Guest Post: Ken Ring is Still Waiting to Die….

Waiting to Die – Part II Kenneth Ring I might have been a tad too glib when in the first installment of what clearly will be a terminal series having to do with my personal terminus, I observed that at least for me waiting to die was rather boring. After this winter, I have had cause to change my mind. For a while there, I thought it might be more of a matter…

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Justice: Attorneys, samurai, and Old Testament Jews

In the late ’50s, psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg observed that as we mature, we progress through three basic levels of moral development. At the pre-conventional levels, our sense of what’s fair and just is self-centered; we are concerned mainly with satisfying our own needs and avoiding punishment. Most of us move on to the conventional levels, where our sense of justice is based mainly on societal expectations; we make moral decisions based on rules,…

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How (and why) I became a therapist

Recently, I was in touch with a woman who is transitioning from being an engineer to becoming a therapist, and we’ve been exchanging emails on our respective paths. I thought I’d share a bit of mine, here. My path to becoming a therapist was a slow, trial-and-error process. I’m 67 now and was 51 when I enrolled in Cambridge College’s program to become a mental health counselor. I grew up a sort of…

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Hong Kong or Bust!

My Flower Mandala images – which I created as a form of meditation to help me through a difficult time – have had the unexpected result of carrying me, metaphorically, to widely dispersed parts of the world. Via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media, they’ve found their way onto the screens, and sometimes into the homes, of people on all the continents of the globe except (as far as I know) Antarctica.…

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25th Anniversary Celebration

NOTE: Today is the 25th year anniversary of my near-death experience, an event that ended one phase of my life and began another, like the period at the end of this sentence ends it. And then a new sentence begins. This post from my book Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas describes that experience and its aftermath. GRACE: CONTINUATIONS On February 21, 1993, at about 7:45pm, I was granted a form of grace…

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The Art of Balance Cheat Sheet

To more widely distribute the ideas and practices in The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World, I’ve started to create supplements to the book. As I create them, I’m making them available to new subscribers, and I wanted to make sure that you get them, too. The first is The Art of Balance Cheat Sheet. This little booklet introduces the characters in The Art of Balance and walks the reader through how…

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Launched! 🚀 (and a $0.99 sale)

A legion of UnBalancers has been unleashed upon the Earth – Along with the means to send them scurrying! Or, to put it another way, my new self-help book – The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World – is now out, just in time to battle stress, anxiety, winter doldrums, and whatever the evening news delivers next. I’ve boiled down everything I’ve discovered about staying sane in this insane world in…

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Coming Attractions
The Art of Balance

I’m doing the final tweaks on the book, ebook, and website for The Art of Balance. Here’s what some early reviewers are already saying about it: “I found it empowering and self-motivating. It truly was difficult to stop reading once I began.” “A self-help book that actually helps!” “If you want to avoid a long-winded and theory-based self-help book, then this is the book for you. David provides practical exercises that are easy…

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How to Stay Sane in an Insane World

Don’t let your heart be colonized by fear. – Jack Kornfield What I Learned About Practicing What I Preach The Battle for Balance is a life and death struggle. Stay balanced, and we enjoy life to the fullest. Lose balance, and life gets hard. I’ve learned this lesson many times, over many years, and I’m sure most of you have, too. But a couple of years ago, I discovered that even a therapist…

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Guest Post: “Waiting to Die”

NOTE: This is a guest post by Kenneth Ring, PhD. Dr. Ring is an internationally recognized authority on near-death experiences. His writings on this phenomenon include five books and nearly 100 articles about near-death experiences. He is the co-founder of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and is the founding editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Dr. Ring’s book Heading Toward Omega, the Journal of Near-Death Studies, and IANDS were all very important to me…

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Countdown!

The launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik when I was 7 years old drew me to science, and especially to space science. In my bedroom, I hung posters of all the Soviet and American rockets and satellites. When I grew up, I wanted to be a rocket scientist and, perhaps, also an astronaut. I was 10 when President Kennedy announced the goal of getting a man to the moon and back by the…

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“I Apologize.”

Before I started my training as a therapist, I took a short course in community mediation. Most of my mediation experience was as a volunteer in small claims court. We mediators helped conflicting parties try to reach a mutually satisfying agreement rather than simply letting a judge adjudicate the case. Small claims court is all about settling financial arguments, and money was always the identified issue in the cases we handled. But in…

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A Wild Beast or a God?

Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god. – Francis Bacon Solitude, my refuge as a boy, felt like imprisonment for much of my later life. From my last year in high school and through my 20s, I struggled ceaselessly to avoid it. I structured my life to reinforce connection. I hitch-hiked across the United States and Canada to force myself to ask strangers for rides and places…

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Now, Be, Here

I was 20 when I first encountered Baba Ram Dass’s square, purple-covered Be Here Now, the book that launched many of my generation on an Eastern-inspired journey. I was walking though the student center of the University at Buffalo when I ran into a high school friend sitting on the floor outside the bookstore, guitar at his side, leafing through it. He handed it to me. Be? Here? Now? More than 40 years…

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How the light gets through

Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. – Georgia O’Keeffe In August, 2003, I attended a five-day, mostly silent retreat with Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (and 900 others). I thought of it as “Buddhist boot camp.” We awoke at 5:30 a.m., exercised with Thich Nhat Hanh or one…

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Looking for a few good … opinions!
(And offering a giveaway)

Thanks for your thoughts on The Art of Balance title earlier this fall. The book is moving through its early pre-release stages. I’m busily getting feedback, making revisions, building a new website for Transformations Press, and investigating ways to network. But before I can get much further, I need a good cover! 1. The Scene: You’re feeling stressed and you’re scrolling through books on stress relief in the hope of finding a solution…

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Garbage and Flowers

  For the last several years, I’ve found myself attracted to the dead leaves I see on the ground as I walk, particularly those in late fall and winter. I’ve taken thousands of pictures of them. A friend’s mentioning to me the concept of wabi-sabi helped me understand why.     For the last several years, I’ve found myself attracted to the dead leaves I see on the ground as I walk, particularly…

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Time: Visible and Invisible

  My first experience of time as a continuum occurred when I was about ten years old. Before that, I think time was invisible to me. I was riding my bike past Johnny Sybulski’s house and I stopped, suddenly, for no particular reason. I looked at the simple brick facade, the white trim, the unkempt bushes, and I became aware of myself looking. I thought, “This is just one second in my life,…

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First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is!

A recent trip to Vermont reminded me that, although I’m still enamored of the mountains north of Santa Fe, NM, New England mountains also have their particular, softer charm. Some views of the Green Mountains, north and south             P.S. If you find what you read here helpful, please forward it to others who might, too. Or click one of the buttons below the blog entry. Comments always…

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Love Lives On

The gaze of love is not deluded. Love sees what is best in the beloved, even when what is best in the beloved finds it hard to emerge into the light. – J. M. Coetzee When I was 25, living in Manhattan, and trying to jump-start a career in writing and photography, I visited my parents and brothers in Buffalo two or three times a year. On those trips, I also saw my…

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