Saturday, November 3, 2018
Today Maria and I took a tour of Arlington National Cemetery and I began to get to know some of the many, diverse spirits there. It felt like a beginning of something...... They were diverse in many ways but the ones I communicated with were unified in their disappointment and sadness over the way things are versus the ideal they lived and died for. They were also unified in the realization that killing, aggression and death do not get us closer to that ideal in spite of what they were told. I made it clear that I did not have the answers but that answers could be found by listening and acting according to that "small quiet voice" within. I also suggested using the three questions ("Would I do this in front of God [or whatever you call the power or force behind the Universe]?; Is my name really on it [or is it really my responsibility]?; Will this increase the integrity of the universe [or is this action motivated by love, rather than fear, acting out of love always increases the integrity of the universe]").
Friday, November 2, 2018
When I can meditate, put my own very temporal, worldly thought and fears aside and listen to the divine, loving presence it becomes clear to me that eternally everything is moving along just fine. On the other hand if I listen to the news (N.P.T.) or read the paper (Washington Post) it is obvious that we are destroying the planet we depend on, hating and killing each other and making short-term choices which are not sustainable. "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)
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tonight was Halloween and Maria, my wife, responded to most of our trick-or-treaters since she is more physically able, but I responded to the first two groups. I noticed that I automatically and instantaneously got a big warm smile and felt a huge wave of love for our visitors and their parents. They responded much the same and probably thought it was me. I realized that what they and I were experiencing was God and the god part of me. Thinking about it I had the same experience earlier in the day when I saw people at my recovery meeting and talked to people on the phone. I will do the same when I go to Arlington Cemetery this weekend. "Man is separated from God, but secretly united to God; that is the prime fact of life, and all things in all creation speak of this separation, this incompleteness which has infected all." (Gilbert Kilpack)
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
I spent much of the day processing my own thoughts and understanding, meaning a lot of sitting, meditating, contemplating and resting. For me the difference between meditating and contemplating is that in the former I have my eyes closed, practice being in the present and focused on some question or idea. During contemplation I keep my eyes open and let my mind wander. Both are useful and needed. Other than Arlington Cemetery being the main theme, I have no idea what happened and I also know I was not done so now I continue.
Monday, October 29, 2018
During my formative years and until a couple of my teachers in high school no-one thought much of me or my potential. Some of my early teachers tried to hold me back because I had not memorized the alphabet and later they tried to show that I could not read. I had no interest in cooperating with them or demonstrating I was more than they thought. I now know that they simply did not understand me but their beliefs also left scars on my concept of self. I have worked (successfully!) at changing my self-concept and now make an effort to be loving, supportive and understanding of others."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)
Sunday, October 28, 2018
It was a long day with many diverse activities and I over did it by a little — as sometimes happens. The day began with a period of Friends worship followed by a meeting and discussion of our reading group. Maria and I then went to her mother’s for a few hours. We came home, I rested a while then had a very nice talk and connection with a friend. I had several loving connections up to this point and was doing well. It was then that I made the mistake of continuing my cleaning of the back deck because that was my plan, rather than realizing I had done enough and stopping for the day. As a result of being tired I bit myself and had some pain while eating dinner — and later realized my mistake. It’s time to take it easy for a while.