I have been fortunate to have many mentors in my life, people who have pushed me, prodded me, challenged me and loved me fiercely. One of them is Mike Elser, past president of The Mankind Project USA who is also a Rinzai Zen Priest. We meet online most weeks for one hour and talk about various aspects of my life. In our conversation earlier this week, he did a piece of “Voice Dialogue” with me. He asked to speak with my “Seeking Mind”. I knew immediately that part of me which is constantly seeking, driven by both curiosity and by … Continue reading
On July 4th, 2017, I awoke with severe back pain. My wife suggested that it may be kidney related and urged me to drink lots of water. I did, but the pain was even worse the next day. A visit to my doctor took kidneys off the list, but an X-Ray yielded a diagnosis of “diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis” (DISH) for short which is a strange form of osteoarthritis.
I believe that one of the core needs that everyone shares is the need to connect deeply and authentically with ourselves, with each other and with a sense of purpose. Sadly, we are living in a world of increasing disconnection and separation, behind our many masks. We have become addicted to screens on our phones and desktops and have lost that joy of face-to-face connection. I watched a movie last night titled “The Mask You Live In” and I was profoundly disturbed by its message. It describes in painful detail how young men have been trained by culture, parents, peers … Continue reading
Waking up begins with becoming aware that we have been asleep. It is different for everyone. My awakening began when I met Jeannie on a bus coming back from a ski trip to Stowe Vermont.She was sweet and real in a way I had never encountered before. When I returned to Detroit, we started writing letters to each other. Hers were so deeply honest and emotionally transparent that I fell deeply in love with her. At the time, I was working for Chrysler Corporation, developing a complex computer program and Jeanie’s letters touched a place in me that nobody else … Continue reading
How is being aware different from being conscious? The term “Consciousness” has been defined as “Anything that we are aware of at a given moment“, however there is no real consensus among philosophers and psychologists about what consciousness is. Rather than try to engage in this battle, I am going to stay with the simpler concept of awareness. I can be aware of my internal feeling state (angry, depressed, happy, etc.) and I can be aware of external phenomena like the weather or problems with my house that need fixing. I may be aware that the the weather report today says that … Continue reading
Shadow is some part of me that I hide from you and even from myself. In Star Wars lingo, shadow is referred to as “The Dark Side”. Both Freud and Jung defined shadow, but they defined it differently. Wikipedia gives a good definition of Jungian shadow. Another way to describe shadow is conveyed by the Johari Window. The Open Self is the part of me that I know about and you can see. The Blind Self is the part of me that I cannot see but you can. Typically, the blind self show up in relationship with others. My wife … Continue reading
I have been an engineer for almost 50 years. I have been a recovering engineer for the last 25 years. My engineer uses my mind to solve problems. My recovering engineer used my heart to connect with my feelings. My head and heart battle frequently. My head thinks. My heart feels. My head speaks loudly, often drowning my heart. My heart quietly informs me that this analytical deconstruction has been brought to you courtesy of my head. My second awakening started in 1991 while I was working at Microsoft. I was part of a brand new team that wasn’t clicking. … Continue reading
It’s Monday morning and I am in re-entry. I completed a very intense training this past weekend and I am still in a bit of an altered state. The training is called LT3 (Leadership Training 3) and is the capstone of the MKP leader training programs. I felt considerable growth and clarity as a result of the weekend. On Friday evening, we did a process and I granted myself license to try something different. The leader gave me some tough but insightful feedback later that evening and I could feel myself starting to spiral downward… into the rabbit hole of … Continue reading
I attend yoga every Sunday morning that I can because Paul Millage bookends the yoga asanas with kirtan and afterwards many of us sit in circle and explore the spiritual aspects of yoga and our lives. In this morning’s circle, a young woman with tears in her eyes asked us to pray for the people in Israel and Palestine.
Shift Happens I ordered some clothing from a website in April and by early June, most of the order was still missing. I was angry with the vendor and had some pretty clear judgments about the obvious problems with his business so I called him today and brother, what a lesson I learned. I told the man in clear terms that there were real problems with his business, and his response was, “Yes, and I am the problem.” “How is that?” I asked.