Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Six Flights

Name that country?
Name that country? Fun to do six flights in two days--magic. Final leg from Paris. Cool to look at the sale horse in Hungary and see the students I taught. Flight time is awesome for sitting with life and digesting. Two hour walk inside the airport was so simple. As I continue to read spiritual material, I see that I am not an alien, just getting to know ancient, spiritual wisdom and the truth of who I am! A place to live was just located with horses, dogs, cats, and chickens, plus in the country. Schedule for seeing friends and family fell together. Horse is responding to treatment. Working on final cover with Takao.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cellophane Wrapper

Mother Teresa's Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Congratulations to Mother Teresa who is going to be recognized as a Saint!

Resting right on the side of a busy road.

When the personal experience overlaps with the book learning or theoretical teachings is quite remarkable. The idea of being a hollow flute--how would that really work? I can better understand how when the separation between the three states of being is diminished, add a container without borders full of Love, and remove attachments, one could become an instrument without obstruction. It feels like living as a cellophane wrapper.

Parting advise, "Live from my heart as the guide."  The inner flame is burning brightly, now to step out of the incubator.

An insightful article was sent to me. Women as property. It is the piece I sense as lack of respect, but I wouldn't have been able to identify it as property. Wasn't raised with any ideology around this view. It is the common thread of slavery, sex trade, etc. Insight from the outer world.

Norway Offers Migrants a Lesson in How to Treat Women

A pioneering program seeks to combat sexual violence by helping new immigrants adapt to a society whose sexual norms they may find confusing.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Male Dominance

"All living beings desire to be happy always, without any misery. In everyone there is observed supreme love for oneself. And happiness alone is the cause of love. In order for therefore, to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep, where there is no mind, one should know oneself.  To achieve this, the Path of Knowledge, the enquiry in the form of "Who am I ?", is the principal means."

                                 Bhagavad Sri Ramana Maharshi

A big part of my spiritual journey has been to understand myself and humanity. A lot of ground has been covered, but I still trip over the male dominance factor in India on a daily basis. I recently, for the first time, had to flag down a passing car for help because 6 young Indian men wouldn't back off. Usually rocks or a stick is enough, but it wasn't in this case. I see how the group mentality also is more inflaming and why gang rape is a concern. (It is tragic that the Indian courts are letting the one "under aged" contributor to the horrific gang rape in Delhi, where the woman was left with her intestines outside her body and left for dead with her fiancee, is allowed to walk free.)

While walking, I am working on integrating my inner work with my outer walk, so when I have someone try to touch me, say sexually inappropriate comments, or on and on, it often takes me by surprise. It is more of an issue in India then anywhere else I have lived and traveled. I am sure it is worse other places, but this is my touchstone.

With the inner changes from my spiritual transformation, I would like to toss this stone out of my sack once and for all. This doesn't mean that I still don't have to be careful and fall by physical rules (I will be bringing pepper spray to carry with me the next time I am walking in India), but I am tired of carrying it as such a mental disturbance. I don't want them winning by being in my head so much! Over the recent years, I know my way to resolve conflict is to study it, go inward, and energetically let go of it. It was a very intense few days of meditation and self inquiry, but I think a new state of balance has been reached. The article below cleared up a lot of basic information. As one of my doctor friends said, they should be handing out estrogen pills to the young men.

It is yet another remarkable exercise for me. Gurudev had made the comment that the only lasting way for peace (we were discussing world peace) is to change people's hearts, so all I can do is start with my own. As always, the outer world driving one to go inward. The spiritual heart is the only portal to a stable refuge.

The ashram without Gurudev for a few days is also a teaching. The structure and vibration is refreshing, but what happens when he is not present, one starts to see the degrading effects of people who are on the path, but none of us are close to where Gurudev resides. A wonderful teaching as well and I why I come to learn from such a remarkable Master. Pranam to it all.

It has been an intense four months. I am looking forward to returning to California with its random gun violence, but not the day-to-day abrasion of population, pollution, and poverty. I am very, very fortunate to have options. Time to see how the work integrates into the western sphere. I will be diving into the world of the wealthy as a stark contrast. Nador is healing and waiting as well.

***The 5 Hidden Reasons Men Become Violent and What We Can Do to Make the World Safer
October 5, 2013 By JedDiamond

Each time there is another outbreak of violence we focus our attention on things like gun control, treatment for mental illness, and how video-games, the movies, and the media contribute to the problem.  It’s important that we have a general dialogue about violence, what causes it, and how to prevent it.  But I believe it’s also important to talk about men and violence.  Of course it’s true that women can become violent and can contribute to the general culture of violence, but in many ways violence is a men’s issue.  It probably won’t surprise you to know that more men than women perpetrate violence.  But it may surprise you to know that men are also more likely to be the victims of violence.
Let’s look more deeply at violence.  According to the World Health Organization, there are three types of violence that are all inter-related:
*  Self-directed violence includes suicidal behavior and personal harm such as self-mutilation.
*  Interpersonal violence is divided into two categories:
Family and intimate partner violence—That is, violence largely between family members and intimate partners, usually, though not exclusively, taking place in the home.
Community violence—Violence between individuals who are unrelated, and who may or may not know each other, generally taking place outside the home.
*  Collective violence is the instrumental use of killing by people who identify themselves as members of a group against another group or set of individuals, in order to achieve political, economic or social objectives.  Collective violence takes a number of forms including:  armed conflicts within or between nations, genocide (the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group), terrorism, and organized violent crime.
Clearly men are involved, both as perpetrators and victims of all three of these kinds of violence.  Although violence towards others captures our attention, suicide takes the lives of more people than are killed in all forms of interpersonal violence.    “There are more than one million people who die by suicide each year in the world, which is more people than those who die from war, terrorist attacks and homicides every year. So more people kill themselves than are killed by other people,” says Lanny Berman, Ph.D., president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).  Further, world-wide, males kill themselves 4 times more often than females and in the U.S. the suicide rate for males is 4 to 18 times higher than it is for females, increasing dramatically with age.
Let’s take a look at the five hidden factors that contribute to male violence.
1.  The Male Brain is Not Wired for Empathy
At its core, violence is a failure to empathize.   Empathizing is the drive to identify another person’s emotions and thoughts and to respond to them with an appropriate emotion.  Violent men see themselves or others as objects rather than human beings.  As philosopher Martin Buber would say, violent people see the world as I-It rather than I-Thou. Simon Baron-Cohen is one of the world’s experts on violence.  In his book, The Science of Evil:  On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty he says, “When our empathy is switched off, we are solely in the ‘I’ mode.  In such a state we relate only to things or to people as if they were just things.”
Although most men are able to empathize with others and would never kill another human being, it’s more difficult for most men to empathize than it is for women.  Why is that so?  Research shows that our brains are more wired for systemizing than for empathizing.  In his book, The Essential Difference:  The Truth about the Male & Female Brain, Baron-Cohen says, “The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy.  The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems.”
Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Male Brain says that there are two emotional systems in the brain that connect us to people.  Women’s brain structure makes it easier for them to empathize.  The male brain makes it easier to solve problems.  Her team of researchers found that the male-type brain “keeps a firm boundary between emotions of the ‘self’ and the ‘other.’  This prevents men’s thought processes from being infected by other people’s emotions, which strengthens their ability to cognitively and analytically find a solution.”
Have you noticed the frustration many women feel when they share their hurts and pain with a man? He immediately locks into the problem-solving mode before he has taken time to listen closely and empathically to her.  When she talks to a girlfriend, she may get a lot more empathy, but much less problem-solving help.
Antidote for Low Empathy:  All men can learn to become more empathic.  Put yourself in the place of the other person.  Listen for feelings first.   Resist your initial desire to problem solve.
2. Males Have Higher Levels of Testosterone
Theresa Crenshaw, M.D. is one of the world’s leading experts on how hormones influence our behavior.  “Testosterone is a steroid hormone manufactured in the testicles, ovaries, and adrenals,” she says. “It is a predominantly male sex hormone that women have too, although in much smaller amounts.  In fact, after pubertymen have about 8 to 10 times more of it than women.”
She offers a colorful description of the personality of testosterone:  “Testosterone is the young Marlon Brando—sexual, sensual, alluring, dark, with a dangerous undertone.  Testosterone is responsible for our aggressive sex drive.  It is also our ‘warmone,’ triggering aggression, competitiveness, and even violence.”
Like most things in life, testosterone levels vary in men (and women).  Our average testosterone level is inherited from our parents, but physical and social conditions produce changes around this average level.  Testosterone levels are related to criminality and violence.  James Dabbs, Ph.D. is one of the world’s experts on testosterone.  In his book Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers:  Testosterone and Behavior, he says, “While there is no direct tie between testosterone and human criminality, there is an indirect tie.  Testosterone leads toward violence, and violence is often criminal.”
Dabbs studied 4,462 men and found that “the overall picture among the high-testosterone men is one of delinquency, substance abuse and a tendency toward excess.” These high-T men, which made up about 10% of the sample, “have more trouble with people like teachers while they are growing up, have more sexual partners, are more likely to have gone AWOL in the service and to have used hard drugs, particularly if they had poor educations and low incomes.” A separate study by Dabbs of young male prison inmates found that high testosterone levels were associated with more violent crimes, parole board decisions against release, and more prison rule violations. Even in women, Dabbs found, high testosterone levels were related to crimes of unprovoked violence, increased numbers of prior charges, and decisions against parole.
Antidote for High Testosterone:   Strengthen family ties and encourage fathers to stay involved with their children.  Delinquent behavior is more common among children raised with absent fathers.  Dabbs wife Mary, a fellow researcher, reflected on their years studying testosterone:  “It’s ‘guystuff,’ and guystuff seems to be about building stuff, fixing stuff, and blowing stuff up.”  She concluded that it’s the job of parents to encourage the building and fixing, and discourage the blowing up.
3.  Males Generate Lower Levels of Oxytocin
Research scientist Paul Zak, Ph.D. feels that the hormone oxytocin may be the key to much that is good in relationships.  In his book, The Moral Molecule:  The Source of Love and Prosperity he says, “Beginning in 2001, my colleagues and I conducted a number of experiments showing that when someone’s level of oxytocin goes up, he or she responds more generously and caringly, even with complete strangers.”
He found that not only did oxytocin make people friendlier, more empathic, and more trusting, but it also stimulated the release of other hormones that improved the quality of their relationships.  “When a positive social stimulus prompts the release of oxytocin, the Moral Molecule in turn triggers the release of two other feel-good neurotransmitters:  dopamine and serotonin.  Serotonin reduces anxiety and has a positive effect on mood.  Dopamine is associated with goal-directed behaviors, drive, and reinforcement learning.  It motivates creatures to seek things that are rewarding and it makes it feel good to keep doing those things.”
Oxytocin generates the empathy that drives moral behavior, which inspires trust, which causes the release of more oxytocin, which creates more empathy.  “This is the behavioral feedback loop,” says Zak, “we call the virtuous cycle.”  But oxytocin doesn’t seem to be an equal opportunity hormone.  It evolved in women to help with child birth, breastfeeding and bonding and is not as available in men as it is in women.
Testosterone also blocks the effect of oxytocin, and as we know, guys have much higher levels of testosterone.  Shelley Taylor, Ph.D, is a world-renowned expert on stress and health.  In her book The Tending Instinct, she suggests that the difference in oxytocin release in men and women accounts for women’s greater willingness to reach out for others when they are under stress (what she calls “tending and befriending”) rather than the male reaction of “fight or flight.”
Antidote for Low Oxytocin:   Fortunately oxytocin can be raised relatively easily.  Two of the best I know are to get a good massage regularly (I have been getting a massage every other week for the last ten years) and being willing to trust others instead of being defensive and fearful.   Zack found that those who got a massage had a 9% increase in their oxytocin levels.  But when people got a massage and also increased their bonds of trust, their oxytocin levels rose 243%.
4.  Males Have Fewer Friends Than Females
I conduct workshops on health and well-being for men and women all over the world.  I’ll often ask the women in the audience, “How many of you have three or more close friends that you confide in and you reach out to in time of need?”  Most all the women raise their hands.  When I poll the men in the audience, almost no men raise their hands.  At most men will have one close friend.  Often it’s their spouse.  If problems arise in the relationship, most men are left completely on their own.
The great friendships recorded in history have been between men, and friendships among men have often been romanticized and idealized. Men’s friendships have typically been described in terms of bravery and physical sacrifice in providing assistance to others. But rarely do these historical accounts celebrate interpersonal relationships characterized by closeness and compassion for other men.  Gender researcher R.R. Bell says, “This has been so because masculine values have made those kinds of feelings inappropriate and highly suspect–they were unmanly.”
Despite the romantic view of the male friendship, researchers have found that men have significantly fewer friends than women, especially close friendships or best friends.  Instead men often have “activity friends” such as a weekly tennis partner or drinking buddy.  The friendship is often based on the exchange of favors rather than emotional support.  Men often are able to advance their careers with these kinds of friendships, but they fall short of what most of us need.  As a result many men feel isolated and angry.
Herb Goldberg, Ph.D. expressed the dilemma many men face in his book The Hazards of Being Male:  Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege:  “The male has paid a heavy price for his masculine ‘privilege’ and power.  He is out of touch with his emotions and his body.  He is playing by the rules of the male game plan and with lemming-like purpose he is destroying himself—emotionally, psychologically and physically.”
Men are often cut off from the healing value of friendship and the problem gets worse as we age.  Men tend to become more isolated as we age.   Studies show that far more men than women had trouble trusting and reaching out for help from others, including health care professionals.  A postmortem report on a 60-year-old man who had committed suicide said:  “He did not have friends…He did not feel comfortable with other men…he did not trust doctors and would not seek help even though he was aware that  he needed help.”
Cut off from others and experiencing increasing inner pain, men often become depressed.  In the research I did for my book, The Irritable Male Syndrome:  Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Aggression and Depression, I found that men have much higher suicide rates than women do and that suicide rates increase dramatically as men age.  Men between the ages of 65 and 85 killed themselves almost 10 times more frequently than did women of the same age.  Further, unlike women, men often “act out” their depression and become more aggressive and sometimes violent.  The comedian Elayne Boosler captured these male/female differences when she observed, “When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.”
Antidote for Lack of Friends:   It might seem obvious that men need to have more close friends.  But it isn’t easy developing new friendships, particularly as we get older.  But it may be the most important thing we can do.  I joined a men’s group in my late 30s after my first wife and I divorced.  My group has been meeting now for more than 33 years.  I started another men’s group recently.  I see it as the best form of health and life insurance.
5.  Men React More Violently to Shame Than Women.
We’ve all experienced shame in our lives.  We feel small and vulnerable.  We want to disappear.  “Shame,” says author Merle Fossum, “is feeling alone in the pit of unworthiness.”  He describes shame as being much more deeply rooted than most people believe.  “Shame is not just a low reading on the thermometer of self-esteem.  Shame is something like cancer—it grows on its own momentum.”
Both shame and guilt are ways in which people experience feeling bad.  Yet the two are quite different.  Guilt involves feeling bad about what we do or fail to do.  Shame is feeling bad about who we are, about our very being.  I’ve found that men and women often experience shame differently.  Women are more ashamed of their bodies, while men are more ashamed of their feelings or how they are perceived by others.  Also, women are generally more aware of their feelings of shame.  Men deny their experience of shame and hide it from themselves and others.
Most of us smile when we remember the nursery rhyme describing the essence of masculine and feminine.  “Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.  Little boys are made of snips of snails and puppy-dogs tails.”  But think what that tells us about who we are.  I think most males grow up feeling that there is something inherently bad about us and that there is something inherently good about females.  It may help account for men who act superior and put women down.  We hunger to feel good inside, but afraid we can never be anything but damaged goods.  We want to be loved and respected for who we are, but feel our only hope is to achieve outward success in the world.  But no matter how much we achieve, we never feel completely worthy.
James Gilligan, M.D. is the former director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School.  He has spent his professional career working with violent men and his books, Violence:  Our Deadly Epidemic and Its Causes, Preventing Violence:  Prospects for Tomorrow, and Some Politicians Are More Dangerous Than Others, help us better understand the relationship between men, shame, and violence.
When we hear about some particularly violent crime committed by a man, we are often mystified by what may have caused it.  After working with thousands of violent men, Gilligan was able to get to the core cause.  “I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed and humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed, and that did not represent the attempt to prevent or undo that ‘loss of face’—no matter how severe the punishment, even if it includes death.”
Men crave respect and can become violent when they feel put down.  “The prison inmates I work with have told me repeatedly, when I asked them why they had assaulted someone,” says Gilligan, “that it was because ‘he disrespected me.’  The word ‘disrespect’ is so central in the vocabulary, moral value system, and psychodynamics of these chronically violent men that they have abbreviated it into the slang term, ‘he dissed me.’”
Antidote for Shame:   I’ve found that one of the first steps we can take in addressing shame is to accept it ourselves rather than denying it.  Shame thrives in darkness and decreases when we shine the light of awareness on it.  Gilligan says that violent men (and all men to some degree) have a carefully guarded secret about shame, that most would literally rather die than reveal.  “The secret is that they feel ashamed—deeply ashamed, chronically ashamed, acutely ashamed, over matters that are so trivial that their very triviality makes it even more shameful to feel ashamed about them, so they are ashamed even to reveal what shames them.”  We then need to be able to talk about our feelings of shame with a trusted friend, family member, or therapist.  Also, we can all notice ways in which men are disrespected in society—jokes, media portrayals, cutting remarks and put-downs.
In one survey, men and women were asked what they were afraid most afraid of. Women responded that they were most afraid of being raped and murdered.  Men responded that they were most afraid of being laughed at.  We now know that these two fears are related.  If we are going to reduce violence, we need to increase our respect for every human being on the planet and that starts with respecting those closest to us:  Our mates, our children, and ourselves.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share a comment or question below. You can also follow me on Twitter for an ongoing conversation: @MenAliveNow

Sunday, December 13, 2015

True Self As Observed By A Scientist

Observations for staying connected consciously:

Being: Inner knowing without thought.
           Knowing with thought (thought is considered the beginning of form).

Doing: Knowing with action.

Observations of life cycle:

Born into a body

At some point depending on grace and destiny, one’ starts to become aware of one’s True Self as the Nature of Divinity, Absolute Love.

Stabilization in Absolute Love through some facet or combination of knowing, devotion, and/or service.

Liberation is knowing one’s True Self as Absolute Love. Knowing love from the perspective of Divinity instead of the human perspective. Human love has limits. Divine love is boundless, unconditional, universal, and devoid of attachment/suffering.

Newly paved road.
The self assigned homework of living from my growing but limited perspective of the vibration of Divinity has led me to this point. Fact checking brought up a great point by Gurudev, “How could one know how to love without being love first?”

I would like to be running and jumping around the ashram’s courtyard tree, but I will contain myself and just be internally grateful and ecstatic to understand and experience what I have been learning in the spiritual intensive in India. How would one ever hope to achieve this in a stable way without knowing someone who lives from this place? Pranam with my forehead on the ground for a month might be a reasonable start as a thank you! I wasn’t sure I could get through the fact check without tears, because of the beauty and freedom initiated by this new awareness.

Plenty of homework, but I better understand that my path to this realization has been through knowing, but I see examples of the beauty of service and devotion from people in the ashram. Love from the new perspective is inclusive. The limitless nature and that it isn’t personal changes the need for exclusion. Well, there are plenty of books on all this stuff and written by much more articulate people, so I will leave it at that for now. In awe of this new awareness is an understatement. The mind is speechless, but the ego isn’t feeling anxious about being downsized. Grateful to have a week with all of this before stepping away from the incubator.

All of my teachers.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Openings and organized rock collections
It is as if you get to touch the sensory system below the nervous system while wide awake. Mine is thirsty and would like me to stay to drink for a long time in this very still, peaceful pool. The challenge is coming back out, all sounds are super exaggerated, and the nervous system is triggered by the sound sensitivity. Is it worth it--absolutely. Something at great depth is satiated like a good nights sleep while conscious. The mystery of it all.

I can better understand how renunciation (conceptual or literal) helps to get to this inner place and how it is supported as a result of this inner state. Chicken or the egg...

How the perception of the outer world is effected by the scaffolding removal is equally fun! I keep reflecting on the movie "The Matrix" and appreciating its' story line.

Special rock collections
Functional rock collections

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Turning Point

Starting point
My second day in India, where I sat alone at the ashram before the group arrived. When I was invited to come in and sit in front of the Pahari Baba picture. Where I shed tears from a depth that I hadn't known before for someone who I didn't know I knew. Turning points in one's life that are part of the hidden mystery. The depth of vibration and tears are always present now as a guiding resonance to have awareness in my spiritual heart as I continue to walk on the planet. It feels as if the work of the discovery has now moved to the work of keeping it from becoming obscured.

Homework for living in inner peace:
1. Don’t let the ego hi-jack the mind into unconsciousness.
2. Live without separation in the awareness of the inner vibration of Source (Absolute Love and Truth).

(Of course, easier said then done.)

How appropriate to celebrate this transition through finalizing the book "My Horse, My Heart, My Soul". As I sit with the depth and width of all the seven interviewee's journeys, it is astounding and a privilege to have been part of sharing their knowledge and wisdom. I double checked with Gurudev that I am not in some unknown violation for acknowledging him and sharing part of my spiritual journey, which inspired the book--the response was laugher and a return to his newspaper. Soon to be two books later, how to ever thank Takao for his steadfast editing and beautiful creativity that brings it into the light as a polished gem.

Outer walks. If I carry a stick, rocks, or walk with a man, I never get touched or approached inappropriately. After four years, I finally asked Gurudev if there something else I should be doing, but he was laughing about the length of stick I was experimenting with and said not to worry about it. I am meeting some lovely people too as I have shared before. As I sit with the world violence, the crazy presidential race in the U.S., the gun violence at home, and my small contact to violation while walking, I have to also except this as part of the journey and remove my expectations. Respect that prevention and action are both part of the whole and keep returning to the point of inner peace that is growing as a place of stability.

Friday, December 4, 2015


A new park is going in where the plants are now.

If I were to set up an altar these would be the current contents for inspiration, growth, and stability:

1. blade of grass-humility and simplicity.

2. tree-stillness and acceptance.

3. animals sleeping by the side of the road on my walks-depth of surrender and meditation.

4. horses--where I practice all that I learn, besides my daily life.

5. Ramakrishna-unifying all religions by practice and living as a pure human.

6. Sarada Devi-walking the talk of womanhood as a spiritual householder and Holy Mother.

7. Pahara Baba-providing the bridge between my living and spiritual world.

8. Gurudev-walking the talk as a living example of realization in a body.

My current spiritual approach/practice list was approved and with the added comments, "Listening and focusing on the inner vibration of the Divine Group, can be practiced anywhere in the world--not just in India or in the ashram. It will not be heard when the mind wanders outwardly."

Okay, so an indefinite homework assignment. Head nod on my attempt to take my inner meditation practice into my daily walks. I see more clearly how the ashram and Gurudev/Divine Group creates a mega-incubator where I come and go while developing and stabilizing the inner state. Sometimes my walk is in India and sometimes my walk is on the other side of the globe. Pranam.

Having no expectations is my current mantra for keeping my mind un-busy from developing stories.

Other side of the park looking towards where I live.
It is going to be big.
Construction has started with bringing dirt in and building a wall.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Obstacle and Vehicle

Observing myself as both the obstacle and the vehicle while on the path. What a perfect design for the human evolution/insanity plan. The two bucket system just moved completely within my own design. I was looking at what stones to examine and discard from my net when this awareness evolved. I cannot throw out everything as the vehicle. I do remember Gurudev mentioning that we do need the body for this work.

Noticing the moment thought is engaging—separation from Oneness begins. I think I finally understand that the mind isn't the problem, it is what it does when it starts making judgements, comparisons, having unnecessary opinions and so on. Experiencing a thoughtless mind has allowed for this new perspective.

On my walk today, I was working with "disinterested love" (new word combination from the Sri Sarada Devi book I am currently reading) and being immersed in compassion in the most authentic way I know at this point. The peace and liberation came from the quiet mind. I could still think, observe, and so on, but the work from meditating gives me a new leash to work with. This is so fun!!

Plenty of homework!

Precious moments out and about:

As I came around the corner, I saw a man sitting with a pile of bright yellow food that was left on the side of the road for the animals at large. He was enjoying the food and was talking while eating. Who is to say that he isn’t some totally immersed renunciate thanking the Divine for the presence of food and abundance. Man side judgement or Divine side judgement? On my way back on the walk, the cows and birds were happily feeding from the same food pile, but the man was gone. 

Two little girls, no taller then the back of the human cart, were pushing their father or grandfather down the side of the road. We smiled at one another and I was walking with the heart touching moment when I looked up, a motorized rickshaw driver had his right foot out his side-door pushing the human cart down the road, the two girls were seated inside, and waving out the back to me as they zoomed by. Sweet!

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Holy Mother

Photos copied from a book (see below for ordering information). Holy Mother.
Sri Sarada Devi (a modern Madonna)
Spiritual partner and wife of Ramakrishna
Being a woman or man has a list of challenges. As I look at compassion and forgiveness at new levels, I still see the world wide challenges for a woman objectified as a sex object, child bearer, house attendant, and the list continues. What is the root of the feminine nature and when was it held with respect, healthy adoration, and purity as a vessel for birthing mankind? Has there been someone who exemplifies this?

As women in the modern age, most of these points are compromised and become bargaining chips for survival or keeping some level of safety, security, or personal space. No doubt, there is a lot of disturbance in the outer world, but was there someone who could walk the talk at some point—a modern Madonna? Shri Sarada Devi, The Holy Mother, appears to fill this role. She was married to Ramakrishna, served him, and following his passing, her spiritual capacity blossomed to support the growing evolution of the Ramakrishna’s Order, as well as her own spiritual community. She viewed all the people of the world as her children. Simple, but what a clear and uncomplicated way to remove yet another point of separation. Ramakrishna was unique in his devotion to the spiritual Mother and the Holy Mother throughout his lifetime and walked the talk through his respect for the women of his time. Shri Sarada Devi was considered a ground breaker for her encouragement of women’s education and an unwillingness to follow caste, color, or global separation while serving or speaking with disciples.

Not unlike learning the origins of the caste system or the early civilization in India, the spiritual relationship between husband and wife was quite beautiful. The husband was to share his knowledge and teachings of spirituality with his wife, and she used these teachings as a householder, mother, and more to intertwine a spiritual energy into her daily life so it became less mechanical. The relationship  itself was based on respect, support, and healthy devotion. Just knowing about this pure archetype has allowed me to shift a big stone in my “Let go” sack. Men have a lot to overcome in their egos and the world is paying a price for this. Of course there are exceptions. Women have often had to escalate their egos to survive.

The debriding system of deepening is stunning. I had read about her before, but this time, I am so deeply touched that I could weep just looking at her photos and contemplating the birth, pain, and beauty of humanity. For the first time I have some true sense of what is being a woman and not what the outer world has constructed. Pranam Gurudev for loaning me this book.

Early support and advisor for the Ramakrishna Order
Mother to all of humanity


Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Mother in a Cave

Roof top view from the top of the hill
Road work diverted my walk, so I took a new path and found a new temple. Scampered down the hill on the goat trails to find a welcoming Baba and a cave temple. I haven't forgotten the caves at Ramana Maharshi's temple, so this might give me a local chance to sit in one. Bonus! I am always talking about living in a cave, so now to try it out. This one is dedicated to the Mother, it is like a womb in the mountain. The vibration inside was incredibly still, but not stifling.

Looking back from the level access into the city. I won't have to be a goat every time I visit.
Found this poem I downloaded three years ago for Pahari Baba's Birthday. It still applies today. Grace and it could easily get an add on.

To One Who Is In Aid Of Humanities Birth

Thank you for answering my conditions.
Your morning of levitation led me to examine the beyond.
Please forgive me for not making tea or offering pranam.

Thank you for sitting with me in the star-filled, blackness of night.
Your presence gave me confidence to abide in the expansiveness of nothingness.
Please forgive me for not bringing an asan or offering pranam.

Thank you for showing me your feet while watching the river of light.
Your wisdom allowed me to experience the truth of the universe.
Please forgive me for sitting dazed by the beauty of the light and not offering pranam.

Thank you for letting me look directly into your eyes.
Your merging showed me oneness with the formless.
Please forgive me for my surprise and not offering pranam.

Thank you for helping me love and accept the embodiment of Gurudev.
Your play of energy fields showed me that you are both one and the same.
Please forgive me for not having the capacity to show my true gratitude, but I can offer pranam.

Thank you for being the inner voice of guidance to proceed on the path of liberation.
Your love and patience astounds me as I continue to fall, trip, and stumble.
Please forgive me for my clumsiness, but I can offer pranam.

Thank you for introducing me to your Divine Friends.
Your kindness and gentleness encourages me to have faith.
Please forgive me for my shyness, but I have no doubt in my heart.

Thank you for responding to my questions and providing homework assignments.
Your unwavering support inspires me to look for the Divine Light in all.
Please forgive me for my slowness, but I have no doubt in my heart.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Birthday Pahari Baba

What a privilege to spend a day in celebration of this spiritual master. Grace. Full Moon.