Pay your Toll

July 27, 2015

There’s a toll.
For everything.
And we should pay it happily and move on.
It’s not worth worrying about.

When I drive on I-290,
at some point I’ll pass one of those IPASS towers.
Where they automatically detect and charge your car a fee.
For the privilege of using the highway. And traveling fast.
What they do with that money is none of my business.
But I hope they use it for good.

When I go to the forest preserve, I also pay a toll.
I get to enjoy nature. Fresh air. Beautiful trees.
Calm. Quiet. Serene. Refreshing.
At some point in the evening, a bunch of toll takers will flock over.
For their dinner.
An all you can drink buffet.

This time around, I didn’t smack them away.
I was annoyed, sure.
I would shake my hands and feet vigorously to shoo them away.
It hurt like little needles. And I got some tiny bumps.
When it finally became unbearable, I left.
But I paid my toll.

At some point, we all die and pass on from our bodies.
All that oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, & phosphorus belong to earth.
What’s the point of encasing it in a casket? You’re dead.
You will not resurrect using that old banana peel again.
Pay your worm toll, mang.

Tell yourself that you are suffering.

I am suffering right now.
This is how it feels for a human to suffer.
And it feels like this in my heart.
And it feels like that in my gut.
I am really suffering right now.
My body is in pain.
My mind is going nuts.
And it feels like this will never end.

Be the observer.
And disconnect yourself from the observed.

Pretend you’re stuck inside a mecha robot.
And your brain is connected to this machine.
You feel what the machine feels.
When it gets hit with a rocket, you feel it.
Alarm bells ringing. Sensors going haywire.

Take a deep breath.
And remember that you are not the robot.
You’re inside the robot.
Your goal is to get this hunk of machine to safety.
And nurse it back to health.

Worst case, the robot can’t be fixed.
And then you simply jump out of its cockpit and find another.
No big deal.

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I talk about the forest getting me high, my brain wanting to impress all females, and obtaining a quiet mind + open heart.

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Music snippet via The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

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And what to do about it.

I talk about how I discovered I was like a fish in water. Alcohol helped me leap outta the water for a moment. And rest of my life has been trying to figure out how to stay out. Stories of drinking, smoking pot, psychedelics, meditation, cold showers, forest bathing, and yoga.

What helped me snap out of my thoughts recently is The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. It’s super good and I highly recommend it.

This is the Yoga Studio app I talk about. It’s awesome and highly rated.

Watching this Eckhart video also gets me into the calm present state and away from the thinking mind.

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Music snippet via the great John Coltrane: My Favorite Things

Change the channel

July 13, 2015

I found myself listening to a show that wasn’t fun.
But I kept it going.
As if I didn’t have the choice to press stop.

Suddenly, I snapped out of the trance.
What the fuck am I doing wasting my time?
Pause. Tossed the headphones off my head.

Unless you’re in prison and they have you chained down,
and keep your eyes & ears wide open and force you to watch something,
we have the power of choice.

Bad books, podcasts, websites, shows, family, friends, jobs, town, country.
Whatever.
Change the channel.
And move on with our lives.