Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Did I Plan to Learn in This Lifetime?

Yesterday I traveled to the other side of the veil during meditation to meet my spirit guide Max. I often do this. I arrived quickly at the large wooden doors which, for me, lead from the physical world into the spirit realms.

Pushing the doors open, I entered the same beautiful garden where I normally go to meet Max. He was waiting for me there in the garden.

I greeted him warmly. Right away, a deep sense of peace descended upon me. It always does when I enter this place of light and beauty.

Max smiled. “Let’s go for a walk,” he said at once. “I know you want to talk about something.”

“I always do,” I said, amused by his directness. “Okay, here it is: I would like to know what it was I planned to learn in this lifetime. I know you were there with me when I was planning this life before I incarnated.”

“Oh, yes, I was there,” he affirmed as if deep in reflection.

“Well then, tell me. I need to know. I feel lost because I don't remember my plan. I want to do what I’m supposed to do, but I’m not sure what it is.”

He thought for a while as we continued to stroll amid the brightly-colored plants and majestic oak trees. A cool, gentle breeze caressed me. I could smell the luscious fragrance of hyacinths but I couldn’t tell where the fragrance was coming from -- it seemed to permeate the air.

Then at last, he said, “You have incarnated many times before. I have been with you throughout most of your lifetimes. But this time, for the first time, you wanted to awaken spiritually while living in a physical body. You wanted to discover what you really are. After that, you wanted to accelerate your spiritual growth. That was your plan. You were very insistent, and I agreed to help you do it.”

“Ah, yes,” I said. “Now I remember saying ‘take me as far as you can, as fast as you can’ -- or something like that. But can you be more specific? Exactly how did I plan to do it?”

“Through some challenging experiences. From wise friends. And by finding the right teachings,” he answered. Then he added, “But remember: you expected life to be a joyous experience.”

“I did?!" This revelation surprised me because for me, like most people, life has seldom been joyous.

Max placed his hand on my shoulder, stopping us for a moment. “You need to slow down,” he admonished. “You’re pushing yourself too hard. You are supposed to be having fun.”

I knew what he meant. As always, he was right.

“You’re already doing what you planned to do,” he said. “I’ve told you that before. Don’t you remember?”

We continued to walk in silence a while. For once, I didn’t feel a need to press him for more information. We paused to look across the wide valley to our left -- with its verdant meadows and clusters of trees and a river flowing through it -- to the bluish hills in the distance beyond. In that moment, I realized what a marvelous teacher Max was.

As always, he knew my thoughts. “You are a teacher, too, you know.”

I almost scoffed at this. “No, I don’t know it,” I responded. “I don’t have the attributes.”

“Oh, but in your own way, you do,” he responded with a serious expression. “Not in a formal sense perhaps, but when you share your experiences, when you write, and when you respond to the needs of others, you are teaching.”

I nodded in understanding. Gazing at the river in the valley, I wondered how it would feel to dip my hand in the crystal clear water. I remembered playing along the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania when I was young and pretending to be Huckleberry Finn.

“You know, you can go there anytime you wish,” Max said, again reading my thoughts.

“What?” I responded incredulously. “It’s 2,000 miles from Panama to Pennsylvania. I do go there for a few weeks every year. That’s the best I can do.”

Was he talking about bilocation, or being in two places at the same time? That was something I hadn’t yet learned to do.

He looked at me directly and admonished, “You can go there any time you wish. All you have to do is close your eyes. See it in your mind. And you’re there.”

I wasn’t fully convinced, but I did accept the logic of his argument.

“You’ve spent so much time studying the great teachings,” he said. “But that’s all they are -- great teachings -- until you learn how to apply them in your life.”

This I could agree with, but I also knew that applying the teachings in life was the hard part of learning.

“Do you think I will ever learn my life lessons?” I asked him.

“That remains to be seen," he replied. "The rest of your life will be determined by the choices you are making now.”

Then he said, “You know, you can talk to me at any time throughout your day. You don’t have to wait until you’re deep in meditation. I am always with you, and I will always hear you.”

Suddenly it was time for me to leave and return to the physical world. I quickly bid farewell to Max and at once found myself sitting in my chair in a meditative posture. As always, I felt like I had learned so much during my meeting with Max.

Then I remembered that I had forgotten to thank him. But he had said that I could talk to him at any time. So I thanked him aloud. I could almost feel his presence. Already I was looking forward to my next visit with him.

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