Thursday, November 26, 2015

Exaltation: The Practice of Great Fullness

   Here is our Day of Giving Thanks gift to those who have given so much and so many kinds of love to August and Tim — part of a chapter from the still-in-progress book, A Risen Companion to Grief.

   What follows is the last in a series of spiritual practices that the Risen offer, not only for grief but for living, which are:
Inspiration: The Practice of Air
Circulation: The Practice of Water
Crystallization: The Practices of Earth
Illumination: The Practice of Fire
Restoration: The Practices of Spirit

Exaltation: The Practice of Great Fullness

I am the wind which breathes upon the sea, I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows, I am the ox of the seven combats,
I am the vulture upon the rocks, I am the beam of the sun,
I am the fairest of plants, I am the wild boar in valor,
I am a salmon in the water, I am a lake in the plain,
I am a word of science, I am the point of the lance of battle,
I am the God who created in the head the fire.
Who is it who throws light into the meeting on the mountain?
Who announces the ages of the moon?
Who teaches the place where couches the sun, if not I?
~ Amergin ~ (1)

Each of the previous practices can be the first door that leads into a second one of focused emotional gratitude—the awareness of great fullness—which then gives rise to joy.
Ideas about the nature and value of gratitude are increasingly being brought forth by many spiritual guides. It seems clear that encouraging and maintaining an inner posture of thankfulness is a healthy thing, and medical research and the biological sciences confirm this and continue to affirm it. However, most of the conclusions are coming to us from a mental aspect 99% of the time—meaning that we are given a lot to think about, but then thinking about it is all we do. We then erroneously believe that this thinking is actually doing it. While we may notice the 1% energy difference that is being made in our life from thinking about it, we aren’t realizing that 99% is missing. The large amount of energy that is absent is the feeling of gratefulness, which will also be presented here as “the feeling of great fullness.”
It would be redundant to say that life has been weird, because it always is. I wonder if saying life is wonderful would also be redundant at some point, because the wonder never stops. Of course it takes a conscious mind to wonder at, or even wonder if. Consciousness is wonderful but it’s also weird.    Therefore life is weird and wonderful. And so are you, and so am I. Therein is the great fullness, which we can feel as gratefulness.
Whereas before our grief might have been draining the life out of our living, we also have opportunities to experience and subsequently understand that there is no such thing as death. This will allow us to put joy back into our living, which is the meaning of “enjoy.” Many people these days seem to think that they should be getting joy out of living, but they have it backwards. Joy is something we put into living, for we are the channels for this ever-emerging energy, which is also our Source. That is, Creative Source is not only in us, but we are also Creator Source. We are the fountains through which the waters of life flow. We are the lilies and the fields and the ground from which all being and awareness of being arises and manifests.(2)
What follows is another mindfulness practice that is enhanced by a “feeling-full” aspect which becomes the channel for the outflow of joy, or enjoyment. It begins with a thought of gratitude as a doorway into the thinking mind, and then expands further into the feeling of great fullness which allows the sensation of joy to flow out of us and into the world in which we are currently living.
Like air and breathing, the substance of great fullness is always available, for it makes up our visible and invisible worlds. It is that in which we move and have our being. Feeling this substance is what opens up channels to it and keeps it flowing. The flowing is the feeling of great fullness, which is also joy. Because it’s always available, this practice is not difficult. If done enough, the only thing that might become difficult is not doing it.

The Practice:  Start with any simple thought of gratitude, which is the mental flint that sparks the flame of feeling. Because the feeling ignites so quickly, strive to quickly let go of the thought and continue to feel the feeling, as will be said so many times in this book.
For example, after having a thought such as “I am grateful for the sun” or “I have gratitude for my health” or “I am grateful for this being’s love,” immediately raise its vibration by changing it to “I feel the great fullness of the sun” or “I am feeling the great fullness of my health” or “I feel the great fullness of this being’s love.” 
All you have to do is declare that you feel—not have—but feel gratitude for anything and everything—and then feel it. Even if you weren’t thinking gratitude, announce that you do now. Use your mind to spark the flame. Do it for everything. It will bring transformation, which includes the changing of beliefs, so whether or not you believe this will work doesn’t matter. The power of Love, which is what this energy of great fullness is, removes all obstacles to Life. The only way Love can’t do this is if you stop it.

I feel the great fullness of my ever-increasing or perfect health; my perfect circulation, my perfect sinuses, my perfect lungs, my perfect spine, my perfect energy, my perfect digestion, knees, heart, etc.  Adding the word “perfect” increases the positive energy. Use other enlightening words as well to enliven and enrich the feeling. Creator Source modeled this for us from the very beginning, when It created something and then pronounced it “good and very good.” If you don’t believe this, experiment as a co-Creator and assess your own personal evidence.

I feel the great fullness of my peaceful home; the great fullness of the mysteries of a perplexing relationship; the great fullness of the potential of my job.

I feel the great fullness of the rich green of these trees; the symmetry of that blade of grass; the silky wetness of this precious rain; the warmth of the sunlight dappling on my face; the flight of that distant bird; the antics of this silly cat that make me smile; I feel the great fullness of my smile.

I feel the great fullness of this glass of clean water; the taste of this delicious yogurt; the design and shine of this interesting spoon.

I feel the great fullness of this toothbrush; the coolness of the sink; the instant running water; the underlying life of that crying baby; those laughing tourists.

All of the above suggestions are about elements and experiences we would likely label as “positive.” But what about seemingly less-than-positive, even painful things? I can also let myself feel the great fullness of a sadness; my tears; my body’s aches; the anger; the loss.

I feel the great fullness of my grief.

You get the idea. Do this as much as you can for a day, or for part of any day. Move through each day riding a wave of great fullness from dawn until dusk.
And as you’re riding the wave, begin to let yourself feel the actual energy of the wave. Realize that you’re actually entering each of these elements in the world about you, and that the feelings are flowing up and through you and out into the world, as if through a Renaissance fountain of astonishing character and dramatic detail. Flow from one thing to another with the feeling of great fullness: I am the feeling of great fullness.
I am the feeling of great fullness.

At the end of the day take the feeling of great fullness with you into sleep, whether it’s joy, sadness, relief, or a mixture of them all. I feel the great fullness of this day as it departs, to never happen again; this comfy bed; the warm embrace of the pillow; these soft sheets; the quiet darkness; the unending mystery of my life. Float on ever-more-gentle waves into your world of dreams, bringing peaceful joy, the slowing down of your energies, an awareness of the light dimming with consciousness.
And then strive to remember to express an awareness of gratitude upon awakening and before getting out of bed.
Walt Whitman’s poetry reveals that he often moved through the world with an awareness of his own great fullness, which he experienced as a song of himself: (3)
“… The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air
through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dark-color’d sea-rocks,
and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.” (4)
Mindfully move with conscious purpose through the great substance of Life—feel its great fullness and your own existence will become a living poem. Try adding the word “feel” in some way to the quote of Amergin’s ancient declarations and share the experience that Life is, while death can never be.
As we continue to mindfully progress together with our Risen loved ones, it becomes possible to discover that our world and The Summerland—and indeed, many worlds—interact together with the greatest of ongoing intimacies. These interactions have been happening all along, ever since the day we entered this particular material realm, and will continue to do so when we finally leave and move beyond it. This all may sound paradoxical, mysterious, and even mystical—because it all is.

(1) This poem is ascribed to Amergin, an ancient Irish druid-prince.
(2) “Consider the lilies of the field ...”. — Matthew 26:28
(3) Walt Whitman was known to be intensely interested in spiritualism, and felt that he had the potential to be a spirit medium. It’s been noted that he tried to develop as one but for various reasons became discouraged and doubtful about his gifts, although he never stopped believing in the reality of mediumship. – AG
(4) Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman, 1892.

© 2015 August Goforth