Friday, October 31, 2008
Love will be my light;
dark drunk defiance,
my own demons I fight.
Dedicated to Love,
through emerald eyes I gaze.
Heart pumping, thoughts streaming,
I chase Love through the maze.
A sugar mountain loomed large.
I veered down gasoline alley.
Through the vapors of death,
My strength Love's call rallied.
I revived on Love's Mount;
soul sickness purged, I was free.
Love stood erect and open.
Power impaled me.
Eternity thereafter my dwelling.
Love's light a seamless space.
My pieces together gathered.
Love's cloister the silence of grace.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them with all my heart.
When Your Word goes forth it gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
I live 1.5 minutes from work, and go home for lunch. I get a little prayer time that way. Today, as I was pondering that Psalm, the following thought came into my mind:
"Spirit Flower, you have studied A Course in Miracles (ACIM) enough to know:
- how to forgive; thus realizing Oneness and joining the Sonship;
- that this ego world is a dream, the separation never happened and you are a thought in the Mind of Love;
- to take your ego's inventory and give the darkness to the Holy Spirit's light for healing and correction;
- to choose again, accepting the Atonement;
- to listen to the Voice for God;
- and to be responsible for your part/function, allowing yourself to be a channel for miracles.
Spirit Flower, that is it. You have learned The Course. Now just go live it."
I realized that ACIM is no different than engineering school. You learn the concepts and then use them in your work. You do not need to keep beating yourself over the head with first year physics. You may decide to take ongoing education, of course. But you do graduate from college and you do go on to live your profession. Self just explained to me that I am living my ACIM profession. No sense in complicating it any further.
I am free.
"...the Call to awake is within you."
Jesus said we would take my fear inventory. Yesterday, I revisited the old fear that I am well familiar with: fear of others. I fear others. Maybe they will take my money, my security, my self esteem; and leave me hurt or struggling. My life has been about defending myself from "them." My ego firmly states, "They are my problem." On an intellectual level, I know my perception is my problem and I am responsible for it. I am the one that projected this world and I am the one that chose what I see.
"...the Call to awake..."
This morning, I sat at my table. Along with various memories, I was silently praying the name of Jesus. I realized that I was praying out of unhappiness and anger. The prayer was unconscious of fear; until...I pictured my self walking in blackness, the ego on the one hand with its anger. On the other hand was an unknown darkness: love and joy. At first thought I was walking a between land, then it became clear to me that the between land was really terror. I am terrified.
I realize my world projection is a movie of my terror. I live in an ego straight jacket. What is joy? Spirituality maybe brought me flashes of joy or love. Trying to live as I observe makes most others happy only brings me hate and disappointment. Religions (including the ACIM Text) make all sorts of promises of love and joy. I never have got that.
So, yes, I am sitting here in darkness today. I've clearly been told that this is my choice and that Jesus is leading me out and it is not really reality anyway. Again I pray, "Please help me."
Monday, October 27, 2008
This morning, I didn't start my prayer time with much hope but ended it with deep love for Jesus and a total feeling of trusting intimacy, like I have for my elbow doctor (what could be more intimate and trusting than allowing someone to tear open your skin, chip and hack and drill; while you are asleep?).
Jesus was talking through ACIM. He said, "The dynamics of the ego will be our lesson for awhile, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth." Imagine that you have a wise doctor who comes to see you each day (maybe someone who brought you back from the brink of suicide). You have had such a long relationship that you love him. Today he shows up and says, "We are going to start going through your crap. I want you to see your source of fear. Your fear is not real; but you must look at it before you can look beyond it into the face of God. I will come and talk to you everyday about this for awhile. Honesty is intimacy. I know how your ego feels about this. But intimacy is also love and by now, you know how much I love you and you love me."
Jesus listed the type of thoughts the ego gives me. If I take my inventory and learn to recognize the ego's thoughts, I can give them to Jesus: wishful thinking...idle wishes...attacks (resentments against others)...feeling supercilious, unbelieving, emotionally shallow, callous, uninvolved, lighthearted, distant, desperate. Whatever seems to separate you from God is only fear. The ego doesn't really want you to understand your fear because you would find your fear is not real. So you listen to your ego and waste your time with idle wishes instead.
So, with an inner excitement and giddy trembling, I look forward to Jesus joining me for my daily and deep inventory "for awhile." He will talk to me about my idle wishes and quietly we will approach my fear and undo it.
While I was in the monastery, one of the priests from the men's abbey befriended me by becoming my regular confessor. Once a week, he listened to my resentments, hatreds, shame and fears; then applied the healing balm of Reconciliation. Then, a mad man came into their abbey one day and started shooting any monk he saw. My confessor was shot but not killed. I was devestated. About three weeks later, my confessor was in the infirmary at his abbey and I had visited him a couple of times. He loved being a priest and he loved his priestly duties, but being tied to a sucking machine in the infirmary, he couldn't celebrate sacraments; which he very much wanted to do. He invited me to come back a week later and we would celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation together. It felt like Jesus Himself had invited me to come and surrender to His love. I felt that Jesus was joyfully happy that I would show him my stuff and let him heal it. That is how I feel now today. Jesus has invited me to come into his heart and he is in mine.
If you are a recovering alcoholic with many years of sobriety, the number one threat to your sobriety is your ego. I urge you to take your inventory at deeper and more subtle levels. This will ensure not only not drinking, but the development of conscious contact and living sobriety as an art form.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I have had a totally discombobulated day. Jesus would tell me that is because I am resisting. I think it is because I don't understand the human side of human life, at least what I thought it was; and I am still learning to remember the spiritual joy which I always have. How can I forget the joy? My mind is split; lets face it.
So, I didn't sleep well and don't know why. The alarm went off at 3:35 because I wanted to pray and meditate before I decided anything else. Why so early? Because what I did was what I thought I would do the night before: I drove to the city at 5:15, went running in a park from 6:15 to 7:30, changed clothes in the car and went to church at 8.
I sat in church feeling the intangible God, but disconnected from the ritual form. That is, I was living in love as content; as well as hearing numerous cries for love. I was glad not to be full of judgment and left the door of my mind open for the Spirit to flow out. I left feeling tired and overwhelmed. I like people but can't relate very well to the average family's out look on life. And I don't know how to communicate the good news: God loves you.
I got a car wash and decided to come home instead of going to another fellowship. That way I could eat and nap before going to the monastery to meet with some people there. Good choice.
Friday, October 24, 2008
In my sobriety, fasting, silence and celibacy, I renounce the primary inclinations of life. Renunciation is for the purpose of focusing on God, being devoted to God instead of all other choices. I recognize that there are no other gods or comforters but God and the Holy Spirit. It is a "fake it til you make it" existence. I mean, I am not enlightened but I go through the motions wishing I was. This action is not a sin. Being unenlightened is nothing to be ashamed of. I have not experienced the utter bliss of joyful ecstasy; but I am not too proud to walk the path of renunciation, patiently whittling away at my ego, until IT happens. However (and this is big), I daily have moments of the Holy Spirit's thinking. From this, I know that God is in me and does get through to me. He and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are my guests.
This morning, I cried out to God, "Why am I here?" What I thought next was that I am here because I love God and He asked me to come. I am made of love and:
- ...do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.
- ...His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet...
- The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you.
- Walk in the light...God leads you.
In the Rule of Benedict, there is a chapter on silence. One translation entitles it "Cherishing Silence in the Monastery." Related to ACIM, cherishing silence is the same as cherishing God, who is silent. Here is a line from the chapter on silence, "As for vulgarity and idle gossip repeated for the sake of a laugh, such talk is forbidden at all times..." People criticize me for not joining their fun, but to me it is not fun. Never have I been sarcastic or told a joke where someone else was not attacked; maybe subtly, but it is always there. What joke is not an attack on either someone's race, sexuality, gender, economic means, intelligence, physical stature, mistake, etc.
I see how such talk is a conscious act of separation between me and God. Since all people are God, any joking separates and attacks the God in them. So I try not to participate. I just watch and keep silent. I really want God more than guffaws.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
- ...whom you invite as your guest (ego or Holy Spirit) will abide with you.
- ...your care (for Him, The Eternal Guest) is a sign that you want Him.
- Think like Him ever so slightly, and the little spark becomes a blazing light that fills your mind so that He becomes your only Guest.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This morning, I was once again pondering my spirituality. Once again I was wondering how some people have the Oneness experience and others of us have the slow growth experience. I worked at stopping my thinking and not expecting anything. I realized that the muddiness of my exterior life will never go away. My problems may look different than other people's but the muddiness and futile attempts to fix them is the same. Nothing in the ego world can be fixed. Nothing, not a new job or a relationship or money, will ever make the mud go away. It will only always be muddy. A thought went through my head, "There must be an inner fire, a blazing essence, which is Christ, which is everywhere and in everyone." I cannot see the fire. Its emotion is subtle knowing. I know it. The fire is the God Presence, Love. Seeing the fire in others and all around me is my new attitude which is grateful and doesn't fight the mud.
And so here I am at this muddy place where I work. I look not to outward things to satisfy me. All I find out there is problems. My problems are (metaphysically and directly) of my own making. I want them. I make them. I don't know how to quit; but fighting them doesn't help. It is so much easier to just swim in the mud than to try to fix it. In fact, loving the mud is my best chance for happiness!
This evening, when I go running in the pouring rain, I will be thinking about the fire and humility.
Before I went to the monastery, I "worked" AA's 12 Steps. After I went to the monastery, I was always fascinated with Benedict's 12 steps of humility. To me, it is worthwhile to keep these in your pocket or on the wall at work. It is so much easier to be humble than proud. Here is an excerpt from each:
- The first degree of humility, then, is that a person, always keeping the fear of God before his eyes, should avoid with the utmost care all forgetfulness, and be ever mindful of all that God has commanded…
- The second degree of humility is, that a person, loving not his own will, delight not in gratifying his desires…
- The third degree of humility is, that a person for the love of God submit himself to his superior in all obedience, imitating thereby the Lord…
- The fourth degree of humility is, that if, in this very obedience, hard and contrary things, nay even injuries, are done to a person, he should take hold silently on patience, and, bearing up bravely, grow not weary nor depart…
- The fifth degree of humility is not to conceal from one's Abbot the evil thoughts that beset one's heart, nor the sins committed in secret, but to manifest them in humble confession…
- The sixth degree of humility is, that a monk be content with all that is mean and poor, and, in all that is enjoined him, esteem himself a sinful and unworthy laborer…
- The seventh degree of humility is, that a person not only call himself with his own tongue lower and viler than all men, but also consider himself thus with inmost convictions, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: "I am a worm and not a man…
- The eighth degree of humility is, that a monk do nothing except what the common rule of the monastery or the example of the seniors direct.
- The ninth degree of humility is, that a monk restrain his tongue from speaking and, maintaining silence...
- The tenth degree of humility is, that one be not easily moved or quick to laughter, because it is written: "The fool lifteth up his voice in laughter."
- The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaks, he do so gently and without laughter, humbly, gravely, and with few and reasonable words…
- The twelfth degree of humility is, that a monk, not only in his heart, but also in his very outward appearance, always show his humility to all who see him…
Monday, October 20, 2008
I glanced down at my ACIM text:
- Open the dark cornerstone of terror on which it (the ego) rests, and bring it out into the light.
- ...everything of which you have been afraid was based on nothing (meaninglessness, delusion, projection).
- ...the little spark in your mind is enough...
- I (Jesus) give you the lamp and I will go with you.
- His (God's) thought system is light.
- You dwell in the Mind of God with your brother...
In the Bible, Jesus says, "Be not afraid...my peace I give to you..."
I realized I was back at the decision point. I did not have to be afraid. I could choose to accept the peace of Christ. My ego absolutely does not want to go and serve. My ego hates me because I have been refusing to attack my brother and learning to choose the belief that I live in God. So my ego generates fear and hatred for "them" and "what-ever-is-out-there-which-could-hurt-me." None of that is true. It is all false perception and I can choose to believe Jesus instead.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I am interested in raw foods for the spiritual potential of a pristine human body. I know this from personal experience; but also from books. Still and all, what is The Spirit saying to me? What does enhanced Christ consciousness mean to me? Should I read another book to find out? No, sometimes, I need to sit and experience; listen to my own divine connection.
I am interested in running and I am interested in meditation; for their spiritual potential. But, if I never read any books, would I think of these things at all, let alone as spiritual enhancers?
I read the Bible and I go to church. I was gratified to see this weekend that the authority over my spiritual life no longer belongs to a bunch of Roman Catholic bishops. I did not take a copy of the bishop's political propaganda and will not be voting as instructed. I wear a brown scapular. If you are not Roman Catholic, you probably have not heard of this; but it is a distinclty Catholic fetish. However, I have not taken mine to a priest and been officially invested. To do so would turn the authority for why I wear it over to a priest instead of believing that Spirit is everywhere at all times no matter what the activity (or not) of any priest. Um...I am officially confirmed Catholic, but definitely not in agreement with many things, which may actually mean that I am not Catholic to some conservative Catholics (or those Bishops). God really doesn't care about these technicalities. I am free. My spirituality is between me and God.
So, what really is it? Why am I so stuck on spirituality as the primary focus of my life? I've not had (exactly) the euphoric spiritual experience. I've had those brief glimpses and aha moments. I still work for a living. I still have to clean the house, take out the garbage and mow the lawn. Many people think spirituality should free me from all these daily life experiences. I don't know that I have transcended anything. I'm sure I haven't received any special or privileged gift from God.
Is "spirituality" in and of itself something I've been trained by society to want? Is all my spiritual practice merely an ego ploy to help me believe I am going after the quintessential human reward? Quite possibly yes! I have to face facts; its possible my spirituality is only an ego obsession.
The key now is to go ahead and talk to Christ, or Jesus, or some intangible higher consciousness about this and ask for help. If IT is really there, I will get help. I'll get back to you, however, in a millisecond or in ten years.
This morning, out running, my mind was stuck in worldly affairs about work. I heard the first bird chirp. I thought, choose... a tiny bird chirp in the pre-dawn darkness is what the Spirit is like for you. Be quiet and listen. Then as I got to the top of a hill, once again thinking ego thoughts, I saw a magnificent sunrise. I thought, get out of the world. You are at the top of a hill, out of the trees, at the exact right time to see a vision. Look up. This is what the Spirit is like for you; silent but awesome. Then, I sunk back into my ego concerns. It became light, I watched a bird soar silently. I thought, stop listening to the ego and look up. The silent bird soaring is what the Spirit is like for you. Choose the silent Spirit. There is always some other thing to look at or think about than what the ego has to worry about, to plot about, to complain about, to punish you with. Let go. Choose something else.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I have been contemplating this passage for two days; meditating, listening and waiting. What is wonderful is I did/do have a subtle sensation of knowing Love; knowing that I loved Something, and that I was out of my ego mind briefly. I have spent a lifetime denying love; other people's love, and that intangible Love beamed at me and in me from my Christ Self. I have recently begun to believe it is true that I could be loved. As I write this, I can feel my mind open like a flower and receive the sunlight of love from Christ.
This morning, I went to Lauds and Mass at the local monastery. A sister from my former convent was there, Rita; and one of the sisters from this monastery, Micaela. After Mass these two corraled me. With their arms around me they talked about what a vision I am and how the roof raises up when I come there. I didn't know what to say; but, I must stop denying love.
Friday, October 17, 2008
- You must receive the message you give because it is the message you want.
- ...whenever you see your brothers without it (the spark of God), you are denying God.
- Look with peace upon your brothers, and God will come rushing into your heart...
In AA, Step 10, we continued to take personal inventory... One of the great things about ACIM is it gives me a different facet every day about how to take my ego's inventory. Today, I made a list of the "messages" I'm giving. I made a long list of all the thoughts I have about other people. These thoughts are the messages I send and they are received and reflected back, even if unconsciously.
I want to stop. I look at all the despicable thoughts I have, admit their devestating effects, admit that they block me from love and God; and want to recoil from them as from a hot stove. With God's help I can. In AA, we turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God. In ACIM, I ask Jesus to guide my thinking.
In the Rule of Benedict, it says: This is the one who... has laid hold of his thoughts while they were still young and dashed them against Christ.
Yes! I take my inventory. Everyday I take these negative and painful thoughts and give them to Christ. I want my mind healed. Note, I seek healing for my thoughts while they are still young. But truly, my negative thoughts are ancient. I have been thinking negative stuff my whole life. Some people say they don't take their inventory because they beat themselves up. I rejoice and happily give my crap to Jesus. Then I am free.
Officially, my fast is over, but I have recalibrated and learned how and what to eat for world peace, spirituality and health. I wonder about my interest in the Rule of Benedict. May the spirits of Elijah, Daniel, John Baptist, Anna Prophetess and Jesus continue to walk with me (because I allowed their Love).
I realize that my Daniel Fast was a "thing" that is now passed into the realm of normal life; leaving its specialness behind. I go to work every day. I run every day. I pray every day. I have returned to the realm of "not special." How difficult it is to live day in and day out as "not special." When I live as "not special," it is because I want God to be my only focus. I want God to be my only satisfaction. How difficult it is to be "not special." Our culture teaches us to seek specialness: uniqueness, awards, accolades, titles, honor. People will even contradict me saying, "Oh Laura, yes you are special." As if it was wrong to be ordinary. As if a person can't be happy or healthy or have self esteem even though they are not special. After my Daniel Fast, I return to being ordinary, not special.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
- ...He (God) will be heard when you place no other gods (ego stuff) before Him.
- His Voice (God's) still calls you to return...
- Reality can dawn only on an unclouded mind.
- The miracle is the act of a Son of God (us) who has laid aside all false gods (ego stuff), and calls on his brothers to do likewise...(because) he strengthens It (God's Voice) in a sick brother...(because) one mind can shine into another because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark.
Today, if you hear God's Voice, harden not your heart (Hebrews 3:15). Christ be my light.
In the Spirit of Old Testament Daniel, I sought to complete a 40 day Daniel Fast. Here are initial goals and results:
1. I seek knowledge and understanding of all kinds; including understanding of visions (Daniel 1). I believe I see more clearly the Truth of Christ present in every human and all creation.
2. I seek to see the man dressed in linen, and to understand the Book of Truth (Daniel 10). The man in linen is The Christ in humanity and Truth is that God totally loves all of us all the time.
3. I seek to re-dedicate my life to the Kingdom; by focusing on this and nothing else. The idea that my material life is but a store front for my spirituality has deepened. This idea helps me to focus only on the Christ light as I go through each day.
4. I seek wisdom in the most basic element of my life: sustenance. I am completely unhappy that, even though I run 50 to 70 miles a week, I still gain weight. I need a spiritual break through to learn what to eat, how much and when. I am so completely unhappy instead of enjoying myself as a child of God. Accomplished.
5. I seek a spiritual basis of my life. Just trying to abstain without the power of God is meaningless, and it seems not to work. Accomplished.
6. I seek gratitude for all Jesus has done to help me. Accomplished.
7. I resolve to abstain from royal (party or junk) foods for 40 days. Accomplished!
- Cheezits and cookies from the snack machine.
- Processed soy products such as Chicken Patties and Steak Starters.
- Butter, and half and half. d. Asiago bagels e. Potato Soup (preservatives)
- Peanut butter (sugar, comfort food)
- Coffee (but not tea) in order to eliminate creamer (and its chemicals)
- Eat only unleavened, stone ground, unpreserved bread.
- Salad dressing with preservatives.
- Free Cell – eating while playing cards on the computer.
- I haven’t mentioned a number of other items because I already don’t eat meat or drink alcohol.
8. What I really want to do is not cheat myself or God for 40 days. Accomplished!
10. I want to lose about 5 pounds, but the goal is God supported discipline in eating. That is, I don’t rationalize cheating because I am honoring God. I lost about 7 pounds.
I have decided to continue on with the spirit of Daniel, Ezekiel, John Baptist and Anna Prophetess praying and fasting, night and day for decades within the Temple; accompanied by Jesus of the desert, who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, resists temptation of devils and is ministered by angels. I am much happier like this.
I started this fast in a scapular of burlap with a rough cross scrawled front and back. Today I will be invested with the Benedictine scapular and dedicate my life deeper and deeper to the service of Christ and learning in the school of the Lord's service. A scapular was initially the monk's work apron. It became stylized over the centuries, but it is still for me a symbol of the yoke of Christ. Embroidered with the cross, it is a symbol of my dedication and an outer garment symbolizing the Lord's tent. My spirit dwells within the tent. My heart is the altar.
I want to live today with the vision of God's light in everyone I see. I ask Jesus for help because each moment is the work of God.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
- It is not my (Jesus') merit that I contribute to you but my love, for you do not value yourself.
- ...my (Jesus') value of you can heal you (your mind)...
- Peace comes from God through me (Jesus) to you.
- When a brother is sick (sickness originates in the mind) it is because he is not asking for peace...
- My peace I give to you...though you may not ask...
- The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion (denial of the ego world and thought system), and sickness is an illusion.
- I (Jesus) will heal you merely because I have one message and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me.
- You could accept peace now for everyone, and offer them perfect freedom from all illusions because you heard His Voice.
In the Rule of Benedict it says:
- ...seek after peace and pursue it...
- ...let us hear with awestruck ears what the divine voice, crying out daily, doth admonish us...
I learned this morning how the mechanism works whereby I switch from the Holy Spirit's thought system to the ego's thought system. The reason I am interested is because believing and acting on the ego's thoughts cause me to be afraid, hateful and angry; essentially living in a hellish prison. The Holy Spirit's thoughts give me abundant freedom, life, love and peace; Heaven right now.
Out of the blue, two days ago, a recruiter called me to see if I was interested in an environmental job in the Kansas City area. I engaged with the recruiter because quite possibly I would like to move back to Kansas City. This morning, I began to feel stresss and fear: how will I schedule interviews, who would I ask to be references, what would I do with my house in Atchison, I don't want to commute again, where would I get an apartment, what if I don't like it, etc... I feared that I was not worth the salary it would take to get me to move. I fear that if I don't take this job and my current company went out of business, I'd be out of work.
I had ACIM open before me and I shut my eyes for prayer. I asked Jesus for help. I realized that this situation appeared out of the blue. I don't have to worry because if it is a gift from the Holy Spirit, everything will work out smoothly. It is not necessary for me to start worrying about it. VERY IMPORTANT was this: I have peace if I sit at my table and pray. I do not have peace if I project into the future all the things that could happen. The moment I leave the peace of this moment is the moment when I switch from the Holy Spirit to ego.
The healing peace of Jesus is in this moment. The love of Jesus is in this moment. Freedom from ego prison is in this moment. Somehow, human beings created themselves and left Heaven and God. This happened historically, but it also happens all the time right now. We keep doing it. We leave Heaven and God every time we choose ego intead of Holy Spirit. I make the ego choice over and over many times a day. It is only when I become conscious of the switching moments that I am able to stop and remain in peace. Jesus will help me with this awareness.
I want Jesus' help so I completely let go of things (like job changes) and let the Holy Spirit decide. I stop switching and put complete trust in God.
An alcoholic might say the Serenity Prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..." Most people say this prayer thinking they are enduring a bad situation. But I say it with the realization that the thing I can't change is God's love for me and Jesus' healing help and the Holy Spirit's peace and guidance. If I accept God's love, then I have true serenity. Don't say the Serenity Prayer because your ego isn't getting its way and you are upset. Say it because you want to remember and feel and know God's love. That is the one thing in the universe that never changes.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
- Bless our God, you peoples;
- Who holds our souls in life,
- You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water;
but You brought us out into a place of refreshment.
- All the earth bows down before You...I will pay You my vows...
- Remember always that you cannot be anywhere except in the Mind of God.
This evening I found myself with a great longing and an inkling of the fact that I am in love with The Most High God, and all His creation, His Christ.
I want to go deeper in to this "Christ."
Yearning for You.
Humble, destitute, You are all I have.
God, I think I love You.
God, I admit, I am Your creature, one of Your creations.
You are my Creator, and I love You.
Of course, the only place I want to be is on my knees,
before You in awe.
Buffeted by the waves of Your Love;
This creature washes back and forth,
clinging to life,
alive, living, giving, sharing, loving.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
As I read these words in prayer, I allowed the possibility that God hears me to open in my heart. Then, as my heart was an open blossom, I felt touched and breathed on and breathed in. We are loved more than any of us will ever know. I allowed the possibility and the touch increased. He is always there, waiting more for me than me for Him.
This is the consummated moment for the celibate, the person vowed to God.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
- Psalm 36: You're (The Lord) a fountain of cascading light, and You open our eyes to light.
- ACIM: When God said, "Let there be light," there was light...light is understanding.
- NT John: Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."
- ACIM: The miracle worker begins by perceiving light...
- NT John (letter): God is light. In Him there is no darkness.
- ACIM: Can you find light by analyzing darkness...looking for a distant light...
- NT 2 Corinthians: For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ
- My prayer: Christ be my light.
We focus on love: God is love. Love makes us feel good. Usually it is just our egos that feel good. Light and love are the same thing. We ignore the light, yet it is the most persistent thing of our lives.
Well, I survived my hunger experiment and am still continuing it.
Last night, I had to go to the waste water treatment plant at 10 and when I got home at 11, I was hungry. I just went to bed and thought about it: Here I am, an American with a kitchen full of food, laying in bed hungry and not responding. I was practicing self denial. What a concept. I'm not sure I have ever faced this practice in such a stark reality. Eventually I went to sleep.
The implications of experiencing hunger as a prayer form in relation to world peace are tremendous. Voluntary hunger is different than third world starvation, but it does remove my consciousness from our ordinary American material satisfaction to meet God's Light in prayer.
This morning, I got up at 4, drank some green tea while I did my spiritual reading, went for a walk, made some juice and got to work by 6:30. Now, I have not yet ate, but drank juice, tea and water. I am not hungry right now. I have before gone on juice fasts for many days; but during this Daniel Fast, I didn’t even try. The fear was too great. Yet, somehow I have faced the fear and gone through it. I had to find the spirituality of it before I could.
Today there is word that the union will vote again on Friday to extend their old contract. I hope they do. Maybe my fasting and prayer will help.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I called the post office in town and told them this information. The man said he would have the supervisor look into it in the morning. An hour later, "special delivery." The mail lady who had been substituting for my vacationing regular carrier, Mitch, had delivered the package to the wrong house, some how retrieved it and now gave it to me. She was so sorry. I was happy to have my box. I also had to laugh inside. In the big city, I never would have seen that box.
The box contained organic nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I had been looking forward to biting into one of the succulent Calymira figs. I immediately cut open the box. But something stopped me from diving in: Daniel. I am on a Daniel Fast. I wasn't hungry. I wanted a fig just to have a dainty to appease my pallet and kill time.
Now, three hours later, I still have not ate. I am not hungry, yet feel the habitual desire to eat. The need to eat is false. Do I dare stare it down? Do I dare ignore the programming and conditioning? What if I just didn’t respond? What if I didn’t believe it? If I want to eat frugal and live austere, I have to stop the idle munching. I have to face the fear. It is one of those push comes to shove moments: do I want to be like John the Baptist? Do I want to cower in fear of habitual societal programming?
I want to learn about myself and see what makes me tick. This moment is one of those opportunities. I know this denial of food would appal some, frighten some and I would be accused of insanity. But, I want to know what controls me. I want Spirit to be my Guide. I want to live outside the box and by Spiritual standards; so challenging the food status quo enrages my ego and I get to learn how it operates. What a valuable thing; I get to learn.
I had a wonderful moment of clarity in my morning meditation today:
REALITY, not the ego world (of hate and judgment) most of us are conscious of, is the intangible world of Love. Love is the predominent mode of existence. Consistently deny the ego's perception of error in others; and you will be left only with Love. Be vigilant for Love; and know Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven, REALITY, in within our minds and in all; we just need to be aware of Love instead of ego. My whole spiritual practice has the purpose of helping me to live in The Kingdom and not in the ego world.
Coming to work in the middle of the night and dealing with mud and smelly water is not so bad when I remember Love; and Love is everywhere. Love is the reality we forget to see or pretend not to see.
Monday, October 6, 2008
- ...judgment is the setting of a price...to price is to value...your return is in proportion to your judgment of worth.
- ...you cannot be grateful for what you do not value.
- Valuing it little, you will not appreciate it and you will not want it.
- ...see only truth (in that brother) beside you...
As I lay on my bed last night, I realized how I have never wanted anything from my heart. In my life, my ego has sought after accomplishments for its own grandiosity. All ego achievements turn out to be cheap shiny medals; which we quickly cast aside and search for something greater. I want to want oblation because I love God and I love Christ in these people. I want to value something before I die. I want to do something honestly before I die. Do I commit to life in the world as a Benedictine? (you ACIM people would appreciate the philosophical overlap)
I have recently thought my life on this planet was optional; that is, I have no family or commitments so who cares if I am alive. Yet, I see today that this clearly shows how I do not value myself or the role I must have in God's creation, or God would not have created me. Not valuing myself, I in fact have lived with the ego's consciousness which hates me. Hating myself, I hate all others as well. This is the separation which the Holy Spirit offers to heal. I can't do it myself.
Well, I am on a 40 day Daniel Fast; although, I've noticed that sometimes I don't focus on it. These next 10 days, I need to regain the Spirit of Daniel (who refused to defile himself and clung fiercely to God). I also know that I am much happier eating the way I am now. Nothing nutritional is missing and there is not too much. By going about it with spirituality, I have broken a habit. The habit is an unhappy thought pattern which causes me to eat too much and eat stuff that causes a craving for more. Even processed vegetarian foods do this. Leavened bread has sweetener in it and that makes me wonder if that even is the cause for desiring it. So, I have a decision to make. At the end of 40 days, do I commit to maintaining the eating pattern indefinitely? I know any deviation causes unhappiness. Even when I eat something that I think is a treat, it isn't as good as my ego makes it out to be. So in these days of fasting, my ego has been dethroned. I have been food sober.
I feel trepidation to ask God for a lasting strength to keep a commitment. God loves me. God is love. There should be no fear here. Yet it shows I still have to grow in the love of God. Well...the freezer is full of unleavened bread and every day I throw out a few slices of leavened bread.
Lord, have mercy on me. My life is confusing right now. The company's hourly workforce is on strike and managers are starting to train to operate the plant. So, my normal routine is out the window. Scarey also to see so many hard feelings, which will increase as the union figures out they aren't coming back on agreeable terms. My role is to be peace and forgiveness no matter what.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
- The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response...There are many answers you have not yet heard.
- If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me (Jesus) whose faith in you cannot be shaken.
- Salvation is of your brother (other people)...His words are the Holy Spirit's answer to you...there is a light in his mind... This light can shine into yours, giving truth to his words and making you able to hear them.
- The message your brother gives is up to you...Your decision about him determines the message you receive. Remember that the Holy Spirit is in him...
I don't know about you; but I don't really like it here.
Yesterday I had much time to ponder. I was fasting and noticing that I wanted to eat to kill time. I listened to the little voice desiring to stuff food in its mouth. With my hands and eyes and thoughts, I was copying Psalms into a book. This kept me occupied long enough to realize that nothing outside of God will satisfy me. My ego is never satisfied. Any ambivalence in my thinking is due to confusion over what I should be "doing." Doing doesn't matter to the Holy Spirit; meaning and the content of doing matters. The truth is presented as meaning. It is known, not done. Nothing outside of God will satisfy. I am a spirit and only Spirit can satisfy me; not rewards, not recognition, not religion, not food. God alone.
So, I sit quietly. I copy Psalms. I listen.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Starting with the question, "Why don't I remember God?" a wonderful spiritual journey and experience can begin.
I can remember anything I want to remember. Why not God? I must not want to remember God. So I must look at myself and see why I don't want to remember God. In fact, I must be doing things to not want to remember God.
If I want to remember something else, I do things. Here are the things:
- I set things out of place.
- I set alarms.
- I make habits.
- I succumb to peer pressure and society's rules (caring what others think of me).
- I have a bodily need like hunger or tiredness.
- I'm addicted.
- I want it for grandiose reasons; like rewards or to please others.
- I could be avoiding pain or lose.
What if I threw everything I had into remembering God? Why don't I want to be successful? Am I incapable? No...discern further.
- …confused communication does not mean anything. A message cannot be communicated unless it makes sense.
- How sensible can your message be when you ask for what you do not want?...as long as you are afraid…that is precisely what you are asking for.
- You and your Creator can communicate through creation.
- Christ is in me…
I can’t remember God because I am asking about an idea of something which I don’t know what it is. Thus, I am asking for something which I have been told I should want but do not really want because I don’t know what it is. If you say God is Love, and I do want that, I might be confused. So much of my idea of love is really self serving. If I feel like a spiritual failure and cry out in prayer, it is really my ego, not God, that I am praying to. I am begging my ego to set me free and I know this because the world of perception is the ego’s. The belief that I am a physical being (instead of a spiritual one) is the ego’s. The only way to pray is to calm down and look into my silent depths. Christ is in me.
I can support Christ in me by realizing something else. Pay attention, I am going to shift this discussion a little. I am on a 40 day Daniel Fast and today is day 26. Fasting, combined with prayer, is for life changing spiritual breakthrough. Indeed, my own life has shifted tremendously from what it was like before starting the fast. I was running 50 or more miles a week and very unhappy because I was gaining weight. Now, I haven’t been running due to a foot injury but have lost 5 pounds; thus am very much at peace. Then, I hated religion, the limitations of religious rules, and thought the monastery up the street was pansy ass. Now, I have returned to church, want to understand what my 4 year education in Benedictine life was about, and am considering becoming an oblate at the monastery up the street. Then I was just an employee at a company I disapproved of. Now, I am willing to join the team of management in running the plant without hourly people (who are on strike) in order to save the company and change our culture. Then, I was afraid of losing my retirement. Now, I see wall street adjustments as a good thing and am not relying on anything but God. AND I am at peace with all these changes; that is the miracle part.
What these changes mean in the spiritual realm is that I see myself behaving, believing and loving in ways that are not possible for my ego. I see myself do what my ego does not want to do and realize that there is something higher than my ego in operation in my life. I see that I have and need to continue to turn my thinking over to this higher beneficent power who helps me be at peace at all times no matter what is going on. My ego only wants rewards and recognition. Beneficence wants to love. Beneficence must be “Christ within me.” I must throw all my effort into allowing Beneficence to be my consciousness.
Look at the list of things I do when I WANT to remember something. If I look at the peace and love Beneficence brings, and think about it quietly, I will find I WANT that. If I WANT something, then I am perfectly capable of ensuring that I remember it. So There!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
- ...He (Holy Spirit) is in your mind and therefore He is your reality...
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Yesterday afternoon, I was reading a fasting book which happened to have the word "chocolate" in it. Quietly I thought of having a Cadbury egg when this fast is over. I noticed I had that thought at least two more times. About 7:30, as I sat for meditation, I realized that the Cadbury egg thought was a quiet assent to hurt myself and re-enter addiction. If I allowed that thought to sit in my brain, it would root and grow and eventually I would be powerless over it. So I got with Jesus and rejected the thought. I gave it to Him and asked for one of His instead. I had a brief flash of Benevolent Love.
These flashes of the Benevolent Being who Loves us are the point of my spiritual practice. In learning more and more about this reality, I leave the ego delusion and begin to reside in the light.