Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on April 3, 2015

I’m not much on clothes. In our main house, we have no closets. Instead we have what’s come to be called the “clothes room.” That’s where the clothes are. And in that room I have four white wooden cubes about 18” square with the open side of each facing up like a bin. One of those cubes is full of identical socks. Ever since I first went to Tibet, I wear Thorlo Coolmax Lt. Hiker Crew socks in Navy Heather color. These socks last at least a decade or more.

In another cube or so I have L.L. Beans seersucker shirts in a gingham blue-check, all the same. I don’t wear anything other than tropic-weight pants and a very light fiber-fill vest. I might as well be some kind of modern Amish for what that’s worth. I like clothes that are as light as possible and let air in, thus the seersucker shirts.

And I am not clothes-conscious. I won’t know whether you are wearing something new or have just cut your hair. I have trouble remembering names, but not faces, and will usually know how present you are mentally. That’s what I naturally see. Especially going on 74 years of age, I am not so much about appearances, and for good reason.

Today I am packing to go to New York to see His Holiness the Karmapa. I have a pile on the living room couch of nineteen pairs of socks and nineteen of those same gingham colored shirts. That’s how long we will be gone, plus one set extra. My friend Zachary Ray will be house sitting for us and taking care of our much-loved dog Molotov, who used to be my daughter May’s dog during all the years she hitchhiked and rode freight trains busking her music on the streets of America.

Back then May had pink and/or blue hair, if I remember right, and carried chains and a Leathermen multi-tool on hip. May would suddenly appear at our home, fresh off the road, sometimes with friends and dogs, stay for a day or two, and then she was gone. As parents it was heartbreaking to have her go off like that, we knew no where or how she was fairing. But I would not stop her. I had done the same thing to my parents, and now that she has a child, she too will learn of this.

Yesterday I posted a wonderful song by May’s partner Seth Bernard called “We Can Change (our own minds),” which I wish I could play for His Holiness the Karmapa because that is what mind-training is all about, not changing the mind itself, but changing our attitude toward it. Here is the flip-side of that double-single, this time a song by May called “Siren Song.” These two songs were part of a collaboration by Seth, May, and producer Tyler Duncan, with Trevor Hobbs on drums. “Siren Song” takes some careful listening because it is softly sung.


Like all real spiritual experiences, the advent of seeing His Holiness the Karmapa is upon me, and his presence is already working in me. It has been for some time. We enter his mandala when we bring him to mind, and I have been, of course. It is like flinging yourself off a cliff. As the great Tibetan siddha the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche once said.

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, and no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”

[Photo taken in the last day or so.]