Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Joy of Death

One of my fur-family is dying right now as I write. My little pet rat Merry has reached the end of his life. His transition has been going on a few days and I've been essentially doing hospice care for him. In about an hour, I must take him into the vet for help in his transition.

This doesn't bother me.

Not being bothered doesn't mean I'm not sad. I'm still grieving, of course. I love him, and I don't want to say goodbye. Who does?

How I'm dealing with it is that I am just observing the pain within me. Grief is just my ego believing it's getting left behind and "losing" him. Ego is that little voice in your head that is convinced you are separate from the All. My Spirit (Higher Self, Atman, Buddha Within, Jesus Within, whatever you want to call it) is perfectly content. It's still in contact with Home, and everyone I've ever loved that's already Gone Home -- so it knows that my darling little one isn't going anywhere he's not at already this very moment. All he's doing is shedding his physical body, which has worn out as they all do. It's given him and me a wonderful time together, but entropy is a fact and so now it's time to give the body back to the Earth so it can nourish other beings.

So how do you deal with it?

People are so dreadfully afraid of death, even though we know that we all must face it one day. I've watched many, many people both human and non-human go through the dying process. I've had pets and worked with animals all my life. Most animals have far shorter life spans than a human does, so confronting death is inevitable when you work with them or live with them on a regular basis. Like everyone else, I also have human family that is older than me and many no longer have physical bodies now. I've even had a few that went on due to tragic accidents and crime.

The most profound death for me that I've witnessed so far has been watching my mother's. The dying process took a long time for her, and it was insanely hard. She was sadly a very mentally ill and a very miserable person, so her death was NOT easy or pleasant. She committed a form of suicide by neglecting herself to death, and her body decayed pretty much before our eyes. It was a little like watching a family member turn into a literal zombie. It was a pretty horrifying and deeply traumatizing experience for my brother and I to watch.

Things seemed pretty bleak and pointless at the time. Was this what I had to look forward to? Pain, terror, entropy, and then destruction? Everything I am and was just going to be worm food and my name forgotten to the annals of time? Literal Heaven or Hell?

My mom sure made it seem that way, but something deep within me didn't quite believe that was actually true. Something wasn't adding up, and kept nagging at me. I couldn't put my finger on it, and I wanted to know what it was.

The experience spurred me into really sitting down and studying everything I possibly could about death. Books and articles written by spiritual masters, looking into Near Death Experiences, walking through and meditating in graveyards, listening to the stories of folks who were dying, and even looking up pictures of corpses in various states of decay. I meditated deeply on it all, trying to sort out the confusing glut of information.

I won't lie -- it was really pretty terrifying and haunting at times, but "Going to the places that scare you" has been the best practical advice I've ever taken.

Over and over, I have seen consistency in reports from all over the world from folks who work intimately with the dying, the dead, and from people who have even BEEN dead but come back: Death is not a bad thing. What's on the other side is Home...the very thing we look for all our lives here on Earth and try to recreate constantly in meditation and spiritual experiences. We're never actually apart from it, but the condition of being here on Earth has a degree of mental separation that plagues us with lies. You can connect with it anytime during your life that you want.

It's taking quite a few years of training, but now I understand that death is actually a joyful event. Dying can be very painful and scary of course, but honestly, if you think about it, so is being born. A newborn baby's first cry is one of confusion, terror, and pain, but it's still ultimately a joyful event.

That's how life works. Getting or leaving a physical body can be a very tough (or startlingly easy) process. It doesn't mean it's bad, evil, or wrong. Our perceptions are the things that make it awful or make it great. At the point of birth or the point of death, our perceptions tend to drop off and we are closest to living in a state of pure being.

I've learned how we prepare for that is entirely a choice. I work daily at practicing the skills I will need in the future when it's my time to go. I am trying to live every day as if it's my last. I know that sounds morbid, but when you get to the point of not having much fear of death or dying (which I have), that actually is an incredibly rich and fulfilling way to live. Suddenly a lot of pointless garbage just drops out of your life and you live genuinely with less stress and far more happiness. You get in tune with your inner purpose and start working to make the world a happier place. Anxiety, worry, and grief become mild and non-disruptive.

I call death "going Home." Whatever "Home" means to you, that's what it is. I can't tell you what's on the other side any more than anybody else. That's not the point, anyway. The point is that you can connect with it right here and now and lose your fear.

That alone is worth doing.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Have Everything I Need...Uh, Now What?

You may already be feeling this resonating within your intuition as truth within you, but sometimes accepting it is the biggest problem and the biggest barrier. You might be thinking, "OK...I don't disagree with this, but now what?" before coming up with twenty billion excuses as to why you can't get started on your life's purpose...or to begin to know what what your life's purpose even is.

Let's back up and just go back to the question of "Now what?"

Now work on accepting it. Tell yourself, "OK. For just this moment, I'm not going to make excuses. I might do that later and I'll just notice it's happening, but for one full minute, I'm just going to say "Yes, this is the truth" and leave it at that."

One minute. Or one second. However long you feel can hold onto that feeling of just letting it sit there and be accepted. That's actually harder than it sounds.

It's going to be rather awkward and uncomfortable, just to warn ya. That's normal. Keep going. Whenever you think of it, just repeat the practice.

That is the first step to getting started on living in line with your life's purpose. After it clicks into place, stuff will start happening in your life that will align you with actually getting into a position of action. It may be dramatic and terrible like a divorce or a job loss, or it might be something really tiny like just being asked by a friend to help set up a donation barrel for a food drive.

But trust me, once you understand and start living in line with your life's purpose, the scariness of the changes will be in hindsight trifling compared to the relief you feel and the success you'll have. It will be like bursting out of the water and taking a huge lungful of air after you were certain you were going to drown.

For now, all you have to do is say, "Yes."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Be Kind to Everything That Lives

A happy life is a never-ending practice. Just like a martial arts master after they attain mastery never stops doing the basic moves they were taught on their very first day as a novice, so too do the masters of happiness never stop doing their basic moves daily.

Making a point to be kind to every living thing from people, to grass, to pets, to blue whales is an essential basic move. It's not easy. You ARE going to get angry, frustrated, and lash out when you reach your limit.

But the more you practice, the harder and harder and the further and further away that breaking point becomes.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Anger Is A Lot Of Work

Anger is a lot of work.

Why would you want to heap more work on top of yourself?

Heal your anger addiction through sheer laziness.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spitting Into The Wind: How GOP Assaults On Women's Reproductive Rights Assault Men's Rights

Friday, January 24, 2014

EDIT: Sexual Objectification Is Not Your Sexuality

I have decided to redact this post as I think I really want to keep this blog and my Light Living Facebook page as safe space where people can come and feel a bit of peace during their days.

If you are unaware of the Light Living Facebook community and would like to join, you can find it here:

You can also follow my Twitter at:

My activism work generally doesn't lend itself to feeling peaceful, so I will keep my activist posts elsewhere so my readers have more of a choice about when they feel like reading about heavy and controversial topics. I already know most of you are activists in some form or another, and I do hope you will take the time to go and look at that page as well and spread the articles. When you're up to it, of course.

For this blog though, I think it best serves as a spot for more personal and positive light work. I'll post links here and on FB and Twitter when I put something new up over there, but won't copy/paste it.

Here is the link for my activist blog on Daily KOS:

Here is the direct link to the article:


Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Sword Without A Hilt

Sexism is a double edged sword that has no hilt. You simply cannot pick it up and swing it anyone without cutting yourself.

You cannot call a women "sluts" without automatically calling men "tasteless."

You cannot call men "pussies" without automatically calling women "dicks."

You can't call a man "girly" or a woman "butch" without automatically implying that you yourself are inferior because of your gender.

In other words, you can't help but go around insulting yourself every time you spew sexist diatribe. It's like walking around with a sign on your back that says "World's Biggest Joke," and you haven't noticed. It's funny to those of us who see it, and even funnier to say "Hey, you have a sign on your back!" and watch you get all defensive and say, "No, I don't!"

If we all took the time today to tell our children this, sexism would probably be mostly gone by the time today's kindergartners became college students.