• Thu. Oct 1st, 2020

Days 31-40

The Proof: Practices 31-40

Practice 31 (Thursday, October 14)

The Communion of Oneness

“The human energy field embodies a collective wisdom that celebrates the divine wisdom of all. Therefore, to live in communion and union, we must embrace diversity as a brother as passionately as we embrace earth as our mother.” — Micheal Teal

“If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude.” — St. Angela of Foligno

“There is a partnership, a communion between you and the land, between the land and you. This runs deep beneath the streets, deep beneath the buildings, deep throughout and beneath the seas.” — Sharon McErlane

***

Exercise

As a result of undergoing the purification into Oneness, everything is revealed as Divine. Heaven and Earth are united in the communion of Oneness—as above, so below . . . the inside as the outside, and the two into one. This is a unification of the mystical and the real. You receive your Divine inheritance, which is a radiantly awakened heart and radically embodied experience of the all-powerful presence of love. In the communion of Oneness, you’re consumed by love—Lover, Beloved, and Love are one.

For today’s practice, you’re invited to express your gratitude for the blessing of the communion of Oneness. In the Christian tradition, the Eucharist (which means “to give thanks”) is a celebration of Oneness, an expression of your union with God, with your soul, with others, and with all life. You’re invited to prepare a Eucharistic meal, a sacrament to celebrate and show your gratitude for the profound interconnectivity of life. This is the communion of Oneness: God and humanity coming together, God and “flesh” . . . the flesh of wheat, wine, sunshine, soil, water, human ingenuity, stars, supernovas, galaxies, storms, fireballs.

Decide what kind of food and drink you’d like to prepare for your celebration of Oneness. You may wish to stay with tradition and choose wine and bread, or you may want to prepare milk and honey in remembrance of the promised land. Your meal may include a piece of fruit and sparkling water, fresh juice and chocolate, edible flowers and rose water, hot tea and biscotti, and so on. Allow yourself to freely create in ways that nourish your soul and express your gratitude for the living Oneness.

Prepare each item mindfully, giving thanks as you bless each morsel and utensil you touch. Be fully present to the sacredness of this celebration. When your meal is ready, sit in silence and stillness. With each sip and bite, know that you’re consuming and being consumed by the living Oneness. Give thanks for the reality of your deep communion with Life. Feel the sacred tremoring of the cosmos within and the wildfire of love burning inside you, and become alive in this communion of Oneness.

As you move through the day, carry this feeling with you. In other words, be in communion with all people; with nature; with animals; and with the sun, moon, and stars. Celebrate this holy union everywhere you go . . . with every step, breath, touch, and glance. Be a walking, breathing temple of communion. Know that the universe loves you unconditionally and is constantly offering itself to you in the most intimate ways. Reflect on the following passage from Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh by spiritual teacher Matthew Fox, and celebrate your communion with Oneness:

The Eucharist is heart food from the cosmos—the “mystical body of Christ” and the Cosmic Christ or Buddha nature found in all beings in the universe—to us. Christ is the light of the world, which we now know is made only of light. Flesh is light and light is flesh. We eat, drink, sleep, breathe, and love that light. The Eucharist is also our hearts expanding and responding generously: “Yes, we will.” We will carry on the heart-work called compassion, the work of the cosmos itself.

Carry on your “heart-work” of love and compassion, and affirm your vow to serve the growing Oneness by saying, “Yes, I will!”

Affirmation

I AM loving life, and life is loving me in the communion of Oneness.

*** ***

Practice 32

The Community of Oneness

“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.” — George Bernard Shaw

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; and there can be no community without vulnerability; and there can be no peace—ultimately no life—without community.” — M. Scott Peck

***

Exercise

The community of Oneness is the manifestation of the beloved community, where everyone is interconnected and interdependent. We work together to meet the needs of all, living in global sufficiency rather than individual excess. It’s a community that lives and breathes Jesus’s commandment to truly and continually love one another. The beloved community is a living expression of the vows of oneness: to protect and care for each other and be a source of compassion and strength as we become instruments of love in service to the growing Oneness.

Your practice today is to enter the circle of love by living the vows of the community of Oneness everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity or staying in your comfort zone, perceive and receive this Divine wisdom every day. Expand your heart and exclude no one. The world community of Oneness is manifesting in the here-and-now as you practice these vows:

1. Love others with a love that is both fierce and tender.

2. Watch over and care for others as you would the “pupil of your own eye.”

3. Be a sanctuary of compassion and a source of strength for all.

Write these vows on an index card and place them in your pocket. Or keep them where they’re easily seen, such as on your mirror or refrigerator or even as the screen saver on your computer. Read them often. Make it your intention to be an instrument of love in the world by expressing these vows in all of your endeavors.

At the end of the day, take some time to contemplate and write about your experiences in your journal. What do these words mean to you? How do you practice these vows? What does it look like to love others with tenderness? With fierceness? What does it mean to care for others as an extension of yourself—that is, like “the pupil of your own eye,” as stated in the Bible? How do you create a sanctuary of compassion? Are you a source of strength for others?

Finally, as you feel your own longing to return to the community of Oneness, reflect on this inspiring passage by author and activist Starhawk (from her book Dreaming the Dark):

We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been—a place, half-remembered, and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.

Affirmation

I AM expanding my circle of love, becoming a sanctuary of compassion and a source of strength for everyone I meet.

*** ***


Practice 33

The Discipleship of Oneness

“This world is nothing but a school of love; our relationships with our husband or wife, with our children and parents, with our friends and relatives are the university in which we are meant to learn what love and devotion truly are.” — Swami Muktananda

“Nature is school-mistress, the soul the pupil; and whatever one has taught or the other learned has come from God—the Teacher of the teacher.” — Tertullian

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro

***

Exercise

In the discipleship of Oneness, we consciously live the reality and truth that we are sons and daughters of a living God. We know for certain that the entire world is conspiring to wake us up to the living Oneness. We are members of the global community and express the highest manifestation of love. Through our unconditional compassion and willingness to serve one another, we’re resurrected in our individual and collective wholeness. We become the holy salve—the teachers, guides, and healers as we walk the razor’s edge of integrity in the practice of Oneness. We recognize each other as the face, voice, eyes, ears, and hands of God; and in our walk together, we discover the way . . . the truth that is Love.

In the discipleship of Oneness, the world is your school. Your community—friends, family members, children, co-workers, and peers—is your teacher. And your life experiences are your lessons. Your holy curriculum for the embodiment of Oneness is here now! Look at your life. What is it telling you? What is it teaching you? What new aspects of Oneness is it inviting you to explore, express, and embody? What are your challenges? Your blessings? Who or what are you having difficulty embracing as an expression of Oneness? How are you being called upon to grow? What is rising to your awareness?

For today’s practice, begin your day in the consciousness of discipleship. Be willing to receive the holy curriculum of Oneness that’s presented to you. Pay attention to what’s persistently inviting you into greater awareness and wholeness. The universe loves you dearly and is constantly conspiring to bring you into the living consciousness of Oneness. Everything (and everyone) has been sent to awaken you, to teach you, to heal you, and to transform you. Are you willing to be a student of Oneness today? Be on the lookout for the threads of learning that when woven together make a beautiful tapestry—this is your Divine curriculum, your sacred contract . . . this is the discipleship of Oneness.

Take 20 to 30 minutes to complete the following statements. Write quickly, tapping into your stream of consciousness; don’t stop or edit your words. Spend approximately two to three minutes on each statement.

• I am being invited to heal . . .
• I am being invited to forgive . . .
• I am being invited to surrender . . .
• I am being invited to become . . .
• I am being invited to express . . .
• I am being invited to create . . .
• I am being invited to expand . . .

Trust what you receive and what you know. Have faith in the guidance that’s coming to you. Dive in, and keep it simple and clear. Cut through complexity and confusion, and discover your holy curriculum of Oneness.

Affirmations

I AM a disciple of the school of Oneness, embracing my holy curriculum.

I AM engaging Life as my teacher.

*** ***

Practice 34

The Vision of Oneness

“Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps, then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear, amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope.” — Albert Camus

“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” — Hafsat Abiola

“I lived on the shady side of the road and watched my neighbours’ gardens across the way revelling in the sunshine. I felt I was poor, and from door to door went with my hunger. The more they gave me from their careless abundance the more I became aware of my beggar’s bowl. Till one morning I awoke from my sleep at the sudden opening of my door, and you came and asked for alms. In despair I broke the lid of my chest open and was startled into finding my own wealth.” — Rabindranath Tagore

***

Exercise

In the vision of Oneness, all of our needs are met. We feel inspired and offer our essential gifts in service to Oneness. Conflicts and differences are embraced as a doorway to the expansion of love. Every person knows who they are, where they’ve come from, and why they’re here. This is a world where we experience a deep sense of belonging and a profound connection to Earth. The vision of Oneness is the complete embodiment of our sacred vow to love one another—where our attitude and actions are sourced in compassion. This is the vision of Oneness in the words of Black Elk: “The continents of the world and the people shall stand as one. We will communicate with our relatives—beast and bird—as one people. We shall know peace in everything.”
Today’s practice asks that you step out into the world and look upon it with awareness and discernment. Be in the world, not of it. Watch and witness. Look at the people at the grocery store, the bank, at the traffic light, at church, and at the office. Observe children, elderly people, the homeless, young adults, and middle-aged folks. Examine all of these faces; look into their eyes. How are they? How aren’t they? Think about all of the unborn babies. Is this a world that will serve them? Do you think this world works for everyone?

Go outside and look at the animals, flowers, plants, and trees that live among you. Think about the rivers, lakes, oceans, valleys, and mountains. How are they? How aren’t they? Is this a world that serves them? Be willing to see and feel. Be willing to cut through the veil of illusion. Pay attention to what is and isn’t working. How is the vision of Oneness unfolding (or wanting to unfold) in each experience and in each person?

Now find a place to sit and be still for a while: a park bench, a busy mall, a coffee shop, a sidewalk curb. With every breath you take and with every person you see, ask yourself, How is the vision of Oneness unfolding? Is this a world that truly works for all? Listen and learn. Feel the truth speak to you as you look upon the world with unconditional love and compassion.

Now take out your journal and reflect on the following questions. Gently place them in your awareness, and allow the vision of Oneness to speak to you. Write down whatever responses you receive. You may wish to jot down a few words or phrases or write out longer, more detailed descriptions. Choose whatever method will serve you in your growing awareness.

1. What is God’s vision of Oneness for your life and for the world?
2. How can you serve this vision?
3. How can you consciously contribute to creating a world that works for all?
4. What essential gifts and wisdom do you have to contribute?
5. Whom do you need to become to serve the growing Oneness?
6. What inspired action are you being called to take?

It’s important to contemplate each question, and be patient. Open yourself to the voice of inspired guidance; and be willing to hear, see, and know the truth—right here, right now. Feel inspired and guided by the vision of Oneness today.

Affirmation

I AM serving the vision of Oneness, co-creating a world that works for all.

*** ***

Practice 35

The Ministry of Oneness

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” — The Buddha

“To me, true service is an experience of wholeness, fulfillment, fullness, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency for all parties—an experience of the magnificence and infinite capacity of human beings. When I’m really in service, I disappear.” — Lynne Twist

“Once you have found your relationship to God, you need never look around for work.” — Muriel Lester

***

Exercise

Today your mission is to love God and serve Oneness with your devotion to being an instrument of compassion and grace in the world. This is your creative participation in the blessed nature of God. You are a servant of the “one work”—to manifest a world that serves and benefits all. Make it your vow today to be the midwife and “birther” of Divinely inspired creations. Offer your services with a humble heart and ecstatic surrender. In the ministry of Oneness, you become a flame of the life-giving fire lit up by joy, peace, love, compassion, inspiration, gnosis, and creative bliss. Act in accordance with Divine Providence for the highest good of all. This is your conscious participation in unfolding the life of God by cultivating gratitude, vision, and service.

For today’s practice, remember the words of Mother Teresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” The following exercises are simple and provide you with an opportunity to cultivate your ministry of Oneness . . . one moment, one prayer, and one act at a time, with great love.

Cultivating gratitude: In your journal, write down one thing that you’re grateful for every day. Keep a running list. At the end of the week, create a ritual in which you read all of the items and offer your gratitude to the Divine for all of the blessings of Oneness in your life.

Cultivating vision: Spend a full minute today in loving communion with something in nature. This could be a rock, leaf, tree, cloud, wind, dirt, flower, bug, bird, and so forth. Give your complete attention, and allow yourself to fully perceive Oneness contained in this creation.

Cultivating service: Engage in one intentional, loving act of service for another person today. For example, this could include making a friendly phone call, writing a cheerful letter, preparing an extra plate of food or folding laundry for someone else, or offering a listening ear. Offer your service from a place of unconditional love, in service to the growing Oneness.

Actively share your unconditional presence and love today!

Affirmation

I AM sharing my unconditional presence and love today, serving the ministry of Oneness.

*** ***

Practice 36

The Kingdom of Oneness

“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.” — St. John of Damascus

“Jesus said: If your leaders say to you ‘Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!’ Then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.” — from the Gospel of Thomas (translated by Stevan Davies)

“The ‘kingdom of Heaven’ is a condition of the heart—not something that comes ‘above the earth’ or ‘after death.’” — Friedrich Nietzsche

***

Exercise

We live in communion and radical intimacy with life. We experience Divine Love as infinite, ecstatically gathering up all things into an ever-higher and more rarified union. This is the kingdom of Oneness—the endless upward spiral of love, joy, and peace. As citizens in this Divine kingdom, we experience the grace that accompanies an inner harmony with our souls that automatically creates perfect balance with life itself.

Today’s practice is a moving meditation that simply invites you to perceive and receive the kingdom of Oneness that’s within you. The kingdom of Oneness is above and below you. It’s behind you and before you . . . to your left and to your right. Feel the truth of these words, and take a moment to fully experience this: close your eyes and bring your attention to your indwelling heart-soul. Breathe life into this kingdom. Feel the presence. Feel the power. Know the beauty of this kingdom. Whisper these words to your heart: “The kingdom is within me, the kingdom of Oneness is within me, the kingdom of Heaven is within me, the kingdom of God is within me, the kingdom of love is within me.” Breathe in, breathe out, and sink ever-more deeply into the Divine kingdom that lives within you.

Once you’ve fully connected internally, open your eyes and look around. Feel the kingdom within you as you see the kingdom outside of you. Whisper these words: “The kingdom is within me, the kingdom is outside of me, the kingdom surrounds and enfolds me.” Continue with the regular tasks of your day, remaining in the “kingdom consciousness.” Perceive and receive all that is above, below, behind, before, to the left, and to the right as the kingdom of Oneness. With everyone you meet, silently say, I am you and you are me.

Look upon everything and everyone as a member of the kingdom of Oneness. Notice when this challenges you and when it’s easy to do. When you encounter a difficulty or feel strained, ask the Divine to dissolve your separation and fill your mind with love and compassion. Become willing! Continue this practice for the entire day, immersing yourself in the kingdom consciousness as you attend to others and the activities and events that make up your day. With each breath, step, and prayer, you’re advancing the kingdom of Oneness.

At the end of your day, take out your journal and reflect on the following questions as a demonstration of your commitment to living in Oneness, now and always.

1. What are your Divine responsibilities as a citizen in the kingdom of Oneness?
2. How can you cultivate the kingdom consciousness within you?
3. In what ways can you be a fruitful lover of God and messenger of Heaven in your life?
4. How will you create an upward spiral of joy and love in the kingdom of Oneness?

Affirmation

I AM living in the kingdom of Oneness—above, below, behind, before, to the left, and to the right—I AM, I AM, I AM!

*** ***

Practice 37

The Intimacy of Oneness

“When fear dissolves, you no longer separate yourself from this single flow of immense force. Love is continuity with infinite life force, a Oneness of being with no separation. [Love is the key to] opening to this flow of life force.” — David Deida

“The value of the personal relationship to all things is that it creates intimacy . . . and intimacy creates understanding . . . and understanding creates love.” — Anaïs Nin

“Long seeking it through others,
I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.” — T?zan (translated by Katsuki Sekida)

***

Exercise

The intimacy of Oneness is a sacred and holy place. It is the I-Thou relationship with all life, a living namaste—perceiving, receiving, and honoring the Divine light in one another. When we’re humbled in our humanity and glorified in our divinity, we become infused with the realization: I am in you, you are in me, and ours is a most sacred union. We simultaneously experience the ultimate vulnerability and ecstatic blessing of Oneness. We expand our knowing of ourselves and of one another. We experience the love and desire that the universe has for us and the attraction and allure we have for it. We share an ever-more intimate dance in the kingdom of Oneness. We make love to each moment through our uninhibited expression of the Oneness that is. We become the beloved, the lover, the consort, and the companion. This is the romance of our lifetime: the love affair with the living, waking, breathing God. This is the intimacy of Oneness.

Today you’re invited to explore the rapture and radiance of being alive. This is the moment—right now—for your full surrender to love. This is your solemn vow: to be a radical lover in the world and to live in the intimacy of Oneness. Moment to moment, you choose whether to wake up or remain asleep—don’t be a dead fish in the ocean of God.

Approach your day without holding back: Choose to live and love with an unguarded heart. Before you rise in the morning, take a moment to pause and connect with your heart. Feel your heartbeat. Feel your breath as you watch your chest rise and fall. Feel your body, your flesh, your bones. Feel the blood coursing through your veins. Experience the sacred intimacy you have with your own magnificent self. What are you sensing? What are you thinking about? What are you wanting? Tune in to your internal awareness.

As you get ready in the morning, move slowly, maintaining a graceful connection with your breath, body, and actions. As you shower, feel your skin, muscles, and bones. Be present with your own Divine temple. Allow yourself to touch and be touched with the items around you: a smooth bar of soap, a plush towel, a silky tie, worn denim jeans, soft cashmere socks. Feel the sensations of intimacy all around you.

As you glance in the mirror, look into your eyes. What do you see? Breathe in and breathe out. Take in the image of Oneness that meets you in the mirror. Give yourself time to become fully present in this moment. Feel your own Divine human presence. Whisper “I love you” as you gaze at yourself. Feel the depth of your connection to your soul. Breathe in and breathe out. Experience all of the emotions that accompany this intimacy. Are you touched and grateful or resistant and critical? Just notice everything without judgment or analysis.

Continue with your day; and practice being intimate with everything you touch, taste, hear, see, and smell. Commune with an orange, tango with a flagpole, soar with an eagle, whistle with a bird, coo with a baby . . . permit yourself to explore the realm of radical intimacy. Be a fool for intimacy’s sake! Become fully available—“naked” and vulnerable—to life. Embrace all that arrives to greet you, and be alive and joyful.

Now extend this intimacy to those around you. Be willing to experience others as they truly are. Look beyond the masks, the roles that people play. See into the heart of another, and be open to the life force that exists between you. Feel the I AM presence move you into greater awareness and ever-more fulfilling experiences of the intimacy of Oneness.

Take out your journal, and spend about 30 minutes reflecting on the following questions as a demonstration of your devotion to embracing the intimacy of Oneness:

1. How can I create more intimacy with myself, with God, with others, and with life? What small yet powerful steps can I take?

2. What would loving with an “unguarded heart” look like in my life?
3. How can I calm my fears and soften my heart so that I’m more available to the intimacy of Oneness?

4. How can I move into a more vulnerable and open experience of intimacy with others?

5. What do I need to release? What should I embrace?

6. How would living in the intimacy of Oneness bless me? Bless others?

7. Finish this statement: “The intimacy of Oneness I long for is . . . ”

While you’re lying in bed tonight, say a prayer. Ask the Divine Beloved to work with your heart and soul as you sleep, delivering you to the promised land, the intimacy of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM waking up, experiencing the ecstatic nourishment and the radical intimacy of Oneness in life.

*** ***

Practice 38

The Prayer of Oneness

“I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.” — Mother Teresa

“Pray without ceasing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:17

“The man whose prayer is so pure that he never asks God for anything does not know who God is, and does not know who he is himself: for he does not know his own need of God.” — Thomas Merton

***

Exercise

You are a living prayer of Oneness. Your entire being is medicine—the “manna” for others. You live in communion and pray without ceasing. You are a channel of love and grace in the world.

Today’s practice has three parts. The first part invites you to be in constant conversation with God everywhere you are and everywhere you go. Engage in this dialogue just as you would with a dear friend, which God is. Place your awareness on the presence of God, and feel yourself naturally drawn into an ever-flowing conversation. Make the Divine your constant companion. How does practicing the presence of God transform you? Your life?

The second part of this practice asks you to become an embodiment of prayer: a living, breathing, walking, talking, eating, sleeping prayer. Your prayerful presence is all that’s necessary to achieve this. Make everything you do a prayer by devoting all of your actions (and inactions) to serving the growing Oneness. Remember that you’re standing on holy ground—the “ground” of your own being—right where you are in this very moment. Fan the flames of love, the Divine spark within you, and become a living prayer of Oneness. Allow this prayer by St. Teresa of Avila to inspire you:

Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.

The final part of today’s practice involves becoming aware of the unspoken prayer that lives in the center of your heart. In the words of author and spiritual teacher Dr. Matthew Robertson: “There is a prayer that lives in the center of your heart. If you pray it, it will change your life. How does it begin?” What is the prayer that lives within your heart that when uttered will change your life?

At the end of the day, sit in silence and loving communion with God. Breathe and become still and centered. Enter the temple of your heart. Listen to the sound of your unique inner drumbeat. There’s a prayer waiting to be heard. What is it? Allow yourself to speak it freely now. This is your prayer of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM a living prayer of Oneness in constant communion with God and all life.

*** ***

Practice 39

The Journey of Oneness

“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.” — St. Teresa of Avila

“The great and rare mystics of the past . . . were, in fact, ahead of their time, and are still ahead of ours. In other words, they most definitely are not figures of the past. They are figures of the future.” — Ken Wilber

“When you wake up to the Divine Consciousness within you and your divine identity, you wake up simultaneously to the Divine Consciousness appearing as all other beings. And this is not poetry and this is not a feeling, this is a direct experience of the divine light living in and as all other beings. And until this realization is firm in you, you do not know who or where you are.” — Andrew Harvey

***

Exercise

This is a journey to the infinite—there’s no ending or beginning. When we find ourselves arriving at one station of Oneness, it is but a start to another endless and boundless journey into ever higher, greater, and more embodied states of Oneness. We’re brought into the dimension of infinite transformation and transfiguration. This is the voyage of God becoming God in and through all of creation.

This practice leads you to recognize the paradox of the journey into Oneness. It is the awesome, holy, and sometimes baffling place of “both/and.” In other words, you are Divine and you are becoming Divine. You are One and you are becoming One. You are whole and you are becoming whole. There’s nowhere to go and everywhere to go. The journey is now and the journey is infinite. We are home and we are going home. What happens when you hold these seemingly opposing ideas as aspects of the One essential truth?

For today’s practice, meditate and reflect on the following passage from the Song of Songs 2:13:

The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come away!

Hallelujah! Yes, you’ve ripened on your journey into Oneness. You’re being called to continue . . . to arise and come away! As you spiral into Oneness, you’ll discover that you can always rise higher; there are greater states of Oneness to embody. Saint Gregory of Nyssa said: “The divine course is never exhausted. We must therefore constantly arouse ourselves and never stop drawing closer and closer in our course. For as often as He says Arise and Come, He gives us the power to rise and make progress.”

Spend about 30 minutes reflecting and praying about the following questions. Write your responses in your journal. Embrace and celebrate the “both/and” aspects of the journey into Oneness.

1. How has Oneness ripened within you and your life?

2. How has Oneness blossomed in your relationships?

3. What fragrance is being released in and through your presence?

4. What are the qualities—the fruits of your journey into Oneness—that are being expressed in your life?

5. How will you celebrate your journey into Oneness thus far?

6. What new aspect of your journey is being initiated?

7. What is calling you to “arise and come”?

8. In what areas of your life can you further express the consciousness of Oneness? For example, relate this to your relationships, your career, your health, your finances, your creativity, and your sexuality.

You may also wish to experiment by drawing spirals in your journal or making Möbius strips as symbols to activate meditations on your journey of Oneness.

Affirmation

I AM transforming from glory to glory, becoming that which I already am, birthing divinity in my soul.

*** ***

Practice 40

The Mystery of Oneness

“Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” — Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Joan M. Burnham)

“All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The mystery of God holds you in its all-encompassing arms.” — Hildegard of Bingen

***

Exercise

Today you’ll take communion with the ultimate mystery—the holy place, the “cave within the heart”—where you simultaneously experience the center of the universe and your soul. This is the mystery of Oneness: your direct, unmediated marriage with the Divine and your intuitive knowing of the transcendent, imminent Presence. Through your impassioned devotion and discipline to the 40 practices, you’ve reconnected the radiant heart of Oneness to the living mystic within you. You’ve been consummated in the love of God and immersed in its mysteries. You’re invited to step into your essential nature: a skilled practitioner in the art of establishing, embodying, and expressing a conscious connection with the mystery of Oneness.

There have been many names attributed to the Great Mystery. Mystics, saints, and sages throughout time have described it in their poetry, music, art, and writing. Reflect for a moment on the following names. Which ones resonate with your wise inner knowing? What do you call the mystery of Oneness?

• The Hidden Heaven
• The Eternal
• Radiant Darkness
• Holy Nothingness
• The Numinous
• The Tremendous Mystery
• The Unknown Unknowable
• The Cloud of Unknowing
• The Inconceivable
• The Kingdom
• The I Am Beyond I AM
• The Luminous
• The Holy
• The Veiled Face of God
• The Way
• The Cosmic Mystery
• The Great Ultimate
• The Vast All-Encompassing
• The Magnificent
• The One
• The Alpha and The Omega

Today’s practice invites you to experience your unique connection to the divinity contained in all things. This requires you to rid your mind of old images and concepts, and experience the mystery of life from a beginner’s perspective, free from limitations and past associations. This clears the way for you to have a direct encounter with “a nothing and a nowhere” that will lead directly to the unfathomable experience of God. You need to become like a child again: open, curious, innocent, and available.

Today’s practice takes you out of your day-to-day surroundings and into the natural world in order to partake in the mystery of Oneness. Nature is one of your most powerful access points to the mind-blowing, awe-inspiring mystery of God. Ponder this as you experience God’s holy creation. Observe and appreciate the unknown that’s contained and infused in all things. Allow your fixed perceptions to dissolve, and see with the eyes of love and compassion. Look upon everything with wonder and awe. Experience life as if it were brand-new. See, hear, taste, touch, and smell for the first time. Behold the vast sacredness that surrounds you, and enter the awesome mystery of the universe.

Plan your excursion into what Matthew Fox calls the “primal sacraments”: the sea, land, wind, fire, life, and the universe itself. Whether you spend 30 minutes or an entire day in nature is up to you. Create an experience that will honor your inner mystic and nourish your soul’s longing for intimate communion with Oneness. What aspect or area of nature is drawing you to it? Where will you go to enter the “cave of your heart”? It’s been said that St. Francis of Assisi often sought out caves to pray in. Where will you take refuge to pray with the mystery of Oneness?

As you spend time in nature, revel and marvel at the mystery. Be receptive to all that’s holy, and fall in love with the universe, with all of creation. Be enraptured. Allow yourself to shudder, tremble, and tremor with the awesome mystery of life. Feel, sense, be, and come alive! Breathe in the life and love around you. Feel the universe loving you as you love the universe; enter this intimate relationship with wild abandon and complete surrender. Become intensely attracted to and immensely allured by all that surrounds you. Allow the mystery to enter you. Experience God flowing into you, as captured by C. S. Lewis: “Something of God . . . flows into us from the blue of the sky, the taste of honey, the delicious embrace of water whether cold or hot, and even from sleep itself.”

Be fascinated. Perceive the luminous mystery. Allow your soul to gaze upon the mystery without any veils. As Yeshua said: “Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.” Allow the mystery of Oneness to be revealed to you.
At the end of your day, take time to reflect and write about your experience in your journal. Like the mystics who have come before you, consider expressing your direct encounter and perception of the mystery of Oneness with words, songs, symbols, movements, stories, and art.

Affirmations

I AM part of God’s vast and holy creation, one indivisible, Divine mind.

I AM the mystery of oneness unfolding.

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