As a result of my work and experience with the Nine Gates Mystery School, I have a new appreciation of the place and importance of self-forgiveness. As a result, I want to offer a similar and, perhaps, expanded practice to my Wisdom students and friends.
Beyond my own fruitful experience with this practice, the motivation behind this desire to provide this practice comes from my experience of working with others in Wisdom Mentoring. More than spiritual direction and more than counseling or life coaching, Wisdom Mentoring aims at nothing short of transformation—from the inside out. But in this process of transformation and its integration, I have come to see self-forgiveness as the essential and fundamental foundation upon which constructive change must be built.
While compassion has been a primary focus on this Wisdom, we may at the same time have neglected working on a foundation of self-generated compassion. And this may subtly, if not imperceptibly, reduce our actual capacity to love others. Not only do I see this manifested in many with whom I work, I have also come to see this in myself. Without the indispensable footing of self-compassion and self-forgiveness, further development will fall out of alignment.
May this practice, then, be a permanent aspect of our inner work, and may we return to it again and again in order to keep a channel of self-forgiveness open and flowing.
Authenticity, Alignment, and Assistance
Receiving from the Imaginal
Cynthia Bourgeault has written about the Imaginal realm, referring to it as, “the realm separating the denser corporeality of our earth plane from the progressively finer causalities which lie ‘above’ us in the noetic and logoic realms.” That’s a lot to take in and a lot to understand. Let me put it this way: The Imaginal is the realm that lies between the visible realms of this material life and the indivisible realms beyond. But rather than functioning to separate, the Imaginal serves to jointhe realms together by penetrating this earthly life and connecting us to the realms beyond. Cynthia suggests that it manifests itself as an elusive aliveness, guiding our authentic unfolding.
In a groundbreaking series of three blogs on the Northeast Wisdom website, Cynthia lays the groundwork for a deeper understanding of the Imaginal and even maps out its nesting position in the vast metaphysical ray of being. That is an amazing way to initiate this investigation.
What I would like to contribute to this inquiry is an experiential taste of this deeper dimension in order to tie it more directly to our everyday experiences in this finite realm. I would like to do this in the following guided mediation. Using a piece of music — Peter Kater’s Heart Chakra — I will guide you to an experiential discernment of our connection with the Imaginal.
But first we will prepare ourselves for this encounter. So, allow me to get us situated into a perspective — a frame of reference, if you will — from which we might best be able to recognize the Voice from the Imaginal that is longing to interact with us. For this I will use two other pieces of music to get us to that point — Into the Gloaming by Meg Bowles and Ray of Light by Lucette Bourdin.
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The Heart of Presence Meditation
The Heart of Presence Meditation is a compound practice that involves seven distinct meditation movements that are set to seven different pieces of music. These seven movements cover the three major categories of practice—surrender, attention, and compassion. Especially when utilized together in this way, they open the practitioner to a deeper and fuller sense of presence.
Because the instructions are included in the meditation itself, the practitioner can just dive right in and try it. At a later time, the lengthier explanation will undoubtedly prove helpful.
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