Posted tagged ‘sage’

Mindful in the Morning

January 23, 2013

BOAI mentioned in passing at the beginning of the year that I’d started using a new daily reader as part of my Morning Practice.  More exactly, I should own up and say my  Most Mornings Practice.  Like many of the books that have had a significant effect on me, it was a random selection from a bookshelf full of similar books, this time at a Barnes and Noble in Arizona.  That’s one of the reasons I still visit real bookstores … that sort synchronicity doesn’t seem to happen on Amazon.   The book is The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Live by Mark Nepo.  Yes, it’s about mindfulness, something my monkey mind (it swings from thought to thought, don’t you know) does not give into easily, which is why I study it frequently.  Sometimes I wonder – when I study mindfulness, am I being mindful or am I looking ahead to the time when I will be? (more…)

Wounded Soldiers

October 14, 2012

Without your wounds where would your power be?  The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken in the wheels of living.  In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve – Thorton Wilder

I have always been drawn to books on spirituality, from mainstream ones like Harold Kushner’s Who Needs God to the unconventional, like Carlos Casteneda’s books about the Yaqui Shaman, Don Juan.   I was touched by Marianne Williamson’s reflections on The Course in Miracles in A Return to Love and scratched my head as I followed Wayne Dyer’s progression from his pragmatic Your Erroneous Zones to his embrace of Law of Attraction nonsense in The Power of Intention.  I’ve read most of Dan Millman’s books based on his encounter with his personal shaman, Socrates and Dr. Bernie Seigel’s 365 Prescriptions for the Soul lives among my desktop books, along with M. J. Ryan’s Attitudes of Gratitude.  A battered copy of Melodie Beattie’s Journey to the Heart has been my companion for most of twenty years.  Stir in my mother’s spiritual guidance (which didn’t make me a Catholic as she intended but made me a spiritual seeker) and twenty years of Working the 12 Steps, and you have a spiritual stew that seems to work for me.   Most of the time. (more…)

Science and Art

June 27, 2012

Over the past few years, I’ve occasionally posted about my work as an engineer and in particular about a software product of Mathworks called MATLAB©.  MATLAB allows us to analyze, simulate and understand complex processing techniques such as those used in radar, sonar and communications systems.  It’s my experience that while almost any engineer can use MATLAB, a small percentage can work wonders with it.  Part of MATLAB’s power comes from its use of multi-dimensional arrays of numbers and most MATLAB wizards seem to be able to visualize things in higher dimensions.  Are you bored out of your gourd yet?  Stay with me.  This is fun, I promise. (more…)

Darkness and Light

May 30, 2012

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens usMarianne Williamson in A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles


Darkness and Light – Two Panel Watercolor and Ink
(click panels for detail)

Service for a Smile

November 20, 2011


It was a very long time ago, but very late in my adolescence … probably while I was home from college during the summer … my Mom and I would stay up late watching Johnny Carson and solving the problems of the world.   One of the subjects we disagreed on was missionaries.   As a devout Catholic, she always contributed what she could to the missions.  They do a lot of good in the world, she’d say.  They provide food and lodging and education in poor countries.   Like many college students, I was questioning my parents’ view of the world and in particular, my mother’s choice of religion.   It doesn’t seem right to offer to help people in exchange for converting to your religion, I said.   Now, I don’t know if the missions required conversion or even education for food.   Mom said they didn’t.   But fast-forward to my fifties as I was in the midst of making a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.   Someone whose judgement I trusted implicitly told me, Bud, you never do anything for anybody without strings attached.  I guess my youthful idealism had slipped a notch or two.  When you do something for someone, another friend said, try to do it For Fun and For Free. (more…)

Heads Up

November 19, 2011

Lately, I’ve been doing my Morning Pages at home instead of the park.   Partly, it’s because these old bones are more comfortable writing in a chair than in the front seat of my car.  It also saves time when I transition from journalling to more structured writing … blogging and projects … that is best done at my desk.   My chosen place at home is the kitchen table, where I can open the blinds and keep an eye on the birds in the yard.  Friday morning, as I paused to decide what to rant about next, I looked up and noticed  the baker’s rack next to our table, decked out with Muri’s decorations for fall.  I smiled.  I am lucky to live in a beautiful house, surrounded by pretty things.  I realized at that moment that although I pride myself on noticing … I’ve even posted on the subject … lately, I’ve been living my life with my Head Down.   Maybe with my Head In, like this guy. (more…)

Looking for the Karma

November 15, 2011

My son has the word Karma tattooed on his wrist (ouch).  He sees it as a reminder to think before he acts because, in the Western interpretation of the word, What goes around comes around.   Sometimes, I wish he looked at his wrist more often but that’s another story for a password-protected post.   But here it is, Tuesday again, and Top Sites Tuesday #125 requires my Two Thoughts.   Karma is the topic.  What brings me to the subject of Karma?  To tell you that, I need to take you back to two prior posts. (more…)

Define: Synchronicity

November 6, 2011

Synchronicity: the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance and that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described in this terminology by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s. (more…)

Love. Anger. Fear. Etc.

August 20, 2011


I was with a group of guys last week and the subject was fear.   If you look around these days you’ll see young men wearing No Fear shirts.  You’ll see No Fear decals in the rear windows of man-trucks the size of aircraft carriers.  In the parlance of 12-steppers, many men treat fear like a defect of character.  It’s my observation that some women treat anger in the same way (while men often consider it a birth rite).   Recently, a fellow blogger wrote a post about someone she hated at work, expressing guilt because she was taught, partly by her religion, not to hate.  According to, hate means to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest.   So, if it’s unChristian to hate, is it OK to dislike?  Dislike a little?  My blogger friend’s colleague had certainly earned her extreme dislike and even a few revenge fantasies. (more…)

Finding Pieces

June 26, 2011


After rejecting the God of my childhood at eighteen, I spent (approximately) the next forty years searching for a notion of God that both my Rational Self and Spiritual Self could live with.   I know many people who seem to be able to compartmentalize their lives, saying, This is rational and belongs to my Rational Side … this, on the other hand, is spiritual, so I’ll listen to my Spiritual Self.  That perhaps sounds critical but it’s not meant to be.   I’ve resented such people at times in part because I envied their ability to find God in their lives without endless searching but I admire their certainty.  I don’t seem to be built that way and, hence, I’ve ended up (at least so far) spiritual but not religious.  Being comfortable with that has been a long road and it still has its bumps … for example, when I contemplate mortality.  It would be nice to believe in a home for eternity if only I did such and such instead of having just a notion of an eternal soul.   The Twelve Steps talk about a God of our understanding but understanding God is often an obstacle to me because my understanding is rooted in my Rational Self.  Perhaps I have a God of my not-understanding. (more…)