Saturday, May 6, 2017

Understanding Is Not Required

Maria and I have each been very active in service work for the last couple of weeks. For myself that meant mentorship, guiding a retreat, connecting with others and my regular recovery meetings. These activities felt right to me but I also have to admit that I do not really understand what is going on in the world. I "play my piano and sing my little song" (Stevens) which is generally an effort to spread love whenever and however I can. I also have a sense of peace and gratitude which is beyond understanding.  As I say in my book "Understanding is not required".

Friday, May 5, 2017


This was a day of connecting very strongly and lovingly with several other people. The connections all felt very good - free of self-interest or ego gratification of any kind. I am still a little tired from leading the retreat in Mexico toward the end of last week - which did not matter at all. I automatically went into service mode. As long as I look after my own limits and needs "serving with an open heart is what nourishes and fulfills both the giver and the receiver." It was a good day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Afflicting the Comfortable 2

I spoke yesterday of "afflicting the comfortable" or, in other words, making observations or giving advice that is out of people’s comfort zone, things they don’t want to hear. I am often in a position to make such observations or give advice, and do so only when asked. Of the three questions I describe in my book (would I do this in front of God, or whatever you call that power/force?; is my name really on it or is it really my responsibility?; will this increase the integrity of the universe, or is this loving?), the last question about increasing the integrity of the universe is usually most important. I have to make sure I am coming from a loving, selfless place rather than being angry, jealous, self-centered or self-righteous in any way. If I am feeling any negative emotions I need to wait and clear myself, usually through meditation and introspection.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Afflicting The Comfortable

As I have said many times, I "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable". By afflicting I mean that I tell people things that they do not wish to hear in order to promote their true and honest growth. I did both during the retreat, whenever it was requested. When afflicting I am particularly careful to be loving but blunt and honest, rather than "brutally honest". Generally, people’s initial response is defensive or angry with a change to gratitude after a few minutes or more. I always keep the three questions I talk about in my book in mind when doing any interaction.

Monday, May 1, 2017


This was a day of travel back from Flagstaff, AZ to Columbia, MD, flying on jets for several hours, a trip that by car last summer took several days. The trip was grueling but a great deal better than by car. I don’t travel well but as long as I accept my very limited physical abilities, have various attendants wheel me around in wheelchairs and get all of the help needed, I do OK. Traveling, as with many activities, ends up being an exercise in accepting my disability. Leading a three day spiritual retreat was also a wonderful experience.