Breaking Mental Habits: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 19

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for

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.


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

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.


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.