I was in my mid-30s when I began to ask the kind of questions that many of us get to at some point in our lifetimes. I often think fondly of ?What?s It All About, Alfie?? the first line for the Sixties hit written by?Burt Bacharach?and?Hal David and sung most notably by Dionne Warwick.
A childhood friend had recently died of cancer and it left me with many questions as to ?Why, God?? I remember feeling emotions ranging from anger to guilt to confusion. ?Why, God?? indeed.
A couple years later, I found myself venturing outside of Roman Catholicism, the tradition in which I had spent my years since I was 7. The same friend who I mention in On Lamentations and Finding Your Story introduced me to Daily Word, a publication from the Unity Church, that summer. In September of that year?I was probably 37?I went to a Unity Church that was opening in my area called Unity Center of Light.
I now recognize that this Unity Center of Light was an entry point for a personal journey that took me even deeper inward. I was introduced to the seemingly unfamiliar at that time?mainly meditation, but also psychic phenomena, metaphysics, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and so on.
My meditation practice was simply to sit quietly in the beginning. There was no mention of lotus position, focusing on the breath, spine straight. But from my first sitting in the Unity service, I felt an inner stillness that was so inviting. From that experience, I began a daily practice of sitting one hour in the morning before my young children got up and family demands began. Over a few months, the inner stillness deepened and my inner life began a conscious unfoldment.
One day at Unity, a woman engaged me by telling me about the colors she saw around me. Intrigued and totally unknowing of what she was talking about, I said, ?I guess you have to be really spiritual to see colors??
?No, no, all you have to do is ask,? she responded.
So just like that little 7-year-old who had to go see God?s House here, as I related in ?Lamentations,? I decided to ask to see colors.
It was early nighttime and I was lying quietly in bed, looking up at the ceiling. I began to notice that the darkness of the night was somehow becoming darker where my eyes were looking. As you can imagine, I found this very curious. I just kept looking. How much time passed, I don?t recall?maybe a few minutes. Then I saw a point of blue light, which instantaneously traveled down towards me. I quickly closed my eyes out of fear of not knowing what it was.
?You asked to see colors didn?t you?? a voice said to me.
?Oh, that?s right.? I opened my eyes and the descending blue light returned to its originating point and expanded in the darkness of the ceiling. I saw and felt it pulsing, much like a heartbeat.
This moment of the blue light stayed with me for many days. I felt an at-one-ment with this blue light that had touched me. I would describe the experience by these wonderful words from the bible: ?The peace which surpasses all understanding.?
Now I understand more clearly the gift of grace that touched me that night. It changed my inner, and outer, life for all time.
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Perhaps someone out there has an explanation for something that has left Melanie and me mystified:
Shortly after Melanie emailed this post yesterday, I emailed back that I’d edit and post it on the website as soon as I could because “I’m a little backed up.”
Melanie emailed back, “whenever you are able to is great Thom…thank you.
what’s the symbol?”
I looked at a sentence what she had copied from my email. It read: “I? a little backed up.”
I have no idea how, where or why that “?” replaced “‘m”. But I subsequently looked up ? in Google Translator and Wiktionary.
It is the Chinese kanji for the verb “to know.”