Hope for the Future– Worth (1.3.21)

 

Copyright Tam Black 2018
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Welcome to Round 3!

We’re halfway done! How are you doing? How is your life going? How’s your Journey going?

If you’re new to this process, this is where “I” and “you” become “WE”! (See this page, under the heading “Four Rounds” for more information about how the Guiding Thoughts change this round). If you’ve been here for a while, you know how this part of the Journey works 🙂

In the journey of Life, I anchor myself in the Journey, and the Journey anchors me.

Guiding Thought

We have forgotten our Self. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that we are established in Love and by Love, which is infinite and eternal; therefore, our worth is infinite and eternal.

We seek to remember our Self. We choose to remember our Self.

We choose to remember who we are and our infinite worth in Love.

We choose to be aware, to understand, and to Know Our Self as the Love we are.

We choose to share who we are with the world, giving our infinite worth, measured in infinite Love.

Reflection

I feel conflicted about this Guiding Thought a lot. It’s like part of me simply does not want to say or admit in any way to forgetting myself. It feels like it contradicts the bigger picture of what I’m doing here, which is (simply put) affirming Oneness, and Union with my Divine Self. If I admit to forgetting my Self, is that not affirming exactly the opposite of what I want?

There are two things that I tell myself to work through this dilemma I seem to find myself in.

  1. I have to acknowledge the forgetting, in order to remember (see day one of this Journey!)
  2. If I am in a physical body…then I have forgotten. Being in this particular dimension/reality/state of consciousness (whatever you want to call it), means inherently that I (you-we) have forgotten. It comes with the territory, like heat with flame. The physical body/reality is set up as dualistic, divisive, separating and that’s just the way it is.

I was going to say, “and there’s nothing we can do about it”.

But I didn’t because there is something we can do about it. And we are doing it right now. We are remembering Oneness. We are bridging the divide. That’s what the Journeys are all about! (in case you hadn’t noticed)  😉

Two points about my above two points:

  1. I’ve been saying the Bhavanyashtakam several times a week. This is one verse: O Mother, I feel like an orphan on this Earth, powerless and without inner wealth, deluded by ignorance and unable to see the light of truth. It has started to feel so true. It’s like a part of me really understands the difference between what I am experiencing here on earth, and what is possible. Because this verse is saying between the lines that I Know what real inner wealth is, that I Know myself as familiar with the light of truth. If I didn’t know myself as “home”, with power and inner wealth, with wisdom, and able to see the light of truth… how would I know to feel anything different? It’s like acknowledging what I don’t experience tells me that there’s a part of me that Knows that experience. You see?
  2. The whole thing about being in a physical body does not apply to those who have ascended, avatars, or anyone who can change their body into light, leave the planet, then return whenever they want to. This is what I am aspiring to. If you can already do this, I’d like to meet you, or at least be aware of you “out there”. If you are so inclined, drop me a line. If you are further inclined, I accept any help and guidance you would like to give. Thank you in advance.

I just felt like Lestat leaving “Marius” carved into buildings all over the planet. (For those who have read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles).

These are exciting times! Let’s get to remembering folks 🙂

Why a Journey of Courage – 2017

Courage means something different for everyone. This is the first day of Journey of Courage. My approach to this Journey focuses on specifically spiritual courage. To me, the picture of spiritual courage is represented very well by Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament. They each had resolute Peace, being lead to the lion’s den and the fiery furnace, respectively. There was no fear, only peace, calm, and trust in the Lord.

We hear a lot today about courage as feeling fear and “doing it” anyway (whatever “it” is). But these four men put courage in a much different perspective. There was no fear. They were so filled with trust in God, in His plan, that whatever the outcome, their Peace was unshakable.

I think that type of courage is possible–the courage that embodies faith, trust, and the Peace that passeth understanding. That’s what I am working toward.

Take some time to think about what courage means to you, before continuing. What thoughts does your mind hold about courage? Who do you consider heroes? What qualities do they embody? Do you think there is a difference between spiritual courage and “other” courage? In what situations in your life have you been courageous? Take a moment to write down some thoughts about courage, and why you are interested in taking up this Journey of Courage. There is no “right” or “wrong”, just reflect and write. Your initial thoughts will set the tone for your Journey; they will be there for you throughout, to help you focus, to remind you about what the point of all this is.

My thoughts follow. They are here for you to see, and feel, and “use” to whatever extent that feels right, but it’s more important for you to reflect for yourself, and begin your Journey firmly in your own mind/heart.

Currently, courage means basically what I mention above: it is the unshakable faith and trust in God and His plan, so that amidst all sorts of situations or circumstances I Know Peace.

You see from my definition, that I am actually not even focused on courage itself. Courage is a by-product of a deeper relationship with God. Thus, what I am actually cultivating, in order to “get” courage, is faith in, trust in, love for, and service to the Divine.

More practically, however, I wonder what courage means for me in this time of political/social unrest. This quote comes to mind:

The greatness of spiritual Truth is not in numbers, nor in the degrees of the world’s acceptance or rejection of the Truth, nor in its popularity. 

Its greatness is in its Truth. 

Fight bravely against all evil and crime.

You must have the courage to do the right thing, and the bravery to resist all atrocities and falsehood. 

Be watchful lest the attitude of non-violence produce a lack of discernment between good and evil. 

Be a true Divine warrior against evil. 

Live in Peace and Harmony, but never at the expense of Truth. Never compromise with evil, for that will lead to spiritual decline. 

Haidakhan Babaji

I am not an impractical spiritual person! I know we live in the world, with politics, people, and social systems. But I also know that the better we as humans get at living with and through principles of love, kindness, compassion, patience, harmony, the more our institutions will reflect this.

I think that right now, in this atmosphere, courage for me is sticking to my principles, come hell or high water. That means: doing what I can to be kind to everyone, and to stand up to those not being kind; to be patient and understanding, but to have the courage to disagree; to support and encourage others to find the strength to stand up for themselves and others; to conscientiously work with diverse people and situations to bring about greater understanding and harmony.

So be it.

Because I fed the birds…

One day a Christian monk and a Hindu monk met walking on the road. The Hindu monk said to the Christian monk, “Tell me the principles of your faith”. The Christian monk replied, “The Christian faith is summed up in the Lords prayer, which goes like this, ‘Our Father'”…Before he could get another word out, the Hindu monk ran quickly away. Perplexed, the Christian monk went on his way. Ten years later, the Hindu monk found the Christian monk, and said, “I have meditated for 10 years on the first lesson. I now understand, ‘Our Father’. What is my second lesson”?

There are (at least) two concepts that this story highlights. The first is that of feeling “impulsed” to do something. When the Hindu monk quickly ran away, I like to think of that as that overwhelming call to action that some receive from the Divine, when they are open to it. This is what is embodied in the Sanskrit word shubhecha, which means, “the initial impulse that starts us on a spiritual search.” Shubhecha can be experienced time and time again, as new searching leads to to new lessons, which lead to new searching.

The second concept in this story is the requirement to do what is asked when shubhecha enters, to actively look for answers to spiritual questions. When action is taken in the service of this type of impulse, then understanding, integration, and greater peace are experienced. Shubhecha is the spiritual breadcrumb that leads the seeker on a path. Each breadcrumb must be found, picked up, and digested; the action of picking up and ingesting the breadcrumbs is the very thing that leads to the next breadcrumb. The Hindu monk would never have been ready for the second lesson, had he not spent 10 years meditating on the meaning of the first.

When I was struck with the shubhecha to feed the birds, I did not know it was a crumb. This was about three years ago. I was reading a book by or about Haidakhan Babaji (I don’t remember the book). There was one line which said, simply, “Feed the birds”. It came to me as a directive from God. I thought, “OKAY”. For three years now, almost every day, I have fed the birds. Each time I do, I remember that line, and as I feed, I know I am fulfilling that directive. I did not know it was a spiritual practice that was leading me to something more. It was simply feeding the birds.

because-i-fed-the-birds

About six weeks ago, I was reading another book about Haidakhan Babaji (again, I don’ t remember the book), and the line this time that struck me was “You must dedicate all your actions to the Divine”. It took a bit longer for the shubhecha to kick-in this time–I have been turning the sentence ’round  and ’round in my head thinking here and there about dedicating random actions to the Divine. It was only this past week that I really experienced the impulse to dedicate every action to the Divine; in fact, the “message” I got was that I must do this thing in the same way as I feed the birds.

After just under a week of daily practice of dedicating every action to the Divine, I now understand some things:

Each time I fed the birds, I “proved” that I was willing to do what God asked me to do. This has shown that I am reliable, and that I am committed, and that I will do what is asked of me. Simply put, I’ve been agreeable and consistent. Feeding the birds was easy and fun! And I receive a lot of joy watching the birds who feast at my table. The practice was rewarded through that joy, through a greater sense of unity with my feathered friends, through a feeling that I was giving to nature and the earth, taking care of Her and Her creatures.

As I said, it took about six weeks for the shubhecha to kick-in. This is how it happened: One day last week, the thought “You must dedicate all your actions to the Divine” was stewing in my head, as they do when I am allowing a thought to work on me, as I work with it. When they stew like that, they usually are “floating” with very little substance–just enough for me to feel their presence, but not enough to interrupt or disturb “normal” thoughts. They usually float just behind my right ear-area of my brain. I don’t know how I know this.

All of the sudden, the thought gained substance and shifted to the spot at my forehead: You must dedicate all your actions to the Divine and you must do so like you have fed the birds.

OKAY.

That’s how I usually respond when the shubhecha comes upon me in such a way that there is no ignoring it. OKAY. There was one time, about 25 years ago, when I had just begun my daily practice of bathing first thing in the morning (3 or 4 or 5 a.m.), when I did NOT want to get up to take my bath. I resisted, I wanted to fall back asleep, and in that half-sleep state, I had this dream: A shoulder-high Doric, Roman pillar stood in the middle of a vast space, which was dark and empty. A spot light from above shone on the pillar, on top of which was an old, black rotary phone. The phone rang. I answered it, “Hello”. The voice came across the line, “Susan, this is God. Go take a bath”. “OKAY”.

It’s not like I think about saying “OKAY”. It’s more like my whole body/being responds, and my brain just thinks what all of my energy is already saying. I have a choice, yet, somehow, “OKAY” is the only choice. But I digress.

The past five days, I have been taking time daily to dedicate every action to the Divine. At first, I tried just thinking “I dedicate this action to the Divine”, and did that for every action I could (a bit overwhelming). Then, I coordinated my breath (an action) with the thought, and did that for at least 20 minutes. That worked much better. But then, I figured out a bit of a “prayer” to accomplish the coordination of every action with the thought of dedicating every action to the Divine. It goes something like this:

I dedicate all activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my physical body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all the effects of all the activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my physical body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my emotional body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all the effects of all the activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my emotional body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my mental body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all the effects of all the activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my mental body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my etheric body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

I dedicate all the effects of all the activity, energy, vibration, and movement of my etheric body, in all time frames and dimensions both known and unknown, and at all levels of consciousness to the Divine, for the benefit of all, including myself.

This is my current breadcrumb. I’ve already learned so much, but that sharing will be for another article.

Maybe in 10 years, I will be ready for the next lesson.

In the meantime, I am doing this, “as I fed the birds”–with joy and ease. I think about it. I do it. I’ll let you know where it leads.

 

Commemoration: Journey of Freedom – Day 26

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

Guiding Thought

Through our physical body, we bring Divine Light and Love to the physical universe. We heal unresolved issues through loving thoughts, words, and emotions, and become lighter and brighter. We bring light to all we have denied and we heal our past-present-future NOW. Every day we are lighter and lighter!

Sharing

Be thoughtful. Be kind. Help others. Do good.

Do whatever is before you with Love.

Find God in your heart. Share.

Be bold. Be courageous. Remain in your Infinite Self in the face of another’s smallness.

Surpass your expectations. Keep going; go as far as you can, then go even further.

Remember who you are, who you were born to be. You have a purpose. Find it. Cherish it. Be it!

Today is a day for praise and gratitude; open to the Love that is everywhere!

Behind your doubt there is reassurance; God is with you always. There is no need for doubt!

Unite with Love. That is Truth. Love is all that matters, every moment, every breath, every thought, and every interaction…Love.

Only Truth is True, nothing else is True. Live in Truth, let everything else pass away.

Let go of everything that is unlike Love. Simplify. Love is Simple… just let everything else go.

Life in this world is a thing of beauty and glory. You have a beautiful existence, not everyone is as lucky as you, use this life well; don’t grow complacent, don’t grow lazy; there is much work to do!

The world is here for your benefit. You are here to experience your highest possibility, choose it; choose it again and again!

Choosing your highest possibility means choosing Love, for that is all you are. Anything else is a denial of your Self and your Divine potential. Why deny yourself?

Every moment that you choose Love you have dissolved a thread that connects you to a future frustration. Your frustrations now are threads from your past. Love cuts the thread from the past and eliminates it from the future.

[July 25, 2015, in commemoration of Maha Avatar Babaji, who on this day appeared to Paramahansa Yogananda at his Garpar Road home in Kolkata, responding to his prayer for blessing and assurance for his mission in the West.

Babaji told Yogananda: “You are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West. Long ago I met your guru Shri Yukteswar at a Kumbha Mela; I told him then I would send you to him for training.”]

The Door is Flung Wide: Journey of Freedom – Day 23

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

Guiding Thought

Everything is energy. Everything is energy connecting everything! A shift in energy in one place shifts energy other places. We lift our energy to the vibration of Love and Light, to God, to all that is Divine. We are responsible for our energy; we choose to free it by releasing the Divine Love within us.

Sharing

With these Journeys, every day we shift energy toward Love, toward God, toward the Divine. These small daily shifts have a cumulative effect. Our thoughts are directing the energy toward where we want it, toward where we want to experience it. The energy moves us as we move the energy, a constant interplay of inner energy with outer energy (experience).

The mind is the doorway, the gateway, the floodgate. The mind can close the door, open it slowly, leave it cracked…or it can open wide to possibility. My mind seems to do all of these things at various times.

Divine Love is huge. Sometimes it’s too much for my little mind. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I want to slam the door closed and stay in the comfort of my limitations. Sometimes I open it just a little, peek through, look around, slowly back up and leave the door cracked. That’s all; that’s enough. I just wanted to see what I was getting myself into. Sometimes, usually over a period of time through the daily practices, I stand at the door opening it slowly…slowly…slowly…I can handle this. There are some days the door is flung open wide and I see. Most often when that happens, the door closes again to some degree but always remains open further than it was previously.

Much of the time, these Journeys are combinations of all of these, just a continuous slow opening, even if that means a partial closing from time to time. Even when there is retreat, something is opening—working to remove an obstacle that prevents the door from opening is helping it open. Periodically, the door opens wide with little effort, it seems.

I have not been able to figure out what it is that determines how I approach the door on any given day. Will I open it slowly today? Will it fling wide open with little effort? Will I get scared and run?

As I’ve mentioned many times, it’s all about the small drops or trickles. Every drop matters;” Slowly is Holy”, as Maha Avatar Babaji says. Each day, each effort is a small drop. On a daily basis it is difficult to see the cumulation of drops; when a bucket is filling by drops, it takes a long time and is almost imperceptible. The bucket is akin to my door opening and closing by differing increments… one day, there is an unexpected opening, recognition of the fulfillment of the effort, the door is flung open wide!

Do I open the door, or does the door open me?