by Tony Hoagland
Who knew that the sweetest pleasure of my fifty-eighth year
would turn out to be my friendship with the dog?
That his trembling, bowlegged bliss at seeing me stand there with the leash
would give me a feeling I had sought throughout my life?
Now I understand those old ladies walking
their Chihuahuas in the dusk, plastic bag wrapped around one hand,
content with a companionship that, whatever
else you think of it, is totally reliable.
And in the evening, at cocktail hour,
I think tenderly of them
in all of those apartments on the fourteenth floor
holding out a little hotdog on a toothpick
to bestow a luxury on a friend
who knows more about uncomplicated pleasure
than any famous lobbyist for the mortal condition.
These barricades and bulwarks against human loneliness,
they used to fill me with disdain,
but that was before I found out my metaphysical needs
                                                                      could be so easily met
by the wet gaze of a brown-and-white retriever
with a slight infection of the outer ear
                                           and a tail like a windshield wiper.
I did not guess that love would be returned to me
as simply as a stick returned when it was thrown
again and again and again —
in fact, I still don’t exactly comprehend.
What could that possibly have to teach me
about being human?


Laurie Anderson & Lou Reed's Rules to Live By:
1. Don't be afraid of anyone.
2. Be a good bull-shit detector & learn how to use it.
3. Be really, really tender.



God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan


I'm dreaming of a connected Mind, Body, Spirit holiday season ...
Here's how to get there ~
My Teaching Schedule:
   Sat. 11/21 @12:30 @Studio 508
Tue. 11/24 @12:45 @BodyVox
    Wed. 11/25 @12:45 @BodyVox
    Sat. 11/28 @12:30 @Studio 508
Tue. 12/1 @12:45 @BodyVox
Thurs. 12/3 @12:45 @BodyVox
Sat. 12/5 @12:30 @Studio 508
Tue. 12/8 @12:45 @BodyVox
Thurs. 12/10 @12:45 @BodyVox
Sat. 12/12 @12:30 @Studio 508
Tue. 12/15 @12:45 @BodyVox
Thurs. 12/17 @12:45 @BodyVox
Sat. 12/19 @12:30 @Studio 508
Tue. 12/22 @12:45 @BodyVox
Wed. 12/23 @12:45 @ BodyVox
Sat. 12/26 @12:30 @Studio 508
Tue. 12/29 @12:45 @BodyVox
Wed. 12/30 @12:45 @BodyVox
Sat. 1/2/16 @12:30 @Studio 508

 *No appointments necessary
*Everyone is welcome! 
(bring your children, partners and out of town visitors)
Meditation takes the mind down to that level of consciousness which is Absolute Bliss (Heaven) and through constant contact with that state - 'the peace that surpasses all understanding' - one gradually becomes established in that state even when one is not meditating.
~ John Lennon


who is helen frankenthaler:

"Refining a technique, developed by Jackson Pollock, of pouring pigment directly onto canvas laid on the floor, Ms. Frankenthaler developed a method of painting best known as Color Field. Where Pollock had used enamel that rested on raw canvas like skin, Ms. Frankenthaler poured turpentine-thinned paint in watery washes onto the raw canvas so that it soaked into the fabric weave, becoming one with it."


If they can be taken, let them go ...
~ anonymous


To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature. 
~ Auguste Rodin


This year's Scorpio New Moon occurs on the power date of 11/11
and invites a transformational new beginning!
We’re called into the depths of our being, our own personal Underworld, to uncover our deepest desires and confront those essential Scorpionic questions: Why am I here? What does it all mean? Knowing I'm going to die, how can I come fully ALIVE?
As a Water sign, Scorpio lives in the feeling realm, and the REAL answers to these questions don’t come from our rational minds but from our emotional depths and raw instincts. Which means the truth doesn’t always “make sense,” and, at the level of the ego-mind, we don’t always like it. You know what I’m talking about – that mixture of fear and desire, how, when you get in touch with what you TRULY desire, it’s likely to scare the bejesus out of you. That’s how you know it’s for real. That’s how you know you’re emotionally invested, which is the fuel you need to bring a desire into reality.
~ Emily Trinkaus




who is roger hilton:

(February 19 to March 20)
1. Fear is nothing but imagination, unless it’s tethered to something that is truly, actually occurring in the present moment.
2. All our attributes as human beings (including imagination) can be used to make our lives more beautiful or more miserable.
3. Life is scary when you think a scary thought.
4. It’s hard to direct our first thought, but it’s much easier to direct the thought that follows.



Yves Montand watching Marilyn Monroe who’s watching Arthur Miller who’s watching
Simone Signoret who’s watching Yves Montand


fascinating listen ...
Addiction is not a choice: Dr. Gabor Mate's call for a compassionate, holistic approach to healing:


maria popova's 9 learnings from 9 years of brain pickings:

1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for "negative capability". We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our "opinions" based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It's enormously disorienting to simply say, "I don't know." But it's infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right – even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. As Paul Graham observed, "prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like." Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don't make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night – and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.
3. Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It's so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life's greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.
4. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken. Most importantly, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking moment, dictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?
5. When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don't believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living – for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, "how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
7. "Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time." This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it's hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that – a myth – as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I've reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we're disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.
8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit. Patti Smith, in discussing William Blake and her creative influences, talks about writers and artists who magnified her spirit – it's a beautiful phrase and a beautiful notion. Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often. Use them not only as a remedy once spiritual malaise has already infected your vitality but as a vaccine administered while you are healthy to protect your radiance.
9. Don't be afraid to be an idealist. There is much to be said for our responsibility as creators and consumers of that constant dynamic interaction we call culture – which side of the fault line between catering and creating are we to stand on? The commercial enterprise is conditioning us to believe that the road to success is paved with catering to existing demands – give the people cat GIFs, the narrative goes, because cat GIFs are what the people want. But E.B. White, one of our last great idealists, was eternally right when he asserted half a century ago that the role of the writer is "to lift people up, not lower them down" – a role each of us is called to with increasing urgency, whatever cog we may be in the machinery of society. Supply creates its own demand. Only by consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the substantive over the superficial – in our individual lives and in the collective dream called culture.


Think for yourself and question authority. 
~ Timothy Leary




 The Power of fear
Fear will push you to avert your eyes.
Fear will make you think you have nothing to say.
It will create a buzz that makes it impossible to meditate...
or it will create a fog that makes it so you can do nothing but meditate.
Fear seduces us into losing our temper.
Fear belittles us into accepting unfairness.
Fear doesn't like strangers, people who don't look or act like us, and most of all, the unknown.
It causes us to carelessly make typos, or obsessively look for them.
Fear pushes us to fit in, so we won't be noticed, but it also pushes us to rebel and to not be trustworthy, so we won't be on the hook to produce.
It is subtle enough to trick us into thinking it isn't pulling the strings, that it doesn't exist, that it's not the cause of, "I don't feel like it."
When in doubt, look for the fear.
~ Seth Godin

Painting by:




Jack Kornfield tweeted: "Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” The Buddha taught that all conditioned phenomena are impermanent, that all meeting ends in parting. A Zen master put it simply: "Everything breaks. Attachment is our unwillingness to face that reality." 
I recently read these wise words: "We suffer, and make others suffer, when we try to hold onto things after their time, whether it’s relationships, experiences, or just the previous moment. Accepting their true, transient nature eases our fears, opens our hearts, and benefits ourselves and others. Non-attachment is neither indifference nor self-denial. Letting go of attachment is the secret to really enjoying life and loving others. It is freedom."


 Better Than Drugs
"Sustained exercise may be able to slow or even reverse the biological changes that cause dementia, according to new research presented at the 2015 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington. Researchers assigned 65 sedentary men and women with memory loss to either regular aerobic exercise or stretching for 45 minutes four times a week over six months. The aerobic exercise not only improved thinking but also reduced levels of toxic tau protein in the brain. No currently approved medication can rival these effects, said lead author Laura Baker of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C."
Mindful self-care:
1. keep going through it, even when it's uber difficult 
2. silence
3. avoid co-dependency


Ask someone you care about:
"how are you"
And then:
really listen to their answer ...




This is my year to study forgiveness, it was my 2015 word. If you're not sure what I mean by my word for the year, each January I host a circle ceremony where we each pick a word for the new year. It's a big commitment, this word ~ once you claim it and the entire circle repeats it back to you out loud ~ you must own it, study it, develop a deeper understanding of its meaning and purpose in your journey. What's interesting and I still have three more months as a student of forgiveness, is how complicated forgiveness is when you really dig deeply into its roots. I have felt many times that I was failing at the school of forgiveness and then - I will uncover something quite valuable in my studies and efforts - to forgive. Within these valuable life lessons I have developed a keener understanding of these famous quotes: "to forgive takes love", "forgiveness is not something we do for others, we do if for ourselves - to get well and move forward", "forgive them even if they are not sorry", "nothing ever gets easier, you just get stronger"...
Honestly, the toughest challenge for me has been how people speak about forgiveness, as if it's easily accessible and simply a choice. I haven't found it easy at all, but I'm committed to it nevertheless and I'm reaping its benefits, albeit slowly. All of this is to share an article that I found today, I especially appreciate:
 "The common understanding of forgiveness fails to recognize how much work and time is involved in genuine forgiveness."
To free yourself from responses that cause you stress, anxiety or depression it's not enough to simply become more aware of the moments when we're triggered in our lives.
By the time we're aware that we're triggered, we're often in the midst of an emotional flood that has a life all its own.
The trick is to increase both our awareness and our capacity to stay with the feelings of our internal reaction --- before we act.
~ Pema Chodron


I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. 
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi


way to go todd bachman!

As a father prepared to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding, he halted the procession and made a gesture that has resonated with stepparents across the world. Todd Bachman, the biological father of Brittany Peck, approached her stepfather, Todd Cendrosky, and invited him to walk the bride down the aisle together during the ceremony in Lorain County, Ohio, last weekend. Mr. Cendrosky had not expected the invitation, and he began to cry as Mr. Bachman led him by the hand. The moment was captured by the wedding photographer, Delia Blackburn.  Ms. Blackburn said she cried as she took the photos, touched by the gesture as a stepmother herself. She said the job of the stepparent is often difficult and thankless. “When someone acknowledges and appreciates you, it tugs at your heart,” she said. “It just breaks you down with emotion." Mr. Bachman said there were some tough stretches in the family over 14 years, but that he wanted to convey his appreciation to Mr. Cendrosky. “For me to thank him for all the years of helping raise our daughter wouldn’t be enough, there is no better way to thank him than to assist me walking her down the aisle.”
Things being what they are in the world today, we are more and more driven to depend on one another’s sympathy and friendship in order to survive emotionally.
~ Barbara Walters


Self discovery is a mental, emotional and spiritual journey to your authentic self. 
This process can be immensely enjoyable when you attune to the patterns that empower you. 
I can help you get there!


aren't feeling