Friday, May 29, 2015

Poodle Heroes, Joy Goggles, Meaning-Makers

Did you know that I write this blog on the bus? Now you know.
I've polished some of my better posts and compiled them into a little ebook called Poodle Heroes, Joy Goggles, Meaning-Makers. It's free (for now) at

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Tornado

I am sorry to inform you that the tornado does not love you. It was never about your amazing connection or how you were special. You were not going to save him.
It was always about your trailer on the prairie and the roar and crash and the green sky and the sweetness of destruction. The tornado wasn’t thinking of you as he smashed your home to smithereens.
There’s no point in being mad at the tornado but there’s no point in loving him either.
This has happened before. It will happen again. But do not run out of the ruins of your home and spread your arms to the sky to shout, “Tornado, tornado, come back! I’m sorry that I caused this!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Despair is not just the opposite of joy. It's another way of seeing the same thing.
Despair is a sign that you are nearing that invisible barrier between meaning and joy, between the differentiated and undifferentiated.
Despair comes from trying to find meaning and failing. Joy comes from being in the moment without trying to define it or make a story about it. Joy is falling into the embrace of the universe.
Despair is deep water. You could tread water forever, or you could take a gulp of air, dive down, confront the terrors of the deep, then push off the sandy bottom and shoot back up to daylight. And when you flop, gasping, onto the beach, you will see the blue sky and feel the warm breezes anew, and they will seem wonderful as never before.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Every soul has a destiny, which is a thing that wants to happen (but might not).
You go on your way, making decisions and following desires, unaware of your destiny, which is like a tiny seed in your chest, and if through great good luck or the workings of fate your destiny comes to pass, you will be like a fruit that plants its seed and grows into a tree.
A destiny has meaning and no-meaning. It's meaning may be known only to the universe, but as a guiding principle for a life it is meaningful. It is satisfying.
It's not the destination of the destiny that matters to the person living it. It is the journey, the transformation itself.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Meaning is Not the Answer

If anything in the world catches your eye, it means that it makes you ask questions: who, what, where, when, why. And the answers to these questions are stories.
Meaning is story and story requires causality.
If someone says they are looking for the meaning of  life, they are mistaken. Meaning is something you create, and you can make meaning out of anything, no matter how trivial.
What they are really asking is: what is the thing that I sense behind the stories? What is the thing with no meaning?
The thing with the non-meaning is too large to define. It is terrifying in its slipperyness, its everything-ness. It will not be boxed up.
It scares us. But if we face it down (and by that I mean face down our terror of it). If we sit with it for awhile, we may find that it has no beef with us.
Maybe we fear that if the root of everything is meaningless, everything is therefore meaningless. We fear that the no thing, the non-meaning will invade us, and wring the meaning out of us, leaving us dry little husks.
In fact, it's the opposite.
Meaning is not the answer.
Meaning is separation, division. Meaning is always superficial. A costume for reality.
Meaning is not wrong. It's just small.
When you are asking for the meaning of life, as Joseph Campbell said, you are asking for the experience of being alive, of being so swept up in the moment that you have no doubts about your place in the world.
When you ask for the meaning of life, you are asking to forget all of your piddly little stories and just feel.
And what you will feel will be joy.
Have you ever noticed that during some of the most joyful moments of your life, you weren't doing anything important?
On the other hand, perhaps some of your life's wonderful milestones were plagued by pain and doubt and fear. Perhaps you thought: I'd better take pictures so that I can save this moment and later I will feel the joy.
Now you know why.