Tuesday, December 31, 2013


My left brain, the masculine, logical, cause-and-effect part of me, is largely fear based and very compelling, if I give it free reign.  I also realize that part of most people operates the same way.  For example, I can readily start thinking about something like having cancer, losing my job, saying the wrong thing, my girlfriend leaving me or my best friend not liking me and, if I let them, the thoughts just take over and become an obsession, the fears seem real.  My best defense, and what I now do most of the time, is to cut off the thoughts as being just silly vapor right at the beginning rather than feeding into them.  I generally try to switch to my love-based part that knows “the universe is unfolding as it should” and that everything will be just fine.
Of course, the simple truth is that occasionally those fears are accurate.  Life is life and it is what it is.  I did, in fact, become disabled and I do have a speech impediment.  The fact is that having those fears is not in the least preventive and having them actually impedes a functional response.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Buddha Nature

It is quite apparent to me that, as various spiritual leaders have pointed out, all persons have within them the Christlike, loving, Buddha nature as well as the self-centered and destruc-tive side.  Personally, I have ample experience with each and now choose to act out of my loving side.  In my experience, the part/side that gets expressed depends on which side is supported and encouraged, individually and by the culture as a whole.  I am now part of the recovery community, which supports my loving side.  Unfortunately, in many ways, functioning and surviving within the high-speed, competitive, individualistic, capitalist structure often supports the self-centered side of people, leading to the antics that various comedians make fun of, especially this time of year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spiritual Paths

I have been asked repeatedly if I thought a certain discipline (Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, etc.) was a good spiritual path to follow, whether following that path would lead to a firm and thorough spiritual connection.  My position is that, to a large extent, it does not matter what name you use, all paths have the potential of leading to the same thing, often using different words.  The path I have chosen has no formal name, since I always encountered some degree of judgment, criticism, and confinement when I chose to follow an established discipline, attitudes which do not fit within an open spiritual quest.  With those cautions in mind, I agree with Kornfield when he commented that “If we do a little of one kind of practice and a little of another, the work we have done in one often doesn't continue to build as we change to the next. It is as if we were to dig many shallow wells instead of one deep one."  Meaning, it is important to stick with one path and to follow that path “deeply”.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


With my recent move into a simple house that is quite a bit smaller and in town, my life has changed dramatically.  At present, my life is quite a bit simpler, with fewer distractions and more time, than it was a few months ago.  The change allows me to spend more time in quiet contemplation/solitude and I am also in the process of increasing my social/relationship/ connection time.  In addition, I have become more aware of the importance, for me, of distractions like the process of purchasing things or setting up my new home, things that have little or no meaning but are also entertaining.  With moving my balance has shifted, which requires that I pay attention.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


It has been very important for my spiritual growth and freedom to continually detach from my own attitudes and ideas.  Similarly the Christian mystics make much of the importance of detachment, and Buddhists frequently speak of the necessity of giving up our tendency to grasp on to things.  It has been relatively easy for me to detach from material things, but my attitudes and ideas require continued inspection and release.  Part of me would like to attempt to force reality to fit with my ideas and beliefs, rather than the other way around.  A good indication that this sort of thing is happening is a feeling of increased pain, confusion or stress.  Meditation and being willing to let things go help to sort out the problem.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Living Within Love/bliss

Having explored a great deal of self/mind/brain/culture/reality through meditation and reading, I now feel free and live, largely though not all the time, within a state of love or bliss.  It seems important for me to realize that, along with the meditation, pain, discomfort and threat of death have also led me to this point.  I have had a great deal of emotional support along the way, primarily from my wife.  I now know that love/bliss is my true, eternal nature and that my consciousness/awareness will continue after this body dies.  I also know that everyone on earth is growing toward that state of being.  Quite a Christmas present!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Let It Pass

A very emotionally mixed day.  On the one hand I am proud and pleased about myself, my condition (physical, emotional, spiritual) and my circumstances (twenty-nine years clean & sober, living in a small house in the center of Flagstaff), and on the other hand I doubt everything (intelligence, recovery, self-worth), pleasant and unpleasant.  Using the Buddhist meditative techniques I have learned, I observe my thoughts and let them pass without grasping or pushing them away.  I find it surprising that I can feel such strong self-doubt in spite of ample evidence to the contrary, but then, feelings are not rational.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Being With God

I have been reflecting on the words of Hazrat Inayat when he commented that  “The whole life of the mystic is mapped on this principle... a voice from within that tells him ’go here,’ ‘go there,’ or ‘leave’... Therefore, while others are prepared to explain why they are doing something... the mystic cannot explain, because he himself does not know.  The one who knows little, knows most; and those who seem to know more, know the least.”  That “voice from within” (intuition?) is how I access the Source (God/love/Truth) that tells me what to do and not do, especially in regards to my dealings with others.  At this point in my life, I always do what that power tells me to do, but I often do not know why, though I do know that the action will increase the integrity of the universe.  It feels like walking with God all day, a strange way to live, but it works and that is why I do it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Today, I was reading The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche, one of the most thorough discussions of spiritual experiences and knowledge that I have encountered, and enjoyable reading as well.  As often happens, I am struck by the fact that spiritual leaders, over the centuries and from a variety of disciplines all say the same things about love, detachment, connection, God, living, dying, afterlife, etc., this book being a good example.  They frequently use different words but the commonalities are quite pronounced.  Most of my contributions within this realm tend to be very quiet and limited to actions on a one-to-one or small group basis, and I am good with that.  In addition, and I am not sure why, I wish to add my voice to the long list of authors about spiritual matters.  Understanding is not required.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cherishing Life and Death

Many years ago, I was in a workshop partially presented by Larry Dossey, and he posed the question “If you only had one month to live what would you say to whom.......and why are you waiting”.  I have always remembered that and, partly as a result, I attempt to cherish every moment of my life, as if I could die at any moment, which is in fact true.  I attempt to embrace all aspects of my life, including the unpleasant ones and I pay particular attention to the love and connection in my relationships, even the brief encounters.  I hope to have the same level of acceptance when I am dead and have passed through to the other side.  I have to admit to being wary of the transition, the process of dying, which is likely to be tumultuous.

Friday, December 20, 2013


It seems clear that while we are in physical form and on earth, that it is important to find out as much as we can about living in harmony with everything and, possibly, about the power of love in our lives.  I frequently find myself asking the question “would this matter if I was on my deathbed” and the answer is usually “no”.  In my pursuit of living in harmony I note that there are numerous, very enjoyable and engaging distractions that I encounter daily.  Things like having a certain type of car, the latest technology or a high-paying, powerful job.  It is fun and harmless  to engage in the distractions but it is also important for me to realize that they are essentially meaningless, by themselves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Recently, I have been very aware of the strength and depth of the connections I make, especially with my clients and other people I contact.  As far as I can tell my connection involves joining with the energy field (feelings not thoughts) they each project and using, what I call, deep listening, meaning listening beyond the surface language, and paying attention to their feelings as well.  In order to accomplish that connection, it is necessary to approach the interaction with love and compassion, having let go of ego, attachments, desires and judgments.  Thus, it is necessary for me to meditate and maintain a strong spiritual balance.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Difficult Times

A couple of my friends are having difficult times, a situation that used to bother me and make me angry, but no longer does, since I take a broader, more long-term view.  My present view began by taking a look at the difficult times in my own life and realizing that they were also the periods when I experienced the most growth.  I then read comments like those of deCastillejo: "Some course of action which seems so clearly to be leading to disaster may contain a twist of fate which lifts it to success.  That accident whose cause was so apparent may have had an inner meaning we cannot see.......We simply do not know.  Scientists discover and theologians affirm; but faced with the mystery of life and death we know almost nothing."  Gradually, I began to realize that there was always a benefit to difficult times.
My position on experiencing difficult times is also helped by the realization that the death of the physical body was not the big deal I thought it was.  I agree with the Dalai Lama when he said “I tend to think of death as being like changing your clothes when they are old and worn out, rather than as some final end.”

Monday, December 16, 2013


I just finished reading the book The Center Of The Wheel by R. Hudson, a very enjoyable reading experience.  He, and a number of others who write and speak more charismatically than I do, express many of the “knowings” pointed out by mystics and spiritual leaders for centuries.  It is wonderful to watch and be a part of people “waking up” to ideas like oneness, connectedness, the power of love, the importance of detachment or simple awareness.  The process of emotional and spiritual growth (in some cases, returning to the view of a small child!), is a miraculous experience. Those ideas can change the way people relate to each other, other living things and this planet.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I work with many people to help them change, sometimes as a mental health therapist, sometimes a friend or mentor.  I cannot make anyone change but I can point the direction by observing the life patterns that make them uncomfortable and suggesting alternative behaviors.  I strive to use a loving, long-term or even an eternal perspective and approach, avoiding ego, attachments and desires.  Using that perspective, it is apparent that, ultimately, all events lead to knowing/sensing one-ness and living within love.  Therefore, I am not willing to assign a “good” or “bad” label to any event.  Some events like suicide, cancer, drug use, falling in love or being of service to others are definitely either pleasant or unpleasant, but not good or bad, they simply are.  In order to respect the individual paths of the individuals whose lives I touch, I try to be honest and make suggestions.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body connection or the potential effect of the mind on the body is a very powerful tool that I can use in a positive or negative way.  A good example of this connection, which is generally known and accepted is usually called “the placebo effect” commonly seen during drug trials.  The placebo effect demonstrates that, within limits, the body can heal itself if the mind/brain believes it can.  I was diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration, a progressive and degenerative neurological disease back in 1988.  At that point, I was in very bad condition and was told that I would never improve and that I would continue to get worse, meaning that I would die, though that was not explicitly stated.  Rather than believe what I was told, I began to apply meditation, visualization and thoughts of healing and love to my situation.  As a result, I am now in better physical shape now than I was then, though I still have considerable physical challenges and continue to work on them.  I have also used the mind-body connection in similar ways numerous other times, with similar results.

Friday, December 13, 2013


In my case, in addition to giving me a positive and spiritual grounding for the day ahead, meditation has led me to realize that I have capabilities beyond what I believed.  As has been suggested by many people, I begin my day with a period of meditation on things like love, compassion, connectedness and God.  That period, even if only a few minutes, changes my attitude for the whole day.  My outlook becomes much more positive.  I also become much more aware of things like the power of love, the mind-body connection and my close connection with all living things.  This increased awareness then leads me to the realization of increased capabilities.  For example, using the power of love and the mind-body connection in a physically healing way.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Causes Rather Than Symptoms

When someone approaches me with a problem, looking for a solution, I generally offer suggestions that get at the cause of the problem and some sort of long term solution, rather than simply dealing with the symptom(s).  For example, if they approach me with anxiety or low self-esteem, I might suggest some support groups or methods of confronting and getting to know and understand the feelings, followed by laughter, love or meditation to overcome those feelings, thus addressing the cause.  Alternatively, the symptoms could be treated with things like Valium or Prozac.  My approach generally requires some sort of discipline, is usually long-term, and has little or no instant gratification.  Most people do not even acknowledge that my approach exists until they have exhausted all other options!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I truely enjoy my sense of “being lost in a trackless desert”, living within a bubble of love, having a direct link with God and having God/love be the guiding principle for my life.  I like the analogy of being on a ship that I own (my own body and mind), being on the open ocean with someone I don’t know steering and not knowing which direction we are going or what island we are going to stop at.  I enjoy the birds that come to our feeder, a functioning garage door opener or the kitchen cabinet, but also recognize that these things are transient and a bit silly.  At this point in my life, I have no formal goals other than continuing to do what works and feels right.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Like Leads To Like

I went to a fairly violent movie today, for reasons that are not clear to me.  The name of the movie does not matter, but one theme clearly expressed in the movie was that actions motivated by anger, judgment or ego lead to more of the same, while actions motivated by love and compassion also lead to more of the same.  This is a theme which is generally, but not always true in real life.  Personally, I have done each type of action many times in my life.  At this point, when I feel anger, judgment or any of various feelings prompted by self-centered ego, I do not act at all and simply let the feeling pass.

Monday, December 9, 2013


During my twenties, while studying for my B.A. and then my Ph.D., I focused, intently, on developing what is usually called my ”left brain”, my logical, scientific, cause and effect side.  For the next decade or so I made primary use of that aspect of my brain, while also feeling that something was missing.  Then, recognizing the source of my imbalance, I began trying to develop my intuitive, creative, feeling side (right brain).  I am still striving for the correct balance since, as Maharaj puts it “Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”  Today, I began (again!) the study of English grammar, in order to improve my writing, a creative process that will require both parts of my brain.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Understanding Is Not Required

In my experience, during discussions of spiritual principles or ideas, people frequently talk in terms of understanding or trying to explain the ideas.  I must confess that I have spent much of my life trying to understand or explain these principles and then a greater sense of freedom came along, when I shut down that part of my brain.  Things like the feeling of being connected or experiencing some sort of Divine intervention can be partially described but our words can only point to them, not explain them.  Spiritual experiences can certainly be known, but not understood, which is wonderful.  In my view, trying to explain them is like trying to explain the glory of sunlight or a rainbow.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dark Night

Having gone through what St. John of the Cross called “The dark night of the soul”, a period of absolutely no consolation in anything coupled with extreme physical and emotional pain, I now feel/know a deep connection with God and just how wondrous this process called life is.  For me, that dark time lasted for several years with increasing glimpses of what I was seeking, and was completely necessary for me to become the person I am today.  During that time, I could only find consolation and healing through my connection with that force I call God.  As many people have commented in the past, God was always there, I just needed to make the connection.  It took what it took.  I sincerely hope that others can make that connection without going through what I did.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Understanding Is Not Required

Many of the things I do and say are strange to people raised within the dominant culture, things like sensing and using energy fields around people and things or experiencing the healing power of love.  As a result of the strangeness, the ideas often elicit fear or anger.  In my case, those ideas are rooted in personal experiences of mine or those of many others who have written them down in the past.  The ideas are very practical and have a direct bearing for life on this planet.  I cannot say that I understand or even try to understand these things (as I often say “understanding is not required”), but I use them in my day-to-day life.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I really enjoy watching the various birds that come to our feeders, especially the thirty or so crows.  Not to be insulting, but I get the same feeling from them that I get from observing the people that I come in contact with; delightful, charming, well meaning and silly at times.  We are very much like elaborate, complicated crows.  I used to formally study animal behavior, and even went so far as getting a Ph.D.  I now work with people, observing, connecting and dealing with human behavior.  In many ways, the basic drives and instincts are still evident, very humbling.
The words I say and print often surprise me, today is a good example of that.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Glass is Full

I choose to be a positive force for people and things around me.  I also make an effort to be realistic, to admit that life is difficult and frequently unpleasant.  For example, I, often, have minor fear-based thoughts, physical pain or limits imposed on me by my disability.  Those same fear-based thoughts, physical pain or limits have led me to a wonderful life of connection and love for God, other people and things.  Both sides are part of my reality and I choose to embrace each.  Having had this realization, it’s not that my glass is half empty or half full, it is full.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Being in town, rather than fifteen miles out, feels very solid, like this is right where we should be.  Maria and I have each sensed for a while that our role was to be a source of  “peace in the middle of chaos”.  That is more likely to happen in the middle of town, which is where we are located now.
There has been a gradual shift in this culture away from the spiritual and towards materialism, consumerism, intellect and instant gratification.  The shift towards materialism, etc. is not, in itself, a bad thing, in fact that shift has led to significant advances in things like technology, science and medicine.  However, in the absence of spirituality that shift has also led to a sense of fear-based chaos, an imbalance.  Maria and myself, as well as many others, have, in some ways, turned away from materialism and toward the peace and love of the spiritual.  We still own and participate in things, but also emphasize the importance of the spiritual.

Monday, December 2, 2013


We went to Picture Canyon, within the outskirts of Flagstaff, today.  The excursion ended up being a very pleasant experience in listening to and being with the spirits.  We could each feel it when we entered the “zone” around the canyon.  Having entered the zone, Maria suggested various places along the way that we could stop to do our ceremony, for fear that it was too far for me to walk all the way to the canyon.  For some reason my sense was that it was important to get to the edge of the canyon, so we continued.  Once there, we sat, I meditated and was shown, clearly, what to do in terms of a ceremony using our pipe, a feather and smudge mix.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Connection 2

We are all connected to each other, everything else and the force/power/energy that most people call God.  I feel it, love it and love it.  To me, that connection feels very, loving, compassionate, understanding and cohesive.  It is a very strong, wonderful feeling that has been written about for many centuries by many people.  It seems to me, that connection transcends any sort of differences between people and other people or the earth that supports us.  I choose to honor that connection in my daily activities and I make every effort to not violate it, for any reason.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Today I focused on making a strong loving, healing, accepting and compassionate connection with people, plants, birds and even my neighborhood, in general.  In most cases there were immediate and phenomenal results, changes in behavior.  I suspect there will also be long-term changes.  I could feel the strong loving, healing, accepting and compassionate power/energy within and around me and simply directed it at the entity or entities that were my objective, some would say that I “blessed” them.  I was reminded of what deCastillejo said; “Whether he knows it or not his own receptive allowing will affect all those around him; rain will fall on the parched fields, and tears will turn bitter grief to flowering sorrow, while stricken children dry their eyes and laugh.".  I am clearly not the source of that power, but I can allow it to pass through me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

What is Divine

The question of what is Divine or Divine inspiration has been on my mind for the last week or so.  There have been miracles of healing or acts of love and connection that are relatively obviously due to some sort of Divine intervention.  There are other, more complicated, situations.  For example, let’s say a person becomes addicted to heroin and, as a result, that person is abandoned by friends and family, loses their job, becomes homeless and almost dies.  Then that same person goes through some sort of intervention, begins recovery and starts assisting others in the recovery process.  I would say that love or the Divine was involved in the recovery process, but the whole sequence was necessary to bring the previous heroin user to a loving place.  Similarly, in my case, as with many others, pain and disability have led me to a much greater connection with God as well as a life of service and love.  The question that I come to is “when does the Divine intervention/love begin.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Role of Spirituality

Today I was talking to a colleague about the fact that topics like non-medical healing, connection with all thing, the location of consciousness, the significance of spirituality in overcoming addiction, existence of the Divine, etc., that I talk to clients about are decidedly not mainstream and that various people and entities (like my licensing board) would not like it.  In fact, many people seem to consider the ideas a threat, which they are not.  The main reasons that I talk about them is that the clients obviously want to and I frequently have direct experience with the concepts.  In my opinion, the power of love, connection, spirituality and the Divine (however you define it) are a vital part of life, individual development and overcoming addiction.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Being Disabled

Yesterday my previous internet provider charged me for services, as if I hadn’t cancelled my contract with them, so today I called them up and had a very pleasant conversation with a staff member who cancelled my account and sent me an e-mail confirmation of the cancellation.  The individual I spoke with was very polite, cooperative and patient, a pleasure to deal with.
Approximately two weeks ago I had called the same company in an effort to cancel my service.  I spoke with an individual who was very dismissive and who evidently did not respond to my request or even record that I had called.  My thoughts during that previous conversation were something like “here we go again!”, since I had encountered the attitude many times before.  I must have been in a good space spiritually and emotionally since I also felt some amusement and a realization that my request would probably not be fulfilled.  I suspect that he was responding to the fact that my speech is very slow and not at all clear.  His assumption was that my brain operated in much the same way and so I was not worth listening to and probably would not remember the call anyway, an assumption that I am now very aware of and do not make whenever I speak with another.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Instant Gratification

It is important for me to realize that virtually nothing I talk about or the spiritual practices that I do lead to a feeling of instant gratification, a point that was made to me by one of my clients.  The reason that my realization is important is my understanding of why most people do not seek the deep sense of fulfillment I have found.  The fact is that knowing the love, peace and serenity of the Absolute or the sense of “I am”, requires discipline and practice.  Knowing God also requires giving up the attachment to worldly things since, as St. Augustine stated “we cannot serve two masters.  But a man does try to serve two masters if he seeks both the kingdom of God for the great good it is and those other temporal things.”.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quiet Day

Another “split wood and carry water” sort of a day, very “meat and potatoes”, to use a more contemporary phrase.  I exercised, paid bills, did a bit of reading, did some cooking, watched the crows in my backyard and felt peaceful.  The house we have moved into presents few challenges, unlike our previous home, which is ideal for right now.  Fewer daily challenges means that we can direct more energy towards being of service, promoting our own well being and connecting with God.  Speaking of connecting, I also spent a good deal of time in quiet meditation & contemplation.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


One of the questions from others (and myself!) that I frequently encounter is how to bring the subconscious more into consciousness, one of the things I continue to work on.  It is quite apparent to me that I know things in my subconscious that I do not know in my conscious mind, things like some aspects of the future and a greater awareness of what C. Jung called the “collective unconscious”.  I can access the subconscious in part by using the Buddhist and Zen practices of deep meditation, or allowing thoughts and ideas to surface through intuition.  At present, I use both techniques and am getting better with practice,

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I work with many people who are struggling to find or strengthen their spiritual connection and, as a result of that connection, be able to know and accomplish things like communication with plants and animals or deep meditative awareness of the Absolute.  These things are certainly possible, but they require discipline, focus and practice.  In my case, I learned of being connected to all things, then read of the abilities of St. Francis or Rolling Thunder and noticed the way that plants and animals responded to me when I approached them with love, humility and respect.  I took all of these factors, put them together, worked on my communication and listening skills and have had a fair degree of success at connecting with plants and animals.  I have used a similar collective and integrative approach with various types of connection, and had high degree of success.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Experiencing the Absolute

I gather that most people know of and have experienced brief glimpses of the Absolute or God place, that feeling of peace and tranquility, a feeling that everything is and will continue to be just fine, a feeling that some would experience as the love and grandeur of God.  Some have the experience through music, some dance, others through excursions into nature.  My initial experience was on the side of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina and now I have the experience regularly, during meditation, I also tend to carry that feeling with me during the day, though I get distracted at times.  I agree with the mystic, St. John of the Cross, when he commented that “He should learn to remain in God’s presence with a loving attention and a tranquil intellect, even though this seems like idleness to him.  Soon he will find little by little that a divine calm and peace with a wondrous, sublime knowledge of God, enveloped in divine love, will be infused into his soul”.  It’s a wonderful feeling in this up and down, transient world we live in.  I have learned that, with practice, it is possible to achieve that sense/feeling through meditation.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Today, I felt a lot of gratitude for where I am emotionally, spiritually and physically.  Physically is the most challenging since I am still disabled, have a speech impediment and am getting older.  My gratitude as far as the physical comes from the fact that my physical challenges have led to a lot of spiritual and emotional growth, and also the fact that it could be (and was predicted to be!) A whole lot worse.  I am still relatively active, my balance and coordination seem to have leveled off, for the most part, and my jaw control is improving, slowly.  Also, I continue to surprise myself as far as my emotional and spiritual advancement over the last several years.  I owe a lot to the various holistic disciplines and practices I have developed, coupled with the prayer and meditation I do daily.  I also owe a lot to the tremendous amount of help and support I have received and continue to receive.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Using Intuition

At this point, I rely very heavily on my own intuition to guide my actions.  Basically, when approaching any action I get a “quiet” feeling inside that says “go ahead”.  I, now, trust the feeling as long as it is other-directed since, as Mac, a previous mentor used to say “intuition sees the whole picture”.  I have had to be careful in developing this trust, checking often with other, trusted individuals in considering the various options/actions.
In cases where the actions or thoughts are self-directed, I do not trust my intuition since it is usually clouded by my own ego and I rely more on the three questions (would I do this in front of God, is my name really on it, will this increase the integrity of the universe).  Out of those three questions, the most frequently prominent is “will this increase the integrity of the universe”, in other words, “is this the loving thing to do”.
On the occasions that I get a twisted feeling inside, I do not take the action.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Simple Truths

The truths that I now know and live by, which have also been known by many others for centuries, are both very simple and profoundly difficult at the same time.  The truths like knowing that we are all one with each other and the force called God or that love is the eternal fact that we are all learning about or truely sensing the overwhelming peace and serenity of “I am”, all require negating and looking past what we have been taught in this culture.
In my case, I knew that there was something I was missing and I listened to the words of many teachers.  They could only point the direction for what I wanted to know and, using a lot of discipline and meditation, I came to know the same things.  I now point the way for others and continue to “discover” what has always been there.  I now am relatively comfortable with “being lost in a trackless desert” and being open to discarding old ideas.  Time to meditate!

Monday, November 18, 2013


For my first time, I live in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA) and tonight I was reading through their bylaws in order to learn what I needed to do in order to comply.  Two things of note come to mind for me.  The first is that I do not like the sense of being told what to do, being controlled.  However, I understand the utility of their rules and willingly submit, especially since the factors they talk about mean little to me.  The second thing of note to me is that they place value on things that mean nothing, things like superficial appearance rather than attempting to promote connectedness and creativity.  Personally. I am not certain that it is possible to produce rules that promote things like connectedness, love and creativity but it is possible to support and allow them.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


For the last several days I have been struck by the level of hunger or longing of the various people I have encountered for some sort of strong, bias-free connection with a “higher power” or God.  The kind of connection that various mystics and spiritual leaders have been talking about and experiencing for centuries.  Knowing that we are all connected and that each of us has a direct connection with that force called God.  Knowing that we are all perfect within our individual imperfections, and that love is the eternal truth which we are all growing towards.
The various religions provide some guidance toward making that connection, but there is generally a bias, which people tire of and then tend to drift away from the spiritual.  Unfortunately, this culture still places emphasis on the importance of the material rather than the spiritual.  There are also many people, like myself, who know of and talk about the importance of that connection.  I also love helping others connect.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Receptive Allowing

Today I facilitated and participated in a great deal of empathic, loving listening, presence and healing.  I was reminded of the comments by Claremont deCastillejo in Knowing Woman, “In those rare moments when all the opposites meet within a man, good and also evil, light and also darkness, spirit and also body, brain and also heart, masculine focused consciousness and at the same time feminine diffuse awareness, wisdom of maturity and childlike wonder; when all are allowed and none displaces any other in the mind of a man, then that man, though he may utter no word is in an attitude of prayer.  Whether he knows it or not his own receptive allowing will affect all those around him; rain will fall on the parched fields, and tears will turn bitter grief to flowering sorrow, while stricken children dry their eyes and laugh." It was wonderful and very meaningful for me to be a part of that sort of healing today.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Attachment & Letting Go

The process of moving has been a real eye opener for me in terms of attachments.  I fully recognize that any attachments result in my being a less free and able to just keep flowing within the river of life.  We had been at the previous location for twenty years and had our sweat lodges for fifteen.  When it came time to move, on a conscious level, I knew it was time to move on and that we would, in fact, lose nothing.  However, the move also stirred me up and was difficult for me, part of me wanted to hold on to things as they were.
Another aspect of the move was/is that it is a time for us to divest ourselves of unneeded objects.  I come from a family that never got rid of anything, they would simply put it in storage and keep it, thus avoiding some of the painful part of letting go.  When I encounter things I no longer need, I initially think thoughts like “that belonged to my mother!” or “that is valuable!” or “most people would not appreciate that!”, rather than simply letting them go and moving on, which is what I do, eventually.  I feel a greater sense of freedom when I can appreciate and enjoy the items at the time, and then let them go.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Matters

We had our monthly men’s group tonight, which was very enjoyable, a period of deep introspection coupled with strong connection.  During the meeting, when it was my turn, I shared that I really enjoyed my life and had no concerning issues.  The response of the group was a mixture of admiration, wonderment and questioning.  One person even commented, questioningly “so, your life is perfect” to which I responded “no” since I am getting older, disabled, have a speech impediment and am in some degree of pain much of the time.  The simple fact, that I realized more strongly at that time, is that the challenges that stem from my physical body mean nothing other than a minor inconvenience to me.  Those transient physical challenges have little impact on the eternal “I am”, which is where my focus is.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Connecting With Life

A wonderful day of connecting with a variety of living things; plants, birds and people.  I sensed that the trees in our new back-yard were wanting to connect with me, so I went out to be with them for a while.  I walked around the yard to each of them, acknowledging what fine specimens they each were and allowed them to enfold me in their own nurturing and scents.  The experience was an enjoyable period of connection and presence.  I then experienced a similar connection with the birds, particularly the cobalt blue and black Stellar Jays.
I also experienced a more normal, loving and strong connection with Maria and a client.  With each of them I was able to clear away my own concerns, focus on them, be present and employed deep listening.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life Is Good

Tonight, immediately after a recovery meeting, I was hugging a woman who I know well, and who is currently having an emotionally difficult time.  As I was hugging her I commented that “life is good.........sometimes we just don’t know it yet”.  This particular woman used to be a rager, and is now very empathic, compassionate, understanding and loving.  Similar to my own situation and progression, she made that transition, in part, due to emotionally difficult times, times that were very unpleasant but, ultimately, that had a beneficial effect.
Today, having gone through the recent move, I feel a lot of gratitude for who I am and the fact that I have enough of everything.  Being “lost in a trackless desert” is just right, for now.  Meaning, I have no clue why, but it feels right to be here in this new house within Flagstaff.  There was a strong sense of the move being divinely guided and I cooperated by doing the next right thing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Following A Spiritual Path

A quiet day of unpacking and learning to fit in to our new place, which is in-town, decidedly mainstream (we are not!) and a bit more than half the size of our previous dwelling.  I did not interact/connect with anyone other than Maria today, very nice.  Both of us are wondering where this transition will lead us.  We just know that the move feels right.  As T. Green, S.J. points out, leading a life of prayer is like “being lost in a trackless desert”.  I simply go and do where I am directed.  Understanding is not required.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Listening To My Body

Yesterday we began moving in to our new home and today we finished.  Primarily, what I did was to stay out of the way, which is what I do when there is a lot of physical activity, since I am so slow due to my disability.  The important thing to me is that during a quiet time I was able to reflect on my feelings about the move for a while and I cried a bit.  I always tell people to pay attention when they cry, since crying means something significant is happening.  In this case, they were tears of gratitude and a knowing that the move was very significant for my process.  I cannot say that I fully understand why, but I have learned to pay attention when I cry, for the reason I just said.  In my case, the tears are an important indication of a significance that I know about only subconsciously and that I may get to through meditation, which I will try now.

Friday, November 8, 2013

New Beginning

We closed on our new house today and then the realtor came out and gave us the keys.  A very definite “new beginning” for us.  We each have a strong feeling of letting go of some things we were holding on to and a new sense of freedom.  In my case, I have always bought houses that required a lot of work and, in general, I had a high maintenance life style.  As I have indicated in previous entries, this house does not require any work and is fairly basic, with minimal distractions.  I will still need to focus a lot of energy toward my physical condition, however, the new house will allow me to be of greater service and for me to explore my sense of “I am”.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pain & Anxiety

Today, I was experiencing a substantial amount of nerve pain in my lower back and radiating through my buttocks and into my leg, primarily on the right side.  I recognized that in addition to my physical problems, the pain was related to the anxiety about my coming move.  In meditation I went into the pain and anxiety, trying to feel each intensely, and, after feeling the anxiety and pain, switched over to gratitude and healing.  I need to take it easy for a few days, but I feel much better.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Eternal Truths

It is totally amazing, somewhat incredible and very reassuring for me to find out that the various mystics, spiritual leaders or enlightened masters from a variety of disciplines have all encountered the same eternal truths as I have.  Generally, what happens, in my case, is that I will experience something like the feelings of the Absolute in the God place and then read a description, in their own words, from Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Nisargadata Maharaj or Black Elk, of the same thing.  This is a pattern that has happened repeatedly.  I have had no formal training and was not raised within any tradition, and yet arrive at the same eternal truths.  Apparently, those truths simply exist and are encountered by clearing away attachments and distractions during things like the prayer of quiet or meditation.  I believe them to be real.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Loving The Enemy

I went to the movie “Ender’s Game” today and found it to be very enjoyable.  The movie went beyond the average character development and a bit further into emotional and spiritual realms than most movies.  I do not recall an exact quote, but one of the most important comments to me was that when a person really comes to know and understand an enemy, they also come to love that enemy.  So true, whether the enemy is internal, external or both.  To me, loving, embracing and respecting an enemy is a necessary part of working with it.  Especially when it comes to an internal issue, like my dark side, trying to simply fight it gives it power, rather than overcoming it.  Understanding, loving and embracing the issue, allows me to stop acting on it, and, ultimately, lets it dissolve.

Monday, November 4, 2013


A very pleasant and quiet day.  For Maria and myself, the process of preparation for moving involves a lot of clearing out of un-needed items, both physically and emotionally, a sort of cleansing.  For the moment, that seems to be done.
During a group I led yesterday, the participants were all compassionate, understanding and respectful of each other.  During the group they made an obvious effort to be cooperative and to be of service to each other.  According to staff comments and reports, they were not at all like that before or after group.  I am reminded of the comments of Remen in My Grandfather’s Blessings, “When you listen, the integrity and wholeness in others moves closer.  Your attention strengthens it and makes it easier for them to hear it in themselves.  In your presence, they can more easily inhabit that in them which is beyond their limitations, a place of greater freedom and sanctuary.  Eventually they may be able to live there.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Giving Up Attachments

We took down the lodges today.  Actually, other people took part in taking down the lodges while I watched, felt and meditated.  I could sense that, as I said in my previous entry, that nothing of any significance was changing, a strange sensation, but also undeniable.
Tonight during my period of prayer and meditation I felt quite a bit more clear, as if I had given up some major attachment.  I gather that my attachment was to the physical structures and what they meant to me.  As various spiritual teachers have indicated, giving up attachments is a large part of spiritual growth, and the process leads to greater freedom.  This was a good example.


There have been several times in my life where the events were game or rule changing, meaning times where I could no longer keep doing the things I was accustomed to.  For example, when I quit using drugs and alcohol to cope with life or became disabled and could no longer walk, unassisted.  This is one of those times, and it is important for me to recognize that.  I have been doing sweat-lodges once or twice a week for the last twenty years and that activity, including preparing for them and recovering after them, has absorbed a good part of my life.  That is changing.  There is also a definite awareness that, in reality, nothing is changing other than the physical activity.  An awareness that the spiritual significance of that activity is timeless and does not change.  The love, connection and impact on consciousness/awareness does not change.

Friday, November 1, 2013


When I get up in the morning for my period of prayer and meditation there are several tasks that I perform like preparing and fiddling with a fire in the wood-stove,  reading e-mails or preparing and soaking in the hot-tub.  In the past, I have looked on these activities as forms of  “Splitting wood and carrying water” that actually facilitated, in a zen way, my focusing on prayer and meditation, and they very definitely helped.  I now realize that those activities, if continued, are also a distraction from my main purpose.  They give me something to do, rather than simply getting to the prayer and meditation.  Originally, they facilitated my process, now it is time to let them go and move on, a change to be aware of.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three Questions

Today I encountered a difficult problem, which I cannot give any detail about, since it concerns several of my clients. I have now worked through the problem, having made use of meditation and asking myself the three questions that I describe in my website (1. Would I do this in front of God, 2. Is my name really on it, 3. Will this increase the integrity of the universe).  I kept asking myself the each of the three question while meditating/contemplating and considering various possible options of things I could do.  I kept it up until I got a positive feeling in my heart/guts when I asked each of the questions.  I now feel clear about the path to take.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Being Gentle With Myself

I was reminded several times today that I am my main block to my own spiritual and emotional growth.  I realized several years ago that I was attached to various ideas, attitudes, expectations of what should be, and that my own ideas and attitudes held me back.  Having realized that, my tendency, at that time, was to use harsh judgment and criticism toward myself.  I have since come to realize that harsh judgment and criticism toward myself (or anyone else!) accomplishes nothing other than making me feel bad.  Instead, borrowing from Kornfield, I think of myself as a warm, well intentioned, stupid puppy.  I, more or less, expect a puppy to take a dump on my valuable oriental carpet or chew the legs of my furniture, and love that puppy regardless.  I find it hard to be angry at the puppy, at least for long.  A good approach to myself.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Removal Of Distractions

I arrived at greater clarity this morning concerning the value of the house we are soon to move into in Flagstaff.  It is a simple dwelling that will provide all of our needs, a fair degree of comfort and few distractions, thus allowing increased spiritual and emotional growth, assuming we are each willing to put our focus there.  It is about half the size of our current house, it has considerably less land, is in the center of town, it is fairly new and quite basic.  It has little of the challenging, “hippie” personality of our current dwelling.  In many ways it is the equivalent of the “shack in the woods” of many traditional spiritual seekers.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Prayer & Meditation

I recognize that it is a very valuable lesson for me but I find it easy to become occupied and a bit obsessed with the day to day events of moving, rather than focusing on the peace and love of the eternal “I am”.  Most events in my life are not that compelling.  I am reminded of the quote usually attributed to Ram Dass, “If you think you are enlightened, try visiting your parents”.  The ordeal of moving brings me back to thoughts of worldly events and, since my thoughts are often fear based, I find myself fretting over little things that would normally not bother me.  I then, using prayer and meditation, return to the peace, serenity and love of I am.  Quite a contrast and valuable lesson to realize that many people believe in the day to day events, rather than returning to prayer and meditation.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Path With Heart

It’s a bit after 2:00 A.M., the time when I generally get up, which sounds pretty strange.  The primary reason that I get up now is that the hours between 2:00 and 6:00 are when I feel most connected to God, or whatever you call that force, a special time for me.  It’s a time for my most powerful physical healing.  It’s also the time that I get my instructions for anything of import, later that day, generally my service commitments.  It’s four hours of prayer and meditation that I do each day, changing my whole day and outlook on life.  I know of no-one else who does this, though I suspect they are out there.  It is a practice that works for me, part of my “path with heart”.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Beginnings

We had our last lodge at this location tonight.  The theme of the lodge, determined by the first stone brought in, was “new beginnings”, a very appropriate theme since we will move to another location soon and a new chapter will begin.  Several people in the lodge expressed sadness and gratitude.  Gratitude for what the lodge has meant for them and sadness that it was the last lodge.  As I mentioned in the lodge, the sadness is good to feel, but it is best to also celebrate the new beginning.
I understand, through meditation, that it is important to realize that the love, growth and relationships within the lodge, had an impact that went beyond the lodge.  That impact will not change with the ending of the lodge.  It is simply time to move on.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A New Perspective

The central topic in the recovery meeting I attended today was “gratitude”.  As I indicated in that meeting, I find it easy to be grateful when my life is going smoothly and things turn out the way I prefer.  However, that is usually not what happens and I still find myself profoundly grateful for the wonderful life I lead, due largely to my change in perspective, away from the material and towards the non-material/eternal, over the last several years.
Years ago I was young, very strong and appeared to be in good shape.  I was also well respected in my field of study, had been invited to speak at prestigious universities and asked to prepare a summary for “Important Men in Science”.  My wife and I were both working, so we had material success and security.  These were all things that I was taught would result in happiness.  I was also an active alcoholic and miserable.  Now, I have none of the things I just mentioned.  I am sixty-five, disabled, lead a relatively obscure life and my wife does not work outside of the home so we get by on what I make.  In short, I have no security.  I am also very happy since I have daily connections and many loving relationships.  I realize that material things mean next to nothing, and place my emphasis on the non-material.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Having Asked

Many years ago I prayed to see people and events the way that God does.  Since then, I have had numerous experiences of being in what I call the “God Place”, primarily during meditation.  While in the God place I feel a strong sense of the absolute, a feeling of love, connectedness, understanding and compassion.  I now see and understand people and events with a great deal of clarity and feel an over whelming sense of love, respect and compassion towards those people and events at the same time.  For myself I truly see that I am a “work in progress”, wonderfully human and a perfect “Charlie”, all at the same time.  I see and feel the same for others.  Having asked, I can do no less.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Focus On Love & Connection

A good day.  Before the day began I decided to carry out the day’s numerous activities while keeping in mind the importance of  love, connection, compassion and understanding as my main mission.  My day began with a phone call and connection to a family member of a client of mine, a very positive experience.  I next completed my dealings with the car rental outfit and the company doing the body-work on my car, both positive since I kept my focus on love, connection, compassion and understanding.  I then attended a session with the healer I use, once again keeping my focus on love, connection, compassion and understanding.  When I returned, I met with a sponsee and, once again, had a good connection and interaction.  I finished out the day by doing some continuing preparation for the coming move.  Mission accomplished!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Love Based

I comment on my website about the brain’s activity, thinking, being fear based, as opposed to the absolute or “I am”, which I access through meditation and service work, being love based.  Today in particular, and recently in general, I have had numerous opportunities to see the difference in others and experience that difference in myself.  The difference is most notable as the feelings I get while connecting with someone or during my period of prayer and meditation in the morning versus the feelings I get while filling out the paperwork needed for the coming move.  The choice is obvious.  I much prefer the love based feelings!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Next Right Thing

I am aware of two main issues going on in my life right now.  The first is physical and relatively simple.  The fact is that I am sixty-five and disabled, both of which impose limits on my physical endurance and abilities.  Maria, of course, has her own limitations, which I need to respect, as well.  We are planning to move within the next couple of weeks and there are many tasks that must be completed.  I need to complete my share of the tasks while staying within my limitations, a challenging balance.
The second issue is new territory for me.  As I have indicated, I am relatively detached from all of the necessary surveys, signings, negotiations and procedures that accompany house selling and buying.  I am attempting to pay attention to the procedures that require my attention, while relying on our real estate agent to take care of most things, an exercise in trust and faith.
I am attempting to just keep doing the next right thing, with these issues in mind.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spiritual Practices

Largely due to the meditation and contemplation portions of my spiritual practices I have come to realize many things about myself and life in general, many of which I mention in my website.  One big realization is that I no longer identify with the transient, vapor like events of the physical plane, but rather the unborn, absolute, eternal nature of the spiritual plane.  One of the larger, related, changes in my attitude, which I have been acutely aware of recently, is that I now face the changes in life with love, peace and gratitude rather than fear and anxiety.  This is a large change in attitude, for which I am very grateful.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Spirit Side

In addition to working and connecting with a couple of clients, most of the day was spent preparing boxes and doing some preliminary packing, for the upcoming move.  While performing these activities, I reflected on my recent past here and the changes that are about to take place.  We are about to move into a house that is very mainstream within a very mainstream neighborhood.  During the past twenty years we have been involved in the sweat-lodge and becoming familiar with spirits, angels and what is commonly called the “other side”, decidedly not mainstream.  I suspect that it is now time to blend the two, though I do not know yet what form that will take.  I am looking forward to the challenge.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Spiritual Living

Many years ago I watched a movie called “Jeremiah Johnson” starring Robert Redford.  In that movie he started out as a very naive young man heading off to live in the Rocky Mountains and became a seasoned mountain man admired by many.  He encountered and overcame a great deal of life-threatening adversity along the way.  Toward the end of the movie he commented to Will Geer that “it oughta have been different”.  Similarly, I am admired by many, like who I have become and what I know but I sometimes wish I did not have to go through so much adversity to get here.  As Joy Marsh once said, I can “see the colors of music, hear the songs of color and [lead a life] blessed with magic people”.  I got here because of teachers, meditation and many adverse experiences.  All of those things helped drive me to the spiritual life I now lead.  It is what it is.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Respecting Limitations

We had our last sweat-lodge for the young addicts and alcoholics tonight, at least for a while.  As usual, it was a wonderful experience with lots of connection, respect and love.  After the lodge, one of the participants asked me how the house I will be moving into was and I replied “boring”.  That response surprised me a bit, but I realized that this house does not present me with any new challenges.  The house is quiet, comfortable, complete and seems to meet my needs, rather than a difficult and challenging rehab. special.  I think at the age of sixty-five, it is time to do things a bit differently.  Something about age & disability!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It now is clear that some changes are about to happen in my life.  During the next few weeks I will be moving from this house to a smaller house within the city of Flagstaff, a change that I, very purposely, brought on myself.  Compared to other recent changes, when I was in pain and genuinely did not know if I would survive, this is not a big deal.  However, it is a change and there is some stress associated.  My tendency will be to get involved in the process and reduce my self-care and spiritual practices.  For that reason, the change will call for greater diligence as far as my self-care and spiritual practices and, in addition, observing my behavior to insure that I not take out my stress on others.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Internal Well Being

Today I encountered a number of people who are indulging in all sorts of activities like going to loud parties, owning the right car, having a lot of money, having the right job, taking vacations to the right places or leading a totally carefree life in order to have “fun” and feel better about themselves and life in general.  Why not?  They live within a culture that says if the externals are just right then a person will feel good internally, a message they hear several times a day.  It seems that most people, including me, need to experience some of these things in order to know that they are hollow and will not improve my internal feelings.  In fact, the more I tried to fix my internals by adjusting my externals, the worse I felt, since nothing seemed to work.  Quietly being of service to others and having a good connection to God/love seems to work, an internal shift toward living within love.  I took notice of the fact that the happiest people I knew, had very few material possessions, while many who had a great deal were miserable, or even committed suicide.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Utility Of Pain

During a session this morning, I was openly admired for my abilities, knowledge and who I am and, I have to admit, I am pleased as well.  Not surprisingly, the admiration and my positive feelings were nicely balanced out by being considered a bit of a nuisance and an idiot later the same day!  The response later in the day was by service people largely in response to my speech impediment, which is a nuisance to me too.  At any rate, my abilities, knowledge and who I am are partly a result of what I have been through in this life.  I have been faced with numerous very hard choices, experienced extreme pain and had to accomplish seemingly impossible things in order to avoid suffering, pain and death.  In short, I have grown through adversity.  I have also witnessed the benefits of adversity in numerous other people.  It would seem that adversity and pain, while very unpleasant, are also beneficial.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Linear Time, A Convenience

It is clear to me that the linear time I mentioned yesterday, the notion that events happen within a definite and predictable cause-and-effect sequence, is just a transient convenience of the physical body, not a necessary reality.  As various mystics and spiritual leaders have mentioned, the true Self and eternity are timeless, unborn and never die.  I have been briefly “jerked out” of the space-time continuum, an event I found quite traumatic, but also very illuminating since, before then I did not know it was possible.  Personally, I enjoy the notion of linear time, it works well in this body, but I also find it comforting to know that it is just a matter of convenience.  Like L. LeShan said in Alternate Realities "Reality is only partly our invention; it is also partly our discovery.  Our task is to discover how much and in what areas which is which; and then to determine how much new freedom this gives us and what we can do with it".

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Linear Time

It looks very likely that we will be moving soon and that my spiritual routines like the sweat-lodge and my daily communion within the hot-tub will be disrupted.  This change could readily be a source of concern for me but, during meditation, I have been assured that it won’t really change anything.  I think in terms of linear time and within linear time, moving could be a problem.  However, it has been made clear to me, though I do not understand completely, that linear time does not apply and that a temporary change makes no difference.  Understanding is not required.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Beyond Words

I had the opportunity to talk with several people about love/God based behaviors and attitudes that I describe on my website. Things like true power, perfectionism, selfless love, duality and the Absolute.  As I pointed out today, almost all of the information was gleaned from past mystics and spiritual leaders, very little was original.  To me, it is quite remarkable that each of them had encountered the same truths during their own meditation.  They each knew the value of the love/God based way of life, a way of life which they could not adequately describe using words.  Essentially, we could only talk around it using metaphors and analogies.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Acting Out Of Love

Today I had the pleasure of connecting with various people who were all learning to act out of what I call the God or love part of themselves.  Most of them were also intimately familiar with acting out of their dark sides, having each done that for many years.  For several of them, I have helped them make the shift, a wondrous experience for me.  I lead a life of being of service to others, so watching and participating in others acting out of love is very meaningful for me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

God Part

Having allowed it to dominate my thoughts, feelings and behaviors for many years, I am very much aware of my shadow or dark side, that part of me that is hurt, angry, extremely self-centered and fear-based.  More recently, I have also seen that part expressed in other people.  As far as I can tell, we all have it.  Also as far as I can tell, we all have, what I call the “God part’ as well.  The God part is that seed in each of us that is loving, empathic, other directed and knows that we are all connected.  I have learned that by nurturing the God part, I can lovingly embrace both parts, while acting on the God part.  Living that way is a lot more enjoyable, for me and those around me.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Miracle of Recovery

Thanks to meditation, contemplation and rest, today I felt emotionally and spiritually strong and connected, not at all the way I felt yesterday.  I find it impressive that on the one hand I can know God, that life is eternal (not dependent on the transient, physical body) and that everything is in divine order, while, on the other hand be stressed out by relatively trivial life events.  All I can conclude is that earthly drama and events are very compelling.
I went to one of my recovery meetings tonight.  While there, I looked around the room in amazement at the fact that I was in a room full of drug addicts and alcoholics who were clean and sober and talking about their own feelings.

Monday, October 7, 2013


It is important for me to admit that for much of the day today, I was struggling to maintain any sort of connection with the Source/God or the peace that comes with “I am”, and I felt pretty challenged and overwhelmed by life.  It took me a while to realize through meditation and contemplation that I had taken on too many earthly concerns and, in addition, was having unreasonable expectations of myself and Maria.  I altered my attitude and expectations and am now feeling connected again, a good example of the spiritual utility of discomfort as a corrective event.  I suspect that if my spiritual strength, which is very good, were better, I would not get pulled into the earthly concerns.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Meaning In Life

I have been tense for several hours today until a few minutes ago.  My tension was due to several life events being up in the air, meaning unresolved, the main events are buying a new house and selling our existing one.  Feeling tense is highly unusual for me, any more, and I do not enjoy it.  My relief came when someone I know well expressed gratitude due to the support and love he has experienced over the last year.  I suddenly realized, deeply, what M. Williamson said, that “Money, of itself, means nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean nothing.  It’s not that they’re bad. It’s that they’re nothing.”  As she points out and I remembered, love and relationships do mean something.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Spiritual Growth

I was struck today, during my guidance of others, by how much I have grown and changed during the twenty-eight years of my recovery.  I realize now that I have been very carefully and purposefully molded by various guides and teachers, both physical and non-physical.  Molded to become a loving, compassionate, understanding guide/teacher myself.  My strongest support and guidance has been non-physical, as a result of asking for support and guidance during meditation.  Getting guidance from an outside source feels very different from accessing my own intuition, though both occur during meditation.
In addition to being a teacher/guide myself, I usually stress the importance of having a strong and trusting relationship with a teacher during the growth process, in order to promote growth and avoid the many pitfalls.  I realize, though I don’t understand why, that most people cannot access non-physical teachers, the way I do, so a physical teacher is important.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Spiritual Blessing

It was mentioned in the recovery meeting I went to today, that I had said a few months back that “pain is a spiritual blessing”.  The fact is that it is generally some form (emotional, physical, spiritual) of pain that leads us to spiritual or emotional growth.
In my case, historically, the pain has had to be pretty intense before I paid attention.  I had my first indication of physical problems late in my teenage years.  I then had periods of gradually increasing pain and problems for many years after that and responded “I can deal with this”.  I finally paid attention when I was thirty-six and knew I would die soon if I did not do something differently.  I began the journey of changing in the direction of love and spirituality and I have repeated the same pattern of not changing until things get pretty bad many times.  I have finally learned to change much more readily!
As Richard Bach said in his book One, “An easy life doesn’t teach us anything.  In the end it’s the learning that matters: what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown.” I love where the pain has led me, I did not enjoy the experience.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Today, I realized, in the middle of my conversation, that I had misunderstood the person I was conversing with.  As a result, I immediately changed my approach.  I am usually pretty good at listening, empathizing and understanding, but not in this case.  Generally, I am proud of my ability to really listen to the other person, so this was a good wake-up call.  After reflecting on the interaction, I realized that my listening was clouded by my projections and assumptions.  No blame, just a fact.  I find it useful to use introspection in monitoring myself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Letting Go

It seems that we have a buyer for our current home and we are negotiating the final price with him.  In addition our septic system has just backed up and I am in the midst of working with body shops and insurance to get the back of my car fixed.  Tonight, Maria and I found out that we are supposed to find a house to buy and live in, during the next week.  These concerns are all mixed up with our own health concerns.  With all of these concerns it is very entertaining to witness my mind go back and forth between the fear of certain outcomes and the peace and serenity of knowing that we only have to do the next right thing and the outcomes will be just fine.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Feeling Solid

Today, several things happened in my life that could have disturbed me and taken me away from knowing that “life is good” and that everything is in “divine order”, but they did not and that pleased me.  I realized that things like insurance companies, car problems, house selling and backing up septic systems mean nothing next to the love and relationships with friends and family in my life.  The worldly events also do not alter, in any way, who I really am or my connection with “All That Is”.  My position feels very solid and real, not at all like I am trying to make it be something it is not, a feeling I am quite familiar with and have felt most of my life, regarding worldly events.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Finding Self

I used to identify empathically and closely with the suffering, fear, hurt and chaos of the world around me.  I felt like I was part of that world and, since I wanted to lead a meaningful life, I wanted to intervene and somehow make it better, less of the suffering, fear, hurt and chaos.  Now, thanks to the teachings of various mystics, spiritual leaders and my own meditation, I identify with the peace and love which is also all around me even within the suffering, fear, hurt and chaos.  During my meditation, I repeatedly turn away from any attachment to the pain of the world around me, realizing that my true Self is the peace and love I find in my connection with what I call God.  I still want to change the world, but do so in a joyful way and realize that everything is in divine order.  I also know that my actions and beliefs are part of that divine order.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dark Side

We all have a dark or shadow side.  Personally, I lived within it for many years, while using, drinking and being unpleasant, meaning I let that negative aspect of myself dominate my thinking and actions.  Over the years, I have learned to bring that part of myself into consciousness, emotionally embrace it, and not to act on it, a process I call “holding hands with the dragon”.  I now live within love, another part of myself.  I let love dominate my thinking and actions and apply that love to my dark side.  It now feels inclusive, like total self-acceptance, which I can also apply to others.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


When I speak of “unconditional love”, I do not mean what I generally call “country song love”, which frequently includes things like enmeshment and co-dependence.  I do mean being willing to extend oneself for someone else’s spiritual or emotional growth, with compassion and caring, regardless of what they have said or done.  In older individuals this often involves not preventing them from experiencing natural consequences.  The love I speak of could, for example, include allowing them to experience the anxiety of placing a large amount of value on something transient like a job or the vigor of being young.  The unconditional love I speak of could also involve calling the police and allowing a person to experience going to jail.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Connecting & Healing

I was reminded today that several of the young addicts/alcoholics that I have worked with are doing very well, staying away from drugs and moving forward in their lives.  A few others are not doing well at all.  I am certainly not responsible for their successes or failures, but I play a part.  My responsibility is to “play my piano and sing my little song” the best I can, any given day, the rest is not up to me.  Just the same, I do enjoy connecting with these guys and watching them grow and change.
One of the things that has struck me over and over about working with these guys and helping them get out of a self-destructive life-style, is the importance of loving them, purely and with as little co-dependence as possible (I usually can’t escape it entirely, but I don’t act on it!).  I find it important to love them, let then know that I care, have very firm boundaries and let them also know that I will not accept lying or manipulation from them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eventful Day

This was a very long, eleven hour, day, which began with several hours of staff meetings and ended with several hours of sweat lodge preparation and a sweat.  I knew it would be a long, demanding day so I asked/prayed for support, and got it.  It was quite something to feel that added support flow into me and then leave, when the day was over.
The lodge for young recovering addicts, was a strong one.  They were very appreciative of the experience.  It appeared to me that they were hungry for a spiritual experience which emphasized love, connection and oneness, rather than the individuality, accomplishment and competition emphasized by the dominant culture.  It was wonderful to be a part of.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don'T Take It Personally

I have been participating in a lot of activity in an effort to get some body-work done on my car, primarily dealing with the insurance company and the body-shop.  I find it entertaining to watch as my ego tries to jump up and assert itself, particularly when the person I am addressing reacts to my speech as if I am incompetent.  At one point it was even suggested that my wife could take care of it, since I clearly couldn’t.  Rather than reacting I simply said that I would take care of it.  It is fun to watch, and reassure myself that their reaction says little about me so there is no need to take it personally.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prayer & Meditation

I have been attending recovery meetings for many years.  I find it useful to be reminded daily of what works (results in peace and joy) and what does not work (results in fear and turmoil).  Daily periods of prayer and meditation, being with that force of peace, love and connection which I call God works, no matter what a person calls it or believes in.  Nisargadata says that the mind is always “restless”, my comment is that it is “fear based”, and by its nature does not lead to a sense of peace or love.  I think I will stick to my daily practice of prayer and meditation!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Humanity, A Wonderful Thing

I spoke harshly to a woman after the lodge tonight.  Nothing inappropriate, I just, basically said “leave me alone” using a very loud and harsh tone, and, as I explained when I apologized, it was the best I could do at that time, since I was having substantial pain due to numerous cramps.  I do not enjoy such reminders of my humanity, at least during the period shortly after they happen.  However, given time, I return to the unconditional love and nature I have come to know from God.  I find solace in the knowing that there is not even anything to forgive since I am simply a wonderful, beautiful human being.  Having come to know that, I can,  and do, apply the same to others.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Acting Out Of Love

Today I became very aware that during any given day, I make many decisions concerning my own actions.  If those actions affect only me, I can determine what will “increase the integrity of the universe” pretty readily, using some meditation/contemplation.  However, if those actions impact other people, as well as me, my attachments, desires and judgments cloud my decision to do the next right thing, I no longer feel free to decide and it becomes more difficult.  I would like my actions to be out of love and free of co-dependence or attachments but that is not always easy, particularly when my actions could, potentially, cause others to be uncomfortable or angry.
It took longer but the decision is now clear!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I spent a few hours this afternoon making a large (six gallon) pot of very fine vegetable soup (splitting wood and carrying water).  We then had some of the soup for dinner, delicious.  While doing this it struck me how wonderful and, largely, meaningless the whole process was.  I felt free to sense both aspects strongly and my perception felt balanced and true.  In the past I would try to find some personal fulfillment or meaning in the activity, coupled with a feeling of hollowness and/or disappointment.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Spiritual Guidance

As I said during a recovery meeting today, I consider pain, either emotional or physical, to be a form of spiritual guidance, a position I have developed in response to years of my own pain and a desire to reduce that pain.  I generally consider pain to be an indicator that I might want to do things differently.  For example, if I allow my sense of peace and happiness to depend on any sort of worldly experience like my job, physical condition or the weather, then I am likely to experience periods of pain or discomfort.  As a result, I have learned to participate in worldly experiences while focusing on the love and peace of the eternal or absolute, being in the world but not of it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Holistic Healing

Today, I went to the healer I use, a hands on medical intuitive.  I found our session exhausting and was glad I had set aside the rest of the day for R. & R.  Presumably due to his work and mine, I have noticed significant changes in my brain function.  I find myself wondering how far the positive changes will go, considering the force genetics and the damage I have done to my brain with drugs and alcohol.  My holistic approach already has resulted in healing far beyond what was predicted by the medical profession.  It is what it is.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It has been important for me to realize that the reality of the eternal, unborn part of the self is right there, always present, within each of us, and all we have to do to sense its presence is to clear away (negate) the parts that are transient and solely of this world. Simple, but not easy!  At first, I could only sense that presence briefly during meditation.   I now enjoy knowing the eternal part of the self most of the time, getting pulled back into the worldly drama occasionally.  I find a strong sense of peace, love and connectedness there.  The eternal part is the reality I live with.  The transient part seems to be all about drama, chaos and fear, but is also very compelling.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Tonight at the recovery meeting, various people mentioned the difficulties they were having in their lives and I commented, first acknowledging my own numerous difficulties, that the problems were all a beautiful and wonderful part of the human condition.  Things like disabilities, deaths, floods, murders, sobriety, births, beauty and, so called, miracles are all different sides of the same coins.  Within this world of dualities, one does not exist without the other.  While we are in human form, it is important to know, experience and feel each on our path toward learning about giving and receiving love.  It is then possible for that timeless, unborn part of each of us, to carry that being back to the absolute.

Monday, September 16, 2013

R & R

The most notable thing about today was how depleted I felt, so I napped, ate, exercised a bit and did not push myself to do anything.  During the last two days I asked for and got a lot of guidance and support, in order to be of maximum service.  I pushed myself.  As a result, today I felt depleted and had a day of rest.  It is best for me to be aware that in order to be a conduit of love/God, I need to take care of myself.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Another long and complicated day.  I was reminded several times of how important the sweat lodge has been for me over the years, how much it has changed me and how much I have learned due to the lodge.  As I said today at one point, “I used to be a regular white boy”, meaning that my attitudes, ideas and experiences fell within the accepted norms of the dominant culture.  Now, I would be considered “crazy” and I am good with that, it is fine with me.  Most of the attitudes, ideas and experiences that fall outside of the norm (seeing and working with spirits, having visions, communicating with the weather, realizing that consciousness is not necessarily located in the brain, etc.) come from the lodge.  I often find out that many others have similar experiences, we just don’t talk about them much.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Support & Guidance

This morning, before the day really began, I asked for support and guidance, knowing it was going to be a long and complicated day, requiring a lot of listening, connecting, action and endurance.  The day was, indeed, very demanding and I was quite aware of the support and guidance.  My day did not really begin until 10:00, followed by about six hours of working with families of addicts/alcoholics.  Finally, I led a sweat-lodge, which was draining and required a different sort of presence.  During all of these activities, I was aware of the power of God quietly surging through me.  All in all, it was a wonderful day to be present for.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Staying Right Sized

A day of contrasts, mostly enjoyable, some not, all of it very good to keep me “right sized”.  For most of the day I was connecting and interacting with people, either at a recovery meeting or with my own clients.  In all cases there was mutual respect and caring.  Then I went to a grocery store to get some cottage cheese.  I went directly to the refrigerated cheese and yogurt section, expecting it to be there, which it was not.  I began searching for it and finally asked a store employee its location.  His response was to direct me back to the cheese section and get away from me as soon as possible, a response I am quite familiar with.  The look on his face and his actions said something like “tell the idiot whatever he will be happy with and get him away from me!” .  I felt anger and frustration so I knew not to take action or say anything, I left the store without my objective.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Power Of God

Tonight, as often happens, I felt very strongly “seized by the spirit”, a feeling of joining with and being a conduit for the power of God.  I generally feel it most strongly during my early morning sessions, while focusing on spiritual reading, writing, prayer and meditation.  I do not even try to understand that power, just sense it, appreciate it and be with it.  There is absolutely no question that I will do whatever that power wants and follow it anywhere.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pass It On

I have an impact on the lives of some people, talking to them about love, connection and the eternal, while giving up their attachments to the material.  Since I am a therapist, the impact is purposeful and direct.  Most of the people I impact are not therapists so their impact on others is less purposeful.  In each case, we have an impact because of who we are, not what we do.  I received my information from several sources and simply pass it on.  The people I impact, in turn, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not, impact the lives of several others, and the changes continue.  It is wonderful to be part of the web.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Changing The World

Recently, it has been made very clear to me that I have played a major role in changing the lives of other people.  Some were heroin users that have stopped using and others were non-addicts who are now more “awake”.  Additionally, they have all changed their attitudes and behaviors dramatically.  One thing that is very important for me to realize is that it really was not me that caused the change at all, that I was only the most proximate instrument.  In reality, it is like N. Maharaj says, that no event in life has a single cause, that everything in the universe cooperates in producing the change.  It is also very important for me to realize, that I stayed open, listened and did the next right thing, no minor accomplishment.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Passion

I am committed to helping others grow and learn.  I want to be of service, and that is my passion.  For some reason, I have been given many gifts that result in knowing and living a life which is very different from what I was told as a child, adolescent or young adult.  What I have learned, largely from past mystics and spiritual leaders, is that most of the material things I was taught to value mean next to nothing.  What I now value are things like love, connection, God, spirituality, forgiveness and compassion, things I cannot see, touch or feel physically.  I now know the peace and joy that I was seeking, in spite of my physical challenges.  My behavior and attitudes have changed dramatically.  My passion is to help others know these things and change the world, one person at a time.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Using Intuition

Maria and I have a division of labor which, on the surface, seems imbalanced, even risky but also works very well and feels right.  She works around our home, doing the things that I either lack the coordination to do or simply lack the time.  She also works with other people in recovery and volunteers at a local hospice.  She, basically, makes it possible for me to function outside of some sort of assisted living arrangement.  I, on the other hand, work outside of the home and make the money that keeps our ship afloat.  I also love what I do and am good at it.  The fact is that what I make in an hour would take her a great deal longer.  My left brain says that depending on me for income is unwise, my right brain or intuition says the situation is good the way it is.  This is one of the many situations where I would like my left brain to be quiet!