Sunrise at Rincon





We finally shipped our mooring lines and headed out to sea! We said goodbye to family at a wonderful, laid back turkey day at my brother’s house, did a few more runs to the dump and goodwill, and got underway after noon on Saturday.


Headed south. So the Woman don’t freeze.

We were aiming for Rincon, a long stretch of roadway that fronts the beach north of Ventura where rigs can camp on a first come first served basis. Saturday evening on Thanksgiving weekend and I was worried we wouldn’t find a spot. We said a prayer to our guardian angels asking them to clear out a spot, and as we drove in, the first spot in the joint was wide open. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

We dropped the rig real quick and went into Ventura in the Sportsmobile for some excellent Thai drunken noodles at Rice. Then we skittered back here and tucked in the for the night.

Today we’re headed east to Lake Piru, then on to Joshua Tree. Then Anza Borrego desert land.

Then who knows.









Giving Thanks

hh dalai lama


Today is the day our culture sets aside for giving thanks, so it’s a good time to do just that. I mean, even a misguided culture has an occasional good idea, right?

So here goes for me:


I am grateful for the Buddha, for the teachings, and for the sangha of qualified teachers and fellow practitioners. Without them, my life would have gone on just the same as it always had. With them, I am experiencing basic goodness and sanity and learning how to be of benefit to others and how to be a little bit less harmful in my approach.

I am grateful for the Woman on the Verge, my path and my heart and my most profound teacher, guide, and co-conspirator. She’s got enough steel in her that I can sharpen myself against her and enough love in her that it makes me want to. It is my great good fortune to have encountered her and entered into her orbit.

My wider family. Our daughter, our grandchildren, my brother and sisters, my mother and father and step mother and step father and grandparents and uncles and cousins and aunts. What we are flows through each of our family members in wider and wider circles. You can’t pick out what part is just yours, because they are in you and you are in them. That circle widens and widens to include everyone that ever was or will be, and not just human beans but every living thing.

We are all one.

I am grateful for this new journey. Glad the house was sold to a couple who will love it and be nurtured by it just as we were. Glad to be debt free at last and with money in the bank. Grateful for my career which is now supporting us with my pension. Grateful that I got through that job without having to take a life and without losing mine. Grateful for what I learned about myself and about everyone else, especially about death in all of its many forms. Death, and courage. Basic goodness and basic confusion. Forgiveness and retribution. Compassion and selfishness. That job was a cauldron that cooked everything down to brass tacks, to mix metaphors.

Grateful that I got to say goodbye yesterday to my Grandmother who is slipping out of this world very slowly and to my Grandfather who is going with her, faster or slower, but bound to go where she goes. Grateful for the chance to be with them both in mindfulness and prayer and compassion and deep joy and to wish them well and give them my love.

Grateful that my brother didn’t take any of the bullets that were intended for him in the last SWAT call out. Glad they missed him.

Grateful for you. For your reading here, for your love and your kindness. For sharing your hearts with me and for going forward with joy and trepidation but always going.

Grateful for my health and my basic sanity, for the strength still in me and for my own courage and good heart which leads me always farther into the wilderness of what is. I enjoy my own company and for that I’m grateful, too.

Pilgrimage. My Dharma brothers and sisters. Nature in all of its transcendent glory and presence. The vastness of the sky, the wheeling between day and night. The mysteries of the worlds inner and outer. The many guides and spirits, the angels and demons, the beings of all the realms and the realms and the cord that winds through all things and binds them one to the other.

I can go on and on in this prayer without ceasing, for everywhere I turn my gaze it falls upon blessings too numerous and wild to count. In truth I am grateful for everything just as it is and for this moment in its fullness and strangeness which is the only moment.

For love, in the end, which is my altar and my god.




Namaste, pilgrims!




Living in a Van Down By The River

airstream door.jpg



Well. Here’s a shot I took yesterday after the rains as the sun began to set.

We are doing okay.




We’re still in a kind of no-man’s land between our previous lives and the lives we’re moving into. Lots of details left to attend to- changing addresses, getting vehicles registered and insured, still offloading stuff to Goodwill and American Vets. Trying to figure out how to store the knives and forks.

One thing we learned is not to park in the shade of the pine trees if we want to charge up our batteries with our solar panels. Ha ha ha. Also we learned that we need to close the roof vents when it rains or it rains inside too. Our old house did not have any windows in the roof. Ha ha ha ha ha.

One weird thing is the dog. She fucking loves the van, but she hates the trailer. She stands in the Airstream with her nose on the door, begging to be let out. Then when we let her out she hobbles over to the van and tries to get in it. If we let her in, she clamber up in there and sleep the day away.

I don’t get it.


airstream ohm


It didn’t feel like home till I put the ohm on her.



van and airstreaminterior


There’s a shot of the Sportsmobile and the Airstream living together at long last. The last one is a shot of the Airstream in her undies.


We are home.




It feels really, really good. Lots and lots to learn, lots of mistakes yet to make. But damn if we didn’t get to the other side of the bridge.



Big love to you all. Namaste.


And it’s going to be intermittent around here. Internet is spotty and we’re figuring out a whole new life. Please keep coming by and saying hi, but know that it’s awkward for me to create longer posts. Postcards for now!



thank you all for all of your prayers and well wishes. we are living on them!





Looks like we made it.




Ed and Helga contemplate the garden in their new Eden.




We made it down to San Diego and grabbed up our new airstream. It took a couple of hours to hook it up and drag it off, but we made our nervous way north without incident. That thing tows like a dream with the beefy weight-distribution hitch. We get pushed over a little bit every time someone passes us, but we move as a unit so there’s no swaying of the trailer behind us. My buddy had a trailer flip over on him and get totaled, so I’m wary of that. But we managed just fine.

We camped overnight at Ocean Mesa campground near El Capitan state beach, just north of Santa Barbara. Almost a hundred bucks a night, but there was lots of pool and hot tub and fancy “glamping” food and drink. Lots of rich folk with huge rigs “roughing” it.

Like us.

We ended up camped right next to Matthew Hoffman, of Hoffman architects, the guy who did the most beautiful airstream renovation I’ve ever seen, and then turned it into a business. He’s the guy who was my first inspiration for living in an airstream. I saw what he’d done and thought “I could live in that.”

It seemed like a kinda big sign from the Universe that we ended up right next to him on our first night. Maybe it was just coincidence. But I’m dubious of that.

The next morning we hooked up again and drove north. Parked in front of my mom and stepdad’s place and loaded up all our earthly possessions into the rig. (Thank you for letting us moochdock the last few days!)We’ve been paring down and paring down and paring down, but we still had lots and lots of stuff to load up. But my amazing wife squirreled away everything as fast as I could bring her boxes to unpack, and in a couple of hours we were loaded up and pulled out again, headed north to San Simeon campground where we were hoping for a spot we could hang out in until Thanksgiving.

Again the gods smiled on us and we found the place pretty much wide open. I got to back up the rig for the first time into a space, and again with Yolie’s help it was pretty painless.

I think this gig is going to be pretty sweet.

So, we spent the night nesting, looking for where to put everything, trying to get artwork up, seeing what works. Listening to music and laughing and looking at each other all lit up and happy and knowing we’d done something big, something spectacular and brave and wild and at long last we were on the other side of the whole sheebang and we were starting this new thing, this amazing life on the road. We’ve still got five days to figure stuff out, refine a bit more, figure out how stuff works, have Thanksgiving dinner with everyone and say goodbye- then we’ll be out in the deep water, destination unknown.



Namaste. Thank you all for your well-wishes and prayers- they were all felt, and all necessary!


May you be happy and free from suffering.





Escape Velocity

Manning The Oars


In physics, escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for an object to “break free” from the gravitational attraction of a massive body.


Well, we’re off today to San Diego to pick up our Airstream, our new home on wheels. We’ve shed everything else.

I’m still somewhat stunned by how difficult it was to make this transition. Not emotionally difficult, not hard to get rid of things, to sell the house, to say goodbye over and over and over again to the physical talismans of a lived life- but simply the physical process- the obstacles, the setbacks, the sense that some force was actively conspiring against us at every turn to make us give up, to make us turn back. I’d imagined that once we made up our minds to do this, to really do it, and joyfully, that the Universe would open its arms to us, open all the doors, scatter rose petals on the path before us.

Instead there was all this difficulty.

I guess that’s not exactly right, either. There actually were both phenomenon occurring together- the doors opening, the red sea parting, the petal strewn path beckoning, yes- but simultaneously there were the forces trying to turn us back, the myriad obstacles big and small and the sense of intentionality behind them.

Of course, I’m reminded of the Buddha’s time under the Bodhi tree and the endless visits from Maya, trying to tempt him away from the path with his beautiful daughters and then with hordes of terrifying monsters and soldiers.

Well, the Buddha held his seat and reached the goal. It looks like we were able to do the same.




I’m two weeks retired now. I’m happy. I feel open, relaxed, attentive, grateful, sweet, generous, thrifty, and brave. I get to hang out all day every day with the woman on the verge and I feel blessed beyond measure to get to be in an atmosphere where it feels good to breathe.

She is my path.



Spiritually, I feel pregnant. Just going for a walk makes the veil between this world and the next gossamer thin. Information leaks through continuously in the form of signs and omens. Not a verbal language, but a symbolic and physical one. I can feel my cells opening up and the light and love of what is shining through them. My neurons and all the electrical activity of my physical body lights up with the pulses of energy coming from what is. Each bird that wheels in the sky above me blows a hole in my heart, which is growing vaster moment by moment. Practice becomes each breath, each footfall, each interaction with a stranger encountered on the path. Aliveness, gratitude, wonder, abundance, ease, and a longing to serve, to be of use, to be put to use, to throw in my lot with everything that is, and to serve love- this is the fuel burning in my every cell. And of course, this knowledge that this body I inhabit streams outward in all directions forever and is inextricably linked to all that is. If I am one thing it is that I am all.


I feel I’ve awakened from a dream.



Logistically, we’re driving down to San Diego and Sunday we’ll finish the transaction and hook up the Airstream and head north again. Come back to our little town, find a place to park- hopefully in San Simeon campground- and then load our few remaining possessions into our new home, and again disperse those last few things that won’t make the cut- give or throw them away. Then hang out until Thanksgiving. Have a last hurrah with our family here, and head off into the wilderness.

This is a bittersweet time. We’re joyful at our departure, but heartbroken to leave our child and our grandchildren and my parents and brother and grandparents and what what what. A whole tribe has settled here and we’re moving on. I’m certain they’ll forgive us, and I know they’re rooting for us. But there’s a tinge of sadness in leaving.

But the joy is vast.



I don’t know what will become of us. We’ve stepped through a magical portal and our old lives are burned away to dust and the dust will blow and scatter in the wind.

A new thing will emerge.




As always, my prayer is for your happiness, for your peace and well-being. May you be happy, may you be free from suffering and the cause of suffering, may you know love, may you have ease and joy and abundance, may the terrible things pass you by.










wandering nomads


So we took off to Phoenix for the weekend in search of our Airstream. We went out to meet a guy who had an old one for sale, a 1976 Argosy. Older than we wanted, but cheaper, too. And the ad said it was camp ready, all systems updated, functional, good to go.

So off we went.

We boondocked for the night in Quartzsite, just pulled off the highway and drove off into the desert. It was a sweet, sweet taste of what’s to come for us I think. The night was cool and dark and the sky vast and ablaze with stars, the milky way ribboned through it.

We broke camp in the morning and drove into Phoenix. The rig was a bust, total piece of crap- lots of new silver spray paint trying to cover up the rust and holes and missing hardware.

So we passed on that.

Yolie found us another rig nearby on Craigslist in about five minutes, and we drove out there- it was perfect, just what we were looking for, great price. We were certain that the universe was conspiring to lead us all the way out here with that crappy rig just to get us to this one, this shining jewel. We drove up and got out just as a guy was counting out a fist full of cash into the seller’s hand.

Busted again.

That one hurt, too. A nut kick. We drove off in silence, kind of stunned and sick feeling. Everywhere we turned these Airstreams were appearing then drifting away from us, always out of reach, turning into smoke.

So we headed home again. A long day of driving ahead of us, and nothing to show for it and nothing on the horizon that we could hang our hopes on. But we were together, and in our sportsmobile on the road, and we could really taste what our life might be like in a few short weeks.

The past several months have been difficult for us. Lots of hard work and uncertainty and busting ass to get the house in shape and sold, all while juggling our daughter and her kids moving in, moving out, moving back in, moving back out- all of our lives jumbled up and impossible.

But here we were driving into the setting sun on a desert highway in companionable silence, happy as clams despite our disappointment.

It was good.


And before we got home we had another Airstream in our sights. We talked it over and decided to go ahead and look at higher priced rigs, and we found one right away. A dream trailer, very nice compared to what we’ve been looking at. Still not new, not the top of the line, but in good shape and what needs work is cosmetic, the things we’re both really good at doing- turning a so-so space into a beautiful and welcoming home. So on Sunday morning we loaded up again and headed north this time, three hours drive into Los Banos.

We looked at it, we liked it, and we’re in negotiations with the dealer now.

I will keep you posted. Please say a prayer for us if that’s your thing, or wish us well, keep your fingers crossed, light a candle.

Let this one be ours.


Last night was my last Sunday night! Never again will I live through the dreaded Sunday before work blues.

A strange ritual to let go of, but one I welcome.

And now I’m in my last week of work. Still too much to do, but I have faith that everything is going to be just fine.


Namaste, my good friends.





who, me?


I got two weeks left at work and it’s twenty four days until we’re out of the house and yesterday the guy I wanted to buy the airstream from says he changed his mind and wants to keep it so now we’re scrambling a bit.

We got no home to tow!

What’s going to happen to us?

I don’t know.

And that’s just it, I think. That’s the uncomfortable place we’ve been digging for, in a way. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We lit fire to one end of the bridge we’re on and we’re hoping to get the rest of the bridge built before the flames catch up to us and we fall flaming into the abyss.

It’s so exciting!

Probably we’ll find another Airstream that fits our needs and whoever owns it will actually want to sell it to us instead of just dicking us around, and we’ll go get it and we’ll bring it back here and we’ll get it all road worthy and load it up with the eleven things we still have left and we’ll high tail it out of here as happy as clams.

Probably that.

But maybe not. You never can tell. And here’s where I find the nut of this whole endeavor- I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know that what we’re doing, what we’re embarked upon, is a path with a heart. 

We’ll be doing what we want to be doing. Without knowing exactly how that’s going to pan out. What do we know? That we’ll be together. That we’ll be awake. That we’ll be attentive. That we’ll be wide open. That things we could never anticipate will befall us.

Because we’ve set fire to our past we can’t go back, we can only go forward. This is a good way to proceed if you are a nervous little poodle like me. It cuts out a lot of bad decisions I’d be maybe prone to make, and it makes me sack up a little bit, pull up my panties, and get ‘er done. I’ve learned more about accepting uncertainty and discombobulation in the past six months than I have in long while. I’m getting better at it. If I’m riding a tidal wave of whiskey on a surfboard of I don’t care, I may not be curving a bad ass bottom turn or shredding the lip, but I’m paddling like crazy and getting to my feet at least.

Or something like that.

One of the most fantastic things about all of this is my wife. She’s fucking amazing, is what. Takes it all in stride, makes it look easy. She tends to me, makes sure I’m not freaking out too bad and if I am she’ll hold a cold cloth to my head and whisper sweet nothings into my ear until I stop shaking. She’s beautiful and brilliant and so goddamn alive and I’m getting at long, long last to live my dream of spending all of my days with her.

I am a lucky man.

Even if I do end up living in a van down by the river.


Love to you all. May you find what you seek and may goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your lives.


Fifty-one fifty.


Woke up this morning to an unusual feeling- nothing to worry about. No worries at all. We’ve  accepted an offer on the house and escrow closes in thirty days. They’ve stopped assigning me cases at work because I won’t be around to testify at trial. Everyone is healthy and relatively stable. I have so many friends and no one is mad at me or disappointed in me. I’ve got a good retirement that will meet our pared-down needs and I won’t have to work again unless I want to, and I doubt I will want to. My wife loves me and we’re going to be together day and night. We have jettisoned everything that doesn’t serve a simple life on the road, and we’re headed out soon.

A nice way to wake up on my birthday.


Namaste, y’all.



boudhanath stupa

It has been eight months since I returned from pilgrimage in Nepal and India, following the Buddha’s footsteps from his birthplace in Lumbini to his parinirvana at Kushinagar.

Everything associated with that pilgrimage was, and continues to be, the most profound thing I’ve experienced in this lifetime. Eight months on it remains as vivid and pulsatingly strange to me as it was when I was in the midst of it all.

I say it’s been eight months since I returned, but that’s not quite right. I got off the bus, but I never quite made it back to my old life.


The proof of that to me lies in where I find myself today. My last days at work are slipping by with alarming rapidity. Our lovely blue house is on the market and every day new families walk through it, seeing if it will be their home soon. It is no longer ours, that feels true, and we want only to be good caretakers until the next occupants reveal themselves and take possession of what was for so long our home. We have been hard at work divesting ourselves of possessions, of the physical objects we’ve accumulated- but the growing emptiness of our closets and rooms is just an echo of the deeper divesting of old patterns, ways of being that no longer quite fit, that no longer serve us, and are being left behind.

The Woman on the Verge and I have endured a similar paring down in our relationship with each other. Everything was ruthlessly eradicated, tossed out, lit on fire, and we found ourselves in a vast, empty, new world. What was left was different, but vital and condensed and brilliant- like finding jewels in the ashes of a fire.

From top to bottom, inside to out, everything has been jettisoned that could be. Only the most vital, the most true things remain.

The world itself seems to have dried up and blown away in the force of all of this change. Not the true world, but the world of illusion, the world of my hopes and fears, the world I created with my ego, with my plans and strategies, with my lies and errors and confusion.

I’m walking around now with only the sound of wind and sea in my ears, a vastness, an endless openness, seems to expand in all directions around me.

I know not what we’ll find.


I know that it sounds simpleminded to lay all of this change at the feet of that pilgrimage. Nothing really changes everything like that, right? Millions of threads of past actions and thoughts just converged at that time and location and although it might look to me from my limited perspective that one thing caused the other, it’s likely more complex than that.

But still.

I want to say this happened, that happened. I want to tell the stories, one by one, of all of the improbable and impossible and miraculous events that transpired- for me, and for all of us on that trip. But that implies that the pilgrimage happened, that it is in the past. But that is not my experience of it. Eight months on, the pilgrimage is still very much happening now. And I don’t mean the aftereffects of it, I don’t mean the memories. I mean it’s still as if I am there, as if every moment in those caves, in those temples and chambers and gates and hallways, is still happening right now. And will always be happening. Has always been happening.

I have spent my whole life trying very hard to understand the nature of reality, to delve deeply into all models of what’s really going on- time, matter, energy, life, death, suffering, joy. I want to know. I want to take it all apart and see what makes it tick. And I’m still doing that, I am. I haven’t stopped. But something profound has shifted in my approach. I’ve let go of understanding, I’ve let go of the desire to say, “This is how it is.” This is real, that is not. This is true, that is false. I am this, you are that. I am here, you are over there.

What pilgrimage did, one thing it has done to me, is to rip that mask off. Rip it off of me, and rip it off of the world. There’s no more any sense of how things are as being in any way definitive. Everything is provisional on the most profound levels. There’s no ground left for me. And yet, in this swirling, dissolving, complex maelstrom of everything and everywhen there is, there still is. It’s not as if anything has gone anywhere.

Nothing has changed.


I’m finding more and more that my words are inadequate to describe my landscape. I say and say and say what I’m seeing, what it’s like, how it feels, what I experience, what that means to me, and I seek everywhere among my most trusted companions some validation, some agreement, some sense that I’m not simply losing my mind altogether.

But what is blows through me like a wind and drowns out everything else, everything which is false, everything which is approximation.

I stand transfixed.


The great good thing about the teachings is that they give me a reliable map, one I can use to find my way back when I go too far off the beaten path and sense I’m in the weeds. I can experience all things, but there is still practice, there is still equanimity, there is still wisdom and compassion and a lot of hard, practical work to be done.


Perhaps I am wrong to speak at all of these things. I know there is a danger in it. A danger of becoming intoxicated with my own experience, a danger of encouraging others to see the path as woo-woo mysticism and strangeness rather than reliable and practical and simple and good.

But maybe you are in a similar place, maybe it does some good, too. That’s my hope, that’s my prayer. I want to be open about my experience in the hope that it serves you, serves your own efforts to be good and to understand and to be of service. I mean, that’s what it all comes down to- we should be good, and we should help each other, and how hard can that be?


Thanks for listening.



May all beings find happiness and the cause of happiness.

May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.

May they not be separated from the great happiness that is free from suffering.

May they abide in great equanimity, free from attachment and aversion

to those far and near.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers