Yesterday I traveled to "the other side" in meditation to meet Max, my spirit guide, for the first time in weeks. I wanted to chat with him about my spiritual stagnation.
As I passed through the veil separating the physical and spiritual worlds, I found myself standing in a pristine forest of towering trees. These trees formed a canopy high overhead, reminding me of California redwoods. Rays of celestial light slanted through the forest canopy.
The path on which I stand stretched off into the distance. On either side of the path, expanses of delicate ferns, moss, and luminescent wildflowers covered the forest floor.
Suddenly I noticed Max approaching on the path from afar. I thought he might scold me for my prolonged absence. Instead, he greeted me warmly and motivated for me to walk with him.
"It's wonderful to be here," I told him.
I inhaled deeply, in appreciation of the earthy fragrance of this beautiful forest. Then I said to Max, "I've been feeling stuck spiritually. I mean, I do not feel any spiritual momentum. I guess that's why I have not come to see you in a while."
He glanced dubiously at me and said, "You are not aware of your own progress, are you? Yet you do so much that contributions to your progress. You attend spiritual conferences. You do light exercises every day. You devote most of your time everyday to spiritual studies.
He paused briefly and then continued, "You are not stagnating. You are certainly taking time to integrate what you have learned so far.
"Well, that's easy when things go my way," I retorted.
He ignored my comment and said, "You just need to relax."
Several chirping birds fluttered about as if trying to join our conversation.
Max continued, "Be assured, you are making rapid progress – even when you do not feel it."
Somehow I knew he was right. He always is. But I also knew I have been emotionally anesthetized through most of my adult life.
He grabbed my forearm and stopped walking for a moment. Then, looking directly at me, he said, "Here's what I want you to do: When you meditate, focus on your heart chakra. Breathe into it. important than the thoughts you have always attached so much importance to. Listen to music with your heart, not your ears. "
Now I was curious. For me, his words were clear and profound. So he continued, "Smell the fragrance that surrounds you with your heart. You can do that, you know. Listen to what others say with your heart, not your head.
This surprised me. "I did not know I could touch with my heart," I said.
"Of course you can – with your feelings," he replied.
We continued to walk, and after a while, Max said, "I want you to spend more time with me. You need it."
Then he added, "It is not that you need to know more. You just need to feel more."
"Will I be able to make real emotional progress in this lifetime?" I asked.
"You are eternal," Max replied. "You are not limited to a single lifetime. You already have lived many times. You can spend additional lifetimes in the physical world whenever and as often as you choose."
"But I will not be me in my next lifetime!" I protested.
Max laughed. "You are always you – even though you inhabit different physical bodies life after life. But do not focus so much on knowledge. Just be happy. Let others experience happiness with you."
He paused and then continued, "That which you really are housed in your heart, not your head.
I knew my time with Max was drawing to a close, but I was reluctant to leave. There was still so much to learn. Max assured me that we would continue to discuss these things whenever I returned to spend time with him.
Suddenly, I could hear – or feel – what sounded like a heavenly choir, and I knew right away this sound and feeling were coming from within me. I was beginning to understand what Max was saying. We continued to walk without speaking.
"Light and Love are pouring into you," Max said at last, just as he and the forest scene began to fade from my vision. "Share this Light and Love with others."
"I will," I promised. He smiled and was gone, and I was back in the physical world. Nearly an hour had passed, but it felt more like five minutes.