[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!”
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!