Essays & Poetry

 The Heart of Understanding

by Franklin Jones (aka Adi Da, Da Free John)
from The Knee Of Listening

Death is utterly acceptable to consciousness and life. There has been endless time of numberless deaths, but neither consciousness nor life has ceased to arise. The felt quantity and cycle to death has not modified the fragility of flowers, even the flowers within our human body. Therefore, our understanding of consciousness and life must be turned to that utter, inclusive quality, that clarity and wisdom, that power and untouchable gracefulness this evidence suggests. We must cease to live in our superficial and divided way, seeking and demanding only consciousness and life in the present form we grasp, avoiding and resisting what appears to be the end of consciousness and life in death.

The Heart is that understanding, that true consciousness, that true life that is under the extreme conditions of life and death. Therefore, it is said, that One that is is neither born nor come to death, not alive (merely) as the limitation of form, not rendered in what appears, and yet it is the living One, than which there is no other, appearing as all of this, but eternally the same.

There is only the constant knowledge and enjoyment of the Heart, moment to moment, through the instant of all conditions of appearance and disappearance. Of this I am perfectly certain. I am That.

Serenity Prayer
(GaiaYoga Exteneded Version)

by Ano Tarletz Hanamana, et. al.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Grant me patience with the changes that take time,
Tolerance for those with different struggles,
An appreciation for all that I have,
The capacity to mourn my unmet needs,
And the strength to get up each day
And grow towards greater health, wholeness, and beauty.


Tao Te Ching #38

by Lao Tzu, translated by Victor H. Mair

The person of superior integrity does not insist upon his integrity;
For this reason, he has integrity.
The person of inferior integrity never loses sight of his integrity;
For this reason, he lacks integrity.

The person of superior integrity takes no action nor has he a purpose for acting.
The person of superior humaneness takes action, but has no purpose for acting.
The person of superior righteousness takes action, and has a purpose for acting.
The person of superior etiquette takes action, but others do not respond to him;
Whereupon he rolls up his sleeves and coerces them.

When the Way is lost, afterward comes integrity.
When integrity is lost, afterward comes humaneness.
When humaneness is lost, afterward comes righteousness.
When righteousness is lost, afterward comes etiquette.

Etiquitte is the attenuation of trustworthiness and the source of disorder.
Forknowledge is but the blossomy ornament of the Way and the source of ignorance.

For this reason,
The great person resides in substnace, not attenuation.
(S)he resides in fruitful reality, not in blossomy ornament.


(S)he rejects the one and adops the other.

Waking Down

From Waking Down: Beyond Hypermasculine Dharmas, A Breakthrough Way of Self-Realization in the Sanctuary of Mutuality, by Saniel Bonder,
(chapter 1, abridged)

For thousands of years, some of humanity’s most creative and inspired men and women have been dedicating themselves to one or another kind of attempt to wake up. This is particularly true of religious enthusiasts and spiritual seekers. Such people are always trying to wake up.

The White-Hot Way of Mutuality certainly produces powerful awakenings. Some of those who practice it find that, at least for a time or periods of time, it catalyzes spiritual ascent. Their energies rise. Subtle centers in or associated with the head open and come alive. So this Way is not opposed to waking up in any number of forms.

It’s just that the fundamental thrust or drive of this process takes you down. Thus, the whole evolutionary event I am facilitating, at both the individual and collective levles, can be summarized as “Waking Down.”

There are two principal forms of this descent. They usually accompany, parallel, and further catalyze one another.

First, you will discover or find your own conscious nature. you do so by falling out of identification with the thinking and even the intuitive or perceptual mind, and into identification with the conscious Heart of your whole being. You see that you have become situated in the conscious ground of Being.

The second form of descent may to some degree precede the first. In it your fundamental energy of life and mind, or psyche, falls even more deeply into embodiment.

Thus, as one of my friends described it, you fall into your conscious idenity and your physical body at the same time – more or less. In ways that you never have before.

Waking Down is landing in your own real existence, not just as infinite consciousness, but as a finite human being. It’s an arriving into your own life. You really can’t appreciate it until it happens. Indeed, you may be sitting here reading these words and thinking, “Right. Exactly! I know about this. This is what happened to me.”


If you want to look into it together – we’ll have to see over time, hm?

I am not trying to pull rank or put anyone down. I am simply offering you the benefit of many years of living and teaching. Many people have come thinking that what I am talking about has already taken place for them. I have never once been so pleasantly surprised. I’m not saying it can’t happen. I’m just saying, we’ll have to see.

In these pages we will have plenty of opportunities to contemplate other kinds of relization of consciousness and other kinds of spiritual or psychological descent. It is important for me to draw at least some initial distinctions between these and what I mean by Waking Down.

One significant distinction is that, in Waking Down, the conscious nature – that aspect of who and whay you are that is simply aware of your field of existence and experience – does not dis-identify with your body, mind, and individual persoanality in order to enforce an exclusive identification with itself.

Some teachers and teachings assert that this is the only way to realize consciousness. They say you have to rigorously sift out the conscious principle by discovering how it is absolutely not those things: “I am not the body. I am not this desire. I am not that thought. I am not sensation. I have no relationships. I have no form. I have no color. I am consciousness only, free of everything and everyone that comes and goes, even free of this body that is only going to die anyway!”

The realization of consciousness freedom in Waking Down certainly anchors you in and as that absolute, untouchable nature of Being. But in doing so it does not require you in effect to uproot or do violence to all the rest of who and what you are. Rather, the conscious nature comprehends that if is at once completely free of all the other components of the whole human being, and free as them.

This is an extremely sublte paradox, but it becomes very real for you as this awakening unfolds. The new form of comprehension occurs through bodily realization rather than mere thinking or affirmation. The knowing that arises is a whole being-feeling-knowing. It’s not an ideation, nor even a subtle intuition based in the higher mind.

Another important distinction between this and other approaches: nowadays, many teachers and teachings are preaching acceptance of the dark side of our nature, the shadow psyche of subconscious and unconscious impulses. They and other also counself an integration of spirit and matter, offering techniques for how to contact limitless spirit and then bring it into the body.

As you will see if you find yourself deeply attracted to this White-Hot Way of Mutuality, those forms of acceptance and integration are still somehow doing violence. They are reinforcing splits in our total being even while counseling all kinds of methods for achieving integration. They are subtly struggling against even that which they would urge us to accept.

How so? In physics it is understood that every action engenders and equal and opposite reaction. The same is true in the realm of psychic activity. Thus, methodical techniques attempt to to enforce qualities of accpetance and integration upon the living human organism. To the degree the action is forced, it sabotages its very intention. And meanwhile, at a deeper psychic level, the individual is still struggling against – and thereby, in a sublte way, at once sustaining and reacting to – the motivating stress of his or her non-acceptance and non-integration.

The currents of action and reaction thus engendered weaken the intention and compromise the results of one’s action. Outcome: you’re trying to relax, and you sort of do relax. But if you can sense a deeper current of of your reality, you also feel underneath that you are even more tense. You feel that something is vaguely but even more wrong than before.

This path of Waking Down accomplishes a thorough integration of consciousness, body, psyche or mind, and soul or spirit. How? The transmission of awakening Being-force activates your core feeling-conscious nature at the very heart of your bodily existence. Gradually you begin to notice that you are thinking, feeling, and acting from a different depth, a ground, a feeling of freedom even in the midst of all your shadow stuff.

Meanwhile, your adept friends (Waking Down teachers) and others welcome you to just be as you are from day to day, however you may look or feel. You show up feeling like scum of the earth, with all your worst junk hanging out. They get you to say a few words about it – and suddenly they are cheering you and praising you. An you are invited, especially at the beginning, to do as little as possible about, or in relation to, anything. You are invited not to opt for your trusty hypermasculine toolkit of self-reassuring techniques. Instead, people will say, “Keep willful effort to a minimum. Just come around, hang out, expose yourself to the transmission. Read Saniel’s writings, talk about how it feels. You’ll see.”

Outcome: however long it takes, you eventually see that you can’t help but accept and be more and more of your true and total Self. You just keep on becoming more and more the precise, crystaline event you are, all at once, infinite and finite, divine and human, unmanifest and ever so concrete.

As that endless becoming proceeds, all of your previous beliefs about reality get challenged, and you wind up leaving many of them in your wake.

Most spiritual paths counsel us to take up intentional disciplines to change and improve, even to perfect, our bodies, minds, and souls. Only thus, it is said by some, can we ever hope to awaken to and as That which absolutely tarnscends the body, mind, and soul.

This approach, in contrast, urges you from the outset to do as little as you possibly can to alter and improve body, mind, and soul. It proposes you do absolutely nothing to perfect any part of yourself. And it challenges the very notion that you even can do such a thing, really.

Many teachings hold that humanity has fallen from some primordial divine state of grace and must now seek redemption.

This teaching suggests that humanity is simply the cutting edge of cosmic evolution. It argues that those who live in human form are doing the most daring work in Being to attempt the fullest integration of all that IS.

Most teachings hold that there is something funadmentally wrong with every human being, something that must be fixed.

This teaching proposes that there is absolutely nothing wrong with any human being, even the most heinous or deluded. It does not therefore suggest murder, mayhem, and insanity are OK in human society. No, it simply suggests that all imbalances and dislocations from our true and total reality – which includes each and all others as well as our own selves – must be, and also can be, healed most fully by our whole-body realization of Being and our active commitment to real mutuality. And it holds that this can be done and is now being done by ordinary men and women.

Most religions and spiritual teachings point to a liberation from this life and this world, or else a blessed acceptance of this life within this world.

This teaching points to a liberation into this life and this world. It prophesies a liberation of so divine a nature, and of such a collective authenticity, than over evolutionary time not only human life but even this and all other manifest worlds will be radically transformed by our liberated presence and spontaneously blessed action within them. Thus, this Way signals an ultimate liberation of the world, not merely from it…..

What is a Seedball?

by Ano Tarletz Hanamana

Can you imagine growing a garden or orchard without tilling the soil, digging holes, fertilizing, or even weeding? It’s entirely possible using seedballs – marble-sized mixtures of clay, seeds, compost, and other organic goodies. The way they work is exceedingly simple, yet so magical…

Seedballs can be made by hand in the comfort of your own home. It’s a wonderful activity to share with friends and family. The ingredients are: powdered red clay, a large variety of seeds, compost, soil microorganism inoculants, and hot pepper to repel insects and rodents. These all get mixed up with water and worked into a kind of dough. Once the right consistency is reached, the dough is rolled into little balls and laid out to dry. A day or more later, you’re ready to go! The seedballs can be tossed out anywhere there isn’t already mature forest – on lawns, garden beds, empty fields, barren grasslands, even deserts – at the rate of a few balls every square foot or square yard, depending on the situation. It’s that easy – just walk around and throw them about!

Because they are encased in clay, the seeds are protected from rodent and insect predation, premature germination, and rotting or baking on the ground. They remain in the clay until enough rain comes to dissolve the seedball. Then the seeds get wet and buried in the moist clay and can safely germinate. The clay, compost, and inoculants all feed the sprouting seeds, getting them off to a strong start. Up to 100 different species or more can be sown at once, including native trees, shrubs, and grasses; nitrogen-fixing trees and ground covers; and/or edible vegetables, roots, fruits, and nuts.

What really makes seedballing different (as opposed to transplanting seedlings or tilling in seeds) is that we let Nature decide which plants are best suited to the exact conditions they’re in. Because a large quantity and variety of seeds are broadcast, we can be sure that something will grow (unless conditions are completely infertile or toxic). Plants who find a suitable niche will thrive; the ones that don’t will perish or not sprout. This process naturally promotes optimal plant and land health.

If we are doing wilderness restoration, we don’t need to be concerned with which particular plants grow, because the ground will become covered and Nature will guide the process towards a climax forest perfectly. If we choose to grow food, we would select primarily food-bearing plant seeds and a site where the soil can support the non-pioneering plants we are selecting. Regardless, over the years a healthy, abundant ecology “ designed” by Nature will emerge. Rather than imposing our plans onto the land (even very well considered ones), we instead harmonize our desires and will with Nature and allow Her to reveal which species is best suited to each particular spot. Once She shows her primary response to our seedballing, we can, as the system matures, favor some plants over others by cutting and pruning or re-seedballing with an updated seed selection. This way of planting is born of a fundamental trust that Nature, not man, is the wisest and most capable farmer and landscape designer.

Seedballing alleviates a tremendous amount of nursery and transplanting work in plant propagation, while still being productive. Because there is a high density and diversity of naturally selected plants and no tilling of the Earth, there is very little possibility of disease and no need for pesticides. Nature handles all the details with minimal human management. In fact, the rich tapestry that She grows is far more efficient, productive, and breathtaking than any human could design. All we do is select and gather seeds, make the seedballs, and sow them as we walk (or fly over) the land. That’s it! Nature handles it from there. What less can we do?

I see seedballs as a profound tool for transforming our world. Using seedballs, we can heal deserts, reforest abused lands, plant food-forests and gardens, and empower citizens to make real their dreams to heal and serve the environment in a direct, easy, and practical way. Even if you have no land or farming skills and live in the suburbs, you can still use seedballs on public or private lands, if you cooperate with the land-stewards and wildlife. Some people believe that money, government, and ownership are the main limiting factors to changing the world, but perhaps through creativity, time management, and cooperation we can circumvent these structures and accomplish “the impossible.” The seedball is in our court!

Seedballs were pioneered by Masanobu Fukuoka, a revered Japanese elder, farmer, teacher, and visionary, who developed The Natural Way Of Farming, a sustainable, organic-farming approach and spiritual philosophy. He has written several books; his best known are One Straw Revolution, The Natural Way of Farming, and The Road Back To Nature, which are all translated from Japanese. Though these books are currently out of print in the U.S., there is a source for them overseas. You also might be able to hunt some of his works down via libraries, used bookstores, and organic farming enthusiasts.

To learn more about seedballs and Masanobu Fukuoka:

• Read any of his books. (The Natural Way of Farming, One Straw Revolution, or The Road Back to Nature.)

• Check out other websites about Fukuoka.

• Participate in a GaiaYoga Immersion Experience at GaiaYoga Gardens.

Poetry & Lyrics from Transplant Shock Therapy: The Poetic Pilgramage of a Suburban Refugee, written by Ano Tarletz Hanamana
Cradle-To -Grave
Born to ride this wave
I bet it’s what your heart and soul cravesTracked by your tribes’ elders from the other planes
All the way into your womb to be born again
Welcoming songs fill your forming ears
Blessing your return with joy and tearsThe rituals of birth are a sacred time
When ancient bonds are re-entwined
This longest journey ends in loving arms and eyes
Skin-to-skin, trees, birds, rain, sunshineDays turn to weeks and months to years
Following in footsteps so wise and clear
Of a people wed to Nature and Spirit strong
Hunt, gather, build, ensure all belongCradle-to-grave
Be brave – leave your cave
The greatest gift we were given and gave

Children, elders, women, and men
Used to be ancestors, and will be again
Now here on the Earth as a whole tribe
Celebration, ritual, the rhythm and vibe

Rites of passages, wisdom guiding choices
Deep cooperation, an accord of voices
Finding your purpose with elders support
Living your mission with real rapport

I wasn’t born like that, so it’s hard to know-and-trust
Raised without a whole tribe, so create one I must
To find my true way, left my past in the dust
Carrying my sign: “Cradle-to-grave or bust”

In a tribe no slaves
All-for-one-and-one-for-all is “saved”

Dagara, Eskimo, Yequana, Navaho
Shinto, Beduoin, Hopi, Tibeten

Lakota, Saami, Aztec, Yanomami
Fijian, Jamaican, Anuak, Penan
Buryats, Incans, Hadza, Mayan

Dolphin pod, honey bees, lion pride, ant colony
Kangaroos, giraffes, bonobo troupe, wolf pack

Aborigine, Samurai, Cherokee, Maasai
Zulu, Maori, Naga, Kanaka Maoli

All together – none the same
Human nature – whole and sane
Sovereign souls, choosing life
Wed to their clan like man-to-wife

What about you? What about me?
What about our kids and our elderly?

When is the time? What’s the delay?
Are you healthy and whole how you live today?

Who makes the change? Is there a map?
If I stay put, is there a slap?

Calling all souls, some to me
Create a sane society
A natural human social structure
Designed for rapture not to rupture
A humble and conscious society
One you’re proud to hand to humanity

Always was the rave
The greatest gift goddess and god gave

Farm Like We’ll Live Forever

I don’t live in the suburbs
I don’t live in the wild
I refuse to live in ignorance
I wish to be as true as a child
So I live on a farm instead
Organically fed
To this land I’m wed

I don’t drive a tractor
I grieve I use a car
I refuse to buy these images
I wish to honor what we are
So I use my arms and legs
This heart and head
Dancing on my homestead

I was root-bound in the suburbs
I root and worship in the wild
I sow the seeds of peace
I don’t want to live exiled
So I live on a farm where I’m fed
From this garden bed
Wrought with tools from the shed

I know how to end world hunger
By mini-farms not maxi-marts
My stocks and market are our soils
My health club is this farm
Where I can grow my arms and legs
My beloveds
And even bread

Give you food it only feeds today
Show you how to grow you eat for life
Farm like we’ll live forever
Live like we’ll die tomorrow

Love like we can’t say, “never”
Dream like all will follow
Farm like we’ll live forever
Or we might never dream tomorrow

Live like we’ll live
On our farm ‘til dead
From a life well led
With enough done and said

Oh, Weary Traveler

Oh, weary traveler put down your sails
Come into this harbor – we’ve heard all your tales
Oh, weary traveler come upon the shore
Forage in our trees until you want no more
Oh, weary traveler out at sea so long
Are you longing, longing to belong
Oh, weary traveler we’re all weary too
All coming home, and all missing you

Oh, weary traveler is your only rest
In a lonely mountain’s vulture-stalked nest?
As a weary traveler I tried to make there a bed
But they feasted on my folded wings, taking me for dead
So now weary traveler I only lay my soul
At the hearth of dear mates who are kin of ol’

Here, weary traveler, let’s touch with our hands
Breathe and sigh, “I understand”
For weary traveler, I fly the flights
Out of my darkness and into my light

Oh, weary traveler leave if you choose
Go, fill your cups, I have mine too
And weary traveler if you choose to stay
Then by lord, you may, you may, you may
Oh, weary traveler put down your sails
Come into this harbor – we’ve lived all the tales
Oh, weary traveler we navigate the flights
Into our darkness and into our light
Into our light
Into our light
Into our light

Spirit Re-Quest

Spirit – Bring me to Thee
Spirit – I have so much, still I’m not happy
Just on creature power I feel weak
Grace and guidance I seek

Spirit – Bring me to We
Spirit – As a single unit I am weary
I am longing for what tribe gives
Cradle to grave relationships

Spirit – Bring me to Me
Spirit – Help me love the demons in me
Been ruled by dark whispers in my head
Want to hear in the light of life instead

Spirit – Bring me to Intimacy
Spirit – With what I can and cannot see
Help me accept peacefully
How dreams meet reality

Spirit – Bring me to Thee

I Party Naked

I party naked with my friends, it ain’t sexy, it ain’t Zen
I party naked with my friends, it ain’t trippy and it ain’t sin

I get naked at an ocean
I give naked in a park
Don’t matter if I’m in public
Can be daylight or moonlit dark

Can’t feel the sunshine in a building
Central heating ain’t like warm outside
Nature’s call is what I’m yearning
My birthday suit I don’t need to hide
Yeah! That’s more my style

I party naked with my friends, if you see my pee-pee the world won’t end
I party naked with my friends, and I’ll make amends if I happen to offend

I wasn’t born to cloak my feelings
Born to live where folks will meet my eyes
I like the breeze on my bottom
Feeling connected from Earth to Sky

Let’s all have a happy picnic
And hang our uniforms in the trees
We are born to party naked
With the groundhogs and bull froggies
Yeah! That’s more my style

I party naked with my friends – it’s your rite – you’re welcome to attend
I party naked with my friends – if it’s best for Bambi it must be meant for men

Naked is how I sing and dance
Naked – my tan is whole not half
Naked – I’m out of the fashion trance
Why, I get naked just to take a bath!
Yeah! That’s more my style

I party naked with my friends, it ain’t sexy, it ain’t Zen
I party naked with my friends, it ain’t trippy and it ain’t sin

I hope this song made you think and laugh
Yeah, I get naked just to take a bath
I get naked just to take a bath
I get naked just to take a bath 😉