Monday, July 28, 2014

Looking Forward / Making Plans / LLIB Explanation

Looking out across that minute stretch of this vast cosmos that I claim as my natural habitat, I find myself once again wondering. I wonder how some habits so quickly evaporate while still under the serge of the good feeling born of success. I wonder how I can allow myself to fight a rearguard, retreating battle on so many fronts. Where are the bold advances and flanking maneuvers that demonstrate a desire to take the fight to the enemy? "We have met the enemy. And he is us." Thank you for the reminder, Pogo. And there in lies the greatest demon of all. I have many demons demanding decisive defeat, underemployment being the second most notable among them. Fighting off an invasion of head lice is a lesser one. And when sitting down to eat, too often my concession to my health effort is to eat less among the poor choices in front of me. Most of the time, bad foods don't even come into the house. And that is the best solution most of the time. The most notable failures occur when I am away from the house.

This means I need to develop some changes in my thought processes. One of them needs to be to return to this diary process. I'm not sure how much I weigh anymore. That needs to change. I need to become aware of something more than my clothes purchased during my lowest point in weight loss are getting tight. I need to fortify my thinking process to assist my weight loss. Making a record here in this blog (eDiary really) to be accountable is part of that. Making sure I have ready access to uplifting, spiritual materials, like OA literature, church lessons, and divinely-directed materials Getting back into meditations is going to be more important than before to assist in welding the benefits of these sources into a more permanent way of thinking.

Within the bounds of my spiritual experiences as bolstered by my faith in God and expanding by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have learned that there is, for me, a need for the combination of many spiritual activities: scripture reading, prayer (family, couple, and personal), fasting (1 day, 2 day, 3 day, and extended), Family Home Evening, church attendance, temple attendance and more. This list constitutes, in my opinion, the most important activities ahead of the "and more" in terms of building and maintaining my spiritual growth. But among the "and more," meditation has the best activity for making the gain of a recent activity more permanent. And with that in mind, I am hoping to provide a one week primer in meditation from an LDS perspective. I do not claim to be an expert in any way during this discourse, only that I am seeking to share my experience while building my knowledge at this point in my own progression.

The hope of this one week is two-fold. First, to help me remember what it means to meditate. Second, to restore some semblance of returning to daily online journaling. I know that so much is possible with both of these activities. I have gained in the past from both; I want to restore and extend those gains. So, rather than committing to journaling in general, or journaling forever, I have picked a topic (mediation) and a time frame (one week) to put me back on the path to where I belong.

And with that in mind, I give unto you, my readers, my reviewers (even myself), and  my Father in Heaven most importantly, my humblest apologies. I apologize for my absence because so much might have been averted through writing or reviewing. I apologize for allowing so much of sadness to pervade my thought for so long as to allow the demon within and the demons without to reduce the strength of "the angels of [my] better nature."

Yours in the hope of the future to be obtained, re-obtained, and built into permanence,


P.S.: I preview my last lesson on meditation with this thought -

P.P.S.: I have come across a book I had not seen in quite some time. I am going to include five lines from it after every entry until I run out of instructions or interest. I hope it will be inspiring.

Here is the beginning of the book -

This book began as a gift to my son, Adam. As he packed his stereo, typewriter, blue blazer, and other necessities for his new life as a college freshman, I retreated into the family room to joy down a few observations and words of counsel I thought he might find useful.

I read years ago that it was not the responsibility of parents to pace the road for their children, but to provide a road map. That's how I hoped he would use these mind and heart reflections.

I started writing, and what I thought would take a few hours took several days. I fathered my collection of handwritten notes, typed them up, and put them in a dime-store binder. I walked to the garage and slid it under the front seat of the station wagon.

A few days later his mother and I helped him move into his new dorm room. When he was all settled in, I asked him to come with me to the parking lot. I was time for the presentation. I reached under the car seat and, with words to the effect that this wa what I knew about living a happy and rewarding life, handed him the bound pages. He hugged me and shook my hand. It was a very special moment.

Well, somehow those typewritten pages became the little book you're now holding. You may not agree with all the entries, and from your own life experience, I'm sure you could add hundreds more. Obviously, some are more important than others, but all have added a degree of joy, meaning, and efficiency to my life.

A few days after I had given Adam his copy, he called me from his form room. "Dad," he said, "I've been reading the instruction book and I think it's one of the best gifts I've ever received. I'm going to add to it and someday give it to my son."

Every once in a while life hands you a moment so precious, so overwhelming you almost glow. I know. I had just experienced one.

Brown, H. Jackson, Jr., Life's Little Instruction Book, Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, Tennessee.

Life's Little Instruction Book:
1. Compliment three people every day.
2. Have a dog. 
3. Watch a sunrise at least once a year. 
4. Remember other people's birthdays. 
5. Never mention being on a diet. 

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