Back East – April 4, 2017

Apologies for the long delay in posting, I am just returned from about 5 weeks on cross-country journey which involved 5 days skiing with my sister and nephew, apprenticing on a vision quest in Death Valley, and a visit with some old friends in the NW. Oh, and a lot of driving. There is plenty to tell, with many new ideas, integrations, and upcoming workshops, but more of that in time…

To the really important stuff… What did I read and listen to all that time?


  • The Etiquette of Freedom – a companion book to a documentary I haven’t watched yet. Poet Gary Snyder and novelist Jim Harrison discuss art, poetry, and zen as “the practice of the wild”.  Its filled with some great quotes and conversations.
  • Letters to the River – more of a re-read, the book from my friend and sometimes mentor Sparrow Hart dives into our conscious and unconscious relationship to self and nature. I apprenticed under Sparrow on this quest in Death Valley and learned a great deal from him. He has been leading vision quests and men’s workshops for over 30 years (he estimates he has brought over 1,200 people into the wilderness) and his experience and wisdom come through in this writing.


  • Podcasts – Joe Rogan Experience – the highlight for me was an interview with scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson (episode #919), but his interviews with Christopher Ryan (#913), author of Sex at Dawn, comedian Pete Holmes (#912), reporter/conspiracy guy Alex Jones (#911), and scientist Lawerence Krauss (#938) were all pretty enjoyable. Lore, Revisionist History, Myths & Legends, The Partially Examined Life, and History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, filled in a good amount of time also, along with some Mark Marion, who did a great Bruce Springsteen interview (#773).
  • Audio Books – I decided to listen to 2 classics I had not read in a while. Joseph Campbell’s Hero With 1,000 Faces is very influential and its always worth a visit. In Audiobook form I found I was more focused on the mythological fragments rather than the academic focus of the book. I also took a listen to The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I got more out of it than on my initial reading. He does a good job translating some problematic aspects of how “self” develops in society into the mythologic language of the older parts of the brain, but I still think he fails in providing real actionable steps to make progress on his path. “Impeccability of word” though, is a pretty good path.
  • Misc. – I am a huge fan these interviews with poet Robert Bly back in the 1980’s. He does such a great job of demonstrating how myth, poetry and story can mirror and open our unconscious minds to our conscious. The ideas he communicates in them have been very instrumental to me as a guide and coach, and as a human being.

I should be back to posting regular daily reflections tomorrow. I have a few older articles scheduled to re-publish on the new site later this week, and some other good ones in the works.

Thanks for following my writing, and if you are interested in coaching, vision fasts, meditation classes or any of the other programs I offer please drop me a line at

Weekly Update – Feb. 24, 2017

Not much in the way of major posts this week, other than an outline of some of the workshops I am offering and pitching to yoga studios, retreat centers and the like. Please contact me if you know of anywhere local to you that might be interested in any of these programs.

I’m getting pretty constant with Daily Refections posting & am pretty happy with the ones I got up this week.

I had a great 2 day visit from Cambridge based friend and bhakti yogi Tom Lena. If your a fan of kirtan, he does a great set and has performed at multiple festivals.

I also had a great last night at my store, Oil & Vinegar (in Montclair, NJ), for our 1 year customer appreciation party. We gave away some amazing gifts and had some fantastic food we were able to top off with $250 25 year old balsamic. Grateful to my kick-ass staff for doing a fantastic job pulling it all together!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


Weekly Update, Links, News…

This is the first of what will be an end of week review – capturing a number of things I found or explored throughout the week – articles, podcasts, videos, links, conversations, events.

The first of which is the redesigning and rebuilding of my website & blog.

The website is in the early stages. Having taken back control from a firm that was doing the work previously. They were doing a great job, but I felt the site design and language wasn’t reflecting the my personality and focus. Doing the work myself is more time consuming, and though its not fully done, I’m getting close. You can see the new direction at

The Blog is also still under development, but I have already added some significant new content and hope to keep up with daily posts you will find interesting and engaging. The larger post this week is on Cicero’s 6 Mistakes of Man, with some commentary and related thoughts. I also moved over my piece on Kurt Hahn’s Educational Principals and added a few miscellaneous write-ups, including a new on creating a basic budget. I can’t tell you how many times this basic skill is something clients I speak to don’t fully understand. Hopefully it is helpful. My new Blog is at Like the website, there will be some additional changes to the format.

Now to the good stuff….

  1. I dug up this older, but interesting article on the Science of Loving Your Work. It is pretty rare to find decent articles on coaching topics with some measure of real science behind them. I’ll keep trying to dig them up. I think its important that coaches turn to some measure of reality among all the vision boards, visualizations, and corrective self talk. Those things can be useful, but without grounding in reality they are often just fantasies.
  2. Great comic on procrastination at xkcd this week.
  3. Article by Richard Davidson at Live Learn Evolve titled 4 Keys to Well-Being was quite interesting. They are: Resilance, Outlook, Attention, & Generosity.
  4. An inspiring Seneca quote.
  5. An excellent write up on having and finding a purpose in life by my friend and mentor Sparrow at Circles of Air, Circles of Stone.
  6. A good article from September on the healing power of nature.
  7. Had an excellent 3 day visit from my friend, poet & translator Peter Valente. Great conversation on everything from poetry, metaphysics, magic, politics, and what drives and motivates us. Here is a link to an older interview on his translations of some Roman poets. In the past 3 years since Peter has been coming through and using the guest room I have seen him move something like 10-12 books from concept to publisher’s timelines. Around 8 of them are currently available, or will be in the next few month. An amazing feat in a challenging field.
  8. Another great evening of conversation with my friend, painter, photographer and designer Michael Steele on art, politics, religion, and purpose.
  9. I am excited to have been part of the 1st graduating class of the Olive Oil Sommelier program put on by the Olive Oil Times and the International Culinary Center. Olive Oil is one of the world’s true “super foods” and being able to sample 100’s of oils from award winning producers was amazing. I’ll be doing a writeup on some of the health benefits and lessons I leaned in the course next week, so keep an eye out.