Archives for category: love

If you want to know where you are in cultivating presence and whether your quiet-mindedness holds up only because you know there will be something to relieve you of having to hold that “pose, ” now is a great time to test whether you are as far along as you thought. And no, this isn’t a competition. It is a test, and while it is easy to say where you think you are, the actual boots on the ground experience will be what actually gets to tell the story. And don’t beat yourself up over it if you feel you came up short.

I say this because in the beginning of my work, because so much was happening so quickly, I thought I was further along than I thought. I didn’t realize one release does not cure the whole system. It is one step, one erasure of something from the past. This is painstaking work. Be gentle, be kind, but also be honest with yourself.

Why?

I knew her before and after awakening. Her reaction to her awakening resulted in her going through all manner of meltdowns, most were in front of me. In each case she would say I was at fault for her preterbations emotionally. That of course wasn’t true, and as an observer it showed to me the sheer volume of emotional junk that she was dealing with and how she was going to deal with it going forward. I was able to see pretty clearly how she thought she was further along than she actually was. Everytime there was some release or some shift, a grand pronouncement was made. Everything was suddenly better I am healed!

On the one hand it was congradulations on the change, but the reality was there was still way too much remaining for her to be able to behave and feel without ripple, without upset, without problems. Let me be clear, we are human, and we are not going to be perfect. We also must rid ourselves of the old patterns in order for the presence of the higher self to come forward to aid and guide. It (the higher or core self) helps a lot, but you are still human and you are still having to deal with duality. So it is a balance. Each release makes something easier (whatever you were repressing). It doesn’t make the whole thing better necessarily. You have to want it. Repressed emotion will ALWAYS make you want something different from what you THINK you want.

What???

Be honest. Be true to you, no one else. Have compassion for yourself. This isn’t a race. Didn’t get everything you wanted to get done in this life? You can do it in the next one. Sure, challenging yourself can be fun, so do that if it is your bliss, but go easy on yourself. And still be honest, too. This may all sound unusual, but it is a good prescription. We have all time.

I wonder if she got to where she hoped she would be? I suspect she still suffers from that problem of overstating the cure. I think I served as a test for her development. Ten minutes with me would reveal all of the places that still needed work. Our connection meant that I could feel all the places that needed work. She was a real “fixer-upper.” I could feel her blocks because they were not mine, but I could feel them as if they were mine (except they weren’t-and this made it possible to know all of them).

In a similar way this pandemic can be the same test to see where you are in your work. Just wait for it until you start feeling hard or rough. Where did that come from? Ask yourself, your inner wisdom, to show you where it comes from and then wait. It might come in meditation, when falling asleep, taking a shower, who knows. It will show you if you trust it and are willing to place yourself in a blind spot. You are receptive, blind to what you think it might be. Sssshhhh…..

The blind spot is an ability to not know while letting another part, your subconscious perhaps, maybe it is superconscious, to do the work for you. It has the peculiar quality of feeling as though you yourself didn’t get the answer but something else did. I think it is you, but that is for another time. But it is imagining the problem having a string tying itself to some part of you deep down. You grab that string and it leads you down into the watery depths where the core self resides, or at least the source of this issue in you. This works only because you are going blind, only because you keep your rational concrete mind in ignorance. Then, once you reach its end, you just feel. Don’t rationalize now. That will not work. Feel. Sense. No judging. How did it start? Was it in another life? If so, it may show itself as its released. A feeling might bubble up. Let it go. As it does it might reveal its origins. If it doesn’t, that is okay too. It is gone, that is good enough. Some part that was hard is now easier. It is like a walkway made up of tessera, that is, mosaics. One piece might stick up more and you find yourself tripping over it over and over again. After you do this, it is easier in that one place (within you). So doing this work is like repaving a rough walkway of small mosaics. After a few years you notice a difference. It takes time. It is a labor of love. When you return, you will have a smoother foundation for a new story that will be easier. I promise this is how this works. When you reincarnate your foundation will be so much easier you will wonder why you didn’t discover and started using this sooner.

So what bugs you the most? Selfish people? Duplicity? Dishonesty? It will take looking into yourself first to turn that hard feeling into bliss. But you can do it, and I hope you do. You are worth the bliss it will bring.

-All My Blessings-

~Parker

Beach scene on Oahu Hawaii

Beach on Oahu

Have you ever been to a place, felt a shudder,or had an emotion move through you that made you feel as thought maybe there was something special about the place, or that maybe you had been there before? Have you ever found yourself reaching into that feeling and finding yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole? Have you had that deja vu moment, a sense you have been there before?

Waikiki, Hawai

I recently had an experience on the island of Maui that shook some of the things I thought I understood about myself and the origin of experiences I had as a very young boy. I wound up seeing things that I had seen in visions and out of body experiences some 50 years ago that were now on the island of Maui in the Hawaiian island chain. Was an old circle being completed?

I had gone to these islands as a result of an invitation from a friend who had a timeshare on the island. It was my birthday and my good friend wanted to help me celebrate. I had been planning on beginning to visit locations such as Hawaii in order to get photo documentation of fish for a sculpture project that has been in the works, possibly a new business, I have had in the works. I just didn’t think I would be able to go so soon.

While we were there, my friend suggested we go to the other islands. I had read about the snorkling in Maui and I knew I wanted to go there to film and photograph fish. When my friend mentioned Kaua’i I said that island felt too emotional for me, I didn’t know why. I went first to Maui after landing in Oahu.

It turned out that Kaua’i was the calm one and Maui was the emotional one. I hustled over to Maui to get the opportunity to shoot some fish and I was not ten miles from the airport when I began to get waves of emotion along with a growing perception of a man, another version of me, who had lived there some time in the past.

In what wound up being a very quick and efficient clearing of past material within me, I found myself cleansing not only a past life but my life as well of the particular quality of stuck energy that this self had in him. And boy was this guy stuck! He was like a rock. He must have been in some leadership role because of how monolithic he felt. Maybe not, but goodness sakes, he sure did dig a hole for himself!

Years before this experience the same friend who invited me here had been telling me about Ho’oponopono. This is a pretty amazing healing modality based on the concept of radical forgiveness of self by asking forgiveness from the universe while knowing simultaneously that we make up a part of the universe energetically and physically. I had not been able to use this method in all the years of having known about it, though. I sensed I just wasn’t there yet with Ho’oponopono. I knew I had to be in the right “space” in order to be in the grace necessary for it to work for me.

This was the breakthrough moment for me. I already was aware of a life as a Polynesian a number of years ago, I just…..couldn’t connect into Ho’oponopono like I felt like I should. I needed this moment to reach that place. So much of this isn’t mental, rational, head or book learning. It is more about a capacity to feel, to include, to encompass, to wake up to. It sounds grandiose, it really isn’t. This isn’t a problem we solve, it is something we let go in order to feel or focus on what lies hidden behind the stuff we are dropping or letting go. Big difference.

As I drove, I was being coaxed to do something. I was feeling this aspect of myself, unsure if it was me or a past self, or a bit of both, being pulked into something. I don’t always know what is about to happen, so I go into witness mode and observe. As I felt this personality my inner guidance kicked in. It said,

You are the doctor. You chose this time to heal all the other parts of you. You can do this now by filling this man with what you have. Help him, help yourself.

That was what it was telling me. I felt how closed he was. I felt him lying on the beach at night in the firelight, listening to the waves, and watching the flickering firelight and feeling like shit. He was so stuck. I had a little “Wait…what?” happening. Do you know what I mean?

Okay, here is a little more of my thought process, ” You are lying in a hammock under the stars, listening to the waves on the sexiest beach on earth, the fire feels fantastic, and you are feeling like shit?! Are you kidding me?”

That boi. He must have been raised the wrong way. Maybe he raised himself the wrong way. Maybe he felt a man has to be hard, strong, unmovable, unemotional, ya think? Basically these are all the things we teach boys to do that we later decry as “toxic masculinity.” Is it any wonder?? Poor guy. Living in paradise and suffering in hell.

So he had no way out. I, however, had a way in, and I was NOT stuck at all, not in the way he was. Okay, I could feel his stuckness in me, but I had enough mobility to slip into his moment there on the beach. I hated how he felt, but boy did I enjoy lying there with him next to that fire listening to those waves! Okay, about three seconds worth, but I had to soak that in! Time to work, to invoke an extra juicy form of grace…

I could feel something in me sinking down into him. Me, sinking into another version of me. I was like a germ that his spiritual immune system had no defense for. In this case, what I am doing is “infecting” his pride and rigidity emotionally. I was able to feel the fluidity, the forgiveness, the softer more mobile form of consciousness and adapted it to him. I infected him with me. I could do this because he was another me.

“Wait. You said this was about forgiveness! Right? This doesn’t sound like forgiveness, not really.”

If you have felt what happens during a radical form of self-forgiveness, you might have caught how forgiveness involves a giving, which is much like giving something away which then leaves an empty space where something else can then fill it, something from the true foundation of you, that kind of substratum where the soul is accessible. In this case, what fills the empty space is a ressonant field that is at once your awareness and the energy of the universe. The hard feeling is given up as this healing feeling is given on my end to the man on that island. A pure moment of being able to feel, and in feeling just a bit more, that sense just obliterates that stuckness. What an angry kind of guy. He’d be a 60’s biker in So Cal and he’d be no one to mess with. So fuck that, right? I’m pretty sure all the yogi’s and yogini’s secretly want to say that very thing, but aren’t allowed to because, well….fuck.


I am driving on my way to a special bay known for turtles. As I drove, tears in my eyes, I feel like I really want to clear this spot out as much as I can. I realize that as this is all happening, I am sinking myself into that same space necessary for me to “get” Ho’oponopono. Yes, there is this deep humility and reverence needed for me. I need that reverence, I don’t know about anyone else. I realize that the way to create the circuitry necessary for this to work in my own consciousness, I seem to need reverence. In that moment I could feel my mind reaching out into that vibrant field that is the All and it was responding. “I am sorry. Forgive me. I love you. Thank-you!” I just hadn’t been able to do Ho’oponopono before, not effectively. Not until this very moment. The capacity filled me, bloomed, or emerged in me at that moment. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, or by what route, only that it did. Something clicked, which is how all of these hundreds of healings have happened over the last decade and some change…

All of this went so quickly, so smoothly. I think that is how these events go for me, so quick, so efficient. I make a turn in mind and it is like the ju-ju grabs hold. I really mean it. I think it is a hallmark of the higher self being given space to work. This only seems to work, for me, through surrendering my control. Then, as those parts of the brain are shut down, nonlocal consciousness can step forward. Thank-you small self for letting in the larger.

The juju was starting as I was boarding the plane to go over from Oahu before I had even departed to go to Maui. I kept seeing these Polynesians in the airport. I hadn’t sern them like this before. They only spoke Hawaiian. They were older, people who looked like I looked in that lifetime, except I hadn’t had the experience yet. It is easy to second-guess myself in this moments. Maybe I was just taking the visual material around me and crrtating a fanciful narrative. Thing is, it is always the other way around. I am seeing these things because an event of importance is about to take place. How I felt. Maybe not so stuck. I kept running into them, hearing their soft language slipping into that place within me that has that powerfully charged sense, the emotion, like where volcanos always start, in a blistering moment that leads to creation. Strong raw creative. Better be careful. Respect that force in nature, maybe in you, too.

The energy I am moving clears out that spot in the man. This feels like a warp in time. Did I just go back in time and fix this guy? It feels and looks like a warp. Did I create a new time line? Or, by intervening, did I alter his own actions in his own timeline. If that is so, I did what time travelers aren’t supposed to do without generation new timelines or time branches. Changing his line alters mine and it by extension altered his physical line in an ancestral way. His great great great grandchildren are different now, but in a small way. A small burden is lifted, however inconsequential. Ripples spread outward. I have waited my whole life for this moment to arrive at this time. I catalyze it by being ready for it. Only then do I have the means to reach back through time. Let me emphasize, this is fundamentally different from most every release or cleansing that has taken place thus far.

I feel like I sank into him by way of using this location, Maui, as the means of connecting in to this man’s life. As this began to happen, I could feel him feeling me moving into him. It felt like a moment of inspiration where something of himself, maybe a more developed self, a future self, was present and was there with a heart full of love-no judgment at all. Here is that liberation you were looking for my brother…

The fire crackled, the waves crashed in the moonlight, and his eyes filled with tears as this simple thing happened. With no effort on his part, this burdened mind softens, shifts, and is relieved. No rituals, no method, no bullshit.

He looks up into the night sky and he says something, a thank you to ancestors or a god or goddess. I don’t know. What I do get is his intent. I understand that about as clearly as a maidenst knowing smile.

Copyright, the author

I was still only halfway to my first stop. I relaxed and sank into the trip. Once I reach the first bay, surrounded by black volcanic rock, I see almost no fish, but lots of really nice coral. For over an hour, things were kind of….meh. I began to make my way back when I get up in shallow water near the rocks and suddenly come across a moray eel, it feels like a sign. I get on the rocks, and as I sit there a turtle comes right up to me. Very well; I will follow you, miss turtle. I get some pretty good photos. I head to shore and while standing in thigh-deep water a turtle comes right next to me. So I just follow along and am able to get a series of excellent photos for my work. Right after, it begins to rain. Perfect. Everything on this day trip is happening like clock work. I feel this voice that says what to do next. It is halfway my wish mixed with this “Okay, you need to move on to the next step for the next event to happen.” If I had gone too quickly or too slowly the things that happened would not have happened as they did. That is, the last part, which is what makes this post so long.

Photo Copyright, Author

It is lunch and I drive to the next location. Again, great snorkling, and I am able to get scores of excellent photos of fish for the project. I think how nice it would be to be on the island and make work for galleries on the islands. How nice would that be, right? Everything is beautiful, and everyone just seems to be enjoying themselves so much.

And Then Things Get A Little Weird…

Once I am done, I realize I need to get on the road so I can make my flight back to Oahu. I am going to go back in a direction I hadn’t been through before. As I drive, I am going out into the most rural parts of the island. I come across these cliffs that look so similar to cliffs I had seen in an out of body experience as a child. The color of the earth was surprisingly similar to the cliffs I saw as a child. It is looking like a match. It’s been 50 years but the color of those cliffs in my experience as a child look for the life of me to be right here along the road on Maui. These were the cliffs I saw over and over in my oobe as a child.

I feel a little nuts, questioning whether this is a thing or not. “It’s just really similar” says that part of me. But I know if its for real, synchonicity will squash that part of me, leaving no doubt. The thing to appreciate is I hadn’t seen a cliff face that looked like that cliff face from my childhood until this moment. Not only this, but the cliff face could have been completely missed had it not been for the rain which caused me to go a different way. I couldn’t see these cliffs headed in the direction I was going originally. I had to turn around to see them.

I keep driving and wind up on a single-lane road. It is raining harder and harder. I get to a bridge that has close to two feet of water rushing over it. I turn around and go back after I stop and walk across the bridge to test depth and flow speed. Yep, no safe way to cross, not in that little car of mine. But here is the weird part: only by going back in the other direction do I see a cliff face that is eerily identical to what I saw as a child. Only by going in the opposite direction. By doubling back, I was concerned about making my flight on time. I do make my flight and I get to my gate just as boarding began.

So what is the deal with this early childhood experience?

I have written about this before.

At the age of about four, I began having a series of identical experiences that would take place while I was awake. I might be outside playing and I would get this feeling that would come over me. I would feel incredibly heavy but incredibly light all at the same time. I realized my body felt incredibly dense as a new awareness cane on line and….cleaved itself from my body. I later learned that I was experiencing sleep paralysis except I wasn’t asleep.

I would go to this location that for the life of me looked like a giant cliff face. This cliff face had these striations in it that put my young mind in mind of pot roast. Yes, funny, I know, but this cliff face didn’t look like anything I had seen before. I had nothing to compare it to. It was this deep iron red. It looked like flesh. I thought of it as part of the flesh world. The carnal (meat) world.

At the same time, I also would see these forms which looked a lot like dandelion fluff floating down from the top of the cliff face. They would float downward, all so very much like Mary Poppins. I understood I was witnessing the souls of people who were going into the bodies of babies. Just floating down into matter, into our world.

I knew that souls entered bodies like this. It wasn’t a big mystery. It wouldn’t be until several years later that anyone would say anything to me remotely similar about spirit in flesh. These episodes would just happen. Each one was the same. I had a handful of them before the phenomenon stopped, emerging years later as real dreams in another level of consciousness, helping people who had died to cross over completely to that nonphysical world, effectively returning from whence they came. In a way, I guess I got to see both sides of the cycle complete. Here I am, all these years later having spent the better part of my time here now thinking about the next big adventure that is beyond this one life.

What’s next is the interesting bit. I am telling my friend about all of this and she explains to me that in the Polynesian mythos there are locations on the island where this very thing actually happens, and it happens from the top of a mountain where souls come down into our reality, our world. The story sounds like a creation story. But inside of it lies the shadow, too. Well now, given what took place on Maui as well as Oahu and Kaua’i, I am finding myself reconfiguring my past a bit to allow for the possibility that this idea has its origins in that other life. Was I experiencing the living myth of creation using my knowledge about the Polynesian tradition as a frame for that OOBE?

I had always thought that my “location” was a nonphysical one, more like a visionary image. Instead, through a series of unlikely events, it appears as if I am being confronted with this that is connecting me to those islands by way of an actual location that looks exactly like the location in my OOBE from 50 years prior. In addition, I find myself in an encounter with a self from the past needing help from me, something that has at the same time made instant change in me as well.

Turtle on Maui, photo by the author

I think what I want to get across with this experience is to follow your instincts. I was going to go to Kaua’i first, but I kept going back to Maui in my mind. I ultimately went alone to the island, something that probably opened the door for these events to happen just as they did. With additional people, we could have wound up somewhere else, or I may not have been quiet enough inwardly to feel this building pressure inside. I might have pushed it away or tried to ignore it.

Sometimes when things seem like they are going wrong, it may mean they are just getting underway the right way. By holding a state of surrender, it is easier to reach the state necessary for processing these things with awareness. I say all of this to show you what can he done, to take heart, to turn your own corner over and over. It gets better and better, I promise.

So that is the crazy long story, a caution for others that you too might have one of these waiting for you. The result I notive most is my root energy feels strongee. My creative energy is flowing very strongly as my sexual eneegy has also increased. What is interesting is how this isn’t leading to any obsession or overt attachment. Being a tantric at heart, I don’t see these things as a problem, only how we respond or relate to what is. That is my postmortem on the experience. If you have thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Mahalo!

~Parker

The interview with Ian is now up and is now permanently installed on its own page, which you will see along the header for the blog.  My thanks to Ian for being willing to go along with this project. I hope that it helps folks gain a broader perspective based on those who have been going through it.  ❤

 

There is a lot being said about “toxic masculinity” and on the one hand, it is a good thing. It means there is a growing awareness of the problem that men have throughout the world. On the other hand, most discussions revolve around how bad it is without much in the way of solutions. It is bad, but saying it doesn’t do anything to change it. We should (and can) do better.

The problem with so many of our issues is that we often use the same approach or reaction to them that are involved in the dysfunction itself. Huh? What this means is we don’t really address the problem. We are fighting fire with fire. We tend to get caught up in reacting and stay in that reactionary space.

Talking about racism, or violence, toxic masculinity, or any of our other ill does nothing to fix them so long as we come to the table with our feeling of fear about them. That is where the discussion is right now in the main. Fear? It doesn’t look like fear to hear people talk about it. It probably more accurately sounds like anger, right? But as any psychologist will tell you, or as any thoughtful person intuitively senses, anger comes from something. Want to guess where it comes from?

Fear breeds anger and anger breeds hate. It is the same with nearly every dysfunction that humans experience. And yes, most feeling people who are expressing about toxic masculinity have fear tied up in them. People are afraid of what a toxic male might do, and they are angry about this fact. The blogs are full of how much people hate this about men. Are you seeing now how these feelings are all intertied? But feeling this is only the first step. If you are only at the reactionary stage, you are doing nothing to help be part of the cure. This is a nonstarter that will leave us on an endless merry-go-round. We have to learn how to approach it differently.

The way through and out of this is the opposite of our fear. That is love. Love brings compassion, and compassion stills our fear and opens us to understanding, or at least the possibility that we can. The way to solving toxic masculinity is by probing it and seeking to understand its roots through a mind and heart that is open, and you cannot have an open heart when fear, anger, or hate are present. We need to learn a different approach if we are to ever resolve this issue…or any issue like this. This is step two.

I have experienced many of the inputs that drive toxic masculinity. Some of them have to do with the roles that we as men have been saddled with. These beliefs about what a “real man” is supposed to be are often the very things that give rise to this toxicity. This toxicity as it is called, is the result of unnatural beliefs about manhood, beliefs that unnaturally chain men as they grow and learn about masculinity. These inputs, the behaviors coming from our culture that inform males from cradle to grave, come from all sides of life. It happens early in life, usually from the moment a baby boy is brought home after having been born.

We are all culpible in this failed effort at raising males to be better adjusted as human beings. The influences are so pervasive that a male born to an enlightened household will still probably grow up having friends who give him a picture of what they believe being masculine is all about.

This means that women are helping to form these beliefs in our sons in a number of ways, and men also perpetuate them by believing that they are important enough to internalize and pass on to their own sons. We are all involved in this. Men do it as much as women do, the only difference is that women complain about it when they see the results of the behavior in their male children and the men they are either friends with or are married to. Men, because they are the ones internalizing the beliefs that lead to emotional toxicity, are just less aware of it for the simple reason that when you are the one with the belief, that belief serves to blind you so you don’t see it as well as a bystander can. How many times have you seen a man behave from a toxic place and maybe apologize but then go on to continue with the same reactive behavior again a little later? The problem is that if you are a bystander you are often only seeing symptoms, not causes, and you are reacting to those symptoms rather than doing what I prescribed earlier, which is what will lead us more dependably to the source of the problem so that it can be fixed. Men, for their part, have so internalized something that they know is poisoning them, but seem powerless to do anything to change it. To remove the bite from this poisoned apple takes what might seem a herculean effort. I observe that it requires patience and love.

To explain this issue, I have a video that is brave and brilliant, that I hope you will take a moment to look at. It is a TED Talk, which means that it isn’t long, and the speaker gets to the point. What she explains, as a sex worker, are the problems she sees with men that need to be fixed. What needs fixing involves a change in what we believe masculinity is all about. We know there is a problem, but reacting to it only guarantees that the problem remains. Once you watch it, I will have a few words to put this into perspective as it relates to my life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7xLfeTytns

So one of the biggest problems has to do with how we create a belief about what being masculine is about. Real boys don’t cry, mothers calling their sons their “little man.” These are the beliefs that become internalized. They are literal poison to mens hearts, minds, and souls.

In my marriage my wife described our son as her “protector” when he was all of two years old, a signal to him that has had disastrous consequences for his mental health and well being later in life. I know the causal link to this relationship dynamic because I was able to see how it began innocently at age two with my son, and continued through his growing years into adulthood. I saw how a child grew increasingly neurotic and troubled, and when his mother and my relationship began to dissolve, he became polarized by her bad boundaries with him so that his and my relationship also dissolved. His mother’s divorce became his divorce, too.

The problem with this is that while it might feel good to have a child that is exhibiting these traits, they can have disastrous effects on children in the long run. A child should not be called upon to be a caretaker, that is the parent’s job. For another, when all a child has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Without his being able to understand what being a protector meant for him, this behavior served in his life to always side with his Mother and anytime she had a challenge, difficulty, or dissagrement, he was swift to come to her aid. Any time his Mother or I were not in agreement, guess who reflexively sided with his Mother? My son did. This created a sense that his Father, who loved him very much, might well be a threat. He was a child, really what did he know? It sounds like such a laudible trait, doesn’t it? He went on to have girlfriends, some of whom he felt were his job to fix or protect. It meant that he was naturally drawn to women who needed help. There is nothing wrong with helping a person, but when it is something that needs to be done on a regular basis, there is something amiss in that relationship. In our rush to follow our inner programming, we don’t always see the forest for the trees.

In this type of codependent dynamic, the male derives a reward for his behavior as a protector, making him feel important, and the female has a male that is attentive to her many needs, some of which are (in my life) based in uncertainty, anxiety, and fear (in the case of a codependent relationship). The male is in his own way also anxious and fearful (about being accepted), but most often neither are self reflective enough to even see whatis at the root of their behaviors. When you base a relationship on those qualities, you are effectively getting painted into a corner where both people remain in the pattern with little benefit to trying to break out of it.

This is one outcome of toxic masculinity. A boy is asked to do something completely counter to his own true nature because society expects it of him. He internalizes the behavior because of his desire to be accepted, and he suffers as a result. He is alienated from a father who loves him and he grows up angry and rageful because a child is simply ill-equipped to act like an adult. I can tell you that in my experience being mother’s “little man” or “protector” warps a male child’s heart and mind.

Males thus raised will wind up acting out because that boy or teen (or adult) is actively suppressing his truer nature, and his acting out is in turn hurting others, and the cycle continues adinfinitum. The problem is that he was brainwashed into believing that what was “out there” as a problem (the nail to his hammer) is now inside of him. A child doesn’t know how to properly protect anyone, so they are flying by the seat of their immature pants. Whoops.

The way out of this is to stop raising children like this to begin with. That means acknowledging that boys need to show love, compassion, and feel safe feeling their emotions instead of putting on a false act of pretending they are tough saviors and hero’s. Little boys are not little men. They are as tender and as sensitive as their female counterparts. The only difference is they are taught in subtle and overt ways that they should be something that does not fit them. Women are taught similarly, but with a completely different set of expectations. We dislike those roles on both of the ends of the spectrum, right?

When parents demand that their sons “man-up” or play the tough guy, they are robbing their boys of their humanity and their childhoods. The results are like what happened to my own son. This happens even without the dysfunctional element that was present in my particular situation.

This kind of programming isn’t always overt. Sometimes it is small, subtle, and often goes unnoticed. Thousands of miniscule things add up. When my then-wife came to me telling me with swelling pride about how our two year old son was her protector, I felt a stab of caution and concern. My impulse was to tell her that this wasn’t the kind of thing to be encouraging in my son. I thought how she would feel defensive if I did that, no matter how kindly I chose my words. I also thought that it was just a phase and that he would grow out of it, so I didn’t say anything.

I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.

Would it have made a difference? 20/20 tells me no, but you don’t really know for sure. I could have educated myself as a first-time parent and then sat her down, imploring her not to encourage this in our son for his own sake, and shown her the studies. I did not do what many parents probably have also not done down through the ages. We just kept kicking the can of paternalistic toxicity down the road.

I find that I often ask myself what I could have done differently. I always wished that he would suspend his disbelief in my love for him and spend time with me away from his Mother, something I knew could short-circuit the pattern of denigration she engaged with my children in an effort to destroy my relationship with my children during our divorce. She wouldn’t be able to comment on our time alone together without any degree of accuracy, which might be enough, I thought, for him to be able to see what a lie all of this was. That never was able to happen. By that time, my son was a walking poster child for so much of what is wrong with men. The thing is, I had married with an unacknowledged desire to be the knight in shining armor. You can never save a person who is not ready to be saves, who is not ready to grow and change out of old patterns.

Toxic masculinity is front and center for me in my life. There is no glossing it over. I know how it has affected me, I know how it has affected my son. We are all responsible for the fallout from it.

Reprogramming Our Men

Once programmed, men need safe places to be able to explore their God-given humanity. They need patience and they need to feel safe from being ridiculed for feeling in a sensitive way. Our culture is saturated with this false view of masculinity. When men have to suck it up when women get to gush and emote, you know there is a problem. Criticizing a man for being reactive only causes him to dig in to his old programming more. If you find yourself going for that stoic cowboy, then you might become part of the problem. Please don’t do that to anyone, man or woman.

Men have to take the reins and make an effort to not perpetuate this programmed set of responses. Men need to support other men by not trying to shame other men for being tender, or sensitive. Men must learn to hold the line with their women they are with and call out any effort they make to imply that they aren’t being manly enough, with false equivalences. Yes, it will mean walking away from women who exhibit these behaviors, but don’t look back unless there is real awareness on their part and an exhibited desire to begin changing their own programmed views and responses. A woman like this is not worth losing you soul over.

That said, a woman has a potentially fantastic power over a man to disarm and beguile him. Men are known to do anything for the woman he loves. This means that if a man is with a woman who has healthy boundaries, is not herself tied to the old modes of what being manly is about, she can, through grace and a gentle hand, show him the way to her heart if that way harmonizes with his own innate humanity. No false expectations, no tough guy bullshit. Yes, we are tough because of how we are built, but our hearts are as tender as anyone else. The problem is, you wouldn’t know this to look at most men. I promise you that it is there. The soft touch with great patience is what is required. You also have to know that you sre suited for this kind of work.

It will take time, but each encouraging word and action will have an effect. We can change this, but it wont change by just being angry about it. We have to love ourselves back into our existence and never again fall prey to the false beliefs that got us here.

Imagine what it could do: men whose natural aggresiveness is expressed in a more natural way where that aggresiveness is no longer laced with anger and rage. Men who are more sensitive, and less controlling. A man with something to prove often lacks the necessay approval of himself and will go looking for its substitute which is approval from others. By teaching him not to trust his natural instincts, he will look to someone to supply him with the false instincts that so far hasn’t served them well. All of this can be turned around, a cosmic 180º turn, but it needs to be important enough to begin integrating new behaviors based in authentic emotion instead of our culturally foisted ones. I say this as a man who has been through it.

The way through is with real love, not a false sense of compassion or anger and upset over it. Lets get this done for our boys.

Awakening and inspiration share very similar attributes, and are to my mind siblings to each other within the self.

To reach each, the path or method is so similar. The inspired state requires surrendering everything that does not belong, that will hold you back, not push you forward. Inspiration is thought of as that elusive state that cannot be forced. Artists and creatives go “looking for it.” Popping on a CD, taking a walk, maybe some coffee in a corner of the shop scribbling, waiting for the mood to strike. You look or wait for it like an elusive jaguar slipping through the dense underbrush…you never know when it is going to show itself. One waits for it expectantly.

When it does arrive, you are letting it in, not wresting it to the ground. When it comes, it is as if you are invincible, on top of the world. Anything is possible.

In truth, inspiration comes when we allow ourselves to be dissarmed, when we let go the monkey mind that chatters away. You don’t force inspiration the same way that you don’t force awakening. Why is that?

Inspiration isn’t a rational process at its core. It may suit up using rational decisions…which instrument to play, what key, what time signature, or brush or color. But all of those things are subjects of inspiration, subservient to its need, desire, and play. Inspiration is, or can be, an utterly unbounded state in which anything is possible but only one thing can usually be done at a time. An entire year’s worth of creative output can be conceived in moments like these. I know that this is often the case for me. I have to pick and choose the things that have the best use of my time. Much is similarly discovered when one is awakened. Worlds emerge in both the inspired and awakened state. Why?

Both inspiration and nonduality are deeply rooted in creativity. All forms of it. People describe kundalini as a libidinous force, but I experience it as radical creativity in all of its forms. The desire in the physical for the beloved is itself a creative act of love…that creates new life. Curious, too, how we have so much shame surrounding that part of ourselves. Curious as well how little our cultures honors the arts. The powers that be prefer to make money selling war machines. So easy, so uncreative, so destructive. A world upside down. One expands, the other contracts. For now, this is how this world is.

We must fill it with the juiciness of our art, our music, our photography, and the love that is present in both inspiration and in awakening or nonduality. We must do this without cheapening either of them but making them even more precious…inspiring others even if they cannot hold a note, or paintbrush or a meditative state (yet).

So if you want to know awakening, know your creative impulse because that is the tail of the cosmic tiger.

I found this to speak so closely to my experience, what I strive for, what I have encountered, what I strive for more…truly, not as effort, but as what naturally arises as the self is purified more and more. More work to do, but his words are so on point…

https://wp.me/pyZzR-227

Words, like belief, can be prisons or liberators. Breath can show you the way….a deep simple innefable truth existing beyond reason. An inner compass that resides before the prison of belief held me. Be careful of your words, like your beliefs, for like the gods and goddesses, they will reinforce each other, catching you and convincing you of its small truths as it stands in the shadow of the one great Light.

Beyond belief is that place within me, within you and the All, where we meet where we are, you and I, stripped bare of pretense. Written in the heart of a Child, these sparkling consequences tell us of truths simple in their acquisition. Beyond reason, curled up within the fiery portals of becoming, it beckons to you, promising to ruin you for anything but its great soul-saving promise.

It holds out promise, it’s hand, that we might drop what we hold now to embrace this new world within us. It asks everything of us to discover what will remain, what abides in its deep portals of bliss which has always been the physician to our undoing, redemtion, and inward discovery.

It is beyond belief.

Let it go. To feel it means letting loose your grip of what you think is real. It is at once terrifying and the deepest comfort, the more you let go the more it fills you and animates you. Whispering in your heart it welcomes you as so much leaves you in this upside down world. Set right, set on fire, it meets us in this place. The great healer has come to you.

I know that I was made to bear this fire, to bring it down through myself in a simple act of forgetting. It asks me to let go of the things that limit me. All belief, bias, notion. “Forget what you think you know; you cannot know the gods with your mind or memory…” is what it says. It opens a portal through feeling, through the She, and through her I see a brilliant channel into those realms of fact but which are beyond all belief.

The divine asks us only one thing: feel truly, deeply, because that is where it waits for us. This is the stair, the ladder which we seek but are held back by in our rational minds that speak in the grammar of uncertainty and the syntax of fear. Letting go of it, I turn from dark to brilliant, fiery, possessed of myself, possessed of you, no need to ask why. It just is.

You meet me here, this garden of the gods and goddesses.  Fiery is the soul of creation and what animates it. Constantly burning away the impure, returning us to a renewed state of ressurection. Can you feel how such a simple grace in him responds to the grace within you? Can you feel how they each speak in the mute syllables of bliss? The cantenaries of desire? Can you see how he and she turns around in a spiral ever upward, endless in scope, forming worlds? So simple the Ida and Pengali become the rails of the ladder and we rise both alone and together. Every entry into this sparkling realm was as if we had never left. He touches her in the center of her heart and says, “There.” Her head falls back with such a truthful reminder.

Breath tells more truth than a million beliefs. It explodes illusion, turning you and I inside out, returning us to that brave realm of sacred fire and boundless joy. What you are brings out what I am in those places…

…And I am late!

In my defense, I was busy dealing with some big discoveries about divine union, the gods and goddesses and how our ancestors would use creative energy on Beltane to charge the earth for greater fertility for the new crops. Horned god and all of that.

And then along came orthodoxy and crashed our innocence and deeper connection with the forces in us and the universe! Don’t let them get you down.

My awakening came gradually. It came in somewhat measured steps. The first step clearly opened me to a strong flow of prana and my first experience of nonduality. Then, over five months, I began having innexplicable events occurring that led me deeper. A friend loaned me a hemisync cd for clearing emotional baggage. Another gave me a meditation technique I have detailed in the last post.

A Voice spoke in my mind telling me to close my eyes and focus on the center of my brow. Complying, I awakened my third eye, a process that expanded over several days once I focused my attention there and saw the fiery brightly lit eye emerge into my field of vision. Then I was taught or tutored in how to alter my consciousness to take advantage of the wave-form part of our consciousness, the part we call the feminine, the Shakti, the right brain and left side of the body. Everything was unfolding, gradually, carefully, as if by some plan. I wrote about it to close friends. I had no idea what it was leading to.

I had several events that all directed me along a path to awakening in a way that left me the last to know what all of these things were adding up to. Clearly, a higher intelligence was involved. This is not to say everyone must awaken the way I did. What is clear to me, because of my own experience, that at the base of awakening is an effort to break through a logjam of trapped energy to liberate or open a hole within us that will let the water of life stream in. First a trickle (for me), and growing stronger each day, each week, until my body was conditioned enough so the full rising event could come. A breaking through this logjam.

One of the events that took place in October of 2006 was a day-long acceleration of prana, which was a preview of what kundalini would bring. I had a vivid vision-a certainty in inner vision and through intensely felt feelings-about how all life feels prana or life force in the same way when it is felt abundantly (which is all kundalini really is—unusually high levels of pranic flow).

Getting ready to go home, this information nagged and pulled at me until I put it down on my computer starting at 7:30 pm and finishing at 7:34 pm (I had no idea why I should note the start and ending time but I did…now try and type what I typed in under four minutes).

This writing spoke of prana and how it was affecting both my body and mind. After writing this, I would find myself experiencing an odd synchronicity involving my finding the only magazine on a rack full of popular magazines whose content was uninteresting to me except one magazine I had to hunt for around a corner, blocked by a card rack placed in front of it. Without anything on its outside to suggest its contents, I would find that it had an article that read in bold: “When it comes to seeds, it’s all about sex.” Here is the piece I wrote to try and get that stuff out of my head, a first brush with a powerful burst of prana.


The Yearning

The fields are wet from rain after the corn has been harvested. Trees slowly turn from green to yellow, then gold. The air cools and the mind thinks back on days when life was brimming over and the air was thick with the smell of pollen. The same corn, now nothing but stubble, stood gold and green with tassels swaying with the breeze, releasing its sweet nutty smell. To some it was just a delightful thing that marks the passage of seasons. To me, its more than that. It speaks of life seeking its own, making itself over; a new generation. A yearning, a leaning toward the wind in the hopes that Nature will take care of Nature, and carry its life giving sweetness on the air to waiting seeds, waiting for that breath of life, that germ of passion that makes the flowers grow, and makes life turn ‘round once more in the endless cycles this world is known for.

Seeds and plants and pollen, all lean into passion in ways we can scarcely imagine. For this is the glue that keeps life going. For them, it must be pleasurable, a passionate act of giving, a release, an immersion into a mystery far older than our own known seasons, our own individual lives and experiences. For this is the gravity that pulls them, moves them to continue. How can it be any other? Why then would life seek to replace itself through an act as perfunctory as the dropping of an apple from a tree? No, the drop of the apple is not perfunctory, or a second thought, but part of a yearning to become, a part of merging with some larger dance. If trees can’t feel this, then why continue? Why go on? Perhaps in measures we can only guess or imagine, there is some divine spark of wantonness, of passion and pleasure bound up within their shells of being. How can it be any other? Perhaps there is a secret life these rooted beings feel that is beyond our ken, beyond our too quickened ways. We have been “beyond” these beings for so long that they are now “just plants.” And yet, they are more. They will speak if only you will listen, and they yearn to tell of this ancient dance, this incredible desire and passion bound up within every cell of their being, so it pays if you will only listen.

I know that seeds seek and yearn and hope and dream; dreams perhaps that are so different I could never scarcely imagine or see them for what they are. And yet, it seems inescapable that these creatures, ancient as all of life here, yearn for the touch of pollen upon their seed pods and enclosures, waiting patiently for the bee to carry their spawn beyond them into other regions where others await the touch of the life giving sparks that enliven and awaken a new generation. Even the warming caress of sun and drenching rain is an act of divine providence, or giving in a wheel that knows no end and no beginning. Quiet and still, these beings mask their greater inner lives.

So even we do these same things, even we make this dance of longing and yearning, so old and ancient that its root can escape us as we are caught up as if in some whirlwind, some deeper dance both of passion and letting go as we give ourselves to life’s great mystery, to its passionate embrace, and longing that brings us to this place, this wonder filled state where our minds and bodies and hearts are excited beyond the normal trebling that life gives or provides.
To touch my eye with your eye, to touch smile to smile, or hand to hand, we join in this ancient dance, this passionate longing for life seeking to complete itself, and in so doing, complete ourselves. Round and round we turn, like stars upon an endless wheel that rolls and ducks and sways in the lost night of time. We are carried one by the other, some by our imaginings, some by the reality, but always by the same glue that keeps life turning turning back and forward at once, calling to the roots of what it was to the heavens of what it will become.

So as our hands embrace, our smiles merge, as face becomes face, and eye becomes eye; as flesh becomes flesh, we excite in this dance, this subtle movement first tentative, then more certain as we are gathered by the compass of its certainty, of its need to move as it moves, which is ever forward into endless days and tomorrows.

We came here as boundless beings who knew neither limit nor touch, and followed down into narrow pathways into minds of earthlings, like spirits on a cosmic voyage, we entered the world of limit and pain and loneliness, only to be called back by forces that were brought to bear in this world, moving us through realms of limit and bounding to that greater reminder that this is a dance of mystery, passion, and love. In this love we touch the infinite, wrapped in that which pulls and grabs us like hawk talons grasping talons in a spiral dance of yearning, moving us one step beyond this one, seeking the divine, seeking the infinite. 10/13/06 – 7:30-7:34 p.m.

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Sunset over St Marks Nature Preserve, Wakulla County Florida. Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

 

Several years ago I decided to interview people who had experienced awakening for inclusion on this blog.  This was an effort to help bring the perspective of those who have experienced the phenomenon to the fore in order to help others who have gone through this life changing event to gain perspective, understanding, and perhaps greater awareness. I have recently published two of those interviews and they have been given their own page which are located under the header at the top of the page.

 

It is hard to know how much awakening can change your life.  It is like a quantum leap into the unknown.  It is bewildering.  It crowns just as it crucifies.  Navigating it is at once easy, difficult, with old rules now completely out the window.  It leaves many feeling scattered to the four winds sometimes, and yet it is also a saving grace.  It is powerful medicine.  Many awaken without a background in any philosophy or religion to provide a framework for the experience.  My sense, as it was perhaps my own experience, that we have much more to learn from awakening when we don’t have those frameworks in place. This is for the simple reason that we face the phenomenon without preconceived notions of what it is that we are experiencing.  We don’t get “captured” by the “rules” of other groups who, I note, have been unable to glimpse the larger potential that awakening offers us. While the experience happens in every culture and corner of the world, there is also a rising tide within the Christian church, factions of it, who would paint this as an inauthentic experience, what is called a “counterfeit spirit.”  Sadly, there are those who would resist the universality of this experience and they do so out of nothing more than ignorance.  The only way to deal with ignorance is with education, with information, and with what we find to be true (rather than what we believe) from direct experience.

 

There are plenty of frameworks that do speak of awakening and many of them wind up, for me at least, to include just as much belief as they include factual information, which to my mind makes it a mixed bag.  To know the truth, it seems, we have to go beyond what the masses are saying about it in order to learn to trust our own experience.  This is a lonely proposition and can put us at odds with the mainstream (like Advaita or Neoadvaita for example).  While awakening has very specific symptoms and signs, it leads us to an awareness that places us in a whole new kind of mind and heart space.  This can be a lonely road for many of us.  The interviews reminds you that you are not alone, that you are part of what appears to be a growing number of people waking up all around the same time frame.  Curious, perhaps purposeful, we can each learn from each other.  This is my hope.

 

My hope,too, is that we can build a library of these interviews for the assistance of anyone wanting to learn more about the experience, be they curious or an “experiencer” themselves.  If you have had an awakening and would like to add your voice to the chorus, your interview is welcome here.  Interviews are kept anonymous if you wish, but very real people are behind them.  You can simply respond in the comments section and I will arrange to receive your answers to the questions (which are just a jumping-off point) for inclusion here.  I am interested in whatever insight that you feel that you have, regardless of what others may say about awakening (or even myself) because we all have a lot to learn.

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