“As you live deeper in the Heart, the mirror gets clearer and cleaner.” ~ Rumi
I’m not exactly someone people would describe as a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with folks who can roll with the punches and come up laughing, but that’s just not me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy, far from it most of the time. However, I’m not one prone to frivolity and fun, or focusing on the lighter side of life. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, this will not come as a surprise.
I’ve been this way, having a more “serious” outlook and disposition, for as long as I can remember. Some who knew me as a child labeled me an “Old Soul,” a description that felt right and sounded good to my young ears. Others took a less flattering approach. For instance, I can remember going to a summer camp when I was a kid where everyone got a cool honorary name at the end, like “Silent Scorpion” and “Courageous Cougar.” My camp name was “Realistic Raccoon.” I can laugh about it now, but I didn’t find it funny at the time. Nevertheless, it was a moniker that spoke volumes about how I saw the world, and what I saw wasn’t always pleasant.
All I know is that it took years and years for me to accept, understand, and appreciate this quality in myself, this truth about me. It has its place, and I am better able to answer the “Call to Heal” as a result. In fact, it was in answering this call that I came into authentic ownership of this aspect of myself. During the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition (PMT) 5-Part apprenticeship I surrendered to the re-Membering process of releasing those parts of me that no longer served. Apparently, my “Realistic Raccoon” qualities were still serving.
Having accepted this, it’s been incredibly freeing for me to see a purposeful image reflected back in the mirror. I believe the same can be true for all of us. After all, we’re here, contributing to this wonderful, beautiful, magical mess called life, bringing what we bring, whether we recognize it or not. I bring a bit of solemnity tied to an awareness of and sensitivity to the woundedness that surrounds us. Owning this has motivated and guided my choices that determine how I live and what I do, in big and small ways. Whether it is through my vote, my voice, or my job, all are ways of responding to the suffering in our world.
What is it that you bring? Who do you see in the mirror each morning?
I think it’s important to ask these questions of ourselves. It’s crucial that we learn to open our hearts and look deeply into the mirror. We all bring something, a perfectly suited, impeccably appropriate quality, gift, or skill that is desperately needed. The Great Mother is yearning for us to re-Member who we are so that our healing work will collectively result in the healing of a planet on the brink of ruin.
Our Earth home is full of hurt, on that I’m sure we would all agree. I don’t think this perspective is the projection of an overly serious “Realistic Raccoon,” though I am sure this little bandit contributes to my dread. Not infrequently, I wonder if I’m even up for dealing with it. The effort it takes to witness pain or endure the torment of avoiding complicity by not working harder to end the pain, absolutely takes it out of me. Comforting or not, this is part of what I bring, this responsive sensitivity to suffering. I see this when I look in the mirror. So I ask you again, what do you bring? What do you see?
For some of us the answers may come more easily, and the innermost recesses of soul truth may reveal themselves readily. For others, this task to which we are called may offer more resistance. I for one, have found the latter to be my path. If you struggle in answering these questions, may I suggest starting with a PMT-oriented view of what it means to “open one’s heart and look deeply into the mirror?” I found this to be a remarkable aid. Regardless, whether you struggle or not, there is a practice that supports us all in the work of re-Membering ourselves so that our truth is brought forth. As initiates in the Great Work, as carriers of Kamasqa medicine, we have been gifted a finely tooled looking glass: the Pachakuti Mesa.
Love begets life – this is a core tenet of the PMT linage, and love is a function of our hatun sanqo, our higher heart. For me, it has been possible to “open my heart more deeply” by using my Mesa as a guide and source of strength. I bring my intentions there and examine them in the mirror. In the South, I allow my body to physically sense life’s direction for me or for the intention I hold. In the West, I open my heart to feel emotions that may guide me. In the North, I trust my spirit to intuit love’s direction for me or for a situation. In the East, I focus my mind to think about the means of manifesting love in practical ways. And in the center, I bring my soul to settle and be present so that further direction may come or that the direction received may be embraced. Do I hit the mark all the time? Absolutely not, but I have the target in mind. So, if we make decisions daily, big and small, to exercise our heart’s most powerful capability, love, we necessarily bring life giving energy to ourselves, our communities, and our planet.
There is a transcendent life-honoring truth at work within the structure of the Mesa. It embodies all the foundational elements that comprise our human existence. We empowered to explore the known and unknown aspects of Self by means of the Mesa. It is a mystical mirror that when engaged through sacred ritual gives us insights into what it means to be ourselves, and as a result, who we are and what we have to bring.
About the Author
As a PMT sanctioned teacher, David brings all of himself to the privileged task of assisting others experience the power and beauty of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. From his own journey, he recognizes the hunger so many feel for a spiritual practice that is both transformational and practical. Having heeded the Call to Heal, David has pursued apprenticeships in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition along with graduate training in counseling psychology, theology, and spiritual direction. David currently works full-time as the Director of a community mental health center near Atlanta and part-time as the owner and operator of Burning Bear Healing Arts, LLC, where he is in private practice offering psychotherapy, supervision, spiritual direction, and shamanic ceremonial healing. He makes his home in Decatur, Georgia, between Atlanta and Stone Mountain. David is married to a gifted and dedicated social worker, and the father of two brilliant teenage children.