circa 1985, h.p. india.

circa 1985, h.p. india.

Friday, November 10, 2017

the motionless foundations of eternity.


i’m at a place in my life where i feel a tremendous need to be really honest with myself. of course ‘tremendous’ may be too strong a word. i’m still quite willing to be self-deluded in some areas. for example, i can’t shake the feeling that women find me fabulously attractive. i’m just sayin. but i do nevertheless feel it’s important to face facts as much as possible. so i must admit that i honestly don’t understand the whole ‘i am that eternal self’ rigamaroll.

through my many years of meditation or maybe simply as a rational semi-intelligent human person i’ve perceived there to be some sort of shared underlying something-or-other. snd it may be eternal. i won’t argue. but i wonder how to take that leap to ‘i am that’? i’m not much of a leaper. i could definitely sign on to: ‘i am that happy relaxed self except when in any medical, including dental, situation.’

in the bhagavadgita, book two, verse twenty-three, (yeah i googled it,) it is written: “The Self cannot be pierced by weapons or burned by fire; water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. The Self cannot be pierced or burned, made wet or dry. It is everlasting and infinite, standing on the motionless foundations of eternity. The Self is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change. Knowing this, you should not grieve.”

again, i’m not really clear how i know that or why i shouldn’t grieve. my dog was hit by a car, apparently quite capable of being pierced, clearly not eternal and i felt pretty shitty ’bout it. nevertheless i appreciate the verse, it’s terribly inspiring even though i’m not prepared to worship that self as a god. we’ve got enough of those floating around causing trouble. but i’m prepared to love you as if we’re that same self in reality, standing on the motionless foundations of eternity. because maybe we are.

“old people shouldn’t eat health-foods. they need all the preservatives they can get.” robert orben. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

how many nra members does it take to change a light-bulb.


as i listen to radio shows, i’ve heard three main reactions to the latest mass shootings in the united states: firstly, i’ve heard that pastors should all carry guns. i heard one pastor say he didn’t wanna comment on gun control, that if more people would simply turn to jesus there wouldn’t be a problem. thirdly, i heard trump say it was not a gun issue but a mental health issue.

trump actually added that there’s a mental health problem ‘at the very highest levels’. that comment totally stopped me in my tracks. did he just admit to having a mental health issue? am i the only one who noticed that? his ability to separate the gun issue from the mental health issue would certainly seem to confirm it.

one democrat interviewed after the shooting in texas, in favour of some sort of gun control, talked about a need to limit assault rifles and those gizmos that turn ‘normal’ rifles into rapid-fire machine-guns. he kept using the word ‘normal’ as he referred to what i guess he considers acceptable. and he’s one of the more reasonable ones.  

if at all you’re interested in my opinions on the issue of gun-control go to youtube, type in ‘take aim at the nra’ and i’ll let jim jeffries talk on my behalf. peace.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

on my way.


last sunday morning it occurred to me i might prefer driving next day up to gracefield to register my new truck rather than hull. i’ve done that before. i googled ‘saaq gracefield’ to find out their hours and was surprised to see that they’re even open sundays. i had time to go that very day.

i was so happy, to think i could get it done almost immediately. wow. but i wasn’t born yesterday. before jumping in my car i decided to call just to make sure. it seemed so odd that they’d be open sundays. sure enough, however, the friendly lady on the other end of the phone assured me they’d be open until 5:00. i was excited. i brushed my beard, collected the papers, grabbed my keys and skipped out the door. but as i sat in the car with the engine running a niggling feeling came over me. i shut off the car, went back inside to look on my computer. the website i’d clicked on was not ‘saaq gracefield’. it was ‘saq gracefield’. i had not called the registry office. i had called a liquor store.

the conversation had gone saomething like this: “are you really open up there today?” “oh yes, of course. we’re open every sunday.” “that’s amazing. i had no idea. i live near wakefield but i can get there before you close.“ “ok.” ”i”m really excited.” “ok.” “thanks a lot i’ll see you soon.” “ok.”

“i would never die for my beliefs because i might be wrong.” bertrand russel.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

maybe you can take it with you after all.


after gord downie passed on i really apprecisted the story a musician friend of his told about how gord would always take the fences down from around the ‘tragically hip’s’ trailer wherever they’d be. it was a great point about gord and the hip, but what i especially appreciated was how the guy made an even greater point about tearing down fences between people and cultures.

gord was younger than me. prince, leonard cohen, glenn campbell, david bowie, greg allmand etc, etc, some younger, some older, all gone. tom petty was my age, died on my birthday, which was weird. so anyway i decided to buy a new truck before my old one died. although the new one i chose is actually far from new it’s certainly a fancier one than i’ve ever had. it’ll take me a while to figure out the console. the electric lumbar support is ridiculous, can’t leave it alone. the heated seats are the closest thing to eroticism i’ve experienced in years. my only problem is that i know i’m gonna wanna take it with me.

someone recently asked if i’d pray and meditate for her sick husband who was in the hospital and of course i did. his condition remained unchanged although apparently the fellow in the next bed had a remarkable recovery. i suppose i’ve always been a little off. in the midst of the ups and downs, comings and goings, we do what we can do, for ourselves, our dear ones. in the end perhaps only the love remains.

before getting my new old truck registered i meditated in it, fell asleep i guess and afterward i noticed ‘8:45’ on the dashboard. i wondered why it was still dark out until i realized it wasn’t morning, it was evening. a few days earlier during a meditation i wondered for a moment if i was in india or canada. most everyone can relate to these phenomenon.

so i'll tell you what someone once told me and what sages through the ages have said: that underlying and animating these bodies is a stream of consciousness, a spark of life which is eternal, not bound by time and space. i know very little about that, only hints and whispers within my inner life. but if there’s one string connecting the many beads of a necklace, if there’s one sap permeating all the leaves of a tree, if water permeates each wave on the ocean, why would there not be one life one love permeating you and i, pure, free, forever (?)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Go With The Flow.


My urologist Dr. Adamson was always happy to see me. I suppose I was a little something different for the guy. He couldn't possibly have seen too many bramachari yogi/Buddhist monk types sitting in his bland grey-toned, window-less waiting room. He smilingly waved me into his office without even the customary announcement of my name. We chatted a minute or two before he launched into asking me the usual questions, only this time I was not willing to be dismissed as usual with the 'quality of life' speech: I wanted some action.

He admitted there was a new much less intrusive procedure and he‘d be able to arrange it at the Gatineau Hospital where he was Head of Urology. In fact the hospital had only just recently acquired the most current state-of-the-art technology for that. But an exploratory examination would have to be done first. In the meantime, the doctor insisted I try a new pill. "I know you don't like taking pills and that they haven't worked in the past," he acknowledged. "Only these new ones are really effective with no side-effects whatsoever." I found that pretty hard to swallow, so to speak, but he insisted. "No side-effects whatsoever." I pressed him a bit further on that point until he finally said: "Well, the only thing is you won't be able to... release." My eyebrows shot up, I laughed and blurted: "Don't you call that a friggin side-effect!? I call that a side-effect!" Probably out of a sense of self defence he quickly shot back: "What do you care? You told me you don't ever do that anyway." It was a valid point but, as I then said, I prefer to have a choice.

Before leaving his office the doctor grinned up at me and repeated something he'd said to me on more than one previous occasion. "Nathan, you need a little pleasure in your life."  As I walked out I responded: "Well it's always a pleasure to see you." Then as I made my way through the bland grey-toned, windowless waiting room I wondered if that had sounded just a little bit gay. I took the pills, for a while. As usual they didn't work and we will never know if I could... release or not.

I was nervous on the morning of the exploratory examination. The thought of having my ‘little brother’ frozen and a camera inserted just did not sound like a wonderful way to start my day. Sitting around the waiting room, however, in the proverbial flimsy cotton hospital gown was at least as traumatic and as painful in its way. The bad news was, which I coulda told the doctor years earlier, the flow was interrupted, and I prefer to go with the flow, so the procedure was scheduled and I was left with my thoughts.

On the day of the actual operation I wasn't nervous at all. My papers were all in order, my 'Last Will and Testosterone' was written, the plants were watered, the stove was off and I had showered. At the hospital I was admitted and placed in a room, told to undress. As I lay in the bed I watched through the large window as a bright sun rose up over the city of Gatineau.

Eventually a lovely nurse came and began putting electrodes all over my chest. "What's that for?," I asked. "It's to check your heart." I smiled up at her. "It's been broken," I said. "How did that happen?," she asked. "It was by a girl almost as pretty as you."


Monday, October 16, 2017

escape the ignorance.


meditation descends upon me/rises up from within, often, predictably, effortlessly. i don't do anything which is of course the point, the portal. it's spectacularly subtle but it builds and takes me over. i've no concern or doubts irregardless of life's big unanswered questions. meditation hasn't afforded me the answers. it just sort of leads my attention, as if with whispers and hints. what is god or our source, the origin of this world, the meaning of life? i'm profoundly appreciative. it’s like a mother's smothering love or a lover's mothering. i’m wandering on my own, a kind of western version of the himalayan cave yogi minus the hashish.

Hey Nathan; The entry to your blog ('your true place') struck a very resonant chord with me.  Yes, how significant we take ourselves to be, stars of our own movie, and how challenging to that notion is the solitary life… no faithful co-stars or supporting actors, just whoever arises to share the moment with. Sometimes the glimpses you offer of your life remind me so much of my own.  Good to share this moment with you. Sincerely; Rosie.
 .
Hansraj; How do we know meditation isn't just another form of escape from the harsh realities of life, like booze or drugs? Sarvanand.

dear sarvanand; meditation can be just another form of escape. absolutely. i was driving in downtown ottawa the other day when i spotted a guy on the side-walk sitting half up against a black iron fence. he was totally spaced-out and i thought: 'why do i conclude he's drunk or on drugs? maybe he's in samadhi, deep in meditation. after all, he doesn't look so different to how i must look at times. he has a big beard. i have a big beard. i don't generally meditate on a busy downtown sidewalk with folks stepping over me, but otherwise... sarvanand ji maharaj, you're a very intelligent guy. i know you will answer your own question. regards; hansraj.

phyllis;
    regards to you and your brothers, father and mom from way up here.
    i just listened to your video about expression, briefly, for the second time. and i decided to accept your suggestion to express 😋. you speak beautifully and your perceptions are very beautiful. you're intelligent and eloquent. and i agreed with what you said and offered in that video. i just didn't feel entirely comfortable with that one statement: 'i'm sure we can all agree that as humans we are imperfect and perfection is unattainable.' i may not have your wording exact, but that was the gist of it.
     the judeo-christian concept of being born sinners, the buddhist noble 'truth' of dukh or the inherent pain and suffering of human life: these are definitive, and rather dark, statements. i don't disagree. the vedant concept is in fact that we can attain perfection with the realization of Self, that it is our birthright. i don't disagree with that either. buddhists talk about shunya, no self, while hindus talk about atma, an all-permeating self. i understand both as essentially the same. in my semi-humble opinion, it's all a matter of semantics and all concepts, philosophies and world religions are wide open to interpretation.
    so where's my discomfort with your statement? my only issue with it is that it's a negative statement. i personally like the sound of an all permeating self rather than a non existence, perfection rather than imperfection. it's really just a personal preference. but you included me in your statement. 'we can all agree...' i would agree we're not perfect within the context of our being impermanent. but if in fact there's an eternal spark within me, then? i'm not saying there is or isn't. i'm not saying we're imperfect or perfect. i'm just expressing.
     best wishes always. affectionately; nathan.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

you may believe.


you may believe meditation to be now quite mainstream, a respected member of society. you may believe it has taken its place among other great tools for well-being such as massage therapy, acupuncture or perhaps tai chi. the reality is that, if taught by one who's travelled far along that path honestly, you'll soon understand it can never be entirely mainstream.
the ancient technique of dhyaan yog, meditation, is a portal into the essence of mysticism, philosophy, science and yes religion. take it for the powerful tool of well-ness that it is. or take it for all that it can be.

meditation with nathan: a three-session course into meditation, once per week, begins wednesday october 11, 7:00-8:30 at 24 ch. gervais. to reserve a spot, email nathanvanek@yahoo.ca. there's no charge for the course and all are welcome.  

'if there is a god you must see him. if there is a soul you must perceive it. otherwise, it's better not to believe. it's better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.' swami vivekananda.