Nudges from Grandfather is a personal account of the author’s discovery of assistance from the spirit realm when information is needed in the dimension of healing, growth and living an embodied spirituality.
Chris Kavelin is a Baha’i and directly shares his spiritual experiences and learnings in this faith tradition. He also learns from those he teaches. The following is an example:
In 2004, Macquarie University in Australia asked me to develop a course in their Global Leadership Program called Spirituality and Social Transformation which I’ve been teaching now for 11 years. When I started to teach that course, I thought, “How I am going to do this? I’m not some expert in this kind of thing.”
At the time I also taught in the Bachelor of Community Management course, offered to Aboriginal students from around Australia, mostly leaders and mature age students from different Aboriginal communities. I taught and tutored in a few courses there, and one of my ‘students’ was Aunty Mary Anne Coconut, an Aboriginal Elder from Weipa, a remote community in the far north of Australia. At the time she was about sixty-five years old, and the senior Elder for the Twal Eagles Council.
I felt kind of embarrassed that she was my student because I was learning from her. After the invitation came to teach the Spirituality and Social Transformation course I sat down with her and said, “Aunty Mary Anne, I’ve been asked to teach this course on Spirituality and Social Transformation, do you have any advice?”
She said, “Well, the first thing is to let the students know that if they have any challenge that’s facing them, anything that they need done in their lives that they don’t feel they can do, that they should go out into nature and find some place that’s beautiful. Find someplace like a beautiful tree and go sit next to that tree. Then say a prayer to God or to their soul, or to whatever their understanding of the ‘Other’ or ‘Spiritual Reality’ is and to ask for help and say, “This is beyond me. I need assistance.” Then they should trust that there will be an answer of some kind and that when they feel that answer has arrived they should act on that answer.”
Within my own Baha’i tradition I subsequently found that a similar teaching exists:
1st Step: Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations (prophets of God) as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contemplation for a few minutes.
2nd Step: Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible to accomplish but if it seems to be an answer to a prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.
3rd Step: Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.
4th Step: Have faith and confidence that the power will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right message, the right principle, or the right book will be given to you. Have confidence and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the 5th step.
5th Step: Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine power to flow through you.
Many pray but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as though it has all been answered?
How true are these words ‘Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered, and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out.’ – Ruth Moffat, quoting Shoghi Effendi, Principles of Baha’i Administration, p. 91.
Now if you finish the process there and walk away and say “Thanks Grandad! Great answer!” and you don’t actually put into practice what he suggested, well you missed the whole point again. You have to put into practice the advice he gave you—that’s the next step. You might make mistakes in putting his advice into practice, and that’s OK. You learn from those mistakes, and you visit Grandad again, and ask for further guidance and clarity on his advice to help you get it right. So you can see it’s not just ‘practice steps 1-5 and you’re done.’ You can revisit the steps to get clarity, and it’s actually important to reflect on the results of your actions before returning to ask for further guidance—and then take further steps as you learn.
Grandfather will always be there to help, but you have to ask, listen, trust, act and stick with it, reflect and then return to repeat.
In 1938 the German Reich inflicted a wave of violent, all night attacks on several Jewish communities (Kristallnacht). Far away in Australia, William Cooper, a distinguished Elder of the Yorta Yorta Nation, led a little-known march to the German Consulate to deliver his letter protesting the violation of those human rights. How contemporary Jewish and Aboriginal communities re-connected with that protest is but one chapter in a book recounting true stories of many miraculous chains of events.
We are each connected with the spiritual realm. Some may call spiritual forces ancestors, others angels or still others, the names of forms of divine power in their traditions. Whatever their names, these forces work intimately with us when we seek to be of service to others. When asked to perform an act of service beyond one’s abilities or education, there are those in the next world who can assist us.
What I found useful about this book is the direct sharing of the idea of doing service unto others; that service unto others might be part of the soul contract for this human who took birth. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. In this wise, we can also contact the spirit realm as both Chris Kavelin and Aunty Mary Coconut have shown. The idea of doing service to others is directly connected to progress along the spiritual path – and Kavelin is brave enough to share his feelings with all his outcomes. He relates his experiences of service to the Head of State of Samoa, a profound sharing.
Kavelin is also exploring indigenous technology, indigenous spiritual realms from both the Australian Aboriginal traditions and from the American Indian (shaman) traditions. This makes for interesting contrasts and experiences, yet, one must be patient on the soul path. A good read if you are looking to learn about Baha’i practice, and about indigenous spirituality, medicine and healing.
About the author:
Chris Kavelin has a PhD in Law with a thesis on ‘The Protection of Indigenous Medical Knowledge: Transforming Law to Engage Indigenous Spiritual Concerns’. He is an honorary research fellow at Australian Catholic University. Chris has tracked down a number of major pharmaceutical drugs back to origins in Aboriginal communities. He works in supporting the sovereignty of networks of traditional healers around the world. H He discovered that the most important campaign of WWII was directly dependent on Aboriginal people and knowledge and is currently completing a book on this topic.
Chris’s father was a psychologist that specialised in Indigenous psychology. They lived on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming where Chris experienced his own spiritual and cultural blindness. His awareness of his own blindness and learning about the practice of humility as a means of restoration of vision is something that has informed his research.
Nudges from Grandfather: Honouring Indigenous Spiritual Technologies
Publisher: Kavelin Group
Published: 6 April 2016