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Guide for the Advanced Soul

I once had a roommate in New York that I never met. 

It’s a sort of complicated story and one that wouldn’t be all that interesting to repeat.  Suffice to say, I am now the owner of two of his left behind belongings that have changed my life.  One, is a pink crystal ball.  Seriously.  And, fortunately for you patient reader, not the topic of this essay!

The second, is a small book titled, A Guide for the Advanced Soul: A Book of Insight.  It is created and handwritten by Susan Hayward and published by Little, Brown and Company in 1984.  The intention for the book is that you use it as a guide when you have a problem or need guidance to help you make your decision.  After a brief period of meditation, you put forward your request to the universe and randomly open the book.  The guide’s instructions indicate that, “The first words you read will tell you what you most need to hear.”

Even the instructions are of interest to me.  They are interesting because they draw upon our ability to read something powerful and feel as though we have been told something or had it whispered to us or that we’ve used our ears to absorb something.  That’s how powerful the meaning of the words on the page are to us.  So powerful that as we read them, even as we use our eyes to scan the page, the part of our brain that listens—hears something.  This, as the instructions to the guide suggest, is intimately attached to the meditation before the reading.  It is the meditation that stills the mind and allows for us to access our intuition.  It is the intuitive self that reads the words and is able to make sounds of them.

I am particularly attached to “my” copy of the book because my roommate, whoever he is and wherever he is now, folded down the corners of some pages.  The pages that were speaking to him loud and clear.  Perhaps the very pages that told him that returning to New York, even to retrieve his belongings, wasn’t the right thing to do.  Sometimes, I cheat.  I don’t follow the directions.  I just open the book to the quotes chosen by its previous owner:

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”  ~Albert Einstein

“To change one’s life: 
* Start immediately
* Do it flamboyantly
* No exceptions (no excuses)”
~William James

“Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Unknown

Sometimes, yoga classes turn out to be our guide.  We just feel a little stuck and we need a class, so we just go to whatever is on the schedule and are disappointed to find out that it’s a different teacher than who we expected.  After class, we realize that this particular instructor met our need uniquely well.  That their words, style and tone were precisely what was required to advance in our practice, be creative about a project, to return home to wrestle the kids to bed………Or, maybe you’ve recently found a new teacher that is working just right for you now.  That’s just like folding down the pages.

1 Comment Write a comment

  1. That was wonderful, thank you. I love stuff like this…and can’t wait to purchase the book.

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