Pride and the Shovel

People say “Did you do all this?!”

I cannot say that I did. I cannot say that I did not.

I do take pride in my shovel

and the person who invented the shovel

manufactured the shovel

delivered the shovel.

I take pride in human creativity, resilience, strength.

I take pride in the air, the soil, the water, the seeds, the plants.

Proud is a funny word. It indicates ego. Ego indicates self.

Gardening, shoveling, these are selfless acts.

I hold the shovel. The shovel digs.

I plant the seeds. The seeds germinate.

I water the seeds with water that is not “mine”.

The plants grow.

I shovel, weed, nurture, love, and deeply honor that of which I can only be one little part, one little, vital, interconnected part. Pride has very little to with it. Other than to say, I am proud of the shovel.

Physical Mental Emotional

You arrived on earth embodied. Whatever mental and emotional states came with or ensued, they are housed in your body. Agree or disagree, this statement is the premise for my post today.

The physical body should be cared for much like any machine you own. It operates according to physical laws, which are the laws of nature on our planet. Understanding your own physiology empowers you to care for yourself in sickness and in health.

Eating disorders, physical disorders (disease), mental and emotional disorders, can be addressed successfully through nutrition, exercise, structural and postural adjustments. The key underlying all of these adjustments is your breath, meaning the oxygenation of your cells.

These principles are simple, and everyone can follow and heal through the understanding and use of them. However, we live in an age in which a great many people, likely the majority, are uneducated and uninformed of these basics.

Over forty years as a professional in natural medicine and therapeutics has taught me all that I know, and all that I know is through applying studies to my personal experience. I am here to assist others on the path to their self realization, wholeness and good health.

In closing, I have saved the most important for last. A deep knowledge of yourself means that you understand that your spirit is housed in your body. You must care for your body as a temple if you desire a relationship with your true self, your spirit. I post this in honor of and specifically for those who are on a quest of self awareness and knowledge. Many blessings. 🙏❤️

From where I sit this morning

One morning at Maitri Retreat

Aug 31, 2011 – Standing alone on the deck.  The sky hints of pink, but promises light moment by moment. I hear every silent breath, mine and the trees’.

Ellen arrives like an apparition from the dark, whispers in my ear that someone or some thing whispered in her ear, awakening her with the sound of her own name.

Arising to follow the call, she found the door standing open…now she is standing next to me.  We are silent.

Suddenly movement in the dark dawn, down below us, in the trees.

We follow the movement, separate, and disappear from one another.

I wander through waist high grass –

find nothing and no one, not even Ellen.

7 AM sit is silent, still, free.


What is it I love about Colorado?  Surely it is the sapciousness, like in New Mexico.  The trees in Colorado give space a shape without using it up.  A tree must surely know its own empty self, just like the sky and the clouds- like they know they are not separate at all.


There is a tendency to become bored swimming laps for some people.  I thought I was a little bored yesterday during my swim, when suddenly I realized that my toes were very happy.  Far from bored, they were fully alive.  My ten toes love swimming.


August 22, 2012

Respect for that which I have no respect, may take me a long way down my spiritual path.

That which I do not respect, is placed somewhere outside of my mind, and therefore out of my conscious experience – excluded.

“Preference” is written all over it. Zen is the art of non-preference.

Embodying that which I do not respect = being whole, being one with all beings. Humility is here. Empathy is here. Compassion is here- in the embodiment of my experience as a whole.

Pain and Life

August 11, 2012

I have written about the pain and hard work of becoming, and I have written a protocol for living with and managing my pain (See Elder Blossoms). What I have not addressed is a much larger dimension of my experience.  It is what I do with my time.

Here is the kicker.  My current lifestyle is my dream lifestyle, even my plan for retirement.  The only part I did not plan or desire is the pain.  Yet it seems the pain has forced the lifestyle.  I can tell you that my vision of retirement includes the following: working with people and the healing arts twelve or so hours a week, teaching herbal medicine and spending time making herbal medicine, allowing hours each day for athletics and hot tubbing at the gym, receiving massage and chiropractic treatments each week, taking naps, spending quality time with pets and neighbors, eating well, surrounding myself with positive minded folks who like to laugh, meditating as a way of life rather than as an event in the day, moving slowly between activities and keeping everything very simple.  Well, I am here to tell you that I have what I have asked for.

Right now I am just listening to my body.  Body wisdom rules.

P.S.  Earlier pain of 8.5 is down to 4ish and I am sitting to write this post.  Yay!

Breath as Healing Technique

Today as I drew breath down into my belly, it filled up almost all the space inside me, but I paused and then breathed in a little more and my front and back were separated from one another as the space between expanded.  A full breath cycle swept exhale and inhale along the undersides of my rib cage and massaged the tissues in front of my spine.  Breath gently soothed all the tender places inside and alongside my spine, and the lightning strike of disc contacting nerve became more like strong river flowing.  “Breath sweeps mind”, I guess.