Gratitude strikes my heart like a bell, resounding love through my being. Gratitude opens my heart to Love’s purity, my very own essence! I experience such deep gratitude for my heart, my essence, my ALL of Life!
Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically). Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls:
There was something rhythmic and steady about drawing repetitive lines while listening to the Guiding Thought. I felt my mind let go so that the words were able to quite literally resound through my body, carrying with them the feeling behind the words. By the time I was finishing the picture, I felt gratitude that was in my body, visceral and organic. I’ve never experienced that before.
Following the guidance of my heart, I experience life anew! As I express love, I experience love everywhere. I find new ways to love. I recognize new depths and nuances of love. I am patient. I am kind. I am wise. I respond to life with love, as love.
Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically). Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls:
“Yes, yes, that’s true”. I felt assured in my contemplation.
It’s one thing to read the Guiding Thought and feel disconnected from the words or their meanings. Sometimes that happens. the words are like the lyrics to a song that I don’t understand, so I hum the melody, as gibberish runs through my mind.
It’s quite another to read the Guiding Thought and not only feel connected to it, but feel like it applies. These are the best kind of affirmation: when I agree with the thing that I am affirming, when there are no dissenting voices sabotaging and undermining the statements of truth.
So, today, I received connection, affirmation, and assurance. With deep gratitude, I accept this gift from my heart! (Always a good idea to acknowledge, accept, and give thanks…this lets your heart know you want its gifts, and you take it seriously).
Don’t listen to me, don’t listen to anyone else. Listen to yourself. Of course, there is only Oneness; so if you listen to me, or someone else, and do so with a Mind of Oneness, you will be listening to yourself.
Allow yourself to connect with your pure Inner Divine Heart of Oneness. Be aware of the expression of the Divine Heart through you, as you. Connect with your heart, and be aware of embodying its pure Love intention for All. Be filled with Joy as you embrace your heart’s Love.
I just had an ah-ha moment. Then, I wondered if I’ve ever had this particular ah-ha moment before. Then, I understood (again) how easy it is to forget things that are somewhat obvious to me, and how necessary it is to learn and re-learn, and re-learn, as these Truth ideas seep slowly into deeper and deeper levels of consciousness (or is that higher and higher levels of consciousness?).
That’s the really cool thing about this kind of work, in my humble opinion– ideas can be understood over and over in different ways, opening new doors to new and different awarenesses. In fact this just happened yesterday, here, didn’t it?
How many times have I read this
Perfect love casts out fear.
If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.
Only perfect love exists.
If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist.
in A Course in Miracles? (many, many!) And yet, did I not have new understanding of it yesterday? An new understanding that followed my own articulation of the idea, in my own words, unprovoked?
It does not matter what other people say something means. It does not matter how someone else understands an idea, a word, or a phrase. It matters what you think, what you understand. Through your own understanding, your own intuition, your own seeking is how the Divine speaks to you and leads you. The more you strive toward truth, the more truth can speak to you to lead you. This is not always in your conscious-awareness, but as long as you work with your conscious awareness, you will be lead.
If you care about how I interpret the Guiding Thoughts; if you enjoy reading about my insights, my stumbling blocks, or my progress, I am truly honored, and happy that you find value here. But I hope…I really hope, that more than just reading how I am working out my own spiritual development, my salvation if you will, that you are inspired to work out your own.
That was the gist of my ah-ha moment. Take heart. Did you know that cœur means heart in French? I know that…I’ve known that for a long time…yet, in the moment of reading the Guiding Thought, it was as though I have never known it in my life. All of the sudden I understood in a new way the connection between courage and heart.
Your heart is your courage. Grow your heart. Listen to your heart. Allow your heart to reign. Take courage. Take heart.
How does one contemplate? What does it mean to contemplate? Does contemplation feel like anything? Is there a difference between contemplation and just thinking?
I lift my mind and heart to the Truth of Being, to all that Is, to All I Am. I accept my Self in Truth and offer my Self to All in gratitude for Its Being.
If visualization is intentional imagination, and if prayer is direct communication (with dieties, buddhas or boddhisattvas, angels, saints, etc), then, I would say that the way I use contemplation here is intentional, direct communication and imagination, with myself, with the addition of seeking understanding beyond the words.
This is what it looks like for me with today’s Guiding Thought:
I lift my mind and heart to the Truth of Being: I imagine lifting my mind and heart to the Truth of Being. I do not need to know what the Truth of Being is, nor to understand it. I simply use a symbol (a focused, bright white light that encompasses all) to represent what I neither know nor understand. I “send” my mind and heart to this light in my imagination.
At the same time, I ask my mind to wonder, “what is Truth?”, “what is Being?”. I do not need to have the answer, I do not need to know, I simply ask the questions, and allow my mind to wonder about the answer. I keep my mind focused on the words, on asking the questions.
Sometimes, a thought can feel like it’s telling me something important…
to all that Is, to All I Am: “Somehow”, my mind thinks, “all that Is is related to Truth of Being. Is the Truth of Being also All that Is?” I do not make a decision about the answer to this question, I simply continue contemplating. “Somehow”, my mind then thinks, “all that Is, is related to All I Am. Am I all that Is”? Again, I make no decisions about the answer–if I make a decision, then I will not be open to alternative answers, or “add-ons” to an answer. Decisions cut off other possibilities, so I leave myself open.
With those thoughts, I let myself imagine what if. What if the Truth of Being is All that Is? What if All I Am is the Truth of Being? If the Truth of Being is All that Is, and If All I Am is the Truth of Being, then I Am All that Is.
By now, my mind feels a bit confused. WHAT? I don’t know if this is right…I don’t know if there is more…I don’t know how or what I understand about this, but my mind and heart have lead me to these thoughts, to these imaginings, so I go with it. And I let my mind stay confused, because there is part of my mind that is shifting (I can feel it); there is part of my mind trying to figure it out, and (if I were to use neuro-science language), it’s building new neural-networks.
I accept my Self in Truth: My mind thinks, “I accept myself only in Truth. The self I accept is the Self of Truth. I reject, the self that is not True.” “That sounds harsh”. “Well, maybe, but what if that is correct use of denial”? Here I catch myself, and draw myself back to the Guiding thought, and simply be aware of the thoughts my mind thinks. I do not need to think about the thoughts that come up regarding the Guiding Thought. I stay focused on the Guiding Thought.
and offer my Self to All: The only Self that I want to offer to All is my Self of Truth. Now, it begins to feel like the only self I want to acceptis my Self of Truth.
But, if this were the case, that would mean rejecting the self that is not True…but again, I can’t make a decision about this, I cannot decide I know, or think that I have found an answer, because if the Truth of Being is All that IS, and I am All that Is, then I can reject nothing, because it is me. There’s more to it than I can see…
At the same time, my imagination is “seeing” me offer my Self to All. The way this looks to me today is symbolically holding my mind and heart in my hands, lifting them up, into the atmosphere, where they disperse around the earth, to All.
in gratitude for Its Being: “Am I giving gratitude for my Self, or for All? What is the Its in this phrase”? By now, I’ve gone through the Guiding Thought a dozen times, slowly allowing these thoughts and imaginings to evolve. By now, I feel like “my Self” and “All” are the same thing, so my question does not even make sense. I offer my Self to my Self, I offer my Self to the Truth of Being, I offer my Self to All that IS.
To what am I giving? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
For what am I grateful? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
What receives my gift? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
What receives my gratitude? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
All that is given is received. Anything given is received by All. Anything given returns from All. Imagine that.
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.
What is fulfillment but knowing my Self as an expression of Divine Love? I found myself thinking, “What IS fulfillment but knowing my Self as an expression of Divine Love?” Can you think of anything more that fulfillment could be? Is there anything that could even come close to the fulfillment of knowing oneself as an expression of Divine Love?
Imagine Divine Love. Think about it.
On the one hand, Divine Love is so enormous, there is no way that my little brain can conceive of what it could possibly mean to know myself as Divine Love. Words that come to mind, but that barely approach it are things like, “stillness”, “peace”, or “harmony”.
But on the other hand, I can feel myself able to touch the part of me that does know. This part of me is able to access something beyond the words, something so profound I can only sense its surface—and that alone is overwhelming.
Can you touch it? Can you go beyond the words and feel that part of you that knows its connection to the profound depths of Divine Love?
I believe this is where faith truly exists, in that space of knowing this connection, of knowing the Truth of Self, of knowing the embrace of all-surrounding, all-existing, all-permeating Divine Love.
I say, “I believe this is where faith truly exists”, because I have not experienced this knowing enough in my experience to be certain. But it makes sense to me: When I know my Self as an expression of Divine Love, when I can live in that space of beyond words which encompasses all stillness, all peace, all harmony, what more is there, but the conscious assuredness of the Truth of Love? Of True Fulfillment?
My consciousness is the gateway through which Divine Love flows, materializing my infinite Supply. I am now conscious of my own Inner Divine Presence—Infinite Love—expressing through me, providing me with the means to be aware, to understand, and to know It as my Self– more and more!
It’s Sunday and I’ve been working hard today, and I started early. I hope you are enjoying a long weekend with good food and family/friends! (and not working hard, like me!).
Are we what we do, or are we what we think?
In his book Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now, Gordon Livingston says these two things (at different points):
Nearly every human action is in some way an expression of how we think about ourselves.
We are what we do. We are not what we think, or what we say, or how we feel. We are what we do.
In other words…We are what we do, which is (nearly) a direct effect of how we think (about ourselves).
Isn’t that pretty close to saying “we are what we think”? What do you think about this?
One of the main points of doing these 40-day Consciousness Journeys is to raise the quality of my thoughts, so that I can have a better quality of life. In other words: to change my physical reality through having “better” thoughts. This would certainly correspond with thoughts affecting actions. The better I think about myself, the better my actions toward myself, the better I would treat myself, the better choices I would make, the more good I would allow into my life.
But does this make who I am? What defines “me”? Who is doing the defining? Do I define myself? Do my thoughts define me?
My consciousness is how I think about myself, myself in relation to others, even how I think about others in relation to me. My consciousness is the filter for the definitions for “who I am”.
But I was defined before “I” existed. All “I” can do is open my consciousness to the fullness of who I AM.
Divine abundance expresses infinitely through our own Divine Presence. When we identify with our Divine Presence, we open the floodgates and Divine Abundance flows naturally, easily, and effortlessly through us, materializing all good in our lives and affairs.
I spent 1991-1994, working for the USDA Forest Service, building trails in the wilderness of the Sierra National Forest (“Wilderness” is an official designation. It means an area in which motors or mechanized machines are not allowed. This includes things like wheel-barrows, chain saws, etc. All the trails we built were completely by simple tools and our own physical strength. Check out my first publication, on one of the projects we did here.)
I hiked in a lot of different terrain, under a lot of different conditions. Now, when I think about how I am experiencing a Journey, I usually have a type of terrain in mind. For the most part this is the type of terrain I think of:
The red arrow is a slow, easy climb. It’s definitely an incline, continuing UP, but the soil is easy to walk on, there are a few rocks around, but not too steep and no major hindrances or obstacles. (This photo is from the book the blue arrow shows where the old trail is, which is a steeper climb, with rocks in the way that make foot-placement difficult.) On most Journeys, I am on a path about like the red-arrow–always climbing, without too much trouble.
Sometimes, the Journey feels more like this:
This is terrain where it’s hard to get a foothold, the climb feels arduous, and I may ask, “is it worth it?” (You know what my answer always is…). Fortunately, when I am in terrain like this (calling out the skeptic, the doubt, the uncertainty), it usually only lasts a day or two, then I am back to “normal” terrain (like above).
This Journey, however, I am in new terrain. Here is what it feels like on this Journey, mostly:
Smooth and easy! I’d say “sailing”, if it didn’t look so much like a desert! There is almost no incline, which makes it an easy walk, barely even a hike. The ground is uniform, so there is no need to pay a lot of attention to where I am putting my feet. I’m just going, one foot in front of the other.
When I was hiking, there would come points where the hike put me in a trance. I suspect it’s similar to what runners feel, when they go for miles and miles. There is just this peace, and innate understanding that you’re on the path, you’ll arrive when you arrive, and there’s nothing to think about, worry about or, do–other than put one foot in front of the other.
This is my terrain today, yesterday, the day before. One foot in front of the other.