Friday, May 16, 2014. There were a number of events at McD this morning that normally would have distracted me, and did not. This suggests that presence is becoming habitual — as is focus on my goals. But there may be more involved.
Roy and Jimmy sat in a booth near me, and Roy was complaining that the clothes they give him at the clothes window at the shelter aren’t always the right size. He also, to my amazement, complained about the food. I answered him silently, “If you were focused on advancing your own situation, you wouldn’t be concerned about those things.”
In the past, it has been a powerful distraction to me (scandal, offense) that so many men around me have no interest in improving their lives.
Continue reading My cup runneth over
“The kingdom is not coming with signs to be observed.”
Continue reading I do not believe in great causes.
Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”
Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”
Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.
I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.
These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor
In many cases, you can strip away the fictions surrounding a legendary figure, and discover the historical original.
For example, there probably was a King Arthur.
Troy was a real place, and the Trojan War a real event. Achilles, Odysseus and Agamemnon were probably real people.
What about the Jesus of the Bible?
Circumstantial evidence exists to suggest there probably was such a person. Textual evidences are available to suggest what he may have been like. He may or may not have been as Christianity presents.
Continue reading Was there a Jesus? If so, what was he like?
Another link from Brian Williard:
Growing up, all the word “Stoic” meant to me was keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity.
Not until 1989, when I was taking the Synoptics course at St. Mary’s Seminary, did I learn — from Sean Freyne’s The World of the New Testament, which I highly recommend for many reasons — that there is a great deal more to it, including much to like.
Stoicism is a life of ordered joy.
As you read this article, please note the many similarities between the approach to life described there, and the things I have said here about presence.
Carolyn Gregoire also wrote the first article I mentioned about emotional intelligence, “How emotionally intelligent are you?”
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And yet another link from Brian Williard:
Google’s ‘Jolly Good Fellow’ On The Power Of Emotional Intelligence
Looks like links to Carolyn Gregoire are becoming pretty common on this blog.
Don’t scoff at the headline. From the gentleman in question here, Chade-Meng Tan, comes another ringing endorsement of meditation and presence as I have discussed them. I note that the first exercise described in the article is tantamount to what I call prayer, and practically the same as I proposed in “You don’t need an invitation to love people.”
(Originally posted 2014-06-21.)
The fact that you’re afraid of it
doesn’t mean it exists.
Continue reading The Bogeyman
With Amy Dickinson’s permission, I am copying here below the whole of her column for today. All three letters touch dramatically on principles I associate with presence, including “Keep the focus on you,” “Mind your own business,” and “Don’t come uninvited.”
DEAR AMY: My fiance’s mother is a monster. He gets upset any time they speak. The latest incident was because he had not been in touch with her since Christmas.
Continue reading Ask Amy: Inflating the drama won’t help fiance deal with mother
(Originally posted 08/15/13 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 05/21/14.)
[Note, 08/15/13: Releasing this now as I will have another post on similar topics in the very near future.]
Wednesday afternoon 07/03/13 I stepped into the shower and said, “OK, what will I think about?” The answer came, “Think about nothing. Give yourself completely to this activity, this experience.”
And at once, for the first time in weeks, I felt the boost that comes from conserving one’s energies, when they are no longer being drained by attention to things distant from here and now and what I myself can do.
This is the power of presence.
[Notes to follow up on in the future:
– Scott Morrison
– Brother Lawrence: silence; feelings
– Forgive us our trespasses
– Take no thought
– The needle’s eye
– Just for today
– Serenity prayer
– Be here now
– Wherever you go, there you are
– Conspiracy Theorists: America’s Lost Sheep?
– Was There a Jesus? If So, What Was He Like?]