• Thu. Oct 1st, 2020

Days 21-30

The Proof: Practices 21 -30

Practice 21 (Monday, October 4)

The Shadow of Oneness

All beauty contains darkness.”
— Daniel Odier“

You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, by stamping on it, by railing against it, or by any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.”
— Shakti Gawain

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
— Carl Jung

***

Exercise

In Goethe’s words: “Where there is much light, the shadow is deep.” Today’s practice is the first in a series of ten that will guide and support your descent into the shadow of Oneness. In your movement toward an expanded consciousness of Oneness, the opposite experience has most likely appeared. This is none other than the shadow of Oneness, which creates a mood of “unlove” and separation. These are areas within your psyche and life that are constricted and potentially frozen in fear, judgment, lack, limitation, or grievance. However, they’re being presented to you now for transformation: for mending, healing, purification, and integration. This is a natural and crucial part of the journey. In fact, the awareness of the shadow is one of the primary intentions in order to heal and liberate those aspects of your being.When your personal “Oneness curriculum” appears, it’s certainly time for celebration, for the Divine is taking you at your word. And through your disciplined presence and practice, the possibility for true and lasting transformation and illumination is at hand.

Today’s practice requires that you find 45 to 60 minutes to become still, open, and reflective. Find a quiet room where you can begin this sacred journey into your shadow. Bring a candle, a journal, a pen, and a glass of water with you. Your intention is to make the darkness within you conscious. Facing your shadow and realizing the ways it reflects the collective shadow are important. Commit to doing so with trust, humility, and surrender; and you’ll soon discover another level of unconditional compassion for yourself and the world.

In the shadow of Oneness, you’ll discover that the very things that have threatened your sanity ensure your liberation. This is where the poison you’ve been ingesting becomes the medicine that will heal you. This is your salvation and return to wholeness—the great alchemy into which you are plunged.

Begin your practice today by taking several deep and cleansing breaths. Light a candle with the intention of viewing your shadow with the full power and presence of God. Do so with clarity, courage, and compassion. Spend several minutes in prayerful silence, reflecting on the following passage by Jesus from the Gospel of Thomas: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Take out your journal or a few pieces of paper. Ask for Divine guidance to assist you in bringing your personal “shadow of Oneness curriculum” to the surface. Reflect and write brief responses and notations to the following questions:

1. What core fears and limiting beliefs keep me isolated from the good that’s here for me?

2. What are my most painful and harsh judgments about myself, others, and the world?

3. What grievances am I holding against myself, others, and the world?

4. Where am I sowing seeds of darkness and separation?

5. What am I now ready to acknowledge about myself that I haven’t been willing to see before?

6. How are my own inner war and terrorism reflected in outer wars and acts of terrorism in the world?

7. What is ready to be healed and restored in Oneness?

8. What darkness needs to be illuminated so I can live my life in greater wholeness and in living Oneness?

Allow your answers to arise in your consciousness with grace and ease. Trust and accept everything with compassion. Practice maitr?—the Sanskrit world meaning “unconditional friendship with oneself.” Breathe in and out, and accept yourself unconditionally. Write down enough information so that you can use it in future practices.

For today, your only need is to allow all insights to present themselves. Deeply trust this process. Have faith that the Divine will show you what needs to transform and heal. Pay attention to your life, for the clues are right in front of you. Everything you need to know about your shadow is appearing now: within your conflicts, your relationships, your struggles, and your judgments. Be willing to look and see. Be willing to embrace all aspects of yourself. Be willing to live a life of wholeness and Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM entering the shadow of Oneness with courage and clarity, shining light on the lost and forgotten parts of my being.

*** ***

Practice 22

The Fear of Oneness

“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive—the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”
— Don Miguel Ruiz

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
— Marianne Williamson

“‘What is love?’
‘The total absence of fear,’ said the Master.
‘What is it we fear?’
‘Love,’ said the Master.”
— Anthony de Mello

***

Exercise

There is a collective fear of Oneness: the notion of being consumed or of losing one’s identity, personality, and security. It is a fear of intimacy and being vulnerable.

This belief system often presents itself in your close relationships. You’re afraid to surrender to Oneness because you may “lose” yourself, when, in fact, quite the opposite is true. It’s only when you’re willing to lose your life that you receive your life. No aspect of your authentic self will disappear or be lost. On the contrary, your greatest self will be resurrected, illuminated by the journey into Oneness.

The fear of Oneness can also be experienced as powerlessness—the feeling that you’ll be overwhelmed by the despair and violence taking place in the world today. On the path of Oneness, however, you’ll learn ways to use this collective grief to open your heart and mind to even deeper states of compassion, generosity, and inspiration.

This practice begins with your conscious choice and intention to become aware of the ways in which your subconscious apprehension drives your decisions and behaviors. Dedicate this day to actively transforming your fears by choosing to become present to them.

Allow the continuous background dialogue of insecurity and judgment in your mind to reveal itself to your gentle awareness. Listen carefully, as it has been influencing many of your choices and actions. At any moment, more than 90 percent of your actions are subconscious! Today’s practice focuses on making your subconscious mind conscious.

As you move through your day, notice when you experience that inner dialogue—your harsh assessments and criticisms of yourself and others. Notice the tension and anxiety in your body, and the constriction of breath in your chest. These are the symptoms of fear and separation. As you spot these signposts, become present to them through your breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Engage in radical compassion and unconditional acceptance of yourself and others. Breathe in, breathe out, and gently notice.

This practice develops your inner witness and wise mind. Your inner witness has the capacity to observe your fears, and your wise mind can restore your thoughts to love so that you resonate with Oneness. Become aware of your fears by activating your inner witness today, for once your disquiet is revealed, you’ll be healed. Tune in to your wise mind and return to a state of love, acceptance, and compassion. Remember to practice the art of maitr? (unconditional friendship with yourself). Be gentle with yourself, as most of your deepest fears originated when you were just a child—fed to you by the adults around you who were themselves trapped by their own fear and separation.

Your willingness to face the fear of Oneness with conscious awareness and courage contributes to healing the intergenerational dysfunction of the world. Acknowledge yourself for your willingness to be an instrument of love. Dedicate your personal transformation to the transformation of the world. Use your personal sphere of awareness today as you actively reveal and heal your fears. To do so, become present in the here-and-now through these five zones of personal awareness:

1. Sensing. What are you sensing? What are you experiencing in your body? Use all of your senses to bring yourself into the present moment. Ask yourself, What am I seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and knowing right now? What signals is your body sending you?

2. Feeling. What are you feeling? Become present to the shifting landscape of your emotions throughout the day. When you’re anxious or apprehensive, face your feelings and ask yourself what this experience can teach you. What information about your core fears does it hold for you?

3. Thinking. What’s on your mind? What are your judgments, opinions, assessments, and ideas? Become present to your thinking. Notice and jot down any fears or criticisms that consistently present themselves. They are your greatest teachers, for their resolution will guide you to freedom and wholeness.

4. Wanting. What are you longing for? What are your desires? Your needs? Become present to your wants, and notice that they’re surrounded by your own trepidation. What does this reveal to you about your long-held judgments and fears?

5. Acting. What are your intentions? What action are you taking? Is it sourced in fear or love? Become aware of your actions today. Is fear dictating your movements, or does love guide your steps?

Affirmation

I AM healing the separation in the world through the transformation of my own shadow and fear.

*** ***

Practice 23

The Heartbreak of Oneness

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
— Kahlil Gibran

“The worst prison would be a closed heart.”
— Pope John Paul II

“Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.”
— Theodore Roethke

***

Exercise

When you open yourself to the bliss of Oneness, you also open yourself to heartbreak. You open yourself to feeling and experiencing the grief, terror, fear, and despair of others. You become aware of your intimate connection to situations, places, and people in your life (and in the world) who are crying out for your love, presence, and service. Following the heartbreak of Oneness will lead you to the dark and constricted places and to the people who need your light. They’re calling for the healing salve of Divine love.

Today’s practice takes you into the heart of sacred service—devoted action born from the heartbreak of Oneness. What pierces your heart with love? What conditions of the world are calling you to greater levels of compassion and propelling you into sacred action? What heartache have you been numbing?

Allow yourself to look upon your world today with the heartbreak of Oneness. See the world as it is—both its light and dark elements. Become aware of the places, people, and events that cause you anguish; and permit your heart to break open through your unguarded awareness and presence. What “medicine” can you offer? How can you help others heal? One of the secrets to living in Oneness is to serve it. When your heart breaks open in Oneness, the question becomes: How can I serve?

Take a few deep breaths and settle into your body. Acknowledge the heartbreak you feel when you reflect on the conditions of the world. What calls to your heart and catches its attention? Scan your awareness, and feel the pain and suffering of others. Breathe in the energy of this separation, darkness, or constriction through your heart with the intention of completely accepting and owning it. Then breathe out, radiating loving-kindness and freshness—anything that encourages relaxation and openness.

Continue to breathe deeply. Feel yourself being opened in love to the heartbreak of Oneness. Feel this energy, and let your attention rest in it. Allow compassion, empathy, and love to build from the inside of your heart. Truly embrace the emotions of the heartbreak of Oneness. The intention of today’s practice can be summed up in one word: feel!

The heartbreak of Oneness calls upon your deep integrity to serve the planet. The Divine invites you to wake up to and touch the grief, despair, and hunger in the world. Don’t be afraid. Answer the call for help, and offer your medicine to the world in service to Oneness.

Take a few more deep breaths. Feel your heart radiating compassion, and express the profound love that moves through you. This is the heartbreak of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM feeling my heart break open as I look upon the world with tenderness and compassion.

*** ***

Practice 24

The Grievance of Oneness

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.”
— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

“One can spend a lifetime assigning blame, finding the cause ‘out there’ for all the troubles that exist. Contrast this with the ‘responsible attitude’ of confronting the situation, bad or good, and instead of asking, ‘What caused the trouble? Who was to blame?’ asking ‘How can I handle this present situation to make the most of it? What can I salvage here?’”
— Abraham Maslow

“You are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns, you become carried away with yourself. Indeed you are quite impossible in many ways. And still, you are beautiful beyond measure. For the core of what you are is fashioned out of love, that potent blend of openness, warmth, and clear, transparent presence.”
— John Welwood

***

Exercise

In the ego’s nightmare, other people and events in the world are feared and judged as unsafe. The ego’s mantra is that the universe is malevolent. If there’s good to be had, we have to compete and engage the “survival of the fittest” mentality to get it. This is the ego’s game of win-lose, which ultimately results in total loss.

If you allow your grievance to control you, you engage in the losing battle of constantly perceiving threats and attacking. Your actions, choices, and behaviors reflect this illusion; and you begin operating in a world of separation. You create stories about the “bad others” to assign blame and relieve the pain of your isolation. In the journey into Oneness, however, all of your grievances are revealed for what they are. It’s your choice whether to surrender the nightmare of your self-created separation for healing or to continue to suffer in the darkness.

Today’s practice invites you to become aware of and identify your core grievances that operate in your life. Bringing your issues into consciousness enables you to free yourself of them. Most often these old beliefs have become your personal story. They’re so deeply embedded that you mistakenly assume that they hold truths about you and the world. This practice helps you become aware of these grievances and deconstruct the stories you’ve created to support them.

To begin, think of something in your life that’s painful, difficult, stressful, or consistently and persistently “stuck.” You may want to consider your current relationships with your spouse, lover, friends, or colleagues. Consider other key areas of your life such as your health, finances, career, or even other relationships. When you think of a specific situation, what emotions, sensations, and thoughts arise?

When you engage the energy of your grievances, you set yourself in opposition to others and the world. How have you created a “bad other” in this situation or experience? What evidence have you collected, and what story have you created to ensure that your beliefs are legitimate? Allow yourself to become fully present by paying attention to your feelings and physical sensations.

Now ask yourself what feels familiar about this particular situation. Where or when have you felt this before? How does it relate to past experiences? How would you put this into words? Take out your journal, and start writing down your feelings in clear and simple statements: You don’t respect me. You don’t appreciate and include me. You don’t love me. You don’t reward me. You don’t want me. You don’t acknowledge me. Notice how your grievance taps into your core fears of feeling unworthy or unloved. Most of the negativity we project onto others and into the world is created from these limiting beliefs.

Now become fully present without shouldering any blame or judgment. From this perspective, how do you think your grievance impacts your life, your relationships? How do they contribute to the collective mood of separation in the world today? Take a moment to circulate your breath throughout your body. Breathe in, breathe out, and let go. Continue to take your own personal inventory, bringing your awareness to the grievances you harbor. Allow them to be transformed by your willingness to recognize, name, and ultimately release them.

Affirmation

I AM surrendering my grievances to the healing power of Divine Love and choosing the miracle of Oneness.

*** ***

Practice 25

The Crucible of Oneness

“Lord, lock me up in the deepest depths of your heart; and then, holding me there, burn me, purify me, set me on fire, sublimate me, till I become utterly what you would have me be.”

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Alchemy is the art of manipulating life, and consciousness in matter, to help it evolve, or to solve problems of inner disharmonies.”
— Jean Dubuis

“The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire. Your essence is gold hidden in dust. To reveal its splendor you need to burn in the fire of love.”
— Rumi

***

Exercise

In the crucible of Oneness, love’s all-consuming and all-transforming fire is fueled with your desire, devotion, heartbreak, and longing, as well as your grievances, fear, and outrage. Absolutely everything is offered to the alchemizing presence and power of Divine Love. When you embrace the crucible of Oneness, you become willing to receive God’s healing grace, knowing that God will do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

Einstein said that you can’t solve a problem at the same level of consciousness in which it was created. In the crucible of Oneness, you surrender your personal shadow sourced in fear and separation. You place it on the Divine altar and answer yes when asked if you’re willing to be healed and transformed. This is the moment of your full surrender into Oneness, into the purifying fire of Divine Love.

Today’s practice requires you to set time aside to pray for your surrender into the crucible of Oneness. You’ll need at least 30 minutes. Gather your writings from Practice 21 (“The Shadow of Oneness”), as well as a candle and a bowl that’s safe to use for burning. You’ll also need a pen and more paper if you aren’t using your journal. Create your own sacred space with these items.

Begin by relaxing your body and becoming aware of your breath. Light the candle and gaze into the warm, flickering flame. Allow its soft glow to bring you into a calm, centered, and open state. Feel the presence. Breathe in and breathe out. Notice your emotions and any bodily sensations. Bring your awareness to your heart. Feel your willingness to enter into deeper union with your true self, with God, with others, and with all of life. Feel the presence. Breathe in and breathe out. Will yourself to surrender; feel your longing for union increase and strengthen. Let it enfold your heart and spread throughout your body . . . permit it to infuse your entire being.

Become aware of the pain you’ve experienced in the illusion of separation and isolation. Feel your deep desire for release from this prison. Feel your wishes to be free. Feel the presence. Breathe in and breathe out. All that is required in this moment is your heartfelt surrender to the Divine. You’re being asked to withdraw your investment in separation and be restored in Oneness. Become reborn and renewed in the crucible of Oneness.

Now gather your writing from the earlier practice of the shadow of Oneness. Press the pages and all that they hold to your heart. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel the presence of God as you gaze at the flame in front of you. Feel your heart open as you begin whispering the words that are rising on your lips. In the sanctity of this space, through your soul’s prayer, surrender. Give all to the All. Surrender the old life you’ve known, a life sourced in separation. Hold nothing back. Receive the blessings of a life lived in Oneness.

Place the pages you’ve been holding close to your heart in the bowl. Remain in this mind-set and now pick up your journal. Write down your prayers and statements of surrender or, if you prefer, remain in silence and stillness. Keep your writings in the bowl on your altar. (You’ll return to them during the next practice.)

Continue to offer your prayers of surrender to the Divine, entering ever more deeply into the crucible of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM surrendering myself and my life to the all-consuming, all-purifying fire of the Divine.

*** ***

Practice 26

The Fire of Oneness

“Spirituality is an inner fire, a mystical sustenance that feeds our souls. The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center. . . . In its presence we are warmed and ignited. When too far from the blaze, we are cold and spiritually lifeless. We are less than human without that heat. Our connection to God is life itself.”
— Marianne Williamson

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
— Ferdinand Foch

“I will set fire to the temple of your body and make its thorns a bower of roses.”
— Rumi

***

Exercise

Today you’ll enter the unifying and purifying fire of Oneness. This eternal fire burns within the inner sanctuary of your soul and within the heart of the Divine Beloved. In the fire of Oneness, the flames become united, joining together to form a single, powerful flame. It is your soul’s deepest desire to be in union with the Divine and the Divine’s desire for your soul is no less. The only difference is that when you unite with the Divine, you become smaller and the sacred presence within you grows. You (the ego) must decrease so the I AM presence (the soul) can increase. This is the invitation that’s offered to you today—to surrender into the fire of Oneness, to be held within the crucible of Divine love and be transformed and delivered into greater union with the Beloved.

Do you have the soul stamina to continue? You must endure the inner wounding and humbling self-knowledge so that true illumination can be received. In the fire of Oneness, the small self, the ego, is annihilated. This is the fire’s work of turning coal into the brilliant diamond. This is the Divine’s handiwork: burning away everything that conceals your essence so that the nature of your true self can be revealed. As 17th-century Japanese poet and samurai Mizuta Masahide wrote: “Barn’s burnt down— / now / I can see the moon.” This is the exposure to the workings and limitations of the false self. The fire of Oneness transforms the games and ploys of your false self and prepares you for a life of union and a consciousness stationed in Oneness.

Today’s practice focuses on your willingness to be transformed by the fire of Oneness. Your intention is to cultivate an inner condition of your heart, a readiness to fully devote yourself to the embodiment of Oneness. This is your humble and life-altering vow to serve humanity by tending to the Oneness growing within you. In the flames of Oneness, you’ll become an instrument of Divine joy, peace, and love. You’ll receive an infusion of Divine grace as you silently sit in the stillness of the inner fire as your old self burns. There’s nothing to do but call out, saying, “Beloved, bring me into union with you!” And in that simple prayer, you submit yourself to the will of the Divine. This is the hour of God, a truly joyous moment, for a thriving and sustained Oneness is the promise that will be kept. Hallelujah!

Now take the bowl with your “shadow of Oneness” writings to a safe place where you can light them on fire and allow them to burn. This is a ritual that mirrors the inner work that the Divine is enacting on your soul. Strike a match (or use a lighter) and ignite the symbolic separation that has been placed in the sacred crucible—the bowl. Whisper this prayer: Beloved, I surrender all of the ways that I have lived in separation. I am now ready to come into greater union with you. Burn away all that is not love, all that is not essential within me. Prepare me to serve the growing Oneness. Amen.

Watch as the fire burns the paper to ash. Feel the sacredness of this moment. When it’s complete, return the ashes to the earth to nourish the soil—the soul of a new life. Remember that this inner work—the fire of Oneness—is occurring within you. Continue to surrender all that you encounter as separation, fear, and grievance to the fire for transformation. Recite the chant: I will, my will, Thy will. This will serve as a prayer of devotion to union with God, the Divine Beloved.

At the start and end of your day (and as often as you feel drawn), read the Prayer of St. Francis, and know that you’re being fashioned into the most perfect and wonderfully made instrument of Divine Love possible. Give thanks for this truth . . . feel gratitude for the all-consuming fire of Oneness.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Affirmation

I AM my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine, forever united in a single flame of Divine Love.

*** ***

Practice 27

The Reconciliation of Oneness

“The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

“The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

“So instead of loving what you think is peace, love other [people] and love God above all. And instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war.”
— Thomas Merton

***

Exercise

As the field of Oneness grows within you, illuminating the dark and constricted aspects of your being and consciousness, your life will begin to shake and shiver . . . shifting, changing, and growing. You’ll experience a disruption in your “normal” patterns and relationships and in your own internal awareness. Your “operating system” is undergoing an upgrade to a new and improved version of Oneness, and the programs that used to run on separation will no longer work. The outward manifestation of your inward transformation will create a sacred reordering of all the areas in your life.

The consciousness of Oneness will restore you to the vibration and frequency of love, aligning your finances, work, relationships, health, creativity, and even your experience of God. The dance has changed and your partners and movements will need to change, too! This is a reconciliation of what is deepest and truest in you with what is deepest and truest in your life and with others.

Now is the time to be certain of your purpose—to serve the growing Oneness through your own transformation. As the lesser begins to break down to give way to the greater, you may become frightened or anxious. You may feel the urge to return to the illusion of safety and security that separation offered as this reconciliation begins to manifest in the outward conditions of your life. However, the door has closed behind you. You’re in the transition phase, suspended between the two trapezes. Slowly breathe in and breathe out, and say, I release the lesser to receive the greater.

Whenever you encounter moments of fear, doubt, or uncertainty, breathe deeply and repeat the affirmation. Embrace this new awareness. Open yourself to the fresh expression and embodiment of Oneness. Remember to recite: I will, my will, Thy will. Know that your willingness is all that’s required to allow the Divine Orchestrator to reorder your life. This is the reconciliation of Oneness at work. The past is out, the presence is in, and your future is clear.

Today, reflect on what’s changing in your life. What wants to be released? What’s breaking down? Do you notice anything that’s shifting? How are your relationships being reordered? Your finances? Career? Health? How can you fully partner with the Divine and work creatively within this transformation? Be sure to ask yourself, How can I be a powerful co-creator in this process of reconciliation?

Once again, your readiness is key. Take out your journal and spend 15 minutes or so writing statements of willingness. Be sure to reflect on the following: What new experience of the living Oneness am I ready and willing to have? What new experience of myself as an expression of the living Oneness am I ready and willing to have? Continue to look inward, and touch on all aspects of your life, including your health, spirituality, relationships, career, creativity, family, community, and so on.

Here are some examples of willingness statements:

I AM willing to . . .

• . . . inspire others by being a catalyst for change in service to the growing Oneness.
• . . . be a grounded and devoted friend, lover, and family member.
• . . . serve as a passionate citizen of the world community.
• . . . see myself as loved, desired, and needed.
• . . . experience my environment as vital, thriving, and creative.
• . . . view money as healthy, essential, and abundant.

Now take at least five to seven of your willingness statements and transfer them onto a piece of paper or an index card. Keep it handy in your purse or pocket; or place it on your desk, dashboard, or nightstand. Recite your willingness statements throughout the day, and regard them as a powerful act of partnership between you and the Divine in the reconciliation of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM a radiant, powerful expression of the living Oneness, manifesting love in all areas of my life.

*** ***

Practice 28

The Forgiveness of Oneness

“If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.”
— Mother Teresa

“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.”
— from A Course in Miracles

“Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

***

Exercise

Jesus asks us to forgive “7 times 70.” In the forgiveness of Oneness, you’re being asked to see every action and behavior as either an expression of love or a request for it, and then respond appropriately. And the only appropriate response is to offer your love and forgiveness. Extend compassion to yourself, others, and the world. In the kingdom of Oneness, no one is excluded—everyone belongs and deserves loving-kindness.

Yes, there are natural consequences to your choices, and boundaries are set to honor your integrity. The process of forgiveness is continuous, as we receive and circulate the grace of Oneness in our lives. The ability to authentically forgive your trespasses and those of others is a demonstration of your commitment to living in the presence of Oneness.

It’s time to release any bitterness or resentment and become fully available as a conduit of grace and love in the world. In today’s practice, you surrender to the power of God to heal your heart, asking for Divine assistance in giving up old wounds and releasing your attachment to self-righteousness and personal justification, no matter how grievous the act. Being judgmental (of yourself and others) and holding on to past grievances block the flow of Oneness into your heart. Today, place your heart in the hands of God, and allow your soul to lead you into the peaceful, still waters—the resting place of forgiveness.

Your ego will cling to your old habits, but your soul will desire the sweet tenderness and mystical alchemy of forgiveness. Ask for God’s help in breaking through the ego’s attachment to always being on the offensive. Invoke the consciousness of Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Invite God into your relationships, and trust that the Divine is with you, doing for you what you can’t do for yourself.

Take 30 minutes today to sit in prayerful silence and reflection. Light a candle as a symbol of God’s healing power and presence. Ask God to gently guide you to the places that most need forgiveness. In your journal, write down your responses to the following: What resentments have you been harboring? What amends are you being called upon to make to yourself and others? How can you heal the “mood of unlove” in your life and relationships through the power of forgiveness?

Breathe in and breathe out. Trust your guidance and the organic, mystical alchemy of forgiveness. Continue to request God’s help in reconciling with yourself, with others, and with the world. Jot down the names of people you’re willing to forgive. With whom are you willing to make amends? Allow yourself to be guided to the perfect healing action and communication in each circumstance. There’s no right way to practice the forgiveness of Oneness. A humble and willing heart is the only requirement.

Are you willing to free yourself from the prison of separation that your resentments and judgments keep you locked in? Offer your prayers to God as you review the list of names in your journal, and wait for Divine guidance. Ask, “God, what would you have me do to heal this?” Do your part today to mend the fabric of Oneness in your life. Forgiveness is a gift—open up and receive it today!

Affirmation

I AM transforming resentments into compassion through the power and presence of Divine Love.

*** ***

Practice 29

The Humility of Oneness

“Humility, that low, sweet root
From which all heavenly virtues shoot.”
— Thomas Moore

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
— Matthew 5:5

“Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.”
— Ansari of Heart

***

Exercise

Follow the path of modesty and reverence. The humility of Oneness softens the ego’s grip on your heart and aligns you with the generosity, receptivity, and grace of the soul. When your heart is full of humility, it becomes a home to Oneness. In this state, you offer yourself as an instrument of love in service to your brothers and sisters. Through selfless devotion and donation, an all-consuming tenderness is born and offered as the salve that heals all divisions and fuses their separate powers within you.

Humility is one of the graces of the soul. It comes from the Latin words humilis and humus (“earth”) and is related to the Greek chamai (“on the ground”). This quality is a way of walking, a way of being in the world; and it requires a sense of reverence for the holy ground of your soul, the souls of others, and the soul of the earth. Nothing is below you other than the sacred path of Oneness. Humility invites you to walk with all people rather than separating yourself or holding yourself above others. When you enter into the humility of Oneness, you’re stripped of the ego’s façade of pride, arrogance, and grandiosity.

The psyche most often links humility with humiliation. This is the ego’s experience of powerlessness, making you feel like your self-esteem is threatened. However, humility is a powerful and gentle aspect of the soul. Many of the great spiritual teachers including Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Jesus, and the Dalai Lama have emphasized this trait as the doorway to liberation.

Today, spend at least 30 to 45 minutes contemplating the following questions. Write down your responses in your journal. Allow God to guide you, and be willing to hear the call for the cultivation of humility in your soul.

1. In what areas of your life would you feel humiliation if they were stripped away? For example, your job, relationships, health, finances, physical appearance, material goods, social status, personal role, and so forth.

2. What do you fear most about being humiliated? When have you felt truly humiliated? What happened?

3. How have you humiliated yourself through your own self-betrayal?

4. Why is being humble difficult or challenging?

5. What qualities would God have you develop (from within and in your life) in order to become more humble?

6. In which areas can you demonstrate more humility? What would that look like?

7. How will you serve the growing Oneness through this practice? In other words, how will you embody and demonstrate the humility of Oneness in your life today?

Watch for opportunities to choose the humility of Oneness. Remember that nothing is below you on this journey; indeed, serve the growing Oneness with powerful acts of humility.

Affirmation

I AM graced with humility in my soul and living the tenderness of Oneness in my life.

*** ***

Practice 30

The Endurance of Oneness

“Let nothing disturb thee,
Let nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth.”
— St. Teresa of Avila

“God is with those who persevere.”
— from The Koran

“To be an artist . . . means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Joan M. Burnham)

***

Exercise

Facing the dark and constricted places within is a continuous spiritual practice. The journey into Oneness asks that you bear all things, believe all things, and endure all things in service to becoming an expression and embodiment of love. This requires courage, willingness, humility, and discipline. You must give yourself and your life over and over again to Divine love, humbly offering the ways in which you fall into forgetfulness to God. In the endurance of Oneness, your life becomes your testament to the living reality of Oneness. This is a marathon, not a short sprint! In your journey into Oneness, you’ll discover endurance that you’ve never before experienced. Through this practice, your fear and illusion of separation become annihilated, and the brilliance of your soul is revealed. In the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.”

Take out your journal, and reflect on the following questions: What have you endured on your spiritual path? How has this molded or served you? In what ways have you grown? What are you learning about the endurance of Oneness? When and how do you experience the resiliency and perseverance of your soul? How do these qualities benefit the growing Oneness?

For today’s practice, spend 15 to 20 minutes outside in nature. Find a tree that you can sit or stand beside. Settle into your body and your breath. Come into communion with this beloved tree. Imagine that this living being is your guide who has been Divinely selected to teach you more about the endurance of Oneness. Reach out and touch your tree. Examine its leaves and branches. What kind of bark does it have? Can you see its roots? What special markings does it have? See its beauty and magnificence; take in the details of this living expression of Oneness. Feel your connection, your Oneness, with this sacred being.

Now take a step back to view the tree from a wider perspective. Ask the tree, “What have you endured on your journey? What has it taken for you to grow on this earth?” Listen to its lessons of endurance. How are you similar? How have you persevered just like this tree has? Trust what you hear. Has this tree endured severe storms, droughts, or earthquakes? Has it been uprooted? Have parts of it been cut down?

Ask the tree for guidance in your own life. How can it help you with a challenge or heartbreak that you’re experiencing right now? How can it fortify you with its message of perseverance? Allow it to bless you just by being in its resilient, unwavering presence. Let yourself become strong and bold like this tree, and bring the endurance of Oneness into the center of your life.

Affirmation

I AM enduring all things in love, faithfully living my vow to serve the growing Oneness.

*** ***