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"Tell the truth-love everybody"- Ram Dass

“Just as there is only one taste in the ocean—the taste of salt
—so in Buddhism there is only one taste. The taste of Freedom."- Buddha

"I do not believe in telling people of one's faith, especially with a view to conversion.
Faith must be lived, and when it is, it becomes self-propagating."
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

"All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not
had a taste of it do not know!"-Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi

The warrior's path is one of tenderness and an open heart.

The Universe was created with one tear of love.

Teacher- become the student. Experience, live and love through your student's eyes.
This is how you manifest love. Dissolve the self- there is no self. Self is an illusion.
Without self there is no selfishness and there can be love.


The Universe is magic and filled with unconditional love. Our ordinary reality an illusion.

In the end there is stillness and light- the eternal presence of the divine love that
permeates the universe and every molecule of our body. The awareness of our divinity-
the loss of individuality - what we come from and return to.-
Lowell Greenberg

Home
Life & the Universal
Mariposa- Community of Butterflies
The Blues
Do Not Be Ashamed
The Tree
The Tree and the Man
A Child's Journey
Suffering
Trinity Church
The People's Prayer
Analysis of Bias
Intolerance & the Christian Right
A Time To Break Silence
A Personal Message
An Open Letter to the Religious Community
Bhagavad-gita
Poetry of Xu Yun
Atlantis
The Rainbow Bridge
Imagine
Ending of Relationships
 
bulletFirst Step
bulletTolerance
bulletCommunity
bulletThe Noir Side
bullet Short Essays on Spiritual Matters
bulletAbout
bullet Social/Volunteer Action
bulletConsciousness Studies
bulletDying
bullet Evolution and the Teaching of Creation
bulletThe Ocean
bulletThe Sandpiper
bulletWhy?
bulletA Vision
bulletThe Grim Reaper
bulletVirtual Evolution

 

The following is the mission statement of Soulforce, an interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. As a gay man, I am proud and particularly sensitive to the work Soulforce does in fighting prejudice and bigotry and defending the rights of sexual minorities.

"Spiritual Violence: Spiritual violence is the misuse of religion to sanction the condemnation and rejection of any of God’s children. Misusing religion and/or God to support society’s bias against sexual and gender minorities also inappropriately justifies psychological, legal and physical violence against them. Some zealots blatantly articulate spiritual violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people when they scream “God Hates Fags.” Mainline churches may be less blatant and more sophisticated, but they are no less guilty of spiritual violence. It is just as violent spiritually when pastors and parents—quoting scripture—condemn and reject members of their congregation and their family. When this happens, God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children also feel condemned and rejected by their Creator as well."

 

Evolution and the Teaching of Creation

 Evolve- start with the 'l' and spell in reverse...love...Elohim...to love is to remember..it cannot be detroyed...

"The creation story unfurling within the scientific enterprise provides the fundamental context, the fundamental arena of meaning, for all the peoples of the Earth. For the first time in human history, we can agree on the basic story of the galaxies, the stars, the planets, minerals, life forms, and human cultures. This story does not diminish the spiritual traditions of the classical or tribal periods of human history. Rather, the story provides the proper setting for the teachings of all traditions, showing the true magnitude of their central truths." —Brain Swimme, The Universe is a Green Dragon, 1984.

"We have a new story of the universe. Our own presence to the universe depends on our human identity with the entire cosmic process. In its human expression, the universe and the entire range of earthly and heavenly phenomena celebrate themselves and the ultimate mystery of their existence in a special exaltation. Science has given us a new revelatory experience. It is now giving us a new intimacy with the Earth."

“The basic mood of the future might well be one of confidence in the continuing revelation that takes place in and through the Earth. If the dynamics of the Universe from the beginning shaped the course of the heavens, lighted the sun, and formed the Earth, if this same dynamics brought forth the continents and the seas and atmosphere, if it awakened life in the primordial cell and then brought into being the unnumbered variety of living beings, and finally brought us into being and guided us safely through the turbulent centuries, there is reason to believe that this same guiding process is precisely what has awakened in us our present understanding of ourselves and our relation to this stupendous process. Sensitized to such guidance from the very structure and functioning of the Universe, we can have confidence in the future that awaits the human venture.”

-Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth, 1988.

"The new naturalism does a superior job of telling everybody's story. It is more durable than metaphysical perspectives precisely because it rejects claims to finality, inviting upon itself scrutiny and falsification. And it gives us what is to date the most reliable and satisfying account of where came from, what our nature is, and how we should live."- Loyal D. Rue, Everybody's Story, 2000.

"There is science now to construct the story of the journey we have made on this Earth, the story that connects us with all beings. Right now we need to remember that story, to harvest it and taste it. For we are in a hard time. And it is the knowledge of the bigger story that is going to carry us through." - Robert Bateman, Thinking Like a Mountain, 1988.

"It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that [people] are only fellow voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of evolution. This new knowledge should have given us, by this time, a sense of kinship with fellow creatures; a wish to live and let live; a sense of wonder over the magnitude and duration of the biotic enterprise." - Aldo Leopold & Charles Swartz, A Sand County Almanac, 1989.

"Tell me a creation story more wondrous than the miracle of a living cell forged from the residue of an exploding star! Tell me a story of transformation more magical than that of a fish hauling out onto land and becoming amphibian, or a reptile taking to the sky and becoming bird, or a bear slipping back into the sea and becoming walrus! If this science-based culture, of all cultures, cannot find meaning and cause for celebration in its very own cosmic creation story, then we are sorely impoverished indeed." - Connie Barlow, Green Space Green Time, 1997.

"There can be no better laboratory for the elaboration of thoughts on man's orientation in a complex world than a flowering meadow, or a noisy brook, or a spiral galaxy. For the green leaves are sucklings of a star's radiation. The rapids in a brook, responding to universal gravitation, perform erosions of a sort that have worn down to oblivion the lofty pre-Alps and the primitive Appalachians. The hundred-ton maple tree that calmly dreams through the decades is in the same universe as the Andromeda Galaxy with its billions of seething stars." — Harlow Shapley, Of Stars and Men, 1984.

"Both education and religion need to ground themselves within the story of the universe as we now understand this story through empirical knowledge. Within this functional cosmology we can overcome our alienation and begin the renewal of life on a sustainable basis. This story is a numinous, revelatory story that could evoke the vision and energy required to bring not only ourselves but the entire planet into a new order of magnificence." -  Thomas Berry, Dream of the Earth, 1988

The above quotations were taken from the web site of Michael Dowde & Connie Barlow, The Greatest Story. Quoting from from their web site:

"On April 25, 2002, Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd embarked on an itinerant ministry of sharing "the Great News of the Great Story and Foster the Great Work." We shed most of our possessions, and now travel in a van as at-large inhabitants of North America and ambassadors of the grand sacred story of cosmos, Earth, life, and humanity. We are teaching (Connie has a science writing background) and preaching (Michael was a United Church of Christ pastor) "the marriage of science and religion for personal and planetary wellbeing."

 

We are resolved to follow our national dream.

The Orchard House Speech of Doris "Granny D" Haddock

The following excerpt is from a speech made at Orchard House, Home of the Alcotts, in Concord, Massachusetts on October 6, 2005.

"...The desperate attitude of the far right toward not only the unborn baby but even brain-dead people on life support reveals something about their true religion: they have little. There is nothing in their actions that reveals a belief that life is eternal, that there is no death except as a doorway to something better. Their brand of Christianity simply does not relate to the teachings of Christ. The worst of the hate-mongers who misuse the Bible to make million-dollar church incomes and push a political agenda of male domination and hate are easy to spot, for they cherry-pick Bible passages to suit their purposes. They disregard any turning of cheeks, they disregard the fact that Jesus never mentioned the homosexuality that they so fear. They seem not to fear that, as very rich men, they themselves might have a hard time driving their Hummers through the eye of the needle into heaven. They claim that every word of the Bible must be followed, but if they really believed that they would have stoned themselves to death years ago, as they are as sexually frisky and full of covetous looks as anybody else. They forgive themselves freely, of course, even when they promote the murder of foreign leaders." See  also: Intolerance & the Christian Right.

Action Institute for the Study of
Religion & Liberty

Seeks to articulate a vision of society
that is both free & virtuous, the end of
which is human flourishing.


Adherents.com
Collection of adherent statistics & religious
geography citations -- references to published
membership/adherent statistics &
congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions,
churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith
groups, tribes, cultures, movements,
ultimate concerns, etc.


Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons
Serves the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual,
& transgender Mormons & their supportive
family & friends through social &
educational activities.


Affirm United / S'Affirmer Ensemble
An organization of persons working through
education & social integration for the
welcoming of diverse peoples, especially the
inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender
persons in the life & work of the church. AU / AE
is composed of people of all sexual orientations
& gender identities and so it is open to all people
within the United Church of Canada who
support these goals.


Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

American Buddhist Center

American Friends Service Committee
Quaker organization that includes people
of various faiths who are committed to social justice,
peace, and humanitarian service.

American Jewish Committee

Anti-Defamation League

The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba

Association for Research &
Enlightenment-Edgar Cayce


Autobiography of a Yogi | Whispers
from Eternity


From the Beginning of "Autobiography of a Yogi,"
by Paramhansa Yogananda...

The characteristic features of Indian culture have
long been a search for ultimate verities and the
concomitant disciple-guru relationship. My own
path led me to a Christlike sage whose beautiful
life was chiseled for the ages. He was one of the
great masters who are India's sole remaining wealth.
Emerging in every generation, they have bulwarked
their land against the fate of Babylon and Egypt."

Bahá'í World

Balanced Weight Management

"It is rare to have someone tell you that you
are overweight due to many different choices
that you make on a moment-to-moment basis.
It is your environment, lifestyle & personal
conditioning, genetics, & habits that keep you
overweight. As you learn about your choices &
the patterns they form, make small changes &
learn new skills, day-by-day, overtime, you form
new habits. These new patterns gradually bring
to you NEW RESULTS (being thinner, healthier
& happier). KEEPING OUR LIVES IN BALANCE
is an essential practice that will allow you to
apply the other indispensable areas of self-care."


Beliefnet
A multi-faith e-community.

BibleGateway | The Unbound Bible
Searchable bibles

Biodynamics

Bishop John Shelby Spong
Unofficial Fan Web Site

The British Humanist Association
Exists to support and represent people
who seek to live good & responsible
lives without religious beliefs.


The Bruce Lee Educational Foundation

Bruderhof Communities |
Peacemaking Guide | Peacebarn

Network of faith-based communities that
began in Europe in the aftermath of World War I
& now has branches in New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, England, Germany, & Australia.
The Peacemakers Guide was created to
inspire & empower people to work for peace,
& to arm people with living proof of the power
of nonviolence to effect change and resolve conflicts.

The Bruderhof Peace Barn is a project of the 5th-
8th grade students of the Spring Valley Bruderhof
School in Farmington, PA. Two days after
9/11/2001 these students wanted to do something
for peace. So they decided to convert an old barn
into a museum for peace and a memorial for the
victims of terrorism and war. In addition they have
handcrafted memorial benches for each passenger
and crew member of Flight 93, which are at the
crash site in Shanksville, PA. Tourists from all
over the United States and the world stop by
the Peace Barn every day.


BuddhaNet

A View on Buddhism

Buddhist Studies Virtual Library

C.G. Jung Page

Catholic.net

Catholic Worker
"The aim of the Catholic Worker movement
is to live in accordance with the justice
& charity of Jesus Christ... When we examine
our society, which is generally called
capitalist (because of its methods of producing
& controlling wealth) and is bourgeois (because
of prevailing concern for acquisition & material
interests, and its emphasis on respectability
& mediocrity), we find it far from God's justice.


The Center of Concern
Explores & analyzes global issues
& social structures from an ethical
perspective based on Catholic
Social Teaching.


Center for Paleo Orthodoxy

Chabad-Lubavitch in Cyberspace

Christian Classic Ethereal Library

The Church at Matthew's House
"I was tired of the church, as I knew it.
It was an event, a building, a program…
I wanted to be the church; I wanted my
“un-churched” friends to be the church,
not become churched." -Jason Evans


Circle of Living Earth
Providing healing & instruction in the
shamanic tradition.


Corrymeela
People of all ages & Christian traditions,
who, individually and together are
committed to the healing of Social,
Religious & Political divisions that exist
in Northern Ireland  and throughout
the World.


CrossCurrents
Global network for people of faith &
intelligence who are committed to

connecting the wisdom of the heart &
the life of the mind.


Cultural Creatives

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Death of an Innocent: How
Christopher McCandless lost
his way in the wilds by Jon

Krakauer, 1/1993

Dignity USA
"Envisions and works for a time when Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered
Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity
through the integration of their spirituality with
their sexuality, and as beloved persons of God
participate fully in all aspects of life within
the Church and Society."

don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements:
-Be Impeccable with Your Word
-Don't Take Anything Personally
-Don't Make Assumptions
-Always Do Your Best


Dvaita Home Page

Earth Vision

It is the premise of EARTH VISION
that in order for humanity to cherish nature,
humanity must first recognize nature
as a reflection of the very soul of its
own being.


Eckankar

The Enneagram Institute
"The Ennegram Institute is dedicated to
the work of human liberation & transformation.
Don Riso has defined the Enneagram as "a
geometric figure that delineates the nine basic
personality types of human nature and their
complex interrelationships." While the Enneagram
suggests that there are nine basic personality
types of human nature, there are, of course,
many subtypes and variations within the nine
fundamental categories. Nevertheless, the
assertion of Enneagram theory is that these
nine adequately map out the territory of
"personality types.""


The Episcopal Church of Visual Arts

Esalen Institute
An alternative educational center devoted to
the exploration of what Aldous Huxley called
the "human potential," the world of unrealized
human capacities that lies beyond the imagination.
Esalen soon became known for its blend of
East/West philosophies, its experiential/didactic
workshops, the steady influx of philosophers,
psychologists, artists, and religious thinkers,
and its breathtaking grounds blessed with natural
hot springs.


Esoteric School of Shamanism & Magic

Exploring Plato's Dialogues

Fatima Network | Third Secret of Fatima

FollowingAncestors- EarthWisdom
"Today we consider it a great honor to carry on
the role of helping people like yourself in
reconnecting to the spirit of Esonknhsendehi -
the great Changing Mother earth- and sharing
the beauty of earth ways from around the world.
Our goal is to nurture a spirit of harmony within
Humanity's interactions with other humans,
nature and All Our Relations. Our work is
designed to be an antidote to all that is excessive,
formal, artificial or contrived. By focusing on the
essence of evolution, we hope to offer you a
welcomed lifestyle in tune with the spirit of All That Is.


Foundation for Shamanic Studies
Offers international learners rigorous courses
in core shamanism- universal or near-universal
principles & practices of shamanism not
bound to any specific cultural group or perspective.


Frequency Keepers
"The dimensional shift has begun & we are being
called to our highest destiny, to consciously utilize
the full harmonic power of our voices to open our
hearts to our multi-dimensional selves & transform
the frequencies, our planet, & its inhabitants by
manifesting a new harmony of unconditional love."


The Gentle Survivalist

Gothic Dreams

Gnosis Archive

Harmonicvisions

Karyn Armstrong is a Shamanic Healing Arts
Practitioner, Minister, Certified Tantra Educator,
Director of Harmonic Visions, and Proprietor of
Body, Mind & Spirit…A Wholeness Center for
Integrative Wellness based on CAM therapies.
Teaching personal growth and transformation
through the practice of shamanism. Authentic,
innovative and creative instruction on shamanic
journeying through drumming, soul retrieval,
shamanic extraction, death and dying, and
energy healing with spiritual light.


Hindu Resources Online

The Holy See

House Church Central
The house church movement is an
attempt to get away from the institutional
church, seeking instead to return to the
small gatherings of peoples that
constituted all of the churches of
the New Testament era.


The Human Development Institute/
Laibl Wolf's Web Site

Indigos In The Flow
"The Highly Sensitive And Highly Aware:
Something amazing is happening on planet Earth.
Over the last century, several successive cohorts
of individuals have been born who are highly
sensitive, highly aware, spiritual and purpose-driven.
They think outside the box, run high levels of
energy and experience a greater spectrum of reality
than many of those who have come in before.
In some ways this is nothing new. Indigos are in
fact “old souls” and if you look into their eyes you
will see depths of human history and experience.
People who fit this description have been present
throughout the life of the Earth, providing the
catalyst for our growth and expansion. What is
new are the numbers. There are many, many of
the highly sensitive and highly aware among us.
And perhaps there is also something new about
our bodies and minds – evolving to better
accommodate these evolutionary changes. Those
who have seen and recognized this pattern have
sometimes called it the “Indigo” phenomenon.
The word Indigo refers to a deep, rich color of
purple/blue that has been associated with higher
level of consciousness, of finer, more exquisite
energies. It is associated with the third eye chakra,
the energy center which orchestrates our ability to
transcend physical realities, grow toward
enlightenment, and manifest what is important
in life. " - Linda Kardos, a Licensed Professional
Counselor who practices in Portland, Oregon. She
uses mind-body-spirit techniques & works with
clients who desire life transformations & spiritual
expansion.


Independent Church of Australia

Indigenous Peoples Survival Foundation

Non-profit, humanitarian organization with the
primary mission of promoting understanding
between ancient traditional peoples and modern
civil society. Secondary mission is to utilize
indigenous knowledge and global resources to
promote economic prosperity for needy people
worldwide; while at the same time protecting the
environment out of respect for our mother Earth.


An Inquiry into the Existence of Angels

The Interfaith Alliance

Clergy-led grassroots organization
dedicated to promoting the positive,
healing role of faith in civic life &
challenging intolerance and extremism.


International Association for Near-Death
Studies

International Association of Sufism

International Network on
Personal Meaning

Dedicated to the advancement of knowledge
on the vital role of meaning in mental/physical
health, spiritual development, & peace-making.
Combines an appreciation for the importance of
research with a strong emphasis on the need
for public education and community service.


International Society for
Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy

Multi- and interdisciplinary organization
dedicated to encouraging and advancing
research and education in existential
psychology and psychotherapy. The dominant
thrust behind all their work is a commitment
to understanding the central role that
meaning plays in our lives.


Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Internet Scared Text Archive

Archive of electronic texts about
religion, mythology, legends &
folklore, & occult and esoteric topics.


IslamOnline.net

Islamic Studies

Islamic Supreme Council of America

Islam: The Modern Religion

Jade Wah’oo Grigori

Jade Wah’oo Grigori is a caretaker of
‘the Ways’, an authentic Shamanic lineage.
Raised in a Shamanic family of Mongolian
heritage, his paternal grandparents being
from the Seven Villages of the Csango
People, descendants of the Mongol
Golden Horde, in the Carpathian Mountains.


Jerry Wolfe
"When I was taking pictures or working in
the darkroom, it became natural for me to
fall into a profound state of mindfulness.
Without the grasping or acquisitive mind,
constantly pushing me into habitual or
predetermined ideas of what is beautiful,
significant or desirable, I began to see
things in a new way. I was able to explore
possibilities outside of my range of values--
terms such as “good, bad, beautiful, ugly”
lost much of their power over me. Instead
I became drawn to shapes and forms that
spoke to my inner self."


Jewish Theological Seminary

Jewish Virtual Library
Online Jewish encyclopedia covering
topics, such as: History, Women, The
Holocaust, Travel, Israel & The States,
Maps, Politics, Biography, Israel, Religion,
Judaic Treasures of the Library of 
Congress, Vital Statistics & Reference.


Judaica Collection

Kabbalah Home Page

Karmic Astrology

"Karmic Astrology differs greatly from conventional
astrology. Where conventional astrology tells you
 what you are, Karmic Astrology answers the question:
Why? Often issues appearing in an individual's life
right now are the catalyst for the person's inquiry, and
s/he has the maturity to realize that. The answer to
that question, "Why?", lies in what we bring into our
present life from our past lives. Karmic Astrology
assumes you already know what sort of person
you are but are now wondering how that came to happen
and what can be done about it. Rookies don't ask those
sorts of things. Karmic Astrology assumes that your
current life is not just some random existential blip in a
void, but instead is a part of a grand sweep of cosmic
evolution which has been going on for who knows how
many eons over who knows how many lifetimes. We're
talking about the Big Picture here, the view from the top
of the mountain, the answer to the question, "Why am I
here?" We're talking about taking a look at the next step
on the path the person's soul chose before returning to
an Earth incarnation."


Kriya Yoga
"The sincere spiritual seeker who follows
the path of Kriya Yoga with desire for spiritual
growth, love, and devotion can attain Self-
realization — even within one lifetime. This
powerful yoga stems from many yogas
described in the Bhagavad Gita; but, primarily, from:
Karma Yoga- actions of the soul which
means both outer actions in the world and, more
importantly, inner actions of the mind & detachment
from the fruits of these actions
Jnana Yoga- intellect discipline which leads
to wisdom gained from the experience of spiritual
knowledge that gives freedom & inner detachment from
the fruits of actions
Bhakti Yoga — unconditional love, awakened by
gratitude and joy experienced from oneness with all
creation and cosmic consciousness
Kriya Yoga is non-sectarian. Its simplified techniques
cause no hardships or austerities & were developed
for aspiring householders as well as for monks. From
Karma Yoga, Kriya Yoga teaches any action, ‘kri’, is
done by ‘ya’, the indwelling soul; work is worship.
Constant awareness of the power of the indwelling
soul inhaling leads to mind control and liberation..."

Labyrinth: Medieval Studies

The Lorian Association
Incarnational Spirituality is the foundation for all of Lorian’s work. It is an affirmation of the spirit innate within our world, our humanity, our physicality, and our personal lives. It sees each person as a source of spiritual power and radiance.

Lost Valley Intentional Community
and Educational Center

Lost Valley Educational Center is an
intentional community & nonprofit educational
center dedicated to learning, living, & teaching
sustainable, ecologically-based culture.


Lotus Grid
"The Lotus Grid is a previously invisible,
personalized planetary chakra that was
imbued before birth and is now being opened
like a flower by free will choice. IN EACH OF
US, over a period of time between Sept 2006
and November 11, 2011. Even though the
grids open continuously whenever someone
 says 'yes' to it, we hold a worldwide
celebration each year to acknowledge the
unfoldment process and support one another
locally."- Carol May


MAZON: A Jewish Response to
Hunger

Meditation in Action

Medical Humanities

"This site, established in 1994 at New York
University School of Medicine, is dedicated to
providing a resource for scholars, educators,
students, patients, and others who are
interested in the work of medical humanities.
We define the term "medical humanities"
broadly to include an interdisciplinary field of
humanities (literature, philosophy, ethics,
history and religion), social science
(anthropology, cultural studies, psychology,
sociology), and the arts (literature, theater,
film, and visual arts) and their application to
medical education and practice.


MetaReligion
Religion, occultism & science.


Metropolitan Community Church
Worldwide fellowship of Christian churches
with a special outreach to the world's gay,
lesbian, bisexual & transgender
communities.


National Council of Churches
Leading force for ecumenical cooperation
among Christians in the United States. It's
36 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox member
denominations include more than 50 million
persons in 140,000 local congregations in
communities across the nation.


National Religious Partnership
for the Environment

New Thought Movement
"New Thought is "the practice of the presence
of God," but unlike conventional mysticism,
which emphasizes contact or union with
God for its own sake, New Thought adds
to this  the practice of the presence of God
for practical purposes. To those who object
that one should not use God, New Thought
replies that there is nothing but God to use,
and/or that God wants us to have the best in
all aspects of living, that God constantly offers
this to us, and that in accepting it we are living
as God wants us to live."


New Renaissance Books
"Through New Renaissance we consciously
attune ourselves to the Divine and manifest
that vision as channels of God's Light.
We nurture the spiritual awakening of
truthseekers of all paths by attuning to the
highest needs of our customers and ourselves,
creating an uplifting environment of unconditional
love and acceptance, offering spiritual teachings
from East and West and providing healing
products and services. Our business serves as
an example reflecting the values of balance,
good health and abundance to promote a holistic,
spiritual and joyous lifestyle."


Next-wave.org
Mission is to bring together Christians
from all walks of life, including pastors,
church planters and leaders across
denominational and national borders,
who want to reach out to people in
postmodern culture, and who understand
that, in order to do so, significant changes
need to be made in the way we run &
organize our churches.


Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
Oasis of Peace- A village in Israel
established jointly by Jews & Palestinian
Arabs of Israeli citizenship and engaged in
educational work for peace, equality
& understanding between the two peoples.


Nick Bostrom's Home Page
Work in philosophy of science, ethics,
transhumanism, the consequences of
artificial intelligence, foundations of
probability theory & a work of poetry.


Omega
Holistic education provider doing work
in holistic health, meditation, yoga,
transformational psychology, spirituality,
world music, and art.


Online Judaism

Ontario Centre for Religious
Tolerance


Oregon Friends of C.G. Jung
Group interested in learning more about
the work. Presents lectures & workshops
led by Jungian analysts from around
the world.


Pacific Northwest Core Shamanic
Community

Here is where people with a strong root in
"Core Shamanism" as taught by the
Foundation for Shamanic Studies can find
communion, support and further training in
the Pacific Northwest area. This is also a
place to find healers local to the Pacific
Northwest stretching from Oregon, through
Seattle, Bellingham and up to Vancouver B.C.


Paradigm Shift

Pax Christi USA
National Catholic peace movement.


The Philosophers Magazine

Philosophy in Cyberspace
Indexes thousands of philosophy resources.

Places of Peace & Power
The Sacred Site Pilgrimage of Martin Gray

Portland Insight Mediation Community
The Portland Insight Meditation Community is
dedicated to the learning & practice of Insight
Meditation and the Eightfold Path of the Buddha.
PIMC's purpose is to improve the lives of
participants, their families & the greater community
through meditative practice and a lifestyle that
supports liberation from suffering, the awakening
of wisdom, & the manifestation of compassion.

Presbyterian Church

The Progressive National Convention
Association of Baptist churches throughout
the world committed to the mandate of making
disciples for Christ. The convention is founded
on the precepts of fellowship, service, progress
& peace, and seeks to affirm the "priesthood of
all believers.


ReligiousForums.com
Forums to discuss, compare, & debate
religions.


The Religious Freedom Page
Concerned with issues of religious
freedom in the U.S. & around the world.


Rudolf Steiner Archive & E.Lib

Rutgers Journal of Law & Religion
Dedicated to the interaction of church &
state on a global scale.


Sacha Runa
"Sacha Runa is a living network of medicine
people, master plants, ceremonialists, shamans,
artists, healers, students and teachers of all
kinds. Our works and lives span through an
abundant diversity of mediums, techniques,
backgrounds, and species to compose a truly
dynamic ecology of souls. All of us are shaping
and being shaped by the visionary landscapes
of the emerging medicine culture. Aligned in the
seamless unity of nature, we are learning to
engage our collective roles as one with the
medicine itself."


Sanctuary of Enlightened Life
Enlightened Life Sanctuary is a spiritual
organization dedicated to the creation &
development of new & innovative expressions
for ancient spiritual practices of enlightenment,
& to providing practical support for everyone
to begin living the enlightened life today.


San Graal School of Sacred Geometry

Self-Realization Fellowship
Aims and ideals as set forth by Paramahansa Yogananda, Founder

"To disseminate among the nations a knowledge of definite scientific techniques for attaining direct personal experience of God.

To teach that the purpose of life is the evolution, through self-effort of man's limited mortal consciousness into God Consciousness; and to this end to establish Self-Realization Fellowship temples for God-communion throughout the world, and to encourage the establishment of individual temples of God in the homes and in the hearts of men.

To reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.

To point out the one divine highway to which all paths of true religious beliefs eventually lead: the highway of daily, scientific, devotional meditation on God.

To liberate man from his threefold suffering: physical disease, mental inharmonies, and spiritual ignorance.

To encourage "plain living and high thinking"; and to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all peoples by teaching the eternal basis of their unity: kinship with God.

To demonstrate the superiority of mind over body, of soul over mind.

To overcome evil by good, sorrow by joy, cruelty by kindness, ignorance by wisdom.

To unite science and religion through realization of the unity of their underlying principles.

To advocate cultural and spiritual understanding between East and West, and the exchange of their finest distinctive features.

To serve mankind as one's larger Self."

Shaking Medicine
"Elders of indigenous traditions throughout the world
– including the Kalahari Bushmen, the Caribbean
Shakers of St. Vincent, the Guarani Indians of
the Amazon, and leaders of the Japanese healing
tradition of Seiki Jutsu – have embraced Keeney
as an elder and spokesperson for their ways of
ecstatic shamanism. Following an academic career
as a systems theorist and psychotherapist, he
spent over a decade traveling the globe, living
with spiritual teachers, shamans, healers, and
medicine people who trusted him to share their
words with others – modern cultures in need
of Elder wisdom."


Shambhala
International community of 165 meditation
centers led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.


Shamanic Astrology
"The foundational philosophical truth of Shamanic
Astrology (and arguably of everything) is from the
opening lines of the Emerald Tablets of Hermes,
"As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without."
This is considered to be literal, kinesthetic, organic
reality, not an intellectual or spiritual abstraction.
The patterns of the constellations and the cycles
of the Sun, Moon and planets are the same as the
patterns and cycles of the human psyche and the
seasons of our lives. The relationship is not cause
and effect. The practitioner of Shamanic Astrology
is at home with this magical and geomantic intuition.


SharedWisdom
Purpose is to create transpersonal
bridges to facilitate the emergence of a
new subculture in the Western world.


Share International Media Service
Associated with the Department of
Public Information at the United Nations.
One of its primary goals is to synthesize the
ideas & events which are rapidly propelling
humanity toward a complete restructuring of
its global institutions as a result of the
energies of the New Age of Aquarius.


Shiva shakti mandalam
The inner wisdom of the hindu
tantrik tradition

"Only when Shiva is united with Shakti does he have
the power to create - Saundaryalahari

Second-hand knowledge of the self gathered from
books or gurus can never emancipate a man until
its truth is rightly investigated and applied; only
direct realisation will do that. Realise yourself,
turning the mind inward. - Tripura Rahasya, 18: 89

Tantra, or more properly tantrika, is a diverse & rich
spiritual tradition of the Indian sub-continent.
Although in recent years, in the Western world, it has
become almost exclusively associated with sex, in
reality this is one aspect of what is a way of life.
In India itself, tantra is now, nearly always, associated
with spells and black deeds.

Neither of these views is correct, and each wildly
underestimates the wide-ranging nature of the
different traditions.."

Sikhism

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers

Sobonfu Somé

"In a relatively small village in West Africa, is a
tribe called the Dagara tribe, a people still striving
to live like their ancestors. Growing up in a Village
meant the child of the community. I was almost
six years old before I understood that I came out
as of one particular person's womb, and not all of
the women in the Village who had helped to
care for me.


Soulforce
Interfaith movement committed to ending
spiritual violence perpetuated by religious
policies and teachings against gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.


A Sourcebook For Earth's
Community of Religions

An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality.


Spirituality Practice
"This website, created by Frederic & Mary Ann
Brussat, is devoted to resources for spiritual
journeys. The site's name reflects a basic
understanding: spirituality and practice are the
two places where all the world's religions &
spiritual paths come together. With respect
for the differences among them, we celebrate
what they have in common."


Sri Kaleshwar
"All communities, all castes, all creeds are one. I
am teaching the Divine Tradition. It is not limited
to any one religion. I belong to the religion of
truth and love.”
The Divine Tradition, a path shown by Sri Kaleshwar,
is based on knowledge revealed in manuscripts
called palm leaf books. These manuscripts, some
of which are thousands of years old, were written by
India’s great sages, maharishis, who received the
information directly from the Divine. They reveal
sacred formulas––mantras, yantras and disciplines
–which give the soul direct channels to the Cosmic
energy. As these channels open, your healing energy
awakens as do the soul’s miraculous capabilities.
Sri Kaleshwar considers these practices the most
direct path to enlightenment. In addition, these
practices reveal the practical formulas for creating
a happy, successful, and purposeful life."


Sri Vaishnavism Home Page

Starhawk's Tangled Web

"Welcome! I'm Starhawk, author of many works
celebrating the Goddess movement and Earth-based,
feminist spirituality. I’m a peace, environmental, and
global justice activist and trainer, a permaculture
designer and teacher, a Pagan and Witch. To see
how it all weaves together, follow the many
strands of my web."


The Tao Info
Images & quotes of Lao Tzu as well
as explanations of Taoist philosophy.
Yin & yang, Feng Shui, Taoism, Zen
& traditional Chinese design
are also covered.


Taoism Information Page

Target Earth
"In an age of global environmental
demise, Christians are called to live with
excellence. To be those people who chart
their futures by what they can give to the
next generation-not by what they can
take from it. To be men and women whose
lives are defined by the courage &
compassion to make a difference on the
earth. Target Earth is a national movement
of Christians who reflect this commitment
to care. It's a movement of individuals,
churches, college fellowships & Christian
ministries motivated by the biblical call to
be faithful stewards of everything God
created-to love our neighbors as ourselves
& to care for the earth."


Theosophical Society
The word theosophy has been used in the
Occident for about 2,000 years to indicate
knowledge of divine things or knowledge derived
from insight and experience as well as intellectual
study. While the modern theosophical movement
can be traced back to Blavatsky and her
teachers, it is part of a spiritual movement as old
as thinking humanity. Its philosophy is a
contemporary presentation of a perennial wisdom
underlying the world's religions, sciences, &
philosophies. Theosophical concepts are not
dogmas; only the ideas that have value need be
accepted. Theosophical books are considered
neither as revelation nor final authority, but as guides
in the individual's search. However, there are some
basic concepts that theosophy brings to light.


Thinkonline.org
Online, interactive religious &
philosophical debating community.


Tibetian Book of the Dead

Torah Fax in CyberSpace

Torah on the Information
Superhighway


Toronto Shariah Program

Arabic language courses, online Arabic classes,
& Arabic intensive programs. Course aims to
provide and in-depth study of Islamic heritage.


Ummah.com
Islamic portal.


Unitarian Universalist Association

United Church of Christ

"A community of faith that seeks to respond
to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word & deed.
The UCC was founded in 1957 as the union of
several different Christian traditions: from the
beginning of our history, we were a church that
affirmed the ideal that Christians did not always
have to agree to live together in communion.
Our motto—"that they may all be one"—is
Jesus' prayer for the unity of the church. The
UCC is one of the most diverse Christian
churches in the United States."


United Church of Religious Science
Religious Science is a spiritual philosophy for the
modern man & woman. It is based on the Truth
which arises in every culture in the form of
science, philosophy, and religion. Religious
Science views religion as a source of wisdom for
revealing the Truth about the seemingly unknown
forces that shape our universe. This enables us to
participate in our own life as a co-creator with the
Divine. Religious Science was founded by Dr.
Ernest Holmes, a self-taught philosopher who
rigorously studied all of the world's Spiritual paths
for most of his life. In 1927, he wrote The Science
of Mind, which synthesized the truths that he
discerned were present throughout all of the world's
faiths. That book is the foundation of the principles
of Religious Science. He never intended to begin
a new faith, but was persuaded to allow a church to
be created to assure that the principles he
synthesized would outlive him.


United Methodist Church Ministries

Unity World

Virtual Jerusalem

Viruses of the Mind |
The World of Richard Dawkins

Vodou

Warriors of the Rainbow

"There would come a time when the
"keepers of the legend, stories, culture
rituals, and myths, and all the Ancient
Tribal Customs" would be needed to restore
us to health. They would be mankind's key
to survival, they were the "Warriors of the
Rainbow." There would come a day of
awakening when all the peoples of all the
tribes would form a New World of Justice,
Peace, Freedom and recognition of
the Great Spirit."- Lelanie Stone.
See also: Greenpeace's SV Rainbow Warrior


Web of Creation
Interdenominational & interfaith
organization working to provide on-line
environmental resources for faith-based
communities. Believes religion is a
crucial factor in issues of ecology
& justice.


White Crane: A Journal of Gay
Men's Spirituality

Explores gay spirituality to uncover the
variety of the manifestations of spiritual quest
among contemporary gay men & to reclaim
their place in the development of human
consciousness, committed to the intuition that
gay consciousness plays a special and important
role in the evolution of life on planet Earth.


The Wisdom Fund
Advances social justice & interfaith
understanding by presenting The Truth
About Islam, & by providing concise
statements of Islamic values, beliefs,
news, commentary, and resources for
concerned Muslims & activists.


Wise Earth Monastery
The Wise Earth School of Ayurveda
Ltd. is a non-profit organization for
the dissemination of the Vedic sciences
& Ayurvedic health care education.


World Thirteen Moon Calendar
Change Peace Movement

The World Thirteen Moon Calendar
Change Peace Movement is a planetary
organization committed to the
replacement of the irregular standard
of the the Gregorian calendar with the
regular standard of the thirteen moon,
28 day calendar.


Zaytuna Institute

Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun
 

The Grim Reaper

Who is my Grim Reaper- what does he wear?
Turban and robes- a merchant behind the counter- trading the currency of life.
Once human- but no more.
He babbles a language I do not know- yet I do.
His eyes-filled with hate and resignation- glare with a  sickening emerald green.
Stare at those averting eyes and you'll see what he truly wants.
Go Away!
And what is hell?
A neatly planned community in the middle of an arid desert, surrounded by walls and secure from life. Dry heat, manicured lawns and a burning yellow sky.

It is not always easy living in many worlds at once.

0617[1].jpg (11699 bytes)
Wheat Field with Reaper and Sun,

Vincent Van Gogh


Mariposa- Community of Butterflies-The Napo Runa

Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj (Wandering Wolf), a thirteenth Generation Quiche Mayan Priest, presents his message of the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor to attendees of a screening of the up coming film "Shift of the Ages" at Ojai, California, June 30th 2007. Visit www.shiftingages.com for more info. This film needs the help of those who can. To help get this important message out to the world please visit their website and get people interested in not only this great piece of cinematography but very urgent message. Peace and love to you

United Communities of Spirit
United Communities
of Spirit
| Interfaith Voices


Earth Echo, "Aurora"

""Aurora" is inspired by the work of the great German Expressionist, Emil Nolde. He excelled at expressing the desire of the self for union with Earth and the cosmos.""

The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.

Love cannot remain by itself - it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. Whatever form we are, able or disabled, rich or poor, it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing; a lifelong sharing of love with others.  

Mother Teresa, See also: "The Tree"


Lord, 
Make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury pardon;
Where there is doubt faith;
Where there is despair hope;
Where there is darkness light;
Where there is sadness joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love,
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned,
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Francis of Assisi, the "Poverello"; See also: Canticle of Brother Sun


"We meditate upon the radiant Divine Light
of that adorable Sun of Spiritual Consciousness;
May it awaken our intuitional consciousness."

S. Krishnamurthy, translation of the Gâyatrî Mantra


If you offer your compassion to the hungry
And satisfy the famished creature
Then shall your light shine in darkness
And your gloom shall be like noonday.

Isaiah 58:10,
See also: Hunger Notes.


"Compassion is the elixir that overcomes the rule of death. It is the inexhaustible treasure that eliminates poverty in the world. It is the supreme medicine that quells the world's disease. It is the tree that shelters all beings wandering and tired on the path of existence. It is the universal bridge that leads to freedom from unhappy lives. It is the dawning moon of mind that dispels the torment of disturbing thinking. It is the great sun that finally removes the misty ignorance of the world. May compassion arise in whom it has not arisen. May it never decline where it has arisen but go on increasing, further and further." -Shantideva (8th century)


Every angel is terrible.
And still, alas knowing all that I serenade you
you almost deadly birds of the soul.
Where are the days of Tobias when one of these brightest of creatures stood at the simple front door disguised a little for the trip
and not so frightening (a young man like the one who looked curiously out at him).
If the dangerous archangel took one step now
down toward us from behind the stars our heartbeats rising like thunder would kill us.
Who are you? Creation's spoiled darlings
among the first to be perfect...pockets of essence ecstasy shields tumultuous storms
of delightful feelings then suddenly separate
mirrors gathering the beauty that streamed away from them back to their own faces again. -Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by David Young (from Duino Elegies, copyright 1978 by W. W. Norton & Co., Inc.)
 

The Door Is Round And Open

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

With the first glimmers of awakening from the sleep of ordinary life
New found clarity opens you to an exciting current of impressions
That seem to be hidden away from all who remain asleep.
Don't go back to sleep again and ignore all the
Deep secrets of life these lofty influences may reveal.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

If you really want to awaken from the sleep of ordinary life,
You must ask, you must open yourself to the enticing possibilities
Available to you and to all true lovers of awakening.
Don't go back to sleep again and miss out on this
Amazing opportunity to realize your soul's true longing.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.

There are people crossing the doorsill in both directions,
Those who are truly praying for this awakening and
Those who have awakened, then chosen to return and help,
Help us, you and me, cross over from this world of sleep
Into the realm of those who are fully awake and completely alive.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

As we ascend to greater and greater heights, our horizon recedes and expands
Providing accommodation for our rising and expanding sense of being.
An expanding circumference embraces more than the perimeter of any other form.
It invites and opens into an infinite, loving expansion of our hearts and minds.
Don't slip back into the darkness; please don't go back to sleep again.

~ The Essential Rumi: Translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne © 1995, With contemplations by Carl Siraj al-Haqq Karasti© 2007


The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~
 

I Know The Way You Can Get

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.
Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one's self.
O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:
You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.
You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once
Trusted.
I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's
Hands.
That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
And Wanting,
Just Wanting to help.
That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!
All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!

From: 'I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz' Translated by Daniel Ladinsky


"Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God's true nature. God's heart is more gentle than the Virgin's first kiss upon the Christ. And God's forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being."- St Catherine of Siena


"I keep thinking that under the rituals of religion there is a crucial wriggling possibility for what we might someday be. It’s the same possibility you see sometimes under patriotism or sport or families; a humor and mercy, a grace and mercy, a warmth beyond all sense. Sometimes, for an instant, at a game, a wedding, a park, you get a flash of connective energy with your fellow beings — just a hint, a shiver of inexplicable peace and joy."

"... But what if, as Peter also says? What if our moral evolution ever caught up to our physical evolution? What if we ever dropped the dagger, plucked the beams from our eyes, and finally grew up? What if?"- Brian Doyle, editor of Portland Magazine.


"Quiet evening hours often brought one of my guru's discourses, treasures against time. His every utterance was measured and chiseled by wisdom. A sublime self-assurance marked his mode of expression: it was unique. He spoke as none other in my experience ever spoke. His thoughts were weighed in a delicate balance of discrimination before he permitted them an outward garb. The essence of truth, all-pervasive with even a physiological aspect, came from him like a fragrant exudation of the soul. I was conscious always that I was in the presence of a living manifestation of God. The weight of his divinity automatically bowed my head before him."- from Autobiography of a Guru by Paramhansa Yogananda, Chapter 12, p. 109


Ah, grasshoppers, Death's a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made
Something more equal to the centuries
Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness.
The mountains are dead stone, the people
Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness, The mountains are not softened nor troubled And a few dead men's thoughts have the same temper.- From Robinson Jeffers, "Wise Men in their Bad Hours"
 

Short Essays on Spiritual Matters

A Realization
Will..
A Memory
To a Friend
Listening...
Learning...
Gay..
Sanity...
Greif Ritual
Ego...
Intentionality...
Beauty...
A Life Well Lived
Being Spiritual
Parents...
Healing...
Beware False Prophets...
Words cannot convey truth
Spirit
Impressions of a False Guru
To Be Judgmental...
The Physical World

The State of the World
Words
Nightmares
From the Trees...To The Trees
Squirrel
Social Action
Perfection
The Vast Expanse
Disembodied
Importance
Faint Calls
Transitory
Instant Change
Ebb and Flow
The Fruition
Hatred and Greed
To a Friend...Basic Goodness
Ways of Understanding
Suffering
Greatfulness
Non-Duality and Spirituality
Spiritual Practitioners

Spiritual Fallacy
Impermanence and Saving the World
Buddhism and Reactivity
How Many Really Want Enlightenment?
Spiritual Hedonism
The Rainbow Gathering
Ruth Denison
Our Times
Meanderings
The Marketplace
Simplicity
Awareness
Questioning
Tears
Hatred
Transition
Non-violence
The Pearly Gates and the Candidates for President

Who Am I
Seeking Love

"Hate, withdrawal, anger is really a plea for love- in some ways it can be the soul's preparation for achieving the ability to receive love. It can be part of the healing process and can spread over many lifetimes- even as it causes karmic damage in ones self and others. Energetically I see love as a full outward emanation and anger and self hate as an infolding of energy
directed back, like a black hole where light is trapped and where one is cut off. Yet, black holes through infinitely destructive because the creative force for new universes - new possibilities."

"It is said by some that depression is inward directed anger. I chose to recognize the anger that arises in me- cherish it and then go about learning how to not let it control me- whether through meditation, the conscious practice of compassion, etc. I chose to feel pain, so that I may feel compassion and develop understanding. If I continue in this path eventually I may have no need for anger, but this does not mean that I will feel less. However I can only reach this path if I acknowledge my anger and chose to use it as a constructive force. If you fear anger then you are controlled by it. If you chose to control its outward manifestation by fear, it will turn inward."


A Realization...

Last night I attended a short workshop on the “after life”. The speaker was a kind women, unassuming- who uses hypnotherapy to regress people to past lives and to the life in between past lives.

I wanted her perspective on why we reincarnate to the material plane if the “higher” plane also provides opportunities to learn and grow. While she had no real answer, the answers came quickly to me after the question was posed. There was really only one answer, but it came in many forms at different levels of abstraction.

At the level of abstraction I feel most comfortable with is the answer is that we are here to learn compassion through suffering. I am not familiar with Buddha's teachings, but attempting to end suffering on the material plane, is a goal that will help us achieve greater compassion and unity with creation, however it is the pursuit of this, not its attainment where our purpose is found. The complete freedom from suffering is impossible and not really desirable on this plane.

At a higher level of abstraction, the universe creates and recreates itself. It unifies and breaks apart- we only understand unity from disunity- we can only achieve oneness from understanding and experiencing separateness. Reincarnation gives us the means to experience separateness, ego and duality- which while illusions, are needed in our search for connectedness and oneness that is the truth and "magic" that underlies all creation.

There is more. Love is a word that describes what is beyond description. Our time with loved ones on this plane is experienced as momentary bliss. However our connection is eternal. We come from spirit, live in spirit and return to spirit. We are spirit. Spirit is all there is. Love is all there is. There is only love. Love is unconditional or it is not true love- it is something other than love. There is no perfection- perfection is an illusion. Will is an illusion.

We drown in love, die in love, hear in love, see in love, touch in love, taste in love, sense love. Fire is love. Water is love.
Death is life, life is death. All things are possible. Creation is a manifestation of thought. Space is full. Space is empty and not empty or full. Sky, water, earth- all the same.

Peace is stillness- the truth. Between existence and non-existence, the untold possibility, the end of duality.

The peaceful warrior- never alone, moving to the light- to the heart. We are beings of light.
 

Will...

Will is an illusion... I see and feel a great deal. Sometimes I feel I am at 20 planes of existence at once. I hear trees, I hear thoughts. I see beauty in everything. I sense fear in myself and others. All of this moves in me and out of me and through me and is a part of me.

Sometimes I wish to use this understanding to change- to change a life, to change a circumstance that is perhaps inevitable. All that matters though is that I remain aware and try in each moment to do what is right- for each moment there is a certain rightness- a way that seems truthful- an integrity. Sometimes I will intentionally jar people to promote their growth- to bring sincerity- even to frustrate them. Yet there is only love. Using my will to oppose the flow and to manifest a desire to do what may be worthy but is not truthful in the moment- is to manifest too fully from ego- is an illusion and a trap. It is however a source of learning.


A Memory...

Hundreds or thousands of years ago- I can't tell exactly when, I was burned at the stake. I was burned because I was either gay, my religion, a witch or for my political views. There is nothing more painful- yet one must show compassion to all things. Spiritually I cross realms and communicate with all living things as spirit and manifestations of love.


To a Friend

It is likely we are drawn together because of our spiritual paths, and also because of the loss of our loved ones. Usually what is most true and mysterious works through the unexpected. The "coincidences" that have brought us together for now is a way the universe brings together people that should be brought together- at least for a time. Yes, there may be a past life involvement as well.

I have not yet fully explored my many past lives. I have a sense of them and understand how some of my experiences in this life connect karmically to past lives. We often encounter the same spirits in many lives as we continue our learning through many planes of existence. This is all very beautiful and profound, but not without pain.

Most people are unaware of the effects of their negative energy. As one becomes more sensitive, one feels this even more and it can increase one's sense of pain. Most people do not understand the true nature of their spiritual connection- they have yet to discover themselves. They are learning. In the process they create much pain and suffering for themselves and others. They may lose the capacity to love themselves and others. This is all sad, but is part of the very reason we are here. We all experience this and it is not always clear what is the right path.

Every living thing is sacred, and this includes mountains, trees, animals, people, even the dead are in very real sense living. If we are open, we can continually receive their love and allow them to guide us to the truth in ourselves and in relationships.


Listening...

The art of listening carefully and lovingly involves suspending ego and accepting another's words and presence with unconditional love. The ability to do this is a spiritual gift. We can be challenged by this when the other person is mean or offensive, but I believe we are under no less obligation to be compassionate. This is never easy, but is important if we are to find the truth in ourselves and others.


Learning...

I learn from many sources- I learn from  the angelic spirits that guide us. I have learned from Shamans and the spirits that help them, I have learned from the spirits in nature, I have learned from psychics and intuitives- I have learned from those who explore past lives, those who more directly communicate with animals. In part I am able to learn because my wisdom comes form the same source and I experience much of the same.

In the end there is stillness and light- the eternal presence of the divine love that permeates the universe and every molecule of our body. The awareness of our divinity- the loss of individuality - what we come from and return to.


Gay...

Human sexuality- yes words are labels- often obscuring the truth. We go through different life times and can change sex and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is genetic and yet experiential and both as the two interplay. It is all complex- but it is nonetheless true that I am gay and proud.


Sanity

Sanity, as we define it, is a precarious thing. We all have aspects of "insanity" in us. We all can be delusional, paranoid, imagine hurts, etc. Most of us live in a kind of waking dream that is rarely shattered by reality. Yet there is in most a kind of a balance and a sense of safety, a belief that the world we live in is predictable and somewhat safe. However, for many the world is not safe. It is like being lost in the dark night- it is scary and sad.
 

Grief Ritual

The Grief Ritual was very powerful and demanding for me- so much energy, venting- angry- the depths of pain. So many having lost loved ones, or having been sexually abused...it goes on and on. So much repressed rage. All of this fear, anger and hurt released as part of the ritual- so much wailing. I was continually reminding myself to be compassionate, but to not over empathize- to retain an energetic and psychic distance- just enough to see and learn and to help if needed- to be open, but not too open. The workshop had its effects on participants before and after it started.


Ego...

My recent experiences and the reactions of friends have reminded me of the power of the ego. The ego can be like a parasite- engendering fear for the sake of protection and denying its host the vitality and beauty of life- the immediacy of spiritual connection. Yet as a source of protection it is also a sustainer of life- affording the opportunity to learn when we are ready.

The ego is not to be destroyed, it is not to be denied or controlled- it is to be loved, embraced and understood. It is energy from the well spring of life. My spiritual friends seek to destroy it- denying themselves the many opportunities it presents for learning. Only when we learn from the heart can knowledge- rather than weighing us down become truth.

We are not to be freed from our egos- rather we are to drink from what is real and what truly sustains us. Only then can we become compassionate-alive. One should not seek freedom through denial- rather through abundance.


Intentionality...

Intentionality is very important and fundamental. Yet it is an aspect of duality (which is false) and if thought of merely as a tool to achieve ends- can be destructive through its very power.


Beauty...

In our modern, industrialized world- with so much based on steel and asphalt- we almost chase out the beauty in the world. We desecrate the earth in the name of progress and in the process devalue our very existence and purpose in life. I see beauty in all things of the spirit- all things living, including mountains, trees, flowers, animals, children, men, woman and spiritual beings of the many different realms. There is beauty in a work of art, as an expression of understanding, truth and creativity. Ugliness can set in- though one should not be judgmental- when the ego's penchant for security runs rampant and in the process stamps out all life. One can see, for example the beauty in a car- the intelligence of design and what it represents as a culmination of thousands of years of technological development- yet, one can't but help to realize how truly ugly cars are- transforming the earth into a burning inferno- destroying life- often for nothing more than convenience, status or security (fear). So men can turn beauty to ugliness when they forget their spiritual nature and connection to the universe. Ultimately individually and collectively we learn, but in the process there is needless suffering and pain. Perhaps this is beautiful. Fear is the absence of love

When my spirit teacher told me to love all and to live, my first thought was that he was holding back on words. You have helped me to realize that this may not have been the case. The message to love all seems simple enough- but it means to love even those who are outwardly or inwardly cruel- to love the unlovable- however that may be conceived. The message to live- means to take advantage of all of my time on earth- to free myself from fear and to do what I was meant to do.

A Life Well Lived

Who can say a life well lived...so many bury themselves with preoccupations- one distraction after another. Rather ask, have you seen true beauty?
Did you create beauty?
Do you know what it is to truly love?
Can you experience the subtlest silence?
Can you hear the music in everything?
Can you sense the vibration of the string before you hear the sound?
Can you sense the movement of butterfly wings?
Do you cry for the children who suffer that you never see?
Have you felt the pain of a true friend?


Being Spiritual

Treating creation/spirit with respect, honor, humility and love. Making oneself sensitive to life- the needs and sufferings of all. Communing with spirit. Healing with love.  Being one with the Great Silence. One cannot be spiritual without understanding and practicing these things.


Parents...

As the father cares for the son, so the son cares for the father- it is part of the circle of life.
 

Healing...

There are no hard and fast ways to heal- yet we all need to heal- from childhood wounds, from wounds in adulthood- self inflicted or not. Yet the truth is we are all truly one. We experience as human beings much of the same things. If we recognize this commonality, then we can never truly be alone and we have the capacity to share ourselves with others in ways that are meaningful.

Remember to love yourself- if for no other reason because you are an extension of a loving universe. And it is true- I have experienced it- the universe is a sea of unconditional love. Never block it out.


Beware False Prophets...

False prophets tell you the kingdom of heaven is outside of you. It is inside of you.
False prophets tell you have no power. The life force of the universe is you.
Rejoice- the kingdom of heaven is inside of you- you need no prophets, but if you seek divine wisdom- know that you yourself can receive it- you are your own prophet.
Many can help along the path- but the path is inside of you bold explorer. There is no savior- there is only One.
 

Words cannot convey truth

I attended a lecture given by Barbara Emery last night. Her words were largely true -yet her words do not fully convey the joy of spiritual experience. For two hours she deluged the audience with words- words intended to help strip the listeners of the illusion of their reality, suffering and fears- fears created by words- fears that arise as the human organism begins interacting with its environment and uses language to desiccate reality- asking her audience to undo their "bad dreams" and create a new dream- or perhaps to simply be free of delusions- to be aware of the monkey mind and its endless traps. Shifting our perception changes our reality.


Spirit

When I see spirit- human or otherwise- I see in a simple sense two kinds of spirit. There is what I would term the "lower" spirit. This is the part of us that defines what makes us most typically human- tree- dog- cat- dolphin, etc.

For humans, this is the part that is often filled with conflict, guilt, fear, dishonesty, confusion. It is also filled with passion and need. It is shaped by the stage of life we are in. This lower self is neither good nor bad. It is a vehicle for learning and experiencing life.

There is however another part. For want of a better word- the "higher" spirit. This part is invariably beautiful- and for some infuses many aspects of their being- producing what I see as radiance and light.
 

Impressions of a False Guru

I wished to share some of my initial impressions of last night- Leonard Jacobson, his audience and me. To my heart, Leonard is at his core an unclean spirit-one I have no anger towards, but compassion. As I expressed over dinner- anger is not an emotion I have time for and it one that at psychic level is now endangering. I was never angry at Leonard- and for this I am grateful. Nor has my anger turned inwards. To be judgmental is no longer part of my path. I may form judgments- they may harsh- but ultimately they are of no consequence- they serve purposes but do not fulfill a need- I am not attached to the judgments.

I remember his reference to pearls and swine at the end- somehow he still seems trapped by the Catholicism he sought to escape. His conception of Satan- is oddly the very trap he falls into. His teaching is borrowed- not original. It comes from a source of awakening that is only partial- and ultimately this is what he offers others. His understanding of anger is also partial and itself dangerous. It bespeaks of a New Age mentality that teaches quick and easy ways to address deep seated issues. He has fallen into a dangerous trap- he is not yet a false prophet- but he has deceived himself- each time he behaves as he did last night- he weakens himself- becomes less clean- more endangered. Truly I do feel compassion for him. Though I also feel for those who truly accept what he says- his path is very tangled and short- it leads nowhere.
 
For me- it is important to not serve as a vehicle for the vicarious spiritual experience of others. My sense is that if I walked out of his lecture- something I was never inclined to do- it would have served his purposes. Instead I allowed him to spew his venom and his limited spiritual understanding- allowing the audience to chose. Most may be jaded, some will understand what I did and didn't do- some will have sympathy- few compassion- this is just the way it is. I have compassion to all in the audience- whatever their level of awareness- they all feel the pain of the human condition and all need true compassion in themselves.
 
My ego is very powerful and as I conveyed last night I am very much aware of how it seeks to limit and control. Yet through my awareness I have lessened its control and experienced the oneness and heightened awareness of which he speaks, yet has only had glimpses of. I see many fears in others- fear is the absence of love.
 
The essence of spiritual experience is what Dee described at the dinner table. This is truth- this is my experience- this is the experience that the universe teaches me- it is what the spirits tell me- it is what the brook, the trees, the squirrels, all life tells me. For those that have not glimpsed this- experienced this- there can only be doubt and intellectual questioning- a void. Yet it is a beacon- a true light- yet it is darkness, silence and again light.
 

To Be Judgmental...

If one looks within, one sees the imperfection that one so easily sees in others. Rather be humble, feel pain, accept what you cannot change, fight for what you believe and live life with truth and integrity. Judging others harshly is tantamount to judging oneself. Similarly, judging oneself harshly is to judge others so.

Luke 6:37 says, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned."  Yet this is wrong. The reason to not judge is not to avoid judgment or to be pardoned, but rather to be in a state that is truly capable of love, hope and joy. All beings are manifestations of the one.

Trees, mountains, animals all give us unconditional love- though we have difficulty giving this to ourselves and each other. Living in this society I am as guilty as others- I still squander what is not mine. Yet I am forgiven- perhaps this should be my model. Forgive as I have been forgiven. Teach those who will listen- who are open- allow the Divine Mother to do her work and trust in the Universe's plan. Man may destroy all life on this Earth- but there is still the hope of rebirth and it is not for me to question the path of creation- mankind is part of this path.

To be judgmental is wrong. There is no equivocation on this. It is a state that represents a stage in spiritual development- however it is one of the many traps. One must accept his essential helplessness to avert or stop life's many tragedies. One must accept ones self fully. One should not take on the diseases or grief of others as his or hers own. One must not take on another's pain body. Rather one should show compassion and strength. Show compassion to those who have hurt you and those you have hurt. Accept that we are all children of the Divine Mother. To judge others is to take on another's weight- their baggage. From a selfish and a spiritual perspective this is wrong.

I am not responsible for the pain for the world. I am not to blame. I cannot not hold on to this grief. Yet I am responsible- for being compassionate to myself and all creation.

Guilt is a trap- one must be sensitive to the effects one has on another- but one cannot be so sensitive that he takes on another's hurt. I am free- caring, but free- released.


Change

If we do not restore our conscious connection to life- to spirit- then we shall become our greatest nightmare and inflict our greatest pain on ourselves- on creation. This we have been doing throughout history- can we learn- can we change?


The Physical World

The physical world is illusion. It is a training ground- a place where souls evolve and where death seems possible. All things in the physical world are new. The physical is a fractal- a reflection of the eternal, dreaming world.

Yet, this world is no less precious, no less beautiful than the eternal. In this physical world there is always a connection with spirit- the body becoming a vessel for this connection. It is here that we may learn compassion, empathy and experience the essence of true beauty.

Suffering is less an illusion and more a teacher. We may be reborn many times to this world and each life becomes a contract where the soul seeks to learn and grow.

The universe ebbs and flows- creation and destruction, endless cycles of birth and rebirth. Our teachers are the plants, trees, mountains, animals. We must preserve and respect them- it is they that teach us and help preserve our connection with spirit while on the physical plane. It is in them that we find profound beauty and an escape from the endless din of our monkey minds.

We are here to lean how to break out of the world of delusion- to become conscious of our eternal connection to the universe and all consciousness. We are here to learn compassion. Some of us are here to teach and the only way we can teach is to experience what our student's experience- yet we at least can feel the beauty as we experience the suffering. The beauty a reminder of what truly is.

The State of the World

I realize that you do not share all of my perspectives- but I will try to share something with you. The evil of factory farming is not an isolated instance. Rather it is indicative of a way of perceiving reality that has become prevalent around the world. In my world- that is not entirely this world of ordinary reality- everything seen and unseen is connected and essentially spirit. From the very smallest to the largest is miraculous, infinitely beautiful and profoundly spiritual. Everything has consciousness- awareness and the capacity for love- everything.

Factory farming is only really possible if one perceives one as isolated and from the rest of the world- from pigs- from life. This view of the world- of existence is essentially dead and leads to self destruction. Most in the world are following a path that leads to self destruction. Fundamentally they have forgotten who they are and their spiritual connectedness. There is a self created nightmare- with brief periods of awakening. And when they are awakened they become frightened and even more destructive. Or they become aware and subtle and begin to perceive what is and cannot be put into words.

My reality is fluid-everything is a portal- an opening to truth- a new awareness. Everything is alive- yet most of what is around me seems far less so. So while at one level I hear words and perceive actions, on another level- these words and actions are meaningless to me and what I really see is infinitely more complex- beautiful and sad.

All periods of destruction sow the seeds of rebirth- all things in nature move in cycles. Perceiving the universe all at once- one can see that all is in balance- no matter how distorted and troubled this world has become.

Words

Nothing of value that is experienced in the spiritual realm can be adequately described by words- and the more words are used, photos taken of important places, etc.- they more they lose their power- for those who have had the experience.  It is almost as if by describing in words we become voyeurs of sorts- not participants- or worse shoppers in the marketplace- take a little of this- a little of that, sprinkle it with this and voila- you become ….what you already are.  There is nothing subtle that is not powerful- and its nature is more revealed through its subtlety than it raw power. Yet words are powerful and when allied with clear intention can open portals and create understanding- for those that can journey inward. Words can also destroy.

Yet there is also the innocent sharing of revelation- that realization that what is, or appears to be- or is not- or appears not to be- is only part of the mystery. But in truth- all is perfect and one- so everything I have just written is meaningless in a way …

Nightmares...

Nightmares and reality- which is which- how do I know where I am. Caught in a nightmare where the “keeper” needs you to stay- entices you- yet they are never quite “right.” Something demonic- sometimes, in the beginning- a brief glimpse- a painting- a room- something must reveal itself- it cannot be totally hidden- then the trap- the lure- the temptation to not to escape- but the uneasiness remains- then the desire to escape- but it is not easy- the next trap more like the “real world,” but not quite. You are already transfigured. Chased by demons- unable to stop their advance.

Stay away…but stay away from what- who invited you in? What was the impulse that caused you to enter their world? Was it love? A need for reassurance? Curiosity? A need for love? What gives them the right to take these emotions and weave them into their feeding frenzy? What gives them the right to turn innocence into enslavement?

You should always stay to your heart- listen to the silence- the voice that says- this is not right….

As I was writing this the "I", "me", "you" and "they" became confused. Not surprising I suppose.


Squirrel

This morning as I was walking through the woods, I heard a squirrel chirping in the trees- like a bird- but not quite- a richer and more resonant sound. I watched as my squirrel friend leaped from branch to branch- from tree to tree. As I admired him- a thought crept in- so many squirrels- so acrobatic- killed by cars- machine beasts controlled by mindless robots more preoccupied by the their cell phone calls than the world around them- the living- real world.

Later that morning I took my dog on a short hike and while coming back saw a squirrel dead on the road. His body still in tact- except his eyes were blood red and had clearly died from unnatural causes- a machine beast. I stopped, slowed down (for I was driving- though had killed no squirrels), cried- and with my dog in the back seat of the car- went outside and moved the squirrel's body from the middle of the road to the side- on the grass-to prevent further desecration. I dreamed the squirrel into the Light- he had already gone- busy playing with his squirrel friends.

For some this death is trivial- and pales in comparison to the misery and death humans inflect on each other through war, genocide, climate change and starvation. Yet- nothing pales in comparison- in all instances an unthinking beast mind that has lost a sensitivity to life- to its own essence and kills indiscriminately. I am reminded that sometimes adults laugh at children who can't understand why we kill animals- why there is so much needless suffering. Instead those adults should be laughing at themselves- reflecting on how jaded- how stupid they have grown in their "adulthood."

 

From the Trees...To the Trees

" We love you. We have waited for you for thousands, millions of years. Whatever the price- it is worth that moment when we experience your beauty- your love. You are our father- our creator. Your love for us, our love for you you- cannot be concealed- cannot be diminished by all of the words and lies of men. We created you and you created us. All the pain is worth that moment of joy."

"My love for you is great. Who you are is eternal and can never be erased. It shines upon the very heavens and is emblazoned upon the book of life. You are my children. My works- the works of men- give me great pain. I see the self destructiveness. What sustains me is your love. The hope is that the experience of love will overcome the rest- and thereby our joy multiplied a thousand fold."

Social Action

In the spiritual realm- seekers of truth often have difficulty reconciling their spiritual understanding with their worldly actions. Perhaps too many recoil or escape from the world- not necessarily in divine silence- but in avoidance. And when a person with spiritual understanding engages in worldly action- to alleviate suffering or effect social change- one of the greatest challenges is to recognize the difference in themselves between compassionate action and ego driven acts. There is no simple answer- however the solution of avoidance in the end yields no fruit and becomes a failing of the spiritual life.

Perfection

There is no perfection...anything close to perfection has to be more process then end. Inclusivity, acceptance, understanding, integrity, truthfulness, honest discussion, meditation, listening, suspension of judgment. Acknowledging that no one is better or more important then any one else. Valuing all life. Complete empathy for all living things. Respectful remembering. Planning with future generations in mind. Fact based discussion. Courage...non-conditional love. Love with no ulterior motive. Empowerment...encouragement. a desire to teach and learn A commitment to peaceful resolution. A sense of civic duty. A desire to fight for what you believe in.

The Vast Expanse

In the movement of a leaf in the soft wind is everything. In the mountain mist is everything. In the smile of a dog is everything. And you thought that everything is the vast expanse of universe. Well you are wrong. In fact thee is no vast expanse. Everything is one - there is no past, present or future. All that is and ever was and will be is in the moment. Don't try to think of it. Just be it. Only free minds can create. Too many are bound by delusion- the weight of history- the fear of loss. There is nothing to lose- nothing can ever be lost.

Disembodied

For so much of my life I have felt as if I wasn't here. Disembodied if you will. Unable to connect. I know why now. I know this is a byproduct of my sensitivity. The pain of an insensitive family. Invading or indifferent coworkers. I was so disempowered... I believed their lies. I am still slightly trapped by those lies...but only slightly. I now have a much clearer vision of the truth. This gives me power. It reduces fear. But I cannot totally escape from the karmic traps people lay for me. It is all to easy to slip into the mass delusion.. that black vortex of emptiness...not the profound beauty of silence, but the cold empty hellish void. Most people don't know why they are here. I know why. But I can't actualize my vision. I need to simply ask for help and guidance. There is a fog. Very thick and difficult to see through. Sleep....dreams. It is almost if I seek refuge there. Why? You must go to what you love. Be patient. Go to what you love.

Importance

Never give too much significance to what is not important. Each day men preoccupy themselves with time wasters- things that cannot endure- that reduce their lives to insignificance.  It is not that the subtle is not profound. It is just that subtle is not trivial. Trivial is petty- reactive. It is the karmic web of lies and projections. The endless stream of ego. And most of all the lies. Don't listen to the false ones. Keep your eyes on the stars. Wake up.

Faint Calls

What am I moving to? Something is bubbling up. Teachers seem secondary. I hear faint calls. I seem to crave aloneness. Prayer is not just for Christians. Rumi has reminded me of this. I move in interior spaces. That landscape is more interesting than the exterior. Do not be concerned with anything. You have need of nothing. Nothing is needed...remain open see what is between the spaces. Look for the ghost in the mirror. Look from the side- the reality between this one. Treasure the glimpse....not the forward glance.  All awareness is in the subtle. Depression is like a wine...subtle. seductive but narcissistic...it only appears to serve, not unlike material seduction, worthless. The destruction of pain...not real. Real pain is not bad... shift awareness.

Transitory

So many in my life have come and gone. There is no way to unravel this- except that this is what was meant to be. Truly I have no control. Mostly people treat each other as projections of themselves. Endless reflections- blurring the boundaries of self. Ego...ego...ego. This is all this is. Nothing more...nothing less. Yes, like children.- hurt and hurting back. The more honest the communication- the greater the potential pain. Hence come close, but not too close.


Instant Change

The purpose of life is not the avoidance of pain. Transformation can occur in an instant. The saving of the world and individual happiness is joined. A true guru can impart instant growth and self realization. A basic core of empowerment, trust and love from the Mother is essential. Respect must underlie- be the basis of- the relationship to the Mother.

The "salvation" is in the hands of the young and the old and wise. Change can be gradual- but the prison through which we see the world must change. We must feel as much for the children of others as we feel for our own. We must have compassion for ourselves and realize our collective fate is the culmination of thousands of years of karma- to free ourselves from this will not be easy.

The old ways of thinking that are based on exploitation are dead.


Ebb and Flow

Ebb and flow. Suddenly I feel more free. More....returning to who I am. Free to commune with what I love. Free to go where my heart seeks. Free to find and unlock the mysteries of my soul. My peace. My place.


The Fruition

Last night I finally understood...what is important and what is the longing of my heart. The fruition of life is death. My heart now longs for reunion with the eternal source. I wish to return to that love which is the source of my being. I grow tired of this plane. All that I love perishes. Humans are for the most part involved in a game. Anchored in the material and forgetful of their divine nature...creating karmic maelstroms that engulf those around them. Incapable of experiencing real happiness. Where do I belong? Perhaps I belong where I am here and now. Yet funny...this isn't exactly where I want to be.

The Purpose of Life

Human beings often ask themselves what is the purpose of life. Sometimes them resign themselves to the notion that there is no purpose. But the answer to the question is simple. In fact is all around us- in every natural process there is a cycle of birth, decay, death and rebirth. The ultimate longing of the soul is to return to source- merge with the one. Merging- becoming part of the great creative oneness of the universe. But to merge we must become the emptiness- dissolve- realize our true selves. And as the universe begins- so it ends and begins again-and so the process repeats- like the waves on the ocean. How to merge with the one- how to become who you are- how to dissolve. Simply be. Simply love. Understand that love and consciousness is in everything- become who you are- the great luminous being that is in everything that lives. It is already there, you must simply remember.


Hatred and Greed

Hatred and greed are possibly at their core examples of aversion and attraction- We avert a hot flame because it can hurt us- we eat because we are hungry. However when the basic propensity to avoid pain and seek pleasure are infused with ignorance and fear- they can become hatred and greed. Remembering this it is possible to have compassion for ourselves and others- since the chain of fear is reinforced every second of our existence. Perhaps by overcoming ignorance- and understanding that our basic natures are good and that hatred and greed are not core to our nature- perhaps we can then overcome ignorance and awaken to our true selves.
 

Imagine you are on a hot air balloon over a major city. In the beginning you can hear the din of the city- the sounds of the mad rush. As you rise higher and higher, you hear less and less- and then silence. What you are left with is an experience of life- without noise- without the endless stream of reaction, cause and effect. Then you realize- that all the noise- all the bustle of your own thoughts and those of others is essentially meaningless. In fact the only freedom we have is when we understand ourselves and that we are not a byproduct of endless streams of karma- reaction and action- that span life times. Rather we are defined by our true nature- that stripped of money, youth, hatred, possessions- is at its core good. 

How one reaches this realization is both easy and difficult. Easy- because it can be reached by meditation, altered states such as journeying- any of a number of ways. Difficult, because to reach it we must be open- and instead we are all to dominated by our fears that close us off. You and I are both frustrated by the knowledge that many of the world’s problems are solvable- yet we chose as individuals and a species to ignore them- and remain inured in our ways. It takes courage to understand the truth and to be truly open. The problems we face as individuals and in communities- in our family relationships and our communities- are no different from those afflicting the world as a whole- environmental destruction, war, etc. They are not different at all- in terms of their causes and the unnecessary suffering they cause.
 

To A Friend...Basic Goodness

This is my perspective on the human race- of which I am a part. I have begun to understand the basic goodness in all sentient beings- which includes of course all human beings. I feel deeply all of the dysfunction, “the dementedness” you refer to- but I see it from a perspective that causes me less to judge less and to have more compassion (hopefully). However, compassion does not equal complacency. This is in part why I value your friendship- you are anything but complacent- you fight for what you believe. It is also important to take care of our own selves- something you do as well. I point all of this out because it has helped me and perhaps therefore the perspective may be of some benefit to you.

Growing older is a process of letting go. Death is perhaps the ultimate letting go and opening- an ending, but a beginning. We die when we are born and are reborn when we die.. This, in any case, is my sense of things. Letting go of friendship, the deaths of those we love, the illusions of youth- what this can do is help us become more in touch with out true selves. Out true selves need nothing to be happy. Nothing. In fact, the more people need this or that- even other people and relationships- success, whatever, the more they suffer. The lives of most people are a continual denial of true self. Some people might interpret what I say as some defense of poverty and class inequality. It is not. All human beings are entitled to basic freedoms, sustenance, medical care, shelter, love, etc. That it may be possible to achieve happiness without these things- does not absolve society and individuals from the necessity of caring for all people. In this sense, this world utterly fails. The majority of the people in this world- men, woman and children- live in circumstances where they are increasingly losing control over their livelihood- robbed of their birthright as a citizen of the planet. This is true for all life now- plant, animal, rock, stream- all face the shadow of extinction. I cannot change this fact- I can work to preserve and protect- but I must accept what is- and not escape into vacuous ideals- or worlds of unreality.

It is OK though…if you want to talk about how crazy the world is..I understand :-)


Ways of Understanding

I was wrestling with the notion of reconciling non-self and suffering- an understanding of samsara, etc.- with the need to process and to understand why things are the way they are at the level of, for example, inexperience, past wounds, ignorance, mental imbalance, dissociative behaviors, etc. On the one hand the teachings provide perspectives on the causes of suffering. On the other hand, by themselves, they did not fully explain why in given situation there was suffering- why someone may have acted in a certain way, why the world is the way it is.

The solution in my mind is that both approaches are complementary and that there is no contradiction. In fact the teachings may require that we pursue both types of understanding. They encourage I believe understanding a situation, a person, whatever, in its truest light from any number of perspectives- psychological, physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. All of the tools you use in your practice and still others can help provide this insight. But, the nature of those insights is informed, enlivened, rooted in the Buddhist teachings. So as human beings our responsibility is to achieve a real world understanding, to ascertain causes, etc.- but our deeper understanding can be in part derived from the teachings. The alleviation of suffering I believe requires both types of understanding.

In my case, I may understand how my partner causes suffering to himself and me by growing isolated, closing his heart- entering the cocoon. I see that by doing so, he denies his true heart and turns his tender nature to one of coldness. The teachings cause me to write this:

When we reject others- we reject a part of ourselves.
When we seek happiness by rejecting love and losing
our openness to others- we only delay the time that it takes
to become fulfilled and truly happy.

These words really refer to him- in the relationship- now. Yet none of this completely elucidates how this state of affairs came into being. What aspects of his nature caused him to both recognize his deep love for me, while at the same time deciding that a partner relationship with me was impossible. For both of us, what ways of understanding, sensitivity and denying- what relationship skills or lack thereof, what levels of judgmental or angry behavior could have made this possible. While counseling was rejected by my partner, and therefore some of these things may never be fully known or healed in the context of this relationship- perhaps I know enough to see that because of my understanding of the psychological aspects- there is really no possibility of a meaningful, deep and healthy relationship with him. In a way this understanding gives me more peace and helps me accept the finality of the ending and the rejection- rather than longing for the impossible. In fact this understanding is a gift.


Suffering

Suffering it seems is the ultimate expression of duality and false understanding. Saying this is not to belittle the condition of those who suffer- which of course includes you and I. However, my understanding and experience of non-self seems to teach me that stripped of the karmic attachments and accoutrements of this existence- we are left with a Buddha nature that is one with everything, exists in perfect awareness and bliss- with an infinite understanding of love. In the end that is all there is. There is nothing else. Words cannot describe this. It is not joy- nor the opposite. It is just what is.

Compassion is helping extend this awareness to others- an awareness of their true nature and oneness.

 Isn’t it an amazing and freeing realization that all that we think of as ourselves- our identity- our emotions, thoughts, feelings, etc. are not in any way who we are. Meditation teaches this in a very basic way- here we see how fleeting and ephemeral our thoughts are- how then can these thoughts define who we are?- they are the very embodiment of impermanence.


Gratefulness

I believe that all one can truly be grateful for is the inner voice and knowledge that connects each of us to the divine- to the internal Buddha- into the source of oneness, consciousness and love- and ultimately just love. All  forms of gratefulness seem to spring from this source and awareness.


Non-Duality and Spirituality

In some religious traditions- duality and and the role of ego in perpetuating duality is considered something to be overcome. While repressing ego may be an overstatement of this view- certainly there is an attitude of deprecation- a sense that ego is an obstacle to spiritual growth. Yet this is the reverse of the truth. Duality and ego- expressed in relationship and therefore spiritual and daily pursuit are the means by which we face ourselves- understand our psychological and spiritual truths. Of all the parts of our psyche- ego is perhaps the most important to which we must apply compassion. At the same time, we must become very active listeners to what the ego teaches us. Our life force is often manifested through ego. Duality becomes the sustenance- the material by which we learn about the world and ourselves.

Yet it is also true that we must recognize that ego- while performing its functions can become itself destructive and cause us to seek the very things that perpetuate the misery and suffering that we hope to overcome. On a crude level, it may be thought of as an immune system gone awry- serving to protect us from disease- but then going into overdrive and causing us to self destruct- the cure worse than the disease. It is here that mindfulness, non-violent communication, psychological understanding and spiritual growth can help us understand the nature of our mind- the nature of the truth- the truth of our existence and the truth in our relationships. Only then, can our ego become a truer reflection of our essential nature. Once this takes place- we can then see the true nature of duality and recognize that as part of our nature it is a reflection of the divine.

Is duality an illusion? Here mere worlds become useless. The answer is Yes and No. A world view that believes that there is only duality- is false. A world view that cannot understand and experience non-duality- the oneness of all things- is false. Perhaps it is akin to quantum physics- is light a particle or a wave? The question is unanswerable- it is both- and neither.


Spiritual Practitioners

I believe that many shamanic/psychic practitioners would benefit from a consistent meditation practice. Sometimes those that are as sensitive as I am - are so in part because of trauma and difficulties in early life. While these experiences may have led to spiritual awareness and expansiveness- they also, if not grounded- can lead to instability and unnecessary unhappiness. For me the pursuit of mindfulness and aspects of Buddhist practice is an attempt to bridge the gap between my spiritual understanding and day to day practice/awareness. It helps enormously.


Spiritual Fallacy

Sometimes it seems that those most drawn to spiritual pursuits are those most in need of inner work. Or is it simply that they have begun a path that others that have not- but will eventually begin- as life or lifetimes present challenges- suffering- as they begin to open.

Sometimes spiritual practitioners speak of non-attachment, the great oneness, the need for compassion. Yet even as they speak of these things- they appear to lack empathy, heart and genuine concern for others. Why is this? Have they intellectualized their practice in such a way that they have cut themselves off from their roots- their primordial self?

The most important human relationship we have when entering this world- and certainly during early childhood is with our mother. Our first taste of love is as close as the human sphere offers to unconditional love. With our mothers- we are touched, kissed, caressed. We have permissions to cry, to disturb, to scream- and yet our mother's love endures. Whether our mothers are loving or not- we still seek their love. As babies, we open our eyes- and that is there is a plea for love- a plea for laughter- validation, security, warmth and more. We are seekers from birth.

So is this love that our mothers have for us- and we them- is this akin to spiritual love? compassion? If so how? For many the answer is no. Their spiritual pursuits become exercises of discipline and intellect. Or worse- projections of their insecurities and fears. There are no tears- there is no experience of loss and joy. In fact these things are categorized as childish- extensions of ego. Ironically they are anything but childish. In fact they are the core of spiritual experience. If spiritual practice and connection is anything less than an opening up- a greater sensitivity to life- to all life- it is dead- more harmful than helpful and just one more excuse to delay awakening.


Impermanence & Saving the World

I believe in the Buddhist traditions, the understanding of impermanence is a key to alleviating suffering. If everything changes- constantly- then to attach to the state of things as they were- only brings about needless suffering. Particularly it is argued- if this attachment takes one from experiencing things in the present moment. There is clearly great truth in this- so many essentially live in the past- harboring feelings of resentment, fear and longing for what is no longer there or perhaps never was. Yet impermanence is also a source of great hope and joy- for if things change, then they can become better- more alive, more at peace, more just, more caring, etc.

Some who understand the nature of impermanence and the limits of their own natures will say...I cannot focus on changing the world... I can barely change my relationship with my friend, partner, children- even my dog (cats are another story altogether :-)) I say this- the nature of suffering- the nature of the pain that afflicts this world collectively is the very same that you experience in your daily life. Perhaps then you might wish to say this, "I can no more change my personal life- the life of my family and friends- then I can change the world. Put this way it puts things in a new perspective. If both are equally hard- and admittedly changing the world is an imperative beyond reckoning- perhaps it is worth at least the same level of effort you put into your personal life. Individually you may fail- but I can assure you collectively you will not- if the same effort is applied.

Finally, some may argue that personal healing is the same as world healing. I am healing the world when I heal myself and my relationships. This is true- assuming almost every human on the planet is healed at the same time and that the planet can sustain the level of suffering we inflict upon it for as long as it is needed for this to take place. I regret to day- this is no longer the case. So it is no longer enough to just heal ourselves- even our communities. It is time to the heal the world. Maybe in the process we will heal ourselves.


Buddhism and Reactivity

My understanding and my experience is that Buddhist teaching address the cause of suffering by in part helping us understand the true nature of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Rather than encouraging robotic or detached behavior, Buddhism encourages openness, tenderness and freedom. Freedom arises in part from understanding one’s mind and then at some point recognizing that there is no self- no mind.

Therefore, emotions and feelings are not discouraged. Reactivity has a negative connotation, but even here the key is to self observe and understand and learn from these emotions and states- not artificially attempt to control them or somehow detach from a situation. Perhaps at the level of true enlightenment- when a sense of self dissolves and the experience of oneness and complete awareness is fused with day to day living and there is a complete relinquishment of attachment to illusion- perhaps then- reactivity dissolves and no longer can become a source of suffering or negative karma.

Like any genuine spiritual path, the things I describe must be experienced and while written and oral teachings may point the way- ultimately the recognition of the truth of these teachings comes from one’s own experiences.

Finally, based on our discussions, I better understand how my reactivity in relationships contributes to negative karma and can hinder communication. Further what it does is take a great strength- sensitivity and awareness- and cause it to become a weakness- which is sad and unnecessary.

How Many Really Want Enlightenment?

I believe that openness and sensitivity are important to ones spiritual life. One cannot say I will be enlightened...but live in a million dollar home and not read the news because it is too disturbing. One perhaps can do this- but that this way of living and spiritual state can coexist should not be assumed priori.
 
The world is in a massive state of human induced destruction. The words to describe this pale in the face of the experience of it While epochal destruction is not new to the Earth- this period of destruction is singular because of its sheer scale and because it is preventable. Any spiritual belief system that fails to fully integrate this understanding into the core of its belief systems is morally bankrupt. Nor is it enough to speak of the transformative effects of individual awakening.

My belief is that if one cannot experience, for example, the suffering of a child dying from drought in Africa as one might experience the suffering of ones own child- dissolving in effect all boundaries of self and non-self...then one is not enlightened. The hope then is not to become so immersed in the suffering so as to become impotent, but rather to act.


Spiritual Hedonism

So many of my "friends" are involved in spiritual pursuits. Pursuing the goal of individual enlightenment. Practicing nice deeds...Living as they do in nice homes or apartments. Having enough food in their belly...enough time to contemplate the depths of Christian, Buddhist, Shamanic...or whatever teaching. Some have clients and make a living in the spiritual nexus.

One would think with great spiritual awareness comes great compassion...not just for their clients...but for every single human being. Not just family...but the family they have but don't know they have in some very poor nation...a nation that can't protect itself from the results of their wealthy life style...climate change, crushing poverty, gross exploitation. even slavery. If not in some other country- then perhaps in their own country..the stranded traveler, the sick, the young, those in need.

But no. Some shutoff the daily news- the problems that face their communities and global society- nothing they can do except be "nice" and live their definition of responsible living.

Wait..this can't be...how can one be so aware and yet be so asleep. Are they brainwashed?...Perhaps they believe there is nothing they can do about the world's problems...believing the Big Lie. Perhaps they don't really care...they have their own problems..that is enough.

Well this is my message to them. Do not deliver onto Caesar what is Caesars...Caesar deserves nothing. If you are spiritually awake...then you cannot forget the rest of the world and the challenges your brothers and sisters face in every nation on Earth.

Focusing just on your individual salvation or enlightenment will become your own hell. You cannot abdicate your responsibility. You and your wealthy society have caused this mess the world is now in... Love yourself...but you had better understand...self love that separates itself from the universe of true love is really self hate..hating that you are human.


The Rainbow Gathering

I participated in a Rainbow Gathering recently. My impressions are mixed. The buzz word for the gatherings is Welcome Home. But I did not feel quite at home. I enjoyed the sense of liberation and free expression that I found. I enjoyed listening to people of all ages speak of what it means to be a rainbow warrior- their high ideals, heart based insights and genuine concern. I enjoyed the Om circles, the drumming and the dancing. But I did not like the incessant drug use- whether marijuana, alcohol, tobacco or hallucinogens. I didn't like being constantly around the use or abuse of these powerful plants. I didn't like the damage to the land- with so many converging on a relatively small area. I didn't like the occasional vulgar language and shouts. I couldn't fund deep spiritual significance in any of the ceremonies I was in. The partying into all hours of the night, the free sex...it didn't feel quite right. Too many where there for just the fun-their definition of fun. What if the organizers banned all drugs and alcohol? I wonder how many would show up? What if there was a genuine emphasis on sustainability and community? What if the goal was not a community "buzz"  or high but genuine, enduring community?

The world is truly on the brink. Rainbow Warriors are needed as healers and teachers- not rabble rousers and fun seekers. Yet despite this- the gathering was still liberating- even if it was all illusion- to break with the humdrum and oppressive reality of daily life and live in a way that seemed more free, more honest and more human- in every good and bad sense of that word. At least most people said hello...and seemed to mean it.


Ruth Denison

She understands- feels energetically- with her heart- what I feel- complete oneness with the universe- the indivisibility of consciousness. In this, she, like I, has at a deep level dispensed with the notion of I. It is not I that breaths- but the universe that breaths in me. This means- among many other things- that we can be in the full realization of this state of oneness wherever we are- looking at a great mountain or in a dark prison cell.

Ruth is gifted with a deep connectedness with spirit. She, like I, can have conversations with angels- her heart is open to all forms of spiritual awareness- yet she understands, as I do- that this is not as a form of blissful escape- but as a form of heightened self awareness. Indeed, an awareness of self, is an awareness of the universe- there is no difference.

This therefore is the essence of mindfulness- an understanding of the true nature of things. It us our false understanding that produces unnecessary suffering and a sense if separation. It is this false understanding that is driving this world and each one of us to self destruction.

She anticipates being reborn again- with part of her distilled essence following her into the next lifetime. She expressed this as an understanding- not a teaching. I also believe this. But I also know that consciousness and love is never born and never dies. What I know is already known- at best I am a vessel- really another expression of what is. So as much as there is impermanence- so things are unchanging. Impermanence is a source of suffering when we do not experience what is unchanging- the oneness and the great silence.


Our Times

The basis of Gandhi's understanding is fundamentally spiritual in nature.  Oddly enough, as we have evolved or devolved into societies that substitute an understanding of truth and our true nature with the empty pursuit of material things, we threaten the very existence of the system that embraces this false reality. The end of this system would not be tragic if it occurred as a series of natural transitions. Unfortunately, it's death promises to cause much unnecessary suffering.  We are at an historic juncture in the world's history,  where our very existence depends on spiritual transformation.  In this sense, this is the most pivotal time in human history to be alive- If we embrace this understanding and learn how to practice genuine compassion for all beings, life.  I do not believe their is one necessary belief system- one philosophy or teaching that magically will deliver us.  Rather the answers are within us if we have the strength,  courage and love to acknowledge it.


Meanderings

What does it mean to be aware? Fundamentally it is openness to the truth. If you have false beliefs, partial understanding- the only way to obtain more complete understanding is to be open to the possibility your understanding is incomplete. Openness, vulnerability, questioning- self doubt.

Again, the first step in a spiritual path is the moment of eternal doubt- Who am I? Why am I here? The mark of a continuing path is continual questioning. So awareness in its many forms is not a final state- but an evolving one- a perfect flow- changing- yet unchanging- opening and closing- tears and joy- no beginning and no end.

Education is like the planting of seeds. On fertile ground arises great forests. On barren ground- the seeds never take root. Knowledge- in the worldly sense- is always relative and related to struggle and power. Purer forms of knowledge may exhibit beauty, but the ultimate forms of knowledge embrace the great emptiness and are not expressible by thought, mind or speech. No form of knowledge nullifies the other- but recognizing the distinctions cultivates wisdom.

Many people seek enlightenment. Yet the very seeking is a path to non-enlightenment. If one seeks then fundamentally one strives for what they already have- but chooses to forget the responsibility this entails. Responsibility entails sacrifice. Compassion is a word that everyone seems to understand- but few truly embrace. Is it because their understanding is flawed? Not deep? What is missing then? Part of what is missing is the failure to recognize that there is no distinction between self and non-self. As soon as one is compassionate to some beings- and not others- there is no longer compassion. There can be no fundamental distinction between you and I- there is no Other.

The spiritual path is not linear. There is no simple transition from A to B to C...Rather the path is progressive- it embodies understanding at all levels simultaneously. Yet I think when all the words fade- there must be heart. Defining "heart" is the most difficult. Heart is the connecting link between worlds. It is the soft leavening, the dew drop, the softly falling rain drop- the sun shading through the trees. it is the simplicity and innocence of all from which this physical world emanates from. We can be reminded of this state in the newborn child- the infinite potential- the flow of the gentle creek, the dance of the waterfalls- the chanting of Om. Without this heart there is only ideas. The ideas are interesting- elaborate- instructive and informative- but they shed little light. They are like the outer layers of an apple- peel and ultimately cut to the core- the core is heart. Before heart- there is the unmanifested potential. The great, unbounded emptiness. everything and nothing- beyond polarity. Then there is love. Love is heart.

The universe in all of its forms is simplicity. Endless recursion- yet its essence it is nothing more than this great simplicity. The rest will be forgotten. Nothing comes into being and nothing perishes. All is manifested at once.


The Marketplace


I want silence. The din of the city electric irritates my senses. Chatter...endless chatter. Words without meaning. Filling the space. Grounded in fear. Difficult to look beyond. Never answering the real questions. Ebb and flow- generations come and go. Overstimulation- the next savior. The next big think. The marketplace rules. Gadfly...cling to whatever is not- oblivious to what is.


Simplicity
 
Can't care about what some people think. Whatever you do try to do well, in accord with what is right. Always understand all facets of a problem. Seek to harmoniously blend elements, but not at the cost of truth or integrity. Simplicity arises from complexity- from a deep understanding of truth. Often the most profound and powerful realizations are the most simple. The entire physical universe is composed of a finite and small number of elements and energetic patterns. The simplest of all is the notion of love.

I must reject the laws, the beliefs- that cause me to question my desire to live. No matter how seemingly pervasive- they are nothing more than experiences from a bad dream. They are not real. Yet, they can be dangerous.

So, faith is important. Faith in the universe and spirit...in the great mystery that is ever present, but not truly known by most.


Awareness

There are many forms of awareness. Self questioning is the beginning of the spiritual path. Smugness is anathema to the spiritual path. The co-mixing of money and spiritual practice is very dangerous. Efforts to control or restrict ones experiences de-natures the spiritual path. Personal growth and exploration are a sine qua non of a spiritual path. Heart is the life blood. Without an open heart, a spiritual path is dead. Spiritual practice is not and can never be practiced as a technology.

There is only darkness. The ego is poorly understood. The primordial creative is the substrate of spiritual movement, The pursuit of the light is an illusion and a form of ego gratification.

There is no spirituality without connection to all existence. There is no spirituality without a recognition of self. The two are inseparable. Compassion is an illusion- there is only love.

Words have weight, thought truth is encompassed in simple awareness. Words are traps. They are not needed.


Questioning

It is true- most of our lives are dominated by thought forms that are nothing more than byproducts of social conditioning. To live authentically is to question "common sense" and to realize most of what is common sense is common nonsense.

The rights of the commons is integral to the functioning of healthy community. We don't need a Nobel laureate to tell us this.

The notion of infinite resources driven by a technological dystopia- collective nonsense. We don't need a theologian to tell us this.

I offer one bit of advice - question everything. Only by doing so does one become fully human.


Tears


I cannot easily find the words to express what I want to say.
What makes you cry? What inspires you to risk your life and well being for something other than yourself? Where do you experience your greatest joy? It is in these places that you may find your deepest self. Compassion is the ability to be open to the suffering and needs of others. If you experience anguish in attempting to answer these questions- then look at your anguish as a window into who you are.

Spirituality is not the province of organized religion, nor is the converse true. While there are religious people that are deeply spiritual, there are many that are not. Chris I believe understands that a large part of society's issues stem from a kind of spiritual death. Not a death that enobles , but one that degrades the essence of what it means to be human. So for him and me- the spiritual understanding is the animus for compassion and action. However imperfect we all are-past, present and future- this was as true for King, as Gandhi or the the disability rights activist I spoke to last night....


Hatred

Hatred only breeds more hatred and destroys the possibility for creative solutions.

One's views are often shaped by psychological factors that distort reality. Men of integrity can differ and those without integrity are often manipulated in ways that may or may not serve their short or long term interests. I believe that strength requires courage- the willingness to take risks-hard work, strategic thought and planning, instinct, integrity and compassion.

Compassionate communication is a conscious and courageous process- few are born with the understanding or skill to achieve genuine consensus. False coalitions based strictly on perceived self interest may no longer work in a world on the brink of destruction.

Dogma clouds thinking. Yet there is a need for adherence to principle. No intellectual construct can embody the flow of change. Fixed views are false, yet truth is not. The path to solutions is never clear, but it can become clearer if we embark on the path.

These are essentially ramblings, but they hint at a way of seeking truth that enlightens and may bring peace.


Transition

The basis of Gandhi's understanding is fundamentally spiritual in nature. Oddly enough, as we have evolved or devolved into societies that substitute an understanding of truth and our true nature with the empty pursuit of material things, we threaten the very existence of the system that embraces this false reality. The end of this system would not be tragic if it occurred as a series of natural transitions. Unfortunately, it's death promises to cause much unnecessary suffering. We are at an historic juncture in the world's history, where our very existence depends on spiritual transformation. In this sense, this is the most pivotal time in human history to be alive- If we embrace this understanding and learn how to practice genuine compassion for all beings, life. I do not believe their is one necessary belief system- one philosophy or teaching that magically will deliver us. Rather the answers are within us if we have the strength, courage and love to acknowledge it.


Non Violence

I think it is important to honor the practice of non-violence, while as individuals deeply searching our hearts and souls for whether we can fully accept it. If non-violence is to be an embodiment of love-then it must be seen less as a tactic then something that supersedes every cause-the thing in and of itself. These are not just words. They represent fundamental choices with consequences. When most people talk about this subject-it seems more like an intellectual exercise than a deeply held belief. The truth is , that by living in society as it exists today-by paying taxes, by going about our day to day lives, we assent to a system predicated on violence. Our very comfort-is a level of blindness that blots out he suffering caused by our collective actions. Choosing a path of non-violence is no easy thing. Gradual or partial acceptance of non-violence, is a luxury of the oppressor-not the oppressed.

One more thing on non-violence. At its essence, non-violence is rooted in a belief in the need for individual spiritual transformation. However, it does not stop at the notion that the world will be saved when everyone has evolved into their higher self. Rather, it seeks to bring the moral/spiritual force into the physical world by becoming a reminder- a source of discomfort perhaps- but most importantly a source of truth- in the belief that when men are obliged to face themselves and the implication of their own actions- they will endeavour to change. This belief, while some may feel is nothing more than a matter of faith- is rooted in an understanding of the essential nature of humanity and universal law. Perhaps it cannot be proven- and in a society deadened by materialism- it may seem useless.

I am not sure there is any moral principle- which if stretched to its limit holds completely true. In the personal examples you gave [defending an innocent child or animal], if I held to my principles- I would attempt to use non-violent means to stop the transgressions. If non-violence could not stop what was happening- then ideally I would use the minimum amount of force necessary to protect the innocent. There may be forms of individual self defense that are necessary and justified. There is also a component of educating the transgressor- not always practical in the moment- but still important.

Civil disobedience in my view applies more to mass social movements/change and raising consciousness.

If the goal is to end all forms of war- then any nation that uses military force perpetuates what they at least in most cases claim to want to end. The central question is the abolition of war. You are right- most nations predicate their foreign policy on the use of force and justify its use to serve their own ends.

Rather than asking whether North Korea is better off with nuclear weapons (which is absurd of course), one should ask how to create a world where North Korea no longer feels the need to protect itself with nuclear weapons.

I am somewhat familiar with Derek Jensen’s views on the use of violence. But I must say, that I would not, for example, wish to entrust Derek Jensen or Deep Green Resistance with decisions involving the use of violence. Also, Jensen does not espouse violence in all or most cases. He is understandably frustrated with the plethora of environmental groups that operate more as lobbying organizations than grassroots agents of change.

As far as opposing NDAA- I am far from alone on this. The provisions added to the bill were borne from fear- whether it is fear from international or domestic terrorists. Fear breeds more fear. In fact, the NDAA provisions violate the US Constitution and lay bare the fiction of an endless war against loosely specified forces. By weakening our liberties- these laws weaken our moral force and our democracy- as well as compromising our foreign policy. The sad thing is that my views- shared by more than a few- are hardly controversial- but have only become so in our poisoned political environment- predicated as it is on fear.


The Pearly Gates and The Candidates for President

One day all the men running for President will return to their maker. After they die their life will flash before them. They will have the chance to recollect and reflect on what they learned from their life time on Earth. When they are done, they will stand before God. Then they will be asked questions. It will begin like this:

On Earth, you had great power. Did you use it to feed the hungry? Were you a peacemaker? Did you start or end wars?  What did you do to stop the eco-holocaust that has killed so much of what I love and that defines what it means to be human? When the world was on the brink of nuclear destruction, what did you do to bring peace? Did you stand up to the forces of oppression?

When children were hungry, did you lose sleep? What dominated your thoughts? What kept you awake at night?

Did you live your life with humility? Did you protect those who sacrificed to bring truth into the world? Were you loving to your family and community? Did you love all beings- or only those that were like you?

And when these men answer from the depths of their soul- lies and prevarication are no longer possible- they will need to answer No to all of these questions.

Some will then proclaim...but we are imperfect. The God will ask- yes- but did you know? Did you know that you persecuted the weak and exercised and sought power without conscience or remorse? They will answer- Yes- we knew. Then they will say- but we seek your forgiveness. God will then say- as you forgave, so will you he forgiven. They will then will ask- where will go? Will we go to heaven? And God will say- what do you think (God has a sense of humor)? Again they will ask- will we return to Earth? God will then say- you will return to where you can do the most good- neither heaven or Earth. Then where? Then God will say- you know where...you know.

In writing this I challenge the world's spiritual gurus that argue that salvation is for the individual, that life on Earth's value is a gristmill for human learning. I challenge the notion that we are not responsible for our acts. That God's grace saves those who repent and seek forgiveness. Hell maybe self created- but it is no less painful. Money, power, security have nothing to do with the purpose of human existence. These men are profound losers- having lost their souls to pursue the illusion of permanent power. The smallest blade of grass is more. Yet we all must all ask these questions- while we are here. Not just to prepare our souls for return, but because they define precisely why we are here.


Who Am I

"My question to you would be, do we need to know the answer to "who am I?" to begin doing good? Or is it just that we need to know that the fundamental question is "who am I?"... and by knowing this, our whole life seeks to answer this question.. and thus we can finally do good, knowing what the question is. The first step towards seeking truth, maybe, is seeking a question."
 
There are many ways of approaching this question. All human beings are capable of acts of goodness and compassion that can relieve suffering. Yet it is also true- that without a knowledge of the true self- a knowledge not borne of words, but from the heart- without this understanding- great compassion and true, enduring goodness is not possible. Yet the deepening of this knowledge is the pursuit of a lifetime- and the integration of this understanding into our words and actions is part of why we are on this plane.
 
There is no self. There is only oneness. Oneness is the fundamental spiritual experience. Once the self dissolves there are no boundaries between the a mountain, a tree, a river, another being- nothing. There is no birth and death. There is no time and space. With this understanding comes the great power to transform- but one that can only be used wisely- since its source is the enduring wisdom and truth of creation. It is embedded in the connectedness.
 
One should not underestimate the cultural aspects of this understanding or lack there of. With enormous sadness and untold pain- we live in a global society whose culture and institutions have almost completely forgotten the spiritual- the oneness. Yet the only sustainable culture is one that is rooted in this understanding. Respect, honor, sacrifice, integrity- these can only arise in a culture that understands the true relationship between human beings and all creation.
 
We live in an age that is like a blind, consuming, inferno machine. Whatever it gives- it takes and takes and takes. Seeking to separate itself from the primordial cycles of creation and destruction- it offers a new kind of death- the only true death. Not stillness, non-existence and peace- but desolation. Of course nothing is separate- and even this is part of the universal essence- even this cannot disturb the fundamental balance. What it can do, is bring untold, unnecessary suffering and a redefinition of what it means to be human that is beyond forgetfulness and into the abyss. Where the only consolation is that it must destroy itself and that ultimately it cannot be separate.
 
Nowhere does this manifest with such urgency and clarity than in the eco-holocaust that envelopes the planet. Nowhere does the universal timeliness and wisdom clash more with the incessant and rapid onslaught that it does with this destruction- for want of a better word- unholy. If the Gods destroyed us to save us in the time of Noah- then clearly today, we have the power to destroy ourselves...Perhaps then the Gods will save us- or I should say the universal forces of love that permeates all.

Finally, I aware that the first two paragraphs of what I wrote seemed to clash with the last two. However, in this plane we dance with eternity on both the spiritual and physical levels. How we act- what we do- cannot be divorced from our spiritual understanding. Action is always messy. Karma is always brought into being. Greater awareness can increase the sensitivity to karmic forces and perhaps bring greater peace and balance. However, we learn from doing and being open. Spirituality without tears is impossible.


Seeking Love

When seeking love, we sometimes act as if we are searching for a reflection of ourselves- like Narcissus of Greek mythology- becoming then trapped- and not leaving ourselves- we die inside and alone. Not physical death- but a frigid isolation- a kind of purgatory.

Greatness- in human beings- is not because of our perfection-but rather our imperfection. It is from this that the Gods and fate weave our stories- and make us divine.

There is only one thing I fundamentally seek to develop in myself- the capacity to love- truly love. And I realize the need to develop this in myself- is the only thing that stands in the way of my receiving this from another....

Lowell Greenberg


This We Have Now

This we have now is not imagination.

This is not grief of joy.

Not a judging state, or an elation, or sadness

Those come and go.

This is the presence that doesn't

It's dawn, Husam, here in the splendor of coral, inside the Friend, the simple truth of what Hallaj said.

What else could human beings want?

When grapes turn to wine, they're wanting this.

When the nightsky pours by, it's really a crowd of beggars, and they all want this!

This that we are now created by the body, cell by cell like bees building a honeycomb.

The human body and the universe grew from this, not this from the universe and the human body

 -Rumi, on Majesty- a composite intention felt as a presence, dawn, a company of friends, a splendor prior to, and the source of, the universe. Rumi says it is a state of awareness best spoken of in terms of what is not.

-from The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.


"I do not believe in telling people of one's faith, especially with a view to conversion. Faith must be lived, and when it is, it becomes self-propagating." - Mohandas K. Gandhi


"While thinking about the future, and about tomorrow's livelihood, if you don't let go of worldly affairs, if you don't practice the Way, and if you pass your days and nights in vain, you'll regret it. You should rouse your mind, and determine that even if there is no livelihood for tomorrow, and you might freeze, or starve, or even die -- still today, you should hear the Way, and follows Buddha's intention. If you do this you will certainly achieve practice of the Way."- Dogan


"Not to borrow the strength of another, nor to rely on one's own strength; to cut off past and future thoughts, and not to live within the everyday mind...then the Great Way is right before your eyes."- Yamamoto Tsunetomo; Also: Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai


I have stepped through the looking glass- lost in a world where magic is real, love everywhere and even pain is beautiful. Once the stuff of dreams- barely glimpsed-it is now my only  reality. And as strange as it sounds, I mean every word I just wrote. Which might make me insane- but comfortably so. - Lowell Greenberg


If thou art great after having been of little account, if thou art rich after having been poor, if thou art at the head of thy city, put on one side that thou hast reached the first rank. Harden not thy heart because of thy elevation, for thou hast become the steward of God's property. Put not at the back of thy head him who was thy equal, but be a companion to him.

Command only in order to direct: if thou art despotic, thou goest toward evil. Let thy thoughts be neither haughty nor base.

Treat thy people as well as thou canst: it is the mark of those favored by God.

Let the love thou feelest pass into the heart of those whom thou lovest: cause all men to be loving and obedient.

from "The Maxims of Ptah-hotep"


Edgar Allen Poe,
"A Dream Within a Dream"

"Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
This much let me avow -
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone!
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand -
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep - while I weep!
Oh God! can I not grasp
Then with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"



Life & the Universal

"I know I am alive, for I feel exquisite pain and from this pain springs love."

"The line between "subjective" reality (perhaps the only kind) and chaos is the thinnest of lines. If the mind crosses over to chaos- how desperately it tries to return and restore what once was- the illusion of control in a "personal" or should I say impersonal universe."

"Though I seem as if in a dark abyss, alone, yet I know you love me and your hand guides my life in directions I can only dimly imagine."

"I am in this world, but not of this world."

"I saw water- I saw how it pervades everything in the universe- how hydrogen is the very stuff of the universe- its most prevalent element and a part of water. How our bodies are mostly water and ultimately how holy water is- what it means to life and spirit. I then thought of myself and I thought of fire. I was told that I am the fire- I am fire. If I seek the water- I will achieve happiness- life. "

Lowell Greenberg

"Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

"Everything is an instant- stillness... a rain drop falling into a pond: expanding circles into nothingness- stillness."

"All to often we "glorify" great men and women, making them seem almost not human- and thereby dehumanizing them. Is it not enough to be human? What is the shame?"

"Being human is difficult. Becoming human is a lifelong process. To be truly human is a gift." - Abraham Heschel

“Continue in the direction of the Pyramids”, said the alchemist. “And continue to pay heed to the omens. Your heart is still capable of showing you where the treasure is.”

“Is that the one thing I still need to know?”

“No”, the alchemist answered. “What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’

“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”- Paul Coelho, The Alchemist: A Fable about Following your Dreams

'I am the owner of my actions (kamma),
heir to my actions,
born from my actions,
related through my actions,
and have my actions as my judge.
Whatever I do - for good or for evil - that I will inherit...' - From Anguttara Nikaya V.57 - Upajjhatthana Sutta - Subjects for Contemplation

"In an inhuman-machine world, those most human feel like machines, cut off from the societal blood pulse and those most machine like feel human- and accepted."

"The Universal, Loving Soul manifests in all creation, its unfolding recorded in The Book of Life. For a human being to believe that he alone possesses this Soul, does nothing less than to cut himself off from the eternal tree of life. This is a great sin indeed." 

Dying

Death- of life and suffering. Return to childhood perfection.
Memories and reflections of things past.

Going Home

Tearful, happy good-byes, comforting reunion with loved ones.
We die as we live- with courage, serenity and beauty, surrounded by love- alone yet not alone.

Love Eternal


Life's symphony- a single, never ending movement. Reaching ever closer to God.

Every remaining year a treasure.
Every month a gift divine.
Each week the grace of God.
Each day rejoicing in your presence.
Every hour, every minute and every second of your Earthly' breath- a solemn and joyous reminder of my love for you- eternal.

Life & the Universal

Also: The Rainbow Bridge, On Our Own Terms,  and The Ocean


Resources

Aging with Dignity

AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services

American Art Therapy Association

The American Institute of Life-Threatening Diseases

American Music Therapy Association

American Society of Pastoral Counselors

Americans for Better Care of the Dying

Camp Hope
Camp in Wisconsin where children &
teenagers gather to work through
the grieving process after a loved one dies.  

"Children of Denial - Recent Advances in End-of-Life Care Haven't Reached the Youngest Patients," The Washington Post, June 20, 2001

The Compassionate Friends
Grief support for the death of a child.

Dying Well

Grief Resources

GriefLink

GriefNet

Growth House
An international gateway to resources
for life-threatening illness and end of life care.


Hospice Foundation of America

Journey of Hearts

Last Acts
A call-to-action campaign to improve care
at the end of life.

Literature, Arts and Medicine
Database

"Meaning of Life and Meaning of Death in Successful Aging," by Dr, Paul T.P. Wong.

Transplant for Life
Provides a system of communication
& confirmation to clergy that increases organ
& tissue donor awareness in congregations
of all faiths.


WidowNet

 

In this body, in this town of the Spirit, there is a little house shaped like a lotus and in that house there is a little space ... There is as much in that little space within the heart as there is in the whole world outside. Heaven, earth, fire, wind, sun, moon, lightning, stars; whatever is and whatever is not, everything is there ... What lies in that space does not decay when the body decays, nor does it fall when the body falls. That space is the home of the Spirit. Every desire is there. Self is there, beyond decay and death; sin and sorrow, hunger and thirst; His aim truth; His will truth.

From the Chandogya Upanishad Book VIII, trans. Shree Purohit Swami and W.B. Yeats from the book, "The Ten Principal Upanishads."
 

The Upanishads are Vedanta, a book of knowledge in a higher degree even than the Vedas, but knowledge in the profounder Indian sense of the word, JnanaJnana. And because it is only by an integral knowing of the self that this kind of direct knowledge can be made complete, it was the self of the Vedantic sages sought to know, to live in and to be one with it by identity. And through this endeavor they came easily to see that the self in us is one with the Universal Self of all things and that this self again is the same as God and Brahman, a transcendent Being or Existence, and they beheld, felt, lived in the inmost truth of mans inner and outer existence by the light of this one and unifying vision. The Upanishads are epic hymns of self-knowledge and world-knowledge and God-knowledge.

Sri Aurobindo.1872-1950


"One of the key points in discovering drala principle is realizing that your own wisdom as a human being is not separate from the power of things as they are. They are both reflections of the unconditioned wisdom of the cosmic mirror. Therefore there is no fundamental separation or duality between you and your world. When you can experience those two things together, as one, so to speak, then you have access to tremendous vision and power in the world - you find that they are inherently connected to your own vision, you own being. This is discovering magic. We are not talking here about an intellectual revelation, we are speaking of an actual experience. We are talking about how we actually perceive reality The discovery of drala may come as an extraordinary smell, a fantastic sound, a vivid color, an unnatural taste. Any perception can connect us to reality properly and fully. What we see doesn't have to be pretty, particularly, we can appreciate anything that exists. There is some principle of magic in everything some living, quality. Something living, something real is taking place in everything."

From "Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior," by Chogyam Trungpa, pp.163-164


"There is in each of us an ancient force that takes and ancient force that gives. A man finds little difficulty facing the place within himself where the taking force dwells, but it is almost impossible for him to see into the giving force without changing into something other than man. For woman, the situation is reversed...The greatest peril to the Giver is the force that takes. The greatest peril of the Taker is the force that gives. It is as easy to be overwhelmed by giving as by taking...I'm at the fulcrum...I cannot give without taking and I can not take without...[I have not seen the future], I have seen the Now."

Frank Herbert, "Dune" (The words of Paul-Muad'Dib after drinking the Water of Life and becoming the "Kwisatz Haderach"- the one who can be many places at once...both dead and alive...the Ultimate Servant, one who truly knows that "the universe is a coherent whole and you are indivisible from it."


"Too dull to think, people might read: too tired to read, they might look at the moving pictures: unable to visit the picture theatre they might turn on the radio: in any case, they might avoid the call to action: surrogate lovers, surrogate heroes and heroines, surrogate wealth filled their debilitated and impoverished lives and carried the perfume of unreality into their dwellings. And as the machine itself became, as it were, more active and human, reproducing the organic properties of eye and ear, the human beings who employed the machine as a mode of escape have tended to become more passive and mechanical. Unsure of their own voices, unable to hold a tune, they carry a phonograph or a radio set with them even on a picnic: afraid to be alone with their own thoughts, afraid to confront the blankness and inertia of their own minds, they turn on the radio and eat and talk and sleep to the accompaniment of a continuous stimulus from the outside world: now a band, now a bit of propaganda, now a piece of public gossip called news."- Lewis Mumford
 

 

The Ocean

"I heard a nice little story the other day," Morrie says. He closes his eyes for a moment and I wait.

"Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a good old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air- until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.

" 'My God, this is terrible,' the wave says. 'Look what's going to happen to me!'

" 'Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grime and it says to him, 'Why, do you look so sad?'

"The first wave says, 'You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?'

"The second wave says, 'No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean.' "

I smile. Morrie closes his eyes again.

"Part of the ocean," he says, "part of the ocean." I watch him breathe, in and out, in and out.

-From the book, "Tuesdays with Morrie," pp. 179-180,  by Mitch Albom

 

 

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