On Extended Retreat
I am currently on an extended retreat. I have come to the point in my life, after 76 years, where I must step away from my conditioned life and personas. The energy of our culture is so very dysfunctional that we all need some distance from its cacophony in order to gain perspective on how to contribute from our authentic soul rather than from our reactive ego-conditioning. The world is being transformed; a process that necessarily demands dismemberment and dissolution before a new reintegration can occur. That is a difficult thing to experience. It is a cultural "dark night of the soul." All of our deepest, most compassionate and patient qualities will be needed.
Home is a strange term for one whose spirit has been wandering most of his life. I have an emotional “home” in my dear spouse, Nancy, but only in my later years (70+) have I realized that, to paraphrase the words and flip the meaning of the old gospel hymn, “this Earth is indeed my home.”
The process of coming home then, brings an energetic blend of excitement and fear. I have lived for seven decades as part of a culture instead of as part of the Earth. To return home, Nancy and I finally realized, requires leaving culture behind because this particular culture has led us far astray and left us wandering strangers in a strange land.
This website is dedicated to the pursuit of freedom, simplicity, and joy – qualities that have been erased by the combination of industrial mono-culture, environmental destruction, and political dysfunction. I want to share with you my journey home, and to share the resources, insights, and encouragements I find along the way. As Gandalf said to Frodo, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your front door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
A few years ago we pulled out our savings and bought a used 2003 Winnebago motor home. For a few months we were parked at my son’s house in southern Arizona, enjoying the presence of family and grandchildren. Last year we migrated north to a 3-acre property near Mount Shasta, California, that has been in my family for almost one hundred years. My sister has title but Nancy and I are now the resident caretakers. The motor home and an old cabin house us. Forest and field surround us, asking us to bring the care that has been lacking for almost three decades of caretakers who were not that interested.
I’m home now, and from this place, this mini-monastery, I want to spend the rest of my life finding a deeper more authentic soul and spirit.
Except for my traditionally published books, which are owned by the publisher, everything on this site is offered as a gift – essays, journals, classes, the books to which I own the rights, and anything else I create. Nancy and I live simply and, if you would like to give something in return, we would receive it gratefully. (See below for donations) But if your circumstances don’t allow for that, please use anything here that might be helpful to you. There are truly no strings.