Art, Music & Literature

Introducing Marlie Avant

I’m a lucky guy; I get to meet and know some incredible people. None more so than my new friend, Marlie Avant. In addition to being accomplished in the theater and art world, Marlie has pursued her spiritual quest with an indefatigable spirit and a truly brave heart. Her extraordinary spiritual adventures, studies, and initiations include living amongst the Lakota Sioux, the Shuars (an indigenous tribe in Ecuador), an apprenticeship with a Peruvian Shaman, and receiving initiation in the Santo Daimi Ceremony in Brazil. She is the real deal, who is fiercely loving and wise on the inside and hot as hell on the outside! She is in the process of launching a website with the magnetic title of “Things you wish your grandmother had told you!” Well, stay tuned. I am going to enjoy helping Marlie promote her site when it’s up. She is finally ready to share her profound stories, wisdom, and heart with the world, especially with women who yearn to express more authenticity in their lives. Here is a recent journal entry, that I publish with her permission.

 

Speak Truthfully

This post is an excerpt from The 5 Principles of Authentic Living. Here, I discuss the fourth principle: Speak Truthfully.

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Be Present, Pay Attention, Listen Deeply. With these principles, we become intimate with what is beneath the thoughtstream in order to uncover and discover our authenticity. These three principles illuminate us from the inside, through the clarity of awareness and power of silence. But this is not enough for an authentic life, because we have to bring this clarity and power from the inside to the outside, to the world in which we live and work and play, to where we see and feel the ripples of our authenticity in the reflections of our words and actions and relationships.

Leadership Dojos and Zendos

This article is an excerpt from Igniting the Soul at Work: A Mandate for Mystics. Though originally written about 15 years ago, the premise seems to be as true and relevant today as then, especially in light of the current roster of presidential candidates. This article suggest that leaders voluntarily engage in the humanizing and enlightening activities of various dojos and zendos. First, I describe my own experiences practicing zazen and aikido, and then extrapolate what I experienced and learned to a curriculum for leaders.

 

 DOJOS & ZENDOS

In the winter of 1969 I cinched up my Aikido gi for the first time, bowed, and stepped onto the mat in a small dojo, practice hall, in Arcata, California, a little town on the northern coast. The sensei, teacher, was a big burly man who looked like a meat packer or longshoreman. Instead, he was a psychologist by profession, and a man of very gentle disposition, although he could throw my ass across the room while barely touching me.

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Pay Attention

This is chapter two of The 5 Principles of Authentic Living.

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Pay Attention

Now that we’re Being Present and living from awareness, now that we are not determined or defined by our thoughtstream, we have to incorporate into our repertoire of living authentically the second principle: Pay Attention.

The definition of Pay Attention is simple, and the application is likewise simple, as in straightforward. It does, however, take practice. The rewards, the return on our investment, are staggering.

Paying Attention means to notice what we’re doing in real time. It means to notice the effects we produce. It means to notice everything that’s happening, while it’s happening — in real time. There is an important synergy between Be Present and Pay Attention. The first principle reminds us that our thoughtstream distorts and disguises reality. By slowing down the projection speed of our mind, we can experience the way we superimpose the thoughtstream onto the screen of reality. But to Be Present isn’t the entire game: it just gets us into the game. Once we’re in the game, we have to Pay Attention, we have to notice from awareness what we are doing, and what is happening inside and outside.

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Collaboration with artist Jane Ellen Davis

I have collaborated with artist Jane Ellen Davis to produce a series of six Buddhist-themed memes, entitled “The Six Bodacious Buddhas.” Janie sent me her selection of artworks; I’d sit with each one until they spoke to me, and then I wrote. I think that the finished products reflect Janie’s artistic inspiration and my own outlook. They are posted on my Facebook pages, and they are also gathered and posted on a board on my Pinterest account.

Janie Davis

Janie Davis

 

 

To see more of Janie’s art and to read about her new book, please visit her website. Below is one of the memes.

 

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“No Goodbyes – Messages From The Other Side”

My good friend and colleague Barry Eaton has just published a new book, No Goodbyes – Messages From The Other Side, which is a follow up to an earlier book called Afterlife: Uncovering the Secrets of Life After Death. In that book, based on his own fascinating experiences of life between lives and his numerous communications with those who have passed over, Barry answers many questions about the spirit world you’ve been longing to ask.

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