Diving for Pearls with Maggie Kay
Expanding Your Inner World
We have all had those moments. Suddenly, you are totally absorbed in a thing of great beauty – an incredible golden sunset on a beach, a piece of heart-soaring music that moves you to tears. The rest of the world disappears. There is only this wonderful experience, filling you, thrilling you. Anything you were doing pauses. Anything you were thinking melts away. You are transported into vivid aliveness and feel like you are standing in the center of the universe, that you are the universe.
This aliveness is your natural state. It is waiting beneath and below all the complicated layers of your life ready to greet you. All you have to do is remember to drop in from time to time – visit the oasis, refresh yourself and take that aliveness back into your everyday life. Somehow, then, your troubles aren’t quite so troubling. You feel like your emotional batteries are charged up. You can see more clearly how to deal with things.
One way of deliberately dropping in to your inner experience like this is the practice of meditation. It is so easy to forget your natural, alive state that it helps to do something routinely to remind yourself. So, you build reminder time into your daily pattern – get up, brush your teeth, have a cup of tea, and meditate – and that way you don’t forget to remember!
As little as 10 minutes spent like this every day can invite the aliveness back into your life.
Relaxing your body, calming your mind and opening your heart is wonderful enough, however, it is just the beginning of your inner journey. Pretty soon you will discover that your inner world gets bigger and bigger and bigger until a whole vast universe reveals itself within you – and it is just as big as the one
Pulling Yourself Together
Buddhism describes four levels of experience we can access when we allow ourselves to drop into our inner world. Integration is the first level. This is where you gather all your disparate thoughts, feelings, energies and attention into one unified whole. The Buddha, the enlightened master who originated Buddhism more than 2,500 years ago, said that this first level was like mixing soap-powder and water into a ball-shaped mass. All the powder is dissolved in the water and all the water is soaked up in the powder.
Basic meditation brings about this state of integration and we cannot progress any further without it. The mindfulness of breathing practice is often one of the first meditations we come across because it specifically helps with this. We pay attention to the breath and draw our whole attention around it, strengthening and exercising our ‘integration muscles’. When we feel sufficiently together, whole and clear, it lays the ground for insight and inspiration to arise.
A Refreshing Source of Creative Ideas
Inspiration is the second level. This is when you experience a bubbling up of energy and inspiration from deep within you. The Buddha described this as like a calm lake being fed by an underground spring.
Once we have unified our energy into a congruent whole we feel peaceful. But it is not a dull, static peace; it is alive. Sangharakshita, my foremost Buddhist teacher as founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order, named one of his books Peace is a Fire. This captures the nature of true peace very well – a dynamic, passionate, beautiful inner flaming. This is the stuff of artists, creative ideas and scientific breakthroughs. Our inspiration rises up from mysterious inner depths and takes great leaps of imagination.
Inspiration is also the path of ease.
A great spiritual principle is the law of least effort. If we are flowing with inspiration, the best way forward is effortless, expansive and joyful. We tend to miss this in our ‘hard work’ praising cultures. It is a commonly held belief that goodness and reward only come from difficult and punishing work – possibly a hangover from the Protestant Reformation where hard work was taken as a sign of being one of the ‘elect’ to be accepted into heaven. But, truly, work is meant to be a buoyant pleasure, a natural outpouring of our talent, creativity and desire to give to others.
A remarkable spiritual teacher, my friend Richard Rudd, writes about the “effortless genius” inherent in each of us in his revelatory book, Gene Keys: a unique, profound and rigorous synthesis of spiritual wisdom from all cultures and eras, structured around the teachings of the I Ching.
Richard’s teaching on Gene Keys elegantly demonstrates that, truly, we need only relax into our natural talent and stop trying to force ourselves into being something that we are not. There is no need for ‘hard work’ and pushing against the river, nor the need to exploit others to work hard for us.
We are all made differently and enjoy what we are uniquely designed to do, cooperating with others so that everything gets done. This is the path of least effort, yet it is also highly creative and efficient. This is inspiration in action and results in a life full of synchronicity, joy and ease.
Feeling Good Through and Through
Permeation is the third level of higher consciousness that can be Wisdom Consciousness accessed in meditation. When you are completely immersed and surrounded by an experience of integration and inspiration, you become peaceful, energized and flooded with happiness. The Buddha’s metaphor for this was of lotuses growing in the peaceful lake with the underground spring, completely immersed in and surrounded by water.
This is a mystical state where we feel we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. We have access to a higher consciousness which can be experienced as something outside of our self or as something deep within. Either way, we have access to another dimension of wisdom and guidance. In this mode, we are able to find mysterious answers to all our questions and problems. This is the gateway to inner wisdom.
Emitting Positive Energy
Radiation is the fourth level. This is when you have an unbreakable aura of equanimity emanating from you and are insulated from negative influences. Your meditative momentum is so powerful that nothing can touch you or break your mood. The Buddha said it was like taking a dip in that peaceful lake on a hot day and then wrapping yourself in a cool, clean robe afterwards.
By now, you are a transmitter. Your very energy affects people and transforms the world for the better. This is why yogis, wanderers, monks and nuns living in seclusion have a powerful part to play in changing the world even although they are removed from society. They do it by telepathy.
The phenomenon of radiation is also why crowds flock to the feet of a great spiritual teacher just to sit in their presence. This ‘darshan’, as this radiant presence is called, is enough to touch your soul and change you forever.
Known as the Inner Wisdom Coach and formerly an ordained Buddhist, Maggie specialises in meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, metaphysics and spiritual intelligence for life, love and business.
As well as coaching one-to-one, she trains accredited Thrivecraft life coaches and meditation teachers and runs retreats and workshops for soulful entrepreneurs, coaches and well being professionals.
In 2016, with her son Jamie grown up, Maggie established Thrivecraft Home Hub, a riverside country retreat in Cornwall, UK, where she lives with her soul mate husband, Patrick.
Her new book – Diving for Pearls: A Wise Woman's Guide to Finding Love (O Books) – is a highly readable true love and spiritual adventure story laced with tips and teachings on meditation, Buddhism, inner wisdom and relationships relevant to all.
Maggie's vision for the future includes taking Thrivecraft worldwide via a new online academy; continuing to mentor coaches, well-being professionals and meditation teachers to grow and prosper their businesses; producing audios of her full range of guided meditations; and writing further books to inspire and support everyone to create rich, happy and fulfilling lives.
Buy Diving for Pearls on Amazon.
Thrivecraft with Maggie Kay
Wisdom. Inspiration. Self-belief.