Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Welcome!

Welcome to Cowboy Dharma! What is it all about? In short, celebrating the best of classical eastern and other wisdom along with contemporary western thought, Twelve Step Recovery in particular. The categories are sorted into "Sanity Files" as these are where we find true help, hope, healing, and happiness in an often sad, sick, and insane life and world.

The story began as each of us did with the birth of all creation and life, and then birth into our family of origin and place in the world. We celebrate the relationship with our creator, family, and friends as the true center and vessel from which all goodness flows.

Yet in time we all must face loss, sickness and death. For many these are not only of a physical nature, but on a mental and spiritual level as well, and sometimes severe or horrific. Our souls may be broken, torn, and shattered, and we may come to feel lost, abandoned, and alone. Our tortured souls may take on a myriad of distractions and addictions in attempt to deaden the pain and bind up the wounds and brokenness and soldier on as best we can.

The purpose of Cowboy Dharma is to acknowledge the pain and suffering as necessary, even vital to a full life and experience, as we learn to heal, grow, and prosper from that very same pain and suffering. We seek and utilize any skillful means to afford our mending, recovery, and renewal with our Higher Power, ourselves, and others. We leave toxic persons and situations behind to find positive and affirming relationships are not only possible, but deeply satisfying.

After many years, books, recovery meetings, classes, discussions, retreats,workshops, and much soul searching, we gathered a lot of clarity, wisdom, and peace we want to share with you. We took the notes and sorted those into categories that have evolved and expanded over the years. We find these "paths" to be not only powerful, but truly life changing, and more than able to transcend the rush and craziness of modern life. These are the "Sanity Files" listed to the right. The posts are written by  members of Cowboy Dharma, and often from first person viewpoint as we believe "That what is most personal is most universal." (Carl Rogers)

Our journey begins with a love of nature through the earth and life in the Mother Nature tab. This is a homecoming and healing in itself as modern man has too often become insulated from the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Often in meetings when we share of our great love for the serenity, grandeur, and magnificence of nature people come up to us afterwards to thank them for reminding them of natures great benefits.

We then take a look at our relationship with infinite power, presence, and wisdom in the Higher Power tab, as it is a key to unlocking the dis-empowerment, loneliness, and pain we experience. For many this is a difficult journey as they felt abandoned by a Higher Power in their youth, left behind to suffer the abuses of wounded caregivers. For them it is a long, sometimes arduous journey back to the loving arms of a Higher Power, but a journey well worth making.  
Next is the connection to our original infant and child self through the Inner Child. Here we often find great comfort in caring for and communicating with our joyful, creative, authentic, and exuberant childlike self we may have locked away for years or decades due to growing up in difficult, troubled, and dysfunctional families, societies, and cultures.

Nest we reach out to the Loving Inner Parent within each of us to access, utilize, and experience all of the kindness, care, and love a truly loving parent expresses. Too many of us grew up with critical, judgemental, and abusive parenting we must learn to overcome to become the best mentor, coach, and guide for ourselves we can be.

The next tab defines the purpose of Twelve Step Recovery programs, which is to overcome the false self we have created as a survival mechanism to deal with all the difficulties and dysfunction of growing up as well as modern life by recovering our True Self, which is the happy union of an inner wonder child, loving inner parent, and loving Higher Power. This is often an arduous journey, the Hero's Journey, as you will see.

The next tab is very near and dear to us, for it is where many of us finally found the hope, help, healing, and happiness we had been searching for in Twelve Step Recovery. This path is tried and true as evidenced in the many lives saved and changed through Alcoholics Anonymous, and the many other powerfully helpful and healing programs that have followed.

 The story continues with the Eastern Wisdom tab that honors 5,000 years of eastern knowledge through Confucius, Lao Tzu, the Buddha, and other sources. Many are surprised the depth and breadth of the great wisdom offered.

Classical mid-eastern influences are honored by exploring the great religions of the area in the Mid-Eastern Wisdom tab through Christ Consciousness and Rumi tabs. We have no wish to sway anyone's personal convictions but do feel we would be remiss to overlook the positive aspects of wisdom paths that have stood the ages and brought so much good to the world. We see religion through it's basic definition as "returning to center and source," a worthy effort whatever path we choose.

 The explosion of contemporary western wisdom begins in the Western Wisdom tab as we look at the work some of our favorite thinkers such as Marshall Rosenbergs Non-Violent Communication, Echart Tolle's Power of Now, Erik Erikson's Developmental Stages, and Joseph Campbell's Archetypes and Hero's Journey.

The Prayer and Meditation tab explores how we may get in touch and communication with our Higher Power to "Be still and know" it's immense power, presence, and wisdom, and to make an intimate conscious contact that can be truly life changing. The meditation side looks at how we may learn to let go of troublesome attachments and get to know ourselves intimately and deeply.

We then travel to the "Immeasurable Virtues" that list and briefly explore the essential principles of a fully functional, complete, and sane life in the Super Powers tab. Here we reclaim the essential principles of living with wisdom, fairness, kindness, and many other virtues. We consider these SUPER powers because through recovery we have learned to channel them through the infinite power of our Higher Power.

 Next, we take a look at what of some of our favorite people have said in the Wise Masters tab. The quotes touch on simple but powerful truths expressed in just a few words. This often inspires us to go deeper and explore the larger stories behind great men and women through books, movies, and any other media that inspires us. 

Also look to the right to tap into the simple power and magic of (Super) Sayings, Slogans and (Mega) Mantras. As you will see this an area we find very fun and inspiring as we take short wise and pithy sayings we find helpful to refer to often and share with others. These are much like the Super Powers, just a bit more bold, colorful, and fun!

The healing power of a thankful heart is celebrated in the Attitude of Gratitude tab as we count our blessings and look to all the good things we have within us and in our world whatever our place or position as this simple practice can make all the difference as we walk through daily life with a full and grateful heart.

The journey continues with some of our own views and stories in the Personal Passions tab as we share personal insights and inspirations culled from our personal experiences of life's triumphs and tragedies, joys and sorrows, and all it's highs and lows. 

For the artist in each of us the experience of awe and wonder is transformative, and acknowledged in the Art and Beauty tab for without beauty life would be hardly worth living, and we believe everyone is an artist in how we live our lives whether we know it or not.

Like nature, Music is the fast track to peace, love, joy and beauty for many of us. It is art and beauty, but such a powerful influence for us we thought it worthy of its own tab. We realize it is a personal affair, so many of our choices may not strike a cord for you, but much like the Sanity Files in general, as our true hope is to inspire you to build your own music file of favorites to keep close at hand.

Next a look at how amazing modern life has become due to Science and Technology and through which a whole new world of wonders and conveniences have arisen, Unfortunately many of our advances also threaten us as well on many fronts if we let our cleverness overtake our wisdom.

We end with what is for us the bottom line and the purpose and meaning of life; Love. It is the Unified Theory that combines the Strong Force of kindness, caring, and compassion along with the Attractive Forces of the universe, and the Weak Force of fear and it's many manifestations. Love as science? Absolutely! What study could be more important, especially now?

Yet it really isn't the end as we hope to inspire you to assemble and build on your own Sanity Files of hope, help, healing, and happiness and begin to live the full, rich, empowered, and wonderful life for which you were intended.

All these all work together in what we call exponential synergy. Synergistic as they work together to achieve much more than they could alone, and exponentially as the power of each is multiplied by the others. Try one or all to see what resonates and works for you. We sincerely hope you find peace, love, joy, and beauty for yourself and your world, if not here, then elsewhere.

Feel free to email us at dharmacowboy@earthlink.net with things you have found helpful. All of us at Cowboy Dharma want to thank you very much for stopping by, and wish you all the best on your hero's journey to recover your True Self!

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