Group: Nashville TeaM
Ham: Greetings, children, I am happy you have chosen this evening and have honored me with your presence tonight. I am Ham and I am your teacher/friend. Once more we shall discuss the stillness and the importance of creating time to practice.
When your lives are pressured and hurried, then your schedules are disrupted and you have less time to relax and to honor the Father with your approach toward him in stillness. But that is the very time when you need this spiritual refreshment. Stillness is a time when you release your control over time, over your mind, over your thoughts. It is a time to experience pure being, a time to experience the now completely, to release the worries of the day and to just experience your breathing, your heart beat, and to invite the Father's spirit to enter and to commune with him.
Often, it is helpful to discuss your day with the Father, what it will be like, what is has been like, what your worries are so that you are open to receiving his counsel. You cannot receive guidance when your minds are filled with your own thoughts, when your own mind is rushing from here to there and back, when you are worried about doing an endless list of little chores. There is no space for receiving those thoughts the Father wants you to concentrate on, thoughts of charity, thoughts of love, thoughts of kindness, thoughts of giving of yourself.
- [an interruption]
Just as in stillness, during transmission, the mind must be extremely calm and receptive. When you learn to practice stillness, you will find that sometimes it is easier to achieve this level of being in the now than others. Sometimes, just like with this cat crying, the mind is continually drawn to another topic. There is something which is annoying you, worrying you, that is difficult to release. And this is not to say that you have failed in your stillness, not at all, rather you have gone to the Father with a problem and even if you cannot release it enough to receive guidance at the time, you have still brought this concern to him. You are asking for help and this effort, this movement on your part, is what releases the Father's help for you.
The Father's aid is always available, it is sitting right before you so to speak, but you must reach for it, you must ask. So often, I watch you children rush through your busy live, worried distracted, and you are ignoring the great resources that are set before you. It is almost as though you would feel weak if you reached out and instead you want to feel strong.
The Father's help is complete, the Father's help comes in ways that subtly change your attitude, subtly help you see aspects that you had not previously seen. The Father's help doesn't come in blinding flashes of insight so much as little nudges here and there. It is easy to allow the stress of the moment to fog your thinking, to cloud your judgment, and when you reach out to the Father it is like that cloud lifts and you can see a greater reality than you could see a moment ago.
Do not expect that by practicing the stillness that you will reach that state of nirvana in a flash and be permanently changed all at once. But do expect to experience small changes all along. Expect to have your insight deepened just enough that you do change a little bit.
Maturity is the art of always seeing beyond yourself. When you are in various stressful situations, always the first reaction is to narrow the focus to your own immediate self-interests. That is the temptation you must learn to resist. Maturity requires that you always see the other person's side, that you always see the bigger picture all along.
Therefore, it is those times when you are most under stress that the stillness is so valuable because instead of shrinking down into yourself, it requires you to reach out of yourself. Then you can calmly assess whatever the situation is with the aid of a greater grasp of reality.
When you are stuck in your own narrow world view, then it is easy to lay blame on everyone else, to see only your rightness and everyone else's wrongness. But when you reach out of yourself and ask for the Father's help, you immediately see yourself as just part of the bigger picture and you recognize others and their problems and perspectives so that whatever problems you had suddenly it is modified and tempered by your understanding of other's problems.
The last thing I wish to discuss is that the stillness takes you out of your immediate emotional state. The stillness brings with it a peace and calm that washes out the fears, anxieties, anger, stress that often clouds and interferes with your better judgement. Emotion is the most difficult thing to control because it is so immediate and so forceful. The stillness is a powerful tool to help you temper your emotions and by being completely in the now, it takes you out of the immediacy of your emotional state. Emotion is often based on fear of a possibility as much as fear of something actually happening. Anger and frustration directed toward others is usually not about the immediate moment but about something in the past or something that might possibly happen in the future. The stillness gives you that perspective.
I cannot stress enough how important stillness practice is. It must be daily, it must be regular, but also use it during times of emotional stress, reach out, take a moment to breathe deeply, to withhold your immediate reaction and you will find much greater self-control is yours.
The goal of all wise men throughout the ages has always been increased self-control. Always they have prayed for help in tempering their emotion, controlling the appetites of the body, bringing the lower mind under the leadership of the higher mind. Have faith that you can do this with the help of the stillness practice. Always may your first primary goals be spiritual progress and let all your other goals, no matter how worthy they may be, let them be secondary.
Are there any questions at this time?
Q: You have spoken about stillness many times over the years. Could you reiterate the practices and conditions associated with good stillness and the habits and the substances that interfere with good stillness.
Ham: Of course, stillness is very simple, stillness of the body, stillness of sound and movement around you, the gradual calming of the mind through deep breathing and slowing of the breath, the letting go of thought, allowing though but not controlling it. In other words, you can watch your thoughts come up and pass by like clouds in the sky without controlling wither they come from or where they go. Then there is the asking. Asking the Father to enter into your mind and with this asking comes full receptivity to the Father's love. When you are open, receiving completely his spirit, this is the stillness. The mind is very elastic, it can be slower or faster, it can be receiving or generating, it can be open or closed. So by simply thinking open, and receiving, the mind automatically does those things. When you think simply the thought, Father help me, then you are open to his help and you will receive it. The stillness is very simple, very easy, you should not try to make it too hard. As to substances that can interfere, of course it is best for the body to be clean of alcohol or drugs which tend to affect the mind by affecting the physical mechanism of the brain. Sometimes these drugs can seem to open that door to the Father, but this is an artificial opening and it will not remain so. The mind and the brain, in fact, have a kind of defense mechanism to receiving too much too quickly so that this artificial opening then creates resistance to real spiritual communion. Therefore we counsel caution in using artificial stillness aids, as it were. Alcohol, or depressants, tranquilizers, make stillness very difficult, even impossible. So of course we counsel moderation in all these things and caution for the piece of the Father transcends any artificial type of temporary peace which is obtained by the use of alcohol or drugs. Does this answer?
Q: Could you comment on caffeine and nicotine?
Ham: Yes, both of these are highly addictive drugs. We understand that the use of these things creates a pattern of need and continued use. We would prefer that you used really no drugs, but of course this is not realistic, so therefore we counsel caution and moderation.
Q: What about the kava-kava? Is there any connection to the stillness.
Ham: Yes, it would tend to interfere and not be helpful. No drug is helpful to the stillness, even if it seems to be at first.
Q: It's not a drug, the kava-kava?
Ham: Yes, it would be classified as a drug, a very mild one of course.
Q: May I have a personal message?
Ham: Yes my son, you are doing well. You have been under some stress and have had some trouble controlling emotion and anxiety. You must remember that over many years when you had recourse to alcohol and drugs, you didn't learn the process of learning self-control, the process of relying on the Father and his help. Most people are in the habit of reaching for something for comfort, whether it is food or alcohol, or something that helps relieve anxiety. When you have all that taken away, then you are truly forced to develop a personal system that utilizes stillness and prayer. You have come very far my son, and you continue to make progress. Remember this lesson as you go through your week and it will help you.
Q: Ham do you have a personal message for me tonight please?
Ham: Certainly, daughter, you are doing well. You are finding your way day by day and this is as it should be. Sometimes you want to have all the future solved in one day and yet the day is only sufficient unto itself and you will receive only that which is necessary in that day. Remember that this is so and do not worry about tomorrow. Be content with one day at a time.
Q: Marija would like a message.
Ham: Certainly, my daughter, you are doing very well. You have made great strides over the past few months in finding love for yourself. You have tended to always focus your love outward onto others, but you are realizing that love is a completeness that requires a complete surrender to it. You cannot love others completely without loving yourself. I am glad you are making this progress. Continue to do so.
Q: and Norbert?
Ham: Yes, my son, you are making great progress reaching out to love and abandoning fear. Continue always to move in the direction of love and to allow love to banish that fear that still resides within you. Do not cling to old fears and anxieties. You are completely loved as you are this moment. There is no part of you that is inadequate or lacking. All parts of you are growing and becoming what you are truly meant to be, a son of the living God liberated from fear. Be at peace, for you do well.
Q: Charlie B?
Ham: Son you do well. You have made efforts toward the stillness and then relaxed in those efforts. Continue to guard the stillness time and to make it a priority. This has been a true keystone in your development. Continue to honor it.
Ham: Daughter, you do well. You have been through some severe testing and are learning a great deal from this time. Have confidence and faith in yourself as you have in others and continue to make progress in loving yourself as you undergo this testing period.
Ham: Yes my daughter, you do well. Remember this lesson throughout the week, think about increasing the depth of your stillness practice. You do very well.
Ham: Daughter, you do well. You also have emotional challenges, times of stress when emotions run high and are blocking out the Father's guidance. Remember always to take some steps back, breathe deeply, and gain perspective before you act or react in emotion. This is very important at this time.
Ham: Yes my son, you are doing well. Continue to make progress with the stillness. Remember to utilize deep breathing to quiet and slow the thinking, this is very helpful. Also to make the stillness a bigger priority.
Ham: My son, there is no single great error that you make or really that anyone makes. So long as you keep in your mind that your goal is spiritual, that your greatest longing is to grow closer to God day by day. So long as that is your true intent, the little errors of the day shall not impede the direction of your growth. Direction of growth is all important, speed of growth is not so important. Human beings always want instant spiritual change, instant awareness. But as I said, this is not likely to happen. You are likely, simply, to grow day by day in love, and in the grace of the Father. Grow toward him and you de well no matter how long it takes, you have found your direction and will surely reach the home shore.
Q: Do you have any feedback for me this week?
Ham: Yes, my son, you do well. Do not worry so much about the daily work the daily grind so to speak. Do your best every day, then let it go until tomorrow. Don't fret over what you should have done or didn't do or wanted to do or something. Let it go and allow the Father to guide you, even to put the words in your mouth that need to be said at the time they need to be said. You do very well, go in peace.