Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

"Endless Day" May River
Bluffton, SC 1993

You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold.
That is how important you are!”
Eckhart Tolle

If you understand, things are just as they are...
if you do not understand, things are just as they are.
Zen proverb

Friday, August 25, 2006


I’ve learned that if you’re looking for answers, they won’t arrive until you realize the searching is just as vital and necessary as the finding and are essentially one and the same.

The most important thing is to be kind to yourself and be compassionate towards others.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Changing Mood

I’ve been reading One Man's Wilderness- the journals of Richard Proenneke, a remarkable outdoorsman, craftsman, and photographer who chose to get away from everything, build a cabin in Alaska, and become part of the country. A most remarkable book which is in keeping with my mood lately… adventure, exploration, creation, a need to be in the mountains. One of the best reads I've ever purchased (also bought the two DVDs as well).

I’ve discovered some new music inside of me, a sound very different from what I usually hear. The resulting songs are…well, I don’t know what to think of them except to say that songs are like your children; they come from you, born into the world through love, and you can’t deny them a home.

The sound is Alternative Country-ish; simple guitar, light piano, some fiddle, harmonica… the bare essentials so as not to smother the songs, to let them breath of their own accord and emerge as they will. Less is more with what I’m hearing and writing. I just need to get into the studio and get them down before the mood changes.

Abbot Pass Hut

I feel the urge to get snowed in somewhere and write for a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This Morning's Song

Woke up this morning and here's what was waiting for me, music and all...

(verse 1 & 2)
I’ve been waiting on a song
A song I can believe in
A song that I can cleave in
As it carries me away

I’ve been waiting on a song
One that has no ending
That’s always just beginning
And is written for today

(chorus 1)
Right outside my window
In a field of amber grain
The birds begin their singing
And I join in the refrain

(verse 3 & 4)
I’ve been waiting on a love
A love I can’t imagine
That’s never without passion
And knows no dreamless night

I’ve been waiting on a love
That passes understanding
And never is demanding
steering closer towards the light

(chorus 2)
When everything seems hopeless
And I am empty to the soul
Your love appears before me
And once again I am made whole

(verse 5 & 6)
If you’re waiting on someone
Or anything that seems missing
And still you are insisting-
The way is to be still

Just open up your heart
And your wishes, they will come true
There’s nothing more that you can do
Except to learn they live inside you.

It's been a good morning.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Who We Are

I am not here to prove that I am divine- I am here to prove that you are divine.”
Sri Nidthyananda

We quietly, sometimes desperately, live into an answer so staggering it seems beyond belief, that it cannot be true. We shake inside at our discovery but don’t dare speak to others of our knowing- of our bliss; after all, what would they think of us?

It’s best we continue bantering on about the weather, the world, our worries, who has done what to whom, and go about numbing ourselves and the few short hours each day we are free to do with what we want.

Why don’t we speak to each other of what truly matters? Why must we disguise ourselves in trivial and mundane issues when deep inside, we are about to explode with our passion for life?

What if today we talk with just one person we love and remind them of their inspirations, even ask of a stranger what inspires them and then offer encouragement to pursue their bliss. Simply thanking them for being who they are is enough.

Everyone of us is special, so very special in that within, each of us is bursting with life. Give someone the opportunity to bloom today then witness the most incredible feeling well up inside your being- it is your own blossoming. Together, in the awareness of who the other truly is, we continue making the world a better place.

Thank you to my friend Sadiq for the introduction to
Paramahansa Sri Nithyananda whose words inspired today's post. You, also inspire me Sadiq!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The End & Beginning

The end of this story is a new beginning.

Endings always signal the start of something revolutionary advancing us on to another ending, where a new beginning waits.

I met my wife as a result of pursuing my bliss, fell in love, got married, and we had a son and lived happily ever after. The End.

I’m sure it’s not the ending you were expecting…yeah I did meet one of the Allman Brothers when I was 16 and we played guitar and drove around the mountains making music and getting drunk…I toured with bands, made music, had fun, got drunk (a lot), etc. etc.

And had each and every step along the way not happened- I would never have met Cathy and we would not have fallen in love, nor would we have our son, Tommy.

See, the way it all happens is never the way we imagine. We’re not so great that we are able to clearly have it all happen the way we plan- until we rest in the moment and realize it all happens for a reason… and we’re never gonna know THE REASON (if you do know, please tell me). When this realization comes along- we begin to see it all clearly fall into place in a whole new way. Everything becomes beautiful and every person and experience vital, connected, and above all- exquisitely mysterious. Nothing is broken, nothing needs mending, everything and everyone is perfect as is.

You’ve got to embrace each moment as it is because there’s a path you’re blazing every second, it doesn’t exist beyond this moment; you’re co- creating your way into your destiny. How you embrace the moment determines the quality of the next moment, and the next, and the next. It's all really just "One Big Moment" anyway.

I’m creating a new space for my path ahead by realizing I’m not the business man I thought I was and never will be the business man I need to be, to be “successful” in my world. I just don’t operate that way, I’m “too gentle to run with the wolves” in the business world and don’t really care to try anymore.

What do I really want to do? I want to be that cowboy I dreamed of being when I was a kid. I want to grow my hair, slip my earrings back in, make music, and buy a farm. I’ve got it in me, it’s there waiting right now, all I’ve got to do is pick up my guitar and start writing. Anything can happen if you believe enough.

“I grew up a-dreamin' of bein' a cowboy, and Lovin' the cowboy ways.”

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, recorded by Willie Nelson

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Where Is This Leading?

Me with Shark Attack, 1990

The first thing I wanted to be as a kid was a cowboy- a singing cowboy. I remember putting on shows for the family with my little guitar, dressed in my cowboy outfit and hat, and cap-pistols on my side. One of my heroes was Fred Kirby, a semi- famous singing cowboy who made a few movies in Hollywood in the 40’s and then moved to Shelby, NC and had a Sunday morning show on local TV. He actually dated my grandmother once or twice before she married my grandfather and I met Fred Kirby many times at county fairs and promotional appearances in the area.

My other heroes were Buck Owens, from the TV show “Hee-Haw” (I wanted a red, white, a blue guitar just like his so bad when I was a kid that I could smell it) and Elvis Presley. I studied my heroes as best I could and combined the essence of all three into a character I called “Tommy the Kid”. I remember family and friends of family rolling on the floor in uncontrollable fits of laughter and surprise as I slipped into character and came alive in my own little shows filled with made up songs and skits.

Another of my heroes was my Uncle Rusty. He and my Aunt Janis, who were only in their very early 20’s then, lived and worked on his father’s farm, which was run as a family business. There were horses, cows, chickens, pigs, tractors, plows, trucks and hay bales to play with as well as acre upon acre to roam on the weekends I used to visit and stay over. There was plenty of music around as well, everything from country & western to rock n roll. I loved being on the farm whenever I could. I dreamed big, young- boy dreams staring out over those cotton and cornfields and knew the cowboy life and the farm life was the life for me.

When I was around 10 years old I found some old 45’s in my parents closet and discovered The Beatles- and that pretty much ended my aspirations for the cowboy life. Now granted this was 1976- I knew by then I was born way to late and should really be in my 20’s by my taste in music. Right around this time Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings came on the scene with the “Outlaw” sound. The crap that had been passing as “Country Music” fell by the side for me and I found a strange, surreal love of both 60’s “hippie” music and culture as well as the “Outlaw” sound. Little did I know it but Willie Nelson had brought together both the hippies and the cowboys in Austin, Texas a few years earlier before becoming a superstar in the 70’s.

I now wanted to be an Outlaw (what every mother wishes for their son)! It took me a few more years, several guitars, a chance meeting with an Allman Brother, my parent’s divorce, the discovery of Heavy Metal music and the accumulation of three feet of hair on my head before that happened, but it happened…and for a brief spell, I was an outlaw with a smokin' band and a road hoggin' tour bus.

Yes, I hate to admit it, but while most of my peers were furthering their education at prestigious colleges and universities, graduating and landing prominent positions in the workforce, I contributed to the further decline of Western Civilization by spending countless nights in revelry, wreaking havoc in towns and cities across the USA. It was fun. Sex, drugs and rock n roll. What more could a young man ask for?

Where’s all this leading you may ask? Hell, I haven't a clue, I’m just writing…but I think I may know where I’m going with it. It all fits in with belief in Divine Order, so catch me tomorrow for the end of this story.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What's The Matter?

I want to be happy. I want everyone else to be happy too.

It was not my intent to cause alarm or fear with yesterday’s link to the article by Bernard Lewis. To be honest, fear was my first reaction upon reading what horrors might unfold in the near future- I was fearful for myself, my family, and my world.

Paramahansa Yogananda likens the world unto a theater. Each of us is seated in the theater watching this life unfold up on the screen. We lose ourselves in the antagonist, protagonist; all the events unfolding, both good and bad. We believe what we see in front of us is the real thing. Eventually the movie is over, the credits roll, the lights come back up and we leave the theater, exiting out into the light, back into reality.

Strange how we forgot we were watching actors on a screen. We seldom, if ever, glance back to the projection booth to witness the light and shadow casting the great play onto the screen.

The question is- what matters? Does it matter what may happen on August 22 or at any time in the future? Yes, of course it doesn't.

I would ask this question of my wife’s 20 something year- old cousin whose fiance’ just died in his arms from cancer. Earlier this year, facing chemotherapy, they lost their baby who was in her womb.

I would also ask this of my 10 year old nephew and 11 year old son and his friends- all just starting a new school year; filled with vibrant, young life- sure to be filled with many exciting days, years ahead.

I can only rest here at this point. There is no greater mystery- and in the Light of its presence, I can only rest here- deep inside the question, the mystery.

There is no greater beauty than this. Sometimes it hurts… and I know I am alive.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Building Higher Walls

Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, regarded as the preeminent authority on Muslim History writes a very compelling argument in the Wall Street Journal that August 22, 2006 may be a very important date in world history.

News reports regarding the recently foiled UK terrorism plot involving hijacked airliners destined for the US, state that those arrested were giving the plan a “dry run” so to speak and that the real thing was to actually go down on August 22 and would have involved 22 airliners.

Doomsday scenarios have been around as long as history itself and yet, the planet still revolves and life goes on. Apocalyptic theories embraced by the world’s religions pit believers against non-believers and separate us from each other. It is religion at its worst. Strange how it is that the minority, those fanatical or fundamental elements seems to attract the most attention and cause the most problems.

It is my deepest fear that should another 9-11 unfold on August 22 or at any time in the future that we will begin separating certain people, certain religions from society on mass scale as was done to the Japanese and German Americans during World War II. Separation is the most elementary step, the quickest most efficient manner to begin solving a perceived problem. It represents a dissection of society that slowly bleeds all of mankind to the point of unconsciousness: a perfect example of the cure being worse that the disease.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are on the verge of mass hysteria where thoughts could reach a critical mass to the point we begin believing that in order to save us from the enemy we will need to exercise the most vicious and irreparable of all strategies.

The only problem is how do we separate us from ourselves?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Poem for a Hot Summer Day

The Laurel Creek, NC

Laurel Creek

The trail is dry and dusty this time of year,
and the creek pitters slowly around
lazy bends, past ancient boulders.
It’s a song I never tire from hearing.

The summer green is deep and bold still,
like 40 years, midway into this life,
we’re in season together and
I don’t feel connected to these mountains;
I am these mountains and this creek.

The air is tangy from Rosebay rhododendron,
thickets lap everywhere at the base of towering firs
and nestle together with the Kalmia laurel,
Indian Paintbrush sets fire to a shallow meadow
and only the white daisies care to compete
with their blaze.

Pools wait at the foot of lathered rapids
running deep into the dark underside of cliffs,
I stop and gaze into the calming clearness;
into depths magnified by the baking sun
eventually peel off my clothes
and sink silently down into the coolness.

The heat of the day and cold of the water
marry together and each eventually call me
to leave one for the other; I float on my back and laugh
at them both, I am a guest here and soon
they quietly make their peace inside me.

Where is it that I came from to arrive here?
Where must I return to and leave this?
And if I float away on this laurel creek
will I not simply float away?

“Quiet”, whispers the water.

“There is no other place to be but here.”

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ode To an Enemy

My friend Rama has written a very moving poem that I want to share.

Dear friend, enemy,
doubly am I beholden to you:
for it was your ceaseless attack
that drove me to the depths of my being
to find my true self -responsible, inviolable, precious.
But more than that, it is through trying to find
your most compassionate and protective core
within the mist of your supposed enmity
that I am plunged grieving, sobbing, breathless,
into intimate love for you
from which I emerge unvanquishable,
having drunk of the elixir of life.

How then can I but be utterly at your mercy?
I shall suffer in silence -not your slings and slander,
which were merely phantasms of my own creation;
nor for missing your friendship,
for I have been and am one with you;
but this futile loss of precious life
flung cheaply into the bog of sloth
to be compacted and thrown into the flames of purification.
There shall you be, friend; friendless
while I, your enemy, grieve your absence.

For only in the fullness of all
lies my own.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pearls of Iraq

My friend Miriam, of Pearls of Iraq, an aid worker currently on assignment in various regions in Iraq has been away from her blog for some time now. Recently, I received an email from her family saying she is safe and well. I also received two emails from Miriam herself in which she shares her thoughts in regard to her recent work in Kurdistan, which was covered by Kurdish and American television networks.

Miriam writes, “The people here are begging for conflict resolution, dialogue and peace building programs, directly, but there has been very little money appropriated for this.”

With regard to the ongoing conflict she writes, “I have seen many troops here. Most are babies, the same age as my sons… their faces, their hearts. We need to get them home, and not mixed up anymore in this place. This is the mother in me speaking. The truth is they are the only ones preventing an all out chaotic war.”

Miriam says she looks forward to the day she can return to her family here in the states and writes longingly of a favorite place in the northeast mountains where she will begin healing from all she has encountered and endured.

I wish you well, my friend. Come home soon. Soon you will be floating in the calming mountain water, staring up into the late afternoon sky. Thank you for all you have done, for your service to those in need.

You inspire me.

Want to change the world right now?

Sponsor a child in need through Kurdistan Save the Children/Kurdistan Children’s Fund (KSC/KCF). KSC/KCF started their Distant Sponsorship program in 1991. So far, nearly 2800 Iraqi and Kurdish children are sponsored, but there are still thousands who need your support.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


This.... is new. Zen sarcasm:

1. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't
be promoted.

2. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

3. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

4. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a
couple of your house payments.

5. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their
shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away
and you have their shoes.

6. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving just wasn’t your thing.

7. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how
to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

8. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it
was probably worth it.

9. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

10. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

11. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

12. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half
and put it back in your pocket.

13. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

14. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a
dark side, and it holds the universe together.

15. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one

16. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips
are moving.

17. Experience is something you don't get until just after you
need it.

18. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

19. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a
laxative on the same night.

20. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

21. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

22. Life is sexually transmitted.

22. Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

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