Tag Archives: Neil Kramer

Transmutation Trailer

19 Apr


I know anything that reminds me, quickly, of being alive, in the moment, open, awake, still and ready, is a very good thing to bookmark.  Our eyes are that camera.  The rising steam from a cup of tea is just for us, the dew on the grass, our tennis shoes in the sand, right now to observe and allow ——–   all experiential happenings bring us back to mystery.

this section of the stream

5 Sep


Charlotte by Aufzehengehen

I have balanced between my daughters’ needs and my own every day for the past 19 years; always, they needed to be a constant front and center consideration.  This slowing section of the stream has been a while in coming, it seems helpful for me to acknowledge.  Years I fantasized about a little more mental space, a bit more quiet, more individual freedom.  But now, as what I imagined for years is being given back to me in small increments, I am at a choice point.  I am resisting a knee-jerk impulse to fill space up with anything not worthy of my time or focus.

Stillness is a gift that wants to be opened.

There are voices that say, get moving, make something happen, change things up, you are a nobody choosing to do  so so much alone.   These voices make me want to jump out of the raft and start kicking – maybe I even want to  buy an outboard motor to blast through this part of the river.

I do not silence these voices, I do not call them silly;  I am giving them space to fluster about. When they quiet down, I point out the beauty in the trees on the bank, the water birds standing watch, I am encouraging a long look at the clouds, I am saying to them gently, there is nothing you can miss out on.  You have worked hard to clear yourself up for this space, now lie in it, bask in it.  Do not get up do not rush on do not paddle down to some rapids of your own making.  Life as you want it cannot leave you behind.

The stillness has me loving my own company.  I like how little I make myself make small talk.  I know my story, so I do not have to repeat it.   I love the lack of explanation needed to enjoy a walk in nature with just me.  I listen to girls as they come and go.  I nod.  They want to know I am here, the jumping off point to which they return, again and again.  While I enjoy their presence, I do not demand their company.  I give them my full attention, when they stop by.

Last weekend, I almost stepped on a snake as I was walking a sunny path at an old rice field.  The silence and stillness indwelling in me allowed me to  hover mid step and turn on a dime to give him space.  I retreated without worry of threat, and he did too; he was a good 5 feet long.  He slowly made his way across the path into the shady woods, without worry or hurry.  We watched each other.   I’ve been trying to identify him with no luck online, though I know he had no rattlers to shake.

I love this part of my little life path.  I am in no hurry, though a million concerns lie and wait about my future.  I am holding still, trying or rather flowing into a new way of existing in trust in beauty in silence in stillness, allowing  the clarity to come before I make a move.

I chose to re-listen to one of Neil Kramer’s great Roamcasts  with my spaciousness today – randomly selected – and I got a familiar overlapping (around the 18:29 mark) with the place in the stream in which I find myself trying to describe here:  http://neilkramer.com/roamcast-6-unmaking-empire.html  :  then NK posts a beautiful piece of  Hermit art…wink wink nudge nudge – hi ho, off to my cave I go…

hermit cave


Moritz von Schwind (1804–1871) painting, A Player With A Hermit

In contrast, however, my bedside dream journal is full of my ex-spouse.  Perhaps I am working through in the night what seems a non-issue in the day.  I feel at peace with those 20 plus years, accountable for my part in the learning, yet in my dream last night I stole his new RV to much condemnation of everyone in the dream world; the more I tried to justify, the more alone and misunderstood I felt.  I set off on my own, on foot, after I was unable to turn the headlights on and got tracked down.  The lone journey on foot seems apropos for where I am.

Ah, the journey.  We all have them.  7 billion plus pairs of eyes. Every night, 7 billion plus dream  bubbles floating up from planet earth – infinity all the way up and all the way down; how many lives have I lived?  Ultimate freedom feels mine – any choice – any potential playing out – and I am just one potentiality at a time, slowed down light so I can enjoy it as it happens.


trusting the organic process of human blossoming

3 Oct


There is a truth or a myth, I don’t know which, that the blooming of a Peony is symbiotically related to ants.  I am unwilling to determine the truth of it, that ants eat the sugary coating off of the tightly bound blossom petals of the Peony bud and allow it to blossom in its amazing glory, because I enjoy the truth of it beyond the factual validation.  I cleave to the metaphor.

Humans are an exotic and wonderful bud in the universe who have forgotten how to blossom.  Our blossoming is actually as natural as all the flowers that we observe on this planet, yet most human beings are stuck in the tight bud phase – We have forgotten to blossom.

This blossoming is organic.  This unfolding  is not a doing but just the way the petals of our innate beauty unfurl  when we allow life to assist us.  We allow the ants to march up our stem; we don’t resist the nibbling of their little mouths.  We begin to feel a loosening of the petals; we allow the sugar coating that inhibits our development to disintegrate as what was sweet before becomes untenable –  naturally.

What needs to fall away, naturally will, if we allow it to do so.

From a real human life, I have found  that while I  may feel the need to list, to plan, to orchestrate my life journey, the growth spurts occured from within and without without the assistance of mind.  TV fell away on its own without a struggle, discordant friends or jobs or food or activities or locations all seemed to dissolve and disappear into the air at just the time and order in which they were best for me.  And though it may have felt desolate and lonely as these things fell away,  what came in next to fill the void was as amazing as this blossom right here – so soft and vulnerable and neck to a sharp knife brave.  This blossoming.  Beyond what my mind could ever conceive.


What is it I’m trying to say that first struck a true cord in me?  My own private epiphany?  We are here together like a field of sunflowers, (another flower comparison this morning, really?) and some of the enormous audacious heads are starting to face up toward the sun.  We are allowing the blossoming to occur.  It is so funny in a field of flowers to know that what is occurring here is nothing special;  it is just what flowers do, bloom.

Our field is odd in the universe in that the blossoming is co-opted, hidden;  we humans have been lulled into a dream and we do not even know that we are flowers, we do not know that we can blossom.  And that is okay too!  Every human can choose for herself whether to remember to flower or not; not every field chooses the full on glory of  every flower face   turned up toward the sun – but wouldn’t that be magnificent!

I recently listened to the latest installment of these most organic new teachings of Neil Kramer – and felt this response to his demarcation points that we all hit with the image of our flowering, the remembrance of my own way on the path as it has automatically allowed me to let go, let go, and let go again of all that does not serve me.  I only had to carry on – and what was no longer appropriate for where I found myself – fell away, as I allowed it to do so.

The ants on my tight bud self were uncomfortable; I often wanted to beat them back, but now I see more clearly; each discomfort is helping me to blossom.

the ever-increasing crevasse between presence and distraction

20 Jun

Crevasse by Wendy L. Gonick


The Verizon Guy couldn’t believe I wouldn’t take the free i phone  when I had to stop by to activate an old phone for my daughter.  My decision seemed insane to his world view.  I wonder if I will continue to have a choice to stay unplugged from the WWW in my walking life.  I want to turn off and drop out.

Do you have people in your life who are present, but not there at all, except for brief moments?

Hanging out with humans has taken on a new layer of disconnect from over-connection; even though, I am much removed from the new normal level of connectedness most are experiencing.  I’m practically choosing to be the last year’s model of human.  The constant reporting and updating from life, texting, looking things up, checking email, posting, etc. causes people to never be where they are for real, often missing much they will never know they missed.

Is the polarity gap showing up in the technology?  I do have friends who have iphones and pads who keep them out of sight except for a moment here and there when the connection is helpful or illuminating in the moment.

Also, some, while they are physically present, can be seen to be creating a Facebook slice of life for the life they are experiencing in the moment; the picture of the meal, the friends in an instant group picture, the look at me here now, while not being here now at all.

Constantly creating an image takes one out of just being, just living in the moment.  I have found myself taking mental pictures with blogging in mind and pulled back to remember, I am in this moment, my eyes are just seeing, my being is connected with all right now in a truer way than any writing or recaptured moment through story-telling can convey.

I heard this Red Ice Creations podcast years ago with Henrik Palmgren and Neil Kramer:

and instantly related the topic to so many I interact with, care about, share history with.

Often I feel like I am standing on one side of a strange land, looking over a crevasse to the other side of people existing in a different way.  The large screen tv’s seemed to bring in a ramped up level of fear and identification with the body to hypnotize the human animal to such a degree we started to look and behave like different creatures altogether.  We joke about sheeples and zombies, but there is some truth behind the humor.

Sometimes in stores or daily public interactions, I have sudden eye contact with another being, which is unrelated to appearances or exterior identity, in which we acknowledge WE ARE HERE.  WE ARE PRESENT AND ALIVE TOGETHER, unrestricted and present together.  And then I look back to the sea of people who are listening to an inner voice of their small identity.  I can recognize and relate to that – it isn’t gone from me, either, but I know I can pull my head up above this sea of confusion and take whole gulping breaths of the fresh air of a clear mind.  Once that air is truly tasted, how can I ever go back to the sea of confusion for good.

Beyond just the distraction found with many who are walking around mostly unconsciously, riding the wave of the benefits of the interconnected public life of projected imaging outward onto platforms for solidifying identity, there is also environmental and health related issues to consider.

There are only two outlets where the wireless can plug in for our new house.  The one most hidden and practical happened to be behind my bed.  I have not slept well since the move.  Today, I wake again, much earlier than needed, and find myself figuring out how to move the wireless device.  I would remove it all together, but I am teaching online.  How do we dance this dance with change occurring so quickly?  Our bodies are being used as Guinea pigs for absorbing the brunt of waves we barely understand.

This film, which I think does not wish to be embedded, raises important questions about the effects of such technology.  If they disable, the film is Resonance, and can be found on Youtube.


Following the Trail of Cognitive Dissonance

1 Mar

Forgive my anecdotes, please.  I teach composition.  I tell my student that telling stories helps others to connect to their writing, to feel what they are saying. But I always hesitate to tell a story because I bask in emptiness at times; I love stepping away from stories of me, and wonder if fishing out memories is only adding to the “Story of Self.”

Stories to tell/no stories to tell, a polarity and a paradox.

These paradoxes present themselves all day long if we are awake and seeing.  The world is full of nothing but paradox.  An empty vessel is a worthless person/an empty vessel is enlightened.  I know I know nothing.  We learn from history that we do not learn from History. 🙂  These paradoxes are the whispers of spirit, the pull to zoom out beyond the duality.  The field that Rumi talks about calls to us.

“Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

― Rumi

The first call to look beyond is the discomfort we feel with Cognitive Dissonance, holding two contrary ideas at once that contradict.  This feeling of discomfort can at first make you want to take a comfort pill and go back to bed.  But if we are brave, Cognitive Dissonance invites growth beyond duality.

So here is a story of a bit of cognitive dissonance in my path a while ago.

I didn’t have access to computers or the internet right off because I was busy with my kids.  There was a marked time when all of the sudden, I was exposed to the myriad of information out there.

So right as this transition was occurring, I hastily printed out some information for my daughter whose teacher had requested she come in with some information about the Mayans.

She goes off to school and the page stayed opened on the computer and we all know how one peek leads to another to another, and suddenly I am down one of  my first rabbit holes.

I stumbled upon an Ian Lungold lecture about the Mayan Calander, 4 hours long.  I fell in.  It was rather academic for 3 hours plus, discussing the Mayan concept of time in contrast to the Gregorian Calendar and the Western measure of time.  I sat bolt upright when he suddenly began talking about aliens.   Aliens?  I sat her for 3 hours to listen to someone who was leading up to Aliens?   I was so disgusted with myself because this topic suddenly seemed so bizarre, outrageous, and unverifiable that I felt low and cheap for having wasted my time.  I had cognitive dissonance, and tried to shut it down by disregarding the entirety of the information.

But I could not dismiss how intelligent and lucid the 3 hours had been up until that point.  I couldn’t flush it all away.

Needless to say, I then spent years falling down many rabbit holes, learning to read, watch, and observe with a certain distance and an openness all at the same time – continuing with what seemed to interest and respectfully leaving what seemed out of line.

One of the voices that spoke to the process of this unfolding through so many avenues was Neil Kramer.

Here is an amazing presentation that offers up some of his teachings with visual and graphic representations so rich and illuminating, the  40 minutes gives one much in the exchange.

There Are No Shoulds

4 Feb


My mother and I are different in many surface ways, and if there were a Match.com for mother/daughter relationships, we might not even be paired.  But of course the wisdom of the universe understands a much deeper level than we even know of ourselves, and thus we are paired for reasons beyond simplistic, exterior match ups  – we are paired by our souls.

My mother is a deep, blue body of water.

I discovered this fact my freshman year in college when I was far away from home.  I was a Theatre major, and in theatre one does all sorts of in-class assignments most other majors could never imagine.  One stark and leafless Ohio day, I remember the feel of the cold wood floor under me as we were led through a long, guided mediation that had me fairly far outside my physical body into a realm I never imagined accessible before this day.  We were asked to connect with someone we were closest to in this life.

At that suggestion, I found myself swimming in the deepest, most calming blue waters of my mother – and I knew then and now looking back that I had found her essence.

We may disagree about most things people believe in, join, wear as a labels or identities, etc, but we hardly ever tromp into those places when we talk.

I think it was about 20 years ago, after I was chastizing myself about something,, my mother said to me,  “There are no Shoulds!”  She stopped me cold.  Really?  No Shoulds.  What freedom in those words!  What a gift she gave to me that day!

And since that time, we have said this phrase to each other as often as we needed to hear it.  Sometimes she would forget herself, get lost in the role of MOTHER, and tell me something that she thought I SHOULD do;  then, I would say to her, “There are no shoulds,”  and she would immediately drop the should and say, “You are right.”  The love and detachment in this instant transformation she can make after a daughter’s scolding are a beautiful gift and mirror to me.

From Neil Kramer’s The Unfoldment: The Organic Path to Clarity, Power, and Transformation:  “The outcome of making a wrong decision is often portrayed in the mainstream media as a life-shattering failure.  It is a very binary equation in the unreality of the distortion:  win or lose; black or white.  But reality is not like that.  There is no failure on the spiritual path, other than the temporary postponement of not walking it.

A conscious decision to not do something is as valid as choosing to do something.  One must consider the personal relevance of a thing from one’s own inner core before exercising will.  Contemplate removing should from the process.  There is doing, and there is not doing.  Should doesn’t come into it.  If I feel that it would be good to go and visit my elderly neighbor and help her chop firewood, then I do it.  If I don’t feel that, then I won’t do it.  No should is required.

Should compels people to act from imbalance – from outside their truth.  It is closely allied with public expectation and social standing, which are habitually flawed, as they are mired in the distortion” (95).

The gift we can give to ourselves and to others is releasing the expectations – releasing the shoulds.  That word should should just go away; shouldn’t it?

Dark Matters

5 Jan

There was a guy who used to be at the library down the street.  He drove an old car with an enormous antenna off the end and a sticker that said something about info wars and a website to check out.  He looked a little bit like this:

crazymanThis was a small, local library, so the children’s story time was surprisingly close to where this man was conducting his research, daily.  What I’m trying to say is that I noticed him.

I was curious about just what he was up to when a librarian whispered to me one day that he was a “Crazy Conspiracy Guy”.  We all know this stereotype.

So when I found myself exploring DARK MATTERS a few years later, this man was in my head, and I wondered if I had fallen off the deep end.  What is a sweet (haha), stay-at-home mom doing exploring all sorts of dark, confusing information by internet, book, film, and lecture while her kids were away at school?  I didn’t know why I found myself drawn in this direction either.  Before, I couldn’t get enough information and teaching about meditation, non-duality, Buddhism, Taoism, Love and Light.  What is the pull toward darkness?

So hard to sum up years of experiences quickly and walk back through a trail that seemed to make no sense, but now seems perfectly ordained and meaningful in hindsight.

Super speedy telling, I had an NDE during the birth of my youngest, and upon coming back, I could see that things were off.  We all have a sense that something is rotten in denmark, something is off, but most of us, collectively, are able to sweep that “knowing” under the rug and get back to Consensus, conditioned REALITY.  My dark night of the soul made me so uncomfortable that I couldn’t just tolerate what was off any longer and the uncovering began.  To me, at the time, this exploration seemed the antithesis of my spiritual exploration.

One teacher in particular, that I came across, magically put all of it together for me.  In his “Gates of Awakening” teaching, I see a consolidation of the avenues I have found myself exploring through the years.  My Neil Kramer awareness came to me through some podcasts I stumbled upon.  Never did I listen without experiencing a deep pang of truth from within.  The teaching from this ARC Conference in particular spells out this exploration of Dark Matters as a necessary step upon the path of our Unfolding.

I think this is a 5 part lecture, but here is the next part.

So maybe you are wondering if I’ve turned into this:


Not yet.  But I am a little weird.  Here’s a picture from Improv Graduation 🙂  I’m in the green pants.


Dark, love, and light to you in your own exploring and improvising today!

Burn This.

19 Dec

Is there anything more important than remembering?


Sometimes in the presence of grace, memories of egoic responses are a movie I watch about me as someone else from a distance.

 Last night after two days of intense looking at the cold, harsh truth through one lens (Where does one turn for help with teenage angst that won’t offer Zoloft as a solution?), I couldn’t help but “zoom out.” (Phrase borrowed from a teacher sublime, btw, Neilkramer.com…for another post!)

Still, here I am.   I am walking through the grocery, smiling, while the circumstances wouldn’t warrant that response 🙂

I fall in love with a cold lemon and the way it fits in my palm.

 A man with a froggy voice wishes me well; we share love through our eyes and I pass it on to the woman behind the plant counter which takes her by surprise!

All the while, I don’t remember my story.  I seem to let all unfold as it will – in this grace.  This grace will become a constant – is the constant, though there is still forgetting.

Burning up seems a sort of tragedy in one way, but these fires are gifts sent to me for just that purpose.

Just this and to realize that lemons are very sexy 😉

Amazing interwoven thread of connection from a wise and loving sol.

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