A TURN-AROUND STORY - - - the problem just might be us



Here’s a little story about a nice “turn around” with a fourteen year old that I was certain was being the “Stupid/ bad/ selfish” one. In my stupid (and suffering) state, I was quite clear: she needed to change.

This story takes place in Sonoma, around 2000, in the summer. I’d gotten over the trauma of a gal named Sally Ann running off with a man named Joe. (See the next story: Sally Ann “should love me more” turned around. )

I’d stopped believing my thinking that she was meant to stick around and argue with me. And I had stopped believing my own thinking that no one else great would show up in my life.

And then Celeste did. A perky yoga teacher, who shared gardening and bike riding and a general love of nature with me.

We grew fonder and fonder of one another, and then couldn’t restrain ourselves to two residences. So I came to spend the night with her.

Off in a huff went Lara, her fourteen year old daughter. Her father and Celeste had been unhappy for many years and had been apart for almost a year, and that didn’t matter to her: she didn’t want her Mom living with her new guy.

There I was. The new guy. Ughh.

Off she went. In a huff. In the middle of the night. Big drama. Big show.

And she’s fourteen, right? She’s a pain in the ass, nasty to her Mom.

Which is to say: the whole usual teenage thing.

And me in all my wisdom? I decide to get all twisted about her being “selfish.”

Which I could make a great case for; after all wasn’t she throwing hissy fit after hissy fit? (I.e. acting 14).

And then a pleasant and slightly stunning light bulb went on: I was the selfish one.


When Lara threw her hissy fits, it upset her mom, Celeste.

Result?  Celeste and I had less fun. Me, me, me, with less fun. Poor me!

This upset MY selfish wish to have great times, all the time, with Celeste.


I was a hypocrite (this has been discovered since, many times) and that was funny and a relief. She was selfish. I was selfish. So be it.

And guess what? Once my mind got clear, our relationship got clear. Like this:

One day she was over visiting us and I decided to tell her my discovery about me being the “selfish” one.

What teenager doesn’t want to hear an adult admit that they are an ass?

She lightened up and when I left to go to a garden I was caring for, she shouted out after me, “Goodbye, Selfish Chris.”

We were friends ever after..

You can be RIGHT or you can be HAPPY - - - Is that true?


You can be right or you can be happy.

You can be right or you can be happy.


Is that true?

This certainly seems worth investigating, eh?

And how to do that?

Each time we are unhappy, we can look at what we are “right” about in such an urgent way that another person (or weather, or political situation) is “wrong.”

And there are “Wrong” things in the world. Slavery. Oppression. Violence, usually ( against Hitler, maybe necessary). Sexism. Racism. Climate disaster coming. Wealth inequality.

These are all the reasons that part of this transformation journey is about “saving the world.”

And let’s look more closely at the usual causes of unhappiness.

The person you are living with did something “wrong,” said something “wrong,” acted in a “wrong” way and we feel sure/ right/ righteous that they “should” have done, acted, spoken, whatever the way we wanted them to.

Admit it.

Whether your spouse or your lover or your friend or your ungrateful child or your bossy (or negligent) parent, they “should” have been different.

We’ll put forth a whole short order transformation system called the work of Byron Katie (http://thework.com ) to “undo” the disastrous effects of the world of “should,” and for now our job is just to be honest.


No easy task, and is it true, the next time we are unhappy, that there is a big fat “should” or “shouldn’t” attached to another person, and their failing to do it another way is the source of our unhappiness?

Just look.


This can be brutal and it can be liberating.

Why liberating?

Because it gives us the one that needs to change to be happy >> > ourselves.

"Success" as training wheels


Random Musings

“Success” as useful training wheels

Carol and I are in a marvelous group called Energy for Success (http://EnergyforSuccess.org), via which Dr Barry Morguelan has brought a 5000 year old Chinese energy system to America. The goal is waking up to reality, and in reality creating win/win success in your life, in your love, in your health, in your ongoing sense of well being.

Success is nice starting point, because it gives a focus to the inner work involved, and that reminds me of a Sufi story.

About a farmer, worried about his lazy three sons, who told them as he was dying that he had buried gold in the fields where the crops where grown, and that to find it they had to dig and search.

And so they did. Dig dig dig.

And no gold, but the field was prepared, so they might as well plant the crops.

Which they did, and did well. 

Satisfied in a way they hadn’t been before, they were however tempted to rest on their laurels the next year.

But . . . what if there was gold and they’d missed it?

So, dig dig dig and then plant plant plant

And prosper prosper prosper.

And they realized that their father, tricking them into the habit of real work, had given them something more valuable that gold.

And so for the rest of their lives, dig dig plant plant prosper prosper.

And in “the energy,” or any real mindfulness while you work inner work, you will do much better from awareness and doing “energy exercises” (a break from the rush of the day to move your body in relaxed and interesting ways to “get the energy flowing”) and “breathing exercises” (again slowing down to visualize and breathe deeply), you are priming your success.

And you are getting the gold of inner work, coming home to the present and your body and your breathing.

Success, win-win success is a fine and wonderful thing, but it’s not the purpose of life.

Love and waking up and service and happiness are. (My premise. What do YOU think / feel/ intuit/ realize that the purpose of your life is.)

Keep digging in the outer and inner worlds, and see what you discover.

Enjoy your day.

Love and Learning


Random Musings

Love and Learning

This will be short.

Love is sticking with it when the going is not ideal.


Because other people are not perfect.

And . . . guess what?


Oh, well.

And even if you’ve found your “soul mate” ( and why settle for anyone who is not on the amazing path of discovering and uncovering and expanding their soul - - - like you, right), one of the jobs of your soul mate: IS TO TEST YOUR BULLSHIT.

In other words, a soul mate will drive you crazy every once in a while, usually doing something you dislike in yourself.

But it doesn’t matter what they do.

All that matters is that it shakes up the big baby inside of us who always wants thing to be going our way.

And here’s where learning comes in:

Learning is noticing differences that make a difference, you recall?


And so love is noticing the difference:

How is the world when I want my partner/ soul mate to always do things in a way that makes it the best/ easiest for me?


How is the world when I smile and thank my partner / soul mate for showing me that there is a big wonderful world out that not exactly situated and run to make things easy for me?

It’s really as simple as that.

Many games in the book will help us over the hump.

And love is about learning over and over and over:

I’m not perfect, and my partner isn’t perfect, and my responses to their imperfection aren’t perfect and I’m crazy if I don’t love them anyway.

How to to do this?

Enlightenment helps, in the being present and being in joy sense.

Enlightenment absolutely comes to the rescue when we see/ feel/ realize it as loving what is.

And that’s all theory.

You’ll learn, and hopefully already are learning as the book goes along.

And for starters:

Learning the difference when we let go of wanting them to be something they don’t happen to be right then.

And learning the difference when we remember the love - - - ours and theirs - - - anyway.

Enjoy your day.

Giving / Giving Up, Letting go of Giving to Get / Letting Go


Random Musings

Giving vs Giving to Get

Giving vs Giving Up

This is a beginning exploration of enlightenment as “letting go.”

Letting go of the myth of the self in charge of it all and letting Life/ Awareness/ Love be the river in which you swim.

There is a Sufi story that goes sort of like this:

Once a river was very frustrated, because it always ended up its trip down a mountain in a quagmire at the edge of a desert.

It could flow on to the sea, which as some deep level it wanted to do.

It pushed at the desert and pulled against the quagmire and felt cheater and complained, all to no avail.

And then it heard the wind, whispering (in a moment it quieted down) and telling it: Let go.

Become water vapor and lift up into me.

“But I won’t exist as I know myself any more.”

  • Right. And as you are, you’ll get nowhere being in the quagmire. What do you have to lose.


  • Find out.

So the water let go and became vapor and the wind carried it to the sea, and it condensed as rain.

And as it merged with the sea, because of it’s doubts, it had vague memories of the mountain river and the quagmire and realized that the wind had been right.

La la.

In one of our spiritual paths we are studying with, Adyashanti, a young man (50’s) who is urging us to giving our self into each moment.

This works for me better as giving up to the moment.

Surrendering as it will.

In another path, much more worldly oriented a Dr. Barry Morguelan is connecting people to a 5000 year old Chinese “source energy,” which could very well be what the Holy Spirit is, or the Breath of Life.

His latest, and so far best advice is to be around other people and stifle the urge to “give to get.”

Stop performing in a way that wants to buy love.

Be quiet, sense your heart and feel/ intuit what level of “I love you” they are radiating.

Everyone is radiating some.

We are missing tremendous chances in connection and our own increase in well being by not being open to this.

So: open, calibrate 1-100 how much they are sending.

Give up “trying” to get love.

It’s already there.

Giving up the buying love game with Dr B as we call him. (See a rather amazing site at http://EnergyForSuccess.org )

With Adya (http://Adyashanti.org), the task is to give our small self into each moment of meditation.

Or Life, really.

Which is tricky, since in his view, there is no self to give.

And useful, since the more we get rid of what doesn’t really exist, the closer we are to a very fertile and infinite Nothing.

(That could be called, seen, felt as Everything)

If this sounds like gobbledegook, so be it.

The mind, like the river asked to turn to vapor can’t handle this hooey.

Have fun explore.

One breath at a time.

Give up the expectation of needing anything outside of the present moment.

What happens.

Enjoy the exploration.

Enjoy the discoveries.

Enjoy the peace.

Enjoy your day.

Presence in Four Levels: Heart, Body, Awareness, Sexual Center


Random Musings

“Presence” as Real and in

Four Levels

We can be present to our lives, or not.

Most of our lives we are not.

Which means we are wandering/ drifting/ thrashing/ numbing out/ going into robot mode and life is going on and we aren’t there.


We can be present to the present of the miracle of life.

And one fun and fine way to do this is in four levels.

Starting with the heart level.

Sense your heart, in the moment.


Search for the “love” vibe from other people. Or the “friendliness” vibe. Or the “vitality and glory of Life” vibe from sky and clouds and flowers and all the wonders of Nature.

Another is the lower belly/ “hara” level.

Several fingers below the navel and several fingers in.

The center of movement in our bodies and somewhat the geographical center of our bodies.

Sense there.

Breathe down there.

See if you can connect with being a breathing and balancing and moving Being on the planet Earth.

The wonder of arms and legs and fingers and toes and spine.

Move in ways fun, easy and interesting.

Wake back up to the glory of being in a body.

Another layer is somewhere either between the eyes, or more realistically “nowhere.” The awareness layer.

Not the observer.

The awareness you always have of bird song, or gravity, or your smile, or other people, or your thinking and feeling.

The awareness of awareness.

The awareness of how awareness has been there all along, and is you.



Don’t think this.

Feel/ sense/ intuit/ wait for this.

Enjoy this.

And the final level is the genital area.

This is complicated and why sex sells in ads, and why real relationship has to include loving and non greedy and giving and best of all, mindful, sensuality as part of the mix.

Don’t worry, think or concentrate here too much.

And don’t avoid.

Huge chunks of adult like (crappy rock and roll, sappy movies, drinking, even socializing in rooms of many women and men) is about this energy.

Feel it a bit now and then.

Smile and let it begin to inform all the other three.

And vice versa.

All of us is amazing.

Enjoy your day, your life, your awakening. 

What else is there?

Waking Up/ Meditation/ Real Life as Adding on and Subtracting


Random Musings

Waking Up as Adding On

Waking up as Letting Go

This could be Transformation as Adding On/ Transformation as letting go;

This could be Meditation as Adding On/ Transformation as letting go.

Let’s play with Meditation.

Which we do . . . because . . . we want to cultivate attention, or ease, or presence, or peacefulness.

Or we are smart and know that we need a break.

Or we have a spiritual impulse that says, There is a Deeper Truer Zone to Life and I want to touch base with it.

Or we are curious.

Find your reasons.

They are neither “right” nor “wrong.” They are part of your adventure in what you co with your precious time and attention in this precious journey called Life on Earth.

Adding on in Meditation:

Add on sitting up more or less straight. This adds on an awareness of your head over your spine and softens your ribs to take in more air.

Add on breathing easier and deeper.

Add on being aware of your breathing down into your belly.

Maybe, if you want the full brain awakening of the Gurdjieff meditation, add on sensing your arms and legs.

Add on an awareness of awareness.

Add on a smile.

Add on sensing your heart, or belly, or midpoint between your eyes.

Add on all of this?


What you enjoy.

Subtracting in Meditation (or life)

Subtract believing your thinking.

Subtract needed to “finish your thoughts”

Subtract need to solve all the unfinished business that comes up crying to be finished.

Subtract even caring what you are thinking.

Subtract trying to get rid of thinking.

Just go back to the add ons: breath, sensing, smiling, awareness.

Subtract believing your feelings.

Subtract resisting your feeling: 

Add on sensing your feeling as sensation

Subtract all the poor me/ victim/ whatever whatever thoughts around the feeling

Add on smiling

Add on know you are alive

Maybe even open your eyes now and then and add on the visual wonder of life.

Subtract the noise in your head as false thinking disguised as words.

Add on: the sensation of you, Alive, right now.

And: this can be any time, all the time.

Enjoy your day.

Enjoy your Life



A short path to "Enlightenment" - - - Loving the Moment, Letting the Moment love You


Random Musings

A short version of “Enlightenment:”

Loving the moment, the moment loves you

 A parent sits in front of a child.

Their presence/ attention/ delight is love. They may hug, they may say nice or wonderful things. Or just smile.

Their attention in the present moment is love.

Our attention in any present moment (there always is one, have you noticed?) is love.

Can we just feel that?

Sensing our heart is a good start.

Emptying the words from our chatter mind is another good step.

Clear and empty and sensing our heart: we can add a smile.

What can you love, right now?

Anything will do.

Your toes. The sky. Your chair. Your breathing. The person with you. The wall.

Let your love come out.

And here’s a kicker: Can you let the moment love you.

Not so much the wall or the chair, and yes, part of the person you are with, any person has some or a lot of love for you.

But let’s make it bigger: all the existence, from the big bang to the formation of Earth to the creation/ evolution of Life, to all your ancestors and all the people and trees and food and rivers and death and birth that has come before us.

All this has made this moment.

And this one.

All new, and all the fulfillment of billions of years.

Just for you, and your awareness and your receiving.

We’ll call that the moment loving you.

This is easier with a tree or a person you deeply love, or the sky.

And whatever is your moment, can you feel honored and amazed that so much went in to creating this for you?

To take the words of Jesus: the great commandment, is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul.

If God is Life and Life comes to us only now, in the moment, what does it feel like to give in to that commandment, to give yourself to loving Life and this moment?

And what does it feel like to receive, to give yourself the gift of receiving God/ Life/ the moment loving you right now?

This is not mind food.

The is a soul exploration.

Start with a tree or the sky or a cloud or the miracle of another person or the miracle of your toes and fingers.

Love them as God and Life and the moment’s grace to you.

And play with, open to, explore: they love you as billions of years of Life coming through them to you, right now.

This moment.

And this one.

And this one.

Remember smiling and sensing your heart - - - this makes it a lot easier and a lot more fun.

Learning and Creativity: Are they for you?


Random Musings

Creativity and Learning

Are they for you?

The short answer: Yes.

And let’s start short:



Same old shit.

Like this: skip.

Now skip three times on each foot.

Like this:

Turn your head to the right and to the left.

Now, turn your eyes to the left as your head goes to the right and vice-versa.

Like this:

Think of someone you don’t like.

Now, think of something you like about the person you don’t like.

Like this:

Sense your pelvis on the chair. Or feet on the floor.

Now, wiggle and notice the shifts.,

And staying with simple:



Notice that all the creativity created differences.

And to notice the differences is learning.

Learning means: new wiring in your brain.

So what.

The best news is that learning is fun, differences are fun, getting out of the SOS is fun.



And can you still learn?

Yes: each example above was learning.

Are you creative?

Do you dream?

Ever notice how they are bizarre or interesting or weird or random.

That’s your brain when it lets go.

Were you a kid once?

Remember how anything and everything could be play?

Would that be a good way to approach sex, or your work, or a new relationship or an old relationship or “improving” your body?

What do you think?

What do you feel?

What do you know?


Give yourself a ten minute creativity/ learning break today and see what you do. 

No hints.

You discover.

Cheers and love