“Rlung” is NOT the Sound of a Phone Ringing: Journey of Freedom – Day 01

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Love is my natural state; In Love I remember who I truly am; I remember my holiness, my innocence, and my infinity.  Love enlightens my mind and lifts my heart. I am buoyant and expansive! I am now aware of my Self as Infinite Love, unbounded and free, thoroughly loving and lovable.


One of the things I am really going to work on for this Journey is the feeling of freedom. I don’t mean the emotion of freedom. I mean more like a sense…not something physical or tangible, not something experienced in the mind or feelings, but something that wafts or blows through the body like a sensation that’s not physical, yet is somehow.

A lot of the Eastern words for wind also mean energy. The Tibetan word “rlung” means “wind-energy.” It is translated from the Sanskrit word prana which means Life-energy and also wind, and is translated into Chinese as qi, which also means Life-energy or wind.

It seems to me this phrase “wind-energy” points to the experience in my body that I am referring to. Today as I was reading, contemplating the Guiding Thought, I started feeling this wind-energy. “Buoyant” is another word that conveys the feeling of that experience. As I think about Freedom….as I think about Love…as I think about letting go and expanding, there is an energy that comes into my physical awareness. It literally feels higher or more buoyant, a subtle movement that just arrives. When I sit with it, it expands and becomes more intense. If I move my attention away, it seems to subside, but then I can bring my attention back to it and it starts up again.

There are several layers of experience going on at the same time, as I contemplate the Guiding Thought. One layer is the concept itself, freedom. This layer engages my mind, my intellect, which was summarized in the first two posts, “Why a Journey of Freedom” parts I and II, respectively.  The next layer could be called the qualities of freedom—what is it that underlies the concept? What are the characteristics of freedom? How do I feel and engage the world when I am free? Here are some words I’ve come up with: assured, protected, attuned, expansive, creative, bold, confident, clear, light, calm. The next layer engages both of the previous layers; it is an awareness of how this wind-energy responds to my ideas of both freedom and its characteristics. What is this wind-energy when I think about being bold, when I think about being creative or calm or attuned or light?

This exercise brings my awareness and my energy into the nuances of freedom, into how I relate personally with the word freedom and its characteristics.

I’m going to work on the awareness of this wind-energy, as it relates to freedom, as I move through my days, bringing the experience into my activity as often as possible throughout this Journey.

Journey of Freedom: Commitment and Dedication

Commitment and Dedication Statement

I can always go deeper. Everyone can always go deeper. The depths are infinite, for we are mining Love.

For this Journey I commit to going deeper. When I reach a stuck point, a lazy point, a frustrated point, an embarrassed point, an exposed point…I commit to taking one step, however small, to get beyond it. For this I will use the tools of the practices, over and above my daily Journey practice. I will delve and hunt and dig-out the disturbances and obscurations that limit my-your-our freedom.

I will strive to be aware, to understand, to know, and to live the Love I Am in Truth.

I dedicate any good that comes from any of my thoughts and actions as a result of this Journey to your benefit and enlightenment, to the benefit and enlightenment of All, in all time and space. May we be free together in the reality of Divine Love.

Why a Journey of Freedom Part II

For this Journey, Freedom means simply living in Divine Presence, living in the Presence of God. In a conscious mind, this freedom can be the undercurrent of all activity—of the mind, body, and emotions.

In a way, all the previous and following Journeys are sub-sets of a Journey of Freedom. The Journeys of Purpose, Healing, Worth, Fulfillment, Heart, Abundance, etc., encourage the active, conscious strengthening of the awareness and understanding of Divine Presence through those different aspects. A Journey of Freedom is the ultimate journey—the reason for all the other Journeys, the “goal” of every journey—every journey of life, every path we walk, from our families-friends-relationships to the work we choose or don’t choose, to our health and body. A Journey of Freedom is one step, but it’s a step that puts these other steps in a larger context.

God is infinite. Love is infinite. No matter how far you’ve come, no matter how much Divine Presence you think-feel-be, there is always more. Always.

My personal evolution of becoming acquainted with my own Divine Presence and my relationship with God has shown me that the Ultimate Journey of Freedom is the only worthwhile journey there is. It’s the only thing I can bring to all my activities that assures me of Love, that helps me feel fulfilled, that shifts my experience of “negative” situations into loving ones, into Peace and Acceptance. It brings a state of mind that feels natural and easy; I feel light and unburdened, trusting and peaceful.

Bringing Divine Presence into worldly activity is a top-down approach. In meditating/contemplating Love and learning to understand that Love as the Self is the top. Bringing that Love-as-Self into relationships, work, finances, etc., is the down.

There is also the bottom-up approach. We live in a material world with habits, routines, material goods, work, and other people. This is the bottom. As we learn to evolve our material surroundings and create circumstances that are more loving and beneficial for more people, we are lifting them up so that the structures we have in our lives can express more Love.

As our mental state gains more capacity for Love, our desire to evolve our material state to resonate with that Love comes more easily and naturally. As we evolve our material state to express Love more easily and naturally, we make room for an infusion of more Love into the material state. When used consciously, the top-down, bottom-up approaches work hand-in-hand, like a cycle of release and realization.

It’s very freeing.

There are some things I will be working on during this Journey, some aspects of my own obscurations that have recently been brought to my awareness. I need to look at some things I can sense within, which I can feel affecting me, hindering me from expressing more of my Divine Presence. I can feel these things hovering, weighing me down. I feel resistant to looking; I feel resistant to seeing, I feel resistant to transforming. This is why I must look, see, and transform. Here are some of the things I know about this right now:

  1. There is something about pride. I want to think I am doing something. I want to think what I am doing is important. What this translates into (for me, at the moment) is a rejection of God: “It’s all about me. I don’t need God. I don’t need help. I can do this alone.” (And… yes… a part of me is looking at myself shaking its head.)
  2. There is something about fear of surrender. If you’ve followed any of these Journeys, you know I’ve been working on surrender for a while. Here it is…again.
  3. There is something about fear of losing my mind. I noticed this one when I was reading In the Presence of Masters. Here is the section I read:

The Buddha taught three different approaches on three separate occasions. These are known as the Three Turnings of the Wheel, but they can be summed up in a single phrase: “Mind; there is no mind; mind is luminosity.”

The first, “Mind,” refers to the first set of teachings and shows that the Buddha taught that there is a “mind.” This was to dispel the nihilistic view that there is no heaven, no hell, no cause and effect. Then, when the Buddha said, “There is no mind,” he meant that mind is just a concept and that there is no such thing as a truly existing mind. Finally, when he said, “Mind is luminous,” he was referring to Buddha-nature, the undeluded or primordially existing wisdom.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

In the Presence of Masters edited by Reginald Ray, page 12

When I read, “there is no mind,” it was like lightning struck my body, scrambling all my circuits: What!? What do you mean there is no mind!? How does that make sense? Who am I without my mind? What does that make me without my mind??” I was in a bit of a panic. The wisdom of the passage eluded me. I felt a clinching, a holding-onto, a clinging to my mind…a fear of losing my mind.

Perhaps you can see how this relates to both pride and fear of surrender?

  1. All of the above led to a recognition of a fear of not being in control.

The first step is awareness. The Journey has begun!



Why a Journey of Freedom Part I

I said “Freedom is a complex concept; there are many ways to conceive and understand freedom” and I promised a bit of substance to the concept of freedom before beginning this Journey. This article references the quotes I offered here.

There are several themes that come out in these quotes. They are:

  1. Acknowledging the chains. (Rousseau)
  2. Courage to claim responsibility, Sapere Aude! (Kant)
  3. The Soul leads us naturally to Self-realization, freeing us from our bondage (Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami).
  4. Freedom is a two-fold path: letting go (of disturbances and obscurations) and attaining (being the qualities of wisdom and compassion). (The Dogzchen Pönlop Rinpoche)
  5. Conviction, devotion, faith. (Daniel of the Christian Bible)
  6. Restoration (Luke and Job of the Christian Bible)
  7. Aspiration (Matthew of the Christian Bible)
  8. Remembrance of and sharing Love (A Course in Miracles)

This Journey has the potential to have a lot going on. What follows are some of my thoughts about freedom and how different cultures and texts talk about the concept. This is like salivating before eating a good meal—it’s the preparation for digestion (and there is a lot to digest!).

Let’s start with Rousseau. Now, I know Rousseau was not talking about Enlightenment or Freedom in the same way that I am in this Journey. He was addressing the dynamic of ownership and private property, which (he says) corrupted humans’ natural state. The natural state Rousseau describes as basically peaceful, without reason to bring harm to others.  It was inequality that brought humans out of this peaceful state and provided reasons to bring harm to others (to obtain what others possessed). [You may find a pretty straight-forward explanation of this here]

What we get from Rousseau is that people should be free—free to live in peace and harmlessness, because that is the natural state. But, with people born into a society that has inherent inequalities, created by humans themselves, human nature has become corrupted.

How does this relate to A Journey of Freedom?

I see this as a Western Philosophy take on undoing the things that we (people in society) have done that have suppressed our realization of our true nature. “Man is born free.” In other words, if man were born into his natural state, he would be free. But he’s born into societal structures that perpetuate inequality, so he is “everywhere in chains”. How do we do get back to a natural state? Rousseau’s solution is societal—to create a democracy. Rousseau’s idea of democracy has been highly contested, because it basically requires the subordination of all personal rights to the community as a whole.

There are two main takeaways here: 1) People’s natural state is freedom. 2) People in a natural state are equal.  These correspond to ideas you have seen already in these Journeys, for example, “The Truth within me Knows me for who I am—Pure Love, Only Love, beyond all valuing of the world. In Love all are equal, for we are One. This is how Truth Knows me—Pure, One, and Free. This is my Truth; this is our Truth; this is the Self I love.” The Self that we all are is Love—that is our natural state. In love, there in only equality, because in Love there is no division—no you or I, we are One—and in Oneness there can be only equality.

Or, for example, “My consciousness of my Self, as Infinite Being is Oneness with Divine Mind, is my Peace, is my wholeness, is my Unity with All.”

Or, for example, “Where is Love? Everywhere. It just is. Where is Oneness? Everywhere. It just is. Where is Peace? Everywhere. It just is. Where is God? Everywhere. It just is. Where am I? Everywhere…One with Love, One with Oneness, One with Peace, One with God. I just am.”

The idea of freedom is pervasive in all its complexity. What it means to people and how we get there are the different turnings of the wheel to its ultimate realization. What does it mean to you? How do you live freedom? How do you strive for freedom? How do you create freedom in your world?

This leads us to Kant.

Kant does not have much faith in people. To him, people are basically lazy lemmings. Who has the courage to think for themselves? Who has the courage to use their own minds, to make their own decisions?

Use your mind; think about what freedom is for you. Feel what it means to you to be free. Seek your own answers. Follow your own truth. You will only contribute to all of us seeking, thinking, feeling…together.

Because (according to the Hindu quote), we are all seeking the same thing—Self Realization, experiencing God, our Self.   The natural evolution of the Soul living in us, is to free us from “the bondages of ignorance.” What ignorance is this? It is the ignorance of Self Realization, the ignorance of our relationship with God in us. Attaining that relationship consciously, in this body is moksha—the Truth the Soul strives toward.

Buddhism breaks this down for us. How do we strive? We strive by letting go of anything that is not our Divine Nature, and being the things that are of this nature—wisdom and compassion.

In Buddhism, wisdom and compassion are often analogized as two wings of a bird. One wing is wisdom, the other is compassion. The bird itself is Love, supported by the wings of compassion and wisdom. The mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” embodies this idea in a mystical way; the spiritual sound goes beyond any literal translation of the words. Mani represents the concept of compassion; Padme represents the concept of wisdom; Hum represents their unification (indivisibility) in Love.*

The Christian texts give a bit of a twist to these ideas of letting go and attainment, but the principles are similar: turn toward God (and away from sin) and salvation will be granted, aspire to God (“be ye perfect” and “Prepare ye the way of the Lord”) and let go (“if any say ‘I have sinned’…he will deliver his soul”). In these texts, there is a similar emphasis on personal action (through prayer, preparation, and repentance) in order to attain God’s blessing.

The scenes from the Book of Daniel have always been very personally inspiring to me. What happens when devotion, conviction, and faith are practiced…really practiced? –God closes the mouths of the lions, and sends His angel to cool the flames.

But how does this relate to Freedom? Think about the frame of mind of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah), knowing they were convicted to go to the lion’s den and the fiery furnace, respectively. They were peaceful; there was no fear. No fear. That is freedom. I think about what it would be like to have so much faith that I could get a death sentence and be at peace. Peace: that is freedom. There is another layer to this though. Their faith was not superficial; in fact these punishments were due to them practicing their faith, their devotion to God. And this brings us to another level: their complete and utter surrender to God, to His Will.

This is all very profound to me, and not something I can easily put into words, but in short:  surrender brings about freedom. Do God’s Will. Be free.

This is carried through with the quote from A Course in Miracles, “Your freedom is in Him” (my emphasis). There is no Freedom without God. In the longer quote, freedom is the recognition of God in other people, “Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an acknowledgement of what they are and what He is (my emphasis). Freedom is Love, which we give to each other, which is what is acceptable to God. Being acceptable to God, He shares it with All his Creations, through us, to each other.

I hope this has sparked your own ideas about Freedom and what it means to you. Discover for yourself; go deeper into your thoughts; find something new, let some things go.  Sapere Aude! This should be fun.


*On the meaning of: OM MANI PADME HUM: “The jewel is in the lotus” or “Praise to the jewel in the lotus” by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso – Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet. http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/omph.htm





The Truth of Who You Are IS: Journey of Abundance – Afterword

Try this: sit down at a table and hold a rubber band between the thumb and index finger of both hands. Now stretch the rubber band—it can be a small stretch or one with a lot of tension. Now let it go with both hands at the same time and watch how the rubber band responds. It rebounds, maybe “jumps” a bit when it lands, then comes to rest on the table. It looks like it did before you first picked it up. Now use your imagination to look more closely. What’s going on at an atomic level? All the molecules are jarred and jumbling about, perhaps smashing into each other and going some very unexpected directions. They have not yet come to rest, they are finding a new place, a new position after being stretched then suddenly released. On the outside there is no visible change, but inside…lots of activity.

This is how I felt the first two days after completing the Journey of Abundance. Everything about life was the same—the same routines, the same habits, the same people, but inside I was jumbling about.

During those first two days, my emotions were all over the place—they had not yet risen to a level of awareness, my mind did not understand what was going on; I was simply feeling. I felt uneasy, uncomfortable, distressed, unfocused, “off,” imbalanced, chaotic. I felt like I just wanted to “get back to normal” (whatever that meant). During those days, I did not think. I did not want to think. I did not want to connect with myself; I did not want to go within. I was tired of thinking, tired of working, tired of trying to “get somewhere.” It was like I had just played the mental equivalent of four-quarters of a championship game and wanted it to be over.

It was the third day when I began to understand, “This is all part of the Journey.” “This is the period of rest, the period of integration.” My mind has been jumbled, and now it is finding its place again.  On a neurological level, I can imagine that my neurons have been firing in new ways, have built new neural pathways, and have been subjected to that for forty days. Now they are re-aligning and integrating those new connections with the old ones. The mind-body-spirit-emotion relationships and functions are beyond my education and understanding—I don’t claim to know how it all works—this is just one more way to think about it, to understand, to integrate.

During the forty days, I let go of a lot. I let go of wanting to control how my financial circumstances look (that is: where my income comes from, how I receive money and all good, what I think of as “all my good”). I moved into a place of acceptance, allowing, and receiving, simply letting things show up rather than trying to make something happen. I stopped wanting to do things to get money, started being aware of spiritual rather than material cause.

Those first few days after the forty days ended, I noticed these pre-journey attitudes came back to a small degree. This was all part of the re-alignment, the rebalancing. Part of me was pulling me back. But I noticed. I recognized these as thought patterns that were prominent before the Journey, and I was able to look at them, not judge them, watch how they were adjusting, and trust that they were being aligned at a new (higher) place. Because I had begun to understand this is all part of the Journey, I decided to just let it be and not worry that I was perhaps devolving.

After all, the forty day Journey was more like a stretched rubber-band than a catapult. It was not that I was flung into a new place altogether and re-adjusting to completely new ideas, thoughts, experiences; it was that I am here now, in life, stretching.

Some people do experience catapult-like growth in their spiritual progress. Sometimes now, I even get very small catapults, as moments of realization, glimpses of Truth, understandings of Knowing. But even catapults require integration. In 1994-5, I spent about a year doing really intense spiritual purification, which meant really intense letting go, really intense self-exploration, really intense learning to just be. I did not take pauses to integrate—life consisted solely of the growth of that year-long journey. When that period was done, for about a year after, I was almost as good as a vegetable (and I am ever-so grateful to my friends who supported me through this time). It took me a year to begin to adjust the inner-growth with the outer experience of life. It took me several more years to stabilize in society, with people, continuing to integrate into the world while maintaining my connections with my Self, Spirit, with God. Some of the leaps I made in that single year, I was still integrating 15 years later (and perhaps still am even now on very subtle levels).

We are all already Divine beings. We just have to be it, to be the Divine Self we are, to be it in the world, with other people, with ourselves. And continue doing it, every day, every minute, every thought, every action, and every breath. Can you be it for one moment? Can you be it at work, at school, in your relationships? Can you be it for several consecutive moments? Can you be it for a lifetime?

When I do these Journeys, they focus me and give me a framework for being in the world as my Divine Self. They keep me on the bigger path, as I walk through the details of life. A Journey of Abundance was completed in the middle of last week.  My molecules have pretty much stopped jumbling, my neural pathways are evening-out with new connections; I am not concerned about the time of chaos those first two days. I am a step further on the path…and ready and eager to take the next series of baby steps!

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge some of the effects, or results, of this Journey of Abundance. I did receive several material and non-material gifts during the forty days of this Journey. I received a gift of money from out of the blue. I had an amazing weekend-visit with friends and relatives, during which I felt very close and connected the whole time. I received many gifts throughout the Journey: tools, art work, random gifts…I have been wanting a rice cooker for over a year, and have just not gotten around to researching/buying one. A friend of mine, out of the nowhere, pulls a rice cooker out of the closet and said, “Do you want this rice cooker?” And of course, I had wanted one for a while, and I was a bit surprised at the suddenness of the offer, so I sort of hesitated in wonder at the situation and slowly nodded my head, “yes”. He said, “I did a lot of research and everything and everyone says, ‘This is the one to get.’” I just thought, “Wow,” and said, “Thank you.” When I got it home, I pulled his receipt out of the box—it had cost over $130. It is most certainly a better rice cooker than any I would have purchased for myself!

One thing I know about these Journeys (or any spiritual work) and their integration is that the spiritual and material effects do not stop when the Journey ends. They ripple, like rings of water in a pond when a pebble breaks the surface. The effort toward knowing and living the Truth of who you are, of living a life of Love, of being your Divine Self is offered to infinity, for eternity. Once it’s out there, it’s there…infinitely and eternally, because the Truth of who you are is and can never diminish.

A Journey of Freedom begins June 28th.

If you have reflections, thoughts, or questions about abundance or freedom (or anything else!) please feel free to contact me with sharing, questions, or ideas Susanwithpearls@gmail.com.

A Journey of Freedom begins June 28th!

see schedule here

Freedom is a complex concept. There are many ways to conceive and understand freedom. In preparation for this Journey, I have compiled some of the concepts that have lead me to this place, to this Journey. I love thinking about freedom. Do you have anything to contribute? Email me (Susanwithpearls@gmail.com) or put your thoughts in the comments below.

I’ll be adding more substance to these references before the Journey begins… stay tuned.

Western Philosophy

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. Here’s one who thinks he is the master of others, yet he is more enslaved than they are. How did this change come about? I don’t know. What can make it legitimate.

J.J. Rousseau, The Social Contract

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men, even when nature has long emancipated them from alien guidance, nevertheless gladly remain immature for life. For the same reasons, it is all too easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so convenient to be immature! If I have a book to have understanding in place of me, a spiritual adviser to have a conscience for me, a doctor to judge my diet for me, and so on, I need not make any efforts at all. I need not think, so long as I can pay; others will soon enough take the tiresome job over for me.

Immanuel Kant An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?”


The soul, in its intelligence, searches for its Self, slowly ascending the path that leads to enlightenment and liberation. It is an arduous, delightful journey through the cycles of birth, death and rebirth culminating in Self Realization, the direct and personal spiritual experience of God, of the Self, of Truth. This alone among all things in the cosmos can bring freedom from the bondages of ignorance and desire. This is the highest realization. There is none greater. Hindus believe that all men and women are on this path and that all will ultimately reach its summit. It is a glorious and encouraging concept—that every single soul will reach Truth, moksha,none left to suffer forever for human frailties and faults.

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Dancing with Shiva: Hinduism’s Contemporary Catechism.

Himalayan Academy, 2003. P. 24.


[In Tibetan] Changchub means enlightenment, or buddhahood, because chang, the first syllable, means “totally free from all obscurations,” totally free from all our emotional disturbances or garbage. The second syllable, chub, means “attainment,” attaining all the qualities of wisdom; it also means “realization,” realizing the wisdom aspect and the compassion quality of our mind. Therefore, changchub means enlightenment, which has the quality of being completely free from all the obscurations as well as having attained all wisdoms. [A second word added to this] sempa means: sem– “heart,” or “attitude,” referring to the enlightened attitude, enlightened heart, or enlightened aspiration and pa means “warrior.” Sempa therefore means “warrior,” “heroic,” or “the courageous one.” We might translate changchub sempa as a person who has a brave mind that has been purified and expanded.

The Dogzchen Pönlop Rinpoche in In the Presence of Masters edited by Reginald Ray, page 91


Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said unto the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

Christian Bible, King James version. Daniel, book three

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: “Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” Then said Daniel unto the king, “O king, live forever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”

Christian Bible, King James version. Daniel, book six

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Christian Bible, King James version. Luke, book three

If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness; then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: he shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

Christian Bible, King James version. Job, book 33

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Christian Bible, King James version. Matthew, book five

A Course in Miracles

In our remembrance of EACH OTHER lies our remembrance of God. And in this remembrance lies your freedom because your freedom IS in Him…This is our gift of gratitude to Him, which He will share with ALL His creations, to whom He gives equally whatever is acceptable to Him. BECAUSE it is acceptable to Him it is the gift of freedom, which IS His Will for all His Sons. By OFFERING freedom YOU will be free…

Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an ACKNOWLEDGMENT of what THEY are and what HE is. Freedom is creation because it is love.

A Course in Miracles, original edition Chapter 8, section 5, paragraph 33

Let’s Dance! : Journey of Abundance – Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

The Divine Presence of Love is the most natural energy in the world and beyond. Through the wisdom of Love, I understand wealth as an expression of my Divine nature, to be cultivated in my consciousness, expressed, and shared. My love is infinite. My wealth is infinite. I realize this as my reality and circulate wealth with joy and gratitude.


More than anything today, I am feeling excited about the future. I don’t know why. Maybe because I have a lot of things in the pipeline that are becoming fulfilled…maybe because I am now finishing another Journey (YAY!) …maybe because I have felt a re-invigoration with my J.O.B.   I don’t know.

But I do feel that all of these things have been infused with the energy of this Journey…and today’s Guiding Thought really sums it up.

Think about it!

  • I have been practicing being my own Divine Presence for 39 (and today, 40) days. That’s really cool! (Oh, btw, I am a nerd about this kind of stuff… so, yes, it is really cool.) Proficiency seems to come and go, it has had its ups and downs…but I have been doing it. Yes!
  • My consciousness has expanded. It really has! I can feel it. I am not as small as I used to be. I have overcome hurdles and obstacles, which have made me stretch and grow. I am not the same as I was 39 days ago.
  • Feeling Divine Love and Light is easier, more natural to me today than it was 39 days ago. I feel more open, more receptive to people. At the moment, I am just in love with people everywhere. I am excited for and about people…I want people to be happy and productive, and I want to help them (if they want that…).
  • I feel very relaxed about my financial future. Everything is OK. Everything is working how it should. All is as it should be. I am productive. I love to work. I love serving and helping people. I love using my skills and talents for the good of All. I feel good about this.

Granted, while I was writing all that, I was recognizing how far I have yet to go. How little I know. How much there is still ahead to work through, to reveal, to realize. But, hey, that’s infinity for you.

Sometimes I really wonder when or if there comes a point of certainty. I don’t know. What I think (right now, today), is the glimpses of certainty become longer and more frequent, and we can also feel flashes of certainty. The trick is to continue being certain. We can work at cultivating certainty in this manner, but as long as we are in a physical body, there will be uncertainty and ignorance. Remember Nicolas of Cusa? There is always something beyond human understanding.

But then I think: if we are connecting with the Divine, which is both being and beyond, which is All-in-All, doesn’t that get us beyond? How do people who are incredible spiritual masters experience life? What do they think? Do they have doubts and uncertainty, or do they just Know all the time? How long does an average person have to live to become wise in this way? Do average people have access to Knowledge, or is it only really devoted spiritual aspirants? I do not know.

There’s a story of a spiritual master walking up the path toward heaven. He comes upon an aspirant dancing, whirling feverishly in devoted frenzy. The aspirant greets the master asking about his travels and the master says, “I am on my way to heaven.” The aspirant becomes very excited and asks, “When you get there, will you find out how much longer I have before I may reach heaven?” The master agrees and continues on the path.

Further up the trail, the master comes upon another aspirant who has been in meditation so long the ants have built a huge anthill around him, up to his neck. The aspirant greets the master asking about his travels; the master says, “I am on my way to heaven.” The aspirant becomes very excited and asks, “When you get there, will you find out how much longer I have before I may reach heaven?” The master agrees and continues on the path.

When the master reaches heaven, he asks about the two aspirants then leaves and heads back down the path.

He comes upon the aspirant in meditation underneath the anthill. The aspirant asks, “Did you find out how long I have before I may reach heaven?” The master says, “Indeed I did. Your efforts are not in vain, you have but four lives to live as an aspirant, and you will reach heaven.” “What!?” the aspirant exclaims, sounding annoyed. “I have been in meditation so long the ants have built their home around me! And here I have yet four more lives. What justice is this?”

Further down the path the master comes upon the aspirant dancing, whirling feverishly in devoted frenzy. The aspirant asks, “Did you find out how long I have before I may reach heaven?” The master says, “Indeed I did. Your efforts are not in vain. Do you see this banyan tree that you dance beneath? You have only as many lives as there are leaves on this tree before you will see heaven.” “Oh joyous news!” the aspirant exclaimed. “I have but as many lives as leaves; I attend to my dancing and devotion with renewed vigor!”

Sometimes I feel like the aspirant under the anthill. Sometimes I feel like the dancer. Today, there is dancing, rejoicing, and renewed vigor. I don’t know how long I have before I reach heaven, but I am happy to be joyfully on the path.

Today is the final day of this Journey! Over the next 10 days, I will be resting, reflecting, and integrating. There will be at least one more post on this Journey in the next 10 days…then we begin a Journey of Freedom on June 28. If you have thoughts about Freedom that you would like to knock around with me over the next 10 days, as I collect my own thoughts about that Journey…feel free to email me: Susanwithpearls@gmail.com.


Spur of the Moment Buddhist : Journey of Abundance – Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Divine abundance expresses infinitely through my own Divine Presence. When I identify with my Divine Presence, I open the floodgates, and Divine abundance flows naturally, easily, and effortlessly through me, materializing all good in my life and affairs.


I feel kind of numb today. Numb has elements of feeling indifferent, but I don’t want to feel indifferent. Indifference implies uncaring, and I care very much; thinking I don’t care feels frustrating. What is this?

Yesterday I was so optimistic and creative! I did so much (see here)! And I felt so positive about the Journey, about life, about the future! What changed?

You know what I think part of this is? I think it’s fear that “this doesn’t work” or “what if this doesn’t work.” The Journey is coming to an end, and I want something to happen. I want there to be visible confirmation that I’ve done something.

I also know that this is an attitude that repels the very thing I think I want to happen. It’s always so frustrating to be aware of things I am doing or feeling that I know are in direct contrast to what I know about them. It’s like I just watch myself doing or feeling what I know I want to evolve out of, but there I am, doing it.

Oh my…. Sometimes I can only laugh at myself. This is all part of the process. Recognizing (being aware) is a step in the forward progression and evolution. Laughing at myself feels very healing today.

Buddhism is coming in very handy today, too. It is giving me a framework to understand my thought process and to help me “just let go” (although laughing at myself has already started that!). Here is how:

First – Attachment: Attachment is one of the causes of suffering. People want; people desire; these emotional states cause suffering. As I said above, “I want something to happen.” This is a desire, an attachment.

But I can’t just say, “I want to feel something different” or “I don’t want to feel this attachment anymore,” because all that does is to replace one desire with another, and there is still suffering.

What to do?

Second – Become Mindful, or as I would say, Become Aware: I took this second step when I started writing about how I felt! I didn’t really want to write about feeling numb or frustrated, but that was exactly what I needed to look at, exactly where the emotional disturbance was. I find it uncomfortable to write about my emotional disturbances; it can be really hard to share even the smallest emotional states with people. But I also know that doing so really helps me become aware. And awareness leads to…

Third – Non-attachment is what I experienced going through this process today: Becoming aware set up a new dynamic within myself. Instead of me stewing in my emotions, feeling… feeling… wahhh- wahhh- wahhh…I began to observe myself feeling. The observation aspect was the non-attached part of me. I wasn’t invested in my emotions. I wasn’t wanting them to do something. I wasn’t judging, or thinking… I was just watching.

This set up a lot of the non-attachment qualities that Buddhists talk about when they describe mindfulness. I was simply observing the flow of emotions; I was accepting of whatever they were; I was open to what I was experiencing, I felt compassionate toward myself…as though the emotions were not “me,” but that they were just a distressed state that wanted some compassion.

I continued to feel and to stew but the act of observation instigated a new and different relationship within me, with my emotions. They were in the spotlight! My emotions became very aware of themselves. They didn’t stop, necessarily, but they began to wonder what they were doing, why they were being so dramatic.

Was today a detour? Or was today the Journey? Where does this lead? What is the end? Is there an end? Or does the Journey just continue…infinitely?


When Disentangling the Trash is the Journey : Journey of Abundance – Day 38

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My mind and heart focus entirely on the Divine Presence I am. I think, I speak, and I act in accordance with Divine Will, releasing Divine Substance into all my activity and all my financial affairs.


One main theme throughout this Journey has been abundance is more than just money (or material things). Abundance is a) personal connection with Inner Divine Presence b) the flow and circulation of ideas, goods, and services within material reality c) allowing Inner Divine Presence to oversee and direct the flow and circulation of ideas, goods, and services in material reality.

Some days of this Journey my mind has concentrated on (a), and I’ve felt (b) and/or (c) to be lacking. But I also know that concentrating on (a) is the only way to assure that (b) happens in the highest (most loving, “right for me”) way possible. Concentrating only on (b) will bring about an invigoration of abundance in material reality (because the mind is always creating what it brings to its attention), but in doing so, one may experience glitches, unexpected (undesired) side effects.

The goal is both to bring the spiritual (Love) to the material (experience), and to bring the material (experience) to the Spiritual (Love). The effort must always be both ways. I must both think and act with Love. I must both evolve my mind toward Love and evolve my actions/situations/circumstances to align with Love.

Every step must align spiritual and material, material and spiritual. There is so much to this! There is waiting and patience. There is appropriate activity. There is disentangling trash I’ve learned that gets in the way. Each of these can feel like a detour, can feel unnecessary, can make me wonder why I am doing or thinking something, because I do not see or understand the immediate relevance.  There are moments of frustration, bewilderment, confusion.

But I think about it this way: The Journey is both forward and upward, and all parts of me must align together in order to take one step both forward and upward. If one part of me is out of alignment, it must be coached into alignment. That is what can feel like a detour—it can feel “lazy” or “complacent” or ambiguous. The other parts are saying, “Come on, come on, let’s go!” while that one part is still learning, still understanding, still evolving. The other parts can feel impatient or frustrated, because they are ready to take the next step…but they have to wait for the “slacker.” J (The “slacker” is of course still doing the work, just not as fast, perhaps, as those other parts might like or recognize.) (Please note that the personality traits I am giving to these parts are for illustration only…)

An example would be: In order to receive and experience all good, I must first feel like I am worthy and deserving of receiving and experiencing all good. My Spirit might be steps ahead on this (both forward and upward), but my emotions are stuck at feeling worthless. On a day of the Journey where this “worthless” feeling is prominent, it feels like a detour; but it is necessary to work through, so that my emotions come closer to what my Spirit already knows. It may take some time; a person with a lot of “worthless-stuckness” could even spend an entire Journey just working through that (goodness knows, I’ve spent a lifetime! And I’m still working through some of it!) …but they would then be that much more “ahead” for the next Journey!

All of this is hindsight. I see all this now because today…today, I feel a step both forward and upward; there has been an alignment. Something is clicking today. The past few days I have felt an ease in connecting with my Inner Divine Presence throughout the day, a natural, un-thinking association with my Self. That has then translated to an ease of loving and kind words and actions, a gentleness and care to all my interactions. I have experienced ease and love and kindness from others. What gifts!

This morning when I woke up, I had ideas. There’s so much I want to do, so much I can do. And I saw it all clearly and practically. Knowing that wealth is more than money, that wealth is ideas, goods, and services, I felt the reality of the Guiding Thought, “releasing Divine Substance into all my activity and all my financial affairs.” I saw connections, sharing, loving relationships…an entire network of wealth flowing and circulating through these ideas, through me. I saw how I can serve others with these ideas, and receive wealth in return; I felt the alignment of Spirit and action; I felt Inner Divine Presence’s guidance; I saw how following that guidance brings about all good, all God.

And I am so very grateful.

On the Importance of Not Following Rabbits : Journey of Abundance – Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My consciousness is the gateway through which Divine Love flows, materializing my infinite Supply. I am now conscious of my own Inner Divine Presence—Infinite Love—expressing through me, providing me with the means to be aware, to understand, and to know It as my Self– more and more!


I have been learning to breathe energy as well as air. The energy is prana, chi, or ki. Breathing energy as well as air is kind of like a parallel experience to these Journeys—they have a lot in common. First, breathing energy as well as air is very natural and easy, like being Divine Love, but stuff gets in the way that first must be cleared out before I can actually feel the ease of breathing energy.

Second, I have to learn to be conscious of the experience of breathing energy, just like I have to learn to be conscious of my own Inner Divine Presence; if I am not conscious of it, it’s like I haven’t experienced it.

Finally, the more I breathe (with or without energy, with or without the consciousness of breathing energy), the more the breath itself teaches me about breathing energy, just like Infinite Love providing me with the means to be aware, to understand, and to know it as my Self.

I became aware of these things today while I was learning to breathe energy. It was like all of a sudden I was seeing myself experiencing the process. I watched the movie “Pacific Rim” the other day: two “pilots” link minds to operate these giant robots (Jaegers) to fight off an invading, advanced alien “dinosaur” race (Kaijus). There is a danger in linking minds with someone else, because if one of the pilots “loses their mind,” it puts them both (and the lives of the people they are fighting to save) at risk. In one scene, one of the pilots falls into a bad memory, losing her mind, following a memory rather than just letting it pass. The other pilot starts yelling, “Don’t follow the rabbit!”—meaning, don’t get lost in those thoughts, don’t follow them; watch them pass, don’t get sucked up and into them.

While I was breathing today, I became aware of “following the rabbit” in my own mind, and part of my mind was yelling at me, “Don’t follow the rabbit!” All of the sudden, I “saw” how following my thoughts completely inhibited the flow of energy, the ease of breathing energy, and the opening of my consciousness.

When I got caught up in following my thought a) my breath paused, like it does when I’m watching a scary movie. I had to remind myself, BREATHE!! This was the interruption of the breathing being natural and easy. b) I realized even though I have been learning to breathe energy for a long time, I haven’t been conscious of it. I realized this, because all of a sudden, I was aware of being conscious in a new way; it was just like I saw and felt it in a way I never had before. c) I realized it was because I have been breathing (and sticking with it) that I was learning something new—the breath itself got me to a greater consciousness of the breath and its energy.

After this very insightful breathing experience, I started the Journey, and then realized I was experiencing the same thing in the Journey as I just experienced with the breathing. a) The Guiding Thoughts keep the mind focused and not “following the rabbit;” the writing clears stuff out, so the Guiding Thoughts can be more prominent in consciousness. b) I have been learning to be conscious of my Divine Love Presence expressing through me, as me. I’ve been more aware of it more and more. c) The Journey itself is providing me with what I need to accomplish the purpose of the Journey: the Journey gives me the tools to do the job (so to say), and the job is getting done.