Ego Death

What I have been experiencing lately is a very unfamiliar and an extremely sincere feeling that aside from a great disturbance simultaneously gives an enormous sense of peace and rightfulness of being present on this planet, in this particular body, having passed the particular life experiences I have. The only way I can describe this is the loss of the ego.
Everything that seemed so important before, doesn’t mean much no longer. Every value has changed. Now I just look at the broader view of life, this universe, cosmos, the coexistence of people on the planet, mother Earth and how she feels. I am becoming increasingly sensitive to the world around yet at the same time stronger in my mind, more and more detached from the world of material gain and competition. I recognize my place in this strange game called life. By recognizing this place I realize that I am just like everyone else on this train. Things were much different only a few years ago, but now time is accelerated, it feels like we are running out of time. Time that doesn’t exist outside of this reality but still is a point of reference in the world just so we can hurry up and wake everyone up from their sweet summer dream. Can you hear me, human? I am just like you and you are just like me. We are no different, no better or worse than one another, no more or less talented, no smarter or dumber, we are all the same. Aside from different conditions we all were brought up under, nothing differentiate us but our own minds. A sweet soul had to “accidentally” hand me Paolo Coelho’s book Winner Stands Along a few days ago. And of course, as per my usual, I open the first page and there goes exactly what I needed to hear. Story of MY LIFE. Divine synchronicity of events no longer amuses me, yet it makes me deeply grateful. I don’t use my two eyes anymore to see the world but my heart and my soul to feel it. It feels like I was forced into this, such an outcomes was the most inevitable for me. From the greatest confusion came overwhelming clarity. I could only brag about this before, but now I live it. I may not be understood by the loved ones but I can finally understand what it really means to be human. It is much different from what I have always thought it was.
Today, I no longer exist the way I used to know myself.I didn’t know anything. I still know nothing, but I was lucky enough to get a tiny glimpse of the greatest truth. I have struggled and I have suffered and I have walked the red road which led me to where I am now. Standing stronger than ever, the only strength one could ever ask for…..the strength of seeing one’s truth, all bullshit cut out and all the veils of superficiality lifted, just bare truth that stands alone and wants all humans to have its taste. It tastes like……….true freedom….

Dolphins

Image

And I don’t take no shit
From anyone I meet
Cuz I know what I’m worth
I’ve worked hard since my birth
Every day, every night
Getting ready to fight
All the negative demons
My planet is Venus
Ruled by love and beauty
Every cutie pa too tie
Gotta have more love in your heart and above
And make best friends forever
With those who don’t wear leather
Cuz animal cruelty is so fucked up, you see
Dolphins are dying
The whales are crying
While the filthy rich
Are going out dining
In the fancy restaurants
They choose to close their eyes
On what goes on in the world around us
But I’s string like Che Guevarra
And I got my mala
To better my fate
And meditate
And if you did not know
Now you know my friend
Cuz I have already paid my rent
And I’m gonna sing songs of love and compassion
In the most disturbing and infinite fashion.

Anya Skidan’s Daytrotter Session!

http://www.daytrotter.com/#!/concert/anya-skidan/20056528-37383623

The way that the post-midnight hours screw with our heads is always interesting to examine. It’s amazing the things you can think you hear and see in the dark, when all you’re seeing and hearing is the dark. That old house you’re in, even if it’s not that old, just groans its way through the changing of the temperatures, sounding like small explosions, like nails popping and boards breaking. It’s not hurting. It’s just breathing. The problem comes when you’re out of it, when you’ve been sleeping for a good while and something startles you out of your slumber, forces you to bolt upright, believing that SOMETHING woke you up. There must be something there, or you’d still be sleeping. You aren’t satisfied with logically deducing that nothing’s there, that you were just disturbed internally. You’d somehow much prefer there to be an outside reason for your now not sleeping – something to blame it on.

But there’s nothing, except for the various intrusions that you try to create. You fix your eyes on the perimeter of the wall, on the other side of the room, where the dirty laundry has spilled out of the hamper and is now slumped like dark shapes on the floor. You’re pretty sure you see the halting and starting of a creature there. It’s a mouse. You’re eyes are twitchy and cock-eyed. They’re sure they’re seeing something – the slightest of movements, like the quiver of that thin tail silently thwacking the baseboard. It’s nothing. There isn’t a single thing there, but you stare hard for five minutes, sure that you’re not a loon. You KNOW there’s something there with you, not just your sleeping wife in bed next to you.

It’s this very feeling of paranoid certainty that New York’s Anya Skidan has a way of encouraging out of us in certain moments during this four-song session, her first. She creates moods that make you think that something else is up. It’s as if you’re able to live outside of your sides for a second, or for five minutes, before you’re able to determine what’s real and what isn’t. She doesn’t keep suspended there for that long – starting in the darkened corners for skittering and scuttling – pulling you out of there and throwing you back into the fragrant breezes of your dreams – trading one murky moment for another, where there are no worries and only worries. It can feel like a psychotic vacation or one that was worth every penny you spent on it – perfect beyond your expectations. The tan you got was just the right shade and you’re still full from the buffet. Lingering somewhere in there, however, are the strange tingles that will present themselves again, when the house grows temporarily quiet and your head goes to rot.

Awakening

Black waters of life are swirling in the sky above, washing off the old and cold layers of karmic weight. Waters so fresh and deep, so wise and clear, they are falling down on us as rain drops turning our skin invisible, opening our hearts towards liberation from all we’ve ever known. The drops of brilliance, they sparkle in the tears of happiness rolling down our cheeks. There’s no reason to hide, we are transparent, our souls are dancing in the circle of burning life force, connecting with each other through the bonds of love and compassion, colliding at last, intertwined till the end.

There’s no end and no beginning, there is just now. Grasp the crisp freshness of now, taste its silky texture, devour the realization that we are all made of light. We are traveling lights sending and receiving signals from the source. We were split up just to connect back again but not till we go through the ages of wisdom, penetrating through the physical realms, human bodies, mother earth, father sun, big dream called life. There comes a time of the awakening. The time is now. There is no time. We are free. We are one big breath of the universe.

Flowers He Bled

Under the trees of concrete jungle

He was a rare Siberian tiger

Hair tied up, sacred vines from his head

Tears in my eyes, my soul is fed.

Citizen humble,

Citizen wise,

Channeling energy through his eyes

Tall and strong Cypress standing along

Glimpse of hope I throw from my throne

Effortless sounds, his music is pure

Touches the hearts, meant to cure

Experienced something,

So hard to forget

Echo will linger,

Like flowers he bled.

Day that is lived in the darkness or hell

Can turn up the brightest,

Ringing truth bell.

 

Faith

Breaking feeble bones

Crushing good intentions

Stomping on your faith

Comes Babylon

Arise!

From the ashes to the sky

Crack the heart wide open

Feel the thousand golden butterflies

Fly through your soul

Up to the sky

Into the universe full of light

And back into your soul to stay

Then the last tear of happiness

Drips from the third eye

You have seen the divine wisdom

You have walked into the darkest forests of confusion

You have come out weak

You will walk into them again and again

And on the 21st time you will see

The light shimmering at the horizon

So clear, so far, so vivid

Pulsating the brightness and ringing the truth

Like the poetry of the air

You breath it

I am the definition of contradiction.

I am the angel of light and the ever learning fallen rebel spirit found by its mother

floating down the river of polluted thoughts.

I am the one who calls for wisdom,

Struggles alone,

Leaps through fires,

Pains the peace,

Never quits,

Never changes,

For anyone,

Alive…

Buttons are not just for clothes…

Sitting on my knees for the fourth consecutive hour, I was shivering
from either the cold or the mescaline. I noticed the Shaman
distributing round two of the peyote dose, and my mind involuntarily
began to scramble for an escape. My heart started sinking as I
realized I was not going anywhere; the medicine man was going from
person to person, depositing the powder into the guests’ mouths,
whether they wanted it or not.
With or without psychoactive assistance, it is quite easy to get
overwhelmed by the richness of the Native American healing ceremony.
The one I attended took place in New York City. This territory is a part of NYC’s Native
American land, where the Peyote ceremonies can legally be held, as the
Peyote cacti is considered a “Religious Sacrament” and therefore
constitutionally protected under Freedom of Religion.

In modern culture, plants with psycho-active properties are associated
with hedonism and irresponsibility. Indigenous people, on the other
hand, use visionary plants for healing and spiritual communion. This
peyote cactus, a sacred medicinal plant that has been used for
thousands of years for visionary healing by Native Americans, had
somehow journeyed from the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona to here,
the concrete jungle, far away from home, a rare species in this cold
and damp climate.

Fortunately for me, I happened to be inside of the tipi that night. I
have participated in various healing ceremonies before, but never
experienced the peyote one. Prior to the prayer, women are usually
asked to clean the peyote buttons, separating the roots and the
flowers. The latter is used for making the peyote tea. The buttons and
powder that’s distributed during the ceremony has a quite nauseating
taste, but you get used to it as you experience it more.
The water drum, considered to be one of the most sacred and
spiritually significant drums in religious ceremonies amongst the
Native Americans, was pounding loud. Under the influence of the
psychedelic, it seemed to me to be a rhythm that was “ridding the
participants of their inner evils”. As another effect of the medicine,
millions of sounds and bits of colorful and bright energy were
floating around and above
me. A cacophony of rattles, eagle whistles, feathers and drums, used
to attenuate and harmonize the vibrations of the experience with that
of the positive energies of the songs and prayers, were washing my
mind in a synesthesia of sounds and visions that oscillated between
terrifying and blissful.

The participants of the ceremony gather and pray around the fire all
night, while a specially appointed fire keeper takes care of it,
forming various symbols out of the coils that are sacred to the Native
American people: an eagle, a star or sun with seven rays or no rays.
The fire is the center of the ceremony and is a symbolical
representation of the sun on earth. “We sit in a circle whenever
possible to remind us that we are all equal and united in the
ceremony, and that we are sharing the medicine and the moment to help
each other,” says Kuauhtli Vasquez who has been conducting Native
American ceremonies for over twenty years now. Requests for healing
medicine ceremonies have taken Kuauhtli all around the USA including
Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, Central America, South America, and Europe.
The ceremonies are usually structured to honor the elements of life:
fire, water, the earth, and the wind, the vital energies of human
existence. The specially grown sacred tobacco is used to communicate
with the spirit of life, the medicines and each other. And of course
the plant, sacred Peyote that has caused a lot of controversy in the
past but was finally legalized in the United States as a religious
sacrament of the Native American Church. Its active ingredient
mescaline typically has a deep self-observational and healing effect
on its users. A normal feeling of discomfort and sometimes purging is
associated with the healing process and tenderly called “getting
well”.
Praised by such great writers of the last half century as Carlos
Castaneda, Allen
Ginsberg and Hunter S. Thompson, peyote has been used by tribal people
for hundreds or perhaps thousands of years and has now made its way to
the 21st Century.
Unlike the modern day pharmaceuticals, plant medicines that exist in
different forms all around the world treat causes and not the symptoms
of both physical and psychological diseases. “People are constantly
healed of drug and alcohol
addictions, past trauma including sexual abuse and rape,” adds
Kuauhtli. By taking them on a journey through the depths of their
psyche, peyote forces people to reckon with themselves, and transcend
the past. “People are freed of past guilt for crimes they have
committed against humanity, war crimes are forgiven, family
relationships are mended, almost everyone can benefit.”

As the sun was coming up hot and bright that morning and the ceremony
was coming to its end, I found myself gripped by the feeling of
sincere joy and appreciation for my life. I felt like the worrisome
burden of my stressful New York City lifestyle was lifted up and I was
free to emerge into a new more expansive reality.
The medicine gave me an opportunity to take a huge leap in my own mind
and realize the social chains that needed to be broken in order to be
a creator of your own destiny. It taught me to look inside myself and
see the endless waves of creative forces, an ocean of ideas
that not only can make me a living, but also fulfill my ever searching
soul.

Since that first journey, I have returned for four more ceremonies.
Each time, my pride in belonging to the peyote community has
increased. As one side benefit, I have noticed the medicine having a particularly powerful effect amongst my
creatively minded friends. Artists, musicians, and writers tend to
find themselves creatively inspired after the use of the medicine. Perhaps the
plant has the ability to open invisible channels of inspiration and
unblock the existing artist blocks. Whatever it may be, I’m utterly
convinced that the medicine energizes and balances the human spirit with
the rest of creation, while working on the individual aspects of each
personal situation.

Grateful (not)Dead

I almost died last night. Texting on my phone, all caught up in my own little world. Looked at the text, looked up, the light just went green, I step, a red double decker  comes from the left, swirling right around me, taking the sharpest little turn possible under the laws of physics, passing me, stopping. All the tourists on the top deck turn their melted faces back at me,cheering in shock, amused, smiling, screaming, looking angry, looking mad and happy at the same time. I am still under the influence of what had just happened, continue crossing the street. Allen street, China town,New York City. I was looking for 115 Hester street to go see the contact sheets of the art photography I had just been a part of in the deserts of Utah, nude, honest, strong and beautiful, connecting with the nature, hugging the ancient formations, crying out my fears, sharing my contentment, exchanging energies. I proceed onto Grand Street, making a left, making a right, recognizing the destination but passing the building number for no particular reason. Head is still in the cloud of dazed confusion and general unawareness. A weird looking, elder and slender guy resembling Keith Richards is smoking a cigarette outside of 117 Hester. He gives me a look, perhaps trying to help finding the address. “I like your hat,” he says. “Can I take a picture?”….He lifts up a serious looking camera off his chest, hands me the shiny round sun reflector. Look up, look down, turn your face to me, chin up, to the left, to the right, no, right there, close your eyes until I tell you, test, open your eyes, gorgeous! A godly looking model guy comes out of the door, I’m convinced I’m at the right address. The photographer says that if I google greatest American photographers, his name will come up. He repeats his name out loud twice, but only the first part, Max stays in my head. Last name sounded German or Jewish. Figuring I can now find him and get the damn picture that they liked so much, I try to keep on looking for the building number. “Who are you with?”, he says, “for modeling?”. “Oh, I make music”, “Here’s my card”. That must’ve been the last free vista buseness card out of the 250 stack I ordered a year ago.  I proceed with my destination search when Xavior’s Barcelonian greeting cry reaches my ear. Here he is. I can’t wait to tell him about the life changing past ten minutes of my life. The pictures were so beautiful, my eyes watered.
Nothing matters more than being alive. Just an extra second of breathing this air. Calm down, everything is alright no matter if you stressed or not. Things are still gonna go the same way, independently of what you might be experiencing emotionally. I wrote a fucking song about it, and still don’t get it? “Be Here Now” it’s called http://anyaskidan.bandcamp.com/track/be-here-now .Pleasure and pain and loss and gain, shame and fame are all the same, just be here now. Stressed out and desperate ten minutes ago, now forever grateful, grabbing onto the last thing left, love. All the struggle in the world for this one moment, in stinky China town, inhaling the fumes of sewage, human urine and automobile smog. Still beautiful, still organic, still life. We have taken ourselves here, better enjoy now. No body else’s fault but our own, Zeppelin wailed. You might be between point A and B in life, but you are healthy and you are breathing. Stop, think, breath, and carry on. 2012, time for a change, can’t expect things to go the same way the did. In this accelerated time, tune your frequencies to the sound of the present by being honest with thyself.