is the only time to begin,
the only place
to begin again,
or for the first time.
See here for an important message regarding the community which will become a read-only site October 31.
Sunday, March 1, 2009, 8:15 AM [General]
is the only time to begin,
the only place
to begin again,
or for the first time.
Friday, February 27, 2009, 6:12 PM [General]
I am just thankful to have a place to post for others to read what I write, and to read, rate and comment on the words of others... with no time for much beyond that (especially not for overcoming new obstacles to the writing and reading here)... may this this new format be of good use to all, and soon
Saturday, February 7, 2009, 8:27 AM [General]
More than three years after being given a prognosis of "about one year" to live following surgery for removal of a brain tumour, my youngest brother passed on in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico on February 4. I will write more about Patrick soon, and over the next few weeks up to the time of a memorial service for family and friends here in the Philadelphia/New York City area.
To learn more about Patrick, visit patchrose.com
Monday, January 12, 2009, 6:25 AM [General]
Writing is my practice. It is where I realize the serenity, the sense of acceptance and unity which has always been with me, but which also had to be found by me at a time and in a place.
With practice, I exercise the contentment which enables me to increasingly be of help and no harm, and to be vigilant, knowing that the one who bears watching most is myself.
Practice brings me here, to the place of both bliss and vexation; here, on the only ground there is for cultivating compassion.
I will continue to wake up, …and put it in writing.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 8:25 PM [General]
As far as I can tell, rebirth is a ubiquitous aspect of religious or spiritual experience, so it’s not unique to the followers of Jesus. But it does often take a quite “unscriptural” turn away from the common-sense presentation of the phenomenon described in the New Testament Gospel of John, chapter 3. It suffers the same penchant for instantaneous transformation common to many spiritual paths, in my experience. Travel the consciousness circuit and you’ll see what I mean: awakening to total liberation in the course of a weekend retreat or a communal initiation… rebirth in the twinkling of an eye.
So for as much as some might like to find a whipping-boy in Bible-believing Christianity, when it comes to missing the mark on spiritual development it fails as well as any other path. Again, nothing unique there… mystified belief is no respecter of persons.
My point is, if I allow myself to grow and develop from childhood to maturity across a lifetime, why should I expect anything different with spiritual growth. I am “born” again and become a “child” of God, not an “adult” of God. Mastery (an aspect of adulthood) takes time… it emerges over a lifetime, or more.
For me, rebirth is that simple, and I regularly remind myself... to make no mystique about it. 371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 8:15 PM [General]
My personal experience of awakening, enlightenment or salvation may be all too easily cast into the form of an idol, betraying the transcendence, sovereignty and saving grace of Divine Prosperity.
When I identify my own experience of regeneration, redemption or rebirth as the only true expression of renewing love, healing peace and transforming light, I witness to my ignorance of prosperity and its reality beyond the pale of conventional belief.
Such belief alienates me from the wealth of faith I inherit as I learn of the saving grace in the lives of others and beyond the limits of my own expectation. The world, and my world, is a poorer place when I impose this lack on others and on myself.
When I embrace experiences of prosperity wherever they are found, in meditation and with acceptance, they become beatitudes and parables, inspiring me to be responsible with this wealth… learning along the way… to be a blessing.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 7:53 PM [General]
I’ve been an “earthling” since the mid-80s, and I’ve been scaling back to a simpler lifestyle ever since, but my awareness of the earth is rooted in a reading of Tielhard de Chardin’s works in the mid-70s; before that I can remember a brief fascination with the idea of an “ecosystem” in high school, maybe around 1968.
Beginning around 1988, I began to slowly lead the family along the way toward “voluntary simplicity.” Soon after, I decided to seek work closer to home; I’ve been working less than 15 miles from home since 1996, and began driving a Geo Metro not much later.
Our growing kitchen garden has been increasingly organic and sustainable since the early 90s, and we have resisted the trend toward more and bigger in housing and other choices since then as well. I look for ways to do without petroleum-based products and other chemicals, and, perhaps the most far-reaching change: we put more of our spending in the local economy to reduce shipping and packaging impacts.
There’s so much more to do, and I look forward to as much support from governmental and private sources for all kinds of alternatives. But real change comes as individuals become agents of change, subverting the monoculture of the mind which is destroying the planet.
I’ve attached a list of reading material below which I have found useful in the effort, in addition to the well-known work of Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, etc.
*****************************************************The “Gaian Consciousness” issue of ReVision Journal, 1988
Berry, Thomas. The Dream of the Earth. Sierra Club Books: San Francisco. 1988
Gore, Al. Earth In The Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, 1992
Lifton, Robert Jay. The Protean Self: Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation. Basic Books: New York. 1993
McDaniel, Jay B. Earth, Sky, Gods & Mortals: Developing An Ecological Spirituality. Twenty-Third Publications: Mystic, CT. 1990
McFague, Sallie. Models of God: Theology for An Ecological, Nuclear Age. Fortress Press: Philadelphia. 1987
McFague, Sallie. The Body of God: An Ecological Theology. Fortress Press: Minneapolis. 1993
Roszak, Theodore. Person/Planet: The Creative Disintegration of Industrial Society. Anchor: NY. 1978
Roszak, Theodore. The Unfinished Animal: The Aquarian Frontier and the Evolution of Consciousness
Roszak, Theodore. The Voice of The Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone: New York. 1993371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 3:41 PM [General]
I've been captivated this year like never before by the Times Square dropping of the ball at New Year's Eve...
As if it has become for me a great seed...
the mind descending...,
into the heart.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 10:26 AM [General]
I am telling friends how to create microclimates for growing plants here in a cold frame through February and March… hooray for the greenhouse effect!
When I am “polarized” I am rigid and immobile; my yoga of reflection allows me to flow with experience
We come to a place as “adults” where continued growth and development is waiting to be consciously directed (co-created); our lives push to grow-on, and wait for our own cooperation in the emergence of mindfulness…
Reading the scriptures I learn… how to read… my own experience
It is quite unrealistic, I think, to expect one religious or spiritual tradition to do it all…
Journal-keeping allows me to “let my life speak.”
I am a member of a sangha unseen, yet heard in the words of so many others…
Beliefs may activate faith, but it thrives and endures in active cultivation of experience…
On being “born again”: after awhile you see that it is “nothing special,” … and this ok.
I am co-creating insight; participating in my own spiritual guidance…
My path is paved with steppingstones from many ways… I am a spiritual cobbler.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 9:32 AM [General]
When I was a kid my mother would sometimes write out what she needed to vent about to a family member. She may have actually mailed some of these expressions, but I remember that she often would put them in a drawer or toss them in the trash, and that disappointed me. She turned later to painting as a medium for expression, but I always think of my mother's lost notes when reflecting on my own writing.
Later, after several years of experience with Christian fundamentalism in the early 70s, I began to write down my own thoughts during the work day. At home I would then collect the scraps of paper into a drawer, and I remember feeling that it would be a mistake to trash any of these small notes. Over the next few years they multiplied until I began entering them into a black-and-white marble composition book, backdated to the best of my recollection. I still have that first journal book, as well as the nineteen other volumes which followed from that time in 1980.
During the late 80s I began to keep my daily journal (still based on notes stuffed in pockets throughout the day) on 3.5 inch floppy disks, and to transcribe the earlier volumes from journal books to PC. In 1996 I went paperless altogether, using a microcasette recorder to note my thoughts, memories, ideas and experiences of the day. Now I'm back to the notes-in-pockets routine, having grown tired of the distraction and maintenance associated with the recorder. My journal document is thousands of pages long, and the bulk of paper journal entries remain to be transcribed.
Around 2001 I became aware of several strands appearing regularly in my journal practice. I created new documents for these and began copying journal entries into them from the main document. These have helped me to write regularly; the insights gained along the way are reflected in everything I've written since then about Light, Anger and Acceptance, Faith, Fundamentalism and The 60s, My Backyard, and, Dreams. Maybe these will become chapters in a book, but many authors have been of help in my journal-keeping practice and I am acknowledging them here:
Ira Progoff, "At A Journal Workshop"
Maria L. Santa-Maria, "Growth Through Meditation and Journal Writing"
Christina Baldwin, "Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest"
George F. Simons, "Keeping Your Personal Journal"
Tristine Rainer, "The New Diary"
Christian Koontz, "The Living Journal"
Anne Broyles, "Journaling: A Spirit Journey"
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