Quicksand, Meritocracy, and David Axelrod What seems to be missing from the conversations and barrage of news stories, infographics, videos, podcasts, and opinion pieces is a willful act of breaking down barriers of separateness. Instead we have to individually and collectively make effort, in the spirit of generosity and collaboration, through acknowledging our common desire to know and understand ourselves and our surroundings, but also acting beyond the desire to be right.
Matchstick houses, and Jimi Hendrix The fulcrum upon which the axis of dignity and equity rests
cannot be turned by the actions of only one person. Our minds tend to weave a story
wherein we are the central figure.
In this narrative, everything we do, think, and say
is a product of our own making and
ultimately adds up to something big
- a someone.
For operating purposes,
this collection of shoulds and shouldn'ts,
would or wouldn't,
past and future images
The Sword Of Damocles, and Earth, Wind, & Fire Blessing or a curse, the choice is ours how we will collectively face the trials of our time here on Earth. Endowed with an incredible aptitude for creating categories and names, we have sorted and segregated all aspects of the human experience. Whether we attribute this to the long slow process of evolutionary biology taking tiny pieces of proteins and turning them into self-aware repositories for collective cellular memory, or
Rivers, Vairagya, and Fear Itself Want to see how powerful a river can be? Go look at the Grand Canyon some day. Just as in a river, in life there is a current that pulls and moves all things from beneath the surface. What we observe up above on the surface is not an adequate reflection of the deeper nature. We cannot help but draw conclusions from appearances; we have a biological system that survived because we could anticipate threats and quickly adapt to changes. Our whol
Ask for what you need, and Nolan Porter What in life has certainty
enough to allay the darkness of fear?
Ask the flowers if they know how long
the sweetness of their nectar will last.
Ask the birds how they know
their wings can catch the air,
and whether they trust the wind
to carry them towards the destination they have in mind.
What in life is precise
enough to predict accurately what will happen next?
Ask the waves if they ever break the same way
when they find themselves
Look into someone's eyes this week, and Tim Hollier All eyes that meet our own have the richness and depth of the entire cosmos within them. Whether belonging to us or to some other form of life, the life that lives behind those eyes is animated by the same presence. In a look, words unspoken penetrate the veneer of mind-made confusion that clouds our waking life. If we could rest our gaze in stillness, and peer into the openness of what lives within us, we might hear a voice
Offering and Dr. Alimantado In this unprecedented time of instant access and communication, and purposeful distance, it is hard to understand how to orient as the concept of "normal" slips further into obscurity. We have the capacity to wave goodbye to what was, and welcome and be curious about what is coming. We can find our way through the challenges of today by remaining open and available to what is present, by awakening our awareness through compassion, diligent effort,
Uncertainty, War, and Curtis Mayfield Uncertainty a hulking figure
Looming and unwavering
Obscuring future horizons
Lonely, listless, and lacking self-worth
Salt the wounds
Shout at the walls
"Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven"
Rue the day and curse the night
Dry tears sopped up by coming dawn
Plans, and plans of plans fail
Expectations unmet are seeds
of future conflict and resentment
Waves upon waves of sadness
Bids us to grieve what has gone
But also what n
Courage, and Ripple Rejoice! We have been given the chance to return our senses to the gradual and unhurried pace at which life itself moves. Our modern ideal of break-neck, fire-wire, ultra-high speed bit rate productivity has been interrupted by the forces of nature upon which all life depends. The same forces that gave rise to atomic forces, gave rise to the presence of biological life, and with it viruses. As much as some enjoy laying blame and pointing fingers through sp
Conversation with the Cosmos, Black Sabbath I sit and become quiet, hoping to enter a one-sided conversation with the cosmos. Aware of a cloud frenetic anxiety pouring out from all over the world. In the silence of my own heart I hear, "Listen and listen well little friend. I see your heart, as my own, alive and in the rhythm of every cell and season. Can you hear your kin, sick and afraid, clinging to the wind? Tell them that joy and sorrow are not separate, and that grief i
Social distancing is a gift. Talking Heads Take heart my friend,
The forces of nature move us all regardless of where we find ourselves on this planet. For our limited time here, we are meant to experience the full range of our humanness from uncontained joy to immeasurable sorrow. The recent development of the global health crisis we face collectively has set the stage for a level of vulnerability and interdependence the likes of which we have never seen. We have the opport
Our distorted view is a gift. Black Heat. Our distorted view is a gift. The cosmos enrobed in flesh and blood, a living, breathing, walking, talking microcosm. A perfect trap for awareness to fall into forgetful sleep; slowly weaving the container into dense self-reflective identity, only to wake itself up again. Thoughts and feelings whiz by like quarks and leptons, invisible to the naked eye. A soundless wind sings stories of generations echoed across space and time; wisdom
As They Are, Judgements, and Lebrón Brothers Call upon the wisdom within, dear friend.
Take things as they are. This is the essence of the wisdom traditions from all over the world. Pared down. No frills. No pomp or pageantry. Devoid of metaphysical, or mystical, or mythical language. Without the concepts that are so laden with baggage, and suffering, and human created schemes of separateness, what exists is wordless and complete. Yet human beings are compelled to struggle, a
Tree Wisdom, and St. John Green May we be courageous enough to listen, Dignity flows through life, it's preciousness and value are inherent. Human beings have become so disconnected with this basic principle of life that we are in dire need of a reminder. We have the capacity to connect with the cosmic breath that is breathing us all, but fear the implications. We helplessly cling to those external wrappings that seek to replace the value we have denied to ourselves. From lac
Snow, anxiety, Surangama Sutra, Soulful Illusion When we look at the horizon, where does the sky stop and the world begin? Just as mountain and valley are one so are individual and the world that surrounds them. The deep identification with separateness we carry colors our experience of this world. The way we have formed this world, our relationships, our sense of belonging and place are all deeply rooted in struggle and separation in ways we are not always aware of. The wall
Waves, The Fool waves crashing against a rock, none identical, moments never repeated. lifeless structures cut the wind pillars of humans desire; balk the impermanent nature of existence. grandest fantasies power struggles alienation and species chauvinism hearts hardened by walls of separateness begin to thaw in awe. cosmic dance moves silently playing all the parts, the stage, the curtains, the lights the audience, the gum on the floor, the spider and their web. the early b
Gratitude, Sri Ramana Maharshi, and The Paupers We are here to make each other's lives better. It is so easy to forget, and strive for personal satisfaction. The nature of existence is that everything exists in relation to everything else; nothing exists solely for itself. Seeking gratification or living solely to quench the thirst of desires through external experiences or material conditions, the Buddha identified, is the axis around which our craving surrounds us, and this
100 seconds to Midnight, Peace, and Mandrake Memorial Allow me to make an assumption about you dear reader, that neither of us is interested in seeing our world end any time soon. To be clear, and to signal without dread, we are approaching the darkest part of night despite the day. The "Doomsday Clock" has been set to 100 seconds before Midnight; cue disheveled person holding cardboard placard that reads, "The End is Nigh." Those of us waking up at this late hour must utiliz
Mystery, Tao Te Ching, and Sweetwater Oh wordless well of wisdom, Let us drink and fill our reserves. We are thirsty beyond our own knowing. We seek to satisfy our desires, In blood, in lust, in ephemeral sense pleasures. Parched and desiccated, Tears choked by grief unable to flow. There is a mystery at the heart of existence, Open and unconditioned by time, Out of which all things come, Into which all things return. This is the axis upon which the whole cosmos turns. Our li
Beyond anthropocentrism, and James Gang Well met, dear friend! Those of us who live today have the difficult task of using our intelligence to search out new ways of approaching old conflicts and struggles. We have a long list of historically dubious claims to contend with; some beings are of more value than others, only certain beings are able to enjoy life without inordinate discomfort, the natural world is not as alive as humans are, and other such nonsensical ideas. We ar