As one Pathwork helper after another lit a candle, we each shared where we had been stuck, where our hearts had been closed, where we had judged, withheld, acted out…where we knew we had hurt one another. And then we each stood before a brother or sister in the circle saying “I’m sorry” and asking for his/her forgiveness, and adding “I love you.”
With each person I witnessed courageously speaking the truth, my heart beat a little more strongly, my lungs took in a little more air, the muscles in my body relaxed a bit more, the thoughts in my mind thinned out and came to rest.
An age-old ritual of confession and forgiveness was being re-enacted.
For millennia humans have known that ritual is needed to clear the air, “re-set” the energy, break up old karma, come to a “fresh start” in our relationships with one another. And here we were, in Light House Sanctuary at Sevenoaks on August 9, 2014, doing our part in clearing the past for the community of Pathwork helpers in the mid-Atlantic region. We were living the deepest message of the Guide: that there is nothing so dark or shameful or painful in ourselves (and in each other) that cannot be met, accepted, and forgiven with love.
The helper community in this region has been through a long, painful “dark night of the soul” in which suspicion, projection, and the resulting divisiveness have held sway. There has been acting out, and judging of acting out, there has been rejection and punishment, withholding and exclusion. We have lived at moments in fear and paranoia about one another.
According to the great mystics, meeting the “dark night” is an essential part of the spiritual path. The soul feels lost, innocence and trust feel betrayed, the shadow side of our own and other’s human nature is revealed in all its seamy unpleasantness. We lose faith, and come face-to-face with despair and hopelessness.
If we meet the “dark night” in full awareness and open-heartedness, then our spiritual work goes to another level. No longer the starry-eyed beginner’s mind. Nor the bitterness of betrayal of our illusions. Now we enter the real work of being without pretense or demand that reality be anything other than just what it is, moment to moment. Only then can the true glory of creation be welcomed because the mind has been swept clean of its ideas of how things should be.
As Rumi’s poem goes “Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” This field invites us to lie down in its sweet grass, and remember that there is only one life, one presence here and that nothing is wrong with how the human story is unfolding.
This whole human drama is just love meeting itself in different guises, or as Adyashanti says, “love coming back for more of itself.” Or, as the Guide says, meeting the split-off parts of consciousness and welcoming them back into the whole.
We collectively touched into that deeper truth during our ritual and in the silences within which our meeting was held. We were led by Erena Bramos, assisted by Darlene Rollins, and every heart present contributed to the deepening.