Saturday, November 25, 2017
The theme for my recovery meeting tonight was the value and regular practice of prayer and meditation. I spoke up and mentioned that I got up in the middle of the night and spent two to four hours in prayer and meditation — and that the practice yields great results. Actually what I do is to first make contact with that loving force and then scan through my list of quotes, looking for one that resonates with the day and that force. That quote and my meditative thoughts end up being the subject of my daily Blog. After writing in my Blog I do an hour or more of meditation, the length depending on what comes up. This practice ends up being the spiritual and emotional foundation of my day and I find it very nourishing. "The world is weary of traditional religion, of formalism and hollow words, but most hearts are hungry for that true thing by which life is actually renewed."(Rufus Jones)
Friday, November 24, 2017
In 1985, when I first began recovery, I had some sort of life problem, which I do not remember and a friend suggested I ask for help, which I then did. That friend did not suggest I pray or ask God for help, either of which would have irritated me and I would not have done. When I simply asked for help I received guidance as a sense of what to do — and it worked. Immediately after I became disabled and diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder, during my quiet time, I again asked for guidance, calling it prayer this time. I became suffused with the Loving feeling I now call God and received guidance as to how I might cope with my condition. I have done the same pretty much daily for the last nearly thirty years. During that time, and presumably as a result of my efforts, I have accomplished many things that I and many others considered impossible. "Help comes from somewhere and enables us to do what we had always thought could not be done." (Rufus Jones)
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Quite a tumultuous mix of feelings today, particularly this morning, some very pleasant, some not. I started out the morning with ten minutes of cardio exercise followed by a period of prayer, meditation and blessing the morning, all very nice. I then attended a one hour meeting of largely silent worship during which I had a very good connection with the Loving Source, also very nice. My wife and I then did some grocery shopping at a moderately crowded store and I had people bump into me several times, sometimes with their carts. I move very slowly and they were just being stressed and distracted, but I took it personally, resulting in offense, anger and a complete loss of any connection with the Loving Source. It took me several hours of reflecting on things I was grateful for to get my serenity back. "Words and thoughts often block the doorway to the soul." (Valerie Brown)
Today I went to have my blood drawn in order that people in the medical profession can monitor my physical health. This activity and others like check-ups and some simple surgeries like hernia repair are tools which help me in my maintenance of health. However, I consider the maintenance of my health to be a sacred responsibility which is mine alone, which is why I exercise, eat right (most of the time!), pray and meditate. If I succeed in maintaining health, and my independence I have a sense of harmony, well-being and the presence of Love/God in my life. I have to be careful since I find it easy to begin to depend on the medical establishment for health maintenance which also clouds my sense of harmony, well-being and the presence of Love/God in my life."The unending yearnings of the human spirit are satisfied by nothing that can be measured, seen, heard or touched. To focus selfishly on anything in the created order is to be restricted and thus to fall that far short of full freedom.(Thomas Dubay, S. M.)
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
An important part of my spiritual journey has been my exploration of and becoming comfortable with my dark or shadow side in my unconscious, the bad boy or"Mr. Hyde" side. I found that I can acknowledge and even embrace that as part of me, accept it without liking it or allowing it to be expressed. This exploration has certainly deepened my spiritual journey and also allowed for much more empathy and understanding of others. I actually find the less destructive aspects to be an endearing part of being human, allowing for greater love of self and others. "It is not that the demonic forces within the unconscious are not capable of destruction and disintegration. It is rather that within the mystery of the conjunction of opposites their sting can be drawn, their poison drained, and their very energy harnessed to realize a more profound individuation........."And if the light one has becomes temporarily dimmer, the light one seeks is brighter still and is to be found at the very heart of the darkness of the unconscious." (John Yungblut)
Monday, November 20, 2017
Paul A. Lacey writes; "I take the spiritual life to be a life of which aims to discover human wholeness, the integration of all aspects of our humanity - body, soul, mind, emotions - and the connection of the self to all of creation.", an approach that I express in my book. As many authors have mentioned, the spiritual life requires some discipline but is well worth it. Leading a spiritual life allows a person to participate in and enjoy all of the normal activities of life without depending on those activities to provide any long lasting satisfaction (being in the world but not of it), very satisfying. I highly recommend it.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
I was told by a couple of psychics that I had both perseverance and stoicism as character traits, resulting in an ability to tolerate and work through very difficult life situations that many or most people could not. Regardless of the source, this ability has certainly proven to be true with my disability, chronic pain and a variety of life situations and I am grateful for that. Unfortunately, having the tendencies of perseverance and stoicism also results in an ability to stick with life situations far to long rather than changing them. I am good with "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change" and have to watch for the chance to "change the things I can". Right now it is my sleep pattern that is calling out for change. My current pattern has served me well for several years and now needs changing. Meditation helps in deciding how to change it.