Monthly Archives: June 2015

something beyond

Proof is a TV show that is perhaps as controversial as several conspiracy theories, but I can assure you that the question of “is there something beyond death?” is a frequent topic in Western medical circles. I was asked specifically after my own near-death experience (nothing to see here, the docs were pros and quick about it). Perhaps I didn’t need to have one; my passport had already been stamped. One of the doctors on the case had a parallel experience at the same time outside the hospital and there was a calendar page from 12/16/07 saved as a bit of memorabilia now lost to the ages, unlike the memory or the experience. But, to borrow a phrase from the late great Ed Encho, I digress…. 

It is said that you don’t begin to inquire or believe until you have had your own experience; such experience can be mimicked, simulated or even actuated with entheogenic drugs. 

Epiphany is as good a word as any, but there is a broad range of related words, experiences or explanations. Altered, or higher, states of consciousness have been explored for a very long time by a great many people. I once owned a book about 251 ways to enter into an altered state of consciousness. 

I’ve noted that I’ve had an OBE, an epiphany and a theophany.  They are part and parcel of my own inquiries, an example of Eric Booth’s spectrum of curiosity, interest, admiration, concern, connection, resonance and change. Having an OBE probably helped set me on my course of inquiry that has brought me to this point. The three parallel experiences certainly changed me, and make things resonate within.

The OBE was one I shared with the woman who became my wife and the mother of my two children. It made some sense when I discovered and read Mark Gaffney’s book on the initiatory teachings of ther Last Supper (he’s the fellow who wrote about the mystery plane of 9/11 too) and when I read of Marghanita Laski’s research into rhythm and movement in Murphy’s book “In The Zone”, so it would seem that the rhythm and movement we imparted into and through our spinal/kundalini systems, aligned as they were, took us to a different place. As Gaffney points out, perhaps the preacher and his first disciple experienced the same thing. And then decades later there is Bentov’s book “Stalking The Wild Pendulum” which is an exploration of how sound and electrical impulse travel through the aorta and its relationship to kundalini, something quite similar to the effects of binaural-beat brain-wave meditation, which I did at length in the months prior to the events of December 2007. 

The epiphany was perhaps similarly a doorway that had been created by the warmth on my spine of the sun-bathed granite shelving of coastal Maine as I meditated quietly listening to the rhythmic waves of the sea on that shoreline. I slipped through that door left slightly ajar like a silent cat discovering a new way.  It was an extended cosmic moment that cannot be eexplained, only experienced. I’ve had briefer almost nearly instantaneous glimpses since then; some might think them akin to flashbacks.  But once you’ve been there, as it says, they can never take that away from you. 

The theophany occured when my second-born child was two and in the full throes of a middle-of-the-night colicky crankiness that, if you’re a parent, you’ve probably experienced. The adults are beyond themselves with lack of sleep and fatigue from work, and there’s a child needing attention and cradling and more.  As you near the end of your rope, there are exasperations that could lead to gross parental mis-step and, crammed up into the corner of a dormer roof in the nursery where quite literally no one else could fit, I felt the grip of a hand on my shoulder taking no uncertain posession of my attention and my intent with a message that was transmitted mysteriously but unequivocally and which told me to be gentle with one for whom He had great things in store.  Say what you will, but the child was calmed instantly into peaceful sleep, as was the parent.  If you’ve read the e-book, you know something of what happened in the child’s life. She’s approaching 40 and has her own children and classrooms full of other kids. 

Now, in the past, I’d mentioned Eben Alexander’s book highly-controversial book, but such inquiry has been with us since the days of Kubler-Ross and others.  The TV show is nice in that it’s a light introduction to the concepts and features interesting characters, but if you want to study along at home, I’d recommend the following: [The bibliography and suggested reading at the back of this book is stunning.] 

55-minute audio interview: 

Quotes from the book:

“Mind-matter-time, thought to be distinct, are so intertwined that they might be better off thought of as aspects of one another, of something alive.”

“Even while tales of revelation are cornerstones of the world’s great religions, we formalize them as myth and keep our transcendent moments secret from each other and from ourselves, so as not to appear fatuous or flat-out crazy.”

“… revelation, transcendent and transforming, is often dangerous. It is an elevator-stomach moment, a stop-everything.”

“Disabled people must concentrate on areas in which they can compete with anyone.”

“Post-traumatic stress or PTSD is a relatively new diagnostic label first coined to describe the long-lasting thoughts and mood disturbances reported by veterans of the Vietnam war. The diagnosis has since been expanded to describe persistent states of distress reported by adults or children who’ve been confronted by death, violence, or serious injury.”

“In his best-selling book Healing words, the power of prayer in the practice of medicine, the physician and author Larry Dossey writes sternly about silent prayer, unconscious prayer, prayers are answered before they are made. He talks about experimental trials with ‘distant intentionality’ …..”

Source of image: [has a a downloadable chapter] 

Here are five quotes from the book:

At the center of every account was the description of some radical extension of knowing, one that occupied body and soul, heart as well as mind. Now I began to reread with fresh eyes that vast body of recent research that explores knowing like that, knowing that emerges from beyond the intellect. The research comes from cognitive scientists, educators, neuroscientists, psychologists, and sociologists. None of it touches on knowing that’s apparently anomalous, but perhaps established research about these “peak moments” could help us start thinking about what happens at the other end of the spectrum.


During the subjects’ moments of deepest meditation and prayer, what stops firing were all the signals that tell us where to locate the boundaries that separate us from everything that isn’t us.


Human consciousness is able to extract information from physical aspects of its environment by some anomalous means that is independent of space and time.


Intuition is about recognizing internal impressions in an altered state of consciousness that simply doesn’t work in the same way as linear thinking.


… She could only access or extraordinary knowing by investing her work with personal meaning and connection.


Special attention might be paid to chapter 7 and the footnotes for that chapter that extend from ages 279 through to page 282.

Source of image:


Approaching 800 pages in length, the entire book is a tour de force, superbly organized and footnoted, with an index and bibliography.  Danielle Prohom Olson describes it as an “exhaustive cross-cultural documentation of super-normal capacities (healing, telepathy, clairvoyance and feats of superhuman hearing, seeing and strength) demonstrated by yogis, Tibetan monks, indigenous shamans and high-level athletes….”.

I call your attention specifically to pages 195-230, as well as 112-116. After a discussion of involution and evolution, Murphy ends Chapter 7 with over four pages on the ideas that impede our understanding of metanormal development. 

Chapter 8 is about metanormal embodiment in legend, art and religious doctrine, Taoist legends about immortality, the “glorified body” in Christianity, and super-ordinary powers in cartoons, movies and science fiction. 

Chapter Nine delves into out-of-body experience, traveling clairvoyance, and dematerialization, as well as extraordinary conditions of energy and matter. 

Chapter Ten is devoted to post-mortem states and the afterlife. OBE’s are also covered on pages 112-116.

For more about Murphy, his archived research and works: 

See also: Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century by Edward F. Kelly/ with CD [if you can afford it — I can’t]



There’s a necessary dying…Be ground. Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are. You’ve been stony too many years. Try something different. Surrender.    -Rumi 

Then there is this fellow: 

[on the role of the posterior cingulate cortex in getting out of your own way][ten minutes] his blog (20:03)

The Future of the Mind (90:00)

Judson Brewer, Md, PhD presentation at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, March 10, 2014. See the web page at… for the slide presentation. 


Scientists get first-ever visual glimpse into how new concepts form inside brain


Published time: June 10, 2015 18:55

Scientists have figured out how newly learned concepts form in the human brain by visualizing how new information gets filed. They say this is the first time science visually witnessed how and where specific objects are coded in the brain.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have managed to observe how different new knowledge is stored and how combinations of different pieces of this fresh information affect different parts of the brain. This is eventually used to tell the observer what the person is thinking about.

The accompanying research is published in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

University neuroscientist Marcel Just used the example of the 2013 discovery by the Smithsonian Institute of an entirely new species – an olinguito, which is a small South American carnivorous mammal. Those learning about the animal were able to immediately pickup new information for the first time, such as its habitat, diet, behaviour and so on.

Millions of people read the information about the olinguito and in doing so permanently changed their own brains,” Just explained.

“Our research happened to be examining this process precisely at that time in a laboratory setting. When people learned that the olinguito eats mainly fruit instead of meat, a region of their left inferior frontal gyrus—as well as several other areas—stored the new information according to its own code.”

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‘It’s like first man in space’: Russian patient to undergo first ever head-to-body transplant

4:40 PM – 12 Apr 2015

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The team also learned that people store new knowledge and its bits in the same way, using “the same filing system,” in the same brain areas.

Just and PhD student and lead author Andrew Bauer then gathered 16 study participants and monitored their brain activity while teaching them new information about eight extinct species of animals. They observed the emergence of new concepts in their brains by using an MRI machine, as the hour-long ingestion of new information progressed.

Having already conducted prior research in the field of brain imaging, the team knew where certain bits of information would pop up, such as information about an animal’s habitat or its dietary habits. Each category lights up a different part of the brain.

As all new concepts had different “activation signatures,” the scientists were able to see with the help of a computer program, which concepts the participants were thinking about, virtually allowing them to read their brains.





Rich people will become immortal cyborgs in 200 years – historian


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According to Just, “The activation signature of a concept is a composite of the different types of knowledge of the concept that a person has stored, and each type of knowledge is stored in its own characteristic set of regions.”

The team gained further insight into how the brain manages information. For example, new information does not eclipse something learned five minutes ago. Instead, “Each time we learn something, we permanently change our brains in a systematic way,” Bauer explains.

In conducting the research, Carnegie Mellon fused two prominent research areas at the university – one dealing with studying how brain architecture gives rise to complex behaviors; and one dealing with increasing the effectiveness of student learning.

Just and Bauer hope that knowing how the brain ingests new information could prove very useful to understanding the nature of better learning – what a student has problems with, or which bits of knowledge, which sink in better than others. 

Towards Extraordinary Capability

The 17th chapter of the e-book on how to use your mind is entitled “Inner Game Coaching” and , as you might surmise, is based to a very great degree on the work of Tim Gallwey. Eight of the citations belong to him. At 27 pages, it’s small.

It starts off comparing military models against athletic models for “toughening” and presents one method for developing and designing an audio CD tool that entrains learners as they undertake and master a complex set of team/mission integrated challenges or skills with goal statements, affirmations and specific “cueing” that helps learners improve performance.  There’s enough explanation that you could develop one for your own performance challenges relatively easily or, given some resources and time, use this model developed for a military competition for your own small group performance evolution.

The chapter then walks you through a look at Gallwey’s approach to awareness instruction, as well as his coaching questions and coaching conversations approach.


When a person’s basic security is in doubt, most everything that happens seems threatening. All doubts find fertile ground. Motivation, focus and trust evaporate. Individual, team and organizational productivity suffer greatly as a consequence.


The 18th chapter of the e-book, at 7 pages, is even smaller and consists of excerpts from The Ultimate Athlete: Revisioning Sports, Physical Education and The Body, by George Leonard ( Viking Press, 1974) on play, the game of games, and moments of transcendence.


Tab Q (Inner Game Coaching)


Tab R (The Ultimate Athlete)


Tab S (Toward Extraordinary Capability)


The 19th chapter of the e-book starts off with that quote from Keefe’s book “On The Sweet Spot” that summed up or encapsulated the reason I spent years typing excerpts to share with the world.

It plunges into that small epicenter of insight, practice and full expression that exploded out of the meetings and conversations of a small handful of people on the West Coast, all authors whose books hold the spinal weight of the bibliography, whose own merger of mind, body and spirit outside an aikido dojo (and access to publishing houses) have informed so many and fostered work that continues today around the globe.

That quote is followed by three pages of excerpted material that fleshes out the deathbed revelations of Roland Perlmutter, M.D.

The 19th chapter also includess an extended look at human capacities for the extraordinary, “when mind and body are graced by something beyond themselves”.


All transformative change begins with awareness and intention.


It has a short section on telepathic communication. It discusses several approaches for “the development of extraordinary capacity”, and the embodiment of the metanormal.

It notes the “sixteen common foundations for effective enhancement of personal capacity and capability”.


… people have cultivated non-ordinary states of awareness such as meditation to manage the creative process along. Laszlo believes that these methods help people gain access to the nonlocal, collective source of wisdom. During highly creative moments, “there is almost always some element of transport to another plane of consciousness, a deep concentration that approaches a state of trance ,” he notes. “In some (relatively rare) cases, these inspired states are artificially induced — by drugs, music, self hypnosis or other means. Mostly, however, they come spontaneously to the ‘gifted’ individual….”

The urge to become absorbed in something greater — God, Goddess, Allah, Brahman, Universe, the One — underlies the drive of the great saints and mystics of all spiritual traditions and is also typical of many highly creative individuals. …


The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness;

only when there is stillness in movement

does the universal rhythm manifest.


Grasp the essence

And move on toward realization.






source of featured image: 

complex challenge

Chapter 14 of the e-book is about leadership, building winning teams, moving people, and all of the factors and skills in doing those things. It draws on athletics, on business, and on the military. The art of leadership is embodied in the person. Leadership requires exceptional skills in conducting a changing or dynamic activity in a dynamic process that involves people who themselves are at various levels of skill, learning, and mastery. Leadership involves taking action. It requires presence. It involves communication.

Tab N (Leadership)

Chapter 15 of the e-book is about strategy, situational awareness, finding out what you need to know, decision-making in a dynamic setting and/or under stress, and more. It introduces the reader to some ancient and basic precepts in military strategy through time-tested and accepted sources: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War; Sir B. H. Liddell-Hart’s theory of the indirect approach, and John Boyd OODA loop theory. It provides some limited examples of how these are applied to athletic scenarios, and focuses on the psychological aspects that come into play with perception, comprehension, speed/tempo, and space/time.

Tab O (Psychology of Strategy)

Chapter 16 of the e-book is about possibility. It is based on sources from within the world of learning, and the world of business. It is focused, in the end, on getting people aligned toward producing a desired outcome. It is focused on accountability, on making a difference, on collaboration, and on honesty.  It’s about choices that leaders make.

Tab P (The Art of Possibility)

To make effective sense of a complex challenge, we must have a grasp of the whole of the situation, including its variables, unknowns, and mysterious forces. We must examine more than just the surface. This requires skills beyond everyday analysis.

magic alphabet untwisted

Now that we’ve gotten the magic alphabet untwisted, we can move on.

The e-book entitled “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind….” now sits poised to move into the 12th chapter “On Mentors, Coaches and Warriors”, and then the 13th chapter “On Teams”.


Tab L (Mentors, Coaches & Warriors)  


  • This chapter focuses on what may be, for some of you, your first board meeting as the new CEO.
  • If you’ve had difficulty asking for help, it will provide some simple tools that will help you.
  • It will teach you how to look for your teacher, or mentor, and how to determine which ones are the right ones.
  • It will teach you how to create a functional and effective circle of supportive people.
  • It will dissect and analyze what goes on in coaching, and you’ll be able to see that from the perspectives of the coachee or client (you) and the coach or mentor.

“Information embedded in an emotional context seems to stimulate neural circuitry more powerfully than information presented neutrally. A smile, good eye contact, touch, and the rhythm, tone, pacing, melody and vibration of voice…, all play a role in effective instruction.” 


  • Using an athletic model, Page 21 breaks down and charts graphically the process of assessment.
  • There’s a discusion of feedback loops within the coaching interaction.
  • Speech, voice and communications skills in coaching are discused.
  • The coachee’s responses are broken down into four categories.
  • The role of confrontation and criticism are reviewed.
  • One of the things that this chapter will do is to introduce you to such books as How To Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment.
  • And the chapter acts as a springboard as the overall look at excellence moves from a focus on the individual to a focus on the team, or organization, or larger grouping.


The Coach is also a  (13 other roles)


The 13th chapter, then, is “On Teams”.

Tab M (On Teams)

“In a rapidly-changing environment, the strengths of many individuals must be combined into a cohesive and synchronized effort.

  • The idea of shared experiential goals is discussed, as well as team leadership and the roles of communications, learning and mindfulness.
  • The dynamics or changes in the team and their relationship to team development are discussed.


“The rate at which a team learns may become it’s only sustainable advantage.”

  • There is an overview of the Tuckman model of “forming, storming, norming, and performing”.

Tuckman Model

  • I added my own text and graphic expression of team chemistry, upgraded here:

Team Chemistry pdf copy

  • There is an introduction to the concept of organizational learning.
  • There are five questions on page 15 you ought to ask yourself (and your team) right now.
  • There is material on team spirit, team dynamics, team cohesion, team bonding, and team harmony.
  • There’s a section on the role of non-verbal communication in team interaction, and another on team exercises in concentration and movement.
  • There’s two pages (27 and 28) on the development of a shared vision.
  • There is an 18-point plan for empowering your team.


“If people don’t have their own vision, all they can do is “sign up” for someone else’s. The result is compliance, never commitment.”


I like the section on page 31 about getting individuals on a team to express a quality about the thing that you need to work on. This moves toward team learning and team alignment.


There’s a lot more.  Have fun.

The Spirit of the Game

photography courtesy of

The tenth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… is actually one of my two most favorite chapters.  (Those two speak to me, and they ended up being assigned the letter E and the letter J.  Funny thing how those things work out, huh?)

It’s entitled The Spirit of the Game and, while it is laden with concepts of spirituality, it doesn’t attempt to proselytize. Parker Palmer (Footnote 111 on page 55) gives as good a defintion of spiritual as I could find.

There are references from within religion’s expressions, but spirit includes them all, allows you to parse and understand them if you desire to do so, and ultimately it transcends them.

The Spirit of the Game ranges across the topics of prayer, intention, attention, life alignment, love, mastery, presence, soul, music, movement, ex-stase, awe, connectedness, the sweet spot in time, gnosis, peak experience, yoga, samadhi, behavior, discipline, intent, will, performance, creativity, energy and grace.

It will bring you to James Neill’s

It will bring you to the web site of a dojo called

There’s a quote in there from the fellow whose insights were the key that unlocked the door to the creation of this e-book.

It was in the middle of the explosion of the decades of research into the brain through the use of functional MRI studies and Roland Perlmutter, M.D. (neuroradiologist, Duke University Medical Center) is the individual quoted from within the book On The Sweet Spot: Stalking the Effortless Present.

It’s not that quote (footnote #24) that quickened me.

The one that made we sit upright, that confirmed my interest, my work, the value of these concepts beyond sports, and the value of sharing this material shows up near the end of my e-book.

But here’s a better expression of all of that from an old blog of mine (circa August 21st, 2013).  I’d been reading a Sports Illustrated in a medical waiting room and encountered a letter to the editor that was “surely of interest to the father of a professional fast-pitch softball player whose hand was broken by [Jennie] Finch when she stepped on it during a pick-off attempt at first. Was Finch mad at her because she not only did not strike out but managed to draw couple of walks against her and made one of them stand up for a win? The bone was broken above the knuckles, making it impossible to hold or swing a bat, but a visualization process I designed on the basis of my readings [actually, it was an audio tape from Lydia Ievleva; see this] and which she implemented which came to fruition in front of the orthopod ten days later and got her a clearance to return when the doctor said said “I’ve never seen a bone heal so quickly”. The bone and the body that it belonged to went on to earn a Second Team All-American slot in the ASA Majors division.”

Back then in 2013, I referenced the book On The Sweet Spot and my own e-book Summon The Magic and the applicability of what I have come to understand about the human mind/body/spirit as an antidote to the oppressive wars, narcissistic psychopathology of leadership, and the failure of the average human being — especially the dormant American ones — to wake up and effect some change.

From the description found at the Amazon link (but the emphases are mine):

“… as Richard Keefe, the director of the sport psychology program at Duke University, looked deeper into the nature of his experience, he found profound links to the spirit, the brain, perhaps even the soul.

Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of “being in the zone” is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what’s happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that “zone” instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology — teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it’s capable of doing. Keefe calls it the “effortless present,” when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch.

All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe’s true subject is extraordinary experience — being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spot builds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states)…..”

That’s what summoning the magic is all about.

If a mind can heal its own fractured hand, why can’t many minds heal a fractured world?”


And, oh look, that calligraphic expression I mentioned back in healing a sick world shows up on page 75.

(So that’s where I put it..!)


Even Caitlyn Jenner makes an appearance in a potent retrospective.


But speaking of sports (and there are plenty of sporting references in The Spirit of the Game), last Monday’s news had an example (and there are plenty of them every day) of attempts to “psych out” an opponent — to take them off their game. My exact reference is to the US/Australia women’s 2015 Women’s World Cup opening match in soccer and the re-surrection or re-mindfulness of the US keeper’s legal difficulties. I take no position on the keeper or her history. In fact, I raise the point because, in all my research and other encounters, I have never met a performance psychologist who embraced or helped someone else “hone” the art of dissing.

You see a lot of it in pro sports. Larry Bird and some others have shown that, if you’re going to get into “trash talk”, you’d better be able to back it up.

The entire discipline of sports/performance psychology would suggest that you expend your energy focusing on your own game, that your attention to your opponent’s game in an attempt to create an advantage more often backfires than not. There’s a book listed in my bibliography that comes so dangerously close to taking the wrong approach that I won’t even identify it for you.

Refefence has already been made to bringing the best you can bring to the exchange as an ideal way to respect both the game and one’s opponent. Pre-game, in-game and post-game “trash talk” is trash and doesn’t fall within The Spirit of the Game.

Julia Cameron would understand. On Monday, her book “The Well of Creativity” got packaged with two of her earliest books, The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold, and shipped off to a friend.  I had thought “The Well of Creativity” was the one actually I received today (more dementia, or lack of focus) but the recipient is a close friend so it’ll all come out in the wash.

Arriving today was Supplies, which Cameron describes as good, plain water for those thirsty aspiring or working people who are busy making things — “books, musicals, movies, plays. board games, computer programs, sculptures, watercolors, greeting cards, effective aprons, better lives”.

The second page reminds us all of an “extremely effective technique” a lot of us have forgotten, or dismissed, or turned our noses up at beause it seemes so juvenile.

Several more pages in, and I had to put the book down; I was hooked. It’s serious shee-it. (I’ll report back on it in good time, but it’s a workbook and I’ve got to do the work.)

So, here you have it:

Tab J (The Spirit of the Game)

I hope that it will make your performance and creativity soar.

Moving Toward Magic

Wow, talk about mindlessness in action.

I’m approaching the age of 70 (as slowly as I can) and I forgot my alphabet.

I gave you K before I gave you J.

And I forgot I.

Oh, well…. ready, fire, aim.


It’s a constant challenge to keep the blade honed.

Or maybe early dementia.



The ninth chapter ranges across the topics of creating reality, clutch performance, ritual, performance plateaus, slumps, streaks, mistakes, flaws, errors, enjoyment, pleasure, the autotelic experience, flow, sound, mantras, humility, and awareness.  Much of it is based on the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi.  Large chunks of the material come from  the 19th Annual Conference on Counseling Athletes (“Winning in Sport and Life”), Springfield College, June 21-23, 2002  and the people I met (and who presented) there.  On the first page,it gives you the same technique I used to do a successful intervention when I witnessed an NCAA record-holding pitcher who already held an Olympic medal completely lose the ability to make a routine play she’d been making for years. There are also critical elements discussing self-assessment and post-performance reflection. And don’t miss the section on trigger words.


Tab I (Moving Toward Magic)


You will be Moving Toward Magic when you have discovered how to get beyond your “habitual behavior system”.

The featured image above comes from

Do Cosmic Rays Evolve Consciousness And Transform DNA ? 31/01/2015 

The author of that article has an e-book which can be found here: 



Tab J to follow…

thinking, doing and being

food for thinking, doing and being

”Mastery of kitchen utensils does not guarantee creativity in cooking but, like the tools of any trade, they must be used with individual and even idiosyncratic vision to yield results.”


The July-August edition of Cook’s Illustrated arrived as I wrote this; it was not an act of serendipity because I subscribe to the magazine for its recipes, reviews of foostuffs and tools, great recipes, and outstanding cooking tips. It was an obvious act of synchronicity, given the title of this chapter and the selection of the image at the top that I’d already made.

Inside the magazine, ahead of the tool review, the kitchen notes, the ingredient notes, the blind taste test of balsamic vinegar, three pages on knife sharpeners, two (illustrated) pages on how to grill trout, the right and wrong ways to cook sausage, the ultimate method for char-grilling steaks, and two pages of illustrated quick tips, is Christopher Kimball’s “The Don’t List”.

Alas, folks, it’s not online.

If you call right now and ask issue #155, you’ll get closer to a mastery of kitchen utensils.

{* *}

In the past, you’d had the second chapter (the one about the brain) which I noted was probably outdated by the time it got to you. I was right.

“In a landmark study published last week in the journal Nature, scientists revealed the discovery of vessels that directly connect the brain to the lymphatic system. According to a EurekAlert press release, the discovery radically changes the current understanding of the brain’s role in responding to major neurological diseases, and opens up several amazing new areas of research.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine discovered that the brain has a direct physical connection with the lymphatic system, which collects and removes toxins from the body. The doctors discovered peculiar vessels hidden in the meninges, or membranes covering the brain, in mice. They used an innovative dissection technique to locate the vessels, which they previously thought simply didn’t exist. Using live imaging, the scientists were able to demonstrate the function of the vessels as they interacted with the central nervous system.

The discovery raises a wide range of questions about the brain and the diseases that can affect it. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is caused by the accumulation of large protein chunks in the brain. Scientists believe that these proteins accumulate because these lymphatic vessels have trouble removing them. The team said that the discovery also had implications for the understanding of many other neurological diseases including autism and multiple sclerosis.

According to Dr. Jonathan Kipnis, the study’s lead author and researcher at the University of Virginia’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, this is the first time lymphatic vessels have ever been identified. Previously, there was no mention of any such type of vessel in medical textbooks.

The amazing new discovery of the strange lymphatic vessels may very well shape the way we approach treating neurological diseases in the future, and will undoubtedly change our understanding of the brain’s role in regulating the various functions of the body for years to come.”

“… According to Dr. Jonathan Kipnis, the study’s lead author and researcher at the University of Virginia’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, this is the first time lymphatic vessels have ever been identified. Previously, there was no mention of any such type of vessel in medical textbooks.

The amazing new discovery of the strange lymphatic vessels may very well shape the way we approach treating neurological diseases in the future, and will undoubtedly change our understanding of the brain’s role in regulating the various functions of the body for years to come.

The chairman of UVA’s Department of Neuroscience, Kevin Lee, Ph.D., explained his reaction at first:

“I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” he said. “I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”

When showed the results, he had just one sentence for the team:

“They’ll have to change the textbooks.”

Moving forward, knowing the brain has a direct connection with the immune system changes how researchers approach neurological conditions. They can now ask mechanical questions. If the disease has an immune component, the vessels should play a major role.

Treatments can be developed based on direct responses on the brain’s lymphatic system. While the shotgun approach to tackling neurological conditions will continue, teams can now approach diseases such as MS with an eye towards activating the brain’s immune system response.

It’s a hell of a discovery. Not only is it cool we are sitting in the middle of 2015 and still mapping our body’s internal structure, but it offers hope to people suffering from neurological diseases.

The study is in the June 1 issue of Nature.” 




But I’ll still give you the ninth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… (a collection of excerpts from some of the best books and sources on performance psychology, coaching, neuroscience, etc.) and which is entitled Food for Thinking, Doing and Being.


Tab K (Food for…)


It ranges across the topics of the performance triangle, will skills, homeostasis, change, the mind-body dialogue, thinking tools, the ACT triangle, decision-making, suggestion, auto-suggestion, attention, and meditation, among others.

It will get you closer to mastery of your performance. [What do you perform?]

The ninth chapter also crosses the threshold of the use of audio-assisted or audio-driven neditation through brain wave changes that can gently pull you into proper states for doing (beta), relaxation (alpha), problem-solving and thinking (theta), and rest/sleep/deep sleep (delta and deep delta).

Deeo sleep is where the body heals itself, where your neuroplasticity kicks in, where you can can begin to make changes in your body’s chemical engineering. It’s a subject I’m still exploring, so caveat emptor.

Some of the books noted in the bibliography are relevant. The first three are older, very good general introductions to the topic, the last two written by physicians.

The fourth (Thresholds of the Mind) can easily be found either as a used book, online, or e-book. It’s very very good and is written by the fellow who runs HoloSync ( ) which is a product I’ve used since about 2002 (it’s better than crack, said one psychopharmacologist); I’m now researching other options, since it’s pretty expensive.

Afterwards, You’re a Genius: Faith, Medicine and the Metaphysics of Healing, Chip Brown, Riverhead Books (Penguin Putnam), New York 1998.

Healing Beyond the Body: Medicine and the Infinite Reach of the Mind, Larry Dossey, M.D., Shambhala, Boston 2001. [A recognized leader in this field…]

Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D., Bantam New Age Books, 1989.

Thresholds of the Mind: How HoloSync Audio Technology Can Change Your Life, by Bill Harris, Centrepointe Press, Beaverton, OR 2002. [The explanation of the science behind the use of audio tones to drive brain waves and create mental states for learning, creativity and more… , to balance right and left brain, and to provide very deep meditation and its benefits). This amazing system is highly recommended and is available through .]

At the moment, I am also checking out BrainFM  ( ) and The Unexplainable Store ( ).

We as individuals can master these tools to take control of our own lives; we can gradually introduce them — by modeling them, teaching them or even simply introducing them — to others.  

Perhaps then we can get to this point:

Lives filled with laughing,

and lives filled with weeping,

are both possible.

It is for the individual to decide which will be chosen.

owning your own life

The next chapter in my e-book is entitled “When Things Aren’t Going Your Way”.

We’ve all had days like that, no?

Some of us have weeks and months and, with a little work, we can avoid turning them into lifetimes.

Sometimes owning your own life is hard work.

At least until you you find your groove.

Along with some of the usual names and sources, Terry Orlick gets a little bit more of the spotlight here. He’s a Canadian from Ottawa, and he “holds court” at

Some of his books — which can be ordered through his web site — are noted in the bibliography, and he claims more than a few of the footnotes in this pile of excerpts.

And several of this books are available in Spanish or German.

Look for his free downloadable articles; if you think this is all about athletic performance, check out the offerings on surgery.

See especially Orlick’s wheel of excellence.

Orlick is one of the four authors of the little-known Consultant’s Guide to Excellence” ….

Who wouldn’t want to hire those four guys to come by for a working afternoon to look into how things are going for you and your enterprise? To “share their insights on how to help performers in many disciplines achieve the mental and emotional states required to perform their best…”?

Some of the parts of this chapter have to do with emotional intelligence, distraction control, mental chatter (the constant commentary that goes on inside your head), situational self-control, autogenic training, composure (or control of anxiety), mental toughness rehearsal, focus skills, the importance of breathing, recovery skills, Gallwey’s STOP tool, choking, confidence, hanging tough, and mastering fear.


Tab H (When Things Aren’t Going Your Way)


As always, Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind…. is about you and where you are at in your life.

“Being willing to own your own life creates a context that is almost sure to enhance it.”

Arts and Athletics

Arts and Athletics: Using All Your Common Senses


I went to see the home opener of a summertime inter-city league game for college players who want to make it to the majors. [Good luck.  There are only 720 such jobs but, as has been said, there are 700 positions and someone’s got to fill them.  And the smallest paycheck they can give you when you win the job is over half a million a year.] 

“Baseball is like church. 

Many attend but few understand.” 

 Wes Westrum

Just the other day, I was told that my grandson is gonna be a catcher.  His coach told me.  

His uncle was a catcher in high school.  His grand-dad was a catcher for the team that won the state Class B slo-pitch championships. 

His coach (his mother) was a two-time NFCA regional Division I All-Star catcher who was nationally-ranked in the top ten in three offensive categories; she earned a master’s degree in sports management while she was an assstant coach for a D-I college team while she played for a perennial national amateur championship club, played pro ball for two years and then did color commentary on TV in the third season, and then earned another master’s degree, that one in elementary education. 


The Catcher

“His legs are buckled into clumsy shin guards; his face is hidden by the metal grille of a heavy mask….  His chest is covered with a corrugated protective pad, and his big mitt is thrust out as if to fend off destruction…. his field of vision gives him his own special view of the vast ballpark.  In a sense, the game belongs to him.  He is the catcher.”

Time, August 8th, 1955

“Catching is much like managing.  Managers don’t really win games, but they can lose plenty of them.  The same way with catching.   If you’re doing a quality job, you should be almost anonymous.”

— Bob Boone, Kansas City catcher,  in the 1989 season opener issue of AstroSports


“A good catcher is the quarterback, the carburetor, the lead dog, the pulse taker, the traffic cop and sometimes a lot of unprintable things, but no teams gets very far without one.”

– – Miller Huggins,


in The Complete Baseball Handbook by Walter Alston


“Consider the catcher. Bulky, thought-burdened, unclean, he retrieves his cap and mask from the ground (where he flung them, moments ago, in mid-crisis) and moves slowly again to his workplace.  He whacks the cap against his leg, producing a puff of dust, and settles it in place, its bill astern, and then, reversing the movement, pulls on the mask and firms it with a soldierly downward tug.  Armored, he sinks into his squat, punches his mitt, and becomes wary, balanced, and ominous; his bare right hand rests casually on his thigh while he regards, through the porticullis, the field and deployed fielders, the batter, the base runner, his pitcher, and the state of the world, which he now, for a waiting instant, holds in sway.”

—  from “In the Fire”, by Roger Angell


Quotes from Baseball’s Greatest Quotations, ed. by Paul Dickson, HarperPerennial, New York, New York 1991.



“Coaches of tee-ball kids and the like are usually wholechild centered. As the youngsters get older and more skillful, coaches become learner-centered. After a couple of more years, the coaches are sport-centered, teaching strategies as well as more sophisticated techniques….”


Coaching the Mental Game

Find out more (and read about the trap into which most coaches fall) in this very short series of excerpts from Coaching the Mental Game: Leadership Philosophies and Strategies for Peak Performance in Sports – and Everyday Life, by Harvey A. Dorfman, Taylor Trade Press (Rowman & Littlefield), New York 2003.

Harvey Dorfman, now deceased, lectured at major universities and for corporations on psychology, self-enhancement, management strategies, and leadership training.


To know baseball

is to continue to aspire

to the condition of freedom,

individually and as a people.

A. Bartlett Giamatti, Take Time for Paradise

The book “The Well of Creativity”, based on a series of interviews of Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Keith Jarrett, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi et alia by Michael Toms, arrived yesterday. I tore into it like a kid opening presents at his birthday party. 

I have studied or read for years most of these people for years. Cameron’s “The Vein of Gold” arrived a few weeks ago. Jarrett’s music takes up a lot of space on my iTunes files, and links to his YouTube videos on improvsation are tucked away for regular enjoyment. 

While Cameron is a source for those with writing block, she is also a source for those interested in writing or composing music. 

Echoing what John Temple said about being the dream, Julia says simply “be the music”, and I’ve set up my keyboard synthesizer and begun a file for this kind of stuff: 



Tab G is the next chapter due out in the e-book series entitled Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind to be a better athlete (or anything else you want to be).  

My athletic days are over, unless you count the in-pool therapeutic walking, stretching and swimming I’ll be doing just as soon as the summer warmth returns to the pool.  

But a review of this sixth chapter (“The Arts and Athletics: Using All Your Common Senses”) will help my musical inquiries as I seek to develop and train the small muscle groups in my upper distal extremities. Will that make me a phalangist?

I can still remember the night I first listened to the four-disc series “Time Signatures: A Career Retrospective”, put on my Koss Pro 4A headphones so I wouldn’t awaken the wife, and discovered this song. 

And this feverishly-paced ditty


Tab G (The Arts & Athletics)


Whatever gets your temperature rising is likely to be aided by 90 pages of excerpts drawn from educators, neuroscientists, performance psychologists, experts in movement disciplines, and two of the people you met earlier in the Je Ne Sais Quoi symposium.  

The sections on developing and using kinesthetic imagery, brainwave entrainment, resonance, improvisation, vocal toning, proprioception, mindfulness, perception, sensory experience, rehearsal, concentration, attention, observation, and awareness skills will slowly get you en fuego.

Turn up the heat on your internal burners and get cooking. 

And remember: you decide what’s on your menu.