In Harmony With Your Nature

The Ft. McClellan That Was

The Ft. McClellan That Was

NEXT TO TERRAPIN CREEK, AL — #VanDwelling #LivingIt

March 31, 2015 12:10 PM

I drifted northward, avoiding large or divided highways as much as possible. Outside Anniston, I grabbed the first two lane road that caught my fancy and found myself in Ft. McClellan, an Army base closed in 1999. It’s a beautiful place, now home to a local college, apartments, and various government agencies. They’ve transitioned the change from military to civilian use admirably though, maintaining much of the look and feel you expect from a former Army base—well maintained older buildings surrounded by large swatches of open, green spaces.

I’ve been heading north over the last few days in order to meet up with another high school buddy of mine, Doug Coone. In school, Doug and Timmerman were my best friends. Timmerman was the stoic and studious type while Doug was the class clown (and I fell somewhere in between). Of the three of us, I always figured I’d marry first, then Doug, and probably never Timmerman. Turns out I had it exactly backwards.

After years of listening to my praising the wonders and beauty of Latin women, Timmerman finally took my advice and ended up marrying the very first one he went out with. Doug, on the other hand (and as a complete surprise to both myself and practically everyone who knew him) announced last year that he was gay, then promptly got married just as soon as Alabama ratified gay marriage. Who would have thought?

Anyway, that’s why I’ve been heading north, to meet up with Doug and his new husband, Dakota, tomorrow for lunch. Of course tomorrow’s April Fool’s Day—and Doug being the clown that he is—well, who knows what to expect?

Seeing as this will probably be the last entry of the Winter 2015 edition of A Mystic’s Journal, I’ll close on a note about human feelings…

No matter how much we would like to, we can’t control how we feel. We can control how we act on those feelings, but we can’t control the feelings themselves. To try to control our feelings is not only futile and unhealthy, but it is inauthentic.

It’s a shame (but understandable, particularly living in the heart of the Bible Belt) that Doug spent over 50 years “in the closet,” but I’m glad he’s out now—that he’s happy and gay and living openly as he’s always wished to.

That’s really the goal of the spiritual quest, isn’t it? To live true to who and what we are—to live fearlessly and authentically and in harmony with our core nature.

Divine Guidance

A Tiny Home

A Tiny Home

TALLADEGA, AL — #Intimate

March 30, 2015 5:20 PM

Some excerpts from a dialog with Michelle yesterday:

Wayne:

I would like you to start focusing more on the Intimate quality—on the recognition of Her, on listening to Her, on learning how to know when She’s whispering to you as opposed to your ego/fears talking.

Michelle:

Noticed a stark difference between the energetic reactions between heart and gut. The gut seems more trustworthy to me now. Do you find that your guidance from her tends to correspond to the gut or any other parts of the body?

This is a good question, “How do you know when She’s guiding you? How do you, Wayne, experience the duplex personality?

Just like Michelle, I usually experience Her whispers bodily via the gut, though I’ve never really thought about it this way before.

There seem to be two gut indicators, one quite powerful and the other quite subtle:

  1. When I shouldn’t do something I’m contemplating, I get a very distinct nauseous (nauseated?) feeling in my gut.
  2. When I suddenly find myself doing something I didn’t expect, it is felt as a very subtle “pushing” centered in the gut. This is often accompanied by what sounds like my voice in my head (but aren’t my thoughts) saying to do whatever it is I’m feeling compelled to do: “Turn here. Stop a moment. Go.” I have the option to resist, but I never have since it always feels so right.

I also follow the path of least resistance most of the time, and far more often than not, things tend to work out when I do. This isn’t a “gut whisper” as much as a guiding principle, but it you operate from the assumption that She’s massaging things behind the scenes, then the path of least resistance seems to be Her default way of subtly providing assistance.

I’d love to hear how other people experience “Divine guidance.” To see if a pattern presents itself.

Attached To The Emptiness Quality

Not a No-Thing

Not a No-Thing

TUSKEGEE NF, AL — #Emptiness #Intimate

March 29, 2015 3:08 PM

I just finished the prep work for the second volume of the Mystic’s Journal series (January through March 2015). Amazingly, it shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes to upload Volume II on the morning of April 1. Probably the most time consuming feature of publishing on Amazon will be waiting for Amazon to approve the book and make it available to the public.

We’ve come a long way since I first started writing.

3:13 PM

In thinking about this upcoming interview, I realized last night that probably the most significant thing that sets me apart from most nondual teachers is that I don’t focus on the Emptiness quality.

In advaita (I believe) they stress not to become attached to the siddhis—the magical powers that sometimes manifest in a seeker’s life as he progresses in his spiritual development. Attachment to the siddhis—it is warned—will keep you from progressing further.

Some may criticize me for having fallen into this trap—of being attached to the magic and luck and synchronicities and thereby stunting my development.

I disagree.

I consider the siddhis a component of the Intimate quality of Mystical Oneness (the less there is of you, the more there is of the magic). But the Intimate quality is only one of five qualities that make up Mystical Oneness: The Mortal, EternalRadianceEmptiness, and Intimate.

I like to focus on, and flow between, all these areas of the conscious experience (though I’m not crazy about the Mortal quality).

Ironically, you could say that most nondual teachers—just like they warn not to get attached to the siddhis—have themselves become attached to the Emptiness quality.

Emptiness is practically all they talk about.

It’s understandable, Emptiness is pretty cool, but it’s not the end-all. There’s much more to Life than No-thing.

Two Birthdays

Two Horses of a Different Color

Two Horses of a Different Color

TUSKEGEE NF, AL — #LivingIt #Surrender #FourthWall #BATGAP

March 28, 2015 2:28 PM

Today marks both my mother’s and St. Teresa of Avila’s birthdays. Though my Mom’s a little younger, St. Teresa would be 500 years old today. Happy birthday Mom.

St. Teresa, like the great Mystics Meister Eckhart and St. John of the Crosssought to dissolve herself into the Divine—to achieve a mystical union with God through the surrender of the Self.

I don’t care how enlightened anyone claims to be, the subtle self archetypes (self-concern, self-interest, self-will) are a bear to let go of in the real world, so St. Teresa rates way up on my list of personal heroes in her quest to do so.

In filling out some of the BATGAP forms, one of the questions was which of these categories I’d like to be listed under, with the option of suggesting new ones. Along with some existing ones, I suggested two new categories: Mystics, and Applied Spiritual (versus the existing Academic Spiritual). Mystics is obvious, but I suggested Applied Spiritual because it is only in applying spiritual teachings—to living them—that any serious growth occurs.

Self-concern. Self-interest. Self-will. Recognizing these archetypes is easy (academic). Dropping them (applied)? Not so much. Paradoxically though, there are some serious rewards in store for those who do:

The less there is of you, the more there is of TaoGodHer.

I’m Here Wayne. I’m Always Here.

The Presence of a Tree

The Presence of a Tree

TUSKEGEE NF, AL — #MiracleLog #MyLove

March 27, 2015 2:05 PM

Odd, synchronistic events happen regularly—pretty much daily—with me (as I expect with most deeply spiritual people). Sometimes these events aren’t about good luck per se, but seem to be more about confirmation that TaoGodHer is real.

For example, just after uploading yesterday’s post, the mysterious pickup truck drove into my camp, turned around and drove off. It’s a little weird that this happens so often, but it’s always good to see him.

Another very cool thing: On my way out of Florida, I dropped in at my folk’s place for the night and, while relating my refrigerator woes, Mom wondered if I could do without refrigeration “like the old days.” She then mentioned something I’d never heard of—something called a spring house. Apparently these were little block houses built over the top of cold water springs so that the cold water would cool the air inside. Sort of a natural refrigerator.

I didn’t think anything about this until I got a text from Mom last night saying that yesterday’s photo was of a spring house. Isn’t that weird? I had no clue that’s what the thing was—I’d never seen one before. I just thought “that odd little shed” would make a cool photo.

Sometimes these odds-defying, ongoing coincidences aren’t really about luck so much as a little nudges. Little weird reminders, as if My Beloved is leaning into my ear and whispering, “I’m here Wayne. I’m always here.

Lucky In Tuskegee

On a Backroad in Alabama

On a Backroad in Alabama

TUSKEGEE NF, AL — #VanDwelling #MiracleLog #BATGAP

March 26, 2015 11:26 AM

I’ve just set up camp (read: “parked”) in the Tuskegee National Forest of Alabama, where I hope to settle down for the weekend and get some writing done (as well as finish up the interview materials for BATGAP).

When camping in forests, I like to arrive earlier in the week to find a good site (solitude, nature, internet, sun). Seasoned campers know this arrive-early-and-stake-a-claim strategy well, so I was surprised—it being a Thursday with a nice weekend in the forecast—to find no one else in these woods.

A number of people have told me that I’m one of the luckiest men they know. I usually reply, “The less there is of you, the more there is of Her… and the more there is of Her, the luckier your life will become.”

But maybe Meister Eckhart said it best:

Whoever desires to be given everything, must first give everything away.

Talking Points

Portrait In Purple

Portrait In Purple

COHEELEE CREEK CG, GA — #LivingIt #BATGAP

March 24, 2015 4:04 PM

For the BATGAP interview, they’d like some “preparation material” that might make good discussion topics for the interview. Since most of my stuff is on the blogs, I’ll probably just point them to posts I’ve done.

Besides the About Me page (which has much of this), I think I’ll pass on the following:

Note to blog readers: I think I’ve covered most everything, but if you have any other suggestions or ideas you’d like to see, please post them in the comments below. Thanks!

The Dangers Below

Boulders Unseen. Dangers Unknown.

Boulders Unseen. Dangers Unknown.

FLINT RIVER OUTSIDE NEWTON, GA — #LivingIt #Emptiness #MiracleLog #FourthWall

March 23, 2015 1:03 PM

He asked me if I was fishing.

“No, I don’t fish,” I replied, “Just hanging out, having some lunch.”

He told me this whole area use to be state land, but now this boat ramp was all that was left of it. He pointed across the river and explained there were huge boulders lying just below the surface over there. He doesn’t launch his boat here anymore because of those damn boulders. He explained how he has a stainless steel prop and if you were to hit one of those rocks, rather than bend a blade, it would tear up your engine and the whole back of your boat. I nodded silently, not because I knew any of this, but because I’m always grateful when She talks to me through strangers…

The mind says, “Get a stainless steel prop. It’s tough, doesn’t rust or tarnish and is maintenance free. It’s great!”

But when this thought—this theory—is applied, well, then the theory doesn’t always hold up to Reality.

Earlier this morning, as I was driving down the rural backroads of Southern Georgia, I came across a wonderful sign:

What difference does it make which church you stay home from?

That’s really the gist of what sets the Mystic apart from the philosophers, isn’t it? The key difference between the Mystic and the nondualists who only focus on the Emptiness quality. The Mystic knows that in order to truly understand something, you’ve got to throw yourself into the fray. To not just talk about it, not just think and theorize and pontificate about it, but to dive in—consequences be damned—and live it.

To be a Mystic—to walk the talk—means you very well might hit a boulder and rip out the transom of your boat. But hidden among those dark and dangerous boulders are where the big fish lay—submerged secrets that the philosophers standing on the shore have no access to—and all the thinking and theorizing and excuses in the world won’t land a single one of them.

It’s easy to talk about this stuff, but not so easy to do.

The smart have their books. The wise have their scars.

The Challenges of Living It

Door and Fence

Door and Fence

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL — #LivingIt #MiracleLog #BATGAP

March 22, 2015 7:59 AM

Last night, I perused some of the Buddha at the Gas Pump interviews. In one, Rick mentions how most teachers are descriptive rather than prescriptive (theory versus application).

Synchronistically (of course), the following appeared in my news feed this morning:

All the time we spend inventing reasons is probably better spent responding to what occurs.
Seth Godin

So much of what nondual teachers utter is theoretical (“inventing reasons”). I hope I don’t come across that way.

Granted, I’m full of theories, but I hope this diary provides transparent, real world examples of something far more important—far more practicalThe challenges of living in harmony with your spiritual beliefs (“responding to what occurs”).

Northwest It Is Then

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL — #VanDwelling #Emptiness

March 21, 2015 6:41 PM

I said my goodbyes to my folks, hopped in the van and followed US 1 north. I drove farther than I like, over 200 miles, but I wanted to escape the heat that’s been dogging me lately (and my refrigerator and thus my batteries).

As I drove, I monitored my inner peace level and how dramatically it would swing in respect to my surroundings: An inspirational song would leave me feeling deeply connected to TaoGodHer, while an aggressive and obnoxious city driver would awaken an almost animalistic anger.

This simple exercise seemed to offer an answer to something that’s been gnawing at me lately: Once out of Florida, should I head northeast or northwest?

Our surroundings have a powerful effect on our emotional state of being. Though I’d like to explore some parts of the northeast further, my past experiences have often left me frustrated. Frustration is useful for helping spiritual seekers learn to see their thoughts and emotions (dis-identify with them), but I haven’t experienced thoughts or emotions as me for a long time (they often contract me, but they aren’t me).

No. What I’m yearning for is Peace… some peaceful and pleasant places conducive to writing.

Northwest it is then.