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About manitou

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  1. Watching The Birds

    You're not going to believe this, but I just went to the optometrist the other day and am awaiting glasses as we speak.
  2. Watching The Birds

    Speaking of which, is that a gator's eye on your avatar, or an oyster on the half shell, lol. I've not been able to figure it out, hard as I try.
  3. Watching The Birds

    Paynes prairie - I never did get there, although I was only maybe 50 miles south in Ocala. I understand they have mounds of gators lurking around too - different trails for different phenomena, I guess. My neighbor said she'd never seen so many gators in one place. I think the word she used was 'teeming'.
  4. Watching The Birds

    You captured his cockiness beautifully. Great photo, Stosh. You must've been feeling a little cocky yourself to get within eyeball-scratching distance.
  5. Watching The Birds

    Yes, just watching him fly the short distance from the top of a fence to the ground, he looks as though he's on a mission. One deadly serious bird.... (Maybe he's ill-tempered because of that damn coyote)
  6. Watching The Birds

    He is truly a beauty! The girls will be swarming him in no time. Here I am in the California desert. Finally moved. There is a roadrunner that runs across my back patio, knowing full well that it's driving my dogs crazy on the other side of the glass doors. Big guy. I understand they can be a bit nasty too. Meep meep.
  7. Watching The Birds

    This morning I walked the dogs in Beaver Creek State Park - it's the last time I'll take that hike, I'm moving to California in a few days. As I was standing near Loch 22 and gazing up at the trees, the vines, the fertility of the whole place and knowing it was the last time I'll see that beauty, a graceful great blue heron flew right in front of me over the stream - our eyes met. It made me cry, as I am right now. The great blue heron is my totem animal.
  8. A practitioner's responsibility

    This is the exciting part! The subconscious mind of our collective self is non-local! It contains all knowledge in all times, places, and locations. Like a flock of birds suddenly all turning at the same instant, or a school of fish doing the same. And we do have a tendency to all agree what 'reality' appears to be, only our own observations are different from everyone else's on earth is at any time because the sensory data has to make it's way through the baloney of our ego and everybody has experienced and interpreted life differently. But our I Am selves has all the answers! Every one of us has every answer there is. But the darker the lens is of our ego, the less accurately we see the light. It's like it's all backwards from what most of us were taught as children.
  9. A practitioner's responsibility

    Beautiful response, Steve. Finding the folks who are truly trying their best to walk the talk are few and far between.
  10. A practitioner's responsibility

    Put another way, this Consciousness is the awareness that is present before form presents itself. To keep myself in the understanding, I always go back to the pupils of our eyes. That black void, the only thing that all sentient bodies have in common. The point of awareness, that invisible electricity that connects when two eyes, even man with a dog, connect. Or Marbles and the hummingbird hovering in front of his face that he had the moment of connectedness with. And from this 'idea', which is somehow conveyed through the meeting of the sperm and the egg, starts to divide and multiply and create a Bag of Skin and Bones around the void for the purpose of nothing more than to Sense. To experience. And this void is eternal, this pitch black thing. It does not abide by time. It is as real yesterday as it is today, and will be tomorrow. To keep time in the equation, it is the awareness before form. To take time out of the equation, it is the awareness that underlies form. You can look at it either horizontally or vertically. But as Mudfoot mentioned, this can be a very dangerous slope as long as ego is intact (i.e. our separate conditionings and backgrounds, the society and mores we are born into). When ego is allowed to dissipate (can anyone actually do this 100%?) the harmony and connectedness manifests in all circumstances and relationships around us. The ripples we make while in this state are immeasurable. The ego thing is arbitrary. We certainly need enough ego to avoid oncoming traffic. But it is a matter of degrees, and the cause for many awakenings when ego is diminished to its lowest commonest denominator. But most likely the only thing that will convince anyone of this is to see it happen in our own lives. When we put our negative and judgmental thinking in its place and see life take a different direction. It is then that we come to realize Who and What we really are.
  11. A practitioner's responsibility

    Looked at it slightly differently, it can be looked at as All One. We are all the same entity - life manifesting and expressing itself. To take responsibility for everything is to realize that what I see in you is what is inside me as well, otherwise I wouldn't recognize it. No need to point fingers and make judgments, as it would be to only be judging ourselves. As I too see it, Christianity per se still does the punishment and abasement thing. This is not to recognize the connectedness between all of us; it singles out and judges (at least the old type of Christianity - I don't know how they handle this now) and people can feel self-righteous and better than their neighbor because they judge. I think it comes naturally to our human nature as it is now - but it is a true Practice to look with the eyes of love at everyone, regardless of what their deeds are. There but by 'the grace of god' go I. In any given situation - had I been given the same conditioning, I probably would have done that crime. The criminal too is Life expressing itself. I think the greatest challenge of all is to turn on the TV, watch the political news, and try and make no judgments. To realize that 'that too is Me.' In metaphysics this state is the 'I Am' consciousness.
  12. A practitioner's responsibility

    That was a beautiful video. Thanks.
  13. A practitioner's responsibility

    I do now see your point about the 'doer', as you spoke of above. Thanks for the clarification. I come from a slightly different angle than many on this forum, being a recovering alcoholic (Yawns allowed for those who have heard me speak of this before). It was urgent that I stop my alcoholic drinking 37 years ago. It was that or the grave. I opted for life. I became a 12-stepper through Alcoholics Anonymous. In working the steps (and continuing to do so ad infinitum) it is crucial to root out every defect of character that you can find within you. The reason for this is so the alcoholic can remain comfortable enough to stay sober; plus, it stop a whole lotta bad karma, when the changes are made. I had to admit that just about every single conclusion I'd ever come to in life was probably wrong. My mind had to open fast, whereas it had never questioned my behavior before (as per Steve's discussion of the doer not questioning their part in things). So, the person I am today is about 180 degrees different than the person I was 37 years ago, and I remain drinkless. However, I can well see what you are talking about, about letting your spiritual path gradually dissipate the offending dynamics; and I can see where this continues to happen within myself. But I just thought I'd mention that there are those of us who had to go the 'fast, down, and dirty route', as in from substance recovery. Too urgent to let the path gently unfold (although that happens as well) because the offending flaws are the very ones that created the need to drink from the repercussions. A life full of drama required a dramatic remedy. I love it when someone mentions the 5 element philosophy and the universe being the model for the man, and vice versa. And why not? The laws of nature all work the same way, whether it's on the micro or macro level. Thanks for the mention of Wu Xing, KuroShiro.
  14. A practitioner's responsibility

    Ever since reading your OP, this paragraph of yours reminds me of a passage in the DDJ: When a superior man hears of the Tao,he immediately begins to embody it.When an average man hears of the Tao,he half believes it, half doubts it.When a foolish man hears of the Tao,he laughs out loud.If he didn't laugh,it wouldn't be the Tao.
  15. A practitioner's responsibility

    Steve, how can the conditioned responses and the responder be separated one from the other? Our ego is constructed from conditioned responses and stuff other people have thrust upon us. It's life that does dismantle the ego by having us hit our heads against the wall over and over - and yet there is an easier way. The willingness to look at ourselves and make the changes of the dynamics on our own, if willingness is there.