22 December 2015

What if there were no path?

What if there were no path? What if there were so many paths and none of them led to a “final” state or ultimate understanding?  What if thousands of lost souls had not followed Buddha seeking an end to suffering?  What if Buddha at 25 had seen death, disease, starvation in the world, and instead of seeking a way to end the anxiety in himself caused by such scenes, he sought instead ways to alleviate starvation, disease, and suffering in the world by direct action?

You see, all wisdom schools, all paths, all spiritual experiences already exist in you in a nascent state just waiting to be experienced depending on how you direct you attention.  Kundalini resides in you whether you are aware or not.  Emptiness, the Void, resides in all of your experiences whether you are aware or not.  Great love resides in you whether you are aware of it or not.  Peace resides in you whether you are aware of it or not. Each has its roots in you waiting the be sprouted by attention.

You can deliberately seek to awaken your Kundalini.  You can deliberately seek love, or to be aware of the love in you.  You can meditate on emptiness or sit in Shikantaza to become aware of states of being aware of awareness itself, the Void, the container of all experience.  You can walk down all these paths of energy, love, meditation, chanting, Shaktipat, Voidness, healing, crystals, koans, pranayama, or…..   You can just be aware of your own self in the world in a balanced inner-outer awareness welcoming whatever arises.

Instead of a directed awareness aimed at awakening in you an awareness of experiences others have said they have had by practicing certain pranayamas, chakra meditations, mudras, herb ingestion, yoga poses, emptiness meditations, worship the guru, Christ, or God, what about just be completely open to everything occurring within you and without you?

If the desire to find ultimate states arises within you (the Absolute, Parabrahman), instead of seeking such through reading Nisargadatta, Ramana, or Robert Adams, and then practicing self-inquiry, what if instead, we open to that within us that is propelling us to seek the Absolute?  What if we can be open to that which propels us to seek?  What is that within us that drives us to seek a Kundalini awakening, to seek the Absolute, to seek love, to seek God, to seek Turiya, or emptiness?

What is that within you that drives you to seek, which prevents you from just being in yourself as you are in the world?  What is its form?  How does that feeling actually feel like?  Feel it!  Own it!  Be it!  Bring whatever it is entirely into your sense of self.

What is it that drives you and makes you seek something you think you want but which you have not yet experienced? What drives you down one spiritual path after another, from one teacher to another?  What makes you a seeker?  What drives your seeking?

Buddha did not question his own seeking, and he went down one path after another to extreme degree before he found his solution, which was to end desire.  Nisargadatta followed his teacher’s words, looked within, found his sense of I Am, an attended to it until he experienced both the manifest and unmanifest selves.  He did not question his path.

J. Krishnamurti, so far as I know, is the only famous teacher that asks you to explore that which makes you seek, but really offered no way, no path, to explore one’s own self.

You do not find your inner world merely by looking within, because looking implies separation, a witness and an object.  It separates.

Instead, feel within, be aware of all tactile and emotional sensations within your body.  Accept those sensations.  Feel them, absorb them.  Feel the impetus to seek.  What is it for you?

As an aid, read Eugene Gendlin’s book entitled ‘Focusing’.

10 December 2015


Over the years I have been contacted hundreds of time by people with addictions asking for help. I have not been of much help, because I didn't know much about opioid addiction to pills and heroin.

But here is it, a long, 78-page article on Huffington Post that explains why abstinence, or willpower-based self-attempts, or those found in 12-step programs of abstinence, fail 90% of the time, and cause tons of overdose deaths by addicts that are clean, but return to heroin at there former dose level, a dose level they can no longer tolerate.

The new paradigm is medical assistance using opioid partial agonist medication such as Suboxone, Naloxone, or Buprenorphine used alone. the relapse rate of programs using medical assistance is only 10% compared to 90% in programs based on abstinence, along with a very, very low rate of overdose death.

For the last few months I have been doing some research in this area, and found almost unanimous agreement about the success of medically assisted recovery and without the need for painful withdrawal. However, there is still much bias against medical assistance since recovery in the U.S. has always been associated with faith based, 12-step, or institutionalization of enforced abstinance, and the political clout backing this $12 billion dollar industry.


09 December 2015

Buddy Died Today

Buddy died this morning at his vet's clinic.

When I awoke this morning he was crying out in pain. He crawled up onto my lap and cried out.  Then he ran away and cried some more. Then he laid on the floor on his side, motionless, with rough breathing.  He had been getting fluids daily at the vet's office because of severe dehydration, but began to retain fluids about a six days ago ago.

Dr. St. Clair long suspected cancer, because his blood tests had been normal except for severe anemia, for which he was treating, and Buddy was too fragile to survive exploratory surgery.  His blood vessels just kept collapsing and he was retaining fluids. X-rays showed nothing of a tumor, but lots of gas and retained fluids. Buddy's decline was very rapid.

Buddy spent the last three weeks glued to me, on my lap, on my chest, following me around the house when he could manage it, and following me with his eyes when he couldn't.

But today the pain was just too much for him, so I gave him a large dose of Buprenorphine to calm him down because he looked panicked, and to ease his pain.  The unusual breathing made me know it was time.

All the staff at Grand Paws were very sympathetic and kind.  They all knew Buddy well as he came almost daily for fluids.  They were all very kind and several came in to say goodbye to him before he passed. I offer special thanks to Shannon, Joe, and Jeff, and the many, many, techs who gave Buddy fluids, enemas, pills, and who endured blood-lettings in the process, and also Dr. St. Clair who performed a perfect euthanasia.

Buddy's death for me is heartbreaking. I have not had anyone's death hit me so hard except for my father's, and another cat named Satchitananda (Satchi) who died in 1987.

It is so great to be able to feel this deeply again, to fully feel the sorrow, the emptiness, the loss, and to be able to cry freely.  I know after Satchi died the same year Robert died, I went into a three year depression, and finally came out after medication. But antidepressants also can blunt all feeling, so I stopped it after a few years.

Don't let anyone tell you that awakening means you are immune from attachments, loss, mourning, even fear, because if you are immune from them, you are also immune to love, bliss, and happiness.

Spiritual practice can leave you without feelings and detached as are so many spiritual teachers.  Be glad you can still feel.

05 December 2015

Richard Wolff explains why life as we have known it in the United States is over. The economic collapse of 2007 marks the beginning of the great decline, of a self-destructing economy abandoned by capitalism to make more money in rapidly growing Third World Economies.

It is over for us. Richard explains in painful and very clear detail, why we are slipping into oblivion.

I saw his 2 hour video on Link TV called Alternatives to Capitalism which was breath-taking in its clarity of explaining the decline of the U.S.