Showing posts from 2017

The Journey that Makes Us

My dead partner murdered me.  At least that is what it felt like when he died.  In a way, it is true.  In three days it will be four years when my partner of sixteen years left this physical life.  In reflecting on what I have done with my life since then, I realize that I am a different man.  I am not sure where the old me is.  Like a snake shedding its skin, I have died and birthed a new me.  His death killed the old me.

There are parts of me that I mourn losing.  I used to be a lot more innocent, yet like the myth of the couple being driven from the garden of innocence, I was forced out, and birthed into a knowledge of life rather than innocence from it.  I have experience love, heart-break and broken others hearts which I ought not to have done.  I have people who hate me now...some perhaps rightfully so.  I have been proud and been forced to be humbled.  My heart is harder now...I feel less compassion.  It seems impossible for me to let go and fall in love.  I am tired.

And it …

The Voice That Speaks

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. -Edgar Allan Poe

I consider myself a spiritual person.  This may come as a surprise to some who know me and as no surprise to others.  I believe the sacred is found in all of nature.  Not just the parts we deep beautiful, but even in the savagery of the lion capturing her prey.    I am an animist.  I have no problem offering love to animals, trees, and plants.  I imagine a consciousness in them that connects us and to a source greater than ourselves.  I also believe in a vast spiritual reality made up of many types of beings, some benevolent, other malevolent, and every other spectrum such as found in humanity as well.

What this means is that you may see me offer honey at the foot of the tree for the spirits of place where I am, or you may observe me offering candle and incense to my ancestors or even various gods/saints who are patrons of various t…

The Dark Gifts of Eros- Eros United

Lest anyone think I am polyanna-ish about matters of the heart, I assure you I am not.  Eros, with bow in hand, has arrows of love that turn toxic.  His arrows are like seeds.  Some grow for a short time, and then the roots hit rock and never go any deeper.  Others are choked out by weeds.  And a few grow deep and strong.  Sadly, too often, I have experienced the former.  Yet from every one of these failed dates and relationships there are opportunities for growth.

The last I had written, I was dating three men in my polyamorous experiment.  They all were aware of each other and all went well.  The long-distance one was the first to fall to dust in my hands.  After the initial meeting and lust sating itself, not much remained.  It ended.  The second was more baffling to me, but without exposing details, we mutually ended the relationship a few days after the first one ended.  We made great friends, have deep and thoughtful conversations, and fun sex - all of which could continue, but …

Finding the Source - Eros United

Things have shifted since I have last written. I have three separate paramours that I am dating, each knowing about the others.  One has shifted into a full-fledged boyfriend.  One is long-distance dating but this past weekend drove eight hours to be with me.  The third is the newest, and we are still getting to know each other.
What compounds this type of polyamory is that we are open. I have never been in an open relationship before, much less a poly open one. On one hand I love it.  Sometimes sex with a person who is not your spouse can be wonderful and exciting.  However there have been a couple of times when jealousy has arisen in me or one of my partners.
In exploring my own feelings of jealousy I ask myself a series of questions such as

Am I feeling inadequate?What am I afraid of?What was I feeling before the jealousy arose?   When my long distance partner left to return to his home state, one of my other partners went out of state to help his best friend move.  Initially I spen…

Light on Shame -Eros United

There is something broken in so many gay men that I believe this path can heal. The path I follow guides one to love his body, to honor sex in its varied forms, and to find the resolve in oneself to let go of what others think and love yourself. To see oneself as part of Nature and celebrate that. To let go of shame for being gay, for being male, for enjoying sex. To see a divine spark in others and to celebrate them as a unique and special part of the whole. It does not seek salvation nor the elusive enlightenment but finds liberation in digging ones toes in the fresh green grass and in the rain falling on your face.

A Second Coming Out - Eros United

I have a boyfriend.  I am also dating another man.   Both know of each other and get along, but are not dating each other.  I am a polyamorous man, but I have not always been so.  For sixteen years I was in a monogamous relationship.  Eight of those years we did not engage in relations.  I was working as a massage therapist, and I developed a friendship with one of my clients.  Over time, we became good friends and with it both of us became aware there were more feelings involved.  When he professed his love for me, I was shocked because I had come to love him too.  But I also loved the person I was with.  Because I believed the culture's teachings that one person for all your life will make you "happy ever after" I ended the friendship with this man, breaking his heart in the process.

 Fast forward to years later, after my partner had passed away.  I began dating a guy and his husband.  Honestly I entered it having feelings for one of the men...but over time the three o…

The Battle of the Beautiful: Eros United

I killed myself once.  Well kind of.  I was in a relationship with a man for sixteen years.  Eight of which, we lived in separate bedrooms and did not engage in conjugal relations. While we lived together and deeply cared for each other, the romance, passion, and desire for one another had become a wisp of smoke from a freshly blown out candle. Having gone back into the closet for him so that he could attempt to gain custody of his daughter, I never emerged again until after his death.  Because of this I had very very few friends who knew me and fewer who knew how unhappy I was. My body ballooned up to nearly three hundred pounds. I seldom left the house except for work and became a bit of a hermit with severe social anxiety.

 Then he died. It was not sudden but the type of growth on his brain led to near a six month stay in the hospital before he left this life.  I had been with him for sixteen years of my life, and I was left to discover who I was without him. I had to redefine myse…

A Drop of Dew in the Piss Bucket: Eros United

It is funny thing about attraction.  When I was a twenty-something just coming out, I was attracted to bear types.  A bit of belly and hairy chest with a beard would make me swoon.  Over time I would find other types I was attracted to.  My friends laugh at times as they see me date or the lovers I enjoyed and would noticed I would crave different flavors of lovers for a time.  It is true, I find beauty in many different types, much broader than when I was younger.  And yet you know what I find sexy?  Confidence.  A healthy self-love.  It took me years to learn to embody these things regularly within myself.  And when I did...well it was the equivalent of having one's milkshakes bringing all the boys to the yard.   I found not only the one time lovers, but those who grew into lover/friendship combinations and those who wanted more.  
What shocks me though is that there are people have utterly breathtakingly gorgeous personalities who despise themselves.  They lack any confidence o…

The Lessons of Aphrodite- Sex and Relationships: Lesson 5

I recently began an open dating relationship with a man...and then the murders began...  I probably should start at the beginning.  I am no prude.  I have been in non-traditional relationships before.  I was part of a triad of three men, where all three of us were partners, living and loving together.  I loved it.  But one type of non-traditional relationships I swore I would NEVER try is an open relationship.  I should have known better.  The gods apparently took it as a challenge.  For the past month I have been dating a man.  He is gorgeous, sexual, talented, and utterly wonderful.  What makes this different than any other previous dating relationship I have experienced is that this dating relationship is open.  He is free to have sex with others as am I.  It scares the hell out of me.

I can understand being in a closed polyamorous  relationship.  While some jealousy may arise from time to time, it is more centered about wanting more time or affection.  Being in an open relationsh…

The Lessons of Aphrodite- Beautification: Lesson 4

Aphrodite is the personification of beauty.  Were I talented as a painter, I would love to paint her as represented by every culture and through the ages.  Our measures of beauty are different and change both as a society, a subculture, and within our own person.  I imagine her coming in ten thousand different guises of beauty.  She holds a mirror not only for her to appreciate her own beauty, but to turn it on us and challenge us to see our own.  No small task for most of us.

So it is with this lens, she challenges us to find the beauty around us.  If it cannot be found, guess what?  She places her succulent lips against your ear and whispers for you to create it.  Beautification takes many forms, which should come as no surprise since she herself has many forms.  Maybe it is picking up trash at a park near you, cleaning the house or mowing for those who may not be able to easily do it themselves, or contributing to a community garden.  These too are her domains.  As the luscious qu…

The Lessons of Aphrodite - The Body: Lesson 3

The body is utterly sacred.  It is the temple of the Gods of Love, Beauty, Desire, and Pleasure.  It is through the body that we come to experience life in its fullness.  We see.  We hear and taste.  We smell and feel.  These gateways are portals of delicious experience.  Because of this, I seek to use my body as a place of offering to She who presides there.  When I see somebody I find attractive, I am thankful for their beauty.  When I am drawn by scents, I am thankful.  I embrace these experiences.  When I was a teenager I was taught by my church that lust is as wrong as adultery, but now I know better.  Lust and desire is normal.  I can channel that lust in positive life-fullfilling ways.  I can relish the feel of my lover's kisses on my body as well as use my desire to push me further in the things I want.  Lust and desire can be an end in and of themselves.  If I see a man I desire, but that man is in a monogamous relationship with another, I will not do anything to harm th…

The Lessons of Aphrodite - Pleasure: Lesson 2

As I sat in meditation upon the lessons of Aphrodite, one word kept coming to me...pleasure.  Pleasure is such a loaded word. In our culture there is both an intense desire for it and a very real fear and Puritanical rejection of it.  However, I believe that in order to be beautiful (which is Aphrodite personified), then it cannot be a Dionysian recklessness of pleasure that leads to addiction, sorrow, and madness, but rather is a more middle way, rising fully formed from the waves of chaos. (As an aside the child of Aphrodite and Dionysis was Priapus who was known for his oversized and permanent erection, never able to go down or return to normal.)

Pleasure is taking joy in life.  We honor that which feels good.  The taste of a chocolate covered strawberry.  Self pleasuring the body after a stressful day.  The touch of a friend as a way to show they are happy to see you.  There are 10,000 ways of pleasure that bring no suffering to oneself nor others.  These ways are the paths of Aph…

The Lessons of Aphrodite - Beauty and Self-Love: Lesson 1

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. - Coco Chanel
So often when we look in the mirror we look for the mistakes.  We whisper that we are too fat, too short, too pale or fifty thousand other put downs rather than finding ways in which we are beautiful.  We degrade the body we are given.  
Is it any wonder then that we fill our body with toxicity?  We eat foods that are not good for us, that cause obesity, heart disease, and an addiction for more of it.  Then again we take to the tired tirade of self-hatred.  
But Aphrodite calls us to beauty.  She calls us to begin with self-love.  She challenges us to say "Fuck You!" to the standards of beauty proposed by society and the media.  She offers the rose of dignity and self-acceptance.  To honor the body as her sacred temple...and yet in our eating, our exercising, our beautifying our already beautiful temple-body we do it for ourselves.     We do it because we love ourselves.  We praise what is right with us, we st…

The Lessons of Aphrodite

In my next few posts, I will be doing a series on what I am calling "The Lessons of Aphrodite" which is born of the sexual/dating fast I took in January, coupled with my devotion to the divine as Love in its many forms.  I will be exploring:

Philautia-Self-LoveBeautification as a Spiritual ActEros-Sex and SexualityPhilia-Friendship Kind of LoveLudus-Playful LovePragma-Longstanding LoveAgape-Love for allAging and BeautyPleasureDesireThe BodyAphrodite as a Spiritual Path For so long I have felt shame for being sexual, for being having longing, desire, for enjoying pleasure.  And yet, over time I have felt the hands of the gods of love and desire in the small of my back challenging me to enter that dark room that whispers of desire and the lusty fear of the forbidden so that their mysteries and secrets may be revealed.

The Gods of Love

I practice a holistic spirituality.  That means I try to see the Divine within all off life.  The Inner and Outer life are both spiritual to me.  I honor the mind and its pursuits as sacred.  I honor the body and its pleasures and pains as holy.  I wander in the world of spirits and the Spirit as part of my beautiful path.  
Many of the world's spiritual paths are somewhat sex-negative.  However my training as a monk was within the Kaula Tantric tradition which is a "left-handed" Hindu tradition.  It is considered left-handed because it does not flinch from things that are often considered sins.  Rather we try to find the Divine even in them.  This includes sex and even pain.  
In my faith, the Divine has 100,000 faces and names.  Today I am thinking of those who are the Powers of love and desire.  I think of Angus Og, Kamadeva, Laxmi, Pan, Eros, Aphrodite, Oshun, Erzuli Freda.  
At times they embody the utter holiness of love in all its forms.  At other times, they mani…

A Month of Loving-Kindness

Today is the first day of February. It is the first day of the end of my fast, and a new month of spiritual practice (while continuing with my meditation, yoga, and workout regimens). The practice I am committing to for February is at least one concrete act of loving-kindness (maitri in Sanskrit) every day. So often a day can pass by where I have not done something specific for another person other than that required by my job. I seek to change that and move beyond myself to that of recognizing others.

In taking time to consciously pay attention to others I am more apt to recognize the Divine in them. I want to practice a deep listening to their words and lives. I want connection, even if only brief. In serving them even in a small simple act of kindness, I serve God.

Confessions of a F*uckboy

Today marks the end of my fast from dating and sexual relations. One of the reasons I did this was the realization that I needed a new consciousness about dating and about sex. Why? Because I was a fuckboy. A fuckboy is a guy who is into strictly sexual relationships; he will lead a person on, build his or her trust and genuinely pretend to like the person only to lose interest once they have achieved their conquest. At one point this past summer I had twenty one dates with different people in a single month period. While I slowed down in the fall, realizing I was out of control, I still had the same mindset....often not even realizing the games I played with people's hearts. Thus, the need for this fast.

During this fast, I realized that I was a fuckboy trying to avoid real intimacy with a cheap facade. I did not have to risk getting close to anyone and thus did not risk getting hurt. This fast gave me another way to be. I gave myself no allowances for dating nor sex. …


Tomorrow is my final day of a period of a spiritual intensive I have undergone to really dig deep in my mind, heart and spirit.  I have taken up a time of intense workouts, yoga, twice daily meditation, a radical change of diet, and giving up sex and dating for that time.  It has been liberating and challenging.  This time has really brought things forward that were deeply buried and even had not totally wanted to face, but needed to.  I will write my reflection of that time more in-depth tomorrow, but suffice it to say, that it has revolutionized my relationship with God and my own Self.

The Beauty of the Path

I seek to become a kinder person.  Oddly enough, I found I could not do it by force.  I simply cannot force myself to experience loving-kindness.  It is only when I remove the obstacles of loving-kindness that it seems to grow naturally.  It is as if maitrī (Sanskrit for loving-kindness) were a seed that has always existed within me were ready to grow at the first glimpse of the the first drop of water if only I would let it reach the seed.  And so it has started to happen.  I attended a spiritual center with a friend last year.  One of the messages taught there was that God is not judging you.  Your spirit a flame of God...the same fire as God.  God sees only God's Self as myself.  God will never judge nor condemn me.  I had heard such a message before, but apparently it was only then that my heart was ready to receive this message.  It allowed me to sit in meditation in the presence of the Divine Love and allow myself to be loved without shame nor remorse clouding the w…

A Path

People often ask me what religion I practice.  Or those of a more mystical bent, might ask what path I follow.  When I was younger, I was obsessed with what I labeled myself.  I explored several religions, diving in their theology and practices for a time, proudly identifying myself as such and such.

So much has changed.  I have changed.  And yet I am the same.

I am not so caught up on labels these days.  I do my spiritual practice.  I meditate.  I pray.  I study sacred texts.  I chant.  I do good.  I attend a spiritual center on the weekends.  Yet naming my path has been hard when folks ask.  I stumble.  I have to think. I have a term for it but largely keep it to myself.

One might describe me as a yogi in the broadest sense of the term.  I seek God.  I seek awareness of God in myself and in all all nature as well.  In my practice of meditation, I sit with mantras (one in English and one in Sanskrit) that remind me that God is within.   When I do hatha yoga, I see…

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Many people do not know, that Martin Luther King was greatly inspired and took his lessons in non-violent resistance from another great man of color, Mahatma Gandhi. Both of these men have a lot to teach me particularly after this election. They resisted evil and yet refused to treat their "opponent" as an enemy.

I refuse to hate Trump. I refuse to demonize him, and yet I will speak against unjust policies that harm people put in place during these next four years. Not on Facebook or other forms of social media...I know of no hearts or minds changed that way. But rather by learning how to contact my senators and how to best present my understanding. I will do good and volunteer, whether it is in helping the needy, the sick, or loving those who are here from the countries south of us.

I may not stand for what Trump stands for and refuse to comply with unjust commands, I still refuse to hate him. I still have a long way to go. Perhaps MLK Jr and Mahatma Gandhi are still teach…

Adventures in Being Lost

There were two fish having a conversation.  One asks the other how they are enjoying the water.  The other replies, "What the hell is water?"

I used to read that the Atman and Brahman are one, and completely did not get it.  To put it another way, our spirit or soul is one with God.  It is a spark from the fire of God.  I heard it over and over so many ways throughout the years and though intellectually I understood the concept, I did not grasp it beyond as a philosophical concept.  But something has changed in the past few months.  I have glimpses of it as a reality.  What if God is me...right now?  That this God In Me does not judge, and nothing can separate from this God who is the essence of love.

It means I am free.  I used to always come to God and feel like I had to spend several minutes confessing all my sins before I could enter the presence of God.  I never felt fully pure.  I felt like a fraud in the presence of the Divine.  But if God is in me and expr…

The Past

As I was singing Jai Gurudev, I became aware of things in my past that still have roots in my life today.  My Christian background bore a lot of fruit, both helpful and harmful.  It challenged me to love God.  It taught me to pray, sing, and love God and to love and serve my neighbor.  It also taught me to hate aspects of myself that are part of my person and unchangeable.  The exclusivity I learned caused me much confusion in the past.  I had made the journey through evangelical fundamentalism into Roman Catholicism and finally out from Christianity.  Yet as I pray and sing to God, as I read Rumi's poetry, I am aware of my appreciation of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.  I am aware of my love of Jesus.  And yet...

Yet, I am not a Christian.  Jesus, I see as a cross between a guru and avatar of God.  I see that of God in him.  Just as God, Guru and the Self are to does Jesus become the Guru into which I see God and my truest Self.  It is funny to honor where I come fr…

Writing Again

The election back in November changed me.  More than any other election, this one threw me for a loop.  I never expected Trump to win.  Someone who comes across as immature, reactive, homophobic, racist and sexist won our presidency.  When it was clear he won, I was shocked, then depressed, and finally scared.  Many fears reared their ugly heads of what his leadership could possibly mean-mass deportations, hatred of all things Islamic, reversal of gay rights, racist and sexist legislation.  His election has brought out a lot of the dark things previously hidden under the rug in our country.

So as I moved through the range of emotions, I have come to view this election and Donald Trump as Kali in her terrifying disguise.  She has exposed our own darkness and some of our deep seated fears.  Her gorgeous black skin has hidden the sun for a time, forcing us to walk in the cavern with our own demons.  She holds up a mirror to America and to each of us, forcing us to look as things are.  Sh…