The Examined Life

My Photo
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Creating A World Worth Living In

I came across this fable the other day.  It is called The Three Stone Masons.  Here is how it goes...

Three stone masons in the middle ages were hard at work when a visitor came along and asked them what they were doing.

The first stone mason was hard at work, sweat beading his brow. “I am cutting this stone”, he grumbled.
The second stone mason, though less distraught, responded with a deep sigh, “I’m building a parapet [wall]”.
The third stone mason, replied with a radiant face, “I am building a beautiful cathedral that will glorify God for centuries to come”.
This fable caused me to think about what I am up to in my life; what am I working on, what am I building?   Am I just writing, just talking, just listening or does all this contribute to something grander more encompassing?  I thought how powerful it would be, how much more committed and excited I could be if I saw everything I do within the context of creating a world worth living in, not only for myself but for everyone for centuries to come. 

So that is what I am up to, that is what I am doing, creating a world worth living in.
Then I thought does that mean there is there something wrong with the world as it is?  Certainly not, take a look around.  See, it’s already working!




Saturday, November 03, 2012

Thou Art Woman

The story I long to tell has no end.   The story will take the rest of my life to play out. It is a story in which anything can happen. It is a story about you [and me]. 

I will spend the hours by your side in meditation, counting your fingers and toes, counting the hairs upon your head, counting each breath you take, counting each beat of your heart.  
I dare to gaze unwaveringly into your eyes until I see myself there gazing back at me.
I see your lips move; I hear the tinkling of each syllable, forming the notes of the song you sing to my heart.  It is a song of perpetual love.
There is never enough time; eternity is not long enough for me to experience the fullness of you.   I cling to and cherish every moment with you as they slip away.
I fill my mind with images of your face from every possible angle. I enfold every expression.
You are ageless and timeless.  I see only that exquisite being that has remained unchanged since the moment you were born.
I make my home in your presence where ever you may be. 
In your presence, I feel and welcome your every emotion, your excitement, your fears, your love and  passion for life all swirling around inside of you.  With every fibre of my being I strain to I expand to contain and experience, every aspect and nuance of you at once held inside my masculine sphere.
I create a safe space for you to rest then wait for you to alight in my outstretched arms.
I open my soul to you and the truth of my vulnerability spills out.   
Yes, I have fallen under your spell.  
I willingly surrender and offer up my all to the crucible that is your fire to have burned away that which is inauthentic, to incinerate the last vestiges of that which splinters humanity and separates us  from each other.
Every man senses the force you are to transform this world yet few dare express in words and deeds. Thus they engender only your distrust with their silence and irreverent gestures. Every man knows who you are in his heart of hearts but allows himself to remain blinded by false pride and fear, offering up to the world only force, the tool of ignorance. Each day I pray that the veils may be lifted from the eyes of every man so that they may stand in awe of thee, for within you lies the quintessential source of life, for thou art woman.

Saturday, October 27, 2012



It was indeed Satsang which translates from Sanskrit sat meaning true, sanga meaning company, and together meaning, in Indian philosophy, the company of the "highest truth,"  the company of a guru, or  company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth.

We had no Guru handy so we each had to play that role in turn.  We all had no access to the TRUTH so we had to each express our own truth.  Authenticity always commands a listening that goes beyond words, beyond the mind and touches the heart. 
For a few short hours we captured lightning in a jar.  We listened to each other’s stories. We felt each other’s excitement, fears and passion.  We each expanded to enfold each exquisite soul.  We created a space where there was nothing right or wrong, nothing to figure out or fix.  There was only our collective presence and our infinite love. 

In our artificially created culture ideas often seem so important, the details seem so crucial.  But in our 3D world of impermanence ideas morph and details shift without warning. But the listening and the love we provide for each other is constant and unwavering.   When you have created that space, you know everything else will just fall into place.  We all innately know when we are in the presence of this kind of listening and our hearts will beat as One.   The infinite possibility and creatively flows effortlessly from our being because we are safe and protected.   Resurrected from prehistoric millennia we have recreated our tribe.  We suspend our fears, chasing away the shadows of doubt as we gather around our campfire telling our stories and sharing our dreams.  What a gift we are for each other.  What a gift this life is.




Monday, September 24, 2012

Cosmic Joke

 If you believe you are smart, foolish, naïve, perceptive, sensitive or any other way of being?  Could you consider for a moment that who you believe you are is just a point a view? There is a time and place for all these ways of being in your life. The important question is always "Is this belief and way of being serving me at this moment?" The great awakening is that whatever it is we believe is just a point of view. It is not the TRUTH. Thinking we know the TRUTH about anything, especially ourselves, is the "cosmic joke" life plays on us. A revelation happens when we stop believing we know the TRUTH.
So I don't accept that you are anything you believe you are.  You are more than any label and you and I are in the process of becoming. We are all a moving target. Now you might have the "thought" that I am trying to change you. It is just a thought; it is not the truth. Choosing to be alive is to expose ourselves to the things and people around us that have graced our life with their presence. I am but a mirror reflecting back to you from my point of view. I am not the TRUTH. I do not know the TRUTH. I can only reflect how you occur to me at this moment.
Those who insist that I have claimed to know or be TRUTH must pass on by, some of them angrily; because they will contend that it is I that has deceived them.  Once I was offended by their abrupt exit and tried to change myself to appear more acceptable but I no longer do that. I know now that it is easy to buy into the “cosmic joke” because life is full of tricksters.  But when we get the “cosmic joke” we are no longer susceptible to the tricksters. 
Ah, but maybe you are in luck this time and I will turn out to be the greatest trickster of them all.  No, I will not trick you out of your possessions or steal your precious time or emotions.   So what is the greatest trick of all?  It is when you finally get that all your life you have been taken in by the “cosmic joke”.  All I have to do is hold the mirror so that you can gaze at the image you have come to believe is you.  All you have to do is gaze until that image disappears and you get that all that remains is that “I” which is doing the gazing.   You will laugh out loud until the tears of joy roll down your cheeks.   Because you will know it is the last time that you will ever be fooled again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ten Thousand Horses - The Ayahuasca Adventure Revisited

For what seemed like an eternity I floated in a sea of endless expanse where, as if in a lucid dream, my every thought resulted in an instant unique drama in which I found myself participating. Now the screen of my mind had gone blank and I had been sitting in a place of profound stillness without thought or self awareness, suspended in an eternal moment.  But my quiet reverie was suddenly interrupted.  I felt a strange sensation but I could not determine from whence it came nor was I aware what exactly is was but it persistently demanded my attention.

Like waking from a deep sleep in the middle of a dream, slowly I began to remember my connection with a body, a body that has a mind and a body lives on a planet somewhere in a vast universe.  I have chosen to live in that body and on that planet for many years and now I must choose that experience again, right now, in order to continue to have that experience.  How odd it is to live in a body I am thinking with all there is to attend to.  But where else is there to go?  Like an invisible cord I feel my connection reaching across light years to this body and yet at the same time it is as if it were but inches away.  I begin to remember that this particular body and I are old friends.

Then there is that strange sensation again.  Oh, now I remember what it is, this body is telling me it is time to pee! 

I see and feel my hands reach out in front of me. My hands are holding ten thousand flashing silver filaments like electric reins each connected to one of ten thousand horses that are now at my command.  I feel my will to rise up traveling down each filament as my body is pulled from the bench upon which I was sitting.  I call out “baño, baño” as I was instructed indicating I want to go to the bathroom.  I see two small figures moving toward me in the dim light of the temple.  Just in time they catch my body as it falls forward.  Like two angels they bear me up and across the room toward the door.

Outside the temple, we float toward the elevated outhouse skimming over the path.  They wait for me at the bottom the stairs as amble up holding tightly to the handrail and plop myself down over the wooden oval hole.  A great relief begins to fill my body as a torrent spills into the darkness below.  Once more I summon the ten thousand horses and I am lifted up again.  This time I am able to control them so I do not pitch forward.  Carefully holding the handrail down the stairs I go where the chubby little Peruvian angels await my return.  Swiftly and effortlessly they bear me back to my seat. 

Wow, what an adventure that was!  What next will this body demand, I muse, and then I resume my tranquil reverie. I close my eyes as I merge again, without form, into the vast emptiness of eternity.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

A Well Kept Secret

I am a well kept secret hidden in plain sight.  Maybe you are too busy to notice me, too preoccupied to listen, too distracted to see me, too self-absorbed to care.

Each of us is a window on the universe.  Each of us has a unique story of astonishing intricate twists of fate to tell. 

But beyond that, we are all a treasure of infinite possibility, imagination and creativity!

You don’t believe me?  It is because you have not looked into yourself and found the exquisite being there. How then could you possibly see me?

That is why I am a well kept secret hidden in plain sight.  Look beyond all the labels and judgments.  You will find me there. But most importantly, you will find yourself there too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just say No

I made my way to the center of the overpass and stationed myself on the North side right over the fast lane above the North bound traffic.  It is the beginning of the afternoon rush hour and all lanes are “moving well”.  I figured that, if properly timed, the lead driver will not be able to avoid running over my body which would plummet to the pavement right in front of his vehicle.  The trail of tailgaters behind him would certainly finish the job.  I did not want there to be any chances of my survival.  I did not think much about the mess it might cause and the high likelihood that I might take others with me as I contemplated the end of my wretched life .  Today I was going to just focus on myself for a change.

“ Well, That seems like a very effective plan.”  I heard a voice say.  I turned but there was no one there.  So began my conversation with God.

“Yes, I am pretty capable and clever.”, I said “I have spent a lifetime taking care of others I said with in air of smugness.”

“And how’s that going for you?” God asked.  

“Obviously it’s not going very well or I wouldn’t have wound up here.”  I replied.

“I’ve been waiting for you for quite a while now.”  God said.  “I knew you would eventually wind up here.  I have a suggestion for you.” 

“And what suggestion would that be?" I asked skeptically.

“Just say No”. God replied.  “I know you thought you were doing the right thing by accommodating others but you neglected some one very important in the process and you know who I am talking about.”

Yes, I did know who it was. I had neglected myself.  I had believed that if I did the “right” thing for others that I too would be taken care of by some sort of magic I guess.  But obviously that plan was flawed.

“That’s right” God said “It doesn’t work that way.  Others will only feel love for you when they see how much you care for  yourself.   They don’t even know how to love others until someone shows them how by loving themselves. You know when you have sold out and sacrificed your values and your own needs when you should have just said No.”

“I can’t see how that something so simple could help.”  I said.

“It’s just a suggestion” God said.  “I am not attached to what you do.”

“You mean you don’t care if I jump off this overpass or not?    You mean you weren’t watching me so you could come to save me?” 

"No, let’s just say that I just  happened to be in the neighborhood.  There is no need to save you. You will eventually learn the lessons you need to learn.  Sometimes it is necessary to spend your whole life just learning one simple lesson.  It doesn’t even have to be learned this lifetime either.  After all I am God you know, so I have a lot of patience."

"Well, I guess you are right.  There is nothing in my life that I want any more.  The one thing I really needed I never got. Everything that I worked so hard to get this lifetime is just “material stuff” and just a burden to me now." 


As I walked back to the house I considered God’s suggestion.  I still could not understand how it could make a difference but I was resolved to try it.  After all, I had nothing left to loose at this point. 

She met me at the door with an indignant expression on her face.  “Where have you been all this time?” she demanded.  “You have no right to just wander off like that.  I insist you tell me where you are going and when you plan to return whenever you leave the house. Now, are you going to respect my wishes or not?"

I just said “No”.