Awakening the Voice by Loren Wheeler

FullSizeRender.jpg

I went to school for opera training and I’m still unlearning and crafting what I received there. Also I’ve had a long string of bodily injury that gives every day a new doorway into nooks and crannies for the voice to fill into; the body is my work of art. How much nuance can I bring into my musculature, matched with dedicated knowledge acquisition and of course ... as I’m learning every day ... relaxation. How to return even in the stretched open and minute details of classical recitation to a fluid and easeful state?

 

...and then tears, the feeling of impossibility as I devote yet another day to this far reaching task of living a creative life

 

...although that’s just ego isn’t it? My own excuses and apparent hardships standing in my own way.  

 

No, instead, I am truly grateful to be living this artistic life. I am moved by the music. To wake up every day and look into the mirror where, in addition to my groggy eyes, I see written “Dream Big” in artful, bold letters. Yes. I am grateful for this life and all that I put into it day after day. There is nothing I would rather do with my life. 

Enough by Loren Wheeler

Enough


If you're doing a little bit each day to improve the self,

if you're often (not necessary always) asking yourself "how can I be of greater service in the world,"

if you're devoting a little more time overall to something you care about,

if you're focusing on what you do want and not always what doesn't feel right,

If you're making time regularly to make at least a little progress in understanding yourself and how your unique set of life circumstances has created who you are,

If you're doing what you are aware of and are able to do (within the limits of space and time) to create positive change in the world,


Then you are doing enough


And the sum of all those small decisions is already heading in a very positive direction

And you are on your way to making a very meaningful impact on this earth that we share

Meetings of the Self by Loren Wheeler

IMG_4677.JPG

 

We are increasingly developing virtual reality computer worlds wherein people are living the majority of their hours, while plastics are becoming thoroughly integrated into our biosphere and oceans. In those virtual reality worlds there are both designers working tirelessly to engineer a more sustainable future, as well as gamers who spend all day every day reenacting violence, digitally, toward people they've never met. And in the oceans are both fishermen taking whales at unprecedented numbers, as well as people dedicating their every waking moment to cleaning up the mess we're making, no matter how insurmountable the task may seem.

 

What I see is every situation having the possibility to take us further into suffering and the dark underbelly side of our nature, or these same situations being the opportunity for a life-supportive choice and a Yes to clean, pure, and conscious nature.

 

The task I've found myself coming back to again and again is that the very small-seeming decisions that add up over time are vital ... using fewer plastics, prioritizing home cooked meals, changing my orientation toward renewable resources. These are small things which do literally add up to a well-formed life web in the space time continuum.

 

Meanwhile, the big picture perspective is navigating like a compass, bringing clear sight to every movement of the day while maintaining awareness of the overarching movement of my life, of the collective movement of our human family. And amongst this awareness, asking consistently "how can I use my energies for the greater good in the most effective way possible"

 

I was once told by a partner that focusing on our own inner situation is akin to "belly button gazing," with a negative judgement. The value system was around helping people out there, there are people going hungry, they need help, so help them. Yet meanwhile innumerable personal life traumas are running the show alongside a benevolent and loving intention.

 

So there's a meeting and getting to know one another, between the various aspects of the self. The aspect that wants to help and give and manage and loves to offer support, and the aspect that is internal, in pain, in joy, feeling, sensing, the whole inner matrix which channels pure spirit into action and beingness.

 

As far as I have seen and learned, this back and forth never stops, the growing of awareness through action and being, and both are available to be explored.

 

A healthy balance between the two is helpful for both to be full and vital ... deep inner work alongside lucid, directed action and beingness.

Remember to Love by Loren Wheeler

IMG_5983.JPG

The streets are talking to me!

.

Today in Eugene I did a ritual swim down the rapids and river communion experience, next to where I put my clothes down I found a 1-lb bag of powdered star anise. Anyone know much about the uses of this plant? Then I was walking back to my car and was presented with a very much not subtle universe message on the concrete.

.

As I'm learning to embody the full range of emotions, I notice a huge amount of anger surfacing especially from the sacral area. With the clear light of awareness I welcome the energy to fill me and teach me. A central lesson is standing for myself and self protection and preservation. Also a message that something needs to shift considerably, that I'm grating against the flow of life and a choice needs to be made or something let go of.

.

I'm grateful to be choosing a path of embracing the full range of human experience. Guided by teachers I respect, I learn about the one energy in all it's forms moving through this form. Education on the transmutation capacities inside my being. Affirming the light of true awareness and love.

Cody by Loren Wheeler

I filmed this short video years ago on Orcas Island. I just recently found the footage and edited video after years of wondering where it had disappeared to.  

Visiting my friends Sarah and Christian on Orcas Island, Cody came over one night to have some whiskey and do some type writing. It was a perfect evening of creative immersion and I dove into the visual world to explore the textures of his visual poetic perspective. 

Visual pieces like this that remind me of the heartbeat of the muse, she sings through, whispers in quiet moments and places her hands on my hands to lead the way. I follow. 

Smooth and polished like granite by Loren Wheeler

IMG_5914.JPG

Writing and being creative: a new piece being birthed, a procreative ecstatic tingling energy of new life, which, with repetition, often transitions into a less excited and yet deep space. Often I've thought I was doing something wrong and missing the original essence of the music when this transition would happen, out of the ecstatic wide-eyed bliss and into something more mellow, in the deep practice. I wanted to be in that inspired state all the time when I was creating. I would push songs through and record them quickly and sloppily, not totally satisfied, but wanting to preserve that original essence. 

Now i'm taking more time with the music and letting it change me. Going through a form of grieving of that way of relating to music where it's short lived, intense, like a honeymoon phase of relationship. Now I'm embracing the slow diligence of fleshing out and unfolding what a song is asking to become. 

I'm reminded of something the Russian concert pianist Valentina Lisitsa said, that the process of deep practice is transforming a raw block into smooth granite: stable, unmoving, yet polished. 

I still welcome the raw undefined energies of creativity to live in each performance of a song, like when I was growing up, our yard always had a wild area of uncontrolled natural growth.  

Be Yourself by Loren Wheeler

IMG_5902.JPG

The most important skill in being alive is to be flexible. Know what you know, and declare your truth. Discover what is most harmonious and stand deeply rooted within what you believe and know to be true. Yet be ready to let everything go when the new wave of realization comes. Allow the wave to wash over you and simply let go; be carried by the current. Allow yourself to have no connection whatsoever to who you formerly were, if only for an instant. Take one breath. Take another breath. You can grab onto the shore at any time and hold onto some rock of belief once more. You can get off the elevator at any time when you find a level that suits your tastes. The true art is to be the best dancer you can be. This is the path of least resistance, the Jedi way, the Tao, the way of water, the ultimate flexibility. By letting go of and allowing, you more thoroughly become that flow, and in moments there is no distinction able to be made between yourself and the All That Is. Of course there is no becoming anything but the All That Is; you always have been that and will always be that, this, and everything. There is no separation.

Maybe what we're saying here is that its good to learn how to have fun.

Take Your Time by Loren Wheeler

 

 

Take your time

Enjoy the unwinding

Put on something a bit more comfortable

And just let the water take you downstream

If only for today

 

We must respect people where they are at

Resistance comes when force is placed upon an organic body

By feeling into the body and honoring from whence it has come,

With all the experiences that make up its beingness,

From there we can begin to introduce new possibilities of being

Stretching and opening into a new way

 

There is a potent form of release available when honoring is the first step

When we have relationships with others, there must be a mutual respect.

Saying: we are two individuals with unique experiences of living

Coming together to reach a new understanding of what it means to be alive

With all of our skills, attunements, awareness, and ways of being

We come together to expand into a greater understanding of what it means to live,

And to open to what new possibilities exist.

 

I say this because:

It is suffering to live solely within what is known.

It is a kind of death to only operate within a given field of experience,

Never opening to the possibility that there may be other potential realities available to us

By operating this way, we either perfectly fit within what we already know

Or we decrease the scope of what is known,

Always becoming slightly smaller by never stretching

 

However-and it is up to every individual to discover for themselves the truth of this statement-

There is a greater liberation in expanding beyond the known universe

And by this I mean:

Softening in an area to allow for greater flexibility

Opening in one area to give something or someone the benefit of the doubt,

That maybe it is true what they say

Maybe this other person is right

When they speak of that which I do not know

Maybe I can, at least temporarily, allow for what they say to be true,

Within my current understanding of the cosmos.

 

With one allowance come others, and many others follow after these.

 

There’s no rush: take all the time you wish

Stretch marks can be somewhat permanent and leave a lasting impression

Take time, and enjoy the process, as you realize

That growing more flexible is the desirable way

That opening and relaxing does indeed bring the relief that you seek

That the work that has brought you to this moment in time can now soften,

And relax,

In the warm glow of an understanding of the new.

 

Take your time

Enjoy the unwinding

Put on something a bit more comfortable

And just let the water take you downstream

If only for today

We Are In This Together by Loren Wheeler

IMG_2016.jpg

 

 

There are no levels of people

There are only people

There are no better or worse people

There are only people

There are no spiritual or non-spiritual people

There are only people

There are no right or wrong people

There are only people

There are no winning and no losing people

There are only people

There are no good or bad people

There are only people

There are no pure or evil people

There are only people.

 

People learning about the world

People feeling emotions

People thinking and observing

People choosing, given varying sets of options and appearances

People learning how to live based on an individual and collective experience of what it means to be alive

 

We are all just people

Human Beings

And we must learn to live together

As individuals, and collectively

 

This is one planet,

And we all breathe the same air

The same water circulates through this one, whole, ecosystem

 

We must learn to respect one another 

The decisions we each make while living

The way each of us has chosen to be

 

Learn the lessons of our collective past

The holocaust

The racial injustice

The murders

The hatred

And find within yourself the reason these energies exist

Know that we all have within ourselves

All the feelings that exist in the world

All the love, hatred, greed, fear, righteousness, and pain

Feel out each facet

 

CHOOSE who you wish to be

 

Identify what you do not wish to be

And let it go

In love and acceptance,

Full feeling,

Remaining present in the here and now,

Release and allow to dissolve what you do not wish to be

And rest in understanding

 

Do not act to harm your brothers and sisters

Seek to unite all people under a common sky

Seek to unite all people as Human Beings

Wes Anderson by Loren Wheeler

I feel a kind of camaraderie with Wes Anderson;
I see the way that he interacts with his actors, the feeling with which he perceives his own productions, and recognize something that I also feel in myself. The muse speaks through him; he is an open vessel. A receptacle through which inspiration passes and moves. Having gained confidence over years of working through theater and film productions, he has the clarity of vision and potency within to see through his manifestations. Surrounded by a group of production assistants, he ties everyone together in the moment of adding that spark to the picture.

Costumes, lighting, camera operators, set coordinators; all these people have roles to play in his films. Wes becomes the focal point of it all; meticulously focussing on every detail such that the complete vision may be realized. He visions the entire experience and is responsible for externalizing the whole creation, through word and action. His obligation is to create something as close to what he sees as possible.

The actors themselves are surprisingly unable to verbalize specificities around the material itself, the significance of particular plot points, character motivations. They are clearly placed within this acting scenario with the express purpose of creating meaning from bits of dialogue, costumes, sets, etc., and focus on their characters motivations, back story, etc. Given to questions of grander themes, reasons for particular actions, motivations, backstory, the actors are sometimes at a loss for words.

The Ancient Wild by Loren Wheeler

I had Christophe Sun Horse and Kate Wild out to the land the other day, and we shot a music video of their song 'The Big Dark.' here are some photos from the post-video shoot we did, walking back to the house from the tracks

leaps and bounds by Loren Wheeler

I've "deactivated"

I've cut it loose. Why? Because I had been considering it for the last few weeks. "What if I..." "What would that be like?" Just the possibility, the inclination, tickles at me and questions my impulse to detach and divert the energy into other endeavors. What would fill the void if I were to back out now? What energies lie waiting in the space created? So i did. That was five minutes ago. And here I am. Alive, breathing, sensing, feeling. I feel a little lighter in the chest and an emerging curiosity, feeling into it, feeling into what just happened and what is now a reality.

I didn't break off a relationship, ... well, I did, and a fading one at that. facebook. facecrack as my friend calls it. Source of youtube blips, memes, finding your high school friends, staying connected with your friends and community.

I feel this craving for a kind of solitude from the social-web world to immerse in creativity. My inspirations have recently been Banksy, Buckethead, Jedis, Bon Iver; examples of ways to take a step back from the consensus participation into another world, still making insertions into the field through arts or other synchronous infusions.

I feel drawn into the unknown, so it's also just as much about seeing what happens when I _______ (fill in the blank)

Visions: roaming the streets stenciling potent messages for the portlanders: "breathe" ; also, as a t-shirt. Like my dad wore in an old family video I was watching last week. Purple with elegant textured letters saying "breathe!" I think it was especially relevant and may have come into his field around when my mom was giving birth to my brother and I

SO, here we are. Still at it. Still alive. I wonder how long this will last? I would like to live into old age ... a hundred, a hundred and twenty, and on and on ... good and ripe and wisened and humoured and vital with a rich life, full and diverse, many stories, friends, family, enjoying the passing of time. Or whenever feels right. No need to put definitions on this sort of thing. It feels good to sense the energy of that desire, to live long. It distinctly shows that I am saying yes to life, not bringing about a quick ending to this experience.

That seems plenty for now. back to reading Siddhartha.

 

L

on living and dying by Loren Wheeler

 

(prayer: please give me the words to describe this feeling)

It’s a sensation of , that, I am living no life but my own. Imagining myself, projecting myself, onstage and realizing that I am not doing this for anyone but me, in the origin of these sounds. That the act itself of music making comes directly from my need to create. I have let go of being a musician so many times now and I keep coming back to it. It comes out of me … i must create. It has taken death upon death upon death to reach this level. Those small deaths within the being which come with a letting go into something unknown.

Time and again letting go of everything I see myself as being … a musician, a photographer, a videographer, a writer, a vocalist, anything and everything. Sometimes this letting go would get right to the edge of destructive and flip over into an unhealthy space … smoking cigarettes and not eating much for days or weeks, feeling immersed in something dark, contemplating my own death and how I may be able to bring about its quickening. Feeling separated from the whole world, feeling like no one anywhere at any time could possibly understand me and none of it matters. zero, nothing. And then slowly finding bits of intrigue into which I transition, for prolonged moments forgetting my wish to die, and being swept into something joyful and healing and balancing. For me, this has always been singing. If I can move through everything between me and sitting down, I can begin to vocalize and am immediately transported directly into a warm, luscious, patient, present, loving moment within my own self. I become happiness itself, peeling layer upon layer off effortlessly, watching them fall away, as each note passes me by. I then bow to the series of moments immersed in vibration and honor its many gifts.

So it has taken me all of this death and rebirth to become who I am now. it might be essential that every person go through this extent of death in order to truly live; I’m not as interested recently in making broad statements that apply to massive populations, or to try to speak for “all people.” At this time, I prefer the personal: In my experience, there has been no choice but to die all these deaths. The magnetism of death pulls me and I go under, sometime later resurfacing after letting go of the possibility of ever seeing the light of day again. I feel that because of this thorough letting go, I was able to feel more fully that experience of hell, of death, and then to be liberated from its cords by means of not resisting. In the letting go of resistance is also the necessity to not see any aspect of life as bad, or wrong, or evil, but rather to simply see it clearly for what it is, whatever it is.

Tears upon tears, redefining the very experience of being alive and in the process, becoming what I essentially am: all the various interests, inclinations, laughter, perceptions, impulses and everything that makes me who i am. I am still a mystery to myself, and I suspect that I always will be to at least some extent. Little by little filling in the spaces and realizing the full, geometric, balanced, harmonious, vibrating, organic imprint snowflake pattern of perfect imperfection that i am.

 

Moving Through Portland by Loren Wheeler

Janani and I are on a road trip to portland, to see my long time friend and former partner Christie King, as well as my good friend Po Li. Po is who I learned tea from; he is a tea master of the highest regard in my world, and has taught me much about the deep medicine available from the tea plant and within tea ceremony. Janani are considering a move to Portland in the next month or so, checking out areas in town that would be supportive for the next waves of creative expression for each of us: for me, music collaboration, photography, videography, ecstatic dance; for her, teaching yoga, bicycling, and learning more about her craft. It's a big step into the unknown and an opening into the possiblities of expanding into our parallel lives during these times. Finding ways of learning together, and moving fluidly with one another, exploring, pushing our edges, and opening our eyes and hearts to one another, radiating within the love we have for one another and expanding from there into creative endeavors, writing, teaching, growing in this life and feeling the joy that naturally bubbles forth, and the lessons available with every turn. basking in this river flow ...

Waking to the Melting of Frost by Loren Wheeler

I wake and the memory of dreams lingers, i stoke the fire, cut wood, kiss her on the cheek as she moans a deep moan and feels warm and sleepy. I feel the cold air on my skin as i step into the new day outside, see the frost on everything, hear the faint sound of geese flying and calling, moving south. the light is angular; it slices across the valley and lights the crest of the opposite hills; an orange glow can be seen slowly descending the hillside, creeping down, then into the trees that line Whiskey Creek, then slowly across the meadow. The warmth of the sun leaves a receding line of frost in the grass; on the opposite sides of trees, the shade offers cool protection to the ice, from the warmth of the sunlight glow.

I awake and feel great change, particularly more every day, in unique ways, the tarot cards I draw, the way I look into faces and see added depth, the way each moment of living feels sacred, the sense of a great work being created by all of my devotion to the one love. I feel great potential for and vision into the reality of higher education… a master’s degree, in-depth studies, taking all this potential energy to learn and grow and applying it in a deep and focused way. Becoming a scholar. I have been resistant to the structures of education and now see that I am able to use the confines of the form to my and everyone else’s advantage and benefit. Learning and teaching about the world. I see myself as a university professor, as a guest lecturer, as a commencement speaker, as a wise man on the fringes of the town, the culture, I see myself transmitting knowledge and mentoring.

I am aware of the many skills I have acquired over the last ten years or so, since I first stepped into college and away from my hometown, Eugene, Oregon. Opera performance, vocal jazz, aquatic toxicology, music and consciousness … and those indescribable skills, or rather the very soil of my being, cultivated and nourished within some kind of heart-pouring of compost tea to the soil of my own undergrowth. The fostering of a peace within. The centering in my own body suit so as to fully look others in the eye and reveal my inner landscape exactly as it appears to me. The deep longing, after years of shedding, to create works of deep and immense beauty, truth, transparency, dancing with the muse cheek-to-cheek as i surrender my resistant ego to the call of the One Flow that moves through me.

Everything seems to pour from it and into it  … it is this ever-changing force, which effects me and moves through me, which I can see as a constant stream of information in the form of feeling, a great blue-green river in which i swim energetically, or rather a sea, because it’s easy in a way to imagine that the very air is this sea and I am always existing in it. Like air, I need it to survive! I am intrinsically linked with its existence: it can live without me but not i without it. Eating, sleeping, dancing, breathing, loving, laughing, crying, all within this ocean of experience. I could also just call it feeling, without mentioning anything outside myself (a sea, the air). I feel strong surges of powerful emotions come into me, take me over, jolt me awake in the night to sit up writing dreams and visions of days to come. I feel the longing to peel off these layers which seem to keep me contained, these invisible coverings and maskings around my body, mind, spirit, heart, emotions, to be open and flexible and to feel everything more. I long to feel more. Even with the pain and the heartache and the disappointments and the breaches of trust, I want to feel more, love more, desire more, live more, go further, dive deeper.

“what are these lives and where are they leading?
what are these minds and what are they figuring?
rising, capsizing, dividing, resolving, unhinging, synthesizing in this synergy”
-loren