By Jo Mooy
When we go around the wall instead of trying to walk through it, we can experience the transient nature of all things.
One day it happens. You decide to stop beating your head against the wall and instead go around the wall. When that prod occurs it’s a watershed moment. Your inner conversation tilts. The endless barrage of thoughts that swirl, absorb, analyze, judge, accept or reject, come to a stop. Your mind says, “Enough! There’s got to be a better way.” My watershed moment arrived on a summer day in June 2016.
I was in Ireland when the news of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting reached Dublin. Before Orlando happened I reacted to bombings and the news of horrors around the world much like everyone else. But Orlando changed everything. My feelings flowed like an out-of-control Ping-Pong match. Ping: There was the initial shock. At first I was numb. How could this be happening again? Why does it continue? Wasn’t Newtown supposed to change things? As those initial thoughts subsided a raging anger rose up. The outrage was so raw and palpable that retribution surfaced easily. I wanted somebody—anybody—to find and punish those who took innocent lives. I levied equal vengeance on government officials who couldn’t figure out a solution to gun violence in America—even after 20 first graders were gunned down in Newtown, CT.
Then the self-questioning began. Pong: These questions were softer and more subtle. They lurked silently behind the outrage and retribution. But, I knew them and recognized their origin. They began in an orderly flow. Where’s your compassion? Where’s your peace? Where’s your harmony? You know what to do when events like this happen, so why don’t you do it? I struggled with those questions even as the other harsher feelings tried to blot them out. I didn’t have any answers so I just sat.
The Irish people, no strangers to bombings, were sympathetic and saddened. They offered hugs and condolences. And quite often, a cup of tea or a beer. In their affection, and through their comments, I was embraced with empathy and kinship. I was no longer a stranger far from home. When I said, “They were just out for a night of dancing” the Pub goers said, “just like our children were simply walking to school.” For the remaining time in Ireland, those shared experiences were enough to get me through “Orlando” until I returned to the United States.
I came home. Shootings and bombings continued with a startling normalcy over the next three months: Burlington, Nice, Dallas, Bangladesh and Baton Rouge. I wondered if the world was losing its “human-ness.” Nothing changed outwardly when I got home, but something much deeper was happening inside. I continued to feel numb and saddened. But something else was stirring.
One night in a dream I saw myself floating inside a large bowl of soup. It contained all the emotions and feelings one could ever experience in a lifetime. A voice said, “Just be!” It continued, “Whatever is simmering below the surface, let it be and let it become whatever it is.” The experience of floating in all those emotions was profound, but I couldn’t put any words around it other than to realize the words imparted a great sense of relief.
Then the voice told me to recite the 23rd Psalm. In the dream I knew it by heart, though in waking life, I only know the first line. I asked the voice why I should say the Psalm. It replied, “The Psalm will restore your peacefulness.” The voice then explained, “Feelings are born in the heart but they also come from the head. The ones from the heart have no words and no names. This Psalm is like that.”
With the world spiraling out of control I had become a simple cook, watching the soup, without having any thoughts or feelings. The voice in the dream had restored peacefulness through the first two lines of a well-known psalm. Instead of batting my head against the wall of horror in the world, and raging at the feelings in my head, I entered the most serene feelings in the heart as I recited it. I was no longer alone.
When I did that, I was able to go around the wall instead of trying to walk through it. There, I experienced the transient nature of all things. Behind the wall, the things that appeared to knock us about didn’t exist any more. Instead, I saw events where there was no judgment, no chaos and in time, they dissolved. Behind the wall was an easy balance of the world that will emerge one day. Let 2020 be the first year of its coming.
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to http://www.starsoundings.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.