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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 4

That North Star led me back to my dear friends in Vermont where I took a farming job up the road from our house.  It was here that I met my first teacher.  It came not as one person, but as a group of people who welcomed me into their meditation circle.  I joined them for a brief time, learning their chosen technique of meditation.  And it certainly was a technique!  It was a very precise form involving 14 breaths.  Each breath was broken down into the inhale and the exhale with corresponding mantras and images and even instructions on which fingers to press together.

Although there was a lot of knowledge at play here, the technique was actually very helpful in deepening my experience of meditation.  It engaged my mind into the meditation which was a necessary improvement.  Until then, my mind had imposed an almost constant interruption.  But with this beautiful story of meditation, my mind would eventually lull itself quiet and the Oracle could begin to “see.”

So I continued the practice solo every morning and began to experience what Sarita would later describe to me as “the spiral of life.”  Sometimes it felt as if my body were twisting in two different directions and other times, as if the room itself were spinning.  Either way, when I relaxed myself into it, everything seemed to dissolve, including myself, and a new world would open up within me.  Sometimes it was very quiet and empty, but mostly it was full of visions.  I travelled through these visions to so many places and times.  I experienced myself as a Native American woman, dying while giving birth to a son.  I saw through the eyes of an Owl flying through the night sky.   I moved over the mountains as wind and careened down the hillsides as water.

It was a magic I truly underestimated to be my own simple imagination.  But these “imaginings” began to permeate my everyday existence, when I wasn’t looking for them or counting breaths.  On a nightly basis, I had the experience of a “being” in my room with me.  Sometimes I would sense it by my bed or above me.  Other times I felt it actually move through me.  Each time, my body was completely paralyzed until I could will myself to move or scream.  I have since come to understand that the “being” was me.  I was out of my body, in a sense.  Something many strive to achieve and there I was trembling at the experience.  I was afraid.  Superstition told me that it was an entity and that I was in danger.  So of course, the experience began to wane until I no longer had my nightly visitor.

However, there was one visitor that continued to penetrate my defenses, Sarita, of course.  Though I had yet to meet Sarita, this was the time that I began to dream with her.  Almost every night, there she was, an old Mexican Indian woman wielding a mirror in which my eyes became hers in a brilliant explosion of light.  It always startled me awake, curious as to the meaning of such a dream.  I couldn’t dare to imagine what its obvious symbolism was pointing toward.  I flirted with the idea that this could be my teacher, but my well-practiced humility kept cutting in.  And I thought humility was a virtue!

In fact, I had yet to learn true humility.  This was the symptom self-importance.  To every “I’m better than” there is an equal and not so opposite “I am less than.”  This would not be the only time that this symptom kept me from seeing my path with Sarita.  It would hinder my growth for years to come.

Thankfully, life listened not to the “smallness” of me, but to the yearning that existed beyond the limitations of my ego.  As long as I yearned, the deepest part of me was continuing to invite this force of evolution.  In answering my invitation, the fluid nature of that force was bound to find the path of least resistance within me.  It would find an opportunity that I was ready to accept.

That Fall, the opportunity arrived and the stage was set for me to accept it.  Much like the changing of the seasons, my life was in limbo.  I had wrapped up my job at the farm, friends were moving on.  There were no ties pulling me in any one direction.  I was at peace with this, but there was a restlessness within me, looking for a horizon to aim for.

It was Thanksgiving, so I headed up to Maine to be my Family.  As we sat around the table, my Aunt Maria announced that she would be leaving soon for her cross-country trek to San Diego, California.  My Grandfather, being the caring man that he is, expressed concern about her travelling alone.  “If only we could find someone to drive with you, I would pay for them to fly back.”  Without a thought, my hand shot up, “I’ll go!”  We would leave in two weeks.

Rebecca's Memoir ~ Chapter 5
Rebecca's Memoir - Chapter 3

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