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By Jean-Claude Gerard Koven
How to Make Sense of Your Life
When Your Life Makes No
The spiritual journey is riddled with the lure of false
prophets and deceptive practices. Where does a true seeker go to
reconnect with divine purpose?
Belief, especially when cloaked in the mantle of faith, may be
a source of solace and hope for many, but I consider it the
lowest form of processing information. My beef with belief is
that people deeply invested in a belief system typically become
so averse to shifting their point of view, that what they see
never changes. And they think this is good – a sign that
they’ve latched onto truth. But have they? As best-selling
author Robert J. Ringer (“Action: Nothing Happens until
Something Moves”) observes, “People say they love
truth, but in reality they want to believe that that which they
love is true.”
To my way of thinking, if I go to sleep believing something
and wake up in the morning with the same belief, it’s a
sure sign that I’m stuck.
At a relatively early age, to the dismay of family and
friends, I strayed off the beaten path of cultural belief,
setting forth on a journey of self-discovery that continues to
this very day. The key to being on such a journey is to visit a
belief only long enough to be touched by it and then move on.
Believing nothing creates space for what is called in Zen
“beginner’s mind”—seeing, touching,
tasting, and experiencing everything as if for the very first
time. I often say: “Yesterday, I thought I knew something,
but for the life of me, I can’t seem to remember what it
My metaphysical quest has taken me through many traditions
and physically several times around the world, seeking
initiations available at the power vortexes that dot our fragile
planet. I have visited shrines and temples, traveled to sacred
forests and lakes, meditated in caves and on mountaintops, spoken
to trees, and studied with shamans, healers, and extraordinary
teachers on six continents. I am, in every sense of the word, a
spiritual junkie in search of the ultimate cosmic orgasm. What a
trip! Each morning, the old me fades away, and a new me arises to
greet a welcoming sun it has never seen before.
A few days ago I spent several days at a truly singular energy
center. I’d liken it to other sacred sites I have visited
over the years, except for one thing: it is more. The source of
power at places like Mt. Shasta, Uluru (Ayers Rock in Australia),
Sedona, Glastonbury Tor, Chartres, and Jerusalem is rooted in the
past: The Paradise Sanctuary, occupying a modest acre and a half
just outside the town of Ashland, Oregon, is a portal into the
present. Reverend Lawrence Katz, steward of this sacred land, has
spent twenty-five years preparing the site for its current role
as an energetic vortex to help earthbound beings adjust to the
quickening frequencies of the Shift – the impending
transition into the next dimensional paradigm.
A sanctuary is love in physical form. It is a holy of holies,
a safe haven for the beleaguered, and a place for spiritual
transition. My wife, Arianne, and I were sitting in the sanctuary
garden when Lawrence mentioned a crystal skull he had received a
year earlier. During the ensuing months, the nearly opaque
material had become virtually transparent. What is considered a
scientific impossibility he explained with poetic simplicity:
“Give anything sanctuary and it will automatically rise to
its highest divine potential.”
I gazed out to the trees and ferns that form a living temple
on this land, sheltering crystals, statues, and other sacred
pieces of art and realized I was looking at a living testimony to
his words. Surrounded by llamas, doves, dogs, and other animals
both domestic and wild, I breathed in a moment of perfect peace.
My reverie was interrupted by Lawrence’s intense gaze.
“You need some work,” he said. “Are you up to
His meaning was clear. However far we may have traveled on our
path, at each moment we are again caterpillars in a chrysalis,
awaiting the next change into a higher vibration. Given the free
will allotted to each human, we can elect to stay in the warmth
and apparent security of our earthly identity, or risk everything
and break free. Lawrence was asking if I was ready to die and be
reborn yet again.
We arranged a session for the following day so I had time to
tidy up loose ends and make peace with my old me. “The
work,” as Lawrence calls it, is done on an altar table in a
shrine room filled with geometric shapes, copper windings,
amplifying crystals, and sacred artifacts. In true shamanic
tradition, he invokes ancient chants, tonings, and vibrational
sounds played on an array of indigenous instruments. In truth,
there was nothing gentle about the process. Using breathing
techniques as instructed by Lawrence, I was able to open my body
and heart/mind to receive the amplified vibrations he invoked and
be realigned with the potential of the new moment.
This is not a process to be undertaken lightly. Death rarely
is. However, for those who find themselves temporarily trapped in
a spiritual cul de sac and are committed to emerging from the
chrysalis of yesterday’s beliefs and taking the next step
into the eternal mystery, I can commend no finer process. Having
recently crawled as a caterpillar and then flown as a butterfly,
I have to say that it’s good to be free to fly again.
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in
Rancho Mirage, CA. He is a featured weekly columnist for the UPI
(United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum and
the author of Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When
Your Life Makes No Sense, selected by both Allbooks Reviews and
USABookNews.com as the best metaphysical book of the year.
©2007-2015. Jean-Claude Gerard Koven / All Rights
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