Setting the Intention: Begin the Journey
Seven years ago I was suffering and unhappy with my life. My discontent was based on a desire for a connection to something greater than myself. Longing for this connection was even greater than fear of what I might find as I started on my spiritual path.
I spent the first years of my quest meditating and learning energy healing. I did not know at the time that I was doing this work from a very disconnected, out-of-body place. I had extraordinary experiences, great bliss, and sometimes great struggles. None of these translated into anything tangible in my life. I had all these experiences, yet nothing was changing.
Eventually, this leads to a crash – a death -and a rebuilding from the ground up – a true rebirth. With the help of teachers and friends, I found a more embodied and grounded way. This allowed me to hold the teachings in my body and move with that knowledge into my work and relationships.
I have had a daily meditation practice for these seven years. Part of my evening prayer has been “May Thy wish become my desire” (Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Sufi teacher). This joins my personal will with the Universal Will. From this place I am aware of my growing desire to help others embrace their spirituality and use it in their daily lives.
The Call -by Pat:
My first calling was determined by my birth into a family with a strong religious faith. There was beauty and magic in the ritual, but the mystery of it was something separate from and outside of myself. My second calling came from within. It was an intense longing for a path and a spiritual practice that would deepen and refine my relationship with myself and others.
Meditation and energy healing helped me learn how the blockages and walls I had accumulated over the years had deadened and numbed the spiritual connection I had felt as a child. As I becae aware that these formations had developed to conceal and protect old wounds, I was better able to see beneath and heal these wounds. My lesson was: until I could clearly see inside of myself, I could not clearly see anyone else. I could only see my own projections reflecting from them.
As my understanding of spiritual wholeness grew, I had a desire to help others understand that wholeness can never be found outside of ourselves.
Together we have been on many journeys, including energy school, meditation retreats, and various trainings. We have encountered many teachers. All of this complements our 20-year practices as psychotherapists. Now we want to share a unique integration of all that we have learned, around topics such as setting intention, beginning and developing your spiritual practice, opening the heart, grounding, connecting with higher Self, using the heart’s wisdom for guidance, breathing practices, loving kindness, forgiveness, healing wounds, experiencing the Universal Heart, awareness release technique, and more.
We invite you to join us on a journey into your heart’s calling. To begin any journey, you need to know where you want to go. We call this “setting an intention.”
You begin right here, right now, wherever you are. Some of you might already have clarity of intention while others will feel ambivalence, skepticism, or confusion. Whatever you discover is where you begin. There is no up or down, no better or worse, no need to compare. What you will experience on your journey is not predictable, but it is always exactly what you need. You do not need to critique or judge your own experience.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
It takes intention and practice to activate the power and wisdom of our hearts. The following practice uses your breath to consciously communicate with your heart. This is a modified practice from Puran Bair’s Heart Rhythm Method called “swinging the breath” at www.appliedmeditation.org.
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Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breath. Notice how your body feels. Without trying to change your breath, notice your own rhythm. Notice the depth and how the in-breath and out-breath compare. Notice the pause between inhale and exhale. After doing this for a few minutes, consciously direct your breath to your heart as if the breath moves in and out of your heart.
Imagine a swing in front of you. As you breathe out, your breath pushes the swing away from you; as you breathe in, the breath draws the swing back to you again. You can use this swing to communicate with your heart. Put a question on the swing as you breathe out. For setting an intention, the question is “I want…” or “What I desire is…” Use the same words on each exhalation. The answer will come on the inhalation, usually as a surprise, either at this time or later.
While doing this, relax your mind. The heart has its own wisdom. Sometimes you will get words, a meaningful image, or a sensation of energy. Whatever you get has to be interpreted. This takes practice and time. If no answer comes, just complete the process and wait. Your answer might come later in a thought, an inspiration, or a dream. Sometimes hours or days later. It will appear. Stay open.