How to practice discrimination — and then — detach!

Wow, these are BIG topics, aren’t they? But in my experience, with these two spiritual tools in your back pocket, and the confidence to USE them, life is much much easier. Case in point: when conflict arises, if one can discern (another word for discrimination) what is the “correct” choice, the “next right thing to do,” even if that means…really…doing nothing! well, this is a real life asset. And of course, when we get to the place where we are able to discern what it is, what course of action, what choice to make that will make our lives more full, happier, and more pleasureable, the next thing is….to let go! but how? what to do, what to do, when people, places, things, politics, weather, or life … bothers us. Something is always gonna bug us, unless of course (ahem!) one is a saint. unlikely, my friends, unlikely. more like this….

lost in the canyons of life's dilemmas

lost in the canyons of life's dilemmas

in yogic philosphy we call discrimination “viveka” and it is a very essential part of growing along the path that leads to enlightenment. without viveka, we tend to get stuck. So! How do we practice viveka? Well, for me I have learned how by working with what I consider is the greatest spiritual master alive today. Of course each of us has our own preference, as to which path, and what teachings we adhere to. After many years of searching I finally found my teacher, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (more info at who is a meditation teacher, and an adherent of the traditional methods of spiritual attainment as described in the world’s oldest scriptures, the Vedas. Gurumayi, as she’s affectionately called, has taught me that I must “go within” and listen, in order to discern what is right from what is wrong. This practice of going within, meditation, is the best way I know of about how to “determine” whether an action should or shouldn’t be taken, a person is “right” or “wrong” and any other of life’s decisions. Without meditation, on a regular basis, I’d be in real trouble.

going within

going within

Simply put, meditation is the stilling of the outward senses. It’s much easier than most people think. Well, because when you meditate—you don’t think! You pick something to focus on, besides a thought. It could be the sound of the ocean. Or a word (a mantra), or a short phrase (a longer mantra) or a beautifully inspiring mandala, a painting, or a candle. Whatever you choose, just give yourself a peaceful, clean, quiet environment in which to do this meditation.

When we had kids in the house I actually would go into a closet and sit on the floor and place my hands over my head so that my thumbs would conveniently stick into my ears, plugging them up. This is a real meditation position, believe it or not! And quite effective when there is noise around. Of course it’s nice if you live in a serene place. But if not, don’t let that stop you from meditating! Even the sound of sirens and a leaky faucet can disappear when one has learned to concentrate on the “meditation tool” rather than letting outside distractions keep one from “listening to God”…which is what meditation is.

go to your Higher Self

go to your Higher Self

Relax. let your worries go. Empty your mind. Empty your “cup” and let it be filled with the wonders of the Universe!

And then….after some time in quiet meditation, just come back to your daily life, and whatever was bothering you before—let it go! pretend it’s a leaf and you’ve tossed it to the wind, and watch it as it swirls and dives and dips, and….whoosh!….disappears!

This may take some practice. So please don’t be impatient. Just sit quietly for meditation every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. You’ll notice the positive effect on your life immediately, i promise.

you will see that the canyons of life’s challenges, that before used to get you down and depressed, can become avenues of growth and opportunity! it’s all in the way you look at things.

Go within. Listen to Great Spirit whisper in your ear.

in the Light, with much love, lordflea

New Beginnings …. toward a Wholeness

greeetings fair dwellers of the year 2010. We made it! Wonder of Wonder. Miracle and gift of life, the greatest of all great things! So many others aren’t with us to celebrate this new year. I for one am certainly lucky to be here. I dunno ’bout you …. but when I think of how I happen to still be here I can only think it must be for a certain reason. What that reason is we’re still breathing air …. is for each of us to determine our own selves.

the Self

the 3 aspects of Self

when i look in the mirror and say, “So what are YOU here for, lordflea?” I am beset by a challenge. There happens to be many different versions of my own “self.” There is, firstly, my physical self … this body i’m in (depicted in the painting above by the blue half-hidden face, a true likeness of lordflea). Secondly, there is my “ancestral self” which is the accumulation of whom i happen to be, according to the crap shoot thrown when my biological parents created my fish-like womb-being … resulting in my birth nine months later. And lastly, there is my, ahem, True Self, my Higher Self, my essence….the Spirit that dwells within me, depicted by the flesh-colored figure on the left of the image. That side of my Self is naked, serene, and lastingly eternal. Its eyes are closed because the sights to be seen … are inside.

So! When I ask myself, “What ought I do, or am supposed to do this year, or … in my whole life?” I make clear first which part of myself I’m addressing. For me, those of you who are familiar with lordflea’s sharings, i always go for the spiritual juggler. (one friend wrote me: i like the art, but jeez! the way you talk!). Sorry—this is MY blog, i’m allowed to share the deepest, most strange things imaginable, ’cause they’re all mine. That connected-to-all part of mySelf is the only aspect of life that carries any lasting meaning to me. Therefore, not only is the spiritual (mystical, sublime, Unity, Oneness) side of things the topic of my blog, but also the focus of my little ol’ life.

the expectation of Being

the expectation of Being

i look in the mirror and see that same as when I contemplate the gorgeous plants in my garden. Here is one of my tall plantain specimens, taken only a few weeks ago (the fruit is now ripening, and the stalk itself won’t be cut from the plant until several more weeks….aren’t we lucky to live in Florida!). The reflection back from my mirror shows the same familiar face, the same eyes, nose, ears, and hair i’ve seen for quite some time now. But … underlying my physical form, i now can connect to what i am, in Truth. (it’s taken years of practice … but I have learned, thanks to my teacher). Like the blossoms on this plantain, i am a work-in-progress. My “face” is but the outward manifestation of what my years living have achieved … or not. Whether I smile or not, whether i’m pained or ecstatic, whether the muscles surrounding my lips have frozen in fear or been greased by love … are determined by the thoughts i’ve held most closely, and how freely i’ve allowed them to give birth to the actions i take everyday.

The fruits on the tree are my gifts to the world. They keep maturing, as they spiral up the stalk. One day they will hopefully ripen sufficiently where they will provide nourishment to others. But for now, they are still being fed nutrients from within my own Being.

In short, what I am is the accumulation of all i hold most cherished … and it all starts in my mind. Even one thought leads to an action. Whether we’re aware of that or not, it’s true. Today I plant the “thought-seed” of accomplishing the goal I’ve held for myself for quite a while now … to publish and speak to those who wish to hear, to show those who wish to see the images i create that “speak” more than my words ever can.

mother Gaia with her children

mother Gaia with her children

even posting something new for you to read here, at Lordflea Sings, is my gift, and I wish you all a most fruitful, bountiful, and “delicious” new year….may 2010 be the best yet!

from my garden of delights --- to yours!

from my side garden filled with delights (where my yoga shed is, the "santosha shack"). A feast of delights from me --- to you!

I’m busy working on another book, a nonfiction, with a co-author, while my novel is being shown and reviewed by pros. Wish us well, as we’re deeply engrossed in the proposal-writing process, and will have it to an editor in just two weeks! I’ll try to post more on lordflea….but just keep reading deeper into my blog if you like what you see/hear here. there are plenty of things to read…this blog is not about “breaking news!”  or topical interests, even. un huh. It’s about the timeless, ageless Oneness we all RE.

Many great blessings and fulfilling ideas … leading to acts of love, joy and upward evolutionary action for all the world. One last “thought-seed” for us all to think about … and perhaps hold in your mind, so this will one day become reality on planet Earth:

we are ONE

we are ONE

lordflea, your pal

PS. please everyone….if you haven’t already, go see AVATAR….awesome, beautiful, great message, the best movie i’ve seen since Lithium Springs ( ) treat yourself to something superbly magnificent. you deserve it!

ChanGe is only constant in liFe

Hi Friend in Spirit—

i had written a nice juicy post from my iPhone, and — lo and behold — it didn’t work! Instead of being mad or disappointed, i just said, “Well, that’s par for the course. Nothing’s sure except … things change.” And in this case, the “change was losing the post that took a half hour of laborious typing on my phone’s tiny keypad.

After all this time of trying to buck the flow of life, I’m only absolutely, 100% sure of two things:

number One: we create our own realities from the choices we make, and, number Two:  Change is the only constant in Life.

That’s why I honor Spirit instead of: politics, movements, religion, organized anything of any sort. In all my rants and sharings (whichever way you look at my writings here on lordflea) I center on how “things” affect me and all of us who share this whirling blue globe suspended in space. I come from the point of view that we are all spiritual beings having a human existence.

spreading the person at a time

spreading the Light, one person at a time

look at this drawing, for instance.
this week i had computer problems, and had to wipe my hard drive clean, take it absolutely down to scratch-from-factory condition, in order to make it run properly. That means ALL my artwork and saved information, which i had for years  scanned and neatly filed away and was accessible by SIGHT at a mere click of my nifty finger—all that, all my computer’s input, was dumped into an external hard drive that i don’t even know, really, how to operate. SO—-in order to share this drawing with you i went hunting. That’s big-time CHANGE—how to do something I’ve never done! You and I, all of us, we’re faced with that everyday of our lives. Well—i just held my nose (figuratively speaking) and jumped in, just like the first time i wanted to swim in a big dark pond and didn’t know how. I just did it. Took a deep breath and … jumped in. Most times things have worked out pretty well. I haven’t drowned yet. YET.
Oivey! Guess what? Going into the “new” external hard drive was like hunting for a tiny ant in a pitch dark field of sticky prickers. I didn’t know what i was doing. Didn’t know where I was. Couldn’t even tell which drawings matched which “codes” I could only see … there were only numbers and letter instead of names, no “titles” or hints whatsoever of which image was which. YIPES! I felt lost! BUT, instead of being pissed, or blaming the computer, or the geeks who didn’t tell me how to do anything — I decided to trust my fate to an invisible choice.
I would click something at random, in a place where I “thought” maybe, perhaps, sort-of, iffy, okay I had to TRUST that this file MIGHT be a drawing that would relate to what I’m talking about: Change.
So I clicked. And this is the drawing that came into being after clicking. And no, i never knew what it was until it appeared here, before me, just as you see it. And you know what—it’s perfect!!!
Because I’m MOST interested in helping others, as I have, to change —from materialistic ego-centric humanity to Spirit-filled, Spirit-inspired, Spirit-fueled, and Spirit-Trusting beings of Light that we truly are, who are having a human incarnation all together—and for this concept, this belief, this reality that i have created for my own existence (that’s pretty fun, folks!) this illustration is absolutely the ticket to convey
how it works.
Change starts with going to our center. The group in the above drawing sits facing center. In the center, imagine, is Human Knowledge, our Inner Wisdom, also called, “The Light.” Knowledge that is intrinsic to our human natures. It’s encoded in our DNA that’s been passed down to us from the Ancients, our beloved teachers, all the en-LIGHTened Prophets, our various holy scriptures, AND our own life experiences. And then, one by one, we who surround that center, together we sing, we dance, we praise the Light, we spread IT too, and we influence ONE another, and some other person perhaps, and—one person at a time—we change the world. We change from being scared and scurrying humans (like ants in the prickly field) over-populating and over-compensating for each other—we morph, we change, we transform ourselves into an inter-connected family of Man, the family of huManity: accepting each other’s differences. Not trying to control one another. WOW. Think of THAT. One day I woke up and just knew that all my efforts, all my work, my songs, my creations, my energies—are rippling through the waves of diverse choices we all face, and perhaps, maybe, by chance!—one by one, other people will join the song of Oneness we sing on lordflea, and come to realize that WE, together, can make a difference—one person at a time.
Want to see what happens when i go into my new external hard drive and….by chance….try clicking on another “number code”? Hmmm, let’s see how its works this time.
oh yeah, that's US

oh yeah, that's US all right! Beings of Light disguised as humans, some of us claiming our angelic form, others still debating that point

It’s perfect! You’re perfect! I’m perfect:

“We are perfect in our imperfections.” (yogic scripture)

Om purnamidam. Purnasya. Purnamadaya. Om shanti shanti shanti. 

in the Light, lordflea

staying calm in the middle of chaos

from confusion and chaos into the LIGHT

from confusion and chaos into the LIGHT

nature or people--storms happen!
nature or people–storms happen!

the chaos of life can happen at any time.  storms come, sometimes as weather systems-storms, hurricanes or floods; at other times, storms are made up of just plain people with their threats, problems, troubles, illnesses, and neurotic modern-day dysfunctions. storms can surround us, even if we don’t want them to. it may not be our own problems that get us down…it may be others’ that are more challenging than our own. but when we’re surrounded by these life-storms, triggered by people we love, people we know, or just people who are in our lives (at work, at church or temple, at our clubs or groups, social or … while shopping, at the bank, wherever)–we can learn to detach from others’ negative influences.

here’s what i visualize when i’m feeling overwhelmed, surrounded by others’ frenetic energies. it happens, sometimes more than others: feeling caught within the web of life’s myriad life-storms.  we don’t have to let them attack us all. we don’t have to be the victim of others.  but whether we’re prepared for them or not…life-storms come, over and over.

Find the person in this mess, and pretend you are he or she and discover the secret of how i, and millions of others like me, have learned to deal with stress:

in the "I" of the hurricane

in the "I" of the hurricane

how can we possibly DO this? how can one learn to maintain such calm in the middle of life-threatening, happiness-stealing craziness? learn the tools of how to meditate. learn to breathe. learn to focus your mind. learn to avoid negativity and instead, focus on positive. for ME, just me, I have learned to do that most effectively by being a student of a meditation teacher. there are many people who teach meditation these days. i’m sure anyone who wants to learn how to meditate, to calm their minds, can find themselves one. if not, there are many books, and CDs, even DVDs available.

meditation is the key to inner peace … even when one is experiencing extremely stressful situations in their every minute … if you learn to meditate, you can go within to a place of deep peace. and relax.  and breathe.  make space in your crowded mind.  with this psychic tool (meditation) you can handle any of life’s stresses.

i promise.

a few, excellent meditation teachers i recommend are: siddha yoga, a worldwide meditation revolution, with groups meeting in major and off-the-beat cities throughout the USA, and in many countries throughout the world. Swami Chidvilasnanda is the meditation master teacher. many books, tapes, and tools are available in their book store. the Green Mountain Dharma Center, where Thich Nhat Hanh and his students offer wisdom, books, and other meditation aids.

sally kempton ( ) ; chogyam trungpa and pema chodran ( ) ; deepak chopra ( ), and many other buddhist, yogic, and mystical teachers of all paths.

Many teachers, many interpretations: One Path–to the Light.

from chaos and confusion...into the Light

from chaos and confusion...into the Light

remember…if you invest in your own inner peace, you–your Self!–will reap the benefit of your actions. Be at Peace. Go Within. Breathe in the God-Wisdom that resides within your own heart. Let Go, let God (as in Good-Orderly-Direction, “God”).

An important thing to do, and an image to visualize as you strive for staying calm in the middle of chaos, is how I work with this most sacred sound, called the “Seed Mantra”:

the sacred sound of OM

the sacred sound of OM

breathe gently, and empty your mind. it may take a few breaths, a few minutes even, but…your mind will become still if you “command” it to! then, on a gentle out-breath, make the pleasing, resonant sound of OM …. visualize its sound comforting you, engulfing you …  surrounding you … your voice sending out Om-sound-healing vibrations to the world … inviting into your heart healing peace that soothes your aches, pains, sorrows and stresses.

Om may also be used as a silent mantra for meditation.

begin to practice being calm in the middle of life-storms, and watch how your calming energy affects other people. the world needs all the help it can get, with calming peaceful individuals practicing these meditation techniques with regularity. won’t you start today, to help our world heal from the turmoil and intolerance that besieges the human heart? start by visualizing something like this:

sending the Light out to ALL from the core of enlightened humans...join the solution and stop being part of the problem

sending the Light out to ALL from the core of enlightened humans...join the solution and stop being part of the problem

In the Light, lordflea

Being human in habana


view from old habana's la Hotel Sevilla

view from old habana's la Hotel Sevilla

in Cuba we stayed at the Hotel Sevilla, the same hotel as Graham Greene did, where he gathered his hands-on research (lots of rum, hip-swishing women and enough political intrigue for three shelves of books) to subsequently write one: “Our Man in Havana.” Lucky Luciano, the Sicilian-American mobster, also stayed at la Hotel Sevilla, as well as Ernest Hemingway and a slew of other famous extrangeros, including  eco-fable filmmaker Carter and expanding-consciousness-artist as well as our traveling partners who represent a cuban-american humanitarian foundation that sponsored our trip and provided necessary visas from the US Gov’t and permission from Cuban authorities as well; a director of a non-profit fund who graciously invited us to participate in his Cuban endeavors of far-reaching proportions; a friend who’s an urban developer from Boston; a Cuban-American (born in Cuba), and an American (born in Cape Cod, America) who are New York City dealer and artist, respectively, traveling to habana to coordinate a special art event that i’ll share with you soon, on another post. stay tuned for news about

THE Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Habana!

sugar cane juice-making at the old Fort, with Habana in the distance

sugar cane juice-making at the old Fort, with Habana in the distance

of all the many photos and video clips i took while in habana (the cuban spelling is “habana”–in english, haVana) here is an image of what epotomizes the current state of this once-elegant and passionately modern, but now nearly eroded, decrepit city (thanks to no maintenance, just  basic needs met for the last fifty years).  all i can see that castro’s regime has done is substitute the immoral era of cuba’s previous debauchery for the utter LACK OF OPPORTUNITY of cuba’s so-called “revolutionary” era.  to me this revolution is more like a “revert”-olution … back to much LESS-than a civilized human deserves.  the cubans i befriended are sad, hurt to the core, and depressed about there not being any feasible, reasonable, or timely end to their diemma.

shown here is the formerly glorious building called “maravilla”…”the marvelous” … which stands directly opposite the centuries-old Cathedral in la Plaza de Cristo, in once-prosperous Old Habana.  feel the sadness, the despair, the thoroughly hopeless pain of all cubanos (IN and OUT of cuba) in this shot.

the old man and his city

the old man and his city

yes, that IS a tree growing out of the stone facade of this once impressive city dwelling.  its roots are not the only thing tearing apart the very fiber of the crumbling center of this Old-World civilization center.

if something isn’t done quickly about habana…it will be too late to save.  the very infrasturcture of streets, sewers, water pipes, electricity, not to mention ALL old buildings’ exteriors and interiors, are imploding from lack of care.  this city looks like a war zone yet there has been no war (not since argentinian Che, and cuban brothers Raul and Fidel’s violent takeover in 1959).  habana looks like a virtual bomb site, yet nary a bomb has been set off except that which resides in the human collective heart of progress and freedom.  the erosion of the human spirit speaks louder than the salsa music that blasts occasionally in earthquaked-looking streets.  numbness and “being stuck” are the stunned looks reflecting back from people’s faces.

imprisioned spirits

imprisioned spirits

this is a sculpture by yoan capote, a young, incredibly talented cuban who personifies the yearning for freedom that all cuban artists exude.  it is through ART that the true revolution (and hence, EVOLUTION) of the human spirit will, and always has been, enacted by the people.  artists becoming united (underground, first) are what made the berlin wall and the soviet block crumble.  artists, writers, musicians, and ALL modes of creative expression are what will make help cuba open up, and the entire world change also–change from lack to embracing a human being’s potential full-ness.

the angels protecting habana

the angels protecting habana

i’ll be making small posts with news of our trip in the next few days.  meanwhile, i am pondering the future of cuba and how best I can help these dignitifed, soulful people regain a semblance of their famous “Oldest Colony”-pride.  the cuban people want to contribute to modern life and swim back into the flow of healthy living.

all Obama can do, immediately, is lighten up the most recent U.S. restrictions about exiled Cuban-Americans visiting the island (from former yearly visits to once every three years, imposed by Bush in ’04) and sending money to family (restricted by amount and recipient(s) by Bush at same time).  Obama can’t lift the embargo, in place for decades now, a feat which can only be accomplished by an Act of Congress, as the embargo is “Law” and hence, a much longer, much more complicated legal process to undo.  And as we know, Obama has a lot more on his plate besides the tiny island of Cuba. What some of you might NOT know, however, is that the U.S.A. sells over $600 million worth of food to Cuba each year, because food is not covered by the embargo; but all other goods (such as industrial supplies and anything else commercial) are. Without the food sold to cuba by america cubans would be even more hard hit than they are, even though they receive aid from China and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela in substantial amounts, and Europe too, but in lesser amounts.

i can help by blogging.

YOU can help by supporting any humanitarian effort that brings help to cubans still living in cuba. 

lordflea’s blog is a forum for ALL people seeking freedom, for all who wish to embrace the right to voice political, religious, material, or psychological choices. but most especially, here we sing about the right of all humans to experience spiritual freedom.  spiritual freedom being defined (by lordflea) as the sense, the knowledge, and the experience of the connectedness of All, the Oneness of All.

for those who care to find out more about the “meditation revolution” practiced by hundreds of thousands around the globe, who along with buddhists, chrisitans, muslims, jews, and any from the world’s religions who believe that God, Allah, Mohammed, etc. is just “a different name” for The ONE Source of Consciousness, and that all people are representatives of the Oneness of ALL, please investigate the teachings found on 

the collective unconscious--we are ONE

the collective unconscious--we are ONE

carter and i went to habana to participate in a fact-finding, humanitarian mission: delivering medicine to kids with cancer (email address: if you’d like to help the kids with cancer Carmen and Rey so lovingly nurture through their challenges.  we also supported other non-political efforts while we were there. we had opportunities to gather information about the revolution’s effects on the island. we participated in a group that tries to discover ways to inspire the citizens of havana, to help the people there to cling to the hope that rustles still, ever so gently, in the hearts of all cubanos, on or off the island.   even though the breadth of castro’s regime is so thorough, that a person’s voice of freedom cannot be spoken (in public) above a whisper…we heard from citizens wherever we went, with whomever we talked, that cuban people wish, earnestly wish to be free from the tyranny of oppression. they are ready for change. CAMBIO!!! CHANGE!!!

another citizen, an innocent, of habana…

una quinceanera azul

una quinceanera azul

a girl and her family prepares for her “sweet sixteen” party, celebrated at age 15 in latin america. here they are in a church  plaza, readying for their photo shoot.  but–what does the future hold for this young lady?  will she be able to feed herself, her children? will there be a job for her when she’s ready to work?  will she ever even know what is happening outside, in the “real” world, since the government only allows her to see the two state-supported TV stations?  will she ever have access to the internet, as so many in cuba don’t?

i brought a gift for a blogger who was “lying low,” according to the informed friend with whom i spoke. apparently the blogger is being closely watched by castro’s government, and of course, being denied access to the internet to stop blogging. but–i have just discovered that another blog, is able to receive the cuban blogger’s messages, and is posting them translated in English. i send out the white light of protection and guidance to this brave solitary voice, and to all bloggers who dare to speak of freedom even when they can’t speak aloud where they live. the bloggers who get through to the rest of the world, who have courage enough to speak loudly and bravely, cause IMMENSE impact wherever their blogs are read. even amidst the fierce oppression of cuba, the voice of bloggers is slowly going to amount to a cyber-spiritual-revolution.  our combined blessings surround you, y and all bloggers, who risk so much to send your versions of the truth out into the world via the internet.

yoani, she fights with her sword of words

y, she fights with her sword of words

according to rumor fidel is near death; the end of his terrifying reign imminent from colon cancer. what irony, that this revolutionary’s originally noble efforts should backfire so tragically. true, he freed his country from the grip of batiste’s obsession with greed, gambling, and gansters, and i suppose a revolution was the only way to have broken the ironclad fist of debauchery that cocooned habana, yet made the rest of cuba’s people suffer so. but fidel didn’t stay in touch with the needs of his people, once he ousted batiste. without recognizing his people’s lack of freedom, from the overly strict standard imposed by castro’s regime, fidel certainly never acknowledged that his revolution had any tragic consequences, such as the far-reaching suppression and oppression his fellow cubans (on the island) suffer today, instead of the more beneficial lives he wished for them, once upon a time–for ALL his people of cuba. 

what WILL happen when fidel passes?  will the people of cuba find courage to take action and allow more freedom, provide more world-opportunity to its citizens?  can raul fill the intimidating shoes of his older brother?  acccording to one friend to whom i asked the question, “Will cubanos change and overthrow the goverment after fidel dies?” the answer was a nervous, eyes-looking-around-everywhere whisper: “No, because we are too exhausted just trying to get something to eat each day. And mentally, we are too frozen with fear to change.”

we can only hope that enlightened diplomats, such as Obama and others who advise and work with him, will be able to come up with solutions that will spell f-r-e-e-d-o-m for the cuban people. they have suffered quite enough.

the hope of los cubanos ever changing lays with each one of us.  we–the combined hearts of the human family–can help to inspire others, by sharing and offering our belief that hope is real, is possible, and that change is a matter of choice!

there's always hope

there's always hope

adios mis amigos, lordflea, in the freedom of the human Spirit

We’re going to Cuba! In Spirit.

hi friend,

yes, carter my consort and i leave for Cuba on Monday, Jan. 12th, arriving in havana with as much over-the-counter medicine, powdered milk, ivory soap and ovaltine as we can carry, plus a wheelchair apiece. we’re going as volunteers with a humanitarian effort, supported by the u.s. gov’t–so don’t worry, we’re not going to get thrown in u.s. or cuban jail or get in touble of any kind. the organization that supports these efforts, for which we’ve volunteered, to help do special art projects with havana artists, among other things, is ; “foundation of friendship” between u.s. concerns and the cuban people. we are not going to support the castra gov’t in any way shape or form. we’re going to help the people. the medicine we’re carrying is going directly to children who suffer from cancer. the other goods will be dispersed as needed.

i have a lot of questions about cuba, as i’m sure the rest of the world does, too. i’ll be open-minded, with wide-open eyes, and hopefully my digital camera fully charged (god, do they have electricity in our hotel, with plugs that can re-charge batteries?). all i know about cuba is from old movies and stories my mother tells me about the tropicana, where she and my dad went to dance and gamble back in baptista’s time, and other things I’ve learned from the few exiles i’ve met: in particular our sister-in-law, Carmen Bettencourt Lord, who left as a child in ’59 or ’60, and our yoga-artist friend, Tomas Sanchez. Here is one of Tomas’ paintings:

dsc000541 notice the small, insignificant figure of a person sitting by the water’s edge? in contemplation? well, that’s why fidel made trouble for tomas, telling him over twenty years ago, “make the people BIG and the landscape small. it’s the PEOPLE this revolution is about, not the land!” but tomas, a yoga meditating friend of mine (we have the same teacher), was in love with painting the landscape, and how humanity should reflect upon it to glean knowledge, peace, and guidance from an intimate relationship with it. so…fidel harassed him, and, just before tomas was to be thrown in jail, or worse, tomas managed to get off the island and defect to mexico. consequently he went to live in miami, and now resides in the hills outside san jose, costa rica, where carter and I met him. he’s sad about leaving his beloved country, as all cubanos are. his elderly father is ill and tomas has only just recently been allowed back to visit him. we’d all like to see cuba freed of the kind of iron-fisted dictatorship that decides what is for the people. but the people are starved for freedom, that’s what they are. right, tomas?


today tomas is free to express himself in however a fashion he wishes. his paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in all major art capitals of the world, yet he donates the proceeds of several each year to the kinds of mind-expanding organizations such as that have allowed him to find peace within his own being. raised as a peasant’s son in cuba, tomas is now represented by the very best gallery in new york city, the marlborough gallery, with musem shows (recently at the most beautiful modern art one I’ve ever been to, in monterey, mexico, see: ) and … the most evident sign of modern success … ripoff tomas sanchez’s popping up everywhere, trying to paint in his inimitably subtle, evanescent, mystical style–impossible to do, my friends. beware of when you google: tomas sanchez. you’ll find many of them. the cuban tomas, my yoga friend, is only represented by the marlborough ( ). you can find a poster for sale of his beautiful rendition of swami nityananda, an Indian saint at a reasonable price, at the bookstore of tomas’ meditation teacher: ( )

tomas makes my entire Being smile:


stay tuned for more about our trip to CUBA…we’ll be back in a week, and i’ll share pics and what i discover on our trip. meanwhile, if you want to read a blogger i’ve recently discovered, who managed to find a way to blog directly from havana, where even computers are verboten (the gov’t can’t shut her down now, because already yoani sanchez, the blogger, has won numerous awards and the outrage would be an avalanche of international proportions, if they did) please go to: to read yoani’s blog in spanish. she’s translated into 13 languages: english address is: www.desdecuba.generationy  . WOW. the power of the blog continues to astound me.

remember to breathe, and as you do, include the sound of Om with your outbreath, and you’ll feel much better. for those of you suffering in any way (physical, mental, spiritual, or materially, with the current economic crunch) if you focus on your breath, and make the sound of Ooooommmm with your outbreath, this is the best medicine in the world. try it and see.

don’t forget: if any of you want to be included on my “lordflea alert” email, sent out whenever i make a new post (i’m pretty irregular with my posting, due to many commitments other than blogging) please write me: and ask to be put on it. i won’t give away your e address, ever. cross my lordflea heart.

in Spirit, with great love for each and every one of you,

your pal lordflea

LOVE — that which connects us

hi beloved,
i’m glad to hear from you! such a busy time, not just the holidaze, but … this life of ours! everyone is so busy, and that’s good, but i must always take time out to stay in touch with my beloveds.
ahhhh, the storms and the troughs of life, especially family life.
right now carter and i are in the pleasant place of having-finished-one-crisis and not yet involved in the next, soon-to-come. because that’s what life is all about, isn’t it? one “challenge” or “crisis” or “break-through” or “life-turn” or … “coincidence”… so many ways life can happen to us and it changes us. throws us off our center.  or — challenges us in how well we’ve been practicing keeping centered, within.
for me, i find i can’t believe i’ve earned such bliss.  truly hope this doesn’t sound corny, and i know the shoe is probably gonna drop as soon as I verbalize my inner feelings (just as whenever i “used to” say to a friend, “oh, i haven’t been sick for years”—blam!–right then, i get sick. so i’m whispering this … but i have to say it … that all the work i’ve done has finally paid off. whatever happens around me, be it wondrous or horrendous–i seem to be able to maintain my center, my equilibrium, or, as we say in yoga, “equipoise.”
the dance of yes and no

the dance of yes and no

our xmas was the mellowest we’ve ever had! why, you ask? because we had no kids around … yeah! no, i’m no scrooge, we just needed a break after 20+ years of kid-raising, and now they’re off on their own (phew!). we had absolutely no company staying over, and it was just us for xmas dinner, carter and lordflea, doing what we love to do, and sharing it with my mom and a couple relatives we never get to see, my cousins Jean and Bill.  mom, who has recovered very nicely from her scary TIA, picked our Christmas feast guests, as she is, after all, the matriarch of our family. i had had 16 of my friends over for thanksgiving, and mom almost didn’t show (“i don’t know any of those people!” she complained and hurrumphed and tried to get out of coming). so this xmas dinner, her 90th on planet Earth, and to be served at our woods-surrounded house, which i named upon moving in: “Veritas Shambho”–mom was the one to delegate whom was invited.  so…we had a mellow xmas by design of there being only a few relatives living around here, in st. augustine.  we were 5 adults, not a single child (Xmas is for kids! that’s my gift-giving mandate!).  we had no razzle dazzle tree or any other kind of decorations up, but we always have xmas lights up outside, all year round. because to me, everyday is the celebration of a Great Being (me! you! everyone!), and everyday is about sharing Love, demonstrating and expounding on friendship, trust, hope.  our turkey and fixin’s, collard greens and apple pie dinner this year was tenderly sweet and calm. Elvis sang to us in the background. being together was all the good things a ritual of peace is supposed to be.  and for that i am grateful.
50th anniversary of the PEACE sign

50th anniversary of the PEACE sign

this year, calm. we soaked in the silence of bells and carols and elvis’ blue christmas, and loved every second of it. it’ll probably be our last quiet xmas for years to come, as fonya, our daughter, is moving back east from montana this june for chiropractic school, with kurt her new husband and maya, their new labrador pup. we’ll have tons of family from now on, for both thanksgiving and xmas, and every other event in between. but i’m going to continue to invite my “distanced-from-family” friends for one of the fall-winter feasts, probably thanksgiving. we had a very celebratory event in our house.
cully, our son, is moseying his way up to our house, or maybe not, the 28th. we’re leaving it very loosey goosey with him, to visit or not. he’s busy with getting the best grades of his life in school, his wigged-out bio-mom he spent xmas with, and now is camping out somewhere with friends. he needs to chill. he doesn’t need to visit us unless he wants to, we keep telling him. but i hear when he shows he’ll be lugging with him about 300 pounds of wild hog that he killed down in the woods of Hardee County, and is taking up to his college (u. of fl. in gainesville) to provide the meat for a Wildlife Club bbq.  ahhhhh, cully boy….such a woodsman, and a hunter with a heart. we need wildlife biologists like him to help us protect the species of our endangered wilds.
carter gave me a string of delicious looking “chocolate pearls”…. for my b’day, the week before xmas! i might eat them instead of wearing them, being a choco-holic. yes, i’m a sag, how did you guess? wow, are these little glow-orbs gorgeous. of course i picked them out, and told hubby darling where to go and buy them. and for the record my age is sexy-one, having been born in the auspicious year of  ’47 (india freed from briton, israel created by UN; my teacher’s teacher, Baba Muktananda, received initiation from Nityananda; and–let’s not forget! we had visitors from “somewhere out there” in Roswell, New Mexico, when the great cover up about extraterrestrials began in ernest). carter and i didn’t exchange gifts for this xmas, because we agreed ahead that this year was special. we wanted to just celebrate the Love, the Spirit, and not the gift-giving of the season. we did give each other promises of fantastic massages to come, in the future (we do ourselves, have since marrying 17 yrs. ago!). and at the beginning of xmas morning– this day when Christians around the globe, and anyone else who wants to join in, celebrates the birth of the Great Being who brought Love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of retribution–carter and i spoke of our love to each other, and our ….blah blah blah. i know, you think it sounds corny. well, it may to some, but we are addicted to love. we’re also in the habit of vocalizing our love for each other most days, as a reminder of our Great Good Fortune at first having found love, and secondly, to continue to nurture, protect, and honor our love, our marriage. 
the love of mother and child, in planetary proportions

the love of mother and child, in planetary proportions

on xmas morning we both felt utterly filled with the spirit of celebrating the birth of a great being. who brought LOVE to the world, as a reminder in that dark time. and we try to emulate Christ, as we do all Great Beings.
yes, i am absolutely positutely so excited about the thrill of obama-rama. i’m just jumping out of my skin with hope, and believe this is the beginning of a new era for all humankind. glory be!
love and Light to you and yours, teZ
ps. oh….we’re into the second day of a 10-day cleanse, so eating is not big on our minds for the beginning of the year. as always, i try to begin the year as i want it to go…prayerfulness, mind-ful, creative, friends! we’re dancing with friends tomorrow night, and for new years’ day i, as always, get together with my siddhayogis and listen to the lesson we’re to concentrate on, directly from our teacher. it’s a longstanding siddha yoga tradition. come join our circle!
another gift from me to you, to think about at the ending of one thing (a year) and the beginning of another (the next):
the wave of power

the wave of power

how it looks, how it feels

everyday i do a little bit of what some call yoga, but i prefer to describe what i do as how i’ve learned to pray with my body. it all started with PAIN. excruciating, nerve-clamping PAIN. in childhood i developed scoliosis in the sacrum area. pain became my “invisible friend” like other kids had angels, little elfs, or fairies (no no no to satsquatch!). i was in college when i taught myself how to do simple poses. there were no teachers back then (oh did you guess i’m no generation x-er?). first i did simple things…then…gradually…i relaxed …. 

Just as this person looks doing the tree pose:

this is how it looks...

this is how it looks...

 but THIS …. this is how it feels … inside!!! … to do that same pose ….

how it feels... power-full, out-of-this-world connected to ALL, throbbing energy, Oneness with Breath, with the Pulse of Being

how it feels... power-full, out-of-this-world connected to ALL, throbbing energy, Oneness with Breath, with the Pulse of Being

and so, my friend, this is why lord flea adores not only singing the calypso song of the day, but, as often as i can, to merge with my physical, visit the temple of my body, and allow my Self to become something i can’t in ordinary ways: by going into these (both simple and complex) strange poses, stilling my breath, concentrating on the energy pulsing through my consciousness, my sinewy muscles, my elasticizing tendons, my strong bones…and … holding IT!

in this way, my body has gradually become my greatest teacher. just as i’ve learned that our humanity is the greatest praise of the Divine. does that sound corny? sorry. that is exactly how i feel, after years of “doing” yoga.

oh, and i should mention here that i’ve taught hatha yoga for years to incarcerated juveniles. the very “baddest” of the bad in our so-called civilized society, that are in teenage lock-ups everywhere. i take yoga to them, and guess what? they LOVE it! those who have the guts to appear in yoga class, to the hoots and disses of their bros and sistahs of the hood, that is. but…that’s another subject for another day. they love it because with their own bodies, these kids learn how to tap into the Power Within, and … instantly … they are FREE. Truly. Remarkably. Utterly…FREE. Even while they’re there, in prison.

the pose i’m working on mostly in my practice these days is the handstand. i’m still chicken about getting away from the wall. courage is still not one of my fortes. so i’ve created my own vision to inspire me, help me relax, give me strength to connect both to the earth (with my invisible roots) and to be lifted by the ineffable Source, by holding me up up up to the Ideal–that ideal of successful connection!

getting help with handstand

getting help with handstand

i really wanted to talk about relationships today. i had something entirely different in mind, like love-relationships, parent-child relationships, person to Planet-relationships, too, when i started writing. but i guess all relationships start with that particularly intimate one each of us either has, or doesn’t, or is in the process of cultivating–that relationship with our own bodies. to be at peace with our mind; our physical self; and our Inner Self, the Spirit–that’s the basis of how we relate to the world around us.

lord flea by the red sea, rightside up

lord flea by the red sea, rightside up

this is why i do yoga. of all the methods of getting-in-touch-with-Truth i’ve experimented with (and believe me! i’ve tried a lot of ’em, not all, but hey–enough to know when a good thing’s a good thing, when you finally hit the jackpot), hatha yoga, the concentrated physical movement of coordinated breathe and muscular poses done with mindfulness, is where i find the most benefit, the best place to worship, and…get relief from any pain–mental, physical, or spiritual–in the meanwhile.

yoga, by the way, translates from its sanskrit as “discipline,” or, more precisely, “that to which one yokes oneself to.”

who, you ask, do i regard as good teachers?

well, above and beyond all my teachers is my beloved meditation master, the living saint, Swami Chidvilasananda, to whom i dedicate this blog. if you’d like to know about the ancient traditions of yogic wisdom that i study, under the tutelage of Gurumayi (Chidvilasananda’s nickname), please check out the traditional yogic philosophy, of which Gurumayi is the current teacher in the lineage of Siddha Yoga.

but the physical hatha yoga (hatha  translates as simply “physical”) that i do is very diverse. here’s a list of some of my favorite hatha yoga teachers.

john friend

ana forrest  

shiva rea

rodney yee

baron baptiste

all the great teachers they bring to kripalu

and in my own community, St. Augustine, FL and Didier Razon and Ann Kiyonaga-Razon:

most importantly, for those of you interested in exploring the yogic way of living, is to be in touch with your breath. don’t forget to breathe! and try to be aware of your breath whenever you can. right now, in fact.

carter in warrior, and he's breathing!

carter in warrior, and he's breathing strong!

a wondrous moment, a glorious day to you.

much love, lord flea