Saturday, May 31, 2008

Your Lovable Lunacy

¡Hola! Everybody,
Great days here in NYC. Nothing like spring in NYC. I just realized another birthday will creep up. Next Friday, I'll hit 53!


Today there’s a free, all-day Latin festival at the Seaport. If it doesn’t rain, I’ll be there. Hope everyone is well…

-=[ Nows, no. 10 ]=-

Thank God you’re a psycho, woman!

I prostrate myself before
all your frenzies.

I consecrate those hysterical moments
you award me,
because they
certify you.

They are the
of your eccentricity
that allows my own doubtful sanity
ride the shifting line
on the back of your
lovable lunacy.

8/25/03 ©

* * *



Friday, May 30, 2008

[un]Common Sex Blog [Opening in Sex]

¡Hola! Everybody,
Unfortunately, I got some bad personal news last night as I was returning home. Today, I will be busy attending to that issue. I do hope you all have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to continuing my decorating projects and making this space my home. Last week, I was reading in my space in the backyard and what a pleasure that was. There are wild roses springing up everywhere!

Sex and the City opens here this weekend and I’m sure all my girl friends will be flocking to see it. I hated the series. Lemme see: professional, supposedly “independent,” successful, and highly educated women who nonetheless still measure their lives by the men they have/ don’t have? BLAH! I believe the film will be wildly successful because 1) A film (written and directed by a man) on relationships is catnip for women, 2) You can’t beat NYC as a supporting character, and 3) shoes.

* * *

-=[ Opening in Sex ]=-

[Note: Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know some of you are sick and tired of me writing about “opening your heart.” Yet, the fact remains that so many of you constantly complain about your man/ woman not opening, or your inability to find someone to “open up.” What I find is that what many women call “opening up” is not really about opening up, but rather me conforming to what they perceive as opening up.

Two different things.

The latter is about control, not opening up in a mutually honest and respectful manner. My other observation is that even if I were to conform to a woman’s idea of opening up, she will eventually lose respect for me, because her concept of opening up is fundamentally flawed.]

Below is one way to practice opening up and living your life as a gift of opening and giving…

I fucked up and said something stupid that hurt her emotionally. I apologized and tried talking to her, but it made no difference. So there we were in bed, together and at the same time miles apart, emotionally. She was hiding behind an icy wall of protection, her body, tense, unmoving. Her face is a frozen reflection of tension, anger, and hurt.

I love her. So I tenderly touch her with my hand. No response. I take her hand in mine and I softly caress her cheek, run my hand over her shoulder and lightly caress and massage her. I try to give her as much love as I can. And she relaxes just a little. I touch her, caress her, I try to feel her emotions and responses. After a while, she turns and faces me, and with a sad smile, she pulls me closer.

I roll on top of her, pinning her beneath me. I am relaxed, my belly soft against hers, my breath full and deep. All the while, I am looking into her eyes, trying to give her love through my eyes, my stomach, my body, my breath.

She closes down again, my actions perhaps violating her momentary battle lines/ boundaries. I am not forcing myself, I’m persisting as love. I’m slowly, softly pressing my love into her, my warmth penetrating her skin reaching her heart.

She begins to respond, opening more. I can feel her belly softening as I sin more deeply into her. As her tension releases, tears well in her eyes and roll down her cheeks. I kiss her tears and she holds me tightly against her. From the depths of my heart I feel her, as if my heart could find her in the depths of the ocean of her very being.

Her opening is so inviting, so pure and so attractive. I sink more deeply into her and it is then I feel the tension around my own heart. It is the tension of being in charge, of still trying to serve her instead of being in loving communion with her. So I relax the subtle tension in my heart and stop trying to “fix” her or myself and with that, I begin to do away with the obstruction to our pure loving. Her guard is down, her hear open and mine follows. There is no me to help, no her to save and I find we are completely surrendered to an open, unguarded unfolding of love.

We can learn to have sex (yes, I said have sex, not make love) with a completely vulnerable and open heart. Actually, it’s probably one of the most powerful ways to open. Of course, many women will say that they can’t do that with just anyone and that’s mostly because they can’t open up.


And it’s not just women, it’s men too, but I mention women specifically because there’s this whole stereotype of the innate receptiveness of women. Women are just as, if not more, closed than men.

If you’re worried about being hurt, you’re closed. No one can hurt you if you don’t allow them to, it’s that simple.

Whatever… I digress.

We can learn to have completely open sex, but the heart may be closed. So it follows that you can use sexual practice as a way for opening the heart and dismantling its defenses.

There are two types of heart closure. One is long-term closure. If you have lived for years with a closed and protected heart, it will takes months of practice to untie the knots of fear and tension that have become stored in your body. (squeak! LOL)

The other form of closure is short term and acute – intense. Something happens – your partner says something to hurt you as in the example above – and you close down. You’ve been hurt and you don’t want to hurt anymore. And you’re certainly in no mood to fuck (“give love”). So you guard your heart to protect yourself and withhold love to hurt back.

Both of these closures can be dissolved through sexual practice. You can actually use sex to melt away the frozen tundra of your heart. You can use the heat of sex to melt away the rigid (and false) protection of fear. You can use the love of sex to become receptive to your partner, inviting him or her to abandon their battle lines. You can use the humor of sex to bring laughter into every wounded inch.

All kinds of emotions may rise to the top through this process. In unguarding your heart, the stress that was being used to maintain the barricade is released and emotional expressions of rage, laughter, tears, striking out, and unadulterated hate come out. And that’s how it should be. You’re releasing toxins from your mind/ body so take precautions in order to ensure a safe environment, but expect long-repressed emotions to boil off as the walls of your heart melt away.

And trauma and hurt is not excuse: no matter how hurt to the core, you must eventually learn to practice loving with an unguarded heart if you’re to throw away the emotional crutches.

The other option is to continue guarding your heart by closing down and separating from the one you love (or could love). Sometimes we’re not ready and it’s necessary to guard. You may feel you will lose yourself if you open into your partner. And this is fuckin’ true! With practice, you will lose yourself – into love.

Into shredded, pure, unadulterated love.



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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Relationship Thursdays [The Wounded Heart]

¡Hola! Everybody,
I’m gone all day, as is usual for me on Thursdays. Hope everyone is doing well, AmyRae: get a miniskirt and we’ll date. LOL! Latina: open up your fuckin QCs, dammit. I don’t care if Joe “Kneckbone” Loser is the jealous type. Emily? When the fuck are you coming back?!!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a repost but 90% of you ma’fuccas don’t read my shit anyway, so it’s new. LOL

* * *

-=[ Why I Love Fragmented People ]=-
(or: The Wounded Heart)

“The heart is itself its own medicine. The heart all its own wounds heals.”
-- Hazrat Inayat Khan

You are loved… period.

Just as you are, right now, this very moment, you are perfectly lovable.

In fact, you are love itself.

When I exhort you not to complain, I’m actually trying to focus your attention on that which you are most committed to. Make a list of your major complaints over the span of several days and in that list you will find a pattern composed of what you are most committed to in life.

Some people mistake my issue with complaints. Most people assume I’m asking them to disassociate from their complaints and that is exactly what I’m trying to tell you not to do. What I am asking is that you look deep into your complaints, maybe even stop the habit of complaining for one fucking day.

One fuckin’ day!

Dissociation, like all other defense mechanisms, serves an important function. It’s our mind’s way of saying no to and turning away from our pain, our need for love, and our anger about not getting enough of it. It’s also a way of turning away from our body, where feelings reside. Sometimes, especially as children, we need to disassociate in order to protect our psyches. It is one of the most effective of all defense strategies in a child’s arsenal.

However, it has a major drawback: it shuts us off from access to two main areas of our body. It shuts us off from the vital center in the belly – the source of desire, Eros, vital power, and instinctual understanding – and it shuts us off from our heart center – where we respond to love and feel things most deeply.

In protecting ourselves from the feeling of being unloved, we block the passages through which love flows through the body and we deprive ourselves of the very sustenance needed for our life to flourish. We wind up cutting ourselves off to our connection to life itself.

This leaves us in a strange place – a painful space. On the one hand, we all hunger for love – we cannot help that, it’s how we’re wired as mammals. At the same time, however, we also avoid it and refuse to open to it because we don’t trust in it. We all have been burned too many times and we seem determined it won't happen again!

This is what one some psychologists call the wound of the heart, or the primal wound. This whole pattern – not knowing we’re loved as we are, then numbing our heart to ward off the pain and in the process shutting down the pathways through which love can flow – this is the wound of the heart. Although this wound has some of its origin in our childhood conditioning, it becomes fixated and grows into a larger spiritual problem: the disconnect from the loving openness that is our true nature.

It’s a universal wound that shows up in the body as emptiness, anxiety, trauma, or depression. In relationships, it manifests itself as the feeling being unloved, with all the insecurity, guardedness, mistrust, and resentment that feeling entails, as well as all the relationship problems that flow from there.

No matter how powerfully we fall in love with someone, we rarely dare to soar above our fear and distrust for very long. It seems that we’ve internalized the story of Daedalus, who perished when he flew too close to the sun and his wings melted. Indeed, the more brightly another person lights us up, the more it activates our wound and brings it to the foreground. Sure enough, as soon as conflict and disappointment arise, the old insecurities emerge from the darkness. Our ego -- what I call the The Mini Me -- pops up whispering, “You see, you’re not really loved at all!”

I believe all the beauty and horrors of the world originate from the same root: the presence or absence of love. Internalizing the feeling of not being loved (or lovable) is the only wound there is. It makes emotional cripples of us, shriveling us in the process. This is why I would say that, apart from the few biochemical imbalances and neurological disorders, the DSM (the diagnostic manual for psychological afflictions) should begin thus:

Contained within these pages are descriptions of all the miserable ways people feel and behave when they do not feel they are loved.

When people do not know they are loved, a cold black hole forms in the psyche, where the beliefs of personal insignificance, unimportance, lack of beauty and goodness have their root. This icy landscape of fear is what causes the emotional storms that rage within us and in our relationships.

The only way we can wipe out this cross-generational plague of feeling unloved is by healing the wound of the heart. Many religions and spiritual traditions have understood the importance of love in eradicating alienation from love. They admonish us to love more, to give more generously. The way to love, they seem to say, is to love first. This truth is, of course, profound, but there is another truth just as profound: we cannot give what we cannot receive.

I think it was in an Y360 blast where I first saw it, but the quote from the poet Rilke is eye opening here: “To love is to cast light,” he writes, while “to be loved means to be ablaze.” The question begging to be asked here is how can we cast light if we are not ablaze? It follows then that the key to loving is to become more receptive to being loved, to let it all in. Even if we believe that God is love, such a belief will have little effect if we are shut down or obstructed, preventing Great love from flowing freely.

Maybe what we need is a teaching that helps us focus on our capacity to receive love and how to develop that capacity. Perhaps such a teaching would integrate a psychology as well as a spiritual component. Conceivably such a teaching would include concrete, practical exercises aimed at developing our capacity to accept love. Because I know this much, it is often scarier to allow ourselves to be loved than it is to love.

May you find, through knowing that you are held in love, the boundless source of joy within yourself and share it with the world around us. My hope is that you realize your true nature as a blissful, radiant love, and that you are truly loved.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Your Horrorscope

¡Hola! Everybody,
I found someo0ne with plastering skills who won’t charge me my left nut (no, it’s not Frankie, she would charge more *grin*). I’m hoping he can do it before the weekend so that I can finish the entryway and love on to the living room.

Today’s post is in recognition of all you ADHD ma’fuccas with challenged attention spans (unless they’re reading the convoluted instructions for that new, 4-D-Cell gleaming Panasonic dildo).

* * *

Your Horrible-scope


Create a new bedtime story for someone you love and imagine you have a guardian angel that looks like me. Teach your pet to dance. Recreate your life-story using hand or sock puppets and some five-year-old as your director. Make believe you’re an ancient Thunder King or Woman-Warrior Queen. Go to the mall and sing New York, New York at the top of your lungs while scratching your genitals. Be sure to watch Sex and the City with your third eye. Drink holy water blessed by a really smart teen-aged girl. Always remember that you are The Chosen One (and so is everyone else).



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Frozen Thinking

Hola Everybody!
So, I have run into a problem with my apartment-decorating project. The ceiling in my entryway is a lot worse than I initially thought. I’m almost afraid of knocking off the loose plaster because it will entail extensive plastering and I’m not very good at that...

I might have to hire someone with plastering skills. My landlord is open to the idea, so I will be compensated. Still, it sucks having to stop painting. I guess I’ll move on to more prep work in the apartment. My plan was to paint the living room next...

Repost! but I don't too many people have read this one.

* * *

Frozen Thinking
“Convictions make convicts.”
-- Robert Anton Wilson

I came across this quote and I had to laugh for several reasons. One is the simple but elegant truth of the words, another because I am a former “convict.” I like what the great French writer, Camus, said about convictions -- something about not dying for them because he might be wrong. LOL!

I am struck by the sense I get from both quotes: that rigid thinking, or adhering to rigidly held beliefs choke creativity. Oh yeah, did I mention I am obsessing about creativity? One common theme I hear coming up constantly is people’s need for more creativity.

Especially in the realm of work and relationships.

I hear it from people all the time: how they wished they could work at jobs where creativity is valued. The thing is this: creativity is a choice that can be taken anywhere at anytime under any circumstances. If I were to allow it (and sometimes I do), my work could quickly dry up into a dry set of rituals of paperwork and referrals.

Anyway, I wrote about the “enlightened” or open heart recently. Today I am reflecting on the opened mind. I would say, and I think it would be correct, that when people think of the creative mind, they think of a mind full of ideas and brilliant new insights. My own experience tells me the creative mind is both full and empty. It is able to create within itself a space for the new to arise. A creative mindset is constantly opening itself to the internal and external world.

My experience of the opened mind is that it can be relaxed and playful. It is filled with curiosity and wonder. The opened mind has a childlike quality about it. It loves to go off the beaten track, to explore paths not taken by social convention.

Playfulness is important. The opened mind likes to play with an idea or object, and enjoys looking at it as if for the first time. Try this one day: take a walk around your neighborhood and pretend you are a tourist. How does your perception of the mundane and “normal” things you see on an everyday basis change when you do this?

The opposite of that playful quality is what I call frozen thinking. Frozen thinking is what you get when you no longer think of possibilities:

“This place sucks.”

”My life would’ve been so much better without you.”

“I’ll never succeed in this shit job.”

Frozen thinking deals in absolutes, there are no possibilities in frozen thinking -- everything is preordained. Whenever someone begins a sentence with, You never... , or You always... you can be sure you’re in the presence of frozen thinking. In short, frozen thinking is the result of all our assumptions and beliefs about others and ourselves.

The open mind remains open to the possibility that we may not know everything there is to know -- and what we do know may be wrong. It challenges assumptions, makes new connections, finds new ways of perceiving the world. The opened mind can wander joyfully into areas others do not take seriously, and return with creations that must be approached in all seriousness.

Some of the most creative minds of all time have allowed themselves to drift into dreams states and extended meditations during which they have played with the irrational, the symbolic, the metaphorical, and the mysterious. Often they have returned with images that they translate into theories, compositions, and actions.

I would like to point out that people often mistake obsessive thinking with creativity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Creativity entails dropping the mental masturbation.not thinking (in the conventional sense). There’s a lot of letting go in the creative process -- a lot of “emptying out.” Creativity is about

This is a scary journey into the unfamiliar for me, personally. There are times some discoveries are so strange (LOL!) that I want to cover them back up and run. Whether exploring the depths of the human soul or the depths of matter, artists, mystics, scientists, and ordinary folks like you and I, come face to face with chaos and disorder. Still, the opened mind thrives on difference and remains open to the contradictory.



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Monday, May 26, 2008

Whom Shall we Honor?

Hola Everybody!
Getting political today...

[Note: According to a new study, this time by British polling organization ORB, there have been 1.2 million violent deaths in a Iraq as a result of the US invasion and occupation. So here’s a question for you: If it were your family, your friends, your people what do you think an appropriate response would be? What would you sacrifice? What would you do? Uh-Huh... I thought so.]

I watch Bush the Idiot talk about freedom and I want to retch. Bush never fought as a soldier. In fact, he defended Alabama from the Viet Cong (thanks to dad) during Vietnam and was actually was AWOL for a couple of years.

I also detest the mindless patriotism that goes along with Memorial Day. Patriotism in its highest form is to challenge our so-called leaders and to hold them accountable so that senseless wars that benefit the rich, like the one being fought today, become a thing of the past. Today, I’ll leave my blog for a veteran I admire greatly… I agree that all politicians should shut the fuck up on this sacred day.

Published on June 2, 1976 in the Boston Globe (from the Zinn Reader)

Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?
by Howard Zinn

Memorial Day will be celebrated ... by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.

In 1974, I was invited by Tom Winship, the editor of the Boston Globe, who had been bold enough in 1971 to print part of the top-secret Pentagon Papers on the history of the Vietnam War, to write a bi-weekly column for the op-ed page of the newspaper. I did that for about a year and a half. The column below appeared June 2, 1976, in connection with that year's Memorial Day. After it appeared, my column was canceled.

* * * * *

Memorial Day will be celebrated as usual, by high-speed collisions of automobiles and bodies strewn on highways and the sound of ambulance sirens throughout the land.

It will also be celebrated by the display of flags, the sound of bugles and drums, by parades and speeches and unthinking applause.

It will be celebrated by giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President.

There was a young woman in New Hampshire who refused to allow her husband, killed in Vietnam, to be given a military burial. She rejected the hollow ceremony ordered by those who sent him and 50,000 others to their deaths. Her courage should be cherished on Memorial Day. There were the B52 pilots who refused to fly those last vicious raids of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s war. Have any of the great universities, so quick to give honorary degrees to God-knows-whom, thought to honor those men at this Commencement time, on this Memorial Day?

No politician who voted funds for war, no business contractor for the military, no general who ordered young men into battle, no FBI man who spied on anti-war activities, should be invited to public ceremonies on this sacred day. Let the dead of past wars he honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.

“The shell had his number on it. The blood ran into the ground...Where his chest ought to have been they pinned the Congressional Medal, the DSC, the Medaille Militaire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Italian gold medal, The Vitutea Militara sent by Queen Marie of Rumania. All the Washingtonians brought flowers... Woodrow Wilson brought a bouquet of poppies.”

Those are the concluding lines of John Dos Passos angry novel, 1919. Let us honor him on Memorial Day.

And also Thoreau, who went to jail to protest the Mexican War.

And Mark Twain, who denounced our war against the Filipinos at the turn of the century.

And I.F. Stone, who virtually alone among newspaper editors exposed the fraud and brutality of the Korean War.

Let us honor Martin Luther King, who refused the enticements of the White House, and the cautions of associates, and thundered against the war in Vietnam.

Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us, that waste our resources and threaten our children and grandchildren.

On Memorial Day we should take note that, in the name of “defense,” our taxes have been used to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a helicopter assault ship called “the biggest floating lemon,” which was accepted by the Navy although it had over 2,000 major defects at the time of its trial cruise.

Meanwhile, there is such a shortage of housing that millions live in dilapidated sections of our cities and millions more are forced to pay high rents or high interest rates on their mortgages. There’s 90 billion for the B1 bomber, but people don’t have money to pay hospital bills.

We must be practical, say those whose practicality has consisted of a war every generation. We mustn’t deplete our defenses. Say those who have depleted our youth, stolen our resources. In the end, it is living people, not corpses, creative energy, not destructive rage, which are our only real defense, not just against other governments trying to kill us, but against our own, also trying to kill us.

Let us not set out, this Memorial Day, on the same old drunken ride to death.

* * *


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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Sermon [Speech]

¡Hola! Everybody,
I’ve been soooo lazy this weekend. I’ve barely done anything in the apartment. The weather is nice; I’ve been spending most of my time out and about. Today, I’ll go out again, but I’m going to do some stuff once I get back…

Today’s blog song, from Roberta Flack’s second album (Chapter Two, produced by Deodato) is the story of a reverend who meets his comeuppance… LOL Take a listen, it’s Roberta at her best.

* * *

-=[ Speech ]=-

Most people know I’m a public speaker as part of my job. I’ve been doing this for many years and I think I’ve gotten good at it. Communication is an art and one must work at speaking as you would any art. For example, a musician never stops practicing with his instrument. I knew a trombonist who still practiced 4-7 hours day even after having played for more than twenty years.

It’s the same with everything else we do. It doesn’t matter if it’s speaking, sexing, playing a sport – practice is the essence of skillful living.

“Hello, how are you?”

This sentence can be said in any number of ways. It can be said in anger, sweetness, sexiness, hatefulness, or flirtatiously.

You choose the energy with which you speak, that quality pervading the performance of your life experience. The people you touch with your speech resonate with the energy you offer. To continue the musical analogy, you should strive to choose the energy of your speech like a musician selects a song from his or her repertoire.

Awareness and knowledge comes with a responsibility. It’s not enough to mouth the truth. Anyone can point out the obvious or not so obvious. There is no art in that and it serves no purpose except but to feed your ego. In order for you to be able to embody the truth of your experience, you have to be responsible for your posture, your inflection, the manner in which you breathe, your thoughts, and your speech. If you have the art, if you’re a practitioner, then your speech serves to open those who come into your life.

If you can allow your awareness spread through space, reverberating through the bodies of others, everyone feels it.

How much responsibility are you willing to take on? The world, like an audience at a concert, awaits your answer.



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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Fog and a Bridge

¡Hola! Everybody,
All weekend The City is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Bridge is one of the most recognized icons of “American” culture. I think there’s a documentary, The Brooklyn Bridge in film, showing free here this weekend. And how can one not notice the Brooklyn Bridge? It’s in a million movies and then there’s that famous picture of the Bridge showing its Gothic arches framed by that intoxicating web of cables.

I love that bridge…

I love a misty night and walking leisurely with a lover, kissing her passionately in the middle of that span with the lights of the city as our backdrop. I don’t think there’s a more romantic setting. I know women who remember that moment though the years have passed. And each and every time it’s special – it’s a moment that can never be duplicated… Try it one day. Well, not necessarily with me (), but with someone for whom you have an attraction… it’s magical.

* * *

Prelude to a Kiss

Closing my eyes,
seeing you,
picturing your moonlit face,
barely perceptible down on your face.

Lifting my finger to that
dust of hair on your cheek,
ruffling it against the grain of the light
until it’s a milky powder.

Bringing my face to yours,
our mouths aligning,
but not yet kissing.

Somehow staving off
the gnawing hunger.

Our lips grazing, adjusting,
making the slightest calibrations
of angle and shape
as if we were whispering
into each other’s breaths.

Both of us straining
against a raging fire of desire
to make our first kiss,
a kiss I know I have been waiting for
for a long time,
to make it as close
to perfect as possible...

and it was...

© 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What it's All About...

¡Hola! Everybody,
I’m in a hurry, on my way to prison all day. I haven’t written about it, but the civilians at the women’s prison where I run a weekly workshop have been giving me a hard time. It seems they feel that I’m getting too much shine and exposing their incompetence and apathy for what it is. It’s a shame, becaus
e I can’t continue to justify spending my organization’s resources if I can’t even get into the prison.

For weeks I show up and my security clearance, which is supposed to be handled by the idiot who runs the prison side of the program, isn’t there and I’m not able to get into the prison.

Last week, he tried to say I don’t show up, but I have a paper trail showing otherwise. I blew him up in front the Big Dawg. He shouldn’t have messed with me. It’s about the women and unfortunately they’re the ones that get the short end of the stick. I will most likely do a workshop at a state-run women’s facility where I know the director of programs.

Why is it that the most incompetent boot lickers seem to get the important positions?

I’m tired today and I can’t seem to get into a writing groove. For those that meditate, this is what it’s all about…for too many people, meditation is just another way to reinforce that incessant thinking. It's a madness, I tell you!

* * *

Dependent Origination
“The fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of the fear of letting go.”

This is the doctrine at the heart Buddhism. You see, my dear reader, it goes this way: you are a rag-tag collection of coincidences held together by a desperate and irrational clinging.

There is no center – no center at all.

Everything depends on everything else, your body depends on the ecology, your thoughts depend on whatever conditioned debris floats in from the media, your emotions are mostly from the reptilian end of your DNA.

Your intellect, dear reader, is chemical computer that can’t add up a zillionth as fast as a pocket calculator. Even your best side is a superficial piece of social conditioning that will fall apart as soon as the object of your affection leaves, or the economy fails and you get the sack, or you get conscripted into some village idiot’s war, or they give you the news about your brain tumor, or your consigned to live in Armpit, USA.

To name this combination of self-pity, vanity, and despair self is not only the height of conceit, it is also proof that we’re a trulydeluded species.

We are in a trance from birth to death. Burst the balloon and what are you left with?


It’s not only us – this radical doctrine applies to the whole sentient world. Dependent origination is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll admit that much. Nevertheless, it does have a compelling point: stop for two steps, still yourself, listen – in other words, desist with the mental masturbation – and you will find yourself on a planet you no longer recognize. Those needs and fears you thought were the very foundation of your existence turn out to be no more than bugs in your software…



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waiting to Inhale...

¡Hola! Everybody,
I spent all day yesterday in Albany. I got up at 4 AM and I didn’t get home until 10 PM. Yuck!
Today? A story...
* * *
Waiting to Inhale
(or Drowning in Love)

A wise woman and her student were standing by a pool chatting about longing and ambition.
“What do you want more than anything else?” the wise woman asked.
“To perfect my ability to love all of creation the way I love myself.” the young man replied.
At that very moment, the wise woman tackled the student and before he could react, shoved his head beneath the water. Accustomed to his teacher’s sometimes-unorthodox manner of instruction, he didn’t resist.
One minute went by. Then another. The student began to struggle and kick, but his teacher was strong. Finally, she released her grip and the student surfaced, struggling for breath.
“What did you want more than anything else during these last few minutes?” the wise woman asked.
“Nothing else was in my mind except the desire for air,” the student managed to gasp.
“Excellent!” beamed the wise woman. “As soon as you are equally single-minded in your desire to perfect your ability to love all of creation in the very manner in which you love yourself, you will achieve your goal.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paradoxes (Repost)

¡Hola! Everybody,
I’m off to Albany to lobby legislators regarding New York’s racist and unjust Rockefeller Drug Laws. Ya’ll have a great day. Contrary to rumors, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed…

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“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

-- Walt Whitman

I was told by a former teacher to always look for the contradictions – the paradoxes -- because it is there where I’ll find the truth. I had hard a hard time figuring that one out. How can one find truth, or even anything useful, in things that seemingly have no connection?

But we don’t have to look too closely to see that our existence is full of contradictions -- for every negative, there is a positive: night follows day, there is sadness and happiness, rain and sunshine. If you look still closer, you will observe that the web of life itself is made up of the interconnections and relationships between opposing forces. Like the tai chi symbol of yin yang, we all contain the rhythms reverberating from the play of dark and light, male and female, “good” and “bad,” awareness and ignorance.

I think about this web of connections when looking at and attempting to work with my character “defects.” Growth is optional in life. For many people, thinking about our existence, or even looking within, is something very alien – something to be avoided at all costs. Even those who profess to be “truth seekers” (or “tellers” LOL!) often fall short of real introspection because we’re too busy defending “who we are.” These are often the very same people who cut-and-paste deep quotes and who rail on about the defects of others.

My heart goes out to such people, because – if you look underneath their surface – there is an essential unhappiness. We all know the happy-go-lucky joker whose jokes and antics are barely disguised forms of aggression, for example. Or the overly critical or insensitive who tramples over people’s feelings under the guise of “truth” or “self-expression.” Yeah, it’s a bitch: when you deny life, it has a funny fuckin’ way of sneaking in through the back door. The baggage you bring will express itself through whatever form you consciously or unconsciously choose to express it.

Many of us live our lives shuffling back and forth between two identities that seem to conflict: the rational and the emotional. My rational self, for example, tells me I really shouldn’t act out on an impulse, while my emotional self urges me to say “fuck it!” Though I have witnessed many people deny this, we all experience these two conflicting identities, it’s how our mind/ brain- body is constructed.

The rational self says “I should,” and the emotional self says, “Even though I know I should, I can’t.” Today, I have a better grasp of this paradox – these conflicting urges within me, but I’m still working on it – it’s a process, not a race. It’s also about practice and not perfection. I have found that I’m a deeply flawed man – so flawed that, by necessity, I need to have a process in place that keeps me moving, at the very least, in a good orderly direction. My path is more of a zig-zag than a straight line, but that too is ok!


The point being is that I (we?) have to find a way to balance these two natures. Some people take the “rational” approach which often has the effect of leading to a denial of the emotional self. I see this all the time: people will say things like, “It doesn’t bother me,” contending that reason can be used to stifle feelings. However, shit always comes up, somehow – eventually denial is not a good coping mechanism no matter how logically you want to dress it up. Others take the opposite tact, and indulge their emotions. This is just the flip side of the denial coin.

Suffice it to say for now that science currently tells us that as a result of millions of years of evolution, each of us (well – most of us!! LOL!) is now the proud owner of an intelligence made up of four brains, each performing different functions.

This makes for many challenges and contradictions, but for one to live relatively happy, we need to find a way toward integration because that is the direction of all life: all life seeks to integrate fully somehow, it does this as surely as there is gravity and the sun sets and rises. Understanding how this all works can help many achieve some integration, some measure of comfortability and acceptance with what is the chaos and mass of contradictions that we all possess within.



Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Madness (Nintendo Dharma)

¡Hola! Everybody,
I just realized this morning that the memerial Day weekend comes a little early this year -- it’s next week! lately, I’ve been soooo unprepared and behind in all my dealings. Maybe it’s a combination of a new position, new home, and perhaps a new relationship?

I dunno...

Welcome back, Latina. Missed ya!

Today? Repost! LOL

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Many people ask me to post on meditation. I’ve run into so many people who say, “I tried it, but I can’t do it.” But this is like saying you tried seeing... if your vision works, then it follows that you should be able to see, no?

It’s the same with meditation: if you’re not in a vegetative state, then you have the tools with which to meditate. A part of human evolution is the emergence of what some scientists now call the “opposable thumb of consciousness” -- mindfulness. It’s hard to describe, but it’s the part of your consciousness that watches the watcher. The simplest way I can put it is that mindfulness is the ability to be aware that you’re aware. In any case, the only way you can access this function is by doing it.

Below, you’ll find a short article by a former teacher who explains in clear and elegant language, the notion of concentration and the development of mindfulness.


Nintendo Dharma
Goldstein, J. (1993). Insight meditation: The practice of freedom. Boston: Shambhala.

You may have noticed how easy it is to stay present when you engage in an activity you enjoy, like playing some sport, watching a movie, reading a book, or even playing Nintendo. Why can we be so concentrated in these activities, and yet find ourselves distracted and restless when we meditate? Surprisingly, this simple question can lead us to a profound understanding of suffering and freedom.

What we call mind is the naturally pure knowing faculty‑invisible, clear, and lucid. In some Tibetan texts it is called "the cognizing power of emptiness." But mind includes more than just knowing, because in each moment of experience different qualities, or mental factors, arise with it and color the knowing in various ways. For example, greed, hatred, love, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom, among many others, are all mental factors arising and passing in different moments, each functioning in its own way.

When we engage in various activities, different mental factors are at work. In Nintendo, we need to be right there with the game or we lose. The mind needs to be steady and one-pointed, with the factor of concentration quite strong. In addition to concentration, another quality of mind plays a critical role‑the mental factor of perception. Perception recognizes, names, and remembers appearances by picking out their distinguishing marks. Through the power of perception we recognize each appearing object of experience: woman, man, pine tree, Abraham Lincoln, computer, car, and innumerable others. Concentration and perception keep us present and absorbed in whatever life-game is happening.

Meditation practice is different. In order to develop insight and wisdom, we need to add the factor of mindfulness to the mental equation of concentration and perception. Mindfulness goes beyond the simple recognition of what is happening. It goes beyond keeping the mind steady. Through its strong power of observation, mindfulness uncovers the characteristic nature of experience itself.

Absorption in a movie or in Nintendo does not reveal the momentariness of phenomena. We do not see the impermanence and insubstantiality of all things and events, nor do we notice the empty nature of awareness itself. Perception and concentration arise in every moment; even when the mind gets lost in thought, we still recognize what it is we are thinking. But only mindfulness reveals that we are thinking. This is a critical difference. Perception by itself does not lead to insight into impermanence and selflessness, because it engages us in the content and story of what appears. Mindfulness emerges from the story and notices the moment-to-moment arising and passing of sense impressions, thoughts, and consciousness itself.

If we understand these three important factors of mind clearly -- concentration, perception, and mindfulness -- then their coming into balance becomes the field of freedom.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Sermon [Surrender and Devotion]

¡Hola! Everybody,
GAWD! I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted yesterday. I’ve only prepped the walls (spackling - fixing ceiling/ walls). Today I’m looking at priming which means I will have to wait until next weekend to lay down the base coat on the walls.

I want to invite some friends over for the Memorial Day weekend, so I’m hoping to have most of the apartment’s walls done before then… (let me know if you want to come)

On another note, someone is interested in a few of my stories, the thinking being creating a treatment to pitch for a series. Honestly, I don’t hold much hope for these things, but it tickles me to no end…

* * *

Surrender & Devotion

You all are probably sick and tired of my constant references to surrender. But you see: there’s no way around it: if you want to fuckin’ be happy for once in your fuckin’ life you first have to surrender and surrender completely. This is no the, “Well, I’ll surrender a little bit, Eddie, then later I’ll surrender sum more” surrender. No, that shit doesn’t get it. You’ve been doing that long enough and half-assed surrendering got you half-assed results.

No, I want nothing more than your total, unconditional, utter surrender. And I don’t want it for myself (though my world would be made better by your utter surrender), nor do I want you to surrender to me (though that would be nice).

I guess I should start at what I mean by surrender (there are two words in my title today, BTW… )

The word “surrender” gets a bad rap in our culture, with it’s almost obsessive and exclusive focus on the individual. Surrender is often interpreted as giving up, weakness, giving up, as in defeat. While I am referring somewhat to giving up, I use it in a different way. Surrendering to me means letting go of our resistance to and fear of the total openness of who we really are. Allow me to reiterate:

Surrender means opening up to the fact of the total openness of who you really are.

Yup. You are total openness. You may not know it, but everything you need for your complete freedom exists within you right now, in this very life, this very moment. You just need to stop resisting that fact.

Surrendering to me means giving up that little mass of tensions you call your “self” – the story you created as a response for the need to feel real. All that bullshit: your horoscope, your Myers/ Briggs categorization, your social security number, your ID card – all that shit is bullshit. It’s your little personal soap opera. That is not who you are. That whole thing – that “personality” -- is a bundle of tension you chose to take on in order to separate yourself from everyone else’s personal soap operas. Feel it: it manifests itself as a contraction in your body.

You cannot be vulnerable nor can you surrender while clothed in your personal soap opera. You cannot love, nor know love, nor be loved while you’re all twisted like that.

Soften yourself, breathe – luxuriate in your free space…

Surrendering to me means to open with no boundaries. Shit, you cannot say, “I love you,” when in a state of surrender. There is no “I” -- no “Eddie” -- that loves you. There is only love. Quick! STFU! Think of someone you love totally without condition – a son or daughter, or a lover…

Feel that?

That is what you are. It’s palpable -- you can feel this thing that you are -- it’s always there even when you lose sight of it. That’s who and what you are.

Surrender to me means loving without limits. It means to break down your walls and to let down your guard so that your lover can feel your very core – genuine, naked, and unhidden, without defenses. Your belly becomes soft and your breath becomes full. You willingly open your body and heart to your lover. If you are hurt, you are hurt, but you remain open and full. You live your live as open like the sky, the ocean, the trees. Surrender to me is the gateway to the deepest possible way of knowing.

You might say you have opened like this and I will challenge you. You may have surrendered to someone or something but I have met very few people who have surrendered to the fact that they are love. What I mean by surrendering is the practice (not the thought, or analysis) of surrendering -- not to your own fears, nor the demands of another -- but directly to love. If you tell me you have no resistance to any of this, then I’m going to call you on your bullshit because if you have ever tried surrendering in this way the first realization is that there is a huge resistance to it. True surrender, in the manner in which I use the word, is not adapting yourself to please people. Nor is it even momentarily surrendering your emotional needs. These are all secondary needs and true surrender is about breaking through veil of these secondary needs and amplifying the primal, core, and very human yearning to give and receive unlimited and unbound love.

And that my friends is devotion.



Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nothing Like the Sun...

¡Hola! Everybody,
I’m prepping the walls to my entryway today and hopefully painting the foundation (red) tomorrow. The stencils haven’t arrived yet…

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My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
-- William Shakespeare

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

* * *



Friday, May 16, 2008

[un]Common Sense Sex Blog (History of the Vibrator)

¡Hola Everybody,

No intro today, just going straight to the video tape! ::grin::

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-=[ A [brief] History of the Vibrator ]=-

Or: The Job Nobody Wanted

As far back as 1653, when physician Pieter van Foreest published a treatise on women’s diseases, women’s sexuality has been sorely misunderstood. To be sure, sexually frustrated women were viewed as suffering from “hysteria” (literally, “womb disease”). van Foreest prescribed what would become known as “vulvular massage” -- suggesting that a midwife or doctor could cure “hysterical” women through “the massaging of the genitalia with one finger inside,” using “oil of lilies, musk root, crocus, or [something] similar.”

This was nothing new. In the Western medical tradition, bringing women to orgasm via genital massage by a physician or midwife was a standard treatment for hysteria, an illness considered both chronic and common in women. Descriptions of this treatment appear as early as Hippocrates and in the first and second centuries, A.D. It’s interesting that very little attention has been paid to a medical treatment for a complaint that is no longer defined as a disease but that from at least the fourth century B.C. until the American Psychiatric Association dropped the term in 1952 was known mainly as hysteria.

The fact is that all the symptomology (<--- new word! LOL) described what is consistent with normal female sexuality, for which relief, not surprisingly, was gained through orgasm, either through intercourse, of by means of a massage on the physician’s table. That normal female sexual functioning was described as a disease can be laid at the feet of a society in which sexuality is seen almost exclusively through a male-dominated (androcentric) perspective. Androcentric (new word! LOL) views not only shaped the definition of sexuality, and their consequences for women, but also the instruments designed to cope with these so-called diseases.

The use of hydrotherapy was used to bring “hysterical women to orgasm. It was messy and not very portable.

What I found even more interesting was that many doctors detested doing vulvular massage and that’s where the “technology of orgasm” comes in. According to historian Rachel P. Maines (and I borrow heavily from her book, The Technology of Orgasm today), the vibrator emerged as a response to the demand from physicians for a more rapid and efficient therapy for hysteria. As I mentioned, symptoms defined as hysteria were in actuality normal female sexual functioning. the male-dominant (androcentric) view of sexuality didn’t take into consideration that the androcentric ideal of intercourse failed to consistently produce orgasm in more than half of the female population.

Therefore, the task of relieving female arousal was given over to the medical establishment, which defined female orgasm as an illness! In effect, doctors inherited the task of producing orgasm in women because it was a job nobody wanted.

There is no evidence to show that male physicians enjoyed providing vulvular massage treatments. On the contrary, physicians, part of the male power elite, sought to substitute other devices for their fingers, such as the business end of an almost infinite line of impersonal mechanisms.

An enterprising British doctor created this contraption above.
It allowed doctors to service more women suffering from “hysteria.”

At the same time, hysterical women represented a lucrative market for physicians. These patients never recovered nor died of their condition but continued to require regular treatment. One 19th-century physician estimated that as many as three-quarters of the female population were “out of health,” and comprised the largest market for “therapeutic devices.”

Entrepreneurs quickly realized that there was a huge
market for vibrators. In fact, the need for better vibrators
was the driving force behind the creation
of the small electric motor.

Doctors also found it difficult to bring women to orgasm. The job required skill and attention. One doctor noted the difficulty in producing orgasm through vulvular massage. He stated that it was not unlike “the game of boys in which they try to rub their stomachs with one hand and pat their heads with the other.” LMAO!!

By 1917, there were more vibrators than toasters
in American homes.

While the female is expected to reach orgasm during coitus, more than half of all women, and possibly more than 70 percent, do not reach orgasm by penetration alone. While this has been better publicized by modern-day sex-researchers, it was known in previous centuries. the majority of women have been defined as abnormal or “frigid,” somehow derelict in their duty to live up the androcentric model of sexuality.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, the vibrator became what academics like to call a camouflaged technology. Mail-order catalogs full of household gadgets featured beautiful women with long, silky hair loosening their tight shoulder muscles with banana-shaped vibrators.

Historically women were discouraged from masturbating because it was believed this practice would impair their health, and most men in previous centuries (and even today!) have failed to understand that penetration alone is sexually satisfying to only a minority of women.




[un]Common Sense