Intersections in Time that changed my life with Roger Walsh, by Marj Britt
Roger’s writing about the paths of transformation in A Course in Miracles first penetrated my soul when I was the minister of Unity of Walnut Creek in the late 1980’s. Several years later in reading the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, I found out about his convening a semester class with his doctoral students at UC Irvine where he teaches to deeply study the pre-publication manuscript of Sex, Ecology and Spirit for his close friend, Ken Wilber.
By that time I was the new minister at Unity of Tustin, near Irvine, CA. I wrote Roger a letter and asked if it might be possible for me to be part of it and told him why I thought I would be a perfect addition. He responded…Yes! Ken wanted feedback on the manuscript before it was published… It was an incredible time.
We sometimes don’t act upon all of the ways that the Universe brings to us. This time is an example of ‘acting’…and also of not ‘acting upon’ a significant moment. Ken’s primary spiritual path had come out of the Buddhist tradition. All through these gatherings, we read Buddhist scriptural references. My often response was something like ‘in the Bible, it is spoken of this way…’ These were Bible references, all coming out of my own deep immersion in a fundamentalist Christian path from my childhood, still imprinted even though my path had emerged from ‘literal’ to symbolic and transcended into the mystical.
One day Roger wrote down Ken’s personal home address and asked me to write all of this down and send it to Ken. He also said to put a note on the outside of the envelope because Ken didn’t always open his mail! With my ‘busy schedule’, I never followed through. I’ve often wondered what might have been if I had… We can miss potential significant crossings…
The last day of those gatherings, Roger taught the Zen Ox-Herding pictures with visual slides. I’m still teaching them…the last stage is the 8th Site in Unity of Tustin’s beautiful meditation gardens. It is about coming back into the marketplace with gift-bestowing hands. Now, I know I am living it.
Roger has been a profound gift in my life, an incredible friend…over all these years. The many times he has been to Unity of Tustin, to speak, to bring his medical students to walk the labyrinth, the ways that some of those students have returned. I am thinking now of Vanessa and Dr. Nicolaas-John Van Nieuwenhuysen. Vanessa is one of the angels of Called By Love on Facebook. Nicolaas-John co-teaches with me sometimes in the intensives. They have become like family.
Most of all, I knew the beautiful soul that Roger is when he just ‘checked in’ when all the changes that I now call my ‘whiteboard being erased’ happened nearly two years ago. Roger caring felt like amazing grace. It’s strange that even very strong spiritual teachers can go through ‘wipe outs’. That’s when one really knows who their true friends are…