Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"Ahhh, Why? Cause I Can"

   So, long time no blog...to busy living life or trying to keep up with all that The Spirit of Life is doing for me.
    I am writing this article in the hopes I can figure out why I would decide to go on a "Water Fast".  Realize that for the past 70 years it has been my mission in life to eat, as much, as fast, as I can...all the time.  In early years I was blessed with a very fast metabolism...burn them calories as fast as I could put them in my body.
    Of course the years of obsessive, excessive, abhorrent use of alcohol pretty took care of any desire at all to regulate my eating habits.  Then the years of recovery and not drinking I was just moving along in life without my regard for any discipline of eating.
    Come to now and well I am wrestling with 6 pounds daily.  Up 4 down 5, up 5 down 3, etc.  This process has brought me to the conclusion, finally, my eating habits control my weight and appearance.  Really?  Ya Think?
    So color me from Missouri.  Show me how and why.  Give me true examples, convince me.  Well now, as I weaned myself slowly off of dairy products, while scoffing inside, I found a true change in me.  I have had a horrible problem with an over-active mucus generating system.  I would wake at night choking badly with mucus.  I actually needed to have a sputum cup beside my bed, and in some times in bed, to be able to spit out the mucus before I choked.  As I have been dairy free for a few months I have minimal if any on most days mucus in my system.  Hmmm.  Must be something to this diet or selective eating.
     As I moved through these mind altering mood changing eating habits, I was asked by one of my Chinese Medicine Teachers, Dr. Kevin Chen to attend his 3 day "Water Fasting" program.  I mean, what the heck, he had just did a 3 WEEK water fast.  3 days? While it sounds relatively crazy to me, how hard could it be?  Here is a link to the article which describes this water fast.  http://goo.gl/UeiaaZ
    So you can just imagine the real, unreal, expressed, un-expressed conscious and unconscious fears I have been living through.  Make a decision I kept telling myself.  I tried to put all of this in the context of how would it help me personally and how would it help me in my efforts to bring Chinese Medicines "Guolin Qigong" to this area.  This is the qigong system much of the world is having great success in treating cancer holistically.  some do not use invasive chemicals or substances.  They deal with their malady naturally.  Fasting is just another tool to be used to try and bring our bodies into a healthy situation.
   OK.  Book the airline, room, car and pray.  And pray, and pray.  I must admit, the uncertain fears come and go.  Then the assurance of years of Spiritual training kick in and I am OK.  Kinda like; "Mr. Toads wild ride".  Who knows, this water fast may end the eternal battle of the 6 pounds.  Won't know until 23 October when I am able to say; "I was able with the help of a Power Greater than myself to accomplish this life changing practice called; "Water Fasting".  I feel certain that; "more will be revealed in my life".

Love and light,
richard

MaryCel, Dr. Chen, and I





Monday, January 25, 2016

"How time flies..."

   I can't imagine where the time went.  Next thing I knew I was divorced, divorced, married and living happily ever after.  Still am.

   Somewhere in the middle, life slipped in a 6 week belated honeymoon in Italy and aboard the MSC Divina Italian cruise ship which concluded with an 18 day trip from Genoa, Italy to Miami via the US Virgin Islands.  Not bad for an aging man trying to keep up with life.  Wait, eons ago I  made a decision that life was capitalized and was synonymous with God.  Life, with a capital L, right here in my home city. (hear Robert Preston in the Music Man)

   For nearly 42 years in more manners than I care to admit to, I have been learning, demonstrating and celebrating Life.  Freedom of life with Life began 8 February 1974.  All before that was pretty much a fog.  That long ago day allowed the vail to be lifted from my eyes and heart.

   In this moment as I sit here and write I am provided with the serenity and recall to feel just amazed.  I am amazed at how much "good" is flooding my Mind and heart.  Actually just a swell feeling.  I am aware that there are also numerous memories that are not so "good".   It is my personal choice to remember the "good".  Those other memories are distant and I think that is exactly where they are going to stay.

   I am able to recall my dear dear early friends of recall.  I also still can see all those all along the way that were there for me, in some manner or other.  One of them is 94 and still walking on a treadmill.  Another is slim trim and a videographer and writer.  One is a minister and mother. Another is dead.  And of course is a saintly man living a quiet life.  Wonderful memories.  All those are brought to mind along with recent memories with a new wife/friend/student/mother/taiji student-teacher.

   I guess what I am trying to say here is that I am truly blessed with the miracle of Love in my life and I know it.  I want to revel in it, live in it, embrace it and in turn, be it.

I Am,
Love and light,
Richard
"Santa Maria"


   The
The Sweetest of All
Greatest

Friday, May 8, 2015

There is always more...

     To answer the question posed by the name of this blog series, the answer is a "resounding yes".

     I understand that today I am the product of many years experience in so many ways.  This means that my thought processes are the result of many years of thinking and doing.  These processes have been dynamic all my life with the exception of many days, weeks, months, and years of addiction.

     In the Present Moment I operate under the idea that once again or at least most of the time I am once again a dynamic entity.  It is here that I have recently witnessed what I hope is a dynamic process that I will emulate in my life should it be necessary.  That process is one of grief, sorrow possible depression based on a loss in my life and then the resurrection of mind and life.

    I have been so privileged to be exposed to so many wonderful people both in and out of the rooms of recovery.  I have recently been witness and a part of a beautiful pair of souls that have  suffered a tragic and unexpected loss in their family.  They are not young people and not "recovery" people.  Yet they are both considered by the community as very powerful, centered, aware and mindful persons.  It has been with amazement and wonder that I have witnessed the above process of "being knocked down" in life and then rising up to even greater heights.  These two souls as far as I am concerned are the examples that I seek always of how to live life in a congruent manner.  They are the living proof to me that is; "always more down deep within us we can call upon".

     While it is was evident and apparent at the time of calamity that both of these individuals have suffered a deep and horrible loss of life close to them, it was just as apparent that they would call upon the reserve if Spirit and loving energy they have been cultivating all their adult lives.  I was astounded at how quickly these two souls turned their thoughts and actions towards helping others that had also suffered the loss.  Their focus immediately turned to "helping others" via the Spirit of their lives.  This is a process that I all to often forget not having very many calamities going on in my life lately.  

   This example of how to become congruent not only with the principles of the 12 step programs but also those life practices that have been around of eons and ingrained many individuals all their lives has been just what I need and needed.  I am so grateful to these two wonderful people that they allow me to dart in their lives and witness that magnificent transformation from sorrow to acceptance and on to joy and celebration of life, moment by moment.  This situation serves the purpose of demonstrating to me and those surrounding these two precious souls what I like to think is the adage; "...practice these principles in all your affairs" even when and especially when it hurts so bad.

For my two blessed friends I offer the only solace and comfort that I know in the form of scripture; 

"so do not fear, for I Am with you; do not be dismayed, for I Am you God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you..." Isaiah 41:10

Love and light, richard



     

   
     

     

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Great thoughts and ideas, to bad they are not mine !


   One of my most favorite people in AA, Bill M.  hails from Canada, eh!  He sent me the following writing and I think it deserves a wider audience.  With his permission I am posting this on my blog series to get that audience.  This posting is verbatim and not change in any manner.  If you have comments or ideas feel free to post them on this blog.  I will ensure that he gets them.

Love and light
 richard

Who is in your WE group today?



I have never blogged (if that is what this is) but this morning I just felt like writing some thoughts down inspired from my morning meditation. After I wrote this I kind of felt like I wrote it to someone so I am sending it to a short list of folks who I consider to be on my we team today.
 
For many years in AA I never heard the expression that the first word in the steps is WE and how this concept of we is so important in AA.
I now hear this phrase regularly at meetings about how it is a WE program.
 
But what does it mean?
 
Today in my meditation the title question came to me which is “who is in my we group today”?  who is in your We group today?
 
Ego wants it to be just ME
Ego wants to desperately survive and be all important and to not share Me with anyone or at least only if “They” are subjects and admirers.
Or perhaps Ego doesn't trust and so feels it can only survive if it stays isolated as an “I am alone” and on my own thought and feeling! This is not only untrue but it is one of the key elements of stinking thinking and character and life wasting Rot.
 
God gave each of us an allowance much like my parents used to give me an allowance for doing certain chores.  How am I spending my allowance is always an important question for me.  Who is or is not on my We team is an important contributor to how I am spending my allowance from God. Everyone's allowance is finite and once it is spent it is spent.
 
The idea of oneness suggests everyone is in my we group.  I am a human within the human population of the world and thus WE share the world and are all part of it at this moment in forever.   If we were to go back say 2500 years ago or for that matter a week ago the we of the human race was quite different. Humans have been added and subtracted moment to moment so the we is in constant change within the  motion Lau Tzu describes as “Returning and Yielding”.
 
At another level of we it is who I am sharing a particular space and time and relationship with. If I am in a car with 4 other people we are a we at that moment and if the car runs out of gas WE have a problem together and a shared we experience. As soon as we get gas and reach our destination the we may now be just a shared memory of the past .
We;  family for instance. There may be some in your family you don’t feel very close to and the we only means some kind of shared blood relationship . On the other hand there is often a close bond and comradely with some members of our family. Outsiders can not really become a part of this we in the sense of blood relationship but perhaps they can become part of our family with other shared bonds. Humans have a we bond with their parents and siblings (alive of dead) as there has been much shared experience and feelings one way and another.
Our human nature longs for a loving we experience with our blood family and in particular with our parents. Ego wants to be admired and loved and supported and if it doesn't get that it rebels and feels abandoned and rejected and alone; or we try and latch into another  co-dependent relationship to replace our lost family. 
 
Ego sometimes says fine! Screw you >>>. Its me against the world! When we take that attitude into our day (or our life)  the world spits back and the isolation and aloneness becomes a self created reality. Alcoholism is often called the loneliest disease as it creates this aloneness and isolation to sponsor the relief that alcohol gives to the tortured lonely mind.
 
Assholism is a disease on its own and it is just alcoholism without the alcohol. So many so called non alcoholics can suffer from Assholism. We all can break out into the symptoms of Assholism in our mind or actions from time to time.  The problem often is that we don’t know what we don’t know.  We may be sending out an aura of defensiveness and resistance and not know it. We think we are nice guys who others just don’t understand or that we are just unlucky in life and life relationships.
Conversely sometimes we can get a grandiose distortion of our reality and impact on others .  We collect “right points “ as we go through our day. Of course often our ego thinks that for me and it to be right it means we must prove you to be wrong.  Matching and bettering are two forms of our ego trying to collect some additional right points. If you tell me a story I have to tell you a better one from my story inventory.
The difference between an enlightened person and an ignorant person is that the enlightened person knows he Is ignorant.  Ignorance can be a blind spot and because we often only look through the window of self-centeredness we fail to see what others see about us.  Good and bad.  Our filters only see what our ego wants us to see or thinks it sees.
For me this is one of the great benefits of regular meditation, as insights and thoughts seem to come from NOWHERE >>>>>> i.e   “no-where” >>> to “now – here.”  Doing steps four and five six and seven every so often and step 11 every day, provides additional insights and clarity for what follows the words I am _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ??
 
We in AA  can mean the we that is at a particular meeting or a conference. At that moment in time there is a we in the space and anyone who is not there is not  part of the we of the experience. However there is a “We” associated with an AA group that extends beyond the physical proximity of the now. If you are a member and have signed the book you are in fact a part of the we and are eligible to say that word as a member of the group. We may say in our group or when Ego wants to feel important it might even say my group.
 
So then there is another level of We which is that circle of people we feel bonded with and whom we feel are “On my side” or I may also feel I am on their side. This ought to include a sponsor or a mentor, and a person who is on their side. I have had a sponsor and a spiritual mentor with whom I would have little or no contact with for lengthy periods. When I would think of them I would still know that if I called or we got together we would be WE instantly and even with physical separation we were still a we team of bonded brothers.   This we of personal compassion and bond is also one of constant change and motion. There may be a small group of individuals I feel particularly bonded with today and of course this group can become larger and smaller at any point in time. When a newcomer comes to a meeting and shares they are in trouble and need’s help I can almost observe the compassion and I most certainly feel a bond of we with that person in my instinct to help, out of the human bonds of love and oneness.
On the other hand whenever I feel thoughts of judgment, resentment, competition or criticism either against me, or me against others,  the we diminishes and separation is created.
I hear people say and sometimes I catch myself feeling like just being isolated or alone. This is the ego trying to protect itself out of fear .
Ego likes to put a large number of other people in the ”they” category. If I have an attitude that you are either on my team or you are automatically on the other team then you are part of my They.  I am sure that doesn't worry you but it sure as hell ought to worry me.
 
I have had the great experience a few times in life of feeling a deep team “we” feeling; A couple of times in sports when younger ; a few times in work situations where there was a true team with a common goal and deep respect and team bonds who won or lost as a group.  I have had this great we team experience in my aa life. I have felt it with sponsors, sponsies, and aa groups I belonged to. From the very start I have felt it with AA as a whole. I felt this wonderful we bonded feeing of having bonds to millions of people most of whom I have not met. I have travelled and found almost instant we support and mutual love with other members all over North America and at world conferences.
 
One of the most important and fulfilling we feelings is to feel one with this mystical force of creation in the universe. I feel this we and in synchronization with this force each time I witness an unexplainable God-Incident and realize that this was not just chance or a random set of conditions coinciding but a part of a Devine creation of space and time coming together.  I have often thought this when attending an AA meeting. That group of humans in that configuration will never come together in the same place at the same time and the exact experience will never happen again >.. ever!. no human power could create or recreate the exact configuration and the exact outcomes and meaning that occurs in that hour. You have to be there and conscious to be part of that co-incident creation. If there are 20 people there and we could track their lives from birth to that meeting the number of incident events and experiences that brought them there to that coincident event is mind boggling. We can either believe those trillions of experiences and thoughts and actions had been totally random chance or we can believe they are just a part of a more grand and Devine order that has coincided to create yet more and shared now's  and healing amongst those present.
 
So I leave you and this blog today with that question I started with.
Who is in your WE group today? I hope I am!  You are in mine.
 
such is the truth.
Bill
"that which we focus on EXPANDS Focus on the GOOD"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Is bigger better?" "NO!"

   Many  of us ego centric neurotic individuals, particularly male, at times ask; "Is bigger better?".  Most of us really don't want a definitive answer and only ask that question out of fear.  

   In today's thinking I have asked that question with the word "bigger" being synonymous with "larger, higher, more, etc." and it has absolutely no underlying sexual overtones.  Today it more speaks of do I become a "zealot, over achiever, beyond normal person".

   In the past 3 days I have had to be uncomfortable in life as a result of some form of flu, 36 hour type.  All the standard feelings; headache, cramping, soreness, etc.".  It was my choice to lead an exercise group which I do each Saturday.  This effort was created and exists today as a workout for me and for those that want to join in "gratis".
   
   While it is true that I conduct this weekly workout for myself a small part of me hopes and believes that others will indeed benefit from its existence.  I therefore conduct the exercise program to a very high degree of correctness and effort.  During this weeks session I was faced with the choice, a conscious choice of either conduct myself at this session in the highest fashion as always or to allow my malfunctioning body set the pace and tone.  First things first.  I allowed myself to move to the rear of the workout and let and healthy functioning person to conduct the workout.

   As the leader put us through her workout I did acknowledge that my body wanted to be cautious, it did want to set its on pace and flow and that I needed to allow it do what it knew naturally.  

   The thought zipped through my head that "bigger" aka. higher, stronger, etc. was the way, my spirit said; "no, just relax and let the inherent spirit of Life direct this workout for you".  As a result I was able to do the workout completely, correctly and in consonance with all in attendance.  My energy "qi" was able to flow at the amplitude and level required to effect the correct energy flow desired from the workout.

   At the end of the hours workout I felt great.  I was not totally healed yet I was energized to a level that made me aware of how much I liked paying attention to my Spirit when I heard the answer that essentially said; "no, bigger aka, stronger higher, faster" was not better.  The attached "qi gong" short video is offered in an effort to share the way of "less or small is better" as I know it today.

   You would think that simple age old philosophical question would have been answered for me long ago.  Maybe I was not listening.  Could be. Has happened before.  

Love and light
richard

video





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Congruence in any fashion is, well, hard !

     Congruence has not always been an understood word in my vocabulary.  For so many decades I used the word in so many way, which were not all right.  I just had no clue what the word meant.  Neither the definition or the intent of the word meant anything in my life.

   Of course I should have noted that this word "congruent" was popping up in many forms in math situations.  Same size and shaped stuff, they were said to be in congruence. No. No impact at all on my life.  A "numba" is just a "numba".  Congruent or congruence did nothing for me.

   On entering this 12 step recovery program I was urged; directed; told; ordered to "walk my talk".  Fine.  I would be quiet.  If I did not espouse nor articulate nor pontificate then I did not have to "walk my talk".  Oh yeah, for those that know me at all.   I am going to be quiet?  For how long?  One of my early sponsors mused out loud one evening at our home group meeting that; "if you ever shut up you will blow up".   I have literally taken him at his word for the last 40 years.  After all, he died happy, joyous and free, a winner.  So I guess walking my talk became a goal for life, one spirited moment after another.

     Nearly 20 years ago, once again my nemesis in life, aka. "Little ole' lady" popped up from her knitting during a meeting and stabbed me in the heart with her pointed finger and sizzling words of; "you need to learn to live a congruent life!"  Right.  Go back to your knit one pearl two and leave me alone I mumbled.  Goofy ole' lady, what the hell does she mean congruent life?  I am supposed to be the same shape or size as someone else?  Nut cake.

     It only took me nearly 3 months of letting the nut cakes words ferment in my brain before I hit the dictionary.  Hmmm, "...matching or in agreement with something" was one of the listed definitions".  Let's see, "walk your talk" vs "matching or in agreement with something".  Wow, the nut cake was divinely inspired to give me the same message I had gotten 20 years earlier.  It would appear that the God of my understanding either had a sense of humor and loved to have nut cakes (ie. Little ole' ladys) babble at me or IT was once again giving me a thought that I could not get for myself.  

     It was at this time in my life that I began a serious attempt to bring my actions into line with the underlying principles of the originally written 12 steps.  It was also at this time in my life that my life took on new shape, new dynamics, new forms or joy and happiness and most of all a new direction spiritually.  I was on the precipice of growing up and maturing.  Not bad for 50+ years old eh?  

     Today the word congruent and its form of congruence play a large part in my living process.  It has taken a huge amount of attention to life details, honesty at a level I had never practiced, learned compassion, patience which I never knew existed and Love that I have found deep within me.  All of these traits were there all my life, I just did not know them.  I have had the ability to live a congruent life since I was born.  I had never been taught how.  

     I was capable of "walking my talk" for decades, I just did not know I was supposed to.  Just for today I am conscious of that Power Greater than myself that; "...resides deep within me" and I know that IT is what gives me the momentary ability to "walk my talk" and in fact live a congruent life.

     Today I am most grateful for all of those "little ole' ladies" that loved me so much that they would indeed be my nemesis throughout my tenure in this wonderful fellowship.

Love and light
richard

     
    
    

Living serenely = congruency

                                                  


   
     


Thursday, July 24, 2014

"The best of two philosophies or I can have my cake and eat it too"

   Well now.  As a child I have no religious training nor spiritual guidance that I can remember.  I suspect learning to bow down to ETOH in any form would qualify for something, not sure what.  For those not certain, ETOH is also known as alcohol; the king of the additives.  Legal, lethal, all pervading throughout life and your body, just plain old alcohol.

   When I came into recovery I embraced a "God of my understanding" even though I did not in any manner understand anything.  But, what the heck they (the recovered people) said it was; "...indispensable to my recovery".  So God it is.  Then I was told to learn to pray.  Yeah.  Ok.  Pray for what?  I had been praying for 20 years to something to save my ass, never happened.  And now I should be praying for, well, who knows.

   After a few years in recovery or at least not drinking, I was privileged to meet an angel who chided me to try "sincere prayer"!  Why whatever was she saying.  I was still the; "now I lay me down to sleep thing" and now I should be "sincere".  I mean I was only trying to work on understanding and forgiveness of my now deceased father who abused us all.  I mean with a God how hard can that be?  On to better and bigger things.

    After another 15 or 16 years in ahhh recovery? I had graduated to meditating, praying without ceasing and even untold more.  My biggest mistake as I look back was ignoring the guidance and or answers from this God of my understanding.  That is a no no I found out.  At 21 years of being dry in between serene sober moments I found out it was all or nothing, 100% into God or get out.  God did not seem to mind but my psyche was like flip flopping all over the joint.  So do something 100 % in each present moment was gonna be the ticket.

   It was then that I met my first Unitic by the name of June.  I was again privileged to help bring her to some stable recovery and she drug me off by the nape of the neck to Unity.  That is philosophy number one.  Fits really really really well with 12steps.  Proffers everything I know about metaphysics.  Leaves NO ONE out.  My kinda stuff.  Divinity abounding with recovery people all over. Yep.  This was it, and still is.  My number one spiritual philosophy still comes to me from Unity.  However, there is that clause in the New Testament something about; "...will be added unto you". So here comes philosophy number 2.

   Having never ever had any training nor exposure to philosophies or even a religion I was again privileged by the Grace of God to be introduced to the Catholic, pronounced "Cat-hol-ic" religion via the 7AM mass.  Well now, I was like lost.  I don't know nothing about genuflecting, kneeling or the other required machinations.  I am not really huge on ritual, well, the Lords Prayer after EVERY meeting might be one, or a chocolate donut with every glass of milk another.  I will say that I do like the singing, very cool and the devotion that most show.  I can get into that.

   Being a teacher of disciplines such as taichi and qi gong usually has me thinking devotion, discipline, want, desire, and any other words I don't know yet.  So discipline and devotion in a church is good for me.  Yet, "no rules just right" is also very cool.  I am now blessed with a Sunday morning that is very much disciplined and ritualized, although I am the only heathen in the place and ends with me hugging a priest who goes into shock.  Then it is a hop skip and a jump over to my Unity home where I get to hug anything that moves.  I got to hear a "homily" in the first and a "lesson" in the second.

   Man o man.  I truly have been given a unique set of spiritual guidance for now, just for now, that I think is like the best of both worlds.  And I do feel blessed at being able to "have my cake and eat it too" when I comes to philosophies that may and should increase my joy in life.

Love and light
Richard