Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Working With Others

When working with the spirits, or anyone else for that matter, I need to be careful to make sure I am not pushing my own agenda rather than truly listening and supporting theirs. It took me three days worth of meditation and contemplation for me to feel confident about my recommending that the spirits consider using the three questions I have used. In this instance the questions will guide them to their own answers and outcomes rather than my imposing anything planned by me. They are a very diverse group and their actions will be also. I have been subjected to the agendas of other people and that usually does not end well, in spite of their good intentions.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Love Not War

War, aggression, anger and fighting is very simple and it feeds the aggressive part of ourselves, that part of human nature. Aggression feels good or, in psychological terms, it is ego syntonic. However, as history shows, aggression leads to aggression, not peace. The spirits at Arlington Cemetery, having experienced war, understand this and are very committed and loyal to peace, love and freedom. I will support them, possibly with the three questions which have helped me: "Would I do this in front of God [or whatever you call the power or force behind the Universe]?; Is my name really on it [or is it really my responsibility]?; Will this increase the integrity of the universe [or is this action motivated by love, rather than fear, acting out of love always increases the integrity of the universe]".

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Processing

Today was a day of processing and integrating what took place at Arlington National Cemetery, meaning, self-care, meditation, contemplation, an active form of processing while sleeping and exercise. I still notice the great diversity of spirits of all ages, colors sexes and backgrounds. Our communication and questions were about relationships, how to maintain them at all levels, peacefully, with love, respect and support for all. It is clear that given the diversity, the specific answers would vary within a base of love, peace and God. It was clear to them, having shifted to the spirit plane, that war and killing was not the answer they thought it was. "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." (Patricia Loring)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Ministry

What a day! Maria and I did go to be with the spirits at Arlington National Cemetery, listen and learn. They were glad of our presence and the fact that we came to listen to them. I found them to be very diverse as far as most ideas, attitudes, ages and backgrounds and unified in their strong commitment to a sense of honor, love and community, which was why they fought in the first place. They were also, for the most part, clear that killing and war was not the answer, at least long term. We all shared a lack of clarity about what the answer was. I commended them on their commitment to honor, love and community. I also shared my connection to God and suggested that it was through love, peace and God they would find their answers. I suggested they could influence the living to do the same. One thing which was clear is that we are not done, this was only a beginning. I need to continue processing the day.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Listening For Guidance

Tomorrow my wife and I will go visit Arlington National Cemetery in order for me to work with the spirits there, a big deal for me — so tonight I am twitchy and nervous. As always I will attempt to be open, listen and do what I am told. My plan is to help get rid of any negative influences, give or show them God’s Love and suggest they impact the living by producing a loving atmosphere, very simple — and then listen for more! The most important task is for me to listen for guidance. "You can be a saint, if you want to be one. It's as simple as that. Only you must remember, ALL THE TIME, that GOD makes saints, not we: we just do what we are told. But in order to do what we are told, we must hear what is said, and in order to hear we must listen, and in order to listen, we must be quiet - not only with our tongues, but interiorly, in our minds and hearts." (Anonymous)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Differences

During my recovery meeting today I remained silent and listened to the other members of the group bring up issues that were bothering them, the main issue being their perception that they had made mistakes and I was reminded how different I am from the majority. Personally, I don’t think there are mistakes, just choices that have unintended outcomes. We always learn from those choices and we have no idea if the outcomes are desirable or not in the long run. Irene Claremont deCastillejo said it well when she wrote "Scientists discover and theologians affirm; but faced with the mystery of life and death we know almost nothing." I also kept thinking of the comment Richard Pries made several years ago, that "Nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all".

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Listening

Because of my disability I speak very slowly with very poor diction and enunciation so it is a chore for people to listen to me and particularly my slowness gives me a chance to observe how most people listen. I have noticed that when I talk people instantly make up stories about what I am saying and then pay more attention to their story, than what I am saying. For example, if I am cooking and begin relating something about a dream I had a few nights ago, Maria, my wife, might make up a story about what I am cooking and have trouble realizing that what I am saying does not fit. I, of course, do the same, often tending to believe my story rather than the reality going on around me. I work on my listening skills. "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)

Monday, October 8, 2018

My Effort

Trying to change attitudes and choices that other people make in a loving, positive, long-term and sustainable direction feels like an uphill battle tonight. I attempt to be a living example but when I go shopping like I did this morning I am bombarded by merchants selling things of little real value and trying to get me to spend my money. The same happens when I watch TV or listen to the radio. When I read the paper I learn about various harmful choices being made. Meanwhile I conduct myself within my "bubble of love" and do the best I can to be an example.  "From everywhere, it seems, we are bombarded with the idea that our nature is innately violent, that our chief preoccupation is with our sexuality, and that our main purpose in life is the acquirement of ever more nifty possessions.......Indeed, it is only through the practice of inner silence that we can begin to disentangle ourselves from our culture and its illusions. (Daniel A. Seeger)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Faith

Today I was honored to be visited by the spirit of one of my teachers from social work school. At that time we talked about spiritual matters and he encouraged my spiritual tendencies during a time when there was a strong belief in evidence based science to the exclusion of the spiritual approaches. It was not safe to talk of spiritual matters. I did not know it at the time but I was just scratching the surface and had barely begun my exploration but as Elizabeth Ostrander Sutton says "I cannot create when I choose the path that separates me from God. But when I consent, I soar for I have opened the door of creation." That was 1993 or 4 and I or we have come a long way since then and the importance of spirituality for mental health is now recognized and openly talked about. "Faith, then, means putting trust in a process that slowly builds an intimate relationship with someone I can neither see nor fully understand, but only feel. Living a life of faith implies being in continual contact with God and opening up to being searched and known."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Silent Time

I need a large amount, several hours, of quiet time each day during which I contemplate, meditate or just sit and sort out my thoughts. I may spend about 25% of that time on day-to-day worldly concerns and the rest on current spiritual matters, such as my mentoring of others or my various types of communication. If I do not get enough quiet time I feel off balance and know something is missing. I notice that I can indulge in some sort of relaxation, like watching a movie, and feel like I am wasting valuable time which would be better spent just sitting in silence, so I generally turn off the movie and sit. "It [inner silence] is to establish an inner peace, an inner harmony, which will allow us authentically to contribute to the establishment of an outer peace and an outer harmony in the world at large." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Helping Change

I lead a life of being of service to others and I am empathic, understanding, inclusive and loving. I am also aware of, largely unexpressed, selfish, self-centered egotistical tendencies which were acted upon in my younger times. I was able to move away from the way I was when younger because of an atmosphere of love, understanding and encouragement which was given to me. At the present time I witness lying, stealing, manipulating and racism in the authority figures around me, usually driven by selfish, self-centered and egotistical motives. I find that I cannot condemn them since I was the same but I can and do extend love, understanding and empathy. In the Dhammapada the Buddha teaches that in this world hate never dispels hate. Only love dispels hate.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dealing With Issues

During my recovery meetings and through my work with others I keep hearing about people being upset over the fact that other people close to them are angry with them or simply that people close to them are having difficulties. Using the second of the three questions; (Would I do this in front of God [or whatever you call the power or force behind the Universe]?; Is my name really on it [or is it really my responsibility]?; Will this increase the integrity of the universe [or is this action motivated by love, rather than fear, acting out of love always increases the integrity of the universe]?) I have realized that beyond being empathic, listening and being supportive, their issues are theirs, not mine — frequently even if they are angry with me. The last of the three questions leads me to self-care as being the loving activity I am responsible for.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Silent Connection

Today I just went about my daily activities feeling Love and gratitude for all things, making brief, largely non-verbal, connections and being largely silent with lots of loving eye contact. I began my day in the usual fashion with a dawn ceremony greeting and blessing the day and the plants in my yard. After oatmeal I went shopping and enjoyed the many non-verbal connections. I spent most of the afternoon cutting up vegetables and cooking. This has been a very enjoyable and peaceful day. "To understand better the value of silence in daily life, and its relation to this spiritual transformation for which we yearn, it is useful first to consider the limitation of language, of words. It is next useful to contemplate the limitations of logical reasoning." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Presence

I first encountered the awesome force or presence I now know as God while sitting on a narrow ridge near the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Maria, my wife, and I had been hiking up the "back country" side of the mountain during one of our backpacking vacations. It was an overwhelming feeling of love, power, presence, strength and peace which Maria felt as well, quite a gift. That was back around 1985 and I did not believe in much of anything, but that got my attention. I, of course, had no idea of the life which was coming. "Jesus said, ‘I am the light which is before all things. It is I who am all things. From me all things came forth, and to me all things extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there; lift up the stone, and you will find me.’" from the gospel of Thomas.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Peace

After our period of silent worship this morning Maria and I stopped to visit a nearby graveyard. It was a very peaceful setting in a rural area down the road from some big, expensive homes. Most of the markers were from the 1800s or early 1900s with one that I saw dated 2000. The spirits wanted to get to know me before communicating with me so I sat and invited them to probe me, which they did. According to Maria they were pleased and I plan to return in a week or so — why, I do not know. Before leaving there was a family of beautiful red-tailed hawks soaring above us and then a large Accipiter flapped its way across the sky. All-in-all it was a wonderful experience.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Change

I hesitate to say this, but there may be a shift happening in the direction of love, peace, understanding and compassion. It seems that we have been going through a period of hate, anger and fear which has been spearheaded by our presidential administration and other leaders around the world. Those leaders and ours brought us to an important "bottom" of sorts. It appears to me that the bottom scared enough people that the tide is now shifting. I am hopeful and we shall see. "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. (John Yungblut)

Friday, September 28, 2018

I Am

I have been listening to the news the last couple of days and today I was talking to someone about a beating in public where the victim called for help and no-one responded, both producing a pretty dark view of our current status. I began looking at the world through an earthly, temporal lens rather than the eternal, "I am" lens which Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj writes about. The I am part of each of us knows that using the eternal view, everything is unfolding well and we are moving in a loving direction, even when the short term view looks dark. The I am part has always been there and is firmly rooted in love. As did Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I access that part through meditation. "[Jesus said,] ‘Blessed is the one who came into being before he came into being.’" (from the gospel of Thomas)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Broadcasting

Today I spent time focusing on and broadcasting the feeling of God or, if you prefer, the intense feeling of unconditional Love. I did that on my own while meditating in my living room and also several times while at a recovery meeting, each being a small, but very important, part of my day. It feels great when I do that and I am "stronger" than I used to be — but, I feel, not as strong as I will be. My goal is to be able to alter the energy field around people such that they can readily get past any negative thoughts or feelings and feel the Love. I have succeeded in doing that several times in the past and wish to develop and better control the ability. Time to work on that!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Balance

Today I spent several hours preparing a big batch (5-6 gallon) of vegetable soup. I also exercised for a couple of hours, mentored one person, made dinner and had several periods of rest and meditation. All that may not sound like a big deal for a normal person but I was very conscious of both pushing myself and staying within my own limitations. It is important for me to balance pushing myself and recognizing my limitations if I wish to remain functional within my disability. When I over do it I can injure myself or get overly tired and if I don’t push I tend to become less able, a direction I do not wish to go. Today I was successful at maintaining a balance.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Disruptive People

Over the last several days I have had many opportunities to express, once again, that it is healing for all concerned to address angry, disruptive or hurtful people with compassion, love and understanding. They have probably been hurt enough and do not need even polite, justified jabs from us. There is no need for us to take their comments personally and they will benefit from compassion, love and understanding. My immediate tendency is to strike back verbally but if I stay quiet and go off by myself to calm down and reflect, everyone benefits. "In the Dhammapada the Buddha teaches that in this world hate never dispels hate. Only love dispels hate."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sacred Space

This morning I had the honor of being part of a "Sacred (God?) Space" where people felt able to talk and feel things they had never felt or said before, a memorable and loving experience. The occasion was our reading group and all the members of the group took part in creating (allowing) the Sacred Space in the manner of the deCastillejo quote I presented a few days ago. "In those rare moments when all the opposites meet within a man, good and also evil, light and also darkness, spirit and also body, brain and also heart, masculine focused consciousness and at the same time feminine diffuse awareness, wisdom of maturity and childlike wonder; when all are allowed and none displaces any other in the mind of a man, then that man, though he may utter no word is in an attitude of prayer. Whether he knows it or not his own receptive allowing will affect all those around him; rain will fall on the parched fields, and tears will turn bitter grief to flowering sorrow, while stricken children dry their eyes and laugh."

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Struggle

Today was one of those days when life feels like a struggle — so I did it anyway. I have chosen a rigorous spiritual path and have been given many gifts as a result. I would have it no other way but today the path just feels difficult and demanding. I often feel great joy, but today I do not — which seems to be part of this path. I simply did the things I normally do — knowing that "this too shall pass". I am now writing about it though I would rather not and would rather be upbeat. "To get we must also give, to advance we must also surrender, to gain we must lose, to attain we must resign. From the nature of things life means choice and selection, and every positive choice negates all other possibilities." (Rufus Jones)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Growth

In preparation for our reading group I have been re-reading the "Refiner’s fire" section of the book Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey, written by Marcelle Martin. In this section she writes of God’s cleansing or purifying a person of any ideas or attitudes that do not fit within compassion, love and God. She often refers to God’s judgment and this shift being a painful realization process for many people. In my connection with God I find God’s Love to be absolute and unconditional, meaning any judgement does not come from God and is probably of human origin. As a species we are very good at judgment and criticism — we are learning about acting out of love.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rainmaker Ideal

For many years now I have followed a path that I call the "Rainmaker Ideal", attempting to achieve its openness.  I first encountered the ideal in the beautiful writings of Irene Claremont deCastillejo. As she stated "We have forgotten how to allow. The essence of the Rainmaker is that he knows how to allow. The Rainmaker walks in the middle of the road, neither held back by the past nor hurrying towards the future, neither lured to the right nor to the left, but allowing the past and the future, the outer world of the right and the inner images of the left all to play upon him while he attends, no more than attends, to the living moment in which these forces meet.

In those rare moments when all the opposites meet within a man, good and also evil, light and also darkness, spirit and also body, brain and also heart, masculine focused consciousness and at the same time feminine diffuse awareness, wisdom of maturity and childlike wonder; when all are allowed and none displaces any other in the mind of a man, then that man, though he may utter no word is in an attitude of prayer. Whether he knows it or not his own receptive allowing will affect all those around him; rain will fall on the parched fields, and tears will turn bitter grief to flowering sorrow, while stricken children dry their eyes and laugh." I have found on numerous occasions that my presence and this level of allowing have a remarkable healing effect on people. Speaking is difficult for me and it often seems that my silent presence is enough.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Self-care

In terms of my own recuperation after the retreat I made the very conscious choice to be easy on myself today and do things that supported my recovery. I did a lot of exercising, some cooking, some meditating and some quiet resting. I must admit that I thought about pushing myself to do more cooking, but did not.  During the retreat I went through several days of intensive giving through service and surrender to the powers of the universe and it is now time to rest. I am reminded that "To get we must also give, to advance we must also surrender, to gain we must lose, to attain we must resign. From the nature of things life means choice and selection, and every positive choice negates all other possibilities." (Rufus Jones)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gratitude

So ends another retreat and I am very grateful for the wonderful weekend and equally grateful it is over and I am back in MD. During the retreat I was lovingly directive with the participants never losing my total commitment to their growth and welfare. In working with people on the retreat it felt like I had no choice other than my total commitment to their welfare, right to the end. I was also given "the power to carry it out" and felt great love during the whole process. I was not even aware of how exhausted I was — until it was over and then I did not want to interact with anyone. Now I go through a period of recuperation. I am reminded of the words of Irene Claremont deCastillejo when she wrote "For there to be a meeting, it seems as though a third, a something else, is always present. You may call it Love, or the Holy Spirit. Jungians would say that it is the presence of the Self. If this 'Other' is present, there cannot have failed to be a meeting."

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Last Entry

This will be my last entry until Monday the 17th. This evening I am in the retreat "zone", a condition which tells me this retreat is important for some reason. I may or may not know why the retreat is important and I am good with that. I will allow and be present. I do feel the Presence of some force I will call God. I am also confident that I will get the necessary guidance and all I need to do is listen and act accordingly. I have been excitedly packing and now I just feel at peace. I particularly look forward to being along the shoreline of the Sea of Cortez at dawn for the next few mornings, performing a dawn ceremony and meditation,

Monday, September 10, 2018

Peace

Yesterday I was anxious and scattered and right now I am at peace though nothing external to me has changed except that I am one day closer to the things that were causing most of my disturbance. The reason for my shift is that I explored what was troubling me during meditation by allowing the feelings and understanding them. I wrote and talked about the anxiety in a very open and loving way. I recall the first time I followed the same process with my own anger. I actually felt cheated because the anger passed so quickly, not allowing me to build up a head of steam. "When the diverse living energies of the human system are harmonized, the present bloody face of the world will be transformed into an image of the face of God." (A.B. Schmookler)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Scattered

Tonight I am scattered! Normally I scan through my day and my quotes looking for any spiritual lesson that "jumps out" at me to write about in this blog. Today I have been visiting with my in-laws, dealing with finances, preparing for shopping and making some last minute preparations for the coming retreat. In short, I have gotten hooked in to life. Time to relax and trying to meditate. "indeed, it is only through the practice of inner silence that we can begin to disentangle ourselves from our culture and its illusions. (Daniel A. Seeger)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Listening

I attended a family gathering of my in-laws today during which my mother-in-law noted that she was losing her hearing and missed many of the words being spoken. I pointed out that she could still listen between the words and that a great deal of communication takes place there in the unspoken. I did not elaborate so my point was lost but during any conversation there is an exchange of energy and often a joining of energy fields which, unlike the spoken word, is honest and a major part of the communication. It is possible to pay attention to the unspoken. Words can lie while the unspoken cannot. "To understand better the value of silence in daily life, and its relation to this spiritual transformation for which we yearn, it is useful first to consider the limitation of language, of words. "(Daniel A. Seeger)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Connection

When I communicate with inhabitants of the unseen realm, spirits and trees, I first meditatively connect with God’s power and Love, then telepathically show them what that power and Love feel like so they can feel it themselves and then pass it on. I have also succeeded in showing that power and Love to living humans at least twice. In each case with living people they were about to die and their knowing helped their transition. In order to show them I generated and allowed that power and Love to pass through me, an unforgettable and intense experience. I had to connect with the God part of myself and God, then allowing myself to be enveloped in that Love and power, an experience impossible to explain. "There are, says saint John of the Cross, encounters with God such that the devil cannot possibly counterfeit them, nor can one’s imagination create them. Some are so indelibly imprinted in the center of one’s being that they can neither be described nor forgotten."

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Gifts

Yesterday I wrote of one of the many gifts I have received from God during the process of my life. We all receive gifts, usually as a result of overcoming some sort of challenge or difficulty. In my case the difficulties usually came in the form of pain or fear and, in some way, associated with my disability. In the past I needed pain or fear to motivate me but now I also listen to the more positive love voice. According to Marianne Williamson "We will be given every opportunity to learn through joy, and when we deny ourselves that, we will learn through pain. But we will learn." Right now, as a result of those gifts, I live in a world of joy and love. She goes on to write "If you can rise above the fear in your life and live the love within you, and if I can rise above my fear and live the love in me-----if that drama is reenacted enough times by enough of the world’s people-----then we will pierce the cosmic darkness and tip the world in the direction of light."

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Blessing

My niece (in-law?) just had a baby and the three of them will be visiting with my other in-laws in a few days. Maria and I will be visiting with them. I will have an opportunity to bless the new baby and, possibly do some loving, probing and connecting with her. I will let her know how much I love her and let her know how special she is, also acknowledging that I am special and allowing her to probe me, as deeply as she wishes. The only outward evidence of the blessing and probing is usually that the baby will stare at me and, often, smile. Inwardly, it feels like an honor to be able to do that and I will probably sense her pure, sweet, loving power. I first learned of this gift perhaps fifteen years ago and have done it numerous times since. No-one is usually aware of the process except the mothers have often apologized for the child staring.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Love Force

Benjamin Friedman points out that "When material progress falters........people become more jealous of their status relative to others. Anti-immigrant sentiment typically increases, as does conflict between races and classes; concern for the poor tends to decline." It seems apparent that what he describes fits the conditions in this country right now and also many of the political decisions being made. The choices being made are regrettable and totally understandable. I believe that it would be better for everything and everyone if the decisions were made based on faith, love and recognition of the oneness I mentioned yesterday. I will continue to talk about the Love force at every opportunity!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Connection

In the sweat lodge we referred to the earth as our mother and it was there that I began to think of the plants and animals as my brothers and sisters. It feels like everything and everyone are all connected as one. When I walk outside or during my dawn ceremony I can also feel the Presence of the loving force I call God. It feels glorious and I am extremely grateful to be aware and feel the connection.  "I tell you, I am in every flower, every rainbow, every star in the heavens, and everything in and on every planet rotating around every star. I am the whisper of the wind, the warmth of your sun, the incredible individuality and the extraordinary perfection of each snowflake. I am the majesty in the soaring flight of eagles, and the innocence of the doe in the field; the courage of lions, the wisdom of the ancient ones." (Neale Donald Walsch, G. P., )

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Listening

This morning during my recovery meeting I was planning to request a "group conscience" in order to discuss what I thought was the need for the meeting to be more rigid in its adherence to traditional recovery — But when I got there I felt compelled to wait and listen. I was concerned that my desire of calling for that group conscience and being more rigid was motivated by ego fears and not love based. My plan did not feel right so I kept quiet and listened. There were two very new people at the meeting, one of them still detoxing. They each expressed their gratitude and were obviously helped by the looseness of the meeting. They had each attended more traditionally rigid meetings and clearly benefitted from our looser approach. I think I will remain quiet. "It [inner silence] is to establish an inner peace, an inner harmony, which will allow us authentically to contribute to the establishment of an outer peace and an outer harmony in the world at large." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Guidance

Two days ago I wrote of putting the final touches on the coming retreat and, like everything else in my life, seeking guidance for my words and actions. Within that guidance I then choose what, if any, action to take, exercising my free will. Having experienced negative consequences by going against that guidance numerous times, I now follow that guidance. Generally I enter into a period of meditation with a request for guidance and wait until I feel right or clear about a response. If the question persists and clarity does not come, I do nothing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Retreat

Today I was making some final preparations for a four day (1½ travel, 2½ actual retreat) spiritual retreat I will be leading in Mexico during the middle of September, part of my effort to change the world "one person at a time". There will be approximately ten people there and I will make an effort to be a loving, Godly presence as I loosely guide them for the weekend. The theme will be developing the God seed in each of us. I will be passing on what I have been given, which feels like the least I can do. We will also be located on the shore of the Sea of Cortez, near Rocky Point, a pleasant and vibrant location. I look forward to greeting the earth and the animals at dawn as I sit and meditate along the shoreline.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Near-Death-Experience

One of the things I was told during my Near-Death-Experience in 2006 was "This is what it feels like to be dead", a feeling of very powerful, cleansing, healing and pure unconditional love — much stronger than anything of human origin. I have since come to understand that feeling is there as part of the atmosphere all of the time, while the appearance and what happens shifts. I have found that, with God’s help, I can generate something close to that feeling and then pass it on. I channel and generate that feeling when doing s healing. "A mystical touch is a deep, intimate contact-union-experience of God in one of His attributes such as power, light, goodness, beauty, or joy." (Thomas Dubay, S. M.)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Differences

I was watching the movie "Divergent" tonight about a young woman who did not fit nicely into any single behavioral category and had problems because of it. She was a miss-fit which caused her difficulties. Admittedly, I have not been calm and sweet about it, but I too have been considered to be a miss-fit. Throughout my life, beginning when I was quite young, many people have tried to "correct" my behavior which I experienced as not being understood or accepted. I now consider myself to be an independent individual with a strong, loving respect for people’s differences. I encourage and value differences, partly because I know what it feels like to not be accepted. "To resign one’s self to the fact that one must travel much in the dark and be greatly sifted and tossed about is an inevitable step in the way of spiritual growth." (Gilbert Kilpack)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Action

In my efforts to lead what Patricia Loring calls a discerned life and "changing the things I can", I find that I am most comfortable with the "humble and hidden activities" she speaks of, since there is less chance of offending anyone. I am now in a situation which will require "bold and dramatic action", which I have been putting off until I knew how to do it in a loving and respectful way. Previously I have only thought of ways to confront this person in an angry, judgmental way, which would serve no-one (but be justified and self-righteous!). "It requires even more discernment to discover whether the ministry called for from a particular individual in a particular instance requires prophetic speech, humble and hidden activities, bold and dramatic action, professional service or some, novel and previously unimagined course."

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Balance

Patricia Loring commented that "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." My life is always shifting so the balance required to live the "discerned life" she speaks of also changes. A few months ago it became clear that I needed more relaxation and "me" time so I began watching a few movies each week on my computer. Right now the weather is cooling off a bit (low 80s rather than low 90s) so it is possible, once again, to work in the garden, a peaceful distraction for me. I am also continuing with my other spiritually nourishing activities like meditation, recovery and Quaker meetings, working with people, reading and writing. Leading a discerned life is, indeed, a "strenuous undertaking" but well worth it. I find that I am always listening for possible life changes during meditation time. And never totally comfortable.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Conflicts

A substantial part of the incredible richness of the human experience stems from our potential internal conflicts and how we resolve those conflicts (free will). Our conflicts result from dualities like fear versus faith, temporal vs. eternal or short term vs. long-term. Within those and other dualities we have choices. The choices we make contribute to our growth and also reflect that growth. During my process I have made all sorts of choices and now choose the direction of love, faith and the eternal. As Walsch says in a comment he attributes to God "Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, and pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God."

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

One Master

When I am wrapped up in fear I lose the Kingdom or the feeling of being surrounded by a bubble of love — not that it goes anywhere but I do. I also lose that Presence when I become to enamored with or attached to material possessions. I can and do certainly participate in earthly things, just not attempt to make them more than transitory, relatively meaningless, but pleasurable events or possessions. This sort of attitude in me makes it difficult for me to fit into this culture at times, but that’s fine. I agree with St. Augustine’s comment that "we cannot serve two masters. But a man does try to serve two masters if he seeks both the kingdom of God for the great good it is and those other temporal things."

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Kingdom

That the kingdom of God, the Presence and power of unconditional Love, is both within and all around me is an astounding fact of life. I even felt it as a child, though not as acutely as I do today. As a child I also did not realize that I was part of that force, that it was within me or that I could connect with it as deeply as I do today. I find it amazing that Jesus said "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed, nor will they say; ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ for the kingdom of God is within you." and yet I was always told to search for the kingdom in external things. I also always sensed that it was out of my reach not that the kingdom was all around me and I could connect with it. "Jesus also said, ‘I am the light which is before all things. It is I who am all things. From me all things came forth, and to me all things extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there; lift up the stone, and you will find me.’"

Monday, August 20, 2018

Spiritual Awakening

In today’s recovery meeting our theme was that "there is a solution" to our drug and/or alcohol problem, a topic that I love and became quite emotional about. The solution is a "spiritual awakening" which is not necessarily a religious experience or one that involves a belief in God. One of the people in the meeting was an atheist and one believed in a loving, supportive pink unicorn. In my case I found a loving power I choose to call God but the fact is that it does not matter what name a person uses. I found a very powerful and practical power and have support and guidance for all aspects of life. Today I was amused by the thought of my going into a doctors office and explaining that I have done so well with my disability because I found a spiritual solution. I have done that — and will continue. In most cases they just assume I was miss-diagnosed since my outcome is impossible with that diagnosis. Sigh!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Self-Care

Today was a "Charlie" day, meaning I took it easy, relaxed and did some things to pamper myself, an important part of my spiritual path. I had two sausage burritos and some oatmeal cookies for breakfast, went to a recovery meeting, had an egg sandwich for lunch, watched a movie on my computer and meditated. I did not meet with or work wit6h anyone. It was a good day of self-care. It’s important for me to realize when I need to take a break if I am to continue on my path. "Let’s be clear that "being at the spiritual game" means dedicating your whole mind, your whole body, your whole soul to the process of creating Self in the image and likeness of God. This is the process of Self realization about which Eastern mystics have written. It is the process of salvation to which much Western theology has devoted itself. This is a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, moment-to-moment act of supreme consciousness. It is a choosing and a re-choosing every instant. It is ongoing creation. Conscious creation. Creation with a purpose. It is using the tools of creation we have discussed, and using them with awareness and sublime intention.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

God's Love

Several years ago I prayed to see things the way God does and that prayer was granted so I now truly embrace (not always enjoy!) the human condition. I look at myself and the people around me through the lense of love as perfectly imperfect. I know we are young and growing. I look on events like those I mentioned yesterday as miss-steps while I am learning and doing the best I can. Those miss-steps actually increase my appreciation for the purity, strength and power of God’s Love. I am very grateful for that love and the fact that m miss-steps had no impact on it.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Guilt and Shame

I keep encountering, what is frequently called, "Catholic guilt" in the people I talk to, meaning a feeling of guilt or shame over past behaviors. Personally, I have done many unfortunate or harmful things in my life including; lying, stealing, manipulating, having a brief affair with a married woman and doing my part of causing two abortions. I regret these things and now do everything I can to make amends. I feel no guilt or shame, but rather view my younger self as I might a warm, stupid puppy, with compassion, understanding, low expectations and forgiveness since I was clumsy and knew no better. Those circumstances are all part of my growth. "Every circumstance------no matter how painful-----is a gauntlet thrown down by the universe, challenging us to become who we are capable of being." (Williamson)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Peace

Through my limited TV watching (I don’t have a TV), reading the Washington Post and living near DC, I keep hearing about protests over various concerns. I certainly applaud the concerns and passion. I too feel very deeply about what is happening in this world. My concern is that during these protests anger, violence and hate are frequently expressed and that is not a path that will lead to truth, love, compassion and understanding, peace and justice for all. These two approaches represent two sides of each one of us and anger, violence and hate never leads to truth, love, compassion and understanding and peace. Resolution will only come through love. "In the Dhammapada he [the Buddha] teaches that in this world hate never dispels hate. Only love dispels hate."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gratitude

Through my talking with others today I have been led to recall the experiences, trials and tribulations I have been through for the last thirty or so years. As I wrote to one person ‘Even thoughts of the journey make me feel tired --- it’s been long and hard". I have gradually been taught to lead a loving, attentive life and I now have great joy each day, in spite of the nuisance of my disability. As st. John of the Cross pointed out "Speaking of touches, the delights they engender more than compensate for all the trials suffered in life, even though innumerable". On one hand I wouldn’t wish my path on anyone and on the other hand I am very grateful for my life.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Love 2

To me, love is a force very much like gravity or magnetism are forces. Love originates with God and, as I said yesterday, "the nature of love is to grow and spread", meaning anything it touches tends to become loving, like watering the God seed in each of us. Using the three questions (Would I do this in front of God [or whatever you call the power or force behind the Universe]; Is my name really on it [or is it really my responsibility]; Will this increase the integrity of the universe [or is this action motivated by love, rather than fear, acting out of love always increases the integrity of the universe]), I strive to say or do the loving thing at all times, which of course, I cannot do, but it’s fun to try.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Love

Today, Sunday, at our regular meeting for worship two of the young people who have been attending our Thursday meeting joined us, affirming what we are doing on Thursdays. We have tried to be open, welcoming and loving to all. The two young people were one white male and a black female with wonderful dreadlocks, both vegan and neither typical for this community. I was reminded that the nature of love is to grow and spread. "If love is ever to reach and move and transform anyone with its wonderful impalpable power it must be a real love expressed in a real life."(Rufus Jones)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Truth And Love

Today Maria and I went to see "Newsies", a play put on by wonderfully energetic local teens from a theatrical summer camp. The play was inspirational in that truth, love and compassion triumphed over big money and the power structure. It was fun to watch. The play supported my efforts to always act out of love and with God’s guidance believing that the outcome will be good, regardless of events along the way. I often feel that the odds are stacked against me which I need yo remember makes no difference as long as I stay true to my path.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Acceptance

Today I encountered two individuals that, with company backing, lied to me and then tried to manipulate me for company profit. I suspect they each knew they were lying but, having been through this scenario many times before, I doubt they would admit it. I am reminded of a time in 2003 when I purchased my car and told the salesman repeatedly that I wanted him to be honest with me only to be assured that he was being. He wasn’t, as I kept pointing out to him which he never denied. In that case I broke down and lied back. I played his game, lowered the price of my car considerably, and compromised myself in the process. Today I did not compromise myself or give in to them. I also chose to not confront them, knowing it would be pointless and only add to my frustration. They were simple humans doing their best to survive within this milieu. "Only a few achieve the colossal task of holding together, without being split asunder, the clarity of their vision alongside an ability to take their place in a materialistic world." (Irene Claremont deCastillejo)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

God Or Love Seed

Tonight I have been reflecting on the "God or Love seed" within each of us that I write about in my book and is so prevalent in Quaker writings and belief. For myself, numerous Quakers and mystics within all religions or none, God or Love is an experiential reality, not just a belief. It is a powerful and wonderful force to be part of. It is also a force that I am only beginning to understand and probably never will. That reality is why I comment that the name a person uses makes no difference. There is no defensive ego personality to care what name you use — only love. The nature of Love is to grow and create more love, which is why I do what I do. "That God is both utterly beyond me and yet totally within me at the same time is the exquisite balance that most religion seldom achieves..." (R. Rohr a Franciscan mystic)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Acceptance

My own physical healing has only gone so far and, like I said yesterday, "I suspect for some reason I do not understand, yet." I am still disabled, though not as severely as I once was and I still have my jaw dystonia, impairing my jaw coordination and control. I am also still bald and, at times, old and creaky. I believe that I am open to complete physical wellness and I know that level of wellness to be possible. For some reason which I do not know it is necessary for me to experience my challenges for now. I feel accepting of what is handed to me and am at peace with that, while still pursuing more. I am always on the lookout for psychological factors holding me back. My meditation and contemplation are good for that.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Healing

When I speak or write about "healing" I am referring to an energetic shift to a condition of harmony, love and wholeness within the soul or essence of an individual. I can promote such a shift by channeling and sending love energy into the person, in the manner described yesterday. The energetic healing sometimes also results in restoring physical wellness, though not always. In my case, regarding my disability, I believe that I have been healed since I have that feeling of harmony, love and wholeness yet I still have obvious symptoms of a disability. My symptoms are not as severe as they once were, but still present — I suspect for some reason I do not understand, yet. I am open to getting rid of my remaining symptoms and, meanwhile, I enjoy the harmony.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Spiritual Healing

I make use of the healing power of God/Love to maintain my physical health at least daily and more often when addressing a specific issue, its one of those things that I don’t really understand but do anyway. I am a spiritual healer and get miraculous results in terms of what I originally thought possible. I now know different. Today I showed the technique to someone else which I have also done before. I told her to begin by focusing on the feeling of love using any of various images of puppies, babies or kittens. Then, using intent, to funnel that feeling into her hands and, again using intent, to send that energy or feeling from her hands into the area needing healing, while touching that area. I also told her to ask God or Jesus for help (she is Christian). "One by one we move beyond conceptions of ourselves, just as we pass beyond metaphors, symbols, and conceptions of God on the way into unmediated, unknowing, intimate relationship with the source of our being." (Patricia Loring)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Silence

I spent a good part of today in silent, peaceful meditation and contemplation for it is within the silence that I connect with the loving force I call God. Within the silence I can quiet my brain in order to feel the Presence and its healing powers for the physical problems I have been having. Today I experienced the silence while sitting in my recliner, I can also do this on a peaceful day, outside and the experience is generally stronger in a group setting like a meeting of the Friends. "To understand better the value of silence in daily life, and its relation to this spiritual transformation for which we yearn, it is useful first to consider the limitation of language, of words. It is next useful to contemplate the limitations of logical reasoning." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Pain

Today my pain has captured my attention. I choose not to think or talk about it much — it just is and the fact is that "I have some level of pain most of the time", usually just minor sores in my mouth from biting myself. I do not use medication very often, I use a combination of meditation, relaxation, service work and distraction. I find that when I meditate deeply on love or live within love, like when I write this Blog, I experience a great deal less pain. That is certainly true today — right now. Right now for the first time today, I do not feel like a "creaky old man".

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Love

Today I have been reflecting on love as a force right along with the accepted forces of gravitation and magnetism. Most obviously, I have used the force of love for physical healing and health but I believe love has other applications as well. I use the force of love daily, walking through life with it surrounding me. I do not understand it, but keep using it. As Sean Carroll comments in his book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.  "Even to ask such a question [How well do we know what we think we know?] is to admit that our knowledge, at least in part, is not perfectly reliable. This admission is the first step on the road to wisdom. He goes on to say "And when it comes to understanding the fundamental architecture of reality, none of us has complete information."

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Points Of View


Today, while speaking on the phone, in response to a comment about feeling fear, I commented that "there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of", which is true if a person is viewing reality through the lense of love, eternity and Presence. However, if a person looks at life through the lense of temporal, worldly ideas then fear seems totally reasonable. I choose to be aware of the potential of worldly, temporary pain or discomfort, while keeping my focus on love and eternity. "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." (Gilbert Kilpack)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Love

Today Maria, my wife, and I went to visit our nephew, his wife and two week old baby, our new grand-niece. When offered, I turned down the chance to hold the new-born but was able to touch her and bless her with Love the way I do. As a result the feeling of love within me increased, a win-win. I was reminded that the nature of Love is to spread and grow. I did my part and will continue. "Love is the force that increases the integrity of the universe. Whatever is required to do this is loving." (Shepherd Hoodwin)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Choice

If I keep my focus on the God or Love seed within me by doing things like morning prayer and meditation then my day is harmonious and peaceful and my actions are impact full. If, however, I skip that part my day is likely to be a bit chaotic and stressful, a simple choice which I need to remember. The choice being difficult to keep in mind makes no logical sense since the consequences are so simple and black and white. But it was a difficult choice initially. My dawn ceremony and early prayer and meditation have now become a habit and part of my day. "‘That of God in every man’ is as a finger pointing to that of God which is infinitely more than the good in every man." (Gilbert Kilpack)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Ego

I have often told the people I work with to pay attention when something causes them to "well up" and/or cry since this is often the subconscious’ way of saying "this is important to you". Then today I was watching a movie during which one character said to another "they will follow you". I need to pay attention since I welled up with tears when I heard that comment. There are many people who openly admire me and follow me closely. For the sake of my ego it is useful for me to realize that those people are actually admiring me together with the loving power that walks with me. This situation works for me and will continue as long as I stay humble and am careful about what I say and do. I have ample examples in my life of what this kind of admiration and power can do to a person — I would rather not go there.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Compassion

There was a fellow who today was banned from the Serenity Center, where I go for some of my recovery meetings. He was banned because of his disruptive behavior and not altering that behavior in spite of prior warnings. I agree with the decision since his behavior could discourage and be harmful to the newcomer. I also have empathy for him and will reach out to him, given the chance. It is important for me to realize that he and I are very similar, differing only in some brain chemicals. I, too, have self-centered, grandiose and anti-social thoughts but I choose and have the ability to not act on them. I also have difficulty, at times, in listening to the criticism and comments of others, but I am able to slow down, listen and remain quiet and respectful. He has a bit more difficulty in restraining himself. "Doing shadow-work means making a gentleman's agreement with one's self to engage in an internal conversation that can, at some time down the road result in an authentic self-acceptance and a real compassion for others." (Zweig and Abrams)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Balance

Today was a day of moderate activity (exercise, recovery meeting, talking on the phone and meditating) mixed with periods of relaxation and restoration. I seldom enter into total relaxation or distraction and usually continue to think about my activities at a much reduced rate and intensity as I did today. I watched a movie while also having some thoughts and planning about my interaction with trees. I find this partial relaxation actually helps my creativity and the fruition of my thinking — it is also good self-care. I should also confess that when relaxing I always wonder if I should be doing more!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

My Growth

Most of the time when I meditate I connect with and feel the strength, Love and power of God, a feeling that is a gift which I can then carry with me during the day. The feeling originates with God not me and, to use an analogy from baseball, the capability of connecting with and generating that feeling is my "home run". I also find that I can pass that feeling to other entities, though doing so is not totally under my control. I am the "instrument" or "organ" of its passage, not the one who decides and is truly in charge. At this point I have transmitted that feeling to spirits, most recently to trees and at least twice (probably more) to living people. My sense is that I could be a better channel with people by being more completely open and then allowing it. I am working on that! "There are encounters with God such that the devil cannot possibly counterfeit them, nor can one’s imagination create them. Some are so indelibly imprinted in the center of one’s being that they can neither be described nor forgotten." (St. John of the Cross)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Spiritual Quest

I bet everything on the single card of my spiritual connection and the guidance I find there. Originally I made that choice because I was desperate and having explored earthly possibilities I found nothing that could help me. For the last couple of decades I have been pursuing a greater connection and continued guidance not from desperation but because of the joy and peace I find there. "Immersion in God entails a being filled with Him, a divine inflowing. Biblical men knew well enough that this self-communication of God is the sole destiny of men." (Thomas Dubay, S. M.). I have an adequate income and possessions but have to keep it spare because of my acquisitive nature. If I have much money or possessions I get excited, focused on the material and want more. As St. Augustine says "we cannot serve two masters. But a man does try to serve two masters if he seeks both the kingdom of God for the great good it is and those other temporal things."

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Love

Words do not do the reality justice, but when Love is present it "desires" to create more Love, that is its nature and purpose. I live within a world of love and do everything I can to pass it on. I would like other people to feel that love, but also trees, stones, earth and everything else. The very human tendency and quest after "money, power and prestige" or technological distractions can block that love. I would like to overcome that tendency in others, leading to greater feeling of contentment and peace. "To the mystic he [God] becomes real in the same sense that experienced beauty is real, or the feel of spring is real, or that summer sunlight is real — he has been found, he has been met, he is present." (Rufus Jones)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Growth

Most of my communication with the trees I mentioned yesterday was around the issues of a youngish but adult in size, pine tree who had lost a major limb, which equated to a large part of its identity and also a change in life attitude to a feeling of vulnerability. Much the same as I felt when at the youngish age of forty, I became disabled. At that point I was very focused and proud of my physical prowess and felt relatively comfortable and in control. Everything changed in a few short months to feeling out of control, vulnerable and desperate. I turned to developing my spirituality — my connection with whatever you call that Presence and the feeling of eternity. I found that I could pass that feeling on, giving others the strength to persevere. "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."

Friday, July 20, 2018

Being

Last night and today I have had the opportunity and honor to communicate with several trees concerning how they experience life and what that process means to them. I discover that I do not understand what it is to be a tree, what I call "treeness" — big surprise! Not surprisingly I end up listening a lot and apologizing for my assumptions and lack of understanding. Apparently, many or possibly most of them do not feel the Presence and Love that I feel when doing earthly, physical things, especially within the natural world. They are very focused on survival activities, physical reality rather than spiritual. I can broaden their approach by showing and giving them that feeling. "I tell you, I am in every flower, every rainbow, every star in the heavens, and everything in and on every planet rotating around every star. I am the whisper of the wind, the warmth of your sun, the incredible individuality and the extraordinary perfection of each snowflake. I am the majesty in the soaring flight of eagles, and the innocence of the doe in the field; the courage of lions, the wisdom of the ancient ones." (Walsch)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Spiritual Journey

I have been reading about what Marcelle Martin calls "the refiner’s fire" in her book Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey. The idea being that during their spiritual journey a person finds it best to divest or purify themselves of many worldly attachments, desires and behaviors in order to connect more closely with God. For the early Quakers this process was connected and driven by thoughts of sin, the devil, humans being pitiful and needing to be forgiven, reflecting the cultural and religious attitudes of that time. Contemporary Quakers also recognize the need to focus on spiritual values, giving up many worldly concerns but without belief in sin, etc. In my case, I have given up many worldly attachments, desires and distractions, not out of a feeling of duty, but because of love and my desire to be part of that love. I have found that I feel more complete joy if I focus on my spiritual development while participating in the worldly things.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Spiritual Experience 2

Another of my spiritual experiences was in 2006 when I had my near-death-experience and for the first time felt the power, purity and simplicity of God’s Love. During that experience I was told "this is what it feels like to be dead" and then "you can stay here or go back and be of service". Obviously, I came back but I needed to know what God’s Love felt like so I could generate that feeling for healing and pass it on to living people or spirits. I also immerse myself in that feeling nightly and carry a human version with me during the day. "The appropriate language for the person receiving these favors [communion with God] is that he understand them, experience them within himself, enjoy them and be silent." (St. John of the Cross)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Spiritual Experiece

I have been blessed and guided by numerous spiritual events, some quite miraculous and some relatively subtle but definitely worthy of notice. The first was when, in a semi-purposeful manner, I placed myself in a traffic situation where my death was inevitable and was immediately and miraculously moved to a safe location, as if to say "you are not going to do this". The second was years later when I asked for guidance about attending a Sundance to which I had been invited and my wife made it clear she did not approve. I was conflicted. At that time I had an office in the middle of Flagstaff, AZ, and a sign out front announcing my presence as a mental health therapist. A young, black stranger came into my office and when I asked him why he said "my name is Charlie Horton". I then asked him what he was doing in Flagstaff and he replied "I’m on my way to the Sundance". I took that to be my answer and went. "There are encounters with God such that the devil cannot possibly counterfeit them, nor can one’s imagination create them. Some are so indelibly imprinted in the center of one’s being that they can neither be described nor forgotten." (St. John of the Cross)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dealing With Life

After the Friend’s worship session this morning I spent some time talking with a woman who is, by her own admission, a "fixer". She and I talked about my physical challenges and she kept looking for ways to alleviate my symptoms. She suggested massage, which does not work for me, acupuncture, which I have used, chiropractors, which I have used and medications like opiates and benzodiazepines, which are addictive so I cannot use. During the conversation I listened and was moderately amused. I have benefitted from acupuncture and chiropractors but by far my main solution to physical problems has been my spiritual connection. After our talk it occurred to me that "I do not need fixing since I walk through life with the healing presence of God/Love as my partner". "The pure in heart know that when the Kingdom of the Spirit is seen in all its beauty and desired with a single will, then order is brought out of confusion." (Gilbert Kilpack)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Humility

The topic for this morning’s recovery meeting was "humility", an attitude or self-concept that I have found to be of extreme importance. As I commented during the meeting "I listen better" when humble and can then take action accordingly. I take humility to mean that I am "right sized", openly admitting and living within my strengths and weaknesses. If I am feeling either grandiose or like a worm, I am "in my ego" and likely to distort what I hear and my resultant actions. If, on the other hand, I approach any situation with humility, I am apt to perceive conditions accurately and then respond in a way that "increases the integrity of the universe" (Charlie Horton).

Friday, July 13, 2018

Unconditional Love

Many years ago I prayed to see things the way God does and was then granted that gift. It is my understanding and feeling that God views us and our antics through a lense of love. I now view myself and others with fondness, much the way a parent might view his or her own child. It was remarkable for me to be listening to a person in front of me berating me and have my only feeling be love for that person. The experience helped me to understand some of the behavior and comments of Christ. I have found no judgment or conditionality there. "The God of my childhood has given way to the God of my womanhood, a God of many names----Allah, Shiva, Great Spirit, Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha, Yahweh. This is the God who is present in the tiniest acorn and the vastest ocean." (Valerie Brown)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Living In the Now

Admittedly my disability has made life very difficult for me but today during my recovery meeting I was contemplating its gifts in my life. The theme in that meeting was the very human tendency to project our worries into the future and the preference to live in the present. My disability has helped me stay in the "now" since my present reality, even when experiencing some pain, is enjoyable. My future may also be enjoyable but I can also project wheelchairs, pain, suffering and death. I prefer to stay in the present while also acknowledging what the future may hold but leaving that part up to the Universe.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Meditating

When I meditate I first quiet my mind and stay in the present by counting my breaths, one for the in-breath and two for the out-breath, over and over. I then shift my focus to the feeling and healing power of God’s love. In each case my brain spends eighty to ninety percent of the time wandering about from one topic to another. I would like to be present and focused more of the time but I am not. I have been working on my meditating for many years and this is what I have achieved. It is worth noting that this level is enough to have succeeded in doing many things. Time to meditate!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Beaming

During my meditation and sacred ceremonies I have been shown and experienced first-hand the simplicity, power and purity of God’s love, quite a gift. My mission is to pass that on, and change the world in doing so. I have passed it on to many spirits and living individuals with remarkable results. I call the process "beaming" and I must confess that I don’t really know how I do it but I feel it as do the recipients. I do know the ability is a gift. The most recent time I used beaming was today at a recovery meeting with the boisterous individual I mentioned a couple of days ago. We shall see what the impact is, as I do it more.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Listening

Today, after the Friend’s silent worship meeting, I spent some time connecting and talking with a woman attendee about various family and relationship issues, very meaningful and enjoyable. It was a very good conversation and she expressed several times how nice it was to talk to me. Recently, several other people have expressed the same pleasure during our talks. I don’t talk much but I listen intently, love and respect the person I am talking with. They know and can feel that. "For there to be a meeting, it seems as though a third, a something else, is always present. You may call it Love, or the Holy Spirit. Jungians would say that it is the presence of the Self. If this 'Other' is present, there cannot have failed to be a meeting." (Claremont deCastillejo)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ego Struggles

There is a fellow present and new to some of my meetings who is very boisterous, self-centered, sure he is right, newly sober, insecure and ignorant about love and recovery. Except for the boisterous part, he is a lot like I was early in my recovery journey. I was quiet but equally obnoxious. He has a huge and very resistant ego and my own ego has a large tendency to rear its ugly, angry head and engage this guy, as others are doing in my meetings. My discernment is telling me that the only way to engage him is through unconditional love and being of service to him, when he is ready, and not to oppose him in any way if he tries to argue. My own ego feels deflated as I write this (hooray!). "Discernment is a gift from God, not as a personal achievement. The gift is not the result of training, technique, or analysis. Like other gifts of God, its origin is mysterious and gratuitous." (Patricia Loring)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Choice

During my recovery meeting today one of the participants spoke of his having experienced the simple feeling of joy for the first time. Because of my choices, I experience the glorious feeling of joy much of the time. The thought which keeps coming up in my head is that "you could be so much more [in some areas], if you would only be so much less [in others]. I experience joy when I choose to focus on the love and beauty in my life, while giving up my worldly concerns. "The appropriate language for the person receiving these favors [communion with Love/God] is that he understand them, experience them within himself, enjoy them and be silent." (St. John of the Cross)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Loving Action

On one hand loving action is very simple, sensing and doing what intuitively feels right and on the other hand it is complex in that the action may feel right but not good. For example I work with several people and feel a strong love for each of them. I often offer insights about them that they find valuable but also make them feel uncomfortable, even to the point of crying at times. There are also people I know and love but I choose not to offer my insights about them because they do not ask and out of love and respect for them and their own process. "Love has a quality you can learn to discern. It 'feels right'. It is truthful and inclusive. There is no objective measurement to confirm that you are experiencing love. You can only trust your intuition and do your best. If you do, your capacity to discern love will grow. We are all learning this skill." (Shepherd Hoodwin)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dealing With Life

I have been dealing with a lot of family and financial matters for these last few days, material matters very much tied to this world. However, I did not get lost or absorbed by those matters since I also continued my spiritual practices. I am grateful that I have been able to continue with my spiritual growth in the midst of worldly things. "It [evolution to higher levels] is not now the result of an escalator coming up from below. It depends on us, and persons like us, whether we go on to further goals or not. The possibilities are in us, there is no compulsion. We can sag down to the level of animal life, or we can climb an inward Jacob’s Ladder and become rightly fashioned by spirits, kindled by a flame from above..... We have the possibility of becoming superbiological. (Rufus Jones)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Peace

Today I have been reflecting on the fact that there are so many wars or threats of war going on in our world today. There is also a belief that wars or the threat of violence will eventually lead to peace. On the other hand, as many spiritual leaders have pointed out, wars and violence cannot lead to peace. In my view we each have two seeds within us and whichever we feed or nourish affects our choices or actions. One of those seeds is based largely on fear and nourished by violence and war while the other is based on love and fed by acts of compassion, love, understanding and peace. There is no way that violence can feed the love seed. I have lived within each choice and know how different each feels. My choices were changed by the love I was shown and I will continue to love others regardless of their choices.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Connection

One of the things I do when I listen to a person is connect with them on an energetic level, meaning that each of us becomes willing and open enough to allow a joining of our energy fields, permitting emotional and spiritual connection. It is possible to feel it when connection takes place and it allows for a deeper and more honest communication. Today was my brother-in-law’s birthday so we had a late-lunch family gathering during which there was polite and cordial conversation about topics like weather, cars, sports and food but no real connection. I am lousy at that type of talk! I also realize that is the type of communication people are used to and that it reduces the possibility of emotional injury. I miss the connection.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Listening

One of the important objectives which I mentioned yesterday is "listening", which I now do pretty well in spite of the constant clamoring of my intellect. My brain continues to run on like a squirrel in a cage about things that happened years ago, things that might happen tomorrow, what I will fix for dinner, what should happen next, etc. I used to place some importance on what my brain was saying, thinking it an important guard against present dangers. I now continue to have the thoughts but they are quieter and I now choose to simply attend to the present moment. "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)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Humility

Today’s topic for my recovery meeting was "humility", a topic I consider to be very important since only when I am humble (right-sized) can I be in the present and able to listen to the universe around me. The definition of humility which I learned and latched onto many years ago was and is "lack of pretense", in other words knowing, admitting and living within strengths and weaknesses, something I strive for. I am quite capable of being grandiose, thinking I am better than I am or self-deprecating, thinking I am less. Each is egocentric has its own dangers. Each also takes me out of the moment and changes my focus to past or future. I strive to stay in the present, listen and act out of love.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Life

Tomorrow I turn seventy and will be at my mother-in-law’s, away from my computer unable to write in this Blog so I write this now. I have no idea how long I will keep living but I can say that I turned out to be much more than I thought I would and feel quite satisfied with my life, which included thirty-six years of being totally lost, self-centered and confused followed by decades of figuring things out. As Rufus Jones points out living and growing truly has been a process of affirming and deny myself. He goes on to comment "To get we must also give, to advance we must also surrender, to gain we must lose, to attain we must resign. From the nature of things life means choice and selection, and every positive choice negates all other possibilities.", an observation which fits my process very well. I wonder what lies up ahead and am content to leave it that way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My Efforts

I attempt to spread love and light in everything I do and say. This Blog, my cooking, gardening, working with spirits or living people are all part of that effort. I understand that the effort is very important and I do it pretty well, falling back into hurt and anger every once and a while. Recently I have been experiencing some back and shoulder pain due largely to my disability and, as with most physical problems, with an emotional component. My shoulders and back are expressing an internal emotional conflict between the part of me that says "your shoulders are not strong enough to carry the load you are carrying" and another part of me that says "fine but I’ll keep doing what I do anyway — and anything I am called to do in the future". I just keep thinking "bring it on! With God’s guidance and assistance I’ll do it."

Spiritual Life

Over the years I have come to know a God that "truly embraces the human experience and free will. This is not a personified jealous God/force who judges me, considers me to be sinful or pitiful or requires any sort of obedience." (my website). That entity walks with me through my life and is a truly wonderful partner. As I also comment the Love coming from that force is absolute and unconditional. That God has been with me through many of the normal human conflicts and observed me making several harmful choices. I have cursed that God on several occasions and turned my back on others. It is important to note that nothing I have done has increased, decreased or impacted that Love in any way. My near-death-experience has shown me that when I die I will leave this physical form and bathe myself in that Love.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Revelation

This morning we had the monthly meeting of our reading group during which the members spoke of openings, leadings and revelations of divine origin in their own lives, a very powerful and intimate sharing. The ability to discern or distinguish between revelations of divine and human origin was also mentioned. As I said today, I have had numerous leadings, many of which are mentioned in my book, though I do not call them that. Many years ago I also prayed for discernment, and was granted that gift. Over the years it has been made clear to me many times that divine love is absolute and unconditional, very pure and simple. This means that thoughts of sin, judgment, levels of acceptance, any qualifications are of human origin, reflecting the political, moral and spiritual climate of the time. That truth has tremendous value for me.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Holistic Health

At this point I am good at keeping it under control (most of the time!) but I have some level of pain most of the time. If it gets really bad (8 or 9 on pain scale) , I turn to minimal pain medications to assist me but usually I use some combination of meditation of peaceful scenes, biofeedback relaxation with a GSR-2, visualization of physical healing and distraction through service work. I have found for myself and witnessed in others that heavy reliance on pain medication leads to decreased effectiveness of medication and increased pain. Today I am experiencing shoulder pain and used meditation and relaxation.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Presence

This evening Maria told me of a boy who during his returning from guitar lessons would stop and play the guitar for the unseen entities along the way, giving him and them great joy. Hearing the story caused me to think back, with fondness, on the times I have done something similar. I greet and say "good morning" to a large oak in our backyard. I recall the feeling of peace and presence while sitting within an aspen grove near Flagstaff. The feeling of being with the large pitch pine at our previous house. While eating lunch at a wildlife sanctuary I had a brief conversation with a feminine feeling spirit who liked that location. Each occurrence gave me a feeling of peace, love, presence and connection. "Jesus said, ‘I am the light which is before all things. It is I who am all things. From me all things came forth, and to me all things extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there; lift up the stone, and you will find me.’" (gospel of Thomas)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Paradox

In reading over yesterdays entry I find that I am actually grateful for the many challenges that I mention since dealing with them has pushed me to go beyond the person I thought I was. My challenges include alcoholism, disability, chronic pain, my age, the fact that everything is difficult for me, the fact that I am slow and that there are many things I cannot do. I deal well with each of them using love and my loving connection to everything and everybody as my main coping tool. Without the pressure those challenges have produced in my life, I would not be nearly the person I am. "To resign one’s self to the fact that one must travel much in the dark and be greatly sifted and tossed about is an inevitable step in the way of spiritual growth." (Gilbert Kilpack)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Serenity

Today I have been reflecting on life as it is for me, finding that the serenity prayer is working for me, particularly accepting what I cannot change and taking action on the things I can. There are also many aspects of my life that are good the way they are, for example my relationships, my health (other than disability), the several people I work with and my spiritual connection. I accept and live with several things like my disability, chronic pain, my age, the fact that everything is difficult for me, the fact that I am slow and that there are many things I cannot do. I exercise five or six days a week, also working on balance and coordination, in order to minimize my pain and be as functional as possible. The highlight of each day is when I get up in the middle of the night to pray, meditate and connect for a couple of hours. Life is good.

Monday, June 18, 2018

What Ought To Be

For the Thursday evening worship session that Maria, my wife, and I now lead I try to welcome all attendees with a human form of the absolute, unconditional love I learned from God. After making sure they feel loved, at peace and welcome, I might make suggestions about "acceptable" conduct at a Friend’s meeting for worship, especially if they plan to go to different meetings. The love, peace and welcome are the important, God given part. "Whenever spirit appears, even in the finite form of our own personal minds, it always outreaches and goes beyond its given expression and embodiment. We always transcend ourselves. We always live beyond our margins. We leap beyond anything that is — the here and now — and we are by the necessity of our being concerned with a more yet that ought to be." (Rufus Jones)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Ministry

Right now I feel like I am in a holding, quiet time in terms of spiritual actions or ministry, a time to quietly continue my own growth and existing activities. I will admit to feeling impatient but also this being the right path for me. I am continuing with my recovery meetings, working with several people, working with spirits and developing the Thursday evening meeting for worship with Maria. I am situated and doing much the same as when I was living in Flagstaff, AZ. I gradually grew and developed, slowly increasing my impact. It seems time to do that here in MD. "It requires even more discernment to discover whether the ministry called for from a particular individual in a particular instance requires prophetic speech, humble and hidden activities, bold and dramatic action, professional service or some, novel and previously unimagined course." (Patricia Loring)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sin

It’s best and most accurate to think of ourselves as children of the force I now call God, learning about love as we grow. Typically a parent loves his or her children and does not think of them as sinful or bad when they make choices that are harmful to themselves or others. Depending on the age of the child, the parent might lovingly suggest a different choice, but whatever the choice the love is not diminished or altered in any way. Similarly as the owner of a puppy or kitten, a person is likely to love and not judge them when they do silly things that are harmful. In my book I write about choices being loving or not, rather than being bad or good a judgement that originates in human society. I enjoy watching myself and consider myself to be a silly but loving human.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Choice

Two nights ago I wrote about my becoming convinced of the presence and power of God through a sequence of what Marcelle Martin called "openings" or revelations. She also writes about past spiritual seekers changing or "refining" their lives in accordance with their understanding of God. I have certainly also changed my life. I have let go of many earthly, material objects or desires and become much more service oriented. I have made these changes not because I was living a life of sin but because I wish to live a more loving life. Previously I was being human and choosing to live as best I could. I was living as a child and now am more grown up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Revelations

In her book, Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey, Marcelle Martin describes what she calls openings for both early and modern day Quakers. By openings she means revelations or direct experiences of the power and presence of God, leading to "convincement" of God’s presence and reality. I have had around a dozen such experiences, the first dating back to a classroom experience in 1992. As I describe in my book, during the first weeks of that class I gave a talk in which God and I created a "sacred space", changing the class by making it much more loving and open. In one student’s words I "changed the whole class for the whole semester". Some of my other experiences have been dramatic, even traumatic, while others have been quiet. They have certainly convinced me of the power and presence of the loving force I call God. At this point, I would be foolish to deny it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Kingdom

I have overcome or God has relieved me of many attitudes in myself that led to the internal conflicts I have mentioned for the last two days. Attitudes like being self-centered and several attachments to money, power and prestige. I realized that they were blocking me from Love so I did what I had to in order to overcome them. I have done the same with some of my frailties such as shame or feelings of unworthiness and for the same reason. Leaving those attitudes and conflicts behind, together with my meditative connection has allowed me to experience the wonders of God’s kingdom. "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed, nor will they say; ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ for the kingdom of God is within you." (the gospel of Luke)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Choice

Yesterday I mentioned the "conflicts, love and frailty of the human condition" and my acute awareness of their presence and impact on us humans, especially myself. The fact is that the conflicts, love and frailty create the depth and value of the human experience — also the challenges. Today I have been especially aware of the conflict between present day financial gain or security on one side versus the more ephemeral and long term value of caring for the earth on the other side. This particular conflict comes up over and over and it is clear to me that both sides are right — just different. Resolution of the conflict is important. I choose to value, love and respect the earth and its inhabitants.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Connection

Today was a day of connection which, ultimately, left me feeling very stable and positive in a neutral, solid way. The connections began with my wife, followed by the Presence and meeting for worship. After the meeting I had a very interesting and intense connection with a young man at the meeting. Generally, when I connect with individuals like him, our essences essentially agree to connect, listen and be with each other. In his case his soul or essence draws me in by forcefully requesting that I connect and probe at a very deep level and I agree and do the same, resulting in a very deep connection. There were then several hours of an easy and light connection with my mother-in-law. During all of this I was quite aware of the conflicts, love and frailty of the human condition, leaving me feeling "stable and positive in a neutral, solid way".

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Solitude

For me, today was a day of solitude, quiet contemplation and peace. I was alone and stayed inside most of the day because of heat and bugs. I did very little, though I did exercise and worked with one person, briefly. I seem to need the silence in order to maintain my connection with God. I also had some whispers from my ego urging me to accomplish things and be more of a human doing rather than a human being. "  I had no trouble ignoring the urging!  It [inner silence] is to establish an inner peace, an inner harmony, which will allow us authentically to contribute to the establishment of an outer peace and an outer harmony in the world at large." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Spiritual Life

Overall I have done well at dealing with my disability, remaining cheerful, keeping my spiritual connection and relating to others for the last couple of days, with only one slip which lasted a couple of hours. Yesterday I went to the dentist for the first time in a few years which put me in a situation of dealing with my disability and age while also explaining several things to the dentist and hygienist. I was clear, upbeat and honest. They listened and asked me to repeat what they did not understand (a position I appreciate for its directness). Today we went to a wildlife sanctuary which was beautiful and physically challenging. Being in the presence of those natural life energies was wonderful. The biting insects were a nuisance. I met the challenge and enjoyed myself in the process. On the downside, yesterday I made an error in our finances and was emphatically sure I was right (I was not). I was stubborn, impatient and did poorly at explaining the situation to others a process which was aggravated by my not speaking well. Life goes on — time to meditate and be grateful! "For after all the beautiful and simple words have been spoken, it is still the pattern of that Life which compels attention: its obscure and humble birth; its education in poverty; its temptation, mortification, and solitude; its acts of compassion and service; its desolation at moments of apparent abandonment of the Divine; its painful death of the self; and its final absorption into the Source." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mundane Activities

Today I spent most of the day making a big (4 gallon) batch of spaghetti sauce, also going to a recovery meeting, meditating and exercising. I make my own sauce and other meals since I like my own cooking and do not like all the additives and preservatives in "store bought" or processed food. The preparation and clean-up do take longer but feel right since they are true to me and more natural. I am also grateful for having the time and ability. On the one hand, the cooking and gardening or other mundane activities do not contribute much to the universe or eternity but the are a welcome relief from weightier activities.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Connection

When I get up for the first time each day around midnight I pray and meditate while feeling connected to the Presence I know as God. Then when I get up again around dawn, I go outside to walk around my yard and gardens saying good morning and feeling the loving connection to the plants. I put out food for the birds, feeling that connection. Today I also had the opportunity to connect with two people on the phone. I feel very connected to the life process, a wonderful and vital feeling. "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." (Paul A. Lacey)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Encountering Violence

Today I have been contemplating the frequent occurrence of violence in this world and how to reduce and eventually eliminate it. At the present time, I make use of the three questions that are the central focus of my book (The three questions are: would I do this in front of God (or whatever you call the power or force behind the Universe); is my name really on it (or is it really my responsibility); will this increase the integrity of the universe (or is this action motivated by love, rather than fear, acting out of love always increases the integrity of the universe). The three questions never lead me to violence. In the past I have encountered violence many times and, in my adult life, I have always used love, understanding and compassion to successfully diffuse it. I suspect that this method would not work in all situations with all people – I do not know. "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." (Patricia Loring)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Harmony

This morning at the monthly Friend’s meeting for worship for business an issue came up which caused an interruption in the worshipful atmosphere. The issue was whether or not to allow a video camera to film of a brief instant of the event. The question did cause an interruption and it was decided to not allow the video since the use of the camera would also detract from the atmosphere, a sound decision. What occurred to me was it would be preferable to have the silent, loving, worshipful atmosphere be strong enough to withstand the blip. In my view, the issue was just another of life’s seemingly endless distractions from the potential peace and harmony of the moment and that it would be best to simply incorporate the blip into the love of the present. "It [inner silence] is to establish an inner peace, an inner harmony, which will allow us authentically to contribute to the establishment of an outer peace and an outer harmony in the world at large." (Daniel A. Seeger)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Balance

Today my activities felt balanced and harmonious, always keeping in mind the sacred nature of life. I exercised, had a good connection and conversation with one of the people I work with, meditated, mowed some lawn and relaxed by eating lunch and watching a movie. I have had some difficulty in maintaining a balance lately, either working too much or participating in too many distractions — neither felt right. "If you choose to center your life in Divine Radiance, two things can be pretty much guaranteed. One, life will not be as simple as it could be if you had chosen another way. The Spirit-centered life has little in common with ‘Business as usual.’  Two, there will never be a dull moment. You will see the colors of music, hear the songs of color and be blessed with magic people. A fair trade I'd say." (Joy Marsh)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Life

Today during meditation I heard "you are not worthy", specifically not worthy of my connection with God, the work I do with other people and the work I do with spirits, a message from my troubled and tumultuous past. This message which was strictly within myself was accompanied by an increase in joint and back pain. Not surprisingly, at almost seventy, I am tired of dealing with my past — sigh. In my meditation I acknowledged the feelings, felt them as strongly as I could (extremely unpleasant!) and let them pass, knowing they had no validity. After a brief increase in intensity, my pain lessened. Life is good, a bit weird but good. "He should learn to remain in God’s presence with a loving attention and a tranquil intellect", even though this seems like idleness to him. Soon he will find little by little that a "divine calm and peace with a wondrous, sublime knowledge of God, enveloped in divine love, will be infused into his soul". (St. John of the cross)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Discernment

I have encountered several statements saying that discernment (the ability to detect if received comments are of divine or other origin) is a gift from God and that most people cannot determine if a message is divine. I prayed for discernment many years ago and was granted the gift, but I know not how or why. I have likened a divine message as feeling like being bathed in a clear mountain stream. Other messages are "cloudy". The two feel very different. When I get a divine message it is usually simple and clear. If I give myself a message from intellect or ego it can be very convincing but never feels right, "Discernment is a gift from God, not as a personal achievement. The gift is not the result of training, technique, or analysis. Like other gifts of God, its origin is mysterious and gratuitous." (Patricia Loring)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mystical Worship

Yesterday I wrote of my own "mystical worship" or worship (meditation in my case) where I experience the presence of God, a nightly practice of mine. Such a practice is only possible because of what I call the "God seed" within me, also called "that small quiet voice". I often connect with that part of a person when I work with them as a mentor or spiritual guide. I have come to realize that everyone has that seed and potential within them. That seed requires some practice, focus and discipline to make it grow and become stronger. "The very fact that such a mighty experience [mystical worship] as this is possible means that there is some inner meeting place between the soul and God; in other words, that the divine and human, God and man, are not wholly sundered." (Rufus Jones)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Connection

Every night when I connect with the force I call God I find and bathe my spirit in absolute and unconditional love of a strength, power and purity that is well beyond anything of human origin. Somehow when there I also gain insight and guidance primarily for the coming day and sometimes beyond that. I carry that feeling and that guidance with me for the day until I connect again. I often think of this as being with Christ since he knew of and became part of that force, though I generally feel no need to personify God. During that connection I am open and honest about my thoughts, attachments and distractions which can take me away or block me from God, but I simply honor them as part of my humanity, rather than considering them as sins. I do not understand that force but have complete trust and faith in it.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Choice

We had the meeting of the reading group I wrote of yesterday and most of the members spoke with admiration and devotion about the "looking within" of various past Quaker seekers and I spoke of my own disciplines and practices of looking within. What I notice is that many people speak or write with very genuine admiration and devotion about the practices of others and their own wish to have that same connection, but then fail to follow through with their own discipline and practices. As Gilbert Kilpack, another Quaker, wrote, "We want to be spiritually alive, but also to be comfortable; to be prayerful, but not to rise early in the morning to pray; to possess power to lead, but not to undergo the discipline that it takes to control the power." My choice of discipline had to initially be renewed pretty much daily and now comes easily and with pleasure.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Looking Within

The Friend’s reading group I am a part of meets tomorrow to discuss various methods of people "looking within" in order to cultivate and nurture that "small quiet voice", the God seed in each of us. My methods have included daily meditation, contemplation, numerous sweat lodges and four vision quests. I have encountered what Thomas Dubay, S. M. Calls a "mystical touch"; "a deep, intimate contact-union-experience of God in one of His attributes such as power, light, goodness, beauty, or joy." As with other people in the past, in my case this sort of connection has required discipline and daily practice but the resulting feeling of fulfillment has been well worth it. "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)