Sunday, August 18, 2019
If I am in an uncomfortable mood, such as angry, lonely, afraid, and I do something unhealthy or dangerous to escape the mood, I will still be angry, lonely afraid, but now with something to make my life messier. Like what? Well, I could drink alcohol, and then drive, I could take a pain pill, eat a lot of sugar, exercise till I have overstressed my body, or get so busy getting things done, that I give up sleep and prayer. Or add to your list, pornography and shopping till you drop. Instead, I just admit that I am feeling something, don’t blame anyone, but recognize it as just a feeling and I don’t have to act on it. Maybe a little music, reading, meditation, a walk can be just what I need. Sometimes, it is just a good rest. Try being good to yourself a bit today. It is quite possible this is on no one else’s agenda
Saturday, August 17, 2019
In the Bible story of Noah and the Ark, the people of the world had messed up, gone off course as to the care of the world and one another. So God is going to destroy it all. But Noah has a chance to save something for the future. He is a singular figure who has to have great faith that he can make a difference. People ridicule him, but he daily pursues his course of building the ark and collecting pairs of animals. The rains come and the earth is destroyed along with all who were living in it, except for Noah and the inhabitants of the Ark. What a story for ecology. People are messing up and not loving the earth and seem indifferent to many cultures, if not hostile. You think yourself a singular figure who can do nothing? Powerless to make a difference ecologically or culturally? Think of Noah. One person can make a difference. It might be you. Recycle anew. Be kind to the stranger. You never know.
Friday, August 16, 2019
I am one to praise humility as a virtue, but it has two parts. The first part is to admit that I cannot do something by myself. But if that is as far as I get, there will be no real change for the better in me. The second part of humility is to ask for help from someone who knows better than me. Humility does not mean that I am completely helpless. I can ask for help. False pride does me no good. With such pride, I continue to mess up on my own power or lack thereof. Asking for help is the real strength of humility. It is what leads to change for the better. The key is not to ask someone who is as powerless, clueless and disfunctional as me, but someone who I see can be a real help. I can ask god for help, but then sometimes God works through another person who can show me the way from their own practice of doing things the right way, the way out of bondage to self.
Thursday, August 15, 2019
A fellow named Herod, a king in the Bible, believe in resurrection from the dead. He said so when he described Jesus. He said that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. But Herod’s faith in the idea of resurrection did not make him a good person. He got drunk at a party and to save face on a promise he had made, went and ordered John the Baptist beheaded. Not nice behavior. I find a lot of Christians say they believe in resurrection from the dead, in Jesus’ case anyway, but it does not make them better persons from this dogmatic belief. Creeds don’t make people behave better. Becoming a good, selfless, compassionate, forgiving person is hard work. I have found some non-believers doing the hard work of change for the better. And many a believer, not so much.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Walking is a series of uninterrupted successful imbalances. There is a moment when you are out of balance but you instinctively know what to do since you have been doing it for some time. So you don’t fall down. When you fall down, it is because you did not correct for the imbalance. Age and injury can diminish that instinct. An infant has not developed this capacity to correct imbalance. So they try to walk, but fall down. Fortunately, they do not have far to fall. For an adult, try putting your pants on one leg at a time while standing. You might tip over or stumble because you have not done it enough times to automatically correct the imbalance. World class distance runners frequently have both feet off the ground but they have learned how to stay quite balanced from practice. So why should anything new in life come easily? New sobriety, new marriage, new relationship, new job, new home, new city, why get all frustrated that things are not “flowing.” Humility, patience, and practice are necessary. You should see me tap dance now! Oops, there goes the humility.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
It amazes me how Christians seem to pick and choose what they think are facts in the bible to suit their comfort zone. For instance when Jesus says anything about gehenna or fires of judgment, such as weeds being thrown into a "fiery furnace" the take this as fact to prove that there is a hell and it is fire. But when Jesus says, "Love thy neighbor" or "Turn the other cheek" or "Forgive as you are forgiven," these same people will say Jesus didn't mean that literally or in all cases. Many of us want to love those who look like us and are user friendly to our agenda, but have really problems with anyone else of color, language or economic status. But we want to avoid the fire. So we cherry pick the fruit that fits our comfort zone. My sister Maureen said that I was going to burn. I hope she was just having bad days when she said that. She had a lot of bad days when I was underfoot.
Monday, August 12, 2019
Why blame Jesus for the way Christianity developed over the centuries? As soon as I mention Jesus people get upset. If I say Buddha or Krishna there is no getting upset. Some even think that the world begins and ends on almost any spiritual founder but Jesus. I think it is all about whatever your growing up experience is. For me, Jesus is the Enlightened One for his followers. He cannot help that many of them never got enlightened. Jesus would fit well into today's spirituality of non-duality. The one prayer, simple as it is, that he taught his disciples, says to forgive others since we have been forgiven. In other words we are all interconnected. He says to seek and you will find. Most of us seek stuff that is anything but enlightenment or awakening. The receiving of the Holy Spirit is another way of saying we receive Enlightenment. Many receive but are clueless about what to do, and meditation is rarely part of the picture. I am sure that there are a few Buddhists and Hindus who are selfish, self-centered, egotistical and hypocritical, just like Christians. But why blame the Founders for the followers? I don't even think they would consider themselves founders of anything but a wisdom, a vision, a way of life, that is rarely understood much less practiced.