A Spiritual Pilgrimage
In 1981 we went alone, just the two of us, on a spiritual pilgrimage to Greece, the Holy Land and Egypt. The trip was planned so that we would be at certain temples at astrologically auspicious times.
July found us at the Temple of Athena, a beautiful Greek temple in the mountains of Delphi. We slipped past the guards and spent the night under the full moon, surrounded by the spirits of ancient Greeks. We prayed and napped till dawn.
We followed in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples as we traveled from sacred sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem to the Sea of Galilee. We visited the most holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
In blazing hot August we visited sacred sites up and down the Nile in daytime temperatures of 120 degrees. We rode horses at dusk through the burning Sahara sands to an oasis where we drank warm Coca-Cola in bottles. Later, we meditated on the paws of the Sphinx in the moonlight at midnight.
We climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza to watch the sunset at the exact time the full moon began to rise on the horizon behind us. We sat atop the Great Pyramid, entranced by the setting sun and then turned our heads to watch the full moon ascending into the twilight sky. We felt fixed on the same axis of those celestial bodies, a part of something greater than our earthly existence.
Climbing those four foot high stones, and occasionally leaping through open space to get to the next spot on the path upward, was an initiation in itself, especially if you have vertigo as Layne has.
The Great Pyramid is 42 stories high and made of granite blocks chest high. We had long since developed the habit of crossing the lines of safety in so many other areas of our life, and we were getting rather good at it. We had risked the comfortable for the sublime more times than we could count.
Our last night we spent alone, locked deep inside the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid, before leaving Egypt early the next morning. It was a prayerful vigil invoking the powers of Christ Consciousness and dedicating our lives to the service of humanity.
It turned out to be a rather humorous experience, but that tale is for another post.
The point is we were relentless in our pursuit of evolving ourselves and being of greater service. We were as much in love with wisdom and the luminous intelligence of Spirit as we were with one another.
After two months we returned to our Empyrean Community and continued our work with the six-month Intensive Personal Evolution Program, Celebration! Workshops and Teacher Training Programs.
A couple of years later, in 1983, we were ordained as ministers in a large New Thought church, Science of Mind International, in which the minister had a thriving national television ministry. Science of Mind is the title of the philosophical text written by Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science.
The New Thought movement emerged in the United States in New England in the mid-19th century and is generally attributed to Phineas Quimby.
Our ordination ceremony required us to declare our life vision for our “ministry” to a large congregation of two thousand people. We poured our deepest convictions and spiritual ideals into crafting our vision.
Reading our vision to this celebratory crowd was powerful, glamorous and fun! But, unbeknownst to us, it also triggered the tumultuous and transformative changes necessary to fulfill that vision.
We weren’t as far along as we imagined ourselves to be. There was deeper work to do.
Soon after this we created Empyrean Ministries. There were four centers throughout the USA and Canada offering six month programs. We turned the leadership of the Empyrean Community in Hawaii over to others to run. Then we moved from Hawaii to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We taught one IPEP in Santa Fe and set up a ministry there.
We were riding high. Little did we know this was prelude to an evolutionary jump that shook the conceptual ground on which we stood.
What followed caught us completely by surprise.
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Also, there are more pictures to come for this post. We’ll probably create a gallery (like the Celebration! gallery a few posts back) because there are just so many pictures of this amazing journey!