Spiritual Activist…

Olha (Olga) Akasi

Dear Friends,
A quick note. I’ve been assembling a new site, with new entries of course for Gwyllm.com. I am in transition, due to changes in my spirit and health (nothing major, just aggravating) I am turning to a new approach in the matters of the day to day. My boundless energy of the past is now perhaps just that; of the past. More focus folks, yep more focus.

The creative drive has always ran high in my life, but not always in a disciplined manner. Perhaps this is the message for me at this time, to focus, and to clear away the unnecessary. More writing, more art perhaps will come out of it. I tend to dither on the computer. I have taken a lesson from my friend Dale Pendell to step away from the computer when writing. The web is a wonderful place, but may I say, distracting. I have ended up thinking that the computer has turned into the everything machine. Beguiling, beguiling, I must not… you get the picture.

This edition was originally put together around a piece of writing that I am yet to transcribe over to the screen. I wrote it in the mornings which now seems to be the time of writing for me. Stay away from the computer, out of the office, sitting either in the garden or the dining room looking out on the back 40. Magick happens then. I am amazed.

This edition features Dales writing in: “A note to spiritual activists of the Buddhist or meditative variety” taken from Tikkun magazine. (Support these people, they are good!) Tikkun I have known Dale for nearly 20 years. He is the real deal, and I am pleased to feature this bit of writing on Spiritual Activism.

The times demand thoughtful essays, poetry, and creative thinking. Anger does not do it IMO. There is enough anger to sink the world in my view… Truthfully I cannot harbor the feeling for long, as it eats at you.

Compassion has always been a challenge when confronted by something, someone who seems hell-bent on manipulating the world to embrace their version of Thanatos. Yet, every being deserves compassion equally. We are all in this together. Let us explore new ways to bring forth a better world for all.

Much Love,

Photo: Rowan Spiers-Floyd


I have a bunch of new art as of late, in fact it is raining art here at Caer Llwydd.  I have entered into a partnership with a friend back east to bring some of my art to the Blotter world: Gwyllm’s Blotter Art:

Our Lady Of The Tryptamines
The “Gate Keeper”
“Solstice – Gwaschemasch’e Efendi”

As you see, I have been busy. Please follow the link above if you want a Blotter Print! Your support keeps us going here at Caer Llwydd. More Art Soon!
On The Menu:
The Links
Dale Pendell: A note to spiritual activists of the Buddhist or meditative variety
Love Burns
Aeon:Democracy needs politeness
Poetry: Sheikh Ansari
Shuffle Your Feet
The Links: 
David Byrne: Eliminating The Human…
The Deep State Sellout
The Mystery Of The Iron Beads
Can Plants Hear?
50 Years Of Marriage & Mindfulness

Ohara Koson

A note to spiritual activists of the Buddhist or meditative variety

Why Do We Turn Off Unneeded Lights Before We Leave a Room, or Before We Sit?

by Dale Pendell

The Case:

When, fundamentally, there are no lights. Why would (almost) any of us stoop to save a sentient being, when, fundamentally, there are no beings to save?

The Poem:

As the World Burns

The old masters, we hear,

avoided challenging

the status quo,

as they also

avoided contact

with women,

and refrained from

social activism.


the crimes of history,

the Buddha wondered

what to do. Thus

we sit, pursuing personal

self-cultivation –


as proof of some

transcendental virtue.

“In the great

kalpa fire, when all is consumed,

is it consumed as well?

Sit with this.”

Outside: the peasants

pass buckets

hand to hand.


Western culture first, and now global culture, has embraced conjuring as its principal form of magical practice. Conjuring means giving form to abstractions. We may call it Faustian magic, and contrast it with two other mythical shamanic practices in the Western Tradition: the way of the singer—that is, the path of art, typified by Orpheus; and the path of plant medicine and visionary practice, typified by Eve.

Conjuring is all about us—language conjures up ghosts, consciousness itself conjures up perhaps the greatest of all hallucinations—all given substance by our story-telling. Demystifying conjured ghosts is the practice where art (including poetry, music, and theater), meditation, and philosophy intersect—what we could call “unbinding magic.”

While, in various degrees, all concepts are conjured—some, like money, and the corporation, have been given bodies and autonomy. A corporation’s body has now been given the rights of citizens—conjuring indeed—but what is the spirit that has thus been brought forth?

The spiritual essence of a corporation is craving—by its charter a corporation can never have enough. It is the spirit that Buddhists call the preta, or “hungry ghost,” denizens of one of the six realms of existence. Out of compassion, Zen students make a small grain offering to the hungry ghosts before each meal. But to give the hungry ghost a body (with jaws and a large throat), autonomous life, immortality, the rights of citizens, a ruling position at the center of society with free access to feed and prey on the world of sentient beings is delusive madness. They will consume everything: earth’s resources, her plants and animals, her peoples, and her cultures.

This corporeal entity, we might say, is a burning light bulb, or a huge wrecking machine, left on auto-pilot and clear-cutting the earth. While we must sit to become intimate with our own greed, we should also, first, turn off the lights.

And lend a hand in putting out the fire. And right now that takes political action.

Dale and Scarlett April 2015 (Photo Courtesy Laura Pendell)

Dale Pendell resides in the foothills of the Sierra, with Laura Pendell, and their faithful cat Mushroom, dreaming a new world into existence.


On Political Discussion:Politeness Rules
From Aeon Magazine: Democracy needs politeness
Autocrats shouted, cursed, and bullied, while American revolutionaries used politeness as a tool of radical politics“Long before current fears about incivility in public life – before anxieties about Twitter-shaming and cable-news name-calling – politeness was very much on the minds of United States leaders. In 1808, the US president Thomas Jefferson ranked the ‘qualities of mind’ he valued. Not surprisingly, he included ‘integrity’, ‘industry’, and ‘science’. These traits were particularly important to American revolutionaries seeking a society based on independent citizens, rather than harsh rulers and inherited privilege. But at the top of his list, Jefferson chose not these familiar Enlightenment values but ‘good humour’ – or what contemporaries usually called ‘politeness’….”

This is a great article. I would suggest that it is widely disseminated and shared out as perhaps the first move to help heal the toxic political environment. – G

Poetry: Sheikh Ansari

Sheikh Ansari

Sheikh Ansari Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al-Ansari (1006-1088 ce) He was called Sheikh al-Islam and he was also given the title Zayn al- ‘Ulama (Ornament of the Scholars) and Nasir al-Sunnah (Supporter of the Prophetic Tradition). Later on in Persian texts he was called Pir-e Herat (the Sheikh of Herat).

Some of Ansari works include Kashf al-Asrar “Unveiling of the Secrets” (Commentary of the Qur’an), Tabaquat al-Sufiyya (The Generations of the Sufis), “Munajat” (Intimate Invocations) which is incorporated into the Kashf al-Asrar and in the Tabaqat.
‘The Friend Beside Me’

O God
You know why I am happy:
It is because I seek Your company,
not through my own (efforts).

O God,
You decided and I did not.
I found the Friend beside me
when I woke up!

Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar, Vol. 5, p. 407 – ‘Munajat – The Intimate Invocations’ – A.G. Farhadi

‘Where Are You?’

O God,
You are the aim of the call of the sincere,
You enlighten the souls of the friends, (and)
You are the comfort of the hearts of the travellers—
because You are present in the very soul.

I call out, from emotion:
“Where are you?”

You are the life of the soul,
You are the rule (ayin) of speech, (and)
You are Your own interpreter (tarjaman).

For the sake of Your obligation to Yourself,
do not enter us into the shade of deception, (but)
make us reach union (wisal) with You.

Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar, Vol. 5, p. 598 – ‘Munajat – The Intimate Invocations’ – A.G. Farhadi

‘Pursuit of the Friend’

The heart left,
and the Friend is (also) gone.
I don’t know whether I should go after the Friend
or after the heart!
A voice spoke to me:
“Go in pursuit of the Friend,
because the lover needs a heart
in order to find union with the Friend.
If there was no Friend,
what would (the lover) do with (his) heart?”

Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar, Vol. 1, p. 628 – ‘Maqulat-o Andarz-ha – Sayings and Advice’ – A.G. Farhadi

‘The Beauty of Oneness’

Any eye filled with the vision of this world
cannot see the attributes of the Hereafter,
Any eye filled with the attributes of the Hereafter
would be deprived of the Beauty (Jamal) of (Divine) Oneness.

Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar, Vol. 7, p. 511 – ‘Maqulat-o Andarz-ha – Sayings and Advice’ – A.G. Farhadi

‘In Each Breath’

O you who have departed from your own self,
and who have not yet reached the Friend:
do not be sad, (for)
He is accompanying you in each of (your) breaths.

Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar, Vol. 7, p. 268 – ‘Maqulat-o Andarz-ha – Sayings and Advice’ – A.G. Farhadi

A Path of Devotion

In this path the eye must cease to see,
And the ear to hear,
Save unto Him, and about Him.
Be as dust on His path.
Even the kings of this earth
Make the dust of His feet
The balm of their eyes.
– Sheikh Ansari


May Peace Be With You & Your Loved Ones,

In The Fields Of Light

You ask me why I live on Green Mountain ?
I smile in silence and the quiet mind.
Peach petals blow on mountain streams
To earths and skies beyond Humankind.
– Li Bai

Birth of Siddartha, mural from Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya, Sri Lanka

Thank you for visiting Gwyllm.com. I am experimenting with some new formats… and would like to know if you would like to receive updates via email from the site. I would think it would be a weekly email, without a lot of fanfare. Let me know, and you can do so at: Contact Form Let’s do this in a civilized manner! ;P

Life has taken some turns and twist as of late. I was hoping to speak at The Exploring Psychedelics Conference in Ashland at the end of the month, but the vehicle decided it needed a full brake job and more. Well, I have a talk, so we will be recording it and releasing it on Gwyllm.com. I will start posting videos soon, stay tuned!

Working on a book that I hope to release in a couple of weeks. A project that I deeply love. I had a poet visiting from the Washington Coast, we are finishing up his book soon to be released on The Invisible College Publishing….

Much Love,
On The Menu:
Site UpDate
Art UpDate
The Links
Solaris – Waiting
Buddhism and the Possibilities of a Planetary Culture – Gary Snyder
Daoist Poetry
Solaris – Inward
Site Update:
So, lots going on. The Daily Art is cooking along, with almost daily delivery of a plethora of images… wild and wacky stuff, but usually with a theme.

On our Featured Artist Gallery we have a wonderful bit of art and poetry, featuring the beautiful composite photos of Lang Jingshan & coupled with the brilliant Daoist poetry of Li Bai. This is a seriously beautiful mix of image and poetic imagery. I hope to bring more of these marriages to Gwyllm.com.

Radio EarthRites: We have a new show, The “Dream Engines” Mix….. 15.5 Hours Of Chilled Introspection… This is for all of you Trippers out there. I think you will enjoy where it goes. Some great music by cutting edge musicians…. If you enjoy the music, perhaps you might want to subscribe?

The “Dream Engines” Mix

Art Update:
Holy Moly, I have 4 new Blotter Pieces coming out this next week! Stay Tuned!

The Links:
Escaping Poverty
My God It Is Full Of Stars!
Entropy landscape sheds light on quantum mystery
How ‘The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’ inspired Victorian hedonists
Solaris – Waiting


Buddhism and the Possibilities of a Planetary Culture – Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

Buddhism holds that the universe and all creatures in it are intrinsically in a state of complete wisdom, love, and compassion, acting in natural response and mutual interdependence. The personal realization of this from-the-beginning state cannot be had for and by one- “self,”—because it is not fully realized unless one has given the self up and away.

In the Buddhist view, that which obstructs the effortless manifestation of this is ignorance, which projects into fear and needless craving. Historically, Buddhist philosophers have failed to analyze out the degree to which ignorance and suffering are caused or encouraged by social factors, considering fear-and desire to be given facts of the human condition. Consequently the major concern of Buddhist philosophy is epistemology and “psychology” with no attention paid to historical or sociological problems. Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hang-ups and cultural conditionings. Institutional Buddhism has been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion. Wisdom without compassion feels no pain.

No one today can afford to be innocent, or to indulge themselves in ignorance of the nature of contemporary governments, politics, and social orders. The national politics of the modem world are “states” which maintain their existence by deliberately fostered craving and fear: monstrous protection rackets. The “free world” has become economically dependent on a fantastic system of stimulation of greed which cannot be fulfilled, sexual desire which cannot be satiated, and hatred which has no outlet except against oneself, the persons one is supposed to love, or the revolutionary aspirations of pitiful, poverty-stricken marginal societies. The conditions of the Cold War have fumed most modem societies— both communist and capitalist—into vicious distorters of true human potential They try to create populations of preta—hungry ghosts with giant appetites and throats no bigger than needles. The soil, the forests, and all anima1 life are being consumed by these cancerous collectivities; the air and water of the planet is being fouled by them.

There is nothing in human nature or the requirements of human social organization which intrinsically requires that a society be contradictory, repressive, and productive of violent and frustrated personalities. Findings in anthropology and psychology make this more and more evident. One can prove it for oneself by taking a good look at Original Nature through meditation. Once a person has this much faith and insight, one will be led to a deep concern with the need for radical social change through a variety of nonviolent means.

The joyous and voluntary poverty of Buddhism becomes a positive force. The traditional harmlessness and avoidance of taking life in any form has nation-shaking implications. The practice of meditation, for which one needs only “the ground beneath one’s feet,” wipes out mountains of junk being pumped into the mind by the mass media and supermarket universities. The be1ief in a serene and generous fulfillment of natural loving desires destroys ideologies which blind, maim, and repress—and points the way to a kind of community which would amaze “moralists” and transform armies of men who are fighters because they cannot be lovers.

Avatamsaka (Kegon or Hua-yen) Buddhist philosophy sees the world as a vast, interrelated network in which all objects and creatures are necessary and illuminated. From one standpoint, governments, wars, or all that we consider “evil” are uncompromisingly contained in this totalistic realm. The hawk, the swoop, and the hare are one. From the “human” standpoint we cannot live in those terms unless all beings see with the same enlightened eye. The Bodhisattva lives by the sufferer’s standard, and he or she must be effective in aiding those who suffer.

The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both. They are both contained in the traditional three aspects of the Dharma path: wisdom (prajñā), meditation (dhyana), and morality (shila). Wisdom is intuitive knowledge of the mind of love and clarity that lies beneath one’s ego-driven anxieties and aggressions. Meditation is going into the mind to see this for yourself—over and over again, until it becomes the mind you live in. Morality is bringing it back out in the way you live, through personal example and responsible action, ultimately toward the true community (sangha) of “all beings.” This last aspect means, for me, supporting any cultural and economic revolution that moves clearly toward a truly free world. It means using such means as civil disobedience, outspoken criticism, protest, pacifism, voluntary poverty, and even gentle violence if it comes to a matter of restraining some impetuous crazy. It means affirming the widest possible spectrum of non-harmful individual behavior—defending the right of individuals to smoke hemp, eat peyote, be polygamous, polyandrous, or homosexual. Worlds of behavior and custom long banned by the Judaeo-Capitalist-Christian-Marxist West. It means respecting intelligence and learning, but not as greed or means to personal power. Working on one’s own responsibility, but willing to work with a group. “Forming the new society within the shell of the old”—the I.W.W. slogan of 70 years ago.

The traditional, vernacular, primitive, and village cultures may appear to be doomed. We must defend and support them as we would the diversity of ecosystems; they are all manifestations of Mind. Some of the elder societies accomplished a condition of Sangha, with not a little of Buddha and Dharma as well. We touch base with the deep mind of peoples of all times and places in our meditation practice, and this is an amazing revo1utionary aspect of the Buddhadharma. By a “planetary culture” I mean the kind of societies that would follow on a new understanding of that relatively recent institution, the National State, an understanding that might enable us to leave it behind. The State is greed made legal, with a monopoly on violence; a natural society is familial and cautionary. A natural society is one which “Follows the Way,'” imperfectly but authentically.

Such an understanding will close the circle and link us in many ways with the most creative aspects of our past. If we are lucky, we may eventually arrive at a world of relatively mutually tolerant small societies attuned to their local region and united overall by a profound respect and love for the mind and nature of the universe. I can imagine further virtues in a world sponsoring societies with matrilineal descent, free-form marriage, “natural credit” economics, far less population, and much more wilderness.

* * * Snyder, Gary. “Buddhism and the Possibilities of a Planetary Culture,” in Engaged Buddhist Reader, Arnold Kotler, ed. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press, 1996. 123-126. [Gary Snyder is a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet and teacher of literature and wilderness thought at the University of California at Davis. He is founder of the Ring of Bones Zendo, and author of Mountains and Rivers Without End, Axe Handles, Turtle Island, Earth House Hold, and many other books.]
I have always had a love for Daoist (when I was a young guy “Taoist”) poetry. Very heady stuff, pre-Zen and full of wry tumbles and play on words. Li Bai has become a favourite of mine over the years, but oh, there are so many other great poets from the Daoist tradition. Enjoy.

(Lang Jingshan – wonderful photographic artist, please see: Featured Artist Gallery)
Daoist Poetry

Birds Calling in the Ravine

I’m idle, as osmanthus flowers fall,
This quiet night in spring, the hill is empty.
The moon comes out and startles the birds on the hill,
They don’t stop calling in the spring ravine.
– Wang Wei
The Great Way

The Great Way has no gate;
there are a thousand paths to it.
If you pass through the barrier,
you walk the universe alone.
– Wu Men
Down From The Mountain

As down Mount Emerald at eve I came,
The mountain moon went all the way with me.
Backward I looked, to see the heights aflame
With a pale light that glimmered eerily.

A little lad undid the rustic latch
As hand in hand your cottage we did gain,
Where green limp tendrils at our cloaks did catch,
And dim bamboos o’er hung a shadowy lane.

Gaily I cried, “Here may we rest our fill!”
Then choicest wines we quaffed; and cheerily
“The Wind among the Pines” we sang, until
A few faint stars hung in the Galaxy.

Merry were you, my friend: and drunk was I,
Blissfully letting all the world go by.
– Li Bai
Returning to Songshan Mountain

The limpid river runs between the bushes,
The horse and cart are moving idly on.
The water flows as if with a mind of its own,
At dusk, the birds return to perch together.
The desolate town is faced by an ancient ferry,
The setting sun now fills the autumn hills.
And far below high Songshan’s tumbling ridges,
Returning home, I close the door for now..
– Wang Wei
The Old Dust

The living is a passing traveler;
The dead, a man come home.
One brief journey betwixt heaven and earth,
Then, alas! we are the same old dust of ten thousand ages.

The rabbit in the moon pounds the medicine in vain;
Fu-sang, the tree of immortality,
has crumbled to kindling wood.
Man dies, his white bones are dumb without a word

When the green pines feel the coming of the spring.
Looking back, I sigh;
Looking before, I sigh again.
What is there to prize in the life’s vaporous glory?
– Li Bai
A Monk Asked

A monk asked Chao-chou Ts’ung shen (777-897) (Joshu), “Has the oak tree Buddha nature?”
Chao-chou said, “Yes, it has.”
The monk said, “When does the oak tree attain Buddhahood?”
Chao-Chou said, “Wait until the great universe collapses.”
The monk said, “When does the universe collapse?”
Chao-chou said, “Wait until the oak tree attains Buddhahood.
– Wu Men

Lang Jingshan
Solaris – Inward


Beltane Eve

“A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.”
–  Rhyme from England

On Beltaine/Beltane:
I have a well of memory that surfaces from time to time.  One of the earliest memories is in Newfoundland, dancing around the Maypole with other kids.  I must of been 3 or 4 years old at the time.  The clouds were fleecy overhead and the day was one of joy.  I am blessed with these memories, for they tie me to an old and ancient tradition, that the modern world cannot erase.  Here is to Bel-Eve, with all the correct rites observed.  Here is to love, and the regeneration of the earth through celebration.

In Passing…. I met Nick Sands over a long weekend at MindStates back in 2000 I believe.  He had just gotten out of prison.  He was a delightful conversationalist.  I talked with him a bit, along with others, and was struck most by his story of teaching Yoga and Meditation to other incarcerated souls.  He was to my mind about changing consciousness however most effective for the situation one finds oneself in, and especially with Love.  That was his main theme I believe.  A Bodhisattva of Love.  He put his life on the line for others, and along the way, changed the hearts of millions.

Tonight, I drink a toast to him, and light candles to light his way home.
Bright Blessings Nick, Bright Blessings….

So, we are now at the real beginning of Summer.  Not the Solstice, but on the cross quarter days.  Tonight, light a candle, a fire, and take your loved one into your arms, if only for a hug.  This is the real deal, this ties us to the ancient spiral of life….

The Fires Of Beltane

“‘Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There’s crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers.”
–  Thomas Hood


 “In somer when the shawes be sheyne,
And leves be large and long,
Hit is full merry in feyre foreste
To here the foulys song.

To see the dere draw to the dale
And leve the hilles hee,
And shadow him in the leves grene
Under the green-wode tree.

Hit befell on Whitsontide
Early in a May mornyng,
The Sonne up faire can shyne,
And the briddis mery can syng.”
– Anonymous, May in the Green Wode, 15h Century

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”
–  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur

“The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.”
–  Philip Larkin, The Trees


“The new earth quickens as you rise.
The May Queen is waiting.
Feel the pulsing ground call you to journey,
To know the depths of your desire.
The May Queen is waiting.
Moving through the night, the bright moon’s flight.
In green and silver on the plain.
She waits for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.
Her temper stings if you refuse to taste Her honey.
Surrender as enchantment brings
The first light of dawning.
Move with Her in sacred dance, through fear to feeling.
Bringing ecstasy to those who dare.
Living earth is breathing.
Loving through the night in the bright moonlight,
As seedlings open with the rain.
She’ll long for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.”
–  Ruth Barren, The May Queen is Waiting

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”
–  Virgil

 “What is now the foliage moving?
Air is still, and hush’d the breeze,
Sultriness, this fullness loving,
Through the thicket, from the trees.
Now the eye at once gleams brightly,
See! the infant band with mirth
Moves and dances nimbly, lightly,
As the morning gave it birth,
Flutt’ring two and two o’er earth.”
–  Wolfgang Goethe,
May 1815 

Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. Event has been going on for years and has grown ever larger, now boasting over 300 performers and 10,000 to 15,000 spectators.

Bless You All, On This Most Fair Of Nights.