The Sacred Ojai Tour

X-Mountain copy


I began taking friends
on spiritual adventures
to sacred sites around
the Ojai Valley area
in the mid-1980s.

At this point I give clients
the Sacred Ojai Tour.

I truly love sharing
this special place.

Ojai is one of the few valleys
that run from East to West
so that there are no shadows
in the morning or evening.

Ojai hosts at least seven sacred centers:

The Chumash Nation
Living at peace in Ojai Valley
for over 10,000 years.

Krotona Institute
beautiful gardens,
spiritual library.

Krishnamurti Foundation
Philosopher’s hermitage,
& the famed Oak Grove.

Meher Mount
Avatar’s oak tree,
coastal vista.

Meditation Mount

beautiful gardens,
valley vista.

 Ojai Foundation
indigenous wisdom,
beautiful gardens.

And other centers as well.
Each one dedicated
to serving the Light.

Pine Mountain at 7,000 feet –
Ponderosa Pines & Matilija Sandstone
with a view of the Pacific Ocean
is about an hour away via Highway 33,
Maricopa Highway, Butterfly Highway.

Ventura Pier at California Street –
with stretches of beaches
between two estuaries
is about half an hour’s drive & walk.
There is also a bike trail the whole way
from Ojai to the ocean.

Mountains & canyons
waterfalls, lakes, streams,
fox, squirrel, coyote
cougar, deer, bear,
heron, duck, swan, eagle,
yerba santa, wild rose
alders, sage, fern, palms.

Healthy eating,
Restful lodging.
Healing energies.
Jeweled bookstores.

This is a good place to visit
for finding your way again.

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The Perennial Tradition

Version 2


I studied Humanities,
Literature, Music, Theater,
prior to finding Psychology 
‘The Knowledge of the Soul.’

I taught my way
across the human lifespan:
preschool, elementary,
secondary, high school,
junior college, university,
graduate, doctoral,
clinical, community, corporate,
even infants, toddlers
& geriatric day care.

Over time I came to speak for
the broad deep range of
Consciousness Disciplines
& Spiritual Traditions.

This path took quite awhile,
several decades really.
And it did not happen
in a neatly planned order.

Along the journey
I met a very few real teachers –
those who don’t just teach their topic,
but help others toward becoming
what they are meant to be.
And I found the real school –
the hidden, secret,
Teachings of Wisdom

forever pointing the Way.

Now I teach classes here
in the church basement –

Spirituality
Consciousness
Meditation.

Humanity’s great ideas & skills
for living & serving as the Soul.

It’s been a strange journey.
It took a long while
& seemed to have
no order at all.

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What’s Next?

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Discover a world?
Explore a frontier?

The career is finishing.
The family is raised.
The game is polished.
The home is designed.

Is that all?

The next step is spirituality.

We are troubled by emptiness.
Anxiety & depression are rooted in
yearning for meaning & purpose.
There is a depth within our being
& it draws us forever beyond.

There seems to be an urge for simplicity.
The fundamentals are not complicated.

There seems to be an urge for creativity.
We need to play our part in the unfolding beauty.

We want to bloom fully
leave our mark
sound our note
pass our flame.

Build a bridge?
Plant a garden?

We still feel the calling.
We are not done yet.

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The Gift of Time

Version 3


A client friend once said to me,

“I’m watching my thoughts.
I’m feeling my feelings.
And it still hurts.
What am I missing?”

Why doesn’t Spirituality
work instantly or constantly?

Our mind has the gift of Light.
Our heart has the gift of Love.
And these are heroic powers.

But the first aspect of our Soul
beyond even Light & Love
is the Will.

And our will proves itself over time.

Spirituality is not a one step event
but a path that must be walked.

Awakening & Redemption
are a millennial planetary journey
of wisdom, kindness, justice…
& there is a transforming virtue in
staying with it, keeping with it
step by step by step.

It is only through choices & actions
across days, months, years & lives
that such ideals become real in the world.

We align our will with principles
by persevering in their practice.

This is how our pain finds peace.

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Healing Trauma

RockRose


 Trauma is a global impact.
Casting its shadow across
generations & incarnations.
Every human child is touched
in some way by the waves of war.

Some go sad & scared.
Some go tough & mean.
But none go free of it.

The nerves are shocked.
The heart is numb.
The mind is flashing.

So we sit fiercely vigilant.
Simply breathing the breath.

We let our hearts be great.
Spacious enough for
the pain, grief & fear,
the shame, anger & guilt,
even the hope & joy
to finally come to peace.

We train our minds to watch.
Promptly facing our wrongs.
Asking only to know the right path.

We sit in the presence
of kindness & wisdom.
Breathing the breath.
Minding our hearts.
Everyday we practice
acting upon the peace.

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Warrior Spirit

TheRoad2


Two years ago
I was on my way out of the house
& a very nice lady called me.

She said, “We want you to teach
mindfulness for veterans.”
I said, “You know,
I don’t do clinical anymore.”
She said, “Yes, I read your website.”
I said, “You know,
I just do spiritual now.”
She said, “Yes, I read your website.”
I asked, “Who did you say you are with?”
She said, “The local office of Veterans Affairs.”
I said, “The VA wants me to teach
mindfulness meditation
for traumatized military veterans?!?!?”

I have been studying & teaching
mindfulness for three decades.

Dear friends have said to me,
“Why are you so into mindfulness?
Nobody cares about that.”

And suddenly…
the United States Federal Government,
not especially known for being woo-woo,
has adopted an ancient spiritual technique
as an appropriate method for treating
the equally ancient psychic wounding of warriors.

This is a sign of world change.

So I have been working with
a group of military veterans
meeting weekly for eighteen months,
not for clinical therapy
but for the practice of mindfulness.

We have grown a great depth
of trust & care between us.

And from them I have learned
some things of import to us all:

Traumatization is a spiritual crisis.
Our naive sense of ourselves gets broken.
Wrong things can touch us.
And wrong things do change us.

But that crisis is the beginning
of the journey of awakening.

We can come to peace
with wrong things
by letting them teach us
what is the right thing.

There is one elite distinction
these friends of mine have in common.
Each has passed through the point
of willingness to give one’s life
for something other than one’s own self.

The healing of the world demands
just that struggle to be of service.

The truth will win
& the lies will fail,
because truth is real
& lies are naught.

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Mind & Heart

Version 2


I have been teaching that mindfulness
might just as well be called “heartfulness.”

In the practice we witness
our own body, heart & mind.
We observe our thoughts & feelings
& so come to know ourselves deeply.

And in this process we befriend
our body, heart & mind also.
We embrace thoughts & feelings
& come to love ourselves more fully.

Human beings are able
to use their minds to think.
But minds can also see.
My mind can cling to a belief.
Or I can see what is.

Human beings are able to
use their hearts to emote.
But hearts can also feel.
My heart can cling to a desire.
Or I can feel what is.

Our mind is a light
meant to show us the Way.

Our heart is a love
linking us to other beings.

The Sanskrit word is Smrti
“Remembrance.”
Zen calls us to remember
our own original essence.

The Arabic word is Zikr
“Remembrance.”
The Sufi calls us to remember
human unity with the Divine.

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Innocence

Rainbow33


My business training gave me
a set of very clear priorities:
You don’t perform a service
without a “return on investment.”
You don’t leave the room
without making sure
everyone has your card.
You don’t announce an event
without a “call to action.”

I tried to do all those things.
But I couldn’t stand myself.
So I don’t do any of them.

My coach also taught me –
“Just shine your light
& they will come.”
I do that one.
I simply teach my classes
& allow people to choose
how to work with me.

I’m not saying it is easy.
E-blasts & flyers don’t get read.
Clients cancel sessions.
Students don’t come to class.
But it makes sense to me
to let beings make their own choices.
That leaves me free to be & do
what I am meant to be & do.

Occasionally I catch myself
still trying to force things.
It doesn’t feel like peace
because it is driven by fears.

My friend Bonnie Rose
talks about “purity.”
Not striving for numbers.
Of either people or money.
Simply feeling your way
towards what seems right.

My friend Pamela Phillips
talks about “goodness.”
Not self-serving actions.
Simply letting the beauty
unfold itself through you.

The Taoist holy sages
taught Wu-Wei.

This term is usually translated
as “non-action” or “not doing.”
But it can also be interpreted
as sincerity or simplicity.

Innocence is not mere naïveté.
It is bringing yourself to peace.
So that you can serve
what is greater.

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Awakening

PeacePole1


It begins with the love
of living creatures
for their own lives.

Then the love
of mothers & fathers
for their children.

Then the tribal chieftain
who loves the people
as if they were family.

Then the holy sage
who loves each person
as if they were the self.

It ends with the world server
who loves every one of us
as if we were a single being.

The awakening of humanity
is an expansion of identity.

Let our hearts be great.
Great enough to embrace
the whole of our very self.
Great enough to befriend
the unity of all beings.
Let our hearts be great.
Great enough not to
abandon even one of us.
Great enough not to
betray any part of us.

Let our hearts be great.

The awakening of humanity
is a universal consciousness.

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Becoming

Subie1


Over the past couple of decades
I have talked with a thousand or so
students & clients about their lives –

“Who are you really? And
why are you in this world?”

There is an emerging profile –

Intuitive.
We just know some things.
Empathic.
We just feel some things.
Creative.
We are finding our own way.

We are also developing sensitivities.
Maybe you can’t stand the Mall any more?
I can’t seem to handle as much caffeine.

And authenticity is becoming essential.
Work, Love, Self – It has to be Real.

Many of us are finding that we need:

1. our spirituality to be universal
not so bound by sectarian doctrines;

2. our relationships to be partnerships
honest, respectful & free of coercion;

3. our vocation to be adventurous
serving deeper meaning & purpose.

The shifts we are going through
can appear as stress, loss or crisis.

But these changes are really about
becoming what we are meant to be.

(The photo is of my
Spiritual-Counseling
Adventure-Mobile,
parked at one of
my favorite offices.)

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