adventures of a fearless (mostly) globe trotting seeker...
wondering, wandering, barefoot, nomadess

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Going home

friday, july 30
topanga, ca

up in yurt
reading dharma bums by kerouac

looking out the windows thinking about going home

the yurt is round like a shell
and the wooden beams are the bones holding up the ceiling
it is like being inside a skeleton
the view out the windows is hovering between sunset and dusk
in a way that lasts forever in the summer
many shades of green and
lilac, lavender and gray mountains fading into the distance
like cut-out silhouettes 3rd grade art projects
soft dusty glow on hillsides of setting sun makes golden highlights
on the green and blue iris trees

leaving tomorrow
what is coming
who knows
more open road
and the smell of the ancient trees and my home
which breathes my heart open in a particular way
it is where i began
don't much know if it's where i will end

and i go meet the cabin tucked in the woods that has the smell of all my first memories
it was built from a single log redwood with no power tools or nails
a sculpture
the door hinges are made of straps of leather
the logs are joined with carved wooden notches
built by carpenters and loggers
jesus was a carpenter too

some things never change

outside the cabin
the redwood trees stand in congregations looking solitary into the sky
maybe waiting for the second coming
their bark is rusty red and soft, and when you touch it,
it sends out spores that make the air thick
these are the sentient beings of beginningless time

there is a porch where i can go sit and remember
so many things

feeling tender

i guess that's what happens when you remember

feel a million miles from the avatar on my flyers

just a tenderizing piece of meat

and my heart goes
yes yes yes

i am the tide

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Piercing the mysterious heart of forgiveness

thursday, july 29
topanga, ca

this weekend i go up to mendocino to the commune where i grew up, where my dad was a spiritual elder and sexually abused many girls
i am going to stand there now as a tantrik aghori might stand in a graveyard
to make friends with my own dark night
and to transform the memories of a scared little girl into the body of a strong powerful woman
who can hold the little girl
who does not need to carry the same fears anymore
to pray with my sisters for the sins of my father
to pierce the mysterious heart of forgiveness
to find redemption in human connection
to follow the honey-thick grace that comes when called by deep humility and surrender
it looks to be quite a trip
we are filming it for the documentary

been doing lots of crying, feels cleansing
sometimes there is a great deal of suffering to see and feel
but there is some secret there, that suffering itself is not what it seems

am i a teacher?
am i a boddhisattva?
am i just a woman on a trip?
i guess so

i've heard it said that the only way out is through
the path of fire, fire burns everything
and then from the ashes the glorious half-bird, half-dragon rises again
transforms into a dove
and then becomes a snake who eats its own tail
everything becomes nothing and is just god's story tale

but what about my softest insides?
who will take care of them while the warrior walks the path of courage?
i will bathe her in cool scented waters
sweet as gardenias lily white skins
shhh my child i will whisper
my voice as soft as the evening breeze
that in the time of the dusk and the gloaming
moves through the trees and makes them weep their leaves,
giving their foliage to the brushing of the wind so easily
do not surrender your loneliness so quickly i will say
let it cut you more deeply

let the longing pierce the mysterious heart of forgiveness
for myself
for my father
for everyone on the planet like us
i have come to pray at the church of the human experience
i worship the altar of my own body
i try to put down my minds dogged search for fairness
and just
let it be

before i left the rez i asked the matriarch to pray with me
we sat in her kitchen
with holes in the floor
i held her two hands in my two hands
hers wrinkled and brown
mine will be too someday
and i asked her to pray for the journey i was about to make
she said yes and she said we should also pray for my father because he is just a man
yes, i said crying. and who knows what he may have suffered?
i wept all the way to the airport and missed my flight home
unraveling is not the best way to travel

virgin whore

i am not a virgin or a whore
the dark night of my sky
contains all the light of the stars and more

if you seek to know the end
first know the beginning
lust, hunger and death
burning, dying and resurrecting out of the Great yoni

this world is full of suffering
and in that suffering there is pleasure also

pleasure is the left hand of pain
both hands teach us the ways of love
they are mated infidels
in the womb of the Mysterious Mother

if i wore a mask
would you still recognize me?
do not fear me
fear the one who stands too far from their own shadow

and i say
three times you will deny me
because of your fear
and still i will welcome you,
my lover,
my child,
my beloved

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Mysterious Mother Manifesto

The Mysterious Mother Manifesto

Sisters and Brothers
It is time to wake the Mysterious Mother, the latent force sleeping inside us. Why are we afraid of our power? Because we are afraid of our responsibility. If you take your power, you also take your responsibility. This is true for both men and women.

To awaken the feminine, the dark mother, is to call forth from the shadows what we have hidden from ourselves. Our power lies in our personal shadow and the collective shadow. The whole dance of the imbalance of the world and the patriarchy is not imposed on us by physical men, that would be too simple. We collectively, are choosing to project our responsibility and power on the patriarch, so we have something to blame.

In time, all will be revealed. Many live in self-imposed fear of being exposed. This grip of fear limits your holiness, your creativity and exhuberance for your life. This pain is turned onto others in bitterness and blame. Stand for yourself. Be willing to acknowledge your desires. Choosing one thing costs you another. This is the way of things and cannot be avoided. There is a restless part of you that knows this is true.

Prayer and ritual create a bridge to what we have hidden from ourselves and help with the undoing of shame and the cowardice of projection. The reclaiment of our wholeness and perfection. Which is not an idea sold to you in a book about dead gods, but the living force of Spirit animating each of us. The road is strewn with rocks. That is the way of the human life. To play in the world of opposites, formless and form. Learn to love the friction and the contraction and expansion as the dance of the undulating universe. Learn to love the universe.

Don't burn the books and bibles you grew up with. They are the key. Read them with new understanding, separating the wheat from the chaf. Because it is this way with all things. There is an outer form and a hidden understanding. Read from your heart, read in meditation and trance and you will find the meaning for yourself. Reclaim the books of power, reclaim the names of God.

Your body is not your shame. Your body is not your fall from grace. Your body simply is, as this world simply is. Acceptance brings great power. Pleasure brings great power. Pain brings great power. This cannot be explained to the mind, but is felt as the deepest truth in the cells of the body. Trust your body again. It holds the lock and the key to understanding all the Mysteries.

The disciples asked Jesus, what will happen in the end times. Jesus said, do you already know the beginning that you seek to know the end? Know the beginning and you will understand all things.

Be humble. The beginning is the body. The beginning is the breath. The inhale is birth and the exhale is death. The mother is the beginning and the father is the end. The mother is inside the father, and the father is inside the mother. Your birth is inside your death, and your death is inside your birth. These are mystical saying revealed to those with the desire to know. Study your breath and you study all things. None of us are free from the needs of the body, because the body is God.

Who touches my most innermost me? The breath touches my most innermost me. Spirit touches my most innermost me. Through my heart, you can awaken my most innermost me and touch my fragility with the tender fingers of your most innermost being. There is work we can only do alone, and work we can only do together. Both are necessary in remembering who we are.

Will sobriety bring me holiness? Will walking naked through the desert in supplication and self denial bring me holiness? Will indulging the senses bring me holiness? Will losing myself in a thousand nights of pleasure bring me holiness? The way is not this or that, right or left. The way is a personal wakefulness. Train yourself to stay awake.

How many lifetimes have I suffered? In this lifetime I choose not be a martyr or a saint, but to be all of me. I am not a virgin or a whore. I am vast, I hold all the universe and more.

The first time I came with water, this time I come with fire. Both are cleansing. Fire makes you brighter. Give yourself more deeply to the taste of your own tears, give yourself more deeply to your laughter and to the shadows that make your play at night. Know yourself, and you will be known.

Pray with me at the church of the human experience. Be humbled by love and heartbreak. Live the passions with reckless abandon because in truth, you can only be who you are.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seeking love and enlightenment

knowing truth. realizing who you are. that's the game we are in right? we can call it enlightenment, seeking, whatever, but we are driven to know, to understand, to find peace. and the process to finding peace may not always be peaceful. there is a restless stirring of the soul that initiates the practices for peacefulness. and this restlessness is a vigilant friend, pushing further into the mystery of our universe and our own selves. this restlessness is full of questioning and doubt.

the most painful doubt is self-doubt. and if you walk the path of inquiry, you will carry the cross of self-doubt. without stumbling and falling, how will you find your own way? you cannot follow someone else's way. if you can, leave the path now. go to an organized religion and say your prayers and follow the commandments. if that satisfies you, then let it satisfy you. but i am speaking to those who are not satisfied. those who have tried to fit in to the organized religions and philosophies, to get it right, but found a gnawing questioning still living in their souls. have you tried to be a good girl? a good boy? have you tried to follow all the rules and still come up empty? because it is not possible to be perfect. not in this world, not in this life. because this life is made of contradiction and friction. without friction there would be nothing created. like your mother and father creating friction to create you. that's how we all got here. and we are ashamed. there is some very deep seed of shame in us, for our spirits to live in these bodies.

confronting fear. to grow, we must confront our fears. this is part of waking up. we must break free of our conditioning. which way to turn? take a left turn. there are two directions, clockwise and counterclockwise. turning clockwise is turning to the right, and activates the left brain. this side of your brain is responsible for logic, reason, survival. the conscious mind. this is the masculine side. turning counterclockwise is turning to the left, and activates the right brain. this side of your brain is responsible for space, emotions. the subconscious mind. this is the feminine side. so to explore more of yourself, you cross over to the unknown, the mysterious right brain. ritual opens that door. testing taboo opens that door. taboos are usually built around survival instincts. to test taboo is to explore the shadow. and what is sleeping in the shadow? sex and death are two of the biggest things we have pushed to the shadow. vama marga tantra has practices, meditations and visualizations that confront and stretch into sex and death.

what does taboo have to do with spiritual awakening? it is a path of un-reason. going the opposite of reason. breaking down fear and investigating the shadow. there are no promises here. you explore because you must. because you are full of questions about yourself, the purpose of yourself, the purpose of life. and to answer these questions you have to un-do yourself. let go of needing a guaranteed outcome. there are no guarantees. only the honest exploration of the questions. learn to love the questions themselves. let them softly undo you, exposed your soft pink underbelly, your heart. to really live the questions, you need to let go of security. because security means you have something to lose. only when you are ready to lose everything are you ready to begin. because the hardest thing to lose is who we think we are. we will fight and kill to protect our identities, our ideas of ourselves. we have spent a lifetime building up a persona that we want other people to see and believe. and then we try to convince ourselves too. and underneath that persona there is a grumbling. you will have to let go of that persona to learn who you really are.

jesus said, "for i have come to set the world on fire, and how i wish it was already burning."

The day will come when you will have to burn down everything you have built
and whether that day is your own death or if you die many times before that, death will come all the same. and with death comes re-birth. the desire to be born again. what is left when you die? when all that is left is darkness and space. what creates the big boom? what creates life again? there is something lurking in the dark mystery of the sky, the womb from which all that we know was birthed and spawned. something wants to begin again. in varanasi, a city in india where hindus believe is the holiest place to die, they carry the corpses through the streets. the dead, stiff body is wrapped in bright silk fabrics and tied to bamboo poles. the people carrying the bodies shout, ram nam satyahey. this means, all that is true is the name of god. when you were alive, all you really owned was your own body and when you die, you don't even own that.

but the hindus have many names for god, and it is interesting that in this chant, the name they use is ram. in the holy trinity of 3 male gods, ram, vishnu and shiva represent the cycle of life. ram is the god of birth, of creation. vishnu is the god of maintaining life. and shiva is the god of destroying life. these three deities represent the cycle of our own lives. birth, growth and death. at the time of death when they carry the corpse through the streets, they chant the name of the god of birth. because what comes after death is re-birth. all that is left is the desire to re-create, to live again. we spend so much of our lives fighting life. because it is not fair, because the world is full of suffering, because we will die someday. and yet, when we die, we will desire to begin again. to watch another sunset, we will ask for another set of eyes. to have another first kiss, we will ask for another set of lips. who knows how long your spirit waited for another body to journey through the confusing joy of love again?

can anyone truly know these answers? and the few that have perhaps pierced the veil and seen the underpinning, the peep show behind the universal curtain of this stage that is life, can they ever bring that back to share with clumsy language for the rest of us? that is why the best way to approach a master is with no questions. the sufis say you can only enter the durga when you have only 1 question left. if you have many questions, your mind will drive you mad and you will run away.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cowgirl abalone sky

tuesday, july 13

pine ridge reservation, south dakota

yesterday i rode 8 hours on my yellow horse through the prairie,
like a real cowgirl
my riding companion said i'm not a real cowgirl yet
because i rode a horse but i haven't rode a cowboy
not a real one anyways, he says.

i rode the wild horses on the prairie
i don't ask to be forgiven,
i ask to be free
i won't be broken
i will keep becoming me
i offer you my heart, but no apologies

my love is naked and i will make you see me
no insurance policies
just this (now) beating moment of what is

i won't be caught
i am dancing barefoot in the wild wheat
under the abalone sunset sky
of blues and grays and pink quartz clouds
shimmering magical iridescence like a shell
silver sage of ocean prairie
wild tall grasses magic carpet ride
magic is not reliable
but it's far more magical
mode of transportation through this life

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just because we have to pray

thursday, july 8

pine ridge reservation, south dakota

i am at sundance
it is intense here
i weep for the human play
the suffering and joy
my brothers pull skulls and hang from trees
they are my brothers, fathers, lovers, teachers, friends

yesterday an older dancer pulled skulls and they didn't break for a long time.
walking behind i just prayed and prayed.
the simple and humble smile after he broke free brought tears to my eyes.
this is not bravado, it is love.

it is reminding me of humility and simplicity
it reminds me of why i walk my path
why i carry my medicine
i come from a lot of pain
i come from love and joy and ecstasy
if i am going to stand to teach tantra
i have to carve out myself
to look closely
to make sacrifices
i've been called a whore, but really i'm a nun for god

i am burning on both ends, the spirit world and the world life,
if i don't melt my physical container
i hope to carry and share this energy at the tantra rituals when i go home

i was told by spirit in sweat lodge to make my next few tantra rituals by donation,
to put myself on the edge of my security fears
to remember i teach tantra for myself and for sharing,
not for the money and to trust in god paying my bills.
this way, it is my gift to spreading the love of the Mother to as many as are interested, regardless of finances. when i look around, i see that churches aren't going out of business, and they work on donation.

this sundance is way out there, no photos, really authentic.
no one is putting on this ceremony for money.
it reminded me how important it is to do things just for love.
just because we have to pray.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

what is coming, we cannot know...

tuesday, july 7
pine ridge reservation, south dakota

greetings from the prairie
pine ridge reservation in south dakota,
the poorest county in the united states
i find myself here again after another year
another sundance
i am here to support the sundancers
and give wopila (thanks) to the spirits for answered prayers
the sundancers fast and pray for four days to purify,
to connect to the spirit world
they give flesh offerings and pierce themselves to the sacred tree

in the ceremony, my mind slows down
and the thoughts almost disappear
this is an ancient way
i feel it in my bones, a blueprint of humanity, of history
the blueprint of the story of christ dying on the cross for our sins

last year i came for the first time with my prayers for my family
looking to set my burden down
to release the pain that has plagued me like a demon
keeping me up at night,
a feeling of peering over an abyss into intense darkness

what plagues the human soul?
what causes us to harm each other?
in my life, there have been hard lessons
and i have spent my life unravelling them
making peace
with the world
with myself
with my relations
i am not completely there, i have more peace to make
but i will tell you
it is much better than before

still, the road is sometimes lonely
and fear gnaws at my heart
a feeling of cold
or a wind blowing down a corridor
where perhaps i long for fullness
and so i do what i can in those moments
i learn to love the emptiness
i face myself
my human yearning
i have compassion for myself

yesterday i saw a man hang from a tree
like jesus
for the prayers of his people
here we are in ceremony and it is like living the story of christ i grew up reading in the bible
here are the passions
i cried and then there was peace
and then there was laughter
and then there was life

i swear, he turned his head to the heavens to pray to the creator before he was lifted
just like jesus
who spoke to god his father and asked,
if it is possible, remove this yolk from me
and if not i will accept and serve

jesus also had a moment of passion, where he cried out,
"my god, my god, why have you foresaken me?"

i have cried to the heavens like that before

the medicine man said yesterday,
it takes a long time to know who you are
it made me think
all this enlightenment business,
is also called gnosis by the mystic christians...
gnosis is "to know"
one who knows themselves is liberated

it seems this path of knowing myself
needs the seasonings of human weathering
through the seasons of the heart
the trials of the soul
to bring the breaking of my heart

now that i am standing in ceremony again
i can tell you this friends, we live too far from the earth
we live too far from ceremony
there is a medicine in my heart
for women like me

i do not know the next steps
so much has already slipped out from beneath my feet
i am here to pray for guidance
to surrender, to accept
to have compassion and forgiveness
for the human frailty and weakness
of myself and my relations
take pity on me

teach me to cherish my suffering as i cherish my joy
to accept all as the same, from one source
to put down my fighting for life to be fair
a concept of my mind which does not serve me

here they say
as high as the sunflowers are in summer,
the same will be the height of the snowdrifts that will come with winter
as you cherish your joy, cherish your suffering also
joy and pain are the right and left hands of opening the heart

help me to accept and serve
to see the love and beauty
in everything


Friday, July 2, 2010

nothing breaks you like love

friday, july 1
venice, california

nothing breaks you like love...and if indeed the heart was made to be broken, what better teacher than the love of a child. a love that from it's beginning is meant to elude and beguile and shape shift into a becoming thing. at times as soft as a lamb and other times as shattering to illusion as a sudden hurricane or shipwreck. the shipwreck of my love, my bones broken, my pride out of joint. and still, how would i have known how deeply i could love and let go if it were not for you, my son who can touch my heart so tenderly and intimately, who grew in my own womb.

i taste my own tears and still i am grateful. and still i rejoice at the shining bright thing of your independance and free will to choose. i would chose many lifetimes again, even frought with suffering and self doubt, to spend another mundane moment basking in the beauty of you. to sit, maybe even just watching reruns on tv, and to feel the life that lives inside your tanned skin and the life that moves like a river between us. a mother and a son. how many times have we told this story?

i remember when you were still small, brown as a chestnut, with golden curls. i was alarmed by how lovely you were. with big black eyes. when you were small enough to cuddle still, you used to curl inside and spoon me and we would lay like two question marks in the bed, lingering somewhere between waking and dreaming.

i remember the morning you woke me up weeping. you were five. you said you were afraid of dying, of being forgotten. and that was the beginning of our separation. i could no longer be the sun for you. i could no longer fix everything for you. this was bigger than a band aid and kiss on a bloody knee. it is a big world and i am only a mere mortal myself. still wrestling with the same question of living and dying and loving. some say we experience immortality through loving, through creating children who carry our lives, memories and proof of existence on after we have died.

what is my legacy to you?

for the god of small things,
for the god of forgiveness,
of families,
of forgetting,
of forgiving
worthy or not
i fumble for your grace