Sunday, September 25, 2016


If you do something that has no "done" to it, you might be addicted.  Workaholics have no "done" in their work.  They are never finished.  Two guys are in a bar having a couple of beers.  One says, "I am done," and leaves to go home.  The other fellow keeps drinking.  He has no "done" in his drinking.  He may well be an alcoholic.  When I go to run or gym exercise, I decide how long I will run or exercise.  If I run too much or too fast or too long a distance, I will get injured.  I might then qualify as a runaholic!  Such people exist in the running communities.  Some people are never done making enough money.  There is never enough.  "More" replaces "done."  I try to live in moderation where I can.  Otherwise, if not moderation, then abstinence.  I have learned my limits, sometimes painfully.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I hear people say that they are "on a spiritual path."  To be on any path requires feet, or if no feet, then a chair that moves.  Spiritual journeys begin with feet.  I have to move to my place of prayer, away from unnecessary noise and commotion.  If I gather with others to talk/share about things spiritual, I have to go to meet them somewhere.  I don't Skype such groups.  Inertia leads to inertia and cheap talk about growth without doing anything.  At some point I may not be able to move anymore. Unless I am a hermit,  I hope that the feet of others comes to me.  Hmmm.  Maybe there is someone out there who needs my feet to move towards them?  

Friday, September 23, 2016


I don't embrace change.  Wherever I live, I live with other people.  Since I am away from my "residences" for some periods of time, whenever I show up, there has been change in how the house functions, given who is living there.  My initial solution is to become a hermit, a whining, complaining, resentful hermit.  I don't embrace change.  I have problems with a God who might want to be teaching me something, helping me to grow, through the changes I encounter.  So I start out with resentment and judgment.  Unhappiness, and irritability follow.  My tongue wags with complaint.  Since the change looks rather permanent, and I having no power to turn it into my favor, I tend to fall back onto acceptance and surrender.  Ironically, this seems to take me out of my misery, and to make others around me happier.  I don't like surrender.  I prefer power.  Perhaps there is power in surrender and acceptance?  I have heard this is so.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Someone said that she at times "shoulds" herself.  I can relate.  Sometimes I too say that I "should" do this or that.  Should is the word that tells me I am in a bad space or on the way to one.  With the should word comes the feeling and self-judgment that I am lazy, inefficient, talentless, and an overall bad person.  I end up with guilt and shame.  Now that surely makes for a bad day.  The vice is really false pride.  I think that I should be better, and even be SUPER person.  I fail to be me, someone with a limited amount of power, who will need to find more power if I am to do any of the things I think I should be doing, such as saving the world.  I find that doing nothing for the moment, and getting a second or third opinion is a much better way to go.  Prayer gives me a second opinion.  If God gives me no more power than I guess my "should" is bogus.  I get a third opinion by checking in with someone who is on the spiritual path.  For me, to negotiate my "should" notions alone is a disaster.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why Teach?

Well, if I can just tell people what books to read and go live in my cave, then why teach at all?  I teach because I need to give back.  No one may need what I am giving, but it does make me feel good and keeps me out of trouble.  I have heard it said that one learns by teaching.  I am not sure this is so for me because I often say things when teaching, that I have no idea how I came up with such a thought.  I drift away from my notes and feel that I have some sudden insight, at least for me.  Later, I cannot even remember what I said unless I write it down.  Are these inspired moments for the listener?  I don't know.  What I know is that I seem to have these insights only when I am actually teaching.  I hope God is in charge.  All of us who are trying to become all that God made us to be, have wisdom from our life and we can pass it on.  We each need to find a way to do this that fits us.  Too bad letter writing is on life support.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Middle Of The Boat

I try to meditate each day, to exercise my body, to eat some protein, and be helpful to others.  It keeps me balanced.  It is called, "staying in the middle of the boat."  When I skip meditation, for instance, I am moving to the edge of the boat.  I am getting a bit rocky and out of balance.  At some point, I will go over the edge and be drowning in my own mess of faults and bad behavior.  My boat is always in the middle of the water.  All around me is messy behavior, but if I stay in the middle of the boat, I am OK.  I remind myself of this each morning when I might want to just blow it all off, or am too busy with some more important task, or think I am a saint and can skip prayer.  I can get an important task done from the edge of the boat, but it may be the last good thing done with good behavior for that day.  I can wake up from a night's sleep in the middle of the boat if I am not over scheduled for the day ahead, saving the world with my focused ego, seeing the world as disaster unless I get into "Super" mode.  There are no oars in the boat.  I may have plans to get somewhere, but then so does everyone else.  Sometimes, the best thing I do is pick up people who fell out of their boat...and don't even know it.  Kindness, patience, acceptance, a smile all helps.  I try not to be too busy for the drowning person.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Bee

I sometimes think that there is nothing original that I say when I am teaching about the mystics and contemplative prayer, or the spiritual life in general.  I am like a bee that goes from flower to flower pilfering honey wherever it can find it.  I read books, and teach from them.  I am beginning to think of just notifying people in a blog or email of the latest book I read and telling them to read it.  I could disappear into a cave on a mountain top, as long as I had wi-fi and UPS delivery for books and chocolate and of course room service.  I would have plenty of time to pray, read spiritual books to recommend and still follow sports.  Occasionally, I would come down from the mountain cave to play golf.  A modern hermit!