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

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Camp Grounded

Who's in for creating a movement of DYI camp grounded over a weekend road trip? Remember life before we had phones and computers?

Camp Grounded Promo Video #1 from Camp Grounded on Vimeo.

A Love Letter to Wilderness | KarmaTube

Video from KarmaTube