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don Miguel Ruiz



Musings of an Awakening Spirit

Stories, poetry & general musings of Rebecca Haywood, a modern-day Shaman with a penchant for bringing the divine into the human experience.

Rebecca's Memoir - Chapter 3

The first instruction was to quit my caretaking job on the mountain.  This did not appeal to me as Mt. Mansfield had provided such a refuge, but I followed it anyway and packed my things to head for a new refuge, part two of the instructions, my family’s cabin in Maine.  

I spent the month of August in Maine, completely alone and in silence.  This was a cherished place of childhood where I spent every summer with my Mother and my older Brother.  It has always remained somewhat frozen in time, with no electricity and the nearby stream as our only water source.

So in many ways, returning there felt like returning to the child within me and to the self untouched by the seasons of life.  That child had much to teach me about the generosity of love and the true nature of life.  I let her be my guide and each day she brought me a gift.  At first they came through vague memories of powers encountered by the undoubting eyes of a child.   

These memories began to affect my entire attitude and soon, the familiar landscape around me transformed.  The ordinary became extraordinary.  I started noticing the tiny details of life around me with a sense of awe.  A simple Dragonfly sipping at the waters’ edge seemed miraculous.  The beating of its wings, though silent to my ears, conveyed the entire orchestra of life’s rhythms.  This was true everywhere I looked.  Though my mind registered something familiar, my body experienced an emotional aria of pure bliss.

I recognized that knowledge somehow obstructed this impactful communication with life that I was having.  I saw that through the process of “growing up” I had developed a veil that blinded me from experiencing life in this way.  All the knowledge in my mind had created a constant force of expectation that I projected onto everything I saw and experienced.  It had narrowed my focus onto the familiar, causing me to miss out on the magnitude of each moment.   As long as I was using knowledge to “see” then all I would experience was “I know.”  All I would experience was what I had already experienced when in truth, there was so much more happening in each moment than my knowledge could even grasp.  It reminded me of the blind Oracle of Delphi.  Though he was physically blind, he was a seer, able to penetrate the veils of time and space to “see” beyond any question posed to him.  Perhaps by closing my own eyes of knowledge, I was accessing a new way of seeing, a new way of knowing.  

Whatever the truth, it was imperative that I begin to soften my reliance on knowledge.  Though I wasn’t sure how, the body seemed to offer a temporary reprieve.  Anytime I engaged more deeply with my body, I somehow seemed to be downloading a direct experience of life around me.   And so began my worship.

My body became the Queen and I her loyal subject.  I let every action be guided by serving her pleasure; sleeping when tired, eating when hungry, swimming whenever.  And when fear swept through the body, which happened more often than I had realized, I comforted her as I would a timid child.  Serving her desires was not a chore.  It did not deplete my energy, but renewed it.  The more I gave, the more I had.  It was a seemingly obvious exchange since the Queen I was serving was actually my own body.  However, the reciprocal nature of service abounded no matter whom or what I served.  The more I loved, the more I became love.  It really was and is as simple as that. 

And so another burial and initiation had begun: the death of knowledge and the birth of direct experience.  All previous bets were off the table.  This was a different game without a set of rules and I was excited to play.  Though I had already made my leap from the mountain top that day, I was now at peace with the uncertainty and allied with a new guide.  Much like the blind Oracle, my eyes had turned inward and the light from this new North Star was unmistakable.   I was ready to return to the world and embark upon the next step of the instructions, finding a teacher.

Rebecca's Memoir - Chapter 4
Rebecca's Memoir - Chapter 2

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