On this Christmas Morning

On this Christmas Morning

All we do is sacred.

Be at peace.

Our ideas of right and wrong are just
reflections through the dusty lens of our ego's glasses.

We are each a child of the Divine.

Every thought, feeling and action is sacred.

Everything is Grace.

Now is the season to know that everything is sacred.

Teaching and Learning

I have always loved reading.  My mom, who was a kindergarten teacher, inspired me to read.  She fueled my passion with numerous books.  She always had the wisdom to give me books that were relevant (interesting) to me.  I found comfort and connection in everything I read.  Early on I realized I was never alone.  I could always find a character or a word that I could relate to.  When lonely or sad, I could open a book and be transported to a deeper learning, to a place of understanding. 

I have spent 60 years of my 64 years as both a student and a teacher.  I am always learning and I am blessed to always be teaching.  My classroom has evolved.  It began in a 2 story brick building in Burlington, New Jersey.  Then, a High School of 2,000 other young adults, many colleges and University's and now the world.  My curriculum is life and love.  I am most interested in the stories of being human.  I am inspired by our challenges and triumphs.  I am less impressed with gaining achievement for position, power, and money.   I am most impressed with achieving unity, gaining understanding and being authentic and vulnerable.  My teaching is less about speaking and more about listening.  Listening to the "still, small voice" in me and the story of the depth of your experience.  I am most interested in your life and what you love and how we are connected in life and love.  I find there is always a connection.  We just need to listen.


Broken Heart

God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open
- Inayat Khan                     

When I was young my first fall from love broke my heart like lightning splitting a tree.

Years later, as a young father, Ashley's diagnosis of retardation broke me like a hurricane shatters glass.

Then being diagnosed with a life threatening immune disease broke me like a bone that breaks with a loud snap and you are brought to your knees.

Then at a conference, the joy tear filled face of a young man broke me like warm water pounding the pain from my shoulders.

Each time, my reflex was to close up, to recover but the spirit had broken through.

I will never close again.


We all have gifts

"What you are is what you have done with the why you are"

- Raymond Charles Barker

We have all arrived in this life with a God given gift. As we share our gifts we make a life. The sharing of our gifts determines the quality of our lives and legacy we leave.



Friends, are those people with whom we speak with love and passion without being filled with fear, doubt or even the need for approval.

I am blessed with deep, abiding friendships in my life.  They are an oasis when my life has been dry and cracked with my own intensity.  They have been a cool and refreshing drink of clean, clear water when my heart was burned from its loving passions.  When I was ills and alone, one visited and sat with me even when I could not remember his presence.  Another was always there by my side providing kinship, camaraderie and whatever was needed.  Others ensured by freedom as I explained the mysteries of my existence.  Many others waited patiently as I searched for truth in creative adventures that led me back to their trusted friendship.  I have prayed in my "dark nights of the soul" waiting to hear God's voice.

Honest, loving friends are parts of your soul.  They soften the harshness of the world.  Friendship, in ancient German, means "place of high safety."  This safety, this friendship, opens us to God.

"My friends are the beings through whom God loves me."
- St. Martin


Honor all people

When I was a little boy, there was a newspaper comic strip called Pogo.  Pogo's classic line was "We have met the enemy and they is us."  We must focus on discernment.  We must focus on devotion and selfless service.  Children of God we are here for more then  self gratification.  Service offers peace.  Self gratification leads to pain.  If we want peace we must follow the "still, small voice."  The inner spiritual voice recalls our heritage as sons and daughters of God.

We must be true and faithful to that within us that knows the truth.

We cannot give or receive the gifts God has lovingly given if we are self absorbed.  God made us all.  Everyone of us is a child of God.  We are designed to connect.  Dr. Brene Brown, in her research has show human beings are hard wired for connection.  We break the human connection when we are self centered.  We can restore our connection through service, by giving our time, attention and talents in service to someone in need.

God's gifts are abundantly for all.

"Honor all people."
                                                                1 Peter 2:17

"As long as we love one another, God will live in us."
                                                                 I John 4:12

In the depths of honesty and vulnerability, I want to say to everyone I see, "let us show love and respect to each other."

Sadly we never say this out loud.  If we did, someone would probably run away in fear.  We try our best to say I love you without words, in socially appropriate ways.  I love you is translated as "have a nice day, good to see you, good morning."

"We are hard wired for connection," writes Dr. Brene Brown and yet we go to such great effort to keep our desire for love and connection hidden.

So let me say here, what we all need to hear- "I love you"



November 6, 2016- Sunday morning I found myself in physical and emotional pain.  I can no longer listen to any more political commercials from anyone.  Whenever a soundbite comes on the TV or radio, I find my body and mind recoil in pain.  I now mute every commercial.  Nothing I am hearing is in alignment with my values.  I don't like complaining so I went inside for prayer and meditation.  I found these words.  My choice is to be compassionate, to understand, to find a way with God's grace to be forgiving.  My value system, my "still small voice" directs me to be unconditionally loving towards all life in all it's "distressing disguises."  These words move me to action.  I look forward to service and giving of respect to everyone I interact with.  I practice consideration, patience, and understanding.  I give love and caring to all of God's children.  We are all God's children.

I trust in God's love, mercy and wisdom.  I place my faith and love in God.  My responsibility is not to change the negative but to focus on the positive.  Today I consciously offer the world kindness, forgiveness, gratitude and compassion.

God bless the whole world

No exceptions


The Only Conversation of Value

"It is a terrible, an inexorable, law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own: in the face of one's victim, one sees oneself.'' - James Baldwin

As a literature student, I was always moved by Baldwin's writing.  The above quote speaks to our challenges as a nation today.  I am inspired to know that cutting edge researchers in the Humanities (biology, spirituality, neuroscience, literature, and the social sciences) agree.

We are all one; we are all united.  

At this point in human evolution, the only conversation of value is
How do we work together?
How do we listen to each other?
How do we celebrate each other?
How do we love each other?


The Neuroscience of Optimism

Dr. Andrew Newberg of Jefferson University Hospital reports, "Hope, faith, and optimism are the best ways to exercise your brain."  Our inner critic (pessimist) resides in the right pre-frontal lobe of our brain.  Our inner optimist resides in the left pre-frontal lobe of our brain.  Research shows that people who consistently maintain hope and optimism are the happiest and most successful people in the world.

Which voice do you choose to listen to?

Barbara Frederickson, one of the founders of Positive Psychology, recommends, "Every time you catch yourself having a negative feeling, focus on your attitude on three to five positive aspects of your life."

Begin with reviewing what went well today.  What did you do that helped others?  What are you grateful for?

The research shows if we do this for seven days, our self-esteem will grow for the following three months.

The Road Less Taken

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost

I look back on my choices.  I have often chosen the less traveled road.  I have followed the “still, small voice” that has called me to deeper meaning and higher learning.  Creativity, innovation, imagination, and a constant re-inventing of my life has led me to a very unique wisdom.  I follow the wisdom path traveled by Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mandela.  

When I feel diminished or broken, I rest for a day or two and begin again.  I read, pray, talk with my beloved wife Sandra, stay close to our angelic daughter Ashley, and reconnect to my passion and mission.

We are all a part of a divine spiritual birthright.  We are eternal.  We are ever evolving change agents of an ending we will not witness.  The power to choose our path is a daily offering.  Be your unique self, follow your passion. Travel the road less taken.  It will make all the difference.


“You each must be a lamp unto yourselves.” - Buddha

Don’t blindly accept the opinions and perceptions of others.  What they think or say about you is none of your concern.  Shine your own light of insight and questioning; come to know your own mind and heart.

We gain self-awareness by drawing on our courage and experiences.  The real you is transparent, vulnerable, and full of integrity.  Be quietly and humbly aware of your best qualities.

Learn from your mistakes.  Don’t beat yourself up over past mistakes.  When you endure a series of challenges, look to the truth and beauty of friends, loved ones, poetry, art, and music.  Be still, pray, meditate.  Slow down.

Knowing that we are different than others is a sign of self-acceptance and maturity.

“You have your way.  I have my way.  As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” - Nietzche

The Grace of Light

Prayer and meditation see solutions that serve the highest good.  When our passion serves humankind, God and the universe bless our dreams with abundance.

Prayer is a longing of the soul.  We humbly admit our weakness.  We give thanks for our blessings.

“It is better in prayer to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.” - Gandhi

Gandhi reminds us that gratitude is the only prayer we need.  How many ways can we say thank you?

Gratitude refreshes your soul.  We surrounded our ego-driven needs.  We admit our mistakes.  We ask for forgiveness.  We drop our masks.  We are transparent.  We are vulnerable.  We are authentic.  We are one with life.  All life is holy.  We are part of the holiness of life.

I watch as Ashley smiles at the sun on her face.  Strapped in her wheelchair, she does not make a sound.  She is the Holy.  She is one with God.  She is in constant prayer.  Beyond her disability, she smiles at the grace of light.

This light surrounds our life.  Be grateful now.

A Life Devoted To Learning

Our gifts come from our wounds.  The gifts do not heal the wounds but it makes sense of the wounds.  They give it meaning.

If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you.
If you bring forth what is within you, it will save the world.

Do what you know is right, even if others don’t approve.

Know your purpose.  Do it with all your passion.  Let go of the final outcome.  Do everything in service to God and humanity.  Surrender the whole process.  Surrender to the Divine, surrender to the Divine within you and the Divine within all human beings.  Your purpose is your path to your spiritual home.

Follow the still small voice.  Listen for Divine guidance.  Let go of ego and self-doubt.  See the Divine in every human being.  See the Divine in yourself.  Act from this guidance.  Your actions will be authentic, courageous, and full of integrity.  You will create joy for yourself and the whole world.

Gandhi devoted his life to this learning, “He who devotes himself to service…will grasp the necessity for it and will continually grow richer in faith…if we cultivate the habit of doing service deliberately, our desire for service will grow stronger and will make not only our own happiness but that of the whole world.”


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” - WH. Murray

Life is built on a series of small course corrections – small choices that add up to something big – our lives.

Your work is no longer your work. 
It is The Work. 
The Work is a path to divinity. 
Work and Worship are one.

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” - Annie Dillard

Give yourself entirely to the work, but let go of the outcome.