Student of Life, Love, & Being
A Little About Me
I was born in the suburbs of Salt Lake City into an incredibly loving Mormon family, whose example of unconditional love and service remain a permanent fixture in my heart and mind. As a young teen, though, I ran into many difficulties with the Mormon faith – moral disagreements, logical contradictions, and philosophical problems – that led me to reject the faith and set out on a search for truth.
Turned out, though, every time I’d catch a glimmer of truth, I’d just end up with more problems. Essentially, my initial problems grew deeper and deeper — I learned more about what I don’t know. But as I became better acquainted with my ignorance in this way, I was able to ask better questions and, in turn, create better answers.
These problems and their evolution have consumed me now for well over a decade. They have pushed me to learn about the world’s religions, past and present. They have given me a relentless appetite for physics, biology, and philosophy. They have sent me around the globe to explore people and customs — to break bread with Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. They have led me to explore the nature of my own mind — to sit for week- and month-long meditations, to participate in a traditional ayahuasca ceremony with the Shipibo tribe in Peru, to inhale Sapo toad venom, containing 5-MeO-DMT, otherwise known as the ‘God Molecule’, and to explore many other empathogens, psychedelics, and ‘religious’ or ‘supranatural’ states of mind.
And after all this — books, travel, people, meditation, psychedelics — I am now confident about only one thing: that I know nothing, that whatever knowledge I have will always be engulfed by my infinite ignorance, that I’m just a kid playin’ in this cosmic sandbox without a clue about much of anything.
I do have a few ideas, though, new and old. Again though, these are only bold and creative guesses about this strange and beautiful world as well as our place in it. As a working model or framework of the world, of the mind, and of the self, though, I believe there is something of tremendous value here for you to investigate, value for your direct felt experience. After all, our relationships, our lives, the world, everything, unfolds from understanding.
coupled with some ancient practices to train the mind, to bring more awareness to it, to bring more clarity, more space, more freedom, a practice to bring love and understanding into your life.
Come explore some of these frameworks and practices that have helped point me to and cultivate some truly extraordinary states of mind, states of being, frameworks that have really helped bring a stable peace to my life, that have opened me to more space, more joy, and more freedom, states of mind that have brought me an unprecedented sense of gratitude and appreciation for my self, for others, and for the world.
It’s not my intent to convert you to a particular belief system or to tell you to live a certain way or anything like that. I simply wish for you to find yourself, your true and authentic self. I wish for you to be happy, to embody a lasting peace. It is my wish for you to connect deeply with the boundless open space of experience, to know Love directly.
With Unconditional Love Always,
Meet My Family
Oh my god! To have, to give and receive, to feel, to know, a love like this – no words, no work of art, no musical composition, no expression, nothing, can capture its majesty, its expansiveness, its depth, its beauty and its warmth, its joy and its fear.
My partner, my friend, my teacher, my human, my dearest love, Deb, expands every wall of my being. With her, I feel full. I feel at home. I feel safe, seen, and felt. She is my backbone, my courage, my strength, and my window into the eternal. No eyes have penetrated me so deeply. No voice has blanketed me so warmly. No presence have I felt so strongly. She keeps me honest and awake. Her vision is too vast and perspicacity too sharp for anyone in her gaze to lose sight of themselves. All must stand bare, utterly exposed, in her presence.
As if life wasn’t already beautiful and magical enough, when I count her among my blessings, I can’t help but actually laugh out loud. It’s not fair to have so much goodness in my life. I can’t believe I get to witness her, that I get to stand by her in awe and marvel at all the beauty she brings into the world with her art and her poetry and the astonishment of her sheer being.
Oh my god, and then there’re my kids. Where do I even begin to describe their genius, their goodness, their individuality, and unwillingness to be anyone but themselves. Everywhere we go, the world reflects its astonishment at them. Everyone, including me, is so caught off guard by them, by their virtue, and by their ability to live purely from their hearts and not by the persuasion and influence of the rest of culture. All we can do is study them and marvel at them.
Gideon, my oldest, is among the most remarkable creatures I have ever come across. His gender is his own. His personality is his own. Everything about Gideon is his own. The way he occupies himself, the way he stands in himself so confidently and so calmly, will shake anyone to their core who has even a shred of self-doubt. Though, at the same time he instills in you a soft and warm confidence from the space he gives you to do the same – to unabashedly be yourself.
Then there’s Annelise, the most heavenly of angels. Children aren’t supposed to carry the emotional intelligence she carries. Like her mom, she knows when anyone is even the slightest bit off. Though you might think she isn’t paying attention, oh how wrong you’d be. The girl is remarkably observant. And she holds her observations carefully, behind the curtains, and reveals things only with a reflective discernment. Also like her mama, my sweet girl has an astonishing eye for beauty. She is a hair-raising artist in the making.
Then there’s Olivia, both a warrior and a caretaker. Olivia has a remarkable connection with nature, with plants and creatures, and has held consistently the dream of becoming a veterinarian. She is so at home in the mud, the dirt, the water, and the mountains. And has a relentless energy toward life. And, though she embraces life so tenderly and compassionately, at the same time she carries a boldness and courage to her. She doesn’t shy away from conflict or disagreement and holds herself stoically in these situations.
No, those weren’t more pictures of Annelise. Annelise and Olivia are identical twins. They lived in the womb without separating membranes and remain to this day about as close as two people can be. At night when they sleep, some part of their body will always find its way to the other. And, though they are inseparably a part of each other, they are in no way defined by or limited by the other. They are each their own unique person. Their character and quality traits, though almost opposite from each other, in no way oppose or conflict but rather uplift and expand each of them.
Finally, there’s Naomi. Oh, Naomi. The world doesn’t know what’s coming. Seriously, ya’ll better watch out for Naomi. She has a brilliance that is terrifying. Her intellect is piercing. And, with it, she studies you, she studies your behaviors, your facial expressions, your tone, and your motives. She knows how people work and she knows how to use that knowledge to her advantage. Though my baby girl could probably pursue and be good at any career path, I imagine, based on her natural interests and impulses, that she will most likely work in fashion or design – some field where there is an intersection of art, beauty, and social interactions. My god, do I love my baby. Girl not only keeps me sharp and awake but she keeps my heart full.