Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Need For a Teacher

The importance of having a very close relationship with a trusted, loving and selfless teacher/mentor, has been on my mind of late.  I have had several along my path and I doubt I would be where I am without them.  At this point, it is challenging for me since I have a variety of earth-bound people who provide me with some guidance, while my main source of support and guidance is non-physical.  I have to be careful that my method of getting and following guidance is not driven by ego, which I have only been able to discern recently
The reason that it is important to have a teacher that we trust completely, is that there are many potential “traps” along the path to further spiritual development, many distractions or beliefs that can lead us astray.  I provide that sort of guidance to several people right now and have at least one person who thinks he knows better what he needs and is pursuing a path that will result in problems for him.  The different choices we can make are all part of the beauty of being human and part of our growth.

Friday, July 26, 2013

More Letting Go

Recently, I have been aware of a few people who do not like me, make up stories about me and indicate that I have been unfair with them.  Their response to me is a bit strange since, as far as I can tell, I have done nothing and have very little to do with their perception of me.  It still nags at me, as if I can/should do something about it, and I consider that option carefully.  What seems to be true, is that this sort of thing will go on in spite of any efforts to put an end to it.  As with many things, my best approach is to take action, when the opportunity presents itself and continue to conduct my life with love and integrity.  The outcome is not my responsibility.
I first became aware of the sort of thing I describe in the previous paragraph about twenty-six years ago, when working within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of the state of Maryland.  A colleague came into my cubicle to talk about personal matters and ended by saying “you're not so bad!”, and then realizing they should not have said that.  Another colleague came into my cubicle and asked “Do you have any idea what they are saying about you!?”  In each case, the talk around the office was, largely, independent of me and a good example of humanity.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Different View

Through my meditation and connection with the absolute, a place of love or God, it has become quite clear to me that it is not possible to fail at this thing we call life.  As many others have realized while on a path similar to mine, the eternal purpose of life is living/dying and growing in love during the process.  Within love, it is not possible to avoid accomplishing that, a realization that I find comforting.  It is certainly possible to fail to achieve certain goals during the life process, but that failure has little or no eternal significance.
Personally, I have been taught to always strive to achieve things and that the possibility of failure was always there.  The feeling was that failure was to be avoided, if possible.  I now realize that this attitude is fear based and illusory.  I feel a strong sense of freedom in that realization.  The lack of guilt, shame, worthiness or duty, results in the freedom to accomplish things from a feeling of love.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dealing With Change

We put our house back on the market today, with the thought/plan to move into a smaller place either in or near Flagstaff.  The main importance of this is that it feels like changes are afoot.  On the one hand, I realize that my comfortable routine may change soon and that the actual changes and my need to adapt will probably result in some discomfort and be a good thing.  On the other hand is some underlying anxiety about the fact of potential change, together with a feeling that I won’t be able to cope with it.  Both feelings exist together in me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Letting Go Of Attachments

The theme for the day was how we humans tend to cause our own suffering through the formation of attachments, desires and expectation.  I did this for years and then, quite vehemently and justifiably (I thought!), blamed other people for not fulfilling my plans and making my life miserable.  I still have the tendency but do not act on it and find it amusing when it comes up.  For me, the first step in giving up my attachments, desires and expectations was to stop blaming other people for my setting myself up.  Next I realized that they accomplished nothing other than my own discomfort and that I was placing value on transient, illusory things.  Having become thoroughly convinced of their uselessness, I systematically let each attachment, desire and expectation go as it came up, one at a time, sometimes easily and sometimes with great difficulty, depending on how firmly they were intrenched in my attitudes.  As a result, I am now free to really enjoy these various events and stay in the present, at the same time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Letting Go

I have a different understanding of this world than most other people, focusing on the importance of love, relationships, connection and the eternal.  Other people tend to filter in things like ego, personal politics, expectations, desires and their own concepts of right and wrong.  I act according to my understanding and then it is important for me to let the outcome go, since the outcome depends largely on others.  I have a strong sense of personal ethics but that sense only applies to my own behavior, the rest, I simply need to let go.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Self Knowledge

In talking with a young recovering addict today, I was reminded of how it was for me when I began recovery.  At that time, I was a very functional adult, academic type but as far as my internal, individual workings, I had no clue.  As that functional adult and academic, I could give lectures, lead committees, grade/teach/judge students and perform research, all without personal involvement.  I then judged the success or failure of my activities by the reactions of others, rather than my own, internal feelings.  I did not know myself.
Having begun the recovery process, I began to get to know myself, a process that continues today.  One of my first actions was to quit my job as an academic and take a less prestigious job in which I could begin to sort out what it meant to be Charlie.  Among other things, I discovered that I really enjoyed connecting with and working with other people.  I also discovered how fulfilling it was to follow a spiritual path, based on love and that connection.