Although I’ve led many groups and retreats, a recent weekend was one of the edgiest: on the theme Exploring the Soul’s Journey. My co-leader Cordelia and I both felt nervous about helping people to contact their souls for guidance about good living, good dying, and what my lie beyond.
Our weekend at The Abbey, near Oxford, was a deep, illuminating shared journey for all of us. Cordelia and I began it by emphasising that we did not offer answers on these delicate questions, merely teachings and processes which might be helpful. It was clear that a collective journey in a smallish group (fifteen people) enabled all of us to gain insights which took us beyond where we could reach individually, many of them from the experience of others in the group.
One factor in this was our use of Dances of Universal Peace, a form of moving mediation using sacred chants. Over the past three years, Cordelia and I have led a range of groups where we have successfully used these Dances to enable a group to build trust, and deepen their connection to spiritual guidance in some way.
Dance, walking, meditation and sound mantras all proved peaceful ways to move people beyond everyday awareness and into a profound conversation with their soul. We explored the idea that the soul is a ray of divinity which chooses a particular human life for its own growth, and which continues its own growth, and which continues its life beyond this human one.
All of us made deeper contact with our soul in some way, and found rich guidance from this. A common message was to slow down, do less, and enjoy every moment of being in a body, with all its scope for sensual delight. Several people struggling to care for frail, demanding parents saw ways that this served their own soul’s growth.
Cordelia and I did a lot of research for this group, and found some excellent books. One which was much appreciated is Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves: dictated to her by a dead friend, offering a detailed and affirming account of the afterlife. Her experience after death is “life separated by density-that is all!” She finds that one can only understand one’s human life after it: “our ‘inner eyes’ are opened… to the errors of our old patterns… We are allowed to progress into such experiences as will help us put right these errors.” Click here for my blog on the book.
One aim of this weekend was to face our fears and prejudices around death, and explore it as a passing over for our soul. The conversations with our souls certainly helped this, as did some touching accounts from several of the group of deaths they had been present at. These are supported by research showing that many people find more peace as they approach physical death, and feel themselves being welcomed and helped by souls from the other side.