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Archive for July, 2012

Maybe I can get a job at the Hemlock Society. . .

Like millions of Americans, I am looking for more work. My latest idea came scratching through via one of my two clients (both of them are in their lates 80’s and nearing death).  Muriel 88 years old called me to cancel our massage:

“Michael.” She said. “I can’t see you today an old friend is coming to visit. He worked for the Hemlock Society.” Can you believe that, I was usurped for a guy who is providing assisted suicide guidance?!  Well, not to be deterred so easily, I got to thinking—‘maybe I can get a job at the Hemlock Society? So instead of whining about lost $, I got busy working on the 117th version of my resume. Believe me I have stretched my trades, gifts and schooling as far as humanly possible. I even tried to work as Coastside Doggie Masseur. The introductory paragraphs of my latest resume are quite captivating:

I know death; I know dying! I can help those at the end of their rope, the people wallowing in self-pity, anyone wanting to give up the ghost and all of that- these people, your people, all people.

Truly I can help. I die and am reborn daily. In the last few years, death has been happening even more often. One moment I am alive, the next moment I am dead. Fortunately the ‘I am’ part remains. (Whew, otherwise I would not be able to help your clientele). Like Jesus before me I am not an advocate for crucifixion. I’ve tried it. For years I murderously crucified myself. My mind bashed my mind –over and over relentlessly. I have scars from the stake marks to prove it. And of course, as I have already mentioned: later I was reborn. So I am either just like Jesus or a psychosomatic hypochondriac. Either way, with me on your team, you win.

It was a profound resume, one of my best, but it was returned unread, hell it was unopened. Apparently the Hemlock Society had passed away. There was no forwarding address on the envelope.  But there etched in a diabolical, hand-written letters, by an obviously psychotic postman, was a eulogy for me. It read:

“Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen try as you may…”.

I would have preferred a simple:  Return to Sender.

Illness is your Guru. . .

Illness puts you on a forced yoga retreat. In this case, the ashram is your bed; the prescribed postures are: shavasana, shavasana and shavasana. Assume the corpse pose, die before you die and all of that.

Can you breathe deeply and enjoy your dilapidated limbs, the exhausted heart, the overworked brain and just let the body be!? There is no separate entity that needs to identify with or monitor the working of the body. Illness only requires one thing: REST. In chronic illness, that one thing asks you to let go of your management position. You have been permanently laid off, fired from your post. This will ensure that the body receives the best possible care (and with you gone, it will). Start by taking several days off. Extend your vacation a few weeks. Eventually you’ll discover that the Big Guy Superintendent does a much better job.

Just in case this blog does not put you on permanent vacation from the pseudo-management job, the recurring dis-ease will at least keep things interesting.

Diatomaceous Earth

In the little known 1981 Charles Bronson film ‘Death Hunt’, not to be confused with his ‘Death Wish’ movies, two mountain men are in a fight. One says to the other:

“You’re so dumb I could sell you dirt.” Well I just bought some dirt. It’s called Diatomaceous Earth. Hell, I’ve tried every other supplement known to man. If it was good enough for my cromangnum brothers, it’s good enough for me. Inject Sam Elliot’s voice here:

“Dirt, it’s what’s for dinner.” Is there anything better than the latest supplement arriving?! Great expectations, dirt stuffed into a jar, stuffed into a box, stuffed into a post office mental container- my latest salvation device is here.

I’ve come along way on this healing journey. Read: nowhere. Haven’t moved an inch. Sitting in the same spot, searching for that elusive fix-it pill. I was grateful to receive my dirt.

After spending two hours with my three year old grandson Peyton this morning, I need some kind of revival agent. The nap of the dead that I just awoke from, replete with drool, painted me into the mattress. These naps have become my specialty. When my daughter was three we use to have ‘nap wars’ after my 12 hour shift at work, wherein a wrestling match would occur on the bed. I would try to get her into some kind of sleep-inducing posture while she would try to pull me up from bed so we could go to the park. It was a titanic struggle. Well today, the little man done whooped my ass. Let’s get back to the dirt.

Diatomaceous Earth, famous as a dog deworming agent, supposedly a fabulous heavy metal chelator, safe for humans. It was cheap too. Really, I spent 18 dollars on two 12 ounce plastic (which probably leeches into the dirt) jars of dirt- plus eight dollars shipping. I could have sifted through the deer droppings in my backyard I suppose but I am too tired. The dosage recommended is two tablespoons a day for two months and I will be as good as new. If any nasty critters or their hatchlings arrive during that time. Goners. Yep, that’s right, say goodbye to Chonic Fatigue Syndrome (err, I mean Prolonged Stillness Therapy). Poof.  Really–“Diatomaceous earth (DE) has been reported in the scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug residues, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. . .”

Diatomaceous Earth is essential made up the mineral Silica and a few other trace minerals–the stuff looks like dirt okay. I will pretend that when I take my evening dose I am downing a mudslide at cocktail hour.

Book Review (sort of)

Recently someone sent me an email stating they enjoyed a blog entry I wrote a couple weeks back. They asked me to review a book: Seeing, Knowing, Being: A Guide to Sacred Awakenings by John Greer. So here is my shot at it:

The doctors, those with Ph.d’s like Greer, indicate one who is highly educated and often overly valued in our society. Education is in fact a deep conditioning not easy to overcome. The intellectuals are the toughest because they either know everything or in their quest for knowing more and more get caught in the conceptual realm. Those learned ones often get stuck in spiritual identity, wherein the intellectualism grabs everything including the most essential pointers. They often take spiritual teachings, and they do not even realize it is happening, and turn them into some grand ‘theory of everything’ or refuse to consider them at all.

This spiritual bypass route is so tenacious and recalcitrant that what Jesus said to the rich man is equally applicable: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an ‘intellectual’ to enter the kingdom of God.”

What Jesus may be pointing to is this: With so much conceptualization (knowing, living in the realm of mind) it is impossible to enter the kingdom (the present moment).

True spirituality is about living from the unknown. And fortunately Greer realizes this and though his writing is quite intellectual it is full of deep truth. I also must confess that I know nothing of this book though I did read the introduction  and enjoyed it. It contained essential spiritual pointers and truth-as much as words can. It was a bit too heady for my tastes. I have read so many spiritual books that I could not read on.

That said, I do sense the book Seeing, Knowing, Being will be a great bridging device which can be used as long as needed and then dumped as soon as you cross the river (so to speak). The book will be valuable to those just getting introduced to authentic truth teachings, the direct spiritual path of non-duality, but I urge you to go meet John Greer in person if you read his book and feel a resonance. Go sit with him and if you feel more attuned and alive in his presence, continue to sit with him until you wake up and realize that you do not need anything from anyone.

My favorites quote from the introduction: (authentic) “spiritual paths have consistently directed practitioners to go within to discover their true nature. . .”

So drop everything-this moment- be still and go within-it is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself. Now punch delete, turn off the computer and sit in the living, breathing silence.

The Energy from the Mountain Man. . .

Heading southbound last Saturday, and starting at about 4700 foot level, my Uncle John and I left from Sierra City on the Pacific Crest Trail. We followed the river, crossed a few bridges with terrific falls on the North Yuba River.

Sierra County is the start of the northern section of the Sierra Nevada range. It is a little used area with a rich history related to the gold rush and the area is largely undeveloped today.

It was hot when we set off at 3:00 pm. This is bear country though we did not see any. I hiked in with John, only five miles but even a few minutes in the wilderness is a cherished gift.  All the better to be spending it with one of the truly inspiring humans I know. Sixty-nine years old with 1100 miles of the 2650 miles PCT trail logged so far, John was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 6 years ago and is one of the few (they say only 3-5 percent make 5 years) given that diagnosis who is still breathing on planet earth.

Positive energy and the kitchen sink methold were his longevity secrets. The kitchen sink method includes about any kind of Western Medical Treatment they could throw at him; additionally John added numerous new age supplements and organic foods that I suggested. He pushed a large quantity of green powder through his esophagus but stopped short of imbibing the coffee enema-much to my surprise. He is living proof that my trademark KSM therapy is a viable alternative cancer treatment.

 Unc J, as we call him, was ‘taking a zero’ (day off–logging zero miles–thus the name). He was resting at a trail angel’s house in Truckee, California  (Trail angels are any fine folks who help a hiker get to off trail resupply stations in various mountain areas) when I called him today.
Every time we get together there is a palpable boost of positive energy in the surrounds. Ever since I was a young boy his enthusiasm and zest for life has been a constant. Journey on Big Guy!  I will see you on the trail again soon.

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