Daniel Day 39 – Review

From ACIM:

  • …He (God) will be heard when you place no other gods (ego stuff) before Him.
  • His Voice (God\’s) still calls you to return…
  • Reality can dawn only on an unclouded mind.
  • The miracle is the act of a Son of God (us) who has laid aside all false gods (ego stuff), and calls on his brothers to do likewise…(because) he strengthens It (God\’s Voice) in a sick brother…(because) one mind can shine into another because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark.

Today, if you hear God\’s Voice, harden not your heart (Hebrews 3:15). Christ be my light.

In the Spirit of Old Testament Daniel, I sought to complete a 40 day Daniel Fast. Here are initial goals and results:

1. I seek knowledge and understanding of all kinds; including understanding of visions (Daniel 1). I believe I see more clearly the Truth of Christ present in every human and all creation.

2. I seek to see the man dressed in linen, and to understand the Book of Truth (Daniel 10). The man in linen is The Christ in humanity and Truth is that God totally loves all of us all the time.

3. I seek to re-dedicate my life to the Kingdom; by focusing on this and nothing else. The idea that my material life is but a store front for my spirituality has deepened. This idea helps me to focus only on the Christ light as I go through each day.

4. I seek wisdom in the most basic element of my life: sustenance. I am completely unhappy that, even though I run 50 to 70 miles a week, I still gain weight. I need a spiritual break through to learn what to eat, how much and when. I am so completely unhappy instead of enjoying myself as a child of God. Accomplished.

5. I seek a spiritual basis of my life. Just trying to abstain without the power of God is meaningless, and it seems not to work. Accomplished.

6. I seek gratitude for all Jesus has done to help me. Accomplished.

7. I resolve to abstain from royal (party or junk) foods for 40 days. Accomplished!

  • Cheezits and cookies from the snack machine.
  • Processed soy products such as Chicken Patties and Steak Starters.
  • Butter, and half and half. d. Asiago bagels e. Potato Soup (preservatives)
  • Peanut butter (sugar, comfort food)
  • Salt
  • Coffee (but not tea) in order to eliminate creamer (and its chemicals)
  • Eat only unleavened, stone ground, unpreserved bread.
  • Salad dressing with preservatives.
  • Free Cell – eating while playing cards on the computer.
  • I haven’t mentioned a number of other items because I already don’t eat meat or drink alcohol.

8. What I really want to do is not cheat myself or God for 40 days. Accomplished!

10. I want to lose about 5 pounds, but the goal is God supported discipline in eating. That is, I don’t rationalize cheating because I am honoring God. I lost about 7 pounds.

I have decided to continue on with the spirit of Daniel, Ezekiel, John Baptist and Anna Prophetess praying and fasting, night and day for decades within the Temple; accompanied by Jesus of the desert, who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, resists temptation of devils and is ministered by angels. I am much happier like this.

I started this fast in a scapular of burlap with a rough cross scrawled front and back. Today I will be invested with the Benedictine scapular and dedicate my life deeper and deeper to the service of Christ and learning in the school of the Lord\’s service. A scapular was initially the monk\’s work apron. It became stylized over the centuries, but it is still for me a symbol of the yoke of Christ. Embroidered with the cross, it is a symbol of my dedication and an outer garment symbolizing the Lord\’s tent. My spirit dwells within the tent. My heart is the altar.

I want to live today with the vision of God\’s light in everyone I see. I ask Jesus for help because each moment is the work of God.

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Daniel Day 38

Only two more days of my official Daniel Fast. Except for the issue of coffee, I hope to remain in the spirit of Daniel; and Elijah, John Baptist and Anna the prophetess who fasted and prayed in the temple night and day for decades. I hope for my whole life to be God\’s temple where I remain in continuous prayer. I hope to remain a raw foodist, free from the corruption and addiction of society\’s food. I mean society\’s food on several levels: body, mind and spirit.

From ACIM:

  • It is not my (Jesus\’) merit that I contribute to you but my love, for you do not value yourself.
  • …my (Jesus\’) value of you can heal you (your mind)…
  • Peace comes from God through me (Jesus) to you.
  • When a brother is sick (sickness originates in the mind) it is because he is not asking for peace…
  • My peace I give to you…though you may not ask…
  • The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion (denial of the ego world and thought system), and sickness is an illusion.
  • I (Jesus) will heal you merely because I have one message and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me.
  • You could accept peace now for everyone, and offer them perfect freedom from all illusions because you heard His Voice.

In the Rule of Benedict it says:

  • …seek after peace and pursue it…
  • …let us hear with awestruck ears what the divine voice, crying out daily, doth admonish us…

I learned this morning how the mechanism works whereby I switch from the Holy Spirit\’s thought system to the ego\’s thought system. The reason I am interested is because believing and acting on the ego\’s thoughts cause me to be afraid, hateful and angry; essentially living in a hellish prison. The Holy Spirit\’s thoughts give me abundant freedom, life, love and peace; Heaven right now.

Out of the blue, two days ago, a recruiter called me to see if I was interested in an environmental job in the Kansas City area. I engaged with the recruiter because quite possibly I would like to move back to Kansas City. This morning, I began to feel stresss and fear: how will I schedule interviews, who would I ask to be references, what would I do with my house in Atchison, I don\’t want to commute again, where would I get an apartment, what if I don\’t like it, etc… I feared that I was not worth the salary it would take to get me to move. I fear that if I don\’t take this job and my current company went out of business, I\’d be out of work.

I had ACIM open before me and I shut my eyes for prayer. I asked Jesus for help. I realized that this situation appeared out of the blue. I don\’t have to worry because if it is a gift from the Holy Spirit, everything will work out smoothly. It is not necessary for me to start worrying about it. VERY IMPORTANT was this: I have peace if I sit at my table and pray. I do not have peace if I project into the future all the things that could happen. The moment I leave the peace of this moment is the moment when I switch from the Holy Spirit to ego.

The healing peace of Jesus is in this moment. The love of Jesus is in this moment. Freedom from ego prison is in this moment. Somehow, human beings created themselves and left Heaven and God. This happened historically, but it also happens all the time right now. We keep doing it. We leave Heaven and God every time we choose ego intead of Holy Spirit. I make the ego choice over and over many times a day. It is only when I become conscious of the switching moments that I am able to stop and remain in peace. Jesus will help me with this awareness.

I want Jesus\’ help so I completely let go of things (like job changes) and let the Holy Spirit decide. I stop switching and put complete trust in God.

An alcoholic might say the Serenity Prayer, \”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…\” Most people say this prayer thinking they are enduring a bad situation. But I say it with the realization that the thing I can\’t change is God\’s love for me and Jesus\’ healing help and the Holy Spirit\’s peace and guidance. If I accept God\’s love, then I have true serenity. Don\’t say the Serenity Prayer because your ego isn\’t getting its way and you are upset. Say it because you want to remember and feel and know God\’s love. That is the one thing in the universe that never changes.

Daniel Day 29

  • …judgment is the setting of a price…to price is to value…your return is in proportion to your judgment of worth.
  • …you cannot be grateful for what you do not value.
  • Valuing it little, you will not appreciate it and you will not want it.
  • …see only truth (in that brother) beside you…

Yesterday, I went to Lauds and Mass at the Benedictine monastery up the street. I went there because a) I did not feel like to frenetic drive to the city and b) I am considering associating myself with the monastery by becoming an oblate. I spent much thought yesterday listening to my ego\’s reasons for becoming an oblate: how the shiny oblate medal and my picture in their newsletter will vindicate my previous failure to become a sister at a different monastery. But, the Holy Spirit has reasons too and it is these which I am discerning: commitment, love, ACIM forgiveness, and peace are the primary ones. As I am able to stop judging these religious women and love them instead, my ego is dethroned and I find myself healed also.

As I lay on my bed last night, I realized how I have never wanted anything from my heart. In my life, my ego has sought after accomplishments for its own grandiosity. All ego achievements turn out to be cheap shiny medals; which we quickly cast aside and search for something greater. I want to want oblation because I love God and I love Christ in these people. I want to value something before I die. I want to do something honestly before I die. Do I commit to life in the world as a Benedictine? (you ACIM people would appreciate the philosophical overlap)

I have recently thought my life on this planet was optional; that is, I have no family or commitments so who cares if I am alive. Yet, I see today that this clearly shows how I do not value myself or the role I must have in God\’s creation, or God would not have created me. Not valuing myself, I in fact have lived with the ego\’s consciousness which hates me. Hating myself, I hate all others as well. This is the separation which the Holy Spirit offers to heal. I can\’t do it myself.

Well, I am on a 40 day Daniel Fast; although, I\’ve noticed that sometimes I don\’t focus on it. These next 10 days, I need to regain the Spirit of Daniel (who refused to defile himself and clung fiercely to God). I also know that I am much happier eating the way I am now. Nothing nutritional is missing and there is not too much. By going about it with spirituality, I have broken a habit. The habit is an unhappy thought pattern which causes me to eat too much and eat stuff that causes a craving for more. Even processed vegetarian foods do this. Leavened bread has sweetener in it and that makes me wonder if that even is the cause for desiring it. So, I have a decision to make. At the end of 40 days, do I commit to maintaining the eating pattern indefinitely? I know any deviation causes unhappiness. Even when I eat something that I think is a treat, it isn\’t as good as my ego makes it out to be. So in these days of fasting, my ego has been dethroned. I have been food sober.

I feel trepidation to ask God for a lasting strength to keep a commitment. God loves me. God is love. There should be no fear here. Yet it shows I still have to grow in the love of God. Well…the freezer is full of unleavened bread and every day I throw out a few slices of leavened bread.

Lord, have mercy on me. My life is confusing right now. The company\’s hourly workforce is on strike and managers are starting to train to operate the plant. So, my normal routine is out the window. Scarey also to see so many hard feelings, which will increase as the union figures out they aren\’t coming back on agreeable terms. My role is to be peace and forgiveness no matter what.

Daniel Day 28

  • The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response…There are many answers you have not yet heard.
  • If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me (Jesus) whose faith in you cannot be shaken.
  • Salvation is of your brother (other people)…His words are the Holy Spirit\’s answer to you…there is a light in his mind… This light can shine into yours, giving truth to his words and making you able to hear them.
  • The message your brother gives is up to you…Your decision about him determines the message you receive. Remember that the Holy Spirit is in him…

Listen. I silence my ego\’s yammering voice and try to listen to another, quieter Voice. I try to be at peace with others, listen to them and get along. ACIM forgiveness is really a practice of remembering that the Holy Spirit and the Light of God, are in other people. As I see it in them, I will know it in myself; and we all proceed to Heaven. Any other way is of the ego and keeps us firmly in the ego world. One good thing is that if you forget to see the light in any situation, you can later go back in your thoughts and rearrange them according to the Holy Spirit\’s guidance.

I don\’t know about you; but I don\’t really like it here.

Yesterday I had much time to ponder. I was fasting and noticing that I wanted to eat to kill time. I listened to the little voice desiring to stuff food in its mouth. With my hands and eyes and thoughts, I was copying Psalms into a book. This kept me occupied long enough to realize that nothing outside of God will satisfy me. My ego is never satisfied. Any ambivalence in my thinking is due to confusion over what I should be \”doing.\” Doing doesn\’t matter to the Holy Spirit; meaning and the content of doing matters. The truth is presented as meaning. It is known, not done. Nothing outside of God will satisfy. I am a spirit and only Spirit can satisfy me; not rewards, not recognition, not religion, not food. God alone.

So, I sit quietly. I copy Psalms. I listen.

Daniel Day 21 – Vows

  • …the ego\’s temple thus becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit, where devotion to Him replaces devotion to the ego. In this sense the body does become a temple to God; His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.

The past week or so, I have had the distinct feeling that my life is not my own. My war against The Church suddenly ended, leaving me wondering what it was all about. I wondered if my anger was a strange sickness suddenly healed, or a demon suddenly cast out. Further, I spent my day Saturday at a nearby monastery (actually, I live just down the street). I have never really liked that place, but yesterday, I was listening happily to talks by the sisters and appreciating the new people I met.

I spent nearly four years of my life in formation with a Benedictine community (different than this one near my house). However, the day before I was to make my vow, I found my life suddenly upended as I was asked to leave. It was strange, but I am sure it was an intervention of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit\’s purposes. But suddenly, all that Benedictine teaching was meaningless as I put my life back together out here in the world. I knew I was a monk; having no interest in family life and wanting to spend all my time on contemplative prayer. But, I had no connection to being a Benedictine in my solitary life.

One thing, however, that always fascinated me was Benedict\’s 12 steps of humility. There is also Guigo\’s ladder for monks, with 12 rungs. I always saw ways to connect these to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Just as Benedict saw the entire universe in a single ray of light and a Buddhist might see it in an apple; I see it in 12 steps. 12 steps to where? Conscious contact with a Power Greater Than Myself.

In the monastery, as you approach making your vows, they give you a special piece of paper and you hand write out the vows. I wrote out my intention to remain faithful to the Benedictine vows of obedience, stability and conversatio. As I wrote these out, I felt God standing over my shoulder and I knew He was taking them seriously from that moment. Early in the morning before I was told to leave the monastery, I had an intuition that such a thing could happen. I told God that I would be faithful to the vows whether I carried them out in the monastery or out of it.

I have kept them in a strange way. Obedience is to the Spirit\’s leading, to shamelessly follow Jesus, even when it seemed away from what I had been taught by authorities. Stability to contemplation, ongoing consistency in silent meditation and the humble worship that implies. Conversatio (conversion of morals) is the ongoing practice of taking my ego thought inventory and offering it to the healing light of Jesus.

On Saturday, as I listened to talks by the sisters, it began to dawn on me that maybe they could help me figure out why God made me a Benedictine. I\’m not ever going to be a nun; but for some reason, I went completely through a Benedictine formation program. The Spirit does not waste things. So why this?

I don\’t know; maybe though I have a way to learn.