Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Muttville is such a special place. The love for the dogs and each other, is palpable.
One of the tasks I undertake there is to be present at euthanasia. To provide some heart, some presence, lots of love, and support.
One of my friends thinks it's kind of ghoulish to volunteer for this.
I feel honoured.
I've done hospice for the most precious people to me. I''ve faced my own mortality several times-death doesn't scare me. It fascinates me. The peace. The possibility. The beauty.
Maybe it's my spooky New Age guy thing, the fact that I know the power of heart connection, my Reiki training, my optimism-that allows me to do this.
As I clear my mind, I coordinate my breathing with the dog's, I practice extending my heart, my unconditional love, I use my massage training, and I stop myself from spiraling into grief.
I call the elders in (Fugee, Scamper, Spot, Happy Cat, Snoopy, Winifred, Niner) and ask them to greet the newly-transitioning pup.
Is any of it real? I don't know. Is any of this?
What I do know is that this most compassionate act is given in love, in comfort, in presence.
So, sweet Hannah, run free!
We didn't know you long, but your final act was pure love. Thank you for letting us love you.
Be at peace.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


SOCIALLY BEAUTIFULLY ANXIOUSLY AWKWARD--LOVE IS. CONNECTED. "Row row row your boat, gently to the Sea Crystalline landslides and magick birds Life is but a dream and even dreams are but dreams within Themselves, dreams." I, at the edge of 17, at timestamp 3:17 can be heard to be screaming Stevie's name at Hollywood Bowl, final night of Tusk tour, 1980. A magickal time, I met my dear friend, Diane Thompson, who was an equally big Stevie fan. She was in the front row; I the nose bleeds. We met Stevie together at her condo in Marina del Ray a few weeks later. Lost touch with Diane, who used to work for Jerry Moss at A&M. Last I knew, she married a German guy and was living in North Hollywood, I think. I asked in a Stevie FB fan page if anyone had the bootleg I used to have on cassette of this concert. They did. Wow. It affirms my memory as NOT being crazy, or at least no crazier than I remembered. We are ALL universally connected now whether you buy in, sell out or don't even care or notice; Thank GOD for the dreamers, the dreams, those who never forget, those who embellish, those who strip away, and those who knit the scraps of awareness back into a Where and Now that has some semblance of Sense and Reality to it. Ergo, Ego, I go where YOU go, until there is just US and NO Thing. ONE BLISS. For YOU.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Green Man Returns To His Sacred Roots and Vines

In doing some alterna-wellness snooping recently, I stumbled across a thread of a conversation I started  back in 2005 on early social networking platform,Tribe.net. It was regarding the potential for using ayahuasca as a tool toward understanding HIV.  

Ayahuasca, also known as vine of the soul, has been used as a shamanic tool for at least 2,500 years in the Amazon. One of the world's most potent hallucingens/entheogens, it contains among other active ingredients, DMT--sometimes called the spirit molecule.  DMT was the active ingredient in Syrian Rue, what some ethnobotanists feel, was the source of Moses' bushfire. It is also the chemical released during the brain at death and during ecstatic religious experience, the All-Are-One, lets-DO-go-into-the-light-Carol-Ann chemical.

To be clear, this is no recreational 'trip'- it is a profound, intense, holy, and for some, nauseating and terrifying journey into one's body and psyche, at the energetic level; one where, if one allows it to happen, the plants will sing their medicine of wisdom, the shadow will show its grace, and the separate, illusory ego will experience Death.

Now that is the sort of Dance of the Pierced Seven Veils that this Son-of-a-belly dancer would find most fascinating. 

Since the get go, I have been a true scion of my tree hugger-, Whole Earth Catalogue Mom. I'm all about alternative and complementary therapies, about the broken road less travelled.  So, you see. this would be right up my tree, or, uh, right down my vine(?)

I believe Western medicine must incorporate integral modalities on the complex path toward Wellness. Synergistic, east/west justified/ancient mind, body spirit wellness, easing "dis-ease" in the body. 

Our arrogance toward science and machine and Man-as-God egomania, has returned to ancient therapies because they are successful. Healing with sound--ultrasound; healing with light-infrared and ultraviolet; healing with crystals and stones-cobalt therapy, magnetic imaging; breath and meditation for brain entrainment and stress reduction. So I think it is important to listen to Gaia and the Shaman--to get into the vegetable mind of the planet.

I had thought it could be a cool Master's degree research project at CIIS or Stanford.  I chatted about it with Graham Hancock, author famous for his research into aya... he thought it held value.

I do understand that I am 'too out there' for many folks, but to me, the only sane way to respond to an unreasonable disease is to attack with love, with imagination, an with the best of human knowledge, which includes state of the art and in my world view, the song of our vegetal friends, singing the soul home.

Here's the post:

Ayahuasca and HIV

 topic posted Thu, March 24, 2005 - 12:07 AM by  Craig

  • Hello folks-
    quick question...
    wondering if anyone has heard of successful inner work using ayahuasca to help the body fight HIV. I met a shaman few years back who through dmt, meditation and inner journey--sat down and talked with his virus explaining to the virus that if it killed its host, it would also cease to be.

    I wish I hadn't lost touch--would loved to have heard his further work--and had a frank inner discussion with my self and virus as well. Not having done ayahuasca but enormously drawn to and fascinated by it, I know it would be profound.

    Thanks for any insights!
    posted by:
    SF Bay Area
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Thu, March 24, 2005 - 1:27 PM
    in response to: Ayahuasca and HIV
    I have heard of people communicating with viruses and finding them cooperative once some kind of understanding is reached. That is the hard part. I have never heard of Ayahuasca being used in this context. But Ayahuasca -- the Vine -- is a translator between the human world and the Plant world, she teaches them how to understand each other. Maybe she could help in that way with virus communication, too.

    Certainly, HIV can remain stable indefinitely.... wouldn't it be an amazing transformational thing if THAT turned out to be the answer to surviving with HIV? Learning how to communicate directly with the virus and negotiate with it?

    I am not sure that the logic "you will die if I die" would work on a virus, because individual viruses, like plants, are not individuated the way humans are. Their intelligence works at the species level. Species-level decision-making, we call "evolution." Viruses are very good at evolving, making decisions. But, like us, they are not fully aware of the effects of their decisions on other beings. They are not hostile or malevolent. They are just using the resources available to them for their own purposes, like a human cutting down a tree to make a house. And they seem to be open to learning -- at least kind of like a human who might not want to make drastic sacrifices but is at least willing to reduce his or her environmental footprint when things are pointed out.

    HIV does not have to cause AIDS, it can live perfectly happily without doing that. It may be that it only causes AIDS under certain conditions, or when something perturbs it. Wouldn't it be interesting if communicating with the virus turned out to be the answer... It is Caapi that teaches plant communication (you could start by taking her alone) so wouldn't it be interesting if you learned virus communication together.
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Thu, March 24, 2005 - 1:51 PM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    Thank you, Gayle, for your comapssionate and enlightened response. I was fortunate enough to spend time with two of the Dalai Lama's physicians, and they both said, in effect, "HIV not dangerous. Happy mind, long life. Disturbed mind, no life."

    I will at some point, do my aya exploration and inward journey to have a chat with my virus. I look forward to the experience and know it will manifest when the time is right.

    Peace on the path.
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, March 27, 2005 - 1:26 AM
    in response to: Ayahuasca and HIV
    About ten years ago I had supposedly incurable lymes disease. I was infected for years without an accurate diagnosis and as a result the many courses of various antibiotics did nothing more than abate it a couple of months at a time.

    I gained my healing during a Santo Daime ritual. I have not had a relapse since. My experience of my cure and the explanation thereof exist in a different paradigm than our familiar bacteria/virus/germ framing. The voice that guided me through my healing (I don't know whether it was God, plant or angel but it gave me my only experience of truly unconditional love and help that I've felt in this life) seemed to explain my illness and illness in general as a kind of emotional/spiritual/psychological attachment. In my visions I saw parts of myself that needed to grow, repent and heal of deeply ingrained patterns that if I were to move through them their manifestation as lymes disease in my body would no longer be something that I had a relationship with. It was the hardest inner work I've ever done and the parts of myself that I had to deal with I would have gladly denied for as long as I could get away with but at the end of 2 nights of ritual I had no trace of the disease.

    It doesn't make sense from a medical perspective but I believe that on ayhuasca you can heal the metaphysical reasons for HIV and I believe that if you do the external results will be a healthy body.

    I believe the rituals plus the quality of my brew greatly affected my success so choose your moment, companions and source carefully. 
    I hope and pray you find your healingmg
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, March 27, 2005 - 9:08 AM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    I had a similar healing with virus-bacteria....

    I was able to develop a dialogue with the ´illness´....as it was with me to teach me something. I noticed that my symptoms would only flare up when I entered a particular thought-belief pattern. I dont know that the virus actually left my body...perhaps it is still with me, but I have not experienced symptoms in over a year. I trust that the healing I was doing around that time was the reason the virus manifested to begin with....I could feel the intelligence within my body. It was like communicating with a sepearate organism. My work with the medicine has certainly helped me to develop the awareness to work with my physical body on a cellular level and to recognize what is my core vibration...what my essence feels like. Through that it has become easier to discern when I am dealing with something foreign, both in my body and around me. The Medicine has taught me much about protecting from energies that are not healthy for me...as Ive found that purification itself, is the best protection, along with the sensitivity that comes with being clean. I can apply this directly to my perspective of sexuality, as well as diet and daily habits of thinking.

  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, March 27, 2005 - 8:31 PM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    isaiah and mikio-

    Thank you so much. My own path has led me to the same conclusion. I think HIV is a dis-ease of the spirit. Look at the populations--marginalized all--gay, drug users, poor.

    There was no reason I should have gotten HIV- not sexually promiscuous, always safe when active, I was an anomaly. What i did have was a deep deep rooted low self-esteem-- my friend Scott used to call it self-defecating...
    If you have these constant thoughts running through your unconscious, and you are not honoring you place as a part of "god" you will not thrive. I had become toxic--to my spirit, to my self.

    I like to think of us as individual cells of god. If you cannot honor yourself, you cannot thrive, cannot know the divine.

    HIV has been a tough teacher and one of my greatest gifts. I am no longer who I was. I am fully alive, fully present, fully on course to realizing my greatest good. I no longer tread to dangerous notion of temporary immortality that most people without a health "situation" live in.

    I truly look forward to my aya journey. I think I am on to something big. Thanks so much for your truths.
    Peace on your paths.
    Craig . 
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, March 27, 2005 - 9:26 PM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    "I no longer tread to dangerous notion of temporary immortality that most people without a health "situation" live in. "

    There is so much depth, wisdom and spirit in just this sentence. Just reading it is a sacrament. Thank you Hermes.

  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, April 3, 2005 - 8:24 PM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    I have a contact for you here in Pêru...who has been curing people with Aids.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, April 3, 2005 - 10:26 PM
    in response to: Ayahuasca and HIV
    this sounds fantastic, I will kep checking in to see if there is an news updates on this...
    have you tried any chakra work??
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sun, April 3, 2005 - 10:35 PM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    All illness can be embraced not only as teacher, but as friend. Illness is a master purifier. It sounds like you are discovering why you had an opening to attract it. You can also discover exactly what is needed to heal as Isaiah mentioned. For me this shift in perspctive to embracing the friend makes a tremendous difference. We can talk to the soul of our specific illness( yes they have souls). Though it helps, we do not need tea to do this. blessings on your journey
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Mon, April 4, 2005 - 8:21 AM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    "HIV has been a tough teacher and one of my greatest gifts. I am no longer who I was. I am fully alive, fully present, fully on course to realizing my greatest good. I no longer tread to dangerous notion of temporary immortality that most people without a health "situation" live in."

    That is so powerful. Especially the last. If you approach your Aya journeys with this attitude that your illness is not a problem or a curse or an adversary, but a friend and a teacher, I think that Aya will greatly augment and expand the teachings you are receiving. Just thinking how your first question was about communicating with the virus. I think communicating with the virus as a =partner= in learning would really be fruitful with Aya, because she is so accustomed and experienced at teaching people to communicate with medicinal plants in that way. It is her natural style, to bring humans and plants into partnership.

    And combined with this powerful understanding that dispels the illusion of "temporary immortality." I remember someone telling me about a friend of hers who said when he was diagnosed with HIV, "That was the first time I actually realized that I was ALIVE. I had never understood before that I was alive. I had never had any notion what it even meant to be alive. But my diagnosis woke me up to the fact that I was alive."

    Ultimately then one also realizes that it really doesn't ultimately matter how long one lives. You can live more in a moment than someone else might live in eighty years.

    The only reason, I think, the number of years could matter at all is if one's particular Work on earth requires a certain length of time to accomplish. But for the kinds of gifts the illness brings, I think, time is irrelevant.
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Mon, April 4, 2005 - 8:35 AM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    I reread your first post and caught the phrase:

    " using ayahuasca to help the body fight HIV "

    I think the "fight" part has to be thought about ... it's not that the idea of "fighting" can never be appropriate, in life. There is a certain kind of relationship of a warrior spirit battling a worthy adversary. But I think it has to be seriously considered about whether this relationship is one of fighting, or or another kind of partnership. Maybe you should approach it has "using ayahuasca to help explore the nature of my relationship with HIV."

    Viruses are a unique form of being. They don't have complete DNA of their own and they use part of our DNA to replicate themselves. Viruses can also alter DNA, and there is evidence for the hypothesis that viruses are behind genetic mutations, which means that viruses would be responsible for all the mutations that generate evolution. Without them, then, no diversity of life. If you think of the evolution of a species being the species' intelligence operating at the species level (like with plants, individual plants are not individuals in the sense that we are, individual plants are like the many bodies of a single =species= spirit, which makes decisions at the species level about experiments to make and strategies to try) .... then it can be that viruses and other forms of life have worked in partnership since the beginning. 
  • Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Wed, April 6, 2005 - 4:32 PM
    in response to: Re: Ayahuasca and HIV
    Thank you all for your amazing information and compassion.

    It's quite a journey--I would change nothing. I feel very lucky.

    Peace on your paths.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Ayahuasca and HIV

    Sat, April 16, 2005 - 9:46 AM
    in response to: Ayahuasca and HIV
    no denial from this bottom to the top feeder, algae and CO2

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Undeniable Magick in this Place Called Here.

I definitely invited the land of crazy to stick around when I suspended disbelief at all the synchronicities  and serendipitous events occurring in my life, so many and with such frequency, that I began to question the nature of reality.  
My pal, Jennifer's dad, Ed Holmes--the genius behind St. Stupids Day and the SF Mime Troupe,  had noticed this quality in his life and coined the term serentypical.  The magickal intersects and weaves its way into one's life with such regularity, that it is no longer unusual to have the magickal happen, its almost ordinary or expected.
Welcome to the Craig side of the Mirror, Alice.
I started noticing the archetypal energies in my life.  As I lived up to the idea of the most obvious, Hermes the messenger, I started to notice others equally at play in my life.  Chiron, the wounded healer.  The Trickster/Mirror- who teaches lessons people don't want to learn.   The Catalyst--Change Agent. As The Journeyman who goes through the darkness of the underworld , bringing a message of light to the other side.
But perhaps the most profound is that of the Phoenix.  Life has given me the great good fortune/bitter pill of constantly having to reinvent myself.  Life has provided a constantly changing landscape of dissolving jobs and tenuous living situations which has made the ability to arise from the ashes of my former life, and to take wing as a new version of the Me monster. 
On a deeper take on the version of the Phoenix, I started to feel a very real and strong tie to my brother, Bruce, who died in a fire a year before I was born.  We share a middle name, and I felt like maybe we shared a spirit in the Here Now.
On Day Six of AIDS/LifeCycle 10, this year, I took a nod from my friend, Mariano Puente, and dedicated it Bruce, my little cherubic brother.  I thought about him all day, and was deep in thought (though still present on the bike...) when I pulled into a Rest Stop at Santa Barbara's lovely coast.
As I parked my bike, I walked up to a guy near bike parking for some reason.  I didn't need anything and it was going to be a quick piss and hop on over to the Paradise Pit for ice cream.
He turned around and said, "This is from your brother Bruce for you."  He pinned me with a Bruce button.  Obviously shaken, I said, "Wow, I was just thinking about my brother, Bruce, who died before I was born..."
He looked quizzical and shaken, too.  "I don't know why I said that, but it is from your brother Bruce, and he loves you..." and he hugged me and started to cry.
I dried my eyes, got back on my bike without peeing, and pedaled down the path toward ice cream, a strange and heady concoction of happy and sad, celebrating and grieving, melancholy and optimistic, about this innate great gift that I have been given, and was most grateful for Bruce sticking around to sharethis kayak with me in the Flow of Life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Never have I been a blue calm sea, I have always been a storm..." --Nyx


How does the sea become king of all streams?
Because it lies lower than they!
Hence it is the king of all streams.
Therefore, the Sage reigns over the people by humbling himself in speech;
and leads the people by putting himself behind.
Thus it is that when a Sage stands above the people, they do not feel the heaviness of his weight;
And when he stand sin front of his people,  they do not feel hurt.
Therefore, all the world is glad to push him forward without getting tired of him.
Just because he strives with nobody, 
nobody can ever strive with him.

--Tao Teh Ching, Lao Tzu, translated by John C. H. Wu