An Unlikely Friendship Chapter 4

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A rock on a log with a stick.

Click for previous chapters: 1,2,3.

Years went by after that time in the book store…..and he never actually thought about it again. That is, until one day, while he was out driving. He was speeding ,which he didn’t normally do, but he was late. As he sped down the highway, his mind was thinking about how late he might be, what he could do to mitigate the situation and the like, when.. out of nowhere…

“hello”

“Holy moly! Rock?!” He thought, and although he was asking for confirmation, he also needed none.

He just continued driving, speeding but safe, and for several minutes there was silence. Not the silence he remembered all those years ago as he could feel the rock with him and they both we simply enjoying each other’s mere presence.  Then he began to think about all these past years… how could he possibly have never thought about this all these years?  Then he thought about the last place he saw the rock… on his dresser… he knows it’s not there now, and he can’t remember moving it or seeing it… what happened to it?! Where is it right this very second?

“doesn’t much matter…. does it?”

“True I suppose but I feel like I failed you.. to protect you… to listen to you, learn from you”

He didn’t get words for an answer but felt it…. it was like a very very long, almost infinite plane of solid rock, almost humming – very deeply – very very quiet – almost beyond sound, or inside sound – the vibrations of the atoms in the air – so quiet yet almost infinitely loud. It didn’t make sense when he tried to comprehend it but when he simply felt it, he understood….. Protection is meaningless to the rock … how could the inside of a vibration need protecting?! And even that thought, he knew, failed to explain what he felt.  He also understood that he couldn’t fail the rock… how could the rock judge another’s vibrations? And it’s not even like that he thought… those vibrations…that ‘sound’ it pulses into everything ,everything is pulsing into everything .. to judge would be like snake attacking its tail…. It can be done but it’s not very helpful!

“police car”

“um huh?”

“POLICE”

He didn’t understand exactly but trusted the rock and he slowed down to the speed limit and sure enough after half a mile he saw a patrol car behind some shrubs with a radar gun.

Although he had plenty of reasons to be blown away already, this really floored him. Did he really just have an imaginary rock help him avoid a speeding ticket?!  His brain began freaking out somewhat and he couldn’t control the expanse of thoughts and hypothesis to explain this all. Nothing could explain it that didn’t involve some level of sounding completely crazy. He realized he probably shouldn’t tell anyone .. he was not even sure if he could believe himself, so how could he possibly expect anyone else to?

He tried desperately trying to talk with the rock but his brain was buzzy with so much internal noise he couldn’t hear the soundless sound anymore.  Although he kept trying, he knew the rock wasn’t going to reply to his calling out “Here rocky rock, here boy” as if he was calling a dog! But he was desperate. It was years since he last communicated with the rock and was afraid he may never again communicate with it.

He arrived a little late, which caused some issues, but nothing he didn’t sort out, but his mind the whole day was elsewhere.

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Continuing on…

CAM00051

Sky and Tree, come settle on me.

The rumbling of the Earth slows down as the Buffalo retires for the night. Opening my eyes slowly reveals the stars overflowing the black sky as the dust of trampling hooves settles around. My mind is whirling, spinning and this too, slows down as my focus comes into being. Where am I? What has happened?

Who am I?

The Peacepipe is passed around and the close-by low chatter sounds like distant chanting. Smoke fills my eyes and being, breathing in those words, that chatter, filling inside my being…. Then exhaling and out comes chanting, clear and strong.

Thank you my ancestors, for these gifts you have bestowed upon me.

This is a continuation of a previous post here.

Vision

Earth Mother

Earth Mother

Laying on our Earth Mother, together our spirits swirl. Head to foot, foot to head, the white Buffalo girl tramples around us, circling us like the moth to the fire. Drawn in, the pounding of dirt and grass covers us in dust and only the sound remains. Louder and louder, yet no fear pervades. The pounding merges our heart beats, together with the bison and our Mother.

The Strength overcomes our emotions, the strength of deep love. Tears stream down as Love pours up into us, and out again so the whole world shines.

How many times has this magic happened before these lives we have, our lives? How many times will it happen again?

Coming to, dust has settled and sounds disappeared. The bright Moon shines down as the Buffalo lies between us and our heartbeats flow together through her white pure being and the rocks below.

 

Thank you my ancestors for this teaching you have shown me.

Moles in the ground turn the wheel of the Dharma

Big leaf, big wonder

Big leaf, big wonder

My son and I explored a giant leaf last year and we were mightily impressed with its size. My little guy tried to take it with him, so I explained that we didn’t need it, so lets just leave it and admire it.

Mother nature has always held a special place in my heart. I believe the late great Folk legend Pete Seeger was quoted as saying something like ‘When i am walking in the woods, I feel as though I am in church’.  I, too, get this amazing powerful, deep feeling when immersed within mother nature.

In Buddhism, we talk about ‘leaving home’. Walking in the deep woods can be ‘returning home’.

In the Oxherding pictures, we talk about ‘returning to the source’. Being enveloped, embraced, cuddled like a mother to a baby, by our Earth mother, is a powerful experience. When one is open to such an embrace, our sense of self naturally fades away and we may realize our deep faith in the interdependency and interconnectedness of all that is. These are not just airy-fairy words that sound pretty. When we allow ourselves to fall into Mother nature, allow ourselves to fall into love with Mother Nature, she always catches us, and sets us free from our own self-clinging.

Birds chirp and a branch falls, a stream trickles and a mole sleeps in his burrow. Already complete, we all are already Buddhas.

Which path?

Green leaves, brown bark, white light and cool shade.

Green leaves, brown bark, white light and cool shade.

Sometimes our journey is cool and shaded, and wrapped up with soothing sounds of birds and wind. The crisp smell of the Earth and leaves, and the crackling of dried twigs under our feet merge our bodies with the soil.

These times of feeling safe, secure and comforted, make us feel at home, immersed into nature; however, we may feel a deep sadness for living outside of Mother Earths bussom for most of our lives.

All paths with eventually circle the globe and bring us Home, yet that doesn’t mean chosing a path wisely is not important. So, it is important to take full advantage of those times when the path we are on feels ‘right’, feels like we are Home. We can focus on our minds, our hearts onto what is the origin of these feelings. Why do they feel like Home? Is it merely a mosaic of sensory perception, having a synergistic effect? Or is there something deeper? Being honest to ones’ own self is critical. It may be easy to conclude that one has ‘connected with Mother Earth’ and that many gods and goddesses abound and dance with you. Regardless, though, of the truth of this conclusion, what does it matter?

‘Taking advantage’ of these situations is not an ego-based action. If one can come to a fuller realization of their inherent true nature, this can only help to dissolve the illusion of our ego-mind.

From what I understand, only with utter joy with one’s own self, can one begin to realize their true inherent nature. Being in a state of bliss from realizing the beauty of your path is not something to disregard. It should be nurtured. However, subtle care must be given so that this bliss doesnt feed our ego-mind! “MY path is CORRECT!!” LOL.

Part of the bliss, the joy of seeing the beauty of a path is born from our wonder, our genuine ‘not-knowing’ what we are witnessing. Are not the most wonderous and beautiful things we ever experience things we never have seen before? Why is this? It is before our minds can categorize them, define and label them. We become merged with the experience.

Ugly paths, gorgeous paths… .they all led back Home, but never be afraid to follow the pretty path if it sings straight to your heart, for fear it will feed your ego…..while this is a risk, travelling a dark path holds the same risk… our ego’s hunger finds nourishment everywhere!!

Parenting

Natural Mama Big Camp 2013

Natural Mamas Big Camp 2013

This past weekend, I went to a camping event that was put on by a group called ‘Natural Mamas’. There were over 700 people camping, with over 400 under 5 year olds! Here in the UK, this group is dedicated to parenting with a focus on doing it ‘naturally’. What does this mean? Well, I am not a member my self (though it is open to papas too!), so I don’t want to define it incorrectly, but it focuses on parenting in a manner that is more in tune with how mothers evolved. So, instead of putting a baby in a stroller, you “wear” your baby, keeping it close to your heart. Just as a premature baby will benefit from a mothers touch, so too does a full-term baby, and an infant, and a toddler! Even as an adult, a mothers hug is pretty awesome! Also, ‘natural’ parenting involves things like baby-led weaning, breast-feeding, co-sleeping and cloth diapers (nappies) or even no diapers! Some may call it hippy-parenting, some may call it third-world parenting, but in reality, it is how we as humans evolved to parent. So, in essence, it is coming back to our roots, our true nature. I love it! And I loved the camping this weekend. My wife and my toddler also loved it.

Of course, on a deeper level, what is not natural? of course everything is ‘natural’, but that doesn’t mean it is correct function. So, getting back to the correct natural function of being a mother, of being a father, is very important. Modern humans are very far removed from how we evolved over millions of years to live, so it is difficult. I am not saying if something is natural it is always correct and I am not condemning any ‘unnatural’ or new ways to do parenting. Far from it. But getting back to the core of what it means to be human, to be a parent, is very important, very beautiful and very magically powerful!

Decay

Beauty exists only now, enjoy it!

Beauty exists only now, enjoy it!

Run around the Sun

Dance around the Moon

Swim beneath the waves

Jellyfish in their caves

Glacier’s tilt

River’s silt

Flowers bloom

Leaves decay

Everything that is

always fades away.

Brain map patty-whack…

Does light master the rainbow or does the rainbow master the light?

Does light master the rainbow or does the rainbow master the light?

…give the dog a bone…

The human brain is a very complex organ, sort of like a powerful computer, processing tons of information, all the time, and producing output, all the time. Yet, unlike a computer, it is always changing, with neurons, brain cells, changing in shape, in length, in function. It is how ‘practice makes perfect’. Each time something is practiced, whether swinging a golf club, writing your name with your non-usual hand, learning a language, your neurons adapt after each experience. Neurons can grow in length, physically to have a better reach at other areas in the brain that can help perform the task better each time.

All the neurons compete, in a way, for dominance in your brain…which explain ‘use it or lose it’. But..

Because the human brain is super fresh, it can remember things, and even if you haven’t rode a bike for ten years, you will still be able to do it, maybe wobbly at first, but that memory, that map your brain made all those years ago, is dusted off and re-used.

It also explains how people can get into ruts, get into compulsions, and habits, both good and bad. Your brain is a powerful tool, and it masters most people’s lives.

When the brain is mastered itself, you can direct where those maps form, and you can begin to heal any ‘bad’ or unhealthy brain maps.

The brain doesn’t like to be stagnant, we didn’t evolve that way.

So, when humans are removed from their natural environment and ecotones, they seem to do either of 2 things..

stagnate and get depressed, fall ill, and have a miserable life….

or flourish, and create masterpieces of art and science…..

How many hunter-gatherer tribes have horribly depressed, chronically ill and drug addicted people? Not many

How many of those tribes have Einsteins, Newtons, Picassos, or Michelangelos?

Not many.

In one sense, it’s simply not ‘natural’ to push the limits of the mind as the great artists and scientists have done.

In another sense, it’s the human brain, of course it’s natural!

So, keeping our brains happy is keeping our societies happy. Or something like that…

brain wack patty map, give a crow a moan,

play piano upsidedown, a frown turns ’round

E=MC2 and turtles fly the night

looking for Terrapin

the lights always bright..

Photons shine white,

cut one open and black spills out..

and births the ying and the yang,

Neurons sputter, like bad sparkplugs,

they need maintenance too,

make them fire into the night

and form a circle of thought in your brain.

It will be real, as real as anything, and a physical circle of electricity will be conducted..

follow its path in your head, and its a dance, one neuron to the next, electricity flows inside the neuron, till it reaches its end, spewing out chemicals to find the next neuron, and this turns it on, literally, and it feels electric, because it is, and then it shoots this electric current down inside this next neuron towards its tip,s then explodes with more chemicals…

It sounds pretty sexual, and, in a way it is…

these bursts of chemicals and electricity create growth, create relationships, and make the brain work more efficiently. (okay efficient and sex don’t really go together, well, I hope not, lol)

So, I will continue to create this particle accelerator in my brain, using thought alone, as that is all that is biologically required, as the thoughts move the neurons into action, which moves the electricity which moves the chemicals….which makes neurons grow, and expand and create more and more connections…

I think I just gave myself a headache. lol.

The rain dances with photons.... and whoever the master was, falls to their knees and smiles at the colors.

The rain dances with photons…. and whoever the master was, falls to their knees and smiles at the colors.

Letting Go…

Holding up the Earth, singing to my heart.

Holding up the Earth, singing to my heart.

“Letting go….”

It was said to me, almost without words, maybe even without words, spoken to my heart, my mind, all of me.

“Letting go….. Letting go….”

It was said to me as an answer, as advice, as medicine.

That great Indian in the sky. Indian to me, Red Indian, Native Indian, Native American to others… He came to me in a vision. Perhaps. Maybe it was I who came to him. His presence…..it took great effort on his part, I could tell, but ironically, was effortless…As though he made some great sacrifice to speak to me.

His face was almost what you would expect…old, wise, full of lines, wrinkles, with long hair flowing. Deep Wisdom. Truth. Calm and Peace. Above all – Love. His love was, well, boundless.

I just listened, and his message, his answer, was clear:

“Letting go”

And he was gone.

This is an experience I had many years ago, before I meet Buddhism.

Geese

I wrote the following a year ago or so…

What percentage of the Earth is covered in water?

It is not 2/3 or there-abouts.

It is 100%.

Water is not just liquid.

Not just ice.

But also a gas.

Water vapor covers the entire globe.

Most of the globe has a surface of liquid water, the Oceans.

Some is covered with solid water, ice, the Glaciers.

All is covered with water gas, as water vapor in the atmosphere.

In you live in Upstate New York, in the snow belt, lots of water is white, as snow, and lots of snow.

In the winter, white is the color.

Covering the trees, covering the ground, the cars, the houses. The sky is white, snow falling from white clouds.

All is white, and sounds are muffled, insulated, a warm -15 Fahrenheit.

Leaving the house one morning, 10 years ago or so, begging the car’s engine to turn over, which it does, and while the engine block defrosts, i brush off the 8 or so inches of fresh snow off the car, that has been falling all night. The snow is still falling, and heavy, thick and deafeningly quiet. A silent, persistent and relentless dumping. Utter beauty.

Then, in the quiet of early morning i hear them.

The unmistakable honking from Canadian Geese, loud, but muffled, and strong, and constant. Powerful. I can’t see them above me, just hear them.
I stop and just listen. and float my minds eye up and up and up to the flock …
and imagine them, in an arrow shape, honking…

what can they see but white?

is that why they honk? to ‘see’ each other, and the ‘see’ upcoming dangers, like a low level sonar, like bats?

do they honk to keep from dying? to keep their spirits strong and focus their neurons onto the ridiculous task they are performing?

Pause.

slowly the honks fade away and I never got to see my friends up in the sky, but their power shot straight into my heart.

then my heart sank, as i felt their strong purpose, then i had to focus on my purpose…. get my car cleared and get my ass to work…

But, it didn’t sink for long, as their spirit lifted mine, and kept part of my heart with them, flying free and hard, without sight, into the white light, with no doubts…

Damn, those geese are smart.