My Message to Fifth Graders
I was asked to offer some "words of wisdom" to a group of fifth graders at a Los Angeles-area elementary school, which I was delighted to do. Here is what I offered them, saying that these seven ideas are what I would share with my own kids, if I had any.  1. Live your own life. Be authentic. Trust yourself and your creative desires and pursuits. It would be a shame to get to the end of your life only to discover in the last moment that you did not live your life, but the life that ... Read more

Here's to a New Year Full of the Good Kind of Crazy
I wanted to post something going into the New Year, something short and focused on a single relevant and meaningful theme, something to reflect an as-yet wordless feeling inside me that wanted to ... Read more
Pay Attention
(In light of my sister Sandra's recent mishap, I'd like to remind us all to Pay Attention. There are worse byproducts than Sandra's broken ankle of not paying attention. Here is chapter two of The 5 ... Read more
9/11 is Groundhog Day
(Three days after 9/11, I wrote an 8,000 word article entitled “A Call for Peace.” More than a decade later, I feel my words are as relevant and timely as then—maybe more so. I am posting an edited version of that original piece, as the entire article is too long for blog posting. I have not changed a word. Much in the world has darkened in these past few years; my sentiments remain true for me, my heart is the same, my call for peace as necessary.) Since the shattering morning of Sep... Read more
I am a Dog
This is the first post by Contributor Krista Eulberg, who will be writing from time to time about her love of and advocacy for animals. I am a dog.  Or at least I was one in my last life or will be in my next, as I'm not sure which way the karmic scale actually tips. I have the hair of an Afghan hound: fine and tangly, the demeanor of a Labradoodle: steady yet silly, and the body of a Great Dane puppy:  tall and gangly, but with a pot belly. I was born in the Chinese Astrological ... Read more
Being a Preacher in the Church of What's Happening Now
The other day, I told a woman I had just met that I loved her. I’m not sure, but I think I freaked her out. Perhaps, I should have qualified what I meant, but that might have taken half an hour. Still, as someone who teaches and appreciates authentic and effective communication, I might have been more considerate. But I wasn’t. I wanted to say what I said. I was truthful, but maybe ineffective. No doubt, she could fairly have thought any number of things; he’s a needy mama’s boy (ho... Read more
How to Treat a Woman: a semi-definitive guide
“Well, I got a woman way over town that’s good to me, oh yeah. Say I got a woman way over town, good to me, oh yeah.” ~ Ray Charles Wasn’t brother Ray a lucky dog to have met a woman that was good to him? Of course he’d sing about it! But she’s not going be good to him for long if he’s not good to her. Same for you and me. We’ve got to be good to our women, treat them right. But do we know how? I’m going to get in the ring with a rampaging bull risking everything and te... Read more
What Makes a Well-Lived Life?
Melbourne, Australia. December 20th, 2009. That’s where and when I began a month-long solitary retreat. Something I could only name as “irresistible force” was pulling me inward and away from the outside world of my work and social calendar. I disconnected from everyone and everything. I disappeared from the world. I began what was to become a profound journey of reflection, release, and renewal. One day, my eyes closed. Shortly after, they opened, but I was no longer in my home in... Read more
I Heard These Words & Took My Last Breath
On a warm summer day in Santa Barbara, I had lunch with eternity. With about 20 or so others, I was participating in a day-long session of self-inquiry and silence. The meeting was led by Jean Klein, an elderly European teacher of Advaita Vedanta, a philosophy of non-duality. We were sitting in folding chairs or cross-legged on the carpeted floor or on the couch that had been moved to the back of the large living room. Jean was perhaps 80 at the time, white-haired and translucent, the em... Read more
123 Wildflowers from Heaven
“To see the world in a grain of sand, And heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” ~ William Blake For 200 years, these words have ignited the spiritual imagination of people the world over. Like a philosopher’s stone that transmutes base metal into gold, Blake’s words have the power to transform and uplift human life, to unfetter and set free the soaring spirit of the higher mind—without leaving anything out or behind, staying fu... Read more
Bringing a Human Heart to a Maximum Security Prison
With less than 5% of the world’s population but nearly 25% of its prison population, America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We imprison 2.3 million people today, as opposed to 300,000 during the 1970s.  Of those 2.3 million, 500,000 are non-violent drug offenders. Even more outrageous, building and operating prisons has become one of America’s largest and most profitable urban industries, with a huge financial investment in lobbying public policy for more severe drug and ... Read more
New Monasticism: A Feminist's Perspective on an Engaged Contemplative Life
V.K. Harber is a yogi, contemplative, and writer exploring the intersection of yoga, new monasticism, feminism, and social change. With her kind permission, I am sharing the first part of her important new essay, which I recommend everyone read. A link to the full piece is below. New Monasticism: A Feminist's Perspective on an Engaged Contemplative Life I am many things: a woman, a yogi, a mother, a spouse, a writer. I am also a contemplative. Before you begin imagining me serene and p... Read more
Being Late is a Sign of Mastery
It’s one thing to talk about awareness and enlightenment; it’s another to demonstrate it. I cannot prove this, but I’m sure it’s accurate: all great sages throughout history gave their greatest teachings to their students at the point of action; they gave their most inspiring and truthful sermons about the field of action. That’s where the true wake-up occurs. It never occurs in words and ideas; that’s just more delusion, or spiritual ego—another fixed point of view without ... Read more

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