Seeing a Divine Hand in the Worst of Times

God works in mysterious ways.
Put another way, the Universe will conspire to bring about what you really want and need in life, even though you may not know it when the Divine Intervention takes place.
Or even like it. The intervention that is. And on first blush, it may even seem bad but you realize on reflection it had to have happened for you to progress in life. Continue reading

Karma enlightens Groundhog Day movie

Groundhog Day” is the movie starring Bill Murray who visits Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where he is destined to live each day over and over for what seems like eternity. It’s message is one of Karma and reincarnation, particularly when one realizes that the director and co-screen-writer was a practicing Buddhist named Harold Remis. Continue reading

Blast from the past: the nuclear bomb desk

I will never forget my old wooden desk in grade school and the drills we held in order to protect us from a nuclear blast. The nuns from St. Ludwig’s Catholic School ordered us to get out of our seats and to curl up beneath the desks where we practiced the silence of Benedictine monks. Someone had pulled down the shades over the wide windows of the second-floor room and we sat for long minutes that felt like hours. Continue reading

Guidance from Above seen from a distance

Are there moments in our life when we can see God’s fingerprints or the Will of the Universe directing us along our path? I’m talking about seeing such a Divine event as it is occurring or upon hindsight years later.

That’s the question raised by a group of my friends at the Spiritual Sharing Circle that meets once a month at the Center for Contemporary Mysticism in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Continue reading

Father Koenig’s life lessons at St. Ludwig’s

Father Koenig put the gloves on me when I was ten years old and directed me toward the kid who was my same size but some two years older. That kid – Billy McLaughlin –  kicked my butt. But I never cried or gave up as I swung wildly at him in efforts to land my own punches. Continue reading

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

Gifts from within that we all might share

Ever wonder what you can do to be more like the person you always aspired to be? You know, the one you hoped you would grow up to be, but didn’t get the chance because life seemed to hit you upside your head and throw you off course? Continue reading

Please take me back my love; I need you so!

I miss you. My God, how I have missed you!

It feels like forever since we’ve been together.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I know that it’s my fault. I walked out on you believing I could get along without you, without your guidance without your help. Without your love . . . Continue reading

State of Our Spiritual Union is Flourishing

The State of Our Spiritual Union is flourishing.

Seeds planted in the 1960s have flowered, and the Age of Aquarius has finally dawned on the world, awakening many of us to a new way of living, a new way of forgiving. The first signs of this new enlightenment began in the 1990s as the Berlin Wall fell, God revealed secrets in the Celestial Prophecy and the mystical Wisdom of Kabbalah was made known to non-Jews and all women, regardless of age or religious backgrounds. 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.

Continue reading

Mystery key opens door to new adventure

A spirit touched me today. Or, rather, the spirit touched the pair of jeans I had worn the day before and left on a chair after removing them before going to sleep. When I awoke and put the jeans back on, I got the surprise of my life. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

‘Israel’ directs Francis “toward” the Creator

Kabbalah’s Definition of “Israel”

(From an excerpt of new book, St. Francis of Assisi, A Novel Awakening to Lady Poverty)

By Contoveros

Writing as Francesco di Bernadone

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Fuzzy needs Kabbalah Group to grow by

(Unpublished Kabbalah story from Feb. 18, 2011)

Fuzzy needs Group to glow bright

Fuzzy was a Fuzz Ball that wanted to give love to whom ever he met. It all started when he felt a point in the heart materialize, and a wish to bestow came over him.

He’d give love here, there, just about everywhere, every day to every body he came into contact with. After all, he had thousands of tiny fuzz balls to give away. He’d pluck ‘em from his round little body and pass them on trying to ease pain here, create a smile there. Continue reading

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

Spiritual love flows on, says the Maiden

(Continued from What’s next for love’s mysterious ways?)

The Maiden of Athena to the Foolish Knight:

Is this not, yet another spiritual practice for you?

 For me too.

 I think it is very possible, even natural, to go from one form of love to another. And back again, and forward again.
 You are resisting the flow of things, that is for sure. I think, my very good friend, you must go to your countrymen for answers. The Greeks. The Greeks!
 I never considered the different faces of love before hearing of Eros, Philia, Agape, and Storge. I never made the connection between “platonic love” and Plato. My goodness, I didn’t know any of these distinctions, and they are so nice.
 Why?
 Because they are freeing. 
Love can have many forms. There is no right form. These are the distinctions the Greeks made. For me, just the fact that love is formless is enough to set me free from its potential traps. We don’t have to cling to definitions the Greek put forth, although they are quite nice!
 
Why does love die?
Because we have an image of it. We trap it. We trap it in the form in which we think it belongs. We do not let it transform itself. We annihilate it. 
When it rains and the it stops raining, do we become sad and doubtful that we will never see rain in its purest form again? Where is it? It has filled the lakes and oceans of the Earth. The process of condensation begins, and the water becomes vapor and it becomes one with the atmosphere again. We don’t necessarily perceive this process. And then it rains again. Water has so many forms. Because it has changed form, has it died? Isn’t that THE question. The BIG question. The form has changed, the thing has transmuted, it has taken a different shape, and it will become something else, but it has not died. When a single raindrop hits the surface of the ocean, has it died? Such is the rain, such is the soul.
 
Didn’t someone say that upon observing the lotus flower, you can become wise? So it is with all the natural processes. 
Love, too. 
We don’t have to discipline ourselves because there is discipline in the world. 
Love is so concentrated when it’s passionate. It has an earthly form, the form of the person who we direct it towards. Is this sustainable? No. Is anything? No. Forms change. 
Don’t resist the flow. Your love will be a spiritual love yet again.
See below for the question the wise maiden answers here:

What’s next for love’s mysterious ways?

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

God needs no out-of-body experience

Too often I hear someone talk about an “out-of-body” experience as if it was the greatest thing since, I don’t know, the invention of peanut butter. Astral projection is another feat persons speak of  in hushed tones as if their trip from one place to another meant everything in the world.

Well, I’m here to tell you there ain’t nothing like the good old fashioned “In-Body” experience to get the blood rushing and the ecstasy flowing. “It’s your body now, stupid.” You don’t have to go chasing some Holy Grail to find the answer “out there.” It’s here and it’s now. Continue reading

Don’t let me believe in all my thoughts

I’m so scared because I don’t know what to do, nor who to turn to. Flashes of insights, intuition and a “knowing” that borders on the psychic has arisen in me and I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. 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

I wish all compassion found in meditation

On February 5th, 2012, a friend who calls herself, the Frugal Xpatcommented: “I always wanted to meditate . . .

I didn’t respond to the comment until now, but want to share how everyone could enjoy this exercise  the frugal expat spoke of  in Daily Meditation Desperately Needed. As she describes her life’s quest, she is on “An expat’s journey in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.” Continue reading

Let the superfluous go, cruise a freeway

Shifting into cruise control, I let myself glide through many of life’s activities nowadays. I relax, take several deep breaths and seek a place inside where there are no thoughts, no worries, and no frets. Continue reading

Where is the boy I left home for the war?

I knew a boy

Who went to war

And left his home

Behind him.

I knew him well,

That boy was me

And now I cannot

Find him.

— A Vietnam veteran’s tweak of a World War II sailor’s song about war
(Photo of this young World War I “Doughboy” courtesy of greatwar.nl/oldsoldiers/lloydcleme… )

Greet your road with love and compassion

I’ve taken compassion on the road. Literally!

I send affection to motorists cut off by a speeding car that winds in and out of lanes. I feel for the driver who was never told by the operator of a car in front that that operator was going to turn, despite what appears to be working lights that turn on and off when you press the turn signal lever up or down. Continue reading

Abide in the moment you just completed

I am complete.

I am finished.

I’ve done what I have done and everyone can be satisfied with my efforts, including — and most importantly — me. Continue reading

Omega opens doors to lost PTSD veterans

I didn’t want to go back to Omega Institute this year. Each time I travelled to this land of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, I’d get high from the holistic experience. But then I’d change into an Ichabod Crane feeling chased by the Headless Horseman who’d tell true life stories that caused so much pain I couldn’t hold it inside. Continue reading

Mindfully cleaning pot helps cleanse mind

Cleaning a pot can be very meaningful, particularly if you block out all thoughts and concentrate on nothing but you and the instrument that has helped provide you with so much nourishment. 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

Mammy, can you hear? It’s your little boy

There is a tradition in Eastern philosophies where you’re taught to view each person and other sentient being as if he, she – or it – is your mother. I never knew how nurturing this could be until I allowed the child in me to reciprocate and bask in the most secure and loving place. Continue reading

Enlightening chant charms meditation

After chanting a non-English mantra for some time, I finally learned its definition and discovered a gem of wisdom while contemplating its meaning. Meditating will never be the same, and I want to share with others a little of the enlightenment it’s provided me.

Om Mani Padme Hung. 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

Rush Limbaugh should study reproduction

We should accept Rush Limbaugh’s apology for calling a woman a slut only if he agrees to take, and pass, a course on female reproduction. Then, and only then, can we be assured that someone other than locker-room juveniles has finally taught him the real facts about the birds and the bees. Continue reading

Let Catholics ‘opt out” in birth control plan

I don’t understand all the fuss that Catholic universities and hospitals are raising over providing health care for woman that includes mandatory birth control provisions. Why not let “practicing Catholics” following the teachings of their church to “opt out” for the coverage, while permitting non-Catholics what doctors and women’s groups say is a health benefit? Continue reading

Daily Meditation Desperately Needed

It’s time for my disappearing act to begin. I close my eyes, wave an imaginary magic wand, and slowly begin to vanish from existence here. All thoughts and fears come to an end as I find protection beneath a cloak of invisibility, safe from the savages outside and the demons within. Continue reading

Messaging yourself to another generation

Ever wonder what life was like for ancestors living fifty, a hundred or even 200 years ago? How would you like to read a journal of some great, great, great-aunt forced to raise a family alone after her soldier husband had been killed in the Civil War? Like to see your great-grandfather dressed in Irish kilts speaking to you from the old country, or view a relative wearing a straw hat toasting you from America’s Roaring 20s? Continue reading

Like to change history? Try writing it

How’d you like to go back in time and correct mistakes made in the past? No, you couldn’t go back to the moment before you were conceived, or any other time in your far distant past. Go back to more recent moments – say in the past year or two — when you believed you knew so much about life and how to live it without doing harm to others. 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

Getting High With A Little Help From . . .

I got high again. I didn’t know how much I needed a “fix” until my head slumped on my chest and I “awoke” to a restful, calm and peaceful world I had been away from for what seems a lifetime. I felt refreshed, clean and somehow right despite what others might say. 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

When a criminal defendant wants to lie . . .

Someone asked me how a criminal lawyer could ever represent a person who‘s guilty.

I told ‘em that was it was easy. My job as an attorney was never to judge, but to uphold something called the Constitution.

It’s the one time, however, that a guy planned to lie to a jury that really got to me.

————————-

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

Love & Comfort Your Self on Sick Days

There’s something about getting sick on a day off that allows me to feel sorry for myself free of all guilt. I take pity on myself; I baby myself; I pamper me. Nothing prevents me from going “easy” on myself and refraining from pushing to get something done. Continue reading

Counting to ONE the ‘thought-less’ way

No matter how hard I try, I can never count to 20 before an unbidden thought arises from inside of me. I get to three or four while meditating and images pop up on an internal screen capturing my attention. I dare not try this counting method until my body and mind are both well-settled and I can “let go.” 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

My life is dependent on the rest of you

I am as dependent on you as you are on me, as we all are on the kindness and labor of others we too often take for granted.

As I look around, I see that my fortune is dependent on the cooperation and contributions of others. 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

Right to work–a state of our Union

I’m a union man. Even though I held but one adult job as a dues-paying member, I will always be a union man. Why? Because I believe it’s the truly right path for the working man to walk. 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

War is never the answer 11-11-11

On this Veterans Day, 11-11-11, what would you tell yourself if you could go back in time and greet that young man recently returned home from the war?

War is never the answer, but only a failure on all sides to reach an answer. 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

Advice to a Wall Street operative

“We all dream of a kinder, happier world. But if we wish to make it a reality, we have to ensure that compassion inspires all our actions. This is especially true with regard to our political and economic policies. Given that probably half the world’s population lacks the basic necessities of adequate food, shelter, medical care and education, I believe we need to question whether we are really pursuing the wisest course in this regard. 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

Bliss arises when I still my self in side

Ah bliss! It’s so wonderful to welcome your visit. You return when I least expect you, embracing me and bringing peace and calm just when I still myself and end needless thoughts.

Are any thoughts actually needed when I go within? I need but seek a quiet moment with no thought save the intent to be free of the past and the future, Continue reading