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don Miguel Ruiz



Musings of an Awakening Spirit

Stories, poetry & general musings of Rebecca Haywood, a modern-day Shaman with a penchant for bringing the divine into the human experience.

Rebecca's Journey

Life for me has been a series of awakenings, each leading me towards the next. We all experience these awakenings. I see them as invitations of truth knocking at my door. Although it is not always convenient or comfortable to let them in, when I do, I give myself the greatest gift of moving forward in my spiritual evolution.

One of those knockings came to me atop a mountain in Vermont.  It was very loud and undeniable. It commanded me to commit to a spiritual path.  I did not know how or  to what or with whom. All I knew was when: NOW!  There were no footsteps in front of me to follow. In fact I sensed that I was stepping off the well-trodden path and that both terrified and excited me.  And so despite the many unknowns that truth was offering me in that moment, I said “yes” and I agreed to just keep listening and taking the action I was called to. I had let go of life as I knew it and surrendered to following my heart.

In a short time, that “yes” led me all the way across the country to the doorstep of a family of spiritual masters. It was the family of Mother Sarita, a Mexican-Indian healer in the Toltec lineage.  She was absolutely beautiful to me and touched every cry for mystery within me. I remembered having dreams of her before our meeting and I knew, despite all the doubts in my mind that I had come home. She became Grandmother and Teacher. Sarita and her son, Jaime, took me under their wings and taught me the mastery of faith—the power that brings intent to form.

I worked side by side with Sarita and her clients for eight years, assisting her with egg cleanings, fire cleansings, psychic surgeries, long-distance healings, and healing workshops.  I was the most loyal dog to her, heeding her every command. And though to some this may sound self-limiting, it was actually a great service to my awakening.  For all that I gave to her; she returned to me ten-fold and honored my commitment by asking me to carry on her lineage of healing. This was to be a role that I would have to grow into due to the huge barrier of self-doubt that I held between myself and “the healer.” Sarita saw what I was not yet ready to see. But she also saw my self-doubt and so one day, she told me that the greatest healer would be one that could embody both her teachings and the teachings of her son don Miguel Ruiz. Being the loyal dog, I quickly obliged.

Studying with Miguel was a whole different ballgame. He spoke not of the occult, but rather of practical logic and he delivered it in a ruthlessly direct way, bringing all my doubt to the forefront of my mind.  Through the mirror of don Miguel, I saw the myriad of ways in which I lied to myself and all the masks I used to pretend. Every piece of my belief system was exposed and it was very uncomfortable. This is what don Miguel calls the mastery of awareness—the process of uncovering all the beliefs in one’s mind. I had only begun what took the ancient Toltec apprentices years to accomplish—waking up in one’s dream of life.

Once my eyes were opened to all the fear within my belief system, I knew I could not and did not want to turn back. I could no longer tolerate the fear and doubt with which the many voices of my mind spoke.  Even though I understood these voices to be lies, my will was trapped by the strong habit of believing them.  I was like a puppet and the strings which moved me were these beliefs.  Through the Mastery of Awareness I had learned how to see the strings, but I still lacked the will and faith to cut myself free from them.

This is when the Mastery of Transformation came alive for me. The Mastery of Transformation is the process of recovering our faith from our belief structure and redirecting it into new beliefs based in love.  Miguel deepened his training with me, shifting from the teachings of The Four Agreements® to a new tool, the medicine bag. This was an intensive study of the mind.  We used the medicine bag as a symbol for our mind and within it we explored not only my personal dream, but also the dream of humanity as a whole.  He walked us through the many levels of dreaming, from suffering all the way to enlightenment. In this process I awakened on another level. This time I saw my own belief structure in a less personal way. I saw it as an enculturation that each human passed on to the next—like a program being downloaded into my mind.  It wasn't personal.  In fact, it had nothing to do with the truth of what I am.

Seeing from this perspective gave me the objectivity to forgive myself and humanity. I could finally step off the movie-screen of my mind and watch it as the witness. This shifted my point of perception and freed my will enough to begin to truly change the beliefs in my mind. Miguel began to teach me about the power of my attention, showing me that in an unaware dream, "the beliefs control the attention" and in a dream of awareness, "the attention controls the beliefs".  This proved to be very true for me. I saw that I fed whatever I put my attention on. This new practice also heightened my ability as a healer. For my attention creates a channel between myself and the client.  That channel of attention directs the intent of the healing.

However, as I continued to apply this in both my healing practice with Sarita and in my personal life, I saw that my faith was still not completely free. I could not yet name its’ captor, but I sensed that my channel of intent needed to be somehow expanded. This is when Miguel offered the practice of Dreaming to his students. Without even knowing what it was, I said “yes” and this was to be yet another “yes” on my path that led me to a great opportunity of expansion.

Dreaming consisted of hours in meditation, journeying through the facets of our internal universe. We gathered for one weekend every month for six years. It was the hardest commitment I had ever made and the greatest gift I have ever given myself.  Though the experience of it cannot truly be put into words, I will say that through it I shifted my point of perception yet again. Instead of witnessing and directing my 'movie', I was now experiencing myself as the light dancing through the film and, simultaneously, as the darkness from which all light is birthed.  This is what Miguel describes as the Nagual—the space between the stars or as I describe it, the formless energy. Though I had already learned to access the Nagual with Mother Sarita, I was now able to live and create with the unbound power of this formless energy.

Part of my creation has been to share these spiritual teachings with humanity and to find new ways of delvering its universal truth. I have been passionately mentoring students for fifteen years now and I still find such pleasure in watching each student blossom into the rose that I saw all along.  It is an expression of my love and gratitude to all my teachers that I may continue their tradition of service and be the force of faith and love that they have been for me. Gracias Infinitas to Mother Sarita, Jaime, don Miguel, and of course, Life.

True Love

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