A Night in the Casino

Street Light In a Parking Lot

Street Light In a Parking Lot

SANDIA CASINO, ALBUQUERQUE, NM—I stood in the casino and opened. It was busy, a Friday night, and all the tables were filled and the noise was loud and the slot machines were spinning with nonstop activity.

I leaned against the wall and sipped my drink and surrendered and opened and wished everyone luck and within seconds, a young woman came up to me and started to flirt but soon relaxed and moved past her intentions and told me of her upcoming settlement from a car accident and She spoke through this ‘me’ and told her not to squander it but use it to pursue her dream… the dream she’s always had since she was a little girl, the meaning of her life, and she looked at me and hugged me and smiled with a tear in her eye and gratitude on her face and suddenly hurried away in embarrassment.

Moments later a huge man walked up, towering over me and asked if I was a preacher. He said there was a light around me and that he liked my look, the flip flops and tee-shirt and jeans. He was mentally slow, but happy and he said he could see angels and he was drawn to me. He was very proud of his Saint Christopher’s medal, but I touched the peace symbol he also wore and pointed out that normally it is surrounded by a circle but his was encased in a heart and I/She/We looked him in the eye and made sure he was listening and said that peace always comes from the heart and never from the head and that he was very lucky in this way—far luckier than most.

I/She/We then pointed to the room filled with people placing chips and spinning slots and said each of these people has the Light within them also, but like a flower that has yet to bloom, their minds block this Light, and unlike you and I who know the Truth that the Light shines from the heart and not the head and he was silent a moment and then a glow came to his face and he smiled and grasped me in a huge hug and tears came to my eyes because I was so happy and grateful to have been there when She touched such a gentle soul.

 

The Shadow and the Light

Shoe Print

PERCHA DAM SP, NM—I had been working hard during the last few days, coding a complex and challenging project, but that was completed and uploaded and closed, so I sat on my doorstep and pushed away this Wayne-thing and expanded into the night.

It was a dark night, the moon still below the horizon, the stars bright. To my right, I sensed a movement—a large shadow within a shadow. My mind tried to interfere, to present its noisy theories and fears and explanations, but I pushed it away and I opened and expanded and watched.

The shadow moved forward, silently, aware of me—as I was aware of it.

It crept closer, stepping onto my ground mat, and because of the darkness and the angle and the mat, its body merged with the blackness and it became invisible.

My body started to contract in reaction, and my mind wanted to shout and grab a flashlight and find out what this creature was, but I pushed those thoughts away, took a deep breath and relaxed and expanded and opened.

In the darkness, I heard the creature take another step forward, pausing, listening. Then the sound of sniffing and I felt its breath on my hand. Seconds later, a gentle tickle, and its tongue licked my skin and my eyes dimly made out the faint image of a deer’s head.

I reached out and touch him, and stroked him and scratched behind his ears. I could feel two stubs upon his crown, future antlers, not yet having broken the skin.

My mind presented two theories, one that he was used to people and looking for handouts, the other that, like the birds just prior to the Illumination, he sensed something different in me—the openness, the lack of malice. The Connection.

What the mind says and theorizes and believes is irrelevant to me though. I heard its theories and I pushed them away.

As I sat there in the darkness, petting the deer’s dry fur, I felt the smile on my face and I was so grateful to Her for bringing me this gift, so in awe of the Beauty manifest—of the Light brought to life.

Re-Formatting

Monica

PERCHA DAM SP, NM—I’ve practically decided not to pursue the Chinook, though I still waiver as it seems like a good deal and it is in my price range and they are pretty rare (dammit). Ask me again in an hour. Fellow nomad Boonie posted an alternate viewpoint on downsizing after an exchange of emails.

I’ve spent the last two days working on getting Fading Toward Enlightenment formatted for Amazon. Still some quirks, but I’ll figure them out, I’m pretty good with computers.

Putting the book together (again) was kind of like reading an old diary, plus each photo took me back to the locations where I shot them and all the memories surrounding them. Very pleasant. Tiring work, but pleasant.

The above photo—the last in the book—is of my friend Monica. She says she hates that photo, but I think she’s lying.

The Day

The Eagle Awaits

CABALLO LAKE SP, NM—Just before dawn, three owls—as they do every morning—hoot into the darkness, calling the family to gather and nest and settle in to sleep for the coming day.

Soon, a small group of mallards arrive and float and bob on the calm water, ducking there heads below the surface as they feed on the plants and algae and minnows.

Two crows effortlessly fly straight into the wind, alternately using gravity and lift to propel them along.

Across the river, a lone bald eagle sits upon the cliff, still and silent, as he waits patiently for lunch to appear below.

In the afternoon, the small, skittish birds return to feed upon the dry grass outside my window, fleeing to the thorny brush when they sense danger—slowly hopping back out into the open only when they feel safe.

As the sun sets and the sky turns a deep, dark blue, a large flock of cranes fly high overhead in a sinuous V-formation, honking and calling as they return to their evening roost.

Twilight descends and, among the rocks in the cliffs, the owls awaken and the cycle starts anew—just as it has done every evening for the last hundred thousand years.

I’m here and then I’m gone and I stare up at the stars with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart as I contemplate the beauty of this moment in Eternity and I feel both insignificant and special all at once.

Beautiful Creatures

What the Creature Saw

CABALLO LAKE SP, NM—Sitting at my desk, reading, I caught a glimpse through the window of a large dark animal—ten, twelve feet across—leaping into the brush.

In a split second, my eyes focused on this magnificent beast and I watched as my mind categorized it, identified it, and then stilled in appreciation.

I sat there at my desk, watching out the window as this beautiful creature huddled in the brush, still and silent, staring at me… staring at him. Gradually—timidly—it would creep forth into the grass and resume feeding.

Some unknown noise or movement would startle it, and it would leap again for the safety of the brush, where it would sit—silent and watchful—until it felt it was safe to return to its meal.

This wonderful animal, so hungry, so large, yet so afraid.

Over and over the cycle continued. Feed, flee, watch, wait, creep forth.

I watched this beautiful creature for a full half-hour, it was so magnificent and mysterious.

A flock of birds, feeding in the grass.

Feeling Distant

A Coven of Bare Trees

CABALLO LAKE SP, NM—From my journal:

Date: February 20, 2013 2:36 PM 

Feeling Distant

I’ve been busy lately. It’s so hard to feel Her presence when the mind is pre-occupied. I feel sorry for those who haven’t learned this yet.

Work has been taking up my mornings, and the building of a cabinet to fill the space next to my easy chair (which replaced my sofa) has taken up my afternoons.

Feeling distant from Her—feeling disconnected—I went for a walk. I came to a locked gate and hopped the fence and strolled across a barren field where chile flourished just a few months ago. Now nothing grew at all. A field of turned, brown and dusty soil.

Across a dry ditch, decaying in the desert brush, stood an old deserted house.

Two empty rooms. The raised wood floor rotting. The walls covered with spray-painted pornography. The artist, quite talented. His style reminiscent of Picasso.

On the roof, a piece of sheet metal banged in cadence with the wind.

Searching around the crumbling walls, the only footprints found in the dirt were my own.

Yoga Tube

The Steam and the Coffee and the Morning Light

LEASBURG DAM SP, NM—From my journal

Date: February 12, 2013 7:16 AM 

Yoga Tube

After a long 5am introspection, I got out of bed to do my yoga (I alternate between exercise days (25 pushups, crunches, and squats) and yoga days (5 sun salutations)).

Today, as I stood in the first pose (standing straight, hands in a child’s prayer position), I suddenly found myself doing the “tube meditation” which was a part of my “staying in Oneness” meditation that I used during my awakening, but standing rather than sitting. (Edit for readers: The “Earth Phase” of this meditation.)

I stood there, and with each inhalation, I imagined an air bubble rising up from the ground, through the feet, up the spine, and cresting at the top of my head. On exhale, the bubble would burst above my crown.

I did this for a few minutes—not just visualizing it, but feeling it. It was physically affecting my body as my stance would become more stable with each inhalation (your feet are butted together, making this stance a bit unstable).

I then did a single, slow sun salutation.

Moments later, as I poured hot water over my mornings coffee’ grounds, the sunlight streamed in the window and caught the steam gently swirling in a beautiful dance, only to disappear and unite with the air and I thought,

“That is how I feel right at this moment… both separate and one with the world—a living, breathing being somehow living in both worlds simultaneously.”

I’m going to have to practice that stance/meditation more often.

What Would She Do?

Sluice Wheel Over A Dry Riverbed

LEASBURG DAM SP, NM—How do you bring your mystic vision into the real world? How do you practice nonduality at work? How is a sage supposed to operate in a business environment?

When dealing with others, when operating in their “real world,” I try to open up to the Radiant Level and then ask myself, “What does She want me to do?”

From my journal…

Date: January 31, 2013 4:37 PM 

Why Try?

Jim wants to do a phone app for SO, but I’m convinced it is a mistake (logic, gut feeling, Her). I think using a browser and a web version is the smarter and safer way to go but he seems to be sold on the idea.

From a logical perspective, why should I care? Work is work, I get paid the same rate either way.

But still, I told him what I know and (more importantly (at least to me)) what I feel. I probably pushed my opinion farther than I should, but now I’m OK releasing it.

My path is the path of least resistance, which is the path of Taoism, which of course is also Her path.

#She

Flying and Perspectives

ROCK HOUND SP, NM

Date: January 25, 2013 4:28 PM 

Flying and Perspectives

Jeff (my brother) ended up buying the airplane and landed it here in Deming yesterday afternoon. This morning we went for a brief flight before he headed back to the skies and down to FL.

We flew over the park and around the mountains that surround my camp and I was struck by how different everything looks from up here.

Driving back to my rig, I was once again struck by how different this “car view” was from the aerial view, and, on my hike, how different the “walking view” is from the other two.

All three views of the same place. All with their own unique beauty.

This reminded me of the unique beauty of each of the four levels:

  • Emptiness with its vastness and unity
  • Radiance with its flowing love and light
  • Soul with its appreciation of the fleeting temporary
  • Mortal with its many desires

All seeing the same world, yet all seeing it so vastly different.

Each view with their own different perspectives of Beauty.

No Connection, Only Connection

ROCK HOUND SP, NM

Date: January 23, 2013 9:04 AM 

No Connection, Only Connection

My MiFi card wasn’t connecting, so I went for a walk after breakfast. I crested a hill and the low morning sun lit up a barbed wire fence. Off in the distance, the dust plume of a car, speeding down a dirt road, rose gracefully in the air as the driver hurried to his destination.

I’d catch my mind, filled with concern for my parents and sister back in FL, and I let all that noise go, having decided—with Mom’s consul yesterday—to hold off on returning to FL to “fix” things.

As the thoughts faded, I’d open my heart and share this world with Her, opening to allow Her to see all Her Beauty. We’d hear our footsteps and feel the connection of this body with the Earth and smile as a bevy of quail rushed through the underbrush. We listened to the sound of our breathing as we climbed a rise and, on approaching the end of the path, watched as a column of fence posts came into alignment then shifted apart as our perspective changed.

We reached the main road and walked down the center line and up the hill, back to camp. I let Her go then and stepped through the door, sat down at this laptop and wrote these words.