Monday, April 30, 2007

In her autobiography, "Don't Fall Off the Mountain," Shirley MacLaine tells of the night that she lay shivering in a Bhutanese house in the Paro Valley of the Himalayas. Her teeth chattered and her insides "tied themselves in a knot." As she lay wondering how she might overcome the terrible cold, she remembered the words of a Yoga instructor in Calcutta who had told her that there was a centre in her mind that was her "nucleus, the centre of your universe." Once she had found the centre, he had said, pain, fear, nothing could touch her. "It will look like a tiny sun," he had instructed her. "The sun is the centre of every solar system and the reason for all life on all planets in all universes. So it is in yours."

Miss MacLaine closed her eyes, searched for the centre of her mind. Then the room "left" her. The cold room and the wind outside began to leave her conscious mind.

"Slowly in the centre of my mind's eye a tiny round ball appeared," she writes. "I stared and stared at it. Then I felt I became the orange ball."

The centre began to grow and generate heat. The heat spread down her neck and arms and finally stopped in her stomach. She felt drops of perspiration on her midriff and forehead.

"The light grew brighter and brighter until finally I sat up on the cot with a start and opened my eyes, expecting to find that someone had turned on a light. Perspiring all over, I was stunned to find the room dark. I lay back. I felt as though I were glowing. Still perspiring, I fell asleep. The instructor was right; hidden beneath the surface there was something greater than the outer self.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

...A kind of detached and careful but really relaxed inattention, which lets the unconscious do its own thing of rising and manifesting itself. But the moment you reach out- it's like peripheral vision, almost- the moment you reach out to grab it, it slips back. It's like hunting- it's like "still hunting."

Still hunting is when you take a stand in the brush or some place and then become motionless, and then things begin to become alive, and pretty soon you begin to see the squirrels and sparrows and raccoons and rabbits that were there all the time but just, you know, duck out of the way when you look at them too closely. Meditation is like that. You sit down and shut up and don't move, and then the things in your mind begin to come out of their holes and start doing their running around and singing and so forth, and if you just let that happen, you make contact with it.

-Gary Snyder

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

i watched this documentary last night about an artist that lived 2 1/2 hours away from here that i had never before heard of.
article by the Drawing Society of Canada
Alma Kate Rumball (1902–1980) was born in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada in 1902. Alma's career began as a school teacher, but that career lasted only four years. Although she had no formal art education, artistic talent ran through both sides of Alma's family; in fact her maternal grandfather, William Morgan, was one of five runners-up in the design of what became the Eiffel Tower. When she became ill as a young woman, she was sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium for four months. She was deeply affected by the experience. She became reclusive and unsociable and withdrew from life. Alma's automatic painting began in 1955, after she experienced a "vision" of Jesus, accompanied by a panther. She lived in Toronto for a while but after her vision during the 1950's she returned to Huntville. During this event she felt commanded by Jesus to draw and write in order to help "heal humanity". From that time, her hand began to move spontaneously across pages, in swirls and detailed formations, totally unlike anything she had consciously created before. She filled up every available space on paper provided for her by her family, claiming no ownership for the work. She took no credit for the process, saying, "I'm as excited to see what 'the hand' will do as anyone else is".
There was no trance state involved, she simply allowed the creations to come through her. She never claimed to understand the process, she simply marveled at the wonder of her gift. She devoted her lifetime to these drawings and writings. Her work is reminiscent of the theme of Carl Jung's Collective Unconscious as it is viewed. The famous Surrealist, Andre Breton, described the type of experience which Alma had as "pure psychic automatism". Michael Greenwood, curator of the York University Art Gallery , in Toronto where much of Alma's collection is housed said he had never seen such a case of automatism since William Blake. Many of Alma 's visionary revelations frightened Alma and she burned many of the drawings and writings. In 1963, Alma's nephew, Colin Oke, took some drawings to various Toronto galleries, but they were determined to be "too busy". By 1973, when Colin's wife, Wendy took them to the then thriving creative community on Markham Street in Toronto, the artistic climate was much more receptive to the modality of automatic drawing. Carmen Cereceda, assistant to the famous Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, was enthralled by the works and quickly became Wendy's mentor. Carmen was able to facilitate showings of the work through the Ontario College of Art & Design where she was a professor and connected Wendy to her active spiritual community. The drawings were shown to Kalu Rinpoche, the spiritual advisor to the Dalai Lama. He identified seven out of 20 pieces as Tibetan gods and deities, rendered in the appropriate positions and with distinguishing mantels and head dresses. There was a flurry of activity during the 1970's and 80's around interpreting the icons, symbols and foreign characters. Late in her life Alma had a stroke. She continued to create drawings, but they were less complex. In 1975, she ceased creating new pieces and worked only on touching up old ones. Alma died in 1980, at 78 years of age, never really understanding the source or intent of her incredible, spontaneous gift.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Things aren't right when people think of the land as a pie that can be sliced up in pieces. One quarter will live well, and another quarter will be reasonable. But the other half won't do too well at all. No matter how you cut a pie, in the end there's nothing holding it together. It gets eaten up like raisins.

It's better for people to live as if they're inside a ball. The sky, upstairs and downstairs, the four directions: these will hold everything together and not let anything escape because a ball has a top to cover us and a bottom to hold us, and everything works together.

-Ron Geyshick, an Ojibway healer from Ontario

Sunday, April 22, 2007

hey, it's earth day...what do we do?

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

-John Muir

Thursday, April 19, 2007

in bloom

I feel like the ground, astonished
at what the atmosphere has brought to it. What I know
is growing inside me.


days gone thus, spring rambles
and flowers; beyond there ries-

-Gary Snyder

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

so i should be studying...but instead i've been watching these episodes
"I memorized most of Shakespeare a couple of weeks ago... by the way, a little overrated, you know. I totally respect him but come on, dude. Nobody talks like that."

The Institute for Advanced Personhood....teaching how to see straight.

Contemporary science: the knowledge that society and any given cultural outlook is arbitrary; and that the more we conquer Nature the weaker we get. The objective eye of science, striving to see Nature plain, must finally look at "subject" and "object" and the very Eye that looks.
We discover that all of us carry within us caves; with animals and gods on the walls; a place of ritual and magic.
Gary Snyder from Earth House Hold

Monday, April 16, 2007

How far does your home extend?

1 What species is the nearest tree to your front door?
2 Is it native to your area?
3 How far away is your nearest mobile telephone mast?
4 How many of the items in your house could you make yourself?
5 Where is the nearest source of electrical power to your home?
6 What time did the sun rise this morning?
7 How many days till the moon is next full?
8 How many of the vegetables in your fridge could have been grown within 30 miles at this time of year?
9 From where you are reading this, point north.
10 Name five resident birds in your area.
11 Name five migratory birds in your area.
12 Think of your most expensive possession. How many days would it keep someone living on a dollar a day alive?
13 When was your home built, who built it and where did the material come from?
14 What was on the site before your home was built there?
15 What is the name of the person that cleans your street?
16 What is the origin of your town/village/borough's name?
17 How many generations back in your family can you name an ancestor? And where did they live?
18 What is the source of your tap water at home? And what’s in it?
19 How much water do you use at home each year?
20 When was the last time you borrowed something off a neighbour? And what was it?
21 How many bags of waste do you generate each year?
22 Where does your household waste end up?
23 What is the name of the person that collects your waste?
24 What percentage of that waste could be turned into compost?
25 What is the soil type in your area?
26 Name five edible plants in your region.
27 When are they best to eat?
28 From what direction do winter storms generally approach in your area?
29 What was the total rainfall in your area last year?
30 Where is the nearest bus stop to your house?
31 What spring wildflower is the first to bloom where you live?
32 When does it usually happen?
33 What is the furthest place you have walked to from your home?
34 When did you last talk to your postman / woman? And what is their name?
35 Where is your nearest nuclear power station? When did it last have an accident?
36 If the sea level rises 1 metre over the next 50 years, how much of your home will be submerged?
37 How far from your home is the nearest wilderness?
38 How many people do you know living within 500 metres of you?
39 When you flush the loo, where does the effluent end up?
40 What is your council tax spent on?
41 What was the predominant human activity in your area 100 years ago? 500? 1000?
42 Where is your nearest farmers’ market and when is it held?
43 If money became worthless, how many days at home could you survive?
44 How many constellations can you see from your bedroom window? When did you last look?
the ecologist

i wish i could answer more of these.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

lazy Sunday
sitting on top of an old
jazz record- A la Lighthouse
riding up and flopping down
in circles
while shuffling feet step in
between songs
to join the ride

Question: But there is no way that my actions are going to eliminate the suffering of the world.

Response: No, one person cannot change the world. One can only change one's own existence. However, because we are the world, we have changed it.

-Bill Barber

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Thanks for showing up and may you now be in peace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bowing to the Five Directions

I bow to the South- to the Fire of Divine Love
Let the Fire burn me in Love
Let Love consume me and spread out onto all beings

I bow to the East- to the Air of Pure Light
Let Light pass through me and out onto all beings

I bow to the North- to the purifying Waters
Let me be washed clean from all obstacles that keep me from seeing the Oneness of God
Wash me clean
Wash the world clean
So that the Oneness of God is all that remains

I bow to the West- to the Wisdom of the Earth
Let the Earth speak so that all may hear Her wisdom

I bow to the Centre- of myself and all beings

(what words did you see on the dots?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sandra Ingerman, a renowned shamanic healer, talks about how we can help our environment.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Brian Chan's Origami

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Monday, April 02, 2007

an attic cluttered
with marvels
treasures and gems
lay safe under an inch of dust
kept warm by a single bulb
that hangs from a wooden beam above
pouring a ray of light
a slow breeze rushes in
through cracked walls
swaying the light
from left to right
hidden beauties are caught
by the piercing light
freshly reveiled
dusted clean
forgotten, never lost
just waiting to be found

'Attic Studio': Big Sur Gallery

'Goddess Light Within': Helena Nelson- Reed