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Stepping Stones

The Ruby Slippers - Moving From Oz to Om

The movement from Oz to Om is our spiritual movement from seeking God outside of ourselves to discovering God within ourselves. The ruby slippers symbolize this jewel of the hero's journey. They symbolize our discovery that we are one with God and with All That Is. They symbolize our awareness that there is nowhere in the universe we can walk where God does not walk with us. This awareness allows us to experience ourselves as always and forever connected to a grand and mysterious unity that heals our experience of being lost and alone in the universe. Om is our deep sense of connection to All That Is—it is the holy grail—it is our universal “home” in consciousness. We walk the spiral path of consciousness until we make this universal discovery, that at the very center of our being we are bigger than our bodies, bigger than our feelings, bigger than our thoughts and bigger than our life experiences. We discover that we are a soul connected to the source of All That Is.

Bede Griffiiths, a Catholic monk who lived in India for more than 25 years, bridging eastern and western spirituality, writes about the discovery of the Om: “You look into your self, your body and your mind, and within the depths of your being, beyond your mind, you find this hidden mystery of the Atman, the Spirit. … In Christian terms you have discovered yourself in God. My true Self is my self in God and God in me. I am not really my Self until I have discovered this hidden center of my being.”

The discovery of the Om, this home in the center of our being, allows us to walk through the difficulties, challenges and painful experiences of human life with poise and grace and a deep and eternal knowing that despite all of our disappointments and struggles, all is well. We are participants in a grand mystery designed to move us through our own unfolding, becoming more and more of who we really are. We are connected to our soul and our soul is connected to the source of All That Is—this discovery is the Omthat sets us free. Once we have touched and rested in this universal home in our consciousness, then all things are possible, every struggle along the path is bearable, every disappointment or darkness can be overcome and we can fully experience the joy and bliss of the path, because truly all is well. When we get a glimpse of this truth, like Dorothy, we will know that there is truly no place like home.

Weekly Stepping Stones

Your breath is a constant source of connection to the Om. The simplest form of meditation is to gently let your body and mind become quiet as you focus your attention on your breath as it moves in and as it moves out. We know that even five minutes of conscious and quiet attentive breathing changes our neurology and our body chemistry – it decreases the presence of cortisol and stress hormones, strengthens our immune system, lowers levels of anxiety and increases feelings of well-being. These positive impacts occur when we intentionally rest in this deeper space in our body for just a few minutes. During this week take time each day to do some simple breathing mediation. Settle into your body in a quiet space and start to notice your breath moving in and moving out. Don’t try to control your breath, just let your attention follow it in and follow it out. If your attention wanders, just call it back on the next breath. Once you are breathing in a calm and steady manner, imagine the word “home” on the in-breath, and "Om” on the out-breath. Imagine letting these words draw out slowly and gently along with your breath. You may allow yourself to vocalize Om on the out-breath and feel its vibration in your body. Notice how your mind and body feels at the end of this practice.

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