Roberto Piriz Needs Our Help
If you are familiar with the work of the Peace Education Program in the Dominquez State Jail in San Antonio, TX, you are probably familiar with Roberto Piriz, the wonderful man who started that program, along with his wife, Chantal, some years ago.
Recently, Roberto was hospitalized, in intensive care, for three days, and is suffering the financial consequences. This is why Mirtha West has launched a GoFundMe campaign on his behalf and why both of us are inviting you to contribute to it. It takes a village. Every little bit helps.
Here's a brief story in a San Antonio newspaper about the PEP program in San Antonio, with reference to Roberto's involvement.October 28, 2016
Whatever path you follow, whatever religion you believe in, whatever your philosophy of life may be, this sweet video is a great reminder for all of us to come from a place of simple kindness.
We Are Never More Than a Minute Away from the Big Breakthrough
I want to tell you a brief story about 60 seconds of my life, nine years ago, that felt like an eternity -- an experience that was so totally infused with meaning that I am still drinking from it's fountain almost a decade later. Here goes:
The night before Prem Rawat's 50th birthday party event at the San Diego Convention Center, to be attended by 3,500 people, I was asked to be the MC. My response to this unexpected invitation? A curious blend of fascination and fear. Fascination that Prem had the confidence in me to do the job. And fear of totally screwing up. But since I barely had any time to prepare, I couldn't afford to indulge in the part of me that was freaking out. So I went to the dress rehearsal, studied the announcements, made sure my fly wasn't open, and got ready for the evening gig.
So there I am, backstage, waiting for my cue, when I am hit upside the head by the worst case of stage fright I imagine anyone, anywhere, anytime, has ever experienced. This, my friends, was well beyond anxiety or nervousness. STUCK. I was completely stuck. Frozen. Fried. Terrified. Totally in my head. I had never, in all my life, experienced such an all-encompassing sense of dread. I was the poster boy for UPTIGHT. Jonah in the belly of the whale. Mr. Weirdo. I was SO uptight, in fact, I soon found myself PRAYING for someone to call in a bomb scare or the building would catch on fire -- anything to GET ME OUT OF THERE!
Richie, the very laid back stage manager in charge of time and space, could see I was quietly freaking out, and so with just five minutes left before show time, he walked over to me and began giving me a shoulder massage -- a kind deed which only succeeded in MAKING THINGS WORSE, because now I knew, for sure, that my inner meltdown was so totally visible to the outside world that Richie, my handler, felt obliged to cool me out. Doo doo. I was in deep doo doo.
It was now only FIVE minutes before the program began and, though my body was sitting on a folding chair backstage, the rest of me was on Mars. No make that an ASTEROID -- a very small, rocky, cold asteroid orbiting absolutely nothing.
Now there were FOUR minutes to go. Now there were THREE. And there was absolutely no sign, anywhere, that my hyper state of out-of-control-self-consciousness was going to abate anytime soon. This was clearly going to be the end of me. In three minutes, everyone in the hall would know, for sure, that I was a complete idiot, a fraud and a buzzkill -- someone likely to become a future synonym for the phrase "consumed with terror" -- as in "Hey, don't pull a Ditkoff on me."
The clock was ticking. Now there was only ONE MINUTE left. One minute! And then... completely out of the blue... with no warning whatsoever, two things happened that I will never forget. Not in this lifetime. And not in the next. First, on the house PA system, I heard Daya singing my favorite song, Find the Miracle -- a song that always managed to bring me back to a place of complete ease. The second thing? Up from the depths of my being percolated the remembrance of something I heard Prem say many years ago -- something about the CHOICE we all have every single day of our lives.
"You can spend your entire life gritting your teeth and praying for it all to be over," he said... "or you can just say YES!"
Wow! Incredible! Amazing! I HAD A CHOICE! I could sit there in the wings, a complete and total mess -- or I... could... EMBRACE the moment and say YES to whatever was going to happen next. So simple! So, so, utterly simple. A choice! I had a choice!
That's precisely the moment I said YES. And that's precisely the moment when Richie stepped forward, leaned closer, put his hand on my shoulder, and said these words: "Three.. Two... One... Go!"
I stood. I took a breath. I boldly walked on stage. This wasn't the plank I was walking. This was my life! FREE! I WAS FREE! Completely free! Unshackled. Unhindered. And uncontainable! Nothing was holding me back. Nothing! Every ounce of who I was had become totally available to me. Everything! Whatever I needed in that timeless moment to play my part fully was fully present and accounted for. And the FEELING behind it all was pure JOY! The rest of my MC experience for the next two days was a total breeze...
Now I finally understand what the expression "the darkest hour is just before dawn" really means. Tell me, who of us doesn't battle with doubt, fear, and self-consciousness? Who doesn't want to run and hide when the going gets tough? Though it may not be how we want the world to see us, it comes with the territory of being human. Not just YOU. And not just ME. All of us! But more powerful than fear is REMEMBRANCE and the deep KNOWLEDGE that we have everything we need to play our part fully in any situation. We may not feel it all the time. We may not trust it. But it's there. It is. In the end, it all comes down to CHOICE. We can grit our teeth and pray it will all end. Or we can just say YES. What do you choose?October 18, 2016
Turn It Around
I nominate this wonderful song by Steve McPeters (with John Adorney) to be played at the inaugural ceremony of whoever is the next President of the United States.Prem Rawat in Four Minutes or Less
Maybe you know this. Or maybe you don't. But, on the Words of Peace Global website, there is a great selection of videos featuring Prem Rawat. Free. Absolutely free. Below are links to the brief ones -- four minutes or less. You're just a click away.
We Are Words of Peace
A Singular Process
This Blooming Called Peace
Thirst and Focus
The Source of Joy
Have You Ever Been Bored?
You Are Ageless
The Language of the Heart
Five Seconds of Heaven
Stating the Obvious
Seven Videos from PremRawat.com
October 11, 2016
Entering the Sweepstakes
When I was a kid I used to enter Sweepstakes all the time.
Here's how it worked: I'd be flipping through one of my parent's magazines when I'd see a huge, double-page spread with lots of smiling people having just won a NEW HOUSE! or a LUXURY YACHT! or a FABULOUS VACATION FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY!
I couldn't believe my eyes. I mean, how difficult was this going to be? All I had to do was fill out that little magazine form or write "Burry's Chocolate Chip Cookies" on a "reasonable facsimile" 3x5 index card.
And the fine print said I could enter as many times as I wanted. Dude, how could I possibly lose?
Oh, that feeling of walking to the mailbox and dropping in my stack of 25 envelopes! And even if I didn't win, second place was a cool $50,000. God was good.
I never won a thing.
In a curious way, this LIFE AS A FABULOUS SWEEPSTAKES concept has had its hold on more people than just me as an 11-year old.
From what I can tell, lots of my fellow earthlings keep filling out those 3x5 index cards and dropping them into the mailbox -- but instead of "Burry's Chocolate Chip Cookies" they're writing "Soul Mate" or "Financial Security" or "Drop Ten Pounds.'
OK. So there's nothing wrong with entering contests. But it's not the contests I'm talking about. It's the belief that there's something to win that's going to improve our life in a truly meaningful way.
Here's the deal: You've already won the SWEEPSTAKES! And that big OVERSIZED CHECK with all those fabulous zeros after the "1" -- is actually being delivered to your front door every moment of the day.
All you have to do is answer the knock. Really! I'm not kidding. You've already won! Sail on that yacht!October 10, 2016
Prem Rawat in Malaysia
This just published in Malaysia's Star Online.October 09, 2016
Knocking on Heaven's Door
NOTE: This is a piece I wrote seven years ago. Just stumbled across it today. Maybe it will be useful to you. Or inspiring. Or both.
As I write this, I am sitting in the home of my 94-year old father, in West Palm Beach, Florida. His house is new, but his body is not. "Like a worn out car," he tells me ten minutes ago as he sorts through his evening pills, looking for just the right combination to help him make it through the night.
Riding on the fumes of my own imagined immortality, I'm sitting at his kitchen table, cotton swabs, like yarrow stalks, everywhere.
His oxygen comes from a machine, his caregiver from an agency. He tells me the same stories I've heard a hundred times before, but tonight I do not interrupt. He needs to talk... and I need to listen.
I ask him about the happiest day of his life. "The birth of my two children," he says. I ask him to tell me the name of his father's father, but he cannot remember.
He tells me he wants to cry, but can't.
Sleeping pill swallowed, teeth removed, he invites me to his bedroom to watch the ritual of his night-time aide adjusting the tubes and the pillows beneath his swollen feet. He tells me in a raspy voice, "I want you to see what lies ahead."
He takes another breath. Barely.
I have no idea how I will die. Or when. I have no idea if my loved ones will be there with me or someone from the night shift. All I know is this: No matter how old, decrepit, or alone I may be at the time, I will die a happy man.
How do I know this? Simple. I've already experienced what I came here for. I won't try to name it here, because I can't. But suffice it to say, it's the source of all love, all peace, and all gratitude.
And the one who revealed it to me can reveal it to you.
I want that for my father, at 94. I want him to feel it -- to let go to the power of love.
At this stage of the game, it's a long shot he will, but what do I know? God can enter at any time. Grace can change a life in a heartbeat."I COUNT EVERYDAY AS WASTED IN WHICH THERE HAS BEEN NO DANCING" - Friedrich Nietzsche October 06, 2016
A World Awakens
Preview of A World Awakens, a wonderful new CD by John Adorney.October 03, 2016
James Taylor on the Secret of Life October 01, 2016
The Complexity of Love in 13 Untranslatable Words
Sometimes, we FEEL something deeply, but don't necessarily have words for it. This sweet, four-minute video is all about this phenomenon -- featuring words, in different languages, for hard to communicate feelings about life and love. Can you relate?