Saturday, February 17, 2018

Being Present

I wrote yesterday of my central role as just being "to sit there, be present, be loving and just be" since both people and spirits seem to benefit from an example of a close loving contact with the force I call God. I was given the gift of what that contact feels like many years ago in the sweat lodge and now can generate the feeling for others. In the words of Rufus Jones; "God must have an instrument — an organ is perhaps a better word — for the revelation of His love and tenderness, just as his physical energies must have their coordinator and transmitter." I can’t say that I understand how I can act as that "transmitter" or how that feeling was transmitted to me — but doing so is a wonderful experience and, as with many things of a similar spiritual nature, understanding is not required. I have come to agree with Jones that "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."

Friday, February 16, 2018


Recently, Maria and I have been asked to lead (clerk) the Thursday evening meeting for worship, a role we accept warmly. I do not talk very much and am difficult to understand, so Maria will do that part. At this point, my role is to sit there, be present, be loving and just be, a role I can do. My sense is that the local (graveyard) spirits will partner with me and do the same, in their own swirling way. In the words of Daniel A. Seeger "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." I tend to spread a feeling of peace and love everywhere I go — just through my presence. I will also take a more active role if and when asked. "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."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Tonight I overheard Maria, my wife, talking on the phone about some of my early experiences with spirits and the sweat lodge and her conversation reminded me. I thought I was a normal "white boy" but maybe not. My first encounter was when a haggard looking native asked if he could talk to me while we were preparing for a lodge. He told me that the spirits had come to him in dreams since they could not approach me directly. He told me that the spirits wanted me to build a lodge and that the Navajo elders approved. I later realized that he was probably a spirit himself since he talked to no-one else and I have never seen him before or since. My second experience was when a handsome young Native spirit came to lodge with bare feet and dressed only in deerskin leggings (middle of winter). I, again, thought he was a normal person. We talked a bit quietly, with reverence and he sat next to me in the lodge. Later in the lodge he had disappeared. After the lodge I asked Dicky, the lodge leader, if someone had left the lodge. He assured me that no-one had and — hesitatingly — told me "you’re different Charlie". The world is a strange place and there is much I do not know. "Reality is only partly our invention; it is also partly our discovery. Our task is to discover how much and in what areas which is which; and then to determine how much new freedom this gives us and what we can do with it".(From Alternate Realities by Lawrence LeShan)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shadow Work

During meditation I heard and felt, very deeply, "You do not have to prove yourself anymore" in response to the idea that I was still deserving of punishment. I found those feelings especially interesting since I was completely unaware that my subconscious, shadow, felt I was proving myself. I was reminded of a time very early in my recovery when I heard "You do not have to struggle against drugs or alcohol any more" since I had no idea that my subconscious believed that or that the belief was part of me. There has also been a feeling of release and greater clarity. "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)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mixed Feelings

Today was a day of mixed and dramatically contrasting feelings, from great joy this morning to feelings of pain and deserving to be punished this evening. The joy this morning was due to my mystical connection with my soul or essence, God and eternity, a feeling that lasted most of the day. I then bit myself in an area of scar tissue, causing substantial pain and I also fell and hurt my leg. Falling is something I do about four times a year so I am used to it but I was surprised by a surging feeling of deserving to be punished for past actions in this life and probably before in previous lives. The feeling of deserving to be punished felt like a backlash in response to the joy I felt earlier. Both feelings are very real though deserving to be punished is a throwback to an earlier time and is silly. I need to meditate and feel each, dismissing the need to be punished . I recall that according to the gospel of Thomas Jesus said, "Let the one who seeks not stop seeking until he finds. When he finds he will become troubled; when he becomes troubled, he will be astonished and will rule over all things." I will ask to be released from the feeling of deserving to be punished.