The Leaves On The Stream

My Private Oasis

My Private Oasis

SEDONA, AZ—I watch the leaves—yellow and gold and red and brown—drift along the stream in the desert outside Sedona. Occasionally, a curved leaf falls upon the water and it slides up-current, blown by the wind, dodging in and out of the other oncoming leaves—its shape acting like a sail.

It’s beautiful and it’s pure and it’s mindless.

Sitting next to the stream, in my camp chair, in a private oasis that I stumbled upon by some miracle, I pull open my laptop and type this.

This morning, in Flagstaff, I sold off some DVDs (I buy them used, burn them to a hard drive, then sell them back). With a $16 store credit in hand, I went to the cashier to apply it to another DVD collection when the cashier said, “Oh! You get your purchase for free.” She explained that two people per month get a free purchase, purely at random and this was the first she’d experienced, so I smiled and I thanked her and I handed my $16 credit to the next customer I saw and she was surprised and grateful and amazed at my foolishness and I walked out the door and felt alive and blessed and I left Flagstaff behind me and I travelled south to warmer climes.

When I awoke this morning, I thought about how poorly NonAbusers was received and it angered me because I truly thought this idea could change society and I realized that all the problems in this world are caused by egos and apathy and the problems of NA are just a reflection of exactly that—people too afraid to join or people who just don’t care.

Then I looked out from camp at the forest and the squirrels and the crows all foraging for food and I hear in my head my mother’s voice repeating what she told me the other day when she said, “Don’t give up on them Wayne.”

When I think about the world’s problems, about NA’s problems, I just get frustrated. Only one in a hundred spiritual seekers—what should be the most moral people on the planet—only 1% felt brave enough to say publicly, “I won’t abuse you.”

The mind, the ego, the fears. No wonder the world’s going to hell. Maybe Mankind’s just not ready for peace. Maybe they’re not ready for Her.

“Don’t give up on them Wayne.”

But then I looked back at the still forest and I stepped out of my mind, and I pulled away the self-contraction and my boundaries disappeared and I expanded and the forest and the squirrels and the crows all arose and lived inside of me…

And I felt bliss.

And in this bliss, the rest of the day, like the leaves on the stream, flowed beautifully.

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16 thoughts on “The Leaves On The Stream

  1. Anger, frustration, fear: they’re just negative thoughts Wayne. Who needs ’em? NonAbusers.org just feels negative to me. How about LoveYourNeighborLikeCrazy.org? I’d be much more inclined to join that one. No disrespect intended, just saying.

    • Excellent Ernie. As I say on the site, use your own words for your vow as long as it stays in spirit with the theme. So make your vow something like “I vow to love everyone and treat them with respect.” Piece of cake.

        • I use it as a daily reminder. On the site it’s called Renewing your Vow.

          “I VOW NEVER TO ABUSE ANYONE. This means I will never intentionally harm, manipulate or deceive you. My name is Wayne Wirs and I am a NonAbuser.”

          I like to think about that each morning.

          I’d like to think if I were married, I’d be willing to renew my marriage vow every day.

  2. Dear Wayne,
    It’s great what you are doing…..but, don’t look for results. That’s what you call the ego wanting you to doubt that what you are about is having any success. Give all results to Her. Let Her decide what is successful in what you are doing. Don’t even give it a thought. It is successful whether or not you get any feed back that shows it because everything we do,think, or feel has an effect on the whole world. And there is not mission in life except to enjoy, grow and love yourself and Her. I struggle at times to keep my perspective in order….sometimes I’m on and sometimes I slip. I’m not saying you’ve slipped, only you could really know that, but I know how hard it is to not be brainwashed into thinking in a way that will later give me pain…..and we have alot of letting go to do. I thank you for all the really good stuff I’ve encountered because of you. Much love, Hawk Devi

  3. Hi Wayne. The idea of becoming a nonabuser is a nice concept, but what is infinitely more important, in my estimation is the idea of not allowing myself to be abused. All my life, I, like most any other person would let other people, things, or situations decide how I feel e.g.: You make me mad, You hurt my feelings etc. No, I made me mad, I hurt my feelings. When you grasp this truth you rip away the power of any one or any situation to harm you and place the power directly upon yourself. In school, I like many others suffered from the taunts of bullies. Imagine if I had been taught in school that the only way the words from a bully can harm me is if I allow it. How much suffering I could have avoided!

    While I have not taken a vow, I often affirm to my self, “No longer will I allow what others say about me, decide how I feel.” This goes for compliments to. Isn’t it bizarre that you can allow yourself to feel so good from a compliment? I think I want to feel good anyway, weather or not you say something nice. Same goes with a criticism.

    I’ve always understood this, but like most people I would continue to blame others for how I feel. One day a couple of months ago I decided to take a chance. I was in the comments section on a YouTube video, and I wanted to reply to a post, but was apprehensive, because as usual I feared someone wouldn’t like what I said and I wouldn’t be accepted. Then I thought to myself in one of the most liberating moments of my life, ” I will not allow words on computer monitor decide how I feel! That moment drastically changed my life. I was liberated! Of course I have a lot of conditioning to overcome, but that central thought sustains me when called upon.

    I fully agree with the idea of becoming a nonabuser, but how much more powerful would it be if one would understand that I decide how I feel, and it is not dependent on what you say to me. This is literally true you know. Vowing to become a nonabuser would be irrelevant. You can say I prefer that you are pleasant with me, but if your not, I will NOT allow what you say decide how I feel about you or myself. Remember what we were taught as children, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” I vow that I will no longer allow what any one says to me influence how I feel”

    • You are right that you shouldn’t allow others opinion of you to have effect on how you feel. That it nullifies their abuse towards you, along with compliments and other various things that can effect you.

      Not all make the choice that you describe and towards them you must be compassionate and kind. Since they allow others opinions to effect them your action effect them also.

      Both must be taken up I try to make the same decision as you but not always does it work i have some weak areas and i also choose to try and not abuse others. Others haven’t made the same choice I have and I must respect that and be nice.

  4. Success or failure – who can tell?
    But, I appreciated the ripples caused by the non-abuser idea.
    Who knows where they will go as they spread out…

  5. Wayne,

    I’m your average spiritual seeker. I’ve been one for over 40 years. I haven’t abused anyone (on purpose to my knowlelge) for decades. Maybe the reason NA is not the success you wish it to be is that, non-abuse is a behavior almost all spiritual types adhere to from the very beginning of the quest. In fact, decent people, spiritual or not, just don’t abuse others. The idea that you are asking seekers to stop abusing, is like asking a group of trappist monks to stop having sex with goats.

    Maybe you should be asking pimps, drug dealers and politians, they would be the population that, in fact, engage in abusive behavior in the first place.

    Maybe the seekers you are irritated at are a smidge insulted that you assumed they were abusive in the first place.

    Just a thought.

    • Take a look at those who took the Vow. I see people who care about others, who see their spirituality as something far greater than their fears. I admire each and every one of the NonAbusers—and I’m greatful to them.

      They are willing to risk exposure to demonstrate their beliefs (walk it) rather than just anonymously talk about it. People who actually live, and thus act as an example of their beliefs, are our only hope for this world.

      Sadly and obviously my opinion is of the minority.

      • I believe you are right it does open the opportunity to walk what you talk over the internet.

        I also believe a lot of “spiritual seekers” are just egos theorising and thinking they are “spiritual seekers” because they sit and think periodically. Would a philosopher not be a better name for their ego to call themselves? A spiritual philosopher but not on any academic course?

        “because they sit and think periodically” – that is what i believe is the starting point to seeking. Seeking is taking a step forward from that and exploring.

        This comment could be interpreted as targeting people on wayne’s blog but I assure you it is not meant to be. If you take it as targeting you it is not but maybe you could dwell on it a little.

        Yahwah Bless Amen.

  6. Dear Wayne,

    I try to engage the world fearlessly and compassionately, but I want to preserve a ‘readiness to fight’. I usually meet kindness, even when I go to ‘shady’ places, but still… there are idiots in the world. Just look at ISIS. (And yes, they are part of TaoGodHer, but so are their victims.)

    I feel these sentiments conflict with a non-abuse vow. Or am I misunderstanding you?

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