Me & My Meditations

As an infant, I was trained to get on my knees every night by the side of my bed, clasp my palms together with fingers extended upward and say the same prayer every night. Only I always had a queasy feeling about that prayer….”if I should die before I wake.” Why even bring up that concept? Something just didn’t feel right. I mean, don’t you get what you ask for?

Can you imagine if millions of kids went to bed every night in that same position across the world saying: “Now I lay me down for the night, I pray my friends will never fight, a day will come we’ll all live in peace, and all these negative energies will finally cease.”

How long would it take to manifest world peace if we got something like that going in a major way I wonder? I doubt many of the religious institutions will pick up on this idea, however, much less spread it to their congregations.

I was in the 6th or 7th grade when my older brother finally clued me into the fact our Lutheran upbringing was basically a Santa Claus story. I was absolutely furious. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me sooner?” I snarled. I felt like I’d been walking around acting a fool believing some white-haired dude lived in heaven and was watching over me? It shattered not only my religious faith, but also my faith in my parents to tell me the truth, although my mom was real sheepish about the whole fiasco when I confronted her and said she’d only pretended to go along to please my dad’s parents who’d grown up in south-eastern Kansas. They went to their graves believing in that white-haired dude in the clouds.

I didn’t deal much with religion or spirituality for a long time after that and was basically a punk for many years with no moral foundation. It wasn’t until I was sitting on the hill on Yasgur’s Farm that I finally got zapped. Probably Wavy Gravy helped that process since he was the main emcee and what a wonderful job he did.

But the 1970s was a terrible time for my generation, at least those of us that choose to fight against the establishment. We were herded off on a trail to nowhere, and gradually watched our entire scene diminish and fade away. But it didn’t fade away. Around 1990, I went to my first National Rainbow Family Gathering, and plugged back into that spirit I’d felt at Woodstock in 1969.

I went to a lot of gatherings after that and even organized many on my own, only I called mine the World Hemp Expo Extravaganjas (WHEE!). I had started the concept with the clinical “World Hemp Expo,” but Ken Babbs told me it would be a million times better with another “e” on the end so it sounded like fun. The fun vibe was my main trail at the time and always had been. Babbs and Wavy were both Pranksters, although Wavy just dropped in for a brief time before starting his own group, the Hog Farm.

When Abby from Daily Beast interviewed me, I started talking about the people I’ve known and studied under, a list that includes John Cage, Julian Beck, Jasper Grootveld, Ken Kesey, and Wavy Gravy. This is basically the whos-who of Improvisational Ritual Theater, the art form they pioneered and I struggle to keep alive even though most people don’t know it exists and a some people even claim I’m a fraud mouthing a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and have no art at all? Abby had never heard of Wavy Gravy, but I think she did recognize John Cage. Maybe not. Her interview has yet to appear, which makes me think the bosses on high killed her story on 420.

Anyway, after I started going to gatherings, I’d usually be the first one up on peace meditation day, often a Sunday, or in the case of the National, always on July 4th. There’d be silence throughout the camp that morning until noon. I’d be the one who got up before dawn, however, in order to be the first at the peace pole, so I could sit there for hours, burning incense, taking a few hits of pot every hour or so, but focused on one thought, please bring an end to violence and the suffering it creates, and keep that thought until the OM broke out at noon, followed by a big drum circle and dance.

I know both John Lennon and George Harrison approached meditation the same way. When they discovered it, they’d chant for hours until both lost their vocal cords and had to stop.

Does this meditation have any positive effect? Well, it always leaves me feeling cleansed and energized. I’m always very sad to leave the natural world after living in a forest as an environmental monk for a few weeks. And I look and act like a road dog for a few days before I morph back into my Babylon identity.

Religion is just magic with a different name

The fantasy world created in Game of Thrones cannot compare with the real-world intrigue of the early days of the Catholic Church, the oldest reigning power structure on the planet as revealed in the Netflix series.

Does anyone else notice the theme that binds these two shows is opium? Opium became the world’s biggest profit center at one point in history (replacing sugar).  Now petroleum holds that position, I guess, but probably not for much longer.

Religion is just magic with a different name, and nothing makes this more clear than The Borgias, who engage in magic ceremonies against their adversaries at every opportunity. Notice these ceremonies often involve 12 Cardinals standing in a circle holding lit candles? Almost looks like something Aleister Crowley cooked up, doesn’t it?

Speaking of which, Crowley was a great mountain climber but his attempt to prove the science behind magic fell short and he lapsed into hoodwinks after his drug addictions made him vulnerable. Crowley surfed the dark side and paid the price. Those who live by the dark, die in the dark. Crowley was actually a faithful servant to the British crown, and frequently offered his services to MI6, but this partnership became somewhat comical at the end.

Many people vied for Crowley’s crown, none harder than Michael Aquino, but all have fallen short. The closest thing to Crowley today is David Icke, who holds his own ceremony to cast an evil magic spell during the Queen’s Jubilee. Only problem is Icke, like Crowley before him, is undoubtedly a tool of SIS.

But don’t get the impression I have a problem with the British. Hell no! They are certainly some of the brightest, most talented people in the world and they own the arts of secret societies and dark magic and easily conquered over a quarter of the world. And also produced some of the best music of the 1960s.

And speaking of spirituality, one of my biggest regrets in life is that around 1989, I was walking down Columbus Avenue around the Museum of Natural History when I passed within two feet of George Harrison, who was all alone and who had stared at me from a long way off as I approached him. I was wearing Beatle boots at the time, and faded jeans with psychedelic patches. Both Ken Kesey and Patti Astor had commented on how cool these customized jeans were and I could tell George was checking them out with a sense of appreciation. And even though George was the most spiritual of all the Beatles, and even though I felt a deep connection with his work, I respected his privacy and just walked on by instead of inviting him over to my nearby pad to check out the latest Cannabis Cup winner.

I’ll likely never forgive myself for this lapse in judgment and it’s just another instance of how my shyness worked against my better instincts.