Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Uncomfortable Can Be Good*

When you stop using the crutch that helped you to feel comfortable in social situations you have to find new ways to be social, to fit in.  A crutch might be status, money, title, job, physical appearance, drugs and alcohol to name a few.  Without your crutch you feel uncomfortable walking into a social occasion or group.  My fall back position to feel OK, or comfortable, less afraid, is to isolate.  I go stay off by myself though I am in a group.  I don’t sit next to anyone or introduce myself, much less ask how someone else is doing.  That would be way too social.  Isolation is my comfort zone at times.  So I have learned that in order to become a more adult person in a social situation I need to do something new.  This makes me uncomfortable at first.  But here, being uncomfortable is the path to growth.  I sit down next to someone I don’t even know.  Or I walk up to someone and say hello.  I introduce myself.  I never assume that people might remember me from some other occasion.  At first, this is way uncomfortable, but in a moment or two, I feel part of the room or group or occasion that I am attending.  I move from discomfort to comfortably fitting in.  I feel a part of, rather than apart from.  And it might help the uncomfortable person I just sat next to, or met, to feel more comfortable too...after they get over the fear that I might be a crazy person.

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Redwood Tree

In Brookings, Oregon there is a redwood tree, called the “Bombsite Redwood.”  During WW II, the site was bombed by the Japanese.  Nobuo Fujita, the pilot of the bomber, felt remorse after the war over what he did, so he traveled to Brookings to ask for forgiveness.  The town accepted his apology.  He came back several times and in 1992 he planted a redwood seedling.  So when you are thinking about making an amends or saying you are sorry, let Nobuo be a good example.  He had courage, took a lot of time out to go to the people, and did more than say, “I am sorry.”  Sorry is a start, but we are about more permanent change for the better in oneself.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Being Found*

I hear people in and out of recovery programs tell me that they cannot find God, and therefore they do not meditate or say verbal prayers much at all.  They say, “It doesn’t work for me.”  Well, maybe they are looking at mediation from the wrong side.  Say What?  Meditation is not so that you can find God, or a God of your understanding.  It is so that God can find you.  Mediation keeps us free from running away from something.  We stop staying busy and active in accomplishments to escape ourselves, at least for a few minutes.  We allow, permit, let something happen while we stay somewhat quiet and still with little noise around us.  If we stop running away, we might be able to be found.  It is not God who is hiding.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Common Sense*

We avoid a lot of things because of common sense.  This is not always a good thing.  Common sense never scales mountains.  It never runs a marathon.  And it will never become a lover.  On the one hand it seems to offer protection, but than on the other it can offer mediocrity.  I think that a spiritual path of some meditation, silence, solitude and checking in with a second opinion can be a great help in ascertaining when we are avoiding something out of fear, or help us to know our passion that makes us all we are meant to be.  Some people would say they are on a spiritual path, such as a church membership but for second rate motives.  They want to escape hell.  But they are not really in love with their God.  There are people in recovery programs to avoid pain, but they have no passion for service to others.  The road to perfection is about having a passion for it, becoming a lover of the interior relationship, whatever that might be.  Then again, the ecstacy of the lover repels many people.  If you are following your healthy passion, people will call you strange.  Ask anyone who has tried to scale Everest.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Baby And Bathwater

I find that many a Westerner rejects Western Religion based upon some experience in growing up, or some recent events.  But many of these same people love the Upanishads, the Tao and the Dharma.  Westerners did not grow up in these spiritual paths, so they can come to them with some openness. All these Eastern paths have great wisdom.  If you are open then the wisdom will shine forth.  I suspect that many people who grow up in these Eastern spiritual paths, don't find that wisdom.  You might find some intellectual belief or some vague identification as Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, but not really much of the wisdom shines through in daily living with one another.  The West has no monopoly on bad behavior, prejudice, selfishness and the like.  All spiritual paths have wisdom.  What they lack is witnesses of the wisdom.  Spiritual paths are meant to be lived one day at a time.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


A lot of people would agree that Jesus of Nazareth was a rather spiritual person.  Did you know that he had fear?  His home base of operations was Galilee where he grew up.  He felt safe there going around and doing his spiritual teachings.  But there was a big feast in Jerusalem, where he did not feel safe, because some people there were trying to kill him, or wished him dead.  His family went down to Jerusalem while Jesus stayed safely behind in Galilee.  Fear controlled him at the moment.  But he had a sponsor who he called "The Father."  Jesus checked in with the Father.   His sponsor gave Jesus a second opinion, a different look about things. So Jesus went down to Jerusalem but in secret, undercover.  Once he got there, he began to teach as his fears began to lessen more and more.  Jesus moved into action and away from the power of fear that kept him inactive.  So it is OK to feel fearful.  Being on a spiritual path, in recovery, meditative, does not mean you won't feel fear.  It is what you do with fear.  Keep it to yourself, and it will control and paralyze you from becoming your best self.  Tell someone in all honesty, some trustworthy person, like a sponsor or someone on a spiritual path like yourself, and get a second opinion. When I do this, I find that the power of the fear begins to fall away.  I go from paralyzed or self-centered behavior, to becoming my better self.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Charles Freer Andrews

C. F. Andrews was a minister in the Anglican Church in England.  He decided to become a missionary and that is how he met Mohandas Gandhi, in South Africa, where Gandhi was working on civil rights.  Andrews felt that Gandhi was a wonderful example of the spirit of Christian love and Gandhi felt that Andrews was a missionary who bore witness to the Gospel through deeds.  Western religions seem so often to emphasize articles of belief, dogmas, and internal rules, while the witness in action is less important and often not lived much at all by its believers.  Various prejudices would be an example of this.  I find much more attractive a spiritual path that attracts through deeds rather than through promotions that emphasize beliefs or a system of hoops one must go through.  AA, Gandhi, and Andrews would be examples of the emphasis on action and witness.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Being Ready*

If someone asks me for help in becoming a better person, developing a better spiritual connection, or work on some personal problem, I try not to freak out with the thought, “OMG, I don’t want to mess them up with bad advice,” or “I am not good enough, or smart enough, or knowledgeable enough to help.”  I have learned from others that if the person asking me for help is ready, there is nothing I can do wrong, and if they are not ready, there is nothing I can do right.  I am not God or a Higher Power.  I don’t make someone sober, or keep them sober or make them spiritual giants.  So I do the best that I can, and that is enough.  It is a Power much greater than myself with which they will cooperate if they are ready.  But no one can get what they don’t want.  On my good mornings I ask myself, “Do you want to be the best you can be today, Terry?”  Prayer, mediation, reading and talking with other people on the journey to growth, all help to make a weak or ambivalent “yes” I much stronger and more positive, “YES!”  How is your “yes” today?

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Messenger In The Darkness

LUKE 24:1-12

I would like to be the messenger in the tomb.  Be available to someone when they enter the darkness, bewildered, disoriented, searching, their world all torn apart.  This is the case of the women with the spices who come to anoint Jesus.  Like many people who are in darkness and even shock, they do the irrational.  Why bring spices to anoint a body that is buried behind a stone too big to move?  But at least they are searching for something to do.

I want to be the person who has known the darkness and found hope, who has found a “yes” to all those who say “no” to life.  I think of all the people who were killed by church bombs in Sri Lanka in the last few hours.  The survivors are bewildered and shocked, in darkness.  The bombers said “no” to the victims. Persons can say “no” by shooting children in schools, Can the survivors say “yes” to going on with some quality of life?  Who will bring them hope?  

I think of all the addicted people, living in a darkness, searching for a way out.  Suicide seems like an option.  Then they come into the recovery rooms of 12 step programs.  Someone is there for the newcomer, someone who has known the darkness, and searched for light and life and found it from others who were there for them when they came all perplexed.  

Not everyone will respond to hope offered.  Many an addict leaves and dies miserable in their darkness.  The messenger of hope is not responsible for the results, but only for being there with the message for another. The disciples of Jesus thought the message to be nonsense.  Many today will say the same thing.  Nonsense to a God becoming human and dying selflessly on a cross and then rising from the dead. 

When someone loses a parent, a spouse, a child, a lifelong friend to death,  they can feel a certain darkness.  Their old life is gone, like a broken dish.  It can never be recovered.  But hope says that there can be a future, different from the past, but a future with light in it.  Someone who has gone through a similar loss and learned to live on in hope and service, can be the messenger.  My darkness, followed by a “yes” is new life.  I am risen.  

Sunday, April 21, 2019


Happy Easter.  Why is it that pictures of the Risen Jesus most often have him all buffed, no pimples or facial blemishes, looking like he just had a good shower, with his beard trimmed and hair all clean?  Is resurrection all about lookin' good?  At least the Buddha is fat.  Happy, but fat.  In Boulder, Colorado fat is a misdemeanor.  I will never look like Jesus.  I have a very imperfect body and it is made more imperfect by age.  Should I get blessed to be raised up, whatever that might be, will I be given a body I never had?  Do we even have bodies in heaven?  Only Jesus, Mary and Elisha seem to have gone "up" with bodies.  Come to think of it, Mary looks pretty good in all the visions of her.  A lot of us don't believe in afterlife, but we try real hard to look buffed and blemish-free through exercise, cosmetics and such.  For me, looking good takes away from what is really important about resurrection, and that is "being good."  I would prefer Jesus depicted as someone more normal.  Was he not a Jew?  He never looks like a Jew.  I can relate to Jews.  Buffed gods do not do it for me.  I makes me feel I have no chance.  I think of resurrection as a normal, everyday body being raised, that shines with happiness.  Happiness that comes from within and from living a good and loving life, is what makes us beautiful, and most perfect.  Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 20, 2019


Many of us are kind of ambivalent about "judgment."  We don't like religion that is judgmental, nor do we like others who we think are judging us.  But we seem to love reality TV.  These shows about who is the best singer, dancer, best looking or whatever "best" is all about judgment, with a winner and lots of losers.  We don't seem to mind participating in the judgment of others.  We might tend to get real upset if we found out that someone was lying on these shows in order to better their chances of winning.  But we don't seem to mind lying ourselves to get out of a loser situation and better our chances of looking good in the eyes of others.  I have found that rigorous honesty about myself and being non-judgmental of others works best for me.  I think my God would approve.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Being Found*

Some people tell me that they cannot find God.  They wonder if they are atheists or are just looking in the wrong place, but there is no God in their lives.  I suggest that maybe God, if there is a God, does not always want to be found by our active efforts or search.  Maybe God wants to do the finding, and we should just wait and be found.  So how to do this?  Meditation is a way.  In meditation, you do less and you let God or some Energy or Power find you.  Meditation usually means being still in one place, letting go of your focus on thoughts, and words.  Be still and try to be open.  To what?  Good question.  As long as you do not try to know what the what is, you will be open to God being who God wants to be for you.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Last Place Holy Thursday

No one seems to like being in last place or the bottom of the heap.  No one except the Christian God. Christians are supposed to follow this God of theirs when he became human and washed feet.  Yep.  Their God washes feet.  It is a stretch to get a Catholic kid to make their bed or take out the garbage or hang up their clothes, much less wash feet.  But that is what the Christian God did when human.  Today is Holy Thursday in Christian circles.  It only happens one time each year, so only one time are Christians reminded in their Bible that God washes feet.  Only a slave, a last place person, the bottom of the hierarchical cultural heap, washes feet.  Christians seem to be more interested the Holy Communion aspect of their religion.  They don't have to humble themselves or be of much service to receive communion.  Communion comes from the Last Supper which Jesus only did once, just like the washing of feet.  But Christians picked up big time on the Last Supper, not so much the humbling servant washing feet.  So the next time you finish last in something or think you are at the bottom of heap of recognition, just know, if you are a Christian, that you are closer to God than all the people above you or ahead of you.  So you Christian runners, no need to train hard to be a success and look good.  Be last.  Train less.  Eat chocolate.  Be closer to your God.

The Coin*

Do you know the origin of the coin idea in recovery meetings?  People are given coins or medallions for length of sobriety.  This idea came from a nun, Ignatia Gavin, an Irish immigrant, who joined a religious order of Sisters here in the States.  In 1934 she began work at St. Thomas hospital in Akron, Ohio.  The hospital did not admit alcoholics.  But at the urging of a local doctor in recovery himself, Bob Smith, Sister Ignatia began to admit alcoholics under the diagnosis "acute gastritis."  Eventually the hospital opened a wing for alcoholics.  On a patient's discharge day, Sister Ignatia presented each of them with a medallion of the Sacred Heart on it.  She told them to return the medallion before taking another drink.  You hear a lot of bad stuff about my church in the press lately, so here is something to remind you that we do good stuff too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Trail Blazers*

Trail Blazers refer to the signage or symbols along a trail, so that you know where to go next.  The blazers are put there by people who went before you.  If you have not been on the trail before or not in a long time, you need to look for these blazers and follow them so you don’t get lost.  This is a great metaphor for the spiritual journey.  It is about growth from where and who you are, to where you go next and who you will become.  The future is unfamiliar, so we have to trust and hope in the blazers put there by mentors who have gone before us.  In recovery programs these would be sponsors, steps and home groups.  In religious paths they would be spiritual directors or gurus.  Self-will run riot is where you decide to ignore the signs and bushwhack it yourself where you will stumble around, get lost, scratched, frustrated and get nowhere of use.  And if I am coming back to a path I have not been on in a while, I especially need to follow directions, the blazers.  I may think I know where I am, but I need help to get to where I am supposed to go, to become all I was made to be.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tune Up*

If you practice on a musical instrument like a guitar it pretty much stays in tune or is easy to tune up from one day to another.  You also find it easier to play the guitar as you practice daily.  The spiritual road is like a relationship with a guitar.  You have to practice on a daily basis to keep an improvement or ease of play/prayer/lifestyle.  If you neglect the practice, you become like the guitar, out of tune.  And it is not easy to get tuned up.  One does not pick up where one has left off in playing a neglected musical instrument.  So I think of my daily spiritual practice as my way of staying tuned up.  I know both the out of tune and in tune life.  I try not to bash myself about too much.  When I am into my spiritual practice, I am in tune with the world around me.  Middle C.

Monday, April 15, 2019


Ecdysis is not a misspelling of a word.  Ecdysis is what a snake does when it sheds its entire outer skin all in one piece.  We think of the snake only as something yucky that can kill us with its venom.  But ecdysis shows the snake as a sign of rejuvenation.  So it can be a symbol of healing which is why medicine has as its symbol, the snake wrapped around a pole.  The pole is the walking staff of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine.  Asclepius used the staff as he walked around from town to town to treat patients.  It is why Moses’ deity told him to make a statue of a staff with a snake wrapped around it.  The snake that had been killing people can also be an agent of healing in the right hands.  Alcohol can kill you and heal you. Pour some 90% proof on a wound and it can heal you by killing the germs.  Drink it and well, bye bye.  Recovery or spiritual enrichment is like trying to shed old skin, to reveal a new skin underneath.  Patience, since it does not happen all at once.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Happy Easter and Passover

For me, it is sad that my country seems to trivialize Easter, a date of great significance for Christians. This year it is also within the week of Passover, a Holy Week for Jews.  Passover is not trivialized.  But you might see Easter cards and sale advertising with the “Easter Bunny” and lots of Easter candy.  It is a chance for business to try and sell stuff for the “Easter Sale.”  There is no Passover sale or Ramadan sale.  Now some people will say that the bunny and the eggs are signs of new life, but I don’t hear anyone connecting it with Jesus and resurrection.  Now we Christians might have ourselves to blame for this since we did rule the Western world at one time and tried to make people focus on our religion or else.  For those of you who are celebrating the Holy Days of Jews and Christians this week, I hope you have some good food.  The Jews taught us Christians that food is important when celebrating religious feasts, or at least looking forward to good food if fasting.  That is why it is called a “Feast.”

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dead Plant*

So you think that drinking alcohol is rather harmless if you have just one shot? Well, if you have a potted plant around the house why don’t you pour that one shot into the potted plant.  Then check the plant the next day.  It will be dead.  So you are not a potted plant and one drink won’t kill you.  The
 only difference between you and the plant is that you and the human species has built up a tolerance for that shot of alcohol.  We are able to poison ourselves slowly on a daily basis.  At one time, I was trying to kill myself, but slowly, so that I would not have to say I was suicidal.  I am nice to potted plants and to my body now.  And I fertilized myself with meditation.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dry Not Enough*

Someone said that they lived like an alcoholic, though they had stopped drinking.  They thought that they were in control because they were not drinking.  However the rest of their life was drama and chaos.  Eventually, the control not-drinking program fell apart.  The reason that people in addiction recovery go to meetings, work steps, meditate and help others, is so that they do not want to live a life full of drama and chaos.  I have found it so.  It is important to accept how little I really do control.  I need daily reminders so that I make a sane response to what shows up in daily life, in events, relationships, emotions and my morning plans for the day.  I am lucky to have a way of life that saves me from myself.  I sweep my side of the street as best as I can.  Fixing others is not in my league.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Change In Life

Homily Notes
Fr. Terry Ryan, CSP
John 8: 1-11
April 7, 2019

I am coming to believe that the reason many people leave the Church is because their connection to church is mostly from doctrine, rules, rituals and customs.  Occasionally, in religion training they did a service project.  The impetus for worship might be mediocre, that is, fear of hell.  As they grow up and all this seems to make little sense or be of little use in their life, they drift away.
The ones who stay, assuming some spiritual maturity, have more of a focus on a passion for Jesus.  Love draws them to wanting the Eucharist.  For whom would you inconvenience yourself, surrender yourself, suffer some?  It would be for someone you love with a passion, such as a child.  Someone you like, a relative, occasional acquaintance, someone you might admire, you would not call this a deep love, a passionate love.  Some people get this relationship with Jesus on a regular basis, some on a less regular basis, and some not much at all.  A person might believe the dogma but it moves them not at all.                                          
In the gospel Jesus faces the adulterous woman, one on one, a direct encounter.  She is guilty no matter the circumstances.  That is how it is in that law.  In this encounter, the woman experiences unconditional acceptance and love, for Jesus does not judge her.  She has nothing to offer, no bargaining chip, and gets Jesus’ love expressed in his attitude toward her.  It is only then that he tells her to sin no more.  She must have this passionate connection, feel this love that replaces her shame and guilt and maybe her anger, before she can change her life.  This is why Jesus faces her alone.  He hopes she will connect with him personally, from the heart. 
In the Eucharist as well as Confession, the sacrament is trying to give us and sustain in us this type of encounter such that we will in fact become “followers” and not just catechism believers of Jesus.  But the sacrament is not magic.  We have to bring some of our passion to it.  We have to need it as much as the adulterous woman needed a reprieve from execution.  People whose life fell apart and then found the unconditional love of God through Jesus in the sacraments, generally stay church connected.  The self-sufficient don’t need Jesus all that much.  Their passion lies elsewhere.  Daily, I struggle to climb out of mediocrity.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Once there was a woman who became blind.  One day, in a dream, she realized that she was not to recover her eyesight.  She could have committed suicide or gone into deep depression, or became super needy and self-pitying as partial responses to this realization.  She did none of those things.  She had a rather she response to being blind.  What was it?  That her life was no less meaningful for her disability.  She became a woman who dispensed advice to all kinds of people who sought her out. She did a lot of prayer and meditation.  She did what she could and did not focus on what she could not do.  My disabilities do not diminish the meaning or usefulness of my life.  I may have limitations, things I can no longer do.  But I can still be very useful and of service to others.  I can still meditate and enjoy some solitude.  One door closes and another opens up.  Have not all recovering addicts discovered this?  And people recovering from divorce, death of spouse, loss of job, career and home? Dementia might be a loss that diminishes.  I will be as useful as I can be while I have some working brain.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sole or Soul*

I might be able to sit at a table with other people, all of us on our cells while listening to one another. I notice in these situations that no one is talking about anything of substance.  We are reporting information or opinions about various situations such as politics, or who was with whom.  What is worse, is that gossip is a sure way to get us to stop looking at our phones.  In short, we are not so much connecting with one another, as accumulating information.  Whatever is on the screen is at least as important as the person across from me.  Good grief!  This is “sole” seeking.  I need “soul” seeking.  At times, the cell can become another form of isolation for me.  Oops!  Gotta go.  Cell is buzzing.

Monday, April 8, 2019


Limitations can be quite uplifting when you think about it.  If we don’t live within our limitations, we will surely die by them.  If you are into your senior years, you don’t try to do things that are no longer possible lest you destroy yourself.  There is a point wherein high mountain climbers stop trying to climb high mountains.  If you are an alcoholic or addicted to opioids, you limit your intake to zero.  But you live, sober.  If you have some physical limitations, you live within them.  A broken limb limits you, but you rest and heal.  If you have neither the brains or money to get into some elite school, you live with it, rather than cheat to get in.  Rich people think that money can bypass such academic limitations.  Stay with limits and avoid jail or fines.  Th life I have now is a gift, with limitations.  Had I ignored my limitations, I would not have this life now.  I would have death.  And no blog.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

All Saints*

People who are trying to grow spiritually from some not so spiritual bottom are all saints. Why?  Because they are like the recognized saints who have gone through a conversion experience.  There is no saint without a past in which things were not going quite so well, and maybe even going dreadfully downhill.  That is the past.  But there is their future, and that is where all the growth happened.  They continued to grow day by day into better people.  Levi, in the Bible, was a tax collector with a dreadful past of extortion and self-centered greed.  Jesus said Levi should “Come follow me.”  I guess this was Levi’s white lightening experience, because he got up and followed Jesus.  Then Levi had a future better than his past.  He even received a new name, “Matthew.”  So I like to think of myself as a saint in the making.  I have a past, not so good, very embarrassing, but I have hope in a future better than the past.  My problem is some of my past keeps dribbling into the present.  Whoa is me!  The spiritual effort is often trying to keep the past in the past.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Through Others*

A friend of mine said, "I don't see no god working in my life!  God has abandoned me."  Now my friend used to be a mess of misery and social failure.  But today he is living a much more balanced and useful life, noted by an increase in patience, acceptance and compassion.  He told me he tries to pray but feels nothing of a god there.  He sees a messed up world and where is god in all that?  In a nutshell, he has no direct experience of god in his life.  Just a blank.  I said, "You seem to be more at peace now than when I first met you.  How did that happen?"  He said, "Oh, I get together with some people several days a week and listen to them.  They give me some good advice and wisdom."  Ah!  I thought.  Maybe God is acting in my friends life through others.  I told him so.  A light went on for him.  Even if we have no faith, God can work through others for our benefit.  Just find the right "others."  

Friday, April 5, 2019

Immediate Reward*

Some people try to live good lives, do the right thing, be productive, for the sake of a future reward.  In Christianity it is to go to heaven after you die.  For a worker it might be for a future promotion or a future bonus.  In a relationship it might be for some later response from you partner that would please you.  People exercise, beat themselves up in hot yoga, running hills, Orange Theory, and other such exacting workouts for the sake of feeling better later or being skinnier.  It is all about delayed rewards.  But in recovery programs the reward can be much more immediate.  As someone said, "The reward for living a good and sober life, is a good and sober life.  If you are trying to be sober and you are miserable, well, that is what those steps and meetings are all about.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Second Drink*

People who are sober speak about the “first drink” as the one to avoid.  So why do so many sober people go out and drink again?  As someone said, “The first drink is not caused by alcoholism.  That is the second drink.  The first drink is caused by sobriety.”  Say what?  Sobriety is so bad or miserable that the person has to drink.  This tells me that sobriety has to have some solid footing in the recovery program with a spiritual and communal dimension.  Otherwise, we are simply “dry.”  When simply dry, you cannot live without your medication, alcohol or drug.  The steps of AA are to treat the disease.  Otherwise, we cannot adjust to reality.  I am working on a sober response to the world areound me.  I will be helpful, and prayerful.  How about you?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


My feelings don’t always tell me what is really going on in the outside world.  I have learned, at times, to tell the difference.  For instance, I may be feeling fear.  My spiritual progress on a good day, tells me, “I am afraid,”. But I don’t have to act on this feeling.  I pause and often find out that whatever I seem to be afraid of, is not really dangerous or life-threatening.  So why might I be feeling fearful?  Often it is because I am not going to get what I want, or am going to lose what I have.  In these situations it is all about me and my universe.  In these fearful moments described, I am the center of my universe, grabbing or holding on to stuff.  As someone told me, “Why try to be the center of the universe?  It is a very crowded place.”  Yes, we who are into self are not unique.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Old Ideas*

I find that when I am trying to let go of or overcome some bad habit or lifestyle, I often need to let go of old ideas.  My old ideas got in the way of change for the better.  An old idea might be: “I can do this myself.  I don’t need outside help,” or, “I will do bettr tomorrow.”  If someone has a problem with alcohol, drugs, cheating, stealing, lying, rage, and they cannot stop on their own, they may have to let go of “old ideas.”  One of these old ideas is “There is no god.”  This non-belief has not helped make a positive change in addictive behavior.  So maybe it would be good to let go of that old idea.  It is a form of surrender.  Before I can surrender an old way of life, I may have to first surrender ideas I had in the old way of life.  Just sayin’

Monday, April 1, 2019

Fake News

Today is April Fool’s Day.  It used to be the one day a year that you told a lie, or a fake truth, and then when everyone believed you, “April Fools” was shouted out.  Nowadays everyday is like a April Fools Day because of fake news.  And no on tells you that it is a joke.  Belief is encouraged in what is not true.  So today has lost it specialness as April Fools Day.  Some people like news that agrees with them and do not question its veracity.  I tend to read people who have a different philosophy or economic understanding or political view than I do, so as to test my own sense of what I think is so.  It helps me to stay connected with the “other” and not to get too tribal.  Truth wears no mask.  But I need to make sure I am not in my own way that blocks that truth from my view or understanding.