Beneath words: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 22

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.” ― Jalaluddin Rumi.

Words convey meaning. Any time a word is used there is a meaning beneath it. The trick is to get at the meaning beneath the words. Feel the words. Bring them into your whole being, not just your mind. Feel what they are conveying. Listen to the meaning, not to the word.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

When we attune our minds to the Oneness that is All of Life, we understand our place in Wholeness. We are the very Presence of Life, and this Presence of Life is us. We are blessed through this understanding. In return we bless all we encounter.

Reflection

There are words, and there are concepts. Words express concepts, and concepts can be expressed in many different ways, through many different words. One concept can be expressed through a variety of different words. For example, all these words express the concept of “universal” (“of, relating to, or characteristic of all or the whole” or “applicable everywhere or in all cases;general)

  • broad, common, comprehensive, extensive, global,
  • prevalent, ubiquitous, unlimited, catholic, cosmopolitan.

In other words…there are lots of ways to describe just about everything (and this does not even take into account the nuances in the variety of languages).

I mention this, because I have been deeply working on the concept that underlies today’s Guiding Thought, using different words. The concept has grown within my consciousness. Each day that I work with the concept, I understand it and feel it more deeply.

It started on the day of dedication and commitment for this Journey, to summarize: I dedicated all activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my all of my mental-emotional-physical-etheric bodies, and all of the effects of all of these bodies,  at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

In this instance, the dedication was nearly equivalent to an offering, as though I am saying, “I offer all of every part of myself to the Divine”. All intention and energy of every action goes out to the Divine, to be received by the Divine. Goes out are the operative words. I am moving my energy with intention toward a specific direction (the Divine).

And then, the Divine gives it back to me: “For the benefit of all, including myself”. What goes out, comes back.

All of my energy goes out to All that Is, only to come back to All that Is, for the benefit of All that Is, including me. Do you see? There is only the Oneness of Life. When “I” put energy out, the only “one” I can put it out to is ONE with ME, and so “I” receive the very energy that “I” put out.

We all know this. This is the law of attraction, as you sow, so shall you reap and all that. You know this. I’m not telling you anything new.

I want to you feel it, to know it, and to understand it as a result of the fact of Oneness, however you can, whatever words you use. And so again…feel it:

When we attune our minds to the Oneness that is All of Life, we understand our place in Wholeness. We are the very Presence of Life, and this Presence of Life is us. We are blessed through this understanding. In return we bless all we encounter.

The reality within: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 020

Inner mindfulness is not like outer mindfulness, but there is a whole reality in there to give attention and awareness to.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Be aware, allow, accept What Is. Go within to your silent Self which Knows and follow your Inner Wisdom to Truth. Practice Divine Balance in thought, word, and action. You Are! You Are your Self! You Are your Self of Love!

Reflection

It used to be that when I thought, “What is?”, I would look around, notice, and acknowledge the various things hitting my senses. What is? I am sitting in a blue chair; I feel my bum and thighs in the seat; I feel the arches of my feet stretched from having my toes on the base… What is? I feel the breath move through my nasal cavity. I feel it expand my lungs, and when I breathe deeply enough, I feel my diaphragm…What is? I see the candle, with a flame sitting on a shelf; I smell it’s fresh scent…etc. This is a version of mindfulness: relaxing and noticing the experience, in sort of a slow-motion awareness.

Is refers to existence, so a synonymous question might be, What exists or What is real? When I ask What is of my senses, my senses return that answer, and I am shown the variety of sensory stimuli that I might otherwise not have noticed, and certainly not with as much attention or awareness.

Today’s practice leads me a different direction–within. What is within?  What exists within? What is real within?

I am less-well practiced at having my attention and awareness on the what is within.  With today’s practice, I have a guide: my silent Self which Knows.

It’s not like I can just look around and describe what I “see”. I must feel. Describing what I feel, then seems to take me away from the feeling itself, so it’s almost counter-productive to try to be mindful of what I feel within. It’s better just to feel it, let it be.

What is the reality within? What is the Truth of my existence within? When I ask What is of my inner Self, I may not understand it, but I know that answers are being returned. The questions alone bring me the reality of me: I am! I am my Self! I am my Self of Love!

 

 

Arguing with myself and losing: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 19

I haven’t had a day like this is a while. It’s a cranky, frustrated day. It’s kind of fun, I hate to admit. Don’t get me wrong–I do feel cranky and frustrated, but there was something refreshing about getting it out, and feeling like a rebellious teenager, knowing that this is really a step forward.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Accept your light and your lightness! Feel your Self expand! As you perceive change around you, remain anchored in your Being of Light. Allow yourself to sit peacefully in the still place of nothingness as life moves quickly around you.

Reflection

I feel argumentative with today’s Guiding Thought. This is a slice of a long-standing “argument”, though it’s not so much an argument, as it is a misunderstanding, or a lack of understanding, or an ignorance I have not yet unraveled.

The argument in a nutshell goes something like this: On the one hand, there are spiritual directives that tell me to “be still”, or “do nothing”. On the other hand, there are spiritual principles that indicate if I cannot demonstrate spiritual principles, I do not really embody them–in other words, I need to do something, be active in the world. This whole “doing-not-doing” has my head in a spin sometimes.

I don’t disagree  with today’s Guiding Thought, but it definitely has triggered this. (dare I say, “and that’s a good thing; now you can get one step closer to resolution”! I don’t know if I am feeling that perky today.)

I’m going to do what I often do during such bouts of back and forth. I’m going to go through each sentence and see how I feel:

Accept your light and your lightness! Check. No problem here. I accept my light and my lightness. I started re-reading Barbara Marciniak’s Bringers of the Dawn this morning, and am feeling pretty good about my light. 

Feel your Self expand! Check. No problem here. I’ve had some very noticeable expansions in the past 2 weeks. No, I take that back. I had a very expansive week two weeks ago, then a very retracted week this past week (which was sort of hard to deal with after my very expansive week, I must say). Yes, though–overall, I feel myself expand, and I feel good.  

As you perceive change around you, remain anchored in your Being of Light. Hm. No check here. You know what I want to say to “perceiving change around me”? –something not very nice. I want to yell at it, something like, “are you kidding me? what friggin change?” Ok, I recognize that there has been enormous change in the political-cultural-social arena. I recognize the changes going on in the environment, and in the world. But in my little life? Nothing. And I have been wanting change. That’s why this whole “doing-not-doing” is triggering me right now. I have been working on changing my physical-material circumstances and nothing has happened. So, of course, if nothing has happened, that means that I am failing at demonstrating my spiritual principles, right? And if I am failing at demonstrating my spiritual principles…what good am I? LOTS of issues coming up with that. 

On this topic, I had a conversation with Tam earlier today, and Tam reminded me of Job. And I remarked that I think a lot about Moses in the desert for 40 years; and Tam said, “walking in circles, no less”. Then I commented on Daniel whose fame is from the lion’s den, but he lived his life as a slave. That could not have been fun. Do you think that Job, Moses, or Daniel were betraying spiritual principles because they were not demonstrating them for long periods of time? No, of course not. But you see how difficult it is to understand the enacting of a spiritual principle, when there is no action?  Yet the no-action of being still is itself a spiritual principle? What is the reconciliation? How do I know when I am true to spiritual principles when there is no outward manifestation?

Allow yourself to sit peacefully in the still place of nothingness as life moves quickly around you. No check here, either. Pretty much the same reaction as above. I have an additional resistance to this sentence in that my mind feels a bit ADD and rebellious. “I don’t wanna sit still! Screw you, sitting still!” Yeah, I said that.

But I also don’t know what to do. I am not going to take an action that does not feel right. I am not going to take an action that feels incongruous with my spiritual principles. I am not going to take an action just  to take an action. I am not going to force an action, just because I don’t want to sit still anymore. So where does that leave me? Doing nothing. ARGH. 

So you know what I am going to do? Stick to the Journey. Stick to my practices. Let the days be as they will.

 

Take heart!: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 18

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.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

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.

Reflection

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.

But:

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.

Take heart! 

 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.

 

Love Logic: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 17

It’s the little things, really, that trip us up…we humans. We believe we’ve mastered so much over the millennia; just look at all of our accomplishments! And yet, of all the “things”, the little “things” that can throw us for a loop…words have got to be the WORST! Bear with me on this, you’ll understand…

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Love is strong! Powerful! Embrace Love and wield it through your awareness of Oneness. Oneness destroys the illusions of the mind, of the past, and of the material world. Move forward courageously with Peace in the Truth of Love and Oneness.

Reflection

It sounds so odd to say “wield” Love, don’t you think? Wield is generally used synonymously with words like brandish, and often refers to a weapon. I feel like my brain gets the tiniest of short circuits when I read the word wield next to the word Love.

Yet–after now having consulted my local dictionary–I see that wield can also be used synonymously with such words as command or exert.

That makes more sense. Thus I would say, the only way that it is even possible to wield Love is through our awareness of Oneness. Here’s why:

A

Oneness is complete, total, whole, all-encompassing, all-permeating, all-existing, all-inclusive.

B

Love is complete, total, whole, all-encompassing, all-permeating, all-existing, all-inclusive.

A=B

Or, if you prefer:

If anything [is perceived as] less than complete, total, whole, all-encompassing, all-permeating, all-existing, all-inclusive, it is neither Love, nor Oneness; but since all that exists, exists in Oneness, and therefore exists in Love, then the perception of “other than Love” cannot be correct.

It reminds me of the phrasing from A Course in Miracles:

Perfect love casts out fear.
If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.

But:

Only perfect love exists.
If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist.

To be honest, I would even argue that the qualifier “perfect” to describe Love is basically meaningless. Love IS perfect. To say there is something called “perfect” Love, that exists differently from (Hmmm, could we say separately from?) Love is absolutely incorrect. Love is Love is Love is Love. There is no Love that is more perfect than Love itself. Perhaps “perfect” is added so that we small-minded humans have a context greater than our human-concept of Love, like saying “Divine Love”.

That must be it…until we can understand and accept Love as complete, total, whole, all-encompassing, all-permeating, all-existing, as equal to itself, which is all that exists in the Oneness of Life, then such qualifiers are necessary.

Nice Breakthrough: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 13

Today, a story of encouragement. If you wonder about results, or about what you might be accomplishing, read this. Though this is my story, your efforts will bring your own successes in your life.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Love is unconditional. Choose to be unconditionally devoted to the Love which is unconditionally devoted to you! Embrace life in Love as your True nature. Connect with All in Love. Stand boldly in your heart-center, unwavering in your dedication to Unity of Life in Love.

Reflection

I’d like to share a breakthrough moment with you. When contemplating why I was doing a Journey of Courage, I mentioned that I want the courage to be absolutely at peace in the face of fear, as represented primarily by Daniel of the Old Testament. Can you imagine the stress of going to the lion’s den, but being perfectly at peace? I had a moment of experiencing this. Here’s how it went:

I was confronted at my job by a person higher in the chain of command than me, about an “issue”. The solution was simple and obvious, and I conceded to the solution immediately, yet this person continued to badger me with words and looks of contempt.  It was a very classic authoritarian situation, where one person (my colleague) is in power and dominant, and the other (me) is powerless and subordinate: think parent-child, police-suspect, teacher-student, supervisor-employee, etc. Do you have an idea of the dynamic?

You might imagine there was stress and tension. I could feel my brain begin to “short-circuit”, as the biological effects of stress kicked in.

And yet, I also felt an underlying calm and peace. A part of my brain was aware of the conflict-induced stress, yet another part of my brain was noticing how at peace I was. In the midst of conflict, I found myself thinking, “This is how it happened with Daniel. This is less intense than going to a lion’s den, but this is the same phenomenon. What I am doing is working!” In that moment, I understood the possibility of being calm in the face of fear. I can do this.

I was not trying to be at peace. I was not even thinking about Love or God or Mantra. The peace felt completely natural and effortless. Of course, all of the effort went in prior to the incident, but the effort paid off. Let me reiterate: This was an understanding of the feeling, with an intensity that I could handle. Now that I have experienced, or accomplished, this level of intensity, I can continue to cultivate the mindset that brought it about for higher levels of intensity. The practices matter! The practices bring results!

In addition to a feeling of peace, I had this thought, which was a bit of a bonus! “This is also how financial freedom works. Do you see how natural and easy this feeling of peace is? Do you feel how you are doing nothing, and you are aware of your inherent fullness (of peace)? Financial freedom is this feeling of ease and naturalness about money and abundance. One day, you will find yourself in the middle of an experience of fullness of money and abundance, and you will feel this feeling, as though you are totally at peace, and the experience is completely natural, and you are not doing anything to ‘make it happen'”.

This feels like a nice confirmation, as well as a nice step. I know I have to keep working, continue diligently. And let me tell you: I am really inspired to accept and embody today’s Guiding Thought. Love is unconditional. Choose to be unconditionally devoted to the Love which is unconditionally devoted to you! Embrace life in Love as your True nature. Connect with All in Love. Stand boldly in your heart-center, unwavering in your dedication to Unity of Life in Love.

Love returns to those devoted and dedicated to It.

 

Walking through All of Life: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 12

I have a deeper understanding these days about the importance of walking my mind through spiritual concepts–getting my mind on board with big ideas. If I don’t believe it, how can I experience it? Today is about getting my mind to think bigger. To understand myself as part of the enormity of Life.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

When you attune your mind to the Oneness that is All of Life, you understand your place in Wholeness. You are the very Presence of Life, and this Presence of Life is you! You are blessed through this understanding. In return you bless all you encounter.

Reflection

Let’s try it, shall we? Let’s try right now to attune our minds to the Oneness that is All of Life. You ready? Go.

Think about all of Life. Picture everything that you can think of that is included in the term Life. Bugs. Fish. Trees. Birds. Amoeba. Viruses and bacteria. Just imagine the earth, as viewed from outer space, a big blue ball, populated with all forms of life. Imagine a closer view; pretend you are flying all over the surface of the earth, looking down at trees, plains, mountains, and all of the life that resides there. See it all, as you fly over the earth. Now imagine yourself tiny, and inside life at a microscopic level, looking up and out and all around.

All of this is Life. You are aware of all of this as Life. Life surrounds you and fills you. Everything around you, everything you have imagined is surrounded and filled with Life. Life is the same in me, in you, and in everything. This is attuning our minds to the Oneness that is All of Life.

See yourself in it. Become aware of yourself, in it. Feel Life surround you and flow through you and know that is the same Life that surrounds and fills everything. You are part of this. The Oneness that underlies All of Life, is in you. You contribute to the Oneness, to the Wholeness.

You see?

Because Life fills you and surrounds you, you are the very Presence of Life, and this Presence of Life is you! Can you feel it? 

That feeling–the awareness of Life as you and you as Life–and the the corresponding understanding is the blessing. You are One with All of Life, and you know it–how amazing is that?

The Oneness of Life gives you that gift, that blessing. As you move through life, with that understanding, actions and behaviors follow in line with it (remember action follows thought). Now everything you do is informed by and perceived through the blessing of Oneness–and your actions follow suit. You give back to Life the blessing that Life gave you, through that simple awareness, understanding, and action.

If you keep this in your consciousness throughout the day, you will begin to experience, in full consciousness, the blessings of All of Life.