“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.