Twenty Flights

Perhaps I’m crazy.  Over the years, several people have volunteered that opinion.  I seem to be throwing myself into life in an unprecedented way.  I’m going here, I’m going there.  And mostly I’m flying through the air (with the greatest of ease).

Between now and early January, I’m stepping aboard twenty airplanes.  This will involve a major dip into savings.  It’s not that I haven’t considered the financial fallout … but I’m doing it anyway!

It’s all about love.  And the physical distance between my loved ones and me will decline to zero, again and again.  I will be looking into the eyes of Canadians, Americans, Belgians and Senegalese, and I will see beauty there.  I will truly be a world traveller, something that has not been true in the past.

Here’s my itinerary.  The dates are approximate but you’ll get the idea:

1.  March 19 – Toronto to San Francisco for the Evolutionary Collective Base Camp three-day weekend

2.  March 27 – San Francisco to Toronto

3.  April 30 – Toronto to San Jose, California for the EC five-day event “All Together Now”

4.  May 9 – San Jose to Toronto

5.  June 5 – London, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta for my nephew Jaxon’s high school graduation

6.  June 13 – Calgary to London

7.  June 28 – Toronto to Edmonton, Alberta to visit my friend Sharyn in Mannville, Alberta and my brother-in-law Lance and his family in Longview, near Calgary

8.  July 12 – Calgary to Toronto

(What?  One day between!  You’re nuts.)

9.  July 14 – Toronto to Amsterdam, the Netherlands

10.  July 15 – Amsterdam to Brussels, Belgium to visit Lydia, Jo, Lore and Baziel

11.  July 20 – Brussels to Rome, Italy to go ‘splorin’ with Lydia, Jo, Anja and Curd

12.  July 30 – Rome to Brussels

13.  August 4 – Brussels to Amsterdam

14.  August 4 – Amsterdam to Toronto with Baziel (Lydia and Jo’s son – age 14) and Olivia (Anja and Curd’s daughter – age 14)  to explore Toronto, Niagara Falls and Belmont for two weeks

15.  December 15 – Toronto to Amsterdam

16.  December 16 – Amsterdam to Brussels to visit Lydia and her family

17.  December 22 – Brussels to Dakar, Senegal with Lydia and ten other Belgian folks to visit the kids we sponsor in Toubacouta, Senegal

18.  January 4, 2020 – Dakar to Brussels

19.  January 8 – Brussels to Amsterdam

20.  January 8 – Amsterdam to Toronto

***

Why did I tell you all this stuff?  So you’ll think I’m super cool?  So you’ll think I’m absolutely full of myself?  Well, no. These trips are an expression of my need for contact, true communion, “being with” across the miles.  There’s some power surging up in me, demanding I pay attention.  My beingness has been deep for years, and that will continue.  Now it’s time  to get out there far more and do things – Bruce actions that make a difference in Belmont, San Francisco, Nukerke, Pompeii and Toubacouta.

Whatever happened to that recent fellow who wanted to hang out in rural Massachusetts for three months … in silence?  He’s still here.  It’s just that he’s been transcended and included.

On I go

A Partner in Divinity

Jesus asked his disciples “Who do you say I am?”  I need to look in the mirror and ask the same question.

For decades, the underlying tone of my apparent high self-esteem has been “I’m not good enough” and “I’m less than you.”  Only recently have I glimpsed what’s true about this … it’s nonsense!

I’ve spent time with some powerful leaders.  Long ago in San Francisco, I was in the same room as Werner Erhard for three days.  He’d wear a white open-necked shirt and dress pants and sit there being impossibly handsome.  Words poured like honey from his lips.  I was terrified.

Twenty years later, I was on a three-month silent meditation retreat in Massachusetts.  For six weeks of that time, I was in the same room as Joseph Goldstein, one of the pioneers who brought Buddhism to North America in the 1960’s.  He was impossibly tall and spoke with the quietness of a master.  I’d tremble when he was near me in the lunch line.

Patricia Albere is the founder of the Evolutionary Collective and has brought the transformational Mutual Awakening Practice into the world.  I’d see her in live online group sessions and have heart palpitations in the comfort of my living room.  My 1-1 interactions with her were marked by a distinct shortness of breath on my part.  She was the founder, she was famous, she was smart.  And I was not any of those things.

So there’s a rich history here of being “less than”.  Smallness seemed to suit me.  Except it didn’t!  In my better moments of mirror gazing, I’m seeing not a cowardly lion but a fierce spiritual being, not Caspar Milquetoast but a rejuvenated Clark Kent out on an evening adventure.  Enough of being itsy bitsy.  I’m a partner with you (and you and you …) in making this world work.

Who do I see looking back at me in that mirror?  Here are some quotations that move me … to action.  May they vibrate in your chest.

***

Never bend your head.  Always hold it high.  Look the world straight in the face.

Helen Keller

You could say that Helen didn’t have the eyes to see.  But within her beat a visionary heart.

Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry.  It merely astonishes me.  How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company?  It’s beyond me.

Zora Neale Hurston

Oh, Zora, you soar above the pettiness of the narrow!

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

The Buddha

That’s right, Mister Buddha.  I’m totally deserving of the goodness that comes my way, just like each of you is.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Mark Twain

Out there, a healthy mixture of smiles and frowns comes a’calling.  In here, I get to choose.

You were born an original.  Don’t die a copy.

Unknown

In 2002 or so, a lovely teacher wrote this on the board as her “Thought for the Day”.  It hasn’t left my side since.  The words come in handy when my small voice chimes in with “You should be flamboyant like Lara” or “You should be a computer wizard like Peter.”

A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time.  We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.

Andrew Matthews

I love watching The Masters golf tournament on TV.  I love venturing into spiritual discussions with some folks who don’t seem interested.  I love singing “O Canada” in rooms where few do.  The reactions of others are simply … there, and are not a danger to me.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Washington Thurma

I love discussions with kids about life in all its immensity.  Perhaps the shine in my eyes touches the warmth in their heart.

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I want to be a teacher in the Evolutionary Collective.  I will create what I need in order for this to happen.  And the stars will align.

***

Deficiency
Sufficiency
Abundance

Seems like a logical progression

Beatrice and Bruce

Beatrice Bruteau was a philosopher, a mathematician and an evolutionist.  She stood in the present, learned from the past, and most especially leaned into the mystery of the future.  So much of my spiritual practice has been about being in the moment.  “Becoming” seemed like a poor sister to the deepening of what’s now.  But there’s a new flow inside, and Beatrice has helped me access it.

Here are some Bruteau quotations, with my take following:

We cannot wait for the world to turn, for times to change that we might change with them, for the revolution to come and carry us around in its new course.  We are the future.  We are the revolution.

I remember attending an evening meeting at the University of Toronto in the late 60’s.  Our plan was to travel to Ottawa and protest the war-induced starvation in the Biafra region of Nigeria.  As I walked in the door, I looked around for the “big people”, the ones who would lead us, the smartest ones.  I never gave a thought to the idea that I could be one of those leaders.  They would speak, I would follow.  Beatrice would have pursed her lips at me.

Somewhere deep down we are all filled with a mystical longing, with a longing for ultimate meaningfulness, and therefore we need to see all of our world in that context.

It’s far beyond “My life has meaning.”  Together, you and you and me … we have meaning, and we long for a world where no one is left out.  We see the economic disparities, the suffering, and still we feel pulled forward by some unknown magnet towards a future which is curling its finger at us in welcome.  The image that comes again and again to me is standing on the moving walkway in an airport and magically being brought forward, with no trying on my part.

There is a basic urgency in life to grow, to expand, to become new and renewed.  We might even say that the very meaning of being alive is to be constantly in the process of becoming a new creation.

New, as in never here before.  Not just a quality improvement of the old model but a radically new design.  And maybe it’s not even a car anymore!  Plus it is urgent … no messin’ around.  There’s work to be done to have everyone feel at home.

The individual animal doesn’t get to choose how it’s going to evolve.  But the individual human being can, and we, by our concerted intention, can make something that hasn’t existed before.

“I’m not an inventor,” I protest.  “It’s only the big people who do amazing things.”  But wait a minute … last I looked I was a healthy 5’10”.  That’s plenty big enough.

Okay, Bruce.  How high can you jump?  Can you teach a Mutual Awakening Practice course for kids and have them open to a love they may never have experienced before?  Who’s to say not?

Deep reality is that place in the center of our being where we experience our existence in an unlimited way.  The deep self is not defined, not described by any of the qualities of our bodies or personalities, by our histories or social positions, our jobs, or our religions.  This is fairly hard to realize.  We tend to think of ourselves, introduce ourselves to others, believe others are seeing us in terms of these qualities.  In meditation and its associated practices, we try to center ourselves in our sense of existing without identifying with these descriptors.  To the extent that we become accustomed to this, we may spontaneously behave in a new way.

You can see from this how our energy is affected.  When we define ourselves in terms of our qualities, we have to devote energy to protecting them and trying to gain more valuable ones – more beauty, personality, wealth, power, social status.  But if we liberate ourselves from such identity, then all that energy becomes available for the radiation of goodwill to others.  We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM, with no predicate following, not “I am a this” or “I have that quality.”  Only unlimited, absolute I AM.

And the interesting thing is that as soon as you experience yourself this way, you at once find that you also are saying toward the whole world, “Let it be!”  It seems to be the nature of that which is I AM to say, “Let it be.”  [Or, as Beatrice later expressed it, “May you be.”]

This is the love that is called “agape”.  Agape is the love that seeks the being, well-being, full being, ever-fuller being, of the beloved.  It is a love that is not a reaction to the beloved but rather a first action, an action beginning in you, coming out from the center of your being because of the nature of your being.  This energy of love is inexhaustible.  It doesn’t have to be reserved or apportioned or used economically.  It is plentiful, bountiful, enormous.  It is a dynamic out-flowing activity, energy.  It’s constantly in motion and radiant, like a star is radiant.  It streams out from us in every way. The True Self in us is constantly radiating this willed goodness.  [Beatrice later referred to this as “spondic” love.]

Not defined by my story
Instead a vibrant spiritual being
With infinite energy pouring into you
Until I am no more

TV Commercials … Do I Buy It?

To what extent am I hypnotized by the messages of mass media?  Or do I see beyond the compulsion to add more stuff to my life?  Usually I don’t even notice commercials, but without my alertness am I simply allowing their underlying tone of “more, better and different” to seep into my being?

The commercials I do notice are ones that depict the tenderness of  human relationships, moment of kindness, soft eye contact.  But then there are the others.  Perhaps I should pay attention.

1.  Say it with diamonds

There’s nothing wrong with a lovely ring or a dinner out at a fancy restaurant but even better is saying it with your mouth.  And within the speaking, let’s include the words that are so often withheld … “I love you.”

2.  There’s no better time to get …

Apparently it has to happen now, or at least it should to foster maximum happiness.  Maybe I’ll be missing out, squandering some once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, if I hesitate.  Can I be just as happy without making that big purchase tomorrow morning?  Yes.

3.  Beat the blues  [Buy what we sell]

The thought is that happiness is basically an outside job.  If I accumulate more precious things, depression has no chance.  Whether it’s gourmet food, designer jeans or a car that goes from 0 to 60 in the flash of an eye, I’ve got this.  Or does it have me?

4.  Get the exceptional handling of intelligent all-wheel drive

And who doesn’t want to be exceptional and intelligent?   Maybe the glory of my car will somehow rub off on me.  No, I don’t think it works that way.

5.  Twenty winners every Thursday

Well, I better get in on that or I might just end up being a loser.  Could it be, though, that the zero sum game of win-lose doesn’t point to happiness, that helping someone else brings me more than I give?

6.  Broadway’s best musical

I would certainly like to be associated with the best.  Actually, I’d like to be considered the best in some area of life.  Then I could feel good about myself.  I don’t know … that doesn’t seem to leave much space for contentment.  Perhaps I can be happy without being an exceptional athlete, singer or teacher.  Just a human being who cares.

Oh … and another thing – who is saying this musical is the best?

7.  This is as good as it gets

Unspoken and insidious > There’s a ceiling to your life.  And this is pretty much it.  It may not simply be downhill from here but nor will you be breaking through the stratosphere to touch the stars.  Says who?!  The future beckons, and I don’t know what beauty will reveal itself for me, for my loved ones, and for humanity.

8.  Insane deal!

Naturally, I don’t want to be considered insane for missing this golden opportunity.  I want to be respected.  I want to be normal.  I better buy this thing.  I think not.  Another type of insanity comes to mind.

9.  When I’m holding your wheel
All I hear is your gear
When I’m cruisin’ in overdrive
Don’t have to listen to no run of the mill talk jive
I’m in love with my car

(Queen)

Oh please.  Give me the sweetness of the soul and the softness of the skin before the shine of the metal.

***

No hypnotism
Eye-to-eye
Real

Mitch and Jonas

What do I love about sports? It’s the individuals who play them. What do I love about those men and women? What’s so special about them?

There’s the incredible artistry of brilliant players. I’m in wonder when Mitch Marner floats down the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, twisting and turning and slipping a soft pass to a teammate. But there’s far more. I want my heroes to be full human beings, people who see beyond winning and losing, beyond personal glory … to a life of service. Mitch knows his fame is a tool, and he uses it to impact the lives of children, especially six-year-old Hayden Foulon. She’s in the middle of leukemia, and Mitch is with her. “His impact reaches all the way down to her heart, a beacon of hope in a young life that has experienced far too much pain.”

Mitch isn’t the only athlete who has seeped his way into the smiles of Toronto fans. Up until a few days ago, Jonas Valanciunas played centre for the Toronto Raptors basketball team. Then he was traded to Memphis. Whether or not it’s a good move on the court, it’s hard for the fans, including the journalists who cover the team.

(Steve Simmons)

You get lucky once in a while in this business. You get to cover someone like Valanciunas. Someone real. Someone unpretentious. Someone with great pride, little ego and a sense of humour. It was our pleasure.

(Eric Koreen)

[Years ago, a rookie reporter was interviewing a rookie basketball player, a fellow who was learning English]

In hindsight, though, the only moment that mattered was that momentarily frightened look he gave when he saw my notebook. It was a clear moment of humanity. Journalists live for those. More than really explaining the cap mechanics of a trade, more than speaking truth to power in a thundering column, more than getting a scoop, we want to capture those moments.

…..

Of all the players I’ve covered, Valanciunas is right near the top on the list of those who were transparent about their emotions and humanity.

“He gave me the start. He gave me that boost,” Valanciunas told me in October about his relationship with former coach Dwane Casey, who was part of the reason Valanciunas’ goals and role were always being re-defined. “He gave me something that let me still be here. If I’d started with a different coach, maybe I’d be out of the league or playing in Europe or being the third big somewhere. He gave me something that kept me here. He had that trust in me. I can only say good things about that. There was so much talk: minutes, touches, likes, dislikes. Over those six years, he had some feelings, I had some feelings. But the end of the story, I can just say thank you to him because he gave me a big boost, big confidence. He had big trust in me.”

…..

One moment stands out the most. Last year, veteran Toronto Star beat writer Doug Smith was hospitalized shortly before the playoffs started. Doug is always around the team, and it is profoundly strange when he is not. I was walking away from the court before Game 6 of the Raptors-Wizards series began, through a tunnel toward the visitors locker room at the Capitol One Arena. Valanciunas had just finished his warmup, and was headed in the same direction. He put his massive left arm around me, and inquired about my colleague. I told him what I knew, and he expressed hope that Doug could return before the playoff run was over.

“That’s what matters,” Valanciunas said of Doug’s health. “Not all this stuff.”

(The man and woman on the street)

The worst part of being a fan is seeing the guys we grow to love and see as family get traded.

You made us cry, man.

If you’ve ever met him, the first thought that pops into one’s head is “What a nice man.” An absolute natural in making people smile. There’s good things ahead in life for Jonas Valanciunas.

***

Waydago, Jonas
Waydago, Mitch
You done good

Presence in Absence

Objects contain absent people

Julian Barnes

I was watching a TV show last night about the wonders of New Zealand and its people. The host was very engaging. He had a syrupy voice that almost hypnotized me at times. At one point, I was nodding off when he spoke the words above. Huh? What did he say about objects? And what does it mean?

The day after, it’s clear. Dear human beings remain in place after they move on in life or in death. They continue to reside in precious objects. Such as …

1. I wrote a book about my loved one, called Jodiette: My Lovely Wife. About 1200 copies are spread around Canada and beyond. One sits on Anne and Ihor’s coffee table here in Toronto. Jody radiates from the pages.

2. The totem poles of Haida Gwaii, a huge island off the mainland of British Columbia, stand guard. Twenty-six of them tilt in the abandoned village of Ninstints. Hundreds of years of the Haida people remain in the wood.

3. I’m sitting in the waiting room of a walk-in clinic on Weston Road. Six others wait with me. The chair beside is empty and I think of the thousands of sick people who have put their rear end down in that spot. May they all have found health.

4. I wandered through the 911 Museum in New York City last week. I came upon a piece of paper, charred at the edges. It was a report about some project that a company was initiating. I imagined some young account executive holding this sheet as he or she spoke to colleagues and bosses. The person was still there in the paragraphs.

5. Value Village is a thrift store in London, featuring lots of quality used clothing. I go to Wellington Fitness next door and often see crowds of folks coming and going with their treasures. I think of the folks wearing other folks’ clothing and wonder if the energy of the previous owner shines through to the new one.

6. I bought a wooden mask in Toubacouta, Senegal in January. The smile is big and the eyes are wide. The fellow offering it said that his great-great-great? grandfather carved it over a hundred years ago. That man’s hands are still in the crevices of the face, in the high cheek bones, in the joy.

7. I’ve been privileged to see many bears in the Canadian Rockies, even the occasional grizzly. And yet most times on the alpine trails there was no sign of the majestic animals. But I would look to the way ahead and realize that the bears were here – I just couldn’t see them. I would sense their footfalls on the dirt and exposed rock.

8. At home I have a ticket stub for a Bruce Springsteen concert in Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, around 1980. What lives on in that little slip of stuff is … me. A younger version. Dancing in his seat. In love with life, just not as deeply as now.

9. I’m still in the waiting room, and a huge window allows me to look across the street to a brick building. Its side is covered with a mural, depicting Weston Road as it once was. A streetcar rumbles down the street. A two-storey brick building is topped with a bell tower. Mother and daughter are strolling on the porch of what might be a general store. The people are created in paint but they stand in for real folks who walked this street decades ago. And the artist’s love lingers on the wall.

***

Ghosts from the past
Real in the present
Leaning into the future

Beyond the Brain

The first thing to know is that I’m sick right now. Dizzy, coughing, nausea coming and going. Is it wise for me to hunker down, to feel the energy of healing coming into me, to be alone, to let go of communicating with the world? Or … should I put myself out there, most immediately in writing this blog post? Well, you see the results in front of your eyes.

The thoughts in my head are jambling away, about how I should be in bed with covers tucked under my chin. Maybe they’re right. But I feel something pulling me forward into contact with the human race … and so I tap. I’m not seeking sympathy or praise or assistance. I just want to communicate, in hopes that my struggle of the moment will speak to some of you. To what extent do we need to be stopped by illness? I don’t want to be stupid about this and ignore my body’s needs but there’s a whole wide world out there to give to that isn’t going away just because I’m not feeling well.

***

I left home yesterday in Scarlet for the trip to Toronto. In the pocket of my coat, lovingly cradled, was a ticket for a Friday evening concert. I was going to sit right in the middle of the front row to hear the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in Koerner Hall. It’s such a beautiful room, hosting 1100 guests, under a stunning sculpture hanging from the ceiling. It looks like the flow of a violin up there, looking down, blessing us. I’ll be so close that the sweat on brows will fly through the air as the bodies move to the music.

The drive to Toronto was slow and uneventful. I knew that freezing rain was closing in on us from behind but I had left just early enough to escape the slip-slidin’-away.

Anne, my B&B hostess, told me on arrival that I was just in time to partake of the free Thursday night dinner at the church a block away. Yay! “Murray”, a young Ministry student, welcomed me with song and guitar, and then 1-1. He actually remembered me from about eight weeks ago when I first enjoyed the companionship of the church members and guests.

I sat and smiled with a woman named “Brenda”, who grew up in Eritrea in Africa and now enjoys Toronto. We laughed a lot.

It was time to leave. I put on my coat and walked over to say goodbye to Murray, who was still eating.

“Are you going to another concert this trip?”

[Wow. How does he remember this stuff?]

“Yes. Tomorrow night I’m going to listen to an orchestra at the Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor Street.”

[I pull out the ticket and glance at the young woman sitting across from Murray. She’s looking at me … and beaming.]

***

Okay, Bruce. what exactly happened next? Something was going on that didn’t involve your brain. There was no debating, no list of pros and cons. There merely was a hand moving.

***

I placed the ticket in front of her. “For you.”

Joy exploded from her eyes. She works at a grocery store and got on her phone, trying to find a friend to switch shifts with her. Four calls later … Bingo!

“You have two tickets, right?”

“No, just one.”

“Oh, so you can’t make it.”

[Silence. Looking into each other’s eyes.]

“I’m giving it to you.”

[Silence. Looking into each other’s eyes.]

“Oh my God. Thank you. This is the best birthday present ever.”

***

I’m no better and no worse than anyone else
No calculation moved my hand
So who did?

Where is Home for Me?

There was a time when playing golf simulations
on my laptop was supremely important

There was a time when me living in Vancouver
was the only thing that got my juices going

There was a time when I knew I would be an accountant …
and the riches would flow accordingly

Where did those people go? They are old versions of me, and I need to honour them as I say goodbye. Which leaves me with “Who is Bruce right now?” And who should I consult to figure that out?

These days, I gauge my Bruceness by seeing what “sings” to me. If I don’t feel my heart flutter, then I sweep the topic to the periphery of my life.

Just now, in the Landon Branch of the London Public Library, I picked up today’s issue of The Toronto Star, a well-respected newspaper. Perhaps in there I’ll find headlines (or commercials) that speak to me. Let’s see:

I’ll add a ♡ for “yes” and a ■ for “no”.

Province looks at ways to speed evictions ■

Beware health care “super-agencies”, experts say ■

No host for Oscars … but show will go on ■

Trump gives insult-free speech ■

OPP mulls probe into alleged bill leak ■

Hockey parents’ “brawl” just words ■

Toronto home prices likely to rise 4 per cent this year ■

How much is your diamond worth? ■

If they say it, they should be held accountable

North Pole isn’t where it’s supposed to be ■

Apartment fire kills 10 in Paris ■

Pope publicly acknowledges clergy’s sexual abuse of nuns

Election interference is top of mind for Canada ■

One day only! Midnight sale! ■

Costa Rican ex-president accused of assault ■

She speaks for the trees

One of top 3 best goal-scorers on Earth ■

Cannabis use another hot topic

Ottawa wrong to support opposition in Venezuela ■

Get your bonus upgrade ■

***

What’s true is that I don’t care about most of the stuff that shows up in the news. I do care about keeping your word, reversing injustices, and having loving relationships. But mass media isn’t looking like a wise place to find many life-affirming articles.

So stop reading the newspaper, Bruce
Turn off CNN
Go elsewhere for wisdom and love
Go home

Your health depends on it

Spondic Love

 

I was on an internet call tonight with members of the Evolutionary Collective Global community.  I revelled in the experience of beaming love at a partner and then receiving it in return.  The topic for the evening was spondic love.

Beatrice Bruteau coined this term.  It’s not about what typically suffices for love in our society, where often it’s “I’ll be tender to you if you keep doing what I want you to do.”  It’s not about a couple turning inward in their devotion, shutting off the world.  It’s not about picking and choosing whom you love.  Here are some quotes from smart people to help us all see what spondic love actually is:

(Ilio Delio)

Bruteau indicates that a “person” is not an individual being.  Rather, a “person” is the unbounded activity of freely projecting energies, or what she calls “spondic” energy, a Greek word that means “libation” [pouring into].  Spondic energy does not originate out of thought or will.  It is not the act of an individual.  Rather, it comes from a deep, transcendent center, the still point where we are being held by Omega [“a final point of divine unification”].  It originates spontaneously, arising only from itself.  It is always free.  A “person” is one who acts out of a spondic, self-giving center.  Anything other than a spontaneous energy center of relatedness is not fully reflective of a person … Bruteau indicates that only “persons” can enter into communion consciousness.  “Individuals” remain external to one another.

(Patricia Albere)

Spondic love is the experience of “I am.  May you be.”  In the way we practice, there’s this experience of love, and when you love someone it comes from some place that’s deeper than your personality loving them.  There’s almost this cosmic energy that wants to just go “Ha!  I want you to have everything.  You know … like I love you.  I love you!”  You just want to imbue them with everything.  We feel that for our children.  Sometimes our heart bursts open into this kind of empowerment that is deeper than just human love.

You can feel it when you’re on the other end of spondic love.  It is palpable.  You actually feel like part of your life just got made because this person loves you from a place where they’re in and for you in a way that’s real.  This mutual spondic love is part of the consciousness that we’re working with, and the consciousness that I think is next.  I think that the next place of innovation will be that kind of love – instead of being separate, instead of not being even neutral towards each other and just surviving on our own, or competing or actively using each other and stomping on each other.

This spondic quality of love and connectivity will be the foundation for a ridiculous amount of miracles, innovation, creativity, coming together, working together, doing things that can’t be done, et cetera, et cetera, that’s going to be the next explosion of where evolution is going to be working.

(Brian Wilcox)

Life becomes libation, libation-ing.  Intimacy with Spirit, being one with True Self, from which flows this spondicity, flows into intimacy with the other.  To have this intimacy, we do not have to like the person, as defined by “personality”.  We do not even have to share a physical space with him or her … This libational kindness is non-local.  This loving can reach into the past, into the present, or into the future.  This love is boundless.

***

I asked myself tonight what my life would be like if I projected spondic love to people who come my way?  If such love was present in my thoughts for most of the day?  If it didn’t matter at all whether the love was returned?

Wouldn’t that be a recipe for freedom?

Floor Hockey

For the past decade or two, I haven’t been what you’d call a careful person.  I’m pretty spontaneous, and no doubt some of the silly things that come out of my mouth have some folks questioning my sanity.

And I want to do things.  Things that involve spurts of energy, throwing my arms into the air, singing when I feel like it.  I’ve loved dancing for many years.  Jody used to enjoy staring at folks who were watching me dance.  She loved seeing their fascination with my erratic use of four limbs – not exactly the fox trot, not exactly jiving, not exactly … anything.

I hurt my knee on Canada Day last year, slipping on some slopey grass.  It still hasn’t healed fully.  I’ve wanted to get an MRI to see what’s going on, but my doctor at the Fowler-Kennedy Clinic offered another perspective.  “You have arthritis in both knees.  They’re degenerating some.  The grass was just the moment that caused you to pay attention to something that previously you couldn’t see.”  Oh.  So I’m doing these eight exercises, not to end a pain that came on suddenly but to strengthen knees enough so that I can continue doing the “Activities of Daily Living”.

And what exactly are these ADL’s?  I guess that’s up to me to decide.  Walking, climbing stairs, bending over to pick up the newspaper – these are good things.  But I want more.  I want to play floor hockey with the kids at school!  Doctor J warned me about the dangers of sudden sideways movements of that joint of mine, but saw floor hockey in my future.  That was three weeks ago.  Today I decided the future is now.

A friend and colleague presented me with a blue t-shirt this morning.  Written across the logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the name of the school.  On the the back was “Brucio”.  That’s me!  At noon, the teachers’ team was to bang sticks with an ace kids’ squad from Grades 5 and 6.  The winner would go to the finals on Thursday.

So, Bruce … yes or no?  I said yes, after consulting with my right knee.  It smiled up at me.  The kids are fast and aggressive.  I’m slow and aggressive.  I got out there and did battle, noticing that when the puck did end up on my stick, I had precious little time to do anything valuable with it.  Oh well.  I played some so-so defense and got a few good passes off to my teammates.  The knee twinged here and hurt there but I consistently remained vertical.  I even got a zippy shot on net.  The Grade 6 girl playing goal had to make the best stop in the history of the western world to deny me.  Or … the puck headed right for her stomach.

I picked an opponent to check and stuck with him like glue, occasionally.  More often, he was long gone down the gym floor while I breathed behind.  Happily though, I wasn’t the token adult.  I played hard.  I wasn’t out of place.  I contributed to our stellar 1-1 tie with the kids.  And we do it all over again on Thursday.

Am I crazy?  Am I risking my future ability to walk by engaging in these hockey shenanigans?  Is this a late life crisis?  Naw.  None of the above.  I’ll keep doing my physio.  I’ll do my yoga.  I’ll be on the elliptical.  And I will have fun with those kids.  They deserve me and I deserve them.  And watch out Miss Goalie.  I see a wrist shot to the top corner in your future.