Saturday, April 21, 2018
Originally through my sweat lodge and vision quest experiences I was shown that love, God or the life force existed in everything living and non-living, I just needed to be open to the possibility, which I became. I now see and feel God in everything and everyone. Since then I have also learned that according to the Thomas gospel, Jesus said that this primordial light or love not only brought the entire universe into being but still shines through everything we see and touch. I feel that presence most strongly during my dawn ceremony in my yard each morning, but also when I focus on it while being in the natural world. 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
Friday, April 20, 2018
For the last week or so during my own meditation, during recovery meetings and during worship sessions of the Friends I keep hearing two things. The first is to center myself in the spirit by detaching from everything in the created order. The second is to focus solely and powerfully on seeking a stronger connection with God and then depending on that relationship. "Seek not humility. Seek God. Through God you will find humility. Sought as an end, humility will run in a circle and bring you directly back to pride. Seek not for faith to move mountains. Seek God first. Perhaps the mountains do not need moving, perhaps He will lift you up above the mountains which may be better than moving them. Seek not pleasure neither of body nor of soul. This too is a gift, eluding those who seek it seek God, for He alone is able to give joy, which is infinitely finer than pleasure. Seek not power, not even power to do great deeds. Seek God and Him alone, and power will flow from you in ways and times which are hidden from you." (Gilbert Kilpack) Sounds like good advice — I think I’ll take it!
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Several times today I found myself reflecting on the potential impact of Maria’s and my new ministry of clerking (leading) our regular Thursday evening worship session. Leading the meeting will allow us to be totally welcoming to all comers and also completely unconditional in our extending love to them, both reflecting my understanding of God. The God I have come to know through my own practices of prayer, meditation and contemplation is both absolute and unconditional in love of the human condition, a good model to follow. "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)
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Through my recovery process and the development of my mystical practices, I have become a different person than when I began. When I was actively drinking and using illegal drugs, though I did not realize it, I was very selfish and self-centered. I was also hurt and angry during those times and the first years of my recovery. My spiritual practices have transformed me into a relatively selfless person who acts mostly out of love and who promotes love in my activities. I am still learning and growing through that connection. Through mystical prayer "We fall away from and lose our little self — our selfish self — and find a deep-lying conjunct or comprehensive self that is always more than we." (Rufus Jones)
Monday, April 16, 2018
Through the daily practices I outline in my website and my book I have developed a very strong, mystical connection with the force I call God. I go through the normal activities of life feeling love, joy and peace regardless of the nature of the activity (on most days!). The level of connection I have achieved does seem to require some degree of self-sacrifice, devotion and daily practice — well worth the effort. I have encountered many people who want a similar connection, but as Gilbert Kilpack says "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." I regularly encourage others to exert themselves for as he also wrote "Seek Him we must, with a headlong love, with enthusiasm and romantic ardor, but also with lowliness and patience, and that is a hard combination."
Sunday, April 15, 2018
As a part of my disability I have muscle spasms all over my body, particularly in my lower back. If the spasms become more frequent than occasional I actually go into the regular relaxation and presence of my meditation and then focus my attention on the location and feeling of the spasm. I then ask if the spasm has anything to tell me and allow my thoughts and images to flow. Recently, I have had a lot of spasms in the right side of my lower back so I followed the above procedure, allowing the feelings to flood my body — very unpleasant. I find a lot of fear all tied up with self esteem issues and a low self-image. I just become aware of them and feel the feelings, knowing that feelings are not facts. The result is a lower frequency of spasm and a promotion of healing. "Physical symptoms may tell us that we are going in the wrong direction or they may be evidence of something in the unconscious which will undermine the whole enterprise unless countered psychologically as well as with aspirin." (Irene Claremont deCastillejo)