“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.

“Fate’s Breadcrumbs”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 06

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

Guiding Thought

Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding my Love, expanding Life!

Sharing

I’ve had an interesting mix of emotions and experiences in the past week. On the one hand, there have been intense emotions around grief and letting go, on the other hand, there has been an almost-perfect synchronicity in how life is moving me forward joyfully—I’ve been following breadcrumbs life keeps leaving me, and the path is leading me home. I met some wonderful new people this weekend, found a meditation group that feels “right”, and though I miss my little guy in my daily routine, I am not overwhelmed with sadness.

As I’ve been experiencing this letting go on the one hand, and forward-propulsion on the other, I find myself wondering more than usual about “fate”, determinism, or destiny versus free will, or indeterminism. How much of life do I really control? How much of life is predetermined, and I’m just along for the ride?

At times like this, I am inclined to think I am along for the ride: I did not, and could not, control the death of my dog. Why did he die now? What series of circumstances came together at this moment for his passing? What did his passing open in my life? What has become available now that was not before when he was alive? I am along for the ride.

On the other hand, I suppose I did have a choice about whether or not to pick up the breadcrumbs that were left recently: the book, which lead to another book, which lead to a meditation, then an invitation out of the blue from a friend to go to a group doing that very meditation, and a special commemoration for a man whose life has been an example to me.

I could have chosen not to follow these clues, these hints that lead me from one place to another. In this I did have a choice. But not really. When I am in the flow, following the current, to swim against it just doesn’t feel right…and I do my best to do what feels right. So, was I just doing what I was fated to do all along, or did I choose to take the steps that lead me to that meditation, that place, those people?

Do choice and fate work together? Are some things chosen, other things pre-determined, with delicate balance between them?

This is not a day for answers! I don’t know that any of these questions have answers. I find it interesting to watch, to observe, to think about, to wonder, to look at what fits together (if I can).

I can tell you that I do feel that I have expanded this past week. Or, perhaps, rather, Life has expanded me. I have felt sorrow and joy equally, yet without attachment to either. My heart holds more today than it did a week ago. The love and appreciation that I have for Spot fills me fully, though I’ve let him go, and now there is room for more, with more to give.

“When the Light Comes Through”: Journey of Healing 2.0 – Day 35

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

Guiding Thought

My own Loving Presence is my personal connection with Divine Mind. Attuned to my own Loving Presence, I Know myself as Whole and Holy. As I feel my Inner Unity, I know: this is all I want; I have found all I seek.

 

Sharing

It’s not so much the moments spent here with the Guiding Thought that matter. It’s where those moments take you.

What do you see differently? What comes into your awareness that is absolutely right and perfect? What answers show up, sometimes without you even being aware of having asked a question? What do you find that seems to lead you to something more? What people do you unexpectedly connect with?

All of these things have happened for me, as I have been doing these Journeys. Most recently, it seems like I am being lead into the Guiding Thoughts, rather than the Guiding Thoughts leading me into something new—and that is a new experience!

This morning, before setting out on the Journey, I did my contemplative meditation. Mind you, I do not currently have a set meditation—I’ve kind of been jumping around with different styles that speak to me at the moment (including writing, reading, contemplating, drawing, making lists, writing letters to angels—maybe you wouldn’t call any of this “meditative”, but since through these activities, I connect with a flowing energy of Love, Openness, and Joy, I call it meditation!)

This morning, I was working with a meditation on the I AM presence: linking my mind to God, recognizing that God is the One Source, the One Power, the One Cause of Love, then visualizing God as a radiant sun, with me as one of the beams, thus acknowledging the Unity of myself with God: All that God is, I AM, all that God has is mine; the Father and I are One. Through this visualization, I was able to see/feel the energy of God coming through me. Like a river, a golden-white “beam” flowed through me, pouring out before me (“making all crooked places straight”). In different words, this follows the Guiding Thought almost precisely: Connecting with Divine Mind, feeling Whole and Holy, feeling the Inner Unity…and Knowing: this really is all I want.

It was as though the floodgates really had opened, without me trying to do anything. I could see and feel my Oneness with Source, and with that the phrase “I and my Father are One” took on new depth of meaning. But more than that, it took on new depth of application. It was both a reassurance of the reality of my relationship with God, as well as a call to greater action. I cannot know this river of Love flowing through me without taking it into every situation, every interaction, and seeing that Divine Light working.

What that means is that I must keep my channel clear, and make myself available for God at any time, and regardless of what is happening “out there”, I must remain fixed on God’s presence through me, trusting that all is well.

An Exercise of Acceptance. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 01

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

Everywhere Fulfillment is – I am.

Fulfillment is everywhere.

Fulfillment is.

I am.

 

 

In all the places fulfillment fills, I am also there. And Fulfillment is everywhere. There is no space, no point, where fulfillment does not reach.

Fulfillment does not think or wonder or inquire; it simply exists. It does not have to do anything, does not have to prove its existence. It just is.

In the same way, I need not think or wonder or inquire. I can just be. Or, rather, if I do think or wonder or inquire, I am still just being behind the thoughts, musings, and questions.

Today’s Guiding Thought is very simple and matter of fact. It acknowledges the existence of fulfillment and me. There are no definitions, no extrapolations, no correlations, metaphors, inferences or interpretations. There is only simple, straight-forward acknowledgement.

I did, however, find myself thinking about “everywhere”, picturing it as best I could. I went outward and thought about fulfillment existing in the oceans, in the sharks and jellyfish, in the water and salt and rocks.

On one level, I thought, “this makes no sense; how does fulfillment exist here?” But I let that go and pictured tundra, deserts, plains, and acknowledged that “fulfillment exists here, too”.

Then I went inward, into my body, and pictured cells and nerves and synapses and hormones and enzymes and acknowledged that –even if I don’t feel it—fulfillment exists here too.

Then I thought, “Fulfillment even exists here in my thoughts.” And I waited. Then the thought came to me, “Fulfillment even exists here, in the space between my thoughts.”

This was not an exercise of trying to figure anything out. This was an exercise of acceptance.

A Journey of Fulfillment: Intention and Dedication

Declaring your intention for this Journey is a very important part of this practice. The 40-day Consciousness Journeys are a means to an end: the goal is to move the consciousness to a new state of awareness, acceptance, understanding, and knowledge of a particular aspect of the truth of Being, the truth of your Self, and yourself.

This goal is the general goal of these jouneys  that I invoke for all who choose to participate; the guiding thoughts are structured and designed to achieve this goal.

But every person has an idea of what fulfillment means to them. Each person is doing this journey for more awareness, understanding, and knowledge about his or her particular expression or experience of fulfillment. Getting clear about your own conception of fulfillment and what you want as an outcome creates your intention. Those thoughts and ideas set your standard, by which you may assess all your experiences. Does your experience meet your standard? What can you do/change so that it does?

Sometimes change means shifting perspective, outlook or expectations; sometimes it means ending or beginning a relationship, changing jobs, moving, etc. (there are many tools available to assist a person in shifting into a higher consciousness, too– I use the practices of earth, air, water, fire, meditation, mantra, prayer most frequently). Infinite Divine Mind works with you in the highest [most loving, of benefit to all, with absolute free will] way possible to meet your standards. Here is where we set those standards.

Begin by thinking about why a journey of fulfillment for yourself. You may have already begun this! Just think or write, or whatever you need to do within yourself to get clear about how you currently think/feel about fulfillment.

As I was doing this, the point of clarity in that exercise came for me when I realized, “I want my entire consciousness to Know the Truth of being Fulfilled, of being whole, and therefore encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.” But since then, I have realized there is more to it for me as well. That statement is a metaphysical statement, and it is true for me. But it states a goal that is primarily in and of the mind–it refers to a state of consciousness, then gives a very general effect: ” encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.”

The thing is: in Divine Mind, I already do this. Divine Mind-Divine Presence-Divine Being knows only perfection and total completion. I am not directing it anywhere. It’s already there.

I live in a physical universe. Matter, material goods, money, services, modern conveniences all of this stuff is also part of my Divine existence. It’s not necessary to shun it, think matter is evil or unspiritual, or think somehow I am compromising my spiritual values if I want or use material goods or services. For me, however, it is necessary not to subordinate the spiritual to the material, to be intelligent about the material universe, and to use it as a spiritual teacher, and continually work to bring absolute integrity into any and all material experiences, from my spiritual aspirations–in other words, doing my best to align my consciousness (words and thoughts) with my actions-deeds-relationships. Yes, “walk my talk”!

Next, once you have thought about what fulfillment means to you, take that information and declare boldly your intention (write your own, or use this as a template): I, Susan, declare from my heart, mind, and soul that I intend to increase my awareness, understanding, and knowledge of spiritual and material fulfillment. I intend to increase the goods and services I offer to others, which bring me joy, love, and a sense of purpose, and which also help people to increase their own fulfillment. I intend to approach all my life activities and relationships with spiritual intelligence, doing my best to be aware of inherent Oneness, Unity, Love, and Divine Purpose in all.

Finally, dedicate this Journey to at least one other person. Then, as you do this Journey, do it for him/her/them, in addition to doing it for yourself: I dedicate this Journey of Fulfillment to all who are on their own journey toward fulfillment, whether aware of it or not. To all who yearn, to all who desire, to all who seek, may my actions and intentions on this journey assist you toward your own Fulfillment, that we may know our Oneness, Unity, Joy, and Divine Perfection together.

A more simple, direct dedication that may also be used is: I dedicate this Journey to >name<. I know s/he has been struggling with some issues (name them, if you want), and I want to help. May my effort on this journey assist in bringing peace and understanding to >name<.

For tomorrow, we begin!

Why a Journey of Fulfillment?

I confess: I don’t know how fulfillment feels. At a very basic level this is why I am doing a Journey of Fulfillment. In fact, at the moment, I’m not even sure what fulfillment IS.

This is very unlike the first three Journeys—a Journey of Purpose, a Journey of Healing, and a Journey of Worth—because with those, at least I know (and knew in advance) something about purpose, healing, and worth. Those Journeys were to deepen, broaden, expand, get me more in touch with qualities that were already familiar.

Fulfillment feels unfamiliar. And I feel embarrassed admitting it.

In the previous journeys, I approached from a place of “I have forgotten”—indicating that at least I knew, or had learned, at some point. With fulfillment, I don’t even feel like I’ve learned it—so it’s not as “simple” as just remembering. It’s more like building from scratch… no, it’s more like collecting the raw materials, forging them into something useful, figuring out how they fit together then building from scratch.

And that’s kind of exciting! What is the outcome…what am I building? I am now looking forward to how this journey turns out!

In the spirit of collecting raw materials…what is fulfillment?

The two things that come to mind are babies and the Peace Corps. Mothers (so I’ve heard) say that having children is a fulfilling experience; people who do humanitarian work seem to find great fulfillment in it.

From these, I gather that fulfillment is more than mere satisfaction, but it includes satisfaction. It also seems to be directly associated with an experience, which raises the question: is it the experience that produces fulfillment? Or is it a quality the individual brings to the experience that simply becomes expressed in the experience? Or is fulfillment in and of itself—not experience or quality? Or is it something else altogether different?

‘Cause here’s the thing: I don’t want my fulfillment to be contingent on, reliant on, dependent upon some external factor—a situation, another person, a job, etc. I do want Fulfillment to be. Fully. I want my entire consciousness to Know the Truth of being Fulfilled, of being whole, and therefore encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.

Wow. Where did that come from? Maybe I have a better idea of what fulfillment means to me than I thought.

Maybe these two verses (which I play in my head wondering what they mean, which I have done for years) have finally started teaching me about themselves (of course… it’s really me, ready to listen):

1) From Psalm 23, “my cup runneth over”
2) From the invocation of the Isha Upanishad, “This is full, that is full. From fullness comes fullness. Take away from fullness, fullness remains.”

I have thought, “What does it mean for ‘my cup to runneth over’?” “How does that work?” “What do I need to do for my own cup to overrun?”

Think about that! King David was so FILLED that he poured out blessings on his enemies, and his cup ran over. I just picture him full of love and kindness and good will; the presence of his enemies did not even faze him…and he had more to give! And it was so real and certain within him that he knew he would feel this way all the days of his life.

That’s what I’m talking about. How do I do that?

And then, the Upanishads…there are many translations of this verse. Some use the word “infinite”, others the word “total”, still others the word “complete”, but they all convey a sense of both expansion and indestructibility. “From fullness comes fullness”—in other words, when fullness gives of itself, what it gives is equal to itself. The sharing of itself produces only more of the same—fullness. “Take away from fullness, fullness remains”—in other words fullness is never diminished. Even if something is done to try to reduce or destroy fullness, it can’t be done. Someone (anyone) could take and take and take and take and fullness remains to give and give and give.

This means…there is only fullness. If I’ve experienced or perceived anything less than fullness, I’ve been mistaken. I have mis-conceived. (AaaaHHHH-HHHHHaaaaaa! Understanding just entered my little mind! That’s why this is a consciousness Journey!)

It’s not that I have forgotten. It’s that I have been mistaken. I have -. Now I can move forward. I can begin to change my perception.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

A Journey of Purpose: Afterword

So often over the past 50 days I have thought a lot about “letting go”.  After making a decision to move forward in anything, there is at least a tacit internal agreement to leave something behind. A Journey of Purpose began with a strong commitment and conscious decision to move forward, to accept my highest purpose, and to live to the best of my ability in alignment with that purpose. At the beginning, I didn’t think about what I would need to leave behind to fulfill this commitment.

Moving forward means changing; changing means dropping things (habits, emotions, behaviors, beliefs), transforming things (ideas, thoughts, behaviors), or promoting/enhancing things (the new ideas, habits, and emotions that are being cultivated).

There is a tension between the old and the new. What no longer fits with where it is you are going? What if I like that part of me, that thing that I may need to leave behind? What about this idea that I have had for the longest time—I need to change it?!? How do I allow Divine Mind through when that jerk cuts me off?

There is one thing in particular for me that has been very difficult to think about leaving behind. It was something that I have for many years been very attached to, something I have given my heart to, something that I have cultivated and cared for, something that I built into part of my self-identity (that’s the “little s” self). It was just something that was very, very important to me…but I could feel it no longer fit. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it fit: maybe if I do…. If only this would happen…. I can put this here and that there and then do this other thing…. But with every scenario, every attempt at figuring it out, I knew none of the outcomes would be right, they just would not fit with where I am going, and who I now want to be. I knew I had to accept that it needed to go. Out. Gone. Buh-bye. I even had to let go of thinking that it might come back (if you love something let it go….)—even that thought was holding me back.

I have a friend who had worked at a company for 20 years, literally starting at the bottom and working her way to the top. She did the equivalent of building a local empire, of which she was the benevolent and democratic ruler. Her subject-employees loved her. In a period of two years, after what could be described as a “buy-out”, her empire was dismantled around her and she was demoted in practice, though not title. It was only a matter of time before she resigned.  I thought about this friend and the forced-need to let go, and I thought of the Rudyard Kipling poem If: “if you can watch the things you gave your life to broken, and stoop and build them up with worn out tools…”

The similarity between my friend and me is that we each gave our hearts to something that was important to us; we cared for and nurtured their growth. The difference is that I have a choice to let go; she did not.

I wonder: which is harder?

On the one hand if I choose to let go, I feel almost despairing, like I am abandoning this thing that is part of myself, something I have raised and “given life” to. I love it! I don’t want to let it go! But on the other hand, if staying made me miserable and I had to watch the destruction of something I loved, as my friend did, that would be pretty hard too.

I believe that people are all aspiring. We all aspire to Love. We all aspire to be happy. We all aspire to relax and trust life. So Love pulls us to itself. Life wraps us in its current. Love and Life want us to be happy, and they try to take us there, by pulling and wrapping and moving us. Sometimes we have a choice, sometimes we don’t.

There are infinite ways to cooperate with Life and Love; there are infinite ways to aspire!  There is no one way, there is no right way. Everyone has a Purpose. Just keep going. Live Life! Love!