Death unfrightening once wisdom grows

Death doesn’t seem to scare me as much as it used to. I mean, I see it as a transition, and not an ending. In some ways, it will be a welcome “new adventure” if you think about it in spiritual terms.

No, I’m not talking about heaven and hell like the Catholic nuns and priests preached to me as a kid at St. Ludwig’s Roman Catholic Church where I served as an altar boy and wanted to be a priest until I discovered girls. I’m talking about a transition to a “way station,” a place where your spirit — or soul — ascends to meet with higher spirits or what some might call Ascended Masters. Continue reading

Calling all ‘Spiritual Soldiers of Fortune’

I believe that I have become a “spiritual soldier of fortune” and would travel anywhere my heart beckons me to learn, to pray and to find answers about the universe.

I got an inkling of this calling when I was a teenager. It came about when I was 18, just out of high school and experimenting with grass and LSD. Timothy Leary enticed me with his message in the 1960s, advising all to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” I turned on and tuned into the message, but couldn’t afford to drop out because I was from a working class family that saw work as a way out of poverty and into the middle class. Continue reading

Lucid dream opens a new world to explore

I dreamed a lucid dream for the first time in my life last night.

I’ve tried to experience a lucid dream– one where you tell yourself in the dream that you are dreaming — for more than five years after reading about dream interpretations by Carl G. Jung, the eminent psychiatrist who studied with Sigmund Freud. Continue reading

I’ll be One when I finally let myself ‘let go’

Is “letting go” a feminine trait?

Is it in the same category as “surrender” or “submit” — actions deemed by some son of a bitch to be “unmanly”? Continue reading

Who had the biggest impact on your life?

The person who had the biggest impact on my life was my second wife. She had a 157 IQ, but never once acted as if she was better than me. She easily got angry at injustices, and would on occasion lash out against the hypocrisy of politicians, while helping the underprivileged and the rights of women in a male-dominated society. Continue reading

What is awakening my senses now-a-days?

I got hit upside the head today.

Next, the sweet fragrance of roses mixed with just a slight tinge of oranges enticed my senses while meditating.

This followed the experience yesterday of missing keys mysteriously reappearing as I puzzled through my new life journey of “unnatural” awareness.

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Healing others starts first with healing self

The guru then made the following announcement, quoting the feminine deity: Moor Jani:

We all have the capacity to heal ourselves as well as facilitate the healing of others. When we get in touch with that infinite place within us where we are Whole, then illness can’t remain in the body. And because we’re all connected, there’s no reason why one person’s state of wellness can’t touch others. Elevating them and triggering their recovery. And when we heal others, we also heal ourselves and our planet.

 There is no separation except in our own minds.

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Learning a ‘Little Greek’ from Francesco

What did I learn about Francis of Assisi while researching the facts about his life?

He wanted to grow up to be a crusader and fight in the Crusades which had gone on for some one hundred years when he was born in 2081 or 2082.

Francis fought in a battle between the city-state of Assisi and its neighboring town of Perugia, which sided with the nobility and wanted to continue with the feudal system. Continue reading

Ups & downs of life provide me lessons

When you’re down and feel like nothing, God is usually up to something just for you.

That’s a saying on a church sign outside of Philadelphia hat I edited and slightly changed and can safely say is now mine. Continue reading

Growing up with Catholic Sisters (Nuns)!

While growing up in a Catholic School, I met all kinds of nuns. Some I liked more than others. I was kind of like the class clown, or a class-clown wannabe, and got called out by many of the good teachers wearing the black coverings with the bullet-proof white vests covering their chests. I went to Saint Ludwig’s, a church school in what was then a predominantly German neighborhood of North Philadelphia called “Brewerytown.” Continue reading

Ithaca Insights serve up peace & calm

How may I serve you?

 That’s the key to a happy life, you know. Learning to serve others selflessly with no expectation of a reward other than the knowledge you are doing unto others something you’d want them to do . . . unto everyone else.

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Francis of Assisi; awakening him by a novel

I am about to be an author!

Well, a “published” author, that is . . .

I just learned that my book about Francis of Assisi, a historic novel, will be available at Amazon sometime in the next two months, September and October (2014). Writing it was a true labor of love. I mixed in Catholicism with Sufism and lots of Buddhism. I also introduced Francis, aka Giovanni di Bernadone, his real name by the way, to the Wisdom of Kabbalah and a belief in what I call “angel therapy.” Continue reading

Hoping for a lofty goal, I write a lot & often

(Question 2 on Hope)
You may also have experienced this kind of hope, (See https://contoveros.wordpress.com/?p=12505&preview=true) but not thought of it in those terms. Think of a time when you felt sure you were going to attain a lofty goal, even though the path to the goal was not apparent. That is the hope that comes from your being. Describe this feeling of certainty in your journal. – Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience (Feeling Hope)

I was a buck private in training as a soldier in Fort Dix, NJ, when I had a vision or what Zen Buddhists call a “satori” or moment of clarity of what I needed to do with my life.

I needed and wanted to write a book. Continue reading

Hope fills your presence and your future

We introduced a new understanding of hope today. We want to build a sense of hope that is a force of change that comes from a feeling of certainty and well-being within, rather than an anxious kind of hope that vaguely wishes for things to turn out well. Write about an experience you may have had with this stronger kind of hope. – Deepak Chopra (Day 6 — Feeling Hope) 

I don’t think you can have a future or any type of “end product” without hope. I see hope more as a process, a living force that flows from day-to-day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. We hope for something that will come into existence in some future time. Yet the feeling we get through the act of hope occurs in the present.

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NaNoWriMo done in 30 days, thank God

Just finished 73,000 words about Francesco, the young man from Assisi who overcame post traumatic stress from battles as well as a year-long imprisonment before being ransomed by his rich mercantile father. Continue reading

Sweat Lodge reveals many Creative Spirits

It took several hours for the effects of the Sweat Lodge ceremony to kick in, but when it did I realized the control I always thought I needed was not in my hands, but in what the Greeks called the Fates; the Christians, God; and the Buddhists, Karma.
A Divine source, refered by some as the “Force,” the Divine Feminine,” the Creator, has dealt a hand to play with our own free will. We get to choose which cards to keep and the ones to discard. By standing pat or by seeking new ones to “change our luck” or to improve our hand, we cast our lot to the future. None of us expect to lose or to face tragedy or a financial crisis. We hope for improvement, to enrich ourselves through our card-playing skill and years of studying the game of life. Continue reading

Friar Pope champions single moms, Chastises clergy for shutting ’em out

He’s at it again. This time, the Friar Pope is championing what I call the “untouchable class” of Catholics, the single mother, also known throughout Christianity’s Dark Ages as the “UN – WED  MOTHER.”

(Funny, but those dark ages seem like only yesterday!) Continue reading

Doors are Opening for All Doing Good!

There’s a passage in Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus’ disciples complain that someone — one who is not one of them — is casting out demons in Jesus’ name. It seems that fundamentalists of all ages have held a belief that there was only one way to get to the kingdom; only one way, and that was through Jesus. Continue reading

Happy Mothers’ Day, Poor Little Thérèse

How could I – a mother of two with a 10-year drug problem – be facing a life sentence for something stupid I did at the local Rite Aid store? Continue reading

Being present for the dying brings all alive

Death entered into my life recently and I have never felt more alive than with — and in — its presence. Continue reading

Only the Pure in Heart Will See their Goal

Purity. There’s something in it that resonates with me. In my private moments, I try my best to connect with it, but once I start to analyze it, it vanishes. Continue reading

Exercise Gets Me Higher, Step by Step

I get such a high while exercising that I can’t imagine why I haven’t done this more often in life. Continue reading

A change in time helps change my reality

Reality shifted on me the other day, and it helped me realize that I have more control than my “preshifted” thoughts allowed me to see. Now, with a “time-control outlook,” I can try to change my world for the better. Continue reading

Don’t ‘better’ yourself by berating another

I was seething when I saw my former US senator decry Blacks receiving food stamps from the government. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania told an Iowa audience this week that he would tackle this “race problem” if elected president, thus echoing the sentiments of his old congressional colleague, Newt Gingrich, who suggested poor students in city schools clean the bathrooms for their more affluent ones, rather than grow up to be pimps or prostitutes. Continue reading

Recalling childhood angels with dirty faces

I can think of no worse place to be than in a church, a temple or a synagogue when an unbidden and involuntary giggle would invade my psyche and take control of me. A “giggle,” is too mild a word: uncontrollable laughter would rise to the level of guffaws and downright knee-slappers’ right at the most somber parts of a religious service. Continue reading

Reaching Higher In Women’s Company

I love women. I’ll take them in all shapes and sizes, the old and the young, the rich and the poor.

If it wasn’t for women, I — and a lot of guys I know — wouldn’t even be here! Continue reading

All I Want For Christmas Is . . . Nothing!

Am I un-American or anti-religious when I tell you something I’ve been trying to say for years, but have been afraid of hurting your feelings?

I want nothing for Christmas! Continue reading

Indulgences for Purgatory from Past Lives

(Caution: Exposure to this post could be hazardous to your health, particularly if you were raised Catholic with a taste of Buddhist and Kabalistic ingredients thrown in the mix.)

Indulgences are some things I never thought I’d think about once I finished with my Catholic upbringing and moved onto Eastern Studies and the spiritual advice from the Kabbalah. But, there I was reading how someone could limit their time in purgatory by performing certain acts and saying prayers. Continue reading

Joseph’s Pregnant Conversion

Did you hear what I said? I’m pregnant, Joseph. Aren’t you going to say anything?

What’s there to say? You tell me an angel “appeared” and “announced” you were with child . . . You ask me to believe no man had anything to do with this. Continue reading

Begging Your Pardon, I Can See You Now

I saw more of the Divine in a beggar on the road to Calvary last year than I did in the three religions occupying Jerusalem. The beggar’s blindness beamed into me, and I’ll never forget the look on his face as I offered him Israeli shekels, and he bowed to me in thanks.
Continue reading

Open my Vessel for ALL Lights to Shine

Thank God for Buddhism. What’s that you say? I can’t have one in, and of, the other?

Are you telling this red-blooded American veteran that I cannot follow the teachings of the Buddha and still believe in the God of Abraham? Continue reading

Giving Thanks For Feeling So Grateful

I want to give “thanks,” today, but don’t want to offer it the Norman-Rockwell, “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” way of the holidays. Instead, I want to share how grateful I am for such taken-for-granted “gifts” that I am only beginning to realize most of us have been given. Continue reading

My Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi

I want to follow and not lead; give and not take; love and not hate.

Like you, I want to be a soldier of peace and not war; a kind and loving friend to the poor and a prodding yet mild abrasion to the rich. Continue reading

A noble banker needs to occupy here

Is there a noble banker in the world? Only someone in the lending business who sees his calling as a “service for the people,” I believe, could correct past abuses and recommend changes for, and in the best interests of, us “99 percenters.” Continue reading

Wall Street profits no man’s soul

The phone rang and Henry Rushing answered it, hoping the call would not delay his weekly trip to church services Sunday morning. The pastor of his Presbyterian Church was on the line. “Henry, you got to prepare yourself,” the cleric said in his most comforting voice. “There are demonstrators outside our building protesting. Their signs have your name on it, and they’re not too charitable with what they’re alleging.” Continue reading

These are true signs of our times

When I read the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were unfocused and without a coherent message, I took a closer look at them in Philadelphia, and disvovered some were disheveled street persons looking for handouts, and one a graduate school political science major spouting Marxist teachings.

They represented only one percent.

The 99 percent of the other protestors were mostly young, highly educated unemployed or underemployed men and women who got tired of the debt-ceiling fiasco and took to the streets to mobilize against the Tea Party followers. Continue reading

For the signs they are a’changing

(From Part I, These are true signs of our Times/)

The greatest protest of our generation is seeking change in all shapes and sizes. You can see it in the signs the demonstrators carry, writing the letters out really big with magic markers so that passersby need not squint to get the messages.

There is not just one message, but many, which all have one thing in common: a belief that our world can do better for all and not  just the few Continue reading

Choosing Death So Others May Live

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of their country. They took  their own lives when soldiers of the army set up quarters in Tibetan monasteries.

How could anyone do such a thing?

They must have been in intense pain. Or, they were offering overwhelming love. Continue reading

Grant me a world of group friends, Amen!

As my world started to close in on me, demanding its immediate attention toward responsibilities, affairs of work, and needs in my house, I found an oasis inside of my self and in the thoughts of friends in my group.

Now, this ain’t just any ordinary group. It’s one where members have placed the concerns and desires of others above their own. It is a group of men and women, old and young, rich and poor, who have made altruism their guiding principle. Continue reading

WHY I AM A DEMOCRAT

Why am I a Democrat?

I was born this way. No, that’s not right. I was raised this way. No, that’s not quite right either. I chose to be a Democrat. Continue reading