Monday, February 28, 2005

Creating time

I walked into Ojai Video last night to snag a dvd. Tim was working behind the counter. He walked up to me and handed me a digital copy of ihearthuckabees. It's about a man who hires existential detectives to help him understand some coincidences. Interestingly enough, the movie revolves around the process I talked about in yesterday's post. When I posted, I didn't even know I'd be watching a movie. I reccomend watching this movie and then reading Bardo Surfer Feb 27. For me, this confirms the view of interconnectivity that we both talk about. I am finding that I attract situations that resonate with whatever my current vibration is. The power of the mind is awesome. What is the sound of one hand clapping? It is the sound of a tree falling in the forest when there is no one there to hear it. We are cocreating reality. We are the inventors of our experince thru our interpretation/filter. Time is no exception and is a function of our creativity. I have had several time distortion events which lead me to these conclusions. These events have seemingly occurred as a consequence of a life threatening situation. Time slows down to a crawl and I am able to have plenty of time to choose the course of action which maximises my safey. Others have talked about similar experiences without any prompting on my part. The movie, "The Matrix", has some great special effects which demonstrate this event. In conclusion, a popular consensus among various people I meet, is that time is speeding up. For many people, I think it is. I suspect that our perception of time creates time like a needle on a record. There seem to be fault lines within the continents of time. Time quakes are inevitable and a function of human histrory: Tower of Babel is one example a time quake. Today's experiment slow down your breath to 6 breaths a minute for 5 minutes. Has your perception of time altered?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The forest of my being

A favorite pastime of mine for the past 3 decades has been comparative mythology. This type of thinking allowed me to decode information from the past. The victor writes the history to serve his interest. His story. I am fond of astories. The Emperor's New Clothes is an excellent story which can help decode the government behind the plastic curtain. At some point, it dawned on me that I have played all those roles: mob, fool, emperor and advisers. And to take it one step forward: these characters all can represent aspects of the internal dialog taking place in my mind - now. This is a technique of stalking. It requires integrity and single-minded intent. When I am able to identify the various players in my thoughtstream and not be them, I begin to detatch and identify with the one who is watching: a deeper layer of the ultimate mystery - my self. The delicate nature of this self examination can hopefully - maybe inevitabley - lead to more compassion. The higher the degree of self acceptance I have, the easier it is for me to accept others. My journey seems to involve cycles of acceptance, flow, sychronicity, disruption, unacceptance, resolution, acceptance... When we stop the thoghtstream and achieve no mind. Many things happen. Many classify this is a mystical experience because of the warm, all encompassing sense of well-being, the feeling of interconnectedness, the lack of separation. Einstein had a marvelous imagination and this was the tool he used to expand the boundaries of scientific knowledge. One theory of his which relates to tonight's post involved absolute 0 (Kelvin). He said a new type of matter would be discovered. Scientists in Colorado got pretty close (within 3 billionths of a degree) a few years ago. They described the impact of the experiment was the formation of super atoms and super molecules. They become much, much bigger. This seems to paralell the no-thought experiment results that longterm meditaors and mystics describe. Many myths revolve around coming back to life. The myths of Persephone, Lazarus, Jesus and Hercules are just a couple of the numerous examples of resurrected humans found in history. I've used these myths and others to help me understand the journey I took thru my shadow over six years ago. The heroic journey. The long and dark time of the soul. We are blessed to have access to these stories because the truth of our nature lies buried under layers of frozen deception. The heat of our attention can radiate or laser the frozen foundation we skate on. When our introspection succeeds and we fall thru the cracks of our false reality the shock of the ice cold water of truth can kill us; we become the walking dead, zombies. I am so grateful for all the stories that have somehow been preserved, the parables. They provided light for me while I wandered lost thru the sunless forest of my being. They reminded me that hope existed when I could not feel it. The human race has left a trail to the heaven/nirvana which lives in the core of the mandala of out hearts. It is a labrynth. At some point in our journey we may face the minotour or call it Jacob wrestling with an angel. This crises is the ultimate opportunity to develope true compassion and love for self and others. Simultaneously. Osho said: love yourself till it overflows and then share with all.

Cat's Eye Nebula

Cat's Eye Nebula, originally uploaded by surfer x.

Nebulas are dying stars...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Twisted, resurrected and grateful

We are in the midst of a yoga retreat as I diligently report my thoughts and experiences to you. Last night, Julie (yoga teacher and retreat organizer) utilized one of the kivas for a simple ceremony. I arrived first with some firewood. I placed it on top of the red ember remnants from a fire set by Skip several hours before and blew on it till the fire returned. Next to arrive was Billy, bringing more wood to burn. The rest of the group arrived and we all stood around the fire which had just been resurrected from the red coals. Julie asked a question about Skip's whereabouts. I did not know. And then, just on cue, Skip walks in and immediately takes the reigns of the conversation. [Now, it's important to recognize that Skip was acting of his own accord and had not been asked to to speak or even be present. In the past he has been invited to speak and entertain the guests. This story will illustrate why that does not happen anymore.] Skip's theme tonight was addiction. I could tell he was twisted when he walked in. There were about 12 of us in the kiva Billy, skip and I were the only males. Skip said f*ck at least 10 times thru out his spiel. Every time he said it I cringed and stared into the flames. Finally, after 10 minutes, I casually found an opportunity to move the focus to Julie. She had a quick meditation which involved writing down a block and throwing it into the fire. I did not have any paper so I just reflected on something I wanted to let go. Skip and I were the last to leave. I did not mention his inappriate use of expletives. As we said goodnight Skip said "Glad to be of service." Service to what I ask myself.

Today I awoke to a new day. Shut off a couple lights and managed to make it into Julies yoga flow class. It was pretty grueling but I managed to tough it out. I've been doing alot of yin yoga but now I realize that I have to mix it up. Eventually, the sense of well being I experince doing yoga began to wash over me and I remembered some things that help keep me happy. The thyroid gland stimulates the heart when we smile. When we frown, we block the flow of energy to the heart. The heart is a brain/organ/pump which regulates the cerebral cortex, lymbic system (emotions) and immune system. "So smile, lighten up" I tell myself. While in the final pose, corpse. Julie said something like: Our worst fear is that we are super powerful gorgeous beings. Do not shrink and dim your light because you are afraid that others will not like it. I left her class recharged. I thanked her for the wonderful class and Billy for providing awsome live music. Tonight, I will pedrform along side him with the didj. The key that I remember after all this is to remain grateful.

univ13 collision

univ13 collision, originally uploaded by surfer x.

Angel in the Spotlight

Friday, February 25, 2005

ALA President bashes blogging

Today's adventure in the blog galaxy involved the discovery of this article:
The incoming president of the American Library Association, Michael Gorman, bashed the heck out of us bloggers. I responded with this email:

Dear Mr. Gorman,

After reading your blog bashing article I sit amazed that you are the
president of such a venerable organization. I can only guess that you
wrote it in haste and did not share it with anyone for constructive
criticism. I have a question. How can you treat bloggers as a single
entity? There are over 6 million blogs. To me this is an example of
extremely lazy thinking. The word of the day: prejudice. I've been
blogging since early January of this year. Yes, one must sift thru
alot of fertilizer, but there is gold in this world. I still do not
pretend to completely understand it but I know that it is not easily
classifiable. You are in a state of denial. Mark Twain was the pen
name for Samuel Clemens. You might try reading him some time. Blogging
is the new "wild west" in the web and clearly mirrors the neural web
in our brains. It is a tidal wave of expressed freedom threatening to
drown your repressed ideas. Let them go, surrender, and join the
Mike Didj

Later on in the day I found a great web site which I sent to Mr. Gorman:

The monkeysphere concept helps me understand the ALA president. I have not gotten a response and actually do not expect one. I doubt he read it. My feeling is he was probably overwhelmed by a blogger backlash.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The core of the mandala

Shawn was 9 years old when I first met him. The last time I saw him he was 10. I worked with Shawn as therapeutic staff support (TSS) for 18 months. Shawn must be about 19 now. The job description was clear on my duties. Sit in the back of the classroom. Only intercede with your client when they have an episode that the teacher cannot handle. Do not help with any classwork. When at the clients home, do not help with howework. Observe and intercede only when necessary. Follow the behavior treatment plan. It was impossible for me to follow any of these guidelines. There was no treatment plan for the first 6 months. It was finally written when the behavior therapist asked me to tell her what I was doing. I happily dictated my program. At this point it had become obvious to everyone that Shawn had profoundly improved beyond anyone's expectations. When I started with him he had explosive temper disorder and oppositional disorder as well as other behaviors determined to be disfunctional. Basically he'd have meltdowns every day and would throw chairs around the room, yell, scream, cry, etc.. Initially I had no clue what to do. I'd begun learning tai-chi a few weeks after school started for Shawn. My own breath opening/transformative experience with this daily practice left no room for doubt that I'd teach breathing exercises to Shawn immediately after meltdown episodes. Three months of these exercises, combined with nurturing, counseling and spending 32 hrs a week led to a break though in his ability to remain calm and learn. Shawn had had no ability to deal with frustration. When he was challenged in this way he just freaked out. After 6 months though, he became the best behaved student in the classroom, learned how to read, learned how to write and learned how to add and subtract. Before we began to work together Shawn had none of these skills.

The amazing consequence of our interaction was that we both improved. I think I received more than Shawn even though my total concern was how to help him develope self esteem, coping strategies and a sense of well being. I finally became less self absorbed. I guess this opened up the dormant potentials inside myself. I remember how foreign nurturing others and myself had been before this experience. I am convinced that this deep caring for another human is the core of the mandala which supported the metamorphisis which I experienced.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Fear and self loathing in Colorado

The hunter was always good at hunting others. In the end the Hunter became the prey. This prayer's for you: R.I.P. How do you catch a crow without it knowing? You become the sky. How does one stalk themselves and live to tell about it? Carlos Castenada delves into this realm extensively and was a powerful teacher for me. I read over 10 of his books. They provided an example of unflinching self reflection. Carlos classified people as: dreamers and stalkers. The stalker learns to stalk themselves with the goal of developing more self integrity and thus increasing personal power thru this cultivation of self knowledge. The dreamer uses their dreams to develop their astral body and collect personal power. Idealy, one would combine both techniques.

My distant impression of the recently deceased was that he was misanthropic and distrustful. He was always shooting his gun and it was generally rumorred that he liked to shoot tv's in his back yard. Before he offed himself, he'd been in some pain from breaking his leg and injuring his hip. I've noticed that when older folks injure themselves there's a major change in there outlook on life. It seems like the ability to find that motivation, that fire, that joy gets weaker when our mobility is compromised. My friend Skip's understanding increased when I relayed his leg and hip trouble but he still had this critique "Why'd he have to make such a gruesome mess for his family to clean up? He could have just gone out into the woods." I thought this sentiment had some weight.

DR. Cristopher Hyatt, a master in the art of introspection, had an interesting view on suicide. Paraphrased: When someone has fantasies about suicide they always picture the funeral with all the significant folks in their life racked with guilt and pain.

It seems to me that suicide is an attempt to punish others. I suspect that Hunter was trying to punish his family and the world. Who knows? I also suspect that Hunter had a back log of stuff that he never delt with. He hid from it thru booze. His distrust of others was mirrored within. I know there are exceptions but they prove the rule.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Icarus breathes underwater

I arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona as a wanderer driving a bonneville. Somehow I ended up being there a year. I became a front desk manager at Motel Dubois (a hostel) and lived there. It catered to international backpackers. Most of the guests' destination was the Grand Canyon - its about a hundred or so miles away. I still haven't been to the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is a college town. Arizona State University is located in Flagstaff and was only a 10 min bike ride away. I began my email career there. I'll always remember that year as the year I turned inside out and imploded.

I had a crazy moment 40 days before the New year on top of a mountain 20 miles from the nearest road. I was on my Stumpjumper with 2 other mountainbikers. We'd been biking for a couple hours thru a foot of snow and the sun had set. My gloves were totally inadequate and my fingers were freezing and I was freaking. I just hit a point where I flipped and started yelling, screaming and cursing. Hand stuck on the panic button. My self loathing had found its way to the surface and exploded. This anger was an expression of self hatred. I cursed myself repeatedly. I can remember the look of shock and bewilderment on one of the guys faces. He was a friend where as the other guy turned his back - I'd just ridden with him a few times. After a few minutes of my freakshow my friend said "Hey dude, we're going, its cold and late." With that he handed me his gloves and they both began to descend. I somehow pulled my self together and started down the icy mountain. After 20 minutes I returned his gloves. I began to warm up and managed to keep from falling or crashing. When we hit the mainroad to town we were still 5 miles from our homes. I remember racing ahead on the wet black roads while traffic flew passed with bright head lights. I lost a friend that night. I hope he's well. A gentle, sweet, cool guy.

The consequence of my going nuclear led me to accelerate my breathing exercise experiments. Spiritual practices started 5AM every morning, 5 Tibetans, tai-chi, didjeridoo and singing. I never missed a day. The discipline was great but the foundation of my practice was anger. This would be my downfall. But even though this Icarus crashed into the sea and sunk. He/I learned how to breathe underwater and rebuild his/my wings.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hoop shots and swollen rivers

The filming of the Hip Happening Hoops dvd went smoothly. I caught a few glimses of Dianna on the monitor and was impressed. She's very photogenic. Because Tony and I had already recorded the track, there was no pressure. Lip syncing a didj is pretty easy. Tony, though, had to match his drumming with the track - which was played through a boom box. Tablas are a very complex instrument and require a great deal of focus. Tablas consist of two drums and are played with fingers, palms and sliding the hand. They originate in India. Tony comes from Lebannon. It was fun to be on camera in front of the bright lights. For one of the shots, a cameraman sat on a skateboard and then shot us as he rolled by. Our little scene only lasts for 3 minutes or so. Thus, Tony and I were only needed for 2 and a half hours and we were able to make the meeting on time. I had a bit of trepidation about this one. We just had one on Thursday. Our meetings are done council style. We sit in a circle and each person gets an opportunity to speak. Who ever calls the meeting determines the topic. At the last second, the topic was changed. It turns out that Prana had been badmouthing Bill's girlfriend and Bill heard it via the grape vine. When Bill spoke with Skip about this, Skip advised Bill that this was not an appropriate use of council. So the council just turned into a check in and a get to know Tony - who'll be joining this community late in March. After the meeting, relieved expressions were exchanged. Not every one knew who was on the hot seat and were afraid it might be them. All in all, it shows how the information is flowing just like the course of a river. When there's alot of talk it floods and the information flows over the river banks. I just got back from a hike with some friends. We trekked up the Pratt Trail and had to turn around because of the swollen river.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Stay active and surf the waves that come

This day began with the Five Tibetans and tai-chi - which the vast majority of days do for me. Yesterday, I walked to town with Millenium and left him at Rainbow Bridge. I randomly visited some friends at the moment of their departure for a bike ride. They invited me and had an extra single speed with front shocks. The rain started to fall on the way to the trailhead. Undeterred, we zipped along releasing pent up energy. I cawwed with the crows and enjoyed the cardio workout. It's been 2 weeks since I felt my body in this deep way - it was surfing last time. There might me a correlation between my slight tumble into the bardo realm and my lack of cardio exercise. It's prudent to take note of this and make the proper adjustment. When we arrived at the trailhead, we saw a sign which said the trail is closed do to unsafe conditions brought on by the latest bout of storms. So, instead of single tracks, we stuck to the road and then a bike trail which is very tame. The ride felt nice and I could feel my body wake up with the exercise. Dogs love you when you walk them, take them out in the forest and let them run free.. The human body loves and longs to be used as well. A century ago, humans did a lot more walking, running and physical labor. I've heard some evidence that long distance running played a major role in human evolution. One interesting bit of physiology is that our muscles had always been the primary distributor of blood in the human body. The heart had been the number three pumper of blood. The heart is connected to the cerebral cortex, the limbic system and the immune system. So it would seem to me that if we make the heart the main pump, then there's less energy to help with the cerebral cortex, limbic system and the immune system. I type this to remind myself to get off my but and be more active. Soon, I will walk down to the yoga temple where I will be part of a shoot. Tony will play the tablas and I will play the didjeridoo. The dvd is called Hip Happening Hoops and stars Dianna. Tony and I will just be in it for 3 minutes. I stuck my head inside the temple and was surprised at all the equipment - lights, cameras, wires and various other items. The shoot was supposed to start at 2 but it's already 2:12. We have a meeting planned at 5PM but I wonder if the filming will be done. The storms have swollen the rivers once again. More rain is expected. Stay active and surf the waves that come.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

India House in the summer

When I began living at India House (International Backpackers Hostel), my hair was long and I had 10 or 15 lbs of excess body weight. My transportation was a Ducati 900 Super Sport. The wind screen had been fiber glassed over and airbushed with lightening. My name soon became Mike the Bike. It was easy to make friends quickly as is the nature of travelers. It was nice to live amongst internationals, a welcome respite from the relatively provincial American mindset. The owners of the hostel were crazy cool: John from Ireland - short, stocky, mustache, full throttle and caffenated, Aaron from England - crew cut, layed back, wakes up after noon, handled maintenence, crew cut and Mark from Zimbabwe - way layed back, always holding a drink, went online when the sun went down. They started the hostel by squatting with no money. They built it up, reinvested and now own various property and structures thru out New Orleans. One day, I biked to Lollapalooza (a traveling rock fest). Alice in Chains, Arrested Development, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, were all bands that were part of this tour. I ended up being offered a job making falafels and fajitas for a food vender (Little Jerusalem). I'd had an awsome experience that day and decided on impulse to open my wings, jump and see where the wind brought me. I motorcycled back to India House and spoke with Irish John and Zimbabwe Mark. I left a note for Aaron asking if he'd keep an eye on my Ducati and ride it around a bit. I'd only known Aaron for 2 weeks but he'd been asking me to ride it, said he was good and plus I'd seen him play some amazing pool... So that night I get dropped off by a friend back at the site, hop in the Little Jerusalem caravan and head to Houston for the next show. There were six more shows left on the tour. The last one would end in Pasadena California. I learned how to make and wrap a fajita in less than 10 seconds. Kids would wait in line for 60 minutes for food and pay 2$ for 8 fluid ounces of H2O. I would not return to India House for 3 months.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Hey God, watch where your pointing that flash bulb!

The rain woke me gently this morning with a gentle drumbeat on the roof of my t-house. When I discovered the time, I scrambled to begin my day, scrapping the typical rituals used to frame my consciousness. I did brush my teeth though. The first thing I had to do was borrow Bill's Volvo, drive to Rachie's and let the famous cat Angus outside so he can mark his territory in the back yard. Next, I had to perform various miscelaneous tasks around the estate for the retreat this weekend. There's about 25 folks from LA here sleeping as I type this. The rain came in waves thru out the day and the sun even had a quick peak thru the curtain of clouds at one point. I can hear the frogs enjoying the night rain, river and stars. I figured out how to clean out the shower heads and the faucet screens in the pool bathrooms today. A simple task that I felt ill eqipped to accomplish but somehow I became focussed on solving the flow problem. Funny how something as innocuous as this could give me a burst of energy but it did. I watched a flick with Steve called Shawn of the Dead. Zombies in Britain. I guess there everywhere. I soaked in a jacuzzi while it rained and remembered Angus the cat. Time to get the tabby in. Now, Its just Katula the cat and I here in the basement. Katula sleeps curled in a chair across from me. Todays space news: The giant flash of light which came from a magnetar (rare type of neutron star) in another part of the galaxy. It flashed on Dec 27 2004 and was as bright as the moon. One theory had it as the cause of the famous Indonesian earthquake/tsunami. There's a sci-fi writer by the name of Greg Egan who wrote an expansive novel about the quest for immortality. He expounds about the inevitable frequency of bursts of gamma rays every 50 million years or so which wipe the chalk of life clean off the chalkboard. His speculative fiction always did have the ring of truth in my minds ear. If this latest burst of gamma rays was within 20 light years, it would have eradicated all life here on good ole Earth. They call this event a star quake. The flash was observed one day after the 9.0 planet wobbler. Hey God, watch where your pointing that flash bulb!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mushka Water screening

The rain stopped, the sun climbed over the clouds and gazed sunshine over our little part of the world. My phone rang and I spoke with my firecracker friend - she's "pulling into the estate". I left the yoga temple - charged with 15 minutes worth of tai'chi, slipped on a pair of sunglasses and walked up the hill. The silver Toyota Supra's engine blared like a lawn mower and my ex greeted me with her patented closed-lipped smile. She wore a fur vest, tight jeans, platform boots and big dark sunglasses. She'd make a great octopus I thought as she made phone calls, searched for items in the back seat and drove the car down the hill. Her intensity was palpable, jittery, caffene cubed. I buried myself in Greg Bear's collection of short stories, staying out of view of the spotlights, booby traps and hair trigger land mines that can be set off with the wrong look, the wrong word or the wrong intonation. While still on Main Street, I triggered a mini explosion by suggesting a left turn. I tried to hide in the big book but that didn't work. My silence was perceived as sulking so I finally spoke, calmly and with a smile: "Hey, you over-reacted a little, no biggy, just chill... relax." Some more tree shaking occured but I remained undisturbed, unaffected and the storm soon dissapated. Unable to find enough heat in my emotional ocean, Sunny's tropical storm disappeared. The rest of the drive past by uneventfully. We found the club, parked, ate some food in the car and walked the couple blocks to the screening. We walked through the door and were greeted by a guy in black. He sat in a chair and had a little table in front of him. He held up his hand with his thumb and index finger an inch or so apart asking for IDs. Oh yeah, I think to myself, they have a bar here. I shake my head "I don't have my ID with me." He sighs subtely and signals with his index and middle finger to come in. We walk thru a bar, up a flight of stairs, thru another room with a bar and into the back room where the screening will take place. There' s a big bar back there as well. There's also couches, boothes, tables and some black chairs. I glide around, chat with some friends from Ojai and exchange greetings with the director, Cameron and a couple of the actors. Finallly the movie begins. It's all unexpected because I had no expectations. The scene I am in happens within 15 minutes. Quite a surreal experience, seeing myself up on the wall and hearing my voice over the sound system in a room full of mostly strangers. I'd never seen any footage of this film and did not know what it was about and yet here I was - in it. The shoot took place a year and a half ago so I couldn't even remember what I had said. The movie ended and left me feeling exhilerated. I think Dr. Christopher Hyatt might get a kick out of this flick. He says something in one of his books that could have found a place in this film's dialogue. It goes something like this: The majority of human drama/conflict/suffering seems to be a consequence of the proximity of the waste organs and the sex organs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Mushka Water"

Today, I will be driven to LA by an ex who is now a friend to screen an independent flick. I have a small role in "Mushka Water", a film which is being shown tonight at Cyneplex. I was just an extra but during the shoot, the director overheard some strings of words that I was hanging out for another extra's inspection. Basically, I was talking about how the planets in the solar system chase the sun in a spiral as the sun spirals towards the galactic center (black hole). Sometimes the earth's orbit takes it in front of the sun and we enter space unfiltered by Sol. Cameron, the director, liked what he heard and we did one take of me repeating this strand of information. Somehow it ended up in a scene. I have never seen any footage of this film and am a bit curious. The director now wants to include me in future projects. Who knows? This is the second screening of this film in LA. The first screening occurred when it was raining dump trucks and bulldozers just as the year ended and began. All the roads out of Ojai were closed and we were physically cut off from the world for a few days. There were mudslides, houses floated away and people died. We have rain again, just enough to keep me off my motorcycle.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Sacred garbage

The stint as a showie left me drained. I felt powerless, unable to impact or influence. Some how it helped me feel better to just pick up garbage along the road. Initially, when I began hitch-hiking across the continent of Australia, the garbage surprised and disturbed me. Just before the carnival picked me up, I began to pick the garbage up instead of complaining about it to myself or to others. At some point I became aware that I was just feeling sorry for myself, looking for sympathy by clothing my psyche with the negligence of others. What I needed was to focus on myself and what I needed. Psychic irritation just means that I am thirsty. Thirsty for what? I realize now that I can only hope to influence and impact myself in a way that helps to better harmonize my life with the universe, the song that sings through all our hearts. I thirst for self validation, self love and gentleness. Trying to change the vibration of others does not happen directly. It only happens when I mend the faultlines within my own heart. And this happens thru self integrity, self honesty. When internal truth grows then so does the ability to channel compassion and love. At some point I relaized that it is my honor to pick up garbage. This was the beginning.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Carnivals and carnivores

The time arrives for Manny and I to go our separate ways. He's ready to get across Australia and fly to India. We'd caught a ride in a semi to the next town - a couple hundred miles. The semi was part of a traveling carnival - hauling the Super Slide - and we had been offered some work. Manny had an uneasy feeling about working for the carnival. I let myself get caught up in the adventure impulse. It sounded cool, getting picked up hitch-hiking by a traveling carnival in Australia and then working for it for however long. What could be more classicly random? I tell Manny I'll meet up with him in India but I never see him again. It turned out that he was pretty dead on about the carnival folks. In the states we call the people who work them carnies, in Oz, they call them showies. So, I end up working the carnival in Australia for 5 or 6 weeks. I help set up the Super Slide and the Bumper Cars in each town and then helped break them down in a mad rush like the very devil himself was spurring us on with his leer, horns and trident. During the carnival, I am the ticket guy for the Super Slide. The kids all come up and throw their dollar coins at me. I sit back and watch. The social behavior is strikingly different between the Caucasian Ausies (CA) and the Aboriginal Ausies (AA). The CAs and AAs rarely associate. The CAs social structure consisted of the classic nuclear family - 2 parents 2 kids and the boys had little toy guns which they used to pretend to shoot everyone with. The AAs typical socail structure consisted of 2 women and 3 to 8 kids running around without shirts on. They were free and wild with musical voices, smiles and sparkling eyes. Sometimes I'd see the AA male. The ones I saw were almost always drunk. The empty wine boxes are everywhere, blowing across the outback like tumbleweeds. Some of the Aboriginal kids run by me without paying, flash me a smile, climb up the slide, fly down it, again and again. I pretended not to notice. I don't really care I guess. The whole monetary thing feels like outdated scaffolding to me anyway. The end of my showie days approach, I feel isolated and friendless. All the showies are in to drinking and fighting. And surprise surprise, there are no chicks. In there eyes, I am a sepo or yank tank (Ausie slang for Americans) and a vegetarian to boot. Finally we arrive at Katherine, in the Northern Territory. Some showie punk decided it'd be funny to rip out the last page of a sci-fi book I'd been reading. This became the last staw. I approach little Elwin and tell him that I am quitting. He pushes me. I start to get angry and then I see the fear in his eyes and I watch him shrink. I grow and walk away slightly stunned at the ingrattitude. I'd been working 10 hours a day for next to nothing. I walk from the fairgrounds to the town and easily find a hostel. It's filled with girls but I am invisible. I spend one night there. The next morning I walk to the edge of town with my thumb out but no one picks me up. I hear a bag flapping in the wind, caught on barb wire, it calls to me. I walk over, unwrap it from the wire and start filling it up with garbage: beer cans, candy wrappers and square cardboard tumbleweeds...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Center Cafe, Burning Man 2003

playaman-2.14221, originally uploaded by surfer x.

To me this is Shiva, Om Shiva

The dreamtime continues

I am performing at Black Rock City, Nevada - a.k.a. Burning Man. This is center stage of Center Cafe and the year is 2003. I dragged my recycled didjeridoo from OBOP, the theme camp that was my home for about 10 days. The playa is perfectly cracked and fits together as mother nature's version of the jigsaw puzzle. The air is dry and hot. I've been in this temporary town, which will contain over 30,000 futants before the man is burned, for a couple days. I walk over to the sound guy and ask him if there is a performance schedule. He kind of shrugs, mumbles and trys to rub the sleep out of his eyes. A couple neurons fire and he says: "Go up on stage and start playing, the next act is late or something." So, I make my way up the stage and determine that the mike is live. I speak into the microphone as I survey my audience of maybe a thousand or 2. I tell them that i am honored to share the didj with so many beautiful humans. I tell them that the didj is an instrument that is over 50,000 years old and that it is a gift to us humans and the planet from the Aboriginal people of Australia. I explain that the didjeridoo, that I am about to play, would be in a landfill if I did not salvage it and convert it into a didj. I say: "I am an Earth Guardian and it is my honor to pick up garbage." I then begin to play. Initially, for the first 5 minutes or 10 or so, I struggle to gain altitude as my breathing wings begin to unfold. Some time, some moment, some how, the dreamtime opens and now my body takes over and I am the wave that is being ridden. I am flying thru the atmosphere and approaching the spped of sight. I feel the internal topography of my body open and my breath sings thru the grey tube, the earth rhythm accelerator. I listen to the cacophany of polyphonic sound enshroud us all in a bubble of peace and love and we melt together as our awarenesses become one. I start hearing a deep beautiful chanting of ooooomm shhhiiiivvaaa... I am detatched and listen along with the audience. I think to myself that it must be a nearby camp with a loud sound system. 5 minutes, maybe 10 go by and then I realize that it is I making these sounds, this mantra. Who am I? Ancient, newborn and timeless, I remain detatched. I am just a channel. Soon, other musicians appear at my side - we combine forces and the dreamtime continues. Shanti.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


bubble_450x659, originally uploaded by surfer x.

Luke the lifeguard trys to attract a mate


What a creative approach to the oldest dilema. How does one attract a mate? It's hard to imagine that you'd have trouble getting a girlfriend, Luke. You are a lifeguard in Australia. What is more appealing to women than lifeguards? The enormous success of Baywatch highlights this nicely. Valentine's Day (VD) is just around the corner. I know that you're feeling the pressure increase logarithmically as the infamous February 14th gets closer and closer. The biological imperative: reproduce, reproduce, reproduce... sings thru the blood of all living beings. I am no exception to this. But, I don't think I'd put myself in a bubble inside a mall. First of all, the food in malls sucks. Second, who goes to malls anyway? Isn't that kind of a junior high gig? The other thing I noticed is that you bubble is too small for a bed. So, where are you going to sleep Luke? How about getting you and that bubble out of the mall and into the ocean. You could float around and let the currents take you where ever. Another cool place would be on the beach. I think you'd have a better chance of meeting someone who is compatible there. Lets face it Luke, something's just a bit off kilter for you to try and pull a stunt like this.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Welocome to New Orleans

When I arrived in New Orleans, I planned on staying a few days and then continuing westward on my Ducati 900 S.S.. I made my way to the French Quarter glad to be on a bike in the hot humid weather typical for late July. New Orleans' elevation is below sea level. I passed by above ground crypts. The street I was looking for appeared, I found the adress, parked my motorcycle up on the sidewalk and knocked on the door. To my surprise, a petite, cute young woman opens the door - she just has a towel wrapped around her. Before I can react, the towel drops and she slips some clothes on. Welcome to New Orleans, I think to myself. She escorts me to the girl I will be staying with for the next 3 days. Her name is Christine. She is the daughter of my parents close friends. I do not know her but when the parents heard that I was passing thru New Orleans they encouraged me to stay with her. The 3 days flew by quickly. I was treated like royalty by her neighbors, cookouts and parties every night. I decided to check out a hostel that fellow travelers had spoke highly of. India House is a bacpackers hostel which sits about a mile outside the French Quarter. I found it easily, parked my bike and walked into the coolest scene I had ever seen. Growing up in the North East I always dreamed of a place where the counter culture ruled. And now I had found it. This is why I left the maximum security detention center in the first place I realized. Initially one of the staff said that it's only for internationals but a nice English girl by the name of Jan, who happened to be the manager, interceded. The next day I checked in to India House Internationlal Backpackers Hostel. Little did I know the changes I would go thru. Sometimes, when you get what you long for it can be a mixed blessing. What I gained was a deeper sense of my self and purpose. The layers of illusion which prevented me from knowing myself would begin to disintergrate. How else could I have ever found my dharma?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The steering of the public

(Arthur Schopenhauer): "It is a ticklish question, the steering of the public, good and docile as it is on the whole. Although, as a rule, the absurd culminates, and it seems impossible for the voice of the individual ever to penetrate through the chorus of foolers and fooled, still there is left to the genuine works of all times a quite peculiar, silent, slow, and powerful influence; and as if by a miracle, we see them rise at last out of the turmoil like a balloon that floats up out of the thick atmosphere of this globe into purer regions. Having once arrived there, it remains at rest, and no one can any longer draw it down again."

Sail around the world and your problems disappear

I want you to know that I have spent all night mulling over that question you presented to me so vehemently yesterday. This may sound off the wall... but have you ever sailed a boat? Well... it doesn't matter, you can learn as you go. Basically, I think you should sail around the world. All of your problems will either evaporate or drown. One or the other. Of course there are no garantees. Wait... Hold on a second... consider what I am saying. Remember, when you judge quickly, you are screening out information. Right. Good. Now listen, you gotta learn to suspend judgement. Exactly. You got it. There's alot of good that can happen by you just sailing away - like in that Christopher Cross song. Look, it will take you about 3 or 4 months to circumnavigate the world and the whole press thing will have blown over. Believe me, you don't want to pull a Sean Penn and declare war against the paparazzi. I picture you with the wind glancing off your face and Crosby Stills and Nash's Southern Cross playing on your boom box. All the crazy lust-filled women will be a million miles away from you in this gentle time leaving space so your heart can heal. And when you make it back, Brad, you'll be able to make 30 mil a picture instead of that measly 20. Trust me... It''ll all work out. Go get that boat, hit the bow with a bottle of wine and scram. Oh yeah, don't forget to wear a life jacket. Your welcome. Bon voyage.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The quest for a didj down under Part I

Once, I had long hair past my shoulders. While visiting a friend in LA, I shaved it off revealing a smooth skull underneath. 3 days later, I hop on a plane and fly to Australia. My arrival in Sydney felt surreal. My ability to connect with others felt diminished like I was just out of step; on a different wavelength. My head felt odd and I felt a bit self conscious. Those that I came in contact with seemed to avoid making eye contact and any discourse seemed to be cut off abrubtly. I boarded a bus, sat down and began my journey to Byron Bay. The trip was uneventful. Much of it took place during the night. We drove thru the outback and I soaked in the vast open spaces.

We arrived in Byron Bay in the morning and I could see a bunch of generation x types awaiting, apparently for us. As I got off the bus I realized that they all represented various hostels and bed and breakfasts. Quickly, a cute girl around 20, long dark hair, began talking to me and before I knew it I was in the back of a Holden, heading for The Arts Factory. It was only a mile or 2 away. My disconnection and slight feelings of alienation continued but I still was able to appreciate how cool this place was. I decided to stay in my tent initially and then the rain started to fall. It rained for 3 days and I just slept and slept. On the third day, I awoke to see the clouds rolling back like curtains revealing a beautiful sun. The last moments of a dream lingered: A woman, earth goddess-like, whispering in to my ear: It's all right, everything is perfect. From that moment onward, a switch had been flicked and I felt connected. I moved into the one of the tee-pees and began to meet and connect with other folks.

One day later, an Austrian guy, about a year older that me entered the tent. His name was Manny. We became good friends quickly. Much happened in Byron Bay. I surfed and met amazing people like Zac from Tasmania. I connected with one beautiful blonde girl from I forget where and one night we kissed under the sparkling stars after a night spent with some Hari Krishnas.

Manny enters the tent, its about 16 days later, I have been in Byron Bay for about 3 weeks. He says he has a ride to Harvey Bay and that it leaves in an hour "Do you want to go?" The rest of the plan unfolds: We are heading to Frazier Island.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Intercepted letter

Dear Rummy,
It has happened sooner than you expected. The reality show you have been waiting for. But... damn! those high and mighty Brits beat us to it. Damn! Soon they will be torturing voulunteers for all to see on TV in Great Britain. I know how much you want to be one of the torturers Mr. Rumandcokesfield but please, the country needs you. I'm sorry, we just cannot accept your resignation at this time. Who knows, maybe the producers of the show will allow you to make a cameo appearance. I'm sure they'd love to have your input on some techniques. Lets face it Rummy, your kind of an artist when it comes to torturing people. I still see new photos that our military employees took of themselves using your techniques against the Iraqis who might be getting in the way of our oil agenda. Hey, maybe we can start our own show in Iraq. Yeah! it could help offset the high cost of helicopters and planes and stuff. I'm sure it would be a hit like American Idol. Think about it, all of those Iraqis being tortured are an asset, an asset like a royal flush. So lets show our hand Rummy. Send in some of those new school Mtv music videographers and create a hit. Once the American public gets hooked on the torture show then we can really drag this war on indefinitely. We can call the show Torture Theatre.
Your Friend,

Monday, February 07, 2005

Learn from the best

Congratulations, you have managed to find the secret outpost of the one you have been waiting for. I can tell, you have been brought to the very limits of your sanity. Please relax now. Begin by unclenching your jaw, relaxing your shoulders and taking a deep breath.You searched the internet universe for hours and hours and weeks and weeks and years and years. Pat yourself on the back. You can finally let that breath out. Part of you, that you might not even be aware of, deduced or induced my existence. Another part denied it and thus you were at war with yourself. Somehow you stuck it out and now here you are.

Secretly, you hate making decisions. The word freedom is used in place of slavery continuously. This is what you love: slavery. Admit it. Trust me. Admit it. OK, good. Now where going somewhere. I cannot make all your decisions for you. Just the important ones will have to suffice as my time is quite in demand for this kind of thing.

Tonite's topic is your project for the next year or so. You will start to offer classes for people. You will teach them how to be good robots. So, the first thing you do, is create a simple flyer to advertise your class. It will say something like: Attention, anybody who wants to be a robot can come to my class. Learn from the best. I'll teach you to be obediant, subserviant, docile and conservative. I can teach you how to surrender your will effortlessly. Its as easy as putting your foot on the brake. All you have to do is bring a pencil, some paper and a hundred bucks. Now go to to Staples or Letter Lobby or whatever. Run off about 200 copies and paste them all over town.

Good job, come back tomorrow and I'll fill in some more blanks.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Yes, I am your liberator

While I was away up North, I seriously missed you, all of you. Even though it's almost like talking to the wall, I still missed you. Alas, I have accepted your muteness. Actually, I tried talking to the wall and it kind of talked back if you count banging and pounding. I guess 3 AM was a bad time to start relating my thoughts to the slender white hotel room wall. The people on the other side were quite selfish and only cared about their precious sleep. This experience inspired me, so now I know what your next mission is. I want you, all of you, to purchase a portable amplifier. I recommend the Amp Can by Fender. Then I want you to get a microphone. Now, make sure that amp is charged up. That sucker will go for hours, your voice will go hoarse long before the charge runs out. OK, load up your cool new toys into your car. Make sure its an old beater. Oh, by the way, did I tell you that you are a star? I mean it, your confidence has to be high to pull this off. Just to get used to it, begin by driving around your neighborhood. Position the amp so it is facing out an open window. OK, are you ready to let the fun begin? Good. It's good to do this around 4 AM. So turn the voume up to like 6 or 7 and start simply: test 1, test 2, test 3, testing 1,2,3 . John Smith this is your wake up. Time to get up! I said wake up! (gradually increase your voice level until you are screaming. Now, are lights starting to come on? Good. Get out of there, quick. If anyone sees your car, your busted. You idiot, I said move it.

How do you feel? Like you have busted out of a preordained life where nothing new or exciting can happen? Like a cow that has jumped over the moon instead being milked by some old crusty farmer and jacked up with antibiotics and hormones for the rest of your life? Or like a little yelping dog whose bladder feels like its gonna burst because he only gets walked once a day by some senile old lady who calls you snookums?

Your welcome. Yes, I am your liberator. Thank you. But, I have only just begun... Find a pretty big city on the map that isn't too far away. Drive there. Take your new toys with you. As you cruise around various random streets, talk into your microphone. Say things like: "Stay in your house, watch tv, eat fast food, use deoderant or else you won't have any friends." Your voice should be friendly. Have a smile on your face. Kind of like a game show announcer. Good, you see, if you're having fun, then so will your audience. Some other things you can say: "Lock your doors, the streets are not safe, stock up on TP, wash your hands after flushing the toilet, drink coffee, stay in school, support the military, save the flys."

Nice work. You're breaking out of your shell and your helping to make the world more interesting. Does it feel like a haze is fading away? A haze you did not even know was there? Well, now you do. If you don't want it to come back, you better keep tuning in here a couple times a day. I never know when I'll get a flash of insight to help liberate you and the sooner the better. Have a great day.

Mini vacation at Mammoth Mountain

I have just returned to Ojai under huge ripe storm clouds. Bill, Will and myself journeyed to Mammoth for a couple days of skiing and snowboarding. As a bardo surfer, I, of course, snowboarded. It was the first time in 7 years but the technique of carving the mountain like a big thanksgiving turkey came back after just a couple runs. I had a few mishaps which rang my bell like it was time for dinner in a quiet temple in the middle of nowhere. When the edge of the board catches it whips you to the ground like a ragdoll. I had this happen a few times but it only made me concentrate more on what I was doing. Soon enough my confidence grew and I was able to relax and enjoy the speed and the exhilaration it brings. The various folks I met on the chairlifts and gondala were all from Southern California. The base was 130 inches. One more good snowstorm and Mammoth will be open until June. We soaked in a natural hotspring this morning. The drive back took 5 1/2 hours.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Travel slowly thru time

While practicing tai-chi this morning I reviewed a memory of how it was when I started over 9 years ago. The job I held gave me alot of freedom. My responsibility was a 9 year old boy who needed one on one supervision, initially, due to his inability to function in a school room setting. I also would work with him out of school. Working in an emotional support class can be draining. The kids in these programs tend to need a great deal of attention and patience. I began my tai-chi classes just as I began working in the emotional support special education class. Whenever I wanted I could leave the classroom and go to the teachers' lounge and practice tai-chi. I learned to time it when no one was in there hoping to avoid an audience. Inevitably, a teacher or teacher's aide or some body would pop in thru the door to buy some junkfood from a machine or for some coffee. This always felt a bit awkward and a strange feeling would linger. I then discovered the stage in the cafeteria/gym. This became my home for tai-chi in that elementary school almost a decade ago. No one knew I was back there as I'd travel slowly thru time with the powerful graceful movements which make up this exercise. An exercise refined for over 2300 years by millions of people in China. I remember how surreal it felt as I slowed down time and grounded myself into the proccess while the children were doing jumping jacks and pushups. The curtains would be drawn and the light was dim. Soon, I'd be back in the classroom, recharged and present, able to do my job more effectively.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

100% slacker perfection

My friend Trish began checking out from the material world about 4 years ago. She used to practice by doing nothing except chain smoking smokes. And, on a regular basis she'd move all of her belongings out on the backyard. This would include her various snakes who'd enjoy some sun and freedom for a couple hours. For a decade, Trish was always on time with her rent but the last four years saw a decline on her previous punctuality. The eviction notice from her landlord, Robert, completed her 4 year degree in slacking off. These past days have been like slackers finals week at Trish's former residence. She was nearly 100% slacker perfection. I never saw her lift a finger except to pick up a ciggarette and inhale some smoke. Somehow, she gave enough of her junk away and surfed the waves of generosity as friends sorted and separated trash and worth. They also brought her junkfood, water, ciggarettes and grass.

I just visited Trish. She's still at her previous residence. Cloie, her dog, had just been washed but she still smelled like a dead rat. I used laundry detergent to wash my hands after caressing her face. Robert B, her landlord happened to stop by in his little silver BMW. He was wearing a slick business suit and sunglasses as he walked around his rental property. He then began to grill Trish on the various miscelaneous items littering his property.

"What are you doing with the stove, Trish"
"What about the fridge?"
"What are you doing with your car?" (Trish's beamer had a broken passenger window and sat on flat tires for the past year)

Trish answers these questions with surprising adroitness. I am impressed with her ability to maintain decorum and yet still talk around each question without actually anwering any of them. Robert's a laywer so this conversation might have had some extra juice for him. Just before I sped off on my motorcycle, I could hear the strained tone of frustration creeping into Robert's voice as he realized there was no definite end in sight.

"This is not acceptable." Robert said looking down.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

God loves your tears

Uhh, yeah... hello to you too. Mm... err... so how'd you get my number anyway? I guess... no... I mean alright, yeah uh I am uh honored that you tracked me down and have bared your soul to me. I think you should know that I am completely unqualified to answer your question but I will anyway out of the kindness of my heart and my compassion for you as Michael's mom. But, let me be blunt Mrs. Jackson, it doesn't look good for your boy. You know, basically it comes down to common sense when you look at it. Have you ever noticed that pedifiles always live across the street from elementary schools? What's that you say? Oh, look don't interupt me, I'm on a roll. So, let me try another track; a friend of mine has a big estate. He's a bachelor and he really digs chicks. Yeah, big time. So what he did was set it up so that various beautiful women into yoga would rent his house on a regular basis on weekends and he built a big yoga studio to boot. Now, what did Michael do? Right, he built an amusement park for children. Right, yeah, now you see what I am getting at. I'm sorry to be the one to have to break it to you. I hear your sorrow... I can tell by your sobbing how much this hurts. Just know this - God loves your tears. Thanks for calling and have a nice day.