Sunday, June 02, 2019

A love that embraces what is and the diversity in the unity of life.

"Religion and faith based on consenting to the world as it is unites humankind, whereas the faith of a particular confession or group builds walls between people. The religious experience that encompasses and loves the world as it is recognizes no borders."

"Those who accept and love the earth as it is can't remain with the confines of a single group. They go beyond the limits of their particular group and embrace the wholeness of the world as it is. This love of the earth and the movement such lovers make - reaching beyond their group toward the larger wholeness of the world - have a quality that is very different from the belief that fears and hates and divides. This love embraces, holds and cherishes the diversity in the unity of life."
- Bert Hellinger

Friday, May 24, 2019

Patience is everything when it comes to the creative progress

Rilke wrote in his book Letters to a Young Poet

"... all progress must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything.  Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion, wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience that birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life: in understanding as in creating.

"There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything."

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Deepening our Intimacy with LOSS

A beautiful essay by Robert Augustus Masters:

DEEPENING OUR VIEW OF LOSS

"Loss. The very word tends to be over-associated with misfortune. It commonly gets reduced to the gloomy cousin of achievement, growth, accumulation. It is not supposed to smile in any way in public, unless what’s been lost is something clearly undesirable, like acne or a toxic relationship.
But think of all the nasty connotations of “loser” as compared to “grower” or “winner” or “achiever.” We are all losers. Everyone, regardless of their perks or elevated status on the anthill. Incarnation ensures this. Loss comes with having a life. What if we were to become more respectful of — and less contracted around — loss, of letting go of what is already leaving or out of our grasp? Must we be envisioned as losing our battle against cancer? Or losing our youth? Or our tennis game?

"What if we were to lose the sense of entitlement implicit in the preceding three sentences? We can plaster our days with fridge-magnet affirmations, wrap ourselves up in feel-good slogans, banish our wrinkles to myopic mirrors, reverse imaginary clocks, but the procession of loss keeps on going, raining on our parades, stomping past our protestations and claims of unfairness.

"Death is the mother of loss; loss nonconceptually connects us with death. If this is not good news to you, look deeper. Breathe in what is breathing you out.

"Grief is the sobering, heartbreakingly alive acknowledgment of loss. The felt presence of loss, whatever the scale, deepens and mysteriously sweetens not just what remains, but also the whole unimaginable immensity and mystery of what is, right down to the tiniest, crunchiest, most unrepentantly fixed detail.

"We play peekaboo with what truly matters, intuiting at least some of its deeper design, all too easily forgetting or marginalizing the reality of loss upon loss that pervades it all. Inhale, and innumerable worlds appear and evolve; exhale, and they disappear, their billions of years erased. Inhale, exhale, time and timelessness both gone. Repeat infinitely. No equations for this, no definitive explanation, cosmic bumper stickers flayed to nothing but angelic confetti, boundless silence saying whatever needs to be said.

"In this, there is infinite loss. It’s personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal all at the same time. Loss connects us all, connects it all. Now. Grief hooks up loss and love and being. Don’t let loss harden you.

"My losses, like yours, are many. The first was the amniotic universe that held me prior to my birth — and yet I still feel it when I lie down to sleep, softly spread-eagled under the bedcovers, riding the waves and wavelets of each breath.

"Is anything ever truly lost? Scientists speak of the echo of the Big Bang. Everything still echoes, still leaves some kind of footprint somewhere.

"Is this not, in essence, the permanence of impermanence? The presence of forever, spread through every detail, every moment? Every shade of suffering? Loss, fully felt, opens us to this.

"This is Grace in the primordial yet ever-present raw. Loss connects us all, connects it all. Bowing to this, we open more fully to the Mystery, now."

Thursday, May 09, 2019

How small what we wrestle with...

How small, what we wrestle with
how immense what wrestles with us,
if we could allow it to be conquered by the great storm -
like the other things,
then we would become vast and nameless.
 What we defeat are the small things,
 and the success itself makes us small.
 While the extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent or shaped by us.
 - Rilke

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Invitation

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer


It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Towards the Gateway to Spring

(From Benedictus A Book of Blessings, John O’Donohue)
When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.

When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.

Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway to spring.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Free Bird, Dude.

Caged Bird - By Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Mind Travel

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Ever expanding weave of Gratitude

Grateful to behold we are a huge tapestry weaving all around & through us. There are many threads we see. 

There are many in the we've who only see their thread... 

It's all connected we say, and on Gratitude Day my heart feels ever warmer knowing we remember more gratitude together.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Are you sure?

About anything?
I know, we don’t know.
Yet, you know there is only knowing the knower.
Everything else is secondary.
Or rather, the known, which can never be known.
Until the knower reigns clear.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A continuum of being we are.

"For after all, if we get out of the superficial life-death-sleep classification to follow an essential classification of the universe, we see that from top to bottom (if there is such a thing as top and bottom) this universe is nothing else but a continuum of consciousness-force or, as Sri Aurobindo says, a gradation of PLANES OF CONSCIOUSNESS which range UNINTERUPTEDEDLY from pure MATTER to pure SPIRIT - subtle Physical, Vital, Mental, Supramental (we may use other words if we like, another terminology, but the fact remains the same) - and that everything takes place in the midst of these planes our life and our sleep and our death; there is nowhere to go outside this and not only is everything located there but everything coexists there, without separation."

"Life, death, sleep are simply different STATIONS of the consciousness amidst this same gradation. When we are awake, we receive mental or vital vibrations which are translated into certain symbols, other ways of seeing, understanding or living the same reality. In all these instances, the key of our existence, here or elsewhere, is always our capacity of consciousness; if we are unconscious in our life, we shall be unconscious in every other ways death will be truly a death and sleep truly a torpor.

"To become aware of these various degrees of reality is then our fundamental task; and we have done this work integrally, the lines of artificial demarcation which separate our diverse modes of living will crumble and we shall pass without break or without a gap in the consciousness from life to sleep to death; or, more precisely, there will not longer be death or sleep as we understand it but various ways of perceiving continuously the total Reality, and perhaps finally an integral consciousness which will perceive everything simultaneously. Our evolution is not over. Death is not a denial of Life but a process of Life." From "Adventure in Consciousness or Aurobindo" by Sat Prem

Saturday, September 23, 2017

All perfection we are
Living synchrony
Harmonious symphony
Evolutionary love energy
Living poetry
Eternal mystery
Ever discovering
The magic of
Now
"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." LP Jacks"

Friday, September 08, 2017

Imperishable Being

"Although the real man who has already acquired his own "I," and the man in quotation marks who has not, are equally slaves of the same "Greatness," the difference between them, as I have already said, consists in this, that since the attitude of the first toward his slavery is conscious, he acquires the possibility, even while serving the "all-universal actualizing," of applying a part of his manifestations, according to the providence of Great Nature, to the attainment of "Imperishable Being", whereas the second, not cognizing his slavery, serves during the entire process of his existence merely as a thing, which no longer needed, disappears forever." G. I. Gurdjieff

Monday, August 07, 2017

The 10 things a father wants his son to know...

Ram Butler is a man I've known for over 30 years, we met in the Siddha Yoga Meditation Community in the early 80's. Ram is the creator of the "Siddha Yoga Correspondence Course" which and his current expression is "Living in the Truth of the Present Moment" blog and inquiry. Ram always has amazing comments on Facebook.

His latest is essential wisdom from an illumined soul, he wrote:

"Last night, my son Shane wrote and asked, 'If there were 10 things you'd want your son to know moving forward in life - what would they be?'
A wise son, I thought, openly seeking tips from his elders. Like a good father, I responded. He liked my list, and encouraged me to share it here with you:

1. Love your Self unconditionally. 

2. See the same Self in all others; gaze in the eyes of others with great love. 

3. Recognize the Truth that God in all His Glory dwells within you as your own Awareness of Being.

4. Where you focus your Awareness becomes your reality. 

5. Enjoyment is the highest form of worship. Therefore enjoy life in all its manifold expressions and manifestations. 

6. Do what you love, and love what you do. Make this a consistent practice. 

7. Forgive everyone for everything. Never hold a grudge. 

8. You are always guided by your own inner Light, and you can always trust that inner Light. 

9. You are pure and perfect just as you are--there is nothing to become. 

10. Always live in the eye of the hurricane when the world seems crazy all around you; live in your own secret heaven"

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A continuum of opening to interdependence.

"Q: How does one decide in oneself whether ego is ignorance or wisdom?

"A: It is not really a question of deciding. It is simply that one sees in that way. You see, basically there is no solid substance, although we talk about ego existing as a solid thing having various aspects. But in fact it merely lives through time as a continual process of creation. It is continually dying and being reborn all the time.

"Therefore ego doesn't really exist. But ego also acts as a kind of wisdom: when ego dies, that is wisdom itself, and when ego is first formulated that is the beginning of ignorance itself. So wisdom and ego are not really separate at all. It seems rather difficult to define, and in a way one would be happier if there was a clear-cut black and white, but somehow that is not the natural pattern of existence. There is not clear-cut black and white at all, and all things are interdependent.

"Darkness is an aspect of light, and light is an aspect of darkness, so one really can't condemn one side and build up everything on the other. It is left entirely up to the individual to find his [ or her ] own way, and it is possible to do so.

"It is the same for a dog who has never swum - if he was suddenly thrown in the water he could swim. Similarly, we have a kind of spiritual instinct in us and if we are willing to open ourselves then somehow we find our way directly. It is only a question of opening up and one doesn't have a clear cut definition at all."

- Chogyam Trungpa and a friend.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Promise and Power
Of Our Perspective

Alive with Love
We Live
Through Love Alone

Intensity of
Intention to Love
More Infinitely

Is the Promise
We Hold
To Provide Light
And Love

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Gratitude for the quo
Questioning ever curious
In the flow
Decisions are emergent
From undeniable instinct
Integrated with love and trust
For heaven

Everyone is a reflection of our own process, and every encounter an opportunity to always reflect on our living loving perspective.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What is leadership?

Innate inner integrity with loving intelligence manifest in every word, action, intention and relationship. Doing the inner work in every situation to love more, lead with ever increasing emotional intelligence and dancing with the inevitable unknown. Continuously developing new and innovative ways to cooperate. In a co-creative journey with the cosmos ever guiding, listening, sharing with those who lead, and knowing your role is to serve. Always aiming to inspire others with your success, love and abundance for manifesting the possible for a culture of mutual giving and celebration.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

We can all love more!

On this holiday, a man is remembered who represents unconditional all shining love for all humanity.

Yet all of us, each and every one of us, it seems, have a direct connection to the highest possibilities within us.

All we are to do every moment to grow this sense of love, is to only listen for love at the heart of any situation, and intend to bring it forth. As a wise man said to me "Intention is causation."

So "intend love" I say, and take every moment as an opportunity to love more!

The Jesuit mystic Pierre Tielhard De Chardin wrote something on this theme:

On Universal Love - "the only complete and final way" to love, he said:

"Mankind, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element of the whole, and the unity with the multitude - all these are called Utopian and yet they are biologically necessary. And for them to be incarnated in the world all we may well need is to imagine our power of loving developing until embraces the total of men and of the earth."

"It may be said that this is the precise point at which we are invoking the impossible. Man's capacity, it may seem is confined to giving his affection to one human being or to very few. Beyond that radius the heart does not carry, and there is only room for cold justice and cold reason. To love all and everyone is a contradictory and false gesture which only leads in the end to loving no-one."

"To that I would answer that if, as you claim, a universal love is impossible, how can we account for the irresistible instinct in our hearts which leads us toward unity whenever and in whatever direction our passions are stirred? A sense of the universe, a sense of the all, the nostalgia which seizes us when confronted by nature, beauty, music - these seem to be an expectation and awareness of a Great Presence. The "mystics" and their commentators apart, how has psychology been able so consistently to ignore this fundamental vibration whose ring can be heard by every practised ear at the basis, or rather at the summit, of every great emotion? Resonance to the All - the keynote of pure poetry and pure religion. Once again: what does this phenomenon, which is born with thought and grows with it, reveal if not a deep accord between two realities which seek each other the severed particle which trembles at the approach of "the rest"?

"We are often inclined to think that we have exhausted the various natural forms of love with a man's love for his wife, his children, his friends and to a certain extent his country. Yet precisely the most fundamental form of passion is missing from this list, the one which, under the pressure of an involuting universe, precipitates the elements one upon the other in the Whole - cosmic affinity and hense cosmic sense. A universal love is not only psychologically possible; it is the only complete and final way in which we are able to love."

- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Monday, October 03, 2016

May your journey be long and sweet....

Ithaka

Related Poem Content Details

As you set out for Ithaka 
hope your road is a long one, 
full of adventure, full of discovery. 
Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: 
you’ll never find things like that on your way 
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, 
as long as a rare excitement 
stirs your spirit and your body. 
Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them 
unless you bring them along inside your soul, 
unless your soul sets them up in front of you. 

Hope your road is a long one. 
May there be many summer mornings when, 
with what pleasure, what joy, 
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time; 
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations 
to buy fine things, 
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, 
sensual perfume of every kind— 
as many sensual perfumes as you can; 
and may you visit many Egyptian cities 
to learn and go on learning from their scholars. 

Keep Ithaka always in your mind. 
Arriving there is what you’re destined for. 
But don’t hurry the journey at all. 
Better if it lasts for years, 
so you’re old by the time you reach the island, 
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way, 
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. 

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. 
Without her you wouldn't have set out. 
She has nothing left to give you now. 

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. 
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, 
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

C. P. Cavafy, "The City" from C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Translation Copyright © 1975, 1992 by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Reproduced with permission of Princeton University Press

A circle of light

Here's poem I wrote for my birthday to everyone who sent me a message

A circle of light
We are
Beyond time
And space
Spiraling through the starstuff
Into form
We dance
And dance some more
To the music of our soul
We celebrate the coherent chord in our hearts
Ringing through the cosmic cacophony
We are living prayers of light
Love poems the cosmos wrote to herself
Full of embodied gratitude
For the circle of light
And love we are

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Your spirit is the true shield.
One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.
Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.
Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.
Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.
Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love." - Morihei Ueshiba
(  discoverer of Aikido )

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Eros Undressed

Eros Undressed: Into the Heart of Sex 

Sex is, not surprisingly, a highly charged topic in contemporary culture. How-to books and courses on sex abound, pointing out various ways to get turned on or more turned on in a relationship, with little or no attention given to actually exploring the very turned-off-ness that seemingly necessitates finding out how to get turned on. Judging from the sheer volume of such books and courses, plus an immense amount of personal testimony from all quarters (for example, the great number of American women who admit that they don’t enjoy sex with their husband), it appears that there’s an abundance of sexual dysfunction and dissatisfaction within relationships.

 There is plenty of focus on this, accompanied by all kinds of remedies, but not nearly so much focus on how dysfunction and dissatisfaction in the nonsexual areas of relationship might be affecting one’s sexuality. We are usually quite reluctant to cast (or even to permit the casting of) a clear light on what actually may be happening during our sexual times with our partner—other than biologically—but without this, we are simply left in the dark, pinning too much on what we hope sex will do for us. And there is so much that we expect sex to do for us! More often than we might like to admit, we assign it to stress release, security enhancement, spousal pacification, egoic gratification, pleasure production, and other such tasks.

We may use it as a super sleeping pill, a rapid-action pick-me-up, an agent of consolation, a haven or hideout, a control tactic, a proof that we’re not that old or cold. We may also employ it as a psychological garbage disposal, a handy somatic terminal for discharging the energies of various unwanted states, like loneliness or rage or desperation.

Mostly, though, we just tend to want sex to make us feel better, and we use it accordingly, whether in mundane, dark, or spiritual contexts. Not only do we hear more and more about “sexual addiction,” our culture itself is so ubiquitously sexualized that it arguably could be described as sex-addicted. But sexual addiction is, as we shall see, not primarily about sex but about that for which sex is a “solution.” It is so easy to think that our sexual charge with a particular person or situation is no more than an expression of our natural sexuality, when in fact it may actually be an eroticizing of our conditioning or of some need we have. (For example, arousal in a certain pornographic fantasy may be secondarily sexual, its primary impetus being rooted in one’s longing to be unconditionally seen, loved, and wanted.) There won’t, however, be any real freedom here until we release sex (and everything else) from the obligation to make us feel better.

So long as we keep assigning sex to such labor—slave labor—we will remain trapped in the very circumstances for which sexual release is an apparent “solution.” Increased stress means an increased desire to get rid of stress, and if we attempt to do so through sexual means (which does not really get rid of stress, except in the most superficial sense), we simply reinforce the roots of that stress. In addicting or over-attaching ourselves to erotically pleasing release, we also frequently addict ourselves to the very tension that seemingly necessitates and sometimes even legitimizes such release. 

The abuse of sex, particularly through the expectations with which we commonly burden it, is so culturally pervasive and deeply ingrained as to go largely unnoticed, except in its more lurid, obviously dysfunctional, or perverse extremes. Even more removed from any telling awareness is our aversion to truly exploring and illuminating the whole matter of human sexuality, not clinically nor in any other kind of isolation, but rather in the context of our entire being, our totality, our inherent wholeness. That is, sex does not need to be—and in fact cannot be—crystallized out and set apart from the rest of our experience (as those overly focused on the mechanics of sexuality often try to do). Rather, it needs to be seen, felt, known, and lived in open-eyed resonance—and relationship—with everything that we do and are, so that it is, as much as possible, not just an act of specialized function nor an act bound to the chore of making us feel better or more secure, but rather an unfettered, full-blooded expression of already present, already loving, already unstressed wholeness. To embody such wholeness requires a thorough investigation of the labor to which we have assigned—or sentenced—our sexuality. That labor and its underpinnings are eloquently revealed through the stark slang of sex.

Many of the words and phrases regarding our sexual functioning bluntly illustrate the frequently confused, disrespectful, and exploitive attitude commonly brought to one’s own sexuality and sexuality in general.

Consider, for example, the notorious and enormously popular “f” word, for which there is an incredible number of non-copulatory meanings, a fucking incredible number, all pointedly and colorfully describing what we may actually be up to when we are busy being sexual or erotically engaged. Here’s a partial list, the majority of which overlap in meaning: ignorance (“Fucked if I know”); indifference (“I don’t give a fuck”); degradation (“You stupid fuck”); aggression (“Don’t fuck with me!”); disappointment (“This is really fucked”); rejection (“Get the fuck out of here!” or “Fuck off!”); manipulation (“You’re fucking with my head”); disgust (“Go fuck yourself”); vexation (“What the fuck are you doing?”); exaggeration (“It was so fucking good!”); rage (“Fuck you!”); and, perhaps most pithily revealing of all, exploitation (“I got fucked”). Throw together the various meanings of “fuck,” plus the “higher” or more socially acceptable terms for sexual intercourse—including the vague “having a relationship” and the unwittingly precise “sleeping together”—and mix in some insight, and what emerges is a collage composed of (1) the dysfunctional labor to which we have sentenced our sexual capacity; and (2) the expectations (like “Make me feel wanted” or “Make me feel better”) with which we have all-too-often saddled and burdened it. When we primarily assign our sexuality to stress release, security reinforcement, egoic reassurance, the fueling of romantic delusion, and other such chores—thereby burdening it with the expectation that it make us feel better—we are doing little more than screwing ourselves, dissipating much of the very energy that we need for facing and healing our woundedness, the woundedness that, ironically, we seek escape or relief from through the pleasuring and various sedating options provided by our sexuality.

This is not to say that we should never use our sexuality for purposes such as stress release, for there are times when doing so may be entirely appropriate, but such usage needs to be more the exception than the rule. We have, for at least the last thirty or forty years, been living in a pervasively sexualized culture—“sexy” as an adjective has infiltrated just about every dimension of life. There’s much more openness regarding sex than there was fifty or sixty years ago, but much of that openness has more to do with breadth than depth. We have more permission to experiment with sex and to talk graphically about it, but we nevertheless don’t talk about it in real depth very often—exploring, for example, the nonsexual or presexual dynamics that may be in play during sex—for to do so would put us in a position of real vulnerability and transparency, not so able to hang on to a semblance of “having it together.” Seeing what we actually may be doing while we’re being sexual may not be very high on our list of priorities! And this is the era of informed consent, centered by the myth—yes, myth—of consenting adults. In sexual circumstances, many of us may not be clearly considering what is really going on and what is at stake, instead making choices from a desire (largely rooted in childhood) to get approval, affection, connection, love, or security, or to be distracted from our suffering. At such times, we are not so much operating as consenting adults as adult-erated children (and/or adolescents) whose “consent”—however “informed”—is just an eroticized expression of unresolved woundedness or unmet nonsexual needs (perhaps along with an inability to voice and stand behind an authentic “no”).

The deepest sex, sex requiring no fantasies (inner or outer) or turn-on strategies or rituals of arousal, but rather only the love, openness, and safety of awakened intimacy, cannot be significantly accessed without a corresponding depth in the rest of our relationship with our partner. Without such mutual maturity, it doesn’t matter how hot or juicy or innovative our sexual life may be, even if we have many orgasms, big orgasms, together. In fact, when we make coming together a goal, we simply come apart, separating and losing ourselves in our quest for maximally pleasurable sensations. “Sensational” sex is precisely that: sex that is centered and defined by an abundance of erotically engorged sensations. The romanticized or spiritualized presence of these sensations is often misrepresented as actual intimacy, at least until the rude pricks of reality do their vastly underappreciated job.

Most couples we see are not really all that happy with their sex life. Some of them have gone flat sexually, having had little or no sex for a long time. (Not surprisingly, the rest of their relationship is also usually flat, emotionally depressed, low in passion, unnaturally peaceful.) Other couples are more openly frustrated, wanting more than they are getting (such a quantitative focus being mostly a male complaint), or wanting more connection before sex (such a qualitative focus being mostly a female complaint). And others initially act as if they are doing fine sexually, being reluctant to reveal their discomfort with the direction that their sex life may be taking (like tolerating a partner who prefers porn to them). And so on. The good news is that such dissatisfaction, if allowed to surface in its fullness, will often goad a couple into doing work that they would otherwise avoid or postpone. As a couple explores their sexuality, and explores it deeply, they will discover that what’s not working in their relationship usually shows up in their sexuality, often in exaggerated form. And conversely, as they ripen into more mature ways of relating, they will find that this revitalizes and deepens their sexuality. No sex manuals are needed, nor any fantasies or other turn-on tactics—their increased intimacy and trust in each other are more than sufficient, creating an atmosphere within which love-centered, awareness-infused sexual desire can naturally arise and flow, carrying the lovers along into the sweet dynamite and ever-fresh wonder and ecstasy of what sex can be when it has deep intimacy’s green light.

Friday, June 17, 2016

".. man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e. his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted as independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken and without border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole." "If man thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole."

"The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it."

 in an article called David Bohm revisited.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

To the bored mind....

“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being.  If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?” - Alan Watts