Go to a special place in nature. Climb a hill, walk a coastal path, seek solitude in the forest. Imagine that you have passed, and that this is your first day in heaven. God has given you a familiar place to be to begin with, as you take your first steps in paradise.
Feel the beauty of the place that is heaven. Marvel at the sanctity of this place. Crouch down and study the flowers, the leaves.
Feel the plants speaking to you.
Feel into your body and revel in its connection to the world around you.
You are in heaven.
All is well.
Stay in this place for as long as you can. When you meet other people, or return to habitation, greet others as eternal souls, sharing the bliss of heaven.
This is one of my all time favourite practices. It follows on well from the ‘Die to Self’ practice. It came to me years ago, taking a lunch time stroll along the cliff path West of Budleigh Salterton in East Devon. I wasn’t seeking the experience, it just happened, as if I truly had just passed to the other side. The dappled light of the sun broke through the canopy of leaves above me, the air was heavy with the scent of pine; I was quite alone, and God came to my heart. He said, ‘Don’t just wait for heaven. Know that I am with you now; enjoy this sacred planet that I have created for you. Heaven is already here, just open your eyes and your heart and truly see it. It’s always been here, but you are too busy to recognise it.’ What a truly blissful moment.
This isn’t a practice that I do very often; maybe only once or twice a year. However, it is so, so powerful that it stays with you. It truly changes you.
- How much of heaven is already here, all around you? In the beauty and complexity of creation; in love and laughter and in friendship?
- Have you been missing this?
- How does it feel to connect with it again? How does it feel to have this revelation sink into your consciousness?