Why A Journey of Purpose…

I am in pursuit of enlightenment, also known as transcendence, self-mastery, or “the kingdom of heaven” that is within me (see a short narrative of my beginnings of this in Learning Transcendence). Many of the world’s religions share some version of this concept; some embrace it strictly as a post-physical-body experience, others believe that it is achievable by, through, or in spite of the physical body. I do not embrace any one form, but I find forms from many religions and philosophies useful in my pursuit. Transcendence–for me–can be summed up with this description:

Transcendence is when the mind/heart/body (thoughts/emotions/actions) express only that which is in alignment with Infinite and Eternal Oneness, in which only peace and love exist.

People can experience this as a brief moment, as an extended moment, a brief state of being or as an extended state of being. I’ve had brief moments (just a flash), extended moments (up to about 90 minutes, for one description see The Ground Floor of Happiness), and brief states of being (up to a few weeks); my goal is the extended (ultimately infinite/eternal) state of being, in this lifetime, either with or without my physical body (I give enlightenment an equal-opportunity!).

These 40-day consciousness journeys are one of the tools I am using on my path to enlightenment. I share them with you, for we travel together. We only reach enlightenment together; we reach enlightenment only together. Of course, not everyone is aware of the journey or being on it; not everyone has chosen to even acknowledge there is a path. In some ways, that makes my commitment stronger. These journeys for me are dedicated to All, even—or especially—those who are unaware or asleep. As I wake up, I open a space for their awakening; as my understanding grows, there is greater opportunity for others to gain understanding; as I lighten up, so may others.

On behalf of those yet asleep, I welcome your participation.

One January 2, 2014 I will begin a 40-day Journey of Purpose. The Journey of Purpose grew out of a feeling of being lost and drifting aimlessly through life. Sure, I have a job that gives me purpose, a loving relationship that gives me purpose, a family I love that gives me purpose, but what is my real purpose? What is my purpose in the context of enlightenment?  Finding purpose in the relationships I have and the things I do is different than fulfilling and serving my highest purpose. (For more details on the inception of a Journey of Purpose, see Listing About)

I “do” these consciousness journeys in loops. My current loop is 1) A Journey of Purpose 2) A Journey of Worth 3) A Journey of Healing (repeat…although… this loop will expand this coming year and other new journeys will be forthcoming e.g. forgiveness, love, virtue, or innocence). This Journey begins my second time through the loop, my second time with this Journey of Purpose. In the first Journey of Purpose I found my understanding of purpose was tied to joy, love, peace, and expression, as well as tied to understanding myself and how to share my highest self with others.

I found a new understanding of purpose through joy, love, peace, myself, and my Self-expression. But I also found a new understanding of Joy, Love, Peace, my Self, and Expression through the concept of purpose.

This is why these are consciousness journeys. I begin now from the point of the new understanding I gained through the previous journey(s). As I do these journeys, my consciousness of the concepts grows, deepens, and becomes more solid and unshakable. It is from this new outlook that I begin this Journey.

Here is one way to think about consciousness using a wide-spread metaphor for spiritual attainment: Let’s say darkness represents low/little consciousness, also known as being asleep, sometimes known as having a material mentality. This level of consciousness is expressed in behaviors like harmfulness, selfishness, or greed. And let’s say that light represents higher/greater consciousness and is expressed in behaviors like caring-for, consideration, sharing. These Consciousness Journeys are designed to bring light into the consciousness, and thus into the behaviors. For example, if someone—anyone—starts a journey with only two or three pinpricks of light shining through their veil of darkness, but they stick with it, accept guidance, and invite growth, by the end of the Journey, there will be four or five or six pinpricks of light shining through. Then, whenever they do the next Journey, instead of beginning the Journey with only two or three pinpricks of light, they will begin with four, five, or six pinpricks of light, and by the end of that Journey will have seven, eight, or nine pinpricks of light with which will begin the next Journey.

This is why/how the experience of life changes by bringing change first to the consciousness. As consciousness grows to allow more “light”, old patterns, habits, and behaviors no longer “feel” right. There is a natural extension of caring, kindness, and compassion that draws behavior to align with the consciousness.

My intention for this 40 day journey is to uncover the essence of my highest purpose, to align my consciousness with that essence, and to open myself to experiences that express the essence of my highest purpose. This Journey is not about form; it is not about the specifics and details regarding how purpose is expressed or lived, but my hope is that it will help to clarify this.

The schedule for posting the journey will be as follows:

A Journey of Purpose begins at susanwithpearls.com on January 2, 2014.

January 2, 2014: The commitment statement will be posted. This is the statement that focuses and dedicates the journey.

January 3, 2014 – February 11, 2014: 40 days of Guiding Thoughts for consideration and contemplation; 40 days of sharing about the contemplation.

Between February 12 and 22: An afterword, some concluding thoughts.

The structure of the Journey is:

Minimum:

  • Spend 5 minutes reading and thinking about the Guiding Thought once per day, every day for 40 days (I provide the thoughts that I develop for my own use, you may use any that you feel is right for you).
  • Spend at least 5 minutes writing any thoughts that come to you immediately following the reading. No filters, no doubts, just see what comes out.

Recommended:

  • Spend 15-30 minutes reading and thinking about the guiding thought once per day, every day for 40 days, at approximately the same time each day. Use the time to really try to feel and experience the impact of the words within you.
  • Spend at least 15 minutes writing any thoughts that come to you immediately following the reading. No filters, no doubts, just see what comes out.

Advanced:

  • Spend 15-30 minutes reading and thinking about the guiding thought twice per day, every day for 40 days, at approximately the same time each day. Use the time to really try to feel and experience the impact of the words within you. Reach into your higher mind to understand with greater depth, and to gain insight of the applicability of the concept for you in your life and affairs.
  • Spend at least 15 minutes writing any thoughts that come to you immediately following the reading. No filters, no doubts, just see what comes out.
  • (Super-advanced) Reflect on the guiding thought throughout the day at pre-determined intervals, for example:
    • Every 3 hours, on the hour.
    • Every hour, on the hour.
    • Every 30 or 15 minutes.

As you do this throughout the day, align your mind and feelings with the “flow” of the ideas; take a break from any distractions around you, and allow your mind to rest in the idea for the day.

Happy travels to your inner spaces.

A Journey of Healing: Afterword

The one recurring thought that I had through this Journey was, “I need to do this again”. Throughout this Journey of Healing, I felt myself resist, doubt, and struggle through the tension between learning what healing really is and letting that learning pull me to new understanding and new experiences.

I kept thinking, “This is why I call these ‘A Journey of’…because “A” implies that it is one of many; it is not the one, it is a possibility of one within many.” Each time I take a Journey, it leads me to a vantage point that I did not previously have, from which I can see differently, and from which I can begin a new Journey to a new vantage point.

One of the “problems” that I experienced in this Journey was coming to terms with how little I know –even though that was a main component of the beginning of each round. “I” want to think I am pretty well along in my thoughts and understanding of how “life” works—after all, I am an adult! I have a good education! I am financially solvent! I am responsible! I have a good head on my shoulders! Yet, for all that, in the face of Infinity, Eternity, and/or the Wholeness of Divine Love…I know SO little. So, I really struggled with all I think I know, versus all I know I have to learn.

It was difficult to look my ignorance in the face and move toward it rather than away from it. The real learning lies in the depths of admitting how little I know, so I can learn of infinity, rather than remaining on of the surface of my past learning.

Being aware of limitations is a first step to transforming them. But looking at and acknowledging limitations can be very humbling, scary, embarrassing. Fortunately, this is an inward Journey and no one else needs to see your struggles; I share mine (which are often humbling, scary, and embarrassing) so you can be encouraged to view and transform your own.

I don’t know how much I have healed on this Journey. I don’t know how far my consciousness has advanced. I just kind of feel different, yet after 40 days, I know somehow I am changed. I have a new vantage point, yet remain still so ignorant of the Whole, and I feel that too. I am closer both to my goal of Oneness/Wholeness and to knowing how far I am from it.

More than anything I am aware of, what this Journey has “accomplished” is to strengthen my resolve to further my consciousness training. I want to Know Wholeness, Oneness, Truth, Unity, and Freedom. I say this and I say this and now I say it again, after these 40 days, and somehow it is deeper, with greater commitment, with greater tenacity. My thoughts about wanting to Know resonate differently within me; they have more urgency, more persistence; they want more, they demand more.

With my greater commitment, comes also greater worry. Am I up for this? Who am I to want to Know so much that seems so much bigger than “me”? Am I good enough? Am I worthy? Who am I to seek Divine Love? These questions and doubts reinforce how much I need to continue to move forward, advancing my consciousness, training my mind.

So I begin anew, because I have all I seek; I am all I seek, I just need to Know and accept it.

Since we are only free together, if I do not move forward toward our Infinity, toward our Wholeness, toward our Freedom, I am holding you back. And I want your Freedom, your Happiness, your Joy which we share together, equally with All.

On December 31, I will be publishing the preliminaries to the next Journey (overview, statement of commitment, statement of dedication). On January 2, 2014 I will begin the next Journey—A Journey of Purpose. See you then!

Let there be buoyancy! Journey of Healing: Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I give today to Light. I feel the Light within pour forth; I feel my radiance, my glow. I see—with my inner eye—this light envelop and infuse all I encounter, all my words, and all my actions. I watch as others resonate with me, their light growing brighter in the sanctity of my own. To all beings and all situations I offer only light, and learn as I do, the Wholeness of my Self.

I feel light today! I love how the word light means both illumination and buoyancy. When I feel light in the illumination sense, I feel light in the buoyancy sense.

When I feel this way, there is so much to share! There just an exuberance, an overflowing, a Joy that I want other people to experience. I know how it feels to be bogged down, to be heavy…and this is so much better.

That’s why I want to share it—too many people are heavy. They are heavy with problems and responsibilities, weariness and pressure. When I get to this point of joy and light, I know that it’s possible to get out of the struggle, if only for a moment. That’s what I want for people—just to be light for a moment, and know that this feeling of joy is possible.

This is Love. This is Wholeness. Being Light together, being Whole together we experience the Joy of Life, the effect of Love. Thank you for being here, sharing with me.

This is the final day of this Journey of Healing. Thank you for joining me. I am thankful that the Journey ended as it did today—in light. This was a difficult journey for me; my consciousness wanted to sleep through it! Each day, each guiding thought seemed like I was poking at a reluctant sleeper way past morning, hitting the snooze button just one more time, or just wanting to pull the covers over my head and dismiss the world.

 I am almost sorry it is over, and I am looking forward to the next Journey of Healing (which should be next year sometime). I feel rejuvenated, committed, stronger in my dedication to achieving Joy, Peace, and Light for All, with All.

I will be writing a post-script to this Journey—a reflective overview—sometime in the next week to 10 days.  

Sacred Peace. Journey of Healing: Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I rest in calming Light. Light inhabits my mind, surrounds every thought, and radiates out to All. All radiates Light. Everywhere is Light. I am Light.

Every time during this Journey, when I have gotten to the 9th day of the round—today—I have just breathed a thankful sigh, felt a weight lift, and relaxed.  It’s that “rest” thing—I have permission to rest!

This time of year, for many people, activity increases. There is more shopping to do, more cooking to do, more cleaning, more trips to the post office, more travelling. Everything increases; everything must get done!

I have memories of going to Christmas Eve Mass, with the stillness of the church, the candles, and most of all, the smell of frankincense and myrrh. All of this combined for me in a feeling of sacred peace.  It washed over and through my body, dispelled any thought that was not peaceful, and filled me with serenity and light. This feeling has continued to be what I think about, what I strive for, when this time of year comes.

I go out and hustle and bustle with the best of them this time of year. But I always make sure that it culminates in sacred peace and serenity.

This is kind of what day 9 of each round of this Journey does for me. During days 1-8, I am working and hustling. Even if it is “only” in/with my consciousness, it is deep and heavy work. When day 9 comes and I read that first sentence, “I rest in calming light”, sacred peace washes over and through me, the light fills me; I am serene and rejuvenated.

May your days of activity culminate in your own sacred peace; may you relax after all your effort;  may light fill you and hold you; may you Know Peace.

Listening to the cat purr. Journey of Healing: Day 38

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I decide today to be aware of my Whole and Holy Self working within me, expressing through me. As I move through the affairs of my life, with an open mind and empty hands, I look first to my Whole and Holy Self for guidance. My only decision today is to be aware of my Whole and Holy Self—all other decisions arise out of this, in conjunction with my Self.

The Holy Self has perfect access to Divine Mind and Divine Will. By looking to the Holy Self while setting aside expectations, that access becomes available to the individual mind.  My Whole and Holy Self is the Self of me. It is not outside me, it is not even within me. It just is me.

But trying to hear my Holy Self and be directed by it is like trying to hear a cat by the fire purring at a crowded banquet from across the room. People are talking, dishes are clanging, music is playing—and I should try to hear a cat purr?

I stand up from my banquet table to try to see the cat. Craning my neck, on my tiptoes, twisting to see around this table, that person, that waiter—there!  By the fireplace, on a red velvet cushion, curled in a ball, thoroughly contented, completely oblivious to the noise and bustle in the room lies the cat. I can’t hear it purr, but it looks so warm and snuzzly that I can only imagine it must be purring. If I get closer, I bet I can hear it.

The person next to me asks, with increasing urgency about what I am doing, because suddenly my attention is no longer on her. She tugs my sleeve; I glance down, wave her away distractedly, look back to the cat and excuse myself. Now I’m on a mission, totally focused. I need to find out if the cat is purring. And if it is, I need to hear it.

I start walking, trying to keep my eyes on the cat. Someone stops me—stands right in front of me—and asks how my job is going. I don’t want to be rude, but you are in my way. I try to look over his one shoulder then his other, because I can’t see the cat with him standing right in front of me. Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something? I give a weak smile, nod my head, point to the other side of the room and say, “Excuse me.” and wiggle past him. I don’t much care that that perplexed you…I’m on a mission.

Distracted, I almost run into a waiter…more people wanting me to stop and talk…music playing, oh, I like this song, so many things trying to pull me away from hearing the cat purr! What the heck? But I stay focused and slowly make my way across the room. Now I can feel the warmth emanating from the huge brick fireplace. The cat certainly has a nice place for itself!

Walking right up to the cat, standing over it, it doesn’t move…and I still can’t tell if it’s purring or not. I don’t really want to disturb it, but…I need to know! I get down on my knees, still can’t hear the purr. I touch the cat’s head, it opens its eyes sleepily and looks at me like, “There you are. I’ve been waiting for you.” It does a little flip-turn, so that it’s now looking up at me from almost on its back. I scratch its chin—I can feel the purr-vibration, but I still can’t hear it. I bend down, put my ear to the cat’s chest and…yes. There is the purr, strong, solidly reverberating against my ear, communicating contentment.

All that…all that it took to hear the cat purr–waving away distractions, not getting caught up in the music, being (almost) rude…even when it was right in front of me I still had to get closer and make that last little effort to really hear.

Yeah, that’s what it’s like to hear your Holy Self. There are so many potential distractions and things that might veer you off course, but if you stay the path, keep focused, make that last little effort, it smiles up at you like, ” There you are. I’ve been waiting for you.”  And it brings you into the thoroughly comfy, cozy world of complete contentment.

Relax and let practice move you. Journey of Healing: Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Love is Wholeness. The essence of Love is Peace. The essence of Wholeness is Unity. My essence is Love, therefore, my essence is Peace; my essence is Unity. Since my essence is Unity, I share Love and Peace with you wholly. Knowing the Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All is the essence of holiness. I choose to be aware, to understand and to Know my whole and holy self, which is Love. 

Have you ever done the yoga position “bow”? It looks like this:BOW

As a kid I could do it easily. Now, I can barely get my chest or thighs up. There is advice for people doing this position as beginners, or with the stiffness of age. The advice is, “don’t try to pull with your arms. Relax with your body and let your legs (their weight) pull against your hands to stretch your upper body.” If you do it, without effort, just letting your body be in that position, you will get stronger and more flexible. This is an example of a practice.

A practice is something that, when you do it– just do it, it transforms you.  I have ongoing interest in the concept of “practice”.  The nature of a practice is its ability to transform you without you putting any energy/effort into thinking about the transformation; all you have to do is the practice.

These 40-day journeys are practices; doing them will transform you. They are fairly simple (many practices are), yet they are not always easy. The Journeys ask for 5 minutes of consideration/contemplation and 5 minutes of writing. That’s all…10 simple minutes. Simple! Yet, even in doing those few moments, there can be resistance, doubt, or apathy.

The root of these (resistance, doubt, apathy) lies not with the practice but with the transformation. If these emotions come up, they may point to a fear of transformation, a fear of change—what will it mean? Who would I be?

I share this with you, because I am really reminding myself. Today the resistance (in the form of wanting to avoid doing this), was very strong. Then I thought: I just need to do it. I just need to relax and let the Guiding Thought do what it does, let it work through me and with me. 10 minutes is all I need to give. 10 minutes shows willingness; 10 minutes affirms my commitment; 10 minutes and my words and actions are aligned.

I did it. I did the 10 minutes (a little more!) and I was moved—my body was uncomfortable, my emotions were brimming, but I did it. It felt though that it wasn’t the words of the Guiding Thought that were the active principle in the moving, nor was it the concepts of Wholeness, Oneness, and Love—all of which are my usual provocateurs. It was simply my willingness to let the practice bear the weight that I might be stronger.

The mind must be taught to perceive anew. Journey of Healing: Day 36

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

As I unite in consciousness with my own Loving Presence, I unite with Divine Mind. Divine Mind is Infinite Being—it is now, here, always. I exist in Divine Mind, as it does in me, united forever—One. It leads me to itself through my consciousness of my Self: my consciousness of my Self, as Infinite Being is Oneness with Divine Mind, is my Peace, is my wholeness, is my Unity with All.

I am the impetus. I am that which initiates everything that I experience and how I experience it.

There are only two directions that I can choose: wholeness/unity/oneness or division/separation.

My brain, in this body, experiencing space and time, is accustomed and habituated to choosing separation. That’s how it is made. It perceives through the 5 senses and it discerns, evaluates, separates, filters, and judges (See Aristotle). Then it chooses what it thinks is most valuable, based on…

Based on what?

…Based on familiarity. Or comfort.  Or pleasure. Or habit. Or ease. Or hunger. Or boredom.  Or avoidance. Or social constructs. Or economic forces. Or ambition. Or ignorance…or based any number of other things that drive human beings in this world.

All of these things that drive people—comfort, pleasure, hunger, ambition, etc. originate in the world, which is a world derived from separation.

As long as I am making choices in the world, about the world, I have already made the choice for separation. The choice of separation is the default—a tautology (“I am this way because that’s the way I am”). It’s what my eyes see, what my body experiences, what the social, class, race, gender-constructs reinforce.

If physical experiences orient our mind toward separation; if human sense-organs “automatically” divide and filter, how do human beings get past this? When all our conditioning tells us that reality is value-based, divisible, and able to be judged based on qualities that are random or pre-determined, how can people get out of this?

I have a choice. After all, I am the impetus. Who thinks in my head? Who has my thoughts? Who makes my decisions?

The mind must be taught to perceive anew, to “see” Oneness, rather than separation. Consciousness must be shifted into an awareness of Oneness.  From the conditioning of the world, the mind must be pulled to operate under the assumptions, habits, and motivations of Unity, rather than division and separation. Each person has this choice; each person has this responsibility.

Once Oneness becomes the experience…why would anyone want to live in a world of separation?