By Diane Donovan-Vaughn (Sermon 05272017)

“You are multifaceted like a beautiful diamond in the rough, being polished by your life. You are everything that has occurred before in your life, a culmination of events… wonderful, horrible, and mundane. Every event has shaped you and molded you, until you are here at this very moment looking at your destiny.” (Destiny-Finding Your Way Home by D Donovan from the meditation “Destiny” – Buy the Book) Destiny Retreat 35 is June 23-35 in Sedona, Arizona.

For a moment, stop your inner voices, the labels, and the beliefs. Gaze at the world in front of you, seeing it as energy. It might feel like you are holding back a locomotive. As soon as you stop the voices and look at any part of the world around you, the first thing you notice is that you can only see the labels for what you have been told is in front of you. If you look at a desk, the brain says, desk or brown desk, or computer. At least, when you get to this moment, you are in the present rather than in the matrix of your mind. While still enmeshed in the mind’s voices, you are not interacting with the present moment, being busy creating a mental reality. As you continue staring at the world in front of you as energy, removing the labels, you will notice that the world of separation starts to fade. At that moment, the matrix of thought might begin or the separation will pop back into view and the labels begin again. Repeat the process over and over and one day you will see energy instead of labels or thoughts.

This practice will increase your ability to become mindful and it can help you to eventually connect with the energy that is your home. You are energy appearing to be trapped in matter. The desk is too. That little fading moment in front of you, the pause between your breaths can open up a view into the whole expanse of energy, which knows who you are and why you are here. The whole reason we do not know who we are and why we are here is often simply because we do not ask the energy of the one beautiful whole being that is who we are.

When you silence your mind and listen, you will hear the whisper of who you are, where to go, what to do, what to think, and why you should do it. The problem with this dense reality that appears to be separate is that it puts us to sleep inside separation. Basically, even if we remember, we forget, wake up and fall asleep over and over again.

When I wrote Destiny Retreats, I was clearing my fearful thoughts one morning and heard the script for a seminar about creating your destiny. I heard that the most important word to be included in this script is the word “Remember” because you have forgotten who and what you are and where to find yourself. Every minute you are thinking, every focus you have is imposing structure on the “reality” around you. The very first task is to observe what we are doing, how we impose labels on the world and how the voices in the head keep us lost. The next task to remember is to put aside all these current activities and allow the energy itself to guide you to your home inside, finding a focus you were destined to have, and creatin the destiny you are here to manifest.

You know you are trapped here right now, in your mind. You know you are encountering one obstacle after another. It is as if you are in a playpen on earth, being offered one challenge and temptation after another to teach you how to handle your own creative potentials.

Then, once you realize that you can create reality, the first thing that often happens is that you start changing what appears in your life. You may be able to create a whole new life that is much more fulfilling. You find more love manifests and dreams become a reality. And yet, you are still trapped here on earth inside your mind, learning to face your challenges over and over. The shamans say that it takes just as much energy to hate your life as it does to enjoy it. Enjoy your life even though trials and loss will arise.

Like the quote in the first paragraph, you are being polished. You are learning to remember love. Whatever you need to learn this lesson of love and to resist the temptation to stray from this loving path will appear for you until one day you stop the world and surrender. On that day, you find out the universe is benevolent, like a perfect parent who has been waiting for you to become mature enough to be free. On that day, you remember that love is all you have ever been and all you will ever be.

The selection for today from The Buddha is Still Teaching (Selected and Edited by Jack Kornfield) is titled “The Politics of Enlightenment” from the book Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness by Robert Thurman.

Thurman said, “It is obvious that the implementation of the politics of enlightenment is the only way to avoid planetary disaster.

“All one needs to understand the inner revolution and live the politics of enlightenment are wisdom about one’s long-term self-interest, good-humored tolerance of one’s own and others’ faults, trust in the adequacy of the environment and our fellow beings, and the courage to take up the responsibility of enlightenment.

“Buddha is as Buddha does. Just be happy. At least act enlightened. Feel enlightened. It is more pleasant, and enlightenment will follow.”

Let’s practice stopping the world.

Take a deep relaxing breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth. With each inhale, feel your life force expanding. With each exhale begin to relax. Feel yourself going deeper and deeper inside to find your true Self. Find the part of you that is observing. Tell the voices inside your head to stop. Imagine a Stop Sign and tell your thoughts to stop. As they stop, notice the place where you are sitting in the room. As your mind starts to talk about the place in the room, tell it to stop defining it for you, to stop again. Allow this moment to be pure energy, the underlying energy of the universe without a label or thought. Quickly notice any shift you feel the moment you find energy and how quickly you may return to thinking.

Keep returning your attention to energy for a second and as you do allow loving energy to rush into your whole being. Take a deep breath and relax. Remember you are energy. You are love.