Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Blessings

Happy Holidays and a Blessed New Year!


As we embark upon the end of the year a Frank Sinatra song comes to mind - "It Was A Very Good Year."

For me 2012 was a great year: 
Not a bad year.

I hope you had a good year. If not, let's proactively look forward to making 2013 most special and productive in every way.

Blessed means having a spiritual joy. It's good to be happy, amongst friends and loved ones, feeling safe and secure. And I wish this for you all in the coming year!

By the time you receive this I will be at Leo's Den in England. Surrounded by family and friends. And, naturally, enjoying the cheese!

Many blessings,
Rev. Leo Booth

Thursday, December 13, 2012

On Blasphemy


Blasphemy

People think it means
being wrong
but it can mean
daring to think differently

If I'm a blasphemer
I'm in good company!

Friday, December 7, 2012

On Angels


In The Angel and the Frog, Cedric the frog felt better in the presence of the angel Christine. He had lost his hop, he was feeling hop-less. Depression does this to frogs!

The message to you and me is to surround ourselves with angels, people who demonstrate kindness and love.

Better still, become our own angels!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Giving God


I'm understanding today that God's grace requires my cooperation. God is not a control freak; He does not force me to be kind or good. He wants me to make creative choices and live the good life.







Are you interested in God's Grace and God's Will for you?

I suggest you read and ponder The Happy Heretic.








The Happy Heretic will be released on December 3rd, but is available to you, signed, by calling 562-494-2900 or emailing michael@fatherleo.com.
Cost is $9.95. Shipping is $4 per book.

You can also find my books after their public release at:
My Website
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Also available: The Angel and the Frog, $12.95, and the new edition of Spirituality and Recovery $12.95.
Copies of all books, signed, are available as well. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It Is Given

This Thanksgiving, instead of thinking about what you need, focus on what has already been given.

The power of choice is an essential ingredient for being divine souls in human form. 
Like Jesus we can change the world if we choose; heal the sick and feed the poor.
Thank God for what we have been given.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Beliefs are What Make Me Human

I remember reading that C.S. Lewis was essentially hopeful because he believed that God has won the battle with the devil. It was over. Truth has conquered evil. I also believe this metaphysical story, Goodness has been victorious.

It is with this as a background that I say today that it is easier to get well than to stay sick. For the alcoholic, sobriety is an easier path; it's really difficult to live each day as a drunk.

I've not always believed this. I used to say that it is hard to get sober and I came to realize that this was giving energy to the negative; it seemed to suggest that the disease of alcoholism is stronger than the human spirit.

Yes, it is not easy to get sober but it is easier than the pain and chaos of being drunk; as I said earlier, it's not easy to live as a drunk.

A major shift in our thinking comes when we begin to ask - "Who are we? What is a human being?"

Today I believe that we reflect the divine. Indeed, we truly are divine creatures who were created to love and be loved. When we cease to love, when we begin to hurt ourselves, we disconnect from that divine energy. We feel powerless. Heavy drinking or other addictive behaviors create feelings of powerlessness and unmanageabilty. But this is not who we essentially are; truly we are divine.

C.S. Lewis sensed this. The victory has been won. We are victorious. Now let's live as winners!

Rev Leo

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Traveling Man


Yes, I've just got back from Southern India and now I'm off to stay at Leo's Den, in Manchester, England. I'll get to visit my sister, my nieces and Joe, who visited me in Southern California a couple of months ago.

Travel helps me to understand the world in which I live. People are different...and yet the same. We all want to be loved, appreciated, supported and understood. Different perspectives enable me to have a broader concept of spirituality, what it means to live a life with divine dimensions.

Also, I'm grateful. I know I'm a lucky man. But this word luck must also include the work I've performed and created in my life. As Christine, the angel-in-training from The Angel and the Frog said to Cedric the frog, "You need to become your own angel." Instead of waiting for things to happen, make them happen.

I hope that many of you will be able to visit Leo's Den in the near future. Anytime of the year you will find something beautiful in England even in the Fall and Winter months which have their own special attraction; a chance to wear hats, scarfs, gloves and warm coats we rarely use in America. From the months of November through March, England is both crisp and fresh. Imagine yourself looking out drinking a hot cup of tea and seeing the autumn and beauty of the trees. You can both rest and play in a comfortable home, for a few weeks that you can call your own.

As a reminder, the winter rates to rent are $175.00 a night from November 1st - March 31st. And let's not forget, that includes the use of my the car.

I know you've thought about it; now make it happen.

Leo Booth

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm in England


I'm off to stay at Leo's Den in England this week. 

I hear you say " Oh, I'd love to visit England." Well you can! 

See the information concerning Leo's Den here.

You'll love the experience!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Special Delivery: Books


 Special Advanced Copies for my fans: 

The Angel and the Frog
Available to the public November 6, 2012
Signed copies are available to you, immediately!
Price $12.95







The Happy Heretic
Publication date December 3, 2012 
Order your signed copies in advance.
Price $9.95






Spirituality and Recovery
Released October 2, 2012 
Available immediately.
Price $12.95







To order signed/advance copies:
Call     562-494-2900
Email   michael@fatherleo.com
Shipping is $4 per book.

You can also find these books after their public release at:
My Website
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Friday, October 19, 2012

Southern India - videos

What a wonderful way to spend time: traveling, meeting new people, experiencing what life has to offer. To those who joined me in Southern India this year, thank you for the opportunity to bond with you and bring you into my life. To those who were unable to attend this year, please plan to attend a journey with me next year by checking back on my Facebook page, my website, and in my newsletter for information as it is planned.

For those of you who were there, these videos may serve as a reminder of a time when you felt peace and enjoyment and want to recapture that feeling. For those of you who were unable to attend, please enjoy these souvenirs I've brought back to share with you.

video
Hindu procession

video
Majestic elephants

video
Highest point in Southern India, Anamudi

video
Finding God

video
Friends

video
Park in Kerala

video
Washing

Monday, October 8, 2012

Southern India 2012


I have just returned from India. I've always said that I don't want to read about the world; I want to see it.
Now you can see the India that I experienced in these videos.Don't miss them.

video

video

video

Friday, October 5, 2012

Success



Success is not a dirty word.
In some ways it's an aspect of living the good life, the spiritual life.
I'm not talking money, but I'm not excluding it.
We should never shun the success that brings a richness in living.
Enjoy life!

--Rev. Leo Booth

Friday, September 28, 2012

Celebration of Spirit

CELEBRATION OF SPIRIT:
COMPASSION 

I'm so pleased that Rev Judy and Rev Glenda will be talking at the Celebration of Spirit on the topic of compassion. Recent events in the world make this topic so important. I hope you are able to join her and "Leo's Team" at Common Ground this month. Barbara and I will be thinking about you all...in India.

Challenging the frightened parts of personality creates compassion. It changes one’s experience of self and others. The loving parts of personality are compassionate, and the frightened parts are not. Compassion means caring about self and others enough to see the sources of pain, to heal the frightened parts, and cultivate the loving parts. Shouting when angry is an unconscious choice. Having random unprotected sex is an unconscious choice. Feeding addictions and compulsions is an unconscious choice. Compassion is not obsessive, compulsive or addictive. It is appropriate.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH @ 7PM

"ACTING WITH COMPASSION"

LOCATED AT:
14051 Newport Ave
Tustin, CA 92780

For more information please call John @ 714.224.6184

Looking forward to seeing you at Celebration of Spirit!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Available NOW - Southern California Home


I shall be away from my California home on Saturday, September 22nd until Sunday, October 6th. If you are able to rent my home on a short notice this is a great time to see Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Malibu and Orange County or Disneyland and Universal Studios.

As a reminder, the house is walking distance to the beach and centrally located in Los Angeles. It truly is a central spot to experience all that there is to offer here in Southern California.

The rates to rent my house are $250.00 per night. Price ALSO includes the use of of my Mercedes 430S. Remember, it never rains in Southern California!

I shall also be away October 30th - November 9th and December 17th - January 4th, 2013
Escape the rain, snow and cold winds and enjoy the many places to visit in sunny California. Contact Michael for further information: or call 562-494-2900.

Rev Leo

Thursday, September 20, 2012

October 11th Event

Just a few weeks from today, I will be speaking at an event for the 3rd Western Conference on Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders with a special focus on Process Addictions and I want you to join me.

What:    Music and Laughs featuring singer Gloria Loring
When:   October 11th, 2012, 7:00-8:30pm
Cost:     Free, open to the public
Where:  Newport Beach Mariott Hotel
               900 Newport Center Drive
               Newport Beach, CA 92660




If professionals would like additional information about obtaining CEUs, please see the information here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Birthing Babies


Yes, I'm birthing three new babies! 

October arrives: Spirituality and Recovery (revised) 

November brings: The Angel and The Frog (revised) 

December, a new baby: The Happy Heretic. 

All published by Health Communication Incorporated. 
Order pre-published SIGNED copies from Michael at my office by emailing him here.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friends at Leo's Den

 I know that many of you have watched the Olympics in London and enjoyed it. For me, the games were exciting to watch, not only for the US team but also for England! Yes, the spirit of the Olympics is about competition but in many ways it expands our respect for other cultures around the world and I see that the unity and friendship between the countries is evident.

Talking about different countries and cultures, in September a group will be joining me on my journey to Southern India.

Maybe you're asking, "I see that the trip is less than a month away but can I still come?"
"Can I join the group at this late date?"

Yes, but you need to call Shama at Rama Tours at 773.205.7900 and fix up the details.

I hear from my sister, who lives in Manchester, England that the weather is glorious at the moment. Maybe you would like to see England this Fall, well call Michael and arranage your dates. I will be visiting some time before Christmas; can't wait to order my English fish and chips. And the English lamb is very tasty.

Rev Leo


Here are some comments from people who have visited Leo's Den recently:

 Just wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our stay at Leo's Den. The weather was cool and rainy, but it didn't stop us. It was quiet and peaceful and yet so much fun to experience the English customs, food, shopping, sites and the car is lovely! I am glad we had the longer stay. Anything less would just not be enough. I would highly recommend it to anyone. - Maridale & Amy

 Leo's Den is beautiful, comfortable and well appointed. Leo did a great job with the remodel. Christine is a gem. (She doesn't really look like the Auntie type; she is very fashionable, gorgeous and young!) She was warm and welcoming! Our strategy of making Leo's Den our home base and adventuring out from there was all-in-all a good plan. - Donna & Geno, Richmond, VA

Spending time in the comfort and ease of Leo’s Den provided an opportunity for us to enjoy the quiet atmosphere of Manchester, to rest and rejuvenate, and to have a ‘home base’ from which to visit parts of England as well as to venture forth to Rome and Florence. We particularly appreciated Auntie Christine and the many friendly people we met in the neighborhood, on buses and at local pubs. Leo’s Den is a perfect place to spend time for anyone who needs to take a break from the hectic pace of everyday life. We are happy to have had this experience. - Reverend Judy and Reverend Glenda, Common Ground Spiritual Center

From 8/26/12 Newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter directly, click HERE.
For more details on Leo's Den, England, please click HERE.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Spiritual Awakening


The good thing about having an author write a column is that you hear about a new book before the book is published; in my case, I’m talking about The Happy Heretic. It is the result of my spiritual awakening that happened years ago when I realized that everything I was told I didn’t believe. Or, to put it another way; we believe a thing until we don’t believe it anymore.

I think everyone who enters into recovery soon realizes that they are not only seeking healing for their drug and alcohol use, other things are involved. For some it is food, sex, gambling; in my case it was religious codependency.

Is the phrase religious codependency new to you? Well, that’s why I wrote this book. More importantly, that’s why it is being published by Health Communications Incorporated this December. It speaks of a toxic message I heard growing up; God is everything and I am nothing without God’s grace. Well, I don’t believe that. Oh, I realize that I’m not God, but I am something. Yes, God certainly wanted me to get sober, but I needed to want it enough to change my behaviors. The God that I believe in today, so very different from the God I was raised with, has given Leo something of himself (free will) at birth. I am a child of God that, with this gift of free will, is able to make creative choices. I’m no longer nothing; I am something.

For the alcoholic who was riddled with guilt, shame and low self-esteem this belief has proven to be transformational. I’m an essential part of my recovery.

Today I am able to understand the word responsibility in a new and challenging way because I’ve moved away from that religious codependency that kept me waiting for God to fix or rescue me. God’ grace requires my involvement; I have become part of the change process.

This spiritual awakening has also helped me understand that I have not inherited the sin of Adam and Eve. They were responsible for their behaviors, and they paid the price; I’m responsible for my actions and behaviors. The term original sin has come to mean for me, original blessing. I’ve moved away from sin into a state of blessedness. Their sins, your sins, they are not my sins. As the saying goes: I was born an original, I’m not going to die a copy.

For me, this spiritual awakening has created an amazing shift in my life. Notice I said my life, not just recovery. Yes, I need to take responsibility for my recovery from alcohol and drugs but this healing from religious codependency has affected health, finance, relationships…and prayer.

I’m no longer praying for God to take away my problems and challenges, rather I’m affirming in my prayers the need to think differently and act responsibly. Health issues became my issues. If I want to pray about my cough, and I’m a smoker, then I need to act differently. Asking for God to remove my financial insecurity, if I’m spending too much money at Starbucks, doesn’t make sense today. Requesting a loving partner, without doing the footwork, is really a cry for magic, not miracle.

Has this spiritual awakening made me critical of the words and prayers used at recovery meetings? Not really. I’ve always realized that the program is inspired, not dogmatically dictated and it is necessary for me to interpret what I hear and read. True, the prayers on the wall are not as I would have written them but I look to the meaning behind the words. What is said with one hand always needs to be balanced by what is being said in the other hand. I need to let go; and also be responsible. I need to be quiet and listen; but there is also a time to speak. I need to assist others; but also take care of myself.

Yes, you can say it; Leo will never become a bleeding deacon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Walking Away



A popular saying needs thinking about: What you think of me is none of my business!

Oh really?
If you are cruel and sarcastic, a real jerk, that is my business.
I need to create some distance for MY sanity.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Upcoming Conferences



Upcoming Events

Many of you are family therapists, nurses, counselors, social workers, healthcare specialists or work in the various fields of recovery and know the importance of providing an array of dynamic educational events to enhance the work that we do.

Therefore, I would like share this information on a few conferences that I will be speaking at this year.

AUGUST 16: The 16th Annual RGANM Conference
Albuquerque, NM
Contact:  Carolyn Warrenswe / Phone:  505.242.6988 ext 12
website: https://rganm.com/  

AUGUST 24:  Addiction Studies Institute sponsored by Talbot Hall, The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
Contact:  Eleanor Garrison / Phone:  614.273.1400
website:  www.addictionstudiesinstitute.com  

SEPTEMBER 15 & 16: The Harmony Foundation
Estes Park, CO
Contact:  Alice Burkholder / Phone:  970.577.3150
website: http://www.harmonyfoundationinc.com/

OCTOBER 11: Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders Conference
Newport Beach, CA
Contact:  US Journal Training / Phone:  800.441.5569
website: http://www.usjt.com/

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ordinary Miracles, a poem

I'm at the airport going to Alina Lodge, Newark. 


It's busy. 



A lady offers me a slice of her orange. 



Kindness in the hustle.



Look for the ordinary miracles.


--Rev. Leo Booth

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Updated - Leo's Den



Leo’s Den -  Updated Information!

Many of you know that I have a comfortable home in England (Lancashire). With this in mind, I wish to make my house available to my friends. (But trust me when I say it is most comfortable).
About the House: This attractive detached house has three bedrooms, and will comfortably sleep up to five people, with a kitchen, dining room and two lounge areas; also two bathrooms and showers with a guest bathroom downstairs.  There is a garden at the back and front to just sit and relax.
Where is it? The house is located outside the city of Manchester, close to Yorkshire, Stratford on Avon (Shakespeare's home), the countryside where the T.V. series All Creatures Great and Small was filmed, The Lake District, Auckland Castle, Liverpool (birthplace of the Beatles) and close to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters' home. Scotland is three hours drive and there is a direct railway connection between Manchester and London. Of course, for soccer fans you can see Manchester United play at Old Trafford.
Car Available: In order to see the beauty of England's countryside or visit Scotland, Ireland and Wales you need a car. This is what makes visiting England, with hotels and car rentals priced in "the English pound" so expensive. With this in mind, I've included the use of my personal Mercedes E Series (Automatic) in the daily rental.
Auntie Christine: I've arranged for Auntie Christine to be your point person during your stay. Christine will provide basic snacks at the house upon your arrival. Auntie Christine will arrange a mutually convenient time concerning orientation for driving in England. Also included, Christine will clean the house once a week. Anything you need for the house, she will try to accommodate and meet your every need.  She's a fantastic person.   You'll enjoy Auntie Christine.
CostApril – Sept: It is simply $250.00 per night (including use of the car and domestic services provided by Auntie Christine). For those sharing the expense with family and friends Leo's Den is truly a great deal. Winter rates: $175.00 per night.
Driving/TransportationScotland is a 2 ½ hour drive from the house; Wales is little over an hour drive. The train station is located 2 miles away from the house, to take the train from Manchester to London is approximately 3 hours.
How do I make a reservation for Leo's Den?   Contact my office at 562.494.2900. Email: fatherleo@fatherleo.com    We have a master calendar and all your dates (if available) will be confirmed when payment is received.  Everything is as above, all you need to do is pay for the gasoline and food you require during your stay and then enjoy England at your own pace.
I want you to feel at home in my home and for those of you who are interested in AA recovery, I will provide a list of scheduled meetings. However, I do realize that not everyone is in recovery and so everyone is able to rent my house.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us.
Leo Booth

Thursday, June 7, 2012

India's Bird Sanctuary


You've heard the saying...a Bird in the Hand!

Kumarokom and Alleppey

 Another highlight of our trip will be a morning visit to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary where several species of birds can been seen. It is located along the beautiful banks of the Vembanad Lake which, by the way, for anyone visiting southern India, is considered to be one of the world famous Backwater destinations of Kerala.
In the morning, as we depart from Kumarokom, we will arrive in Alleppey in the afternoon to be served delicious Malabari food on a deluxe house boat. You'll have the rest of the day free to either sit and relax or, if adventure awaits you, it will be a wonderful opportunity to explore the Backwaters of Kerala.

Hope to see you there,
Rev. Leo

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Day with Shakespeare


Please note: The most up-to-date information can be found at: http://leobooth.blogspot.com/2012/06/updated-leos-den.html


Did you know that Shakespeare's house is only two hours away from the home I rent out in England? Yes, you can have a leisurely breakfast at Leo's Den, drive to Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare lived, book a performance at the Globe Theatre, have dinner before the show in an English Pub or restaurant and be home again, snug in bed by midnight. Visit Anne Hathaway's cottage or the Holy Trinity Church, also nearby.
A day to remember.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The English Countryside

Please note: The most up-to-date information can be found at: http://leobooth.blogspot.com/2012/06/updated-leos-den.html

What I love about my visits home, to Leo's Den, is the countryside. In ten minutes you are in Yorkshire, or Derbyshire or heading towards Shakesphere country in Warwickshire. And each shire is differently beautiful. 

The pubs are social gatherings for great food, drink and fellowship. The characters and eccentrics that thrive in England really come alive in the country pubs and restaurants. It's like an on-going comedy show; I really miss the English humor.

The surronding cities are great...oh, but the countryside is superb.

If you like soccer, go to Old Tralford and see Manchester United play or Main Road and see Manchester City. Experience a soccer game; very different from watching a game played on T.V.

All the information you need is below.

Leo Booth


Leo’s Den
Many of you know that I have a comfortable home in England (Lancashire).  With this in mind, I wish to make my house available to my American friends. At the moment it is being completely re-decorated and it will be available for rent in May 2012.  (But trust me when I say it is most comfortable). 

About the House: This attractive detached house has three bedrooms, and will comfortably sleep up to five people, with a kitchen, dining room and two lounge areas; also two bathrooms and showers with a guest toilet downstairs.  There is a garden at the back and front to just sit and relax. 

Where is it? The house is located outside the city of Manchester, close to Yorkshire, Stratford on Avon (Shakespeare's home), the countryside where the T.V. series All Creatures Great and Small was filmed, The Lake District, Auckland Castle, Liverpool (birthplace of the Beatles) and close to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters' home. Scotland is three hours drive and there is a direct railway connection between Manchester and London. Of course, for soccer fans you can see Manchester United play at Old Trafford. 

Car Available: In order to see the beauty of England's countryside or visit Scotland, Ireland and Wales you need a car. This is what makes visiting England, with hotels and car rentals priced in "the English pound" so expensive. With this in mind, I've included the use of my personal Mercedes (E Series) in the daily rental. For those sharing the expense with family and friends Leo's Den is truly a great deal. 

Auntie Christine: I've arranged for Auntie Christine to be the housekeeper and point person for your stay.  Anything you need for the house, she will try to accommodate and meet your every need.  She's a fantastic person. You'll enjoy Auntie Christine.

Cost: It is simply $250.00 per day (including use of the car and domestic services provided by Auntie Christine).  Basic snacks will be provided upon arrival at the house and I'll arrange for somebody to provide orientation for driving in England. 

Random Thoughts for Leo's Den: 
The Olympic Games:  Beginning in July, many of you know that England will be hosting the International Olympic Games in London.  Manchester is a rail trip (2 hours, 30 minutes) from London and visitors could stay at my home, visit London, then return to enjoy the beautiful countryside of Great Britain (ie England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). For those who are interested in catching some of the events at the Olympics, this could be the ideal arrangement. 

Queen Elizabeth 60 Year Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth and some of the Royal Family will be visiting different parts of the country to celebrate her sixty years on the throne.  Why not join the crowds and experience the royal wave; perhaps see Charles and Camilla chatting to the local people or enjoying a beer in a local pub?   It's all happening this year. 

Have you thought about reserving dates over the holidays or in 2013?  Well, celebrating Christmas and New Year in England is fantastic; fireworks, Bangers and Mash, Christmas pudding and crackers! 

How do I make a reservation for my vacation at Leo's Den?   Contact my office at 562.494.2900. Email: 
fatherleo@fatherleo.com    We have a master calendar and all your dates (if available) will be confirmed when payment is received.  Everything is as above, all you need to do is pay for the gasoline and food you require during your stay and then enjoy England at your own pace or, if you are feeling adventurous, explore Europe; after all, Paris, France is not that far away! 

I want you to feel at home in my home and for those of you who are interested in AA recovery, I will provide a list of scheduled meetings. However, I do realize that not everyone is in recovery and so everyone is able to rent my house. 

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us. 
Leo Booth 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Common Ground



Many of you know I'm an Associate Minister at Common Ground here in Tustin, California where on the last Sunday of each month, I conduct the morning service on the same day that I do the evening Celebration of Spirit.

Many recovering people are looking for a safe church or community that fits their Twelve Step program; Common Ground is the place. Common Ground  sees itself as a spiritual community that welcomes everyone.  A sacred space that celebrates the divinity that exists in the Universe and also in you and me.   Whether it be the morning service or evening talk, you will not hear a sermon about damnation but a message of encouragement that affirms Joy, Possibility and Hope.  Nobody is made or expected to believe anything, rather we are invited to bring our gifts to the Fellowship.  People celebrating One Spirit.  What a concept!  Indeed, you couldn't meet nicer ministers than Rev Judy and Rev Glenda, they both share a ministry based upon inclusive love.

At Celebration of Spirit, I will discuss the process and steps required for growth in recovery and how to maintain a healthy, happy and yes, a sober life!  

Evening Talk
The last Sunday of each month at 7:00pm
Music by Scott St Louis, Spiritual Reading, Meditations, Inspirational Talk, Refreshments and Social gathering
 
LOCATED AT:
14051 Newport Ave
Tustin, CA 92780
714.573.2540
Driving Directions Available At
Childcare is available: please contact Barbara Derry at 562.243.4209

Hope to see you,
Rev Leo 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Find Me Online

Google yourself and you might be surprised what comes up. When you search for me, it should be simple and straightforward. Here are some places to easily find me online, to get your daily dose of Leo.

My website has information on upcoming trips, Leo's Den, and is a store for books, CDs, and DVDs.
You can also get my books on Amazon.
My Facebook page is updated several times per week. Come be my fan for my latest musings.
I speak at Common Grounds twice on the last Sunday of the month. The video is also available.
Some of my accomplishments are listed at Unity Church's website.
Some of my speaking engagements are listed with Work and Wellness.
If you like Classic Leo, my old blog is still available.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Excerpt from Dancing with Pelagius and Rumi

I've been hard at work on my newest book, The Happy Heretic -Dancing with Pelagius and Rumi, anticipated publication date 2012.

Always in a state of reflecting on my self and my journey, this novel is about seeing our relationship with God differently from the way I was raised as an Anglican. Today I see my life in partnership with God, not waiting for God to initiate actions but rather knowing that I have been given, by God, the power to act and create. This concept was argued by Pelagius against the teachings of Saint Augustine of Hippo; a similar belief was celebrated by the Muslim poet Rumi.

Unfortunately, Pelagius was condemned in the Fourth Century as a heretic and banished to Africa. Today I realize that I’m a Pelagian: hence a heretic. And I’m happy about this. I intend to put excerpts from my book on my Facebook page and I am sure it will create some chatter in the recovery community.

Here is an excerpt:
     Life is a series of choices, intelligent or ignorant, and the result determines happiness or disaster. An alternative position championed by Saint Augustine, is that God’s grace alone is influencing the good choices we make, and therefore we cannot and should not take credit. Pelagius agrees that God’s grace abounds but that does not change the fact that human beings have been given the freedom to act; if they are to be condemned for the evil actions that they create then they should be praised for their virtuous behaviors.
     I’m not waiting for God to stop bad things happening to me. I’m initiating, by my choice, a life of bliss by my partnership with God. I’m not sinful, I’m blessed. And yes, I’m the Happy Heretic.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Religious Addiction


I spend a bit of time talking about the notion of addiction to religion. Balance is necessary and attainable in every aspect of life, and balance between religion or spirituality and other facets of your life is necessary as well.

Compiled for you, here, are 4 pieces of video that I did as an interview on this very topic. I had previously posted one to my Facebook page, but thought you might like to have them together to watch in succession.

Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel could benefit from more balance in their daily life.

When God Becomes a Drug - Part 1
When God Becomes a Drug - Part 2 
When God Becomes a Drug - Part 3 
When God Becomes a Drug - Part 4

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Leo's Den - Updated


Please note: The most up-to-date information can be found at: http://leobooth.blogspot.com/2012/06/updated-leos-den.html


There is updated information on Leo's Den from the last time I blogged about it in January. I'd love to have you stay there! Please read on for additional information and contact me with your questions. Also, if you've stayed at Leo's Den in the past, please send me your photos.



Leo’s Den


Many of you know that I have a comfortable home in England (Lancashire). With this in mind, I wish to make my house available to my American friends. At the moment it is being completely re-decorated and it will be available for rent in May 2012. (But trust me when I say it is most comfortable).

About the House: This attractive detached house has three bedrooms, and will comfortably sleep up to five people, with a kitchen, dining room and two lounge areas; also two bathrooms and showers with a guest toilet downstairs. There is a garden at the back and front to just sit and relax.

Where is it? The house is located outside the city of Manchester, close to Yorkshire, Stratford on Avon (Shakespeare's home), the countryside where the T.V. series All Creatures Great and Small was filmed, The Lake District, Auckland Castle, Liverpool (birthplace of the Beatles) and close to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters' home. Scotland is three hours drive and there is a direct railway connection between Manchester and London. Of course, for soccer fans you can see Manchester United play at Old Trafford.

Perks:

Car Available
In order to see the beauty of England's countryside or visit Scotland, Ireland and Wales you need a car. This is what makes visiting England, with hotels and car rentals priced in "the English pound" so expensive. With this in mind, I've included the use of my personal Mercedes (E Series) in the daily rental. Also, a number of people have indicated that they don't feel comfortable driving "on the other side of the road" in England. Do't worry, we can provide a driver for a few hours at the beginning of your trip to help you navigate the roads. This truly makes Leo's Den a great deal.

Auntie Christine
I've arranged for Auntie Christine to be the housekeeper and point person for your stay. Anything you need for the house, she will try to accommodate and meet your every need. She's a fantastic person. You'll enjoy Auntie Christine.

The Olympic Games
Beginning in July, many of you know that England will be hosting the International Olympic Games in
London. Manchester is a rail trip (2 hours, 30 minutes) from London and visitors could stay at my home, visit London, then return to enjoy the beautiful countryside of Great Britain (ie England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). For those who are interested in catching some of the events at the Olympics, this could be the ideal arrangement.

Queen Elizabeth 60 Year Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth and some of the Royal Family will be visiting different parts of the country to celebrate her sixty years on the throne. Why not join the crowds and experience the royal wave; perhaps see Charles and
Camilla chatting to the local people or enjoying a beer in a local pub? It's all happening this year. Have you thought about reserving dates over the holidays or in 2013? Well, celebrating Christmas and New Year in England is fantastic; fireworks, Bangers and Mash, Christmas pudding and crackers!

How do I make a reservation for my vacation at Leo's Den?
Contact my office at 562.494.2900. Email: fatherleo@fatherleo.com We have a master calendar and all your dates (if available) will be confirmed when payment is received. Everything is as above, all you need to do is pay for the gasoline and food you require during your stay and then enjoy England at your own pace or, if you are feeling adventurous, explore Europe; after all, Paris, France is not that far away!

What is the cost?
It is simply $250.00 per day (including use of the car and domestic services provided by Auntie Christine). Basic snacks will be provided upon arrival at the house and I'll arrange for somebody to provide orientation for driving in England.

I want you to feel at home in my home and for those of you who are interested in AA recovery, I will provide a list of scheduled meetings. However, I do realize that not everyone is in recovery and so everyone is able to rent my house.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us.
Leo Booth

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spirituality is Love


Spirituality = Love

February is the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day; the Love Month. And we usually associate the celebration of Valentine’s Day with thoughts about those in a relationship with another; wife, partner or significant other…but it is also the occasion when we can broaden our horizons and think about the concept of love itself. What is it? Where does it come from? What does this feeling do for the individual?

Before we explore the concept of love I do not wish to minimize the power and healing that comes from loving another person; to love and be loved is a wonderful thing. Most people pray or wish for this experience in their lives; not to have to go through life alone. And I really get this. Over the years I’ve been in love-based relationships and they’ve certainly made me a happy man. I cherish each and every one and I regret none of these experiences.

But are we really alone if we do not have a partner? That brings me to this wonderful wordspirituality. For me, and I realize I’m only speaking for myself, spirituality is the demonstration of love; it involves taking something of the divine that exists in every life force and manifesting it in a thousand and one ways. It can never be fully explained and yet it carries within it something of the Creation: When we express love in our spiritual attitude and behavior we bring about something that was not in existence before the act of loving. In this sense, the act of loving is a demonstration of the divine.

I’ve come to the conclusion, after years of searching the many aspects of spirituality in recovery, that it needs to include a love of self. As Oscar Wilde says: To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Tragically, some religious messages seemed to infer that if you love yourself you were considered to be selfish and arrogant, but healthy spirituality affirms that in order to love another we need to have a balanced love of self. This love of self avoids the dangerous slide into co-dependency, where we can only experience love if we have somebody, anybody, in our lives. I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me, the spiritual awakening involves a love and genuine respect for myself. And this spiritual love moves us beyond the human dimension; we begin to love life, nature, creation itself. God has placed us in a world, indeed a Universe, that generates pleasure, mystery and mysticism. The fact that we do not understand everything does not stop us loving the experience of this life force.

Last year I visited Cambodia and Vietnam along with other spiritual travelers and recovering friends. The year before that we experienced Egypt and for this year, I’m inviting people to join me for my Spiritual Journey to Southern India in September. And I’m loving the anticipation of all that we will see. Indeed, I’m creating the journey, making a comprehensive and interesting itinerary, inviting speakers to explain the history, culture and religion of the parts of India that we will be visiting. If you are interested in joining us all the information you need is featured on my website.

Spirituality reflects an aspect of love that seeks to explore the divine in all its many and varied dimensions. As someone who is healing from the lost years of stagnation, created by alcohol, I want to see and taste the world. Yes, I’ve grown to love people and, incredibly, allowed others to love me, but also developed a love and appreciation for life itself.

As we acknowledge February, the “Love Month”, I hope you are able to experience the many aspects of divine love throughout the year that surround us every day. Finding a spiritual fascination in the varied manifestations of love that are part of this thing we call life. As I heard said in a support meeting recently; don’t leave before you experience the miracle.

Leo Booth

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reflections at Sea

video

"I've just watched the funeral of Whitney Houston, and many people were actually looking back at her life. However, spirituality is always looking forward - beyond death, new opportunities. We never live in the past. Always, we look to the future. Have a great day." --Reverend Leo Booth