Category Archives: soul

Doing time in the Reality Prison

cosmos collage

‘We Are All Doing Time’ is the title of Bo Lozoff’s  book, sometimes called ‘the convicts bible’. Feeling a need to be real or conform to cultural notions of reality is  a prison. It limits our spiritual creativity and expansiveness. It is the ultimate arrogance to believe that our human consciousness can comprehend the enormity of the cosmos.

Quantum weirdness: The battle for the basis of reality a recent article in the New Scientist, shows that even our cutting edge theoretical physicists are beginning to comprehend that our notions of reality are questionable.

It is said that we perceive the world as humans who have evolved to perceive that way. And now in modern physics that perception cannot explain what we see. The cosmos in all its glory is not limited by our human perceptions or concerned about them. I imagine they sometimes laugh as they throw us a few crumbs.

So why am I writing this, what has it got to do with things bushspirit. The truth is something strange happened in my recent workshop ‘soulfood – mens spirit journey’   and I will write about it in my next post. It questioned my socially ingrained sense of “what is real” and I felt  uncomfortable about the prospect of writing on it.

This notion of what is real is such a strong force, it limits us, it limits me. So I wanted to write about it and hope one day to do a prison bust from Supermax reality prison.

We are free to choose our own meaning for the journey whatever that is and for me the only limitation on that sense of meaning is that it does not lead to harm for others.   The universe does not tick off on our sense of meaning, we do.

Celebrating Andy

andy paddle boardAndy is a mate, a wild man from Tasmania. I would call his journey style   raw and  experiential . He came along to my soul food workshop, from which came his hairy monster poem. Just sharing some of his stuff with you.

One of his favorite sayings a mate told him about is:-

lay back in the arms of the universe
in an attitude of divine nonchalance
and trust
and your wild dreams will come true

The hairy monster hairy man banksia

hairy monster
He’s the fear that lives inside
dark strange place He lives in
Deep down deep inside
He jumps out and grabs me gizzards
And shakes me all around
And I sit back and reflect on the feeling
And send him love and thanks
Thank him for the reminder
That I have a choice in life
To do my living fully
And show him how it’s done
By this fella in bliss
On the edge
with hairy monster

Buster at night

Jagging in an out breathedog at night
Stolen from the sky
No thoughts or pain just being
Wondering under the stars

Dog as well tags along
Leaves fella to his air
And sort of grins as if to say
Its ok fella do your thing

Pump and jump. Heave and thump
Jag your in and out breaths
In the moment cool that night
Witnessed by the stars

Only feeling remains
Thoughts disappear
Maybe out of body
Dog knows.  Man don’t

Man always gota  know
He’s got to be able to explain
He’s fixed in his cognition
Stuck in his own thoughts

So join me one and all
Jag some in and out breaths
Call them busters if you like
Sucking deep and hard

Cells dance and jingle

The dog smiles
He doesn’t think it through
He just knows fellas happy
And he is happy too

Fuckit

This poems all fucked
And I like it that way
I don’t want no corrections
And I have no fear

Fuckit fuckit fuckit
Feels ok that
Repetitious fuckits
Hard to get bored
When your fucking saying fuckits
All the fucking night
Fucking frigging fuckit
Just one more time
Fuckit

Goodnight

Simple and Profound – put it in your back pack

bhoddi leaf jpgI read it in an old  manuscript, some Buddhist stuff, 20 years ago. I gave it a place in my spirit mind and polish it regularly. Let me tell it as I did in prison. Prisoners often said, ‘Give us Buddhism without the bullshit’

…………..One day Bill was wandering in the forest, it’s where he thought about life. He heard these voices and saw some blokes in a clearing all dressed in orange robes, sitting in a circle around this dude also in orange robes. They were yakking  away  with all this high falutin intellectual shit. Yet he was curious, the main guy seemed to have  something going for him.

So Bill steps in and says ‘ guys I cant understand any of this crap, can you give it to me, simple like in one sentence?’ The main guy turns, smiles, says ‘What a great question, my answer is – If you can learn not to hold on to anything, then you will have learnt all I have to teach’

Bill – ‘Sounds profound, give us an example’

Hmm Ok, says the leader – The old hunters in the forest where I come from used to catch monkeys to eat. They would find a coconut, cut a hole in it, just large enough for a monkey to get a closed hand in. Then they would tie the nut to a small shrub and put  a big  piece of dried fruit into the coconut. The hunter would lie down nearby and wait. Soon a curious monkey would inspect the coconut put his hand in and grab the fruit and try to get it out but his  hand was stuck. He would not let go and pulled and pulled, shaking the shrub and screeching. The hunter  woke up, crept up behind  the monkey and hit him over the head with a stick – took him home and ate him.

monkey-trap 01So we are like the monkey, when we suffer in any way we are usually not letting go of something. If we can understand what it is that we are holding and can let it go, we will lessen our suffering. It is a life times work, just letting go. As we let go, it is like  passing through a new door to a new room and after a while we see more things to let go and pass through more doors or gates into new places. Just remember when you die you let go of everything whether you like it or not.

The catch is working out what to let go off at any time of struggle, because it is not always obvious. This is where learning to be still and becoming  more aware comes in, looking for the causes or awaiting an insight to visit informing us of the cause and so maybe things to let go.

nobutada just buddhaMany use meditation for this. Just sitting still, relaxing the body and watching the breath in the stomach or the nose rise and fall, come in go out. Letting the mind be fully aware of all the aspects and qualities of the breath. Being aware of the thoughts and feelings that distract us from the task and letting them go and moving back into the awareness of the breath.

Not only do we become more and more aware of all the thoughts and feelings that inhabit our body/mind but we learn to inhabit a bigger awareness space, like climbing a mountain, we see more.

Its simple process, become aware, let go where necessary –  Not easy but an important item in your backpack.

Tale of the Sands – famous old Sufi story

A recent post by Jude Lockhart Unashamedly Wacko reminded me of my much-loved Sufi story, Tale of the sands which I wanted to tell you about. Its inspiration is from the experience of the Bedu mystics of the Arabian deserts reminding us of the old saying ‘Out of the deserts, prophets come’ Wilfred Thesiger’s book ‘Across the Empty Quarter’  is a great story about the Bedu and the deserts.

whispering sands collageIt is a little known story, originally from Idries Shah’s book ‘Tales of the Dervishes’. Like all great stories It is retold by me in a modern context. Enjoy –

A stream from its beginnings in faraway mountains, passed through a great variety of countryside and then reached the sands of a vast desert. Since it had crossed every other barrier, it was confident that it could cross the desert.  However, no matter how hard it tried, the stream always disappeared in the sand.

It was convinced that its destiny was to cross this desert, but could not find a way. It became upset and frightened.

Then it heard a whisper from the desert sand ,

‘The wind crosses the desert and so can the stream.’

The stream was amazed by the sands whisper and started to talk,

‘ I have been trying as hard as I can, and anyhow the wind can fly, I am not the wind I cannot fly’

‘ Off course hurtling in your accustomed way you cannot cross. If you keep doing it, you will either disappear or become a marsh. You must allow the wind to carry you over to your destination.’

‘ but how could this happen’,

‘ by allowing yourself to be absorbed in the wind’

The stream did not like this idea. It had never been absorbed before and was frightened of losing its identity. It thought, ‘if I lose my identity can I get it back again? Or will I be left formless wandering with the wind forever’

The sand, sensing the streams fears, spoke – ‘this is one of the winds jobs It takes up water as vapor and carries it over the desert, and then lets it fall again, falling as rain, the water again becomes a stream’.

‘ How can I be sure of that’ the water said.

‘It is so, and if you do not believe it, you cannot become more than a marsh, and even that could take many, many years, and that is certainly not the same as a stream’

‘But I cannot remain the same stream as I am today’

‘You cannot in either case remain so.’ The whisper said, ‘Your essential part is carried away and forms a stream again. Even though you are called a stream, and feel a stream, you do not know which part of you is the essential one.’

On hearing this, vague echoes began to awake for the stream – dim memories of an aspect of streamness being held by the wind. It thought ‘maybe this is the real thing to do, though not the obvious thing to do’.

So with a leap of faith the stream let go and began to raise as vapor into the welcoming arms of the wind. Being lifted gently upwards and over the desert falling softly as it reached the roof of a mountain, many miles away becoming rain and then a stream again. The stream was able to remember and record more strongly in his mind the details of the experience and reflected, ‘ now I have learned my true identity.’

The stream was learning. The sands whispered: ‘We know because we see it happen every day: and because we, the sands extend from the riverside all the way to the mountains.’

And that is why it is said,

The way of the journey of the stream of life, is written in the sands.

Lost Key and Sufi Jester Nasruddin

nasruddin lost key collage

 

I read this story some 30 years ago and its message stays with me. Nasruddin’s stories originated from the Turkic regions some 700 years ago. He was a religious jester – sowing the seeds of truth through jokes and parodies. His stories were famous and adopted in a number of countries for the passing on of spiritual truths. Spirit jesters were often pictured as sitting backwards on a donkey or horse.

Lost Key Story 

A man is walking home late one night when he sees an anxious Mulla Nasruddin down on all fours, crawling on his hands and knees on the road, searching frantically under a streetlight for something on the ground.

“Mulla, what have you lost?” the passer-by asks.

“I am searching for my key,” Nasruddin says sounding very anxious.

“I’ll help you look,” the man says and joins Mulla Nasrudin in the search. Soon both men are down on their knees under the streetlight, looking for the lost key. After some time, the man asks Nasrudin, “Tell me Mulla, do you remember where exactly did you drop the key?”

Nasrudin waves his arm back toward the darkness and says, “Over there, in my house. I lost the key inside my house…” Shocked and exasperated, the passer-by jumps up and shouts at Mulla Nasrudin, “Then why are you searching for the key out here in the street?” 

“Because there is more light here than inside my house,” Mulla Nasrudin answers in a casual manner.

These stories are seen as having many meanings. Its message for me and many others is that the key or answers are to be found with the house of ourselves. It is a dark and confusing place to look, but keep looking and exploring. It is so easy to look outside in the light and see all the things that look like the solution, religious beliefs, opinions of others, material things, attachment to others gurus etc. There is no shortage of them.

 

Honouring – A wonderful gift

Honouring an other – just telling them something that you value about them.  ross river sunsetIt costs nothing and creates such a glow. Its a seed that you can sow. stick it in your intention garden. It was an honouring by Paul that kick started this blog, that little extra grain of sand that tipped the balance. I was giving a meditation at the beginning of a meeting and my friend John was playing soft guitar. Paul came up to me afterwards and said ‘that was gold, can we do that some more’. It was for me an indication to get on with my focus on the spiritual work and to create some resources and inspiration around that. I knew it was a blog, the intention had sat there. Walking in the forest, the name bush spirit came to me and it was born. So thanks Paul. And I need to remember that an honouring is a great blessing and we never know when it is the grain that swings the scale towards the light.

Soul Food Workshop 2013 Programme and details

Soul Food Mens spirit journey, workshop programmeboiling the billy cave

see Soul Food story post

see invitation to Soul Food workshop. 

Dates:  July  26 -28, Starts Friday evening, 7pm dinner. Finishes Sunday mid-afternoon.All welcome to stay longer from Thursday to Monday nights.

Cost: $230 per person includes all accommodation and meals and facilitation. No Alcohol and cigarettes allowed.

Location: Bundanoon NSW 2 hours south of Sydney on main Sydney Melbourne and Canberra rail line. Train station at Sydney airport

Programme

Friday:

7pm – 8pm Dinner

8am – 10am sitting in circle, welcome, meditation, check in for all. Expectations for the weekend

Saturday:

7am to 8pm Walk to cemetery. Meditation in cemetery connecting with ancestors and our own mortality to aid in dissolving boundaries to the spirit world.

8am – 9am Breakfast

9am – 9.30pm break

9.30pm to 3.30pm. Journey to local forest (Morton National Park). Carry out a range of meditation exercises in forest and caves. Aiming to dissolve barriers between self and the wider world and connect with natures and the universes energies. Discussion experiences in circle, between meditations, by a fire in a cave. Picnic lunch provided.

4pm-6pm break

6pm -7pm dinner

7pm till 10.30pm. Dancing with the angel of death time. Doing a death ritual involving a coffin, to symbolise dying and being reborn. This is a ritual developed by myself and other men over the last six years. It is quite powerful and men ask for more of it not less. Discussion in circle and finishing meditation.

Sunday:

7am – 8am optional morning walk.

8am – 9pm breakfast

9am – 10am sitting in circle, Meditation, check in,  what is arising?

10.15pm to 12. Hands on healing sessions for all who wish to receive one.

12.30pm to 1.30pm lunch

1.30pm – 2.00pm Pairing off and discussing goals and any plans to enhance spiritual journey.

2pm to 3pm. In circle check in, sharing plans, closing rituals and finish.

Men welcome to stay over one or two nights and stay on Thursday night before if that suits.

Use form below to contact me about booking or more information?