Friday, March 02, 2007

Living in Spirit

Growing up in Washington DC, my best friend Lonnie and I spent endless hours of adventure with each other. In 1968 we worked during the summer on the Navajo reservation in Arizona as volunteers, then hitchhiked to Los Angeles and up the coast to San Francisco—following the hippie trail. When I went away to college in 1970, and returned changed because I had adopted a religion, the Baha’i Faith, my friend was perplexed. As we walked together in our neighborhood he confided his concern, and I have remembered this exchange through the years; “Steve, you tell me you don’t drink (booze), smoke (dope) or have sex anymore. What do you do?” At the time, his question left me momentarily speechless, and I could see that he thought I was living on air.
Today is the beginning of the annual period of fasting that Baha’i’s observe for nineteen days. No food or water from sunrise to sunset. This year, I am living alone, practicing chastity, and perhaps to some it might seem that I am living on air. It is 35 years since Lonnie’s comment, and now, I could more easily answer his incredulous inquiry.
It is fun stripping away desires of the flesh, because living in Spirit is to invite a state of blessing. As to the question of what do I do for enjoyment: being in grace, and feeling every moment is perfect, complete and wonderful, well, that is mostly enough.

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