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From the very beginning this trip was all about Gratitude, including the absence of Gratitude it seems we must most go through to get there.

I wasn’t feeling very grateful in the time leading up to this and I was in desperate need of an attitude adjustment. After a few years in a marriage that kept getting jabbed in the stomach, the knockout punch finally came. It floored me horizontally and then completely turned my world upside down. The effect of this emptied my pockets, drained my heart, and filled my head up with years worth of accumulated emotional flotsam. Anger, bitterness, sadness, grief, loneliness, and despair were only slightly countered by an underlying sense of freedom at finally having some resolution to the uncertainty. This freedom spoke just loud enough and dared me to try her out for a whole month.

My Grace had been fading fast. I needed to stop watching all my money go to everyone besides me. Even though it appeared to be the worst possible time to leave with an ailing second studio and the mounting debt of divorce, I really had no other choice besides insanity.  There would never be a perfect time other than now. Not knowing how everything would get done, I just had to let go and if it doesn’t get done, then so be it.  So I paid as many bills as I could in advance, secured teachers to cover classes and help with the studio, and readied my car for travel. And then it happened….

A month off and required nowhere – My Grace Period. Somehow, everyone in my life that I am responsible for has given me the gift of getting to be only responsible for myself. Gratitude is wide AWAKE. It is becoming conscious of itself.

THE FRIDAY BEFORE

The trip is taking shape and the day before departure evolves fortuitously if not at least providing a little encouragement. One of my major concerns is how the hell am I going to pay for this trip and so the universe offers me a few signs.

I go to have a slow leak fixed in my left front tire, (so often it seems that my body has a similar injury to my car).  This service is gratefully free since I had bought my tires there.  Thank You!  While I wait on the service and arrange all the various packings in my car, I notice that my tag had expired in April – and they never send me a tag renewal, probably because I move so often that the post office finally gave up. I should really get this taken care of before I drive across the country.  So I head to the always-crowded Jefferson County DMV downtown.  Astonishingly I have to wait only 15 minutes at the most! I do pay a whopping swollen sum for 2 stickers and a thin piece of aluminum but I have time now…. and time is money.

I’d had a facial and eyebrow wax a few days ago, (trade out – blessed) and so I figure to get my hair cut that I might feel ready for anything. And so I use a favor from a free yogini.  I offer to pay and she says, “Thanks for the yoga” and I say “Mucho Gracias!”

While waiting on her to arrive, I slip over for lunch and enjoy some sushi.  The food comes quick and as I most every time do, I bless my food thankful for it, the food of others, and the people and elements involved.  I don’t know if maybe I linger a moment longer than usual but inevitably it results in being noticed.  That person pays my bill and has the server let me know.  I look around longingly enough that eventually this giving soul speaks up.  I get to express my Gratitude in the most sincere way.  He explains how rare it is to see someone bless their food in public and that when he does see it, he always pays the tab. Unexpected gifts like this are truly miraculous especially with their timing.

This is a really good day and telling of the trip to come.  It continues as evening settles in I attend a friend’s birthday party and everyone there is a gift. They are offering me hugs, libations, places to stay, smiles and raw entertainment.  It is a lively party complete with rooftop run-off, candies & concoctions, dancing, and some sing along action.  The day ends at 2 am and I’m up at 5 am to be at the airport by 6.  But who needs sleep with such an ensuing Grace Period?

Prelude:  Life is the best yoga!

THE RANCH

I am whizzed away to San Diego Airport and a shuttle bus takes me across the Mexican border to Rancho la Puerta or The Ranch. OMFG!!! (Oh My Feeling Gratitude).  Insert pictures here.

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Do you see the Indian smiling?

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Heated pool

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Walking paths, grounds, and organic gardens.

I can’t even begin to describe the schedule of events without a full dissertation much less the lush grounds and organic gardens that made for the most delicious food – vegetarian except for cheese, dairy, and an option for fish.  This is perfectly me. I did classes:  pilates, meditation, yoga, feldencrais, crystal bowls, circuit classes, hydro fit in the pool, swam laps and took naps in hammocks and on lawns.  I hiked every morning in the mountains where Indians used to live and die.  I made friends and connections.  My bodymind was just glowing with Gratitude that all this was happening – for free. I had made friends with a healer and teacher that worked and lived on the ranch who has a mother here in Birmingham.  She would come and teach and take classes here and always said I had an open invitation to stay at the ranch. THANK YOU!

I meet a family while there who takes me in like their own. We meet by pure chance as the hostess for dinner seats me in the one remaining chair at a large round table. We get to know each other’s stories and share many laughs. They catch me every time they see me at dinner alone and we end up planning the morning hikes together. One of the daughters is attending Duke and immediately my heart and lungs start playing basketball against my stomach and liver.  And then I think I feinted for a bit when she said that she will get me into a Duke basketball game in the student section this year! I’m telling you, I need a bigger word than Gratitude at this point. I must be in a dream.

We continue to hang and become minor partners in crime.  We smuggle in some beer and tequila and watch the NBA playoffs. We bring more tequila to the one night that alcohol is actually served on the ranch at their wine bar.  This certainly loosens up the conversation and makes everyone’s smile just a bit bigger for the evening. All the exercise and good eating we are doing only enhances our minor diversions and in the spirit of moderation, it is perfectly placed.

The weather is beautiful with cool nights and warm days and paradise becomes a reality here.

ROAD TRIPPIN’

Back in Birmingham for Mother’s Day and dinner with the family including my sister and my niece and nephew. It seems appropriate that I see everyone one last time before heading off into the wild from which I may never return due to death or delight of my liberated soul. Mom insists on paying even though it is her day. My glow of gratefulness shines brighter still. Like any good mom, she is worried about her son financially and physically and wants to help in any way she can. I gave her, The Power of Now by Tolle as a must have for being in the present moment while her son embarks on a journey from which he may never return.

I sleep late Monday and get on the road to Asheville a little apprehensive that I don’t have a place to stay yet.  I use my new app, AirB&B and end up at a newly cleared plot of land where the owners are renovating some older style classic version of a house on wheels. It looks like an old diner car of chrome.  The land is just dirt, or now mud in some spots and it backs up to a row of houses, one of which keeps goats while the other keeps chickens and roosters. Sleeping that night I have moments many that are absent of Gratitude.  I am not feelin it and without it, other lesser emotions are revealed. Doubt, worry, fear, self-judgment, sadness, and regret all show up for a potential pity party.

I go out that night that I might spend as little time there as possible and it only perpetuates what is already stirring within me.  Being brave I sign up for an unexpected open mic night.  By the time I get to play, I am humbled and awed at the really good players before me and their song writing abilities. I am experiencing worry doubt and fear instead of being inspired. And so I completely blow it. Everyone politely claps and says kind words afterwards but I know the reality and down a little further I go.  I play chess with someone.  I lose.  Looking back I could mantra, ‘At least I tried!’ but I just left eventually, tired and equally dejected at having to go to camp in such conditions.  And sure enough, I toss and turn all night unable to find good rest. The 4:00am Kundalini roosters do not help my cause.

I scoot out of there in the morning to meet a never met friend for coffee.  She is moving to Birmingham and will be teaching at our studio. We chat about opportunities and Asheville and the weather.  She thinks she can find me a place to stay.  She does.  I am sleeping in a bed at a clean house with huge friendly dogs and regular size friendly people. They are so laid back with a stranger staying in the house and they make me a smoothie before they leave in the morning.  Thank you!!  It is starting to flow again.

More accommodations come through for the next 3 nights at a house in Black Mountain. This is thanks to another very new friend that was visiting Birmingham from California and bending with TYC. I have a whole house to myself 2 mins from quaint and cozy downtown Black Mountain.  I drink my house-made chai and coffee at The Drip.  The Gratitude had come back full force with straight up blessings upon me!  Life is a Tony-the-tiger type of Great. Or picture the Kool-Aid guy busting through the wall. That’s what I feel like.

The Asheville Breakdown – I hike up a river on rocks to a waterfall. I skinny-dip in cold mountain water.  I drive the Blue Ridge Pkwy.  I drink local beEr. (the E is a typo but looks much like a burp!) I play ping-pong and cornhole.  I do yoga and get to see live music outdoors by a Birmingham band, St. Paul and the Broken Bones who are singing soul to my soul.  I even find some redemption playing guitar on the streets with the local musicians with whom I feel more at ease.  We sing and play and people drop money in my street friends’ guitar cases.  The people walk away singing right along with us. But as one song says, “Said I dig you baby but I got to keep moving… on  …keep moving on.”   Time to leave this good energy green yoga mecca and head towards another one.

GO WEST YOUNG MAN!

My sites are on Nashville for a short first leg and I arrive easily in the early afternoon.  I am camping on a lake and I stroll its banks and just lookout.  It is all very peaceful and calm and yet there is an unmistakable loneliness to it as well.  But these are my eyes looking out and being alone is something I’m having to learn all over again. I realize, that is why I’m out here – to face myself and find contentment (santosha) by witnessing the longing and redirecting that energy back inward.

And so alone I remain that night in Nashville even as I peruse the town indulging on local beer and chef specials. No music found me nor did I find music and so I sang in the car on my way back to the campground with only a trace of longing in my timbre.

I am on the road early after a much more restful camping experience.  Kansas City is my aim through St. Louis – two 4 -5 hour drives that sound perfectly pleasant.

I Love St. Louis right off.  Can’t tell you exactly why but the feel of the city on my skin was like home.  The architecture, the layout, the parks and communities, the diversity and friendliness of people, a baseball game was starting – all these and more made me smile a grin of gratitude for the day unfolding. I went straight to the arch, (it’s kinda hard to miss) and snag a quick parking spot at a church. I prayed hard for no tickets and God was with me. Looking up at the arch makes my legs buckle with the feelings of height even though both feet are on firm ground. All I can think about is how cool of a water slide the arch would make!

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I google vegetarian restaurants and it puts me in a hip strip on S. Grand St., as I would learn later from some friends that have not yet been introduced. I walk this strip and see every ethnic food choice I can imagine until I arrive at the Ethiopian place I am seeking.  Trust me, it was hard to keep my focus while hungry and passing all these amazing temptations. I’m glad I did though because this food nourished my soul.  It was truly the best food I’d had in years and I look back still stunned that I found this perfect sustenance.  You can bet I blessed this food and felt blessed by it.

The novelty continued as I realized there was a play taking place right there in the restaurant.  I was sitting by a curtain that the performers used to exit and enter the stage. Fake guns, costumes, and mustaches included. Afterwards, I struck up a conversation with 3 African men that were part of the U.S. military. We got into a deep conversation about war and peace and the religious motives that have perpetuated so much violence.  We ultimately came to a concurrence of God being bigger than any religion. It all seemed so simple to us then….  If we just agree to focus on what all religions have in common then God the Interceptor will come before war.

I bid farewell to my new friends and scoot off towards Kansas City after picking up a double-dirty chai in my 20-year-old milkshake cup. That cup and I have been through so much that it is a friend of mine. It holds so much energy in its stainless steel that it has found its way back to me frequently. Thank you guides and guardian angels for bringing me here.

I make it to the K.C. campground merely minutes before they close for the night.  Just another small miracle that says my timing is good. It was again situated on a lake; being near the water was becoming a strong theme on my trip. I slept that night with the rainfly off and enjoyed a light breeze with a million stars in site.

COLORADO

Not even a typical state line sign.

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On the road again,’ (Willie) and up early, Colorado bound! I realize that most of the day will be taken up with Kansas. That is one long horizontal stretch with absolutely nothing of interest unless you favor 5 legged cows, the world largest prairie dog, or shopping for baby pigs. Or maybe you like corn and soybeans. Even the first half of Colorado is similarly bleak and desolate until the mountains pop up on the horizon posing as a beacon of hope and change for weary travelers.

I pause in Boulder like I have been at sea for months and was finally feeling land beneath my feet. I get my bearings and find a campsite Northwest in the rocky mountains.  I set the GPS and check the old school paper map (which I like best) but this would prove to be a difficult and yet wonderful search for rest.

The sun sets as I head up winding mountain roads, running the course of the river that had long ago made its own road.  GPS fails instantly and my map does not have the details of this mountain highway. I wind up and up curious if I am missing a sign or a turn in the increasing darkness. It’s been an hour already. With mounting trepidation I continue into the unknown. I am tiring and thinking I am going to have to sleep in my car. I began to scout out pull offs where it didn’t seem like too many rocks would fall and crush my car. And with no small miracle this time, I start to come down the backside of a mountain and my GPS lights up and chimes in to say, ‘Take your next left in 200 ft. Whew! Because I know I wasn’t about to venture or even see down Mary’s Lake Rd.  20 minutes later I see the sign for my campground and it says ‘Vacancy!’  My mind does a mountain Macarena mini dance around my spinal cord and flies out the top of my head. A deep exhale follows and it is unmistakably the feeling of Gratitude.

And still God was with me as I pull in and circle round in search of a place to call home.

After two times around a loop in the dark, a girl approaches my car and helps me. She is camping with her boyfriend and points me to another loop as this one is full. So the miracle is, and I shit you not, (because I am from Alabama), I get the last spot available! I mean, COME ON! The universe is affirming faith in the unknown, framing the fortitude of spirit, and making miracles through small possibilities. For me, it is confirming my Grace Period. Thank You.

My new friend invites me to come back and hang out after I make camp and so I do, now all of sudden not tired. It turns out that Adam and Danielle are in school studying metaphysics. They read me a broad swath of deeply inclusive philosophic ‘lesson plans’ that they will have to ‘comprehend’ before they can move on to the next. They are richly layered with yogic premise, speaking of the Kundalini energy at the base of the spine, seva (selfless service), breath meditation, and paralleling the yamas and niyamas.  It was so nice to just sit and listen to it being read.  I am receiving and I accept it fully without feeling any need to reciprocate. We meditate that night in the simple silence of new friends under the watch of great snow covered mountains. They give up one of their sleeping bags so I won’t be cold and I receive this humbly as well.  Gratitude lights my way back through the dark.

I arrive to my new tent home at 11:11 pm; a time I seem to see twice a day and sometimes more. I know this number signifies so much beyond any personal connection.  It is a time of growth and change, a recharging of the spirit, and a call to pay attention. I recognize and I keep my eyes wide.

Adam and Danielle live in St. Louis where I had just eaten such divine delights. New friends in a town I immediately liked.  We catch site of each other in the morning and I lead them through their first Kundalini class. They love how it relates to their studies and how it leaves them peacefully altered.  We exchange numbers and hugs and home they head.

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BOLDER YOGA

That was Monday I arrived in Colorado, which makes for a tidy beginning, although honestly I would frequently forget what day of the week it was. After yoga with my new friends, I head into Boulder to get myself situated.  I need supplies and a good shower. The following would become a common schedule for me: find a coffee shop, charge my phone, and plan my day with a little help from the Internet. Yoga studios would become my catharsis – a reset button for all the mental and physical shifts that were occurring.

From camp to town was a good 90-minute drive and while beautiful beyond belief, it is still ample time to spend in a car. As my body is adjusting, so too my mind is adapting from its normal business of work and responsibility. It’s been two weeks and my mind is still in half shock at all the free space it has for processing and downloading.  Some part of it is in disbelief while another hemisphere is in full embrace of its newfound freedom.

Yoga takes on a new hue.  I am anonymous and get to be a true student again. Not knowing the teacher or students, yoga becomes very meditative for me. My focus is tuned into my surroundings in a way only traveling can inspire. With the elevation, my breath is brand new, the energy of my fellow practitioners is practically palpable, while the teachers voice and delivery magnetize my attention. I sweat more than usual, possibly due to my body being use to sweating more frequently.

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Every class is full with sometimes 3 classes going on at once at the same studio. The teachers are certainly good and some are just standard, but without being Alabama biased, I can honestly say we have some of the best teachers. As a studio owner, I’ve heard this multiple times about our city from other traveling yogis. We are truly blessed in our blossoming Birmingham yoga community.

Yet yoga in Boulder and Asheville is a way of life for most people. It’s not, ‘Do you do yoga’ but ‘Where do you do yoga?’ And so of course the yoga principles and mind-sets are reflected in the surrounding economy, evident in the restaurants and retail stores. A mass of people more awake will command a new standard of living and this is how the world can be changed consciously.

GREEN STATE

We pick back up on this first Tuesday in Boulder when I am getting settled in. I will share another story with full faith that you the reader and/or casual acquaintance would not be quick to judge or make assumptions. Due to it’s historical implications and its indication of a changing society, it should be told.

As it is now approved in Colorado, I purchase marijuana legally for the first time. If for no other reason, I wanted to support my belief that this plant should be legal and utilized to heal our depleted farm lands, make paper and clothing and a 1000 other things, eaten as a superfood (hempseed), and be made available for its many medicinal applications. That countless prescription drugs and chemical laden foods with appalling side effects are not only legal but advertised, it is an atrocity that marijuana would be slandered and criminalized. We are guinea pigs when it comes to all these newly introduced laboratory concoctions and we do not know their long-term effects whereas this weed has been around and sacredly used for millennia. I will step down from the inadvertent soapbox and let you infer that I had some very enjoyable hikes!

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And it was fortuitous how it happened! I was looking at yoga studios on-line in the coffee shop on this first Tuesday and a most gorgeous girl is crowding my space as she waits for her beverage. So I ask her if she has a favorite yoga studio.  Turns out she teaches yoga and her favorite studio to attend is in this very location a short walk away. Yoga Pod.  I asked her if she teaches in town and she says she teaches in Denver mostly. Her job in Boulder is to sell weed. Well now! It’s my first day in town and not even seeking it, it finds me. She hooks me up with some free passes to yoga and a business card.  Thank You!

As it went, I would spend a couple of days hiking the surrounding mountains of my campsite and go into town for my ritual yoga showers. Most of the hikes are on top of 3-8 ft of snow leftover from the recent winter. My legs get stronger as I learn to walk on the slick surfaces, putting my feet down and using every leg muscle I have to keep them there. I develop the agility to dance across a downhill or a softer patch of snow. I learn to laugh and go with the fall, as I would sometimes sink 3 ft. down in an instant. These hikes keep you on your toes as you can easily follow a errant set of footprints off the trail, or slide down a steep embankment with one wrong step, or fall through a snow bridge over one of the many temporary yet raging rivulets heading down the mountain. Every successful hike (they all are) brings the Gratitude back in the light of how beautiful the journey and destination both have been. You focus for your life on the trail, beauty all around, and then arrive at an expansive breath-taking mountain lake upon which you can unleash your mind with the full fervor of all its carnal cravings and collective confusions. The blankets of snow absorb it all with ease. The wild outdoors will listen without judgment and provide the freedom to come and go, stop or start, to dream face to face with reality itself.

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A Mountain Inspiration – There’s an intersection in the mountains where radio waves meet in unique ways.  I am listening to a listener supported radio out of Fort Collins and numerous times the music is spliced into some other song smooth like a DJ as the mountains redirect the radio signals.  I am listening to funk and this jazz station barges in for a bass solo and then back to funk. I ponder what it would look like if you could see these wave fields mingling and the new creations they produce.

WINDING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

My last night in CO, I get a hotel almost just for the novelty of it and to be closer in to town for the drive out. A bed, a shower, running water, walls – Wow! Nice be not so necessary. I turn on the TV because it is there and it feels alien and overly loud at every volume.  And still I get into a movie eventually…Yet this is the trap that we all fall into. It’s easy, it’s considered normal, and its what we paid for so better use it.

I get a late start no matter my plush convenient dwellings, and drive across Kansas again just to confirm how boring it actually is. After camping again in KC I end up driving all the way to Asheville instead of Birmingham to pick up my Cali friend that was sort of stranded there and needed a ride back to Alabama. I figure, what’s a few more hours and what better way to reciprocate for having stayed at her house. She is grateful and I feel good for helping.

I arrive home late Saturday and do not go into work until Monday for the first time. I am consciously different in my approach to work. I do not rush or scramble nor do I multi-task much.  I’ve learned something about my former frenzies and mad pushes to get it all done. We are never done while alive. Driving across the country for 20 days I put 4,920 miles on my car and it helped me to slow down and arrive on time in the right place safely. And so the same now with work, women, and whatever life throws my direction. I will get there. You will get there.  We are all already there. I can confirm that life is the best yoga if yoga is a practice of discerning our facades from our depths. And to clarify, I refer to a life altered, like light through a prism we have to be deflected off our course to shed a new light and hue on our old ways.

This trip was inspired by heavy life events that were compounding and steering me towards a major burn out.  Having already experienced this before and seeing how stress operates within my own body, I was wise enough to create a change before critical mass. And it was empowering to see catastrophe coming and calmly step aside and to realize that it’s never too far away to close my eyes for too long. This trip has made me an activist for time off to live and breathe freely. I don’t know how we go about shifting the engrained mindset of ourselves and our employers but we need more vacations – a period with which to remember our Grace. I would not advise waiting for your next major life event as a catapult but to do it when life is wonderful! Do it because your soul calls for it. All clichés apply here: seize the moment, the time is now, you only live once, if not now when, life is short – just do it!

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A small epiphany registered on the richter scale.  Just a light shake but enough to knock one thing over setting into motion a domino effect that might topple the world over still.  And yet this is always occurring and is what has brought us to this very moment.  Individuals with small revelations, a tiny good deed, an accident – they have created the world as we know it.

We are here as mediums to allow the creative forces of the universe to express their infinite potential.  Play with the following idea a bit: Imagine being God of Infinite Potential and being able to create absolutely anything – a billion times over what humans have even dreamed of creating.  Where would you begin?!  And so universes and worlds were born and life was given a driving spirit to live , adapt, and evolve by ‘being creative!’  Look at all the life forms and what they’ve had to do to survive.  To survive is to be creative.

This is applicable to our everyday lives.  If we close our minds off, let our bodies deteriorate withering from lack of attention, and allow our emotions to rule over us, we are not living or surviving really as only a trivial amount of universal blood sustains our brief existence. We will parish if we are not creative.  So open yourself daily with wonder, bending body and mind to fracture and crumble that hardened outer layer of yesterday.  Remove impediments that dam the river that so wishes to produce beauty through you. Let everything you do be a creation even if you are just creating a clean floor or a memo for your boss.  Recognize creation in all its forms and create your life while letting life be created through you.  Be a happy medium.

I will start right off by informing you that this is not my idea.  I don’t know who first came up with it but there is certainly a movement to recognize the benefit of having a 13 month calendar.  I offer this to you in case you have not heard of it and to promote this most amazing call to change our world through time, inciting peace and spiritual transformation.  Can we even imagine what we could accomplish with all the energy saved from not fighting each other?  And then the strength in numbers of an intelligence unified??

So the very word ‘month’ and ‘moon’ are of the same origin and both define as a measure of time.  One measure of time is of course our Sun with roughly 365 days.  Why do we disregard our satellite moon?  Why do we have 12 months when we have 13 moons if these are the same?  With 13 months, all with an equal 28 days and 4 perfect weeks, we would have 364 days with one perfect peaceful day out of time.  These 2 calendars can blend perfectly and would honor the masculine/feminine energy to which our physical world adheres.  No wonder we’re out of balance and live in a male dominated society with a war on everything under the sun.  The mechanism of our calendar births this imbalance in our minds, or collective consciousness, and it manifests itself in everything we create.  The irregularity of our months (moons) keeps us irregular and out of synchronicity, and maybe especially our women who are more affected by monthly rhythms.  As a married man, I know if my woman’s not happy then no one’s happy.

Going back to that one day out of time….. do I even need to elaborate on it?  I will though.  Time needs a break.  If everything has its opposite then this could be a way of honoring the timelessness within our Souls.  Imagine the magical potential of this day…. if nothing else, a New Years Party that never starts or stops.  You can’t say be there at 8 when we shut down time for a day. And what if the whole world got on board.  This would be an international day where almost no one was working and energetically people would be putting off a more peaceful vibration.  People the world over could come together at the same time and meditate and we could have our conscious moment.  We could advance ourselves toward self and therefore human realization. Who knows what we could set in motion.

So it could be that simple.  The peace and harmony that so many have been seeking for so long could come down to just fixing our calendar to reflect that fact the we have a Sun and a Moon.  To honor that we work and we rest with the day and the night.  How could we overlook something so inherent and prevalent in our lives?  I don’t even know why there would be a moment’s hesitation or how anyone could argue against it.  What could it possibly hurt?  It’s basically like rearranging your house that it flows and functions better.  We don’t even need new furniture!  Who will make this change?????????????????

Look up  José Argüelles for some awesome incite on this subject.

Another great combo in the ever looming dualistic oneness.  Like prayer without faith and faith without prayer, both will lose meaning in their own excess.  The two are connected: the innocence of prayer, the experience of faith; to be wise enough to trust and to be reborn continually into wonder-to take today’s discoveries and transpose them against the backdrop of universal wisdom.  This is the paradox, the part within the whole, macro and micro, the infinite nothingness which we are and cannot grasp.  We say, ‘If only I had known then what I know now’ when it was the original innocence that created the ability to have a genuine experience.  

 

The work of meditation and yoga is to maintain the innocence of the mind while keeping access to the wisdom attained through experience. Like with all opposites the levels have to be balanced for them to work.  A slight variation in the levels of minerals, gases, or fluids in our bodies and we would quickly be very ill and/or dead without correction.  This is an applicable solution in any circumstance.  It is inherent to all life and exists in every known relationship.  We overlook it for a variety of reasons relating to the imperfection of being human with minds that overly rationalize and live locked in cravings, comforts, and contortions of reality.  If we are to truly transform our current pathology, we will acknowledge this inherent balance and restore it in all arenas of life.  

 

Envision a world where everything was art.  Hanging on the  walls, on your plate for every meal, the plate itself, every dwelling and office, the city dump, the toilet you release in, the most common tool of an ink pen.  

I envision this as I realize that every human being is an artist and possessed of creative ability.  And if we built the world we have now, then we could build the next one. 

I feel that when we are within a creative act we are the closest to God that we can be in a human form.  In that moment, literally meaning timeless, we are God over the universe that is our creation.  We get a glimpse of what it must be like to be boundless within everything and nothing.  

(Rant:  Can you imagine what God must feel being in a state of continual creation, where upon your very creations become creative?  The exponential joy of it all.)

Not to speculate too much on God and God’s feelings, but might we look at art or the result of creative force, as emotion made into something tangible.  That this entire physical world was manifest as an explosion of God’s emotion.  

Human emotion seems to arise out of duality; the pull of pleasure and pain; the mad battle of the mundane vs. the mystery.  Emotion is not an option or something that we could subdue; it is inevitable as a human.  We are here to channel emotional energy as a fuel which might very well begin to energize and inspire our path back to God.  

(Rant:  We could power the entire world, every car and every city, if we took all emotion from love through hate, and harnessed its energy.)

But for the time being, could we not begin to let our emotional outpourings be directed into filling the world with art?  Every single thing would be made beautiful and unique.  Humans would become the filters for emotion and the beauty of creative expression would be their outlet.  The air would be cleansed of feelings that now found a home in everyday objects.  Dread, fear, and anxiety would not hover about us as a veil to hide our joy.  Our daily lives would be neutralized and calm, but beauty and inspiration would be all around us to keep us mindful and reverent.  Think about it:  when we’re surrounded by the immense beauty of nature, or engrossed in a book we can’t put down, or gazing into the intricate depth of painting, we are completely content and timeless; closer to God.

I understand how this seems impractical.  It would do away with the assembly line and the mass production of so many things.  (Whether we need these things is a whole other subject.)  But I am speaking of a whole new world where money is not the main objective.  Many things would be done differently.

So in conclusion, I feel it is our Dharma to make the world beautiful through the emotion thrust upon us from the tidal wave of duality.  It has the potential to lift us ever closer to an integrative harmony with our universe.

 

360 degrees.  That’s the math of it.  We humans might be at 359 and not know how close we are to completion.  Expanding on the idea that we are the furtherest away from God due to our complexity and lacking the omnipresence of the amoeba, let us remember the spiraling circle that life is.  So as far away as we’ve come from the source, we might be much closer to it than we think.  

There is a bridge we need to built lest we have to make a quantum leap across this last chasm.  We are prone towards adventure it seems so we will probably prefer the jump.  But how we get there does not matter so much; just that we get there.  

What’s holding us back is completely obvious.  Fighting about stupid shit!  Battling over the name and face of God.  The incessant thirst for money and power.  A lack of reverence for ourselves and the earth we live on.  The list goes on and everyone already knows a version of this.  

So until we stop the madness with a conscious moment; until we release our death grip on life; until we all choose to wake up from these delusions of comfort, we will be lost in the woods when the clearing is right around the next bend.  359 and counting (waiting)……..


“Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.” -Charles H. Spurgeon

 

“Jesus says, “Because you have seen me you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:19

 

What are these without each other?  It like inhaling without exhaling.  Similar to breath, prayer is the calling or initiative; the inhale as an action to spark a need through intention.  Faith as an exhale, a surrender to wait in wonder; to give the time for the turning of wheels. 

Prayer alone can be assuming and needy.  It is demanding or even selfish.  Ask for something and expect it to be answered.  Faith alone is naive and meek.  It floats about with nothing to guide it.  Faith can be blind, as the saying goes.  Put faith with prayer so it can see where it’s going.  Put prayer with faith to make active a true necessity and shape your belief that things can and will work out for the greater good of the whole.  

It seems like so many people so easily lose their faith when pain and hard times come.  But we’re always praying to get through it.  So it’s like people incline towards pleasure and move away from pain.  One side of the polarities is always more challenging to embrace, like the less dominant hemisphere of our brain or the weak side of our body.  Prayer seems more concrete than pure believing.  And prayer, I will now state, is something almost everyone does, no matter what.  So faith is lacking.  And why is faith lacking?  Because we are coming to the top of the wave.  It is soon to all crash down.  Still therein lies the problem. We are confused as to where faith should be directed.  Not faith that everything will work out to be so wonderful in this physical world, but to keep our faith in the source!  The creative destroyer.  

Maybe we are supposed to fuck up royally and come back wiser next time.  It’s like life on this huge scale is all about working your way back to becoming God again.  The God that of course you already are.  We were just thrown in the woods with amnesia and have to find our way back home with a little game of Marco Polo, or Prayer and Faith.  

 

 

Or maybe just breathe in and out….

 

 

At some point you will not even need label what you’re doing as yoga.  It will just be the awareness of what is good for you personally.  Eventually, this awareness will ask you to face ideas within you that are deeper and more difficult.  You will feel your dharma or purpose for being here rising up.  If your actions are not in line with this duty, you might have a deep yearning to change your profession, or yourself, or the world. The ultimate question will become, “Is what I’m doing right now serving myself and the people that I affect around me?”  If it does not serve, you will need to sever. True happiness will come when our actions serve our higher Selves; the part of us that is moving towards God. 


Now every,body listen up we got some yoga to do
We’ll, start with the breath the rest will come thru you
Breathe thru your nose make it slow and deep
Feel everything between your head and your feet
Toes and heals touching keep your arms by your side
Your, eyes on the prize, which resides inside
Make your muscles tight like a mountain stands strong
An, asana tadasana to make your spine long
Stop before it hurts not tryin to go beserk
Don’t forget to breathe or the magic won’t work

Now Re,lax a little bit and we’ll take a simple shift
Inhale deep and your arms you will lift
Palms to the sky like your raising up the roof
Only thru yourself will u find a deeper truth
Visualize: flip this pose in your mind
Your, standing on your hands with ur feet to the sky
Be,lieve that it’s possible and one day u will
Be, still   and know that I am what u feel

Next, pose is vrikshasana and that means tree
We’ll, make a minor tweak where we bend the knee
Use your, hands and pull ur foot high on the thigh
Point ur toes down and to balance we try
To, focus eyes free the minds and line up the spines
No, need to look around when ur one of a kind
When it, all comes together for a moment u might
Not know, left from right   or the day from the night
Take, one leg down and the other leg up
Focus on the pose and forget the other stuff
Put, hands in prayer or up anywhere
All that really matters is to be right there

Now, if you’re gettin tired   just hang in there
Cause this next pose takes the shape of a chair
But, don’t be fooled it’s not as easy as it sounds
Lift, arms overhead and drop your hips toward the ground
Sit ,down   lift the heart with weight to the heels
Yield to what you feel just deal and be real

Garu,rasana is eagle   and that’s up next
We’ll tie our, limbs in knots and then proceed to flex
Listen, carefully   so that we can fix you up
Identi,fy right from left and don’t mix them up
From, arms overhead swing the right under left
Hook it nice and tight til u feel a stretch
Sit, down!  Lift right leg over left
A,gain squeeze tight til u feel a stretch
Hold it kinda like   you’re holdin your pee
In,hale exhale feel the energy
Now re,lease   and we will switch the sides
Left, arm under right  sealed in a bind
Drop the, hips  lift the left leg over right
Tighten it up and continue your plight to be
Free from the falsities floatin around
And see, clear to the truth of the ancient sound – ooommmmm

If you like math then this one’s for you
It’s trika,nasana and you can be a triangle too
Start with legs wide turn your toes to the right
Take a deep breath   and gather your might
Stretch a slight bit to the right stay slow
Tilt your body down til you touch your toes
Take a, few deep breaths   and come back up
Straighten back out and continue to bust
Turn your, toes to the left to the left you stretch
Tilt the body down til the toes you catch
Be, blessed don’t stress   for life’s just a test
Let, go let god and forget the rest

The, next pose   has a name that’s quite long
I don’t even think it’ll fit in the song
It’s , like the last pose but with one bent knee
Turn your, right toes out  bend the right knee deep
Keep your spine straight   tilt to the right
Place your, right hand down  left arm to the light
Then, bring it overhead push your left foot down
Make a, really long line from the sky to the ground
Keep, breathin  to keep the mind right on the task
Bask in the glow of the soul long last
Come up slow  we need to switch the sides
Turn the, left toes out  bend the knee in a glide
Breath as your guide for what your feelin inside
Right, arm overhead you should look like a slide
Don’t, buy it  if your mind tells you you can’t
It only, rants and raves  we should teach it to dance

Next pose warrior   Vira for short
Put away your guns use peace not force
Turn your, right toes out  bring the left toes in
Whole, body faces right   the right knee you bend
Lift, arms to the sky with the hands in prayer
Look, up thru the heart  send it out with care
Use your inner strength  and deepen your hold
Bring the, warmth to the cold bring the love from the soul

Now we’re gonna shift do warrior 2
It’s, bound to feel good if you follow it thru
Bring your arms down make the chest face front
Look to the right an continue your hunt
For a, place deep inside nobody can budge
The, world’s comin at you be ready with love

Come, back to center and the sides we will switch
Face to the left so we can scratch that itch
Bend the left knee and the arms overhead
No, dread be fed by the saints who have said
To, meditate and levitate your consciousness up
Drink from the cup of the wisdom above
Open it up  now to warrior 2
Its your last pose  so give it some juice
Look to the left keep your chest up strong
Be pre,pared for life  whether short or long.         On and on…..

I ponder the dynamic between spirituality and consciousness and how it relates to man and animal.  There is an argument for man having a higher consciousness level and I see how this is true.  The problem is that this consciousness can be used to hurt as much as heal.  It’s clever and friendly with the ego; a human can consciously do harm.  Not until man’s consciousness appeared did atrocious acts of violence, slavery and outright murder come about.  People won’t think twice about abusing animals as a form of sport or entertainment.  Could we say these people are ‘lower consciousness?”  Not exactly.  Animals are considered lower consciousness and they would never do such things.

Let’s look at the other forms of life.  They are completely one with their environment, whether a fish in the water, a bird in a tree, or a bacteria in the digestive tract.  The world over, you see all types of living organisms making do with what their particular environment offers.  They blend in with the natural world.  They don’t have wants because they are always in need.  They will kill or fight only to eat or defend themselves.  They come and go without ceremony.  There’s no degradation, drama, gossip, or defilement.  We could just go on and on really.  The negative qualities were birthed by the human consciousness.  So I will now state that human have a higher consciousness potential.  And that consciousness is not the epitome of all attributes. 

Enter spirituality.  This is what is inherent in animals (lower consciousness) and forced or lacking altogether in so many humans.  That oneness with the environment is the deepest form of spirituality.  God has provided this beautiful planet to provide for us.  To trust it completely, to line up with its’ flow and follow its’ lead is the ultimate in faith and devotion.  I don’t think God could be more pleased with such humility and grace as displayed by animals.  Was the garden of Eden an experiment to see what would happen if animals were uprighted and infused with a strong dose of intelligence? 

Now enter intelligence.  Intelligence gives us a partial science behind the creative genius of God.  In effect it put a creative and therefore destructive power into the hands of the ego.  The excess of intelligence overrode the common sense simplicity.  The telepathic transmissions of information were lost in favor of the much slower and extremely less exacting science of words.  We seem incapable of developing the foresight to understand the effect of so many causes let loose upon the world. 

So what our consciousness or intelligence is lacking is spirituality.  Like so many ecological recipes, balanced living requires the right combination.  Just as prayer and faith thrive only when together, our higher conscious intelligence will only work if based in organic spirituality.  Religion so often becomes an egoic expression of God worship.  It’s exclusive.  How can you exclude something and say it’s not within the realm of God?  We need to bring God right here to earth and revere it in all things around us and within us.  As a complex organism we are already far enough removed from the source physically; our spiritual consciousness therefore needs to see God right in the dirt, blood, and bone of this planet.

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