Wednesday, February 25, 2009

an amazing awakening

The sun streaming through my window, parted by the blinds, brings a new day.
I awaken slowly but surely from magnificent dreamscapes.
My passages across this marvelous landscape of sandstone and canyons has finally entered my dreamworld.
Ah, but this is not the main source of my happiness, no, not now.
It is not forgotten, but made so small by this wonderful glorious new chapter in my life.

Love.

I breathe deep, recalling caring and vital words of emotional exploration.
Now, there is a landscape that makes even the most lush landscapes of the world pale in comparison!
I have been patient, waiting for months, years, for a willing and intriguing explorer to join me. Is it possible that the day has finally come?

Somehow, it is becoming a nexus point for all of my inner focus and all of the ‘work’ I have been doing over the years. All of a sudden there is focus – I can see – awareness returns with a force previously unseen.
My every word, thought, action become larger, more intensified and imbued with more meaning. My responsibility grows a thousand-fold.

Here I am at the entrance to a lush, verdant valley of emotion, sharing, bonding.
I can make out landmarks ahead that are not yet clear, yet call to me. Intuition guides my gaze, I may not be able to think of these things to come, but I can feel them.

The late days of winter as spring approaches have become the most intense times of transition. For each of the last three years, this has been a time of transition and rebirth.
First, the rekindling of an old friendship matched with the adventure of a new one culminating in my first exploration of the slickrock wilderness – that which led me to my new life here in Southern Utah.

Next came the transition from a period of service (my Arches volunteer period) and living in a town that still had so many amenities to a time of living in the middle of nowhere – Boulder UT- a town of little amenities and great wilderness.
Each step was a leap further from the somewhat vague and virtual world of urban life in Chicago.

Now, after battling demons all winter long which made me want to run back to some sort of ‘cultural center’, I find myself in transition again, yet not of outer place, but of inner.
Yes there is a move of housing, of living space, and that is an element of this new transformation. But the most important part is the discovery that letting go and surrendering to life will bring forth the greatest of gifts.
I could not have asked for a more wonderful spirit to have come into my life. All of a sudden, here she is. I remember the first time our eyes ever met and how intrigued I was, how I had that notion that has come before when I have first met those who have played the most important roles in my life.
Now it appears that we shall be building something wonderful together, something that will inspire us both to rise higher, to fulfill our dreams, to take greater care with both ourselves and each other.
The fact that we shall be planting and tending to a garden is a perfect symbol for this new venture. Great care must be taken, attention be paid.
My heart and head both say to me time and again “Trust this, it is beautiful”.
And I know it is true.

With the arrival of spring comes new life, and it sure is coming!
Whether it be this new bond, an emotional relationship which just keeps expanding, or my new set of artwork to be shown through most of march and April, or the movements of a new season in the desert, with new creative opportunities and work possibilities.
All of these things are making me feel alive and glad to be here.
This is a very refreshing and invigorating thing considering the freak-outs of winter and all of the questions which I have had.

All I can really do is thank ‘that which is beyond names’ for this great gift.
I feel blessed beyond belief as my fears and anxieties dissipate and are replaced with boundless hope.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

amazed

so, recently i have been amazed in ways both good and bad.
there is no way to control other people's mouths. information flows freely, whether positively reinforcing or not.
the perceptions of others tend to stray from reality a bit too - or at least don't seem to match. there are misunderstandings, which then get spoken as truths to other ears.

I've been doing some work...of a sufic nature, and have found that it is misconstrued. I completely understand why and am not surprised in the least.
truthfully, i probably should not be writing about it here, and definitely should not give details as i know these words will most likely be read by the other party at some point.

Something quite common in sufi activity is the inability to understand or the misperception of those who are outside of the realm of the conscious activity that is taking place. It may appear that one thing is being done when the activity and goal of the sufi-minded is completely different. At times, this can even be construed as doing something wrong when in fact the work and goal are based in love and compassion. There is simply not always a straight line.
This is exactly what is occurring in my own life. i cannot express anything further than that about this particular activity which am involved in.

What i can write about is how the events of the past month have been acting like a mirror and revealing much.
i've been brought head to head with all of my issues and answers have been coming from random people and events.
It brings an increased level of awareness and is revealing how much inner work i have been doing and the level of integration that has actually occurred.
I'd been a bit half asleep about it over the last year during my transition to life in Utah, but once more, things are becoming increasingly clear.
I actually have a new person in my life i can thank for this. Somehow, I'm feeling a freedom of self now that i had yet to feel here.

Over the last two weeks, massive shifts have happened in my life. Inner shifts & a new, very deep and natural connection.
For many, this can be confusing as they are not used to experiencing these types of shifts in themselves or others. Then there are those that completely understand it as well. These are where the surprises happen and others reveal their inner natures and levels of awareness and maturity.

I've also been discovering the difference between those that intellectually believe and try to practice loving-kindness,and those that simply live it.
My tendency to be open when it comes to love, to freely express, if even only through my eyes (and i mean the eyes literally), to be raw, can be too much for some. It is visceral. It is real, and it can be intense, and some do not know how to accept that because it is thought that it is something being worked towards, or something always gentle, when in fact, there can be a great ecstatic passion held within it. There is also the tendency for many to believe that there is always a desired outcome or a 'return' expected from these activities. When that is not the case, it can very easily lead to confusion and misperception. This is one of the huge differences between the tenets of Buddhism and Sufism (from what i have digested over the years)
Suffering, Passion, and all of the more visceral emotions should not be viewed as something to be avoided.It is not about removal of oneself from the world, but to be in it, yet not of it - meaning to not be mired in those emotions and passions, but to let them flow freely and deepen spiritual and life experience. They are things to be experienced freely, without friction and resistance. The key seems to be to bring awareness to these things. As soon as we parcel up things we get into trouble and tension arises.

This is where the more tantric and alchemical concepts come into play. How we interact with anything that comes into our lives is our lesson. Transmutation is key- turning lead into gold, base into the refined. There is nothing in existence which does not serve the Divine. All things are possible roads to a closer and more intimate relationship with the Divine. There is an extreme subtlety to this, one which cannot be well understood by those whose foundations are built on an overly separated black/white, good/evil belief system. The problem is, that when one is steeped in morals and rules which are etched in stone, that are followed without a deepening understanding of the concepts they represent, there is not a possibility for a deeper maturity to arise. What one tends to do in that situation is basically to say they do not trust God, because they do not trust themselves - who are an aspect of God.

If one cannot face that which they fear or think may test their faith, then how can that being even begin to say that their faith has any strength whatsoever? It is a false faith, a childish one in which the pre-adolescent need for parental protection is continued into adulthood and simply projected onto an abstracted concept. It is stopping on the stairs of the temple rather than entering the inner sanctum, so to speak.
This, I would contend, is not a mature or evolving and intimate relationship with the Divine/God. It is instead a refusal to take personal responsibility for one's spiritual evolution and growth. It tends towards victim mentality. It is the life of a beggar, not a humble, wise one, but a weak one. one who has not even tried.

There must be that great trust. One must at some point come to terms with the idea that God/Life/the Divine provides. We mistakenly sometimes perceive this to not be true simply because it does not provide what we desire. Instead it provides what is needed. It is simply a matter of surrender and being able to perceive and bring awareness to the gifts one is given.

So, there i go spouting off again...saying what is on my mind and in my heart.
take it as you will.
Each person, each soul, has their own path that they must follow, and this is just one small portion of mine.
I wish you all love, peace and awareness on your own journeys.
May all be revealed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

jae's visit

Jason (Jae), my old roomate from Arches came thru and stayed for about 6 days and, man, did we go out on some good hikes!

first off was Lower Calf Creek to the falls.
Kandis came along for this one and we had the canyon to ourselves except for passing a couple near the entrance when we were heading in.
I didn't take my camera on that hike for some odd reason though.

the next day we did a loop drive east on the Burr Trail & north on the Notom Road and then back over Boulder Mountain.
I'd been wanting to head through the Waterpocket Fold for a long time, and i scoped out a lot of spots to go do some hiking this season.

Waterpocket Fold

jae

the following day we went on a late day hike starting at the Mail Trail trailhead by the airstrip to the north rim of Calf Creek Canyon.
While there, we spotted a Bald Eagle flying past us overhead, which i managed to capture hanging out at the Lodge's bird sanctuary the following day.

Bald Eagle

the next day, which had blustery snow off and on, we went out to teh Wolverine Petrified Wood are and drove the whole loop. we also stopped and checked out an abandoned uranium mine along the way.

Jae

abandoned Uranium Mine

excellent intense profile

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood

Lovely Chinle/Bentonite hill capped with wingate

the next day, before he left, we spent the morning in the north end of Dry Hollow.
I managed to finally find where the water seep starts (in a SERIOUSLY overgrown area full of thorny russian olive) as well as a granary in a side canyon.

the seep:
Dry Hollow Seep

Granary/Moki House

steep pitch!

it was great having him over and i think he met half the town haha.
there were a few good dinner parties and good time spent in the hot tub.
I'm sure he'll be back for more hikin this summer, and i've gotta find some time to go visit hom over at arches soon too.