Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Go outside
And sit
Feel the Soil
The Air
And Time beyond your grasp

Her gift is all she is
For all to share
For all to care
As in giving we are living

She shares her bounty
Through the Circle of all our Lives
No need is ever missed
Yet we fell to wanting
Yet we left our Hearts

Go outside
And sit
Feel the Soil
The Air
And Time beyond your grasp

Her gift is all she had
For all disrupted
For all corrupted
As in taking we now believe lies living

Yet in these days of so called giving
The gifts that are but loot and greed
We may find our Hearts once more

And go outside
And sit
Feeling the Soil
The Air
And Time beyond our grasp

As again Her Circle embraces
Our gift of love
And life

For all to share
For all to care
As only in giving we ALL are living

Peter Friebel

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Deep Blue

"As a tracker you need to be as a question".

This is one of the most profound insights in the state of mind of the aboriginal tracker I know. Every time we say we know something to be true, we also say something about what is consequently false. We create a duality and using that we categorize.

Say, you find sign that makes you decide something is blue. Will you, days later, still be open for sign that hints it was green all along?

No, and that is why knowing and deciding effectively diminishes our perception. We create beliefs based on what we know, decide, love and fear. These beliefs become prejudices and effect our perceptions and decisions in the future. Even worse is that we apply a cultural framework in this process of "knowing" and "deciding". And so we flow from simple prejudice into judgment. In fear of being judged do you dare to still perceive objectively?

As a tracker you want to preserve oneness. You will want to find questions that lead you to more questions because in those questions you will find wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom, packaged in a cultural framework, is an extremely dangerous and toxic thing. Current cultural and geopolitical trends are clear evidence of that.

So if you find that sign, ask yourself things like:

"Could this be blue?"
"What if it was green?"
"Is blue the same for all or can some perceive green while I see blue?"
"What does it tell me that the thing may have a specific color?"
"What can I learn from it regardless of its color?"

Doing this you avoid the duality and you learn a lot more than just that the thing was blue.

In the Deep Blue you may discover the Zen of Tracking and the intrinsic self:

Not Two!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Counsel of Crossbill

This morning I Became a fluttering of joy and intent
I was not Self but the cool morning air between the pines
I was the itching of the midges and mosquitoes and went beyond

Then they went through and I through them
I Became their whirlwind of green and yellow
Happy calls in a meadow of boreal bounty

And on they went
Doing what Crossbill does
Being what Crossbill is

For a moment
I tracked their Spirit
And they lifted mine

And on I went
Doing what Man does
Being what Man is

And my Spirit sang

Sunday, April 19, 2015

TODO: Mindfulness training

Just saw a Swedish documentary on the "phenomenon" of mindfulness and instead of inspiring me, it actually kind of annoyed me.

Mindfulness was portrayed as this new thing, a way to observe when we act out of judgements and habits and bend the future to achieve new things. The largest part of the documentary was about its value in leadership and other corporate functions.

On the health and wellbeing side, its effects on lowering stress were countered with notes of warning from the medical profession as many of the claims were not backed up with actual scientific knowledge. Certain people, with certain diagnosis, could even experience negative effects by practicing mindfulness, they said.

The funny thing was that the majority of the people that were interviewed who give courses, hold lectures or in any way were experts in the field of mindfulness, constantly talked about living a life in Awareness and how mindfulness opens up that possibility while, at the same time, the actual documentary focused on the activity of mindfulness as separate to the state of Awareness. Basically a miracle pill that solves all your problems but is a bit hard to swallow.

It is the typical effect you get when a headspace culture tries to wrap it head around a heartspace concept.

Mindfulness becomes the next trendy (and supposedly beneficial) thing on the agenda. Yet another event to track in your weekly obligations.

Not a single word was said about the origins and function of Awareness (and mindfulness). That living in Awareness is the most natural thing for any animal including the human animal. Nobody observed that people, when living in the wilderness, switch to a state of Awareness in about 6 to 7 days.

In short, nobody connected it back to our deepest instincts and our survival and earth living skills. Instead it is 'that new trendy thing' and you can probably download a bunch of apps to help you train it.

This whole approach negated everything they supposedly wanted to achieve. It is like making a documentary on how healthy it is to exercise between hamburgers.

It shows a willingness to act but at the same time a lack of understanding and an inability to leave the cultural pressure that caused the problems in the first place!

As you all know I am a tracker. Tracking is a human animal instinct and capability. It requires full control over the internal dialog. I define tracking as becoming mindful of connected things in your Awareness. We all have this capacity. It is embedded in our very existence. Therefor mindfulness and Awareness are central and mandatory concepts in all my courses.

In fact, all the earth living skills are connected with tracking and Awareness. In our current culture we have systematically ignored this connection. The result is that everything becomes based in science, schedules and physical skills: The physical survivalists that try to win the battle against Nature each and every day. But also the host of people who live their lives in habit and fear of judgement, making sure that every tomorrow looks exactly as all the yesterdays by hopping over today.

What annoyed me is not that the creators of the documentary apparently were not able to grasp the real intent of the subject matter but that they propagate this on to their viewers. They enact the culture that causes the problem even when the subject matter is about changing that!

Man we are really in a downward spiral here.

I do not blame all the experts that were on the show. I know from experience that it is extremely hard to get through to people on this matter. Some people are so hard wired into the rat race, so trusting of its promises and so sensitive to judgements of their peers that they simply can not let go.

Letting go,  however, is the key!

You need to let go of time, burdens, judgement, analysis, naming, preconceptions and trivia. Once you let go you can discover 'today' and the choices it gives you, living in full Awareness and a state of intuitive questioning. You will subconsciously start to unravel the concentric rings (ripples of cause and effect) around you. In other words you will start to track the solutions to the challenges that face you; you will enable the tracker that was dormant in you all this time!

My courses are in the context of earth living and tracking. Clearly I chose the wrong context because I think I could make an easier living by lecturing to business managers :-) But make no mistake about it: It is that context of earth living and tracking, our humble origins, that is the fundamental of all we still are today, manager or not.

Mindfulness is just an activity, a technique and one of many you need to master and practice to become Aware. But please please please, let it not become the new TODO in your agenda!

Because, by its very nature, you can not embed it into your 'normal' life. Life should be embedded in Awareness!

Live Deliberately (and I mean it! :-))

Peter Friebel

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Total Perspective

Those of you familiar with the works of Douglas Adams will certainly recognize the following:

"a tiny little mark, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, "You are here.""

It was part of a description of a torture device called the Total Perspective Vortex. The machine worked by letting you, for a short time, see yourself in relation to the infinity of the entire Universe. This perspective would annihilate the soul of any man.

Interestingly, the protagonist Zaphod walked out of the machine even more convinced about his total awesomeness than before. Why? Because the Universe he was in was artificial and created only for him. That made him the most important thing in it.

I can not help to recognize the bane of modern man in this: his relatively recently contracted inability to connect with Nature.

When I write 'Nature' (capitalized) I mean the totality of existence. Not only the Earth with all its life and environments but all of the Universe and even Multiverse. The force that drives change. That creates structure in chaos and at the same time creates chaos from structure. The set of all possibilities.

When people sit on top of a mountain or in some other awesome natural environment or when they look up in the night sky at all the stars, they often remark that it makes them feel small and insignificant. It is their ego-selves speaking.

When you separate your self from all of Nature you are very right in perceiving that what you separated is insignificant. The ego-self does more than that: it also classifies all the rest as the enemy. The result is a totally skewed perspective and experience of existence.

As I wrote earlier, the development of the ego-self is critically important for our individual survival but it is a slowly killing decease if it is elevated into a culture.

It is this culture that causes us to believe that all life experience is triggered by external stimuli. Look around you! People do virtually everything in their power to acquire all the paraphernalia needed to create these stimuli. We need constant entertainment, praise, status, excitement and recognition.

Not surprisingly we need money to acquire those things and our ethics falter in this pursuit. We have narrowed our ethics and morals to the human-centered and in a numbed daze we hunt the rare highs of actualization in the cage of our modern society. In the process we create the economy that drives the lives of those very very few that are best in this form of self actualization and separation.

Read the above a few times and you will see I could have just as easily talked about heroine addicts and their dealers!

I am very happy that I have always been interested in the natural world and that with a bit of age and a few life lessons I have managed to kick the habit.

Tracking, Awareness and all the other earth living skills and, last but not least, Nature itself, have helped me enormously in freeing myself from this destructive and addictive culture.

Bushcraft for me is Earth living and requires no stuff. Unfortunately, and this is the reason I no longer use the term bushcraft, the addictive culture has permeated even the bushcraft community. Bushcraft is now very much about all the stuff you need and the desire for self actualization and a hint of escapism.

Not for me. For me it meant rediscovering that life experience is visceral! That our reality is not defined by separation and external stimuli but is the projection of our unity and connection with Nature.

And now we can get back to the Total Perspective Vortex:

For me total perspective is not that we created a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot saying, "You are here."

For me total perspective is that the microscopic dot on a microscopic dot is the result of all of Nature working together to allow that dot to exist. Without everything around it, the dot could not be there and without the dot the rest could not be there too! More importantly, you and all of Nature feel this force of existence from within! You don't need to constantly stimulate your nervous system to experience life. It will stimulate your spirit from within, sourced from all that is.

And on the dot it says: "You made this dot by being it and everything around it!"

The Pale Blue Dot photograph taken by Voyager I. Probably the most amazing picture humanity has ever taken. One hell of a selfie!