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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


friday, dec 9
riverside, ca

‎"love is pain" my son said when he was 18. like all the jail tattoos the gangsters have. sometimes yes, it is. and sometimes it feels better than anything you imagined was possible to experience and sometimes worse than anything you think you have the strength to live through.

i am sitting parked in my truck outside a liquor store with my son and a pack of his teenage friends drinking 40s of cheap beer leaning against the hood. They make jokes, push each other around, slur their words a little more. they get louder and prouder as the drink adds up.
i am talking to the director of the documentary we are making in India about the work i have been doing there to teach yoga to women sex workers in sonagachi, the red light district of india. most of them are mothers too. i look in their eyes and see my own worry and pain reflected back in bottomless black eyes, wet with almost-tears. people tell me that "i am doing god's work". i wonder if they would imagine this crusader sitting and watching my own son get fucked up on a friday night.

i dropped out of high school too. i slept in makeshift shelters and flirted with disaster, played out being a homeless hobo. maybe it is the blessing-curse of the spanish gypsy ancestors. i hear empty glass bottles rolling on the asphalt from the ones they have finished, the rickety sound of things getting a little too loose.

a bigger kid walks up to my sons group, he is dressed like a cholo. i keep talking on my cell phone to anka about our details for the next trip to india. I see things are heating up outside my truck. the bigger boy is getting angry, he is talking to one of my sons friends, who is about half his size. his arms are waving to emphasize something. i hold my breath. this is not a good part of town and there are gangs here, and this kid definately looks like he's in a gang. suddenly, he lifts his shirt up, does he have a weapon?
it is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. he is showing a tattoo on the side of his torso. the smaller boy is holding his ground. then the bigger one starts laughing and shakes the smaller ones hand. everybody relaxes and i realize all the other boys had been standing frozen too, waiting to see if things were going to jump off. i breath again.

i wait awhile longer, letting my son spend time with the friends he doesn't see much anymore. i am looking out my windshield my eyes lock with the big cholo. he tilts his chin up in an acknowledgment and i tilt my chin back at him. respect. he says, "who's girl is that?" and walks over to my window.

"these your kids?" he says.
"only one of em" i say. "i drove out from joshua tree to pick him up".
a moment of silence as he stands at my window.
"it's a full moon eclipse" i say and point at the moon in the middle of the sky above us.
"what's that?" he says.
"well, the moon goes blood red and dark, you should watch it"
he stares up looking contemplative at the white disc in the sky.
he has a friend he came with parked on the other side of my car. the friend looks like an older gangster.
"what are you looking at?" the friend says. he is wearing a plaid shirt and has a moustache.
the cholo laughs and ealks away from my window to his friends car.
i tell my son i want to go and he and his friends pile in my truck, reeking of cheap beer. they are laughing and telling jokes. my son says when we first pulled up one of his friends was like, "you got a girl with a nice whip". "no, that's my mom's car". one of the boys said the kid who stood at my window just got out of jail for 13 months for stabbing someone. shit gets real. this is normal life here.

i drop off the friends and drive my son stinking ad reeking and passed out in the passengers seat under a full moon in the rolling desert. it feels like we are driving through the isolated, rocky terrain of mars. we get lost and i stop at a gas station. i look around at the beat up cars in the parking lot, the teenagers in clusters around the gas pumps waiting for the next party. it looks like the kind of town where everyone is missing teeth from doing too much home made meth. my son is beligerant now and wants some weed. so he goes to one of the teenagers and talks to him. the teenager looks at his cell phone. i am getting pissed in the car, i am not waiting for some bullshit hook up at this gas station in some devil's asshole town. i pull my car around with the engine running and roll my window down. i want him to feel me waiting, pissed. i take a deep breath. patience. he gets in and we leave. i shake my head at the lump passed out next to me in the passengers seat. patience.

the next morning we have breakfast and a good talk and go for a hike.

sometimes i think, it's just a part of life, we all evolve, teenagers on the cusp of adulthood have a lot of wildness to get out. and sometimes i don't know how i am able to help so many people, but feel so helpless with my own son. it's a great gypsy joke, and somewhere the gods, who must be crazy, are laughing even when i cry. my son makes me so happy-sad. so proud-worried.

love is pain. love is bliss. love is love. it cannot be weighed, measured or contained in a word. love is a riddle, a koan, one word that you will spend your life unraveling. to get to the the meaty heart of the matter, the meaty, bloody, beautiful, throbbing heart of the heart. to the love of the love. the egyptians said when you die, the gods will weigh your heart against a feather. how much does my heart weigh? is my love lighter than a feather?

"People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”-Jim Morrison

Friday, December 9, 2011

Warrior-lunatics of LOVE

when i feel overwhelmed, i ask myself, "what would cesar do?"
waking up to survey the theater, the battle field, to fulfill his role in the play?
i bet some days he was like, "damn, this is impossible" or,
"look at all the armies mounted against me"

it's like that sometimes...there is too much to do, too many people asking for answers, needing attention, too many particles of maya screaming and dancing, pulling in different directions...
i think to myself, "cesar must have felt this way".
and yet you serve your dharma. so i may die today? just another day on the battlefield. so i may fail, i will live to fight another day. and in times of peace, i will eat drink and be merry, but i will not shrink like a coward from the theater battle field of life for i am a warrior of love...

like a kamikaze pilot
i just might strap into a love bomb of my immanent destruction
take aim at what i love
and blow the fuck up
you'll find scraps of me- of this love lunacy- in every cup of coffee

warrior-lunatics of LOVE
i need you to throw down your non-refundable love, money and pride onto the poker table of life and belly up to the Mother in the tavern of lunatic lovers...
She deals the cards in your hands
She says you better risk something if you wanna be a player
otherwise go back with all the other sheep sleepwalking through life with fast food religion and drive thru sex
it's time to lay your love on the line- like a tightrope walker - not a gawker- i walk the line

Breaking Taboo, Opening Sexual Secrecy

Breaking Taboo, Opening Sexual Secrecy
I am sitting down to write a book, to share my experiences, to share what I know...

Sexuality has strong code of secrecy in both the mainstream culture and in the Tantric lineage I am a teacher of. Sometimes the secrecy is good, in that it allows a sense of privacy, a place where our spirit is free from the world life and the energy is ours alone, secrecy can be a tool for individuation that is healthy.

Often though, sexual secrecy has come from a deep shadow of fear. There are sexual secrets that are hidden because wrong has been done, it is best to open and air these wounds so all can evolve. In the path of Tantra, there has been secrecy for fear of judgement and punishment. Many tantriks and mystics from all over the world, all cultures, have been punished, sometimes by death, for practicing. I have seen my own death in past lives for carrying this energy as a woman and practicing and teaching. I am thankful that in this day and age they cannot drown me, burn me, cut out my tongue or lock me up for heresy or insanity. Knock on wood. I have had people close to me try to have me put in a mental institution "for my own safety and good". I have also been diagnosed as mentally ill and taken medications before I remembered who I was, what I came to do. The world is crazy, so if you feel out of step and crazy, you just might be sane.

I hope that this book serves as a map for others to find their way back to the Goddess and themselves in this confusing world. We have forgotten so much, we choose to be sleepwalkers in someone else dream. Wake up sleeping soul, wake up! May the unconditional love of the Mother Goddess comfort you and you find harmony of the sacred energies and great spirits that have created us. May we remember our place in the great Wheel of Life and play our parts well. May you find joy in your suffering and re-birth in your death, May we all remember we are ONE and act accordingly.

Gu-ru is a word that means teacher, but it is a coyote word, it means many things. It means light and darkness, so that we can understand that we are not only light, but also dark and that it is the mysterious womb of darkness which holds the light of the stars. A teacher will show us our darkness as well as our light. Guru also means "one who points the way". No one can walk the path for us, but we can see teachers and they can point to a way, we all fumble our own ecstasy to get where our hearts and should deeper longings call us to.

I am a Kali devotee, she is the Mother of Bliss, she gives bliss and liberation by making us face what we fear to become whole. Her face in the full moon is Lalitha, the Goddess of Sri Vidya Tantra, she heals by offering us sugarcane and pleasure, beauty and love. For my initiations into these godesses and this path through my guru, Sri Amritanada, I have been truly blessed.

As a woman, I also teach Vama Marga, the left hand path of taboo, so it is not surprising that I would break taboo of lineage custom in sharing secret practices openly. I have my teachers blessings in our lineage to do so. Many teachers have hidden their practices and have been brought down because of it. It is time for a new paradigm in teachers being more open, more authentic and human. The powers that be are still at work even if we, as teachers, unmask ourselves.

May this book and the opening of sexual secrecy into a more open inquiry bring more self-awareness, healing and empowerment for us all.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Eating pain

"what is the purpose?" my 19-year old son says
"of what?" i ask. we have been talking about him getting a job.
"of everything" he says and his jaw is working back and forth, his black eyes are shining with anger. "sometimes i think the world would be better off without me"
or i would be better off without the world, i think to myself

i sigh heavily, i feel very old and tired
"i don't know" i say. "i feel like that too sometimes"

i look out the window of the ihop restaurant in a strip mall, somewhere in nowheresville, california. cars go by. this world, this life. the way we live, the way we treat each other. there is an elderly black waitress shuttling around plates and people's orders, she seems too old to do the job, but happy to be doing it.

i shake more salt on the french fries and watch the little white particles sift and fall through the cracks. i flip the ketchup bottle open and pour the bright red sauce on the chipped plate next to the fries. i shake a little of the bright orange hot sauce on top. i dip a fry into the spicy-ketchup mixture. repeat. i am not really hungry but it is hard to be with my son when he is expressing his pain. i know it is good for him to let it out, but it's hard to hear. it tugs at my sadness, anger, shame and guilt. this is not any disenfranchised youth, it's mine. the product of my upbringing.

i eat the pain, as if the spongy potatoes will absorb the excess karma, the quivering of my cells in the face of hopelessness. at least i can shit out the fries tomorrow. probably not all of the pain.

after he works himself up, he works himself down and says he feels better. opening the wound we don't have answers for somehow still feels better than holding it all in.

"i like people like that waitress" he says. we both smile. somehow she is a beacon of light, of someone making the best of their circumstances.

Writing, Fighting, Fucking and Self Doubt...

friday, dec 2
joshua tree, ca

i hate it when people say they don't get stuck writing. that it just flows "spontaneously". well yes, if you let creativity just give you a little blow job, a little breeze under skirts, a small poem is sure to emerge from the tickling.

but i am talking about commitment not whimsy. when you commit to write something and to finish it. a book, a screenplay, a thesis. commitment of any kind acts as a magnifying glass to expose all the hidden warts and blackheads we wouldn't notice otherwise. commitment is serious business.

just yesterday morning i was teaching a yoga class and one of my students rolled over and did a somersault when i was pushing her into an adjustment. we fell on the floor together laughing. it is good to stay relaxed and go with the fall once you are falling, but sometimes it's harder to hold your ground than go with the flow.

like sitting down to begin writing my tantra book. suddenly i feel very inspired to go for a hike, to do yoga, to catch up with friends. to even pay my bills! that's the siren call of distraction from the task i have set before myself. will i succeed or will i fail? because failure is possible. even though God won't judge me for it when i face the pearly gates, i could fail to finish this book in the 14 days i have allotted for myself, a pressure cooker i have put myself in, a crock pot of creativity. ride or die.

i had a tae kwon do teacher who studied in korea. one of his masters said to him, "satori (sublime awakening) is in the moment of getting hit while sparring". know yourself, know your opponent. because it is the truth, it is the power of now. you can dance around and think you are a lot of things, but in the moment of contact you know exactly who you are. i am the jaw that was hit. i am the skin that stings and will bruise. i am the lungs on fire gasping for breath. i had another woman in a martial arts class say to me once, "you aren't afraid of getting hit then?" she shrugged her shoulders when she said it, a small judgement passed on my gonzo sparring nature. i thought how i kinda like the smack of skin, the crunch of bone, the taste of being alive. contact makes me high, it's why i like sex so much.

everytime i sit down to write in discipline (not inspiration)...i wonder, "do i have anything of worth to say?" does any of this matter? and the existential abyss yawns open and threatens to swallow the small, flickering candle flame of my purpose with it's sulphuric breath. that smell? that's the smell of self-doubt. smell your armpits. yes that's the sweat of fear. fear is the cutting edge of excitement. i jab with this sentence. i round house kick with that paragraph. who am i sparring? the blind and invisible universe from whom i must wrestle my words. say my name universe, say my name.