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  • Vicki Sontheim

A Glimpse of Heaven on Earth – With help from ourMaria

I wasn’t planning to write this blog; I’ve been content to be rather quiet of late. Then something remarkable happened. I didn’t know when I began writing ourMaria would enter my thoughts. Then there she was with her golden thread weaving through and connecting seemingly disparate thoughts in that way I often envision her doing with the hearts of those she’s touched.

My dogs, Mikko and Frodo, are masters at racing out the door and barking up the neighborhood during my morning meditations. When I first began meditating daily a couple years back and they did this I became frustrated and allowed it to interrupt my peace.

Good morning thrasher! Oh! He just pooped on my fence! Maybe there’s some shit I’m supposed to be letting go of. Hehe.

This process has evolved. For instance, a few days ago Mikko and Frodo startled the hajeebies out of me when they suddenly stood up and raced out the door barking. I could feel the fear coursing through my veins and the vibration stayed with me for a bit as I settled back into my peaceful “bliss.”

I’ve been practicing accepting and allowing whatever is within me to be with presence. As I became a bit more comfortable with more challenging emotions – anger, guilt, frustration – my buttons started getting pushed more easily (not fair!). I liken it to my shadowy parts noticing a crack in the door where light is shining through and racing towards it all at once. It’s been like Holy Shit! (There’s that word again. Hah!)

For those of you who don’t know ourMaria, she was a rare and beautiful Earth Angel and Soul Sister who recently crossed into spirit. One of my favorite connections with her was the idea of Heaven on Earth. She modeled this so remarkably in the way she saw the light in each of us, as if she saw only our light, and left us each feeling held and truly seen in those ways we long for.

I’m jumping around a bit, as I tend to do. The realization which inspired me to write was a whole new experience of my anger. I’ve been studying with Eckhart Tolle and Kim Eng for five months in an advanced course of cultivating Presence and integrating it with form. Heaven with Earth. We wrapped it up last weekend with a two-day retreat.

I entered the retreat having just come out of a challenging week of helping a friend through a medical emergency. I was tired, had put her needs ahead of my own, and neither of us had been at our best (topic for a whole other blog).

During the entire week I’d felt hurt, angry, betrayed, and disappointed to degrees far greater than were comfortable. Their magnetic pull initially felt stronger than my ability to stay present and witness. I stayed with myself and eventually began to hear the whispers of what the experience was showing me (food for several blogs).

By the morning of our retreat these feelings had begun to dissipate. Then, the day after something amazing happened.

I’d begun a music meditation with Kyle Gray’s new “Removing Illusions.” I’d sunk easily into “being” after our weekend retreat. Mikko and Frodo (right on que) raced out “Boof! BoofboofboooofboofBooof!” running around the perimeter and scaring away imagined trespassers.

I felt the “intrusion” within my peace, rather than upon my peace. I felt my frustration with the disruption wholly encompassed within love rather than dispelling it. I witnessed it all more than felt it, like a whisper of a ripple before it dissipated and was gone.

It was early and mindful of my neighbors I heard myself saying “Mikko! Frodo! Shut the F&*# up!” They both stopped immediately and came straight to me full of excitement. There was no shame or guilt for very full expression and as the words came out, they were entirely wrapped in love. The messiness of being human infused with and wrapped in love.

I’ve been given a glimpse of how it feels to have some of my most uncomfortable emotions dissipate into peace as I allow them without resistance to simply be with presence. I’ve read about this, heard about this, and have been shown conceptually in meditations. With devoted practice, it came into being in a way larger than I’d imagined.

I will not deceive myself into thinking I’ve mastered this or will be perfect every or even next time. For now, I am grateful for the experience and deeper knowing of what is possible when I am willing to cultivate presence and hold space for it to integrate into form.

With deep gratitude I dedicate this blog to ourMaria. Thank you, my dear Soul Sister, for your encouraging whispers in my ear. For reminding me to “Go make miracles.” For your words and healing energy in my throat gently urging me to find my voice, speak my truth, and shine. For your love and guiding presence. For countless gifts I’ve yet to see. And finally, for gently, yet oh so clearly, being the wind at my back in our shared quest of holding Heaven and Earth in equanimity.

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