A few weeks ago, Jen Louden invited me to talk about Opening to the Sacred at her Virtual Retreat. A number of you emailed me after the retreat to ask if I would expand on the ideas presented there.

Here is a recap of that talk–an offering to Spring, to all that is struggling to be born within us.

The Sacred is the ground of our being, so how do we open to that which is not separate from our selves? The Sacred is not remote from us–out there, in some transcendent realm. The Sacred is my own heartbeat, and yours, and yours. We are fractals of the One Source. It is the essence of who we are, the Void out of which all of creation emerges.

Many religious and spiritual teachings emphasize the need to destroy or transcend the ego in order to be one with All That Is.

Yet the ego–that which makes up our personalities, our uniqueness–is essential to our incarnation. And it too is sacred. This is the Tantric view, that all of life is a hologram of Source. Anything and anyone, including our own bodies and our imperfect selves, can be a portal to the Sacred because everything is made of Sacredness.

We are incarnate beings. One way of thinking about our relationship with the Sacred is that Source expresses Itself in each of us along an arc or continuum.

At one end of this continuum we are a unified field of one-ness. Here, there is no differentiation between you and me, between you and the most distant stars, between me and the earth, between tree, rock, rain and ocean. This is the realm of formlessness, which precedes even the Divine matrix in which all forms first come into being. Everything in this realm is pure potential.

At the other end of this continuum of being is your particular, unique incarnation. This is your self-hood, that which makes you unlike anyone else who has ever lived before. No-one else can be or will ever be YOUR expression of the Sacred–as distinctive as your voice or your fingerprint.

To change a pattern or to create a new one, we must begin where we are. So, to be receptive to the Sacred, we begin by being receptive to ourselves. To our bodies, our minds and hearts, our emotions, our personhood.

Each of these elements that make up the totality of our being is the Sacred incarnate within us.

The week before I was to teach at Jen’s Virtual Retreat, I was sick with the flu. My voice, when it finally returned, sounded like a cranky frog. So I worried: How will I teach if I have no voice? My head feels like jello–how will I remember what to say?

And then the cosmic joke finally landed through the fog in my head, and I laughed out loud.

Of course! The light of the Sacred doesn’t disappear with my voice! It’s always there–in sickness and in health. It’s always there.

So let’s explore opening to the Sacred in our frog-throated, splay-footed, warts-and-all selves. Let’s explore the Sacred in a spirit of play and curiosity.

Close your eyes and bring your awareness behind your eyes and up a bit, into the area of your mid-brain, between your pineal gland near the back and your pituitary gland in front. This, along with the center of your heart, is the seat of your incarnate soul in your body.

Feel the radiance of your soul, here in the center of your head. From here, connect with the light of your personhood — of everything that makes you who you are. Let this light fill your whole brain and radiate out into your body, into the center of your heart, into the center of your belly. Let it continue to radiate out through your cells, into your energy field all around you.

Feel the boundary of your personal energy field–the place where you end and the rest of the world begins–like a great circle all around you. You can mark this boundary with a hedge of roses, or a picket fence. A stone wall, or a mantra or a sound. Anything that gives you a clear sense of where your personal energy ends and the rest of the world begins.

Now fill everything within this boundary–fill your whole energy field–with the light of your self; that aspect of your soul that is in incarnation right now. This is different from the light of your soul, which encompasses more multidimensional realities, but it is equally Sacred. It exists along a continuum with all Light everywhere.

So attune to this light within you, the light of your personhood.

Your precious miracle of a body, which performs dozens of highly complex processes effortlessly every day to keep you alive.

Your ancestry, the gifts of your biology and history, the gifts of your lineage. The gifts of your home and country as they are woven into your incarnation.

Your mind and imagination, which enable you to travel with me on this journey without ever leaving your chair or your bed.

Your genius, your skills and talents. Your friendships and loves, your creations, the things that bring you joy. Each of your accomplishments.

Your qualities of kindness and friendship, of generosity, creativity and playfulness.

The light of your self does not ignore that which is ill or angry; painful, wounded, or fragmented in you. It doesn’t shut out whatever still needs love and integration. It embraces and enfolds all aspects of your self within its warmth.

So take a moment to feel these parts of yourself as a play of shadows and patterns within the light. Bring them into your inner wholeness, which holds all of your inner selves in love.

As you do this, notice what happens to your fragmented selves–notice the relationship between them and your wholeness.

You, yourself, are a source of Sacredness in the world. You are not just a consumer of spiritual stuff. You are a source of love and light and blessing.

So, from the center of your head, experience the light of your sacred self radiating out into your energy field, filling it until it resonates with the vibration of your personhood.

Now feel into the boundary of your energy field behind you, behind your heart. Feel where the light of the Sacred in you meets and blends with the light of the Sacred in your extended soul–that vast, multidimensional being that contains all of your incarnations. That extends into dimensions of soul and spirit that are not in incarnation.

Experience the Sacred in the vibration and qualities of your extended soul, behind you. This, too, is your singular vibration, but it’s more closely attuned to other resonances of the Sacred, more fluid than your personhood.

Take this further–extend the light of your personhood out to the boundary of your energy field in front of you.

Experience the boundary where your Sacredness meets the Sacred in the world.

Open your eyes and look at the objects in the room around you. Feel the Sacred within these objects. Choose one of them, and feel its presence, its essence, which is also the essence of the Sacred.

Close your eyes again, and extend your awareness outward to the edge of your boundary. This time, invite someone you love to connect with you at the boundary of your energy field. Feel their essence, the Sacred within this other person.

Next, invite someone–or a situation–with whom you have a difficult relationship, to connect with you at the boundary of your energy field. Experience the essence of this person or situation, the Sacred within them, met by the Sacred within you. Be aware of what happens when you do this.

Finally, bring your awareness back to the center of your head, to the center of your heart. Feel the light of the Sacred within you resonating at your own particular vibration, attuned to the Sacred in all dimensions, in all creation.

May the Great Pattern of your life unfold this Spring as gently as new leaves unfold on this cherry tree outside my window.