Sunday, May 13, 2012

Miracle of you

Friday, December 18, 2009

We're #7! (deep in the heart of Texas)

We’re # 7! (Deep in the heart of Texas)

If Texas were a country, it would rank #7 amongst all nations in CO2 emissions! We are spending a week here, talking to Texans about their Oil consumption habits and setting up green teams along the way. We look at Texas as a leverage point, a place where a little bit of energy and education can grow a long way. The stars at night used to be big and bright in Texas, but tonight I can hardly see any. Haze and smog veil their luminous mystique.

We rocked out a school this morning and then went to the Houston Federation where we made some beautiful connections and shifted several paradigms. Seeds of Sustainability have been sown in the Texan soil today. Let us pray for the rain, in its proper time, in its proper amounts.

Bus Journal # 1

November 28 2009

We hit the road. Our upside down, veggie oil powered, educational bus
of Jewish global climate change change is rolling south. The
guitars are out of their cases and the bus is running smooth and slow.

The Torah teaches Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof, Justice justice pursue...so we
drive. We aren't waiting. We come to you.

We spent the morning with a pluralistic Jewish day school in Baltimore
and this afternoon we drove around College park Maryland, bus cram packed with jubilant students from the UMD Hillel, singing songs and chanting out the window with a bull horn. We are a mobile shofar. A strange and beautiful upside down
wake up call to action.



Next week the worlds political leaders, including Barakoli Obama, will
gather in Copenhagen to decide upon policies that will change some old
bad habits. Hopefully we will pick up some new beautiful ones.
Last week in Windsor castle leaders from the major world religions
gathered to stand in solidarity around GCC initiatives.
Christian and Buhdist, Hindu and Sikh, Muslim and Jew, and more, agreed
on something! WOW!
They all agreed to take action (I like to picture the Sikhs traveling
down the Ghanges in an upside down educational boat singing Adamah
VeShamayim in Punjabi).

The Jewish contingency and greater come-unity has sent us across the
county to unify and rally the Jewish voice, so that's what we are doing. We are getting
our act together as a Jewish tribe so that we can better serve the
worlds needs. Jewish means towards universal ends. Change begins at
zone zero, the home, and radiates outwards to the family, the
community, the country and then out through the boundless big circle.
This is the way we roll.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mayan Mosh

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Love song to Islamic distortionists

STOP SHOOTING YOURSELF!

Someone smarted then me once said "If you not getting criticized for what you doing in the world, you are probably not doing something substantial". I've been getting lots of positive feedback from the song and some criticism thank G!d.
I thought Id share a responses that might further explain the meaning and the prayer behind the song.
---------------------------------------

My song is a prayer, a plea, for a paradigm shift. It's not blaming or pointing fingers. It's asking for the same shift that I think you want...you wrote that "Im sure te Palestinians too want to read books and eat healthy food..." and thats exactly what I sang and pray for. My song did not cover the entirety of the situation and it didn't blame anyone. If you'd like to write that song and you though it would be heeling and open peoples hearts and minds, Yallah. Id honestly love to hear it.
My song is about loving the "other".
It's beyond the tit for tat, beyond the endless history, even beyond the current abhorrent predicament.
Its about loving the "other".
Of course you and I know there is no other...and that when we drop bombs on or shoot missiles at someone, we are really shooting at ourselves.
I addressed my song to Islamic fundamentalist (I dont like that word, I think they should be called Islamic distortionists) because to most, they would appear to be my "enemy".
Hamass web page calls for my eradication.
"""The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, killing the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him." Off the Hamas web site taken from ~Sahih Muslim book 41, no. 6985
Thats directed at me friend.
Im a Jew.
Osama blew up huge buildings 2 hours from where I live.
I've had missiles fired at me by Hizballah. I hid under dumpsters as they exploded around me.
Yet In my song I wish them peace...
And when people hear that, it might, just might, give them permission to devilinize all the "others" in their lives.
And in my opinion, this is the type of medicine, the medicine of compassion for the other, that will one day lead to a REAL peace...and one day, I believe, we'll collectively be ready to do so.
And compassion for the other doesn't mean that you just sit on your hands and whistle while someone is coming to kill you. Its about what we are holding while we do our doings.
As soon as we become one sided and label ourselves as good and the other as bad we ourselves become energetic accomplices to very thing we are rebelling against!
We must do what we must do to make sure these atrocities desist! Invest your whole self! Work tirelessly to protect the children! All the children (we are all children). But what do we carry in our hearts as we do our doings? A vision of Compassion? Or Patriotism and Hatred for the "other"? All of our doings will be tainted and in vein if our sources aren't clean.
Let us pray to Hashem ("the name" ie."place name here") We should both be blessed to be brave enough to hold as many truths as possible, to see ourselves in eachother and have space in our hearts to pray for peace for all of us. May peace prevail, and may our personal actions and words be reflections of our greater will!
Im in!

My truth and your truth siting by the fire

I have friends on both sides of the fence. Some are holding guns, some are in basements hiding, and I'm left praying and trying to figure out the lessons of war as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Usually when Hashem gives us obstacles, the sooner we figure out the lesson, the sooner the obstacle disappears, revealing a path to beauty.

One of the main tests that this war poses is, Can we hold multiple truths at the same time? Are we big enough, are we equipped to suffer with the Gazan children while at the same time feeling with the mothers in Sderot. On both sides of this conflict we are guilty of taking tiny pieces of truth and holding them so close to our faces that we can see nothing else. We point and we scream, "THIS IS TRUE! THIS IS MY TRUTH!" And often we are right, it is the truth, but only a fraction of the whole truth.
I think we're big enough to hold more.
This war is begging us to hold more. And maybe if we learn to hold each others stories, while at the same time holding our own, this predicament will evaporate, like the mist in the morning, revealing a most lovely path.

We must hold onto our vision of what, in the end, we want. When we pray for peace for Israel, we know that also means peace for her neighbors.
We dip wine (symbolizing removal of joy) from our cups on Pesach (Passover), because the Egyptians, OUR oppressors & murders, had to suffer.
When Korach came to challenge and fight with Moshe, the first thing Moshe did was fall to the ground and cry.
Compassion for the "other" is the most challenging kind, but it is also the most potent and maybe, just maybe, it's the medicine of the moment.
So I pray...
I pray to the G-d who splits seas and makes frogs rain from the sky, the one who let the light burn for eight days instead of one, and the one who reversed Hamman's decree...
I pray for Bnai Yisrael, that one day soon there will be a generation that doesn't know of enemies sworn to her destruction.
I pray for the children of Gaza that Hashem, who makes miracles, should make a shelter of peace for all the innocent ones.
I pray for Hammas, that the poison of hatred and fear that fills theirs hearts be transformed...QUICKLY! Before it's too late.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

pre-Wedding dance freak out

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

love

Monday, September 08, 2008

Livnot retreat freak out

Happy niggun

Magnificence

Friday, September 05, 2008

Come my beloved.....

About a month or two ago I was sitting in my bamboo hut on an Island in the Guld of Thailand lighting the Shabbes candles alone. My mosquito net was tied in a knot and flung over a rope to keep it out of the way. I sat ad meditated. A Geko came into the room and then left. I sat in silence and cleared my mind for a few fleeting blank moments. Then thought about what I was actually doing and what this Kabalat Shabbat ceremony was actually about for me. I began to sing and chant repeatedly the words "Lecha Dodi", "Come my Beloved". and as I chanted my thinking mind reflected "Who or what am I actually inviting?". I felt something something click and unlock inside. Something that I have known and felt but hadn't put into thinking words. I was sitting alone in a hut in front of candles having a saince of sorts, invoking an energy into the room and into my being. We are magicians you know. And in that moment I became hyper concious of which energies I wished to invoke. What do I want? What do you want? What if I could feel anything? What if I could ask to feel anything? I know I can ask, and the universe she always replies one way or another....One way or another....
I asked for connectivity...to my sources...to myself at my core....to bring my insides onto my outsides and all that is outside into my insides...I also asked for deeper connectivity to my friends who are, thank Jah, so many, and so colorful, and scattered around this great circle. Uganda, Israel, El-Salvador, NYC, Thailand, Nicaragua in the last six months...So many connections, energetic roads forming between the me's and the you's. Sometimes the roads gets overgrown with plants and age and desolve back into forest. Some roads that we form are beyond asphault and need no regular upkeep for they are kept and held in places where decompositon has a hard time reaching her fingers of deterioration. My point is, I decided to be more connective and joined FaceBook, and thats mainly why I haven't been writing on my B to the L to the OG lately. That coupled with the fact that Ive been living down a dirt road on a hammock in the back country of Nicaragua for the last while and just before that in the in the NWern mountains of Thailand along the Burmese border where inner-outer net connectivity is different.
Im a free fully fledged hue-man, semi re-tired re-awakened human. My hair is in braided pig tails at the moment. I got a sexy laptop (for boosted connectivity). A story I wrote on this BLOG about the Sulhita got published in a book called "Jewsih stories from heaven and earth" and is in Barnes and Nobles and Borders. I slept on a sailboat last night under the stars with Cloni Yoni and my big little brother Daniel. Daniel leaves the nest in two days to start college. I remember so clearly and warmly back when he was a baby and Id hold his whole little body in my arms.
AND in case you didn't know, The BIIGGEST news thats keeping me lying awake at night with a blissful grin shmackered to my soul is that Yoni my Cloni and the Viv are having their Love Union decloration proclamation festival extravoganza
in exactly nine days!
Blessings and Blissings

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nica bound

Im in El Horno, Matagulpa, Nicaragua for the next month and a half.

The Island and the Monk

===Letter to Michael, July 7th, 2008, Ko Phangan, Thailand===

Sucha Sucha Big Small world! I spent the last week on a remote Jungle Island mountain. Yup. Surrounded by white sand and bright green blue water. I met lots of new faces, like the white Dolphins that flanked our longtail boat that took me to the Island, Then there were the birds, too too many to describe, BUT I must report, that there is a bird, no Ordinary bird, who lives near Burma, who's primary song is the opening verse to the happy Niggun! NO JOKE! Ya da da dada dada dada! And I thought I wrote the song...

I shared bungalow with a geko. But not a regular little geko. They called him a Tookay Geko...But he told me his name was Hal. About a foot long with neon blue poka dots. Pretty good roommate except he pooped all over the place and made VERY loud mating calls at about 3 AM. I prefer rommates who like to watch old war movies and drink nana tea.
I met a 5 foot long bright green tree snake and many monkeys Id encounter on my solo walks through the mountain jungle island. In that regard I guess they werent really solo walks at all.
OH I met a HUGE MONITOR LIZARD while walking through a palace completely made of teak wood, no nails, but the king painted over most of the wood so you couldn't even tell it was made of such a precious tree. Kings....
Yeah, the Lizarld just popped out of a canal. He was probably as long as me and looked like a dragon disasuar.

I also met some really nice humans. The monk experience was great. Throughout the whole experience I was reminded of our times and conversation in the Monk Caves in the North (of Israel). He was super old. One of his eyes was completely glazed white and when he spoke I could see the blood pressure building and bulging in his jugular vein as it pushed out of his wrinkly old man neck. He was ancient and wrapped in thick saffron robes. He sat with a straight back and perfect posture for over an hour in the Asian heat. I had to climb a great staircase to meet him. He was standing on the top of the staircase, next to a big golden temple that looked like it had been dripped out of sand. He was sweeping when I arrived. Most people bow to the ground 3 times when they meet a monk. I did not and I thought of all my ancestors who became martyrs for refusing to bow to this or that. I respectfully put my hands together near my hear and greeted him that way.. It was a little funny talking to the munk. You see, he was actually from Burma, and he spoke the Mon language (Mon people have been heavily persecuted by Burmese) sooooo I had not one, but TWO translators! One from Mon to Thai and then Thai to English (and vice versa)! It took five minutes of telephone to say "Hi" and you could imagine how much gets morphed in translation. Actually "Hi" in Thai is "Kin Kow Mai" which litarly translates to "have you had rice yet today?"....Yeah...the monk...the monk strives to sit in the middle, not getting pulled and tugged in eighter direction. No pain no pleasure. He sits alone in a seasonless world void of tears or laughter. When asked about our role here, our purpose, he basically said that we are here to get out of here. At least that how I heard it...He kept talking about this great place you could get too once you had done all your work in this world, where everyone listened to some band called Nirvana? Sounded pretty cool.... Not so much about fixing this broken world...more of a model for how to completely check out of it. Like, if I feel nothing and let everything go and Im attached to nobody and nothing and I nulify all my impulses and desires which make me human....then im out...and Im done...and I dont have to come back no mo.
It sounds like a good fall back plan to me. First though, Plan "A"...,Try try try to stay in the light, to mend what can be fixed, to raise the sparks in ourselves and others, To celebrate and seek out Awe-full experiences, to bask and rol around in our joys and to give breathe and love to our struggles, to connect as deeply and sincerely as possible with our sources and ultimately our source. That'd be my plan "A". But it takes courage to come out from the middle. If Newton is right, everytime you swing one way, theres a tug in the other. Im not convinced. I think non-attachment is a wonderful tool. I keep it strapped tight on my belt, and when things don't go my way or when my guitar gets run over by accident by a pick up truck (true story), So then maybe I pull it out and im not so attached and destroyed because I know its just a thing and it served a great purpose and its moved on. Or maybe I cry because I loved it. Anyways, Im glad the monk exists. Hes a totem, holding down that energetic force that I sometimes feel drawn to call.

From Bangkok Phom rak Khun (with Love)

===Letter Home, June 29th, Bangkok Thailand===

My group trip just ended and now Im on my own again.
It was a really intense trip. I often felt full and pulled to my extremes. Intensely beautiful and intensely painful realities to witness. Our work project was situated deep in the Thai countryside, down a dirt road, a few kilometers from the Burma Border. For our project we mostly mixed cement and layed a foundation for a playground for a free school that taught 500 kids many of whom were refugees. We did some sustainable agricultural projects on a model farm and planted fruit trees with proper monks. Most of the villagers in Viakadi, where we lived, had until recently relied on hunting and gathering in the forest for animals and bamboo for shelter. The big companies had moved in and clear cut all the old Forest and replanted with endless rows of rubber tree plantation. The old big forest was not only a food source but it also held down the soil and the big trees sucked up the water from the monsoon. This has led to massive flooding and erosion. I saw houses that got washed into rivers. I met slaves of human trafficking and endless refugees who'd ran away from Burma with horrific tales.
The whole time also it was so beautiful. So green. So alive and wet. Steep jagged mountains that look like paintings, houses on stilts made of bamboo, long wooden bridges, Bald monks in Saffron robes....Which reminds me. I got to climb a mountain and sit with a monk and ask him the meaning of life (Ill tell you his answer later). I watched elephants devour a 40 foot tall cake made of fruit during a local elephant festival. I sat in a brothel with my group and we interviewed teen sex workers and told eachother stories and laughed with them and listened to their reasons and stories and situations. I sat in a loud, dimly lit, overcrowded factory with the slaves who make most of the clothes that you and I wear. I went to the Jungle for walks, had dinner with the mayor and lunch under the River Kwai Bridge. Tomorrow I head south to the Islands, to a white sandy beach where I'll sit and swim and think and be thoughtless and eat healthy food and read books and write songs on the gulf of Thailand.
Next week touch n go in NYC then off to Nicaragua for 5 weeks.
From Bangkok
Phom rak khun (with Love)
Me

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The other side

Bangkok, Thailand, June 12, 2008

18 hours skimming on air currents. I flew over the North Pole (yup) and felt the ice cracking...watched 'Kite Runner' over Kabul and 'Gandhi' over India.
And now Im on the other side of the proverbial bowling ball.
Fun thought; You and me, our heads are probably pointing in opposite directions right now, but both being pulled in the same inwards direction. When you drop something, it moves closer to me. If we started digging....

As I got off the airplane and everything and everybody looked different and my body was 25% longer then everyone elses and there wasn't a single face I knew I thunk to myself 'I made it as far away from the place I was born while sticken to the mud heep'...I thunk to miself with a big grin shmackered to my face...'This still kinda feels like home'

Maybe this planet is a giant heaving living Organism after all (to be sung to 'it's a small world'). And we're part of it. You know they say that over three pounds of the human body is made up of 'foreign' bacteria and organisms, of which we could not live without. So too we're part of this massive beast who feeds off the sun and slurps from the oceans and whos breath is wind. I just got relocated, like a hemoglobin cell moving along arteries and veins, streets and rivers, to the other side of the mighty organism.
Maybe mother earth isn't just a great big ship that we're sailing on...Your a stich in the sail and Im a peg on the floor board.

Bangkok is growing on me, sometimes like a fungus. Shes filthy and grimy and then every few blocks theres a shrine or a massive temple wtih intricate detail and serene vibrations. People here are definitely more chilled out then most. Meditation is culturally embraced. There are statues everywhere of a healthy fleshy man who sits in perfect stillness, contentment and oneness with the world. This sends out massive amounts of shanti societal waves. I think about how this juxtaposes the waves that get triggered from the pictures and statues in other developing countries I've seen of the white emaciated Jewish guy pegged up to a roman torture/death device. Definitely different vibes...

My eyes and heart are open. My Group comes tomorrow.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Song Sessions

Howdy Howdy,
I keep finding more Vidoes from my Uganda trip a few months ago.
These are from two separate song sessions. VERY catchy tunes (beware!)
First one is "Deep Inside my heart" into "Jambo Bwana" (most popular song in Swahili) with a group of Kenyan Refugees who had just days before escaped death and brutality. Most of the people in this video had been beaten and ran away from their burning homes. It always amazes me how some people in the worst of circumstances, with every excuse in the world to be miserable, still know how to and choose to bliss out.

This second video is from a come-unity gathering in Ramogi Uganda with an amazing group of AJWS Volunteers. The song is positively addictive.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Prince and I

This is the Prince and I. He's my friend that I met the first night I was in Uganda. We would spend hours and hours rolling through the countryside making up songs about life. This video took some highly skilled one handed camera work.

Friday, May 23, 2008

going to Thaigaraqua

I HAVEN'T EATEN A SINGLE BITE OF FOOD IN 10 DAYS!
Thats because Im in the middle of Juice fast. Really I like to think of it more as a juice gorging. Feeling groovey and juicy. Cloney Yoni is officially a master, not just of life and human love interactions, but he just got his Masters degree in Education. We had the whole family and Amigos over to celebrate and at around midnight we were all giving him blessings and singing some song about an ocean and waves and then there was silence. Through the courtyard from a window above a voice screamed "SING BOBBIE MAGEE!". Of course we obliged. Now you should know that from brothers apartment (or his togetherment as he'd call it) you can hear the phone ring in someone else's apartment from across the courtyard. Never once has someone complained about all the strange beautiful music and the hooten and holleren and now we're even getting requests from anonymous voices!
Im gonna be love parading for the next couple weeks in the US, then is seems the wind is blowing me to Thaigaragua (Thailand and Nicaragua) where Ill be focalizing two trips from two months this summer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Can Fly!


Ugandan Cowbow and I making music

Friday, May 09, 2008

If You Can

If you can walk
you can dance
If you can talk
you can sing
If you can think
you can dream

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Anywhere you want...

We can lift eachother up,
We can move each other high,
We can overcome,
We’ll live in peace,
We’ll celebrate,
We’ll walk hand in hand
Listening to the harp strum beat,
Higher and Higher
We will give what we’ve got
We wont stop until we’re done
We shall be released
We Shall be free
We can live in truth
Higher and higher
We’ll get rid of war,
Everyone will eat
We wont live in fear.
We’ll live as one,
This is just a dream.
So was every other idea that ever happened.
Release all chains that shackle the mind.
No more slave dreams tonight baby.
Clear mind and clear vision.
See the change you wish to see,
Be the change you wish to see,
We’re here because we’re supposed to be
but we can go anywhere tonight.
Anywhere tonight.
Anywhere fun.
Anywhere you want.

The tank is full and Ive got a credit card.
Sometimes we sit at the edge of Gods driveway idling for hours and days and lives with the key in the ignition,
scrambling to try and read the maps and charts asking lost strangers out the window which way to go.
Anywhere you want beloved,
Anywhere you want.

I can see your bliss skipping down the road,
looking back with a laughing inviting smile.
Why not turn the key and lets get the heck out of here.
Or step out of the car and bliss out dancing on Gods front lawn.
Just no more sitting in smogged out clouds of confusion.
This car is starting to smell and we’ve got better things to do.

I do declare!
The self-perpetuating stagnating "Pursuit of happiness" leaves us gasping.
Pay no attention to such silly Jedi mind tricks.
Try and pursue your breathe.
Right now.
Try it.
(If your breathing, your not pursuing)
How'd it work?


Listen to this little secret
We have the right to bliss
We have the right to choose the highest perspectives around town
And We can stay for as long as we'd like

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A million words

Some pictures I've taken over the last few months...
If you have any questions, write a comment and Ill write you back.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Sulhita



Last month Sarai and I sat at a gathering in the Negev desert in Israel called the Sulhita gathering. 150 Jewish and Palestinian teenagers gathered together for 5 days in the desert to make and celebrate peace. No finger pointing. No blame game. Just some good old fashion peace making. Some times we sit around and wait for politicians to tell us when we can and can't have peace. Screw that. We can just do it. And we did. For five days. We sang eachothers songs, and danced in eachothers celebrations and we sat at night around the camp fire and listened to eachothers stories.



One story really stuck out to me. It was told to us by a pair of peacemakers who came from a group of Israelis and Palestinians who had each lost dear family members from all the fighting. Most of the Israelis in the group had lost family members from bus bombings and shootings and most of the Palestinians lost family members from Israeli army activity. Yet they sat side by side and spoke of their yearnings for peace and reconciliation.







Ahmed grew up in Jenin. (He's the dude on the right. The man next to him is an Israeli who lost his son.) The only Israelis Ahmed had ever met wore green Camo, held huge guns and sometimes drove tanks. This to him was what a Jew was. He said that he grew up hating Jews and during the intifada he was in the front lines throwing stones and who knows what else. He'd been in and out of jail several times. One day there was an early curfew in town to keep people off the streets. Ahmeds 13 year old brother went for a walk to his grandmothers house just down the street. He heard shooting and started to run. Before he could make it to the door a rubber bullet made it to his chest. The bullet went through his little body and literally broke his little heart. He died. Ahmed said that that day was the last day he saw his mother smile. Fueled with more rage he hit the streets again looking for bigger stones to throw.

A few years later Ahmed needed a job and had looked everywhere in town but couldn't find one. His friends told him that there were good jobs in Israel. At first he was appalled at the idea of working in Israel for Jews, but eventually he had no other choice. So he got a construction job in a Jewish town working for a Jewish boss, the first Jew he ever met who wasn't wearing green. He was very bitter about the whole situation. One day his boss stopped and asked him why his face was always so sad and bitter. They sat down under a tree and Ahmed told the story of his brothers death and about his mothers grief. As he told the story his Jewish boss began to weep and say how sorry he was that had happened to his brother! Ahmed didn't really know what to do or what to think. He'd never met or seen a Jew expressing compassion and this behavior didnt jive at all with the image he had in his head of his enemy, the "other" he'd been fighting against and trying to destroy.

Two weeks later a Palestinian man walked onto the 18 bus in downtown Jerusalem and detonated and explosives belt around his waist. The blast was so strong that the top of the bus pealed back like the lid of a sardine can. 17 Israelis were instantly killed and many more injured. After work that day Ahmed returned to his mothers house. When he came in he found her on the ground crying besides the television set as the news was coming through. He said "Mom, why are you crying? don't you know those were Jews who were killed, not Palestinians?" The Mom looked up and said through her tears to him "I'm crying because of all the Mothers who are right now going through what I once went through".


Something began to change in Ahmeds heart and in his mind. He no longer could say that he hated Jews because he'd met one, just one, that he really liked. His mother showed him that pain and suffering transcended nationality and religion. And he had to reconcile this new information with his actions. He realized that throwing stones and plotting destruction we're just perpetuating the struggling. Eventually he found the Bereaved Families group of Israelis and Palestinians and now he tours around Israeli towns and Palestinian communities side by side with Israelis and shares his story.

These people who lost their relatives have every excuse to live in hatred. Yet they choose love and reconsiliation. If they can do it, we have no excuse.

Another thing that really struck me by this story is how it only takes a few small interactions to radically transform a person. So Im trying to look at each moment as sacred and as having awesome potential for growth. In this life, with this body and with these eyes, we can barely see the ripples we are constantly sending out. We know so little about what effect we have on eachother. The boss had no Idea was he was really doing and neither did the Mamma...they were just being, being genuine and coming from a place of compassion and when we come from that place of compassion, especially for the "other", we send out beautiful waves of goodness.
Click here for Sulhita

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hug Around Jah-ru-shalem



Cool Video from a hug we made last year around the old city

Friday, February 08, 2008

Animal Sounds


I met this guy in the Jungle....actually in the most densely populated monkey Jungle in the world...so they say. The Jungle also was home to Forest Elephants and Leopards that lurked in the trees. This man knew the medicine of the trees. Did you know that Monkeys self medicate? They do. When they have stomach problems the go to the the warbegia tree and know to eat its bark...AMAZING! This guy, as you can see, knew how to talk with the primates so he had all the inside info...who was dating who, who had flees etc...

got S.O.U.P?

BIG NEWS! We started an NGO in Uganda...And your all involved. Its being registered as we speak. I think were calling it the Sustainable Ugandan Orphan Project or S.O.U.P for short...Got Soup? Now ya do.

Problem; Aids, Malaria, Ebola and war has wiped out a huge chunk of Ugandan Middle aged population, the parent population, thus leaving behind a ridiculous number of parentless kids. Most of them just run their own homes with the eldest child being in charge or they go to live with their Aunti. No parents, no food, no money, no education...School costs money and is considered a luxury.

Trim-tab;
WE GOT LAND IN UGANDA! 3 Acres. And we're building a heady farm where were going to grow chickens goats pigs and corn. The farm can be looked at like a bank (or just a farm if you like). The extra female animals and seeds (or interest) will be distributed to the kids and their family. They aren't allowed to to eat the animal immediately, rather they will procreate the animals, thus providing the family with a business opportunity. The first female offspring they must pass on to someone else needy in they're village and then they must do the same...pay it forward kinda thing... On the village level this will be overseen by community councils we will set up ahead of time in the villages.

Thats the basic basic gist. Theres a lot more to it that I didnt write up.
We're putting together a constitution this week. Our Ugandan counterparts are two amazing men. Ones my friend, the musician I wrote about before, who happens to also be a card carrying certified/bonafide prince in the kingdom of Toro (home to the youngest king in the world....who is 15 yrs old). Our other partners name is David and he already is running a wonderful NGO on the other side of the country and is running for parliament in two years.

So far in the last two weeks, without verbally asking, someone kicked down an office in Kampala Uganda, an old computer and a bit of money has already come in!

We're looking for co-dreamers and eventually we'll be having a big oll work party to get the farm built...Your all invited.

Wish list for right now is a decent lab-top computer and someone to throw together a web page in the next couple months...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oseh Shalom

Abayudaya Jews of Uganda



We Jews come in every shape and color of the rainbow. In the eastern part of Uganda, along the slopes of Mt Elgon, live 5 comunities of some of the most beautiful jews I've ever met. They're called the Abayudaya. They study Torah, they observe the Sabbath, they love to sing and dance, and they were heavily persecuted during the Eda Amin Era. Theres a San Fransisco organization thats trying to help this comunity by funding a clinic and a guest house that would generate income.
http://www.jewishresearch.org/1007/full.html

African Lulabye



Side walk song session with a new friend in Uganda

Kenyas burning Kenyans Dancing

Could you open the window please

After a song session with the kids at the Kenyan Refugee camp I sat and met with the elders. I listened. They were eager to tell me their stories. One guy, Peter, who was about my age, told me through his swollen eyes about how he'd be lynched by a mob and then had to watch as his home and all of the things he'd spent his life collecting went up in smoke. I promised him I would tell his story. So here I am. I cant imagine having something so terrible happen to you and to feel like theres no one to tell it to. It happens all the time. They had all suffered.....they had no homes....little food.....they'd seen death...yet they knew how to dance and celebrate the gift that is the moment. Amazing.
The problems in this corner of the world are completely out of control and can be overwhelming, often to the point of paralysis. Millions of refugees, Sudan Genocide, 5.4 Million dead in the last ten years in Congo! I barely even knew there was anything happening in Congo. Kenyas burning, 28% of pregnant women in South Africa have AIDS. We're bombarded and theres no way that our ability to act/react can keep up with our levels of awareness. Internet, CNN, BBC, barraging my eyes and my conscious constantly.
Somehow though I believe that there is enough. That we weren't dumped on this planet without enough resources to feed ourselves and all live descent lives. Sounds crazy and so far off. When I pray, I pray that we get out of our own way. We're blessed with a suns that is constantly showering and recharging a super fertile
planet that just wants to give and give. There is enough. Theres enough space. Theres enough food. Theres enough energy. Theres enough money. Theres enough. It is we who poison the earth and hoard her resources. Then we fight trillion dollar wars over these resources so then theres no money for medicine or education for the basic and the obvious. Had we not gone to war with Iraq and invested the Trillions of dollars elsewhere, we could have crossed off one of the big ones...AIDs or Cancer maybe...World hunger for sure...vaccinations easy...education for all..Sustainable energy...probably several of these. We could collectively choose such a reality, but we get stuck in our patterns, in the same old same old. You know when you get on the back of a grey-hound bus and it smells like piss and you cant stand the smell but after a few minutes you get used to the smell and it seems like it goes away. it doesn't.
Ill tell you Its been wonderfully startling for me the last few weeks.
One night I was in Uganda, the next morning in a Cafe in Amsterdam, Cuddle puddle that night in New York City and then San Salvador by noon the next day. Head spinning, reality shifting on a dime. Amsterdam and her sterility and straight lines with the mud huts of Uganda still fresh in my eye. Thousands die each day from diarrhea. Rehydration salts cost 3 dollars a packet. So Im stuck asking myself how do I buy anything I dont need.
I read recently that every 110 hours a million more humans arrive on the planet then die into it. Every seventh person on the planet is a Chinese peasant. Humans drink over a billion cups of tea a day. The insects outway us and the chickens outnumber us four to one. We're tiny...You and Everyone you know make up a sampling error on any global census, yet your it. The dust of the earth whom this world was created for.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Deep inside my heart



@ Kenyan refugee camp on the border

ways to help

http://www.directrelief.org/
EmergencyResponse/2008/

CivilStrifeKenya/CivilStrifeKenya.aspx?gclid
=CL3YypejrpECFUV0OAodzEhsdQ
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/
fromthefield/sosaus/120101160178.htm
http://www.imcworldwide.org/microsites/kenya_crisis
/kenya1.html?gclid=CIzaiOSfrpECFQIQFQodIjMjfA
http://www.goal.ie/
http://www.theirc.org/where/the_irc_in_kenya.html

Some stories

Spent yesterday rocking out Hineh Mah Tov and Lecha dodi with the most spectacular Jewish come-unity I ever did see...the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda.....They Live down a dirt road on the side of a mountain by the equator and they speak some hebrew and sing the most wonderful songs and study Torah (YouTube videos pending)...
Im starting to organize a Birthright Trip for them...
Last week I played a new years gig for a thousand Ugandans . I sang mostly Shlomo Niguns and Marley tunes of freedom (Mweterana Ab-Africa = Africa Unite!) The big hit was a free style reggae jam in their local language Rootoru. I sang all ten of the phrases I know. More people were scheduled to come but theres no gas in this whole country because of the fighting in Kenya....Im heading to a border refugee camp in an hour to sing some "deep inside my heart"
God is so tripped out! I saw some of the strangest animals that i didnt even know existed at a National park I was based out of for a bit. I went to the park to spend some chill time in nature and to get away from the city but for the first time in my life, it was actually too much nature! It was unsafe to walk around on your own because there were tons of big toothed predators that freely walked around like they own the place, cuz they did....Lions and tigers and Hippos (Hippos are very temperamental and fight to the death....and there was one that would come half a frisbee toss from my door every night)! Once I tried to sit outside and close my eyes to meditate...
It didn't work...
But Im Alive!
And so are you!

Monday, January 07, 2008

U ganda and I

Day of the show

January 1st, Fort Portal Uganda
Day of the show.
Fighting broke out yesterday in neihboring Kenya.
Somehow somone thought they could cheet on elections and get away with it!
124 dead is what they said.
War in the North....Now war in the east....
Theres actauly fighting in the West as well in Congo...
Uganda is landlocked and she gets her petrol from Kenya, and since the fighting broke out, the pumps have run dry. In the region I am in, there is one station with petrol within 100 miles. It happens to be two frisbee throws away from my guest house. Hundreds of petrol hungry motorist have desended upon this little station with there motor cycles and empty geri-cans...fighting over drops. I can hear them shouting from my bedroom. Police with AK47s have been gathering at the station, for soon the pumps will run dry.
The show must go on...
It begins in an hour...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Day One...Uganda

1st day in Uganda...I rolled up to the Central bus station in Kampalah the capital...
Stood around for a while and stared at a map...There were busses going in every direction to different countries and I had to pick...
I got on a bus that said "Fort Portal".
I liked the name....I like portals....And it was headed towards the Rawenzori Mountains, the tallest in Africa...This region is also allegedly the densest most monkifull place on the planet (though I doubt the researchers have been to brothers Apt on the upper left side or to Nachlaot Jerusalem). So I sat parked in the non-airconditioned equatorial mid-day heat, waiting for the bus to depart for FIVE HOURS! Didnt move...for five hours. Luckily I didnt have to pee the whole time becaue all the water in me was dripping out sweat. It was an incredible meditation. In hour two of the sit I reminded myself that this bus station was just as much Uganda as any other, and I had come to experience Uganda, so I was doing what I came for. I had arrived, though the bus hadn't budged. That thought morphed into brother Yonis Snorkling Meditation. When Yoni and I snorkeled in the Red sea, we'ed often just float limp on the top of the water...We'd become water...and so much more would become revealed once we stopped moving. I did this on the bus.
Hour four I spent pondering the nature of frustration and my lack there of. I reminded myself that if I ever wanted to try getting angry or frustrated at something, there were far greater sources to choose from, like the Invisible Children in the north, or the uninterupted Genocide in Darfur, or the killing in Kenya....
Then the engine fired...the air started moving...and we were on our way...
We pulled into town at night and the first two Hotels I went to were booked...The third one I walked in and a local was sitting at the cafe writing a song...I pulled up a stool, pulled out my guitar and we started to Jam...Turns out hes famous around here. James Katz (Katzchululi)is his name...His break through hit was a song he wrote a few years ago about Ebola prevention....Soon afterwards Ebola cases dropped severely. We're working on an HIV diddy. So he's my new best friend. Hes got a heart of gold. We ride all around together...and he takes me to gigs and has introduced me to Members of Parliament and other fancy people...and lots and lots of people people.
Rodger, the guy who works the desk at my guest house, makes 3 dollars a day. He works from 8Am till midnight every day of the week. His transportation costs are $1.50. Then food and rent...the math doesn't add up.
So James was throwing a new years Concert where thousands were due to attend and he invited me to be a featured performer!
Ill tell you about it in the next episode.........

Monday, December 24, 2007

Stuff



Awsome little video that clearly explains how we got so much stuff and why we're in such a big mess and how we can get out of it!

Who's Ganda?

Theres a voice in me, a small voice, that likes to pretend to know things about the future. He likes to think he knows where he is going and what will happen. I've spent the last several years gently hog-tying this voice and sitting him on a couch where he can watch my life, with all of its unforseen serendipity, unfold. These days, my hand is mostly off the rudder and my sail is flying high, catching gusts of divine wind that seem to be sending me to Uganda. Who knew? Small voice wants to add that he thinks we are going to spend time with lots of funny animals and African Jews (abhyudaya) before meeting up with an AJWS group that I will be Co-leading.
Tuaonana! ("Peace out" in Swahili)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Air Waves



This video was shot earlier this year at a live radio broadcast in Israel.
A funny little part you might miss;
In the middle of the video, Ben the host tells us that we're off air, and the shows over...We were having so much fun and the energy was so high that we kept on keepen on and making music for another 20 minutes after the show was over.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Around a Candle

Around a Candle

I thought my car was stolen yesterday
With my entire childhood in the trunk
I didn’t think twice
Which is nice
Drove my car down main st. in Woodstock
Where once the flower children gathered
Half a million strong
And through the rear view mirror I seen
Peace signs
And prayer flags
With price tags on em
It just made me sing louder

Today I woke up to bells ringing
And mama singing
Sun salutations and a backbend
Off the green couch to rhythmic music
It’s a Sunny day at the end of October
I think its Halloween
Its hard to tell sometimes
When you are wearing a mask

My chariot takes me north
But my mind drifts further
Further still
My radio was stolen so all that’s on is my mind
And a movie is playing
The doctors are dancing
With their seemingly sterile robes
With their super vacuum cleaner spot-removers
Its raining
And the sun is shining
My life is happening right now
This whole entire universe was created for each singular spec
of the dust
of the earth
And I’m a card carrying member of this bold bregade
The few
The proud
The alive

I’m starting my 29th rotation around the candle
Sometimes I get dizzy
I climb tall trees just to feel her spinning faster
The seasons always shifting their hue
With gradiance and graceful shift
Changing flow
Front row tickets
Don'y ya know
The trees are putting on their annual red fire show
Before the candle gets dim
And the branches naked
As if to say
“stay warm”
“I’ll be back later”
To remind me to wake up
And what it was like
In high school
When parents are out of town
“Listen” she tells us
“We can do anything we want!”
Listen
We can do anything we want
And I know a great inn keeper in this part of the universe

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

BIG Trees



Some Images from a recent backpacking adventure into the "Enchanted Valley" on the Olympic Peninsula with some great friends and ancient trees.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Big Love



This a brief documentation encapsulation of the love between Ben and Kacy Minnis at their Love Union Celebration Ceremony and the group Honeymoon that occurred there after.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A day on

Its always funny to me that most people celebrate labor day with a day off of work
(Brother likes to call it a day "On" rather then a day "Off").
We do the exact opposite of what we're allegedly celebrating.
It would be like sending hate mail on Valentines day.
Or taking things for granted on thanksgiving.
Or pulling down all your flag on flag day.
Or renouncing freedom on independence day.
I meet lots of people. Most people don't like their work. They wouldn't be standing in a toll booth, or making strangers french fries or installing cable TV in endless peoples living rooms or picking incessant rows of corn and coffee , If it wasn't for a buck. If Labor is so celebratable, how come we don't work overtime on Labor day? It should be called leisure day, or follow your bliss day, or do with your day what you actually want to be doing with your days day, because thats what most people do on that Monday away, and that is in fact celebratable.

Flying High



Flying over the coastal mountain range in Oregon in a tiny tiny plane!

Momma said.....



Video from this winter of a improv Jam in Tsfat with Friends Emily and Dubinski.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Strangeness in Honduras



Honduranian Hora





We walked an hour through the mountains, across a river, to the schoolhouse. I said that we came from afar and heard in North America that the kids in this town know how to have the most fun. We taught them to Israeli dance the hora and to say I love you and a bunch more.

Monday, August 13, 2007

top notch behavior

Since i left your driveway....
I could barely stand at the airport Check in. My Eyes were the kind of heavy that eyes only get from being on the road so long, seeing so much, and staying up all night. Russ and I didn't say goodbye to eachother. We have our own little game like that. No hug. No ceremony. Just a "see you soon" and a smirk. We only see eachother on big Adventures, Alaska, Israel, Costa Rica, Mt. Sinai at 3am on camel back, Safety meeting on the side of an ancient endangered Red Wood clipped onto a 160 ft long rope. Anywhere fun. So I walk up to the lady and put my tattered passport on the counter, the passport that got dropped in the Jordan River and that my Patchouli oil spilled all over in my pack, and the Check in Check out lady says "One way ticket From Cleveland to Taayhjuuuhhhh?". I looked up at her. "How do you say that sir?" she said with a clenched brow and a smile. I looked up out of my daze and let my cheeks be light too and said "Teh-Guh-Si-Gul-Pah, Tegucigalpa, It's the Capital of Honduras". And I began to blab about where I thought I was going. And she said wow and wished me luck and It was really only then that I gave any real thought to where I thought I was going. I knew it had good ingredients for a special time but I had spent no time planning or plotting or even imaging too much". I think people call that "getting excited". "So, are you getting excited for your trip?" I always hear people say. "I'm trippen right now lady" I a say to myself "And so are you".

Sometimes Its hard going through security with a beard and hair and dark skin, and some people think I look like Osama. Jesus or Osama. Never in between. Never "Hey man, did anyone ever tell you, you look just like that actor. Just Jesus or Osama (or Yoni). So I carry in one hand my wooden flute and in my other my guitar, the one that has no case, with stickers on it of rainbows and snails and smiley faces from Mollie-Jo, and the security people know that Im a hippie and not a terrorist. Hippies love to love and hippies love world peace and hippies never do things like car bombs or Gihads. I slept so hard that flight. I stayed in first gear as I switched planes and then fell back asleep. Woke up for the final approach. The captain got on to give his preparatory shpiel about landing. It reminded me of when I was a Kid and Mom would be pulled up to a red light in that maroon station wagon, and turn around and look at us and say "Boys, it's put on shoes and get ready to go time". "Top notch behavior, I want top notch behavior boys". And the words would come into my head, I mean I heard them, but the signals always seemed to get faded somewhere along the synaptic highways, rarely actually making it to my muscles. I tried to consciously do the same with the captains words, to give them no space in my thoughts. But then he began to deviate from the script and my synapses picked up the beat. "Ummm, I just want to let you know, so you wont be alarmed when you look out the window, we will be flying very close to the tops of mountains and the tops of trees, but this is totally normal and OK, and then just before we land we're going to have to make a real quick 90 degree sharp left turn and you know, some people have gotten a little scared (re-assuring chuckle) but this is totally normal. Oh, and one more thing. When we land we're going to have to really hit the brakes, so we dont go past the runway (chuckle), so don't be alarmed".

If you Google "Worlds Shortest International Runway" Tegucigulpas Tecontin International Airport pops right on up. I was told that some pilots refuse to fly there. Wikipedia will tell you that "This airport has received much criticism for being one of the most dangerous in the world due to its proximity to the mountains…" and will further go on to tell you about how it was a bombed a few decades earlier by El Salvador in what is know as the "Soccer War", a six day war that erupted after the second North American qualifying round of the 1970 FIFA World Cup soccer match between the two countries. The game was a do or die divisional tie breaker and political tensions where already boiling between the neighbors. El Salvador won the game, riots began, and the war started the next morning. No one won that game. I'm fairly certain that everyone could have been doing something better with their time. 2000 died and 100,000 displaced. Actually, there was one guy who made out alright. There was a General in Honduras who made up fake battalions that only existed on paper and he pocketed all the money allocated to his imaginary troops, which put quite a drain on the military. I guess Karmas a bitch when your an asshole. The war slogan that became popular in Honduras during the 100 hour, self inflicted, self depreciating, self-destroying, self abusing session was "No pasarán y no pasaron¡ No pasarán! They will not pass and they did not pass!" and I wonder if the slogan was birthed in reference to border defense or the soccer match.

Anyways, It felt really good to land. The sun was seething hot scorching the runway and the air outside looked still and the sky so blue, hot blue. The sky had evaporated any thought of a cloud . And as the captain slammed the brakes, (I pictured him freaking out in the cockpit) I looked out my window and and watched the palm trees and the parked green fighter jets pass me by. I gave the captain a hi-five before walking down the stairway onto the tarmac . Got a new stamp for the old stamp collection and then found a short man named Jesus holding a sign with my name on it. I got in his red pick up, the one that needed to be hotwired each time it was turned on, and we rode out deep into the countryside.

Now, Im standing in Yonis apartment in the Big City. Lights are off to save electricity. Weatherman says it feels like a hundred outside. A FRICKEN TORNADO IN BROOKLYN! Hope its not too late. And I haven't been in a space, place, alone, in months. Honduras, Cleveland, Chicago, Arkansas, Israel in the last two months I think. I really dont even keep track. And I always forget where Ive been when and when Ive been where and who I've been where and all that jazz. Just a bunch of rolling moments. And we try to make them good. So Im standing in Yonis apartment. I duped in From Honduras Last night at two thirty in the morning. Paraded out of the airport. Said goodbye to the group. Cab driver told me about the flood and the twister and as I drove away from the "Developing world" Into the "Developed" I scratched my head. The fancy man from the US Agency for International Development in the Embassy in Tegu, just that same morning before the flight, With his power points and his swivel chair, told me with his arms folded and through his smug grin about how "In the 3rd world, Culture gets in the way of Development". He proclaimed "Corruptions is the misallocation of public resources for personal gain. We have corruption too in the U.S.A. The Difference is we have a fair/just legal system that holds people accountable." Without batting an eye my friend said "like Scooter Libi?" "Well no ones perfect" big brother reassured us. Made me think a bit. Are we developed? Are we done? Sure as shit hope not. Do we even want to be developed? Personally? Or is it healthier to stay in a state of constant development. And as I walked into JFK with all of its grandeur and girth and noise and hustle and magazines and smoke and clothes stitched in maquilas by my friends and beans carried on the backs of my friends for 2 dollars a day and just so much stuff, stuff everywhere. Every direction I look, Everything touched and changed, then slathered in a veneer of sterility. Makes me wonder. If the developing world actually developed like us, whos backs would it be upon? Who would cut their grass for them and make their trash disapear? Whos resources would they exploit?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Out my window



So, Im in Honduras, Leading an AJWS 7 week trip. When I left the rainbow gathering I was thinking of going back to Israel or going to California to work on a garden, then I got an Email that AJWS needed an Emergency group leader because one of them had to go home. So I said sure. 3 days later I got picked up by a driver named Jesus in Tegucigulpa, the capital of Honduras, and we drove off into the country.

Most of the best things in my life have been unplanned. My spirit seems to thrive in the unknown. This is the view from my bed, out my window, of the Honduras countryside. There is a clean fresh mountain river in our backyard with a canopy of hanging vines and crazy flowers and singing parots. I swim Everyday. The house we live in runs on solar (and Universal Love) energy and we planted a garden of corn and beans in the back. Yesterday I carried cinder blocks at the community center we're working on, watched a chicken get slaughtered, Israeli danced the Hora with barefoot Hondurans, taught villagers how to flick a frisbee and capped the day with a camp fire sing along.

Increase your apreciation fact of the day; The average worker on this planet earns $2.50 a day! Half of the workers on this planet earn less then $2.50 a day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

FREE MUSIC

Hey Ya'll,
Heres some free music, that was profesionaly recorded, from one of the trips I was leading in Israel.

http://livnot.com/Pages/Music_at_Livnot.asp

South-bound

Arkansas rainbow was mind altering. I'm in Cleveland today, Honduras tomorrow to lead a 3 week AJWS trip, next to a river in the middle of coffee country , with the goal of building a community center for them and to build a heightened sense of appreciation and awareness in us. Not sure who gains more, but thats OK.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pics from Israel

Road to Rainbow

Jerusalem in my rear view mirror and in my sights. Im driving down south through the blue ridge mountains to the rainbow gathering in Arkansas by candle lights. Old friend down the road calling, calling me back, welcome home. Cheep coffee, cheep sunglasses and gospel tunes. Endless slathers of concrete pass me by, mile makers in the corner of my eye. I feel at home on this open road beneath an endless sky. Truck-stop sits like an ancient fortified shelter town, with gaping monoliths, along some historic trade route. We the pilots of the inter-outer-State sit in greasy diners and grant our terrain battered eyeballs a moment of breath. Welcome home.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BIG HUG!



This is a pretty mediocre news clip from an incredible event called "the Hug around Jerusalem". A couple thousand humans, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hippies, Religious, Atheists, you name it, gathered at different gates around the ancient walled city and gave her a long overdue, good 'oll fasion hug. We held hands and chanted words of peace and comfort to the old city, the epicenter to so many peoples spiritual practice, and we tried to imagine what real peace would actually look like. It was totally positive. Some pro-tests quickly deteriorate into anti-test where people vent and point fingers. This was a gathering of vision, of dreams, of how we want it to be. We hugged the walls in silence and then in song and then a drum circle dance jam session boogie broke out by the (predominately Arab) Damascus gate. Yes folks, its true, it might not have made the cover of the New York Times or CNN, But Jews and Arabs danced together in celebration, in public, for the whole world to see. It felt great. Sometimes the situation out here can make us feel paralyzed and helpless. We leave the mess for the politicians to try and fix over coffee at negotiations that thus far have proved fruitless. The hug felt empowering and uplifting and the celebration lasted all night. No borders were shifted and no grandiose documents were signed, but something changed a bit. Perspectives were shifted. One can't help but look at the "other" with a new pair of eyes after one has danced with him and prayed with him. Im not sure how, and its not something I can prove, but Im pretty sure that a big part of the healing that must take place out here will be with music and dance and people dreaming together over late night cups of tea. All the big religions proclaim God is one, Jah is one, Great spirit is everywhere and everything, we're all interconnected. If only we actually believed this. Imagine your cutting a cucumber and you slip and cut your left hand. Left hand would never pick up a knife and strike back at oll righty. Its clear to us that these two are interconnected and part of a greater oneness. By celebrating we connect, when we connect we can greater see oneness, the clearer we can see the oneness the greater becomes our impulse to live harmoniously, and that, and the hokey pokey, is what its all about.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

For a day

I wrote this last month in El Salvador;

I feel like the little prince must have, always getting shifted around and shown different worlds. Jerusalem, New York, El Salvador all in four days. Customs, manners, different things, traditions, Black hats, sky-scrapers, open markets, Orange Fanta, traffic lights, golden glow, Time Square, Temple Mount, Mayan moon, mango trees and sugar cane, taxi cabs with fast lanes, Holland tunnel rice and beans, different rythems different speeds and trees and birds and bees, some say thank you some say please, hammock beds and candle light, soccer football Friday night. Isms skisms political dismay, Gringo for a day, Here for a day, Welcome home for a day, Travel for a day, freak for a day, up a tree for a day, In a war for a day, In a boat for a day, On the road for a day, On a stage for a day, In love for a day, In light for a day, Lost for a day, Im a child for a day, Im yours for a day, Then Im gone for a day. This old way, this old way, Its the way that I know living, and it keeps on sending me spinning to places and faces and crazy intersections with unmarked roads to anywhere fun.

Friday, May 11, 2007

in 2 Months

Tsfat, Jerusalem, New York, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NJ, Boston, New York, Texas (now), New York (Tomorrow), Israel in two days.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pato Banton--Universal Love

A month and a half ago, conscious UK reggae artist Pato Banton shared a few songs with us at the home of a friend/Jerusalem resident and peace activist Eliyahu McLean at a gathering of the Jerusalem Peace Makers (link to the right). Palestinians, Christians, Atheists, Jews and Buddhist singing about Universal Love. Im not sure how exactly we are going to fix all the problems out here, but Im pretty sure this is part of the answer.

also

Theres another Video on my picture page www.jerspics.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guatemala Journal April 3rd

I moved into the electricityless volunteer house at night and had to set up my bed by candle light. When I went to pick up my mosquito net/animal shield there was a thick hairy spider the size of my palm sitting on it. It was the type of spider that looked like an animal rather then an insect. I squished it. As I was tucking in the corners of my bed I found staring me in the face a brown scorpion. He was frozen. So was I. I squinted my eyes and drew first, for my flip flop. He scampered. I pinned him down on the mattress but he wasn't squishing. I reached down to grab for my other flip flop and the scorpion got away. I looked everywhere in that tiny room and around the bed for an hour. Nothing. I couldn't sleep in the bed knowing there was a little dude in it so I set up my hammock and fell asleep. When I woke up there was a giant stallions head four inches away from mine, through a screen window, breathing heavily. Welcome home!

Then came the kiddies. Its inherent, intrinsic in all children the desire to love and be loved and be held and to touch and to feel safe. I think its in all of us big people too but we are better at hiding it. These kids wear it on their sleeve. Everywhere I walk theres one of them holding each of my hands, even if they don't know my name. Ive been spending a lot of time with the Verones pequenos, the little dudes. Yesterday we commandeered an inflatable boat and 14 of us paddled 45 minutes to a dock in the neighboring roadless river town of Las Bresas on the Rio Dulce River. 86 degrees, blue skies, sunshine daydreams, no time, only time, the light breeze was at our back both ways. We pretended to be pirates. We sang like pirates. I taught them to "Yar" at passing ships and when we got to the empty dock we swam for hours and had soda and cookies. I passed out fishing hooks and strings and the kids were so excited to be fishing in an exotic new place. The fish were in fact bigger in Las Bresas and we caught many.

On the ride back to the orphanage I got caught in a quandary. We were paddling, and singing, a bunch of happy wet boys, and a motor boat pulled aside us and asked if we needed a tow. Naturally we "Yarred!" at them and threatened to board their vessel. We definitely didn't need a tow, as the journey itself was pure bliss. But part of me wanted to allow the man in the boat the good feeling of getting to help a boat full of orphans, (even though we didn't really need help). Maybe it would have made his day. He would have felt lifted like a hero. I told him no thanks, we were fine. I found out two days later that the man on the boat had terminal cancer and doctors gave him only 10 more months. I think/hope that future me will next time err on the side of sharing bliss and expanding goodness when at a similar junction. Its wise to assume that people are in dyer need of any form of elevation. Living, loving and learning.

Casa Pics

Pictures from my last experience at the Casa Guatemala orphanage.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

¨kind of ¨ cool

Bussed it across Guatemala and hopped a river boat back to the orphanage I worked at three years ago. Millions of micro memories came flooding onto my chest. Then countless little hands all over my body giving me hugs. This is a beautiful sacred place to return to. Its amazing to see how things and people grow and stay the same.
This week I'm heading up a heads up agricultural project with the kiddies aimed at sustainability. I'm not sure how long Ill stay. I posted a note on the sailing docks today looking to hop a ride up North. Israel is calling.
Right now I'm in town picking up some supplies and there are four kids standing behind me just watching me type. They don't often see computers I guess.
This place always reminds me to give thanks.
Thanks for listening to me babel.
Its Easter week and there are pictures of me EVERYWHERE! It ¨kind of¨ cool looking like someones savior, but sometimes its a bit much. I honestly can´t walk down the road without getting (nicely) hassled. Sometimes I just walk by, meditatively, leaving them thinking...¨what if...¨
Sometimes I put my pointer finger and middle finger together and give a messianic wave. A few times I´ve actually given over blessings, once in Hebrew.
Anyways,
Theres a link to the left to Casa Guatemala, the orphanage I'm at.
Its severely understaffed, so if any of you are looking for an incredible place to invest your incredible energies...check it out.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Gringo and the Guate

For the last week Ive been practicing a self prescribed slowness meditation exercise. My regular pace in life is quite slow (as many of you can attest to). I've taken it to the next level. I never have to meet up with anyone, or be anywhere at anytime. I walk everywhere, on dirt foot-paths, in this mindful little meditation town, step by step. I climb cliffs by the lake like a cat in slow motion. No schedule, no where else to be, no time, only time, no distractions, divine interactions, no excuses. I swing on the swing and have no where else to be. I have a second story bungalow with my own porch tucked behind palm trees and fruit trees, by the enchanted lake thats surrounded by sheer cliffs and volcanoes. One of my Yoga teachers here I once sat in a circle with at a Rainbow Gathering in Brazil. My other Yoga teacher I celecinisticaly lived in a yoga center ashramish type place with in Massachusetts. They say its a small world. I think its huge! I've been writing endlessly and I think within the next year I will have a Book! I've been writing so much that my normal thinking voice has adopted my writing voice. Kinda scary. Once when I was a painter, when Id see a beautiful sunset or gaze at a magnificent tree, the first thing my monkey brain would do was figure out how Id mix the colors on a pallet.
Everything is as its supposed to be. At least thats what this world keeps telling me.
Even down here, amidst this rampant disparity, between the haves and the nots. The Gringos and the Guates. Truth is we're all given different gifts. Gifts that know no price tag. Gifts that hold the key to overcome struggles that we're also all given. We spend so much time distracted. Yesterday a Catholic Mayan woman, who was sure I was related to Jesus (hair was down, flowing cloths, ridiculously slow walking pace), asked me if I believed in the after Inferno (Hell). I said no. She said what about Evil? I said not really. I told her that I saw in this world forces of light and forces of darkness. I described, in broken Spanish, forces of darkness as any forces that distract or detach from feeling connected to sublime oneness. And that is going to look different for each person. If you can see the oneness in the TV and in the rampant slather of concrete, so be it. But if your distracted. If the rubber soles on your feet are doubling as rubber soles on your soul, It would be in your best interest to discard them at once. She laughed at me, and I laughed, and we drank more cafe' while watching boats come in.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Touch N Go

Sitting back, strumming a song, in isle 26. Everyones already disembarked the plane. I´ve still got laces of heaven interwoven in my fabric and my pockets are stuffed with wild Jerusalem sage. I try to take her with me wherever I go, even here and now, in this touch and go.
I slide my tattered passport, the one that got washed in the Jordan, to a lady who teaches customs at the airport. She reaches out her hand and slides it through the glass window, bringing my my travel logged stamp collection to her nose. Eyes closed. She takes a long slow breath in as shes smelling where I´ve been
A knowing smile comes to her face and shes transported from her cubist space
She stairs me dead eyed in the face and then lets me go...
Though I´d love to stay a while longer in this particular flow
Im here today but it´s a touch and go
It´s 98 degrees inside and outside.
A short dark skinned farmer with a glass eye and a machete stands beneath a mango tree and recounts a brave El Salvadorian revolution.
Rice and beans and Chile sauce where catle have right of way.
Yesterday I was a drop of water in a puddle of cudle in the Upper West Side. The day before, across an ocean, in a city of gold.
To and fro Touch n Go.
Teacher once taught that this you must know ¨To discover new oceans one must loose sight of the land, Kick out your feet from under the sand" I guess thats what you might call my some sort of plan.

On Questions

"I would like to beg you....as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were a locked room or book writen in a very foreign language. Don't always search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything! Live the questions now. Perhaps someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
Rainer Maria Rilke

on Solidarity

"If You have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together"
Lila Watson

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hola

I feel....I feel like life is a giant wet, white, terrycloth towel and Im squeezing it as hard as I can. My first AJWS group leading experience in El Salvador was perfect. Heads got spun and redirected, eyes peeled open to new perspectives. We lived and worked out out out in the back country. Dirt roads with cows, pigs chickens,iguanas roaming. 97 degrees, rice and beans and endless Avocados. Planted seeds and dug out vegetable beds with one eyed pesents practicing sustainable permiculture techniques. Now Im in a fancy hotel by a pool in Managua Nicaragua waiting for my next delegation to arive.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Crazy Mountain

Last night I played rainbow songs and backup guitar at a house party with reggae artist Pato Baton and friends at a gathering of the Jerusalem Peace Makers (link to the left) with Jews Christians and Palestinians. We sat, drank tea, looked eachother in the eyes and played music as one. We danced. No one spoke of politics as that would have been a lowering, a decention of our soaring spirits. It felt like heeling and fixing and tasted like hope. There must always be vision of how we want things to be thats constantly tugging us forward and for a moment the answers seemed so clear to me.

On the same night, at the same time, about 30 minutes away from our celebration, an acquaintance of mine and a close friend of many friends of mine, was walking alone through a forest talking to God (as he was his practice every night) and three Palestinian teenagers ambushed him and brutally stabbed him to death. Erez died last night. He was a righteous dude who played guitar and just got back from India. He left a wife and 3 kids.

(Heres a link with one of his songs...
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/548/946.html)

I'm still dreaming and searching and Im walking up the biggest, tallest, craziest mountain and its completely pitch black and I can't even see my hand in front of my face. Every once and a while a lightning bolt flashes and all everything is illuminated. The path becomes clear. Then just as I can see, the lights go off and Im left climbing, with a memory of the way. I pray that memory she wont fail me and that someone, someone will please turn the lights back on. Because it's so easy down here to get lost and confused and distracted. But I remember, I remember that super power we created that night, that majestic light. I sometimes see a Divine oneness that flows through all existence. We all speak of it in different tongues and with different names but its there. This is the one world super power and it can bring about change more radical then an atomic bomb, more extreme then trillions of green dollars. For when we are able to look at humanity with pairs of eyes that truly see this oneness in all, a great heeling occurs.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lost in the Dark

When your lost in the dark and you can't find the switch
and your hopes and your dreams lie dead in a ditch
When your blisters are hurten but you still gotta run
and your days feel all over before they've begun
When your tires are flat and so is your pulse
and to most you're invisible like the holy ghost
When your going through the motions and none of its real
and loves shes an emotion you forgot how to feel
When your down in the dumps and all circuits are busy
and you feel like an ant thats lost in the city
When your eyes are forced open and the truth is apparent
and it seems everything is flawed from god to your parents
When your climbing a mountain and your rope disappears
and your forced face to face with your deepest of fears
and crying wont help you so you suck up your tears
and no not no ones listening not none of your peers
When all colors seem faded but nothings wrong with your eyes
and your best girls in love with some other guy
When the beginnings a blur and the ends fast a coming
and you've run out of time but you've got to keep running
When your sails are all torn and your vessel is tossed
and you constantly dwell on all that you lost
When you've been up all night and it's near the break of dawn
and the worlds best advice is "hey life goes on"
Remember, it could be worse,
At least you dont live in Iraq

Friday, February 09, 2007

In the Cave of light

Im swinging on vines these days in a concrete jungle where Ancient monoliths tower to the sky nearly overtaking the sun and millions of strange uniquely divine creatures bustle about in and out of endless underground catacombs always coming and going coming and going...I frolic where the sky is scraped and the night never sleeps. The air here so cold and crisp, she'll suck the heat out of any exposed surfaces she can, to gain balance and equilibrium of course. So the creatures bundle as best they can, though often they must leave there breathing tubes open and therefore exposed. The skin around the breathing hole turns pink from the reenforcements, red energy and heat transports re-assigned to the turbulent front lines. sniffle.
I here that in this jungle there lives a golden man who is often found manipulating strange stringed wooden boxes, emitting delicious vibrations that penetrate souls and holes on the sides of strange creatures heads...
In this Jungle I have a Clone who always points me in the good directions.
The clone is radiant and in love with the world along with a Chilean woman who knows how to talk to judges.
I went outside today and found a Pink nosed creature wrapped tight in a clamor of noise and money. He was cold, old, and lost. I told tales of a Jungle back east where monkeys swim the backstroke in a land made of milk and honey.
Then the clone and I Harmonize. One became two, then one again... reminds me of something bigger.
And in a cave of light, in the upper left side, I find respite...At least for tonight.
Soon the Chilean will arise to go convince the judges and the clone will go to do as he does, and I sit and try for a moment, to remember what exactly I wish to recall.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cali Trip

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Perspective

These 3 pictures are of ONE tree. Look at the little people the base of the tree. The only way to see the whole girth of these giants is to step away from it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tree Sit

Saturday, December 30, 2006

High as a kite

Christmas Eve 2006

I am sitting in a Red-Wood tree, miles in the sky, suspended in air. I live on ropes. I sleep on ropes. As I write this now I am sitting ontop of a giant dream catcher big enough for 2-3 people (though we cram 5) tied between two branches of an ancient red-wood tree 85 feet above ground. Brother Yoni is in the same tree as me right now 160 ft up. We have tree names. I refer to him as "Tarzan" and he calls me "Pancake". When the wind blows hard, the tarps start to flutter and Liebertall, the tree Im living with, steps onto the dance floor with all the other giants as they gently sway their tops back and forth. I double check my caribeener and rope but ultimately must surrender to the tree and the ropes that are holding me up.
A few days ago we pulled up to the edge of the forest in the Seabring convertible we rented in LA and drove up the Pacific coast Highway with the rooftop down. We entered the ancient forest under cover of night backpacks loaded with gear, rope, harness, devices, food, books and art supplies. We honkered down like donkeys with gallons of water clipped to our sides and hiked deep into the steep wet disputed mountainside. From one perspective we were illegally trespassing. I guess it all depends on who you think the judge is. We sat at the base of Liebertall with our guides "Shag", "Sunflower" and "Sparrow" for hours and discussed the movement, it's history, how its based in non-violence, and how to tie some really important knots.
(Ill write more soon)