Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Promise not a Threat

I will be out of town for several weeks and wanted let all of you know there will be no weekly messages for several weeks.
Never fear, however – I will be back, and that’s a promise, not a threat! (LOL)
So, stay focused on your real You – You are not a human body that has a soul or spirit; you are an already-loved eternal spirit currently having a human experience.
As you focus on that statement and let it truly sink in, it will begin to change how you think. It will begin to change how you respond to events and people. As you begin to think differently, you will begin doing things differently. As you begin to do things differently, you will begin thinking differently. It’s a wonderful revolving door.
That’s how the truth of this statement will begin to transform your existence.
That’s how it’s transformed mine.
The key for me, however, was to understand this process is a both/and. I need to begin disciplining my mind and doing things differently. For me, the mind discipline part has been the more difficult, and A Course in Miracles has been most helpful to me in that regard.
AA sums this up with its trademark bumper-sticker wisdom:
If you always do what you’ve always done,
you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
Thanks for being there for me.
#2 May, 2012

PS: You can always go to the bottom of this message and click on “Message Archive.” This will take you to my page on BlogSpot. [ or you can go to: ] On the right side, just above my bio information, you will see the archived messages, listed by date. The numbers in parentheses refer to how many messages are archived there. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Professor Blackie and My Spiritual Growth - Part 2

Continued from Part 1
Finally, I concluded that something just wasn’t right. So, I got down on my hands and knees and had a really good look at Blackie. It hadn’t moved at all since the day before. I poked. No movement. Blackie was dead. Then I noticed the real problem. Black, almost invisible, nylon netting. Black snake. Dark mulch. The snake had gotten all tangled in the mesh netting and had died. What had really happened? Malnutrition? Dehydration? Exhaustion? All of the above. I don’t really know.
What I did know was I felt terrible – absolutely terrible. Intensely terrible. I was angry. I felt sick to my stomach. I was disappointed. I was ashamed.
As the day progressed and night fell, I continued to feel horribly saddened by Blackie’s passing. My ego-based perception had interpreted all the events of the last 10 days from the perspective of my perceived “struggle” to learn which perennials do well here, are reasonably unattractive to deer, can handle periods of heavy rain and drawn-out draught, look nice, and are easy to maintain.  Blackie was just a very welcome and very “natural” cog in the machinations of my ego-perceived gardening. I felt proud and special. I had never had a snake help me protect my plantings. Wasn’t this really wonderful? “Ahhh! Isn’t nature truly magnificent?”
It never dawned on me to try to really look and watch Blackie. Why would it dawn on me? After all aren’t my perceptions relflective of reality? The overarching answer from A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is “No!”
I’ve never had a reaction like this before to a “natural” situation. As I tune out the chatter in my monkey mind (including the should/ought – shame/blame), I’m beginning to understand the shift of my “knowing” of the oneness of life. I’m aware that I am changing. A year ago, I do not believe I could have experienced these intense feelings. I am learning that my connection to Blackie was very real and, although I selfishly personalized the relationship between the snake and me, the unity-of-life emotions I am experiencing actually represent a step forward for me.
So, I am officially acknowledging the significance and power of Blackie – my latest teacher/guide in my spiritual journey.  Please join me in thanking him (her?) for providing a wonderful – albeit very painful – lesson to me.
Thanks for listening and, as always, feel free to share this message with your family, friends, and spiritual acquaintances.

#1 May, 2012

Professor Blackie and My Spiritual Growth - Part 1

I recently read this quote from Joseph Campbell: "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the Universe, to match your nature with Nature."
The resonance of that quote has happened to me a lot this past year – and just again this past week. One of my earliest posts was about this very sense of connection (Msg-1-December-2011, “The Unity of life.” Click on Message Archive at the bottom of this post.) I discussed my sense of unity as I was cleaning out the wet-weather creek that flows through our property: 
“… I was cleaning out sticks, wild water grasses and weeds. As I would pull a clump of vegetation, the roots, all mired in creek muck, contained all sorts of bugs, beetles, and other tiny critters. Each clump of muck was its own little universe. It was a remarkable moment, as I tried to imagine life in that clump of muck from the perspective of the inhabitants.
“In a short while I knew the muck would dry, the critters would either die or scatter, and the water vegetation would die. One day the creek muck is alive as its own little world and the next it is apparently dead. What happened? What's missing? What the heck is Life, anyway?
“…as far as I know, many indigenous cultures … have had an intrinsic reverence for this thing called Life.… Life was a mystery and was revered. Not some of life was revered some of the time; all life all the time. There was no hierarchy in Life. Human life was not more valuable than animal or plant life. Life was Life. It was a mystery. It was honored.
Normally, my connection to nature has left me with good, unified feelings of not being so damned unique and/or feeling very connected to everything. This time the connection to nature was very strong but with a totally different feeling.
Let me explain.
Near our front door we have an ornamental lace-leaf Japanese maple tree. Since the deer relish the new spring shoots of that maple, I put lightweight netting over the tree. The deer really dislike it. Additionally, all through the winter I watched evidence of a rodent (mole? vole?) as it burrowed in and around that maple and other shrubs we have in the front of the house.
Several weeks ago I noticed a black snake curled under the maple – and no signs of our burrowing critter. “Aha!” I thought. “Nature is handling our garden pest. What a wonderful, natural solution. I like that.” Several days later, the snake was still there and we named it Blackie. It stayed there day after day, not moving very much –obviously rather contented, I thought, with the burrowing critters and the nearby frogs in the creek pond. 
Continued in Part 2