Saturday, October 19, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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".