Monday, April 7, 2014


Welcome! What is this blog about, and who am I to write it?

It's about freedom, liberation, moksha in hindi. It's about not being caught in the web of our own thoughts and ideas and pain, but seeking a way out of the despair of everyday living. It's also an attempt to do this with some humor in a subject where people have traditionally taken themselves super seriously, to the point where no light-heartedness can penetrate, even though people as respected as the Dalai Lama have tried.

Boy, is that arrogant. Sometimes I even amaze myself.

What the heck business do I have talking about liberation, me who is still brought to tears at the loss of his daughter, who loses his temper at the people who don't drive the way he thinks they should, who is annoyed beyond reason at his 15-year-old and her antics with the cell phone and boyfriends? Why should you listen to someone who isn't centered all (or even most) of the time? What can I bring to the table that others haven't said before and better?

Well, Richard Bach once said that we teach best what we most need to learn, and that has definitely been my experience. So, since I need to learn a lot, let me learn by teaching. That's definitely part of it. Another part is knowing that despite my shortcomings, I HAVE learned a lot over the last 50 years of on-and-off meditating, mindfulness practice, chanting, awareness, and therapy. My work on myself has made a huge difference in my life, and enabled me to cope better that I might otherwise have, when life threw grenades at me. So sharing what I do know feels appropriate.  Further, I will give you some direction so that you don't feel like you have to stumble around in the dark. Or failing that, the knowledge that you are not alone in stumbling.

We are bombarded with messages about being more Mindful, how we should quiet our minds, learn to be centered and on and on. But even if you do want to learn, even if you are completely ready, how do you do start? A Community College course? A yoga class? Chanting? Your local New Age or alternative bookstore? Where do you focus, and how do you look for a good teacher (and there are many out there, along with the not-so-wonderful), when you are already so busy? Just the thought of adding something large to your life probably makes you feel tired!

What we do have in our lives are small blocks of time: a few minutes to a few tens of minutes. And what I propose is that it is exactly sufficient to have only those moments, and some small guidance on how to use them, to learn what you need to learn, so that you can be more free right here in the middle (or, as I wrote originally, the muddle) of your life.

And I'm going to try to do this in a way that reaches out to people who are just starting, as well as those who have been at it for some time. We all can use a boost from time to time, and I'm hoping that the 5 minutes you spend here will help.

I invite you to come along with me on this ride. As a "Bad Yogi" (meaning a not very enlightened seeker, and I'll tell the story of my name at some point), I understand where you are, because I'm there too. Walking together, we will find those things that we would miss if we were alone.