Table of Contents
Principles of Sacred Consciousness
Eleventh Principle of Personal Transformation
Through prayer and meditation, to seek guidance for spiritual growth, and to participate in the unfoldment for ourselves and for the earth.
The way of purification continues to call for great strength of purpose. For even after we have experienced many layers of core healing, we still must remain consistently vigilant as we persevere in becoming our truer selves. As our journey continues to unfold, we need to be willing to continually order our lives so that staying clear remains the overriding objective. This attitude prepares us in an ongoing way for receiving help and guidance from above.
Purifying the conditioned mind of all negative and limited thinking is a long process, and along the way there are times of falling back into old patterns which help us learn needed lessons at ever deepening levels. As we spiritually mature there is a safety net that develops within us for staying clear of negative energies. It is formed out of our growing sensitivity to the subtleties of our inner experience. When much healing has occurred, this safety net functions to make it easier to discern the presence of addictive process as it begins to germinate within us, rather than perceiving it later on through hindsight.
The resurfacing of addictive process is an outgrowth of the presence of negative or dark energies that are not contained by awareness. A recurrence of old patterns is often preceded by a choice we make, often unconsciously, to choose untruth, or a lesser truth, as we revert to old ways of separating from God. These setbacks can become increasingly painful as we purify because the light of our soul, striving for purity, must co-exist with the negative energies within us for a while. Often, the situation is perceived with great distress.
It is our soul's yearning for light and for God that creates an internal dictate to be continually aligned with inner truth so that conditions that foster the fuller expression of our higher self can be maintained. As we progress, we can observe early indications that we have deviated from our truth and are engaged with addictive process to some degree. Some of the internal indicators are the experience of agitation, blame, despair, emotional or mental overwhelm, and compulsive thinking or behavior.
Once we recognize an energetic shift into negativity, the way through such energetic downturns is to become inwardly focused by centering within the heart and by returning to the basic principles of purification. Through realigning in the heart we discover that, at the center of the unconsciousness we fell into, we can locate the point at which we found ourselves unable to embody inner truth. It is through the return to and embracing of this truth – no matter how difficult, that we can maximally heal and grow.
The effort we make to rejoin with truth following episodes of retreat into old habits, requires that we first become aware of the fear which inhibited right action or right thinking. After this fear has been recognized and contained by our capacity to feel and to hold it, we can take the risk of disidentifying with it and return to correct action or perception. This step of not identifying with fear, not acting on the basis of it, may be exceedingly difficult. In some situations separation from fear can occur right away, in others, a time of internal struggle is required before we can move to non-fear-based behavior. However long it takes, through facing fear and moving past it, we continue to move toward higher levels of consciousness.
The process of dying to lesser definitions of who we are that are not rooted in core truth, and of expanding into the new self that we are becoming, is the ongoing basis for staying clear and for moving into our higher identities. Staying open to perpetually becoming someone new is supported not only by our sense of reality, but by the current of life that moves within us. This current guides us into new arenas of the unfamiliar where we can continue to take risks to discover who we are, apart from the limitations of a fixed identity. Each step into the unknown that we take while following the voice of inner truth enables us to become more receptive to divine will.
The role of prayer and meditation
Our desire to stay clear and to live more fully in God's reality opens the channel for greater communication with God, with divine helpers, and with the voice of our soul. In a state of openness, emptiness, and unknowingness, we are best able to access our deeper selves and to discover, through inner guidance, who we are meant to become. This state of being is arrived at largely through the daily practice of silence, with prayer and meditation as the spiritual tools for going within.
The challenge of personal purification beckons us to make a firmer commitment to these practices which establish spiritual alignment as a way of life. As we seek to participate in personal or global change spiritual deepening needs to occur. This deepening comes from regular contact with the most essential part of ourselves – the part that feels spiritual reality as the primary reality. Spiritual deepening is cultivated through a serious commitment to spending a portion of each day in silence. This silence is not only outer, reflected in the absence of speaking, but inner, as well. For not only do we not interact with others through speech but we also attempt to not speak internally, to quiet all thought so that we can just listen. In this inner and outer silence, we develop the ability to become calm and centered and to ask for help from a still place within ourselves as we wait for an experience of God.
To commit to a regular time of silence is not necessarily that easy at first. The patterns of verbal communication that most of us are familiar with are often compulsive. Surface level talking with little import frequently serves to distract us from awareness of ourselves. Equally as common and as distracting, is our habit of staying so busy that we can't see our way clear to making time to be quiet or still. In courageously withdrawing from these patterns and structuring more of our time each day around the practices of prayer and meditation, we are taking a big step and a necessary one. This step, once taken, creates the context for ongoing healing, for more meaningful communication with the divine, and, ultimately, for the ability to take much greater responsibility in our lives. As the vista opens for more silence with sacred intention we find the way best suited to us to pray and to meditate. The form that we choose can appear most readily if we trust our intuition to show us how best to connect with our spiritual selves and how best to know what we need in order to feel nourished.
Love can be a guide for developing a relationship with the practices of prayer and meditation. Love tells us when we are happy and feeling fulfilled. It tells us when something right and good is happening to us. Love enables us to feel supported, held, and uplifted by our relationship to a particular form of practice or to a practice that is formless. Love is the soul's attraction to that which feels good and nourishing, and it points us in the right direction in order to fill the hungry place inside.
All spiritual practices that are founded on the desire to become more heart-centered, more loving, and in deeper communion with God, involve the dropping down from the mind to the heart where the truth of our soul resides. This is done most effectively by focusing on our heart center and on the ever present breath which rises and falls in our chests surrounding it. God's gift of breath brings our attention from our minds into our bodies, and from our heads into our hearts. Its rhythmical ebb and flow, inhale and exhale, serve as a constant point of reference as we breathe into our heart, bringing the flow of energy and attention into the place where it is needed. This discipline, regularly practiced, in time frees the mind of conditioned thought processes and limiting beliefs about ourselves, each other, and God. Whether our meditation takes place before an altar in our home, sitting in the woods, by ourselves or with others, we can know that as we continue to breathe into our hearts with intention, spiritual growth and healing are taking place.
Prayer also has this quality of heart centeredness, whether it is formal prayer following a spiritual tradition, or the more personal petition of our heart when we are troubled or in need. Wordless prayer can also be a prayer of the heart when the soul feels itself to be in ongoing conversation with God. Basically, all prayer that seeks relationship with God is prayer of the heart and all prayer that is based on sincere feeling strengthens this relationship.
Whether we employ prayer with words or without words, we can recognize both as effective means for speaking to God. Prayer of either kind can create a powerful introduction and frame for our meditation practice when it precedes our meditation on a regular basis. When we set aside a regular time to pray and to meditate, we ensure the optimal circumstances for learning how to open our hearts and how to listen to the voice of our souls. Of course prayer can also take place at any time and in any place where the soul wishes to speak to God. Eventually, as we live more as conscious spiritual beings upon the planet, our whole life will be an expression of prayer. Each breath that we take will be a form of meditation as we become more receptive to light and more joined with the oneness.
As we move in this direction, learning more each day about the possibilities of prayer and meditation, we find that our meditation time can become the most effective way available to us to penetrate the subconscious content of our pasts. These are the rejected parts of ourselves which need to be met with consciousness and healed by the power of light. Our emphasis in this process is on allowing the content to surface and asking God for the courage to meet it head on, while we stay in a centered place. Meditation helps us to remain calm and to have the moral courage to listen and to stay present as we incorporate all aspects of ourselves, including the painful. Meditation is therefore an aid to the unification of the various levels of our consciousness. Through meditation, the subconscious, conscious, and superconscious16 minds within us become one harmonious flow of energy, with nothing repressed or hidden from the light.
All beings have the capacity to receive guidance, insight, or messages from Spirit. Yet caution must also be present as we seek to know the truth of what we hear or sense, making sure that it is not an ego projection. Those who consciously work toward becoming clearer and purer have greater reason to trust themselves as they ask and receive inner guidance. Therefore, as we seek guidance and help from God we also strive to be impeccable in our reception of it. We watch our remaining impure motives and ego needs carefully to see that they do not color our perception. At the same time, we strive to transcend inner doubt regarding our worthiness to receive divine help. The voice of doubt within us tells us that we are not worthy to receive messages of Spirit and that we are not to be trusted, despite the clarity or love we may feel. As we become more aligned with our higher-selves, the possibilities for guidance become more open to us and our visions, dreams, insights, and inner knowings become more powerful and more helpful. These openings are but steps in an infinite journey as we discover the vast potential of our consciousness.
Time and waiting
Time is a mystery to most of us often filled with regret for the past, mistrust of the future, or fearful projection in the present. As we grow spiritually, it becomes necessary to open to a different interpretation of time, other than the one our limited and fearful perceptions have offered to us. Our deeper knowing may tell us that waiting in time is trustworthy, that we will arrive at the place that we seek. Our egos, meanwhile, are filled with impatience and a desire to have things now.
The integrity of our healing requires that our ego's impatience and frustration be tempered by patience and faith as we wait. Furthermore, as we wait we experience a longing for that which we wait for, a longing whose importance cannot be overstated. Longing involves the feeling of wishing for something that has not yet appeared, of waiting and hoping for it without being able to produce it ourselves. Longing can only take place in time, and it is a force of emotion and thought which ultimately brings to us that which we wait for. While waiting and longing we remind ourselves that time is not our enemy, but our ally. It is the medium through which God's light works in order to heal us more completely. Through waiting, longing, and trusting, time teaches us to extend the measure and range of our faith and devotion. Through purification of the ego, time enables us to become true servants of God.
All of us carry painful memories of helplessness in times past which have their origins in humanity's longstanding experience of separation from God. Healing our individual and collective human heart of its cynicism, despair, and rage produced by this legacy, is a huge task. What is required is movement away from cynicism, toward the simplicity and innocence of childhood. This is the gap that longing bridges – the gap between 'what is,' and what is deeply wished for. As we seek this level of trust and faith, we simultaneously notice the pain and suffering within and around us that we desperately want to eradicate. As we witness this ongoing suffering we allow God's light to move through our beings and through planetary consciousness, knowing that it is clearing out what needs to be let go of and bringing mankind home. This is the promise of God's Covenant with mankind, and we hold it within our hearts always. As we wait, we place our trust in God's love, and in the promise that all will be healed in time.
Even though we share companionship with others on our spiritual journey, immersion in our inner experience, the realm in which this journey takes place, means that we are the sole travelers down the path within ourselves. While others may be similarly engaged upon their own inner journey, our experience is ours alone to feel. This aloneness is sometimes difficult to bear; it sometimes feels very lonely. Yet the experience of God's love and the promise of His light and Presence being given to all people in order to bring them out of darkness, sustains us. Supported by prayer and meditation, we tolerate the aloneness in companionship with God whom we walk with in faith while waiting to come home.
As a counterpoint to our aloneness, spread out through the times of waiting, are moments of happiness in which we see how far we have come and how we have grown. There are also many more moments of recognizing and expressing our greater capacity to love and of feeling joy in love. When there are benefits to our experience and when insights or learning take place, we joyfully share these with others. In this way, though we experience the inner journey separately, we pave the way for others by demonstrating for them the courage, persistence, faith, hope, and love that we have learned.
Mastery begins when the needs and demands of the lower-self in creating experience and perception, give way to an identification with the perspective of the higher-self aligned with God. At the same time, our perception of a limited identity based on material reality, expands into a larger identity based on spiritual reality. At this time, our personal will begins to live in accordance with divine will.
One measure of mastery is our ability to experience all of life in the perfection of God's love and truth. This perception especially includes our ability to stay in balance when confronted by the reality of human suffering. Staying in balance refers to the two parts of our heart: the human part that suffers with others and seeks to create an end to suffering, and the divine part that knows that all is perfectly held in the mind and heart of God. These two parts of our heart need to be balanced at all times so that we can do the most that is possible to help eliminate pain, while, at the same time, loving God whose goodness and love are the basis for all of life.
Mastery also refers to our readiness to maintain an alignment with divine perspective, even in the presence of doubt. When we endure difficulties in life that seem purposeless and beyond our control, we need to be able to not separate from God. When we can release the perception that any aspect of life is unfair, we are demonstrating mastery and have come a long way toward living a sacred life.
Eventually, all of our life becomes integrated into one seamless whole and this, too, is an aspect of mastery. When the voice of our unconscious, our conscious, and our super-conscious selves become one we live as the beings we are meant to be, beings created in the image and likeness of God. When this occurs, all motivations are in alignment with our divine purpose, and all serve our highest goals and the highest goals of the planet. Arrival at this level of integration is achieved through the arduous task of purification which allows consciousness to expand and the personality to integrate with the higher-self. As we proceed with purification, life circumstances support us in learning to become more integrated. We learn to embody a balance between mind and heart, between the rational and the intuitive, between the objective and the subjective, and between the material and the spiritual. In the process we learn when it is best to be practical, and when just to feel and trust.
As we come into greater balance, one primary question begins to underlie each of our decisions, both large and small. This question is: "What does God wish of me at this moment?" Our only desire, increasingly, becomes to respond with the fullness of our whole being in dedicated service to God. When the fullness of our entire being – mind, heart, and soul – live in accordance with divine will, we become empowered to co-create our lives with God, free of all limitation and restriction. In harmony with ourselves, we make choices and engage in pursuits dictated solely by the energies of divine love and truth expanding within us. These lead us to act in harmony with our own highest purpose and with the highest good for all of God's creation.
The most direct way to help heal the human family and the planet itself is through the discovery of God's plan for us as individuals. This plan is embedded within us and fulfills the longing of our soul for the greatest possible self-expression on the physical plane.
Our individual divine plan is the original pattern with which we were created, and a return to it fulfills our wish to embody our highest ideal, the divine blueprint that is uniquely ours. Through our individual unfoldment, we simultaneously serve human and planetary destiny as we expand into the truth of our divine essence. As we do this, we identify with the true meaning of being human, often for the first time.
The greatest service to God and to planetary healing that we can perform is to fully honor and fully commit ourselves to our own process of transformation. This commitment involves bringing sacred intention to each moment of our unfolding lives as an act of love toward ourselves, toward God, and toward all beings. Such a commitment also establishes the moral foundation for global healing and transformation and demonstrates our full responsibility as partners in sacred Covenant with God.
Through the words of the prophets and through our present understanding, as well, we become aware that God's plan for the earth can unfold through us as messengers and emissaries of divine will. As agents of God's vision, we can help to manifest His Presence upon the earth as we fulfill the unique purpose with which we have been entrusted. In the process of becoming spiritually awake and morally responsible, we serve, not only ourselves, but the planet. Together we can create the possibility for channeling our thoughts, visions, and heartfelt blessings into personal and planetary ideals for the future.
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"When the heart is a tranquil lake, in which only the ripples of Divine Will find their expression, then that lake is able to reflect clearly both the truth about oneself and the truth about the world."
Teaching the Heart to Sing