I was dragged by my partner to sit with Gangaji over 20 years ago. I was dipping my beak into the smorgasbord of spiritual playgrounds like a hummingbird on a mountain of lupine. I was thirsty for a quick fix that would give me the key to the gates of heaven. I do not remember that first sit except that I was overwhelmed by the 250 plus folks who had crowded into a hall in Marin, California, all searching for something and hoping to find it in this teacher.

Ruthlessly gentle is what comes to mind as I reflect on the five or so years that I sat with Gangaji. On one retreat I finally got the courage to go up and subject myself to this gentleness. I had come up with an image of my search. I was Coyote and the answer was the Road Runner. Every time the answer seemed within my grasp or I glimpsed a glint of understanding, I would reach out to hold it and … gone. It was like Coyote in the cartoon, I either fell of an endless cliff , or was blown up by my own mechanism for capturing the knowledge, or run over by my own sense of accomplishment.

Gangaji laughed and said ”beep-beep!” And the entire room of 250-plus people laughed. I was bewildered, a little embarrassed, and finally dumb struck. She saw me, she saw my suffering, my sense of being lost and not getting it. My memory of it was her reaching out with a gentle hand on mine and locking me in her gaze. After a minute of silence as my tears welled and I experienced her compassion, she said simply; “Stop the search. Just stop the search.”

I said thank you and got up from the chair in a daze, and walked back to my seat. Gangaji spoke more about the Coyote and the Road Runner and how perfect a metaphor it was for suffering. For the rest of the retreat people kept coming up to me and thanking me but I felt fraudulent. I heard it, I felt it, I could even speak it “Stop the search.” But I continued the search. I saw the radiance of others as they sat with my teacher. I heard them talk about their profound understandings and deep surrenders and I just thought, “I don’t have it yet; what they have.”

But Gangaji had struck a match that smoldered in the rags of my life-long doubts and fears and judgment and diminishment. I tracked the wisps of smoke from the smoldering pile, realizing that I could not stop the search until I knew what I was searching for and what was causing me to search in the first place. With Gangji’s continued guidance of pointing me back to now, I began to clear away the debris of habitual patterns of searching. “And what is happening now?” she would say when I or another student would be lost in our thinking about, or in our searching for, something out there, something other than this which is unsearchable. Or she might say, “Where is the I that is searching?” Throughout the next 20 years, her husky whisper comes to me in the most lost times or in the times when I think that I have have finally arrived. “Who is lost?” “How can you arrive when you are already here?”

I have always carried a pervasive gratitude for Gangaji, my first guru. (She’d not like me calling her that.) It is her teaching that is the guide rail for all my practice and my work with others. It is really only in the last few years and especially since I began this recent journey, that the fire that she lit 20 years ago has grown into a fire that burns away all doubts, fears, judgments, so that I know now, there is no need to search, because there is nothing to search for that is not already here.


Here is a link to Gangaji’s site:

She is leading a virtual retreat on the weekend of October 3.

The Enterprise

Recognition is my core drive, like the warp core drive of the Enterprise. If it melts down, the ship will dissolve into the space vacuum.

Although it is this core “to be seen” that maintains the illusion of self it also seems to be the offering, that is most accessible, that I have for others. Recognizing the other as they are through all of their own obscurations and doubts. Seeing the bare nakedness peaking out from under the blanket of societal obscurity, suppression and oppression, or karmic imprints. 

I want this longing for recognition In me to be gone. I want to know what it is like to be in the world without the constant drive to be seen, to be recognized. As I write this I see that the drive is not to be recognized for what I am in the truest nature, but to be seen as a part of the whole, as a valuable piece in the puzzle, as a contributor, as included.

As included, even more than being recognized

Not having the skills to be included as a child, I forced my way into circles with loud and aggressive intellectual trickery and lies. Eventually leading to virtual isolation and a resultant prolific inner world and a highly developed subtle skill for getting seen.

Being seen by one dedicated one was all I looked for initially, but that was not only not enough it was impossible for that one other to sustain. I either pushed away the ones who didn’t fall for it or who were so encrusted in their own morass of obscurations that they were inured to my cravings, or I wrung them out until there was just exhaustion in the relationship.

Larger groups were fulfilling but only temporarily and there has always been a push for more and broader recognition. Always from a supervisorial role or teacher, where I was seen but not included. As I reflect on it, I also notice that I would always keep a step away from Full inclusion as if being included would melt down the core drive. And without that, who knows what would become of me?

In moments of grace throughout all of this, there is the realization of the emptiness of all of that and the truest nature of being that is not just mine, but just is for the totality of experience. Where the core drive has not only melted, it has dissolved into the emptiness. An emptiness so dense with joy and compassion and kindness and equanimity and awareness that there is no room for striving or longing or doubt. An emptiness so dense that it has no weight and no perimeter and every point is the infinite center point.

A deafening silence, a soundless cacophony, a timeless eternity, an empty presence. A memory-less cognition.

An absolute 


in a void.

So, I wonder…

if this core drive of being included or recognized, or any other of the infinite drive manifestations,  is actually the propellant to the realization of the true nature of reality in this body/mind experience; Are all drives, whether for money or fame, or substances, or freedom, or equality, or pleasure, or escape, or intensity, just that? True Nature constantly involuting, ever creating, paradoxically, simultaneously,  self realizing and un-selfing? That all this inherent drive, the core drive of the Enterprise, however it manifests in Beingness, is True Nature exploring the infinite expanse of the cosmos as itself? 

Scotty? … Scotty? …..

From Waterhorse:

G- is for God. 

When depression strikes God can only be sensed as a memory or concept others feel.  In the best moments God can feel like a faraway place.  The underlying feeling of hopelessness acts like an airplane in a cloud where there are no instruments to navigate through the storms of grief and loss. Storms do pass and in moments of clarity God becomes a landing place. Remember to pull back on the throttle and flare your wings to the horizon and you will be home.

See the full post at:

The Blessed Engineers

While riding the third ferry of the first day, I was taken by the brilliance of detail in the engineering of the ships. These massive, solid iron boxes floating on water and being propelled by thousands of uniquely engineered moving parts. With thousands of little efficient details and others that do not seem to have any clear purpose except to fulfill some designer’s whims, like big round holes in the girders supporting the decks.

I am equally (no… more!), taken by the engineering of the small metal box, appropriately named ELEMENT, that I will be living and traveling in, off and on over the next year or so. It seemed as if the intent of the engineer(s) was to make sure WIlliam Gentner had all of the nooks, crannies, hooks and crammies (places to cram things you don’t know where to put; in this case a new word made up so it would rhyme with crannies) that he needed on this voyage. It is clear to me that it must have been a crew of bright minds that had watched “Road Warrior” or a “Boy and His Dog” repeatedly and realized that they needed to make a vehicle that could withstand the apocalypse, be sturdy enough for the inevitable desert climes and gnarly roads, as well as providing a space big enough to sleep, eat, play and meditate in.

Engineers turn concepts into reality out of love. Their intentions and the consummations, even when they seem selfish, are ultimately acts of compassion. The engineer looks into the world and sees where there is struggle, suffering, or lack of ease and they take a designer’s dreams and make them a reality using their understanding of how things work and also how to make things safe and easeful. At their best they realize all the things in a dream or design that may cause suffering and transform the dream so it fulfills the loving intent of the dreamer. It seems to me to be one of the most egoless professions one can do. There are very few international, national or even local awards or public accolades for engineers. Sure, they make beaucoup $$, but I have never met one who is motivated by that when they are deep in the work of engineering

One might say that this magician’s skill for turning metal into miracles has brought as much harm as it has relieved suffering. But I do not think that is the engineer’s fault as much as it is the culture of greed and dominance that turns potentially life easing ideas into tools of destruction. There undoubtedly has been a great deal of ignorance of the effects of some engineering marvels, but at the outset the intentions have been, almost universally, manifestations of love for human beings and a desire to lessen suffering. 

And now, who will be the ones that ultimately create the tools to reverse the impending apocalypses and see unimaginable paths to prevent them…?

The Blessed Engineers.

Or at least they’ll keep improving on the ELEMENT, so that as many people as possible can ride out the coming storm with some ease and fun.


There’s a dead opossum in the walls of this newly built house.

They cannot be located but by the smell of their passing life

Trapped, sleeping, while the insulation, wallboard, tape, and paint

Were urgently applied to get the job done.

It will take a smashing and drilling and ripping of the walls

To get to the remnants of the carcass

That is causing a persistent suffering stench 

Permeating this newly built house.

Conscious, intentional, and perceptible harm may cause immediate and maybe even ineradicable results,

but that harm

is there, available to be raged at, to be swung at, to run from, to apply bandages to, to tell someone about, to seek support for, to choose a reaction to,

Before the studs go in And the insulation is sprayed. And the wallboard tacked and taped And the coats of paint applied.

It’s the harm that arises from the dying opossum in the walls of the house that lies in wait, hidden from consciousness, that, at its inception, cannot be

(because of politeness, PCness, need-to-be-lovedness, a need to survive)

raged at, swung at, run from, bandaged, spoken about, soothed, or reacted to.

It is the harm from preverbal imprints, childhood violence, or subtle emotional manipulations, silent neglect, subtle sarcasm, lifelong lies, or constant diminishment;

Or even more, 

The insidious carcasses buried in the foundations of lives, families, societies, genders, races, cultures and karmas, genderism, racism, classism, culture-ism, faith-ism, lookism, ageism, privilege, dominance, slavery, supremacy, competition, ignorance, egoism;

It is these hidden or forgotten harms that are initially unseen and seemingly impossible to root out. Because they are imbedded in the foundations of the skyscrapers of lives, and the ways of living that sustain faith in permanence, and drive the fear of its loss.

Could these be the seed of harm?

  • Eternal life is the promise of religion,
  • “Long lasting” is the gold standard for things, relationships, occupations, wealth, deodorant,
  • Endurance is the epitome of the idea of physical well being and emotional strength.

Threats to existence or the ideas of a permanent existence, Stir up fear, aggression, jealousy, hatred, and attachment; The ingredients for a perfect, permanent concrete mix To conceal the rotting carcasses of harm.

What would happen if faith in


replaced desire for


Would the wallboard crumble?

Would the studs rot away,

Would the foundation dissolve?

Would the source of the insufferable stench be revealed?

Would we ever harm again?