Sunday, June 29, 2003

Get yourself out of your own way in reaching your calling...

"Oscar Wilde said: 'Each man kills the thing he loves.' And it's true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all who have failed to get what they want and feel we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes, and never reached their goal--when it was only a step away."

From: The Alchemist, By Paulo Coelho

I suppose each of us has managed to get in the way of our own success in life. I think of more than a few occasions when I was my own worst enemy--just the self-defeating thoughts that we carry around in the back of our mind are enough to de-rail our quest to find and be who we really are.

Ybor City...

is the old cigar manufacturing district of Tampa, Florida. The area's historical buldings captivate the imagination. For an 'imaginarien' like myself, it does not take much for me to picture the district 100 years ago. The sweet smell of aged tobacco jumps out at you as you walk the sidewalks. A colorful mix of people share the sidewalk with you.

My wife Mary and I ate at an interesting and delicious restaurant called Bernini's, which serves the sweetest Grouper atop a mound of garlic mashed potatoes that I've tasted anywhere. My Chianti wine was divine. Just what we needed after a day of travel.

Yba City is worth a visit next time you're in Tampa. It helps us understand what life in the world of cigars was all about a century ago and what it's like today. Ybor City is a soulful place. I think it is very good that cities are building on their past as they build their futures. That is what the soul does for us.

Stories of people's lives...

Travel is so rewarding when you meet new people and gain insights into their intriguing lives. It was a pleasure for my wife Mary and I to talk with two women who owned retail shops in St. Petersburg, FL--one a dress shop and the other a Christmas ornament shop.

One woman's Greek grandfather started the sponge industry in the Tarpon Springs area. She wrote a delightful book about him, other ancestors and other Greeks coming to Tarpon Springs. She dedicated the book to her 18-year old daughter, who was tragically killed in a auto accident some years ago. I was amazed at her love of family and her ability to share her family with others, including strangers. I guess that is why I wrote my family history 10 years ago.

A second shop owner was a widely travelled woman who spent time living in Sedona, AZ and many other places. She had wonderful stories to tell about how her travels shaped her life. She too finds people to be the most important aspect of travel--getting to know them, learning from them and sharing her life with them.

I am convinced that these two women do what they do for a living because they enjoy people. If that is your love, running a retail shop, even with all of its hardships and difficulties, can be a rewarding experience.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Simple pleasures...

Life offers us many simple pleasures each day. They are gifts to be recognized and appreciated. Who is not capable of giving or receiving a hug or a giving a hearty handshake? Who is not capable of reveling in the sweet scent of a wildflower? Who is not capable of sharing a smile with a friend or stranger? The best things in life are truly free.

To forgive is...

to let go of our feelings of resentment, hurt and sorrow we hold for another. Forgetting is often easier than forgiving, but forgiving lasts a lot long. Time does not always heal all wounds. Forgiveness is a conscious act that requires us to examine our role in the pain we experience.


is whatever we hold onto, including our beliefs and points of view. The hardest thing to hold onto is the now. All of our other attachments deny us the joy of living in the present.


There will always be those who seek the special gifts of all times. For them the path of ancient wisdom holds the answers to life's most perplexing questions. All of us seek, but not all find what they look for. What questions cause an uprising in your heart and soul? That is the starting question no matter which path you take. Finding the right question always precedes finding the right answer.

Friday, June 27, 2003

And even more images of life...

And this time from Morocco...

Seeing your way across Morocco.


More images of life...

This time from Tibet. Can you imagine? This is very powerful stuff...


One man's journey and what he saw.

Soul of Tibet.

Travels through Tibet.

Sometimes it takes an...

image to move you.

Visit the Art From the Soul Gallery online for some very moving images from its astronomical arts exhibit. Wow!

Pictures of natual beauty stir you? Try the eNature Gallery. Another Wow!

Hold your breath. Take a look at these wonderful pictures of Spain at the Andalucia Photo Gallery. These images aren't bad either. Wow again and again!

Thursday, June 26, 2003


does not consist in saying what no one else has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself."

-James Stephens, Writer


consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought."

-Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Nobel Laureate in Medicine

"Feng shui is...

relevant to our lives in helping us to find and be in the right place at the right time." It is highly relevant to industrial site location and economic development. And yes, it's a bit "out there," but we need to stretch our horizons as we think about how to find the right place for business and other things in the future.

Feng shui helps us to understand the power of location and positioning. That's what I learned from my conversation this afternoon with Jim Nemeth, a geography professor at the University of Toledo and an expert in feng shui. Thanks Jim for sharing these insights.

Letting go...

is not easy. Humans seem to have a miraculous ability to hold onto all kinds of stuff in their lives, including unhealthy attitudes about themselves and others. Why is letting go so difficult?

Why is it so easy to hold onto our resentment, anger, fear, and hurt, and so hard to hold onto our love, joy and happiness?

A Tribute to Summer...

A Boy's Summer
By Don Iannone

Summers lasted forever when we were young,
Each day was an heroic journey
Full of adventure and fun,
There was so much we had to see and do.

Summers were a break from school,
But some of life's most important lessons
Were learned from our summertime play,
Remember when you first learned to climb a tree?

The sun turned us into brownberries,
Getting dirty was a sign of just how much
Fun you had that day,
Remember when you mastered your first hook shot?

There were caves to explore,
Places Mom begged us to avoid,
Which made it all the more important that we go there,
Remember when you first rode your two-wheeled bike without Dad's help?

How is it we never tired of playing baseball for hours on end?
And when we weren't playing the game,
We were busy studying it on the back of baseball cards,
Remember when you first learned to hit a curve ball?

Rainy days were when we really developed our imaginations,
When did a rainy day ever stop a child's play?
The smell of a fresh summer rainfall still fills my nostrils,
Remember when you actually saw lightening split a tree in half?

There were endless fields to be walked and searched
For Indian arrowheads and other artifacts,
What a delight to find that perfect triangle,
Remember that first time you wanted to be an Indian and not a cowboy?

Over the summer, your schoolmates morphed into
Gangly adolescents overnight,
You hardly recognized your friends by summer's end,
Remember that first fleeting kiss with the girl next door?

Family vacations brought both joy and torment,
After all, you had to leave your friends behind
And play with your little sister for two weeks,
Remember the ordeal in finding a roadside motel with a pool?

Summers were lifetimes filled with special moments,
Sleeping at night was never a problem,
There was never a day you dreaded to come,
Remember the magic of your childhood summers.


"Today, I will stop straining to know what I don't know, to see what I can't see, to understand what I don't yet understand. I will trust that being is sufficient, and let go of my needs to figure things out."

From: The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie.

This is a tough one for me. How about you?

Gandhi once said...

"What lies ahead of you and what lies behind you is nothing compared to what lies within you."

That famous character Anonymous once said...

"We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start."

Baseball great Dizzy Dean once said...

"It ain't bragging if you can do it."

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Interior design...

is not just about how we organize our houses and their furnishings. It's also about how we organize our inner lives, which have their own "interior designs" that seek balance and connection among body, mind and spirit.

Feng shui teaches us there is a powerful connection between the physical house we live in and the energy that fills and guides our psychological and spiritual lives.

This thought occurred to me after recently visiting Reflections, an interior design and furnishings company in Cleveland Heights. So much of life's understanding comes to us by way of metaphor, analogy and symbol.

Special gifts...

Sadly, people at times under-estimate the extraordinary gifts and talents they possess. None of us should discount our personal power to make a difference in ourselves and the world. Seek and use your gifts to the fullest. Honor your teachers who are the source of your gifts.

Enlightened Business Institute...

Steve Goldberg passed along this very interesting bit of information to me.

" is a Buddhist group lead by an extraordinary man, Geshe Michael Roache. He left a hugely successful publishing company that he built to become a monk and studied until he gained his "geshe lharampa," the PhD of Tibetan Buddhism. They have created the Enlightened Business Institute. I would love to take their course."

Thanks Steve.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Spirituality in business...

I have been on a fascinating learning path in recent months that has led me to many interesting people. Today, I visited over lunch with Grant Marquit from Enterprise Development Inc. (EDI) at Case Western Reserve University.

Grant and I talked about many things, but one thing worthy of note is that the role of spirituality in business in growing. Both of us acknowledged the sensitivity required in making this connection, but we agreed that leaders of small and large companies alike were looking for "appropriate" ways to advance the spiritual basis of business.

In our own ways, Grant and I have been trying to do that. So have many others, including Richard Boyatzis and David Cooperrider in CWRU's Weatherhead School of Management.

On a national level, groups like the World Business Academy, and the Institute for Noetic Sciences, are forging ties between spirituality and business.

Grant, thanks for the fascinating conversation.

Polishing the inner silver...

Last week I had a delightful lunch with David Akers from EagleCheck and Cleveland Bridgebuilders, which is a wonderful leadership development group here in Cleveland that is intent upon filling the gaps in our local civic and community leadership. Since then, David and I have exchanged some insightful emails.

One thing David and I talked about was the distinction between external and internal leadership. External leadership refers to how we employ our leadership abilities to help and serve others. Internal leadership is about "polishing the inner silver" so it can shine through in everything we do in life -- at home, work or in the community.

My work and life experiences have taught me that the quality of our inner leadership, or how we manage our own body, mind and spirit, is tanamount to our success as external leaders.

David, thank you for the conversation.

Cleveland Bridge Builders website.

Honoring those you love...

It is always important to honor those we love in our life. Today (June 24) marks my wife Mary and my 13th anniversary. It is a day of celebration and honoring for us. We have shared a wonderful journey through life together since we first met.

Both consciously and unconsciously we are teachers to one another. The quality of our relationship has added to our wholeness as human beings. What more could anyone ask for in life?

I am thankful for Mary and all she has brought to my life.

Monday, June 23, 2003


The Catalina Mountains, which form the northern border of Tucson, Arizona, is fighting for its life. Mount Lemmon, a place with very special memories, is in trouble at this moment. The Aspen fire, named after an old hiking trail near which it was thought to have begun on Tuesday, has consumed at least 11,400 acres of dense woods and brush in the Coronado National Forest northeast of Tucson.

While many forest fires result from human negligence, fire has its natural place in our ecological order. We hate to lose our precious natural resources to fire, but at times that is Nature's way of providing balance to her system.

Many cultures have gods and goddesses of fire. Hephaestus is the Greek God of Fire. In Roman mythology, Vulcan symbolized fire. Fire must be respected because of its power to not only destroy but meld and weld us together.

My father-in-law, Ken, was a fire warrior. He fought fire for a living for over 30 years. He knew the ways of fire--its many dances. I miss him. There is a wisdom associated with fire that all of us must come to understand at one or more points in our lives.

Know the ways of fire and respect its ability to both consume and create.

"The wattage of...

celebrity has cheapened because they are absolutely everywhere."
-Kim France, editor in chief of Lucky, on the declining reliance on big name stars.
New York Times, June 23, 2003

I wonder whether this is really true. Why else would Nike give LeBron James, an 18-year high school basketball star from Akron, Ohio, a $90 million contract to help sell more shoes?

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Don't allow your work...

to victimize you.

"The more I refused to lose my soul to a job, and worked at it because I wanted to and not for the paycheck, the less victimized I felt by my career, even those jobs that paid a meager salary." From: The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie.


is the trigger of success."
- Anonymous

Stupid me. For years, I thought it was being smart and working hard. Why didn't they teach us to be passionate in school?

Here is what the writer Janet Hagberg has to say about passion.

"Passion is the engagement of our soul with something beyond us, something that helps us put up with or fight against insurmountable odds, even at high risk."


lift us higher. They are the wings that help us fly.

A few quotes about dreams from others:

"When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes."
- Oprah Winfrey

"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil."
- James Allen, Novelist (1849-1925)


My wife Mary shared these two wonderful quotes with me about trust. I pass them on to you.

"Those who trust us, educate us."
- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda

"Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live."
- Joann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Time is...

a figment of our imagination. It does not exist independent of mind.

Try this. Imagine life in a timeless world. How would things change?

This simple idea is full of learning and adventure for all of us. For one, there is no longer a need to "rush." It leads me to this question: "What's the hurry?" There is no "hurry" in a timeless world.

I know what you're is too short, I got to this and got to that ... No, life is what it is--nothing more and nothing less. Life is now.


starts with accepting that nothing in life is permanent. How can you sustain that which is not permanent? You cannot. Our minds become overly fixed on things...they obsess to hold onto mere transitory thoughts. This too was a subject of my conversation yesterday with Richard Weiner.

Be careful...

what you obsess about in your life. Many things in life are worthy of our attention, but few are worthy of an obsession. Most obsessions are rooted in ego preservation. I say "let go" of whatever obsesses you. Hold onto to now--that's real!

The zen of baseball...

was one of many interesting things that I talked with my friend Richard Weiner over lunch yesterday. Richard is responsible for me finding my way to meditation. Richard is a master teacher of meditation. Thanks again Richard.

Is there such a thing as the zen of baseball? I think there is.

Many of us have read The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance and maybe some have picked up a copy of the Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game.

Bailey Molineux, a pyschologist and the author of Loving Isn't Easy, says that "when you play a sport, you forget yourself for awhile. You are totally centered in the present. Nothing else seems important. When setting up for a golf swing, you try to concentrate all of your attention on that stupid little ball in front of you. Spiritual masters have been telling us for thousands of years that there is joy in the present and in losing yourself. Buddhists call it Zen."

I believe the same thing could be said about playing and watching baseball. Maybe that is why I collect old baseball cards. It's a zen thing! Gee, maybe that is the problem that needs to get fixed so the Cleveland Indians can get back on the winning track--that is the team needs to create more zen.

Friday, June 20, 2003

"Be wary of the traveler...

who says he's always at home." Home is our spiritual center--our real ground zero. I'm just a traveler trying to spend more time at home.

Looking for music that deeply touches…

the soul? Try this unique piece of Russian spiritualist music called Ancient Echoes directed by Alexander Sedov.

What is it? It’s monastic music, combining chants with beautiful liturgies. Deep. Moving. Enchanting.

Link for more information


the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite."

–William Blake

Thomas Moore on the soul…

“It becomes clearer every day that we live in a world cut off from the healing depths of its soul. The soul gives us character, individuality, connection, and humanity. But the soul flourishes only when we bring to it daily care, when we take time to be with others, to connect with nature, and to work at what matters.”

Thomas Moore website.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Conscious Living has been listed and reviewed...

Thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer for listing Conscious Living on its Weblog page.

Also, a special thanks to my Sarasota-based friend Joe Simonetta for doing a special review of the CL website in the World Business Academy's Connections Journal.

By the way, Joe has just announced he is running for Congress from Florida's 13th District. His slogan is: "I'll represent the many, and not the money."

Commenting software has been installed...

so now you can add comments to the Conscious-Living website by simply clicking on the link entitled "comments" at the bottom of each article posting. It was just added two days ago. Please use it to share your comments. Also, read what others have to say.

My thanks to Enetation Commenting Software for providing the service.

Poetry seems to be...

on everybody's mind.

My Connecticut friend Mark Waterhouse sent along this poem from his 35th Dartmouth class reunion.

Mark and I go back a long ways. Because of our joint work in the California economic development market, we can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the I-5/US 99 drive from LAX Airport through Bakersfield, through Tulare, through Fresno, through Modesto, through Merced, through Sacramento to Chico, which is 90 miles north of Sacramento. It was a great series of adventures! Thanks for driving, Mark.

Here's the poem.

A Timbered Choir
by Wendell Berry

Slowly, slowly, they return
To the small woodland let alone:
Great trees, outspreading and upright,
Apostles of the living light.

Patient as stars, they build in air
Tier after tier a timbered choir,
Stout beams upholding weightless grace
Of song, a blessing on this place.

They stand in waiting all around,
Uprisings of their native ground,
Downcomings of the distant light;
They are the advent they await.

Receiving sun and giving shade,
Their life's a benefaction made.
And is a benediction said
Over the living and the dead.

In fall their brightened leaves, released,
Fly down the wind, and we are pleased
To walk on radiance, amazed.
O light come down to earth, be praised!

There is a picture that goes with the poem, which you can download by clicking here.

Immediate responses to...

the first Conscious Living e-newsletter have been very positive, and there have been lots of them. In the past 24 hours, I received nearly 40 emails saying sign me up. More importantly, people can relate to what they find on the C-L website. That's cool!

Since several of you have asked whether I experienced an epiphany, the answer is yes and no. Yes, I am seeing life more clearly. No, God did not invite me to lunch.

My journey has been lifelong, but some very special things have happened in the past decade. I'm in a new personal and spiritual growth phase. It's a good thing, but as they say "no pain, no gain." so there are some bumps in the road, but hey, that's life, right?

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Want to see something special?

My friend Richard Whisnant from UNC-Chapel Hill shared a wonderful website and short movie he made during a recent trip to Nepal. I share this with you, including an insightful poem from the website. Thanks Richard!

Washing Shadows
By Putli Sadak

Sometimes I feel like
Washing a shadow, washing all the shadows.

I pour water over them,
And I rub soap,
But I can neither scrub nor wring them.
Nor can I take them up in my hands.

I dump water over them.
I dump water over them with force,
But the shadow,
The shadows stay the same, just where they were.

I don't want to waste my time
Washing a shadow,
Washing shadows.
I don't want to waste my hope and energy.

That's why, that's exactly why I have set about
Leaving the surface slogans, the clichés,
Going to the depth of the meaning of words,
I want to wash the whole earth clean.

Yet shadows cannot be washed.
We can only keep them or remove them
Shake them,
Or let them be still.

Website address.
Link to Richard's video. Well worth five minutes of your time.

Letting go...

Letting Go
Author unknown

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can't do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off,
it's the realization I can't control another.

To "let go" is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another,
it's to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for,
but to care about.

To "let go" is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to be protective,
it's to permit another to face reality.

To "let go" is not to deny,
but to accept.

To "let go" it not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings, and correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires
but to take each day as it comes,
and cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To "let go" is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less,
and love more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Follow your calling...

"Perhaps the main reason that we ignore calls is that we instinctively know the price they'll exact. In order to become authentic, we're going to have to give up something dear: a job, a house, a relationship, a belief, a lifestyle to which we've become accustomed, the prestige of being a big fish in any size pond, security, money, precious time, anger at somebody, or just the pleasures of cynicism."

From: Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, by Gregg Levoy, Harmony Books, 1997.


you are, be there totally."

The Power of Now
Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes this is hard advice to heed, especially when we are in a place of pain and suffering.

"The revolutionary idea that...

defines the boundary between modern times and the past is the mastery of risk: the notion that the futute is more than a whim of the gods and that men and women are not passive before nature. Until human beings discovered a way across that boundary, the future was a mirror of the past or the murky domain of oracles and soothsayers who held a monopoly pver knowledge of anticipated events."

Source: Against All Odds: The Remarkable Story of Risk, by Peter L. Bernstein, John Wiley Press, 1998.

Monday, June 16, 2003

On Holden Pond...

The Holden Arboretum is one of our favorite places. The lilly pond is an extraordinary sight this time of year. So filled with life! It is the tranquility and serenity of Holden that keeps me coming back. Truly sacred ground.

I feel so "connected" and filled with life when I stand gazing at the blooming flowers and shrubs, or when we walk through the cool dark forest that surrounds the Arboretum. What a wonderful way to spend a Spring Sunday afternoon!

Holden Arboretum

The Clifton Art Festival was...

very interesting. My wife and I really enjoyed the Clifton Art Festival, which is held annually on Cleveland's far westside. It was refreshing to see people connected to music, art, place, fresh air and sunshine and other people. The experience speaks to not only Cleveland's diversity, but more importantly the richness of our human fabric.

My overall assessment: the people WERE the art.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Being a father...

I now really understand what my father is all about--his restless suffering, his joy, his hopes and his practical vision of how to a lead a life are plainly simple to me now. I give thanks to my sons, Jeffrey and Jason, for being teachers and helping me to understand my own father and to understand the father inside of me. I give thanks for Evan, my grandson, who reminds all of us to seek our own inner child. Truly..."the child is father of the man."

I also see that fathering is both an instinct and a skill that we can hone over time, whether we have chidren or not.

I celebrate my children just as they are and who they are.

Hey Dad...

Happy Father's Day and I love you! Thanks for turning me on to poetry. I secretly watched as you wrote poetry many mornings at the kitchen table before you went to your job as a millwright at Sylvania Electric in Wheeling. I now know those were the times when your heart was free to sing its own song.

It is...

a wise father that knows his own child.

- William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice


is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope.

- Bill Cosby


we weren't all crazy we would go insane.

- Jimmy Buffet

A man's...

errors are his portals of discovery.

- James Joyce


never abandons you; you abandon it.

- George Weinberg

Blessed is...

the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.

- George Eliot

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Talk about eye candy...

Visit the Cleveland Botancial Garden's website for a look at what's in bloom. The Garden's grand re-opening celebration will take place on June 27.

Plants and flowers are powerful teachers. Sign up for a personal course in a garden of your choice. Unleash your senses. Look, listen, smell, touch, carefully, taste, selectively and yes even imagine.

Cleveland Botanical Garden website.

Understanding grows in the context of history...

History creates an understanding of how we have become who and what we are today. This section from Robert Wheeler's history of Ohio City provides some beautiful insights into why Cleveland/Greater Cleveland's economic and social landscape is what it is today.

"Many of the changes which happened on the west side of the Cuyahoga River were typical of the period from 1820 to 1878. The Ohio City area underwent these changes in more rapid succession than most areas of the country and certainly more quickly than any other within the Western Reserve. In the space of one decade (1830-1840) the northeastern portion of Brooklyn Township was transformed from a farming area to an industrial village. In the space of two decades (1840-1860) it had achieved an identity as a place for workingmen to live - workingmen born in Germany and Ireland. By the beginning of the 1870s the town had become a prosperous suburb which aspired to become an equal partner. The social and economic history of the Ohio City area militated against parity between the two sides, however. Several elements fixed the main contributions of the near west side. First, the Indian treaty postponed settlement and ultimately gave Cleveland an edge in population which was not overcome. Second, once settlement began on the west side, the geography of the river’s mouth and placement of the canal terminus on the east side made it the commercial center and left industrial development to the west side. Therefore, its major strength was that west side residents led Cleveland into the industrial revolution and into the economic commitment to the lake port. Unfortunately, some of the potential expansion of the west side was restricted by the lack of adequate transportation between the two sides. Some residents, remembering the brilliant future predicted for Ohio City in the 1830s, were disappointed in the inferior position which the area occupied. These residents did not see that within the realities of the period Ohio City had made significant, lasting contributions to the social and economic life of the entire region."

From: Pleasantly Situated on the West Side: An Economic and Social History of the Ohio City Area, 1796-1878.
By Robert A. Wheeler

Vivid images of life...

Poet and Viet Nam vet Bruce Weigl helps us to see life in all its vividness.

The Last Lie

Some guy in the miserable convoy
Raised up in the back of our open truck
And threw a can of C rations at a child
Who called into the rumble for food.
He didn't toss the can, he wound up and hung it
On the child's forehead and she was stunned
Backwards into the dust of our trucks.

Across the sudden angle of the road's curving
I could still see her when she rose,
Waving one hand across her swollen, bleeding head,
Wildly swinging her other hand
At the children who mobbed her,
Who tried to take her food.

I grit my teeth to myself to remember that girl
Smiling as she fought off her brothers and sisters.
She laughed
As if she thought it were a joke
And the guy with me laughed
And fingered the edge of another can
Like it was the seam of a baseball
Until his rage ripped
Again into the faces of children
Who called to us for food.

Bruce Weigl
Lorain, Ohio-born poet and author of Archeology of the Circle, his latest book of poems.

Life's magic...

All of us are struck from time to time by life's magical qualities. What is magic? Here is what Sir James George Frazier had to say about magic in his classic work, The Golden Bough,in 1922.

"If we analyse the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not."

Is science really that vastly different than art when thought of in these terms?

Music to my soul...

Poetry is music to the soul. English verse touches us with its lulling rhythm.

The Incomprehensible
Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Far in the Heavens my God retires:
My God, the mark of my desires,
And hides his lovely face;
When he descends within my view,
He charms my reason to pursue,
But leaves it tir’d and fainting in th’ unequal chase.

Or if I reach unusual height
Till near his presence brought,
There floods of glory check my flight,
Cramp the bold pinions of my wit,
And all untune my thought;
Plunged in a sea of light I roll,
Where wisdom, justice, mercy, shines;
Infinite rays in crossing lines
Beat thick confusion on my sight, and overwhelm my soul.…

Great God! behold my reason lies
Adoring: yet my love would rise
On pinions not her own:
Faith shall direct her humble flight,
Through all the trackless seas of light,
To Thee, th’ Eternal Fair, the infinite Unknown.

Finding beauty in the simple...

Carl Sandburg found beauty in the simple America that surrounded him: the farms, industry, landscape, culture, and most importantly, the American people.

The Skyscraper Loves Night
By Carl Sandburg

ONE by one lights of a skyscraper fling their checkering cross work on the velvet gown of night.
I believe the skyscraper loves night as a woman and brings her playthings she asks for, brings her a velvet gown,
And loves the white of her shoulders hidden under the dark feel of it all.

The masonry of steel looks to the night for somebody it loves,
He is a little dizzy and almost dances … waiting … dark …

Friday, June 13, 2003

Timeless Reflection

Broken clocks,
Lost time,
Seeping like water
Through any crack,
Running away won't help,
You can never bring back
What you never had.

Foolish boy,
Sitting all alone,
Waiting for the clouds to pass
And for the sun to shine.

An old man stares through the
Young boy's eyes,
Seeing the shadows of life about to appear
As the sun breaks free.

The old man knows the boy,
But the boy knows nothing of the man,
Even if they came face to face,
The boy would only see a stranger,
Just another person looking back from the crowd.

Clocks and clouds,
Sunshine and time,
Old men and young boys,
Shadows and strangers,
Only time will tell.

Don Iannone
From: Where Life's Journeys Lead Me: One Man's Prismatic Search for Meaning
November 1992

"We live in...

"a rapidly changing world--a world that refuses to stand still long enough for us to really know or understand its essence.

We live in a world of shapes and colors we vaguely glimpse from our car windows as we drive to work each morning--a world we see at times in harsh images projected on our television screens and embedded in our newspaper headlines.

We live in a multi-dimensional world, segmenting our lives into phases and cycles--a world bound by time, forming the walls of history within which each of our generations lives.

It is also a world that transcends time through imagination and inspiration, and one that is perpetuated by our hopes, our fears and our dreams.

We live in a world that shapes us daily--a world we in turn help to shape through our actions, thoughts and words--a world shaped by complex new technologies, institutions and values, which often surprise and startle us into new realities foreign to our experience.

We live in a world where each generation seeks to know more about life than the last.

We live in a world that moves in and out of focus as quickly as we blink an eye--a world where meaning and understanding must be re-created constantly because of the impermanence of human experiences--a world striving for more peace and goodness, but still torn by great sadness and human misery.

We live in a world that exists today only because we continue to believe in a better tomorrow--a world that pushes and pulls us toward the future, even when our own inertia seeks to hold us back."

Don Iannone
From: The History of the Vito Anthony and Rhea Milbaugh Iannone Family
June 1994

Family bridges...

"Like a giant relay race through time, life is passed from one generation to the next. The family is the bridge connecting generations across time. Families serve as the common threads running throughout time--connecting past, present and future generations."

By Don Iannone
The History of the Vito Anthony and Rhea Milbaugh Iannone Family
June 1994

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I really hate that...

* People who stand in the middle of the slow moving people mover at the airport. The purpose of this wonderful invention is to speed up your walk, not sit on your fat lazy tourist ass, go home.

* I hate old garage sale signs. You see the sign and get excited about buying someone elses used crap only to find out that that it was five god damn months ago. It should be a federal crime that garage sale signs aren't taken down after the garage sale is over.

* Restaurant maitre’d who sits me at a table next to the kitchen, front entrance or bathroom when the restaurant is completely empty.

Source: I Really Hate That

The feng shui of laughter...

Irreverent Chinese Proverbs:

* Man who run in front of car get tired.
* Man who run behind car get exhausted.
* Man with one chopstick go hungry.
* Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
* War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left.
* Man who drive like hell bound to get there.

Source: DGS Hermit's Idiosyncratic Realm of Solitude

"The Master sees...

things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle." Lao-Tzu, Tao-te-Ching

I have medicine wheels on the brain...

Have you ever wanted to do something totally outrageous--like quit your job and build medicine wheels? Living a conscious life includes being conscious of our dreams, even if they border on the whimsical.

Hey, this idea is not so "out there" for a guy whose first love was archeology.

What's a medicine wheel? Some call them analog star computers. Others point to the different types of medicine wheels in existence. And still others point to the metaphysical and astrological significance of medicine wheels.

What if a city like Cleveland built a medicine wheel that could help people find the city's true essence and connection to the Universe. We don't need St. Louis' Arch, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge or Detroit's Renaissance Center. We need something that is "ecological-by-design" and astro-archeological in significance. A guy like David Orr at Oberlin College would understand this idea. Even an Amory Lovins, who will speak at the Cleveland City Club tomorrow (June 13), would understand the need and connect with the "true power of place."

Some interesting books that have been on the back portion of my bookshelf for too long:

The Power of Place,: Sacred Ground in Natural and Human Environments, edited by James Swan, Quest Books, 1991.

The Power of Place, by Winifred Gallagher, Harper/Perennial, 1994.

The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History, by Dolores Hayden, MIT Press, 1996.

The Labyrinth in Culture and Society: Pathways to Wisdom, by Jacques Attali, North Atlantic Books, 1999.

Deep Ecology for the 21st Century, edited by George Sessions, Shambhala Press, 1995.

Native American Landmarks: A Traveler's Guide, by George Cantor, Gale Research, 1993.

A special thanks to George Nemeth...

for fixing a few problems on the Conscious Living website. I am thankful for guys like George, who are HTML savvy.

Has anyone written the book, Blogging for Dummies? I will pre-order a copy now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

"All journeys begin with...

a single step. All adventures begin with fear. Within the unknown is understanding. Each day is the beginning of a season of growth for each of us." Source: Book of Reflections.

The Labyrinth's Gift

"It has been one of the pleasures of my life to offer the gift of the labyrinth to others. What is the nature of this gift? It seems to me to encompass a journey to the center of one's very being. During the walk inward, with its many surprising and disconcerting turns, one is invited to release old patterns, worn-out ideas and concepts, debilitating emotional memories, and unhappy behaviors. Arriving at the center, the journeyer is asked to experience the recovery of her innate purposeful intelligence, one's essence. Spend time, if desired, there at the center, the still point, and know that at very deep levels, one is in union with the greatest mystery." Source: Helen Curry, The Way of the Labyrinth.

Informative website: Earth Symbols.

The Wounded Mind

"In order to protect our emotional wounds, and because of our fear of being hurt, humans create something very sophistocated in the mind: a big denial system. In that denial system we become the perfect liars. We lie so perfectly that we lie to ourselves and we even believe our own lies." Source: Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love.

God grant me the self-understanding to see the truth beyond my own lies.

"The Master...

lives within everyone. When you give food to the one who is starving, when you give water to the one who is thirsty, when you cover the one who is cold, you give your love to the Master." Source: Don Miguel Ruiz, Mastery of Love

What can I give today to the Master?

"Soul intelligence is...

the intelligence of knowing the whole and recognizing the cause behind the effect. Soul intelligence is an innate knowledge accessed by learning how to develop a singularity of mind and perceiving the invisible creative intelligence behind the visible world. This is a state of equanimity that rises from one's inner life. By cultivating your mind to experience neutrality while observing the circumstances of your life, your mind is free from the irresistable urge to judge everything you experience. In a way, your mind becomes unified with this underlying quantum field from which even polarity is born."

Source: Jared Rosen, Organizational Soul Intelligence

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

"The soul is born old...

but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy."

by Oscar Wilde

"Many of us will find...

that our biggest obstacle to finding authentic human power is our relationships, especially our intimate relationships. But again, we are in 'new territory' and all is not what it had seemed before. We come to see that our relationships are yet another doorway into spiritual enlightenment if we use them wisely, meaning if we use them to become more conscious and therefore more loving human beings. The result? Real communion between self and others."

The Power of Now
By Eckhardt Tolle

The present is...

where our lives find traction. There is no place to gain a foothold in the past and the future. If we truly seek to move our lives ahead we need to spend as much time as we can in the eternal present.

Monday, June 09, 2003

"We invent nothing, truly...

We borrow and re-create. We uncover and discover. All has been given, as the mystics say. We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is."

Henry Miller, Author & Playwright

The creative talent in our communities must be revealed and cultivated. It's already there. We should stop fretting about convincing creative people to come to our town. Simply create a garden where creativity can grow.

"If not ignored,...

nature will cultivate in the gardener a sense of well-being and peace. The gardener may find deep meaning in life by paying attention to the particulars of the garden. Nature teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who chooses to live within the paradigm of the garden."

Norman H. Harmen
The Worth of Gardening

Our garden is whatever we do in life to develop what lies inside us. It can be our art, our work, our play, our love for family and friends.

"To see a world...

in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

William Blake
Auguries of Innocence

We can find truth in small everyday things. We simply need to see truth as an everyday occurrence.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Discover a piece of Cleveland's soul through...

a visit to the Cleveland Sacred Landmarks website. The interiors of these landmarks is more of a Winter thing in my way of thinking, but a tour of the exteriors is very much a Spring and Summer adventure, especially the splendid gardens.

Website link.

Big engines, glass packs, slicks and dangling dice on your rearview mirror...

What was the year? No, not 1969. How about 2003? Last night was Cruise Night in our sleepy little town of Mayfield Village. One evening every June, the town fills with cars from the 50's, 60's and 70's and the air fills with testosterone and the smell of gasoline.

On the way home from a wonderful dinner with our good friends Tyler and Betsy, my wife Mary and I stopped to check out the promenade of vintage cars and 'hot roads" in the village square. What a hoot! It was a "Happy Days" experience. The Fonz would have been proud.

Two wild thoughts popped into my head as I stood watching the looping parade of steroid machines. First, the cars racing their engines around the square were unbelievably well-preserved, but their 50 and 60 plus year old drivers were not. Second, I wondered if there was a "sacred geometry" to this vintage car thing.

The first thought reinforced the necessity of my daily fitness routine and avoidance of the local Krispe Kream shop. As for the second thought, I think there is a sacred geometry of everything, including vintage cars and the cult that surrounds them. My Arizona friend Derk Janssen would call this sacred geometry "essence rediscovery," which is the psycho-spiritual process each of us follows at various points to re-discover ourselves and our essential spiritual nature. The vintage car thing is all about reconnecting with lost or unremembered parts of ourselves, and yes it is also about testosterone.

For some inexplicable reason I'm in the mood for some Beach Boys music this morning.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

If it is true that we are the key…

to our own success, then it is also true we are the key to our own undoing. It is unjust to credit ourselves for our own success and blame others for our failures.


I honor in you the divinity that I honor within myself and I know we are one.

The seven laws for…

engaging the spirit in the workplace are:

· You already have the potential you need.
· Give what you seek.
· Apply cause and effect.
· Do less, accomplish more.
· Clarify your intentions.
· Embrace uncertainty.
· Align yourself and others.

Source: Deepok Chopra, Seven Laws for Engaging Spirit in the Workplace

Deepok Chopra website.

Creativity speaks with…

many different voices—the artistic is but one. We are our own biggest creative challenge; that is to craft and create a life from the multi-faceted energies and potentialities given to us by God. The potential for a creative life exists inside all of us.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Meditation thought for the day

Take refuge in your own honesty.

Cowboy mumble jumble...

* "Raised on prunes and proverbs" refers to a religious person.

* "He's like a breedin' jackass in a tin barn" means he's noisy.

* "Quicker 'n you can spit 'n holler howdy" means very fast.

* "Built like a snake on stilts" means he's real tall.

Some interesting "if" questions...

* If you found that you have a guardian angel, what would you name him or her?

* If you were asked to make the case for the existence of God, what would be Exhibit A?

* If you had to honestly rate your own ego on a comparative scale of 1 to 10, with the average being 5, how would you rate it?

From: If Questions for the Soul by Evelyn McFarland & James Saywell

I posted this message to Barbara Payne's blog this morning...

Everybody is afraid. What is fear and how can we conquer it? Fear is a state of experience and being. We feel "afraid." Often we project our fears onto other people and things. Fear exists inside us.

It takes courage to face our fears. Being aware that we are afraid is step one. Sometimes we are not immediately aware that we are feeling afraid. Beyond awareness, we must accept that we are afraid. At times, we deny our fears because we "fear" we will appear weak to ourselves and others. Awareness and acceptance lead us to an understanding of our fears, and from understanding we can make a conscious choice whether we should continue to be afraid. True understanding is the pivot point for conquering our fears.

Barbara Payne's blog.

Is it possible...

to observe your own "I?" Now, that is a deep question! However, it's hardly a new question since it has been the subject of philosophical and psychological debate and research for many years. This is a central question in the evolving field of consciousness studies, which I stumbled into as I made my way through my own darkness.

In the event that you are not aware of his work, I would like to introduce you to Ken Wilber--one of the deepest thinking human beings out there. Ken Wilber is a well-known integral philosopher and psychologist, who has been at the center of the consciousness studies field for many years.

Wilber says that the logic in studying one's own consciousness--that is applying the well-known techniques of meditation and yoga to observe oneself on a deep level--is to eventually arrive at a point that is beyond all doubt. This is consciousness itself and, paradoxically enough, from this point of awareness one can observe the I, thus arriving at the source, the underlying principle of life itself.

Self-awareness is a good thing. If we do not understand ourselves, tragically we fail to understand all else in the world.

Ken Wilber's website.

Thursday, June 05, 2003


explores the realm where human consciousness meets and dialogues with the Spirit of the Earth. It empowers the harmonious interaction between person and place.

Through the art of appropriate placement of both secular and spiritual structures, places where we pray, work and play, geomancers locate and shape spaces in harmony with both the physical and the spiritual environment of the place.

Geomancers are spiritual ecologists.

From: the Mid-Atlantic Geomancy Website

Do organizations, economies, cities and other human "confabulations" have a spiritual ecology? I think they do. Maybe geomancy and feng shui can someday help us to understand this side of these things. Perhaps if we understood the spiritual ecology of places and things, we would "value" them more. Everything becomes an "asset" when it finds its proper place--even people.

This is why historic preservation, ecological design, in-fill development, art and culture and other activities are growing in popularity as revitalization strategies for communities.

Could we do a better job of developing local economies if we truly understood their sacred geometry? I find that to be an interesting question.

To the worms, I say...

Tombstone Epitaph from Shrewsbury, England

Here lies the body of Martha Dias,
Who was always uneasy, and not over-pious;
She lived to the age of three score and ten,
And gave to the worms what she refused to the men.

Seek a life...

richly endowed with personally meaningful questions, and suddenly you become a truly interesting person.

Do you ever...

take yourself too seriously? Everyone has at one point or another in life. What causes us to do this? Sometimes we get too hung up on ourselves as the "answers" instead of thinking of ourselves as "questions" that keep life going.

Remember the gods have a sense of humor. They love it when we laugh at ourselves. Humor has a way of breaking the hold of self-importance.

It takes courage to...

be who you are, even when others want you to be someone or something else.

Acting is a wonderful career but a terrible way to live a life.

It takes courage to...

ask questions for which we do not already know the answer. Why would anyone ask a question where the answer is known? In a word, "ego," or to show others how much they know.

Our questions reflect where we are in life, as well as where we are going. What questions will lead you through today?

Some say that each human being is a "living question" spawned by other questions. What questions are you the result of? What questions will your life spawn for future generations to explore and live?

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Was Mighty Mouse a Druggie?

Listen to this remarkable story.

Did Mighty Mouse (MM) take cocaine on April 23, 1988, in the TV cartoon show, Mighty Mouse: the New Adventures? It seems that a Tupelo, Mississippi-based watchdog group called the American Family Association (AFA) thought he did, and they complained to CBS about a scene in the show where MM is depressed because his sweetheart has left him and he takes a powdered white substance from this pocket and inhales it. After which, he felt remarkably better.

CBS producer Ralph Bahshi, who was responsible for the cartoon, angrily rejected the accusation: "This is Nazism and McCarthyism all over again. I don't advocate drug use. Who are these people anyway?" Bahshi explained that MM actually sniffed some crushed flowers given to him in an earlier scene by his girlfriend. The scent of the flowers reminded him of happier times when he was with his girlfriend.

What does this little story really tell us? For one, perception is (can be) reality. Secondly, maybe the AFA should take a break and "smell the roses." Finally, I want to know when the sequel, "The Mice Will Play When the Cat's Away," is coming out.

We've come a long way, Baby...

How well versed are you in bathroom etiquette? This little history lesson may amuse you.

In the Middle Ages, it was considered sufficient to step "an arrow's flight" distance into the gardens before doing what had to be done. Royalty apparently even thought this unnecessary--one English noble was appalled to find that the visiting king and retinue defecated wherever they chose throughout his castle--and during a conversation with a young noblewoman, he was surprised to hear tinkling water and watch a puddle spreading across his floor beneath her long dress. Makes you wonder how they ever trained the family pooch.

Officially banned in 1393 in Paris, it was a centuries-long practice to empty bedpans from high windows into the street. So much for sidewalk cafes in Paris in those days.

One of history's earliest etiquette books, penned by Erasmus of Rotterdam (1465-1536), laid down several laws about behavior concerning bodily-functions. "It is impolite," he wrote to greet someone who is urinating or defecating." He then advises the person in need of "breaking wind" to let a cough hide the explosive sound...Follow the law: replace farts with coughs. And I thought all those folks at the Mexican restaurant last night were suffering from the same upper respiratory infection.

You may laugh at this, and hopefully it makes you chuckle, but this too is a part of living consciously. Get on your knees now and thank the Lord God Almighty for sending us sanitary engineers.

It will be...

My friend Diane Tusek passed this one on to me. It comes from the Daily Motivator. I thought I would share it with others. Thanks Diane.

"When you think that the world is against you, it is. When you know that you can do it, you can. If you're sure that today will be tedious and boring, it will be. When you're certain that you can succeed no matter what the obstacles, you will.

Reality is what it is. And yet what truly matters is how you perceive, relate, and respond to that reality. For every situation, what you think, what you believe and what you know will determine what you do about it. And what you do about it will determine how it turns out for you.

Your reality can be completely different than the reality of someone standing right next to you. Because it's not where you are or what you have that matters, but what you do with it.

Though thinking alone does not cause anything to happen, thinking plays a crucial role in determining specifically what does happen.

When you think it, to the point that you know it without a doubt, it will be."

Ralph Marston
The Daily Motivator

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Does Coffee Pick You Up?

I should have asked George Nemeth this question. Instead I consulted the New England Journal of Medicine.

Caffeine doesn't really keep you awake by supplying extra energy; rather it fools your body into thinking it isn't tired. How? When your brain is tired and wants to slow down, it releases a chemical called adenosine, wich travels to special cells called receptors, where it goes to work counteracting the chemicals that stimulate your brain. Caffeine mimics adenosine, and thereby plugs up your receptors preventing the adenosine from getting through. The result is that your brain never gets the signal to slow down, and it keeps building up stimulants.

Wonder why your brain isn't getting the message? Now you know the rest of the story...

Things Will Pan Out

What does this expression mean and where does it come from? It is an optimistic view that things will work out. Its origin comes from when prospectors used to look for gold. They kneel by the river or stream and wash dirt from the bed in a shallow pan. This is called panning. Traditionally, when prospectors were sure they'd find gold, they said things"would pan out." When they didn't find gold, they said things "didn't pan out." Source: Gold!, by Gordon Javna.

Doesn't this sound a lot like economic development?


"Cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it." George Washington

Shit, I guess I better clean up my language.

"I think I am...

therefore, I am...I think." George Carlin

Alternatively, I am what I think I am.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Is This Church Right for Me?

Top Ten Ways You Know You're in the Wrong Church:

10. The church bus has gun racks.
9. The church staff consists of Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor and Socio-pastor.
8. The Bible they use is the "Dr. Seuss Version."
7. There's an ATM in the lobby.
6. Choir wears leather robes.
5. Worship services are B.Y.O.S. -- "Bring Your Own Snake."
4. No cover charge, but communion is a two-drink minimum.
3. Karaoke Worship Time.
2. Ushers ask, "Smoking or non-smoking?"
1. The only song the organist knows is "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

At least two people I know would enjoy this joke: my brother Doug and my good friend Rick Weddle.

Cleverness and Wisdom

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man (woman) is wise by his (her) questions."

Naguib Mahfouz, Nobel Prize Winner

Getting What You Want in Life

The Creative Principle or Creative Impulse will draw everything, everything that you need to make your desire a reality, but you have to release the desire and let it go. The more you are able to let it go [not worry about it] the faster your desire will manifest.

Robert Anthony, Advanced Formula for Total Success.

Children are...

living messages that we send into a future that we may never see.

John W. Whitehead

Forgiveness is...

the willingness to let go--of our self-importance, our pride, our hurt, our resentment and the feeling that we have to get our pound of flesh.

The Four Agreements

I loved Don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Four Agreements. It has been a big help to me since I read it a couple years ago. How could four simple agreements be so hard to uphold?

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

It takes daily practice for me to "try" to uphold these four agreements. The first three are the most difficult for me, especially #2. Because we are so full of ego, we take just about everything personally that comes to us in life.

I am now reading the The Four Agreements Companion Book. It provides some excellent practices that can help us achieve the four agreements.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Evolution is More Collaborative Than Competitive

Charles Darwin's survival of the fittest concept has become embedded in most aspects of our daily lives, from how we do business to structuring learning environments in schools to how we drive on our local interstate highway. Some believe that evolution may have a collaborative side. Maybe the world does not have to be as "dog eat dog' as we think at times.

In the words of James O'Dea, the new incoming President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), "we are coming to know that evolution is more collaborative than it is competitive, and that a complex web of life is intimately interrelated. As we come to know more the nature, depth, and dimensions of our connectedness, we will cross so many of the illusory borders that continue to separate human beings." Source: IONS Noetic Science Review, June-August 2003 issue.

More and more people are beginning to consider the possibilities described in O'Dea's inaugarial speech. My own field, economic development, needs to work even harder at realizing its collaborative potential.

You can find IONS on the Web here.

Seven Words That Can Change the World

My World Business Academy friend, Joe Simonetta, has written a moving little book called, "Seven Words That Can Change the World." It is a very powerful book because of its simplicity.

What are the seven words? Joe says we should follow three rules to make the world a better place:

1. Be healthy.
2. Be kind.
3. Respect the environment.

As Joe says, "If you want to astonish the whole world, tell people that--the simple truth."

You can reach Joe by email here.

The Power of Now

Marines Bruckner from Vienna, Austria has written and encouraged me to read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. I just ordered a copy after reviewing it at Ironically, I had the book in my hands at a local bookstore no more than a month ago.

Thanks for the suggestion, Marines.

Piece by Piece

Like the morning dove,
who patiently,
day after day,
slowly builds her nest,

Who steadfastly and repeatedly
flies to the ground, finds a piece of dried grass and
returns to the tree,
over and over again,

We must hang in there,
and slowly, gradually,
piece by piece,
build our dreams.

From: The Changing Colors in a Sunset
By C. Derk Janssen

This is from Derk's first book of poetry. A second is about ready for publication.

Ed Morrison, a friend and colleague here in Cleveland, has suggested that I look at I did and discovered the site has an interesting online survey that assesses your spiritual belief system. Using your answers, the survey creates an overall spiritual belief profile for you. Cool! Thanks Ed. I have added to my links.

By the way, Ed is involved in Web-based surveys. He is affiliated with i-OP, which does this type work. i-OP is best seen as "listening technology." Not a bad thing in this world today.

Link: i-OP.

Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center

Margaret, a friend from Colorado, tells me that the Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center in Red Feather, Colorado is a wonderful place. She just returned from a one-week silent meditation retreat at the Center. I have added a link to the Center at her request on this blog. In case you are wondering, there is no blogging during a silent meditation retreat.

What would you hope to learn about yourself from a silent meditation retreat? This is indeed an interesting way to experience your "real" self.

Thanks for the suggestion, Margaret.

Link: Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center
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