Saturday, June 23, 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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)