March 14, 1998

The Next Gentle Step

(to hear a song by Erik Balkey on this vision, click here)

This powerful vision affected me more intensely than any I had ever had. I saw a being of love and light gently reaching out a hand of welcome. First extending her right hand and then her left, she guided a person coming forward up over a small step, like a curb up onto a sidewalk. This was the simple action of the vision, but it was repeated with incredible loving energy for over 20 minutes. I felt like an endless flow of people came to her, were greeted, loved, nurtured, supported, and helped up this tiny step. They then moved beyond her into a light-filled space where they were happy, contented, and growing. The consciousness was expanding, the community of people congregated was growing. It seemed effortless and filled with joy.

I definitely felt she was a very special teacher, one who practices the Presence of God and the process of spiritual growth in divine balance. I believed she had created this path of light and prayed it into the realization of her ministry. This teacher encourages simple, easy, tiny steps, filled with grace and joy. I could feel this person, understanding the law and the love, both of which are God. I could feel a powerful consciousness of her own divinity, and see the manifestation of it in wonderful human qualities.

I could sense how totally she was in the flow of aligned energy. The stream was endless and she was untiring. She had more love than I had ever imagined, collected in an enormous pool of nurturing consciousness, available to share with everyone. I could see she was empowering others as teachers. Soon many others were helping to take the people coming in up the next step and the next. The expansion continued endlessly. She was a person who led as effectively from the back as from the front. She had power as herself very strongly, but had no desire for power over others.

The most startling part of this particular vision was, about halfway through the ongoing vision, I had the feeling of being "shot through the heart" by a bolt of love of a magnitude I had never before even dimly witnessed. It was at least a thousand times stronger than any love I had ever felt. My response was to begin to cry tears of awe and joy in talking about it, and I continued to cry for three hours afterwards. All the while I was trying to integrate the incredible gift of grace I had received.

This vision changed the way I look at many things. My previous model of spiritual teaching came from a team concept developed in physical challenge courses. At the end of a tiring day, the team members find themselves facing a 15-foot wall, assigned the task of getting everyone over to the other side. One solution is to "throw someone over the wall." The pioneer is then able to reach back and help the others to climb over. I felt as if I had been thrown over the wall a number of times in my life. I was grateful for the assistance of others who helped me get to new levels, however violently. I liked being a team member a lot better than being alone. I saw my teaching as the opportunity to give a hand up to the next person, so he or she didn't have to be thrown over quite as roughly as I had been.

In this crisis model of growth, I understood the future to hold someone getting thrown over the next wall periodically. Then the whole team could conquer the next obstacle. I knew it might be me or someone else. As I saw the teacher gently helping people up the next step, I could see the wall outlined in the distance. Nobody was choosing to climb the obstacle anymore, now the gentle path had been revealed. My wall paradigm, which had worked pretty well until then, was obsolete. Tiny, incremental steps could work much more gently and efficiently for spiritual growth.

The vision showed me clearly the kind of teacher I want to be. I felt an unprecedented sense of the magnitude of the Love of God for all creation. Far beyond my previous experience of human love, this love seemed unquestioning, universal, infinite. Even more than wanting to be an effective teacher, I want to learn to share great love. My understanding of the human capacity to feel and experience love expanded one thousandfold that day. My daily affirmation now is to have a "heart as radiant as the sun."

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