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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THE MYSTERY AND FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE
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I want to bring three things together. One is what Rumi teaches: ‘Love is the way Messengers from the Mystery tell us things’. The other relates to the ‘rings of fire’ in spiritual life. And thirdly the concept of the function of suffering as a means of transformation. This is what we will be unpeeling together.
The primary feature of the Mystery is the unfathomable, undifferentiated Reality that is experienced as love and perceived as light. Now when an event occurs where it is difficult to see that light within it, because you are shadowed by the feelings that are involved in this difficult circumstance, or when it seems like the sharpness of the pain feels like there can’t possibly be love imbedded in this experience, then that drives you, in a way, to go beyond just the personal experience to the place of knowing that is grounded in your experience of Spirit, and your experience of that Presence as you know it in your deepest self.
The times when you cannot connect to that are the bleakest times in one’s life. They are often the times when one has to draw on one’s own previous life experience or on your trust in those who have that knowing or experience – the wise ones. You hang on to that, and the hanging on to that is faith, because if your own eyes cannot see a way through then borrow the eyes of those who can – and this takes faith. When you do this you start to see that there is wisdom that can illuminate, clarify and awaken you to a different perspective of reality; a perspective that respects the circumstances that you are in and can embrace all of you, and all of that in this one over-arching vibration of compassion, mercy and love.
Some of these challenging life experiences are experienced as ‘rings of fire’. As you become more familiar with the path of love you become familiar with how love burns down all difficulties. Love will also burn down everything. When everything is burnt down, and by this I mean not necessarily obliterated in a material sense – sometimes it may be something subtle like an attachment that you need to be freed from. The burning down to the foundations is the image I have, of it reaching into the roots and foundations.
As you are already familiar, there are plants in nature that without that burning cannot regrow. This is a wonderful metaphor for the burning of the foundations. Once the foundations are burnt down to nothing, and you recognise that you in your limited picture of yourself are nothing, then you start to build on a new foundation, on a foundation that has its roots in the Unseen, on a foundation that is built upon the stability and power of Universal Love. You are so rooted in that Love, in the fertility and light and power of that Love that it is the source of all your growth and transformation from this point on. It becomes your reference point of reality because you know right down to the very depth of your being, that the source of truth is That. And you realise that so much of what you have identified with or been disturbed by has been at a different level altogether.
There are also times of shattering, of suffering that are themselves the flames. When you are experiencing that it doesn’t feel like these are the flames of love, it feels like the opposite because of the pain involved in it. However, the Mystery tells us that every life experience is a message of love and if this is not perceptible to you then you need to take it to another level. It is like when you are digging for water at the beach. If you dig long enough in the sand the water will appear. It is there, the truth is there, love is there within and behind everything but it is not always easily accessible. Perhaps this is why sometimes it is necessary to, as Rumi says to take an axe to the limited perception – break it open!
This doesn’t mean that there is not genuine loss, genuine grief, genuine sorrow, fear, anger or any emotional experience or thought because they all have a truth to them that also needs to be respected. There is a clean, flowing energy to a feeling that is being expressed and released; there is a different quality to a feeling that is being expressed and not released – then it is like a blockage in a river, it builds up but it stays in its own muddying vibration. What you want to be able to do when you are experiencing grief is to facilitate that clean flow of release as you experience the grief. This is facilitated by remembering that everything is held in the Stream of Love, and that your tears or loss or whatever the deep pain or feeling that you are going through, is contributing this energy into this Divine Stream, and you are releasing it and adding something to the stream – and there is a flow to it.
It is a subtle thing. I hope this helps you have some understanding of the difference, and perhaps if not now you may in the future. It is an important distinction: one is the liberation of the expression of feeling, and one is the entrapment of the expression of feeling. One is stuck, one is flowing. One will help you grow, and one will keep you stuck. One will give you transformation and liberation, and one will keep you where you are.
The difference, the holy component that changes everything is the remembrance of this Stream of Love that you live in and have your being in when you surrender into it and surrender your feelings into it, and allow the compassion of others to also flow into this stream so that it mingles there. This is the transformative power of the interconnection, the meeting point of human beings. This is what the heart does – it mingles, it merges, it connects, it communicates; it is tender and soft and open so it allows for healing and expansion, because when that heart energy meets in any loving and compassionate response to anything, it is like a fire fly, it releases a charge of light. Or coming back to the image of water it intensifies the flow in the stream, and that allows a movement and release.
It is important to remember what your intention is in your entire life, and how this particular life experience can be used as part of you gathering momentum to fulfil the purpose of that intention that you have set yourself. If your intention is to be living a spiritually conscious life and to be contributing the highest vibration you can to this Planet, then you want to be able to use every life experience that you have, including your grief, as one of the means through which you add to the flow of healing and consciousness of the Planet – this is the big picture, because the little picture is a puddle, just a muddy little puddle!
The bigger picture is that there is a flowing interconnection from each one to each other as you embody the truth of what you feel and what you know – it is all held in the knowing and the connection to the Source, and the drawing in and allowing that energy to be drawn through you – adding to the flow of good energy in the world.
Everybody has their part to play in the really big picture. When you are attuned to the higher purpose of your existence as a manifested being of the Unmanifested Being then you know that part of your purpose is to be as transparent to the Unmanifested dimension of your spiritual being as you can be so that it can build the stream in a co-creative way with the Unmanifested – with the Absolute. That is the biggest picture.
Why it is important to know this is because sometimes what happens is the human experience is so intense, so complex and so compelling that it turns you inward, but not inward to your deepest inner being, but inward to the self absorption. When you lift and have a perspective of yourself in relation to the vastness of Reality then it gives you the eyes to then see who you really are. Then what you see is not only the limited self, but the limited feeling/thinking/worldly self in the context of its embodiment of the inner self, and the inner being in its embodiment of the Divine Being. It is sort of like Russian dolls – formless ones!
Each person, each human being, has a gift. Everyone has a different life experience. Their own ease, their own pain, their own choices. And the beautiful thing about gathering together with a spiritual consciousness is that you support each other to look at your own life experience and to share this in a way that takes into account all of who you are. Everybody knows that you are more than that, everybody knows that you are more than just your loss, just your pain, just your joy.
At some level you are all part of this one fabric of the Universe, you are all a strand. Part of the inner work, and I am changing the metaphor from the stream to the fabric, part of the purpose of the inner work is to ensure that your piece of the fabric is as beautiful as you can make it through your consciousness, through your attention through allowing the beauty of the Unseen to permeate, to perfume and to colour your piece of the fabric. This fabric is made up of every life experience in your subtle being and in your worldly being – it is multidimensional. The more you add the vibration of light, of love, of understanding – the spiritual qualities, the more you consciously weave those into your being and embody those, the more glorious your contribution to this fabric of the Universe is.
This is one of the places where prayer comes in, because what prayer does is that it sends a vibration along a thread, and if it comes from the heart it can run a thread outside of time and space and reach into another portion of the fabric. Even just an open-hearted response sends a thread of love across the room – a healing vibration. So part of the purpose of your own transformation work is for your own liberation, and part of it is so that the fabric of the Universe that you are part of creating with each breath is refined and made stronger. Partly so the world that you live in gives you back that strength of love and groundedness in the wonder and unity of life, and partly so the fabric of the whole Universe Itself is enhanced by your contribution.
So everything that you do for your own healing is a contribution to the healing of the fabric of the Universe. And every withholding of love is a pulling of threads out of the fabric of the Universe. These are the choices that one has. As you look at the fabric of the Universe you can see that there are jagged and gaping holes, and you can feel the call to weave through your own life experience, through your own understanding and through your own generosity of heart to ensure that your own being is in harmony with the Essence of All, so that you are doing the best that you can with who you are and what you have, for you, for your network of threads, and as a gift to the Universe Itself – the Heart of the Universe Itself.
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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.