Saturday, January 29, 2011

1006: One Day Late, Doing the Turn Around 3 times three

In the work of Byron Katie,
you know the drill:

Judge your neighbor
Write it Down
Ask 4 Questions
Turn it Around

The turn around, I discovered last night,
has been clarified, and not left to chance.

Do it three ways:

To yourself
To the other
The complete turn around

So last night, a man tortured by his son's "disrespect,"
did the turn around three times three.

First he search for
and found
Ways that he did not respect himself

He gave three examples of that

Then he found how he didn't respect his son

And found three examples of that

And then he did the total turn around
of "My son doesn't respect me"

to "My son does respect me"
and found amazingly poignant examples,
considering how much anger and disappointment he
started doing the work with.

And the turn around didn't
come until the four questions:

Absolutely true
How does that do me in my life, how do I react
Who am I without the thought

try it if you'd like freedom

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Friday, January 21, 2011

1005: Love as ACTION not feeling ( And feeling good is good)

Penina's painting, copy for sale, come to our i love you i love you thank you pre-valentine's day sale, Jan 29-30, in Austin. Email me for directions and a pdf flyer. first 32 sections (0f 108) from Tao of Now also for sale, and mini "lessons" in the Anat Baniel Method
Here's the pdf.
Double click (? left click, right)  on the pic
and in my computer anyway it
expands out all big and beautiful.
Who knows what it will do for you.
And maybe next Friday's essay will be on Loving What is,
since Byron Katie is going to be in town (Austin, town)




We want love, sure, all of us do

when we are lucky
we feel love as who we are
ACT in ways that 

Take care of,
Give attention,
Light up

Another person.

This is our job in life,
what with concepts like
"life purpose,"
"life mission,"
"what I was meant to do,"
and so on,
all fraught with peril if they come into the good old
"should" machine.

And, who knows what the purpose of a living being is.

the famous quote, true/ untrue from Bach
when asked why 22 kids and a zillion works of music:

"For my own amusement
the Glory of God."

That doesn't include all the above definitions of love
as an
a very nice one:

amusing himself:  love

glorifying God: love

So to the list of the actions results of loving
we can add:


and we can re invent the directionality of the list and say:

these are all the results of and'/ or intentions in
loving others
loving ourselves

and underneath it all:
maybe something like this

loving being a live
even the time we waste looking at a computer forgetting that we are
and have a spine
and a smile
and sexual organs
and ten toes
and ten fingers

but we could be
hip joints
be remembering that
and would
that not be something like the

giving ourselves that sort of attention?

methinks so.
how about you?

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Friday, January 14, 2011

1004: The Importance of Living

We are all alive,
though the amount of time we spend following our breathing,
or noticing our spine holding up our head in space,
or feeling our feet on the floor,
while doing the "computer thing"
is pretty small.

Oh, well,
stand up for a minute and play with your spine in four ways:
one: fold forward,
two: arch up
three: rotate your shoulders left and right
four: side bend a little bit so your right hand goes down toward the floor, and then your left hand does, at your side.

Do these all "less than your limit"
Do them for the joy of "being alive."

Really, now, get up
(me, too),
let's move and wake to nowing.

Did that shift anything for you?

It did for me.

And now:
do all the spine openers as above,
with this addition: have your hands behind your head.

So when you side bend your elbow go side to side

So when you arch and round your head and back are more connected and
of each other

So that when you twist you can feel this more all up and down your spine.

inertia is hard and you are busy blah, blah,
and get the fu.... up and have more awaking

this is your life

your spine is "central" to who you are?

dance, sex, walk, sit, even sleep: spine is there, there, there,
so up we all go and more

hey, that felt great

okay one more upgrade,
and if you know me, you know I could have about ten more levels,
but just
get up
one more time,
and as you do the round, fold and twist,
let your eyes
with awareness and love
go the opposite way of your head

like this:
folding down, head lowering, belly in, lower back back
and eyes going up

arching up, belly out, butt back toward the back of your head, head tilting up,
and eyes going down

twisting left from head, spine, pelvis,
eyes going to the right

twisting right from pelvis, ribs, head,
and your eyes going to the left

and tilting?
you play with some eye game

okay, up, up,
the computer will be a whole new world after this one:
treat yourself

come on,
do it
and move
and awake
and aware

ah, that's sweet and like many a "vacation"
being relaxed makes it "harder" to plow ahead
in the usual tense ways

oh, well:
that's it for today folks,
the importance of living

and moving with awareness is the treat
you can
always make
a mini
treat to


enjoy your day
and get up
and move now
and then



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Friday, January 07, 2011

1003: tenth exercise from the revised and "for sale" 108 ways

This is from the exercise/ activity/ meditation/ game number 10 of the original 108 way book. 108 "ways" to be happy, to be more aware, to be almost enlightened, to be more free, to move, think, feel, connect to who you really are in new and delightful ways.

108 "Ways" of waking up to the glory of you and life and now.

I'm rewriting that book. The book rotates through
    Movement awareness,
       emotional learning,
          thinking improvement and
             soul connection.

The exercises are powerful, highly varied, and can change your life.

I'm going to be selling the first 32 "ways" as a pdf for $12. If people complete those and write email me of their "learning," I'll sell the next 32 "ways" for $8. And if they do and finish and write me about these, I'll sell the final 42 ways for $13.

So here's the tenth, without "easy" paragraph breaks. If you want easy reading, be so good to yourself as to email me  for the first 8 activities in pdf form. Free as said above.

Here goes for number ten:

Ten: Emotional Learning
Learning: differences, similarities. We aren’t alone, 2.

Think of a person for whom you have both “positive” and “negative” feelings.
Write down three traits of this person that evoke each attitude.
Look from one list to the other. “Good traits” to “bad traits” to “good traits” and so on. Notice inside yourself the “feelings” that the positive list evokes and the feelings the negative list brings up. INSIDE YOURSELF.
This is huge. They are what they are, but where you put your attention creates what goes on INSIDE of you.
Don’t TRY not to be negative. When you look at the “negative” list, feel what you feel. And as you go back and forth allow real emotion learning to take place as you notice differences, notice differences notice differences. This is learning.

Now, take all six traits and find them in yourself.
Try to do this as if you were an outside observer, some sort of anthropologist taking notes on some exotic tribe. You and the person are both from this exotic tribe. The anthropologist has no stake or judgment about any of these six traits. They are just interested, and very empathetic with both of you for being this way.
The anthologist knows humans are hugely similar.
See and feel the ways you and this person you have picked have a lot of similarity, or have "fallen" into the same habits, or have the same patterns.
Doesn’t matter how you say it, just “be with this” and realize once more,  how you are not alone.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

1002: First four games in my 108 page book, coming out in April this year

Game / Activity/ Meditation One : Moving

Standing and awaring gravity and feet:

Stand comfortably, in your bare feet or just socks. Close your eyes. Feel the weight of yourself into your feet. Shift, ever so slightly, your weight from your right foot to your left, and then back again, many times.

Do ALL the games in this book, especially the movement ones at about half the usual speed you do things. Slow down, slow down.

And less effort than usual. Be without strain and efforting.

Be with all the pleasure you can find.

As you gently and pleasurable shift your weight from one foot to another notice with delight: your breathing and your skeletal support of your spine and head, and your feet at the base of this.

Get as joyous and present a FEEL (as sensation) of yourself as you can as a being in the world of gravity and awareness.


Now, move the length of yourself, only at your ankles, like a stick, forward and back, so you sway a bit, and feel the weight going to your toes and then your heels.

Small is better than big.

Slow is better than fast.

Aware is better than “just doing it.”

Pleasure is better than “trying,” “straining,” or efforting.


Now, lift up on your toes and fall easily onto your heels five or six times. Rest. Feel how you feel now. Do this again, maybe even twenty times. Or thirty. Slowly, slowly, pleasurably, pleasurably. Rest.

Take a little walk around the room or wherever you are. Feel your feet and your skeleton and your awaring in the world of up and down.

Game / Activity/ Meditation Two: Emotional Learning

We are not alone

Think of two of three things you really like and enjoy about another person. Or several other people. See them doing and being the way the are. Notice, feel, delight in them being “who they are.”

Write down several traits you like in these people you have picked.

Good, now the hard part: look inside yourself and find these same traits.

It might not be as much, but we all have traces of everything. So look and find this in yourself. If so and so is “kind,” find and acknowledge the kindness in yourself. If they are “happy and creative,” find the happy and creative you.

If you happened to pick admiring someone who can high jump eight feet or play concert violin, find the parallel in any level of ability you have; So the slightest jump or musical humming “counts” as part of your expanded picture of the wonderfulness of yourself.

That’s the game, simple and sometimes “hard:” Think of traits you like in others, and find these in yourself.

Don’t be tough on yourself. Be open and embracing. We all have it all, the good and the bad. Let’s start by looking for the common good.

Allow a sense of unity and harmony, like-ness, to come from that.

Does this help you realize that ‘we are not alone’ in this big and beautiful and sometimes messy thing called life?

Game / Activity/ Meditation Three: Thinking

Getting a more alert and active brain.

A lot of improving and making more happy our thinking will, at least at first, involve the moving our “body” in movements with a great deal attention and out of habitual patterning.

These practices come from my training as both a Feldenkrais Method™ and an Anat Baniel Method practitioner. These systems use brain plasticity (= learning) to help people feel younger and more clear in movements that were before painful or limited. They help professional athletes and musicians come to even more skill and ease in their work. They also help writers with writers block, lovers with heart block, old timers with “newness” block, bored people with “stuckness” block, and anyone with “I didn’t know there was so much more to life” block.

And here’s the “thinking” game that appears to be a “movement” game:

Please start like this: sit comfortably and more or less upright (i.e. don’t lean back in the chair, if you can do this). Turn your head easily right and left.

Notice the difference in feel, range, and quality of turning left and turning right.

Rest a bit.

Now just turn to the left and back to the middle. Do this many times and see if you can notice something “new” each time. See how that feels.


Again sitting “up” at the front edge of your chair, put your hands on top of the opposite shoulder, and turn to the left in this sequence: first your eyes go to the left, then your nose, then your shoulders. Then come back slowly in the same order, noticing each part of you. Go slowly, and notice each part moving, and notice how your range and ease increases.

Many times, with ease, pleasure and learning. Then rest.

Now, hands again on opposite shoulder with the other way around of which arm is over the other, turn to the left in this sequence: ribs first, then nose, then eyes. Then come back to the middle and do this many times. Notice ease, learning and improvement.

Then rest and feel yourself alive in the present moment.

Now try something that requires even more “thinking without words” and attention.

Sit upright, and turn your eyes to the left and back to the middle a number of times. Feel how easy you can be in the rest of yourself.


Now, keeping your eyes forward, looking at something fixed 9and they can be closed, your eyes, and imagining looking at something straight ahead), move your nose and head a number of times to the left and back to the middle.

Go slowly.

Go gently.

Find the pleasure, follow your breathing, get “into” the discovery. Enjoy this.


For finishing: just turn your head right and left and notice two differences:

1.            Is there a difference in your whole self feeling of ease and clarity?

2.            Do you notice a difference in ease and clarity of turning left and turning right

Get up easily and walk around, letting your walking be a finally rest and chance to enjoy any “newness” and any “now-ness” in yourself.

Game / Activity/ Meditation Four: Soul

The world of sky and “Outside” the walls.

Wherever you live, there is a door somewhere that leads “Outside.” Get whatever clothes you need for this, give yourself fifteen or twenty minutes of no cell phone, no chores, no hurry, no worry.

Walk out this door to the “Outside” and take a walk that lasts at least twenty minutes.

If this walk can take you to a nature area or park, so much the better. No matter what, the walk is just a walk from your door out into the world ( If at all possible resist the habit of driving to a “nicer” area and then walking).

Just walk. Go out the door, see the sky, feel the ground under your feet, breathe “easily,” and walk “easily.” Feel sky above, Earth below, the smallness of a human form.

On this walk, with as few “words in your head” as possible, keep your attention on the present moment. One present moment after another. Experience your experiencing of the present. Feel, smell, hear, look, sense: what are you experiencing now, as experience.

Please avoid and abandon as much as you can using any words to describe the experience.

Stay in the good old huge immense and amazing now: what is the experience of you being you, as you walk “Outside?” 

1001: love and death, or emptiness and everything

Bark on Madrona tree on Orcas Island

Woody Allen had a movie love and death
his take off on War and Peace
and it was sort of funny
in the way Woody Allen movies
are sort of funny

and then again,
how many movies have I made,
sort of funny, or really funny,
or not funny at all

oh, well,
maybe this year
I'll make on

maybe not

at all rate

love is a death
a death of the usual way of living which
is that life is all about
"me, me, and me"

Now, the other side seems to
obsessing about the other
as if abandonment will be the end
of me
or not being with the other is
that's not love:
thet's "me, me and me" with the story
that "me, me, me" is okay, wonderful,
finally not a wretch
if I have "you, you, you" attached

nah, love
is annihilation,
it's the moth to the flame in
I stop "thinking" about me
and just
am fascinated by
want to understand, enjoy and be
with you

and being with you
means letting you alone
when you need time alone

it's all so simple
and we make it so complicated


love is emptying the mind
of "what's in it for me"

it's emptying the mind of
"now I'm okay because someone wants/ loves me"

it's emptying the mind of
"I did this for you, so
you need to do that for me"

it's emptying the mind of
"I said 'I love you,' so now it's
your turn to say, 'I love you.' "

it's emptying the mind of
"I'm not okay unless you are loving me
as much as I love you"

it's forgetting the torment of
"if you really loved me you'd do....,
or feel...., or say....."

it's just coming to the moment
opening the eyes and heart
and from that emptiness
all that can really happen is love

it's only our stories that keep us
from love

and so the death of the story
is the birth of love

and is that true?
who knows.

empty your story around your friends
and your loved ones
and yourself

and find out

happy loving and dying


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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

1000: Love as learning. Hey, it's the new year, don't be afraid.

Sit comfortably in a chair, near the front of the chair,
feet on the floor, and
feel your 5 line:
two arms,
two legs,
one spine.

Feel how you sit and hold up your head in this wonderful and
relentless world of gravity.

1. Turn your head easily right and left.
Go far less than your "limit."
Keep it easy and pleasurable.
If there is pain in any movement, do less, or do
and visualize the movement.

Feel the differences between right and left.


2. Now pick which ever way is easiest to turn,
and turn just that way a number of times. Turn that way,
less than your "limit,"
with awareness and comfort,
and then
turn back to the middle.

Do at least a few of the movements with your eyes open,
so you can see what the starting range is for you
when you turn easily and without efforting.

Feel this as a movement that you can learn
Study and be aware and enjoy this.

After a number of times, rest.

3. Which ever way you have decided to turn,
put that hand on the chair behind and beside you as support.

Then take your other hand, and put the back of that hand,
on the check opposite,
which is to say on the check in the direction you are turning.
(Throughout this movement lesson, you will keep turning whatever was your "easiest" way.)

These directions may seem "hard."

Oh, well. Go slowly in figuring them out.
Any movement you make is going to improve awareness.

So, one hand on the chair, the other hand with its back on the opposite side of the face.

Begin to turn in your chosen direction and back to the middle
a number of times.

Feel your elbow and ribs as involved in the turning now.

Does that make a difference?

Can you enjoy and learn from that difference?

Do this a number of times, and then

In the REST don't space out, but sit in a way to really feel what is going on in your body
and mind
from these movements.
This is important integration time for your whole being.

4. Sit again at the front of your chair if you rested in another position.
Put the same hand on the chair beside you, and the other hand a
about eight inches in front of your nose
with the wrist in a floppily relaxed position, thumb nearest to your face.

In this position, turn in your chosen direction and back to the middle a number of times,
having the floppy wrist hand make that same amount of rotation.

As you rotate, allow yourself to come over onto the side of the pelvis
that is the same
as the direction you are turning.

Feel this movement from feet through pelvis thru ribs
up thru neck and even nose and eyes.

Enjoy this.


5. Now do the same thing as the last movement a few times.

Then, do this: stop about halfway to wherever you are
and go both ways with hand and nose,
but these will be opposite.

Which means your hand will come back to the middle,
as your nose turns further in the direction you have been
and then they reverse,
so that the nose ends up looking forward
and the hand comes across to the side you
have been turning.

Let this movement have something like a neutral space
where both hand and head are turned halfway,
and the pelvis is flat on the chair then.

And each movement after that,
either hand to the side or
nose to the side,
let the pelvis shift that way.

Do this slowly,
don't make a big movement out of it,
keep enjoyment and learning and awareness as constants
more important than how far or how 'well' you move.

Rest and breathe and sense your five lines and integrate.

6. Sit at the front edge of the chair,
and put the same turning side hand on the chair.
Put the other hand on the opposite shoulder,
which is going to be the side to which you are turning.

In this configuration,
turn about half way to your chosen direction
and stop.
Now play the eye and head game.
Slowly and small.
Slowly and small and low effort.

Turn your eyes left as your nose turns to the right,
and then come back,
turning your eyes to the right, as your nose turns to the left.

Go slow.
Go small.
Follow your breathing.


Rest in a neutral position.
Feel if you feel different from the beginning.

7. Now simple sit at the front edge of your chair and
turn your head right and left,
and see what changes have occurred.

Review in your mind the way the ribs and the shoulder and the eyes
and your pelvis can be involved in turning your head.

Now turn your head right and left again,
and feel yourself as a magnificence of possibilities.

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Monday, January 03, 2011

999: Soul Work

At a local Austin gathering, once a month people tell stories around a theme.
This is the first and hence, only, story telling evening I've attended but the
use of a catch all theme
reminds me of Sun Magazine's amazing section
called Readers Write.

In Readers Write topics like
Late at Night,
Second Chances,
the Beach
the Office
Close calls,
Taking Chances
and many more, bring an amazing array of responses from all over the world.

Sun magazine is worth subscribing to.
Zero advertisements.
Great photos.
And Readers Write.

And in Austin, talkers talk. They tell stories.
This month the theme was emptiness.

People came at it in all different directions,
usually some variety of finally giving up:

giving up and actually doing the 12 steps
giving up the image you were trying to hold up for your family
giving up the myth that "this love" will solve it all

The stories, coming from real people and their real lives,
all showed us all in the audience parts of ourselves that we might
not have publicly displayed as the brave story tellers did.

And there was emptiness, the theme, being danced around,
a tiptoed up next to,
but to my mind, never given the gold prize of freedom
it deserves.

Many of the essays in this blog have extolled the virtues of the Byron Katie work,
and some of the essays have shown how the 3rd question:
How do you react/ feel and live when you attach to the thought
the 4th:
Who or what would you be without the thought,

One: a crash course in Buddhism
Two: a brilliant use of the brain's major function: perceiving differences,
to get us out of the hell of our beliefs
Three: a chance to experience emptiness as ....

peace that passes all understanding

you can't really name it,
but we can all feel it, one
belief/ story/ thought/ concept at a time.

Let's say you had a "bad Dad."
Hit you. Yelled at you. Criticized you.
They come in different styles.

And you felt, and maybe still feel, "hurt, angry, cheated, defeated"
whatever when you attach to the story: My Dad should have been nice to me.

And then you look at your Dad without that thought,
without any thought of who or how he should be.

And what happens.

You are empty.

He is still a jerk/ asshole/ mean / whatever,
but what happens to you from the inner silence
of no thoughts to be saying he should be any different.

This is all we need to become free inside.

The present that spills out like an ocean
once the words we use in our head to define and shrink the world cease.

A thought here:  "a shrink" could be a stupid word for someone who tries
to expand our lives,
and then again,
if we shrink our belief  demand of the world down to nothing,
and are free,
then what.

Try it.
Find something bothering you,
and live without any words and thoughts about it.

See what happens from that emptiness.

You might discover who you really are.

(More soul thoughts over at  )

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

998: Happiness is an inside job

You know, some people say that happiness is the purpose 
of human existence.

What would a tree say is the purpose of being a tree?
If it could talk, which luckily,
it can't,
it would probably say that the tree's purpose was to be a tree.

Being a tree might just to the exactly wonderful thing
that makes a tree happy,
and so a tree must be pretty happy
all the time.

And how about you, fellow human.
It's supposedly a New Year, and there is various huff and puff
about the Mayan calender next year,
and whether that has anymore substance than the hundred's of "time ending"
that have crowded up and into history throughout
the centuries,
who knows.

And is today happy for you?

Is right now,
reading this notice on this computer sitting in
whatever chair you are sitting in?

If you were happy, how would you know?
If you weren't happy, how would you know?

Is happiness, like water boiling, something best noticed after the fact,
or can it be conjured up into being whenever we wish?

This is today's game:
be happy all day.

When you aren't happy,
be happy that you can discover something, some difference
that makes a difference, about how you go about making yourself

Read that sentence again: notice how YOU go about making yourself

Be happy for the chance.

When you are happy,
takes some notice and awaring into discovering the other side
of this action:
how do YOU contribute to your own happiness.

Any fool can blame another for their unhappiness.
Many a later disillusioned person will "blame" another person
for their happiness.

Pretend for today that happiness is an inside job,
and see how you go about these two actions:
making yourself unhappy
making yourself happy.

Bon voyage. 

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