San Carlos, CA, 1983
“You are a mess!”
I am standing in front of Evelyn Sullivan with nothing on but my underwear. Evelyn is probably in her early 70s and she is not happy with me.
A friend had told me about Evelyn and the unusual energy work that she did. She also told me not to be late. Evelyn does not like people to be late, she said, and you do not want to make her mad.
This was my first visit and, of course, I was late. I had not counted on the San Mateo bridge being backed up in the middle of the day. I had given myself just enough time to get to my appointment on time. I ended up sitting in traffic for at least 15 minutes. The longer I sat there on the bridge the more anxious I became. Once off bridge I drove as fast as I could to her office but I was ten minutes late. And I was a basket case.
Apparently, it showed.
“Well, come on, lie down on the table”, she said. “I have a lot of work to do”.
I had no idea what Evelyn was doing. She never touched my body. She was working just inches away from skin. But I could feel dramatic changes going in inside of me. The most pronounced feeling came when she appeared to be pulling ropes directly out of the soles of my feet. It felt like something inside of me was unspooling and flowing directly out the bottom of my feet.
When I stood up, I felt disoriented. I was dizzy and a little uneasy on my feet. She told me to take it easy for awhile until I had adjusted to the changes she had made.
This was the first of many sessions I was to have with Evelyn. I asked her what kind of system she used in her work and she told me it was just something she made up. She said she did not understand it herself but it seemed to work. I never did learn just what she was doing when she worked on me.
And I never left her office without feeling as if my awareness of the world has somehow been altered.
My sessions with Evelyn Sullivan was my first introduction to energy work. My time with her convinced me that energy work was very important and that I needed to understand better what she was doing. Most important, I needed to learn how to adjust my own energy.
I determined that I would need to find another approach that I could understand and do myself.
Let me pause and give you a little more context.
This was in 1983. I had spent the decade of the 1970s working on my inner demons. For 9 years my wife and I belonged to an organization which focused on tearing down people’s ego. A major part of our work was finding and releasing pent up emotions. During those years I was a gusher of anger, sadness and pain. By the end of that decade I was mostly cleared out. Over the next two decades there would be times when some residual feelings would arise that I needed to work with, but these were the tail end of a lot of work that occurred during the 70s.
At the beginning of the 80s, we left that organization and were ready for a new beginning. But what would that be? It was shortly later that I had my first session with Evelyn Sullivan.
Following my work with Evelyn, I wanted to do more energy work. For the next 9 months, I attended monthly weekend retreats which were part of Gay Luce’s 9 Gates Mystery Program. Each monthly retreat was focused on a different energy center of the body.
I enjoyed these, but when it was over, I realized that I needed something more systematic and which enabled me to have more direct control over the state of my own energy system.
Let me pause here. I don’t want to give the impression that you have to do all this personal work if you want to feel energy. We all encounter everyday experiences where our energu becomes appare, Here are 3 typical experiences that we all feel.
Three examples of feeling energy around you..
- You walk alone in the forest and suddenly a great stillness descends upon you. Your hearing becomes acute and you hear the living sounds of the forest as if for the first time. The forest seems alive. You feel its presence. And for a brief moment you are struck by the thought that you and the forest are one. As you continue your walk, there is now an inner calm and serenity that was not present before.
- You sit silently on a beach looking out over the ocean. The noise of the gentle waves lapping at the sand soothes you. The sun is setting slowly over the far horizon. The sky is bright orange. Slowly it begins to darken into the color of a ripe persimmon. Horizontal bands of cloud float in the sky. Striations of color run the length of each cloud. Part of the cloud glimmers with the still bright white of the sun, then a band of red-orange that reflects the color on the ocean below, and a darkening gray that anticipates the approaching night. You suddenly feel very small. The scale of the scene before you seems to expand as you realize just how vast everything is. But you do not feel any smaller. You suddenly feel no separation from what you see. It is both vast and intimate in the same moment. You are here on the beach and you are everywhere in that brief moment. Something within you stirs in recognition that this is your true nature that has been lost in the pace of your hectic life.
- You sit before a fireplace on a cold winter night. The flames of the fire reach up and around the wood that is burning in the grate. The flames flicker and dance as if responding to some unheard music. An occasional cracking sound breaks the quiet in the room. A momentary glow of light bursts out from the wood as a spark seeks freedom from its confinement. There is a golden glow around the edge of fireplace and mantle and it fades out into the darkness that is all around you. There is something mesmerizing about watching those flames. It feels both reassuring yet slightly scary to be sitting here in the dark. But the fire commands your attention. It seems to know that it is putting on a performance and it does not disappoint. Down deep is a recognition that this experience in front of a fire has been repeated millions of time since the dawn of man. For just a fleeting moment you get a sense of direct connection with every person who has ever sat before a fire and had the experience you are having right now. The fire is a thread that weaves through the millennia and connects you with all mankind. Time disappears. Place and location disappear. This present moment disappears. Only the universal experience of sitting before the flame remains, and you feel connected with that experience as it exists in all people through all times. Time, space, the generations, the ages all collapse down into this one single moment of seeing the flame. And then you are back in your familiar room once again watching this particular fire. These brief experiences gave you a glimpse into what your life might be like. What had been only brief moments now starts to feel like the way all life is.