed me of this: (Understand that I am translating into words the language of the Natural World (the Feminine, Earth Wisdom), which is extraordinary love along with feeling/knowing visual messages.)
“…the end of your dream. What your teacher said was this: “Yes, you will walk the ridge again, but you will do it in a very different way this time. It is the same principle though – learning to feel your way through life. You left the civilized village (and the modern-day machine) due to your spirit calling. Initially you walked (more like crawled) only a short way along the ridge, became fearful, and then returned to the ways that felt safer to you. Each time you would return to the ridge and feel your way a bit further. (It comes into the present here) You have now passed what you know as the ‘point of no return’. You know that not only does it not serve you to crawl all the way back to the past and return to the more limited view, your spirit and physical body have not allowed it. As frightening as it is at times, you know you must continue on now to the other side.”
The feeling path is challenging. Fears arise such as, ‘if I don’t do it the known way; will I be cast aside, become ill, homeless, starve, shame my family? And if I live through this, where am I going? What does it look like? When will I get there?’ One must conjure up an enormous amount of faith and trust that one is doing the ‘right thing’ amidst the chanting din of the civilized world that says you are, well, “stark-raving mad”. Fortunately, I have traveled far enough out now that the din is fading. One of the benefits of this is that I can hear and feel my own breath and feel my own feelings, which leads me to trusting in my Self and my growing ability to hear and translate the messages from my teachers along the way – the unseen spirits; the soil; the grassy shrubs; the warming sun, my body; and yes, the stones. Who would’ve thought that these natural beings would be the ones to lead me to the truth of who I am?
The prevailing belief in the modern world is that one has to ‘make a living’ in the ‘usual’ ways to have a fulfilling life on this planet. For me, so far, that’s not true. Magical things happen along this feeling path, and they seem to manifest through the openings created as a result of letting go…letting go of conditioning; letting go of pain and fear; letting go of expectations (both yours and others); and letting go the limiting ideas of what it means to be a human on earth.
Stone continued with the knowing visions, “Your teacher also showed you that when you do finally reach the other side of the ridge, you might be a little surprised, for you will enter into man’s everyday civilization again. Things will feel different, but know that it is because YOU are different. Your new operating system in the world will be ‘feeling and knowing’. And your spirit friends and all of nature will remain present, for you will be in the Present, and you will be fluent in their language – which is your natural language. You will see old friends and may feel pulled into the past. Be who you are. They may one day meet you there. You will make new friends who have made the feeling trek as you have, but in their own way. This you will all celebrate together, and by being in the presence of these new beings you will continue to propel each other into larger ways of living on Earth. You do not have to leave the world to be spiritual, creative and fulfilled. Feel your way to your Present Self and then return to the world as Love in form; a force for benevolent change – not because of what you do or preach, but just by being who you are. This is what ‘walking the ridge’ teaches, not only in this particular life of a monk, but it also prepares the student to return to another earth time and space to fully BE the SELF in this world. This has been the training – to bridge worlds. To be natural in a seemingly unnatural world. And yes, to be in the world but not of it.”
I have found that when one lives in the present moment, one has access to magic. I have not held a ‘regular’ job for about (wait, I have to check my resume) … Wow. The last full-time permanent job I had ended in 1998. I have no savings account to speak of; no health insurance; no 401k; and no idea if I even know how to MAKE a living at this point. I do know a whole lot more now about living though, and I assure you I am living well. Whether I find myself speaking, writing, singing, healing – or whether I’m mopping floors at City Hall (just kidding… but it could happen!), I am living more honestly, more fully, more magically. I’m still here; healthier than I’ve ever been and happier than I ever thought possible.
I’m not saying that it doesn’t get scary sometimes, but I’m getting better at quickly recalling present-moment magic in those moments of seeming separation. With my feeling nature active again, I have changed my definition of wealth: I know what I need to know when I need to know it; and that seems to draw me to people, places and things that support who I am and who may also have need of my growing gifts and talents. Oh yes, and I draw a lot of comfort and unlimited resource from my new community – the Natural World. Pardon me, the REAL world.