Monday, December 28, 2009

Bringing Matter into Consciousness

Until i begin, I don't know what the next moment holds...

...bring matter into consciousness, it's just a small thing to do in your spare time. it only takes forever. the mother lost, has become mother asleep. mother-asleep mothers with resentment, irritation, impatience, intolerance, jealousy; awake mother is the nectar-of-God-food, life way alive.

sleeping mother powerless to change

awake mother the force of change

sleeping mother dumbing down

waking mother speaking from the seat of knowledge

sleeping mother lies face up dead

waiting for the alarm

while waking mother wakes up everyone

waking mother massaging the hands and the feet and the legs and the belly and the head and the arms and chest

wake up little baby, wake up

Why is body awareness such a commodity? Because we are starving, and without it we are deprived of our birthright ... the human experience is all we innocently came for, to evolve the soul to the next level.

To be ourselves is all we want...but does it mean saying everything? Do we want to be able to say everything to one person, just because we are starved of opportunities to be ourself? if we had more ample opportunities, then it would be such a hot commodity, authenticity? it seems retarded to think that is such a rare gift...why is it that so few people can accomplish being themselves? Why after everything I've been through would I continue to care what was thought of me?

When i see a man risking being himself, it is hands down the most attractive thing...

We are vulnerable beings, and it is mostly through illusion that we create a veil of security (as my eye begins to twitch). Or are those the words of a person who lives on the edge...we could fly much higher as a species.

To breath we only need the basics...for the soul to breath along, it requires a windy, circular, cyclical path, often not clear about it's logical purpose, but so unmistakably guided in certain directions. hardly makes for a good book, haha

But low and behold, our ahaa-s are inspiring to others, why, because of the very energy transfer that takes place when the authentically transformed being speaks the path of that transformation...stories that can be told over and over as mantras and vibrations that carry the code of knowledge and wisdom for the next generations to come, speaking to the DNA as a continually evolving story of being.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Raising a Child

Raising a child is blowing my mind...can someone please now blow my brains out so I match?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Take It As It Is

Take it as it is – Shine your light on this Because it’s all there is, and you’re it – Shine your light on this Therein lies the key, therein lies the beauty, therein lies the bliss – Shine your light on this Amarum Madhurum Shaanti Shaanti Gentle peace There is no beginning, and there’s no end there is no becoming, One moment is gone in, one moment is gone in the next. ~From The Yoga Lullabies CD, Beth Martens 2007

We can at times be left feeling life is not giving us what we want. More few are those who feel satisfied with themselves, living from a place of gratitude and praise for what they have. Why have North Americans woman taken such a ruthless approach to trying to control their speci-men? Men have resorted to something that makes up for any shortcomings they may have – they stick together. It’s a code that was revealed to me, suddenly making my childhood experiences with men seem comprehensible.

I used to use a fitness facility that is connected to a hospital. It’s not your average show off your haw-haw’s meat market, but I’m still amazed how mean the women are to each other. Rare are the one’s who can smile and have a chat in this intimate environment. Everyone is so worried about how their bodies compare with the other that their teeth are clenched in defense and anger. I’m sure any good they are receiving in a work out goes right out the door when they spit fire balls out their eyes, and seem to actually hate their fellow women exercisers.

Men who are power hungry can feast on this environment. We are dividing ourselves and therefore the conquering isn’t even a sport, rather we are throwing ourselves at their mercy, having already chewed up and spit out our own. How sad for us as women that we can’t learn to love each other and stop focusing on our relative goods and not –so- goods. Take it as it is, because that’s all there is.

What do you have if you haven’t embraced what is? And how many people live their lives so blind to what is? We can see it in everyone else, but we don’t see it in our self, because that’s what unconscious means. We live in collective and individual denials of the basic facts of life. And we see the slow decay of a way of life, but we don’t make the connection to our perception, to meeting without ego, to taking risks for peace, to pretending we know what the solution is…

You have to take it as it is, because that’s all there is. And that “all” is, back to Om Poornam, whole. If you find yourself in quiet moments of complete acceptance and recognition for reality, you are a step closer to having a state of peace in your life, even in the face of life’s many dramatic movements, trials and transformations. People think they know what they want and they do anything to accomplish their goal, at all cost, to them or anyone. But they are really driven by hidden agendas.

For example, after spending more than 10 years pursuing a career in music I discovered at the root of my drive was a desperately sad voice that said, “I just want to be loved.” I cried for a week when I saw clearly how sublimated my true desire had become from a very early age. By seeing what was actually behind my sometimes-manic way of working my music, I grew to a place of having much more discrimination in my actions.

All there is, I am. It sounds like I’m an ego maniac, because we tend to have a very narrow definition of “I.” We are locked by senses into an overwhelming sense of differntiation, not a mistake, but also not a complete picture. Sanskrit philospophy helps unravel this. It refers to five element, tatwa’s, that make up the entire universe: Earth, water, fire, air and space. That means there is only these elements and no more, in millions of varied combinations, shapes and sizes, but nonetheless the same. One could say the water in you is the water in me. The breath in you is the wind in the forest. The fire in the volcano is the same energy digesting your dinner. The most subtle of the elements, space ether, is pervading every level of the tatwa’s , proven for decades by Niels Bohr who demonstrated that matter wasn’t solid and that compared to the size of the moving atoms, there was mostly space. In an energetic way, that table is no more there than it is not there. Except it is.

The more subtle the element, the easier it is to notice its base in oneness. Focussing the mind on the subtle element of ether, one’s attention takes on that nature. Focus on water and the mind will move through emotions. Focus on earth and …we prowl like animals. Integration is everything - that is taking it as it is. Because it's all there is.

Meditation: Breath in. Breath in what is. No filter, no judgements, no taken aback, no running toward, no laws of attraction and repulsion, no frame, no category, no theory, no philosophy, no religion, no what should no what could nor what would, just what is. What will be the result of meditating on what is?

You will see the nature of what is. The idea of what is, dies, and what is, seems to flower and unfold before us, "taking life," as if, in a way we could never have imagined or made up. Next, you will answer a question that plagues humanity at every turn:

“What to do?” If you’ve ever humbled yourself before a teacher, a therapist or someone you figured knew more than you about something, you’ve likely asked them what to do about a particular thing or situation. A good advisor, in my opinion, will never tell you what to do, but they will point you within yourself. The cliché is, all you need to know is within you. Frustrated you want to swear and say, “Shut up.” Or maybe you’re more polite about your inner turmoil and indecision.

It is my direct experience that an unadulterated look at the world informs us, on a cellular level, of what to do. It is not so much a matter of being informed about the world that allows us to be decisive, rather it is the “looking” without thinking, qualifying or limiting our vision. Unlimited vision gives birth to knowledge. True knowledge inspires. True inspiration motivates. True motivation means no hidden agenda, clear movements of life and no anxiety over the relative o.k.-ness of one’s ego identity.

We are so often stuck, paralyzed by a massive state of deliberation, mentally trying to extract out of the sea of what is, a true move. But a true move can only be born of true knowledge, and that can only be born of truth itself. The best decisions I’ve made in my life were done without agonizing.

For example I eventually ended up in India getting one of the most important bits of education I have received, by flipping casually through my university calendar looking for half a credit with which to graduate. That course led to a credit course in meditation for which I otherwise would not have qualified. That course led to a solid connection in India, and that led to a trip that would be the first of eight to study yoga, meditation and Sanskrit poetry. I didn’t have to bang my brains out wondering if “The Religions of India” by Brenda Cantello (thank you!) was the course for me or not. It came easily and in little time. The rest seemed to take care of itself.

There is nothing on earth that is not born of truth – everything shares the same source. However, when we don’t observe simple order of operations and origins, when we bypass the source, don’t tend it, don’t look to it, or sacrifice a moment of our time or attention to the true beginning of all happenings and all its pure potential, then we will feel stuck in the mental bottle neck. It is impossible to drag the truth through the narrow trap of the ego-mind who painfully tries to map out its relative loss and gain plans.

Anyone who plays chess knows you can’t think through every possible action and reaction. Your opponent will go into a coma waiting for you to play out the millions of permutations and combinations will ensue in a small game, never mind a life. Staying in a dynamic flow of life, means allowing another kind of process, in addition to the ego-mind, called intuition – no big news to most people.

But we haven’t been trained to value this kind of knowing that goes beyond what can be thought of. This is the way to get to the truth that applies perfectly under every circumstance, unique to that time, that place, that frame of reality. Because what is is a forever moving and changing scene, there will be nothing that is true in every moment under all circumstances, except truth itself. We may then try to understand or explain truth, to again gain some mental grasp of it, but it is ever elusive.

The truth cannot be mastered, but it can master us, if we allow it. ‘Allow it’ means giving it credit, giving it dignity and position, but above all it means tending it, applying oneself to it, caring for its role in your decisions and outcomes and origins. It sounds esoteric, tending truth. But it’s the most practical possible pursuit of a human being.

Truth is the garden of what is. If you get it, you get the garden. Sit yourself, see what becomes tended. See what gets watered and weeded. See where we end up winding around and heading up the path of most resistance. A path of feast and persistence. No lack of flesh at the banquet. A pack of dogs at the breakfast. No day like the presence, always the essence, always the elements, the water gives wave to the wind. To the space gives Way...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Practice is Perfect

Soul Purpose

Cluing into one's soul purpose is very easy to do.
The hard part is following through.
That's called "practice."

Are We There Yet?

Speaking online with a woman who appeared to me very self-actualized from her website, she reported not having "Arrived," when I complimented her choices of life path in nutrition and yoga (not narcisistic on my part of course). According to her self, she hadn't yet "Arrived," with a capital "A."

I noticed how we are in the long-time habit of referring to ourselves as a work-in-progress. It is deeply engrained in the collective consciousness that we haven't "Become." I have worked for 17 years to drop this thought, and it is still a definite work to go against the collective flow.


Here, now. End of story. Who we are is enough to remember why we exist. Not on a journey, not getting there, just being fully present here, now with every little detail that comes up. Then we are ultimately fulfilled, as Eckhart Tolle so beautifully writes, and it's all details. When the Buddha was asked, "are you God?" he said, "I'm awake."

New Age Bill of Goods

There are walls of books on how new age this and that will take your troubles away. I think a true spirituality will infinitely add to your trouble, raise the bar immeasurably for what one can expect of oneself, and uncover every little peice of shit you were hoping to sweep into the chimney (or what ever those expressions are, haha).

Preventative Measures

How many millions of reasons, excuses and justifications, why we have not yet arrived, at a whole self, do we come up with?

Rumi asks, "...why you do those things?" making us pause to reflect on all the useless things on which we spill our life blood, especially conflicts. "They are all branches of your SELF," he goes on to scold, and "Remember the deep roots, of your being." [from C. Barks' The Soul of Rumi] This cuts through to the bald-face core issue, that we might be wasting our time, and gonna feel it. Take necessary, possible precautions.

I suggested to Kristi that we have already arrived on earth, are every moment living the experience of being human.

The best side-effect of feeling like "I arrived" that we can get on with our Soul Purpose, the "one thing" (more Rumi) we have to, are contracted, to get out of us. We are the courier of some gift that must be brought to humanity. Like I said, figuring out what our one gift is, that's comparatively easy. It's doing it that takes practice, perseverance and infinite patience.


It's not that sexy, rather it's work. The ideas, the inspirations, the noticeable leaps and fun serendipties, those are sexy, close to the inception and creative fertilization of the consciousness, the mushrooms of your awareness. The real mushroom is underground, connected to a larger whole, the solid system that outlives the reproductively generous parts.


And then you have to keep going, for the long run. Don't ask when you're going to finish or retire; your "one thing" contract holds for a life time and can and will be renewed, if necessary. So perhaps it is futile not to go on and keep getting with the damn program.

A classic cliche I still love to quote - a seed sprouts. Was the seed less perfect than the sprout? Every thing in it's place over time, being at every place whole, never a take-away thrown into the future (whoa that's deep, lol!). Does the sprout get complacent, apathetic, bored, have panic attacks, no, it just humbly waits for food, water and sunshine to be fed. Be available to the elements and they will feed you. Unless you have to be broccoli for that analogy to work, haha!

A Song/Poem
Inspired, of Course, by Rumi

The soul on purpose,
Can hold the cause and focus
On the one thing
Which you must never forget.

Be reasonable
You are the whole in your soul
You get so much
And then live so small

"Why we do those things?"
Is nearly beyond comprehension;
What is even a glimpse, of the goddess
Makes man run

Please do not begin
To reveal the over-bearing truth
That you are not going to make any
More out of yourself, soon
You'll be right in this moment
Can we live on purpose
In the full moon naked proof?


What Have You Done?

In the lovingly and as I said, repremanding poem, Rumi tells us point blank:
"There is one thing in this world,
that you must never forget,
if you forget everything else and not this,
there's nothing to worry about.

But if you remember everything else and forget this
you will have done
nothing in your life."

Talk is Cheap

...what is that one thing? Ask the people in your life. The trick is to get off our "own" rat-trap-circle-drive, have someone you think recognizes and knows you a little and is smarter than you, who has no agenda for you. They will say the simplest, too obvious things about what they see you love to do.

Then when you become conscious of your purpose, your mission, talk is over. All the things you choose to do from then on can be measured against your purpose, so you don't use all your time on other things.

But this is not the selling feature of this lifestyle, because it requires making big changes, breaking old habits and taking apart the fabric you weave around the story, of who you are, and what you do, and why you do it, and what you're going to do, and why. And why you didn't do this and that, and what are the good reasons. All of those thoughts, would be behind you.

This is not a selling feature.

Free Time

So it perhaps has the amazing "side" effect of freeing up our millions of moments, no longer spent deliberating about what to do. Everything gets measured against one's soul purpose, and while on this path it gets much harder and bigger challenges arise, there is not the constant sense of hap hazard, by accident.chaos factor in the mix from throwing the dice, and measuring the odds of badly defined 'success.'

"Why you do those things?" at every turn is the mantra question.

In the spirit of that I'm going to bid adieu and sing to my neighbors (sorry for the electric guitar, I can't help myself) and send salutations to your own Divine Self.

Every time, practice is perfect. Tell me your experiences.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's Put it All Together

A good friend wrote me from Cambell River, B.C. this morning and said he was going to dedicate his day to staying in service of the people he met, and drop the "what can I gain from this situation" mission altogether.

All together now...
As long as we only use our intelligence to monitor our own 'haves' and 'have-nots,' take constant inventory of where we are gaining and losing, and try to manipulate so that, you guessed it, we get ahead, we are miserable. Not satisfied, not enough, not working.

If we consider, on the other hand, the Reality of interdependence, and how beautifully all the beings' lives are utterly interwoven, how we were always together as a whole in the flow of life, a sudden desire appears to help others.

It causes so much joy. The kind of joy that complete, not hungry and not delighted by more

We can work desperately to create situations and relations and stations where feel connected, we are often tortured by our mistaken perceptions that we are separate from others. It causes such deep pain because it's not true.

The pain is in the creation, the change from nothing to something, something into something else. The illusions of getting attached and then losing the subject of our attachment seem to be the root cause of the pain, but the root cause is missing the presence of everyone everywhere through all time and space. It's not a little thing.

We see in each other what we most wish to see in ourselves. Therefore if we reflect our visions to one another, in the form of encouragement, attention, interest, compassion and empowerment, then we are offering a great service to the countless beings who will be able to see their own unique greatness.

I have met my Sacred Contract (Carl Jung, Caroline Myss, and on) face-to-face. It was much bigger than I could have guessed. It is relentlessly challenging me to bring about situations of yoga and trance, tranquil-ize and happily trick ourselves (me especially) into self-realization. And then you spread the joy, because the principle cause of no-joy is gone. Joy is the natural state. It's all suffering, but what about the Joy Factor (see next blog). The principle cause of no-connection is gone.

It turns out not to be a one-person job, so I've made a hobby of hiring and recruiting and taking advantage of all of my friends, family and online contacts. All together now sing, meditate and let your body flow with your breath, get so full you have to give it away. Inspire someone else to be happy. It can't hurt. It can help. That is all for now. Please leave your comment to let me know if you're up for the mission.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Turning In (And not for the night!)

Pratyahar in Sanskrit means the inward turning of attention and is Patanjali's fifth limb of yog(a). If unchecked, the whole life long will be spent with our awareness and five sense habitually going out - out to many things necessary, and a whole lot unnecessary as well. The habit is so ingrained that we, perhaps as a society, maybe as a humanity, have become uncomfortable without something out there to capture our senses, partly because there is in fact nothing "in there" to do that.

Patanjali says that the practice of pratyahar will result in the control of the senses, a phrase I try to avoid using in yoga classes. The senses are likened to that of five wild horses, running high speed to try to get themselves filled with the likable experiences, and running with equal exuberance away from the things they dislike. For example, my two-year-old logically concludes that if one piece of chocolate made his mouth happy, that five pieces of chocolate is going to make him five times as happy. We know from experience, however, that if we fill the senses excessively, a few things happen: We get over-stimulated to the point of anxiety (picture a room full of two-year-olds on five pieces of chocolate), and then that over-stimulation turns to dullness and even sickness. And the kicker is, if we keep eat too much of any food in a sitting, our taste buds stop registering the experience.

Four days at the Winnipeg Folk Fest used to burn out my ears so that by the end of the festival I could as if hear the music, but it wasn't reaching me or giving me any joy. As a meditator I learned, however, when this began to happen, that I went off, found a quiet place to close my eyes and my ears, come back quite ready to absorb and be delighted by more high music culture.

Traditional yogis, before the days of the Buddha, were expected to renounce sense experiences and become ascetics in favour of the experience of God. And still modern day priests are asked to take a vow of celibacy (though that may be changing), and Indian gurus will tell their aspirants to practice brahmacharya, a conservation of energy that includes the practice of celibacy.

But here's the paradox... Unlike the deadening of the senses that comes from too much input, requiring more and more of the sense object to satisfy, the practice of pratyahar, taking our attention away from the beloved objects, makes the senses more alive and sensitive as ever. Open your eyes after even a few moments of meditation, and wow, the colours are more vivid than before. Close your eyes, and wow, the sounds in the atmosphere come into focus. Every practice of inward attending is matched by a resounding bell from our senses that they exist and are delighted by their objects.

The recommendations of teachers and so forth that students practice asceticism have often been accompanied by stories of behind-the-scenes behavior. For example, Indian gurus telling students not to have sex, have often later found to be having sex with everyone. Priests who dedicate their lives to marrying the church have frequently been engaged in sexual abuse and even with children! The repression of the sense instincts serves only to push them into the unconscious, from where they proceed to rule with the very power of the unconscious, and unfortunately, with hugely crappy outcomes, especially in the realm of the spirit and where students give teachers spiritual authority over them. This kind of spiritual abuse is much deeper and damaging than emotional or physical ever can be.

Pratyahar is actually a grand favour to us, if we are in favour of sense experiences. The inward attention is going to give us an accurate picture of how we are doing under the influence of one or many pieces of chocolate.

When the senses register the Space, the very place from where the senses arise and to where they return, they will call that Space nothing. The senses require an object with light, sound, flavour, odour, and feeling. So when they go "inside" to the centre of our being (and every being) we have to train ourselves to realize that when the senses are out of their realm, that we have reached the core of our Self, a fine and healthy resting place for our over-worked senses.

Please let me know what your experience is. Kind cheers to all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In Loving Memory of Shri K. Pittabhi Jois, Fatherof AshtangaYoga

(Image a super nova tracer from the Hubble website

In 1992 while traveling, working and studying in Nepal and India, I tripped on one of Shri K. Pittabhi Jois' long-time students and Ashtanga teacher, John Scott.  I watched his practice every the morning at the hotel I was staying at on the southern tip of Kerala, and said to myself, never having done yoga, that I would never be doing yoga.  The grace, strength and flow I most certainly saw in John, I most certainly did not see in myself.  

However, the charmed (likely thanks to Guru-ji) city of Mysore kept drawing me back from the coast.  The third time there, I surrendered myself to go and meet John's Guru...just meet.  The next thing I knew, as a brand new beginner, I embarked on what would be a sixty day intensive study with the living father of the Ashtanga lineage.  In those days there were no more than 10 or 12 students in the room at a time, a small studio in his house.  He told me to go to the local jail, a right of passage in itself I felt, to purchase myself a woven yoga mat.  

My first practice was about five minutes of Sun Salute A - that was all my out-of-shape body could take after a decade of adolescent self-abuse.  He spoke very little english so all his instructions were hands on.  My body never forgot the poses into which he would contort my body, and that was long before my body was ready to do it on its own.  In fact, I cried every day for the first month, as I watched the cells let go of memories I had no idea were there, present and past lives contained.  He would prepare to put me in Marychyaasan, for example, and took to saying in his limited english, "now don't cry."  Projecting on to him the emotional difficulties I was having, I felt like he was beating me up every day, squished into that sweaty little room.   

Something like the infinite love of the Guru I could not yet identify kept me showing up day after day.  And I woke up one morning after the first month with a new realization - that perhaps it was me being rough with myself, beating my own self up in the form of Guru.  That day, and from then on, the practice was very different - even, focussed and so much more gentle!  I added a daily meditation practice to my second month in Pittabhi's care, and started to feel like a million dollars.  Thanks to this Light Being, and many other teachers to come as well, my life has unfolded as a yoga teacher, kirtan singer and devotee of Life itself, who can be kind and loving with the practice of yoga.  Thank you Guru-ji for your life so brightly lived.