It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Curse and Opportunity of Living in Interesting Times

The year ahead - and maybe longer - is shaping up to be one of surprises, challenges, opportunities, and tumult.

The challenge before us is to stay centered in the eye of whatever storm swirls around us, focused on the larger perspective of the evolutionary transformation we are undergoing, and proactively doing our part, in community, to nurture the consciousness of wholeness that is aborning. And, of course, in spite of all the chaos, breakdown, and attendant heartache, let’s not forget to trust, laugh, dance, sing, and love.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Tarot Tower Card: A Teaching for the Times

In a teaching today to students of the Nine Gates Mystery School, spiritual director Deborah Jones shared her interpretation of the tarot Tower Card. It's an eerily perfect lesson for the at once profoundly painful and profoundly hopeful transitions/transformations taking place at all levels today - from the personal to the global and in issues of local and national politics, climate change, and economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.

Deborah writes:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Michelle and Bernie - Slavery, War, and Political Revolution

In his column today, Bob Koehler rightly lauds Michelle Obama for her forthright and public acknowledgement of the role of slavery in our history. Michelle for president!

He also laments, as do I,  the failure of Bernie to win the nomination and also the failure of even him to address the persistence of never-ending war in our nation's face to the world. I haven't yet heard today's speeches at the convention but, with today's theme of national security, am already prejudging that they will further do their best to sell war (including mounting antipathy to Russia) into our collective psyche.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sadness and Hope

I feel compelled to share both my profound sadness at the seeming downward spiral of civility and social order in our country, and indeed around the world, and at the same time the hopefulness I feel in all that is happening below the radar of the mainstream media to build a society founded in peace and love. It is very much a time of both breakdown of an old order and breakthrough to a new one.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Desert Life

A few months ago, I attended the Nine Gates Mystery School graduate reunion, in communion with  the living Mojave Desert.

          Vital Winds
Sun-fed breezes sweep off the hills,
through silent scrubby valleys,
o’er wadi-rutted plains,
moving soils, sowing seeds,
fanning fires of life.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Voyage of Discovery: Entering the Mystery

As Marcel Proust said, "The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

Nine Gates Mystery School is a program of self discovery. Discovery of who you are and why you are here; discovery of your energetic connections with Earth and Cosmos; and then, if you so choose (and many do), discovery of what you might feel moved to do about it. No one opens your eyes to these things for you. Rather, Mystery School opens and holds the safe space for you to discover on your own, at whatever pace and to whatever degree you want, need, and dare to go. It is (or can be) a very empowering, and hence fear-reducing, experience.

That is why this signpost on the road to Mystery School brings to mind the following couplet (with apologies to Dante Alighieri):
Abandon all fear
Ye who enter here.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Violence - A Decision, Not an Inevitability

Friends Libby and Len Traubman, colleagues in building a world of peace and nonviolence, recently published an article called "Pre-Deciding about Violence".  They cite evidence to make that case that physical violence, ranging from corporal punishment of children to nations going to war, only breeds more violence and has proven itself time and again to be self-defeating and counterproductive. We have a choice, they argue, of whether to continue down that  path or to adopt an attitude, strategy, and way of life of nonviolence, empathy, compassion, and dialogue, which have been shown to be more effective in both the short and long runs.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The President’s Final State of the Union Address

Following President Obama’s final State of the Union address on January 12, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough posted on the White House website a summary of the President’s proposals related to the four questions he posed to guide our thinking about and taking action to shape the future. Included there is an invitation to the public to submit their own thoughts and recommendations regarding each question. The following is what I submitted there.

I applaud the President for choosing in his State of the Union speech to focus above and beyond not only the day-to-day political sniping but also above and beyond the usual laundry list of incremental tweaks to parameters of this or that policy or this or that program. Quite right that it's time (past time) we focused not just on the next generation but the next seven. The world is changing so fast that we can't rely on past experience for lessons about how to face the future. Rather, we must really think creatively, outside the box.