Birth till Death – poem

Born into it


with no one to blame

shame and guilt are your cross to bear and not to bury


the patterns of the past are archaic adaptions that won’t last
you’ve amassed conditioning and inherited trauma


you are the Dali liama
treat yourself with care and accept your whole heart wholeheartedly


pray for honour, for without internal integrity your house is full of lies and spies


jealousy lives in the hips it wills to power over people until you learn that true will is power over yourself


guilt and shame lie in the belly, you’ll have to stomache your pride if you hold these inside
your sins are yours to carry, like a cross they bear their burden

erected on the stake, you will be hung and left for dead and you will be forgiven
forgiven by yourself, as an act of self love you are the judge of your own heart
beg for mercy from yourself

self-sabatoge is masterbaition

self-improvement is masterbaition


it’s all about self-stimulation until you know love but to know love, is to die for you cannot fully love, unless your ready to get over yourself


Love is where we transcend the ‘I’ and move into the ‘we’ it’s the only way to be free
to die before you die, is to live eternally


healing is about acceptance, autonomy, anger, awareness, assertion, and allowance


healing is about surrender, letting go, releasing, forgiving, and loving


healing is soft, gentle, caressing, like a mother holding her newborn child


Healing is betrayal, vomiting, purging, crying, and bashing your fists on the ground begging


healing is not something you do it happens by grace it happens when you give room and space to grow and allow life to flow into you


you can’t heal on your own to heal is to be whole, and separation is a kind of sickness


healing is community coming together in circle in song and dance, writing a new story
sickness is limiting narratives, ignorance and unconscious patterns that play out victimization and castration of the soul


growth, in all of nature happens from the center outward
like the big bang or mustard seed growing the great tree


you grow from the center outward your healing is an inward journey
your community and family are your roots your identity is your integrity your heart is your soul your head is the heavens


your breath is your connection to life lose your breath, and you lose your spirit
inhale to know inspiration exhale to know dedication
inhale to know life exhale to know death
inhale to receive exhale to offer
each breath in, you are given life force energy each word you say is an exhale, it is your offering back to the world
your words are prayers
each breath in you are given energy to offer your gratitude for grace
one day you will give up your breath your body your mind and emotions
you will offer it all back you will give up your hous eand your family
you came into this world with nothing and you were given everything
you will leave with nothing live in this awareness and nothing can touch you, not even death
this is the awareness of your eternal nature

forget it, and you are living in the finite
live in the presence of the here and now, and live in eternity
live in the mind, and you live in the realm of time and space
live in heart, and you live without self live in the ego, and you live separation
you cannot know heaven without love love is the bridge between what is man, and what is God
the heart is doorway unto the infinite
the breath is the doorway into spirit
the body is the vehicle emotions are the energy
know them well, without attachment to their ebb and flow
with grace and ease, the way of nature is the way of balance
watch nature as it moves as it cycles


that is you do not resist the cycles or the seasons when fall comes, let go, grieve and let die all that does not serve for the spring will come and all of nature will be reborn
those who are sick do not suffer, those that cling do suffer
with mindful loving awareness even sickness is a blessing
life is only a curse for those that cling to what they wish life would be acceptance is way the nature
when a deer knows it has been caught by the bear it gives up and dies


the body freezes and fills with endorphins if the deer were to struggle to the end, it would die in anxiety
the way of nature is knowing when to be defeated

knowing that you cannot win at life we all succumb to the seducing nature of death
live wholly and fully, with graciousness and care so fully and wholly that when death comes you can say to her, take me, I have given myself in each moment and death is the final frontier, I have nothing left to do but dive into the mystery of eternity
take me

I offered my heart and soul and I have already given myself life away

this body is yours to take, it is of the earth, let it rot into the earth

my spirit lives on

Men’s Retreat

 

What could you do with four immersive days in the wilderness?

In my early twenties it became apparent that I had never grown up, there was not a clear transition from boyhood to manhood.. In my readings I found that many indigenous cultures initiate their men
through ritual, so I started taking myself into the wilderness,
fasting for sometimes 10 + days, spending 10+ hours a day meditating, doing movement practices such as yoga and qigong, and praying for my purpose.

I felt empowered to transcend certain states of discomfort and hone my attention and courage. I was in a archetypal phase of stepping into being a warrior,
proving to myself that I have some gravitas. As I continued to challenge myself and search for my purpose, the universe listened and I continued to find my way.

Fast forward to now

I’m a breathwork facilitator, embodied flow inspired yoga teacher, and alignment coach who uses ancient and modern practices to help people find mental,
emotional, physical, and spiritual well being. I host public breath circles, work in a 1 on 1 practice in two cities, and lead events and retreats from Vancouver to Pemberton.

Inspired by my early days in the wilderness I now take men out to the wilderness, for 4 days, to turn within, and orientate their compass true north.

My own life offers my greatest teachings, and in order to listen to my heart and become clear on my purpose, I needed to cultivate a deeper relationship with my bodymind and emotions.
thus, I had to first tune into a certain level of unprocessed emotion that has been stored in the physical body. This unprocessed emotion is due to times in our life, especially our preverbal childhood, when we
had experiences that our nervous system could not wholly feel and express, and so it stores those emotions for a time when the body is safe to feel, heal, and find the wisdom that comes when we complete an emotional cycle. the men’s retreat is the safe container to find clarity.

These pockets of unprocessed emotion manifest as tension in our breathing apparatus, and through entering altered states of consciousness with breathwork we can access these unprocessed emotions. Further, our body is the subconscious mind, it holds all of our patterning and conditioning that continues to manifest through continued habits and stories we repeat. Through accessing highly neuroplastic states we can change our wiring, inviting in qualities we wish to see flourish in our lives, altering our gene
expression, stepping into our power, and finding purpose.

the retreat has deep inner work, which is contrasted with the joy and silliness as a group of men, often strangers agree to set a safe space to be themselves.
When a safe space for expression and emotion is welcome, people step into being authentic, and the conversation flows, as do the laughs. There is a beautiful cadence that develops between deep work and emotional depths, to
beautiful heights of bliss.

I work with an indigenous elder of the land who guides the men through a ceremonial sweatlodge. A time for prayer, and learning the ways of the people of this land.

We also use various techniques of hot and cold therapy, including hot springs and river swims.

I share the teachings of qigong, yoga, and other wisdom traditions from around the world. it’s an honor to share the ways I have been taught by my teachers
Edward Dangerfield, Robin Clements, Vern, Jessica Kamell, and others.

I plan to continue to bring these wilderness retreats through twice a year. Partnering with the professional chef D’arcy Demoe, and other breath facilitators to support.
These retreats are for anyone looking to deepen their level of embodiment. Learn coaching tools and practices capable of radically shifting their physiology, altering their nervous system wiring,
and moving through any perceived blockages holding them back from fully stepping into their power.

Next retreat will be in June, more information to follow, inquire if interested to book one of the limited spaces.

Thank you @rtkenny for the amazing photography work, please seek him on insta to work with him

all my relations

 

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The Gift of Life

 

I asked for strength, and challenge befell
I wanted to know love, and I needed to learn about death

Ask and receive
Yet know, the world works in mysterious ways

The gift of life is a surprise
If only we could see if with clear eyes

The truth is, every moment is a flower, each blossoming is a unique phenomena
Never to be repeated

Each moment is a new

Every time a flower blossoms is a celebration
It is a surprise, that each day the sun rises
One day it may not
That is reality

You are living
This is a gift

each moment of your existence is unique
Why then does life lose its flavour?
Why do we not react to life as if each moment is special?
Why is each and every flower that blossoms not celebrated as a miracle?

How does one return to their original nature? When life was a great mystery
How does one embody a human who is fully switched on to life
They must be present and aware
Open and receiving to life
All of life…as it is
The moment one does not accept life as it is, they create a resistance in themselves to the natural flow of existence
When we do not accept life, we fight against it
We cloud our vision
We move away from the truth, from true seeing
Life is as it is, not as we wish it to be

How does one return to freedom?
Freedom from judgment, shame, and guilt
They allow themselves to be

You are free
So long as you choose to be

When we move beyond judgement, we become a witness
It is from being a witness of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that we see them for what they are
They are the stream of energy, we call life
When we simply witness it without judgement, we allow it to be as it is, not as we wish it would be
Without attachment, thoughts, emotions, and sensations move like water
To accept life, is to be with it
It is to be with whatever is moving
Part of this human incarnation -this human experience- is a range of emotions
From sadness, to give depth
To Joy, to give height
We become expanded beings as we reach too great heights and great depth

Part of this process of existence in a human body is to die

We are aware that we will die
That we will leave this body we call home

To accept life, is to accept death – without resistance –
Wisdom traditions around the world have created systems of meditation to deal with this most basic fact
When we accept our death, we are free

The gift of life is precious
As I sit in gratitude, I am humbled to know that ~150,000 people will pass on from this earth each night
150,000 families will lose someone they love
And 360,000 people will be born into this human existence
There are 7.2 billion on the planet
And our dear earth has enough to feed us all
There are an estimated 963 million people who go without food

Who am I?
Why am I on this planet, orbiting the sun, in a bed of stars?
Why are we here?
To grow, eat, reproduce, and die?
What about love?

Questions are never answered
They are guiding lights

Want to change your life?
Ask good questions

Ask yourself, why am I grateful in this moment?
And this one
And this one
What does it feel like to be grateful?

We can never get answers, because life is not made purely of language
Life is experience
You cannot know life through language, like you can know wetness through the word water
You cannot know love by reading about it, you must feel it in your being
Love cannot be spoken of
Not in prose
Not even in poetry

Love must be felt
Love can awaken every cell in your body
Yet, they don’t advertise that on TV

Love is a gift
For you to find, in your own heart
Then share it with the world
What a gift it is, to have love within us
What a gift it is to know life
To live this human incarnation, from birth to death

What a mystery.

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Gratitude and Liberation

Gratitude
 
Gratitude is a state of receptivity
 
It is a state of:
Surrender & letting go
 
Gratitude is an openness to receive
 
Because gratitude is a state of surrender and letting go, it involves moving out of one’s own way
 
It is a meditation
 
The way most people approach meditation and gratitude is to try and Do it. They effort their way into it.  The effort is pure, but the practice is ill-guided. Meditation and gratitude are not goal orientated, there is nothing to achieve.  They are simply processes one can become aware of.
 
The funny thing is that you can technically effort your way into meditation and gratitude, but it’s a long winded way. The way to do it is to try reaaaaally hard to meditate.  It is to buy all the crystals, change your name to ananda, and go to Himalyans.  The way to do it is to effort so hard with the will and mind to become grateful, and at some point you’ll try so hard you’ll finally give up and surrender and enter into true letting go. Then there is meditation, then there is gratitude. 
 
This is the way I see many patterns of meditation, gratitude, spiritual practice, and breathwork. It’s representational of The Western World’s way of being in the world. We are Doers. The ancestors of the West are the bold doers who got on a boat an sailed to a new land to start a new life. The culture we have created is one tilted toward the Doing mode of being in the world. 
 
It is beautiful.  Look what we have created.
 
Yet, there is opportunity to step back, and enter into greater balance by inviting in some receptivity.
 
‘All work and no play, make jack a dull boy’
 
‘A time to work and a time to rest’
 
Rest does not mean work all day, then go effort in the gym or on the mountain or at any other activity and then rest all night. 
 
There are 3 types of rest: Active rest, like qigong or walking, where the parasympathetic nervous system is active.  Passive rest, like meditation or sitting and fishing in a pond. And total rest, which is sleep.
 
By introducing more rest into one’s life, there is a more optimal balance of energy.  Seemingly paradoxically creating more energy. 
 
When we forget to take time to rest, we don’t activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us rest, digest, and repair our body and keep our nervous system balanced.  When we are out of balance we put ourselves af risk for disease. 
 
When we do not take time to be receptive to life, to take a step back and listen, we miss out on the depth of life, lived in the moment.
 
Doing mode says, life has a purpose, the ends justify the means.
 
Being mode says, life is purposeless art, each moment is eternal, here and now is a precious flower, blossoming with beauty and rapture for those who sit in its presence
 
Questions to ask? Am I always doing something?
 
Do I make time to listen to life?  To become receptive? to be Grateful?
 
Am I trying to achieve something in my meditation? Am I chasing experiences of bliss?
 
I’ve had dozens of experiences fasting in the forest, going to the jungles of Peru, Costa Rica, heading to great land of Bali, and reaching all manner of far out blissful and psychedelic states of consciousness. But there all just experiences, and you can go on chasing them, as I once did, thinking I was achieving something. There will always be another medicine circle, or spiritual practice to chase, thinking you have gained something. Yet, these are all things you Do, you do them to receive.  Yet at some point, there is an opportunity to learn that we don’t need to effort to surrender. This is when we stop doing meditation, and our lives become meditative.
 
When I stopped Doing meditation I began to sit with life.  All of life. In kind, loving, mindful awareness. I realized I had been chasing pleasure, and avoiding pain. When I became truly receptive to life, I began to sit with my pain, and observe it, with curiosity.
 
The pain never disappeared.  If anything it can more pronounced as I allowed myself to be with it. Yet, as I gave into it, It lost its power over me. 
 
When we are no longer motivated to avoid pain and seek pleasure, we step into our power. 
 
When I stopped Doing meditation, I began to sit with life.  All of life. In kind, loving, mindful awareness. I realized I had been chasing pleasure, and avoiding pain. When I became truly receptive to life, I began to sit with my pain, and observe it, with curiosity.
 
The pain never disappeared.  If anything it became more pronounced as I allowed myself to be with it. Yet, as I gave into it, It lost its power over me. 
 
When we are no longer motivated to avoid pain and seek pleasure, we step into our power. 
 
Liberation is freedom.  It is a place beyond pain and pleasure, the eternal ties of this human incarnation.  When there is liberation, pain and pleasure do not disappear, the Buddha wept, Jesus raged, lama Yeshe struggled as he died.  Liberation is not about going beyond being human, it means being fully human.
 
It is a state of non-resisting. It is a state of complete acceptance of life, which allows one’s eyes to see life clearly, to see truth. In order to get to this state of non-resisting, one must surrender to the process of life, one must let go. Yet as discussed is the beginning of this article, the whole spiritual game, and much of its activity is based on effort and Doing.  It’s beautiful, in the way that comedy and tragedy are lovers.
 
here’s the punchline, life is an eternal process.  Without beginning, middle, or end. Remember, Doing mode, are ends and means, it is based in time. Being mode is eternal. Which means you can spend your whole life, you can spend 10000 lives Doing, you can spend them chasing pleasure and avoiding pain, this is samsara.  And one day, you will let it all go, and enter into simply Being with all that is, here and now, in this eternal moment.
 
You’ll have nothing to do but laugh. You’ll laugh, like those statues of laughing buddha. You’ll laugh like the rascal sage of zen, Bodhidarma laughs.  You’ll laugh with your whole body, like Sadghuru laughs. You’ll laugh like Alan Watts laughs. Because you’ll realize there was nothing you could have done or not done, the individual effort and Doings you thought were necessary were a way of resisting letting go
 
In the end, you simply surrendered, you let go.
 
It gets funnier …
 
Upon letting go, you realize it was never you, there was no Individual and separate “I”  that needed to let go.  It was all a dream.  You were dreaming to be separate from the process of life, and not the whole. You were dreaming to be John doe, who lives on 22nd street, who mows his lawn and drives to work. You were dreaming to be a clerk, a painter, or a saviour of the world. All are ego.
 
When you awaken, you will still be a clerk.  You will still have emotions, highs and lows, pain and pleasure. Yet they will not pin you in patterns or guide you. This is freedom.  Free from Karma.  When you awaken you will no longer be pressured to save the world and do good things and avoid bad things.  If good things arise, they will blossom from out of your own heart. When you awaken, your life will blossom from the center, like a seed awakens into a flower.  You will flower and grow, as all of life grows, from the inside out. No longer a hungry ghost, seeking sustenance from outside of oneself, no longer incomplete, seeking wholeness, you are the whole. 
 
When one awakens to the truth of reality, they realize there is nothing to do.  And yet, you are still in the world, in Taoism they call this effort-less action Wu Wei. You still have an identity, yet you are not tied to this identity.  When one enters this mode of being in the world they are bound to become peculiar, because they live in the world, but not of this world. There is an aloofness, that is palpable in the air. it’s similar to when you hang out with an infant, and feel free, knowing that the infant is not judging you, they are simply there with you, wholly present.
 
freedom is accessible to each and every person. The gift of life is available, here in now, in the present…it does not ask you do anything to achieve it, it simply asks you are present to receive it.
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Love is an Imperfect Dance

Our four feet shift across the smooth wooden floor.
Her blond hair has its way with the wind as she twirls.
It’s a beautiful dance
Step back,
now step into me.
Our bodies begin to ignite, our eyes make love as the music moves through us.
Two bodies, two beings, dancing as one.
Then in an instance we are broken, my foot twirl as I’m supposed to twist, I’ve lost the rhythm and we stopped moving with elegance.
A bird loses its wing.
She just smiles and chuckles through her eyes. -She’s too kind to laugh out loud-
till I do.
And soon enough we’re holding our bellies bellowing joy and we are one once more.
A bird learns to fly.
We are dancing
It is an imperfect dance
We both play our roles, I’ll take you as you are because my heart chose you, not my mind.
What other way should we move?
There are no mistakes in life, not every seed that falls free from the tree is meant to be.
If it was, then it would be.
There are those who see the world as it is, and those who see the world as they wish it could be.
The ladder never know deep intimate love.
Love is messy.
It’s 4 a.m. fighting, then It’s making Love as the sun rises.
It’s an imperfect dance,
yet all of creation moves this way.
Love is the story of creation.
It has three parts.
The creation, the maintenance, and the destruction.
It’s a cycle, you cannot cling to it, and you cannot resist it anymore than you can prevent the day turning into night.
Love has no rules.
You can say your vows, you can stay up all night with the light on pretending the sun is shining, but creation will continue creating.
You will love, and you will lose.
Life is as it is, not how you wish it would be.
See the beauty in it.
If love never changed, what a bore.
Love knows nothing of security. Life is not about security.
Love is like life, it can end at any minute
Your love is as volatile as a caged cornered lion.
To live in this awareness is to keep love fresh.
To live in this awareness is to keep your soul vital.
If you’re not ready to give up everything that you are and merge into the messy center of another Soul, then you’re playing surface games.
Love is the most precious gift a person can receive.
It is sacred when it is total. This love, is not common, for millions marry each other each second, and this is not necessarily love.
Love is not premeditated and planned
It falls upon you like grace
To know true love is to be transformed, it is a kind of transcendence of the soul.
In this way, love is a kind of death, a death of the small self, for love dissolves the boundaries of one into another.
Love is like death
There’s no way to know when you will die.
You need not know.
Love knows no bounds
love is patient, love is kind
love can also be a little bitch that will tear your lungs out and leave you breathless.
If love was always cordial and kind, she would not be worth giving up everything for.
If love was too soft it would simply make love in the missionary position over and again
Love is sometimes soft, but love is also the Kama Sutra.
Love is dangerous. It knows no taboo, and knows nothing of the bounds of marriage, age or gender.
Love is kinky with bloodlust,
love will leave you lost and broken, but this life is an imperfect dance, and you will make mistakes, or you’ll sit on the side watching it all.
In the end life is as it is, and not how you wish it would be
Enough for today.