Monday, May 29, 2017

Split a piece of wood, and I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.

--Gospel of Thomas, Logion 77

Friday, May 19, 2017

Honoring Flesh, Honoring Spirit: Paul Rosenberg

This meditation is the work of Paul Rosenberg, the funny, wise, playful, and eloquent founder of the extraordinary tribe that is Rain City Jacks. It’s reblogged here with his permission from the group's website. 

Honor the Penis 

Repeat after me: This is my penis. It is part of me. It grows from me and extends into me. This penis is beautiful. My penis is a source of my joy. I know my penis. I care for my penis. My penis motivates me and moves me. My penis feels good. My penis feels wonderful. The pleasure of my penis radiates into and all through my body. My penis teaches me focus. My penis teaches me self-possession. My penis belongs to me and I command it. I am in charge of my penis. My penis is a reflection of my confidence, my maleness, my physical and mental health. My penis leads me to pleasure. My penis leads me to love. I love my penis.  I love my beautiful penis. I honor my penis and will never take it for granted. I promise to treat my penis well for as long as life allows me to be with it. I promise to take good care of my penis. I choose to share my penis, but my penis will always belong to me. I love my beautiful penis.

A lifetime ago, a time you can not and will never remember, a baby boy explored the world with wide-open eyes, a tasting mouth and reaching, grasping fingers. He was an experience sponge, taking in unimaginable quantities of information and learning, learning, learning from all of it. He took it all in and put his world, his life, his self in order according to those experiences. He is every baby boy.

And the reaching, grasping hand naturally, rightly fell between his legs and found his penis. It was not separate from him. Nothing was. Everything was him and he was everything. He was pure experience without subject or object and everything was more experience. His penis felt good when he touched it.

And sometime in those early years, someone big and powerful took his hands and began to divert them away from his penis, began to separate him from it with actions, words, spoken and unspoken intentions and with clothing. This too, is every baby boy.

Before sex was feeling and touching our penises was always a good feeling. Like all humans we naturally return to what feels good and push away what feels bad but this good feeling was not appropriate to our civilizations. Virtually every human society separates baby boys from their penises and even though virtually every boy finds his way back, that separation is always part of him.

We can not erase our fundamental understanding of the universe, and that is what we are sorting out as babies. What is this experience we call life? What am I and what are you? The answers we get as babies, learned through gentle directions of those far bigger and more powerful than us are permanent. We can revise, extend, reconfigure those knowings, but they are always in us.

My penis is a vital, literally vital part of life. It is my primordial connection to all men, all apes, all primates, all mammals, all animals and all life. The separation I was taught can not overcome that basic reality of my body and my species. I can not and will not abandon my penis to the fear of sex that was foisted upon me as an infant.

I claim my penis now, today, tomorrow and as long as I live. It is fundamentally good and inseparable from me. I will honor it with my loving touch, my full attention, my caressing and stroking. I will grant it orgasms and ride upon the waves of joy emanating from it. I will rest with it, wait with it, bring it with me everywhere and I will love it and every part of my life because my life is a precious, transient gift.

Reclaim and take full, joyful possession of your own beautiful penis every day. Love it, stroke it, bring it to orgasm and get to know it in exquisite detail. This is what you are sharing with your fellow man and woman, your personal self, your beloved, beautiful, confident, healthy penis. I will share mine with you and together we will experience the precious, bittersweet ecstasy of life for a moment or a lifetime.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Part of Your Soul, on a Table: Christopher's Altar, in His Words

My Personal Sacred Space

David introduced me to the idea of a personal altar a number of years ago.  It is an idea that tucked itself away in a corner of my brain.  Occasionally, it would pop out of the corner, and then return.  Last summer, I moved into my own apartment.  It is wonderful to be in a space that I can call my own, and into which I can set up my own processes.

            After a brilliant time last summer at the StoneSong Retreat, the idea of a personal altar pushed forward with increasing frequency.  Perhaps it was the gift of a Ganesha at the beginning of the retreat that helped me to entertain this idea more concretely. 

            Through contacts in my hometown, I was introduced to a local carpenter – a home renovator by day, and artisan woodworker by night.  As I described my idea, JK became more intrigued and excited.  I left the idea with him for a few weeks.  A call came.  He had found a piece of wood he thought might work for the top.  And so, I met the quilted maple that became the table.  I wanted a “live edge” and the slab of maple had a beautiful one.  There is a knot from a branch that is actually light rather than the usual dark interruption.  There is spalting to add more texture.  While it said “ah, yes” in its rough state, when it was finished this wood now sings.  As we talked in his workshop, JK became truly engaged in the idea and suddenly, a wood called Purpleheart from Brazil would become the legs, and dark walnut would become the shelf I hoped for.  JK would detail the mortise and tenon of the shelf into the leg and wedge it with maple.  We agreed to finish it with beeswax so the wood could continue to breathe.  All agreed, I left JK to his work.  The result is more than beautiful than I imagined.  This was a first project of this kind for JK, and I think he was inspired.  David has written that sometimes we find Life in unexpected places.  I think this is one of those moments – for both JK and me.  I feel blessed to have met this excellent young craftsman.

            So now, my altar sits in my dressing room.  This is the room deepest in my apartment space, and furthest from the living room and kitchen, and murmur of street traffic below.  It is quiet and can be totally dark when I close the door.  It is where I dress, and truth to tell, am most often naked.  I am starting to spend some longer time in this space (thanks to a small chair that I have placed there – creaky old bones need help!).  I can breathe and be open, and stand (or sit) naked in front of my altar, and sometimes I start my edging there in front of my altar.  It is a place where I try to bring my spiritual self and my sexual self into closer connection.

            There are two levels to my altar.  I am working on the interplay between the upper and lower levels – some things below are deeply important and formative, some are things that I am still unpacking.  The shelf is important.  There is a mala that was gifted to me by a wonderful woman when I retired.  The amethyst geode and necklace remind me of the earth and are my birthstone in different forms.  The Icon of St Christopher is partly a reminder of my own responsibility as a man.  The inukshuk was a gift from a spiritual family when I retired and moved to my new town and life.  As an inukshuk is composed of many stones and is a guide post, this one grounds me in a sense of many “home” places, and so guides me back to a centre.  The table has two crucifixes – one was a gift from Oberammergau, the other is one that I acquired while studying in England.  There is a lingam and yoni that I have been blessed to have anointed with a dear, dear friend who lies deep in my heart.  The singing bowl and candle are there as light and sound.  A small Buddha meditating, and the Ganesha rest on the top as aspects of spirituality that are new and intriguing me.

            This is my altar as it stands now.  I like to think of it as dynamic and growing more sacred as I use it.  It will change as I do.  The Rublev Icon is new.  I am learning to think of the Trinity as a positive dynamic force in the world calling me (and others, I hope) to be positive and dynamic too.  I pray this altar will help me to become a small part of that energy. 
This post is part of a series in which men share the personal sacred spaces they've created, how they use them, what they mean. I invite you to share a photograph of your own altar or sanctuary, and your words describing it. -- David