Saturday, September 21, 2019

The endlessness of the heart


Emotionally-sensitive, somatically-grounded inner work is unique to each person. We must discover for ourselves the most skillful, effective, and compassionate ways to open and enter the body, psyche, and heart. It is a journey which requires attunement to first-ordered, primary experience.

The way of direct revelation is not the easy way. It is not the path of prefabricated steps, a map given by another, or a series of magical new techniques to learn and “master.” It is chaotic, wild, messy, and alive, written into the cells of your heart by way of a language that only you can understand.

If we will look and listen – with our physical as well as our inner senses – we will discover the guidance that is all around and inside us, stepping into the experiential realization that the path is in fact everywhere.

Wherever you are on your journey, you can ask a guide to bear witness as you move into unknown territory, allowing yourself to be held and to move at a pace that is provocative, but not overwhelming.

Find a therapist, lover, mentor, or friend; a tree, a bird, a mountain, or dog; the sky, the sun, the stars, or the mud. A color, a fragrance, a flower, an image. A God or Goddess, wise inner figure, or being of light.

A lion, a lioness, emerging out of the imaginal and into this world, opening a portal through which you might remember the majesty that you are.

Allow your symptoms to merge into these protectors and enter into dialogue, into pure relationship, separate and connected, practicing intimacy with the inner material, while simultaneously not fusing with it.

It is unlikely we’ll ever fully understand or resolve the mystery of self and other, separation and union, sun and moon. But we can remain in awe at the mystery together, dancing and playing and penetrating inside it, and by it, as we turn into the immensity and the endlessness of the heart. 



Art by Krista Marleena - lion of the dark and of the light



My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members but will re-open later this month. To be on the mailing list to learn about the program, please visit the site here

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020. 



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Into dust


A relationship has ended. An old dream has died; recycled, sent to the other world. All that is left is a burning, a longing, but for what? Should we move into the next relationship or stay alone?

There is no answer to this question, only an invitation into its unresolvable core.

It is natural to want to return to familiar ground, land in some safe place of refuge, and work it all out ahead of time. But, alas, the beloved has no interest in that.

Are we moving toward a new person to avoid some part of ourselves, some ancient feeling that we just don’t want to feel? Probably. I mean, if we’re human, anyway. Is there some part that senses a new possibility, a way of doing it differently? Probably, if we’re human, anyway.

We want a decision that is fully aligned with how we feel. But in the realm of the beloved, there will always be contradictory feelings. I want you. I’m repelled by you. I want to connect. I want to be separate. I want to be seen. I want to hide. We dance inside the opposites of abandonment and fusion, unsure where to turn.

Either path requires that we open into the unique cast of inner figures, feelings, somatic eruptions, and lost pieces of soul that accompany those choices. A compassionate confrontation with the fragmented shards of our unlived life.

Getting tangled up in “what decision should I make” is so very human, and for many of us also a way to defend against the inevitable loss, disappointment, and grief that will come regardless of what choice we make.

Whether you choose to stay alone or go back into relationship, you will inevitably meet soul-parts that you may have lost contact with, erupting feelings and sensations that are alive, achy, filled with wisdom-essence.

Unfortunately, there is no “third” option where we get to avoid our vulnerability and the tender, reorganizing touch of the beloved.

There is no answer to this conundrum, which is evidence of the beloved already, who is not interested in resolution, least of all in our fantasies of becoming a “master” at love and relationships.

He or she will turn the master into dust, which was precisely their role all along. How tragic. What grace.



Photo by rawpixel



My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members but will re-open later this month. To be on the mailing list to learn about the program, please visit the site here

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020. 



Sunday, September 8, 2019

Relationship as path


It is no secret that, for many, intimate relationship is one of the great amplifiers of the unlived life. We can count on our partners to relentlessly illuminate everything that remains unresolved within us. Not because they have some agenda to do so, but simply by the nature of the vessel that forms when we allow another to truly matter.

We come to relationship with an already-existing patterning that formed long ago, crafted of both personal and collective experience. While this template can be updated and itself longs for reorganization into more integrated forms, until reconfiguration it has a way of looming over us and coloring perception. It functions by way of a time machine where, when activated, it is as if we have left the “here and now” and found ourselves back in the “there and then.”

There is nothing like a close relationship to illuminate the orphaned emotions, beliefs, and vulnerable parts of ourselves that have lost their way in the tangle of somatic and psychic pathways. It can be a revelation to see how we attract and are attracted to those aspects and qualities in the other that we have disowned in ourselves.

It can feel a bit achy and agonizing to realize that the beloved, in whatever form he or she may take, seems to have extraordinary powers to open the raw, tender, and naked dimensions of our being. But it is a sacred ache, oriented to the mystery.

May we be kind to our partners in response to the inevitable disturbance that will arise as we make this journey together. Learning how to transmute the energy of conflict by way of skillful means and an open heart is essential and a secret doorway into the evolutionary potential that relationship offers.

The practice of rupture and repair is a lost art in our world. Through the reparation of neural pathways and planting seeds of wisdom and compassion, it reveals that relationships of vast depth and meaning are not free of conflict, but those where working through conflict is embraced as path, as unique and powerful temples of purification, love, and healing.




My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members but will re-open later this month. To be on the mailing list to learn about the program, please visit the site here


My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Sanctuary of embodied presence


When we’re sitting with a friend or client (or inner figure/ part) who is struggling, it’s very natural to ask them: “What’s the matter?”

This in and of itself is an alchemical question.

What matters to you?

What is the “matter?”

In a certain kind of relational field – one oriented not in cure, but in curiosity, warmth, empathic attunement, and not-knowing – the other may be able to access certain thoughts, images, feelings, memories, sensations, emotions, and impulses that had become hidden in the psychic landscape, or buried in the body.

In order to integrate, make use of, metabolize, or transmute experience, we must first be able to access it - touch it, feel it, sense it, think it, hold it, hear it… penetrate and be penetrated by it.

Once accessed, we are able to then begin the journey of articulating it, becoming poets of the inner world, breathing life back into what had lost breath.

By way of images, words, and metaphors – or creatively through paint, clay, dance, or drawing – we serve as midwife for the lost pieces and scattered shards of soul to come back into form.

We enact it back into being, giving it body, lighting it up with the sacred movement of our consciousness and our interest.

It is from this ground, this attuned scaffolding and sanctuary of embodied presence that true integration can occur, where the differentiated can become linked, the separate can become synthesized, and the dissolved can be recrafted... where the frozen is thawed, the forgotten is discovered, and the orphaned is reclaimed.



Photo by Manfred Richter


The next retreat - The Deep Rest Retreat: Slowing Down and Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times - September 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado - registration open 

My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members but will likely re-open later in the year. To be on the mailing list to learn about the program, please visit the site here



My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Into the vessel


When doing psychological or spiritual work, as the alchemists remind us, we must apply the proper heat to the material arising within the vessel of the body.

If the heat is not subtle enough, too intense, not intense enough, or of the wrong quality, the transformation we long for may remain out of reach.

The specific nature of this heat must be discovered by each of us in the fire of our own direct experience. We cannot take another’s word for it, use someone else’s fire, or apply a second-hand flame. It takes a lot of courage and trust to allow this fire to disclose itself within the crucible of the heart.

An improper or premature fire, someone else’s fantasy of the flame, or a heat that oriented in self-abandonment and self-aggression will scorch, deaden, or re-traumatize. Discovering the most skillful medicine for our unique psychic and somatic organization requires that we become artists of the inner landscape.

At times, a more passive, slower, yielding fire and flame, resting in the background field of awareness, infusing thoughts, feelings, and sensations with space, presence, receptivity, and compassion.

At other times, a flame that is more active, imaginative, fiery, and alive. Not a mere resting in the display or surrounding it with witnessing awareness, but entering into intimacy with the material, nor oriented as much in clarity, but in relationship. Not witnessing, but penetrating. Unearthing and differentiating the images, figures, colors, and fragrances that dance within the psychic world. Dialoguing, unfolding, unpacking, listening.

The invitation is never into mastery or perfection, but only into humility and experimentation.

In this way the images of fire and flame are metaphors for the activity of love itself... as alchemists of the inner world, archaeologists of the soul, twirling and playing with the many flavors, essences, and substances of life experience.

The heart is endless in its depth. You are endless.




The next retreat - The Deep Rest Retreat: Slowing Down and Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times - September 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado - registration open 

My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members but will likely re-open later in the year. To be on the mailing list to learn about the program, please visit the site here


My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The temple of relationship



It is no secret that, for many, intimate relationship is one of the great amplifiers of the unlived life. We can count on our partners and close friends to relentlessly illuminate everything that remains unresolved within us. Not because they have some agenda to do so, but simply by the nature of the vessel that forms when we allow another to truly matter.

We come to relationship with an already-existing patterning that formed long ago, crafted of both personal and collective experience. While this template can be updated and itself longs for reorganization into more integrated forms, until reconfiguration it has a way of looming over us and coloring perception. It functions by way of a time machine where, when activated, it is as if we have left the “here and now” and found ourselves back in the “there and then.”

There is nothing like a close relationship to illuminate the orphaned emotions, beliefs, and vulnerable parts of ourselves that have lost their way in the tangle of somatic and psychic pathways. It can be a revelation to see how we attract and are attracted to those aspects and qualities in the other that we have disowned in ourselves.

It can feel a bit achy and agonizing to realize that the beloved, in whatever form he or she may take, seems to have extraordinary powers to open the raw, tender, and naked dimensions of our being. But it is a sacred ache, oriented to the mystery.

May we be kind to our partners in response to the inevitable disturbance that will arise as we make this journey together. Learning how to transmute the energy of conflict by way of skillful means and an open heart is essential and a secret doorway into the evolutionary potential that relationship offers.

The practice of rupture and repair is a lost art in our world. Through the reparation of neural pathways and planting seeds of wisdom and compassion, it reveals that relationships of vast depth and meaning are not free of conflict, but those where working through conflict is embraced as path, as unique and powerful temples of purification, love, and healing.


The next retreat - The Deep Rest Retreat: Slowing Down and Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times - September 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado - registration open 

My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members but will likely re-open later in the year. To be on the mailing list to learn about the program, please visit the site here

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. 

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020.