Master Key Experience

March 23, 2016
by Marilyn Holloway

Chasing The Chalkhill Blue — Week 24

chalkhill blue

As a child I knew with absolute certainty that there was magic.  I found it as I played in our garden, talking with plant spirits and watching the miraculous unfurling of leaves and flowers. Nothing was more magical however than the tiny blue butterflies that danced on the chalk hill that rose behind our house.  Sometimes my mother would take me for a walk up there and while she sat on the hill, I would chase these butterflies through the long grasses where poppies and wild scabious grew.

Later in school I found books about fairies and magical beings.  Oh how I loved them!  One time I found a book that was more special and real than all the rest, but when I went back to look for it, it was no longer there — and the teacher in charge of the library insisted there was no such book.  Now I wonder if I had seen the book in a dream that felt more real than waking.  But I continued to believe in magic, a magic inherent in the natural world and as close to me as the soil beneath my feet.

When I talked to grown-ups about magic they presented me with “magicians”.  I was insulted, these were tricksters, charlatans, mountebanks, purveyors of untruths who had nothing to do with the delicate, enchanted world that I knew.

I grew up of course and left that enchanted world behind.  Tried to pursue the practical dreams of living in the “real” world.  But I was never quite in step.  Every time it seemed I was about to achieve a “real” goal, I would somehow sabotage it. Much later when I eventually achieved some level of success in a late blooming career, it still did not fit, did not fulfill me, it was just a job. There was a yearning inside that nothing quite touched. Meditation and various spiritual disciplines brought me close, but it seemed there was something that needed to express itself through me and I did not know what.

Until I saw the movie clip from “Adaptation” in last week’s webinar.  Watching it I was suddenly overcome with emotion, floods of tears, as the memory of chasing Chalkhill Blue butterflies returned.  The beauty of those moments brought to mind all the times I had been totally entranced — almost always in nature, always nose to nose with something. Maybe it was a daffodil pushing up through the ground and I would be there crouched low, intent, checking it day by day.  Or watching the chrysalises that would soon emerge as cabbage butterflies. Bursting into tears at my first glimpse of the Grand Tetons.  Weeping as I listened to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”.  I have always been moved by beauty, shaken by it, shaken to the core.  And shaken by a deep need to express that beauty and share it.

Mark said that movie clip could be life-changing!  Now I know my truth.  I am driven to express and share the sheer magic of the beauty I see around me, no matter how.  All the stuff I put in my DMP about being a successful network marketer, forget it!  That is not my truth!  Success or failure doesn’t matter either — just the joy of this dance with the miraculous.  Long ago one of my bosses said of me in a dismissive kind of way, “Oh Marilyn, she’s just a mystic.”  Now I claim that title proudly.  Yes!  I am a mystic!  I sing a mystic song!  This is what moves me.  This is how I serve.

So the whole Master Key experience has brought me to this moment.  How utterly amazing!  I truly feel that if I had watched that movie clip at the beginning of the course I wouldn’t have got it.  The sheer rigor of the work over the past 6 months (despite the fact that I eased over certain segments) has worn off enough concrete that the delighted child within me can now chase butterflies again.   Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Mark, Davene, Trish, the whole crew and my guide, Lori, — words cannot express my gratitude.


March 21, 2016
by Marilyn Holloway
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In The Garden — Week 23


This past week has been all about spring clean-up in the garden.  I have been working several hours each day to remove last season’s growth, trim back the lavender bushes, prune the roses, uncover the perennials.  Now I look out on the yard and delight in seeing the recently liberated irises, the neatly clipped roses and the lavender bushes like shorn lambs.

As I have cleared and clipped and pruned I have thought “liberation” over and over again. Liberation and clarity.  Newly opened space for growth.  Wider vision.  The parallels between gardening and the Master Key Experience are not lost on me.  I have spent the fall and winter months, clearing out old worn-out habits and ideas, I have been pruned and clipped, deadwood removed.  Just as the yard is more open, more ready for growth, so too am I.

And something else happens in the garden.  Mysterious surprises. How often have I found a new plant, a volunteer, hidden in the leaf-fall or trying to disguise itself amidst the perennials.  “Who are you?” I ask as I examine the leaves to see if I recognize this newcomer as yet another weed or a welcome exotic.  I have come across — and nurtured — many an exciting new friend this way, who now has an honored place in my garden. And sometimes I have nurtured weeds, to my cost.  Though what is a weed but a plant in the wrong place?  Some weeds have an astounding beauty, like dandelions, so bright and brave in the early spring.  I have even been bowled over at the sight of sunlight limning the leaves of a giant hawkweed and lighting up its yellow blossom.  I couldn’t bring myself to pull it up — and it multiplied of course, in gratitude for my kindness.

Gratitude is what I feel in the garden and love.  If you watched me carefully — and I hope you do not — you might catch me kissing plants.  I just can’t help it, I am, after all, a batty old transplanted English lady, an inheritor of the gardening gene which seems to run in my family. I do admit to being overtaken with love, gratitude and joy as I commune with the plants in my yard.

Which brings me back to the Master Key and the gratitude, love and joy I have felt in this community.  This is another kind of gardening, the weeding out of all that is old, outworn and untrue to discover the beauty of our true natures in a landscape where each flower is utterly unique and lovely.

March 21, 2016
by Marilyn Holloway

The Great Questions — Week 22A

Once again I stand and gaze into the refrigerator asking myself, “Why am I here?”  Is this a senior moment?  As  a card-carrying senior, I am well qualified for such moments.

Of course, it may be much more profound.  I may be asking myself the second of the Two Great Existential Questions.  The First Great Question being, “Who am I?”

Whatever the nature of the question, I have, reluctantly, to retrace my steps to wherever I was before I opened the refrigerator door.  Back  to the living room — ah!  There on the couch is the cookbook I was reading.  Of course, I went to the refrigerator to see if I had any cilantro for the recipe I want to make.

The current problem is solved.

The Second Great Question remains however.  “Why am I here?”

I take that question into a sit, “Why am I here? Why am I here?”  As I probe more deeply, the First Great Question arises, “Who am I?”  This brings me back to basics, to the zero point. Watching my breath, I ask, “Am I the breath?” Paying attention to the body, “Am I this body?” Watching the mind as it brings up scraps of memory, words of a song, an argument… on and on ad nauseam, “Am I this mind?”  Just sitting, I notice there is something or someone who watches, a bare attention, a certain alertness, brightness… it makes no comments, has no judgments, does not have a name.  It looks outward through these eyes and inwards into this heart.

Singing (5)

So why is this consciousness here in this body at this time?  It does not seem that it is here to make a name for itself, it does not need a name.  It seems to delight in experience the way a child does — walking barefoot on grass, smelling a flower, smiling at a stranger, singing with friends — at such times it is just itself, no thoughts, no arguments, no judgments.  It simply exists and acts in the moment, happily reaching out to others with love and joy.

Reaching out joyfully with no agenda — could this be service?  I am here to serve.

Simply consciousness moving with love and joy in service.  That is who I am, this is why I am here.

March 10, 2016
by Marilyn Holloway

Silence — Week 22

I take up my pen to write of silence and find I have no words.

I completed a 3-day silent retreat last week and it has silenced me.

I can describe the outward facts: no telephone, computer, TV, books, music.  Just me starting each day with a Buddhist practice, repeated 3 times during the day and a last one before bed, each one around 45 minutes long.  Time opened up, I completed many small tasks around the house and some big ones in the yard — things I “hadn’t had time for” previously.

But how to write of the silence itself?  To say it was powerful would not be exact, for it was not as if I were within a powerful silence.  It was more like I was silence.  More like I was power itself, a sense of something so vast that I could not stay in that place for long, though I was amazed and humbled.  Silence as shimmering waves of light, casting out shadows.  The specific Buddhist sadhana I was doing, which is a purification practice, brought up and chased away a particular shadow that almost had form and substance, so much so I was taken by surprise.

I want and intend to do this again.  In fact, I am thinking of doing a 10-day Vipassana retreat later this year.

I know it will be hard, but now I’m hooked.  I swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker and now it’s all over for me as a fish — what next?

hook line & sinker



February 23, 2016
by Marilyn Holloway

Miraculously Well Organized — Week 21

I am miraculously well organized!  This is not a boast.  Being well organized does not come at the top of the list of qualities I need to develop in myself.  It comes just over half-way down, for in any practical sense I am somewhat well organized, could be better, could be worse.


So why this extravagant claim?  Because it came to me in a blinding flash of recognition that my whole body is well organized.  Every organ works in miraculous harmony with every other organ.  Every cell knows its function and works in miraculous harmony with every other cell. It all works in mind-blowingly synchronous order with no input from my conscious mind at all.  I am indeed miraculously well-organized.

When I look around me at the room I am in, despite its outward, casual disarray, there is miraculous order.  All the atoms in every stick of furniture held together in just the right vibration for its function in this reality.  I look outside to trees, birds, the hills and mountains — each one a miracle, every cell, every atom a miracle.

hills clouds

Were I to step outside right now, I would hear the hum of the city just across the river.  I would then recognize the miracle of social organization, how people come together in larger and larger groups, setting up systems and processes which aim for harmonious interaction.   ‘Aim for’ being the operative words here.  As we all know only too well, our human organization does not work in the flawless way of the natural world.  Maybe it is because we have made an artificial separation between ourselves and nature.  We have stepped out of, or tried to step out of, the natural order.   Here is the paradox: we act as if we are separate from nature, though we are as irrevocably part of the whole as the ant and the whale.   And just as subject to natural laws.


Our large brains and even larger egos have gotten ourselves, all our co-species and this whole planet into a sorry mess.   Haanel states, “Our ability to think is our ability to act upon this Universal substance, and what we think is what is created or produced in the objective world.”  We have used this power in an ignorant way for our own devious ends, but “… the more conscious we become of our unity with the source of all power, the greater will be our power to control and master every condition.”  There is hope. We can become clear channels for the greater good, as we become more conscious of our responsibility, individual and collective, in the scheme of things.


Consciousness is a key word here.  It is now recognized that there is consciousness in every animate cell, even, according to Jagadish Chandra Bose, in every inanimate cell. Theoretical Quantum Physicist, Amit Goswami, posits that rather than consciousness deriving from matter, consciousness actually precedes matter.  This idea more than makes sense to me. I am filled with wonder and excitement seeing the whole universe — every atom, every cell, every rock, every animal — as Consciousness Itself.   Consciousness seeing Itself in me and I in It.  I am That, Thou art That,  All That Is is That.


There is no room in my Franklin Makeover chart for the dots showing “well organized”, because well organized is everywhere, universal, infinite.  I am miraculously well organized, so are you and so is everything.  Everything last little thing, including myself, is “The World’s Greatest Miracle”.  I celebrate the miracle of myself, everyone and everything in amazing, harmonious order.