Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Image

Have you ever felt like this guy? Edvard Munch’s famous “the Scream”? (Or one of its many versions, I should say.) Well I have. And today I’m thinking about what I do when I’m feeling torn, confused, or don’t have enough information to make a decision. When any of these things are raging within me I’ve found the very best thing to do is — nothing.

That’s it. When in doubt, just sit tight, and let a little time slide by. Whenever I’ve done this I’m always amazed at how things have a way of sorting themselves out. Or, a person comes along with a perfect suggestion, or I hear a snippet of crucial information that makes everything just jell, fall into place, and voila! the answer I’ve been looking for is — right there, before me.

I wanted to share this because that’s the way I’m feeling today. I’ve just finished my big project, the book I’ve been telling everyone about is finally done! Now I’m a little hesitant about which next step, which direction is best, in how to present it to the public. I thought I knew what I’d do a couple months ago. But unexpectedly, a New and Wonderful Opportunity came along, and suddenly … I’m waiting for someone else’s decision to be made known to me, regarding publishing with a “legitimate” publishing house as opposed to Self Publishing, what I’d thought before was my best choice.

I’m a big one about “following my gut” and my instincts now tell me that what I originally thought was best for me, best for the book to find its audience — ain’t such a hot idea anymore. So, while I’m reconsidering my options (of which there are many, thank goodness!) I’m going to chill. Take walks. Do yoga. Go swimming. Hang with friends. Bake cookies, clear my desk, paint some pictures, and prepare my lovely garden for this upcoming season’s new growth. Here in Florida we’re having such a mild winter I can work in shorts and barefoot, and start doing things the rest of the US can’t do for months yet, spring-cleanup-wise.

And isn’t that what our individuals lives are like? Our own private gardens. We get to choose what we’re going to plant in them, or not; and we get to choose how well we tend our plants — or not. So today I’m going to not worry about the fruits of my garden. Right now I’m going to enjoy what’s available in my larder and not worry about what the future might bring. Meanwhile, maybe the shape of a cloud that passes by will send me a message and whisper in my ear, “oh yeah, about that dilemma you’re pondering … well here’s what to do ….”

ha ha! Nature is a great source of inspiration, always. I think I’ll take a walk on the beach today.

lots of love to everyone from your pal, LordFlea

Image

Traveling in paradise, literally, because Costa Rica is not only a beautiful jungle dream land but also a country that has no army, so therefore all its resources, economic and humanitarian, are devoted to making life better for all its citizens and the entire world. Their motto is “Pura Vida”—pure life—and that is what it feels like being here. Decades ago the government decided to concentrate on eco-tourism instead of other industries, so many people are here interested in Nature, and that´s just great! These are the kinds of people I like to be around, those who think of the Earth as part of their own lives, not separate, not different from their humanness. Yes, here in Costa Rica you feel the Earth is alive!!!  i´ll post whenever i can get to an internet cafe. love and light from Lordflea

We are One with All

We are One with All

In many cultures the belief is firmly established (recorded first by ancient Eastern mystics in 1000-400 BCE yogic scriptures: the Vedas, the Upanishads; as well as core to the oral tradition of Native American beliefs and other indigenous People throughout the world) that all things in existence—everything, without exception—are Interconnected.

The brain cancer my friend has is no “accident.” No dis-ease, any good or bad occurrence for that matter, is an accident, but rather the direct response, or consequence, of invisible forces at work. In the case of cancer it could be defective, inherited genes, or—as I suspect is true in my friend’s use of the toxic process she unwisely chose to make her astounding woven copper sculpture—the horrific results of one’s own actions. Or another’s action, or lack of, upon us. Certainly we all know stories of how people fall deathly ill from society’s lack: Chernobyl, for instance; Love Canal, another; the list goes on sadly, ad infinitum.

We do have the ability to reverse ill effects inherited from defective genes as well as we can choose to be smart, and more aware of how to take precautions about the ills spuming from our toxic world. The Wise Ones have always shown us how we can burn off bad karma by doing good deeds (performing tapasya, as described in yogic scriptures) or making amends. However, the process must begin with awareness. Nothing changes unless we, each one of us, decides to Wake Up!

In other words, we can transform bad things into being catalysts for good things by awakening to a higher understanding, by committing to acting more consciously, more aware, instead of closing our minds and our hearts to life’s infinite possibilities all around us.

Only when we’re closed to the possibilities of change do we succumb to negative forces like fear, depression, dis-ease, anger, judgment, and other distraught, nonproductive states.

Whether my friend Maya will be able to overcome the challenge of her terminally diagnosed illness or not, remains to be seen. Many of us working with the concept of choosing to perceive life as a spiritual journey, not just a worldly, physical and intellectual one, we firmly believe in the impossible happening: miracles if you will, happen in even the most dire of circumstances. Wouldn’t you want to believe in a miracle, if faced with the terminal diagnosis Maya does?

What has already been done can be used to create new and better possibilities. We can choose to work hard to balance negatives with positives. Look to Nature as proof positive of how perfectly the world mirrors the cause and effect of positive versus negative actions. Tsunamis and earthquakes kill and plunder, yet they create space for renewal and regeneration in every instance. The evolution of the world’s countless species, scientists tell us, happens by adapting to conditions that are harsh, deadly, toxic. Without change, everything faces extinction, even hope.

Nothing ends. Everything keeps evolving, recycling, metamorphing.

Nature balances Herself. This occurs time and again. Storms. Droughts, Floods. Wild Fires. Ice Ages. Plagues. Species’ Extinction or Evolution. All these headline events are completely natural happenings of Nature’s cyclic patterns. Spurts of growth, overpopulation, human-produced pollution—similar age-old, manmade patterns that result in equally devastating cycles that mirror Nature’s own.

Cycles of life are constantly in motion. Birth, Life on Earth, Death. The part in between Death-and-Life we don’t know too much about—yet. Even if you believe in an afterlife, whether you trust or fear you’re heading for heaven or hell, these concepts I share here will greatly enhance your current happiness factor in spite of, or in addition to, your preferred beliefs. Religion is not being discussed here; spiritualizing the planet is. It’s that simple.

What I wish to share is offered as a proven, tested belief system. All ideas I write about are supported by personal experiences, both mine and others beside me, who help to light the path-of-the-seeker. Many of us choose to set out on our own personal quests to answer life’s big questions. I believe life is filled with magical, mysterious happenings—right here on Earth, in this country, this town, this street, this house where I live, at this desk from where I’m writing. I believe in unlimited possibilities starting with wherever we are, right now.

While reading these words, please try to approach these concepts from another angle than you ordinarily allow your beliefs to roam. Why not? What have you got to lose by trying on some new way of thinking? It’s as easy as experimenting with a new style of clothing that just might spark up your self-image and bring heretofore unknown joy to your life.

the flip side of Taking Action outwardly: Going Within, Waking Up!

the flip side of Taking Action outwardly: Going Within, Waking Up!

(this is the 2nd installment of a continuous series “Maya’s Book of Change” that begins with July 7, ’11 post “As We Think … So We Are”)

drawings, scanned 11.08

Hi friends … Just back from a week of hiking, biking, playing music, swimming rivers (everything–but blogging! no email either! no TV, no news!), making new and hanging with old friends in Moab, Utah! What a great treat, and i’ll upload my pics asap, but for now, take my WORD for it–this is my song of “what a glorious planet we have.” How blessed are we, anyway, here in America? We have such diversity in our land, our people, and the sense of freedom, expansiveness is so impressive to me whenever I travel anywhere in our great country.

from our cities, filled with excitement and intrigue...always exciting!

from our cities, filled with excitement and intrigue...always tantalizing!

to the most inaccessible wilderness … our great country is magnificent!

nature fills me with awe, and ... understanding of so much ...

nature fills me with awe, and ... understanding of so much ...

Of course so much happened on our travels: my consort Carter and I met new friends that touched our hearts and made us sing—literally and figuratively. And we were blessed to have been invited by a dear friend, Dori the incredible acupuncturist from St. Augustine, and her Pan-like dad, Senor Frog (who brings “non-competitive” sports to the world, more of that later)—two of the most heart-centered creatures you can imagine, which no fiction could ever reproduce. People, combined with Nature: ahhh, now that’s magic! Throw in a little drummin’, a little flute, some cool clear water — ahhhhhhh, that’s a hug of the heart!

Good times, Good people, Good Earth! Let's make sure to thank Mother for giving us a Great Playground and a Bounteous Garden in which to thrive! Thanks, Mother Earth, we Love YOU

Good times, Good people, Good Earth! Let's make sure to thank Mother for giving us a Great Playground and a Bounteous Garden in which to thrive! Thanks, Mother Earth, we Love YOU

 You can tell I’m not a fanatic blogger, you probably have already noticed. I care not about “current events.” What concerns this blogger is the song of Oneness, and that Alone, which happens eternally, and in every moment of the present, the here and now. The “need” to share is not an obsession for lordflea, but a gift from the heart, this heart to yours.

Our Hearts Connected---energized, in Love and Light

Our Hearts Connected---energized, in Love and Light

I’ll be traveling for the next couple weeks, but will post when I can, and hopefully, get some recent snaps up as well. Until next time, be well, and please remember to be aware of the many gifts we all are blessed with each day, in so many ways—even those times we call “hard times,” the difficulties, the tight economics  . . . . they are blessings in disguise. Trust.

T-tolerance (of all, including worldwide situations, not just your little bro)

R-respect (for Self, and yoh-Self)

U-universal (we are all ONE)

S-Spiritualize your LIFE—otherwise you’ll be hurting more!

T-come to the “T” in the road, your life, and make the right choice—go with your Heart! follow the BLISS.

trust your Inner Voice...go with Love, not fear

trust your Inner Voice...go with Love, not fear

in the Light, your pal lordflea

Hi friend,

equipoise, a term used to denote being in balance, also called "the middle way" in buddhism, or serenity, or ... peace. not too much this, not too much that; perfectly with earth, air, water, and fire. om shanti shanti shanti

"equipoise," a yogic term used to denote being in balance, also called "the middle way" in buddhism, or "serenity," or ... peace, contentment, and other words. equipoise is an inner state achieved by learning to not respond to too much this, too much that; to be perfectly aligned with Nature and Her elements: earth, air, water, and fire. om shanti shanti shanti

a new friend came into my life on saturday night, when we had a satsang at our house. “satsang” is a sanskrit term for “being in company of Truth.” it is what you call the time when seekers of all sorts get together purposefully for the opportunity to be as One, to honor the Inner Self, to honor the teachers, disseminate the teachers’ and scriptural wisdom, and to do things like chant, contemplate great words, and meditate, and…to socialize with like-minded individuals. we had cake (someone’s birthday! happy leos! and herb tea afterwards.)

this new friend of mine grows herbs. she knew i was a fan of nature because in our emailing back and forth preceding the satsang, i mentioned my love of ripping out lawns (which i do wherever i can) and replanting them with zero-scape (or is it xeroscape?) gardens, designed free-style with meandering paths, little areas of interests, and as much rock-work and sculpture as i can possibly fit into the space. i’ve done lots of this kind of arting-with-earth-moving-and-painting-with-living plants creation, in both cities and in rural areas.

in an email to her i mentioned how i’ve been trying to germinate “tulsi,” a variety of basil, which is considered both medicinal and sacred in India, where it’s from. so when Dora the herb lady (her business is www.maggiesherbfarm.com ) came to satsang, she brought bunches of cut neem, and…magic of all magic, a tulsi plant!

the neem was especially interesting to me, as i’ve been staring at a jar of neem oil, afraid to use it, timid to try something so foreignly sticky and yukky smelling, and generally being the kind of slouch and narrow-minded fool that i often ridicule. so isn’t it perfect, me thinks to meself, that Dora has brought me some neem as a gift.

nature's gifts...worn as jewelry, cool necklace, eh?

nature's gifts worn as jewelry; cool necklace, eh?

plants are truly gifts from the gods. how often has mankind been rewarded, even “saved” by a natural plant or mineral? a cure for leprosy; the fungus growing on bread that became penicillin; barley and hops that became mankind’s favorite intoxicant: mead then beer; juniper berries in gin; little unopened flowers that are capers; and let’s not forget all the great cures of cancer, AIDS and every other disease that is sure to be contained in the “right plant”…when the scientists discover them. 

a little treat for you, on this thought:

through the gate of seeking, all Truth is found. this is a work by my friend, tomas sanchez, of costa rica. his work is filled with the kind of exciting, gorgeous discoveries that make being alive so magical as i feel, as tomas does too. and you? we hope so; if not, keep looking deeper into this painting. you will find the invitation to discover what you need, right there, in the Light.

through the gate of seeking, all Truth is found. this is a work by my friend, tomas sanchez, of costa rica. his work is filled with the kind of exciting, gorgeous discoveries that make being alive so magical as i feel, as tomas does too. and you? we hope so; if not, keep looking deeper into this painting. you will find the invitation to discover what you need, right there, in the Light.

 

…so…what is neem, you ask.

www.neemfoundation.org

it is a deep-green, delicated-leaved tree used for any type of ailment besieging a plant grower or gardener. writing this, i’m working up to trying an infusion of its leaves on an infestation of white flies attacking my young papaya trees. i’ll also be glad to share my other stash (a jar of neem oil from Dyna-Gro) with my friend, Isabel, who has an epidemic of microscopic black flies (or is it scale?) attacking hers. i’ll put some of this neem oil into my sprayer, diluted with water and liquid dish soap (1 tsp. per gal) and spray it on early in morning or late in afternoon. meanwhile, i’m cooking up the leaves of the neem branches that Dora brought, to make my own brew. the leftover naked woody stems i’ve put in a pot of water with the prospect of their sending out roots and then, voila! i’ll have little neem trees of my own to plant in my St. Augustine, Florida garden.  

when i kill lawns i always plant as many native species of “wild grass” from the area, and as many big timber species of bamboo as i can fit into a property.

lord flea with a giant timber bamboo, in costa rica

lord flea with a giant timber bamboo, in costa rica

here, at the garden i’m creating at our new home (which I’ve named “Veritas Shambho”…veritas is latin for “the Truth” and shambho, sanskrit for “the abode of bliss”), i’ve planted over 7 different clumping species (old hamii, minor amoenus, buddha belly, dragon’s nest, etc.), and wow, this place will look like that fighting scene from “Crouching Tiger” in just a few years. be sure to always plant clumpers, not spreaders, for those of you who are thinking of going natural, and planting bamboo. BIG difference. you will regret it if you accidentally plant a bamboo that spreads, rather than clumps. so be careful.

the conundrum of plants

the conundrum of plants

which brings me to the thought of how nature is so well balanced, so much in fact that if we could just learn how to live from observing nature, how much happier, healthier, and prosperous we’d all be.

years ago i drew this illustration for Tim Plowman, a great botanist who succumbed early on to the AIDS pandemic. but before timoteo left us he studied the use of, spread of, and in general, good effects humanity has derived from the plant known as coca.

coca erythroxylum, the bush that has caused such havoc when humans distill its alkaloid, "cocaine" but which also has great beneficial qualities, known to the ancients and to modern dwellers of the high Andes and Altiplano of South America
coca erythroxylum, the bush that has caused such havoc when humans distill its alkaloid, “cocaine” but which also has great beneficial qualities, known to the ancients and to modern dwellers of the high Andes and Altiplano of South America

it has occurred to me on several occasions, about the mystery of how nature has encrypted both a blessing and a curse in each of her byproducts. certainly, the human species is the best example of that, as we can be either the very best example of cosmic consciousness or…the very most slug-minded beast who slaves at dispersing evil and dismay for him/her-self and others.

but with coca, mother nature has outwitted us brainy humans by implanting in this particularly favored of her plant-children, many remarkable attributes, attesting for its being one of the great plants that both boosts the human experience, and seriously challenges it.

the delicate tropical bush named coca erythroxylum is still cultivated for its unique flavor (and exported to Coca Cola factories throughout the world, minus the alkaloid cocaine which is distilled from the leaf in its native growing countries of Peru, Bolivia, Columbia); used still for its medicinal qualities by indigenous and acculturated people throughout the Andes, for warding off everything from altitude sickness, stomach ailments, to a child’s misbehavior, and even malnutrition. best known, though, is coca’s malicious, much maligned cousin, the alkaloid cocaine, which is familiar to plain old recreational drug users everywhere, for an energized thrill-seeking high preferred by those seeking to escape so-called reality (coke users, crack-heads, and their danger-loving drug-dealing suppliers).

when Nature bestowed on us earth dwellers the plant coca, She intended for the plant to be worshipped as a Goddess. the ancient Incans did so, and all was well. the ancient Incans used the plant sparingly, to fuel themselves on long treks through the mountains where taking food and water would be difficult, if not impossible. every Incan who was mummified has been found with his/her coca pouch for their trek to the Great Hereafter, as they believed chewing coca made them more in touch with the divine.

even modern-day descendants of the Incans have lost the divine connection to Mama Coca. to this day, the indigenous Kogi people of Columbia still chew (although, to my mind, way too excessively), but certainly more than any westerner i ever met either snorts, smokes or swallows drugs, chews gum or smokes cigarettes, for these so-called “pure” indigenous people to be labeled anything other than intoxicated. certainly these guys don’t need to so addictively be poking their sticks into their lime gourds, constantly constantly constantly activating the alkaloid in the leaves as they habitually do. whereas the other Altiplano indigenous people, for instance, the Ayamarra in Bolivia, just let their coca wads set and trickle their juices in their puffed-out cheeks, adding the lime activater (a catalyst substance, like ground-up seashell, or fire ash) to the cheek wad only occasionally.

truly, the world is witnessing the degradation and murdurous violence, the downgrading of humanity through the spread of drug use, and cocaine is one of the strongest, most addictive, next to heroin. within all so-called “beneficial” plants Nature has, in the balance of existence She is, activated the “encoded” curse within everything. with coca it goes something like this (lord flea sings!):

when the spaniards came to invade the new world, they wiped out the indigenous people, the Incans, calling them heathens and savages. they didn’t honor the gods of the Incans. they didn’t recognize Mama Coca, and called Her, instead, a false god. the spaniards wanted the savages to stop chewing Her coca leaves, to stop revering Mama Coca. but the native people did not, and thus, they were eradicated. now…centuries later…the conquerors, those descended from the spaniards, the english, the dutch, etc. have themselves come under the evil scourge of what coca does when it’s been altered by “human distillation” … in the form of cocaine. people everywhere are suffering from the prevalence of cocaine. gone are the days when coca was considered a valuable medicine, when Coca Cola had it in their drink (the alkaloid addition halted after narcotics were regulated by Federal Law in 1927, but the distinguishing extracted flavor of coca still is used). gone are the elixirs, the coca-laced wines and other coca-enhanced pick-me-uppers, the refreshing, nourishing potions sold everywhere after the discovery of coca in the new world.

now the world thinks of “coca” and (if they don’t confuse it with cacao, the tree that is the source of chocolate) they think of drug-addled crazies. This is the way Nature, or i should say, Mother Nature, our Mother Earth, our dear Planet, beloved Gaia, has encoded into all her being-ness her all-knowing, always sensing, self-protecting feature, in each and every one of her cells of existence. Including you, all other humans, and me.

In other words: addiction to cocaine is Mother Nature’s way of getting back on the guys, the so-called “civilized conquerors” who wiped out the Incans, just because they were different than they were. Heed this warning, all good people of the Earth. Mother Nature always balances the scales when there are injustices against any part of herself.

We are One.

the dance ... We are One

the dance ... We are One

we cannot hurt one part of Her without another part of Her hurting us. this is the law of cause and effect: of Mother Earth’s Mystery, the balancing act of Nature. 

so…i boil my neem leaves and prepare to make my own insect-killer, bacteria-negater, infestation-preventing potion: not by buying the latest chemical (which might do ME in by accident…it happens!) but by finding out what Nature has given us to counteract negatives. There is always a positive out there, to balance out the negative.

oh, and did i mention i’m suffering from poison ivy this week? jewelweed, the natural antidote for poison ivy (rhus toxicedron) doesn’t grow around here, in northern Florida. but i found a good poison-ivy soap from www.Burtsbees.com  that contains jewelweed, and also other good things from our Mother.

here’s another of my early botanical works for you. this study done for Tom E. Lockwood’s dissertation on Brugmansia (Harvard University, 1968). brugmansia is the tree form of datura, which is popularly called Devil’s Weed, Angel’s Trumpet, and many other weird, counter-indicating names that don’t make much sense, except they are quite sensational, as the plant is.

enjoy the moment, yours in singing Truth, lord flea

brugmansia sanguinea

brugmansia sanguinea

ps. if you want to know more about “Plants of the Gods” check out that eponymously named book by Schultes, Hofmann and Ratsch, Healing Arts Press.