Saturday, February 10, 2018
In my recovery meeting today someone spoke of watching a caterpillar crawl across the ground as being a waste of time and I disagree. To me, taking the time to observe one of God’s creatures go about day to day living brings great joy. Life is a wondrous process to behold, whether the behavior is exceptional or ordinary. At one point not to many years ago, when I could not move without great difficulty, I spent several hours on my porch watching a predatory beetle capturing and devouring prey. Having my mind be quiet enough to simply observe is a wonderful state to be in. In the poem Dejection, Samuel Taylor Coleridge calls joy "this strong music in the soul’, ‘a light, a glory, a luminous cloud’, ‘a beautiful and beauty-making power.’ Joy is a gift, one we cannot will for ourselves, nor even for others."
Friday, February 9, 2018
For the last couple of days I have written about my ability to connect with other people, an ability which I value very highly — not just connecting with other people but everyone and everything. One of the main factors determining my ability to connect, is my ability to listen and listen deeply without interference from my clamoring intellect. I attempt to listen not just to the words spoken, but everything the Universe has to tell me. This type of listening requires that I focus, reign in my wandering intellect and become internally and externally quiet. "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)
Thursday, February 8, 2018
I am a retired mental health therapist so I have had the privilege of connecting, deeply, with a large number of people, a skill I continue to work on. Personally, I have found that in order to connect deeply I need to do a lot of self-care, be spiritually fit, listen intensely and be able to put my own ego aside. I have also found that when the other person is using a SRI., some other anti-depressant or prescribed medication it makes connection more difficult. If they are using alcohol or illegal drugs anything other than a superficial connection is impossible. I stopped using a prescribed medication for hypothyroidism on the 15th of last month and find, not surprisingly, that my ability to connect has improved.. "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)
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
This evening I was reflecting on a time when I was living in Flagstaff, AZ and made my last visit with my father who was living in a facility in Chapel Hill, NC. He had advanced Alzheimer’s so he could not communicate with cogent complete thoughts or sentences and did not know I was his son. During that visit we went for a short walk down one of the hallways in the facility and had an in depth, complex conversation we could not have had. In that conversation he clearly knew who I was in the spirit plane. We had stopped in front of a print of a harbor, the open ocean and several sailing vessels of various sizes and types. Immediately when we stopped I felt a shift in consciousness and a deeper connection with him. I also felt surrounded by love. Our conversation was about the symbolism of that print and what it meant for each of us. As that conversation ended we went back, sat down and I felt a shift back to this reality and a change in our connection. The love was still there. He looked at me and said "It’s stopped" and I replied "Yes it has". He then asked "What do we do now?", to which I replied "You take a nap before dinner and I’ll go back to AZ." It was an amazing experience during which we each shifted to a different reality than our normal one. "You belong to two worlds do not miss the invisible one while you are busy with the visible one. Cultivate your vision, learn to see the realities which your eyes miss.. Look through the world that is seen and discover the realities which it suggests and implies." (Rufus Jones)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
I have been a devoted practitioner of various spiritual activities for years, decades in some cases and, as a result, I now feel connected to "all that is" all the time, I have one foot in the eternal and one in the present, I have great joy and I carry out my daily activities from within a "bubble of love". It’s a great way to live which still requires discipline. My joy is surprising from a worldly perspective since I am disabled, in pain much of the tine and approaching my seventieth birthday. I think I’ll keep doing what I am doing! "I will talk about only five sources of spiritual nourishment which I have known as among the chief sustainers of my life: the companionship of other seekers, the pleasures of solitude, the satisfactions of obedience the support of prayer and worship, and the gifts of joy." (Lacey)
Monday, February 5, 2018
In Nourishing the Spiritual Life, Paul A. Lacey writes "I take the spiritual life to be a life of which aims to discover human wholeness, the integration of all aspects of our humanity - body, soul, mind, emotions - and the connection of the self to all of creation." I spend most of each day in an effort to maintain harmony and balance within and between my "body, soul, mind, [and] emotions including exercising, eating carefully, meditating, connecting with others and connecting with the force I call God. I am also very aware of my connection to all things. It is a very vital and fulfilling way to live.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Today I was reading about concerns over the possibility of a nuclear exchange and the hopes of the Trump administration to reduce restrictions on a limited exchange. When I take a limited, short term or temporal view the possibility and what that could mean for this planet and the people on it, I feel very disturbed. On the other hand, when I take a long term or eternal view, I can sense that everything is fine. Both seem true to me. In my life I lived within a period of "darkness" for many years before moving into the "light" of love and God. "I [George Fox] saw the infinite love of God. I saw that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love which flowed over the ocean of darkness. In that also I saw the infinite love of God; and I had great openings"