From Awakening Together Radio
It’s only today that I realize how much other peoples’ belief in me helped me to overcome my longlasting disease.
I deeply thank each and everyone who believed in me and my wholeness and health in the many years that I couldn’t do so, be they visible or not, be they from Christian roots, from Eastern wisdom-teachings, student-teachers from A Course in Miracles or helpful freelancers.
I had been suffering from progredient MS and recurrent depression for 23 years already and to get around I had to use walking aids or wheelchairs. In the last years of this miserable phase I would furthermore suffer from constipation, incontinence, fatigue and neuropathies.
All in all this whole situation felt like an agonizingly slow process of dying, losing one capability after the other. I had often tried to get up to high buildings in order to jump down and end this suffering once and for all. However the notion this might not solve any problem whatsoever and would only leave tears behind consistently stopped me.
Then what finally slingshot me out of this hell was that one legendary night I just was entirely fed up with dying. This was my life and I wanted to live it abundantly and be happy again, together with others!
What I was fed up with most of all was this constant fear that had meanwhile spread over so many areas of my life like some exuberant cancer. Fear, fear, fear, wherever I looked in my life. Meanwhile I was afraid of everything. There was fear of walking anyway. Of course there also was fear of eating something wrong. There was fear of smoke, fear of alcohol, fear of white bread, fear of my hunching about on two canes, fear of peoples’ reaction who saw me that way, fear of falling down, fear of death, fear of life. Fear of everything!
And it was this very own fear of mine I had fostered and nourished and pampered for so very long that I rendered a definite, terminal kick in the butt that night. I wanted to live and be happy again and in communication. Not tomorrow or in a week, but right now!
My depression was over immediately and my MS symptoms gradually started dropping away. As many abilities as I had lost over the decades as many keep coming back to me one after the other, and more than that:
Soon it was realized there is this Living Stillness and Peace deep within that becomes available the more that I give myself up to it. As is experienced, all healing and recovery comes from there. It feels like a radiant inner home that is absolutely unshakable. It feels like an unlimited inner reservoir of healing and life and happiness widely open to everyone who is willing to open up to it.
So there is actually only one thing I changed for this to become accessible:
I choose happiness and health the moment something unhappy comes along in my mind. Be it a feeling of guilt or a feeling of anger or a feeling of fear or a feeling of pain. And different from earlier times in my life, today I’m extremely determined in this.
Whenever any kind of relapse shows up, it doesn’t take long and I remember to take it as but another chance to find back to this inner radiant home of ours and to deeply refresh and recover in it.
It is truly our mind that is in charge of the way our lives develop. Any experience – good or bad – is but a mirror in which we can learn something about the attitudes we adopted. And if the picture we see in this mirror does not suite our wishes, it is our attitude we have to change first for the good to occur.
When we let go of our negative thoughts about whatever and decide for the good, the Eternally Good that is hidden behind will soon shine forth and show us exactly which way to go and lead us to greater and greater thankfulness, understanding, happiness and of course also health.
I just need to remember: Happiness is not a fleeting chance, it is a decision!
As already Einstein put it:
EVERYTHING IS ENERGY AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT.
MATCH THE FREQUENCY OF THE REALITY YOU WANT
AND YOU CANNOT HELP BUT GET THAT REALITY.
IT CAN BE NO OTHER WAY.
THIS IS NOT PHILOSOPHY. THIS IS PHYSICS.
Christoph Engen, April 25th, 2014
MOMENTS OF HEAVEN, HOLY ENCOUNTERS
Opposite our little porch-garden there’s a six story office-building, and when I sit on our porch once in a while puffing a self-rolled cigarette, sometimes a man my age opens up a corner-window in the fifth floor and lights a cigarette too. We soon started waving hands at each other happily. We don’t know each other’s names or jobs or stories or whatever and only once so far we had exchanged words over the distance of those thirty meters.
Even though it had been winter, the weather was like in spring, and my cigarette-fellow opened his arms like in demonstration of this unusual climate and yelled at me: “No snow!” “Thank God!” I yelled back and we laughed.
The last two, three times this cigarette-encounter happened, I realized, the moment we would greet each other happily and wave hands, this very moment there was but a blazing white light filled with joy to be experienced. There were absolutely no thoughts involved. There was just this moment of joyful mutual recognition in a blaze of white light.
Back in my thoughts I eventually realized, this is exactly what we call heaven. And how easily heaven can be attained!
It’s exactly the same as when little children wave at you from inside their cars when you’re driving along on a freeway. They don’t know anything about you and couldn’t care less. They’re just happy to meet and greet someone who’s on his way too!
Christoph Engen, February 5, 2014
OPEN THE DOOR LAUGHING!
The other day I was once again pursued by nerve wracking spasms in my lower legs at night. Soon after I had gone to bed my legs would start jerking and kicking involuntarily thus keeping me from going to sleep. I was dead tired, but had to get up anyway to do something about it. A hot shower didn’t really help, neither did massaging my calves nor hunching around nor Magnesium pills nor getting some fresh and cold air on the porch. I felt the muscles of my face were all tight in expectation of the next spasm which I could feel building up distinctly in either my left or my right calf before discharging and making the affected leg jump once again. To top all that I would constantly have to pee due to a tenacious bladder infection and had already used up three or four diapers just recently. Gosh, I was so tired of all this. Couldn’t stand changing those diapers every 15, 20 minutes and having those legs of mine jerk the next moment.
Every once in a while I thought of a good word or sentence too however like “Healing” or “Peace to my legs and to everyone” or “Thank you, dear Lord, for my health” trying to somehow really concentrate on these good intentions. The jerking and peeing would pull me out of this however again and again.
Then the memory of Nouk Sanchez’ Miraculous prayer for healing arouse in my mind. Here is the whole of it:
“Holy Spirit, my belief in ______(issue or problem)______ as real, causes me to feel
attacked, and to defend myself against it. In my
defense I am alone, isolated from your Love and True healing in my awareness. Yet the Truth is your Love and healing is all there is.
Nothing exists apart from your Love.
I recognize in choosing to believe this fear, I reject your Love and healing. And I defend myself from your Love, joy and peace. I now decide to bring my concerns and fears to you, Holy Spirit, so we can look upon them together. We will look at my list of defenses together. I ask that you shine your Love into my mind, and reinterpret these fears for me. Cleanse them and transform them into areas of healing and inspiration.
I acknowledge my only part in this:
1) I invite you in to look at these fears and judgments with me. I will not judge myself or another while we do this; instead I will leave a space of total non-judgment, so you can fill it with Love and healing.
2) As I look upon it all, I will say to myself with sincerity, “Even though this appears to be a problem, and despite any feelings of fear,
anxiety, anger, guilt or doubt I may hold, in this instant I open myself to receive healing through the miracle. I accept this healing. And so it is. Amen.”
(From The End of Death by Nouk Sanchez, undoing-the-ego.org)
I somehow tried to put the main parts of this prayer together in my mind.
‘Okay, holy spirit’, I thought, ‘let’s look at this crap together.’ Nothing happened. However at least the invitation was expressed, I believe.
Finally I decided to lie down again and try to get some rest even though it didn’t feel like those spasms or peeing attacks would stop. With another fresh diaper I went to bed. Simultaneously the honest and serious question arose: ‘Say, what does this mean? What’s the real reason for all that?’
Then somehow, strangely enough, there was relaxation in my legs and I felt I was falling asleep.
A very unusual experience followed. I knew I was sleeping, however I kept being awake and aware. And then, like an answer to my foregone question, out of an inner darkness figures appeared, a slow silent parade of all kinds of unloved shadow characters. Some were mutilated, some wounded, some menacing, some apathetic, some looked like beasts. I could see them all very clearly. I was fascinated. There was no fear involved in this, just fascination about this dark parade.
Finally, I guess, seven dark hooded riders came toward me. They looked exactly like the threatening riders from “The Lord of the Rings”. The central rider came straight at me, but since I knew this was MY dream, again there was absolutely no fear. I knew I was the boss of this dream. With much interest I looked directly into the hood of this central black rider. There was nothing but darkness there to be seen. And as I looked closer and closer into this darkness I fell asleep.
After a good night’s rest I found myself sitting on our cold wintery porch again drinking a hot morning-coffee and puffing a cigarette. Slowly the light of a clouded and foggy day came shining through. I had put on a new pair of diapers. The peeing-impulses were a lot more back to normal again and the spasms were gone entirely. I remembered my waking dream of the dark parade and also this saying from Jesus, where he talks of himself as being the open door. The open door. I believe this is what he wants each and every one of us to be. Open doors. Instead of being locked castles or huts.
In a telephone talk with our good friend Nina, a psychotherapist, we talked this waking dream over and I remembered a Rumi-poem I had translated into German for my first book of Rumi-translations after Coleman Barks. It seemed to fit perfectly to explain my dark parade from the night before:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at your door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
(From The Essential Rumi – translations by Coleman Barks)
Meanwhile my bladder problems have diminished significantly and my nightly spasms are but short. What is astounding too is that my walking ability has gotten still a bit better after already having improved considerably since summer 2012, which had marked the end of a phase of 23 years on crutches and in wheelchairs.
Thanks to our Lord and His Living Holy Spirit!
Christoph Engen, February 3, 2014
THE FRIENDLY OLD LADY AND THE ANGEL
85 years the friendly old lady would turn today! Now she remembered. She looked up from her calendar. There it was, in black and white: 85. Exclamation mark. Soon she‘d be picked up for her birthday party that old friends organized for her. “Jesus Mary!“ she mumbled, “that‘s pretty steep, 85!“ Then, after a thought break, she said determined to herself, “Giddyup, ole grey mare! Get yourself dressed up nicely!“ Her body obeyed and moved to the bathroom.
On her way there she suddenly, without knowing why, turned to the beautiful Madonna figure with baby Jesus in her arms. In the same moment, the friendly old lady heard the Madonna say, “Yes, go ahead. Pretty yourself up a little bit!“ “Well for sure, Madonna talks to me“, the old lady thought to herself. „Of course I do“, the Madonna figure said, „and you will see I can do a lot more!“ “Can’t wait to see it“, the friendly old lady thought to herself and went into the bath. “So you’re starting to hear voices already“, she said to her reflection in the bathroom mirror.
When the friendly old lady, all tarted up, came out of the bath again, she couldn‘t believe her eyes! There in her comfy leather chair sat a golden luminous figure with a friendly look. The old lady wasn‘t frightened, but she really had to rub her eyes thoroughly.
No indeed, a golden luminous figure sat there on her television chair and looked at her fixedly. “Jesus!“ it flashed through her mind.
„No“, the luminous figure answered pointing to a mighty sword. “The Master never wears weapons. Principally not.“
“So you must be angel Gabriel, right?“ asked the lady, with her jaw dropped. “Yes, my deference.“ He stood up and bowed his head politely, yes even in perfect elegance. The old lady couldn‘t stop wondering.
The next moment she heard herself say, “May I offer you a drink?“ “Yes that would be greatly appreciated“, the angel answered promptly, “a cup of coffee – the one that‘s left in your pot.“
While the friendly old lady infused the coffee into the cup, the question she‘d digged for arose in her mind, “Since when do angels drink coffee?“ it popped out of her. “Oh!“ Gabriel answered and took a delightful sip, „we don‘t have anything against the joys of the earthly existence … we often are interpreted imperfectly in this regard.“ “Oh indeed? Well, I‘m so happy to hear that,“ the friendly old lady stumbled. Simultaneously she noticed her big clock. “Oh God, soon it‘s two o‘clock!“ she said, “I get picked up at two. I‘m really sorry, Sir Gabriel …“ “No problem, most gracious“, Gabriel responded and stood up. Now she could see his mighty wings. “But you have wings!“ the friendly old lady exclaimed.
“Oh that‘s common with us angels“, Gabriel said formally and continued, “Why I‘m here, most gracious, will just take a minute. I‘ve been sent to congratulate you!“ “From whom?“ the friendly old lady asked with surprise. “The Master himself.“ “Lord Jesus?“ “Yes, of course. It was his special order – it was very important to him.“ “Couldn‘t a more unimportant angel than you have told me that?“ “No“, Gabriel answered resolutely, “the Master wanted to make sure his wishes were delivered by someone who can‘t be overlooked.“ His mighty wings opened gently and fanned some air to the old lady who started to break out in sweat. Then he took another delightful sip of his coffee.
The friendly old lady was speechless – she couldn‘t stop gazing at the angel‘s impressive appearance. He seemed to be enchanted by the taste of her simple coffee. “Marvelous“, Gabriel said, “wonderfully aromatic, hot and black. Many thanks for this tasty adventure, most gracious!“ Then he put down the cup, slightly shook out his wings and continued. “So, herewith I deliver you the warmest birthday wishes from heaven and all its inhabitants! Especially from your foregone friends and family. Yes and, as I said, our Boss in person made sure I would bring you this message personally.“
Really touched, the friendly old lady accepted the congratulations. Just when she wanted to thank Gabriel he interrupted her and said, “Of course our congratulations contain the very best heavenly wishes for you, your health and your wellbeing. Only, of course, if you wish so.“
„If I wish what?“ asked the friendly old lady.
“Health and wellbeing“, Gabriel answered.
“Why shouldn‘t I want that?“ it popped out of her.
“Well“, said the angel with a short whiff of sadness, “humans have very peculiar wishes, my dear. Often times they want to die rather than to be happy and simply enjoy this immeasurable Life of ours throughout eternity. They prefer to believe they are abandoned by God and all good spirits. Angels like us do not understand that either! It‘s a long and profoundly unreasonable story.“
„Does this mean that I have to invite health and wellbeing in?“ the friendly old lady asked thoughtfully. “Yes, of course“, the angel responded, “you just have to invite them in, to welcome them. If you don‘t actively want these things, they stay outside of the door of your life. If only humans suspected how much health and wellbeing and joy have to wait and wait and wait outside of their doors, just because they won‘t let them in.“
„But that‘s absurd!“ it bursted out of the friendly old lady, “well … but I have to admit, I also do that from time to time, especially when I feel very lonely.“ When she said that a shiver ran through Gabriel and he looked at her pervasively. Then he said, and it was as if a glorious, long-known but almost forgotten music echoed through his words, “You are never alone, do you understand? Neither you nor anybody else is ever alone. Even if it sometimes appears to be so. Don‘t always trust your eyes only. Nobody is ever alone. We are always here, always around. Every instant. Be certain of that!“
„Well that’s something“, the friendly old lady said after a pause, “that was beautiful, Sir angel!“ And after drying some tears from her cheeks she sniffed, “Another sip of my delicious coffee?“
“Well“, Gabriel said, “if you have time left to cook some new?“ He looked to the telephone. The next moment it rang and the friendly old lady received a message that she‘d get picked up for her birthday party two hours later.
“That‘s wonderful!“ she said on her way to the water boiler and smiled to herself. „Oh, Sir angel, I thought about it. I want it.“ “Want what?“ Gabriel asked. “Health and wellbeing and happiness“, the friendly old lady said, “for me and for everyone else!“
There the angel was all smiles …
The scribe of this story doesn‘t know more about the beautiful conversations between angel Gabriel and the friendly old lady and how much more coffee was drunk. It is reported however that from this first meeting on a profound friendship developed between these two.
© Christoph Engen, translated with Daniela Klampfer, January 2014