Musings, Activism, Being In Service, Blog, Featured

A Chilling Tale

TW:  Physical Abuse, Psychological Abuse, Cruelty, Authoritarianism, Religious Fanaticism.

I just finished reading Educated, A Memoir by Tara Westover.  Anyone who has ever lived under a cruel, dictatorial power, be it familial or government, is likely to be rocked to their core reading this.  Though the scale of what I endured throughout my childhood was much milder, and some of the themes did not apply, the resonnance with the handful of themes that did left me reeling.

More than just a memoir; it is a cautionary tale of what life will be like if Q-Cult and 45’s people get their way.  People wave these popular conspiracy theories off as fantasy or delusion, but they are very real.  There are always multiple realities existing simultaneously, and far too many of them are created by the cruelest person in the group.  These realities can be possible to escape physically, but the ties go deep.  People’s lives are regularly ruined, yet they keep going back for more. 

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Musings, Blog

Social Media

“I have a presence on SM, therefore I am.”

This should be the existential quote of the times. If I don’t have followers, do I exist?

Leaving fb has been difficult. I miss being able to reach out to all my friends and share what I’m up to or ask for a little support. It’s lonely not knowing what my wide array of friends around the world are up to in their lives, or what causes they care about and are involved in. 

I’m human and I need to feel a sense of belonging, so I do have Twitter. I’ve never used it much, so I have maybe 1 – 3 people reading my Tweets, if that many. I’m not going to jump through hoops to build a following. That feels inauthentic and inorganic, and that is so not my style. It’s lonely, though, and I feel invisible in this day of ubiquitous online presence. 

My cravings to log in, just this once and

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Musings, Activism, Blog, Social Reingineering

Capitol Hill Peaceful Protest Zone, My First Person Account

Play Video

This is a video of my first visit to CHOP  (Capitol Hill Occupation Protest) on Thursday, June 11, 2020.  As you will be able to tell, I was extremely moved.  I wanted to make a visit to support their community garden, plus my heart was hurting from reading so many hateful tweets on Twitter and comments on Fox News stories that I knew were not true from watching the live streams, so I had to go in order to help document the reality, which is peaceful, inclusive, compassionate, and a bold, historical move.  Watch it and see for yourself.  Note:  You will not see the most substantive conversations that were happening in multiple places around the Zone.  I deliberately did not film those out of respect for their privacy.  My primary intention was to counter the “terrorists have taken Seattle” propaganda that Fox News and other conservative media outlets have been spewing and amplifying.

The next day, Friday, June 12, 2020, I

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Musings, Blog, Social Reingineering

Bane or Blessing

Many people are pooh-pooing the Coronavirus, saying it’s an overblown scare.  What if it could end up being humanity’s greatist gift?  Let me explain.  Has there ever been a time in your life when have you wished you had paid attention to a suggestion to change something about your life earlier, when the suggestion was gentle, only to be forced into changing something by a traumatic event?  I fully believe this is what the COVID-19 event is all about.

We say it’s too costly to change our economies to combat climate change, and that the existing power structure will never change.  We say that structural change in our political, social, and economic systems has to be incremental, and will take a long time, so we can’t work for sweeping, immediate changes.  Well, in two short weeks of February 2020, China cut their carbon emissions by 100 million metric tonnes because of quarantine conditions due to COVID-19.  That’s nearly the amount that Chile emits in … Read the rest

Musings, Blog, Featured

To the Edge, and Beyond.

I was recently pushed past my percieved limits during an 11 day Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) treatment immersion. I love Ayurveda because it is precise, it has been researched and proven effective for thousands of years, and it’s all herbal, so it is in total alignment with the natural order. It targets restoring the body’s innate balance, so that it then heals itself. My series of treatments were similar to Pancha Karma, if you want to Google that to get some idea, but tailored to my specific health issues.  Think hours a day, every day, filled with massages with various medicinal herbal substances, steam treatments, purges, and drinking, swishing, and snorting various herbally medicated substances.  Day One was heaven, but by Day Three it had devolved into a hellish passive endurance test of being poked, prodded, and pummeled, and there were nine days still to go.

On Day Six, I felt like they broke me.  I was shattered.  I couldn’t imagine continuing.  The thought … Read the rest

Blog, Featured

Tiruvannamalai, October 2019

Warning:  This got long.  I’ve been posting a lot of photos on fb, but now I feel the need to paint a picture with words.

I’ve been in Tiruvannamalai just under a week, so I’m about half way through my visit. I initially thought two weeks wasn’t going to be nearly long enough, but I’m having the odd yet pleasant sensation that every day is about a week long.  I also considered not coming; like this short of a visit wasn’t important for me to be here, but oh my heavens, I was wrong about that!  My experiences here have been exquisite.

Multiple times a day, when I come home, I open my gate and step into my yard, then open the metal grating to my foyer and seriously wonder how I ended up with a proper house in the perfect spot on the main street of my preferred part of town for a screaming deal of a price. I thought being here for … Read the rest

Blog

#TakeBackPrivacy

I’ve been trying to extinguish this rant for three days. It just feels like more negativity in an already negative world, but damn, it needs to be said.

The current state of affairs with technology is FUCKED UP. I just upgraded to Office 2019 from 2010 a few days ago, and the invasion of my privacy is astounding!

Not only does it try to suck every part of my life online, the user interface for Outlook is completely unusable for me. Even after tweaking every possible font, spacing, and color setting, it’s still an instant headache that turns into functional blindness about about 15 minutes of trying to use it. Who designs this shit??? Clearly not someone who cares about users who may be aging or have visual processing issues.

Conversations with long time tech friends in a bar last night echoed conversations with friends at kirtans and other social events over the last year. Yes, we know [fill in the blank] is detrimental … Read the rest

Blog

Testing Subscriptions

I go for months at a time without updating this site, so people (including me) forget it’s here. Starting right now, I have a subscription link in the right sidebar of every page. That way, if it’s been six months since I’ve shared my musings, you don’t have to notice, and you’ll get an email letting you know I’ve written something. Please give it a try!

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Musings, Blog, Featured

A Word on Tantra* and Bhakti

I am a shameless Bhākta.  I am head over heels in love with divinity in many of Its forms.  So why Tantra?  It is said that Bhakti is the fastest and most enjoyable path to enlightenment, so why not just stick to that?  That’s where I started, so why the emphasis on Tantra these days?

It’s like this: Bhakti is indeed a very fast and enjoyable path.  I don’t know about enlightenment because I am not enlightened, but I trust what knowledgeable people say about that being true.  I do know from experience that it is a lightning-fast method to obtain Oneness.  When I’m chanting, the bliss of that Oneness is unsurpassed.  The effects of the vibrations change matter, as I found out when I healed my body with chanting.  However, the Oneness fragments back into the many when I stop chanting and come back to the relative world.  The echos of the vibrations definitely come with me, and ripple out into all areas … Read the rest

Activism, Blog

Just More Colonization in Woke Clothing?

The eight episode series on Netflix, Black Earth Rising, is deeply thought provoking. It raises important questions that it doesn’t answer about the horrific things, including genocide, that happened in Rwanda and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).  It has stuck with me and pokes me throughout the day at the edge of my consciousness.  It’s powerful, and on the surface seems like groundbreaking work, but beyond the subject matter, the form it takes bothers me.

I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if an African had written it.  I wonder if there would be a white guy as one of the main lead characters. Would the main African character have been literally saved by whiteness?  Sure, the story has to contain white people, as they did play a nefarious colonizing role, but how do Africans see those characters?  I can guess that they pretty much don’t need to center them.  How would the conversations and relationship dynamics between … Read the rest