life truly is beautiful. the greatest thing one can do for oneself is heal emotionally and grow spiritually. our limited perspective is what is preventing us from seeing the true depth of life.

it was great to be able to attend the Amma program in chicagoland this year. i didn’t make it last year, and don’t recall if i made it the year before. it’s beautiful to see everything she and her NGO, Embracing the World, have done to help others. and it’s amazing to see how long she sits giving hugs to everyone. the energy is great and its nice how many chants, pujas, food, meditations, speeches, etc there are during the program.

one of the most amazing aspects of the program is the energy flowing through that everyone is feeling. consciousness moves quickly when in the presence of higher energy, or a being at such a place. i could see aspects of myself being reflected in others i saw or interacted with throughout the program. for example, the first day i was feeling a bit disconnected (or sitting in a charge or feeling), and i saw how most of my friends that i hadn’t seen in a while seemed to have to leave or were busy with something or other, and we weren’t really able to connect or chat that much. some things i noticed were more subtle, just how others moved or their subtle expressions, and i noticed how these were aligned with what i was feeling and experiencing at the time. i know that i’ve certainly felt that i could naturally be a mirror for others to see what they’re facing without even trying.. perhaps its just that i’m naturally feeling what they’re feeling/facing and that’s whats flowing through me (to give them a chance to see it in a new way so they can let it go). in the great energy and presence at the Amma program, it seemed like so many must’ve been in tune with feeling what each other were feeling that i was seeing this happening in them too (or perhaps they didn’t even know they were feeling/reflecting it and it was just the divine showing it to me through them). i know i’ve seen this happen through others in the past too.. perhaps a part of it was also that i was more in tune with what others were feeling that i was able to see the subtle aspects more clearly as well. i won’t get lost in exploring exactly what was happening, though it was nice to be able to experience it happening, despite sometimes it not being as pleasant, such as when i felt i wasn’t connecting with others.

it was nice to see friends from the flowering heart center and spiritual communities up here that i hadn’t seen since last year. i look forward to seeing some of them at the weekly gatherings when i’m here. its nice to attend different events and see familiar faces, and be able to connect a bit.

its also nice to make new connections. its funny to see how what i was feeling was affecting my ability to make new connections as well. i had some resistance or something that was preventing me from just saying hi and connecting with others. another thing i noticed is that how when surrendering and not being attached to outcome, such as wanting to have a nice conversation, things can just flow naturally and effortlessly and will happen when you don’t expect them to. on the second day i volunteered to do seva work to clean up after a puja. i didn’t think too much about how the puja would be.. after the clean up i went for a walk and sat under a tree for a little while. everything just felt more peaceful. my mind is usually quiet though there may be some underlying feeling still there. after the puja, that underlying feeling wasn’t there and everything just felt a little more relaxed and quiet. after sitting for a while, i walked into the main hall to get a seat before the evening program would begin. i didn’t think too much about where i’d sit or when i should go in or anything. i just went in when i felt was the time to get up and walk over there. i was directed by those helping with seating and the seat i was directed to was right in the very middle of the room, in the front row of one of the middle sections, so i had a clear view of where Amma would be in the front of the hall. it seemed this was the last seat left in this row as others had left something on the ones to my right and a few others were sitting to my left. a while later, just before the program was about to begin, i saw a girl (that i had stood right behind in the lunch line) walking down the aisle and i think we smiled a little at each other. (when i noticed her in the lunch line ealier that day, perhaps i had a thought that it’d be nice to connect with her.. i don’t recall for sure) she sat next to me and i wondered what to say. a few moments later i asked if she had seen Amma before. i learned that she had just spent a year at Amma’s ashram in India and was just back to get a new visa so she could spend a couple more years over there taking classes. she seemed pretty blissed out from the whole experience as a new devotee. i recall her saying that when she went to the ashram that Amma got her. we chatted briefly before the program started. she was nice and i wanted to connect more after the meditation was over. i was a bit distracted during Amma’s speech as the mind thought about it. after the meditation i didn’t want to say something right away in case she was still embracing the energy for a while. i thought i’d wait a little bit, but then she checked a voicemail or something on her phone after a few moments and left. i don’t recall if i saw her the rest of the evening or the next morning. the next evening i noticed her and ended up walking past her near the end of the program and waved as i went to get a chai tea. after i got the tea and was drinking it in the sitting area at the back, i noticed she was sitting at another table right by me. a little while after trying to see if there were extra chairs by her, i got up and sat by her and we chatted for a couple minutes. it was nice to learn that she found out about Amma from someone she was working for and she just went over to ashram and ended up staying. its funny how things simply flow when we’re more in tune. i’m not sure that she expected to stay at the ashram, though things unfolded for her to go there and she ended up staying.. similar to how i ended chatting with her the second time. she happened to go to the back of the room at the same time i did (perhaps she wanted to connect more and just went there to see if i’d see her and sit by her, or she simply was hungry at the same time.. either way, it all seemed to be in divine order, and from a place of higher awareness, it becomes more clear how everything is truly connected).

i noticed a lot of little things happening like this, where things just flowed and unfolded on their own. it was also great to notice when things didn’t flow so well, which was usually when the mind was thinking too much about something, such as during devi bhava when i was focused on holding the blessed water we received the whole time (as i didn’t want to set it down on the floor or drop it). it felt like a relief when i was able to bring it to my van and pour it into a bottle, as i knew i had gotten the blessed water and could continue to make more by simply adding more water to the bottle. at one point during the speech or meditation i sensed that the envelope i had placed the closed water cup into seemed to be wet.. with all my concern over it, i must’ve squeezed it too hard and some leaked out (gratefully there was still some inside that i poured into my Amma water bottle). its funny how much we hang on to and wait for, and how much of our attention or energy it can consume. yes, it was great to get the water, though trying to hold on to or have the mind control the little cup made me less present than i could’ve been had i just relaxed and trusted that i wasn’t going to drop the water cup and it’d be okay. so many little things like this can easily consume us and take us away from the present moment (such as concentrating on the water up made me focused on wanting to take it to my van right afterwards, and i had also had thoughts about chatting with the girl whom sat down next to me afterwards, though the little cup was becoming such a burden). i think Amma mentioned something similar in one of her speeches.

after dropping off the water i bought one of the ezekiel sprout wraps to keep in my van to eat after the program was over. perhaps i was radiating light or just feeling good and didn’t even realize it as the girl who was at the wrap table seemed to respond like i was when we interacted. or possibly she was just feeling great from the meditation or liked me or was simply shining her light to inspire me to do the same. afterwards i thought it would’ve been nice to chat a little more with her, though when i walked by the table later in the evening she wasn’t there. it’s funny how things can shift so fast when we’re in the flow. i suppose she was only meant to be there for that one moment, and me looking to sustain or re-create that moment didn’t work. only when i didn’t expect that interaction or nice moment did it occur. it’s interesting living from the heart, a place of feeling, or from higher awareness. it’s always given me the greatest or most profound experiences compared to when i’ve lived from the mind. even though the mind is quiet, its nice to step out of it every once in a while (or all the time!). i suppose my biggest challenge in living from the heart has been learning to surrender and trust that everything is going to continue to flow. from the place of the mind, we have the illusion that we’re in control and taking the right steps to go in the direction we want to go, however it’s nowhere near as profound as living in the moment and watching everything unfold on its own. i can see in a sense how this ties into some of what Amma mentioned about negativity. the mind can be quite negative and a reason one might want to live from the mind and try to control things would be one has had previous experiences that didn’t work out that one is trying to avoid. this really is fear.. in fact, or at least most likely, all living from the mind is living a fear-based reality. when life flows from a spontaneous place of higher awareness or feeling, its so much more fun. some of my most enjoyable moments have been out of spontaneity and following my feelings.

i can see how this ties into what happened next.. a moment that wasn’t exactly as i had expected. after putting the wrap in my fridge, i went to the dining hall to get dinner. there was a bit of a line and most of the tables were full. i went to one of the last tables by the door and asked the person sitting at the end if anyone was sitting in the empty seats there. i sat a couple seats in, right across from a girl who was sitting by herself. i thought to myself perhaps i could chat with her as i was feeling good about the little connection i made buying the wrap, though i was feeling resistance as to what to say. she wasn’t making direct eye contact so i just began to eat my meal. i thought that if she made eye contact i’d say something. i continued to eat while trying to glance every so often to see if she was looking at me. the resistance and whole thought process made it feel a little awkward though i tried not to think too much about it and just went about eating my meal. after a couple or few minutes, i saw a guy walk into the dining hall and approach the table. she had her back to the door though i immediately sensed that he was with her. i wonder if perhaps i was feeling awkward or not knowing what to say because i wasn’t meant to chat with her. it was a bit more awkward after that as i just continued to eat and try not to look directly at them (though made a little eye contact wih them). i was wondering what they felt, if he thought i was trying to pick up his girlfriend. i had thoughts that i made a mistake, as i didn’t know she was with him, and also thought i was just trying to practice connecting with others and breaking free of my resistance of connecting with others. at the end, they both spoke to me, wishing me a good evening and i said thanks, you too. it felt like this was also a divine appointment and a learning experience. the whole situation arose out of the desire of the mind rather than the spontaneous action that the previous experience arose from. [or perhaps it still was a bit of spontaneous action as it did unfold for it to happen.. perhaps even part of it was something they needed to experience and i was also being the conduit/reflection for their experience to unfold. it’s funny how many layers/aspects/perspectives there are to something] as with the previous girl, i didn’t see them again in the evening. nor did i see the girl who sat next to me during the peace meditation whom i only spoke briefly with, asking if it was her first time there when it seemed she was unfamiliar with the blessed water.

a little later in the evening i was sitting in the main hall and felt i’d go for a walk to see if i’d see anyone i knew to connect with. i walked toward the back of the hall and didn’t see anyone so was going to walk outside. as i approached the doors i noticed a friend i had met years ago at the avatar course talking to someone and then stopped and looked at her (as she had also looked at me in surprise). it was a bit of a surprise but not super shocking either, as everything just seems to flow in perfect order and make sense, and there really is nothing extremely surprising, depending on our viewpoint. i walked toward her and we chatted for a bit. its funny as when she asked what i was doing or up to, i said looking for friends to chat with and then i saw her. i went with her to the dining hall as she was about to get a bite to eat. it was funny as i didn’t know she followed Amma and hadn’t seen her in over 6 years since the last Avatar Course i went to. she had just started as part of the staff this year and was on the tour with Amma. we weren’t able to chat too long as she had to get back to her shift, though it was awesome to see her there unexpectedly. its amazing what can unfold when we don’t expect it and just experience life. i mentioned the ideas i’ve had for a sustainable spiritual community and learned that she’s also interested in creating a spiritual community, over in Boulder. it’d be awesome to have a community over there to visit or stay at part of the year. a long time ago i envisioned different communities or centers and traveling to/between them, and its beautiful to see the pieces starting to come together. (it’s also nice to see these unfolding on their own, rather than me having to create everything myself like i do with other projects, though thats a whole other tangent) i’ve been thinking more seriously of getting a tiny home or travel trailer to go back and forth between florida and chicagoland, and possibly go out west at some point, and a community in colorado would also be awesome and another reason to have a tiny home. i just have to trust that i’ll find land in florida and a place in chicagoland i can park, and it’ll all unfold. after the program had ended, i wanted to say goodbye to my friend before she left, though didn’t see her in the hall. i went to the van for a little while and then walked over toward the hall and decided to walk up the path toward the other part of the ashram/campus. after walking for a little bit, i noticed that my friend was just right ahead of me. i don’t even know where she appeared from. i suppose i wasn’t fully paying attention or whatnot (which seems to be a good way to allow things to happen as by not knowing what might happen, one allows more room/space for things to unfold rather than being locked into any one particular aspect of one’s reality). i walked up ahead and waved and she introduced me to a friend of hers who was also from avatar. it’s funny as she said they/we were dropouts as none of us have gone back recently. as we got a couple hundred feet up the path, my friend had to get on the bus to go to the next city of the tour. it was a bit of a miracle how it unfolded that i just happened to walk right up to her without knowing if i would or not. i had previously wanted to say/hug goodbye, though was also thinking i’d just walk and see if i saw any of my friends to say bye to, and the timing was perfect for me to see her.

i love that the Amma program has a lot happening, though one can just hang out or wander about the space and allow life to unfold the lessons and awareness. it reminds me a bit of the Avatar Courses in this sense, as it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere with everyone experiencing at their own pace most of the time. i think that’s one of the most profound aspects of spending time at the ashram during the program. there is a bit of a schedule as to the time of the speeches/meditation/etc, though there is plenty of time during the darshan to hang out and have one’s own experience as well. it’s like a playground to experience and learn in the space of higher awareness / presence. [upon re-reading this last line, that sounds like a great vision for the spiritual/sustainable community i’ve longed to create]

my experience with the darshan itself was interesting.. the first day i didn’t get there until mid-afternoon and got a late token. a little later, i noticed that i must’ve dropped the token when i pulled out my key from my pocket (or perhaps i lost it when i went to ask the volunteer running the line when that token would come up as it had a double letter after the initial letter). i went back to the token table and asked if i could have another, saying i lost it and had checked by/in my van where i thought it might be. the girl who had given me the token said she’s not supposed to and to look again. i asked what if i can’t find it, and she said just to go look (seeming to indicate we’ll figure that out at that point). i went looking in/near my van again and asked those near the token line entrance (and looked there), and couldn’t find it. afterward, i went back to the girl at the token table and said i couldn’t find it and she handed me a new token, saying it was much later. i thanked her and don’t recall what i went to do afterwards. i had to wait a while, but it didn’t end up being that much more time for the new token to go up after the original one. when i was up on the stage and received darshan, i wasn’t sure if i had felt anything and went to sit down in the other rows on the stage after darshan. i also wasn’t able to understand what Amma was saying when giving darshan. it seemed to be different than i had recalled her saying in the past. as i moved up closer, watching others receiving darshan, i still wasn’t feeling anything. after a while, almost near the end of when i was up on stage, i felt i could invoke the divine and let it flow/radiate it through me, like i do when giving blessings. after i did so, i started to feel a nice warm feeling emanating on the stage. perhaps this was simply a reminder to remember that i can tune into the divine whenever i feel the need or calling.

on the morning of the second day, i went to the token table when i got in and asked if we could receive darshan again if we had received the day before. they said to check during the evening program after the meditation. that night i went to the token line after the meditation and got another token. i think i may have misunderstood or mis-heard the question they were asking about whether i had received darshan before, and wasn’t sure if they were referring to that program or that day or earlier in the summer or something (i don’t recall at this point what it was).. perhaps i wasn’t supposed to get a token that evening though they had seemed to indicate in the morning that i could. i wasn’t too attached to whether or not i’d actually receive darshan that evening as i had received the night before and would the next evening for devi bhava. i figured if i was supposed to, the divine would guide me to and i would stay up and receive it. shortly after, i went to my van to lay down as i was tired and ended up falling asleep for a couple hours. i woke up and saw how much time had passed and went into the main hall. they had the sign up saying for everyone with a token to go to the line. looks like i had woken up just in time to receive darshan. i ended up being one of the last in line to receive a hug that evening. when i received darshan, Amma said what i remembered her saying in the past years: “my darling, my darling”.

on the evening of devi bhava, i got in the room pretty early and got a middle token number. after i chatted with my friend briefly as she ate her dinner, i went back to the main hall and ran into someone asking if i could help volunteer with kitchen cleanup. after looking at the current token number, i said yes i could help for a little bit. a few of us started following a staff member out of the hall and i saw my friend i had just chatted with smile as she saw me going. i helped sweep the floors in the kitchen and was going to help mop but there were still a lot of people in there cleaning up. a bit of time had passed so i said i’d come back later (as i thought my token number might be up). when i got back to the hall, the token letter was on what i had and was one number ahead of my group. i got in line and received darshan. when i was sitting in the row of chairs on the stage waiting to receive darshan, i had the thought/intention of healing and perhaps something else as part of receiving darshan. when i got up to Amma, the helpers told me to put my hands down on the side of the chair as they guided me to kneel down and told me to lean forward as i closed my eyes. in that moment, the thought/intention “i am peace” came to me.

it was interesting that it came to me at that moment, as that sometimes regularly comes to me during blessing circles and at other times around others. i also recall that when receiving a mantra from Amma a few years ago, they asked for a word of how i describe the divine or my connection to it, and i said peace, and they/Amma gave me a mantra related to that. i also recall that same time, i think it was one of the evenings the first time i saw Amma in 2013, that i felt to be in a more peaceful state or higher level of consciousness, and i had the intention for my level of consciousness to be at a minimum of 600, the level of peace on Dr David R Hawkins’ map of consciousness. perhaps since that time (or earlier) i have been vibrating at that frequency.

when i was receiving darshan, Amma said something to someone else up there in her language. i heard another voice say something like “he’s pretending to be asleep”. i don’t recall if that voice said why or anything else after those words. either before or after that, i also heard another voice, perhaps the same one though perhaps a different one, saying or asking something about doing the mantra. and i may have heard that voice say something about not needing to do the mantra (or perhaps that was my own thought). its possible Amma was talking to someone else on stage about something else, as i’ve seen her do, though its also quite possible that this whole thing was about me. or, even if it was about someone else, that i happened to hear it at the time i was there was certainly a message for me. afterward the rest of the darshan was similar to previous ones with her saying “my darling, my darling” and embracing me and then in the middle re-positioning me or my head as she embraced me. afterwards, when i leaned back upright, i put my hands together in front of my chest/heart as a sign of “namaste” or “om namah shivaya”.

an interesting aspect i just recalled is that the guy who did the second puja (that i volunteered at earlier that afternoon) had told a story that he would regularly go to Amma to receive darshan/blessing every time before he would do the puja, and once he went twice the same day as he had two pujas that day. Amma then told him that he already has the blessing and doesn’t need to go every time he does the puja. he said that afterwards he would just sit in the audience and see Amma’s smile and know he has the blessing, and then do the puja. perhaps my experience was related to this.

it seems that Amma was sensing/feeling/seeing/knowing that i’m already awakened/liberated, and perhaps the pretending part of what i heard was related to me not fully living from an awakened place in order to be able to fit in with others, or to receive love from others, or to not have to fully partake in what an awakened being could do. i didn’t hear the rest of the message but those are the feelings that i had after i heard the first part. i wonder if the whole message even happened internally and i was just hearing it as if it had happened externally, though it may have been her actually saying it outloud in her language and someone translating it either for me or others there to hear (as seemed to be my experience in the physical reality).

i can see how the message could be quite relative to my experience and a bit of guidance for me. i can see how perhaps it was simply a reflection of my thoughts about the guy doing the puja and the experience he shared earlier that afternoon. though its likely that its a bit of both. its all related, and it can be quite crazy when we step into higher awareness to see how all the pieces of the puzzle of this reality/experience are unfolding perfectly. it seems that it is time for me to continue more deliberately on this spiritual path and to continue to shine and radiate my light more confidentally.. which is also interesting as parts of the speeches she told were related to negativity and the last evening she said something about negativity taking away confidence and such, and i’ve seen a lot of negativity (and opposing viewpoints) in the physical reality in recent times (and see how this has had an influence on me and my reality).

it’s time to deliberately choose to create the beautiful reality and world we want to create, regardless of what is showing up in the external world. we create the reflections of the external world from our internal knowing, and especially so as awakened or liberated beings. we can transcend this illusion should we choose to. its simply a matter of choosing a new direction if we don’t like the one we’re on. in recent times i’ve started to see more signs of our world starting to go in the right direction (despite there also being a lot of signs that we’re not). focus on what you want to see and don’t let others or the external world steer you astray. the more of us that choose to co-create a beautiful world, the sooner we will all see it unfold. in the meantime, enjoy all the strange ‘coincidences’ that unfold in this crazy dream/illusion called reality.

[it seems that a part of me stepping back in the spiritual direction i want and inspiring others is in sharing and writing my experiences. i had a couple friends i saw at the Amma program tell me that they enjoy reading what i write. it was a bit of effort to start to write this yesterday as i barely had any sleep as i stayed up all night for devi bhava and just napped for maybe an hour or two in the morning afterwards, though i’m glad to do so. i really do enjoy it when i feel inspired and the words flow through me. perhaps forcing myself to write can be a way of setting the intention that i do want to allow the flow to occur, and i’ll accept it if not everything i write is as good or perfect as everything else.. it’ll be more real that way as well]

[its funny, as i was finishing writing/editing this, someone just walked by across the atrium here playing some audio program talking about consciousness expanding.. and this is in a shared office building where my friend’s company was located. i recall last year there regularly being annoying loud bass music playing in the morning by people driving up and hanging out in their cars before going to work. today, this was the opposite of what i had expected to find here.. this is another sign that as we change so too does the world around us. at the Amma program i recall seeing someone wearing a shirt saying “be the change”…]

 

www.sunnyskyz.com/happy-videos/6998/Thousands-Of-Jews-And-Muslims-Sing-039-One-Day-039-By-Matisyahu-In-Perfect-Harmony

Koolulam’s Cover Of One Day By Matisyahu – One Day קולולם שרים את

 

Matisyahu – One Day (YouTube Version)

[2017.10.31] round and round and round we go...

www.markmarano.com/2018/02/11/vision-for-a-new-world/

collectively we have the choice to end the seemingly endless cycle of conflict, competition, greed, violence, blame, control, and any other game the ego/mind plays.  the more of us that awaken, transform, and experience the flowering of the heart, the sooner we'll see a beautiful new world unfold before us.

#nature #park #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #homeonwheels #trees #journey #360x180 #littleplanet #fisheye #360degree #littleworld #tinyplanet #grass #field #preserve #driving #round #circle #exploration #awakening #inspiration #transformation #growth

i made it back.. had some thoughts on beliefs when walking before dinner, lets see if i can remember.. my first thought was something like i have no idea anymore :) then some thoughts about beliefs themselves.. i believe that our beliefs and perceptions are what create our reality. this is partly what i’ve learned from others teaching, though also partly in what i’ve learned experientially. we can choose to believe something that is good for ourselves and create a reality that we enjoy, or we can choose to believe things that do not serve us and end up having a tough time in life.. we can choose to believe things that serve everyone as a whole and we’ll likely experience a much more beautiful world and connection with others and the divine than if we choose to believe things that are only self-serving. it seems that too many self/ego-serving beliefs and desires are what have caused so much of the struggle and situation we are now facing on earth. some, if not all of these, stem from some sort of fear, or something one isn’t (or many aren’t) willing to face. sometimes beliefs are created out of resistance to situations as its easier to do so than fully experience what is happening when its something we don’t like (which in itself is a belief of what we desire and resist, and what is good and bad). there was something else in there, lets see if i can remember…

it’s not coming to me in these few seconds i waited for it.. perhaps it will appear later. or perhaps it has dissolved or wasn’t there to begin with :) as far as individual beliefs, or what you asked me to be my core beliefs, i believe humanity is collectively awakening and evolving and that we will see drastic changes in society in our lifetime as a result. i know others are saying this as well, though i do also see signs of it unfolding. it seems that what is happening currently is what i thought of as the last stand of the ego.. it knows its on its way out and is fighting to survive. (which seems to be similar to what i’ve felt in my own experience lately) thank you, btw, for asking this question, as i was just thinking recently of writing a vision for a new world, and this could be an intro to it, though not sure i will write it all here for ya as it might get to be a bit lengthy :) essentially it will be a world of peace, where we each sense the connection to each other and the planet, and live in harmony as such. we’ll likely still be experiencing from different levels of consciousness and awareness, though as more and more of collectively evolve and become more loving and are able to see that we have more in common than what separates us (and can see that the things that do separate us really aren’t what we think they are and are simply limiting perspectives or beliefs), we’ll release what no longer serves us and naturally open ourselves up to connecting to each other, the world, god, etc. ah, that reminded me of what i was thinking earlier.. that so many people live with indoctrinated beliefs that come from outside of themselves and go to great lengths to defend their beliefs or viewpoints, when they weren’t even something they came up with themselves.. they were merely fed those beliefs by someone else trying to control them or whom didn’t know any better. as humanity gains more clarity and awareness over this, we’ll be able to grow more quickly. it seems to be happening with people not tolerating various injustices.. which i feel to be most effective, one’s approach in doing so must be carefully chosen, and be one coming from a higher vibration of love and offering a more loving or inclusive viewpoint rather than one that comes from an approach of fighting or resisting what is. not only does this work better energetically as there is no resistance, but as well in the physical world, as those being opposed will be more open to listen to someone coming from a higher place rather than just another mind/ego from the same level of fighting or control or resisting they are coming from.

another thought that came to me as i was walking was regarding my own personal perspective.. i don’t recall the exact words that came to me earlier, though it was basically about the part where i said i have no idea anymore.. i think i went into i don’t even know who i am anymore.. but in reality, i do know who i am as the one who is experiencing through this body and mind others think of or perceive as mark marano, though it’s more that i don’t know who mark marano is anymore, as mark marano can be whomever i decide and choose mark marano to be, based upon my own beliefs and chosen perspectives. i can pick anything i desire, and choose to be it. the difficult part for me has been knowing what to decide, hence having gone back to old ways as i mentioned earlier today, as i think at some point i realized that i liked me (the old me) and still had some exploring to do. however it seems that i got carried away with it or lost in that identity for too long that was no longer serving me, that the divine presented me with the recent health challenges (and other challenges before that regarding my projects) as a bit of a wake up call telling me its time to move on. i don’t know exactly where i’ll go from here in the future, though i do have some ideas, and i know it will be better than the past as i continue to expand, grow, and evolve. and its possible it won’t be a huge shift in my whole life in everything i do, but more of a subtly profound shift in how i perceive and experience life.

regarding choosing beliefs, i recall, from years back, that i felt something along the lines of it being better to let go of beliefs that no longer serve rather than taking on lots of new beliefs. it seems that the latter can simply feed the ego/mind/identity more than it needs to, especially if one gets too caught up in one’s own beliefs and needing to defend one’s beliefs or prove themselves or the beliefs right. by putting forth more effort into emptying oneself of one’s beliefs (or allowing life to do so), one creates more peace and space and freedom from which to experience life. and, if one so desires, one can still choose to create some beliefs that do serve one’s desires or perspectives that will help humanity evolve and transform, though one may not find it necessary to do so, as when one is living from a more empty place, a blank canvas so to speak, one will be more in tune with the divine, and the divine can naturally and more effortlessly flow through one’s life in a manner that does serve humanity and life itself.

For those who believe, no words are necessary. For those who do not believe, no words are possible

- Saint Ignatius de Loyola

Spirituality is a science that teaches us how to live in this world, how to face the challenges of life, and how to experience permanent happiness and contentment. It is the science of mastering the mind.

- Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

Hope is the doorway to belief, belief is the doorway to knowing, knowing is the doorway to creation, and creation is the doorway to experience.

Experience is the doorway to expression, expression is the doorway to becoming, becoming is the activity of all Life and the only function of God.

What you hope, you will eventually believe, what you believe you, will eventually know, what you know, you will eventually create, what you create, you will eventually experience, what you experience, you will eventually express, what you express, you will eventually become. This is the formula for all of life.

It is as simple as that.

- Neale Donald Walsch, Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends

recently i decided to sell my condo as they weren’t going to let me park my van there and i’d much prefer to have my own land with a new home. just a few days after listing it, i got an offer under contract though the buyer ended up canceling as their job transfer was offering a bit less than they wanted. i don’t recall exactly all the interests and potential offers, though i just wanted to be done with it especially as i heard the market may crash in the near future. i asked the divine for it to be closed before the phenomenon and gift course on 9/9. in early august i got an offer with a closing date of 9/8. a few days before closing, i found out that the p&g course in fort lauderdale was being canceled because of the category 5 hurricane en route. i didn’t follow all the details of the storm and did my best to avoid the media and the fear it spreads. the storm wouldn’t reach the west coast (if it went that way) until after closing that friday. as the title company and buyer’s lender were preparing the paperwork for closing, i saw an email from the buyer’s agent on thursday suggesting waiting until after the storm passes. i wasn’t exactly happy and left a message for the title agent and my realtor saying i do not agree with waiting until after the storm. my realtor, also a oneness trainer, reminded me to stop worrying and trust my divine. on friday morning they were still working on getting the documents from the buyer’s recent home sale out of state, though they weren’t able to get them in time as the title company was closing early that day so the closing was postponed until tuesday after the storm. i was a little concerned but overall stayed calm with faith that it’d all work out. at one point, i had seen projected paths of the storm going right up the west coast of florida, though i didn’t let it bother me too much as it was still a ways away. michael from the flowering heart center in clearwater had sent out a forward he received with a concordance to dissipate the storm. i did some of what it said briefly and also sent good energy, intentions, etc to the condo and the whole surrounding area. i spent that saturday helping frank and kristin from the flowering heart center in downers grove set up their booth at theosofest and was giving deeksha all day to those who stopped by. it felt good to let the energy flow through me during the day and i wasn’t really thinking about the storm. sunday i went to a park or forest preserve that i had never been to and spent most of the day there. i think sunday evening the mind did start to think of different scenarios and what i would do, though besides that i remained calm and trusted it’d all work out. i heard from my mom on monday that my folks had gone to the condo after the storm left and it was fine. out of curiosity, i tried to search online for the actual path the storm took and was only seeing the projected paths. i called a friend down there and he told me that it was on the west coast of florida down by naples though turned inland and went through lakeland. the wind speeds seem to have slowed down quicker than forecast as it was only a category 2 or maybe less when it was passing through there. besides some loss of power and downed trees, it seems to have caused minimal damage to tampa bay from what i’ve heard. it’s a miracle that it didn’t go directly through tampa bay and that no damage occurred at my condo. i’m grateful for closing happening last week and for being able to relax, surrender, and trust that the divine had everything in order for it to work out. it does feel like it was a simple surrender.. i was a little upset before when i was trying to get them to still close on friday, though when it wasn’t happening, there was nothing else i could do (as far as in the physical world of taking action) so i sent/set some good energy/intention/prayers and let go. in the past i’d be worried or anxious the whole time, and this time i was able to be calm and not let something i couldn’t control take over me. i accepted that even if the condo were damaged or destroyed by the storm, that things would still work out and i’d still move forward in some way. perhaps being detached from outcome/control helped it all unfold how it did. i suppose i’m technically homeless now and i ended up having to pay more than i was told or expected for closing costs, though i’m glad to move forward into a new chapter. i don’t know exactly where i’ll live or end up, though i look forward to the journey and to having my own land somewhere peaceful, quiet, beautiful, natural, and sacred to live in the not-so-distant future.

another miracle is that i’ve noticed recently as i’ve been growing and letting go in other ways, it’s been easier for me to connect with others. i’m grateful for making new friends at the flowering heart center in downers grove. it’s also really great that others are also interested in creating a sustainable community with tiny or alternate homes. this is a vision i’ve had for a long time and it feels like the pieces are coming together now. it’ll be really beautiful to have land where some of the community can have their own homes if they choose to, and where we can gather together daily if we like.

in addition to connection with others, i’ve been asking the divine for abundance, and recently a friend called me and asked me about an investment he suggested a few months ago. i had totally forgot about doing it as i got caught up in working on the van and trying to get out of florida in the summer. after speaking with him again, i’m realizing how much great potential this really has and am grateful for being able to do it now. i was a little concerned about what i’d do after selling the condo as i could put the proceeds towards land or a tiny home but not both, and the van is really too small for full time living. now with this opportunity i’ll see great returns and be able to get land and build a nice home. i previously had no idea how it’d work out and now the divine has presented me with the way i hadn’t thought of. sometimes we really do just need to let go and surrender in order to allow the divine to unfold miracles and beautiful unexpected experiences for us. i’m grateful for all the blessings i’ve received and continue to receive. and i’m grateful for the divine continuing to flow through me. despite some of the challenges and obstacles we may face at times, life can truly be beautiful and amazing and miraculous. it feels like part of stepping into this new golden age will be stepping into the age of miracles and grace.

a week ago yesterday i was experiencing a bit of frustration in the morning working on the van. i was almost done installing the water tank though had to get to one of the plugs that was behind some pieces of wood structure i had built around the tank. i was able to remove one of the panels and squeeze my hand in the very tight space to get the plug off though i was unable to get the plug back in. the wood pieces blocking the part were going to be hard to remove, and at first i thought maybe i was going to have to practically take apart everything i had built just to get to the one part. it looked like i could remove just a few of the pieces though the screws were stripped and i couldn’t get to them. i didn’t want to cut the wood or screws to get to them as debris could get inside the fresh water tank, rendering it useless and i’d then need to remove it entirely, meaning taking apart even more of what i had built in the van. i tried placing my friend’s saws-all tool in between the pieces of wood though it was too tight and the blade didn’t move — the whole van shook as the tool itself shook when i pulled the trigger. i was ready to give up on the whole van.. i didn’t want to take everything apart and if i couldn’t have water, then the van build really wasn’t going to work for me. i figured i had messed up or hadn’t had much luck on a lot of other things recently, and maybe this was just another one. the night before we did a powerful kirtan chant and we were asking for what no longer served us to be taken away. i was wondering if the van was one of them at this point, though really hoped it wasn’t. in building the van, there was much frustration along the way, something would always seem to not work out and it was taking far longer than anticipated. previously, i had a lot of other frustration in other projects and not getting what i really wanted in life and i was ready to give up. i was asking the divine something like to either make things work out / make my life enjoyable or to take me off the planet. i was done with suffering and doing endless work that brought me no enjoyable nor fulfillment. i just wanted to be able to enjoy a simple life experience here on earth. a little bit later, i think after i sat for a while and began to accept where i was at, the idea came to me to try to take off the whole wood structure from the other side where it was attached. i didn’t want to take it off from there as it also was difficult to reach and some of those screws were also stripped and i didn’t know if it’d go back in due to the way it was installed. i ended up taking that apart and was able to bend the whole wood frame enough so i could reach the place where i needed to install the plug back in and tighten it. i wasn’t sure if was tight enough as i wasn’t the resistance i expected to (and i didn’t want to keep turning it too much that it’d break the plastic threads), though when i filled it up it didn’t leak. i was able to get the wood frame structure back in place and i now have water in the van.

this past sunday i had another miracle when my friend helped me cut a hole in the roof of the van so i could install a vent. he was either available in the morning or the evening and when we were going to work in the morning, there was a chance of rain forecast. shortly after we cut the hole, i noticed some very dark clouds not too far in the distance, and i still had to finish preparing the hole with a couple layers of touch up paint and then caulk after we cut and filed it. i trusted that the divine was going to work everything out, and was grateful when i felt the wind blowing in a direction that felt like it wouldn’t blow the dark clouds towards me. i was pretty calm and relaxed (probably partially because of going to the powerful workshop the day before), and i did what i had to do to touch up the paint without rushing it or skipping steps, and allowed the drying time it recommended. i was able to get it fully installed and never encountered the rain. i went to the arboretum a little later in the afternoon and got to see some really nice light there. i don’t think it rained that night nor the next day so the caulk had more than the full 24 hours to completely set. despite many frustrations i’ve had in the whole van build, i’m grateful to continue to move forward with it and look forward to the many adventures i’ll have with it.

some little planet low aerial shots from my trip north a couple weeks ago [2017.07.12 - 2012.07.20] (locations: my cousin's house, cross creeks national wildlife refuge, and land between the lakes national recreation area)

#nature #park #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #trees #travel #journey #roadtrip #360x180 #stereographicprojection #littleplanet #fisheye #lookingup #lookingdown #360degree #littleworld #tinyplanet #poleaerialphotography #elevatedphotography #mastphotography #aerial #fromabove

(shot with ricoh theta s and lg 360 cam.. includes shots experimenting with the new interval composite model on the theta s)

somehow managed to get out and shoot some video while literally spending the whole month editing the old life on the road films..

 

108 Names of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

 

Sri Lalita Sahasranama Namavali (1000 names of the Divine Mother)

 

Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi singing Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu

it’s beautiful when things begin to flow effortlessly on their own. this comes from learning to surrender and trust. i’ve seen as the more i let go (of control), the more i am allowing the divine to take over and flow into and through my life. today i renewed my driver’s license and registration (i decided to go today as it’s ‘pi’ day and i thought it’d be fun as it would be printed on my license as the renewal date). i received a card in the mail saying i needed to go in person this time to renew. i had a some thoughts about being uncertain if they’d make me do an eye exam and if i’d have any issues as i haven’t been to the eye doctor in a long time (i had lasik surgery back in 2005 and went for a check-up sometime shortly after that but not anytime recently). i can see fine though i’ve spent a lot of time in front of the computer screen these past weeks/months and was wondering if that would have affected my vision. i also feel like, on this spiritual journey, as i tune into higher energies/frequencies/etc that sometimes my vision of the physical plane may not be as crisp, and was possibly a little concerned about that affecting my ability to see normally. when i got to the county or state office to renew my license, the person who walked in before me had made an appointment to renew her license, and the thought crossed my mind that there might be a long wait and that i hadn’t thought of seeing if i could schedule a time online (though the thought did come to me earlier today or yesterday to call to see how long the wait times were and if i could begin my wait time when i called, but i didn’t do so). i didn’t worry too much after i got my number and sat down in the waiting area, and saw there weren’t too many numbers ahead of me per the computer screen. i did feel a bit nervous and wasn’t sure why. perhaps it was due to my concern about my eyes, though i wasn’t actually feeling nervous about it when i previously thought of it. it could have been that i was feeling someone else’s emotions being there in the waiting area or something else. while waiting, i quietly invoked the divine and sent blessings to anyone in the building or who had ever been or will ever be there. i also did a little bit of breathe awareness meditation with my eyes closed while waiting (to try to help me relax and stop the nervousness). my number came after a short wait, and i walked around the corner to the booth i was called to, to see many more waiting seats in a larger area that i thought would’ve been a better spot. when i told the guy at the booth that i needed to renew my license, he began the process and said that i needed to do a vision test. i looked into the device to read the line he told me to read and i read it without any issues. i could see the mind almost doubting a couple of the letters that could’ve appeared to be something else if i looked too quickly, though i passed fine. another thing that was a bit funny was that i had decided to wear a white shirt as my old license had a blue background color behind my photo, and this background ended up being wight. it was funny as i had had the thought cross my mind of what if it was a white background they were now using and i just appeared to be a floating head on my license. it does appear like that a little bit but with the design of the new licenses, its not so bad, and its nice to feel like there’s a white glow of good energy around me. i also had a bit of a concern that perhaps they were going to ask me to pay extra to renew the registration on my van as the pricing on the paperwork they had mailed to me didn’t seem to match any of the numbers i had seen online, though again there wasn’t any issue and i’m pretty sure the amount he told me was what it had said on the form i received in the mail. when i was there with the guy, he made a comment about it being so quiet today, saying that normally all the seats on that side are filled (and they were pretty empty) and there are screaming kids running around. perhaps the divine presence had filled the space when i called it forth while there. or simply meditating created this peace, or the peace just simply follows me wherever i go as i’m usually pretty peaceful. also, earlier in the day i had set an intention / asked the divine / manifested the experience of the renewal going smoothly with no issue and not a long wait. it seems that the universe / divine had created this reality for me, despite whatever nervousness i was briefly feeling while waiting.

i suppose sometimes when i’m not paying attention to consciously creating this experience of reality, i forget that its still occurring or that i can do so. a couple or few days ago i was looking at some old files on my hard drive, working on purging things and files i didn’t need, and i came upon some signs of how i’ve been creating this reality and signs of how i had a good bit of awareness, even some 20+ years ago, before i had any conscious interest or idea of being on a spiritual path. it was also nice to be able to remember how i used to flow in different times of my life in the past, and how i was happy simply being me and connecting with another. and, a little bit to my surprise or intrigue, i saw how an actual file i remembered saying one thing now read to say something else, and i hadn’t changed it or opened it since early 2010 when i had run a numerology software program to generate the file with the report.. around that time i was becoming more aware and interested in spiritual growth, and though i had just had an experience of oneness (of seeing and feeling others as being parts of myself) shortly before generating the numerology report, i didn’t truly experience much more release, healing, growth, awakening, transformation, shifts in perspective, etc until later that year when i attended the avatar course.. so it makes sense that with the growth i went through after the file was generated, that it’d be possible for the reality it described to change, though i didn’t realize that it would mean the actual file changing.. i was thinking that i’d have to have forgotten what it actually said (and not been attached to that reality) for it to be able to change. however, in this case, i remembered what it previously said, and it still changed (it was pretty significant and made sense what it said, so i’m pretty certain it actually read differently and its not that i just remembered it being different or misinterpreted what it meant). perhaps this is what others describe as the mandela effect. i suppose with the transformation i had gone through years ago, i could’ve stepped into a different timeline or reality, and i’m remembering what occurred in the previous timeline or reality i was in. either that, or time really isn’t what we think of it (as i’ve heard others allude to). some speak of all time occurring at once, and perhaps i’m beginning to be able to experience multiple moments in time as well as multiple varieties/dimensions/timelines of time at the same time. or perhaps i’m simply breaking free of the limitations of time, as time, or our perception of it, seems to be a human creation. it seems that as we surrender and release attachments, especially those in the physical, emotional, and mental planes, we free up our ability to experience the higher realms of consciousness and reality, as well as have more energy available to create this experience of reality. this all makes sense, and i’ve experienced this before in different ways, and i’m grateful for the journey i’m on. it was a bit of a roller coaster in recent months, especially with the health challenges i faced, though i’m glad i’ve made it through and am continuing to grow and expand in new directions. it’s exciting to be alive and to flow with life!

back to the story.. after i left the county or state office and was walking back to my van in the parking lot, i felt a subtle sense of peace. it was good to have taken care of it, and had one less thing to think about doing. the more we release in different ways, either by taking care of things or letting go our attachment to needing to do things or whatnot, we free our energy, and are then able to be more present and experience the beauty of reality and life much more naturally. i stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and at first when i pulled into the parking lot, i wasn’t seeing a lot of open spaces in the area where i typically park, and as i kept going forward i saw something right at the end of an adjoining aisle/lane, and was easily able to pull into it. at the store, things flowed nicely, and i was able to briefly connect with the cashier whom i shared i was going to a meditation when she asked if i had any plans for the evening. i felt fine telling her that and asking her if she ever meditated and then telling her about the meditation at the flowering heart center which she said maybe she’d check out sometime. a lot of times in the past, when i haven’t been experiencing life flowing, when i’ve been in some form of resistance or worry or whatnot, i haven’t been able to connect with others easily nor have i felt okay sharing anything about meditation, higher consciousness, spirituality, etc. i think perhaps its come from experiences i’ve had in the past in trying to share these things with others whom didn’t understand (or perhaps weren’t ready to hear them), though i’m grateful to be able to experience the divine flowing through me in this way. earlier today, my dad was complaining about me being the cause of his negativity (as simple things i did, such as opening up the window blinds a different way than he or my mom do, triggered him to be upset or angry).. i don’t recall exactly what i said though i spoke something about me not being able to cause it, and it being good to let the negativity out (and joked in a sense about me helping him do this) or get rid of the negativity rather than hold it inside. i had thought about saying something more detailed about how he’s triggered by so many things such as lots of other drivers (and how i used to be though i no longer experience those drivers showing up, and if they do, they don’t bother me at all the large majority of the time) but didn’t. i’m not sure if he really understood what i meant or not, though hopefully it helped a part of him begin to realize that he doesn’t need to get upset about so many little things.

it’s nice to allow this all to flow through me. in the recent past, i’ve felt blocked in being able to write or create or whatnot. a lot of times in recent years i was either forcing it or it wasn’t flowing through quite like i had previously known. it all comes down to where we are energetically.. by surrendering and letting go of attachment to outcome, we open ourselves up to allow the divine to flow through us in magnificent ways.

tonight after dinner i went for a walk out to the main entrance of the development here and stopped near the end by east lake road, on the opposite sidewalk/trail this time, and looked at the fountain that was lit on the water. as i was simply looking at the fountain, after remembering back to when i first started photography and took some nice long exposure photos of it, i shot a couple photos on my phone, and then i began to notice that the cars on east lake road seemed to be moving pretty slowly. i was able to easily follow them as they passed by in the distance. they seemed to be going much slower than the 50mph speed limit and they didn’t seem as loud. there were enough of them that had gone by for a while that it couldn’t be that they were actually going that slow. it was that i had slowed down.

i must’ve stepped out of the mind without realizing it. i suppose it’s been difficult to tell if i’m in the mind or not as the mind has been pretty quiet or silent for years and i can step out of the thoughts or stop them most of the time. perhaps, although the mind is usually quiet, there’s still a sense or urge to be wanting to move forward, or some other subtle anxiety or fear i’m feeling that’s preventing me from relaxing into the stillness of the moment. it reminded me a bit of when i stepped into feeling during one of the avatar courses and how beautiful it was. i wish i had written this right after or when i was still at the fountain as now i’m not feeling the words that were coming to me at the time. it was a subtle feeling, like being a little high, yet powerful. i recall having a similar feeling in the sense of the sounds of the cars passing by seeming distant the first time i was paddleboarding on the intracoastal and was slowly paddling my way back from an island to the causeway.. it was a bit different then as i recall the sounds seemed loud yet they were far away. i’m not sure that i perceived the cars moving slowly or not that time, though it was still nice to experience a slight shift in perception. it may have been getting a bit cold as the sun was going down if i recall and it was in the cooler part of the year. tonight it was a little cool as it was dark, though i just accepted it and experienced and remembered how beautiful it was to walk down the sidewalk and experience the way the trees, plants, and fountain were lit at night. since most of the area was fairly dark and only some parts were lit, it makes sense that my attention was easily focused on the sight and sounds of the water spraying up into the air. through this, i must’ve naturally stepped out of the mind and into feeling the here and now. part of my back had started hurting this morning though that was gone when i was out there. and i don’t recall feeling the pains or sensations in my hands as they’re healing. the feelings and thoughts about the healing taking so long were gone, as were the thoughts and feelings about potentially not doing as well as i could on my investments. i simply was present there. [i think i had also let go of a bit of the concern of looking weird walking with my hand up to prevent swelling] afterwards on the walk back to the house, after the mind had started thinking a bit about the whole experience, i saw an airplane passing by overhead and it seemed to be going slower than normal too.

it was a bit of a miracle to have this unexpected experience. some may think of it as a little bit of an awakened state though it feels more of a natural state we can live in often or on a regular basis. it was subtle yet beautiful to just feel life in the moment. there wasn’t anything outstanding about it.. i didn’t have to go chasing after some goal or traveling to some new distant land.. i just simply discovered what was already here in a new way, yet once again. and its likely none of the external desires or goals would’ve provided such a simple yet profound experience. it was funny that it ocurred around the same spot as yesterday when i went for a walk and felt i slipped into the present moment and realized that the walk seemed much longer than it actually was. it’s also funny that the fountain is less than a couple hundred feet behind the house yet i have to walk half a mile to go down the block and then out the main entrance to get there. and that i normally don’t hear the fountain and forget its there from the house as i typically just hear the traffic. it’s quite funny how close yet how far away it is. and also quite funny how so many of us are chasing after bigger, better, faster, more, when slowing down and relaxing into the moment yields such a simple yet more profound and deeper experience than the never-ending chase. the world around us truly is beautiful when we learn to perceive it more fully.

here’s an exploration looking at what i really desire in a new home..

what i most desire is somewhere peaceful, sacred.

[it’s interesting to see how this exploration unfolded.. this morning i awoke excited with some ideas of visioning what i wanted in a home here in florida since i’ve been looking and looking and not finding anything totally ideal. i began writing about what/where i was looking for a home, and as i continued to elaborate on the details and what all it could have, it started to flow into a grander vision of what could be created for a community, a vision i’ve been meaning to re-visit, explore, and write for quite some time.. it’s funny how the divine can work like that and how one thing can lead to another unexpectedly, especially when following inspiration..]

to me this means natural, quiet, safe, away from disturbances of traffic, not near big power-lines with emf/emr pollution/radiation nor any other industrial/commercial source of pollution or noise, not near any areas of crime or parts of town that are run down or unpleasant to look at. it’d be nice if its somewhere not overly developed, or if its developed, its planned out nicely or kept up.

i’d like somewhere that is right by a nice trail (or small roads) to bike on, where i can bike to a local nature park or preserve without taking or crossing any major roads (or seeing any stores, gas stations, stoplights, etc). (this is why the lansbrook area is nice, as i can get to both the local park and john chesnut park without going on or to east lake road, and some of the trails/sidewalk to the local park are wider and have nice landscaping, where you don’t really see the homes, and the homes you do see are newer/nicely kept. both parks are also quite nice being right on the lake, and john chesnut itself being large enough to provide plenty of space for bicycling within it and exploring on a couple trails)

i’d like a good size lot for the privacy and space it offers. when i look out my windows or doors, i’d like to see nature and not other houses, streets, or signs of anything manmade. i’d like something without any deed restrictions nor hoa or any other special rules so i have as much flexibility to build and do what i want. (however, as above, i’d like it to be in a nice area where everyone keeps everything looking nice/clean but just doesn’t need the rules telling/limiting them what to do) i’d like to have plenty of room on my land for various projects, such as growing food, building a greenhouse, making a meditation garden, building a treehouse or lookout tower, etc. i’d like somewhere where i can first start off parking a tiny home, large travel trailer, airstream, or other rv so i can live in that before i build my home to make sure i like the lot and area (and to have somewhere to stay in the interim). i’d likely still keep the rv/home somewhere on the land to be able to travel with up to the flowering heart center in illinois in the summer months (which hopefully the new center has a spot where i can park and have at least a couple hookups for water and electric, unless there’s enough of us in the community there that want to have community living space soon that we build residential options on-site or nearby).

i’d like my home and land to be very peaceful, natural, and enjoyable as i’d likely spend a lot of time there. daily i’d wander out for a bike ride on the beautiful local trails to the nearby park, or go for a drive to a local park. other than going to parks or nature preserves, i’d mostly just go out to the grocery or health food store, local spiritual communities, or on occasion some local restaurants with good vegetarian options. when i meet a nice, beautiful spiritual/conscious/awakened girl with a good/flowered heart who desires a committed relationship, i’d also often spend time going to visit (until we live together) or going out exploring with her. my home shouldn’t be far from health food stores nor from the flowering heart center in clearwater. my home need not be right by the water though it’d be nice to be close to the gulf, or at least a nice lake or wide open field, as i often like to go see the sunset regularly.

my home would be my own little private ashram, a sacred space where i can be present, relax, or work undisturbed.

the air will be very clean as i like to keep my windows open most of the year when temperatures permit. it will be quiet in the sense of sound, quality of air, etc on the physical plane, and it will also be quiet in the spiritual/mental/emotional planes where i wouldn’t feel any disturbances of lower consciousness anywhere on my land or in the surrounding area. my home will be a very peaceful place where it will be just me and the divine, and i can dissolve into the divine presence daily. everyone and everything nearby will feel and live from a deep sense of peace. it will be more of a mountain cabin or vacation home that one might seek, except it will be my primary residence during the cooler/moderate months in florida where i can easily live and enjoy a simple life. when i feel like going on adventure or interacting with the world, i’ll get in my van (or other exploration vehicle) and go for a ride, wandering as i feel called to. when i get tired of being on the road and just want to rest, i’ll come back home and relax and can feel very refreshed/renewed.

the home itself will be constructed of something very strong and resilient, such as a disaster-proof monolithic dome, so i can leave it for as long as i like and regardless of weather or anything, i know it will still be there safe when i return. it will be energy-efficient and have eco-friendly healthy materials. the styling will be modern, simple, clean, and elegant, either bright or rich in tone, and perhaps with wood or other natural materials in the inside. it’ll be constructed for longevity and to require little to no maintenance. it’d be nice to have off-grid capability in terms of rain collection and solar/wind power, with perhaps the water re-usage capabilities/treatment of an earthship. it’ll have a nice deck/balcony with portions enclosed by screen and portions open, both with magnificent views of trees and nature as far as one can see. it’d be nice to have a jacuzzi and/or sauna to relax in. my home will be a bit of a retreat center where i live simple, relaxed life for as long as i feel called to, between adventures, explorations, and gatherings with beautiful communities. all components will be made of quality, built with care and love, feel solid, and work very well without need for any repair nor maintenance visits.

if my acreage is quite large or huge, it need not necessarily be right by a park as it will essentially become its own park that i can make trails on to explore and bike around. the views from my home will be quite stunning as i see, feel, and sense that i am surrounded by nature. wherever i walk in the home, as i’m going to the kitchen, through the living room, sitting at my desk, lounging in a chair, etc, i will experience glimpses and sights of the natural beauty through the windows or glass doors, as i feel the fresh breeze lightly flowing through my home bringing in quiet natural sounds of birds, the air, water, etc.

the lighting, both inside and outside of my home, will be quite nice. there will be different options for mood, such as dim intimate lighting for romance or sacred space, dimmable lights that light the entire ceiling of the dome for a nice glow, candlelight throughout, more typical modern lights, including under cabinets, etc. there will be nice rope or christmas lighting (perhaps inside and outside), and torch and/or sidewalk lights outside (perhaps lighting various paths on the acreage to be able to wander in the meditation garden).

i will experience much financial abundance and easily be able to pay for the land and home (and continue to add new aspects later, such as the gardens and outdoor areas or structures), as well as easily purchase quality food, travel/adventure, health/wellness experiences, pay for taxes/utilities/ongoing expenses, etc, and be able to generously contribute to spiritual communities and causes that resonate with me. i’ll also be able to start intentional/spiritual community living centers.

some may see aspects of what i wrote above as unnecessary or a bit excessive.. while it’d be nice, i wouldn’t necessarily need dozens or hundreds of acres all for myself, and…

i’d be happy to have all of the above as part a spiritual retreat center or ashram, with a smaller home nearby on a quiet section of the land for myself. then i could spend quiet time in my home as i felt called to, and easily go for a short walk over to the common community areas where we’d have beautiful gardens and shared spaces to meditate and explore together. we’d have plenty of community events: dinners, gatherings, fires, crystal + tibetan bowls, performances, etc. the main community center/temple could be quite large to hold many people for bigger events and would be a nice gathering place for community members to sit quietly, meditate, or meet with friends. i see the main center being one large room in a white dome building. there’d also be smaller buildings, adjoining or nearby, with restrooms, classrooms, a community kitchen, meditative spaces, etc. community members would help with keeping everything neat and clean, growing/harvesting food, gathering/preparing supplies, cooking, gardening, maintaining, etc. we would all live and function as one, in harmony with each other, the space, and the divine. it will be a beautiful space with everyone living at high levels of consciousness and anyone who steps on the grounds or anywhere nearby will be awakened and have their hearts flower. the community will grow to have multiple locations throughout the country or world. i see myself traveling between the locations, at first between the flowering heart centers in florida and illinois as i do now, and then to wherever the centers may grow. my adventures will be the journey between the communities, stopping in nature and other beautiful places, and while at the community centers, i’ll have my own homes and feel at home surrounded by the community family. it will be an extraordinary experience and many beautiful souls will feel called to join, participate, and help elevate consciousness. the communities will experience much abundance in all aspects, and be able to be completely self-sustainable. no longer will any of us have to do anything we feel forced to do just to survive. the divine will provide effortlessly, and the communities can help be a model, inspirational centers, for others looking for alternative ways of life than what currently exists in most of the world. there’d be various living options, exploring sustainable and alternative ways of building, such as building with natural materials, earthships, monolithic domes, yurts, tiny homes, treehouses, etc. some homes would be closer together for those who desire the neighborly small town feel, and some further apart with more natural space between for those who prefer the most monk-like silence. there could also be larger buildings with suites/dormitory/hotel style living for anyone who prefers those, and there would be both temporary and permanent spaces for living. the community could be a retreat center where one could come and stay for a few moments, hours, days, weeks, months, years, or a lifetime. the daily activities and gatherings would be there for those who like or need a schedule or routine, though the atmosphere would be very relaxed and if one missed a class or activity, one could easily pick up where one left off whenever one returns. if anyone is in need of any guidance, spiritual or otherwise, there would always be someone there who could be present or help, though the divine presence itself would so abundant that there likely wouldn’t be the need to specifically hold space for whatever someone may be going through. one would heal simply by being there. there could be a dome room/building where solfeggio frequencies and other sacred sounds are continuously being played where one could sit or lie down in and heal or relax. in other spaces, community members could share various modalities, such as yoga, tai chi, kai chi do, qi gong, reiki, sound healing, oneness processes, exercises from the avatar course, etc, etc. besides cooking community dinners, some members could teach and share how to cook, prepare, and eat healthy vegetarian, raw, or plant-based foods, how to use essential oils, breathing techniques/meditations, and other wellness-related perspectives. there’d also be teaching and workshops of how to apply sustainable principles to create new communities. visiting or living at the center would be an incredible learning and growing experience.. it could almost become a resort or theme park for spiritual wellbeing (but without any consumeristic or detrimental aspects that may be found in those typical sort of facilities). it would be a place for very clean, pure, divine living.. a heaven manifested on earth. there could be group adventures on a regular basis, to take a bus out to a local beach, natural park, local festival/event, healthy restaurant, or to simply wander about public places and radiate blessings and joy to whomever is there. the spiritual retreat center could be like a small town with beautiful walkways, trails, and common areas between the various unique homes and community buildings. divine love and peace would be felt and seen all throughout and within. there could be spaces where community members would regularly exhibit their divinely inspired creative talents, art, writing, speaking, etc. in places that are cold for extended portions of the year, such as the midwest, the center would have indoor facilities to grow food throughout the year, and there could be long heated hallways or tunnels between buildings so one could access most, if not all, of the structures without needing to step out into the cold. in temperate but rainy places, such as parts of hawaii or somewhere else tropical, there could be covered walkways made of bamboo or other natural materials that are open and airy between the buildings. wherever the location is, there would be many beautiful tree-lined trails, walkways, and streets (though motorized vehicles, particularly ones that create noise or pollution, would be kept and driven outside most of the walkable or bikeable areas). the grounds of the center/ashram/town would span hundreds of acres or more, and be surrounded be undeveloped nature, farm, or preserve in a rural area (but not necessarily far from a town, city, or suburban area). as the community and presence grows, the energy emanating from the space would be felt throughout the entire region, causing other beautiful divine manifestations to unfold in their own unique ways nearby (which would help elevate consciousness and flower the heart of those not necessarily interested in a spiritual retreat center or any of the modalities or perspectives offered). there would be a number of unique, beautiful, and serene places to just hang out, sit, walk, or meditate throughout the grounds. there could be a nice observation deck or lookout tower where one could look out into the horizon over the trees, a beautiful pond or lake where one could go for a swim or canoe/kayak ride, and many places to see and experience the natural beauty of the sun setting and rising. there’d be dark open fields to gaze up at the star-filled sky at night. the gardens would be beautifully kept, a meditation just in walking through them, and could become a single reason some come to visit the grounds. there could be a labyrinth, rock gardens, meditation circles, and many places to get lost exploring (with perhaps even a garden/hedge maze for fun). on some parts of the grounds, there could be some subtle ethereal music playing as well as nice lighting and water features or fountains. as one awakens there will be many joys and much beauty to explore and discover, both natural and human-made. there could be large open house events where many come to the center for workshops or a visiting spiritual teacher. during these events, naturally some new visitors may decide to stay for a while, and there’d be plenty of rooms available for whomever feels called to. one may feel drawn or guided toward certain modalities, workshops, or activities offered, or one’s process may simply be to take in the energy, embrace nature, or relax in the community jacuzzi, sauna, or other amenities. whatever path one may be on, one will discover exactly what one needs. there could be a community library of donated books, or little libraries throughout where one might just happen upon the perfect book having the exact answer or question one needed next. if there are families and children residing on the grounds, the education will come from a higher level of awareness, teaching spiritual principles and how to live and interact in the body as a spirit/consciousness, rather than most typical education/memorizing currently taught in society that focuses on programming the mind. one wouldn’t be forced to learn anything, and learning would be more of a discovery process where one could explore and learn whatever anyone felt called to. naturally and organically, some would feel inspired to explore creative aspects of life, some would learn technology, some would learn sustainability, growing food, building, connection, spiritual or healing modalities, teaching, etc, etc. everything that is needed will be divinely inspired and unfold. the spiritual center community will be a place where miracles will unfold on a regular basis. one will feel lighter and more peaceful simply by stepping on the grounds. it will be a safe place where one can be vulnerable and truly embark upon one’s personal/spiritual growth process, whether it be by healing through a process in the loving presence of the divine and other community members, or by simply having a place to dissolve into the void and slip into samadhi to explore higher planes of existence. the boundaries of separation would dissolve and we would all live from our highest divine nature, letting our light shine forth to the world and universe.

In coming home one finds less attraction in things and more joy in Being. More joy in Being than in becoming.

- Mooji

wow, it feels like i created this whole reality. i mean the whole thing, with the planets and stars and everything. it feels like the sort of thing i would create. [perhaps i created it in order to have a playground to experience this thing called life, which was also created.]

it also feels like i created this within a dream, another level deeper than in this waking reality.. like i woke up inside a dream where i was dreaming and realized this. and i was watching myself think and type this [while trying to avoid the distractions that were there, and now i just stepped out of that, knowing that was not real, and woke up into this waking state as i realized i wasn’t typing it in a place that was real or that would be preserved in this illusion of truth].

[2017.11.14 2:52am]

[i haven’t written in a while or had this sort of insight/inspiration in quite a while. it feels good to have the realization and allow the words to flow through somewhat naturally. i look forward to more. perhaps this is part of the whole journey in the van. i’ve been wondering what my purpose was, and i’ve been thinking of quitting photography altogether as it was no longer feeling like it used to [in terms of the drive, excitement, etc]. and now i remember when i did travel in the truck camper out west, and when random realizations would come to me. this sort of feeling is what really drives me.. a connection to a deeper truth or understanding of the universe and this creation called life.]

i met a couple old friends at the arboretum this past saturday.  when i was surrounded by nature waiting for them that morning, i remembered why i got the van.  having a tiny home with me whenever i go exploring, especially to beautiful places, is certainly nice.  it may be small, though being able to go on more adventures and longer journeys is pretty awesome.  i've been so busy lately that i've barely taken it out wandering to new places.  sometimes you just gotta get up and go regardless of whether everything is ready or not.

after my friends left, i took a nap in the van and spent the rest of the afternoon in the arboretum.  it was great to have a comfy bed with me rather than having to drive to one when i was tired.  near the end of the day, it started raining and i got to experience how nice it was to be inside the van and simply be able to hop into the driver's seat without having to run around outside and get wet (like i would've had to do when in my truck camper).

i spent the night in the parking lot at my friend's office, which wasn't too exciting but a place nearby i could stay undisturbed.  sunday morning i decided to go back to the arboretum and spent the whole day there, again until when it closed at dusk.  i drove to a quiet spot that was the furthest from the nearby highways and spent a lot of the day in the van with all the doors open, letting a breeze pass through most of the time.  it was nice to experience having a tiny home in the middle of nature.  i look forward to when i have my own land and a larger tiny home in nature for when i'm not traveling.

#infrared #nature #park #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #trees #travel #journey #arboretum #plants #ir #blackandwhite #bw #adventure #exploremore #exploretocreate #freedomvessel #getoutside #liveoutdoors #liveyouradventure #nomadiclife #optoutside
went to the arboretum this past sunday after installing the roof vent on my van. gratefully the dark clouds not too far in the distance stayed away and it didn't rain when i had an open hole on the roof for a while.
#nature #park #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #travel #journey #360x180 #stereographicprojection #littleplanet #fisheye #lookingup #lookingdown #360degree #littleworld #tinyplanet #poleaerialphotography #elevatedphotography #mastphotography #aerial #fromabove #sunset #miracle
some shots on the journey from florida to chicagoland [2017.07.12 - 2017.07.20]

on the first day of the drive north, i took a detour toward orlando to check out some tiny homes and meet a friend whom i hadn't seen in years. it was nice to see her, meet her husband, and feel inspired to go back to the avatar course in the future. after chatting for a bit, i left to make my way toward my cousin's place just outside atlanta, sleeping in a parking lot between a hotel and restaurant on the way up as it was late and i was getting tired. it was good to take the break, as in the morning i got to see the rolling hill landscape that i would've missed driving at night. atlanta had good food and a nice feel to the city (and neighboring towns/burbs) with winding roads, hills, and many trees that were much more pleasant than a typical city grid.

after spending a few days with my cousin, i visited a friend near chattanooga and met her family. we walked the long pedestrian bridge over the river and checked out part of the city, which also had a nice feel to it. i then stopped by the isha center in tennessee on my way toward chicagoland. when i arrived, i was a little surprised when the girl at the welcome center told me i could go to the meditation/ceremony that was starting soon (i thought i had missed it as i forgot i crossed into the central time zone on the way there.. my phone wasn't getting service most of the whole trip so still showed eastern time). the dinner hall was nice as everyone ate in silence. afterward, i sat by a small garden area and enjoyed the peacefulness of the grounds.

the next day, i discovered a wilderness preserve on my way toward kentucky and explored there for a bit. i also explored around the land between the lakes national recreation area. i was thinking of staying there overnight though i couldn't find the spot i had discovered a few years earlier, and there was still plenty of daylight left, so i headed toward garden of the gods in southern illinois. i was going to stay there, though i was feeling pretty sweaty as it was a hot day and i had been driving with the windows open the whole day. not having plumbing installed yet, i walked a little bit of the trail, took a few photos, had a snack, and decided to drive the rest of the way to my friend's place so i could shower before going to sleep. i also figured there'd be no traffic driving the small country roads up the state at night. by the time i went to sleep, the early morning light of the next day was beginning to show and i had been up for almost 24 hours straight without a nap.

the van build isn't fully complete yet, so the journey was shorter and with less stops along the way than it would've been, though i still decided to take back roads the whole way. i more than doubled the number of miles on the van on the trip up. the trip meter for the drive up read 1547.5 miles with a little over 35.5 hours of driving. per the meter, i averaged 19.7 mpg the whole trip, and i saw right around 22 mpg for the last tank (and when i had cruise control at 57 mph) which i was pretty happy with (though i'll have to determine how accurate the trip meter calculation is).

more than once during the trip i had just enough gas to make it to the next town that had a gas station. luckily that last night something told me to call the gas station on my way there (and i actually had a signal to do so).. they ended up leaving the pumps on a few extra minutes for me to get there as they were about to close. i ended up going a couple miles past the 0 miles range left indicator too. if i hadn't called, i would have had to sleep at the gas station all night until it opened the next morning or risk attempting to drive to the next one miles away without knowing if i had enough fuel to make it. sometimes navigation was a bit tricky without a phone signal to download the map data, though besides not finding the one spot in the recreation area (which i didn't remember exactly where it was anyhow), i managed to make my way pretty much on course until i got enough of a signal to find towns that had gas stations. luckily i usually didn't have to go too long without a signal before i got one where i could start the turn by turn directions (which downloaded all the data needed for my route to the next stop, so it'd continue to work even when i lost a signal). it was also nice that the google maps app was able to provide navigation solely via local roads.

it’s beautiful how all the little pieces come together on their own when in tune or aligned with the divine, or when simply open to it. i’ve noticed a few little miracles or synchronicities these past few weeks, and just had a couple little ones this morning.. i’d been trying to sell some old things as i prepare to make some changes in my life and i saw one sold unexpectedly over this weekend, but i still had quite a number of things that have been sitting there for a while that hadn’t sold, even after dropping the price quite a bit. i decided i was done and was going to just donate them to the library or elsewhere (after briefly thinking i could give them yet another shot and almost doing so). after gathering together the things i’d be donating into a box, i was going to prepare to send out the one that sold and i noticed that another thing had just unexpectedly sold in that short time! (both of these were not super valuable but also not the least expensive things i was selling either) by surrendering my attachment to selling the ones i’d be donating, another one i still was going to sell sold right then. sometimes we just have to do things a little differently or simply let go of attachment or control. it was nice to have a little bit of unexpected income. and it was nice to see that i had finally gotten most of the pile of things i wanted to sell out of the corner of the room where they’d been stacking up for a long time. sometimes we just gotta make the decision to move forward and the divine will take that step with us and for us. as my printer was down, i went over to my folks’ place to print out the shipping labels there. i thought i was just going to be there for a few minutes and then leave, though ended up staying a bit longer as my mom offered me a little lunch. after my sister arrived on her lunch break (since my mom was babysitting my nephew), i felt i should get going to make it to the postal box before the pickup time that was approaching. i had biked over since it warmed up quickly (another nice little thing that happened today as i was thinking i’d have to drive if it didn’t warm up until later), and wanted to have enough time to make it before the postal carrier went by. as i hopped on my bike and started to make it a few houses down the street, i saw the local postman coming to drop off mail. i stopped my bike, got out the couple packages and as soon as i walked across the street, he was pulling up to the house that was there. since i no longer had to bike to the postal box, i decided to take the longer route home and rode by the nice park between here and there. i took my time and made a couple short stops to embrace nature on the beautiful day it had become. another nice little thing that happened was that i had gotten an expected call from a new client when i was out. when i got back home, i listened to his message and gave him a call back as it sounded like he needed some computer help. he ended up resolving that though had good news about an investment opportunity he had recently told me about. i was starting to wonder how it was going this weekend and as i temporarily forgot about it this morning when in the midst of what i wrote above, i unexpectedly got positive news about the direction its going in. so often it seems simply letting go, surrendering, or forgetting (or forgiving or focusing on something else or anything along those lines) is the key to allowing the divine to effortlessly unfold unexpected miracles in life.

i’m selling my four wheel campers keystone truck camper. it’s in great condition and hasn’t seen that much use. most of its life it’s been in the garage. i’m open to reasonable offers on the selling price. i’m also open to keeping the compost toilet and maybe the refrigerator, tripod jacks, dolly, and perhaps a couple other components that i could sell separately. the camper came with a thetford cassette/cartridge toilet that is practically new — it was only used a couple or few times and i did not even fill up the cassette once before dumping it. this camper is 9′ long and is designed for a long bed truck. it can be bolted down or tied down with a built-in turnbuckle system. an alternate method for usage, transportation, or storage would be to place it on a flat trailer.

here is a very detailed full tour video i made going over everything it has: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4oFCYPtEx8

if you’re interested in purchasing it, or know someone who is, please send me a message here: markmarano.com/contact/

i found most of the original invoices and receipts for the camper. here’s a list of all the options and add-ons the camper has, along with the original prices i paid for everything:

— four wheel campers keystone base model $13995
— 12v/110v low power compressor fridge $1400
— furnace, forced air w/thermostat $495
— hot water/outside shower package $595
— DSI optional electric start for hot water heater $155
— screen door $235
— fan-tastic fan $295
— front opening window $175
— awning $695
— awning rail $32
— auxiliary battery system with separator $395
— second battery $275
— small drivers side window $175
— gas strut roof lift assist system $250
— bolt down and wiring $495
— arctic pack $475
— roof hatch $995
— 2 Sharp 130W pv modules $1314
— charge controller $329
— cable kit $79
— installation of solar $498
— propane pressure reg + purge/fill $42
— rv water hose $13
— aqua-kem holding tank deod $9
— rv water pressure regulator $10
— 600 watt true sinewave inverter + installation $366
— custom sink drain tubing $112
— compost toilet + installation $1484
— additional power outlets + installation $238
— custom camera mounts $117
— freight / destination + pre-delivery inspection $1980
— taxes on camper and dealer additions $1663
— rieco-titan tripod jacks $500
— parts for dolly $201
— labor to engineer + build custom heavy duty dolly $?
— hitch step $27
— longer shower hose + piece to hold above shower $31
— extra window frame for screened window in front $53
— screen for extra window frame $?
— longer shower pan $58
— rv water filter + hose extension $?
— addition of locks to cabinet doors so won’t open on their own $?
— storage area dividers $21
— storage bins/crates $?
— rv dish drying rack $?

adding everything up comes to a total of at least $30,277 — this is counting $0 for everything with a $? above. if you don’t count the $3,643 for tax, freight, and pre-delivery inspection (that were part of the actual acquisition cost of the camper), and take off the base model price, you’ll see all of the options, modifications, and add-ons come to a total of at least $12,639 (again, not counting some things i don’t have the receipts readily accessible for).

it’s a little difficult to determine the exact value as this is now a rare unit (as four wheel campers is no longer producing the larger keystone model). the biggest model fwc is currently making is the grandby which is a foot shorter — this is most likely either a marketing decision or to save on manufacturing costs by trimming their line, as lots of people are buying trucks with shorter beds (which wouldn’t be recommended for the 9ft keystone model). being a rare model and harder to find (especially loaded with most of what fwc offered plus extra additions professionally installed that they didn’t offer from the factory), its value will be a bit more than the high value four wheel campers already hold.

this camper hasn’t seen that much use either. it went on two long trips: one from the chicago area to the west coast and then back to florida (over a total of 72 days), and another from chicago to maine and then down the east coast to florida (a total of 22 days). it also saw a few shorter trips: the original trip home from the dealer in north carolina to florida, a trip back to the dealer in north carolina (from florida) to install additional components (and then back home), two trips to chicago from florida, and a couple/few trips in florida. most of its life it’s been in the garage. i purchased it new in october of 2011 and it’s been in the garage (in florida) since august of 2013. i sold my truck in january of 2014 and am not going to be getting another anytime soon so the camper is ready for a new home. it’s very clean, in great/excellent condition, like new.

this is your chance to get a unique camper that’s ready to go on new adventures. please contact me to make a reasonable offer and arrange to come pick it up in florida. if you can’t make the trip here, i can possibly make arrangements to deliver or ship it to you.

*** UPDATES below

i’ve gotten some questions about the price.. i’m open to reasonable offers on the camper and can consider keeping some components to go a little lower on the price. altogether, i’ve got over $30k in it and it’s in great condition with not that much use (and rare), so somewhere in the lower $20k’s would be good.

*** truck requirements ***

i’ve been asked about what truck it will fit, the weight, dimensions, etc. when i ordered the camper i didn’t know what truck i was going to buy, so i think they built it as a universal model to fit any truck. i don’t know its exact weight — the sticker on the back says 1095 lbs though that’s probably empty and was before adding the additional options. terry at four wheel campers estimated that my camper probably weighed close to 1500 lbs with everything. the bottom of it is 9′ long so it hangs past the end of the truck bed a little (and a few inches past the back of the bumper). it’s designed for a truck with a full size bed though i’ve seen others use theirs on a short bed truck (but this is probably not recommended by FWC). the cabover part adds just under 4′ to the overall length (making it right about 13′ long from the front of the cabover section to the back of the camper). the width is 80″ and another 3.5″ for the awning on one side. the height from the bottom of the camper (where it would sit on the bed of the truck) to the underside of cabover section is 48″ or just under 48″. if you have a very tall cab (or big lights or something on top of it), you could place a wood board or something under the camper to lift it up a bit. it’s also recommended to place a rubber bed mat under the camper as that helps prevent it from shifting around when driving (though this is probably only a potential issue when off-road). the width of the part that goes between the wheel wells is 48″ (or 48.125″). the height of the camper from where it sits on the bed of the truck to its top is just under 57.75″ with the solar panels adding just over 2.25″, making the total height from the bottom of the camper to the top of the solar panels right about 60″. i recall the overall height of the truck and camper (when it was on the bed of my heavy duty F-150) being right around 7.5′ from the ground so it worked really well in low clearance areas. (all these measurements are for when driving or storing it, with the top/windows/awning/door/etc closed)

*** more on price + value ***

i just looked at the numbers to determine a fair price for the camper with everything it has. i looked on nadaguides and the options they are showing seem like they might just be generic as they’re not exactly what FWC was offering. they also don’t show a high retail condition, only a low and average. i would say the condition of my camper in not seeing that much use and being very clean would fit into a “high” or “clean” retail or very good / near excellent condition, which basing on the $1700 difference between low and average, would put a high retail around $11,400 for the camper without any of the additional options. its hard to get an exact estimate on the value of all of the additional components without doing lots of research, though based on the $11,400 “high retail” being 81.5% of the $13,995 suggested list price, the more than $12,639 worth of options would be worth at least $10,301, bringing the “high retail” with all the options to $21,701. (this is not factoring in any of the $3650 that the freight, tax, and pre-delivery inspection cost — if you consider these, the total cost to buy everything new was over $30,277. at a price of $21,701, the camper would be almost 30% less than it cost new, and considering the number of days it’s been used compared to sitting in the garage, it’s seen under 10% use and is in like new condition.) if the calculation of how i got to the $21,701 doesn’t make sense, i can explain it better if you like. as i mentioned above, i’m also open to keeping certain components for a different price.

*** details of option prices ***

i had someone ask about how much the options really were worth so i went over to nadaguides again to try to figure out where they’re at for the options. here are some of the things i’m seeing that are close to or the same as the options i ordered:

looking at the power roof vent they offer, their low value is 130 and average is 155, making the “high” or “clean” value 180, which is 61% of the 295 i paid for the fantastic fan. and since power roof vent is generic, it might be worth more being a fantastic vent as that’s one of the major rv vent brands.

looking at the water heater 6 gallon gas/elec w/DSI — they have low retail as 190 and average retail as 230 — this would make “high” or “clean” retail 270. the outside shower low is 100 and average is 115, making high 130. both the heater + outside shower together add up to 400 — i paid 750 (595 for the hot water + outside shower and 155 for the DSI electric start option), making high retail 53.333% of the new cost. their numbers don’t add up exactly as the DSI option adds 100 above their water gallon average price, making it add 110 more at the calculated high price, which would be 71% of the new price for the DSI option.

looking at the solar panel 130 watt, they have low as 700 and average as 800, making high 900. they have the solar battery charger low as 430 and average as 520, making high 610. i have 2 130 watt panels so their total would be 2410 (900+900+610) as a high price. i actually paid less than this, 2220 total for the solar + install (1314+329+79+498), making the high retail 108.555% of what i paid new.

for the awning, they have 380 low and 455 average, making high 530. i paid 727 (695+32) for the awning + rail, making it worth 72.9% of the new price (or 76.3% if you don’t count the rail as it was a separate option when i ordered it). their awning doesn’t specify the brand and its a Fiamma, one of the major rv manufacturers for awnings, so not sure if that makes a difference or not.

the numbers do exhibit a wide range of % compared to what the new cost is. if we add up everything above to get an overall average, at the high value/condition, their #s would be 3520 for those specific options (400+180+2410+530). i paid 3992 for those options new (750+295+2220+727), making them worth 88.2% of what i paid new.

if we were to go by their average price rather than their high price, their total would be 3075 for the above comparison (230+115+155+800+800+520+455), making them worth an average of 77% of the new cost.

i’m not looking at their fridge as i didn’t order the regular option and got a special low power + better quality compressor one instead. i did see some furnace options there though they didn’t list the thermostat option separately like they did for the DSI for the water heater, so its hard to determine exactly where that would sit. if we counted it at their price without the thermostat and went with the lower unit (as i have to go look to see if it says the BTU’s on it or not), its high value would be 100 (70 for low, 85 for average — though the more powerful one is 85 low and 105 average, which would be 125 high). adding the 100 to the total high above makes everything above 3620. i paid 495 new for the forced air furnace with thermostat, making the total new for the above options 4487, bringing the overall average high value of the options down to 80.677% of the new cost (but its likely really higher than this because i have the thermostat with it).

they do also list values for some options like dry bath (290 low or 350 average, making high 410), lpg gas/smoke detector (120 low and 140 average, making high 160), and toilet-electric flush (330 low and 400 average, making high 470, or more as the cassette toilet was barely used) which i got from FWC but was not charged separately for by the dealer, so this effectively brings the $11,400 high value of the camper up another 1040 to $12,440 or 88.888% of the $13,995 i paid.

so it’s tricky to come up with the exact value and fair price for it, though it seems like somewhere in the lower $20k’s is about right.

if we go by the 80.677% as the overall average high price of the options they had listed, the $12,639 the options cost new are now worth $10,196.77, though if we consider that i also got the few options that have value included in the $13,995 i paid, the high value of the camper is $12,440, making the high/clean value of the camper with options $22,636.77, which is 76.77% of the $30,277 total i paid for everything new including the tax, freight, pre-delivery inspection, etc that were part of the acquisition costs (it was actually more than $30,277 that i paid but i don’t have the receipts for all the little things so didn’t count them)

*** package options ***

based upon the last calculation using nada, the fair value of the camper is at least $22500 to $23000 (or perhaps much more as it’s rare and in great condition with little use). as that may be beyond your desired budget, i’m offering several different package options where i’d keep certain items to go lower on the price. i’m open to other offers as well — let me know what price range you want or what options you want and i’ll come up with something.

— $ 22,500 — you get everything listed above
— $ 21,500 — i keep the compost toilet and dolly (with any of the packages, you still get the original cassette toilet that is practically new, and i’ll leave the ventilator, mounting brackets, and wiring in place so its ready for a new compost toilet to drop right in if you want to add it later)
— $ 20,500 — i keep the compost toilet, refrigerator, and dolly
— $ 20,000 — i keep the compost toilet, refrigerator, dolly, and tripod jacks
— $ 19,500 — i keep the compost toilet, refrigerator, dolly, tripod jacks, arctic pack, and power inverter
— $ 19,000 — i keep the compost toilet, refrigerator, dolly, tripod jacks, arctic pack, power inverter, solar panels, solar charge controller, and gas strut roof list assists (i’ll leave the internal solar wiring in place so you can hook up your own panels later if you want)

buy it this month (April) and i’ll take $500 off any of the above packages (i can keep it stored safely in the garage if you are unable to come get it right away, though i will need the majority of it paid in order to hold it for you more than a couple days). yes, the middle or higher packages are a better value, though with the $500 discount for buying it this month, you can get a rare Keystone camper in great condition and ready for new adventures for as low as $18,500.

please write me here to buy it: www.markmarano.com/contact/

To watch on youtube, click on this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4oFCYPtEx8

 

This is a detailed tour + demo of the Keystone pop-up truck camper I had custom built by Four Wheel Campers in 2011. I go over all of the built-in features, custom added equipment, and modifications/hacks/tweaks I made to it. It is currently available for sale (in Florida) with a custom built dolly and tripod jacks. If you’d like to purchase it (or know someone who does), you can reach me by sending me a message at the following link:

markmarano.com/contact

 

Here’s a link to a very long, detailed article I wrote about why I chose this camper and truck after doing lots of research on various rv options:

markmarano.com/2012/01/11/why-i-chose-a-four-wheel-campers-keystone-truck-camper-and-a-4x4-ford-f-150-supercab-heavy-duty-truck-with-ecoboost

 

Here’s an interview I did with Truck Camper Magazine about my journeys in this truck camper:

truckcampermagazine.com/camper-lifestyle/mark-marano-roam-free

 

At these links you’ll find videos of my 72 day “life on the road” journey out west, from Chicagoland to California and then to Florida:

markmarano.com/what/truckcamperfilms/

youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlEKn8xkNmVcJzBPGDznWUqHbu51wGC3

Here’s a faster version of all those videos combined into one:

youtu.be/kUVuTyxuVXU

Here are just the time-lapses (mostly of the stars) from the videos:

youtu.be/w02JSdm4bJw

This is a time-lapse video of the removal of the bolted-down camper from the truck:

youtu.be/zYlaydCjP7Q

 

More I’ve written about my truck camper and photos can be found here:

markmarano.com/what/truck-camper/

Sped-up 1 minute instagram versions of the truck camper life on the road videos can be found at the following link along with some writing about each day:

markmarano.com/what/truckcamper+instagram/

 

To see my photos, videos, writings, perspectives, etc, visit:

www.markmarano.com

 

here are details of the price and components it has:

markmarano.com/2017/03/11/2011-four-wheel-campers-keystone-pop-up-truck-camper-fully-loaded/

 

thanks for watching! please share with anyone who might be interested.

CONSCIOUSLY CREATE YOUR REALITY WITHIN THE 3D MIND MATRIX PART 2

REALLY READY FOR 5D? UTILIZING THE 3D MAINSTREAM MATRIX – PART 3

The “Oneness Moolamantra” describes the whole process of the evolution in Consciousness from the trascendental utmost formless manifestation of the Divine, to the flowering of the heart “Paramatma”, the abode of the Divine inside of us. This Awakening is the source of all Light, Truth, Love & Wisdom, who is our heavenly Father and our beloved Divine Mother ~ guiding us at every step of our life until we finally merge into Oneness.

this writing started off as me pondering a potential question or writing about how one can see a vision for reality that’s so vastly different than what presently exists (when many others may see it as completely out there, crazy, or not in tune with the present reality). the ideas that were coming to me were something along the lines of it being quite simple. one simply does not allow the present reality to affect one’s vantagepoints. one simply chooses influences and viewpoints that are conducive to one’s own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet and humanity. so many people are easily influenced by what others are saying, what others are doing, what the media is saying, what corporations are saying, and effectively what those in power or control want everyone to think. those pushing these messages to the masses, which causes the masses to continue to push and reinforce those messages themselves, continue to create the same reality and situation over and over by this simple mechanism. the more of us that wake up and become aware of what’s being said and pushed out to the masses, the quicker this game will end. fortunately many of us are awakening quickly now and these old ways of thinking are fading away.

this message isn’t coming through anywhere nearly as clearly as it was before i got up and decided to type it down when realizing it was quite good. everything happens in the moment, and when one tries to re-create the moment that previously existed, it doesn’t quite occur in the same manner. there was something else coming through about how we could simply end this, with more details of what was actually occurring…

i can’t remember it exactly, though in essence, it had to with choosing higher frequencies/vibrations. ah, one thing i recall.. was related to how one can see a reality that’s quite different than what’s occurring. effectively one chooses to ignore most of what’s not serving one’s vision. and some may think that one needs to know what’s happening in the world and ignoring destructive channels such as the news might not be good.. though one could choose to simply read or hear enough of what happened to get a feel for the essence of who to send/give blessings/energy, prayers/intention, and love to. though not watch or read for too long as to get caught up in all that fearful programming, as this is exactly what those sort of messages are designed to do, to keep us afraid and enslaved in the existing systems that require people to give their power and energy and life away to governments, military, corporations, banks, police, etc, etc. now i’m not saying we vanish all these systems this very instant with consciousness still where its at. however, the more of us that choose to see through the illusion of control and fear that requires and sustains these very systems and external forces, the more quickly we won’t have a need for any of the systems. the more of us that choose and learn to live our lives from a place of peace, joy, love, etc, the more quickly we’ll see the end of violence, war, and any kind of suffering. as we awaken to higher levels of reality and consciousness, we will see that all suffering is being created by our own perspectives of the mind, and that we no longer have to be live from that place. as our hearts open, we will begin to feel life and let go of resistance to what the mind has been creating and the limited viewpoints and beliefs that have been programmed by both our own previous experiences, manipulations/indoctrination by others, and the collective consciousness. as more of us begin to see through the veil and heal, we will naturally radiate energy from a higher place of peace and love. this higher energy that we feel internally will be what we begin to see reflected back to us in the external world. others will pick up on this vibration and begin to live from that place as well. (this is already all happening) this will spread to all of humanity and we will see great shifts in the world. without our own internal suffering, there will be no external suffering in the world. without our fear-based so-called rational thinking of the mind, we will no longer have to worry about our own survival or the survival of our family or other groups we identify with. we will begin to feel, trust, and know that everything is being taken care of for us by a greater power. (this doesn’t mean we completely let go of the mind, but rather we can choose to use it as a tool, rather than it use us) with the clarity of living without fear or limited belief systems, we will be able to see clearly exactly what steps we need to take to make the world a better place. our intuition and connection with others will lead us to work together to heal the planet. we’ll naturally and effortlessly collaborate in whatever way we’re best suited to do to create a world where everyone has healthy food, good shelter, clean water, and can live freely and at peace. no longer will anyone be forced to do something they don’t want or be manipulated or negatively influenced by an external force, as we will all be in tune with our own inner guidance coming directly from the divine, source, universe, higher mind, etc. this direct guidance comes from a place where we are all one and connected, and all of our actions will naturally be aligned with the greatest good rather than the fears/control/manipulation of the lower mind/ego. as this great shift in perspective occurs in the bodies, minds, and spirits of all of humanity, so much of what we currently see happening in the world will change, as the previous world was being created by humanity living from a place of disconnection, from a place of the lower mind/ego/fear, and that previous world will no longer serve a purpose and thus quickly dissolve, making way for a beautiful new world to unfold and grow before us.

for anyone living a world predominantly influenced by external factors and still engulfed in the old systems, the first step is to begin to see how these external systems truly do not serve humanity, and at the same time, to gain greater awareness and become more open to new possibilities. practice meditation, yoga, go for walks in nature, or do something else to help calm and transcend the mind. the more time you spend calming and becoming free of the mind, the more quickly it will lose its grasp. modalities that assist in healing one’s emotions and feeling through elements of one’s past that are unresolved or still showing up today can greatly help in quicken this process, as can receiving various forms of blessing (energy transfer, or direct experience of spirit), such as the flowering heart blessing or the oneness awakening blessing/deeksha. as you become free of the ego/mind, you’ll realize how much suffering it caused that is no longer there and you’ll be able to clearly see what no longer serves you or humanity. from this place of clarity, you can deliberately choose to focus your attention and energy on what does benefit yourself, humanity, and the planet as a whole. your higher vibration/frequency alone will be a gift to the world, as will be any actions you feel inspired to take to help transform, shift, and create the new world, no matter how big or small.

as humanity continues to collectively awaken and our hearts flower, we will see a new world unfold that is very different than the one in which we currently live. our reality will shift to one that is full of peace, love, and harmony. as we realize that all conflict originates in the mind and we become free from the mind, we will no longer feel the urge to live from any lower vibrations of consciousness. anything that was previously arising […]

When there is no cause for your unhappiness, happiness is what arises within you.

- Matt Kahn
i spent last friday night and saturday morning on the blue ridge parkway south of asheville. it was nice and clear with plenty of stars above, and besides some cars occasionally passing by, very quiet. i remembered one of the reasons i got the van and how i really enjoyed exploring. the couple long days of driving no longer mattered when i found myself in the beautiful midst of nature.
#nature #park #stars #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #travel #journey #roadtrip #blackandwhite #infrared #ir #night #lookingdown #poleaerialphotography #elevatedphotography #mastphotography #aerial #fromabove #parkway #trees #mountains #autumn
got up before daybreak last sunday to head into the city [2017.08.20]

#city #urban #sunrise #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #travel #journey #roadtrip #360x180 #stereographicprojection #littleplanet #fisheye #lookingup #lookingdown #360degree #littleworld #tinyplanet #poleaerialphotography #elevatedphotography #mastphotography #aerial #fromabove
... and the next adventure begins

this van will be my tiny home on wheels during my journeys, wherever they may take me

after a quick bite to eat and a little traffic, the first stop was one of my favorite local parks for some photos

special thanks to everyone at Ferman Ford in Clearwater, especially Nick and Rudy, for all the time they spent helping me as i decided what to order

thank you to @idletheorybus, @wheresmyofficenow, @exploringalternatives, @funforlouis, and many others, for sharing your stories and adventures

#nature #park #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #goldenhour #trees

I can quickly photograph and deliver 360 degree photographs of real estate (or vacant land, preserve/park, or any type of location) for you to use in your listings, marketing materials, or interactive virtual tours. I can offer this at eye level as well as low aerial or elevated photographs, up to 40 feet from the ground.

This will give you a much nicer angle of the home, building, or landscape you are showcasing. You or your clients can also use elevated photos to see what the view would look like from a higher floor or roof deck if you’re considering building a new home or adding on to an existing one. If you need higher perspectives than 40 feet, I can possibly do this as well (depending on the location).

I can provide images in standard 360 degree equirectangular format for use in 360 degree viewers, or render the images as flat panoramas or regular photos. To see some of my work, please visit and browse my website at the following link: www.MarkMarano.com — most images you’ll see are artistic in nature (many with a “little planet” look). I can create the photographs I shoot for you with a commercial/professional look or an artistic one, whichever you prefer.

If you are constructing a new building or renovating an existing one, I can create a time-lapse video of the project and can also offer a live webcam view (subject to internet or mobile service availability at the location).

I’m currently based out of North Pinellas County and am able to travel anywhere in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties (or the greater Tampa Bay area) on short notice. I’m open to considering further locations as well.

If you’re interested in hiring me, please write me here: www.MarkMarano.com/contact

(a response to my friend Larry to an email/article he forwarded to me)

“I figure it out as I go.”

brilliant! :)

that’s usually what i do in my creative or technical process…. though i let the big things that i think of as important work differently.. i try to over-think them and know all the details and answers ahead of time rather than just let it all unfold and only figure out the little pieces as i go.. i could ramble on much more about this.. and how this is allowing the divine/universe to bring exactly what we need at any point in time and just what we need, nothing more, nothing less.. we don’t need to know all the answers ahead of time :) i’m just about ready to order my van. actually am waiting now on the dealers to get me quotes so i can place the order. i will go check a couple things tomorrow to make sure i want all the options i’ve picked, but other than that i’m ready to roll. it’s exciting! i even see how everything is unfolding perfectly.. the other day, out of nowhere, a friend of mine who i met in chicagoland wrote me saying she’s in georgia, just over the florida border, and thinking of moving there and wants to collaborate to build a sustainable community. a couple days after that, i run into my neighbors when getting back home (who i usually don’t see or run into that often), and they say they’re looking to buy a home (they’re renting the unit downstairs) and they may want something bigger than my unit but their son might want it. it’s crazy how it can all come together so smoothly and effortlessly when we’re in the flow :) this is how life should really happen. and just like how i’m writing this to you. thank you for the inspiration. i wanted to type up and share the “miracles” that unfolded the other days but didn’t, and now i see how responding to what you wrote me was exactly what i needed to share them and type them up. thank you! life can really flow like this and all the time, if we allow ourselves to live life like this. we need not get stuck in the things we’re resisting or not wanting. let go, let it flow. i don’t know exactly what everything will look like in selling mostly everything and living out of a van, though i’m sure it’ll be a fun adventure. part of me was over-thinking it and thinking how much money i’d essentially lose selling a car i just bought 2.5 years ago (after selling my truck after around the same amount of time of owning it and losing a whole lot on it), but hanging onto what we might have now just because of some fear of losing out while not fully enjoying all aspects of it or holding ourselves back from something even better is no way to live. so it’s time. time to let go and be free. and allow this amazingly beautiful life to unfold before us, and flow through us in new expressions and enjoyment and consciousness.

thank you Larry, gonna post this on my website/journal!