Shimmering without light, rippling without movement. Journey of Healing: Day 32

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

I go deep within my inner stillness, and feel Divine Mind’s presence within me. I hold out my empty hands, symbolic of leaving preconceptions behind; symbolic of seeking True answers, and I ask, “What is the essence of healing?” These words resonate within me, as though in a vast cavern.  The word essence reverberates with these thoughts, “For what do I care most deeply?” “What is my own essence? What is my Truth?” “Where is my deepest hurt, where is my pain, where is my sorrow (that I may be healed)?”

It seems for the first time on this Journey I am able to really go into the Guiding Thought. For the first time, I am allowing myself to feel it, to participate deeply in the movement of my mind into itself, into Divine mind. At other times on this Journey, my mind stayed at the surface, thinking superficially about the words, not letting my Self lead me.

Today I was in the cavern, my hands out, interacting with the stillness, with the vastness. All around me was darkness that felt full, vibrant, and responsive…it reverberated. As I asked into the darkness about the essence of healing, I felt a shimmering without light, a rippling without movement. And I just stood, hands out, feeling. Essence is not something to be defined, labeled, put in a compartment with the words, “this is it!” on the door. Essence is subtle. You Know it when you Know it; you feel it when you feel it, and slowly it teaches you of itself, beyond words. The words may come later, but at first there is just reverberation in vastness.

It was the same feeling when I moved to asking about what I care for most deeply. The response was the shimmer without light, the ripple without movement, the Knowing beyond words. I was getting an answer… but it’s an answer I don’t understand (yet).

Understanding is the bridge between awareness and Knowing.  The bridge is two directional and dialectical. It’s two directional because I can move from awareness to Knowing through understanding, or I can move from Knowing to awareness through understanding. Dialectical means that once a new understanding occurs, I am changed and approach the next step anew, and with my new approach, the encounter is also changed. I change, the situation changes, the new situation changes me.  With each new point of awareness, I move into a new point of understanding, which takes me into deeper Knowing, which turns around to give me new understanding, and new awareness… Two directional ends up being a dialectic cycle (see below/click for larger version). The point of course, is to get out of the cycle and just reside in Knowing.

All of this intellectualizing came after the contemplation of the Guiding Thought. In some ways, it’s a bit ironic—thoughts and words remove me from the Knowing, because I am translating the experience. At the same time, words give me a greater understanding of the process, and of myself. They give me a tool; they help me share. I hope for you, that you experience your own Knowing; that you sit with the vastness of your Self and vibrate in tune with the stillness. If my words help you understand, may any good that results be dedicated to you achieving enlightenment.

Graphic made for Dec. 2013
Graphic made for
Dec. 2013

With solid preparation…Forward! Journey of Healing: Day 31

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

Welcome to the final round of this Journey of Healing. This Journey has been a struggle for me. “Things”  (emotional crap) have been coming up; I have gained some insights about myself that have not been so easy to see; I have been working through a lot of my unworthy/inadequate/not-good-enough thoughts, as well as working at understanding congruence between the momentary experience and the universal (or Infinite) reality. I hope you have been having as much fun as me!

There is one thought about this Journey that seemed important for me to remember now during the final round, and to share:

When I was initiated with Reiki attunements, I was young—only 20. One of the first things I was taught is that “Reiki works on all levels of being—mind, body, emotions, spirit—it goes wherever it is needed most, for the healing.” What that means is that what you think is your priority for healing may not always be the priority for deepest healing. Think of it this way: if we, as multi-faceted, infinite beings, are represented by a turn of the 20th century old house, which we are renovating…we have to explore the nooks and crannies of walls, pipes, foundation and make sure they are sound and solid before we can change the cosmetics of the place. Our minds, spirits, and emotions are full of nooks and crannies. We have to get out the flashlight, go into the crawlspaces, and repair the places that are hard to see from the driveway. But here’s the kicker: we don’t always know; sometimes we don’t want to look (crawlspaces can be scary); even if we find a crack, we don’t know how far it goes (where it originates), and we don’t know how to fix it.

By seeking healing, as we do in the first three days of each round on this Journey, we are looking in those nooks and crannies for cracks in the foundation; we are proclaiming our commitment to truly wanting to find those cracks, so we can fix them to make our foundation stronger. At the same time, we are admitting we are not the experts—that we don’t know just what all the cracks mean, and which we should repair first.

On days 4, 5, and 6, we acknowledge and claim the end result—wholeness (or a fully renovated house). These days solidify our commitment to seeking out the nooks and crannies, because without fixing them first, our house is unstable. These three days we are giving ourselves permission to crawl in the dark spaces with the flashlight—because we know there is an expert who can fix what we find.

Days 7 and 8 are days we give to the experts. All we need to do on days 7 and 8 is to allow the experts to do their job—but we have to allow it. We must let them do what they know how to do, we must let our Whole and Holy Self work through us, as us.

Days 9 and 10 are rest and repair days. Your body heals the most when at rest, when you sleep. These two days are “sleep” days. Just relax. You’ve done a lot of work on days 1-8. Let your mind-body-soul rest and repair. It knows what to do, and can do it in your sleep, in your unconscious, in your subconscious…and you have given it all it needs to do so. Let it.

Day 31

I clear my mind of all past notions of what I think healing is. All memories and stories I erase from my thoughts, leaving only a clean slate. I turn my attention to my Inner Divine Mind and I ask, “What is healing”? And I wait and listen. In silence, I take my attention deeper into the vastness of Divine Mind and ask again, “What is healing?” and “What is wholeness?” and “What is holy?” And I wait and I listen. Feeling stillness, I simply pause in the quiet and await my answer.

I feel more ready for this now than I have the first three rounds of this Journey. It seems that because I understand a little better what’s going on (see above), I can let go a bit more; I can relax and let the Journey do what it needs to do with my mind/emotions in order to get at whatever the priority healing is for me to achieve wholeness. I can approach without expectation and let it teach me what healing is. I am ready. Let’s do this.

Just a bit more. Journey of Healing: Day 30

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

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 today, I offer only light, and learn, as I do, the wholeness of my Self.

It only takes one moment, one thought to Know the Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All. These Guiding Thoughts—and so many others—give us the doorway to Knowing. We just need to walk through. Yet, I plod; I practice; I work at it.  If it only takes one thought why do I have to do this every day? Why am I not just there?

I think about this a lot. What does it take to achieve that one moment, that one thought? What am I not doing, what do I need to do for this thought to be the one?

I guess if I had the answer, I would be there.

As I was working through this Guiding Thought, I was thinking about this. Today, the clues I got were: sincerity and dedication. I dug as deeply as I could today to be as sincere as possible in offering light to the world. My thoughts moved within my daily activity—watching as light infused my work place, my colleagues, my friends, my family, watching them smile with me, feeling the warmth of the unseen light. I thought, as I was seeing this, “I dedicate this light to you, to your light, to your in-lighten-ment.”

Then my thoughts moved to spiritual practitioners throughout the world, to people committed to bringing light to the world. I offered them light and dedicated the light to them.

Then my thoughts moved to people in pain, those who are suffering…and to the world’s political leaders…offering light, dedicating light. >I love being in “that space”. I love taking the time to think in these ways. The 20 or 30 or 50 minutes I have before starting my day often seems too little. <

My thoughts then moved to “higher” spiritual beings, and offering light to them. At first I thought, “why do they need my light!?” but as I sat with it/them the boundaries of “them” and “me” disappeared and I understood—just a bit more—the Wholeness of myself.

Appreciate yourself. Journey of Healing: Day 29

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

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.

Resting is good. Calming is good. We are doing some real work here on this Journey. There must be a balance between intent, focus, and “getting the job done” and relaxing enough to let the job you’ve done work within you. It’s a bit like letting the grout set for 24 hours after tiling. The grout solidifies, hardens, and becomes usable. Resting in calming light does that for all the effort you have put into deciding to be aware, choosing wholeness, connecting with your own Loving Presence. Now it’s time to let those ideas permeate through you, solidify, and become useable.

Take this day to take care of yourself. Appreciate yourself. Thank yourself for the hard work you have done.

Let your light shine. No thoughts. Just let it be. And be at Peace.

Just a little stretch. Journey of Healing: Day 28

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

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.

This guiding thought requires my participation throughout the day. This is not a one-time today thing. This is all day, every moment, as much as I can remember to do it thing.

This guiding thought is practice in two things: a) awareness and b) letting my Whole Self lead. It asks of me focused, consistent, concentrated, attentive awareness. And it asks me to acknowledge my Whole Self first before making decisions—“running it by” my Whole Self, so to say.

So I think about how this might go. First, I visualize my Whole Self within me, working through me (I’m finding the visualization from 2 days ago helpful); I clear my mind of preconceptions and expectations…and I look to my Whole Self about….what?

This kind of became my sticking point. It’s not that I don’t want to look to my Whole Self throughout the day, but what decisions are “right” to run by my Self? Most of my daily decisions are so trivial: Do I take that way to work this morning or this way? Shall I have coffee now…or later…or not at all? What do I say to this person in this email about the timeliness of our work?

All of the scenarios I come up with (and I am following the visualization, and offering these scenarios up to my Whole Self as I imagine my day) seem so unimportant. They are decisions I make routinely every day. I know how to get to work, I know whether or not I want coffee, and I know how to do my job—why in the world do I want to run these oh-so-trivial activities past my Whole Self? It’s not as if I have any big decisions ahead of me—my days are rather ordinary, predictable, and mundane.

But then….maybe that’s the point…

Maybe this is warm-up. Maybe this is practice. Maybe this is my Whole Self getting me familiar with it, letting me know it’s there for me through thick and thin, by starting with the thin. Maybe it’s working with me… within my routine, within my own comfort zone, in order that my routine may then incorporate my open-mind-empty-hands looking to my Whole Self more easily. Then when there is something out of the ordinary, something that potentially throws me off, something that might hinder my healing progress, I will already be accustomed to offering it to my Whole Self. It won’t be a big stretch, just a little one. So in that moment of stress, when I (otherwise routinely) might respond with antagonism, hostility, or impatience…instead maybe I will ask my Whole Self to lead and be able to respond with patience and kindness.

Imagine how it feels. Journey of Healing: Day 27

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

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. 

Sometimes, I feel like the Guiding Thought is just too much for my little brain to handle. Today is one of those days. There are a lot of ideas here that feel out of my grasp.

Not that I want them out of my grasp, not that I am rejecting them… (Actually, there seems to be a part of my brain that does want to reject them. It feels contrary, like it just wants to dispute)…these ideas, feels like a huge stretch for my mind to accept. So I go slowly, take each idea singly, break it down, try to accept them one at a time, each standing on its own. And I let the contrary part of my brain get its hot air out.

The first sentence was the hardest to get past. What do I know of Love? How can I say Love is Wholeness? How would I know Love is Wholeness? How do I know what that means? OK…can you think maybe there is a way to imagine in some circumstances, Love is Wholeness? It’s hard to imagine. What is Love? Can you imagine Wholeness? Not really. But I can imagine wanting to be whole. I can imagine that it is something I want to Know. Start there. Start with being willing to want to Know Wholeness. OK. Now, can you imagine Love as Peace? I can imagine Peace. It feels like stillness, calmness, no worries, no thoughts. Can you imagine that might be how Love feels? Yes.

Each part of the Guiding Thought went like that. Going over and over the idea, until I could find a place within myself that was at least willing to imagine the Truth of the statement. But it was hard, I’m not sure why.

The one part of this Guiding Thought that was easy to accept was the sentence, “Knowing the Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All is the essence of holiness.” It was easy, because I could remove myself from it. Its passive voice made it about anyone other than me, anyone who might be holy. I was able (easily) to imagine enlightened beings (Jesus, Shakyamuni Buddha, etc.) experiencing the Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All. That is bliss; that is transcendence.  In fact, of all of the sentences, this one makes the most sense. OF COURSE holiness is Whole Love and Peace with All. OF COURSE this is how holy people experience life.

For some reason…I am just not ready to tie the pieces together, to do the connecting this Guiding Thought prompts me to do. If I did that…I would have to think of myself as holy, as having the same essence of “those holy people”, and I am just not ready for that today. But I am definitely willing to imagine a time and place where I accept and Know my essence as Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All.

Becoming the deity in the mandala. Journey of Healing: Day 26

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

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.

Just before contemplating today’s Guiding Thought, I had been reading Bodhisattva Attitude by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In it, he mentions “sleeping yoga with creativity”. This means as you fall asleep, you “visualize yourself as the deity in the mandala.”  At first I thought, “I as deity…isn’t that sacrilege?” (This is my Christian background talking). But then I thought about this in terms of this Journey and used this idea about visualizing myself as the deity in the mandala to enhance today’s Guiding Thought.

First, let me say that I don’t really know what deity in the mandala means to Lama Zopa Rinpoche (he does not explain this in the book). For me, it meant to visualize myself embodying (literally, in-bodying—taking on the body of) one of my highest teacher-gurus, and also taking on the qualities of that teacher-guru. I have several teacher-gurus, who I turn to and learn from regularly: Jesus, Shakyamuni Buddha, Kuan Yin, Avelokiteshvara (the Dalai Lama), Shiva Nataraj, Haidakhan Wale Baba (aka “Babaji”), to name a few. They all have wisdom, lessons, and insight that I find useful, valuable, and in the service of All.

During the Guiding Thought, I began to visualize myself as the “deity in the mandala”—as my guru-teacher Babaji. Only he wasn’t the deity in the mandala (whatever that means), he was my own Loving Presence. It was like my consciousness stayed as a shadow of myself as me, while my own Loving Presence, in the form of Babaji, stood towering over-in-behind me. He was me, but I was also watching him from my consciousness.

While standing there, he-as-me became very much like the analogy of “one coin, two sides”. His/My front was still “me” in consciousness, but his/my back opened and flowed into infinity. He, as my own Loving Presence, was also my union with, my connection to, Infinite Divine Mind. In that image the sentence of the Guiding Thought, “I exist in Divine Mind, as it does in me, united forever—One” became real. And I saw/understood how Infinite Divine Mind does lead me to itself through my consciousness of my Self. Divine Mind needs me. It needs me to be aware of it, to use my consciousness to recognize it, to see it, to know it is there connected with me, connecting me with All. In that moment there was Peace… real Peace. “My consciousness of my Self as Infinite Being is Oneness with Divine Mind, is my Peace, my wholeness, and my Unity with All.”

Finally, Lama Zopa Rinpoche also sums up the connection between today’s Guiding Thought and the meaning of healing. He says, “Freeing yourself from the concept of permanence, attachment and so forth means also freeing yourself from anger and all the problems that come with anger, such as jealousy. You free yourself from all those sicknesses and chronic diseases of the mind and open the door to peace…You give yourself peace and from that great inner peace come a healthy mind, and a healthy body. That’s how it works.”

May all the activities of my body, mind, and speech become the cause to achieve enlightenment and to enlighten all sentient beings.

Let us be Whole together. Journey of Healing: Day 25

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

My own Loving Presence is my personal connection with Divine Mind. Attuned to my own Loving Presence, I Know myself as whole and holy. As I feel my inner unity, I know: this is all I want; I have found all I seek.

Few words today. Just rest here with me, in the stillness of our Oneness, where our Loving Presences meet in Divine Mind.

Let us be Whole together. Let us be Holy. Let us be One, here, now, today, in stillness, in the certainty of Knowing.

Invite others; invite All. Let us weave our light-web of Knowing Oneness with anyone, with everyone.

Give your Loving Presence to any and All today—that is what they seek; you are their fulfillment. Your certainty in your Self shows them their own Self, shows you both Oneness.

Following the compass of highest ideal. Journey of Healing: Day 24

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

To heal and be healed is to be aware, to understand, and to Know Wholeness.  Thus I seek Wholeness, Unity, Oneness within my own mind and heart, and in all my actions and affairs. I focus on uniting the fragments within myself, so that I see only Oneness, which is the Truth of my Self. As I Know myself as the Oneness that I am, this Truth reflects in the world around me, confirming what I Know through my experience in my life activity. 

This guiding thought is complex. One of my professors uses the word “unpack” to mean “let’s break this down” or “let’s look more closely at the constituent parts, and see how they fit together.” Unpacking is a necessary skill when studying concepts—because we are trying to get at what is behind, under, in, and around the words. Words are empty; words are symbols. What fills the words? What do the symbols represent?  What meaning do you bring to the words? These are the questions that unpacking answers.

In contemplating today’s guiding thought I turned naturally to unpacking. Here is some of it:

To heal and be healed is: “To heal” can mean that I (my body) heal, as a passive action; or it can mean that I can heal another, which is a dynamic action, something that I do. “Be healed” can mean that I am being healed by another or that it is a state of being which requires no action—it just is.  The verb is denotes that the two subjects, to heal and be healed are the same thing, they are equal—“is”.  What are they equal to?

…is to be aware, to understand, and to Know: These words denote both a process and a state of being—awareness happens moment to moment; each moment of awareness leads to understanding, and each moment of awareness is also a state of being aware; understanding requires its own development (i.e. it must be cultivated), occurs moment to moment, is a result of awareness, and brings about Knowledge. Knowledge is the cumulative effect and result of awareness and understanding, Knowledge is also a state of being—in Knowledge there is certainty, sureness, no-questions, just Knowing.

…to be aware, to understand and to Know Wholeness: means to be both in the process of coming to Knowledge about Wholeness, as well as to be in the state of being that is Wholeness.

What is Wholeness? “Thus I seek Wholeness, Unity, Oneness within my own mind and heart, and in all my actions and affairs.” Part of the clue to unpacking this was found yesterday on this Journey: “The point is to rely on my own Loving Presence to guide me.  The point is to turn to the Loving Presence within me, that Knows Divine Mind, in everything I do. The point is to encounter each activity, all day, all interactions by being guided by the Self of me, by offering that activity to my own Loving Presence.” The idea of healing, of wholeness, is the True North on the compass—it is the highest ideal, which when offered to my own Loving Presence, serves to guide my life and activity in a way that corresponds to Divine Mind’s highest ideal for my life and affairs.

The thing about unpacking is that even the unpacking can be unpacked. When working with concepts, there are always layers, always depths to plumb. For example, what does it mean to say that “understanding requires its own development?”  Or what does it mean to be in a state of being? Each concept can be viewed in relation to any other concept, and with each connection, more is revealed about both.

Of course, words (and even concepts) are simply symbols. Through them we learn our Self—our infinite, eternal Self. There are infinite concepts, infinite connections, infinite relationships that show you your Self. Some words and concepts expand your understanding and lead you to Knowledge (ideas like Love, Peace, Healing, and Oneness); some lead you to limits and boundaries, walls that you build. How deep will you go in your thoughts, in seeking your Self? Will you expand and include or stagnate and limit?

Claim your ignorance. Journey of Healing: Day 23

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for

I rely on my own Loving Presence to lead and guide me toward the meaning of healing. Seeking the meaning of healing frames all my activity and gives context to all my interactions. Though I may encounter disturbances throughout daily activity, I lay them at the feet of my own Loving Presence and continue to ask, “What is healing?” My own Loving Presence directs me as I listen in the stillness.

After yesterday, today’s Guiding Thought makes sense in a new way.  One of the themes yesterday was, “I do not know!” and it was a freeing realization. Today, I understand why it was freeing: I do not know, but I can rely on my own Loving Presence to guide me. I may not know, but my own Loving Presence does.

In fact, with new understanding today, I realize that finding the meaning of healing is not even the point.  For as long as I live in a world of perception, judgment, and the valuing of one thing over another, meaning is meaningless, because it is only the preference of one idea (perception, judgment, value) over another.

The point is to rely on my own Loving Presence to guide me.  The point is to turn to the Loving Presence within me, that Knows Divine Mind, in everything I do. The point is to encounter each activity, all day, all interactions by being guided by the Self of me, by offering that activity to my own Loving Presence.

The point is for me to get out of my own way! I do not know! When I approach my life and activity thinking that I know, thinking I have an answer (or the answer), thinking “I got this”…I am interacting through ignorance. Not intentional ignorance, but the ignorance born of limited perspective, opinion, and interpretation. Freedom comes in giving those meanings I have created, in my limited way, to the Loving Presence within that has direct communication with the Infinite and Eternal.

What is freedom, but living and acting in the acceptance of what is Infinite and Eternal? What is freedom, but knowing my Self as this expansiveness? With this, is another clue! Any time I act or think in a limiting way…I am not letting my Self (my own Loving Presence) guide me.  Is freedom not what I want, what I know I want, truly, deeply?  I want to be free in Love, in Peace, in Joy all the time (dammit!). And that includes you too, you know:  This is the real meaning of, “no one is free while others are oppressed”.

Be free! Claim your ignorance as a vehicle for freedom! At every limitation, at every moment, in every interaction—give your ignorance and limitation to the Self within you, your own Loving Presence, to take to Infinite and Eternal Divine Mind…and listen as your Infinite Self returns to you, through you, as you.