Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter's Here

A window opened today
and a cold wind blew through
the shutters flew
on the surface grew
a vibrant young radiant hue
the thick of the night
held the blooming moon rays
like a soft shroud blanket

A window opened today
and through it came
a tired tried and true
someone who
knows how to
keep it all together
crying he lied
laughing he died
altogether a fool

A window opened today
and not far away
song birds were singing
the smell of fall leaves
letting from the eaves
of white birch trees leaving
peering out to look
in a think winter cloak
on a misty dewy morning

A window opened today
and somewhere along the way
somebody told me to
see the trees growing
feel the crisp breeze snowing
to smell the leaves falling
hear the bird song calling
now there is no way
without glass or shade
to see things like they do
winter is here
crystal clear
death to all knowing

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bay Arian

A Bay Arian is a person who:
a. Lives or resides in or around the San Francisco Bay Area.
b. Has no cultural grounding/basis upon which actions stem.

In a desperate attempt to find some meaning and grounding in life, we Californians, and those of the Bay Area in particular, are adopting practices of other cultures. 

Regardless of what we choose to believe, in the United States our view of what humans are and how we relate to the world has a grounding in a Christian outlook of life. Though many of us residing in the Bay Area have renounced this view and its practices, the eyes through which we view the world, ourselves, and all relationship is fundamentally Christian in nature. This is neither good/bad, right/wrong. We must understand though that our view of the world and the practices we adopt together create the outcomes we experience.

When we have a view which we do not recognize, combined with a hodgepodge set of practices stemming out of cultures and views that are not our own, our experience of life will certainly be one of confusion, struggle, suffering, and doubt. Having no culture which lends a feeling of connection, purpose, lost amidst a sea of practices not our own, we are left to establish meaning and significance in life on our own, as individuals. Thus it makes sense that we meander about trying on the practices of other cultures like we are shopping, never finding any sense connection or common purpose. It then makes sense that we are deeply afraid of everyone around us and why we have so much hate in our hearts.

We must understand that in our attempt to establish some new cultural base, our view is as important, if not more so, than the practices we adopt or establish. However, most of us are scanning and trying out the practices of others in the search for the 'right' or 'correct' way of doing things. This is fundamentally naive and stems from the Christian idea of there being the morally right way of living as dictated by a creator God. But, when we get right down to it, all practices are fundamentally the same. There is no right or wrong, good or bad. There is only the view you have melded with the practices you undertake and the fruition of view/practice moving free of any moral dilemma. It is only us that bring the judgments to the table.

If we are truly interested in fruition, we must see that we are viewing ourselves and the world through the Christian lens. That we have adopted the idea that after a long period of struggle to change our circumstance and what we are (sin), eventually, we will find the right way of living and all will be right and good (heaven). And that once we find this right way of doing things, it is then up to us to teach it to others and show them the right way (savior). Then to the extent that others agree with the right way, is to the extent they are our friends and to the extent they disagree, our enemies (God sanctioned hate and war).

Thankfully though, if we look at things free of the Christian view, there exists no mandate that any of us agree or disagree with the way life actually is. We are wholly free to have any view and any practice we so desire and life has no response other than the fruition of our view and practice.

So welcome to our reality my fellow Bay Arians! My confused and desperate brothers and sisters. May we all see with unclouded eyes or original nature. May we all be free to adopt any practice that makes sense to us with the view that coincides for the fruition of all beings and things.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 Moon Festival

In traditional Chinese Culture dating back to the Song dynasty (960-1279), today is the Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival.  Today marks the full return of annual yin.  In Chinese Cosmology, it is possible to explain the movement of all things in terms of the years qi (pronounced chee -- no English word equivalent exists; qi is most often referred to as energy, however, this is not the full story) broadly viewed as a cyclical pattern of yin and yang which is easily seen when looking at the seasons.  Winter being the time when Yin (earth, mother, stillness, cold) is at its peak and yang is most diminished.  Summer being the time when Yang (fire, heaven, father, movement, heat) is at its peak and yin is most diminished.  The moon festival is the celebration and recognition that yin is the new yang, baby!  White is out, black is back.  

Farmers the world over are now harvesting the bountiful fruits of summer (yang).  The Moon Festival marks the time to take these fruits indoors for nourishment and storage in preparation for the big yin of winter.  Externally we are gathering and storing qi, but the Moon Festival also marks the time for us to recognize this change-of-the-guard internally as well.  

The roots of the fruits that will come to pass over the next several months have already been laid down via yang over the course of spring and summer.  The moon festival is the time to formally acknowledge black is back and yang aint no thang.  In other words, chill out, rest, relax, reflect.  In action, be more reluctant as opposed to relying on impulsive actions aimed at getting what you want.  What occurs over the next several months already has the momentum to carry itself through towards the ends that were clearly laid down while yang was growing and strong in the spring/summer.  Any amount of undue force exerted on circumstance from here on out will bring about conflict, disaster and perhaps even untimely passing (2013's Water Snake will bite if yang fails to rest).  

So if you have moon cakes, eat them today and nourish yourself with the great grounding yin of the moon.  No moon cakes?  No worries, simply take a bit of time and acknowledge that you actually don't have any control over the circumstances you find yourself in; that yang is great and all, but curled up with a warm fuzzy blanket on a plush couch with tea sounds like the better idea compared to a sweaty jog around the lake.  Put your feet on the ground.  In order to walk any path, your feet must first be on the ground. 

Chinese Astrology for Thursday, Sept 19, 2013 as interpreted by Liu Ming:
The moon is full. Today in the Chinese Almanac is called the Mid-Autumn (or Moon) Festival an important annual festival since the Song dynasty (960 and 1279). This full moon designates the return of annual Yin is in full swing. It is appropriate to raise a toast (unfiltered sake in a black bowl) to the moon and welcome her back to power. Thank her for recalling your spiritual aspirations and resolving the conflicts of declining Yang. Read her a poem or two. Medicinal baths and soaks work wonders. The day supports a new resolution about diet.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Human Health

What does it mean to be healthy? 

After six years of self-reflection, study and experimentation in an attempt to discover what it means to be a healthy human being, I can finally say with certainty, I don't know. 

As it turns out, it is not possible to determine what health is without defining what we are as humans.  Since it is not possible to describe what we are as humans with words and solid concepts, it is therefore not possible to define what health is. 
Having that been said, there is one excellent measure of health.  One's capacity and ability to adapt and change along with the present moment.  If there is one constant aspect of life that we can all agree upon, it is change.  To the extent that one is able to change free from struggle and conflict is to the extent one is healthy.  A healthy individual moves as the circumstances move.  On the flip side then, ill health or dis-ease is characterized by solidity and rigidity, ie non-movement. 
As westerners and as Americans, we have been taught that through the accumulation of knowledge and skill, we can learn to be successful, healthy, and free.  In our culture, smart is the ability to show off one's extensive collection of ideas and skillful capacity.  Yet knowledge and skill have little relation to health.  In fact, it may be that the more knowledge one collects, the more difficult it is to adapt and change.  What good is being "smart" if knowledge collection makes it less possible to move/change/adapt? 

In reality though, I cannot speak for other's experience, only my own.  It is only I who can look inward to see if there is really any struggle or conflict in relation to the present circumstance.  And as you know little of my internal experience, I know very little of yours.  Therefore, only I can say if my actions or inactions are healthy or unhealthy. 

In which case, as a culture, it makes no sense to make a solid idea of what health and success are.  It is up to you, as an individual, to look inward at your own experience.  And if doing so is a big confusing muddle and you feel you need help in doing so... look not towards those who tell you they know what to do or how to do it.  Look not to the churches, to the healers, to the gurus, to the CEOs or the rich.  The people that tell you they know the way are simply trying to sell you something, or trying to make their delusions reality.  Look to the one's who change with the wind.  Look to those who ride life as though as though it is no big deal.  Look to those who adapt and let go with ease.  These are the people that can point in the right direction.  These are the people that we ought to look to as models for our newly emerging modern world-view.  And yet these people may have very little, if anything to say and nothing at all to teach... because it may be they know nothing at all! lol...

Smart is so overrated. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Observation, Meditation

Life is so strange and beautiful in all its complex manifestations of simplicity.

I worry I may forget there is never anything to worry about. I long to connect with everything that I am already connected to. I exhaust myself in a struggle to gain that which I already posses. When the desire to change ceases, a different sense of aliveness is present.

"I don't know" may be the most powerful statement one can proclaim, and yet modern society, in an attempt to control everything, strives for mastery of knowledge.

Acting from a false concept of what we are, we meet life in an incomplete and divisive manner full of conflict and struggle. This struggle indicates there is something inherently wrong with the ground upon which we have built our ideas/concepts/truths. This ground is the concept of a uniquely separate, differentiated individual called "I." Upon the idea of "I" are constructed our individual realities based on knowledge, which seem very real as they are lent credibility by all others acting from the same false ground. Our personal false reality joins a collective false reality that feels real and impermeable.

To question this ground in thought and/or action is a challenge to most people's perception of reality and is therefore often met with immediate resistance. Most are not willing or ready to confront the possibility that they do not exist. Instead, we tend to spend our lives replacing the ideas built upon the false ground with a different set of ideas in the hope that this will alleviate the pervasive sense of "something is wrong, I must change." Be it fear of death or an addiction to struggle, few are willing to look critically at this false ground. Fewer still are willing to look at it with a perception free of all the ideas they have accumulated while believing themselves to be a separate self.

If one examines oneself with the intent to change the false notion of "I," frustration and confusion are bound to occur. To see that which is taking place in the present moment — which includes, but is not limited to the "I" masquerading as a false ground — requires observation of a different sort: observation without intent/focus. This observation cannot be classified as "my observation" or "your observation," rather it is simply Observation. We all have individual access to Observation, but it is not personal or divided.

Observation is always operating, but our belief and action from the false ground of "I" hinders (or even prevents) this type of observation from touching the conscious awareness of "I."

In the relaxation of all movement externally and internally, we may come to a point where the compulsion to change reality ceases and allows for Observation to touch the individual. This relaxation can be termed meditation. Meditation being performed with the "I"-driven intent to gain or change anything will only strengthen and more deeply solidify the idea of an individuated self and is thus not what is being termed meditation here. One cannot sit down to meditate in the hopes that it will bring about that which "I" wants. Meditation in the true sense is action, or inaction, wholly without motive for any outcome. Action without a past or a future.