“Giving or Receiving?”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 11

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Welcome to round 2!

 

Guiding Thought

Everywhere fulfillment is, you are.  Fulfillment is everywhere. Fulfillment is. You are.

 

Sharing

How are you doing? Round 1 got off to a slow start, but I think I am in the groove now. I seem to be learning a lot, much of which I do not write here. There are a lot of new concepts and practices coming to me, helping me, advising me (for example, I have been meditating on OM almost every day—I’ve never done that before; along with the meditation, I’ve been reading philosophy relevant to meditating on OM…much of it is more or less new to me.)

During this round, the pronoun changes from “I” to “you”.  You may imagine that some wise being is saying the Guiding Thought to you, or you may imagine that you are the wise being saying the Guiding Thought to someone else. I find I like the first way (a wise being saying the Guiding Thought to me) when I feel like I need support and encouragement; I am “better” at the second way, when I feel confident and assured in the idea behind the Guiding Thought. The second way feels like a way to expand; the first way feels like a way to learn.

Today is a day for a wise being to say the Guiding Thought to me—I feel like I need some support and encouragement. If you are feeling more like the wise being who is saying the Guiding Thought to someone, please feel free to be my wise being and “say” the Guiding Thought to me!

Oh my gosh! Day 09 just popped into my head. Day 09 is all about giving what you feel like you don’t have: May those who seek help others find; May those who sorrow be compassionate; May those who are lost, light a path for another; May those who question or doubt give guidance; May those who worry lift the burden of another…Maybe I should shift my focus and give you today’s Guiding Thought.

Ok. Done. I took a moment and saw myself giving you (and All) today’s Guiding Thought. I told you that everywhere fulfillment is, you are, and I saw you enfolded in the essence of absolute fulfillment (this visual was as though you were a light within Light). Then I told you that fulfillment is everywhere, and I saw “you” in your body, looking around you and recognizing the fulfillment all around you. Then as you looked around, I said, “fulfillment is”, and you kind of nodded your head, still looking around acknowledging the is-ness of fulfillment—you can’t argue if you’re looking at it, right? Then I said, “You are”. And again, you nodded, acknowledging your presence within the is-ness of fulfillment…and again, no argument, because there you are, within Fulfillment itself! Thank you for allowing me to share that with you!

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. (From the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi)

“Make the Choice”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 10

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I am light. My body is light. I am free. I know my fulfillment: I feel it rise within me, expand out from me.

 

Sharing

Even though it’s not specifically in the Guiding Thought, today is about joy. Why? It’s because joy is the result of fulfillment. Divine Joy is the result of Divine Fulfillment. As we rise in the light of God, as we are lifted into freedom, not only do we come to know our own fulfillment, but we re-JOYce in the bliss of being.

Joy is the natural extension, the natural experience, the natural result of being and knowing Divine Love and Light.

This description of bliss is from the Taittiriya Upanishad (a mystic-philosophic text-based in the Vedas, from sometime between 800-200 BCE). I’ve modified it for those not familiar with Sanskrit words, using American words as best I can.

Suppose there be a youth—noble, well-versed in the scriptures, full of hope, resolute and strong, and the whole world is full of wealth for him. This is the unit measure of human bliss.

Multiply that human bliss by 100, and that is the bliss experienced by the highest divine humans (Gandharvas).

Now multiply that bliss by 100, and that is the bliss of the nearest-to-human celestial beings, the messengers of God (Celestial Gandharvas).

Multiply the bliss of those celestial beings by 100, and that is the measure of the bliss of the ancestors whose home is the eternal heaven.

Multiply the bliss of the ancestors in eternal heaven by 100, and that is the bliss of the divine beings whose home is the eternal heaven.

Multiply this by 100…and multiply that by 100…and multiply that by 100…and keep going. The text goes on like this for 5 more multiplications by 100, so altogether, at the “end” is there is the potential for bliss that is 900 times that of the highest bliss anyone can experience on earth. Can you imagine?

I’m still working toward the highest human bliss.

In A Course in Miracles, there is a section (and I apologize for the lack of specificity, I am writing from memory…), about why people do not experience the Peace that the Course teaches. The answer is, when you want nothing else you will have it. In another section, the Christ-narrator of the Course talks about hearing nothing other than the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then, also there is the lesson that says, “Above all else, I want to see”. “Above all else.” Do you get it? The choice is ALL or nothing. It’s only when we choose fully, choose wholly, choose the Divine over everything else do we KNOW the peace, hear the voice, and see with True eyes.

Right now, I feel the same way about joy, about fulfillment, about bliss. I want it ALL—real, Divine JOY, fulfillment, and bliss—over everything else. I can sense it, I know it’s just “right there”, waiting for me. Right here, where I am.

“Take A Moment”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 09

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

 May those who seek help others find;

May those who sorrow be compassionate;

May those who are lost, light a path for another;

May those who question or doubt give guidance;

May those who worry lift the burden of another;

May those who hide see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;

May we all give peace, no matter what.

 

Sharing

When doing the work of contemplation, meditation, or spiritual practices there is a slow, steady evolution. Small drops eventually fill a bucket; a lazy stream eventually erodes earth and rock into a canyon. The progress daily may be unnoticeable, but over time it can be seen and recognized.

If you are doing the work, however you are doing the work, take a moment to acknowledge your evolution, your progress. The shifts and changes you have made may be subtle, small occurrences that you may not even be aware of yet, but take a moment to know that no effort is wasted, and your progress and evolution are assured.

You are not the same person you were yesterday. Not quite.

As you approach your daily practice, as you continue on your path, the old seems to become new. It does not become re-newed, you do.  Thus your sight, your interpretation, your perception can be as though for the first time, seen with new eyes, experienced with new thoughts, interpreted with a new mind. Today you may seem to step into the same river as yesterday, but everything is different.

Take a moment to let yourself feel the subtle shifts, the gentle flow of the currents around you and within you. Subtlety is so easy to overlook. Nuances are easy to ignore. Take a moment to recognize and acknowledge them.

May those who stumble or falter give encouragement to others.

“Silence is a Luxury”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 08

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My motivation is my choice. My intention is my choice. My will is my choice. In Peace, I listen within for guidance so that my actions are motivated by joy, my intentions are love, and my will is simply to share Joy and Love.

Sharing

When I first sat down to do this today and read through the Guiding Thought, I thought, “What the hell does this even mean?” I had to walk away, literally, and come back to it. Now I am back and I understand.

The purpose of meditation, or any spiritual practice, is to enter the joy and bliss of the Divine, to connect with your Self of Love, and to re-align yourself with your True Center.

Most often, meditation and spiritual practices are done is silence. In silence there are no distractions, except of your own mind; in silence it’s easier to listen, to hear the voice within.

Encountering the world adds distractions, adds noise that drowns the voice within, adds people and conversations and sense-stimuli that detracts from connecting with the Self of Love, which tramples on the bliss found within the silence.

Why do I meditate and do spiritual practices? To connect with my Self of Love, to re-align with my True Center.  My motivation is my choice. My intention is my choice. My will is my choice. I do the practices with the motivation of connecting with my Self, with the intention of connecting with my Self, and with the will to do so. This is my choice.

But here’s the thing: I have to love the peace that I find when I meditate enough to want to bring it into my daily activity. I have to love my Self enough to want to bring it into daily activity. I have to want to remain in the state of joy and bliss so much that the world cannot pull it from me.

I must take my motivation, my intention, and my choice this extra step. Thus, I meditate to connect with my Self, to experience the Divine and to bring that into all my daily activityThis is my choice.

Yeah. I have a way to go for that, how about you? But I am working on it. And now, I am even more aware of a deeper level of motivation, intention, and will.

I want to live as my highest Self, in love, peace, and joy. Meditation and spiritual practices gets me there, it’s up to me to choose to carry the experience from meditation into the world.

“Being Joy”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 07

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My joy unifies! Accepting my own joy—acknowledging it, sharing it, and expressing it—heals myself and others. To be wholly joyful means to be wholly love…means to be wholly my Self.

 

Sharing

Joy is worth studying, in my opinion. It’s worth studying because it’s worth understanding, worth achieving. I think there is too little joy in the world, too few people who know how to attain it, even fewer who know what it is, and far too many who are lost before they are even able to consider it. I want to bring more joy to the world; to do that I need to be filled full with joy! Maybe if I become filled full enough, I’ll be able to show others how to be joy-fulfilled also.

This begins with understanding what joy is, thus the “studying”.

I think (and this is only my limited opinion), that most people only imagine what real joy is, including me. Real joy is beyond the mind, beyond the heart; it bubbles up and overflows (tears of joy?), and streams forth from the very center of being, all on its own. Real joy is a life and power that seems to be its own, seems to be out of our control, even often out of reach (If it were in our control or reach, do you think there would be the epidemic here, in the United States, of pharmaceutical addictions, rampant depression, alcohol abuse, illegal drug use?). When joy happens, it overwhelms us, radiates from us, and influences everything we think and feel and do.

But this is how I imagine it. I have felt what I would call real joy several times in my life. I have the memory, but I have not held onto the feeling; I know I’ve felt buoyantly blissful and unshakably loving and peaceful within it, but I do not currently feel it, nor do I know how to feel it again, or feel it consistently. But I know that the joy I imagine is possible. I know it because I have felt it, and I have read about it. There are people who KNOW this joy all the time. They have figured out how to attain it, maintain it, and have enough to give away.

Here is the first lesson for studying joy, so that we can learn together:

In Sanskrit, the type of joy I am referring to is known as Ananda. Perhaps you’ve heard of Paramahansa Yogananda, or Anandamayi Ma? Yogananda made the appropriate connection for us, with his words, “God is ever-new joy”. God is not just the Source of joy; and it is not that God feels joyful. God is Joy. Thus, when in this regard, we feel joy, we are experiencing God.

May we all Know God as Joy, the overflowing, eternal, all-existing, infinitely-conscious bliss.

“Fate’s Breadcrumbs”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 06

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding my Love, expanding Life!

Sharing

I’ve had an interesting mix of emotions and experiences in the past week. On the one hand, there have been intense emotions around grief and letting go, on the other hand, there has been an almost-perfect synchronicity in how life is moving me forward joyfully—I’ve been following breadcrumbs life keeps leaving me, and the path is leading me home. I met some wonderful new people this weekend, found a meditation group that feels “right”, and though I miss my little guy in my daily routine, I am not overwhelmed with sadness.

As I’ve been experiencing this letting go on the one hand, and forward-propulsion on the other, I find myself wondering more than usual about “fate”, determinism, or destiny versus free will, or indeterminism. How much of life do I really control? How much of life is predetermined, and I’m just along for the ride?

At times like this, I am inclined to think I am along for the ride: I did not, and could not, control the death of my dog. Why did he die now? What series of circumstances came together at this moment for his passing? What did his passing open in my life? What has become available now that was not before when he was alive? I am along for the ride.

On the other hand, I suppose I did have a choice about whether or not to pick up the breadcrumbs that were left recently: the book, which lead to another book, which lead to a meditation, then an invitation out of the blue from a friend to go to a group doing that very meditation, and a special commemoration for a man whose life has been an example to me.

I could have chosen not to follow these clues, these hints that lead me from one place to another. In this I did have a choice. But not really. When I am in the flow, following the current, to swim against it just doesn’t feel right…and I do my best to do what feels right. So, was I just doing what I was fated to do all along, or did I choose to take the steps that lead me to that meditation, that place, those people?

Do choice and fate work together? Are some things chosen, other things pre-determined, with delicate balance between them?

This is not a day for answers! I don’t know that any of these questions have answers. I find it interesting to watch, to observe, to think about, to wonder, to look at what fits together (if I can).

I can tell you that I do feel that I have expanded this past week. Or, perhaps, rather, Life has expanded me. I have felt sorrow and joy equally, yet without attachment to either. My heart holds more today than it did a week ago. The love and appreciation that I have for Spot fills me fully, though I’ve let him go, and now there is room for more, with more to give.

“Self Fulfilled”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 05

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

 In Divine Mind, I am filled full! All are equally filled full. All are equal in Love. I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment and remember what I already know. I am determined to fulfill my purpose, to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am.

Sharing

In Divine Mind…I exist in Divine Mind. Like a grain of sand in the desert, like a ray of the sun, I am a thought-drop in the ocean of pure consciousness, the Source of all existence. Existence surrounds me, is me.

I am filled full! …How can it be any other way? Pure consciousness thinks me, and surrounds me with Itself, as existence. What is there that could cause me deprivation? I am within Source, surrounded by ALL.

All are equally filled full… All exists in ALL. Despite the perception that “you” and “I” are separate, we are simply as blood cells coursing through our vessels: We are the bloodstream and we are in the bloodstream.  There is no stream without us. We are the stream of consciousness, and we are in the stream of consciousness. As the stream, we are the same, equal. Consciousness is (and provides) ALL.

All are equal in Love… When I am aware of your role in and as the stream, I see there is no stream without us. You are as I am, yet not me, yet united with me. How can I not know us as equal? How can I not love you?

I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment…We are in ALL! We exist! Life is made up of us, for us, as us!

And remember what I already know…I am in Life. Life is in me. Life Loves me. I love Life. All I could ever want, anything I could desire is already fulfilled in the Life I am.

I am determined to fulfill my purpose… Life wills to Live, to expand, to grow, to evolve, to be. United with Life, my purpose is to allow Life to be, and to fulfill Its purpose through me.

to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am… Naturally and easily, I know my Self as Life, as Love, which naturally and easily shares Itself as fullness through me.

“Getting There: Fulfilled and Free”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 04

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

 My Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is my sole purpose. My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate me to fulfill my purpose and my joy.

 

Sharing

If you remember from Journey of Abundance, I was working with the thoughts

ALL in All

All is Love

ALL in All is Love is ALL in All.

Another way to think about this is simply, “God is All; God is Love”. Sometimes it’s easier (more accessible), for me to think of “God”, sometimes I am more comfortable with “All”. Recently, I’ve learned a new, deeper meaning of another option, the word “Ishwara”, which I may also use: “In the Yoga Sutras, the word for God is Ishwara: the Lord, Ruler, Master, or Controller, possessing the powers of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.” (Om Yoga Meditation, Its Theory and Practice, Abbott George Burke, location 93, Kindle edition).

This concept (God-ALL-Love), however you want to formulate it for yourself, has become somewhat of a foundation, for me on this Journey.

If God is ALL, then I am part of God. If God is ALL, then my Self is a Self of God. Everything I do is God; everything I think is God; every interaction is God…Everything is God.

>>brief aside< You know by now that I’ve been working on surrender/trust/letting go/living God’s Will. There is a phrase from A Course in Miracles that I have used in this regard, “I need do nothing”, which has helped me to relax into allowing the activity of God.  In today’s context, I have changed this thought to “God does everything”. This removes the emphasis on “I” and places it on God. If God is ALL, then God does do everything. It’s become another way for me to release, let go, surrender my mind to the activity of God. <

Everything is God. Now, look again at the Guiding Thought with this in mind:

My Self which is One with God

 wills only to extend itself . God wills to extend; God is extending through me!

 Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, because God is within me, this is the activity of God, through me….

through Divine Mind, which is already God’s mind, within me….

is my sole purpose. Because this is the ONLY purpose God has, which is also my purpose, because of my Oneness with God.

My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love of course it does! My Self Knows itself as God, and God’s Divine Love.

and wills only to liberate me …this is all God Wants for all of us, to Know our Selves as Divine Expression, in which we are One with God,  fulfilled and free.

to fulfill my purpose and my joy. Because the purpose of Life is to remember our Life in God, which is the only life of Joy.

Do you see how, when you begin to think of God as or in everything, the perspective shifts just that little bit, to actually see the activity of God in All, including within yourself?

“Today Attuned”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 03

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

What is fulfillment but knowing my Self as an expression of Divine Love? My Self wills to create! My Self wills to share! My Self wills to extend itself! My fulfillment is creation; my joy is sharing; my peace is extension.

Sharing

Do you know how “they” say to be in the present moment? To be attuned to what is going on within you, and outside of you, fully? Have you ever gotten to a moment, looked back, then thought, “I totally was not present…”?

There are varying degrees to being attuned to the present moment, but once you accustom yourself to one of those degrees, anything less becomes noticeable—at least, if you want to pay attention (and if you know what I am talking about, you probably pay attention). I do this sometimes: I notice that I have “dropped” in my degree of awareness, but only after the fact. Or, maybe I should say, I notice the extent to which my awareness dropped; when I am in the moment, I feel a certain level of awareness but do not realize I could be more aware, then something jolts me into greater awareness. I suppose this describes simple ebbs and flows of awareness. Days 1 and 2 were ebbs.

I love today’s Guiding Thought. It has jolted me to realize how unaware, un-present I have been here for the past two days. I am not criticizing myself. I know the state I’ve been in, and it’s perfectly acceptable. I am also very happy about being jolted today and feeling real excitement with today’s Guiding Thought.

Today’s Guiding Thought is exactly how I feel, exactly what I want, exactly how I want to focus this Journey.

I’ve been working on understanding my relationship with Divine Love (“God”), although I have even a broader understanding of this now than I did a week ago. I’ve been working with the idea of worship as “drawing near to God”. If worship is drawing near to God, then every act, every breath, and every thought, can be directed as worship. With this act/breath/thought, may I come closer to God. All of this (life), is simply that: drawing closer to God and allowing God through me, so that I am still me, but I experience life with God, too. Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly…

When I am with God in this way, God wants to create through me, “My Self wills to create”.  A Course in Miracles calls this “a continuous line” of creation. God creates through me, so that what I create is actually God creating through me, as me. What I share or extend in this process is God coming through me. When God comes through me, with His Will, that is an act of creation and God is fulfilled through me in this relative time/space.   That is how I am able to find Joy and Peace in relative space/time: through fulfilling God, through me, drawing always closer to His Will. And that’s what I want.

 

“Everything is the Journey”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 02

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I now invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love, and I am Truly grateful.

I experience Divine Mind as I experience these effects, and Divine Presence confirms itself in my life, activities and affairs.

 

Sharing

What a way to start a Journey. I feel like I should apologize to you, for starting the Journey on such a down note yesterday. Spot, my dog, did die last night, by the way. I am trying to wrap my head/heart around my grief as a part of Journey of Fulfillment.

Everything is the journey.

As we move through time, through life, we experience fluctuations. How do we reconcile these types of fluctuations (grief, sorrow, pain) with the activity of Divine Mind? If we were really living in Divine Mind, as Divine Mind, we would always be joyful, happy, and at peace, right? This question is like the personal version of, “If God is all good, why is there so much violence, hatred, and destruction?”

I do not have the answer. But I can tell you that Spot’s death is definitely helping me to learn an answer, or at least get closer to one. Understanding is part of expanding consciousness. And the contrast of an All-good and loving God against destruction or painful emotions is a tough concept to understand.

There is a lot written about this. You can find numerous teachings on “relative reality and ultimate reality”, which explains the contrast between the movements of the mind (relative reality) and the stillness of the Eternal (ultimate reality). You can find a lot of writings on just the question about “If God is all good, why is there violence?”

But these Journeys are not about seeking answers through someone else or through books and intellectual discussions; they are about finding the answers within. Through the Journeys, I feel my feelings, and I feel my feelings in the context of the Guiding Thought, in the context of the topic of the Journey (in this case fulfillment).

In this way, I am doing my own research, getting my own answers. My feelings correspond to “relative reality”; the Guiding Thoughts correspond to “ultimate reality”. When juxtaposed through the Journey, I experience life with an awareness of this juxtaposition, which in turn helps me to see/understand that every moment and every experience is within the ALL of Life, the ALL of existence.

Everything is the Journey. I cannot step outside of existence. Life is the Journey; existence is the Journey. Everything that is in Life, every experience, every feeling, every bit of All that is, is the Journey. I am learning. Life is my teacher.