Hiding In Plain Sight: The Social Field

“Every feeling, thought, movement, and encounter is simultaneously an inner and outer event.” —Arnold Mindell    Alan Briskin and I are working on a book about “fields.” I have written several previous posts about them. The map to this territory is becoming clearer and more detailed as we, along with David Sibbet, Gisela Wendling, and Karen Buckley, share our ideas about and experiences with fields. We are also investigating the work of those who have … Read more…

Becoming Intimate with your Personal Field

“We are all at once composition and composer.” —​​​​Maya Angelou Some of you know that Alan Briskin and I are working on a book about “fields.” I have written several previous posts about them. The map to this territory is becoming clearer, more detailed as we, along with David Sibbet, Gisela Wendling, and Karen Buckley, share our ideas about and experiences with fields. We are also investigating the work of those who have explored fields … Read more…

Reflecting on a Path Taken

In college, I served as the news editor for the Northeastern University News. Now fifty years later, thanks to the vision of our then editor in chief, the group of us who produced the student newspaper, the literary magazine, and the yearbook, have decided to produce an anniversary issue of the NU News. I am grateful for the opportunity to revisit and reflect on those times with the talented and caring friends and consider how … Read more…

Four Pillars of a Healthy Mind

In 1992, neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson met the Dalai Lama for the first time. Like many neuroscientists and psychologists, he had been studying what was wrong with human brains: anxiety, fear, depression, and stress. But his Holiness asked why he wasn’t using neuroscientific tools to study kindness and compassion.  At first, the question startled him, but it then led to nearly two decades of collaboration between them and the establishing the Center for Healthy Minds … Read more…

What Life Expects of Me

Roger James and I were taking a glorious walk in the early morning sun around the Arcata Marsh. We had just stopped for a few groceries when a distraught man passed by screaming through a bandana, “This is bullshit!” Continuing up the street, he continued ranting about how he had had to enter the Farmers’ Market through a roped entrance and walk opposite to the direction he wanted to walk. His rage was palpable even … Read more…

Break Apart or Build Bridges

john a. powell, professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, made the astute observation that in times of stress, societies either break apart or build bridges. In addition to the stress from accelerating changes in globalization, technology, environment, and demographics, we now add a global pandemic and an economic free fall. All of this is hard for the human brain to process. Because the brain evolved to keep us safe, it … Read more…

A Series of Small Acts

These past few days, I have been waking up to a jumpy body and an overall sense of “How am I going to get it all done?” It seems that life has a way of constellating all the “yeses” I have offered over a long period of time into lots of activity in a short period of time.  As I sat meditating, I reached for a copy of Tao Te Ching and read these passages: … Read more…

Four Rivers of Life in 2019

Although I live in the land of six rivers—the Smith, Klamath, Trinity, Mad, Van Duzen, and Eel—today I write about the four rivers of life: Inspiration, Surprise, Challenge, and Love. I learned about these rivers from my beloved teacher Angeles Arrien (1940—2014). According to Angeles, many traditional societies believe that these rivers—Inspiration, Surprise, Challenge, and Love—sustain and support us. They also connect us to the greater gifts of appreciating one’s life and making sure we … Read more…

The Importance of Being Seen

This is a more personal piece than usual. It came early one morning as I was thinking about my mother on her birthday. I have been fortunate throughout my life to have family and friends who see me and love me. Some are still my dear and good friends while some have passed: my mother died in March 1981; good friends Mary Curran and Jean Westcott died in 2002 and 2008 respectively. An important teacher … Read more…

Curious about Curiosity #3: Impact of Curiosity

This is the final installment in a three-part series on curiosity. Today’s entry explores the role of curiosity at work and its relationship to organizational and group performance. In the February 13 post we investigated being curious internally, i.e., self-reflection. The February 27 post explored cultivating curiosity in others.  What does curiosity have to do with the performance of your team or organization? A lot, according to Adi Ignatius, editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review. Curiosity is the … Read more…