Thursday, July 09, 2015

Great Song: Life & Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller,  Edited with an Introduction by Richard Power,
Foreword by Coleman Barks. Available now via Kindle and Nook
"I know I'm NOTHING," Joe once bellowed, "no-thing, no-thing ... just a wild-assed spark of the Infinite functioning in the finite." -- Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller (Maypop, 1993), p. 80

The legendary American sage Joe Miller was a retired vaudeville and burlesque entertainer, with an 8th grade education. He never traveled to the East. But the East came to him.

Visiting Tibetan teachers called him a "Lama" and a "Tulku." Visiting Sufi teachers called him "Murshid" (Master) and "Madzoub" (Idiot of God). Visiting Indian teachers called him "Swami" and thanked him for his Darshan. Visiting Korean and Japanese teachers recognized him as a "Zen Master." He was given numerous unsolicited titles, but never used them. Joe shared the deepest teachings for free. He said he was not a teacher, he said he was "just a friend." He never took any money from any of us, he said he lived off his "rich uncle" (i.e., his social security check). Hundreds of people gathered in Golden Gate Park every Thursday morning to take a walk with him. His only official affiliation was with the San Francisco Lodge of the Theosophical Society. 

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller is a collection of his talks and oral history. It is a powerful artifact. I composed, edited and annotated the manuscript before Joe's death and added a in-depth introduction after his passing. Originally published in print form in 1993 by friend and colleague Coleman Barks (Maypop), Great Song is now available in an electronic edition: 
Some years ago, Coleman granted me the electronic rights to Great Song so that the work could live on. But I held off publishing this electronic edition of Great Song until after I had completed my quadrilogy of books on the Yoga of Primal Reality (in reverse chronological order):
This series of books offers vital context for a 21st Century appreciation of Joe Miller's message. And there is need of a Great Song for the Great Shift that we must undertake, individually and collectively.

I encourage you to dip into all five works, and share them with others.

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Epiphanies (Samhain 2014 - Summer Solstice 2015)

Stonehenge Depicted in 17th Century Atlas (1645)
An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance") is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective ... Famous epiphanies include Archimedes's discovery of a method to determine the density of an object ("Eureka!") and Isaac Newton's realization that a falling apple and the orbiting moon are both pulled by the same force. -- Wikipedia

Joyce gave the name epiphany to certain short sketches he wrote between 1898 and 1904, and the idea of the epiphany was central to much of his early published fiction. Through his education at the Jesuit schools at Clongowes Wood and Belvedere College, Joyce was steeped in Catholic religious ideas. He even suggested that there was a certain resemblance between the mystery of transubstantiation in the Catholic mass and what he was trying to do as an artist, changing the bread of everyday life into something with permanent artistic life. In making this claim, Joyce envisaged himself as an artist/priest of the eternal imagination through whom the flesh becomes word. It’s no surprise, then, that he adapted the idea of epiphany to suit his own artistic ends. Joyce himself never defined exactly what he meant by epiphany, but we get some idea of what it means from the way in which the character Stephen Daedalus defines it in Stephen Hero, an early version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Stephen says that epiphanies are a sudden and momentary showing forth or disclosure of one’s authentic inner self. This disclosure might manifest itself in vulgarities of speech, or gestures, or memorable phases of the mind. -- James Joyce Center

Here are links to 22 more epiphanies. Some originated as Facebook statuses, some as Instagram posts -- in a period of time stretching from Samhain 2014 to Summer Solstice 2015.

Not every Facebook status or every Instagram post, of course. Just those I feel should be included in this ongoing Words of Power narrative. Most will also find their way into my next book.

As with 115 other epiphanies collected in Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in An Age of Global Peril (2010), User's Guide to Human Incarnation: Yoga of Primal Reality (2013) and Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary (2014).
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Prayers of Real Power

Odilon Redon - Design for A Prayer Rug (1909)
I will share another Bodhisattvic secret with you. You won't find it in the 84,000 shlokas (at least not expressed so nakedly). There are three prayers of real power.

The most powerful of them is simply "Thine, not mine, be done." This prayer is impeccable.

It is the way of the Tao. It is appropriate in all circumstances. It inherently acknowledges the irrelevancy of our own notions, and flawlessly aligns us with the inexorable turning of the great wheel. It is inviolate and infallible. 

There are two other prayers of power (although the first prayer underlies them both). 

There is a prayer for those who do harm, and a prayer for those who are lost in their own dreams. For those who do harm, simply pray that they get what they need. Not what they imagine they need, but what they actually need -- at the soul level. Because what a harmful person needs most is to encounter justice, i.e., to be confronted by the consequences. For the harmful person, the reckoning is the quickening. This prayer is a formidable weapon. I have wielded it victoriously in battle. 

For those who are lost in their own dreams, simply pray that they get whatever they imagine they want. Not what they need, not even what they really want (often a mystery), but rather what they imagine they want. Consider the dreamer who is offered a choice between accepting the rare gift of real medicine or pursuing some dream-within-a-dream gift that promises so much more than it can deliver. Yes, the dreamer will almost invariably choose the futile pursuit of the dream-within-a-dream over accepting the rare but tangible gift of real medicine.

So simply pray that the dreamer achieves what she or he dream-desires most. If attained, it will turn out to be very different than what she or he had imagined, and the bitter experience will hasten that person's arrival at the place of great disillusionment. And for those who are lost in their own dreams, that great disillusionment is the quickening. 

Yes, yes, "May all beings be well, may all beings be happy" is THE bodhisattva prayer (the one you will find in the 84,000 shlokas). But think of it as the exoteric version, and think of these three prayers as the esoteric versions, the tantric versions. 

There is, of course, a dimension of prayer beyond both the exoteric and the esoteric, but its nature is unspeakable. These are Bodhisattvic secrets. They are open secrets. There is no need to hide them. Only those with eyes to hear and ears to see will understand. As for the others, well, let us pray. 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Almost Unspeakable

New York Botanical Garden, Summer Solstice, June 2015.
The longer I live the deeper my experience of this universe's almost unspeakable beauty. But this ever-intensifying revelation does not blind me to the profound suffering with which all of it is infused. The gasp of ecstasy does not mute the cry of woe. Likewise, the tragic chorus of our collective dysfunction does not drown out the tremulous song of a single tiny tree frog.

To hear the #musicofthespheres you must open up your inner and outer senses to all of it. You must see, smell, touch and taste all of it in both form and formlessness. This is an encounter that is available to you moment by moment 24 x 7 x 365 x #weknownotthehour

You are this #savagebeauty, you are this #wildmagic, you are this #shamanicpower, you are this #tavernofruin ...

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from

#tantrikaknows #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #psyche #gaia #greatgoddess #bodhisattva

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What the Redwoods Said

Mt. Tamalpais, June 2015
From within the perfect triangle of this Sakti Yantra formed by the growth of three redwoods, on a fire trail in the Tamalpais watershed, I will tell you the story of my first encounter with their kind.

Decades ago. I stretched out to meditate in a redwood grove in Muir Woods. I soon fell asleep (i.e. into that state deeper, purer and more direct than what we imagine we are doing in "seated meditation"). And then as I came back into "waking" consciousness, in the space in between, the Redwoods spoke to me. 

They said that long ago they were going to learn "human language" but that they only went as far as the vowels. They said the vowels were powerful and sacred to them. But that they chose to go no further. Because the consonants and all that stretched out beyond them only lead to madness. 

So they showed me how to speak with them. Aaaaaaaa. Eeeeeee. Iiiiiiiiii. Oooooo. Uuuuuuuu. 

And they have traveled with me ever since. 

Some years later, I met their elder sisters the Giant Sequoia, and ....

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

 #notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #Gaia #greenflame #greatgoddess #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #shamanicpower #psyche #tantrikaknows

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Held Tenderly Within the Vastness

Ocean Beach. San Franciso, June 2015.
This ocean has been in uninterrupted Sahaja Samadhi for countless eons. Undulating ceaselessly, she invites you into her primordial dance. You don't have to journey to her shore, although of course that door is always open. In this next moment, with this next breath, for the space of even a few heartbeats, whether in movement or relative stillness, feel for her surf inside of your own life, she is always surging there. You hold her indisputable vastness within your unacknowledged vastness, even if you have not yet consciously experienced the truth of it. You will, you will. And then you will consciously experience the truth that just as her vastness is held tenderly within the vastness of the true you, the vastness of the true you is held tenderly within the vastness of the universe, and then you will consciously experience that the vastness of the universe itself is held tenderly within the vastness of that which cannot be named in any tongue in any dimension on any planet, AND then ... 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT-500)

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from

#Gaia #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #pathlesspath #psyche #pearlofgreatprice #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #notacaravanofdespair #thegreatwheelturns #tantrikaknows

Monday, May 25, 2015

Today Darfur, Tomorrow Kansas?

Rainbow Grocery, San Francisco, May 2015

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Whenever I am standing in one of those long lines at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, I look around me in awe. What if all the shelves and freezers were not so readily replenished? How soon would this orderly line turn into a desperate mob? And what if the plastic cards clutched by each person in that line suddenly led to nothing more than "DECLINED," what would be the next step? How much of your life is shaped by unspoken assumptions? For example, the assumption that there will be electricity when you flip on the switch, the assumption that there will be water when you turn on the faucet, the assumption that the garbage truck will come every week to empty your bins, the assumption that there will be gasoline for your car when you are running on empty, the assumption that all the satellites and servers will keep churning on and on 24 x 7 x 365. How of many of your behaviors are dependent upon such assumptions? How many of your opinions are shaped by them?  Take an inventory of those you love. Hold them in the mirror of your mind. Can you imagine those you love threatened with starvation? Can you imagine them threatened with death by dehydration? Can you imagine them pursued by rape-gangs in military uniform? Darfur may be the first Climate Crisis holocaust but it won't be the last, and there could well be a new Sahara coming to the U.S.A. Today it’s Darfur, but tomorrow, or next year, it could be Kansas or Texas or L.A. We are never more than a few ticks from collapse – even in the best of times. It isn't just something that happens somewhere else. It can happen anywhere. It may happen everywhere. Seriously.

To have coconut water at all is a luxury, but at Rainbow Grocery, on any day of the week, I can choose from a dozen different kinds. We live in a paradise. Of course, there are consequences. This paradise is fueled by a hell. I do not say this to make you feel guilty for drinking coconut water. I drink coconut water. (It’s not disruptive like Palm Oil or Quinoa.) I just want you to be conscious and grateful that you were born into a paradise, and I want you to use your time well. Yes, I could frame it differently, i.e., negatively, but it would still be a paradise -- for better AND worse, and yes, it is indeed fueled by a hell. It did not have to be this way. It could be another way. But it isn’t – yet. There is no purity.  There is no removing yourself from the equation. There is no blamelessness or innocence (except in the children and the beasts, of course). We are all dependent and complicit in some way; we are all both part of the problem AND part of the solution. You cannot rise above it, or burrow under it; you cannot disentangle yourself. Those who live off the grid on sustainable farms are as just as co-dependent and complicit as urban dwellers held hostage by wage slavery and the food distribution system, just in a different way. In the near future, without sustainable cities there will be no security for those sustainable farms; and without those sustainable farms there will be no basis for the sustainable cities required to provide security. We will all rise or fall together. Seriously.

Do you imagine that the people of Darfur are different than you? In Darfur, there is a woman whose heart beats just like yours, and whose lungs swell just like yours. She feels the same tenderness for her children as you do for yours, and she has the same quality of goodness in her wishes for their future. Together, the two of you could change the world -- if you were only to meet her INSIDE YOURSELF. Don't ask me what to do. Just ask yourself how to be the best person you can be, because that is the only answer, it is all you can do. Yes, be the wisest, calmest, cleverest, kindest, strongest, healthiest, most creative, person you can be. And don't ask me if it is hopeless. There is only one answer, there is always hope, IF WE keep it alive. I do not write this to scare you, or depress you. I write this to empower you. I want you to discover the heart of a warrior within yourself. Warriors are full of fear, but they lean forward anyway.

Remember all of this the next time you stand in one of the long lines at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Remember the next time you select your favorite kind of coconut water at Rainbow. You have to meet it all where you find yourself and work it all out from there. Remember all of this. Make your prayers actions. Make your actions prayers. Make your choices prayerful actions.

Gratefully, consciously. Remember.

“All we have to decide,” said the wizard, “is what to do with the time that is given us.”

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from

#notacaravanofdespair #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #gaia #greatgoddess #thegreatwheelturns #darfur #madmax

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From Before Time and Beyond Space

We all came from before time and beyond space to meet in the here and now. 

But the blind, deaf, mute memory of our source shadows us. And so, we ceaselessly polish the temple walls of psyche in the hope of catching a glimpse of the source's scintillating beauty. 

In those moments we are fortunate enough to steal that glimpse, we are reminded - painfully, joyfully - that it is our own reflection, and that we ourselves are the primordial source and the beginningless end of all this adventure. 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

#pearlofgreatprice #tavernofruin #pathlesspath #savagebeauty #shamanicpower #notacaravanofdespair #greatgoddess #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #pathofanevolutionary #tantrikaknows

Saturday, May 16, 2015

7 Images of Gaian Beauty, 7 Declarations of Gaian Truth

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.

"I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?" -- Albert Einstein

[NOTE: Yes, this is a verified quote. It's from Einstein's Cosmic Religion: with Other Opinions and Aphorisms (Covici-Friede, 1931); and quoted in The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press; 2nd edition (May 30, 2000); Page 208.]

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.

"In nature's economy, the currency is not money -- it is life." -- Vandana Shiva

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
 "What does the Earth Desire? I will put it in just a few short sentences... To be admired in her loveliness, To be tasted in her delicious fruits, To be listened to in her teaching, To be endured in the severity of her discipline, To be cared for as a maternal source from whence we come, a destiny to which we return. It's very simple... " -- Thomas Berry: What does the Earth Desire? - An interview with Thomas Berry at Gaia house in 2003

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
"All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet." -- Wangari Maatha

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka , and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us ..." -- Black Elk

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
“Nature's wisdom teaches us that where life is in motion, it's healthy; where it's stagnant, it's dying. But people have to interpret that journey in a way that's authentic for them . . . whatever helps you. We call it 'finding your own true north' -- like on a compass. In production-drive societies, we're tricked into believing that true north is outside of us. So we're constantly looking outside ourselves to  figure out if this is the right job, the right house, the right relationship, the right subject to be studying. But our true north is invariably inside us . . . if we do what we love to do, what we're inspired to do, what we believe in, it creates an entirely different response.”  -- Julia Butterfly Hill

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
"Because the relationship between self and world is reciprocal, it is not a matter of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the Earth, the Earth heals us. No need to wait. As we care enough to take risks, we loosen the grip of ego and begin to come home to our true nature. For in the co-arising nature of things, the world itself, if we are bold enough to love it, acts through us. It does not ask us to be pure or perfect, or wait until we are detached from all passions, but only to care to harness the sweet, pure intention of our deepest passions, and, as the early scripture of the Mother of the Buddhas says, 'fly like a Bodhisattva.'" -- Joanna Macy

Monday, May 04, 2015

To Be A Mountain ...

San Francisco, May 2015.

To be a mountain, you must face down your fear.
To be a river, you must keep going.
To be the sky, you must let go of everything.
To be a forest, you must welcome the tears.
There is no other way to enter the wilderness in which joy and love run free.

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

#beltane #mayday #scorpiofullmoon #itsanewdawn #itsanewday #ninasimoneknew #passionofthepoet #lifeofayogi #sakti #psyche #pathlesspath #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #darkgoddess #greatgoddess #tantrikaknows