Posts by: Michael D. May

Athletics: The New Asceticism Reflection #8: Beyond Mindfulness - The Unwanted and Noncommercial Solution

Another day I came across a saint in a cave. Excessive weeping had blinded him; his skin was all scales, the result of sanctity and uncleanliness. He gave me the advice that was both most correct and most frightening. When I weigh it in my mind my hair stands on end.

I bowed down, prostrated myself before the saint, and said, Holy ascetic, I have set out to find God. Show me the road.

There isnt any road, he answered me, beating his staff on the ground.

What is there, then I asked, seized with terror.

There is the abyss. Leap!

Abyss I screamed. Is that the way

Yes, the abyss. All roads lead to the earth; the abyss leads to God. Leap!

I cant father.

Then get married and forget your troubles, he said, and stretching forth his skeleton-like arm he motioned me to leave. - Brother Leo

(Kazantzakis, Nikos, St. Francis) 1

In one of my favorite Star Wars scenes Yoda, at an advanced age, is bent over and hobbling on his cane into the presence of Count Dooku. Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lie unconscious on the floor having just been thrashed by the nasty Count. The future of everything rests upon this aging, decrepit, Jedi Master. Yoda summons The Force and his light sabre and begins doing all kinds of flips, gyrations, and physical gymnastics to save the day. As I, and millions of young movie goers, consider the power of The Force, we ask, Why not me How can I access this power too

This story of course is fiction but, as is true of any worthy metaphor, it is not. The story points to a deeper truth than literal explanation can reach.

Today there are many sports psychologists making lots of money helping athletes at all levels control their minds. Mind over matter, right! I appreciate this perspective. I spent several years engaged at the NCAA Division I level doing this myself (I missed the money part). There are also lots of deep people, or pretend deep people, selling the concept of mindfulness. I believe in mindfulness. It is a good thing. May we all nurture mindfulness. Yet..there is a deeper practice upon which I wish to reflect.

This deeper practice does not resonate much with the popular culture. It is also a practice for which it is difficult to figure out how to make money teaching it. This is because, among other things, we human beings are prone to resist practicing it. We dont much like the presuppositions upon which this practice is built; presuppositions that do not put our egos and personalities and self-development at the center of the universe. Yet, the greatest of athletes and the greatest of ascetics throughout history have based their fundamental posture toward wisdom and life upon this practice.

What is this practice

It is the practice of mindlessness!

Yes, mindlessness is just what you think it is. Mindlessness removes the center of our existence from this popular pursuit of brain science as the answer to all of the questions and problems of humanity. Mindlessness renders impotent the realm of the mind and its first cousin brain science as the way to finally make sense out of everything and control all the stuff in our lives that seems wacky.

So where does mindlessness take us

Mindlessness simply takes us out of the mind. Mindlessness delivers us to a much, much, much deeper place. This is The Deep Place to which the curriculum of Interior Mythos Journeys attempts to seduce us. Mindlessness is the practice of visiting the abyss. It is the practice of visiting the void. It is the practice of visiting the emptiness to which our friends from the East invite us to pay attention as we remove our focus from all the self-help books, human psychology, and our studies of mindfulness.


I am the worker of the abyss. I am the spectator of the abyss. I am both theory and practice. I am the law. Nothing beyond me exists. To see and accept the boundaries of the human mind without vain rebellion, and in these severe limitations to work ceaselessly without protestthis is where mans first duty lies.

- Nikos Kazantzakis 2


Great masters from all traditions have invited us into this very special empty place. It is the empty place from which all creation, all great thoughts, breakthroughs, and creativity emerge. It is the no-thing-ness upon which the totality of civilization stands. It is the Infinite Silence within which Ultimate Reality dwells now and forever. It is the mystery from which the experience of flow flows. It is the quantum realm where things come into being and go out of being simultaneously and The Force is ever present.

On the track, in the swimming pool, on the court, out on the field of play, wherever athletes find themselves, they will encounter their highest performance when, within themselves, they are able to surrender the temptation to center in the head. Instead, the Force-filled athlete finds an interior path into the Deep Place from which all extraordinary performance comes. Thoughtless action remains the place where we human beings act most fully, most completely, and most unimpeded by intellectual reflection. Such reflection has its place, but not in committed action.

Mindfulness puts a foot on the brake when we are executing some difficult physical or interior maneuver. Mindlessness takes our foot off of the brake and releases us to invest everything into the performance, becoming one with the action.

Ascetics throughout history and the greatest of athletes today know this special secret: To enhance performance, lose your mind!

May we practice finding our way to The Deep Place affirming always, The Force Is With You!

Go Deep!


1 Kazantzakis, Nikos, St. Francis, Touchstone Books, New York, NY, 1962, p xx.

2 Kazantzakis, Nikos, The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, Inc.,

1960, p 48.


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Athletics: The New Asceticism Reflection #7: Flow Vision

Under pressure I can see things very clear.. Once you find that peace, that place of peace and quiet, harmony and confidence, thats when you start playing your best (1) Roger Federer

For years, decades, I congratulated myself on perfect 20/20 vision. Then at some point I discovered my vision, all these years, has been radically distorted, flawed, and blurred, by time.

As a maturing athlete, I am now learning to see.

On Sunday, July 16, 2017, Roger Federer stepped onto the world stage of the Wimbledon Finals, once again, in route to his record 8th Wimbledon Championship. One could encounter a poise, a peace and a depth that has been nurtured over many years. It was this interior posture that would, once again, carry him to victory. As Prince William and Princess Kate and Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a world-wide audience of millions watched, Rogers interior equanimity remained a constant to which, in a quiet interior place, he found a way to return again and againin the midst of a titanic human battle.

How did he discover this path Can I, at this advanced stage of life, find and practice this path Can I find this deep place, for myself Can I find it in the middle of my everyday life and the inevitable challenges

A small yellow tennis ball hurling through the air at 120 miles per hour seems very urgent to me; it seems urgent to the viewing audience. It is why we watch.

It is urgent!

From what place does Roger Federer practice seeing this urgent event How does he connect with a timeless place when squeezed by this battle within time How does one develop the ability to see with the equanimity that emerges from a connection with timelessness

How does one develop Flow Vision

Some athletes today are discovering a path to a connection with timelessness the ascetics have traveled for centuries. They are discovering Flow Vision. They are discovering Flow Vision through a connection with the place where Time Does Not Flow. (2)

When we just be here, that means we stop thinking about the flow of the time and just being here, and be one, just be here..We become one with the time that doesnt flow. That means from the beginning-less beginning, and to the endless end, this one seamless moment, time flows only in our thinking, because of my memory about past and my hope about the future, it seems time flows.

If we dont measure time - that means without human beings - from that moment of Big Bang until today, until now, this is one moment. Before human beings appeared on this planet, theres no such time flows. I call this eternity. Time that doesnt flow. (3) Shohaku Okumura

And back to the reality of the court and my everyday life:

Some people think that they are just too slow to return a hard shot when they are at net. But time is a relative thing, and it really is possible to slow it down. Consider: there are 1000 milliseconds in every second. Thats a lot of milliseconds. Alertness is a measure of how many nows you are alert to in a given period. (4) Timothy Gallwey

One thing I am clear about is that Roger Federer did not discover the deep place, the source of his apparent equanimity, by simply sitting around peacefully, savoring the calm, breathing deeply, and thinking happy thoughts. He discovered the deep place by waging war and engaging a cosmic battle; first and last, within himself! His inner peace is a peace nurtured through many external and internal wounds. But during these battles, Roger stayed awake in the classroom of his body; as have ascetics throughout history.

Today there are lots of purveyors of joy juice providing motivational messages, giving talks, selling books, promoting self help and the promise of a fulfilling life discovered by focusing primarily on ones own belly button and the attainment of all of ones personal needs. These ubiquitous teachers seduce us with the tempting promise of avoiding inner conflict and battle and simply taking a deep peaceful breath.

Beware of the false guides.

The yellow ball really is flying at 120 mphat me!



(2) Okumura, Shohaku, Interior Mythos Journeys Interview, The Fiction of Time, Sanshin Zen Community, Bloomington, Indiana, Friday, April 28, 2017.


(3) Okumura, Shohaku, Interior Mythos Journeys Interview, Sanshin Zen Community, The Fiction of Time, Bloomington, Indiana, Friday, April 28, 2017.


(4) Gallwey, W. Timothy, The Inner Game of Tennis, Random House, Inc., New York, NY, 1974: p 84-85.


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Athletics: The New Asceticism Reflection #6: The Practitioner Emerges..Finding the Deep Place Again

Arrive late to the race!

If you seek a transformational experience, stand at the Finish Line of a 26.2 mile running marathon or an Iron Man Triathlon, which adds an additional 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike race. Skip the first finishers and winners and hang around for the back of the pack to arrive. Watch the old and the overweight, the cancer and heart attack survivors, the recovering addicts and trying-to-get-in-shape folks, and the wheelchair participants. Watch them find their way across the Finish Line. If you look beneath the surface, you will see that the Finish Line is not the Finish Line; rather, it is a deep place within each participant, within each practitioner.

There is no theory here. Nothing abstract or intellectual here. There is no value in scholarly or academic commentary here. There is just real pain, real struggle, real personal limitation, and the real experience of transcendent triumph; a connection with an Infinite Center discovered within oneself.

It is one thing to talk about the race, it is another to race the race.

The ascetic is the antidote to the scholar and the academic. The ascetic is the one who puts truth into practice and does so in the most radical manifestation possible, ones own physical body. sees how hopeless it is to let the Truth be represented by speakers only. One single ascetic walking about among us preaches altogether differently than twenty such speakers. (1)

Sren Kierkegaard

A clever person cannot be a bodhisattva. We are aiming at something eternal, infinite, and absolute. (2)

Shohaku Okumura

The contemporary athlete existentially grasps something the ascetic masters have always known and promoted: transformative connection happens in the container of the body. It happens in the container of the body and nowhere else. The great wisdom traditions have correctly referred to the body temple. Since most contemporary folks dont have a clue about what a temple is, we need to seek some different poetry. Yet, this is where it happens. This is the place we connect with the Infinite Center; yet in a very finite and fleeting container.

As individual human beings, we are small and limited. But when we sit in this posture and let go of individuality, we are one with everything. We are infinite, absolute, part of the universe. (3)

Shohaku Okumura

Regarding matters of the deep today, commentators are everywhere. Belief and counter-belief are rampant, but practitioners are few. Yet, there are promising signs of the emergence of a new Age of Practitioners. Todays athlete holds such promise.

Our moment in history is characterized by the greatest academicians, intellectuals, theoreticians, and scholars of all time. These extraordinary minds are fueled by a cloud of cyber data encompassing the accumulated library of human knowledge. This wealth of knowledge is available to anyone anywhere in the world with an electronic receptor. The Cloud is raining torrents of data on us. We are smart. We are really smart!

But, mostly we are lost.

We have lost our center.

We have lost our center and no amount of information currently available, or that we human beings may discover or think up tomorrow, can reconnect us.

We have lost our center.

Athletes today, of all sizes, shapes, states of condition, and ages, are beginning to re-discover the path back to finding ones center; a path that necessarily journeys through ones own most personal body.

In the 13th Century, Dgen Zenji, in the exercise of zazen, explored the truth that practice and enlightenment are forever entangled. The posture, the breath, and the thoughts one seeks to still, all occur within and through the container of the physical body. Infinite connection happens in a finite body.

Today we are obsessed with human-centered psychology and releasing the potential of the self. Yet, centering upon the human ego self as a final destination is the dead end that has delivered our world into its current state.

Asceticism and athletics provide the exercises and practices by which I can encounter the limits of the body and then challenge them; stretch them, move beyond them, and potentially abolish them as that which defines me. In so doing, I challenge the notion that I am simply a body. I am not. I am much more. I am of something higher and deeper.

Self-negation, a cornerstone of most ascetic practices, is not a popular topic in our self-absorbed, human-centered, consumer driven, popular culture. Yet, self-negation has always been, and remains, central to the practice of an authentic journey of depth.

.there must come within us a dispossession of the self. The extraordinary experience of dying must become the ordinary experience of living. (4)

.. I am no longer the center of my existence. (5)

Fr. Richard Fragomeni, Ph.D.

Only those individuals centered in this deeper place can finally serve their neighbor or this world. Only these individuals have the personal detachment and interior space necessary to see clearly and do what is needed in a messy world deluded by 10,000 false centers. Those who have the detachment, even from themselves, can do the work to bring peace to our planet, feed the hungry, educate the illiterate, heal the sick, comfort the hurting, cloth the naked, shelter the homeless, clean up the environment, and serve the suffering of the human family.

If you are hungry, as I am, for a resurgence of practitioners of depth, join me at the Finish Line. Lets seek again that center awaiting us in the deep place.

Its not too late!



(1) Kierkegaard, Sren, Journals and Papers, Volume I, ed. and trans. Hong, Howard V. and Hong, Edna H., Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University Press: 1967, p 316.

(2) Okumura, Shohaku, Living By Vow, Wisdom Publications, Sommerville MA, 2012. p 19.

(3) Okumura, Shohaku, Living By Vow, Wisdom Publications, Sommerville MA, 2012. p 49.

(4) Fragomeni, Richard N., Come to the Light, Continuum Publishing, New York, NY, 2000. p 31.

(5) Fragomeni, Richard N., Come to the Light, Continuum Publishing, New York, NY, 2000. p 73-74.


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Athletics: The New Asceticism Reflection #5: Mystery Measured in Feet

The life I seek is..

Not a concept but an existence.

Not a belief but a practice.

Not an idea but an exercise.

Not a thought but a do.

Not a theory but a dance.

- Amanda Storywarrior (1)

What is the life I seek

Why am I here

What is my special purpose

What personally connects me with this moment in history

At age 14, sitting in a seminar at the Ecumenical Institute in Chicago a long,long time ago, the teacher at the front of the room asked the question,What grounds you in history

At that formative age, I did not fully grasp, or even slightly grasp, the natureof the question. Nor did I grasp that I would spend the next 50 yearsattempting to find my personal resolution. Today, much older, I have finallydiscovered the answer.

I have spent most of my life searching for a cause that was big enough toencompass my boundless passion, consuming interest, daily focus, andobsessive attention. I have considered eradicating poverty, eliminatinghunger, ending illiteracy, creating social justice, establishing world peace,and many other worthy causes.

I sought a cause; a cause that might justify my existence in this world; acause that might deliver purpose to my life; a cause bigger than myself; acause that might save me from a meaninglessness existence; a cause thatmight make sense of my life expenditure. The human community promotes asmorgasbord of meaning options for consideration: family, friends, romance,children, pets, money, power, politics, social status, education, career,influence, popularity, and 1000 forms of consumption.

Certainly there must be some human cause that might provide ultimatemeaning to my finite journey Over the decades, I have successfullyexperienced many great causes, institutions, and charismatic leaders. Eachfinite attempt to give some meaning ended in the same place: emptiness.

Today it is popular in the human family to be an environmentalist. Theenvironment, appropriately, is a meaningful and consuming cause for many,including me. However, it is not enough. It is not enough even though ourfailure to address this cause may result in our collective demise. Even thecause of saving the environment is incapable of satisfying the deeper hungerpre-programmed into the heart of every fully awakened being.

As an aging athlete and a relatively new tennis player, I was recentlysurprised while standing on the tennis court and listening to a high schoolcoach on the next court instructing his young student in the Great Secret ofthe game. I strained to overhear the instruction. Tennis is not about yourhands or your arms or your shoulders or your head or your wrist or yourcore. No. Tennis is about the feet!

This insight contradicted every intuitive thought about the game of tennis Iwas attempting to learn. To consider that this game played in the air wasactually about my feet was a radical concept. This awareness began ajourney I am yet exploring.

Hand speed is an asset, but ask any athlete and they will tell you, it isall about footwork.

- Sugar Ray Leonard (2)

If we extend this understanding of the feet as that which allows us to playthe game, we begin to grasp the deep insight of ascetics throughout history.

Ascetics have always understood it is through the body that the game of lifeis played. Yet, the game of life is not about the body. The body is thenecessary vehicle through which we might be delivered beyond the body.This insight is nonsense unless we are willing to search deeply into theparadox, and then it makes perfect sense.

As we move beyond the confines of the body through asceticism or athleticsplayed-in- depth, we can begin to touch the deep places. It is the body thatgrounds me in history, and specifically, it is the feet. Fifty years later I ambeginning to answer the question of what grounds me in history Andnow I know! It is my feet!

I have discovered that which at some level I have always known: I am aninfinite actuality. This is my truth. I am a synthesis of In-finite Reality andtime and space and physicality. I am an infinite actuality. This synthesis isrevealed through intimacy with My Primary Relationship.

My feet ground me in history.

Contemporary popular teachers of deep things often assist students bycreating awareness that breath can only happen in the present. Often thisinstruction occurs while the student is sitting on a cushion. Thus, byfocusing on the breath one might practice mindfulness and presence. Thiscertainly is true. However, it is perhaps a deeper exercise to practicefocusing ones attention on the feet. The feet can also only be in thepresent, only in the now. I cannot experience my feet as a past or futuretense; only right now. As well, the value of the feet is that they are a wholelot further from the head than the breath or the butt! And.these feet mightfind a path to serve the boundless suffering and messy finite needs of thehuman community. The feet rest upon the ground. The feet rest upon theEarth.

It is my feet that ground me in history!

Today the finite footprints of my feet explore an In-finite Shore.

It is this step, this step right now, that grounds me in actuality; that groundsme in history.

Are you massaging our Mother Earth every time your foot touchesher Are you planting seeds of joy and peace Peace is every step.

- Thich Nhat Hanh (3)

If I can infuse the Infinite into my walking in this world, everything I touchhas the possibility of transformation, because only the Infinite transforms. The finite cannot transform the finite. Only the Infinite finally givesmeaning to the finite struggle of human history.

I see the universe as an infinite number of patterns that whirl anddance around a still center. I imitate the celestial circular motionsand partake in a timeless cosmic dance. I experience reality as orderaround a center. I dance to find my centered still point. My dancegives meaning to life. - Jena Marcovicci (4)

(1) Storywarrior, Amanda, Kierkegaard Actuality Reflections, (unpublished) Interior Mythos Journeys,Bloomington, IN, 2016.

(2) YouTube Sketchers Commercial, 2016:

(3) Hanh, Thich Nhat, Peace Is Every Step, New York, NY, Bantam Books: 1992, p 91.

(4) Personalized Affirmation adapted from: Marcovicci, Jena, The Dance of Tennis, Richmond, MA,1986: p 11.

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Athletics: The New Asceticism Reflection #4: Truth in Tension

Sport and religious practice both embrace ordeal in the service of illumination and freedom. By consciously transforming pain into delight, the athlete begins to awaken to the inner presence of which the world is not the master. *

- Michael Clarkson

The athlete and the ascetic both seek to escape the confinement of the world through the gateway of the body. They seek a deeper truth in tension; a truth unappreciated, dismissed, and avoided by our popular consumer culture.

Smoking cigarettes helps some to relax and release tension.

Chewing gum helps some to relax and release tension.

Taking a vacation helps some to relax and release tension.

Sex helps some to relax and release tension.

Alcohol, drugs, video games, watching TV, spending money, eating ice cream, and consuming distracting entertainment help some to relax and release tension.

Our contemporary popular culture pounds it into us that stress is bad, tension is bad, and invites us to find release through the above activities and 10,000 others not mentioned.

The truth ascetics have always grasped is being rediscovered today by athletes.

The athlete and the ascetic intentionally nurture the core truth human beings spend much life energy attempting to avoid: truth rests in tension. Conversely, true rest, true peace, is experienced only in tension.

Continuity and a sense of the universal come with the knowledge of the inevitable alternation of tension and relaxation in eternal rhythms of which each inhalation and exhalation constitutes one cycle, wave or vibration among the countless myriads which are the universe. **

Yehudi Menuhin

It is interesting to note that muscle tone is background tension within resting muscle tissue.*** How much alcohol do we consume and how much TV do we watch attempting to numb the background tension that physiologically is the epitome health

Many New Agers, Hippies, Woo-Woo folks, and human-centered idealists promote a life posture oriented toward a place of peace and rest and stress-free living beyond the universal state of tension we all encounter as our real lives. They seek a make-believe world somewhere beyond The Big Squeeze. ****

This peace-filled interior Utopia does not exist.

Only The Big Squeeze can deliver us to our real authentic lives. *****

To be clear, one may not connect with authentic peace and rest without engaging a journey. It is this journey, interior and exterior, consuming the attention of the conscious athlete or ascetic.

In full disclosure, I do some Yoga five days most weeks.

In full disclosure, I hate Yoga!

There is no authentic life without Yoga.

Yoga is one of the oldest continuously practiced disciplines of human beings to manage consciousness. The Yogi uses his/her body to connect with the Comprehensive One, the Great One of the Deep (G.O.D). Today, most of us are too smart to acknowledge the existence of the Great One of the Deep from the lofty perch in our head from which we view and judge all things. Many of us are alienated from our bodies and lost in our heads; mistakenly believing that life occurs by thinking about it. Yet, all thinking about it does, is remove us from the depth and flow of our real lives and most essential reality. Yoga can allow the practitioner to surrender to a deeper place, a truth in tension.

Tension is where Yoga happens.

It is in the midst of the stretch I discover my essential reality.

A posture is interiorly imaged and intended and then a pose is assumed.

Tension is where the posture is embraced; or better, where one is embraced by the posture. Tension is real. It is within the tension of the pose I may discover balance. It is within the tension of the pose I may learn to rest, to breathe, to find a peace that is not apart from the tension but a part of the tension. It is in this special place I seek to be present; I seek my home.

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to bind, join, attach and yoke, to direct and concentrate ones attention on, to use and apply. It also means union or communion. It is the true union of our will with the will of God. ****** B.K.S. Iyengar

Can the human family, can I, once again grasp and practice the truth that the instrument of the body is the vehicle, the classroom, within which, and only within which, I may connect with the All-That-Is

A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the essential reality within. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi by grace within finds fulfillment. Then s/he knows the timeless joy, which is beyond the pale of the sense, which reason cannot grasp. S/he abides in this reality and moves not therefrom. S/he has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher than this. S/he who has achieved it, shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. This is the real meaning of Yoga a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.*******

Sri Krishna (Bhagavad Gita)

Sometimes, just about always, the above consciousness is a little too much for me so I trick myself with a warm up. A warm up is a subtle way of coaxing the body into the tension of movement and exercise. Warms ups communicate to me that, this really isnt so hard or serious, in fact, this is easy! Warm ups are critical in every dimension of real life, because only the non-threatening nature of the warm up can deliver me into the intensity of the tension.

As I move delicately into the heart of the tension, I may discover my authentic balance and, more deeply, my reason for existence, my mission, and that-which-is-mine-to-do-today. The truth of my purpose in this world is discovered only as I surrender to the tension that is my real life.

Resting in the tension is learning to rest into the tension that is my life; being in my life, being present.

When I am present to my life and resting in the tension, I discover Fire! It is in this Fire I am transformed. The great secret is this: only my life can transform my life! It is only when I submit and surrender in docile obedience to my real actual life that the ever-present energetic phenomenon I am resonates and oscillates and vibrates within a transformative Fire that creates a new me out of the stuff that was idly waiting for something else to show up. Only my life can transform my life. And only my life can transform my life when and if I choose to be in it.

Life transforms life.

Learn to wait properly by letting go of yourself, leaving yourself and everything yours behind you so decisively that nothing more is left of you but a purposeless tension.

.The bamboo leaf bends lower and lower under the weight of snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. Stay like that at the point of highest tension until the shot falls from you. So, indeed, it is: when the tension is fulfilled, the shot must fall, it must fall from the archer like snow from a bamboo leaf, before s/he even thinks it.

Wait without purpose in the state of highest tension. *******

Master Kenzo Awa

It is time to practice my life. It is time to stretch. It is time to discover Fire.

It is time to do some Yoga.

I love Yoga!



* Clarkson, Michael, Competitive Fire, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 1999, p 160.

** Iyengar, B.K.S., Light on Yoga, Schocken Books, New York, NY, 1966/1979, p 11.

*** Mooney, Jean, Illustrated Dictionary of Podiatry and Foot Science, Elsevier Limited, 2009.

**** Greulich, Maryellen, The Ultimate Reality The Big Squeeze, Transparent Works, Bloomington,

IN, 2016.

***** Greulich, Maryellen, The Ultimate Reality The Big Squeeze, Transparent Works, Bloomington,

IN, 2016.

****** Iyengar, Light on Yoga, Schocken Books, New York, NY, 1966/1979, p 19.

******* Iyengar, Light on Yoga, Schocken Books, New York, NY, 1966/1979, p 19.

******** Herrigel, Eugen, Zen in the Art of Archery, Vintage Books, New York, NY, 1989. pp 32,48, 51.






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Athletics: The New Asceticism - Reflection #3

Moving Out of My Mind

The athlete in championship form has a quiet place within herself. There is a center that must be known and held. Unless this center is found, the turmoil will destroy us. *

- Joseph Campbell

I am moving.

Moving can be a traumatic act. Apart from the advertising creations of Madison Avenue that wish for us to believe The Adventure of Moving, most of us dont want to go. We like it here in the known, the familiar, the comfortable, the dependable, safe, here at home! We dont want to move. I dont want to move. Moving is scary. I dont want to do it. I like it here.

Yet, sometimes we are overcome by an interior urging, often a gentle nudge and sometimes an overwhelming compulsion, or an external intrusion we have not sought but now cannot avoid forces a move: the flood, the tornado, the fire, the divorce, the bankruptcy, the war, the event that has shattered our comfortable home.

Home is home. Moving is not. We like our nests. We like our familiar safe places. We fundamentally dont like moving. At least let me confess, I dont.

But what happens when we are prompted to leave the home of our attention; our default awareness, the place where we attend our fundamental focus toward life And what if that fundamental place-of-attention happens to be my mind What if this place I have been living is in my head What then

Living is not a matter of ideas about living. **

- Joseph W. Mathews

I am moving out of my mind.

I am moving out of my head.

Yes, I have spent a number of decades there in my head. Yes, my family of origin and the human family at large have all tirelessly worked to get me to understand reality as a lot of things that make sense and to which I can only really connect through the instrument of my mind located somewhere in my head. But what if, now that I am getting old, I have discovered this home to be a lie

I am moving out of my mind.

Thinking has become a disease. ***

The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. ****

- Eckhart Tolle

The process of moving out of ones head is not easy or fast.

The mainstream human community will certainly not support us in our journey if we choose this path. If we are too vocal about our commitment to this special path, the human community may actively seek to destroy us on the way.

The process of moving out of ones head is not fast especially if one has spent years or decades living there. Just as a huge home can become cluttered with years and years of accumulated possessions and things to which one is attached, the head does not release its occupant easily or without resistance.

The process of moving out of ones head requires persistent practice and perhaps the remainder of a lifetime to accomplish; at least so I am discovering.

Since the first oddball humanoid, the Shaman, the Tribal Medicine Person, the Witch, the Sorcerer, the Mystic in the Woods, the Oracle on the Mountain, the Monk in the Desert, or the Mad Person at the edge of the Village, personally discovered the big lie that human life makes any rational sense whatsoever, others have, from time to time in every generation, crawled out on the ledge of human consciousness and looked over. Some have made the leap!

This may or may not be your day to begin such a journey.

Those who do begin such a journey often do so by rediscovering the fundamentals they may have neglected to notice for decades or a lifetime.

One such fundamental is breath.

The newborn babys first lesson in this world often begins with a sharp whap on the butt....eliciting..the first breath!

At that special moment, I believe most of us get it right. We immediately begin practicingattention to the breath and appreciating the deep center to which this focus delivers us. Ahhh..but then comes the instruction from the human community and promptly we are confused with where to focus and identify Am I my fingers Am I my toes Am I my nose Am I whatever name is written on the birth certificate and by which those around keep calling me This is only the beginning of the human familys instruction in helping me to identify with lots and lots of things that make sense; especially my own seemingly unique personality!

The end goal of this instruction is for me to properly identify with whatever we mean by the mind and all of the stuff happening in a brain located in my head.

For those radicals in every generation who have found their solitary path out of the head, the breath is often a starting point. The ascetic and the yogi have long modeled this practice. Today many athletes are also discovering this special path, at least as it pertains to their specific sporting engagement. For the ascetic or the athlete, attention upon the breath can serve as a guide into the deep center of ones being. The distractions of reflection and anticipation disappear as breathing occurs only in the present tense; only in this now moment.

Athletes in movement sports understand the principle of lowering ones attention closer to the center of gravity. This principle has to do with dropping ones attention closer to the physical center of the body, the core, from which all balance and play actually emanates. To be caught in ones head is to be caught in ones head, and therefore, unbalanced.

Part of the aging problem in contemporary society is that of balance. Balance is a problem because we have spent a lifetime in the practice of dwelling in the most imbalanced place possible at the end of the fulcrum of our bodies: the head. Were we to practice centering in our center, closer to our actual center of gravity, perhaps the issue of balance would not be such a contradiction in the aging process.

Our attention focuses and rests wherever we intend it within the vessel of our physical body. We may or may not choose to be conscious of this truth. When I was a child my father would instruct me to lift with my legs in order to avoid injury to my lower back. In this elementary example I was learning to shift the focus of my attention from one area of my body to another. While shaving, try thinking about the process and what is occurring and where it is occurring. Blood is almost guaranteed! Attention must be deposited elsewhere to experience a bloodless shave.

The truth principle applies: Where attention goes, energy flows.

First, establish the breath!

The mind and emotions are both servants of a deeper place. The breath can deliver us there.

The breath is the physical foundation for managing an intentional interior life and can deliver us out of the places of unbalance: the head and the heart.

The breath.the breath..the breaththis is the key. Focus here!

Throughout history, the great ascetic masters have invited us to journey to a special place.a connecting point.a gateway, a portal, located within the physical body. It is only in this deep place clarity beyond the rational can occur. This is not a clarity of the head or the heart, both of which deliver us into a swamp of conflicting thoughts and feelings; a labyrinth of un-clarity from which there is no escape.

The ascetic master invites us to explore the Deep Place. What it means to go deep is literally to descend within the mysterious chamber we know as the human body to discover this connecting point.

When a storm comes, it stays for some time, and then it goes. An emotion is like that tooit comes and stays for a while, and then it goes. An emotion is only an emotion. We dont die because of one emotion. We are much, much more than an emotion. So when you notice that an emotion is beginning to come up, it is very important that you put yourself in a stable sitting position, or you lie down, which is also a very stable position. Then focus your attention on your belly. Your head is like the top of a tree in a storm. I would not stay there. Bring your attention down to the trunk of the tree, where there is stability.

When you have focused on your belly, bring your attention down to the level just below the navel and begin to practice mindful breathing. Breathing in and breathing out deeply, be aware of the rise and fall of the abdomen. After practicing like this for ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes, you will see that you are strongstrong enough to withstand the storm. In this sitting or lying position, just stick to your breathing the way that someone on the ocean would stick to a life vest. After some time the emotion will go away. ***** - Thich Nhat Hanh

Every athletic playing field, every court of sports competition, every track and road and pool containing the race represents a very real battle; a palpable storm. We are attracted to athletics as participants and as spectators because these activities represent the storm of real life we each encounter every day. These activities call to us to explore a path the ascetics have practiced choosing again and again, and through their example, call us to do likewise.

But, why practice the art of handling a storm

Why attempt to grasp the relationship between the mind, the heart, the body, and The Deep Place known to mystics and ascetics and to me if I choose to follow

Why leave the comfort of a home in my head where the world makes perfect sense

Why not keep my head up my ass

I am moving.


* Campbell, Joseph, Moyers, Bill. The Power of Myth. New York, NY: Broadway Books/Random House, 1988: xviii.

** Mathews, Joseph W., Teaching the Question of God Lecture, Ecumenical Institute, Chicago,

IL, 1964

*** Tolle, Eckhart, The Power of NOW, New World Library, Novato, CA, 1999, p 13.

**** Tolle, Eckhart, The Power of NOW, New World Library, Novato, CA, 1999, p 17.

***** Hanh, Thich Nhat, Selections from a talk given at the State of Maryland Correctional Institution

(circa 2002)


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Athletics: The New Asceticism - Reflection #2

The Danger Zone The Comfort Zone

Be always restless, unsatisfied, unconforming. Whenever a habit becomes convenient, smash it! The greatest sin of all is satisfaction

- Nikos Kazantzakis

Is it true that The meaning of life is consumption

Are we to believe that at the end of life The one with the most toys wins

One of the most popular lies of Western Civilization nurturing most of us into adulthood and of which we are reminded dozens or hundreds of times everyday is: Life is about consumption.

Life is about the consumption necessary to sustain comfort.

Consumption includes not just stuff and food and drink and smoke and sex and pleasure and entertainment but also relationships, family and friends (in the U.S. you need to pretend you believe this in order to run for public office), money, power, social status, experiences (When I retire I am going to travel and see the world.) and a thousand other consumables we will not attempt to explore here.

The rare ascetic in the human community knows the above to be a great lie.

Today there is another group, everyday athletes, who are also beginning to see this great lie for what it is. In this present moment, many athletes are discovering, or at least suspecting, there is more to life than the next sale at the mall, dining event, new Lexus, or other consumptive experience.

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers

- M. Scott Peck

The Consumer Culture in which we dwell and that now spans the globe has multiple functions including the objective of delivering comfort to the human family. I like comfort. I support comfort. I personally prefer to be comfortable rather than uncomfortable. My heart does ache when I encounter those I love in pain, suffering, deprivation, or discomfort of any kind. This is as it should be and is part of the natural order of things. Comfort is good. Consumption is good. However, we error when we make personal comfort and the consumption sustaining it the meaning of our lives. We error when we make the quest for comfort the center of our lives.

The ascetic, and increasingly the serious athlete, knows that the essential meaning of life must be approached, discovered, explored, and practiced by a deeper path; the path of expenditure.

Life is not about consumption, but expenditure.

The question is finally not What am I getting from this walk on the planet but What am I giving

The Comfort Zone is the Danger Zone!

The Comfort Zone is the Danger Zone for only one reason: we fall asleep. Falling asleep is a problem because we miss something precious: our lives!

Do you exercise your quality life practice maintaining a comfort zone or pressing, expanding, and exploring the limits of your mental, physical, emotional, and relational boundaries
The most tangible and immediate place we encounter limit is with our bodies. If you are not certain this is true, securely pinch your nose while tightly shutting your mouth so no air can enter or escape. In a very short while you will begin an encounter with limit and Ultimate Mystery. Our bodies have this power to deliver us into an encounter with limit and Ultimate Reality.

I have never participated in a serious workout, race, or competition where at some point in the middle of the ordeal I didnt ask myself Why am I here or How did I get here I have never pushed myself to the edge of my physical athletic limits without hearing the interior voices encouraging me to Stop! Quit! Retire! Try something easier! Find an alternative path!

But, there is no other path.

It is only when we encounter limits that the possibility for choosing and discovering ourselves at a deeper level is presented. The body is an excellent pseudo limit available to each of us for moving into this deeper place. The body can serve as a gateway. This is the truth the ascetic has always known and the awakening reality being discovered by athletes in every village and community of the planet today.

Throughout history ascetics have fasted, deprived themselves of sleep, inflicted great pain and suffering upon their bodies, stretched in every manner with Yoga contortions, and endured other physical hardships for the sake of finding a path to and sustaining a connection with the Great Ontological Deep (GOD).

In our time, it has been my observation that the official institutionalized representatives of the Great Ontological Deep are often overweight, out-of-shape, and comfortable. They are not hungry.

So who is it today that climbs out on the edge exploring and pushing the limits of human life and daily encountering the mysterious unknown of the Great Ontological Deep It is the athlete.

Across the globe and in every age group there are those solitary beings who daily and voluntarily explore the limits and learn the lessons provided by the classroom of the physical body. These pilgrims of the current age seek to discover and connect in blissful union with something called flow.

Flow is that state of being we experience when we become so engrossed in an activity that our thoughts, emotions, physical actions, and environment all merge to become one reality. In this state of being time seems to disappear and we enter a special zone of timelessness. Performing athletes seek this zone.

Today institutionalized religion seems impotent to nurture this journey into a state of flow and connection with the Great Ontological Deep. However, this depth connection and personal experience happens daily and consistently on the track field, the volleyball court, in the swimming pool, running or cycling on the road, the tennis court, the gym, the weight room, and yes, still, upon the yoga mat.

The best moments usually occur when a persons body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile
. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen.

Such experiences are not necessarily pleasant at the time they occur. ***

-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

My grandson, Christoph, celebrated his 1st birthday this week. Christoph is currently being indoctrinated by his parents and other adults as to various body parts with which he can identify: toe, ear, nose, mouth, feet, etc. He is beginning a journey by which he will inevitably come to identify himself as a me with his body. This is an important and necessary step on his journey into selfhood. However, if he does not continue the journey of identification of himself beyond the confines of a physical body, his depth journey will be stunted. The ascetic and the serious athlete (at any level) grasp this paradox. We use the body as a special gateway to move beyond the body.

Perhaps B.K.S. Iyengar the master Yoga teacher who recently died at age 96 said it best:

How can you know God if you dont know your big toe***

-B.K.S. Iyengar

So come on! Join Christoph and me on a journey beyond the body through the body.

The big toe is a worthy guide.

*Kazantzakis, Nikos, The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1960, p 68.

** Moriarity, Patrick, Daily Blog, September 1, 2014

*** Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Harper, New York, NY, 2008, p 3.

***** Iyengar, BKS, New York Times, Obituary, August 20, 2014

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Athletics: The New Asceticism

The Connecting Point Within

I understand sport this way. It needs strategy; it needs suffering. *
- Rafael Nadal

How do I connect most personally with Ultimate Reality

Where do I connect most personally with Ultimate Reality

Human beings have been exploring this question of personal connection to The-All-That-Is since we first crawled out of the cave and lifted our gaze to ponder the stars and That-Which-Is-Beyond-The-Stars.

We seek the answer to this question of connection in sex. We seek the answer to this question in money. We seek the answer to this question in power. We seek the answer to this question in religion. We seek the answer to this question in relationships, in possessions, in entertainment, in travel, in consumption, in morality, in education, in social status, in business, in activity, in stuff, in bigger and better and more. Through each of these human-constructed vehicles we are destined to fail in our quest for connection with the Ultimate.

Hindu legend asserts that Brahma choose to hide transparency to the Infinite in the one place human beings would never consider looking for it: within themselves. **

The connection we seek is not found beyond the stars, nor is it located next door. The mystery of the greatest of human practices, the practice through which we personally connect with The Great Ontological Deep (GOD), is that we connect with That-Which-Is-Beyond-The-Starswithin!

Within my own most-personal, fragile, finite, contingent, physical body I connect with the Deep Place.

I connect within.

And here is the important clarification: within is within my physical body.

This vulnerable, dying physical vessel prone to weakness, weariness, disease, and exhaustion is the one and only place I personally can connect with the undying and unchanging Ultimate Reality of the Infinite.

There is one thing that, when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep essential intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now, and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. And what is that one thing It is mindfulness centered on the body. The Buddha


Thus it is that asceticism has been with us as a practice for a long time. Yet, asceticism has fallen out of favor in our comfort-obsessed materialistic culture or has simply been forgotten as a practice.

What is asceticism Asceticism simply represents those practices of physical stress and stretch and strain and deprivation by which I might move beyond the physical body to connect transparently with the Infinite. Fasting, sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, self-induced physical pain, abstinence from sex and other sensual pleasures, as well as countless other exercises of physical self-denial or torment might constitute examples of asceticism. At least this is the direction asceticism has taken over the centuries in the major depth-seeking traditions.

The word asceticism is derived from the Greek askesis, which means training or exercise. The original intent of askesis was training required for athletics. ****

In our time, while the health of the impotent depth-seeking traditions and institutions of humanity is very much in question, athletics is thriving in every corner of the planet. The Deep Place within is often obscured to practitioners of fundamentalism, literalism, rationalism, sentimentalism, and all of the other leftovers of traditional depth-seeking institutions who seek truth out there. Yet, this Deep Place is being accessed and revealed again and again on the athletic playing fields and tracks and courts and pools and gymnasiums of the world. Indeed, the deepest intent of asceticism, to access the Infinite by moving beyond the finite physical body, is regularly being discovered and explored in our time through personal athletics.

In the absence of effective contemporary depth-seeking institutions, perhaps the best place for each of us to begin a personal journey of connection is to walk around the block.

In a series of Blogs over the next months that will follow this initial reflection, we will explore athletics as the contemporary manifestation of asceticism, the vehicle for accessing depth connection through the body.

This fascinating subject is about the paradox of using ones body as the vehicle by which one is delivered to a deep timeless place beyond the body yet, paradoxically, within the body and within time.

When I was a kid, my now-famous swimming coach, James Doc Counsilman, who was not-so-famous at the time and certainly not to me nor his children and my friends, would tell us there were three stages to every workout: 1) Hurt 2) Pain 3) Agony.

I grew up understanding that unless I reached the 3rd stage, the workout was not over.

Doc understood something about transformation. He understood something about starting one place and going on a journey to arrive, or more correctly to be delivered to another place. He understood something about using the body to be delivered to a place beyond the body, a place where character, confidence, and courage are discovered. Master ascetics and athletes grasp this truth.

When I re-state Docs insight for myself today, with the benefit of several additional decades of life experience and reflection, it goes something like this: There are 3 stages to every journey into the core of Reality: 1) Hurt 2) Pain 3) Agony, and sometimes, but not always, and not guaranteed, a 4th Stage: Flow, Awe, Ecstasy and the Absolute Peace and Tranquility only present in the Deeps! It is this elusive Forth Stage that keeps us coming back. It is this elusive Forth Stage that is so intoxicating, so seductive, so absolutely transformational that once encountered, we never can fully escape its grasp.

Is this message proposing personal physical pain as a practice goal NO! This message is suggesting that our personal bodies hold the key and provide a special gateway into a life of depth. The experience one experiences in passing through this gateway is whatever it is. We must each notice and notate our own actual experience of this passage. Take the journey and pay attention.

Join me on this journey as we explore the one place, and the only place, we can connect with the Deep Place: within.

If you have no idea what this message is pointing to, go outside and walk around the block. Then walk around the block again, but faster. Then walk around again, faster. Then walk around again, faster yet. Soon you will be delivered to a new place no longer on your block or in the familiar setting of your external neighborhood.

This is the place we seek.

Come along.

*TIME Magazine, Time Inc., New York, NY, June 2, 2014, p. 38.

**Butterworth, Eric, Discover the Power Within You, Harper & Row, New York, NY, 1968, p Prologue.

*** Brach, Tara, Radical Acceptance, Bantam Books, New York, NY, 2003, p. 93.


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Story and History

So tell me the story of.

What is a story and what is history Does it matter that we understand the difference I am of the perspective that it is important to distinguish one from the other.

Jesus was likely an impoverished, illiterate Jewish peasant unable to read or write.

Jesus was likely born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem.

Jesus was likely born out of wedlock.

Jesus was likely the student of John the Baptist and continued sharing and refining Johns message after John was beheaded.

Jesus was not a pacifist and had a complex relationship toward violence.

Practically every word in the New Testament written about Jesus of Nazareth was by people who did not know him and had never met him.

Those who did know Jesus played little role in the movement built on his story.

There was never any trial of Jesus before Pilate although Pilate may have signed the execution order as a routine matter.

The story of Pauls conversion on the road to Damascus was propagandistic fiction created by Luke or whoever wrote the book of Luke.

Paul had no interest in the actual historical Jesus but invented a new doctrine unrecognizable to the people who actually knew Jesus.

The Apostle Paul and James, the brother of Jesus, engaged in a mutual career-long animosity ending only with the execution of each.

Messiahs were everywhere in First Century Palestine (Hezekiah, Judas, Theudas, Athronges, Simon son of Giora, Simon son of Kochba, the Egyptian, the Samaritan, and many others. Jesus of Nazareth simply had the best long-term marketing program.

The above insights, and many others, can be found sprinkled across the pages of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan.

In personal exploration of the depth issues of life, I am not a big advocate of academic scholarship. Story, poetry, metaphor, physical posturing, music, and many other art forms are generally more appropriate vehicles for delivering me into an encounter with depth. However, Reza Aslan has provided, especially those of us with origins in the West, a special perspective regarding Jesus of Nazareth that perhaps could only arise from disciplined academic scholarship.

For me, the importance of this book is that, for the first time in my life, and at a moment when literalism and fundamentalism have hijacked the depth traditions of the West, Zealot allows the reader to take a very important historical journey into the actual life and times of Jesus. Because of this, Zealot restores the story to story, the myth to myth, and the metaphor to metaphor by providing a proper historical context around Jesus of Nazareth.

By separating actual history from metaphorical poetry, perhaps we can now begin to have some substantive conversation around this rich tradition of depth.

Zealot restores the poetic profound by illuminating the historical profane.

The zeal for Truth flowed abundantly in the hills of First-Century Palestine. May we re-discover and exercise this zeal in our own Twenty-first Century lives.

I recommend the read and the journey.

Aslan, Reza, Zealot the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Random House, New York, NY, 2013.

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Quantum Mechanics and Interior Freedom

We all have a human mind, even me!

When we exercise the human mind in the practice of understanding and manipulating physical reality, time, and space we call this practice science.

Throughout human history, we have practiced science and this is a good thing to do. Sometimes we humans have practiced good science and sometimes we have practiced bad science but, given the feedback of actual outcomes, we eventually find our way to the stuff that works and move forward.

Science is good.

I am a scientific being. However, for almost all of my life, without even realizing it, I have been internally alienated from the scientific worldview of my time in history: Quantum Mechanics. I have been alienated, separated, and divorced from Quantum Mechanics, not just because I am not that bright, but also because I did not grasp it as the credible scientific worldview of our age. I was stuck in a previous scientific worldview dominated by Newtonian Physics. Dont get me wrong, I didnt really understand Newtonian Physics either, but that was the unconscious worldview I adopted for most of six decades.

I did not know how to see my world. I spent most of my life looking at the world through a fundamentally flawed scientific worldview.

Then I started participating in the Storywarrior Institute Discussion Forum.

A physicist on the Forum, Ken Gilbert, suggested I read Quantum Enigma to supplement our discussion of the issues generated over The Enigma of Consciousness by Gene Marshall.

Wow! I am on a new trajectory now.

Quantum Enigma is one of the few books I have read recently that actually took me on a journey. Over the past two decades I have accumulated a stack of books by physicists and scientists explaining Quantum theory and its application to theology, mysticism, and the deep things of life. I have another stack of books by theologians, philosophers, and self-proclaimed deep people explaining quantum mechanics and its intersection with life. With little exception, these two stacks of books have left me cold and uninspired. Thus, when I received Kens recommendation, I was skeptical. Quantum Enigma, by Bruce Rosenblum, Ph.D. and Fred Kuttner, Ph.D. of the Physics Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, adds an important element to the conversation.

The edge of the human journey is now moving from a fundamental worldview of separation to a fundamental worldview of unity; it is all one.

Energy is energy is energy and it is all connected.

The quest for a new myth, or new way of seeing and talking about this worldview of unity, is an important element in the transition we all share. I am excited about the possibility that quantum mechanics may provide credible contemporary poetry for evolving an appropriate new mythic language to nurture depth in the 21st Century. We will address this subject in future communications.

The purpose of depth-seeking tradition is to assist human beings to live in right relationship to Reality.

The purpose of science is to assist human beings to live in right relationship to Reality.

There is no conflict between the wisdom traditions and science; their objective is one and the same.

The Dalai Lama has often said when he encounters a conflict between his depth-seeking tradition and science he will generally trust science.

Ken Gilbert has provided a great service to me personally and to this Forum by bringing our attention to Quantum Enigma. This is a well-written book and takes the reader on a journey from the first page until the last. This book gently took me by the hand and guided this unconfident physics student on a journey into my own scientific life. It facilitates the journey of humankind in the practice of science over the past 2500 years since Aristotle.

For me, this book had a deeply therapeutic effect because I personally experienced profound disconnection, alienation, and separation from the past eight decades of the quantum scientific journey of humankind. I didnt get it. Yet, this is my timeframe in history. I am daily living with its impact. I was unable to grasp a personally intimate relationship to the quantum age. On an academic and professional level I am certainly not a physicist. Yet, on a historical level my life is imbued with quantum physics as a human being living in the 2nd decade of the new millennium. I was out of touch. This book was written for me and for all of you who did not do well in high school physics and didnt get it. This book reunites me with my real moment in the human journey and, through science, delivers me into the possibility of a right relationship to Reality.

There is no conflict between the wisdom traditions and science. May we choose a posture of gratitude for all the stepping-stones that deliver us to a right relationship to Reality.

Please join Gene, Ken, me, and others as, from this enhanced perspective, we continue to explore The Enigma of Consciousness.

Thank you, Ken!

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