Welcome to the Big Room: Experiencing Earth as it is in Heaven
This year we will launch the fourth cycle of our mentorship program in Sacred Ecstatics! Many people have been on this road trip with us since 2014 when we began and are sticking around for the next adventure. Though we have been going round and round the circle together, somehow we have never passed the same way twice. Again and again we learn this truth: when things are spiritually alive, they are always changing. And when the changing is alive, the spiritual fire burns unhindered.
When we began our mentorship program we realized we had to build a new “room” – a space unfettered by whatever previous forms and metaphors we carried that were ready to be transformed. Our first major book in what has become an ongoing series, Sacred Ecstatics: The Recipe for Setting Your Soul on Fire, was our way of building a big room for teaching ecstatic spirituality. Its creation began with dreams that provided the primary metaphors and basic ideas, starting with the notion of a “spiritual thermometer.” Soon after came the three-part “recipe” for getting spiritually cooked, a means of prescribing the way ecstatic experience naturally and universally unfolds. We were then better equipped to more effectively teach how to ecstatically interact with divinity. Completion of our foundational text allowed us to move to a different room and world with a new dictionary that could articulate the importance of sacred expansion and spiritual heat.
To our surprise, the Sacred Ecstatics big room kept our mystical fire blazing in a nearly nonstop manner. We started visioning almost every night and it continued for years and is ongoing. More teaching came down the rope, delivering material that became integral to our mentoring and the work we did with clients seeking help. These collected visions led to our second book in the series, Climbing the Rope to God: Mystical Testimony and Teaching. It powerfully demonstrated that there is no end to the way the big room and its ongoing teaching keep us all amidst the changing of First Creation.
We, as well as our students, had to learn that you should not remain stuck in any particular classroom form or lesson, for this risks freezing its content and the learner as well. Beginner’s mind (rather than know-it-all mind) is needed before going to sleep at night as well as waking up and entering the day, always ready for whatever God has in store. A syncretic spiritual blend or crazy quilt provides a wider weave for holding all of God’s religious forms and their decorated rooms. Once you get a taste for spiritual heat you are eager to go wherever the fire is burning, just as ready and excited to dance with the Kalahari Bushmen as you are to go worship in a sanctified church, ecstatically pray in the hollow of a tree, or walk, dance, climb, journey, and explore the mystical sea.
When preference for a particular name or form is stronger than the longing for spiritual expansion and heat, it indicates a return to frigid and static rigidity rather than presence in hot and ecstatic fluidity. Sacred Ecstatics regards all frozen true believers, from New Age fundamentalists to evangelical Christians and science thumping secularists as essentially the same: in need of an ecstatic thaw and spiritual deep fry. Spiritual cooking invites you to be hooked in the heart and moved by the spirit rather than memorized and mesmerized by any dry doctrine, including an anti-doctrine. To be spiritually cooked, you must be danced by big room changing rather than fixed by the lesser forms that transfix the mind.
And then came spiritual engineering
As it became clearer that Sacred Ecstatics is a never-ending odyssey rather than the establishment of a concrete building, we found that higher guidance means allowing God to change whatever is in need of alteration, whether it be the music, the dance, the destination, or the means of getting here and there. We had no clue that “spiritual engineering” was coming down the pike, and yet last May, in between our mentorship intensives in Arizona, Brad dreamed we were back in the visionary university to which we had traveled in vision before, this time being admitted to study the work of Charles Henry. This turn came as a complete surprise, another unexpected visionary launch and unanticipated developmental course. Further visions about spiritual engineering provided instruction for how to mentor others in the practical nuts and bolts of ecstatic performance—the “how to” of Sacred Ecstatics. This enabled access to sacred ecstasy in a new way that has never before been available. Its specific practices help others learn how to expand and heat a room wherein they feel more ecstatically alive and vibrantly well. We’re now nearing completion of our third book in the series, The Spiritual Engineering of Sacred Ecstasy.
The term “engineering” is itself a rich metaphor because it reminds you that a train bound for glory needs both an engineer and a well-engineered vehicle of transportation. Behind all successful locomotion, commotion, and motion is found reliable and durable engineering that assures that the wheels will turn and that the right fuel will effectively empower forward advancement. In particular, spiritual engineering adds and highlights a particular vital ingredient that has gone missing or been diminished in most spiritual practices—elevated sacred emotion. Above all else, sacred ecstasy is the utmost emotion and pinnacle spiritual experience. To reach the highest spiritual destination, some degree of an emotional relationship with God or the felt need for God is needed from the onset. You can master all the other ecstatic ingredients and practices, but without a sincere desire for God (however that is named), there will never be a true ecstatic fire.
Those finding themselves absent of such emotion need not despair, for feeling the lack of sacred emotion can valuably lead to longing for what is missing. After trying to do it on your own time and time again, and still not feeling what others over the ages have been ecstatically blessed to receive, you are more able to face the fact that something important is absent. In this defeat, surrender to knowing that now is the perfect time to long for what lies beyond the boundaries of you, something found amidst the greater mystery of divinity. Persist and do not resist this reach. Over time your longing will shift and become a pulling on your heart from a higher source that brings you closer to the heightened emotion of spiritual belonging. This is the climb up the rope to God.
A mystical experiment to ring in the new year
We leave you with this prayer prescription for expanding and sanctifying the room that houses your life. It’s a reminder that you need to make room for others, especially those who have passed on whose ropes to God were strong. The old wisdom that “you are the company you keep” also applies to your spiritual life. Surround yourself with the holy ones who help you stay on the straight and narrow path.
Go ahead and close your eyes and imagine you are entering the big room. Hear its sounds, see its sights, smell its fragrances, taste its nourishment, and most of all, feel its sacred vibration. Its particular location can change at any moment, for this place is vast enough to include every kind of sacred site. From the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris to a Kalahari dance fire, a Caribbean praise house, a Mississippi sanctified church, a Congo Square drum circle, or a Japanese seiki jutsu room, the big room is home to the spiritual classrooms of the divine. Anything can happen in the big room because it hosts the constantly reborn creation of First Creation. This is earth as it is in heaven.
It is now time to turn the wheel of prayer. Begin by inviting the holy ones who inspire you most to join you. Feel the presence of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph of Nazareth, Krishna of India, Black Elk of the Great Plains, Osumi Sensei of Japan, Abraham of Mesopotamia, Buddha of Lumbini, Saint Teresa of Avila, Mother Ralph of St. Vincent, Ti’!ae of Tsumwke, Joseph Hart of London, Saint Catherine of Siena, Grandmother Doe of St. Joseph, or anyone who can help you get cooked. If you have previously had ecstatic visitations to the spiritual classrooms, make sure you notice all your teachers nearby. Fill the big room with all the important spiritual teachers, preachers, mystics, saints, shamans, and healers that empower your rope to God. Let go of the lesser trickster forms and only go for the big holy ambassadors, messengers, and incarnations. When you pray at night, never pray alone; make sure you and your spiritual company reside in the big room.
The next morning when you wake up, make sure you are still inside this sacred space. Your felt awareness of the big room and its inhabitants is the most important experience of your daily and nightly life. Make the heavenly realm and its participants as real as your earthly surroundings and those living around you. Know that you are free to adopt any spiritual parents and grandparents, including the Holy Father and Holy Mother. Your spiritual family consists of all those your soul feels pulled to pray, shout, sing, and dance with. In the big room the divine light shines when earthly eyes are closed so spiritual eyes can open.
Concentrate on feeling a longing for the holy ones. Observe them now come into the room. Over all else, prioritize being responsive to the ancestors who previously walked the sacred roads and knew the way to the big room’s spiritual fire. Pay the most attention to their divine rope. Act toward them with celebrative consideration, enacted respect, felt affection, and expressed adoration. Experiencing this shift to the higher plane helps you better meet and greet those who are physically present around you. Personal involvement with the occupants of heaven is what sanctifies earthly relations. Your rope must pull down heaven so it is able to embrace all that is below.
Earth as it is in heaven
When we heal another person, we dance with the saints. When we teach a class, we sing with the mystics of old. When we preach, we shout with the heavenly hosts and the holy ghost. When we vision in the spiritual classrooms, we are on a mission to come nearer to God, made ready to bring back the mail and the holy nails to others. In this communion with divinity we are humbled and tumbled. We embrace all forms of prayer, creating a timeless, infinite, energetic, creative matrix that is spiritually on fire. We surrender to the interaction with holiness, for this is what forms the mystical wheel of sacred circularity, expanding the room and cooking the soul.
Open your heart to receive and hold the Kalahari, the church, the temple, the hut, and any other certified spiritual cooking place. This is the home of your inner body—your true spiritual nature that was originally made in God’s image. This is the most important reality of you, but it likely has gone dormant and unnoticed. As your inner spiritual body awakens, your earthly self becomes smaller, taking up less existential space. The smaller your outer worldly nature gets and the bigger your inner spiritual nature grows, another life-altering change is made ready to take place. You feel as if your whole inner reality expands to become inseparable from the vibratory, pulsing field of heaven. As your spiritual innards break through the boundary of your skin, it is surprisingly felt as a pierce coming from the outside. Both directions of crossing occur at the same time—your inner spiritual body and its big room cross the divide to meet God as divinity passes through to the inside of you.
Making earth as it is in heaven requires an ecstatic pierce and an emotionally explosive breakthrough. The sacred vibration then physically settles within as your inner big room spiritual body re-enters the earth reborn and prepared to fulfill its mission in the everyday. Rather than attempt to achieve enlightenment, turn the prayer wheel to intensify the light inside so it is able to burst into the world and shine brightly and rightly. This is the ultimate alchemical, metaphysical revolution: bringing heaven into earth. Welcome to heaven, the kingdom of unlimited creative freedom where holy bread has real flour power, where Big Love inspires true forgiveness, and where joy reigns and songs rain down in an endless shower of blessings.
Happy New Year!
-The Keeneys, January 2, 2018.