• Thu. Oct 1st, 2020

Days 1-10

The Proof: Practices 1-10

Practice 1

The Rhythm of Oneness

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”

Thomas Merton

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Even in the middle of a hurricane, the bottom of the sea is calm. As the storm rages and the winds howl, the deep waters sway in gentle rhythm, a light movement of fish and plant life. Below there is no storm.”

Wayne Muller

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Exercise

Returning to your natural rhythm and moving with the pace of the universal heartbeat restores you to Oneness. Slowing down connects you with the rhythm of Life, with your essential self, and with other people. Holding yourself in this way brings you into the very heart of Oneness.

There’s a close connection between the rhythm of Oneness and the rhythm of your footsteps, your breathing, and your mind. Today, practice finding a pace that connects you with your breath, heart, and mind . . . truly connecting with your natural rhythm and flow. Notice when you feel your movements becoming forced and harried. Within that gentle awareness, take a moment to pause and return to your center. Breathe and rest for a moment in the stillness. Repeat the word ahimsa (meaning nonviolent actions) as a mantra throughout your day as you continue to return again and again to the rhythm of Oneness.

Imagine this practice as a moving meditation, like tai chi, or as a flowing dance, such as ballet. Allow one action to create and flow effortlessly into the next. Every breath, step, and thought is connected. As you engage in this practice, the frenetic pace of your thoughts will become slower and calm down; and your breathing will become fuller and more relaxed. You’ll experience the beauty, vitality, and energy of life. You’ll feel connected to your own deep personal integrity and to the integrity of life that surrounds you. In this place, you’re moving within ahimsa—expressing compassion to yourself and others—and you’re in union with all things. Paradoxically, when you slow your pace to your natural rhythm, your movements become more graceful, powerful, and focused—thus, more is accomplished, created, and received with less effort and energy.

For today, experiment with pace, rhythm, and movement. Discover the Rhythm of Oneness for yourself and share it with others.

Affirmation

I AM moving with the rhythm of my heart, in harmony with the purpose of my Soul, vibrating with all of creation.

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Practice 2

The Breath of Oneness

“All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together.”

Morihei Ueshiba

“Ancient lovers believed a kiss would literally unite their Souls, because the spirit was said to be carried in one’s breath.”

Eve Glicksman

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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Exercise

Begin this practice by becoming aware of your breath, expanding it throughout your entire body. Allow your breathing to organically circulate, connecting cells and organs, blood and bones. Feel the beauty and elegance of your body’s intricate design. Through each inhale and exhale, allow yourself to be filled by the Spirit and filled with Oneness . . . then permit yourself to become empty, in Spirit and in Oneness.

The Hebrew word for breath is ruach, but it also signifies spirit and wind. It is your breath that connects you with Spirit and your Soul. It sustains your Soul. Now, with your breath, animate and give expression to your Soul, knowing that breath and Soul are from one origin. Allow yourself to be filled with the breath of Oneness, which is love, joy, peace, and unity. Exhale separation; inhale Oneness. Exhale fear and anxiety; inhale God’s loving presence and power.

Imagine that you’re breathing with every living being and organism on the planet and in the cosmos. Breathe with the trees and with the ocean. Breathe with the children in Africa. Breathe with the monks in Tibet. Breathe with the saints and mystics from the past: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, and Muhammad. Breathe with your friends, family, and community. Breathe with those you consider “different.” Breathe with the planets and stars. Breathe with all of creation and know the truth of “I AM One. We are One.” Come alive with the breath of Oneness! Dedicate your breathing as a prayer for all sentient beings. Allow a single word or phrase to arise on your lips, and send it out to the world through the breath of Oneness. In this practice, your breathing becomes a prayer and a profound act of sacred activism.

Practice the breath of Oneness for at least five minutes at the beginning and end of your day and your Soul will settle into a heavenly peace. Return to it often throughout the day in order to practice the presence of God wherever you are and in whatever you’re doing.

Affirmations

I AM breathing Life, and Life is breathing me.

I AM forever connected to my Soul in the Spirit of Life. I AM, I AM, I AM.

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Practice 3

The Sound of Oneness

“Every element has a sound, an original sound from the order of God; all those sounds unite like the harmony from harps and zithers.”

Hildegard of Bingen

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence. . . . We need silence to be able to touch Souls.”

Mother Teresa

“The first stage of worship is silence.”

Muhammad

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Exercise

The journey into the internal temple of your heart—your innermost being—begins and ends in silence. With this practice, seek the solitude within and find refuge in the arms of God—the contemplative embrace of Oneness. In the silence, you touch the still point and lie in the green pastures of your Soul. Within this sacred space, hear the sound of Oneness. These are the whispers from Spirit . . . whispers of truth and faith that reassure you that all is One and all is well.

Today’s practice can be applied in a quiet setting in nature, in a taxicab, or during a business meeting. Practicing inner stillness in the midst of your day infuses the consciousness of Oneness into the core of your life and your relationships. This practice brings the power and presence of God into each situation you encounter and into all areas of your life: health, relationships, career, and finances. Silent retreats and Sabbath practices are also rich experiences that can expand your ability to connect with Oneness.

Begin this practice by slowing your pace, deepening your breath, and opening your awareness to the present moment. Allow your thoughts to calm and drift through your mind in slow motion. Follow the spiral movement of your breath inward into the interior castle of your heart. Your heart is always listening; it’s a universal resource of deep communication. Continue to breathe yourself into inner silence and stillness, seeking and unlocking your Soul. Feel your own inner terrain, the landscape of life within you. Breathe. Inhale and exhale. Let go and let the silence take you now, pulling you deeper and deeper into your inner sanctuary. Seek it as it seeks you. Be still. Rest in the I AM as you silently breathe, listening to the sound of Oneness.

Trust what arises . . . have faith in your inner hearing. Be receptive to the whispers, the voice of inspired guidance, the consolations from the angels, and the truth of your own essential voice. Pay attention and receive. Allow the sound of Oneness to rejuvenate, restore, and repattern your heart, Soul, and mind. Breathe. Be still and know I AM.

From this inner sanctuary of silence, allow any questions you have for the Divine to slowly rise, simply and effortlessly. Guidance is as near as your own breath. Listen. Receive. Believe. Who am I? Why am I here? What is calling to me? Who must I now become in consciousness?

Allow your own sound of Oneness to be expressed, and feel its vibration deep in your heart. Give voice to it; know that it is your song to learn, to sing, and to share.

Return again and again throughout the day to your inner sanctuary of silence. This place is always within you and is one of your most precious resources. Use this practice to cultivate the Presence, and you’ll discover that Oneness speaks in silence.

Affirmation

I AM the sound of silence, listening to the sweet whispers of my Soul
telling me that all is One, all is well, and I AM loved.

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Practice 4

The Gaze of Oneness

“With enraptured gaze we beheld the white moon rising quietly behind the tall trees, the silvery rays it was casting upon sleeping nature, the bright stars twinkling in the deep skies, the light breath of the evening breeze making the snowy clouds float easily along; all this raised our Souls to heaven.”

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

“When the eyes of the heart are opened, the creation is revealed as it really is . . . the body of Divine Light.”

Andrew Harvey

“The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw and knew I saw all things in God and God in all things.”

Mechthild of Magdeburg

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Exercise

French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said: “Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.” Do you know how to see? Are you willing to look upon yourself and your life with the gaze of Oneness? Are you willing to remove the scales of separation from your eyes and recognize the Divine within?

For today you are invited—urged—to see yourself and all the conditions of your life (those that you may judge as good and bad) through the enraptured and awakened gaze of Oneness. View everything as connected and divinely ordered, conspiring on your behalf to bring you into alignment with your truest self and highest good. Imagine that nothing within you or your life is outside of Oneness; therefore, perceive all things as sacred and holy. Give thanks for this sweet perfection.

To increase your awareness, consciously observe the expressions of beauty and creativity that surround you. Gaze with awe into a starry nighttime sky. Notice the fragile courage of the first crocus of spring. Wonder at the symmetry of a snowflake or the complexity of a newborn. From head to toe, look upon your own body with adoration. Seek the beauty that lies within a billboard, a streetcar, a puppy, a doughnut shop, a blade of grass; for each of these holds the aura of the sacred. Know the truth: this physical, palpable world is indeed a Divine place. You are standing on holy ground. Affirm that all things on Earth are part of God’s holy creation.

Look upon everything with the all-adoring, awakened, and curious gaze of Oneness. Learning to see in this way is central to an understanding of God’s love for the world and the life it sustains. Today, awaken the gaze of Oneness within you. Soften your eyes and perceive with your heart. Behold Christ and receive all with Namaste. Rejoice in your transformed sight!

Affirmation

I AM perceiving the world with an awakened and enraptured gaze. I see myself in God and I see God in all things. Namaste.

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Practice 5

The Heart of Oneness

“Love is the essence of all creeds; the true mystic welcomes it whatever guise it may assume. . . . I follow the religion of Love, whichever way his camels take.”

Ibn al-‘Arab?

“Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world. . . . Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created in years or even generations.”

Kahlil Gibran

***

Exercise

Today our hearts stir, knowing that they are the true seat of Oneness. For it’s only with an awakened, illuminated, and revealed heart that we can embody Oneness and have the courage to fully penetrate the darkness of separation in ourselves and the world.

Begin by engaging the breath of Oneness, allowing your heart to become open, soft, and supple as the barriers surrounding it dissolve. Your heart is your most precious asset and most powerful intelligence—a Divine instrument of love and an expression of peace.

Today’s practice focuses on breaking down the armor around your heart. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus says: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Knock on the door of your heart and allow it to fully open!

Gently bring your attention to your breath. Allow your breath to caress your heart, massaging it with the breath of Oneness. In Aramaic, “Knock and be opened” translates as Qush Wa Ephphetha (“koosh wa ef-fa-tah”). Qush, “knock,” creates the space for the opening of your heart with your sincere intensity. Ephphetha, “be opened,” emphasizes the process of nature that happens easily and effortlessly.

Knock on the door of your heart, and allow yourself to be opened. Let this be your mantra as you surrender to the process of disarming and dissolving the barriers to your heart.

Begin breathing and chanting: Qush Wa Ephphetha. Knock and be opened. Find your pace, your rhythm. Listen and feel your heart center as you as chant these sacred words of devotion. Use either the Aramaic or English translation, or both, depending on what feels right for you:

Qush Wa Ephphetha. Knock and be opened.

Qush Wa Ephphetha. Knock and be opened.

Qush Wa Ephphetha. Knock and be opened.

Continue chanting, breathing, knocking, and opening; feel the resonance deep within and know that your heart is opening. Feel the dam breaking, as love bursts forth to the places where your heart has been walled up in fear. Feel the power and the presence of love grow within you. Observe as your fears and limiting beliefs crumble and are carried away. Love is flowing, infiltrating your old hiding places so that you can finally experience true love.

Let yourself be opened fully! Recite this prayer and withhold nothing; fully and completely surrender into the arms of God, the mystery of Life, the fires of sacred love that burn within you.

Dear God,

I am knocking from the inside,

My heart is opening from the inside.

I wish to be made new.

Resurrected in my wholeness.

Holy Spirit, Maranatha (our Lord cometh).

Come, do your sacred work within me,

within my life,

within my relationships now.

I ask for your grace and for your delicacy as you

breathe new life into my heart.

Qush Wa Ephphetha. Knock and be opened.

Amen.

Affirmation

I AM knocking on the door of my heart, opening to the unimaginable presence and power of Divine Love that lives within me.

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Practice 6

The Body of Oneness

“Begin to see yourself as a Soul with a body rather than a body with a Soul.”

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

“Our bodies know they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless.”

John O’Donohue

“The body is a sacred garment.”

Martha Graham

***

Exercise

Your body is an expression of the living Oneness, a temple for the Divine presence. When you’re disconnected from yourself, you’re out of touch with your essence and nature; and you’re not resonating with the rest of the world. This disconnect keeps you from enjoying the many blessings and bliss of Oneness.

Today, take a moment to be still, becoming aware of your breath. Imagine that your body is like a stringed instrument that needs tuning. This adjustment will bring you into presence, putting you back in sync with the world. Being fully present in yourself means being perpetually in tune, ready to vibrate with each moment as it unfolds. Neither rejecting nor preferring any sensation, emotion, or experience, you embrace the Oneness of life. This practice reconnects you to your natural state of wholeness..

Begin by tuning into your body. Pay attention to any sensations that may appear as tension, energy, deadness, numbness, aliveness, pleasure, or any other emotion. Allow yourself to become present to your body, gently noticing your judgments, fears, distractions, and projections as they float to the surface. Return to your breath and acknowledge the truth that your body is a temple, an expression of the living Oneness.

Continue scanning your entire body. Begin with your feet and move slowly toward your head, observing and feeling each sensation: tingling, tension, energy, temperature, softness, pulsing, and so forth. Proceed slowly and examine each distinct part: your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, pelvis, buttocks, belly, chest, back, shoulders, neck, and head. Give yourself time to complete this; it usually only takes ten minutes or so.

Assess your breathing. Is it deep or shallow? Fast or slow? Simply allow it to be. Pay attention to how your body responds to your breath: the rise and fall of your chest and belly, the air moving through your nostrils and throat, and your lungs pressing gently into your back. Become aware of your breath reaching all the way down to your feet. How does it feel there? In your hands? Your head?

Tune in to the subtleties of your body. Feel your heartbeat and relax into its simple, steady beat . . . the pulse of life that connects all things.

Now allow your body to rest in gentle awareness and loving compassion. Tap into the vibration, thought, and feeling of absolute love. You may first feel it in your toes, your eyes, or in your throat—wherever its origin, let it grow until it encompasses your entire being. Experience absolute unconditional love. Feel everything—your cells, glands, bones, blood, and nervous system—vibrate to the frequency of love. Make this your intention now. Breathe love and compassion into your body temple. Allow it to move like a wave, cresting and falling. Feel the ecstasy of life and love flow through you. Bathe in this delight; feel the luminosity within you.

Pay attention to any area of your body that’s speaking to you. It may be a part that feels tense or painful, or perhaps it feels warm and relaxed. Be fully present and listen for its wisdom and guidance, for your body holds a wealth of information and connects you with the deeper truths of Oneness. In Oneness, all aspects of life are expressions of the Divine that inspire and guide you—your body is an example of this truth.

Play with this practice throughout the day, especially when you feel tired, out of sorts, or disconnected. Within a few minutes of engaging in this, you can return to presence. Remember that your body can be used as an instrument of Oneness or of separation. Today, choose to focus your body temple as an expression of the living Oneness. Let it guide you into a deep, meaningful resonance and relationship with the world.

Affirmations

I AM fully alive and thriving in this moment, in tune with my body and the world.

I AM a Divine temple, an expression of the living Oneness.

*** ***

Practice 7

The Restoration of Oneness

“God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

Genesis 2:3

“Emptiness is the pregnant void out of which all creation springs. But many of us fear emptiness. . . . We prefer to remain in the realm of form, surrounded by things we can see and touch, things we imagine are subject to our control.”

Wayne Muller

“There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the Soul is on its knees.”

Victor Hugo

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Exercise

Today’s practice is a return to the sacred rhythm of rest. Tuning in to your natural cycle includes attending to your needs for rest and relaxation. This, in turn, keeps you connected to Oneness and resonating with your life and the world.

For this moment, release the pressure to incessantly “do” and “produce”; and take the time necessary to root yourself in the beauty, abundance, and trustworthiness of this sacred universe. Give yourself permission to relax. Find a place where you can sit or lie down and just be. Rest is a holy practice. Repeat this to yourself: There is nothing to do, nowhere to go . . . nothing, no thing.To be here now is enough; I am a blessing. Relax and be in relationship with the All That Is. Breathe in. Breathe out. Sink into the arms of Oneness—the arms of love, of peace, of God. Imagine, feel, and know that you’re being held by the universe. You are supported, nurtured, and rejuvenated. .

Allow the sacred rhythm to restore balance to you and your relationships, to remind you of who you truly are and why you’re here. Allow the Divine Presence to rekindle your creativity, your zestand your passion for life. Allow yourself to be tended to while you relax in the restoration of Oneness, held by the web of life. Rest, restore, and remember. Return to your center, knowing that you are both blessed and blessing. Give thanks for the wonder of it all.

Use this practice throughout the day to bring yourself into the awareness and presence of Oneness and restore your innate connection to Life. Right now, take 10 to 20 minutes to simply rest in Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM remembering who I AM, trusting the sacredness of life as I rest and take refuge in the Oneness.

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Practice 8

The Source of Oneness

“To discover joy is to return to a state of oneness with the Universe.”

Peggy Jenkins

“Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God.”

Guru N?nak

“I, the fiery life of Divine Wisdom—

I ignite the beauty of the plains,

I sparkle the waters,

I burn in the sun, and the moon, and the stars.”

Hildegard of Bingen

***

Exercise

We are each connected to the inexhaustible source, the overflowing fountain of Oneness, the fiery love of God. We have many names for it, and we each have our own way of connecting and relating to it. Connecting to the Source of Oneness unleashes the stream of love and life so that it flows continuously through us.

Today’s practice is a treasure hunt, an excursion into the source of Oneness. Allow yourself to uncover your unique relationship to it. Listen inwardly, for you know the truth: the universe is one living organism, with a single substance, a single heart anda single Soul. Feel it, see it, and be moved by this dynamic and unified impulse. Let it take shape and form, color and image. How does it taste, what does it sound like, and how does it move? Allow the Source of Oneness to come to life. Watch the theater of life as it unfolds before you, and let it be a dynamic and ever-changing dance of Oneness.

As you move through your day, notice what catches your attention, what attracts and allures you. Let the source of Oneness draw you to it. It could be a color, sound, movement, person, place, or an object—trust your impulses and intuition as you engage in this quest for your unique connection to Oneness. Be seduced, allured, and transformed by it.

Each night before going to bed, connect with the source of Oneness that lives within your heart. Find the Divine spark, which silently and continually beckons you. It’s the flame that illuminates the darkness and connects your Soul to all things. Remember that the source of Oneness is within you and within all things, interwoven in a sacred bond that unites us.

Affirmation

I AM a dynamic expression of the living Oneness, constantly changing, growing, and expanding.

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Practice 9

The Belonging of Oneness

“I am a living member of the great family of all Souls.”

William Ellery Channing

“It’s the most precious thing . . . to know absolutely where you belong.”

Tessie Naranjo

“The hunger to belong is not merely a desire to be attached to something. It is rather sensing that great transformation and discovery become possible when belonging is sheltered and true.”

John O’Donohue

***

Exercise

We all want to belong. Deep in our core, we share a universal need to feel welcomed and loved. Every being on the planet shares this trait—no matter how deeply buried or disguised it may be. And at its root, belonging is about being seen and received and coming home.

Allow yourself to connect with your own desire to love and be loved. Breathe into the center of your longing and allow it to grow. Imagine that every person in your life—everyone in your community, town, city, state, and country—shares the same intensity and depth of longing. Allow this awareness to expand to include the entire world, and connect your longing to the longing of the world. This is a fundamental aspect of Oneness, your longing to be recognized and called home.

As you move through the day, gently hold this awareness of your innate belonging. Ground yourself in the truth that you’re here on purpose. Feel the comfort, the kinship, and the passion that come from knowing you belong to the earth, and you’re here to share your love with the world.

Notice the places and people with whom you feel a natural belonging as well as a sense of separation. Allow your love and compassion to encircle these experiences. Let it grow and expand.

How can you invite others to come home? Stay alert and watch for opportunities to extend the belonging of Oneness to your friends, families, co-workers, and even to people you don’t know yet. Be inclusive and invite everyone. Open yourself, making the invisible web of life visible. Demonstrate the miracle of our interconnectedness. Meet this universal need by actively shining your light on the darkness of isolation and separation. Create a circle where no one is excluded, where all are invited to participate in the belonging of Oneness. Feel the love in your heart burst forth as you create a sense of deep belonging in, to, and with the world.

Affirmations

I AM included as an expression of Life, embraced as an expression of love.

I AM here, I AM One, I AM home. We are here, we are One, we are home.

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Practice 10

The Soul of Oneness

“I am the self seated in the hearts of all beings.”

from The Bhagavad Gita

“The one thing in the world, of value, is the active Soul.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The Soul is made of love and must ever strive to return to love. Therefore, it can never find rest nor happiness in other things. It must lose itself in love.”

Mechthild of Magdeburg

***

Exercise

At the center of the Soul of Oneness is unconditional love. It’s the lifeline that connects us—the blood that courses through our veins. It’s our most powerful, most abundant resource on the planet. And it’s the fabric of our existence . . . it’s who we are.

To experience the Soul of Oneness requires that you give the most precious gift you can offer others: your unconditional presence. When you embrace others with mindfulness and unabashed love, they bloom, thrive, and soar.

Begin your day by connecting to your own presence, the Soul of Oneness, through silence and prayer. Remember that you are not what you do, nor are you the various roles and activities that you may enact today. You’re a Soul living in this human experience. Connect to your Soul with each breath. Fill yourself with God’s profound love, allowing it to infuse your heart, your body, your mind and your awareness. Know that in this present moment, and in every moment, you’re connected to the Source of Oneness and are overflowing with compassion. When you take time to become present with yourself, you’ll find that you naturally want to give the gift of your presence to others.

Practice being in this mind-set everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Receive each person as a gift from God sent to you as a messenger and a reminder to be present. Extend your love to everyone. Listen beyond and between the words. Hear the expression of, and request for, love.

Today, your only purpose is to offer this most magnificent part of your own unguarded heart, your own unconditional presence. Treat each person you encounter as an extension of your Soul. Remember that often what is most precious hides itself—the wild and tender things have retreated and will only reveal themselves to those who are fully present . Watch the preciousness unfold before you as you pay attention to what has heart and meaning . . . moment to moment, person to person. This is the Soul of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM powerfully present, tending to the Soul of Oneness and offering my unconditional love to every person I meet.

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