Remembering Elaine Jaynes


I am really sad to share that my dear friend and CTI Legend Elaine Jaynes passed away peacefully last night.


I will miss her and We will miss her.  She has been a constant beacon of beauty and integrity from the very beginning of CTI.  She brought her unique brand of love, joy, grace and wonderful skepticism to everything she saw, held and thought.




She pointed the way for all of us to find it on our own and build it together.   She so brilliantly and beautifully saw what was needed to grow and empower community and was completely committed to “People are Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole” that she believed in the core of her being that we humans will indeed figure out what it is that we need to figure out to be able to live together as she imagined we all would.



02-05-08 LR5 - Henry and Elaine




This girl knew how to have fun and dance like nobody I’ve known.  She could kick her heels up to a rousing country tune or sensuously move to the tune she heard in her head.  Whether we were engaged in some hi jinx at a planning session or deeply and seriously settled into a creative design session Elaine brought a wonderful combination of delight and rigor to the conversation.




Here is a picture of Elaine leading her first Leadership Program with Laura and me at the Mother Tree Retreat Center in California back in the last century.  She was wrapping the world and the Leadership Program at CTI in silk from the very beginning.   She came to us already wise and became the wise woman teacher that we all looked to for council and guidance in so many things.  We were lucky indeed to sit in rooms where she sat up front and pointed our looking and our learning.

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We will miss you Elaine!  We will miss your warm smile and the twinkle in your eyes.  We will miss how much you loved and how well you lived.  We will miss your elegance and your royal/regal quality.  We will miss the masterful way you combined patience with integrity and wrapped it all in the silk of your love.

We know that you are having a grand time on this next step of your journey and wish you well.

Bon Voyage!


The Beautiful Cacophony

I miss Karen!!

I made it through the weekend, dragging my butt around and keeping up as good a show as I could for Cosmo. We had one unexpectedly cold visit to the beach that was cut short due to the cold and one blissfully long visit to the beach during which Cosmo said hello to every living thing on the beach and rolled in one dead one. His first roll on a dead thing. That particular instinct is a hard one for my human mind to grasp, but then again there must be a thousand and one weird things that we humans do that are mystifying and baffling to him. Like what do I do when I step into that little glass room and the steam comes out the top and I step out wet and smelling, to him, what dead stuff all over him smells like to me. Or sitting here in front of this window (computer) in front of a window just staring at it. I see him up in the living room sometimes just sitting in front of a window either staring at it or out of it, or maybe he is just doing what he sees me doing and seeing if anything happens. I am pretty sure though that he would prefer that I pay a whole lot more attention to him and play something with him that he would like to play.

I really miss the conversations with Karen. I realize how quiet I am when I am home alone for such a long stretch. Sure enjoy quiet and cave time where there are no words coming at me from anyone or anywhere. And enough is enough. I notice I even miss the very loud conversations that are completely silent, like the raised eyebrow or the smile or the scowl or the twinkle or the myriad of expressions, gestures, moods, emotions, and all of the rest of the beautiful cacophony that occurs without words. The space is so empty of all of that during these long times when she is gone.

So I talk to myself and I talk to Cosmo. I listen to music and watch tv and read my email and keep myself busy and it just doesn’t replace that emptiness in the space. We are past the hump and it’s only a few days till she’s home. Because she is in some remote place in the Yucatan with no cell reception and a spotty internet skype connection in the lobby of this place she is staying we have had these two, comedy of errors, conversations where one of is always saying “can you hear me?” while the other one is saying the same thing, then it works for a few minutes and we can actually talk to each other and of course we don’t really know what to say because we both just want to hear the other ones voice and we are really done with hearing our own voice. Just as we figure all that out the phone messes up again and we stumble on and I am loving every moment of it. There she is huddled under a blanket, for privacy, in the middle of this lobby talking into her ipad, being cute as all get out, not really wanting to talk to me about what’s going on because there are other folks around her. So I talk about Cosmo, of course, and about the house and a little about work and me and we get to the point where she is yawning because it’s after midnight where she is and we have to hang up but neither one of us really want to. So we make kissy noises at each other and count to three and on three hang up. I sit for awhile staring at my computer screen feeling both completely full and completely empty at the same time. Full of Love, partnership, connection and the emptiness of missing and aloneness.

You know sometimes when we fight, because oh yes we do have disagreements, arguments and battle royals, at the height of the battle one of us might say something to the effect of “Why do you put up with me?” “Why do you stick around if I am so _____?” And of course the obvious answer is we are completely in love with each other. Today though I realized another reason why I love her so much and will stick around in the hard times. It’s that beautiful cacophony that fills the space in the silence. It fills the space in the universe, our world, our house and my heart.

Linger Longer

In my meditation this morning first the phrase “I love everything” popped into my mind and it was followed closely on the heals of that youtube video of the little girl in front of the mirror passionately affirming all that she liked about herself and her life. I then went onto youtube and looked at the video, thinking that I would put it here in the blog for those of you who might not have seen it. I watched it again and smiled with the enthusiasm, spirit, confidence and embodiment of this little girl. I saw that almost 10 million people had viewed this video and then youtube referred me to related videos that were trying to be humorous takeoffs on this video that were filled with anger, cynicism, sarcasm, bitterness, hopelessness and lonliness.

It was an interesting peek into what our world can do to us. It happened to me in just this last hour since my meditation. I came out of the meditation loving the world and loving myself, I wanted to write about that love and an inspirational little girl who embodied that love so enthusiastically. With confidence I headed to my computer to begin writing, just like she leaves the bathroom confidently leaping into all that she loves. Then I sit down, look up the video, smile and prepare to paste it in and start to write, sure enough some image that is sitting right next to her image there on the youtube page draws my attention. Thinking that it is more affirmations of how great life is I find a video of a teenaged girl in a curly wig like the curly hair of the little girl hating her life, and then another video of the decline and fall of a curly haired little girl into a pill popping old lady.

My heart, now broken and depressed, doesn’t know what to write, I know I don’t want to post the video again because I don’t want to subject my friends and readers to the heartbreaking and cynical way that we humans can tear apart something that is good.

It reminds me of an relationship I had back in my 20’s. My girlfriend, at the time, and I were holding hands walking down the sidewalk, loving each other and laughing, our lives felt full of joy and we were almost skipping, we reached the intersection and had to wait for the light to change and as we crossed the wide street I could feel the mood change in my girlfriend. When we got to the other side of the street she had let go of my hand and her head was bowed with a look of anguish on her face. I leaned over confused and asked her what was wrong and she looked up at me and said “I knew it couldn’t last, that the other shoe would drop”. In the space of crossing the street she had managed to change the way the world was. Depressed and with a broken heart we continued our journey up the next block and let this new way the world was govern us for quite awhile.

While I know that we have to experience the full range of what life has to offer, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the love and the fear. I wish sometimes I could linger longer in the good, high and love before the bad, low and fear step in to remind me that life is a paradox and that it is all there all the time.

So here I am this morning in the afterglow of love after my meditation all ready to share with the world all the love of everything and in the space of crossing the street I become saddened by what we humans do to goodness, kindness and enthusiasm. I guess when I say “I love everything” I also have to love that dark side of the dance too. I have to love those people who take something pure and make fun of it and bring it down. I have to love my old girlfriend who couldn’t make it across the street filled with joy. I have to love the parts of myself that get cynical, sarcastic and even hateful sometimes and find compassion for how and why we got ourselves in these places. I also have to keep working on how to linger longer in the good feelings while allowing myself to be open and present to all that is going on in this moment.

Slowing Down

Most of the time when I sit down to write in this journal/blog I have no idea what I am going to say or write about, like this morning. I often sit down to do it because it is a practice for me of contemplation and it a way for me to bring up to my consciousness what is lurking below in mySelf. Often I begin after I have done some sort of meditation and sometimes I just begin it because I know it’s good for me. This is of course when I am following this practice. When I sit down at the computer I see on it all of the things I am working on, my email, calendar, facebook, games, and other things that occupy my time at my desk. I open my MacJournal program and put it on full screen and presto I have a blank computer screen that is a pleasant sky blue waiting for me to write something. When I write it comes out in a nice purple font that is big enough to see without any squinting. So there I am with a blank screen patiently waiting. I stretch my body in the chair and look out the window at the beauty surrounding me for inspiration. Sometimes I’ll sit there for quite a few minutes, like this morning just staring at the large rock here in front of my temporary office window, with the blue sky above it, wisps of white cloud floating and the grasses surrounding it with the endless ocean out beyond. I’ll just sit there wondering what there could be to write about. Thoughts will come to my mind, some of the thoughts will be “important” thoughts that “should” be thought about, some will be fears or concerns or things that piss me off that would be “vulnerable and real” to write about, some will be self realizations or observations that want to flow out in a Ken Kesey steam of consciousness kind of way “the crazy interior revealed”, and some are just what my fingers type and are as close to not thinking as I can get “could be a disaster and boring to both me and you”. I then filter through those thoughts, take a breath and start typing and see what most wants to emerge. I think today it is more of the later two. I think today that I have no idea what I am going to write and I will just have to discover it as I go along with more blankness then I am used to.

This meditation I am doing, again after a loooong hiatus, is these Holosync recordings where the sound waves take my brain into different cycles and do some interesting syncing of the different parts of the brain and provide the opportunity to open up neural pathways. I have recorded affirmations and declarations that are recorded in beyond normal hearing frequencies that are played at the same time as the journey of cycling through the different brain waves. So there are some neural pathways being created and solidified in my brain that are more integrated with the way I am wanting to move in my life. Anyway that is the way it is supposed to work and who knows what is really happening. All I do know is that when I come out from underneath the headphones I feel like I have been taken out of my normal day to day experience and on a journey. I know I have spent time outside of my thinking brain, similar to other meditations and the way that I experience my body is different for awhile after I put the headphones down.

So here I was a half hour or so ago in somewhat of an altered state, staring at my blank screen and my rock feeling quite peaceful and wondering what to write about.

Slowing Down.

Cosmo - You can't see the cosmic swirl on his forehead. It might have migrated to his chin

My puppy Cosmo is an unusual puppy, besides being amazingly cute and smart he is also “mellow”, When we go out for a walk he’ll sometimes just stand with his nose up. It looks to me like he is looking at something, so I look and can’t see anything that he is looking at, so then I imagine he is just sticking his nose in the air and smelling things I have no idea about. It could be he just isn’t in a hurry and he is literally just stopping to take time to look, smell and listen in this moment. Sure he loves to run and play and his favorite game is chase, sometimes he likes to be the chaser and sometimes the chasee, he loves to run, he loves to go down into a deep play bow and invite play with every other dog and person he runs into with his tail wagging so hard and fast you would think he would take off like a helicopter and fly butt first around the beach. In all those ways he is like a typical puppy, and he also does this slow down and contemplate thing that I haven’t experienced in many other puppies I’ve had in my life. We picked Cosmo out of the litter, when we met the whole litter, because he had this little white swirl in the middle of his forehead that looked for all the world like the swirling cosmos. We also picked him because he had this loving quality and loved to cuddle up next to you. So like the cosmos our Cosmo appreciates slow as much as he loves fast. He reminds me about slowing down and paying attention.

When I add the reminders from Cosmo to the altered and relaxed state that emerges from the meditation I am aware that so many of us humans have completely forgotten how to slow down, open our eyes, nose and ears to our world and just take in what is there in front of or inside of us. There is so much around us and within us to open ourselves to in this moment and yet we are in such a hurry to get to the next moment that we miss it all.

The 85%

There are 6.8 Billion Human Beings on this planet and 1 billion of them are connected through Facebook. That is almost 15% of the Human Population that has direct access to each other through one click. That is truly astonishing. And it still makes you wonder about the other 5.8 billion. Who are they? Where are they? What are they up to, this 85% of the worlds population? I am pretty sure that when I leave my house and go out into the world I move around in 80-90% of the people I see know what facebook is and most, if not all, of those folks are hooked in through facebook. That means I am moving around in a world that 85% of humanity is not moving around in. When I travel to other countries I am still moving around in that same world, the percentages may change somewhat but not much.

Part of my life purpose statement is “to point and protect the evolution of human consciousness.” That statement is a powerful, from some perspectives even arrogant, thing to claim as a reason for being alive. And yet the consciousness that I am pointing and protecting currently lives in the minds and bodies of that 15% that I see and connect with on Facebook. Evolution of consciousness is happening, I assert, with all of life including 100% of humanity. So of course at the level of universal love and connection I am pointing and protecting human consciousness just fine, thankyou very much. And yet at another level there is this vast pool of consciousness that is not in my awareness as I move around my life. It exists in stories, music, pictures and news accounts for me. It exists in my imagination and in my visioning. It exists in the earth itself if and when I slow down enough to feel into it.

There is no way that this body can put itself in front of the other 85%, there is no book I can write, no movie I can make, no celebrity I can achieve in any kind of venue that could create that kind of visibility. So in order to feel into that other 85% I am going to have to do it through a spiritual connection to all of life. I am going to have to keep opening up my consciousness to the EcoSoma the energy body of the earth to feel the pain and the joy, the fear and the exhilaration, the grief and the love, and the closed and open consciousness of my fellow human beings. I am going to breathe in from every receptor in my soma what is happening with the consciousness of my fellow humans and breathe out encouragement and gratitude and prayers of finding the way down this path and into the mystery of what lies beyond. I can do that.


I was half way through a great meditation when Cosmo started making restless sounds and I could hear footsteps on the floor above me, the footsteps of the painters and the contractor coming to start the painting in the new office. I attempted to “double down” in my meditation for a minute or two and realized that was not going to happen. I was, after all, the responsible party in the house. I came out of my meditation a bit discombobulated, found my body again, got on my feet, called Cosmo and went upstairs to meet the guys and see them pointed towards painting. There was Cosmo looking out the window very politely and yet clearly communicating to me that it was potty time (good boy Cosmo!), time to get on the Uggs and the raincoat and head out into the drizzle for little visit to the grassy slope so Coz can do his bizness. Back inside for a warm up on the cup of coffee and down here for the beginning of my morning. I am going to try to put that meditation back into my day and I know that my day will continue to unfold as days do and it is also very likely that I will be getting Cosmo and mySelf ready for bed and that thought, that intention will have disappeared as the weave of the day weaves it out of the pattern.

How often does this happen? Where we are firmly on the journey to something that is good and right for us and we get interrupted by life. Sometimes the interruptions present us with a whole new wealth of opportunities and sometimes they really stop the flow of something important and that important thing disappears in the day to day weave of life. Most of us can’t cut ourselves off from the very real distractions and interruptions of a rich full life. There are times when I truly admire those that can live the life of the hermit or the ascetic, the power of that commitment and the discipline of practice is awe inspiring. At the same time I wonder about what gets cut off in the life experience of that person as they cut off most of the world from their consciousness. I also admire those truly effective multi-taskers that seem to, effectively and with great integrity, get everything on all of their plates done while staying very grounded at the same time and then I wonder what gets cut off in their experience of this life, how are they at being with their own breath or their despair or their joy or just sitting and watching a bee go from blossom to blossom without doing a damn thing.

So even though my meditation was interrupted today as happens so often in life. I notice that sometimes I go with the interruption and sometimes I stay with the meditation and I am actually quite fine with that way of living life. I am also aware that what I thought was this brilliant point about how we are interrupted in our lives all the time and what we are to do about that has also disappeared into the weave and is no longer brilliant or important. Man oh man it truly is amazing this big ole paradox we live in that we call life. This experience of both creating our universe with every exhale and then inhaling all that the universe has created that may or not be at all related to what we just breathed out, and as we breathe in this new creation in the space that exists between inhaling and exhaling we create the universe all over again and then it creates us and on and on the paradoxical weave gets woven and life unfolds.

The Surf and the Undertow

Karen’s gone off to Mexico for 11 days to do her final ceremony with the Black Lodge teachings. I am home alone with my new friend Cosmo(s) and cold toes. I am sitting down in our guest bedroom that has been turned into a makeshift office as we go through a small remodel of our shared office upstairs. My toes are a little cold, because I forgot to put my slippers on this morning before coming down here and I don’t want to get up and get them because Cosmo is all curled up and settled down behind my chair and I know if I get up he’ll get all excited and think something fun and adventurous is going to happen, he’ll pop up wag his tail look at me expectedly and then follow me up to get my slippers and then as I head down the stairs back to my desk with warm toes he’ll stop at the top of the stairs and cock his head and look at me in such a way that the only way that I’ll be able to interpret it is the “Are you kidding? I thought we were going to do something fun and you were going to play with me and now we are going to go back into that room and you are going to sit in that chair and I am going to be sooooooo bored. I am going to do it because I am crazy about you and I am the best dog in the entire world, but I want to put you on warning I am going to take it out on you in some way in the not too distant future.” look. If you have a dog, especially a puppy then you know that look. So I think I’ll sit here with cold toes.

I promised myself that while Karen was gone I would get down here and write in my blog. I know that it is an excellent way for me to get grounded and to open up my consciousness. It is a practice that helps me tremendously to focus all parts of mySelf and point them in the same direction.

It is also something that my ego and my saboteurs can grab hold of as something that other people will read so “I had better look good, be brilliant, say important things and most of all stay consistent and maintain my integrity.” That same part of me stokes the fires of guilt that burn inside for not being all of those things and while it is putting logs of embarrassment, make wrong and stupid jerk on that fire it is yelling with all of it’s buddies down there in the pits who are stoking other fires all sorts of threats and put downs that waft up with the smoke to my ears and they say things like “If you write this blog again in any sort of regular way and say you’re going to do something and live according to certain principals and you mess up the whole world will laugh at you and never believe you again” and “See no matter what you think you’ll do or say you’ll do you will still always be the same stupid idiot of a jerk you always were and you will end up alone and hating yourself and the world even more then they hate you and are laughing at you.” Those guys are always down there shoveling some shit, sneering and sniffling and ranting. Yeah there down there for me too.

And sometimes they are subtle and almost believable as they soothingly whisper in my ear some distractions and falsehoods that sure sound true, especially the longer I am away from the thing they are whispering about. In this case blogging. I don’t know if this happens to you but it often would show up when I hadn’t gotten back to someone in awhile or sent out a thankyou card for a Christmas present and here it is March already. That voice that is so quietly persuasive that says “oh well just let it go, if you wrote anything now you would really look like an idiot” and in the next breath would say “but you really should send it out because that is what you are supposed to do” and then wait for it …..”If you don’t do it then Mom (or fill in the blank ____) will get mad”.

Then after dillying and dallying in the stupor of that miasma for awhile another voice comes in more clearly and more patiently. This voice is a reminder of who I really am. This voice is like the surf of the ocean just continually repeating on the beach of my soul that I am fine. I am doing and being exactly who I am meant to be and do at this time in my life and that I KNOW what works for me and what doesn’t. I KNOW even when sometimes I forget, or get too busy, or get distracted what I was put into this life for. I KNOW what I need to do to maintain mySelf in an integrated way. I KNOW (imagine the surf hitting the sand with each one of those I KNOW’s). As I listen to that voice I come back into mySelf and I feel the tug of war that shows up like resistance but I KNOW is just the returning of mySelf from whatever autopilot existence it has found itself in and being pulled by the undertow while at the same time landing on the beach of my soul. That push and pull is the tension of being alive in this body at this time in my life. Sometimes I am in the pull of the undertow and sometimes I am in the push of the surf and sometimes I am in the tension of both.

It’s all good and as I breathe in and out and my heart continues to beat the waves hit the beach and then get pulled back out.

So here I am back on the beach for a spell looking up and down and watching Cosmo run and play with all the dogs and people on the beach like he was their best buddy and I am thinking “Maybe it’s time to get back to the blog”