Category Archives: contemplative prose

Competencies of Belonging

Photo: Janice Sandeen, Late December Hoarfrost & Pueblo Peak, 12/29/2018

Quote: Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, 2017

Competencies of Belonging

“Most of us think of belonging as a mythical place, that if we keep diligently searching for, we might eventually find. But what if belonging isn’t a place at all, but a skill: a set of competencies that we, in modern life, have lost or forgotten? Like the living bridge, these competencies are the ways in which we can coax, weave, and tend to the roots of our separation—and in so doing, restore our membership in belonging. Like any practice worth undertaking, belonging cannot be mastered overnight. Because it is a disappearing art, we might find ourselves going it alone for a while and the temptation to lose hope will be strong. But we must keep a vision of how we want our lives and the world to look, and work towards weaving those first threads together. Even when the garment of belonging seems flimsy and inadequate, we must keep to the task until it substantiates.”

Excerpted from Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner

Belonging is a 2017 Nautilus Gold Award winner.

Tomorrow here in Taos, New Mexico, we will be having our January edition of The Spoken Word Open Mic Series. If you happen to be close enough to join us in person, please do!  🙂



Living questions 


morning footstream with wild plums

20 May 2016 ~ My walk this morning was a natural inquiry, one that happened gently on its own. Sometimes contemplations are like that, as they gently arise from the font of one’s inner life. I find that as I set my body into motion as I walk with my dog this morning, that there is another stream there, an inner world that has its own unique ecology and resilience. Continue reading

Interest and Identity and the 41st Codon

We start anew today, January 22nd, somewhat differently today than other days, as the Sun shifted into the 41st codon or hexagram at 7:19am pacific time. The Sun will stay within the 41st hexagram through this Friday, January 27th. Of course, we start anew each day, with each breath, and in each moment, as we are vibration and physical beings alike. In that, there is something unique to recognize about our DNA as genetic beings in physical form, that form and vibration have an essential relationship with what codes it, shapes it or as such, ‘interferes’ with it in some way.

The message or code of atg, which is the unique set of bases or building blocks that make up the start code, is carried by the 41st gate or gene key. Whether encountered from the outside or the inside, it is this start code that initiates a new cycle somewhere within the living vibration of form and innate intelligence. And yet there are so many kind of ‘starts’ and ‘stops’. What is it that perceives that which initiates the new cycle? And what gets in the way of that perception, if anything?

I carry this 41st start codon or initiator as my personality Sun. I’m speculating here, but I may serve unbeknownst to me to initiate a new cycle for those around me simply by sharing space in aura with others. I do know that I’ve often ‘tuned in’ to what is on its way or about to emerge and have too often gotten that seeing mixed up with my identity and personal interest: a very common presumption of the self that everything we perceive has something to do with ‘me’.  In a live satsang with Mooji that I attended via the internet, my attention was pointed to this as he spoke of the role of interest and identity in fueling the suffering of the self.

Similarly, The Genetic Wheel of Samsara is how Richard Rudd titles his discussion on the shadow aspect ~ Fantasy ~ of the 41st gene key. Carrying this gate/gene key in the way I do also has a very specific and deep life lesson for me. I am in the midst, now, of exploring and surrendering to this life labyrinth. I really have very little idea of how…

• • •

Now on January 26th, I see I left this post with a dangling sentence, an open ended phrase anticipating what was to come, perhaps. Anticipation is the gift that emerges out of the shadow of fantasy. Something needs to be open to what is yet to come to perceive what is in emergence. And what was coming for me upon writing this post was another example of how I experience the life process ‘exploring into’ what is coming, even when I am identified with confusion or not seeing clearly.

In other words, life seems to answer my own queries, my wondering towards or into something. Or is it that there is something that perceives what is before that perception, as it exists on the plane of relative consciousness? In the next few days from writing the earlier part of this post, I certainly was shown in a very clear way how Fantasy and it’s link to suffering in my life found an anchor into my matrix many, many years ago.

This post is not about the realization that ensued over the last few days, as I am not called to unfold that here now. I did wish to point to something, however. What I do feel is that there is a weaving in and out of many layers and currents of experience, awareness, and perception, which make up the tapestry or fabric of what might be called writing. I feel satisfaction in the process of writing, but often do not see the end product while writing or even if there is an end product, such that I could take it off my ‘loom’ and place it into a stream of shared consciousness.

I do sense that that role of weaving something of any number of different expressions is a natural role for me. While ‘identity’ and ‘interest in’ are in the mix, these expressions take on a different feel, the colors mixed, the shapes indistinct, the content confusing. I, likely, stay in a fantasy or belief in the self who suffers when I bring my unchecked identities such that the expression is weighed down by interest in the false self.

I have seen, even, how this capacity to feel into what is coming, what is emerging, has gotten tangled in my own notions and attachments of self as I was mentioning earlier, such that Clear Seeing seems to be clouded. Then separation into ‘self and other’ is fueled through identity with self/suffering and interest or stake in that separation becomes what is seen instead.

Yet Clear Seeing is always here/there, nothing can cloud it as it is, It Is All Things. Thus the dance of and the wrestle with self, self-identified and all, is Pure ultimately and can serve as the Teacher just in that truth. The Self holds all and is without conditions. Confusion released within the All is Illumination, fantasy of the self transmuted or released ‘back into’ Self and Self including all Emanates Self.

Here’s to the beginning of a new cycle and All that is held within it.

Riding the Way of Human Experiencing and not-Knowing

I just can’t know how things are until the whole of the experience that I am in is experienced all the way through to it’s fulfillment or completion. Of course, I think I know and I’ve thought I knew ‘what was going on’ many a time and moved from that place thinking I knew. A while back, I met this realization, both sides of it, in the flesh, so to speak, in a way that it landed in my cells as a recognition that I responded to within my life intelligence. Ah, freeing and at the same time weighty in some way. I was inspired again today to reflect on this insight on the workings of such a deep mechanism in the human, experiential way after reading a quote by a fellow HD journeyer who shared her own insights into this phenomena. She describes this in her own words, but she maps it out beautifully in her pointing to the nature of this particular ‘way’ of human experiences and awareness:

Let’s say, I set ‘100’ as the marker, I consider ’99’ the mid-point” – ’cause that’s exactly what the Human Experiential Way is about (41/30 -> 36/35). Once you arrive at the ’50’ mark you may still be fully excited that you are getting exactly what you planned, what you wanted – then very few make it, endure until the ’70th mark’, since frustration/ bitterness/ anger/ disappointment has already overruled the Body’s Intelligence – and it’s only about: “I gotta get it! Gotta get it, no matter the price!” – oh, how much waste of resources, how much resistance, how much wear and tear on your body! – And then, just when the real mystery/miracle, uniquely designed for you, is about to happen, this point 99, only 1 more step to go! you have already lost all of your JUICE, and maybe longtime given up on that Initial Spark that had set you on this experiential journey… and it’s then, ‘IT’ suddenly happens! So, that’s what I’ve learned and learning again and again: Stay with it! Follow your unique strategy and inner authority no matter what the ‘results’!! 🙂 Then you truly have a life! Doesn’t have to be the one you thought… CAN actually never be the one you thought. Such a Joke and also such a drag many times. -Life reveals itself, no one knows your truth, since it’s only been waiting for you… this is what I woke up with today, right from the bottom of my being.- ~ Gisela Koška

My personality Sun gate, the 41, initiates this whole cycle. I, at times, can feel that working in me, especially right now where the global program is providing the 30th gate and the 35th gate to my 41 and 36, both on the personality side. What can pop out of my mouth, some part of me trying to ‘describe’ what is going on, continues to amaze me at the audacity of what is declared! “This is what is happening…” I so boldly declare, as I have the feeling that I can speak ‘what is true’ and yet, as stated earlier here, by its very nature, we cannot know what is unfolding, what is true even, until the full unfolding is reached. And not reached in a pseudo way, seemingly offering ‘knowing!’

This circuit also carries a different kind of wave than I am used to. Hope and pain, hope and pain and back again. In the hope cycle, it’s so easy to find myself declaring that I know what’s going on! Even in the pain, it’s as if I feel I can see into the underbelly of what is present, instead of just being in presence, relaxing into the passenger consciousness. I seem to enlist others (ah the collective nature of this circuitry) so easily or at least I seem to feel impulsed with a strong desire (30th gate!) to include others, to share, to discuss… And all of this I am watching now.

Even in this writing, I have the feeling that I don’t know what to say. It’s as if I am reporting somewhere along the way, with really nothing to report other than “this is where I seem to be right now!” In the shift from speaking with a degree of certainty, to now watching all these impulses one way or the other to declare something to be so and, in truth, having no idea what is so, what is true other than being itself. So many others seem to wish me to tell them how it is in my life. People waiting for this very declaration and not asking me or even considering to ask, “do you really know that to be true?” or “can you know that to be truly the way it is?” Ah, the open breath that comes when I imagine friends and allies being with me in not-knowing, relishing it in the same way that I do!

I welcome you along with welcoming myself to this not-knowing journey, as long as it continues on. Oh joy, in that being! Love Yourself!

Nexus Self Rest as Motion

The perception point as a place of rest within the space of time/space moving around me has become more real, more palpably felt for me lately. At one time I experienced what felt to me as a profound shift in my relationship to my thoughts through a recognition of the distinction between streams or kinds of awareness, each with their own unique natures. At that time, it was a great revelation, which was followed by moments that felt like a liberation as I would feel free to say, “ah, I’m not thinking about this!” Even though thinking happened, I would not bring my focus there as part of feeling into or sensing my movements or direction. It was a recognition that thinking was not required to ‘be’ and to be true within myself, that what was true for me had an autonomy all its own, not dependent on being thought through. I’m curious now, if that was a moment that I recognized the experience of resting in the mechanics of storyline.

And now, this resting within a primary perception point comes as felt sense, not so much a recognition of something, but internal sensing of something undeniable, real where all things in motion are held in a spatial or 360 degree relationship rather than a linear relationship. Listening deeply to music, I have a similar experience of the kind of spatial awareness I’m pointing to here. Although the music can be represented linearly by a score and be accessed by musicians and played via that score, the experience of being in the music, hearing it, is purely vibrational, non linear, spatial in the sense that the vibrations move all around in their unique tones and frequencies. Music, for me, is spatial, organically opening out awareness. I have such a deep recognition of my own nature as I rest in the music, music that I respond to and resonate with.

What I love about arriving at (where there is also no arriving, no departing) this perception point, is taking in the richness of the perceptual field from the vantage point of the spatial listener, the three and four dimensional seer, the receptive. The music or the view is complex and simple at once. There is totality and there are many threads, each unique and distinct that have their own natures. And these threads correspond with aspects of my conscious or unconscious uniqueness such that the actual weaving of these are a dance that happens all on its own. There is a felt sense of the totality within me and all around me indistinguishable, just as the music or silence has capacity to penetrate and completely absorb this nexus of self.

Critical Thinking ~ The Trickster Within

I enjoy having a critical thinker in the house, my house, this house of flesh and bone and spirit. I especially enjoy it when there’s no pressure of anyone listening, or so it seems. I wonder what it would take to be a free thinker, sharing what I really think in a free way, as to say in an unencumbered way, energetically free, no blame, no posing one thing against another.

My computer powered down just when finishing that last sentence. Who or what had gotten into this house? In the pause, I reached over to the book, The Way We Lived, sitting on top of my book pile and opened the interlude pages for “Coyote and Spider” (that way that things just seem to magically happen ~ timing and juxtaposition at their best!) I settled in on these words of Malcolm Margolin about Coyote:

He is at the same time good and evil, crafty and foolish, godlike and scroungy. He is both the prankster and the dupe. He seems to exist in the free and wild area of the mind beyond duality–beyond the trick of intellect that divides things into good or bad, smart or stupid, winner or loser, allowable or forbidden. The trickster is everything at once. He dies, is dismembered, decays, and then is pulled back together again to continue his journey. He exists in an undifferentiated, boundless, intensely creative world.

Ah, I’d received a visitation. And what fertility there within! The realms of Coyote are both  relaxing and affirming to the deeply vexing parts of my being. It’s as if I’ve found a true ally in Coyote with my Design North Node in line 4 of the Gate of Confusion: Before Completion. Gate 64 is “Transition, like birth, requires a determined strength for the passage through.” And line 4, Conviction, is “Symbolized by its phases, the Moon is assured of transition convinced by its very process that it will triumph. The assuredness that confusion is a process that results in realization.” And then there is a classic Coyote in the detriment of the line: “Where force and energy alone cannot overcome doubt. Where the confusion is so energized, assuredness brings no relief.”

Where to begin? Right in the heart of confusion, no doubt. This kind of confusion, both the rich, fertile kind and the one that weakens me into a surrender of no where to go, is a kind of medicine. I found delight in reading that one of the names of the trickster is Sweet-Medicine. Ah… good to meet more fully both of these aspects of conviction today, as I’ve tasted both time and time again. Just as the heart can cry tears of deep grief and joy simultaneously, I find my journey in this blessed vehicle showing me the delicious nature of being myself, a portal to that free and wild area of the mind beyond duality.

Recognizing this aspect of self where doubt, confusion, and conviction play an essential role in my thinking, a natural role in the eco-system of my definition. Confusion, rich in trickster medicine, is a signpost in my story line. Without it, I don’t see what I am here to see. Even now, this writing has elements of confusion for me, yet I return to the page, I return to the thread and the visceral feel of the movement.

What brought me here earlier? The thinker in my house, Sweet-Medicine, the taste for the life that is uniquely my own ~ and that which calls to be shared, what may nourish and support those arriving here, too.