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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

Of patriots, fawns, and coyotes

So much to write about...and to live!

It's Memorial Day...a day we're meant to honor those who have died in all our wars.  It seems to me that the best way we could honor fallen soldiers is to stop making so many of them.  But I'm in the minority, apparently--at least among our elected officials. 

Last week, in addition to refusing to set a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan, Congress passed, with little debate and few amendments, an extension of the Patriot Act authorizing unusual government surveillance on its own citizens—despite the fact that the war that justified its passage has become the longest in U.S. history; that we’ve “won” by any measure other than all the lives, goodwill, and lives that we've lost; and the final "gotcha": how can you occupy a country, destroy its already pathetic infrastructure, prop up a cruel, corrupt, and inefficient government, and "win" once you leave? 

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Travels with Thaay, Two

The main event we planned during Thaay’s stay in Ojai was a full moon fire ceremony at Temenos Center for Wholeness—the retreat center created by Dr. Tudor Marinescu and his wife Oshun Du Bellay, a spiritual healer.  The flyer invited participants to “Answer the Call of 8,000 Drums,” referring to the March 2012 event Thaay is promoting in Mexico. 

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Travels with Thaay

Toltec wisdom keeper Thaayrohyadi (“Thaay” for short) arrived in Santa Barbara last Sunday.  I recognized him instantly from the photos on his website—a small man with shoulder-length black hair striding toward me with a ready smile and an expansive heart.  He is a shaman on a mission—traveling wherever he is requested to call “all his brothers and sisters” to a gathering of 8000 drums in Mexico next spring.  According to Otomi Olmec Toltec Teotihuacan the Great Healing of Mother Earth and all our relations will begin when 8,000 sacred drums are heard together again.

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Of teachers, skeptics, and snakes

Faithful readers know that I’m preparing for a vision quest with my mentor, Spencer Martin, spiritual leader of the Methow Band of Indians, part of the Colville Confederated Tribes.  (Confederated for the convenience of the United States government, not because the tribes involved chose to give up their ancestral lands and come to live together in Okanogan County.)

Over brunch the other day, my 28-year-old son expressed concern that I might be following a fraud, rather than a guide, and also whether I might be at risk for becoming a complete whackadoo. 

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Bin laden is dead

Osama bin laden is dead.  Watching the news I had such a strange sense of ambivalence.  The more the CNN reporters repeated that "the President would not make this announcement if he didn't have proof," the more I felt as if I was being lied to.  The more I saw "spontaneous" celebrations in the street, the more estranged from my countrymen I felt.  Were these celebrations staged?  Were people really living in such fear of a single man on the other side of the world that they erupted in exultation at the news of his death?  What kind of people celebrate the death of anyone?  By the time I went to bed, the only thing I could feel was shame. 

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