Category Archives: Personal

Road Less Traveled

I’ve been keeping quiet for a couple of years. Not much blogging, not much facebooking. I suppose the silence began with the confusion of my marriage back in December of 2011. Maybe you remember hearing about that? Or maybe I was even quiet about that too. Anyways, it didn’t last very long. Differences arose within a couple of weeks and the marriage was affective over within 3 weeks. My god what a time that was!!! But life has a way of carrying me; just taking me and doing as it wishes. I also have a way of allowing it to carry me away. So, within a couple of months I found myself in Guatemala, in love once again. Such a tender hearted lad I am. I followed more than I led. But I also tread my own path, studied yoga in proper schools and ashrams: a bit of American yoga and a bit of classical yoga. And then I went on to study acupuncture; perhaps more of an aprenticship than a study; there certainly was not anything formal about it. But that seems to be my path now: acupuncture. There are a lot of stories I’m missing in all of this as I jump ahead to now. Ask me about them sometime. I love telling my stories; many of them involve some sort of magic; they’re lovely stories. In any case I find myself now in Thailand unable to really understand how I got here. It all happened incredibly quick. It’s far to easy to buy a plane ticket these days once an idea comes to me. In a little more than a year I’ve done a kind of world tour when all I really wanted to do was just be in India resting in the comfort of Eden Halt Guest house; an Eden full of delicious mindful soulful fruits.

 But I’m in Thailand now being served rare platters of chance. I’m practicing acupuncture. But more than that. I’m here sharing myself and my knowledge in ways that I did not previous realise as being valuable. The only way to describe what I’m doing is healing. Using the needles and yoga and massage and my stories to help people.

 In a few days I will be going to the mountains here to attempt a miracle. I think we can do it. I’ll be working with others; learning from them as well. Our goal is to get the paralysed ex-champion of Muay Thai boxing walking again; to get him back in the ring; and of course to fight his way back to champion. This can be done. This will be done. I am somehow sure of it. I’ve met too many people who have beaten all the odds and done the impossible to believe anything else. Nothing is impossible. This I know. This I have observed many times. This is my experience.

 So, my friends, pray. Pray for yourselves and those you love. Pray for this lovely earth that we live upon. And believe, believe in more than science and our own limited perspective. Believe in the impossible. Believe in something more than yourself. Be a follower of life and fate and intuition. And know that a time will come when the impossible becomes possible.

Om namah shivaya

Fairy Tales and Letters

Preface:

Dear Brilliantly,

I think I told you this before, back in the beginning…. But Since it fits so well with the end of our conversation last night, I’ll repeat myself. I’ll try to be brief. I kinda feel like the story I’ve been enacting all starts with what you said…

Anyways….

I think it was in 2009….

I became completely fed up with the cycle of love and loss. I had already tried free love and open relationship. They all ended in pain, hurt feelings, broken hearts and spirits. By 2009 I was completely sick of it. You know I deeply I love. How much I give to a relationship.

Maybe it’s not healthy. It’s a kinda of neediness. Perhaps too much attached…. Gratification for a hunger a craving…… Maybe it’s an addiction….. A seeking after something I was never given. Some crazy idea of love that I created while I was huddled in a corner alone as a child. Or yelling at my mother “you don’t love me!.”

Or some such psychoanalytic madness……

But it’s there and been killing me forever: This pattern love….. And loss……

This feeling of not being fully accepted.

Ya, I said feeling. A kind of thought without intellect. But still not a reality. Not really really real….. But the love and the loss both feel real enough.

I get consumed in them.

I’ve seen this for years. I’m sure I never articulated them like this, but inside I’ve known.

I die a new death every time.

I don’t know how it happens…..

….. So anyways, I was telling a story that started in 2009……

Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this to you. I want to ask you not to respond ,just hear it?

It’s a story that keeps repeating itself. But all stories are just a re-telling.

When I was in grade six, Karen Coleman broke my heart at a school dance. My mom found me walking the 12 km home in the dark crying; Crushed. I don’t know how long we sat in the car on the side of the road talking: her trying to calm me down.

It’s been pretty much the same ever since: If I’m not crying because she didn’t accept me, I’m crying because I didn’t have it in me to accept her (a weakness in my concept of universal love that i abhor in myself). They both kill me….

I’ve gone months living fairly austere monkish lives: Studying, practicing, writing, keeping it simple. And then out of no where comes a connection.

Who would have thought we would have met; you and I? You were just there on the same road as me. And we just walked together like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And I want to say we will walk different roads now, but here I am still on the same road as you. I guess it’s just that you don’t want to hold my hand on the road anymore. And this gives me sorrow.

Always the same sorrow so intense; consuming for days. Always the same.

Maybe it’s because of all the moving my family did when I was young. A nomadic heart that idealizes stability.

Oh how I want someone who will always be there. Someone who I can really dedicate my life to.

Or maybe something would be good enough. Some task of duty I could dedicate myself to…..

…..I suppose, when I’m not with someone and not working like crazy, I’m writing…..

Maybe I just go into relationships because I just want to be heard….. I write to be heard, but there’s no audience to my journals. Maybe thats why I was able to sustain my love, my commitment thru four months of e-mails. Maybe all this email correspondence is enough for me.

My craving satisfied with its audience of one.

……..

I started writing this story I’m telling you in my journal. More like a story than this. It’s been going good. My mind is staying on top of it planning it and writing, keeping ahead of myself.

I thank you my audience of one for listening.

I hope you can listen and not comment.

Don’t imagine me frantically writing this. At least no more frantically than I write the mundane facts of my travels in my journal.

But this is the heart of my story….. Of so many stories:

“free love… love… closeness.. intimacy…….. unless i m hundred percent in love ann ready to commit for the rest of my life, it doesnt seem like i have the right to make a move……. cause it always slaps me back”

In your words.

The last words you ever spoke to me.

Dear Brilliantly,

My voice changed in the writing. I hear it. It’s because I changed audience. I wasn’t really writing to you any more. The intimacy got lost. I suppose that’s what makes you a good audience. The whole thing feels a little weird. It creates a little tension for me. I would still prefer if you kept mostly silent……. This tension is good for me. Gives me space to open up in a different way……

I promised you a story a little while ago….. None of this is that story….. That story has been sitting on shelf waiting. My story’s to you are all “once upon a time….” Fairy tales about little boys and girls with hopes and dreams and imaginations…….

I met such a boy once…… But he’d lost track of his dreams……

He was an average boy, nothing special, independent like all the rest, worked hard at hard work. Did the things that had to be done….. And then one day, he found himself on the side of a mountain as far from anywhere as you could get. And he realized, he could not have dreamed of being where he was doing what he was doing. He was absolutely amazed at life: what it presents (and what it withdraws). He’d gone beyond his dreams. It felt like he’d just stumbled his way there. His dreams were no good any more. His dreams had proved no match to his real life. ….. It was a beautiful point in the life of a boy….. Wow…… But suddenly his hopes and dreams and imagination crashed…… Wow….. Double wow……
But carried by the first wow life went on with a boyish charm.

After a while he began to make new dreams: trying this and trying that, but everything was a little out of focus. He needed a challenge; a dream more difficult to surpass in life; something to really strive for.

Not that he really thought about it that way. He probably didn’t think about it much at all; he was just a boy after all…..

But then he started thinking about love and he asked god to reveal it to him.

It happened like this you see. He wandered into the woods and fell in love with a river. She taught him many secrets. When it was time for him to leave she offered him a final secret: that no matter where he looked, he would see her. He would see her as he wanted to see her; as he needed to see her. But everywhere would be her…….

….. This seems a fitting place for my battery to be dying: two stories left open…… The fairy tale will have a happy ending, the other tale has no happy endings; it’s another kind of fairy tale….. Have a good night.

1 October 2013

Dear Light,

It’s good here. Got swept into the thai massage right away. I’m enjoying it and think I’ll likely continue. It’s much harder than I expected…. Which I suppose I should have expected…. 😊

But I feel like massage has something more to teach me…. A way of relating with people thru touch. A way of purifying myself before touching a beautiful woman; before even looking at a beautiful woman. This really just seeing people as they are, all the same, all different, beautiful thriving people regardless of gender, or ability or disability. Just people who want to live more comfortably in their bodies; in their minds.

Feel like I’m trying to put a new life back together. Looking for some new focus. Reaching out to acupuncture and massage for some ground.

Chiang Mai is an easy enough city and I tend to get lucky in finding nice guest houses.

It’s intense: the massage, the healing, all the travelling and heart opening and should searching and just trying to figure it all (something?) out. I’ve been around the world in the last year and most of it went from idea to reality in less than a couple weeks. It sometimes feels like a kind of self punishment. Something in my subconscious trying to shake me up and I’m not listening so it just shakes harder and harder), sometimes i feel like i don’t appreciate what I’ve been able to do and see. All that time in my head and missed it I guess. So much in life gets left behind.

Some people work too much and don t have time to reflect on life; others have too much. Either way it seems true life gets passed by.

The days have felt like years. Two weeks ago feels like a lifetime. Immersed I guess; busy. A whole future laying before me… ….

I wish you beautiful present…. May the moment shine… 😊

xo

Dear Brilliantly,

I feel like I’m caught between two stories and not wanting to go back to either of them just yet. The story is unfolding; the lotus petals opening one by one. But what kind of Lotus is this Pathetic Story? Is there no joy in life?

Of course there joy, but this story is not about all that; joy gets enough publicity on Facebook. But if you look between the lines of every story of heartbreak, there is the story of the hearts fullness; the blossoming of the lotus.

It occurred to me that both my stories are missing any kind of true protagonist. And it’s true, my story does not have any protagonist. I am my own enemy and lover and friend. At times selecting some unwitting person to play a role for me, but I have to take sole responsibility for the script.

Boys in fairy tales can’t act alone though…… So….. A third story…..

…….

Once upon a time there was a girl. She never lost her dreams like the boy, but her dreams were so beautiful that they haunted her. Such dreams as no boy could imagine. And she was no idle dreamer…. She went off in search of her dreams….. Wandering….. Her eyes always open lest she recognize the lull of a dream; some path to her unconscious……

So the boy, who lost his dreams, see’s his darling river everywhere; a dream if I ever heard of one. And the girl with a head full of dreams sees only cold reality.

What it must be like to see your beloved everywhere. Every word singing sweetly upon the ear, every gaze a tantalizing invitation….. Bliss…..

But to have to deal with reality contrasted by such beautiful dreams is quite a different matter. If life were but a dream, she would say to herself. But it wasn’t. Her life did not fit the fairy tale profile. She had to work and make money and find places to live and establish some kind of safety and security over and over again as she searched for her dream. The more she looked the bigger her dreams became, and the further she felt from them. She worried sometime that she might loose her dreams; they were the dearest thing to her heart.

But I don’t want to leave behind the biggest dream of all. This dream that was only too real in the eyes of our boy hero.

……

Once upon a time there was a river. There was nothing special about this river. Just a river that ran its course. She blessed every person equally. She materialises desires for all who ask of her. She engenders absolute faith and trust in her benefice. She is the great mother as all who have ever looked into her life giving waters knows. She is not passive and tamasic like the majestic Himals; she is active and transformative and pure sattvic. SHe is the moons grace to a hot dry land. She is the adhi-shakti, the senior most shakti; she is the original shakti thru whom flows the original stream of desire from which which all desire and all creation and destruction arise. She is senior more of the great rishies who has come to Earth support  and the eldest of the plaides star cluster come to earth

 

….

A Reflection

I’m amazed by a lot of things. But the thing that really amazes me is no matter what kind of mood I’m in, no matter hat the world seems to be hitting me with, a long slow concentrated yoga session can really bring me back to earth and make me feel happy and contented with life. It’s true, no matter what kind of tension I walk in with, I walk out feeling completely relaxed.

I was dumped recently. I packed my bags in the morning (there was only a bag to pack) and took them to my new room and then went off to teach a yoga class. I was miserable, questioning everything, confused, sad, broken hearted. There were about six people. It was maybe my fourth studio class and the first of the weeks classes I was doing. It was nice, I took my time, the whole class was relaxing. By the time I finished guiding them thru bodily awareness of sivasana I was completely relaxed and content with everything in life. I left feeling clean and clear.

A bit of confusion and questioning clouded life for a few days, but I wasn’t terribly upset. I knew that I just had to let it go. On the other hand, I also had to have a good look at the questions before I just let them go. But go they did and then an ennui set in after a few more days. I was still practicing the whole time (not teaching much), and my back has gone out again. Problems problems of the mind. I was setting myself apart. Perhaps I always have. We all do this sometimes, some of us more than others, and perhaps all of us in different ways. We believe ourselves different, separate.

Two clues came to me. The first was “The Little Prince” when the Prince meets the fox who wants to be tamed by the little prince. The Fox talks about how he will then set the Little Prince apart from everyone else, he will become special and unique in the foxes heart. There something both beautiful and deadly about this part of the book.

The second clue came to me the next morning after picking up the Yoga Sutras after about four months of being away from them. Book one talks about the goal and the results of yoga. Book two tells you how to practice yoga. I opened it randomly to book two. I have the penguin classic edition translated and commented on by ….

The Sutra was:

Suffering comes about by ignorance, egotism, attachment, aversion and clinging to bodily security. (Book 2 : 3)

The commentary that followed clearly says: “Egotism or obsession with the idea that one is very distinct or different from the other causes suffering, for this overlooks one’s nature as a purusha, which has the basic characteristics in common with all other purushas.” (Shyam Ranganathan, translation and commentary)

It struck me immediately, this sense of setting myself apart. This is very much what my last blog post was about: setting myself apart with a Rebel Yell.

So then, this is what the ego is: the declaration that “I am different.” Not only am I different and unique (special even) from the rest of nature (the rocks the land the plants the animals), I am unique and special (or at least different) than the rest of humanity. Ignorance is the cloud that causes us to announce this to the world, be it in writing or thru selfish action. Ignorance is believing in the beauty and the primacy of the ego (of our difference, our uniqueness).

So, realising that I was both egotistical and ignorant, I went back to my room and began practicing: some surya namaskaras and other dynamic movements with breathing. I was only pushing about 50%; not pushing at all, just flowing nice and easy. Then I did a few things for my back, a nice easy controlled comfortable cobra and a bit of locust the same, then I slipped back into child’s pose, lengthening my spine and breathing gently into it, opening it, massaging it. And then I began pranayama: bellows breath, fire breath, anuloma viloma. Then I sat creating thoughts, looking at them from different angles and then throwing them out. I got entangled and lost a few times but I was able to find my way back quickly. I did a few rounds of mentally doing anuloma viloma, and then I went to my favourite Buddhist meditation: breathing in joy, breathing out joy; breathing in health, breathing out health…. In and out went the good vibes for about five minutes. It was perfect, beautiful, they just kept coming to me.

The ennui disappeared. I’ve been clear again for the day, and much more sociable. Content and happy, nothing to worry about. In other words it’s been a good day. I’m still looking at all the things I do for myself, my attitude about my uniqueness. This chapter when the prince meets the fox is so beautiful and yet so frightening. To be set apart as special not only in the eyes of others, but in our own eyes is somehow essential in human life, but it’s this separation that causes much of the pain and suffering of human life.

So yes, it’s been a good day, but the questioning and confusion isn’t over.

Action in yoga consists of penance, study (of the Vedas and the self) and surrendering to Ishvara (the lord). [Yoga Sutra. Book 2: 1 Shyam Ranganathan, translation and commentary]

Lost and Confused

This blog is my soap box. Writing is my therapist. I write a lot more than I publish because I feel that whatever I publish should be coherent. This desire for coherence is a product of both my training in university and my cultural upbringing in North America. Things must make sense. Not only should I be able to make sense of things, but I should also make sense to others. This is a very basic rule of communication.

Nothing makes sense to me right now. I have been following a senseless path. I look upon my life without understanding any of it. How did it all lead to here? And, just where is here?

Since I don’t know where I am or how I got here, I really have no idea where I’m going.

Some of you might know that I’m not talking about my physical location, but rather my spiritual energetic place in life.

For a long time I looked at spirituality as an evolution: being in one place while working/striving to be somewhere else. Being ignorant but being on the path of enlightenment. I often saw progress. I saw myself become more calm and not get so caught up with my desires. I even saw some bad habits fade away. I felt pride in this progress: being able to sit for longer periods, pull off more difficult asanas. I felt amazing gratitude and mercy. I saw huge change in my personality, changes in the way I related to people and the way they related to me. In short, I saw spiritual progress. I saw myself doing something and getting somewhere on account of this doing. Or at least I thought I did.

Now, I don’t know. In time everything changes anyways. I’m not sure if I’ve really done anything or gotten anywhere. I feel now as though nothing has changed inside; my ego has merely put on a new coat; the coat of a seeker, the coat of a yogi, the coat of someone who knows something.

I’m still full of pride and jealousy. My love still finds satisfaction in being acknowledged with love. My heart still breaks. I’m still blind in a million different ways. I still can’t relate with my brother, I still smoke, I still feel drama and pain and suffering over the smallest things.

I’ve turned my back on so many people in my search for spirit, and for a community of like minded people. But far too often I find that the like-minded people I meet are just as petty and judgmental as myself, and much more so than many of those I turned my back on. One thing I’ve discovered time and time again, is that consciousness communities are extremely judgmental. I’m ashamed for my own desire to fit in. I’m ashamed for wondering when they were going to discover that I wasn’t at all “connected,” that I had no psychic powers, that meditation, for me, is no more than sitting and struggling with my thoughts and with myself and with…. with the struggle itself.

I’ve read a lot of books about yoga, psychology, philosophy and consciousness, but I don’t know if I’ve ever actually felt any of what they say a conscious person should feel. Maybe I have…. or maybe not. In any case, I don’t see any progress. If anything, I’m more confused now than I’ve ever been. Some people tell me this is progress. But also, I’m tired of trying to make progress. I’m tired of trying. I’m just tired.

None of it makes any sense to me anymore: the seeking, the thinking, the feeling, the letting go, the holding on, the practice. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I’ve followed the rules. I’ve broken the rules. I’ve loved with all my heart only to have it all turn cold over night. If this only happened once I could pass it off as an exception, but it seems to be the rule for me. It’s all too much.

I come up with reasons to do something and then set off to do it only to discover that all the reasons I’d come up with were not the reasons at all. I don’t know the reason for anything. It’s all a confusion; a complete muddle in my mind.

Prayer

This morning, as I watched the clouds lifting ever so slowly from the mountaintops I began to pray:

“Please God…. Dear Lord, please have mercy. Carry me gently across this bridge. Please give me the insight Grant me the….

Help me….

Please Lord, grant me thy grace.”

And the moment I asked for grace the prayer changed; my whole thinking changed:

“Thank you god. Thank you for they grace. Thank you for your light which is always in the darkness. Thank you oh lord! Thank you for guiding me across this perilous bridge gently and with grace. I am your perfection…complete….whole. Thank you.”