Detour | Gila River Camp | Gila Cliff Dwellings New Mexico

On my way back to Tucson, AZ, I stopped at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

The Gorge

The bridge to the caves

From a distance

A two-story building, about six families used to live in these cliffs, a window to the world of our ancestors.

The way out

With a good-looking ranger

Trees growing on sheer cliff

A beautiful hiker on her way out

My camp by the Gila River, a javelina just went by. I thought they always moved in packs.

Truth or Consequences NM | Paranoia | AE 9/11 Truth

From the Lama Foundation I went to T or C  NM. I wanted to visit my friends at the Sycamore Ranch, where I used to live and work, and show them The Eye of the Dragon; the ranch has a chapter in it. On my very first day, a woman called the police (as I entered the public swimming pool) due to my “suspicious” bag. My gym bag was suspicious? I asked the police officer as he inspected it. He shrugged his shoulders, but then he asked me about my bumper stickers. I told him that there was evidence that 9/11 was done by controlled demolition.

AE 9/11 Truth

Then I realized the profound effect my stickers have on people that want to ignore the truth. I was stopped three times, during my short stay in T or C, with one pretext or another (I guess T or C wants to ignore the truth, or do nothing about it). Those stickers are doing their job (I have one on each side). It would be great if more people would do their job and do something , maybe use a bumper sticker or two. But let me tell you, whether they want to or not, the truth will be known and a new consciousness will sprout, a system so corrupt has to be changed. The time has come. Do your part, do something!  Spread the word somehow! Do it for your kids.

Ideas here: A Thrive

Viva Ecuador! | Julian Assange, will he make it to Ecuador?

Poster by supporters of Julian Assange in London

The fact that Bradley Manning is on trial (and Julian Assange had to take refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy) for exposing the truth (A Collateral Murder) is in itself proof  of the corruption in our governments. Where is our freedom of speech? But now that Mr. Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador (quite a courageous move), to hinder his safe passage to that country will really show how low they have descended, and how little they care for justice. To break international law will be a disastrous move on their part, which will reveal who they really are and who they really work for, and our cause will be strengthened. Either way, the revolution of consciousness is on its way.

Lama Foundation, New Mexico vs The Monster with Three Thousand Heads

I went to the Lama Foundation with the main purpose of sharing my book and helping out. Lama is a spiritual community (on the slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico) where all religions meet in harmony to find common ground. You may want to visit sometime. 

Sunset on a rainy day, a gift

A few minutes before. Can you see the lightning? Enlarge if you can’t.

Most of the permanent residents at Lama are well-balanced people. Meet Joe, Megan and Pema below:

Pema is the youngest resident.

Megan and Pema

Bobby was the “watch” (resident in charge), almost always a beaming smile.

Some of the helpers and “stewards”, however, were heavily laden with ego, unable to smile. I even saw a few hateful looks directed at my book (I left a copy at the library anyway). But that is understandable because the reason they are there is to find presence and balance. Besides, religion is such an easy prey for the ego. Do you think the Christ would be sitting at the Vatican if he was here today? And wasn’t Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddism, pursued by fellow monks with intent to kill? They hated his humble origins and envied his awakening. If you walk into the most remote monastery in Tibet, I bet you’ll find the monster with three thousand heads* lurking in the shadows: the world of form is its reign. Beware!

Buildings in Lama are made to withstand harsh winters.

The Dome

Dome’s roof

Sunset from the Dome

Inside, facing entrance

My friend Seth working in the vegetable garden. He was the “watch” when I left.

Helping Lama! It took me about five days (6 hours a day) to clear these steps of weeds and dirt so the rocks could breathe. A good workout! 

Somebody’s camp in the woods. You must walk around making noise to scare the bears away.

The spring is sealed to protect the water. At the moment the water level was low.

Jill was doing a hermitage.

A shrine by the spring

Kirsten and Randy

Eli and Adam

 May the road rise with you!

On my last day I read this poem, from Kabir. He always goes to the gist of the matter.

“Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.

My shoulder is against yours.

you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine

rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:

not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding

around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but

vegetables.

When you really look for me, you will see me instantly –

you will find me in the tiniest house of time.

Kabir says: Students, tell me, what is God?

He is the breath inside the breath.”

More about Kabir at: http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/K/Kabir/

http://www.boloji.com/kabir/intro.htm

More about Lama: Lama Foundation: Spiritual Community, Retreat Center & Mystery …

*PS Toltecs refer to the ego as a monster with three thousand heads. It is the best definition I have ever come across, for as you cut one head off, there is another one staring at you and ready to swallow you whole.

My Last Days in Taos, NM | The Walking Dead | The Hondo River | The Abominable Snowmansion

The John Dunn House Shops

I like John Dunn House shops in Taos. It has lots of trees and friendly people. On my last day promoting my book however, I had to move due to someone’s complaint. And looking for shade, I landed in front of quite a hostile lady who also seemed to consider me a threat. She refused to acknowledge my presence or answer my salute. And I must confess that I didn’t ask anyone, but I bet all these threatened people are banking with the big banks: the real threat. (Move your money now.A Central Bank’s Scheme 

These banks are the ones really stealing their business (they have already stolen the country–the debtor is a slave to the lender). These banks are the real threat, not a few people who are selling, or playing their music, on the sidelines.

Ah! but the media is so good at programming people. So well-programmed our citizens are that they march to their death like zombies, unaware the enemy is eating their entrails and using them as cannon fodder. The economy can only be fixed by eliminating the thieves. Taking it on people who are trying to make a living but can’t pay rent just shows a lack of vision, a lack of caring.

And the occupy movement (occupy wall street — the people aware) are refusing to accept the fact that criminals are controlling the government. They refuse to acknowledge o v e r w h e l m i n g  e v i d e n c e that 9/11 was an inside job. (AE 9/11 Truth) It is not  a matter of reform; we need to clean house. If you are cleaning an infected wound, it has to be cleaned thoroughly. Otherwise the infection will return. And we have an infected government. It stinks.

But the main problem is the lack of caring, the walking dead, the unconscious, the ones who turn a blind eye; they help the tyrants. Our revolution should be a revolution of consciousness. We need to start caring.

And believe me, 9/11 was just the tip of the iceberg; the 1% have big plans. And to those who think that they can trust such people and do business as usual, I wish the very best . . . I really wish them luck.

It is interesting. Let’s see what the future brings.

My campsite by the Rio Hondo

The Rio Hondo

The Abominable Snowmansion Hostel at Arroyo Seco, a few miles from Taos.

The Abominable Snowmansion Hostel

I stayed at this hostel 12 years ago, so I left them a copy of The eye of the Dragon.

New Mexico | Santa Fe and Taos | The Rio Grande

Dancing at the square in Santa Fe

Roark playing the harp.  His Home Page.

The Harp House, Roark’s  House

The Harp House again, Santa Fe, NM

And again

People with awareness; I left them a brochure about: AE 9/11 Truth. Everybody is getting to know.

Song and Dance

Kimm Hollis and The Eye of the Dragon

On the road to Taos: The Rio Grande  The river will reach the ocean and disappear.

Stuck amid rocks

Taos, New Mexico

Cat Hale in Taos (At John Dunn House shops, close to the square)

Rachel: Flamenco Dancer

Rachel, Emma and Robert (Flamenco/Jazz Guitarist)

Emma is also a dancer

Second Mesa | Hopi Nation | Traditions | Chocolat

The Road to second Mesa

It took me a while to find my friend’s house, and he wasn’t there. But I found his family. His wife remembered me after so many years, and we talked for a while. I could tell that I had interrupted her preparations (an important celebration was due the following week; the Kachinas were going to be send back to the mountains) so I told her not to mind me if she needed to go back to work.

Her son stayed chatting with me; he was sculpting a Kachina doll. Nobody was sure when my friend would return so I wondered what to do, and where to stay if I stayed overnight. He suggested to stay overnight at the campground, next to the cultural center, so I would be able to see his father in the morning, before 8 am. He should be home then. I decided to stay. I left them a copy of my book and went sightseeing:

The Campground, next to the Cultural Center

Again: The Road to Second Mesa

A View from the Mesa

When I was on my way to Second Mesa a prairie dog was standing on the road resembling a scrubby tuft of grass. He didn’t move until it was too late for me to realize what the tuft of grass was, and he died under my right wheels. When I was crossing the road to take some of these pictures, I almost made the same mistake the prairie dog had made. I saw the car just in time to stop on my tracks, and I thought that the only difference between that prairie dog and me was that it wasn’t my turn yet. When my turn comes, I will join him. Life is just a process; there is no birth and death.

Next morning before 8 am, I went to find my friend. Apparently he was in another house, his son-in-law told me.  He guided me there and left me to my own devices. As I approached the house, one of my friend’s daughters came out to do something. She didn’t answer my greeting, so I asked for my friend. She was plain rude then; she told me cuttingly that he was still in Flagstaff, and they didn’t have time for visitors. I excused myself. As I was leaving, I asked her to tell him that I had said hello. “I will tell him,” she said dryly.

The movie Chocolat came to mind, with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. It is a movie about how traditions can dehumanize us and kill our spirit: A town plagued by domestic violence, neglect and just plain boredom is transformed by a magical woman.

“At the center of CHOCOLAT is a woman charged with special powers: Vianne Rocher, a mysterious outsider who arrives in the French village of Lansquenet to open a chocolaterie featuring luscious candies that can, in addition to tantalizing the tongue, cure lost hopes and awaken unexpected emotions.” This is a movie I can recommend. 

Chocolat : Movie Review 

I went back to take a picture of this quaint little store

But I found this young employee outside (he allowed me the picture), unable to get in because the owners neglected to inform him that they would be visiting a neighboring village for their traditional dances, and would open late. And I don’t mean to say that we should neglect our traditions, but maybe we all need to get a direct, stronger connection with Spirit, and forget about most of the pomp and bell-ringing. We might get to be more considerate with our fellow human beings then. What do you think?

The Unexpected | Car Trouble | Are there Honest Mechanics? | Absolute Transmission, Flagstaff, AZ

It was to be my first day on the road again, heading to Second Mesa from Sedona. After leaving my campsite along 89A (Forest Road 535-mile 391), I decided to stop briefly in Flagstaff, at the library, to check my email etcetera. I had noticed a slight difficulty getting into 5th gear but didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about. I entered the parking lot, going against traffic by mistake. And my chevy cavalier refused to go in reverse. Luckily the two cars that were coming in the right direction were able to get in reverse, and I was able to follow them and get out.

By chance, I found a hostel (hostels know everything) and I was shown in a map where I could find Randy Chavez, a good mechanic who might be able to help me. I was really grateful because it is uncomfortable to drive around without reverse; it requires parking with strategy. It turned out that Randy didn’t work in transmissions but he knew somebody who might be able to help me. He directed me to Julie the manager of:

Julie Krall, service manager of Trans-mission man at 2109 E. 6th Ave. Flagstaff, AZ 928-774-2220

I explained my problem, and that I was on the road promoting my book with limited funds. She was quite concerned, but she was also up to her neck with work, so she couldn’t take my car. Nevertheless, she collected my information and started calling everybody she knew who might be able to help me. After taking the trouble of discussing my car’s condition with a couple of her colleagues, one of them decided to check my car to see how road worthy it was, for he would not be able to take it that day either. And that’s how I met Quentin:

Quentin Hicks, owner of Absolute / Transmissions and Auto repair . . . and absolute honesty! at 3747 Eagle Mountain Dr. Flagstaff AZ 928-552-6966

Now, Quentin got in the car, fiddle with the gear box for a little while and . . . put it in reverse! Then, we drove around a couple of blocks and he said: “It is not the transmission.” He added that the gear box, and maybe some cables, needed lubrication, and that’s why it had been stubborn. He said that I could keep driving it, although he advised me to get a new clutch soon because he didn’t like a particular sound that he was hearing.  

I figured that he was dead right because that clutch was exactly 100,000 miles old. But he said that I could keep going, or go back home and fix it later. They both wanted me to go back home (Julie mentioned it also when I went back to inform her) to get me out of harm’s way. I was considering  the idea myself, for I didn’t think that traversing the country with an old clutch, which was beginning to perish, was an intelligent thing to do. So I thanked Quentin for his help and went back to the library. 

But the idea of going back and leaving the trip unfinished was making me feel uncomfortable. Besides, that clutch had to be fixed soon anyway, so why not do it with an honest mechanic. How many mechanics do you know who’ll tell you: “You don’t have to do the work right now, go home.” I used to have a good mechanic in San Diego in a Midas shop, but he quit the position, and the last time I went there, the guy I talked to spewed out so many lies (to get me to fix things that I knew I didn’t need to fix) that I almost puked. So I decided to fix it, using most of my savings (clutches are expensive nowadays), and keep going. That’s what my savings were for anyway.

Quentin worked with me to get the job done in a day (I explained that I was camping in the forest), and soon I was on my way again to visit the Hopi Nation. I was really pleased about the way the car was cruising when, close to Winslow, my steering system started to make a disturbing grinding noise. I stopped at a mechanic in Winslow who wasn’t too concerned about the steering noise (the fluid was okay) but due to a stalling when I tried to start the car he advised me to change the starter soon; and he was quite busy at the moment. I figured the remaining of my savings would be soon gone.

Since I trusted Quentin I decided to go back the 50 miles to Flagstaff. Quentin got in the car and under the hood to check both: my steering and my starter. In about 15 minutes he said: “You are good to go.” The starter was okay he said, nothing wrong with it. The grinding noise, he said, was something these cars experience sometimes (he had two of them) but the steering system was okay, no problem.

That was about a week ago. I am in Santa Fe at the moment. No problem! and still have some savings. Hey, if you are ever close to Flagstaff, and in need of a mechanic, you know where to go.

The Road to Sedona, AZ | Camp | A City of Ants | Coyotes

The road to Sedona

Red Rock State Park

From Posse Park, Sedona

A view from a hilltop at one of my camps.

The coyotes visit at night. They yelp and carry on, then their leader talks to them keeping a rhythm, a definite cadence that changes at times. And they leave.

Rock Compasss on hilltop, there is a red rock at each of the cardinal points. I don’t know who crafted it.

A City of Ants at the hilltop: The Entrance

Did you know? Some species of ants herd and keep aphids for their “milky secretions” just like humans do with cows, and some species farm mushrooms.

A closer look

More of Sedona

And Red Rock Park

After Sedona

Toward Flagstaff

The Gorge

 From the road

Again 

The Forest Moon | Reincarnation | Enlightenment

The Forest Moon in Thumb Butte, AZ (Click to enlarge)

I was recently talking to a friend over dinner and the subject of reincarnation came up. I said there is no reincarnation.

I know, some Buddhists (including the Dalai Lama) believe there is reincarnation. But if the Buddha explained that there is no “self,” who is reincarnating? Hindus believe in reincarnation. And Paramahansa Yogananda, a very respected spiritual master, stressed reincarnation, with proof. But Hindus do stress that only the “Self” exist; everything else is an illusion, a projection–including time and space. So, it would be an “illusion,” reincarnating into a bigger “illusion.” Right? It gets complicated, doesn’t it? I suggest that what we need to do is forget other lives until we master this life, our present challenge. Once we do that everything will be revealed to us, and there will be no more doubts or beliefs. We will know and be free.

This reminds me of an interesting question: Are you enlightened? “I” can’t be enlightened because “I” is the problem. In fact, everybody is enlightened but that “I” pulls the wool over our eyes and doesn’t let us know. If  “I” am looking  for enlightenment, “I” am missing the point and making enlightenment one more item on my “I want list.” All we need to do is drop that “I” with its incessant jabber and selfish wants, and . . . wake up!

The moon is a symbol of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism.

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