I don’t want to carry your
burdens anymore –

Don’t give me your tired, your lost,
those yearning to be free
0f them, I have no
more needs

I don’t want to carry your burdens

Be gone, just let me be

in my isolationist stupor
in the pain to the known
in the fear of the knowing
in the branding of you.

I don’t want to carry your burdens
anymore—Be gone, banished from my distant

while I burn effigies of
and conjure up eschatologies of thee
as my neighbor smokes his weed
to forget all that he does see

I don’t want to carry your burdens

be banished deep in the earth,

up to the forever skies—

into the volcanoes, the ash clouds,
the poison rains

that pour down upon me

all I don’t acknowledge of thee

in nightmares silently scream on

celluloid blogs

in the mechanic’s garage.





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Right action

Right action dedicated to the highest good for all, including the water,plants and the stones, can truly shift the course of the planets and the stars.

Transmitted to Skye, 2014.

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Who am I?

Who am I?  Why am I here?  What do I want to learn in this lifetime?  Some say that the first step before any true healing can occur involves answering honestly and deeply these questions about yourself.

Alejandro Jodorowsky – movie director, author, tarotist, and much more – numbers among the most creative and innovative individuals walking the planet these days.  He is widely renowned in France, his adopted home, as well as in Chile (where he was born) and Mexico (where he lived for more than a decade).  He has developed a type of ancestral work that he calls “metageneology” that, according to a French colleague, is used quite extensively in France.  It brings in our connection to our family tree and ancestors as an important pathway to self-discovery and avenue for healing and positive transformation.

But in this article, I want to focus on a personal story he shares in his book about Metageneology.  He tells about how at one point in his eventful life, he was threatened in Mexico as a result of a movie he was making and had to flee to the USA in the middle of the night with his family.  He ended up in New York City with no money and no work.  This caused him so much anxiety that every night he soaked at least 7 t-shirts.  No prescription could stop these infernal night sweats.

One day someone told him about a Chinese sage named Cheng Man Ch’ing who was living in New York City and giving free consultations every week to the sick in Chinatown.  Alejandro decided to go see if this man could cure him.  He describes meeting “this beautiful elder” with such gentle energy as follows:

He stared into my eyes and asked this unexpected question: What is your goal in life?  That bothered me and with a lack of respect I regretted immediately, I answered, “I came to you for a remedy against sweating, not for a philosophical conversation.” 

Calmly he responded, “If you do not have a goal in life, I cannot cure you.”

This came as a shock to me, psychologically. 

Alejandro goes on to describe several answers that passed through his mind, but all seemed unimportant and insignificant.  He perceived how many of his goals were actually from his ancestral legacy, unfulfilled wishes and dreams of his parents and grandparents – poor Jewish immigrants from Russia.  And how his own parent’s unhappiness instilled in him a fear of success.

And as he looks at Cheng Man Ch’ing, I realized that my purpose in life was not that of an isolated individual, but that of the entire human race: past, present and future.  Timidly, I ventured to say, “I want to know and understand the whole universe; I want to live as long as the universe lives; I want to become the Consciousness of the universe in order to create.”

I thought the wise man would laugh at me, accuse me of delusions of grandeur, but it was the complete opposite.  With a loving smile, he said, “You have a purpose in life, now I can cure you.”

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s story continues to intrigue me, especially as other recent reading on the topic of healing also discuss the criticality of knowing our life purpose in the healing process.  I have asked myself the question Cheng Man Ch’ing posed with such acuity to Alejandro, and must confess that I am still groping for the true answer that resides beyond all the societal expectations and practical realities.

Is it to write?  As much as I enjoy writing, if I couldn’t write I would still be me and find other ways to fulfill myself.  Is it to love and be loved?  Important, of course, but I somehow sense that there is something more to life, and to my life.  Is it to transcend?  To transcend what?

I have tried asking a few people this question, people close to me, people I love.  None have been able to give a response yet.  Maybe this should not be so surprising, since in our culture and lifestyle we are taught and trained in so many ways and about so many things – but understanding ourselves, at a spirit level, is not a high priority.  In fact, it sometimes feels like society is set up to keep us from focusing on these “big questions” as we entertain ourselves with gadgets and busy ourselves with the mundane.

Maybe, just maybe, one of the reasons for so much mental illness and addiction these days it that a lot of us don’t have a clue why we are living our life or what our true purpose is.

Often, in the case of Alejandro Jodorowsky, we need a wise elder to help us discover the answer within ourselves.  Most of us can’t access such profound knowledge on our own, without the help of sacred wisdom keepers or through some other sacred gateway to wider realms of realities.  As for me, I continue to pose this question to myself.  Even if I don’t yet know the answer, I find solace and perhaps even a bit of healing in the quest.

August article in the Monadnock Shopper


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Hidden in the dew,
unbidden and away from your daily new,
a treasure enfolded in the now–
its gift is nothing
and it gives it all to you.

From Skye Stephenson, Mystic Mourn: Poems (2015)


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The Circle of Peace

The Circle of Peace
Extends in infinite directions
Wherever you look
Whenever you sleep

It resides in your baby’s cry
And in your lover’s sigh
It is infinitely wide
And just as high

Especially when you don’t go looking for it
But rather embrace it just where you are

Just as you are

A shining star
Of potential peace
About to bloom
And share your infinite fragrance
With the sacred world
Of now.

Beam it high
Beam it low
Beam it on the breast of winged doves

Yet to be born who still hear your gentle intrusion
Upon a messy slope
Bringing hope
In ways simple and strong
And helping others
Move their lives along

So take a step
Take a gentle and kind step
To nowhere at all

Just bend down and
Tend to your own
Little stars

Beaming bright
In the everyday light
Of just as it is
Here and now –

Welcome heaven on earth
As earth is in heaven

Where stars bloom bright
Then cycle away and die

Where angels sing their silent songs
That no one can hear
But the crazy fools
Who hear beyond the walls of the empires
Of cultures narrow and too defined

Call upon the nothing
Which is just what you are
And embrace your perennial peace

With a smile on your
Ravaged and pockmarked face

Oh child
Of infinite place and


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Slouching towards Love

The title of this article has arrived to me and yet as I begin to write I am not sure how it will unfold.  A few hours ago I had a different idea for this column in mind, but after a heart to heart conversation with a family member on a challenging topic, “love” entered me – tugging for a voice.

The kind of love I am thinking of is not Valentine’s Day love or the rosy glowing sensation when we first “fall in love.”  No – I am thinking more about the love that Leonard Cohen captures in his famous song Hallelujah – “Love is not some kind a victory march/It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”

What is a broken Hallelujah?  What does it have to do with love…a cold love, perhaps a broken love?

Here Cohen reminds us that we are not talking about “the light,” “the Lord above,” or even the “song you don’t care about.”  Above and beyond all this, hidden in its darkest crevices, is love in our brokenness.  Maybe even love because of our brokenness.

I am writing all this tonight reflecting on the crappy genetic material of my family line that translates specifically into a “brokenness” of body, mind and spirit among many of my family members.  From an aunt with multiple sclerosis who ended up in a wheel chair for years to an uncle and grandfather with legs amputated; from a mother who sometimes could not get out of bed for weeks at a time to a father who was withdrawn emotionally and disconnected with all his family members; from several cousins institutionalized to my own teenage acne that ravaged my face and made many look away during my vulnerable adolescence….I have often imagined and longed to have a “normal” family.

My best laid hopes for my children – that they would have a more “normal” life than I did – have not come to fruition as I had once dreamed.  This topic was the conversation I alluded to in the opening paragraph of the column.  Specifically, it was about my beautiful, adult daughter whose brain currently is not functioning optimally. There is so much stigma even these days around certain words and labels, especially as they relate to so-called mental illness, that I do not want to specifically state the most plausible psychiatric diagnosis.

Even though 1 out of every 100 people in the world will in the course of their life time experience an episode of this and more than 25% of the people who experience this brain disease recover fully, there are still many misperceptions about this disease which research clearly shows has little connection with poor parenting or abuse.  Rather, it is due to a combination of genetic predisposition and a triggering incident such as certain infections or hormonal changes.  In fact, this brain disease is twice as prevalent as Alzheimer’s and six times as prevalent as insulin dependent diabetes.

And so we are back with Leonard Cohen’s brokenness.  He himself has admitted to experiencing periods of depression and withdrawal, as have so many deeply creative people.  While this brokenness can offer great promise as well as great pain, it also offers others who love the person the opportunity to stretch and deepen their capacity of love.  Here we have the chance to love someone who is no longer as normal as they once were; we have the opportunity to test our own abilities and gifts of love in the chalice of witnessing what we had hoped never to witness.

And just as there is sorrow in this space, there is also the potential for great healing and soul work.  My Tai Chi teacher reminds us that you can always relax more, which is the primordial lesson of the soft martial arts.  In the same way, you can always love more.  Leonard Cohen puts it this way – “I did my best; it wasn’t much. I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.”


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Turquoise Eagle Wings

Yesterday’s rhymes
don’t work anymore —

Don’t you know bro’
that we’re in
another space
another place.

The river’s run

The earth no
longer touches the sky.

Insides are out
and my belly button’s
shriveled and dried.

Clouds of adamant fumes:
The lights always burn —
No refuge.

No wonder they cry
in the deepest
their blue velvet skies,

As Bear is entombed
beneath poisoned fumes.

I cry and yet
I still dance
tall and free–

No bars around me
can keep my

from flying on

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