Sunday, June 16, 2019
Without an interior life to discover who we are, with all our faults and gifts, we live a life like we were a guitar that is always out of tune. We are always a bit out of sorts, restless, prone to cranky and flights of control, and so on. We are always out of tune and it irritates us. We are trying to tune our guitar life with a hammer. But in some interior life, meditation, solitude we make some space for the Tuner to come and get us in the proper tune. Then we realize for a time, “Life can be beautiful” without needing to be all about me. But the guitar goes out of tune daily. So daily we need that Tuner. Make the space. Reward those around you with being in tune.
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Time is the measure of motion. If there is no motion, there is no time. The universe is moving. Our planet spins around. Time passes. If nothing moved, there would be no experience of time. That is why in deep meditation or contemplation, we are not aware of time passing. The interior stillness is that profound. I find it so here in the monastery in the coming dawn, as I sit in chapel. The mediation becomes so interior and still, that I am not aware of time. Suddenly the bell chimes, and I realize that a whole half hour has passed. Where was I? What was I doing? In the stillness. Come visit my monastery. We age slowly here!
Friday, June 14, 2019
Staying on a spiritual path is not the same as staying on the right direction when you are trying to find an address, such as a movie theatre or someone's home, or business address. For those things we have our smart phones and GPS apps. What if you had no GPS and were trying to find a place with some vague directions or with a big paper map while trying to drive the car? And the map only tells you the street, not the exact location. Try that at night with no street lights. Well, the spiritual path is one with no smart phone GPS. God of your understanding is your GPS. This takes a lot of trust, and you don't know where you are going, how to get there, whatever "there" is. But each moment on the path is a "there," or time of arrival. You are being directed by love. You are always where you are supposed to be if you stay connected with this power that is guiding you. Love is your GPS. Thank you Ricky Manalo for this good advice.
Thursday, June 13, 2019
There is a quote, "It is 40 miles into the forest and it is 40 miles out." Which means? If you have lived much of your life badly, you won't change overnight. It takes some time. When people decide that they have had enough of bad behavior, find some spiritual path or program of recovery, they sometimes get impatient at how things don't go better all at once. Why do they keep doing some of the old behavior? Bad behavior, faults, defects of character that are imbedded in us from years of practice, don't disappear all at once. You cannot exterminate them like you do an insect. If you are self-centered and selfish, prone to whining and self-pity, blaming others, you will not stop all at once, but you will begin to catch yourself before you go too far into the behavior or you will begin to replace, slowly, bad stuff with good stuff. Acceptance and being useful to others will begin to bud in your life. And remember to ask for help before you become desperate. It is part of your spiritual way. You are not God, but rather a feeble person learning to walk a new path.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Did you know that tap dancing came about in the 19th century Bowery in New York City? You may have seen the Irish Jig. It is a very specific step up and down. So there is a tapping, but that is not tap dancing as we know it. A 16 year old boy of color, William Henry Lane, was doing some shuffling around, creating some movement with his feet but not tapping. He saw the jig. The Irish were everywhere in the Bowery, as were many people of color back then. Lane took the specific tap of the jig, and combined it with his creation of various movement with his feet. Voila! Tap dancing. I like to tap and make up stuff myself. I travel too much for lessons in one place. So I just tap and enjoy myself. It is good exercise too. And I don't need a partner. So no matter what your lifestyle is, follow your passion, or interest, and have fun. I leave expertise for bigger egos than mine.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
The founding story of my country and my church are quite different in one area. When I was growing up and studying history of the USA, Washington, Jefferson, Adams were towering figures that appeared seemingly without flaws. They seemed to work well together to create our institutions and our government. Monroe and Madison were equally wonderful. My church, not so much. Peter and Paul were the founders and they come across in the scriptures, the church early history, as full of flaws. Plus they did not get along so well. Eventually, they improved individually and with one another. The early church was not so afraid to show our imperfections. But I learned to love my church even with faults and failures. Love does not require perfection, or else there would be little love in my church. It was only when we had a powerful Vatican central government that we learned to hide our flaws. My country hid flaws early on, but later revealed them. Today we have wonderful modern critiques of our founding members. Jefferson and Adams did not get along. That they died on the 4th of July in the same year is quite ironic. But having discovered many of the flaws of my country and our founders, I can still love my country. Love allows us to work to change things for the better. If you hate something you just leave it if you can. People do that in my church. But I stay to make things better in my own little corner of the church and my country.
Monday, June 10, 2019
I run into a person here and there who says they have to leave their family or put their family second to following Jesus. I find this puzzling. Why? Well, if you look at the bible where it talks about what Jesus did, you might notice that he spent about 90% of his time with his family. Even when he went to Jerusalem for Passover at age 12, he was with his family. And when they lost him, and found him in the Temple, he went home with them. Then no one heard from him for another 18 years. He lived a family life. So given the percentages, I think family life is way important, and leaving it for the other 10% I might call into question. So if Jesus is God. as Christian followers claim, then God seems to like family life quite a bit. For some people, leaving family is just another way to run away. But you take your problems with you. Your own self.