Be the Light, Despite… -Abundance (1.5.7)

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

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!

Reflection

I’ve been experiencing a low point lately! But as all things do, it’s lifting and passing. Keeping on!

I am assured that in spite of the chaos and low point I have been experiencing in my material reality (but not in my faith or spiritual confidence), that everything is unfolding in Divine Order.

This is a wondrous, though often tumultuous, time! It is critical that I stay centered in my own Inner Divine Presence—Infinite Love, and remain focused on the Light.

I am here for the Light. It is imperative that I not succumb to slivers of darkness and bouts of doubt or uncertainty.

I have been preparing for too long to give up on myself or on God. Besides, who wants to?  We all have within us the skill and courage to BE the Light in the face of any adversity we may be confronted with or that we are witnessing or experiencing at this time.

 

 

“To Witness Humanity”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 22

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

 

Guiding Thought

We now invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love, and we are truly grateful.

We experience Divine Mind as we experience these effects, and allow Divine Presence to confirm itself in our lives, activities, and affairs.

Sharing

I travel occasionally for my job, enough to be comfortable with it, not enough to find it inconvenient. I usually try to relax and “enjoy the ride” so to say, but I do get some travel anxiety, simply because there is nothing routine about travel. I’m in Chicago today, enjoying Hyde Park and folks at the University here.

I find travel to be a great exercise in connecting with random people, in discovering ways to touch and be touched by humanity. That’s my exercise, anyway…I know there are a lot of people who travel in a bubble, hassled, harried, running around. I do my best to stay very solidly in the moment, so that I can enjoy the ride.

In a train station yesterday, I witnessed an act of humanity that moved me to tears. It was an act of true kindness and selflessness.

It was before 7 am; in the train train station there were about half a dozen homeless people camped out on the benches. There were about the same number of passengers waiting for the next train to New York, and there was a guy cleaning the station, emptying trash containers, etc.

The janitor walked to one of the older, obviously drunk, homeless guys and said, “Man…go change your pants”, as he hands the guy a pair of pants. At first I thought it was kind of harsh, but as the scene unfolded, it was beautiful to witness. The homeless guy raises his head as though disturbed from his drunken stupor looks at the janitor guy and flimsily pushes the pants away.  The janitor points to the guys pants–which were visibly filthy, I was sitting maybe 20 feet away, and I could see how filthy they were, and I can imagine they probably smelled too–and he says “you pants are filthy, man, go change.” Again the pants get pushed away. Next, the janitor puts his hand on the guys shoulder and leans in, now talking too softly for me to hear. From the janitors body language, he’s repeating about how dirty the pants are, and the guy just needs to take these clean pants and go change; from the homeless guys body language, the janitor was, in his way, whispering words of understanding and compassion. The homeless guy softened, and took the pants. It was a beautiful act of humanity and kindness which I felt so privileged to witness.

Such a small thing. A pair of pants.

It occurred to me: It was not like the janitor made a lot of money or had anything of “value” to give, but he gave what he could and the results were amazing. He saw a need; he saw a person in need and he did what he could.

Then it occurred to me that if money or “something of value” were introduced into that dynamic it would become corrupted. For example, if I wanted to help the janitor “do this good work”, and I raised money, or got pants donations so he could give them away to homeless people at the train station, somehow that would destroy the purity of the simple act of seeing another in need and giving in the moment, from the heart.

I was inspired; to me, witnessing this act of humanity was witnessing Divine Love in action, experiencing Divine Mind as we experience these effects, and allowing Divine Presence to confirm itself in our lives, activities, and affairs.

I’ve done what I can on this trip to be very attentive to everyone I interact with, to do so with kindness and care, paying attention to their humanity, and giving whatever small thing I can, even if it’s “just” a smile or kind word.

 

“Appreciation”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 12

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love now… and be truly grateful. Experience Divine Mind as you experience these effects; allow Divine Presence to confirm itself in your life, activities, and affairs.

Sharing

Conscious union with God. I have to remind myself sometimes what these Journeys are all about for me, and why I am doing this.  Conscious union with God is what came to me, as I was reminding myself. That about sums it up.

For me, the question, “Why am I doing this?” can sometimes have the existential weight of similar questions, like, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Fortunately, unlike those larger questions, I only need to answer for right now, this moment. I don’t need to find an absolute answer. This helps me on a daily basis, because the answer can change on a daily basis—why I am doing this can change, and as long as I understand and have a daily (or even momentary) answer, it’s enough to keep me centered and balanced, and to continue.

Conscious union with God is a pretty big answer though, isn’t it? That’s ok for today, and besides, it fits quite well with today’s contemplation.

If I say I really want conscious union with God, what better way to go about it than to invite, welcome and receive the effects of Divine Love? I urge you to do this right now, if you too are interested in a deeper relationship with God. Invite Divine Love to be the Source of the effects in your life. This is what you do if you want someone to come over for dinner, or out for a drink, right? The invitation comes first: Invite Divine Love.

Then once you’ve sent out the invitation, the person shows up on your doorstep…what do you do? Welcome them. So, welcome Divine Love, give It a virtual hug at the doorstep of your heart! Open the door and usher It in.

Then, receive Divine Love. You have the greatest guest in your house you can imagine. Don’t just sit on the couch and play World of Warcraft, checked out and not paying attention to your guest. Have something special planned, like Turkish coffee with that beautiful set of cups and saucers that you almost never use. In other words: do something unique that demonstrates you acknowledge the presence of Divine Love.

Sometimes I think that traditions and rituals are really good to give people a role-model for approaching the Divine, but at the same time, I also think it can be a simple, small gesture from the heart that, for you, genuinely conveys your recognition of and appreciation for the Divine in your life. If something is complicated, or if it doesn’t “feel right” for you, you may not do it. Divine Love loves you! No matter what! How can you show It your appreciation, in a way that is unique and right for you?

When you think about having That Amazing Power and Presence right there, where you are, how can you not feel anything but gratitude? And Love? How can you not want more and more?

As you go through this, more and more, you open yourself up to recognizing the gifts of Divine Love, the effects. Sometimes they show up in your life, sometimes they show up in your heart. Keep looking. Keep recognizing, keep appreciating. Divine Love and Divine Presence know no bounds; your conscious union with Divine Love also need know no bounds.

“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.

“This Ain’t no SECRET”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 32

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

 

Guiding Thought

I choose to expand my consciousness and open my heart to Divine Love’s flow within me. Realizing my own Divine Presence, I know God as the Source and Fulfillment of all my good.

Sharing

The big question is: Who or what is God? The Guiding Thought says God is the Source and Fulfillment of all my good…but what is that? What does it mean that this something called “God” is both Source and Fulfillment? What’s more, this something called “God” is the Source and Fulfillment of not just my good, but of your good, her good, his good, ALL good. What is “GOD”?

I know. This is not a new question. So many people have asked this question for soooo long! I said yesterday that everyone must find their own path to enlightenment; similarly everyone must find their own answers to the what is God question.

How do I do that, in my own way? Obviously, these Journeys. I also repeat different names of God (primarily Om Namah Shivaya);  I also ask God how I can Know him/her/it; I pray the Lord’s prayer of the Christian tradition; I think about the question , “what is God” (because if I am asking, I will receive an answer); I think about what I know of God: the trinity, the various names/aspects of God, symbols of God, etc.,  from many different traditions; I read from traditional texts (Bible, Shiva Purana, Sutras)  for clues; I read from modern texts (A Course in Miracles, Christian Science, Divine Revelations of Julian of Norwich, etc); I read about people and their experiences with God (mystics, saints, avatars, etc.) from all different traditions. In case you haven’t noticed, I am an equal-opportunity God-seeker.

No, I don’t do all of these things all of the time. That would be too much, even for me. But I would say I am always doing at least two of these daily. Yesterday, I also said that I love thinking, and I am happy to be the heavy-lifting thinker for you. I would say that I am willing to do the heavy lifting God-seeker for you too, except that I also think everyone must find their own answer(s). I’ll just share my insights as best I can, and intend only good will.

Recently, my thoughts on God have been about the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit from the Christian tradition, and the Shiva/Shakti relationship from the Hindu/Vedic tradition. Here is what I have been thinking, please note two things: a) I am not saying this is right, this is just my process b) this has to do with abundance because I am thinking about how we bring God into our lives, how we bring the abundance of God into our lives.

The basic idea is that God exists in both manifest and unmanifest forms. The Guiding Thoughts often hint at this, as in yesterday’s Guiding Thought, “This Source is always seeking expression through me.” The Source is the unmanifest; expression brings the Source into manifestation.

In Christianity, the unmanifest is known as “the Father”, the manifest is known as “the Son”.  The Holy Spirit is that which brings the Father into manifestation. The Holy Spirit is like the catalyst, the element that is necessary to activate “the Father” so that the Father may express Itself into manifestation.

The principle of Shiva seems to me to be similar to the idea of the Father. Shiva is known as “Pure Consciousness”—no form, no materiality, simply the energy of ALL. It is also known as the masculine principle. Shakti, then, is the feminine principle. Like the Holy Spirit, Shakti is what brings forth consciousness into manifestation. The earth—All of Creation—is the expression of Shiva/Shakti.

Here’s how it “works” in theory: Tap into the unmanifest, or Pure Consciousness, get on the same page, be clear about what form you want It to take; then call on the Holy Spirit/Shakti, and say, “hey, would you mind helping a brother out, bring this into manifestation for me?” and then… that’s it. Nothing to it.

But if it were that easy, we’d all have exactly what we want (maybe we do and we don’t know it?). I keep going, and keep asking the Big Question.

On a side note, I’ve been playing with my mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. I know. Hard core Hindus would be appalled, I apologize, and I mean no offense… I’m just working things out in my own way. I’ve changed it in two ways, which I have been playing with and seeing how they feel. Way 1) “Om Namah Shivaya-Shakti” This should be self-explanatory, from what I’ve said above. Way 2) Om Namah Shivaya Swaha. “Swaha” is a feminine word and is sometimes associated directly with the Shakti principle; it also has a more subtle meaning that can be understood as something like release, as when a person releases something into a fire, or surrenders something to God. I keep all of this in mind, as I do my mantra.

I hope this has perhaps given you some fuel for your own thoughts, your own seeking, your own answers about bringing God’s gifts of abundance into your life. Swaha!

“Let the Listener Beware!”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 31

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

 

Guiding Thought

Divine Love-Light is the Source of All. It is all good, all God. This Source is always seeking expression through me. My awareness of my personal identity as this Source provides me with infinite fulfillment and prosperity.

Sharing

Day 31, welcome to Round 3! How are you doing? So far on this Journey, we’ve gone through the benefits of being still, how to overcome “financial slavery”, the Law of Increase, the constancy of Divine Mind, gratitude for small things, and life as a living-koan. Aren’t we done yet? With all that intensity of the first 2 rounds, I might have short circuited myself. It was day 21, the first day of round 3, where I noticed that I wanted to be in “coasting” mode. That certainly characterized most of round 3 for me—I definitely let the momentum carry me. Thank you, by the way, for helping me out—your effort during the last 10 days helped to carry me through. Whew. And here I am, ready to shift gears again. Let’s finish this.

One day Saraha asked his wife for some radish curry. She prepared the dish, but while she was doing so, Saraha entered a deep meditation, sitting in Samadhi for twelve years.

Upon emerging from his meditative state, Saraha immediately asked for his radish curry. His wife was astonished, “You have been in meditation for twelve years; it is summer now and there are no radishes.”

Saraha thus decided to intensify his practice and go to the mountains for meditation in complete solitude.

“Physical isolation is not a real solitude,” replied his wife. “The best kind of solitude is complete escape from the preconceptions and prejudices of an inflexible and narrow mind, and, moreover, from all labels and concepts. If you awaken from a twelve year Samadhi and are still clinging to your twelve year old curry, what is the point of going to the mountains?”

The first thing I thought when reading this was, “I wonder what radish curry tastes like?”

The second thing was, “that is some dedicated wife…”

The third thing was, “yeah, 12 years, I’d be asking for something to eat, too!”

And finally, “Wow, even Samadhi does not eliminate the attachments of the mind.” When he woke up, he was basically right back where he started.

I sometimes worry (sort of…) that I am too involved with my mind, because many of my practices are contemplative. You’ve seen me go through this with myself, thinking too much… worrying that I think too much. This is one reason that I engage my right-brain with drawing and coloring sometimes, why I do movement meditations, and why I bathe, breathe, and sit with fire —balance.

There are many paths to enlightenment, lots of ways to get there. Everyone must find the path that is right for them. I think a lot, it is part of my path; it’s right for me. Maybe you are not a big thinker, but you like ideas, so my path helps you on your path—I am happy to do the heavy-thinking! We all help each other.

Here are some thoughts about thinking (this is in contrast with the no-thought method, like that of Saraha):

  • Thoughts are useful, when a person strives to be aware of their thoughts, and to think the highest thoughts possible.
    • I’ve mentioned that I don’t listen to the radio or pop music much. Here is the reason I don’t. In my recent “coasting” state, I wanted my brain to relax, so I listened to the radio to and from work for several days. One day, this song came on: Problem by Ariana Grande. I had never heard the song before, but for almost 36 hours after hearing it on the radio, I had this in my head, I got! One less problem without ya! I got! One less problem without ya! I would catch myself “singing” this song in my head—WTH? I don’t want to think about having one less problem without the person I love in my life. Why is this song in my head? It’s NOT what I want. The mind is great at mimicry and repetition. Caveat Auditoris!
  • This means changing thoughts, when and where appropriate. As in the above example, when would become aware of these “problem” thoughts in my head, I quickly changed my thoughts to something nicer.
  • Spinning thoughts are not useful. Remember the mind is really good at repetition. Spinning thoughts are those that keep going in a loop. Often, they are thoughts of guilt-fear-blame-shame: I shouldn’t have done that… why did I do that?…ugh, I’m such a terrible person… oh, I hate myself for being a terrible person…I shouldn’t do that…
    • Spinning is like doing a 360 over and over in the same place. Eventually, you’ve dug yourself a rut, and even if you get out of the rut, it’s very easy to fall back into it. The spinning needs to stop! And the rut needs to be filled in, so that it is level, and you can’t fall back into it. When thoughts are looping like this, it’s enough to shift your thoughts to positive thoughts, like thoughts of Love and Oneness—this gets you out of the rut. Also work at healing the thoughts that got you there in the first place, let those thoughts go, ask for Diving Healing of your mind, and ask for help in cleansing and purifying lower-personality traits, characteristics, and thoughts. Only thoughts that evolve (or heal) bring you to the peace of mind to know that you won’t fall back into the rut.

I’ve never wanted to reach Samadhi (in this lifetime, anyway, I don’t know about other lives). I am not interested in “freezing my mind” in one point (and then waking up wanting radish curry). I would rather befriend my mind, gain its confidence, and teach it to work with me toward a higher, more loving way of being (and thinking!). For me, that is the point; that sums up the Journeys. Every Journey, I am teaching my mind to work with me through thoughts of Love and Oneness. I am calling down the highest Mind there is, and asking It to think through my mind, to be my thoughts, to guide my actions.

My mind loves the work, and it’s finally at a point where it does not resist (too much).

 

 

Working out : Journey of Abundance – Day 18

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Focus your mind and heart entirely on the Divine Presence you are.  Think, speak, and act in accordance with Divine Will, and release Divine Substance into all your activity and financial affairs.

Sharing

Today’s Guiding Thought is really important for me, today and in general. Today I am picturing a wise teacher saying this Guiding Thought to me. This wise teacher knows how important it is. Just one moment, just one instant, of focusing entirely on the Divine Presence I am opens up amazing light in my consciousness.

Light is how I “see” my Divine Presence. Actually, there are a lot of ways I “see” it. I guess it depends on my mood, or the circumstance. Sometimes I see it as a light-shadow hovering above and behind me. Sometimes I see myself surrounded with light. Some people hear a sound; some people feel a vibration. When I think about sounds, that works; when I focus on a vibration, that works too. But my natural instinct, my natural sense of my Divine Presence, is light. I now am thinking I should strive to hear and feel also—it would be like a synergistic workout for my consciousness!

Today, I see this light coming in to the top of my head, and I bring it intentionally to my forehead (third-eye chakra) and to my chest, my heart (or heart-chakra). It’s reminding me of the Journey of the Heart, but instead of focusing on love, I am focusing on my Divine Presence…but then…I realize….is there a difference?

I am still not focusing entirely on the light, on the Presence. It’s the little-steps. If my Divine Presence is infinite, how can I perceive it entirely? So, I do what I can. Each little focus does a couple of things. First, it tells my Divine Presence that I am paying attention to it! Why would my Divine Presence even show up if I were going to ignore it? Second, it familiarises my mind, my consciousness, to what it feels like to be attuned to my Divine Presence. That way, I can recognize it when it shows up without my effort. And that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s always there—so it’s my job to pay attention to it and recognize it. If I don’t do those things it’s as if it’s not there at all.

The second part of the Guiding Thought, “think, speak, and act in accordance with Divine Will,” raises a lot of questions for me. I am always thinking, “What do you want?” but then I am always wondering what the answer is. I have a lot of uncertainty about what the right speaking and acting is, when it’s coming from Divine Will. I let go a lot. I surrender a lot. I try not to get in my own way a lot. But I know that I have a way to go, because I don’t Know. And I know I need to look at this, and work on it, and keep on listening and striving, because I have these uncertainties. Divine Presence is still and certain, “Be still and Know that I am God.” Yeah… not there yet, but working on it!

But the little bits that I do, the attempts at being in tune with my Divine Presence, the striving for listening and being certain, and truly wanting to act in accordance with Divine Will…these things go a long way. My heart is true. My heart is pure. I know this now, and it took me a long time to get to that point. So I know that I will continue growing, learning, and evolving from where I am now. It may take me forever, but I will arrive at that point of focusing my mind and heart entirely on the Divine Presence I am; thinking, speaking, and acting in accordance with Divine Will, and watching Divine Substance flow naturally into all my activity and financial affairs.