Our Friend in Spirit
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Since time began the Wise Ones have poured the guiding light of their wisdom and love, from the Unseen, into this world. This inspiration can manifest in various ways and be expressed in many forms. In 1988 we had been praying for guidance through a very challenging time, spiritually, and received the most unexpected response from an unseen teacher, in the Sufi lineage, whom we began to call Our Friend – Our Friend in Spirit. For a long this was a private experience where Our Friend answered our questions and guided us in a way that always led us back to our hearts and the inner resourcefulness of our own spirits. After much preparation there came a time when we both felt ready to share Our Friend’s wisdom and gentle guidance beyond ourselves.
Whilst Susan is in deep meditation she is able to open herself to the specific vibration of Our Friend and transmit the beautiful and inspiring guidance and teachings which have formed the spiritual foundation of Heartcentre. Our Friend’s transmission is deep and practical, free of dogma, gender inclusive, and is filled with the vibration of unconditional love. She is a true Friend on the path – her wisdom is universal and applicable no matter what path you may be on. Twenty seven years later our gratitude continues to deepen as we find ways to integrate the message into our daily spiritual practice and lives. Our Friend teaches on a particular theme in each of our Retreats and after the teaching answers questions from participants.
A collection of her inspiring sayings are contained in a most precious book, Pearls from the Ocean of Love. This book is a profound source of wisdom, love and practical guidance and can be used as an oracle, or to dip into whenever you need some spiritual sustenance. These teachings and guidance help to awaken that divine spark within; help to strengthen the path that you are on; inspire you to see the essential equality of all human beings and religions; and help you to deepen your understanding of love – inviting you to integrate love it into every aspect of your life.
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You can enjoy these sayings from Our Friend which are on the bottom of each page on this website. They are refreshed every time you open Heartcentre’s website.
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MAINTAINING BALANCE AMIDST THE DRAMA OF LIFE
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By the grace of the Illuminated One we pray these words
will be the source of inspiration and healing and illumination for you
Today the theme is addressing the age old challenge of maintaining balance amidst the dramas of life.
There are two different ways of looking at the drama of life and one is to see the overall complexity, and ups and downs, and extremes of life experience as the drama. And another is to say that life is just a series of life experiences. This helps to subtract the drama out of those life experiences through bringing one’s perspective of overview, of wisdom and of the application of a multidimensional point of view.
When you tend to experience life as a drama, you are feeling the effects of that life experience to be highly provocative to you mentally, physically and emotionally. No matter how provocative a life experience can be at those levels if you simultaneously hold awareness of the spiritual vibration then you enlarge the contraction at a mental, emotional, physical level. If you are experiencing it to be antagonistic to your peace then there will be a contraction of energy.
The spiritual vibration is an open and expansive vibration, that allows for a flowing current to weave its peace and knowing into the other levels of your being, thus reducing the resistance and the contraction and allowing more spaciousness in the cells and between thoughts and a softening at an emotional level.
Through doing that work you are taking the tightness of the contraction, the reactiveness, the drama out of the life experience and just experiencing it for what it is without the commentary. A lot of the internal dialogue is fear driven, is writing a detailed narrative that begins with ‘what if …’ and that can go on endlessly, ad nauseam, because there are infinite possibilities for ‘what if’.
One of the ways to reduce the drama is to bring mindfulness. When you are mindful of the inner dialogue then you can make choices that are informed by the wisdom of your true self. When your mind is unattended to by that wisdom then it will write its own stories and they will be of the one-dimensional fearful kind, the ‘what if’ variety.
When you bring the wisdom of your true self to whatever it is that you are exploring or experiencing, there is an openness that you can bring to it. That mindfulness allows for you to be conscious of the choices that you are making in what you think, in how you are responding to the same situation that you could have previously responded to in a very different way.
When you bring mindfulness, when you bring conscious awareness, when you are willing to actually make a choice rather than to just let things drift, you’ll find that you will be more inspired to make a choice that comes from your true self. And your true self is always trying to draw you into a deeper place of unconditional love; and your true self is always trying to deepen your awareness of your intrinsic oneness with Universal Love; and your true self has the capacity to use every life experience for you and for the awakening of your being because when you bring the spiritual dimension to a life experience you crack it open. It allows you to see the cause behind the cause, or what the gift in this life experience could be – what the teaching in it may be for you.
If you just see it at face value, at the superficial level, then you may miss the richness this life experience is offering you. If you just react then you bounce off it and away from it. If you stay present to it then that allows you to energetically embrace the experience and as you do that, as you enter into oneness with it rather than a reaction to it, so that means that your true self will be invited to participate in the dynamic with whatever this life experience may be.
When you invite the consciousness of true self to be present, then you will no longer see this life experience as just something that’s happening, something that’s just happening to you, but you will see this universal cosmic flow of circumstances and of life, that are weaving through you and around you from the Source because you are one with the Essence of All-That-Is, with that Divine Intelligence, with that infinite knowing and Infinite Light. But when you only identify yourself with your most limited dimension, with just the workings of a brain and the emotions and of the body and you lose sight of your place in the universe, then you deny yourself the access to that Divine Intelligence which is intrinsic to your true self because your true self is one with the Divine Self.
In order to create inner balance one needs to regularly affirm in one’s consciousness and individual vibration, one’s oneness with the sacred vibration of the Divine.
Now it is possible to do that when you are going about your day when you notice a sunrise, or you have a loving exchange with someone, or if you have a healing moment with someone. But what is most beneficial is to have a regular daily spiritual practice where you, in the space that you have created that has beauty and peace and light, you gently withdraw your focus of attention from your involvement with this world and focus your awareness on the rhythm of your breath. From there it’s just a breath away to experiencing your spiritual essence.
When you start to gently let your awareness move from the activity of your mind to the ocean of your heart, then as the thoughts arise you keep letting them dive into your heart instead of thinking about them. You just send them off with a beautiful skydive down into this beautiful pool that you have in your heart. One by one like lemmings, just letting them drop off from the edge of your mind into your heart, splash and there’s another thought.
Because the mind is conditioned to think thoughts regularly, and to keep backing up one thought with another you can give it the thought of the ocean of your heart. So then your mind is orientated to this splendid, magnificent ocean of love. And you’ll find that the thoughts will become slower and you’ll be more aware of the space between the thoughts, and it will become easier with practice to just sit with the awareness of whatever image occurs to you. It may be calm lake or a clear sky or an ocean. Sometimes you may need to change them
because your mind get used to one. It is like a sign on your fridge, after a few weeks you don’t read it anymore. So keep your spiritual practice fresh. And you know when it is not fresh when you are getting complacent with it. Then it is time to turn to your creative inspiration.
When you centre in that heart space in that oceanic heart space, it will offer you a profound stability. Because within all the movement of life, within all the complexity of what makes your physical body function there is this great depth to your being, without which this body would stop in just a few breaths. All you need to do is not have a few breaths and the body is finished. So this life force that you are breathing in, that’s your inspiration, is a source of tremendous power and awakening and tranquility. And when you know that you have that at the core of your being then you know that whatever life circumstances you may be going through, or you may have gone through, or that you will go through, you know that you have within you this infinite power that can hold you. That can offer this depth of beauty and wisdom and of courage and of compassion and of healing. And that this is available to you through merely shifting your consciousness. Through having the intention and the willingness to be fully present to the depth of who you are.
When you open yourself to that great spiritual reservoir within you, you realise its boundlessness. You realise it has border, there is no bank on this river. There is no shore to this ocean. It just laps up against the Infinite One. And it is simultaneously all held within the Infinite One. And you have the direct experience of that glory through gently moving your awareness from your mind to your heart. And when you move into that heart space and allow that heart wisdom to be activated then it’s a wonderful ally to your mind. Together you can really be present to the most provocative life experience and know in the depth of your being that you can handle it because you’re not alone and you’re not asking yourself to handle it alone. You’re calling on the compassion and intelligence of the Universe, which you can access through your own heart because they’re one. And you call on that energy to inspire you, to protect you, to comfort you, to guide you.
The only way that you know that it’s there, is by being present to yourself. It’s why they say God realisation is self realisation. You need to realise your self and in so doing you realise the oneness and the infinite resources that are available to you.
When you have a daily practice that supports you in settling into that oceanic heart space, then when you have finished your meditation, your spiritual practice, and you step into this world, into the day to day rhythm of this world, you bring with you that vibration, its like stepping out of an ocean, you are dripping with that vibration. And when you notice that you have dried out again, then you know that its time to reconnect to that source so that you are constantly dripping a vibration of universal love, of unconditional love, of light, of compassion. You are completely drenched in that yourself and you are bringing that vibration as a gift to this world and to the interactions that you have.
That is living a spiritually conscious life. Consciously connecting to your spiritual nature. Immersing yourself in that vibration in your spiritual practice when you are alone and in deep concentration, and then bringing that aliveness, bringing that awareness and bringing that intention and willingness into your daily life. That is how you bring peace and an original perspective to a daily activity. Its very easy to see life from a one dimensional point of view. When you are wanting to live a spiritual life, when you are wanting to bring a multidimensional perspective that is quite original because it means you are really looking, it means you are recognising that things are not how they appear to be. Also, you know in your deeper self that Spirit will use any life experience and every life experience to bring you nearer to love – nearer to love of yourself, nearer to love for others, and to deepen your consciousness of your place in this Universe.
Q: My question is about the fear that arises when I am asked to step up or step forward.
And … … …. …. I’m being taped so I have forgotten the question. Um, about um … …. …..
I think that that is the answer to your question. I think it is about perceiving the world as if you are being perceived by others and that is the process of what just happened. So the fear arises when you leave yourself and look back at yourself through the projection of the eyes of others, and of course they are always the critical ones.
They are not the eyes that say ‘Oh that’s terrific you asked me that question. That is great you are stepping up. I am too scared so I am really glad you did!’ You are not seeing yourself through those eyes. You see yourself through the eyes of ‘Oh everyone is going to judge this question and it’s going down through eternity.’
When the ego self locks its little claws in, it distorts the situation and it’s the ego self that gives you the fear – this is where it comes from. And it will say all the good reasons why. You can intellectualise all the good reasons why its better for you to stay where you are, and all the threatening things that could happen if you move out of your comfort zone.
When you are wanting to live from your spiritual integrity as I know you do, then you need to make that your reference point. You are still being aware of the vibration and general information that you get back from this world. It doesn’t mean being impervious to the world, but it means you’ve got your ear always tuned to your inner self. Because your inner self is not going to be provoked with fear. When you are settled in that, you have the grace and the strength and the stillness, and the steadiness that can hold you no matter what is happening.
So then the question is, what is it about stepping up or extending yourself that evokes the fear?
If you were to see yourself through non-judgemental eyes, you would know that there is nothing to fear, because you could have absolute confidence in your good intention. You would have absolute trust that your intention is to be bringing love and awareness to the situation. That there is no malice in your intention – you would trust that.
Step one, trusting your intention. This allows you to take another step. The next step is beginning to trust the world. Trusting that although there are the aberrations of those that are completely distorted in their wounded selves, the world in which you live, mostly, is one that is safe to touch. It is safe to step into, and by and large it will meet you with love and with respect. And on those very rare occasions when it doesn’t that is when you turn to the power of your spirit. That is when you turn to your community. That is when you turn to your memory that reassures you of your essential goodness.
Remind yourself of your good intention and of your imperfection, and that it is natural to make mistakes. When you accept your imperfection it allows for a breathing space. It takes the pressure off. Because then you know that if you step up and do something that is out of your comfort zone and you are not perfect, that is to be expected. That is the human condition. That is natural.
What is also natural is the human capacity to learn from life experiences. And to integrate that learning into new behaviour. When you know this, you know you cannot lose. And then, completing this cycle, strengthens the trust in yourself again.
Fear is very, very handy. You can use fear to stop you from being who you fully are, from being who you truely are, and from living your life to its maximum potential. Fear will keep you in a puddle and tell you it is unsafe to go to the ocean. Oh you might drown! God willing you will. (laughter) But in terms of the fear, it might be better to say that you will find ways to develop your capacity to swim, to move with life in a flowing and fluid way, to recognise the currents and to align yourself with those.
Sometimes the ego can even say things like, ‘Well fortunately you’ve got this fear otherwise you might just think you are this wonderful, illuminated human being, this powerful Ray of the Divine.’ And gosh you wouldn’t want that to go to your head! (laughter)
So you can see how fear can be so cunning. It can sell you a story that the safest path is to scare yourself. When I say it like that you can hear how bizarre that is and yet that is so often the function of fear. To scare yourself into your most limited aspect of self. And what your true self is always wanting to draw you towards is your most unlimited dimension and the dimension within you that is one with the Unlimited self.
In each moment you are making choices about where you direct your awareness, where you direct your consciousness. Is it to the limited or to the Unlimited? Is it to the fearful and contracted? Or is it to the open hearted and expansive?
Does that answer your question? Well, and truly.
OCEAN OF YOUR HEART
If by chance you find yourself in a drama and you have missed the clues to avert it and you have spiralled into a place where you have lost your perspective. What do you do? How do you bring yourself back? That is the first thing to do: Ask yourself, How do I bring myself back?
It might also be useful to ask, How did you get yourself there? Then you can learn from that for the next time. What were the signs? What were the little choices you had along the way that you ignored? Because invariably you will find that what you ignored was the call to peace, was the call to step out of the emotional involvement and to return to the depth and stability of your spirit.
When you let yourself be swept up in the circumstances, implicit in that is that you have lost touch with that inner stability and core of your grounded true self. So then the next step is how to bring some loving detachment to the situation. Loving of yourself and detachment to the drama. Detachment to the involvement. You need to step out of the storm, reconnect to your wholeness. If you are caught up in a drama you are not in your wholeness you are just reacting at an emotional or intellectual level – maybe just trying to intellectualise it all the way. And hopefully it hasn’t escalated into anything physical.
Your wholeness is when the spiritual reality, the dimension of wisdom is present. When you step out of your wholeness you deny yourself access to that wisdom. That second step is detaching from the drama. Detaching from the circumstances. Connecting back to your wholeness. Grounding yourself again in your spiritual power, your inner peace. Moving from your mind to your heart. Putting on some music. Focusing on your breathing. Remembering that you are more that these circumstances and working with that. Staying present to it until you feel the waves subsiding.
If you just try to solve the drama from your mind and from your emotions you might be lucky. But if you really want a lasting resolution then you will get that through bringing the breadth of understanding that your heart can offer this situation.
I will always use the word loving in front of detachment and in front of discipline. When either of those qualities are used without being linked to the vibration of love, they are two qualities that can being distorted. When you always have loving discipline, when you always have loving detachment then it won’t get that cold or authoritarian edge. It won’t be about control. It will be about inspiring you to think or feel or do things which help to you bring you back in harmony with your loving core.
Loving discipline ensures that you actually do those things that you feel inspired to do. This will often require loving detachment from the things that you are attached to doing, which are not serving you, or ways of being in the world that are not serving you, that are not for your highest good. To make those changes requires a combination of those two qualities. Particularly if you are caught up in a maelstrom of emotions to consciously bring loving detachment, means that you energetically extricate yourself from the eye of the storm. And then centre yourself in your deep vibration of truth and your spiritual essence. Once you are there it is easy, because then you have the resources, you are back in touch, back into balance – you have got an overview again.
The hard part is moving from being fully identified with what you think and what you feel or what you do, to remembering that you are more than that. And remembering that, that is what want to connect to again – to live from that place of truth, to live from that place of love. When the mind works alone it has no wisdom. When the feelings work alone they have no compassion. It is the spiritual vibration that brings the wisdom to the thinking mind and brings the compassion and sensitivity and understanding to your feeling self. And it brings a sensitivity of touch to the physical realm. That is the wholeness, that is the integration of the spiritual vibration.
Ultimately, to be free of the drama of life, means to be free of the identification with the drama. It is being present to life from your whole self, not just from an aspect of yourself. It is when you keep your awareness absolutely in the present moment without letting it slide into scenarios about what might happen, or reactivating memories about how it is similar to something in the past – because focussing on both the past or the future, pulls your awareness out of the present moment.
The more you bring your consciousness into the present moment, the more you can embody your wholeness, and the less willing you will be to let yourself to be drawn out of that wholeness, and the more you will remember the cause of that deep centredness – that you actually have this profound capacity to deal with the demands of life, to deal with the tragedies of life, to deal with the blessings of life because you are living from your most resourceful self.
It does not mean that life all of a sudden goes a paler shade of grey. Life will still will have its enormous range of experiences, but what will change when you live a spiritually conscious life is your relationship to those circumstances because you are continually affirming your wholeness. You are continually connecting your inner being to the Divine Source. You are ensuring that you are familiar with the vibration of peace. You are ensuring that you know what your heart feels like, that you know when its open and when its closed, and that you are committed to doing things which help you keep your heart open in all circumstances. And this is rigorous spiritual practice. And it requires being mindful, and it requires being awake, and it requires being willing to keep opening your heart no matter what. Because when you do, it means you are allowing everything to be held in this great Ocean that heals and dissolves.
What a blessing it is to be a human being. And to know that you have this sacred depth that can hold and transform everything into love.
So remember to dive from your mind into the ocean of heart. That you are that Ocean and that Ocean has within it everything that you need.
It is dazzling. It is steady. It is infinite. It is you.
God bless you.
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At Heartcentre we draw on the wisdom of the Sufi mystics and their glorious poetry that guides us, with such clarity and evocative imagery, to the deepest heart space where truth beyond all forms is recognised and absorbed.
It is a great passion of Susan’s to read, study and absorb the wondrous message and illuminating teachings that Rumi offers us through his extraordinary insights and experience. Georgia has also recorded many of the songs she has written to Rumi’s words as well as other great Mystic. *Listen to a track of Georgia’s latest CD In the Garden of Flames in the MUSIC section on this website.
WHAT A BLESSING *Song recorded on ‘In the Garden of Flames’
Words of Mevlana Jalal’ud’Din Rumi 1207 – 1273.
Translation by Andrew Harvey ‘The Way of Passion’.
Don’t hide. The sight of your face is a blessing.
Wherever you place your foot, there rests a blessing.
The Belovéd has come with love to our door, this knock is a blessing.
We go from house to house – seeking, any answer’s a blessing.
The leaf of every tree brings a message from the unseen
Look, every falling leaf is a blessing.
Once the seed of faith takes root it cannot be blown away
Even by the strongest wind – that’s a blessing.
I bow to You, for the dust of your Feet, is the crown on my head
And as I walk towards you, every step I take is a blessing.
Every vision born of earth is fleeting
Every vision born of heaven is a blessing.
The heart can’t wait to speak of this ecstasy
The soul is kissing the earth, saying oh Belovéd, what a blessing!
Fill me with the wine of your silence, let it soak my every pore
For the inner splendour it reveals is a blessing, is a blessing.
Rumi is considered to be the greatest mystical poet of humankind. His outpouring of divine teachings flowed from his heart broken open by the passion of love. Rumi gives us a poetic map for the journey. Andrew Harvey says: The work of Rumi has the sacred power to initiate directly, that can only come from someone who is not only burnt away in the fire of Love, but has become that Fire.