The Opening Class
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
I just completed The Opening, a one-week intensive for spiritual transformation and personal empowerment. I was blessed to spend this week with sixteen other people who are on a spiritual quest similar to my own. As we each went deeper into our individual and shared spiritual experience, we became more and more connected with each other. I came away from this time with a renewed realization of the power of oneness. When I acknowledge and connect with the One source of our being and the knowing that we are that One, all that I bring to the world is altered by that and carries a power beyond anything that I could bring alone.
I’ve spent many years on this planet, disguised in this human form; and somewhere along the way I forgot that it was a disguise. I forgot who I am. I forgot why I’m here. I had faint glimpses of another time and another place, and I was filled with a longing to return. But return to what? Return to where?
For years this longing spurred me along on my spiritual path and kept me looking for my true source. I studied with many teachers and I experimented with many spiritual approaches. Eventually, after years of searching for the truth, I moved deep into the mountains, miles away from the distractions of the world and human affairs. And it was great—I developed a strong connection with God, I developed a deep spiritual practice, and I was very happy in my self-induced isolation. So you can imagine how shocked I was when the source of my being, whom I had worked so long and hard to know, woke me up in the middle of the night to say that I must go back to the city.
When I recovered from the shock, I laughed and said, “That’s really funny, God. You have a great sense of humor.” But the message came again, and it wasn’t a joke. So I decided I misinterpreted it—I had to work on my communication skills a bit—because surely I could not immerse myself in humanity again. That’s how I got amnesia in the first place. But the message came again, and there was more. I was too isolated; I couldn’t just hide out in the mountains, praying and meditating. There was work to do, and I had to be with people to do it.
So then the negotiation began. I said, “Okay, I can get more connected with people and stay here.” Nope! So I finally said, “Okay, I will move, but it’s going to take some time—I have to finish renovations on the house so I can rent it; I don’t have the money for that right now…” Then KA-BAM! All of a sudden, my physical external circumstances aligned with the message, and I knew: I had to move, and I had to do it right now!
Don’t get me wrong—I think people are great. I love people. This whole thing about oneness is a great idea, and I’ll go along with that. I even enjoy co-creating, as long as they do their thing over there and I do my thing over here. Besides, I can see clearly that separateness hasn’t really worked out so well. So I’m in.
Unfortunately, my idea of what oneness looks like is a little different from God’s idea of oneness. I don’t think it’s such a great idea bumping up against people all the time. It gets really messy. But God seems to think bumping up against people isn’t a bad idea at all. So I moved into town, where there were way too many people. Then I got roommates. And next thing you know, I landed right down in the middle of a community. “A small community?” you may ask. Oh no—eighty people, as well as cows and chickens.
So here I am. And what I’ve discovered is that I’m deeply and madly in love with every one of those people that I bump up against. I also discovered that they are way more like me than I thought at first. And I know that they won’t let me forget who I am—not even for a moment—and they won’t let me forget why I’m here. Besides, I’ve learned the hard way that deciding my plans are better than the plans of God the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, doesn’t really work so well.
So I’m on the bus and I’m in for the long haul. Because I do remember who I am, and I do remember who you are. I’m grateful that we’re doing this together.
(The Opening will be offered next at the Glen Ivy Center in Corona, California, from August 21 to 28. For more information about The Opening, visit the Glen Ivy Center Web site: or phone 951-277-8701.)
June 27th, 2011