it was a very calm moment. i felt like everything was okay. it was a little strange just having met someone from my hometown (a small town in new jersey) down here at the park near my home in florida. after he left i continued on shooting another time-lapse clip. that’s when it struck me how odd it was.. how odd to be meeting someone from the same small town way down here. i had never met anyone from there anywhere else. he had even gone to the same school i had gone to. we briefly chatted only for a few minutes or moments. time seemed irrelevant. i felt more fully present in the here and now. and everything felt calm all of a sudden. one might think perhaps it was the beautiful weather or the feeling from meeting the guy or from what i was working on in my photography.. though it felt deeper and more profound than all of that. it felt like i had ascended. just a bit. but from this higher place everything was peaceful and okay. it felt like the encounter was a divine meeting of sorts. it was funny, as at first when i felt him standing there looking at the camera, knowing he wanted to ask something about it, i only said a couple words. though on his way back a minute or two later we spoke much longer. [i can see how this was all part of the divine orchestration or lesson of what i might miss by being too caught up or focused on my own goals rather than allowing the divine to flow through me and take me where i’m going]

back to the feeling and feeling that i was at a higher level. it felt a little eerie like i remember feeling in a dream around nine years ago. in the dream i remember being in a really strange place and encountering a little girl (when no one else was around as everything was all run down). i think i asked where i was and she told me it was thought city, where people go to process their thoughts. at the time i was really stuck in the mind and anxiety. and thought i was actually stuck in that place when in that dream or alternate reality. here it felt really different. the opposite of being in the mind. really calm and peaceful. and from that place i knew everything was okay. i’m not sure why it reminded me of that dream. (perhaps i felt this calmness when in that dream, i don’t recall) i think it was the feeling that the meeting or place was so strange that it had to have been divinely orchestrated.

or it was the feeling that i knew i was here in this reality but i really existed at a higher level than it. i was in the world but not of it. i felt it and knew it. and it was okay. no matter how weird the world was, it didn’t matter. [it was like i was awake, lucid, in this dream we call reality/life on earth, and this life on earth almost felt like it was a temporary meeting place for those of us who are stuck or traveling through this plane of existence.. almost like i was in this heaven/hell “loka” that some see earth as]

maybe it was just the experience of realizing how subtly more present or relaxed i was. i need not try to figure it out but it’s fun to look back at this and see if i remember any of it in the future. or perhaps it’s insightful to someone. it doesn’t matter why. in feeling called to write, despite the inaccuracy of conveying feeling into words, i am doing so.

this is the life i want to live. where i just wander and explore and meet others in their own journey and it’s all perfectly orchestrated at a higher level. and i continue to ascend into higher levels of awareness while still embracing this experience on earth. i think part of this process had been about realizing how caught up i’ve gotten in things that don’t matter and trying to control or make things happen. rather than just enjoying and embracing the journey (and trusting it) and allowing it to be a meditation. i read a good article earlier about the tao or zen of photography and treating photography as a meditation rather than forcing it. it was a good reminder.. that’s when it really was more meaningful. in that ascended moment it felt like i had gone back to old ways in photography.. where it was more of play and not so serious. perhaps that with a brief reminder of childhood it allowed me to integrate some feelings and ascend to the presence.

it’s funny how the divine and universe work like that. i didn’t think about coming to the park when i did. i happened to at that time because that’s when i heard the noise from the lawn crew at my condo. and then i left and came to the spot i had thought of to do the shots i wanted to experiment with. as i was driving in the park i thought of another spot or two to explore though i ended up where i did. this is part of why my work has always had the element of experimentation and perspective and perception in it. it’s a subtle message for this higher reality we can all live from if we allow ourselves to.

i also had thought of an experience i had six years ago at the avatar course where it was really bright and i was doing a walking exercise/meditation that brought me into the present — during this experience, i was able to walk with the sun in my eyes and still see and feel fine without it bothering me at all. i was resisting the sun a little when i first got to the lake as it was really bright and i was thinking i needed sunglasses (which i’ve only worn like once in many months). when i was talking to the guy, i had my hand in the air blocking the sun as i was facing directly towards it. a little later when i felt calm and at peace, it no longer was an issue and i had forgotten about the sun bothering me (i may have not been facing directly towards it though i had integrated the overall brightness and i didn’t notice it like i did when i first got there).

it also seemed like time disappeared. i didn’t feel like i was in the park that long though the time had gone by quite quickly even though i had only taken a few short time-lapse clips. [as i’m editing this right now, i just realize it’s been an hour since i got home and it didn’t seem like that much time had passed. i guess time and space truly do disappear as we expand to higher levels of awareness.]

a thought i had ten years ago also came to me a little later: do whatever it takes to remove the burdens from your life. and most of these burdens are in your own perception.

i made it home so now i can type the rest of this on my computer rather than the phone…

another layer to all of this is that i was almost (again) at the point last night of totally quitting photography. i had an issue where a new camera i just got couldn’t perform the function that i had purchased it for. i won’t go into all the technical details though i found myself in the midst of deciding i would just return it and also return the lens i had just purchased. the divine had left me little ways out to get my money back. the lens had a little mark on it when i got it and the camera wasn’t properly doing the function i wanted so i thought i could just return them and be done. i was also having an issue with the infrared camera that had fallen in the pond a few weeks ago and was thinking i’d just sell that or i could repair it and keep using it.. anyhow, i’m starting to get caught up in the details. this is the reason i’ve been wanting to quit photography is because i get too caught up in the mind in the technical aspects of it, rather than allowing myself to be inspired and do the photography as a meditation. i get so frustrated trying to create new technical ways of seeing the world and i’ve also found myself getting frustrated trying to make things as efficient as possible and to cost as little as possible, so even little things like getting a refund on the ten dollar app i bought for the camera end up frustrating me as i’ve often had to jump through hoops to get to undo whatever mess i find myself in by getting trapped in the mind or technical aspects. these technical and mind aspects of life may serve a purpose but we cannot live there. they are not where life truly happens. living in the present moment is so much more meaningful than technical achievements or making things happen a certain way. those are all so short lived. last night when (or after) i was photographing the stars at honeymoon island realizing the app on the new camera wasn’t taking the time-lapse photos the way i had expected it to, i accepted that i might just have to return it all and save the money instead. i thought i could always get the equipment later and i really don’t necessarily even need it right now, but then i thought of all the work i went into getting the very best deals i could on them. part of the frustration was that i’ve been trying to simplify my life but still see myself falling into the trappings of the mind and desires, and part of it is from not trusting i’d get the same opportunity later and thinking i need to work to not miss it.

when i had such a strange yet simple encounter that was perfectly orchestrated by the divine/universe earlier this afternoon it must’ve broken me out of all of that mess and taken me into the moment. i’m not feeling it completely now, though it felt like none of those burdens/chaos/mess that the mind created existed. i was completely out it.

that was the feeling.. it was like when i was doing the process/exercise at the avatar course in the summer of 2010. it was realizing that i was there in the environment/world and i was out of my mind and everything was totally fine. i normally don’t have thoughts running in my mind.. it’s been pretty quiet these past few years since my transformation at the courses, though i feel that i default to still residing in the mind. i think with the combination of the experiences i had, or simply with divine grace or growth, i naturally relaxed and stepped out of the mind and into the present moment. i integrated whatever was there or released it or whatever happened and there i was, peacefully awake in the world. it was beautiful how i just realized it without any effort or trying to get there.

i see myself having many more moments and experiences like this as i continue along this journey. i know i lived from a higher place years ago after shifting some perspectives and transforming at the avatar course though i allowed myself to go back to old ways and old influences over the years since then. i feel i’m getting back on the path and as i re-align with this journey of growth and transformation, i’ll continue to have this sort of experience. perhaps the clearing of obstacles course at the flowering heart center in clearwater on sunday helped these life experiences occur so i could release and integrate what i needed to. the course was really great as i didn’t have any expectations or think too much about it (as was the case when i first went to avatar), and i had some feelings arise so i could experience and release them, as well as some insights come to me. i’d highly recommend any of the courses michael and suzanne have created this past year. they are all great and expand upon each other to help one heal, grow, and transform.

perhaps a part of it was also videos i’ve recently watched about ascension and the fifth dimension. when i watch, listen, or experience something in this spiritual journey, i realize how insignificant all the little troubles in life really are. getting caught up in stuff that really doesn’t matter is such a waste of time. all that really matters is being fully present in the here and now. planning or thinking too much about the future (or past) is such a drain of energy and time. it takes us out of the beauty of the present moment, where we can realize higher awareness, connect with others + the divine, experience miracles, etc, etc. if you find yourself not fully at peace or in the present, remember to stop whatever you’re doing and take a few moments to meditate, relax, drink in the beauty of nature, or do whatever helps you step out of your mind. when living in the present moment rather than the burdens of the mind, you’ll discover that it doesn’t matter what it is that you’re doing, and that what really matters is simply being.