Posted by: lecubiste | January 14, 2018

Montecito Remembered

I was three when we moved to Santa Barbara, to a house in the hills  behind the city. I remember my 4th birthday, I remember dancing at night with my brothers and sisters under a lightning storm. I remember going to the municipal wading pool near the harbor, walking out to the end of the jetty and dodging the waves that broke over the concrete wall.

When I was four we moved to Montecito, to a house next to the beach.  I remember listening to the waves crashing on the sand that lulled me to sleep, night after night. I remember exploring the woods and railroad tracks near the house, the many games that we children played outside.  I remember the day my brother and I saw a small plane crash into the trees behind us. We ran to tell our mother, but she didn’t believe us.  Ten minutes later the pilot knocked on the front door and proved us right.  I stayed home from school the next day to watch a crane lift the small Coast Guard plane out of the saplings that grew at the bottom of the hill behind the house. The year was 1961.

Watching the news about the mudslides in Montecito struck me as incredible.  Yes there were fires.  Santa Barbara was known to have fires every decade or so as the Sundowner winds would blow from inland toward the ocean, carrying the hot, dry air seaward, drying out the brush.

It was the heavy rains that followed so closely on the heels of the fire that made this year’s event unique. The fires had burned in the hills above the majority of Montecito. When the heavy rains come the rushing water picked up debris from the scorched soil and washed it down into the streams that fall to the shore. Along those streams were many homes.

The heavy flow picked up boulders, tree limbs, and what ever debris was in and along the stream banks and rushed downhill, crashing through homes, across the 101 freeway that ordinarily divides Montecito into the hillside and the ocean side, and clear into that ocean side of the small and wealthy hamlet.

This was a completely unexpected and unprecedented event. Southern California has had many mudslides over the years.  Usually these happen around the periphery of the LA basin, where homes are built up to dry canyons that come out of the mountains.  But not in Montecito, the wealthy suburb of Los Angeles, Holly wood, Santa Monica, and other places where money is made and a nearby escape is needed.  Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and other refugees from LA traffic, noise, and smog maintain these getaway homes among the seaside beauty and not too far from a Trader Joe’s and the Santa Barbara shopping and tourist scene.

Montecitans had a sense of imperviousness to the threats of the modern world.  It is removed from crime and poverty. The western winds blow east across Montecito most of the time. The air is clean.

This time, for maybe the first time, reality tragically touched Montecito. Who would have thought that the hills would flow in a mud and rock slurry across the beautiful Montecito terrain, destroying everything in its path.  It’s like a sci-fi story. “Monster invades small coastal town with destructive fury.” Who would have believed it?

Posted by: lecubiste | November 30, 2017

Life is a Fountain

It is not our choices that keep us alive.

It is the impulse that comes from the base of the spine.

Life pushes us, gives us energy,

Flows like a fountain from cradle to grave,

Rising within us, a spontaneous flow

Of prana, mana from heaven below.

We float on an upsurge of living energy

Chi, spirit, elation, ecstasy,

That drives us, pushes us, gives us motivation

Like a wind within,

Like a stream flowing,

Like a universal knowing.

Thus is art created,

Thus is God revealed,

Thus the poet merely listens

For the messages from Spirit,

Thus the prophet speaks

From the mountain peaks.



Victoria Estates


Posted by: lecubiste | November 16, 2017

What is Hate?

Hatred starts in the heart as anger –  

A desire blocked in frustration.

Anger becomes displaced rage,

A hallmark of our brave new age,

Projected at a human target,

Resentment bottled, a wild beast caged.


Hatred can become contagious,

Passed down over generations,

A parent becomes a model,

A child learns by imitation.

A social class in isolation,

In the 1920s, the German nation,

Japan along the coast of Asia,

Genocide throughout the ages.


An arrogant new religion forms,

As empires spread through hegemony,

European colonialism,

Africans in slavery.

A feeling of entitlement,

New wealth from new technology,

Classes in financial conflict,

Revolution and tyranny.


Hatred spreads through propaganda,

Sheer lies and exaggeration,

Soon it grips a startled nation,

Division and polarization.

Behind the scenes is manipulation,

Wealth and capitalization,

Using hatred as a means to

Steer the country’s population.


Hatred is part of the social landscape,

A tool for politicization,

A wagon load of misplaced anger,

A complex web of miscreation.

Alienated leaders use

Hatred as a deadly weapon

Against all those who would threaten

Their thrones overlooking civilization.


Hatred is a social disease

That starts in one’s psychology.

It preys on human weaknesses

And ends in death and tragedy.

To solve hate one must clear the heart,

Be honest with one’s self and others,

Empty the soul of its baggage,

And heal the mind its injured parts.


Practice prayer and meditation,

Service in humility,

Non-violent communication, and

Treating everyone equally.




Victorian Estates


Posted by: lecubiste | September 7, 2017

The Secret Power of Kundalini and its Effect on Human Evolution

At the base of the spine is a power,

A gland, a source of pleasure

That when aroused sends its fluid to the brain,

Ecstatically releasing its treasure.


Its essence, its medicine if you will,

Transforms the nervous system,

Stimulating growth and expanding awareness,

Creating genius and prophetic vision.


This new evolutionary mechanism

Pushes humanity ahead –

Jesus, Mohammed, and Moses,

Rumi, Lao-tse, the Book of the Dead;


Leonardo, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh,

Einstein, Tesla, and Newton;

All geniuses down through time,

Advancing human evolution.


 The secret of all this is kundalini,

Known in Mexico as Quetzalcoatl,

The feathered serpent of the Aztecs

In the ancient language of Nahuatl,


The serpent of wisdom in Egypt,

The dragon of heaven in Asia,

Found in Persia, Greece, and Ireland,

Though the modern world has amnesia.


 “Many are called but few are chosen,”

So says the ancient saying,

As adepts seeking spiritual liberation

Use the power of service, meditation, and praying.


It is said that kundalini guides human evolution.

It is posited that a new sense is revealed,

A spiritual mystical intelligence,

A psychic awareness unsealed.


Can a global effort be marshaled?

Can scientists and priests come together?

Can modern civilization

Master this science as it masters the weather?


The comprehension of this spiritual phenomenon

Could help blend the world’s religions into one,

Ceasing the ecumenical separatism

That threatens to blow our world to kingdom come.





Posted by: lecubiste | June 10, 2017

We look in the mirror to see ourselves

We look in the mirror to see ourselves, but

We see only our reflection, our outside, our superficial surface.

We see nothing of our inside.

To see our inside we need to look inside,

But the ego, the reflected self that we see in the mental mirror,

Blocks our view.

We must smash that mirror to see past it, and into ourselves.

Inside is a feeling that lies beneath the mirror.

To find liberation, to wake up, to activate our inner power,

We must smash the mirror.


Through loyalty to truth,

Through the courage to feel the truth inside us,

Through humility and confession,

Through letting the ego go

Into the mists of nonreality, and

Acknowledging our flaws.

NBS  Daning, Beijing

June 6, 2017


Posted by: lecubiste | May 7, 2017

On Top of Bell Rock

Cathy and I have lived near Bell Rock for two years now. Some time ago our friend Simon introduced us to Peter, a frequent climber of Bell Rock.  Peter takes people on a guided climb of the rock and I had always meant to call him, but we have been so busy that I hadn’t done it.

Yesterday we decided to hike around Bell Rock, and Cathy decided to wear her hiking boots instead of her ordinary tennis shoes. We walked from the Trailhead to Bell Rock. We decided to walk up the lower rock surrounding Bell Rock just to see where it might take us.

We managed to hike to the wall that climbs 600 feet to the top of the rock. As we crawled along a trail that went through trees, we heard voices. We came out of the trees and found ourselves up against the sheer wall of Bell Rock, when who should come along but Peter, leading a group of five to the top.

“Peter!” I exclaimed.  We shook hands and he asked us to join his group.  We gave it about 5 seconds of thought.  “Let’s go!” we said. Peter led us a little further on the trail that came to a point where we would have to crawl on all fours to climb the rock face.

mountains clouds

There we began our ascent.  With Cathy in her good boots and me in my Costco tennis shoes we climbed, first with our walking sticks and then without them, as we were forced to leave them behind. There were a few challenges where Peter helped everyone with the right toe holds and handholds, as we navigated up cracks and across rock faces.

Soon we found ourselves on the top, where we could see the Sedona Valley to the north and the Village of Oak Creek to the south.  It was a windy day so we were a little extra careful on top as we ascended a few places where blocks of stone made platforms on which one could stand.

Peter took our photos for his FaceBook site.  He has now led more than 2000 people to the top of the Rock. Eventually we descended and walked back to the trailhead, a bit sore from the unusual muscular exertion, but happy. Our casual walk to Bell Rock had turned into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.



Posted by: lecubiste | March 29, 2017

The Simple Spirit of Freedom

Not religious complications

Nor complex ideology;

Not a life of rules and regulations

Nor idiomatic phraseology

Provides satisfaction or emotional peace,

Self-acceptance or love,

Nor trouble’s surcease.


These things can only arrive from

Courage and humility,

Facing fear and staying alive, and

Accepting our status humbly.


Freeing the spirit and letting it wander,

Overcoming the chains that hold back our wonder;

These are the methods to heal our enslavement,

Transcend our limitations, and release our amazement .


The simple spirit of freedom is what we want,

To slip the chains of control and confront

The devil that demands our supplication and bending

In a life of dependency and obedience never-ending;

Or the psychological games we play inside us,

The maze with no exit that traps us like Midas,

With a golden touch that kills all around us,

A gift of wealth that becomes a curse,

The poverty of freedom that accompanies a bulging purse.


No, freedom is simple, its spirit around us.

Look to the stars for guidance, 

They’ve already found us.

The world of spirit, of information,

A medium of consciousness, of contemplation,

Forever exists, we just need to listen.

It’s there, it’s real; it beckons and glistens.










Posted by: lecubiste | March 12, 2017


A fish lying in the mud, still moist,

Tail waggling back and forth,

Gulping air, and trying to live,

To reach the water and survive,

Is this not we as we live each day,

Work, work, work, work, and play, play, play?

The cash register sings, the doorbell rings,

Another customer buying things.

Rich people gambling, more dollars than sense,

While poor people amble, seeking recompense,

The folks in the middle struggle each day,

Making ends meet, looking for pay.

Even the monk, alone in the castle

Struggles to find God, and a life free from hassle.

To be alive is to struggle, from the baby’s first cry,

To the elderly couple about to die.

Expect it, embrace it, it gives life its meaning.

Without it there’s death, and no hope contravening.




Posted by: lecubiste | February 1, 2017

We have been here a long time.

We have been here a long time.

Before the wooly mammoths went extinct.

Before the dinosaurs.

Before the amphibians crawled onto land.

Before the trilobites.

Before the Earth formed we were here.

We are part of the Universe.

We have been here for 13 billion years.

We will be here for billions more.

We are all part of this one creation,

Our bodies rose from the cosmic dust cloud.

Our spirits animated by our sun,

But we are here,

In the rock, in the mountains,

In the oceans.

We are not leaving.



Posted by: lecubiste | February 1, 2017

What does the Soul Thirst For?

Merging into an Ocean of Being;

Stimulating the entire nervous system all at once;

Discovering one’s true nature;

Finding one’s Soul Mate;

The triumph of Truth and Justice;




VOC  1-31-17

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