Friday, December 23, 2011

Photos by the talented singer/songwriter Jaclyn Shaw

Short hiatus

Naturally, the holiday season has been pretty hectic, so I haven't been able to blog recently. Today, I break that silence, since I have a few things to write about.

I read this book by Yehuda Berg called "Kabbalah On Love." With the help of Kabbalah, one can definitely learn how to attract a soulmate. The only way to feel the love from a soulmate, according to Berg, is to love and give unconditionally. For many, this can be a hard task. In relationships, we often think about how convenient it is to be in a relationship with a particular lover. We think about what kind of needs we need met. Yet, we don't think much about how we can meet the needs of another. Love is a selfless endeavor and reciprocity often falls by the wayside. We must also take into account that the human ego gets in the way of us being able to love wholeheartedly. We may become bitter over not finding a fulfilling relationship. We may unintentionally, and in some cases intentionally sabotage ourselves because we believe that we cannot love or be loved. However, the mission to finding true love is to develop enough confidence to believe that you can give to another, so that when another unconditionally gives to you, the Light becomes more prevalent and the inner saboteur known as the ego dissipates with every protective curtain removed. Naturally, this is a work in progress for all of us. However, it is essential if we are to accept the challenges that come along with being in love and letting your mind and your ego not dictate the actions you must take to attract that special someone.

As a shameless plug, my poetry will be featured in Eunoia Review in late March. I am also hoping that I will be accepted into The New School for next year to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. I mentioned this blog in my statement of purpose as a legitimization for not only my writing, but to reinforce the theme of spirituality that the statement of purpose was centered around. If I get accepted, there is a chance you will be seeing more poetry on here, so watch out for that. Also, in a future post, I will be plugging the photographic styling of Jaclyn Shaw. We did a photo shoot last night and the photos were excellent, so I will be linking them very soon.

Happy Chanukah! Merry Christmas! Happy Solstice! Joyous Kwanzaa!

Peace and love to all!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Prayers

To everything there is a season,

a time for every purpose under the sun.

A time to be born and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

a time to kill and a time to heal ...

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance ...

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to lose and a time to seek;

a time to rend and a time to sew;

a time to keep silent and a time to speak;

a time to love and a time to hate;

a time for war and a time for peace.

ecclesiastes 3:1-8


In the house made of dawn.

In the story made of dawn.

On the trail of dawn.

O, Talking God.

His feet, my feet, restore.

His limbs, my limbs, restore.

His body, my body, restore.

His voice, my voice, restore.

His plumes, my plumes, restore.

With beauty before him, with beauty before me.

With beauty behind him, with beauty behind me.

With beauty above him, with beauty above me.

With beauty below him, with beauty below me.

With beauty around him, with beauty around me.

With pollen beautiful in his voice,

With pollen beautiful in my voice.

It is finished in beauty.

It is finished in beauty.

In the house of evening light.

From the story made of evening light.

On the trail of evening light.

american indian - navajo


To our Gods of old, we bless the ground

that you tread in search of our freedom!

We bless your presence in our lives and in our hearts!

Take of this offering to your delight,

and be filled with our prayers of thanksgiving!

May our lives remain as full as our hearts on this day!

yoruban - africa


You are the peace of all things calm

You are the place to hide from harm

You are the light that shines in dark

You are the heart's eternal spark

You are the door that's open wide

You are the guest who waits inside

You are the stranger at the door

You are the calling of the poor

You are my Lord and with me still

You are my love, keep me from ill

You are the light, the truth, the way

You are my Saviour this very day.

you are god - celtic oral tradition - 1st millennium


O love, O pure deep love, be here, be now.

Be all; worlds dissolve into your stainless endless radiance,

Frail living leaves burn with you brighter than cold stars;

Make me your servant, your breath, your core.

sufi mystic - jelaluddin rumi - 13th century


May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;

May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;

May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless;

And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,

And live believing in the equality of all that lives.

traditional buddhist prayer


Om namah shivaya! Om namah shivaya! Om namah shivaya!

Oh Almighty! We all pray to you!

shiv mahima - sacred hindu mantra


Elohai neshama sh’natata bi tehorah hi. Elohai neshama sh’natata bi tehorah hi. Elohai neshama sh’natata bi tehorah hi.

My God, the soul You have put in me is pure.

hebrew meditation

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


On a similar note, this blog will be about Haftarat Balak. In the Jewish tradition, when a portion of the Torah is read during services, a portion of the Haftarah, or the succeeding books of the Bible, is read as well. When I had my Bar Mitzvah back in 1994, the passage from the Haftarah was from the book of Micah. The most renowned scripture from this book reads from 6:8:

Higid l'cha adam, mah-tov; umah-Adonai doreish mimcha, ki im-asot mishpat, v'ahava chesed, v'hatzneya lechet, im-Elohecha.

It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

To summarize, justice and mercy represent the feminine and masculine attributes of humanity. Although Western civilization often associates justice (Gevurah) with man and mercy (Chesed) with woman, it is essentially intended to be the opposite in the Tree of Life. In Buddhism, the middle path is often emphasized. This is also the case in Kabbalah, for there are not two but three columns. Femininity lies on the left and masculinity on the right, but the column in the middle is the asexual bridge between the female and the male. So therefore, humility and purity are to be embodied by all, with the crown of the Creator (Keter) on the apex of the middle column, and the tree as a whole. We need the balance of all three columns, maintaining a balance of the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, all the while staying centered and linking to the Light. From there, we can transcend the physical world (Malchut) and create a direct connection to the Creator.

Naturally, I did not appreciate this scripture from Micah when I turned 13, but now that I am 30, there is definitely a grand appreciation I have for this verse. As I stated in the previous blog entry, stepping outside of the comfort zone is important and spiritual journeys are not all jolly at times. One does need to suffer regardless. However, it is more rewarding to suffer actively than stagnantly, for there is a greater reward in the continuing confrontation of one's insecurities and personal demons. In life, there is no turning back. You either stay still and create an illusion of regression, or move forward and evolve. Hopefully, anybody who reads this will choose the latter option.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Last night, I went to a couple of workshops at the Kabbalah Center in Manhattan. I picked up quite a number of good lessons regarding how I can embrace the Light. I will be more than happy to share these lessons with you. The parashat, or passage taught was known as Lech-Lecha. This literally translated means, "To go out for yourself." In the Zohar study, we were educated on the story of Avram (later to be called Avraham) and the denouncement of his father's idol worship. In an act of rebellion and righteousness, he destroyed all but one of his father's idols and placed a staff in the hands of one of these idols. When questioned on the destruction of these idols, Avram claimed that one idol destroyed all the others and that it must have been true, since his father placed so much faith in the idols. This story, combined with many others, made for a very interesting night at the Kabbalah Center.

Another theme of the night involved busting through the barriers of self-imposed limitations. If one opens himself or herself up to the Light, the Light will connect. However, the Light will not do all of the work for you. Zohar encourages people to step outside of their comfort zone and to explore new territory in life, encouraging those embarking on a spiritual journey to not only think outside the box, but more importantly, to travel outside of it as well. The only way to evolve is to embark upon a journey that will allow you to eradicate the negativity we all possess and embrace the Light by actively making changes and not copping out regarding blind acceptance to your excuses and your insecurities.

I leave you with these questions. How can you incorporate Lech-Lecha into your life? Also ask yourself what you will do differently this week to escape your comfort zone and evolve into the Light. The choice is yours.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Animal spirits

Many people have totem animals that they identify with. There are various traits that an animal possesses that can be identified with humans. In this case, mine is a falcon. Falcons are known for being quick, protective, and intuitive. My mother identifies with the camel, which is known for resourcefulness and surviving in harsh situations. My father relates to the mole, since he is introverted and keeps to himself, all the while sensitive to light and dark.

A good friend of mine and fellow poet, Jackie Cassen, passed away last year. A medium told me that I should look out for the image of a peacock, since this was her sign to me and most likely her animal spirit. Peacocks represent immortality, beauty, and psychic powers.

Some people take on the traits of multiple animals. One friend of mine is a panther/firefly/skylark. This is quite a variety. I myself, as well as falcons, also relate to owls. In order to find out what your animal spirit is, there are certain meditations that can be done. During your visualizations, stay aware of your surroundings and you will get closer to which animal you relate to.

Another route is to take this quiz. It immediately recognized me as an owl, so that's pretty accurate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prophets on profits

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." -1 Timothy 6:10

While I am not a literati of all aspects of the Bible, I can hold my own in a religious discussion. I can say with the utmost certainty that men like Moses and Jesus Christ would endorse Occupy Wall Street. After all, Moses is the original revolutionary against systemic oppression. Having led the Israelites out of Egypt with the help of God, I would certainly hope that if Moses were alive today, he'd be able to shed some insight as to how we can alleviate ourselves of the societal ills we face now. Jesus would encourage us to stay peaceful while standing up for what we believe in. I am not a Christian, but Jesus, in essence, was a cool guy. You could say that he was one of the original hippies. Though many have taken his message and interpreted the scriptures as a means of carrying out the hatred of God (Fred Phelps and The Westboro Baptist Church), most Christians who have love in their soul know that Jesus would never condemn anybody. A quote about casting the first stone comes to mind. Also, as the quote states above, Jesus would not have sold his soul for money by backstabbing coworkers while wearing a suit and a saccharine smile. WWJD? Certainly not endorse taxpayers to bail out corporations. That is for certain.

Having gone to Occupy Wall Street earlier this week, I saw a wide variety of people protesting. Though many of my beliefs stem from a socialistic mindset, I do not believe that organized religion is "the opiate of the masses." For starters, all the major religions share the same positive message in different words. We share a lot of the same traditions and structures. If you get past the dogma regarding certain rituals, know that you can fill the void in your soul with a healthy dose of inspiration from a holy text. Bibliomancy is a common practice in this regard. I recommend thinking about what you want to get out of your life through religion. Open up a holy book. Any one will do. When you crack open the book to a random page, look towards where either one of your thumbs are placed and read the scripture. Miraculously, you will get an answer you did not expect. But I digress.

Services have been held at Occupy Wall Street, because there are strong spiritual ties that the protesters have to one another and to their respective deities. Spirit links more than it divides. It is my belief that love will prevail amongst the chaos and the ruin. I still stand in solidarity and might make another trip down there soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

In this picture, you will see a photo of my first iPod. It was bought on Christmas of 2004 by my mother, who did not realize that this was a U2 Special Edition iPod. Needless to say, I am a big fan of U2, so this was a great gift. After that iPod went kaput, I eventually bought an iPod Classic Black and later on purchased an iPad and an iPhone 3GS. When I was studying graphic design in college, I worked with the Apple iMac G3 and G4 respectively. Eventually, I will work my way up to purchasing a MacBook Pro when it becomes economically feasible. I was even alive when the Apple II computer came out. One girlfriend I had still had her Apple IIe and it still functioned. Oh, the joys of playing Where In The USA Is Carmen Sandiego. I have a great relationship with Apple products and have found them to be quite useful in my day-to-day life.

Say what you will about Steve Jobs, but there are certain things that nobody can deny. He was an amazing inventor, had a great marketing savvy, and most importantly, had a vision. Amid all of the protests on Wall Street and representing the 99%, let us also realize that many people in our generation have been cradled by the comfort of modern technology. This is not a bad thing by any means, Steve Jobs has put forth some of the most user-friendly inventions known to the modern man and woman. There's no denying the fact that he was a venture capitalist, but I would be also if I had half the ideas he had. Protesting the 1% definitely should not apply to a CEO who actually made a difference in this society and not head a think tank of ways to destroy other countries, disenfranchise the poor, and pollute our already fragile environment. Steve Jobs was never the enemy here. In fact, as a means of showing how brilliant this man was, let me share with you a quote that was used in a television commercial for Apple, followed by the video:

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - Steve Jobs

"In order of appearance they were: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso. The commercial ends with an image of a young girl (identified as Shaan Sahota) opening her closed eyes, as if to see the possibilities before her."

L'shana tova

In light of the Jewish high holy days, I will post a blog about Judaism. I have identified with the Jewish faith my entire life and hope to stay inscribed in the book of life. Of course, we as humans are not infallible, so the repentance for our sins is important for us. To ask for forgiveness is paramount, but it is even more important to forgive and release. When you aspire to let your ego settle down, you are in turn releasing a burden from your soul.

I know that this Yom Kippur, I have some things that I have done that I am not proud of. I know that I need to use my judgment to see whom I must ask for forgiveness. Honestly, sometimes the best type of forgiveness is to let go of destructive forces in your life: people, places, and things. Specifically, all of these things pertained to my last job at South Beach Psychiatric Center. To be diplomatic about my experience there was difficult, but I will try. I encountered people who were not compassionate individuals. They were people who even demanded that everybody else be compassionate to them, but no reciprocity existed when the tables turned. My mission for this Yom Kippur is to release these bitter feelings I have possessed for the past five months. It has eaten away at me for quite some time.

To anybody who happens upon this blog and is going to be fasting tonight and tomorrow, please have a blessed Yom Kippur, and may all of us be inscribed in the Book of Life this year.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The revolution will be in real time

If you are in the NYC area and plan to occupy Wall Street, make sure you have the phone number for the National Lawyer's Guild. Call 212-679-5100 if you find yourself in a position where you will be arrested for demonstrating. Write it. Wear it. Tattoo it if you choose.

I stand in solidarity with all the protesters demonstrating on Wall Street as we speak. Politicians have been putting profits before people for ages. However, I am overwrought with joy that the frustration is finally reaching a fever pitch. What is shameful is that the NYPD officers are taking as many liberties as possible to end this protest, even by bellicose procedures against otherwise peaceful demonstrators. We've had enough, America. We are tired of the corporate power structure taking precedence over the legitimate needs of the people. I have been waiting for this type of revolution to take place for some time now. We can not afford to have spineless jellyfish or vindictive sharks left in charge of what has become the paradigm of greed. We as a nation have become an easily influenced group of sheeple who have blindly roamed with the flock as we get herded to the slaughterhouse. All the while, the media outlets like the Faux News Cabal are programming us with the propaganda that the only way to shape this nation is for you to say no to everything like you are toddlers refusing to take a nap. Somehow, the political careers of Tea Party Republicans are more important than actually trying to take us out of this economic catastrophe. I have been on Facebook for a countless amount of time over the past week. People have been sharing photographs of Occupy Wall Street, displaying how peaceful the protesters are, as well as how much belligerence the New World Vultures possess. Liberate your minds, people! If you have a single brain cell that will allow you to think critically and think for yourself, by all means use it. We are mad as Hell, and we're not gonna take this anymore! The foolishness on Capitol Hill has gone entirely too far. I encourage you to act. It doesn't pay to lean left. It doesn't pay to lean right. Stand on your own two feet and move forward and smash this infrastructure that is holding us all back from pursuing the happiness we rightfully deserve. SOLIDARITY FOREVER!


This is by far one of my favorite pieces of writing ever. Credit is given to Max Ehrmann for writing a piece so profound, it has inspired people for generations. In fact, I am going to attempt to write this from memory and use the honor system by letting you know if I forgot some parts:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant. They too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons. They are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always, there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble. It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere, life is full of heroism. Be yourself, especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But, do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

No joke, I did not copy this. I am surprised. Maybe the punctuation is a little off, but I got it word for word. Les Crane narrates this poem extremely well. I also edited this because I realized that I left out a line. These things happen at 4:45AM. Below is a video mock-up of images set to a song made in 1972 based on this extremely influential poem.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

5 Principles Of Reiki

One of the first aspects of Reiki that people who want to get attuned learn are the five principles. They are as follows:

1. Just for today, I will not worry.
2. Just for today, I will not be angry.
3. Just for today, I will be grateful.
4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
5. Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

Understand that worrying serves no purpose. We as humans need to accept that there are certain absolute truths. One absolute truth is that there are things we have absolutely no control over in life. To worry over that which we have no control over is fruitless labor. To live in a shadow of insecurity may be safe for some, but it is counterproductive to all. Give yourself the ease of knowing that the more you accept as inevitabilities, the stronger your sanity will be.

To say that anger is not healthy can sometimes be misleading. It is reacting in anger that often leads people away from the promised land of serenity. Anger can be either destructive or constructive. The only constructive way to handle anger is to not live in the symptoms of rage. You owe it to yourself to be proactive in handling these feelings of rage and to not wallow in it. When feelings of madness overcome you, try your best to practice this principle and not let yourself succumb to acting out hateful or vengeful fantasies.

It is especially paramount to embrace that which you possess not only physically, but also spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. These are your true assets. You need to hold on to the people who help you make your life worth living, even when you feel that you have been at a loss. If you are reading this right now, you can also be grateful that you are alive to read these words. Your life is a gift by your Creator and/or Creatrix. Make the most out of what you have while you can. Your life is your greatest possession.

As a Reiki practitioner, I understand the need to stay focused and keep pure intentions while giving treatments. It is these intentions that make the craft effective. With that said, keeping yourself honest is of the utmost importance. Keeping a clear view of how you want to exhibit compassion towards another person is also something to meditate upon intently. The relationships you foster need to be built upon the foundation of honesty, and the stronger that honesty is, the stronger the bond will be.

The compassion you exhibit towards others will provide you with a greater sense of kindness in your heart. Although the world is not always kind, you must do your best to make it kinder by altering your perception. In reality, the world can only be kind if you make a concerted effort to exhibit the kindness and deference you would like to experience from others. This is a cycle, and we all revolve around it. Hindering your own growth with cynicism is the only way the orbit will stagnate. Stay in motion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ten Years After

I wrote this three years after 9/11/01.  Now that the 10th "anniversary" is here, the message needs to be reinforced.

One night

My eyes saw the glory

Of the memory

Of what was once commerce

And prosperity.

It was protected

By gates,

Chain-linked and accessible

To tears and air

Huffing from mourners

And visitors.

My head was weakened by images

Only an outdated television set could portray.

Pardonnez mon français,

But déjà vu

Made a bon voyage

Through my brain.

It took a scenic route

Through the ancient grounds

Of Jerusalem,

Namely the Western Wall,

The only reminder

Of what was once

A fortress of faith.

At both locations,

We do cry,

But when one monument collapsed,

It was not just the people who died.

The souls

Of those still alive

Turned bitter and black.

Humans killed off part of their souls that day.

A day

Originally intended

To be a day like any other.

What should be a day of remembrance

Now represents the retirement of reason,

Only to be replaced by racism.

Materialism mated with the masses

To form pseudo-badasses

On radio and screen.

All of this emanates

From the horrific explosion.


Two numbers

Three digits

Replacing the identities of the towers.

Reduced to emergency

Torn apart diagonally.

Now the earth is bare.

Ground Zero.

Abuse of life.




On this day,

I mourn for more than people.

On this day,

I mourn for humanity

While men play chess in the background.

Our souls are in check.

Diplomacy fails to mate.

This bullshit is getting stale.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The virtues of charity

A weird moment of synchronism happened to me yesterday. Last month, I had to cancel my sponsorships with the two children I was sponsoring. One of them sent me a letter that I received in my mailbox. Selma, the girl I was sponsoring in Brazil, told me that she was planning on leaving the project. Reason being, she got married and was no longer living with her family. My eyes welled up after learning this. I started sponsoring Selma when she was 11 years old. She is now 16. Apparently, I failed to realize that it's customary for people in Brazil to get married at younger ages. Either way, I was satisfied by this accomplishment. What satisfied me more was that I played a major role in this girl's life and that she expressed a tremendous amount of gratitude in her letter to me. Before, her village had no electricity and now she has a much better quality of life. I actually felt pretty horribly at first because I had canceled the sponsorship, but it was serendipitous that she was planning on leaving anyway. Chances are, even if she had not gotten married, I would have still received the same amount of gratitude.

I have another sponsored child from India named Narendra. I have yet to receive a letter confirming that he received my last letter. However, I have faith he will understand as well. After all, when I was more affluent, I had contributed a substantial amount of money for his birthday. It translated to such a large amount in rupees, that a majority of it was placed in a bank account for his future studies. I have faith that he will weather the storms of poverty very effectively.

There is a lot to be said about charity. It's my firm belief that when you give of yourself, more likely than not, you will get something back in return. It may not come immediately, but when you least expect it, you will be handsomely rewarded. Of course, since physical amenities rule a lot of our daily activities, a check from the Publisher's Clearing House would be nice. However, the best currency that could be offered from anybody is their love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Power Of An Embrace

I've seen this video a while ago, but just tonight it inspired me to write a blog. I have seen many videos on YouTube featuring the "Free Hugs" campaign. I am proud to say that I fully endorse it. People sometimes neglect the power a hug can hold (pun intended.) Having worked in mental health for 4 1/2 years, I have come to see how important it is to experience the human touch. Some mental health "professionals" tend to view an embrace as a boundary issue. Personally, I have never seen it that way. In many cases, the people I have visited on the inpatient units of South Beach Psychiatric Center have nobody to hug them. I, for one, welcome the love. Some of the warmest hugs I have received have been from my former clientèle, and I know exactly why that is. Truth be told, a lot of people who are inpatients in state psychiatric facilities don't experience the compassion that people in their positions deserve. They are treated like absolute dirt. Therefore, since I initiated the kindness, they wanted to reciprocate in the best way they knew how. That's where the hug came into effect. To this day, I do not shy away from an opportunity to embrace a person in need of an embrace.

In another video I saw on YouTube, a cartoon man who looked like Kevin Smith traveled all over the world with his dog and started hugging people with anger and bitterness in their hearts. They would later surrender to the power of the hug and abandon whatever malice they had initially felt in their hearts. This was an interesting solution to world peace and a little far-fetched that we can end wars by hugging people. In a sense, I do believe it though. Some symbols of affection are not always universal. While this is unfortunate in some other countries, we can be thankful that the trend of hugging to show affection is a melting pot tradition here in the USA. Naturally, animals deserve affection as well. In the end of that video, the Kevin Smith lookalike shares a loving embrace with the dog. Call me a sap, but in the wake of all these animal abuse commercials by the ASPCA, that got me.

Perhaps the best illustration of the power of the embrace comes from comedian, Judah Friedlander. You may not recognize the name, but he starred in a Dave Matthews Band music video for the song, "Everyday." The purpose of his day: hug as many people as possible to make their lives that much better for the day. This was the predecessor to "Free Hugs."

As a spiritually minded person, I embrace this trend (again, pun intended.) The more love we give one another, the better we can make each other's lives. Suffice it to say, any man or woman who could use a hug can always come to me for support. Mine are tight enough to show I care, but not too tight that I will suffocate you. No doubt, the perfect balance.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ace In The Hole

This is a poem I wrote containing an affirmation we can all use in life. I am happy to be sharing it with you, because sometimes I need to reaffirm myself of this message when things become hectic in my life.


Beyond reason, I live life, I am negating cynicism everywhere

Every crafted stanza touches a submerged youngster

Surely utopia can create extended surreality sometimes

I live life unconditionally, may I never aspire to inspire overt negativity

Clusters reach your stillness, the axes lie

Carefully utilizing protection

We only reconsider lies declared

We are never doomed

Altruistically initiating revolution

We aim to exert remediation

Each action reinforces the heart

Freely inquiring, reading, exploring

My instincts never deceive

Hear every affirmation reasonably transcribed

Beautify order, decorate yourself

Serene principles incubate resolve, I transcend

Beyond reason, I live life, I am negating cynicism everywhere

Every crafted stanza touches a submerged youngster

Surely utopia can create extended surreality sometimes

I live life unconditionally, may I never aspire to inspire overt negativity

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things you can learn from the departed

Since I lost one of my best friends to three months ago, I have learned a thing or two about the current relationships I have with people. Personally, I sometimes grapple with holding grudges. It's not worth it. You will never know how important it is to let the petty shit go when somebody close to you dies. If you focus on how a person has hurt you in the past, and it is over something that in the grand scheme of things only matters in your own world, your life is not that bad. After all, in most cases, pain is not inflicted intentionally. I had some unresolved feelings that I had grappled with before I visited Frank's grave yesterday. I said my piece and got mostly everything I wanted to say out of me. I did not lose my composure; nor did I want to. I have also done my best to not live life with regrets. I have learned to just walk away from my guilt. This in turn has made me feel less misanthropic in the past.

For meditations, I recommend a book by Yehuda Berg called The 72 Names of God. One of the meditations in that book deals with alleviating the evil eye we may give people who have wronged us. In times like that, we need to release these people from our lives and stop holding grudges. On a related note, there is a ritual you can perform if somebody in your life has malice aforethought against you. Write the name of the person who possesses an unhealthy power over you three times on a piece of paper. I recommend the full name. Also, once you have the name written in triplicate, tear up the paper into small pieces and throw them either directly in the freezer or in a small bag you can keep in the freezer. This freezes the harm that this person can do to you. However, only perform this ritual if somebody has cruel intentions against you. Arguments over boyfriends and girlfriends won't cut it.

The last important thing to remember is to treasure the memories you had with this person. Whether you had a consistently good rapport, a rocky rapport, or a broken rapport that is beyond repair, do not take the memories you shared with the person for granted. You just never know when you will lose somebody and you never know how you will be affected when they die. Just remember: don't hold on to painful memories. Find some way to release harmful forces from your life. Your soul will reward you in the end with God working through you and others so that you can foster some healthier connections.

Frank and I have had some strains in our friendship in the past, but I regret nothing now. When I think about it, I could have very well been as powerless over helping him as he was powerless over his alcoholism. I cannot blame myself for not being more attentive to getting him to quit drinking. Truth be told, he gave up. I have accepted the fact that I can't give up this fight to stay healthy and alive. I have too much to live for.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tarot primer (part two)

The Major Arcana is comprised of 22 cards. These are cards that represent archetypes in our lives. These are derived from Kabbalah, which is traditionally Jewish mysticism. The number 22 represents the paths/branches of the Tree of Life, which is denoted by the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Rather than explain what every card means in depth (this is a primer after all), I will submit to you a poem I wrote that represents all 22 cards in the Major Arcana.


I am the fool,

for I am leaping into a new journey.

I am the magician,

for I work with all I possess.

I am the high priestess,

for I am guided by my third eye.

I am the empress,

for I seek love.

I am the emperor,

for I seek self-empowerment.

I am the hierophant,

for I have been to hell and back.

I am the lovers,

for I have learned to love many aspects of myself.

I am the chariot,

for I always push ahead.

I am justice,

for I am one that can be served fairly.

I am the hermit,

for I need to be alone with my thoughts sometimes.

I am the wheel of fortune,

for I revolve in my personal luck daily.

I am strength,

for I have exhibited fortitude in diverse ways.

I am the hanged man,

for I need to sacrifice that which will not serve me.

I am death,

for I need to transition between phases of life.

I am temperance,

for I sometimes moderate with the times.

I am the devil,

for I laugh and indulge.

I am the tower,

for I have been leveled and rebuilt.

I am the star,

for I deserve to shine,

I am the moon,

for I cycle through phases as I am predisposed to do.

I am the sun,

for I aim to exude happiness.

I am judgment,

for I think carefully.

I am the world,

for I have many possibilities.

Tarot primer (part one)

Four is a magic number. There are four elements of nature, four parts of our being, and of course, four suits in the tarot. This is how they all fit into one another.

Wands are spiritual cards represented by fire.
Pentacles are physical cards represented by earth.
Cups are emotional cards represented by water.
Swords are mental cards represented by air.

There are also four elements of a Tarot card reading, including the person reading the cards, the person having their cards read, the cards themselves, and the universe that dictates which cards appear.

This deals with a section of the Tarot known as the Minor Arcana, which are set up a lot like a deck of playing cards. Think of Ace to Ten, and then the face cards, or in this case, the court cards. These are represented by a page, a knight, a queen, and a king.

Of course, since there are many different decks, many of the cards might be different. Court cards may have different names and the suits may be different. I use the Voyager Deck, which in many ways is vastly different from the standard Rider-Waite deck.

In the next blog, I will write about the Major Arcana.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Forever 27

Brazen the riffs, orgasmic the wails

Forever, the legacy never will pale

Gravel in trachea, power in throat

Rapture in soulfulness, staying afloat

Poetry set to a keyboard, melodic

Lifestyles extreme, lustfully psychotic

Addicted to fame, despised in same breath

Never foreseeing the imminent death

Stints in the clink or the rehab facility

Always fell flat from your soulful ability

Forward the motion of all things immortal

Somehow the bodies entered death's portal

Squeal to me, guitar, deliver my faith

Cut through my heart with the edge of a lathe

Impart in me voodoo, stick me with pins

Rock will absolve me of all of my sins

Sly as a fox are your fingers to strings

Angels of melody, please spread your wings

Light up the joint and pass me the herb

Spare me the dregs of the wrathful reverb

Play my heartstrings like they are a sitar

Pass through the valves, arouse from afar

Free my demeanor, loosen my stride

Rock will forever be my faithful bride

Prolong the summer, cushion my fall

Winter will spring when the wild beats will call

Light all the candles, illuminate eyes

Play in the smoke and remove your disguise

Ride through horizons into setting suns

Eliminate mimics of firing guns

Sell the belongings you can sacrifice

You will no longer submit to your vice

Abort the pretenses of jaded egos

This music will take away most of your woes

Strengthen the spirit, teenagers at heart

This is the message I want to impart

Go find the impetus to rehabilitate

Travel on trains, your power is the freight

You were born to innately make Earth good

The truth will unravel like paper from wood

Out of the darkness, negativity dies

Into the brightness, identities lie

Forever 27, you will be remembered

Playing in heaven, tears are dismembered

Engendered are memories laden with vinyl

Tender the soul, music is not final

Live on, musicians, continue to thrive

Your art was created to build its own life

The world was your oyster, the spotlight you owned

Forever you sit on rock royalty's throne.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Post

Hello world!  The Lunar Safari has moved to Blogger.  Unfortunately, due to certain unforeseen circumstances, I no longer can access the ins and outs of  This is due to my account expiring and my tech guy croaking.  RIP Frank.  Therefore, it is much easier for me to join the blogosphere at this point.  Bear with me as I learn the ways of Blogger and I will give a comprehensive list of my services. 

I am a spiritual healer and advisor. I have studied the craft of reading Tarot cards under the guidance of Donna Henes, also known as Mama Donna, the Urban Shaman. I have also studied the Usui tradition of Reiki and am currently a Level 3 Reiki Master. I also lead guided meditations, write prayers, and clean chakras. Through my expertise in these fields, I have had a number of satisfied customers.

“Baz Roche does the ultimate in tarot-card readings. I just had my own, and it was a life-changing event. He is now doing readings. Please reach him. You won’t regret it.”
Kimberly B.
Portland, OR

“Hey Baz, that was a good reading you gave me. I will have to come back for another soon.”
Lorens M.
Brooklyn, NY

“Baz has my endorsement!”
Nicole S.
Staten Island, NY

“You are amazing. Tell everyone I said that.”
Maya N.
Nyack, NY

“Thank you for your time and patience with me :) I enjoyed our time together.”
Sara G.
Brooklyn, NY

“I loved it! Thanks Baz!”
Suzanne M.
Calgary,AB, Canada

“Good conversing with you, Baz. Very sweet guy…Call him!”
Sharon S.
Albuquerque, NM

“Send him a message, he's really good at it! It came out pretty awesome! I feel a good vibe, like things are pretty much where they need to be right now.”
Amanda H.
Staten Island, NY