A Tantric sexuality experience

My wife and I attended our first Tantric Intimacy Retreat about two months ago for her birthday. It was nothing like I expected at all. It was more about communication than sex.  

What really stunned me is the depth of and really the ignorance of my assumptions about the truth I was hearing from her. We are both facilitators of “spiritual” events and consider ourselves to be great communicators. Neither of us is intimidated in any way by the other. We each speak our own truth in the freedom of wreck-less abandon.  

Yet, it is now clear that because of various things we had said to each other over the years, we had both “deduced” certain assumptions about each other that were simply not true. What we found out was that we did not really even know each other after having lived together over nine years.  

The gift of the retreat for me is communicating in the beauty of knowing she is not the same old person every day. She is a mystery adventure too deep to fathom. We cloud the clear blue sky of love with all kinds of assumptions calling it knowledge.  

If you are like me and you think you “know” your lover, you may not really be communicating. You may be assuming many things much to the innocent detriment of your relationship. I highly recommend the retreat. We are more madly in love than ever.

Thank you to Anthony Amrhein, who wrote this about the experience he and his wife Elise had. 

For information on the retreat they attended: www.intimacyretreats.com



Secular spirituality: Oh the choices!

There’s a wave crashing across the land — it’s been coming for a generation and now it’s splashing down all around us. It’s the advent of secular spirituality.

Secular spirituality is an open-source, open-path movement. There’s a commitment to the spiritual, but not to a particular religion.

This ethos is open-hearted in its embrace of multiple pathways to the Ultimate. A dark side, that I hope is lessening, is scorn for those who trod a traditional path.

It’s beautiful, you might

dance (like Rumi) 

love (like Jesus)

pray (like Muhammad)

allow (like Abraham-Hicks) 

still your thoughts (like Buddha)

be the change you wish to see in the world (like Gandhi)

serve (like Mother Teresa) 

frolic (like Osho) 

You might

go Tantric and find communion in sexual union

You might

go your own way (like Fleetwood Mac)

You might . . . do anything you wish to elevate yourself . . . it’s your call.



A meditator is never bored

A meditator is never bored.

Oh, you may get to the border of boredom . . . but it’s a terrain easily skirted. 

Actually, Boredom is a Kingdom . . . that doesn’t exist. Boredom is an imaginary place you go when you imagine life in this moment is not alive. 


Easy like pouring water over a sink

other morning I was set to pour water from one water bottle into
another, to consolidate two half-empty (half-full!) bottles into one. It
seemed risky, in the camper, poised as I was over my open luggage, not
to mention (though . . . I am) the upholstery, the table and the rug.

I moved the operation over to the sink. You can imagine how it went —
flawlessly! Driplessly. I poured it so well the stream never even
touched the inside of the neck of the bottle . . . 

Such is our power when we know we are safe.

Like how I operate — magnificently! with genius! — when I feel safe in life.

Isn’t that the ultimate marker of advanced spirituality? That we know we are safe, regardless of appearances.



Attention is love

The basis of all love is attention.

Attention is love.

The next time you are

  • watching the news
  • using your tongue unwisely
  • mulling over slights

ask yourself — Is this what I want to love?


The future is now . . . somewhere

When an individual has a vision it is not a vision of the future, it is a vision of what is already happening in the mind of Love Intelligence, waiting for the right condition to manifest.

The surface mind might call it the future, but be aware that your tomorrow is just more of Infinite Mind’s today. So that vision is already happening in some dimension . . .

~ Michael Bernard Beckwith


Three tenets for activating the power of your subconcious mind

If you are an insatiable explorer of human potential and are not yet a fan of Dr. Joseph Murphy, a leading metaphysical teacher from the 60s and 70s, get on with it. 

Find his work, you’ll thrill to the simplicity of the message. Page after page Murphy gets you in his grip through real-life stories from those who embodied the truths he espoused and went on to substantial change in their circumstances. 

Three tenets for activating the power of your subconscious mind from Joseph Murphy 

  • Repetition
  • Faith
  • Expectancy

Why repetition? It burns it in. It grooves the concept into your subconscious mind. Once the subconscious mind accepts a premise, it will unerringly lead you to its fulfillment.

What is faith? Relaxed understanding that all will be fulfilled in the highest and best manner. If I am not relaxed, I am not trusting. It is my trust, my faith, my certainty that activates the resources for the resolution of my desire.

Why expectancy? That is how you know your desire has burned in . . . and that you have faith it’s coming. It’s a demonstration that the first two principles have been met. Anticipation — expectation — is the surest way to power the change you seek. 



How Jason got his groove back

Have you ever witnessed a transformation occur before your blinking eyes? In someone you know well? Ann and I have been privy to this very thing with someone we work with on a daily basis. 

The change — pronounced — doesn’t come as a surprise, we always knew this individual had tremendous ability. Even so, when someone embarks on change, the results can be breathtaking . . . as if a skin has been molted and a new super-charged being has emerged.

Jason Fennell has worked with our gallery on and off for eight-ish years, in freelance and full-time capacities. Before launching into Jason as Superhero, let me tell you a quantum bit of information about him first . . .  

Freelance living in suburbia . . . on bicycle

It’s true. For years Jason managed to live in suburbia as a freelancer — in oh so many things, too numerous to list here, but I’ll trot some out because you’re curious: 

  • Computer office skills of almost legendary ability
  • Graphic design
  • Website work
  • Operations — you name it, he can do it better, shipping, receiving, inventory, whatever you can throw at him — in fact, whatever 10 monkeys could toss at him randomly Jason can reassemble into perfect order faster than a fry cook can deliver your hash browns.
  • Other odd jobs

I can tell you all this now because we’re not afraid to lose him. (He’s already leaving.) Though it’s never too late for you to make a better offer, I’m sure. 

The extraordinary aspect of his freelancing was hinted at in the bold title above . . . he managed to work multiple jobs and projects for over 15 years in a spread-out suburban sprawl on a bicycle! He never once owned a car. 

Across bridges, down boulevards, into gated communities, from retail center to industrial park to offices, Jason wound his way there by bike. I’m fatigued writing about it.

This ended a year ago or so — the bicycling hell-bent everywhere — but still. Think about that. When you were taking your late morning coffee break after a few hours on the job, Jason was hurtling from his first gig to his second gig miles away on a bicycle.

In combat boots. 

With his ponytail and earrings and urban rebel look. That was Jason on his bike clocking thousands of miles, looking foreign (to the suburbanites) and fierce (though really a good-natured bloke — and we can call him a bloke because his Mom’s British, so there). 

So why would Jason need to get his groove back when he sounds like he’s been cutting his own groove since he emerged from the chrysalis into adulthood?

We all have trying times.

For Jason it happened when it shouldn’t have, when he was attaining a long-held dream of going back to England to live. 

He was married to the wrong person (he knows now). They drank too much. They puffed out, gained weight. Things went awry. They went to England but came back, separated suddenly, and Jason found himself having lost the dream of England and his marriage. And in desperate need for cash.

Let’s jump to now . . . since I like hopscotching around. 

Jason is in love with the loveliest, artsiest, brainiest lass (and his affection is returned, important to note). The combat boots and urban look from 20 years ago, jettisoned. He’s positively stylish, in casual jeans chic.

More than this, he’s engaged from heart to head to toe in molding his life. He won’t say this — but I will — he’s an artist in crafting a life and he’s committed again to the craft.

Here he is now, energized, fit, alert in mind and spirit,
ambitious to get on with the adventure of it all with a woman he cares
about intensely. 

In the gallery he’s stepped up his presence to such a degree that clients bend to him . . . he’s articulate, passionate, he connects. He takes the artwork in more comprehensively, he asks questions of it in ways he didn’t a few years back. He’s curious. His mind leaps about seeking possibilities . . . .

So how did Jason rise from the ashes?
I asked him this very thing the other day, impressed by how far he’s come since the downbeat recent past.

“I converted all the chaos into creative energy.”

“I rode my bike somewhere, sat down and worked on creative projects.”

He watched The Secret, which led to Down the Rabbit Hole — aka What The Bleep Do We Know?! — which helped him because of the science pointing in the same direction as his inclinations. He opened his mind to the Law of Attraction and saw results.

I remember stories from Jason detailing item after item he stumbled upon when he was setting up his newly single life. He would think of something he needed, and with uncanny accuracy it would appear, in the trash, discarded streetside, handed to him by someone who thought he might want it. 

This was essentially how Jason populated his first apartment when going solo — by thinking about his needs and then watching them materialize around him in his journeys.

Above all, he threw himself into creation’s power. He threw himself into creating work, and when he couldn’t work at something that would bring him money, he would work on a beloved project that might. 

With all this creation energy expended it was inevitable a woman of equal creativity would appear, it was inevitable his income would increase, it was inevitable his circumstances would improve, it was inevitable his options would multiply, it was inevitable the world would bend his way.



An exquisite concept from Mahayana Buddhism

I have to pass this onto you! I was listening to a series of lectures on Buddhism and along came this gem (a pun to make you wince in moments).

There is an image in the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism that speaks to life and ultimate reality simultaneously. You are asked to behold a jewel in the palm of your hand . . . if you can see the jewel and see through it at the same time, you grasp the essence of this life. 

In the Mahayana interpretation ’emptiness’ is the ultimate reality. To be able to hold both insights together closely, at the same time, as if you are cupping both thoughts in one hand, is to honor the reality of existence and ultimate truth all at once.

Enlightened understanding is experiencing the preciousness of this life while recognizing the void from whence it comes.

For me, not a Buddhist, though a near-Buddhist in my early twenties, this idea of witnessing the jewel in the hand while also peering through it . . . speaks across traditions. I immediately felt the power in that two-as-one concept, of the wondrous now pervaded by the essence eternal. 

It is what I aspire to — touching the things of this life as if from the fingertips of Spirit.



We were all beautiful then

As we aged my friend Gil and I from time to time would see the new crop of young things taking shape around us and wonder why we ever had standards (for dating) back then. 

At a glance, the young are beautiful just by existing. Why did we mar our youth by being so selective (when we weren’t drinking)?

This next question only applies to those four decades or older . . . 

Have you ever looked at photos of yourself and your friends when you were in your early twenties? We were all beautiful then, we just didn’t know it.

You know what? It’s the same now. Whatever age you are, cast your mind forward a couple of decades. You are beautiful now and don’t know it. 

Now you do. Spread that beauty around. The easiest way is with a smile.