Friday, May 30, 2003

Blogging in Cleveland

I had the opportunity to participate in an interesting event last night about blogging. It was sponsored by the Cleveland Association of Internet Professionals and the Society of Professional Journalists. Free-lance writer John Ettore served as our conductor. Crain's Cleveland Business and many other organizations helped to make the event a success. Of course, George Nemeth's persistence in marketing the event was a big help too. It was an interesting and fun event. This is the type of thing that we should do more of in Cleveland.

The event helped me to see more clearly the complex web of people in the Cleveland area who search for connectivity with themselves and others. I am also amazed at how many independent-thinking people are out there in the world. Each with their own unique take on the world. This is a good thing.

I blog because it is part of my daily practice of self-understanding. That is especially the case with the Conscious Living blog, but it is also true with respect to ED Futures. Both blogs help me gain perspective on the world. They help center me. Whenever my blogging contributes to my own self-understanding, I rejoice and celebrate the benefits of blogging.

Since we are karmic spiders by nature, we love spinning and navigating webs. The Internet is not the real web. The Web of Life, which Fritjof Capra and others have written about, is the real web that we seek connection with. The real web is what my longstanding friend and University of Arizona roommate, Derk Janssen, calls the "Innate Energy Matrix," or the IEM. As Derk and many others remind us, there is a sacred geometry of life. The code is available to all who are willing to look inside themselves. The Internet and blogging are new channels that can help us connect with the web of life.

Kudos to the organizers, sponsors and all who helped with the Cleveland Blog Fest. Thanks for including me. Let's do more of this.

Putting the Pieces Back Together

"I am reminded of the story of the teacher who tears to shreds a map of the world and, thinking it an impossible task, gives it to a recalcitrant student to put together. Within ten minuutes the boy is back, the task completed. Astonished, the teacher asks him how he did it. The boy replies: When I turned the pieces over, I found a torn-up man. I put him together, and when I looked at the other side the world was whole again." By Soozi Holbeche, The Way Ahead.

This wonderful little story reminds us that the answer to the world's problems is people. Once we make ourselves whole, our world falls into place as it should be. When we fall apart, our world falls apart.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

To Be of Use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

By Marge Piercy
Circles on the Water

Wow! That was just what I needed.

Dealing with Your Creative Energy

Julia Cameron's Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity has been a special book for me for some time. I remember buying the book when it was first released n 1992. I was on a business trip in Washington, DC and had an hour between meetings so I visited a local bookstore. I committed myself to Cameron's 12-week course on "Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self." It was just what I needed at the time. My morning journal began at that point and I began to accept that I was a creative human being.

This morning I re-read Chapter 10 of the Artist's Way, which deals with how we block our creative energy. Cameron says that when we are clear about who we are and where we are going, our creative energy flows freely and we experience no strain. When we resist that flow and what it might show us, we have a tendency to shut down that flow.

Creative energy is spiritual energy. It's a part of us all the time, regardless of whether we use it or not. Sometimes we ignore what our creative energy has to tell us because it asks us to be open and flow with the Universe in ways that we don't want.

How do we shut down our creative flow? Some people head for the refrigerator and gorge themselves on ice cream or another food of choice. Others grab the bottle and drink themselves into a stupor. For others, their work is how they block their creative energy. Cameron reminds us that we need both courage and grace to admit and surrender our blocking devices.

Technology makes it easy to block our creative energy. Our television, computer and yes even our cell phone can block our creative energy. And yes, we can use these things to spur our creative flow.

Life cycles around and through us. I needed to remind myself of how I sabotage my own creativity at times. Re-reading a part of the Artist's Way was just the reminder that I needed.

You might enjoy a visit to the Artist's Way website. Go here.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Playing the Blues

When asked how he sings and plays the blues, Duke Ellington replied: "I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues."

Each of us creates in our own way. Embedded in the very gift of life is the ability to create. What have I created with my life this fine sunny Sunday morning?


"For sixty years I have been forgetful, every minute, but not for a second has this flowing toward me stopped or slowed. I deserve nothing. Today, I recognize that I am the guest the mystics talk about. I play this living music for my host. Everything today is for the host."

Jelaluddin Rumi, Sufi seer and poet.

Now, that is what I call gratitude.

Being Present

I changed the sub-title to Conscious Living this morning. As I meditated this morning, the idea popped into my head that I should call it "Being Present." My cat actually brought the idea to my consciousness by rubbing up against me as I sat with my mind racing in a million different directions. Her rub reminded me to "get back into the present." God knows my mind was everywhere but the present before she gently reminded me. So, I have my cat Murphy to thank for the new subtitle to this blog.

Saturday, May 24, 2003


"The greatest advances in man's understanding of the universe are made by intuitive leaps at the frontiers of knowledge, not by intellectual walks along well-travelled paths." Andrew Weil, M.D.

Do It Now!

"Somebody ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now."

Michael Landon


"People say that I don't take criticism very well, but I say what the hell do they know?"

Groucho Marx

Connected to the Source

"Master, said the student, "where do you get your spiritual power?"

"From being connected to the source," said the Master.

"You are connected to the source of Zen?"

"Beyond that," said the Master, "I am Zen. The connection is complete."

"But isn't it arrogant to claim connection with the source?" asked the student.

"Far from it," said the Master. "It's arrogant not to claim connection with the source. Everything is connected. If you think you are not connected to the source you are thumbing your nose at the universe itself."

Experiencing Yourself

This quote by Joseph Campbell is priceless: "You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspaper that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be."

Friday, May 23, 2003

Personal Energy Leaks

Everything in life that draws our attention places a demand on our personal energy. This suggests we need to be careful what and how much we attend to during the day.

Contrary to what we might believe or feel at times, neither our attention nor energy is unlimited. This suggests that we need to set priorities in terms of where our energy is directed. Energy conservation is a good thing at times.

Another trap to watch out for is how our unconscious mind places demands on our personal energy supply. Unresolved and troublesome issues in our unconscious can create some pretty big energy leaks.

This analogy may help to illustrate my point. When you get a few minutes some day, right click on the toolbar at the bottom of your computer screen. If you are running Windows, you will see something called the "Task Manager" listed on the pop-up screen that opens. Click on Task Manager and behold the significant number of software programs that are running in the background of your computer. You will be amazed at all the stuff that is running on your computer that you didn't even know about.

Some of these programs are non-essential programs to have running all the time. Others you must keep going if you want your computer to work properly. You can close the non-essential programs that you don't want to run that are sapping memory (energy) from your computer. You will also find it interesting to note how much memory some of the "big" programs require.

People and their personal energy are the same way. They have lots of behind the scenes programs that are running and making demands on their energy supply. If you are like me, you can close some of these "programs" down by increasing your awareness of what you're thinking or doing. Meditation is a great way to provide insight into what programs are running on your personal energy computer.

The other key is energy generation. How's your personal powerplant? Mine works a lot better when I meditate and when I get some hard physical exercise on a daily basis. Both give me a nice "re-charge." Don't forget to re-charge your personal battery on a daily basis.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Letting Go of Your Crap

Do you ever feel like you cannot deal with all the crap in your life? I do. Here is something that can help. My personal legislature passed a new bill this morning outlawing the storage of crap on my personal premises. I offer this as model legislation for all who feel the need to "let go" of the crap in their life. I call it the "Cut the Crap Law."

Under the authority granted to this personal legislature by God Almighty, notice is hereby given that it is unlawful for (your name) to store emotional and spiritual crap on these personal premises for more than one hour. Moreover, such crap may not be piled higher than than one inch from the tops of your shoes. Furthermore, all crap must be disposed of in a responsible and non-toxic way to other human beings. Any violation of this law will result in the immediate seizure of the crap by the karmic crap police.

Signed into law on this date, (_______).

Authorized by the members of this personal legislature:

Me: _______________________________

Myself: _______________________________

I: _______________________________

(Your personal seal should be affixed here)

Karmic Spiders

Each of us is a "karmic spider," busily spinning daily webs of relationships, thoughts, feelings and actions that reflect and embody the natal energies that drive us. We must be careful not to get caught up in our own or others' webs.

Here is an alternative to the "Big-Bang" theory of how this world got started. Entire cities, states and nations arise from the daily spinning of the planet's 6.3 billion karmic spiders.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Why I Meditate

I meditate daily because it clears the clutter in my head and it improves my consciousness of who I am and what I am becoming everyday of my life.

I am thankful to Richard Weiner, a master teacher of the Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice, for helping me to get started. Visit the Shambhala Center in Cleveland here.

What We Believe

"Perhaps the only limits of the human mind are those we believe in." Those are the words of Willis Harman, a true pioneer in the field of consciousness studies. You may ask, "what does it matter what I believe about the mind?" It matters a great deal because what you believe about the mind shapes how you see your potential and that of others you encounter in life.

For many years, I have reminded my economic development and higher education clients that "what they believe can at times get in the way of what they can truly know about themselves and their world." This is especially the case where organizational leaders refuse to give new ideas a try. One of the leading issues I confront in my work is that people pre-judge themselves and others around them because they lack the confidence to entertain differences. At times, I feel that the leading cause of organizational and community decline is inadequate self-confidence. It is truly sad to see people under-estimate themselves. And yes, we should not over-estimate ourselves either.

In his book, Global Mind Change, Willis Harman makes the case that we need to expand our consciousness of what we believe. He takes on logical positivism and empiricism as philosophical systems underlying most of what we 'believe" to be science today. Harman shows us how our culture and values give rise to unconscious beliefs, which evade us for the most part, but continue to steer us in particular directions in life. These are important issues for all of us--no matter what we do for a living.

If you want to know more about Willis Harman and his ideas, read Globe Mind Change, which can be purchased at and many other online bookstores.

Do you know about the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)? It's worth a few minutes of your time. It's a get place to sketch both what you believe and what you know.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Reflections on the Seat of the Soul

Gary Zukav's 1989 book, Seat of the Soul, makes a valuable contribution to our ability to understand "soul," which is the central life force within us. I read the book some time ago, but it continues to shape my ability to think about the illusive soul. My journey to live a more conscious life has taken me down the path of understanding my soul.

Zukav reminds us of the difficulty encountered by all that attempt to understand and explain the soul. "Who among us is an expert on the human experience? We have only the gift of sharing perceptions that hopefully can help those on their journey. There is no such thing as an expert on the human experience." While I would agree with Zukav's basic point, I believe that some among us have achieved a greater understanding of spiritual matters than others. For this reason, we have guides to help us find our way, if we choose to seek them out. I am thankful for the many guides and teachers that I have encountered throughout my life.

Zukav says "if you desire to know your soul, the first step is to recognize that you have a soul." Raised in the fundamentalist Christian tradition as a child, the soul referred to the eternal part of me that either went to heaven or hell after my physical body died. While my spiritual beliefs have changed dramatically since my younger years, my early training gave me a desire to know my soul. For that, I am thankful.

The soul, according to Zukav and many other writers on the subject, exists outside of time. Moreover, the soul evolves across several lifetimes. This evolution is shaped by our karma, which is not a moral dynamic as many people have chosen to see it, rather it is a law of the universe that seeks to balance energy in our life. Karma serves us as an impersonal and universal teacher of responsibility.

Seat of Soul is full of valuable insights that have strengthened not only my intellectual understanding of these spiritual matters, but also my ability to live a more conscious life.

You can purchase Seat of the Soul at You might also find Gary Zukav's website to be of interest.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Welcome to Conscious Living

Consciousness requires daily practice. This blog is part of my daily consciousness practice. It will hopefully bring some discipline encouraging me to stop and reflect daily about the world, what I give to it and what I take away.

This is a blog about anything that excites the spirit--creativity, compassion, meditation, contemplation, dreams, intuition, learning, valuing, humor, connecting and many other things. I'm fairly eclectic, so look for a mix of Eastern and Western ideas in my muses and writings to this blog.

Stop by whenever your spirit moves you. Please don't be a stranger.

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