Watch this video in HD. (Recommended)
You may have noticed that there haven’t been any posts here recently. A few days ago I returned from a 30-day solo camping trip into the forest. (That’s where the photos and videos shot in the video above came from.) After the initial 6-day trip where a lot of internal things arose but didn’t fully complete, it was time to dive in and see what would happen when I go full out…
You know the stories about Jesus going into the desert for 40 days or Buddha meditating under the Bodhi tree for I think 7 week or so? As the stories go, Jesus was met by the devil who tried to lead him into temptation and the Buddha met Mara who similarly threw all these demons (ego stuff) at him but the Buddha wouldn’t follow any of that and continued to sit in silence. Both of these experiences are central to their awakenings. As the saying goes, be still and know.
Having heard these stories, I certainly had high expectations for my 30-day outing into the forest. “Let’s go face my inner demons and get totally enlightened too! Yeah!!”
What actually happened, looking back in retrospect? Well while I literally have no desire to get into the details of the experiences, the shifts, the experiences, the realizations, the transformations, and yada yada yada the way I used to, what I do have some interest in saying is that it was perhaps one of the most internally catastrophic periods in my life I’ve ever experienced. One of the many things that was unexpectedly destroyed, much to my surprise actually, was my interest in continually talking about, thinking about, teaching about, or in any way making spirituality a central aspect of my life. The realizations, the search, the even apparent progress… who cares?!?
It’s like, when you learn how to walk, just walk! There’s no need to keep talking about how you put one foot in front of the other. You just walk… When you stop spending so much time talking about walking and you may just discover that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. So much energy freed up for other things in life! For life to be as it IS, as it naturally wants to arise, without us trying to turn it into what we think it should be.
To be perfectly honest, I just don’t care about yakking about all this stuff anymore. If I never hear another word about enlightenment, awakening, non-duality, oneness, the law of attraction, metaphysics, or any of this stuff, it would literally make no difference. At the same time, having been back in mankind’s civilized world for a few days now, I’ve noticed that whenever the topics do arise in conversation, it’s just a natural part of the flow, and when it’s done, it’s done.
There’s nothing to say, nothing to do. You just BE who you are, naturally, and that’s the whole point. Be yourself… and let’s get on with living life!
Living the Outdoor Life
At this point my intuition, excitement, and passion are all guiding me more and more towards spending more time being outdoors and leading a simple life. Just LIVE it. It’s as simple as that. Just BE.
As such, this may be my last post on this blog. This may be the start of a new approach to this blog. To be perfectly honest, I literally have no idea if I’ll ever have another urge to write anything here again, and either way is just as fine.
Because of this, I’m posting this post to bring a sense of closure to what once was, to this site’s former existence.
The forums I’m going to keep open because intuitively it feels right for whatever reason, but I don’t know what will become of this blog from here on out.
My travel photoblog I will remain active on and you can catch me there. From Georgia to Colorado to California, I am going to be headed up to Alaska next. Woohoo!!
(and before you ask, yes I’ve seen the movie Into the Wild (great movie by the way), and yes the irony of me also being an outdoorsy guy traveling solo from Georgia to Alaska on a sort of epic adventure hasn’t escaped me either.. but no, I’m not copying him. haha.)
In any event, I want to thank you all for being here and experiencing this journey with me as you have. It’s been a fun ride and I’m so grateful that you are all here living your version of it as well.
Alright, so one question that I’ve been letting bubble around recently is “What does it take to just be HAPPY?” I mean really. No B.S. here. A simple question. Pretty basic and universal. What does it take?
It is often said that what we are seeking is always here, yet that’s often not the experience that we have, is it? In fact, we often experience that we don’t have what we want. Why the discrepancy?
Read More …
So I’ve been living on the road for two months now, mostly sleeping in my car, but occasionally throwing up my tent when I feel like camping somewhere beautiful, grabbing a hotel room when we get a snowstorm, or staying with friends along the way. It’s been really nice and it’s amazing how valuable I’m finding social interaction and friendship to be. I’m not sure I’ve valued it more my entire life than now after spending so much time flying solo. Have you ever seen the movie Into the Wild? It’s very much been a source of inspiration as me, with a kid my age, living here in Atlanta, with the similar driving forces, taking off and heading out to travel solo across the country. Anyways, at the end of the movie, there’s a quote where the main character, who earlier in the movie had said that God’s place is all around us so the joy of life doesn’t come principally from human relationships, but at the end of the movie, he changes his stance and says that happiness is only real when shared.
There’s been many changes here, many of them amazing and many of them challenging, but they have all contributed to my growth and expansion.
Read More …
Okay, so just a little jibber jabbering. I figured this whole “go out and live the life of your dreams” thing was gonna be a big epic adventure, and in a way it is, but honestly that seems to be a bit idealistic. People keep saying “Oh man! That’s so amazing what you’re doing! It looks so cool and so fun!” and yeah, I suppose it looks that way from the outside. At times it is, for sure, but perhaps the best word I can think of to describe it is RAW.
It’s not so much about experiencing life as I’m finding out, but experiencing YOURSELF. It’s basically about coming out of hiding and being more honest with myself and authentic than I’ve ever been…
Read More …
Okay, so let’s get into the nitty gritty of awakening for a bit. To be honest, there’s been quite a bit of struggle arising here, wanting desperately to return to the experience of wholeness, of unity, of the lack of lack, of the conscious recognition of what I am. One of the main issues about the human condition is the sense of lack within. We can talk about that void that people try to fill with food, sex, experiences, physical possessions, and so on. On a deep deep level, it feels like something’s missing and people will do whatever it takes to fill that void. From the perception of a separate self, I myself am not sufficient and thus I need something other than me to fill this gaping hole within me… but nothing I get is ever sufficient. If it does feel sufficient, it’s only temporary. Like a drug addict, I always need another fix. I always need more…
Now there’s a really weird experience that can arise after an initial non-abiding awakening. Basically what happens is that you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the egoic self is not you, that your thoughts have no reality, and that there is literally no such thing as a separate self, and yet simultaneously for some reason you continue to believe in and experience a separate self. You experience living life as a “me.” It can create a tremendous amount of conflict within, as if something has gone terribly wrong. You believe something and don’t believe something simultaneously. It’s really crazy to really experience both at the same time…
Read More …
Okay, first of all a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who donated the past few days. I am tremendously grateful to each and every one of you and I’d like you to know that yes, your gift makes a big difference. Not only that, it’s been really cool to hear some of the stories that have come forth after donating. For example, one reader/friend donated to me and also wanted to get a new pair of dance shoes. She then shared with me that the very next day, her dance teacher flat out gave her exactly the dance shoes she wanted and wouldn’t let her pay for them. Get this… the cost of the dance shoes was exactly the amount she’d donated! It’s really cool to see this flow of giving and receiving, how it works in both directions, and it’s on this note that I’d like to begin this post.
It seems like a big part of “being in the flow” is not only being open to receiving abundant blessings from the universe, from other people, and from every which way, but also being open to give what you have to offer. It’s important for both ends of the giving/receiving pipe be open for the best experience of flow. Now by giving, this doesn’t necessarily imply giving physical stuff like money or your possessions, although that’s certainly just as much a part of it as anything else. Less tangible things like a helping hand, a kind smile, an encouraging word, or even your time… these things can all be HUGE gifts… It seems like the greatest gift you can give is the gift of yourself in whatever form you show up. I don’t mean to make this sound like “I’m all that” or “I’m God’s gift to humanity” in an egotistical sense or any of that nonsense, but it seems like when you just naturally show up and shine your light, that seems to impact people more than anything you could possibly do by trying to give for whatever reason. It’s pretty surprising to me still to see over and over that life, for whatever reason, simply works best when I just give up trying to manifest this or make that happen or get this person to respond that way or any of that effort-based stuff… When I say “enough already” and just be myself and enjoy and appreciate what I already DO have, life is FAR more enjoyable, new things and people show up much more easily, and everything just works BETTER.
Since I’m enjoying just being myself more and more these days as opposed to trying to deliberately play the role of teacher or student as if this was all so serious :lol , let’s have a little fun here. Let’s tell a little story today… and since we’re playing like children, let’s make this story like a picture book. How ’bout that?
Read More …
So I’ve been on the road about 5 weeks now, driven over 4600 miles, and have been living life in experimentation mode by applying various principles I’ve come to know and seeing how well they really work in this whole “real life” thing. I’ve made amazing friends partying at Mardi Gras, photographed a cheer and dance competition in Texas, skied in New Mexico, camped along the Rio Grande, hiked down into the Grand Canyon, had an ostrich bite my camera, been homeless in Colorado, discovered how every state has is very own distinct vibe, experienced the most ridiculous and consistent degrees of synchronicity, met amazing friends all over the country, had the universe repeatedly bring me all that I want including exactly the type of weather I want when I want it, been given free food and lodging all over the country… Quite honestly this is the most exciting and simultaneously the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.
Read More …
There’s an old saying that the only thing permanent is impermanence. Our life experience is one of learning better ways to interact with this changing flow.
And yet simultaneously there is this eternal unchanging presence. It seems to be part of neither existence nor nonexistence… It is a manifestation of nothing. It is unmanifest. It is. All that can really be said is that it is. We can go within and tap into this and find that when resting in this place, it’s as if we are home, and I mean really home. In this place there is no longing for anything more, no need to get anything, and truly no sense of lack. There is no separation for there is nothing else to be separate from. All else is just appearance, and yet the appearance is not other than this. In this pure being, all is divinely perfect just as it is, including the appearance of problems and pain, and yet it doesn’t invalidate the negative aspects of Allness. To simply be is itself already completely sufficient. Nothing more is needed.
In this space there is no anxious need for a particular outcome, as if one outcome would somehow lead to more fulfillment than another. It’s interesting… when we release our attachment to the outcome, we find this place of perfect peace that is what it is, independent of outcome. It is a space beyond the mind, transcendent and yet completely grounded, particularly when the lower chakras are open and balanced. It’s as if the physical body is being used as a vessel to bring the peace of heaven down to earth. This peace is expressed through a mind/body organism.
Read More …