Sunday, August 28, 2005

Finding Me Finding You

The Angel Oak, Charleston, SC 2005

The Angel Oak, a "live oak" specimen of oak is purported to be 1,400 years old although no one can substantiate this because of the difficulty in core sampling such large trees. Standing beside this beautiful tree I can’t help but feel the mystery of Being swell inside me. I stand silent beneath her ancient canopy and connect with the energy that is undeniably present. I let my mind flow back through the centuries until I lose myself. When I open my eyes I am standing before a sapling sprouting from the ground, a tender shoot risen from a seed that was stubborn and steadfast enough to anchor itself into the Earth and lay dormant until the time was just right for emergence.

Can you see the 1,400 year old tree hiding inside the seed? Is it any less a giant, tightly encapsulated within a resilient casing that with time, weathers, fragments and falls away allowing freedom for emergence towards the light? Can you see the potential that is you budding even now as you read this line- are you not like this seedling-giant? Are you seeking answers to these questions or, are the questions themselves witnessing your inevitable emergance as the answer?

I've been trying to find you
yes, trying to find you
You've been trying to find me
yes, trying to find me
All that I'm searching for- is searching for me
trust and we'll see

There's a season to come
a season to come
Rain, it follows the sun
follows the sun
Sunshine follows the rain, night into day
trust in this way

And if I dreamed it all differently
would it be any easier for me to believe?

Let whatever may come
whatever may come
Dream whatever the dream
whatever the dream
Close and yet far away, near as the end
to where we begin...

from a song in the works

Friday, August 26, 2005

We Are That Too

A million and one thoughts raced through my head yesterday- my mind was definitely like a tree full of drunken monkeys (it was one of THOSE days, if you know what I mean) and by the time 10pm came around I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I stepped out on the back porch for one last smoke and the unusual coolness of the August night washed over me. Looking up into the night sky I was sad to see there were clouds and that no stars were out. “Just like my mind”, I thought; clouded over, stormy and impenetrable. Clear Mind was nowhere to be found.

Instantly, I chuckled at this thought, at the silliness I sensed in thinking myself apart from ever present Self. Just like the stars in the sky, hidden behind the clouds or by the brightness of the sun or moon are ever present, Clear Mind is ever present, hiding from itself for one more blissful opportunity for me to remember that “ I Am That too.”

Trev Diesel made me a gift of Ken Wilber's, “The Simple Feeling of Being” and in it Ken says something I’ve always felt and have been struggling to realize fully and with such clarity:

“This tacit recognition seems to have a beginning in time, until it occurs, whereupon it becomes clear that it has always been completely obvious. "Oh, That!" This profound realization never began because it never ended. There is the recognition "I am That," and the simultaneous recognition that I have always known this. Zen calls it the gateless gate. On this side of the gate that "separates" us from enlightenment, the gate seems to be real—until we pass through it, turn around, and see that it was never really there: thus, gateless in truth. But it is much simpler than that. You are the Self, you are the Witness, you know it now, and you have known it always.”

This morning I woke invigorated and with a much lighter heart. Why are we so tough on ourselves, far more so than we would dare be with even our worst enemy? I believe it is because we have not fully come face to face with or have forgotten our truest nature, that we haven’t yet dared to believe “We are That too!” It takes courage to admit thoughts of fear and confusion, but far more courage to accept that Clear Mind is behind all and that that which you seek…is doing the seeking.

It is from here, from this vantage point of knowing that all things will be made known.

Monday, August 22, 2005

War Is Over!

Mr. Bush should have met with grieving mother Cindy Sheehan on the first day she came to Crawford, Texas and camped outside his compound.

Joan Baez turned up in Crawford, Texas yesterday in support of Cindy Sheehan's cause and to comfort other military parents grieving for their fallen children. There are two camps presently in Crawford: Camp Casey, named after Cindy's fallen soldier-son with those supporting her efforts to meet with Mr. Bush and Fort Qualls, named for Marine Lance Cpl. Louis Qualls, another victim- soldier in the Iraqi war and the supporters of the war and Mr. Bush.

We, as a nation listen to the pundits debate the aspects of this war... and the death toll rises. We, as individuals scratch our heads and ask ourselves how we really feel about this on going conflict... and more and more die. Were we and are we still being told the truth about the reasons for the war? When will we ever feel safe again? Why does the nation seem split over what is happening in Iraq and Crawford and why can't we unite, as a country behind the war effort?

The safest stance seems to say, "I'm not sure about the war...but I support the troops! - Make no mistake about that, I support our troops." Well the time has come for us that do support the boys and girls, and yes- the majority of the soldiers are only boys and girls barely out of their teens, as most soldiers have been throughout history- to demand that they be relieved of their duty and allowed to return home.

Let the old men and women of the world decide to fight this war themselves. Give the conservative pundits and the elitists in our ivy league colleges and universities as well as those in the corporate boardrooms the option of fighting this war. Let the oil company executives fight this war (they surely have enough revenue coming in to support their efforts). Let the congressman and senators and even President Bush and his cabinet offer up their children and grandchildren to be soldiers and fight this war.

Let our kids come home.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Heroes Descending & Ascending

John Lennon was the first musician to open my eyes to the possibilities that existed in music as an art form. There's an interesting article at The Free Liberal on John and the religious and spiritual aspects of his music and influence on the world. Some claimed John committed a sacrilege with his song Imagine and with the words, "Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky, Imagine all the people, living for today." I believe he connected to his Higher Self in order to pen these beautiful words and was always in touch with his creative energy. It's a moral sin against humanity the wisdom in this song is lost on those who will not see or hear.

John would not have wanted any comparisons to Jesus or to be looked up to as a "saving figure", in fact it was what he sang about and railed about most of his post-Beatle's life. But this is what happens to men and women, against their wishes, when they they speak for the masses, are revered, and are looked up to. Although the article reaches at times, it's still a great writing on the hero and the journey.

Each of us is undertaking a similar journey whether we realize it or not. We are each in a certain phase of the hero's journey with important lessons to learn and then impart to others either with our words, art, music, writing- or more importantly, by how we chose to silently live our lives. Not everyone of us is destined to change the world in the manner John Lennon did, but make no mistake about it, each of us is destined to change the world in some fashion or manner. The question is...will we make changes consciously, where and when we can with Love and Peace at the center of our being, or will we leave behind us a broken pathway where no one will chose to ever follow?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

To Be, Or Not To Be...The Prez

Sometimes life is just a great big ball of unexpected bouncing bliss. Yesterday I sent in an application to be considered as a candidate for the upcoming web-based reality series called "The Biz", sponsored by AOL and Warner Music Group. Basically it's a webcast featuring contestants living and working together in New York City under the eye of Warner Music's Lyor Cohen (think Island-Def Jam, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Melissa Etheridge, Elvis Costello, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, and many more). All the contestants will be competing to be the president of a new record label, which will be founded and ran by the winner as a Warner Music Group subsidiary.

This is my kind of job!

Now I know my odds of being chosen to participate are slim...I'm a little older than the average record executive (Lyor is 44 years old-and is ancient compared to some executives) but I might have a chance as the token 'older white guy'. Who knows? I'm pretty sure the focus will be on more urban, hip-hop music which isn't my forte- but, it's not about knowing everything about one genre of music either. A well rounded knowledge of all music styles and the ability to hear the next big thing are at the top of the list, I would think.

What I do know is that the process has opened my eyes to my genuine love of all music again and to the possibilities of becoming a serious ethically and morally guided (can you say ethically and morally in the same breath as "the music biz"?) 'playa' in the industry. I could possibly land a gig in A&R (artist & repertoire) with Warner Music Group.

If I don't land a spot (let's face it- it's a HUGE if) I know my heart has been recharged with the love of music. This comes at the same time I'm feeling a refreshing awakening to the possibilities of my own music and of finishing some songs and getting them recorded. I'm setting a goal of six months to have a finished CD in hand.

Anything is possible- anything is possible- anything is possible...when the heart is open and we expect the best from and for ourselves and for others. I know that the road will open if it is meant to be, and If not, then I trust Divine Order has me where I'm meant to be, right now.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New-"Old Friends"

My wife Cathy and I had the most awesome opportunity to meet Amy & Trevor Harden last night. They are down here in the SC Lowcountry on a vacation with the family. We spent the evening talking over dinner and later drove to Hilton Head Island for a drink and more conversation and some live music on Skull Creek.

Amy and Trevor are two of the kindest, warmest, most genuine people we have met in a very long time. Amy is really one of the coolest people we know-AND she even knows her guitars! As we were leaving the Boat House Grill where we were listening to a guitarist entertaining the dinner crowds, Amy walks past the guitarist and into the parking lot and says, “He’s playing either an Alvarez or a Guild.” Sweet! Trevor is one of the most talented musicians I have ever met and his knowledge of music and spirituality are beyond his years. He’s definitely an ‘old soul’. We are blessed to call them our friends and Kalli is blessed to have them as parents.

Thanks Amy & Trev for such a wonderful evening. We can’t wait till you and Baby Kalli are back down again so we can have you over for some back yard grilling and more conversation.

Be safe flying back home-

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

White Out

Was I thinking of you this past weekend
as you were driving
to your hotel room through
thundercloud thoughts
and hurricane dreams
closing in all around?

Were you determined then,
while I remembered our youth
spent worshiping
Burroughs, Ferlinghetti, Morrison
those staggering feral nights
under star strewn skies
when the god in us
set off
into words all our own
so virgin
and sacrosanct
that our hearts pumped
closer to collapse
yet ached
so goddamned beautifully?

Was it by mistake-
did you really want the end to come
or just an ear to open
as I silently thanked you
for being awake
that cold winter’s night
when I had no where to go
and you let me inside
to sleep
a sleep I was too tired to dream of
all alone?
Before nodding off into the warmth
of your words saying…
“It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok”
did you know how happy I was
you were watching over me?

I was thinking of you just this
past weekend
and now you are
forever young in my mind.
will grow old and frail and cold
one day, and
you are eternal winter snow,
whiting out and covering our tracks
until all thought,
all hopes of retracing our past
will fade deep into the white-out of

You have gone before us,
and my prayer,
and I hope you can hear me,
is this- that you are now free
and at peace.

I was thinking of you only this weekend….
for Brian York

Monday, August 08, 2005

Love Dogs

One night a man was crying,
Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
"So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.

Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.

Give your life
to be one of them.

Rumi, "Love Dogs" Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


There are many illusions that we blindly place our trust in. We believe we are our jobs, we are our bank accounts, we are our facial features, body structure, and personality. We believe ourselves incapable of many thoughts, actions, feelings and emotions. We believe what others tells us is right or wrong. We believe ourselves separated into nations, religions, and that evil and goodness exist. We even believe we are separated from our Source or God, as if it were even possible.

When we find our center, the center that is present in everyone and is found everywhere our illusions begin to fall away. When our eyes wander to the periphery of our existence we see these illusions at work in our lives, but when we again, find our center- the illusions disappear from our sight.

The illustration above is entitled “The Music”. Illusory black dots abruptly appear or disappear in white circles when we see the figure freely. On the other hand, the white circles disappear altogether when we fixate at the center. This is a perfect visual aid to help us understand how we sometimes cannot believe all that we see at work in our lives. How if we concentrate on what lies on the outside, all matter of disturbances take place. When we focus on the center and remain still, everything becomes calm and our worries dissipate.

When we are at our center all things unnecessary naturally fall away.

Illustration by Akiyoshi Kitaoka
please visit Akiyoshi's remarkable webpage to see more "illusions."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Life & Death

The 18th century writer Samuel Johnson was once asked, "I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves?" he answered: "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."

"Whoever rightly understands and celebrates death, at the same time magnifies life."

Site Meter