Our own Loving Presence is our personal connection with Divine Mind. Attuned to our own Loving Presence, we Know ourselves as Whole and Holy. As we feel our Inner Unity, we know: this is all we want; we have found all we seek.
Between 2005 and 2013 I studied A Course in Miracles pretty intensely. I don’t mean that I stopped at doing the daily lessons. I did those, then I read the text, took notes and wrote…and wrote…and wrote. That was before I was doing the Journeys. In a way, at least a portion of these Journeys grew out of that study. Part of what I wanted (and still want) to do with the Journeys is to do a cross-reference research project for a bunch of the themes in ACIM, to answer questions like, “How does purpose relate to atonement“? or “How does atonement relate to forgiveness“? or “How does forgiveness relate to healing“? or “How does healing relate to purpose“? You see how nicely that would fit within the framework of the Journeys? Everything is interconnected; each “theme” gives insight into other “themes” and those links bring greater understanding to both those themes and all others.
I had the good fortune at that time of having a flexible job schedule, and often did not have to be out of the house until 10 or 11 am. I would read-study-write from 5 or 6 am until 9 or 10. I would be completely absorbed, completely focused, never getting tired, but rather getting energized. I remember often thinking, “This is all I want; this is all I want to do”.
That feeling, “this is all I want; this is all I want to do” has recurred in my life more broadly with spiritual practices, and spiritual writing and studying.
As with a lot of spiritual practices, like meditation, the practices connect a person to their Loving Presence, their link to Divine Mine, their link to their own Inner Divine.
It’s a great place to hang out, there, with your own Loving Presence. It’s a high, really. I was thinking earlier today that it’s sort of like the runners high: you have to push through certain mental (chemical-hormonal-energetic) barriers, but once you get into “the zone” it feels amazing and you can just coast for hours, and the high carries you through other parts of your day and life.
Another similarity with running is that, like an endorphin high, the spiritual high eventually wears off. We go out into the world, where there is drama, among people who do not connect with their Loving Presence, who don’t and can’t understand wholeness, unity, compassion…so we end up not only losing the high, but expending more energy to protect ourselves from an onslaught of other people’s emotional energy. It’s a good day when I don’t get sucked down; it’s a better day when I can not only maintain my own Inner Harmony, but can also share it with others–where I can actually perceive that their energy is lifted and lightened through our interaction.
I believe that we–all people– are headed to a time when the high does not wear off and every day is a better day. I think that the intense emotional energy in the world right now is a mass purging. All the crap is coming to the surface, so that it can go away for good.
More people are meditating. More people are doing spiritual practices. More people are realizing that it’s a great place to be, connected with Love, connected with others through Love.
What takes you to your zone? What are the practices that you do that take you to the place where you say, “This is all I want”? If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. It’s there, waiting for you.
I go deep within my inner stillness, and feel Divine Mind’s presence within me. I hold out my empty hands, symbolic of leaving preconceptions behind, symbolic of seeking True answers, and I ask, “What is the essence of healing?” These words resonate within me, as though in a vast cavern. The word essence reverberates with these thoughts, “For what do I care most deeply?”; “What is my own essence?”; “What is my Truth?”; “Where is my deepest hurt, my pain, my sorrow, that all may be healed?”
May I begin by saying that I am so very grateful to be doing this Journey of Healing at this time. It feels so right.
First, in not defining what I want to heal, or what I want to focus on, I’ve opened myself to allow (it seems) miscellaneous stuff that needs to be released. I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about my childhood, and it seems I am working through some alone-ness, some “ignored”, and some “not-heard” issues.
Second, I’ve given myself permission to make healing the #1 priority in my life. Nothing else is important to do. What is most important is to do my healing practices, which include but are not limited to, this Journey. This is not to say I am not doing other things–I am still working, doing my household chores, taking care of my family, but the perspective is that of first making the healing practices a priority. I feel almost like I have established (or at am working at establishing) the energy of a “retreat” within my daily schedule. If you’ve been on a retreat, call to mind how it felt to have the time and space every day to breathe into your Self. That’s it.
Third, just a note about the healing practices I mentioned above: I have committed to doing earth, air, water, fire, and mind every day for this Journey. These are my standard practices, but I do not always do all of them every day. So for this Journey, the schedule is: First thing in the morning bathe and breathe (water, air). Then a fire ceremony before 10 am (fire). Some time later, exercise for at least 30 minutes (earth). And at some point during the day, do the Journey, and mantra/japa (mind). This is how I have created a retreat-like atmosphere for myself–it does not matter what else I do, as long as these things get done.
Finally, for many years, I have understood that when I am working with spiritual energies, and spiritual practices, there are often things that I “learn” that are not conscious, and not a product of what I think I am intending. I’ve learned that much of the time, I need to simply listen to the energy or the practice; it has more to teach me without words and in silence, if only I pay attention. This is especially true of fire. I have learned to silently say to It (whatever the practice at hand is), “Tell me of You”. Then I listen with my body, so to speak. I feel the movement within, the energy, the flow. This is not always something that I even have to focus on, or be intense about. Just asking asking for It to “tell me”, is enough for It to teach me at very subtle levels. Especially with yesterday’s and today’s Guiding Thoughts, I am feeling this especially.
Love to you. Happy Healing. Be well. I am glad you are here.
Trusting life allows the flow of Divine energy to come in and through me to bless All. I step gracefully into expansive, unlimited, harmonious, Divine being. I praise and thank Life for supporting me, and I relax in its process.
What’s really great about today is that I feel as though I have been in the state of mind of the Guiding Thought all day, without having read the Guiding Thought until now.
I woke up feeling relaxed, peaceful, and generally happy (contrasted to the past few days of stress-response!). All morning, I felt simply peaceful and happy, for “no good reason”.
On my way to work, all I wanted to do was look around, at the trees, at the cars, at the birds, and give thanks for everything.
I even thought, “I should do one of my practices (chant, mantra, etc.)”, but then I thought, “but isn’t the point of the practices to get into the very state that I am in? …And if I am in it, then the state itself is the expression of everything the practices strive for.”
Being in a state of Peace, Joy, and thankfulness is exactly why to do the practices, which take you there.
You’ve heard that the goal of any good teacher is to become obsolete, right? Today I really felt this, regarding practices: the goal of the practice is to no longer need them, to just be in the state that the practices cultivate within you.
Another thing that I thought earlier today, was that I am given everything I need to do the work that God wants me to do. At any given moment, I have exactly what I need to do what S/He needs done.
This was the feeling (and I really felt it) of Trusting life allows the flow of Divine energy to come in and through me to bless All. I could feel the flow of energy in and out, and could feel that wherever I am is exactly where I need to be, and I have everything that I need, to be the conduit for Divine energy.
I felt very re-assured, a lot was lifted. The assurance was for both physical needs as well as emotional or spiritual needs. God provides. God provides everything. When I am in that flow of cooperating with God, everything really is exactly is as it should be.
No thinking! Just being!
I am not so cocky to think that this is a lasting thing. I am not so cocky to think that I can reduce my practicing. Even though the Peaceful, Joyful state of mind has remained for most of the day, I have to remember that it is the practices that maintain and increase my awareness and understanding.
When I am aware of my own consciousness as Perfect Love, I am aware of everything as Love, and of Love as everything. In this state of awareness, I create naturally and easily in unison with Perfect Love, with all of existence.
I have to tell you something. I have not “gone public” with this information until now, though I’ve told my family members who I don’t see regularly. It feels like a coming out, with the bit of nervous tension, the wondering how you will respond, wondering if you will still like me, or be my friend after you have this information…here it is: I shaved my head.
That was exactly a month ago, today, and Tam has been shaving it every third day for me. I’ll continue this practice for 9 months.
I had a ceremony called a mundan ceremony, which is traditional in the Indian (Hindu) culture for young children. In the Hindu tradition, it is all about releasing karma, and starting this life with a clean slate. As an American who came to the practice of the Sanatana Dharma as an adult, I had never had the opportunity to have such a ceremony as a young child.
However, the practice remains a powerful tool for releasing karma, and letting go of feelings and impressions that hinder Love, at any time of life. The mundan ceremony was given to me, you may say as a gift, to propel me further along my path of opening my heart and my life to the Divine. In my ceremony, the intention was karmic release, plus a clear intention to dedicate my life force to the Divine, that the Divine might enter the world to love and serve all life.
During this Journey of Creation, I have mentioned several times about the very physical changes that are taking place in my life. Since I did this on (I think it was ) day two or three of this Journey, I do not know which has had greater sway in the changes going on: the Journey or the mundan.
But I can tell you, it’s as though the changes being made are laying a foundation for more positive growth in my life.
I am letting go of things that have been weighing me down, and I am increasing the things that bring love and light into my life, into this world. Sometimes I need to shake things up, so the pieces re-settle in a new, higher order.
Yes, I have felt some chaos of transition (which I have written about here and here). Yes, I have felt unsettled and uncomfortable. Yes, sometimes I don’t know what the heck is going on, or what to expect. Yes, I have done some things out of character (shave my head!… oh, no, wait…that’s not really so out of character…).
Yes, I am very happy to know that my life is changing and shifting, and getting me to my next (bigger) step.
Life is working with me! YAY.
So, today, this is all relevant because this:
When I am aware of my own consciousness as Perfect Love, I am aware of everything as Love, and of Love as everything. In this state of awareness, I create naturally and easily in unison with Perfect Love, with all of existence.
feels so right. So perfect. So on.
No, I don’t feel yet like I am there; I don’t feel like I am creating naturally and easily, in unison with Perfect Love; I don’t feel like I have it.
But I do feel like it’s attainable. I feel like the work I have been doing has been leading me and helping me build (create) what’s next. Can you feel the exuberance? Do you know what it means to “see the light at the end of the tunnel”, or be this close to being done?
I feel like the Guiding thought is True, and that I am close to it. I feel like hurdles have been leapt, that rivers have been crossed, that treacherous terrain has been surmounted, and I can see the plateau, with the golden fields of wheat and cool, running streams just up there, close enough that I will make it and find peace and solace until my next trek.
Who am I kidding? I am always trekking, there is no “next”. Life is the trek.
How does Beauty feel? What is the energy or vibration of Beauty? How do I bring Beauty to all my movements? How do I breathe in Beauty? What is the mental attitude of doing with Beauty? How to exist as Beauty–how to be Beauty?
The closer I get to the end of this Journey, the more I am thinking about the application of the concept of beauty to the concept of creation (the next Journey).
I want to create a beautiful life, a beautiful business, beautiful relationships…so it’s important to know how to identify whether or not I am going in that direction (the direction of Beauty).
Let me be clear: I have a beautiful life. I have beautiful relationships. What would be new would be the beautiful business (and the beautiful life lived in a beautiful business), and new beautiful relationships associated with that business.
This is about conscious creation. Co-creation. Beautiful creation of the highest possible order that I can magnetize now.
This will be new creation. New, beautiful creation.
I need to be able to recognize the people and situations that will bring about the highest, most loving, most effective results for a business. So this includes things like financial situations, business relationships, collaborations, etc. All those relationships can be beautiful…and kind, and loving, and cooperative, and harmonious, and mutually beneficial (for the good of All!). Beauty is key in this.
I am a firm believer in the practical application of spiritual practices, and that, when applied, spiritual practices and concepts bring about the most effective, efficient, smooth, easy, honorable, and beneficial results. I have experienced this over and over and over in my life.
Beauty is taking what I know to a new level. It’s giving me one more spiritual tool in my belt which will enhance all aspects of my life, and specifically relating to business and finances. It’s like I have a master’s degree in “going with the flow”-creation, but I am in kindergarten when it comes to Intentional, Conscious-creation. And maybe even pre-school, when it comes to Intentional-creation, beautifully. It’s all learning, all evolution, all a process. I am excited! (and a little nervous)
If you are working on business, or have a hobby that you want to turn into a business, or want an introduction to spiritual business practices, or anything else about what you might want to create, finish this Journey of Beauty with me, then join me for the next Journey, and we’ll do it together.
More and more, as I progress through these Journeys I am learning the Truth of these ideas. I don’t mean just the ideas in the Guiding Thoughts, though of course that is primary. More than that, I am learning how to truly be for you as I am for me. The concept of myour (my-your-our) is broad and deep, and can be known and understood–as much of this–only through diligent and repeated application and association.
The Guiding Thoughts and writing require (approximately) 30 minutes of my time each day; it’s up to me to carry it through the rest of the day. It’s also up to me to really intentionally include you equal to myself, as much as possible.
This feels like a new layer of learning that these Journey are providing me. I think it began during Journey of Purpose, when I began to include the 7.125 billion people on the planet; it also has elements of Journey of the Heart, because I am now always thinking about connecting with anyone/everyone through my heart.
Working more deeply and consciously with these ideas has increased recently and has now become the core of my dedication and commitment:
I am committed to the benefit and enlightenment of the 7.125 billion people on the planet; I am committed to uplifting all of humanity. I dedicate each daily Journey to the uplifting of all beings on the planet, the planet itself, the water on and in the planet, the air and atmosphere around the planet, and the fires within and upon the planet to Divine Love and Light. May any good that results from this Journey be dedicated to highest service to Love and Light, and dedicated to ALL; may anything that arises in and through this Journey that is less than Divinely Perfect for All be transformed through Divine Light of love and raised thereby to Light and Love.
As you know by now, I have many tools which I use as spiritual practices–earth, air, water, fire, and mantra/prayer are the ones I use most, and share the most about here (for general information see this page). Since I write about my practices, as they relate to the Journeys, I’d like to let you know about some changes I am making in my practices to a) strengthen this dedication and commitment and b) bring new-different energy to this Journey.
a) In addition to my “normal” mantras, I am adding a daily prayer that specifically asks Divine Love and Light to bless the planet and all beings living here–all 7.125 people, including you, including me. I will do this prayer every day for the duration of this Journey. Tune in; feel it. Let it strengthen you and encourage you.
b) Worth can be understood metaphysically (i.e. non-materially, such as spiritually, emotionally, or psychologically) and materially (such as value in worldly terms–money/wealth). While we exist in the material world, we are also metaphysical beings. This Journey aims to address all aspects of who we are–both material and spirit/mental/emotional. My emphasis over the past two years or so has been the metaphysical–thinking, feeling (prayer, mantra, air, water). So, I am changing up my practices in order to add more earth, which includes very physical Earth is all about being grounded, feeling the body, succeeding in the world, being connected. The practices of earth bring the mind and spirit into the material. Thus, for the remainder of the Journey, I am no longer taking my morning bath. Instead I am working out (Oorah!), as well as eating a corresponding very-healthy (98% vegetarian) diet. In this way, I hope to evoke a shift in the material through emphasizing the material, with the trusses of the spiritual.
Life is a process of Self-discovery. We embrace All of Life, for All of Life is who we Are. As we embrace Life as our Self, we come to understand Life as ourselves. Life embraces us gently and joyfully in return.
Welcome to Round 3! I don’t know about you, but this Journey has flown so far for me! Only 19 days left in this one after today!
See an explanation for how the Guiding Thoughts change for this round here.
As I do these Journeys, I am often “working on” other aspects of myself and my spiritual development that are not directly relevant to the Journeys. I only share things here that come to me as a result of the Journey’s Guiding Thought and my meditation/contemplation on it. Of course, personally and internally, everything is always relevant.
In the context of today’s Guiding Thought, Life is a process of Self-discovery, these normally “irrelevant” personal aspects feel pertinent, because they are part of my personal life of Self-discovery. I feel it’s appropriate to share some of these things that are always going on behind the scenes.
Healing the birth-death cycle, healing the death-urge
Leonard Orr teaches that the death urge is a collection of negative thoughts about life. I’ve been working on healing my death urge for many years; it is one of those things that can take many, many years to heal because of all of the layers and psychic-spiritual-emotional-physical entanglements. It is also elusive…and scary…and complex…and intangible…and hidden.
In a way, this healing underlies many of the themes I talk about during the Journeys: learning to trust, learning to trust life, letting go, finding and replacing my negative thoughts, learning what life truly is beyond the physical-emotional body.
I feel like today’s Guiding Thought is speaking directly to healing the death urge. It is about allowing life to unfold as a process and feel supported in that process. It’s ok if I don’t understand everything right now…it’s a process! It’s ok if I don’t have answers…it’s a process! It’s ok if I feel; it’s ok if I make mistakes; it’s ok if I fumble and falter. This is how I learn! This is the process. This is me learning about me learning about life learning about itself.
When I impose negative thoughts or judgments on the process, that’s the death urge. If I refrain from imposing those thoughts, I am just living and experiencing life as life, as me.
The Guiding Thought ends with a statement of assurance: Life treats us gently and joyfully. It does! There is no reason to fear life! Life is here for us! When I talk about my doubts or fears of needing to trust, I’ve forgotten this. But feeling these things, expressing them is part of the process! It’s the learning, the self-discovery. Even those things are Life. Even in the so-called “negatives” of life is Life. When we embrace those things as Life, as the process, as self-discovery, we embrace all of who we are, all of Life.
Life then teaches us of itself through those things. It’s always supporting us, guiding us…we just need to let it.
Have I mastered this? >chuckle< No. Like I said, it’s a constant sub-text.
Healing at Source
If you’ve are familiar with healing techniques like Reiki or EFT or Jharra—or many others—you know what I am referring to.
Healing at Source modifies conventional beliefs about “healing”. The conventional theory is that (so-called) healing treats symptoms. Symptoms, however, are physical/emotional expressions of underlying causes. If a practitioner treats the symptom but not the cause, the symptom may go away, but the cause remains to come out again at any time.
There is greater and greater understanding in mass consciousness that it’s the cause which needs to be healed, not the symptom. This is healing at the Source.
If this is thought-out to uncover the Ultimate Source, healing at Source becomes healing our relationship with God-Love-Oneness. Any symptom can be seen as a separation in consciousness from God-Love-Oneness.
I have a saying, “Everything is a God issue.” This means every bumpy emotion or physical symptom is directly related to my relationship with God. If I’m experiencing something uncomfortable or “unwanted”, it’s something I feel about myself in relation to God.
What I do: I feel the feeling in whatever situation I’m in, allowing myself to really feel it, to look at it, pinpoint it, get clear about what I think it is. Then I take that feeling and swap my situation. I take the feeling and instead of looking at it in the situation I’m in, I look at it in my relationship with God. In my little experimenting with this technique, I’ve identified:
Anger at God
Feeling unworthy of God
Stubbornness toward God
Belligerence and rebellion toward God
And many more
At first it was difficult to admit feelings of anger or blame—or any of these—toward God. How can I feel so disrespectfully toward God!?Oh, the guilt!
Then I had to deal with the guilt.
But what I learned is…God already knows how I feel. S/He already knows all the anger, blame, guilt, resistance that I feel. It wasn’t those feelings per se that were the “problem”. It was holding onto them, hiding them, not admitting them. I was sabotaging my relationship with God, not by the emotions, but by trying to hide them, suppress them from God.
Admitting my emotions opened me and brought me to a place where I could see how it was in the way of what I really wanted—a better relationship with God. And that brought me to a point of choice: Which do I want more? This emotion? Or a better relationship with God?
When faced with this choice, letting the emotion go was a no-brainer.
Greater incorporation of my spiritual practices into my lifestyle.
“Modern life” seems to be the antithesis of spiritual life. There’s always so much to do! Who has time to sit still and listen to nothing?
I’ve been working on creating a lifestyle that is conducive to having time to do spiritual practices. I’ve simplified. I’ve slowed down. I’ve made time for my practices by waking up earlier.
I’m happy with my progress, making time and taking time, but there is more to incorporate. Spiritual practices bring balance into other areas of life. Doing them creates the space to do them. That is a little paradoxical, but it’s what I’ve experienced. Once I start, and make the time-space for spiritual practice, something else opens up, life gets easier, life changes to accommodate it. But I have to take the step first to put the practice first.
I have more practices I want to incorporate. I want to chant more. I want to fast more. I want to increase my time sitting with fire. I want to do more Shiva Nata. My days currently feel “filled”—when will I have time to do these additional practices? But I know, if I make the time, something will open up and there will be greater balance.
My current lifestyle feels like I have it at a good place, well-balanced. If I “do more” I may go through a transition period which may feel very off-balance, until things settle. I am not sure I am ready to unbalance myself to find greater balance. I am going slowly, working on it.
These three things are constant in my spiritual work. They are “big” and ongoing things I am pecking away at over days, weeks, months, slowly and in the background. These are the unseen other parts of my life of Self-discovery.