Doors are Opening for All Doing Good!

There’s a passage in Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus’ disciples complain that someone — one who is not one of them — is casting out demons in Jesus’ name. It seems that fundamentalists of all ages have held a belief that there was only one way to get to the kingdom; only one way, and that was through Jesus. Continue reading

I wish all compassion found in meditation

On February 5th, 2012, a friend who calls herself, the Frugal Xpatcommented: “I always wanted to meditate . . .

I didn’t respond to the comment until now, but want to share how everyone could enjoy this exercise  the frugal expat spoke of  in Daily Meditation Desperately Needed. As she describes her life’s quest, she is on “An expat’s journey in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.” Continue reading

Vietnam War veteran recalls his journey

Dealing with the Vietnam War becomes a little easier each time I write about it. I “desensitize” myself. I now see my actions as separate from the emotions I felt while a young soldier, as well as the feelings of guilt many veterans like me,  imposed on ourselves while readjusting to civilian life. It’s helpful when a high school student asks questions and you try to be honest and direct. Continue reading

Let the superfluous go, cruise a freeway

Shifting into cruise control, I let myself glide through many of life’s activities nowadays. I relax, take several deep breaths and seek a place inside where there are no thoughts, no worries, and no frets. Continue reading

Where is the boy I left home for the war?

I knew a boy

Who went to war

And left his home

Behind him.

I knew him well,

That boy was me

And now I cannot

Find him.

— A Vietnam veteran’s tweak of a World War II sailor’s song about war
(Photo of this young World War I “Doughboy” courtesy of greatwar.nl/oldsoldiers/lloydcleme… )

Greet your road with love and compassion

I’ve taken compassion on the road. Literally!

I send affection to motorists cut off by a speeding car that winds in and out of lanes. I feel for the driver who was never told by the operator of a car in front that that operator was going to turn, despite what appears to be working lights that turn on and off when you press the turn signal lever up or down. Continue reading

Abide in the moment you just completed

I am complete.

I am finished.

I’ve done what I have done and everyone can be satisfied with my efforts, including — and most importantly — me. Continue reading

Pinned for a life above & beyond the call

While Neil Armstrong was taking a giant leap for all mankind, I had taken a small step toward adulthood one month after the moon landing, and I had no one to thank for it except my brother, who encouraged me to aim for the stars in becoming an officer and a gentleman in the Army of the United States of America. Continue reading

Tattoo Tests Tale to Tell the Truth

A tattoo can readily identify someone, and sometimes one can become the key to the guilt or innocence of a man facing the wrath of a woman he may have wronged. Continue reading

Graduation highlights father-son ties

One of the most wonderful moments of my life occurred without my knowing it. Had I the presence of mind to be more present for things that mattered, I might not have missed it. Recalling what this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence must have been like, however, is the second-best way I know of memorializing it. Continue reading

Omega opens doors to lost PTSD veterans

I didn’t want to go back to Omega Institute this year. Each time I travelled to this land of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, I’d get high from the holistic experience. But then I’d change into an Ichabod Crane feeling chased by the Headless Horseman who’d tell true life stories that caused so much pain I couldn’t hold it inside. Continue reading

Mindfully cleaning pot helps cleanse mind

Cleaning a pot can be very meaningful, particularly if you block out all thoughts and concentrate on nothing but you and the instrument that has helped provide you with so much nourishment. Continue reading

Being present for the dying brings all alive

Death entered into my life recently and I have never felt more alive than with — and in — its presence. Continue reading

Need not battle to understand war horrors

When I heard the song  “Still in Saigon” the other day, I could have sworn a Vietnam veteran had written about his flashbacks and a need to process what was unprocessed as a young man.

Little did I know that the writer never set foot in Southeast Asia, let alone serve in the military. That got me wondering about the performing arts and how someone who never experienced war could capture its long-term effects on those who faced combat. Continue reading

Only the Pure in Heart Will See their Goal

Purity. There’s something in it that resonates with me. In my private moments, I try my best to connect with it, but once I start to analyze it, it vanishes. Continue reading

Exercise Gets Me Higher, Step by Step

I get such a high while exercising that I can’t imagine why I haven’t done this more often in life. Continue reading

Mammy, can you hear? It’s your little boy

There is a tradition in Eastern philosophies where you’re taught to view each person and other sentient being as if he, she – or it – is your mother. I never knew how nurturing this could be until I allowed the child in me to reciprocate and bask in the most secure and loving place. Continue reading

Creativity shines when pure self emerges

Creativity exists in all of us. But, only those that nurture it can fully appreciate its magical transformation.

I liken it to a mineral or rock that resides within, undisturbed by the daily thoughts and busy lives of quiet desperation. It can be uncovered only when one stills the mind and releases preconceived notions of what creation is all about. Continue reading

Let Catholics ‘opt out” in birth control plan

I don’t understand all the fuss that Catholic universities and hospitals are raising over providing health care for woman that includes mandatory birth control provisions. Why not let “practicing Catholics” following the teachings of their church to “opt out” for the coverage, while permitting non-Catholics what doctors and women’s groups say is a health benefit? Continue reading

Seeing a Veteran’s’ History Never Repeats

Do yourself a favor. Keep an eye out for a vet.

Actively seek out someone in your church, synagogue or temple and befriend him so that what happened in Philadelphia last week never happens again. Continue reading

Don’t ‘better’ yourself by berating another

I was seething when I saw my former US senator decry Blacks receiving food stamps from the government. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania told an Iowa audience this week that he would tackle this “race problem” if elected president, thus echoing the sentiments of his old congressional colleague, Newt Gingrich, who suggested poor students in city schools clean the bathrooms for their more affluent ones, rather than grow up to be pimps or prostitutes. Continue reading

Too afraid to say a woman scared you

“Why did you shoot her?”

“I don’t know.”

With these three words, the defendant buried himself, and no matter what I did to rehabilitate a self-defense claim before the jury, we were sunk. It showed that no matter what one plans, sometimes something can, and always will, go wrong. Continue reading

Messaging yourself to another generation

Ever wonder what life was like for ancestors living fifty, a hundred or even 200 years ago? How would you like to read a journal of some great, great, great-aunt forced to raise a family alone after her soldier husband had been killed in the Civil War? Like to see your great-grandfather dressed in Irish kilts speaking to you from the old country, or view a relative wearing a straw hat toasting you from America’s Roaring 20s? Continue reading

Like to change history? Try writing it

How’d you like to go back in time and correct mistakes made in the past? No, you couldn’t go back to the moment before you were conceived, or any other time in your far distant past. Go back to more recent moments – say in the past year or two — when you believed you knew so much about life and how to live it without doing harm to others. Continue reading

Recalling childhood angels with dirty faces

I can think of no worse place to be than in a church, a temple or a synagogue when an unbidden and involuntary giggle would invade my psyche and take control of me. A “giggle,” is too mild a word: uncontrollable laughter would rise to the level of guffaws and downright knee-slappers’ right at the most somber parts of a religious service. Continue reading

When a criminal defendant wants to lie . . .

Someone asked me how a criminal lawyer could ever represent a person who‘s guilty.

I told ‘em that was it was easy. My job as an attorney was never to judge, but to uphold something called the Constitution.

It’s the one time, however, that a guy planned to lie to a jury that really got to me.

————————-

Continue reading

Writing Reveals Truth Flowing Within

Why do I write? The answer is: because I have to. I need the therapy looking deep inside provides me. I’m not talking about surface writing. You know, the kind a reporter might type when covering some disaster, a meeting, or a political event that might include both. I write only after communing with some sort of truth that bubbles up from within. Continue reading

Twice snow uncovers October awakenings

It snowed along the East Coast of the United States today (October 29, 2011) making it the first time in more than 30 years the white stuff appeared this early outside my Conshohocken, PA, window.

I remember the last time because it was so life-changing, and I wonder if today’s gift from above will have the same affect on me and my world. Continue reading

Choosing Death So Others May Live

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of their country. They took  their own lives when soldiers of the army set up quarters in Tibetan monasteries.

How could anyone do such a thing?

They must have been in intense pain. Or, they were offering overwhelming love. Continue reading

Grant me a world of group friends, Amen!

As my world started to close in on me, demanding its immediate attention toward responsibilities, affairs of work, and needs in my house, I found an oasis inside of my self and in the thoughts of friends in my group.

Now, this ain’t just any ordinary group. It’s one where members have placed the concerns and desires of others above their own. It is a group of men and women, old and young, rich and poor, who have made altruism their guiding principle. Continue reading

End needless suffering in US debates

Tone it down America. You are cutting off your nose to despite your face. The face of the body politic, that is, and we are creating needless hurt for the countrymen we’d like to lead to our mutual goal: the pursuit of happiness. Continue reading