Archive for November, 2011

Are You Diamond or Charcoal?

November 30, 2011

Sri Daya Mata

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Sri Daya Mata, the longtime president of Self-Reallization Fellowship. She served her guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, for nearly eighty years with love, devotion, and the joy that comes from God-realization. In honor of Daya Ma, I offer a nugget of wisdom from one of her (more…)

A Wonderful Year

November 29, 2011

One year ago today I moved to Encinitas, California from Minnesota. Best move I ever made. After living here a year (except for a three-month visit back to Minnesota in the summer), I can’t even bear to think what my life would have been like had I stayed in Minnesota. I can’t imagine not knowing all the great people I now know. I can’t imagine never having had all the life-affirming experiences I’ve had since I’ve been here. And it’s all because I (more…)

The Only Way to Die

November 29, 2011

If I were to check out tomorrow, I’d feel exactly the same way that Mary Lavin’s grandfather and Michael Gartner’s father did:

“Take my own father! You know what he said in his last moments? On his deathbed, he defied me to name a man who (more…)

He Saw It, He Loved It, He Ate It

November 27, 2011

Maurice Sendak and friend

In an interview with Applause magazine, interviewer Terry Gross asked writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, best known for his 1963 book, Where the Wild Things Are, if he would share some of his favorite comments from readers that he’s gotten over the years. Sendak replied:

Oh, there’s so many. Can I give you just one that I really like? It was from a little boy. He sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters—sometimes very hastily—but this one I lingered over. I sent him a postcard and I drew (more…)

A Life Without Left Turns

November 26, 2011

This touching tribute to a loving father was written by Michael Gartner, the former president of NBC News who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for editorial writing. I was fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with my dad too, and I have a soft spot for warm-hearted reminiscing like this.


Carl Gartner in 1934

My father never drove a car.

Well, that’s not quite right.

I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:

“Oh, bull——!” she said. “He (more…)

Rachel Crow—Personality Plus!

November 25, 2011


Rachel Crow

I don’t know of many eighth-graders who can stroll out on stage in front of thousands and a television audience of millions, banter likes she’s with her BFF and then perform like she’s singing into a (more…)

Is That My Intuition or My Ego Talking?

November 24, 2011

Kathryn Harwig

I know that a lot of people struggle with the question, How can I distinguish the voice of my intuition from the voice of my ego? I like the way that Kathryn Harwig, a friend of mine who’s an author and psychic, provides an excellent analysis of that issue in this essay from her website. With Kathryn’s permission, I’m sharing it here.


Recently someone asked me, “How do I know if the information I am getting is coming from my intuition or from my own self talk?” This is a very good question, and one that everyone who is serious about being intuitive needs to ask on occasion. It is a challenge to be intuitive about yourself and most of us find that it is far easier to give someone else a psychic reading than to give ourselves good intuitive advice.

Why? Because our own hopes, dreams, worries and fears tend to get in the way of our hearing our inner psychic, at least when we are asking for information for ourselves. Many people solve this dilemma, at least in part, by consulting with other psychics. But, we also want and need to use our intuition to make our own lives better. So, it is necessary, I think, to be able to distinguish the voice of our inner self talk and the quiet voice of our intuitive wisdom.

I attended a talk once where the speaker said that our unconscious mind was unable to hear the word (more…)

Was a Downed WWII Fighter Pilot Reborn as a Little Boy?

November 23, 2011


The strange, surreal case of James Leininger, as conveyed in this four-part ABC News feature from 2004, makes a compelling argument for the reality of reincarnation. James’ story is told in the book Soul Survivor. The text that follows is an overview of his story courtesy of Reverse Spins.


Nearly six decades ago, a 21-year-old Navy fighter pilot on a mission over the Pacific was shot (more…)

Listen to Mahatma Gandhi Make the Case for the Existence of God

November 22, 2011

This is perhaps the best surviving sound recording of Mahatma Gandhi’s voice. It was recorded on October 17, 1931 in London. Gandhi titled (more…)

Sand in Your Hand

November 21, 2011

Recognizing that change and growth are as enriching as they are inevitable, they neither resist nor resent each other’s budding new interests and aspirations.

If we have the self-confidence and the wisdom to be the friend of our partner’s growth, then growth is no threat. If we set ourselves against it, we invite tragedy.
Nathaniel Branden

Viewing their life together as an ever-evolving adventure, they encourage each other to follow their bliss wherever it might lead.

Relationships—of all kinds—are like sand (more…)

Love Is Always Open Arms

November 20, 2011

"Sleeping Couple" by Ivan Koulakov (

Spiritual partners place no restrictions upon each other. They grant each other complete freedom to do whatever they like with whomever they choose.

Him that I love, I wish to be free—even from me.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

First, however, they thoroughly discuss the (more…)

Kina Grannis Gets Her Jelly Bean On

November 19, 2011


On November 3, 2011, Kina Grannis, a twenty-six-year-old guitarist and singer-songwriter, released the above stop-motion music video for her (more…)

Love Is Like a River

November 18, 2011

Photo by Preston Palmer (

Joining hands, spiritual partners step into the world together, certain only that no matter what comes their way, they will not be alone in facing it.

Love does not consist in gazing at (more…)

Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness

November 17, 2011

Photo by Preston Palmer (

In a spiritual relationship, while each longs for the other during long stretches apart, they know they are separated by distance only, that such breaks enrich their relationship.

Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.
Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

Even when they are together, and in each other’s arms, they inwardly bow to the other, honoring one another’s spirit.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving (more…)

Feeling the Sun From Both Sides

November 16, 2011

A romantic relationship will continue to flourish as long as both participants feel loved and cherished.

To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.
David Viscott

While both partners cherish their time together, they respect each other as individuals who need time alone to reflect, recharge, and relate to the world on their own terms in their own way.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and (more…)

The Secret to a Lifelong Love Affair

November 15, 2011

Photo by Preston Palmer (

In a spiritual union, even when both partners’ love, loyalty, and support for each other are unconditional, the relationship will inevitably deteriorate unless each truly admires the other.

To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind.
Théophile Gautier

Admiration is the cornerstone of (more…)