editor’s note: I’m available for candidate research.  The internet is not a hiding place – it’s where truth is revealed.  @honyocker

One thing I’m sure of, after having skimmed her writings: Stacey Lawson almost certainly has recently become a good person. A stable one? I’m sorry – but I’m just not convinced.
Is she suitable for United States Congress?
In a word: No.     I’d suggest beginning with School Board or City Council and working upwards from there.  Which is also to say that it could happen – someday!
As it originally appeared in the Huffington Post on September 8th, 2008 by Stacey Lawson:

Today’s post is a personal journey. I haven’t written in several weeks as I’ve been in a terrible state – lost, confused, despairing. Raw and vulnerable. Shattered. My only small comfort has been knowing this is a well-worn path. Many mystics have written about the Dark Night of the Soul, the narrow passage tread by those seeking freedom and union with the Divine.

I debated whether to write this post, questioning what value I could really offer from a place of such agony and confusion? Yet, some internal voice prodded me forward. Share the process, share the experience…

These last months have taken me into a depth of spiritual despair previously unimaginable. The experience has been a ruthless stripping away of my false, idealized sense of self. Having studied with a spiritual master for many years, this process is not new, of course…but it has never been this ruthless. This has taken me to ground zero – a massive deconstruction of the remaining image of who “I” am. It has mercilessly dissolved my most cherished beliefs, and shattered every assumption about what I thought was true.

The truth is, no matter how I attempt to project some virtuous image, the conflict of this world is a direct reflection of the qualities within me. One by one, in excruciating succession, these qualities have been paraded out of their safe hiding places — during interactions with others, in discussions with my teacher, in meditations and dreams — as if the doors to my inner shadow world have been blown open and all the demons released. I am judgmental and self-righteous. I am petty, jealous and angry. I am all these ugly qualities and many more. One by one, I have resisted, struggled, defended and finally confessed “Yes, I am That,” reluctantly finding a place at the table for each of these haggard visitors. “Here you are, my dear, you are no longer excluded but invited as my beloved guest – please come home.”

And while perhaps it sounds like a liberating process to face ones demons and invite them back into the heart, each step has been death. My idealized identity, the safe picture of “self” which has shielded me from these shameful aspects, is crumbling into nothingness. There is nothing to hold onto. There is no ground to stand upon. I am DYING. And it is terrifying.

Despite the pain and despair, I have tried to stay alert, watchful. I want to find out what this dying is. I have discovered an enormous burden of sorrow and suffering within me. I want to know if I can be free from this false self and from this sorrow.

As I have hurtled toward oblivion, it has felt like my skin is being pealed off, followed by muscle and tendon and bone until there is nothing left. Everything must die this inevitable death. What is Truth? How can one know the answer unless everything is stripped away? Every veil, every gauze of perception, every conditioned belief.

“Delete everything and start over,” suggested a good friend. All my well worn beliefs? Piles of crap. Delete. Everything I thought I knew? Bullshit. Delete. My personality? A bunch of absurd story lines. I have slowly been deleting everything and starting over.

Well, nearly everything…everything except two of my most sacred attachments, my deepest heart longings — seeking enlightenment (striving for some great liberation), and merging with God (transcending this mortal frame and experiencing union with the Divine). Since childhood these spiritual notions have been the bedrock of my belief. But now I see that, in my seeking, I can never arrive. In the Becoming, I can never Be. These beliefs must go too. My body, mind and soul are wracked with fear and grief. What will remain after my most cherished yearnings are cast away? My chest feels crushed with the pressure of a thousand boulders resting upon it. But in the completeness of my despair, I give up these too. I lay these most sacred treasures down and walk away from them.

Now I sit without God, without enlightenment. I feel dead inside. It is dark here. I wish I could say there is no pain left, but that would be a deception, a denial of What Is. What Is? A soft breeze. The sound of water running, and a helicopter thumping overhead. Warm mid-day sun on my skin. Lots of empty space inside — a ravaged field with fertile ground, but nothing growing and no delusions about whether it should or ever will.

I am completely and utterly alone. Stripped naked. Raw. Seeing Reality, perhaps for the first time.

Oddly enough, I am reminded of the movie V for Vendetta, in which V tortures Edie mercilessly until she realizes that everything can be stripped away from her except her capacity to love. “Every inch of me will perish – every inch except one…it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing in the world worth having.” In this realization, she becomes fearless and free.

KNOWLEDGE IS BONDAGE – Stacey Lawson – Originally published at Huffington Post

Stacey Lawson


Knowledge Is Bondage

Stacey Lawson | Posted July 29, 2008 | Living

We have come to believe in our society that acquisition of knowledge is the hallmark of an intelligent, accomplished person. We strive to better ourselves by taking in more information, learning more skills, processing more facts, assimilating more content, and applying more of what we know.

We are better off when we “know”, right? After all, when we don’t know, we are unsure of ourselves. We are uncomfortable and anxious not knowing. We perceive knowledge as giving us dominance over our environment and each other. Certainty gives us comfort and eliminates fear, so we desire to develop certain knowledge. We give it a top priority in our lives.

Let me offer a different perspective on knowledge from the wisdom traditions…

In the Siva Sutras, the enlightened being Siva, shares a pithy but powerful aphorism: “Jnanam Bandhah”, which translates from Sanskrit as “Knowledge is Bondage.” What does he mean? Siva manages to pack a mighty punch in this little statement. He uses each word with great diligence and precision, and the phrase is loaded with meaning.

First, Siva acknowledges that the process of knowing quite literally binds things together. From unbounded chaos, “knowing” binds information together which is otherwise disorganized. Like the binding of a book, we take many loose concepts with countless possible configurations and solidify them into a defined volume. The process of gaining knowledge requires the infinite to become finite. Finiteness gives us comfort because is manageable – we like things to be definite and bounded. However, by Siva’s standard, knowing is a degenerative process.

Second, knowledge limits our freedom. By forcing the infinite to become finite, we lose unity consciousness and are thrust into duality. As we freeze reality into a specific, defined configuration, we lose perspective of the whole. We perceive ourselves as separate from others. Knowledge is a concealing factor that makes us ignorant of our true nature. This identification with duality, caused by our reliance on the intellect and sense perceptions, is the source of human suffering.

Jaideva Singh, in his commentary on the Siva Sutras explains, “Man is bound…so long as he allows himself to be confined to the limited knowledge of his senses and mentation. When he recognizes his true nature, he is free.”

In the Bible, when Adam and Eve “fell” from grace, the first experience they had was “they knew.” Prior to the Fall, they were in unity consciousness – one with the Divine. That knowledge-free state was supreme bliss and freedom. The state prior to the Fall is not very different from the Buddha’s concept of emptiness and Nirvana. When we are free from knowledge, we can empty the mind and experience the bliss of our true nature.

Zen also touches on this notion with their phrase, “When you know, you don’t know, and when you don’t know, you know.”

So, various traditions describe this state in various ways – Nirvana or “emptiness”, Satori or “no mind”, Nirvakalpa Samadhi or “though-free, divine bliss.” In these states, supreme intelligence beyond intellectual knowledge is experienced. By dropping our attachment to knowledge, ironically, we can become all-knowing.

By declaring that knowledge is bondage, Siva is asking us to stop being a slave to our limited knowledge, and to become free. No matter how impressive our intellectual repertoire, it is childs play compared to the vast intelligence of the Divine. Give up identification with knowledge. Set yourself free from bondage. Be fluid. Be in the space of ‘don’t know’, and from there you will know everything.

Sonoma County Water Agency Calls It A “March Miracle”

Sonoma County Water Agency


For Immediate Release

March 30, 2012


Brad Sherwood

707.547.1927 (Office)

707.322.8192 (Cell)


“March Miracle” Rainfall Improves Water Supply Outlook

Russian River Water Supply System Back Into a “Normal” Designation

(Santa Rosa, CA) Thanks to the “March Miracle” rainfall, on April 1 Russian River water supply conditions will change from “critical” to “normal” under the Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Water Agency) water rights permits and State Water Resource Control Board Decision 1610 (Decision 1610). Under Decision 1610, issued in 1986, a water year is declared normal, dry, or critical on the first of each month between January and June based on cumulative inflow into Lake Pillsbury, located in Lake County on the Eel River.

“March has delivered our water supply system with much needed rain. The rain has resulted in significant inflow into Lake Pillsbury, to the point where we are now back into a ‘normal’ water supply scenario through at least May 1 when the water supply condition will be reassessed,” said Water Agency Assistant General Manager of Operations Pam Jeane. “We would like to see more rain in the coming month so our reservoirs can continue to fill for the upcoming dry season. It is important that our community continue using water efficiently – especially farmers and residents of Healdsburg and communities to the north, which rely on releases from Lake Mendocino.”

This “normal” designation means the Water Agency will not reduce Russian River flows in April as called for under the previous dry or critical designations. Minimum flows for April instead will be implemented as follows:

Upper Russian River (Between Lake Mendocino and the confluence of Dry Creek and the Russian River near Healdsburg): 185 cubic feet per second

Lower Russian River (between the confluence of Dry Creek and the Russian River to the Pacific Ocean): 125 cfs

Dry Creek (between Lake Sonoma and the confluence of Dry Creek and the Russian River): 75 cfs

The Water Agency’s two water supply reservoirs, Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino, continue to provide a reliable, secure source of drinking water for more than 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties despite this year’s dry weather.

Below are reservoir water supply levels as of March 30:

Lake Sonoma: 94 percent of water supply capacity

Lake Mendocino: 92 percent of water supply capacity. Note: The amount of water that can be stored in the lake for water supply changes seasonally (increasing as we approach the dry summer season).

Background Russian River Biological Opinion and hydrologic index

Decision 1610 established a measure (known as a hydrologic index) that determines the water supply condition. The hydrologic index for the Russian River system is based on inflow into Lake Pillsbury, which is located outside of the Russian River watershed. The Water Agency is reviewing alternatives to this hydrologic index to determine if another index would more accurately reflect water supply conditions in the Russian River.

In 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued its Russian River Biological Opinion. Biologists with NMFS concluded that minimum flow levels in the Russian River and Dry Creek during the summer (as established by Decision 1610) are too high for young coho salmon and steelhead. NMFS biologists believe that reducing summertime flows in the Russian River and Dry Creek would provide better fish habitat by reducing velocity. The Biological Opinion requires the Water Agency to seek permanent changes to the required minimum flows and, until those change requests are considered, annually request a reduction in minimum flows in the Russian River. In 2010 and 2011, the Water Agency sought – and the State Water Board granted – reductions in minimum flows to comply with the Biological Opinion. The Water Agency expects to file a petition to change minimum flow requirements to comply with the Biological Opinion in early April 2012.


The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment. The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at www.sonomacountywater.org.

Thank you,

Brad Sherwood

Public Affairs

Sonoma County Water Agency

Phone: 707.547.1927

Fax: 707.528.2080

404 Aviation Blvd.

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Efren Carrillo Attempts To Bolster Reelection Campaign With Open Space Project

Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Acquires Conservation Easement and Trail Easement

On 500-acre Bordessa Ranch

SANTA ROSA, CA (March 27, 2012) –The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, serving as the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (District), approved the purchase of a conservation easement and a trail easement over the 500 acre Bordessa ranch for the benefit of future generations.

Efren Carrillo, Fifth District Supervisor stated, “Opportunities like this, which will keep this 500 acre property intact while allowing public view of the incredible natural features of the Estero Americano and its surrounding greenbelt, are rare. This investment will pay forward and provide incredible benefits to the residents of Sonoma County. It will ensure this land will forever be in agriculture, protect the legacy of the Valley Ford area, secure critical wildlife and bird habitat, and allowing public access for hiking, nature study, bird watching, and other low intensity recreational and educational uses that are appropriate.”

Sonoma County Director of Regional Parks Caryl Hart commented, “Regional Parks looks forward to working under the lead of Supervisor Carrillo, with land owners and the community to determine appropriate public access to this amazing property,”

The rolling hills and open pasture lands of the ranch are visible from scenic Highway 1, North of Valley Ford. The conservation easement and trail easement on the property protects its open space and scenic values, natural resources and wildlife connectivity, and agricultural resources, while allowing for low-intensity public outdoor recreational enjoyment of the land.

The property possesses sensitive natural resources and provides habitat for numerous wildlife species. The Bordessa Ranch borders on the Estero Americano, a tidal estuary which contains high quality salt marsh wetlands and is located in the Pacific Flyway which provides foraging habitat for migratory water fowl and shorebirds. The conservation easement protects habitat for sensitive species, including Burrowing Owls, Short-eared Owls and American Badgers within a 140-acre Forever Wild area of the property.

The purchase of the conservation easement and trail easement is $1,500,000. The California State Coastal Conservancy has agreed to contribute $650,000 to the District’s acquisition of a conservation easement and a $50,000 grant to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department to plan trails on the property.

# # #

About the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. Since 1990, the District has protected more than 85,000 acres. Agricultural and open space lands have been protected through a 1/4-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1990 and reauthorized in 2006. For more information, please visit www.sonomaopenspace.org

03 27 2012 Open Space Acquires Bordessa Ranch Easement.pdf

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 – Clips

On Most weekdays, Sonoma County Community and Government Affairs Manager Jim Leddy compiles news stories from many sources that generally relate to Sonoma County government. Jim then sends the stories & headlines as a courtesy to Executive Staff as well as anyone who wants to see them:

From: Jim Leddy
Date: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 8:21 AM
Subject: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 – Clips

More green measures planned for new Sutter hospital

Welder Bill Gollob secures steel rivets above the entryway of the emergency room at the new Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa.

John Burgess/PD


Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 6:55 a.m.

Last Modified: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 6:55 a.m.

FAA to reassess flight patterns for county airport expansion: Board of Supervisors convince feds to perform noise reduction studies Comments (0)

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No Santa Rosa City Council meeting on 3/27

From: Anne Seeley (Santa Rosa Concerned Citizens)
Date: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Subject: No Council meeting on 3/27


No Council meeting on Tuesday, but there is a Charter Review Committee meeting on Thursday, 3/29. They’re held the the Utilities Field Operations Building at 35 Stony Point Road, just south of West College Avenue, at 5PM.

They’re set to discuss enabling Public Works to do Competitive Bidding for Design/Build projects, Finance and Budget items, and cleaning up language on miscellaneous topics.

Recent straw votes (they plan to do the final votes in May) were to unanimously deep-six the Elected Mayor idea, to reverse the vote on District elections to 11 for, to 9 against.

See you! Anne