(I'm not a musician.) I was taught as a child that I must not 'blow my own trumpet' as in talking about myself – especially not to say anything good about myself. I was also taught that much of what I could say about myself was nonsense and I needn't expect anyone to believe it. If I myself believed it, I must be insane. If not, I was obviously a liar. Telling my story, therefore, became a very confronting task. I am now in my late seventies, as I begin this blog, and it is only a preparation – things I write on the way to writing the memoir. Nevertheless, everything posted here is copyright and must not be reproduced without written permission from the author (usually me).

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Crossing a Threshold Part 2

Occupying the Space

(Apologies – some people who have read earlier attempts at this memoir may find me repeating familiar information at times.)


Why were we there?

We were still attending the Andronicus Foundation meditation group. It was a longer drive from Three Bridges in the Upper Yarra Valley than it had been from the Melbourne suburb of Beaumaris, but quite do-able. 

Then Ian, who started the Foundation, organised a residential long weekend for members from any of the meditation groups to get together for an in-depth sharing of our experiences and exploration of the phenomena. And it was to be in the Upper Yarra Valley, at another little hamlet just down the road from us. He hired a  comfortable venue with several bedrooms and a couple of meeting rooms, as well as kitchen, dining and bathroom facilities. 

Bill and I didn't sleep there, being so close to home, but attended daily. I suppose that meant we missed out on some of the after-hours fellowship, but on the other hand it meant Ian could offer a couple of extra places as we weren’t using the sleeping quarters. It also meant we didn’t particularly notice one attendee called Andrew, whom we were not acquainted with. Nor did he particularly notice us. Four and a half years later he was my partner, and a year after that my husband! 

The sessions were arranged so that the assembled company broke into smaller groups for the exercises and discussions. Andrew was in a different one from us. I didn't even remember his name or face afterwards. I expect it was wise of the Universe to ensure that we had no closer interaction ahead of time; no doubt there was a reason. We worked it out later that we'd been at that same event, at which point I vaguely placed him in memory but he still didn't recall me at all.

I did remember a story he told, though, of a very strange craft crashing in the playing field behind his school when he was a little boy, after which men in suits arrived and sternly told the kids they must say nothing to anyone – albeit giving them some explanation which would have been believable to people who hadn't seen the event. In hindsight he was sure it was a spaceship.

Various people attending had had personal ‘encounters of the third kind’. Others had done a considerable amount of research into the subject. Both kinds of information were shared and discussed. We also looked at more ‘spiritual’ or ‘psychic’ experiences. One woman present was a channel who could see into the deep reasons behind things. During a lunch break I asked her how come we had been placed at the property in Three Bridges by such a strange set of circumstances. I was wondering also how we could survive now that we had the whole financial responsibility. She closed her eyes and held my hand (a familiar method to me by now!).  

‘Do you have some special flowers growing by your gate?’ she asked, attempting to hone in on the property, which she had never seen. I told her that, yes, it had Bella Donna lilies (aka Naked Ladies) growing by the gate. When we first saw the place, I had taken them for a good sign, as they grew at my favourite childhood home and again at Bill’s and my place in Beaumaris, and I’d always loved them. [Picture from public domain.]




She told me that we were meant to be there. She said, ‘They have given it to you as an oasis of peace for your development.’ (We were familiar with ‘They’, whom Jenette referred to as ‘The Guys Upstairs’ even though some were female. We had all experienced the presence of multiple benevolent guides.)

‘That must be for Bill’s development in particular,’ I said. At that time Bill was the psychic and the healer, and fairly new to both, having received the gifts quite suddenly after particular life experiences. I was just a former librarian who wrote poetry.

‘No,’ she said.’for YOUR development.’ She added that I would be there as long as I needed to be. I was surprised, but she didn't offer more information, just said, ‘It will all unfold.’ I have learned since that things do. On another occasion, in our own meditation group, I enquired why I was seldom given much detail about my future. The reply, via the channel, was, ‘Because you like surprises.’ True, I do. I much prefer not to know everything beforehand. I certainly had plenty of surprises in our time at Three Bridges.

With that reader’s words in mind, I made sure to get outside a lot, and to meditate daily – both of which were very easy there.  Bill palled up with our next-door neighbours, a large Italian family, and tried to learn from them how to manage our property. There wasn't a lot we needed to do, as we didn't have cows like the neighbours. He just liked to be busy and have projects. He got Council permission to slightly divert the stream. I can’t think why now, and possibly didn't understand then either. It somewhat spoilt the beauty of it, and involved removing some bushes which had acted as a natural filter keeping the water pollution-free. But anyway, he did that sort of thing, enjoying the ride-on tractor that came with the place, and also found building and handyman jobs in the locality, while I wrote, meditated, and minded the house.

Our two cats thrived. They would come for long, frolicsome walks with us up the bush track. I used say that Sam got his balls back! Despite being neutered, he started acting like a big alpha male, leaving his droppings on top of tree stumps or flat stones instead of burying them – a sign, in the wild: ’Dominant male here. My territory.’ Sometimes we would look up to see both cats peering down at us, side by side, from the roof of the house. At night they would be on our laps purring in front of the TV – and the log fire in winter.  

We had no TV reception, being in a deep, enclosed valley, but we could hire and watch movies on video instead. We were among the few who didn't see newscasts of Tiananmen Square at that time – which may have been a blessing. We got to know spiritualists Doug and Rita Osborne, who lived in the hills closer to Melbourne, not too far away. They had been guided to their home and were advised from Upstairs not to have TV because it would interfere with their energy. They heeded the advice, and had remarkable gifts. So I guess that the lack of reception at our home was necessary for that spiritual development I was promised there.

Flint

Then my dog arrived. As I walked down the path to fetch the paper of a morning, I began ‘seeing’ in my head a dog accompanying me – a big, brown dog with a long nose and floppy ears. I felt I could reach out to where he (I knew he was male) trotted beside me, and give him a pat – which meant the top of his back was as high as my thigh. Sometimes I saw him dart into the bush beside the path and nose around as if chasing a lizard or rabbit or something. I had never wanted a dog for myself, only cats, though as a family we had had several dogs, but now I got interested. I mentioned the experience to a few people, and I’m glad I did or they would never have believed me when he manifested. I tried a manifestation spell and included a date by when this was to happen.

A musician friend was hired to present a special course at a school for a few weeks, and was  required to live in a cottage on the grounds so as to be available for more informal contact with students too, after hours.  Her young daughter was welcome, but the school could not accommodate her dogs. She had a black Labrador-Collie cross, a female, and that one’s son, who looked mostly Golden Lab. She asked if they could come to us for a few weeks; she would supply their food. Of course they could! This happened by the due date for my dog manifestation, and no other dog turned up in that time, so I wondered if maybe the boy, Beau, was the one I had been seeing. He didn't quite fit the description, but came close. 

Mother and daughter popped in to see their dogs at our place now and  then, but missed them greatly. So one weekend, when the school was empty except for them, Bill and I went over for dinner on the Friday evening and left the dogs there to be returned to our place late Sunday.  We woke Saturday morning to the sound of a bark in our yard. But hang on, the dogs were away. We looked out and saw a dog resting his head on the top rung of the metal gate to the back paddocks – standing on his hind legs to do so, we assumed. We thought he must belong to some nearby farmer, and if we ignored him he’d run back the way he’d come. 

Then he barked again, so Bill jumped up and opened the gate to let him through that way. It was just near the French windows to our bedroom, so Bill dived back into bed, and we saw the dog run past. Oh, much bigger than we’d thought. He would not have had to stand on his hind legs to rest his head on the top of the gate! Our front gate was open, so we expected him to run straight through our front yard and out.

We lay in bed then, idly musing on what kind of dog we’d like if we were to get another. We liked big dogs, but couldn’t decide what breed. Eventually we settled on German Shepherd. It didn't feel quite right, but we’d had two of them before, they were lovely dogs, and we couldn’t come up with anything else …and after all, we were just fantasising.

I got up to make us a cuppa to bring back to bed. Outside our glass front door, on the mat, lay the strange dog. I opened the door to shoo him on his way. He stood up, half eager, half tentative, and I took a good look at him. He was dirty and skinny. 

‘You’ve been on your own a while, haven’t you?’ I said. Well, I had dog food in the house, so I invited him in. He came hesitantly. I had to coax him. I wondered how many places he’d been chased away from before he found us. Or perhaps he’d been owned by people who thought dogs that size belonged outside.

Then, as he came in, I took another look and said, ‘Oh. You’ve arrived.’ Yes, he was the dog I’d been seeing. I gave him food and water and brushed some of the dirt out of his coat. He was very hungry and thirsty! Then he lay down happily by the hearth. I finally took Bill his cuppa, at the other end of the long house, and explained. ‘Congratulations!’ he said. ‘You’ve got yourself a dog.’

‘What will we call him?’ I wondered. From somewhere Bill hit on the name Flint, and I liked it too. ‘But first I’d better ring the police and the vet and see if anyone’s reported him missing,’ I said – hoping desperately that no-one would have done so. And they hadn’t. ’How long should I wait before I decide he’s mine?’ I asked the policeman. He said about two weeks, and  that I should advertise him as found. I put a notice in the local paper and displayed flyers at the vet’s and in shops. To my great happiness, no-one claimed him. I didn’t expect anyone would. I had already asked The Guys Upstairs if he was mine to keep and been told yes. But I did the right things for form’s sake, and so no-one could ever say I hadn't tried hard enough.

We had someone else’s dogs coming back the next night, and two cats in residence. I booked him into the vet that first morning to get checked for any diseases (not that I saw signs of any), to be vaccinated, and – with a leap of faith that he really was mine – to be neutered. Well, it wasn't such a huge leap, after the way I had ‘seen’ him, morning after morning, accompanying me to the letter-box, and after the reassurance from Upstairs. It had got to be how I lived then: in this world and the other-dimensional simultaneously, knowing both to be real and natural.

There were seldom-used leashes for the other dogs hanging in the cupboard. I borrowed one, and Flint drove with me happily on the back seat of my car to the vet, and sat politely in the waiting-room. I was to leave him there and come back three hours later, after his operation. Everything was fine until his name was called. I passed his leash to the receptionist, and she started to take him through the door. Suddenly there was a commotion, as he tugged against her and scrabbled frantically to get back to me. I turned round, put a soothing hand on his head and said, ‘It’s all right. You go with the nice lady and I’ll be back to get you later.’ He calmed instantly and went without any more fuss. At this point he’d known me less than half a day, and already had such trust. He was mine all right! 

The vet put his breed as Curly Retriever X. He said he couldn't tell what breed the ‘cross’ was. Flint was very much bigger than anything we see in Australia with the name Curly Retriever.  We used to say he must have been crossed with a Great Dane. A couple of years later a friend found pictures in a dog book of pure-bred Curly Retrievers in Ireland, the same size as Flint. He was beautiful, anyway, with a smooth face, curly hair on ears and body, long sweeping tail, barrel chest for swimming, and more delicate hind legs. They are bred to accompany duck shooters, and have soft mouths to retrieve birds from the water without damaging the feathers. But to us he was a dear companion, not a working dog.

When our musician friend brought her dogs back, they were outraged. They clearly thought we had moved them out in order to move Flint in. But he was gracious and deferential, putting himself at the bottom of the pecking order, so they tolerated him. He and Beau became pals. I’d had to train Beau and his mother not to chase our cats, but never needed to do that with Flint. He loved them and they him from the start. 

In a few weeks our friend’s time at the school ended, she retrieved her dogs, and then Flint came into his own. He was the most good-natured animal I ever met, as well as highly intelligent, obedient, and protective on the rare occasions that was called for. He had a deep, baying bark which could sound terrifying to people who didn't know him. Mostly he was the gentlest of giants. I don't have a photo of him, but this (from the public domain) is very like, except that his expression was even sweeter. 



Clairvoyance

It was a time in our meditation group when we were given various kinds of homework by The Guys Upstairs, and had astonishing experiences as a result. We became highly clairvoyant, though it was not permanent. I suppose we were being shown beyond doubt how much there is outside the limitations of the physical, but did not need to retain it all for daily use. 

I remember one time looking at a tree in our front yard and seeing – with my physical eyes – the foliage suddenly full of faces of Aboriginal men, women and children. Then in the blink of an eye (except I didn't blink) they changed to a group of different Aboriginal faces, before eventually disappearing. I spoke of it to a friend later and she said, ‘Oh yes, when you unfocus your eyes you can see all sorts of things.’ I have experienced this, but it was not what happened looking at that tree. I wasn't doing anything with my eyes except look, in a perfectly ordinary way. Another time I was in a building with group photos (stills) on one wall, and as I looked, the people in the groups started moving and interacting. (No, I wasn't on anything, I promise!)

Jennette suggested Bill and I might start a new Andronicus Foundation meditation group in our area (while continuing to attend the one at her place). We liked the idea, and put an ad in the Foundation’s newsletter. One young woman phoned up immediately to enquire, and so began my long association with Denise.

Reiki

We saw an ad for Reiki classes by Beth Grey, a visiting Reiki Master from America. I had experienced Reiki, from a massage therapist I sometimes had treatments from in Melbourne. We’d met at a personal development course. She said to me, ‘You look a little stressed; I may be able to help,’ and gave me her card. She was way across town, so I only went when I felt particularly stressed, often leaving many weeks between appointments. One time she said, “I’ve learnt this new thing called Reiki. It’s a more gentle laying on of hands. May I try it on you?’ I said yes, and blissed out, unaware of what she did exactly except that it felt good. Some months later, she said, ‘I’ve learned the advanced technique, Reiki II. May I try that on you?’ I said yes once more; blissed out once more. I didn't realise until much later that after that treatment I never felt stressed enough to see her again. (Reiki practitioners tend to lose their clients quickly, like that!) And eventually I moved out of Melbourne to Three Bridges.

So I viewed Reiki as a kind of superior massage technique. When I saw the ad, I had a huge hit to do the course. I persuaded Bill he should do it too. I saw him getting tired and drained if he healed too many people in too short a time. ‘Who heals the healer?’ I thought, and decided this technique would enable me to do that for him. I thought I would be using it only on him. Also he had buggered my shoulder by trying to do massage on it, and Jenette (a trained masseuse) had to come and put it right. I thought he needed some technique to put to his gift. (He wasn't charging anyone money, but even so.)

The time and money for us to do the course became available with the greatest of ease. It was as if the Universe miraculously smoothed the way. And of course it turned out not to be another kind of massage – not massage at all – but energy healing. There was learning involved – hand positions, the history of Reiki, and so on – but the ability was imparted from Master to student by a series of attunements, and then was ours for life. 

Because it is Universal energy, Divine energy (aka Unconditional Love) it does not deplete the practitioner but tops them up on the way through to the client – so Bill never again got drained when doing healings. Also, it is perfectly possible, and highly recommended, to use it on oneself. We loved it and did Reiki II, the technique for healing ’in absence’ (or at a distance) when Beth returned six months later. That qualified us to become professional practitioners if we wished. Funnily enough, it was I, not Bill, who did so. 

I started by giving visitors free Reiki treatments so as to practise what I’d learned. I found it easy and enjoyable. We bought a Reiki table and set up one of the bedrooms as a healing room. 

Tarot

A very psychic friend from Melbourne, Maatje, came to stay a few days and, as a favour, gave me a reading with her Thoth deck (the same Tarot that Ridge used to use – when he wasn't just holding my hand and closing his eyes). She went into a sort of trance while reading. She  told me I would become a very powerful psychic myself. ‘You will see far into the future,’ she said. (She was also, on the same occasion, the first person to predict my move to Northern Rivers NSW with Andrew, but like others assumed the man was Bill.)

I was already doing Tarot readings for friends with the Rider Waite deck. I didn't need to be psychic. I just read the cards according to what I had learned. They always turned out accurate.

In Melbourne two different friends had read for Bill and me with the Rider Waite deck. It wasn't from any urgent need. They were readers, and we were curious. In both cases we were impressed.  One day at the local shops, I wandered into the bookshop and found myself led to a particular shelf, where a set of Rider Waite Major Arcana cards (the ‘destiny’ part of a Tarot deck, which can be used alone) fell off the shelf to land at my feet. Yes, I picked it up and bought it. I can take a hint! Someone told me,  ‘Your first Tarot deck is supposed to be given to you.’ Well, I figured the Universe gave it to me!

A range of one-word meanings was written across the bottom of every card. So I started playing with them, and later got a book with the interpretations. Later still – after Ridge died – I got the full Rider Waite deck. I used to read for people, ‘just for fun’, with the book beside me to look up what the cards meant.  

Ridge loved his Thoth deck, and I had thought to buy one like that, but when I went looking for one, it seemed to me that its energy was cold and sinister. The man in the shop said, ‘It doesn’t suit everyone,’ and found me the classic Rider Waite, but with an unusual back picturing pink roses, very soft and non-threatening.  Then, a few years later, when I saw Maatje’s Thoth deck, the energy seemed very different, full of love after all. Perhaps I had grown into it! Or perhaps the Reiki energy transformed any negativity for me. So then I got one, loved it, and used it happily for many years (still do occasionally).

Setting up in business

It was probably early 1989 that I got a strong ‘message from Upstairs’ to advertise Reiki treatments and Tarot readings.  I put a tiny little six-line ad in the local paper – and the phone started ringing. Some people wanted Reiki, some a reading, some both. They were mostly women, and with most of those who booked in as a result of that first ad, I felt impelled to say, ‘I’m starting a meditation group for – um – psychic development, and I think it could be something for you.’ They all accepted with alacrity.

New meditation groups

I invited Jenette’s daughter Kerry to come to an early meeting of our new group, to act as the channel. And that was the beginning of her long friendship with Denise. 

Denise herself was able to act as a channel, and by then both Bill and I had tentatively begun to do that too. We went in a somewhat different direction from the other Andronicus groups, as people asked to explore various ways  of being psychic, such as holding some item like a ring that one of the others had worn, and sharing what impressions they got (which is known as psychometry). We all turned out to be very accurate with pieces of information we couldn’t possibly have known by any normal means.

That group met of an evening. I started another, daytime group, and that too filled up quickly. We had some dramatic experiences, such as, on one occasion, a headache that leapt around the room from person to person. One person complained of it, then shortly afterwards said that it had suddenly gone, then another said, 'I've got a headache now,' and so on.

Other things that happened were pleasanter. Both groups rapidly developed their psychic abilities, learned about other dimensions, and found their health and their lives benefiting from regular meditation. The morning group didn't last long, however. I think such phenomena as jumping headaches proved a bit too confronting! A number of people didn't return after that day.

I myself was exhausted after that session, from trying to deal with the energy and look after group members too. Denise, who came to both groups, and had become a close friend, suggested I should lie down for a while, and helped Bill tuck me up before she left. I fell into a deep sleep. When I woke a couple of hours later, it was to see that the bedroom curtains had kindly been drawn to help me rest. I thanked Bill, but he said he hadn't done it. I thought it must have been Denise, but when I got a chance to thank her, she denied it too. Neither of them had any reason to lie, and seemed truly mystified. And I knew it hadn't been me! Next time that we went to a meeting of our original Andronicus group, I mentioned it. A kindly voice spoke through the channel: 'Yes, we are still looking after you.'

Spirit Visions

I saw some things which had a different flavour from the other clairvoyant experiences. I knew almost nothing about Druidry, yet one day when I was walking in the bush and 'saw' (not physically) a strange male face that gazed down through the trees, I got an inner conviction that this was a deity of the Druids. I got the name Tyr, which actually belongs to a Norse god, but I later discovered he has a Druidic counterpart. (Years later I joined the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, but they did not focus on particular deities so much as the creative force, or Awen.)

Another, unforgettable time, I looked out our bedroom window across to the back gate and the bush beyond. (The master bedroom was the width of the house; this window was the opposite side from the one through which we'd seen Flint arrive.) Standing just outside the gate, under a big tree, was a woman. She looked across at me, holding my gaze with hers. It was a long, serious look we exchanged. What did it convey? I search for words, and the one I come up with is 'recognition'.  Another would be 'acknowledgment'. Some deep knowing and communication passed between us, at a level beyond consciousness, though we were conscious it was happening.

I expect she was fully conscious of it all. I don't know who she was, except that she had no age. Neither young nor old, she was timeless. She was dressed very plain, some kind of long grey or brown smock or tunic, perhaps – I hardly noticed, I was so riveted on her face. Her hair, too, was a nondescript colour, loose but tidy and maybe shoulder-length. I saw her physically, but I knew she was not human and would not be visible to anyone she did not choose should see her. 

I knew she was a nature spirit, but nothing like a fairy, nor yet a being such as the Sidhe. I felt she was connected to the tree, or perhaps all the trees. I would have been willing to believe she was Earth Mother herself – only it wasn't fertility that was displayed, so much as wisdom. I felt understood and approved.

At last we broke our gaze by mutual consent – knowing that consent at the same moment, without word or gesture. Quietly, undramatically, she vanished.

Why did I receive such visions? Confirmation, perhaps, that I was indeed in the right place at the right time, and that Nature gave me permission. Permission for what? To be there, I suppose, and to do whatever I was given to do there.

I expected to stay there for the rest of my life. I imagined myself as a slightly eccentric old lady, years hence, still walking through the bush with my staff and my dog. But no, the Universe had other plans. However, that would be a few years down the track. We still had things to do and experience in that oasis of peace.

3 comments:

  1. What a fascinating tale this is and, of course I love the arrival of Flint. What a dear wise Boy! I can hardly wait for Andrew to arrive more fully in this story. Anticipation!

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    1. Sorry, that doesn't happen for a while yet. But there will be some more preliminary glimpses.

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  2. When. I finished reading this, the word that came to my mind was "fascinating". Then i saw that Sherry had the same thought. I am enthralled. I especially like your account of Reiki. I used to give Reiki to friends but all gradually stopped asking for it. Your story makes me decide to review my practice at least on my husband, who is often not feeling well. Looking forward to the rest of your story.

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