Tag Archives: Andrew Harvey

Ordinary to Extraordinary

“We ourselves must choose each step. And to choose each step and be strong enough to endure what will follow on our repeated choice we have to develop a deep spiritual practice within the terms of ordinary life, trying at all moments to stay centered in the heart, the truth of the heart, the peace of the heart, so that the pain of growth can be borne within that peace and be infused by it” Andrew Harvey: The Return of the Mother.

Is life ordinary? Or is it not extraordinary!!! Extraordinary that we breathe each moment into the next moment. That life is ever evolving with or without our conscious involvement within it. Last evening I was granted a gift beyond my understanding of deserving the gift. Along with that gift the sense of gratitude overwhelmed me to tears, overcome with a sense of “how do I accept this?” What do I say, how can I repay this presentation? Than the realization of deeper friendship and love that lies within the gift from artist to artist, and friend to friend. Out of the depths of ordinary, out of showing up each day, out of the reaching out the hand to another one has reached back.

The songs “Make Believe” and “If I Loved You” touched some old memories, yet new meanings were layered over those memories of romantic love to to understand the idea of “acting as if” to believe in oneself even when the world seems to be falling about around you. When nothing seem to be in your favor. The Universe shines the light, cools the breeze, touches a place that has been unaired and darkened by survival.Glimpse of light

On each repeated choice we have to develop a deep spiritual practice, that practice is showing up each day, being aware of the details, being grateful sometimes just to get to the end of the day or waking in the morning.

Staying centered in truth, in peace, and in love.

I wrote the upper part of this on July 8th I didn’t believe it captured the essence of what I was trying to convey. So all writing stopped.

What have I been up to since the last blog? I have been rediscovering who I was, who I am meant to be. That uncovering is slow, yet warm and welcoming at times, is any of it practical? Who knows? Have I ever really been practical? Not very much, as serious as these blogs seem to be, I am not a practical person in that light the twist and turns of my life will attest to.

Now of course I have to get practical or serious in some cases. Taking care of myself. I need help financially, there is no more kindness of stranger or Mom. Of course once the house sells there shall be an amount that if properly managed can subside the plans I have to maintain my photography work, and build a healing/spiritual practice.

Until than I had to apply for food stamps, which I received and has been very useful for purchase of food.
There was a blog planned for that discussion. The uses of the gifts of natures goodness, plants and veggies. A friend had taken me to Produce Junction and we shared our abundance and I was more than grateful, overwhelmed with the kindness. What so much a little could buy.

Before all of this I had connected with a friend who has a space that is called Holistic Living Studio in Glassboro NJ. We shared Reiki together and as we checked in with each other she offered the space to do my Reiki practice and to host the Reiki Share. At the time I was still kind of numb but grateful for the offer and I truly considered it. A month ago we had our first Reiki share group which well attended, the vibrations/energy motivated those numb parts of me to say yes. Let’s do this thing!

The Buddha Sits

I placed out into the Universe that I am receiving Reiki Clients, three days a week during certain hours. The Universe has not gotten that message out yet but I am sure she will very soon. Along with that a friend got in touch with me with in days of saying yes to the use of the studio about doing Essential Oils workshop and a Fire Ceremony Shamanic event. We got the energy flowing for those to happen.
In that same inspiration, we discussed Reiki 1 classes for the fall. I am looking into Crystal and stone practice healing workshops, and meditation practice, as well as so many other assorted possibilities.

How practical is all of that. This is what I am suppose to do, these are the gifts I was given to share. This has been my vision for a long time. The light is now beginning to shine brightly again.

One more gift that was graciously given to me. A few weeks before my birthday I placed on my status on Facebook if anyone wished to give me a Birthday gift, the suggestion was to purchase Street Photo books from Michael Penn. I had committed to buy his self produced Philadelphia Project,  full page black and white photography magazines for $10 each. With the recent setback financially I could not afford them, and he had been saving them for me. Within less than an hour someone who I know from photography group messaged me that he was working with Michael to get the books for me. I was stunned and extremely excited and beyond grateful! I received all the back-ordered books and more, a week later!

These gifts are gifts that have been so freely given. I hope to honor that with my practice of healing and paying it forward when opportunities present themselves!

I have chosen the steps, I have consciously awakened mind, body, and spirit, through continual practice of sharing gratitude that allow the flow and vibration to bring these sources of abundance to us. The Universe has more than enough to share, so share the gifts of love.

I am Love…

Aspects of the Divine Mother

May is a month of gratitude and celebration of the feminine

aspect of God

God the Mother

Sacred Feminine

who creates and nurtures all things, including ourselves.

                  The beauty of May draws us out of hibernation into  natural mindfulness of the blessings and                            abundance of nature. Gratitude and mindfulness are intimately related, for as we practice                                  gratitude we come more aware, more present.

the awakened path

                                                                                              We wake up.

                  Spring calls us to simplify our lives so the we can enjoy everything more thoroughly and                                      graciously– our relationships, our homes, our possessions.

In May our hearts remember what our minds sometimes forget–

Life is a gift of inestimable value.

an offering of beauty

It is time to unwrap that gift.

Listen to the voices of the Ancient Ones as they speak                                                                                                        from within the heart of the quickening earth:

The scent of the Mother

Bear cubs play in the sun,

grazing on the new growth that Earth Mother has provided.

The simple pleasures of spring rain,

opening buds and new moons

draw us out of worried mind

into celebration of Divine Mind.

The Archangel Uriel and the

energies of the East

tutor us in the art

of mindfulness

and the sacrament

of gratitude.

Joan Borysenko

Since I was a child in the month of May I created an altar to the Blessed Mother, and was very attracted to the idea of honoring the Mother, I did not truly understand than what I know now of the balancing of the feminine and masculine energies. For than the separation was more far apart, to me yet closer than I understood. I was born of the feast day of the Assumption, August 15, a day to honor the Virgin’s assumption into heaven, that she was brought body and soul to heaven. In the belief of that caused even more separation. Bringing the Divine feminine fully present in this world is a powerful tool of healing, a powerful experience as Andrew Harvey states that the Divine Mother is saying, “Bring everything into balance, marry the opposites within you.” He goes on to explain “that means bring the derided and negated feminine into the picture so completely that the real balance is established between yin and yang. And out of that real and mysterious balance a new order, a new love, is born in each of us in the ground of our being…”

So I give you my offering of gratitude to Our Divine Mother better late then not at all. Andrew Harvey describes the Divine Mother as “the mother aspect of the nature of God. I see “Her” as the power of love that infuses the entire creation, the force that is continually creating the creation and also the transcendence that holds the creation forever in arms of light. Everything is born from “Her” and “She” loves all things with Tender passionate Love.”

Growth Question: How do you Honor the Divine Mother in your Life?

Remain True…

Remain true to the soul, and life magically transforms itself around you. Andrew Harvey

While reading or rereading sections of the Life Harmony course Self-Expression I came to the section of the Business of Being where one is asked “on a personal basis, how do you present yourself? How does the world see you? How do you want the world to see you? If there is a difference between how the world see you and how you want the world to see you, what action steps are required on your part to bring the two perspectives closer, or to make them the same?”

Very important questions which left me asking myself those questions, and the answer was either silence, or I am not really sure, how the world see’s me, and is it really important if I know what the world’s view of me is?

The first question needs to be answered first “How do you present yourself?” I seek to present myself as a loving compassionate person. I seek to show up as authentic as I can, I am honest with myself, and I am honest with the world around me. I don’t role play anymore, I am what I am.

Yet if I really research, I think different facets of the world view me differently, and they do that from their own perspective of who they think I should be, not from who I show up as. Can we truly bring the perspectives together, can we be all things to all people, or do we present ourselves as who we are at the moment, for the moment is the only time that being present is required.

Have I answered those questions? For now yes, what actions steps are required, the action of being authentic. Remaining true to the soul…

Grand View

This weekend was filled with street fairs, first one was a local community Barrington NJ, less than a mile away, to which I walked to. Down the railroad along Atlantic Ave, up Gloucester Pike, to the main road of Chews landing Rd, which held the half mile fair on the gentle hill back down to Atlantic Ave. From cross-road to railroad the mile was filled with booths of crafts, local business, purveyors of food and drink. Mom’s and dad’s pushed baby carriages, waddled behind, curious, wide-eyed children. The path was well trafficked with people, talking, shouting, eating, viewing all the items of display.


These events are good for doing candid shots of people doing random things, a little slice of life in suburbia… 








Than Sunday was Philadelphia’s Out Fest, one of the largest Out Festival in the country. Which is held in the Gayborhood, now being called Midtown Village. From Walnut St to Spruce between 12th and 13th. Of course this causes all kinds of crazy traffic upset in the city but hey a big gay block party is worth the inconvenience to the locals, who I know, either hate or just come up to have a good time.  I met up with my friend Linda and her Boyfriend Brian,

linda & Brian

to finally meet Brian was a welcomed treat.







Of course through out the day I chatted with new friends and old friends, watch people greet each other, groups standing around chatting, laughing, hugging and kissing. Many people attending the booths/tables for city gay organizations I know so I always get to say Hi and catch up. Always on the look out for moments to photograph, interesting drags, fun costumes, music performance on the main stage, and dancing on the street at Spruce and 12th.

Gay Youth

Well I have caught up with the weekend goings on, and it is only Tuesday !!!

I am Love, Jeff

Ever-expanding continuum

Tiny wonders
Tiny wonders

Spirit is the distillation arising from the rich and bubbly brew in the pot, out of which new possibilities keep emerging. The world of spirit is made up of an ever-expanding continuum that finds new ways to touch and enhance the human world. Harry Hay

In ever-expanding search for self the possibilities are endless. I was once again drawn to Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature. I find thoughts and ideas that inform me as gay man, a gay man of spirit, a gay man who has sought more from his life that the endless round of bars and dysfunctional lover relationship or ever surface relationships with other gay men. Which lead me to Easton Mt Retreat Center and Radical Faeries . This journey has led my along many paths, paths filled with gifts beyond imagining, as well as gifts of dancing with the shadow. Fighting the demons, journeying to underground places to restore parts of me that had been lost in addiction, broken hearts, seemingly wrong choices. Yet all choices led me to where I am today. Some choices where conscious, some where unconscious and unclear, even conscious choices sometimes seem to be unclear, until I can look back on why such a choice was made.


I have attracted these gifts and blessing to me to create or awaken within me more of spirit, more of the Divine that sings and shines within as well as stands aside when the choices I make are not of the best interest to spirit but ego. Allowing the gift of confusion, pain, to inform me of where the work is that I may need to do, to evolve into the Being I wish to be.

One of my spiritual mentor Andrew Harvey shares this about the nature of the world using the Buddhists sense of Samsara,” is the endless, unending round of birth and death, and everything in samsara is designed to break and be inadequate: we are not  meant to be comforted or safe in anything. The only safety is in the realization of our divine nature, a condition of complete simplicity that cost us not less the everything.”

I have recently wrote about what Julia Cameron writes about as Virtue Trap, that trap of doing something out of service but with the wrong mind-set. For without taking care of ourselves first, finding our own space, to write, to create, to pray, meditate, learning to love ourselves service is a tool for resentment, it is a block to creativity and block of our spirit to infuse ourselves to be fully present in the world. Julia ask us to create a list of activities that would seem crazy to others but playful, joyful events for our spirit and maybe ego. Those opportunities that I wrote about yesterday of Reiki sharing, Shaman Circle, other photograph groups and events, even just socializing more to create friendships, and maybe more.  In the past few days I have had to opportunity to chat with some young men who are seeking their path. Friends of the heart have shared here of their own Virtue Traps, and I am grateful for their feeling safe to share those self-destructive patterns, for in writing them allows the light to shine on blocks, even if we don’t see or feel the shift just yet how to get out, the moment is coming, the opportunities will keep presenting themselves until taken or completely ignored.

Start small

Two of the Basic Principles share this : Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

The Refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our nature.

In those principles I find guidance and strength, I find purpose to continue to allow spirit to inform me, to create with me and for me as I evolve into the being I truly am.

Growth Question: Make a list of activities that you may think are crazy in other peoples minds.

I am Love, Jeff

A Celebration of Gifts


“Realize that  you are the child of God, and embody it. Live and act passionately from your divine center of Love.” Andrew Harvey

It is one of those days where crawling back in bed with a good book seems to be the order of the day, weather wise and emotionally. It is gray and chilly. I have been craving sugar for three days, ice cream mostly, which would include many of the items of are not part of a whole foods life plan. Sugar, milk, and ingredients that would not be good for what I am trying to accomplish. I just had to put this out there, it may have nothing to do with anything and then again maybe it does?

Yummy Breakfast

I did not write yesterday I got caught up in yard work, and the blanked out the rest of the day it seems. Was I creative, was I present? I know I over reacted to with the dogs, not listening, Riley especially I think he is have difficulty hearing, or has a mind of his own. Muffin cowards when I yell… The spring like coolness seems to make them more energetic and they have been running off changing everything, groundhogs in general, so many times I don’t know in which direction that they have gone. I have found myself yelling for them and at them when they don’t respond to my call. Ok, I am being an overprotective father/mother!  And again telling on myself because I do not like that reaction of anger and loss of control.

Unconditional Love, (Riley)

Today is my 21 year of sobriety !! Imagine that? I remember I could hardly wait for one year, and then when I reached five years what a big mile stone that was. Not for the past fifteen it seem life is not as dramatic, or full of stress, that I learned and incorporated the tools of recovery and use them as often as I remember too. The third and seventh step prayer are never far from my mind or lips in silent affirmation of turning my will and life over to a Higher Power. That I alone have not done this, yes I made self attend meetings, to help others find their path, studied and worked/practice the program with my whole being, it is was and the witnessing of miracles of people so broken, angry, hurt, confused rise above their ego, their self-centeredness to create a whole life. One of action, one of faith in something more powerful than their addiction, more powerful than a our own mind, the mind and power of surrender to the Divine source within. To create self-love, self-worth, self-caring, to be Whole Beings present for life, present for God/Goddess to live the miracle of a sober/clean life.

Heavens above

Oh this did not end with just putting down the drink and walking away for a life of drunkenness. This blossomed into a journey beyond imagination, the search for self-worth, self-love, self-caring did not just happen over night, and is an ongoing journey, a journey to face the fears, the shame, the shadows and even more the real dark of depression, loneliness, to only come out with the strength to walk in the light head held high, with a bright smile on your face. To embrace life from a perspective that is a full view, whole world view.

This blog, these morning pages are a recent occurrence within this journey of awakening, to bare my soul, shine light on the shadows, for I think and I hope I am done walking through the darkness of depression, self doubt, of fear… God’s grace will inform of such silly notions of visiting there again.

Blooms and buds

I ask earlier here is this creative, have I been creative? The answers is yes, each day I am creative, I create my world, I create my happiness, or my sadness due to the reaction or response to a situation or moment. I create with my art, beauty, I create with the meals I make healthier ways to live, I create Love by being loving to myself and those around me even when angry at the dogs, or confused by my own lack of attention to my self care.

Andrew Harvey in the quote above suggest to “Live and act passionately  from the Divine center of Love” if I had not lived that way this whole time I would not be here to write this now, I would not be here to celebrate 21 years of sobriety, I would be here to live one moment at a time fully present, fully breathing in the joy as well as the sadness of life. Full breaths are healing and a continuation of Divine Love in this realm.

I am Love, Jeff

Growth Question: When did you realize you where a child of God?


Discovery of new paths through old journeys

Sunset at Easton Mt

“You are in love with a mystery. You trust it and go on and on moving deeper into its heart of light.” Andrew Harvey

I kept hearing go find Gay Soul: Finding The Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature, interviews by Mark Thompson. I could not sit still until I found the book which is part of my library or chaos that is my room. I opened the page where an old card marked something I had left of reading sometime back. In this section Mark Thompson is interviewing Andrew Harvey ! Andrew is considered a mystic and a man who journey I much admire, his passion, his language, is love/passion of finding the spiritual path through the Divine Mother and Divine Father. In the section I opened to Mark is asking Andrew “Do you think that gay men need as much equilibrium or honest relationship with the Divine Father?

Andrew answers in his powerful passionate voice:

Yes, but the real father, not the psychotic vision of him. In my own healing journey, it was very important that I come across the divine and sacred male. Only I couldn’t find him in our own culture until Tibetan teacher Thuksey Rinpoche showed me just what a complete being a realized man could be. By having my heart, mind, and soul broken open by him, I was initiated into the sacred man in myself. This enable me to claim my maleness, something that I found hard to do in the West because up to then I associated what maleness I had with the maleness I found bleak and cruel in the men around me. Experience of the Divine Mother led me slowly out of the shadow of the “false” father into the light of the real one. This is a pilgrimage all modern men need to make.”

Lower Pond Easton Mt

Why was it important to find this book, read and share the above quote, I am not certain at the moment. It is part of me path, a path of re-discovery of who I am and what my life and relationships mean to me. My desire to find the authentic male, lead me to Easton Mt Retreat Center, were I was opened up, to myself and to the men around me. I was wounded emotionally by my need to belong, to find and be in a community of gay men who were discovering, uncovering their path as well. Yet after the honeymoon wore off, I was confronted at almost every step with men who acted like men that were guarded, cruel, lost in their own self-awareness, and not the men in touch with the maleness or even their feminine. Strange thing is that Easton Mt Retreat Center sits in a bowl of small hills, and it so wet, with water running down into its center to the ponds and ground that is one of the most feminine natural places I have ever lived. One would think the peace, calmness would abound, and it does to those who come to retreat, yet it seems those who have lived there at the time I did, where not experiencing that. This is my thoughts and observation, none of this maybe true, other than to my experience within that space, time and events.

My Cabin April 2007

This experience informs me of who I am today, the healing I am doing is from within those experiences of embracing the Sacred Mother, and searching the Sacred Father that I walked through and lived in my brokenness. That pain developed into the ongoing relationship I have with nature and photography. I was given the gift of Reiki Healing, as well as erotic  healing, my two companions Riley and Muffin and their teaching of unconditional Love.

Why am I revisiting this now, how many times have I wrote this? How many times have I forgiven them and myself yet I still feel the sadness, the tightness in my Solar Plexus, and literally have to breathe through it all to continue. Is there something undone, forgiven ? More work needs to be done I see, offering and honoring gifts and healing to myself and that event? This is not clear, maybe I am healing and this is just the challenge to continue to walk confidently in the directions of my dreams…

Spring Snow April 2007

Thus I have journeyed these paths, experienced these events, opportunities to burn away, heal, gather, grow to map and share my story, which of course is not over, is ever unfolding.

Growth Question: Are you in love with the mystery? Is your story unfolding in the light?

I am Love, Jeff