Sunday, July 23, 2017

A compassionate confrontation


It is by way of compassionate confrontation of the shaky, the raw, the tender, and the vulnerable that we dance within the opposites and provide sanctuary for the unconscious to come into form. It is always possible to weave a new story, to dream a different dream, and to discover new meaning.

Though often forgotten in the busyness of the inner and outer worlds – and entangled in the unending conventional and spiritual to-do lists – the allies are never far. Whether taking form as another person, a feeling, the moon, an animal, or a vision, love is at all times shifting shapes in order to make itself known here.

At times, the ally will appear in sweet, peaceful, and calming forms; obvious, noticeable, and easy to integrate. Let us be grateful for the messengers of the light when they dance in clear form.

At other times, the manifestation will be fierce, wrathful, and of the dark, oriented not in peace, but in wholeness. While not as natural, we can come to be grateful for this one as well, who despite its appearance, has come not to harm, but to reveal. All revelation requires both creation and destruction. We cannot have one without the other.

Inside the darkness is a jewel only found there. It is not containable by the light and not accessible by pathways of clarity, certainty, quiet, and peace. While the mind may turn from the love and creativity buried inside the shadows, the heart knows. The body knows.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left




Friday, July 21, 2017

Behind the clouds of separation


As long as you remain tangled in the trance of unworthiness, you will inevitably postpone fully being here, and continue to place the burden of your unlived life on those around you.

Look carefully and see how the orphaned pieces of your body, of your heart, and of your nervous system continue to appear as your partners, your family, your children, your friends, and even as the colors in an erupting summer sunset.

As you slow down and turn back into the aliveness within you, the invitation is to dare to see that you were never unhealed, that nothing is missing, and that by infusing your immediate experience with presence, with warmth, and with kindness that you can re-author the story.

You can go back into the surging feelings, emotions, and sensations that the old narrative has safeguarded you from, and see, finally, once and for all, if you still need to be protected from the raw, naked activity of life, of love, and what it truly means to be a sensitive, vulnerable, awake human being.

Not after you clean up your past, not after you feel safe all the time, not after you heal all your wounds, not after you find your “soulmate,” not after you manifest great things, not after you replace the hopelessness with hope, and not after you find answers to all your questions. But now.

Honor the role that the dream characters have played in your life until now – the unlovable one, the unworthy one, the broken one, and the failed one. You need not go to war with these ones. You need not send them away, practice aggression toward them, heal them, or let them go. For they will let go of you when they are no longer needed to protect you from the aliveness of your own heart.

To let in the implications of this is utterly exhilarating. And completely terrifying simultaneously. One world is ending so that the true world may appear from behind the clouds of separation.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pain is not pathology


At times, you may be asked to sit with another who has been touched by the darkness. To allow them to fall apart in your arms, to unravel, to be without hope, and to feel lost. You may sense there is some sort of wisdom unfolding, but it is chaotic, groundless, and not easy to stay with.

While it is natural to want to do whatever you can to help them feel better, listen carefully to what it is they are truly asking for. Extend to them a calm, regulated nervous system, where their experience can be validated and held, exactly as it is. Ensure them – with words and with your presence – that they need not ‘get over it,’ ‘accept everything as it is,’ shift into a ‘higher vibration,’ ‘stay in the present,’ be cured, transformed, or ‘healed’ in order for you to stay close, and to love them.

To provide such an environment for another, you must first offer safe passage for the unmetabolized in yourself: the unmet sadness, abandoned shame, discarded grief, disavowed hopelessness, and deserted aloneness. If not, you may find yourself rushing to talk the other out of their experience, urgently spinning to relieve them of their feelings as a way to cut into your own anxiety and discomfort. All the while subtly and unconsciously disavowing the raging intelligence buried within the dark.

Together with them, make the commitment to not pathologize their experience. Pain is not pathology. Hopelessness is not pathology. Grief is not pathology. Shame and rage are not pathology. They are path. Seed this wisdom into the relational field and watch in awe as a new world unfolds.

As you attune to the ‘other’ in front of you – as well as to the alchemical ‘other’ within – feel the creative flow of love as it fills the space between, crafting you both as vessels of sanctuary for the pieces of the broken world, for the shards of confusion, and for the crumbled hopes and dreams that have dissolved in front of your eyes. Honor the holy truth that the forms that love take will always fall apart – for this is their nature – in order that they may come back together in more integrated and cohesive ways.

Within the aliveness of the relational field – despite the pain of the present, the traumas of the past, and the broken dreams of the future – you may see that it was only love after all, taking whatever form it must so that it may unfold itself into this world, in ways the mind will never understand.

Please do whatever you can to help others in whatever way you are able: attune to them, validate their feelings, listen carefully to what they are saying, and how they are making meaning of their lives. Feed them, hold them, speak kindly to them, allow them be what they are. And remind them that love is here and is alive.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left



Monday, July 17, 2017

Please don't forget


The breath is coming in and out now, whether you believe you are worthy of it or not.

The earth is unconditionally supporting you. She is holding you whether you believe you deserve to be held or not. Rest in her presence.

The breath will be gone at some point, usually much sooner than we’d all like. Breathe deeply now. Breathing is only now. There is no “breathing in the future.”

No matter what is happening in your life – maybe you have lost hope, you’re confused, your heart is broken, or an old dream has died. Or even if you’re experiencing some joy, some peace, if things are going okay. It is not an ordinary moment. It is never ordinary inside your heart.

The only thing we know for sure is that we will be returned to the vastness soon. Let us not forget what is most important, never apologize for the yearning in our hearts, and not wait any longer to be fully here.

Let us renew the vow we once made to not abandon ourselves, our emotions, our vulnerability, our bodies, our sensitivity. With the sun, the moon, and the stars as our witness, we will no longer pathologize pure feeling and the longing that has been placed inside us.

Let us take a risk on this new day, like a flower who cannot hold back any longer from erupting with color, with fragrance, with life, with her song. You are this flower. Attune to what is truly happening here. This world needs you now more than ever. Please don’t forget what you are.



My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Things are not always as they appear


When a disturbing feeling appears, it is not evidence that something is wrong with you, that you have failed, or that you are in need of healing.

The wavelike appearance of intense emotion, heartbreak, and the revelation of raw, tender vulnerability is not a sign that something has gone wrong. But that you are alive. While in a moment of activation it is not easy to see, the capacity to feel is sacred.

When you are triggered by a lover, a child, a family member, or friend, an opportunity for integration has been presented. While the heat, the claustrophobia, and the panic may be surging, you are on the threshold. What pathway will you take? In the middle place, between denial and fusion, a new world awaits.

Underneath the old stories of unworthiness, shame, blame, and rage, life is longing to make itself known. It will never give up. It is erupting with pure transformative energy and yearning for just one moment of your presence and holding. At times, this energy will take form as sadness or as despair. At other times as joy and rest. Still other times as rage, jealousy, grief, and bliss.

Love is a shape-shifter and will never limit the forms it will take in order to find you. Just look around and see.

As you travel on the path of the heart, you may be astonished as your emotional spectrum expands. Maybe there was once a dream that it would contract, that you would feel less, not care so much, and remain a detached witness of it all. But love will always ask us to know more of its forms, more of its children, more of its essence. Listen as a new call emerges, into the richness of feeling and embodiment, and into the luminosity, color, and textures of the sensual world.

In one moment of allowing ourselves to fall to the ground, to feel awe at the feast that has been laid out here, we will see that things are not always as they appear.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left






Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Calling off the war with fear


Rather than going to war with fear – and deeming it a mistake or problem that you must eliminate, transform, or transcend – the invitation is to enter into relationship with it. Fear has been wired into your nervous system for millions of years and is unlikely to be undone in a few decades through spiritual process. You can rest in the strong likelihood that fear may arise most every day for the rest of your life, in some form or another. Welcome. You are alive.

Look very carefully inside your present experience. Is fear a problem? Is the surging of sensation, feeling, and intensity within you something you must continue to argue with, to shame, and to subject to the movement of self-aggression? Must you continue to tell stories about how it is the “opposite” of love (as if love had an “opposite”) and that as soon as you are no longer scared, then you will fully show up and participate in life, in relationship, in your own vulnerability?

Is it actually the appearance of fear that is the cause of your struggle and suffering? That wavelike movement of felt sense as it ripples through your belly, your throat, your chest, and your shoulders? Or does the struggle emerge from the abandonment and rejection of the life as it moves through you? As well as from the unexamined conclusions that its mere presence is evidence of a problem that must urgently be solved, that there is something wrong with you, and that you have failed?

Yes, fear may be a fierce and burning companion, but it is not an enemy that has come from the outside. It is a lost part of you that is requesting your attention, arising in the radiant here and now to reveal something that you have lost contact with.

With practice, it is possible to enter inside your fear, and to infuse it with your presence, with your tenderness, your curiosity, and your warmth. To even open your heart to your fear, to become friends with your fear. Of course, this is a radical invitation that the mind may have a difficult time embracing. It is also one that may not go over so well in a culture that has abandoned the shadow in its scramble to get to “happiness” at all costs.

But as an act of self-love, you can start to open into your fear. First, drop the word “fear” as it can never touch the unprecedented movement of energy and color within you. Surround it with your awareness. And start to move just a bit closer. And see. Close enough to start becoming intimate with this part of you, but not so close that you fuse and identify with it as who you are, or overwhelm yourself. Slowly. Short periods of time. One second, Two seconds. Three seconds. And rest. And then maybe next time for four or five. Then rest.

You might then come to discover that the movement of energy that we call “fear” is not an adversary, working against you, but actually an ally, sent to bring you closer to yourself, and to reveal wholeness. The only way we will ever know the truth of fearlessness is through the willingness to stay embodied to waves of fear.

You can call off the war and put down your weapons of dissociation, aggressiveness, and abandonment of what is. Reality will appear at times as fear, for even fear is a tool of skillful means in the arsenal of love as it has its way here. Slow down. Say yes to what is and it will liberate in front of your eyes. There is no enemy here. There is nothing working against you. Only further revelation. The path is everywhere.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left




Sunday, July 9, 2017

Vulnerability and aliveness are one


As we take the risk of opening more, we might discover that emotional vulnerability is in fact the only response that makes any sort of sense in a world that has gone a bit mad. In this way, we can re-contextualize and re-enchant our emotional experience, breathe new life into it and behold its sacredness.

It is magic to experience emotion, to dance in that holy alchemical middle between dissociation and fusion, where we practice intimacy with the colorful display while not losing touch with what we are as the vast playground in which all feeling comes and goes.

To travel inside the core of emotion, to explore its texture, its fragrance, its color, its tingly felt sense … we do not know if this miracle is unique to this star, but we can wonder in awe at the opportunity laid out before us.

More than anything, we long to feel alive, to fully participate in our lives, to no longer postpone fully being here: to behold a sunset, to look into the eyes of our lover, to hold our child, to fall to the ground in awe at being given one more breath. Before we know it, all of this will be gone, it will vanish into the arms of the great weaver, and this rare precious human birth will be over.

If we look carefully we might see that this longing often comes with a condition, though it can be very subtle. Yes, more than anything I want to feel alive, connected, and in intimate contact with everything around … but only as long as it feels safe, as long as I can take the known with me, as long as I can know how it will all turn out, and as long as I do not have to be too naked, too exposed, and too vulnerable.

But there is no aliveness without vulnerability. In fact, they are the very same thing. Vulnerability and aliveness are one, co-arising together, and weaved of the same substance. We can’t have one without the other, it just doesn’t seem to work like that here. Perhaps in another world.

The aliveness you are longing for is not far. It will not be revealed by way of an exhausting search. It is hidden in the core of the tender, the broken, the shaky, and the raw, buried in a secret chamber inside you. Go there. Live from there.



My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – as of June 30 there are a few seats left



Friday, July 7, 2017

The rewiring of neural circuitry


It takes practice to rewire neural circuitry, to re-encode pathways with empathy, attunement, and compassion. Unfortunately, for most this foundation was not available; there was not a holding environment that could contain, dance, and play with the magic of a little emotional being.

Intellectual understanding, while important, is not enough. It takes action in the moment, a new response to the eruption of dysregulating thoughts and feelings, over time, to reorganize the nervous system and re-author a new, more integrated narrative about who we are.

The good news is that you can begin right now, no matter what is going on in your life. Instead of urgently seeking relief, become curious about the unique ways you become activated in relationship. Instead of falling into the habitual extremes of dissociation and fusion, enter into communion with the burning, the charged, and the claustrophobic, unresolvable alive world of feeling.

The journey of metabolization occurs in stages, which we cannot skip. Initially, we must train ourselves to stay with the intensity for very short periods of time, titrating and pendulating the overwhelming thoughts and feelings, going back and forth testing our window of tolerance. Slowly, we discover that even though it may feel otherwise, we can endure this material. Our survival is not actually being threatened. Before we can begin to move deeper, we must first know in an experiential way that staying with it is not going to take us down.

Once the nervous system has the experience that it can tolerate very small doses, we then stay for two seconds, instead of one. We move from merely “tolerating” to starting to contain it, realizing it is not some enemy coming at us from the outside, but a lost aspect of ourselves, longing to be allowed home.

Once contained, we can begin the journey of accepting it. Not “acceptance” in that we are condoning or settling for something – or that we “like” it or “want” it to stay – but in the sense of a fiery, compassionate willingness. We are willing to experience what has come, finally, for we sense that resisting what is, this whole play of experiential avoidance, is the root cause of nearly all our psychological suffering.

We are no longer willing to abandon ourselves. No, I’m not going to do that any longer. Even though it takes everything in me, I am going to move toward my vulnerability and care for it, re-encoding a new pathway. Even though I will not be “perfect” at it and likely “fail” over and over again, I will remain steadfast in my vision.

This is where the work shifts to a more heart practice, where we aren’t as interested in clear insight and pure awareness, safe as a witness on the sidelines, but rather begin to explore what it would actually mean to open our hearts to our pain. To hold it like a mother surrounding and enveloping her baby. This can be pretty radical and truly goes against the grain. We start to bring kindness to the feelings, to the parts of ourselves we had to disown at an earlier time.

It just moves on from there, with deeper and more integrated forms of awareness, compassion, and exploration, traveling into the core of whatever arises and touching it with our hearts. Eventually we may even come to love our triggers, longing to hold them and know their subtleties, standing in awe at the opportunity to learn more about love as it comes into form.

Depending on the degree of trauma and dysregulation, this work is often best done within a safe (yet provocative) relational container, where we can make use of an attuned other’s calm and soothed nervous system to help contain, hold, and integrate this material. That’s not to say that we cannot do a lot on our own. It is kind to allow ourselves to at times turn to another for help, while at other times to stay contained and practice on our own.

In this way we can become vehicles of love in action, knowing that this work we are doing is never for ourselves alone. But is for life everywhere.



My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stay close to what is here now


Stay close to what is here now, even if what is here is flat, numb, confused, and devoid of hope. For these are special allies of the path and able to open places inside you that happiness, peace, and clarity cannot reach.

The mystery is always alive around you, taking form as signs, symbols, and guidance for the journey ahead. But the timeline is not of the known, and is crafted in the oceans, the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Your disappointment, your despair, and the ones representing the death of old dreams: the uncommon helpers have arrived, along with the more conventional aides of joy, clarity, contentment, and hope … an extraordinary meeting is gathering, and no one is disinvited. 

The shaky aliveness is all the evidence you need that you are right on track.

While the longing for resolution may burn within you, you are not broken, you are not unhealed or untransformed. You are not a project to be fixed.

Feel the ground on this new day. Lay your hands on your heart. Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Open your senses and listen carefully to the invitation as it arrives in a thundering silence: today may not be a day for answers but to finally let your heart break open to the vastness of the question.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The purity of form


While it is perfectly natural to prefer silence over noise, oneness over multiplicity, and harmony over chaos, actuality appears to not share this bias. A star appears to not share this same view.

The natural world and energies inherent in the human spirit are creative, destructive, alive, and full-spectrum. Love is equally prepared to make use of the noisy, the multiple, the dual, and the confused to seed the relative with its qualities. To come at times as uncontaminated dualistic rage, bewilderment, and disordered wildness, so that form can come into being.

The unfolding of form is not always the expression of a clean, nondual view: untainted, invincible, and safe from reorganization, deflation, and the exposure of pure human vulnerability in all its dimensions. At times, the articulation is of a messy untamed ragingly empowered union of ascendant and descendent currents, heaven and earth, sun and the moon.

It is common to have a dualistic understanding of “nonduality,” where it has become synonymous with silence, stillness, clarity, and transcendence, in a subtle war with confusion, activity, and the chaotic purity of emotion, imagination, the body, and the heart. Implied is the unexamined belief that the formless is more pure than form, spirit is more pure than matter, and silence is more pure than noise. But this is not nonduality. This is fear. It is not possible for there to be division in that which is nondual.

Let us reclaim the essence of nonduality by seeing that it is not opposed to duality, would never be at war with it, and end the dream of a conceptual spirituality. Let us re-enchant nonduality and infuse it with life, holding it loosely in one moment and discarding it the next, staying with the magic of now as it erupts in and as our lives as they are.

As we cultivate the courage to travel inside the opposites, hold the tension in balance, and compassionately confront the entirety of what we are, the inseparability of form and formless will be laid bare. The curtain will come down behind the Wizard of separation and the purity of the human form will be revealed.


Photo: holding field of Heart-Nebula, seeding essence

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)


Monday, July 3, 2017

The pressure to be happy


Do you feel pressure to be “happy”?

For many, “happiness” has become a burden, something that must be maintained throughout the day or otherwise you feel you have failed, that you’re not grateful enough, that you have lost contact with some “secret,” or that something is wrong with you. That you’re not doing it right – relationships, work, parenting, meditation, healing.

Is it true that if some sadness, doubt, or confusion is arising in your immediate experience that something has gone wrong? That some cosmic error has been made which must urgently be corrected? That you must immediately rush in to change, fix, or “let go of” these uninvited guests? That you must, at all costs, replace what is appearing now with something different? Is it the visitors themselves that are the cause of your suffering and struggle, or is it the project of replacement and self-abandonment that is so painful?

As a sensitive human being, open to all of life's energies, you walk in a vast meadow, in which very alive and unpredictable thoughts, feelings, and emotions will sometimes surge. Despair, tender vulnerability, great fear, a moment of jealousy, unexplained shakiness, profound hopelessness, raging sorrow, restlessness, and raw uncertainty: these ones will join you in the meadow as they seek sanctuary in your vast heart.

Before you prepare for war, concluding that these ones are enemies or obstacles along the way, shameful stains on your brilliant enlightenment, or blocks to your peace, please slow down. Invite the guests in, see what they have to say. For they are not what they appear to be. 

Listen, be present, and open your body to them. 

They are not mistakes or signs of your unawakened failure, but emissaries of integration, come to remind you of your unlimited nature, your ability to hold ALL of life, and of the full-spectrum nature of what it means to be human, a vast field where you can dance and play with even the most disturbing energies.

Let us not fixate on a future goal called “happiness,” but create a living sanctuary of love together, where we can embrace the entirety of what it means to be a powerfully ordinary human being, providing a home for the messy, the confused, the lost, and the broken … as well as the awakened, the clear, the peaceful, and the whole. Let our spirituality include all of this, and embody the kind of happiness that knows no enemies, a bliss that is not a goal, a joy that is causeless and whole.

And let us give our open hearts to this weary world which, perhaps now more than ever, is so in need of a little tenderness, kindness, slowness, and humility.

- Matt Licata & Jeff Foster


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

In the core of the contradictions


At some point, how you thought it was all going to turn out will crumble away into dust. The gates to deflation will open and all that remains is you raw, burning heart.

It is the nature of form to take birth, to dance, to play, and then to fall back into the unknown. This is not some sort of cosmic error, but the way of things – creative, intelligent, and a reflection of universal flow.

Relationships, work, family, friends, our health … ideas about ourselves, others, and the world. What we thought would provide ongoing meaning and purpose. Reorganizing before us, longing to be re-authored in more integrated, cohesive, and compassionate ways.

Even what we were so sure about just a few days ago – the great realizations, discoveries, and insights about who we are, what is most true, what will provide lasting peace … no longer quite as convincing. The shakiness has returned. A dream has vanished and has not yet been replaced by new vision. But inside the shards of the broken world, pure life awaits.

All form must end, departing through a portal into the darkness, so that new forms may emerge from the crucible of clear space. But what is emerging in the womb of Now is not knowable ahead of time, and is not subject to our hopes, fears, or fantasies of control. While the mind will struggle with the wrathful nature of this truth, the heart knows … the body knows.

See that the death of form is filled with erupting particles of life, with magic, and with the fragrance of the holy. You can relax into the very center of the death-rebirth journey, and rest inside the core of the contradictions. Here, the chaos and the glory are one.

There is nothing more alive than that.

There is nothing more sacred than that.

There is nothing safer than that.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

New book/ Kindle version - The Path Is Everywhere


Dear friends, the Amazon Kindle/ electronic version of my book, The Path Is Everywhere, is now available. You can find it here. I hope you enjoy the book and find it helpful.

Drawing on my personal journey as well as my work with others as a therapist and guide, I wrote The Path Is Everywhere with the intention that it serve as a provocative, alive, and compassionate invitation to re-enchant our ideas about healing and spiritual awakening in the modern world.

Weaving together the wisdom streams of contemplative spirituality, relational and somatic psychotherapy, and the poetic imagination, The Path Is Everywhere reminds us that the depth and magic of the sacred world is always already here, buried in our emotions, bodies, relationships, and in the natural world itself.

Many have grown weary from a long search, exhausted from an endless quest to improve, hold it all together, heal all their wounds, and complete some mythical spiritual journey. But you are not a project to be solved. You are a mystery coming into form, and you have the raw materials that you need, right now, to live a life of profound depth, purpose, and meaning.

We hear much about healing and spiritual awakening, and the deep joy, clarity, and peace that are its promised fruits. Often ignored, however, are the disappointments of awakening and the ways it can shatter our hearts, breaking us open to the reality of the crucifixion, resurrection, and transfiguration we are likely to encounter along the way.

In the rush to convert the negative to the positive, manifest everything we believe we want, and manage our lives into some permanent state of "happiness," we lose contact with the reality that there is no transfiguration without embodiment to the dark cross within. The journey of becoming a true human person is messy by nature, as it emerges directly out of the unknown and requires compassionate confrontation with the entirety of what we are.

As we journey together as fellow travelers, let us commit to embracing both the joy and the heartbreak of the path, and bear witness to the wisdom shining out of our immediate experience, whether it appears as sadness, bliss, despair, or great joy. Grace will appear in both sweet and fierce forms but it is still grace, sent from beyond to open us to the radiant fullness of being.

It is my hope that these words, as limited as all words are, will somehow ignite a fire within you, spreading in the four directions, seeding everyone and everything in its wake with the erupting and outrageously creative energies of pure love. And that this book will make even a minuscule contribution to the reduction of suffering in our world.




A firestorm of presence


Just below the compelling storyline, beneath the colorful emotional landscape, there exists a rich, mysterious world of sensations: a somatically organized field of intelligence, creativity, and aliveness.

It is dizzying here, awash with particles of the unknown. It is so unguarded, so naked, so raw … exhilarating in a sense, but also disorienting as there is no reference point around which we can organize.

The urge to return to the known, to get hold of “my life,” and to renew the trance that we are in control can appear as overwhelm in the nervous system. Without dishonoring the longing to return to solid ground, the invitation is into deep rest, to relax into the unstructured nature of pure being, and into the truth of not-knowing.

Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Feel your feet on the ground. Lay your hands on your heart. Allow yourself to sink into the mud of the earth while simultaneously opening into the heavens above. Behold the rare opportunity that has been given to know what it is like for spirit to come into form.

While the mind will scramble in its attempt to locate a problem, dare to consider that nothing is wrong, nothing need urgently be resolved, and that no answers are coming … for now. Open instead to the sacredness of the question, which is where you will meet the mystery.

You are in the nonordinary world of unconditioned awareness: strangely familiar but dreamlike and highly creative. Here, there is a primordial sort of trust that no matter what might be going on in your life, nonetheless you have everything you need to fully participate here, to know a causeless joy, and to make meaning of your life in new ways.

While the mind may continue its search for what is wrong—based on a lifetime of innocent attempts to ensure your survival—in this new place there are no “problems,” no complaints, no blaming, nothing to transcend, nothing to be transformed, nothing lacking that must be manifested, and no spell of unworthiness in which to get tangled.

There is no “spirituality” here or any movement to replace one experience with another. No journey to make from multiplicity to oneness. No evidence that you are healed or awakened, or not. Just pure life. A firestorm of presence, aliveness, intimacy, and warmth.

These qualities have somehow come together and have assembled your very own heart. There is no greater miracle than this.


Photo of the holding field of Maroon Bells, nearby in Aspen, taken by Laura and Doug Bennett

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)