Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’


December 7, 2011

Andy and I are walking up Fryman canyon.  It’s a splendid morning, the mountains are clearly wrinkled across the verdant valley, echoing our own slowly aging faces.  This is Sunday in the park sans George in my LA circa 2011.

“This is a perfect moment,” I say, stopping to appreciate the view.  “Our kids haven’t yet left and my parents are still alive, I’m halfway up this hill with you…”

“It is a perfect moment,” she says as we walk on together.  I grow a tiny bit sad, “But it’s not your perfect moment—your parents have already passed and…”

“For me, every moment is a perfect moment,” Andy says, simply.  I take this in.

“Then you’re happy and this truly is a perfect moment.  And I’ve nothing to say.”

(except, perhaps, Namaste)



November 30, 2011

“It’s a very simple machine.  I feel very connected to what’s going on.”

Will says this as we’re riding together on a crystalline Sunday as the clock arcs to noon and then crests it as we race like mad on the straightaway home.

Fixed gear bikes, or “fixies” are really a throwback to the first bikes—your feet do not coast but must continually turn as the gears do.  You can also pedal backward—and go backward (if you are skilled enough to not simply crash), and in this way a fixie echoes the very concept of time, at least as cutting edge scientists are now suggesting—as likely to work in reverse as forward… ultimately existing only as a way by which we experience ourselves, but in no ultimate sense real, fixed, sequential or causal:  it’s just one big eternal now, even if that blows us out of the matrix of our socially and neurologically constructed “reality.”

But I’m not here to hate on time.  Bob Dylan suggests that time is a jet plane, and it moves too fast.  Sometimes in parenting this is true, but sometimes time’s a slug and it moves too slow.  Maybe time’s a fixie and goes either way, or maybe a fixie’s just a fixie and a nice bike ride is an eternal pleasure, at least on a stunning fall day as golden red leaves tumble whimsically out of blue and branch.

Thus as we strive beyond ill-timed notions of immortality altogether and trade up toward an eternal to be found perpetually, in all directions, in all situations, in all beings and non-beings—again and again our children, the present moment and love, in all its manifestations, prove to be timelessly pulsing teachers of what it’s all about.


the institute for non-action

October 12, 2011

You’ll probably think I’m kidding, but I’m not.  Well, also I am, but it’s the dialectic of opposites that proves essential if we hope to unearth and share in the abundant treasure that hovers all around us, waiting patiently for us to savor it in the vivid and immediate realm of life we are living.

I like to tell stories, and I like to explain things—I guess I like to have a little attention now and then and I also like to feel like I’m earning my place at the communal table; but what I really want is to belong, to love, to give, to participate, to feel soft and safe and to have a lot of fun.

In this way, you see, at the quintessential level, we’re really rather the same, you my lovely reader, and me.

And while I don’t particularly wish to start anything new, or lead any particular charge for change, I have been a little bit preoccupied with an idea that feels like some whispering echo from the 1920’s surrealists—or maybe from the pre-historic cave painters.

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Full Circle Solstice

June 21, 2010

Well, happy summer solstice, again.

Hello, again.  Good-bye, again.

Go. Dog. Go, again.

How can I begin to say what I really mean?

How can I convey the love I feel for you, and for us and for our world?

I may have failed to tame my ego, heal my narcissism and more fully place my self in proper service to the Self and our collective SELF (although I like to think I’ve made a little progress this year), I have certainly failed to become any sort of perfect parent (not that this was ever the goal).

But I have treasured a year; and in working hard, I have made a difference—to myself.  I do know that I have also made a difference to some others, and I choose to not be coy and pretend I am unaware of this and the many kind and encouraging comments I have deeply appreciated along the way.

I have sought to give, but I have received much in the bargain—age-old wisdom proving true personally and viscerally that it is good to give, that it is through what we give that we find connection, relationship and happiness (and that “giving” can be attention, presence, affection, patience, even just thoughts).

I have apportioned time to blogging, time disconnected from Andy and Nate and Will (thanks to you guys for weathering my self-imposed year of blogging mindfully, too often at your expense).  So, now it is time to follow Kristen’s example and “buffer.”

Only connect.  This is what I have learned from Forster via Andy, and what I have striven to write and live (the challenge about connecting proves to be:  how much and with who?).  Moving forward I hope to continue to only connect, but in balance, connecting virtually, actually and internally with the spirits and the muses.

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Singularity is forever, but it’s not for everybody?

June 14, 2010

A rather provocative article by Ashlee Vance in the New York Times, Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday, raised a host of intriguing questions.  Essentially the article is about the idea of technological “singularity” where humans and machines will, according to some, meld and then immortality (or at least dramatically extended lives) will be possible.

These ideas, being explored by the best and the brightest (at least in the realm of computer science and bio-technology), distill down, in the end, to incredibly un-modern, rather more of the same, ends:  an elite “school” in which elite connections are made to further capital ventures in a rarefied grab for power, money, control and the hubristic cockeyed quest to become God and live forever (how old school is that?  Think conquistadors, explorers and myriad seekers of fountains of youth, treasure and the like who basically annihilated native peoples everywhere they went).

Yes, technology is zooming forward but no, it will not allow us to live “forever.”  Firstly, “forever,” is a concept that rests upon the notion of its opposite—time.  Once we get past time, then there is no “forever,” there just is.  Secondly, being rather restless and childlike, I’m not sure what these boys would do with themselves if they had forever on their hands.  In fact it’s those inevitably idle robotic avatar hands that might likely become the devils playthings after all—out of sheer boredom and the angst resultant from the ego elevated above the Self (like a child who kills his parents and then panics at being an orphan).  Given how bored many people are with their short span of days, what would people actually do with immortality?  They would probably eventually meditate and learn non-action and transcend the illusion of matter altogether—yet one could do that without actually making the forever machine since… we’re already soaking in it.

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Mothering Heights

May 9, 2010

It’s Sunday, I’m hosting Mother’s Day and I know that it’s not a good day for lengthy posts pondering mother meaning.

So, I’ll just say that when it comes to mothering, my mom has to get credit as a “good enough” mother—and at 49 I take the blessings and the wounds into an embrace trusting that all is perfect, I’m just tasked with figuring out how.  Particularly as a spiritual being I really love and appreciate my mom (even if her incarnate self has rooted more deeply than Narcissus by the still waters of the zeitgeist, even if she literally shot me down in a past life, per her own reckoning… or was it I who shot her down?).  In the spirit of this time, perhaps we might strive to allow the mother wounds and as well the hugs and kisses to be so much water under the bridge… provided we’re ready to sit under the bridge and hear the river laughing and crying.

While Andy is not my mother, she is an amazingly good mom—engaged, sane, fun, fair and able to really think about what kids need (our own, but also other kids).  I’ve noticed that kids really like being around our house, sleeping over, etc.  And while they may “thank” me the way one thanks a driver who takes you somewhere, they thank her as a true host.  Whatever penchant for mothering that I may carry, the lioness’ share I’ve learned from her (and her mom Ellie, and my buby Rose, and her sister Karen—a true earth mother), and on this day I particularly want to celebrate the food, the touch, the light, the tears and the laugher… and ditch the ideas, symbols and words lovingly into the crying and laughing river.

We sit on the banks, we are the stones, and we are the river:  we are each other’s flesh and blood, and we are each other’s spirit.

“Mothering” is an attitude and not merely a gender—it is an ethic of nurturing, caring and transcending the individual Self—and in this spirit I want to appreciate the many wonderful “moms” that I encounter in the course of my life:  in my friendships, in my clinical work, in this blogosphere and in our expanding and awakening consciousness where, at least at the spirit level, the child and the parent are but passing reflections in a shattered mirror, rainbow images dancing upon a dazzling brook—a unity of opposites that every mother can love, but only the great oceanic Mother can possibly hold.

Namaste, Bruce

Snowing the Monkey

May 6, 2010

While watching an episode of Life with the family recently we were suddenly all feeling rather sad to learn that Japanese Snow Monkeys do not share their volcanically heated natural Jacuzzi.  While the matriarchs decide who’s in and who’s out (enforced by bouncer monkeys), the outsiders are literally left out in the cold.  My older kid said that he wished he hadn’t seen that image and all of us felt disturbed by the sight of excluded and freezing monkeys in contrast to the cozy monkeys blissfully hanging out in their mountain spa.  Days later the image still keeps haunting me.

And it makes me think about being in the mountains of New Mexico working on a friend’s NYU thesis film.  It might have been the exhaustion of having just completed shooting my own thesis project the week before; it might have been the spirit of that place where Georgia O’Keefe had hung out back in the day (her former Native American driver was helping on our project, and told tales of trucks stalling out on a certain mountain pass and then rolling… uphill); it might have been the blazing sun and the biting fire ants, but I ended up getting quite sick.  For several days I lay on the floor of the little adobe shack where we were staked out while the rest of the crew went out to shoot, eventually the Native American spirits came and circled me.  I guess I was hallucinating, but I could swear I saw those guys as clearly as one can see with a high fever.  One of my friends realized that even though we were guys in our twenties, the right thing to do was to gather me off the floor and drive me down to Santa Fe.

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When trees fall down

May 2, 2010

Whether or not a tree falling in a forest with no human soul to hear it makes any noise, I’m pretty sure that if that tree ends up blocking Coldwater Canyon on a beautiful Friday morning one can’t drive down Coldwater Canyon to get to work.

And so it was that on Friday I was standing still in “traffic” (which implies movement, so this was more like “parking”) along a lovely stretch of Mulholland Drive as I watched the clock on my car turn to ten a.m. (two hours after I had left on my typically thirty minute commute) blithely informing me that the therapy session to which I had failed to make it with my waiting client, the one I had asked to change, had just ended entirely without me ever showing up.

And whether falling trees do or don’t make noise, forgotten cell phones definitely do not make calls—not calls of explanation, not calls of heads up, not calls of apology—just mute and enigmatic silence regarding any excuse whatsoever as I sat contemplating the distant blue Pacific, the rogue yellow mustard growing crazy over the hillsides and the lovely purple wildflowers all just better than I at being, quietly indifferent as I sat blocked and breathing.

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April 25, 2010

Maybe the cherry blossoms are in bloom in your neck of the woods, or maybe the petals are scattered on the ground, brought down with the drizzle and the gusts.

Maybe right now you are looking at sun falling across the floor in your kitchen, or dappled light in your living room.  Perhaps you’re noodling around on the web in the darkness of night, or reading these words on your iPhone while waiting to pick up the kids in car pool—a routine that seems endless, but which is actually quite finite.

Maybe the sound of the rain is soothing on the eaves, or maybe it has you a little down.  Maybe your kid has tried your patience today, or maybe they are just looking so sweet that you love your life and all is right as rain… if only it could last.

No matter what exactly is going on for you, my wish that I send out today, in my striving to “only connect” through thick and thin, is that we might, via consciousness, bridge between the writing, the posting, the reading and fading into the past and somehow intuit that this moment is co-created, and whether it challenges us to rise to productive suffering or offers opportunity to tolerate the ephemeral ache of sweetness and it’s fleeting nature, here we are.

In the spirit of love, encouragement, realness, non-materialism, the celebration of material as a nourishing “reality” (taste, touch, smell, sound and sight) I simply invite you to dedicate this moment to nothing but this moment… this makes for something resonant, something linking the writing as light fades on a mundane and precious afternoon and the random chance in time and space of you receiving these words (and making an indefinable connection that lives between us, even if we cannot fully grasp its nature).

And in that spirit I say, “Thank God it’s Now.” (or even Thank X it’s now:  TXIN), hoping it somehow benefits us, and all our collective children.

Namaste, Bruce

Moving to where we already live

April 5, 2010

A recent post by Lindsey at A Design So Vast captured my imagination as it introduced us to her sister’s friend (and now Lindsey’s friend) Luana, who is spending a year with her husband and children living in France.

I suppose I’m something of a Francophile, as I’ve certainly fantasized my own year in Provence, working on some arcane novel that could care less if anyone would ever read it; but I’m also a bit of an Anglophile, fantasizing a year in London doing workshops on parenting or writing a screenplay.  Maybe I’m really more of an armchair traveler, loving to hear about my friends and clients’ adventures from Tibet to India, from Europe to South America while not really wishing all that much that I could go.

I found Launa’s story, and her languid and leisurely blog, both a gift and an affirmation of my own life at the moment.  Things sounded enchanting, but also difficult.  She speaks of one or another in the foursome being the wonky wheel on the market cart, and I could all too easily relate to the ruined moment, whether in the Marais or the mundane Monday meltdown at home sweet home.

So, my thought was to invite myself (and anyone who cares to join) to re-imagine life today as if you were from France or Brazil… Imagine if your home, the local market, the cars, TV and radio, the things people say, do and wear, the local flora and fauna were all exotic and utterly new and unfamiliar to you.

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