Being Open to Receive

As I’ve been preparing for my class Engaging Hildegard’s Music, Art and Herbs which I will be teaching next week at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality, I’ve been pondering the way that we may experience divine wisdom that guides us.

I’m sure many of us have experiences where we receive a type of message that seems to come from something greater than us. It gives us new knowledge or understanding in a way that is above and beyond what we knew beforehand.  It seems to tap into the deeper river of divine wisdom within and the divine wisdom outside of us in the universe.  Possibly experienced as intuition or a spirit guide communicating to us or even our Higher Self guiding us.

Maybe you see something that is visual – images, colors, or pictures.  Possibly in a dream or just as you awake in the morning.  Or maybe you hear words spoken within your mind.  Or you just have a deeper feeling or knowing.  Yet, you experience, the Divine is communicating with you.

I’ve always been intrigued by the visions, or illuminations, St. Hildegard experienced and then wrote about. She wrote of the visual images she saw and words she heard spoken.  She felt that God was speaking through her.  Here’s an excerpt from her letter to Guibert of Gembloux where she describes how she experiences her visions:

In my visions, my soul rises high into the vault of heaven and spreads itself out among different people, even those in distant lands and places.  And because I see the visions this way in my soul, I observe them without my outward ears, without the thoughts of my own heart or by any combination of my fives senses.

I witness them in my soul alone, while my outward eyes are open.  So, I have never fallen prey to ecstasy in the visions, but I see them wide awake, day and night. 

The light that I see the visions in is far brighter than any cloud that carries the sun. 

I can measure neither height, nor length, nor breadth in the light.  I call the Light “the Living Light.” And as the sun, the moon and the stars appear in water, so writings, sermons, virtues, and certain human actions take form for me and gleam within it. 

What I write is what I see and hear in the visions….. And the words in the visions are not like words uttered by the mouth of man, but like words uttered by a shimmering flame, or a cloud floating in a clear sky. 


St. Hildegard’s Illuminations are powerfully inspiring for me. In this photo you can see me tap dancing to the words she heard to accompany the image behind me. This vision is called The Person in Sapphire Blue and she writes about this vision in her first book, Scivias:

I saw a very bright light, and inside it there was a person who was the color of a sapphire.  This person and bright light were completely surrounded by a very pleasant fire of reddish color.  The very bright light completely surrounded this fire of reddish color, and at the same time this fire completely surrounded the light.  Both the fire and the light surrounded the person, existing as one light with one force of potentiality.  And then I heard the Living Light speak to me.  It said: 

‘The bright light signifies God who is without any blemish of illusion, defect and falsehood.’

‘The person signifies the Word who is without blemish of hard-heartedness, ill will and unfairness.’

‘The fire signifies the Holy Spirit who is without any blemish of dryness, death and darkness.’

How are you guided?  How do you receive messages from the spiritual world?

It’s important that we are open to receiving messages.  That we have a clear path for communication. And that it’s not cluttered with obstacles that may appear as communication but are simply unhealed aspects of our past or our fears or emotions.

Here are 4 ways that I have found effective in supporting openness and allowing a higher wisdom to communicate to you in your everyday life:


  1. Practice Gratitude – Appreciate what comes to you in your life – both big and small.  When we become aware and offer gratitude for what arises in our daily lives, we open ourselves to a flow of positive energy.
  2. Quiet the Mind – Have a practice that quiets the mind.  Become silent and focus inward. This will help you move out of the past and out of the future where fears or hurt may live.  You will be in the present and able to receive true messages when they come.
  3. Set an Intention – Set an intention to be open, even with a sense of curiosity or wonder, to what comes as communication.  Without any judgments or preconceived ideas.  There may be surprises that come to you! It may not be what you expect.  So, silence the inner voice that may deny the message or try to rationalize that this message can’t be the one.  And be open to what may come.
  4. Read sacred texts – Pick any of the scriptures that speak to you. (The Upanishads and the writing of Christian Mystics are my favorites) After quieting your mind, read a small passage slowly outloud to yourself every morning. Let the powerful words seep deep into your soul.

Curious to explore more?  Take a look at all of the offerings for the Spring and Summer at the Fox Institute of Creation Spirituality in Boulder.  Click here.