Friday, July 25, 2014

I will try a different path

Getting ready for work. Appreciate my new part time jobs. Life is full some parts are working some are not...I try to focus on what is working as my brain wants to focus on what is not working and take me into the Alanon storyline. Just for today I will try a different path.
Reaching out to others in the program is part of my recovery.
My sponsor is there for me and most of all I am learning to be there for myself.
HP is waiting in the wings for us all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Feeling tired today my new teaching job is till 10p. After all the excitement I often can't get to sleep
Last night I had an incredible dream. I was in a Indian Hippie restaurant wanting to leave but couldn't more events kept happening. My phone kept disappearing and I needed to make a call to Jan. It was frustrating but the people surrounding me were well intentioned. Eventually a conflict occurred between me and a group of women. They were practicing peace but were ready to do physical harm. I tried to leave to protect myself but events again got in the way.
Looking for support I enlisted one of the head gurus. She guided me and things settled down.

This dream says alot I have some support and opposing forces within me. Looking to the spiritual aspect like the program, it can help guide me. Things will settle in the end.

My life is pretty good despite my work load these days.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

As far as I can tell

I live near the ruins of an old military base from WW II.
It slowly is dissolving back into the earth, in my lifetime I am sure
it will still be standing but less so. Kids skate,  rolling on the edge. Some 
days I can walk there and notice the beauty of decay. Life is in constant motion.
My program has also moved slowly. I like to imagine life is shifting back into the authentic self that is
waiting for me already there, Buddha nature. 
One step at a time-- HP is there waiting to hold me when I can turn it over.
Times are good right now.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Foggy morning not feeling satisfied or happy...might need a break. It's difficult when working for yourself.
The program is there for me but I am sinking down reminds me of a few years ago. I have been working for a long time on a project and it seems the work is taxing although we are getting results now.
Putting this down on paper might be a way to put it in perspective. How do I take care of myself?
Sun maybe awfully foggy in the city.
Starting to feel no one cares including myself which is my old standby when things get down. The negative voices that can emerge in my head. Feelings aren't facts.
Make another call to my sponsor.
Work the steps
Self care nurture myself with attention by resting, walking, yoga.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A visitor just left I havent seen him in 12 years, his wife was a good friend. She was killed in a tragic accident in Berlin. It was difficult to see him. I miss A still after all these years....We had so many memories we shared, Eritrea walking the streets, hiking the mountains to a remote monastery picking up an accident victim blood spilling from his head. Laughter too smiling at the absurdity of life.
It was all there shared and then she was gone...and I had it all to myself no one to reminisce with.

Where does my program work with this? Life is many memories learning to not get stuck in just a few.
A will always be with me until I pass...She still makes me smile.
One day at a time.

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Zen 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mr Loneliness

Keeping things in the moment. Began reading a blog this morning the future tripping about being sober scared her...the addict is strong and looks for moments to weaken our program. One day at a time
is what I like to concentrate on otherwise the world is at odds for me.
Feeling a little anxious these days needing to get to a meeting. I reach out to my sponsor but she is busy. Might need to send her an email. Keeping the communication open for me is important needing to feel the community is there in meetings on the end of a phone. If I retreat Mr Loneliness is smiling at me from dark corners, self pity is in the fridge drinking my lemonade and I am at odds with the world. The big world is spinning round despite what goes on with me...HP is here also graciously inside us all
Time for work
one day at at time

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer in the city....rolling fog

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Zen of Faith

On the other end of the spectrum is Zen, which stubbornly resists belief in anything supernatural. As Master Bankei said, "My miracle is that when I'm hungry, I eat, and when I am tired, I sleep." Even so, a Zen proverb says that a Zen student must have great faith, great doubt, and great determination. A related Ch'an saying says the four prerequisites for practice are great faith, great doubt, great vow, and great vigor.
Common understanding of the words "faith" and "doubt" renders these sayings nonsensical. We define "faith" as an absence of doubt, and "doubt" as an absence of faith. We assume that, like air and water, they cannot occupy the same space. Yet a Zen student is encouraged to cultivate both.
Sensei Sevan Ross, director of the Chicago Zen Center, explained how faith and doubt work together in a dharma talk called "The Distance Between Faith and Doubt." Here's just a bit:
"Great Faith and Great Doubt are two ends of a spiritual walking stick. We grip one end with the grasp given to us by our Great Determination. We poke into the underbrush in the dark on our spiritual journey. This act is real spiritual practice -- gripping the Faith end and poking ahead with the Doubt end of the stick. If we have no Faith, we have no Doubt. If we have no Determination, we never pick up the stick in the first place."

Some step 12 work! on doubt

Faith and Doubt

Faith and doubt are supposed to be opposites, but the Sensei says "if we have no faith, we have no doubt." I would say, also, that true faith requires true doubt; without doubt, faith is not faith.
This kind of faith is not the same thing as certainty; it is more like trust (shraddha). This kind of doubt is not about denial and disbelief. And you can find this same understanding of faith and doubt in the writing of scholars and mystics of other religions if you look for it, even though these days we mostly hear from absolutists and dogmatists.
Faith and doubt in the religious sense are both about openness. Faith is about living in an open-hearted and courageous way and not a closed up, self-protecting way. Faith helps us overcome our fear of pain, grief and disappointment and stay open to new experience and understanding. The other kind of faith, which is a head filled up with certainty, is closed.
Pema Chodron said, "We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice." Faith is being open to what scares us.
Doubt in the religious sense acknowledges what is not understood. While it actively seeks understanding, it also accepts that understanding will never be perfect. Some Christian theologians use the word "humility" to mean about the same thing. The other kind of doubt, which causes us to fold our arms and declare that all religion is bunk, is closed.
Zen teachers talk about "beginner's mind" and "don't know mind" to describe a mind that is receptive to realization. This is the mind of faith and doubt. If we have no doubt, we have no faith. If we have no faith, we have no doubt.