The sky is sacred.
The earth is sacred.
The waters are sacred.
Life is sacred.
All things are sacred.
The sky is sacred.
I have received a number of lovely cards, letters, and emails, for which I am deeply thankful.
My heart… my heart… my heart… so touching.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Aboard the plane returning home from California class, I sit with the fine feelings of love and kindness that filled me over the past several days. From the moment I arrived at the SF airport on Wednesday, and throughout my visit, the nurturing support fed my soul. As I look back upon the past 25 years of the school, the major theme of the classes seemed to be the exquisite knowledge we have been given. Though the knowledge was certainly there this class, for me the theme of this visit was the kindness and love we all shared, starting the day I arrived early to enjoy the city with some of you, extending throughout the days of class, and continuing with another visit to the city on Sunday. I am renewed by the waves of love and support you gave through your presence—now received again aboard the plane as I read your kind emails, texts, and cards.
The task of bringing forth the teachings I was able to offer all these years was certainly not without its challenges, heartache, struggles, and opposition. The unavoidable realities of the mechanics of the process were a good portion of the class topics this past weekend as we all sat together and allowed ourselves to be with whatever was… reflectiveness, knowledge, fatigue, communion, commitment, and love. This class was a deeply emotional experience for me and, I believe, for all who attended. The children there, as well, were such a precious part of my week.
Taking now a year to reflect will provide the space needed to continue moving our long term plans forward, forward, always forward. A most warm and heartfelt “thank you” to all who attended the class. Your loving support nourishes my soul and will never be forgotten.
The past number of years have been particularly challenging. When SK, our temple Sthapati from South India, recently visited Mount Soma, he came to my home. There, he saw that the Vastu fence was not correct. I am chalking the error up to lack of proper communication with another Vastu expert who designed the fence.
Generally, in private homes, the Vastu is not so critical and is rather forgiving. In fact, in most non-Vastu homes, there is just not much energy in the structure and therefore, not much influence. A Vastu home harnesses and enlivens the energy. Yet, in most Vastu homes, there is a good deal of flexibility because the energy is not extreme. However, Mount Soma harnesses the wholeness value of the entire community… Temple and all. As a result, the power of the Vastu is profound. That is why so many people comment on the tremendous uplifting feeling they experience when visiting Mount Soma.
Because I am the founder and head of the community, my home is the Guru Shala, and is positioned in the southwest corner of Mount Soma. For that reason, the Guru Shala home was designed with great precision. SK reviewed the design of my home after his recent visit and verified that it was correct.
The southwest corner is where negativity (the Rakshasa value) enters, and the Guru Shala is designed to protect the community from all that negativity. Mount Soma is powerful, and as I have said in the past, if you run off the road, it is better to do so in a child’s toy wagon rather than a speeding sports car. SK pointed out that because the fence around my home was not designed properly, all the Karma/negativity poured in upon me. He said that as it was, that karmic influence brought “endless tears.”
It was all baffling until SK explained the situation with the Vastu. The new fence should be completed soon and everything should get better. Our thanks to SK, and his wife Krithika, for their heartfelt commitment to Mount Soma and all the time they spent reviewing the design of not only my home, but all of Mount Soma.
Nick Kyrgios is a natural athlete and great tennis player. He is edgy, hot headed, not so disciplined, rebellious, and does not practice as much as he should. In a recent interview, the great Rafael Nadal was asked what if Kyrgios could control his temperament and practice more. Nadal responded, “If, if, if does not exist.” What a fabulous response! What exists is what is. As has been said, it’s not what you can do. It’s what you actually do. The rest is a dream. But then again, you can take the first step of living your dream anytime you choose.
There are laws of nature inherent to our world. Different animal species have their natural behaviors. Plants, the movement of planets, the changing of season—all things have their nature. We humans are part of nature. We have our nature. Living life in accord with our nature is what it means to live in harmony with natural law. The idea is that we have certain inalienable rights determined by nature, by natural law. It is considered the responsibility of government to uphold those rights, as is referred to in our Declaration of Independence.
However, there is an opposing philosophy. The idea is that we humans can, and must, overcome our nature. We can think and use our intellect to thereby know better than what our own nature dictates. Katharine Hepburn said to Humphrey Bogart in the movie, The African Queen, something like, “Your nature, sir, is what you are on this earth to overcome.” Sadly, it is considered then, the responsibility of government to overcome our nature, determine what human behavior should be, and to enforce that behavior.
I believe that in a stressed out, unhealthy world, people confuse their nature with their distorted perspectives. When the stresses and strains in the psychophysiology are released, people behave in harmony with their true nature spontaneously. The intellect and government would thereby naturally and spontaneously support living in harmony with nature. Yet, we must keep in mind that we can justify anything with the intellect and do. Until the hearts and minds of the people are free from stress and strain, our beliefs are not consistent with our true nature. At this time, what we feel and think is our nature is really just stress and strain dictating what we believe.
It is not hard to see that we live in a time when judgement, anger, and polarization seem to be in our nature. Peace and harmony is a shared ideal, but it is not what rules. Our world, our nations, our communities, and our associations are plagued with such distortions. We view others through the colored glasses we look through to see the world. That is what we believe. Thus, that is what we create.
I, for one, dedicate my life to creating a world where we live in peace and harmony with nature… our true nature… Mother Nature. In spite of judgement, suspicion, and blame, may we all come together to bring forth such a world for all humanity. It is achievable, but we must look beyond the horizon… beyond the toil and turbulence that dominates so many. Yes, the path to a better world can be painful and challenging. Yet, if we keep a steady hand on the rudder, it is attainable.
Most every photograph I take is from my same bedroom window. How the view touches my heart in the moment determines the time to capture the scene.
Weather, like life, covers a full spectrum of possibilities. Sometimes the sun shines brightly over the beautiful landscape. Sometimes the stormy winds blow.
After each photo is taken, it never seems to adequately convey the personal experience with the feel of the weather against my skin, the scent in the air, the flow of the clouds and the motion of the wind. Yet months later, each photo acts as a portal that carries me through space and time to an appreciation of the moment somehow more poignant than the moment itself.
Perhaps it is all in the context of the greater whole. Perhaps it is when we take a step back to reflect upon the numerous scenes and episodes of life that our experiences gain their deepest meaning.
In my younger years, I did not much care to have a big vocabulary. I felt I could express myself with the words I knew, so why bother with additional words? I have done a total reversal in that regard. A single word can capture the essence of a thought poignantly, while in a paragraph, the essence can slip through the fingers. Particularly in today’s world of the 30-second soundbite, few take the time to dissect a paragraph to find the underlying truth.
“Specious” is one such word. It means plausible, but false. “Specious” conveys a concept seemingly so simple, yet so incredibly profound:
The one thing that is, Consciousness (Oneness), speciously viewed itself as other and the universe manifested.
Based upon conditioning, an individual speciously views the world as they do, and considers it to be “Truth.”
Perspectives are specious, all except inside the Gates of Eden, the Transcendent.
Like most arguments, the law too often pits one specious perspective against another.
Psychotherapy, in a nutshell, can be ideally viewed as the exploration of, and consequential liberation from, one’s specious thoughts and feelings.
Speciousness makes the world go ‘round.
Enlightenment means seeing beyond the specious—in the world, but not of it. “The only true knowing is knowing that you know nothing”… No thing—beyond the specious world of perspective. Wisdom means not being lost to perspective.
There are so many great words. The roots of language reach deep.
Make up any two unrelated words and put them together. Then see that you can make sense out of them. If you want to, make up a title or concept. Think of a few terms that are involved in the subject. Don’t be concerned about making a coherent phrase or sentence out of them. Then put them together. It will make sense in some abstract and probably interesting way. The mind even enjoys connecting such things together.
As a teen, I used to say that Dylan would go down as the greatest poet of the twentieth century. Now, many say that. Interestingly, Dylan himself has said he no longer has that ability. In a way, genius is elusive, even though a person may be brilliant. Also interesting, it has been said that most brilliant works came about like Dylan’s, when the genius was in their twenties or early thirties.
I believe the key to understanding Dylan’s lyrics often is in feeling how the words make you feel… how he must have felt to write them. He captures subtle, elusive, abstract, yet often universal feelings with his words. He makes compelling points not just with reason, but by conveying shades, hues, as well as passions and convictions with the feelings he conveys. That is just my perspective on his genius. I’ve enjoyed going over various lyrics of his in some of our classes.
An example from the first verse of “My Back Pages”:
Crimson flames tied through my ears
Referring to his young idealized ‘crimson’ notions… passions, convictions, and black and white ‘clarity trips’. Dylan starting with the word “crimson” is, in itself, a good example… feeling of noble, god-like, royal, passionate, lofty, superior. Sarcasm is common in his lyrics. It’s source, I believe, is that he conceptualized the Transcendent (for example, his song “Gates of Eden”), but had no clear and direct experience of it. So, the dichotomy of relativity verses the Absolute, the resolution of paradox, eluded him.
Still today, people cling to their clarity-trip, belief system perspectives as truth. Even to the extent that they wage war and devote their lives to them, limited as they are. Life is paradox. It is one thing to understand that intellectually. It is quite another to live it, to be unbounded—free of limitation.
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Realizing now that his thoughts were narrow, belief system traps.
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Referring to how he attacked world events with his perspectives.
Using ideas as my maps
His perspectives led him by the nose.
We’ll meet on edges, soon, said I
Cutting edges of debate, confrontation, etc.
Proud ‘neath heated brow
He was ready to fight proudly for his perspectives.
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now