the tree must not be painted, but manifested.

true tree-ness comes through the painting as itself -
no process of creating the tree required.

as the wheel turns, 
realities merge
and that which was and will be now is.

there is no more distinction.

there is no more separation.

there is only the one unfolding.

the one, unfolding.

do you still resist?

yamamoto masao: tori 

lately i've been in that place of defeat. it really sucks. somehow i have accumulated so much negative energy either from others or from my own thoughts that a cyclical loop of these thoughts will often play in my mind without end, a constant dialogue of negativity that hounds me morning til night. i think i have just become used to it. on some days i find distractions through work, a hobby, or obligations and the voice gets drowned out. sometimes, though, these distractions don't really work, and the negative internal dialogue feels almost amplified out over the field of my life and it's hard to ignore.

when you have a bully constantly shouting at you, attempting to take away any power you might muster, it is very easy to completely collapse. to hide inside the shelter of your dark cave, to mistrust anyone and anything, to despise even yourself. in this place i do not come out for anything. it is too hard to imagine things going well for me if i do, so i project into the future that there will only always be failure and pain.

i know, it's not good, but it's real. it's really what i've been dealing with. and i have come to breakthroughs regarding this particular thought pattern many times only to lose track of my progress, bringing me back to a place of not being able to imagine a way out.

thankfully i have recently discovered something seemingly obvious but that had been hidden from me in regards to digging out the poison root once and for all. a way to actually be happy all the time, in any situation, at any point or place. and it is mine.

hashimoto okie

awareness is all. once my consciousness can be trained to expand outward so that i am looking at the looker, watching the feeler, seeing the seeker, holding the thinker - once i am beyond my immediate self - then i am tapping into primordial consciousness, the very fabric of the One that includes me but also includes everyone and everything else. and from this place i can start to see that i am not merely a victim of a constant mental barrage, i am a powerful creative being;

something i have begun incorporating into my daily and even momentarily experience is the diagnosis and calling to awareness of wasteful, repetitive thought. thought can be a great servant to the mind, and the mind can be a great servant to us as individuals, but without proper awareness of its power we are likely to succumb to wasteful and repetitive thought patterns. the great hamster wheel of the mind will turn itself ragged, endlessly, and take you along with it. there are no laws which prohibit the mind from turning and spinning, projecting and analyzing, idling and plummeting downward, all at a clip seemingly beyond our control.

More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an untrained mind does greater harm. More than your mother, more than your father, more than all your family, a well-trained mind does greater good.

i didn't quite know all this starting out. i also didn't know that most of my depression was because i was stuck on the hamster wheel, turning and turning, slaving away in a repetitive cycle of wasted energy. i would almost constantly be wasting my waking energy thinking about the future, trying to imagine what was going on in other people's heads and hearts, trying to micro-manage my emotions and my life, all to the point of not being able to function, or at least with any degree of fluidity. it became a trap all too easy to fall into.

since making this realization (perhaps not for the first time in this lifetime, or even others), it all has become very simple, once you get the hang of it. it's very much like walking on a tightrope, this meditative state of consciousness - too much slack or too little can cause extreme imbalance, and the more times one cannot strike this balance the practice gets forgotten, and one feels defeated. it's incredibly hard to walk on a tightrope in real life, and i'm not good at it at all, but the metaphor still works well for how i have found taming the mind to be.

georgia o'keefe - light coming on the plains, no. 1

so what does this look like?

well, i can tell you that today was one of the best days i have had in a while. every moment has felt full, full of itself and full of my awareness of it, and my unconscious mind hasn't been secretly draining itself away in the background.

"but if it's an unconscious process, the mind wasting energy on worrying, how can one consciously attend to it?"

the practice requires that you are always looking at yourself, indelibly connected to what thoughts and projections are flashing across the broadcast of your mind. when we look out at the world we see what we want to see, we are concerned with exactly that which is related to our karmic destiny. if we are depressed, we look out into the world and see misery, poverty, suffering, emptiness. we are projecting that out onto the world, and of course it feels like it's confirming some truth we have created. but it's important to note how our thoughts affect our entire momentary existence.

Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is theirchief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering fol-lows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

i'm having to live this life in a state of relative solitude in order to heal the rift in my very existential fabric. i'm taking each moment as more important than my whole life put together, because in a way it is. when i feel myself start to ruminate over that which i cannot see or touch i gently guide myself away from that abyss, back to the present, and that includes the presence of my body. i listen to what my body wants and needs in this moment, and i obey, no questions asked. if i am tired, if i am hungry, if i am bored, if i am inspired, i am aware.

i am.

and that is all i ever need to be.

max ernst - paysage de choix


rain run

you ever get so high you need to climb back down the rope to earth and find your feet again, find your own little patch of earth?

that's kind of what i've been dealing with for the past few hours, but it's fine - i am already seeing myself step back into the /usual/ normal, whatever that is.

it's been the same rainy day for a few weeks now. every day we get that it is not raining has been a gift, and i've tried to use them wisely by being out in them. rainy days are also beautiful, and i can hardly remember when they weren't part of my every day.

frank wilbert stokes  - the phantom ship

one of the things i like about the rain is that in it i have started running again. running in the rain is almost more fun than running in the sun. you are constantly getting cooled off by the drops and the surroundings are alive and moving in ways often overlooked under the sun's glare. running with my dog is an even more interesting phenomenon. with her leashed to me, i feel almost as though i am driving a sled, and she is pulling me. i have to stop when she stops to explore whatever smells she must because it's about mutual respect, in the end. and then we are off, together, back into the mist and the green.

where we run it is as if we are at the bottom of a giant bowl with a mountainside wall of trees spreading above us in a giant semi-circle. looking far up the sides of that darkly green and lush wall the white mist claims the tops of the trees and the sky seems both far and not far. me then green then white then beyond. to stop amidst the onward push of your body's pumping machine and find yourself right in the middle of that giant crater of beauty, surrounded by birds and the rushing of the river water and the wetness of the dripping leaves, is to be placed right in the center of an all-encompassing experience of nowness.

heart racing and breath acutely aware of itself. that's why i run, in the end... to feel the most alive i possibly can, to be as close as i can stand to the physicality of what my body was made to do.


hello. when you hear that "god is on your side" what does it make you feel?

these days i have been primarily concerned with what the self is, and what its importance should be, if any. the self, the atman, is our own individual spark of the divine contained within us.

"The final stage of moksha (liberation) is the understanding that one's atman is, in fact, Brahman" (source).

i've been thinking a lot about what it means to be on "god's side," because isn't that the same thing as accepting that "god is on your side"?

"god" is just one of the infinitude of words we have created for the One, for Brahman - the great and all-encompassing primeval love which contains/consists of the very fabric of existence.

if it's on our side, then we should try to be on its side too, no?

(oh so typical of a human to think in such dualistic terms)

mc escher - fluorescent sea