Volume 2 Number 1 First Quarter 1994

Desire and Joy

by Edrid

Years ago I heard a story that I still repeat. It goes something like this:

There was a guy and he decided to wash his car. He got his bucket, soap, etc. and went outside to the carport. When he got there he looked and saw that his bucket had a hole in it. He realized that he had to get a new bucket or he couldn't wash his car.

So he went to the store to buy a bucket. He found a nice one and brought it to the check out counter. "That will be $9.95," said the clerk. The man reached in his pocket and realized he didn't have enough money. In fact, he usually didn't have enough money for just about everything because he didn't have a job. At that moment, he decided that he'd have to get a job!

He started looking and finally found a nice place to work. He wanted to be an accountant. He was almost hired when it came out in the interview that he didn't know enough accounting since he didn't have a college education. At that moment, he decided he had to go back to school.

At school (he got a loan, I guess) he worked really hard. He took a course in mathematics and one evening, while he was studying, a friend came up and said, innocently, "Hi, what're you doing?" The man looked up from his homework and said, with a twinkle in his eye, "I'm washing my car!"

So the question arises, what are you doing right now? If you say, "Reading the S&O," maybe that is true and maybe you are also washing some car. To fully know what you are doing, you must be aware of this hierarchy of goals.

You set out to achieve some goal and you run into a barrier. This brings about a new goal. Along the way you run into another barrier and a new goal is formed. This goes on until you lose track of the original purpose and there you are, lost in Life. It would further one to know what his basic goal is, for perhaps a more direct route to its fulfillment could be found.

Goals come from desire, and desire is natural. We are supposed to have desires. But when our desires become distorted we end up desiring things that give us little or no joy or fulfillment. If one pays close attention to how he feels when a "desire" is satisfied, he can quickly tell if it is a real or basic desire or one that comes from some level way down the goal hierarchy.

If one's desires are healthy and natural, there is lasting joy from their fulfillment. This is key. If you get what you really want, you are happy. If you get something you only thought you wanted, the reward feeling is very brief and is soon replaced by another craving. Some people chase these cravings their whole lives and end up frustrated.

Fortunately, we only have to clearly notice how we feel to find out if we are doing what we truly want to do. The basic intelligence of the billions of years of evolution provides us with the exact feedback we need. We just need to read the instrument panel.

But some people's instrument panels either don't work or they don't read them. The message of whether or not they like what they wanted and got doesn't get back to them clearly. They reach for something again and again, not realizing that they don't really give a damn. How can people watch endless variations of crime and its resolution day in and day out, year after year, on TV? They probably don't see clearly that they really don't get much from all those empty dramas.

As one begins to discover what he really wants, it turns out to be some intimate contact with Life. What is truly rewarding is a moment of union with Life itself. This is discovered only after one starts getting what he really wants. I can't predict what path this will take because everyone's situation is unique.

The study of satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, bliss, and happiness is a worthy pursuit. (It seems ludicrous to have to say it!) We soon see through gluttony, debauchery, and slavish pursuit of excess. There is brief satisfaction, perhaps, but afterward there is emptiness. It never makes us happy to hurt someone, no matter how much it seems justified. Maybe a brief ugly satisfaction can result, but not joy. Likewise, we find that if we are totally narcissistic, thinking only of ourselves, we lose. Selfless giving of ourselves to Life and others gives meaning to our lives and there is a great sense of fulfillment in this. I think this is universal. It is wise to study what is truly satisfying for us. We should know this sort of thing. We need to know clearly what we love. Study bliss - you can't lose.

Where do all these desires come from? Recently, my wife Anatta said something that struck me. "Sometimes I'm going along and I see something I want to do or have and I think 'Oh, no, here comes another one - a new desire being born right now that I'll have to deal with sooner or later, and that joins a whole backlog of other desires waiting to be fulfilled.'" The desires come from the same place everything comes from. Desires come up through us from some deeper source. Basic desire emerges pure and then becomes desire for something else by virtue of the state of our minds. Pure desire becomes desire for some particular thing. If our conscious state hangs out at this fundamental source, what we actually desire is what this essence of desire seeks.

What is surprising, magical, and exciting is that the emerging desire and the object of desire emerge at the same time. THEY ARE THE SAME THING. In Hinduism, this is an important element of "Divine Order". If our desire is that original pure desire, we want what emerges with the desire, and we get that instantly. You simply get what you want for free. No struggle, no waiting, no anguish. Your wishes come true instantly. If, on the other hand, the desire is contorted by our scrambled minds, we want something, but not what came with the emerging desire. Then, the only way to get what we think we want is to take action, struggle, wait, work, etc.

This suggests a simple practice to improve one's life: Love what comes into your life. Find that place within you that already loves your life.

As our natural desires are fulfilled, we see what we want at a deeper and deeper level until we want what we are actually about to get. We are in harmony with Life itself. This is called the Path of Bliss.

The Lover

Scott Scheiman, December 1993

Often I find myself crying once or twice at an Enlightenment Intensive. It's short - I'm not an emotional person. And it's usually for pretty much the same reason. It happened again at this year's Intensive.

The crying is "for real." It's not forced. It doesn't happen because I think I "ought" to or "need" to release something. In fact I can't make it happen that way. Instead, it sneaks up on me. It's hidden behind some thought or idea, and I say or express that thought to my dyad partner - and all of a sudden the emotion is just pouring out of me.

There are just some parts of me which seem to be loaded with this power, but who knows what they are? The emotional power is locked up inside them, hidden, waiting to be released. But what are they? When will it happen?

It happened again at this year's Intensive....

A thought had come into my mind. Actually, I believe it is probably wrong, since I do have beliefs about its real meaning. (I included this belief, that the factual part of the thought was probably wrong, as I related the thought to my partner.) But what mattered was the emotional connection represented by the thought. Even before the tears rushed out of me, I could feel the power of the analogy that had come into my mind. That, even if I had my facts wrong, it was still a valid idea because it did represent something about me, at an allegorical level.

In poetic Sufi literature, one encounters references to "the lover." Sufi literature is full of such poetic images. Now, I have not done any formal study of Sufi writing nor had anyone explained what such images mean. I've just tried to piece it all together on my own. So what is "the lover"? I have had to guess. I have taken it to mean God - or perhaps the relationship or feeling an enlightened person has toward God. Or perhaps it's just referring to the enlightened state itself - a subjective description of what that might be like.

I don't really know what "the lover" refers to - but I do have the sense of its meaning taken from normal life. A reference to a lover is obviously a reference taken from normal life, and the use of this particular analogy in Sufi literature must be intentional. It's meant to evoke the emotional state one has while in love. The sense of attachment. Closeness. Intimacy. Very powerful feelings. Desire. Longing. Yearning.

So this Sufi image, this Lover, had come into my mind, along with these powerful connotations. But what the image meant, what it referred to, at that moment, for me, was not God, nor the state of enlightenment.

No, at that moment, my lover was my Question, my Koan.* I don't mean a simple asking of a question. I mean my connection to what lies beyond the question, that to which the question points. The reality of the

question. Some answer is there; I do not yet know what it is. But I do know what happens when one repeatedly asks such a question, wonders about its meaning, wants the answer, longs for the answer, passionately desires to know.

The Lover. The Question. This longing. This is the same emotion. This is the thought, this analogy, this connection between the two, that had come to me during that Intensive.

I expressed all this to my partner. And I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in front of her. I had not known that the expression of this particular thought would become the trigger to such a release. It just happened, as I told her of the way this poetic Sufi image had an equivalence for me to the power that has built up around my Question. And then a few minutes of intense sobs and crying which just had to pour out of me underscored the truth and power of all

that for me, expressing it eloquently in a way that mere words could never have done.

* I have been working on the question "What am I?" through five Intensives and in my spare time throughout the past three years.

Divine Bliss

An Account of a Spiritual Experience

by Edrid

A while ago, while walking down a street in Mountain View, California, I was in a reverie with a question. It was something like, "To be or not to be." I was in a good mood, there was nothing dark about the question. In all innocence, I was asking, "Just why do I want to be alive? Do I need to be? Was I willing not to be? What is the big deal about being alive?" I was in a very special state. At that moment, for no real reason (that I was aware of), I just let it all go.

I had an experience. For the past 6 weeks I have been slowly realizing what that experience was and I'd like to share it with you. (I will say it like it is the Truth, but it is my personal experience and I respect that you may have a different point of view.)

The world is made of something wonderful. Everything is made of some terribly precious material. Even ugly or disturbing things are made of it. Everything. The material world, my emotions, my thoughts, everything. There is nothing not made out of this precious stuff. It is like the finest jewels. I remember these stanzas from the Amitabha Sutra:

"Passing from here through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands to the West, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss. In this land a Buddha called Amitabha right now teaches the Dharma. Sariputra, for what reason is this land called Ultimate Bliss? All living beings of this country endure none of the sufferings, but enjoy every bliss. Therefore, it is called Ultimate Bliss.

"Moreover, Sariputra, this Land of Ultimate Bliss is everywhere surrounded by seven tiers of railings, seven layers of netting, and seven rows of trees, all formed from the four treasures and for this reason named Ultimate Bliss.

"Moreover, Sariputra, the Land of Ultimate Bliss has pools of the seven jewels, filled with the eight waters of merit and virtue. The bottom of each pool is pure, spread over with golden sand. On the four sides are stairs of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, and crystal; above are raised pavilions adorned with gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of-pearl, red pearls, and carnelian.

"In the pools are lotuses as large as carriage wheels: green colored of green light; yellow colored of yellow light; red colored of red light; white colored of white light; subtly, wonderfully, fragrant and pure.

"Sariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned."

When I first read this many years ago it was quite foreign to me. Now I get it.

It is all bliss. This bliss is not an emotion, like joy, happiness, etc. It's the very urge that brings everything into existence. Why we want to be is this bliss. It's not that we want bliss. It is all bliss already and always has been. The Land of Ultimate Bliss is right here.

This basic nectar gets distorted into all sorts of dark forms. Sadness, grief, misery, pain. My experience is that all these are really just bliss, shifted into something that seems different to our minds. It's because we want some imagined life, not the actual one. The desire for a different reality in the face of the actual one is resistance and this contorts this bliss into suffering. Nothing mystical or magical here. It is just the simple act of resisting the way it actually is.

When this resistance falls away, every molecule is rapture. Every breeze is rich with nectar. Every moment is enthralling, fulfilling, divine, wonderful, amazing. When I am open to this truth I get overcome with emotion. Life, my being alive, is so precious! Every perception is filled with nectar. It always has been bliss but I missed it. It's like everything is made of the finest gold or rich jewels. One's heart will just burst with joy! The land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned.

What is this that is so precious? It is just the great gift of life. I am blessed, for I get to be alive. The whole universe seems to share this bliss. Even rocks are enraptured.

This might be taken as some wonderful kind of insanity. Of course it is nonsense from an ordinary rational way of looking at things. The suffering I feel from time to time is very real. Takes me right down sometimes. I don't deny the reality of how tough life is and how frustrated I get. How isolated I sometimes feel. How confused, scared, lost, bored, sad, and all the rest. How is it that there is a state that reveals that none of this is true? It is real and yet it is not. Do you know what I mean?

A while back I wrote about slipping on a rock at the beach and hurting my arm. At that intensely painful moment I felt gratitude well up in me. There was a deep sense of intimacy with something at that moment and I felt literally blessed to feel that intense pain. To a rational mind this makes little sense, but there is something to all this. Groping for a way to express it I just come up with the thought that deep down, all is bliss.

The Amitabha Sutra, translated by Upasaka I Kuo Jung, Buddhist Text Translation Society, City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Ukiah, CA

The Natural World and the Nature of Being

By Pitaka

Nature writers of the late 1700's and 1800's, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Walt Whitman, and other more contemporary writers on the subject of Nature and the nature of "man", express humankind's inseparability from the natural world. They present a relationship with nature, which inspires in them a realization of what I will call their own essential beingness. These writers ask questions about being; what is nature? What are we? Does everything have a purpose or need to? How are we to relate with our surroundings? These questions stimulate and are stimulated by a soulful quality of contact with nature which they all share. Through this contact they enter into a state of mind or state of being, an awareness arising as original insight, sometimes sudden, often mysterious. Perhaps it arises from a finer side of instinct, something we can just know, or at least in moments, just be. They speak with authority and humility. Each writer's authentic experience, and the awakening it evokes, is at once unique and strikingly similar.

It appears that there are conditions required to arrive at this kind of experience. Some of these conditions are: exposure to nature, the contemplative-focused-open mind, and acute awareness of the senses, an extraordinary appreciation of the natural world, and solitude. Nature was central to the writing and to the lives of these poets, theologians, and autobiographical authors.

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, speaks of the contemplative life, and of the rain:

I came up here from the monastery last night, sloshing through the cornfield, said vespers, and put some oatmeal on the Coleman stove for supper. It boiled over while I was listening to the rain and toasting a piece of bread at the log fire. The night became very dark. The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees. What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech. The most comforting speech in the world.

Merton seems to be living at a kind of bottom line, where all is quite easily and simply concluded, disposed of, in his most basic reduction of what usually is seen as complex. He quotes a Syrian philosopher who lived in the 6th century, Philoxenos, saying "he who is not alone is not yet conscious. He is alien to his own truth. To have identity he has to be awake, aware, to accept vulnerability and death, for the sake of the invulnerable inner reality which we cannot recognize but can only be."

Emerson goes into nature seeking that insight, that original relation, taking us and all beings with him as he goes. He explores the question, what is nature, and what is the self? His inner voice, an answer to himself, has no apparent need of comrades to agree with him, although in the end he had plenty. The demand for authenticity is compelling, as stated by Emerson:

The forgoing generations beheld God and Nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should we not have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs.

Walt Whitman writing about the sea beach states, "It is so spiritual," without explanation or elaboration. For him this is just so. When the writer expresses such spirited self-validation, one who would challenge can only respectfully agree to disagree. For these authors, what is offered is entirely subjective and cannot therefore be vulnerable to speculation. They cannot be confronted on a scientific basis or purely intellectually, although they were obviously intellectually gifted, and aware of the science of their day.

Several authors mention the intimacy with nature and even bonding with others, as something that is deepened by just "being with", especially in silence. This just being with has a timeless quality about it, difficult to describe, perhaps precisely because it is a pre-verbal state. Intimacy is essential on this path to the depths. Many of these writers bring us close up to their subjects, where we see things large. They seem to go into this fertile ground of nature. They must also be internally rich in order to appreciate the value of this activity. Then they are taken deeper and made richer with each experience. We may ask how is this intimate quality of contact available? And they repeatedly tell us that it is through the senses. Much of this writing refers to taste, sound, temperature, and smell as well as visual imagery. Walt Whitman shares this with us in his own sparklingly clear expression of wonder:

I am sitting under a tulip tree, 70 feet high, thick with the fresh verdure of its young maturity -- a beautiful object -- every branch, every leaf perfect from top to bottom. Seeking the sweet juice in the blossoms, it swarms with myriads of these wild bees, whose loud and steady humming makes an undertone to the whole, and to my mood and the hour.

Whitman was neither a hunter nor threatened by nature's creatures or conditions. This he shows us in the delight rather than the disturbance when in the company of the bumblebees: "A great swarm again followed for my entourage as I returned home."

Much of this writing is woven of the writer, the creatures, the ground, the textures, weather, colors, movement, and here, the human is at once the observer (the weaver) and one of the wefts in the fabric.

The kind of attention required to move into this intimate contact with one's subject is beautifully described by Samuel Coleridge:

Sometimes when I earnestly look at a beautiful object or landscape, it seems as if I were on the brink of a fruition still denied -- as if Vision were an appetite; even as a man would feel, who, having put forth all his muscular strength in an act of prosilience, is at the very moment held back -- he leaps and yet moves not from his place.

His statement can stop time for us. Can take our breath! This is immediate and is thrilling to the spirit.

Emerson simply says, "I opened my eyes and let what would pass through them into the soul." Emerson commands us to immerse ourselves:

Come out of your warm, angular house, resounding with few voices, into the chill, grand, instantaneous night, with such a Presence as a full moon in the clouds, and you are struck with poetic wonder. In an instant you leave far behind all human relationships, wife, mother, and child, and live only with the savages -- water, air, sight, carbon, lime, granite. I become a moist cold element. Nature grows over me.

Later Emerson says, "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the soul. Strictly speaking, therefore, all that is separate from us, all which philosophy distinguishes as the not me, that is, both nature and art, all other men and my own body, must be ranked under the name NATURE."

How does he know this? Has he been graced with some revelation which offers such absolute truth? He lets us in on his source of such wisdom when describing his experience of dissolving, transcending human limitations: "Standing on the bare ground -- my head bathed by blither air and uplifted into infinite space -- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball: I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the universal being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty."

Were there differences in the experiences of the nature these authors achieved? Certainly they came to it from their own personal histories, religious training, cultural conditioning. They surely began with personal views and taught perspectives on this subject. Each arrives by their own path, and on the way they color nature with their own moods and projections. Yet the depths they reach are essentially the same. The quality of their contemplation implies an absence of any added reason or meaning to the pure beingness they touch. Anything added would taint its purity, an essential condition for the awakening. Clearly their experience of nature was profoundly spiritual, altering their state of mind and being. Or perhaps it awakened them from the usual "altered" state. Given our conditions, it may be valid to question which is the case.

The Nature of Help

by Edrid

We should all be quite clear about what help is. This is especially true when we are committed to our own and others' personal growth.

Don't confuse help with the style and attitude you can have when helping. Caring, loving, giving - these may be help, or they may be the state one has when helping.

Help is possible only if improvement is possible. Improvement is realizing that you are making progress towards some goal that you have. If you are not making progress then there is a barrier. A barrier is whatever stops you. When the strength of the barrier is greater than your capacity to overcome it, another's ability added to your own can often overcome it. This is what help is. It works both ways. When you give your ability to another's goal, you help them.

Pushing your own goal on another is not help. If you try to make another be, do, or have something that they don't want just because you think they should be, do, or have that, that is not help, no matter how well-meaning you might be. This is because improvement can't occur for the other unless he sees he is making progress toward his own goal.

Quite often people are confused about their goals. They may have conflicting goals so that help is also non-help or even obstruction. With conflicting goals there is no easy way to help because of these crossed purposes. In order to help someone with crossed purposes, he must first find out which is his true goal.

If you can't be comfortable with another's goal, you don't have to help them accomplish it, especially if there is an ethical or moral issue. There is no rule that one has to help another, though most people feel that you have an obligation as human being to help someone in distress. Maybe you do. I do know that if you help someone in trouble there is great benefit for both you and the one you helped.

However, one should be careful to avoid getting drawn into a co-dependency relationship. It is not really help to feed the illusion of inability another might have because it only reinforces it. Often it is better to let the other confront the barrier he has rather than "help" him.

Some feel that they should be able to overcome any limit on their own, without help. However, they may realize after years of work that they haven't made much progress yet. They will overcome any barrier given enough time, but with help they might be able to overcome it sooner.

When you give help, it opens your heart a little. You also feel better about yourself, which makes you happy. It is a win-win situation.

Sacred Poetry

By Peter Meadow

Over the years of giving and taking Enlightenment Intensives, I have grown increasingly enamored of what I will call sacred poetry. This is poetry which captures the truth in words, which calls me forth and beckons me onward. I have found that reading such poetry during Intensives - either in the lectures themselves or during 5 minute breaks - can be an enormous inspiration to participants. So I wish to share some of this love with you. Here are some of my favorites, divided up according to some loose sense of subject matter.

I must start with Buddha's great invocation - a call to each of us to seek the Truth:

Wanting nothing
With all your heart
Stop the stream.
When the world dissolves
Everything becomes clear.
Go beyond
This way or that way.
To the farther shore
Where the world dissolves
And everything becomes clear.
Beyond this shore
And the farther shore,
Beyond the beyond,
Where there is no beginning,
No end,
Without fear, go.
- Buddha1

Poems which capture the sudden explosive glory of enlightenment. The Zen tradition is especially powerful in this area:

With one foot on the brick step,
The All burst in my head.
I had a good laugh by
The box tree, moon in the bluest sky.
- Choro2

There I was, hunched over office desk,
Mind an unruffled pool.
A thunderbolt! My middle eye
Shot wide, revealing - my ordinary self.
- Ryozan2

I was born with a divine jewel,
Long since filmed with dust.
This morning, wiped clean, it mirrors
Streams and mountains, without end.
- Ikuzanchu2

And the Sufi poet, Rumi, is, as always, extraordinary:

Again, I'm within my self.
I walked away, but here I come sailing back,
Feet in the air, upsidedown,
As a saint when he opens his eyes
From prayer: Now, the room,
The tablecloth, familiar faces.
- Rumi3

And this one:

Lightening, your presence
From ground to sky.
No one knows what becomes of me,
When you take me so quickly.
- Rumi3

On the process of surrender which brings us nearer to the truth, Lao-Tsu is impeccable:

In the pursuit of knowledge,
Every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
Every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
Until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
True mastery can be gained
By letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.
- Lao-Tsu4

And how precise are these descriptions of the technique!

Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is inside you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you don't bring forth what is inside you,
what you don't bring forth will destroy you."
- The Gospel of Thomas5

Iron will's demanded of
The student of the Way -
It's always on the mind.
Forget all - good, bad.
Suddenly it's yours.
- Rijunkyoku2

I honor those who try
To rid themselves of any lying,
Who empty the self
And have only clear being there.
- Rumi3

On the divine presence, the love we find all along the way:
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass;
I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name,
and I leave them where they are, for I know that others
will punctually come forever and ever.
- Walt Whitman6

I am filled with you.
Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul.
There's no room for lack of trust, or trust.
Nothing in this existence but that existence.
- Rumi3

We've given up making a living.
It's all this crazy love poetry now.
It's everywhere. Our eyes and our feelings
Focus together, with our words.
- Rumi7

As you see, I like Rumi particularly well. So forgive me for closing with two of his more remarkable poems. The first is extraordinarily appropriate at the end of Intensives:

A night full of talking that hurts.
My worst held back secrets: Everything
Has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then we have work to do.
- Rumi3

Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence:
This place made from our love for that emptiness!
Yet somehow comes emptiness,
This existence goes.
Praise to that happening, over and over!
- Rumi8

Praise to that happening, over and over!

1The Dhammapada, translated by Thomas Byron, Vintage Books, 1976
2Zen Poems of China and Japan, translated and compiled by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto, Grove Press, 1973
3Unseen Rain, Quatrains of Rumi, translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks, Threshold Books, 1986
4Tao Te Ching, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Harper & Row, 1988
5The Gospel of Thomas, as quoted in The Enlightened Mind, edited by Stephen Mitchell, Harper Perennial, 1991
6Leaves of Grass: Song of Myself, Walt Whitman
7Open Secret, Versions of Rumi, translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks, Threshold Books, 1984
8Rumi, as quoted in The Enlightened Heart, edited by Stephen Mitchell, Harper & Row, 1989

What I Want For My Future

By Osha Reader

Editor's Column

by Edrid

This issue starts the second year for S&O. We've had a great time doing it.

I send a special thank you to all of you who have contributed accounts of your experiences and news. We want to publish your spiritual experiences and other events that have had a meaningful impact on your personal growth. This stuff should be shared. We need to let each other know what special experiences, visions, practices, and interactions have moved us forward towards a better life. Just say the truth, straight out.

For me, personally, there is a change going on that I am excited about. Letting go of some of the earlier models I had, I am just beginning to wake up to bliss. Grin, grin. I wrote a couple of articles that have emerged from my new process. I hope you enjoy them. Path of Bliss! Path of Bliss!

Please, feel invited to contribute. You don't have to agree with me or any other contributor. Many of you have had important spiritual and growth experiences that will enlighten us all. We welcome diversity.

Some of you have sent in things that didn't get in. There just isn't enough room to put everything in. The value we look for is what is personal, from the heart, or comes from deep insight. Keep your writings as concise as possible. There have been some really great but very long pieces that we've not been able to publish yet. Just not enough room to get them in.

I included an insert that I wrote about a year ago called Dyad Basics. If you want to do clearing dyads with your friends, read it carefully. It has a lot of valuable information.