Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kali Activated for May Day

April 30, 2016. Realizing that the spiritual mojo which we have collectively brought into the peace & justice/radical environmental movement over the past 40 years has run its course, I spent today in New York City paradigm shifting.  Made a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and spent the whole afternoon in the Asian art area on floor two.  

For an hour or so, I hung out with various Buddhas, Guan Yin, temple attendants, and assorted bodhisattvas.  It was fun, considering how much they've contributed to contemporary society's enlightenment while introducing an ethical and moral compass.  But sad to say that this does not address the fact of a planet earth in peril, nor the global political chaos.

     Venturing into the Indian section, I hobnobbed with primary deities, particularly Shiva, Vishnu, and the celestial flute player Krishna; all of them dancing to the tune of the mrdanga drummers.  But again, not really mojo enough for the ecodefense necessary in an era of extreme energy and global climate destabilization.  And then I met an horrific goddess garlanded with severed heads, her eyes bulging, a smiley icon in her crown, a scorpion on her stomach, and teeth...lots of teeth.  Mother Kali in all of her divine magnificence!  I began chanting her mantram "Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundayai Vicce" over and over, as a paradigm shift was taking place on the eve of May Day.

     Leaving the museum, I went down to the East Village, and while chanting "Om Sri Kali Ma", found a cluttered Indian gift shop on 2nd Avenue, and inside bought a small framed picture of Mother Kali dancing on the chest of Shiva (who once laid down on the battle field in an attempt to calm her down during her victory dance, because she was throwing the planet earth off of its axis with her intensity).  It is now on the electrical light box above my head where I sleep on a lower bunk at the Hostelling International travel hostel at 103rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue.  I'm going to be here until my exit date of May 9th, so I will be going to goddess temples in other boroughs, continuing to 
energize the performance of this critical sadhana.

     I invite everyone to bring in their own spiritual mojo, in the face of serious national and international political confusion, global ecological implosion, and your own fragile existence on the edge.  Beyond May 9th I have no plans, so you might contact me 
at CraigStehr@inbox.com or just come find me wandering the side streets of the lower east side chanting to the dark mother.  I'm ready.  Are you ready?  ~HAPPY MAY DAY~

Wandering the NYC Chinatown Alleyways...

April 29, 2016 Am presently at a public library in NYC's Chinatown...just enjoyed a ginseng (root in the bottle) drink, and then will soon be off to the Guan Yin places...she is just loved here!  I bought a small figure of her astride a guardian lion at the Mahayana Temple recently; she is perched on the electric light box above my head where I sleep at the travel hostel. 

Paid for 8 more nights at Hostelling International this morning...exit date is May 9th.  As always, I've no idea what is going to happen in the next five minutes.  Keep singing,  ;-)

Dear Mostly Confused Postmodern America

April 28, 2016 Warmest spiritual greetings, Please know that I have enjoyed a week of sheer unscheduled pleasure in New York City, which has given me time to reflect.  Previously, I was in Washington, D.C. protesting (with Beyond Extreme Energy) the irrational, probably criminal, and definitely ecologically stupid policies of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  

My question after being in D.C. three times doing this is: "Why don't the landowners who are being invaded by armed government agents protecting pipeline installation workers who are in association with energy companies, who are using "eminent domain" as a legal argument to realize a pipeline from the fracked gas site to a processing plant, to create the final product of liquefied natural gas for export to India and Japan, to increase domestic profits, just kill the trespassers as an act of self defense?"  Earth First!ers responded to my query by saying that radical environmentalism is basically committed to "non-violence", although there is an ongoing debate about this apparently, particularly when one's survival is at stake.
  
   Eco-defense does not have any tenets inherent which somehow prevent anyone from taking necessary protective action.  It's that simple.  Pacifism is ridiculous in a context of ecological self defense.  It is the height of stupidity for American political leftists, who have been glorifying revolutionary historical figures for years, and praising global contemporary anarcho-revolutionary efforts, to adopt an ineffective dissent approach domestically.  This is especially true in view of the demented anti-earth presidential primaries, the scientifically proven destabilized global climate, the hole in the ozone layer, a worldwide garbage dump oceanic situation, species decline, unhealthy air and water quality, and feel free to add your own concerns to the list.

     The masses of humanity need to understand that they are fucked.  With the only exception of cultivating a spiritual life, the future on planet earth is pointless.  You know it, and I know it.

     I am chillin' at Poets House today in lower Manhattan.  Feel free to contact me if you like, atCraigStehr@inbox.com


Craig Louis Stehr
April 28, 2016

NYC Dakimakura

April 27, 2016 Meanwhile in Manhattan, It's kind of surrealistic here, what with the mild weather and the not-so-huddled masses happily shopping in midtown, and costumed children all going to Planet Hollywood, and the Super Hero characters (in costume) being photographed hugging them in Times Square, with its towering advertisements changing every second, and huge billboards for musicals, and everything here oversized except for a poet reading E.E. Cummings's "In Just Spring".  

Spent the early evening enjoying Holy Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and then stayed late for the benediction in the Mary Chapel behind the altar area.  Lovely, just lovely.  Left at closing, and ducked into Saks Fifth Avenue to use a restroom, and was suddenly immersed in high end couture with a groovy jazz trio performing on the first floor.  Images, images, images!!!  

Everybody hereabout is voting for Trump.  Hey, he's a New Yorker.  What do you expect?  They "fuckin' can't stand Hillary", okay?  Thank God that there's a cathedral to take refuge in, amidst this magnificent consuming chaos.
Nota bene: Judith Malina once told me that in reality, it's ALL the Living Theatre!

Crucial Swami Krishnananda Quotation

"The dissatisfaction with limitedness in life directs the soul to catch the fullness of perfection in the truth of its Integrality, with which the individualized condition is not endowed."

~Swami Krishnananda, General Secretary of the Divine Life Society for over 60 years, who foretold the day that he would leave the earth plane, and subsequently went into mahasamadhi in Muni-Ki-Reti, India, dropped the body-mind complex, and effortlessly went up!

The Moon's Reflection in B Flat

Dropped by Loewe's theater on 34th Street yesterday in Manhattan, and took in the "Miles Ahead" motion picture.  A wonderful tribute (and graphically accurate) portrayal of the music icon post 1975 until he resurfaced anew.  It's a real treat that musicians who recorded with Miles Davis are featured.  This flick is not for the faint of heart.

     Later, met with my friend Genea Barnes who moved to Brooklyn from San Francisco, where she had managed the Crow Bar in North Beach.  Her book about ghost bicycles has been published, and seriously needs to get out to the general public.  If you can help with distribution please contact her atgeneabarnes@gmail.com.  We divine anarchists are duty bound to assist one another, ya know.

     After having an enjoyable reunion with her at Floyd in Brooklyn Heights (which has indoor bocce ball), I headed off in the dark using an inadequate subway map in search of a means of returning to Hostelling International.  On a dark street, I did quickly take a pee next to a small tree.  Looking up, there was a Brooklyn police car with two officers looking straight at me.  I was asked to explain what I was doing.  So, I replied that I was returning to my travel hostel.  The curt response was: "I'm not asking you where you are going.  Why are you urinating here?"  I quickly said: "I'm sorry about this, officer.  I apologize."  And the response from law and order was: "You need to get going where you need to go", and they drove away.  Two blocks later, I discovered that I was on the street which is home to the police station.  The cops were probably more surprised to see me there, than I was in being caught.  Fortunately, two Lagunitas IPAs and a hearty Glenfiddich scotch whiskey on the rocks enabled me to handle the delicate situation without it turning into a complete disaster.


     Will spend today at Poets House writing, having now acquired a better subway map.  Realizing that we are not these bodies nor these minds, but the immortal Absolute which is working through them, I recommend that everybody be established in the continuous superconscious state of Sahaj Samadhi Avastha.

Craig Louis Stehr
April 25, 2016
Email: CraigStehr@inbox.com

Leaving the Beast's Intestine

This being the afternoon before I leave Washington, D.C. to go to New York City, I am jotting down a few impressions to share.  First and foremost, since my arrival from California to participate with Beyond Extreme Energy's anti-fracking campaign, the overall experience here in the "belly of the beast" has been satisfactory.  And it is not because we generally accomplished short term goals, insofar as confronting the stupidity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its energy company masters, nor because my subsequent participation with Democracy Spring (which transitioned into Democracy Awakening April 16th) was also generally successful.

     The reason that this has been satisfying is because the district and the people who actually live here year around are wonderful!  I have had blissful times at the Catholic basilica during easter season, and regularly made use of the lower Crypt Church for silent meditation, plus going to the Franciscan monastery and chillin' out on its spacious grounds.  As well, countless hours have been spent at the 35 year young anti-nuclear vigil in front of the White House, with the volunteers who keep this continuously going, regardless of the weather, 24/7/365.  It is always a joy to be at "the igloo"...the dome-like structure wrapped in clear plastic so that volunteers may sleep there at nights...which has faced off with the ever-changing residents across the way at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  And once in awhile I even run into some of my old Catholic Worker crew, as they once again arrive en masse to speak truth to power.

     More commonly, the district has countless uptempo friendly places for breakfast, and there's lots of entertainment because this is the place where Chuck Brown invented Go-Go Music.  And the jazz is hot at Blues Alley.  And Hard Rock Cafe shows endless vintage and current videos.  And the Rocket Bar on 8th Street near the Chinatown arch, below the sidewalk, has big screens for basketball game viewing with a festive crowd; they even have California brews like Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas...and lots of pool tables...need info on what's happening at regional gambling casinos?...the Preakness odds at Pimlico?  And then there is Busboys and Poets and Kramer's Books for everything else.  And ya, you can go to the Smithsonian Mall.

     So, as I leave the Beast's Intestine tomorrow, I do so with a sublime fondness for the real Washington, D.C., which is separate from the United States Federal Government.  Maybe the D.C. Statehood advocate whom I spoke with is right.  Maybe it would be appropriate to move the seat of the federal government to Saint Louis, declare the District of Columbia the 51st state, keep the tourist attractions to finance local social programs, and let's see if the politicians and their corporate masters can make it in the midwest.

Craig Louis Stehr
April 18, 2016
Washington, D.C.
EMAIL: CraigStehr@inbox.com