The Pure Existence of Love: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 21

Welcome to Round Three!

We went through round one of this Journey (days 1-10), focusing on ourselves as the experiencing subjects of the Journey. That only makes sense after all, I’m doing this Journey so that I can experience greater Freedom.

For the second round (days 11-20), the Guiding Thoughts were focused on a “you”, but the “you” was non-specific. You could have been directing the Guiding Thoughts to another person, or you could have imagined someone directing those words to you. Furthermore, the “you” could have been singular or plural, depending on your imagination.

Now we begin round three (days 21-30). This round intentionally joins us, with “we-our-us”. I am not just I; you are not just you. As we, any Freedom that is mine is also yours; I want freedom as much for you as for myself. We are in this together, and as we, we are equal.  Let that which flows through us all unite us and lift us!

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Love is our natural state; In Love we remember who we truly are; we remember our holiness, our innocence, and our infinity.  Love enlightens our minds and lifts our hearts. We feel buoyant and expansive! We are now aware of our Self as Infinite Love, unbounded and free.

Reflection

Yesterday really shifted something in me. I received the great gift of experiencing some of the concepts that I have been working with over the past few years, and thereby gaining a much deeper understanding of not only what the words mean, but how they apply in my life.

The experience is what we are after; the words are a guide, a reminder, a prod; your heart-felt effort is the magnet.

If you don’t know it now, if you don’t feel it now… keep going. Even now, my glimpse has “worn off” so to speak, life activities happen, emotions happen, daily life pelts us with sensory input that gets in the way of keeping the mind focused on the Divine…I know. But that’s why I do this…I just keep reminding myself and reminding myself, and knowing there is something beyond what I think I know and I keep going…and every once in a while I get a glimpse like I did yesterday—a glimpse so real and clear–and freeing!

The glimpse from yesterday, knowing myself as Infinite Being, knowing Infinite Being as me, naturally was enough to propel my experience into today’s Journey.

Today I feel our holiness, our innocence, and our infinity.  In that place of recognizing Oneness with Love, Oneness with All of Existence, there was complete sacredness and awe and appreciation. Everything was holy and innocent. There was great Joy and buoyancy. Everything was completely free in Love.

What is Freedom? “We are now aware of our Self as Infinite Love, unbounded and free.”

Put the experience of yesterday together with today’s Guiding Thought, and it opens up something even bigger:

Love is our natural state: The Source of All is Love. The source of existence is Love. Love can only create Love. Love has only ever created Love. Love is our natural state; Love is the Pure existence of Infinite Being. You are the pure existence of Love. When this becomes even a glimmer within consciousness, we begin to remember who we truly are.

Infinite Love, being you:  Think of all that exists, all that has ever existed, and all that will ever exist. Think about all that energy, that creation, all that pure existence. All of that is accessible to you, because right at this moment it is expressing itself as you. You are expressing infinite being. You are not just part of it, you are it, and it is you. You are surrounded and filled with Infinite Love. There is no part of you that is apart from this reality. Your body moves with it, through it, as it. Everything you experience is Infinite Love. You are experiencing Infinite Love at the same time Infinite Love experiences through you.

 

 

I Get It Now (and more): Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 20

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Focus your mind and thoughts on your Inner Divine Self, your Self of Peace, your Self of Joy, Your Self of Infinite Being and Intelligence. When you are aware of your Inner Divine Self, you radiate these qualities, expressing the freedom of Being in Life!

Reflection

What an amazing day this has been! I love life! I love this life! I love my life!

So much has been clearing for me and in me. Old habits, old thought-forms, stupid shit I used to think and do is “evaporating like mist in the sun as I devote myself to the Oneness of Love” (that’s part of one of the Guiding thoughts from Journey of Courage—see how these work together?  I now Know, really Know, what that means!).

I don’t know if it had anything to do with the eclipse today or not, but with everything that has been clearing, in addition to what just cleared today, I feel freer. The feeling is hard to describe, even hard to grasp. There are phrases and clichés that seem to describe it, like “a weight has been lifted” or “that’s a load off my shoulders”, but I have felt things where I have said these phrases, and what I feel now is different.

First, those phrases use physical terms, so any analogy that you might imagine has to do with physical weight. What I feel now is emotional weight, but even more than that, it’s a spiritual weight that has been lifted. Imagine “taking a load off” from your soul, and I should add…from your soul which is millions upon billions of years old, and some of this weight is that old too.)

Second, with the image of a weight being lifted, there is a sense of a memory of what the weight was. Even if you apply the image to an emotional burden, there is some shadow of the weight that was lifted, some memory. With what I feel today, it’s as though even the memory-shadow is gone. There’s nothing.

Finally, this is the first time ever that I can say I was able to observe the “thing” evaporating. Literally, I watched it evaporate; I saw it leave my body and my energy field—and it was gone, as though it had never been here in the first place.

All of this is context for my state of mind/being as I began today’s Journey.

The really meaningful words in the Guiding Thought today were, “…the freedom of Being”. I feel so free, just Being. I feel what these words mean. I feel how Being feels. I feel what it feels like to have nothing in the way of Being. I feel what it feels like to be free from my past, free from my ignorance (and stupidity [I have forgiven myself my stupidity]), free from emotional habits from the past, free from material and psychological things that have bogged me down for years (and years!).

Then, I applied this new understanding to the words, “in Life” “…the freedom of Being in Life”.

This is from where my opening sentences derived. As I was able to feel free in Being, Life became amazing and wonderful and beautiful. I can Be in Life! I can Be in this Life! I can Be me in this Life!

The Guiding Thought “worked” out of sequence today. Usually, the first sentences (in this case: “Focus your mind and thoughts on your Inner Divine Self, your Self of Peace, your Self of Joy, Your Self of Infinite Being and Intelligence”) lead me to greater understanding of my Divine Self. The first sentences encourage me to Be that Self in the world. Instead today, I was already Being that Self! I got to feel how natural and easy it is to accomplish Peace, Joy, Infinite Being and Intelligence…by just Being it.

One final thing: In previous Journeys, I have quoted Rumi saying, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” I get it now. Really, really get it now.

Breaking Mental Habits: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 19

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Trusting life allows the flow of Divine energy to come in and through you to bless All. Step gracefully into expansive, unlimited, harmonious, Divine being. Praise and thank Life for supporting you, and relax in its process.

Reflection

Why dost thou, my mind, wander about in vain? Rest (thyself) somewhere! Whatever happens in a particular way happens so by itself, and not otherwise. So not thinking over the past, nor resolving about the future, I realize enjoyments that come without engaging my thoughts.

Bartri Hari, verse 62 of the 100 Verses of Renunciation

One of the things I look for is what shows up in my life, and what kind of connections I make between those things and the Guiding Thoughts, or the Journey more generally.

Today is the second day that Bartri Hari’s 100 Verses of Renunciation, written about two thousand years ago, has spoken to me on this Journey.

What if I am already free, but my mind is too preoccupied with the past or the future to see it?

There is a story–I don’t know if it’s true–about how elephants are trained to be chained to a stake. When they are young, they are bound with the heaviest of chains to the strongest of poles (or trees). They strain and strain against the chain, never able to break the hold. Then one day they just give up. From that day on, they can be tied with the smallest chain to the smallest pole (or tree), and they will never even try to break free. Their minds have associated the feeling of a bond with defeat.

What if this is what my mind has done to me? The elephant’s mind associates the present with a feeling from the past; when my mind preoccupies me with the past, is it not doing the same thing?

What if my mental habits prevent me from experiencing the flow of Divine energy coming in and through me? What if that energy is here, now–all the time? And I just can’t feel it because my mind is somewhere else?

I think today’s Guiding Thought is less about silencing the mind than about giving it a direction to go (stepping gracefully into Divine Being). The benefit of this is to give it a new experience, something new to think about. I believe, that when the mind steps into Divine Being, it realizes that it’s really nice to be in that space of Divine Being. Then, because the mind enjoys it, it will give up old habits that are not as pleasurable as Divine Being.

Lesson from the Distant Past: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 18

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Your connection with the Infinite Source of Love is and always has been enough. Love loves you always, everywhere. Assured in love, you are perfectly lovable and perfectly loving with all people in all situations.

Reflection

The theme, so to say, for this Journey is “judge nothing”. With the intention of judging nothing, the idea is to become more-free through releasing judgment. (I find it’s often useful to remind myself why I’m doing this Journey in the first place).

However, on a larger scale, I have been working on Freedom as release from ego and release from ignorance, to the end of making room for Divine Love and Light to enter and remain.

There are a couple of things that have come up since yesterday’s reflection, regarding these two points.

First, I received some “really good” news recently. It was something that has been in motion for over a year, and now (finally) completion! “Good news”!

I put “good news” in quotes because while I was very happy to receive this news, I reminded myself to judge nothing. Often, I apply “judge nothing” to things that I feel are “bad”—so that I will feel more neutral about it (and not think of it as “bad”). With this “good” news, I realized the same must be said/done for so-called positive things too.

Then I thought about equanimity, the (primarily) Buddhist notion of mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper. People in Western societies are not raised with this idea of equanimity; they are raised with the idea of the pain-pleasure principle: people seek pleasure and avoid pain, and this is what motivates all action.

But, if we learn to live with an idea of “judge nothing”, then all pain or pleasure becomes equal. There is no push or pull to seek or avoid. I understood “judge nothing” as a Western-style root of equanimity. What do you think?

Second, I began reading some poetry known as the 100 Verses of Renunciation, by Bhartri Hari. Bhartri Hari was the brother of King Vikram of India (exact time unknown, but a near-estimate is 46 C.E.), who, similar to Siddhārtha Gautama, abandoned his high status to live an ascetic lifestyle and devote himself to seeking spiritual enlightenment.

I only read 48 of the 100 verses today, but I was struck with the parallel between what he writes about and the “trap” of worldly attachments (like seeking pleasure and avoiding pain) people have today.

Verse 44: Seeing even the same night to be ever following the same day, in vain do creatures run on their worldly course, preservingly and busy with various activities agoing secretly—i.e. by individual mental resolves. Alas, through infatuation we do not feel ashamed at being thus befooled by this samsara (illusory life), with occupations in which the same particulars repeat themselves!

In other words: People chase desires (for example, avoiding pain and seeking pleasure), every day over and over (the same night following the same day), and the chasing never grows old. The “infatuation” keeps us chasing, because the infatuation seems to keep all things new. With every new desire, every new chase, people feel invigorated…but that invigoration is the samsara, the illusion.

Illusion creates that which it seeks only to fulfill itself.

I feel a bit of a kindred spirit in Bhartri Hari, in this recognition, and impetus to stop the “chase”.

Release the desires. Release the pull of pleasure, the avoidance of pain. Know equanimity. Break the cycle. Be free.

A “Free Your Mind” Moment: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 17

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Allow your physical body to experience itself fully as Light and Love. Your physical body embodies Light; you are an expanded body of Light and Sound. Move as Light, perceive as Light, behave as Light. You are everywhere—permeating, expanding, unifying, and healing. All things are possible.

Reflection

For the first time in a while, I felt that surge of energy-understanding while contemplating the Guiding Thought. It’s that wave of understanding that is beyond both words and emotions, beyond mind, beyond the body, yet experienced by both the mind and body.

In order to get to the place beyond mind though, I (paradoxically) had to engage my mind. My mind had to follow instructions: Allow your physical body to experience itself fully as Light and Love.

My mind balked a little bit, “How is my body going to experience itself fully as Light and Love—bah!”

But then my mind did what it was told and allowed my body to begin feeling.

Every moment of the contemplation from that point on went something like this:

Mind: this can’t work. The body is material, not light…

Feeling of energy surge that the mind can’t ignore.

Mind: the body can’t expand, bah!

Feeling of expansion

Mind: How does light move, anyway!? (but what if it could?)

Feeling of movement through the body.

Mind (with the energy surge still happening): The body can’t behave like light! (but what if it could?)

Mind: Maybe this is what transfiguration is about?

Mind: Maybe this is how healing happens…

Mind: What if it is possible? (while reading, “All things are possible”).

It was almost as though the mind could not contradict or deny what it was recognizing as a physical experience. It did not want to believe it; it wanted to remain skeptical and doubtful, yet there was this energy it could not explain. In the end, it had to concede…at least a little bit.

With that energy there also came confirmation that something was happening beyond the mind—like wind blowing the trees off in the distance while an observer stands where it’s perfectly calm. There is no denying that something is moving those trees, but the person just isn’t experiencing it from the vantage point where they are. But something is happening.

My mind was able to recognize and admit to something it could not explain or experience. That’s important: my mind was able to…!

I felt like this was a “free your mind” moment. The mind is trapped by its own definitions of experience. When there is an experience that defies one of its definitions, it must either rationalize it away (potentially creating internal conflicts or confusion), or re-think that definition to account for the new experience.

I am so proud of my mind–it expanded! Big day today, on a very subtle level!

The Journey is not What You Think: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 16

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Through your physical body, bring Divine Light and Love to the physical universe. Heal unresolved issues through loving thoughts, words, and emotions, and become lighter and brighter. Bring light to all you have denied and heal your past-present-future NOW. Every day you are lighter and lighter!

Reflection

I would like to acknowledge that with these Journeys, there is always more going on than you think. The Journeys appear to be very mental—the Guiding Thoughts are words that correspond to concepts which you then think about.

But as you are thinking, and exercising your mind, and asking yourself to understand, there is more going on under the surface.

Contemplation in this way is a spiritual practice. With spiritual practices, you engage a deeper part of yourself which is beyond words, beyond concepts, beyond understanding.

My point is:

  • Whatever you think you understand, there is always more to it.
  • If you think you don’t understand, a part of you really does.

Think of it this way:

The way you can go isn’t the real way.

The name you can say isn’t the real name.

Heaven and earth begin in the unnamed: name is the mother of ten thousand things.

So the unwanting soul sees what is hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees what it wants.

Two things, one origin, but different in name, whose identity is mystery.

Mystery of All Mysteries! The door to the hidden.

Tao Te Ching, translation by Ursula Le Guin.

The Groundwork: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 15

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

How can you live apart from God? God is indivisible. God is your Source and the Life within you. Your Oneness with All through God was established at your birth, at the creation of your being. The realization of this Truth is the foundation of your freedom.

Reflection

My one “big” realization with today’s Guiding Thought is that the goal of the Guiding thought is to realize the realization in the last line.

The first three lines are not there as a puzzle or a prelude; they are there because they are the preparation, the groundwork, the foundation to have the realization.

Words are just words. I had lunch with a friend yesterday who is pregnant. I know what the word pregnant means. We talked a bit about what she was experiencing, how she felt being pregnant, and I understood those words, too.

But there is no way I, who have never been pregnant, can fully understand what that word means. I have never had anything to associate with the word, except more words.

Right now, the same is true about this Guiding Thought. It’s just words that I have not experienced in any way except through words.

The difference is that the more I read the words of the Guiding Thought, the more I allow them to seep into my mind (understanding) and my emotions (intuition), the more I am inviting the experience of the words.

The experience of the words is their realization.

That realization is the beginning of (the foundation for) freedom. This Guiding Thought gets you there…eventually.