FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT | The Young Man in the Grey Hoodie

Kealakekua Bay beach

Aloha, Friends!

He was a boyish 20-something, wearing a grey hoodie and black pants, with broken headphones in his hand, which hung down to scratch against the concrete as he ambled. I stood watching the zoned-out young man wander around our driveway looking for something we couldn’t see. His hands, feet, and eyes circled aimlessly in what some call the “meth shuffle.”

Unresponsive to my requests asking if he needed help, he circled going nowhere, and so we finally phoned the police. I didn’t feel threatened. Trying to be kind, I knew that to get him the help he needed, he would need medical support. The young man in the grey hoodie placed a bruised apple and a plastic bag containing something that looked like LSD on my front steps, and he drifted down to road. Within ten minutes, the officers arrived and gently took him away.

The officers in our community are the heroes of this story. They are so unlike what I read about on the mainland, with police brutality in the news. Here in Hawaii, there is an aloha spirit that is worth celebrating, even in the midst of difficult times.

Events like this in our rural community are uncommon, and yet becoming more frequent as we grapple with a full year of the pandemic, economic hardship, and social dislocations. Our communities are in pain. Our children are numbing themselves rather than face a world on fire and full of hate.

But the world is also full of love, and we face a world recovering its Soul. That’s why I couldn’t get the young man in the grey hoodie out of my mind that day. I kept remembering and blessing him on his journey, praying that he could find his Sweet Spot and live fruitfully.

As I feel the Earth and her children, she pierces my heart. As I sense the keiki and young adults suffering, I know their pain as my own pain. I realize why they are hurting because they reveal their stories to me in the way they walk, their sullen silences, and their sudden flashes of brilliance. And now, my body carries their presence.

We are one together, and while some lives may appear effortless in many ways, they are not. Life gives all of us daily struggle, and also gives us daily grace. Despite the woes, we can admire the strength we see in each other. Grieving all that we have lost, all that we still suffer, we can still be suddenly stirred to awe by the beauty of a sunset.

The Earth gives relentlessly. Each time we appreciate her mana, her spiritual power, we realize there is beauty and hope. Nature’s sentience sustains us with her web of loving consciousness. She is nourishing us with every breath.

All we are asked to do is to stop causing suffering in ourselves or others. All Nature asks is to see ourselves as brothers and sisters, and to live in a way which does not deprive other beings of living harmoniously.

We naturally express Spirit’s infinite potential, and yet sometimes, we feel separate, and even angry at a world that contains both magnificence and murder, dreaming from the center of goodness in our hearts, as well as desperation.

We wonder how to find our way back to Oneness. How do we find the Sweet Spot of forgiveness, balance, and coherence?

Some people think going to holy spots, crossing endless deserts, praying in churches, visiting tombs, and reading scriptures will bring more wholesome goodness back to life.
Others think we need to face our demons in the unconscious shadow to reclaim our lives as sovereign Souls who breathe, love, work, sing, dance, and prosper to bring all our daring and delightful energies back home.

Most of us spend a lot of time avoiding the fears, dark thoughts, despair, and emptiness that flow through our minds, and for good reason. Most of it is chatter of the negative mind. But when we face false thoughts and undigested pain, and unwind them, we become aware of the deepest and truest part of ourselves — our basic goodness. We feel ourselves as beings belonging in the interplay of Nature, the network of Light, Sound, and Love.

If I could speak to the young man in the grey hoodie today, I would want him to know this: When you give time to Yoga, Meditation, and Journeys in the Dreamtime, they give back to you. They will bring you more health, joy, and meaning. Instantly. Fully. If you let them.

You will soon feel the joys of navigating the creative imagination with skill, I would say. The imaginal worlds, the spirit worlds, and the soul realms bring us back home into the body, where we restore innate capacities for well-being, spiritual radiance, visualization, and intention-setting. These nourish the brain and inspire the Soul. When the ground seems to have been pulled out from under us, they help us levitate in the groundlessness.

It does not take a hallucinogenic to see our interior world in full multi-sensory color. During meditation, we can push aside the veils and open a channel to a subtle realm of reality in which divine Light, spirit beings, mentor guides, guardian angels, ancestors, devas, elven, helpers, and animal powers reside.

This is more powerful than any drug and more joyful than any other experience. Ancient Yogic and Shamanic methods of living with and understanding Nature have come to us from ancestors who knew the value of deep communion with the natural world and its supernatural aspects.

Plugging into such a powerful Divine grid on our own can be daunting. There are good steps, clear directions, friendly tools, and time-tested paths. Look for those who can guide you through your entry deep into the mysteries of life and the cosmos, awakening wisdom and informing the work our Soul intends. That’s the Sweet Spot.

I am full of hope that the young man who left the bruised apple at my doorstep finds his way home. The aim of our practices and ceremonies is transformation. They are designed to create the true causes and conditions necessary for achieving happiness and liberation, not just for ourselves, but for all.

Let us all learn to eliminate negative mental habits, accumulate virtues, develop compassionate motivation, and establish an accurate view of reality.

May we all find our Sweet Spots! Aho! And so it is!

With Love and Namaste,


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