How to read this blog

I am sharing here things I have discovered on my journey, things I think might help others connect to who they really are. Unless otherwise noted, these are my words describing what I’ve found in my direct experience, and I ask you to trust your own knowing completely. If something helps open your life, then dive right in. If something doesn’t ring true, throw it out.

The only value these words have is the effect they have on my life in writing them (which is profound, thank you for sharing this experience with me), and the effect they have on your life in reading them.

May we all blissfully play together in this miracle of a world.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

In Time

We have never been good at finding each other in time

You and I.

I remember laughing together in the in between

After our first try

I was so confident

And we missed each other by three hundred million years

And almost half a galaxy.

You looked much like I do now

And I was this giant, glistening, tentacled creature.

I towered over that world, creating my own lightning as I moved.

It was the majesty of that form, I think,

That distracted me and drew me in.

Six times in all, you like to remind me,

I was born there, five times alone,

With you joining me on the sixth.

But as majestic as those creatures are

They don’t like each other very much

And we spent most of that life glowering at each other.

Not exactly the time-drenched love affair we had planned.

In this form, at once so frail and so dense,

I cannot tell if you are here.

Maybe we have passed in the street,

Or maybe you live in some little village on the other side of the world.

More likely you are sitting at a Stone Age fire

Shaking your head and laughing

At how bad I continue to be at this.

All is well, love,

Lives in this world are short, and

I will soon throw off this body

To find you and try again.

Posted in Poem, Story | Leave a comment

Unity and paradox – the wisdom of crossing the streams

One of the most effective ways I have found to use the structure of duality to start to expand beyond it is the unity/paradox or unity/opposite pair.

Commonly within our collective experience we use opposites to choose teams and paradoxes as ways to filter out things we don’t have a coherent way to deal with at the moment. As such we have good and bad, and apply that to people, to situations, to ways of thinking and seeing the world. We have pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, worthy and unworthy. These are all examples of opposites we use. Paradoxes are more subtle, but how we relate to life and death is one area where we use them as filters.

Taken as a tool to separate out desired experience from undesired, these dualities harden and tend to look like natural expressions of reality or our human lives.

But if you are on a path of expanding your consciousness, a truth  you will discover is that every duality is an expression of a unity that cannot yet be directly perceived. Instead of eternal enemies, opposites and paradoxes are actually gateways to an expansion of awareness that includes the unity that they both spring from.

Joy and sorrow are the same energy, pride and humility are the same energy. The unity from which life and death spring is indescribably beautiful and fascinating.

The trick is a simple one, just a change of approach. Whenever you find what appear to be opposites or paradoxes just ask the question “how could these be the same thing?” Some things will take time, you probably won’t see beyond life and death on day one. But this is a system we have built into the human experience to both fully experience the human form and to expand beyond it, so you will quickly find that your radar is reliable.

And yes, the title is a Ghostbusters reference.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do you want to experience true richness?

There is a method that is simple and reliable, but I won’t deceive you and tell you that it is easy.

Ask your life for a situation that really matters to you, something that involves your deepest desires. Ask for the situation to be one where you get nothing that you want.

When this situation arises, feel it as fully as you are able. Feel the desires reaching out into the world and not being met.

Be grateful for the situation and your experience of it. Actually grateful. Not the pretend kind of gratitude we force on ourselves when we are trying to be good. The kind that is true and self-existing, the kind that must be discovered.

Do this and your life will never be the same. You will wander a little drunk, a little embarrassed by the richness of your experience. The world will have an illumination you can’t imagine ever having lived without.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Self and selflessness

It is important on the spiritual path to remember that denial of self and the realization of no-self are vastly different things. Especially here in the west where so few of us survive through childhood with our ego structures intact this can be a difficult distinction to notice.

If in your exploration you find that you are holding yourself as somehow less, then there is a degree of denial of self in your perspective. Reality does not arise in ranked tiers, so at all times and in all situations you are equal to god and Buddha and the person you love and the person you are frustrated with and the litter in the street and the pebble on the side of the path.

No self is a state of being beyond comparison. It is completely empty and utterly exalted at the same time. It is that ever unfolding dance between the nothing, the everything, and exactly who you are in the moment.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shallow or deep

As in all times of transition, we are faced with a choice of how deep we go. We can go for a shallow dive and rearrange structures in the cultural paradigm to reduce our violence and create more fairness. We could create a kinder, gentler version of our neurotic civilization.

Or we can choose the deep dive into actual transformation. This, of course, requires courage. It also requires much more precision than we are used to using as we look at the world and our lives. Two of the areas where this choice arises clearly are gender and race.

We have explored for thousands of years now patriarchy and the elevation of male over female, and it is clearly time to take a new path. In the shallow dive we see the neurotic male desire to be in charge, to control the rules of the game enough that the results aren’t ever really in doubt. To balance this we can just identify the positions of power in our societies and find a way to balance out the number of men and women in them.

Deeper than male/female, though, are masculine/feminine. Where the neurotic male energy wants itself to be in charge, the neurotic masculine just wants someone to be in charge. While releasing just the neurotic male leaves all the structures of hierarchy in place, releasing neurotic masculine clears the field and allows space for something genuinely new to be born.

In their fundamental expression there is no conflict or competition between feminine and masculine, they are dance partners. To manifest this new civilization we need to awaken within ourselves both of the energies. Masculine gives up control and becomes a space holder. The rising expression of feminine no longer floods, but is pure abundance.

One of the many ways race has shown up in our collective experience in a way that shows distinct choices in how we relate with it has been shared events like the Academy Awards. With all of the major award categories filled with white people the imbalance is clear.

In a shallow dive we can just demand the Academy make changes to include a greater variety in their selections. We can address each similar situation when it arises into public awareness and over time have a more balanced public presentation of our culture.

But just as having a black president didn’t fundamentally change racism in our culture, improving the fairness of appreciation of the tiny percentage of people that show up in the public eye will not deeply change our day to day experience.

In a deeper dive what we see in the world is first and foremost a reflection of what we are individually and collectively. A reflection is an invitation to explore. Looking at the whiteness of the Academy Awards, we can explore the movies that get made, the roles that are filled, the stories that are told. We see that the black experience is underrepresented, as is the Asian and Latino, as is the female. We follow the exploration down until we are face to face with our brothers and sisters.

In that space, looking another human being in the eyes, the idea that they are above or below us in any way is beyond ridiculous. We naturally want to hear everyone’s story, we naturally want more than anything else for everyone to be able to live the life they choose.

With this the more balanced presentation of our culture will not just be a façade, it will be an honest expression of how we have chosen to be.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whispered in my ear

 If I had to give up food or hunger
 I would give up food
 If I had to give up love or heartbreak
 I would give up love
 I would give up joy before grief, peace before turbulence
 Hearing this the crowd shouts as one
 “He is crazy, he has lost his way.
 He talks nonsense.”
 But there is one in the back that does not shout
 She smiles
 “Finally,” she says, “another who has discovered
 where the world hides its dearest treasure. Finally,
 another lover wandering alone in the night.”
Posted in Poem, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you see the Buddha

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

This famous Zen koan points to an especially subtle aspect of the journey that can be difficult to transcend. The teacher, so helpful as we set out, will become an obstacle to awakening. Our lover will limit the love that flows through us. Our kindness and generosity and clarity will darken our path.

These virtues we have cultivated for so long to guide us through the maze of our own confusion need to fall away in their time as well. It is comforting to know that as each quality falls away it is replaced its infinite source. When the human construct of kindness falls away it clears the channel for the basic kindness of reality to flow in. Human generosity gives way to the generosity of being, and so forth.

There are two things to keep in mind with this. The first is that this comes late in the path, when is already quite empty. Reading some of the Tibetan stories about the history of Mahakala gives one a good sense of the effect of trying this too soon.

The second can be quite disconcerting. Even though we can know that reality is expressing itself in a pretty raw and direct through us, there is no longer feedback. Even as one strives to be more and more selfless, the human generated virtues all leave behind a sort of residue, a sort of felt confirmation that we had been kind, generous, helpful.

As a conduit for direct expressions there is no residue. In the silence there is, strangely, the simultaneous experience of being connected to all that is for the first time and being completely alone for the first time.

Posted in The journey, Unwinding | Leave a comment