Saturday, December 12, 2015

Recharging Your Relationship: Day Twelve

(This is day 12 of 21 days of games to recharge a relationship that wants to be more fun, more loving, sexier and more connected to real spiritual growth.

There are a number of exercises that have been worked up to one by one.
This is an advanced flavor of a life that could be lived as a completely different level.

For a free half hour of coaching and exploration of how you could have a magical and awakened relationship, call 360-317-4773.
Well: email first with what you want.)

Here's day 12:

Day Twelve: Setting Goals as a Way Out

Remember myth #3: there is no way out. By now you’ve got a basketful of ways out and this goal thing, especially if written when you are by yourself, or spoken as a “we” goal when you are with your partner, is one of the most potent ways out.

Attention is powerful.
If we put our attention on our complaints, we stir ourselves down to bitterness and frustration.
If we put our attention on what we want, we tune ourselves toward a better life.

And here’s the deal: We want to speak to our partner, and write (in handwriting) our goals in two segments:
The masculine segment: What we want to get done, or what we want to have happen.
The feminine segment: How we want that to be as it gets done.

I can have the goal of finishing this book by December 15. That’s the masculine goal.
I can have to goal that this is done without pushing, and with a lot of ease, delight and discovery. That I am present and relaxed and happy as I write.
That brilliant ideas come naturally and easy to me.
That the catalog of all my discoveries over all of my years be easily and readily available to me.

So that’s the goals you want to say in your “we” goals.
What you’d like to happen:  “My we goal is that our communication improve.”
And how you’d like it to happen: "My we goal is that we easily and almost magically keep discovering ways to communicate that help us to talk and hear each other in ways better than we can even imagine.”

Ask for it all.
Point the arrow of life where you really want it to go.

And what helps give fuel to this arrow:
Being present.
Being grateful.
Being in like and love.
Being in the learning mode.
Being in the laughing mode.

Love, laughter, learning and listening: Listening to the now. Listening to the other. Listening to your intuition. Listening to your body.
All these will fill you with a kind of love/ divine/ happy power energy to get your life going toward these goals.

Learning is the noticing of differences that make a difference.
Over and over we alternate between hanging out in the complaining mind and the real you, the you that is present and grateful and likes and loves, and is in your body in this moment and is aware of the outside world at this moment.

As part of your rapid development, and as a gift from the Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel training, here is another movement to fuel both learning and presence and deeper and more pleasurable breathing.

Stand and put your hands behind your head.
One: arch up your head and breathe in deeply as you push your belly out.

Two: shift your weight to your left foot and bend forward as you breathe out and move your right elbow toward your right knee.

Three: Keeping the weight on your left foot, raise your head and body and elbows and rotate your left elbow up and to the left as you breathe in and push out your belly.

Four: Breathe out and shift your weight to your right foot and take your left elbow toward your right knee as you lean forward and round.

Five: Breathe in and keep your weight to your right, and push your belly out and lift your gaze and your right elbow up and to the right.

Back to two. And keep repeating a number of times.

Notice lots of differences: weight on the left foot and weight on the right. Breathing in and breathing out. Belly in and belly out. Back arching and back folding. Twisting to the right and twisting to the left.
Do this a lot.
Enjoy it.

And now let’s do day twelve:

Have a big fat complaint in your head.
Stand opposite your partner and do three rounds of the above movement.

Partner A now starts.
First: Saying I like… I love… I am grateful for… twice each.

Second: shift to another spot and think the complaining thought.

Third: come back to in front of the partner and share observations in the present, now standing but as before: “Now I am aware, in myself of…” ( Picking something below the waist). “Now I am aware, outside myself of….” “Now I am aware, in myself of… (Picking something above the waist). “Now I am aware, in the outside world…”

Fourth: Move back to the complaining spot, think the complaining thought and feel the shift.

Fifth: Come back to the real you spot and do the arching/ rounding and twisting movement

Sixth: Go back to the complaining spot, thinking the thought. Feel the differences in your mood and your body and your breathing.

Seven: Come back to the real you and formulate a “we goal,” that includes both what you’d like for the two of you and how you’d like it to be.

Eight: then fuel this more by any or all of the real you energizers:
Commenting on the present.
Liking / loving and gratitude.
And, aware movement with variations and presence.

Then smile.
Say “thank for listening” to your partner, and each take three deep breaths together.

Reverse this.

And do it again. Each way, all eight steps.

This is a  lot.

So what? We’ve spent a lifetime programming ourselves to believe the nonsense of our complaining minds.
Now we have the contrast to feel
Now we have the fuel to energize our goals as to what we really want.

To have different results we get the great joy of “working on ourselves.”

If you want a meaningful life, this is the price of admission. Pay in time and attention and notice the differences.
Don’t believe anything you don’t experience.

Hell is your state of mind that is complaining.
Heaven is reality.

Enjoy the difference.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Why People hate Christians

Why do people hate Christians?

Because they aren't Christian.

Most of the people who are so-called Christians are busy turning people off to Christianity by being exactly as Jesus preached against:
Rule bound hypocrites, much more interesting in telling other people where they are wrong and what rule they are breaking than helping people achieve what everyone wants to achieve: happiness, love, content, fun and harmony.
And usefulness.

They have the "my way or the highway" rule, which blasts people for not believing that Jesus is the only way to heaven, or God, or even happiness.

Minor detail: Jesus said I am the way. And Follow me.
He didn't say He was the only way.

And never said to worship him.

What did He say.
Love your God with all your heart,
and love your neighbor as thyself.

Which is sadly true, except most people's god is either money or status, or their ego, or their image of themselves, and this is what they are in love with.

And most people love themselves hardly a whit, and so a busy not loving others.

Which comes to the core of why people hate Christians.

Jesus said to love your enemy.
The so-called Christians don't love unless you buy into their way of thinking.

These so-called Christians set up conditions, which is the opposite of love: follow these rules, jump through this creed, sign on to hating gays and maybe even working class, and you, too, can get my approval.

And what did Thomas Aquinas say, or St Thomas Aquinas as he is called:

One may have never heard the
sacred word "Christ"
and be closer to God
than a nun
a priest.

And what was Jesus' mission?

To wake up people to their ability to find, right now, the kingdom of heaven within, and to love God ( call it Life) and to love other people and to love yourself.

This is big work.

Scary work.

And frightened people always like rules more than freedom, liberation, real love, happiness.

Rules seem to protect.

Except they make to so-called Christians content only in their heads with their righteous bubble, and they turn off people to what could be ONE of the many beautiful paths of liberation on this earth,

An earth where suffering is the main path of most lives.

What causes that suffering?

Ask and ye shall receive an answer.

But not in your head.


Friday, September 04, 2015

what is your life for?

What  is the meaning of your life?

What is most important to you?

Where are you happy?

Where are you least happy ?

 These are the questions that people have asked for ever and ever. So we might as well ask them now!

 Good place to start is always… Now. What is your  sensation  of your self as a living being ,  right now?

 And from that sensation of being present in your body right now, can you answer the questions about the meaning and importance and happiness and unhappiness ?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Present. Loving Life/ Others/ Yourself

The Present:
Our Only Route to Freedom and Love

Here’s the deal:
One: If you had perfect parents AND
Your partner had perfect parents , THEN
You can have a grand relationship and be mindless

Two: We are either mindful or mindless

Three: If we did NOT both have perfect parents, things are always going to get awful unless we are mindful.

This isn’t to say they will always be awful.
In mindlessness, we can coast through good times, or stay busy enough to be out of each other’s hair, but there will be times when one or the other (or both, as often happens) have stressful/ bad/ shitty days.
When that happens, and we are mindless, guess what?
Not being mindful, we don’t get to chose what our reactions are going to be?
Who does?
Our programming.

Where does most of our heavy duty programming come from: our parents.

So, that’s the formula: stress, plus mindlessness equals we fall back on the rather funky examples and programming of our parents and act them out on our poor mate.
And our poor selves, because we aren’t really home when we are acting out the mindless game.
We are a pawn of our programming.

This would be bad, bad awful news, if we didn’t have an alternative to being mindless.
But we do.
To be mindful.

Remember number two at the start of this chapter: we can be mindful, or we can be mindless..

Mindful, we can notice:
Oh, darn, my buttons are being pushed. Better say something about that.
Or, wow, look at the way my words have caused my loved one to tense their breathing and look hurt in their face.
Maybe those weren’t the words I really wanted to say.

So, that’s that deal: Mindful we have choices. We can notice our own reactiveness.
We can notice the effects of our words and actions.

We aren’t lost in our own little world, but are paying attention to reality.
We notice the birds and our breathing and our skeletons holding us up in gravity and the look on our loved one’s face and the tone of our voice and the feelings that are coming up in us.

The world is new and fresh when we are mindful and if things aren’t “going right,” we can notice this, and say something about it and get curious.
And make suggestions.
Or requests.

All that, the making requests, the diffusing our own reactivity will come later in the book.

For now, we are going to practice pointing our attention to what we like in life.
What we are aware of in the present and what we like in life.

In couples, so much conversation is either planning out the business of what to next or later. And a lot is complaining about what happened in the past.
And the lovely blaming the other for when we feel bad.

So, let’s get our attention on what we like muscles build up and spend three days talking about what turns us on in life, what we like in life, what we are aware of in the present.
Like this…
The Liking Game
In some religions they lay it out like this: Two biggie commandments, Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Check that out closely and it’s three rules for the good life:
Love God
Love others.
Love yourself.

And now, gentle reader, we’re going to take a short cut, a short cut to happiness, contentment and bliss.
A way out of a bunch of conceptual tangling and fussing that has waylaid humanity for way too long.

Instead of God, we are going to say Life.
Capital L Life.
The miracle of the flowers and the creeks and the salmon and smiling children and tuba’s and kissing and square dancing and redwood trees.

So the Big Three rules become:

Love Life.
Love other people.
Love yourself.

And guess what?
You are your partner are going to practice that for twenty minutes a day for at least three days.

And you are going to start by noticing the big three: yourself, another person, and Life.

Here’s the game, sit as before in two chairs close to each other and look each other in the eyes as one speaks and the other listen.
Be present to your voice as you speak.
Both be present to the voice and the breathing and the body, both your own and the other’s.

And talk in two turns of talking and two turns of listening like this.
For five minutes cycle through these six sentence stems, finishing them as the words come to you.

1.    I notice in the present this about myself…
2.    I notice in the present, this about you…
3.    I notice, in the present, this about Life around us…
4.    I like this about myself…
5.    I like this about you…
6.    I like this about Life…

Pause for a couple of sweet breaths as you look each other in the eye, and then go back through the six sentence stems again.
And again.
And again.
Until the five minutes are up.

Notice the delight in just talking about what you like.
Notice the delight is just listening to your love talk about what they like.

Do this two turns each.

See if it changes how you talk in the rest of your life!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Touch in the Now, wow, no hurry, no worry, just "feel"

The book is once again, Love, Lust and Enlightenment
and it still wants you to have a marvelous relationship
a body brain teamwork that helps you feel younger and smarter and happy
each and every day.

Here's a chapter, day six.
It's going to be thirty day's worth of couple delight and anti-aging fun.

Day Six: Touch in the Now 

Life is now.
We know (as experience) that we are alive,  moment by moment—call that awake.
We are lost in our hurry or our inner chatter, and missing our experience in the moment --- call that asleep.
Someday we will die, and all these moments of having a chance to sense and know and feel ourselves as bodies and beings on this marvelous messy bright beautiful mysterious blue sky green lead infinite laughter flower and bird song planet Earth will be over.
Dead , finished, over.

One of the surest ways to know we are alive, and to be present is to follow our breathing.
Now. Try it. Notice your breathing and what does that do for you? Notice that difference. (Who notices that?)

Another constant of life on earth, is gravity. What do you feel now about your bottom pressing into the chair, or your feet into the floor?
What does noticing you are a real live body, in breathing and in gravity, what does that do for you?
(Who notices that?)

Always there. Always an immediate way to “wake up” to now.


And from here, let’s touch today.
Try two turns of three minutes each of touching the other’s foot.
Go slowly.
And In the first turn, do what you did in prior touches. Take turns verbalizing what you are feeling as the toucher, and as the touchee.
So, go three minutes each each way with that.

Second turn:
Each time you verbalize what you are noticing, start with three verbalizations
One: about your breathing
Two: about what you notice about the other person’s breathing
Three: what you notice about your connection to gravity.
And then four and five:
What you notice either in your touching, or in being touched.

Take turns sharing these five statements.

Realize what a relief this can be, not to have to think. To simply be reporting on breath and gravity and touch.

Go back and forth this way several times.

At the end share for a couple of minutes, what it was like to be touched and to touch in the two different ways.

Even now, even in this sharing, you might want to walk of now as gravity, or now as breath, and then go back to sharing about your responses and inspirations and realizations in this “game.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Radical Presence via the Gurdjieff Meditation "Plus"

From my forthcoming book:

Day Seven: Enlightenment as being
“In Your Body”
The Gurdjieff Meditation Plus….

Here’s how to enjoy being more awake in your day: be present to your arms and legs.
And spine
All day.
Get out of your head and come to your senses.
Get out of those words in your noggin and sense your feet and toes, as far away from your head as you can get and still be in your body. Sense your spine holding them all together.

The party of being human.
The “five lines” that a child often draws when they first draw people: a head, a line down from the head. Two legs off the bottom of that line. Two arms up higher off the line.

Sense the five lines of you.
This is why people like yoga: it kind of makes a game of the various shapes you can put the lines in.

This is why the Gurdjieff meditation “plus” is so useful: Wherever you are you are in some “shape.”
What is it?
What is it now?

The “plus” is because the Gurdjieff meditation as the standard and amazing practice is both arms and both legs, and “meditation” days are painting houses, and building decks and digging ponds, as chances to practice being “in” the arms and legs.
The “plus” of the spine in from Moshe Feldkenkrais and that work I mentioned in the chapter on the weekend where I felt like I was twelve again. Moshe likes people to see themselves as five lines.
He understood that as the way the brain organizes movement most quickly.

This book is about enlightenment.
Enlightenment is about coming out of our heads and into our senses.
Arms and legs and spine are a huge percentage of our real estate and always in some configuration.
And we are usually unaware of these big chunks of us, unless we are lucky enough to have a physical job.
And when we put out attention on our five lines, vast chunks of our brains are lit up.
And our attention is vastly sharpened.

Don’t believe me.
Give it a go.
Sense those feet and toes.
And legs.
Sense those finger and hands.
And arms.
And spine/ head/ pelvis.

Wiggle around, talk, stand, sit, talk, write.
Sense them as you do anything. Everything.

Let’s do the morning meditation.
This will help Love. You want need to drag for attention. You’ll be giving it to yourself.
This will help Lust. You’ll be in the full body, not just genitally driven.
This will help enlightenment. Not just meditating with your eyes closed, but all day, how much more delightful time to “wake up”

Here goes:

Sit in a chair. Or anywhere, feet on the ground/ floor.
Close your eyes.

Start at the tips of your right toes.
Sense them all, and keeping the attention always where it’s been before, move your attention bit by bit up through your leg to sense all the inside and outer flesh of your toes, until you reach your feet.
The whole foot, all of it, inside and out.
The ankle.
Up, up, keeping all you’ve sensed so far.
The lower leg.
Knee. ( No words, just sense it as…..sensation)
The upper leg, all the way to the hip joint.

Sense this entire chuck of you, toe tips to hip joint. Fill it up with attention.

Keep the entire right leg lit up with attention and add on the fingertips of the right hand.
Move up, through the ‘
Lower arm
Upper arm, to the shoulder socket.
And now, add on

Starting from the top, this mediation sometimes being called, “around the world.”
The left upper arm from shoulder down to the
Elbow and then
Lower arm, wrist, hand, fingers, finger tips.

Now, finishing the “circle”
Upper leg at the hip joint, down through ALL of it to the
Lower leg, ankle, foot, toes and toe tips

Now sense all four, fully, for while, then add on
Start with your pelvis. Feel how it connects to both legs, which you are keeping in sensing.
Find the spine rising out of your pelvis and sense up, as much vertebra by vertebra as you can, to the base of your skull.
The spine doesn’t attach to the arms, but feel their proximity, and sneak in the ribs if you want.
Feel the skull, your skull on top of your spine, as if pelvis – spine – head are your central line.
Which they are.


You now have inner and outer attention.

Bask in that for awhile.

Four windows out into the world , two ears and two eyes.
Five bastions of inner attention, two legs and two arms and one spine.

Hang out in this fullness.

Now get up and go about your day staying in all this attention.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Past thoughts on "the book"

Hello, happy Wednesday

I am moving along on a book that has changed titles twice.

First is was Love, Lust and Relationship.
Second, is was Love, Lust and Enlightenment: Falling Back in love with your mate, and becoming “almost enlightened” to boot.

Both those versions started like this…
“This is a book about enlightenment.
No, wait, this is a book about great sex.
No, wait, this is a book about being a great friend to that person who is driving you crazy—your partner.
No, wait, this is a book about being a great friend to another person who is driving you crazy—yourself.”

It’s was an exciting title, and the book filled up with touch games and talk games and even some games to get people clear on how amazing and important it was to be in their bodies.

And then it need to be a bigger book. It need to include a big synthesis of all I have learned in all these years as a Movement Coach and a Relationship Coach.

And what everything had in common was what I realized could be called Radical Listening.

Thus the new title:
The Power of Radical Listening:
Creating the Magical Bedroom,
The Magical Boardroom, & the
Forever Young Body

Radical listening to each other’s talk for a magical bedroom and magical boardroom/ workplace. Radical listening in touch for that revitalized and magical bedroom. And radical listening to your own body, via present awareness of movement, for the forever young body.

And how did this “forever young body” come to the bedroom and the workplace?
Well, obviously, a body that works well, is better in the sack. And a body without neck, back and shoulder issues is much more happy at work.

And it’s deeper, it goes to the principles that make Radical Listening so powerful.

I lucked into all this when I was 55 and I took a weekend workshop, after which I felt as if I was 10 years old again, in movement, and acuity of thinking.
This led to 9 years of training in two systems, the Feldenkrais Method and the Anat Baniel Method, that created a platform for helping high performing musicians and people with back, neck and shoulder issues, and children with special needs.

How did it do this?
By bringing people into the present, deeply.
By creating situations of non habitual behavior and new options.
By connection of places that usual aren’t connected.

And these are how Radical Listening will work in talking and in touching and in movement.

For example in talking to a loved one, or an estranged one, or a person with whom things are kind of blah and you’d like to have REAL connection, here’s a major game in the book.

Listening back and forth for 18 minutes.
Take a timer, and commit to three turns of three minutes each.

In the turns one talks and the other listens.
We apply all three principles of Radical Listening.

Being present:
Both the talker and the listener attempt to be present to their bodies, to the melody of the words, to each other’s breathing.

The listener, says nothing and does not “think” about their response .

The talker does NOT talk about:
The other person ( if it’s a troubled issue, there are patterns of way too much talking about the other)
The relationship ( ditto)
What the person said in the prior turn

This last constraint brings about much better listening because we aren’t formulating what we are going to say in response, because that’s off the table.
It makes easier talking because the person speaking doesn’t have to worry about what the other person is going to “think” about what they said. ( Later, of course, this might want to be in the game)

To make things even juicer, a non-habitual recommendation for the speaker would be:
Talk about present noticing. ( I feel my hand on my pants. I feel my breath coming in. I see your brown eyes. I see your breathing--- noticing about the other person is a far cry from the usual commenting about their personality)
Talk about what they like. (This a far cry from the habit of much of talking to be about complaining)

And the third part:
Connecting: Look each other in the face or eye as you talk, and as you listen.

With touch.
These three are great:
Non habitual

With movement
Non habitual

All to be revealed in the book. Call for a sample of each type of exercise in the first four chapters. 360-317-4773

Monday, June 08, 2015

Working with Special Needs Children, or High Performers: The whole person, not the "problem"

When I was 55 I took a weekend workshop in the Feldenkrais Method.®
I knew and loved this work. It had helped me with back and shoulder issues for years and I always recommended it go someone who had a movement issue.
I thought it was great stuff.

AND, after the weekend workshop I realized: THIS COULD BE ABOUT ME!! I  felt and moved as if I were ten years old again.

This was an invitation to a four year training, which I enhanced with a doubled up first year of training with a man who combined Zen and Feldenkrais.
Then I discovered Anat Baniel, whom I think has advanced what is already one of the most amazing systems on the planet.
Another 4 years.

So 9 years of training and I know this:

A high level musician or a special needs child come in.
They have a brain.
They can learn.
A rock can’t learn, a tree can’t learn, a car can’t learn.

Many “body work” systems treat the person as a car, with a wheel or carburetor that needs to be fixed.

In the Anat Baniel and the Feldenkrais system, we are working with a whole person, whose brain and hence whose life can change.

The change happens a number of ways, and a simple version is the change comes from using these three essentials of radical listening:
Deep presence
Non-habitual options

So, an autistic boy who answered “Not Quite” to every question was not fixed, by being told his answer was wrong or nonsensical.
I looked at him in presence, connected with him by touch, and played with non habitual wordings.
How about
Not not quite
Not quite quite
Not not quite quite quite

At first he was confused. Then delighted. He started to hear what he was saying and realizing that there were other choices in the world.

And a child with a tight/ spastic fist, from cerebral palsy.

To fix, would be the pry the finger loose and massage or something.
This is nice, but, not any use to the brain.

But, slowly playing with a little little movement in the thumb and then the pinkie and going slow enough the child can feel the difference.
Moving the whole hand in a way that connects to the back and elbow and shoulder.
Moving the hand in many patterns, many options, all with tons of presence and searching for opening up connection in the child’s brain between that hand and other parts of the body…

This is transformation for the whole person.

Works just the same with the highly skilled fingers of the best violin player or pianist in the world.



Friday, June 05, 2015

Awakened Relationship

Let's say a couple wants to play one of the sweetest games in the world.

They want a relationship where they can learn to be better at being present, to be better at being kind, to have great sensual connection, to be at ease and peace with each other, to have a deep and fascinated and loyal friend, to have someone to pull them out when they are going to shit.

Love, touch, friendship, support, joy.

All the good things and in the context of "almost enlightenment."

Why "almost enlightenment?"

Why the enlightenment part:
We can be mindful or mindless.
Mindless means by definition we are on automatic, which means almost always big fat ugly doses of Ma and Pa.
So mindless = suffering.
Unless we had fairly miraculous Ma and Pa.

So enlightenment sets us free from the conditioned past and gives us a chance to chose reality, and love.
Awake we can be awake to choices in the moment.
We can make them.

Asleep we are programmed and don't have choice and in a couple who is not awake, it's my robot vs your robot, and that's a mess.

Why the "almost" part?
Because "enlightenment" is just one more concept and if we have it as the ideal and are measuring ourselves against it, we are lost, once more in that sticky world of "thinking" that is really nothing more, usually, than auditory hallucination.
And while listening to our thinking, even thinking about "Am I enlightened right now," we miss the sweetest of listening to our partner.
Or our breath.
Or gravity
Or our arms and legs.

Thinking is a thief and almost enlightenment is a hint: wake up to now and see, hear, taste, feel, notice was is here.

that's the game: you are your partner loving be present together.

And your commitment: to help each other in this vast sweetness of now.

Now in talk.

Now in touch.

Now in sitting around knowing not what to "do."

Now in having a great plan of something to do.

Now in the joy of helping each other out of the shit when the other uses stress as an excuse to go mindless.

And kindness in this
We have gone there too.

It's a good game.

Almost every post on this site has a way of playing that game.

What would you like to invent today to help create awakened relationship in your life?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Shut up and Listen

I once had this marvelous girlfriend. We met when I went to her yoga class. We bonded in a garden and in nature. We had a sweet connection. Our first night together was in a futon bed that was in a garden, under the stars. She was frisky. I was frisky.
Life was good.
Our talk was good, I thought, and yet: I was the oldest child, and we like to hear ourselves be the teacher. (Love to hear ourselves teach, actually. Alas.)  She was the youngest and had been married 18 years to a semi-famous artist who took up all the air in the room.
I didn’t know how much better things could get in talking until I tried this one night, this game that will be your first gift from the world of radical listening.

We used a timer.
She talked for five minutes. I didn’t interrupt. I was present as I listened. I followed my breathing. I didn’t say a peep. I looked at her and took her in.  If she didn’t know what to say instantly, I didn’t “help.” I waited. I listened.
I took a turn.
She took another turn, and in this turn began to cry.
No one had ever really listened to her for five minutes without completing her thought or interrupting her to tell her what she was “really” trying to say. Or the usual human thing: interrupting to say their ever so important thing.

Ever notice how your interruptions always have the assumption that what you have to say is MUCH more important than letting them finish?

Well, with Marlie, this had been endemic enough for her never to be heard.

So she cried.
This was profound for her.
And profound for me.

Let’s see how it will be for you.
Sit across from a friend, a business colleague, or your love partner. (With the love partner, this listening in the now can deeply improve the sex connection. Don’t believe me. Discover it for yourselves.)

You are going to take 3 minute turns talking and listening. Three turns makes it 18 minutes. You can do four minute turns (24 minutes). Or 5 minute turns (30 minutes).
And you might get hooked and want to keep going and going.
After Marlie and I got into it, we’d go for hours sometimes. It’s so nice to discover what you have to say when the pressure of interruption is off.

 In the beginning levels of this game, you don’t say anything about what the other person talked about.
This has two advantages: One, you don’t have to worry about what another person thinks about what you say when you talk, because they don’t get to say their ever so important opinion.
Two, as the listener, you aren’t going inside and rehearsing your response instead of listening, which is what we do most of the time. This helps create a condition of ONLY LISTENING.

Not interrupting. Even a squeak.
Not “thinking” of our response to what they are saying.
Not rehearsing over and over our response to what they are saying.
Not having any commentary in our head about what they are saying.
Not even “remembering” what they said awhile back.
One word at a time, one sentence at a time, one breath of this life, this now, this miracle of being alive and…

This creates a delicious savoring of our partner as they speak and we are ONLY LISTENING.  This creates a great ease and possibility for inner discovery in the one talking.
This is good.
This is very good.

Here’s the game

Set up two chairs facing each other and sit in them
Grant yourselves at least 20 minutes
Turn off cell phones, though let one be on airplane mode to be used for a timer
Set the timer for 3 minutes
Pick who starts first today. We’ll call this person, Partner A, or A.
Start the timer
Partner A talks, while being present
Partner B listens, in only listening
3 minutes
Partner A talks of anything except…
1. No talking about “the relationship”
2. No talking about the other person

It can be ramble.
It can be exploration.
It can be memory.
If “nothing comes,” these four always work:

The present
What you like/ love/ enjoy about life.
What is important to you in life
Saying nothing

It’s fine to say nothing.
You get attention, ONLY LISTENING, whether you have words or not..

The timer goes off.


Then switch to partner B talking for 3 minutes and partner A, ONLY LISTENING.

Partner B ( and partner A in all subsequent turns) has three restrictions now. One more.
1. No talking about the other person,
2. No talking about the relationship,
3. No talking about what the other person just said. No commentary, feedback, reactions, “improvements ” (aka “one upping”),  opinions.

As said before, this helps ONLY LISTENING immensely. Knowing that you won’t have a chance to yak about your important reaction to what you just heard helps calm down the mind for ONLY LISTENING.
Knowing that your partner won’t get to yak their important response gives an ease and a safety to the one speaking.

At the end of the three minutes, PAUSE again, and again take three deep and sweet breaths together.

Back to A. Who has the same three restrictions.

Do this at least 3 turns of talking  and ONLY LISTENING for each person.

You might want to take a quiet walk after, holding hands if you are a couple, simply being quiet and present to each other no matter what. And NOT talking, as you walk.

Enjoy deeply this gift of presence and ONLY LISTENING you have given yourself and your partner.

This is a delicious daily practice, a nourishment to your ability to listen and your need to/ wish to be heard.

Connection to another in the present. One of the best presents in the world.
yes yes

Monday, May 18, 2015

Awakened touch: Toward the Magical Bedroom

The Magical Bedroom

( A chapter from the forthcoming book: The Power of Listening, creating the Magical Bedroom, the Magical Boardroom and the Forever Young Body... call for pdf of first four chapters)

The magical bedroom starts in the hands.
No, not really.
The magical bedroom starts in attention. Paying attention to yourself. Paying attention to your partner.
Touch that is in awareness.

The magical bedroom also starts in honest talk. This is what you will be developing in the talk chapters.
Listen to what the other person’s heart has to say.
Truth is the best foreplay.

And touch is important, too.
And here is what is most important: Awakened Love.
Without awakened love you are a robot. A well functioning robot, or a poorly functioning one, but a robot non the less.
Not to be too derogatory but life is stark in a certain way: we can drift and be mindless. We can chose and be mindful.

Awakened love is central to a well lived life. Hopefully with a person with whom to share your bed and life.
If not that, a good friend, a grandchild, a nephew, a partner in the world of waking up.

And for the magical bedroom, we are looking for a partner with whom to wake up in talk, and in touch.
Truth is the most important foreplay, and awakened touch comes in a close second.

And this book will be all foreplay.
Kissing and touching the hands, the arms, the neck, the face. Touching the foot.
That’s it.

Two months of that.
You will be changed. If you want further, come enroll in one of my six month courses, either private or small group. Things get steamy on the third month, but only after a solid presence in touch orientation.
If you are awake in your touch, the world is a completely new and fresh place.

And this can be practiced on a park bench.
How nice.

So let’s start.
Today, the arm.

Take one, and only one of your partner’s arms. You will be exploring the whole arm and hand and those miraculous fingers.
For three minutes explore their arm as if you were a Martian and not really sure what arms and hand are.
And you are a baby, you aren’t even sure what your own arms and hands are
Three minutes.
Touch and explore their arm and hand: with your hand.
With your hands.
How is it different with one hand and two.
Explore with your finger tips. With all the fingers. With one of two at a time. With different combinations of fingers.
Explore with the back of your hand.
The palm.
Both sides.
Explore with your lower arm and elbow and upper arm.

Go slowly.
Find the thrill in the sensation, and the learning.
Find the pleasure in being very clear and present to the point of contact.
Mindfulness of the moving and sweet point of contact: that will come to be exquisitely useful later.
And it’s exquisitely delightful now.


Do this for three minutes and then take turns sharing how that was for each other.

Now, for the next three minutes.
Take turns articulating three short sentences at a time each. Three here and now observations of either what you are feeling or what you are doing, or if you are the toucher/ explorer, both.

For example>
A: I feel your thumb rubbing the inside of my wrist. I feel my breathing coming in and out. I feel my bottom on the chair.
B: I feel my thumb rubbing your wrist. I feel the softness of your skin. I notice your chest going up and down as you breathe.
A: I feel you now stroking the back of my arm with the back of your arm. I can feel the bones under my skin as you do that. I can hear the bird singing outside.
B: I feel your arm with my arm. I feel my arm moving at the shoulder. I notice I am looking away from you.

And so on.
Three minutes.

Then share how that was.

Switch to do each kind of touching the other way.

And share after each kind of touching.

And you can do this more than once a day.

And do if for two or three days and then will kick in the next layer of touching.


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Pain vs Suffering

From the forthcoming book: Love, Lust and Enlightenment:

Pain vs Suffering
 If someone dies, you are going to feel a physical pang, a real pain in your chest and your life. This is part of life. This is built in.
We had a person. They are gone. That emptiness is real and we can feel it. AS SENSATION.
Loving that sensation, loving that we are alive to feel that sensation, missing that person AS SENSATION is the breaking open of the heart that makes us bigger and better and more loving than ever.

And then there is the suffering: words in our head, aka “thinking,” and in reality, auditory hallucination, the words saying we needed to do this more, needed to do that more, they shouldn’t have died, this isn’t the right time, it’s not fair, the end wasn’t as good as it should have been, regrets about how thing should have been different.

And in a relationship, say something goes wrong, and someone gives you some grief.
Say yesterday your love gave you a hard time, and that’s that.
They said something a bit mean, and being human, it might have been one remark of five seconds out of six hours together. And you can feel bad.

Again, as SENSATION, you gave feel the pain of not connection.
We are designed to be close and to love and when that doesn’t happen there is real pain.
Feeling that, AS SENSATION, not only honors your real grief that connection and love were missed, but honors the present of your sensations right now.

Suffering on the other hand is all the words on how they should have been different, how they “always” are this, how they “never” are that.

As we have examined before: our choice of making ourselves unhappy by arguing with what is.

Notice the deal;
AS SENSATION, something real and present is happening in us.
As words in our head/ thinking/ auditory hallucination we are creating suffering for ourselves.

And let’s take real pain.
Physical pain, which is a pain.

Let’s take a headache.

AS SENSATION, we can feel the exact shape of the pain, is it round, oblong, how big. It’s usually grape size, but no matter how much, it isn’t infinite, which is how we often imagine it when we don’t go for the sensation in reality.
And in reality, the headache is only so big and we can sense were the pain eases off, and then the whole rest of our body and notice how much bigger than the headache is our whole body.

As we can notice that the awareness that can notice this is who we really are.

And, if we want to suffer?
Have a bunch of words in our head about:  it should go away, I should have done this different so this won’t happen, poor me, I have to take this and this and this to get rid of this, life sucks until this pain goes away, when is it going to go away.

And so on.

Reality, as sensation.
Suffering as words in our head arguing with reality.

A huge and super crucial choice we all have at any moment when pain does what pain is supposed to do: wake us up.

So, with your mate
As yesterday.
Sit near. Look in the eye. Breathe together. Have two chairs each.
Have the suffering chair. Sit there and complain in gibberish about how something should have been different yesterday or in some past.
Move to the reality chair. Be vulnerable. Talk of the closeness and connection you are missing and what you’d like to do as a couple to remedy this.

The other partner listen and feedback as you’ve learned throughout this book.

Go back and forth several times.

As always. Pause and take 3-10 breaths together between rounds, and when things shift.

Explore the other person’s arm, in reality two ways:
One with no moment to moment comments about your now.
Two : with moment to moment comments about your now.

Take turns.

Share how it was.

Friday, May 01, 2015

The Secret of Happiness

The Secret of Happiness

The secret of happiness is to stop DOING unhappiness.

We do unhappiness when we forget this:  When we argue with Reality we lose, but only 100% of the time.

Like this: look at a nearby chair.
Demand that it be an elephant.
Any luck.
Now pout, get angry, feel hurt that it’s not an elephant.
Any shift?

Okay. The chair is a chair. So be it.

Here’s four arguments with reality we always lose:

That we be different (in the past, or exactly this moment) than we are. Arguing with ourselves. Painful.
That others be different. They should instantly or in the past have been different.
That the world be different. We know how it should be.
That God be different. Arguing with the inevitable.

Argument with myself: “I should be happy right now.”(If I’m not) I can shift in two seconds. But right now, I am what I am.
“I should have been happy yesterday.” Never going to happen.

Argument with Others: “You should be nicer.” You are the chair, exactly as nice or not nice as you are.
Again, in two seconds it can change, but “You should have been nicer yesterday.” Never going to happen.

Argument with the world. “There should be no poverty.” Not in this instant, at least.

Argument with God. “So and so shouldn’t have died.”
Who says.
“So and so should have lived longer.”
Is it true?

What Is has the sweet finality of being exactly what it is.

If we can love it, we can change a lot in the next two seconds or two days or two weeks.
If we fight it right now, pain.
If we fight what was yesterday, which is the source of almost all couple’s fights, pain, pain, pain.

Ready to be happy?
People think they are complaining because they are in hell.
Whoops, the other way around. People are in hell because they are complaining/ arguing with reality.

Okay, cool.
Do with this what you may.

Take turns.
In gibberish, tell your partner some way they should change.
Switch to another chair. In English, say what you see right now. Only present based observation.

Go back and forth with this for awhile.

Share at the end how this was for you.

Explore and rub the other person’s foot.
Switch between telling yourself you aren’t doing it right or that there is some “better” way to do this
Simply exploring exactly as you are. As if it’s brand new moment every moment.

Take four minute turns.

Share at the end how this was for you.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Be Lazy

Three Secrets to Cheating Unhappiness, Reversing Aging, Better Sex, and More Money
One: Be Lazy

Here’s the first secret: be lazy.
I know, I know, everyone wants you nose to the grindstone, and they have their nose there to distract from their unhappiness, and to hell with that. Less is more.
And I’ll start right off practicing what I preach, because you might think, Oh My God, 3 secrets times four categories: that’s 12 secrets. Who wants that much?
Not I.
Not you.
It’s three secrets, and they are, being lazy, and being present in your body, and “doing it wrong” or doing it non-habitually.
And further in keeping with being lazy. I’ll just write one a day. ( I do a chapter a day. One is enough. One is a lot. This whole book has been written, to this point by April 25, 2015. It started March 21, 2015. Less is more.)

There was a time awhile back when my son and I, on the phone, got in a tiff about something.
Who knows what?
The usual human bullshit which boils down to “I’m right and you’re wrong,”  “No, No, you have it backwards: I’m right and you’re wrong.”
And on and on.
So we got off the phone in mutually bad moods.
I got lazy about winning the argument. I called back, and said I didn’t care who was right. That our connection was what mattered, and to hell with whatever we were arguing about.

And so laziness in winning arguments with others, especially your mate or your kids, can make a big dent in cheating unhappiness.
Another place laziness is actually reality, when you think you have “too much to do.”
You probably do.
And a lot of unhappiness comes from trying to think about doing it all at once, or within a time frame.
Sometimes it’s good to write down the time frame so you don’t have to think about it.
But the lazy and sane thing to do, no matter what: do one small thing at a time, and figure out how to enjoy it.

Lazy means enjoying the roses along the way. Happiness means enjoying the roses along the way.

And reversing aging and laziness: Take a nap every two hours. Even two minutes in your chair, ten minutes on the floor, eight minutes on the lawn, twenty minutes on your bed.
Combine it with visualizing sweet clouds, or deepening your breath (secret 2: get into your body in the present). Combine it with sensing any part of yourself that needs relaxing.
You’ll live longer.
You’ll be nicer at the end of the day.

Lazy and sex.
Let’s make this short.
Don’t rush to the climax.
Enjoy the pleasure exactly as it is.
Look at your partner.
Talk to your partner.
Keep communication and humor going.
Be happy.

Lazy and money.
Oh, my.
Here we are at the grindstone again, and , like jogging and bikhram yoga, ( and drinking) overwork is a well known way to stuff your unhappiness by numbing out to it.
And, you aren’t reading a book on Love, Lust and Enlightenment if you want to stuff your unhappiness on the way to making as wonderful an amount of money as you wish to make.

So, rather than go into it in any depth at all, I’ll be true again to my laziness and say what you already know: there is an easier and more enjoyable path to whatever you need or want to do it your work.
Find it.

Ah, ha.

Talk today:
2 minute turns:

Look at your partner.
Have a complaint in your head.
Feel how awful that feels in your body.

Look at their face and eyes and breathing.
Get too lazy to hold on to that thought.

Then talk only what you sense and notice in the present, or your appreciations of them.

At two minutes, pause. Breathe a bunch of times together and do this the other way around.

Go back and forth at least three times each way.

Same theme:

2 foot massages of 2 minutes:

One, trying to “do it right.”
Two, being lazy, and having fun for you as well as them.

Go both ways.

Compare the difference in giving and getting.