Tag Archives: spiritual journey

Forging / Creating / Being a Path

So something a little different tonight, I intend to take a comment i left on someone’s youtube video and expand on it since I kinda like where I seemed to be heading with it and want to expand a bit.
Anyway, one of my IF (internet friends) Lucas was talking in his video about being a shaman or developing as a shaman and how he feels that is his path (I paraphrase here so any distortion of his words I apologize and take responsibility for) and how he will have to get some kind of “mundane” (my word not his) job one of these days to keep him going but that would be one step on his path to helping people.
In the video he mentions some of the people who frequently comment on his (often thought or feeling provoking) videos. Anyway…to make a long story short (“Too Late”) here is the expanded version of my comment:

wow a shout out–now i almost feel like i have to say something profound—hmmm tho maybe pro-lost would be better because its when we lose ourselves or something we value whether it be our beliefs, our selves, our egos that we start seeking so yeah i feel pro-lost 🙂  On my best days that is.
i may be wrong (my standard refrain) but it seems to me that a shaman finds learning experiences and transformation in any endeavor no matter how mundane
(Wax on, whacks off????) 😀 little Karate Kid reference there but kind of shows my drift..that any job or place will further you on the path. 🙂 You could work at McDonalds and add a blessing to each cow-burger you put into a customer’s hand (extend this to any sales job). Physical labour can be spiritually enriching if you can turn it into a meditative practice. And of course there is also the practice of infusing everything you do with love. Of course, I think of these examples as things to strive for, meditation tends to be difficult when hung-over Sam makes sexist jokes at the top of his lungs standing two feet away and adding positive energy to someone’s laundry soap can feel pretty foolish when the customer, doused with perfume insults your intelligence. 🙂 Still dealing with the public does tend to give strong lessons in tolerance.

The Sorcerer / shaman Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda’s books said that any path could be a path with heart and these days I tend to believe this. Any activity, job, recreation or relationship  can be an avenue for growth if we set our intention that way. Of course that can be difficult to remember at the best of times. I also have found that we tend to stay with the job, relationship etc until we either learn what we need to learn (receive its gift) or pass the point where that remains possible.

Letting Go, Emanations, Reflections (Part II)

Before I left the Moonies, a few things happened that were to become fairly relevant in my life. So much of my time there, particularly the last few months was a struggle of faith.  Everyone around me seemed so solid in their faith and were sure they had the answers and all I had were questions I could barely formulate. For the first time in my life I believed that God existed and that there was a purpose to it all but surely it had more to do than trying to make up for sins that our ancestors had done. Sensing my doubts, the people who were the leaders of the branch of the church had me stay at their training camp in the Nappa Valley. They figured that being trained constantly would be a good influence on my behaviour. Perhaps it was.

So one day I was with a group that consisted of myself, Dorie, our group leader for the week and a bunch of new recruits, there for their 21 days of training and indoctrination. One of the latter was an older woman, named Myrtle, her grandkids had joined the church and she was checking it out and trying to understand what it was all about. We were going on a group hike to discuss the lecture that we had just heard. I was probably at my lowest ebb. Depressed and trying to inspire, it felt more than a little schizophrenic . Myrtle was a charming woman with a warm smile and large amounts of empathy.

As we walked up the hill, Myrtle holding onto my arm for balance, I found myself praying “God, Heavenly father, please give me an answer.” All of a sudden, I felt the sun on me. I became aware of everything around me, every flower, every tree, every blade of grass and I felt that I fit and that it was right. Not that I fit where I was but that I fit wherever I was. I was right and everything was right. I existed as part of everything and that I was loved. Not as a Moonie but as myself. That moment seemed to go on forever and yet only last a second. I found that I couldn’t explain what had happened to anybody else there, even Myrtle. To be more accurate, I doubt that anyone even noticed and yet for me the effect was profound. I believe that this experience helped give me the courage to leave when I felt it was time. In all the years to come, the quest for that feeling has taken me many places both internally and externally.

Letting go; Emanations, Reflections (Part 1)

Note: Last night when I started this entry, I thought it would be much shorter. I seem to have gotten caught up in reflections of the past. Still, that being said, I’ll go with it. I admit to having a certain curiosity where it is all leading. For those of you who read this blog for the tarot readings, feel free to only read those ( i should be doing the first reading associated with the Death card either tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest)

It feels strange this time around. Watching people getting so caught up in…culture? concrete mundane reality? the matrix? The cultural reality tunnel that dictates that each person give the same unconsidered knee-jerk responses that their peers do? It seems like a good deal of my life has been trying to find the right</strongreality tunnel for myself. The one that I could cling to. The compass and center that could guide me. Only to find that…
Lots and lots of answers that seem to work for other people don’t work for me. Oh they all feel good for awhile. Faith is an amazing thing. I have met people with faith that glowed like a campfire on a cool summer evening and I just wanted to warm myself by that fire and gain that kind of conviction for myself..
I could list all the answers I’ve tried that I’ve seen work for others but I have a sneaking suspicion that it would sound like the lyrics to John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” None of those tunnels worked for me. I’d get caught up in them and eventually some contradiction or something that just didn’t jibe would arise and each time an inner voice would speak to me:
“Go”
“Wha…?”
“It’s time to go!”
“But what about…?”
GO NOW!!!!
“OK”
and whatever situation I was in, I would leave by the fastest, most direct route out of there.
I followed similar paths going from organized religion (Jewish) to Scientific Atheist 😉 (I was 15) to believing myself an agnostic, open and exploring everything (including satanism to get on the nerves of my baby sister’s fundamentalist nanny I was 16.).
When I was 17 my best friend and I left our homes in CT and decided that we were going to see if there was life outside of high school. We ended up in San Francisco through a combination of hitchhiking and Greyhound and promptly joined the Unification Church (the Moonies). Well, we only had $20 between us and they did offer a free meal ;). I ended up staying with the Moonies for five months (my friend had left after 3 due to parental duress). I immersed myself in them, believing that at last I had found an answer that this was a path I could take. But then the questionz crept in. Little contradictions in the behaviour of the people running the church. Inconsistencies between their system of beliefs and their practices. . I went to the California head of the church and told him about my confusion. He told me that at 17, I should be more interested in baseball than in spiritual matters??!!! Not long after that the voice inside me said “go’ so I left and went back to my father’s house in CT.
I felt shattered. For five months, I had tried on a whole new way of looking at myself and the world around me. I believed that I knew how everything fit together and now….? I was pretty sure that I . no longer buy into the beliefs of the Unification Church but then what did I believe? I felt like reality had pulled the chair out from under me. .
I didn’t get a whole lot of sympathy from my family or the people around me. My father and step-mother seemed to feel that I should be repentant and apologetic. I felt like I needed some understanding. Couldn’t they see that I was not the same kid who had left five months before? Couldn’t they tell that I did not perceive them in the same way? I did a lot of yelling that spring. Also a bit of negotiating. My friend and I had left in December I had been a junior and he a senior in the CT prep school that we both went to. I went in and talked to the Assistant Headmaster and His Wife, the Dean of Studies at the school and arranged that If I took and passed a combination of summer courses at the University next door and a few other courses with teacher who was willing then I could rejoin my class for Senior year.
Around a week after I returned, I got another surprise. The friend whom I had left town with John had found another answer that worked for him He had accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour…..

As trite as this may sound…the hour grows late and I grow tired. This will probably be continued. Feel free to comment, question, or anything else you may wish.

Death and Dying (redux)

To quote Spider Robinson, “God is an Iron”. The way Spider meant it in his brilliant funny novel Mindkiller is that if someone who commits gluttony is a glutton and someone who commits felony is a felon, then God is an iron.
Meaning that from our limited perspective, the universe works out in ironic ways. Just a few days, after writing here about how people handle change and death, I have kind of had my nose pushed into my own dealings with the subject.

Our son Zev has a wonderful grandmother. Biologically there is no relationship but she raised Zev from the time he came home from the hospital (at about 3 months old due to how premature he was) to when we adopted him at 3 yrs of age. In those days, Zev was tiny (when he was born he weighed about 1 lb and was probably about new born kitten size) and for the first two years it was touch and go whether he was going to make it and the fact that he did and is now alive and healthy is due in no small part to her
Carolynne Brown is an amazing woman, She has raised 3 of her own children, a few grandchildren, and over the years at least 25 foster kids. She adopted a girl (now a young woman) with severe mental and physical delays and has lovingly raised her. Her daughter Misty was Zev’s first babysitter, Misty, 32 with a 16 yr old daughter and 1 yr old son babysat Zev from the time he was 2 and then babysat him for us until he was about 5 on the few nights we got out.
Misty was Zev’s first play group teacher during the summer when he was 3. Today, as we came to pick up Zev from a night at his grandmother’s, Carolynne got a knock on the door from the Vancouver Police Department. Misty was dead.
I’m not sure of the circumstances. I suppose it doesn’t matter. I sent her light. I sent her gratitude. Carolynne is one of the strongest woman I know. With a house of kids, (4 of them between the ages of 1 and 5) Carolynne, shaken, started dealing with what she had to do. Refusing any help, just asking that we not say anything. We left, tho telling her that anything we could do, just let us know.
I think of Misty’s two childen, and all the other kids in the house, whom all adored Misty and they are in my prayers and dreams.
I have no idea what we are going to say to Zev. A few years back, a dog that Zev knew passed away. I learned something then. Kids latch on to death and morbid things, and try to figure them out. Hey so do we.
I am not afraid of dying myself. Physical death is part of how the universe works. I’m just not sure how to explain this to Zev. It will be tough. There will be tears and we will be present. I will answer his questions as best as i can and try to help him know that he is not alone. That feeling loss and grief when someone passes is normal and just love him. In the end what can you do. R.I.P. Misty.

Tuning

Yesterday, I went with my friend Margie on a nature hike in North Vancouver. It was beautiful, forest land, a river that at various times either roared or babbled depending on where we were. The sun played hide and seek with clouds to that no area was lit the same for very long.
It was funny, Walking out there, I felt almost as if my spirit was tuning itself to the universe. Just like I tune a guitar, I found different things would come up, my focus would be readjusted and things would just feel..right.
By the end of the hike, I felt more in Harmony, attuned with nature.
Then as it often does, my mind started rambling…
Tuning, Attuning, A-tone-ing….
Yes, fitting in with the universe around me, my soul echoing its own unique tone, just one among the infinite, at one with it all
at-one-ment
atonement
Day of Atonement — Yom Kippur — the day in the jewish calendar where every sin that has been or may have been committed by us in the last year is apologized for and (theoretically) dealt with,
One of my favorite writers, Spider Robinson, in several of his stories talks about that if telepathic communication is possible then first we have to get rid of all the shit in the communication room. Another way of becoming at-one with others. Or is it the same way?

Video(s) of the Day-Century Plant

One of my favorite songs that I’ve heard in the last year or two. In Stereo–One with Victoria Williams, who wrote the song. The Other from the movie Camp.

What? Now? What now?

Video of the day

So i did it!!! It was a lot of fun too. I might go on to make some others. Partially I feel like i put on the red shoes…and want to see what else i can do…Part of me feels like the most inexperienced musician jamming in a big band.
Funny thing is…what now. This has felt like a pretty big week of self-development. Now its on to the next step whatever that may be.

Ripples

There is a cliche that the only thing constant in the universe is change. Like most, that has become cliche because it is largely true.
People get so freaked out about change. They try to tie themselves to whatever they consider the most stable thing around just to avoid getting tossed by the winds of change. If the universe is constantly in a state of flux, than is change a thing to be feared?
In the tarot, change is represented mainly by the 13th card in the major arcana Death. In the Rider-Waite deck, Death is shown as a skeleton in black armor on a white horse. A businessman and a king lay in the road trampled by Death. A Bishop stands next in the way, trying to keep Death away by prayer. It appears that he is the next to fall. A maiden with a ring of flowers in her hair kneels in Death’s path offering herself but with her head turned away in denial of her offer. A change comes our way do we cling to the status quo (like the businessmen and the king only to be trampled), Do we welcome it half-heartedly, only to have to process it later or do we welcome all, change and stability with open acceptance (the child)?
A lot of people seem to be either eagerly awaiting the upcoming cycle change in 2012 or fearing what it will bring. I don’t know (my favorite words) but it feels like we have been in the midst of major change for a long time now. I wonder whether the cycle change isn’t some really large event that will happen but a small event that ripples out like a stone that lands in the middle of a brook.

Game For Friends

Each person should write down (or think of) 5-10 questions. The type that keep you awake pondering at 3 Am in the morning. The questions can be personal or philosophical. (ie “What should I do in this situation?” or “What is my purpose?”)

Then each person in turn pretends to be the personification of a higher being (according to their own belief system), such as an angel or a an alien from an advanced civilization. This person should listen to the questions that the other person (people) have written down and answer them with the first thing that comes to her/his mind.

Prepare to have some mind-blowing results.

Facts about Me–Facebook Note February 11, 2009

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 (or more) people (in the right-hand corner of the page), then click Publish.)

1. I live in Canada tho was born and grew up in the USA. This gives me the ability to be with the person i love and to raise our son together.

2. One of my core values is a quote from Spider Robinson “Shared Joy is Increased, shared pain lessened”

3. I am fascinated by religion, myths, and legends. Anybody’s. Anytime’s. If you understand a person’s beliefs and their mythologies (cultural and personal) you are halfway to understanding the person

4. My mother with three children married my step-father with three children. To this day my mother hates Florence Henderson. Tho, if you read any of their auto-biographies it is pretty clear that not even the Brady Bunch was the Brady Bunch.

5. In my life professionally I have sold furniture, cleaned carpets, run convenience stores, run an Internet Service Provider, created webpages, trained and tutored people on how to use their computers, data-mined, read tarot cards and tea-leaves, owned and ran a used book and record store, ran workshops for self-advocates, facilitated life-planning meetings, foster-parented, and did community support work for people with disabilities.

6. I married Aaron in May of 1999. It was a Jewish Ceremony held in a Native American long house. A good deal of my family was in attendance.

7. Over the last 10 years Aaron and I have been foster parents to four kids, each with their own special needs. Niall, who is now an adult living on Vancouver Island, Mark, whom I home-schooled through 6th and part of 7th grade, who now lives in Vancouver, Terry, who also lives in Vancouver now who is still struggling quite a bit and his sister Amanda who is still with us who is graduating this year.

8. In 2002, Aaron and I became the proud parents of Zev Shane Ocean Johannes Rosenberg, then 3 now 10, a truly amazing kid.

9. I am a voracious reader and will enjoy reading just about anything. My current favorite writers are Neil Gaiman, Joseph Campbell, Christopher Rice, Spider Robinson, Susan Clarke, Michael Chabon and too many others.

10. I believe it is better to light a candle then to curse the darkness. One should make sure the candles are extinguished tho before going to sleep.

11. My family has 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 budgies and a brain-damaged rabbit named Luke Skyhopper.

12. At least 75% of the rumours about me are true 😉

13. Tho it is hopelessly stereotypical, I love theatre, particularly musicals. My favourites that i have seen recently are Spring Awakening and Little Shop of Horrors.

14. I love to sing tho I don’t do it well. Still I have an amazing memory for song lyrics.

15. I dabble at playing the guitar and keyboards.

16. I have been in every state in the lower 48 and hope to make it into Alaska and Hawaii.

17. I have pretty eclectic taste in music. These days about the only stuff I don’t enjoy listening to is Gangsta Rap and Death Metal and their variants tho could probably find music in both those categories that I respect.

18. Before we got married Aaron told me I would have to go camping outdoors at least once a year. I think he may even have written it into the marriage contract 🙂
And so I have. After 9 years, i am finally getting the hang of sleeping in at tent. Plus it is hard to resist when you camp next to the beaches out in nature and only in campgrounds that have showers and toilets 🙂

19. I have learned a lot from all four of my parents. From my father comes a sense that if i put my mind to it, I can achieve anything with hard work, brains and luck. Also most of the stranger aspects of my sense of humour come from my dad. From my mother, a sardonic quick wit and a sense of tact and when to use it and when not to. Also, I have learned how to make my kids know that I am there for them. From my step-father, a love of word play and a sense of tolerance. From my step-mother, I have the ability to fit into almost any social situation. That and much better posture 🙂

20. At 47 I have learned to accept responsibility for my own life. Was I raised perfectly. Hell no!!! Nobody ever showed my parents the manual on how to have a perfect family life. (Dang, nobody ever showed it to me either) At the same time, I have been an adult for over 25 years and have had responsibility for myself for more years than they have. i am the product of choices that I have made. The blame and credit falls on my shoulders. Life is too short to hold grudges or carry around childhood or teenage baggage.

21. Somewhere in the last several years, i have become someone I like to hang around with. That is a pretty amazing feeling.

22. As a family, our favourite television shows are Dr Who and its spinoffs (Torchwood and Sarah Jane Smith) adventures. British televeision in general rocks.

23. One of my favorite accomplishments of the past 10 years has been the workshops on Computer Safety for Self-Advocates that I have done. Being able to get up in front of a roomful of people and talk coherently for a few hours on one topic and hold their attention is never something that I thought I could do. Having it be fun and getting positive feedback from it has been amazing.

24. “If you can’t understand my silence, you will never understand my words.”

25.