Thursday, January 30, 2014

Free Science Fiction Novel on Amazon Feb 1-3rd, 2014

Strands of Silk and Fire, Book II of the Dreamcatcher Fallacy Cycle, is free on Kindle Feb 1-3 and offered as a Giveaway through Feb 14, 2014. 

Science Fiction as Social Action

Strands of Silk and Fire, Book II of the Dreamcatcher Fallacy Cycle, is free on Kindle Feb 1-3 and offered as a Giveaway through Feb 14, 2014. 

My writing world is probably more varied than most.  I play with poetry, craft sermons, and design comparative religion adult education texts.  I’ve published research articles and personal essays in international magazines and have even worked with DVD and audio programs. I’ve published books about the Bhagavad Gita and how to make lifestyle changes through the gifts of a contemplative lifestyle. All of these offerings are seemingly different from the world of science or speculative fiction.

But here I will admit it without a blush: my first love has always been writing fiction, literally since I was in the second grade.  In a way, it makes perfect sense that I am at play in all these different fields and genres.  I come from an education family, with a father who was a principal and a mother who taught English and history at the High School level and had a degree in library science.  My own master's degree is in comparative religion, with a graduate certificate in holistic healthcare and a year of theological school under my belt as well.  I actually enjoy thinking deep and long about lots of esoteric things.  At the same time, I have a blast with both the old and new Battlestar Galactica, film and written versions of Dune (I can still recite the Litany Against Fear) and of course, the Matrix, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Star Trek.  I grew up with science fiction and fantasy books scattered all over the house.  Mom and Dad bought me a pony largely to get me off the couch and my nose out of novels.  It didn't really work; I learned to "write" on horseback, composing epic poems and short stories while riding through the woods near our home.

But I also wanted to do something with all this thought. Over the years, I finally have.  And I do it best through fiction.

What an author can attempt to convey through poetry and non-fiction has much more impact when the reader is feeling those same ideas through a beloved character.  In a sense, that’s the difference between belief and experience in religion—beliefs can change, but a deeply emotional run-in with Spirit?  That’s much harder to dislodge in our psyches.

And in a way, science fiction and fantasy can be a kind of social action. There is a whole new speculative fiction sub-genre coming to life around the issues of climate change, for instance.  Like those authors, I tend to bring my spirituality as well as my sense of social justice to life in my novels. Not with a 2x4 mind you, and not from a soapbox, but as part and parcel of what makes a good character tick. This has been particularly true when I write with gay leading men in my work.  I want the world to eventually get to the point when the storyline becomes more important than the sexuality of the characters and where readers can see into their lives and come face to face with their own expectations and assumptions and compassionately question them.  It is a way to write with hope for the future, and with a strong belief in the basic goodness and plastic adaptability of humankind.

Mostly, I deal with the central question of "what does it mean to be human?"  I suppose I also write a lot about "what does it mean to love?"

And that is what good science fiction is all about--envisioning and breathing life into one possible future, asking hard questions and seeing how the ramifications of free will and choice affect the entire world. And doing it in a way that may affect our NOW as well. So I hope you’ll join me and take a look at what I consider to be my best novel thus far.  Good reading, everyone.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dreamcatcher Fallacy Cycle, Book II: Strands of Silk and Fire coming soon to Kindle and paperback

How far would you go to return humankind to its full creative potential after generations of flattening and homogenizing genetic tampering? 

For the followers of a martyred genetic engineer named James Illion, the answer is obvious—all the way to the very edge of the death of civilization itself.  Joshua 1011, the artificially created son of Illion, finds he is the carrier of a deadly and life-altering viral weapon.  As his lover, Matthew Dennon, and his sometimes-enemy Adam struggle to find a way to save Earth and themselves, an old intelligence stirs into action in the depths of a vast interstellar computer network.  It has worn many masks, evolving and changing over the course of centuries.  But its time to act has come because it, too, knows that the only way forward for all of life, both biological and man-made, will be a path both breathtaking and destructive, and that the cost may be the end of nearly everything that came before.

From sensitive m/m romance to high adventure, from a love-sick artificial life form to young men who begin to bridge nestled shamanic realities, Strands of Silk and Fire will lead you into a time where intuition must become the best defense, and imagination, the sharpest weapon of all.

Look for it soon on Kindle and in Paperback

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gospel of Thomas: Yeshua's Vedanta, Logion 6

Logion 6

His students asked him,
Do you want us to fast?
How shall we pray?
Should we give offerings?
From what food must we abstain?
Yeshua answered,
“Stop lying.
Do not do what you hate,
because everything here lies open
before heaven.
Nothing hidden will remain secret,
for the veil will be stripped away from all that
lies concealed behind it.”

The First Response:
Bind me back to a time,
when religion was not
another word for psychology;
when the shaman’s journey
or the Christmas Mass
told the story of relationship,
illuminated the ties that bound
life to life to

We work too hard now-
what does my life mean?
How does the past haunt today?
Who are all these voices clamoring inside?
I wonder—
why not invite it all in and serve tea?
And afterwards,
walk the line between earth and water and sky,
hum a hymn from childhood,
and recall
not one of us arose from independent nothingness.
Reweave yourself, but intuitively,
in the meal served,
in the hat knitted and passed on,
in the laughter at the grocery check-out line.
If sin is simply all that is  “unripe”,
then explode with flavor, with juice,
or if it is time,
with a fearless releasing to earth.
Live interwoven with it all,
and tell me
where then can you really fall?


Journey through Logos
I am always struck by the disciple’s underlying sense of anxiety and fear in this saying.  They so want to know that they are doing things “right”, as though through mimicking the behaviors of religious observance, they have somehow found a grade-book in which they can tell if they are measuring up.  They focus on their own wills, their own “spiritual” effort that is wholly based in the outward show and behaviors of religious etiquette.  There is very little sense here that actions must take place from the inside out, that the feeling of devotion precedes the attempt to express that emotion through action.

The most startling thing for most of us to see today is that Yeshua is trying very hard to convey a radical and attainable freedom here—the grade books that his disciples are trying to construct suppose a grade will be given, and the one who bestows that grade may be very formidable indeed.  He is attempting to release his students from both that fear and that narrow thinking, and to show them that the “hidden” God, as well as the shadowy and judgmental sides of his disciples, are not veiled at all. There can be no true relationship in a power-over way of belief or living.  The Lie that we tell ourselves is that there is a judge; that we can linger behind behaviors that have no basis in the very truth that is the core of ourselves.  We are called to so much more than this.

We will be noticing through-out the Gospel of Thomas that “heaven” is not located anywhere other than in our own state of consciousness.  So again, when Yeshua says that “everything here lies open before heaven” he is pointing to the inner awareness that is the basis of a true relationship with others and the divine. It is a place as open as the sky over a prairie.


Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

Notice here the reversal of what the disciples are asking of Yeshua in the logion above.  Krishna, who is an avatar (a physical manifestation of God), tells his student Arjuna that any offering is fine when it arises first from devotion. In other words, the relationship and feeling sense precede the ritual observance:

He who offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, a cup of water, that offering of love from the striving soul, is acceptable to Me.  (Bhagavad Gita 9:26)

Practicing Unity:

Go outside into your yard, garden or to a place in your home that you have set aside as a sacred space.  Allow yourself to create a small offering that captures your relationship with God.  Feel the unity before the act, as if “that which you are seeking is causing you to seek” or “what you seek is seeking you” (Rumi).

Hokmah’s Gnosis

A successful search does not require outward behaviors but rather, an inward change of consciousness.

You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gospel of Thomas: Yeshua's Vedanta, Logion 5

Logion 5

Yeshua says,
Come to know the One
in the presence before you,
and everything hidden from you
will be revealed.
For there is nothing concealed
that will not be revealed,
and nothing buried
that will not be raised.

The First Response:

It’s there in a glance!
Eye to eye,
when black pupil meets black pupil
we see into the living void,
the holy breath still moving over the deep.
Before the words come,
all the worlds are there,
and the suns as well,
wisdom and Mystery
calling out through
intimate relationship.

KBN 2013

Journey through Logos
Again, Yeshua beckons us to play with the paradox of the many and the one, two-ness of the “presence before you” and yet the basic unity that is there as well.  The alchemy of relationship with that what is outside you is drawn within to become part of you.  Later, he will use metaphors of “eating” to describe a similar movement of the spirit, as two "objects" of matter--the eater and the eaten-- become one being.

He also stresses that because everything is “in unity through presence” nothing can be hidden, buried, concealed.  Unity must, by its very nature, incorporate all the secrets, the dark and the light, the obvious and the shadowed.  One way to interpret the word Allah, for example, is “everything we know about God” and “everything we cannot know about God” in union. And in the union, the paradox is that all that is unknown, including the parts of ourselves that remain veiled even to us, become known. The Sufi say that all our parts much come to the table in the center of ourselves, and when they do so, we begin to understand the silent 100th name of Allah.

In a sense, for the seeker, this is good news indeed because the answer is already part of us.  It’s not “will we find?” but in fact, we cannot help but find if we are mindful and aware.  Our very relationship with the multiplicity of life will illuminate all of life in its wholeness.  Notice there is no struggle here, merely awareness that is a normal part of life.


Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

“Let us adore the Lord, the luminous one, who is in fire, who is in water, who is in plants and trees, who pervades the whole universe” (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 2:17).

Practicing Unity:

On the in-breath, feel the skin that enfolds you.  On the out-breath, feel as if you are sharing what is within with everything beyond your skin.  Then, as you breath in again, feel all of that wonder and mystery enter into you, held within you.  Then rest in this place where the skin becomes thin and fine, in and out, hidden and apparent all resting together as one.

Hokmah’s Gnosis

We will be successful in our search.  Indeed, it is inevitable that we shall find because nothing is truly hidden.

You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gospel of Thomas: Yeshua's Vedanta, Logion 4

Logion 4

Yeshua says,
A person of advanced age
must go immediately and
ask an infant born just
seven days ago about life’s source.
Such asking leads to life
when what is first becomes last.
United, they become a single whole.

The First Response:

Time and space touch fingertips-
advanced age and birth,
immediate and timeless,
verbal and non-verbal,
first and last
all sliding together into unity,
into wholeness.

We ask,
we search,
through the very lens of

 KBN 2013

Journey through Logos:

As we begin to explore the act of searching, we are immediately brought into the presence of paradox with this logion--beginnings and endings, first and last, verbal and non-verbal are all at play, moving toward a recognition of their shared unity.  Yeshua couches the truth in the simplest of motions, of going to the side of a baby and seeing the human face of the Beginning time. 
And yet, if we move out of the abstract, back to a lived experience, we can see how a baby rests, its belly rising and falling effortlessly with the breath.  If all is well with him or her, cries will be heard and responded to, needs will be met, arms will enfold and sweep the small bundle into the daily chores in gentle participation.  For the infant, there is only now, but it is a deeply relational now. To see this, all that is required of us is simple attention to something small, non-aggressive, and quite unremarkable really.  Yet the seeing also requires of us to acknowledge the tremendous responsibility, respect and tenderness such an encounter evokes within us as well. Yeshua is not saying we should lose our discernment and be like an infant.  Instead, he requires us to to pay attention to the continuity between our beginnings and now.
To see this with attention also means we will begin to recognize how we ourselves can expect to meet and be met by God in our search for union, the God who is ever at the beginning place, the now and the very end of the caravan of life.

Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

 If you look carefully at the visual representations of Krishna as a baby with his mother or illustrations of Parvati Devi  (synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine) suckling the elephanted-headed baby Ganesha (who is called upon to clear the obstacles that sometimes seem arise between us and God), you can catch the wonder of both the infant and the bonds of deep relationship that link past, present and future and that fly in the face of any cultural lines.

Steps Toward Union:  As you breathe out, feel as if you are a newborn held by the cosmos.  As you breathe in, hold, in turn the whole of the cosmos.

Hokmah’s Gnosis
To search means we must be willing to transcend, with the vehicle of simple awareness, words, roles, age, gender and culture in order to see the Beginning Point of our journey.  And in that seeing, recognize ourselves.

You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Easing into the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is now available in audio format!

I'm pleased to announce that my book, Easing into the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is now available as an audio work on and iTunes.

Thanks so much, Jack Nolan for narrating this work and Kathy Haug for the cover-design.  You both are joys to work with!

Let me "hear" from you if you have a chance to listen to this gentle wisdom text.


Yeshua's Vedanta: Logion 3 of the Gospel of Thomas

Logion 3

Yeshua says,

If your spiritual guides say to you,
“Look, the divine Realm is
 in the sky,”
well, then, the birds
will get there ahead of you.
If they say,
“It is in the sea,”
then the fish will preceded you.

No, divine Reality exists
inside and all around you.

Only when you have come to know
your true Self will you be fully known—
realizing at last that you
are a child of the Living One.
If however you never come to know who you
truly are,
you are a poverty-stricken being
and it is your “self”
which lies impoverished.

The First Response:

Wisdom has no single place in sky or sea,
no place to rest its head on the earth
or rather,
all places vibrate with it,
a spinning yin-yang
we can only glimpse,
when we begin to
lifeless blacks and whites.
But I challenge you:
Lean toward the gray,
toward the dust of the caravan ahead of you,
and feel the wind of process and paradox.
We are not called to merely sit,
but to dance.

                                                              KBN 2013

Journey through Logos:

If your spiritual guides say to you” is an immediate wake up call to us.  This phrase points to the incompleteness of knowledge that is only heard, not experienced or lived from within ourselves. The danger of such things it that we might look to where such teachers point, thinking that is the whole answer; or worse, we may believe that by watching their proverbial finger, we can somehow participate in their experience.  In truth, such knowledge will never equal our own breathing and experiential approach to the Mystery.

The inner teacher, the still small voice within us, is also the note that rings through all creation.  So to see the state of sovereignty located somewhere above or below us, outside of us in other words, is not wrong per se, simply incomplete.  It needs to ripen further.  As our own senses begin to resonate with the presence of the divine both around us as well as within us, we come to a much clear understanding of who we really are.

And that self/Self understanding is a movement that is filled with everything, with all possibilities, with that very first creative energy that still illuminates matter.  It is the opposite of poverty, because it is every fullness.  In this sense, our union with the divine may begin with a sense of lack, but will blossom into a gratitude-filled acknowledgement that we are already the fullness we seek. 


Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

Om purnam-adah purnam-idam

purnaat purnam-udacyate.

purnasya purnam-aadaaya,


Translation:  You are the fullness. There is fullness, here is fullness. From the fullness, the fullness is born. Remove the fullness from the fullness and the fullness alone remains.

-Isa Upanishad

Union:  Breathe in, with compassion, that part of you that feels its poverty, its separateness.  Really acknowledge and feel it, the poignant alone-ness that echoes there at times.  Breathe out to that density and loneliness a sense of spacious connection, the small I-am ever held by the larger I AM.

Hokmah’s Wisdom:

To search means to unite and trust inner and outer experience as lamps along the pathway to our already-present connection with God.

You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Logion 2 from Yeshua's Vedanta: Union and Relationship

Logion 2

Yeshua says,
If you are searching
you must not stop
until you find.
When you find, however,
you will be troubled.
Your confusion will give way to wonder.
In wonder you will reign over all things.
Your sovereignty will be your rest.

The First Response:
I admit it.
I want to go to the last line first--
impatience is the tone of my age after all,
and rest?
Delicious and guilty-dubious at once.
Maybe a pregnant restlessness is part of silence.
Searching and finding never seems to fill,
trouble and reigning sound tiring,
so yes, I’m already wondering,
can I learn to walk a path in a way that does not
anticipate an end

The Journey through Logos:

I have always been intrigued with the energy informing our first impulse to search at all.  In the Gospel of Thomas that energy might be seen as the ripples we continue to ride with that first act of creation, the Word and the only I AM vibrating in us, calling us again to the expedition.

In a way, this second Logion shows how we are called to explore the mansion that Yeshua has gone ahead to prepare for us as portrayed in the Gospel of John. It anticipates that mythical place of many way-station rooms standing ready for our ever ripening souls.  The curiosity to explore, to create, to deeply understand, fuels an inquiry with definite signposts or stations laid out in this saying: search, find, trouble, reign, and rest.  It also includes the silence that echoes the first great silence, before the OM of creation, the pregnant womb that will ensure the journey will begin again, continually. That silence may be seen as the in-breath before the cycle of ripening begins.

Yeshua plays with words here, though.  His understanding of search, find, trouble, reign, rest and silence will purposefully tip the ground beneath us, asking us to look ahead into a creative frame of reference instead of merely getting ground beneath our feet.  Even when he uses the word “stand” through-out this Gospel, the Coptic actually means something like “stand as a preparation to move”.  In this, perhaps, the modern reader can feel the same energy as the Buddha, whose itinerant lifestyle echoed the very message that there is never a stopping point on this journey.  The caravan moves on, eternally. 

If I am sensitive to the call to relationship, it is here in this logion both implicitly and explicitly.  Part of our search is typically relating to the words, writings, rituals and practices of others.  Finding leads us into trouble because it very often throws our relationship with those words, writings, rituals and practices of others into doubt. We see here our dance with the people in our life requires us to practice discernment, to trust our intuitive and creative selves that may not agree with powers and institutions or even the beliefs or practices of our closest friends.  But then, we enter into a kind of wonder where, very often, we find new levels of energy in the very words, writing, rituals and practices that we were sure we would have to abandon. We begin to relate to those around us in new ways. When we begin to reign, to sit with a royal ease in this new paradigm we have discovered, we are never sitting alone in a cave.  Notice Yeshua isn't laying out a lonely hermit path here--reigning in its very nature calls us to engage, to interact, and to recognize the inherent nobility of the other.  Even that royal ease--or rest as depicted by the image of Quan Yin above--is fully entwined with all of life and with others. It is dynamic, interactive and whole.


Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

When I first entered the stream,
mountains were mountains and
rivers were rivers.
Then, one day,
mountains were no longer mountains
and rivers
were no longer rivers.
Finally, after many years of practice
mountains are again mountains,
and rivers are again

-Zen Master Dogen

The Union:  Breathe in a felt sense of curiosity and seeking.  Breathe out a felt sense of sharing this energy with all of life.

Hokmah’s Gnosis
To search means to be actively open to a transformation of consciousness and a new way of relating with others.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Logion 1 of the Gospel of Thomas with Poetry, Commentary and Vedantic Resonances

Yeshua's Vedanta: 
Unity and Relationship
Kimberly Beyer-Nelson, MA, CHHC, SD

Come back soon to see the next Logion!  I'll be posting at least five per week until this project is completed. :-)

Chapter 1: Seeking

Logion 1

I who write this am Thomas,
the Double, the Twin.
Yeshua, the Living Master spoke,
and his secret sayings I have
written down.

I assure you, whoever grasps their
meaning will not know the taste
of death.

The First Response:
My mind wandered
until I realized how I taste death,
from this carrot to that fish,
from this apple to that fat hen,
how I swirl with it,
taking in what was once out,
giving life to what had become lifeless,
with my own mortality
indisputable truth:
 there is no top to the food chain--
only and eternally
 KBN 2013

The Threads of Relationship:
Sometimes, the Gospel of Thomas is viewed as a very individualistic approach to faith, a kind of Middle Eastern Jnana Yoga.  This idea of the solitary, insular path is often cited as one of the reasons The Gospel of Thomas may not have made the cut at the Council of Nicea where the Christian canon was set.   But throughout the work, there are intimations of community, of a reality that can only be told through the many voices that unite to form unity.  Even here at the beginning, relationship seems to be key.  The idea of the twin, the intertwining of lives both material and spiritual co-created in the womb of life set the tone for the entire work. 
Sufi and language scholar Neil Douglas-Klotz writes that we might think of time as a caravan. The oldest moments of our shared history are before us on the trail and thus we look forward to our beginnings.  We stand in the holy present moment, the middle of the caravan, and behind us comes the future, still defining and unveiling itself in response to all that has come before.  What has happened and what will happen are simply part of Now, so the words of Yeshua are fresh, alive, and vitally informing the living center of the entire caravan--us. And thus we pass the creation back down the line of the caravan through our presence and actions.
To speak, to enunciate and thus bring into manifestation, is part of the function of holy wisdom, which might be seen as the energetic and creative aspect of divine reality.  To speak these logion aloud brings us into a twin-ship with Yeshua as we share his breath, the very vibration if you will, of his wisdom teachings. Ameyn.

Hokmah’s (Wisdom's) Symphonic Note:

Two birds, beautiful of wing, close companions, cling to one common tree: of the two, one eats the sweet fruit of that tree; the other eats not but watches his companion. The self is the bird that sits immersed on the common tree; but because he is not lord he is bewildered and has sorrow. But when he sees that other who is the Lord and the beloved, he knows that all is His greatness and his sorrow passes away from him. When, a seer, he sees the Golden-hued, the maker, the Lord, the Spirit who is the source of Brahman, then he becomes the knower and shakes from his wings sin and virtue; pure of all stains he reaches the supreme identity.

-Translation of Verses 1-3 of Mundaka Upanishad trans. Sri Aurobindo.

Union:  Breath in the sense of a womb, saying “yes” to holy wisdom.  Breathe out a sense of birthing, a raying out of that space, possibility and light.

Hokmah’s Gnosis:
  To search means to prepare to enter into relationship.

You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Writing in Community as a Spiritual Practice--a new class with Sue Sutherland-Hanson

Writing in Community as a Spiritual Practice

with Sue Sutherland-Hanson
Writing in community gives us energy to honor and hear what wants to show up on the page for us as individuals. Writing as a spiritual practice is a tool for deep listening, and listening is at the heart of all great faith traditions interested in transformation.
Join Sue Sutherland-Hanson to explore the fruits of writing as a spiritual practice helping us listen to the divine within us, others, and life itself.
This is not a writing class.  All levels of writers are welcome. Be confident that as naturally as you can tell a friend what happened today, so you can write.
Seeing your life’s events, thoughts, and creativity on the page provides profound space for reflection. Hearing others’ words enables us to hold their joys and concerns with powerful intention. Telling our stories helps us see our own divine light, reminds us of our sacred connections, and expands our compassion for ourselves and others.
Inspirational readings on topics like writing and … Healing, memory, gratitude, justice, play, ancient wisdom and authenticity will lead us into a weekly time of writing, sharing, and silence.
Sharing will be optional and confidential. Participants in Sue’s classes often comment on how they feel safe and liberated through the guidelines she provides.
Date:Eight Tuesdays
Feb. 11 – April 8
(No meeting on March 25)

Download a printer-
friendly flyer (pdf)
Time:1:00 – 3:30 pm
Location:Suquamish UCC
17832 Division Ave.
Suquamish, WA 98392
Cost:$15 requested per meeting
(No one will be turned away for lack of funds)
Sue Sutherland-Hanson, MAT, MDiv
Sue’s seminary studies focused on writing as ministry.
Thirty years of teaching interactive language studies at the college level have honed her ability to effectively work with groups and celebrate diversity.

For more information:
 Call (360) 598-4434.