Sunday, March 30, 2008

How dream of reading someone's mind may soon become a reality - Science, News - The Independent

How dream of reading someone's mind may soon become a reality - Science, News - The Independent

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I must have hit a nerve

Last week’s article (see it at ) must have hit a nerve, because it provoked more response than any article in a long time. I’m including a selection of what I received in return below.

I went to the memorial service that Dan’s spiritual community (of which I am a member) held for him. We all just sat in a (huge) circle and members offered memories of him as they felt moved to speak. It was touching to hear, and to hear the members caring for each other. I was blown away by the poise of his two young adult children, who articulated their gratitude for the community’s role in their father’s life, and who seemed to be very positive in the face of this really difficult circumstance.

Here’s an odd thing. One woman who was at the service told me her brother had died the day before the service, and another told me her 104 year old grandmother had died two days before it. Given the notes below, I really wonder if we have entered the times of change that have been predicted by so many traditions for so long.


I've had two friend die in 5 days - there have been 3 suicides in three weeks out here in West Marin - my friend who lives in
a small community on the Trinity River tells me there have been 40 deaths since December in their tiny community mostly accidents some
suicides and sudden onset illness. Astrologically we are in a time of great transformation and shift - many souls will choose to leave at this


A very good friend of mine died almost two weeks ago. And I think death is simply giving up the illusion of darkness. We are all light whether in this dimension or another; energy and love. I think we re-fold back into the light of the divine spark within ourselves, back into the universe as we 1st knew it, before we entered this dimension in another state of transformation. You know the rest...its love without in or out; top or bottom - as for my friend, in remembrance of her I close my correspondences with 'Savor the moment,' because that was her way. Her life was so full I could almost taste it whenever I was with her. She was my best friend's mother and a surrogate mom. She was a cancer survivor of 23 years.

So its ironic reading your email. These have been my thoughts. Thanks for the chance to share them.

Be well and savor the moment - no matter what it is. I pray the good ones last long and the sad ones pass quickly.

Kathy Lavine

And it, too, hit me like a ton of bricks. I did have a number of very sweet interactions with him, and, as you put in a much more eloquent way, it really hits close to home. Hard when people around our age die, especially those that we know. I am very sad about it -


I cried for the loss of Dan when I read this, and still am. There must be something special about him that touches people's hearts. Another of my immediate thoughts about him was that he was only 50 and apparently healthy--and that does hit very close to home. It really could happen to any of us, and for those of us who live alone--like Dan--we might not even be missed right away. I guess we need these reminders so we'll make the most of life while we have it.

[I think that when people die alone, they are actually giving the rest of us a huge gift. Why? Because we’re fine between the time they leave their bodies and the time we find out about it, which means that we already know, at a very deep level, that we can be okay without them around. H.]

Your description of Dan’s passing is so wonderful. He was a wonderful guy and I did know and appreciate him a lot. He also liked me a lot. That’s the part that makes it sweet and sad, bittersweet.

I just wonder, if everyone thought this person in my life may not be here tomorrow, would I treat them better? Would maybe transform our planet. Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness and eloquence.

I knew Dan was going to go in this way, I just did not know when. I spoke with [a mutual friend] last week, and she asked if I knew someone who could benefit from her [health] coaching program and I said, yes, Dan would, he really needs your help. I've done this before with countless others. Its cool, spooky and scary all at the same time.

I'm not sure what do to with the information when I have it.


I met a man recently who works with the Mayans. The real deal. I understand that 100's of thousands of people will be leaving their bodies rather abruptly in the coming years. We need to learn how to be open to this as not being a "bad" thing. And, if it were my friend, I'd be mourning too.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Death is Another Country

I heard the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the change

(To paraphrase the Beatles)

So another friend left his body rather permanently. I heard the news from a mutual friend. Dan was in his mid-50s, with a grown son and a college-age daughter. He wasn’t sick, except he apparently went home with the flu on Friday... and was never heard from again. On Tuesday, when his business partner couldn’t get in touch with him, he began to worry, went to his house, found his car there, but no answer at the door or on the phone. He called the cops who got in, and...

Dan was more of an acquaintance than a friend, someone with whom I meditated, and took part in group, and occasionally personal, discussions about the nature of reality and the highest good. I respected his insight, his balanced view of life, his eloquence — and his good heart. He was always the first to open his arms for a hug, and the first to burst into a hearty laugh. And I really liked him. But he wasn’t someone I ever called for a personal reason, his or mine.

Dan was one of the angels in this earthly bar, the ones who come and go, as we all do, who enter through the swinging doors (take a body), have a drink, some food, hook up, break up, maybe play a game of poker, or pour a beer for someone else, watch the dramas unfolding, and leave again through those same swinging doors.

So why am I so upset?

I mean, this is as upsetting to me as when my good friend, Charlotte, checked out a few months ago (see ). But of course, at some level, I expected her to leave, just didn’t know when, and so I was pretty complete with her. And I was most definitely not complete with Dan. I really regret that I didn’t get to know this very cool person better.

Does that explain this level of upset?

As I check inside, I find a sort of energetic steel tube in my core, which I move out of me so that I can talk with it. The first thing it says is, ‘there, but for the grace of God, go I’. It’s true — we can all leave the bar at any time. I’m pretty clear that Dan was complete on some level, and he’s probably having a blast exploring new realms, whatever is outside the swinging doors. So leaving the bar doesn’t sound so bad. But on the other hand, who knows when I’ll find another body to inhabit? And they say that Earth is a destination planet because of its beauty.

I guess I have to get used to it... People, my friends, are going to leave the bar with regular, and probably increasing, frequency. That means I have three choices.

The first is to mourn.

The second choice is to learn to be a clearer medium, so that I can still talk to them. I think of it like this: death is another country. What do I mean? Three or four generations ago, in the 19th century, when someone left their village in Russia to come to America, they could have no expectation of ever going back to visit. Nor could they count on the relatives that they left behind ever coming to America. Communication was pretty minimal, too. This was before the telephone. They had letters, of course, but those were quite slow, possibly expensive, and probably infrequent. Today, when someone dies, it’s like we’re in Russia and he or she went to America. There aren’t any letters, but there are mediums, who may be expensive and whom I’ll only call infrequently. If I develop my mediumistic abilities, it’ll be like having a telephone would have been in the 19th century — not as good as having the person with you, but way better than no communication at all. And eventually, I know I’ll go to America, too.

The third choice is to focus on the angels still in the bar, to love them, and appreciate them, and see one leaving as an opportunity to get to know another.

Friday, March 07, 2008

How to get out of your rut/race

Maybe you know the feeling: you’re really good at what you do, and successful, too, but it just feels... empty. You have this good job (or business) but you feel like the only reason you show up is to pay the bills. You used to love what you do, but now you have to keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it. You’re racing your motor (work to churn out, people to see, presentations to give — it’s endless), and that only makes the wheels spin faster (and yes, you do meet all the deadlines), which digs the rut deeper. You’re in a pretty good place, but you’re going nowhere — and going there fast, and maybe burning out the motor at the same time.

I have a few clients like that right now, men and women both. They’re all experts at different facets of marketing, mid-life, quite successful. Each is on his or her own personal growth path, though the paths are as varied as the people: Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, non-denominational spirituality, Masters Degrees in psychology or related fields, certificates in different types of healing.

My rule is that when something shows up 3 or more times in quick succession, it’s time to look at it. And since I’m quite clear that this lesson isn’t for me, it must be for you!

What you’re telling me is that success for its own sake just doesn’t satisfy any more. Because I’ve been working with marketers, success is, in an odd way, proof of their value — if you’re successful, that means you’re good at marketing, which makes a prima facie case that others should listen to you (and pay you) to tell them how to succeed. The money, the trappings, though they’re great, don’t mean all that much. Even helping other people succeed and get money and trappings, just seems pretty empty. So your success becomes a trap — success begets success begets success — hey, this wheel pretty much turns on its own momentum now! But your deepest need to do something else gnaws at you constantly.

Here’s something else I know from working with people for more than 15 years. If you don’t listen to that sense that it’s time to shift, the shift will come to you, often in a less than pleasant way. Perhaps you’ll get sick, so you’ll sit still and pay attention. Maybe you’ll lose your biggest client. Maybe you’ll lose your job. In fact, I met an abbot once, the ‘father’ of a religious order, who opened up to me, and told me he was really sick of his job, tired of running the monastery. I told him that if he didn’t instigate a change, the change would come to him. And he didn’t do anything, because he felt secure. The monks had taken vows of obedience, and he had no superior. The monks got together and rebelled and he was out on his ear!

So pay attention to that nagging sensation that something has to change. But what to do?

Here are a few ideas, presented in no particular order. Pick and choose the ones that work for you:

Ask yourself, what is frustrating me? Create a vision of your own future that eliminates, or at least works around, all your current frustrations, while incorporating all the things you love (and probably take for granted) now, and move toward that.
Create a vision for how you would like the world to be, and let that guide you in shifting your job or business, so that your larger vision for the world gives meaning to your daily activities. If you want a sustainable future for society, shift your job or business to support that, perhaps by actively seeking ‘green’ clients.
If you’re feeling stifled, limited, or undervalued, then shift your business focus to something related to what you’re already good at, but that uses other skills you’re not using now. If you have lots of people skills, use them in HR or recruiting for a marketing firm.
Start a side business doing something you love to do, that seems more important than what you’re doing now. If connecting people to each other seems more important than teaching them how to do search engine optimization, start a networking group. Play around with business models till you find one that will eventually support you so you can stop what you now think of as your main job or business.
Get help! There are coaches out there (including me) who have processes to help you clarify what you’re choosing to create.