The Sacred Heart
During the summer of 1984 I attended a non-denominational meditation workshop at a Catholic retreat center in northern New Jersey. In meditation I became aware of images and feelings which I had buried deeply in my subconscious. At first I didn’t want to face the unhealthy life-patterns that were surfacing, but finally on the morning of the last day I came to a place inside myself of surrender and a willingness to know.
Within this place of willingness, answers emerged, and I became aware of Divine qualities to live my life by. By the end of the morning I had the realization that willingness was the key to knowledge, and I was eager to try it out!
We had some time before lunch was to be ready, and our teacher asked us to take our break in silence.
I walked outside, enjoying the beautiful grounds and warm weather, and contemplating the wonderful lesson I had just learned. At one corner of the main building I came upon a statue of Mary. I thought “What a great opportunity to try out my new found ability!” You see, I had grown up Jewish and really didn’t know anything about Mary.
I approached the statue and said, “Mary, who are you? I’m willing to know.” I stood there for a moment expecting an answer, but nothing happened.
I thought for a moment, “Hmmm… what am I doing wrong?” … I then remembered that I was at a Catholic retreat center. “Oh!” I said to myself; “I’m supposed to kneel down.” So I knelt down on the gravel and prayed to Mary, “Oh please Mary, would you tell me who you really are? I’m willing to know.” Still, nothing happened. My knees were starting to hurt and I was beginning to feel disappointed.
I looked at my watch and said, “Mary, I’m giving you one more minute. If you don’t tell me who you are I’m leaving!” The minute passed and I slowly got up, feeling disconsolate.
When I looked up, I saw one of the women from the workshop walking happily along the road towards me. As I watched her approach, I heard inside my head, “I AM all women.” Cindy came over to where I was standing and we held hands for a moment of silent communion. Then she pointed towards a 400 year old oak tree. I thought to myself, “Wow, if Mary is all women, this is Mary pointing, so I’m coming along! ”
As we stood under this great oak, I experienced the sweet voice inside my head again; ” I Am Mother Earth.” I marveled at the thought of one woman’s consciousness being so large as to encompass the whole Earth.
My friend then pointed up the hill and I thought, “so far, so good, why not?” I blissfully followed her up the hill until I stopped ‘dead in my tracks’ in front of another statue.
This was the most controversial figure I could have faced. My Jewish background was filled with stories of 2,000 years of persecution in Jesus’ name. People in the Christian churches I had played music for viewed him as God incarnate and had told me I must believe in him as my Lord and Savior or I was doomed to hell.
With all these thoughts about Jesus from other people, it was hard to believe I could find any element of “objective Truth,” but I now had a new tool in my willingness. Standing there in front of the statue I realized that to be willing to ask Jesus who he really is, I would have to give up any opinions, feelings or statements I had encountered about him throughout my entire life.
Knowing that my choice was clear, I mustered up my courage and said to the statue, “Jesus, who are you? I’m willing to know.” and I closed my eyes to better hear what he would say. A moment later, I felt a need to open my eyes and I saw something about the statue that I didn’t understand. “What’s that?” I asked myself about a lump I saw on the statue’s chest. Then I remembered a song about the Sacred Heart of Jesus I had heard at a meditation meeting. “Oh, that’s the Sacred Heart of Jesus!” I realized.
I closed my eyes and then quickly reopened them as I saw a white laser beam of light flash out of that stone heart into my heart.
I knew that what had happened was real and that I had received a great gift from Jesus, but I had no understanding of what this gift was, and what I had experienced did not address any of the strongly held opinions that I had been presented with throughout this life. The mysteries of who is Jesus, what is the Sacred Heart, and what had happened between us would remain in my heart for some time.
While all this was going on, Cindy was looking at the reflecting pool in front of the statue, and when our eyes met she pointed towards a gazebo further up the hill. As we entered the gazebo and it’s flower covered terrace, I had a sense that we were in the consciousness of the Garden of Eden. Here God’s Grace provided everything we could need. Cindy then wandered away from me and I suddenly felt lonely. With this, I realized, that in order to maintain the state of Grace, I would have to let go of all and any emotional attachments or expectations I had towards anyone else. I did my best to let go and prayed to God to help me. In a moment I felt the wonder of the Grace return. Cindy then came over and showed me her watch indicating that it was time for lunch.
Fueled by this initiation, I read everything I could about Jesus. I read the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Gnostic Gospels, The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus The Christ and on and on.
Although at the time, I didn’t realize that I had stepped past the roles of “Victim” and “Persecutor”, in order to receive the initiation from Jesus, those attitudes were beginning to reveal themselves in my everyday life. I began to be aware of and work with a part of myself which sometimes acted like a petty tyrant and sometimes like a terrified child. I saw how this wounded inner child grabbed my attention and knew how to “run the show.” I learned how to talk to him within myself, telling him “I love you Richard”, and doing my best to be a loving parent to this part of myself.
Two years later I found myself at another workshop, this one a training for spiritual healers. The class of about twenty people was seated in a large circle around one of the students who was sitting on a chair in the center.
The teacher had instructed us to open our hearts to the student in the center and to observe and interpret the images that occurred to us. Each person around the circle was to share their information with the person in the center in turn.
The stories and images that were expressed were fascinating! Each person shared a different image and interpretation relating to what needed healing in the person. While this was going on, I was beginning to feel nervous because I wasn’t seeing anything and didn’t know what I was going to say.
All I was aware of in my heart was how beautiful and lovable this person was, and what a tremendous love I felt for her. Everything everyone said made perfect sense, but I couldn’t enter into the space of finding anything to heal in her.
Suddenly it was my turn to speak, and I had still seen nothing akin to what the others were seeing. I said to her, ” I don’t see anything wrong with you. All I can see is your beauty and your love and how much I love you.”
At that moment, I felt/saw a bright light in the center of my chest, quickly expand into an exploding ball of white light, and a laser-beam of white light went from my heart to hers. Then, for the first time in her session, she began to cry tears of recognition and healing.
My understanding from these events is that the Sacred Heart lives in all of us as Love which sees and knows only Love. It was my willingness to receive that allowed my miracle with the statue. My expression of love without conditions two years later allowed the person in the circle to open to her own willingness and to receive her own miracle of healing.
Jesus did not tell me what to believe, or tell me which opinion about him was right. He simply Loved the Love in me and showed me the Love of his Sacred Heart. When two years later, I experienced my own Sacred Heart, I learned that it becomes active when unconditional love meets willingness.
Unconditional love is that which we all search for, and yet it is in our own power to express it towards ourselves and others through our own Sacred Heart. May the Sacred Heart in every being awaken according to God’s most Holy Will.