Right after John passed I wanted to go after him. I needed to find him. But of course I couldn’t. I have an intuition – and other guides, psychic,shamans have confirmed it- that I’m going to live a long life. Great. So the thought of living out all my years without him, waiting to be with him again, was absolutely terrifyingly brutal. I was horror-struck at this notion.

So I got it in my head that if I were to have an “awakening” or become “enlightened” that that would so radically alter my consciousness and my sense of time – that the rest of the years of my life would fly by just like that – snap*. This was my only real intention for cultivating a regular spiritual practice: to shift my sense of time so the years don’t drag by and before I know it – Viola– I’m with John. Many people aspire to be awakened because they want freedom from suffering. Now that sounded like a nice by-product but it wasn’t part of my main purpose.

I am very fortunate to have many amazing like-minded, spiritually minded, psychically abled friends in my life. Well one of these such friends – let’s call him Ben – was staying with me and sleeping on my couch for a time right after John passed. We stayed up many late nights talking about John and trying to piece together the mystery of his suicide. Those were very intense and very dark days. Ben is an amazing mystic and widely read expert on esoteric and occult phenomena. He also is a hard core meditator, so his presence in my life had a big impact on cultivating my beliefs and practices that could help me get to John.

In those early days he shared this with me because he felt it rang true to my style of spiritual path. It comes from this book called The Seven Rays (there are many with this title and I’m not sure exactly which one it is – although this was printed in 1930) which I have to say I don’t know much about. The concept is about different approaches to meditation that are best suited for different types of people depending on what ray they come from.

The Ray of Devotion is pre-eminently the ray of sacrifice.  When it is the egoic ray the method of approach through meditation takes the form of one-pointed application, through love of some individual or ideal.  A man learns to include through love of person or ideal; he bends every faculty and every effort to the contemplation of what is required, and in sacrifice for that person or ideal lays even his causal body on the flames of the altar.  It is the method of divine fanaticism that counts all lost apart from the vision, and that eventually sacrifices joyously the entire personality.  The causal body is destroyed through fire, and the liberated life streams upward to the spirit in divine beatification.

Though I have always been a seeker, questioner, explorer, and experimenter with all kinds of spiritual paths, mind altering substances, and paranormal stuff, it felt like my devotion to John was the kick-start to a commitment to the beginning of something – my true spiritual path. And I would burn all of my causal body and sacrifice everything – whatever it would take- to see and be with John again. I printed out this quote and hung it on my wall.

I began to practice meditation every morning for 15 minutes and every night for 15 minutes. I used a process called The Presence Process which is an 11 week process for attaining more presence and for untangling the conditioning of the mind that goes back to early childhood. It was intense and challenged me to be very disciplined. It was not my favorite but I do recommend it.

So in the mornings, I sat and meditated and did the breathing exercises that the book advises. I also learned from working Liv, the Shaman, to sit and make offerings to my guides, my angels, the elements of spirit, and to John. I created a little altar space where I set up photos of John and any special objects, crystals,feathers, poems, flowers, books, that were meaningful to me. Each morning before I meditated, I took a bowl and poured offerings into it. Now there are many teaching about the different offerings and they vary from culture to culture and shamanic lineage to lineage. I’m not so familiar with these teachings but based on my work with Liv, I loosely copied what she did. She usually made offerings of ash that had been created during a special ritual. I had no access to this kind of ash, so the ash was out. She usually made an offering of some kind of alcohol to her ancestors. I know that John loved red wine and my grandfather loved scotch so I alternated between these. Liv told me that I have a big posse of Angels that surround me and that I am most guided by the angelic realm. She also said that angels like sweets (hence I have and always have had a MAJOR sweet tooth– it’s a problem :)) and so I would also make an offering of honey or sugar. Cinnamon was one of John’s favorite things in the world – he used to put it on everything, so I would also offer cinnamon.

So the process looked like this: I would (out loud or in my head) welcome John, spirit, all my guides, my ancestors, my angels, the earth spirits, the water spirits, the air spirits, and the fire spirits into the space. One by one, step by step, I would announce that I was making an offering of wine and then take a sip, spit it out into the bowl and then pour some into the bowl. Then I would pour the honey into the bowl, and then next the cinnamon…and whatever else it might be- flowers or something Liv suggested… and then always end with an offering of water.

After making the invocation and giving the offerings, I would sit quietly with my eyes closed and notice any sensations around me in the air. Did the temperature change? Did I feel something move? Did  I feel an itch? Did it feel like I had a hair fall on my face? This one I feel/felt alot- like a hair falling over my lip and then I would go to move it and there was nothing there. ALOT of the time I would get chills. This is pretty common when talking to mediums or people who are in touch with loved ones on the other side. I’d pay attention to any images that would come to me in my mind’s eyes. With my eyes closed I often feel and see light- lots and lots of light. John was always very light when he was in a body, and when I am feeling and seeing lots of tingling warm  bright light I know it’s John. And he comes alot. So much of the time during my sitting practice, I will sit and feel chills all over my body and see and feel a warm light and feel flooded in this sense of light and love. And its amazing! It’s like being flooded with love. And it can also be hard, feeling so much love- especially when there’s so much grief associated to it, can bring up a lot of emotion. Often times when I bask in his love I am overwhelmed with tears (of all kinds) and sit and cry and cry. It can be hard, but it is also healing and feels good. I just go with it.

I think sitting and basking in the love, chills, tears, and light coming from our loved one on the other side or coming from whatever/whoever source – is the most healing and essential part of any sitting practice and I think that holds true for everyone, not just those who have lost someone and who are grieving.

But back to the offering ritual. After I have made my offerings ( I no longer do this- as I’ve felt that it’s no longer necessary for me- but I’m sharing it because it’s how I started to cultivate my relationship with the other side) – I expressed thanks for things in my life that I appreciated and thanked everyone for all of their help. I get as specific as I can. Then I would ask for help with certain things that I was working on or struggling with. A big one that I asked for was for help in cultivating my psychic abilities, for help in knowing- really knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that John was still alive and that he hadn’t died. I asked for signs from him to show me that he was still alive. I asked for ways in which I could grow to be able to see him and feel him and hear him as strongly as possible. I asked for help in eliminating my mental, skeptical, and doubting filter. I asked for strength, guidance….things like this. I usually asked to be able to see John again or asked to have a dream about him. Sometimes I would talk about a dream I had and then ask for guidance in understanding the messages of the dream. Then I would sit and allow myself to receive an answer or imagine the answer as best as I could.

Sometimes I would practice imagery/visualization exercises like imagining a gold ball in my minds eye and holding it there for as long as possible. This was to help sharpen my ‘inner seeing’ / clairvoyant sense. Sometimes I would practice listening and hearing all of the sounds around me, as many as possible and from as far away as possible. Then I would play with how I could magnify these sounds. How could I hear things that were even farther away?

After all this, then I would  begin the 15 minute meditation process from the Presence Process. Over the course of the last year my practice has changed as I change. I like to keep things fluid and adaptable, not rigid or dogmatic. I have let go of the ritual of offering wine, water, etc. But I do still welcome everyone and especially John every morning and offer gratitude for all their help, guidance, wisdom, and inspiration in my life. I talk to them about what’s going on in my life, and I ask them questions and wait for the answers. I set my intentions for the day and ask for specific help about specific things.

There’s this Yes/No communication technique that I learned from a service called Inner Expansion that helps people learn to communicate with their angels. I ask a question in a yes or no format – phrasing it with: “Is it in my best interest to x,y,x ….? And I let go of effort and let my head either gently fall to the side as if it is about to nod “no” or fall slightly forward or back as if it is about to nod “yes”. If it falls to the side, the answer is no. If it falls forward, the answer is yes. You can learn more about this at the website: they have a service where they “hook” you up to your angels and do an analysis about which psychic abilities are most natural to you and strongest – that’s how I learned that my clairaudience is strongest.

Another resource that I found incredibly helpful in shifting my beliefs about all of this stuff and moving from the rational, skeptical, into a place where I am less doubtful about all of these phenomena and am more and more  open and know that anything is possible – is an audio program called the Spontaneous Healing of Belief by Greg Braden. He explains the physics of many scientific experiments that prove the possibility of other dimensions, paranormal phenomenon etc..

A great book about meditation from a now deceased Buddhist master is called Dipa Ma. This woman lived through the death of two children and her husband. Miserably sick and grief-stricken she started to meditate and soon had many enlightenments and became an amazing teacher. She used to say “If I can do it, you can do it.” I highly recommend this book!

So what’s it all been good for? Have I “woken up” or haven’t I? I’ve had some amazing profound shifts in awareness. Perhaps I will write about those experiences in other posts. There were around two or three major ones that I could try and write about in some way. But whatever it was that happened — and I have experienced so many different kinds of healing and so much growth and transformation in the last year – (it’s pretty crazy) –  I am in some ways, literally a different person— and so yes, I have noticed that my sense of time has changed. It feels pretty blurry and amorphous and it has definitely sped up. Time is flying by. While most people may lament this, I love it and celebrate it. Can you believe it’s already practically September? Where did the summer go? Ahhhh……… cie la vie!

If anyone has any questions about any of this or wants further clarification, please feel free to ask. It’s alot of stuff to write, and I feel I’m only barely scratching the surface of my process and the effects of the healing work I’ve done. I’d be happy to explain more!