Embracing the Phantoms of Eternity

We walk such a fine line in life, between the polarities of joy and suffering, success and failure, we stand on the edge of forever looking out to where we may one day be and at the same time we sometimes bow our heads and look down, as if into an abyss of darkness forgetting the rising sun, the stars, the new blooms, the spring, unborn love and the sweetness reflected in the bees.
The Cosmic Gatekeeper
The shadow of death passes over every house, only the free men are in some way detached from it.  Not that they don’t feel, they do, they rain tears down their cheeks like all others, it’s just that they see the chapters in the book of life as part of the totality that changes shape and allow the phantoms to pass.  Wisdom is the fruit of experience, we are feeling beings firstly, and as my dearest wise friend once said to me. ‘the Sage will never tell you the price he paid for liberation,’ those words have allowed me to embrace change when my heart has been taken to the limits of despair, it has been a light to guide me beyond my known limitations.
Knock Knock
The knock on the door that everyone lives in fear of comes once for each one of our beloveds.  Knowing this allows us to live every other day rejoicing their existence, to look for ways to to resolve our petty differences, to hold them more often, to look into their eyes and see the wonder of their being, to rejoice in the miracle of their existence and when they dissolve through the veil of infinity we honor them by living a glorious life, to make sure our days are not wasted in trivia, petty things.
As each person leaves the stage of the world, may we bow in reverence.  They have left a piece of themselves in us that lives on and becomes a part of us, a mannerism, a snippet of wisdom, a gesture that defined them, they walk with us over the horizon into eternity.
May we always find love and in a state of forgetfulness bypass the misgivings, see the splendor in the meetings of the spirits that we are, and be gentle with each other.
May empathy, compassion and kindness always be restored and rise again quickly even when we lose our way.

When Our Hearts Cracks Open

We’ve all been there, the dream dissolves.  Suddenly there’s a doorway in life, it appears from nowhere and we unwillingly step through it and are left feeling bewildered and question whether the period of our life we were in was a fantasy.  The familiar things around us, the places, the impressions in our thoughts that in a flash take us into a moment we treasured. The transience of life is something that won’t go away, it’s seems like when we are born we have a sticker slapped on our bum that says “change is the only constant embrace it or suffer.”
All pain comes from attachment so say He the Great Buddha, his words were probs a little different but the essence the same.  My dearest friend and teacher once told me, “wherever there is pain there is clinging.”  At times it seems that wise words when we are in the state of suffering are almost offensive, insensitive, inhumane and lack in empathy.  But I know from experience the Sages who are our dearest of kin have placed them there within the scope of our consciousness so we can reach up to them when we are ready.
The Seasons
The loss of a loved one, whether it be through death, or the changing fortunes on the screenplay of life are always challenging but are critical and are a natural process.   I do know well that transformation or what I would call the alchemy of going from raw material to gold is a usual process and also when I look at nature that we are part of, without the changing seasons there is no growth, no flowering of the tree of life; there can be no symphony without each musician playing his or her part perfectly in time with the composer’s intention, if we decide to go off in another direction and attempt to play something of our own, there will be chaos.  And I am not saying we are puppets in the hands of the Divine, it’s more like we need to fine tune our instrument, listen carefully and be in harmony with ourselves and this harmony joins the Totality.
Being Vulnerable
Contrary to normal opinion, When the Heart Breaks Open it is safe, yes feelings arise that we may not like, there is an uncomfortable-ness about it. Being uncomfortable is not our favourite place as humans, we are standing on new ground or more precisely falling through an unknown area of space. The feeling of insecurity is usually perceived by people as an enemy.  If we have the ability to sit with it, to hold until the wayward thoughts and emotions subside we will see and experience something extraordinary.  If we become a slave to our thoughts and stay ‘in them’, suffering is a long experience, some people never recover.  If we are very gentle on ourselves, inquisitive and LOOK at the rise and fall of the sensations rolling towards us, we may notice that the perceived bee sting is not really there, it is the fear of the sting that we had, there will be sweet honey when its time.
Embracing Eternity
I am grateful for life, for love, for the experiences that have and will shape me. In my life which has had its more than normal quota of trauma and loss, there are days when I have begged for it to all go away, to just rest in the Eternal Silence that underlies all things.  But then I remind myself that the Eternal Silence is ever present, it’s closer than a breath away, I can go there at any moment, it encases all the Universes.  The mystery of life is too precious to run from and based on what I am seeing now my intuition tells me where I am headed is beyond my wildest dreams.
With a sense of curiosity I will say yes and give thanks to all that has been, is and what is to come.

Tilopa 2.0

That Elusive Ego Thing – Yoga Thoughts

In New Age circles we get to see a lot of nonsense about ‘how to get rid of the ego’.  There also are numerous gurus who will for a fee (either monetary or your sovereignty) will sign you up to their club to save you from yourself.  The word ‘ego’ gets splashed around like color at a Holi Festival; therapists, philosophers, counselors and back yard rubber bodied yogis and yoginis all telling you that you need to fix this evil enemy; cut it down before it swallows you or you’ll wallow in delusion for many incarnations.  Whether it be via the sledgehammer method of austerity and abnegation or sitting in groups of peaceful looking meditators with noisy heads surrounded by the odors of sweet smelling incense made from cow poo, you will eventually realise there are a million and one remedies and forms of self punishment to fix the problem that someone has convinced you exists.
The Playfulness of Life
If for a moment we can agree there might be a God, (and a reminder that the G word has more baggage than an obsessive compulsive on their first trip overseas), I could comfortably say that God is a practical joker.  For example, I  remember going to the zoo years ago and a Tapir was lazing around on a sunny day minding its own business and a bevy of Otters were taking it in turns in swimming along a circular canal, hopping out of the water and slapping the Tapir on its behind region,  it was so bizarre, when the scenario first caught my eye, I asked the people with me to confirm what I was seeing. And to further my argument that the God thing has a sense of humor, just look at the Meerkats (“ok guys, eyes right”).  With the idea in mind that nature is hilarious, although life at times can be outrageously painful, and it may feel some days that we are in a suit that is two or three sizes too small and lined with prickles, the joke is also experienced by humanity first hand.
In Hinduism we find a concept that there is something called Lila, without getting into fine detail, it could rather loosely be described as play, the Divine pantomime where the underlying super-consciousness plays out experiences in the various worlds. I am not evangelizing for Hinduism here, it is just a useful perspective to bring together the ideas I wish to get across about God and the practical joke. According to some wise men and also the wannabe’s, there is a view that in the Great Pretence of God, the super-Consciousness intentionally forgets who it is and wanders through the maze of the Cosmos looking for itself.  The God Being plays tricks by breaking itself in multiple parts and looks out from each window, seeks the answer to what is life and jumps in and out of bodies through various wormholes acquiring wisdom.  Whether it is true, in the scheme of this article I wont attempt unpack the supposed truth of the matter. But I do know and will state beyond doubt that everything is just ‘thought manifesting experiences through the senses’ and there is a liquidness to the environments we find ourselves in.  And with this in mind we can take a challenge to the charlatans who fill the book shops, ashrams and monasteries with information about the ‘ego’ that they really know little about.  Their work seems to send people away from where they want to be and only strengthens the old arch enemy of ego.
The Invisible Enemy
Many people have seen the martial art of Aikido, there is a beauty in this approach.  To keep it simple, what is happening is the attacker ultimately defeats themselves, the one who is defending comes into harmony with the movements of the attacker and there is a type of invisibility or Emptiness that emerges in the defender, as there is no-one to attack, the confrontation dissolves without too much fuss.  If we take this approach or apply this type logic to this ‘ego thing’ that disturbs so many spiritual aspirants, we can quite comfortably dismantle the supposed problem and never suffer from the great lie again.
Nothing is Static
We can, if we also follow the line of thinking that everything is just thought, the ‘supposed’ ego begins to loses its solidity, it is on unsafe ground.  If we look at contemporary Physics we will see that some physicists are in agreement on certain issues, one such thing is the world around us is not overly solid, when we dig into it with Nanotechnology we see there are a lot of particles in constant motion. We can also conclude that change is inevitable, if we gaze at nature, we see that everything seems to be in a state of rising (birth and growth) or sinking (decay), some processes happen faster than others but there is an ever constant in and an out shoot.
Fooled by the Senses
An over identification with the body is at the core of the problem, by that I mean the five common senses of touch, hearing, smell, sight, and taste.  These are the ‘hooks’ that catches the human-fish most of the time.  There is a story built up in our thinking, we believe the information that the senses tell us; from this and the stories of others in the world around us, we build a profile of who we are. The impressions are deeply ingrained, we gather all the data and conclude ‘oh that’s me’, and those around us only enforce the idea with dialogue like ‘oh gee you are getting fat’, ‘what have you done to your hair?’, ‘you always loved donuts’, ‘i wish I had your brains’ ‘OMG you are such a dickhead’. Depending on our ability to accept or deflect the information we are bombarded with, we strengthen the idea of ‘me’ or the ‘inverted despondent me’.  There are also the numerous grayscale shades in-between that are neither positive or negative, they fill part of our mind-space with a mental picture of the ‘something identity’ who experiences the passing pantomime on the world stage.
Something Amiss
When we start digging in, and by that I mean self questioning and exploring our thoughts, we find that this supposed identity is a little frisky and elusive to grab. There’s an old Zen Koan (thought and thoughtless provoking Parable) that comes to mind. A Zen master asks, “Show me your Original Face, the face you had before your parents were born.”  I don’t want to go too far down the Zen questioning track which has been turned into a nonsensical witty circus by many but this type of puzzle hints at a number of things.
1) There is a possibly a false picture of who we are.
2) There is something that sits behind the experiencer and is aware in some way that the experiencer is either a charlatan or is caught in a maze.
3) Something is drastically amiss in the world of mice and men.
The real issue with this elusive thing called ego is it has no substance and we have placed its mental meanderings in the forefront of our consciousness.  The experiencer gathers together what it knows or believes to be true and runs a program in the subconscious and makes minor adjustments as it moves through life’s experiences.  The idea of ‘getting rid of the ego’ is nothing but a concept. If we go back to basics and we are clear that there is a false association with the body and an unquestioned social belief system that the ‘thinker’ part of us is trapped inside the body, when we address this basic understanding and see ourselves as something that inhabits a much broader space and the body is INSIDE us and is purely the meeting point that relates to and perceives through the five senses and is formed by all the elements of nature we move in, then the ‘loosening’, the dismantling process begins, and it is not the dismantling of the ego, but the thoughts that obscure the view.  When we also remind ourselves and deeply contemplate that the world is in constant flux and is reforming itself moment to moment based on the ‘story of the world’ and is a projection of our consciousness,  it becomes clear that the the ‘ego’ is nothing but the intertwined fabric of thought.
The Other Direction
The sage Krishnamurthi once stood in the Sydney Town Hall and during his discourse he said, ‘you are all going the wrong way’.  These words are a reminder that social consciousness is the prison-house and it is worthwhile to consider questioning everything that we believe to be true, have been told or assume is knowledge.   With the state of confusion and fear that runs rampant in the world, I am comfortable with going the other way.

The Yoga of Contemporary Nomads

The world is not so solid, pondering this could easily bring about a change to the way we live, it may impact how we feel about things, we can loosen the strings that tie us down and head off on a new journey.  It’s an unborn future in every direction, our destiny is the horizon which moves away as we step closer to where we think it is, the Universe unfolds as we move through it.
Wanderers Wayfarers
In a way, many of us have become nomads; family structures have broken down, we don’t all have the ‘traditional’ home to go to, the village where we may have grown up has become part of the urban sprawl, where we used to play there is a supermarket and other blingy shops full of slightly useful objects; the stream morphed into a drain and graffiti reminds us that peoples thoughts are screaming to get out, even if it looks like gibberish, humans  struggle with the noise in their heads, it’s city-stress-syndrome.
Many religious people are very challenged now, they try to fit the world around us into models that they are comfortable with, however it’s like the bottom of a bucket dropping out; family units are shattered; the dog, the couple of kids and a picket fence are no longer the standard; single mums and dads, mix and match families; gay couples; introverts living out ‘alone’ lives in the city, homeless wear their experiences engraved in the lines on their faces, strangers live  next door, people die and no-one notices, they just slip into other parts of the bureau of statistics database, life moves on.
Flipping it Over Concept
One trick I have mastered in my life is the ability to turn what looks like disaster into something that is fruitful, nurturing and abundant. This is not something that happens instantaneously, it comes later after the chaos settles.  When we are in crisis the waves crash down on us, we hold on for dear life; but I am reminded that there is always a calm ‘centre’ even if thoughts are wild, even if despair is about to break us, something looks out at the show of life and almost mockingly says “is that so?”  Pema Chodron the western Buddhist nun  has an expression, “learning to STAY”, one way this translates is the ability to ‘hold’ oneself, not to act, to ride it through, to trust that in some way things will sort themselves out.  Once we are past our dark night of the soul, we can recycle our experiences, extract what is of value and head into new territory.  It is quite normal to feel deep emotions and feelings in response to structures coming apart, but we have a choice on whether we make it a problem or not.  I choose the latter.
Beyond Chaos Theory
What may look like chaos to us, if we dig into it we can find something glorious. This breakdown of the community around us can lead us somewhere quite unexpected, if we can get past the feeling of ‘everything is broken’, life becomes interesting; a dull mind won’t be comfortable with change, sharpening our thinking and attitudes is something worth pursuing.  From the view of a Jnana Yogi (simply put: non dualistic perspective that everything has a glue joining it at the middle) the world is held together by thought, this idea is in conflict with what most people think; there is no way I would push it as a philosophy, to me philosophy doesn’t mean much, changing the way we view things is where wisdom lies.  Unlike some other yogis of the past, I am hesitant to say ‘the world is a mirage’, there is a lot of baggage and misunderstandings with that phrase, it’s not quite right.  It would be slightly more correct to say “every molecule is in motion and it’s only there when we look at it, or name it” it has a sense of ‘there-ness’. Things are named for convenience, we have a common language that allows us to reference moments on a timeline; but really EVERYTHING is in TRANSIT; and this is where freedom lies.
Freedom is the ability to detach from our story of the world, to dissolve what has gone before and allow the ‘new’ to emerge.  With the breaking down of traditional family structures there will be turmoil, great confusion, questioning arises,  the ground beneath us fractures and if we are alert there will be a type of seeking, a search for meaning, and without giving the game away, that does not necessarily mean there is meaning, but the need for stability and understanding takes over if we have a certain amount of personal power and don’t indulge in our brokenness. When we indulge too much in ‘thinking about our response to a problem’, our thinking processes freeze up. Communities, the human civilisation we are part of is hypnotised by belief and self imposed limitations; the breakdown of the traditional structures although painful is the very thing that may bring about the change needed in the world. And saying this I am not opposed to community whether it be old or new, it has taken me a lifetime to learn to value ‘community’, and community is not necessarily what we assume it is.

Urban Gypsies
We are a community of nomads, wanderers; some say we are on a journey from ‘self to SELF’, from unknowing to KNOWing, personally I wouldn’t want to complicate things with philosophical fantasies, it’s a sidetrack and moves us away from ourselves.  Most religion and Spiritual practice moves us ‘away’, we chase ourselves.  The idea of reaching a goal in the future is part of the great play of life, the labyrinth of ‘becoming’ is endless.
The beauty in the world fracturing is it is like an egg cracking, if the bird laments the loss of the egg, it may forget the baby chick.  New birth comes from change and ALL our suffering comes from failure to embrace change, to want things to be as they were or the way we want them to be. The less solid the world is in our thoughts, the greater potential there is for going past the limited known.  When the world we know breaks down, we are forced to either die, whittle away or look for other ways of doing things.
What on Earth can we do?
So how do we approach the world we live in when it breaks? How can we find that thing, a sense of belonging, the NEW community we need that will nurture us?  Although the answer may be different for each one of us, there is one commonality,  that very thing is by saying ‘yes I accept you as this’, ‘I embrace you regardless of our differences’.  It is deeply programmed into human nature to not like.  It is okay to feel uncomfortable with what is outside what we accept at this moment.  However, it is important that our hearts crack open a little more each day, and we move at our own pace.  People come and go in our lives, each moment is precious.
Tilopa 2.0

The Day My God Died

Some of us do ‘broken’ better than others; some fracture from the inside out and they don’t recover, they find an uncomfortable peace in addictions, destructive distractions; others go about their business and leave it till later in life to deal with, they wear it in their skin, illness, even bitterness, a thud instead of a spring in their step, listlessness in place of a sparkle; some have a dependence on being ‘broken’ and prefer to loop it ’round and ’round, unknowingly recreating a set of experiences that give a similar ‘feeling’ to the previous one and live it out again and again in another scenario.
Softening Our Heart

It would seem sensible for us as a community to learn to ‘hold’ each better, to recognise frailty, to be sensitive in what seems to be an outrageously unkind self-indulgent world, to go that extra bit with ‘unnecessary acts of kindness’, to be that big bellied Buddha wandering with a bag of goodies, spreading joy because ‘that’s the way we roll’, to maybe drop some of our differences of opinions at times and let people feel comfortable with what they have arrived at, to ditch our ‘king of the castle attitude’ – ‘right at all costs’ approach, to allow others to be, and do it without splintering our boundaries, by that I mean by not allowing breaches and crossing the line of what is acceptable behavior, some people take more than their share.
I have never met anyone who hasn’t hit a crisis point, and by that i mean found themselves in a situation where everything seems bigger than them; the passing of a loved one, having to let go of something precious, dealing with abuse, or being in a situation of ‘impossible love’, where the heart says one thing but the stars don’t align, they shine and then bash into each other, the beloved’s course seems to be heading off into some other galaxy without them; there are numerous scenarios and situations that bring us to our knees.
Finding an Ally in Things
Sometimes it is not people who hold us, we can feel too vulnerable to let people in, exposed, we don’t want to seem-needy, or can’t take that step to say ‘ouch f*cking ooooch’ for whadever sane or absurd reason, there is often a tendency to remain silent. Having an emergency crew (of things) ready with their ladders, fire extinguishers, life-buoys and gaffer tape is a good idea, every now and then we can be caught off guard. I don’t mean being hyper-vigilant either and having a SWAT team racing in with all their protective gear every time we cut our pinky…….. Me, I like chocolate, goooood coffee, the feeling of the sun on my skin, the gentle movement of the leaves in the wind, the shades of green – those brush strokes of the hidden master artist, an hypnotic melody that brings to memory something beautiful from my past, an inquisitive mind, seeing and feeling the future before it happens, the mystic poets, a silly sense of humor and something newish to learn, dissolving myself into music, singing mantras or dancing in my bedroom in the dark – occasionally bumping into things.  Things can hold us, particularly if we are people who are used to doing things solo.
I think it is important to be able to live in a manner as if everything were taken from us, our loved ones, our dearest possessions (the RING, Lord of the Rings comes to mind, that type of obsession permeates the community in subtle ways, we don’t want to be like that do we? Being a slave to objects), maybe we need to be stripped bare of the lot to find ourselves, or should I say to detach from the ‘known us’; and even if we are at 180 degrees from EVERYBODY else, to still know how to dig for and experience joy.  And this does not mean giving up everything, it is about our attachment to them, the power of the control people and things have over us, dependencies that we are slaves to. Some people might say, “well why would I want to live if I lose the lot?”  I reckon that’s the right question, and a very fair one.
False Gods
When my son died, so did my false God. It took me a while to realise I had a number of ‘hidden’ Gods. I was born with the idea that God lived in everything, this in Indian culture-speak would be called Jnana Yoga, a non-dual approach, the One manifesting as many; when you break it down it’s not rocket science, don’t need to look too far, just join the dots… same water, same air, same species, same sun, same doughnuts, there are too many hints that it is quite astounding that we humans miss the obvious.  As I grew up, I was indoctrinated into false Gods, the supposed God of the Christians, and a Father God. A tradition had grown out of the life of an extraordinary being who lived two thousand years ago, in time the churches and men of low wisdom and in many cases men of minimal integrity who were seeking control and power, superimposed a God over everyone, this God was supposedly pulling the puppet strings of humanity, judging and dooming, sitting on the shoulders of every man, woman and child, like an annoying parrot who won’t shut up, monotonous information in the subconscious being fed into everyone that we all become immune to.  And I am NOT implying ‘there is no God’, but rethinking what God may be is the beginning of transformation.
The Shattered World
It’s quite normal that we go about our business in a a semi-conscious state not overly questioning anything until our world explodes.  Experiences can break us, in fact let’s be clear here, traumatic experiences WILL break us, it’s WHAT emerges out of the ‘seed-pod’ embedded in the experience that we need to look at, explore, play with, and if we are serious, turn it inside out.  If I may, I will make an assumption that ‘grief, loss, despair’, the whole gamut of emotions which emerge from it are similar for most people, there may be slight variables in the intensity but they would be the same categories; it is the WAY we respond that makes the difference. So what do we do? Our world is shattered, we are so broken that we can barely move, everything hurts, the feeling in our chest is a throb, our every particle stings…
Taking Control of Ourselves
I did something extraordinary when my so passed over, I asked everyone to go away, not to talk to me about it, I changed the language, I said ‘he passed over’, I avoided ‘he died’.  We all have moments of ingeniousness in our lives and this was probably mine.  My idea of Bonsai Gum trees for Japanese tourists would be way down my list from this spark of wisdom.   I’ve done some far-out things but this probably is the one wise thing that eclipsed everything else, I really have no idea what motivated me to tell everyone to ‘mind their own business’; I guess this was because I was on the precipice and something deep inside, the ‘future me’ spoke.  We are social creatures and in times of great trauma it seems natural to get the people close to us to gather around and ‘hold us’.  So what was it that was going on in the deeper part of me thinking?  I went 180 degrees… this for me is usually where the wisdom lies.
The Past, the Present and the Future Now
I have something that I have always done, it’s a type of time-travel, not the H G Well’s jump in a machine and arrive ahead or back in time version of time-travel, it’s more  related to  my thinking. For a number of years now, I have gone back through my life from the present moment and visited the younger me and also gone to the future unborn me; this may not seem overly important and slightly absurd, but I would say, of all the ‘hey, what’s your secrets?’, this would be the one thing that if someone could bottle it, financially they would instantly be in the top 1% of wealthy bods.  It’s not just in my thought I do this, I imagine my whole being travelling back and forwards and out into the cosmos.  There is a close relationship between my ‘unborn me’, with the ‘go away’ technique I used when my son passed over.  If I jump around a little in ‘who I am’, or to be more specific, what this means “if I consider myself to be more than, or to have OTHER points of awareness apart from the ‘known’ everyday nine to five , three score and ten (75 years life expectancy) “, what I would also describe as the ‘I am a body with five senses limited being’, other possibilities for solving complex problems emerge.  It was Einstein who said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” Einstein was known as a physicist, but when I look at him, to me he is a visionary; without the inquisitiveness to understand the nature of things, we may as well just measure objects and archive the info; but when we have a deep passion for understanding, a desire to expand human consciousness, whether it be through science or mysticism, the spin-offs and benefits will open new vistas and humanity evolves.   The enemy of the ‘elite’ is an evolving humanity.
Rethinking Death
Death was my problem, or better still ‘my reality’, my son passed over and I was at the cemetery standing next to his coffin all alone, how do we as ‘feeling’ people deal with this? This is not just MY problem, it is everybody’s issue, it’s going to slam everyone, our beloveds will leave here and eventually according to most logic, people say we must take this journey ourselves, we may have concepts of Gods, Saints or Holy Men/Women guiding us, but let’s keep it simple, we are going solo.  In life, we can have short term bliss, lovers, objects, sunsets, holidays, all sorts of passing moments, but when the pain is in our chest, when our heart is broken, what can we do?  We can’t run, even if we try, the shadow of death follows us, its sting seems to have no remedy, at this time when our dear ones pass over, we are on the edge of madness, some never recover.  So what do we do? Each of us has a ‘genius’ that casts a light over our world of shadows, at this time of despair my genii woke up, he said to everyone “f*ck off”, nothing personal, just “go way please, you are in my way”; I did not want other peoples half-assed stories of reality, either true or untrue.  Some may consider it to be one of those moments when we close down our emotions and become numb; in a way, in all honesty there was a hint of that, but at some other level beneath the surface, there was something different going on, something more powerful and sublime.  I will call it the future-me, my Future Yogi came into my present. This Yogi, Yoda-type lives outside the five senses, this is where the possibilities lie, this is where I went.
The Power of Contrast
When we are in a dark room, there will generally be a tiny gap of light that shines through somewhere, obviously it would be missed in daylight in the same way that when we go about our everyday business, everything is ‘leveled’ over and the subtleties are bypassed; the stark contrast of a few small glowing particles of light against the blackness gives a lot of power to the brightness; suddenly what may have seemed meaningless, missed or insignificant at other times becomes greater.  In the darkness of trauma, there are small glimmers of luminosity; it takes a bit of courage to stride across a dark room and peep into the source of the light, but that’s the thing with grief and despair, it’s almost ‘do or die’, not death of the body but death of our feeling for life; people can continue to live but are numb,they  run on automatic and then lose themselves inside the ‘layers’ of the world; these layers consist of the ‘things that keep us busy, preoccupied ‘ to avoid feeling and questioning.
The Future Now
The future is both unborn and already present,  that statement would resemble nonsense to some people and without clarification would almost sound a little ‘Zoolander’ (movie comedy about fashion models) the “essence of water is wetness.”  🙂  However, coming from someone who has risen above or should I say stepped outside, through or past trauma, I suggest that the statement ought not to be disregarded too quickly, it requires consideration. Some people wear trauma in a way that it ‘defines them’, this is understandable, but trauma can be approached in a way that it is trans-formative. We as a rule live in what most of us call the ‘present’; we could take a type of Buddhist stance and say ‘well our thoughts are over active and we are always off somewhere else, come back to the moment’ but keeping it simple, I will say the present means ‘look at clock > check time > that time is now’,  we will just try an easy definition without any new age interpretations.  But here’s where the brain explodes 🙂  and I could without too much trouble make this sound like a stoned rave, but as I am not a drug taker, it’s not.  ‘Now’ is constant along the timeline of life, we are always in ‘now’. this NOW, has an entrance and exit point EVERYWHERE.
The Meeting Point of the Rivers
So how does the death of God fit into this? How does it all come together? What is the connection between time, trauma and God that I have mentioned?  For me the glue is in the ‘experiencer’, the point of perception at the heart of these three things mentioned.  The experiencer in his or her thought is stuck in time because of an over-identification with the body, this body-thing that we lug around is a bit of a trickster; if there is too much focus on it, we live in fear, we become unnecessarily preoccupied with how we look and create a world of objects to lose ourselves in, this over-indulgence takes the attention away from the ‘perceiver’, although he/she always knows that it is more than the body, there is a type of forgetfulness that we naturally drop into.  With trauma, the focus goes on the experience that the experiencer has gone through, a story emerges that defines the world of the experiencer and the story usually  ALWAYS ‘gets in the way’ of new emerging life.  This ‘God thing’ (without sounding disrespectful) also diverts the attention of the perceiver/experiencer away from itself, it is looking outward, seeking, God is often in the distance, by this I mean at some time in the future there may be a meeting or coming together with God, or in a way ‘God is looking down’ or watching over.  This understanding of God, although it may feel nurturing  to us and creates a feeling of safety, may possibly only be conceptual, a hope a dream.
Coming Back
My God, my imaginary one died with my son Joshua.  For quite some time I had assumed God had betrayed me, and this was a serious dilemma, my life had always been about God since I was born.  However, as my beautiful life unfolded, I came to realise that this God was not real, it was a ‘learned God’, a false God.  The passing of my son led me back to something more sublime, something I had to find myself, something I was born with that was hidden from me for sometime by things that belonged to the world of men and false prophets. I am grateful for what I was given, and although it was at times a painful journey, I found my way home, back to myself.

Future Yogis Home


Meeting my Son After He Passed Over

I like most days, it may seem odd to not like one or two days out of 365 or 366, it’s a bit like ostracizing a color, looking at turquoise and saying, “did you know, across the whole spectrum of possibilities, you just don’t cut it?” Every day is new, never been before, so what’s the story?

The Fragility of Grief
Years ago I had another son, one of two (and I have a dawta), he’s no longer here, he went into forever-ness and everyone who knew him was left wondering, feeling, grieving, going about our business with just a space where he might have been.  So today is his birthday, usually on this landmark day I am a little cautious, feel the world slowly, ask everyone to be gentle on me, to take their super serious problems elsewhere, some days I just can’t do it; the people who message me or call to tell me their world is falling apart…. it’s usually that they don’t love themselves enough and identify with a bundle of thoughts that they think equals them, just a story, and I am always happy to oblige, as people we hold each other….but today it’s different, it’s Joshua’s birthday and the world is rubbing up against me, it feels like small bruises, the Tinman in the wizard of Oz had no heart….I am not him, I can feel something.

What has Meaning?
We go about our business, first world problems, often our concerns are just trivia, turning marbles into bowling balls and throwing them into other peoples lanes,  knocking over their stuff.. when it would be much more sensible to be still for a while, patient, not so self-obsessed.  This is the age of narcissism and distraction, deluded by sparkles and glitter, missing what’s really important…death is the great leveler, it’s in that moment, that gateway to other worlds that the nonsense falls away, when we are raw, that’s when we see what matters.

Meeting my Son After He Passed Over
I met my son after he passed over, I recorded an audio file about it, it took about fourteen years to say it but i finally did it last year.  Listen if you dare, there s something extraordinary in there. This is what most people would refer to as Out of Body Experience (OOB), I have other definitions and descriptions of it, but at this moment I won’t go into it.

With Love Tilopa 2.0

India, Death and Love

Life in the Senses
The smell of the bakery surprised me today, the one I have never seen, hidden away just down the street from where I have lived for a few years, maybe it’s in a back lane, it fires up just in time so I can wander by and taste its goodies in my thoughts.  The corner flower shop, it’s colors, bundles of heaven in soft fragile shapes making me think it’s spring in autumn, and there’s sun, yesterday the winds were distressing, almost a hundred miles an hour,  if it wasn’t for my coffee non-addiction pleasure and a need to break out of cabin fever, I would have stayed in, hidden under my sheets.  The beauty of the morning got me thinking, ‘why do we run?’

Death is Stalking
I grew up with death stalking me, it has taken years for me to settle into life.  I don’t know if other people have this ‘running from death thing’ but my life has been shaped around it.  India, seems to ‘do’ death better than anywhere else.  I have had a deep love affair with India; when my plane landed in the far south at Trichy over thirty years ago, I wept..  I am not what you would call a Indiaphile, a traveler, a passport stamp collector; my  experience is different.  Oddly enough I have always been more Indian than western, my only genetic connection is one I heard about recently from my Irish American based second cousin, she informed me our DNA traces us to Pakistan.  I saw a picture of India at about eight  and as a child said to myself, ‘I must go there,  my real fascination with the land of Bharat started at fifteen when I saw a newspaper cutout and the heading was ‘Jesus Lived in India’. Regardless what the facts may be, it was truth to me. This was a cue of how the future would be shaped.   India, death and who I imagine myself to be, are intertwined.

India on Our Doorstep
It is a great tragedy to the world, in the West, historians, intellectuals and academics have written the story of the world according to certain criteria based on a particular set of values and opinions.  Thank heavens for food and its secret hidden powers, fortunately Indian cuisine is desirable to many people.  We have a lot to thank the global chefs for, they have brought the flavors into our mouths; they are ambassadors who unify humanity, they do what politicians and mainstream religions can’t.   In the spaces where we go to eat these mouth-watering delicacies, on the walls hang pictures of Krishna, Elephants,people wrapped in cloth, the Moguls and while sitting knockin’ back a dosa or spiced tea, floating around the eating space is the sound of the sitar, the sarod, sarangi, tampura, tabla and musical notes that our ears have now become accustomed to; a scent of incense floating. India creeps up on us. In my case I dived in deep at a young age because death was chasing me, so I thought. Really death was my teacher tapping me on the shoulder and India was the classroom, its wisdom and very existence my textbooks.

Opposites Unpack
Each moment we are faced with two entangled opposites, mortality and immortality, being present and detaching.   When there is the ‘passing’ of a loved one, these two mysterious things knock loudly on our door and come in to sit for a while with us.  It’s uncomfortable for us, the fragility of it all; often we just click back into to ‘normal’ with a BIG piece missing, sometimes broken, or maybe philosophical. We can, if we have enough personal power use this time to ‘see’, (‘personal power’ means a type of stability, to be able hold steady against all odds, something that has been developed throughout our lives through extracting the wisdom from experiences, and ‘seeing’ means to use the totality of ourselves to gaze into something without prejudice or a limited opinion).  At the time of the passing of someone dear to us, we are at our most alert, on the edge of two worlds and if we can harness the waves of grief, use them as a type of fuel for transformation, a change will come about at a core level, even if we return to everyday life when the exterior is not much different; we will never be the same again.

The Beauty and Insanity of India
Death has been my teacher;  India and death seem to be intertwined; the world of Gods beyond the human form, their visits to the world, the rushing Ganges, a symbol of the flow of life, the passing show, the billions born into human existence, rolling through space-time. The insanity of a country with so many paradoxes, where the Dharma is at its heart; the Dharma, the endless unfolding natural law that sustains all, with it’s innate tendency towards supporting virtue, and I don’t mean the morality of the small minded religious zealots.   India with some of its hideous customs towards devaluing woman, and it’s not that it doesn’t happen elsewhere;  where is the respect for Sita, isn’t she in every woman?  India where the Ramayana was born, the epic tale of Rama, outlining the roles of all members of the community can play their roles to bring about a harmonious society. India she gave us the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God expressed so potently, the arrival of the Avatar Krishna to save a bumbling humanity from itself, the prayers of the Saints and Sages heard, the Divine manifesting to its full potential in the world of the five elements. Krishna riding the chariot into battle with Arjuna standing on his shoulders, pulling on the reins of the five horses, helping those who support the Dharma in the battle of Kurukshetra, family members and friends against each other; reminding us it is our heart that is the battlefield, to overcome the part of ourselves that stands in the way of where we would be best to go.

Love Revealed
The giant orange tennis ball in the sky, suspended in space over the western plains, ladies in saris in the fields, their backs bent, natural yogis, like phantoms on the stage of life.  The sound of Bhajans, Kirtan, music for the Gods, little cymbals, drums and the drone of an harmonium moves across my thoughts. The words of Bhagavatam deeply ingrained in my thoughts.  When I set out to write this a few days ago, I was thinking about an article about how all the things of India do not represent Spirituality, how they get in the way of the view of the formless absolute and how they are just passing forms in the show. I was thinking how anything that presents itself in the world of shadows and light is an obstacle to self-transformation…..and here I sit entangled; I solved death years ago, but India still enchants me; her mystery, her beauty…. I often wonder why I was born in the West, maybe it’s a love affair from a distance. the deepest longing that makes me appreciate her more, like the master musician who waits for the perfect note to emerge from the Silence.