Saturday, July 22, 2017
I have been reading Healing The Heart Of Democracy: The Courage To Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, by Parker J. Palmer and feeling frustrated. He is good with words, language and stories. The book is well written and he uses the language well. The problem I keep running up against is that people have been using the same or similar words for some time and the political situation continues to worsen. As Rufus Jones says ".... We shall never succeed in stopping war until we have a human society permeated with persons who practice a way of life which removes and abolishes the grounds and occasions of war, and at the same time matures and ripens a spirit of mutual understanding and personal cooperation." Loving action of the type I suggest in my book could do it. Words are easy, action is not.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Tonight Maria, my wife, and I watched the movie "A Little Chaos", starring Kate Winslet and others. It was great fun to listen to the words and watch the behaviors during the various interactions - full of intrigue and innuendo and deeper meaning. Very entertaining and of no value other than the fun. Most of my time is directed toward my own recovery or that of others so it is good to relax. Of course, I also exercised, went to a recovery meeting, connected with others and did some cooking to balance out the day.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I read the Washington Post or listen to the news and find what’s going on socially and politically disturbing on the one hand and just perfect (in the God sense) on the other. I am reminded repeatedly of the narcissism, self-centeredness and short-sightedness that one can readily see in very young children. From a loving, parental perspective those actions are charming and well meaning, all be it short-sighted and self-centered. From that perspective it is hard to be angry. That perspective is the godly perspective and the one I have most of the time. Unfortunately, some of those "children" are now in charge of this country and I am concerned about the impact on other members of this society.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
I started out the day with some shopping, followed by a period of connecting with a good friend. I then spent most of the day in the kitchen preparing food, a simple activity that, like weeding, I can carry out while contemplating and feeling gratitude for my life. Because of such an experience I have always liked the comments of Kopp in his book Free Yourself of Everything: Radical Guidance in the Spirit of Zen and Christian Mysticism ;"Every moment and everything we do, think, or say should become a living experience of the divine being." He goes on to quote Meister Eckhart in saying "A man should receive God in all things and train his mind to keep God ever present in his mind, in his aims and in his love. Note how you regard God: keep the same attitude that you have in church or in your cell, and carry it with you in the crowd and in unrest and inequality.....In your acts you should have an equal mind and equal faith and equal love for your God.....If you were equal-minded in this way, then no man could keep you from having God ever present." I focused on love and gratitude while performing these activities, lifting them and myself up in the process.
Monday, July 17, 2017
I just read my entry of yesterday and realize that my "monkey mind" continued for a few more hours and then let up to a feeling of peace and extreme gratitude, I could then see and feel what Fox called "the infinite love of God". It is important that I have learned not to fight things like my monkey mind since fighting my internal demons just makes them stronger. I observed myself, did not get angry or judgmental and let that part of me pass "like a fart"also realizing that I need to know what the monkey mind feels like. "The Lord explained that it was needful that he [George Fox]’should have a sense of all conditions’. How else should he learn ‘to speak to all conditions?’ Then followed the critical experience: ‘I saw the infinite love of God. I saw that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love which flowed over the ocean of darkness. In that also I saw the infinite love of God; and I had great openings".
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Today my head is full of the mind chatter I spoke of yesterday and I have not been able to simply quiet my mind and listen. I have tried listening to the chatter (some call it monkey mind) for a while and then moving on. I have also tried dismissing it since it pulls me out of the present and is largely meaningless. Unfortunately part of my brain thinks it’s important! Now I am writing about it and think it is done. What I wrote yesterday sounds blissful and usually works. At other times meditating and listening take more effort. It is now a bit after 1:00 AM and time to meditate.