I recently read a blog article by a friend which talked about groups and how much we open up or not in them, and whether some of us will drop our guard at all with others if things like meditation are happening.

It triggered some memories I thought I’d share in case they stimulate any thoughts for anyone else.

I think it really does depend on the mix of folks there and essentially the leader of the groups character and development. A very lovely lady  used to run a moonlodge group which I attended some years back in hampshire.   I trusted her with my life, and her judgement of and influence on the other members of the group.

There were people there I would have taken time to trust without the group who I still see as connected friends even though I’ve not seen them for many many years.

As part of it we often had a guided shared meditation/journey with space for personal experiences and lessons. I remember much of what we all got was generally fairly small to the outside world (no revisiting royalty certainly and very little that would mean anything to anyone), and often things that were big to us personally (the kind of thing that gives you AHA moments and a leap forward in your comprehension of a situation or yourself, if not then then a few days later as it’s significance struck you).

We got a sense of real progress by just being open and honest and trusting each other in a non-competitive environment. (We were also all thoroughly smudged on arrival every time and all trusted our hostess.)

After each journey (which generally comprised a guided part followed by a free form part) we would share what we felt was appropriate with the circle, one at a time using a talking stick device.

One of my treasured memories of that group will always be the time when I came out of journey unable to make head nor tail of what i wanted to say, even though the stick came to me first, so i passed it over (unusual for anyone especially me) and I tried to untangle the fact that the key thing that stuck with me from the journey was the cat who kept distracting me all the way through the guided bit, however much I tried to focus (I love cats anyway)  and my verging on tears for no apparent reason during and after.

During the journey I started out trying to focus, but after trying to concentrate I stopped and gave in and loved the cat a bit as is my nature, and so didn’t pay proper attention to the guided part of the meditation at all really.

As the stick travelled round the group I was realising I just had to say that I thought I must have been distracted by being upset although I hadn’t realised it when I arrived, and had thought I was fine, but I must have been cause I had tears, and that i was not being properly in the journey and released into openness, because I imagined this cat and indulged my love of cats as a self soothing device, and by doing that and venting upset unexpectedly instead of doing spiritual work and connecting to the whole I felt I’d slipped up, but clearly needed it.

That’s what I expected to say as the stick crept round the circle.

I have felt a special bit of love for fellow group member Julie ever since then, she being the friend who was lying next to me during the journey.

As she came to her telling and told how her cat had recently passed on (I hadn’t known) and how he had visited her and been significant, and how she’d felt much love for him but had been sad she wouldn’t cuddle him in the material world any more.  etc etc….

Suddenly I understood.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t in it properly, I wasn’t out of the room in my own head, it wasn’t that I couldn’t open up with others around.   I was so open and relaxed I was eavesdropping and actually connecting to the conciousness next to me and her potent emotions about an area of life which is essential to my being too.

I hadn’t known about any of these things before, it was a real validated connection and it gave me one of the strongest boosts of confidence at the time in the process, a wonderful sense of being connected to a friend through both friendship and a common love and calling, and since then has helped me move forward on my path (which includes life coaching and counselling, helping others on their journey and through their pain and losses by sharing).

I fast learnt that to me the remote and less valuable stuff was the cool sounding dramatic stuff, the awesome impressive experiences in meditation, the flying the royalty, these are usually symbolic of internal stuff for the individual to understand and grow from before sharing, they are broad sweeps which help us grow, but to me the stuff that really matters is often the little stuff, the pearls in our hearts that are strong and small and essential anchor points for our souls.  I think that recognition serves many of us well once realised, and beyond broad strokes, often the even fancier stuff is ego speaking over spirit I think, if we do see ourselves as royalty it’s not that we once were necessarily, more that we are recognising that we need treating better, or we just desperately want to be more important than we are in our day to day lives.

It also makes me very very wary of joining groups when I know I pick things up, not just by concious association and physical sharing and talking to people,  but by whatever is hanging around on those other people on every level, that anything and everything that is with them may and often will then also hang around you by association if you are open and unguarded to that degree around them.

If you share space with people you share a bit of who you all are and taking on bits of others, it’s one of the great strengthening and bonding things about any community or strong family, and you let all they are and have drawn to them connect with deeper parts of you. It’s a risk at any open group.

Outside of meditation practices in the physical world it’s also a  potentially really dirty side of free love that the condoms just can’t cover you for.   I’ve sensed dirt on unfaithful lovers myself before now and I suspect this psychic baggage (along with subtle physical clues like tiny amounts of body scent or perfumes) are why some people in relationships just instinctively know they are being cheated on and lied to.

I’ve know people suggest that psychic illness, and even bodily manifestations of that in the form of physical ailments, can spread in a group in that way, (through meditational opening up as well as sexual liasons)  but even without that, I want a filter on what attaches to me.  I’d like to at least retain a few guards about even just what turns up in my dreams and the easiest place to do that is to be very cautious about what groups I join or let my guard down in.

Still, all that reflected on,  sharing a visit from a passed over cat with a friend, that will remain one of the most touching experiences I’ve had ever.