Taking advantage of the time between relationships.

It’s common knowledge in many circles that after breaking up from a significant relationship, it’s good to take some time before jumping into another one.

Even though this is true, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. After having lived with someone for a period of time — even if there was lots of conflict, it can be hard to be alone. Some people, when they’re involved in an intimate relationship, don’t nurture their other friendships, so they don’t have a lot of people to talk to and support them once their partner is gone. If you’re the type of person who’s habit is to quickly find a new partner or do a lot of dating after a break up, it will seem natural to want to do that once your partner is gone. Feeling someone being attracted to you can be very alluring — especially if your self-esteem has been battered through the latter stages of a terminal relationship!
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Posted by on March 2nd, 2017 No Comments

Meeting the Divine Feminine

A man over 50 asked me recently:
“How do I be strong in my relationship? How do I move from a place of ‘helping’ or enabling (based in a long-standing pattern of fear of abandonment) to more of a position of strength, equality and differentiation?”

I shared with him some of the elements of the old European Myth “The Firebird” as elucidated by Michael Meade. Parts of this story pertain to the encounter with the Divine Feminine and I told him that I think that is important work for men to do as they sort out how to approach their woman in a more mature way. How do men do the work of encountering their Inner Feminine?
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Posted by on October 21st, 2016 No Comments

Training the Mind for Shadow Work

I have spoken many times over the years about the importance of doing basic concentration work with the mind. Meditation on the breath, which is taught on Vipassana (Insight) retreats, is great for honing the attention and turning it into a tool that can be used for doing consciousness work.

When I was first doing Vipassana retreats, the primary instruction was simply to continually bring the attention back to the breath when it would wander. Out of this focus and the quieting of the mind that would come out of it, sometimes big insights would emerge about the nature of the Self, about impermanence and the interconnectedness of all things. What I am finding now, in my counseling work with clients, is that the ability to bring this focus is extremely valuable as an adjunct when we’re doing Shadow work./ Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on May 13th, 2014 No Comments

Slow Down!

Slow Down!

Why are you in such a hurry?

Where are you going that’s so important???

Don’t you know that most of that frenetic, anxious movement is just habit,

Conditioned by this ragged, wobbling world?

No, I’m serious, slow down!!!

This is some serious shit.

If you don’t slow down, you might miss something really important-

Like your God-given Soul, hurrying to catch up with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on September 4th, 2013 No Comments

Coming back from Mendocino

20 inner-city youth, 30 and younger
and a bunch of old white guys
trying to cross the chasm of generation, class and color
generally impossible to get all these men in a room together
much less talk about the wounds, bring the rage and the tears.

But we had a master ritualist, storyteller, shamen, and his helpers;
Michael Meade spinning stories, teaching West-African songs
That we sang full throated!-and as the week progressed the harmonies came
We raised the roof on that place!
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Posted by on August 26th, 2013 No Comments

Getting Bigger

…When a person becomes truly big, they can learn to bow to something other than simple self-interest and can serve something beyond themselves. Humanity, if it awakens more fully to the creative ancestral prototype that sleeps within, can act contra naturum and go against blind needs and unconscious, selfish greed. Humanity remains capable of bending to the earth again and learning to assist the little fish of creation to find some refuge and ways to survive the great changes already underway.—Michael Meade

Meade approaches this “biggering” process in a different way than the Buddhists:
He speaks about tapping into mythological realms that are accessible through the deep psyche and are akin to Transpersonal Psychology’s Archtypal realms. He states that there are certain prototypes that live within each one of us, that can inform us how to manage the rising seas of chaos that surround us today. If we can connect with this realm, which can occur through our dreams, depth psychology or hearing a good story around a campfire, we can access the unique gift that we took birth to re-discover and bring out into the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on July 9th, 2013 No Comments

Ego and Self

Only those convinced by their own dreams can see the hidden designs behind the troubles of the world. To the common eye, Noah looked particularly foolish. Yet he would have been foolish in a worse way had he refused the inner project. Who can explain this to those whose eyes have not yet opened to their own inward seas?
-Michael Meade “The World Behind the World”

I asked a friend of mine recently what she meant when she said she was working hard to keep the ego out of the art she makes. “What do you mean by ego?” I asked. “I find that ego shows up in various ways in my life and some of them are useful and some of them are certainly not”.

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Posted by on July 9th, 2013 No Comments

Scrotal and Phallic Power in Men

This post is inspired by two essays by Michael Meade and Michael Ventura from the late 80’s.

The Ventura piece is entitled “Notes on three erections” and is from a wonderful compilation  called “Shadow Dancing in the USA”.

Scrotal power rests in the present, in the recognition of the continuation of all things, and the celebration of that.  It brings forth nurturing and maintenance of those things we have created, our identity with Gaia, our connection with planting and the harvest, with the animals and the offering of their lives for life to go on.  With Scrotal power we nurture our families, our community and gestate visions of harmonious worlds, stemming from our connection with history and all-that-is.

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Posted by on January 1st, 2013 1 Comment

Making changes

I’ve been running men’s groups in Portland for a few years now and as we progress, I come to see more and more the importance of spiritual practice.

The theme of my groups is “Pushing our Edges” and those edges can be in the realm of relationship, work, creative endeavors, or intra-psychic processes (dealing with mood swings, anxiety, obsessiveness, etc).  We all generally live within our edges, the boundaries that are comfortable to the ego.  And many of us also have a desire to move beyond those edges and to have a bigger life.  I have found that the best way to move those perimeters out is to make a practice of it, and  to come at it with similar attitude that you would with any spiritual practice.

The first step is to get very clear what about what it is you want to change.  The second is to determine what you want the new behavior to be.  The third is, with consistency and kindness for self, to start to practice the new behavior.

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Posted by on June 14th, 2012 No Comments

Growing where you’re planted

Growing where you’re planted means just that.  You use the situation you find yourself in as the growing matter for your own unfolding.  The Buddhist image of the Lotus is so powerful because it bespeaks a flower who’s roots are in the mud but that rises through the water and blooms in the light of consciousness.  This is a great way to think about our own lives and our own journeys. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on May 21st, 2012 No Comments