Ask The Expert This

  There are no experts on a subject. I trust the teacher (doctor or friend) who is still learning about their subjects. I trust the one who continues to explore subjects. When someone stops exploring, they stop learning and this “quitting” interferes with their capacity to truly contribute. When they stop their exploring their view becomes increasingly narrow where they ignore a wider berth of possibilities. I don’t seek “experts,” unless they are willing to engage in authentic conversation. In this authentic conversation we both explore together, so that we may discover what is truly possible. If we “already know” then we are unlikely to discover anything new.  For … Continue reading

The Wish-Fulfilling Mandala (Or how not to mistake a rope for a snake)

The wish-fulfilling mandala is a simple tool that allows you to manifest your intention. You will experience immediate results through the use of this mandala. It’s a simple practice to transform negative mind-sets and experiences to allow for direct spiritual and creative experience. It facilitates the transformation of pain stories, difficulties, and resistances into a way of living that is inspired by intention. It’s a wish-fulfilling tool. Begin with the center circle. In this circle identify a strong assumption or pain story you hold that you know influences your inner and outer landscape. Identify something that you are struggling with. This could be about how you view yourself … Continue reading

Writing for the Reader

Daiju visited the master Baso in China. Baso asked: What do you seek? “Enlightenment,” replied Daiju. “You have your own treasure house. Why do you search outside?” Baso asked. Daiju inquired: “Where is my treasure house?” Baso answered: “What you are asking is your treasure house.” Daiju was enlightened! Ever after he urged his friends: “Open your own treasure house and use those treasures.”          –Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones   I begin my book, The Zero Point Agreement with the above story. In opening up to “your own treasure house and using those treasures,” … Continue reading

What’s Next and Turning Back

In late October my writing partner and I went away for a needed “fiction” writing retreat. I emphasize fiction because the writing momentum for my novel had nearly come to a screeching halt. Actually, it was more of a halt without the screech. I had gotten busy with editing my latest release The Zero Point Agreement: How To Be Who You Already Are.    (Available now!) So this blog is about opening up to the what’s next. But it is also about the value of turning back. How many times have you been on a trip, or on holiday and … Continue reading

The Simplicity of Happiness

Keeping things simple makes us happy. The centipede was happy, quite! Until a toad in fun asked, “Pray which leg goes after which?” This worked his mind to such a pitch He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.             (Zen poem memorized from childhood)   All these are proven methods to generating happiness by keeping it simple:       In a big project, focus on the next step close in. (We tend to put our attention on 3 to 4 steps out.)  In a difficult situation, practice an ethical or spiritual principle. … Continue reading

Aspiring from Within: The Power of Your Intentions

The practice of conscious intentions is not just a method of contemplation but a real means to influence our perceptions, emotions, thoughts and experiences. Intentions train our mind, and direct our experiences. Intentions have two aspects: the cognitive aspect of wanting to cultivate something, and the intentional actions themselves. These actions resonate directly with the held intention. Therefore, you will witness your intention within the resulting action and experience. We begin with a higher wish to cultivate a quality such as compassion, creativity, or dialogue. This wish is an internal one created through an intention such as: I maintain the spirit … Continue reading

Your Legacy and My Inheritance

In the movie Monsieur Ibrahim the story shows not only how we all leave something behind as a legacy but how ultimately we choose what we want to inherit and from whom. We can choose our birthrights. We cannot choose our biological parents (and as this story shows our bio-parents don’t always want us). But we can choose our true fathers and mothers and their legacies. We do not have to take on the legacy of our biological parents of abandonment, alcoholism, or favoritism. And in my case (and maybe yours) the monetary inheritance that was once there has long been given to … Continue reading

How to Be Who You Already Are

Life is a journey of discovery and belonging. It is about making meaning from our experiences for ourselves while allowing the meaning we have made to change.  The active life is about being able to create and discover meaning in an ongoing way and not hold on to one meaning or we may miss an opportunity at hand. As Joseph Campbell put it, “If we are hanging on to the form now, we are not going to have the form next.” When we review our life and recall times that we experienced an awakening or an epiphany (either through someone else’s teachings … Continue reading

Six Signs of Suffering

  “As long as we live in the misperception of being a separate entity, we encounter frustration, confusion, difficulties and turmoil.” –Ken McLeod, Wake Up to Your Life All of our suffering can be linked to the illusion of separation that we experience on a personal level. Every separation we “see” in the outside originates in some inner belief of separation. Although this original belief took root from some life experience (a narcissist parent, a trauma, a lack of intimacy or bonding as a child, abuse, neglect, etc.,) it has now become part of our inner landscape. When our history teaches … Continue reading

Making A Difference

Many who want to make a difference often don’t get beyond their desire to make a difference. There tends to be a gap between what people say they want to do and what they actually accomplish. It’s in their hearts to benefit others but they get lost somewhere in the gap. Fortunately, to make a difference we need only keep it simple and natural. Evidence (and our basic intuition) points to how these three simple actions can provide us ways to make a difference––When we have clarity about what we want to be involved in, when we engage with others and with our natural … Continue reading