Saturday, November 28, 2009

As the Moon waxes towards Full...

Prior to an awesome visit from my Mom for a triple-threat celebration of her birthday, Thanksgiving, and an early Christmas, I had gotten on a great ride with my writing. While she was here, I managed to work out a piece one morning. Other than that, I've been focused on relaxing, connecting, and entertaining.

Meanwhile, the amount of energy...physical, palpable energy, coursing through my nervous system has increased and intensified day-by-day, to the point of discomfort. And all as the Moon is waxing towards Full.

I've felt these sensations before, usually after leading a workshop closer to evening. Now it's becoming more consistent. That is, when I haven't written.

Dots are connecting quicker than ever lately, as I allow needed information to surface rather than being on some sort of blood-hungry hunt for it through my intellect. Mostly.

This energy feels like a burning and twitching in my nerves. Mostly in my arms and legs and the center of my chest.

It's the energy of Creation. It is here to support me, and work through me. However, far too many hours have passed without using it to Create. Thus the discomfort. Not like some sort of punishment...far too old-school of a fundamentalist point of view. Just energy on the move. I have to express it in productive ways.

This morning, the first thing to come out was a poem. And clearly that wasn't enough expression. The energy is still pulsing and throbbing in my nerves. As I was walking through my kitchen, intuition simply said, "Write more. Now."

It really doesn't matter what I write about either. So far, it only seems to matter that it be more of a stream of writing that flows, rather than moving it through a whole routine of thinking and figuring out. When I try to move it through my intellect, irritation, like a scratchy 1920's wool Army blanket next to the softest part of your neck. Ick...

It's gotta flow. The more I engage with the flow, the more energy I have, the more my mood lifts and expands...the more my Heart opens...the more I enjoy EVERYTHING as it is.

It's a process of discovery for me, this Creativity scavenger hunt. Everyday I write, another clue; another dot connected. I'm grateful for all the awareness being brought to me in these ways. It reminds me of my relationship to my roof-garden. Each day I go up with water and Love to the plants, and now a whole proliferation of new sprouts throughout the garden, each day attending to this journey, I see more growth. The plants are a little larger, a little greener.

Who knows where it all goes. It doesn't really matter, as it's all good!


Something is happening.

In the chambers of my Heart
whilst quietly aslumber
amongst the
coziest of the cozy places
wedged effortlessly
between the various lumps of
feathers and cloth.


Clearly someone
loosed the latch
leaving a window
to the chambers ajar.

And now this
Living Wind is
racing through the rooms
looking for any and all
ancient dust
which simply
doesn't belong,
whipping it up and out
of these causeways through
and around
and now
the sanctum sanctorum.

Rupturing with a giggle
that glides
into to an uproaring
escape of
richter scale 9.2 laughter.

The gossamer veil
that once surrounded the
whole enterprise
in double-bagged
like groceries
in the 80's
is now flapping and flying in
this unstoppable
that is sometimes
racing at gale force.

I am Alive.

Scott Patrick Schwenk 11/28/09

Friday, November 27, 2009

Full-Moon Practice, Wed Dec 2nd

Full-Moon Practice...on Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Wednesday night, we’ll gather to work Consciously with the profound energy of the Full-Moon. Questions to consider as you prepare to dive in ~ What are you ready to complete, let go of, and shed from the past year/years? What are you ready to step into, Create, and live in 2010 and beyond?

We’re calling this event THE PRACTICE, and it’s for ALL levels of experience with the Breath. It happens for now in the sanctity of my healing space in West Hollywood. Reserve your space as soon as you know you’ll be coming, as it fills up quickly...

In this workshop, there won’t be much talking. We’ll set some intention very quickly in the beginning, and then get right down to the business of the Breathwork; an ancient 3-part breathing meditation that takes you beyond the dream of the limited ego experience....into the space of GRACE, the space of KNOWING, the space of deep REJUVENATION.

This is designed to be a place to work deeply with the breath and build /strengthen the muscles for your home practice.

ARRIVE on-time or better yet, early. No one will be admitted after the breathwork begins to honor and support the safe space created for The Work.

When: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 7:30 – 9:00pm

Exchange: $40

Where: 1226 Havenhurst Dr. #9
(Havenhurst is 1 block West of Crescent Heights between Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Ave)

Parking: It’s best to park at a meter on Santa Monica Blvd or in the West Hollywood City Lot just South of Santa Monica Blvd behind Out Of The Closet between Havenhurst and La Jolla. The City Lot is $1 per hour in quarters. Other meters in the area are free after 6pm.

RSVP: Due to size of the space, please RSVP to hold your place. If need be, we’ll start a waiting list. 24hrs cancellation by phone. (310) 922-4890

BRING: A folded blanket and/or yoga mat to lay on for the breathing meditation, water, and a smile!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Breath of the Heart

It's the Holidays...

Knowingly, and unknowingly...all sorts of emotions, thoughts, and feelings are getting stimulated for many of us. How will I/we meet them? Do I need to go into my intellect to "figure it all out"? Am I willing to Trust the work I've done and continue to do to anchor my awareness in the Heart? Do I need to be reminded to slow down by traffic tickets, arguments, or aches and pains? Can I still choose the foods that support my body to function in a state of grounded expansion?

As I was on the elliptical trainer at the gym this morning I was chewing on these questions.

On Sunday morning, I did receive a traffic ticket, just two blocks from my house. I was coming from the gym, and headed to LAX to pick up my Mom to join me for the Thanksgiving Week. As I was coming through the intersection, I was feeling antsy and sped up to go around the car in front of me who was waiting longer than I would've liked to make a left turn. As I crossed the intersection, I realized quickly that I needed to slow the car down, and as I was braking, I saw a cop on my right, knowing instantly that he saw me and would be giving me a ticket. I was ticketed for going 38 in a 25mph zone.

And while it was a relatively mild run over the speed limit, and I was decelerating to go even slower, the Universe was putting me on notice that once again my awareness needs to be more refined and vigilant to embody the Awareness that I'm engaging with now. What passed muster a few months ago no longer carries the day today. There's no resting on the "laurels" of my previous efforts.

There was a big spiking piece of my ego that wanted to be "right" about my actions at the intersection, even more of a red-flag that something was off and needed more attention from me.

It's important for me to know the places where I can still feel entitled; entitled to speed up through the intersection because it's my neighborhood, entitled to some form of "special" treatment for any reason. At this stage in the game, special is a way of remaining separate, and separate is a recipe for suffering. I am a healer and a conduit for healing Presence in every area of my life. As I slow down, choose Peace, and Trust, I am divinely guided into Flow in every area of my life. This way of walking through my world is more healing to those around me than anything I can is the greatest way of living it ever more fully.

The Heart is the hub of all sacred places, go there and roam. ~Bhagavan Nityananda

This week, I am making more time to take breaths into the very center of this Temple, my Heart. As I breath into this sacred space, my vision opens to see the sacredness of every space, every being, every intersection, and I treat them all with the honor and reverence and joy I bring to the Temple of my own Heart.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Absolute Monarchy

"You must have Absolute Monarchy over your inner world," someone said to me recently.

When the King doesn't know he's the King, doesn't sit powerfully in the seat, the role, of the King, he won't be King for long. You and I are have been wandering through this life, mostly deluded into believing something is missing, wrong, not quite ready, almost there...about ourselves! And the Truth of the matter is we are Whole, Perfect, Complete...what in Sanskrit is referred to as Purna.

There is a beautiful prayer/mantra in the Upanishads that is said to encapusulate the whole of the Upanishads. (The Upanishads have exerted an important influence on the rest of Hindu philosophy and were collectively considered one of the 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written by the British poet Martin Seymour-Smith (Wikipedia, 11/09).) In this prayer it is said,

Om. That is Perfect. This is Perfect. From the
Perfect springs the Perfect. If the perfect is
taken from the Perfect, the Perfect remains.

Like that little boy in "The Matrix" in the scene just before Neo goes in to meet with the Oracle hoping to find out he is. This monk-ish little boy, wrapped in white, playing at bending spoons with just the power of his Awareness, tells Neo, "It is not the spoon that bends, it is your mind that bends" (giving the 'appearance' that the spoon has bent).

The ancient philosophy of Vedanta encourages us to see Truly. And that to cultivate the ability to see Reality as It is, we need the support of discrimination; the ability to know the difference between fantasy and Reality, between projection/illusion and things as they really are. If you're walking down a dirt road in the middle of the night in Costa Rica, and up ahead you see something long, thick, and curvy laying across the middle of the road, it may be a snake...or a rope. Whichever you believe it is in the moment will determine whether your heart nearly thumps out of your ribcage believing it to be a dangerous snake, or you go on enjoying a peaceful walk as you step over the rope.

How many situations have I walked through in my life, attempting to rearrange the situation rather than my own point of view? The Buddhists call this act rearranging the furniture in a burning house. And another teacher laughs when he calls this way of walking through life, rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic.

Swami Muktananda of Ganeshpuri would say often, "The world is as you see it. If you don't like the world you see, change the prescription of your glasses."

We live in a time when so many of the greatest and most potent of teachings once passed from teacher to student in secret after many years of preparation are now out strewn out in books and youtube videos for anyone to find. How will we recognize these Diamond-sharp tools? Will we, and do we, mistake them for blunt, useless instruments?

I can have the best vegetable seeds on the market, harvested from plants grown with great attention and love in idyllic conditions on the most Organic farm known to man (I'm salivating...ha ha ha!). I can plant those seeds in my roof garden today. But if the soil hasn't been nurtured, and if I don't water and care for those seeds consistently over time, it won't matter how amazing the promise of great plants might be, nothing is going to grow in those conditions.

I came across some of the most potent teachings of my life over twenty years ago, but didn't recognize them. I was too busy hunting for anything that would give me a big peak experience. In my book it was all about gathering enough of these peak experiences, out-of-body moments, and overwhelming energy encounters, and amassing a lot of them. Then if I could string them all together, I could live in one big extended peak experience for life. So tell me, how is that any different that any other kind of addict? Seeking a peak experience from a bottle, a pill, a whatever? The only difference being that my addiction was legal and encouraged widely in the spiritual marketplace.

After years of this cat and mouse game with myself, I'm now (mostly) at the place where I know that biggest focus of my path is inside of me, if not the only useful focus. What am I believing? Can I know it's the Truth for certain? What happens when I believe "x"? What's here when I let go of all beliefs and sit quietly in gratitude and appreciation of this Moment exactly as it is, without a story or narration going in the background...just this moment, this inhalation, exactly as it is...not a good inhalation, not a bad inhalation, just the breath circulating.

And in this moment of just simple awareness of my own breath, I am present. When I am present, this Presence burns off the image of dark threatening clouds, revealing the Sun always steadily shining within.

Do I really need one more book? One more lecture? One more technique? Or do I have everything I need right Here? Am I willing to cultivate this garden over time, protecting the little Oak Tree shoots until they're strong and tall with deep roots, and broad leaves that give shade to anyone who's ready to rest in the Oasis of Reality?

I Am.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Do You Ever...

Do you ever wonder? Really wonder?

I don't remember a time when I didn't. This kind of curiosity has been the consistent nudge from the Universe that's kept me discovering over and over again new territory outside the confines of what I've already known. It's given me leverage to let go of the familiar and stay engaged with the adventure that is my life.

I remember driving with my Mom in the passenger seat on Sunset Boulevard one stunning sunny afternoon as she turned to me and said, "You're not really a rule-follower, are you?"

"No," I managed to get out through an explosion of laughter, "I'm not."

It's not that I disregard structure, guidelines, rules, and laws. I refuse to be defined by the seeming known. I've always sensed, as far back as I can remember, that there is more to life than what my five senses, the traditional education system, and the media have attempted to condition me with through my intellect.

This natural wonder, curiosity, and reaching through the Unknown...I can't imagine living any other way. Every time I start to get locked into a point of view these days, as my body contracts into position with it, something in me pokes me in the ribs and says, "Wake up...this isn't freedom...look again...let go of trying to control this."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Starting at the Beginning...

I have been challenged by money in my life. I'm the only one, right? Ha ha ha! The flow of abundance (or not) weighs on nearly 99% of the people I know. And so many of us have avoided really looking at it, for fear that looking at it might conjure a nasty beast whose only interest is to consume us into non-existence, or worse yet, prolonged suffering. Yet avoiding this area is actually what's prolonging the suffering.

The flow, or lack thereof of money, at any given time, has historically held more weight over my self-opinion than the Truth of who and what I am. Over time, this has shifted, and in particular over the last few months of working with the principles in my friend and mentor, David Elliott's, new book HEALING. And there's still tremendous room for me to grow and develop in this area.

I've been revisiting beginnings. If it's true what David has said, "The approach determines the landing," then paging back through time to my beginnings in the areas of my life that are important to me now has given and will continue to open rich veins of insight into how things are playing out, and how to work with them differently.

However, if I'm not clear about how I got where I am, then I'm fairly likely to repeat the past.

The source of any and all of it, will continue to come back to my relationship with myself. My relationship with all of life is a perfect mirror of my relationship with all the aspects of myself. As I study myself, a sacred merger can happen and I become intimate with all of life. As I avoid myself, I become alienated from all of life. It's that simple.

I'm starting today with educating myself on the origins of money in a book by the same name, ON THE ORIGINS OF MONEY published in 1892 by Carl Menger.

As I bring myself up to speed on the beginnings of money, I'm simultaneously bringing myself up close and personal on my relationship with money by revisiting with fresh eyes, my beginnings with money and exchange.

May my studies be fully guided by Living Wisdom that has been purified by the sacred fire of Truth, Wisdom that goes far beyond intellect and words, and through its clarity, hones, sharpens, and aligns all my thoughts, feelings, and actions with Truth.

On the heels of writing all of that, this came in through Intuition, loud and clear:

You are endeavoring to master 'perception', namely your own. As you Master perception you can alter the perceived value of any goods or services with which you are involved, and lift exchange to its rightful place as a Sacred Act; that is an act which is fully aligned with the Truth of Spirit, the Truth of Reality.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Heart of Compassion...

This morning, actually, just a few minutes ago, I opened an email from an Aunt of mine on the heels of listening for what I might write about today. The email is a series of pictures of Americans serving in the Armed Forces over in the Middle East with captions like: When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard to...followed by hearing people complaining about what seem like everyday annoyances to the average working getting a bad night's sleep, or potholes, etc.

What touches me more than anything about this email, and has been speaking to me for some time now, is the degree of alienation these men and women experience upon returning to this country from an experience so foreign to most if not all of the people they know. An experience so outside the box of what's considered normal, and so grotesque, so filled with the things that most of us only see in movies or nightmares.

What touches me about all of this, is that place in so many of us that feels separate. That place separation can spawn so much suffering, and seeming coping behaviors that only serve to deepen the feelings of separation and aloneness that intensify insecurity and grief.

What will we do about this? Are we willing to look at it? Are we willing to look at the places of insecurity and separation within and heal them? Can working with these places inside of ourselves make a difference in the lives of the people around us? Can this inner work help people to heal just through our mere presence? my experience, a deep resounding YES!

A healer is someone who is willing to do the work of Loving him or herself in the presence of anyone and everyone. This Self-Love ripples out in all directions without the need for words, and infuses all words. It ricochets through my lineage setting my ancestors free as I find my own freedom through Self-Love.

No matter the feelings I or you have about war, government, politics, and international relations. Behind all the rhetoric are men and women with Hearts. Some confused. Some not so confused. And all with Hearts; Hearts that feel, that ache for Love, that long for connection, to feel seen and heard, and known.

Will you give that gift today?

Will you Love yourself in the presence of someone who's driving funky in front of you, rather than jump to judgment, irritation, and anger?

Will you Love yourself in the presence of your own illusory insecurities?

Will you forgive me for not always meeting your needs?

Will you forgive You for not always meeting your needs?

Love, real abiding Love, starting with the discipline of Self-Love is the Philosopher's Stone that can and will turn any base feelings and experiences into the Gold of Freedom.

In the words of an old friend and mentor, John King, "I Love you, and you don't have a vote in it!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Seer and the Scene...

For some, this kind of micro-awareness might smack of a kind of teeth-grinding effort to split hairs. For those who've been getting tired of the the roller-coaster ride of of living only for the senses, this might be a HUGE breath of fresh air. For me? This way of 'practicing' is my life...more of the time than not....except when I "forget".

There are some rich veins of Gold with powerful teachings that on the outset could seem either uber basic, or impenetrable. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is no exception. Somewhere around the 2nd Century BC, a Sage/Saint by the name of Patanjali composed his famous YOGA SUTRAS as a guide to taking each of those single steps towards Freedom that draw Infinite Grace to You.


In other states [when the mind is not established in its essential nature], the seer appears the same as the thought waves in the mind. (Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Book 1, Sutra 4...translation by Baba Hari Dass)

Whatever I focus on, becomes my experience. Said another way, "Where Awareness Goes, Energy Flows" (a saying made popular in the '70s and highlighted frequently by my friend and mentor David Elliott).

I live in a place (Los Angeles) that for most of the world is one big "scene". And what scene you move in here can seem to determine your social status. Or can it?

Are you and I cemented into a specific caste, wherever in the world we live?

Are our friends, jobs, relationships, preferences, and aversions all set in stone? Are we stuck with our current experience of ourselves and life until or if some "magical being" appears from thin air to change it for us?


Is the golden key to what to some may seem like a prison-cell of a life in our side pocket?

In my experience, that key has been with me all along. No one else has the key to my reality. No one else has the answer for me. Other people can have juicy information, but if I don't digest it and live it, it's just more information to gather dust on my already crowded bookshelves.

Digestion. What are you digesting? What are you not digesting? Any life-experiences that I haven't yet digested (ie; ones that still leave me with a 'bad taste in my mouth') continue to circulate through my thoughts, emotions, and body sensations, influencing how I see, hear, and experience the world around me, as well as shaping my inner experience of myself.

Oh ~ and it's not just the experiences that left a seeming 'bad taste' that stick around and mold my awareness, it's also the times and places when/where I experienced something great, and believed that someone or something outside of me was the cause, and have gone forward trying to re-create the same or similar situations so that I can hope to re-experience the same good feelings again and again.

However, the thing I missed seeing was and is the key ingredient. And that's what I feel Patanjali is cool enough to point out in this sutra ~ how I show up determines my experience, not what's happening.

What do I mean by "how I show up"?

Where I place my attention determines how I experience not only anything, but everything.

And there really is a kind of "inner musculature". Just like building specific muscles through consistent effort for something like rock-climbing, I can build the inner muscles for being able to choose where I put my attention.

For example (and I'm sure I'm the only one....ha ha), I have thoughts come up in my mind about other drivers that aren't always kind or uplifting (major understatement). When I believe these thoughts, my adrenaline pumps through my body getting me ready for fight or flight, more similar thoughts gather with the energy of "attack", and I'm no longer clear and present; I'm in reaction-mode.

I know I have a choice now. I can notice the initial thoughts that want to judge the person in front of me for pulling into my lane without using a turn-signal. I know that if I believe the judging attack-thoughts, my body will contract, and it won't feel good at all. There may be an adrenaline spike, which can be a bit intoxicating, but it doesn't feel like expansion or Love at all.

The attack thoughts only arise to protect me, in some sort of animal-like way. However, if I relax, let the attack thoughts pass, breathe, let my foot off the accelerator, I'm safe, and in no need of protecting, and in no need of attacking anything. When I believe the attack-thoughts, I become an attacker, and my reality becomes one of war of sorts.

As far as I can recollect, I never put images of war on my vision board as something to aspire to.

It's not my job to teach people how to drive. My job is healing. I'm a healer. And more and more often, I'm reminded that I'm a healer all of the time...not just when I'm teaching. When I focus on neutrality, when I focus on Self-Love, I can be a healing influence in any environment. When I allow myself to open, trust, connect with Self-Love, and let the healing expand, guess what comes into my life? People and experiences that reflect back to me where I a place of Love.

So this entry reaches back a few posts to where I'm working with discipline...I'm choosing to be a disciple of Love. Choosing Love as my experience and expression is my not only my spiritual practice, but my practice for a life that flows! May we both always be reminded of Love as the option of choice...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's time to go deeper...

'It's time to go deeper into the Work,' said the voice, as I was adding hot water to my morning tea just now.

In times past, sentences like those were grand pronouncements coming right out of my ego's need for more adrenaline spikes of excitement...and increasing my perceived value in the marketplace. This morning, it comes in as a form of guidance for my choices into this next leg of my walk as a man on the path.

I had a fortunate meeting on a recent work trip to NYC with the mystic Hugo Cory from the Gurdjieff tradition. A simple man (and I say that as a high high compliment), he is deeply at home with himself. One of the first questions he had for me was about my travel schedule.

"Why all of this travelling?" he said, "Don't they have people in Los Angeles?"

"You're using up a lot of your energy with all of this traveling, and avoiding yourself. Stay in one place for a while and see what that brings up. I'm not saying don't travel, just think about doing it less and see what happens."

I had immediate and visceral resistance to his suggestion. A whole family of "but's" started shrieking in my mind; all the reasons why I had to travel, must travel, should travel.

Cut to a couple of months later here in Los Angeles on a morning very similar (albeit warmer) to this one. I had the thought that two months had nearly passed since my last NYC trip with the Work, and that according to my normal schedule, I was due to make a trip.

Yet, when I checked in with it intuitively, I felt a very clear and strong encouragement to stay put...until advised otherwise. And while a part of me (the one that thinks it's protecting me by worrying) got a little nervous, it felt like true and solid guidance. My body responded with a gentle pronounced "hum".

As more time continues to pass without traveling, I'm finding myself becoming clearer and more focused on letting the Work develop and flower within, around, and through me. I had no idea, and still am gathering intel about, how much energy I was expending making the travel plans, coordinating venues and workshops, and promoting the events and sessions.

At this point, there are a handful of new healers who've gone through all four of the Healer Trainings in New York City and San Francisco (the cities I travelled to the most) actively making the Work available in those cities. I can be an active support to them, encouraging them to step up, and share the Work from here in Los Angeles. I will continue to travel, but the timeline and form that travel takes from here on out is likely to look and feel quite different.

It's time to go deeper...

The dance between running a business and being a conduit for Spirit inside of that business more often than not can feel like a high-wire act, and the training for that dance on the tight-rope is on-the-job. The wings of support for balance are Trust and Faith. The roots of support for grounding are Integrity and Impeccability. The catalyst clarity comes through Active Attunement to Truth, among other things. And that Active Attunement to Truth is what I'm being called to develop and deepen within right now.

The Attunement comes through many different channels, and none is the right, the better, or the only way. If ideas like right, better, or only, arise in my space, they're generally in sniffing distance from some sort of fear or anxiety about the future inside of a paradigm of being in this all by myself. And that whole combo is one of the hot steaming turds the ego lays on the sidewalk from time to time. If I'm not paying attention, I can walk right into it.

Attunement is how I cultivate Attention. My Attention is the only thing I really own, so-to-speak. It's the one thing I seem to have choice around, and the more I exercise that choice in positive, uplifting ways, the stronger the muscles get for choosing Freedom.

Spending more time at home, here in Los Angeles is giving me a tremendous amount of space in my awareness. It's giving me time to cultivate other aspects of my life as expressions of the Work, expressions of caring for my roof-garden, exploring past the familiar experience of how I can develop my body's strength, agility, and fitness, discovering rich new friendships, and sitting quietly in the ocean of my own breath.

The hurry seems to be unwinding out of my body, nervous system, and agenda.

I'm fascinated to wake up each day and see what the Universe is going to bring into my life. I've found myself saying more than once lately, "I bet the Universe has a far better idea of the best possible life for me than I do. If I just relax, open my breath, and pay attention with an open Heart, everything I need comes to me."

I still set intentions. I still take action. Along the way, I'm remembering, and taking more time to check in, slow down internally, invoke gratitude for all the elements behind bringing things my way (like everything/everyone it takes to get a salad from seeds to growth to my bowl, for example), and above all else, to keep connecting ever deeper with Self-Love.

Oh, and if for some reason this sounds like easin' on down the yellow brick road, there are times when it does feel that way, and there are plenty of moments where it feels like the high-wire act has been raised even higher into the air. And these moments are the ones where I'm letting myself get excited rather than go into a white-knuckle grip on life for some illusionary sense of control.

It's time to go deeper into the Work

Monday, November 16, 2009

Express Train to Freedom - Friday 11/20 8-9:30pm

Self-Love ~ Express Train to Freedom

This Friday night, November 20th I’ll be leading the weekly breathwork session at The Hub in West LA. This evening is for all levels of experience with the breath.

Mark your calendars! This Friday, November 20th 8-9:30pm at The Hub with special guest, singer-songwriter Rob MacMullan. Rob’s music has been known near and far to open hearts, and his live music during this workshop will be no exception...

When: FRIDAY night 11/20/09 8-9:30pm
((Arrive early to avoid being late))

Exchange: $25

Where: The Hub (
2001 S Barrington Ave, Suite 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025-5363 US
{ S Barrington Ave between LaGrange and Mississippi }
Entrance for the Hub is located on street level at the ground floor of the
parking structure located on South Barrington Avenue.
Bring: Yoga mat and/or blanket-we'll be sitting on the floor at first then lying down
for the breathwork.

RSVP: You can reserve your spot through The Hub 310-575-4200


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kobe Bryant, Anoushka Shankar, and You...

I'm not exactly card-carrying with any affiliation or membership these days. Less and less it the need to belong and be accepted showing itself around my connection with any groups. As I find more and more freedom in my Heart through self-love, I'm not interested in finding a glamorous group of some sort to accept me and white-wash over the places I haven't been willing to do the work around releasing insecurity myself. And so I'm increasingly finding myself showing up around groups of people with a hell of a lot more freedom to feel, be, do, and speak from a relaxed and open place. And a potent side-effect is that it's heightened my interest in and capacity for observing, and noticing more deeply without judgment.


To say that I'm fascinated with mastery would be a bit like suggesting that Winnie The Pooh doesn't really mind honey all that much. I feel like a tractor beam is leading me, drawing me to people and groups that are demonstrating mastery.

Here's my short-list from just the last couple of months:
  • Anoushka Shankar (one of Ravi Shankar's daughters, the other being Norah Jones) at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Pilobolus (dance troup) at the Music Center in downtown LA
  • Deva Premal, Miten, and Manose (Hybrid of Devotional Music from Eastern traditions and a crisp full Western Sound)
  • Elena Brower (certified Anusara Teacher and co-owner/founder of Virayoga in Soho, NYC)
  • David Elliott (healer, writer, artist, visionary)
  • Kobe Bryant (point guard LA Lakers)
That Kobe Bryant is on my radar, along with point guards for a handfull of other basketball teams this early in the season makes me laugh and surprises the heck out of me. Maybe I should've seen it coming.

Why a surprise?

Ah, a kid I didn't know I was gay, but I did know that I wasn't good at sports. At least that's the story I told myself for a lot of years. There's this one memory of me at about age 5 or 6 in the back yard with my Dad teaching me whiffle ball, and me getting bored and frustrated at my inability to hit the ball. My Dad, on the other hand, excelled at sports of any sort. However, he had a pretty short temper back then, and wasn't high on patience for extended periods of time. So my insecurity fueled disinterest fueled his impatience, and as far as I can remember, that was the end of him trying to draw out any bit of athletic prowess lurking in my 45lb frame.

What I had no grasp of at that age, and for a long time thereafter, was discipline. So many things came easily to me that I never needed to learn to focus my energy consistently over time. I never had to crack a book, and still got straight A's all the way until middle school. When math and science became difficult, and I had teachers I didn't connect with, my grades sank faster than a lead balloon.

Cut to the last few weeks as I keep finding myself glued to the TV at the gym watching NBA games at the beginning of the season AND other teams than my home city champions, the LA Lakers. And not only am I watching, I'm seeing basketball in ways I've never seen it before. Back when I'd watch the end of the odd Lakers game in the Finals, I'd always be watching the guy with the ball. Now...I find myself almost watching the game peripherally...I'm watching the whole court, and how both teams move as units through the space of the court with a single unified focus. I'm getting excited just discribing it. When any single player becomes self-conscious, he separates from the unit, and the team has a leak in its energy. When all the players let go of their self-interest in pursuit of the goal, there's so much life-force and power pulsating that they're virtually unstoppable.

This is where the mastery comes in on the heels of discipline. I've been sharing my take on discipline for a while now ~ becoming a disciple of something consistently over time, aligning thought, word, and action. This kind of sustained practice and single-minded focus purifies the disciple (or point-guard, artist, mother, writer) of thoughts, beliefs, actions, and habits that just leak energy and create distractions from his or her aim or Goal. With enough leaks, the ego can convince me that I'm terrible at whatever I'm pursuing and get me to quit...and without the awareness that I can plug the leaks myself and get on with the business of my goal. It'll try to convince me of something like, 'Oh...I'm just not that creative/skilled/smart/(insert word of choice) afterall. Bullshit. Excuse my 'french'... Absolute and total bullshit.

Every single human being is HIGHLY creative. Most of us have just confused creativity with skill. Can you appreciate beauty? You're creative.

Creativity is not the ability to draw the vase of flowers on your dining room table with exacting photo-realism. That's skill. And skill comes from discipline. Hours and hours and hours of getting your hands familiar with the pencils and how each one works with your hands so that when it comes time to bring an idea through from your mind to the paper, your body is sensitive and honed to be able to follow your intentions and draw the vase of flowers. Same goes for anything really.

The difference I see between masters and amateurs is discipline over time. Discipline is not a prison sentence or some form of forced labor. It's discipleship. And with discipleship, there are very few, if any, shortcuts. And as I'm discovering, from discipline free of expectations and/or judgments, flows a nectar unlike nearly any other.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells his friend and disciple Arjuna, "You have a right to the actions, but not to the fruit of your actions." What?!? Is he saying we have to work really hard with no perks? No...

As best as I understand him, Krishna is telling Arjuna that fruits will either come or not, and by focusing solely on the fruits of the actions, attachments and expectations are formed out of dissatisfaction or insecurity; the idea that something or someone outside of me can fix me.

However, as I plunge deeper and deeper into Self-Love, I'm finding contentment. And when contentment is present, I don't feel like there's anything missing, nothing wrong to fix, no better experience to hunt down.

I'm about 100% certain that all this sharpened focus on Self-Love over six months has made it possible for me to be interested in the process of mastery rather than just being fixated on the fruits of mastery.

I'm fascinated by taking deeper care and attention with myself, my life, and my environment physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As each of these areas is getting honed, it's getting easier to be a conduit for the Creativity we all have equal access to. This is one of the most exciting times in my life so far, and the more I focus on discipline (with a good dose of humor along the way), the more fun I'm having, and the more excited I get each morning to hop out of bed and explore the new day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Spiral Path...

I'm such a typical Capricorn about so many things in my life, and often have had to remind myself and be reminded that nothing about life is actually so linear as my mind tries to make things. Everything in life is linked and interdependent. Every event or happening effected by every previous happening. And yet, nothing is happening whatsoever.

As I get cozier with, and actually digest, the notion that everything is connected to everything, I'm re-introduced with what I experience as a liberating perspective ~ it's 'how' I show up that's profoundly more important to my experience than 'what' I'm actually doing. And it's not like I just read about this on Twitter and am telling myself some cute new narrative to make life seem more bearable. I've heard about this for as long as I've been interested in knowing what the heck this life is really about. However, until recent years, it was just another 'idea'.

I don't even know how well I can explain it (in language) to myself, as I'm mid-stream with the living of it. It's playing itself out through and around me. I'm just becoming more cognizant of it through my experience.

All the paradigms I reach for to put words to this whole thing seem stuck in, rooted in, an 'either/or' perspective. The main one being 'interior/exterior', as in living life from the 'inside-out' or from the 'outside-in'. However, nothing about life is that simple, or that linear...

It seems to me that the only way through all of this without going crazy is to keep contacting direct experience of consciousness itSelf...without trying to make rules for future practice out of any of the experiences.

Consciousness/Awareness is the game itself. It's not becoming conscious, it's recognizing experientially Consciousness as it already is. And that happens through direct experience. Any of the books, scriptures, chants, cd's, classes, lectures, etc.....ultimately the biggest gift they can give me is nothing in contrast with direct experience.

The challenge I've begun to recognize more clearly with time is that on the heels of direct experience, my intellect, left to its own devices, will nearly always try to make some sort of meaning (usually in language, starting with trying to narrate my experience to me while it's actually happening, as if I really need a 'play-by-play' when I'm in the experience) out of the experience, and usually in Language...words.

Well, the thing about words, is that they're fun and all, but they're always talking 'about' something without being the thing itself. Those Taoist bad-asses were quite fond of telling their students that Words are like fingers pointing at the Moon, the word Moon is not the some point, depth of Awareness emerges as the pointers (in whatever form; teachers, words, books, memories) are let go of in favor of Direct Experience of Reality.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where's my Yerba Mate?

Where's my Yerba Mate? Grrrrr....

I know you've never woken up feeling "not quite like yourself" right? And do I even dare broach the ontological pandora's box asking the next question? Like, what is "yourself" and how do you know for certain that what you call you is the Whole and Actual You?

From the moment my eyes decided to pop open this morning, and for at least a good 45minutes after that, my mind was spitting up. You know, kind of like after feeding a baby. It's not really personal at all, it's not the baby trying to attack or anything like that, it's just the baby's digestive system doing what it does, and spitting up (hopefully not on your new shirt!). Mind's seem to spit up, that's just part of what they do.

This morning, mine was searching for something to make me feel insecure about. Had I not gone through this a few times before, I might've actually been seduced into believing some of it. But, alas, it's not my first rodeo with my mind, and probably not my last...yet.

I have a few things in my toolbox for such "joyous" occasions, and so the first thing was to set an intention to clear the static in my mind, the second was to clean something. While fully soaped up washing dishes, a little space opened in the mental cirque du soleil and I could see that behind all the threads of half-stories my mind was spinning, behind all of that, was just this strong pulsation of energy...a lot of energy. A lot of CREATIVE energy.

Intuition kicked it, 'I didn't write yesterday, I bet I just need to write.'

You see I've found myself observing lately that when creative energy doesn't get expressed in positive ways, it seems to get twisted up inside and fester as destructive energy. Could be negative thought forms, could be false ideas about people or situations, could be unbalanced emotions; anything to bring back the familiar experience of some degree of insecurity. Something other than the freedom of Self-Love.

Oh! And to top it all off, shortly after getting up, a wrong number called my cell-phone this morning, and he was feeling rather chatty. At first I thought it was someone I knew, because he was being so familiar with me and was certain that he'd reached the right person. When we' d established that I was a wrong number, he was already intrigued and becoming flirty, and agressively flirty at that. I felt the same part of my ego that was being seduced by the "spit-up" stories of my mind, feeling seduced by this stranger on the phone. I started to feel like I had age-regressed, like I was 6 years old. That I had to be nice, that I had to stay on the phone until I was released, and even felt the familiar pull of being wanted......until,


It was like clouds burning off with bright morning Sun.

'This is not LOVE. This is a seduction. I choose love, I choose peace.'

As quickly as I moved into the feeling place of Self-Love, I could speak freely. "This isn't my scene. I'm careful about where I put my energy these days. I'm sure you're a great guy, but I'm not into the whole anonymous scene." At which point, something in him seemed to become lucid, and the call ended in peace.

Back to washing the dishes. 'I need to write,' I thought, 'I didn't write yesterday, and I have a tremendous amount of energy moving through me. If I don't use it to create, I'm going to draw in more seductions from inside or outside that don't deliver anything but insecurity. '

So here I am...writing...expressing...trusting...and wouldn't you know, I feel clear!

Could it be that simple?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Wait?

Why wait until February 14th and the days leading up to it to fall deeply into Love? I're not waiting. But what is Love? When I say Love, what immediately comes to mind? Hmmm.....curious.

I've been finding myself nearer than usual, and regularly, to the edge of tears since re-emerging from retreat in New Mexico with my friend and mentor David Elliott ( And while some of the time, it's been motivated by what feels like an ancient sadness without any story-lines to back it up, the majority of the time, it's been the intensity of Love moving through my heart. I feel that sweet ache that comes just before the waterworks edging through my tear-ducts just writing into this.

Even this afternoon, buying almonds under the crassest florescent lights in Trader Joes, that now familiar pulsation intensified in the center of my chest, my body heated up, and I felt like I was about to cry. From what? The simple thought of appreciation for the apples, how beautiful they looked, and gratitude for all the people, animals, insects, and essential elements involved in those apples forming, growing, and making it to market.

Gratitude has been the most common trigger for the 'almost-tears' these last two weeks. And while a part of my ego (that still is under the hysterical and dated perspective that strong men shouldn't be moved to tears in public) would want to suppress this intensity of feeling, the rest of me knows better. The rest of me knows this is one the most important times of my life so far. Why? My Heart is opening to depths I always longed for, but never knew for sure would really happen for me.

So I've endeavored to keep the whole thing really simple. To gently attend to these movements by bringing awareness and gratitude to my Heart and all the ways it's now being allowed to open and express. To let go of any expectations that arise about how it may play out in some imagined future, and come back to right now, the simplicity of what I'm feeling, and the generosity of my own breath.

I don't really care if I get all that moved in public right now. And how am I to know ~ it could be giving someone I don't even know or notice, the permission to feel more deeply into his or her own Heart. No more waiting for Love, Love is here now.

The Practice - This SUNDAY, November 15th 11:00-12:30am

On This particular Practice, we’ll be working with the strong energy of the New Moon, a potent time to plant the seeds of any Intentions you’re working with, such as how you want to complete 2009.

It’s time for the next round of The Practice...on SUNDAY morning, November 15th

We’re calling this event THE PRACTICE, and it’s for ALL levels of experience with the Breath. It happens for now in the sanctity of my healing space in West Hollywood. Reserve your space as soon as you know you’ll be coming, as it fills up quickly...

In this workshop, there won’t be much talking. We’ll set some intention very quickly in the beginning, and then get right down to the business of the Breathwork; an ancient 3-part breathing meditation that takes you beyond the dream of the limited ego experience....into the space of GRACE, the space of KNOWING, the space of deep REJUVENATION.

This is designed to be a place to work deeply with the breath and build /strengthen the muscles for your home practice.

ARRIVE on-time or better yet, early. No one will be admitted after the breathwork begins to honor and support the safe space created for The Work.

When: Sunday, November 15th, 2009
Time: 11:00-12:30am

Exchange: $40

Where: 1226 Havenhurst Dr. #9
(Havenhurst is 1 block West of Crescent Heights between Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Ave)

Parking: It’s best to park at a meter on Santa Monica Blvd or in the West Hollywood City Lot just South of Santa Monica Blvd behind Out Of The Closet between Havenhurst and La Jolla. The City Lot is $1 per hour in quarters. Other meters in the area are free after 6pm.

RSVP: Due to size of the space, please RSVP to hold your place. If need be, we’ll start a waiting list. 24hrs cancellation by phone. (310) 922-4890

BRING: A folded blanket and/or yoga mat to lay on for the breathing meditation, water, and a smile!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sweeping The Chimney of My Heart

"It's time,"
said The Beloved,
as we were out for
a morning jog,
"It's time to divest
yourself of the sad virus
you've carefully concealed
and carried
for so long."

"But how?", I puzzled.

"By no longer running
from Me
in every face you see,
every leaf on every tree,
and the pile
of clothes on
your bedroom floor.
Let the breath of the Heart focus
the lenses of your eyes
from here on out,
and see Me as I really am...
Already with you."

Scott Patrick Schwenk 11/8/09

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So Now What?

I'm in yet another of those in-between spaces within myself. And it feels like those signs at the amusement park that say, 'You must be this high to ride the ride,' and my eyes are still trying to tell me that I'm not quite tall enough.

I get daily affirmations of the Truth coming in so many ways, the Truth of what I am, the Truth of what Love is, and how everything is connected through Love...when I'm paying attention, that is. And yet I still notice the places where my ego wants to convince me that there's something over there, around the bend, that'll make me happier...just a little more 'this', or a little less 'that'.

So far in nearly 38 years in this human suit, I've noticed a few things...for starters, I've noticed that money comes and goes, people come and go, stuff comes and goes, some meals are five stars and some are just plain gross, some nights go down in infamy while others seem better forgotten...and through it all, what I essentially am goes on being what it is, seemingly unchanged by all the outer stuff that comes and goes. So why keep pursuing the outer stuff? It seems more and more true for me that the only happiness is that happiness that arises within of its own accord, and that everything else is just temporary. Oh, and don't think for a second that I don't like and fully lick the bowl of some nice temporary happiness, like the frozen yogurt last night. That bowl of yogurt was so tasty, so satisfying, and yet on the walk home, there it was again...that internal itch that I just wasn't able to scratch until I sat down, got quiet and let my attention move within....move within free of needs and expectations.

So aside from all the intense working out I've been doing with my physical body, this is the inner workout I'm putting time into. I'm endeavoring to build and strengthen these inner muscles of my own Awareness to choose happiness from within and then enjoy the outer world for whatever it is in the moment.

Some days it's super easy, and those are the days when I feel the love flowing strong and deep. On other days, it can feel like it just downright sucks. Those are the days, the seemingly sucky ones, where I'm getting clearer and clearer (from collected experiences) when I'm really taking my awareness to the spiritual gym and building some lasting muscles for choice.

Hmmm....maybe that's a bit heavy for today. Hope not too heavy :)

I decided to write no matter what keep building discipline with my writing, as when I write more regularly, things seem to move into a stronger and easier flow in my life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Letting The Sun In

"I think I'm solar-powered."

If I had a dollar for every time I've said that in the last few months...

And I'm pretty sure it's closer to the truth than even I know. Every morning I go up to the roof to water my garden, and spend anywhere from half an hour to an hour in the Sun, consciously. Each day I thank it, and aim to connect past some of it's more obvious attributes, like light and heat, into what it is that makes the Sun such a central force through all of Life, through my life.

Along the way, I've gathered some intel -- like this little tidbit: apparently skipping sunglasses, while a fashion faux-pas in Los Angeles, is a crucial component for how the body deals with exposure to the Sun. The eyes have a role in working with the Sun that the body is exposed to in a good way.

And I've also gathered some Yankee Inginuity from the sweat of my own brow, literally. On the days when I spend time in the Sun, I need less sleep, have more energy, and find my mood more balanced and leaning in the direction of more general happiness and ease.

Recently when I was down with some version of the Flu, who knows if it was Flu 1.0 or 2.0, sick was sick...I needed more life-force, and getting it from my morning Yerba Mate brew wasn't cutting muster. My intution told me to get out in the Sun, and get out there with nothing between me and the Sun, for days in a row. I opened my imagination, and invited the Sun to fill every part of my body, mind, and Being. And fill it up it did! After each session I felt a dramatic spike in my energy levels. Turns out this is an ancient Taoist longevity practice for men. The one for women involves Moon bathing.

The moral to the story? Get out in the Sun....fall in Love with the Sun and all it offers, all it nurtures, all it supports, namely You :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Yoga of Freedom: This Friday, 11/6 7:30-9pm

Have you had the sense that you could feel and experience more Freedom in your day-to-day life?

It’s been said in India that when you take 1 step towards your Freedom, GRACE takes 1,000 steps towards you. Nearly 1700 years ago, a Sage/Saint by the name of Patanjali composed his famous YOGA SUTRAS as a guide to taking each of those single steps towards Freedom that draw Infinite Grace to You.

One of the 8 limbs or aspects of Patanjali’s instructions many of you are already working with: Pranayama. Prana means life-force or breath, Yama means control or regulation. So Pranayama is the regulation of life-force as a support to Awakening to and Embodying the Freedom of your own Essential Nature.

Together we’ll now begin to explore the simple, powerful, and supportive power other limbs. No previous knowledge of Yoga, Patanjali, Pranayama, or Breathwork are necessary. All that is necessary is the appetite for further Freedom. All levels of experience are welcome and Invited.

This Friday night, we’ll begin our journey with Patanjali and Grace as our guides. We’ll experience how simple and profoundly effective these instructions can be.

In each session, we’ll work with simple, powerful, awakened meditation techniques that you can use to Ground and Deepen the experience of Freedom that will open for you in the work.

When: Friday, November 6th, 2009
Time: 7:30-9:00pm

Exchange: $40

Where: 1226 Havenhurst Dr. #9
(Havenhurst is 1 block West of Crescent Heights between Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Ave)

Parking: It’s best to park at a meter on Santa Monica Blvd or in the West Hollywood City Lot just South of Santa Monica Blvd behind Out Of The Closet between Havenhurst and La Jolla. The City Lot is $1 per hour in quarters. Other meters in the area are free after 6pm.

RSVP: Due to size of the space, please RSVP to hold your place. 24hrs cancellation by phone. (310) 922-4890

BRING: A JOURNAL & PEN, A folded blanket and/or yoga mat to lay on for the breathing meditation, water, and a smile!