THE RUBY RING
THE RUBY RING
I rarely wear jewelry, not even rings, so when I began dreaming of a large gold ring inset with a beautiful red ruby it got my attention. Soon my night time dreams flowed into waking hours and I began frequently visualizing the ring during the day. I knew what it looked like. I knew what it felt like on my finger but had no idea what this near obsession meant, until I saw it on the Abbots finger.
I shared my deep fascination and visions of the ring with my girlfriend. A few weeks later she gifted me with a smaller version of the ring, but it was the same ring. I wept. The gift triggered some ancient sorrow I had no conscious memory of, a memory that pierced my soul. I had no explanation for the sorrow and could only venture a guess it came from a past life.
It was but a week or so after receiving the gifted ring that I attended an evening session of singing bowls at a friend’s house. Singing bowls or musical bowls, for those who may not be familiar with them, are crystal bowls made from molten liquid quartz that has been imbued with the essence, color and energy of familiar gem stones, metals or minerals.
Some of the bowls, for instance, may carry the energy of gold, or carbon, diamonds, sapphire or rubies, to list a few. When one listens to these bowls a strange alchemy occurs. One may experience spiritual healing, or guidance, or may be healed from various physical illnesses or problems.
When I arrived at my friend’s home there were about 10 others in attendance. The lady who was leading the session, and who owned the bowls, gathered us together in the living room where she had placed about 15 to 20 crystal bowls of various sizes and colors on the floor. She told us to allow a bowl to pull us to it.
“There will be one that will call you," she said. Indeed, there was a dark red bowl about 12 inches tall with a diameter of about 5 inches that called me (it turned out that the bowl was imbued with the essence of rubies!). I sat down on a pillow with the bowl between my legs--an innocent, naive soul on the cusp of a most unusual journey.
Our guide instructed us to strike our bowls with a small mallet each of us had in hand. I gently tapped my bowl and instantly and most remarkably, found myself captivated by a deep image from another lifetime as I sat on the living room floor of my friend’s house under the spell of a singing bowl. Immediately I felt I was cast into a vision of another time and place.
I was in an old European cathedral or church made of stone. It was late in the afternoon. I sensed it was in late fall or early winter and that there was snow outside. There were no candles or lamps lighting the interior space. The only light came from the clerestory (windows in the vaulted ceiling high above). There were tall arched openings to my left, all supported by strong stone columns. What lay beyond the columns was shrouded in shadows, indeed the entire interior was cast in shades of grey. There were rows of wooden pews on the right of the arches going away from me with an aisle between them and the arches. Walking up the aisle toward me was the Abbot (originally I thought him to be a Bishop but later discovered he was an Abbot).
It was as if I were floating in the air above the Abbot maybe ten to fifteen feet above and in front of him. He wore the traditional robes of the Catholic priesthood but wore no hat or hood. His head was bare. There was no sound in the cathedral other than the soft shuffling of his feet upon the stone floor. He was very pensive and even somber as he came toward me, of course unaware of my presence. He wore a large gold ring inset with a beautiful red ruby on his left hand.
He was turning the ring with his other hand as he pondered something that appeared to be of deep significance to him. He sighed and a tear slipped down his cheek. I was given insight into his contemplation and came to understand that he had to choose between his calling to the Priesthood or a woman he had come to love. He chose to keep his vows to the Church.
And then the short vision was over and I found myself, once more, in the living room of a friend sitting on a cushion with a red ruby bowl between my outstretched legs, and a mallet in my hand.
The tale gets stranger yet. For the next hour or so I felt as though I was the Abbot, or channeling him somehow. It was as if the Abbot himself was sitting on the floor experiencing the singing bowls and I was just the vehicle for him to do so--an observer. Somehow, I was both the Abbot and myself at the same time. Of course, you can imagine the astonishment and wonder I felt. I knew his thoughts and heart and wondered if he knew mine. It was truly a remarkable night. When the session ended the Abbot took his leave.
It was only a week or so after the singing bowl session that I lost the ring my girlfriend had given me. It was gone. I never found it. It became apparent, too, that I would soon leave the woman who was my girlfriend. Our time together was to end. The strange thing about our relationship was that from the beginning we both knew we had known each other from a former lifetime. Our bond, our knowing, was of a very deep nature. We had loved each other before. But the timing was not right, for I was to begin an eight-year-long spiritual quest and soul transformation.
In the years after the vision of the Abbot I searched online for pictures of Cathedrals in Europe. I felt I would recognize the interior of the church if only I could see it. I started in France and then moved on to Belgium where ancestors once lived.
At first I thought the Abbot was a Bishop but then came to understand that he most likely was an Abbot. I felt compelled to search images of cathedrals and churches in England. Then it finally dawned on me that the Abbot may have come from Yorkshire, where my English ancestors actually came from. I looked there. Soon I was looking through images of an old stone church that was part of Saint Mary’s Abbey. I had found it, the church of my vision! At first I was stumped. The interior of the church was wrong, the arches on the left were different and the clerestory was not there, but somehow I knew this was the place.
I did a little research and discovered the clerestory had been covered over some time in the past. Then I learned the stone arches on the left had been altered too, in the time since the Abbot once walked down the aisle. I suspect that the good Abbot was there on those grounds sometime before King Henry VIII expelled the Catholic church from England back in the early 1500’s. I wonder at times if I were to visit the grounds of St. Mary’s if I would be able to locate "my" very own gravestone, or perhaps even a portrait.
It also came to me that as the Abbot, I had fallen in love with a woman, perhaps a nun or the “Mother Superior” of the convent. I wonder if one day should I go to Yorkshire, to St. Mary’s, if my mind will be further opened to realms we sense but seldom visit. I wonder too if perhaps another vision might occur to reveal the woman I once loved.
There was a time, not too many years ago that I considered the concept of reincarnation and past lives as total fantasy. That has changed. I now know I might have spent several lifetimes as a monk, priest and Abbot in the Catholic Church. Indeed, the vows I took over those lifetimes has greatly, yet subconsciously, influenced this lifetime. But that’s another story.
There is a strange side to this story. This all happened 8 years ago. The lady who I was in relationship with has been in my life, off and on, for the past several years. But just last week I finally realized it was not "right". I felt exactly the same way I did as the Abbot, pondering the vagaries of life, and the sad truth that "it was not meant to be". Perhaps in another life time. Perhaps.