Last Thursday I nestled in, listening to the beat of the Shaman’s drum: our circle of journeyers befriending the direction of the South, and the element of fire.
I begin each journey in the same beautiful landscape, always met by a guide. This night Snake greeted me — a beloved long-time guide of mine, though not a frequent companion. As you might imagine, Snake is not a complaisant teacher. But all guides invited to my journeys are filled with wisdom and pure intent, and I am calm and confident in their leadership. Journeys are not always comfortable! That is a common truth in this tradition. They are always insightful though, and everything in the journey is an answer to my question.
I entered this journey asking for a gift to help me transmute resentment to forgiveness.
Snake and I undulated together through a dark water-filled tunnel. We pushed through a small hole in the rock wall with white light pouring through it, and were born into a crystal cavern glowing with turquoise light. I sat peacefully crossed-legged. Snake coiled directly in front of me.
Suddenly Snake’s open-fanged mouth came straight at my face, biting me repeatedly until I left my body, freed to slither after Snake, absorbing the crystal cavern’s turquoise light.
Snake took me to a narrow shaft that pierced the earth. We entered together, but soon Snake could go no further — still in its body it could not survive the brutal heat.
I slid alone into the Earth’s core and was consumed, becoming lava myself. I was a dark slurry of molten rock and wondered, “What now?” I returned to Snake.
Snake led my lava flow self back to the cavern, where I entered my body, a thin skin shaping me into Lava Girl. Downloading densely layered information into me, Snake took me to the surface — the Middle World — to help me practice what it had taught.
Consume the moment! There is no past. Not even a next instant of future. There is only this exact moment, which I am to consume instantaneously and completely. I discovered that consuming the moment requires releasing the mind. This alarmed me! There is no time to form memory. There is no use for process. Consuming the moment makes what I have known as mind unnecessary.
Forgive. Eat the moment whole without judging it. Swallow it like a snake swallows its prey. Consume it like the heat of lava consumes everything in its path.
I found the practice difficult. Snake said my left brain was attached to listening to those whom I thought had offended me — and with a sudden chomp, snake swallowed my right ear! Snake is a very in-your-face guide.
“Forgiveness has nothing to do with listening to the said offender. It has nothing to do with them at all,” Snake hissed.
“We are not waiting to hear about their change of heart, theirÂ recognition of their wrongs, theirÂ promises. Forgiveness is not about their behavior, their words, not about them — at all.”