Monday, November 27, 2006

An unstable monk

One of the odder stories making the rounds over the Internet recently is the news of a 35 year old Buddhist monk in Thailand who cut off his penis with a machete. He did this, we’re told, because he had an erection during meditation. He declined the doctor’s attempts to re-attach it.
I knew when I read this story that I would have to write about this, but I’ve waited a few days because I was not sure which blog it would go in or how I would approach the subject. Some might be tempted to make bizarre comments and jokes but I’m going to take a different route.
In monotheism, the goal of meditation is to experience closeness with God; In Buddhist meditation, the stated purpose is to become enlightened. In either case, one usually becomes less enamored with materialism …… less attached to the things of this world.
However, the fact that this monk would mutilate his body because of a natural function of the body, reveals a complete misunderstanding of any valid religious principal. If this monk had a real notice of what “non-attachment” means he would have dealt with this in a less bizarre manner.
It’s understandable that a celibate religious or monk would want to rid his or her self of sexual desires .Cutting off body parts is certainly not an enlightened approach.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Here in the United States, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Many will say that today is set-aside for us as a nation and people to give thanks to God for the blessings we have.
The more cynical among us might say that the day was established to determine the start of the Christmas buying season. As much as I hate to say it, I would have to agree. We may read a good bit about thankfulness but in the minds of most of the people I know, today is the day to watch football, eat too much and get ready to “shop ‘til they drop”.
It’s 6:30 AM and as I write this, my wife and son are still asleep. I am having coffee; I’ve already done my morning meditation and sweet potatoes are baking in the oven. We’ll be going to church in a few hours and I’ll be taking a sweet potato pie for a Thanksgiving exchange after Communion.
It’s difficult for me to put into words just how thankful I am for my wife and my child. It’s easy to think of the things we want…… a house, a new PC, a new car and lots of money. But, I cannot imagine having a more loving wife. True, there are times when I feel like I’m living an episode of “I love Lucy” but, for the most part ,life with her is wonderful. I know every parent believes their year old child is special, but I have grown so much since he arrived.
I’d be the first to admit that I haven’t always done the right things; I haven’t always been wise in my decisions . But, had I done things differently I would not be sitting here today typing on this keyboard while those too very important people sleep in the next room. So, I am even thankful for the “mistakes” I made so many years ago.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I put this photo here to remind myself to learn more about this group.They appear to be a worthwhile group but I don't know enough about them.I'm all for bringing meditation to more folks.The world needs more of us.
When we find a house I hope I can set aside an area for group meditation.That would probably involve building a privacy fence......among other things.Sometimes it seems very difficult to achieve simplicity.

Friday, November 17, 2006

om & amen

I was baptized when I was less than one month old. I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition but after the death of my father I began my journey along another path. My father was very influential on my religious leanings and I doubt that I would have taken the path I eventually took had he lived longer than he did.
I looked into Buddhism and Hinduism along the way. My early Meditation practice was essentially Hindu based. For many years my meditation revolved around the mantra OM. OM was my choice even during those periods when my meditation was "non religious" in nature.
As I returned to the Catholic Church and my meditation transformed into "Centering Prayer" it seemed more appropriate to change my "sacred word" to something less Hindu. AMEN seemed the logical choice for me.
As the word naturally altered itself during meditation, I soon came to believe that, perhaps, the two words came from a common source...Amen is Om and Om is Amen.
I put the two words together in a Google search and learned that my idea wasn't so unique. There are others who believe the same thing. Funny, though, I've seen the idea posted in forums and blogs and the Hindu based folks seem more open to the idea then Christians. I think that may be because most Christians have lost the meditative tradition of our religion.... not to mention the fact that many Christians see ours as the only path and the thought that there could be a small link to Hinduism may be too unbelievable for some.
There’s no question in my mind that there is only one God. I believe the Holy Spirit reaches out to all of us in ways we can understand. I also believe Catholicism to be the supreme path but the Holy Spirit reveals portions of the Truth thru other religious traditions. I don’t think God will condemn to eternal punishment an otherwise righteous person whose situation in life has lead them to another religion.
I’m not saying that all paths are equal; some only contain elements of the Truth. Each of us will be judged according to our individual situations. God is justice and God is love.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Portrait of a Young Man with a Rosary

I took up praying the Rosary in earnest in 2003. Of course, I was taught how it was done, when I was a young boy, by the nuns at Sacred Heart. It had been many years since I had prayed the Rosary.....I returned to it as a sort of penance for having been away from the church for so long. The word "penance" could give the impression that returning to the Rosary was a chore. On the contrary,it has been a source of pleasure these past 3 years.
I was not married at that time and it was easier then to add the Rosary to my meditation schedule. I could pray the Rosary before every afternoon session.
When I married, my wife and I continued to do the Rosary on a regular basis.We've tried to do it every night before bed but we've not always lived up to that.Saying the Rosary with her isn't the same as my pre-meditation Roary.Now, praying it in a family setting adds something to my life that I had not previously known I was missing.When we were taking the Pre-Cana it was pointed out to us that it was important for a married couple to share a religious expierence in order to bring their marriage closer together.....I believe we've done that with the Rosary.
Our son was exposed to the Rosary while in his mother's womb and he continues to have that exposure now that he is here with us.He's too young to say the prayers.......he's not quite one year old yet.But, we'll teach him to say the Rosary with us when he's old enough.
I came across a website while searching for Rosary images on the Internet. I haven't had the time to look at the entire site,but, it looks promising.I especially like the images used with the Mysteries.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My wife and I belong to a small group of families that gather together on the afternoon of the first Saturday of each month to pray a litany and Rosary for Our Lady of Fatima. Also, on the same weekend every month, our parish has Eucharistic adoration.
I've been going to the church for the adoration for about three months. It fits well with the gathering later in the a matter of fact, I wish the same feeling of peace and quiet could be carried over to the afternoon prayer.
At times the afternoon prayer for Our Lady of Fatima seems a bit too much like a social gathering. But, I suppose that's to be expected when there are several people involved.
If I could manage to receive Communion that day it would top off an already special day.
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