Monday, April 28, 2008

You Are The River: An Interview with Ken Wilber

Here's a link to an interview with Ken on, giving a great overview of who he is, and what "integral" is.

PS: at some point, I expect this to be removed by, so I've saved a copy in my files

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Great Rebate Debate Conundrum

I received the joke email posted below from a friend, and promptly passed it around to some of my friends, initially thinking it was pretty funny:

Dear friends and family,

The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate.
If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China .
If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs. If we purchase a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico , Honduras , and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Japan. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.

The only way to keep that money here at home is to buy prostitutes, beer and cigarettes, since these are the only products still produced in the US . Or you can send it all to me and I will be sure to put it back into our economy.

Thank you for your help.

But the more I thought about it, the more seriously I began taking it. It represents so much that is wrong with the U.S. today.

One of the first things I thought of is the Chinese proverb, "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day...teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That this is "feeding" those of us who will receive rebate checks for a day, surely cannot be disputed. Worse, it's buying us off. it's a short-term feel-good sugar placebo that does nothing for us in the the long run, except put us further in debt.

Oh, you thought it really is a rebate, that we're being refunded money we sent in to the IRS? Silly you! Every cent we pay in taxes goes toward interest on the federal debt! We're making minimum payments on a maxed out credit card.That bring us to the next problem with the rebate.

If it's not a refund of tax dollars, then where's the money coming from? remember that Chinese proverb above? Well, proverbs aren't the only thing we're borrowing from the Chinese....Our government is taking us further into debt. Worse, as the email points out, most of us will probably spend it on electronics, or clothing, made in guessed it: China.

But, you're gonna get it, whether you agree with it philosophically, or not.

So.....what's a good way to spend the mastur.....oops, rebate that you're going to get, that doesn't include prostitutes, beer, and cigarettes? I'm glad you asked....

  • Buy local produce and food stuffs from a farmer's market in your area. After all, all economies will soon be local (what's left?), might as well support them now so they'll be there when your really need them;

  • Better still, rip up that worthless water guzzling lawn abomination and invest in a garden and start growing your own organic fruits and vegetables;

  • Put a down payment on a tankless on-demand hot water heater, so that when energy prices climb out of your reach, you'll still have hot water;]

  • If you don't already own one, buy a bike...maybe an American made motorized bike (okay, the engines aren't homegrown).....but how can you argue with 250 miles to the gallon?

  • Consciously choose to spend your dollars locally and in the US. Search out and find websites like - "There are 293 million people living in the United States. If each one would shift $20 a month in spending from foreign made products to American made products, that would create 5 million new jobs."

  • Want to save your rebate? Stashing your cash in a locally owned bank is one more great way to keep money circulating in your local economy and to support your local businesses and community endeavors.

  • In the new home Anyaa and I are building, we're going to put in greywater systems and composting toilets that turn human waste into an organic compost and usable soil,. Yeah, I know, but read about 'em,'s a crime to use drinking water to flush waste when people are dying because they don't have clean water.

My list took less than half an hour to develop. Perhaps you can turn me on to some of your ideas. Phew! I feel so much better!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Response to the "Non-Dual" Posting

I'm posting a response I got from my blog of a few days ago, "An Experiential Realization of the Non-Dual." My new friends, Chuck and Thea, own the property next door and are also building a Deltec, and we plan on sharing geothermal heating and cooling and a well to reduce costs.

Thea wrote this beautiful response to my post, and then gave me permission to post it. The words speak for themselves,

Dear Gary,

I Read your blog and have had the experience of weeping after sex from the feeling of being in total ONENESS. Of Opening to a love so big (you know that one!) that it just cracked me open.

I have also experienced the presence of a "third." I have equated this to the souls of future children approaching or coming close, attracted by the energy of lovemaking, who would be being conceived were they coming into body at this (or that particular) time. I believe that evolved souls who are not in physical form can be conceived and birthed within our consciousness.

In other words, they are our children (ie: souls of our creations) walking with us on the other side.As a parent I know how powerful it is to conceive a child (especially consciously) and how much they have to teach us. Perhaps these more evolved souls don't need to take on a form to teach us about our evolution into the other dimensions. And obviously we are teaching them as well -- perhaps we hold the piece of readiness to co-create with them so we can all move on. It feels very compassionate to me to co-create with these beings without having the need to bring them into physical form.

As we ascend up the Chakras we conceive on higher and higher levels, and the form changes. The feelings of ONENESS and LOVE are what are guiding us there. Our physical children are fragmented parts, or extensions, of ourselves, and now the tables are turning -- we are returning. WE have loved each other so many times before, and now we get to go home -- back to the light of which we are made of at our core. The light of LOVE.

Thank you for allowing yourself this opening.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Soon-To-Be Infamous Grilling Ceremony

Almost two years ago, as my partner, Anyaa, was starting to seriously consider calling in a Beloved, she was gifted a Grilling ceremony by two of her closest friends.

Knowing Anyaa was frustrated at not being able to find a life partner, her friends, Dennis and Judith – mostly Dennis, who apparently devised the ceremony – came up with an idea: They bought and assembled a barbeque grill for her, and created the “grilling ceremony.”

While visiting Anyaa at Isis Cove – they bought the lot directly behind Anyaa’s current property, and will be building next year right next door to our new property – Dennis set up the grill and instructed Anyaa to create a list of everything she wanted to bring forth in a man.

Inviting Brad and Star Wolf, the founders of Isis Cove, the five of them added and threw out qualities and items to Anyaa’s list, until she had just what she wanted, the ideal man to call in.

As the charcoals reached the ready point, they had Anyaa throw the list into the coal fire, sending the intentions on the list out to the universe, and then proceeded to cook the evening’s meal on it, including meat.

2700 miles away, my nose hit the air and thought, “what is that?” I’d like to think it was about the same time I wrote this blog, finally getting serious about finding my own Beloved.

Since meeting Dennis, he’s become my new best friend, and I love his wife, Judith, as well!

So now it’s my turn to pay it forward for another. So, next month, I’ll be doing a grilling ceremony for another single woman at Isis Cove, Sarah Jane, who is an extraordinary cook. She’s already started her list, and a bunch of us will gather at her house overlooking Isis Cove, add to her list, burn it on the new grill, and call her beloved in…..

I’ll be calling in the upper left quadrant for the sweetest, most thoughtful and compassionate man, the upper right quadrant for the strong physical attributes she’s looking for, the lower right for the systems to all be in place and in good working order to enable them to connect, and the lower left that will help them further develop the kind of community they’ll both want to be a part of.

We’ll be honoring a universe that wants us to happy and of service, and that thrives on life’s abundance.

Oh, by the way….we will be cooking meat……unless she wants a vegetarian.

Friday, April 18, 2008

An Experiential Realization of the Non-Dual

I’ve long understood, like David Deida and Robert Augustus Masters before me, that relationship has the potential to be a powerful tool toward self-actualization , or increased consciousness, but it wasn’t until I read Jenny Wade’s book, Transcendent Sex, that I first became aware of the possibility of a non-dual experience through relationship and sex.

Note: I'm often surprised, when I use the term, "non dual," that many people don't know what I'm talking about. Non dual simply means not apart from, not separate.

Wikipedia: Nondualism may be viewed as the understanding or belief that
dualism or dichotomy are illusory phenomena. It is accessible as a belief, theory, condition, as part of a tradition, as a practice, or as the quality of union with reality, and is sometimes referred to as the ultimate understanding.
I also understand that relationship, whether successful or not, tells us exactly where we are consciously and unconsciously in our lives, if we have the capacity to listen to what our inner voices tell us about ourselves. If you want to know the depth of your own actualization, it is in your relationships….especially romantic relationship, but certainly all relationships.

A fascinating read, Jenny Wade writes about people’s sometimes shattering experiences with non-dual realization during, or immediately after, sex. Sometimes characterized as the feeling of an overwhelming presence in the room, the “oneness” of everything, and even the presence of a “third.”

Some of the interesting things about these experiences are that they usually happen to only one partner, that the sex can sometimes just be casual – that is, not with a significant other – and that almost always, the person who has the experience, cannot find a way to tell the other person about their experience. Some who experienced the phenomena were religious, or spiritual, but just as many were not. There seems to be no rhyme or reason about whom this can happen to.

Fascinating, yes, and I felt jealousy for never having experienced this amazing phenomena.

Until last week.

Lying in bed after a particularly tender Sunday afternoon love making with my Beloved, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a presence all around us. This “presence,” or “feeling,” was that that of a third being, not separate, but rather a part of us, and yet not a part of us…the feeling was that of pure love… if we were enveloped in some sort of divine caress, loving us, and allowing me to not to just experience this, but to be the experience itself!

As it continued to caress us, surround us, and encompass us, I told Anyaa what was happening, and while she did not personally experience it, except through my description as to what was holding us, I began to weep out of pure joy and the realization that I was being offered the most amazing gift! Plus, I had the extra benefit of being able to share it with my partner as it was happening! While she had not experienced it, she understood what was happening and provided a completely safe container for me share my experience as it was unfolding.

It lasted, I guess, five or ten minutes, and then softly released us, leaving a lingering presence and awareness behind. It took, maybe, another fifteen minutes for me to regain my composure and come fully back into the physical room, and yet I still hold the awareness of the experience in my consciousness.

Why was this gift bestowed upon me? Is it because of the work I’ve been doing around conscious relationship? My own amazing relationship with an incredible and conscious woman? The Big Mind/Big Heart meditations I’ve been facilitating? All of it? None of it?

I may never know the answer to that, and I feel no need to search it out, or to understand it. I only know it happened, that I felt it, I experienced it, and I can relive it….and that’s enough.

Body Painting image by an unknown artist

Saturday, April 12, 2008

3 Weeks in the Great Smoky Mountains...and My New Life!

It's been three weeks since I arrived in North Carolina to be with my Beloved, Anyaa, and four since I last posted. it's been an incredibly busy four weeks!

Leaving Seattle

First, I spent the last week in Seattle, getting what I was taking packed into a Pod, getting my car transported back here, and cleaning up the house I'd been living in for the last 8 months. Ah, that house served Anyaa and I well, what with her running a circle of women doing the Shamanic Priestess Process over those months, and I kicking off my men's groups. And while that house blessed us, we also blessed the house, creating sacred space that will linger far after we're gone.

The house will be occupied by the new renters in May, and I wonder if they will feel the indelible presence we left behind? The house deserves no less.

The Arrival

I arrived in Atlanta on Friday night, March 21st, Spring Equinox, and Anyaa picked me, and another friend of hers, up at the airport. On our journey of 2-1/2 hours from Atlanta to Western North Carolina, I watched the full moon racing behind passing trees, still bare from winter, as if in the opening scenes of a movie, keeping pace with us as we traveled north toward our destination, and my new home.

Since Anyaa lives in a 600 square foot cabin, with a 600 square foot deck, looking southwest, there was no room for an office for me. Hell, there's barely enough room for me! Anticipating this, we bought a 16'x10' barn and had it delivered to the lower pad on her property a couple of days before. I'd also ordered some tools and materials I'd need to to insulate it, build a closet and a loft for storage, and paneling and trim to finish it out for my office. That took over week! We also had satellite internet installed as the only other available internet option was dial-up,a situation Anyaa had been living with for the past three years. Not great, but better than dial-up.

I don't recommend satellite unless it's your only option. A far cry from the 100mbps speeds I was used to in Seattle. Paradise ain't perfect.

Every morning we walk to the top of the mountain, say our prayers to the universe, come back and do an hour of yoga and weights. it's the perfect ITP practice.

Wise Wolf Men's Council

My labor was interrupted on the second weekend, as there was an event here at Isis Cove, the community we live in. This was the third year that Venus Rising, the organization that developed Isis Cove, sponsored a free event called "Wise Wolf Women's Council," and about 108 women attended this conscious and spiritual event this year. New this year, Venus Rising added a men's council, and 25 men attended the fist annual 3-day weekend event.

In addition to attending, I got to present, and facilitated a 45-minute long Big Mind meditation, which offers a state (temporary) experience of non-dual realization.

During the weekend, men got a taste of stepping into conscious men's work, and many had not done any transformative work on themselves before, but came at the urge of their feminine partners who were attending the WWWC event.

Some highlights of the weekend were a firewalk (yes, I walked over the 15' long burning coals in my barefeet about a dozen times with no ill effects....what power our minds and intentions hold!), breaking a metal-tipped arrow with the soft spot of my neck by pushing on it (very scary!), and a 3-hour sweat lodge that we, the 25 men, built from scratch using native saplings and heating local rocks with fire we built.

One of the biggest highlights of the weekend for me was knowing that there were 25 men who were coming together, consciously, putting their egos aside, and connecting with one another in a way that some of them had never experienced before. These are men that I'm proud to call brother. The other was being welcomed by the Divine Feminine at the end of the weekend in a ceremony that represented the Sacred Union of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.....beautiful, and included a short 30-minute Shamanic Breathwork, where I clearly saw my path laid out before me.

The Asheville Integral Warriors Group

Anyaa leads a group of 7-8 women in Asheville every other Thursday night, and we thought that me leading a men's group, like the ones I've facilitated in Seattle based on the work of David Deida, on the the same night, would be a natural. To make this happen, I marketed the local Ken Wilber Meetup group, consisting of 19 members, and men in relationship with local women who have done Anyaa's work who want their partners to step into conscious work, as well.

To do a men's group, I need a minimum of 5 men to get the juices flowing in the group process. I only had four men show up for the intr0ductory evening, two of whom were already in Mankind Project (MKP) groups, one who spent 30 years in the marines and who won't really interested in developing deeper bonds with other men, and one who wanted to do the work, but in group setting. No men's group just yet.

I later found out that the local MKP group consists of about 100 men, a remarkable number considering Asheville only has a population of 60,000, and that there's already a David Deida group here, consisting of about 12-15 men: a wealth of existing men's groups.

The Local Ken Wilber Meetup

Not to be discouraged, I decided to further market the local Ken Wilber Meetup group of 19 people, contacted the local leadership to offer a presentation at the next meetup. It meets the last Sunday of the month on Sunday morning from 9am to 1pm....4 hours! Meditation, Integral Life Practice, a DVD of Wilber, and discussion....but only 2-3 people show up.

A new plan is needed.

So I'm working on that, hoping to eventually have enough men to do the Integral Warriors group. Meanwhile, I'm going to offer a series of different offerings every other Thursday night and see what happens.

A Personal Note

I am absolutely loving it here! I am in a life-partner relationship with a woman I love and admire deeply, and feel that my life purpose is unfolding before my eyes. Anyaa and I are developing a deeper relationship than was possible in our long-distance stage, no matter how much time we spent together. As I build my soul work and my freelance graphic and illustration business, I'm able to contribute around this beautiful property and Anyaa's life that allows her to relax into doing what she does best. A beautiful partnership that serves us and the people we come in contact with.

The Future

Anyaa and I, in partnership with Brad and Star Wolf, principals of Venus Rising, are in the process of developing a couples workshop where we'll take 10-20 couples to Costa Rica early in 2009 to do a week on intimate relationship and transformation. I'll be writing more about that in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, I know I've made the right decision to move from Seattle to North Carolina, in spite of leaving so many great friends and a great community that I helped found and build.