Sometimes “Spirit,” in whatever form it takes, tells me to stop asking for help and rely on my own resources. Like Kuan Yin at the channeling class I described to you, telling me that I didn’t need her. I recently mentioned this to a Buddhist friend, and he thought that was awfully strange; Kuan Yin is available for everyone, all the time, he said. Maybe it wasn’t really her? That thought had crossed my mind too. There is my perennial question again– how do we know when They are real, and are who they say they are?
I’m willing to accept that it may be important to my learning and development, at least at certain times, to dig deep and strive to discover what I can do that I don’t believe or realize I can. That’s fine. But geez, folks, can’t a girl ask for some backup at least?
The past few weeks have been one of those periods that come along now and then, where the universe feels strangely empty and I can’t connect with anyone Out There. No Fryderyk, no anybody. One day last week I felt just too lonesome and was unwilling to go on that way. I went into meditation and asked, as Betsy Morgan Coffman teaches, for the highest and best guide available, no specifics, no preconceived notions. I don’t normally do that, because normally I know exactly who I’m trying to reach.
Something came along right away. Whatever it was started tunneling away from me, quickly, like a small burrowing animal in the earth. I couldn’t see what sort of animal it might be, but it was pulling me along with it. Then it suddenly flipped me around to the front so that I was in charge of the digging myself! I found that we were digging in a curve back around toward the middle of my body, which was where we ended up. Sigh. It couldn’t have been clearer, or more clichéd. Find your answers inside yourself! And did I say something about digging deep?
I was curious to know the identity of the creature who had brought me this message. Holding the images of various animals in mind, I asked. Gopher? Rabbit? Naked mole rat? Termite, for heaven’s sake? When I asked if it was a mole, that picture resonated, and the mole image moved into the center of my chest and settled there in a gentle, comforting, small furry mammal way. And there it stayed.
All that felt like it involved a being other than myself. The next experience was less clearly so.
Kuan Yin crossed my mind, called up by the thought of that conversation with my friend. Was she available? As I wondered, I found that traditional images of the bodhisattva were descending around me, so that I was inside them, looking out through them, as if I were inhabiting a statue or painting, or rather a metamorphosing succession of them. The images clarified until I could feel an outline of white porcelain surrounding me, her ornate robes and headdress, her smooth, tranquil face. It was odd. To an extent I felt that an energy much larger than myself was pouring into me and fueling this process, but there was not much sense of an entity being with me or in touch with me. Just me embodying the images, having to be Kuan Yin for myself and I suppose for others. Still having to find my own resources. Isn’t that a bit too big of a job for the likes of me, being Kuan Yin?
A thought floated through about challenges some of my friends are going through, and I asked for guidance “for those who are trying to love.” She, I, or someone replied, “If you are trying to love, you are succeeding.”
I’ve said, and I still believe, that an encounter with a genuine spiritual guide, even if it’s our own higher self, will be empowering and uplifting. A being that tries to control us or insist that we must follow its teaching is not a source we should listen to. My sources seem to be almost too much the opposite sometimes– they only allow complete freedom and autonomy, they insist on it. If I protest that I’m not as capable as they say I am, they keep telling me that I can do more than I think I can. Fryderyk has made a particular habit of that over the years, and that’s one reason I so appreciate having him for a teacher.
A day or two after all that occurred, after nearly a month and a half of absence, my musician friend returned, visiting while I practiced some Bach on the harpsichord. (I had thought that this harpsichord, borrowed from a friend– a miracle in itself– would surely attract his attention as soon as it entered my life, but I was wrong.) Later, I asked if he had anything to say about the instrument or my efforts with it. The intense experience this elicited went far beyond anything so mundane. I don’t understand it yet, and I’m not even going to try to describe what it felt like here, except to say that it was like a spiritual open-heart surgery, a lot like what happened at the shamanic workshop. I’ve again been changed, and I don’t yet know in what ways.
During that experience, my body and everything around it looked purple to my inner vision. His favorite color. One way, I suppose, of identifying himself.
This latest experience, too, seemed designed to help me access my own deep resources; Fryderyk didn’t offer any advice or opinions, but rather pulled something out of me that I only vaguely knew was there, or perhaps had forgotten. But when it’s really been needed (as at the shamanic workshop), of course he has directly helped me. I’m afraid the following may make him sound too good to be true, but it’s exactly what happened, without embellishment. I’m posting this story now because it illustrates: specific, unequivocally benevolent actions by a noncorporeal entity; an insight into some factors that might make spirit communication more difficult; and yet again, a spirit contact expanding my own abilities.
A weird effect occurred while I was sick in late December 2006. There was an unbelievable amount of phlegm involved with this illness, and it seemed to perfectly fit the Oriental medicine definition of phlegm, both substantial and insubstantial. For the first couple of days I had a severe, intractable sore throat, kept going by a constant and copious postnasal drip. Then for a couple more days my sinuses, nose, and ears felt like they were packed with cement, while the sore throat continued. During the “cement period,” I was somehow locked up inside my head. It was exactly like the classic Chinese description of phlegm blocking the orifices. In addition to the goo on the inside, it felt like there was a thick coating of plastic or something all around my skull. My spirit, my Qi, couldn’t reach through that barrier for any purpose. Just a day before I had been able to pull in plenty of energy to help myself feel stronger and more alert, and now I was totally disconnected from the power supply.
What I wanted most to do was to get some help for my throat. Nothing was working, not acupuncture, herbs, sprays, saltwater, mass quantities of lemon and honey… I couldn’t sleep with the pain and I had had enough. I was sure that if I could find Fryderyk, he could take the pain away. I was sure of that because he had done it before.
Back in the summer of 1993, just a few months after I first met him, I developed a persistent, high-pitched, barking cough that went on 24 hours a day for weeks. I sounded like a Chihuahua. The MD said that it was croup, and that I would just have to wait for it to go away. He mentioned that it was odd for an adult to get it. I had a number of odd illnesses that year, though; apparently the cancer that was brewing in my cervix was beating down my immune system. Whatever the definition of the cough, it was like nothing I had ever experienced, and nothing, including codeine, stopped it. (This was before I went to acupuncture school, by the way; I didn’t try needles or herbs till after the episode I’m describing. They did help more than the other interventions.) I took up sleeping in the living room, to the extent that I could sleep at all, to try to get as far as possible from my husband and daughter, but the sound must still have driven them to distraction.
The cough, I was told, related to an irritation of my epiglottis, which was supposed to be the focus of the infection. That sounded about right, because I could feel a distinct, circumscribed, painful spot at the top of my throat. Various painful areas came and went as time went on, including a nasty one where my diaphragm attached at the xiphoid process, but the epiglottis stayed sore all the time.
About three weeks into this sorry situation, Fryderyk made an attempt to help. (And where had he been for those three weeks, I’d like to know.) This was still a new experience for me, to have him do a really invasive treatment on me. I remember distinctly the feeling that he was putting his fingers down my throat. That sounds disgusting, but I didn’t experience it as obnoxious, just sort of ticklish. I trusted him to know how to help me. He poked around for a few seconds or so, and the pain completely stopped and did not return.
The cough was another matter. It felt like Fryderyk was experimenting, trying to find a way to get at the cough, but his efforts kept backfiring. Every time he touched that spot on my epiglottis, he would set off another coughing jag. I did my best to relax and help him, but to no avail. We eventually gave up. I coughed for about another week, but I didn’t mind too much because there was no pain or irritation anymore.
At that time, I was under the impression that Fryderyk was new to healing work. I know now that he already possessed at least some mastery and that he was enthusiastic about doing healing. What seemed to me to be tentativeness did not indicate a lack of experience or confidence.
So 13 years later I was thinking nostalgically about this episode, wishing he would visit, and feeling a bit neglected. But when I tried to put in a “phone call” to my friend, I found that the lines were down.
I also felt very much in need of comforting, but I didn’t want to get too physically close to my husband or anyone else for fear of passing on viruses. Not only was I unable to snuggle up to Fryderyk, I couldn’t even make a noncorporeal visit to Bob, something that’s usually so easy.
A day or so later, I felt the plastic coating lift from my head. The disgusting glop in my sinuses and nose started to drain, which of course was ickier still, but at least it was leaving my body. And I could reach the larger world again. As soon as I could, as loudly and conspicuously as I could, I yelled for Fryderyk.
And got a reply. As I’ve said, I don’t like begging him for help, complaining, whining, etc., but I really did need help. He didn’t seem to mind the call; as soon as I pointed out the problem in my throat, he did something about it. This time I didn’t feel anything entering my throat, just warmth in my spine in the upper part of my neck. The pain stopped within seconds. This time, too, there didn’t seem to be anything he could do about the cough, but since it was necessary to clear all that phlegm from my chest, coughing seemed like a good idea.
Once I got him involved, Fryderyk kept checking on me over the next few days, which I appreciated. He did more of a general sort of healing, which did help me to feel perkier and less ill.
As soon as I got back to work with patients, someone with the same killer sore throat needed me. I was confident that energy work would take care of it, and that I could do the same thing for that woman that Fryderyk had done for me. And I did, happy to pass on the gift.