Many years ago, I created the Six Gateways. They began as a response to students and friends asking me to write down a series of spiritual practices they could do at home to improve intimacy between partners. Over time they evolved into spiritual tools for all of life.
The gateways are doors into different spiritual realms. Within each realm there is a wealth of learning and healing available to anyone who enters. While they are based on practices from Tantric Buddhism, Tantra Yoga, and Shamanism, they have been helpful over the years to people of all faiths and traditions.
Learning to connect to Spirit (the first gateway) was very hard for me. Although I’d felt a powerful connection to God the Father in the Christian tradition ever since I was a little girl, I didn’t know how to reconcile Him with my everyday life that included concerns about sex, marriage, career, creativity, and family. I struggled to learn to meditate, and to feel a solid connection to anything, and as I grew older I rejected my Christian faith and the masculine image of God. I was a little lost.
The trees saved me.
When I was a little over 30, I moved to an acre of land in the country with my husband. We set about creating a nest that we would bring our first baby into. It was hard to imagine being a mother, as I was struggling with anxiety, depression, back pain, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as a deep fear of intimacy and dissatisfaction with my career. I moved to the country in hopes that nature could heal me. As a result of that move, I received more than I could ever have dreamed. I learned to meditate by connecting to the essence of the trees. I believe it was this meditation that then began to relieve my physical and emotional ailments, and allowed me to conceive easily and quickly and give birth to my son without any drugs.
I still remember the day it finally connected. I’d been trying for years to learn to “ground and center”, to “draw down the Goddess”, or to meditate. I always saw the images pretty clearly, but my mind chattered so much and my body always had so many discomforts that it was very hard to really connect. Finally one day I was sitting on the deck out back of my house, shaded by an enormous Jacaranda Tree. I’d read in this book about imagining myself as an actual tree, and how it was important to not only SEE the imagery but to FEEL it in my body. Suddenly something clicked, and I became a tree, my branches and roots aligning with that tree that was shading the deck.
In that moment, I finally felt a real connection to the Divine Feminine, the Goddess, that wasn’t just a voice in my mind and heart, but now very real presence in my body. I was like an electrical appliance getting “plugged in” to a wall socket. So much energy flowed into my body and I felt safe. My anxiety eased. My body ailments lessened.
Since that time 20 years ago I have always begun my daily meditations with “becoming” a sacred tree. This is the foundation of the work in the realm of the first gateway of SPIRIT.