red-feather
This evening, I’m in my leather recliner reading. Suddenly, brilliant white-orangey light intensifies behind the vertical blinds. I drop what I’m doing and go out onto the balcony. The sun begins its gentle descent toward the horizon amid clustering clouds. There’s a Spirit woman who helps me, and she is associated with the setting sun. Without my loving and compassionate Guides, I’d probably remain asleep — like the mass of humans leading lives of quiet desperation.

Staying connected to the light requires moment-by-moment refocusing. Consciousness is an ocean masquerading as a telescopic lens. Lost amid emotional tides, we ride wave after wave like hapless mermaids. Dashed upon the sands over and over with relentless force, we struggle to perceive with greater clarity the direction of our sea road. We strive to adjust the lens to produce the picture we crave, but cannot quite translate into existence what the imagination has conceived.

I try to keep my consciousness seeded with all things positive. I listen to recordings to enhance meditation, psychic ability, and past life recollection. Some tapes contain traditional stories that enlighten. Thich Nhat Hanh tells how incense is used “to communicate with ancestors and loved ones who are far away from us in time and space.” Suddenly, my telescope zooms out — and I see the immensity of the Universe, with time eternally present in every direction. The simple act of inviting an ancient consciousness closer brings profound friendship and focus to me.

I light some white pillars. The flames remind me of the sun, streaming through the white blinds, sending information through immense solar flares many, many times more intense. At my feet are relics of interrupted tasks begging completion. They do not compel me as much as the drive to understand the nature of who and what I am. I feel the constant pull of habits and distractions, but I realize that, in the long run, they will cause me to veer away from the light.

So at 10 p.m. each evening, I turn off the 42-inch television, the iPhone cell phone, and most of the ambient electric lights in my fourth-floor apartment. I light candles and incense, and the entire atmosphere shifts. I hear the familiar ringing of angelic and ghostly helpers and guides. I sense the willowy, smoky energy of positive spirits gently arriving on the scene. I feel wistful and at the same time reprobate. Why don’t I devote more of my day to this most meaningful activity of my earthly existence?

I return from an evening class and pause before my apartment building. Cicadas are trilling their song in a singular chant, bringing the high note to a metallic crescendo. A pair of crickets weave a counterpoint to their melody, the way an oboe and French horn accent orchestral movements in a Mozart piece. The more deeply I listen, the more audibly and vibrantly the insects respond.

Everything on this Earth has life — has a Spirit. As I revisit this writing, a gentle rain is now welling in frequency, compelling my attention. I mute all background music to allow this splendid, natural communication to come through. Rain falling on anything is one of my favorite sounds. The clouds, once ponderous, have let go their heavy burdens. Silvery, crystalline sleeves of water alight on rooftops, lawns, lakes and streams. All the plants and bushes and trees are taking in a long drink. The dry Earth darkens and fills with moisture. I think I sense the relief all these living beings feel: that’s why that sound is so comforting.

More than simply meditating and pondering, staying in the light means taking the meditative state with me into the day — into the many interactions and intersections with other beings. Monastic centers afford heightened spiritual seclusion. It is not necessary, though, that I become completely sequestered in order to grow. I need only be present and awake in every situation I encounter in every moment of the day. I listen deeply — to birds, to trees, to humans, to flowers, to insects. I interpret the pictographic messages of clouds.

I am alive and present with All my Relations.

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Janet Michele Red Feather
Janet Michele Red Feather, J.D., M.A., has taught literature and composition for 18 years at the university, state, tribal and community college levels. She is currently a tenured English Faculty member at Normandale Community College. Janet enjoys her role as Ceremonial Singer for Native American ceremonies, singing traditional songs in Mandan and Lakota. She made a career shift into teaching after serving nearly eight years as a defense litigator in California. Her life changed significantly after she traveled to North Dakota in 1993 to fast and pray for a way of life. She welcomes correspondence at JanetRedFeather77@gmail.com.

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