“Rise, This is US”

11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_nWe live in a culture of confusion. This reality is not accidental. It was created by the means of control of communication as a way to keep us in a place where we live to seek relief from the effects of that ambivalence and mistrust of our own perceptions.
When will it stop? I live in that same world, which is really one of the effects of emotional and psychological trauma and “suffer,” from consequences of the conflict we all live in and under!

tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400I am writing because I am angry. My environment is one of garbage. I have never lived this way but I am now living with more “stuff,” around me that before I would immediately get rid of at the time of my use of it.
We live in a world of constantly looking and seeking satiation from the “dis-ease,” we seem to be living in. It is insane that we keep looking to the individual for the solution as well as the source of the problem.
I had a dear friend say that she was “broken,” yesterday. Her situation is not important for the point of this piece, but the problem she was facing was a problem so many of us suffer from.
You see addiction is nothing more than attempting to get release from the emotional and psychological effects of the trauma we live “IN.”
I feel like I have touched a part of me that has been dormant. How long it has been that way is not something I can answer at this time. I just pray I can keep connected to it and get direction and energy from it.

123 RV, SA, RW, PH, TL, JDK!

(The title is not accidental.)

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“So how come history takes such a long, long time,…”

k3646710“…When you’re waiting for a miracle!”(1)

Talking with a friend the other day and we were reflecting on the fact that we are both middle aged and yet we feel like we did when we were young.  As I am sitting here I am wondering if it is due to the fact that we have some of those emotional conflicts that still persist below the level of consciousness that seem to carry more weight in our lives than we would hope!

337129_10151480788466040_1950483812_oThere is so much angst in the world.  I was at my meeting yesterday and was talking with my friend Spence.  I have known Spence since, well since I was in my 20s.  We both worked in the trades at that time and we did a long job together and we got to know each other.  Apparently Spence knew my Dad, as he and my Dad were about the same age.

p181600_2a_400We were talking and he brought up the fact that it seemed to him like everyone in the room was suffering.  I know that this view is narrow based on what this blog is about but Spence said that a few of our long time friends were looking sad and old.(Funny since Spence is at least 75!)

But I also learned this week that a dear dear friend of mine is getting divorced.  Yes I know that is life but when you are older it is not as easy to work around these issues as it is say when you are in your 30s.

So coming full circle, depression and anxiety rob us of our ability to be present in our lives.  Not all the time but enough that we cant see the forest for the trees.  We cant be present to work through issues that would give us resolution to problems that would allow us to to have and keep relationships.

What is the cause of this?  I dont know.

healthInSickSociety.krishnamurti-300x225But I guess it comes down to doing the best we can.  Trying to live up to the ideals we create or are born into projected onto us by our family and culture.  I dont know about you but I am not a big believer in what our culture puts forward as being in and living a good life.

When I talk to my friend every day, I pray at some level that he gets the miracle that so many of us have as the only thing we hold onto.  If you dont understand this, I commend you.  Because it might mean that you dont have the underlying emotional conditioning that many of us who grew up in those families where you didnt talk about IT did!

10671220_10154590625980694_4020566138315393272_nPlease say a prayer for those who suffered the tragedy that happened in Yountville last Friday.  It affected a dear close friend of mine who was involved in the Pathways program from the beginning.

123 RV, SA, RW, PH, PA!

(1) “Waiting for a Miracle.” Bruce Cockburn
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Welcome Back my Friends to the Show that Never Ends

11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_nWell it has been over a year since I was last here.  One of the reasons I am here is that a comment was posted by a wonder full person whose blog I have posted a link to at the bottom of this post.

But the real reason that I was moved to write was a dear friend of mine, a man who has over 27 years of sobriety, I have called him the “Lineman” in earlier writings, approached me last week and talked about his struggle with depression and how he felt it was winning. That is not something that is surprising for me as I have been led down this path of engaging with a a kind of “darkness” most run from.(Totally understandable that they do.  Trust me I wish I was not on this path many many times.)

imagesYet here we are.  When I went to my regular Saturday meeting, another friend informed me that the Lineman had voluntarily checked him self into a 72 hour hold at a local hospital.  This may not seem like a big deal to most,(well to think about it, most dont think about depression let alone a stay in a “mental hospital) but it is to me.  What I hear is my friend feels like his life is not worth living.

But on a different note, I had coffee with the Fanatic yesterday.  It was really good to see her as she was on of the Four Musketeers who attended our “Depression in Sobriety,” meeting that we had for about 2 years in the local AA we are/were members of.

She has her journey and if she comes on her again she can send you to her blog if she is so inclined.  I learned that one of my favorite bloggers, Monica Cassani, stopped blogging but that one of my other favorites, Therese Borchard, still is.10347232_10201917599660507_5224584867827727870_n

I dont want this all means, I was just moved to write a few words.  I am hopeful that I can keep doing it as it helps me process some of my confusion and there are times, fewer than I would hope for, where I get some sense of clarity.

Please keep all of those who suffer in this world of projection of darkness in your thoughts.  Many many of us are wandering out in a place we cant comprehend let alone understand.

(Also the graphics have changed completely so it might take me a day or two to figure out how to put pics back in)

https://emergingfromthedarknight.wordpress.com/

“Give a soul a night of fearless sleep.”

It was a little over a year ago that my dear friend Jerry decided that being on the earth was not something he could do any more.  With almost 34 years of sobriety and almost 68 years old, Jerry decided it was not worth doing any more.
What is happening in our world is frightening.  The exposure of the dis-ease in our culture manifested with the events that just transpired in the U.S. have brought out the fact that there are people in this world who don’t care whether Jerry suffered or not.  They will never know Jerry because they have distanced themselves from their fellow man.  As a matter of fact they probably don’t consider Jerry a fellow traveler in this thing called life.
I suffer from the maladies I do because of those deep seated emotional conflicts that were created and buried in my unconscious so long ago that I have forgotten them.  But they still have an effect on my life.  Do I like it?  I think the answer is pretty self evident by my wanting to process whatever is going on inside of me.
“Before the meek inherit they learn to hate themselves.” That is the malady that I suffer with at a  level that I cannot comprehend or even understand.  There is a lot of anger, which to me is self hate, being projected in our world.  Not just the duality of our elections, but the death and violence that have been perpetrated in the last few days around the world.
“Give me love, give me peace.” I truly believe there is a faction in the world who live on the fact that others suffer and they exploit it.  Not just husbands and their wives, or parents with their children, but in a larger view, those who control the methods of production and those who don’t control them.
What is it?  Why did Jerry stop his own life tragically?  Is it because he could no longer just carry his own anxiety and shame, but that he was carrying a share of other peoples’ shame and could not keep carrying it? The sins of the father being passed down to the son.
I believe that those who have divorced themselves from nature, from life being a cycle of helping those around you live a better life because it makes your life richer and better, have so far disconnected themselves from their fellow man that they don’t care about the man who suffers and dies a horrible death at his own hand.
I leave you with this today.  A paradigm is shifting.  It is not pretty.  As a matter is so ugly and scary right now that we just had to pick from two of the most emotionally and spiritually void people I have ever seen.  I am not interested in being right because we are losing.  The U.S. lost and the rest of the world is suffering as well.
When are we going to see that making others responsible, blaming others, is nothing more than projecting our own inadequacies and not owning them.  Then we can label them as different, wrong and eventually evil.  Because when we do that, we can harm them and we can relief from our suffering.   At least in our minds we can.  It is called righteousness.  Righteousness will get you alone and or killed.
I face it in my mind every day.  I think Jerry did too and it overcame him.
123 RW, JZ, RV, SA, PH, PA.
Quotes from Bruce Springsteens “High Hopes.”

 

 

The Healing

11707660_974787155951568_4667623480132897462_n
I am not a mechanism; an assembly of various sections.                                                                   And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds deep to the soul, to the deep emotional self
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
And patience, and a certain difficult repentance,
Long difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake
Which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.

Written by D.H.Lawrence.  This was the first post on this blog and is being revisited for obvious reasons.

123 All and I am somewhat excited to be doing this for the first time in over a year!

“I long to live in the only place I truly can live.”

11144416_974787355951548_7417282000083361679_nWell the 10 day retreat ended on Sunday morning!.   Ten days of noble silence!   Ten days of meditation.  Ten days of what might be  called “mindfulness,” meditation.

I went to the Northern California Vipassana Meditation Center,* which is just a few miles from where the devastating “Valley Fire,” near Cobb Mt. and Middletown, CA took place less than 2 months ago. For ten days I could not talk,(and if you know me, you could just imagine how interesting that was for me!) and all I could do is meditate, eat, sleep and shower, and that was all I 11709487_911521702258127_1817418095548286627_ndid.  They would awaken you at 4 a.m. and you started meditating at 4:30.  The meditation ended at 9 every evening. We had about 12 hours of meditation a day. You only had fruit to eat after 12 noon every day.  It sounds so arduous doesn’t it?  Or does it sound easy?

But when you live alone, like I have for the last few years, it really isn’t that hard not to talk when you are at home.  It is when I am in the outside world that I talk or when I am on the phone.  I guess being on the computer like this would be considered talking.  You were not supposed to bring in _MG_0994any reading or writing utensils.  You were not supposed to use a computer or any device to communicate with the outside world.

One would think it would be hell.  But when I stood back and looked at the experience, I realize that an argument could be made that it is the life we lead that is more hell-like than the 10 days I was there.

The meditation practice would be body centered meditation if I had to define it.  You were to focus your mind on the your body.  Starting from the tip of your head and going all the way down to the tips of your toes, you were to “connect,” in my words, to the rest of your body.

20150801_063116 (2)Now I dont know about you, but I have spent a lifetime ignoring what my body “says” to me.  I have put layer upon layer of trauma and the effects of trauma between me and my emotional connection to my body.  I had to to survive.  I had to dissociate from the abuse by “leaving,” my body so that I could psychologically survive.  I weep as I write this.

So to tell a middle aged man, who has studied this thing called depression as best as I could in the last 5 years, that it was paying attention to your body that was going to be the thing that was going to help you heal, gave me quite a challenge.  I think I understand the dis-ease depression and have said for a while that the PTSD I suffer with is the foundation for the “mental health,” problems that I have.

So to be told that it is by paying attention to your body, for almost 12 hours a day for 10 days in silent meditation, that you were going to be able to heal in a way(s) that you could not heal before, would most probably for most people present quite a challenge.  But because one of the greatest gifts I have received on the journey was body centered breath work, I knew I had found another tool to help me.  So when I learned what the practice was, how to meditate, I was in heaven!

_MG_4425_2It was not easy.  The mind always wants to say “f— this sh–,” when presented with solutions that dont include it being the leader.  So I knew when I was learning the breathing technique that I had come to the “right,” place. I might write more about it later.   I would highly recommend it to those who suffer from “mental health,” issues.

The opening quote is something that came to me when I was at the retreat.  The answer is my body.

finger touching nose of baby https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/schedules/schmanda

“Their appearance is like an interruption or even an intrusion into your life.”

tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400This thing was not a interruption in my life. It was a brick wall that I could not climb over, slink under, go around or even bust through. Little did I realize that the only thing that would save me and I mean literally and metaphorically was to embrace it.   Thomas Moore defines it as a “an unnamed urge that pushes you in a certain direction.”

So I was and am still faced with this dilemma.  I want to be back in the high life as Steve Winwood would say.  But I know that I was given this depression to learn how snowyto do the Ggods work and help those who are suffering in ways I can only imagine.   My dear friends Willem3655 and the Fanatic suffer in ways I can only imagine.  I can hear them when they tell me their struggle but I cannot understand it based on experiences that are the same.  I dont think I have suffered like they have.

But these relationships are the ones that are the ones that mean something to me.  It is not that the other relationships in my way-aheadlife have less meaning.  But I was talking about it in a “meeting,” last night.  I truly believe that I was led to live in the area where the “Valley Fire,” went through to help those who have lost their houses to rebuild them. Just as I was led into depression to help those who suffer, mostly in silence, from a life sucking energy that cannot be overcome by will power alone.  Because if it could have been, just ask my friends if I would have overcome it or not.  Just like I could not stop drinking or drugging on my own, I cannot overcome depression on my own.

Jackson Browne says in “For A Dancer,” ” And somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go may lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know.”  That is how life normally feels  for me.   Except for as Moore says, this force is “the force behind your tenacity of your yearning.” What I yearn for is to help heal from the emotional malaise we seem to have but consistently seem to ignore as a culture.  400px-FlammarionIf 30% of the people who helped write the big book’s stories committed suicide, there is a problem.*

And damn it, my friends who are the dearest thing to me, save one person, are suffering in ways that are incomprehensible to the “normal” person, but are suffering still the same.

This thing is called our  Daimon.  Hillman talks about it as does Moore and I am sure others.  It is the thing that has led me down this path which I hillmandont have a clue of where I am going. But it is here and it is real.  The reason I trust that it is real is the statement by Moore where he say that it is “[t]he guidance offered by an inner wisdom, More an impulse then a thought.”

You see I was a content attorney getting rich in Marin and here I am about to move into an area where a fire devastated people’s lives and when I am up there, I know it is the place I am supposed to be.

123 RV, SA, HF, PH, PA, JO, Dwight, TL, TS, and Happy Birthday Cynthia!!!

All quotes from Thomas Moore’s book “A Life at Work.” * If you want to know how I see this condition read, D.H. Lawrence’s “The Healing.” It was the first post on this blog and remains the way I see the dis-ease we live with in this culture.

1393852_909291559087829_6429478004072054840_nfinger-touching-nose-of-baby

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