Reflections on Living

I provide mentoring to those who have both the courage and determination to make a truly transformational journey. My approach is heavily influenced by core principles of Zen Buddhism. I don’t offer quick fixes or follow the latest fads. If you are willing to make the long journey – if it’s time for you to come to know the person you really are and can become – if you intend to finally find the path you should be following – if you want to start living life you were truly meant to live – then perhaps we should talk. Send me an e-mail and we’ll arrange a time to chat.

It is my hope that you find the writings below helpful and a sincere effort to help you along on your journey. Nothing gives me a warmer feeling than having contributed to the life of another. We are all on this path together. It is my fondest wish to share part of it with you.

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Self-Sabotage is a Bad Idea: “Do more of what enriches your life and less of what damages it.” Sounds like common sense right? But, in my mentoring work, I frequently encounter people who seem to be dedicated to damaging their own prospects through self-defeating behaviors. (Read More)

First Steps Are Always the Hardest: Inertia is the Enemy of the Possible “I should’ve done this a long time ago. Why didn’t I? Why did I waste all of those years? It’s like I spent my time walking around in the dark when, all the time, I knew where the light switch was.” (Read More)

Climbing a Ladder That Leads to a Hole in the Ground: There is a sea change going on among millennials and the rest of us should pay close attention to it. (Read More)

A Fundamental Understanding: Realization often takes more time because ego and hubris interfere. Presumption is a challenging adversary when it is self-deployed. In an effort to avoid the implications of impermanence, we often work hard to convince ourselves that we are the architects of our lives and the framers of reality. (Read More)

Journeys: I would like to distinguish between two types of journeys that humans make in the course of their lives. (Read More)

I am I and will be till I die? Not! The practice of Zen brings a challenge to the literate. The farther one moves along the path from ‘right now right here’ to ‘right now right here’ the more language comes to be desperately inadequate. The difference between experience and verbal description widens until the chasm can no longer be spanned. (Read More)

A New Direction: Many people who come to me for mentoring support are certain of one thing – that they are facing a problem which is unique to them. To their relief, they discover that the situation they find themselves in – the challenges that they are facing – the decisions that they have to make – and the options that are open to them are shared by many of their fellow travelers. One of their first lessons is that ‘they are not alone’. (Read More)

The Denotative Tendency: Attempts to help Westerners along the path established by the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path often come up against a distinctive tendency to want to define terms rather than experience the path itself. (Read More)

Your Foundation: An old friend was fond of saying that most people begin at paragraph two. The point he was making was that the foundational assumptions of any argument tend to be taken as givens by the person advancing it and, as a result, they feel no need to explain them. (Read More)

The idea of something is not the thing Let’s say you’re sitting in a movie theater watching a war film. It’s about the battle of Gettysburg – a reenactment of Pickett’s charge. The theater is filled with the sounds of cannon and musket fire. The images graphic. Soldiers on both sides are suffering horrific wounds. Many are dying before your eyes. But are they? (Read More)

The Treasure of This Moment You are busy. There is so much happening around you. People, events – the general coming and going that makes up your day. All of these keep you distracted – sociologists and psychologists would describe you as engaged and involved. (Read More)

What’s In It For Me? This is a retelling of a post-modernist nightmare – a journey into the void of virtual relationships that never become real. It is a story about lost possibilities sacrificed upon the shrines of inattention, self-absorption and indifference. The interspersed poem is by Antonio Machado – The Wind, One Brilliant Day. (Read More)

Walking Together Alone – Searching For the Self There is an important difference between Coaching and Mentoring. Coaching tends to deal with the finishing details while mentoring focuses on foundational questions. I value the work done by Coaches and have done a considerable amount of it myself but, over the years, I have gravitated towards Mentoring because it tends to involve Transformational Journeys and the remaking of a life. Helping a person make that journey successfully is a source of great joy and satisfaction for me. (Read More)

Making the Possible Probable – A Mentoring Case Study When you awake each morning, the day presents you with literally thousands of possibilities. Human existence is chocked full of possibilities. But the important questions is, what is probable? And the more important question is, how can you make the right possible things probable – how can you select the right probabilities from all those possibilities? This is one of those areas when more education can be a real liability. (Read More)

The One True Thing What is the one thing in your life that is that certain? It has a reality and significance unlike anything else. Your thoughts, memories and aspirations are manufactured realities. The one thing that is certain is that you are alive in the moment and experiencing what it brings to you. (Read More)

Train, Shoot Self in Foot, Run Marathon Most behaviors are patterns – recurring tendencies – rather than one-off acts. People tend to do the same thing over and over even though it generates unsatisfactory results. They don’t seem to be able to take the most common sense advice. (Read More)

The Price of Intemperance Socrates observed that ‘a life unexamined is not worth living’. Nowhere is that more true than when we act against our own self-interests and suffer the consequences – pay the bills for our own rash actions. (Read More)

How Long? How often has that question occurred to you? And what did it mean when it did? Occasionally perhaps it appeared as “how long is this going to go on?” A variation could have been “how long do I have to endure this?” Although there are plenty of other meanings that might occur, that’s the one that I intend to focus on but perhaps not in the way you might expect. (Read More)

 

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