The Harmony Project

Interview with Rev. Marion Odgers

  • I feel my path is really one of consciously being awake to living peace and compassion in each moment and listening to my heart in this way. Although eclecticism may appear to be somewhat non-committal, I have found it to be a challenging, growthful path to follow. Perhaps this is because there are no clear-cut guidelines and it’s more a question of going within and listening to and trusting my heart’s inner wisdom.
  • Opportunities for self-healing will repeat, because the ego seeks sensation. It seeks to repeat these ingrained patterns within you. So, over and over again, you will get recurring opportunities to go over these things. It’s like peeling away at your proverbial onion to get to that inner core, the true you, so that you can become the full expression of yourself.
  • People are the same the world over. We may look different. We may speak different languages and practice different religions, but we’re all essentially the same.
  • At our innermost core, we all want to be our authentic selves and fully expressed, seeing one another as pure light. The challenge lies in recognizing and shedding our conditionings and accumulated values, like when we believe that we are right and somebody else is wrong. That’s what gets in the way, causing separation.
  • When I heard the phrase, “We are spiritual beings just having a human experience” this really resonated with me, because every moment is really a mystical experience. Every moment that we’re alive is a miracle.
  • When you’re in the pits of despair, the darkest depths of despair and you couldn’t reach a deeper rock bottom. It’s those moments when we surrender and you actually give up your illusions and fears. When you drop it all is when you truly hear.
  • One thing that I’ve noticed, for myself, is that it’s always about judging myself, so from moment to moment, it’s just seeing thoughts as just thoughts. Then, not judging myself for the thought.
  • God is within the being of each of us. We’re all individuated aspects, expressions of God. Every single thought we have and everything we create is a part of the Creator.
  • As healers, we are called to be open vessels for healing energy, without judgment. This is compassion. We don’t know the answers. We don’t know the bigger picture. We are just called to do what we do with compassion, to be as open a vessel as we can be, without assigning blame.

Ann: This is an interview with Marion Odgers and Susan Kennedy. We’re focusing on Marion, but there will be information from whoever is ready to answer, or ask a question. So, let’s start with prayer. Holy, Holy Light. We come before you, as your daughters, and we ask You to guide and direct us. May our work today go out over the airwaves and touch peoples’ hearts. I thank you so much for this beautiful morning and for this opportunity. I praise life. I praise life in all of its complexity. I would just like you to add whatever you’d like.

Marion: If I may, I would just like to add a blessing for the Harmony Project and the intentions you have set for it, Ann. It is a beautiful vision to hold the space for peace and unity in our world.

Susan: I pray for the highest good and the highest purpose to be served in this meeting and I’m grateful to be here with these beings of light, today.

Ann: Beautiful. Let’s go back to the beginning. Was there a spiritual tradition you were raised in? In what country you were raised?

Marion: I was born to a family following the traditions of the Church of England, called Episcopal here in the states and Anglican in Canada. We have a history of ministers in my family. My eldest brother is a Canon in the Anglican Church of Canada and he followed in the footsteps of the family’s traditional path. I, myself, am an Interfaith Peace Minister and I’ve taken more of an off-the-beaten-track path. While the traditional path of my family was Church of England, I don’t recall that we religiously practiced it, as such, though we were encouraged to attend church, as children.

Ann: Can you get together and talk with your brother?

Marion: Yes, sometimes we do get together and talk, although my whole extended family lives up in Canada. So, our conversations tend to be by email and phone and the occasional family reunion.

Ann: What part of England were you raised in?

Marion: My parents came from England and my two elder brothers and sister were born there, but I was born the year my parents emigrated to Canada in 1960. My younger brother was also born in Canada.

Ann: You were raised in Canada?

Marion: I was raised in Canada to the age of eleven and then my father took a job with the United Nations. He was a veterinary surgeon, an animal husbandry expert, and he was sent to many parts of the developing world to help with agricultural aid programs. We lived in many places in the Far East, Pakistan, Africa and Mexico while I was growing up. It was an education, because we were able to witness and experience something of the religious faiths, culture and traditions in all those countries. At times, we also attended missionary boarding schools in some of these places, so we children were also able to experience faiths that weren’t indigenous.

Ann: So, you had the culture in a very personal way and not just as a visitor?

Marion: Yes, not just as a visitor. In fact, it was quite rare if we did the tourist thing in these countries, because it was my Dad’s job to be there. It’s like when you live in a place, you don’t often see the tourist sights. That was what it was like and we were often situated in the countryside, because my father was working with the farmers.

Ann: Was it a good life for you?

Marion: It was a very interesting life. There were some very positive aspects to living such a transient life, as well as challenges. Some of the challenges were that we were picking up and moving every year and, having a large family, this was unsettling.

Ann: Oh, every year?

Marion: Yes, I think it was hard for my mother, because we all had to peel off at various stages to go back to university. The upside was learning to adjust quickly to new situations, living outside the box, as we experienced different cultures up close. There were other things that I experienced as challenges, at the time, but which had positive outcomes. One was that I grew up feeling quite different. Being in the ethnic minority in all these countries, there was always the lingering sense that I was somebody who was on the outside and looking in.

Ann: Which was true.

Marion: Which was true. So, when I was sent to boarding school, in England, there was an adjustment period settling into the western way of life, again. I was used to feeling different, but there I was thrown into some confusion, as I didn’t have to find ways to fit in. I looked the same as everybody else and spoke the same language. That, in itself, posed a conundrum to my young mind, because feeling different was the norm and very much ingrained in me at the time.

Ann: So, you were Interfaith all that time. That was really your training.

Marion: Yes, it was my training ground, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Ann: No, you don’t. That’s the hard part and you just need somebody to tell you that it’s your training ground and it would be easier, but you just don’t know at the time.

Marion: I did know that I felt called to a spiritual path from a very young age. In fact, I studied the philosophy of religion and ethics in preparation to enter university. I was hoping to do a Theology degree, but the Chaplin at my boarding school strongly advised me not to do that. At that time, women were just not being ordained into the church and it was only about ten or fifteen years later that this began to happen. So, he said it was going to be a non-subject and would serve no purpose, career wise, and his advice was not to do it.

Ann: So, what did you do?

Marion: I did business studies and my heart was not really in it. Even to this day, there is no calling there and I don’t think I could go back to it.

Ann: Well, what a tragedy.

Marion: Well, in a sense, but if I had been able and gone on to be ordained into the Church of England, it still wouldn’t have been my heart’s calling.

Ann: Yes, because you would have been in a system and this way you are out of a system and able to view the bigger picture. Those mysteries.

Marion: Well, it was all for a purpose and, when I look back there was such a grand design, an interwoven tapestry to the whole thing. You know, the positive intentions behind the negative events were just awesome.

Ann: How old are you, now?

Marion: I’m forty-three.

Ann: You’re studying to be an Interfaith Minister?

Marion: I’m ordained as an Interfaith Minister and am joining the Seminary of Spiritual Peacemaking with James Twyman and taking the MA program with them, shortly.

Ann: Peter and I are going to do that, too.

Marion: Are you? Oh, we may even be in study groups together!

Ann: Oh, wouldn’t that be a kick?

Marion: That would be wonderful!

Ann: Well, Peter is going to do it and I am going to read over his shoulder, because he’s been reading over mine for quite some time! We were both in agreement that it would be a good thing to do.

So, how many years did you follow a more traditional path, being connected with the Church of England?

Marion: Well, not strictly following it, but feeling as though I was a part of it through my background, I’d say to my mid or late twenties. There was no grand epiphany that eventually told me that I was no longer a part of it. I think I just no longer felt connected with the traditional form, because I was spiritually growing, independently of it. Of course, I can’t even tell you what I am, today, because I just don’t feel my spirit can be limited to the form of a traditional path; spirit is eternal. Being somewhat eclectic, I feel my path is really one of consciously being awake to living peace and compassion in each moment and listening to my heart in this way. Although eclecticism may appear to be somewhat non-committal, I have found it to be a challenging, growthful path to follow. Perhaps this is because there are no clear-cut guidelines and it’s more a question of going within and listening to and trusting my heart’s inner wisdom.

Ann: I was just studying with five master mystics and they were doing just what you said, living compassion and being in the moment. It is very difficult and they all said it was difficult. They are all in their sixties, seventies and eighties and from five traditional faiths. I think that really is the profound path, if you can step beyond the illusion and the structure. I’m not saying that structure has no value, but if you can step past it, it’s a great saving.

Marion: Yes. I have a tendency to be a perfectionist, so there is an odd dichotomy.

Ann: I’ve noticed!

Marion: While my experience of structure is that it can be confining or limiting, it has also been a blessing in that has given me the opportunity to look beyond its confines, if that makes sense, and really question my attachments to things like my tendency to perfectionism.

Ann: It does. I mean I’ve noticed when I’ve worked with you and you’ve done editing for me, the order and the way you do it is just fabulous. So, that’s a gift and I really think you have to be careful not to be too hard on yourself for that. Certainly, it’s a great help to your work.

Marion: Yes, it is a blessing in many ways, though perfectionism did send me into a deep depression in my twenties when I suffered from anxiety. Through that whole experience, I was made starkly aware of the importance of letting go and being in the moment.

Ann: And still do it.

Marion: Yes, now I am more able to draw on my abilities, but not fall into judgment of myself. I can let things go more easily, but it can sometimes still be a challenge. For me, it’s been a process of learning to be conscious of my life themes and not whether I am doing things right or wrong, all the time. Just having more self-awareness and knowing have the potential for helping through the more challenging times.

Ann: So you have the ability to see your own patterns and, when judgment comes in, you can be aware of this. This is so important.

Marion: Then, you know when you are falling into illusion and you can halt the fall.

Ann: Sometimes a bit of a scrape on the way down, though!

Marion: Yes! The thing is that opportunities for self-healing will repeat, because the ego seeks sensation. It seeks to repeat these ingrained patterns within you. So, over and over again, you will get recurring opportunities to go over these things. It’s like peeling away at your proverbial onion to get to that inner core, the true you, so that you can become the full expression of yourself.

Ann: So, it’s an aliveness process. The more conscious you are to both the dark and the light around you and in you, you can hold a bigger picture, or way to be.

Marion: Yes, absolutely.

Ann: Do you have any idea why you began to lose faith with the tradition that you were raised in?

Marion: Yes, on reflection, there was always a level of discomfort being in a setting where I was restricted by form. I even find it uncomfortable to utter a prayer that isn’t composed of my own words. I have no idea why and it’s just a part of who I am. I just feel that every single thought I have is a prayer, so to be in a structured setting where there is a set format just isn’t for me. I guess there is an element there of non-conformity and rebellion. I’ve always been a little bit of a rebel. As a teenager, I acted this out and it goes, also, very much to the heart of always having felt different. It was a very important lesson, because although, at the time, it was quite negative and self-destructive, it caused me to question my box. It helped me to step out of that box. So, again, there was a positive intention behind a negative event.

Ann: It’s so important, because we all have those things. What is the key, or the things that come in that help a child, a person, a girl, or boy – it doesn’t really matter - in a rebellious stage to help use the experience in a way that is powerful and good? Of course, it’s never fast. It can take five, or ten years to do it. Was there someone that came in and helped you?

Marion: Yes, I think when somebody comes along who shows you that you are valuable and lovable and that what you have to offer is important; those are key, pivotal turning points. That happened for me, actually, at boarding school. I had been in trouble for various things and, right before some very big national examinations that I had to take, I ran away. The studying and the pressure became too much and I just decided to take off. This was a very cloistered boarding school. Everything was very proper and regimented. Registrations were regularly taken to ensure everybody was present, so when I had gone missing, it was noticed very quickly. I wasn’t far from the school. I was actually sitting on the hill in front of it, watching all the activity with quite a lot of glee.

Ann: Yes. Look what I just did!

Marion: I was just sitting there and watching everyone running around looking for me!

Ann: Wanted to be seen!

Marion: There were my poor parents out in Pakistan, totally in the dark, not knowing what was going on, at all. Then, I remember seeing the Chaplin walking in front of the school and something clicked and I knew I wasn’t being my true self. It was just his presence there in front of the school. I guess you could say it was a mystical moment for me, because he just represented something that woke me up. So, I came back down off the hill with my little backpack, which, by the way, only had a few pairs of socks in it. I really hadn’t packed for the long term. When I came back in, I was faced with a barrage of questions and severely punished, but the Chaplin kind of took me under his wing, at that point. They would nominate children to be chapel wardens and they were highly esteemed places, only given to students who were “good” students, those who conformed, followed the rules and did all the right things. I was certainly not in that category; far from it. So, I was very surprised when I was nominated and that he had put my name forward. He had given me, through that one simple validation, a sense of self. In effect, he was saying that I was worthy, worthy to do the job and that I was capable. For that year, I did do it and it changed my life.

Ann: How old were you?

Marion: I was seventeen and a year older than my peers, which was another thing, too, because I had fallen behind in my education through the traveling.

Ann: So, that is a pivotal time of life, too. How wonderful that he came in like that.

Marion: Yes, he was an earth angel for me and I have subsequently written to him to thank him, because at the time I didn’t realize how life altering for me his act of faith in me had been. It was only later when I was doing a really thorough inventory of my life that I realized he had been a key character for me. Actually, he had been a key character for me in my choices regarding further education, as well, because his words held me off going forward with the traditional path, which also would not have been the true me. So, he was a very pivotal person in many ways.

Ann: You were there just a year and then went off to college?

Marion: I was there for four years. I spent two years in purgatory and two years in reforming myself! So, it made for a nice even balance.

Ann: You found your place and that key was somebody really seeing your value and you owning it. You know, you could have just passed it over.

Marion: Yes, that was exactly it. It was the ownership I was willing to take at that moment.

Ann: Now, have you studied other spiritual paths?

Marion: Yes, but only in a very limited way. I read and listen to different things and I take what resonates for myself. I don’t structure it in any way. For instance, the art of presence is very much an Eastern philosophy and I’ve incorporated that into my daily practice, though I don’t like to use the term “daily practice,” because I don’t have a strictly regimented daily practice.

Ann: Consciousness?

Marion: Yes, I incorporate that into everything I do, to be present in the moment. As a child, I did study the traditions of the country in which we lived, but I really haven’t studied any one path in great depth. I would say my knowledge of these different paths was centered more on the experiential, like visibly seeing people going to their temples and being invited to different traditional functions, sitting there and being a part of it, but not fully understanding the path. Even then, I didn’t feel I could be limited to any kind of form and perhaps it only served to validate my feelings of being different somehow.

Ann: But you had such a profound expanse of experiences. It was difficult at times, but also such a rich blessing. It would certainly help you keep your mind open and you must have loved people in each of those places and questioned.

Marion: Yes. It was also very much about seeing past all the illusion. There are incredibly beautiful temples in the Far East with many elaborate, ancient ceremonies and traditions. Also, in a place like Pakistan, where there are also incredibly beautiful mosques and, as a young, free-spirited woman, to experience a country where all women wear the veil, as part of the traditional costume. All of these things were powerful experiences, especially from the vantage of being an observer on the outside and looking in. It was almost surreal, at times, because I didn’t always understand the whys. So, I had to look beyond the exterior and illusion, because there really was no choice. As a young person, I had to try to see past all the cultural differences and into peoples’ eyes to really see their soul, if I was going to find any kind of commonality. Even today, when I look at people, it’s very hard for me to see the exterior. I somehow miss a step and move past all that, because it has little or no meaning for me. It’s always been that way. My husband laughs at me, because he knows I’ll never even notice what he’s wearing. He’ll ask, “What tie should I wear?” All I can say is, “Well, I really don’t know, whatever you want, dear.” It’s really strange thing. I’ve never been able to work that one out.

Ann: Well, it’s a great blessing. Some people work a whole lifetime just to get there.

Was there anything you noticed that was harmonious between all of these different places, religions and experiences?

Marion: People. People are the same the world over. We may look different. We may speak different languages and practice different religions, but we’re all essentially the same.

Ann: In what ways are we the same? I know what you’re saying, but for the interview how are we are all the same?

Marion: We all have the same fears. We all have the same desire to love and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven, to understand and be understood, to accept and be accepted.

Ann: To be seen, like when you were a child?

Marion: Yes, we yearn for authenticity and to be validated for who we truly are, all of us. That came across to me, very strongly, as a child.

Ann: Did you see any place where that wasn’t true?

Marion: Yes, everywhere.

Ann: Say some more about that, too, because it is a struggle. We all struggle, as humans.

Marion: Yes, it’s exactly that. Well, we’re spiritual beings having a human experience and the human experience is that we are thrust into the realm of duality. So, we are going to see both love and fear wherever we go. It’s just a part of what we’ve chosen here, as a collective, to experience. You can’t know one thing without knowing it’s opposite and sometimes it’s the really extreme events that help us to see our light. You can’t see the light of a candle in the sun. You have to bring it into the shadows to see it fully.

Susan: I wonder if I could just say something.

Ann: Certainly.

Susan: I think that children just want to be seen clearly for who they are. Many times, because people haven’t healed their own issues and, when it is their turn to become parents, they then aren’t able to validate their own children. So, you go through your whole life trying to find out who you are and you go through that whole process of mirroring it off on other people. Whereas, if children were really seen for who they are and validated for who they are, the process of having to learn through the mirroring of other experiences would be shortened. Receiving the forgiveness from my children, when I had not really acknowledged them for who they were, was important, because I was too busy in my own problems.

Ann: Your own structures and you want them to step into that structure.

Susan: That’s right. Or, in my case, just the narcissism of being so involved in my own path to not have any room for their path. I couldn’t hold the light for them, to just shine them, as pure spirit. All my own judgments and fears were passed on to them. So, I think, one of the most profound gifts in the world that you can get is for somebody to really see you for who you truly are. Like Marion being able to see somebody without the armor, without her projections about herself that go straight to the core, the soul of the being, and just see them for their potential. That was one of the biggest processes that I learned about people. It’s about people wanting to be seen and to be heard, as the authentic beings that they are, without any of your stuff being projected onto them. That’s one of the highest gifts of consciousness that you can hold for a person when you are in their life.

Marion: Yes, at our innermost core, we all want to be our authentic selves and fully expressed, seeing one another as pure light. The challenge lies in recognizing and shedding our conditionings and accumulated values, like when we believe that we are right and somebody else is wrong. That’s what gets in the way, causing separation. Neale Donald Walsch explains all this so well in the “Conversations With God” series and he really cleared that whole mess up for me. The point being that it’s the acquired values we hold that cause all of us to fall into darkness, seeing one another as different when, in truth, we are all one in spirit. For me, N. D. Walsch is a spiritual hero, because he showed me that feeling that I was somehow different was merely a judgment on my part.

Ann: So, you’ve started on spiritual heroes, or heroines. I think that’s really important, because we have these key people who come into our lives. It can be a book, a movie, or a person. So, tell me a little bit about the minister, another spiritual hero, who came into your life.

Marion: Yes, he was a spiritual hero unbeknownst to him, or me, at the time. He provided a choice point opportunity in my life. I’d say that anyone who has shown me the meaning of love and compassion is a spiritual hero to me. My family, my friends, my teachers, my children; children are the perfect example! They are my spiritual heroes, because they always speak the truth, as they feel it in the moment. “Out of the mouths of babes.” Those people, first and foremost. Then, of course, there are the usual spiritual heroes. I’m an avid reader, so contemporary writers like Gregg Braden, James Redfield, N. D. Walsch, Carolyn Myss, Pema Chodron and Eckhart Tolle. Then, there are the spiritual heroes of the past, Jesus, Buddha and Mother Theresa. Martin Luther King Jr. is very close to my heart. So, there’s a real mixed bag there, but a spiritual hero to me is basically anyone who can show you your own light, who has the ability to show you who you truly are, or to activate that in you. They may never know, either, that they’ve done that for you.

Ann: That’s true. That’s true.

How about profound spiritual experiences that broke through, mystical or not, but transition pieces that were wake-ups?

Marion: When I heard the phrase, “We are spiritual beings just having a human experience” this really resonated with me, because every moment is really a mystical experience. Every moment that we’re alive is a miracle. Do you mean more of a spiritual awakening, as such?

Ann: Yes, like a spiritual awakening; something that was beyond the nitty-gritty of life. There are all sorts of miracles and wonders, but then there are those kinds of times that transcend that and it just makes you appreciate the everyday stuff more.

Marion: Yes, I think those tingle moments where someone has said something to you, or you’ve read something, or you’ve experienced something and you just know that it’s truth. Those are the mystical moments for me and they happen all the time.

I had one particular mystical experience that was quite important to me that I’d like to share. I was really not able to vocalize it for a very long time and my eldest brother actually helped me with this one, because I was too embarrassed to talk with anybody about it. It was the culmination a long period of mourning, after the passing of my grandmother, and I missed her terribly. She was like a surrogate mother to me while I was at boarding school in England and another pivotal character for me. I should mention her, because she deserves a place of honor. She taught me the power of unconditional love and loved me no matter what kind of brat I was being. She would tell me to pull my socks up, but she just loved me and was a linchpin in my life, at that time. I missed her dreadfully when she passed on.

I just had my first child and nearly lost my life giving birth. I was physically very ill, afterwards, and the birth precipitated anxiety problems that were later diagnosed as post-traumatic shock syndrome. Then, very closely on the heels of this, I lost my Grandmother and I fell into a prolonged state of mourning that I couldn’t get out of and, so, I was really very ill for about a year. I didn’t know what was wrong with me; the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me. It just went on for a very long time.

Well, one day, I was preparing dinner, while my baby was asleep, and I was in the kitchen cutting up some onions and these onions set me off crying. It was not an uncommon thing, at the time, because whenever I thought of my Grandmother I would just cry. In fact, my husband must have been pretty sick of me, at that point, because I went to bed and cried myself to sleep most nights, too. So, I remember just standing there, dropping everything, and walking away from the kitchen, crying out, “I can’t do this, anymore.” It was total surrender and I remember saying to my Grandmother, “I love you with all my heart, but I know I have to let you go. I just don’t know how.” At this point, I just lay down on my bed and closed my eyes. The next thing I know, I’m getting up, again, and I turn around and there is my body on the bed.

Ann: You’d left your body.

Marion: I’d left my body and I felt the pull to go back to it, but I didn’t know what was going on, at all, and I didn’t think to question it. It was a very peculiar experience, on reflection, because I didn’t judge what was happening. I can remember walking to the window and seeing tremendous light pouring out between the gap in my curtains, even though it was a typically rainy, English day. I did think that this was strange; the sun was not shining a few minutes ago! So, I pulled open the curtains, but it wasn’t a window; it was a corridor and I began walking down this corridor. I wasn’t walking, actually. I guess I was floating. I really don’t know, but it felt like a wind tunnel. There was wind swooshing all around me, I could hear whispering and I felt as if I was being ushered, or guided. I couldn’t feel hands, but I knew I was being held and comforted. It was a strange feeling and it’s difficult to explain in words.

Ann: Well, you’re doing beautifully. It’s profound.

Marion: Well, I got to the end of the corridor, which felt like a very long way. The light was just becoming brighter and brighter. It was so bright that under normal circumstances it would be akin to looking directly at the sun, but it wasn’t hurting my eyes. I can remember arriving at this room, at the end of the long corridor, and the light was just beyond belief. I was searching for the source of the light in this room, but there didn’t seem to be a source, which caused me to wonder, “Where the heck is this light coming from?” In fact, the room itself really didn’t have dimensions, at all. It wasn’t the usual box. It had no distinguishable corners. I can’t explain that, except it was very like a hospital room and somehow it felt “contrived,” or orchestrated, like it had been set up this way for me to feel comfortable. Then, when I looked to my left, there was my Grandmother, lying on a bed in her bowling whites, with her hair all freshly done.

In life, my grandmother was an avid lawn bowler and loved the sport. All I can say is that she looked the picture of health. Well, I know that this one thing had been difficult for me to face, the wasting away she had gone through in the final months of her life. It was difficult, as a young 20-something, to have witnessed that. Seeing her, I suddenly became aware that we were talking, communicating instantly, but that we weren’t using words. I thought at the time that I was using words, but there were no words. It was more like I would think something and would instantly know the answer. I was ‘thinking’ a question like, “What are you doing here? You’ve gone!” As soon, as I asked the question, I knew the answer and she’d been granted “permission.” Then, I saw a chair beside her bed and knew that it had been placed there for me to sit on. I picked up her hand and it was warm. I actually traced the age spots on her hand with my fingers. All I could think was, “You’re here! You’re really here and alive!” I was just sobbing with relief and joy and telling her that I just couldn’t go on without her. She had been my light for so long. Then, she said to me in her inimitable way, “ Marion, what are you doing? Stop this! You have to go back. You have a young child and a family who need you and you have a lot of things to do.” These aren’t the exact words, but I knew this was the message and that I had to go back.

When that moment of realization hit, I was just sucked back, as if by vacuum, into my body. There was no going back down the hallway, or anything; I was just back in my body. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to her, but goodbyes weren’t necessary, because the confirmation had been made. She was okay. I can just remember sitting up and being totally confused and not understanding what it was that had just happened to me. I didn’t tell anybody for weeks. I was really frightened of it and thought I must really be going mad, now.

Shortly after this experience, I made a trip from England back to Canada to see my family. One evening during my stay, I sat down with my eldest brother and asked him about this experience. I was scared to talk with him, but being a minister I knew he’d keep it confidential. Well, he just listened with such loving acceptance and then said to me, “All things are possible in this world. Why are you limiting the possibility of any of these kinds of experiences happening, Marion?” In that moment, I realized that it was only because I was afraid of judgment. He said that he had come across this kind of thing many times with people in his congregation. In fact, one of his lay ministers would sit up near the altar and would be constantly “out of body” during services and while having coffee, afterwards, would tell everybody where she’d been.

Ann: That’s great.

Marion: So, there was such an important validation in his saying that all things are possible. We’re divine beings and we limit ourselves with our beliefs. Again, here was another pivotal person in my life, because my brother taught me something about acknowledging that there were “More things under heaven and earth,” you know? So, this was another eye-opening moment for me. It was a beautiful experience and with one whom had taught me about unconditional love in life and came back and offered me the gift, again. I still, to this day, don’t know where I had gone, but feel it was some kind of half-way place where she was able to meet me and help me through something. I don’t have confirmation of that except for how it feels in my heart.

Ann: That’s all that’s important and that there is a knowing for you, because, as you say, you can tell a story like that and it can just seem like that’s not possible. Then, there may be someone else who has not had that exact same thing happen, but a similar mystical opening and goes, “Yeah!”

Marion: It’s important to share these experiences, because more people than we realize do have these experiences and I didn’t know that until much later. Even after talking with my brother, I still didn’t talk with many people about it. It happened in my mid-twenties. It was only later, when I really wanted to research this whole thing about “out of body” experiences and got into the logical mindset of questioning, “Okay, what is this? What creates these experiences?” I even joined an online group just to see if my experience was comparable to others’ experiences, in any way, to discover if this was really what happened to me. So, I began to rationalize it and beat the whole thing to death. Then, I just dropped everything, because I somehow woke up and made the realization that it was a gift of love and you don’t question gifts, you just accept them in the spirit in which they are given. Whether it came from my Grandmother, from the Creator, or even from myself it was a gift.

Ann: It was what you needed at that time.

Marion: It was exactly what I needed at that time. I came out of mourning instantaneously and my depression was healed. My life was completely opened up and I began my true path. It was a completion and an opening.

Ann: That’s a beautiful story. It’s so important to tell others that you’ve had things like this, because you’re right, people can feel that they’re crazy. Now, I hear stories like this all the time. They are very diverse in what the stories are about, but it is these profound moments. That’s why I ask this question. You’ve done some of the interview editing, so you’ve heard some of these stories, yourself.

Marion: Yes.

Ann: It’s heartening, isn’t it?

Marion: Yes, it’s very heartening. We’re all truly one. We’re all given opportunities and, though we might not all have an amazing mystical experience, it really doesn’t mean anything. It may just mean that it’s not necessary for our path, because we may be able to see the small miracles in other things, or we’re being challenged to see them, maybe. Who knows what the purpose is? We just don’t know and the thing is not to question, like I did, or to rationalize any experience like that, but just to accept it and not to judge ourselves.

Ann: That’s easy to say and not easy to do.

Marion: It’s not an easy thing to do and I’ve been through the judgment process. Sometimes, you do need to go through that in order to finally bless the experience.

Ann: We are living in a time where we can find information about these things. This was not true, years ago. As you say, you can go on the web, today, and discover more. I think these mystical things are more available now. I think that’s because we are moving faster today and we need information more quickly.

The next question is really about the edge of despair, which was really what you spoke about. Isn’t it interesting how this process, these awakenings, happens when we’re out of synch and there is fear?

Marion: Absolutely and I think the key for me was surrender.

Ann: Surrender?

Marion: Yes, when you’re in the pits of despair, the darkest depths of despair and you couldn’t reach a deeper rock bottom. It’s those moments when we surrender and you actually give up your illusions and fears. When you drop it all is when you truly hear and these experiences are made more available to us, or possible.

Ann: Even if it isn’t a mystical experience, per say, it can be just an opening like, “I can’t do this. This is not working and I give up. I surrender,” or whatever kinds of words you use. Then, somehow, our consciousness expands in some way.

Marion: Yes, that’s it’s exactly it.

Ann: I’ll tell you a funny story. I was very much into being a doer and being a good person, making everything happen. My mother was dying and in very bad shape and my husband always had something more for me to do. Plus, I had five children and I was working, as a designer, and really trying to keep all these balls in the air. One night, when everybody had gone to sleep, I stayed up and was watching “Saturday Night Live.” A comedian came on and it wasn’t even important what he did, but I will never, ever forget it, because it was so crazy and so funny that I started to laugh. I laughed for about half an hour and I laughed so hard that I woke my family. They all came downstairs and I couldn’t stop. Of course, they got scared, but I just began to see the insanity of everybody wanting more and I kept trying to do more. So, I said, “That’s it!” I was still going to do all these things, but not so much for how they wanted it, but still to serve and take care of everybody. I just had to say that there is a space for me in here. I had to be able to say, “No.” My husband would just come home and say something like, “I think we should be doing more work with the dying and I’m going to bring someone home who is dying.” It was the final straw. I said, “Well, if you do, you’re going to take care of them!” So, I knew that was the final piece and it was just from exhaustion. I had to give up.

Susan: You had a hysterical release that was just so healing.

Ann: Yes, it was just laugh and laugh and laugh. I can still laugh just from remembering that night. I can remember the comedian and just rolling around on the floor laughing and everybody thinking, “What’s happened to mother?” You know, like your story of Mel Gibson’s mother and what she did with her washing. I’d love it if your retold it here. Would that be all right?

Marion: Yes, because laughter is a form of release and surrender, when you just burst out laughing. I mean, it’s just laughing at the ludicrousness of life, sometimes.

Well, the story of Mel Gibson’s mother was kind of in the same vein as your experience. I watched him being interviewed on BBC America, recently, with Michael Parkinson who is a well-known interviewer in Great Britain. He told the story of his mother, who was always a calm and kind person and who looked after his family of innumerable siblings with such care, never missing a beat. I think he said he had around nine or ten siblings. Well, anyway, Mel said she always had the whole thing well organized and totally under control. Then, one day, Mel was talking with his Dad and he suddenly spied his mother through his Dad’s office window. She had been doing the laundry and had it all folded neatly in piles for all the various family members. This day was slightly different, though, because he noticed that instead of bringing in the laundry, she was taking it outside and putting it on the grass in perfectly uniform piles. In she would come and back out she would go with the next pile. Mel was confused and asked his Dad what he thought was going on. Mel’s Dad didn’t know, either, but both father and son watched in open-eyed wonder and bemusement. Finally, all the clean, immaculately folded laundry was outside and neatly stacked on the ground. She just stood for a moment looking at it with hands on hips, then calmly put one hand in her apron pocket, pulled out a box of matches and set the whole lot on fire! Of course, the whole studio audience, as well as myself, were sent into paroxysms of hysterical laughter.

Susan: Yes, she must also have hit rock bottom. In recovery, you have to hit bottom and then you’re available for healing.

Ann: Well, I was ready to take that on, you know? “Well let’s just fit this into the schedule.”

Susan: Yeah, “I think I can fit that in my schedule, sure! In between, breathing and going to the bathroom, I’ve got this thing down!”

Ann: So, humor, when we see the constriction, will break us out. That’s just another way, but not the only way.

Marion: Sometimes, too, humor can be used as a diversion, or an avoidance strategy.

Ann: Absolutely.

Susan: Yes and sarcasm.

Ann: With these kinds of rock bottom situations, you have a sense of a breakthrough and a break-out-of. Then, you can really see the confines of your box.

Marion: So true and you know when laughter is truly one of those moments and not a diversion. It’s just a guttural laugh that feels like a release and comes from that place deep inside of you. The happy Buddha!

Susan: It’s that perspective shift, too. It changes your perspective of everything. That’s another key sign of an epiphany. Nothing will be the same, again.

Ann: Yes. Mine was that I have a right to say, “No.” I can say, “No.”

Marion: That is a mystical moment.

Ann: Well, I still said, “Yes,” to many, many things, but I could then say, “No.”

Susan: You had a choice. You finally had a choice.

Ann: Being raised a Christian, you know, I was always one to work hard and I kept working harder and harder believing that all the prizes were at the end. Not even that this is such a family story, but it’s such a cultural story. You know, “A woman, a good woman, can really take on a lot and more.” So, just to be able to say a strong “Yes,” or a strong, “No,” is a mystical thing.

Susan: Yes, and you’re not going to be judged and you’re not going to descend and you’re still going to get to heaven.

Ann: Yes.

Marion: It’s a part of staying in your integrity, as well. As a spiritual being, if you’re not living the truth of what you are feeling, then you’re not able to be authentic and fully expressed, as such.

Ann: Yes, there is really a distortion in your giving. That’s what I began to understand.

Marion: Absolutely.

Ann: There was such a hoping. I was hoping for something like love, or attention, or whatever I was hoping for, but I was doing a lot of this hoping and then feeling disillusioned by it. I didn’t ask for what I wanted, because that wasn’t in the mix, either. I don’t think we really know what we want until we’ve experimented with dark and light. Then, we make the boundary and go from there.

Susan: There is a resentment that builds up, too. Then, when you are dealing with those people, you can’t be authentic with them, because they didn’t read your mind and know what you needed. It’s just the perspective of how you are. You can’t be open and loving, anymore.

Marion: Yes, it’s very much the care-taking dynamic, because it really is a form of energetic exchange when you give and receive. So, if you’re giving with the intent to receive, with conditions attached…

Ann: What if it’s hidden and you’re trying not to do that?

Marion: Well, you’re giving with one hand and energetically taking it back with the other, so you will never feel abundant.

Ann: No, and you get exhausted.

Marion: You get exhausted. This is setting up expectations for outcomes and feeling disappointed all the time and unfulfilled.

Ann: You said, “We are all looking for our center,” and I think we’re all looking to give and to express. Now, that can be very different for each person. So, it’s not that you stop expressing, or stop giving, or stop being challenged, but it’s doing it, as you say, from the authentic self. You are saying, “This is who I really am.”

Are there any spiritual practices that you use, now, that are helpful? Holding consciousness, all the time, now that is huge.

Marion: Well, I’m studying “A Course in Miracles” and have also been taking the James Twyman courses in “Spiritual Peacemaking.” Previous to this and currently, I have been co-moderating online study groups for The Celestine Prophecy – An Experiential Guide,” as well as coaching live study groups in Spiritual Self-mastery. I suppose you could call studying “a form of practice,” in and of itself, one that is experiential on a daily basis. All these courses are ones that offer guidelines for incorporating spiritual principles into your life, as well as providing opportunities for daily meditation. So, they are a way to help me keep focus in the moment. As you say, though, remaining conscious all the time is huge!

Ann: For somebody who is just reading this and doesn’t know what that means, how do you go about doing that?

Marion: I suppose it can be described, as a form of practice, but when we “practice” something the inference is that we are practicing to get something right, so there is also the potential for getting something wrong. Spirit doesn’t recognize rights and wrongs, only opportunities for expanded awareness. Perhaps this is why I am not keen on the word “practice,” per say, though it probably would be described as a form of practice.

Ann: Yes, well definitely! It’s a very sophisticated form of practice.

Marion: Well, really it’s just a question of being awake to your thoughts.

Ann: Yes, but you can be obsessive and be awake to your thoughts.

Marion: You can and that would be the perfectionist in us, but it’s really just being aware of what is motivating you. It’s like what we were talking about, just now. You can set intentions for something to occur. Intention is fine. It’s beautiful to set intentions, but then we can also go and negate the intention with self-sabotaging strategies, like having a fear that something is not going work out, as we had wanted. This is having an expectation, rather than living with a sense of hopeful expectancy. There’s a huge difference.

Ann: Okay, say a bit more about that, because you’ve got the kernel of it and what you’re saying is that having an expectation puts a box around it.

Marion: Yes, it’s living with, or being attached to, an expectation of an outcome that you have formulated in your mind. Whereas, “living with a sense of expectancy” is going with the flow of your creations. It’s a very different thing. It’s allowing the process of your life to unfold to its highest purpose.

Ann: Then, you can do that for other people, because when you’re living within a tight structure, you are expecting others to step into that tight structure. So, you can be angry, hurt and frightened if they don’t, whereas you could just go, “Yeah, this is it!”

Marion: Yes, there is a huge difference and I think we get caught up and lose our way when we start to get stuck in the illusion of what we want for ourselves. So, the practice that I have is being awake to this and also to my own self-sabotaging strategies. You know, somebody has gone and calculated that we have something in the range of sixty thousand thoughts a day and that the greater proportion of these thoughts are negative. Just think what we are creating when we aren’t conscious of these.

Ann: They’re repetitive, too, and it’s the same thoughts, over and over.

Marion: Those are our intentions. We set a beautiful intention and then we sabotage it with negativity and we don’t even realize that we are doing it. Then, we turn around and we gasp, “Why didn’t things work out as I had planned? I did everything I thought was right.”

Ann: “Everything right!” That’s a wonderful term. Yet, it didn’t work!

Marion: So, we aren’t being.

Ann: Yes, that’s right, it’s setting that structure for myself and for the world.

Marion: Yes, it’s not being in the flow of our creations. That is part of my everyday, conscious practice; to be awake to the illusion of structure I create in my life. Apart from this, I would say intending everything with love as the motivating force and being a living expression of peace. I know I can assess where I am, in each moment, by my own level of inner peace. If I am not feeling at peace with something, then I’m not on track.

Ann: Something you may have to look at?

Marion: Yes, there is something I will have to look at that may require some further healing inside myself.

Ann: It may take a short time, or a really long time. Sometimes it takes years when you get those bigger issues.

Marion: Sometimes it does and sometimes that obsessive perfectionist will keep rearing its ugly head and keep you locked in your little hole for a while, but it’s all a part of what we are here for. “We’re here to experience that which we are not in order to know that which we truly are.” I think it was Jung who originally said that.

Susan: One thing that I’ve noticed, for myself, is that it’s always about judging myself, so from moment to moment, it’s just seeing thoughts as just thoughts. Then, not judging myself for the thought.

Ann: Even if it’s a dark thought?

Susan: Even if it’s a dark thought, because it’s just a thought. It is what it is. It would be my attachment to it that is going to determine if I act on it, or not.

Ann: Yes, even with a light thought. So, thoughts are just expressions of where you are in the moment and nothing more.

Susan: Yes and there is no reality to it. If I energetically grab on to it and agree with a fear that I have, then this is what happens and the intention gets carried out to fruition. This is all about conscious choice. So, for me, it always came back to self-judgment and, then, I had to judge others.

Ann: Those are hooked together. That you can’t separate.

Susan: Right. So, the moment-to-moment experience is to be out of judgment for myself. It’s to trust that everybody has their own higher power and that everything will work out for them and for myself, if I stay out of judgment. It’s having unconditional love for self.

Marion: Beautifully said.

Ann: Do you think we can hear God? Can we talk to God?

Marion: Yes, because I feel that God is within the being of each of us. We’re all individuated aspects, expressions of God. Every single thought we have and everything we create is a part of the Creator. The only time we don’t hear is when we walk away from that knowing. Yes, so I think that everything we see, feel, hear, express and create is all a part of the Creative force, everything.

Ann: Dark and light?

Marion: Yes, because we are all creations of the Creator and in this dimension of existence, we can’t have one thing without the other. The illusion of darkness is as much of our creation, as light.

Ann: So, how do you separate what is ego and what is God?

Marion: Anything that isn’t love, expressed as peace and compassion, is not real and only a created illusion.

Ann: So, that’s a simple explanation. So, anything that causes strife and division?

Marion: Yes, feelings of separation from our divinity through judgment and anything that is not of love, in the pure sense, or the compassionate sense. I am meaning love without judgment. Love, of course, can be the opposite of hate, which is a different thing. It’s a human construct.

Ann: It is a different thing.

Marion: The Greeks were very good at assigning different names to love. We have one word in English to describe all the variations of love. In this sense, I mean divine love, or “agape,” which is probably more along the lines of compassion, or loving action without judgment.

Ann: Now, sometimes, it’s very good to be able to tell a truth that may seem uncompassionate, but gets you to a deeper place of knowing, and that takes a long time to have the wisdom to do that. I know in running therapy groups, sometimes one person will just go deeply, deeply below the chatter and discussion and will tell a truth, which is sometimes very shaking, but then everyone can move to that deeper place.

Susan: A catalyst.

Ann: Yes, a catalyst. In our own bodies, too, to be able to go to that deeper place - Can you say something about that? I know you know how to do it.

Marion: Truths come in all shapes and sizes and truth may not always appear to be obvious. Truths are very simple, but they can also be complex. We make them complex.

Ann: Yes, if you can get to the essence of the truth. It’s when we color it.

Marion: Yes, it’s when we try and color it and that’s when the ego kicks in, when we add the veil of illusion with our own interpretations. Truth is truth. You can color it in any which way you want to, dress it up and put a nice little mask on it, but it’s still truth. I think, again, this goes back to why I am not keen on form. Form tends to be manmade and built up upon a belief system and beliefs are not always connected to higher knowing. Beliefs that are generally accepted, as truths, don’t always feel like truth to me until I have experienced the essence of that truth for myself.

Susan: Would you say that is people rationalizing?

Marion: Yes. Many of our beliefs are generally accepted rationalizations and very often built upon a value system of the accumulated truths of others. These are often things that others, many of whom have come before us, have experienced through their own fears. Many of our societal structures are based upon what has gone wrong, in the past, and the attempts to rectify that with different provisions to avoid it happening again. This can then leave us feeling very fearful if that system has been breached. We have even created wars over these unquestioned paradigms. So, it’s a matter of constantly and consciously questioning. We can’t question what other people are thinking, of course. The only person we can be responsible for is our own self and what we are thinking and creating in each moment. This is the only place where peace and compassion can truly begin. If we are to live in peace and harmony with everyone, though, this is something we can all do, as individuals.

A student of mine recently told me a great story. Well, actually, it isn’t a “story,” but a scientific fact! Say you have two tuning forks in one room. You are holding one and sound it, while someone else is just holding the second tuning fork on the other side of the room. The second tuning fork will spontaneously vibrate to the same tonal frequency as the first, even though it hasn’t been sounded. That’s what we do, too. When we raise our own vibration and we are being living emissaries of peace and compassion in our own lives, this is how we radiate that vibration. It’s not about trying to do anything. It’s a state of being. I don’t know about you, but I love being around people who have achieved that state of being.

Ann: It’s lovely!

Marion: Oh, it’s awesome! There is an energetic vibration around these people that is just so attractive. You don’t feel in judgment and you feel at peace, yourself, and you want more of it.

Ann: Oh yes, I’ll stay here!

Marion: It’s like when we were talking about your healing center, earlier. It’s a state of being, an atmosphere that is created, and that is where true peace begins. It’s not a question of “making” peace, or “doing” peace, or “Let’s do peaceful things.” You are peace and peaceful action is a natural result. This is not the peace that is the opposite of war, just like the love that is the opposite of hate. Rather, it begins at the “One-self,” the higher part of you, because then it expands outward. Does that make sense?

Ann: Yes, that is really what we are trying to do with the Website, too. Each of the interviews is a tuning fork. There are about forty on site, now, but whoever goes to read them, you will be drawn to the one that is right for you at that particular moment. It’s like a spiritual calling, like reading the right book, or listening to the right music, but to have it out there and available.

I studied with the Dalai Lama and he said his religion is loving-kindness. In one of the talks he gave, somebody asked him a question and he said, “I don’t know.” That was so wonderful that the Dalai Lama could not know! It was a mystical question about a healing that had happened in the room and the man wanted to know how and why it happened. We all knew it had happened, but he just said, “I don’t know.”

Marion: Sometimes we just have to accept that we don’t know what we don’t know.

Susan: Exactly.

Ann: When I experience the profound and mystical that really gives me a lot of freedom to not know and to just appreciate the beauty of it.

We were studying in Madison Square Garden, which is a pretty dark place in the sense of there being fights and things like that. I had walked over from 42nd Street, on New Years’ Day, and saw the broken bottles and debris that were left over from that big celebration. As I walked into Madison Square Garden, I asked the guards where I’d find the Dalai Lama and they (abruptly grunted and) said, “The Dalai Lama is over there!” Then, as we opened the doors and went into the room, it was like stepping into compassion, love, peace and caring. It was such a good lesson of the dark and light.

Susan: Sensing that shift.

Ann: He was just an incredibly loving person. It was a five-day workshop, with hundreds of people, and he was right there, so there was that presence. There are many people who are masters that we can receive that from.

Does God answer our prayers?

Marion: The rebel in me would say we answer our own prayers.

Ann: Well, isn’t that a big part of it, though? We do.

Marion: Prayer for me is setting intentions and following through with those intentions, because we have been created as powerful creative beings, ourselves, but we have forgotten and so often become lost. It’s a question of remembering that we have the inner power to create that which we truly desire to manifest. Sometimes the intentions that we set won’t come to fruition. That’s okay, too. Sometimes they are not a part of our higher purpose and it’s something the ego has trumped up. Again, it’s the setting of expectations, rather than living with a sense of expectancy. Part of the process is learning to let go, in order to allow Godself to provide the answer to our prayers; the part of us that is of God, our inner wisdom, is the light that guides us to our answers. We only have to go within and find those answers and they will be there. In Christian theology this might be described as the human spirit being connected to the Holy Spirit, which, in turn, is our connection to the Creator. So, it’s only a question of remembering that part of us and connecting with that. It’s a complex question and it deserves a much better answer than I am able to give.

Ann: Well, we could write a book on just that one question!

Is spiritual community important to you?

Marion: Community is important to everybody. Community is a very powerful co-creative force, in the sense of collective consciousness. It can be a powerful co-creative force for peace and harmony and it can be a powerful co-creative for destruction and oppression, with all sorts of variations in-between. Very often we find ourselves in all kinds of different communities that can do both things. So, the communities we belong to are usually a reflection of who we are and what we are attracting to ourselves. It’s important to be conscious of the types of communities with which we become affiliated, because they will very much reflect who we are, as individuals. So for me, community is important and it is a teacher.

Ann: Do you have a specific community, or several communities?

Marion: Yes, I do. There is the community of my family and extended family, which is a very pivotal and important community for me. I also have my extended spiritual family who are points of light for me when I get lost. I’m also a member of the Beloved Community. All these communities help to hold the light for me.

Ann: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Marion: This is a question that has been asked since the beginning of time and I often wonder if we will ever know its answer. Again, though, philosophically speaking, “We are here to experience that which we are not in order to know that which we truly are.” We’ve chosen it. We’ve made the leap over the river of forgetfulness and we’ve purposefully chosen to forget the bigger picture and to fully thrust ourselves into the pain and into the compassion. This is how we can fully experience our potential, as compassionate and peaceful beings. We have to know sometimes what we are not. I’ve heard you speaking with others about this topic, as I’ve typed some of the interviews, so just how do you explain that to somebody who is going through a very painful time? Really, all any of us can do is to be compassion in those situations and love, without judgment. That’s all you can do and to be that true essence of what you are, that tuning fork. In a sense, what more opportune time could there be than those painful times to fully express this?

Ann: Again, to be present.

Marion: To be present, to let go. It’s the non-resistance to what is and sometimes just allowing yourself to not know what you don’t know.

Ann: I have five kids and three of them were born in the same hospital, in Bronxville, called, “Lawrence Hospital.” Each time that I was in labor, the same person came and sat by my bed. It was an older African woman who was maybe in her seventies. I was in my twenties, so I don’t know. She really didn’t do anything, because I was in labor, but to know that somebody was right there was so important. When I got really uncomfortable, I would hear her call out to get the nurse and the nurse would come in. It was just that presence, a loving, loving presence. She must have been hired to sit with all the women. Of course, it was a time when there were no machines. You know, now you’re hooked up to all sorts of things, but just to have a warm body who was truly present and watching my being. I will never forget her and I will never see her, again. I don’t know who she was, but to have somebody who is backing you up is so wonderful. They don’t even have to be present, like your Grandmother, but you know they are backing you up in all of the joys and the trials.

Marion: Oh yes. My husband had a similar experience. He had cancer and it was one of those situations where we didn’t know what type of cancer he had and he had to go through all sorts of tests. Actually, to begin with, we didn’t know it was cancer, because he was just going to be having a day surgery to have a lump in his jaw removed. This turned out to be something for which he had to go and have further treatment. The surgery had caused some paralysis of his face, like a stroke. While he was in recovery, a woman came and offered him reiki. Neither of us knew what reiki was at the time, but she just quietly came in, offered him a session, and left just as quietly. He said it made him feel so much better, just to have someone there, after his six or seven hours of surgery and feeling rough. He never got a chance to really talk with her, because he was hooked up and still pretty dopey, but her presence was so powerful for him, just at that moment. Those situations are the “bad” times. We don’t know why they happen. Even as healers, sometimes, we try to assign blame, saying things like, “Well, you know, the throat chakra wasn’t open.”

Ann: Oh yeah.

Marion: It’s a judgment.

Ann: It’s a terrible judgment and how do you really know?

Marion: Somebody has breast cancer, “Oh, well, you know, her heart wasn’t open.” It’s a trap we can all fall into. As healers, we are called to be open vessels for healing energy, without judgment. This is compassion. We don’t know the answers. We don’t know the bigger picture. We are just called to do what we do with compassion, to be as open a vessel as we can be, without assigning blame.

Ann: I think that sometimes just makes us feel comfortable. Like, we know, but we really don’t. It’s the rational side of us.

Marion: Yes, the rational side of us, the ego.

Ann: So, you already said something about our place in the world and that it is a place for us to learn. We come in, as spiritual beings, for learning and a human experience. So, how do we use that? Do we come back again?

Marion: Are you asking what happens after we die, or pass over?

Ann: Yes.

Marion: Well, I don’t know what happens when we die. All I know is that we live in a system where everything is energy and that energy is constantly moving and shifting. Consciousness is a form of energy and this shifts, too. Our thought forms are energy. Energy doesn’t dissipate; it only changes form. Scientists know this and we’re back to the old rationale, but we do know this as a truth. So, do I think something happens to us after we die? Yes. From personal experience, too, I absolutely know that from being out of body and meeting my grandmother. I know, in my own heart, there is more out there. This part of my knowing is my personal truth. I would not try to convince anyone else of this, because that was my experience. All I could say to somebody is that energy does exist and it doesn’t just go away and disappear; it simply changes form and that we, too, will somehow change form. I don’t know what that form will be, but, as conscious beings, I feel we don’t lose the capacity for consciousness when we pass over, because the Godself, our spirit, is eternal. I also feel we remain as creators and will continue to create from that point onwards, too, and this is up to choice and free will, just as it is while we are here in the human experience. You know, what are you going to choose? The universe is your oyster!

Ann: In closing, is there anything you’d like to share with people who are seeking spirit?

Marion: To be authentic to themselves, because this is the highest expression of our human essence. Seek out your own truth by any means possible, like questioning, reading, and listening to others, without judgment, but always checking in with your inner wisdom. Then, just go on and experience your ever-evolving, highest truth, in each moment. That would be it, in a nutshell.

Ann: Thank you. I really appreciate your time.

Marion: Thank you. It’s been a blessing to me, too.

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