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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary - Available Now!

Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary is the culmination of a creative process that stretched over four years (2010-2014). This undertaking was organized around three series of talks (fourteen altogether) and resulted in a quadrilogy of slim volumes:

Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself (2010)

Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in An Era of Global Peril (2012)

User's Guide to Human Incarnation: The Yoga of Primal Reality (2013)

Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary (2014)

Each of these works stands alone. It isn't necessary to read them in chronological sequence, or even read all of them. But they do belong together. They compliment and amplify each other.  Each is a further exploration and articulation along several thematic vectors, including the search for fresh language for the new century and a new millennia, the paradoxical nature of mystical truth, the role of the divine feminine in human psyche, the authentic relationship of light and dark on the spiritual path, the five senses not only as the doors to perception but also the doors to revelation, the state of planetary emergency into which we are sinking deeper and deeper day by day year by year, and altruism and sustainability as spiritual (and existential) imperatives.

All of these books are quick reads, ranging from eighty-eight pages (Humanifesto) to one hundred fifty-seven pages (Singularity). And yet all of them provide a wealth of content, which will open up to you the deeper you journey into your life and your practice.

Their internal organization allows you the choice of either reading them from cover to cover or simply opening them randomly and taking in whatever your eyes fall upon.

All four books are available via Amazon and other online distributors (see hyperlinks above). Special thanks to Courtney Wynn Sheets for the cover photo, and Brenna Geehan for the author's photo.  

Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence (and its three companion volumes) will serve you well NOW and in the years ahead.

As with the other publications, I am posting some related artifacts.

Here is an audio file of the fourth and final talk in the series that led to this book.

And here is a .pdf of the accompanying presentation.

To view it, use the sliding vertical bar in the right hand corner of the presentation's frame, or put your cursor at the bottom of the first slide, and then click, and you will be able to move through the slides with the up and down arrow keys.

Related Posts

Unto the 7th Generation - Notes on Altruism and Sustainability as Spiritual Imperatives (Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary Part III)

Notes on the Ascendancy of the Feminine in Psyche (Human and Divine) 

Notes on the Evolution of Yoga and the Yoga of Evolution 

New Release: User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality

Sunday, November 16, 2014

POTUS and the Chinese Successfully Conclude a Secret Nine Month Negotiation & Announce a Vital Deal on the Climate Crisis

Edward S. Curtis - Heavy Load (1908)
From Curtis' caption: "Summer and winter, Sioux women performed the heavy work of the camp ..."

This is an historic event. The action taken is not enough (of course), but it is nevertheless of great importance. Understand it! And lean forward. Because soon everything is going to get much worse in this country (seriously), because everything is going to get even crazier in Beltwayistan starting in January (seriously), and this deal offers some leverage in the struggle for control over the final shreds of our collective reality (seriously). It will be a day of profound shame and embarrassment when control of both houses of the Congress of the United States get turned over (once again) to the Zombie Cult and its Death Eater Overlords (seriously). But, meanwhile, to help you get your mind around POTUS' deal with the Chinese, here is some excellent analysis of what it is and what is isn't from four of the worthiest sources available to us:

Naomi A. Klein: Timing isn’t everything but it sure helps. After the mid-term elections, the mood in climate circles was getting pretty grim. We faced the prospect of a Republican-dominated House and Senate overturning emission controls, ramming through Keystone XL and elevating a climate denier (James Inhofe) to chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Already there was talk that upcoming UN climate negotiations were dead on arrival. In this context, the US-China climate deal is a badly needed piece of good news. It signals that Barack Obama is willing to expend political capital fighting for his climate legacy. It Makes It Harder For Republicans to Break Obama’s Promises The deal is also tactically smart: by tying the emission reduction targets of both countries together in a bilateral deal, the President is making sure that his successor will have to weigh any desire to break these commitments against the risks of alienating America most important trading partner. That’s smart. It Robs Climate Obstructionists of Their Best Argument Most significantly, commitments made by China under the deal take away what has historically been the most effective argument in defense of climate negligence in the US: “Why should we stop polluting if China won’t?” For the first time, China is committing to capping its emissions and acknowledging that there must be a limit to its coal-powered growth juggernaut. It Shows that Movements Matter The fact that both governments felt the need to make this pledge speaks to the growing power of social movements in China and the US demanding pollutions controls. In the US, 350,000 people marched in NYC in September demanding action. In China, soaring air pollution levels in major cities have put unprecedented pressure on the governing party to stop relying on coal. Particularly in the context of the Hong Kong protests, the Chinese government cannot afford to ignore public opinion ... -- Some Very Initial Thoughts on the US-China Deal, This Changes Everything, 11-12/14

Bill McKibben, 2) It isn't binding in any way. In effect President Obama is writing an IOU to be cashed by future presidents and Congresses (and Xi is doing the same for future Politburos). If they take the actions to meet the targets, then it's meaningful, but for now it's a paper promise. And since physics is uninterested in spin, all the hard work lies ahead. 3) It is proof, if any more was needed, that renewable energy is ready to go. The Chinese say they'll be using clean sources to get 20 percent of their energy by 2030 -- which is not just possible, it should be easy. Which they know because they've revolutionized the production of solar energy, driving down the cost of panels by 90 percent or more in the last decade. 4) It is not remotely enough to keep us out of climate trouble. We've increased the temperature less than a degree and that's been enough to melt enormous quantities of ice, not to mention set the weather on berserk. So this plan to let the increase more than double is folly -- though it is good to see that the two sides have at least agreed not to undermine that two degrees target, the one tiny achievement of the Copenhagen conference fiasco. 5) It is a good way to put pressure on other nations. I've just come back from India, which has worked hard to avoid any targets of any sort. But the lesson from this pact is, actual world leaders at least need to demonstrate they're talking about climate; it makes the lead-up to the global negotiations in Paris next year more interesting. 6) It isn't a way for Obama to get off the hook on things like the Keystone pipeline. If he's serious about meeting these kinds of targets, then we need serious steps; the surest sign this is a talking point, not a serious commitment, would be to approve new pipelines or authorize new drilling. If you pledge sobriety and then buy a keg of beer, people are going to wonder. -- The Big Climate Deal: What It Is, and What It Isn't, Huffington Post, 11-12-14

Joseph Romm, Climate Progress: The historic new U.S.-China climate deal changes the trajectory of global carbon pollution emissions, greatly boosting the chances for a global deal in Paris in 2015. The deal would keep, cumulatively, some 640 billion tons of CO2 emissions out of the air this century, according to brand new analysis by Climate Interactive and MIT, using their C-ROADS model. The U.S.-China deal is truly a gamechanger. In fact, you could make a strong case that prior to this deal, neither the U.S. or China were seriously in the game of trying to stave off climate catastrophe. Now both countries are. When you add the recent European Union (EU) pledge to cut total emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, we now have countries representing more than half of all global emissions making serious commitments — and that in turn puts pressure on every other country. If the developing countries were to all follow China’s lead, and the non-EU developed countries follow ours, a 2015 global deal would slash carbon pollution this century by a whopping 2500 billion tons of CO2 ... -- Why The U.S.-China CO2 Deal Is An Energy, Climate, And Political Gamechanger, Climate Progress, 11-12-14

JAKE SCHMIDT (NRDC): Well, our assessment has looked at this, and we’ve come up with a very strong conclusion, which is that this can actually be achieved under the existing law. Congress has passed the Clean Air Act. Congress has given them the authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And we expect that this kind of target can be met without having to go back to Congress for new legislation. Clearly, we have to ensure that Congress doesn’t try to stop that, but the president does have the power to veto those, and we expect that this and future administrations will clearly send that signal, that any efforts to try to roll back these landmark agreements will be undercut. -- Obama Reaches Climate Deal with China — and GOP Congress May Not Be Able to Stop It, Democracy Now!, 11-12-14

VIDEO: Obama Reaches Climate Deal with China — and GOP Congress May Not Be Able to Stop It, Democracy Now!, 11-12-14

Sunday, November 02, 2014

A Profound Difference.

I voted yesterday. And I urge you to vote in this election. It is vital. Most "D" candidates are craven or cowardly or both. But if you don't vote against "R" you are just as complicit as those craven and/or cowardly "D" pols. Seriously. Because there is a profound difference even now between "D" and "R."

And not just on women's ‪reproductive rights‬.  Nor is it just the difference between raising or abolishing the minimum wage. For example, there's the difference between _resident Bush and President Gore. If Gore were President we would NOT have invaded Iraq. And I say that with utter certainty. Indeed, the slaughter of innocents on 9/11 might well have been thwarted. And I say that with great confidence (even if you ascribe to the view that 9/11 was an "inside job"). That means that we could have been spared all the madness that has flown from those twin abominations.

The difference between another Scalia and another Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the difference between _resident Bush and President Gore, just as the difference between another Alito and another Sonia Sotomayor is the difference between sanity and a system in which corporations are persons and ‪filthy lucre‬ is speech. Do you get it yet? If Romney had been elected in 2012, we would have gone to war with Iran, and Syria. And if the Zombie Cult had controlled the Senate in 2013, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would not have passed. (Our health care system is still an immoral racket, but we are, as a whole, better off now than we were before this bill became law. Tens of millions of previously uninsured citizens have been covered, and health insurance racketeers can no longer deny coverage because of "pre-existing conditions." ) Oh yeah, and if it weren't for the Zombie Cult and its Death Eater Overlords, we could have had an Ebola vaccine already. Seriously.

Perhaps you say you are tired of choosing the lesser of two evils? Well, then, you have not spent much time up close and personal with evil. There is a profound difference between greater and lesser.

Perhaps you imagine that if the "R" take the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, it will only serve to hasten "the Revolution." Ha ha. Who will lead it? Russell Brand? Seriously.

If there were no difference why would the Oligarchy be spending so much cash to achieve "R" hegemony in the Senate?

"Take a look at the list of top donors. They might have distinctly different political agendas, but they have one thing irrefutably in common: they’re almost exclusively old white guys. Only seven women made it into the forty-two, and not a single person of color. One of the things highlighted in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, is how poorly America’s political leadership, from city councils to the US Senate, reflects the diversity of the country. According to data compiled by the Reflective Democracy Campaign, white men make up 65 percent of elected officials—more than twice their proportion in the general population. Only 4 percent of our political leaders are women of color ... In fact, the midterms suggest that white men are gaining clout, at least behind the veil. As campaign-finance laws erode, political power is increasingly concentrated among the billionaires playing the strings of the electoral marionette—a pool that looks less diverse even than Congress ..."  -- Zoe Carpenter, Who’s Buying the Midterm Elections? A Bunch of Old White Guys, The Nation, 10-31-14

If there were no difference why would their Renfields in state legislatures be working so hard to disenfranchise the black, the brown, the young and the old (all of whom vote "D" overwhelmingly)? (See Ari Berman's New Voting Restrictions Could Swing the 2014 Election, The Nation, 10-31-14. Or just glance at this map ...)
States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2010 Elections (Brennan Center for Justice)
 I voted yesterday. And I urge you to vote. (If you still can.)

And drag some other numbed-out, beaten-down progressives with you. Give them these numbers ...

Since taking office, Obama has had approximately 280 federal judicial nominees confirmed. This represents roughly one-third of the federal judiciary. This has had a profound impact on our legal system in at least two very important respects. First, Obama’s appointments have added substantial diversity to the federal bench. Forty-two percent of Obama’s judicial appointments have been women, as compared to only 22 percent of President George W. Bush’s nominees. Thirty-six percent of Obama’s judicial appointments have been minorities, as compared to only 18 percent of Bush’s judicial appointees. Second, although Obama has generally been much less ideological in his judicial nominations than Bush, there is no doubt he has appointed much more liberal judges than his predecessor, and the addition of almost 280 Obama-appointed judges has had a dramatic effect on the overall ideological disposition of the federal judiciary. Indeed, for the first time in more than a decade, judges appointed by Democratic presidents now substantially outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents. These judges now hold a majority of seats of nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals. In 2008, Republican-appointed judges held a majority on 12 of the 13 Courts of Appeals. The shift is dramatic, and it is important.
-- Geoffrey Sloan, Who Controls the Senate Controls the Courts, The Daily Beast, 11/2/14 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I Stand with Madonna Thunder Hawk and Vandana Shiva - People's Climate March, New York City, 9-21-14

In Manhattan, on September 21, 2104, 400,000 took to the streets to bear witness and demand action in the People's Climate March One sign read: "The seas are rising, but so are the people."  
Two thousand six hundred ninety eight events in one hundred sixty one countries. 

Democracy Now! streaming live coverage -

Here are some excerpts from the alternate media coverage leading up the event:

Naomi A. Klein: We’re talking before the march, but I’ve got a feeling it's gonna be huge. And I know there’s a been a debate about 'Who’s marching?' or whether it means anything, but I just think the experience of just seeing how many people feel passionately about this issue is going to be so important to break that sense of isolation and just the cognitive dissonance of living in a culture where you are absorbing this terrifying news about the destabilization of our home, on the one hand, and to be surrounding by messages from popular culture and our political leaders who are acting as though nothing is happening. So I think there’s something really important about moments of coming together to say, ‘No. We see this as an emergency and we want to act.” So I don’t think it’s about whether this march is going to accomplish something linear, but I do think that it’s going to nourish this movement in a really important way. And what I have found most striking as I’ve been talking to journalists for the last couple of weeks is that I was so prepared to have people challenge me about how radical the conclusions are or how radical the changes have to be. Or maybe disagree with me science isn't that alarming. My amazing researchers and I spent a lot of time anticipating those kinds of attacks. But what’s actually happened is that I've spent most of my time talking to journalists who want to argue with me about whether there’s any hope at all. So they’re agreeing with the conclusions about the need for radical change, and what they disagree with is the idea that there's any hope at all. So I think it’s a pretty extraordinary political moment. And where so many people do recognize the need for profound change and really the task for progressive movements is to convince people that change is possible. We must find ways to show that we’re not so far gone, that we’re not so hopeless, that we’re not so corrupted, that we're not so greedy and that we still could act to save ourselves. And that means social movements have their work cut out for them—for us. But that’s the task, I feel. A Feeling It's Gonna Be Huge': Naomi Klein on People's Climate Eve, Common Dreams, 9-20/14

Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch via AlterNet: We can do it. And we is the key word here. The world is not going to be saved by individual acts of virtue; it’s going to be saved, if it is to be saved, by collective acts of social and political change. That’s why I’m marching this Sunday with tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of others in New York City -- to pressure the United Nations as it meets to address climate change. That’s why people who care about the future state of our planet will also be marching and demonstrating in New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne, Kathmandu, Dublin, Manila, Seoul, Mumbai, Istanbul, and so many smaller places. Mass movements work. Unarmed citizens have changed the course of history countless times in the modern era. When we come together as civil society, we have the capacity to transform policies, change old ways of doing things, and sometimes even topple regimes. And it is about governments. Like it or not, the global treaties, compacts, and agreements we need can only be made by governments, and governments will make those agreements when the pressure to do so is greater than the pressure not to. We can and must be that pressure. Rebecca Solnit, What to Do When You're Running Out of Time, 9-18/14

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today announced that Vandana Shiva, anti-GMO and climate activist, and author of more than 20 books, will march with the OCA’s “Cook Organic, Not the Planet” contingent in the People’s Climate March, on September 21, 2014, in New York City. “Vandana Shiva is known the world over for her tireless activism on behalf of the anti-GMO movement, organic agriculture, food justice and food sovereignty,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica. “It is our hope that by joining with OCA in the People’s Climate March to promote our ‘Cook Organic, Not the Planet’ message, Vandana will further our mutual mission of drawing attention to the destructive impact industrial agriculture has on global warming, and the very real potential of organic, regenerative agriculture to reverse global warming by naturally sequestering carbon in the soil.” Vandana Shiva to March with Organic Consumers Association ‘Cook Organic, Not the Planet’ Activists at the People’s Climate March in New York, Organic Consumers Association, 8-28-14

Listen to Neil Young’s New Climate Anthem "Who’s Gonna Stand Up" (Acoustic Solo)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Unto the 7th Generation - Altruism and Sustainability as Spiritual Imperatives (Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary Part III)

This post contains two artifacts from a talk I gave on Friday 7/25/14: the thirty-three slide presentation and an audio recording of the talk itself. [NOTE: The recording begins with commentary on the seventh slide in the presentation, if you are going to use the two artifacts in tandem.]

Unlike the posts for my first two talks in this series, I have not included the accompanying notes.  My tenth book, which I will publish in October 2014, will include the final text versions of all three talks.

Meanwhile, here are links to the artifacts from the first and second talks in the series:

Notes on the Evolution of Yoga & the Yoga of Evolution

Notes on the Ascendancy of the Feminine in Psyche (Human and Divine)

My most recent book, User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality, is available from

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Of Truth, Grace, Gratitude and Awareness

Marc Chagall - Notre-Dame in gray (1955)
Lately, I have been contemplating the nature of grace, a.k.a. Baraka, Anugraha, etc.

This incarnation has been a journey into the embodiment of a truth that I have known from before the beginning. Therefore, grace too has been with me from before the beginning.

Its work in my life is irrefutable. Statistically, I should not have survived my childhood, at least not with any sanity (however frayed). But I did (although at a great price).

In my adult life, I could have been stabbed in some alley, or shot on some street, or imprisoned in some distant hellhole, several times over. But I wasn't.

Furthermore, like every being who has ever loved deeply, and truly, I have experienced both crucifixion and self-immolation (on multiple occasions). Yet from the crimson egg of each excruciating execution another phoenix emerged. And so I love on.

This is all by the hand of grace. Yes, grace has moved with me from before the beginning.

But most of my life I have simply surfed on grace, as if it were a great wave.

Looking back over the course of it all, I realized there was even more power to be had in doubling down on grace. And so, instead of just riding on the crest of grace, I have chosen to take a stand within the wellspring of this grace. Moment by moment, it rises, and it is as if all aspects of this incarnation are becoming submerged in a sea of grace.

Of course, this submersion too has been the truth from before the beginning, but choice has power, and free will has meaning. When we choose well the universe shudders with joy.

In recent years, I have written a lot about the power of Gratitude. And it is, indeed, an agent of radical transformation. Gratitude is inherent in the nature of liberation itself. But it doesn't arise within us independently. Gratitude is the love child of Grace and Truth.

Grace falls upon us like rain. It is falling endlessly, and everywhere. It permeates everything. It is the rain of mercy that Shakespeare wrote of. There are certain stages of this quest in which you can literally see, hear and feel this rain falling as if with your physical senses.

As this rain falls, it shapes itself into lakes and rivers, and caressing the hair of inner mountains it flows into waterfalls. As this rain fails, it seeps into the ground of everything, filling great aquifers in the mineral-rich depths. It is the Grace rainwater collected in these subterranean aquifers that bubbles up to the surface in springs of Gratitude to further sustain all life.

Truth and Grace have a second love child; his name is Awareness. He is the space in which all of creation is held, his is the mirror in which its beauty is reflected perfectly. It is through this reflection that the ground spring of Gratitude reaches the surface of consciousness and renews our vision.

All of this is true for all of us, each in our own unique way. You just have to look for the evidence of it in your life, and then follow the trail of clues until you solve the mystery of how it is so.

Truth has a lover, and her name is Grace.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

For Another Day

Man Ray - Death Mask of Modigliani (1929) Source: Man Ray Trust

Grateful just to live. Simply. For another day.
At the edge of the world.

Grateful for these vital organ that have functioned with such strength and sacrifice for so many years, in such arduous circumstances.

Grateful just to simply live. For another day.
Always at the edge of the veil, whether we remember where we are or not.

Grateful for the magic that grows fiercer and deeper at every twist of the plot.

Humbled in victory, informed by failure.

Don't take anything for granted. Nothing. Not a breath, not a step, not a tenderness.
And in particular, don't take NOTHING for granted.

How could a heart be filled if it was not empty?
How could a hand uplift if it were not free?

Grateful just to live. Simply. For another day.
At the edge of the world.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Secrets of the Bodhisattva

Kahlil Gibran - The Silence
The simple truth is that "freedom" is an ever-receding horizon. It is always some distance away. You never actually reach the horizon. You travel toward it, and then suddenly you are beyond it, and yes, there is another horizon stretching out before you. When you are truly free you realize there is no "true freedom," or rather, that "true freedom" is not what you imagined it to be.

Because one of the elements of "true freedom" is utter clarity of mind. But what this "utter clarity of mind" reveals is that "you" are bound up with the fates of everyone and everything everywhere. The sinews and ligaments of this responsibility are as palpable as the sinews and ligaments that bind together your physical body itself. When you tear one or the other there is pain and injury. Nevertheless, knowing what this "true freedom" really is, you do not dissuade others from seeking it.

Because even though "true freedom" is no freedom at all, it is imbued with a primal joy, that primal joy hitherto associated with the goal of "true freedom," and you want the others to experience this primal joy for themselves. And if they do, they will, in turn, gratefully accept the grave responsibility and all-devouring interconnectedness that it reveals. This is one of the secrets of the Bodhisattva.

The other is that the Bodhisattva returns again and again not just to alleviate human suffering, but also because this life is a blast, this life is where it's all happening, this life is the place to be for however long the opportunity presents itself.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Stone Lion

Stone Lion. California Street. San Francisco. July 2014.

Can you hear the silent roar of the stone lion?

Roaring from the depth of the urban wilderness.
Hungry for the abundant game of the inner Serengeti.

Flush with an awesome power that so few understand.

Can you see your tremulous silhouette caught in its fierce, unwavering gaze?

Pause for a moment to feel the hot emptiness of its breath. It is you.
Surrender to this kill. Your life is its feast.

You are this savage beauty.

It is here, on this avenue, day and night, in utter stillness.

Just waiting for those rare beings who might hear its roar and stop for a fleeting glimpse into the mirror of their own souls.

Embrace this.

-- Richard Power

My ninth book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Friday, June 27, 2014

Climate Crisis and Sustainability Meltdown: Humanity at the Crossroads, Which Way Will We Turn?

Remedios Varo - Premonition (1953)
Here are two insightful perspectives on our current predicament and future prospects. One is from Al Gore. The other is from Noam Chomsky. One is painfully candid, the other is irrepressibly positive. Taken together they articulate the crossroads at which we stand.

In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place. The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail. The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization. There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action. It is true that we have waited too long to avoid some serious damage to the planetary ecosystem – some of it, unfortunately, irreversible. Yet the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided. Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly. Al Gore, The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate, Rolling Stone, 1-18-14

Chomsky said species destruction had reached the same level as 65 million years ago – when an asteroid hit the earth, ending the period of dinosaurs and wiping up many other species. “It is the same level today, and we are the asteroid,” he said. “If anyone could see us from outer space they would be astonished.” The noted linguist said some sectors of the global population – such as the First Nations in Canada, aboriginals in Australia, and tribal people in India – had tried to slow the march to catastrophe, while others were actively courting disaster. “Who is accelerating it?” Chomsky said. “The most privileged, so-called advanced, educated populations of the world.” He compared this phenomenon to a theory by Ernst Mayr, a 20th-century evolutionary biologist who speculated humans would never encounter intelligent extraterrestrials because higher life forms quickly force themselves into extinction. “Mayr argued that the adaptive value of what is called ‘higher intelligence’ is very low,” Chomsky said. “Beetles and bacteria are much more adaptive than humans. We will find out if it is better to be smart than stupid. We may be a biological error, using the 100,000 years which Mayr gives [as] the life expectancy of a species to destroy ourselves and many other life forms on the planet.” But Chomsky remained hopeful that the corporate elite could be overthrown before they bring on environmental disaster, citing historical examples of mass movements that returned power to autonomous collectives. -- Travis Gettys, Noam Chomsky on Human Extinction: The Corporate Elite are Actively Courting Disaster, Raw Story, 1-18-14

Will we chose to continue on this road to ruin and madness?

Or we will we change course and advance toward a humane, sustainable future?

How many of us even realize that this choice is ours to make and enforce?

Imagine if Gore had been sworn into the Presidency he was elected to in 2000.

Imagine if Chomsky appeared on CBS Fork the Nation, NBC Meat the Press, ABC This Weak with George StopandLaughAtUs as often as the Shell-of-a-Man-Formerly-Known-as-John-McCain.

Oh well.

Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to for the answer.

Richard Power is the author of nine books, including User's Guide to Human Incarnation: The Yoga of Primal Reality, Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril and Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself. Power writes and speaks on spirituality, sustainability, human rights, and security. He blogs at Words of Power. He also teaches yoga.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why Do You Step onto the Yoga Mat?

Yoga: Art of Transformation Exhibit, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, California, May 2014

Why do you step onto the yoga mat? For joy? For peace? For clarity? For healing? For spiritual awakening? For vanity? For a buzz? To feel dialed in? To relieve stress? All of these are valid reasons. Any one of them could serve as the catalyst for profound change.

On the yoga mat, you encounter all five of your bodies, and enter into intimate relationships with each of them. You realize that functions and faculties previously taken for granted are, in fact, miraculous siddhis. On the yoga mat, you also come face to face with your own shadow. All of your fear, anger, grief and confusion will rise up. And you release each one into the fire, to be transmuted into something greater. For as long as there is light, there will be shadow. So if you embrace it, you will have your own inexhaustible source of clean energy.

On the yoga mat, you realize (sooner or later) that you are kneeling at the throne of the Universe itself, and holding an offering basket in your hands. This basket contains the vastness of all space, together with the richness of all life on this and every other planet.

In that moment of revelation, you will understand that you are both offering and receiving this gift. But you will not be able to explain the moment to anyone. Ever. However many times you try. 

Yes, stepping onto the yoga mat, you triangulate these three great encounters (i.e., with your bodies, your shadow and the universe itself). This triangulation forms a dynamic matrix, through which human and divine pour into each other ceaselessly, and consciously, transforming both present and future. 

This is the truth.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Both Sides of the Veil

Mural. Downtown San Jose. May 2014.
It is all love. All love. No beginning to this love. No end to this love.

For those who CHOOSE to have eyes to hear and ears to see.

And yet, yes, there is suffering in this world. There is evil. True yogis, true yoginis, true Tantrikas,
true mystics, true occultists don't bend reality to see evil as somehow not evil or suffering as somehow illusory. True yogis, true yoginis, true Tantrikas, true mystics, true occultists understand that the spiritual truths are paradoxical, and opposites can occupy the same space, e.g., that it is all love, without beginning or end, and that simultaneously, there is evil and suffering. 

This is the truth. It is all love. All love. No beginning to this love. No end to this love. 

For those who CHOOSE to have eyes to hear and ears to see. 

No beginning. No end.
All love. On both sides of the veil.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Lineage of No-Lineage

Richard Power and Joe Miller in Golden Gate Park in the early 1980s.
 I respect lineage. And I understand it. But it does not define me, or you, or the truth. 

No lineage can serve as a container for the whole of the truth, or even the whole of a single being's journey into the truth. There are truths that some (not all) of the lineages have sustained over the centuries. There are also some truths that have survived within the lineages, not because of them, but in spite of them. There are even some truths which have only survived because they have lived and flourished in the wild, i.e., outside the lineages. 

Indeed, the secret ingredient itself (the one that makes it all blow apart and come together at once) is one of those that only exists in the wild. 

Yes, I respect authentic lineage. I understand it. Unfortunately, the lineage of no-lineage is not typically respected, or even acknowledged, by those who identify with lineage, and in turn proffer lineage to others. Thus many who follow lineage like a chicken with its beak to a chalk line never learn of the secret ingredient. It is an open secret, accessible to anyone anywhere at any moment.

You have heard it, and even shared it with others, many times whether consciously or unconsciously. So travel the path of lineage if you choose but remember that it does not define you or me or the truth. Remember that lineage itself does not impart authenticity, and that what authenticity there is sometimes exists in spite of lineage, not because of it. 

Meanwhile, the secret ingredient is already in your possession, you could not be here in this world without it; you just have to realize what it really is and who you really are. 

There is a long stretch of your journey in which the only answers that serve you will have to be sought out in the wild.  Out beyond where lineage can lead you.

A Single Planetary Heartbeat

Sonoma, December 2013

When does day end and night begin?  Never. They are only the whirling of a single revolution. They have no separate existence independent of each other or distinct from the whole. They vanish into each other, and re-emerge again in a single planetary heartbeat. 

And within that single planetary heartbeat, they appear at the far ends of the earth in polarity with each other, without ever being divided in the reality of their essential nature, i.e., the ceaseless turning itself. All of human life, the tearing apart, the turning and the tenderness, within a single planetary heartbeat. All whirling. Yes.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Dharma is ...

Dancing Dakini, 18th Century, Tibet (Musée Guimet à Paris)
There are different definitions of what Dharma means, but the reality behind the term is inherently indefinable. Dharma is Dharma. The truth of it is rooted in the Meaninglessness from which all meaning flows. Dharma is synonymous with Tao. It simply is, and it is all and nothing at once.

Likewise, in the deepest sense, there is no "Buddhism," there is no "Hinduism," there is only Dharma.  Yes, two great social religions have taken on their odd shapes by coalescing around various concepts, traditions, legends, technologies , etc. related to the Dharma and its realization in human life.And yes, there are distinctions and differences between these two great social religions. But there are also many distinctions and differences between various sects and systems within each one. 

Meanwhile, Dharma is simply Dharma. Synonymous with Tao. 

Someone who tells you that there is any genuine distinction between realization of NO SELF and realization of SELF has not arrived at either.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Empty, Inexhaustible

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra manuscript written in the Ranjana script.
India, 12th century. Asia Society. (Wikipedia)
Chenrezig's heart is empty.

Therefore, Chenrezig's love is inexhaustible.

NOTE: Chenrezig (Tibetan) synonymous with Avalokitesvara (Sanskrit), Lord of Compassion, not separate from Tara (Sanskrit) or Drolma (Tibetan), Goddess of Compassion. Legend says, "Tara was born of Avalokitesvara's single tear." But this is just a fairy tale. In the throes of love you cannot tell who is who or what is what. There is only love.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

All and Only

Krishna Holding Mount Govardhan to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavana from natural disaster.
Attributed to Mola Ram (1760-1833) (Wikipedia)

The gods and goddesses are metaphors. 
The legends of the avatars are just stories we tell ourselves. 

This universe? Our beings? It is all and only energy and consciousness entwined, and spiraling, in an infinite space composed of nothing but energy and consciousness. 

This is the truth.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from