“We must each work out our own salvation diligently.” That is the bottom line of what I am attempting to do in spiritual practice. It’s a challenging task, no doubt, but the good news is that it’s fun, I have an amazing Sangha team to show the way and support me, and the available support tools are truly endless and mind-bogglingly good. A favorite foundational tool for me, of course, is my recorder. When I talk to my recorder, I speak about what I am seeing, and I ask the Mentor for encouragement and guidance. Here are some of the things I love about my recorder:
- It’s non-judgmental and loves me unconditionally.
- It’s always available! As long as I have batteries, we are in good shape.
- It channels the Mentor.
- I have trained myself, or perhaps we might say that Practice has trained me, to go to my recorder when life turns south. So I always have support available, especially when times are difficult.
And one of the most powerful pieces for me about recording is the encouragement not to censor “myself.” No one else is going to hear my recording, so why hold back?! Although conditioning wants to spin a story about perhaps someone finding my recorder and listening to it, the truth is that no one actually cares about my recordings except me. This is my chance to express whatever is going on, to get it out of my system, and to create an opportunity for the Mentor to give me some relevant feedback.
Just today I had a difficult interaction with someone about a charge on my credit card, and as soon as I was finished, I pulled out my recorder and expressed what was there to say. It was a great way to get the energy out of my system! And I am incredibly grateful to have this tool in my toolbox.Recording and Listening has been an integral part of the Awareness Practice opportunities we are offered. In the Yearlong Retreat we have been asked to practice with assignments to help pay attention, as well as direct the attention and then Record and Listen what we see. In workshops, too, there are places to pause, do an exercise and then record our experience and insights. These practices continue to open up more and more delight, fascination and humble gratitude as I practice.
One day while Recording and Listening, it dropped in that the guidance and reflection of Life speaking to Life was everywhere when I’m Present. Often when clarity isn’t available or there is a decision to be made, the guidance has been to ask “What would love do?” and then Record and Listen. Or if someone needed to remember they are Love and loved, to turn to a tree and ask, “Do you Love me?”, recognizing that the tree is Unconditional Love and will always respond enthusiastically with a “YES!”
It began to drop in everywhere—the awareness that everything is available to reflect and offer guidance when in Presence. The birds were chirping guidance to breathe and listen to their song and record what dropped in. The dew on the leaves offered to reflect in a two-handed recording what was feeling suspiciously like “better ideas” by ego and direct attention to the Mentor. The timer going off was a delightful call to listen to a recording that would direct the attention to whatever supports the heart.
These little gifts kept building upon each other and coming in like mist. Gratefully once again I was having the experience the Guide has mentioned before, that Awareness Practice is like walking in the mist and being fully embraced by it. One doesn’t realize they are soaked through until it has already happened. It was a wonderful reminder that the Universe is indeed friendly and there are infinite possibilities to receive guidance from Life’s prompts to Record and Listen!