The Middle Prayer: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

The purpose of Life for all beings is to experience happiness, peace, contentment, and safety, Knowing the Oneness and Immortality of the Divine Self. Such Knowledge is beyond speech, beyond thought; it is found in the depths of the heart where communion (co-union) with All is reality. I bring the unifying force within my heart to all people and experiences and thus Know myself as the happiness, peace, contentment, and safety I Am.

Reflection

More and more I’ve been pausing throughout my day to “bring the unifying force within my heart to all people and experiences”. I haven’t even been thinking about the Journey. I just want to do it. (you can see a couple of my recent prayers here and here.)

“Anytime, anywhere” is what I thought about this today. There is no place inappropriate to ask the Divine into the heart. There is no time that is inappropriate (At first I had to get over myself on this particular issue. The first time I was on the toilet and the prayer came up into my mind, I thought… “I can’t do this here“. But I got over it. There is no place God isn’t. Even the toilet. So if you can bring yourself to say a prayer while in the bathroom…you have an understanding beyond “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” about a relationship with God, congratulations!).

Wanting to pray throughout the day is quite new for me. I have done formal (Russian Orthodox) morning and evening prayers. I do mantra. I say the Our Father and the Hail Mary. I used to “just talk” to God as prayer. I lost that when I was still young, maybe around age 16. Formal prayers became the substitute.

I love formal prayers. I love the assurance of knowing that these prayers have been used for millenia by lots of people who want to communicate with God. It’s as though someone else has figured something out, and all I have to do is say the words to reap the benefits. I can relax; I don’t have to think about (as, of course, I would) if I am “doing it right”. Formal prayers have already been tested and approved.

“Just talking” to God is murkier for me. I want to communicate clearly–all the time, but especially when I am talking to God. When I “just talk” I seem to get lost in my thoughts and the talk turns to distracted musing, wondering, or worry.

The prayers that I now do are kind of an in-between. I use a semi-formal structure (see the links above), then through that structure I invoke and/or ask for Light, Love, Healing, Peace, etc., using my own words, whatever comes to mind, whatever the situation happens to be.

The bridge that helped me find this in between spot–not formal prayer, yet not distracted musing–was the idea that before every prayer, I simply invoke my Christ Presence, the Holy Spirit, my I Am Presence, my Divine Self–whatever you choose to call It, It is that Presence that mediates between your personality and the Divine. With this invocation, every word of the prayer becomes filtered through this Presence, so I can’t “do it wrong” and every word is purified before it reaches God’s ear, so God understands what I mean, even if it’s not what I am saying or if it’s gibberish.

The Holy Spirit/I Am Presence listens to my heart, to my deepest self, and offers that to God on my behalf. Can you see now why I “just want” to pray throughout the day?

Peace and Miracles: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 38

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

When I lift my vibration into Peace and Harmony, all are lifted with me. With this awareness comes great responsibility: I am a Peace steward of all humanity, of all Life. Eternal Peace is my natural state. I joyfully and easily share it with all, and fulfill my Divine Purpose in the world.

Reflection

I still haven’t figured out how “I lift my vibration into Peace and Harmony”. Sometimes I just do it; it just happens, but I don’t know how it happens.

There are two parts to this seeming conundrum for me.

First, there are things that people do naturally. Some people are artists or musicians, with a natural propensity–the talent comes with ease. Some people are naturally comedians, engineers, chefs, mathematicians, writers, meaning that they do it easily and seemingly without effort. Everyone is a natural at something, whether or not it’s publicly lauded.

People can learn to do something so that is comes to them as easily and effortlessly as if it were natural. In fact all my friends who are “natural” musicians, writers, and artists say that the initial ease and inclination may be natural, but ultimately it’s all hard work (albeit work they love, so it doesn’t feel like work). 99% persperation, 1% inspiration.

This is how I feel about “Eternal Peace [being] my natural state”. It is. But I still have to work at it. I still have to remind myself that being Peace is a priority, that bringing Peace into my home, work, and the world matters. I still have to take every situation and circumstance and consciously think about (make a decision about) how to handle it so that the outcome is Peace. I need to be vigilant to maintain something I know is already there.

This brings me to the second point: Have you ever done something, or known someone who does something, so naturally that to them it’s no big deal, but to others who can’t do it, it’s amazing?  Here’s the example that comes to mind: Jesus walks on water, as though it’s no big deal…heals the sick…raises the dead…all in a day’s work. It’s no big deal. Maybe it would’ve been a big deal to Jesus if he hadn’t known that those miracles were available to everyone, and said as much (“All of this and more than this shall you also do”). But to him, the miracles were natural and easy.

It’s like the two of these things go together, as a person progresses on a learning curve toward (let’s just say) miracles (or being Peace). Miracles are natural. It’s within every human being to do the same things Jesus did.

But until they are natural we are learning how to make them natural (the perspiration part). All of the hard work results in a seamless, effortless performance (for those of you who have been on stage). Through life, we can also learn to naturally bring Peace to all situations–which in today’s world…is a miracle itself.

Peace to you.

 

Victory Over Obstacles: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

The Peace of God is stronger than my self-constructed obstacles to it. I open my mind to holy communion with the Divine. Brought to union with God, obstacles crumble. Peace stands victorious. I am that Peace.

Reflection

There are “self-constructed obstacles [to Peace]” and yet, “I am that Peace”. What sense does that make? I construct obstacles to the Peace I am? Why would I construct obstacles to myself or to what I say I want?

In A Course in Miracles, this conflict is understood through the terms the “ego” and the “Holy Spirit”. “I” can perceive either through my ego or through the Holy Spirit.

When I perceive through my ego, I create obstacles to Peace (“self-constructed”), because the ego can only perceive in ways that maintain a consciousness of separation. A consciousness of separation is inherently disharmonious; the mind is in a constant state of discerning and discriminating, valuing and judging, comparing and contrasting.

The Peace of God is stronger than anything created through ego-perception because the Peace of God is inherently harmonious, in a state of Oneness.

Communion with the Divine overcomes all separation; Peace is restored through this communion.

The Holy Spirit mediates this communion. Understanding both God and the ego, the Holy Spirit sees the “goal” (God), and what each mind requires to be brought to union with God. The Holy Spirit can teach us how to choose divine in the face of obstacles, to make those obstacles crumble.

When the obstacles to Peace crumble–when the Awareness of Oneness, perceived through the Holy Spirit, enters the mind–the “I”, which knows itself as Oneness remains, unobstructed. This is the “Peace I am”, the Peace as I was created, the unobstructed Truth of my Self.

 

 

Invoking Light: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 36

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

I prepare my mind for Peace. I prepare my mind to recognize that above all else, I want the Peace that passeth understanding. Today, I offer only this, in humility and gratitude to my Divine Self: I am willing to let the Peace of God be what it is, and I accept myself as I am meant to be.

Reflection

When it’s rainy, our house becomes more active with unseen energies. I’m not sensitive to it most of the time, but Tam is. Tam hears a child laughing, footsteps; we both smell cigarette or cigar smoke.

This past week was rainy and Tam heard something new–a woman’s voice called out “HANK!?” and then the doorknob to the bedroom rattled.

I decided to smudge the house. Taking my sage and candle, I stood at the foyer–Tam was around the corner in the living room–and began my silent invocation of Divine Love and Light; it was about dusk, and dim in the space.

When I finished the prayer and began to move to light the sage from the candle, Tam said, “Did you just light something?” I said, “Nooooo”. Tam said, “What did you do; I saw a flash of light!?” I said, “I invoked light!” Tam said, “Well, you got it!” and then explained that there was a big burst of light that came in–and Tam’s eyes had been closed.

I was happy to hear that.

I do the spiritual work, and I know that something is happening, but it’s not like I see it. Spiritual work is not like material work–the cause-effect links seem to be neither immediate nor obvious.

Yet, the links and results are immediate, if this recent scenario is any indication (which I choose to think it is).

My prayer practices have taken on a new gusto.

All I have to do is do them. They work. Whether I see it or not, whether I know what the results are or not they work.

The Divine Light of God comes to those who call. Ask and ye shall receive.

I have been asking more. I used to have restricting thoughts about “what I ask for”. Doubts used to plague me about asking for the right things, about doing it right, about how I was doing it generally.

My prayers have become simple–some version of this basic prayer: I am my I Am Presence and I am One with the I Am Presence of all humanity. As one breath, one heartbeat, one voice, one energy, vibration, and consciousness of Pure Divine Love, I invoke Divine Light. I ask for Love and Light to enter and fill the minds and hearts of all people, blessing All. I offer my thoughts, words, feelings and actions to the Divine in gratitude for the opportunity to increase the Light in the world. 

I feel as though my communication with the Divine has opened up to new possibilities!

 

 

 

Reality is More Fun: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 35

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

I am now aware of my complete harmony with All of Life. I choose to carry the harmony of Oneness with me in all areas of my life. Awareness of Oneness brings immediate peace to all my relationships and interactions. I choose Peace. I choose recognizing Unity with All. I choose Oneness with All.

Reflection

I am One with All, whether I choose it or not.

Choosing It merely makes me an active participant in something that already exists.

Choosing Oneness sends the signal to my mind/body/brain to be on the lookout for It.

Seek and find: When I choose Oneness I make a decision about what I am looking for.

Most humans (at this point in time) default to seeking sense-perception experiences.

All sense-perception experiences are a) of the body, not of the Soul b) rely on human (not Divine) perception, which is prone to misinterpretation c) feed the ego-identity d) encourage categories, divisions, separations of the various perceptions.

Since the default is sense-perception, unless a person consciously, intentionally chooses differently, the experiences sought-after will be sensory perceptive experiences.

Oneness is not of the senses, not of human perception. If seeking sense-perception experiences, Oneness will never be experienced, never be known.

Choosing Oneness–telling your brain/mind what to look for–is the first step to experiencing it in the outer world. Our Divine Self perceives Divine Ideas differently than our body’s perceptions.

We are One through our Divine Self, our I AM Presence, the Holy Spirit. It’s ok to ask for help. In fact, it’s encouraged:

I Am my I Am Presence and I am One with the I Am Presence of every man, woman, and child. I ask my I Am Presence to shine the Divine Light of Wisdom into my mind/heart-thoughts/emotions, that I may Know my Oneness with All of Life. 

Eventually, we all must become active participants with our Divine Self; it is after all more fun to experience reality than perceptive misinterpretations.

Just That (Over and Over): Journey of Peace 2017– Day 34

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

I am fulfilled! I am filled to the utmost capacity! I embody All that Is. I am beyond complete! I accept and receive the beautiful gift of Life, and Know the perfection of the Love I Am. In gratitude I share this Love with All that Is.

Reflection

I wish I could convey adequately how I am learning about the rhythm and cycle of life. I don’t mean cycles of linear time. I mean as every present moment of now–the rhythm of now.

Every moment, life breathes me as I breathe life. This is the flow. It is instantaneously simultaneous, perpetual. I AM the Life I live, the life I live IS me. As I give to life, life gives to me. This is the experience of Oneness. Every breath connects me with everything Life IS–which is everything.

“I am ‘beyond’ complete” because this Life is Infinite. As I breathe and feel It come into me, I feel it for what it is, which is infinitely gianormous. I’m beyond complete, because all that  fills up this tiny vessel like it’s nothing–and compared to infinity, it is!

When I feel It filling me, there is nothing else I want. Just that.

And so I do whatever I can do so that I have that. Just that.

What do I need to do?

Not much, really: Give Life back to Life. Give Love back to Love.

Since I am Life, and I am Love…

And Life and Love Supply me infinitely…

It’s simple to give back; I certainly have enough.

All it takes is small prayers throughout the day of gratitude to Life, for the opportunity I have to live and participate in It. Precious, precious life.

Take a moment now, say it with me:

I ask my I AM Presence to purify and bless all my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions, with Infinite Love. Thus purified and blessed, I ask my I AM Presence to Offer my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions to God-Life-Love-All That IS in gratitude for the opportunity for me to contribute to the light and life in the world. OM Peace Peace Peace.

 

 

 

Try to Out-give God: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 33

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

In my natural state of Freedom, my mind knows only serene tranquility and Oneness with All. Nothing need be done, for there is no more to do. I am perfect, whole, and complete. Satisfied and filled full, my energy overflows to manifest only the Good, the Holy, and the Beautiful.

Reflection

“There is no more to do”, yet “doing” still happens.

Not “doing” anything does not mean ceasing activity. We are, after all, in a material world with material needs, requiring all of the actions to accomplish those things.

This has been a perpetual difficulty in language for as long as people have been using words to “explain” what the spiritual world, what a spiritual experience, is all about. We need words to explain. We have the same words to describe the spiritual world, as we have to describe the material world. Discerning the two when the words are the same can feel confusing…

“Not doing” in this case means that the mind is not “doing”. It is no longer seeking. It is no longer lost. It Knows itself as a spark of the Divine Flame, unquestionably.

In this state, the mind is at rest, at Peace, existing in Oneness.

The body follows the mind. Action follows thought.

There is still activity, action, “doing”, but the Source of the action is a mind that is at One with All, rather than a mind that jumps around from idea to idea, analyzing, figuring out, deciding category, rank, or meaning.

In this state, there is a natural balance, an equilibrium between the Divine flow that comes through us and what we contribute to the world. Once in that state of Equal Flow, the (Infinite) Divine gives us as much of Itself as we can allow to flow through us.

We end up as though running on a treadmill that is moving too fast for our little legs to run! That is the “overflow”–we are constantly supplied with Divine flow, so much so that it spills out to everything we encounter as expressions of the Divine Itself–the Good, the Holy, the Beautiful. All we need to do is keep giving It.

John Randolph Price used to say, “try to out-give God…you can’t.”

My Crap. My Choice.: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 32

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Knowing myself as Peace fortifies my inner awareness of the unity within. Through gratitude for the Life I Am, I connect with harmony. Through harmony, I am restored and strengthened, and am thus able to carry my Inner Peace to all of life’s activity surrounding me.

Reflection

“Whenever you are angry, you can be sure that you have formed a ‘special relationship’, which the ego has ‘blessed’, for anger is its blessing. Anger takes many forms, but it cannot long deceive those who will learn that love brings no guilt at all, and what brings guilt cannot be love and must be anger.”  (ACIM)

I got to a point of comfort here, with these Journeys. I was (am) flowing, my life and emotions are smooth…no problems, really.

About a week ago I thought from out of the blue, “but I haven’t been working on anything specific…” I brushed that aside with the counter-thought, “But of course you have: each Journey works on something specific”.

But something didn’t (doesn’t) feel right anymore. I was right: I’ve become comfortable in doing these Journeys. That means there is no “real” growth. Real growth (for me) is when there is something pushing me, prodding me, gnawing at me to understand, to figure out, to forgive and release. It’s up to me to challenge myself to find those things within, and bring them to light.

It’s a precarious balance, especially for me, a person who is often too hard on myself for “not doing enough”.

When am I not doing enough? versus When am I taking a step back to integrate or assimilate something new? versus When have I gotten lazy?

In the past few weeks I have slowly been re-integrating a tool/modality that I had used many years ago. It’s a tool that makes emotions visible. It does not heighten emotions per se, but it increases my awareness of the emotions that are going on, bringing them to consciousness.

In the past week, I’ve been thinking more about my emotions, more about my past emotions and how those are influencing me, more about emotions that I learned as a kid that I did not consciously choose (for example, I’ve been recognizing an emotion that I inherited, connected with a fear of making bad decisions, especially when it comes to money).

I am much more attuned to feelings of anger and guilt–sometimes I feel them (and acknowledge them), sometimes I just recognize that there is a situation that (were I to buy into it), would elicit feelings of anger and guilt.

But since I’ve been thinking about it (that is: since I have been more aware), I’ve been feeling more and more (and it’s been about anger and guilt, which is why the quote is at the top of the page).

Even with “how much I know” (or how much I think I know) about myself, about my emotions, about how I tick, and what ticks me off…there is still stuff that I need to work on.

I prefer to choose to work on stuff. It’s my choice! These Journeys are certainly part of it–and will be for a long time to come. But it’s time to get to work on those things that I may not consciously be aware of, and it’s time to make those things conscious. Stuff like:

  • When did I decide that I could not have nice things?
  • What is this tension my body holds in my neck and throat?
  • What do I wish I could say that I don’t?
  • When did I decide that I need to “work through” toxic situations, rather than leaving them?
  • How can I release fear of being successful?

And on and on. There’s so much to work on! By making the choice to grow, to release “crap”, I get ahead of it–I control when and how it expresses; it does not sneak up on me and come out inappropriately.

I feel like I have come so far, and yet I’m back at square one. This is not unexpected. I may be back at square one, but with a whole lot more assurance, maturity, and confidence.

I wonder what this Journey will be like two years from now, after working out even more emotional stuff. We’ll see.

 

And Then You’ll Notice: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 31

Welcome to Round Four–we are in the homestretch now! Once more, the pronouns change with this round–we are back to using “I” as the subject of the Guiding Thought. However…you may notice that you do not feel the same way about “I” as you did in the first round after having been through “you” and “we”!

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

I am Love. I have infinite Love to give; therefore, I am able to give Love infinitely. Filled with Love, my energy is vibrant. All of Life responds to my inner State of Being with mutual harmony.

Reflection

A friend of mine recently asked, “do you think it really is possible for (emotional) stuff to be released, and for us to have new way of interacting with people, a new way of being?”

I paused for a moment–I always pause just to make sure I listen within before speaking–then said, “Yes. Absolutely. There are things I used to do, ways I used to think, things I used to experience that just aren’t there anymore”. For example, there was a time when I could not even recognize that I was having an emotion, much less expressing it (other people had to tell me. ouch). Now, I am very attuned to my emotions, and I can even talk about them (when I choose to!).

Not being aware of my emotions was self-destructive behavior; not communicating my emotions damaged relationships (and/or kept me in relationships longer than I should have been).

I had to make a choice to make that change in my life. And I did, but you know what? It was not grueling or difficult or tedious or traumatic. It was just about awareness…and making choices. I did have to do some trial and error, some experimenting, but in self-awareness, that’s always the fun stuff anyway.

And then over time, something would happen–just a situation where there might have been tension or miscommunication…and I wouldn’t notice it at first, but later I would look back and think: I was different. I was in tune, and I chose to act with calmness and integrity. How about that?

So, if you were to ask me if I really thought that it’s possible to move to a State of Being that comes from the Source of Infinite Love within me, filling me with Love, to which All Life responds with Harmony…I would say, “Yes. Absolutely.”

One day, you’ll notice: you’re just different. You’re acting in harmony with others, with life. There is an ease and flow to how your life runs. Just like that.

 

Mass of Swirling Emotion: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 30

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Knowing the essence of All as our Self, we respect and revere All Life. We love our Self; we love All Life. We bring this Love regularly, sincerely, and thankfully to all our activities and interactions. We now Know the Peace inherent in Oneness. We Know All as our Self. We Know our Self as Love.

Reflection

For about the past 24 hours, I’ve had some emotions that feel like they are rising up from deep within my subconscious–so deep that there is no external “trigger”, no situation to provoke them.

I feel disconnected.

I feel despondent.

They have been so vague in origin, yet clear in what I feel, that they have triggered more-conscious emotions.

I feel confused. (What does this mean?)

I feel bothered. (Ugh, what is going on!?)

I feel burdened. (How am I supposed to deal with this?)

You may imagine that with these emotions swirling around, not only has my contemplation been affected, but I have not been able to be clear about what I am doing, whether or not I am making the right decisions. Feeling disconnected, is related to (not) feeling At One, or Attuned to my Source. If I feel as though I am not in tune, what can I do? Nothing. So I then feel despondent, because if I feel like I can’t do anything; I feel like I just need to sit, wait, and see.

Fortunately, there have not been really important decisions to be made. And, as I said, there was no external situation that started it all, so I have been able to move through life “normally”, simply being aware of these feelings, and working with my practices to transmute them.

It has brought to mind some thoughts that I have struggled with over the years regarding how we/I move through life when emotions pester us:

  1. How does one discern between the energy of resistance (fear) and a cue from the Inner Divine that something is not the right path, or perhaps the right time? In other words: how do I know when to try to push through something I am resisting, or when to let it go?
  2. How does one know the difference between a green light–a clear signal that something is right–and an ego-motivated pursuit? When I feel really motivated and energized, is it because I am after some ego-gratification, or because I am inspired by a higher purpose?

There are three foundational thoughts that I often turn to when I feel disconnected, despondent, confused, bothered, or burdened (or any number and variety of emotions):

  1. This too shall pass.
  2. The greatest gift you can give humanity is the purity of your own presence. (So keep working them out!)
  3. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” (Aristotle) As I interpret it, this is a succinct way to say, “in our moments of being most human, continue seeking the Divine”. Or, perhaps, it is those very moments of being human that the Divine uses to call us to It. (A big thank you to makeitultrapsychology for posting this quote at the perfect moment.)