Day Seventy-Three: Affirmation

Daily Journal:

17192422_10210852092475547_1472518273994887542_o.jpgI am now almost two weeks behind on updating my blog, due to overtime at work, errands, and other activities. I will get back on this week, and work backwards through the last couple of weeks if time permits.

I guess the biggest news during the last week is that I did my first ever hike of the Millennium Trail at Bernheim Forest, an approximately 14-mile loop trail. Clocking in at just under six hours, this is presently my longest ever hike. I’m planning an overnight trip to O’Bannon Woods in Indiana later in the year, and next month I will check out the 5-mile Elm Lick Trail at Bernheim, which will mean I have hiked every trail at Bernheim once completed.

Aside from that, I’ve been working 6 days per week, 10 hour days, and spending time with my children on weekends. This past Saturday night I took my son bowling and took my daughter roller skating on Sunday. Sunday is Free Parents day at Whispering Wheels Roller Rink in Bardstown.  That means an adult and child get in for $5.00, skate rental included, and almost 4 hours of skating. That’s the best deal around. We’ve been going every Sunday. It’s a great way to sneak in a few hours of cardio on the cheap and spent quality time with a child.

Deng Ming-Dao on Affirmation:

Stand at the precipice,
That existential darkness,
And call into the void:
It will surely answer. 

Deng Ming-Dao says “the precipice represents our dilemma as human beings, the sense that this existence is all too random, all too absurd.” Is there order? It was hard to not think of Sartre and Camus when reading this entry today. Ming-Dao says, as he has said in other places, we cannot rely on scripture for an important issue like this, but rather we must explore it on our own. He compares the void to a valley, saying that if you cry out into the void, there will be an echo. That echo affirms our existence.

The Daily Stoic:

Today, Holiday talks about self-deception (and delusions of grandeur). He quotes Epictetus here: “It is impossible for a person to learn what he thinks he already knows”. This is Ego, and Holiday reminds us that ego is the enemy to our ability to learn and grow. We delude ourselves into believing we already possess the things we wish to possess. He says we must meet ego with the same kind of “hostility and contempt” that it employs against us to keep it away.

Tomorrow is more work. Expect the entries to be shorter this week, as I am working overtime all week and other limitations as I make some changes around the home in the next week or two.

Thanks for checking back in.




Day Fifty Nine: Source

Daily Journal:

A lot on my mind these days. Feeling really distracted much of the time, and haven’t kept up with meditation, especially since Joe went off to Haiti and Thursday night meditation group has been postponed. Should resume tomorrow. Another eye appointment today. Something has happened to my right eye, where the Wal-Mart vision center has been unable find the proper reading for my right eye. I’m inventing stories about it right now. Like”Oh my god, I have EYE CANCER!!” I also burned all my eyelashes off my right eye over two years ago while camp cooking near Ft. Gratiot, Michigan. The lashes never completely grew back, leaving me with a cockeyed look. Possible eye damage from that incident? Also my fall last November may have resulted in head trauma/brain damage that can sometimes have an effect on vision, or so I have read. Today, I get closer to some answers anyway.

I booked a room in Taos, New Mexico for the journey home. I’m looking forward to being in Taos, however briefly, mostly because Natalie Goldberg wrote so much about Taos in her “Writing Down the Bones” book.

Most of the business related to the trip next month has been done now.

Deng Ming-Dao on Source:

His first statement is “the source of all power is within yourself”. Immediately, this entry reminded me of the Bible quote (Luke 17:21): “The kingdom of God is within you”. Deng Ming-Dao says the source is latent within everyone, but we can learn to tap it. We are not looking for something external to bring us power. He says it is not enough to tap this power, but we must learn to direct it, which requires wisdom, experience, and education. He says “Finding the source of spiritual power is a great joy; deciding how to direct it is the greatest of responsibilities”, as he indicates the same attainment can be used for good or evil.

Daily Stoic:

Note: Daily Stoic includes February 29th. This is not a leap year but I will cover both February 28th and March 1st of the Daily Stoic.

Using an Epictetus quote, Ryan Holiday reminds us that we cannot have everything we want. This is contrary to the message you receive in society that we can have everything we want. Don’t set your heart on too many things, Epictetus says. We have to focus. Prioritize. Ask ourselves with everything if we really need it, can we live without it, and what will happen if we don’t have it.

March is here. Day One. The theme for March is Awareness.

“An important place to begin in philosophy is this: a clear perception of one’s own ruling principle.”

He is saying use reason to find self awareness, examining your emotions and beliefs that guide you.

I have some catching up to do on chores around the house. Feeling scatterbrained, rushed, and distracted lately. As Deng Ming-Dao says, I’m looking at diet, mind, and environment and getting those in order and harmony the best I can.

See you tomorrow.