I can’t say that I grew up optimistic or mystical. I was a bit of a dour kid without a lot of friends. I was probably an “Emo” before that word existed. I didn’t seek out wonder, spirituality, or anything transcendent. Until I was about 15, I was probably more “pessi-practical” than “opti-mystical.”
“The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear.”
Every time I see this Ram Dass quote, I’m reminded of the owl, the wisest animal or bird in the forest. Owls are masters at camouflaging themselves and intensely listening. They are quiet, still, and patient. They can swoop down with almost soundless flight and snatch a small rodent that is inaudible to anyone else. That tiny mouse scurrying on the ground never heard its predator coming.
Are You Binging These Days?
Back in 2020, when MEA's campus remained shut for over six months, and I found myself blessed with time on my hands, I began to consume alcohol every night. While I seldom indulged in excess in a single night, I can admit that for about a year, I was engaged in binge drinking.
What’s It Like Staying in a Secular Monastery?
As I arrived at the hermitage on the hill overlooking 7,500 acres of Umbrian wilderness (a UNESCO nature reserve), Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to “The Mission” was wafting to the heavens as I entered Eremito (www.eremito.com). Perfectly choreographed, the staff escorted me to the steam room and stone hot tub (full of the sounds of Gregorian chanting) to cleanse myself from my earthly sins that accompanied me from Venice. And, soon after that - I was lying on the ground in the cellar with six other guests and three staff, vibrating in a Tibetan bell sound healing session.
On July 28th, in the pitch dark Amazon jungle I married myself.
Attuning to the Rhythm of Nature.
I spend more time in my head than I’d like to admit. Yes, I may come across like some self-actualized guru, but truth be told, I’m often a man on the verge of a nervous breakthrough.
Waking Up to Wonderment After 50.
“A new set of faculties seem to be coming into operation. I seem to be awakening to a larger world of wonderment - to catch little glimpses of the immensity and diversity of creation. More than at any other time in my life, I seem to be aware of the beauties of our spinning planets and the sky above. And now I have the time to enjoy them. I feel that old age sharpens our awareness.” - Polly Francis
Wondering While Wandering: Musings from a Modern Elder.
Wondering while wandering can be a beautiful and profound form of presence. But then my mind starts whirling and worrying about things as if some destination needs to be quickly established or I have lost my direction; my purpose, indeed my very meaning.
Are You a “Spiritual Pluralist?”
A friend of mine recently called me this term. She said that religion and spirituality are just a means of communication with the divine, and there are multiple languages for doing that. She told me that a “spiritual pluralist” believes that all of these languages are perfectly acceptable but that the commonality amongst all of them is “love.” Sounds a little like our MEA Baja shaman Saul, right?
The Problem with Happy.
We all say we want to be happy. Happy feels great. It seems like the goal to shoot for, but ultimately happy isn’t where you want to land. Why? Because the state of being what we call happy is often contingent upon getting something or someone, whether it’s the love of your life, the money, the job, the house, the car, the designer handbag, courtside tickets or something else, and eventually the happiness will disappear and we will be left disappointed, frustrated, or yearning for the next shiny thing.
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