Ignoring Gravity


Gravity is a universal constant. It does have different effects depending on the balance of your body, or lack of it.

When you carry imbalances — sometimes called holding patterns or blocks — it takes energy just to maintain. Your bodily restrictions limit your potential.

When your body stacks up in simple vertical alignment the force of gravity is uplifting and energizing.
SEVEN NOBLE RICHES
 
 
The Capable One spoke of the following attributes as the seven noble riches, for they are the causes of untainted happiness and are not in any way ordinary.
 
Faith—that is, the three kinds of faith in the Three Jewels and confidence in the law of actions and their effects.
 
Discipline, the avoidance of harmful actions.
 
Learning that comes from listening to the holy Dharma that leads to liberation, with the intention of gaining complete knowledge.
 
Being generous—with a desire to make offerings and to help beings, to give away all one’s possessions without expecting anything in return or any karmic reward.
 
A sense of shame with respect to oneself that prevents one from indulging in negative actions, and that is unstained by such things as jealousy or seeking veneration.
 
A sense of decency with regard to others that stops one from engaging in unvirtuous practices.
 
And wisdom, that is, knowledge of the particular and general characteristics of phenomena.

You should realize that other common things that the world calls riches—gold, for instance—are of no value in obtaining untainted qualities; they are worthless, hollow, and without essence.

—from Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend With Commentary by Kyabje Kangyur Rinpoche
Who Made That?
David App 

 
We’re on the threshold of a brave new world where there will be not only instant access to all information on anything, but a reliability factor of 1:1. A world where there are no mistakes, everything turns out just right, and everyone is a winner. Isn’t that the promise of the new technologies? Google Glass David/App® may be a small step for mankind, but a giant step for admission to GoogleWorld.
 

 
Who Made That?
 iToast




Who Made That?
Cumulative List
 
 

  

 
We’re on the threshold of a brave new world where there will be not only instant access to all information on anything, but a reliability factor of 1:1. A world where there are no mistakes, everything turns out just right, and everyone is a winner. Isn’t that the promise of the new technologies? Google Glass David/App® may be a small step for mankind, but a giant step for admission to GoogleWorld.
 
 

 
xxxxxx
Samurai Credo


  I have no parents:
 I make heaven and earth my parents.
  I have no homeland:...
I make mindfulness my homeland.
 
I have no life or death:
  I make breathing my life and death.
  I have no divine power:
 I make honesty my divine power.
   I have no means:
 I make understanding my means.
  I have no magic secret.
 I make character my magic secret.
  I have no body:
 I make endurance my body.
  I have no eyes:
 I make panoramic awareness my eyes.
  I have no ears:
 I make sensibility my ears.
  I have no limbs:
 I make promptness my limbs.
  I have no strategy:
 I make non-thought my strategy.
  I have no attachments.
 I make precise action my attachments.
  I have no miracles:
 I make right-timing my miracles.
  I have no principles.
 I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles.
  I have no tactics:
 I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.
  I have no talents:
 I make right-speech my talent.
  I have no friends.
 I make my clarity my friend.
I have no enemy:
 I make ignorance my enemy.
  I have no armor:
 I make compassion and courage my armor.
  I have no castle:
 I make immovable-mind my castle.
  I have no sword:
 I make absence of self my sword.
 
— Anonymous samurai, 14th century

There is a difference between . . .

“To Balance” . . . and . . .  “In Balance”
 
 
Don’t Miss It!
I’m not entirely certain when I talk about the balance of the body if it is clear it’s understood what I am talking about. Oh, you say, you sure don’t know what he’s talking about. That may be a true judging from how many times I’ve heard that said to me. But, my aim is to see that you know what I’m talking about. At least I know that I’m talking about it. Enough about my perspicacity.  

Professionally, I speak to the subject of the balance of the body. Being in balance. That would be — this is the key point — in gravity. Balance in respect to the dictates of gravity on the arrangement of the human body. Your body. 

Before we can even begin to discuss why the balance of the body is important — I would say necessary; but, hey, I’m in the business of balancing bodies so I have to acknowledge a preference in this matter — let’s be sure it’s clear what we’re talking about. 

Simply put, on one hand, there is the ability “to balance”. This ability to balance is a skill we all have, each to a greater or lesser degree. The most direct evidence of this basic ability is the plain fact that most of us can stand upright on our two feet. (Just who taught you to do that?) Then there are the refinements; like balancing on a skateboard, on ice skates, on a bike, on a high wire, on a flag pole. The head of a pin? You’re no angel! 

Being “in balance” is something altogether different. This will clarify the point. If you miss it you could be missing an opportunity that will make a significant difference in the quality of your life, the level of your physical performance, and the fullness of your creativity.  

I would like to especially make this point to parents who spare no effort and expense to see their children get the best education and opportunities. Yet, when it comes to suggesting their youngster might benefit from learning something about the balance of the body from a professional such as me . . . “Well, how dare you? There’s nothing wrong with my little darling!” If they didn’t hightail it away in such a hurry, I would clarify. I would agree; there might be nothing wrong, but we don’t send the kids to school because something is wrong, do we? Unless, of course, you consider that they don’t know nothing means there’s something wrong. A problem to be fixed. (I went to a parochial school, and the good Sisters there did sometimes appear to regard us kids as born devils in need of proper — and strict — instruction and discipline.) 

Learning the balance of the body is a life skill we all have on our plates to learn. Learning it consciously as a student isn’t on the curriculum of any school that I know of. Oh, there is the injunction to sit up straight. Hold your shoulders back, your chest up. Chin down. That is what passes for the usual standard instruction of proper posture. Still. When I ask my new clients to stand up straight, almost always you see this pattern demonstrated. It is wrong. If your idea of proper posture is to keep your shoulders cocked back and your back arched to lift your rib cage, you are living in default of a restrictive and inefficient pattern. A pattern that is a put on, superficial arrangement. It fails to get at the healthier possibility of having an engrained, tangible sense of bodily balance inculcated deep down within oneself. 

When I propose a course of Structural Integration for their children, some parents shrug it off like it’s not an issue. Nothing there to be fixed. It used to flummox me when this would happen. Then I realized that mostly people were taking it that I saw something wrong and I was suggesting a remedy. And, unless they themselves see something wrong, then there is no need. To me it’s as strange a response as if I were a riding instructor or a gymnastics coach and the parents would respond to an invitation as if it were an affront.   

Alright, here’s the scoop. Living in a balanced body is not a necessity. Most of humanity has gotten by this far without it. Most won’t see the value unless it’s written about in the New York Times. Or, we’re in the pinch of it and someone suggests that possibility. Or, we see it on Oprah. Oh, but it’s been on Oprah. She even said that it was something she wanted to do. Hey, Oprah! What are you waiting for? It’s about realizing sound good health. Staying healthy. It’s a quality of life issue. It’s like driving a fine tuned, well-crafted automobile. Enjoying an original Matisse or Picasso on your living room wall. Having fresh vegetables and fruits from your own garden. It’s about grace, power, and presence. Living well, in the best sense. Living a good life. You don’t really need that. You can have it from Ms. Martha Stewart, “Living the Good Life”. Her idea has mostly to do with what you have and to to show it; and, maybe, doing it with some derivative sense of stylishness. Why not show up strong, healthy, good looking, and effective in your own right? Enjoy living unstressed and effortlessly upright. It is easily within reach. But, it does take doing. (Do it!) 

Here’s the problem. Out of balance, gravity pulls you down. It eventually tears you apart. Slowly, but surely and inexorably. In balance gravity is a friendly force. In fact, it uplifts and energizes. Out of balance you have to work just to keep it together. In balance, maximum energy is available for the task at hand. You live and move free of unnecessary restrictions. 

I sometimes think that the plain fact that most of us stand on two feet is considered sufficient evidence of adequacy on the question of balance of the body. It may be sufficient in terms of being able to balance, but not necessarily on the point in question. 

If you look you will see that all but a rare few individuals are out of balance in respect to how their body parts fit together, and how it all adds up in terms of the dictates of gravity. That is, the balance of the body. Our bodies are like any structure on the earth. In the architecture of structures gravity necessitates the need to be organized plumb   and square at the core. Straight and true is another way of saying it. 

In terms of the human body we know scientifically the anatomical design calls for the main segments to be stacked up in a straight vertical line, one over the other. We also know that these parts should be level and symmetrical in order to function fully. This is also an arrangement we know to be correct in terms of the Laws of Physics.  

Balance of the body is not just about standing and moving about. How the parts of the body are arranged in space affects all physiological functions. For example, if you carry your head habitually in front of your body line, it takes effort/energy just to keep it from falling over (falling off?). The effort gets braced into the shoulders, the neck and the head. The legs and pelvis have to support that and thus need to adjust to make things hold together. The breath is restricted. The heart too. And there is extra pressure on the brain. And, don’t let me get started on the psychological correlates of this depressive stance.  

Now, just look. Who is living up to this potential for living in bodily balance? What we mainly see is a rough approximation of the kind of balance in the makeup of our bodies which we know is in the natural design.  

We have certain assumptions about how things are. The usual, however, is not necessarily the normal. Naturally, we all get bigger and stronger as we grow up. In terms of how our bodies become organized, however, we are mainly self-taught. Trial and error. We learn copying from adults around us. Our models themselves may not exhibit good body balance. We live, and accumulate experience. Accidents and traumas are factors. Bad habits set themselves. Our history is written in our flesh. Unresolved, we go on repeating the same patterns. Consequently, unless there is some intervention or conscious education, we arrive at adulthood with a random mix of imbalanced patterns set into the fabric of our tissues. No one notices this because it comes on us gradually. Those around us don’t notice because more often than not they are also living with their own imbalances. The usual is taken for normal. We are in a fix. Set in our ways. We have come to identify all this as just a part of who we are. Even maybe a little proud of our eccentricities. Turned them into money makers. Don’t mess with success.  

I could go on. Just to say again there is a difference between being able to balance and being in balance. I stand for both. I stand for more of the latter.
 

Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche
 


 
 
"For the Sake of Others . . ."
 
The Path of the Bodhisattva
 
Great Compassion
By Zen Master Torei
Translated by Thomas Cleary
Edited by Michael Shea


1. Great compassion is like the sky, because it covers all living beings.

 2. Great compassion is like the earth, because it produces all the teachings.

 3. Great compassion makes it possible to see Buddha nature, by first clarifying real knowledge for the sake of others.

 4. Great compassion makes it possible to pass through rigid barriers, by exploring the profound teachings more and more for the sake of others.

 5. Great compassion makes it possible to penetrate the mystery of life, by seeking a life beyond suffering for the sake of others.

 6. Great compassion can develop powerful skillfulness, by striving on this path for the sake of others.

 7. Great compassion can activate fearlessness, by keeping a vigorous will alive for the sake of others.

 8. Great compassion makes it possible to get beyond neurosis, because the mind is settled for the sake of others.

 9. Great compassion can produce broad learning, by studying everything for the sake of others.

 10. Great compassion can produce erudition (classical knowledge), by deep deduction of the principles of things for the sake of others.

 11. Great compassion can produce blessings, by always coming up with solutions for others.

 12. Great compassion can annihilate afflictions by sacrificing body, life, and belongings for others.

 13. Great compassion can eradicate conceit, by acting benevolently for others.

 14. Great compassion enables detachment from fame and profit, by basing everything on truth for the sake of others.

 15. Great compassion enables entry into the realm of reality, because there is nowhere it does not go for the sake of others.

The virtues of great compassion are infinite. They could be expounded upon forever without exhausting them, but it boils down to this:

Whoever has great compassion can extinguish all obstructions caused by past actions and can fulfill all virtues. No principle cannot be understood, no path cannot be practice, no knowledge not attained, no virtue not developed.
 
Just as when you want to win people’s hearts you first love their children, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas consider all living beings their children, so if you love all living beings equally, all the Buddhas will be moved to respond.

Where Do You Live?

No, not what is your address. Your "real estate". I'm referring to your body. Just where in your body do you spend the most time?

For most people the answer would most probably be the head. We are so visually and auditorily engaged in our daily lives. Looking . . . listening . . . appearing . . . being listened to. Yes, it would most certainly be the head.

Unless there is discomfort or some other issue in the body which calls the attention to that place. Then that's what gets the attention. If you are given to saying things like, "A thorn in my side", "He's such a pain in the neck", "You're such a pain in the ass", then take a look if that doesn't correspond to an aggrievement in any or all of those parts.

The point is that we do spend time in only parts of our bodies. Meaning that we may not in fact spend time in others, or that we don't spend time in our bodies at all. It's safe to bet that only the rare few occupy 100% of their bodily real estate. You know how it is such a chestnut tossed around about how we only use a small percentage of our brain? Consider this. It's a Body/Mind. We speak of one or the other as a convenience. But, in fact, it's one thing. So if you're not living in all your body isn't it the same as saying you're not using all your brains. Your physical brain may be in your noggin, but your "brains" is in every part of your body.

How could I be suggesting anyone doesn't spend time in their body? Where the heck else? If you care to examine the situation you may come to see that your sense of body, body sense, your sense of self, is a mental construct; albeit with a set of familiar feelings and sensations that define who we  are . . . in the world, anyway. We rarely experience our physicality unmitigated by some overarching notion or two. I'm referring to the pure felt sense of it. And when we do attempt to do this, (so many times I've seen this with my clients), how disconnected, absent we are. Try it. Without moving, feel your feet. Or, your shoulder blades. Convinced? You can, if you want, scan your whole body, bit by bit, starting with the toes.

Out of my own life changing experiences (for the better, life changing) in the process of completing a basic Rolfing series I trained to do that work myself and currently am soon to log 33 years of practice. (Some would say, keep practicing; but, I'm not sure how to take that. I would say that I'm not bad.) I remember how, like most people who come to this transformational work, I had issues. My lower back. My first impressions working with my Rolfer were like being freed, as if armor and chains were being removed and lifted. It didn't really help my lower back pain much, however. Not immediately anyway. It should be disclosed that Rolf Structural Integration is not about relieving specific symptoms per se. It's a whole body approach designed to set the stage for automatically healing/correcting local symptoms as a consequence of the global result of balancing the arrangement of the entire body along the lines of gravity. I could go on with this ad nauseum, so if you are interested search away. There's plenty to read in other parts of the WWW.

I had a memorable epiphany moment midway through the 10 sessions of Rolfing. It is understood among practitioners that the process with the client lying on the cushioned work table is about opening, lengthening, separating, and connecting in the matrix of the soft connective tissue. When the client stands up after the session, the force of gravity engages this new open situation and things sort themselves of their own accord. Room to move, space to breathe, kind of thing. When I stood up there was this most amazing experience. I felt like I was dropping, more like sliding down, into my body; slowly and gently, as if I had been living in a space several inches or more above and just to the side of my body. Psychologically you could call me a mental type. (Case? Ask around.) As one of my esteemed colleagues would put it, I came to earth. I came back to earth, really. Literally. It was a welcoming experience. So exhilarating in fact that I danced and cavorted around my Rolfer's work space like some kind of new born monkey. Me exalting in the pure animal of my human nature. Jumping up and down with glee.

It was sublime. My feet felt rooted to the earth. My body was effortlessly upright. I was full of good old vim and vigor. Free! I went back to my office and realized I didn't, shouldn't really, be cooped up like that. Soon after I was out of there. That's how come I became a Rolfer.

So this is how I know from my own direct experience that we don't always live in parts of our body, maybe have not ever. Certainly not the whole body. And, living in the whole body is what I stand for.

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who originated Rolf Structural Integration, quoted The Poet saying, “Robert Frost said 'You have freedom when you're easy in your harness.' That is what Rolfing is about.”

So maybe I turned this into a promotion for Structural Integration. Well, you can count on that I would do so at every opportunity. But, don't call for an appointment. Start to entertain the possibility and see what things you can do right now on your own to improve your standing and up your awareness of your own "real estate". Look up my friend Scott Gauthier and check out his guide to body awareness. Then, and if you want, Structural Integration can offer peerless and definitive personalized assistance to get you on your way.
 
Now let Robert Frost put it so poetically . . .

 
THE SILKEN TENT
by Robert Frost
 
She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware
 
 




D  /  I  /  V /  O /  R  /  C  /  E

It May Still Be Hurting . . . Somewhere



A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbour.

— Carl Gustav Jung "The Philosophical Tree" (1945). 


The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.

— R. D. Laing

I divorced. It was probably the worst thing that ever happened to me. And, perhaps, the best. 

Up until then I was living the scripted dream. Be a good boy, study hard, get good grades, finish school, start a career, start a family, see the kids off well on their own, retire, savor the golden years and a wonderful store of memories. Then, die. The last part doesn't usually get on the list until it's staring you in the face. Then it could be too late if you have waited for the house to be on fire before digging the well. 

Sometimes love don't feel like it should. Maybe she loved me enough to kick me out. Not to say that was my bride's motive; but the universe's, I'm quite sure. I had some lessons to learn. And, when your karma comes knocking, you will open the door. Or, have it opened for you. But, open nonetheless.

I was an ignoramus. Self-deceived, and full of it. Was?! (There are other opinions. Perhaps a consensus) The irony from my perspective is that just as I was waking up to the reality that I had it wrong in so many ways, the die was cast, and the momentum toward that break up was well under way. It was indeed a tragedy in any event. Not just for the loss and the broken hearts. But, the very idea of separation. Is there really any separation? In the Christian marriage vows it is traditionally asserted, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder". The Church may apply it to marriage in an attempt to put some weight on people to hang in there to make things work. In the total scheme of things, however, God has indeed joined all things together in his vast Creation. Separation is in the realm of appearances only. In Reality, it is an illusion. Funny, I got that from the Buddhists. And, you know what they think about God? Short answer; they don't.

I should also mention what with the divorce rate at 50% or so in this still early part of the 21st Century that it doesn't help marriage much in terms of keeping it together to be surrounded by a culture which promotes the pleasure of the moment, where every individual is free to see things in whatever relative way may suit them, and where romantic love is still promoted; the latter which only makes it inevitable when the bloom of passion fades, then why wouldn't anyone go looking for the next new thing. Or, when some new thing shows up, why not follow that. Hey! we're in love.

We can rationalize our own histories. I have my story. If anyone cared to ask, I would put it this way. At a moment of grace I realized that I was one lost sheep.* The divorce — and, by the way, also the simultaneous ending of a long career in business — was part of the Universe's message to me to wake the heck up (!). I saw the inevitability and necessity even then. In retrospect, it had to be. Existentially, how else could it have been.



I also saw into the myth we call "Family" from how people, even so called loved one's, behaved. If you want to know who your friends are, trying divorcing. Sides tend to be drawn. The impersonators show themselves unashamedly. Alas, the children too, may think they have to take sides. Someone is right, someone is wrong. On me, the prize of the latter designation has been bestowed. Of course, there's also the possibility that your children will wrongly assume it is their fault. It's an easy trap for their inexperienced minds to fall for.

It is of fundamental importance not to make the positivist mistake of assuming that because a group’s members are in formation this means that they’re necessarily on course.
— R. D. Laing 

But, Family. Family is a game. A very nice game. One I subscribe to like everyone else. But, that game, like any other, has rules. In order to stay in the game you have to play by the rules. One participates in Family with the implicit promise and expectation that the rules will be observed, stated or no. Indeed, many of those rules are in fact unstated. At its worst it is a mutual collusion with the unspoken agreement to maintain the same fictions. Sort of like, hey, it's a shit pile. But, it's our shit pile. And we all agree on how it smells. And we all agree to like it that way. 

At its best, it gives all members enough loving space to express themselves freely, without judgment or fear of reprisal. In the dysfunctional family — I've heard it someplace that the definition of family is . . . dysfunctional  we don't call each other on our games, or our prejudices. Say something we don't like or don't agree with, and risk censure or ostracization. [Like some of the things I'm writing in this piece. But hey, I got nothing to lose. I'm already on the outs. Minds are made up.]

And, we have our favorites. And, hierarchies. I know of one who will be unnamed paterfamilias who, even now departed, occupies the role of sainted parent and exemplary role model. The kind of man children and grandchildren name their own male child after. 

But, never mind that he may have been an unreconstructed bigot and racist. He used the N-word with the same kind of familiarity and ease one has when asking for a bag of potato chips at the convenience store. Also, he was what they call a good ol' boy. Never said an untoward thing. Never went against the grain; ever. Possibly, not even when it was the right thing to do. His role model might even have been Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life". A peach of a man, by everyone's estimation. But, let's not dwell on any flaws. And, with the passing of time, it may even come to pass that he will rise in shared memory to saintly status. He was loved. And, that is as it should be. But, the narrative painting him as hero ... I'm not a fan. He wasn't so keen on me either. 

The man showed nary a hint of introspection. Eschewed the inner life as if it were a command from God. Or, why rock the boat? Kept his uniform strack. Obeyed the rules. Just like any of us, he had his flaws, I'll bet. Maybe did the right thing only when he was sure no one would object. But certainly when everyone was watching. Kind of a human careerist. He knew how to polish the apple. The script of the family romance drama called for that role. And he now even in memory fills it with distinction. A child named after him to carry on the legacy. 

The foregoing will prove my point if there is some offense taken. Also, prove that point that I am in fact [still] an ignoramus. Your umbrage just proves you know who is being described. And, your indignation is a sure sign of your complicity in that particular family myth.

Woe to any family member who breaks or goes against the rules. We are invited to bring love into the Family nexus; but, of itself, the Family is not particularly loving. Family exists only in the consensus of the participants. How loving or not any particular family may be is something else. And, what's loving to some may be just a kabuki drama of nice manners to others. Family is a social construct of necessity and convenience. That is a good thing. 

This is not something to which we usually give much, if any, thought. Reflect on your own situation and see what rules are in place that are coercing you to maintain your status as a member of your Family. And, what it would look like if you didn't behave as expected. 

In my ex-wife's family where I was an "Outlaw" (that's her revered father's term for "in-laws") there seems to have been a niche in the narrative for someone to play the role of "That-dirty-rotten-bastard-who-done-her-wrong". When I first arrived on that family scene I learned about the former husband of one of her aunts. He had that distinction. Not much said, but a clear indication that the guy was stone no good. Never discussed, just you knew there was strong disapproval. Even a sulky, brooding emotionally damaged daughter for good measure. 

Currently, I believe I have that particular honor. At a wedding where I was granted rare invitation I said good bye to my former Mother-in-law for what would be the last time. Her foot was ailing and she used a special therapeutic contraption. Jokingly I whispered in her ear that I bet if her foot was in better shape she'd be kicking me in the butt right now. She righteously retorted "That's right". So long, dear heart. Don't hold on to it any longer than you can. It only hurts you. And, you can't take it with you when you go. 

Point of fact, I think I may have graduated to a role tantamount to Who-has-ever-heard-of-him. My own daughters have fully engaged relationship with their mother. Wonderful. With their dad it's let's get together when we're in the vicinity and we have some spare time and it suits us. And, let's have it be in a public place like a restaurant because then the length of the visit can be kept short.

To exacerbate the situation in the divorce, others in our life may have had their own opinions on things. One such take, unabashedly put right to my face — from my dear brother no less — sees it as me abandoning my family. Strong stuff. I think that has more to do with his own need to see me as the bad guy. I did, after all, break up his cozy arrangement as the doted upon only child for his first nine years on earth.

Sides were also taken. That's classic, isn't it? Still remember my ex-wive's uncle getting me on that phone and telling me from some righteous position above me, that I was an "asshole". Ouch! And, dear sir, that makes you ... what? Right. 

I found out who my friends were too. Yet, even in the face of the disdain of loved ones, being shunned by them, I held it as my duty to myself and to them to find my true way. My life took a sharp turn toward that goal and everything before that had to be left behind. Now, please to understand, I didn't set up that goal by myself. It was presented to me. You know, the hand of Universal Fate, kind of thing. And I saw it. But, really didn't have to do anything but let it unfold. It was in the cards you could say.

Some might call that a cop out. Let them. 

Even after several years the shunning continues. Now that is real love, actually. Just in case I get some pangs of sentimental attachment. "Stay away . . . forever". I have recently been directly told in so many words if I don't like it, then that's my problem. And, for good measure, that all concerned have moved on and that they don't have any unfinished inner business going on when it comes to me. Could it be that it's just a case of out of sight out of mind. Oh yes, the gold standard for the family is to eschew introspection. So, if it's there, I might bring it up. So let's not bring it up. Let's not have him there. 

But, I know a little secret. My then recently ex-wife and I had a meet up once on the steps of the New York Public Library. Between those two famous lions. She tartly asserted to me, "You aren't in my life!" She had her own ignorance too. I responded by pinching her nose. A tactile asserting of the reality of what was right in front of her nose really. She protested. Just another proof of my abusiveness. But, she may have missed the point entirely; most likely, if I had to say. Yet, I know what she was saying. I wasn't in the commerce of her daily life. But, I was there with something to say as well.

We are connected. It's in the nature of God's creation. 

I was  — and, most certainly am — in her life. Don't you count me out, my darlings. My healing is yours. And, I don't care if you agree with this or not. The success of my project to be myself does not require agreement, support, or participation from anyone else. What's real can't be threatened. Just to suggest you may want to look at whatever disagreement, if any, with this you may have. And ask yourself, just who put it there? I am willing to be 100% responsible. Take as much responsibility as you will.

It is a pisser when you have children raised in an ethos which eschews introspection, and you are held in disrespect and distrust by them, while at the same time you're attempting to point them to look inside. For me, another lesson in trust. And, courage. Courage to let it go, not worry or concern. They are children of the Universe first. I didn't know who I was. So, I didn't directly instill in them any sense that they were anything other than two little girls. Which, dutifully they accepted.


Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiosity, dreaminess easily. You have to love them to get them to do that.
— R. D. Laing 

Here is a pertinent quote from The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology by Chögyam Trungpa, page 166:

Confusion is two-sided; it creates a need, a demand for sanity. This hungry nature of confusion is very powerful and important. The demand for relief or sanity that is contained within confusion is, in fact, the beginning point of sanity. That is what moved Buddha to sit beneath the bodhi tree twenty-five hundred years ago — to confront his confusion and find its source.

Of course, the divorce left a dissonance, especially with our children. But, I believe that dissonance — that confusion — in its demand for relief and resolution is the grace for them to find their own sanity and forgiveness. My part is to let the Universe work in this situation. And, trust.

We parted company after ten years of marriage and the birth of two little girls. I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church which unequivocally forbids divorce. While I would be considered liberal in my stance on the Church's rule, the years of indoctrination had their effect. It was a devastating experience all around. Not least, for my darling little girls.

It has been several years and the wounds of the past are being healed. But I do reflect on the injunction, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder". That's from Mathew and it is, as far as I know, the bedrock of the Catholic position on divorce. In short ... no way.

But, for good and bad motives, people divorce. The reasons are legion, and my point is not to cover the whole topic here. But, it seems to me that there is a larger meaning than just concerning marriage and divorce that I would like my children to understand.

I believe my ex-wife and I did ourselves and our children a disservice. It's one thing to decide to not live together. What often gets missed is that in reality the notion of separation, it is an illusion. And, one pays a tremendous price in aliveness and proper care of the soul for maintaining that fiction.  

Of course, the plain fact that daddy wasn't part of the usual household family scene was jarring enough. It broke my heart to hear, "Please come back and be our daddy again". My daughters are grown now with children of their own. I wonder if their own wounds are healed, or healing. I do know for certain my healing is their healing. Their relationship with me is mostly arms length. Cordial, of course. And, surface mostly. I do sometimes put in a word or two. But, if it doesn't agree with what they already think or want to do, it falls by the wayside. Let's just say I don't have the experience of being a parent whose children will do anything whatsoever just because I asked, or said so. The reason (pig headed?) given to me is that I don't approach things in the right way. I lecture. My take, what's the matter with you that you have to have things delivered in just a certain way? 

I seem to occupy a niche box in their heart. The term is called pigeonholed. I am not part of whatever family they live in, at least in the conventional getting-together sense. And, there's a problem with that. Not with whether or not we are getting together. But in the matter that concerns the heart.

You see, if your heart is closed anywhere to someone, then that part of your heart is not available to anyone. Including those who you are committed to, and want to, love unconditionally. Conversely, if your heart, or a piece of it, is only reserved exclusively for someone, then your whole heart is not available to anyone. There is a friction there that wants to be resolved. It won't go away until it is settled.

I do believe that friction can be a blessing in disguise. If you want to let it reveal itself. The option that is too easy to take is to just ignore it. Out of sight . . . kind of thing.

I don't have the answer to why there is so much divorcing going on. I have an opinion, of course. I want to say though, the seeds of discontent have to do with objectification. When you are in love there is no other. It's "I Thou". When troubles show up (and they always will when there are egos) there is a temptation to start to look at your loved one as a "her" or a "him". In short, there is a separation. Maybe mental at first. But, the story develops, you may even have some agreement from outside others, and finally you have a "HER!" or a "HIM!". It's called "crapping yourself out". Unless this separation gets cleared up, it's very easy to go to the next step and enfranchise the position legally.

So be it. Just to remember that the original sin in all this is the idea of separation itself. What God has put together, let no man put asunder. The Catholic Church bases its prohibition on divorce right there. But, the larger and more exquisite truth is what God has put together can't be in any way put asunder. As Mr. Dylan sings, "Ring them bells so the world will know That God is one.

Here is an excellent quote on the subject; specifically, on objectification:

Much of the disharmony in relationship can be attributed to our belief in objectivity — the notion that we experience other people the way they really are. This belief in objectivity tends to arise with the belief in separation. Through this separate me, I see separate others. Once this division is made in the mind, there is a tendency to believe that I, the subject, can see other people, the objects, exactly as they are. And in that tendency there is a kind of mental sleepiness or blindness to the fact that every time I see subject and objects, I am thinking. I fail to see that I am looking through a filter of thought. 

When we believe in objectivity, we have difficulty seeing that our thoughts, emotions, and sensations paint others in a way that is unique to us. Our views of other people are shaped by our memories, personal histories, cultures, worldviews, and psychological and emotional traits, along with various other influences. The painter is inseparable from her painting. We don’t see others the way they are. We see them the way we are.  


* From Osho . . .

. . . Come to understand the futility of so-called worldly life. . . . [One should understand] one thing — that something needs to be done immediately about his own being. If he goes on drifting in the old way, he will lose the whole opportunity of this life. . . . [He became] alert that up to now he has lived wrongly, has moved in wrong directions. Has been too concerned with things and not concerned with himself, has been too concerned with worldly prestige and power and has not been concerned about who he is. [He] is turning towards himself . . . [It] is a miracle — the energy is moving back towards oneself.

Ordinarily, the energy is moving away from you — towards things, targets, in the world. The energy is moving away from you, hence you feel empty. The energy goes away, never comes back; you go on throwing away energy. By and by you feel dissipated, frustrated. Nothing comes back. By and by you start to feel empty. The energy is just oozing out every day — and then comes death. Death is nothing else but that you are exhausted and spent. The greatest miracle in life is to understand this, and to turn the energy towards home. It is a turning-in. It is not that you leave the world. You live in the world — there is no need to leave anything, or go anywhere else. You live in the world, but in a totally different way. Now you live in the world but you remain centered in yourself; your energy goes on returning to yourself.


You are no longer out-going: you have become in-going. Of course you become a pool of energy, a reservoir, and energy is delight, sheer delight. Just energy there, overflowing, and you are in delight, and you can share, and you can give in love. This is the difference. If you put your energy into greed, it never comes back; if you put your energy into love, it comes back a thousand-fold. If you put your energy into anger, it never comes back. It leaves you empty, exhausted, spent. If you use your energy in compassion, it comes back a thousand-fold . . .





On our interconnetedness ...