21 06 2018

It has been so long since I wrote a post here, and so much has happened in life.

My mind has been filled with thoughts of work, daily life, and other details, that have not left time or space to feel into me, you, the world.  I now sit and the keyboard and feel everything.  Opening to it all.  I realize in this I am been more closed than open for the past six months or more.  What is that closure?  Closed to life in ways, to creativity certainly.  The daily grind, the one step after another days.  This is not the life I want, I want time and space to open.

What barriers am I facing, what is keeping me small and contained in my mind and life?  What is not letting me be open to more than my small existence?

Life will distract us.  It will make demands on us.  It will keep us from our power.  There is more.  Openness is the key.  Open, quiet, space within…  Breath

As I sit here and let the words flow I feel cleansed.  Maybe for the first time in almost a year.  I feel open, I feel more free.  Freedom…  We can all be free, and our minds and our thoughts, and the demands of existence hold us back.  We have concerns over so many things.  And ultimately those concerns are just a distraction.  They feel very important.  Everything in life feels very important.  Ah, the struggle…

These past few years have been a very real struggle for me, and yet the true importance of all of this is not truly important.

Three years ago I faced a choice point.  I was killing myself with stress over a life situation.  I stopped one day and sorted out what was important in that life situation.  I realized I am not the situation.  I was very closely identified with it, and it felt like failing in that situation was annihilation of the me.  But at that choice point I realized I could continue as I was, and cause myself harm, or I could come to the understanding that I was not the situation.   I de-identified from the life situation.  I understood in that moment the situation was  not me.  There was a me, and there was a situation, but the me did not have to be sucked in to all the stress of that situation.  I feel on a much lesser scale I face this again.  Even thought three years ago I separated for the life situation I was facing, I have slowly taken on a related and extended situation.  It is not as acute, it is not as stressful, but I have slowly taking up an identification with my current life situation and wrapped it around the me.  I now wear a cloak of a life situation as if it is me, or part of me, or insuperable from me.

I engage in a form of madness, to distract me from what is real.  I, of course, am not this life situation either.  I do not stop enough, breath enough, meditate enough.  I do not let life sort itself out, but try to wrestle it to my whims.  Madness…

In the new minutes I have reflected and written, and allowed myself to not be as distracted by life I feel more openness, more space, more peace, and more of the me.    This is the true task, not the busy world we face, and all the distractions it brings, but accessing our true nature.  Another lesson in what is truly important to me.  I do not desire to let life fall apart on introspection.  I do not desire to lock myself away from the world like a monk.  I think when we open to more, rather than withdraw, we should live more in the world with the others who share this journey with us.  The strong (in whatever way) should help others.  This help can be in very small ways, or big ways, in life changing ways or just quiet ways.

Be kind, and an example to others in how to live with grace and love…



6 03 2016

I was talking with a friend this morning, and a subject I have mentioned to people several times over the years, came up in the conversation.  The subject is my youngest daughter.  I have never seen her angry.  Even as a young child, I do not recall her having an anger outburst or throwing a tantrum.  I think this is likely unique but it speaks to something larger to me.  I feel that there is an evolution going on of humanity in general.  I have seen this evolution in myself, my children, and others in my life.  I have seen many people change significantly over the past 20 years or so.  They have mostly done it on a different path than mine.  We all choose our own path and unique way of progressing, I think.  My path included several healing modalities, meditation, and meditation retreats.  I have also had many teachers along the way, probably about 10 of them over the past 20 years.  Some of them concurrently, and others as my only teacher at certain times.  Lately, I have two main teachers and a nearly daily meditation practice that are serving me well.

Others have a totally different path.  My son is a philosophy major working on a Masters degree, and I have seen his studies impact his life deeply, and he has evolved significantly through this study.  It seems to be a totally different kind of evolution that I have experienced, and at the same time I cannot deny his evolution as a human.  I have met many friends on this journey, some I am very close to, and others I have infrequent contact with.  Our journeys have overlapped in one way or another over the years, and I have seen many of them grow in some way.  Become more whole, more real,or change in significant ways through their personal work and studies.  Through their healing work in certain modalities, or deep spiritual practices.  Every year I meet more people who are on some kind of healing or spiritual journey.  Among these people I come in contact with there is change, more realness, and clearer living in some way.

Many think that humanity is falling into an abyss of anger, and fear, and moral decay.  I know not everyone is working on changing themselves or their lives but I do not think the trend is toward lower energies but we as a group, race, species are slowing changing for the better.  And I think some of that change is not through work but those being born are a bit different than those that came before.  Maybe not in all cases but it seems to be happening.  I feel my youngest is an example of this process.  At a young age she seemed settled in herself.  In a way, at the time, I was not settled in MYself.  It was hard for me to grasp what was different about her.  At four years old she would leave her toys all around her room.  I would ask her to pick them up and she just did not see the need for such an action on her part.  One day, I was upset about it and I packed up all of her toys in boxes and put them in a hall closet.  “If you can’t pick them up I will do it for you.”  She just shrugged and walked away.  I left them there for a couple of days, and she did not blink.  She truly did not seem to care about the toys.  She enjoyed them when she had them but did not seem attached to them when they were missing.  To this day I marvel at her ability to just let them go, and continue being herself.  She was clearly not her toys.  I am a family therapist, I work with family that face all kinds of issues, and I have seen children deeply impacted by losing a toy, or game, or something else they identified with closely.  With my daughter, none of this was really important, at 4 years old.  She was and is a great teacher for me on the topics of non-attachment and just being.  I will not say she does not have things to work out in life, but some of the things I had to work very hard to resolve for myself came naturally to her, and appear to be a basic part of who she is.  This is amazing to me, as someone who has worked hard to even catch a glimpse of what she must naturally be.

I think we are evolving, all of us, together; in some strange way.  It is what I talk about in the Goddess Broke My Heart, Life has a way of pushing us toward growth in some way.  What that means to each of us is likely different, but we are all moving together with our Goddess Broken Hearts, changing and growing, and evolving.  All of us, not just those who take it on as a project.  Life will give us situations that will grow us.  Over and over and over…  Sometimes we will fail in the circumstances we face, and other times we will navigate it with grace.  Always a challenge, always life serves throws something new at us.  We will resolve certain areas of who and what we are, and this will make our lives easier, and we will get stuck in certain other areas that make our lives harder.

It is not hopeless.  What we see in the news does not define us, the fear we are confronted with is not who we are, the misery in the world is not the true human condition.  We move, we grow, we evolve.  As everyone of us changes for the better, we affect those around us.  We send ripples out that influence others, and as we grow others are impacted by our growth, and through that influence often grow themselves in some way.

Those that are actively seeking opportunities to grow and change are a blessing.  Those who are organically changing through life challenges are just as much of a blessing.  We all contribute to the evolution of us all.  Humanity is not on a decline into fear and anger and hatred; but a rising spiral of more understanding, raising energy and love.  All can join us.

Everything Changes…

27 12 2015

Today I had an opportunity to go back and read many of the things I have written, and updates I have posted.  The thing that is most clear to me is that things are constantly in flux.  Things that were hard for me a few months ago have had their time, or their way with me and these things are no longer as important, or hard, or consuming as there were when originally written.

The first is the process I have gone through of a life reconciliation.  That was a long and profound process.  Triggered by many things in my life.  One of them being my upcoming birthday in a few months.  This process seems to have run its course for now.  Maybe it lingers a bit and there is still flashes of past events, choices, or situations that pass through my mind with a sign that says, look at me, process me, resolve me, or let me go…  It has wound down to a quiet nonintrusive, background process that no longer takes center stage of my mind whenever it is not otherwise occupied.

The next is the situation that caused the past year to be so difficult.  Even though all of the ramifications of that year are not resolved and still may not be for many months (or even a year or more) it is not causing much stress in my life.  I am doing all I can do to resolve those issues to include working harder that I would like to work.  But this will all pass too.

I think that is the point of this post.  Everything passes.  Everything is temporary.  All thoughts, emotions, situations in life eventually pass to a different way of being with us.  We cannot keep our attention on something for too long.  And what we put our attention on increases.  I prefer to have my attention on things that serve me in some way, and not on the things that I am struggling with.  That does not mean I can ignore those things.  I think one of the lessons going on in the past few months is that I must take care of things as they arise.  In the past I have had a tendency to just let things flow as they will and imagine they will work out, but they often do not work out on their own without action or help from me.  I guess I did not take appropriate action, but at the same time worried about the situation.  I found myself watching the situation I should handle increase and become unmanageable.  There are so many situations that I can recall (back to that again) which I let slide to my detriment.  This has not worked.  I have done a much better job in the past few months of handling things as they arose and another process has emerged from it.  I have had many annoying small things with people show up.  It is like all the difficult people in my life have decided this is the to act out.  It has happened in several ways with several people.  It has been very strange.

Life continues to work on me in its way.  I remain open to letting life continue to refine me in whatever way it next has in store for me.



The Viewpoint

27 08 2015

I am moved tonight to talk about our viewpoint.  I read and post many things on facebook that I consider inspiration, and a contribution to our growth experience.  And then my photo work and some talented artists from time to time.  And what really has become clear is that people read all of these things from where they are sitting.  One person who has had a profound break through regarding sex, very often relates it to their sexual experiences even though the post is not implying this (to me) in anyway.

Another person may see sexual danger every where because they were abused as a child.  This abuse colors their whole life and everything seems to come back to that for them.  They see abusers in everything and every where.

Another person has been victimized in their early life and they have embraced the role of victim.  And everything seems to be an attack to them.  Someone is doing something to them, even when the post is about love and connection, for this one it comes back to the way we can abuse each other.  Also, this state of victim brings with it a sensitivity that constantly re-enforces the state of “victim.”  It is a very hard road to travel.  I understand it, I went PRO in being a victim until maybe 10 years ago and it was hard work to give up that position and take on a new one.  A similar thing happens with those who have taken a rescuer role.  The are constantly attempting to save another whose life is not working out well for them.  This shows up a lot when someone says I am having a hard time in my life around this issue.  The rescuer cannot just receive that communication but must do something to help or fix that person.  They explain a thing to the person, or they give advice, or tell a story that is meant to educate the other to have a better life.  The biggest disappointment to the rescuer is that the rescuee does not get rescued.  They just go on in their victim state  feeling the whole universe is out to get them.  The funny thing is that as long as they live in that state it is true.  The whole universe is out to get them and the beauty of it is that the victim can decide at any moment to take responsibility for everything in their life and the whole dynamic changes.  Now, they may move into another state but that victim state can be blown out simple by taking responsibility for everything in their life and circumstances.  At that point they no longer are victim to anything because they have taken responsibility for it all.  They are the cause and they have given up the main contributing factor, the state of victim.

The rescuer on the other hand has a different strategy to be free.  That person must let everyone else take responsibility for their lives.  When the rescuer is no longer taking responsibility for other people’s life, choices, consequences, and other behaviors that are not working they are free too.  It is exhausting to manage others.  It is ultimately much harder than managing ourselves but it does distract us from our reality and our own suffering.  We can focus on the life and problems of another who happens to be a victim or we focus on our own growth and life.

Our individual viewpoint is the filter we see life through.  It colors everything for us.  It is the brush we paint the world with.  Give up your position, whatever it is.  See the world with fresh eyes, see it from another perspective.  Do not get stuck in one way.  I know that our early childhood, and other experiences have created this position and it seems to be the only reality.  It is the way the world is.  If we were abused, there are abusers out there.  Imagine that some people were raised with safety and love; they have a different experience and a different position.  And even though that position is more pleasant and maybe fun to view life from; it is also a position.  Give them all up and open to how it really is.  Get that how you see it may not be the way it really is.  Check it out with other people and see how they view life and the world.  You will soon find that there are an unlimited amount of positions.  Do not get fixed in yours.  Let it flow and change, and be flexible.  And let yourself see life and situations the way they really are and not through the filter of your viewpoint.

Accept it all…

“The Meaning of Life”

22 04 2015

It does not seem to me that our purpose in this world is to have a good time.  I seems that there is a much deeper purpose to our lives. Everyone I know has suffering in their lives of some kind.  I meet a lot of people and they all suffer in some way.  Now a rare few of them are past their suffering and living a different quality of life than most of us.  Some of my teachers fall into that category but not all.

Buddha said “Life is Suffering.”  referring to our attachment to things being the way we want them to be.  When we accept things they way they really are without imposing our own desires on them we reach a level of freedom and we suffer less.  There are other levels of attachment we can resolve in ourselves to attain more freedom and less suffering.  And maybe this is why we are living these lives to work through the things that cause suffering in our lives.  What I know is when we work through  a difficult relationship or a life issue that is causing us pain then things loosen up in ourselves and life gets a bit easier.

We are constantly challenged in some way.  I think these are challenges to grow and become more of ourselves, more solid in our being.  We face the challenges and resolve them and there is a payoff which is more freedom in ourselves and more joy.  Joy does not come from the things we do or people we spend time with, we can take joy in those things but joy is an internal game.  It comes from within.  Just as our suffering does.  One reason I do not resist the hard life challenges is that I want to move through them as quickly as I can.  I would rather have a very hard year or two than 10 years of nibbling at the edge.  I also realize that when that challenges is over and I have integrated it all and reached a new level of awareness about life and myself, that something new will come around and shake my life up again.  This is because I am ready for a new level, and we do not seem to just decide to work on the new level of awareness we are facing but life needs to confront us with the new challenge that will bring us to the next level.  There will always be a new level to challenge us.  But as we resolve these challenges in ourselves we find that we suffer less.  The next challenge although unique does not bring the level of suffering it would had we not resolved past opportunities.

Some people feel they have a life where everything goes wrong and they are always challenged in some way.  This is usually because they are not resolving the current issues they are facing so life serves it up in a variety of ways to get the point across to us.  There is a point.  It is not random life events.  If we are constantly challenged there is something we need to work on within ourselves and resolve so we can grow.  If we do not face the issues that are confronting us we stay at that level, we do not attain freedom, we do not grow and we suffer even more.  Life will break us again and again to get it across.  Realize that all those things that happen outside of us that we consider happen to us are really internal processes on how we perceive ourselves and life.  If we feel everything is happening to us and we have no control then we suffer more.  Feeling helpless is one thing and we all face this at times, being helpless is different it is  a position we have taken and life will grind it out of us until it no longer exists within us.  It will grind us down to a fineness where our positions no longer work fur us and we have to give them up.  I would rather face then and resolve them and make the grinding process a shorter one.  Face our positions consciously or unconsciously but we will face them.  Consciously is better…

We must face life and everything it throws at us, or our suffering will be overwhelming.  This is our purpose here, to grow through life challenges and resolve our suffering, to give up our positions and our identifications.  To move toward freedom within ourselves.

Upcoming Meditation Retreat

4 12 2014

 Meditation Retreat – February 19th – 23rd, 2015

3 Day Partner Assisted Meditation Retreat

This meditation retreat is a modern answer to the question, “Where can I go to directly experience the true nature of life, others and myself?” With one foot rooted in the ancient tradition of Rinzai Zen and the other in the modern dyad process of communication, the Enlightenment Intensive is a three-day retreat capable of producing deep spiritual awakenings at the core.

During the retreat you are asked to set aside all distractions and engage in a monastic lifestyle in order to free your energy and attention for the practice at hand. Your practice is to contemplate a question such as ‘Who am I?’ and communicate to a partner what has occurred. You choose a new partner for each 40-minute period. Throughout the day you have breaks for walks, rest, meals, and lectures. Other questions you may work on are, “What am I?”, “What is Life?”, and “What is Another?” This journey of exploration, healing and awakening reveals that our deepest truths may be found within ourselves and through our honest interaction with others.

The retreat uses a dyad format for contemplation that is generative—the energy builds between dyad partners, as well as everyone in the room, creating a synergetic generation of the very energy mentioned in Zen literature needed to break through into an enlightenment experience.

You can learn more about the Meditation Retreat at:  http://www.masterstudiesinstitute.com/meditation.html

You can now enroll using paypal.

Please join us and discover your true nature.




30 11 2014

I have heard so much about fear.  I know a person who feels that when we feel fear we should dive in and really feel it.  Now I agree we should allow ourselves to feel our emotions.  We should feel them at depth and not push them away, but I see fear as different.

In the past few months I have gone through a period of being frozen with fear, to the degree that I had panic attacks.  This lasted for weeks and it was a very hard time for me.  I could not seem to do anything.  I could not function, or move forward or change the situation.   It was that fear for my existence kind of fear.  Very intense…

The truth is when I began to move my thoughts along from that place of holding the situation in the forefront on my mind and my life it all started to change.  The thing about fear is that it is the anticipation of some possible future pain.  Even though a present moment situation caused that intense fear in me it was my thoughts of what was to come next, or what was the final outcome going to be that had me in such an intense state of fear.  I could not seem to move my mind.  It was probably the most intense situation I have faced in many years.  I caused myself a lot of suffering by staying stuck in thinking over and over, what if…  I had a whole list of what ifs in this situation.

The only thing I could do to change my anxiety about the whole thing was to change my thinking .  The situation was the situation and I could not change that (although I could have taken some actions and changed that from developing) but staying in those thoughts was a very painful place to live.  Eventually, I just had to accept things the way there were and know that the outcome would be the outcome and things would eventually be different.  They may be different better or different worse but it would all change.  It is the nature of our lives.  I finally put it all aside which helped me take certain actions and begin to shift things in myself and in my life.  The situation is not completely resolved.  There are still far reaching ramifications and the outcome is uncertain, but I am at peace.  I am am not riding my fear like a bull through the streets.  I have put that aside, come to acceptance of what will be will be.  I will do my best and hope for a positive resolution.

Going deep into the fear did not help me in anyway.  It froze me in place and caused havoc in my being.  As I put it aside and become unattached to the outcome and stopped thinking about what might happen.  What might go wrong.  All the outcomes that do not work for me.  There was a shift and peacefulness in me.  I am again quiet, and happy and feeling that all shall be well.  If it is not then that is another obstacle in life but it does not threaten my being in any way.

Fear does not serve us and it comes directly from out thoughts about either what happened in our past that we did not like or from thinking about what might go wrong in the future.  Of all of the things we have considered might go wrong in our lives how many of them have come to fruition?   We spend a lot of life energy on considering the possible bad things that might happen.  Let all of those thoughts go.  Not only does it tie up our life energy but it actually increases the possibility of negative outcomes.   What we focus on we get more of…

What do you focus on.  Do an exercise for a week and if you find it helpful do it longer.  Get a journal book and every evening reflect on the day.  Write down three things that were negative about the day and three things that were positive.  Do this every evening.  Over time notice your thoughts about your days as they pass.

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