Monday, August 31, 2009

Energy Cultivation

When we consider our energy level we probably first think of food, drink or rest. I have never tried them, but there is a whole array of energy drinks all promising to increase our energy. Of course, I love my morning coffee. There are energy bars available at every grocery checkout stand in the country. You can’t go a week without hearing you don’t get enough rest, or conversely, too much.

Certainly we cannot believe we are just a bag of complex chemistry; that a sip of some energy drink will have any lasting effect. Consider your ability to get on your computer to access and read this material. The neural network that forms your consciousness is truly a miracle of connectedness and interdependency.

There are ancient traditions of energy cultivation, based on understanding the body’s electrical channels. While not an expert, I have tried the outer dissolving (downward) practice of the Water Method successfully. The next time you reach for an energy drink or energy bar, check out the work of Bruce Kumar Frantzis and Dennis Lewis instead.

As our contemplation of time deepens

Time is the magical mystery. As the universe pivots into the next moment; everything, everywhere, changes at the same time. This is time; the magical mystery of change. Time is change and change is time.

Yet as we explore more deeply into time, we perceive the quiet stillness of time. In the quiet stillness, it is as if time has stopped, giving us the feeling of no-time, or eternal time. This quiet stillness is what connects everything, everywhere.

This realization is stunning. Time is change and time is stillness. The change tends to separate us, the stillness connects us. We are part and whole at the same time, within each precious moment. Time frees us and time binds us together.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Truth versus Perspective

We have been led to believe that what we experience in life is the truth; a truth that we uniquely perceive. We have forgotten that most of what we call the truth is actually our perspective, seen through the eyes of our personality, the egoic mind we have become, far removed from our true nature. This egoic mind is full of illusion, likes, dislikes, hidden bias and other clouded ideas.

We are not consciously aware of this perspective. When we speak within our perspective, we should not call it the truth. The truth is so much more special than that. The truth comes from an unassailable place. The truth is rare in its telling, a hallowed ground, absolute in its power, rooted in universal consciousness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moments when the songbird sings to me

Look into the liminal zone

Outside my front door is a set of mountains I love to look into. As I look at the ragged edge between the top of the trees and the sky above, it comes into a clearer and clearer focus. It becomes a bright line of light, a reflection of the light from the other side. As I look ever more deeply into this liminal zone, my mind stops its racing thoughts and my heart fills with boundless joy.

Look into the landscape

Living on the side of a mountain, surrounded by mountains, there are trees everywhere. There was a time when I would look out and see a blur of green. Now, when I look out into the trees I see every distinct shade of green, the various shapes, and then the sizes with an extraordinary depth perception of the trees close, far, high and low. This beauty is beyond the dimensions of sight to include the energy and aliveness of the universe.

Listen to the sounds beneath the sounds

When you listen, really listen, you can hear the sounds beneath the sounds; first the birds nearby, then the birds afar, then the responding answers to each of those calls. A gentle wind passes through the trees and the leaves rub against each other; then a train whistles, the coyotes chorus, a woodpecker hammers, a hawk screams, an airplane soars. This is the pivot of each moment of change, the universe singing its song of oneness. All of it is available to us as witness if we really listen.

Listen to the falling rain

Rain is such a reassuring sound. Its gentle rhythm promises the liquid hydration of life. The trees sing, the flowers bloom, while all the furry and feathered friends receive a needed bath. The earth is healing itself one more time.

Breathe in, Breathe out

I like to take time everyday to stop everything, sit down in a comfortable chair and slowly breathe in and breathe out. As I do I can feel my heart beat, ever so slowly and then a pleasant feeling of bliss radiates throughout every tissue in my body. I know for sure in these moments that natural healing and restoration is taking place.

Look into the cascading waterfall of nectar

Each night as I close my eyes to fall asleep, I look into my closed eyelids. At first I see a random pattern of reddish light within the darkness. Then as I look more closely into the light, it begins to organize itself into patterns. Sometimes I see two opposing waterfalls cascading into each other. As I look into their juncture, I see a sweet, bright light that beacons beyond. I imagine that this is the cascading waterfall of nectar, the singularity of change and time, the heartbeat of the universe, truth in the mind’s eye, as I fall fast asleep.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where is the love?

As I was listening to the television this morning, a commentator was giving his advice on love and marriage. He said that love is unnatural to us; love is something we must learn. He went on to say we are born selfish as evidenced by our need as babies to eat and demand constant attention.

In my experience, as the false veil of learning and assumptions has lifted, as the random, racing voice in my head became still, I filled with a boundless joy, happiness, peace and love. Nothing has ever been more natural. Nothing has ever been more right. Nothing has ever been more normal. Grace is our natural, normal state. Where is the love? It is who you really are, just beneath the surface of what you have become. Your name is peace, your name is truth, and your name is love.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On Being Alone

This is one of my favorite subjects for contemplation. If we accept our interconnectedness to everything, then how is it possible for us to actually be alone? Regardless of that logic, being begins with becoming more real; shedding all illusion, lies, and perspective, finding the quiet stillness between each beat of your heart. This is an act of surrender. As we silence the layers upon layers of habits, learning and false ideas, our true nature rises out of the emptiness. We find the truth; you have never been alone, the entire kingdom of heaven is within your very being.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"I Am Spirit"

Last night the dogs and I sat outside in the twilight, contemplating the stars above. I remember there are 100 billion galaxies each of which have 100 billion stars. That is 10 billion trillion stars in all. As I look up into the night’s sky, my mind completely stops in awe as I contemplate and appreciate the vastness of the universe.

Several minutes later, I remember a human body has more atoms than there are stars in the universe; that the space between each atom is proportional to the space between the stars. So although we seem to be solid, we are mostly the space between. My mind completely stops in wonder.

This miracle we call life; that two cells come together to create this living being capable of contemplating the universe. This being is as vast as the universe, with more atoms than all the stars in the universe. And my mind stops once again.

Each of us is a magical mystery, an enduring energy, a miracle of peace and love, a wistful field of benefaction, a celestial sphere of truth, a heavenly cloud of kindness, a hallowed ground of grace.

We will release soon a video trailer to “The Songbird In My Heart” in order to convey these thoughts through photographs, words and the music of Maia Oden. It will be called “I Am Spirit”.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

“The Infinite Possibilities of the Mystic Songbird”

1. I started the follow-on book to “The Songbird In My Heart” a few weeks ago. The working title is “The Infinite Possibilities of the Mystic Songbird”. The focus of the book is scientific and observational evidence for the hidden order and interconnectedness of everything.
Scientific topics include natural ecosystems, genetics, non-linear dynamics, string theory and synchrony. The observational evidence will include my own plus any other that readers of “Songbird I” might want to offer.

The purpose of the book is to demonstrate our connection to the universe. We typically feel separate and are yearning for connection. We may not understand the reasons why, but we join groups with like interests, we travel to exotic places and challenge our comfort zones, all in a search to find unity. This book will demonstrate the intimate connections within us to everything around us. It will show how we are part and whole at the same time.

2. The last few years I have sworn off all chemical sprays. There is over a mile of gravel driveway on the farm, so this means a lot of invasive weeds. Most all my neighbors spray Roundup several times per summer. I have been just mowing them down. For me it adds a cooling, green look to the gray gravel.

I have brought this same approach into my garden. This year instead of trying to keep the weeds down between the fruit trees, I planted and then encouraged the growth of diverse wildflowers and legumes. As promised by the expert’s recommendation, a rich array of beneficial insects rose up and has protected the fruit. A new combination of birds has also shown up. So as a result of this new ecosystem, the garden has produced better fruit, more flowers, and attracted new birds all from planting a new understory of plants. Wow, it really worked!

3. When I moved back to Virginia, I was planning on building a super-sized, southern mansion. Being a country boy, I built my barns first, and as things evolved I built a small country cottage instead. Almost 5 years later, I still love that decision.
Some of my friends were very disappointed, others proud of me. For some, I violated some important rule. Either way, we must remember that it not necessarily about what others think, it’s about our choices.

4. In spite of the security and comfort I feel inside my cottage, I have found that I much prefer being outside. Inside it is very quiet, separate. Outside there is a cacophony of sound. Early this morning, as I sat sipping the morning’s brew, I listened to the crickets’ music rise and fall. I noticed that it had a certain rhythm with the truck noises from up on Route 64 about a mile away.

As the trucks roar would rise, the crickets’ chirps would follow. It was if the crickets were calling out to the trucks. Is this possible? I realized in that moment, that we feel so separated from nature, that it never dawned on me that the crickets were welcoming the trucks to join the party. If we can find the time to step outside, we may again feel our strong connection to everything.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The Sky Above

This month several planets are visible in the night sky. Check out,, or Take the time to find our brothers and sisters of the solar system and experience the wonder and oneness with the universe.


We are told to be mindful, but the question is; full of what mind? Ah, so it all starts with the assumption that we know the answer. For some, it may mean to bring your attention to a matter. Not a bad start, but not quite complete. Mindfulness begins with emptiness, a mind empty of the acquired ego and personality of our years. If we can empty this egoic mind, our true nature rises out of the emptiness and fills the void. This is mindfulness.

Emotions and Feelings

We are told to only trust our emotions and feelings for they arise from our true nature. Yet this is not necessarily so. Emotions and feelings that arise out of our ego and personality arise out of illusion. These emotions and feelings are rooted in the meaning we have assigned them, from our everyday superficiality. So, how do we know which emotions and feelings we can trust? Now that is the question.

The Word And

And is a most important word. We are trained to think of or, which certainly has its place. Or clearly forces a choice, but sometimes the better answer is and. Remember this as it may have become unnatural to you. And is a most natural word.


Many suggest that all problems originate in duality, the thinking and actions that are a result of us feeling separate, unique and special. And yet, in making this important point we may miss a broader lesson. We are both part and whole at the same time. Our parts are the source of our connectedness. Simultaneously, we are part of a greater whole. We usually see the one in the many; we need to also see the many in the one. This is holistic thinking, oneness. Nothing is left out.

A Special Time, A Special Place

We do not need a special place or time to find our true nature, but it might help. It did for me. After a time, the realization that time and place do not matter will arrive. But in the meantime, it may help you bring attention and purpose. Later, their need will disappear.

Courage = Focus less the Fear

Love = Wholeness less the Ego

Forgiveness = Understanding less the Righteousness

Mindfulness = Spirit less the Illusion

Monday, August 17, 2009

Everyday thoughts

Everyday thoughts

1. I have a friend
There is this fellow I see from time to time who is tortured by the past and future anticipated events. He is particularly fixated on the rumors of the end of times promoted by the Mayan calendar, I Ching and Nibiru conspiricists. I have two things to say about this.

First, the people who make money off of peoples’ fears are contemptible. The unwitting people who pass on these false ideas are part of the problem. In my research, these are rank hoaxes driven by a desire to make money from other peoples’ fears. I guess the other possibility is that these people are demented in some way. There is much harm done in these activities. If someone wants to create these fictions as a way to entertain, they should clearly designate it as such.

Second, as a more general philosophy, because of the nature of the interrelatedness of everything, it is nearly impossible to predict events far into the future. Surely, if everything is interconnected, there are infinite possibilities. As each moment arises, it is as if the world and everything in it has been recreated with a whole new set of possibilities. So if someone tells you what is going to happen far onto the future, they are really only describing one set of possibilities.

2. What about the freezer in the back?
I was in line at the grocery recently. The lady in front of me was complaining about the price of the bird seed she was buying. I told her I mix my own seed to save money and mentioned I have wild turkeys that enjoy what hits the ground.

The check out lady asked me “You don’t shoot them do you?” I laughed and said “No, but have you seen all the dead turkeys in the freezer in back?” We all forget that life lives on life, and when we do we lose something. Whether it is animal, vegetable, fruit, seed or nut we interrupt the expected course of some living thing in order to live ourselves. Realizing this fact will make us more mindful and thankful for the sacrifice.

3. What, you hate change?
My dogs and I love soft serve ice cream. Every summer we stop periodically for a soft serve cone to share. The other day we stopped and the customer in front of me was talking to the server about how he hated change.

As he turned to leave, he looked at me as if to ask me what I thought. I told him the story of his life is measured in change. In fact he is change, so to hate change is to hate himself. I smiled deeply and he smiled back as we went our separate ways.

We go through this life thinking that everything will stay the same. We are surprised when the wheel of life pivots and we see the other side of suffering or joy. Change is time and time is change. Everything is impermanent. If we can fall into the present moment of now, the past and future dissolve, and we can appreciate the magnificence of each moment as it arises within us, knowing for sure change is coming.

4. Why so sad?
While there is nothing wrong with feeling sadness, over time it is an indication we are living in some past moment. Sadness is realization of a disappointment, a loss or other setback. For me, it is important to fully experience this emotion when it appears. This allows me to appreciate what is going on in the present moment. If I don’t, the sadness may continually arise at odd moments.

While I have never been big on ceremonies, our traditions may help us in this regard. When each of my parents died we had a small gathering of loved ones, officiated by my parent’s minister. These small ceremonies really helped our family fully experience our sadness together. It eventually allowed us to move on with life.

So what if we continue to feel sad? After some reasonable time, we should be vigilant. Continuing sadness can steal the joy and happiness of our present moments. It is as if false clouds come into view and hide the clear blue sky above.

What do we do? We bring our full attention to our sadness. We realize that it is not our true nature to always feel sad. We realize that this is an unresolved, unsolvable obsession of the ego. We wait for the next thought, patiently wait for the next thought and take back our focus on the present moment.

5. Why so sad II?
When my mother died, our family was devastated. She had been the glue that held us all together. Her loss particularly affected my dad. He had lost his soul mate.

One day several years after her passing, I had a chance to talk to my father about my feelings. He asked me if I missed her as much as he did. I said that I missed her physical presence, particularly our morning coffee together. I also said that she was very much a part of me, she resides within my heart; that I feel her there everyday. He said that it was the same for him and for that connection we were both thankful.

6. Why so angry?
It is said anger is the result of unresolved fear and frustration. Anger arises out of the meaning we have assigned something. This is always so.

We may want to discover what it is that has really made us angry and question the meaning we placed on the subject of the anger. From this new place of attention, we can decide whether we are still angry.

Sometimes the anger will immediately disappear as we reset the meaning we have placed on a thing. There may come a time when we recognize anger for what it is, an emotion based in past action. A healthy response is to broaden our view into a more holistic one and try to find forgiveness in our heart.

A few years ago, I found some deep tire tracks at my driveway’s entrance. One of the guys who was working here said it was probably someone who was upset with me for developing the property into a horse farm. I could feel my temperature go to the moon. How dare they?

A few minutes later another guy asked me why I was upset. After I told him what had happened, he laughed. He had seen the person who made the tracks; the poor fellow’s brakes had failed and he barely got his truck stopped in my driveway. The person was very sorry and had apologized. Wow, did I ever feel stupid!

The danger of anger is it clouds the mind. It takes us out of the present nectar of the universe. Each moment in anger is a lost opportunity for peace and grace.

7. The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo
Sex, Ecology and Spirituality, the Spirit of Evolution by Ken Wilber
These two books are monuments to mankind’s ability to think and comprehend spirituality. Their scope is beyond most people’s ability to grasp. I find myself unable to put into words how important these books truly are. No spirituality library is complete without them.

8. The Tao of Natural Breathing by Dennis Lewis
Relaxing Into Your Being by Bruce Kumar Frantzis
The Great Stillness by Bruce Kumar Frantzis
These are terrific books on breathing meditation. I use them everyday.

9. Nexus by Mark Buchanan
Hidden Order by John Holland
Synch by Steven Strogatz
Six Degrees of Separation by Duncan Watts
Linked by Albert Laszlo Barabasi
Relics of Eden by Daniel J. Fairbanks
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
This collection of scientific books forms a basis of confidence in our interconnectedness.

10.Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hahn
It’s Up to You by Dzigar Kongtrul
Wake Up and Roar by H. W. L Poonja
The Great Medicine by Shechen Rabjam
The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
On Buddha Essence by Khenchen Thrangu
In my opinion, these books are written by those who have experienced the peace that passes all understanding. I hear in their voice the echo of my own voice.