Nation in Crisis

Our nation is in crisis and we may not have a lot of time to save it. It isn’t merely that the leadership is lacking in the qualities of humanity necessary for a nation this powerful and large, although that is certainly the case. 

The Trump campaign and presidency have shown to us and to the world the nature of much of the national psyche and national soul. I was appalled at the fact that a person like Donald Trump could get close enough in an election in the United States that he was able to steal the election and the White House. And while I oppose everything he does with every fiber of my being, I recognize that he is not the illness in our country, he is merely a symptom. If our country was well, he would not have gotten near the nomination of his party, much less our presidency. I honestly believed that the moral character and patriotism of those who are called to provide a check and balance would win out and he would not survive more than a few months in office. I was wrong. I also believed that the decency and patriotism of my fellow citizens would remove those who failed to provide checks and balances in the midterm election and the new congress would remove him. Again, I was wrong. It is obvious that Donald Trump is not the source of our demise, but a symptom and a means. And while people will remind me that Trump lost the popular vote, the fact is that he is still in office and as a people we have not removed him.

I began pondering what could be done in the face of this national illness,and how to influence the cure. I once studied metaphysics, and one of my favorite authors was Dion Fortune. As I was pondering what could be done (perhaps a better word is stewing), I came across a Dion Fortune work that I had never encountered before. I honestly believe it was meant for me to find it now. And I was led to at least try an experiment.

Ms. Fortune’s book is entitled The Magical Battle of Britain. It occurred in 1939, when Hitler was preparing to attack the UK. He never did, and reasons are given for him not attacking. But the fact is that he did not. One of the things that was happening at that time that we won’t read about in history books is a number of people who believe in various types of esoteric thinking were engaged with Ms. Fortune in a mind work on the inner planes to protect their country.

One of the things that they did was call upon the symbols of their national psyche. These are archetypes that shape the psyche of people in our culture, not actual beings. They called on the likes of Elizabeth Tudor and King Arthur and Bran and Manowyden and others. So I began to think of the symbols of our own national psyche. Immediately I believed I had a hint of what was a problem. However the symbols of national psyche work (there is much that happens in the mind that I do not understand), too many of our heroes are exactly the kind to foster the division we see today. I decided that I would try to put together a mental cast of heroes that would serve to unite and uplift rather than divide.

While George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were indeed at the forefront of forming this country, the fact is that they built slavery right into it. They also built right into it misogyny and a sense of entitlement. We can tip our hats to the fact that they were founders, but I am not sure they deserve the stature of sacred kings. I am absolutely certain that Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee not only do not deserve the stature of sacred kings, but they do not deserve honor of any kind. And so on.

My cadre of heroes needs to embrace what I want our nation to be. That means inclusive. So I wanted to ensure I had representation from all parts of what needs to be our national culture. (I confess here to not knowing whether to include Native American. We have stolen so much from them, I don’t know whether we should appropriate their heroes too, or whether that merely adds to the insult.) I asked my hive mind for a number of names to reflect the diversity of the nation we live in. They responded brilliantly, and many of their suggestions are being used to develop my list. In the end, I hope to have an American Round Table of national heroes worthy of meditating on as I meditate on rebuilding the national culture.

I am not yet sure exactly how this works. One thing I know is that regardless of who wins the election, there will be years of work to do. I am going to do some essays here and add letters on the order of what Dion Fortune did during the war. And then see where it goes. I am thankful for  everybody who contributed names for my round table of sacred kings.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Big Insurance War on Patients – a Personal Story

It was an emergency. It was Sunday, two days before Christmas. She was in excruciating pain. My son took her to urgent/emergency room care. The urgent care doctors said she needed to have her gall bladder removed right away, because they were afraid infection was setting in. As a Type 1 brittle diabetic, she cannot handle this kind of disruption to her system. The Urgent Care doctor made arrangements for her to be seen at the nearest hospital and sent my son and her there immediately.  

She did not have time to think about the network, nor had the insurance company provide her a list of network providers. The hospital accepted her insurance, which she believed meant they were ok. It wasn’t as if she had a choice. She did not have the option of getting it approved by her insurance in advance. She needed surgery now. Within a few hours, she was home, missing a gall bladder. She did not even spend the night at the hospital.

Days and weeks went by. She got the urgent care bills, that were paid for by the insurance, so she owed nothing. Emergency care covered. Certain other bills, covered. Then, a full month after her surgery, she got a bill from the hospital. The insurance company, Anthem, denied her claim. The person who denied her claim is not a doctor, does not realize that diabetics do not take surgery of any kind lightly. Amount due – $21,000. Payable immediately.

She doesn’t make that much money in a year. She is in school. She has monthly insulin costs. She has to take other medications to make her body accept the insulin. She has costs associated with making her pump work. She has to have regular doctor visits to check her numbers, to check her body, to check her pump. There are visits to her GP, to her diabetes doctor, to her eye doctor, and so on and so on. To cover all these costs, she would have to make $4,000 a month after taxes before buying a mouthful of food or paying a nickel for a place to live.

Anthem claimed the surgery was elective. As if she woke up two days before Christmas on a Sunday and decided, hey, I think I’ll get my gall bladder removed today. Except that serious diabetics don’t do elective surgery on a whim. They have to spend days ensuring their numbers are stable enough to have the kind of jolt to the system that surgery causes. And then, after the surgery is scheduled, they check again. If the numbers are off, the surgery is postponed until the numbers are acceptable.

She will have to appeal the denial. This will require more time and expense, and may even require a lawyer. She is working with the patient advocate at the hospital, but there are no guarantees. The last thing she needs is to be fighting this claim while she is going to school.

They say that diabetes is a manageable disease, and that is true. But that doesn’t mean management is easy or inexpensive. Diabetes doesn’t just mean you take a couple shots a day, management is expensive, in terms of both time and money. Time is expended to make regular trips to the doctor to get the body checked, to recalibrate pumps, to recalculate the right doses of insulin to keep the body under control. Money is expended in ways I never imagined before I had a diabetic in my home. The pump costs money (thankfully, because of ACA, it was paid for) to the tune of $44,000. Then there is the insulin. There are drugs needed to help the insulin. The pump requires new sensors every few months. There are copays to the doctor every visit (without ACA, those copays are really high). And the diabetic still has to carry insurance (without ACA, that insurance is really expensive).

The management of the disease does not mean that it is not taking a toll on the body. She needs to check on that body a few times a year. Currently she is taking shots in her eyes to keep diabetes from stealing her sight. Diabetes is also causing neuropathy in her feet. The constant ups and downs in her sugar levels has cost her her gall bladder and her pancreas. It impacts the functioning of the kidneys, to the point where it can shut down the kidneys and put the diabetic on dialysis(thus another expensive drug and a machine to keep the kidneys working). It also causes fits with her teeth, which then get infected and cause problems with her sugars, and becomes a vicious cycle. Yes, the disease is manageable, but it is a full time job that requires hours and dollars.

 

Here is the thing: she is a smart woman with a lot to offer our society. Keeping her healthy is difficult and expensive, but her contribution will be worth every penny. She is a prime example of why we need regular, complete medical care for every citizen – because the only untapped resource left in this world is the human potential. I talk about diabetes because that is what I know, but there are many diseases that are “manageable,” but require access to health care. And we can’t allow a lack of medical care to prevent us from tapping the human potential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Back! Thoughts About the Campaign Trail

I haven’t written anything here for over a year. I was campaigning for state senate. I hadn’t planned to do this. I hoped some young, dynamic person would step up and run, and would become part of a new bench for our county. You can’t build a bench on people of certain age. State Senate is a bench-building position, and our county is in dire need of a strong bench. But nobody else stepped up, so there I was. I knew our county party really didn’t have an infrastructure, and I figured that at least I could use my race to help build one. 

Running for office is a strange experience. People you think will be excited about your run and totally behind you aren’t, and people you never heard of are totally there and working on your behalf. I met the most amazing people who are doing incredible work for their communities. I learned about struggles of families in our supposedly comfortable community, I learned about the needs of education, I heard stories about the difficulties of young people getting started in life. But, funny thing, I never met my opponent. Every time I expected to meet him face to face he bugged out.

I was running against an incumbent. In his last run, four years earlier, he had won by 30 points. We only lost by 11 points,  running against an incumbent. I think this seat can be flipped next time, maybe by a comfortable margin. Winning requires getting started. I hope next time, a dynamic younger person will step up and take this seat.
I learned about how hard it is to get your name out there, especially when the local media are friends of the incumbent. I learned that fundraising is really hard and needs to be done a whole lot earlier than people expect. Lots of funds come in too late to be used if you aren’t doing quick media buys, and the groundwork to do those media buys is nearly impossible if you can’t predict the funds.
I knew I was entering the race a bit late, but I delayed while trying to work through the protocol. I also knew that I had a huge mountain to climb, and the chances of scaling it were slim. But I knew that if I could use my candidacy to build an infrastructure, future candidates would have a better chance of winning.

The  biggest thing I learned is that labeling is what is dividing this country. Time and time again, I was asked, Are you a moderate? A liberal? A progressive? And I learned that that is one question a candidate should never answer directly. So I began to instead ask the questioner about issues. I said, “I am not sure how to label me. I believe that our children should be able to get a great education, and begin their careers without facing a pile of debt. Is that liberal, progressive or conservative?” And usually, they said it was not any of those things, but a practical concern. I said, “I have a future daughter in law who is a brittle type 1 diabetic. Without ACA, her insulin and uptake medications cost $2000 a month, plus another $2000 a month for insurance. That means that she has to earn $4000 after taxes just to take care of her diabetes. That means a salary of $60.000 a year just for her diabetes, before she even buys a mouthful of food, to say nothing of lodging, clothing and transportation. I think we need to fix that. Is that conservative, liberal, or progressive?” And I got the same answer. In addition, I got to engage in some fascinating conversations. The same with the light rail we have been paying for for 10 years and still don’t have. I asked, “Is it liberal, progressive or conservative to want to have what I have been paying for?” Same thing. We have to get beneath the labels to discuss the real issues.

I will have more to say about the campaign in the days ahead. But for now, just know that I am back.

 

One Reason Why Equality Matters to Me

I would love to share with you what link Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, John McLendon, Marlin Driscoll, and my dad share.  It is a fun story that I think you,  would love and I have not been able to share with anybody.

John McLendon John McLendon

My Dad was born in a very small hut in a very small town in Adamsville, Tennessee.  The hut where he was born was located at what is now home plate in their baseball field. His mother died in childbirth, unattended.  Not only did he never have a birth certificate, noone, including himself, ever really knew what year he was born.  We guessed.  (Coming up may be some words that I know are offensive.  I hope you will forgive that, as it was part of the era – he was born in either 1917, 1918 or 1919 so the world saw things differently.)  Since his father was the town drunk who never quite forgave my dad for “killing his mother,” he was shuffled from aunt to aunt.  He worked in the fields with the black kids, hoeing cotton and tobacco.  When the hoeing was done, they would together go slip under the fence to watch the Negro leagues baseball games.  He fell in love with baseball.  He also fell in love with basketball and would practice shooting and dribbling until the sun went down.

When he graduated from high school – he was young to graduate even with the uncertainty of his birth – he tried to get a baseball scholarship.  Eventually he got one at Milligin College in Tennessee.  He had athletic scholarships, an orphan’s scholarship and cleaned the gym to pay for his education.  He played on the varsity tennis team, baseball team and basketball team.  He graduated with a degree in English.

Here is where it gets murky for me – Dad didn’t talk about his past much.  At one time, the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him.  He played second base in their farm team in Johnson City in Tennessee.  Somehow he wound up in Raleigh-Durham playing baseball and basketball and coaching women’s basketball (yes, they had that in the south then).  Recall, John McLendon was coaching in Durham at that time.  Hold that thought.  (It was also in this time that Sam Snead taught him to play golf.)

When the war came, since he had a college degree, when he enlisted in the Navy, he was made an officer.  Eventually he wound up a captain in the Navy, but I am not sure what he went in as.  They made him morale officer at Pearl Harbor.  His ship just missed being there when Pearl Harbor was bombed – Dad said Sam Snead was late for the ship.  Not sure if that was true or tongue in cheek.  His job was to recruit entertainment for sailors coming to Pearl to heal.  It included sports teams, entertainers, etc.  At various times, his baseball teams had names like Stan Musial (who he had met in the St. Louis system), Pee Wee Reese, Johnny Majors, Bob Lemmon (who dad converted from shortstop to pitcher because Bob couldn’t throw straight), Dom and Vince DiMaggio (Joe went with Army), Phil Rizzuto, Leo Durocher, Bob Feller, and many more.

This next part I am not sure of.  I sat one day as a kid with Satchell Paige.  Satchell had come to Denver (during the minor league days) to do some sort of pregame demonstration and since Dad was doing color in the announcer’s booth, Dad left me with Satch.  (A lot of the grown ups sitting around us did NOT approve.)  As anybody knows, Satchell could spin a yarn, but I don’t know how he could invent this out of thin air …

At some point while at Pearl Harbor, according to Satchell, Dad decided he wanted to recruit some of the players he had watched from the Negro leagues.  Dad (this I know is true) had always believed the black players were at least as good as the white players.  So anyway, Satchell and Dad agreed that Dad would start getting his players mentally ready to accept playing with “coloreds” while Dad tried to get the ok from his superiors.  Finally, Dad’s superiors threatened his commission and he dropped it.  But a thought had been planted …

Several years later, Jackie Robinson was selected to break the color barrier.  Branch Rickey was the President and GM who hired Robinson.  But on the team were Johnny Majors (I think he was General Manager), Pee Wee Reese (Team Captain) and Leo Durocher (I think he was coach?).  Satchell wondered if maybe Dad’s preaching in Pearl had something to do with getting Jackie accepted by the team.  We will never know.

The rest of this is not from Satchell.

After the war, Dad moved to Denver.  He got a masters in business at Colorado College and became an English professor, baseball and basketball coach at Regis Jesuit College (even though he was a Methodist).  He became a celebrity in Denver because his basketball teams were very successful.  They used a totally different style of play – and if you studied it you would see shades of John McLendon.  Over time, he became active in bringing sports to Denver.

First, there were the Denver Broncos.  Dad secured the financing so the team could be brought to Denver (Dad was a banker with Central Bank).  He led the drive to build Mile High Stadium that would keep the Broncos in Denver.  And he pushed Denver to bring in Marlin Briscoe as quarterback.  Marlin Briscoe was the first black quarterback in professional football.

Then there were the Denver Rockets (now the Denver Nuggets).  Dad was part of the original ownership group. While he was still an owner, he convinced them to hire John McLendon as their coach.  John was the first black coach in professional basketball.  However, he lost almost all of his investment when the partnership sold.

Many years later, he co-chaired the Colorado Baseball commission.  He started working on getting baseball to Denver in the early 70s, and I can remember him talking about some choice meetings he had with Peter Ueberroth as they argued over whether Colorado could support a professional baseball team.  Anyway, they finally got baseball in 1993.  And, of course, the first home run hit at home for the National Baseball League team was hit by Eric Young, again, a black man. So, Denver had our first black quarterback, our first black professional basketball coach and nominated our first black president.  That just tickled the heck out of me and I really wanted to tell KO that.  (When my dad died three years ago, only the family was at the funeral.  The rest of Denver had forgotten him.)

I don’t know how to verify parts of this story, but I do know the rest. This battle for equality has not been waged by black people alone, but by people who knew that skin color has no more relevance to a person’s character, capability or intelligence than hair color.

Exposing Boehner

Remember Major League?  Remember the scene where the woman who bought the team came in and told the team that they had been chosen because they were all losers?  Remember how the coach then made a poster of the owner, where she was dressed all in black and had a dialog balloon that said, “You guys suck?”  Remember how the coach had calculated how many wins it would take to win the pennant (amazing how he was 100% correct) and how after each win a piece of her suit would come off until she was standing there in her altogether?  I decided it was time to expose John Boehner in a similar way, but instead of wins, we remove a part of his attire based on the groups he hates.  Follow me after the fold to expose Boehner.  Warning:  If you are under 18 you need parents permission to continue, and if you are squeamish you have been apprised.

 

I don’t have the graphics skills to actually do the exposure here, and I am not sure I could stand to actually see it.  Therefore you will have to use your imagination.

Behold John Boehner.  His orangeness stands before you (fresh off a visit to the spray tan store) in a navy blue pin striped suit with his hand raised in Heil position. A dialogue bubble above his head says, “Not only NO but HELL NO!”

John Boehner hates the Gays.  We start by removing his left pant leg, revealing that he is afraid that if the gay couple up the street who have been living together for 17 years suddenly got a license, his marriage would collapse, his wife would leave him and his children would be sucked back up through the womb into the great ethers beyond.  They would be able to share the insurance one partner’s workplace offers to families of the employees and there would be none left for John.  They might actually be able to make life and death related decisions should one partner become unable to do that for him or her self.  They might be able to inherit the house they have both been paying on.  Worst, John is afraid he would be forced to marry a man – and it would probably wind up being Mitch McConnell.  What a scary thought!  So, John, off with the left pant leg.  OMG!  That looks peculiarly like Big Bird’s leg!  No wonder you keep your pants on!

John Boehner hates Messicans.  Never mind that many have roots in this country that date back further than Johns.  They don’t look like you or me and they speak with an accent (not Mitch’s accent, theirs is from further south).  They keep having Democrat babies.  This has to stop.  Before you know it, they will demand equal representation and give our country back to Messico.  They must be stopped.  It is not enough to seal the border, they have to be exported en masse.  Except for the one who mows his lawn, the one who watches his children and those who repair his roof.  They have to go home.  Before you know it, they will have more Democrats than his white kids have Republicans and he will lose power.  So John, off with the right pant leg.  Just as I was afraid – it IS big bird’s legs.  Orange and all.  Guess you will have to make adjustments to that spray tan machine.

John Boehner hates Moslems.  He will vehemently deny that Moslems came up with scientific method as well as their contributions to geometry and astronomy.  He will deny that the numbers we use are arabic numerals.  He probably doesn’t know that without Moslems we would not have algebra, or perhaps he hates them because of algebra.  He knows only that most of them live far away and they all are out to get him.  They call their god by a different name.  That should not be allowed.  They need to be arrested and deported.  They cannot build a community center, because community centers always result in votes for Democrats and he will lose power.  For the Moslems, we remove his shoes, remembering what being hit with shoes means to Moslems.

John Boehner hates black people.  He always has.  Doesn’t know why, but he does.  He has “heard things” about black people and they make him squeamish.  They are all on welfare except the rich ones who aren’t.  Actually he would like the rich ones except they don’t give him money.  So they all have to go.  So, John, off with your right sleeve, the one uplifted in your grand NO gesture.  Oh, my!  That arm looks strangely like it came from Grover and was painted orange.  John, you look strangely like an orange Statue of Liberty.

John Boehner hates children.  Some people think we should take perfectly good money away from bankers and financiers and use it to pay for frivolous things like SCHIP and teachers.  Children don’t vote, why should we give them money?  Besides, if we give them money they will all learn to be lazy.  Let them pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and if they have no boots let them find some.  So we remove the left sleeve.  No comment merited.

John Boehner hates veterans.  He sends them to war, and when they come home broken he thinks they should fend for themselves.  He especially hates homeless veterans.  They should have stayed at war and died like heros.  How dare them come home and sleep in streets us taxpayers pay (too little) for!  Money to upgrade VA facilities?  Waste, waste, waste.  That money could be used to balance the Bush-inflated budget.  Never mind that his friend Bush sent them out to war in the first place.  When they come home they should get rich and give him money.  He even hates them in spite of the fact that many vote republican and keep him in power!  They embarrass him, so he hates them.  In honor of veterans we remove his tie.  Oh, my, what a neck there!  John, John, John, where did you find an orange turkey to take that off of?

John Boehner hates the poor.  They also drain our coffers.  He especially hates the new poor because they lost their jobs and expect Congress to do something about it.  Why should he do something about it?  He didn’t lose his job.  As long as his job is secure, he can’t be bothered worrying about people who are losing their cars and their homes because they lost their jobs.  Besides … another job will come along soon enough … maybe.  When in doubt, flip burgers.  But don’t expect money from our treasury.  That is reserved for bankers, financiers and insurance executives.  They give him money.  Lots of money.  The poor don’t give him money.  They just vote.  If you don’t have money you shouldn’t be allowed to vote.  Too many don’t vote for him and he will lose power.  So we remove the right side of his suitcoat.  This is getting ugly folks.

John Boehner hates women.  They should keep in their place.  They should get pregnant and stay pregnant and if they get pregnant and don’t want to be pregnant they should stay pregnant anyway.  That is what god made them for – to be pregnant.  And to cook his dinner.  Equality for women?  Never!  Not on his watch!  Except the ones in the tea party who make him feel manly.  Soccer moms should vote like their husbands tell them to.  Except when their husbands are Democrats.  Too many of these darned women don’t vote for him and he will lose power.  So there goes the left side of his suitcoat!  Geez, John!  With all that tanning you do at least you could have a six pack.  That looks more like a keg.  That belly button looks oddly like a bung.  No wonder you get so upset when you see a picture of a shirtless Barack.

Well that about covers everybody John hates and uncovers almost all of John.  What is left is akin to a loin cloth.  Luckily he still loves the teabaggers, so we can leave him with that loincloth.  I am thankful … I don’t think I could even stand the mental visual if the loincloth had to go.  It looks strangely like an oversized teabag, covering a small and barely effective Boehner.

There you have it, my friends.  John Boehner exposed.

On meditation – Passive vs Active

Before I begin, I must stress in the strongest possible terms that I am no more an accomplished meditator than I am a doctor.  If I could do as well as I can talk, I could do much more with my life than I am doing.  I am not a “human complete,” rather, I am a “human becoming.”

I began my study of meditation decades ago when I read Dion Fortune’s book Training and Work of an Initiate.  In that book she explains that there are two types of meditation, which she ascribes as the difference between Eastern and Western cultures.  She says that Eastern cultures try to reach the soul up to the heavens, whereas Western cultures try to bring the heavens to Earth.  As I look at the behaviors of these cultures (in a less blended form than perhaps we have now), I see her point.  Anyway, to accomplish the cultural goals, which are expressed person by person, the Eastern approach is passive, uniting ones self with the “oversoul,” the Western approach is active, pulling the beauty of the ‘oversoul” to enrich the individual.  Subtle difference, but it manifests strongly in the meditative approach.  You can see the stark differences when you look at the Deepak Chopra approach (Eastern) vs Franz Bardon’s approach as discussed in Initiation into Hermetics.

Today I discuss the passive approach, as I find it is easier to get started in that one.  Over time, migrating to the active approach may be useful, especially to activists who want to see change on Earth.

There are several books out about Eastern meditation practices, and although I tend to lean toward Chopra’s books (and his methods are discussed in several of his publications, so I don’t call one out here) because he communicates his information in words and phrases that the Western mind grasps easily.  I summarize his words here with my own thoughts intermingled.

All meditation literature I have found talks about how our minds have a chatterbox constantly yammering in our heads.  The first goal of meditation is to not necessarily silence that chatterbox, but to make it shut up unless it has something worthwhile to say.  Once the chatterbox is controlled, it can be used for great effect in your life.

Find a quiet place where you can be alone.  While the literature suggests that you can do this sitting or lying down, most suggest sitting if only to avoid falling asleep.  I also find that sitting gives a better circuit for the energies to pass through.  I find that this is best done in the morning, with a different exercise (to be discussed later) as I go to sleep.  Wear comfortable clothing, loose fitting, that will not be a distraction or an irritant.  I recommend a notebook where you will write your impressions and observations when your session ends – it is a great learning tool and way to monitor your progress.

To begin, set a timer for 5 minutes.  It is not reasonable to expect your mind to start training at 30 minutes just as it is not reasonable to expect your body to begin workouts by running a marathon.  Sit quietly and watch your thoughts go by.  Do not engage them, just release them like bubbles in a lake.  To aid your mind, you can keep it busy with a meaningless phrase, such as “so-hum,” with so on the intake and hum on the outtake.  You can also watch your breath.

Your chatterbox will start telling you all these things you have to do, all the offenses you experienced the day before, how your mother is coming for Christmas and doggone it the cat is in your potted plants again.  Don’t engage these thoughts, just let them float away.  Over time, you will notice these thoughts coming slower and slower.  Then you find a way to keep yourself in what Chopra calls “the gap.”  This is the space between thoughts.  This is where you have what he calls “pure potentiality,” that is nothing is already created there so it is open to creation.  The goal is to eventually go the entire session in “the gap,” that is, no thoughts bubbling up for the entire session.

Increase the time as you are successful, until you can do 30 minutes.  Once you are able to do that, you can take a specific goal or thought into your session and it will begin to penetrate who you are.  Some use a mantra, such as “Be still and know that I am god,” or “Peace and calm.”  You pick the mantra based on your goals, beliefs and personality.

At night, your thoughts as you drift into sleep are giving instructions to your subconscious.  Therefore you must be careful what those thoughts are.  Your subconscious does not differentiate between what you want and like and what you don’t want and like.  So if you are going to sleep worrying about debt, your subconscious takes that as instruction to increase debt.  If you go to sleep worrying about how you are going to get everything done that you need to do, your subconscious will make your schedule more harried and you less efficient to meet that instruction.  If you go to sleep thinking about how blessed you are, your subconscious will go out and find more ways to add to your blessings (and you will begin to be able to recognize more of the blessings you have – a good practice for peace of mind.)  If you have a goal, visualize that you have attained that goal.  Do not tell your subconscious how to get there, just where you want to be.  Visualize it until it becomes plastic.  Be advised, that as you get more accomplished in this, things begin to change in your life.  I am always amazed at how fast those changes occur, and more than once it was almost too fast for me to grasp.

There is much, much more to passive meditation that meditators more experienced than I am can share.  But this is a good starting point, and just following these steps should result in more peace and control.