Writings

Is Freedom Possible The Human Condition

When our souls our one Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

If you need guns and weapons to defend your so called freedom then you are still in a cage. This is a human condition that has carried on from the beginning of so called civilization. Will we ever really be free? Once we realize our soul is imperishable then you realize there is nothing left to defend. Thereafter comes the understanding that all souls are filled with that same light, and thereafter resonates the feelings of Divine Love and Compassion. When our souls are one, Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

I spend a good majority of my time in the mornings getting tuned in with what is going on in the world, this usually means my morning breakfast spent while watching Democracy Now.  (It’s very forward thinking news broadcast if you don’t watch it, tune in and open your mind.  Also, be prepared I wouldn’t recommend having breakfast and starting your day off with D-now, because it’s a very hard hitting reality check every morning.)  For me it is all about perspective, and because we work in the inner and outer social activism it’s important to know where and what are the needs of the human race.  The needs are many, and so surmounting that it sometimes leaves me  overwhelmed and hopeless as to the possibility of our race surviving at this catastrophic pace.

First, I’ll tell you what this piece is not.  What I want to present with this writing is not political activism, it is not specific to any piece of news or any one single event.  It is taking into account the entire spectrum and history of the human condition to see, is Freedom really possible?  Is love really possible?  Also taking into consideration if a foreign entity is invading your land and destroying and decimating your land, people and culture what to do then?  How and should one defend themselves?  Asking these questions usually starts with more questions, “well, what are we fighting about anyway?  And, what is the root cause of the inner dilemma that drives one to killing and destroying each other?

There are many philosophers and thinkers that put these concepts to thought and articulate them far better than I, and can be used as an immense reference for this particular writing.  The renown thinker, Krishna Murthi, so beautifully analyzes the root cause of most human suffering in this beautiful talk on Fear.  As always the mindfulness of Krishna Murthi is so in tune that if you watch this video there is really no reason to continue reading.  You yourself will come to many conclusions about your individual experience with fear and how it has lead the evolution of the “Human Condition.”  Krishna Murthi points out, there are many different types of fear.  In my view one that is most important is the hereditary fear of survival.

Jiddu Krishnamurthi thinker, philosopher, somewhat of the anti-guru working toward getting human beings to understand they have the power to grant their own self realization. To me let's face it, that's what a Guru does. Helping to transform from darkness to light.

From the early ages of the human being, before so called, “civilization” (that is not at all civilized, still very primitive), human beings were born into fear as a mode of survival.  If one leaves the safe confines of one’s cave there is a risk to be eaten by wild animals or destroyed by the natural chaos and power of nature.  So, very easily we cut to the chase here… How can we evolve out of fear (which leads to suffering) if it is engrained in our DNA from the start of the evolution of our species?  Is fear useful?  My very first instinct reaction to these questions is, no.  From the time of Buddha we have been hearing about peace… Do we have it?  Have we ever fully understood fear?  The best approach is to dive deeper and deeper until we fully understand the roots of issues that drive us away from peace, not to run away from them into a fantasy of, “I must have peace… I am peaceful… I will make myself peaceful…”  Until we have faced the root causes of fear, struggle, loneliness, loss, death and many other manifestations of fear in the human psyche it is my understanding that we will never truly “rest in peace.”  Another eloquent philosopher based in mindfulness is, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Master of the Art of Mindfulness.

His approach to mindfulness is not to run away from our fears and negative attributes, yet to face them lovingly and mindfully to give as much respect and understanding to the negative as we yearn for the positive.  An example would be:  We look at a beautiful flower, we know that one day the flower will wither and die.  What is left of the dead flower?  Do we disregarded it?  If you have mindfulness and understanding you can see very clearly that the trash is just as important as the beauty.  The dead flower will decompose and become enriched organic soil.  The beauty of the flower still remains and it will give itself willing back to the Mother Earth in order to be sustenance for the new flowers to return again.

Hold your negative emotions lovingly like a Divine Flower to have deeper understanding of our self-imposed destruction.

In other words we have so much to learn from negative human conditions.  Yet, we spend much of our time running from them… suppressing them… filling the empty void with materialism… creating organizations that perpetuate separatism… all designed to keep us under control and unwilling to face the reality that Fear is within us.  The United States runs around promoting fear mongering, invading sovereign countries, imposing our will on foreign entities, and claiming democracy.  If the leaders of a nation have mindfulness and cultivate an understanding of meditation and breathing, there is no doubt in my mind they will be forced to look at their own fears.  Hence my comment “if you need a weapon to protect your so called freedom, you are still in a cage.”  (It is a reference to the aggressor, not the one being attacked.)  Nothing is truly Free that needs protection.  Of course, the argument can be made, “what if there is an indigenous village being pillaged by an aggressor, should they defend themselves with weapons and violence?”  Again, we are taking steps even further back to say, “Why is the aggressor even acting that way at all?”  ”What stirs in the human condition for greed and aggression and violence?”  What is deeply embedded in the human conscious that we need to “take, conquer and divide?”  What is the root of this selfishness?  And furthermore, what is to be done about it?  Will we ever have peace?  My outlook on this topic is very bleak.  The entire evolution of our species until now, so called “modern civilization,” is built around suffering, separatism, materialism, and the military industrial complex.  So, in reality our species is still very primitive.  Fighting and killing each other has never stopped since the beginning of time.  One of the most epic and deeply enriching philosophical texts of Sanaatan Dharma is based around a massive war in which brothers are fighting and killing each other.  (Sanaatan Dharma or just Dharma sometimes referred to as, Hindu Philosophy.  I don’t use the word Hindu because it does not exist in the Sanksrit Language and does not relate at all to the true teachings of the Vedas or individual Saadhana [everyday spiritual discipline], but that is an entirely different subject).  Yes, we look deeper to see the metaphorical teachings that it is a war over our negative attributes, from darkness to light, from suffering to salvation, but seriously, it’s war.  It is killing other human beings… It only perpetuates suffering and separatism.

The end of the Maha Bharat war, one brother has killed another brother.

I, for one, cannot relate.  Of course, I have never been put in a dyer straight situation of having defend my family from an intrusion of an aggressive force, so who am I to talk?  And again, I will stress my focus is actually on that of the aggressor… what is causing them to engage in that aggression?  What is the cause for the undying human condition of greed and rage?  I have no answer, because from the process of our evolution we have never really seen any.  We still have war, we still have poverty, we still have suffering, we still have rapists, we still have killers and murders, even those in so called, “positions of power,” if we really analyze them mindfully, they are murders.  And until we deeply understand our own individual suffering and fear, then as a human race, we have no chance for peace.  How can we expect peace in the world when there is so much unrest and self imposed suffering in our own daily lives?  When will we ever learn?  Will loving ourselves and our neighbors ever really be enough?  How can we not only understand our suffering, but uproot our suffering systemically?  Where to start?  How to begin?

In the end the only thing we have any control of is our emotions and our actions.  Breathing, Meditation and mindfulness are tools (or keys) to bring us closer to those states of peace, compassion and understanding that have the power to uproot our negative tendencies and self destructive behavior.  What else do we have?  Meditation really is the only answer…  How do we get the aggressor to meditate?  That is a completely different talk, and again completely out of our control.  The only thing we control is our emotions and our own actions.  My hope and wish is that the more we dive deeper into our own consciousness with mindfulness and meditation we will more deeply understand these roots of suffering.

Meditation cultivates a deep sense of self awareness and mindfulness.

With loving emotions cultivated through meditation and a pious daily life we can hold our suffering like a baby, or like a delicate flower until suffering is either uprooted or transformed again into the beautiful flower.  And what if it should return?  The entire process is repeated until higher and higher states of understanding are produced.  It has only taken thousands of years for the human being to ruminate on these topics.  The best we can hope for is that every individual on Earth dives deep into meditation.  The only hope is that our individual actions of love and understanding creates an unstoppable ripple effect in the immediate world around us, and again ripples out into the rest of society… the ripple would be so powerful that the positive vibrations of love and meditation would reach even the aggressor, and in turn through our right actions even the aggressor would understand the root of their suffering which is driving them to such desperate and heinous actions.  A mindful meditator would simply never kill or hurt anybody, because they would have no choice but to see that we are all family… we are all connected… we really are all ONE in the beautiful web of life.  With united heartbeats of mindfulness peace and love would be possible.  We have not seen that massive shift yet.  Maybe in this lifetime?  As one watches the chaos of this Kali Yuga (dark age) one sees very clearly we have a long way to go.  From thousands of years ago until now, the shift of consciousness has been happening.  Start with your own personal dedication to your suffering.  Start with your own affirmations of love, peace and meditation, and impart those emotions unto your friends and family.  Keep the spiral of love alive and swirling around your daily life.  After that, be an observer to how your meditative energy transforms your life.  See its highest potential and your highest potential.  As if it were the deep cry of our beloved Mother, have an ernest yearning for the purity of true peace and love.  This really is the only thing left to do…  What other choice do we have… Continue to divide and kill each other?

Meditating in a Redwood forest grove at Mount Madonna Center in California.

The choice is truly yours, and I do hope that with our combined efforts and understanding we take a few more steps in the direction of love and peace.

Om Bhadrum No Apivaathaya Manah:  Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi

With all my love,

Tyagaraja

PS, if you have been inspired to take on the practice of daily meditation and would like to learn, we will share it with you and are qualified teachers of this ancient art form.  Kindly contact us for more information.

j.tyagaraja@gmail.com

“ThanksTaking” from Genocide to Bad Design, the real Thanksgiving

First we give credit to our ancestors and listen to the Earth. My consciousness has shifted from baring witness to the problems and negativity of the world to actually seeing in full vision what are the “opportunities.” And what is left after that? Nothing but positive growth… This piece is taking a true look at the history of genocide of indigenous people through the lens of design.

I had a long philosophical discussion with my good friend Josh Applebee.  We had some time to kill before I was to go on stage to perform for an amazing event at Eat Gallery in Houston Tx.  What you first have to understand is that my dear friend Joshua is the best example of looking for the positive.  Our conversation somehow lead us to the topic of History, and how important it is for us to know history and not only that but accurate history filled with well rounded facts.  Then I took it a step further to say what is more dangerous than not knowing your history or where you came from is actually believing in a false history or choosing to believe a false history.  For example, the case of our beautiful indigenous “American Indian” tribes, whom were all but wiped off the face of the landscape.  The story that has been perpetuated by materialistic American culture is a complete mockery of what actually marks the date of a massive plague genocide that swept across this Home Land we call US.  My dear friend Joshua, searching for the positive, as the noble man he is, presents this idea:  To me, “sometimes it’s not so important what is the truth, what is more important is what you believe in.” He continues, “Now in this case would it be better to focus on all the horrific facts of Thanksgiving or would it be more beneficial to our culture to focus on the joining and coming together of two people.”

What two Peoples coming together looks like...

I took a deep breath and it hit me instantly.  ”I suppose that would be valid if the indigenous people of this land were completely exterminated, I mean not a single Indian person native to this land still living.  Then we may be able to take the history and distort it to serve a bigger view of thankfulness and well wishing.  However, these peoples still exist and they are one of the most marginalized and oppressed people in our Nation of the so called US.  Therefor, this is not a Historical event, this genocide is still taking place.  These indigenous people have been driven into infertile lands, and they are suffering from: diabetes, drug addictions, depression, marginalization, and no form of big business or government has their best interest in mind.  This modern day genocide is a continuation of the slaughter and colonization of this nation.  These facts have absolute purpose in the design of our mental capacity.  We cannot understand where we have come from or where we are going in this country of the US until this gruesome fact is analyzed.  Further more, even if there were no indigenous peoples left in this land, it’s still of utmost importance that their heritage and legacy live on in the hearts of those who wish to carry it–the burden of the lost souls of our true brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters and sons.  This is our true heritage, and it has been suffocated by colonization and the stamp of the oppressing grid.

Our colonized heritage begins

Now where are we left?  My programing tells me to enjoy Thanksgiving, to gather with my family and cook, tell stories and live in sentimentality.  And my conscience… that part of me that is cracking with awareness begins to question.  What are we celebrating here?  Who was involved?  What was the real story?  and most importantly… What should we do now?  John Trudell said, “Asking American Indians to celebrate Columbus Day is like asking US citizens to celebrate Osama Bin Ladden day.”   That pretty much sums it up!  You see, Columbus really represents a virus… a plague that swept across what is truly a sacred land.  And now what have we done?  We’ve taken that virus and just transformed it, and bred it into a different species.  And the original American People are still under attack.

John Turdell, Shepherd of Indigenous Peoples, Poet, Icon

They are still oppressed and marginalized and made slaves to a political system that doesn’t care about them.  Should I celebrate Thanksgiving?  Should we reflect on the positive of gathering as a people?  Well that just presents more questions to me… How do we celebrate?  And do we even gather?  We celebrate capitalism and materialism.  Let’s just set it straight.  The fact that the day after Thanksgiving is the most chaotic shopping day of the entire American year is a testament to the fact that we have severed ourselves from the duty to our spiritual connection to what Thanksgiving really represents and really stands for… And do we even gather?  Most people I speak to during the holidays tell me, “Oh I can’t wait to get this weekend over with so I can get away from my crazy family.”  Again a further testament to a design that has failed us.  We are raised and bred as slaves of separation.  We don’t want to know our neighbor or involve ourselves in our family life.  What is the so called “American Dream?”  A picket fence and a house of separation… Mine!  Don’t cross this line!  We’ve put barbed wire and barriers all across this sacred landscape claiming and owning the ground that is by design supposed to be the right of the People and all living beings of Earth.  This is our land, which means we have a responsibility to take care of it.  How can we celebrate and give thanks with such desecration of land that is meant to provide our needs?  This destruction is inward also.  We’ve been bred into chaos and confusion, depression and pain.  We are programmed to believe that we always have to seek externally for happiness, when all the while happiness is within grasp.  The design of life is within sight, just go outside and listen to the trees the Earth and the ground, observe how creation interacts with Itself.  Once you do this, your sight improves… your eyes open, your heart tunes with the rhythm of the Creator.  One thing that quickly becomes clear is the overall fragility of life.  The plasticity of the modern system, and the drive toward confusion and consumption.  You can see it, like a world wearing a mask.  What is underneath bares the answer.  You see, you can’t blame the system, it’s a product of years of perpetuation of a very small demographic of people.  We can’t expect that the design of the privileged few would represent the needs of the great oppressed majority.  It’s not their fault it’s just bad design…

A grid design system that is not sustainable and doesn't promote community or creativity.

Now that you’ve made it through all the gritty details of our history, you know why we are spinning in this current state of consumerism and waste.  These root issues are what is driving us further way from our duty as shepherds of the land that is here to provide for us.  This leads you to my third question, what should we do?  How should we act?  What is to be done with all this madness?  The answers are quite simple, and you have to take this journey of understanding for these systems of design to resonate with you.  First you really do have to understand the state of the world and what got us here, and then you have to open your heart and listen to the needs of the Earth and the majority of the peoples walking on Her soil.

Mayan Aquaponics Farming

It’s really interesting that most of the answers to our modern dilemma reside in the teaching of indigenous peoples… not just from the Americas but around the world.  We have severed our connection to true integration in understanding and living with the Earth.  The introduction of the grid style housing, and monoculture agriculture is a huge root in the problems of the modern world.  Now that we’ve seen these systems fail and create more problems of instability the solutions make so much more sense.  Those solutions are found in our ancestors and indigenous peoples of the Earth.  They knew what the Earth wanted, and they also knew how to cultivate the Earth for the benefit of the People, it was a truly harmonious and symbiotic relationship with the Earth.  Now I feel like it’s my duty to become a shepherd of the land, just as they were.  Now we have a great opportunity to merge the principles of indigenous peoples with the positive advancements of modern day science.  This is our future, and for me the only work worth getting involved in.

I won’t outline all the solutions in this breathy blog, and still there is a little opportunity to give some examples here.  We are clear now that when looking for solutions we first have to understand the root of the problem.  One very large root in our modern world is our food system.  Growing monoculture farms, shipping it on trucks, using fuel and energy, buying it in a grocery store that takes fuel and energy and arguably creates more waste than growth.  It’s clear that this is not a sustainable system… again the solution is simple.  Localized farming.  One might argue that if everyone grew their own food then what would be left of the farming industry and all the jobs it may or may not create.  Well, now that we have a new perspective of life we can see that with the shift of consciousness so comes the sift of our ideals and needs.  One also has to take into consideration the quality of life and sustainability a concept like localized farming represents.

Indian Manual Water pump farming no electricity or gas used

The human being is an adaptive species and any limitation is only in the mind.  If we transform the food system to a more sustainable one, it is a guarantee that more and more creative ideas will blossom and the Earth will provide the answers we need to carry on.  How many lot’s do you see abandoned when you are driving through a city?  How many empty spaces of just grass is growing all over medians along highways and roads?  How much space and opportunity do we have even within our own yards?  There is more than enough landscape and more than enough resources to grow food locally.  My parents entire subdivision could be feed from a food forest if done properly in the park connected to their neighborhood.  And the people in the neighborhood would then have a new reason to gather and congregate around a system that is designed to benefit them, not drain them of their energy time and money like so many of our modern recreational activities.  It’s all about the design systems.  We have the power to make the change.  We have the knowledge of our true history to guide us toward our higher purposes.  We just need to change the focus of the design and make for certain that the “designer” has the Earth and the People in their best interest, and from then on the Earth does the talking.  We are not special, everything we need is giving to us by the Creator and it’s time to connect to that idea and start giving back…

Wandering, Observing, Integrating, Learning, Understanding

Since going through the process of writing this blog and putting it together I’ve decided to make a Part 2 that is mostly solution based so that we can take the understanding of the past and apply it to the needs of our People in the modern world so that we get back to integration with the Earth.  And I’ll start with a story about these kinds of experiences:

Ravi from Urban Permaculture Farm, Dharmalaya, in Eugene Oregon, and me having an apple from his tree, nice and warm from the sun, sweet and juicy

Permi Designer in training... until next blog...

The Suffering of the World

“I will now set the scene. I’m leaving Sugarland Texas for Downtown Houston as the Sun is setting with its brilliant orange glow. The cloud of smoke from the devastating wild fires of Bastrop Tx stretch across the western landscape. I feel the suffering of the trees, wildlife and the people forced from their homes and their possessions destroyed. The suffering of the trees fills the air, and I breathe it in…”

I will now set the scene.  I’m leaving Sugarland Texas for Downtown Houston as the Sun is setting with its brilliant Orange glow.  The cloud of smoke from the devastating wild fires of Bastrop Tx stretch across the western landscape.  I feel the suffering of the trees, wildlife and the people forced from their homes and their possessions destroyed.  The suffering of the trees fills the air, and I breathe it in.  I breathe out a blanket of love covering the wounds of the Earth.  Earth is here like a Mother wanting only to serve the purity and perfection it keeps in balance.  Human beings are exploiting Her, and devouring and destroying Her gracious love, and Her need to serve Us in the best way She can.  I feel the suffering of the World.  I tune my ears to the information coming from the radio, story after story of death, war, corruption and immense suffering.  We spend most of our time on Earth suffering.  I breathe in and out.  I tune the rhythm of my love to the pain and suffering felt by all of the World.  As I finish off the 59N stretch and exit 288 to leave our beloved place in 3rd Ward behind forever, I have this deep conversation with the suffering and the love of the World.  It causes me to want to call my Mom.  It allows me to realize that a Mother’s sole purpose is to relieve the suffering of Her child.  I want to tell my Mother this… how she relieves my suffering and gave so much care and attention to the development of the being She created.  Care and attention relieves suffering, and that’s why I suppose I called my Mother.  I wanted Her to relieve the Suffering of the World.

more on this topic soon…

I pray for the suffering of the World

I pray for the suffering of the World. You can literally tune with and call upon the forces of nature during meditations and prayer.

Dealing with Loss

This piece could be titled many things. Manifest Your Own Reality. Is There any Meaning or Purpose in Life? What is the ONLY Thing We Control in Life? All valid titles. It was in dealing with loss that all these side philosophies sprang forth.

My books small version

photo by trishbadger.com

(This piece started out as a facebook post about my missing books.)

I’m still grieving over the loss of my song books, my beauties, my musings, the pages of my mind. I wander around the house talking to myself, “where are they?” I say.  Every time I look at the spot I used to keep my Sri Chakra that was also in the bag that went missing, a little part of my heart breaks and I feel like pieces of me are dying.  Enlightened friends tell me it is all inside me, it came from me, and too there is a deeper meaning and a greater lesson out of all of it. I’m almost certain there is no lesson, it is the chaos of the world running into you, like getting in a car accident, or a star exploding in some distant galaxy creating a black hole. The universe keeps swallowing and spitting itself back out without any attachment or a single emotion. The fact that there really is no meaning to life is an encouraging thing. Debatable I know, it means that you can create your own destiny.  If there is no meaning and no purpose to your life, it means that you can give it any meaning or purpose you choose. To me this is encouraging because the love and light I feel for the world and from the world is something that I can control and I wish that energy to be directed through the funnel of pure love, manifesting itself in my physical reality. Huh, I think I’m going to start a blog about this… Anyone want to join the conversation? Send me your grievances and knowledge of dealing with loss……………

Now let’s back up quite a bit.  How did I get here?  Why would a so called “Yogi” ever say life has no meaning?  Also let me start by giving the theme to this piece.  I wish to go deeply into the concept of “dealing with loss.”  I suppose though first you need to know bits and pieces of the whole story.  What is my relationship with loss?

I have no shame in admitting that I have been divorced.  In fact I almost want to broadcast that out to the masses because there might be someone out there going through these same struggles that can benefit and relate to my experiences.  When you tell someone you are divorced (or tell them anything about yourself for that matter) most of the time you are placed into a category in their mind, and an idea of what that might have been like for you.  The fact is there is no two stories that are alike.  Everyone’s feelings are only relative to their own experiences.  Yet somehow the pain is universal, the stress, the loneliness, the hopelessness, etc., and all that comes with it.  Too, you cannot possibly imagine what another must be feeling like unless you too have experienced such things.  You can sympathize and pray for the other’s well being, but you cannot retain the same feelings unless you have walked with them.  I have never suffered the loss of a close family member.  I could never understand the pain of someone who has.  Though my experience may have felt tragic to me at the time one could say it was nothing compared to losing the life of a dear loved one, and too I might agree.  None-the-less I will carry my wiry bones and continue.  I was divorced.  At that time in my life, there were many, many things also falling a part.  Even without my push or pull things were crumbling before my eyes.  Conversely there were new endeavors simply falling into my lap out of the sky.  As much as I grieved the losses I was experiencing, my heart was also crying for my higher purpose and ultimate reality.  At the same exact time that my married life was falling apart my old band Million Year Dance was disbanding in the misted of possibly signing a management deal all in the week before performing a headlining showcase at SXSW.  I was also diving deep into my meditation and puja (prayer) practices and uniting myself to the energy of my teacher Sri Karunamayi.  I was being invited to travel with Her on the American tour that lasted 4 months as well as traveling to India.  I allowed myself to stay open to receive what ever came my way, regardless of how it would shape my life.  mydband4

Fortunately during this time of extreme loss I was in the company of many great souls, meditators, and also spending many hours in deep mediation and tuning into the philosophies being spilled out of Sri Karunamayi 24 hrs a day.  It was almost like an intensive in dealing with my pain.  I felt as if I were shedding off layers of my old life and becoming anew.  I literally felt pieces of me dying and pealing away.  (I suppose that’s the only way it happens, pieces of your life’s history simply has to die for you to move on.)  Also there was a devotee on the tour that had recently lost his wife to cancer!  I felt humbled and I felt the greater since that my problems were very little.  This devotee called his wife, “the Mother of his children and his best friend for 15 years.”  How could I relate to that… too painful.  We became a support system for each other.  I’m making a very long story short here, and also trying to share my first great loss.  What is it that happened?  What was the core feeling?  The visualization could be this:  Everything you thought your life was, it isn’t, every dream you had for the future will never be, every laugh and smile of the person you shared your life with for that short time will only be a memory–it will not live on.  Your life in its entirety is completely turned upside down.

Brett Joerger (tour organizer, mrudugam player) and Tyaga burning the karma load in the Maha Yajna in Memphis while on tour with Amma

Brett Joerger (tour organizer, mrudugam player) and Tyaga burning the karma load in the Maha Yajna in Memphis while on tour with Amma

You are left feeling like a hopeless wanderer.  I could have stayed upset, closed off, negative, casting blame, acting out, giving fits of rage… but I didn’t.  I allowed myself to trust in the energy that some may call God.  I allowed myself to trust that this energy was guiding my every step.  I felt that a new life awaited me.  I had no clue what that new life might be like, and that uncertainty could have added to the anxiety, but I didn’t let it.

Did that change the pain?  No, yet it allowed me to see it clearly and deeply without judgement.  Did the assistance of my company and meditations bring my ex-wife back  into my life?  No, yet they allowed me to open my heart and be ready to receive what ever it was that was coming next.  Did I have any idea that THIS is what awaited me?

IMG_7589

I had no clue what the future held.  If I had closed myself down and remained negative I would have never invited such a cosmic new beginning full of the best kind of love.  I am now gently dancing on the surface of the long winded point I’m trying to make.

No let’s jump ahead in time to my current situation and give a little back story.  At some point in the 30 minutes between loading my gear in the car and unloading it to the main stage at Summer Fest a laptop case with 3 song books, a vocal peddle, and a rare Sri Chakra I found in India went missing.  If it was stolen, the thief most likely thought they were going to score a laptop, yet it was something much more valuable.  Not of any value to the thief of course, yet something more valuable to me than any other possession I own.  If I were asked, “your house is burning down, what would be the first thing you would run into the flames and destruction to save?,” I would reply, “My books.”  In fact I have grieved more for my books than I did for my ex-wife.  These books hold 8 years worth of writings, original songs, notes I had dictated from lectures given by Sri Karunamayi of which there are no recordings, and priceless/precious items I gathered while on my pilgrimages in India.  I never move on to different books until I’m completely finished and fill every page of the latter.  So in essence these three books contained the chronological history of my life represented by the pages of my mind.  I had been recently transcribing some of my writings from India for a book I’m writing called A Devotees Journey to the Lap of the Mother.  So many things about my precious books I am mourning.  No one would find them precious but me.

(photo by trishbadger.com) The table to my right is how I would display my books for every show.  They are like my form of the Divine.  I display them like a deity in a Temple, and treasure them as such.

(photo by trishbadger.com) The table to my right is how I would display my books for every show. They are like my form of the Divine. I display them like a deity in a Temple, and treasure them as such.

The thought that someone had stolen the bag and found nothing but some crappy journals and tossed them aside was similar to the thought of driving down the street and seeing your dog dead on the side of the road after being hit by a car.  It is this tragic to me.  I still can’t believe they are missing.  I almost don’t accept the idea.  It may be denial, but I still feel deep in my heart they will they their way back to me.  In essence they are a physical representation of my own soul.  I can feel my soul crying out for me wishing I would come to save them.  I cherished my babies.  I would bring them to every show I ever played, and they would exude my soul and help me engage in the feelings I had when I first wrote those songs.  The entire weekend that followed at Summer Fest I felt like I had been at war and watched my best friends be taken down in a slaughtering gun battle.  Because the weekend was so hectic I was unable to truly feel the loss or accept that the books were gone until my truck was packed up with all my gear and we were headed home.  It was over.  After a successful Summer Fest, Gunjen and I retreated by to our home, and I cried and bellowed like I never have before.  I was sobbing… it felt like the life was being sucked out of me.

Teaching Yoga to droves of hipster kids seeking something different at Summer Fest

Teaching Yoga to droves of hipster kids seeking something different at Summer Fest

Suffering this kind of loss has stages right?  The stages of grieving have been mapped out by said scholars and what not.  I felt as though I was experiencing every stage all at once.  This kind of suffering leaves you with all kinds of questions as well.  The main questions that have framed this piece are:  ”Why would God do something like this to me?”  ”What is the lesson to be learned?”  ”How can I move on?”  And this is where we left off from the first paragraph of this blog.  With this kind of loss, is there any meaning in life?  I know this sounds dramatic.  But let’s look at it deeply without the drama.  Really, is there meaning in life?  Is there any purpose?  It is all very debatable.  My understanding is, no.  No, there is no meaning or purpose to life.  This might shock anyone that thinks they know me.  It is my feeling that if the vast expanse of the universe exists, then my tiny little problems and entire existence just doesn’t matter.  The universe will carry on in all its brilliant chaos with or without us.  And yet, the whole of the expanse of the universe also exists inside my soul, so that would mean that experience of my soul is also reflected in the whole of the entire creation.  We all are one.  When the world suffers, we all suffer.  This is what the Buddha set out to search for yes?  What is this life, and what is suffering?  His conclusion was that you cannot change suffering.  Suffering will always exist.  This same philosophy applies to the shear chaos of the world.  Is it possible that suffering and joy will always exist yet hold no weight as far as what we label to have purpose or meaning?  Yes!  If suffering always exists and there is no escape from it while living in this world, that implies that there is no meaning to your suffering… it simply just is.  To ask why and search for the signs and for the underlying meaning is futile.  What is it in the human being that we need these answers?  It is our own egos that apply meaning and purpose to our existence.  The whole of humanity has the unshakable need to feel important in a vast universe of uncertainty.  Our importance gives us meaning, this meaning gives us motivation, this motivation is what drives our every decision, and these decisions are based on the impact of our feeling important.  Wow, lot’s of ground to cover here… we’ll carry our load and continue.  If you are more confused than when we started fear not, it’s natural.  Simply know this, you should now feel liberated.  The idea that nothing matters, there is no meaning or purpose in life, everything is as it is chaotic and you have no control over ANY of it should be your light bulb moment.  This is liberation.  Now you know that you can’t control the world around you.  You can stop wasting your time and energy trying to manipulate it, and this will FILL you with a light and an energy that you never knew you had, because you were so bogged down with worry and confusion before.  The question now comes, “Well, of what do we HAVE control?” (This was my response to this question on a facebook post:  So what control do you have? ONLY YOU, you only have control of you, you’re emotions and reactions are paramount to the direction and flow of your immediate and future realities.)

After Million Year Dance disbanded I was left wondering what to do and where to go next.  My father said casually, "I'll just be in your band, haha."  Did he manifest this reality?  Did he create the space in time that he was to be performing in front of hundreds of dancing young hippy kids?  Maybe!

After Million Year Dance disbanded I was left wondering what to do and where to go next. My father said casually, "I'll just be in your band, haha." Did he manifest this reality? Did he create the space in time that he was to be performing in front of hundreds of dancing young hippy kids? Maybe!

One could argue that out of suffering comes great joy!  One could say because you experienced this great loss of your first wife you were able to find the true love of your life in Gunjen, and that is the “silver lining,” so to speak.  This could be true.  However, I attribute it to the control I had over my own mind and my own attitude.  If I had remained negative, and casting blame and stuck in the “woes me” of it all I would have projected that into my future reality, and possibly the quality of my next relationship would suffer this same pattern.  You see where I’m going?  You really do have the power to manifest your own reality.  While you cannot control the chaotic outside world, you can control how you react to it, and transfer-ably how you frame your attitude to the prospective future of your life from that moment onward.  I feel that it was my own mind, my own soul, my own heart that drew Gunjen into my life.  I longed for a match that suited me.  I longed for a life partner that would offer to me what I knew I was capable of offering another.  Gunjen is the manifestation of everything I ever wanted and dreamed of in a life partner, and that’s just reality.  What will come of the loss of my books?  What lesson is to be learned?  Well , I’m not certain there is a lesson beyond making sure you have copies of everything you hold dear to you.  If there is no meaning there is no lesson.  Also one could argue that the lesson learned was the act of experiencing and feeling first hand the extreme depression of this kind of intimate LOSS.  One could say that you need to experience pain in order to know the light of true joy and happiness.  This may be true, but it still doesn’t imply any meaning or purpose to these experiences.  The feelings and emotions and actions of the day, just simply ARE… They are just there.  And what should be harnessed is the ability to observe them without any judgement what so ever.  This activity will lead you to the answers your heart craves.  Because what your heart truly craves is ultimate happiness, and you can have it.

Again let us review, that if your life has no meaning or purpose this is a liberating fact.  This means that you can choose which meaning and purpose your life will hold.  You can adjust and tune with the greater love and purity within your heart, and project those feelings onto every movement you make while living in this chaotic world.  I choose to funnel all my experiences and decisions in life through the sphere of pure love and light.  All my life’s focus is to be angled through these high feelings of love, piece, compassion, trust, surrender,  understanding, equanimity and so on…  Some may choose to project different emotions and feed into the chaos of the world and allow that to manifest into their present and future realities.  I choose not to.  ”I choose what ever I believe is real, time is only a spinning wheel.”  This is a lyric from a song of mine called “Dream the Everlasting Life,” and these lyrics are in DIRECT relationship to the core of this piece. Link to Video Clip of song Dream the Everlasting Life

How do we deal with Loss?  Feel it, live in it, be with it, study it, without any judgement what so ever, and push it through the funnel of your love, pure heartedness, compassion for others, and all the other beautiful, positive, light shining things that reside in your spirit.  You cannot deal with loss, you cannot change it, it will happen to you and all those around you.  What you can deal with is how you manifest your present and future realities… and this is what I will base my entire life’s work around.  And together may we manifest a reality of peace, compassion and harmonious love… the way human beings are intended to live…

Meditating on tour with Amma in Memphis TN.

Meditating on tour with Amma in Memphis TN.

(Other quotes from friends that shared insights with me on facebook.  Some very wise folks out there.)

Mattia Mackenroth Loss can be a gain, there are the stages of grief, but you can get to a point where you realize that what you are grieving over is a part of you still that you will never lose.

Cassia Berman ‎”Invest in loss.”–Professor Cheng Man-Ching. Meaning: if you invest in gain, you always run the risk of losing. If you invest in loss…..

Mike Welch You don’t lose what you’ve borrowed. Everything you have is borrowed.

Josh Monroe Blanchard Realize that everything happens for a reason. If something bad happens, just wait, and something extraordinary will happen to you that could not have happened without your loss.

Julia Olivarez I’m reminded of the story of Thomas Carlyle, whose maid found his just-completed book and, thinking it was trash, threw it into the fire. Carlyle just sat down and wrote the book again! Spirit throws us the curveballs; how we catch them is, I think, the beginning of grace.


Wonders of Rishikesh and the Search for the Emerald Nose Stud Video Log

Wonders of Rishikesh and the Search for the Emerald Nose Stud Video Log

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Along the river banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh India

Along the river banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh India