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)

Friday, May 25, 2018


After the silent, meditative listening meeting for worship last night , one of the participants and I talked about the difficulty and importance of truly listening. The meeting itself is a form of listening for guidance. Whether I am working with a living person, spirit or just meditating on my own it is of great importance that I clear myself of "mind chatter" and listen. I also leave any and all electronic devices at home, in my car or at least out of reach and hearing so that I am not distracted. "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)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


When I meditate, contemplate or connect I aspire to be a clear and open channel, meaning I have worked through and given up the parts of my personality that cloud or color my perceptions. In the past I have had many judgements, desires, fantasies, illusions and attachments, like my beliefs around the importance of my intellect. One by one I have witnessed their importance to me and given them up in favor of my being a clear not clouded mirror, an arduous process which continues. "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)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Part of the challenge in my work with spirits is that I have to be completely honest and at peace with who I really am, including all strengths, weaknesses, doubts and fantasies, since they can see "right through me". When working with them it is impossible to hide or present any sort of a false front. Fortunately I have worked through many of my own facades though they help me find new ones. I also am largely free of common religious symbols, metaphors and beliefs which could color or cloud my communications since I was raised without religion. "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)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Being Present

Several years ago Jack Kornfield commented that "When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment This is the beginning and end of spiritual practice." For me today that meant being physically gentle on myself, going to a recovery meeting, doing the week’s grocery shopping and quietly meditating. These things were done in recognition of the fact that yesterday I exerted myself physically. He goes on to write "As we stop the war, each of us will find something from which we have been running -- our loneliness, our unworthiness, our boredom, our shame, our unfulfilled desires." After years of recovery and spiritual work, I find that feelings of unworthiness still pop up from inside me periodically. I really enjoy silence and being present for myself.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


I mowed the front lawn today and tonight I feel like a creaky old man with soar muscles and joints. A few minutes ago I felt disappointed and a bit angry that I felt that way — and then I switched to realizing how lucky I was to be able bodied enough to mow the lawn in the first place or to even have a lawn that needed mowing. Being physically able given my condition is against all odds and I am extremely grateful. After a night’s sleep we shall see what tomorrow brings and act accordingly. For tonight I will eat dinner and rest, paying attention to the needs of my body. In this case, gratitude is a simple choice which changes nothing ...... except the way I feel. "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)