Gemma 'Coco' Dolenz  

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By cocodolenz, May 23 2018 01:16AM

So just a few days of neglect can wither a young tomato plant. Leaves droop and slowly the plant starts to die. Then with just a drink of water, it perks up the leaves regain their strength and the plant resumes its growth, producing flowers which will eventually end up as fruit. Yes tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. But I digress. This is the 2nd time this tomato plant has neared death. When I first planted it, some neighborhood critters, still yet to be discovered, ate the leaves off the branches, but left the stems intact. I moved it to a protected place, fed it, and gave it light and water. It produced new leaves and flourished. It just needed some focused attention.

In Mark Nepo’s book, The Book of Awakening, Mark writes “This is the ongoing purpose of full attention: to find a thousand ways to be pierced into wholeness. “ He goes on to compare Mother Nature with our own nature. In making the comparison he suggests, for instance, “…when feeling finished, watch newborn animals open their wet little eyes and imitate their innocence. Once giving full attention, you will come back - one drop at a time - into the tide of the living.”

The first step is awareness or attention. Basic awareness. Sometimes we can be so caught up in the future, or the next FB comment, we go un-conscience and lose awareness of our present surroundings. The tomato needs water. Neglect it for too long and it dies without what it needs to thrive and grow and produce. Looking to ourselves, without being fully aware of our basic needs, we, too, can wither and die. He goes on to say that to use any particular capacity, initial awareness is usually the prerequisite. Then focused awareness sets in motion the stage for the use of our talents.

I’m reminded of the old adage, ‘use it or lose it.’ A muscle not used, withers and loses its strength. A tool left in the rain, rusts and becomes dull and useless. But with focused awareness, comes survival and growth. Giving priority to basic needs is a quality that Charles Tart calls ‘within-state enlightenment.’

By cocodolenz, Mar 5 2018 07:25AM

Just got home from the Flower Power Cruise. What a great time hearing some incredible artists and talking to lots of people. I overheard a younger member of the cruise say, "Gee everyone's so nice," I'm from Philly, I'm not used to it." Ha! Welcome to the power of love and the zeitgeist of the 60's my friend.

For a glorious 5 days I re-experienced inclusion, the power of love and acceptance, incredibly great music, and an opportunity to embrace the spirit of the times we called the 60's. Those of us who actually experienced it first hand, some 50 years ago, know what I mean.

Maybe we have trouble remembering what we walked into a room for, or where we put our keys, but I assure you we haven't forgotten the consciousness we created, through the lyrics and actions of the times; lyrics that spoke to the importance of love in ones life as opposed to just having 'things', or appreciating nature or celebrating our sameness as humanity. After all we created: " Have a Nice Day."

Many of us still strive to live each day by those ideals and values. It's not always easy, but it's still simple. Promote those things which encourage love and compassion, stand up for individual rights, embrace the current moment without judgement and 'speak truth to power.' (see Quaker's 1950 pamphlet: Our truth is an ancient one: that love endures and overcomes; that hatred destroys; that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden.)

If one lives with hatred, jealousy, or is causing pain to others, then I assure you that is not what the 60's were about. There was a knowing that we are all connected. There was an awareness and acknowledgment of the spiritual aspect of life which far surpassed religious dogma or beliefs, and transcended political beliefs, or man's laws.

For me, that period of time was about self-examination, honesty with oneself, and knowing that raising one's consciousness does make a difference. Science has now proven that to be so. We are energetic beings. Our thoughts and our intentions emanate out from us like waves of a pebble thrown in a pond. Our thoughts hurt or heal.

Our beliefs determine how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis and what types of experiences we have.

Music is a powerful, powerful catalyst. It helps those with Alzheimer's remember their past, it helps Parkinson patients walk and even dance. I spoke with so many people this last week, who, through the music were brought back to their youth remembering how these songs influenced them, helped them escape the turmoil of the times and became a way to live their lives.

I sincerely hope that as everyone returns to their daily lives, that they bring back with them that 60's consciousness of hope, freedom, love, unity, and above all else -- let's not forget the power that we all have to bring about change like we did so many years ago.

I don't usually get this 'wordy' on Facebook, but I just felt compelled to share my thoughts and feelings about my experience. If you got this far reading this, let me know your thots.

By cocodolenz, Oct 31 2017 01:58AM

The symbology of the solar eclipse is not lost on me. The brief encounter or attempt of a smaller less significant object temporarily blocking the light of a larger one.

Darkness seemingly overcoming light. It's merely passing by. Just as all dark periods in history and in our individual lives, eventually pass by.

Today no matter where you are on our planet the sun is shining in all its power, contrary to all appearances. Truth, beauty, love and the goodness and greatness of life continues to shine regardless of attempts to 'block it out' by lesser spheres.

There have been many times in the past when the sun's light was briefly eclipsed and it appeared that darkness had overcome the light. When something smaller and less significant briefly blocked the light. But it passed.

I'm sure our ancestors were frightened when they first witnessed an eclipse. They probably took it as a sign from "their gods" of impending doom.

It passed. So the timing, in the words of our beloved Mr Spock is "Fascinating"

Is it any wonder that our sun has been the central object in culture and religion since prehistory. Ritual solar worship has given rise to solar deities in theistic traditions throughout the world, and solar symbolism is ubiquitous.

For example, the Mayans built the Pyramid of Kulkulkan in El Castillo, Mexico between 1000 and 1200 A.D. with the Sun's movement in mind. To ancient Egyptians, the Sun God Ra was the most universally worshipped king of the gods and all-father of creation.

The ancient Egyptian god of creation, Amun is also believed to reside inside the sun. So is the Akan creator deity, Nyame and the Dogon deity of creation, Nommo. Also in Egypt, there was a religion that worshipped the sun directly, and was among the first monotheistic religions: Atenism.

The stones at Stonehenge, in England, show an alignment to the appearance of the sun on the horizon at the Summer and Winter solstices ( from 'sun' 'stand still') when looking from the centre of the site over the tip of the Heel stone with its top just at the height of the horizon. It appears that the sun 'stands still' and then begins to rise again,

At that time five to six thousand years ago, the knowledge of the solar cycle and calendar would have been used by social leaders as a source of power and wealth, particularly if they could direct the masses on when to sow and when to harvest.


By cocodolenz, May 1 2017 05:06AM

So once again, my body has succumb to Bronchitis. It seems to be rather rappant these days, and I don't know why but every where I turn someone is coughing and it's lingering and they can't ge t rid of it. So I'm not alone in that. I suppose there is some underlying reason why so many people have breathing and lung issues, but I will leave that for the medical and scientific communities to figure out. I'm on the mend, but not completely out of the woods.

What comes up for me is my fear of losing my singing voice. Not necessarily my speaking voice, but my singing voice. I have lost my voice many times from similar ailments, and not being able to talk is not an issue. I learned a long time ago the beauty of being silent. The first time I lost my voice was back in the late 70's after being on the road and singing without monitors while standing in front of blaring guitar amps and trying to hear myself by feeling inner vibrations to make sure I was on pitch. And altho I sang on key, my vocal chords finally said 'enough' and went on strike. I left the tour and came home. I visited a well known vocal doctor in the Bay Area who basically said " Don't talk for 2 weeks. That will be $100 . Thank you." Evidently I was developing nodes on my vocal chords.

Seeking a second opinion, another doctor suggested I would need surgery, but I politely declined the suggestion. So I didn't speak for 2 weeks. Carried around a notepad like Meher Baba and did some assorted mental exercises and visualizations which I had learned to speed up my recovery. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn't recover. I did recover and rejoined the tour, a little wiser and more careful with my "pipes". Today my favorite people in the world, are Sound Engineers, 'monitor people' who allow me to hear myself on stage without screaming above the electronics on stage.

What I learned during that first episode in the late 70's was that what I 'thought' I needed to say, just wasn't necessarily all that important. After a few days, I quite enjoyed being silent, and forgot the notebook. If I really needed to convey some information, I wrote it down, but for the most part I became aware of the idle chat and 'filler' that I was used to supplying in a conversation. I realized that silence was uncomfortable to me and I felt it necessary to fill the gaps with whatever....

This latest bout of bronchitis has reminded me of that great lesson, which I must be honest I forget most of the time, as I chatter away, but I'm glad to be reminded. I save lots of quotes and sayings etc... and I recently came upon a good one which I do try and abide by:

It's entitled THINK before you Speak:

T = is it True?

H= is it Helpful?

I= Is it Inspiring?

N= Is it Necessary? ( there's a good one)

K = Is it Kind?

So not talking and chattering away is not an issue. But not having my singing voice, is different. It is times like these when I realize just how important it is to me and how truly grateful I am for it. I give thanks for what I have been given and appreciate it even more during times like this.

I hope everyone who reads this stops a moment and gives thanks for what they have, what they can do, their skills, their abilities, and not take anything for granted. For our gifts are truly a blessing.


By cocodolenz, Jul 30 2016 11:07PM

- "Dominion does not mean destruction, but responsibility. It is important to avoid flawed convictions about the right and power of humankind in relation to the rest of the natural world." (Think 'stewardship', the true meaning of the concept) "... a false view of dominion has played a role in the mistreatment of creation, but a correct understanding of the concept can lead to service, responsibility, and stewardship. Exhibit this dominion/stewardship, but exhibit it rightly: treating the thing as having value itself, exercising dominion without being destructive."

Therein lies the challenge. In 'ruling' or having 'dominion' over other species, unfortuneately, we have only disrupted their right to exist peacefully on this planet along with us. On what level does this make sense to you? Or as I was asked once " How's that working for you?"

Wise and beloved leaders have been great because they acted as 'stewards; i.e. just, fair, great thinkers, and acted with wisdom and stregth, not destruction and superiority.

I remember as a young adult having the great honor at being present at a talk given by the late Edgar Mitchell, after his walk on the moon. He shared with us some interesting insigts - He knew that the beautiful blue world to which he was returning is part of a living system, harmonious and whole. I remember him also remarking that as he peered down he saw no' borders' and realized that all of our wars have been 'civil wars'. I took his insigts to heart. His remarks spoke to my heart, not my mind. Whole. That includes everyone and everything.

Some of us humans, through our decisions based on our 'beliefs', have created dis-harmony, de-struction, violence. An illusion of separateness. On the other hand, some have also created just the opposite; support, cooperation, con-struction, service.

Why do I stand for wildlife? Because I know that their de-struction is inherently wrong, unnecessary, needless and avoidable.

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Here you will find whatever's been on my mind.  Maybe something about what I've been reading recently or an indepth look at 'what's trending'.  Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

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