Saturday, October 21, 2017
Tonight the topic in my recovery meeting was "letting go" and I commented that "letting go [of outcomes] allows me to be in the present which is where I meet God, just wonderful". The fact is that I am responsible for what I say and do - the rest is up to Love, God, the universe or whatever a person chooses to call the presence that one encounters by staying in the present and that is a wonderful experience. Using the words of Gilbert Kilpack; "And though ideas such as these may seem unimportant in our bustling world, the testimony of seekers after life in all ages is that nothing is so important as the completion of our half-lives, the God-filling of our void." He and others use the word "God" but it is my understanding that the choice of words is not important - the feeling is.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Today I had the honor of listening to someone’s life story as part of his recovery process so through my listening I had an empathic, understanding, compassionate connection with him that lasted about four hours, exhilarating and exhausting. Such a connection requires that I put any concerns of self aside for a time and focus on the other person. I make similar connections by phone or in person several times a week. I have not been able to make strong connections through electronic means like e-mail or Facebook. "Listening is a far more difficult process than most people imagine; really to listen in the way that is meant by the masters is to let go utterly of ourselves, to let go of all the information, all of the concepts, all the ideas and all the prejudices that our heads are stuffed with." (Sogyal Rinpoche)
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
I lead a very holistic life for my own physical healing or maintenance as well as life in general. I don’t participate in many distractions like TV, technological toys, drugs or alcohol. I am, for the most part, physically unable to participate in most fun activities that involve any coordinated movement, which seems OK. I do attend several weekly recovery meetings and a wellness group. I do a lot of prayer and meditation, exercise often and eat carefully. To round things out I work in the garden and cook. It’s a very fulfilling and busy life. In the words of Patricia Loring "To undertake to live a discerned life, to endeavor daily to be attuned to authentic movements of the Spirit leading us into greater fullness of life, is a strenuous undertaking."
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
In the Dhammapada the Buddha teaches that in this world hate never dispels hate. Only love dispels hate. This is also expressed in the Quaker and other traditions. I would add that love dispels or alleviates pain, fear and hurt as well. I, often find it necessary to have very firm boundaries in saying "no" or "you cannot do that here" but to do so in a loving, understanding and compassionate way, a difficult but important combination. As I commented a couple of days ago and is well written by Patricia Loring "We can cultivate an environment among us which will foster one another’s spiritual growth by directing and redirecting intention and attention to God; by discouraging what draws us away; by loving support for each other in the vicissitudes of our utterly human lives; by respecting and cherishing the uniqueness of each life."
Monday, October 16, 2017
Yesterday I wrote about some superficial signs of an underlying problem in this and other cultures, specifically racism, global warming, obesity, the opiate epidemic and others. It is first necessary to become aware that these are the symptoms of an underlying problem, not just problems themselves. In my book I suggest a loving spiritual solution, which worked in my case and required a life-style change as well as some discipline. However, I was not interested in pursuing any sort of life-style change until my life choices became very unpleasant, until I knew my life was not working. Fortunately, I had some guidance and the freedom to choose differently. "These chapters [1st 3 of Genesis] tell a story, and through that story is revealed the agonizing discovery of our human freedom— our freedom to choose between god and evil, and not only freedom to choose but the imperative laid upon us to choose the good daily, or inevitably fall into evil."
Sunday, October 15, 2017
There are several issues in the world today which appear to be symptoms of deeper problems and the, understandable, tendency is to attempt to address the symptoms as the problems. That approach is, obviously, not working. The problems I am referring to include racism, global warming, obesity, the opiate epidemic and others. I cannot say for certain what the solution is. However, promoting a life-style change toward something like what I suggest in my book, Three Simple Questions: Being in the World, But Not of It, would alleviate all of the symptoms - that worked for me! Well written by Patricia Loring "We can cultivate an environment among us which will foster one another’s spiritual growth by directing and redirecting intention and attention to God; by discouraging what draws us away; by loving support for each other in the vicissitudes of our utterly human lives; by respecting and cherishing the uniqueness of each life."