Steps on the Stone Path: Working With Crystals and Minerals as a Spiritual Practice by Robert Sardello
Robert Sardello has written a book about companionship. Gently, carefully, but with firm steps he introduces us to a seemingly distant and mysterious world. Yet this need not be, if we prepare ourselves to work intimately with stones. Sardello states in his introduction that "If the mineral and crystal process of unfolding spiritual qualities can be carefully described, we can open up a new approach not only to the mineral world, but also to developing new contemplative practices that are particularly needed for the combined spiritual destiny of humanity and of the Earth."
He states that, "The primary purpose of the spiritual path of stones is to develop a spiritual circulation between the earthly realms and the spiritual realms without assuming that we know what the angelic beings of the stones will bring to us."
In a reference to alchemy he tells us that, "Almost all previous writing remains with stones in an outer, though receptive way; the interior of the stone is felt but not entered into." This is the "Lesser Work", and it is completely necessary. This writing introduces one way to approach "The Greater Work" entering into the interior of matter, making connection with its soul and spirit, and developing the capacities needed for inwardly perceiving indications of its soul and spirit and becoming physically altered by this way of being with living substance.
Our initial interest in stones tends to be led by our desire to receive something,some gifts, from the stone. What is required is that we break through our usual consciousness. He states that, "the two most basic necessities to come into the presence of the stone world are the acts of awakening consciously to sensing by loosening the hold cognition has on categorizing our sensing for us, and surrendering the will. The first, awakening sensing, comes about through quieting the mind and perceiving with the heart. Surrendering of the will cannot happen in a direct way. We cannot decide to surrender our will and then will ourselves to do so. Instead, surrender comes about by developing the capacity of spiritual sensing of the mineral worlds. Only through sensing can we see a stone's spiritual self."
In his first contemplative practice, Entering the Silence and Befriending the Stone, he tells us to, lovingly and carefully notice the characteristics of the stone. One by one take each quality noticed into the heart. What is seen in a sensory way then becomes present as interior feeling. You will notice a particular moment when you feel a sense of wonder and awe: that is the moment the intellect has relinquished its treasured place of having to know. You now that you are in deep and intimate relationship with the stone. It is no longer simply an object. Feel its holiness. The inner work is to simply be present with and within this awe without searching for anything.
Those familiar with Robert Sardello's book Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness or any of his other writings will deeply appreciate this work. He encourages us to develop a new, heart-centered consciousness, but with a heightened clarity of attention, thought, and feeling. Anyone who has ever "befriended" a stone will find a way to a more meaningful and transformative relationship. Those who have studied Robert Simmons book, Stones of the New Consciousness, (for which Sardello wrote a lucid introduction) will recognize in Sardello a patient and trustworthy guide to meeting the beings of the stones.
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