Jim Austin on building a practice of everyday guidance

[I admit to being a bit startled and pleased at how the work I was enabled to do has helped some people. Very satisfying, and, as I say, a bit startling too. We all work alone, and it’s easy to forget that there IS no “alone.” Frank]

Using Guidance Everyday: Building your practice

I (consciously) met guidance in my TMI Guidelines program; that connection has deepened and broadened in the succeeding 18 years, leading to scary and painful experiences at times but overall bringing great growth and peace. It was clear from the beginning that our connection is for living life together here in 3D; thus I’ve not considered bringing information through for others.

But this past year of communication with Rita, TGU, Frank, John and the others has been breathtaking and transformative for me. Guidance has become more and more ‘present’ in my daily life, showing up as understandings and synchronicities that I’ve come to take for granted, yet are ‘unusual’ to say the least.

In the last few months I’ve felt more and more ‘nudges’ to make this stream of information part of daily life. TGU and Rita have stressed the importance of that, but seem reticent about saying “Here’s how to do it!” All of us probably understand why, seeing and perhaps having experienced the results of being told how to be ‘spiritual’.

“Spiritual practice: the regular performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of cultivating spiritual development.” (Adapted from Wikipedia)
Many traditions teach a well-structured practice; unfortunately, the ‘overburden’ of beliefs, cultural biases, and historical events in those traditions often overshadows and even hides the value of the practice. Maybe my nudges can point towards ways of making TGU’s information and guidance part of daily life, ways of building your own practice, without that overburden.

Below are some elements of a ‘spiritual’ practice, culled from writings of my first Zen teacher. Since TGU won’t fill in the ‘content’, it seems those of us interested in practicing these teachings will have to work it out for ourselves. The ‘content’ added below [in brackets] uses my practice as an example; following the list are some of the modifying nudges I’ve felt from guidance.

Study: carefully read and reflect on “wisdom writing” 15 minutes daily. [For me Frank’s books and the blog are exactly what this element calls for.]

Expression: journal or pray for 5-30 minutes daily. Express what’s on your heart, whether in writing or thought. [My practice often combines the Expression and the Silence elements, in varying proportions.]

Silence: spend 5-30 minutes daily being still and quiet.
[One possible start: sit comfortably and bring your attention to the sensations of breathing … notice and follow the feeling of your in-breath and your out-breath. Other possibilities include learning from traditions that provide training in meditation: Zen, MBSR, Buddhism, Arica …]

Group: have a group to meet with … weekly or fortnightly if possible. [My Zen group fulfills this element for me; they have no interest in TGU, but Zen and this group fit well into/around these teachings. TMI groups might fit here; perhaps others would share their experiences with groups?]

Resolve for Mindfulness: be resolved to be mindful – present and attentive, open to and engaged with whatever each moment of your life presents to you – every waking moment. [Renewing your resolution can be part of Expression or Silence time; either way, this is where the ‘rubber meets the road’: striving (without obsession or judgement) to be mindful “every waking moment.” For me, to be mindfully open to my own guidance.]

My personal experience would add a sixth element:
Physical Activity, grounded (for YOU) in mindfulness. T’ai chi and yoga are two traditional activities; gardening or fishing work just as well for some people.
Physical activity as part of a practice seems to become more and more important as one gets older. T’ai chi works well for me (in my 70’s); Don’s experience with Qigong (12/16 comment to John’s 12/16 post) is an even better example. His understanding of how the physical activity connects to his underlying ‘reality’ is deep and meaningful, and (IMHO) is exactly what TGU and Rita push us to see

A list like this can feel like a heavy structure that takes away the fun … don’t go there! Use these ideas naturally and peacefully to build your own mindfulness of the words, teachings and concepts from TGU and Rita that you feel affinity for, to help listen for your own personal unique communication with guidance. Have fun … “go play!”

Postscript
In writing this I’ve been shown that I’ve been underrating/overlooking Expression. This for me is tied up with intent and communicating back to guidance; so far I’ve concentrating on listening. Is it getting to be time to ‘talk back’, to articulate what I choose? As TGU would say, ‘we’ need to think about this … but one thing is for sure: this guidance stuff is a wild ride!

9 thoughts on “Jim Austin on building a practice of everyday guidance

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jim and Frank!

    This is especially important for me lately; sometimes w/ all the seemingly crazy behavior going on, I can feel pretty “beat up” by the surrounding energies, and can feel “knocked off-base”.

    All of your points I would find helpful; even tho I don’t feel drawn to Buddhism myself (I have two family members doing Zen, and for many years I felt “overly reverential” to their practice, instead of recognizing that “it works for them”, being of the highly-intellectual sorts), but do find merit in quiet meditation, and mindfulness (easier said than done, for me!) I use a “Metamusic” title, w/ a practitioner of Bon Buddhism doing the guidance; I find it very soothing.

    I do many of the other things you suggest, and concur that it shouldn’t be such a “heavy, burdensome task” (navigating 3D can be trying enough at times!) For the New Year, I’m thinking of joining the weekly Quaker meeting in town; the quiet meditation appeals to me, and speaks to that “closet Christian” part of me (St. Michael, as an archetype, has come up for me, thru numerous friends). And, being a highly kinesthetic person, Physical Activity is important; I enjoy walking and gardening, or even finer activities, such as drawing or jewelry-making.

    Again, thanks for this!

    Craig

  2. I would be interested to know if this Jim Austin has any history in the New Haven/Madison areas of CT. Did he ever teach a World Religions class? It would be a small world indeed if this were the case. Also, does he compose and play music, or did he? Other connections: Zen Buddhist temple, Native American pipe ceremony, and ordained minister.

    Nancy

  3. Thanks, Jim, for sharing how you play. My list would be quite similar. From Rita’s comments I have taken to reminding myself (in waking life, in meditation, etc.) that I am living on multiple dimensions. I see how I can integrate that into my daily life experience. Another on my list would be to continue to become aware of and choiceful about my defaults and assumptions. By seeing the personality structure I have built up, I can more consciously choose whether to go with my tendencies or do something else. This “loosening of my personality” has been helpful with the other practices.
    Keep sharing 🙂

  4. Jim,
    I really appreciate this.

    “In writing this I’ve been shown that I’ve been underrating/overlooking Expression.” That’s so important, and it’s so easy to overlook. Expression is what it’s all about; if we learn new ideas but don’t make it part of our being, part of our expression, then we haven’t gone far enough. We each can benefit by finding our own practice as you say.

    There is more guidance that I will be posting and it is made more useful with your input.
    John

  5. Thank you indeed Jim.
    These are important suggestions in every way. And many a time I have felt “the overburden” about all the need in working with Mindfulness (in the search for “enlightenment”).

    I have found something about DREAMS during my Seth-Course (as all of us know…We are dreaming all the time): It is page 390
    The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 671,June 21,1973.

    Quote: “Once again, thoughts and ideas have their own electromagnetic validity also. In waking life you test your ideas in the world of facts. Facts are only accepted fiction, of course, but the ideas must make sense and fit into the accepted “story”.

    And jumping unto the next page 392: “In your daily life you may suddenly know something without knowing how you know, without being aware of any particular image or sense impression. The knowledge is simply “there”. This kind of activity approaches the sort of knowing of your own consciousness when it is UNinvolved with any kind of ordinary sense stimuli. It simply knows. In those certain dream states, then, you KNOW (underlined)in the same fashion. You experience your being UNallied with flesh.”

    And a bit further down the same page:
    “Such dream events may be called experiences of basic being. During them, the self or consciousness literally travels to the source of its own energy. On another level atoms possess this same kind of knowing.
    (Slowly:) It may seem that such comprehensions have little to do with your daily life, particularly since they are so seldom recalled, and then only in translation; yet they provide you with additional energy – and when you need it MOST (underlined in the book).

    In periods of stress, the physically attuned consciousness will often momentarily forsake its usual orientation and let itself fall back, as it were, into the source of its own being, where it knows it will be regenerated and indeed reborn.”

    …and still according to Seth: “You Create Your Own Reality”…. BTW: I am looking out of the window seeing a blue sky and the landscape covered in pure white (and clean) snow with only the traces of a pussycat and a dog.

    To quote more from Seth (at the same page and same book): “While you are physically connected you must interpret experience in sense terms, even that in dreams. At times your consciousness can range into other areas, but then events must be physically translated in some way.”

    And next (below the same page) is about SPACE-TIME, my favorite theme.

    In Rita`s World, Monday, December 15,2014…On Page 31:”I didn`t have to LEARN (stressed in the book), you see; I knew. I always had known, but the part of me in time and space was somewhat insulated from that knowledge, and with time I will try to describe why – the shorthand reason is that conscious minds in time and space can hold only so much at a time (not speaking brain capacity, here).
    And: ACCESS to these moments is there; but a sequential visit or series of visits is not necessary.”

    B&B,Ingerlise.
    P. S.
    Ditto to all comments.

  6. Thanks all, happy to see everyone used this as an “Ideas for …” post, rather than a “How to …”

    Strikes me we’re getting to try yet another new way of doing things. In most traditions, you’re given the practice, then learn your way into deeper teachings through it. I feel we’ve been given a deep rich pool of knowledge, and look for ways to hold onto (‘remember?’) it as we live daily life.

    Guess this is another way of learning our way/growing into deeper understanding … a way TGU and Rita recommend, and one I really like!
    Jim

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