Madhuri describes a meditation; “You journey inwards and enter your own ‘secret garden’, and while there, you meet a wise person and can ask her questions.”
I found a description of this meditation in a new-agey book many years ago and it resonated; I’ve been doing it ever since. The idea is simple: you journey inwards and enter your own ‘secret garden’, and while there, you meet a wise person and can ask her questions if you like.
It’s wonderful the way that the meditator is not in charge of what the garden is like – it just reveals itself to you, every time; and can change from visit to visit – sometimes just a little; sometimes radically. The whole point is to completely accept and allow whatever is there, each time.
When I first started visiting my garden, it was the size of a few city blocks – and indeed it was surrounded by city. It was a beautiful garden, half-wild, half-classic and Italianate – and the luminous wise person emerged from a door in a high stone cliff that made up one of the boundaries. I would sit with her on a bench in the shade of tall trees and receive her silent Knowings in response to my questions.
But after some time, a change occurred – I can’t say why. One day I visited my garden, and it was so vast that it was like a small country – a hundred miles down to a far, gleaming sea – over hill and dale, wooded and lush, silent and sun-warmed – a river ran through it, the far horizon was soft with mists – and, most of all, no other human was in it, nor ever had been. It was my garden alone. At first I had to remind myself that this was okay – it was my garden, and it could be anything. Anything at all. I wasn’t hogging it from anyone else.
Eventually a house appeared for me. I have visited this house now many times; it is always pretty much the same, though details can change occasionally. It is a wonderful house, the design of which rather surprises me in its classic, if polished and well-to-do, ordinariness. It has a lovely garden in front of it and a high stand of dark, virgin forest behind – both conifers and hardwoods. I am not going to describe my house – it is my secret place – but I will just say that it is pristine and perfect and utterly silent; and no other person has ever been there. Someone cares for it while I am away; but not a person.
The wise Being, when summoned, often appears out of a door in an oak tree – and her face is never quite visible; and she is loving and astute and kind; and she has no name; nor have I ever wondered what her name might be. She is usually dressed in white flowing robes; and she often has wings; though not always. I share with her whatever is in my heart; and she vouchsafes to me wisdoms and understandings – so that when I come back from my journey I am at peace; and I know what to do, or not do, about whatever was concerning me.
But the other day when I woke in the morning and had the feeling I wanted to go In; and I made my way to my garden… some very surprising things happened.
I lay still, warm and comfortable, with a small towel over my eyes; and I spoke aloud all that was happening. “I want to go to my Secret Garden… please show me the entrance.” And I was on an ordinary street, a few cars going by, a few trees and houses were on the other side of the road; but on this side was a green stretch with a hillock covered with grass – and that was where the hidden door was. I simply had to push a button in the grass and a shield of a certain frequency came up so that no passerby could see what I was doing; then the hillock opened so that I could duck into it; and it closed behind me. I was in a deep red velvet tunnel with wrinkly walls – and I crawled through this on my hands and knees – until I came to wooden steps down – into a cavern – and from there into a short tunnel which opened out into a dry, leaf-strewn path – beneath some trees and out into the grassy woodsy expanse of my Garden; a hundred miles on a side at least, and extending far, far down to the sea.
I could smell delicious herby scents of sun-warmed foliage – could feel the space and silence – and I made my way slowly up and down the meandering path over to my beautiful house in the lee of the woods. Once inside I roamed around each room, noticing the furniture, the kitchen, the bedroom, the sitting room – but something was strange – there was no couch to sit on. I went from room to room, looking for the couch, but there was none. I felt a bit uneasy – what had happened to the couch?
Finally I went out onto one of the many porches, and sat in a wide swinging chair – as I often do – and said aloud that I was ready for the wise person to come. A door opened in a nearby tree – the flying white-robed being came – and sat beside me.
And, for the first time, I was told her name – I will not say it here; it is secret – but I knew that she was a young one, not the usual elder wise person. I felt a bit doubtful of her youth, but it turned out she was a door-opener…
Whatever I had intended to discuss with her, when I opened my mouth what came out was, “Why don’t I have a couch?”
And from that moment everything was different than it had ever been before.
She showed me that behind the stand of trees there was a great cliff sticking up with a deep, narrow fissure in it – and she took me there. I entered the defile. Just around a bit of a corner a throne of gold sat, with a gold shining Being in it – glowing; so much light – and he made some little movement and I lay down and he did some other little thing and then ohhh – I was being tenderized – pummeled, vibrated, lying flat and being hummed through and made all… loose – for a very long time. It was nice.
Then I was shown my River – this is a River I know from a vision I was once given in the night when I was in a crisis – it is an enormous, silent, lonely River, going towards the sea – none can control it, none can argue with it – it just goes – and so lonely, like the summer arctic; lonely in the best most beautiful way. It is the River of my true inner life…
And far away on the left shore a little figure beckoned! What was this? A person, where no people have ever been before?
Again and again my mind doubted what I was shown, but I just went with what happened anyway… So I went to where the figure was, and he was a male angel, a Practical Angel – and he removed from my back a sort of webbed harness, and I felt very free.
Then I saw berries hanging in the air – etheric berries – and a big bear appeared! And my mind said, “What? Bears are scary!” But I remembered that during shamanic journeys, animals often come to help.
The bear sat down and held me with my back to his furry tummy and chest, and he told me some things: That I must never receive destructive energies from people. He said he would help. He understands that I cannot make vows, but I can have Intentions – and he agreed that the best thing is to simply send the energy back to the person, saying, “I do not receive blame / criticism / orders…” or whatever it is. And yes, it’s good to state those boundaries upfront and say to the people, “If I see those things being directed to me I intend to speak up.” And because I am always in shock at first it’s okay to say it later: “That was blame and I don’t receive it ” – when I’ve recovered my senses. And he reminded me that he would help.
And I was a little bit surprised because, while this has – my habitual door-mattishness – been an issue over the last months, I had not been thinking of it while going to my garden today; I had had no idea to ask about it.
Then the Bear led me back through a cloud that sat on the ground – and he disappeared.
And there was a giraffe! He was lovely! Tall, playful – beautiful eyelashes. He was my creativity. He led me to a nearby clifftop where we looked out over a wild landscape – a deep, deep valley in the wild silent mountains. I had not known there were mountains in my Garden… Then the giraffe gently but insistently crowded me over to the edge of the cliff! And I thought, What the hell? What is he doing? And I fell off!
But then I was flying, with great webs along the sides of my body – across the valley – and I landed on a great shelf of rock that stuck out halfway up a completely vertical cliff, thousands of feet high. The shelf was warm from the sun. It was a wonderful place, the whole scene so lonely, majestic, so silent and huge.
On this shelf of rock, at the back, was a house built into the cliff. The door opened and a little fairy-being, very thin like a wand, beckoned me to enter.
Inside was a huge chamber! And a throne – empty.
I approached it – then I realized there was a Presence in it – huge, invisible. It spoke to me – I began to fall…. I fell forward into a vast reddish-dark etheric vulva, and was massaged by its inner walls… it felt like some Element – and I fell then some more…
And then it was as if the Being took me and pressed me into the rock wall of the chamber, with his thumb – and the wonderful rock – first it was like polished agate, and then it was raw dark deep mountain stone – received me, and I became the rock.
I was the mountain – a stillness that only sees… I was that: the watching mountain.
The Being said, “Now you are home.”
And so I lay for a long long time in silence – inside, outside, – still as still – just being the mountain – so deep, so silent, so beautiful – just to be this….
After a long time my body stretched and it was time to come back. A puff of warm air came from the valley floor – I had to sit on it, with nothing to hold on to; it took me over valley and river and cliff and house and so on, to the entrance to my Garden, where it left me…
And I went back through tunnel and steps and back out to the street… saying to myself, That was incredible!
And it was time to get up… and I felt musing and magical all day.