Saving Lulu

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My little dog Lulu is a model of courage as she continues to deal with the ravages of time. Friends knowing her history say she looks fantastic but Lulu and I know what’s going on and how difficult it is for her. Although, with her deafness and senility – her experience of life is way beyond my empirical knowledge.

Lulu has been a little different from the beginning. A majority of wild, ferrel dogs never become manageable, often not allowing human touch for a lifetime. But Lulu was friendly from the time of her capture from under a deserted trailer. She was filled with palpable buck shot fired into her belly by the man who vowed to kill her if she wasn’t removed immediately.

Lulu has been at my side in reality and in my dreams since 2002, appearing in so many dreams that her nickname is Traveler and what a traveler she has been. In dream-time she is present when danger has us escaping in the middle of the night, fleeing from an unseen terror. We’re racing toward the train terminal across an intersection where we must not be seen and Lulu is barking all the way…..unfortunately.

I never had to worry about her running off when hiking and camping across the southwest even when we were in a serious wind tunnel in Utah. I let her out of the car to check out the scene and she jumped back in when she was certain we were not in danger.

Back in 2013 she was seriously ill with an irritable bowel that kept her in reoccurring pain. We had tests and the imaging showed an area of the gut that was extremely irritated and beyond. She took all kinds of medicine which helped for a while and then back to extreme discomfort.

So in June, 2013 I made an appointment to have her euthanized; I couldn’t bear to see her suffering continue. Sitting in the waiting room with Lulu on my lap and tears running down my face a woman come over and introduced herself as a Buddhist nun and asked if she could say a little prayer for Lulu. Of course I said yes. She whispered the prayer and it worked.

We were called into the examination room where the Dr. appeared with the fatal serum in the long needle. I said “I sure do hate to put her down when I don’t even know for sure what is wrong with her.” My wonderful and brilliant vet stopped in mid-step and said “Let me run a few more tests and see if we can find our.” Which she did, including phoning an out of town vet who suggested trying a new medication, it worked and she is still here.

At 15 she has some serious problems which are to be expected with all us elderly folks. In dog time she is over 100, is a little spaced out and does a lot of pacing around the house, sometimes for hours She can’t seem to find the puppy pads but we deal with it. To look at her one might think her gait is painful – but not so. She walks funny but can also run and play with her little sisters and hop about in the forest like a jack rabbit. And she loves to eat even tho she has lost many teeth – boy can she woof it down.

We continue short hikes in the forest with her two sisters. Can’t go far but we trudge on so she can get needed enjoyable recreation. Because of total deafness she’s on an extendable lease; otherwise she wanders off into the gloaming.She can be counted on to walk into thick brush even when the path is clearly in front of her, making me think her vision is impaired.

She has been so devoted to me all her life in every way and now I will do everything I can to make life possible for her. I think she’s hanging on because she doesn’t want to desert me. She doesn’t understand all the ramifications of the processes we, she and I, are involved in but I will try my very best not to let her down. I hope she can die at home in her sleep but until then we have a lot of living to do.

Impermanence and Philosophical Materialism

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Still Here, Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying is a joyful read and a revelation as Ram Dass encounters identical moments we all experience way over 70. It’s liberating to know we are not alone in our observations and personal struggles with the ravages of time.

It seems we all experience the horror revealed by unexpected encounters with our reflection………..yikes, who’s that old ninny staring at me? And we become exhausted from the simplest activity in comparison to what used to be. Ram Dass told an elderly friend she needed to put “lying down” on her list of things to do instead of fretting over lack of energy to accomplish her wish list .

It is not aging that creates our suffering but how the mind deals with the world’s vision of us and how we handle the physical changes that occur after 70. We suffer from what Ram Dass calls philosophical materialism which limits reality to what we perceive with our senses: if we can’t see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it, then it doesn’t exist. But eternity has always worked with fabrications, or as Einstein discovered Energy = Mass and vice-versus. We need to look at reality from as many angles as possible and hold on to what makes us feel good. If it works use it, if not let it go and create another reality. It works; I’ve been doing it for decades.

Nothing will ever be as it was in past decades; let go of worn out dreams and longings for the past to return. Ram Dass recommends mindfulness meditation which focuses on breath as the method for inner directed journeys which facilitate living in the moment. Achieving moment to moment reality is a marvelous pursuit and quite difficult to sustain but more than worth the effort.

Mindfulness is a simple process that demands total concentration. Ouspensky writes of this aspect in In Search of the Miraculous when he describes Gurdjieff’s lesson to monitor every movement and observation on the walk to his studio for class. Stepping left foot, right foot; seeing the tree, the sidewalk. was usually forgotten as passing dramas captured the way. They would forget the task at hand – sometimes for days – and suddenly wake-up realizing the moment to moment objective had been forgotten.

Ram Dass recommends conscious aging with deeply involved meditation on the impermanent nature of all material life and non-attachment toward the body and all change in the material world. No need to worry about the past or dread the future. When we stay in the moment we are free from the Ego’s desire and in touch with our soul-energy’s journey. Buddhism teaches the master class in impermanence. You might want to check it out and be sure to read Still Here.

Breathe, Release, Expand = Paradise

Almost every malfunction in the physical body is initiated, aggravated, or sustained by stress. Our bodies get away from us like a stampeding herd and create a series of responses prompted by radical contraction which interferes with most functions in the body. Experience the process first hand by actively pulling inward with your muscles until you feel like a piece of furniture.

Notice how the breathing stops and the belly area feels frozen. It’s impossible to breath diaphragmatically because the diaphragm won’t drop to draw in air. Everything is rigid, restricted, held back. Many of us are walking around in this state 24/7 and the effect is devastating. One becomes a metal square moving through space and time instead of a flowing stream caressing the environment – the implications should be evident.

Change at every level is called for and most importantly – allowing for enjoyment, fun and play every day. Taking the time to travel within and discover what is really going on in terms of how one feels. Are you in the process of contraction or expansion? What can be done to stop the upward spiraling contraction madness that grabs hold of everything negative in our physiological process.

Diaphragmatic breathing lowers blood pressure and stabilizes the heart beat. This can be seen by way of a blood pressure monitor. Take a reading in your usual state with high chest breathing and contraction under way. Then go through the very simple exercises below and watch blood pressure and heart rate lower. I know it works because I’ve performed the little experiment with many students. You will be amazed.

First it’s good to become familiar with the feeling of RELEASE. Lie on the floor and starting at the feet tighten the body, moving upward until reaching the head at which point let go of everything simultaneously. Do this process several times until you can feel the difference between the two states of being.

Next, practice Zen breathing until you can maintain it for a long period. Under the condition of release and zen breathing take your blood pressure and find how much the numbers have gone down. Imagine what it will feel like to live in this expanding state on a regular basis.

And here’s the rub…..it seems to be a difficult process for the elderly. I had great success with my NYU university students but with older friends no so much. After many years of constant illness and discomfort and much $ spent on esoteric medical treatments they continue to practice high chest breathing and find no relief from daily discomfort.

You will find numerous videos on this subject at Youtube; type diaphragmatic breathing for stress control.

Acid vs Alkaline Controversy

Been thinking about Nobel prize winner Otto Warburg, and all the valuable work he did in physiology way back in the 1930s. He received his award in 1931 for research on cell respiration and was nominated for the award 2 other times for work on the origin of cancer; what this great genius discovered should be part of everyone’s dining habits.

Cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Yes, this is common knowledge in the medical world or at least it was back in the ’70 at the enormous 3 day Cancer Conference sponsored by Pir Viliayat Inayat Khan and the Sufi Order of the West. The conference was attended by what seemed to be 1000s, filling an enormous hall in an upscale hotel in midtown NYC. The speakers were the top cancer researchers in the world and they all had the same thing to say: CANCER CANNOT LIVE IN AN ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT.

The big running joke of the conference was: if it sinks you’re sunk referring to poop in the water. The speakers were careful to say it should rest just below the water line; not above or way below. I can find no reference to this conference online – I guess because it took place long before the internet became popular.

In today’s world there is much controversy regarding acid/alkaline balance in disease prevention, particularly cancer. As usual and always there are two sides to every question. So look at the research, various statistical relationships and in the final analysis let your intuition be your guide. And in the meantime you might try alkalizing your diet, particularly if you have reoccurring digestion or chronic bowel problems. It’s easy to check out by eliminating certain foods for a month or so and see if digestion discomforts improve. It would certainly be advised to take pro and pre biotics and eat onions, garlic, sweet potato and other foods that increase the good bacteria in the lower gut.

You might want to check out Herman Aihara’s Acid and Alkaline published in 1980 which covers all aspects of this subject. You will find it interesting to note that eggs, meat, cheese, whiskey and sugar are acid forming while vegetables, fruits, brown rice and coffee are alkaline forming. That is why the hippies in the East Village always served marvelous rice and veggie combos back in the ’60s.

I drink alkalized water and find it tastes so much better than normal water. It is smoother with a fuller body which makes a big difference when one must drink lots of water because of dehydration or other problems. And using Ph-strips to determine acidity proves most interesting.

I have been a vegetarian of sorts for many years; I eat no red meat of any kind and have not since 1960. I continue to be free of digestive problems at least to my knowledge, which is good enough for me. I’ve also had a reliable and highly functioning immune system all my life. I believe the absence of red meat has contributed to my good health. I also avoid all corn products in particular corn syrup and GMOs and I have never eaten fast food.

Connecting With the Field of Twinkling Light

Now Besso” (an old friend) “has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Einstein

New realities introduced to the subconscious continue to expand when maintained by constant remembrance. I often think of extraordinary realities such as parallel universes and the Field which is the Matrix of vibrating, swirling, oscillating energy fields communicating with each other in never ending space. The Field is both the origin and destiny for all that will be or has ever been.

Living matter uses light for instantaneous global communication. Fritz-Alfred Popp discovered all living things emit a stream of light which he called “biophoton emissions”. Other scientists have confirmed his findings. Interestingly so has Castaneda as revealed in the following quote from The Power of Silence. “As I stared at the wondrous sight, filaments of light began to radiate from everything on that prairie. At first it was like an explosion of an infinite number of short fibers, then the fibers became long threadlike strands of luminosity bundled together into beams of vibrating light that reached infinity.”

Many scientists have confirmed aspects of the Field realities. The Baxter effect demonstrated how plants communicate with the world around them; the 100th Monkey is a famous example of telepathy across great distances and Itzhak Bentov wrote of many wonders in Stalking the Wild Pendulum including psychic communication and the soul’s journey after death. He writes “Upon the death of the physical body, the psyche returns to its realm, finding its proper reality and with which it naturally resonates, depending on its level of evolution.”

So what does all this mean and how do telepathy, psychic transformation and parallel universes occur? The bottom line seems to be the amazing, almost magical photon/electron that can be both particle and wave depending on circumstances of the moment. It is this ability to be in two places simultaneously that makes expanding consciousness and personal frequency transformation possible.

What is meant by personal frequency transformation and what does it mean to us? The human being vibrates at various frequencies according to thoughts, activity, environment and genetics. Some influences produce fast waves and some produce slow, low frequencies. They all come together to create a frequency-identity, kinda like a bar-code. Everything we do, avoid, or speak sends encoded currents of light-energy into the Field which one can read when sensitive to these energies. If you are familiar with Kirlian photography or Masaru Emoto’s photos of water crystals in The Hidden Messages in Water you can imagine the intricacies of personal frequency patterns.

All living creatures communicate within particular frequency ranges, birds of a feather flock together and so do humans of a feather. Experiences are attracted by individual frequencies – what goes around comes around as one attracts in the groove with one’s dominant consciousness. Which means in everyday terms, if you don’t like where you are now, change focus, inner monologue, day dreams, routines and general input.

If likes attract in the Field, killers will hang with killers and peacemakers with peacemakers in the parallel universes awaiting us. Sounds like a good reason to cut negativity out of one’s life or we could possibly arrive in a universe full of stark realities. One is reminded of the film What Dreams May Come which concerns the mind’s creation of the life after death experience.

The elderly have an advantage in pursuing the inward-path. With more available time, less distractions and fewer obligations one can go on the journey of a lifetime into the subconscious and down the path toward a higher frequency of understanding. Connecting to the field through meditation will sustain memory, imagination, creativity and help prepare for the great transition. A perpetual fascination with the new is a mainstay of a healthy, exciting old age.

This blog is inspired by the chapter “Connecting With the Field” from my book: Napoleon’s Bathtub.

Welcome Death Cafes!

Do you know about Death Cafes? I am thrilled they exist, not just in Europe but also in many cities across America.The most recent post on Google indicates there are 4 Death Cafes in New Mexico: 2 in Albuquerque, one each in Dixon and Los Cruces and surprise, surprise – there is one in Taos. It’s wonderful to have designated places and events where one can discuss death and dying without someone saying “Let’s change the subject and discuss something more positive.”

My childhood training included: never discuss politics and religion. Death & dying should have been included on that list. It is never a well received topic of conversation, as when folks ask: “Are you well; is something wrong with your health?” “No, why do you ask?” “Because you bring up the subject of death and dying.” Yes I do and for many good reasons.

Think of all the cliché, routinized phrases we use in various circumstances surrounding this subject – phrases like: sorry for your loss and we all gotta go sometime, or perhaps we tell someone, moments from death: don’t worry, every things gonna be A-OK. Death Cafes offer places where small groups gather to drink tea and eat tasty treats while discussing fears and understandings of death and dying.

One of the difficult aspects of death is the ability to let go. This is true for both the dying and the survivors. In some ways I am freer than many in that my only survivors will be my 3 dogs. Of course they concern me but not the way children, grandchildren, husbands and lovers concern most people. It is a blessing to know that no one is going to live with a broken heart over my passing. Doggies recover quickly when given a loving home.

Physical suffering is the culprit and when absent from the dying scenario there is nothing to fear…………today is as good as tomorrow for the big event; one is never ready to say goodbye. I know I must sound conflicted and perhaps I am deep in my subconscious but my conscious self is not afraid to be gone. My fears lie in the going. If it is peaceful and painless I can welcome it’s embrace.

I can welcome death’s embrace because I have had a wonderful life and the party is always over before we’re ready to go home. I get it and …………… I’m also a little sick of the direction the world is moving. But I love life and will love it until I breathe no more. What is impossible to reconcile is the death of close friends; I don’t believe in an afterlife recognizable to humanity. By that I mean energy lives forever but not in the form of Jane and Bob and Jill. These are some of the concepts, feelings, beliefs that can be discussed at the Death Cafes.

I hope I’m free of all fears of death but there is no way of knowing for sure until the time arrives. I did have the dehydration experience, knocking my head against a concrete floor producing an enormous knot. I was very woozy but went against all advice to go to the hospital even tho I knew mom died in a similar experience. I had no fear of dying; the experience was very liberating. But who knows? Guess I might discuss this at a Death Cafe.

Stinky Febreze is Toxic

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Months ago my washing machine died. Can’t afford a new one so it’s the local laundromat for me. I checked around and found one that runs Clorox through all the machines every evening but this means I must be there on frozen mornings when it opens at 7:00 in order to get a stink free machine. People use all kinds of slinky fragrances in the wash but Fabreze is the worst offender. I am so puzzled about how so many millions love this product. It is toxic and lasts forever: you will never remove the odor from whatever it is sprayed on. It is designed that way and it also uses many toxic chemicals in its stinky formulas.

Chemicals found in Febreze Air Effects; following info copied from EWG report which states that if this many toxins are found in one fragrance it’s almost certain toxic horrors are found in other Febreze products.
• BHT – Known as a neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, immunotoxicity, non-reproductive organ system toxicity, skin eye and lung irritator
• Acetaldehyde – Known to cause cancer, toxic to reproduction and development, immunotoxin, non-reproductive organ system toxin, skin, eye and lung irritator
• “Fragrance” – One of the three ingredients actually disclosed, it’s a neurotoxin, immunotoxin and allergen
• Propylene Glycol – Causes cancer, allergies, toxic to immune system, accumulates in the system, non-reproductive organ system toxin, is classified with “enhanced skin absorption” and irritates the skin, eye and lung
• 1,3-Dichloro-2-propanol – Carcinogenic (causes cancer)
• Limonene – Allergen, immunotoxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Methyl pyrrolidone – Toxin to reproduction and development, allergen and immunotoxin, non-reproductive organ system toxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Alcohol denatured – Also disclosed in the ingredients of Febreze, it’s linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Butylphenyl methylpropion al – allergen, immunotoxin and and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Ethyl acetate – linked to developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, organic system toxicity and and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Geraniol – Linked to allergies, immunotoxicity, organi system toxicity and and skin, eyes and lung irritation
• Linalool – allergen, immunotoxin, and and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Benzaldehyde – neurotoxin, and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether – non-reproductive organ system toxicity
• Ethylhezanol – developmental and reproductive toxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• Hexyl cinnamal – allergen, immunotoxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator
• And way too many more….
You can find the EWG’s full report on the dangers of Febreze and other common cleaners on line.

Where Are the 20 Million Meditators?

“Meditation is an intimate and intense exercise that can be done solo or in a group, and one study showed that 20 million Americans say they practice meditation. It has been used to help treat addictions, to clear psoriasis and even to treat men with impotence.”

Over 15 million are practicing Transcendental and other forms of meditation in America. Hard to believe these stats. I wonder what kind of lasting effect the 15 million experience in terms of daily expression in the real world. That many people can transform the universe.

All meditation involves consciousness without an object which is inner directed consciousness moving toward a place of total silence deep within, a place totally absent of ego and material desires. It is a place that fosters good health, mental stability and absence of ego driven desires. If untold millions are meditating how come we have a general population so totally obsessed with money, sex, booze and sadistic power.

While a teacher at NYU in the School of the Arts (ETW) I tried to teach my classes basic meditation techniques, telling them it is a fountain of creative ideas and realizations that might not appear in a life time without meditation. One day we had an incredibly successful experience with our group meditation and were sitting in a circle on the floor in quasi trance states discussing light streaming out of some and darkness out of others when suddenly one said: “This is great, but what do you do with it in the market place?” I said: “It isn’t marketplace mentality.”

Alas, my question ……if we have such a meditative society how come extremism, greed, intolerance, prejudice, dirty tricks and general ignorance control Congress, Supreme Court, State and local governments. Where are the meditators? Where are the folks standing for the best good for the most people? Where are the leaders that can see further than money in the bank?

I think of the incredible popularity of Trump as expressed in his 50,000 voter win in New Hampshire. He is a fountain of hatred and self aggrandizement growing more popular with each poll. And what about the Supreme Court ruling against climate change regulations and voting for industrial pollution, totally ignoring very evident signs of global warming? Doesn’t matter whether it’s caused by humans or a strange weather cycle, climate change is here now and ignoring it will only encourage melting glaciers, failing ocean conveyor belts, rising oceans, churning tornadoes and fiery droughts.

One of the main reasons I meditate is to contact and remain connected with the swirling stream of vibrations…………the oscillating energy fields communicating across the universe. I write about it in “Connecting with the Field” in my book Napoleon’s Bathtub and it is brilliantly presented in Taggart’s book The Field.

Danger! Always Read Ingredients

I urge you: never take over-the-counter, or prescription drugs without knowing the full identity of what you are taking. The same is true for packaged food. Yes most readers may be aware of this warning but what do we do? Most of the time I read the ingredients but sometimes I forget to look: I am asleep and not living in the moment! I wrote about all things toxic in the appendix of my book Napoleon’s Bathtub and the situation is worsening everyday. Nothing has changed.

Once again I am on fire regarding a recent experience. I saw ads for a natural support for the kidneys, checked out the ingredients and found it contains the following chemicals which appear ill advised at best. It is so shocking.

The main ingredient is Phenazopyridine, a dye that acts as a pain killer to the lining of the urinary tract. Sounds good? Not so! It is not to be used with kidney and liver disease. Why would they do that? Create a kidney treatment out of a chemical known to have negative effects on the kidney and claim it to be natural in ads?

But that’s not all in this kidney treatment. Polyethylene glycol is on the list with a Google description of being a laxative that works by holding water in the stool and increasing the number of bowel movements.. So it lessens trips to urinate by increasing poop trips. It is also known to produce bloody stools and persistent diarrhea.

The internet is an incredible tool for investigating all sorts of ingredients. Most folks have smart phones these days so Google ingredients before taking this stuff. My general belief is if its not natural I’m not really interested. Of course medications for pain are a different story. Gotta get rid of the pain anyway possible.

And should your search be stopped by the phrase proprietary ingredients know it is not something you want to experience. They don’t want you to know what the product contains; I know they are not concerned with one stealing their recipe.

I am always on the look out for corn syrup which is found everywhere and in most unusual places. I don’t eat that horror. Read abut it! It’s a vast subject readily available for your inspection. And if you are trying to loose weight it is your deadliest enemy.

Early Kubler-Ross

Back in the 1970’S I attended a lecture by Elizabeth Kubler Ross in NYC on death and dying. Basically she was the only real advocate for the dying and her main thrust was to urge people to treat the dying in a compassionate manner and NOT to go the usual route of reciting silly “jingles’ on how everything is going to be alright. I hope the included very early video will inspire you to go to the never failing YouTube and type:early lectures of Kubler Ross into the search box and listen to her inspired wisdom on this subject.

I wish I could remember the details of her story of how she was inspired to begin her mission for the dying which was initially very difficult professionally; her peers thought she was a little nuts. I do remember fragments of this story and I hope it is close to the reality of what she spoke that evening in a very large hall, sitting on the edge of the stage with her legs dangling over the edge.

As a psychiatrist in a large hospital she was walking the hall to a dying patients room when she heard an intuitive voice telling her to speak with the female orderly/nurses aid to learn how to care for the dying. She listened to words that later became her philosophy on death and dying. On subsequent days she had experiences with guidance that would appear as human forms around her instructing her to follow through with her new found knowledge on death and dying. The forms would disappear when she tried to pursue them.

I know there is a cassette tape on this lecture because I had one which unfortunately disappeared. Never knew how that happened but if anyone knows of this lecture please let me know. The included video is the closest I have come to the knowledge she spoke of that night.

As I recall it was the Maharishi who introduced her. He started out by saying “I live in a world of twinkling light.” I was immediately blown away because that too was my reality.

As I touched on in an earlier blog “The Unmentionable” I am stunned at the reality of having only one friend who will speak freely about death and dying . Guess I need to discover some Buddhist friends because the Buddha, horrified and inspired by his early experiences with the dead and dying, made it a focus of his philosophy.

Buddhists are taught to meditate on impermanence and death since it is as central to Buddha’s teachings as it is to Kubler Ross. It’s unfortunate in the West we are well taught not to mention the subject; it’s not appropriate in polite company. Strange, since it’s where we are all headed, sooner or later and we never know when.