Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Where the Title Originated

Here is the poem in which I took the title for the book.

Drunk with Wonder

Drunk with wonder
I gaze at the wild,
Lustrous pearl
Of my personality
Shining in the center
Of the One Heart
Like a candle flame
In the heart of the sun
And know my Source
My Destination -
When I let go of knowing
I become the sun
Assume the crown
Of creation
And am Home –

Monday, April 24, 2006

Drunk with Anticipation

A number of people have expressed curiosity about the Drunk with Wonder title. I took Drunk with Wonder directly from the title of one of my poems, which I wrote a few years ago. The poem, along with about 20 others, appears in the book. I have used these poems as a way of presenting the material in a different light, or perspective.

I trace my use of the term directly the mystical Sufi tradition of Rumi and especially Hafiz, who lived many hundreds of years ago in what was then known as Persia, in what is now Iran. They wrote so passionately, so eloquently, about being, “Drunk on God, drunk with the Beloved,” that I, along with countless others over the centuries, have many time been reduced to tears of joy when reading their poetry.

Anyhow, this intense, juicy passion of my connection with God/Goddess (actually there is no separation at all, and never was) lives at the core of my spirituality. I see so clearly now that my decades of near-constant drug and alcohol use were not merely how I numbed out (though I did plenty of that). Occasionally, I glimpsed, as through antique glass, hints of an infinitely loving Presence. That’s what I wanted, what I longed for, to feel connected with Source in a continuous wave of Bliss and Joy. For the longest time, however, I was absolutely convinced that that the only way for me to “get there” was by using substances. Even 15 years ago, I would have howled with laughter at the thought that one day I would feel all of the joy I could ever have imagined, and much, much more, without “using” anything but my conscious awareness in each eternal moment. And yet, here I am, just another bliss bunny hanging out in this amazing circus we call life. What a long, strange trip it’s been…. Wahoo!!!

So now I live, at least a good part of the time, in wonder. Drunk with Wonder, to be precise; so present with my heart and the God I Am that a simple bird song can bring me to tears of joy. Yes, dear ones, this is an enormously vulnerable, tender, innocent place, and I know full well how scary this world can seem to that part of us. And yet … here I am, inviting all who would journey into the holy mystery of the present moment along for the ride, to become Drunk with Wonder and dance together as we howl at the moon. I promise it will not be boring.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Birthing the Book

My new book, Drunk with Wonder: Awakening to the God Within, is the final passage towards birth. I have selected McNaughton & Gunn, the distinguished printing company of Hay House Books (and many other publishers) to do the job. It feels like an immense blessing to have Drunk with Wonder printed on the same presses as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and other luminaries. It seems that I am only weeks away from having an actual, physical copy of the book in my hands and ready for sale. I am enormously excited, to say the least. I can barely contain my joy enough to type out these words, so, for just one moment, may I shout Yahoo!!! to the skies. It has been an epic journey for me, one spanning well over two years of focused work, and I feel so deeply Blessed to have come to this point … blessed and grateful, for I have received immense help from a number of people. I reprint the dedication from my book below:

I dedicate this book to my dear friend, Franklin Markowitz, who spent hundreds and hundreds of hours giving me his eagle-eyed editing and wise counsel. Your clarity and strength of vision permeate virtually every page. Thanks to your tireless efforts and your gentle coaching on using conscious language, this book has turned into something magical. My gratitude is boundless, my thanks a never-ending shower of love.

I also dedicate this book to my Beloved, JoAnn SkyWatcher, and to my family and friends. Your love, patience and incredible support are ample evidence of miracles on Earth. I also want to acknowledge the immense help of the Challenge Day community, particularly the founders, Yvonne and Rich Dutra-St John.

To Garvin Deshazer, who helped erect the skeleton and hugely supported me in the early stages.

To my sister Quana. You believed in my higher self long before I did.

To Marilyn Gordon. Without your help, my higher self may never have begun to speak. I still have all those early tapes!

And to Robert Frey, a dear friend and trusted mentor. I miss you.

I wish to extend my undying gratitude for the people who read the manuscript and offered a multitude of cogent and helpful suggestions: Kim Kakade, Christina Turnwall, Quana Ryals, Doug Waagen, Barbara Ryals (Mom), Scott Ryals, Eileen Peterson, Stacey Sheldon, Rev. Tanya Wyldflower, Barbara Gardner and Shirley Freriks. My heart overflows with gratitude!

Finally, to my father, Stanley Ryals. While we had some challenging times, in the end our love for each other won out. Thank you, Dad, for your unwavering love. I wish I could share this book with you. I think you would be very proud.