In the last few months I have watched three beautiful people enter into the physical release of their death. Those of us left behind are devastated with loss and profoundly missing their physical presence. Sadness and loneliness fill our days.
A very wise student of mine asked a wonderful Kabbalistic question: When is ”not-making” doing nothing? And when is it doing something?
Jason Shulman describes not making in this manner.
“Not-making is that condition in which things are simply what they are and we are not making a “secondary something” out of primary experience. We engage with reality directly."
- Jason Shulman
What I have seen is the totality recapitulated as One,
Received not in essence but by participation.
It is just as if you lit a flame from a live flame:
It is the entire flame you receive.
--St. Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
I absolutely adored this when I read it this morning. I love the imagery of the flame because it makes total sense to me. The “essence” St Symeon is referring to, I believe, is God (the flame)…and to believe I am the essence of God is a very comforting thought.
It seems much of my life has been filled with meaningless activity. In my younger years, without much of me to operate with, I tried to please as I was hoping for value and purpose. I worked at jobs I hated, tried to stay in struggling relationships for the “sake of the children”, and was mediocre at parenting.
The following is my eleventh entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.
Step 11: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
The following is my fourth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.
Step 4: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Step 4 is found in Chapter 5 (How It Works) page 63, last paragraph, through page 71 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are to take a personal inventory in order to “face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which have been blocking us. Our addiction is but a symptom. We had to get down to causes and conditions”. Searching and fearless means thorough and honest. We cover our entire life, past and present, leaving nothing out, exhausting everything we can bring to consciousness. Having set a firm foundation in Step 3, we now have the courage and strength to look within and shine light on the true causes of our problems. What we discover we write down. We search through every emotional aspect of our lives, resentments (anger), shame/guilt (I am a bad person/what I did was bad), fear (stress, tension, anxiety, terror) and all of our life situations: relationships (sex/people/institutions), work/career (people and institutions), finances (beliefs and fear around money), spiritual (God/religion), health (physical/mental health problems). We look at our life events, real and imagined, how and why we were threatened by what we believed was happening, and how our actions and reactions created or contributed to the destructive outcome for ourselves and others.
”Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly”. –Tolstoy-This is a very interesting thought. At one point in my life, I would have believed it to be the truth....
“The Most Massive Characters are Seared with Scars” – Khalil GibranI attended an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting recently, as a guest. In my role as a therapist, I wanted to experience this. I certainly was not prepared for how life-changing their hope and strength was going to be for me, personally...