This weekend, I participated in a wonderful workshop at the Journey Within Spiritualist Church. It was called "Mediumship and Mysticism" and it was taught but British medium and Arthur Findlay College tutor, Colin Bates. And I feel that the instruction I received there will significantly impact my spiritual growth.
The teaching provided and the depth of Colin's metaphysical understanding was, on all levels, quite impressive. He spoke so clearly and so eloquently on so many subtle points of spirit that I know that I will have to read and reread my notes many times before I can say that I have truly appreciated everything that was shared.
But what most impressed me was the experience of spirit I was able to access at the workshop.
The exercises given in the workshop allowed me to connect with spirit in a very powerful way. I was able to feel spirit's energy - strong, heart-centered and at times almost overwhelming. It struck me as something surprisingly similar to physical sensation: the sensation of emotion, the experience of love or compassion - amplified. And amplified is a key word here. So key that I feel I finally fully appreciate why this energy is called the power.
The exercises we did were wonderful. We sensed different spirit energies - the energy of earth, of ourselves the cosmos. We learned that - while it is, in essence, all the same energy - the energy is highly individualized as well.
We were shown how to work through the power to read as mediums and reminded that there is far more to all of this than identifying any given sitter's loved ones in spirit. For this I am profoundly grateful. But there is another facet here as well.
As anyone who follows this blog knows, I began my journey last April at the same spiritualist church in another, in its way, equally transformational, course on beginning mediumship. In that course, I set an intention that a clear sign would tell me whether or not I should pursue mediumship and I felt quite strongly that I was told to continue on this path.
The last few months however have been a struggle for me and I have begun to doubt myself. I have felt the quality of my (practice) readings slipping and began to wonder if I was connecting or simply guessing. Driving to this workshop, I voiced a new intention. Let me connect with spirit, I asked. Let me learn. This intention was answered on day one and day too but I a piece, I felt, was lacking.
My readings on Friday and on Saturday brought forth a few bits of information each. On my right and on my left, I could hear other people reading - providing detail after detail to their partners in the exercise. I had felt the power of spirit and gained strong insight into both mysticism and mediumship but I was still not convinced that this was the path for me.
So on day three, I set a different intention. Tell me, I said as I journeyed to New Jersey, if I can really do this. And then, since I had scheduled a spiritual assessment with Colin for Tuesday, I graciously gave spirit two more days, if two more days were needed, to provide a complete reply.
As it turned out, we did not do medium readings that day. So there was no opportunity for me to do a stellar (or dismal) pivotable and deciding reading.
I did however have another experience, one which highlighted my tendency to second guess myself and my need for validation. While it is perhaps too involved to go into here, it gently reminded me that I needed to trust myself and spirit and that validation is at its essence a private thing. For me, this step was huge.
I drove home sorting through the things I had to do. I had to stop moving my meditations from room to room and find a place for daily practice. I had to firmly anchor that practice in the power. I had to take what I had learned into the spirit circle I attend. I had to continue to take workshops. To explore Spiritualism. To study.
I also knew that I had to address my own issues. I had to work on my need for approval, my lack of confidence, my own desire to be the best, my tendency to quit whenever I did poorly. But more important than all of that, I knew that I had to do that work one on one with spirit. And I knew that if I sat in the power long enough I would change.
And as the miles slipped by I formed a partnership with a power far greater than any I have known.
To read my first workshop experience at The Journey Within Spiritualist church please click: Beginning Mediumship Class at Journey Within.