I began to slip into a meditative state. At once, a spirit guide appeared in my presence, surprising me. I didn’t recognize him, but he seemed to be waiting for me.
“We know you don’t want to talk today,” he said to me, standing there in the light.
“I’m too depressed,” I responded.
“Well, why don’t we just talk about it?” he suggested.
I said nothing for a while. He waited patiently.
At last I said, “I’m having another one of my prolonged bouts of depression. That’s my life story -- chronic depression. I decided to meditate today. It might help.”
He seemed to radiate understanding and empathy.
“I know what to do when I feel this way,” I told him. “But I’ve been too depressed to do it.”
Again he didn’t respond, waiting instead for me to go on.
“I was listening to an audio recording of A Course in Miracles earlier today,” I continued. “A dear friend gave it to me. I’m sure it will help. In fact, it already has.”
At last he spoke. “We know you’re devoted to spiritual growth,” he said, “but you must remember you ventured into the physical world, in part to experience all the emotions that come with being in human form.”
He paused briefly and then continued. “Do this: Imagine what it would be like to be happy right now.”
I tried to do as he suggested, but it didn’t feel convincing.
“It’s okay,” he said. “Just tell me this: Where would you be and what would you be doing if you were completely happy right now?”
I struggled to find an answer but couldn’t, because I have seldom experienced genuine or long-lasting happiness in life.
Then I answered, “Alright, if I were a child again in Pennsylvania, I think I would be happy.”
“Perhaps you need to let the child in you come out and play, as they say,” he commented. “You’ve been too serious, too responsible, too dedicated all your adult life. You’ve forgotten how to have fun.”
“I might be happy if I were enlightened,” I hypothesized.
“Yes, you would,” he replied. “You would experience the perpetual state of bliss you’ve been seeking these past few years. But what can you do, right here, right now?”
“I can be here right now,” I answered.
He smiled. My answer seemed to please him. “Very good,” he said. “Right here, right now is the only time you can be happy. Let go of the nostalgia for your childhood. Let go of your desire for enlightenment in the future. Be happy right now, even if it feels contrived at first. Here’s what I’d like you to do now: Imagine yourself in a beautiful place, a garden or forest. You always do that so well, and you know it brings you happiness.”
I did as he suggested, and sure enough, I began to feel a glimmer of joy. Stressful thoughts of filing an income tax return and submitting medical insurance claims began to dissipate, as he and I found ourselves strolling through a garden of delightful beauty.
“You already know the origin of your unhappiness and depression, don’t you?” he asked. He leaned close to smell the exquisite fragrance of a large lavender flower growing by the pathway. Then he turned back to me for my response.
“No, I don’t,” I protested, looking directly at him. “I don’t know where it comes from. It just overwhelms me.”
“All right then, I’ll remind you. Your unhappiness and depression are caused by your belief that you are separate from Spirit. This belief leaves you feeling alone and weak. We’ve been waiting for you to awaken, to remember that you are not separate from us.”
In my mind I knew he was right. Yet as always, I had trouble feeling it in my heart. But as he spoke, that glimmer of joy began to spread throughout me.
I reached out my hand to him in a gesture of gratitude. He briefly took my hand, and then he gently touched the back of my hand with two of his fingers. A wave of remembrance swept through me when he did this. I had felt this touch on the back of my hand once before. I knew it was his way, Spirit’s way, of assuring me that I am not separate from Spirit.
“Nothing is stopping you from remembering,” he said. “Nothing is stopping you from being happy, if you choose to be.”
Then he and my vision of the garden slowly began to fade. Spirit always knows when it’s time for me to return to the physical world at the end of meditation.
For me, the transition back to the physical world can take a few minutes. This time was no exception. Even though I could no longer see him, I thanked him for the wisdom he shared with me.
The challenge for me now would be to apply this wisdom to my experience here in the physical world -- and to retain that feeling of happiness.
Now firmly back in the physical world, I suddenly realized who this spirit being was. He was my healing guide. I'm not sure how I knew this -- I just did. I also knew I would be spending a lot of time with him. I had a lot of healing work to do, and he would be helping me do it.