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David Rickey at Land’s End

When you are paralyzed into in-action

How to put the dynamic of hope into action. You have the same DNA as Gandhi, Václav Havel and Goenawan Mohamad

DAVID RICKEY — Hope is a great four-letter word, but it gets lost in the shuffle of our lives if it isn’t bonded with action.

Václav Havel, the first President of the Czech Republic, said ‘Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out’.

It is this certainty that allows — even emboldens us — to take action.

We have all faced survival uncertainty since the Great American Recession of 2008, and that uncertainty — can, and has — paralyzed some of us into in-action.

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To die for

To die for

Will Baby Boomers choose to expire in hospitals and nursing homes? Or will they take matters into their own hands?

BY DAVID RICKEY —  Would you prefer to die on purpose — or with purpose?

Late, great writers like Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon), Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls) and counter-culture figure Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) were larger than life.

Yet they each took their own lives — rather than let the life coded into their respective DNA take its course.

The most timely example: Tony Scott (above, center), a Hollywood producer and director who jumped off an 18-storey L.A. bridge that he’d once scouted as a location for a movie.

The Baby Boomers are the biggest generation in American history, the most vain-glorious generation — and also the most afraid of pain, if Prozac and painkiller prescriptions are any indication.

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Meditation lite

Meditation lite

They say that meditation is sitting on a cushion and emptying your mind. But I do mine while I’m, like, shopping

BY DAVID RICKEY  — I know it doesn’t come as a surprise to say that meditation is important for spiritual growth. The post-modern philosopher Ken Wilbur claims that it is the quickest way to advance the evolution of consciousness.

But it might come as a surprise that I myself — a psychotherapist and Episcopal priest who has devoted a lifetime to spiritual development — do not meditate.

At least, I do not meditate in any classic way. I could tell you, “I don’t have the time.” But in the tradition of confession, here is mine: I have never had much discipline.

So, I have a form of meditation that takes no real time and requires only a smidgen of discipline.

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Decoding codependence

If we are all co-dependents now, what is America’s turn-around? *

BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence” describes a relationship between 2 people where the well-being of one is perceived as dependent on the well-being of the other.

In other words: “I can’t be happy unless you are happy.” The subconscious subtext: “Your happiness ought to be secondary to my happiness.”

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Why ABC’s “reality show” The Bachelor is so un-real

Why ABC’s “reality show” The Bachelor is so un-real


Dating in America — an analysis of our collective consciousness from a couples counselor

BY DAVID RICKEY — As the 2010 season of The Bachelor nears its March 1 finale, curiosity about what Americans think dating is really about got the best of me. I am a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher, and hardly an avid watcher of Reality TV, so this posed a bit of a challenge.

My personal routine is getting up at about 5 a.m, and meditating. My day is then an exploration. I seek to heal, contemplate texts in preparation for sermons, which are a form of teaching, and generally try to stay aware.

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A New Year’s mantra

A New Year’s mantra

A meditation to de-stress for the post-2012 era


BY DAVID RICKEY
— January in northern California is usually a time of rain, cold, and a psychic hangover from the double-barreled Christmas and New Year holidays, which can tend to be anything but Holy days. After getting swept up in the maelstrom, let’s step back a bit a get some perspective. Thanksgiving is a good place to begin as both a word and place in time.

Being grateful for what we have, for what we experience — even for who we are — has a major effect on our daily life.

Gratitude comes from an awareness that this is not all just an accident. This morning, as I left for work, at about 5:30am . . .

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The best New Year’s resolution? Try to perform a miracle

Were the stories of impossible feats that Jesus performed the spiritual equivalent of case studies?

BY DAVID RICKEY — One of the miracle stories about Jesus that probably has actual truth behind it is the account of how he fed 5000 (or an additional 4000, according to Mark and Matthew). It’s framed as a miracle to impress upon us that Jesus is a powerful guy.

The version of that story that appears in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21) lends itself to a different interpretation, one that might hit closer to home.

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When Voodoo becomes Can-do medicine

When Voodoo becomes Can-do medicine

Alternative healing and advanced science continue to converge — and leap-frog ahead of conventional wisdom

BY DAVID RICKEY and RICK LEED — As we evolve, both scientific researchers and esoteric healers have advanced new therapies to treat our bodies and our minds but when we first hear of some of them we make a snap judgement that this sounds too wacky to be legit. We use words like voodoo medicine or magical thinking.

Think back to examples like quinine and willow bark — the former a tribal medicine used by Peruvian Indians, the latter an ‘old wives’ remedy. In the modern age, the first was prescribed by doctors as a treatment for malaria and the second in derivative form as aspirin.

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Brain-Stimulation

Evolution, not revolution, is the solution

Can our brains evolve fast enough to solve the problems that the un-evolved mind has created

BY DAVID RICKEY —Einstein said that the level of consciousness that created a particular problem cannot solve the said problem.

A hot new book by sociobiologist Rebecca Costa, The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking our way out of extinction, illustrates Einstein’s point by documenting how our rate of social and technical change is out-stripping evolution.

Look at the economy: we have developed complex computer programs that can trade stocks in milliseconds. We have developed virtual ways of making money, and created a subculture of the super-rich.

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What is the origin of inspiration and invention?

In the an issue of the New Yorker magazine, Malcolm Gladwell uses Microsoft heavyweight Nathan Myhrvold as a case study for coincident scientific discovery — and I say, a collective consciousness

DAVID RICKEY The ego exists only to function in relationship to the whole system, and the ego functions best when it is consciously aware of itself as part of a larger system.

Inspiration derives from the word, spirit. But it is the latest breakthroughs in science, not necessarily spirituality, that give us the clearest prism for viewing the way inspiration is actually created. Malcolm Gladwell’s profile of Nathan Myhrvold in The New YorkerIn the Air: Who says big ideas are rare?— describes a number of instances where two or more people develop almost identical ideas or inventions pretty much simultaneously.

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