promised land: stories from awakeville

the promised land
lacks nothing
filled with food, wine,
money, sex,
and wi-fi

the promised land
the grand reward
for those who persevere

with the wanted
and the worth-its

the promised land
more real than real
hold no fault nor flaw

is like that

at what cost
does one arrive?

what’s the bridge toll?
nothing real is free

turns out
the toll
weighs heavy on the mind

the rich
fail to mention

it never was
the eye of a needle

who is surprised?
what did I think?
how was I disappointed?

the free that’s worth having
and costs nothing
lives in fairy tales
and children’s movies

even a mother’s breast milk
readily given with love
costs the energy
of a baby’s cry

but you don’t understand-
you don’t see-
I’m losing my mind,
my nouns,
my treasured memory

sure, I want the Absolute
the All-That-Is
God’s Face

And I want to stay as I was-

Dark nights are for others
stuttering over parts of speech
losing track of time
dissolving ambitions, projects, plans
those are for someone else

I’ll take the hand of the Infinite
as long
as it is convenient

if I don’t set
the terms, the time, the rules
why should I play
this silly game ?


stories from awakeville are chunks of free verse
derived from post awakening inner experience

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , ,

ice walk: stories from awakeville

brittle splitting
of frozen crystals

spider veins
radiate outward
jagged, wild

no one to fall through
the thinned ice today

the ice splits

some weight
made the ice split

whose ?

who hears
the brittle snapping
all around
so far
from the lake shore ?

death waits
one more instant
as the rotten ice
gives way

I have been through this before

I didn’t survive

wtf ?


stories from awakeville are chunks of free verse
focused on post awakening inner experience

Image from here.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

simulacrum : stories from awakeville

the wide open spaciousness
of awakeville
didn’t need a golem

but mind
made one anyway
without telling anyone

the golem was translucent
and easy to miss

he could do most things
the old me could do
and better

the golem was welcome

after all,
he was mine

one day,
the golem made a mistake

what’s wrong with the golem ?

a quick search of golem lit
golems have no particular lifespan

since they are not alive to begin with
the golem could malfunction
and stop
at almost any time

one day
it would be
for good

the golem tripped, fell,
slowly got back up, and
started walking
the wrong way


the golem is running down.

he has shown himself
so terribly useful
at so may things
how he will be missed

the golem
of my attributes
my collection of the good
and the worthwhile

before my eyes

another precious mind creation

so much
for what
I thought


stories from awakeville are chunks of free verse
derived from post awakening inner experience

Golem definition.

Golem image.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , ,

no land in sight


is looking for

a lighthouse, a beacon, a buoy,

s o m e t h i n g

to tell us

we are going the right way


it helps

to imagine

we have friends

along the journey


someone who claims

to know

whats going on


at the end of the day

we are all


just human beings

feeling our way

in the dark



Photo from here.

Posted in Human Experience, Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Four Awake Teachers on Video

Culadasa, author of The Mind Illuminated shares 5 insights into the nondual / awake life. I have met Culadasa many times, including at his home, the last time in 2016 at the Toward A Science of Consciousness Conference in Tucson, AZ.

He strikes me as an amazing, intelligent and very humble teacher.

Byron Katie, inventor of the inquiry process known as “The Work”, walks an intrepid inquirer through the process of confronting her fears. Love and wisdom in action.

Shinzen Young briefly explains Dzogchen and why practice it in clear, direct language.

Tsultrim Allione on the “Feeding Your Demons” practice. I have practiced this on retreat and found it wonderfully penetrating.

Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,


meeting apparent others


far scattered time zones
views and traditions
locations of mind

bearing witness


pain of experience
subtle confusion
distinct imbalances


vision, emotion, and body

each in turn
standing naked
speaking bare-hearted

simple, plain

by self-image

allowing love


ground of meeting
medicine for therapy
solvent of dissolution



love appears
from a placeless place
where it already lives

to a placeless place
in the lived moment
of each life

we are




flourish of spiraling color
flash of fire’s geometric dance
prismatic waves of energy


enriching, transforming
mind, mood, emotion
rapt, brilliant, ecstatic

Self healing It-Self

of wounds
that never


in the other


in the self




more vivid power
than cold images
can capture

more impact
than whatever dream
here appears

more joy
than surprise
ever needed

losing utter track
of who I
and they
are supposed
to be

what’s left
when we are
what we are



Dedicated with deep gratitude to Lester Levenson, to all who draw inspiration from him, in particular the Wednesday Night EC Lester Levenson group, without who it could not have been written. Love to all.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Rafting Trip

The Rafting Trip
by Peter Tjeerdsma

Life has been
a whitewater rafting trip
for the personality I wear
at this time.

Restful pools of chilling depth . . .
relaxing . . .
just long enough
to dump me

over another fall
through an uncontrollable attachment

I cling to my raft,
my identity
that bouys me up.

Nothing works
no goal
but to get through

hands slipping
on my ego-paddle

I push away
from a huge rock
rearing up in my path
only to slam backwards
into a small one.

I recall
I am not alone
in this raft.

The guide says,
keep your oars in the water,
look downstream,
and simply steer.”


The Rafting Trip is an original expression of Peter Tjeerdsma,
first posted in the Buddhist forum on The Well in 1994.

The Rafting Trip is Peter Tjeerdsma’s initial contribution to SIOF;
many thanks to him for it.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

whatever has an explanation

whatever has an explanation
by David Kennedy


whatever has

an explanation

is not love



don’t apply

in the love reality



grammatical rules

to flip the mind

out of ordinary logic


shared consciousness

breaks down

false barriers

reveals the consciousness

that’s there




Many thanks to David Kennedy for sharing this previously unpublished poetry.

This is the first time David Kennedy’s expressions have appeared on SIOF.

Posted in Poetry & Free Verse, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Shaktipat: Leaving Room for Grace


His name is Ramaji.

Ramaji does a kind of energetic transmission called RASA .

It felt amazing – unlike anything else.


A friend of mine had told me about Ramaji.

You never know what friends are into.

A group of us went in together on the Ramaji invitation.

Ramaji works on Skype and other meeting apps.

The apps allow for seeing others in the ” room ” –  over 30 attendees from countries across the globe.

Ramaji explained that this would not not require anything beyond our participation, and that, once any questions were answered, he would begin. After about half an hour of Q & A, it was time.

We were to close our eyes and relax.

* *

During the years involved with Buddhism,
I had heard warnings about ” shaktipat gurus “,
how they operate like drug dealers,
how people get hooked on the bliss energy,
and how it doesn’t “lead anywhere”.

Real practice comes from “you”, not from someone else.
Real practice happens through time and effort.
No one else can “do it for you “.

It all made sense.

No room left for grace.

On the organizational level, some of the shaktipat lineages come through unsavory
(or at best questionable ) organizations, plagued by lawsuits
and rocked by scandals and allegations of criminal activity.

So I Googled Ramaji.
He came up clean.

Ramaji is a one man operation.
His organization: nonexistent – not even a secretary.
Living by his own efficacy and example.

Fair enough.

* * **

I had tried some things like this before – sort of.

Braco, the Croatian guy who blesses people through his gaze, and
Abdy Electriciteh – who knocks people down with his touch. Also received the Deeksha-Oneness Blessing, which felt pleasant for a moment, then quickly faded.

To be fair, these may or may not be categorized as shaktipat, but their energetic transmissions were the closest thing I had encountered, until now.

At least here, they felt like harmless curiosities.

Your mileage may vary.

Categories aside, everything is its own thing.

* * ** ***

What does the end of the path look like ?
How do we know that we have arrived ?

A variety of maps are available.
Most are fairly inscrutable.

After research, more meditation, etc.
am left sitting in the dark,
feeling not quite “done”,
wondering which way leads to deepening.

According to Ramaji, RASA moves the recipient further along the path.

In this heart, participation in the RASA left the door open for grace,
without waiting for anything at all.


* * ** *** *****

The afternoon warmed to 75 degrees, broad sunbeams generously spilled through the West windows.

RASA began.

In a city hundreds of miles away, Ramaji bowed his head and moved his hands through the air, while here in my living room distinct somatic responses started happening.

With eyes closed, both hands immediately turned ice-cold.

In mind, some old, unloved thought-forms took visible shape in technicolor, and then left, as if flushed away on a gentle cleansing current.

Checking later, those pernicious unloved thought-forms (old unhealed painful memories) had disappeared for good, leaving spaciousness and peace in their wake.

* * ** *** ***** ********

The first RASA felt like a gentle stream of flowing water.

Two weeks later, the second RASA impacted with the force of Thor’s hammer,
scouring out whatever impediments remained to clarity, openheartedness and
deep peace.

The time since has been filled with a vividness, a joy and clarity not previously experienced.

I do not understand how this works, only that it does.

The power of RASA helped to heal old scars and release an effervescence almost as transformative as the awakening event itself.

Just as on that strange day almost 6 years ago,
another energetic tsunami swept the mind,
awestruck and bereft, into timeless, naked silence.


* * ** *** ***** ******** **************

RASA (acronym):  Ramaji Advaita Shaktipat Attunement

For more info about Ramaji,

For more about RASA,


Other references:

Photos from here: Lead Photo of Ramaji , RASA , RASA art


Abdy Electriciteh,

Thor’s Hammer :

Posted in Shaktipat | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Four Points of Dzogchen

“The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points: ▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked […]

via The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen — Zen Flash

Posted in Dzogchen | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,