Saturday, August 10, 2013

Being Worthy

I often wonder at the fact that I have been gifted with the experiences and knowings that have come my way.  I no longer have the tendency toward self-hatred or the self-deprecation that I developed early in life, so I do not constantly feel unworthy of the gifts.  On the other hand, I do not consider myself to be special either.  I am Charlie.  I simply kept emotionally and physically turning away from things like material possessions, co-dependency and the relatively hollow, transient experiences of this world while turning toward things like love, connection and the eternal, things that most people associate with God.  As a result, I now lead a very fulfilling life and have many miraculous and magical experiences.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Spiritual Path

In my connections and conversations today I had people bring up the notion that they had to “give up” various behaviors and attitudes like the enjoyment of material things, sex, wild parties or other activities in order to follow a “spiritual path”.  I think important to realize that it is impossible to not follow a spiritual path and that every event in life adds to that path.  I also think it important to realize that the various behaviors and attitudes are simply a wonderful part of being human and living on this planet.  It is all part of our growth and the reason we are here.
That being said, it is certainly possible, as in my case, to purposefully give up those attitudes and behaviors that tend to distract from things like love, connection, God or eternity and incorporate those things that reinforce those concepts.  For example, I do not own a TV, do not drink caffeinated beverages, eat limited sugar, do not consume drugs or alcohol, do not participate in gossip and tend not to attend large parties or social gatherings.  I do a lot of prayer, meditation, contemplation, exercise regularly, eat carefully and sleep enough.  My view is that is a matter of personal choice.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Different Events

To me, the most important event of the day was a sweat lodge for several recovering young addicts/alcoholics, a wonderful experience with lots of spiritual and human connectedness.  The lodge was preceded by several hours of staff meetings within the center that gives me most of my referrals, also with a good deal of connectedness, but less intensity.  The lodge is more personal and immediate, while the staff meeting is more professional.  The difference in my motivation and level of passion is quite noticeable, to me.  However, both are vital for me continuing what I do.  In each case, I simply wish to promote the importance and power of love, connectedness, understanding, compassion and the belief in some sort of unifying, benevolent force.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I went through years (like thirty-six!) of being “asleep”, as the Buddhists would call it.  Meaning, I was going through life as a functioning child then adult without much thought or awareness of underlying motives or attitudes.  Using things like various teachers/guides journaling, introspection and meditation, I then began to become aware of the fears, attachments and desires that were driving me and that those driving forces did not feel good.  I then, systematically, one at a time, began giving up those fears, attachments and desires and turned, instead, toward things like love and compassion, a very healing journey.  One of the aware nesses that I have developed over the years is how beautifully human  every step of this process was/is, even being “stuck” at one point or another.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Causes of Suffering

Several more examples today of how desires, attachments and expectations can really affect our emotions and attitudes.  As various mystics and spiritual leaders have commented, our desires, attachments and expectations can pull us away from feelings like love, compassion and understanding, making it difficult or impossible to nurture that good seed in each of us.  As they commonly state, and I have experienced, those desires, attachments and expectations cause most of our suffering.  I have seen and felt both sides and, now, have a strong preference for love, compassion and understanding.  Prayer, meditation and introspection have helped the transition.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Driven By Ego

I had an excellent example, today, of the way I used to be and a way I do not want to be anymore.  I was part of a meeting in which one person just wanted to make his position clear and to justify it.  He was not there to negotiate, compromise, listen to the other side or look at his part in the situation at hand.  Been there, done that.  I am reminded of something I hear in my recovery meetings, that “if I am not the problem, there is no solution”.  Personally, I stopped approaching any issues that way since when I did, nothing got accomplished and everyone involved felt lousy when it was over, though I had often made my point.  Fear and ego drive us to strange behaviors!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Searching & Finding

I had my wild time when I was quite a bit younger, a time of loud parties, outrageous behavior, drugs and alcohol.  The fact is, during those years I was desperately searching.  I was searching for a feeling of connection and a sense of self.  I have both of those in my life now, but in a very quiet way.  It is a way that appears to require a lot of discipline, no drugs or alcohol and is certainly not self-destructive.  I spend a great deal of my time attempting, with some success, to show my current way of life to others.  It also strikes me, daily or several times daily, how difficult it is to maintain this way of life in the face of a culture and social milieu that does not support it.