Is SHE Participating In This?

Two Trees Most Distant

Two Trees Most Distant

A PULL-OFF OUTSIDE OF HUTCHINSON, KS — #LivingIt #VanDwelling #Surrender

April 13, 2015 11:16 AM

I said my goodbyes to Michelle yesterday and drove off. As I drove, for the first time in my nomadic life I felt lonely. I have often felt alone—cherishing the solitude—but never lonely.

It’s so rare to find someone who understands you. It’s even rarer when you’re a Mystic. As I said goodbye, I hoped I’d see Michelle again someday. But the truth is I simply don’t know.

… … Read more…

The Power of Regret

Shooting The Breeze

Shooting The Breeze

WHITE RANCH CONSERVATION AREA, MO — #VanDwelling #Writing #Death #Intimate #Remember

April 5, 2015 2:41 PM

It was a pretty camp—lush grass, a clear river, trees fully in bloom—but it looked like rain and it looked like this area floods and it was Missouri after all, so I moved on. Cavalier about my life or not, I wasn’t born with a stupid brain and I knew it wouldn’t allow me to sleep through the night. … Read more…

When I Try, I Fail

De Soto Falls (Revisited?)

De Soto Falls (Revisited?)

TN-AL BORDER — #VanDwelling #Surrender

April 1, 2015 3:39 PM

Why am I looking for water? I don’t need any. I’ve got a good 8-9 gallons left. And yet it’s on my mind: Fill my water containers. Does this gas station have water? Does this park?

Of course, in my quest to find drinking water, everywhere I looked I failed. I was trying to find drinking water, so of course I couldn’t actually find any.

I’ve got a third jerry can filled and stored under the bed, I’m just too lazy to pull it out. It’s easier to fill the two that I keep by the back doors than to dig out that one…

Damn it, now I have to go dig out that one because I’m thinking the same thing you’re thinking: That the third jug is empty.

In Resurrecting Jesus, Adyashanti mentions how, after the spiritual seeker wakes up, they are often confronted with a series of trials—trials they will fail if they continue to act from their old self—their personal self—rather than from their newly awakened “Eternal-I” Self.

I don’t think the Trials ever go away. Fear sucks and is stupid and is no way to go about living life—and the Trials act as an excellent reminder of this. You try… you fail.

Water will appear when I need it. It always does.

Same with camps—with finding a place to sleep. Even though I still put more thought into the “Where will I sleep tonight?” question than I’d like, I’ve always found a place to sleep. Take today for instance…

After lunch, I said my goodbye’s to Doug and Dakota, hopped in the van and headed northward. Not finding water in two places that my mind was sure would have water, I said, “Screw it, maybe they don’t have free drinking water in Alabama,” and took that as a sign to head to Tennessee. Which I did.

And along the way, right near the road, I found this pleasant little open spot in the woods without even trying.

When I try, I fail.

Eventually, me-of-little-faith, I’ll learn that lesson.

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.

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.

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.

US 1

2pm Traffic in Downtown Miami

2pm Traffic in Downtown Miami

VERO BEACH, FL — #VanDwelling #Surrender

March 20, 2015 1:19 PM

For the most part, I’ve been following US 1 northward toward my folks place in Melbourne. A lot of South Florida—particularly the “renovated” sections (read: homogenized) looks pretty much like every other place in South Florida.

US 1 is the exception though. From skyscrapers to clapboard houses, it probably has the most character of any South Florida road.

Lots of traffic though. Too much for my taste. When stuck in traffic, it’s easy for frustration to grab ahold, so I try to keep my attention on the Present Moment and use my eyes like the lens of a camera—taking mental photos while the horns blare and tempers rise.