Saturday, August 20, 2016
I seek to reduce my emotional attachment to any material object, idea or attitude. When I say attachment I mean a desire or belief that it is important that something should remain or become a certain way. For example, the desire that a certain team should win a sporting event or a desire to have people think me intelligent. Attachments tend to cause fear of change and reduce my openness and appreciation for the present. This has been on my mind lately since I am temporarily staying in a home where they have a TV and it is quite clear that the TV promotes attachment as a potential source of enjoyment. I find just the opposite, as have many spiritual leaders before me.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Yesterday we went to check out our new home in Columbia Maryland. We actually met a professional home inspector there and I wanted him to do his job, but I was more interested in spiritually connecting with the trees, other plants and, it turned out, dogs in the neighborhood. All of my connections felt very positive. There are several, large oak and maple trees on the property and several smaller plants as well as an adjoining "wild" area. All the plants felt happy, solid and welcoming, a good "retreat" area for me. I also encountered several dogs of various sizes, some quite large, strong and young. They were also quite welcoming.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
The "I am" or God part of myself is very powerful, other directed, focused on gratitude and aware of my connection to everything and everyone. It feels great to be in that space. However, I have difficulty maintaining it when I am physically run down, in physical pain and/or in physical discomfort. The physical pain and discomfort both seem fairly constant and part of my reality right now, things I cannot change, but being run down is something I can guard against. It is curious to watch my thoughts slip momentarily into that negative space, just long enough for me to realize that I would rather not be there.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Today, I did pretty well at staying in that transcendent place - at least until the evening when I slipped back into the negative part of self, but even then I kept it to myself. During most of the day I kept reminding myself of the things I was grateful for and also kept reminding myself of the loving, eternal, God part. I kept reflecting on the words of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj when he commented "Get to know that ‘I am’ without words which arises in the morning. Knowing the Self, abiding in the Self-knowledge, is not a mere intellectual knowing. You must be that, and you should not move away from it. Remain firm." I much prefer that part. In the evening I allowed myself to get run-down and negative.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Recently I have taken an excursion into a very human, hurt and somewhat angry part of myself rather than living out of the loving, grateful, peaceful, transcendent part. I have, understandably, focused on physical discomfort, pain, difficulties and feeling totally lost. I say "understandably" because those factors are totally real and part of my world right now. I am disabled, have pain much of the time, am in a totally new environment, have just given up my recent career and it is very hot and humid. The excursion has been useful in showing me the way some people live and the attitude I could have. However, it is time for me to live out of the transcendent God part of myself, the place I go to each morning in prayer and meditation. In that place my pain, disability and difficulties are mere shadows or do not exist at all. There is only love, gratitude and peace.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Today I blew up at someone from the Chase bank back in AZ and, given the chance, I will make amends and, at the very least, do things differently. Right now I am attempting to look at the situation honestly and without simply justifying my behavior, which would not be helpful and would definitely not "increase the integrity of the universe". I am reminded of a comment by St. Teresa of Avila that "I never seem unable to find a reason for thinking I am being virtuous when I make excuses for myself. It is better, then, usually to abstain from self-justification under accusation except when failing to explain will cause either offense or scandal." In this situation it is easy for me to self-justify, which helps no-one and pulls me away from a loving response. It is better just to admit that my behavior was not helpful or appropriate and seek to do things differently. I need to meditate on that.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Today was a very busy day. The day began with doing a dawn ceremony, doing some exercise and then going to a Friend’s meeting, an important beginning to prepare myself for the rest of the day. The most time consuming part of the day was a visit and meal with seven of my in-laws. During the visit the talk was almost entirely about trivial topics, which is difficult for me and I don’t do well with large groups. I kept asking for guidance, beginning with the dawn ceremony. The dawn ceremony consisted of me blessing the plants and environment by feeling grateful, loving, smelling the morning smells, listening to the morning sounds and telling the plants they are beautiful. I felt totally connected.