Spiritual Journey — Teachers

I had a lovely dream once.

I was underwater, in a temple deep under the ocean, in a room where I could breathe easily. There were ionic columns, and a stream ran through the temple room. It was beautiful.

A seal was there, speaking to me. She told me she could teach me. To show me some of what she could do and teach me, she made beautiful green vines grow up around the columns. The vines bloomed and bore fruit–clusters of grapes appearing all around. She took a handful of grapes in her flipper and showed them to me, then changed them into precious gems. She offered to take me on as a student and teach me.

I was scared and angry. This was too different from my understanding of the world. Talking seals? Vines that grew from nothing? Grapes that turned into gemstones? It was too much.

I hit her flipper, making the gems fly all over the place, and I refused her offer. “Seals can’t talk,” I said. From that moment, I could no longer understand what she said.

Then I woke up.

For years I regretted my choice. I wondered, Why hadn’t I said yes? I could have learned all manner of interesting things! But my fear and anger had interfered, and I had lost an amazing opportunity.

Then, a few years ago, I decided not to regret that choice. For one thing, that was who I was at the time–someone who refused teaching and learning because she didn’t like how it was presented. For another, who was to say that I should have said yes? Perhaps the seal didn’t have things to teach me that I needed to know. My fear kept me ignorant as to what, exactly, was being offered, but perhaps that ignorance served me well anyway.

I’ve known that I receive teachings in other ways, however. Sometimes it is through the books I read, sometimes it’s intuition, sometimes something else. I’ve come to recognize them and accept that this teaching actually takes place, even though I am still uncomfortable with it. Perhaps it’s a control issue. I’m not sure.

One of the more profound ways I receive teachings is information that is transmitted to me in the night. Often I fall into a deep sleep, a sleep so deep it’s as if I am in a coma.

Once, a friend woke me up while I was in the middle of such an experience. She had been scared because so little of me and my essence seemed present. When she woke me, it was as if I was still very, very far away, and I had trouble becoming fully awake for hours. It was odd, but one of the attendant phenomenon during that time that I was awake but not awake was that my body seemed to weigh very little. She could pick up my hand or arm, and it wasn’t as heavy as it usually was. It’s as if part of me still wasn’t there. Once I was fully awake, however, my body had its normal mass again.

In these nighttime transmissions, the teachings are extremely deep and meaningful, yet don’t translate well into words. I know that I am shaped and changed by these teachings, but I couldn’t tell you the why and how of it.

A few weeks ago I awoke retaining more memory of the teaching event than usual, and the best way I can describe the information was that it looked as if it was comprised of geometric symbols. As if words are too surface-level to convey these meanings. As if these meanings were meant for the cellular level rather than the intellect level. Even now I can kind of perceive those symbols–flat and slanted and red-colored, but it’s only a sliver of what was conveyed to me at the time and, obviously, doesn’t translate well into English. If you were to ask me what they mean, I couldn’t tell you anything but that it was important.

I recently realized that I’ve been dreaming of the seal again, and she is teaching me. I guess part of me has accepted these teachings after all, even if I seem to be keeping it from myself. And, since I am keeping it from myself, I cannot tell you what the seal is teaching me. Honestly, I prefer it that way. I still find comfort in my inability to name information that baldly. So long as I can tell myself (and you), “I dream of a seal teaching me” but not that the seal’s name is “X” and she has taught me such-and-such, I can still pretend that it’s only a dream, even though I know in my heart of hearts that it is more than that.


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