The Ageless Wisdom Teachings

Last Christmas, David Zimmerman hosted a Christmas party for the Edgar Casey group. I attending the party through a mutual friend, Marie Gibbons, and much enjoyed a lecture David presented for his guests prior to dinner. He talked about several interesting topics, providing us with new insights suitable for our time and setting us up emotionally and spiritually for the New Year. I had never met David before but by the time I left his home, I learned quite a bit about him.  

David is a retired GM executive and a Vietnam War Veteran. He studied Art at the Fort Wayne Art Institute which is now the art department for Indian University, is a graduate of Claregate College of England, and a lifelong student of The Ageless Wisdom Teachings. He’s also a lecturer, producer and generous supporter of educational DVD’s and writings on esoteric subjects throughout the United States, England, Australia, Europe, and South Africa.

The Ageless Wisdom Teachings, which has been handed down from generation to generation, refers to an ancient body of teachings regarding the nature of our cosmos, how it devolved from an energetic unity known as the One Life, the laws by which it operates, and humanity’s evolutionary role within it. It is the source of all spiritual teachings and religious traditions. Its primary focus is on the energetic structure of the universe, the evolution of consciousness, the spiritual reality of our lives as humans, and the development of “right human relations.”

According to the website http://www.esotericstudies.net, The Ageless Wisdom Teachings’ emphasis on all life as energy is being confirmed by the current work in cosmology and quantum physics. No student of the Ageless Wisdom is expected to accept any of the teachings without testing them. As the Tibetan says, “If the teaching conveyed calls forth a response from the illumined mind of the worker in the world, and brings a flashing forth of intuition, then let that teaching be accepted. But not otherwise.” 

As for Claregate College of England, the idea was first started by Dr. Douglas Baker who established a college in the United States in 1972. The college was the first of its kind to offer a systematized course in the Esoteric Sciences. The venture proved very popular and soon enabled a college to be opened in England. Claregate College was thus founded in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire in 1977. Hundreds of students attended the college for weekend seminars and evening classes; the college attracted groups from America who came for summer seminars and was the base for Dr. Baker’s extensive lecture tours around England. The college also served as a research center, where information was gathered from various projects involved in the effects of magnetism, color, sound, radionics and flower remedies on the human organism.

Due to expensive travel and time delay, many people later found it difficult to undertake a systematic course of studies which requires attendance and an educational institution.  It was in response to these needs that The Claregate Correspondence Course was inaugurated, thereby giving people all over the world the opportunity to study the fascinating field of the Esoteric Sciences.

David’s educational background and experiences in life make him a sought after lecturer and an interesting conversationalist. During my interview with him, he talked about the Lost City of Atlantis. It was the Greek philosopher Plato who told the story of Atlantis around 360 B.C. He said that the founders of Atlantis were half-god and half-human who created a Utopian civilization and became a great naval power. The story goes that there was a catastrophic destruction of this ancient civilization which some say was fictional and others believe is true. Regardless, this place reminds me a lot of ancient Mesopotamia and conversations like this allow for a person to think, to imagine, to perhaps learn something new.

David recently shared two paintings with me to share with my readers: one is by his friend and artist Don Kruse, who like David happens to be a Theosophist. This famous American folk tale has a universal mythological significance. The fox, known as Brer Foxin in the story, was always at odds with the wile rabbit and desperately wanted to catch him. One day the fox had an idea of just how to catch the rabbit. He decided to make a doll baby out of tar. The rabbit who was a very curious creature indeed, would jet stick to the tar baby and wouldn’t be able to get unstuck and the fox would then catch him. And so it was, the rabbit by his curiosity got stuck to the tar baby and the fox caught him.

David (painting).jpg

The wile rabbit not wanting to be eaten by the fox devised a plan to trick the fox into releasing him, when he said, “Now Brer Fox, you caught me fair and square and I know you want to eat me, but I also know how much you hate me and the worst thing you can do to me, is to throw me into that Briar Patch over there.” Brer Fox thought about it and decided he would do just that, and so he did throw the rabbit into the briar patch. The rabbit was able to escape through the briar patch which he knew all too well.

David added that “This picture also includes in its symbolism the picture of many Buddhists and the Halo Nimbus of both the Buddha and The Christ. The great esoteric significance of this tale is this: When students of Buddhism graduate from their training, they are told in order to prove the teachings to be accurate and correct they must put themselves in the service of people who make the difficult situations of life, like the rabbit in the briar patch. ‘The Briar Patches of Life’ will prove the Wisdom Teachings of The Christ and Lord Buddha and by using this Wisdom correctly you will be able to navigate the difficulties of life.”

David (painting)2
Head of Minerva

The Value of Your Attention

Written by Sandy Naimou
Yoga Teacher,
B.A. in Psychology and
M.L.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies
https://www.sandynaimou.com/ 

Your attention is your greatest asset and everyone is trying to get it.  Your partner, children, boss, parents, family members, friends, are all trying to get your attention.  You agreed, on some level, to give them your attention.  In some way, you all agreed, and you have chosen to give your attention in exchange for theirs.  

Others are trying to get your attention and you don’t know who they are.  You haven’t chose to have a relationship with these people, but they’re forcing their relationship on you.  For example, advertisements are everywhere and they are forcing themselves on you.  It sounds violent, doesn’t it?  It sounds like a physical assault, actually.  It very well is a form of assault on your mind, especially in the way that it can be done; in the way that changes your values without you realizing it.  Similarly, in the way that advertisements are meant to make you do something that benefits others (those who are advertising on you), it is a robbery.  

Now, you and I both market to others.  I understand.  So this is a sensitive topic, but I have to go forward.  It’s too important.

In all ways, your attention is your greatest asset.  It’s like a precious rare and unique jewel, a gem, a diamond.  We all have these jewels, but each one is so unique and so powerful, making them beautiful and highly valuable all at once. 

Making them most valuable, is the power that these jewels hold.  That power is what everyone is trying to get from each other.  Why?  Because once someone has taken that jewel, that power, they can control us.  Yes, that sounds dramatic.  But, it IS dramatic.  Controlling our attention can lead us to a seemingly insignificant decision of making a small purchase.  It can also lead us to significant decisions like supporting an idea that will affect billions of human lives and multiple generations.  Attention is a big deal.

Recently I was learning about crystal singing bowls to make a purchase.  I felt that the bowls people are selling on Amazon didn’t have enough information; it seemed incomplete.  I felt that many sellers didn’t really understand the bowls, but they were advertising them as if they did.  So, I decided I needed to research singing bowls to make the right purchase.  In the process, I found a seller, Zacciah Blackburn from Sunreed Instruments, who has been working with sound healing instruments for decades.  He could explain what I really wanted to know.  His knowledge got my attention and I chose him because of his expertise.  That’s what I was looking for, and with his help and expertise online and over the phone, I purchased two bowls to harmonize with the single bowl I already had. 

Through him, I learned that it was the computer industry that first created frosted crystal singing bowls in order to grow silicon.  Silicon quartz crystals are used to grow silicon chips.  The purity of the bowls made for a beautiful sound that was discovered in the tossing of the leftover bowls.  Single-crystal silicon is described as “the most important technological material of the last few decades” because of its semi-conducting properties and affordability which changed how we make electronics and led to the wide availability of our now, everyday devices.  It’s amazing to me that we use a by-product of the computer industry for sound healing.

Focusing your attention.

When you listen to a crystal singing bowl, your attention is with the bowl.  You hear the sound that captures your attention.  It’s hard to focus anywhere else.  The sound is so soothing and depending on the size of the bowl, it has a beautiful resonance that can last for minutes after the bowl player has stopped singing the bowl, which is done with pressing the mallet around the bowl in many revolutions.  When you’re in the same room as the bowl, it enraptures your senses – your auditory sense and your touch sense.  You can feel the vibrations embrace you.  Getting closer to the bowl makes the touch sense much more apparent, but as the room fills with these vibrations, they eventually are felt consciously.  Nonetheless, you feel them, whether you’re aware of them or not.  The vibrations soothing your senses, also soothes the vibrations in your mind, and so directing our attention becomes more available.  It’s easier to work with attention when the mind is relaxed.

This is one way to learn to focus your attention.  To listen to a sound and be with the sound.

When you are not focusing your attention, your attention is being pulled and pushed.  Forces around you, people’s ideas and desires, forces, are pushing and pulling your attention.  When we don’t claim attention as the precious jewel that it is, it is taken and thrown around as if it is expendable.  It’s like others are playing monkey in the middle with our minds.  Once the push and pull occur, getting a hold of our attention becomes a more difficult task and that can create more mental tension if we don’t already practice relaxation.  

I’ll say it again but more directly: Attention is not expendable.  When we act as if it is, we can easily easily so easily lose ourselves.  We lose who we are, what we know, what we want to know, what we care about.  We lose meaning.  We don’t know why we do anything.  All meaning is lost.  We become robots and do what the programmers around us tell us to do.  It’s a depressing thought, but that’s why so many people seem to be asleep.  Because they haven’t held their own attention as the jewel that it is, as the gem, the crystal, the diamond.  

Attention is precious.  When we see a billboard, commercial, magazine advertisement, and allow our attention to get sucked into it without awareness, we become vulnerable to the messages.  Those are the subliminal messages that marketers learn and employ – working with your subconscious mind because you are not aware.  Awareness, attentiveness, counteracts the forces of manipulation.  I’m happy to make a purchase if I consciously make the decision and I know what, why, how, when the purchase will be good for me or others.  But consider when advertisers who sell addictions slyly get into our minds.  It’s a dangerous game that is being played.

Ask someone who knows that they can’t keep their attention focused, someone who believes they have ADD or ADHD or has a brain injury.  They’ll tell you how painful it is.  Maybe you already know that first hand.  How painful is it to not be able to direct yourself, to control what you think about, why, how, when, and where you think about it?  We take attention for granted.  When we know that we struggle with holding our own attention, we understand its true value.

All of us can strengthen our attention, and hold such a jewel with respect.  But our attention doesn’t begin as a jewel.  It begins as the “diamond in the rough,” an unshaped stone that has potential to be shaped.  

Meditation is so powerful because it aims to completely focus and shape attention; that’s the purpose – to come to a “razor-sharp focus” or an attention as focused as a laser-beam.  

Meditation

This razor-sharp focus is what cuts the rough stone that our attention begins as, and shapes it into the beautiful gem it always had the potential to become.  It just needs practice and yes, attention.  With this gem, we ourselves can cut right into the matter at hand and shape an idea with more intention.  We can shape ourselves with more intention.

So, we have to practice being attentive to our attention if we want to shape our own lives.

There are ways to ease into meditation practices.  We ease in because holding our own attention is a learned task that requires practice.  “We need more practice,” says my son’s martial arts teacher.  It’s written on the wall as the school’s motto.  

We need more practice.  What if each of us live by that motto?  What happens when we practice holding our own attention, not easily swayed by those around us who have their own motivations?

We live how we want to live, not how others want us to live.  Again, we shape our own lives.

So, here’s a way for you to focus your attention on a daily basis so that you strengthen this muscle of attention daily, you shape this diamond in the rough little by little.

Daily Exercise for Attention 

This is a journaling exercise I’ve been committed to since about 2007 when I was trying to complete my thesis for graduate school, which life had interrupted.  I can attest to this method.  It’s probably one of the most important things I do daily and little by little it creates huge effects in my life.  When I don’t use this method, or I do it lazily, I live lazily too.  My priorities get shifted and spun around and my actions can easily go against myself, against my intentions and my values, which affect me and those around me.  You’ll want a dedicated journal for this practice alone, though important daily notes can be written here too.  

I call this my “work journal.”

Journal

Begin every morning setting an intention for your day and write it down in a journal.  Let the intention focus on how you would like to feel, what state of being you want to be in for the day.  For example, to feel joy around me, to feel connected to others, to feel love at all times, to be calm, to be relaxed, to be energetic.  In my journal, I title this the “Thought for the Day.”  Add any other descriptions, reasons, understandings, reflections in this section.  Now and then, I write my thought for the day in a poetic voice.  Those speak to me the most.

Consider some of the actions, no more than three actions, that would be in line with that intention.  You’ll write these in the next two sections.

Title the next section for the day “Personal Goals” for some of the things you will do to accomplish that intention and any other things that need to be done.  Being a “personal” section, you’ll be thinking about yourself, your family, friends, personal responsibilities.  

Title the next section for the day “Professional Goals,” and identify some of the things you will do to accomplish that intention as well as any other things that need to be done.  Being the section focused on the “professional” aspect of your life, you’ll be thinking about the work you do.

The personal and professional intermingle, but for attention’s sake, we’ll keep them in separate sections.

For the rest of your day, bring your attention back to that intention and the little steps that you recognized in the personal/professional goals that would help fulfill it.  

Notice what happened when you kept it in mind and acted accordingly.  Notice what happened when you forgot about it, got pushed or pulled in another direction, and acted in opposition to that intention.  We only notice, we don’t need to judge it.

At the end of the day, or the very next morning, you’ll write a “Review and Reflection” to reflect on how the day went and what you noticed.  Did you stay on task?  Did you get pushed or pulled around?  Ask yourself questions here, what helped you stay on track and what took you off track?  

Whatever method works for you, go with it.  Focusing on sound and intentions are two available ways that have worked for me.  

With time and practice, your attention will be shaped into the beautiful gem it could always become.

Sandy(3)

Dream Scribe: Creating from the Astrals

By Sonya Julie
Writer, Reiki Master, and co-creator of Rochester Writers
http://www.SonyaJulie.com
https://awakeningthecore.com/

Over 2300 years ago Greek philosopher Aristotle said that human beings are capable of achieving a pure form of wisdom only during sleep, when our minds are liberated. The dream state allows us to tap into messages, information, and experiences that can enrich the creative experience.

When we are in the dream state, or astrals, we are truly tapping into timeless wisdom. This can be utilized for the betterment of our lives and is especially relevant to the act of creation. Finding the words to a poem, visualizing a work of art, or hearing a song that wants to be written may all be kindled into fruition starting with a dream.

“Astral travel can be quite unpredictable” writes Tiffany Fitzhenry in her book The Oldest Soul. “Everything you need to know comes into your mind and as it does it all makes sense in the vastest scope. Nothing like the way things are perceived on Earth, in dribbles of confusion followed by the smallest of revelations of finite information.”

An all-knowing awareness comes to us in dreamtime and slipping into it is effortless. Astral is an esoteric term referencing a state in which consciousness leaves behind the physical body awareness and makes observations in another realm. This can occur during sleep or meditation.

Some dreams are simply experienced for the purpose of mentally processing our daily lives, activities, thoughts, and basic operations. Another type of dreaming takes us beyond our daily experience and allows us to tap into expanded energetic spaces, pools of wisdom, and layers of multidimensionality. These dreams can often feel very real and are memorable. They may be rich in color, sounds, emotions, and invoke the senses while stimulating our connection to our eternally conscious selves. They may be quite heavy in symbolism and metaphor while also feeling very real.

So how can you utilize dreams in your creative process? The first thing to remember is that intent is very powerful. If there is something you are looking to explore, expand upon, learn, or glean from your time in the astrals, setting that intent before sleep is powerful. It can be specific, like wanting to resolve a plot twist in the book you are writing. Alternatively, it can be more general like simply wanting some inspiration for a project idea.

Dreams

The best quality of sleep occurs in a space that is entirely dark and quiet. Avoid bright lights and electronics and instead choose soothing music or silence, take time to read, meditate, and let the day go while inviting a sense of quietude as you prepare for slumber. Empty your mind, letting go of thought. If something pops up, let it go like a cloud floating by and return to the emptiness.

By recording your dreams, you open up space for remembering and recalling more material, which in turn gives you more to work with. It’s always important to write down all dream details, even if they don’t seem relevant at the time. Significant insight may be gleaned when one revisits these records at a later time.

Everyone dreams but not everyone recalls them. If you record your dreams upon awakening, you will signal your subconscious to pay more attention in the future. Keeping a notebook and pen or a recording device nearby is helpful. Even the act of writing down that you do not remember your dreams can trigger the subconscious into paying more attention going forward.

Upon awakening, allow yourself to remain in a sleepy state, perhaps with one eye still closed in a dim and quite space. Blaring alarm clocks and bright lights are certain to jar you awake, causing you to forget all your astral adventures.

The Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia viewed dreams as signs sent from the gods. Dreams were translated with the intention to incubate and summon wisdom for the purpose of growth and advancement of self. Throughout the ages, the inspiration required for remarkable feats was often obtained from the dream state.

Dreams rarely have outright messages, though they occasionally offer written or verbal messages that will help you in your waking hours. More often, they are symbolic and metaphorical, and highly unique to each individual and most dream books are generally not very helpful. An exception for me has been Mary Summer Rain’s Guide to Dream Symbols in which she dedicates her book “To slumbering memories awakened through the power of dreams and the wisdom of the watchful dreamer.”

Some symbolism seems to be generally more universal, such as the sun referencing the creator and houses referring to a mental state, while vehicles pertain to the physical body and water represents spirituality. For other dream elements, it must resonate with the dreamer. Searching for the metaphysical meaning of a dream element can also be useful but only if you connect with that perspective. The way one person feels or relates to a cricket, an airplane, or a spoon might be different from another.

With practice, dream travel can be experienced at a more advanced level and assist us in providing us with wisdom and clarity regarding our life path and unique focus. Advanced dreaming has been practiced by the ancients and the shamans who visit remote locations and cross time and space.

The indigenous people of the Great Lakes, the Anishinabek, believe that humans have two aspects, one that is present during the day and the other that travels at night and lives in the dreams. With the two aspects, humans can communicate with each other on earth as well as with other forms in other dimensions, the astrals.

I invite you to become a conduit of wisdom from the dream realm by utilizing new practices and a desire to explore. Seek out inspiration and solutions from the astrals and see how you can apply them to your creative work during your waking life. Set your intentions and take the time to see what adventures the universe has in store for you.

Sonya Julie

Sonya Julie is one of the presenters at the Path of Consciousness spiritual and writing conference and retreat. She’s doing a workshop on vision boards. For more information, visit https://thepathofconsciousness.com/program-schedule/

The Importance of Handwriting

Earlier this year, I led a journaling workshop at the Theosophical Society. Robert E. Haskins attended this workshop and when it was over, he asked if he could take a look at my handwriting. Observing the few lines I’d written, he began to describe my character, state of mind, emotions, skills, and some of the blocks preventing me from moving forward. I listened with amusement to his accuracy, wondering how he could know such a great deal of information about a stranger by only reading a few lines.

Robert explained that he’s a master handwriting analyst, graphotherapist, herbalist, and homeopathic practitioner who uses a holistic health care approach to early detection and treatment for various issues such as stress, depression, ADHD, PTSD, and many more. He’d studied in various universities including Bowling Green State, University of Tubingen in Germany, and Wayne State University. He said, “My objective is to highlight the personality and character traits of each person: emotional disposition, aspiration level, sensitivity, goal setting abilities, one’s spirituality, benevolence, manic depressive conditions, self-blame, suicidal tendencies…”

The list went on and on and it was impressive, given his analysis of my handwriting which stayed with me long after we departed. I learned quite a bit from what he said and for the next several months used the analysis to release some old patterns. One thing Robert said about me is that I’m quick to listen. We all get messages throughout the day to guide us through our lives, but how many of us really listen to them? Oftentimes, it’s not because we’re so hard-headed that we ignore these messages, it’s because our world has too many distractions. Our mind is filled with noise, our heart with fear.

Robert quoted Socrates; “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates believed that philosophy, the love of wisdom, was the most important pursuit above all else. Wisdom is different than knowledge in that wisdom is generally considered to be morally good. Albert Einstein once said, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Knowledge is watching and reading about a certain people and culture, maybe visiting them as a tourist. Wisdom is experiencing that people and culture by living among them.

Most people seek knowledge and few gain wisdom. That’s because the love of wisdom is not on their high priority list, although if it was, it would transform their lives and humanity in general. In my interview with Robert, he talked about trying to prevent bullying in schools by helping children and adults bring their body back in balance. But he discovered that the school system did not yet embrace his expertise.

One day, I’m sure they will. They will realize what my Native American teacher often said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, expecting different results.” Sadhguru, an Indian yoga, mystic and New York Times bestselling author, says, “There is no such thing as modern world and ancient world. At every time in society there is a certain set of people who are trapped in their own logic.”

Sadhguru adds that people have a “constipated intelligence and over-used intellect” where they find frivolous things profound yet discount the profound intelligence of, for instance, the plant that produces a fragrant flower.

“There is more intelligence in the air around you than in your brains,” said Sadhguru. His message is to employ our intelligence without the limitation of our intellect.

Graphotherapy may be applied in multiple situations. It can improve one’s ability for concentration, memory, school performance with the subsequent improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem in children. It is a tool for parents to get to know their children, monitor them and guide them in the right path.

It is useful for rehabilitation after brain damage, dysgraphia, dyslexia and Parkinson. In Psychiatry, it’s used to study mental disorders, different types of stress, lack of will, concentration and attention, behavior disorders, obsessions, disorganization and disorder in general, self-esteem issues and personal insecurities, among others

Robert says that he highlights positive and negative personality and character traits on initial contact with anyone, adding, “Keep in mind, there are no universal formulas for self help, in that, each person is different and must be dealt with this understanding in mind. However, once he is reintroduced to his ‘subconscious being,’ we can help him consciously see himself from a new perspective. Once he is exposed and then acknowledges his latent personality and character traits, he can respond to situations rather than react to situations and rationalize too quickly.”

To contact Robert E. Haskins, call (248) 541-4412 or email edwardohas@att.net

The Scriptorium,a Place for Writing

About a year ago, I heard a good rumor that a new bookshop, The Scriptorium, was opening in Clawson, Michigan. What made it unique was its goal to serve the Michigan literary community by carrying new titles released by Michigan authors. Its owner, Diana Kathryn Plopa, was already quite active in the writing community as the associate publisher, editor-in-chief and a writing coach at Grey Wolfe Publishing, LLC, an independent publishing house. The author of six books of various genres, she had previously led writing and critique groups at Panera Bread.

“I focus on mentoring other writers and supporting their dreams of publication,” she’d once said. 

Diana spent time as a features writer for a Detroit newspaper, and for several years she wrote copy part-time for a popular local radio program. She holds a degree in English, with a concentration on creative composition, as well as a certification in early childhood development.

“Writing and a sincere love for the written word are passions that have followed me since early childhood,” she said. “Whether poetry, fiction, memoir or any other genre; my words create worlds to step into with enthusiasm and wonder. I don’t write because it’s necessary fun – although it truly is – I write because like breathing, if I don’t do it, I would die!”

Her Muse, Drake, a duck her son gifted her long ago, helps her with the tough stuff, quacking inspiration in her ear whenever necessary.

Diana2.png

During the summer, I visited The Scriptorium and learned that it also offers a wide variety of used books by national bestselling authors, writing workshops, writing groups, critique groups, book clubs, children’s literary adventures and a host of other bookish events. When you walk into the bookstore, you’ll immediately notice that they have a special space set aside for writers to focus on their work.

I went in one Wednesday evening to meet Diana when I noticed several tables getting filled with writers, their laptops, coffee cups, and even their dinner of sushi or whatever else. Diana explained that unless the space is temporarily being used for an event, you’ll always be able to find a table and an outlet to comfortably add energy and creativity to your works-in-progress. They even provide hot beverages, bottled water, and snacks (supported by donations) to help fuel one’s enthusiasm because, Diana says, “Our imaginations are fueled by the abundance of hot cocoa whenever we write together.”  

The warmth of the atmosphere and the fact that there was coffee available to energize me, I decided to take out my pen and journal and join the writing group. It was a productive two hours, from 7 pm – 9 pm, so I returned the following week. Now that my children are back in school and I lead a Girl Scout Troop with a conflicting schedule, I haven’t been able to go much, though it still lives nicely in my memory. Not just the writing space, but the spirit of the place and its people.

Diana lives with her husband, Dave, and their two dogs, Alex and Finnigan in Birmingham, Michigan. She enjoys writing, sailing, kayaking, escaping to their cabin in mid-Michigan to write and spend time with the family, especially her son Zachary. Wolfe Cub: The Inspiring Story of a Woman who Made the Conscious Choice to Raise her Child as a Single Parent is the story of Diana’s Wolfe Cub, Zachary, and how together, they re-imagined their limitless American Family. Diana writes about how she raised her son as a single parent not by death of a spouse or by divorce, but by choice. She made a plan to raise her son with intelligent love, reasonable boundaries and lots of patience.

Throughout the years of raising her son, she found many creative ways to support her family. She has spent time in the theater as a technical director and lighting designer, worked as a nanny, a preschool computer teacher, and a medical transcriptionist. During Zachary’s teenage years, she opened a website design company called Wolfe Technologies, Inc. In her free-time, she writes with enthusiastic abandon. She’s currently working on a number of books.

“My personal goal is to write one book in each of the major genres,” she said, “and then choose a favorite – if that’s possible.”

Check out Diana Kathryn Plopa’s website to learn more about her work http://www.dianakathrynplopa.com/

Here’s a link to the Scriptorium Bookshop https://www.thescriptoriumbookshop.com/

Link to Grey Wolfe Publishing http://www.greywolfepublishing.com/

The Beginning of My Gong Journey

By Vince Anthony Pitre

Licensed Psychotherapist, Master Hypnotherapist & Healer

Have you ever been in paradise or even imagined it?  For me it’s Kauai.  Sandy beaches for miles, waterfalls, tropical jungles, cleansing rains, and mostly sunny days in the high seventies — that’s what does it for me.

Six years ago, this quaint island nudged us to come back and play.  I’m so grateful we did. An hour after checking into our condo, my partner Diane announced, “I signed us up for a gong meditation.”

My sense of interest swelled inside like waves cresting and crashing along the ocean shoreline. Diane handed me the flyer. Included was a picture of our teacher, a beautiful description of the gong meditation and what I felt was a high fee. I remember thinking, “This better be good!” but felt very excited and curious about the upcoming experience.

Vince 2

Tomorrow came quickly and we arrived early at the community room by the pool. Doors opened, eyes front and center, and there she was…a beautiful shiny symphonic gong.  Soon the room was full and the air buzzed with excitement. Our teacher Guru Purkh Kaur (Diane Cline) introduced herself, tuned in and opened the space for healing.

I laid back, took a few deep cleansing breaths and began to surrender into relaxation.  After a long pause, Diane invited the gong to open up a wave of sound that I can only describe as a primordial OM. This cosmic sound drew me into sacred space. The quieter I became inside, the more I could see, hear and feel.

More about that in a moment.

Vince

Now, think of a time when you tapped into your creativity. What was that like for you?  How did you let it flow? Are you expressing your creativity as much as you want to be creative? Letting go is the secret sauce for allowing your creativity to flow.

Now, there’s a claim for you…Letting go of what exactly? Remember, if it’s not loving; it’s not you. Accept what you feel fully as you release everything that’s not you, so you shine brighter.

How does that relate to creativity? The answer’s pretty obvious if you think about it…When you relax, release fear and trust yourself fully, you’re tapping your creative genius. Have you ever overanalyzed something only to be reminded that when you surrender, everything starts to flow in your favor?

Intellect is really good for setting intentions and routine problem solving. Beyond that, trusting your creative powers opens up a whole new world of limitless possibilities. Now, you could write those possibilities off as luck, the placebo effect or pie in the sky – I love cherry.  Or you could do the smart thing and ask: How can I allow this to work for me?

In all industries, knowing and using your creative power matters.  In creative fields and healing, they’re doubly important.  Knowing who you are and trusting the deepest parts of you significantly opens up your creative powers and very definitively influences all your relationships.

Your creative power only gets stronger every time you invite it. Now…knowing yourself and trusting your creativity enhances your sense of value. How much you value yourself directly impacts how you share value in your relationships. Deep work brings deep rewards.  Only the deeper work of discovery unlocks your ability for unconditional positive regard, true healing, and being a greater force for good.

Which reminds me of our story.Once the stress and boundary dissolving gong meditation was complete, I wiggled my fingers and toes, opened my eyes and very slowly got up. My partner Diane made her way over to me with the most unforgettable look on her face.  She enthusiastically shared highlights of her journey.

Having had an equally profound and yet different experience, I said, “I’m getting a gong and I’m going to share this at home.”

Diane smiled and replied, “Yes you are.”

And just like that, in that moment of creative genius, my attention and intention agreed to see this through and soon enough, I purchased our first gong and set out to share this spiritual technology with thousands.

And that, kind folks, was the beginning of my gong journey.

Experience it for yourself, but only if you want to:

→ let go deeper

→   allow your creative genius to flow

→   be a greater force for good by acting on your creativity

→   integrate your learning

→   experience peace

For the upcoming spiritual and writing retreat (Oct. 5-7) Vince will be doing a gong meditation inside the chapel of Colombiere Retreat Center. To register, visit https://thepathofconsciousness.com/spiritual-writing-conference-retreat/ Chapel.jpg

Previous interview with Vince (January 2018)

A Story’s Moral Meaning

For decades, Stanley Williams, PhD, has been helping writers in the art of storytelling.  Many of his teachings are based on his book The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success, which Will Smith called “the most important tool in his tool kit.” Stan has consulted with Will and his team on over a dozen motion picture projects, which have totaled over 1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

Stan was my screenwriting instructor at the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan (MPI). Over the years, he was supportive of my work by attending, sometimes with his lovely wife, my events and giving me advice on my first feature documentary, The Great American Family. In January of this year, I invited Stan as my first guest on my TV show. Earlier this month, he invited me as his first guest on a podcast he’s starting called, “VERISIMILITUDE, Conversations with Storytellers: How the narrative arts reveal what is good, true and beautiful.” To listen to the interview, click here To listen to the interview, click here.

We met one Saturday morning at a nearby park where, we learned, there were some renovations being done. From the start of the interview, the topic of Gone with the Wind surfaced. I read that novel at the age of nine, while living in Amman, Jordan and awaiting a visa to come with my family to the United States. The novel was in Arabic and it grabbed my interest to the point where my family had difficulty getting me to the breakfast, lunch, and dinner table. I felt such a connection to the character of Scarlet O’Hara and her tribe that I didn’t want to separate from them.

Imagine a nine-year-old girl from the Middle East being able to relate to a Southern teenage girl from Georgia. The two were worlds apart, but the author’s storytelling transcended their differences through the common human traits we all have of love, fear, family, and desire. Margaret Mitchell knew how to tell a story, and won the hearts of many people with her storytelling abilities. She took readers on a journey and, despite the trials the characters faced, she didn’t let us feel hopeless.

What I didn’t realize then is that the story also formed a foundation for the type of woman I looked up to. Scarlet was a confident girl who didn’t let her tribe’s limiting beliefs, criticism, or her gender to stand in the way of what she wanted. Her courage helped her pursue her dreams as well as defend her home. Also what I didn’t realize was that Atlanta, Georgia in the 1800s was not Detroit, Michigan in the 1980s. I was disappointed not to see the horse carriages and puffy dresses in the streets as we drove through the highway to our new home in the suburbs.

Picture With Stan2

I believe that artists, whether they’re writers, filmmakers, or painters, have a responsibility to society, to unearth the truth of things but also to help shift consciousness. We see with our brains and our perception, not our eyes, and so, whether we know it or not, the words and images that we use, and the actions we participate in, have a great impact in the world.  

In his book, The Moral Premise, Stan writes,“A Moral Premise describes a story’s moral meaning. The moral meaning of messages is the cornerstone of historical and popular narrative and is the reason stories, in general, are so important to us as human beings… Whether we look at the novel, television, or film, moral messages are everywhere. For instance, A Time to Kill, as a book and as a film, is about how ‘faithfulness leads to justice for both the innocent and the guilty’ or how ‘unjust hatred leads to a just death.’”

I try, through my writing, to infuse my stories with love, life, culture, humor, and authentic people who make my real world interesting. Some of my role models, Margaret Mitchell, Jane Austen, Henry James, and Lynn V. Andrews, have this romance with their stories give us timeless lovers, heroines and cunning social satire.  

Link to Stan interviewing me on his new podcast

Below is the half-hour interview with Stan (Jan 2018)

Stan’s book: