THOUGHT – I am responsible for my thoughts.

January 4th -

We are responsible for our thoughts.  Our thoughts are the triggers of our feelings.  We may have once believed that we had no control over what we think, but we now know that we do have the ability to change our thinking.  While we may not be able to stop a particular thought before it comes, we certainly can decide what to do with once we think it.  Anytime a negative or unwanted thought comes to us, we can decide to change our mind.  We can say to our inner guide “I do not want this thought”.  We can request “Give me a true thought”. This simple idea is marvelously effective.  So, today, whenever fearful thoughts occur let us just say no to those thoughts let Spirit replace them with ideas that uplift us.  Right now, let’s take responsibility for our thinking, making a commitment to change it.

BELIEF – I am responsible for my beliefs.

January 3rd-

My beliefs are the origins of my thoughts.  Somewhere a long time ago, I got the belief that I am alone and on my own.  This belief has grown and reproduced itself in a variety of other beliefs that really reflect the original belief.  I have believed in the ultimate isolation of life, I have believed in lack, I have believed that I am less than…I have believed in the unreliability of God to care for me…today, I know that these are erroneous beliefs.  I know that they are the cause of the distressful thoughts, which trigger feelings of fear, which motivate me to act aggressively or sit paralyzed.  From now on, every time one of these beliefs shows itself, I will nullify it with an affirmation…I will say “My father and I are one” I will think “If God be with me, of whom shall I be afraid”.  I will believe: “I am one with my Source”.  From this belief will come only abundance, only good, only love.

DAY – I am responsible for my day.

January 2nd -

Staying aware, in the present moment we can see clearly that we are in charge of our lives. We may not be responsible for some past events or circumstances but we are certainly responsible for what we do right now.  Clearly every belief, thought, feeling, and action is under our direct supervision.  We can also see that where we are right now is the result of every thought, word, action or inaction that we have participated in up until now.  It does not help us to blame circumstances and events for our present reality.  We have an internal locus of control; we get to decide what to do. It’s no one else’s fault, we can stop blaming parents, teachers, friends, enemies or anyone else for our troubles.  This may seem rather fearful at first, but I understand that this frees us to create the life we really want.

EXPECTATIONS – I am expectant.

January 1st -

Trials and troubles come every day, we accept them and then move on.  We may worry about the challenges and outcomes involved in the impending endeavor of amends.  Perhaps we have been projecting on how future encounters will play out but this is not helpful.   We may be anxious or concerned about the outcome of a particular amend.   These thoughts are really negative prayers and they interfere with the process.  More importantly when we worry about outcomes we have gotten ahead of ourselves.  Let us focus on the task at hand and let the future take care of itself. When worry or anxiety come let us recognize that this is just the mind wandering, remind ourselves that it’s no big deal, let them go without judgment and then move on.

JOINED – I am joined with all of life.

December 31st -

Life is the unity that we don’t have to join to be joined with! The unity of all life just is.  All suffering comes from our inability or unwillingness to accept our ultimate Oneness.  It is in our delusion that we are small separate selves that we have found our pain.  We have sought pleasure to forget our alone-ness, we have attempted to avoid the consequences of our perceived separateness; all to no avail. Only through our practice do we awaken from the delusion.  We wake up from the nightmare of self-centeredness.  We recognize that we are not alone and never really have been.  Surrendering ego efforts to the combined strength our fellows, we found a faith that assured us could be brought back to our original state.  We have found a Will that is more beneficial than our self-will.  We examined ourselves in the light of wisdom, trusting in the understanding of the Dharma we found the obstacles to our happiness. Ready for transformation we prayed for our infantile proclivities to mature into assets of character. Taking responsibility for life we forgave and where appropriate we asked for forgiveness. Learning to stay in the present moment, we became more and more able to connect with the larger Organism and act in a way that is beneficial to every living thing.   In this way we woke to Unity, and in this way, we continue to practice for it is easy to go back to sleep.  We go forward, moment by moment, no longer making decisions for ourselves alone because we now know that we are not.

BRIGHT – I am bright.

December 30th -

The light of Buddha nature shines in and through us. This essence of us that is greater than the small self, the ego identity, the personality… this is the real Self. We cultivate our awareness of our true nature by extending love and service into all that we do.  This, of course, is our perfect self which is an ideal that we probably won’t maintain for any extended period.  We can however experience moments of perfection in our practice and with that practice extend those moments. When we give ourselves to this light we take on the holy shine of it.  Brilliance reflects from us whether we are sitting quietly or working diligently. Clear in our thoughts and our words, this love flows out from us in a dazzling display. This is the practical enlightenment that helps bring us all into glow of our common Buddhahood.

PREDICT – I am expectant.

December 29th -

We can predict good outcomes.  Let us look to our assumptions; it is easy to fall into negative conjecture.  We can become locked into cycles negative outlook. Today we can take advantage of our awakening hearts and assume that love will happen.  Love is happening and will happen.  We can pre-suppose that no matter what the situation seems to be that there is a good outcome available. This is not conjecture, but rather the supposition that Goodwill is always present and available to our choosing. More than hope, this outlook is a faith in the presence of the common welfare.  Unity is our shared refuge, it is always there waiting for us to notice and participate. The Ground of All Being is the field of infinite possibility and it is always ready to deliver that which we expect.  Our choice for good, will deliver good.  This is not to say that there won’t be experience that does not seem good; rather that we should remain firm in the faith that good will always be available.  Good is always in the present moment when we practice awareness with acceptance.  Peace and equanimity will continue to be good outcomes.

EXHILARATED – I am thrilled with life.

December 28th -

Holding our attention on the present moment, we connect with life.  Today let us attempt to feel the thrill of just being alive. We can cultivate our curiosity about what is happening right now.  Develop a sense of not knowing; a feeling of anticipation of what exciting thing is going to happen next. We are poised on the brink of some great happening right now.  This great happening could be just a pleasant encounter with an acquaintance, a reunion with a long-lost friend, regenerating a great old passion or falling headlong in love with some new person.  Let us get at least a little bit fired up considering all of the wonderful prospects. Participate in the excitement. Don’t get intoxicated but do enjoy all the happiness you can generate. All of this exhilaration will actually power us through the day, moving from one task to the next, joyfully anticipating the next great happening.

EBULLIENT – I am cheerful in my purpose.

December 27th-

Our purpose and our abundance cannot be separated.  Our purpose is indeed our happiness.  When we forget that the two is really one, we cheat ourselves and others.  Ignorance is no excuse, because in this context it just means that we are ignoring the pull of purpose, we are mindlessly dallying with meager substitutes for fulfillment.  If we fool ourselves into accepting the false comfort of fantasy or some other escape, we will never find happiness.  We really do have a job to do, a job that is not a burden but rather a privilege and a joy.  We have a vocation that will deliver ebullience and great pleasure.  The specifics of this vocation will be found in our individual meditation and exploration, but in general we are built for service.  We revel in being helpful. Our purpose is to create and in the creating find great satisfaction. So, take cheer, go forth and give.

FORM – I am forming my life.

December 26th -

Everything we do adds to the form of our lives.  From the formless of the mind into the form of the material world all of our thoughts contribute to the quality of life.  Being (God, Dharma, Life) has invested us with various attributes that can benefit those around us.  Our work and play can be creative activities that hone our skills and also deliver the fruit of our labor to ourselves and others.  Let us establish ourselves firmly in the principles of love, extending ourselves into our activities in the most beneficial way. Abundance and prosperity come directly from sharing our good gifts with those around us.  Today let us inaugurate a new, sharper focus on being creative.  Let us practice our arts to the point that they become an integral part of our very constitution.