Saturday, June 20, 2015
I like the analogy of an armadillo trying to grasp the reality of a car, as being similar to a human being trying to grasp the mystery of life. The armadillo has very limited vision and can only see, for example, a portion of one tire. In the armadillo’s case, thinking that the tire is representative of the whole leads to a gross misunderstanding. Similarly, our understanding of life is likely to be limited and distorted by “nearsighted” vision. The fact is that we do not know what is good/bad, beneficial or not. During my meditation time, and during my life in general, events that I once considered bad were clearly beneficial.
Friday, June 19, 2015
A big question that keeps coming up is how a loving and compassionate God can allow all of the tragic events that happen in this world, things like death, murders, war or extreme poverty. I can only speak with certainty about the “tragic” events that have happened in my own life, the rest is theoretical. In my own life I can look at things like chronic pain, extreme pain or disability and see clear spiritual and emotional benefits from each. I also realize that the growth or benefits outweigh the tragic aspects. I suspect that the same is true of tragic events in the lives of other people, though often hard to see. I believe that there are long term benefits that are often hard or impossible for us to see.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
It’s of great value for me to be able to laugh at myself, to not take myself so seriously. Not laughing in any sort of derisive, judgmental or critical way but a gentle, compassionate and loving laughter. The kind of laughter that I feel toward the antics of the pigeons that come to the bird feeder in my backyard. That kind of laughter does not put myself down, but does prevent my ego from exerting itself in negative ways, like judging others or entitlement.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
We, Maria and myself, did that sweat lodge I spoke of a few days ago. The lodge was primarily for young men in early recovery. The ceremony went very well and ended up having a large impact on several people. The lodge was also very hot and physically devastating for me, though a spiritually wonderful & very fulfilling experience. I was impressed by the fact that the lodge developed spiritual power as Maria and I performed the normal blessings and ceremonies in preparation for the lodge ceremony. The spirits were familiar and different at the same time.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Tonight, in response to the question of what “works for me” I commented that it helped me to realize that I was just a ridiculous human and so was everyone else. Not to be offensive or demeaning but the fact is that many of my thoughts are pretty silly. For example, I experience fears about things that will either never happen or have no significance. I can also take offense at things that are none of my business or that I have no need to take personally. I need not act on these thoughts, just watch them come and go - love myself and be amused.
Monday, June 15, 2015
I spent a good part of the day napping and resting, in response to being tired from the family weekend I just went through. I was pleased that my body recognized the need for rest and acted accordingly, rather than simply plunging on regardless of personal condition, which has been my approach in the past. If I recognize and take care of my own needs, I am more available to be of service to others, a win-win situation. If I do not I provide a poor model and wear myself down.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
In the last couple of days I have been asked to lead a sweat lodge next week and my initial response was “no”, remembering how much work it was. I was in the midst of a “family weekend” and very busy dealing with the families of my clients. I had no interest in taking on additional work. I then heard that loving, nurturing, peaceful voice telling me to go ahead and lead the lodge so I asked for support and guidance then said “yes”. I was reminded of a comment that I made recently about a similar issue, that “I don’t decide things like that”, meaning I always do what I am told.