I don’t know anything. Nothing at all. Thank you.
I heard these words (title) from Manuel Rufino, an Ayahuasquero and Healer from Native American traditions during his talk given as part of the 2nd Annual Ayahuasca Monologues on April 17th.
April/May shaped-up to be pretty big for me and I had a sort of prescience for it (as described in past posts) – an anticipation that seemed to be building since the beginning of the year. The change of seasons has indeed brought with it many shifts – and many blessings.
Dana and I traveled to Encinitas/Carlsbad, CA to spend some time with our West Coast and senior yoga teacher, Tim Miller, during the first two weeks of April. My 42nd birthday was on April 21st. April 29th the great Dr. Albert Hofmann, ‘the father of LSD’, passed away at the age of 102. On May 2nd I installed a photography exhibit at The Shala. I lost a full time, on-site freelance contract on April 11th, but started another one on a work-from-home basis on May 9th. At some point during the last month, my yoga teacher, Barbara Verrochi, gave me the final pose (setu bandhasana) in the primary series of Ashtanga (the Mysore-style practice). Completing the primary series was something I thought I’d never do – at least in this lifetime. And lastly, I received some interest in my doing a bit of journalism – something I’ve always dreamed of pursuing.
I wonder if the shifts I seem to be undergoing are being experienced on a more universal level. No, I know they are. It’s hard NOT to see the synchronicities – and the drastic changes. Eckhart Tolle and Oprah completed their 10-week online series. Barack Obama appears poised to take the democratic nomination for the Presidential run in November. The housing/foreclosure crisis is further traumatizing the middle class – and calling into serious question the societal 'programming' (and lending practices) surrounding the so-called ‘American Dream’. Gasoline prices are so alarmingly high that the senate hearings with the oil tycoon CEOs regarding the astronomical oil company profits harkens-back to the ‘Big Tobacco’ hearings of the late 90’s. Everywhere and at every level of our culture, the sheer greed of Wall Street and the continuing corporatization of every aspect of our lives are beginning to send catastrophic shock-waves throughout the entire planetary existence. One need only look at the environmental collapse, the rapid rise of religious fundamentalism and related violence, the micro-and-macro impact of these out-of-control, robber-baron conglomerates, the increasing insensitivity of the population when it comes to blatant acts of violence and depravity in our media or otherwise, the perverse fascination with ‘celebrity culture’ and voyeurism for those in our society that seek only to further expose their own vanity, the disturbing level of government complacency and duplicity for the lobbyists and special interests, etc.
I want to believe that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in consciousness - the old ways giving way to the new. It has to be this way – we cannot evolve as a species without something BIG taking place - even if that something big brings with it significant suffering in the course of the grander scheme. The ripple in the still pond is always greater near the epicenter.
On a more personal level, I often wonder EXACTLY how to be in this world – how to conduct myself in my day-to-day existence. My struggle the last several years appears to be around holding my personal power and manifesting (and holding) abundance. How do I do this? And I don’t need any more metaphors or mystical analogies. One of my issues is that I am such the anti-establishment kind of person, so non-mainstream that I’ve basically alienated myself from a lot of our culturally-sanctioned paths to success. By being the ‘outsider’ but all the while secretly wanting the trappings of success that define the ‘insider’, is a hypocritical stance to say the least. I don’t know how to reconcile the two worlds. All I know is that my mind is my hindrance and my worst enemy. What I’m left with as a practice is to try – no, to risk losing everything all the time just to make damn sure that I’ve tried to do my absolute best in this life to ‘carve-out’ an existence that is inline with my ideals and my dreams. I would rather risk everything day-in-and-day-out and suffer the constant unease due to that seemingly never-ending struggle – than to remain ‘asleep’ in some cookie-cutter, societal idea of ‘a decent life’. As a friend of mine once said about a corporate gig in the typical sea of cubicles: “Man, that’s a slow death.” I couldn’t agree more.
If I have any advice for the reader it’s this: Follow your dreams no matter the cost, because if you don’t the price you’ll pay will be your very soul. This life is yours and HIS/HERS. What you do with it is between the two of you. In the end it won’t matter because you’ll return to HIM/HER. And all this will have been his folly. But if you waste this precious gift, HE/SHE may have you come back and do it all over again, and again, and again – until you get it right. So, carpe diem my dear friends and face your lives in the only skillful way that I know at this point: “I don’t know anything. Nothing at all. Thank you.”