Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Embedded in Energy

Wow, long time no blog. I've been pretty busy the last couple months and I haven't bothered sharing it all here, so time to play catch-up. As September ended, Lori and I began a 40 day program of live meditations and coaching calls with David Morelli, called the Immersion Solution, which took us right through October.

The Immersion Solution transitioned into a year long coaching training program I'm part of with David, called Enwaken, which kicked off with a live event in Boulder, Colorado the first weekend of November. That event was truly life altering. Beyond meeting so many people in person I've known on-line, some for over a year, was the experiences David opened us to. The program is about learning to see and read energy, something I was itching to learn since I was first introduced to David early in 2009. Well, as is the case with many new things I try, on the morning of the second day of the event I hit my personal wall of fear and doubt. I thought, "this is pointless. I'm not getting it. Time to go home." About ten minutes after I wrote those thoughts down in my notebook, David asked me to step on stage to demonstrate where the chakras are located. One thing leads to another, and I'm on stage for over an hour having my aura read for all in attendance. As if that wasn't enough to blow my mind, by that afternoon all of the attendees were reading each other's auras and energy like we'd been doing it for years as opposed to minutes. I was very glad I stuck around. Now the program is in full gear with multiple two-hour calls a week plus as many practice sessions as I dare do. The insight, validation, discoveries and removal of blocks and limitations that this energy work makes possible is simply amazing. If all this "energy" talk makes you think I'm a nut, that's cool. It wasn't long ago that I would've thought the same thing. Whenever you decide you're open to it, you'll learn more about it. Or not. It's all good.

The last two months were also full of working on my book proposal and videos in support of suicide prevention at, major changes for Larry The Lizard, more speeches with Toastmasters, a fantastic season for the New England Patriots, holidays, weddings, plus a day job that insists on some of my time (the nerve!).

And now I find myself in December. Man, this year seems to have gone by the quickest of any year in my life. This Friday, Lori and I are headed up to Vermont for a weekend of... no, not skiing. We'll be taking part in a Holotropic Breathwork workshop. This will be my third time and Lori's first. To say the least, it should be interesting.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Letting Go Of The Past

Here is my latest video in support of my coming book, Surviving Myself: A Journey From Suicidal to Happy. I affectionately refer to this one as "Don't Hold On To Your Old Crap!"
You can catch up with any videos you may have missed over at

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Holotropic Sequel

It has been a week since my Holotropic Breathwork weekend at Kripalu and I'm finally ready to describe the experience, or at least try to. As I posted earlier, this was my second time doing breathwork and this round was as amazing as my first time, while being completely different.

Part of what made the weekend so cool was being able to hear directly from Stanislov Grof, a pioneer in transpersonal psychology, non-ordinary states and their healing potential, psychedelics research and about a dozen other things. He has written many books that you can dig into to learn about his research and experiences.

As for my experience; it began as all Holotropic Breathwork does, with me lying flat on my back on the floor in a large room with 100 other breathers and sitters. We are paired up, so each breather has a sitter to watch over them, then we switch in the afternoon. You simply breath deeper and faster than normal, keeping oxygen circulating through you, never pausing. They blast all sorts of cool tribal, mystical music for three hours and you just stay open to whatever happens.

Things started slow for me. I heard screams and sobs around me and a few songs into the session I wondered if I would feel anything except a nice, calm meditative state. I was sort of floating about blissfully. Then I had the weird urge to move and shimmy. In my first Holotropic experience I hadn't budged at all, so this was new. I squirmed left and right on my back and realized I couldn't separate my legs. I was a tadpole. I had this sense of swimming toward life. It was pleasant and fun. After a few minutes I felt arms grow but they seemed like blunt clubs only, I couldn't do much with them. Then these pulses of energy, like I was riding huge waves, swept through me. It felt like my spine was traveling along a roller coaster track, while at the same time I was in the world's strongest massage chair. My flesh felt like it was vibrating and being pulled back, as if I was leaving the launch pad headed into outer space. On the mat I'm twitching with leg kicks and surges of energy down my entire body. Next came this tremendous pressure all over me, something pushing in against me from all sides. It was strongest at my head. I was scared and I thought "I don't want to go through this alone." The pressure intensifies, my head feels like it is about to burst into flames. The fear increases, then I felt the presence of my wife, Lori. I want to reach out to her and hold her hand, but I can't move. I want a hug. That is when the tears start. She says - "You aren't alone."

Suddenly I'm relaxed. Completely at peace, feeling blissful, calm, and at one with everything. Then I'm unconscious. I don't recall anything until I realize I'm back in the room laying on my back breathing normally. The music is still going. I open my eyes and see people around me still breathing, wailing, even some up and dancing about. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't go for the whole three hours, but I feel so blissed out it doesn't matter after all. I look at Kevin who is sitting beside me and tell him, "I think I'm done." Later I learned that two hours had gone by, I thought it was only twenty minutes or so at the time.

One of the professional facilitators, John, comes over and says I still have plenty of time. He suggests I try breathing again and see what happens. I say OK and close my eyes once more.

A few moments into breathing I'm thinking nothing is going to happen because I'm trying, then I'm soaring in some out of body experience and I start laughing at how wrong I was about this being over. Suddenly, I'm crying - but with no sad thoughts or emotions behind it. I rock back and forth on the mat to comfort myself. I have no control over my body, but I feel full of love. I keep rocking and it feels great. I feel like I'm in some confined yet comforting place. I want to tell someone I want a hug. I can't speak. I can't move my arms. I cry. I sob and gasp for air laying on my back. I hear the music stop and I know it is time to be over. I slowly open my eyes and look around the room. I feel very out of it, not in my body yet. I cry a bit. I notice Stacia, a facilitator laying by my side on my left. Wow, I wonder how long she's been there, almost spooning me without my knowing. I look to my right at Kevin - it's like the warmest smile I've ever seen. I open my mouth to say something and start bawling. I'm crying on my back and can't breathe. I sit up to catch my breath. Now that air is flowing, the sobs and tears really come. But again, there is no emotion or thought, just this huge release of... energy? shit? I don't know. I'm on my knees, with my head in my hands on the mat sobbing. Seems like ten minutes of solid bawling. I'm now surrounded by Kevin, John and Stacia. Every time I think it's done I sit up, try to speak, and start crying again. Finally I'm able to spit out that my only thought was that I wanted a hug. I get lots of them.

I still feel like I'm not in my body, especially my arms, they are numb slabs. Kevin and Stacia work with me, holding my arms as I pull against them, to help me get some feeing again. I stand and feel like I'm walking on the moon. Over the next hour that fades away.
Mandala September 25, 2010

The next phase is drawing a Mandala of the experience. I try to make mine a depiction of all I can remember from the experience. My inner nursery schooler thrives, and my drawing looks like it was done by a four year old, but I like it.

It seems I had some sort of prenatal experience and was born again. I have felt PHENOMENAL all week. Each work day has even amazed me, everything feels brand new and vibrant. And every hug has been AWESOME.

I'm already signed up for another Holotropic weekend in December. This time Lori is joining me. Woohoo!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holotropic Breathwork

This weekend I'm doing a Holotropic Breathwork workshop at Kripalu Center in western Mass. This will be my first time going there, but not my first time doing Holotropic Breathwork. That was part of the Centerpointe Retreat I did in 2008 and was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. You can read up on the wild ride I had. I have no idea what to expect from the sequel, which is what makes it so exciting. Plus this workshop is being led by the doctor who developed it. Actually, thinking back to what I went through the first time - I hope I can drive myself home come Sunday.

Here is the description of the program:
This is a rare invitation to experience Holotropic Breathwork with Stanislav Grof. This practice, originated by Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof, allows direct access to your own inner healing wisdom. Through simple breathing, a specially designed musical journey, and a safe and supportive setting with trained facilitators, you experience a true non-ordinary state of consciousness, allowing deep self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing.

The weekend begins with a talk by Stanislav on the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness and preparation for the breathwork that will take place on Saturday morning and afternoon. Sunday morning features small-group integration and large-group lecture and questions. In a breathwork session, your wisdom brings you a unique and ideal combination of experiences that can include aspects of your personal history, psychological death and rebirth, transpersonal interconnections, and the greater spiritual reality to which we all belong.

To top it all off, next Thursday we've got 9th row tickets for Roger Waters: The Wall. That show will put me into altered states regardless of what happens this weekend.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Busy September

A quick update on what I've been up to. September is a very busy month. I've launched the blog for my coming book, Surviving Myself, you can visit it at and sign up to be notified when the book is ready. I'll be doing more video blog entries so keep your eyes peeled. Actually I need to add a subscription option so people who aren't RSS friendly can subscribe to posts, that is a common request.

Last month I took a class I've long been interested in, Voice-Over. Voice Over work is being the vocal talent for radio and TV ads. I've been told for years I should look into it, so I finally did last weekend in a two-day intensive with lots of hands-on work in a recording studio in Boston. It was a lot of fun and the professionals running the show said I do indeed have the voice, but I need be able to control it better so I can replicate the proper tones on demand. They also said I need to slow down - I hear that one a lot too. I'm not ready to look for work yet, but I enjoyed it and will take future classes and see where it leads. The instructor, VO pro Dorothy Gallagher, said I should experiment with different character voices because my natural fast speaking style is well suited to animation.

This week my full year of coaching and energy reading training with David Morelli kicks off with a 40 day long program of morning and evening live, group meditations with over 200 other people. Wooo Hooo!! Bring it on!

There are even some exciting new things coming for Larry The Lizard too. This year is rockin'!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Walk for Suicide Prevention

This Saturday September 11, I'll be taking part in a 2.5 mile community walk to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention. The funds will go to See A New Sun (SANS) Foundation, which among other things distributes Signs of Suicide (SOS) kits to middle and high schools across Massachusetts. SANS also sponsors a survivors of suicide support group that I've been attending for the last year. You can learn more about SANS at

If you would like to make a pledge, email me at and I'll give you the details on how to make a donation.

You can learn more about my involvement with suicide prevention at Thanks.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Surviving Myself - A Journey from Suicidal to Happy

In case you haven't heard, I'm officially letting the world know that I'm writing a book.  I'll be updating my progress at and you can sign up to be notified when the book is ready. Thanks for your support!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apocalyptica = Amazing!

Apocalyptica shreds it up in Boston
Lori and I saw Apocalyptica Thursday night, August 26, 2010 at the Royale in Boston. This wasn't just another rock show. This was something else; something unique, powerful and simply amazing to all my senses. Apocalyptica is made up of four classically trained cellists from Finland. Sometimes all four are on cello, but usually one plays drums. Their first release, Four Cellos Play Metallica, back in 1996 was an album of nothing but Metallica covers. That won me over for life and was featured at our wedding in 1997. Since then they've expanded to original instrumentals and even feature guest vocalists for a few songs on each new release. There latest album is 7th Symphony and it is magnificent.

I didn't even realize they were a touring band until a couple years ago, and I was drooling at the chance to see them live. They did not disappoint. In fact, it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. I was stunned by their energy and movement all over the stage. These guys ran all over the place with their cellos just like any other band with guitars. There was so much head banging and cheering, yet such a unique and haunting sound. I still remember the first moment I heard a cello string played while the crew set up the stage, it had such a different resonance down to my bones. Visually, they look like a metal band with their long hair flying all around, crazed solos, and pure high-energy fun. They took a brief interlude to play "proper" cello music, all of them taking seats and playing some beautiful string arrangements. The raucous crowd simply stood in silence, watching and listening with such awe, it was surprisingly moving. After a night of heavy metal cellos including Metallica covers; Wherever I May Roam, Master of Puppets and Seek and Destroy, they closed with a classical nugget from 1874, In The Hall of The Mountain King. It was the most profound rock show I could imagine, and is a sight not to be missed.
Apocalypica - August 26,2010

It was a true multicultural night, as the openers were Japanese metal band, Dir En Grey. I couldn't decide what language they were singing in, but somehow I liked it anyway. The singer had a range from deep demonic wails to high pitched sounds like dolphins crying. This summer has been the best luck I've ever had with enjoying opening bands that I'd never heard of. Even Lori was digging some Japanese death metal.

There are lots of clips of Apocalyptica on YouTube if you've never heard of them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

J. Geils Band and Aerosmith Rock Fenway Park

I've seen both bands before, but it's been about 25 years for J. Geils Band and 15 for Aerosmith, and this was my first concert at Fenway Park, so I knew that alone would make August 14, 2010 a special show.

J. Geils band was preceded by a full marching band entering the stage single file and playing "Centerfold", then they left (which took quite some time) and the real band took the stage. They looked and sounded great, and seemed to be having a fantastic time - I don't know why these guys don't still tour. Peter Wolf was in great form - his voice, moves and stage raps don't give away his age, though he does look a bit more freakish these days. Plus Magic Dick still has most of his hair - nobody rocks the white man afro or the harmonica like him! They were even joined by their longtime touring horns - The Up Town Horns.

Geils set included (I know I'm missing some): "First I Look At The Purse", "Hard Drivin Man", "Night Time", "Southside Shuffle", "Freeze Frame", "Give It to Me," "Detroit Breakdown", "Love Stinks", "Musta Got Lost", "Looking For a Love", "House Party", "Whammer Jammer", "Centerfold". It was an upbeat, high-energy, foot-tapping, ass-shaking show. Wolf went out into the crowd multiple times. They really made the most out of their time on stage. I can't say the same for the next band.

Aerosmith started with a video narrated by Dennis Leary which encapsulated their career in terms of baseball - such as when Joe Perry was traded to the Cardinals. It was pretty funny, then the real show started with "Train Kept A Rollin'".  The set sagged a bit for me as it concentrated on more recent pop hits, but highlights came with "Last Child", "Come Together" and a strong ending of classics. The low point was probably Joe Perry's lame guitar duel with his Guitar Hero self on screen. Felt like nothing but a commercial to me.
One bummer about Fenway is how a great baseball seat puts you very far away from the stage which is setup in deep center field.  Also the volume is so low that anyone talking in the crowd around you can be heard over the band -- that never happens at true concert venues.

The climax for Aerosmith was the encore.  Steven Tyler appeared on top of the Green Monster at a white baby grand piano for an amazing version of "Dream On". It was a peak moment to be singing that song along with 38,000 other fans at Fenway.  He then ran back to the stage for the final song, "Walk This Way".

The surprise of the night was that there was no final jam welcoming some of the J. Geils Band. Steven Tyler had been saying for months what a fan of Peter Wolf he was, but they never appeared together. I would have bet anything that somebody was going to cover "Dirty Water."  Sunday, The Boston Globe and Herald both reported a heated argument between Wolf and Tyler at Fenway the night before the show. Tyler reportedly told Wolf not to use the stage ramp that goes out into the crowd. They argued over that and Tyler finally relented, but that seemed to kill any thought of doing something together.

I gotta say J. Geils won the night. Most fans I've heard from were disappointed in Aerosmith, mainly that the set did nothing special for such a cool homecoming night. Aside from the piano on the green monster, this was the same set list they've been on tour with. And if I was just to read body language - Steven Tyler and the rest of the band are far from friends, but without Tyler they've got no energy live.

I'd see J. Geils again in a heart beat, but Aerosmith seems to be flying on autopilot.

Aerosmith Set
01. Train Kept A Rollin'
02. Love In An Elevator
03. Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
04. Livin' On The Edge
05. What It Takes
06. Pink  -- (I was regretting being there by this point)
07. Last Child
08. Cryin'
09. Rag Doll
--Guitar Hero Joe-- (DUMB)
10. Stop Messin' Around-- (with Joe's sons Tony & Adrian Perry. Nice for him, boring for us.)
11. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing  -- (This song makes me want to puke most of the time, but luckily a couple drunk guys in front of me serenaded each other. More entertaining than the actual song.)
12. Come Together
13. Sweet Emotion
14. Baby Please Don't Go
15. Draw The Line
16. Dream On (atop the Green Monster! COOL)
17. Walk This Way

See what the Globe thought, and the Herald.

Monday, August 09, 2010

KISS: Still The Hottest Band in the Land

The current KISS tour is called "The Hottest Show On Earth," and it literally is.  From the opening pyro blasts as Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Tommy Thayer descend to the stage over Eric Singer's drum kit on Saturday night, I could not only feel the heat, but I could taste the flames down my throat. The people in front me flinched at every bomb blast all night long, and while I've never bothered with ear plugs, even I had to block my ears for the show-ending barrage of seemingly non-stop explosions. In other words; an AWESOME show.

We had great seats; 20th row on Gene's side of the stage. It was a fantastic crowd too.  The Comcast Center was the fullest I've seen it in a few years, and lots of people were in makeup. There were a few outstanding costumes too, including a perfect Eric Carr in our section. The age range in the audience was the widest I've ever seen; five to infinity. There were a couple of the oldest women I've ever seen at a show. I would have been surprised to see them at a movie, let alone a rock concert. All hunched over and barely moving, but one of them moved all the way down to her seat in the fourth row. Sick!

All the long established KISS theatrics were included; blood, fire, flying... and some new tricks including a bazooka.  As expected, the band sounded great and this probably is the best version of the band in terms of musicianship.  Paul's voice sounded a bit hoarse at times, not sure if was the sound of age, or an off night. There was one awkward moment at the end of "Black Diamond", after an extended finish timed to bomb blasts, the band stood in mid bow for a few moments, seemingly waiting for one big pyro cue. It never came and they eventually stood up and played a final chord. Looking forward to seeing them again on August 19 in Connecticut to verify whether that was a mistake or not. The set was a good mix of tunes from all the various KISS eras.

The show included a couple new musical tweaks, including Paul performing a good portion of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" during the intro to "Black Diamond," and the entire band playing a segment of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" during "Lick it Up." This tour also features an epic six song encore, which is so much better than bands going on and off stage wasting everyone's time.

KISS Setlist Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA, USA 2010, Hottest Show On Earth

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Tonight I'll be seeing KISS for the... wow, I've lost track of how many times I've seen them, but tonight will make them the first band I've seen in five different decades; the 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and now the 10's. This is an incarnation of the band I swore I wouldn't see and I've resisted all the tours since the "Farewell Tour" wrapped up in 2000.

I can still remember the first time I was introduced to KISS. I was in the fourth grade and someone brought "KISS Alive" to school and I was enthralled. I loved all the crazy rumors; Ace really was from space, Gene had a cow's tongue surgically attached to his own... Everyone I knew was a KISS fan when "Destroyer" was out and "Rock and Roll Over" was the first album that I knew the release date for and bought as soon as possible. KISS was my first concert (thanks Dad!), first poster, rock magazine, first music my parents didn't like... I fondly recall being amazed by the Paul Lynde Halloween TV special that featured KISS, then being horrified seeing them a few years later on the Tomorrow Show - Ace was wasted and had such a freaky voice, as did Paul, they didn't sound like the super humans they were in my mind. Years later, meeting them shattered the last of my childhood fantasies. I discovered Gene was quite an ass, and I was close enough to Paul to see the crotch pillow he crams down his pants -- that is an image seared into my brain forever no matter how much I want to forget it. But still the music and the emotion it brings back for me, make me unable to stay away for long (from the music that is, not Paul's crotch).

For those who aren't aware, today's KISS lineup does not include original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, but rather has people performing in their makeup. When I first saw KISS as a wee lad in 1978, one of my biggest fears was not really knowing if it was them or not. I worried that they would put anyone off the street in the makeup and costumes. Perhaps different fake Kiss's perform all over the world? How could I be sure this was Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace? Happily, I was close enough to the stage to see and believe it was indeed the four iconic rockers I worshiped. But that worry, that feeling that this is a trick, has made me skip the many tours Gene and Paul have cooked up since 2001 with drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer playing the Peter and Ace roles. Eric was actually in KISS for a while in the 90's when they toured without makeup and Tommy was their road manager on the reunion tour. It was even his job to reteach Ace his own guitar solos.

I've wondered for the last few years, how many fans in the audience think they are seeing Peter and Ace? Do people chant Ace's name or Tommy's? Eric is now even singing Peter Criss's "Beth" -- that still reeks of blasphemy, but I will not judge until I see it. I've accepted that this may indeed be the best incarnation of the band in terms of musicianship. Peter and Ace often had problems playing live night after night due to medical and substance abuse issues, so I'm expecting to see a KISS that has never sounded better, plus they are playing some new songs off "Sonic Boom" that I've never heard live and plenty of old ones I haven't heard in quite a long time. They are even planning another new album early next year. Quite a change for band that seems to have more repackaged greatest hits collections than Elvis. Perhaps I'll be seeing them in a sixth decade too?  Stranger things have happened.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Report from Evening with John Holland

Thursday night was the second time we've seen psychic/medium John Holland in four months, which is pretty wild since five months ago I had no idea who he was. We first saw him back in March as part of a double bill with Dr.Brian Weiss - check out that report. He was so entertaining we decided to catch him again as he was nearby in Manchester, New Hampshire.

John doesn't do fortune telling or future reading, rather he connects with the spirits of people who have died (though he says nobody really dies, they just leave the physical form) and passes on messages. He sees images in his mind and translates them to communicate with us here and others on the "other side." He doesn't choose who to talk to, but rather spirits who want to communicate come to him.

We were in a hotel banquet room with a few hundred other people and John begins with a funny speech about his own history and experiences. He uses a lot of humor to raise the energy of the room.  Then he starts his readings. He calls out a name or a scene and says where in the room the energy is, then whoever thinks the message is for them stands up. In one case he had the spirit of a female who missed a wedding. A woman stood up whose mother had died and couldn't be at her wedding. The message from her mom was that she was indeed there, saw it all, and was proud of her daughter. Turns out the daughter wore her mom's dress.

Another one was the spirit of a gruff father who came forward to tell his son he loved him because he never said it when he was alive. The son was blown away. The spirit also congratulated him on being a dad, but the son said he didn't have any kids. Then the woman next to him shoves him and he recalls that his girlfriend is six months pregnant, d'oh!  The father's spirit joked to him that you know I'd never be caught dead at something like this, but here I am!

The spirits pass on little things to John, to prove he's really connected with them. Inside jokes or stories that only the family member can verify, which they usually verified via tears or laughter.  One of the wildest moments was when John was looking for someone who knew a Wilma, quite a rare name outside of The Flintstones. A woman stood and said Wilma was the name of her son's dog - her dead son's dog. When he was alive his mom joked that if you come back with a message you better mention Wilma so I know it's you. Whoa! Then John said he felt like the dog and her son were on top of each other somehow. She explained that the dogs ashes were put on top of her son's coffin and buried. The whole room gasped. That is the sort of wild drama that pulled me back to see John again. Regardless of what you might believe, the amount of jaw dropping emotion is worth the price of admission. I didn't go into this wanting to communicate with any spirits, but rather for the thrill of seeing it happen for others.

One more hilarious thing stood out. John was talking to the spirit of a father whose daughter was in the crowd. His final message was, "Tell your husband most people pay for their Christmas trees." The woman and her friends buckled over in laughter. John told them they had to fill us all in. Well, each year her husband goes out and cuts down a Christmas tree from wherever he sees a good one, never paying, just plucking them from the wild.

The spirits on the other side want you to know they are fine and most of all, they want us to be happy. So thanks, Spirits, I am happy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

RUSH - (Hot Tub) Time Machine Tour

Last night I saw RUSH down at the Mohegan Sun Arena at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.  First off, what a great place for a concert. The arena holds less than 10,000 people and makes for the most intimate of arena tour stops.
This was my third time seeing Rush. I'm pretty much a casual fan, meaning I only know what I hear on the radio. The only album I own is Moving Pictures, which is why this was the Rush tour for me. Following the latest concert trend, they are performing Moving Pictures each night in its entirety. Rush has never been much of a hit with the ladies, but last night had the most girls I've ever seen at a Rush show. Of course, most of them were under twelve and were dragged to the show by their dads.
There was no opening act (yay!), just a sparse stage with a huge center video screen. The lights dimmed and the screen came to life with a funny video of some alternate universe with a dismal band called Rash. Rush's own Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson were all in some pretty funny getups for a whole skit that resulted in the pressing of the wrong button on a time machine, and getting the proper version of Rush to the stage. After an hour+ of concert, the band took a brief intermission, then another video skit opened the second act. The band sounded great and some awesome bird's eye view cameras peered straight down onto Neil Peart's drum kit allowing the entire crowd to perfect their air drumming.
It never ceases to amaze me how so much excellent musicianship flows out of just three guys. Each member is among the very best in the world at their instrument. I even liked the two new songs they did from their forth coming album, Caravan.
The night ended with a hilarious surprise. After the band left the stage for good, the video screen came to life again with a shot back stage. Actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segel reprised their roles from the movie, "I Love You, Man", as Rush fans who sneak back stage and get busted by Rush. It was very funny and is the first time I can remember a video serving as the final encore. I Love You, Man is a very underrated comedy, and Rush is a major part of the plot. It is a must see for any Paul Rudd and/or Rush fan. Not to mentioned the excellent documentary Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] that was recently released. As I said, I'm just a casual fan, but I thought the doc was outstanding.

Check out the review from the Hartford Courant.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Boston Goes Gaga Over Lady Gaga

Friday night, July 2, 2010, was the concert most people couldn't believe I'd ever attend. In fact, most thought I was joking when I mentioned it, but I was indeed psyched for it and had a total blast! Yes, I love Lady Gaga. There, I said it. I'm out, and I will be a 'little monster' for life. When I first bought the tickets (my birthday gift to myself), I didn't own any of her music (that was a first in my 30+ years of concerts), but I'd been impressed every time I caught her on an awards show.  Then I checked out the videos for Poker Face and Bad Romance; I saw someone who was way more Marilyn Manson than Brittney Spears, more rock than pop, and I was hooked.
The show was amazing. Take Madonna, KISS, Broadway and The Wizard of Oz and throw it in a blender and you get a little taste of Lady Gaga's Monster Ball. Having a live band on stage made all the dance numbers a little more rockin' (which is what I hoped), but the spectacle; the multilevel stage set, the dozen back up dancers and singers, the rising platforms, crazed costumes, set pieces, 'fame monster', and more, made even the songs I didn't know enjoyable.
And the crowd, wow! I thought the best crowd watching was at an 80's metal show, now I know better. Guys and girls dress up for Gaga shows, and they do their best to pay homage to many of her craziest outfits. We saw lots of soda cans for hair curlers, and a few girls wearing nothing but police tape, plus lots of colorful wigs... a joyous insanity. Gaga tells her fans she loves them almost as much as Ozzy does, and I love her message of embracing your inner freak and going for it.
I'm embarrassed about how nuts I went when Telephone started, it was the first song I knew well, and I just loved Gaga's voice on Speechless and her new song You And I. She has a great rock and roll voice when she isn't all processed into a dance track that sounds like a dozen other women, and I hope to hear more of that in the future. Of course, Poker Face and Paparazzi had the entire place going absolutely nuts, and when everyone is one their feet, singing every word, it is very hard to tell the difference between a dance/pop act and a metal one. Seeing her perform Bad Romance live, complete with bra and panties that shoot sparks, is right up there with classic live moments like KISS doing Rock and Roll All Night, AC/DC doing Highway To Hell, and Metallica doing.... well, anything! Lori and I even liked the openers, Semi Precious Weapons--a collection of flamboyant, gay, punk mayhem featuring the all time great lyric; "I can't pay my rent, but I'm fucking gorgeous."

Lady Gaga set:
Dance in the Dark
Glitter and Grease
Just Dance
Beautiful Dirty Rich
The Fame
Love Games
Boys Boys Boys
Money Honey
You and I
So Happy I Could Die
Poker Face
Bad Romance

Reviews of her July 1st Boston Show:
Boston Herald
Boston Globe

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Courtney Love: Live and Well

Last night, Lori and I saw Hole and Foxy Shazam at the House of Blues in Boston (great place for a show, FYI). I've been a Hole fan ever since I heard their amazing "Live Through This" album back in 1994. In fact, I had tickets to see Hole on tour with Marilyn Manson in 1999, but Courtney pulled out of it after just a few dates. Though I wasn't sure what sort of performance we might get from the wildly unpredictable Ms. Love, I was  psyched to finally see them live - well it really is just Courtney and some hired hands; nobody from prior versions of Hole are in the band today.

I was thrilled with what we got. Courtney was funny, engaging, loose, and playful. I thought she sounded great. She said last night in Phili was her best sounding voice, and tomorrow in NJ will be her destroyed voice - so we got the best rock 'n roll voice. She had lots of interaction with the audience and debated with her band over the set list on multiple occasions, just seeming to wing it often, jamming and making up lyrics on the spot at the end of songs. She mentioned Kurt a couple times, even sang a line from "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at the end of "Awful", and teased "Dirty Water" (the rock and roll ode to Boston) repeatedly during the show. She said how much she loved Boston, more specifically people from Boston. We even learned that one of my favorite songs, "Doll Parts," was written in Boston; at Joyce's house--she asked if anyone knew Joyce. Nobody seemed to. By the end of the night she was showing off her $800 underwear. Ah! There was the Courtney I was expecting.

Opener, Foxy Shazam, was a bizarro blast of mayhem and energy, but they were far from loved by all. If Freddie Mercury had Gumby a love child who fronted Faith No More, you'd get something close to Foxy. Very fun band.

Next week: Lady Gaga!

Boston Herald Review: Love's a Hole 'nother animal

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Movers and Shakers Video for Hay House

7/12/10 UPDATE: Wow! Cheryl Richardson announced the winners for the video contest tonight and I've been named one of three runners-up. The three of us get a group coaching call with Cheryl. I want to thank Cheryl, Reid, Louise and everyone at Hay House and all the fantastic Movers and Shakers I met in Boston who encouraged me to do the video in the first place.

Back in April, I attended "Movers & Shakers" in Boston, a weekend event for aspiring authors and speakers. When I first heard about the event, I was only aspiring to be aspiring, but I went because it sounded interesting and I needed to start somewhere. Part of the program was a video contest resulting in people being selected for an online event or their own radio show with Hay House. The deadline is June 23, 2010. There were so many amazing, polished, and powerful people at the event; published authors, speakers, counselors, and coaches--people who've been doing their work for years. I never had any intention of submitting a video. Yesterday, after reading some comments by other Movers and Shakers on Facebook, and being prodded by the Kindness Guy himself, I realized winning wasn't the point. Making a video was the point, and since I was afraid to; I had to.
Making it was rough; posting it was even harder. Though I've talked and blogged about this subject for a while, I never enjoy it. If the contest was for most swear-filled outtakes, I'd own it hands down.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Day with Abraham-Hicks

Yesterday, Lori and I attended a Law of Attraction workshop with Jerry and Esther Hicks, and it was a blast. They got a huge ovation as they entered the room and my first thought was that Esther looks younger in person. Lori thinks the opposite for Jerry, oh well. Jerry speaks first; he says they are here to have fun, and it is practically a stand-up comedy routine as he and Esther run through the ground rules of the day. The tone is set; high energy, and lots of laughs.

Esther takes the stage, says “Hello” quickly followed by “Goodbye” and I realize we don’t actually listen to Esther, but rather Abraham. I wonder if Esther ever gets to talk to anyone? She closes her eyes and lowers her head, and the room goes totally silent. She nods her head a bit and smiles as she tunes into the frequency of Abraham. I even feel myself jump, as if a chill hit me from head to toe.

The day consists of hour long sessions and twenty minute breaks. People raise their hand to ask questions and Esther/Abraham points to make a selection. Though the audience was overwhelmingly female, the vast majority of people chosen to speak were male.

Highlights of my notes:
There are two frequencies in us at all times. The source energy that created us still exists, so we have source thoughts and we also have thoughts in our physical bodies. Those combine to make our point of attraction.

You must manage your own point of attraction – how you think and feel about everything.

Abraham goes off on the Gulf oil spill, and even the ump who blew the call on the perfect game. How can anyone do something positive when so many people are sending them ill will? News channels have live feeds to make sure everyone knows how bad the oil spill is, that just keeps the problem going longer. BP can’t find the positive solution when so many are sending negative energy toward them. Can’t be actively involved in the problem and the solution at the same time. They are different energies.

You can be justified in your feeling bad, but it helps nothing.
Manage how you feel and what you focus on and you will experience better things.

The problem is that people are willing to put up with negative emotion.

You must care about how you feel.

No one is doing anything to you.
Well being will prevail. Well being always wins out.

When focused on the problem, not the solution, we feel negative emotions. This is because we are splitting our source energy and physical energy.

Emotions are indicators of how well we are keeping up with creation in the Vortex.
Vortex of creation is the only present tense in the universe. Manifestation is old news. You’ll feel relief in the vortex.  (Vortex is where you are aligned with Source, your soul, you are turned on, tuned in, in the zone, in the flow...)
Conditional love is a fairy tale and is a horrible thing to be taught.

You MUST tend to your point of attraction.
FEEL GOOD regardless of conditions.
Solution and problem come into focus equally, unless you focus only on the problem. That cuts you off from the solution.

The best answer to everything: “It’s gonna be okay.”
That is the answer to all illness. If people heard and believed that, their problems would fall away.
The amount of love someone else has for you is none of your business.

Don’t want kids to learn to jump through hoops to make parents happy or to love them. That is conditional love and acceptance. Do you want your kids to behave or align?

It is only your own alignment you can control or change.

Don’t look to others for love – look to your alignment, your Vortex.
It isn't your job to keep anyone happy.

You can always gain your balance. You must look for it from your vibration, NOT your environment.
Be more cheerful, optimistic, and happy. Make the best of where you stand.
Do your work from inside the Vortex.
The Vortex is where your heart sings, and you are feeling great. When you are there, milk it. Pre-pave your future.
Speak of your hopes, wishes, dreams, and plans there. It might not last for an extended time – milk whatever moment there is. Practice, and it will be easier to get and stay there next time.

How far from reality are you able to imagine? Need to be far from the problem to imagine a solution. Big vibrational difference between them.
Out of the Vortex – imagination will be worry on bad things and outcomes. In Vortex, imagine what you want.

You get what you consistently think about, whether you want it or not.

People are such good observers their vibration is rarely different from what we are looking at. That brings a very slow pace of change and manifestation.

This reality that we think is so real, isn’t. It is constantly changing – into more of what we see. Imagine different to create a different reality. Focus on the solution. When all focus is on the problem – more problems.

Too many people let reality train their vibration, and they can’t imagine anything different.
Ignore “reality” and fantasize a different reality that you want. Vibrational reality will shift.

Can’t be a top observer and deliberate creator.

Do all the talking when the problem is NOT active. Don’t be in problem orientation.
I will no longer try to create xxx, while observing what is not pleasing to me.
I won’t try and find the solution while focused on the problem.
Be solution oriented.

The harder you try outside the Vortex, the harder it gets.

Let how you feel be the only thing that matters to you.

"Happily ever after" is the order of the universe.

 - Now that we know Jerry and Esther make an annual stop in Boston, we have a new yearly tradition of a day with Abraham.

Friday, June 04, 2010


I love how life works.  A little over two years ago I first saw an interview with Jerry and Esther Hicks. I had never heard of them before and Esther seemed a little out of it and had a very bizarre way of pronouncing certain words. I thought she was a bit of a nut.  Later, I discovered she was some sort of "channeler" and she was speaking as Abraham - a form of mystical intelligence. That is when I knew for sure she was a nut.
Fast forward a few DVDs, books and years later and I can't wait to see Jerry and Esther live tomorrow.  I've become a big fan of Abraham's teachings and where it comes from just stopped being a concern along the way.

This info is from their website because any explanation I try won't cut it. Actually, Abraham sounds a lot like Larry The Lizard to me.

"Sometimes no amount of words will do a subject justice.
Abraham is a name. A symbol. A feeling. Evocative-yet simple-like we want our names to be.

But who, or what, is/are, Abraham . . . really?
          Workshop attendee: ". . . you're a very attractive woman, too."

          Abraham: "We're usually a nebulous mist, so that is quite a compliment." (Laughter)

Louise Hay calls them "some of the best teachers on the planet today."
To Dr. Wayne Dyer they are "the great Masters of the Universe!"

A veritable who's-who of authors, speakers and teachers continue to publicly acknowledge and praise the immense value of the wisdom that is pouring forth through Esther.
Abraham has described themselves as "a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension" (which helps a lot!). They have also said, "We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions."
Abraham has told us through Esther that whenever we feel moments of great love, exhilaration, pure joy, stoned-out bliss, even the energy of sexual orgasm when we feel that Energy Flow rushing through our bodies, that is the energy of Source, and that is who Abraham "is".
"Jerry and Esther never used the word channeling," Abraham reflects. "It is used when applied to them, but they have never used it, because it means many things of which they are not, you see."
"You could leave the channeling out of it. Call it inspiration; that's all it is. You don't call the basketball player a channeler, but he is; he's an extension of Source Energy. You don't call the surgeon a channeler, but he is. You don't call the musician, the magnificent master musician, you don't call him a channeler, but he is. He's channeling the broader essence of who he is into the specifics of what he is about."
Esther herself calls Abraham "infinite intelligence," and to Jerry they are "the purest form of love I've ever experienced."
We say check out Abraham for yourself. It's the only way to go and the only way to know. If watching or listening or reading the words of Abraham feels good to you, then you're in the right place. If they sound "off" to you, or maybe even a little bit annoying—adventure on!
And finally—from Jerry—"Mr. Practical":
"I don't know what they are and I don't care what they are. I'm just using them for the good it will do for myself and others."
And sometimes—all is said with just one word.
Abraham. They just are what they are."

-- And that is good enough for me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Farewell to LOST

Update: I did indeed love the finale, more so each time I've watched it.

LOST's six seasons end for good this Sunday. I'm intentionally writing this before the finale because unlike so many other fans, I'm not hung up on how it ends.  There is no ending that will make me feel like I've wasted years of my life as many fans seem to be dreading.  I don't have a list of questions that must be answered, or a theory about the Island that must be proved right.  I'm certainly glad it is ending as opposed to drifting on for a couple more seasons and being canceled without any resolution.  Even an ending like The Sopranos got, which infuriated me at first, is better than fading away into obscurity.

I've come to realize that I like the journey more than the end. I've loved the time in between episodes. Even the months in between seasons. There's never been a television show like this that I would ponder, contemplate and look forward to this much.  I'm so glad I've been a fan since day one as opposed to cramming a lot of episodes down my throat on DVD. The waiting may be the hardest part, but it is so fascinatingly rewarding. I'm shocked that when I look back, I've so enjoyed the longing for answers, for one more minute or two of each episode, the excitement for another week to pass - all for a TV show.  More gifts from the waiting; Doc Jensen's recaps, theories, insanity and Totally Lost at, and so many more time wasting beauties courtesy of the Internet.

Back in the summer of 2004, I read great things about the Lost pilot.  When it aired September 22, 2004, I was blown away from the first moments of the crash of Oceanic 815. This was no regular TV show. At the half way point when Charlie asks, "Guys, where are we?" I was hooked for the run of the series.

With the disintegrating of the broadcast networks and true mass media, I don't think we'll ever see a show like this again.  A serialized drama with such a rabid fan base. A show that touches on drama, comedy, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, spirituality and even quantum physics. Sometimes I'm amazed anyone watches.  Lost is much bigger than any "cult" show, and it has been everywhere in these final months.

The only show that came close to this in terms of talking, discussing and sharing with others was Twin Peaks, but that was before the web was so pervasive and that show was only good for one season.

I'm thrilled the producers and writers can have the show go out on their terms. I've had a blast with it in their hands so far and can live with any ending they choose.  This will be Lost Weekend, as Lori and I watch the 3 most recent episodes again on Friday, watch ABC's re-airing of the two hour pilot on Saturday, and finally the finale on Sunday night including over five hours of LOST. WooHooo!! 

On Monday morning I'll place my pre-order for the entire series Lost: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray] and watch it all over again from the beginning with the new insight of the ending. Plus, the recently confirmed additional 20 minutes of story line. Until then, I and my TV will be a little sad.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Intuition Class with David Morelli

I've been a David Morelli fan for over a year now. He and his wife Kristin host the Everything is Energy radio show, which you can find on iTunes if you aren't familiar with it yet. Lori and I both took part in their 40 Days and 40 Nights program of daily live meditations last year and their Prosperity Tribe program this year.  Now David is offering a FREE three-part course on developing your own intuition. It starts tomorrow night and even if you can't make it live it is worth signing up for because you'll be able to access replays. Plus, since it's free you've got nothing to lose, but potentially lots to gain.
FREE 3-Week Intuition Course CLICK HERE

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Concerts for 2010

Only a couple weeks ago it didn't look like the summer of 2010 would include any shows, but I'm happy to report that has turned around fast.
So far...

Hole with Foxy Shazam, June 23, House of Blues, Boston

Lady Gaga with Semi Precious Weapons, July 2, Garden, Boston
Rush, July 19, Mohegan Sun, CT
The Stompers and The Fools, July 30, Boston

KISS with The Envy and The Academy Is, Aug 7, Mansfield, MA
Aerosmith and J. Geils Band, Aug 14, Fenway Park
KISS, Aug 19, Mohegan Sun, CT
Apocalyptica, Aug 26, Royale, Boston

Roger Waters: The Wall, Sept 30, Garden, Boston

Monday, May 03, 2010

In The Flow

It's been a full week since Movers & Shakers, and the energy is still flying high.  Last Monday night I attended a local survivors of suicide support group for the first time in months. So glad I went, and I'm going to keep it up.  My willingness to share and take on any questions seems to genuinley help people.  Plus, I shared my memoir plans with the group and got lots of support and encouragement.  After many months of on again/off again writing, last weekend made me commit to doing it once and for all.  After the meeting, someone told me that my openness in sharing my experiences with suicide has resulted in their obsession with the "why?" going away.  That was fantastic to hear.  I've also signed up for a Suicide Prevention and Intervention training class next month.

On Wednesday, I did a full day of Disaster Training with the American Red Cross.  I learned a lot about how volunteering works and it is way more intense and involved than I ever imagined.  They just don't accept warm bodies, but you can do a lot of good and be deployed all over the world. Cool stuff.

Friday brought my first casting call of 2010.  I've been in the Screen Actors Guild since June 08, but due to all my traveling last year I didn't have time for any acting in 2009.  That won't be the case this year.

Finally, on Saturday I booked the services of a best-selling author and book proposal expert to help me with my proposal.  So now I've got a deadline set for next month and have no more excuses - at least none that I'll accept.

Plus, Larry The Lizard now has a fan page on Facebook. Check him out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fantastic Movers and Shakers Weekend

Today was the final day of Hay House's Movers and Shakers event in Boston and it was phenomenal. The two and 1/2 day event was lead by Hay House CEO Reid Tracy and best selling author and coach Cheryl Richardson.  Friday night, Reid told us, "It takes 10 years to be an overnight success." Then added that this course knocks a few years off. I have no doubt about that.

Some of the things that struck me most: Movers and Shakers are compelled by a vision to change the world in a positive way.
The Who is more important than the What. The person behind the message is more important than the message.
You must know and embrace your own values. They will guide your vision and message.
A good idea is not enough.
There were lots of practical tips for building your platform from book proposals to iPhone apps. There is a LOT of work to do.

During all the breaks I ended up giving impromptu lessons about social media, iPhone usage and website tips to everyone who dared approach me.  Many people wanted to hire me, but their questions were so basic and simple to solve. This really drove home how much I've grown. Not many years ago, I would have hated being asked all these questions and considered those asking to be stupid, but I truly enjoyed sharing with all the fantastic people at the event. The answers of "right click", visit or solved 90% of people's questions.

Our homework Saturday night was to prepare a 5 minute speech including a brief introduction, our message, a moving personal story and a call to action.  I worked till 12am to come up with something and practiced it a few times to be sure that if I didn't do it, it wouldn't be because of fear. 

The vast majority of the 100 or so participants wanted to speak so only a handful were randomly selected.  At lunch someone had the great idea for us to give our speeches at the table. I thought it was a bad idea at first, trying it in a noisy restaurant and I knew I was going to be emotional doing mine. So we went around our group of seven and it was very cool. We burst into applause for each person and every head in the restaurant turned to see what was going on.  It came to my turn and we had 5 minutes till we were supposed to be back at the event. So I gave a rushed and shortened story of the suicide I witnessed last July in San Diego. I got great feedback and support as we raced back to the hall and throughout that afternoon - so great idea Rena.

The big surprise of the weekend was the presence of Louise Hay herself. She is such an amazing woman and is the author of a book that truly changed my life, You Can Heal Your Life.

Sunday opened and closed with a few words from Louise. She is now 83 1/2 and says each decade is better than the previous one (I sure agree with that!) and so far her 80's are the best yet. Louise took the time to talk with and sign books for everyone in attendance. I felt so blessed to be able to tell her how much she's impacted my life. How I was such a depressed and suicidal mess until I read and acted on her book. She has the most amazing presence; radiating peace, calm, compassion and love in every glance and touch. She sent us out into the world Sunday evening telling us to keep repeating over and over, "Life loves me and and I am safe."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Movers and Shakers

I'm headed into Boston this evening for the start of a weekend long event for aspiring authors called: Movers & Shakers - Building a Multimedia Platform that Brings Your Message to the World!

It is being led by Cheryl Richardson and Reid Tracy (President & CEO of Hay House Publishing), and is all about launching a successful public career via writing, radio, TV, plastic lizards...  Though I'm not sure if I'm more a mover or a shaker, the whole thing sounded intriguing and since I dread public speaking I thought it would be a nice challenge too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

The Technologies of Awareness Seminar on Saturday was very cool.  There were about 150 people, and a wide range from students to senior citizens, Buddhist monks, Holosyncers and people just wondering what was up.

The event was at Smith College in Northampton, Ma and Smith's own professor Jamie Hubbard kicked it off with a humorous and provocative lecture on Buddhism, Enlightenment, Nirvana, happiness and "the industry of positive psychology."  As a professor of Buddhist studies, he surprised me when he said he no longer thought Nirvana was a possibility. He discussed the Four Noble Truths, the first being that life is "dukkha", which is often translated as suffering but is more a sense of frustration or stuckness. However, 65% of people report being happy most of the time.

In the break I had a chance to talk with Bill Harris of Centerpointe, he remembered me from the week long retreat I did with him in 2008.  His talks are usually a free ranging stream of consciousness and always quite funny.  He did not disappoint and spent a lot of time with questions from the audience.  He stressed that the key to enlightenment, or just being happy, was awareness.  Awareness creates choice.  Without awareness you run on autopilot - going through your day without making choices of how you respond to situations. That is how most people in our society operate.  I always like talking to other Holosyncers, and this group had people who didn't know what it was, up to people using it for ten years.

Next up was Dr. Andy Oldenski. He read a very dry, academic speech that most of the crowd (including me) slept through for at least portions. He joked that he was a great reminder why we didn't like college.

To close the day, we were treated to Genpo Roshi who didn't bother with lecturing, but rather went straight into leading us through Big Mind for a couple hours. He stressed how effortless it was, you just needed an open mind. There was no straining or trying needed. In fact, he said probably my favorite line of the day; "Anything you get while 'trying' is shit."

Visit to learn more about the process. I'll try to describe it, but it is something better experienced than talked about. We are all made up various, infinite even, aspects or voices. If you attempt to deny or bury a voice it will come out in dysfunctional ways. Big Mind is a process to speak to each voice within you, letting you embrace and transcend it to put all your aspects to their best use. The analogy Genpo uses is that you are a company full of employees who don't know what their jobs are. Big Mind interviews each employee and lets them get clear on their job.

We started off by speaking from the Deluded Ignorant Mind and it was really fun - by the end of the day he had us speaking as The Awakened One. In Genpo's twisted Zen way, "You are the fucking Buddha!"

Lori and I talked with Genpo a bit before we left and plan on visiting his center in Salt Lake City one of these days.  Check out one of his Big Mind workshops, I guarantee you will experience something you haven't before.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Technologies of Awareness

This weekend Lori and I are headed back out to Northampton Ma for a seminar at Smith College featuring Bill Harris and Genpo Roshi. This will be my second event with Genpo and third with Bill, but is the first time they are coming to me instead of me needing to fly across the country. It is titled "Technologies of Awareness: Buddhism and the New Mind Sciences" and is about the intersection of Buddhist practice, Western psychology, and modern technology.

If you aren't familiar with these guys; Bill Harris is the creator of Holosync, a meditation system I've been using daily for close to three years, and Genpo Roshi is a Zen Master who originated the Big Mind process (an amazing experience I've done with him and Bill a few times) and is the author of "Big Mind/Big Heart" (a very cool book that was part of the PhilosophersNotes Challenge I did earlier this year).

The day will also feature; Dr. Jamie Hubbard, the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at Smith College, (No, I have no idea what "Yehan Numata" is either.) and Andrew Olendzki, PH.D. executive director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

This is another one of those events where I have no idea what to expect, so it is easy to go into it with no expectations.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Report From "Experiencing Past Lives"

Yesterday was the "Experiencing Past Lives" seminar in Boston with psychiatrist/author Dr. Brian Weiss and psychic medium John Holland.  As I posted yesterday, my interest in this was due to research regarding a screenplay I wrote a few years ago that introduced me to Dr. Weiss and his book on reincarnation, Many Lives, Many Masters. I'd never heard of John Holland before but discovered he is actually a local boy from Dorchester, Ma.
I'll warn you now, there was no earth shattering moment for me.  So if you're waiting to read about my claims of being Cleopatra or something you can just go back to whatever else you should be doing today. For anyone interested, here are the details.

Dr. Weiss lead the morning session which included some lecture, a regression meditation and a psychometry exercise. Weiss said that the day was meant to show that "life doesn't stop with the death of the physical body" and this would be done from different perspectives. He said there is indeed, "life after death" and "life before death" (that was a cool term I'd never heard before). He's worked with 4,000 patients exploring past lives since he wrote his first book on the subject 30 years ago.

Weiss did a guided regression meditation for the 1,100 people in the hall.  I easily went into a deep meditation, didn't feel my body anymore and was just totally blissful and relaxed.  It felt like a very deep Holosync session.  I went in and out of being aware of Weiss' words.  I recall him saying, "now you are being born" then something about being outside a door and opening the door to a past life.  He told us to look around at all the details, take in as much as we could. At this point I'm not seeing or feeling anything except total peace and comfort. Next I remember him saying that lifetime comes to an end and now we are in spirit realm surrounded by masters and guides. At that point I saw and felt a subtle difference in the darkness and saw faded human shapes around. Then he guided us back to be fully awake and present. I thought it was a 15 minute exercise. It was actually 45 minutes long.

About 2/3rds of the room raised there hand to having some sort of vision or feelings from early childhood, inutero or a past life. He said 60% is the rough average for these group sessions. Lori and I both came up blank but with a pleasant experience and no sense of the time that had passed. In talking with others we both realized how much of the guided words we didn't hear/recall at all.

Next was a psychometry exercise. Psychometry is reading the energy from an object, picking up things about it or its owner. Everyone exchanged a personal object with someone else and held it close to them in silence for a couple minutes. There were some amazing reports between what was learned between strangers from this one. Some people saw where objects came from, who owned them previously and even predictions about where people were heading next.  Lori and I exchanged with each other so tough to say what was picked up versus what we already knew. I held her engagement ring and started to see old white/grey hair. I knew the diamond came from her grandmother so I thought I was going to see her image but it changed and got harder. It wasn't some old woman's hair style it was the rounded steeple top of a church - like this. Neither of us know if it's meaningful.
Lori held my wallet and got a sense of tightness and anxiety then relaxing. That pretty much sums up my wallet.

The afternoon featured medium John Holland giving a funny, high energy talk. This was such a huge change of personality from Brian Weiss who is probably the calmest, most stoic and deadpan person I've ever seen speak. John told his personal story and some of the psychic experiences he's had then he started doing readings for the room. I'd never seen a medium work and didn't know what to expect. It was WILD. So many jaw dropping, bone chilling, and tearful moments happened as he zeroed in on specific people and relayed messages "from the other side." It doesn't even matter if you believe or not, this was fantastic drama and entertainment. The room was so full of emotion as people laughed out loud or broke into tears based on what John told them. Before this event I didn't understand why anyone would care to see a medium unless it was for a personal session, but seeing it all happen live was very cool, surprising and powerful. Messages came from people who had passed decades ago, three months ago, due to illness, suicide, accidents.... the whole gamut. Every message boiled down to conveying love. Some spirits asked the loved one in the room to reach out to other relatives and convey what they heard here. It was quite moving. And for the skeptics - there was no assigned seating, no meeting of people with John or staff before hand, no information given ahead of time.

They day ended with a joint Q&A session where it was reiterated that there is no death; we go on.  The main message from the other side - there is nothing to fear and your loved ones are always with you. Nice.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Past Lives?

Back in 2004 I wrote my first screenplay. It was called "Lost Son" and it was inspired by the true story of a six year old boy who seemed to have the memories and personality of a World War II pilot who died in battle. As I conducted research into stories of other children who had memories of prior lives, I discovered Dr. Brian Weiss.

In 1980, Dr. Weiss was a psychiatrist who was having trouble helping one particular patient overcome anxiety, depression and a range of phobias. After months of therapy he tried hypnotizing her and told her to go to back to when her symptoms first arose.  That resulted in detailed stories of her life 4,000 years ago.  Other sessions brought other vivid recollections of even more lives.  Weiss didn't believe in reincarnation, but the more his patient talked about traumas in these prior lives, the more her current symptoms alleviated.  He was very hesitant to speak of this to anyone but at one point Dr. Weiss' patient told him things she couldn't possibly know about his own deceased son and father.  He started to believe and wrote the best seller, Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives.

Why am I telling this story?  Because Dr. Brian Weiss is doing a full day seminar tomorrow in Boston with John Holland called "Experiencing Your Past Lives." Lori and I are both going and I'll be sure to tell you what happens, unless it just totally freaks me out.

In other big news - the PhilosophersNotes 50 Day Challenge is complete! Today was day 50 and it ended with another fantastic book that I had never heard of but will now be reading; The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal. I can't say enough good things about Brian Johnson and his PhilosophersNotes.  I learned so much more in these 50 days than from any single class or seminar I've attended.  Simply a phenomenal experience.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PhilosophersNotes 50 Day Challenge

I'm in the final week of the PhilosophersNotes 50 Day Challenge and it has blown away all expectations.  PhilosophersNotes are these very cool sort of CliffNotes for personal growth books. The challenge was listening, reading and acting on one a day for fifty days.  Each note is a six page PDF highlighting the biggest ideas of the book and a 20 minute or so MP3 version.  The notes are so packed full of wisdom and reading so many that keep reinforcing each other has been a fantastic experience.  Before I started reading these I thought the notes were meant to replace the books, but they just whet your appetite.  I've uncovered so many cool books, most which I'd never heard of before. Here is a sample of six that I've recently ordered featuring a couple classics by Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and four books that were completely new to me.