Sunday, October 14, 2018

Processing

Today was a day of processing and integrating what took place at Arlington National Cemetery, meaning, self-care, meditation, contemplation, an active form of processing while sleeping and exercise. I still notice the great diversity of spirits of all ages, colors sexes and backgrounds. Our communication and questions were about relationships, how to maintain them at all levels, peacefully, with love, respect and support for all. It is clear that given the diversity, the specific answers would vary within a base of love, peace and God. It was clear to them, having shifted to the spirit plane, that war and killing was not the answer they thought it was. "We can cultivate an environment among us which will foster one another’s spiritual growth by directing and redirecting intention and attention to God; by discouraging what draws us away; by loving support for each other in the vicissitudes of our utterly human lives; by respecting and cherishing the uniqueness of each life." (Patricia Loring)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Ministry

What a day! Maria and I did go to be with the spirits at Arlington National Cemetery, listen and learn. They were glad of our presence and the fact that we came to listen to them. I found them to be very diverse as far as most ideas, attitudes, ages and backgrounds and unified in their strong commitment to a sense of honor, love and community, which was why they fought in the first place. They were also, for the most part, clear that killing and war was not the answer, at least long term. We all shared a lack of clarity about what the answer was. I commended them on their commitment to honor, love and community. I also shared my connection to God and suggested that it was through love, peace and God they would find their answers. I suggested they could influence the living to do the same. One thing which was clear is that we are not done, this was only a beginning. I need to continue processing the day.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Listening For Guidance

Tomorrow my wife and I will go visit Arlington National Cemetery in order for me to work with the spirits there, a big deal for me — so tonight I am twitchy and nervous. As always I will attempt to be open, listen and do what I am told. My plan is to help get rid of any negative influences, give or show them God’s Love and suggest they impact the living by producing a loving atmosphere, very simple — and then listen for more! The most important task is for me to listen for guidance. "You can be a saint, if you want to be one. It's as simple as that. Only you must remember, ALL THE TIME, that GOD makes saints, not we: we just do what we are told. But in order to do what we are told, we must hear what is said, and in order to hear we must listen, and in order to listen, we must be quiet - not only with our tongues, but interiorly, in our minds and hearts." (Anonymous)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Differences

During my recovery meeting today I remained silent and listened to the other members of the group bring up issues that were bothering them, the main issue being their perception that they had made mistakes and I was reminded how different I am from the majority. Personally, I don’t think there are mistakes, just choices that have unintended outcomes. We always learn from those choices and we have no idea if the outcomes are desirable or not in the long run. Irene Claremont deCastillejo said it well when she wrote "Scientists discover and theologians affirm; but faced with the mystery of life and death we know almost nothing." I also kept thinking of the comment Richard Pries made several years ago, that "Nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all".

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Listening

Because of my disability I speak very slowly with very poor diction and enunciation so it is a chore for people to listen to me and particularly my slowness gives me a chance to observe how most people listen. I have noticed that when I talk people instantly make up stories about what I am saying and then pay more attention to their story, than what I am saying. For example, if I am cooking and begin relating something about a dream I had a few nights ago, Maria, my wife, might make up a story about what I am cooking and have trouble realizing that what I am saying does not fit. I, of course, do the same, often tending to believe my story rather than the reality going on around me. I work on my listening skills. "Listening is a far more difficult process than most people imagine; really to listen in the way that is meant by the masters is to let go utterly of ourselves, to let go of all the information, all of the concepts, all the ideas and all the prejudices that our heads are stuffed with." (Sogyal Rinpoche)

Monday, October 8, 2018

My Effort

Trying to change attitudes and choices that other people make in a loving, positive, long-term and sustainable direction feels like an uphill battle tonight. I attempt to be a living example but when I go shopping like I did this morning I am bombarded by merchants selling things of little real value and trying to get me to spend my money. The same happens when I watch TV or listen to the radio. When I read the paper I learn about various harmful choices being made. Meanwhile I conduct myself within my "bubble of love" and do the best I can to be an example.  "From everywhere, it seems, we are bombarded with the idea that our nature is innately violent, that our chief preoccupation is with our sexuality, and that our main purpose in life is the acquirement of ever more nifty possessions.......Indeed, it is only through the practice of inner silence that we can begin to disentangle ourselves from our culture and its illusions. (Daniel A. Seeger)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Faith

Today I was honored to be visited by the spirit of one of my teachers from social work school. At that time we talked about spiritual matters and he encouraged my spiritual tendencies during a time when there was a strong belief in evidence based science to the exclusion of the spiritual approaches. It was not safe to talk of spiritual matters. I did not know it at the time but I was just scratching the surface and had barely begun my exploration but as Elizabeth Ostrander Sutton says "I cannot create when I choose the path that separates me from God. But when I consent, I soar for I have opened the door of creation." That was 1993 or 4 and I or we have come a long way since then and the importance of spirituality for mental health is now recognized and openly talked about. "Faith, then, means putting trust in a process that slowly builds an intimate relationship with someone I can neither see nor fully understand, but only feel. Living a life of faith implies being in continual contact with God and opening up to being searched and known."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Silent Time

I need a large amount, several hours, of quiet time each day during which I contemplate, meditate or just sit and sort out my thoughts. I may spend about 25% of that time on day-to-day worldly concerns and the rest on current spiritual matters, such as my mentoring of others or my various types of communication. If I do not get enough quiet time I feel off balance and know something is missing. I notice that I can indulge in some sort of relaxation, like watching a movie, and feel like I am wasting valuable time which would be better spent just sitting in silence, so I generally turn off the movie and sit. "It [inner silence] is to establish an inner peace, an inner harmony, which will allow us authentically to contribute to the establishment of an outer peace and an outer harmony in the world at large." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Helping Change

I lead a life of being of service to others and I am empathic, understanding, inclusive and loving. I am also aware of, largely unexpressed, selfish, self-centered egotistical tendencies which were acted upon in my younger times. I was able to move away from the way I was when younger because of an atmosphere of love, understanding and encouragement which was given to me. At the present time I witness lying, stealing, manipulating and racism in the authority figures around me, usually driven by selfish, self-centered and egotistical motives. I find that I cannot condemn them since I was the same but I can and do extend love, understanding and empathy. In the Dhammapada the Buddha teaches that in this world hate never dispels hate. Only love dispels hate.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dealing With Issues

During my recovery meetings and through my work with others I keep hearing about people being upset over the fact that other people close to them are angry with them or simply that people close to them are having difficulties. Using the second of the three questions; (Would I do this in front of God [or whatever you call the power or force behind the Universe]?; Is my name really on it [or is it really my responsibility]?; Will this increase the integrity of the universe [or is this action motivated by love, rather than fear, acting out of love always increases the integrity of the universe]?) I have realized that beyond being empathic, listening and being supportive, their issues are theirs, not mine — frequently even if they are angry with me. The last of the three questions leads me to self-care as being the loving activity I am responsible for.