Moon Rising

There’s a moon rising slowly through the trees

That moon is shining bright upon my feet

And tonight it brings a yearning that I might see

In my search for truth it will end that I am free

Now I’m standing in the wake of sixty  years

And from that prison of a life I have broken clear

And I’m praying that my memories won’t keep me here

I want to live like a wanderer with holes in his boots

I want to climb like a child in a tree

I want to love like the man with nothing to lose

I want to die with my heart on my sleeve

I’ll forget about the things that I have done

I’ll forget about the years out on the run

And dream of all that I’ve ever loved

Cause I know I was not the only selfish man

But one who,s realized the blood that’s on his hands

And tonight I’m gonna find a second chance

Now that the moon has risen straight across the sky

I will walk upon the land that I  call home

And I’ll sing my song each day as I get old

–  The Influence of Peter Bradley Adams

Getting in the Way

It seems that we are conditioned to pursue happiness. Everything about our way of life has become about striving to find a better place for ourselves. I am not convinced that the happiness that we are searching for is real in our conceptualization of it. We think about uplifting, stress free experiences and imagine that we can have this experience in an ongoing way through the accumulation of various things and achievements that we envision to be happiness producing. But our lives are in fact obsessively focused on striving and plotting how we might go about reaching our goals. We never seem to come to realize that life has become about striving. We generally think and believe that this is common sense living. We often never seem to become aware of what it is about us that blocks us from a deeper reality of being and self and connection.

We often take this conditioned way to our spiritual  pursuits. Many involved in religions and spiritual groups continue this way of striving emphasising what they one day will become. It takes a big dose of self realisation and acceptance to wake up to what we truly are and only in this can we begin to experience a more direct realisation of what the joy of life might be. It is a less fragmented notion of self and thinking, that is projected from that , we come to experience in letting go of our old way. We have to  first begin to learn to be in the world without the armour of old conditioning but in coming to do this we somehow come to find a strange, never before experienced, contentment in the difficult times as well as the more intimate and connected moments.

Truth, Belief and Knowledge

I like to meditate with others and to connect and explore with them. While I am here in Canada I sit with three different groups throughout the week. Over  the years wherever I have been at the time I would sit with groups of mediators that were specific to that country. Often I am told that you should pick a way and stick with it. Maybe this is helpful for a time but in the long run I am coming to see that there are limitations to this way.

I have often noticed how people in these groups more often than not make their belief systems their lived reality and that they shape their own personal experience of the world to reflect that belief and how believers surround themselves with other believers and from that how everything in their environment reinforces their beliefs. Often in these groups  wisdom is determined as a matter of the hierarchical structure and that there is a lack of an objective recognition of insight outside of that. I question the rigidity in the structure that does not easily allow for change. I question how people come to believe; how they can come to believe something with all of their heart and how it becomes difficult to be moved from that belief despite contradictory information or experience. And how belief can be perceived to be knowledge? I have many questions about belief, truth and knowledge. If I believe with all my heart and mind in reincarnation or any other belief does that make it true? Are truth and belief equivalent? Are truth and knowledge equivalent?

In my own reflection knowledge often has more to do with memory, a recalling of past information that has been read, told or experienced in some way. Belief I suspect can have numerous influences often connected to memory and knowledge.

Truth is something experienced more from ones own direct experience, not necessarily amendable to language or words and from an opening and inviting all dimensions of experience. In efforts to express truth in the form of art, poetry and words something of its essence is possible to be passed on. It is not something fixed in time and space but rather  experienced in presence.

Maybe we come to see with  more openness,  not in an effort to know, become and /or belong but in unbecoming all that isn’t us  so that we  can be what we were meant to  be in the first place. Maybe this is  where we are best able to have a relationship with truth.

More Than a Contorted Human

The thing that I love the most about being back in Canada is the closeness to nature. It is of the quality which has been left to itself generally free of human trespass. Nature free of human interference touches something deep within, possibly my own unaltered nature. But with the ever-increasing population and human intrusion into nature, how will we continue to leave it as it was intended to be. How do we cope as well with the human intrusion and manipulation into what it is to be a “human being”. It seems that we are as well a part of that which is losing touch with its nature.

I purchased a kayak last week. It is a natural addition to my home here at Kawartha Trails Resort which is situated in between the Darling Wildlife Reserve and Squirrel Creek Conservation area. It is walking distance between the parameters of both and the resort where I live is in between them. The river is totally navigable between Rice Lake and Peterborough with many natural areas lining its banks.

I went for a paddle today on Rice Lake with my friend Dennis, taking the Indian River up from Keene. Dennis was born in Arkansas, USA. He is a recovering Vietnam veteran who spent twenty-eight years living in the Alaskan highlands an extremely wild and natural area. He too has a love for nature. Over the years we have hiked, camped, drank coffee and kayak`d together. He has much the same disposition as myself and we seem to get by in a very natural way. We both settle into nature and enjoy the soothing benefits of that connection.

Being in a kayak is a form of meditation for me, much the same as I experience walking in nature. There is something about that connection that “lifts the edge” , a consequence that comes with the living of our modern civilized way of life. Maybe the truth is more that it is not so civilized as we perceive it to be. Possibly, it is a projection of something of being human which is no longer so natural, some limited expression of what we have become; of our limited way of thinking. Self fixation, greed and brutality seem to be some of the other aspects of our fragmented collective thinking. In that contortion of the human being, we are unrecognizable as something that arose and evolved from nature. Maybe we do resemble some of the more primitive beings and aspects of survival that are a part of them. But we have not seemed to transcended these animal ways, as we believe ourselves to have done despite the fact that many individuals today still believe, that it absurd to think that we have evolved from other primate forms. But in many ways we share deeply with them many characteristics, including their struggle for survival.

It seems to me that if we are to save our planet, we must come to trust again in something of our essence which is ultimately obscured by our conditioned thinking. There is something more natural that unfolds and evolves  from this  essence. Being close to nature reminds me of what I have been connected to in my origins. But to thrive collectively we must somehow come to remember and be a part of that natural essence.

What Should I Follow

I am more oriented to questioning life and things, in and of it, than I have ever before been. I question others perception of me and of others and most everything else. What this involves for me is to examine most anything by means of posing a deep question that is not completely amendable to a total cognitive response. Mindfulness aids in this process and in coming to the realisation that much of what we think that we know life to be is beyond our ability to know. I have come to value this way of inquiry and wherever that should lead me and I am content to move on and to abide in aloneness if I am called to follow this way in life even if it should mean that I must let go of things, people and places that I have once been affectionately a part of. Ultimately we are not as separated as we have come to know ourselves to be anyway. And the openness and honesty that are involved in this are always a foundation for intimacy and connection in our relations with ourself and others.

No Reference

These days I struggle with individuals and groups that seem to need a paradigm as a reference point by which they can determine their way In life. They seem to see value or not according to those related references and communication and relation is filtered through this. But the world has come to this reality that we have lost touch with an inherent wisdom about life. Frequently the truth is hidden or not seen or is distorted, by our positions, beliefs and identifications.Our conditioning that takes us away from the truth begins early in life, so it seems as well that in this reality that humankind has created, it is a challenge to see what is inherently true.

It is not that I know better but more that I desire to see through the fog to find out what is actually happening and it is rather that there is something of another essence that is tweaked in letting go of what I have come to  be conditioned to be. Questioning and inquiring into assertions of truth can be helpful in this. Maybe living life authentically involves a quality of realizing that there is liberation in questioning all references and paradigms or at least in examining and/or realizing the limitations and relativity of them. A H Almaas writes that our reality inherently possesses not only awareness but a discrimination, a faculty that discerns what is encompassed in that awareness. In inherent being and the consciousness that is inseparable from it we have the capacity to discern relative truth from absolute truth.