As I lie here in bed, in this care facility run by an order of contemplative nuns, I think of the path I have traveled to where I am today. The word grace comes to mind, and charism, which is an extraordinary power given by spirit to be used for the good of others. I’ll explain, as you may also be traversing this or similar territory.
When I was living in the Santa Ynez Valley many years ago, every morning at 4 a.m. I would go to a nearby chapel to meditate and do my sutra practice, followed by merging into a deeper state of prayer. The seer who taught me to meditate always said that meditation prepares you best for prayer.
After several months in the chapel, I started to have experiences of visions and voices. I was given instruction (internally) in how to hold my hands and arms. Later I realized that these arm and hand positions are the same ones you see the priests using in the Catholic Mass. Clearly, these particular positions have something to do with divine energy. Unfortunately, these days most priests are just going through the motions and are no longer connected to that flow of Divine energy.
When I started having the visions and voices, I wondered if this was common. One day as I left the chapel after my meditation and prayer, I ran into a friar. I told him my experiences and he said, “You will want to read St. Theresa of Avila. You’ll find that your experiences are similar to hers.” St. Theresa was a Carmelite nun in the 1500s in Avila, Spain. Her writings are still a guide for developing spiritually through service and prayer, almost a blueprint for how prayer is a mystical union with God. I was excited to discover someone had written about the types of experiences I was having. I devoured all of her books and devoted a year to studying them.
If you’re having or are curious about metaphysical experiences like visions and voices, you might consider reading St. Theresa yourself. And if I’ve taught you to meditate, and you have learned sutras from me, it’s likely you will have some unusual experiences. It’s important to know that these experiences are not only beneficial for you, but are given to you so you will use them to benefit humankind. By the way, if you haven’t learned the sutras yet, which tend to give rise to such powerful spiritual experiences, I’m teaching them in just a few weeks and you can >>learn more here<<
A year or so later, I was laid up in bed with a back injury, during which time I had incredible adventures in the land of Spirit; I even had an encounter with the devil! My husband, Eric, took me to see a healer, which is when I had a gigantic spiritual opening. I spent that whole summer sitting in an oak tree, steeping myself in Spirit. I was given more hand movements, along with some special sounding techniques for conducting healing and initiations.
Looking back, I can see a pattern: there have been a number of times I’ve been flat on my back and each incident provided me with another spiritual opening. Why is that? First of all, when you’re laid up, you’re more likely to have the time to be open to the inflow of spiritual gifts. Plus, in times of crisis, you’re just more available. You’re not running off to cook dinner or do the laundry or walk the dog.
As my healing skills got more refined, one day I heard a voice say: “Do what you do in your private healing practice in public.” Always willing to do the bidding of Spirit, despite my horrendous fear of public speaking, I did free healings every Monday night in different parts of Los Angeles for nearly a year. As my work evolved, I discovered that the spiritual experiences that had originally been for me were now for the guest standing next to me.
I was clearly guided in what to do with healing energy: ACT—attract the power, conduct it through my own personal energy field, and transmit it to the other person.
And so I was graced with the charism of healing. A charism (plural is charismata) describes any of the spiritual gifts given to an individual that are to be used for the good of others. Charismatic gifts can include words of wisdom and knowledge, increased faith, prophecy, the discernment of Spirit, and the gift of healing.
It’s been many years since Spirit trained me to use these healing and initiatory energies for others. Eventually I learned that all I have to do is “intend” for the energy and I immediately feel a big rush of light come through me. I can tell if it’s meant for initiation (giving someone a “step-up” in consciousness) or for healing. Sometimes I’m told it’s to help someone transition; their time has come.
The spiritual experiences I had were compatible with my religious upbringing as a Catholic. I was brought up with Jesus and the saints, so that’s who I saw and heard. I’d have visions of the Mother Mary in a variety of ways, such as Our Lady of Guadalupe. When I’m working with someone, I see or sense the guides and divine figures that are the ones compatible with their beliefs. I might see American Indian guides, or little Irish gnomes, or a turbaned Sikh. You may be more comfortable with the Mother in the figure of the Buddhist Kuan Yin, or the Hindu goddess Durga, or a Jewish matriarch like Deborah. I personally have a strong connection to the goddess Isis from a past life as a priestess in ancient Egypt.
So the question is: how do you open yourself to receiving the grace of a charism?
It takes deep inner work. You have to learn to make lemonade from the lemons of your life. You do the best you can with a difficult partner, an unfair boss, or a terrible accident. ☺ Most importantly, you have to find your individual way of serving humanity.
We are all members of the human community and we are meant to act for the benefit of others. Every minute, you have the choice of acting in a positive or negative way with other beings. The foundation for being able to receive a charism is simple: it’s unconditional love. To feel it; to be able to bring others into that space; to know it is the only true healing balm. Love everyone: all the members of your family, your friends, your pets, and then keep extending the love out to the people at work, the pizza delivery guy, the old lady in your building with Alzheimer’s, until you’re living in a field of unconditional love.
So where am I now? I can sense that this accident is a turning point in my life – I am yearning for what is simple and moves at a slower pace, more in tune with the earth. I am remembering that less is more. I’ve been given a challenging situation so I have the opportunity to be open enough to receive more charismata. And I am more committed than ever before to helping you achieve your true potential for the benefit of all mankind.
So don’t be confused or concerned about the powerful experiences you may have along the way: they are all pointing you to unconditional love—oneness with Spirit, in service to all.