Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Friend Desmond Green

Desmond Green
by Andy Skadberg

Dear friends. Let me tell you a little about Desmond. Since I was introduced to him through my dear friend Yvette Dubel over 4 1/2 years ago I have never heard a single negative statement from him. I have not once heard him complain about a person, place or thing. I never heard him gripe about his living situation. I have not read a negative word that has been written or spoken about an institution or anything. Never. And I mean NEVER!

How can this be? Who is this man? The beautiful man who incessantly reminds me of the importance of the breath? I don't know how many times we have talked on Skype, he calls me like a dutiful friend, day after day. How has God blessed me with such a beautiful, powerful, patient friend as this. Day after day Desmond calls me to remind me to look at the beauty of my life, to notice the flowers, to taste the nectar of making love to a woman, to recognize the Glory of God, the One Infinite Creator.

Patiently, persistently, doggedly Desmond has been reminding of the truths that he has discovered in his full life. I think he is about 75 now. He began his life with a simple knowing, I guess, of God's love. A clarity of the abundance and richness of the glory of this world and other worlds - almost as if through the eyes and heart of a child. He credits it to loving parents, which I know helps. But Desmond just knows something that we need to know. His wife told me the name Desmond means "dweller in two worlds".

He spent many years researching psychology with some of the greatest names in the field. He specialized in child psychology. I don't know a lot more about him. He doesn't talk much about himself. I don't think he has any problems because I have never heard him speak about one - not ever.

It is clear to me he knows his mission. Of any single person in this world, Desmond knows his mission. That is to bring to the world, during this incredible time of transformation, the importance of us to know our breath. Through this knowing, and experience we will find ourselves on a red carpet. A red carpet to where? To ourselves. To our heart. To the love of God.

Some years ago, after many, many life experiences, I referred to myself as the "experience miester". This is because I have had a lot. The nature of my being, who I am, is to not let things rest. I have to investigate. I need to turn each rock over. I need to look behind the story. I am always compelled to get to the bottom of the story.

So, some 4 years ago I began to study, and look, and investigate this thing that Desmond has been constantly talking about, The Breath. And what did I find. Consistently, in every place that I have looked. In every spiritual book. In each place, where, after all of the words, and ideas, and concepts, and possibilities of something to think about, or dialog about, or pontificate upon about life as a human being has been put forward - the breath is always the grounding point. I found so much evidence that I was able to write a book with some of the more important places that I have found references. And since putting that book together I have another dozen references, or so. And these are not little, these are important like, Jesus "breathing" on the disciples when he commissioned them. And the citings have continued on.

Some time in 2008 I must have invoked, without really knowing, Jesus's prayer from the Sermon on the Mount "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you". So I have sought, and read, and researched, and watched thousands of hours of videos on YouTube, and other informational sources looking to the answers to the big questions of life. I won't get into that here. But my point is to say, I have discovered many of the answers. Of course this always leads to more questions. But I have learned how God made something so perfect and extensive as the universe and our existence. I will write something about what I have found at a later date. But here, what I want to report, is that Desmond knows. He knows. He is aware, somehow, without conducting all of the analysis, without searching high and low, that it all comes down to our breath.

Desmond has written many books. His book of aphorisms are amazing. They are each fountains of wisdom. Short, quippy, witty statements, each if pondered upon for a day, a week, or even a year contain deep and simple wisdom that would transform how you see the world, the universe, your life. Desmond's heart and mind shares freely and openly.

And, in concert with his lovely wife Dawn, who has written her own books, have created a beautiful palette of colors to enlighten and colorize what many have come to see as a drab world. Dawn's book "The Mouse and the Magician" is a beautiful tale of the power of the mind. How perspective changes everything. What seems to be a children's story contains deep lessons for us as we have imprisoned ourselves, like the mouse, in a cage in our own mind.

But Desmond's most important book is The Practice. It is short, easy to read, and apparently simple. It is simple, but in profoundly deep and spiritual ways. Contained with those few words are the essence of what a human-being needs to put a solid foundation down in their life. To have something they can depend upon. To make a life, to re-create a life - or to discover their life. And then from their "the sky is the limit" as they say. And so much more than that.

I am like a butterfly. I have been pulled away to many experiences, many people have left my life - some through my choosing, some not. But somewhere in my heart, my intuition, something has told me to "stick with Desmond". So here I am. Telling you about my beautiful, loving friend. The only friend I have who calls me every day. And what does he say? I never know, for sure. But I do know the theme. He might begin with something to the effect "Andy, I had an epiphany, a knowing that has come into my being." And then he shares with me about the precious gift he has found, and knows is contained within the breath.

"And God breathed life into man" we have been told. And all the sacred texts, when you get to the crux of the matter will re-mind you of the breath. It will be the thing you are told to do when you do Yoga, or acting, or music, or mediation. Anytime you want to discover the source of your life, when you are needing to get grounded, you will receive guidance to relax and pay attention to your breath.

I can go on and on about what I have discovered in my spiritual research, which inadvertently always leads back to references to the breath. It always seems to be the bottom line. How did Desmond know this without doing all of this research? I asked him once "He just said he just somehow knew, at least in this incarnation".

So, today I invite you to join Desmond and I. Desmond, I can tell, as my friend - is LIVING LOVE! His words, actions and deeds are of God and the angels. I have never met another being like Desmond. And he is everyone's friend. He is patiently waiting, teaching and Sharing. Inviting us to the home he has always been. Spend some time to read his words contained in The Practice. On the surface they seem so simple. But embedded in them are great spiritual TRUTHS. The words can reach anyone, which is what we have to do now.

If you, like I, are working to save the world, then we have to be able to reach every heart and mind. Our words and concepts must be simple. They must sink into the mind of even the most wretched, the most pained, or the richest. And they must lead to action. That action, simply, is to begin to appreciate their breath. To notice, and play with the idea that the breath is our living, pulsating, gift from God that gives all life, life. That truly the Spirit that has manifested and created and sustains this incredibly diverse, extensive and beautiful creation - does so with the movement of the breath. The "Yin and Yang" the "In and Out" movement of invisible force that allows us to do all of this stuff in this world, and in all other realms - at least as Desmond knows.

Please join me in our journey to Share this Love with everyone. It is already here. Help us Share it with others. To remind them. To help them get in touch with their own life force and be grateful for it. To learn a basic, non-dogmatic, set of skills to empower them to begin to make the life of their dreams. And together we will learn that we have great power to make that world a reality, and much, much sooner, than later.

Thank you Desmond for Your Love and Patience. And thank you for being my friend. God Bless You.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Man From The Desert: On the Money-Changers

A chapter in the book "Jesus the Son of Man" by Kahlil Gibran

I was a stranger in Jerusalem. I had come to the Holy City to behold the great temple, and to sacrifice upon the altar, for my wife had given twin sons to my tribe.

And after I had made my offering, I stood in the portico of the temple looking down upon the money-changers and those who sold doves for sacrifice, and listening to the great noise in the court.

And as I stood there came of a sudden a man into the midst of the money-changers and those who sold doves.

He was a man of majesty, and He came swiftly.

In His hand He held a rope of goat's hide; and He began to overturn the tables of the money-changers and to beat the pedlars of birds with the rope.

And I heard Him saying with a loud voice, "Render these birds unto the sky which is their nest."

Men and women fled from before His face, and He moved amongst them as the whirling wind moves on the sand-hills.

All this came to pass in but a moment, and then the court of the Temple was emptied of the money-changers. Only the man stood there alone, and His followers stood at a distance.

Then I turned my face and I saw another man in the portico of the temple. And I walked towards him and said, "Sir, who is this man who stands alone, even like another temple?" And he answered me, "This is Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet who has appeared of late in Galilee. Here in Jerusalem all men hate Him."

And I said, "My heart was strong enough to be with His whip, and yielding enough to be at His feet."

And Jesus turned towards His followers who were awaiting Him. But before He reached them, three of the temple doves flew back, and one alighted upon His left shoulder and the other two at His feet. And he touched each one tenderly. Then He walked on, and there were leagues in every step of His steps.

Now tell me, what power had He to attack and disperse hundreds of men and women without opposition? I was told that they all hate Him, yet no one stood before Him on that day. Had He plucked out the fangs of hate on His way to the court of the temple?

JESUS THE SON OF MAN - his words and his deeds as told and recorded by those who knew him.
Courtesy of Kahlil Gibran Online – www.kahlil.org

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Putting a price on My Soul

Life seems to be about settling, or satisfying this yearning. Ultimately I believe its for a true experience of what we believe, or think, is God. But why this yearning for something that is truly everywhere? This has been the answer, the conclusion, the solution to all my questions, seeking, yearning - to those deep, slow burning questions that I have inside. There are many, or have been. It all came down to the statement when I took the risk to step out of the game - "I want more!!" I yearn to know the "God thing", "how do I fit?", "how does it work?", "why?"

But if it is already here, in everything, why do I have to go somewhere, or seek, or do? I guess it is the nature of the experience here - in this we call "life". I also seek happiness, peace, appreciation - is this the same desire for God? After all of the acquisition of things, experience, knowledge it has always been followed by a "neediness" for more. That experience has become "wanting" - there is a bitter taste it has left behind. Some thing in my heart tells me that "doing" any more will leave me dissatisfied - "Doing" in the sense of expecting some external reward - money, prestige, recognition. Of course I like to be noticed - I think we all do. But after stacking up a bunch of paper, or numbers, or words I found there wasn't much satisfaction. The satisfaction, now, comes from just the act of Sharing. It's kind of like "Being" for me. I've done a lot of stuff, gotten some answers, or more questions, but it's fun to just Share. But how can I put a price on that? It does seem to be the most important game in the world. I used to play Monopoly. But it did get boring. I found the reward of winning to not be worth the anxiety of "wanting" to win.

What is a fragrant flower blooming in a dew covered meadow worth? Or the laughter of children? To become like a child offers the chance to enter the Kingdom?

I've really lost interest in putting a price on what I do. The numbers game has really come to bore me. Does a tree trust that the Earth will still be here to hold its roots? Do I question each day whether the "science" of the electrons of my body will still operate in balance, or even the galaxies? Why this lack of trust in what we call human affairs?

I depend on nature for my lessons. When I go outside the elements and living things seem pretty peaceful - always moving, yet peaceful. Even the stars or the elements in my body seem in balance - at least it feels that way. I have learned that everything is living and dying - but that is just the natural process of things. The interesting thing is the consistency of the consciousness of the feeling of being me. I've been told I go lots of other places but I don't really remember, clearly.

I can tell my appreciation for what is, has been, is expanding. Sometimes the joy, the ecstacy that seems to emanate from my heart is increasing. I have learned a lot in this lifetime - and now I know I really know nothing. But my yearning to be one with God has expanded too. And yet now I know that I can't ever be out of God - so, I guess, I am really yearning to Be, here, Now - because, I guess I am - at least this part I am aware of. I'm pretty sure God really is taking care of everything. At least the last time I checked he/she/it was.

I'm just thinking I'm just going to Share my stuff - I don't know what else to do. I'll let someone else put a value to it. It just feels good to Share. Others can take it or leave it. I like my stuff. Sometimes it really surprises me. Not many other people seem to notice. Ah, what the hell. I'm not very good at marketing and advertising - well, actually I just don't want to play that game either - I can be pretty good. I don't play Monopoly, chess or video games either.

I guess I'm just becoming a boring old guy. I like to think about God, life and how to feel peaceful and really happy - how do I avoid feeling angst, or frustration or anger? What can I do to help others to feel happy? I like this stuff now. I don't really know how to put a price on those things. I don't really want to "raise money" to do them either. This game just has really gotten boring to me. And it seems to cause a lot of angst. I guess I'm screwed because many people tell me that I have to play the game just to live. Hmmmm . . ., this is quite the conundrum . . . . What am I gonna do?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Jesus: The Son of Man, by Kahlil Gibran

I recently found a book in the Source Bookstore in Davenport, Iowa. It is amazing, beautiful and something that we all might benefit from reading. I feel that the stories related in this book are the Truth of who Jesus was and what he taught.

I gravitated to this book because my mother had given me only one book, that I can remember. When I was 18 she gave me Kahlil's book The Prophet and had written a beautiful message in the front about the book best representing the life philosophy of her and my father. I guess this "knowing" is embedded in me, as I have often thought that the one thing my mother really made me understand is what I am now calling "The Golden Way" (previously we have been told it is the Golden Rule). For those who might want to digress, here are the tributes I Shared about my Mother and Father when they passed.

I have read Jesus, The Son of Man his words and his deeds as told and recorded by those who knew him and I felt very compelled to share some of the passages. I cried more than once reading this book. At times I felt I was there where the stories took place. I also was able to find the book electronically, so those inclined to get the book, just click the link on the bottom of this post.

With Great Love! - Andy

The book is arranged as Sharings by various people who lived with and experienced this Great Being.

Joseph Of Arimathea: On The Primal Aims Of Jesus

You would know the primal aim of Jesus, and I would fain tell you. But none can touch with fingers the life of the blessed wine, nor see the sap that feeds the branches.

And though I have eaten of the grapes and have tasted the new vintage at the winepress, I cannot tell you all.

I can only relate what I know of Him.

Our Master and our Beloved lived but three prophet's seasons. They were the spring of His song, the summer of His ecstasy, and the autumn of His passion; and each season was a thousand years.

The spring of His song was spent in Galilee. It was there that He gathered His lovers about Him, and it was on the shores of the blue lake that He first spoke of the Father, and of our release and our freedom.

By the Lake of Galilee we lost ourselves to find our way to the Father; and oh, the little loss that turned to such gain.

It was there the angels sang in our ears and bade us leave the arid land for the garden of heart's desire.

He spoke of fields and green pastures; of the slopes of Lebanon where the white lilies are heedless of the caravans passing in the dust of the valley.

He spoke of the wild brier that smiles in the sun and yields its incense to the passing breeze.

And He would say, "The lilies and the brier live but a day, yet that day is eternity spent in freedom."

And one evening as we sat beside the stream He said, "Behold the brook and listen to its music. Forever shall it seek the sea, and though it is for ever seeking, it sings its mystery from noon to noon.

"Would that you seek the Father as the brook seeks the sea."

Then came the summer of His ecstasy, and the June of His love was upon us. He spoke of naught then but the other man -- the neighbour, the road-fellow, the stranger, and our childhood's playmates.

He spoke of the traveller journeying from the east to Egypt, of the ploughman coming home with his oxen at eventide, of the chance guest led by dusk to our door.

And He would say, "Your neighbour is your unknown self made visible. His face shall be reflected in your still waters, and if you gaze therein you shall behold your own countenance.

"Should you listen in the night, you shall hear him speak, and his words shall be the throbbing of your own heart.

"Be unto him that which you would have him be unto you.

"This is my law, and I shall say it unto you, and unto your children, and they unto their children until time is spent and generations are no more."

And on another day He said, "You shall not be yourself alone. You are in the deeds of other men, and they though unknowing are with you all your days.

"They shall not commit a crime and your hand not be with their hand.

"They shall not fall down but that you shall also fall down; and they shall not rise but that you shall rise with them.

"Their road to the sanctuary is your road, and when they seek the wasteland you too seek with them.

"You and your neighbour are two seeds sown in the field. Together you grow and together you shall sway in the wind. And neither of you shall claim the field. For a seed on its way to growth claims not even its own ecstasy.

"Today I am with you. Tomorrow I go westward; but ere I go, I say unto you that your neighbour is your unknown self made visible. Seek him in love that you may know yourself, for only in that knowledge shall you become my brothers."
Then came the autumn of His passion.

And He spoke to us of freedom, even as He had spoken in Galilee in the spring of His song; but now His words sought our deeper understanding.

He spoke of leaves that sing only when blown upon the wind; and of man as a cup filled by the ministering angel of the day to quench the thirst of another angel. Yet whether that cup is full or empty it shall stand crystalline upon the board of the Most High.

He said, "You are the cup and you are the wine. Drink yourselves to the dregs; or else remember me and you shall be quenched."

And on our way to the southward He said, "Jerusalem, which stands in pride upon the height, shall descend to the depth of Jahannum the dark valley, and in the midst of her desolation I shall stand alone.

"The temple shall fall to dust, and around the portico you shall hear the cry of widows and orphans; and men in their haste to escape shall not know the faces of their brothers, for fear shall be upon them all.

"But even there, if two of you shall meet and utter my name and look to the west, you shall see me, and these my words shall again visit your ears."

And when we reached the hill of Bethany, He said, "Let us go to Jerusalem. The city awaits us. I will enter the gate riding upon a colt, and I will speak to the multitude.

"Many are there who would chain me, and many who would put out my flame, but in my death you shall find life and you shall be free.

"They shall seek the breath that hovers betwixt heart and mind as the swallow hovers between the field and his nest. But my breath has already escaped them, and they shall not overcome me.

"The walls that my Father has built around me shall not fall down, and the acre He has made holy shall not be profaned.

"When the dawn shall come, the sun will crown my head and I shall be with you to face the day. And that day shall be long, and the world shall not see its eventide.

"The scribes and the Pharisees say the earth is thirsty for my blood. I would quench the thirst of the earth with my blood. But the drops shall rise oak trees and maple, and the east shall carry the acorns to other lands."

And then He said, "Judea would have a king, and she would march against the legions of Rome.

"I shall not be her king. The diadems of Zion were fashioned for lesser brows. And the ring of Solomon is small for this finger.

"Behold my hand. See you not that it is over-strong to hold a sceptre, and over-sinewed to wield a common sword?

"Nay, I shall not command Syrian flesh against Roman. But you with my words shall wake that city, and my spirit shall speak to her second dawn.

"My words shall be an invisible army with horses and chariots, and without axe or spear I shall conquer the priests of Jerusalem, and the Caesars.

"I shall not sit upon a throne where slaves have sat and ruled other slaves. Nor will I rebel against the sons of Italy.

"But I shall be a tempest in their sky, and a song in their soul.

"And I shall be remembered.

"They shall call me Jesus the Anointed."

These things He said outside the walls of Jerusalem before He entered the city.

And His words are graven as with chisels.

Click this link for a digital version of Kahlil's book, Jesus: The Son of Man