WHY AM I HERE? WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
Some believe our birth or incarnation is deliberate. Others would call it a random event. If deliberate, then there may well be a very good reason why I am here. That question, it seems, causes quite a bit of angst for me and my fellow men and women. So what is the answer? Why am I here?
Maybe part of the problem is that we try to answer this question by thinking. Logically, in this time of rationalism, we default to the processes of the mind for our answers. Philosophers and spiritual teachers suggest there may be another organ of the body where we can go for answers. The heart, they would suggest, does more than pump blood. In fact, it might be the highest source of knowledge. In our common speech we have the saying, "Let’s get to the heart of the matter."
The answer to this question may need to be felt out instead of thought out! Our feeling may hold the key. To get to those feelings a question that gets to the heart of the matter is, "What breaks my heart?" Our heartbreak in the world may be what we came here to work on. So sit with that question when you get a moment and see what comes to heart instead of what comes to mind! This process may not come easily as we go against the way we usually look for answers and break years of mental conditioning about the value of our mental processes. So give yourself the time you need to feel this answer to what seems to me to be a very important question.
Being MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
I had been consistent in my blogging. I was putting out two new posts each week. And the first post this week went out right on time. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday came and went and I had not received the inspiration that I had come to count on. My second post of the week was late and might not happen at all. I could feel my anxiety rising!
Somehow I did not feel ok in this situation! Why not, I asked myself? Of course, I was feeling the pressure to do. And not from an external source, from within. Just being wasn't enough for me! Much has been written about man's inability to just be and I was confronting that inability in me. We are called human beings and sadly in this ultra competitive world we have become human "doings," moving from one task to the next. As they say, we no longer have time to stop and smell the flowers. We feel incomplete unless we are in action – doing, creating, producing!
So I took a breath and began to talk myself "off the ledge." "It's ok, an idea will come. It's ok if there is only one post this week. I am ok just being. I don't have to be doing all the time." I began to feel better! And I found my new blog topic!
Once again I have been able to see the human condition through the lens of my experience. I have come to know more fully the unrest in me and my fellow men (I can't be the only one, lol) caused by the pressure to do. We have learned early on that doing will get us the love/approval we seek from others and ourselves. Then we live our lives performing like circus animals. The problem is this becomes, for most, a never ending cycle of performance after performance. Like the hamster in it's wheel, we run endlessly and get nowhere! Our reward for this endless running is exhaustion and then an early death! At least, we finally can stop running.
Of course, there is a better way. As I return to sanity and in light of new understanding I have choices to make. I can monitor and relax out of my endless state of doing. I can choose to be ok just being, knowing that my efforts do not ensure happiness. Happiness will come from loving myself just the way I am and wherever I am, whether that brings the love and approval of others or not. I can know my worth without the need to list my accomplishments. I can choose to just be and know my sufficiency from that place, whatever it may look like.
I think this is why I like meditation so much. Meditation is certainly, when practiced with the right mindset, a practice of being. This is also why I like to share the practice of meditation with others. More information on meditation can be found on the Meditation Page of this site.
It is the doingness of our lives that causes our unrest and it's manifestations – chaos, disease, disconnection, etc. Being, best practiced in meditation, is the cure for what ails me/us on all levels – physical, mental, and spiritual.
TRANSCENDENCE? MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2015
Well, that's a big mysterious word! Let's demystify it. The literal meaning of transcend is to rise above or go beyond. Transcendence then is the action of rising above or going beyond. And what do we rise above or go beyond? Well, it could be anything. Where the possibility of transcendence excites me is in the possibility of going beyond my normal human experience into a realm of what might be called mystical experience.
The mystic seeks to find:
– the extraordinary in the ordinary
– the miraculous in the mundane
– the sacred in the profane.
In plain English, the mystic looks for spiritual experience where one isn't typically expected to be found. A mystical experience then can be one in which spirit is experienced in the midst of ordinary life activity. It seems we believe that to have a spiritual experience we have to travel afar, perhaps to a distant mountain top, or we have to engage in an elaborate ritual. What if we have missed the point? What if spiritual experience is readily at hand all the time in the ordinary walk of our life?
The genius of the mystic is that the mystic expects to find spiritual experience in everyday life. Maybe it is that expectation that allows for the mystical experience to occur. I know this is the truth! We all know the old saying, "Seek and ye shall find." The mystic seeks and the mystic finds. Might not we all be closet mystics, with our mystical/transcendent experiences, just waiting for us to turn them on by looking for them?
I say we go out and live today from the mystical point of view. I go forth expecting transcendent experience throughout my day. I will transcend through nature, my fellow man and in myself. The sun is up there once again today keeping us all alive! How does that work? My body is right now, as I type this, full of processes that I know nothing about. Oxygen in and carbon dioxide out yet I'm not a chemist. Who did that? Miracles are all around me if I will just expect and then notice them!
WHICH WAY? FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015
Aren't we all just trying to find our way? Like children who got lost on the way home from school we feel alone and afraid. We don't know who to trust. The stranger we ask for directions could be the boogeyman! All seems lost!!! This poem brings forth some of the themes from my search for my path. I hope it may inform your journey!
The way is straight and narrow they say
And few there be that walk it
Frost told of two divergent paths
And he could not walk them both
So we all engage the search
Is it this way or is it that?
Fearful – what if a mistake is made?
The thing I seek may elude my search
I have an idea of how it looks
And this idea obscures the way
In uncertainty I trudge onward
When will clarity light my way?
In an unknown and unexpected place
Beauty overwhelms my being
Who knew uncertainty had befriended truth
And wonderful art work they do create
Doubt and fear are lessened now
Unexpected lessons have moved them on
Moving faster into the deep
Trepidation replaced by hope
Maybe my path is the one I walk
The choice it seems did matter little
Lessons learned on any path
Truth revealed at every turn
Earnest walking the only requirement
And a willingness to change and grow
And even if there was a choice
This path seems to suit me well!
PAIN WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2015
I have been experiencing emotional pain lately. It's been all over me like a cheap suit as they say. And hard to shake even though I know I am causing it. Torturing myself! Why? And trying to accept it and stop it all at once.
Quite a juggling act! And it is easing as I bring my errant thoughts under control. As I come to accept the "what is," the pain lessens. And this acceptance has come slowly. Sometimes it comes more quickly and not this time. And slowly, surely it comes! In the hospital a few months back (as a patient), the acceptance was easier – curious. I was easily able to know – "It is my father's good pleasure to give me the kingdom and this is what it looks like today."
They say write about what you know. And in this arena I am surely an expert! This original poem chronicles my healing.
It's an inside job
I have found the enemy
And it is me
The stories in my head are making me hurt
Seems this knowledge would be enough
To dispel my inner demons
In practice however
It doesn't do the deal
It's not in me It's her fault
The one who did me wrong
She's the cause
If she would only straighten up and do me right
So what to do
Fighting Fighting Fighting
The more I fight
The more I hurt
Every blow landing on my heart
The masters say
There is no out there out there
See the other as yourself
No wonder each blow takes me down
So love must be the answer
How to love what I don't like
Must suspend ego's judgements
He doesn't know right from wrong
As the witness
I am a blank slate
The world can write anything
There is no pain
Just like the blackboard
I have no choice
Being marked is why I came
In my function I know only joy
So I am happy
What is is my way
Acceptance then the holy key
The pain a fleeting memory.
PRAYER FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015
I had been writing all of these entries. And once in a while I come across the words of others that ring so true in my heart that I want to share them with the world. Today is one such day. So I share the following with you from the master Joel Goldsmith (first two paragraphs) with a commentary from Al Denninger (third paragraph). May it resonate with you as it did with me!
And what is prayer? Prayer is this feeling, this conviction, this knowing within that these words are true, God is. Would you change that? Would you change anything that God has made? Would you ask for improvement in God's universe? God is. Is that not enough?
Again I say to you, do not judge by appearances. Look at every person, every thing, every situation, every condition, with just the realization that God is, and then let the spiritual reality be made visible to you by the Father within.”
And so, this is our practice Now. Let's get to Work Loving All that Is – and Letting All that Is Love Itself through and As Us.
SADNESS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
I had a day of sadness yesterday. And I could make up a bunch of stories about the sadness – what it was and why it was, etc. And they would just be stories, theories, judgments and no more true than the stories upon which the sadness was based. My truth is what makes me sad or happy is just a story in my mind. I am comparing what I see to a story of how I think it "should" be and seeing if the stories match. Those stories are powerful and I can transcend them. That transcendence occurs by pulling back from the story and seeing a bigger picture, by becoming less self-centered and seeing more globally. Also when I am sad I know to embrace the feeling and not try to avoid it and run from it. So I spent a day in sadness yesterday.
A while back I wrote this poem on sadness.
I feel so sad today
Not for all the ones who have little
Not for the ones surrounded by death and destruction
Not for any other one at all
Me, Me, Me
That is the one who has my attention
That is the one for whom I am cornered
It is all about me, isn't it?
Me and my problems that most would trade for in an instant
And the light comes in
I realize that my self centered focus is the source of my suffering
And I think about the others
And I send love to comfort them
And mysteriously love flows back and comforts me
And I wonder
What was the problem that consumed me a short time ago
Vanished without a trace
THE WANTING MIND FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2015
Many have written that desire and wanting are the enemy of peace of mind. It has b
een said that a person will have what they want when they want what they have. The goal then seems to be satisfied with what is happening now. And to do that we need to suspend judgement. What I see is not good or bad - it just is. To the degree I can accept the present moment I can have peace in every moment. Then my endless search for some better thing is suspended. I can relax! Seems this should be easier than it is. Just when I relax the mind says, "Hey look over there".
As I contemplated this subject one day I wrote this poem.
Wanting, wanting, wanting
My monkey mind wants another banana
One more endless banana
And all the while peace closer than hands and feet
Why then do I only feel the pain
Unquenched desire and so I run
And the answer resides within my chest
Turn in you fool
It's not out there
Turn in and dance the eternal peace dance
Dance with saints and angels who know the truth
And now I dance in truth and light
Peace my eternal companion
The state the masters pointed to
Hey, what is that shiny thing over there?
WOUNDED HEALER TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2015
This is a concept that has always puzzled me. I hear the words wounded healer and I think, what does that really mean? Those words don't logically fit together in my brain. It's an oxymoron for me. Why would a healer be wounded? If they are a healer why aren't they themselves healed? After all, a healer should be all-powerful.
Of course, we are all wounded on some level - physical, mental, spiritual - maybe all three at once. Or maybe they are all one. In western culture we are taught to hide our wounds. They are seen as a weakness. If known by others, our wounds could be used against us. This is our fear so we hide our wounds and thus hide ourselves.
What if the wounds are in fact a source of strength? Is that the secret of the wounded healer? One's wounds are a source of strength (when they are made conscious)! In my struggles I can develop compassion and humility. In the answers I have found (as I become conscious of my wounds and work to heal them), may lie solutions for the problems of others. Perceived weaknesses then become strength in the ultimate magic trick. The wounds of the wounded healer become a trusted assistant in the healing process. Instead of hiding our wounds maybe they can be celebrated instead.
There is another aspect of the wounded healer that I recently became personally acquainted with. One week ago I was the guest minister for the Sunday services at the local Unity Church with an afternoon workshop to follow. Leading up to the big day I had been sick with a near constant cough and stuffy head. This illness had been lingering 4 weeks. Certainly not the perfect setup for my speaking engagement or so I thought.
The speaking engagement and workshop went very well somehow. Lives were changed, I do believe! God came through and used me mightily that day. Miracles came through me despite my woundedness. Or maybe because of it.
In retrospect, I wonder, was I more available to God in my weakened condition? Did my lack of physical vitality and strong voice that day cause me to surrender to the process more fully and allow for me to be more powerfully used as a conduit for spirit? If I and my ego had been stronger might my message have been weaker? I'm not sure and I believe the answer to these questions is yes.
One week ago I personally experienced how the wound of the wounded healer can be an asset rather than a block. This was previously less well known to me. Experience is a wonderful teacher. Clearly from weakness strength can be born. A counterintuitive notion which seems to be true.
SELF LOVE TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2015
It has been said that love is the greatest power in the Universe. I would agree! All love starts with self-love. It seems like loving one's self should be easy. However, birth into this world of turmoil takes it's toll on our ability to love ourselves and shuts it down. Whether we are aware of it or not we are born to parents whose world view is largely negative and we learn that negative wold view early on. And as the all or nothing creatures that we are, a negative world view leads to a negative self view.
We then take on the belief that we are defective and unlovable, much like we see the world around us. Eventually, this leads to the opposite of self-love and we fall into self-loathing. Then the long arduous journey to return to love begins. This is the real battle of our lives and the only one that matters! The linked poem speaks to this struggle and the eventual hard won victory!
WELCOME FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015
Welcome to my website and blog. They have been on the pathway of becoming for a long time — my whole life in fact! On my life's pathways I have experienced much and gathered much information.
Some of that experience and information has been helpful to others on their pathways for healing and releasing what no longer serves them. Until now I had no way to disseminate this useful information other than through one-on-one encounters. With the launch of this website and blog I now have a way to get this information out to a wider audience. My hope is that access to this will benefit those who come across it to advance them on their pathways. For that possibility I am so grateful!