Saturday, December 26, 2015
This was a day of getting things done in preparation for taking a trip back east to Baltimore. I took the time to exercise, rest & eat but also just moved from one task to the next. I felt impatience creeping in and also fretting at moving too slowly. I simply kept reminding myself to do the "next right thing" and kept moving. It is now time to meditate and be at peace. I will be away for a few days.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Today was a day of valuing and being grateful for the numerous connections I have with other people. At this point in my life I love pretty much everyone & have no people that I consider enemies, though some that I would rather not be around. There was a special Christmas-eve gathering for worship tonight. I noticed that I wanted to be with the people, not for Christmas, which I do not celebrate because of commercialism, but for connection and love
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Connections of all types and being with social groups are very important to me, as are periods of solitude. I need both to feel balanced, usually daily. In terms of different types of connection, I enjoy being alone in various "wild" natural settings and I also enjoy the trees and birds in my own backyard, which is "tamed" and in the city of Flagstaff. We have a variety of social groups we are part of and connecting with people, experiencing different levels of intimacy is very important. With all of that, my alone time becomes extremely important. The balance keeps shifting, but is always rich.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
I went to the new Star Wars movie today and, as I commented to Maria, found it mostly silly and very enjoyable. It also strikes me that the ideas behind the "Force" are at least partly true. In my experience, there is a genuine healing and very positive power in love, empathy, connectedness and compassion. There is also a very enticing and destructive opposing force. I have felt and made use of each force or power. I have found the power in love, empathy, connectedness and compassion to be much more rewarding and fulfilling.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Today I performed several activities in order to promote my book and definitely felt "out there". When I perform such activities there is an old, family or origin part of me that shouts "you will be punished". On the other hand, there is a love-based part of me that simply feels that I am doing the right thing and that everything will be fine. I wish the fear part of me would go away or at least be silent. I will continue to act on the love-based side and not "feed" the fear.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Today I didn’t do anything remarkably different but I began to feel overwhelmed by life and realized that I just needed time to sit, contemplate, meditate and sort. I just needed sorting time. This morning I set up & then attended a recovery meeting. I then led a group therapy for some young recovering addict/alcoholics and, after that, went to a Christmas party. There was a lot of social interaction throughout. Tonight I just sat & sorted.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
I actually like and enjoy the fact that, as I described yesterday, "I place very little importance on many of the attitudes and ideas of this earthly existence, such as power and authority." In fact I frequently end up laughing or chuckling during the various social and political situations I encounter daily. Situations where people think that I should take them "more seriously". I truly believe that "Nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all". I enjoy being alive and participating in life.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Some people seem to be very good at negotiating smoothly through the various social and political situations without stepping on toes and just naturally following the prescribed protocol. I am not. I seem to have been absent when that sort of thing was taught. It is a bit strange to me since I have no malicious, competitive or antisocial intent. My attitude is generally loving, compassionate, understanding and honest. Most people perceive me that way, some do not. Part of the problem is that I place very little importance on many of the attitudes and ideas of this earthly existence, such as power and authority.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Through my prayer, meditation, contemplation, a near death experience and numerous living experiences I have come to know a very powerful, unconditionally loving, selfless and egoless force that, at this point, I would be foolish to deny. I have heard it said of that force many times that "there is something out there", an acknowledgment which seems to be adequate for leading a love based life. I now call that force God, a word that others do not use, which makes little or no difference. The fact is that force or God truly embraces the human experience and free will. This is not a personified jealous God/force who judges me, considers me to be sinful or pitiful or requires any sort of obedience.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Today, largely because of the accomplishment of writing and publishing my book, I have been reflecting on the large amount of help, support and guidance I have received along the way. It’s certainly true that much of that help, support and guidance came from that force of love or God, whatever you wish to call it. It’s also certainly true that much of that help, support and guidance came from the very human input of my wife, Maria. She provided and continues to provide some much needed emotional and physical support. It seems important for me to recognize the different forms of help, support and guidance I have received along the way.
Monday, December 14, 2015
One of the attitudes or approaches that I have learned from my recovery meetings is what I call "gentle loving laughter", in response to silly, foolish or even relatively harmless but destructive behavior. This is a non-derisive laughter that reflects fondness, understanding and recognition. It’s the same sort of laughter a person might have while watching some of the antics of a puppy. I use the same sort of laughter when observing myself doing foolish or silly things, such as what I described yesterday.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Today at the close of my recovery meeting a woman approached me with tears of gratitude over her appreciation of my book.. She hugged and thanked me. On the one hand I was pleased and on the other hand her actions scared me and made me want to run, since I felt exposed. I wanted to have an effect on people, but now having that effect scares me! Later on during a therapy group with young recovering addict/alcoholics my book was brought up in a similar way and my response was also similar. Something about being a silly human being comes to mind.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
For the last day or so, I have been very conscious of acting out of the God part of me or the "I am" part, the part that feels, as Williamson says, "powerful beyond measure." I am very aware that the power within that part actually stems from something outside of me, but it still feels like "dancing with a thousand pound gorilla", scary and daunting. There is a grrreat deal of healing and love there so I am committed to the experience and what it means.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Having gotten more in touch with the "I am" or essence part of me, as I described yesterday, I feel much stronger emotionally and spiritually. I also find the feeling a bit scary and daunting because, as Williamson says "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone."
Thursday, December 10, 2015
I have found myself saying to several people recently and in the past that "you are a great deal more than you think you are", because of my sense that if each of them would get in touch with their own essences, their God parts, that they would be much more than "their little selves" (Claremont deCastillejo). I realized today that the same is true with me, and now I will begin to figure out what to do with that. The realization came because of my book, today’s men’s group, the agency where I get most of my referrals and the promotion of my book. My way of acting within each venue will have to change. Time to meditate and contemplate that.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Today in our recovery meeting we talked about getting through the holiday season with minimal stress and no drinking. I realized that I now enjoy the holiday season, which for me usually includes some fellowship, gratitude, a feeling of love for all things, periods of peaceful solitude and no gift giving or drinking. What I just described is quite a change from how the holidays used to be for me and represents years of change. There was a period when I just did not do holidays, realizing that they caused me stress. I now enjoy the community and feeling of gratitude.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Today I was grieving the loss of the close friend I spoke of yesterday. The aspect that was notable about the grieving process was that I chose to just experience it and let it be rather than trying to distract myself or push through it. I was in an indecisive fog most of the day, mixed with periods of gratitude for my life. I just took it easy, did not make any major decisions, paid some bills and did some cooking, just general life stuff. When I comment that I was in an indecisive fog what I mean is that I did not care enough about what seemed like the little matters of life to make any decisions about them and I was good with that.
Monday, December 7, 2015
When I was nine or ten the city I was living in was periodically spraying the local trees with, what I now know to be DDT. All I knew at that age was that they were using "big orange trucks" and that their spraying was killing the insect eating birds (I did tell my parents what was happening but was dismissed since I was a child and had no proof). At that time, my family and I had a reputation of rescuing baby or injured animals. After one such round of spraying a neighbor woman brought a sick robin to me and asked me to care for it. Because of its symptoms I knew the bird had been poisoned and would die. I told the woman that the bird would be fine. After the woman left I put the bird out of its misery saying "go in peace little bird". This afternoon I had the privilege of sitting and praying with a woman who was about to die and what I kept thinking and said to her was "go in peace little bird". I then introduced her to the loving and welcoming spirits in the room that I could feel but not see. She died a short time later. The whole process was quite an honor.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
With friends having trying times, getting serious illnesses and dying I find it hard to keep a peaceful or even joyful view of life. From my own experiences and the resultant growth I have realized that life on this planet is frequently difficult, but ultimately leads to feelings of love, peace, gratitude and compassion. In my own life I have found true what Walsch says, that "For each circumstance is a gift, and in each experience is hidden a treasure." I have also come to realize that as Jampolsky says "death is a transition". I also go through the very human feelings of loss and grief.
Friday, December 4, 2015
My main activity today was preparing a six gallon batch of chili and then freezing it in quart containers. I cook it myself in order to use no preservatives, no added sugar, minimal salt and some local and organic ingredients. Food preparation is important to me and I feel a lot of gratitude for the ingredients and all of the work of various people in getting the food to my kitchen. I also met with one person and had a quiet, reflective day otherwise.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
I am finding that I am developing some clarity about my next step as far as my main occupation, which has been a mental health therapist and is becoming an author. I am also finding, not surprisingly, that I wish to hold on to my past. There are signs in my life that it may be time to let go and move on, even if I do not feel ready yet. My history is that I tend to hold on too long. We shall see!
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
I am in the early stages of setting up a panel discussion of my book, Three Simple Questions: Being in the World, But Not of It. I am not comfortable with activities that promote myself or my book, so setting up such a discussion is out of my comfort zone, though it feels like the right thing to do. I am also in the midst of significant life changes. In other words, much of my life is up in the air right now. I am "lost in a trackless desert", as Green says of a life of prayer. My position is ideal since I have given up attachments and am ready to listen and act accordingly. My position is also a bit uncomfortable in that there is a total lack of known and familiar signposts. It’s time to pray, ask for guidance, meditate and have faith!
Monday, November 30, 2015
I would like to live in a world of peace, love and interconnectedness and will do everything I can to promote that. As a species we are not there yet but moving in that direction, slowly. The most effective actions I can take to promote that are to act out of love and refuse to act out of fear. For example, I have written my book and contribute to several causes because they contribute to that loving interconnectedness. I also get fear based mail or hear news reports that say basically that some sort of disaster will happen if I do not act immediately The messages are fear based and meant to increase the clamor in my head so I meditate to clear the clamor, do not open the mail and turn off the radio. If I am put in a position where action on one of these causes is required of me, then I act, otherwise most situations are not my business. My primary and most effective responsibility whether interacting with others or raking leaves, is to act and think out of love and interconnectedness.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
I realize that it is not a popular concept but, as I point out in my book, following a spiritual path is often unpleasant and difficult, though the results are well worth it. The difficulty stems from the fact that staying on the path requires a great deal of introspection and discipline. It is also necessary to give up attachments to things within the created order and much ego involvement. In many cases following the guidance of a teacher or guide is needed. I have had to do everything I just described and continue with everything except having a teacher, at this time. As a result I have a wonderful life, feel a strong love for everything and everybody and consider my extensive physical problems to be an inconvenience.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
According to what I have been told during meditation, my daily experience and my observation of daily living, the purpose of life is to grow in love. This idea has also been suggested by many spiritual leaders in the past. That growth has certainly taken place in my own life., moving from hurt and anger to love I would like that process to be a beautiful field of clover, always pleasant to behold and travel through, and much of it has been. However, some of the life process for me has not been pleasant though the results have been wonderful.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
I have a very well developed awareness and a strong feeling of gratitude for the complete process of life. What I mean is that there is a great deal of the process of life which is not pleasant, but the final result is generally wonderful. I understand that part of life is working through problems and conflict, finally arriving at love, peace, forgiveness and faith. Ultimately that process is very fulfilling and rewarding to get through. I also feel grateful for the many pleasant things in life, things like relationships, friends and love.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Today was a very simple day of minimal connection with others and a great deal of food preparation, cooking. One of the ways in which I do not participate in the general economy is that I prepare my own meals using organic and local ingredients with no preservatives and minimal added sugar or salt. Typically I prepare several meals at once and freeze them for quick, efficient and healthy future use. This sort of food preparation takes more time but I need to be careful with my health, I feel good about it and I enjoy it. Most of my days involve intense and complex connections and interactions. This was a nice break.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Recently I have been very aware of the comment made by Richard Pries early in my recovery process, that "Nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all". It is clear to me that relationships and love matter but that the vast majority of things we worry about really make little or no difference. Typically I ask myself "would I care about this if I were on my deathbed?" and the answer is usually "no". The reason I have been reflecting on this is that I have a friend who is about to die from cancer. I will miss her presence in my life and wish her well.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Today at the Friend’s (Quaker) meeting one of the members of the meeting recommended my book to the other members, and at that moment I realized how proud I was that I had extended myself to write and publish the book. Later the same person commented that the book made her smile, which made me smile. I wrote the book as a major part of my efforts to "change the world" in favor of love, spirituality, compassion and forgiveness. I am a "dreamer" who also takes action. I keep encountering the same beliefs and attitudes in others, though those attitudes are frequently overcome by fear and competition. As Maria, my wife, pointed out, I am not done. I will continue in my attempts to "increase the integrity of the universe".
Sunday, November 22, 2015
We are entering what is generally known as the holiday season, which I generally don’t participate in very much, preferring the peace of solitude and not getting caught up in material possessions. However, this season I am planning to participate in various social events and I feel exceptionally grateful for the numerous, varied and wonderful people in my life. I am also grateful for how good my life is, in spite of the inconveniences and challenges. Being awake and aware, I realize that the vast majority of people in this world have it much worse, and that given other circumstances, I would be miserable or dead. I feel very grateful for life as it is.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
I am facing some fairly large life choices right now, things like where to live, sources of income and which direction to focus my energy. At the present time, it is time to consider options and not decide. The comments by Don Juan as quoted by Castaneda come to mind "Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use." Time to meditate.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Today the theme in the recovery meeting I attended was how to determine and act on "God’s will" for us, which, as far as I can tell, is the same as determining the loving action rather than the fear based one. Within me there is a lot of fear-based brain chatter concerned with material possessions, what ifs, various attachments and other self-centered motives. As I said today, I use gentle, loving laughter to defuse those thoughts. Having noted and dismissed those thoughts, I then use peaceful, loving meditation to determine the action that will increase the integrity of the universe.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Today I met with another author and employee of the Arizona Daily Sun about the promotion of my book. The whole process of promotion produces a lot of anxiety in me and is very definitely outside of my comfort zone, so much so that it is hard for me to determine what is right for me to do. It seems important to determine the right path for me. I listen to the advice and my also my intuitive inside voice usually just says "no", with the occasional "yes". I need to pay attention and act on the yeses.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
The topic for today’s recovery meeting was "loneliness", which used to be a big problem for me but, I realized, is no longer. My present life-style makes it pretty much impossible to feel lonely. I begin each day connecting with that force or power behind the universe that I call God or love and immersing myself in that feeling. I then spend a good part of the rest of the day connecting with others and "giving away" that feeling. I also enjoy several periods of solitude during the day. As I mentioned today, the balance between these activities changes each day. There are some days that I interact with others little or not at all. This is all quite a change from the way I used to be.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
I spend the majority of each day in close connection with that force or power behind the universe that I call God or love. I generally feel like I am in partnership with that power, though I am very aware that I am only the actor and that my partner is all knowing and a great deal more powerful. I simply follow my partners lead and do what I am told. I feel the power most strongly when I get up in the middle of the night to pray and meditate and also when I work with others, both of which I do daily. Today Maria, my wife, commented that it was like "dancing with a thousand pound gorilla", a very apt description.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Today was primarily a day of restoration after the intensity of the family work I have been talking about for the last couple of days. It was also a day of reflecting on the fact that I really am what I call a "dreamer". My experience has shown me that there is a love/God "seed" , element or part in each one of us which is waiting to be nurtured and developed. Right now, the common human pattern is that some sort of tragedy is required for that seed to be expressed. Once developed it is also possible for expression of the love seed to be part of daily life, a fulfilling way to live.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
This was a very long, difficult, intense and ultimately rewarding day. My day began at 7:30 and ended at 4:30, which is long for this 67 year old, disabled person! During the day I connected briefly, or longer with several individuals and had long sessions with a couple of families. I was present and enjoyed all of the interactions. I also, intentionally, built into the day several half hour periods for meditation, contemplation and peace. Pacing myself is very important if I am to remain present and do what I do.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Today was a busy and long day of working with their family members along with the newly recovering addicts/alcoholics that I frequently interact with. I noticed several times that I kept checking with my intuitive sense about what to say and when to say it. What I mean is that I just kept checking inside for the feeling that told me to say or not say certain things. Today that sense was working well and I had the feeling of being well connected.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Yesterdays realization that the feeling of being disharmonious was really just a phase of being harmonious was strangely comforting for me. I am reminded of the words of Marianne Williamson, when she wrote "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." I just keep pushing myself to change, learn and grow. That is not always comfortable since having the courage to face my fears just feels like fear and doing it anyway. Living in paradox is very fulfilling!
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Tonight during the meeting of the men’s group I belong to I spoke of feeling a lack of harmony with the universe, feeling disharmonious. The feeling is due to the fact that I am in the midst of changes in my life. It doesn’t really matter what those changes are, just that various aspects of my life are unsettled. Something that was pointed out tonight, which I had not thought of, is that disharmony is a normal part of harmony. The feeling just means that I am changing. I recall a comment that I have made many times, that "if you’re not on the edge your taking to much room", meaning you’re not taking the risk of changing and growing.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Many years ago I placed a lot of value on my intellectual achievements, financial status, outward appearance and material possessions. I was also highly competitive and judgmental, a typical “type A” personality. I had an ulcer, other stress related problems and was commended for my approach to life. I was not peaceful, serene or happy. At this point in my life I still have my intellectual achievements, similar financial status and some material possessions, all of which I enjoy and am grateful for. I am not competitive or judgmental at all. I place value on my spiritual connection, love and relationships. I am also peaceful and serene.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Today at the Friend’s meeting, after silent worship, we had a presentation by David Zarembka of the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI). The talk was about spiritual and emotional healing between the Hutu and Tutsi survivors of the Rwandan genocide. It was a moving talk which, to me, demonstrated, clearly, that within each of us is the God/love seed and also the seed or potential for violence, hate and destruction. In my life I have felt and experienced each and it is also clear to me that which gets expressed depends on which you feed.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Tonight Maria, my wife, cut her hand pretty badly and I did healing touch on the wound, which was very effective in helping it heal. She spoke of that ability as “amazing”, and I guess it is. The ability is quite a gift and I don’t even pretend to understand how it works, just that it does. I suspect that the ability is a major part of the reason I am doing as well as I am. I guess I should just be grateful and say “thank you”!
Saturday, November 7, 2015
This afternoon we had a meeting of the Friend’s writing group and the topic was angels. Right when the topic was brought up I realized that I had had numerous visits by spiritual beings coming to support me. Spiritual beings that I just called spirits since they did not look like the classic Christian angel. I realized that they could be considered angels since they came into my life to give me loving support. At the meeting I mentioned one circumstance where my angel was a young Native American with long flowing black hair, buckskin leggings and a bare chest and feet. I felt warm and very loved.
Friday, November 6, 2015
This evening I have been questioning my own level of recovery, a good but uncomfortable process. It is good for me to note that I am not being hard on myself as I did in the past, not putting myself down, but rather just attempting to be objective. Today I had an opportunity to listen to someone else’s inventory of subjects like honesty, integrity and fear. During my listening to him I became increasingly aware that I still have passing thoughts of the fears that used to lead me to dishonesty and a lack of integrity. I just no longer act on them, choosing instead to act out of love. The words of Mother Theresa come to mind “Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Today I received some promotional material and suggestions for my book from the publishing company. As I read through the suggestions, I quickly realized that I was physically unable to follow their suggestions due to my disability and associated speech problems. I immediately fell into a downward spiral of anger and self-pity. While the spiral was happening I realized it was not useful and tried to get out of it through distractions, which did not work. What did work was confronting my fears and self-pity through meditation, laughing at myself a bit and then realizing that I had other choices. I am still exploring choices but in a love and faith-based way.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
I have had the privilege of working with several people on the edge of death, basically helping them deal with the realizations and process of that final, very meaningful and beautiful transition. It almost always brings me to tears to hear them say something to the effect that physical death is not as important as the spiritual and emotional growth that a person goes through in the process of death, something that I too have realized. I certainly realize that it is not a popular view, but the fact is that events that are often viewed as tragic, frequently also result in emotional and spiritual growth.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Making healthy choices was a major theme in tonight’s recovery meeting and I realized that, for the last several years, I have done pretty well with that. Historically I have had a strong tendency to hold on to unhealthy patterns way to long. I have also had a strong tendency to forget the negative consequences to my own actions. Recognizing those patterns and actively attempting to do differently has helped a lot. At the present time, a major part of my sorting or meditation time is spent reviewing my daily choices and deciding if I wish to do differently.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Last night I slept for four hours and followed that with another four hours of deep meditation which is similar to sleep, but much more refreshing. As usual, I did each without any sort of alarm clock, thus making sure that I get what my body needs, and it was very refreshing. A total of eight hours is about two hours more than normal for me, signifying a greater need. The greatest need for me right now is that I am attempting to strengthen and broaden my spiritual connection. As has been the case for the last several years, I am utilizing some Native American practices such as the sweat lodge, pipe and sacred herbs. However, I am also keeping in mind that they are only symbols, like the trinity or Holy Eucharist. The challenge for me is to look beyond the symbols at the reality beyond.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Today, in addition to the regular activities of meeting with my sponsor, preparing, then going to a recovery meeting and conducting two therapeutic groups, I felt the need for some quiet, sorting time. I was feeling like I had several unresolved issues, though I couldn’t put my finger on anything, so I just got quiet, cleared my mind and meditated. Having done that, I feel much better though, outwardly, I have accomplished nothing.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
During the meeting today of a spiritual writing group, I commented that I really did want to “change the world” and was doing that by changing one person at a time. I would like to see the focus of the world shift away from things like materialism, capital gain and competition, toward things like love, connection and faith. My belief is that would change the way we relate to each other and this planet, our home. This blog is part of that effort. In my view it is unlikely that a person would kill their own brother/sister, who they love, or destroy their own home. I’m a dreamer and I like that!
Friday, October 30, 2015
It’s been a difficult couple of days for me. I was wrongly accused of something and immediately went into the defensive arrogance of thinking “don’t they realize who I am!?”. I also rehearsed several defensive conversations before realizing that the conclusion that I was being accused of was the most likely one and stopped taking the whole thing personally. I relaxed to the peace of just doing my best and having the faith that it would all work out. It did.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Many years ago, when I was still using crutches, I was struggling to open a heavy, spring loaded door and, much to his mom’s amazement, a very little boy rushed across the parking lot to help me. When he was done he beamed his pleasure at me. Since then, because of my disability, I have asked for help numerous times, with similar results. Recently I have been getting a lot of help with the promotion of my book, help happily given. Today I acknowledged that I needed a new computer and began seeking assistance. Once again I was met with enthusiastic willingness. One of the principles of attitudinal healing that I learned years ago is that “giving and receiving are the same”. Each is a gift to be cherished.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Tonight’s recovery meeting was about spirituality and I did not speak, in part because the subject is so vast, and in part because the subject is so simple and basic. Several people spoke of their own concept, based on their own experience The concepts and words used varied a bit with each person, some very Christian, some mixed and some essentially atheistic. As far as I can tell, the words and names used make no difference. All acknowledged that there is something there that they can tap into. That seems to be enough.
Monday, October 26, 2015
In meditating about the unconditionally loving God or force that I have encountered and use in my life, it has become apparent to me that many, perhaps most, people prefer to think of that same God or force as a personified entity with, rules, judgements and other human qualities. For some reason, I do not feel the same need. I wish to connect with that force and to have that force inform and influence all of my actions during the day. The result is that my behavior is very loving and that I have a very fulfilling life.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
During my life journey for the last several years I have come to know an unconditionally loving God or force that does not require any sort of belief or obedience, a God that will never judge me in any way. It has become clear to me that it does not even matter what name you use for this force, just that there is something. This is a God that will allow me to commit self-destructive acts or acts that harm this planet or the beings that live on it. Having experienced the intense love of that force makes it totally clear, almost mandatory, that I do no less than treat other entities with the same love and respect.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
During this afternoon we had a meeting of several Friends (Quakers), my wife and myself talking about being open to God’s input and gifts. I realized how important it was that I went through my period of pain, disability and terror in order to give up any preconceived notions or attachments. Those notions and attachments prevented me from being and, though I did not think so at the time, giving up those attachments was a gift, albeit in strange packaging.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Maria, my wife, has been constructing and planning for a sweat lodge on some nearby forest service land. She was going to do one sweat alone, for her own cleansing and spiritual growth and one with several other people. There have been several “road blocks” or problems, particularly regarding the individual lodge, the last problem being today with leaking, newly purchased water jugs. Paying attention to the series of problems regarding the individual lodge, we finally realized today that the lodge is meant to be of service to the community, not purely for individual use. That realization feels right to each of us.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Christians would probably say that my way of life was acting according to the Holy Spirit or Trinity. Taoist’s might say that I was following “The Way”, while Buddhist’s might say that I was acting according to my “Buddha Nature” and the Lakota people may refer to my approach as the “Red Road”. Personally, as far as I can tell, all of the various belief systems are talking about the same thing. I behave lovingly, humbly, with respect for all things and with integrity. I do that because it feels right.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Tonight I was reading in National Geographic about efforts that are being made all over the globe to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainability and to be more responsible in the use of resources, even at the expense of a short-term increase in cost, very refreshing. It is clear that short term material gain or other selfish motives frequently do not increase the integrity of the universe and result in the long-term destruction of the planet. When I meditate the approach I read about feels more love-based.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
In terms of the promotion of my book I really just need to pay attention to the three questions that I outlined yesterday and act accordingly, particularly the third question; Will this increase the integrity of the universe. It is clear to me that any action motivated by the prospect of material gain or other selfish motive does not increase the integrity of the universe. On the other hand, motivations such as being of service or serving the greater good fit the criteria. If I take that approach, I just assume that my material needs will be taken care of, which has always worked in the past.
Monday, October 19, 2015
I attempt to do everything I do in what a Lakota would say was a sacred manner, which, for me, means that I act according to the three questions (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?). These questions lead me to act in a loving manner with respect for everything and everybody. Acting in this manner initially required a great deal of focus but has now become a habit or natural for me. I find living in this manner to be very fulfilling. I also will admit quite freely that I often have selfish or self-centered thoughts, which I usually do not act on and, when I do, I apologize.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
In my book I speak of “being in the world but not of it” and I also frequently comment that “I walk in two worlds”, meaning I am conscious of existing within what is commonly called the spirit world and also the material/physical or mundane world. I am comfortable with my orientation and I am very much aware that each world nourishes and supports the other. I understand that most people get what I call “glimpses” of the spirit world or eternal and that I get a great deal more than that. Recently, due to the necessity of promoting my book, my focus has been more on the material world than I am used to, requiring an adjustment. I am attempting to make that shift while maintaining the unconditional love I found in the eternal.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
We had a meeting of our writing/spirituality group at the Friend’s meeting house today. At the meeting there was a great deal of talk about the sweat lodge we used to have on our property. That lodge was a major part of our lives for about fifteen years and during that time the experiences around the lodge and associated spirits taught me a great deal about unconditional love and healing. Taking down that lodge and moving on was difficult and necessary. I suspect it will be time for another lodge soon. I need not totally understand the process but moving on and letting go is an important part of growth.
Friday, October 16, 2015
The other day I attended a staff meeting at the place that gives me most of the referrals I work with. During the meeting my conclusions and observations concerning one of my clients were questioned. I did not say anything, other than indicating that they were valid questions. However, inside I was on the attack, questioning the importance of the questions, thinking “how dare they” and judging them harshly. I am not the person I would like to be, yet, but at least I remained quiet.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
My body seems to know that changes are approaching in my life. My body feels like it is standing on shifting sands, a feeling that could be exciting but right now I just feel uneasy. I suspect that my unconscious mind knows what is going on, while my conscious mind does not. I have attempted to find out through meditation and I do get the sense that my book is at the center of the change, but other than that I just get a strong feeling that the “universe is unfolding as it should”, a very reassuring feeling.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
In my recovery meeting tonight the question came up of how we maintain our resolve or intent. I realized that my main tool for maintaining my resolve is that I don’t participate in behaviors that pull me away or compromise that resolve. I lead a very spiritually focused life of peace, love, connectedness and compassion, which I really like. I can’t say that I resolve or have resolved to lead that sort of life, I just realize what I need to do and then do it. Meaning I stay detached from unnecessary personal drama, choose to not own a TV or listen to much radio and practice a lot of prayer and meditation.
Monday, October 12, 2015
This morning I was walking from my car to the Sunday morning Friend’s (Quaker) meeting and I paused to feel the light cool fall breeze, smell the Fern bush and feel the warm Flagstaff (7,000 ft. altitude) sun. I felt a lot of gratitude for the moment. It’s not that I do not have physical challenges, I do, but even they could be and have been a lot worse. It has been a quiet day of gratitude, paying a few bills, exercise, cooking and interacting with others, primarily, Maria, my wife.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
For some reason, which I am still not totally clear of, I felt off kilter or off balance for much of the day today. Nothing particular happened to throw me off, though I have been stirred up over the requirements of book promotion lately. For today my response was to have a lot of alone time in order to meditate and sort things out. I noted some tendency to find a distraction like facebook so that I did not have to simply feel the discomfort. Self-care requires that I be present for myself.
Friday, October 9, 2015
I keep getting an image from yesterday’s predator-prey interactions. The image is of a beautiful female cooper’s hawk watching as a very handsome raven devours her prey, a pigeon. I am reminded of a comment by Melody Beattie, that "It's about swallowing pride and fear and having the guts and the tenacity to have faith when we've been stripped of naivete and shaken to the core---and when we know too well that life isn't just mysterious and unpredictable, it can be unbearably cruel and breathtakingly wondrous, sometimes at the same time." Life is very real, beautiful and harsh.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Today was a very intriguing and engrossing day, which I am not done processing. There were the regular events like connecting and interacting with clients and others. I also performed several activities around the promotion of my book. However, what really got my attention happened in my backyard around my bird feeder. I was watching a group of pigeons when a male cooper’s hawk swooped in and took one of the pigeons. While he was devouring the pigeon the neighbor’s cat chased him away in an effort to take the pigeon. I had noticed a pile of feathers the previous day and assumed that cat had gotten a pigeon, but now I suspect it was actually a hawk. At any rate, I chased the cat away and the hawk returned to finish its prey. Later on in the day a female cooper’s took another pigeon which was subsequently taken from her by a raven, while I just observed. Two major lessons from today were not to rely on assumptions and that life on earth can be brutal. I spend a lot of very pleasant time each day wrapped in feelings of love. I also need to realize that life on earth can be harsh.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Today I found myself saying “It’s best to know you are not in charge. Just do your best and let go of the outcome”, words I need to listen to. My mission (should I wish to accept it!) is to act out of love, do my best and have faith - pretty simple, but difficult to keep in mind. I do better than many, but still get lost in the chaos of worldly events, on occasion. Today was one of those days.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Within the dining area in my kitchen are some chairs and a table, each made lovingly and respectfully of various woods selected for uses according to their individual characteristics. The parts that require strength are made of hickory and oak, while the seat and upper flat part of the back are made of tulip poplar, a softer wood. The table and chairs, like much of our other furniture, are hand-crafted and a bit less than two hundred years old. I purchased them because they were cheap, in need of rehabilitation, but authentic. We also have some modern pieces made of wood with love and respect, but not cheap. All are simple, humble, honest and authentic, qualities I strive for.
Monday, October 5, 2015
While working with others I frequently end up talking to them about their dark sides and the destructive and sometimes dangerous things they have done in the past due to that darkness. I also frequently admonish them that, though they need not act on it, it will always be there. In my case, yesterday, I was likened to an “old dog” because a person can treat me poorly and I will still love them, totally true. For years now, I have acted in a loving way and that behavior is completely genuine. Today, as a matter of self-awareness, I checked inside myself to see if my destructive anger and rage was still there and it is. My darkness is also still terrifying and I wish it weren’t there. I don’t even like writing about it. Which side “wins” really is determined by the wolf you feed. I prefer to feed the loving part of me.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
I was the main speaker at my recovery meeting this morning, an activity that still makes me very nervous after all these years of doing it. I volunteered to speak because I was stirred up by the need to promote my book and I have learned to speak up when something bothers me, though part of me still wants to do the opposite. I spoke of the need to work a very broad based recovery program and emphasized the importance of unconditional love. Speaking very definitely took the power out of my being stirred up - it now just seems sort of silly.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
I have been reading Black Elk Speaks, which was dictated by Black Elk and written down by John Neihardt. Black Elk lived during the settling movement of European immigrants to this country toward the end of the eighteen hundreds and the early part of the nineteen hundreds. It is now clear that the white European settlers behaved like what we now call “invasive weeds” during their movement to this country. The settlers were motivated largely by capitalism and had little love or respect for other living entities or the earth that supports us. The resident Native people had that love and respect, complicated by some brutality and enslavement of members of other tribes, a balance which seems to reflects the human condition.
Friday, October 2, 2015
Recently, I have found myself repeatedly admonishing people to not take things personally. The fact is that I used to take the actions of others to be a personal affront when all it really meant was that I was there & available. I am reminded of the comments of Mother Teresa, “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.” The fact is that the behavior of others usually has little or nothing to do with me
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Today I felt excited at the prospect of having a positive effect on many people in terms of enhancing their spiritual growth through my book. I notice that there is a large emphasis on materialism, short-term gain, capitalism and individualism, all activities that result in a very transient feeling of pleasure, with an ultimate feeling of hollowness and a longing for more. I would like to see a shift toward the spiritual principals of love, connection, inclusiveness and humility, all attitudes that promote long-term satisfaction and increase the integrity of the universe.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Today I had a lunch meeting with some people who have experience with and know a great deal more than I do about the book publishing industry, very illuminating. One of the things that became quite clear during the meeting is that my contract gives my publishing company a distinct financial advantage if any profit is to be made from my book. I was pleased to note that I don’t care much about any sort of financial gain, while also admitting that it would be nice. I was clear that my purpose in writing and publishing the book was/is to enhance the spiritual growth of the readers and to get the message of the importance of that “out there”.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Largely because of the promotion of my book, these are stressful times for me, requiring a lot of self-care. When I mention self-care I am talking about things like exercise, sleep, peace-time, meditation and distractions, activities that benefit me without any harm to others. I also took the time to work with others today, which I can do as long as I take care of me as well.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Today I had a two hour photo session to get some pictures for the promotion of my book. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, which is to be quiet, in the background a not “out there” at all. I found it both exhilarating and exhausting. In order for me to accomplish this change, I need to ask for guidance from my God, put my own preferences aside and follow the suggestions of friends and associates. I am not even attempting to do this alone. So far, I am accomplishing that, while also desiring to escape!
Saturday, September 26, 2015
I tend to view the various actions of people in this world through a lense of unconditional love, meaning a high level of discernment and a low level of judgement. I notice many actions that are destructive to each other or this planet that supports us, usually for some sort of selfish, short term “gain”. I have to admit that those actions sadden me, but I put no value judgement on them, I don’t view them as good or bad, they just are. We are all just silly, foolish humans gradually learning and growing.
Friday, September 25, 2015
I really enjoy just sitting quietly, focusing on a combination of relaxing and breathing and then meditating. I frequently count my breaths but only one on the in-breath and two on the out-breath, more than that is distracting and too complicated. I just let everything go for several minutes, multiple times a day, particularly if something stressful comes up. It’s like a mini vacation, very pleasant. I am more apt to be present and attend to what I am doing, if I do that.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Tonight was an interesting mixture of feelings of gratitude for my emotional and spiritual condition and growth together with an acute awareness of my poor physical condition and outlook. The simple fact is that they are inter-related, my emotional and spiritual growth is due, in part, to my activities around my poor physical condition. I am well aware that my emotional and spiritual condition is enviable. I also recall how bad my physical condition was in 1988 and, on the other hand, how difficult my condition is today. Overall, it is an interesting mix of feelings.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The process of promoting my book and myself stirs me up since I am not good at being “out there”. However, promotion is necessary if I really wish to have an impact on many people. As I said a few days ago “ I am good and comfortable with being quiet, peaceful, in the background and somewhat self-effacing”. It’s time to get out of my comfort zone. I need to learn to do that in a way that is in harmony with being Charlie. I can do that if I pray, meditate, ask for guidance and do the next right thing.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I look around me and note that most people take actions based on the fear of undesirable outcomes rather than simply doing the “right” or most loving thing. I also notice that many people try to use material possessions to take the place of spiritual connections or connections with each other. I must confess that I have tried both, repeatedly. Having tried both and in observing many other people it is quite apparent to me that neither approaches result in any sort of long-term peace or serenity. I now choose to act out of love and have numerous heart-felt connections each day.
Monday, September 21, 2015
During periods of stress like this, when I am doing things outside of my comfort zone, I need to be especially careful with my self-care, monitoring my condition and doing everything I can to stay balanced. I seem to do pretty well with some of the standard things like enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, prayer, meditation and daily exercise. The activities that I need to be careful with are my social interactions, relationships and asking for help or support. I still have a slight tendency to isolate during times of stress and a desire to do things on my own. Since I am normally providing service to others, they actually appreciate it when I ask for help - and it feels good to me too.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
I spoke today to a person about doing what I can to truly promote my book. The conversation terrified me. I am good and comfortable with being quiet, peaceful, in the background and somewhat self-effacing, all attitudes which will not promote my book. I realize that in order to maximize the impact of my book I need to step out of those attitudes, at least for a while. The words of Williamson come to mind “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
Saturday, September 19, 2015
As I indicated two days ago, it is likely to me that truly elucidating things like healing touch, intuition or the power of unconditional love, will not be accomplished using science or the scientific method. Understanding those very real but ethereal things will require a different paradigm than science or scientific inquiry, if it is to be accomplished at all. I am reminded of the words of Targ and Katra that “We have learned that analysis is the enemy of psi.” For now, I am quite content to make use of these things in my day to day life without really understanding them. Acting without thinking or analyzing is fun and challenging.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Today I worked with a person using healing touch and the power of unconditional love, a wonderful experience for them and me. I thought of my comment yesterday about my desire to “not let science hold me back”. I have a Ph.D. in biology, giving me a scientific background, and, as a result, I really admire and enjoy the efficacy of scientific investigation. It is also important for me to realize that science is limited. For example, in this case, science can establish that healing touch works, but it cannot explain how or illuminate the importance of unconditional love in the healing process. I still use it daily.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I went to another workshop today. This workshop was on “The Habits Of Happy People” and, as usual, I found it pleasing to hear people talk about the physical impact and importance of things like attitude, resiliency factors and meditation, things that I learned about and have been using for years. I realize that the scientific community and I are just scratching the surface and that many others have known about the importance of these activities for centuries. I will continue to explore and not let science hold me back, also realizing its importance.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Tonight at my recovery meeting I spoke about my experience with my tendency to obsess about events in my life. Earlier today I went into obsession about the book I am in the process of publishing and promoting. Basically, the process was not going according to my plan and I was obsessing about potential actions and things I could say to make everything fit my plan. In this case, my obsessing only lasted 1 & ½ or 2 hours, pretty good since obsessing and efforts to control used to occupy my thoughts. What I did was begin meditating, asking myself “how important is it” and feeling the peace and love of knowing that everything was just fine.
Monday, September 14, 2015
It is clear to me that all the activities in my life should be done in what various native people would call a “sacred manner”. Meaning to constantly be aware that all of my actions effect or “feed” the eternal part of me and that everything I do is connected to the rest of the world. That sounds daunting but it really just means to act out of love and respect for all things, or to honor myself and my position on this earth. Within that approach it is certainly possible to enjoy and take pleasure in the various distractions provided by wealth and technology but not place much importance on those things.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
A central purpose of the book I just wrote & published is as a guide to help people live and identify with the eternal, love-based part inside each of them, which I mentioned yesterday. As I say in the book, it is being “in the world but not of it”, meaning not identifying with the capitalistic, competitive, individualistic or fear-based part of each of us. The love-based approach has certainly changed my life. In the book I outline many of the activities I use daily to keep me on that path, actions that I also describe in this blog.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
I realized tonight that when I identified with my ego, I was fearful of the pending, potential changes in my life. However, when I identified with my soul or essence, I knew everything was just fine and I felt a sense of peace flow through me. My ego is oriented at earthly matters and fear-based while my essence is eternal and love-based, quite a difference. I think it’s a good idea for me to stay firmly rooted in love and my soul or essence!
Friday, September 11, 2015
I was diagnosed with a chronic, degenerative, neurological disorder back in 1988 & told that I would never get better and continue to get worse. Since then, I have gotten quite a bit better, which has been documented and observed by neurologists. It appears that my improvement has been due to the use of meditative techniques that scientists are now realizing the efficacy of. Physiologically, my problems are caused by deficiencies in various proteins in the cerebellum of the brain. These proteins are being studied by the medical profession. The medical profession may now be developing medications that could alleviate my symptoms. It is best for me to continue using the meditative techniques and the more standard medication route.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
We had our monthly men’s meeting tonight and I talked about my book and showed them the initial copy. I explained that I was terrified because of “putting myself out there” and the potentially life changing event of publishing. I also spoke of the extreme sense of gratitude I had because of the whole journey. I found myself repeating several times that “feelings are not rational”, especially with regards to the fear. It was good to talk about the process and the associated feelings.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
I have set in place the necessary steps to begin the process of promotion of my book. There is a lot of power in that little book and it means a great deal to me. For those reasons I am asking for guidance and proceeding slowly, meaning I do not act until I get a feeling of clarity. Basically I use the three questions that are the central focus of the book (Would I do this in front of God?; Is it really my responsibility?; Will this increase the integrity of the universe?) and take action accordingly. It’s a process I have used for some time and it works for me.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
As I indicated yesterday, I generally get guidance for that day. Today that guidance was to stay present and listen, meaning to pay attention to messages/nudges from spirit or intuition. I had no clients today so in addition to daily activities like exercise and paying bills, I had numerous periods of meditation or contemplation. As part of that I have been led to begin re-reading Black Elk Speaks.
Monday, September 7, 2015
I find myself anticipating the next chapter in the adventure that is my life. I find it interesting that I truly enjoy my life as it is and at the same time I am ready to move on. Any movement that happens is clearly not here yet, so I need to keep my focus on the present and my daily activities. Right now I will go into a period of prayer and meditation, asking for guidance for the coming day,
Sunday, September 6, 2015
The publication of my book is a milestone for which I feel tremendous gratitude. The gratitude is for the events leading up to the publication and for the knowledge and gifts encountered along the path. I have experienced much spiritual growth in the past decades and, as I mentioned in a meeting a few days ago, much of that growth has “not been fun, easy or pleasant”. Before entering on this path I anticipated that spiritual growth would be “a field of clover”. In my case, I was wrong, though the end result has been wondrous beyond belief.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Most people are very much wrapped up with worldly survival concerns of “money, power and prestige” and their dominant ruling feeling is fear. There is a gradual shift away from a sole emphasis on worldly concerns and fear, toward love and more of an emphasis on the spiritual. My intent and the intent of the book I just wrote is to aide that shift. Right now, due to the survival concerns of capitalism, competition and struggle, we are killing each other and destroying this planet, our home. I would like to see that stop and, at the same time, realize it won’t, and know that is just as it should be.
Friday, September 4, 2015
I received the first copy of my book today & immediately went into a combination of terror, awe and gratitude. Gratitude won out and I shed a few tears. Maria began reading the book and quickly noted some repetition in the text, which was intentional, and then a typographical error which was not intentional. I immediately began obsessing about possible errors in the book before realizing that if there are errors that they will be part of the experience of the book. I calmed down.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
With any physical problem there are also the emotional and spiritual components. The emotional and spiritual components are sometimes major as in heart attacks or colitis or minor in the case of a broken finger. It has been my experience that it is best to address all components in order to achieve healing. Surgery addresses only the physical and it is tempting to leave it there since it appears that the problem has been addressed. However, it is a good idea to also address the emotional and spiritual components in order to avoid future complications.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Today, during working with a client, I was very much aware of the “knowing” I was writing about yesterday. In this case it felt like I knew, understood and was communicating directly with the soul or essence part of the person. I’m referring to what I usually call the “God part” which is closely connected to the Source/God/love & is more concerned with eternity than worldly matters. As far as I can tell, we all have that part and tend to get in touch with it during times of extreme stress. For me, getting in touch with that part requires focus.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Today I have been very aware and even preoccupied with the realization that I sometimes know things that I couldn’t possibly know. This “knowing” is most obvious in my working with clients. I frequently end up knowing things that help me in working with them, in fact they often now just expect it, smile when it happens and no longer ask “how did you know that!?”. I just realized that the important fact is not that I know things, a very self-centered view, but that I am told what I need to know in order to be of service. The information frequently comes to me during my period of prayer and meditation each morning, as I ask for guidance for that day. I just need to avoid my ego attachments, listen and act accordingly.
Monday, August 31, 2015
This was a restorative day of exercise, napping, meditating and contemplating, basically appearing to accomplish nothing. I did listen to music (oldies!) when doing some of the exercise but I make an effort to eliminate or minimize distractions like busy work or TV. I generate a feeling of love, gratitude and peace within myself and then sort through events of the recent past through meditating with my eyes closed or contemplating with my eyes open and just staring into space. At the same time, I ask and listen for guidance. If I encounter anything that does not feel right or complete, I decide or ask what action to take.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
In their book Miracles of Mind, Targ and Katra, Ph.D. describe several differences between the beliefs of spiritual healers/mystics and the western scientific person. They point out that the healers and mystics believe things like the presence of auras & spirits, the fact that consciousness exists independent of the brain and the notion that there is an eternity that humans are a part of. The fact is that I know these things rather than just believe them and it makes absolutely no difference that some people do not believe them, their beliefs don’t change things and I respect and honor their approach.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
I lead a highly contemplative, meditative, introspective and spiritual life for which I am extremely grateful. I am also very aware of the various antics that I and other humans perform each day and get tremendous pleasure from watching. Rather than getting frustrated, I think of myself and others as a bit silly & cute. Some of my lifestyle has been necessitated by my disability, which is just the way life happens. My hope is that others can learn and grow from my example, without going through similar challenges.
Friday, August 28, 2015
I was just reading through “The Perfect High”, a poem by Shel Silverstein that I find very descriptive and enjoyable. The fact is that I have spent years, in vain, looking outside of myself for a sense of fulfillment, as described in the poem. I have now done a great deal of introspective work and have the sense of fulfillment I was searching for. I also now put my process in my writing with none of the fantasy or romanticism described within the poem. My hope is that others will benefit.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
I refer to the paradox I spoke of yesterday as the “empty fullness” of life and I take great delight in the situation. I enjoy going about my day being aware of the paradoxical nature of my actions and the actions I observe with others. It is clear to me that, overall, our actions are moving in the direction of integrity or love, albeit slowly and often hard to see, but always there if we look. That movement is not quick, fun or easy, but it is happening.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
I have realized and am comfortable with the fact that, on the one hand, most of my daily actions mean little or nothing and that, on the other hand, those same actions are of tremendous value. I am fine with living within that apparent paradox and would like others to know and be comfortable with the same. First I recall the words of Pries when he commented that "nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all", which is true within our daily reality. However, everything that we do, say or think also impacts, often only minimally, on the totality of energy or the integrity of the universe and in that way our daily activities have value. That is part of the reason that I choose to act out of love.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The reason that I attempt to work with the God part of others is that is the part that operates from love, compassion, forgiveness and connectedness. That is also the part that may enjoy but does not identify with the materialistic or capitalistic orientation. I find that if I can come from and connect with that part, emotional and spiritual growth can happen. This process is especially rewarding for everyone involved when the person is going through extremely difficult times. Those times frequently end up being an invitation to transcend.
Monday, August 24, 2015
When I work with another person, whether they be client, friend, mentee or incidental acquaintance, I connect with and communicate with, what I call, the “God part” of them. I mean that part of them that is not materially or capitalistically oriented, that loving part that always knows what the right action is, often called that “small quiet voice”. That part is always present and waiting to be listened to and nurtured. I am often amazed at what happens when that part is engaged.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
It is hard for me to admit but apparently I am a great deal more than I think I am, or so the response of others to me leads me to believe. I think the same is often true of other people, which I frequently find myself telling them. I am in the midst of a struggle to become myself. Personally, I have experienced several negative attitudes and comments directed at me which have left there mark. I recall the comments of Williamson when she said "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Love is a very positive force or power in our world and I will do everything I can to promote it. There are, of course, numerous other forces, some relatively neutral, some decidedly negative and destructive. I feel no need to personify the forces but they certainly exist and it is necessary to deal with them daily. I find it useful and very effective to make use of unconditional love when confronting or reacting to, what most people call, evil. For example, the response of forgiveness to acts of terror. Love and forgiveness changes everything.
Friday, August 21, 2015
I realize that my experience is anecdotal and that my thoughts and interpretations are only those of a single person, though I strive to be objective. That being said, it seems clear to me that there is no definable separation between what we think of as physical reality and the spiritual or ethereal. For example, since I began to practice unconditional love, I seldom get sick and my disability has not progressed as expected. Additionally when I do get sick it is during times of high stress like the cold I am just getting over and the fact that my book is scheduled to be published soon. The physical and spiritual interact with each other.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
When I meditate I realize and feel that life on this planet, though transient and relatively short, is of tremendous value. Everything we do in this life impacts our soul, God and eternity. I wish to communicate the importance of our choices to others. It does not really matter what you believe, the impact is still there. Everything has an effect, often very minor, on the integrity of the universe.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
I have a bug today, presumably some sort of virus. I began to notice yesterday that I did not feel quite right and today I feel pretty bad. Time to not make any major decisions and focus on self-care. I don’t get sick often and I do not like it, but it is good for me to realize that all of the healing work I do is not a guarantee that it will not happen. I also need to realize that I am more susceptible since this is a high stress time, with my book about to come out.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Life is a beautiful and meaningful experience. Much of living is occupied with relatively mundane activities such as, working, paying bills, paying taxes or having minor relationship issues. Then there are tragic events like major losses, life-threatening illness or accidents. There are also memorable and enjoyable events such as falling in love, watching loved ones grow and thrive or observing the antics of puppies at play. All of these events are transient but also contribute to the integrity of the universe. These experiences are why we are on this planet. I find it best to experience them and let them pass without grasping or pushing them away.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Maria and I went to a young people’s production of “Les Miserable” today, a pure delight. The cast was packed with normal, happy, healthy young people - just like I wasn’t. They were all early to mid teens, the age at which I was slipping further into darkness. They were cute, charming and “light” - I was troubled, hurt and angry. Climbing out of that hole has taken many years, resulting in a person who is very aware, introspective and extremely spiritual. I am grateful for my past and where it has taken me.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
I spent the last two days connecting and working with individual clients and their families, quite an experience and honor. The connecting requires a mutual respect, trust and, in many cases, love. The words of deCastillejo,, a Jungian Psychologist, come to mind; "For there to be a meeting, it seems as though a third, a something else, is always present. You may call it Love, or the Holy Spirit. Jungians would say that it is the presence of the Self. If this 'Other' is present, there cannot have failed to be a meeting." That meeting is necessary if growth and change is to happen.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
I have been reflecting on the comment by Pries that "Nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all". As the quote says, material possessions and the vast majority of what we humans worry about, mean nothing. Similarly, I usually think to myself “would I worry about this if I were on my deathbed”. When I do that any concerns about "money, power and prestige" tend to dissolve and go away. Relationships and love do matter and a great deal if one only considers a single lifetime. However, if one takes a multiple lifetime or eternal view, the relationships and love within any particular life mean less.
Friday, August 14, 2015
This was just another wonderful day full of connections and interactions with others. One of the people I connected with is having a very difficult time and the others are in various stages of making positive life changes. Of course, I also did things like exercising, cooking, napping and going to a recovery meeting, a good balance of activities. Like Kornfield says “first the ecstasy, then the laundry”.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
It is now clear to me that, as many spiritual leaders have said, we are on this planet to learn and grow, particularly in love. That growth frequently involves working through some unpleasant issues. For example, in my case, my disability and the associated physical and emotional pain has been and continues to be extremely unpleasant. My disability has also been the greatest gift I have been given, in terms of propelling emotional and spiritual growth. There are numerous eternal benefits to me, my soul and many others. Recognition of the gift in no way diminishes the pain but that awareness does change my attitude. I repeatedly encounter “New Age” people and Christians who focus on the growth in love without acknowledging the necessity of working through unpleasant issues. The growth in love is only half of a beautiful and wondrous story.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Over the last several years I have had numerous experiences which have taught me a great deal about what has been called the “spirit realm”, the portion of reality that a person cannot see-touch-feel. I have written about many of those experiences in my soon to be published book, Three Simple Questions. It is becoming increasingly clear from quantum physics that portion is the vast majority of what we know as reality. It has been and continues to be a very exciting process, and I realize clearly that I have merely scratched the surface. There is much I do not understand, but I am coming to know the questions, not bad for a person who used to be a “normal white boy”.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Yesterday I had fear, today excited anticipation of what might happen. It is notable that nothing has changed except me. Like I commented yesterday “emotions are not rational” and this is a fine example.
This afternoon Maria and I went to the Twin Arrows area. It had rained before we got there and there was light rain when we left. Everything was damp, the plants were loving conditions, there were butterflies and birds flying around, I smoked the pipe and we did some ceremony. It was a wonderful, magical time.
This afternoon Maria and I went to the Twin Arrows area. It had rained before we got there and there was light rain when we left. Everything was damp, the plants were loving conditions, there were butterflies and birds flying around, I smoked the pipe and we did some ceremony. It was a wonderful, magical time.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
This morning I was talking about the fact that I have a fair amount of fear around the potential disruption of my comfortable life, due to the pending publication of my book (it could also, of course, be a total non-event!). The fear makes no sense, but then emotions are not rational. The fear is surprising also since I do not experience fear about most things. It is best for me to talk about it, feel it and let it pass. The feeling is just another example of being a silly, wonderful human.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
In the church I attend there is a fairly strong Christian “flavor”, not required, but spoken of. The flavor includes a sense of duty and right and wrong, which, I sense, are man-made concepts that have no spiritual significance. Spiritually (within love) there is only what is and what is not, without any sort of value judgment. A sense of duty and right and wrong, along with many other concepts are useful for day-to-day life on this planet, but their value is limited. They are a valuable part of the human experience.
Friday, August 7, 2015
I do better when I keep things simple and just stay in the present, be aware and not try to analyze or understand. As I say in the book I am publishing, “understanding is not required” and if I try to put my life into a simplistic logical, cause and effect paradigm, my effort tends to take me out of the present. Just having a sense of gratitude, faith and staying in the present works well for me.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
About a week ago I had two biopsies done on possibly cancerous growths/lesions on my back and today I went back to the doctor to check on the healing of the incisions. I find it notable that I did not even think to ask about the result of the biopsies, in fact I still don’t know and am not concerned, assuming that “the universe is unfolding as it should”. I doubt that they are cancerous but I also know that my life process is just fine.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Today I went to the medical intuitive healer that I have been going to for five years and now go to once a month. He and I both use healing touch, though he is specifically trained and focuses on physical systems, while I focus on love and the energy field. We seem to compliment and balance each other. As a result I am doing well physically, which is verified by the medical doctor I go to as well. I know that the healing touch we each use has a physical impact, in my case. At this point, there have also been several studies showing that the sort of things we each do have a beneficial effect. Exactly how healing touch works, I don’t know, but that it does can be demonstrated.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
During the day today, as I frequently do, I met with someone and we talked intimately and powerfully. I could feel our connection and the power of the words spoken, healing and important words which were not mine though I was the one speaking. I was reminded of the words of deCastillejo when she said "For there to be a meeting, it seems as though a third, a something else, is always present. You may call it Love, or the Holy Spirit. Jungian’s would say that it is the presence of the Self. If this 'Other' is present, there cannot have failed to be a meeting." She went on to say "Great deeds can only be achieved when we are more than our little selves. When we are lent wings we should not reject them." I cannot say that I understood what took place in any logical, cause-and-effect way, which seems to matter not at all. It was a delight to be part of that.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Today was another contemplative/meditative day. Maria and I went to a large cinder cone north of Flagstaff, where I encountered and connected with a very old, peaceful and stable pinion pine. I sat with the tree, allowing myself to be wrapped in its feeling of strength and peace, which, in turn, allowed me to sort out and finalize my approach to one of my clients. I needed to get past any reactiveness or defensiveness on my part, and replace those feelings with love, understanding and compassion.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
As I commented the last few days, I have been going from one intense interaction to the next, with my main focus on being present, doing the next right thing and going with the flow without attaching or even trying to hold on to anything along the way. Today I had more time to relax and sort through my previous thoughts and actions, contemplative time. I find that I really feel the need for that contemplation, without any form of distraction or people, just time to sit and scroll through recent events.
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Today was another day when the river of my life was flowing very fast and I had little to no down time between pretty intense activities, such as talking to people about death and dying. I was very aware of simply doing my best and staying present. Additionally, I did take note of the fact that my doctor performed two skin biopsies on me a few days ago and that action did not seem important to me. I feel very involved in my life and being present and I don’t fear death.
Friday, July 31, 2015
A very busy day, including this evening, with little to no down time between pretty intense activities. During days like this it is very important that I not resist the flow of life. If I do resist I feel the stress, get tense and then get tired. Some of the words from the 2000 Hopi prophesy come to mind “There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.”
Thursday, July 30, 2015
I spent a good part of my day in the kitchen, preparing food, something I care about and do a lot. I am reminded of the comment by Jack Kornfield “First the ecstasy then the laundry”. I experience the ecstasy each morning when I pray and meditate, asking for guidance for the coming day. I also find that if I focus on the privilege of being able to do things like cooking, then I can experience at least gratitude when performing those, very necessary but often mundane and tedious, activities.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
It appears to me that guilt, shame, fear and judgment are part of the human experience. I have not encountered those feelings with God or the Absolute, only love, compassion, understanding and inclusiveness. Overcoming guilt, shame, fear and negative judgments promote growth within humanity. Not overcoming guilt, shame, fear and negative judgments can block growth, something that happened to me, for part of my life. I have grown as a result of love, compassion, understanding and inclusiveness.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
I went to my P.C.P. today for a follow up review of my annual physical, usually a neutral or even slightly troublesome experience, since, historically, my views have differed from the views of traditional medicine. This turned out to be a very positive visit since she has had a life-long interest in the type of mind-body, meditative healing I have been doing for several years. She probably knows a great deal more than I, from a medical perspective. I think this is the first time, in my experience, that someone in the medical community had similar interests and recognized the importance of love, compassion, forgiveness and spirituality for health and healing.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Maria, my wife, and I went to a play today and, as usually happens when I go to a crowded, handicapped unfriendly location, I became very aware of the limitations placed on me by my disability. The play, The Full Monty”, was very enjoyable, the conditions were not. Today ends up being one of those days that I do not enjoy the physical reality of being me very much. It’s important for me to acknowledge the feelings, love that part and let it pass.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
An enjoyable and fulfilling day of several periods of loving connections with groups and individuals, some very brief and some of longer duration. It’s hard to imagine or remember, but I used to be very focused on my own immediate gratification and did not care about anyone else, beyond satisfying my own perceived needs. My main concentration was also on my personal “money, power and prestige”, rather than the welfare of everything and everyone on this planet. I was doing my best, what I was told and certainly did not realize that I was harming myself in the process. My life today is definitely not self-focused and seems to be a win-win situation.
Friday, July 24, 2015
I just sent in my final approval of the cover mocks for my book, significant since that was the last action prior to its actual publication. The book could be a total dud, very popular or somewhere in between, which is more likely. I am passionate about its contents & hope that it has an impact, however large or small. As Ray Stevens once wrote “I play my piano and sing my little song.” The outcome is not mine to determine. I am not in charge.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
I would like it if judgment or criticism toward me had no impact on my feelings, that I simply received it objectively, took any necessary corrective action, and felt no personal injury. The problem with feeling personal injury is that I tend to get defensive. Unfortunately, I am not that person but I can and do choose to not act defensively. What I do is feel the feelings, let them pass, shift into a loving and forgiving feeling and go about my day.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Many years ago I asked to see the world the way God does and since that time I have worked very hard toward that goal, learned a great deal and tried to remain teachable. I have come to realize what Saint Faustina so eloquently wrote; “When a soul has come out of these tribulations, it is deeply humble. Its purity of soul is great. It knows better without need of reflecting, as it were, what it ought too do at a given moment and what to forbear. It feels the lightest touch of grace and is very faithful to God. It recognizes God from afar and continuously rejoices in Him. It discovers God very quickly in other souls and in its environment in general.” Basically I see and feel the force or power I know as God in everything I do each day.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Today I received the final mock-up of the proposed covers for the book I am publishing, very exciting. The book is a major part of my efforts to “change the world”, a grandiose effort but there it is. I have realized the truth of Williamson’s words when she commented that “Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” I also went to the movie “Ant-Man” today, very entertaining, creative and totally forgettable.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Last week my doctor asked me what I did for fun and I hesitated since many of the activities that most people consider fun involve physical activity and are, therefore, not possible for me. However, through my connections with others, prayer and meditation, I do experience what many call “unspeakable joy” many times each week, often daily. My last experience of welling up with tears was yesterday, over the experience of giving a green, stuffed, fuzzy dragon named Bixby to a friend and her appreciation of him.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
During the last several weeks I have been very aware that when we choose to act out of that Source/God or love part of each of us, it changes everything. For example, the atmosphere and all of the people change their actions in the face of a response of forgiveness and love to acts of terrorism. I am reminded of the comment “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”
Saturday, July 18, 2015
We really are “spiritual beings having a physical experience”, as I have heard many people say. Additionally, that soul or spirit part is very much present in each of us and is connected, usually unconsciously, to the Source/God or love. As part of my therapeutic work with clients I connect with that part, a very meaningful experience. Part of the reason I do that is that part does not lie or deceive, as does the conscious part. In order for me to make a strong connection with my clients it is best for me to work with both the conscious and unconscious parts.
Friday, July 17, 2015
The topic in my recovery meeting today was perspective or perception and I immediately began reflecting on the changes in views that I have gone through. For my first thirty-six years, before recovery, my perspective was decidedly judgmental and fear-based. I viewed the world as a hostile place that I could deal with if I stayed on guard. I now view the world through a filter of love, a different perspective. I don’t view everything as pretty or even pleasant, in fact in many ways, conditions look fairly bleak. However, I also believe that the universe is unfolding just fine and that the outcome will be good, even if it is unpleasant.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
The MD I went to yesterday, my PCP, believes she is in charge of maintaining my health and I think that I am in charge, using the information she provides me. Using the information she provides is an important first step, directing my application of the healing power of unconditional love. I subject myself to a variety of tests and inspection, an unpleasant process, in order to know how to direct healing energy, a very holistic approach. I realize that my situation is “anecdotal” and may not apply to others, but it works for me.