The Umaverse: Photographic Art and Tarot Readings

For your rooms and walls: Photographic Art

For your inner spaces and growth: Tarot Readings

After years of daydreaming and night dreaming, talking and musing, dipping in and retreating, it’s official. Today I hang out the “open for business” sign. Come on in and look around at my new store, The Umaverse.

Welcome!

Notwithstanding that I am not a lover of long-term plans (because I tend to not stick to them), the basic idea is that UmaBode.com (where you are now) will come back to life as a blog of all things Uma, while the new site, TheUmaverse.com, is for commerce of all things Uma. That’s right, you can now buy Uma goods and services!

As for this blog – I really need to get back on that horse. I have so much to say and it’s not really fair to my lunch dates that they have to listen to me go on and on about every damn topic I care about. That’s what you-all are supposed to be for!

So, have a look at the new site and get yourself something for your walls and something for your soul. Either or both—I’m happy to help.

Stay Focused on the Heart

Resist the urge to get overly angry today. Resist the urge to polarize so much that we are unable to work together and make alliances and see whatever it is that our possibly fascist new administration is plotting. Don’t fall prey the polarizing rhetoric on social media and the news. Stay focused on love, see with the eye of your heart, and keep aware of what the hell is going on. Make calls to politicians and the White House, but just turn a deaf ear on the endless arguments that permeate all media. I find that twitter is a huge huge mistake right now. Just allows too much immediate reason for anger and division. Stay away, my friends! Have a beautiful day – don’t forget, it’s still a beautiful world.

Uma, over and out.

 

the Mystery

Religion. Spirituality. God.

We are religious, or we are not religious. We are spiritual, but not religious. We are atheists. We are agnostics. We pray to Jesus, our savior. We pray to God. We pray but not to anything. We go to church. We meditate. We do yoga. We travel to an ashram in India. We join a church. We move to a new church. We tell our children some version of what we were told. We try to say it like we mean it.

But…what IS it that drives us to these things, whatever they may be, that come under the category “religion.”

What IS religion? What IS God? What IS spirituality?

Having spent a lifetime concerned with this, focused on this, in one form or another: studying it at university, esoteric schools, hindu gurus, yoga, finding teachers and leaving teachers, meditation, now…I find it more and more to be, um, well, mysterious, frankly. Vague. Unclear.

I notice that we humans seem to have a tendency to corral ourselves into belief systems, (whether traditional or new age), into concepts of what God is or is not, what to believe or not to believe, what our life “means,”  and other such burning situations that come under the category of Spirituality and Religion.

Because aren’t they just a way to separate ourselves from each other? And what do we know, really?

It seems to me that mistrust grows bigger and bigger in me all the time. Mistrust of anything outside of my own heart and mistrust of any idea, institution or teacher.

And at the same time, paradoxically, TRUST grows bigger in me all the time. Trust of my own heart’s knowing and my own path unfolding and what my gut tells me is true. For me.

As Vanessa Stone says, “Your Life, exactly as it is, is the perfect prescription for the evolution of your soul.”

I’m on it. What about you?

 

Thinking About God

 

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about God.

The Beloved.

All that is, and all that animates all that is.

The One and The Way.

The fragmented fullness of your path unfolding.

The Living Map.

Trust it.

Headed Straight Into the Storm

There’s a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I’m headed straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
~ The Promised Land

As I prepare to leave Austin this morning and embark upon this Odyssey, the sky is pouring rain. Thunder and lightening flash and crash around my little home. Strong winds bend tree branches and drive hard drops against the windows. It’s loud. So loud, I turned off the music.

I’m finishing my last tasks with only the sounds of the storm around me.

There’s a rightness in this. I can hear the silence within the storm, like the heartbeat of all existence. It was that which brought me to this moment. Something called me, and has been calling me all my life. I can listen for it, and respond. Or I can give a million excuses why not.

After 50 turns round the sun, and however many nights and days that I’ve been alive, I am done turning away. Finished with it. I’m claiming my freedom, which also means surrendering to the Way that life will move me.

Following Bruce is much more than a rock-n-roll adventure. It’s beyond being a fan. It is easy to get caught up in the “form” of this journey. But my deepest wish is that I will focus ever more deeply on what this adventure really is: a voyage home, to deeper and deeper interiors of my heart. And that through this blog I will find some way to bring you along on that journey.

This past weekend I had the great good fortune to retreat for 2 days and nights with a group of people similarly dedicated to a journey such as mine. Led by Vanessa Stone, a beautiful sister and teacher on my path, we spent our time in circle and alone on the land, in silence and in talk and laughter, making new friendships and strengthening old ones. Vanessa reminded me, as time with her always does, that this life is a precious opportunity and perfectly perfect as it is.

As I wrote that, thunder crashed, punctuating the power of this truth. As a great poet once wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

And I realize, this Odyssey is perfectly prescribed for me.

Threshold

I am moving rapidly but easily through layers that feel like gauze, but also like water. The light is shining and I see it above me through a kind of shimmering surface.

Movement is effortless and more graceful than the ungainly paddle of arms and legs. My body and mind are synchronized; forward motion happens just because I want it to.

Every day it gets easier, even as my tasks grow more numerous and endless ideas bubble up so fast I can barely contain them…things to do, art to create, topics to write about, more concepts for the Following Bruce adventure, visions for this website, for the journeys ahead, for my whole entire life.

I am fast approaching some threshold. It is approaching me. We are each on a locked trajectory, precisely aimed to crash into one another.

What this threshold is, I’m not sure. I think it may be the edge of the only atmosphere I’ve breathed in this life so far. An outgrown gravity that I’m escaping. An ancient boundary condition that I’m exceeding.

All I know is, nothing is going to stop us from coming together, this edge and me…

The
brink
verge
limit
frontier
border
perimeter
precipice

and me,

we are lovers.

My destiny is that edge.
Falling off it
is the home I’ve longed for.

Spiritual Defined (for this blog)

To start with, I want to be clear. Very clear. About what spiritual is and is not to me, and what I do and do not mean or imply when I use this word.

What you are about to read is a personal definition. I am not imposing it on you. But if you want to read what I have to say (and I really, REALLY hope you do), it’s helpful if you know what I mean by certain words.

[This is an important and too-often overlooked aspect of communication. Get your definitions straight. Talk it out. Be clear.]

So, in the interest in clarity and open communication, here’s where I’m at with the concept of “spirituality” at the present moment:

  1. Spiritual is not religious.
  2. All life is the spiritual journey.
  3. There’s no morality associated with spirituality. Spirituality is not about how you are supposed to behave, or a set of rules you are supposed to follow.
  4. You can’t be more or less spiritual. You can’t be off the path.
  5. We are innately spiritual.
  6. We are here to be human and that is what our spiritual path is about – our specific human life is exactly FOR us. For our “soul’s evolution.”
  7. I use words like “God” and “soul.” I don’t meant them in the way they are described in any religion. Especially not the Judeo-Christian-Muslim families of religion. (Unless you are talking about the mystical esoteric sects of those religions. Then, probably, there’s more common ground. Like, for instance, the heart-based Sufi path. The ways of Rumi and Hafiz.)
  8. God is all that is, God is the source of all that is, also the sustainer and destroyer of all that is. It’s mystical, it’s esoteric, it’s not something your mind can comprehend. (And it’s not a he or a she – both maybe. And more.)
  9. The spiritual path is the life you are living and the way of awakening is through the heart. The mind/ego/self will take its right place as we soften into the life that we have. As we come to trust the path unfolding before us. As we drop the idea of something that must be achieved or earned.

I could go on…and on…and I probably will. But for now, this is a good start.

And YOU?

How’s that hit you? What’s your personal spirituality and path look like?

Comment away. Let’s discuss.

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