In the relative spacious moment of today, I saw a very different picture. The first thing I noticed was the pressure of urgency I had felt and how that had compressed not only my thinking on the subject, but my ability to contextualize the focus within my own wider sense of purpose and initiative.
It’s on my mind this evening – another nature spectacular evening with strong winds up high driving the clouds like racecars to cover the blue and break up, filling with light, only to race on, a painted grey flickering the light from the setting sun.
Last night as Caroline and I endured a marathon bowel program that left both of us spent and exhausted, we treated ourselves also to the podcast interview on the Mindfulness Mode of Dr. Dan Brown whom I’ve mentioned here on numerous occasions. The subject was of course “Awakening.” It seems an apropos thread to be carrying through this window of time when all of our systems are laid so bear before us.
Please note the change of authorship for this post.
These are the first people I’ve seen other than our care team, and one interviewee who didn’t make the cut since my last visitors nearly one month ago. The scene was odd and awkward. Some of us masked, others not, ideas of the recommended 6 foot distancing seemed to vary perceptively between about 3 feet and about 10 feet. Regardless, with hidden mouths, distance, and the gurgling stream in the background, conversation was loud and a little broken.
In a certain sense, the point of my life as I see it is really to lean into a tremendous aspiration and unflinching optimism for a possible goodness and beauty transcendent of the pain and suffering of the moment. While this appears, to some degree, as a personal aspiration, the tendency of the emotion as it grows through my being, expressed into the world, is more of a vision for what is possible for us as a species.
Some are patiently waiting for the whole thing to blow over. Others, powder dry, waiting to reenter the market. Others prepping for End of Days, and countless more stumbling through an existential discomfort not seen for generations, destined to recover or end up where…?
I tried this morning to doze after the home health nurse came around to change my catheter just after 8 AM. I struck up my usual conversation – usual recently anyway – inviting us to prepare mentally and emotionally for the likely onslaught of deaths attributed to the pandemic.
My heart broke open. The effort and care that it took to establish the campaign – the writing and reflecting and refining – has met someone where they are, in a position of vulnerability, and has added value and some strengths to their condition. I hereby declare the campaign a wild and overwhelming success!
Astrology is BS they say. Good news for you if you agree. Jupiter, the amplifier is aligned perfectly with Pluto, the underworld experience. Simultaneously, Saturn the strict boundary keeper and enforcer is aligned perfectly with the God of war. The latter two “squared” into awkward flair with Uranus, the bringer of novelty…
Perhaps the most profound impact I felt in the teaching today had to do with recognizing and honoring the importance of our human connections. As Dan led us through a guided visualization/meditation starting with our own deepest wholeness and well-being, and expanding out until we were appreciating our own sense of love and care for all of humanity, my heart softened – to me imperceptibly.
Thanks right now to the community of people that have come together thus far in support of my crowdfunding initiative, today is the first Sunday in months, probably since November, that I have felt the capacity to simply be spacious; the weekly review ritual went somehow faster than usual, somehow at leisure I was able to read a few articles passed my way in recent days and weeks by friends, venture outside into the sun and make a few calls, continue the thread of correspondence answering emails, chatting on the phone, enjoying the video connection across the continent…
When I started writing these entries, the world was ordinary in my life within it was in crisis. Today the world is in crisis, and my life within it has become distinctly non-ordinary.
Bob Dylan released a new song today on an old subject. As I look around the world at the successes and failures of our modern rationalist capitalist approach, I’m reminded that we are where we are, and we got here along a certain path.
The weather report says rain, the light agrees, but the sky has barely spit today. High cumulus clouds drift against a backdrop of blue, sunlight coming and going here on the ground while the wind teases blustery day between moments of calm.
For the first time in months, I can feel a sense of ground under my feet, not just the firm hands of those few and close loving souls attempting to slow my fall, but actual ground. A sense of community, and network of support with care running not just to me, but through a meshwork of relationships and love.
Taking this contagion risk seriously really is a hard question that arises somewhere at the intersection of science and emotion… Where is foolish, where is serious, where is too much? My guess is that most of us can answer those questions pretty easily and pretty quickly in the moment, but I find those answers often get jelly legs when subject to further questioning…
Well Charles, good news, my life continues to be good for literature with plot points successively unfolding.
Though I’m a little concerned that whoever is writing this life is a bit enthusiastic with the twists…
March 22, 2020 – we really have yet to comprehend the nature of our situation. The opportunity is for recognizing our power and vulnerability.
As the waters of the world continue to quicken and my own path narrows, springtime creeps in with the dance of birds and new growth. The planet continues to turn, life coming and going on its surface, much as it has done for most of its 4 billion years. Anthem music plays, and stillness… And we in our drama unfold.
Finding uneasiness and disorientation of my own making, the terrible uncertainty of a pandemic context, and rays of sunlight from faces and sky, I feel alive in the balance of life and death, grateful for the gifts I have to offer, and happier still when I can remember their presence.
“Life is but a dream” they tell us when we are young. Singing the words, as if in a trance, and never quite realizing the truth behind them… Today the world feels more dreamlike than I ever recall in this life. How to love through the dream, have compassion, connection, and care for one another… These are the questions of the day.
Not running from the pain, nor running towards the light, the middle way – some call it, I like the word equanimity. The literal recognition and realization of the light and shadow dancing on the screen of the mind. No grasping, reification, or projection, only acceptance.
Everywhere we look the ship seems to be coming apart, but somehow rays of light and connection keep holding things together, a little bit here, and a little bit there… I’m reminded of the imaginal cells metaphor from inside the chrysalis of the butterfly.
If my words ramble today, it is only a mirror of the rambling state of our mad mad world. I hope you will find them light and loving, a prayer for your own well-being through this long weather we are having…
A long day after a short night, yet somehow, in the lovely glow of the evening sun, it seems good work has been done. The world, in turmoil, has gone to pandemonium, and somehow we are finding some stillness in the midst of the storm.
Between the rains, the world and my life washed in the storm, in this medium of madness, the ripples of help become visible. Now with the opportunity to see that help more clearly, to study, to practice, and to learn it more fully.
A day of lesser rain in week of storms, and ebb morning with flow afternoon into evening, all following a sleepless night.
Quiet day, rain falling steadily outside, a rain of words meets the pages in response to a loving morning message from Dave. Binding myself to the mast of stillness and faith through the storms of my own inequity in the world about me…
The boat is certainly rocking, and my little dinghy is no exception. I will ride these waves, paddling when I can, but remaining sure to sing a little song each day, a prayer that those notes of voice, these artifacts of words will ring some love and light to some heart somewhere…
Karma, habit, burns away in the consecrated effort of sincere aspiration. “The only reward for hard work is the capacity for more hard work.” The sign said above the door at my dear friends home. When we set aside those rigid structures of persistent attachment to the past, it’s incredible how much energy is liberated to meet the present moment and create futures filled with light and beauty.
zero is where the real fun is at
there’s too much counting everywhere else”
Sunday in a daze after daylight savings time, I trust I’m not alone.
When I look for my faith, certain it has been lost, I find that one cannot look for faith without finding it. Faith and mind and the world that is one with that mind are inseparable. I exist as faith, and cannot but express it with every breath.
Some kind of holding pattern filled with energy yet numb. Love and circulation, yet solitude. A wide open expanse of time, the end of time looms…
Seeking to be practical, seeking to honor possibilities, seeking not to disappoint those who have placed their investments in me, seeking to find the way of love, seeking to find the right surrender. How do we understand the capitals of wealth in our lives, how do we respond with wisdom, skillful means, and grace?
The world seems so full, and I so full within it. So full of grief, so full of ecstasy, so full of fear and life and death and flowers and friends and loneliness. Where in this fullness do I discover the vastness of space that is that seed of precious existence itself?
The day begins with increased uncertainty, increased instability, some kind of surrender, some kind of resolve.
Part two in the description of a week of sickness and hospitalization. Home now, but what is recovery?
Home from the hospital and still moving at Mach 3. As a matter of principle, 800 words referencing the adventure, as a matter of practicality, still to be revisited…
The plot point arrives this morning. Dramatic changes in available care appear near on the horizon. Fire glints in the eye of the Dragon, what next…
After a good lashing from Charles for losing the thread of the story, I attempt to return to the arc with clarity and with purpose, a few more days will tell how I have done…
Narration of the days events, in part as usual. I interrupted the writing near the end to call Charles and found a helpful critique drawing my attention towards the arc of story. I will endeavor henceforth to bring a more careful inquiry to my process of giving voice to story in my way.
A weary Wednesday, but perhaps the end of a difficult moment. Friendship, connection, and views…
In the wash of life, aren’t we all just in some sense a blend of saint and sinner, warmth and cool, wellness and decay? Are we ourselves, the inner feelings of being, destined to come and go? And yet are we also not the raindrops of love that eventually fill the ocean?
The week begins on a holiday, slow, but with nourishing connections, resolved if oblique efforts, and perhaps just enough peace in the face of discomfort to meet the squirrels in battle…
Charles asked for the basic whodunit, I hope I have obliged. 🙂
Busy Saturday, family, love, friendship, joy, tears.
With nothing to write about, I looked into empty space, I looked into an empty mind, and stories poured fourth…
Even though the trauma of my karma nips at my flesh, even though the trauma of the world threatens so many lives I hold dear, even though… Even though.
An exhale from the pace of work and effort felt lately, gives rise to feelings of appreciation, elation, depression, and return to well-being.
Having walked an uncertain path of looming shadows, terrifying forms, and glimmering lights, we have crested the hill. Footing still uneasy, but gate more committed than ever, I and my dear compatriots begin our descent into the valley of the future.
A full and complete Monday, fulfillment and exhaustion, no doubt on both…
Narrating a rainy Sunday from the familiar rituals of mornings discipline through the endnotes of a creative flourishing and budding.
A day of seeming generativity and perceived good fortune, is found a little suspicious through the lens of the sleepless night before.
A pleasant enough day took an unfortunate turn at the end. Nothing ruinous, just an odd close, perhaps to honor the full moon.
Taking a moment for some of the more difficult feelings; it’s always a bit like inspecting closely as we brushed the flakes of dust off the window. They have their own beauty and sparkle, and as we go, much glory is revealed.
A short story on the blessings of technology, and tacos.
It’s the little victories… Today, it was easy rising, a good meditation, good fortune in meeting kind members of the community, good and heartfelt conversation with a friend, the first workout I’ve had in a while, and the privilege and opportunity to labor for others. May all beings have good fortune. May all beings be well and happy.
The first week of February is off with a bang! Celebrating new clarity, new certainty, new friendship, and old, mostly just a simple recounting of the day from the feeling of deep appreciation, gratitude, and joy.
At the end of an 11 hour Sunday workday, while the world of America echoed cheers of Super Bowl madness, I offer a humble bow to my writing mentor.
The boundaries of the world are falling away. So many little agencies, we call them countries, struggling to harmonize in a globe gone marketplace, struggling to harmonize their own internal coherence.
What we are looking for, is a reciprocity of identity. For us as a species, we must learn to listen, to see, to feel each other more skillfully; not only as individuals, but as cultures and ideologies, Christians, Muslims, Jews, capitalists and socialists, left and right, we need to learn to let each other in, to be touched and changed by one another. Not only as individuals, but as collectives, we need these vulnerabilities to express in the genomes of our DNA.
This is true for me personally, for my engagement in the world will not persist and thrive if I do not make this leap of realization today.
What is generosity? What does it mean to receive? What happens when we do these things? What gets broken, and what gets born? How do we suffer love, give kindness, and share the fullness of ourselves with one another?
Today was an exquisite day of practice and privilege with some truly remarkable gifts of leadership.
One of the central themes I’m drawing from my journey through its recent forests and high mountain passes is the theme of reciprocity.
Just a Wednesday narrative from sleep to supper, with work, service, and sun in between…
Coming to the page with nothing but a broken heart to share, I found that I had so much more…
The narration of a day, the end of the year, the beginning.
The arc of the day reveals gifts in the way to gifts…
Ramblings at the end of a long day…
I come to these words (these words, not those words) through a body filled with spasticity. I imagine perhaps a little dehydration may have to do with that.
As the light faded outside, a warm golden glow piercing the chill of the January evening, I could feel the creeping tension in my flesh. Muscles contracting, both specifically and generally throughout my being; an unpredictable turbulence in the little ocean of presence.
A narrative of Tuesday, January 21, or parts of it. Curiosity about the friendliness of depression, and how we dance with them…
As I continue to write and publish (this is now two weeks I think), I remain curious about the through line for this blog. I notice writing, in many articles, and even on some platforms takes the approach of creating a sense of “Answer.”
I think that is not what this is about. True to my thesis of Wisdom Dialogue, I think it’s more about discovering rich questions, and soaking in the feelings that they can generate…
In response to my friend Charles, I consider the nature and quality of “my” external situation. What are the qualities of the outside world, and how do we position ourselves internally to meet that in the most generous and capable ways?
Early moments of a remarkable journey, circling back…
Yesterday someone near to me, but once removed was born. Yesterday, someone a little further away, but not so far, died.
This is the reciprocity of life, what else is?
We all live our lives inside of stories – stories of our identities, stories of our dreams, stories of our fears, our past, our capacities and obstacles, stories of those around us, stories of what is true and unbending, stories of what is false and stupid. We create these stories together, and we create them alone, stories of the stories we have created with others…
I live in the story, for example, that we create stories, and in writing this here, I live in the story that it is useful to do so, and that these words will be read by you dear reader, at some point in the future.
So in the absence of useful practical action, I turn to the useful practical action of telling some relevant stories, both to myself out loud, and for others who may connect to these stories and find an interest in engaging with me in some useful practical actions.
So that is what I did today. I told stories,
… To digress, for you other readers, for a moment; these writings I have begun here are a return in reverence to a project I undertook in 2013 and 2014. The project was called simply “Letters to Charles,” and was an acceptance of my dear friend Charles’s invitation to me to practice writing on a daily basis by sending at least 100 words to him by email.
Charles is a remarkable soul, and among many other things, a well read and accomplished writer in his own right. His daily replies to my letters served as an invaluable source of both encouragement and critique to help me hone not only the discipline of actually writing, but actually to hone the discipline of writing well. I do pray that these lines here reflect that, and not some terrible contradiction of that assertion. 😉
Here in the early days of the Donald J Trump presidency in the United States, things are getting interesting (still.)
Ghandi said “be the change.” Faced with modern global complexities such as climate change, rising class disparity, and social and political instability, what does that really mean?
We are Open Field Awakening.
We are a collective of deep friendships, spiritual and business partners, living and creating together in community. We have a practitioner’s home – where we practice explicitly waking up to and with one another. We employ various somatic, psycho-, and spiritual intelligences, from ancient to emergent.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…