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Sunday, January 28 2018

Choose Only Love


         I’m happy and excited to announce that my friend and mentor, Richard Moss, will be coming to central Minnesota this summer for another Deep Work Retreat – this one to focus on love.  It’s titled:  Choose Only Love.


         A gifted teacher and author, internationally respected as a leader in the field of conscious living, Richard listens deeply to his students and to Life, with an exquisite sensitivity and an intuitive grace that guides his teaching directly to the heart of the matter.  I’m regularly astounded by his insight and wisdom.  For me, experiencing Richard in a small-group retreat setting is like having Yo-Yo Ma playing cello in your living room.


         Here’s what Richard wrote recently in anticipation of our gathering:


         “In the present moment, in our bodies and hearts, we all understand love.  It is that which we desire most: to feel, to give, and to receive.  And though few really experience this, love wants us just as much as we want it.


“In this gathering we will explore love as a path and as a Pole Star – an essential reference by which to navigate every moment of life.  We will see how new discoveries in neuroscience help to explain our mental and behavioral confusion about love and how these same discoveries confirm the wisdom and practical value of the long tradition of spiritual practices that open our minds and hearts to love.”


         The retreat starts on Thursday, June 28, at dinnertime, and ends after lunch on July 1.  I invite you to reserve this time on your calendar for what promises to be a truly transformational experience.


         To learn more about this event or to register, please go to Richard’s website:  Scroll down and click on Deep Work “Choose only Love.”  (Look for a picture of a couple of blue butterflies facing each other.) 


         Scholarships are available to reduce the cost for those who might need some help in order to come.


         For additional questions or for help in navigating the process, please email Roseanna Ross at:   or contact me through this website.



         Thank you!  I know this is a departure from my usual postings.  Because this opportunity is so close to my heart, I decided to take this space to tell you about it. 


         In the next couple weeks, I plan to share more thoughts on love.  Meanwhile, please trust the being of love that you are!






Posted by: AT 08:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 19 2018

Trust Love


         For most of my life I’ve been a student of love, seeking to understand its mysteries and taste its sweetness.  I’ve searched for love and found it elusive.  So, I searched some more.


         I imagine the universe smiling gently at us humans searching and searching for what already surrounds us and is always within us - smiling gently at our apparent blindness to our lovability and love-ability - gently inviting us to search less and find more.


         I’ve come to believe that the search for love signals a mistrust of love.  In our yearning to experience love, we try to control it.  When we search for love in this fashion, we closely watch the other, focusing on how he/she orients toward us.  This expectant focus creates pressure in a relationship - a subtle force-field that impedes the free-flow of love.  We view love as a scarce commodity – and this scarcity belief becomes self-fulfilling.  The search for love begins with mistrust and ends with mistrust confirmed.


         A friend recently wrote: “Look in the mirror and love all that you see.”  More clearly than ever before, life teaches me that it is my job to love me – my job to see the love that is within me and all around me – and, eventually, to realize that love is who I am.  To quote my mentor, Richard Moss:  “You are, already, that which you seek.” 


         As I soften to love and relax into its unavoidability, love from all sources outside of me comes naturally - a free gift, over which I have no control and for which I am deeply grateful.  The more I open to love’s flow, the more I receive and radiate its abundance and the more I experience love’s economy as luxurious and luscious.


         I suspect that many of us have been focusing too intently on love.  Instead, let’s orient toward joy, service and fullness of life in the present moment - and let go of fretting about love.


         Let’s trust love.

Posted by: AT 11:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, January 14 2018

Mud Settling


         A good friend recently wrote: “I’m really at odds with myself lately.  Trying to listen to what my heart needs.  Could use advice from a wise friend.“


         Presuming she meant me, I responded:  “Trust your heart, my friend.  Pose your question gently.  Let go of figuring and searching.  Allow heart-sense to appear when it’s ready. 


         “Having opposing feelings about things is part of the human condition.


         “Meanwhile, find enjoyment and nourishment in odd, small moments – like right now.” 


         The exchange reminds me of a quote from Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Tao Te Ching:


         “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear.


         “Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself.”


         We stir up muddy water with our ruminations – figuring and figuring, round and round.  In the quiet of gentle breathing and simply being, muddy waters settle and clarify.

Posted by: AT 02:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, January 07 2018

Watcher and Witness


         As an introspective person, I tend to notice how I introspect.  This noticing has helped me identify two primary vantage points from which I observe myself.  One I call Watcher and the other, Witness.  For me, both are personified as male. So, when I use masculine pronouns, I am speaking only of my own experience.


         The Watcher is a well-developed pattern of self-critical and fault-finding analysis and scrutiny.  For most of my life, the Watcher has handled the bulk of my inner observing.  His basic stance sounds something like this:  “James is not trustworthy, he requires careful monitoring, and he damn-well better be near-perfect and mistake-free or he’ll never belong and be loved.”  Because the Watcher developed within me early in life, he’s quite young, loudly opinionated and clearly biased in what he sees and points out.  His currencies are fear and shame.


         As I think about Witness, I find myself smiling.  He’s ancient, wise, calm and accepting.  My imperfections don’t seem to bother him.  He observes accurately and quietly, with kind eyes – and he never raises his voice.  I realize now that he’s been my companion all along – patiently accompanying me on the journey, observing my struggles and triumphs, my sorrows and joys - gently inviting me toward freedom and fullness of being, never judging, never doubting my value.  His currency is love. 


         The voice of Witness is so soft that I need to be very quiet, and attentive in the moment, to hear it.  His messages come at odd moments of grace.  While I can practice making space for these moments of quiet clarity, I have no control over when or how they arrive. 


         Watcher and Witness - two inner sources of feedback and guidance.  We get to decide.  We don’t have to entertain any pattern that damages the spirit.  We can consciously choose which source we cultivate and consider – consciously choose which voice we let in and listen to.

Posted by: AT 01:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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