Follow the Ved, Transcend the Ved, Then Live the Ved in Brahman

Clouds preceding the rain – September 18, 2021

During our spiritual evolution, the foundation of our spiritual knowledge and experience, the Ved, or Veda, doesn’t go anywhere. Instead, the Ved becomes fully integrated, and we then live it in Cosmic freedom, or Brahman, full enlightenment.

For example, all the TM teachers and Sidhas have been steeped in enlightenment, the Ved, from Maharishi for many decades, some their entire adult lives. What a total commitment!

Now, to live Brahman, they must integrate all His knowledge, and come into their own.

They can stop following Him, and instead fully surrender to Him, into the complete freedom of Brahman. It is like the day when we were kids, and the training wheels came off the bicycle! We could now ride confidently, anywhere.

Living Brahman doesn’t necessitate any outer changes. it is simply an acknowledgement that all knowledge taught in the Vedas has been integrated. The same source that gave birth to such perfect mandalas of Creation is now fully active within the individual, whatever their dharma.

The spiritual Dharma, however, is consistent for all of those living Brahman – Simply enlighten the world as quickly as possible! This is not some grand set of openly altruistic actions, designed to reward the apparent doer. No, it is a Cosmic commitment to stay on the job until done, full stop.

Both as big a task as can be taken on, and yet a subset of the Cosmic imperative available to us living Brahman. And therefore, always successful, without exception – the chief hallmark of Brahman.

Maharishi called this “Cosmic Ego”, though never selfish or out of touch, as we sometimes think of actions driven by the ego or sense of self. He just meant that we act naturally in Brahman, according to our unique character, and at the same time always in synchrony with the Cosmic will. This is transcending the Ved, and living Brahman, or Totality, living Cosmic life.

So the way to advance our enlightenment is to stop following Maharishi, and instead fully surrender to Him, surrender Absolutely into Brahman. This will hasten our global enlightenment.

~ Jai Guru Dev. All Glory to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Sri Brahmananda Saraswati ~

“Be Without the Three Gunas, O Arjuna” – Lord Krishna’s Invocation of Brahman

Milky Way rising SSW, on August 3, 2021

This expression from the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Two, verse 45, [Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Translation and Commentary], “Be without the three gunas” (sattva – purity, rajas – activity, and tamas – inertia), is one of the most frequently quoted passages used to illustrate the mechanics of Cosmic Consciousness (CC).

Though it goes much further than that. In its original expression, this verse is an invocation from Lord Krishna to Arjuna, to bring Arjuna to Brahman/Totality, full enlightenment.

If we look at the circumstances of the dialogue, it is clear that this is more than a recognition of Cosmic Consciousness. An epic battle is about to take place on the field of Dharma. Now. So there is no advantage to simply unveiling CC. Also, this is Lord Krishna, an Avatar, speaking to Arjuna, an exemplar of Vedic perfection.

Analyzing Arjuna’s character using Sri Brahmananda Saraswati’s six internal enemies as criteria (jealousy, anger, lust, delusion, greed, and intoxification), Arjuna is free of all of them, so another reason for Lord Krishna to take Arjuna straight to Brahman, Cosmic life, Totality. Arjuna is a pure vessel.

So in this case, the sacred invocation, “Be without the three gunas”, can be understood as pointing to several aspects of Brahman:

First, living Brahman or Totality, the Self matches the contours of the Cosmos in every way, inside and out – all of the infinite permutations and combinations of the gunas – so the Self is no longer primarily identified as a specific combination, as was true in UC. A subtle dissolution of the last of duality occurs, into Totality.

Next, the flip side of, “Be without the three gunas”, is that this mirrors the perfected state of non-attachment in Brahman, so we have access to all of the Cosmos, no longer restricted by any false sense of ownership, or identification. This will allow Arjuna to act with his full abilities and power.

The Self remains, though is expanded and deepened fully to its Cosmic status, Totality, so is unrecognizable from the standpoint of UC. The Self/gunas relationship has found its fulfillment in Cosmic status, Brahman – no boundaries remain (though a human form continues, as a vehicle for expression).

Critically, Lord Krishna’s aim is to wake Arjuna to action, to have him engage in battle, under the full and visible support of Divinity. This can only be accomplished completely by Arjuna living Brahman, as the Ved has now been fully transcended and integrated, and absolute surrender to Divinity is now possible. Lord Krishna’s reciprocal full support has the effect too, of foreshadowing the restoration of Dharma, and gaining an easy victory.

Clearly, none of us were up to the standards of being an Arjuna when we began meditation, and so the less powerful interpretation of Chapter Two, verse 45 of the Bhagavad Gita, “Be without the three gunas”, was used very skillfully, and accurately, by Maharishi, to point to our second significant spiritual milestone (after TC), Cosmic Consciousness, the realization of the Infinite nature of the Self.

However, now that we know the full truth of the expression, “Be without the three gunas”, we can ‘make hay while the Sun shines’, as Maharishi used to say. Integrate and transcend the Ved, to Brahman, Totality, full enlightenment.

This will hasten the inevitable global advance of the Age of Enlightenment, and bring Heaven on Earth.

~ Jai Guru Dev. All Glory to Sri Brahmananda Saraswati and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ~

A Journey of Consciousness Through the Sky

From my pictures last night and this morning, here is a sequence of four photos, each reaching further into the heavens.

The first picture shows daytime clouds, streaming west to east. Next, one of a jet shooting south to north, towards the Sun. Third, a plane flies at night across the edge of our Milky Way galaxy, navigation lights blinking, and finally, Saturn and her rings are displayed, 845.7 million miles distant. Enjoy!

From Fullness to Fullness: From Night into Dawn

When I went outside last night around 9 PM the sky was already dark, and the Milky Way was very clear, and colorful.

First shown are two pictures of the Milky Way – Rising behind the redwoods, and another, straight up. Next, before dawn, I saw the crescent Moon.

At 6 AM the Sun rose, a reddish yellow ball, through smoke on the horizon. Soon after, while I was taking pictures of one of our resident hummingbirds sitting on a nearby branch, it did a quick little dance in the air, and settled back down – Made my day! Please enjoy these six photos:

Accomplishing Anything – A Seamless Relationship With Divinity

The rising crescent moon at dawn

[Republished from 2020] Think for a moment about all of the ways humanity honors and worships God, the compassionate source, the fullness of Cosmic life. We see prayers mouthed in earnest silence, ceremonies performed, temples built, scriptures read and written, festivals enjoyed, holidays sitting in transcendence, religious devotion, living surrender, and service done graciously.

All of these ways we reach out from our ordinary lives, beseeching and giving thanks to the Almighty.

Now, we can take one gigantic step further, and develop a seamless relationship with Divinity and all of Her companions. I have written about my own discovery and use of such relationships – never for personal aggrandizement – and how they are critical for fulfilling desires that reach far beyond even our most developed individual capabilities.

Life is always lived in wholeness, in completion. The gunas (sattva – purity, rajas – activity, and tamas – inertia) remain balanced, and dharma proceeds. However, if we do not have a simple and direct way of checking in with the powers that be, we may leave something undone, which can then follow us for resolution; karma, a drag on life. Even worse, our deepest and most urgent desires have no conscious link to manifestation.

Until now, humanity has become accustomed to an impractical hierarchical model for reaching God; operating through intermediaries, as expressed by religion. This is fine, to introduce us to the idea that there are cultural mechanisms whereby we can educate ourselves about our fundamentally transcendental nature.

But as a longer term practice, this dependence on a go-between manifests at best like the game of ‘telephone’, whereby an original message is successively passed along from one consciousness to another, resulting in some large misinterpretations and dead ends. A little bit of Divinity always remains, some practical value, though a direct relationship is best, for fast, ongoing success in Cosmic life.

There is nothing unnatural about a direct relationship with the vast populations of Beings that inhabit Heaven, and the Beings that guide the weather, and the angels who nourish us in illness and comfort us in sadness. Living full enlightenment, Brahman, means that all of this comes along and deepens as naturally as the refreshing feeling during meditation, or even a good night’s sleep. It is inevitable, and needn’t be seen as the least bit unusual or strange. This ability is something we all have, however often smothered under the blankets of our slumber.

During this time, this rising age of enlightenment underway, is a new opportunity for Earth’s entire humanity to reliably and directly contact Divinity. What once seemed mysterious and cloaked in ritual and dogma, becomes as easy as wishing another a good morning – easy and familiar, though with uncompromising respect. We never forget who we are, in relation to the Beings who truly run our world, and are hiding in plain sight. Sometimes we are fortunate to sit at the same table with them, though always in grateful service.

Once we purify ourselves through regularly transcending, and gradually gain ‘divine sight’ as it is referred to, and cross what is largely a psychological barrier to communicate directly with all of life, obvious or not, then we can go on doing what we must, as urgently as possible.

Direct Divine relationships are not primarily a sign of special abilities – instead they are simply a requirement for being successful in this day and age, living in fullness and living Cosmic life.

Jai Guru Dev

~ All Glory to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Sri Brahmananda Saraswati ~

How Is a Seamless Relationship with Divinity Established?

Morning Fog in the Canyon, Looking East Towards Paradise

The first step is the recognition and acceptance of Divinity, the Heavenly Host – the Infinite world of Sattvic Beings who are here to guide and support us as servants of Mother Divine, always working on the principle that the more we give of ourselves, the more we receive. This speaks to the Cosmic Law of surrender, crystallized by the expression, “Whatever you put your attention on, grows.”

In today’s world with such a multitude of opinions, this initial recognition of Divinity can clash against many dogmas, many insistent stories that such Divinity does not exist, regardless the reach of Enlightenment. Or that Divinity exists in a very specific way, as each of the religions sees it. Or that Divinity can only be seen as a reflection of the highest values and manifestations expressed here on earth (which is getting it backwards…). So many ways to avoid the direct experience. These are all reactions to this lost relationship, with no way until recently for it to be regained by householders.

Refinement and purification are the keys in creating this opening to Divinity. Once the realization dawns that the world of Divinity eclipses our own in terms of practical involvement in our life, we can begin to seek such a relationship with confidence. We learn as we go, always gaining more than is surrendered.

Being aware that such involvement with the Divine exists solely in the realm of Sattva, Purity, means that we must purify our mind, bodies and hearts so that Divinity can approach us also, and we can respond with clarity and gratitude.

Although this is a gradual process, it is also an all or nothing proposition, and is the pathway to and completion of Brahman. What I mean is that such a relationship with pure Beings, those closest to Mother Divine can be intimidating, and make one feel quite inadequate and more aware of one’s temporal nature to say the least. All we are and have been enters the compassionate fires of purification, of surrender to Divinity.

Not for the faint of heart, for the sacrifice of awareness is total, as we are filled with the innocent Cosmic desires of Divinity and shown the way in which such desires are carried out here on earth. We surrender ourselves completely to Cosmic life.

However to call it surrender is almost laughable. We surrender our leavings, we surrender our meanness and churlish emotions, we surrender our limitations, we surrender our isolation, we surrender our poverty, we surrender our doubt, we surrender the jail cell and move onto Paradise, we surrender our mortality, we surrender nothing worth keeping.

This is the promise of the seamless relationship with Divinity. As Infinite Being is first established as our Silent foundation, then Heaven descends with surety and intention to make itself known. If this conflicts with the belief system, simply discard the belief system – as the expression goes, “end of story”. 🙂

~ Jai Guru Dev ~

Living a Calm Life; Living Brahman

Lamp in a window, overlooking a street in Amsterdam

This may seem an incongruous title for a post, given the whirlwind of activity, assumptions, and illusions present in the world today. But it is completely accurate.

One significant disruption to calm, is fear of the unknown, seen as a given for most of us. But there is no unknown in cosmic life, living Brahman. Or put another way, if we face something unrecognized, the knowledge comes quickly and confidently from a cosmic perspective, so that a solution is always found. Even if we are momentarily at rest before moving forward again, success is assured.

Regarding personal health fears, for example, these are dealt with easily by the transformation of the physical body to one that shares material life with cosmic life, once Brahman is lived. The physical body gains a high degree of purity and resistance to any disease, due to the deepest enlivening of consciousness within it. Minimal resources are needed to sustain the physical body, without any negative effects; maximum efficiency, maximum strength and stamina, minimal lasting stress.

Living Brahman we can take advantage of the life force that suffuses the cosmos in a way that visibly influences our physical body – reversing trauma, easily avoiding disease, and aging much more slowly. There is absolutely no effort associated with these positive results, save living Brahman.

Regarding fears for personal safety, these are countered by living a sinless life, one free of any theft or manipulation, selfishness or greed. This unimpeachable integrity provides safety from any predation or crime, undue loss or poverty, even as a rebound from long past actions.

Brahman doesn’t find much distinction between the past, present, and future. Once karma is resolved there is not as much apparent separation, not as many hard boundaries between these states of space and time. With fewer boundaries, there are fewer and fewer corners to turn while navigating life. Less attachments, greater knowledge and responsibility, fewer risks, more assured outcomes – based not on control, but instead on mastery – no excuses.

Paradoxically, the larger our desires become, the more assured we are of our success while living Brahman. While the world may be running in circles with its hair nearly on fire, Brahman bathes calmly in the endless waters of global sustenance and support, wondering exactly what all the fuss is about? 🙂

Delight From the Heavens – Saturn and Jupiter Last Night, August 24, 2021

Before the Moon had fully risen, I was able to take two excellent pictures of Saturn (836M miles/1.3B km), and Jupiter, with its four main moons visible (374M miles/778M km). We are mostly clear of Dixie Fire smoke for the time being. When there are too many smoke particles in the air, the camera cannot focus on such distant, tiny objects. Nikon P950, 1/100s., f/6.5, ISO 1600.

Please enjoy!

Deer in the Front Yard Today

There is a small local herd of six blacktail deer: one buck, three does, and two fawns. They are quite comfortable on our property, and except for the buck, came onto the front and side yards this morning, as I was trimming the lavender. I swear the doe in the last picture was smiling at me. Enjoy these four pictures of them:

A Great Horned Owl, Nearly Full Moon, and Hummingbird

I was sitting outside yesterday evening, and first saw a bunny, and then a grown jackrabbit, among the lavender near the house. Very unusual to see rabbits this close by, as they usually stay out in the yard.

Then one rabbit ran down by the side of the pool, and an owl swooped in for dinner, a wingspan of about four feet, and missed. The owl then retired to a snag on the hillside, where I took her picture in the dim light.

The Moon rose later, nearly full, and far less red once high in the sky.

This morning, the hummingbird was feeding in the crepe myrtle and bottle-brush, so I approached, and quietly began taking pictures.

Please enjoy!

Dixie Fire Sunrise Today and Last Night’s Moon

‘Orange’ is the operative word. We are smoky again today, though the forecast for tonight and the rest of the week, is for south and southeast wind, which blows out the smoke. Our power shutoff was cancelled, though the backup generator is all set. Please enjoy these unusual pictures of our celestial neighbors:

Sunrise today, August 19, 2021

Dispelling Our Fear Through Clarity and Experience

Drone view of Bear Fire – September 2020

Note: I first published this post on January 7th, 2021, the day after the US insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, DC. It is also in my book, ‘BRAHMAN – Learning to Thrive in Paradise’.

As our world speeds up, we can encounter circumstances that are sudden, unexpected and unsettling. As we move towards a Sat Yuga (an enlightened age), the operative word is move, for it is this singular difference, between dynamic activity and sluggishness, that allows our global family to evolve more quickly, in all respects.

Now that this is happening in more and more noticeable ways, we must adjust or be forever anxious. These challenging times are not an anomaly. However, since we as a human family have caused them, chiefly through the ubiquity of microprocessors, we must also have the innate ability to calmly and comfortably deal with this broader and faster way of life we now find ourselves in.

Consider the simple example of a baby laying in a crib, and mom leaves the room, just a short distance away. The baby having no experience that mom is close by, gets upset, even panicky. But mom does not similarly panic, because through experience she knows her child is close by, and easily tended to.

Similarly, when we expand our consciousness by aligning it more closely with cosmic law, we too gain the ability to broaden our view, deepen our intuition and even develop divine relationships to protect and guide us.

There has been much tumult in the US lately, especially on January 6th when the US Capitol building, the seat of our Congress, was breached by insurrectionists. I watched it happen live on TV. Although unsettling and undesirable, I saw it very much as an isolated incident with no chance of success. Such has been my reaction to this constant and escalating stress testing of our democracy – nothing to worry about.

This is not a ‘head in the sand’ approach, or magical thinking. It is a careful assessment of the situation from a cosmic perspective. Samyama (knowledge of any object) greatly improves with full cosmic alignment, living Brahman, so there is a sense that our world extends easily beyond current time and space.

Like seeing in the dark, we gain the ability to view the world beyond its common boundaries of space, time, and depth. This removes fear because we have both a larger perspective, and foreknowledge of events so that no matter what the speed of change, the context is familiar.

We can see a little further ahead, and examine any past experience in great detail. Living Brahman, this happens automatically because Totality will always be itself, never lacking for possibilities. Solutions are easy to find.

For example, despite the chaos and madness on January 6th in Washington I know that the USA is still moving in a very positive direction. This is because of foreknowledge I received through samyama that the transition to another political party would be successful, including the recent runoff election in the state of Georgia. This is a cosmic perspective – a lot less worry simply because of an expanded view, and competence in managing such a vast expanse of time and space.

It is sometimes disconcerting to have such a view of safety and progress for the world when many would strongly disagree, though an expression of Maharishi’s always comes to mind: “Knowledge is different, in different states of consciousness”. When seen in waking state our global family can appear to be locked into insurmountable problems, but if we first ground ourselves in the compassion and intelligence of the cosmos, we bring the earth along, and introduce this planet more and more completely to our divine agenda. Everybody wins.

~ Jai Guru Dev ~

How to Enlighten the World

Yellow freestone peach, August harvest 2021, Paradise

This is how we become true Sidhas, owners of Creation, and are able to accomplish even the largest tasks, through our relationships with Divinity.

When I first read Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita in 1977, a question came to mind: If an enlightened person’s desires are all fulfilled, and the desire is for world peace, then why doesn’t it happen instantaneously?

Oh, how naive… 😊 The answer: each of us has personal, unresolved karma – aka ‘baggage’. The accumulated global karma cannot be dealt with instantly, by anyone.

There is a grand cosmic dance between a person and their karma, an ongoing cosmic education that cannot be interrupted. Quite beautiful really, and any negative effects can be smoothed out with wisdom. After many years of resolving my own karmas, clearing them, this has led me to an ever increasing ability to resolve the karma of others also.

This is my job now, to sustain peace and full harmony silently in my community, currently about a one-hundred mile radius in my immediate attention, and expanding from there. Also minimizing negative events and suffering coming to my attention from anywhere, by absorbing them into the Cosmic vastness, and resolving what is left with unconditional love.

It may sound fancy or strange when written down, but it is as easy as peach pie! It becomes a happy and sustained silent practice, to satisfy the Cosmic heart.

This is also a cumulative skill, built innocently by following my desire, and checking for results. Innocently and comfortably – this doesn’t come from a desire to force anything, solely to help, a cooperation. The technique if I can call it that, consists of deepening my relationship with all that is sattvic and celestial, Divinity, the masters of true power, design, and manifestation.

By becoming closer to such beings, I am also shown how they work, and how to enlist their aid. Certainly by prayer and supplication, and also by enlivening their influence everywhere, wherever the attention goes. Even into these words.

Along with this work or play, however it looks, is one critical element that Maharishi emphasized:

“Doubt is the enemy of Immortality”.

What this means, is, as we move forward into greater spiritual proficiency, our path is ours alone, and we must be careful to both confirm our progress, and proceed easily, without letting doubt poison the whole thing.

Then, Cosmic life is ours, and miracles become synonymous with daily life. I am not overstating this last bit – Cosmic law always brings us far more than we surrender.

~ Jai Guru Dev ~

Devotion, Surrender, and Friendship – The Superhighway to Brahman

Paradise sunrise, August 14, 2021
Paradise sunrise detail, August 14, 2021

“So those who communicate to the mind of the Master, naturally keep on deriving from all that is there in the cosmic mind. And those who are not able to make the connection with the Master, naturally lag behind in their efficiencies”
– On Guru Dev (1961) – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

This quote points to the fastest way for our spiritual evolution – aligning ourselves with the Cosmic mind of the Master. There is another quote as well from Maharishi that speaks to this process:

“When you are appreciating creation as much as the Creator, then the Creator will ask, ‘Who is appreciating my creation as much as me. Let me see this person.”

Perfection: This is the perspective of Brahman; Brahman personified, just as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi or Guru Dev, Sri Brahmananda Saraswati, are Cosmic life personified. This highest point of human evolution means complete Cosmic synchrony. Everything is now gone, except Totality, Brahman – the perfect paradox.

So how do we catch and hold the attention of such perfected Beings, so that their wisdom floods us like the ocean?

Certainly, devotion, born of overwhelming love, is a first step. Though we must remember that the entire Creation is devoted to those living Brahman, so our contribution must be greater than this, in order to stand out.

Prayer and proximity to the Master are natural desires associated with devotion, which can be satisfied by working for Him, doing prescribed sadhana, reading His works, and listening to His satsangs.

The next step in the process is surrender, innocent surrender, much as we surrender the surface of the mind to the mantra, in Transcendental Meditation (TM). Only now, in activity. This begins with our established devotion, and then removes any option of withholding ourselves to the Master, similar to losing the TM mantra to samadhi, Cosmic bliss. Surrender.

As we progressively surrender to the Master, aligning our mind and body through His taught practices and wisdom, we begin to take on the same characteristics. Not very quickly, though! 🙂

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is Cosmic alignment. Although the process is assured, we must do so much to prepare; maximum purity and clarity, and this comes from ongoing alignment to the Master.

This also has no relationship to a physical proximity with the body of a Cosmic Master, such as Sri Brahmananda Saraswati or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There are those fortunate to have served these great souls while they were here on Earth, though the alignment to their Cosmic minds is available to anyone diligent, wise, and devoted enough, to begin to live their descriptions of Cosmic life, of Brahman, regardless of location.

We transcend the Self into its full Cosmic Reality, into complete wholeness. The Self doesn’t leave, it is transcended to its fullest extent, and the [subjective] experience changes, blossoms into Brahman, Totality, living Cosmic life.

By aiming for our highest goal, Brahman, fully established in surrender, at some point the Master must take notice, and when they do, the Cosmic oceans are released into our awareness, regardless of what work we are involved with here on Earth, our dharma.

To sustain this relationship, something I have long referred to as ‘a seamless relationship with Divinity’, we must be generating our own Cosmic momentum too, in order to keep up.

We bring our Cosmic personality to the table, as we would in any friendship. Though it is impossible to forget the greatness of these Saints, and we naturally and comfortably retain our innocent attitude of devotion and surrender, no matter how evolved we may think we are.

We continue our spiritual programs and our work on Earth, only more and more in an environment of assured success and support, and a deepening friendship with Divinity, the Cosmic imperative. As a result, Cosmic solutions abound, and our life gradually takes on the same quality.

~ All Glory to Guru Dev, Sri Brahmananda Saraswati and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ~

WANTED: Brahman, Full Enlightenment

Sunrise today

Yesterday I opened Youtube, and noticed a talk on Brahman by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, from the mid 1960’s I think. I began listening and one thing was clear, that while He was talking, He was making sure that the audience was comprehending His words.

After taking about an hour to explain the path from TC to CC to GC to UC, He saw that to get to Brahman, the audience would be lost. And His explanation of Brahman was terrible! haha Uncharacteristically ill thought out and convoluted, He tried to wing it and it just didn’t work. Even Brahman really had to give Him the benefit of the doubt on this one!

At the very end, He finally came up with, “…when the wholeness within envelops everything outside too, this is Brahman”. Not very tight, as the same could be said of UC, but this was the best He could do with those present; ‘know thy audience’, knowledge is structured in consciousness.

The issue is, that even in CC, Brahman is tough to comprehend, because Brahman transcends the actual vehicle we have been using to transcend, the Self, our universalized nature. Further, since the Self is used as a revered goal in all the language about TM, TM teachers do not innately understand Brahman either. Their training stops at UC.

Maharishi did not teach about Brahman specifically, because it is too far away from getting people to start and continue TM, which is the main focus of His teachers. It wasn’t practical at the time to reveal the full path of human evolution, so He stopped at UC, just short of full enlightenment, Brahman.

Brahman is Totality, and to fully get it, you must imagine the Self goes away [or expands to Totality…]. It doesn’t go away of course, though our identification with it does. Nonetheless this illusion of dissolution frightens people.

Also, Brahman as Totality completely embraces all positivity and all negativity, and lives in the three worlds, not just this one – Heaven, Earth, and Hell. This too is a complete reorientation from even UC. This speaks to the practical benefit of embodying Brahman, that nothing is beyond our ability or reach.

So, most of us currently avoid the peak of human evolution, Brahman, simply because Maharishi never spoke of it, and we now compensate somehow for our ignorance. No judgement here, just the Reality. We won’t always be this way here on Earth, but for now, this is, as Maharishi would say, “the sad state of human affairs”.

On the bright side, we are all indeed aiming for global Unity, in line with Maharishi’s doctrine, and that is a HUGE improvement over what we have today.

Of course, those now living Brahman are allowed to continue doing so. 😊

~ Jai Guru Dev – All Glory to Sri Brahmananda Saraswati ~

Discovering a Family of Blacktail Deer Near Nance Pond Today

I was walking near the pond down in the canyon today, and decided to explore a small stream that runs from the pond. This area was impassable before the fire, and now has a far lower profile of mostly berry brambles.

As I approached the stream, a family of blacktail deer emerged from a copse of trees and bushes just on the other side, a large buck, and several does and fawns. They mostly hid again, and as I got closer, one more doe got up on my side of the stream and walked away.

None of them were too concerned about my presence, and I realized this is the same herd that is frequently around the house, and knows my scent quite well, so they knew who I was. I was careful not to walk onto their resting area across the stream, or challenge their space.

It was a wonderful meeting! Here are eight pictures, including a dove and a fall red leaf as I approached the pond and stream. Enjoy!

A Local Blackout Across Nance Canyon Last Night

A car hit a power pole last night, on a road just across the canyon from us, and blacked out that neighborhood in Paradise. There were generators and lights on during the repair, which was completed in a few hours. The Dixie Fire smoke gave it an eerie quality. Here are three views from our place:

Just Picked Yellow Cling Peaches

Here is pretty much our entire crop of yellow cling peaches, picked just now from our dwarf tree – the first time in six years we have had fruit from this tree. Works out to half for us, and half for the critters. The sky looks tan and smoky today, but it doesn’t smell bad outside…

Saturn and Jupiter Last Night

The smoke in the atmosphere can be useful when photographing distant planets, as it filters out the glare. Here are Saturn (800M mi/1.3B km) and Jupiter (450M mi/745M km) from last night. Jupiter has three obvious moons showing, though it looks like the outermost one may be two, orbiting close together. Enjoy!

The Dixie Fire Yesterday and Today

Clear yesterday, and smoke haze today. Our southern wind is supposed to clear things out later. The Dixie Fire is now 322K acres, and the active fire front is about 50 miles away from us now.

Here are four pictures of 1) the fire front seen from Paradise, 2) a tanker helo, 3) the sun this morning, and 4) a dove today:

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Finding a Satellite in Geosynchronous Orbit

Last night I was taking pictures of the Milky Way, and decided to zoom into the center and see what it looked like for a 30s. exposure. Of course the star trails all became quite long as their position shifted relative to the camera lens, over the 30 seconds of the exposure.

Except for a white dot in the upper left edge of my second photo below. This dot didn’t shift position during the exposure, meaning it was rotating at the exact same speed as the earth does – an object in geosynchronous orbit. The camera was aimed due south.

From Google: “A geosynchronous orbit is a high Earth orbit that allows satellites to match Earth’s rotation. Located at 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) above Earth’s equator, this position is a valuable spot for monitoring weather, communications and surveillance.”

The inset in the picture shows a close-up of the satellite, showing a large dish transmitter on the craft.

Please enjoy these two photos; first of the Milky Way, and the other of the satellite:

International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise

The ISS hit a peak of 80 degrees last night, almost directly overhead, and I captured a very clear shot. Then I took some good pictures of Saturn, also brightly visible last night, and made a composite of the ringed planet and the ISS for the second photo posted here.

The ISS travels at 18K mph(29K kph)/250 mi.(400 km) up, and Saturn is over 800M miles (1.3B km) away. My equipment was the handheld Nikon P-950, max optical zoom 2000mm for ISS, plus additional 2x digital zoom for Saturn. Shutter 1/1000 s.

Please enjoy these two photos!

The crew habitation module is the bright cylinder at the top of the space craft. I always wave ‘hello’
composite of ISS and Saturn, August 1, 2021

The Dixie Fire and Sunrise

The fire keeps going, though it hasn’t been a threat to us for awhile. Mornings are smoky and afternoons clear, with the towering presence of the fire always evident to the north.

Here are two shots, the pyrocumulus cloud from yesterday evening, and a red sun this morning. Happy Friday everyone!

Midnight Skies, and a Little Rain Just Now

The Dixie Fire effects are no longer felt here, just west of Paradise. We have had steady winds to clear any haze, and about an hour ago we had a light rain – unheard of in July! Please enjoy these six pictures, beginning with a beautiful full moon from last night:

Dixie Fire Morning Sun – Smoke, Shadow, and Light

The Dixie Fire front has moved to our north and east and is at higher elevations, so we have layers of clouds and smoke in the sky, with the sunlight producing unique effects. This looks like another planet.

Air quality at ground level is good here, with an AQI of 44 (compared to scores sometimes over 400 last year). Please enjoy these seven pictures:

Do You Have Questions? Please Read My Book

My new book, BRAHMAN – Learning To Thrive In Paradise, Essays on Living Cosmic Life is available on Amazon, in Kindle and paperback. Please see a description below the link:

NOTE: this is the Kindle cover

Introduction

This book is about living Cosmic life, our human birthright, expressed as my spiritual memoir.

Although each of the 170 essays making up this book can be read as its own topic, I have organized them to form a cohesive and comprehensive picture of what Cosmic life is, emphasizing a practical perspective.

This collection of short essays is organized into seven main sections, beginning with my global childhood, spent largely in Southeast Asia. This is followed by reflections on learning and practicing meditation (which I began at 21) then, after decades of practice, establishing a relationship with one of the greatest saints of our time.

Next, I explore the awareness of what is referred to as Totality, or Brahman, full enlightenment, with perspectives on both the practical skills gained as a result of living Brahman, and the context, the consciousness of this Cosmically oriented life. This leads into a section written about Divinity and the relationships that are critical to live the fullness and glory of a Cosmic life.

Following my perspectives on the abilities, context and key relationships of Cosmic living, are collections of writings reflecting everyday Cosmic life, grouped into four areas of my reflection and experience:

1. California’s Fire Season,
2. My Cosmic Health,
3. National and Global Events, and
4. Living Cosmic Reality.

Rounding out this exposition of Cosmic living is a final group of essays on the implications for a better world as a result of living Cosmic life, and how we are all moving in this direction, without fail.

My purpose in sharing all of this is to illustrate, in a methodical and rational way, the true and vast scope of our human potential, Cosmic living. Exploring, through examples and experience, how to ensure lasting, sustainable fulfillment for ourselves, and for our world.

Please enjoy the book!

Fire Season in Paradise – A Close Fire Today

We received an evacuation warning this afternoon from the Butte County Sheriff, due to a 15 acre fire about a mile away, in the next canyon over to the east. It was moving fast in our direction, so they brought in an air tanker and helos to dump retardant and stop the spread. Success! All warnings and orders have been lifted for a few hours now and hand crews are mopping up.

I missed out on all the drama – took a nap and woke up after it was all over. My wife heard some stuff going on, though we are under multiple flight paths for tankers and helos during fire season, so she thought it was for the Dixie Fire.

Here are two pictures of a MD-11 VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) over the house, headed to Firebase Chico for refueling while fighting the Dixie Fire, and one picture of the nearly full moon rising this evening.

Nature Remains Calm During the Dixie Fire

Fortunately the Dixie Fire has grown away from us, with a steady southern breeze to ensure it. I cannot see any evidence of the fire this morning to the east, though there continues to be a thick band of smoke to the northwest.

I also can’t fly my drone for at least a month as the airspace here is now restricted because of the fire. A good idea, as it will make it harder for drones to interrupt fire fighting aircraft.

Life goes on, and I was able to see some wildlife down at the pond yesterday, including a duck and a blue dragonfly. Please enjoy these eight pictures from Tuesday, including two of the new jet tankers:

Dixie Fire Night Panorama Northeast of Paradise

[July 19, 2021] The fire has moved far east of us tonight – no smoky air – calm, with a southern breeze here. Coyotes were howling in the canyon last night.

Tankers are flying overhead now, refueling at Firebase Chico, and then back into it. Downtown Paradise can be seen lower right of the fire column in this photo.

The Dixie Fire is at 40K acres, mostly in the Sierra-Cascades high country, a mile up in steep terrain – very difficult to set fire lines, though about 2K firefighters are on the line now. We saw a fire truck from LA in Chico yesterday. All hands on deck for this one.

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Nance Pond Today, July 17, 2021

Nance Pond can be clearly seen from the back fence now – All the burnt brush from the 2018 Camp Fire, including most of the snags except for the tallest ones, has been pushed down and broken up, for fire safety and erosion prevention.

As I was moving up on a jackrabbit inside the fence for a photo, I spotted several blacktail deer running down in the canyon, and managed to take three pictures of the one doe.

Coming back near the gazebo and passing a crepe myrtle tree, I noticed that all the honeybees’ legs were loaded with pollen, looking like bright yellow leg-warmers, so I added a picture of one of them too.

Please enjoy these six pictures of the pond, and nearby:

Summer Fire Season in Paradise 2021

Some haze this morning and a smoke smell. The Dixie Fire continues to grow, nearly 10K acres now, but away from us, up into the high country. As the day goes on we should again have a consistent wind from the southeast to blow the smoke away.

Here are six pictures from yesterday, including an evening jackrabbit who came to peek through the fence at us, as we sat in the gazebo. Enjoy!

Mid-Summer in Paradise

Cooler today and normal temps for this time – 74/23 now, rising to 96/35 later. The Dixie Fire is smudging the sky near the horizon and I may have smelled a whiff of smoke, though it is really not an issue.

Here are four pictures, showing the smoke smudge today looking west, a few of our just picked white peaches (the birds, squirrels and foxes are stuffing themselves…), a local lizard, and part of a covey of California Quail near the house. Happy summer!

Our Fire Season 2021

A much calmer time this year, though we have our first sizable fire in the county now, The Dixie Fire. Started yesterday at 60, then 500, now 1,200 acres. Burning in a wilderness area with low population. The wind is blowing from the SSE here, perfect to keep the fire and smoke out of Paradise. Here is a drone photo from about an hour ago, with the fire ten miles away:

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Saturday’s Sunset and The Milky Way

Last night was a very clear night for sky photos. Enjoy these five pictures, and please look left on the last one to see a faint meteor trail.

The International Space Station swings by this Monday night at 10:22, at a height of 65 degrees, for seven minutes. I’ll have my camera ready for that one too!

A Red Tail Hawk Hunting In the Heat

This hawk was above the canyon two days ago, nearly translucent from the strength of the sun. Not even the buzzards are flying this morning. It is 93 degrees now (10 AM) and forecast to hit 112 today, and tomorrow.

I am very tolerant of hot weather, and found out my body temperature is consistently 4.6 degrees lower than the average. So just 94/34.4 degrees vs. 98.6/37, and I can even work in heat like this, though it of course feels very hot also. Please enjoy this picture!

Animals Get Some Relief From The Heat At Nance Pond

Mostly deer and quail were seen on the Nance Pond gamecam this month, with one nightshot of two raccoons. The quail are growing a large bevy, now numbering twenty birds. See if you can count them all in the third photo below – it isn’t easy!

We are at 108/42 today, going to 112/44 over the weekend. Please enjoy these seven photos, including the quail taking off at the end!

Riding Ponies as a Kid in SE Asia

My brother and I used to do this a lot, mostly in Indonesia. Here are two vintage photos of us on the ponies (me on the left one in both): The first in the Javanese highlands from 1960, and the second from the Philippines in 1968. I was always outside on an adventure of some sort as a child. Please enjoy!

A Pair of Great Horned Owls Visited This Evening

This is the first time I have seen a pair of these owls together here. What a magical sight. It was dusk, about 8 PM, and the [larger] female showed up first. Soon after I took the pictures, both soared silently down the canyon to hunt. Here are my best five photos. Enjoy!

The Sutter Buttes on US Independence Day 2021

The Sutter Buttes (elevation 2,000 ft/610 m) rising from California’s Central Valley, are the world’s smallest complete mountain range. Formed from an erupted volcano, the Sutter Buttes were considered the creation spirit for the local indigenous people.

We decided to take a trip today to see how close we could get by dead reckoning. Here are six photos, two with snowy egrets in them. Please enjoy!

Showing Off the Prize

Yesterday afternoon I saw this scrub jay with a huge peanut in its beak. I am finding this is not uncommon behavior, and have seen other birds too, flying about with an abundance of worms or insects in their beaks before feeding. As if to advertise their hunting prowess. Here are two pictures of the proud ‘peanut hunter’:

A Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly and Other Winged Creatures Today

Here are five photos of a western tiger swallowtail butterfly in the garden, followed by a dove, a bee in the middle of a crepe myrtle bloom, and a California scrub jay.

Also, though I don’t have a picture, yesterday evening we were sitting outside, and suddenly there was a very loud sound about four feet in front of me – something between a hawk’s screech and a mechanical tone – then a second later, 15 feet away to the right of the sound, I saw a very large bat, over a foot across, reflected in the garden lights.

The sound it made did not sound threatening, and it was probably painting me with sonar. Thankfully I was larger. 🙂 I have not heard a bat make such a loud sound before. Just about every day here, there is something to be learned from nature.

Please enjoy these pictures!

Happy Summer Solstice 2021 (and Me)!

Here are six pictures of the garden flowers still blooming: a rose, crepe myrtle, oleander, and butterfly plants. The final picture is of me from Amsterdam, in early March of 2020. I am both happy and a bit jet-lagged in that picture, and obviously “open”…. What a lovely city – hope to return next year!

Happy Summer Solstice 2021 to All!

Paperback Now Available: BRAHMAN – Learning to Thrive in Paradise: Essays on Living Cosmic Life

My book has now been published as a paperback on Amazon (tinyurl.com/2d5np68m). Now that Kindle accepts .docx manuscripts, the process is a breeze from submission to publication. Kindle tools for cover design are excellent and easy to implement.

Please enjoy!

‘Star Ladders’ and a CalFire Spotter Plane

I took several 30s time exposures last night of distant high-altitude jets. Their light patterns look like ladders to me when seen up close. Earlier, our first CalFire spotter plane of the season flew overhead. Please enjoy these four pics!

Published: BRAHMAN – Learning to Thrive in Paradise: Essays on Living Cosmic Life

I have just published BRAHMAN – Learning to Thrive in Paradise: Essays on Living Cosmic Life as a Kindle e-book on Amazon (USD$9.99), with a paperback version coming soon.

https://www.tinyurl.com/2kkzudn5

Here is the introduction to the book. I am excited to publish it, and I hope everyone enjoys it, and finds it a practical guide for living!

============================================================

This book is about living Cosmic life, our human birthright, expressed as my spiritual memoir.

Although each of the 170 essays making up this book can be read as its own topic, I have organized them to form a cohesive and comprehensive picture of what Cosmic life is, emphasizing a practical perspective.

This collection of short essays is organized into seven main sections, beginning with my global childhood, spent largely in Southeast Asia. This is followed by reflections on learning and practicing meditation (which I began at 21). Then, after decades of practice, establishing a relationship with one of the greatest saints of our time.

Next, I explore the awareness of what is referred to as Totality, or Brahman, full enlightenment, with perspectives on both the practical skills gained as a result of living Brahman, and the context, the consciousness of this Cosmically oriented life. This leads into a section written about Divinity and the relationships that are critical to live the fullness and glory of a Cosmic life.

Following my perspectives on the abilities, context and key relationships of Cosmic living, are collections of writings reflecting everyday Cosmic life, grouped into four areas of my reflection and experience:

1. California’s Fire Season,
2. My Cosmic Health,
3. National and Global Events, and
4. Living Cosmic Reality.

Rounding out this exposition of Cosmic living is a final group of essays on the implications for a better world as a result of living Cosmic life, and how we are all moving in this direction, without fail.

My purpose in sharing all of this is to illustrate, in a methodical and rational way, the true and vast scope of our human potential, Cosmic living. Exploring, through examples and experience, how to ensure lasting, sustainable fulfillment for ourselves, and for our world.

A New Discovery – A Western Pond Turtle in Nance Pond

Today I was taking pictures of the bullfrogs sunning at Nance Pond. Then I noticed something at the far end of the pond, a Western Pond turtle. I had not seen one here before.

These turtles are California’s only native freshwater turtle species. They are now endangered, with an estimated 25% of the population left. They can live to be 50 years old. I am grateful we have at least one here.

Please enjoy these seven recent pictures – two of Nance Pond, and the remaining five of the turtle:

The International Space Station (ISS)

Taking a reasonably clear picture of the International Space Station (ISS) has been a goal of mine for several years, especially with the clear skies in Paradise and the frequency of observable flyovers, as many as five per night.

The challenges are the intensity of sunlight reflecting from the station, its speed, about 5 mi/8 km per second (at a height of 250 miles/400 km), and relatively small size. It is 361 ft/110 m long and 246 ft/75 m wide, about the size of a football field.

Tonight was an exceptional viewing opportunity, with the station visible for 7 minutes, reaching an arc of 82 degrees, nearly directly overhead. It was just after sunset so the sun was very bright on the station.

Three exposures were my best. The solar panels are clearly visible as is the infrastructure. I used the Nikon P950, 1/800 s. F6.4, handheld. Please enjoy these remarkable views of the ISS:

The Far Reaches – Jupiter and Saturn

I took a clear picture of Jupiter and its four moons at dawn yesterday, and wanted to share five favorites of these distant planets. Jupiter is ~525M mi/ 845M km away, and Saturn is ~800M mi/1.3B km distant. Please enjoy!

Jupiter and three moons. July 2020 (Nikon P900)
Jupiter and four moons. July 2020 (Nikon P900)
Jupiter and four moons. Yesterday at dawn. (Nikon P950)
Moon and Jupiter with four moons. August 2016 (Panasonic FZ70)
Saturn with rings visible. July 2020. (Nikon P900)

Playful Skies Over Paradise

At least two large weather systems are converging over our area, making for an endless show. Here are eight favorites of mine. The first four are from last evening, and the second four are from this morning. Enjoy!