29 September 2014



During the last 25 years, Kerima and I have had 14 cats die on us.  Some were rescued when they were already quite old, many we got as kittens.  Not all the deaths were hard on us, but a few were very hard.

The hardest are when your favorite cats die young.  Gopi, my most favorite cat of all time died after surgery to remove a large cancerous mass in her intestines.  Her diagnosis and death came within a week of each other. I shut down a lot in every way after her death nine years ago for about six months.

But each death now is both easier and harder.  Easier in that it has happened many times before, and you get used to the cycle of grief and loss, but harder because I am far more open now to experiencing everything.

This time, Charley’s death hit me so hard it through me back into the Witness, where I was nothing but pure appearance.  I was No Thing, just the delight at everything that appeared before me.  Nothing was real, just appearance, and so was I.

Charley’s death at age 6 years and 7 months was traumatic because it was so premature and we both took such pains taking care of him for the last 4 months. Caretakers always bond more closely with their patients, and he was more than a patient.  Charley was the embodiment of peace, majesty, beauty, and loving kindness.  He did not play roughly like his brothers.  He was gentle and sweet.  As many vets have told me, the good die young.

But his death had me pondering again as to what happens to the Life Force when the body dies.

The two predominant Eastern theories are that a soul, or skanda bundle continue on in an afterlife, to be reborn after a period.  The second theory is that nothing remains.  All is just Shiva learning about the Play of Consciousness through us, his individual instruments for exploration, from bacteria, to insects, to birds, cats, and mankind. 

In this view, we are probes learning about Consciousness from a trillion embodied sentient beings, allowing the Source to gain knowledge and when the individual dies, there just is knowledge in Shiva of its past existence.

Probably both theories are bullshit, fairy tales to make us feel better about life and death.

So, I really don’t know.  But Charley’s death has once again shown me the magic of each sentient beings existence. How we should worship sentience in ourselves and in others, honoring how rare it is for matter to have even temporary existence as a living, loving, hurting sentient being.

I was taken though how merely pondering the issue of life and death, took me back to the pure Witness state of profound nothingness except pure appearance, with no pain, not grief, no love, but a very alive existence as appearance only. There, there was nothing to do, no one to take care of, no one to love or hate.  Just a lighted happiness with no emotions whatsoever.

But one more thing Charley’s death brought to me.

In 1986 I was diagnosed with Myofacitis, a chronic muscle pain condition due to hyperactive nervous system, and a regional version of Fibromyalgia.  In my youth I had been a weight lifter and athlete.  I had been able to bench press over 400 lbs, do hundreds of pushups, over 30 chin ups, and run 8 miles in about an hour.  I felt this facitis, was a result of all the accumulated muscle trauma, leaving me with a stiff body and muscles. Like Robert Adams, I had a neurological disorder.

Charley’s death brought a relaxation inside me such that the disorder within me is presenting itself as a total body syndrome no longer in the background, but in the forefront.  I AM is becoming the stiffness, accepting it, loving it, taking it in and healing me.  I have no idea how long this process will take, but the cure is happening now.


  1. The sky above us is full of love and everything around us is full of I Am.

  2. Thank you for such wonderful music....my Heart Center is just singing. steve