On Walking Away…

I don’t know exactly where I’m headed.

I’ve gotten used to telling people “I’m getting in my car, and volunteering my way around the country”. I do believe that much to be true. But a specific itinerary? A list of must-see’s and must-do’s? The new-agey “clear positive future vision” pulling me forward? Nope. Mostly the misty mystery of the vast unknown.

Approximately the next week is known – it begins with a drive to help someone I love move from L.A. to Portland. The car is loaded with all our stuff, and we’re en route now. After that, there’s a few key special events and scattered reunions with other loved ones in the coming months, but mostly open time, for following the pull of the wind.

Today, on this first day out of Los Angeles, I’m amazed at the power of leaving. Continue reading “On Walking Away…”

EmailFacebookPinterestWanna share this with someone?

Nightfall in Venice

The booming bass pouring through my subleased ceiling and rattling the framed mandala hanging on the wall has finally stopped.

My new friends who sell sunglasses and bottled drinks displayed on the gate in front of our house have loaded their wares back into the garage and gone home for the night.

The syncopated plunk of paddle tennis balls in the beachfront court just outside our door dwindled with the setting sun.

The throngs of tourists who criss cross wide eyed down our sidewalk all day have emptied back into their cars and freeways, taking souvenirs, sandy shoes, and memories of “freaky Venice” back into their normal lives.

And sitting on the balcony I get to call “ours” for the month, I marvel at the beautiful quiet I never realized Venice offered.

Continue reading “Nightfall in Venice”

Three Non-Material Things…

12:30am, this Thursday morning (my last morning), in Ubud.  The stage lights here at the Onion Collective had just been switched off, and the moon shown beautifully through her cloak of fog, and the silhouettes of pregnant papaya trees.

The delightfully rowdy Irish folk, their bantering partners from the witty UK crowd, and the deeply reflective Germans had all gone to bed for the night, but my new Australian friend an I stayed floating blissfully around the pool – contemplating life, between laughter-filled turns down the water slide. Continue reading “Three Non-Material Things…”

A Brief Introduction to the Mayan Calendar

You may have noticed a few scattered references to the Mayan calendar throughout my blog lately, and I think it’s time to fill you guys in. Here in Bali, I’ve taken a dive into studying this ancient way of time-keeping, and it’s opening a lot of interesting positive psychological area for me. They say the best way to learn is to teach, so I’m going to share with you, what I know.

One of the most beautiful components about the calendar, as I’ve been taught it, is that it isn’t a dogmatic system where information is handed down from above, but rather a path of inquiry, where we each find our own resonance, from deep within our beings.

Thus, I can only speak from my experience with this study – so that’s the version of the story you’ll get. Continue reading “A Brief Introduction to the Mayan Calendar”

Life Lessons from Island Motorcycling

I recently had the great pleasure of joining a few friends for a weekend on the sparsely populated Balinese island of Nusa Penida. It had been nearly 15 years since I’d piloted a motorbike, but renting myself a scooter to take over on the ferry was the only way to join the adventure, so I went for it.

Along the way, I was reminded just how many metaphors for living well present themselves to you when riding a motorcycle. (I think that’s why motorcycle analogies are the primary language of my good ol’ pop.) Here’s a summary of what I learned over the twists and turns of a few days’ jungle ride. Continue reading “Life Lessons from Island Motorcycling”

Returning to Silence

Today’s post is a brief one – really just sort of an FYI.

I’m hopping in a car this morning and heading up through 3 hours of 3rd world roads, jungles, rice terraces, and who knows what else, to get back up to the mountains.

Actually, to get back in to deep, deep quiet stillness. Continue reading “Returning to Silence”

We’re Up All Night to Get Holy

A village outside Ubud, Bali

I have no idea what’s happening. It’s about 3:00am, and it’s just starting to drizzle. The haunting tones of the gamelan and hypnotizing reverberation of the gong have been going steadily since 10pm, and I’m not even sure what planet I’m on anymore. My local friend and I have eaten all the mangosteens he bought for us, and the glass of tea he brought to help ease my lingering cough sits empty, waiting to be returned to the vendor stall just outside the temple, whenever we break our attention away enough to get up, or pass it back to someone behind us in the crowd. I can’t tell my blood sugar apart from my humming brain, and there are words being said, but I don’t know what they mean. Continue reading “We’re Up All Night to Get Holy”

The Eagle and the Condor

“Tell me again what Ken Wilbur had to say about ascending vs descending?”
I asked The Lucid Sage over international iMessage,
Late on another sleepless night in Bali.

Duality had been wracking my brain…
Pressing me to make a choice:
Do I go up, or down?
Do I find divinity inside, or all around? Continue reading “The Eagle and the Condor”

An Accidental Offering

Gunnung Kawi water temple is beautiful. One of several Holy-water springs around Bali, it has gorgeous pavilions amidst mesmerizing ponds of the biggest koi I’ve ever seen. It has crystal green waters that ripple with gentle peace below lush jungle foliage. It has a bathing pool where one moves through the five ever-flowing water spouts, becoming more and more ritually purified with each downpour.

I loved it there. Cooling, centering, listening without and within. I got a picture of myself praying in the ritual bath… I’d share it with you, but the Gods decided my phone and I should become forever separated at the temple, and I’m now without camera. Continue reading “An Accidental Offering”

The Space Left Open

Forty brothers and sisters gathered around the ceremonial fire, surrounded in flowers, and bubbling with anticipation.  Modern tribes from several continents had joined to share in the sacred cacao spirit here in Ubud, tonight.

Song after song, rich with wild harmonies and free entranced voices.
Prayer after prayer, from hearts pregnant with love.
Spoken word incantations, calling forth the forces of Earth and the elements.
Eventually the dancing, the hugs, the drinking of the blissful chocolate elixir.

As the circle chanted “Shiva Shiva Shiva Shambo“, therein calling forth the positive forces of destruction, I wrapped my arms around my knee, curling into a little ball as the healing tears emerged like they so often do in Bali.

All afternoon, I’d been talking with expats, getting to know more and more of the local town and how others lived here, and somehow an old mental habit decided to make comparisons out of the lives they shared with me – comparisons that resulted in the crippling internal conclusion: “You’re doing it wrong”.

All of it. Continue reading “The Space Left Open”