Posted tagged ‘spirituality’

Feeling It

December 6, 2018

neillold

When I was 69 years old, my wife Muri and I were at a Neil Diamond concert at (of course) the Greek Theater. Isn’t it odd to see your childhood favorites age along with you? At the intermission, an older gentleman (six years older, to be exact) and I were talking. For some reason, he felt compelled to bestow on me these prophetic words: The road from 69 to 75 is a tough one. At sixty-nine I was blogging here regularly and based on my posts, several of my back-then readers had told me, You seem to have this aging down. I believed I did and so I filed the advice from my momentary concert acquaintance as his problem, not mine. But he was right.

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Small Things

October 22, 2018

I’m sure I’ve said this here before.   I’m pretty sure I’ll say it again.  The reason I carry my camera when I walk in the park is that it takes my focus away from what’s going on inside my head and into the world around me.   Some days, there are red-shouldered hawks, trees in bloom and sunsets over the lake to grab my attention.  Other days, like today, Small Things catch my eye if (and only if) I am mindful … petals on the ground against fallen leaves …

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… seed pods hanging from a bright green tree … (more…)

The Engineer and the Mystic

October 11, 2018

finalMy mother was a devout Catholic but she was also a woman with an intense curiosity about the world around her.   As a result, she cast her intellectual net wider than most Catholics.  For example, she became a fan of Jean Dixon, the self-proclaimed psychic and astrologer that many Christians loved to hate.  She passed her open-mindedness on to me, which I believe she came to regret because I eventually gave up Catholicism.   From my Dad, I got my rational side, in part I’m sure from genes but also because he regretted his choice to join the Army instead of going to engineering school.  My rational side won out and I became an electrical engineer.  But from the time I gave up my Mom’s religion, I also became a Searcher.  I often picture myself with my Engineer on one shoulder and my Mystic on the other, both of them whispering in my ear about whatever spiritual concept is intriguing me at the moment.   They rarely agree and for many years, the Engineer called the shots. (more…)

Mountain Retreat

October 9, 2018

trees.jpgFriday afternoon, my wife Muri and I packed our suitcases in the car and headed to Lake Arrowhead.   It was time for my Autumn Men’s Retreat at Arrowhead Ranch, and … as it turns out, our friend Sue has a log cabin home a few minutes away from the retreat center where Muri could visit while I retreat with the guys.   The retreat center is remote, Sue’s cabin is remoter.  Though it is only a few minutes from Arrowhead Ranch, it is up the hill on a winding not-quite single lane road through the pines.  I’m not sure I’d want to drive alone, I remember thinking as we followed her there.  More on that later. (more…)

Time and Music

October 4, 2018

Many people die with their music still in them. . . . Oliver Wendell Holmes

quietOne of my favorite authors (at least of inspirational non-fiction) is David Kundtz, author of  Mind – One Minute MindfulnessOne Minute Mindfulness is a collection of short essays describing what Kundtz calls stillpoints, very short exercises to stop your mind during the day, mini-meditations that can keep you centered when meditation isn’t an option (of course, it always is, except in our heads, but that another post).  The quote above is from an essay titled Time Runs Out.  Of course, he’s not suggesting everyone speaks the language of music … he means whatever music dwells in our souls; be it the music of accounting, the harmony of teaching, the notes of repairing, the symphonies of poetry, the melodies of marketing, the tunes of programming, the rhapsodies of selling, and on and on through the whole gamut of human states, activities, and gifts.  Why do they die with their music in them?   Because, Holmes continues, too often . . . because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.  Time running out … a remote notion at 21 but a companion at 74. (more…)

Questions. Answers?

October 1, 2018

Q and AIn the two men’s meetings I attend, we talk a lot about serious matters, not just practical things like relationships and dealing with stress but more esoteric subjects like what it means to be spiritual and the nature of God.  Like any group of guys, we are sometimes rowdy, sarcastic, vulgar and funny but we still manage to get to the important stuff.   We also work one-on-one, talking about the same sort of issues.  Recently, I was going through a workbook with the over-the-top title, Reaching for Personal Freedom with a friend.  Each chapter includes questions which we answer separately, then we compare notes when we get together.   Last week, I noticed something I found interesting.   My answers, unlike my friends, were filled with questions.   I don’t know why it took me 74 years to notice this but it is the way I live my life … my answers always include questions. (more…)

Knowing

September 27, 2018

Most mornings, I write two pages of stream of consciousness prose in a notebook, a habit I picked up from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.   She recommends three pages because of what she calls third page revelations that often turn up in the third page.  Three pages can be a grind at this point in my life so I start out with two and go on if I feel like it.  Sometimes, revelations show up early, in page one or page two.  Like today, halfway down page two:

Knowing

Think about it.