A voice has spoken to me twice in my life, a voice more direct than someone standing right next to me, at once more powerful and real than any thinking or listening. Even more real than a voice, yet it used words. The first time was in the late 90s when I had started to lie down in a place of comfort and security and… I don’t know, just relaxing, in awareness, apparently going deeper and deeper… and then from nowhere it said: YOU TOOK YOUR TIME. In a friendly and slightly joking yet austere kind of way, very welcoming. And that was it. And it was true, it had taken me a very long time to learn to relax, I realised.
The second time was maybe 7 years later, at a friend’s in London and I was smoking a joint (something I gave up years ago now) and so for a time I was alone, sitting on a chair, others in the house occupied elsewhere. Suddenly I was very calm and centred and from nowhere it said: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN TRYING TO GET TO? This time more austere than jokey, slightly reprimanding but not hard or punishing, just frank and true. And I realised I had been struggling for a long time to get away from myself, to escape, to get to some kind of peace… ‘over there’, looking, searching. I implicitly trusted the voice.
These two sentences were with me this morning as I sat, with some regret that I didn’t begin this regular practice earlier. I know that I couldn’t have, that I wasn’t ready and when I tried I soon stopped, I couldn’t force it, but the regret was still there despite the rationalisation. And it was very clear that I am still trying to get some place on some level. More and more I am seeing that any kind of striving in a direction is unnecessary and in fact leads nowhere. There’s nothing to run from either. Getting closer is the only way, if there is a way. More myself rather than less.
I did find myself asking the voice to speak to me again, but these two sentences of guidance are all I’ve received and are probably quite enough. For now.