Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pass It On

Before the lodge tonight I read an e-mail that asked who my first teacher was and I was immediately transported back to sitting and talking with Randy, a poor, sixty-ish, gay, black man, on the tow path of the canal in New Hope, PA, when I was a young teen.  He was the first person in my life to show me selfless love and acceptance.  There have been numerous other teachers, physical and non-physical, during my life.  I was filled with gratitude over the careful molding, guidance and support that I have received along the way.  Now they are all non-physical teachers and part of my role is to “pass it on”.
The lodge tonight was a strong one, as most are.  Thirteen people of both sexes, various ages and backgrounds all questing after spiritual growth, a beautiful thing to be part of.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dark Night of the Soul

Between 1988 and 1992 I went through what I now recognize as the “Dark Night of the soul”.  It was a period during which everything on the physical/material plane was either taken away or gave me no solace and I still had no meaningful connection with God.  It was a period of transition from intellectual to heart connection coupled with a transition from a reliance/ dependence on material things to non-material.  The things like intellect, money, power, prestige and physical ability were all stripped away or had no meaning, in large part due to the recent onset of my disability.  I became despondent and felt totally lost.  I did try to kill myself during that period, but was prevented from doing so by the power I was trying to connect with.  I had no teacher to guide me at that point, so it took several years for me to make the transition, but I gradually turned away from my dependence on things of the physical plane and developed a true, heart connection with God.  Having gone through the dark night and made the transition, my life and connection are truly wonderful, and I now know it was well worth it.
When I speak of a transition between an intellectual to a heart centered connection with God, I am referring to a switch from believing in the presence of that force, to knowing of it, or from thinking about God to feeling the presence of that entity.  I had been accustomed to using things like knowledge and information during most of my life.  Without the assistance of a teacher, the transition to using feeling and knowing rather than knowledge, took several years.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Heart Connection

The main activities for the day were that I went to the Medical Intuitive/healer that I have been going to for the last couple of years and then I led a men’s group tonight.  The topic that kept coming up was the importance and difficulty of making a heart connection with others, a true and human connection.  Maria and I made a good connection on the drive to and from the healer, then I made a good connection with the healer, while getting the treatment, which was another form of connection.  During the men’s group everyone spoke of the need for that connection and the ease or tendency to block it with personal fears, facades and intellect, all things I used to do.  The heart connection is a simple direct expression of love and humanity between individuals, a moment of intimacy, a beautiful and meaningful thing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Love Versus Aggression

I have found that if I approach my personal interactions with love and compassion, that it feels good and makes me stronger, emotionally and spiritually, the antagonism of others tends to dissolve and disappear.  The situation usually ends up being a win-win.  A good example of this idea is when I was rear-ended several months ago.  Rather than being angry and aggressive, I was loving and compassionate.  I kept reassuring the person who hit me that the incident was simply an inconvenience and pointed out that no one was hurt.  He calmed down, we gave the police the needed information and his insurance took care of the damage to my car.  A potentially negative situation did not happen and everyone felt good about the interaction.
If, on the other hand, I approach the interaction with aggression and fear, that is what comes back to me and no one is happy with the outcome.  It also weakens me.  In the example above I could have gotten angry and upset at the time spent or the damage to my car.  I could have gotten angry and defensive and the person that hit me could have gotten defensive and continued to feel bad.  It would be nice if the decision makers understood this simple approach, and acted accordingly.  Aggressive conflicts would go away and the freed-up resources could be used for more productive things.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Simplicity came up as a topic again today in the recovery meeting.  Several people commented that the enjoyable part of life is really pretty simple and that their brains complicate things.  A few people commented that their brains find ways to argue with themselves.  I could certainly identify with both.  I still hear whispers of my brain trying to take me out of the moment and complicate life with fearful thoughts.  I use a lot of mindful meditation in order to notice my thoughts and then gentle laughter to not take them seriously.  I then return to the simple truths of living in the moment, love and compassion.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Achieving Harmony

Today I am happy and at peace with my life.  I lead a life immersed in love and service to others and feel that my externals are harmonious with my internals.  Externals like possessions, money, power and prestige are not totally absent from my life but minimal, and they definitely take a back seat.  I encourage others to do the same, and that kind of life works for them too.  For me, the absence of physical health and the presence of physical pain certainly demand respect, attention, acceptance and effort, but apparently do not prevent happiness.  In reviewing how this came about for me, I would say that I made a lot of internal changes in attitudes and beliefs, followed by changes in my externals in order to achieve harmony.  Both sets of changes required a good deal of help, guidance, courage and perseverance.