by Eliana Tesla
Six years ago, on a chilly autumn afternoon, I sat down in my living room to meditate. I was feeling miserable and profoundly alone that day. As Eckhart Tolle would say, my pain-body was fully activated, and I thought: “I cannot do this by myself. I cannot sit here in this misery for an hour. I can’t do it. It’s too hard.” A moment later, in a chair across the room from me, the Virgin Mary appeared. She gazed at me with total love, enveloped in an aura of peace and compassion. It was instantly clear to me that in her eyes, I was perfect. She didn’t have a problem with anything about me. All of my grief, anger, self-loathing, pettiness, self-centeredness, and other so-called imperfections were absolutely fine with her. She loved me exactly as I was. Tears welled up, spilled out of my eyes, and streamed down my cheeks. In a matter of moments, the meditation session had transformed from total agony into the most profound experience of grace that I had ever had.
Since that day, Mary has been a regular companion of mine, appearing when I am in need of her loving presence, wisdom, intuition, and insight. In the beginning, she was always silent. She would just appear in the room with me, or in my car, or walking beside me. Often, when my mind was spinning in some painful story about my life, she would appear beside me, look at me with those eyes that see only perfection, and gently raise a finger to her lips, as if to say, “Hush now, sweetheart. The painful thoughts you are having right now are not true.” This gesture, combined with her loving gaze, served to immediately stop my mind in its tracks, and I would realize that everything was fine--there was no problem, there never had been a problem, and there never could be a problem. Relief, joy, gratitude, and love would wash through me, and I would see my life, however fleetingly, as perfect.
Other times, she would simply appear beside me when I was caught in suffering, and abide with me, easing my pain with her silent and ever-loving presence. In this capacity, Mary has been with me to the dentist, the grocery store, workshops, concert venues, speaking engagements, funerals, hospitals, my home, the homes of my friends and family, and countless other places and events, silently seeing me through whatever the inner or outer situation may have been.
After a year or so of her visitations, she began to speak. In my experience, she is a woman of few words, but everything she says packs a transformative punch that knocks me straight out of my ego and into the wisdom of my own heart. A few of my friends know about my relationship with Mary, and occasionally, when I am discussing a challenging aspect of my life, something about which I am confused or uncertain, they will ask, “What does Mary say about this?”
It is at this point in the conversation that I realize discussing the issue with my friend is unnecessary. I’m not confused. In the words of the spiritual teacher Adyashanti, I just know something that I don’t want to know, something I'm afraid to act on because it doesn't jibe with what I think I want. Mary has all of the answers, and when I ask her for them, she gives them to me. However, she doesn’t care whether or not I listen to her or heed her wisdom. As far as she’s concerned, I couldn’t make a mistake if I tried, and if I am not ready or willing to live what she and I both know to be true, that’s fine with her.
As I’ve reflected on my relationship with Mother Mary, I’ve realized that it began long before that life-changing day when she first appeared in my living room. It really started when I was eight-years-old. It was that year that my mother moved away, and within months, I lost touch with her. No one knew where she was or how to find her. Eventually, my uncle, my mother’s twin brother, had her listed with the Bureau of Missing Persons, but to no avail. She was gone, and my older brother and I and were left to grow up without her.
At around the same time that she took off, I was baptized in the Catholic church. My step-mother was Catholic, and through attending services with her, my father, my brother, and step-brother, I had become deeply drawn to the religion. We lived in a semi-rural area of northern California, and less than a mile away from our house, along a winding road and across an apricot orchard that I used to cut through, there was a Catholic monastery. Outside of the monastery, there was a life-size statue of the Virgin Mary, and I used to pack myself a sack lunch and walk to the monastery by myself, sit at her feet, and have a picnic with her.
My relationship with my step-mother was just as painful to me as the absence of my mother, and the combination of those two things left me feeling truly motherless. Before my mother left, we had been close. She adored me and I adored her. I knew what that was, and I despaired in the wake of its departure from my life. Even then, I knew that Mary loved me, and would always be there for me. Of course, the fact that she was a statue provided a pretty good guarantee that she would never leave.
On the day of my first communion, my father and step-mother gave me a silver pendant necklace with an image of the Virgin Mary engraved in it. I took to wearing it every day, and often touched it for good luck before the athletic competitions and musical performances that were a regular part of my life back then. This brought me both comfort and confidence, but by the age of fourteen, a confluence of factors led me to see Catholicism and all religion as a sham. I completely lost my faith in God, and along with it, I lost Mary.
It wasn’t until many years later, in my mid-twenties, that life brought me full circle, and I realized that though most of the Catholic religion was indeed bogus and even harmful, it contained kernels of truth that represented a path to inner freedom. I didn’t become a Catholic again, nor did I embrace any other religion, but I did find healing and transformational power in certain tenets of Christianity, as well as in the mystical aspects of a number of other religions. Fast forward about ten years, and I found myself sitting in my living room with the Virgin Mother, being set free from deep suffering by her enlightened grace.
In the last three years, another aspect of my relationship with Mary has emerged, involving healing sessions. These take place in two different ways. In one, I am the “client,” and Mary is the practitioner. At various times, and in varying circumstances, she has come to me and practiced a variety of healing modalities with me, including EFT and BodyTalk. Sometimes, she simply places her hands on my body, infusing my entire body-mind with the love and light which comes through her hands. The other way in which she appears in a more formal healing capacity is when I am in a session with a client. Occasionally she will show up and either conduct the session with me (an extra pair of hands is always helpful, especially with BodyTalk!), or simply infuse the session with her love, wisdom, and peaceful presence.
Sometimes, before a session with a client, I will ask Mary for guidance in how to proceed. Her advice is always concise and incisive, instantly grounding me in my own wisdom, so that I am "in the zone" before the session even begins. It's like when I call her to me, she appears and escorts me out of ego-identification, in which I am trying to figure everything out, and into the pure light of awareness, where all of the answers are already there and will arise as needed, without any effort on my part.
At this point in my journey with Mary, I still don’t fully understand it. Are her appearances simply a psychospiritual sleight of hand, a fiction my mind has created to soothe itself? Is she just the world's greatest imaginary friend? Or is something else at play here? Many possibilities occur to me. One is that the being who visits me is an angel or similar being from another dimension, which, though usually without a body, is able to take form, and chooses one that I can easily relate to. Or maybe the way she appears to me is the universe's way of using aspects of my own psyche to pull my attention out of the false self and into the infinite grace that resides within us all.
Though I am curious about the nuts and bolts of how it all works, ultimately, it doesn’t matter to me. Whatever the mechanics of my relationship with Mary are, I am deeply grateful for the healing that has taken place in me and through me because of it.
Eliana Tesla, MA, CBP, is a transformational consultant, healer, writer, and professional speaker. As a healer, she uses an integration of EFT and BodyTalk to facilitate healing and transformation at all levels--mind, body, and spirit. As a consultant, she works with clients in the fields of energy medicine, extraterrestrial communication, ascension, astrology, numerology, feng shui, herbology, interdimensional communication, angel work, meditation, extrasensory perception, paranormal activity, the Enneagram, mysticism, manifestation, and the law of attraction.