Barbara and I buried our beloved dog of more than seventeen years last week. Gabe was one of my best friends, a constant companion when I was home, accompanying me as I worked in the garden, the orchard, cutting firewood. He came from working dog stock on both sides, so he liked nothing better than to “help me” with whatever I was doing, which meant just being outside and being with me as I worked.
He died in early March, when the ground was still frozen. We were clear that we wanted to bury his body in one of the places on our land which he loved. It was important to Barbara that she take part in digging his grave, and she was about to have a surgery which would prevent that for some time. So we put his body in our chest freezer until we could both be a part of that last goodbye. We’d therefore had two months of time to encounter what a hole he had left in our lives, and to grieve the loss of a dear friend.
Seeing his body again was both hard and good, opening up the place of grief anew. Through our tears we lowered him into the hole we had dug, to rest in a flower bed with wild strawberries as the groundcover, one of his favorite snacks. It was hard to let that body go, back to the earth. I was glad to see tree roots in the soil around where we put him. His body will go on to nurture nearby trees.
For nights after that, I would find myself awake in the middle of the night, despite a hard day’s physical work which had left me more than tired. I did not have a sense of what was keeping me up, or any sense of particular content, emotional or otherwise. Three or four days after we buried Gabe, I had a dream of cleaning up the place where he had always lain, removing the hair he had left behind, and I broke open into tears. In the dream, Barbara came to console me, and I went deeply into the grief of losing my good friend.
The next morning I awoke open in my spirit and very tender in my heart. When I opened in prayer to God, it was astonishing. It wasn’t so much that I was filled with Light, it was as though I was amidst a veritable conflagration of Light, which was happening in, through, and about me. The Light was radiating out from me in explosive arrays, uncontainable. I was awash in a firestorm of Light.
I tell this story because I think it illustrates a core aspect of this program, how in fully encountering the places where we have stored grief and pain in our bodies, we open more fully to the Divine. We clear away the brush and debris from the wellspring of the Source, and it flows with astonishing force.
One shorthand way we have described the essence of this program is that it opens to the participant opportunities to encounter the ways life experiences may have formed inner scar tissue that blocks the Light, allowing the Light to search, cleanse and heal those places, knowing those places to be fertile ground for encountering God.
When we do this work, we participate not only in our own healing, but the effects radiate outward, impacting our communities and even the planet. As we become better channels for the Light to work through, we become part of the healing work going on all the time, available and present, and that impact radiates outward in ever-widening circles.