Friday, July 22, 2011
The Buffet Line of Spiritual Transformation
The other morning I had a dream, which on its surface, seemed somewhat silly. I always write my dreams down and, when they seem confusing, often times they become crystal clear when written on paper.
This is one of those dreams...
I was at my spiritual community, Agape, after service. This Agape didn't look like the physical one in my "real" world ("real" being used loosely here!) It had a practice of serving a huge buffet meal after service. It also had practitioners available for prayer after the service, as it does now. The practitioners gathered outside in the warm sun on wide concrete steps. I was a new practitioner and I made my way to the steps.
Shortly, a women with long blond hair and a "first timers" purple ribbon approached me for prayer. She began to tell me of a "galactic" challenge she was experiencing. I immediately knew this was beyond my scope of experience and began looking around for a more "seasoned" practitioner for her.
I saw Rev. Michael approaching and thought I would introduce them and surely he might help or find someone who could. Of course he was gracious and ready to speak with her once I explained the situation. He looked about briefly, explaining it had been a long day for him - and about to get longer - and said he could really use a cup of coffee. He handed me his empty cup and I sprang into action and headed to the buffet to get it for him.
Once at the buffet I saw an old friend; one who has drifted out of my life in the past few years. She was juggling a stack of books in her arms while trying to fill a plate w/food.
I ran over to her, shocked to see her there! "What are YOU doing here?" (semi-judgmentally) "I've BEEN here for the past year or so. I work with the youth groups." "Funny, I've never seen you." "It's a big place."
We continued to chat as I accompanied her through the line, briefly forgetting my mission to get the coffee. At one point I pulled a piece of meat from the fried chicken breast on her plate.
Eventually we parted ways as the sun was setting. OOPS! Coffee!!! I ran back to the coffee urns only to find them empty. I instantly felt guilty for not taking care of this simple task sooner and wondered if I could sneak past where I'd left Rev. Michael and to my car to race to Starbucks to get the coffee.
Another part of me thought, "He's probably finished talking with the woman and already home!" - I wished that was the case and that he would forget who I was and what I had promised to do.
I snuck down between the cars directly across from the stairs where I'd left him. As I stood to get in my car, he saw me. Our eyes locked. I immediately felt a wave of shame and disappointment wash over me. Then I woke up.
As I said earlier, at first this dream made little sense. As I wrote it down, a perfect picture of my life began to unfold.
I learned a while back that, when one dreams of a spiritual mentor or leader with whom they connect, it is really that person's Higher Self. Hence, Rev. Michael is me. Easy enough to grasp.
I am me. No brainer
The blond, first-timer - also me.
The coffee - simply a symbol for WAKING UP! (To my knowledge, the Rev doesn't even drink the stuff!)
The coffee cup - my thirst for knowledge; to fill up on it
The buffet line - Ah! This is the BEST part of the dream: The path to spiritual transformation!
The friend in line - Well, she was one specific friend from my past, but in Truth, she is many. And my shock at seeing her in line or, on a spiritual path? Well, that was my judgement of everyone that I have judged in my mind that do not believe how I believe or live how I live. (HUGE!!!)
So, to string the symbols together, I saw that I came to ask myself a question of "galactic" proportions, only to believe I did not have the answer. I looked to my Higher Self instead (which, since all is ONE, is God- in/as and through me.)
My wish to WAKE UP to my Truth was represented by an obvious cup of coffee, which, for a time, I conveniently forgot about. Instead, I ran into someone who, despite my personal judgement, was also on the Spiritual Path. She was just on a different part of the path! (or, as my friend with whom I dissected this dream put it: "I was in line for the rice and she was over in the meat section!)
When I grabbed a bite of the chicken, it was me, momentarily forgetting who (and whose I am) - I gave up meat a while ago.
REmembering the coffee as the sun set was me, now, during these past couple of years and later in my life, waking up - and feeling shame, guilt & disappointment for waiting so long.
And finally, creeping away to get the coffee, and meeting my Higher Self in the form of Rev. Michael, in his familiar "locking eyes" way, feeling the guilt and shame rush over me.
This dream really has helped heal a part within me that judges myself too harshly and even more importantly, has seen others as separate from me. My thought til now has always been along the lines of "Why doesn't he/she get it?"
In fact, we ALL get it. There's no way to NOT get it. We just get it at different times and places along the path. And, like it or not, believe it or not, we are ALL on the path! The buffet line is long and full of the most delicious morsels we could ever imagine, manifest - or dream! Grab a plate and let's eat!