The 4th Step Flamenco

“Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple programme, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of been honest with themselves”.

 

The first thing apparent was something wasn’t quite right. I had no idea what and even less of an idea how I knew. But I knew. Of that I was certain. Simply put – my insides didn’t match others’ outsides! But no way was I going to say that out loud. Who would? Even though I had the love of some beautiful people, I knew from the word go I was dancing this one alone!
Looking back there was a few who could see and one or two who tried to raise the issue but that door was firmly closed. Besides all this I quickly found a solution and it was to accompany me every step of the way across four different decades. The journey with the illusion had begun 

Flamenco;
Noun- a style of dancing (solo) that is strongly rhythmic and involves vigorous action (including clapping of the hands).

 

Humans in general have nothing more than a nodding acquaintance with self-honesty. Everybody is quick to point out the other mans faults and almost blind to recognise them in themselves. The funny thing is, we don’t need to see them to be aware, we just need to listen. My problem is no different to anybody else’s. Its not that I chose to look the other way it was more a case of “soak in the praise and reject the appraisal”. Basically I surrounded myself with people, good or bad, who through no fault of their own, co-signed my bullshit. The delusion was in full swing and the masks fitted comfortably… for a while. Drink, drugs, violence, disastrous relationships, all from an early age had me believing I was some Romeo in a porno show. But whatever it was that was apparent first thing just kept clapping louder and louder until enough of the self imposed crisis routine embarked me on a journey into honesty…  

Education and information are wonderful things. Personally I love them and happily endorse them but on their own they are a fucking horror show. Since the invent of Google and social media everybody is an expert and a world leader in their chosen field of the day. Just so happens that since the internet made an appearance the insanity level powered up a few notches. Our planet is now the mental institution of the Universe and all sides think the other side is to blame. Infants in charge of an ego – dangerous game!
Thats where my issue with others has to end. Quickly I recall it all started long before any digital mindfuck and even if the Matrix really is a public information film instead of an action movie what good is that going to do me. The Flamenco is a solo dance but never danced alone, it requires vigorous action. There is action and more action… 

Throughout all the chaos, peppered with high octane excitements and soul crushing lows, the dice landed favourably enough often enough to warp my perspective. Education, information and greater efforts all mean jack shit without an awareness. What is awareness other than honesty in action. Am I honest enough to see my resentments are not the responsibility of somebody else’s efforts or can I see that Im a resentful fucker regardless. It matters not who’s name is on the list, it could be Micky Mouse, when it asks ‘Who is resentful?’ Its always my name in that column. Its the same with fears. It looks like the world and his wife have all got some form of anxiety disorder they are popping pills for. But honestly when I ask myself why I have them isn’t it because self reliance reminds me Im applying for Gods job but Im not qualified to sit in the interview. What about conduct? Does selfish self-centredness explain it with any justice? All I know is when it came to sex, money, prestige, there was never enough for me.

Whats the common denominator in all this? Me? You? Us?

“The first thing apparent was this world and its people were often quite wrong. To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore. Sometimes it was remorse and then we were sore at ourselves”.

The first thing apparent was something wasn’t quite right. What was wrong? I thought I could and would dance this one alone. But we are never alone. There is no me, there is no you, there is only us. Talking of honesty, there are some people that I will never like, some that I tolerate through gritted teeth. But it doesn’t matter. They are as much a part of the ‘Us  equation as anybody else. None of us qualify for the interview. The same life force, the rhythm, that flows freely through me flows through you flows through us. Separation is the illusion.

We don’t mature through age, we mature in awareness~ Byron Katie

“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there” ~ Yasutani Roshi

“Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me” ~ The Carpenter 

D&O in Fresno

Raging Bullshit and…

a brief acquaintance with Samadhi

A reintroduction;

Thirteen months have passed since the blog first burst out onto the Net. This is currently the 40th post and there have been over 1600 views so far. Averaging 123 views per month from all corners of the globe. Hardly New York Times Best Seller List material but still its done ok across various platforms. August 25th 2016 (first post) still holds the record number of hits in 24 hours (118).

So I thought now was as good a time as any to redo an introduction. Plus with the blogs theme of my daily practice of staying present and real to the moment along with been true to myself, coupled with the passing of the late great Jake La Motta it just seemed too good an opportunity for a great title.

I thought I would update on how Im doing with all this alongside a quick recap of previous posts and a list of my top 5 to date. I need to remind myself sometimes…

The world pulls at all of us, or the ego, whichever way you choose to look at it. People, their bullshit, false drama and constant mild or strong projected irritation can drive the sane totally crazy. Along with things such as debt, overworking, the economy, world war, world peace or any other fucking nonsense have got the majority of the population in the grip of a complete state of anxious depression.

Fuck that! The worlds problems are caused by one thing only – the human mind and its refusal to allow the sufferer to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. What has been seen can never be unseen. Knowing this is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it feels like Im walking through the set of The Walking Dead but along the way I’ve met some incredible people who remind me that’s all I’m doing… just walking through! Simple but rarely easy.

“In samādhi the mind becomes still. It is a state of being totally aware of the present moment; a one-pointedness of mind. It is a growing extension of the gap between thoughts and the conscious realisation of this without actually thinking about it.”

The world is full of sick people, I’m one of them. I can love them or hate them. The spiritual path tells me its better to love them and experience confirms this. Its a daily practice! I have a much deeper understanding now why I remained completely intoxicated with drink and drugs for decades. Along with why its so necessary to practice diligently what Ive learned since sobering up. If I don’t then I start buying into all the bullshit and then the dark side of me starts hinting that the crack pipe might not really be such a bad idea. The purpose of this blog has been to document all this.

Let’s take a look back…

Starting with NYC (15/9/16). Coolspring, Terrorists, Pancakes& Grits (21/9/16). Some time staying present in the big city, meeting up with mutual friends, a terrorist attack and enjoying some incredible food!

Familiar Ground (27/9/16). Connection (11/10/16). All that been back home entails after a trip to the greatest city on earth.

Onion Skin, Rehab and Parliament (11/12/16). Digging close to reality, working in a rehab and a trip to London after an invite to the House of Lords.

(5/2/17 – 9/3/17) Taking time to reflect in the posts…

Learning to let go.

Observing the illusion.

Easy does it.

Awake.

(15/3 – 14/4/17) The WordPress Challenge brought 16 posts.

My favourites been –

Taking tea with Tesla (a cuppa with anybody you choose).

On Location (write what you can see).

Just Meditation (a critique).

Zenphoric Recall was posted 18/4

Journey of a Single Step (27/4) & Process of Subtraction (25/5) were both published on the U.S Recovery Website DrunklessLife.com

Frontier (31/5) – looks at a close call and some Dejavu.

Night Watchman at the Crease (11/6) – exploring the wilderness of discomfort.

Roland (21/6) – a book review.

Seeker of Experience (29/6) – saying goodbye with a touch of Faith.

You can hear it in my accent when I talk (12/8) – back in NYC.

No Mas (25/8) – Roberto Duran with a 12 Step perspective.

Spiritual Hooligan (9/11) – the latest to date.

My Top 5

5 Thinking and Drinking with Mick & Mel (14/4/17).

4 Just for Today 24 Little Hours (6/4/17).

3 Fear (4/4/17).

2 Letter to Santa Claus (23/3/17 – its a Gratitude List).

1 Zenphoric Recall (18/4/17). Looking at even though the scars are real their influence on today in reality is nothing more than a dvd playing in the head.

As for Fresno she still out there just where I left her. Surrounded by the scorched California desert, her heart pulsing in tune with a flaming nuclear sun. Yosemite to the east and the Pacific to the west. Occupied by a massive Homeless population, some of them surviving daily battles of insane complexities. Some don’t. Alongside all this chaos half the United States’ Methamphetamine is produced and consumed. Block after block of Suburbs gives the City an eerie plastic twilight zone feeling as each resident participates in their own fresh fillet of hell. Somewhere amongst all this are certain groups and individuals who know there is a better way and battle to stay in touch with reality on a 24 hour basis – maybe down but certainly not out…in Fresno!

As for me… well I’ve had a blast.

A Zen Buddhist Poem…

“If you prefer smoke over fire

then get up now and leave.

For I do not intend to perfume

your mind’s clothing

with more sooty knowledge.

No, I have something else in mind.

Today I hold a flame in my left hand

and a sword in my right.

There will be no damage control today.

For God is in a mood

to plunder your riches and

fling you nakedly

into such breathtaking poverty

that all that will be left of you

will be a tendency to shine.

So don’t just sit around this flame

choking on your mind.

For this is no campfire song

to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with.

Jump now into the space

between thoughts

and exit this dream

before I burn the damn place down.”

“Its not a daily increase but a daily decrease, hack away the inessentials” – Bruce Lee.

“You punch like you take it up the ass” – Jake La Motta.

“Life’s tough… get a helmet” – Aiden.

D&O in Fresno.