November 2009


Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

The most powerful gift we can bring to our relating is the conscious practice of honesty. Under Iago’s spell, telling the truth evokes many conflicting reactions. We may try to be honest to protect an image of being a morally superior person; to prevent the other from leaving us; to avoid guilt, fear of punishment, and other uncomfortable feelings; or to conform to a learned
moral framework. We may also avoid being honest in an attempt to look good, to protect the other from hurt feelings, or to rebel against moral conditioning. We can also adopt honesty as a discipline to deepen presence, to expose and evaporate everything we carry within us that interferes with love. It can be a spiritual discipline, rather than something done in service to separation. Honesty is not just a moral principle. When we avoid the truth, we are cut off from ourselves. If you lie to another, you’ve also created a wall between you and yourself. We split infinity into two, and divide our own intrinsic wholeness. Brad Blanton, who has been a clinical psychologist for more than thirty years, came to translucence through the rigorous and sustained practice of radical honesty. Blanton describes honesty as being completely present and describing your experience just as it is:

“You can take the whole awareness continuum and divide it into three parts. Notice what is going on right now outside of you in the world, what is going on within the confines of your own skin, and what is going through the mind right now, and that’s all there is. Noticing and reporting what is here is honesty. . . just saying it right out as though you didn’t know any better.”

Blanton thinks of honesty as a spiritual practice more than as a moral virtue:

“We know meditation develops your capacity to be present. It becomes more complicated with eyes open, and even more challenging when it involves feelings and interactions with other people. Radical honesty is simply the predisposition for meditation that involves interactions with other people. Honesty and intimacy are really the same thing. When you’re honest, the boundaries between yourself and the other break down, and you experience more oneness or more of a mutual beingness.”

Entering into mutual agreements with your partner, friends, and community to end withholding and deception may be more challenging than first meets the eye. But it is worth the price we have to pay. The old habit that creates most separation, and that pulls attention back most forcibly into Iago’s grip, is the tendency to withhold. Says Blanton:

“The biggest rationalization for lying is “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” the second is “I don’t want to offend anybody,” and the third is “I don’t want to make a fool of myself.” I recommend that you do all three. But stay present with people and let them stay with you until you feel your way through it and get clear. I recommend that you hurt people’s feelings till they get over having their feelings hurt, and offend people but stay with them; don’t do a drive-by. Make a fool of yourself, be a fool in life, be embarrassed, ashamed, whatever emotion comes up, do it out loud, and if you’re scared, feel your way through it and go on to the next limit.”

While researching this book, I was hard put to find anyone who had added honesty to their awakening and later regretted it. Practicing honesty as a translucent discipline is not just a disposition; it involves cultivating very specific skills, which in many ways run counter to our habits. Kathlyn Hendricks gives her definition of being honest:

“It is to describe what is going on in any given moment in a way that doesn’t blame anybody. It’s a whole set of skills: being able to pay attention, to notice what is actually occurring, and then to describe what is occurring in a way that matches the experience. And the act of doing that is tremendously enlivening. It literally will flush out and create a burst of aliveness; it flushes out any old grit, either physical or emotional. It is very, very powerful, but it is also a skill that people can learn and can develop. They don’t have to either know it or not know it; they can literally develop it.”

To read more about translucent honesty and translucent living in general, pick up your very own copy of Translucent Revolution today.

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One of the most inspiring things about this new time is the emerging spirit of co-creation.  I can remember only a few years ago being invited to speak at the Whole Life Expo in Altanta.  All of the big names were there.  On evening we had a party where all the speakers attended. I still remember scanning the room and noticing that half of the New York Times bestseller list was in the room.  The other thing I noticed at that party, back in the early 90s, was how much talking was going on, and how little listening.  Everyone had a pitch to sell, and noone was very interested in buying anyone else’s.

Times have changed!  What I love about these new times is not just the diversity of wisdom and grace that is showering on all of us from every direction, but the ways that we are open to listen and to hear each other with respect.  We come to recognize that our wisdom is made visible in our openess to listen more than our capacity to speak.

I was invited recently by a new friend named Linda Pannell, to participate in a new teleseminar series.  It started on October 21st, but has hardly got started yet.  Every Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm through February 2010, Linda has invited some of the planet’s most inspiring, provocative, and visionary scientists, healers, spiritual leaders, and wisdom keepers to explore ways to navigate the immense individual, societal, global, and universal change toward creation of a  New Shared Future.

The series is titled Science, Spirituality, and the Sacred:  Ancient Wisdom, Modern Miracles.
Take a look at the line up of speakers here
These are all  Free, live events which you can join from your own home.  They are all recorded, so you also will have the chance to buy mp3s of the whole series.

RESERVE A SPOT AS MY GUEST

 

Here is a practice you can use right away, from my book “Leap Before You Look.”

At the end of your day
Kneel down in gratitude
And give thanks for the blessings of the day.
Release all sense of accomplishment for now.
Let go of any entitlement.
It was all a gift.
Find a picture of one who represents the divine to you,
Or pictures of all those who do.
Give thanks for each and every thing.

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pointing-finger

This is a practice from my latest book: “Leap Before You Look.” This practice is chosen from the section “Compassion Practices.”

Whenever a judgment or evaluation
Arises within you,
Whether positive or negative,
Add the three words: “. . . just like me.”
You can go ahead and judge another as lazy,
But be inclusive with it:
He is so lazy, just like me.
She is arrogant, just like me.
They are incompetent,
She is unreliable,
He is angry,
Just like me.
Call back positive judgments in the same way:
The Dalai Lama is so wise, just like me.
She is so compassionate,
He is so strong,
Just like me.
In this way, call back every judgment to yourself
And realize that there is no other out there:
It is all you.


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Apples_228x291Well, dear friends, I’ve blogged about a lot of topics on this site over the last months, ranging from spiritual awakening, to the state of the economy, to how to deal with depression, etc.  But today there is really only one thing on my mind that I want to talk about with you more than any other, and that is: my liver.

For the last couple of years I’ve had some mild but reoccurring health problems: digestion, low energy etc.  So, as we are prone to do with low-lying conditions that don’t clear up, I’ve consulted with a number of practitioners.  Again and again, people have told me the same thing: do liver flushes.  It’s one of those things that I knew was a good idea, even though whenever it came down to it, I’d built up a wall of resistance.  I downloaded and read Andreas Moritz excellent book, The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush.  But still, actually getting around to doing the dreadful deed always seemed like something better off done next weekend than this one.

Well, this Saturday night the rubber finally met the road, and the results have been so dramatic in many ways that I just have to share them with you.  I prepared for the liver flush last week by drinking 32 ounces of apple juice a day.  For those of you who are as unfamiliar with what that looks like, as I was, it is about a liter.  Or, in layman’s terms, “really a lot.”  The purpose, I’d been told, was to soften the stones already built up.  Finally on Saturday it came to the big day.  I ate very lightly for breakfast and lunch, and then around 6 o’clock I began drinking a solution of Epsom salts.  Ever tried drinking Epsom salts?  Take it from me, forget all about castor oil or herbalax, or anything else you may have considered to move things out of the colon.  Epsom salts takes the first prize.  Within an hour of the first glass you’ll want to keep the corridor between the sofa and the toilet completely uncluttered.

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realization1Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

As a child, Michael Barnett went on vacation every year with his family to Broadstairs, on the southeast coast of England. On the beach, there was always a Punch and Judy show, a small tent with an opening like a stage at the top. A puppeteer would hide inside the tent and control his puppets: Punch and Judy, a husband and wife who were constantly fighting. One year, when Michael was about seven, he went to the beach with his brother, David, who was a few years older. The two boys got separated near the tent. Young Michael forgot about his brother as he wandered on his own, past all the other shows and entertainments. But eventually he returned to the Punch and Judy show, looking for David. This time he approached from the back.
“I saw a man kneeling in a box, his hands in the air. On one hand was Punch, and on the other was Judy. With my beloved Punch and Judy as gloves, he was creating the whole show, all by himself. I stopped, open-mouthed. I was absolutely shocked — it was like realizing that Santa Claus does not exist. I thought, ‘My God, it’s all a game! And what’s more, Punch and Judy are the same person! From the front, they are fighting each other. From the back, it is one man playing out a struggle, pretending a war between a man and a woman. What are they arguing about, why are they attacking each other? They are the same! Punch and Judy are the same person. This guy is both.’
“Of course I didn’t interpret it then as I do now. This is the truth I have discovered, that we are all Punches and Judys . . . husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters — we are all playing Punch and Judy, ultimately. But every Punch-and-Judy in the world is the same person. When you argue with your lovers and your friends, you are all the same person.”

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cocoonMany years ago when I was still an undergraduate student at a Cambridge University in England, I had a good friend who was doing medical research on cancer.  He was trying to find out what, if any, psychological factors would be relevant to a person developing cancer.  He developed a very elaborate psychological evaluation, looking for overwhelmingly negative events which could provoke a “death wish” in the subconscious of the patient.  But he only found such an event in about forty percent of his subjects. The death of a child, bankruptcy, the end of a marriage, were all potentially contributing factors for the subject developing cancerous cells in less than a year later.

So what about the other sixty percent?  For a long time he was baffled.  But then he changed the questionnaire from looking for overwhelmingly negative events to overwhelming events of any kind.  He included his scope to include positive things: a new relationship, the birth of a baby, a promotion at work.  Once he broadened his parameters to look for change of any kind, whether positive or negative, he found a correlation of almost ninety percent.

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