Last weekend I attended a Sufi retreat in Seattle. We repeated the beautiful invocation several times during the retreat, selected phrases from it, and let those words penetrate deeply into our meditations. On Saturday night we had a party where people read poetry and sang songs. I read the chapter from my book where Jack and I had an astonishing experience at a gathering in Sieburg, a suburb of Bonn, Germany.
In the fall of 1986, Jack and I had suddenly returned to the Janker Klinik in Bonn, fearing that his cancer had come back and not knowing where else to go. We were overjoyed to find that his CT scan showed him to be cancer free. On the evening of the good news, our German friends had taken us to an event where the guest speaker was an English psychic named Gaye Muir. Mrs. Muir was able to see and communicate with spirits that hovered around members of the audience. At one point she selected Jack and the spirits that crowded around him. After I recovered from my amazement that she had selected him out of that large audience, I was struck by the fact that it was not his mother or father who wanted to communicate with him from the beyond. Instead it was three other spirits: an aunt who had helped raise him after the death of his mother, the older brother of a childhood playmate, and Jack’s favorite bartender! Each identification was stunningly authentic.
This experience in such an unlikely setting has me wondering about the spirits that might hover around us all the time, of whom we are completely unaware. Are they really there, and if so, who are they? What was their relationship to us? And why are they watching over us? Is it perhaps an assignment or some special kind of love? We probably won’t have a clue until we join them someday, and perhaps not even then. Unfortunately, we don’t have the English psychic to be our intermediary.
I wonder about these invisible friends especially when I am in a spiritual community like the Sufis last weekend, a group of courageous, open-hearted seekers. Our teacher, Gayan, reminds us that when we meditate we can be comforted by this “cloud of witnesses,” that we are not alone as we struggle with our issues and our practices. He reminds us, as we sit together in this intentional community, that “the roof is off.”
On our hasty trip to Germany back in 1986, we had just celebrated Jack’s birthday, cancer free, on October 27th, followed by our amazing experience with that assortment of spirits on October 31st, All Souls Day. The next day was, of course, November 1st, All Saints Day.
Toward the One
The Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty
The Only Being
United with all the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master
The Spirit of Guidance