For as long as I can remember, which sometimes doesn’t seem to be much longer than yesterday, I have known in the deepest aspects of my very being, that the closer and closer I come to God, the closer and closer I would come to me. The other side of this instinctual and priceless piece of knowledge, is that the closer and closer I come to myself, the closer and closer I would come to God.
I honestly cannot tell you how this knowledge came to me, or where it came from. Its not as though I woke up one day and – WHAM! – there it was! No, it isn’t like that at all! In fact, the genesis of this magnificent and all-encompassing knowledge that continues to enrich my life, is somewhat of a mystery. It is very much like DNA, it has just always been part of me.
I didn’t learn it by way of my Catholic, Grammar School education; I can’t remember having seen it mentioned in any one of my Catechisms; I certainly didn’t pick it up while I was hanging out on the street corner at the age of 13, with a beer in one hand and a Lucky Strike cigarette in the other, trying to convince myself of how tough I am; I didn’t get it anywhere that I can accurately point to or remember. However, I have always known it to be true. Which makes all of the self-destructive behavior I have used in my life even more puzzling. Think about it! How could self-destruction get you anywhere near the person you really want to be?
Also, the number one, overarching goal in my life, the one thing that I hold more desirable than all other aspirations, the one thing that I will never, ever, let go of – no matter what – is to become the person that God originally intended for me to be. I will probably reach that goal or plateau, on the same day that I reach my body’s mileage limit, and I turn it in at the recycling plant, where it can enjoy a long, well-earned rest. I will then return myself to spirit form, a form that I never left, and say; “Aaahhhhhh, what a relief,”and go on my spirit way. It is a little like the feeling I get when I take off a tight-fitting pair of golf shoes after walking eighteen holes. Aaahhhhh, what a relief!
I have created The Welcoming Peace Website and Blog as a way to help me get closer to the person God originally intended for me to be. This is something that works great for me because I love to tell stories and I love to teach. What could be better? I also believe that by using my own experiences with which to teach the lessons, I do this by teaching that which I have found to be true, and using my own experiences to do so. And I am grateful that my life thus far has given me plenty of material to draw on as the basis of the lessons I love so much to teach.
As of this writing (December of 2017) I am a man with many years of addiction recovery, which for me means that I haven’t had a drink (my drug of choice being alcohol) since the day I left two perfectly good Bloody Mary’s on the table at the European Restaurant (RIP) on Hanover Street in Boston’s North End on June 6, 1983. I can honestly tell you that The Twelve Steps of Recovery saved my life. The Steps are based on ancient, time-honored spiritual truths, and from them I learned how to live my life as a responsible individual. Alcoholics Anonymous is where I found the Twelve Steps of Recovery, and it is also where I met, and developed an amazing relationship, with God.
A very good friend of mine, who also happened to be a member of the clergy at the time, once said to me: “If every church was based on the principles of The Twelve Steps, they would serve the interests of their members much better.” This is a sentiment with which I couldn’t agree more.
Sometime around 1994, I became a student of A Course In Miracles, which remains the most central aspect of my Spiritual study and development. It wasn’t long before I began to notice that through my continuous study of The Course (which is how many students of A Course In Miracles refer to it), and application of its principles to my daily life, I was able to go much deeper in my understanding and appreciation of The Twelve Steps of Recovery. In fact, I recall thinking about The Course as “The Twelve Steps goes to graduate school.”
A Course In Miracles is totally non-religious. There is no central ideology, doctrine, or acknowledged hierarchy of position. The Course is based on the same ancient and time-honored spiritual truths as are The Twelve Steps – principals that all the major religions of the world agreed upon thousands of years ago. The Course is a self-study in mind-training. It is a spiritual psychotherapy that is designed to bring us Inner Peace. The Course teaches that all we need to do is remove the blocks we create in our own lives to a greater experience of the Inner Peace that We have never been without. A miracle is a change of mind, from a thought system based on fear, which is of the ego, to a thought system based on Love, which is of God.
A miracle is a correction introduced into the mind of the erroneous notion that man can somehow be separate from God. We are taught that we began as an idea in the Mind Of God, and that an idea can never leave its source, which is something I explain further in some of the blog posts I write. Therefore, God created us as loving extensions of God Himself, and God is synonymous with Love. (The pronoun “Him” is used simply as an expedient. Beyond that, it has no meaning.) This means that we are all as much a part of God as God is of God, the only difference being that God created us and we did not create Him. Just like a drop of water in the ocean, there is no place that God begins and we end – nor is there a place where we begin and God ends.
There is not, nor can there ever be, a separation between us and God. Every problem we could ever possibly experience found its genesis in the erroneous belief that man can somehow be separate from God, his Source. Inner Peace is not something to be found anywhere outside ourselves. We are created as loving extensions of Love itself and nothing can change this reality. Man brought the ego into existence in response to the collective guilt that belief in the separation created in our collective mind. The ego is as much of an illusion as is the separation.
The Twelve Steps is based on helping an individual separate himself from his drug of choice and learn to live a very productive life as a result. The Course teaches us how to build lasting relationships by teaching us to see a brother as guiltless, thereby enhancing our vision of ourselves as guiltless. I’m pretty sure that anything I teach that is based on y own experiences will contain a large measure of spirituality that is drawn from each source because they complement each other so well.
Other things about me that will also find itself into many of the things I write about are the following:
- Is a man for whom thinking outside “The Box” is impossible because he doesn’t believe in the existence of the box. Therefore, if you are trying to think outside the box, please understand that the box has been created by your mind, and you will only get outside that double-wall reinforced, and steel strapped box, if you can get outside the confines of your own mind. However, you create your own boxes every day, and an idea can never leave its source. You will be much better served by doing what “A Course In Miracles teaches us to do and change your thinking, change your perception, or change your mind.
- Sees “The Glass” as neither half full nor half empty, because not unlike the the invisible box, he asks: “Who would want to limit themselves to whatever they could stuff inside a box, glass, motor home or Space Shuttle?” And in the example of the glass, you are only allowing yourself to occupy HALF of the space. Thinking in terms that small, unless the glass is the size of Mexico City or Pike’s Peak, doesn’t bode well for your personal evaluation of your own ability to think.
- Wrote “How To Enjoy Peace In Your Life Every Day,” and is looking forward to publishing his next book.
- Does not believe in the use of labels for describing himself or anyone else, because he understands that whenever you label yourself, you are also, by default, telling the universe everything you believe you are not. Only God possesses that much knowledge, which He freely bestowed upon you at the time of your creation. (go ahead, figure that one out!)
- Learned, at the time he experienced a Miraculous Awakening on 9/11/2001, that World Peace is possible – one day at a time, one person at a time, one thought at a time. If that concept gives you pause or creates doubt, just look at Alcoholics Anonymous, the organization that most people believe to be the most successful self-help movement in the world, and you will find that the building blocks are the same. In reality, all it took was Bill Wilson to change his mind. It is a change of Mind that The Course characterizes as a miracle. Who could argue with that.
- does ascribe to himself certain skills, abilities, accomplishments, and interests, such as; Spiritual Teacher, Writer, Consultant, Speaker and Coach; Progressive Addiction Recovery Thought Leader; Father of Identical Twin Daughters; Recovery Coach and Recovery Coach Trainer; Small Business Owner; 2 Handicap Golfer; Former Age Group Triathlete (who may be willing to re-enter that maelstrom and do whatever it takes to complete another race); Former Marathon Swimmer (and glad to be permanently retired from this particular type of insanity); New England Patriots Football Fan; and Former Season Ticket Holder for the Boston Red Sox. But you really can’t believe the 2 Handicap Golfer thing (he just tried to sneak that one in there) because it would take way too much time on the golf course, and too much of a commitment to the game of golf for that sweet dream to become a reality.
- Is a man in Long Term Recovery, by which he means that, as of this writing (12-12-17), he has not found it necessary to take a drink of alcohol since June 6, 1983.
- Understands that every problem in life comes gift wrapped in its own solution. So, if we practice looking only at the solution, that is eventually all we see.
- Began studying “A Course In Miracles” somewhere in the vicinity of 1994 and has remained an avid student and teacher of The Course ever since; facilitating Study Groups, attending Spiritual Retreats and conferences, and was a principal organizer of “An International Conference For Peace” in New York City in February of 2004.
- is a self-described “voracious reader” whose favorite genres are Military History, Fiction, Biography, and the Welcoming Peace Website and Blog,