Apr 24 2019


This is Jodie and Stephen from These Days gallery and bookstore. They are awesome and if you are in downtown LA go visit them. We did a book signing at their place last night and it was super fun.

I kinda left out a few things from my last post about the reality mirror. I was writing about how if things aren’t going your way externally, then there may be something going on internally. And I know what it feels like to seemingly be doing everything right yet everything is still seemingly very wrong.

Luckily, we were born with a built in alarm system. That is your emotions. When you start to catch a cold, your body will give you a heads up with a runny nose, maybe a cough, maybe some tiredness. This is your body telling you to slow down and take care of it. I think it’s the same with your emotions and your mental, physical, and spiritual well being.

When you are feeling sad, angry, frustrated, jealous, etc, it’s something telling you to address the situation. We are all too good at making ourselves feel better, but then sooner or later the same problems rise up. This is like taking the battery out of the smoke alarm because it went off on accident and is super annoying, but it is there for good reason.

I’m saying if you are feeling bummed out, you may need to lean into it deeper and find out why you are bummed. It’s too easy to go get ice cream or tequila and worry about it later. It’s too easy to say, “I’m just being dumb, everything is all good.” While everything is all good, it’s not really all good if you are not feeling all good. I say feel all good once the alarm has been cleared and reset but not before.

That being said, what we think we want mentally may not be the same as what we want physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This is the “alignment” I was talking about.

It is turning out that this path of betterment and self mastery isn’t a path at all. It’s a choice. The choice to pay attention or not and act accordingly. Not saying it’s easy though. But we are in this together.

Apr 20 2019

What Is

There was a couple years in the late 80’s where we would say, “What is?” We used it like how you would use “What’s up?” A lot of slang I used back then didn’t make it through. I still say, “Rad” but I don’t need to use “Yeah guy” or “Feak” which was like “this situation is weak” or “Rooted” which was like someone who is extremely disappointed. Analyzing this now, “Rooted” could be more like “Ruded” like someone was harshly rude to another person. “I honked my horn as she took a sip of coffee and it spilled all over her, so ruded.” “So rut.” “Rut” was like in a rut but in the exact moment of the rutness I guess. “I ran out of gas and while we were pushing the car, I got a flat tire. So rut.” LOL.

It is what it is. What is, is. What is shall be. These are all sayings that I think are keeping us in the matrix. If someone wants to control you, the first thing they would do is take away any power you have or make you believe you didn’t have any in the first place. What if it’s your own mind trying to control you and this matrix is your own belief systems?

Everyone has their own matrix to escape from and it’s a web of learned beliefs, imposed beliefs, generational beliefs, etc. We are in an era of these matrixes falling apart. Do you feel it? It is rough and complicated but what do we want? Freedom. When do we want it? Now.

If we are the creators of our reality and if our reality is a reflection of our being-ness then to really own and honor that creativity-ness the more proper saying would be, “I am what is.”

That acceptance of responsibility is the true path to freedom and from there we are actively participating in the co-creation of all of reality.

I was a dust in the wind guy for a long time, not a victim but more like a target of circumstance. Growing up skateboarding you learn how to fall but you also learn how to pull stuff off. This leads to trying to get away with all kinds of things in life and being fine with making it or bailing or slamming. Like that Katt Williams skit, “Trying shit and trying shit, don’t work. Trying shit and trying shit, don’t work.”

It’s not helpful to be all Yoda about it either, “There is no try, only do.” Also the underdog vibes of “Keep going till you get there,” is only halfway helpful.

I think the new new for me and you is accepting that you are right now exactly where you are supposed to be. The idea being that from a different perspective, you are either in or not in alignment. Alignment is when your mental body, physical body, emotional bdoy, and spiritual body are all on the same page. If you are not in alignment then this now moment has a take away for you to learn from and adjust accordingly.

Also consider that the articulation of exactly where you really want to be needs to be re-examined.

A quote from Kappy that he heard somewhere, “Heaven is this very moment. Hell is wanting it to be something else.”

This quote resonates because you can reverse engineer it. If all I am is what all is, then there is no something else. I am heaven. We are heaven, we are paradise.

Apr 18 2019


My new book is out and available online!

Photos by Ray Potes

An ongoing journey in search of El Dorado, the mythical city of gold.

250 Pages
6.69″ x 9.61″
Black and White
Matte Cover / Text
Perfect Bind
Published by Hamburger Eyes



Apr 17 2019


It hit me the other day. Not like a ton of bricks but like a big bag of leaves and it exploded.

While Hamburger Eyes is about the outward journey, Ray’s Reports is about the inward journey.

I only bring it up because at the book fair last week people were asking. I usually just say, “It’s my personal blog.” Which it is, but I been thinking about what I’m doing here and why I am writing about what I’m writing about.

More thinking out loud. Thanks for listening.

Apr 03 2019


This is Michelle. She loves McDonald’s and Sonic the Hedgehog and I’m guessing she made that tshirt. She’s very talented.

Feeling extra wordy these days, been gone too long.

I could’ve been blogging from my phone the whole time. The laptop is not necessary for updating this website, yet I prefer it.

Did I just flop into philosphical nugget on accident? Is life a continuum of desires, separations, and preferences?

I knew I wanted to write about minimizing my crap today. I’m moving. Again.

But I didn’t realize the role of preference in all this.

Everything around you is around you because of preference.

Throwing away something that has zero preference in your life will leave zero feeling of separation.

And vice versa, getting rid of something that has major preference in your life will cause a major feeling of separation. You can anticipate that sepration which is why it’s hard to get rid of.

I guess its my version of Marie Kondo. She will ask if an object brings her joy or not. I am asking if an object has more or less preference than another object assigned to the same duty. LOL.

On another level though, we can say our desires are driven by levels of preference with levels of separation.

In other words, your preference in options combined with the depth and angle of separation will reshape and sharpen what you want.

This really looks like a discussion synonymous with seeking pleasure and avoiding pain and how our decisions are heavily influenced by these factors. Turns out I am not dropping any new philosophy bombs.

Ok then. I can type on my laptop and I can type on my phone, I can do the job of writing on both. The phone wins in portability. The laptop wins because of the keyboard. It’s a tie, so neither is going in the trash today.

(Writing this on my phone now, k thanks bye.)

Apr 02 2019


In the documentary I said something totally dumb along the lines of, “Your photos are your seeds.”

They had asked about my favorite photos that I had shot and I was trying to swerve the question by saying they are all my favorites, like they are my children or something. Embarrassing metaphor that now lives on the internet forever.

In my defense it was probably 8am and I was crazy nervous and there was no prep questions or any time to sort my thoughts.

I’m thinking of this now because a quote popped up recently.

“Don’t judge the day on the harvest, but on the seeds you planted.”

I don’t know who said it or remember where I heard it. Too lazy to look it up.

Ok, just looked it up. Robert Louis Stevenson.

Trying to see if my seeds, our seeds, are our photos or something else? In today’s world, wouldn’t just content in general be the seeds?

A zine, a book, a podcast episode, a video, a blog post?

No, I think the photo IS the seed and then it sprouts into one of those other things.

We may not know what species the seed is until later, sometimes years later.

I’m just thinking out loud here.

What I do know is that if I’m not getting my seeds right, I feel weird.

I don’t shoot or make stuff every day but I am learning lately that I feel better when I do.

BUT, on the other side of the coin, I have gathered some of the most exotic seeds and planted them in the most beautiful soil and sunlight. Watered them with magic water from Merlin himself and yet no fruit was harvested.

I think this is point though. The fun part is the seeds. The harvest, schmarvest.

I went to Paris once with my brother and our friend Monkey. We met a French girl and had a picnic with her.

First we went for some groceries. We learned about wine and cheese and sausage. “Saucisse” means sausage and “saucisson” means dry sausage. Like a salami.

We posted up by a river. “Saucisson c’est la vie,” she said.

I asked her to explain and she continued, “Food is life, wine is life..”

In memory it was way more epic sounding in her accent and she was very attractive. She didn’t say it but I felt more, “Sharing is life, hanging out is life. Today is life.”

“Saucisson c’est la vie,” stuck with us for a while. I still say it sometimes.

Mar 31 2019


This is Blake. He turned a small room into a fully loaded darkroom. Haven’t seen this nice of a setup in a while and it’s in an apartment!

I been thinking how, if ever, would all this esoteric stuff I been researching and studying creep it’s way into my photography. I mostly just shoot like I’m recording an auto biography and there’s usually nothing mystical about my daily life.

But I do come up with weird movie ideas. One story is about the concept that we came to Earth in order to experience the full range of emotions. In order to do that, we chose to be born with amensia. That is because if we knew everything at birth, that would contradict our life experience.

This would be a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler. He would be born with full memory and he spends the entire movie trying to give himself amnesia without killing himself or getting permanent brain damage.

The title is, “I Thought Earth Would Be Different.”

I didn’t write a script but I liked the title so I used it for my new zine with Innen Books, get it here.

And then one night with a friend we were trying to come up with some cool shaman names. I came up with, “Infinite Brown Eagle.”

I ended up using that for the title of my new book. It was planned to be a series of 5 zines, but then I thought it would be a cooler as a book. It worked out to be 250 pages and will be out next week.

Mar 25 2019

More Notes

This is Laura. She’s 6ft tall and makes me feel like I’m that tall when cruising with her.

I made it back to LA and after a couple days I’m ready to get through mountains of emails and bills.

More notes on travelling.

Anytime you leave the apartment in SF or NY, lets say to meet a friend for coffee, somehow it’s $40.

I brought only a 28mm lense. Normally, it’s all I need but now I think I need a 40mm. I’d do the 40 or even 50 on the body and use my phone as the 28.

I used both my phone and Lumix equally but it’s redundant when both are the same angle of view.

As for work stuff, even though I can sorta “work” from my phone, it doesn’t mean its easier.

On the rainy days or days that I had time to myself where I should be trying to work, I really just wanted to read or catch up on Youtube.

My laptop is like 200 lbs and it has to be plugged in the whole time. It’s cumbersome and I should’ve left it at home.

I’m thinking a $200 Chromebook next time for travelling.

Great blog post, I know.

Also, I had multiple Instagram spazz out episodes. Like 3 of them that I talked myself out of, and then all of a sudden yesterday I deleted all my photos.

I figured out what my problem is. I have always printed my photos first. Either in print form or zine form or book form.

The LA book fair is coming up, so while I’m thinking about making either a new zine series or 1 book from all the photos I been shooting, I’m posting all the photos on Instagram.

Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal at first, but when you start the layout, even just in your head, the photos are now a little deflated since all your people already saw them on the internet.

Even if the photos aren’t really deflated, you are deflated like there’s no wind beneath your photoshop wings anymore.

Overthinking it, for sure. But I think I will reserve IG for photos already published, or for news of new publishings.

Mar 16 2019


This is Martin. He is awesome and brought the “get da fuck outta hea” anti-cornball vibes to our NY movie screening. Not that there were any cornballs there, but I haven’t felt that old school vibe in a while. We smoked a joint. And I don’t smoke so that’s how fun he is.

I’m almost back to LA, it’s been around 4 weeks from SF to NY and back to SF. Here are some notes.

Haven’t shot as much as I like. But that’s normal. I made my IG account into all portraits, so I find myself mostly looking for portraits which is fine. I wish I brought another lense or 2.

I’m getting old. Can’t stay out all night any more. Trying though. Also, it is hard to eat healthy on a tight travel budget.

It’s cool to meet all these photographers through Hamburger Eyes. I get down on myself sometimes, but this means I am doing my job correctly. These guys keep it going. “Wanna quit but can’t,” an Amart quote that comes to mind.

Lots of homies in transition. Is it something in the stars?

Feb 27 2019

Gone Fishing

In SF now and then NY next week for the Hamburger Eyes screenings and book release, hopefully I’ll come back with some cool photos. See you out there.

Feb 18 2019


My friend and I were talking about if she should go to see her friend’s band play tonight or if she should stay home, which is what she kinda wants to do.

A pros and cons list started developing and I couldn’t help but get into all these things I have been reading about and sharing here. The truth isn’t about why or why not, it’s about resonance.

When it comes to choices one option will almost always resonate more than the other so if she really wants to stay home and watch movies, then she probably should. She said the idea of seeing friends is resonating but not the actual show, I said she could see the homies the next day for coffee or whatever.

You might say this doesn’t apply to everything. For instance, eating a bag of Doritos for dinner versus actually cooking something. The bag of chips could be resonating very high but there is another voice saying, “Don’t be lazy..”

These voices, opinions, and commentary in your head are your conscious mind, sub conscious mind, and super conscious mind. I don’t know if this is right, but I equate your conscious mind with your head and ego, your sub conscious mind with your physical body, and your super conscious mind is your intuition which is galactic and multi dimensional in nature. That is for another post one day.

When we practice listening enough we can decipher where exactly these messages are coming from. Maybe you want to stay home because this particular bar is more draining then fulfilling, or maybe you shouldn’t eat that because your body is inflamed and your just 1 Dorito away from permanent damage.

These messages can come in loudly or quietly. So when a decision with options comes up, just sit and wait for the correct answer to start resonating. The idea is simple, but execution not always easy. I know.

Feb 14 2019


Been getting good feedback on the blog lately. Thanks for reading!

I wrote about it before, self awareness to new habits to new goals. The idea is that discipline will lead to freedom. I am ready for the promised land. So far it is a long and treacherous road.

Part of it is also creating systems. An easy system to discuss would be diet, like making a legit grocery list and shopping schedule on a weekly basis. It sounds robotic to live your life like this, but for some people it could be a life or death situation if these changes don’t happen. (This is a difficult one for me because my schedule is all over the place.)

In these entrepreneurship books, the McDonald’s bros are always mentioned. They made perfect systems for each section of their business and then systems on top of those systems. It didn’t matter how smart or dumb a person was if the perfect system was built to accommodate them. Their systems worked out so beserker mode that they could deliver their food in minutes.

What’s the practical idea though? Not sure, it’s different for everyone. You most likely already have systems in place and it’s about tweaking them for optimization. Health, wealth, relationships, purpose.

This transitions into a conversation about chaos vs order. It’s not about balancing, more about cycles and riding waves. I think if we use systems to create a little bit of order when and where possible, then maybe we will be more comfortable in the chaos when it comes. At those points, expansion happens by virtue of experience. And then onto the next.

Feb 09 2019


This is Jerry. He is awesome.

I post a lot of disclaimers and I’ll stop, but one more. I’m trying to do better while here on Earth, that’s all. I think I can do better by seeking and learning. These posts are just things I picked up along the way. The truth is out there and I know the truth is different for everyone.

One truth for me, embarrassing yet educational, is that I am not a wizard when it comes to putting together budgets and planning my financials.

Reading about writing has gotten me to think about how important words are. Specifically when it comes to self talk. Sure we can talk about positive mental attitude, but I’m talking about statements that are either true or false for you in particular.

For example, “making” money. I woke today up realizing this is a false concept for me. We can’t “make” money. It’s illegal, it’s called counterfeiting.

So when I say something like, “I need to ‘make’ money.” It may be registering in my sub conscious mind as wrong, error, or incomplete. Thus, a huge hangup.

When I change it to, “I need to ‘collect’ money,” it shifts the paradigm. Now trading for products or services is implied. And this part of my working day makes sense to me.

Somehow, it is freeing. Maybe I have stigmas about capitalism in general, but maybe it was just a simple vocabulary adjustment.

On the tv show Shark Tank, one of the sharks said something like, “The difference between us and you is that we treat our money like soldiers. Each dollar that goes out has the mission not only to return, but to return with lost or fallen soldiers.” I laughed but it stuck with me.

On a deeper level, I think we can say the same with our truths. We should use our truths to find and bring back more truths.

Feb 05 2019


Some ancient cultures believed that every word spoken was either white magic or black magic. That is for or against yourself or someone else. To go even further that included the written word. Spellings created “spells”. To go even further you could say all thoughts, words, and actions create your entire reality. Or just thoughts really since the thoughts bring the words and the actions. So depending on your perspective, beliefs, and ideas your reality could be based in love or fear or a combo of both.

Here is Einstein saying it, “The most important question you can ever ask is if the world is a friendly place.”

He goes on and on but I think he was addressing the atomic age, saying if you believe the world is a unfriendly place then you will go build walls and crazy weapons. If you believe life is a dice roll, then you are living as a victim of circumstance with no purpose or meaning. But if you believe the world is friendly, then you can have power and safety by using technology, scientific discoveries, and natural resources for better understanding of how the universe works.

I like that. Another way I have heard it is that all thoughts are either inviting love or blocking love. And another way, my favorite way, is that all thoughts are either inviting miracles or blocking miracles.

We all have our up days and our down days but if we purposely try to have more up days, then maybe we can string together an up week to an up month, then an up year to an up decade and eventually an up life. Easier said then done, let’s go 1 minute at a time.