Beyond the Dream of a White Christmas

Fantasies of “White Christmases, just like the ones we used to know,” are everywhere. Each of us raised in and around the climate of Christmas Celebrations is susceptible to feeling harassed by the memories, both good and bad, of Christmas past. The urges to do it right, do it better, or don’t do it, are all based on the idea that there is something we have to do (or not do) in order to have the Christmas we want.

A spiritual solution to this psychological problem* is to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. While the story of the birth of Jesus is the source of Christmas celebrations, it is still a story and requires religious belief for it to be meaningful.

For the meaning of Christmas to be more universally meaningful it needs to transcend all religious, scientific, philosophical and ideological points of view until a truth is revealed that is truly a truth. A truth that applies now and always to everyone. A truth that is self-evident and accessible to all.

The meaning of Christmas is the awakening of what is Truly Good in the midst of the human condition. The Christmas story celebrates that it happened once. And yet, in each moment of every life it is possible for the awareness of what is good, loving and joyful to awaken within any individual.

And what greater symbol of this truth than the birth of a child? Anyone who has been around a newborn can’t help but be aware of the presence of pure love and good radiating through that baby, regardless of the circumstances of the birth. Everyone one of us has been born – so each of us has that essence in us. Let’s celebrate it!

If this meaning of Christmas is understood and placed front and center of all our thoughts, responses and activities, everything that unfolds in the holiday season and throughout the year can be a celebration of joy. We no longer have to do something in order to have something because joy, love and true goodness is within us. We give birth to it – in other words – we manifest it – by awakening to its presence. Joy is not something we do, it is a gift of life that can be rejoiced in, shared and celebrated.

So, have yourself a merry little (or big) Christmas, deck the halls (or not), and enjoy a silent, holy night being grateful for what truly is.


* “All problems are psychological and all solutions spiritual.”

– is a core idea of Metapsychiatry

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Kindness Begins with a Thought

A movement encouraging “random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” began in the 1980’s in response to a series of events that were characterized as “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty.”

Suddenly it was “hip” and “legitimate” to consider a response of kindness and to express beauty over the more common habit of mere indifference and self-centeredness. There was a wave of inspired acts of kindness and creativity in unusual and unexpected ways to both strangers and friends. Many are still being inspired by this idea.

This demonstrates that a transformation in consciousness can come from a simple concept, received and recognized by a receptive individual. The process is quite simple. A good idea meets fertile mental ground and new possibilities are inspired where before there was only a habit of thought.

Certainly, the idea of “kindness” has been available as part of the human vocabulary of values forever. But, ho-hum, it’s just one of those abstract values anyone could define on a test, without really considering it as a value to turn to. When a specific application of “kindness” as a response in the face of frightening current issues brought it into public awareness, it became an obvious ” I could be kind!” awakening moment to many.

Kindness and violence both originate as thoughts in human consciousness. Thoughts are just thoughts. They underlie how we see: the world, ourselves, and others. They form the mental climate determining our perceptions and in turn our responses to situations. We’ve been educated to them whether we are aware of it or not.

Enlightened spiritual teachings suggest that we are not our thoughts, but that we are the capacity to be aware of thoughts.

The “kindness” movement demonstrates that we can awaken to what we are thinking and choose loving and kind thoughts over thoughts that are angry, violent and cruel.

This is not something that happens by accident. It is something we are educated to.

Thoughts that are motivating what we feel, what we do and what we experience can be examined. And thoughts of harmony, peace, kindness and love can be cultivated.

While the “fad” of the “random acts of kindness” movement has quieted down, the underlying value has gone “viral.” A cultural wave of increasing “kindness” as an actual practical response to situations can be seen in daily living. I’ve noticed it growing in customer service providers, the caring from health care professionals, even the DMV, banks and post office service. Kindness, compassion and gratitude are currently very popular concepts in psychological, spiritual and self-help circles. . Perhaps it can even be seen more nationally in the movement to reform our criminal justice system and provide basic health care for all.

Violence and cruelty also continue to be part of the human mental climate fed with fearful thoughts. While thoughts are just thoughts – they do have consequences. Our actions are expressions of the thoughts we’ve been influenced by whether habitual or inspired.

If living with kindness and beauty is more appealing than living in violence and cruelty, you might consider the possibility to respond more often with kindness and seek to let your life be an expression of beauty.


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Politics 2016: A Spiritual View

In this election year there is much talk about Big vs Little government, Liberal vs Conservative, bringing to the collective mind important questions such as: How do we structure healthy policies on immigration, healthcare, community safety, regulations of financial institutions, global and local prosperity?

While the following excerpt from Beyond the Dream, does not tell us “what to do” in the current political confusion, it does help us see where good, healthy ideas will come from:

. . .We can distinguish two types of order: sick order and healthy order.  In sick order there is tyranny and repression. It is based on human willfulness. It is a manifestation of “should” thinking. By this we mean thinking in terms of preconceived ideas of what should be or what should not be. . . .Another form of sick order is the result of permissiveness which results in licentious disorderliness, or chaotic conditions of confusion, neglect, and criminality both in individuals and society. . .

Thus we see that structure, while absolutely necessary, remains a constant problem, and it seems almost impossible to have just the right amount of it at all times and under all circumstances. If there is too much of it, it leads to strangulation; and if there is too little of it, it leads to disorganization, anxiety, and chaos.

. . .Thus we have to consider the possibility of healthy order. As was mentioned before, sick order or structure is based on human willfulness or human willlessness, over-concern or neglect, tyranny or permissiveness. Sick order is a disease of the human will.

. . .In contrast to this, healthy order is primarily characterized by principles of aesthetics. Here beauty, harmony, joy, intelligence, love, and the enhancement of the quality of life are the basic ingredients. For instance, a bouquet of flowers or a blossoming forsythia bush may be judged very unstructured, even haphazard; yet inherent in each is a higher type of order and structure signifying aesthetic value. Aesthetic structures are transcendent and independent of human volition and calculative thinking. . . .

Healthy order is spiritual**. Spiritual values and principles constitute the “infinite structure” which makes freedom and responsibility compatible with creativity and fulfillment. Healthy order is under the control of infinite creative Mind, cosmic Love-Intelligence.  (my emphasis)

-Dr. Hora, Beyond The Dream: Session  19, The Curtain of Fear

**: What is meant by “spiritual” is best illustrated in contrast to what is considered “material.” Spiritual is non- material substance – it refers to those qualities of existence that are non-dimensional, immutable and eternal. They are the context for healthy living. We recognize them when we see qualities such as beauty, harmony, joy, intelligence, wisdom, love, etc.

 The current political conversation is revealing deep-seated cultural thoughts about what is needed and wanted now – some that are healthy and some that are unhealthy. From the infinite view what is needed is not condemnation of the individuals who are expressing views different from our own, as many are merely repeating what they have been taught and reacting to what they have experienced as a result of unhealthy order.  After all, some of the views that each of us adhere to may be unhealthy in ways we have not considered.

We can be interested in looking for good ideas from a diversity of sources, distinguishing them from political garbage. These good ideas along with statements clarifying the problems we are facing need to come to the surface of the political conversation – as messy as that may seem. 

Observing the political conversation with the eyes of aesthetic order we can see within the political night sky, specs of light appearing within the backdrop of dark, as we live in the expectancy of dawn. 

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The Soundless Music of Life

March 11 – 13, 2016, I’ll be facilitating a spiritual retreat at the Dancing Buffalo Gardens in Skiatook, Oklahoma.  Below is the retreat write-up.  If you are interested in registering, please contact me through this site and I’ll put you in touch with the organizers.

Life is continually guided by an underlying harmony where all things work together for good, even when we don’t hear or see it. This is the soundless music of life. The purpose of our lives is to wake up to this soundless harmony.

This weekend retreat is an opportunity to hear the soundless joy of life using the teachings of Metapsychiatry as our guide. Metapsychiatry is a spiritual teaching and a method of healing using dialogue, meditation and prayer as study tools. In this retreat we will review some of the core concepts of Metapsychiatry through reading the booklet: “The Soundless Music of Life,” and apply them to the current life issues of those present.

Metapsychiatry was brought forth by Dr. Thomas Hora(1914-1995), a psychiatrist, who had a lifetime interest in enlightenment and the alleviation of human suffering.

Testimonial: “Nancy is helping me see how it’s possible, day by day, to move out of self-limiting ideas.  The miracle of Metapsychiatry is how it fosters a new alertness to “The Good” in everyday life.  With this alertness, I’m aligning myself to potentials I’d previously ignored.  My interactions with people and situations feel quite new.  Following Nancy’s gentle guidance, I discover life unfolding in wonderful ways.  I’d recommend this program to anyone who’s sincerely interested in bettering their life.  Nancy’s leadership is relaxed and she’s a living example of the teachings she shares so naturally.”

-Pat Webb



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What Makes it a “New Year?” And Who Determines that it is “Happy?”

This thought was originally posted on January 10, 2014 and it still seems relevant.

While New Year’s Day is an arbitrarily agreed upon point in the calendar of days, the “meaning” of it was brought to mind by the many friendly smiles shared between strangers walking by each other declaring: “Happy New Year!”

The communication seemed to be “it’s a holiday (a holy day) and on this day we can be unburdened by our normal concerns.” And thus, the underlying truth of being slips into view.  Freed from the day-to-day habitual “shoulds,” openness, friendliness and goodwill took their place.

What is symbolized in the phrase “Happy New Year” that inspires such openness? Perhaps it is the recognition that all of the heavy burdens of human living can be transformed in a moment.  Our true identity of joyful lightness of being can be realized. It’s hidden in the words:

Happy: Happiness is an inner quality of being that becomes more and more available to us as we value joy. In the words of Dr. Hora, “Gratitude is the door to joy, seriousness is a killjoy.”

New: Each moment is an opportunity to realize that we do not need to be determined by our past experiences, present circumstances or future expectations.

Year: We are endowed with the capacity to manifest divine order and harmony as they unfold in the context of Joy. Everything everywhere is already all right, even when it does not seem that way.

While taking a break in the middle of writing this blog, I was confronted with a tension. Something I expected to happen did not happen. Blaming and being blamed filled the atmosphere.  Then came the awareness that expectations have no place in joy; gratitude was overshadowed by the presence of a “should” thought. With this illumination it became possible to let be, release the expectation and apologize for letting it in. Grateful to be able to see it, to humbly acknowledge it and then turn to the new, free moment.

Happy New Year.

In other words, Be grateful. We are not cement, we are consciousness with the capacity to be free moment-by-moment from our habits of thought.

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Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual guidance looks for the answers to life’s difficulties beyond superficial cures and coping mechanisms to understanding something about who we really are and what life is all about.

All problems are psychological and all solutions are spiritual.

-Dr. Thomas Hora

Problems cannot be solved from within the mindset that is experiencing the problem. Any good solution needs to come from a larger, wider, more elevated view of the situation.

Metapsychiatry is a method of spiritual guidance. It begins with the premise that we are spiritual beings capable of transcending the human condition we find ourselves in. In other words, we have the capacity to see our situation from a larger perspective.

The larger view of any situation can open us to the wisdom necessary to see our problems with the awareness of the transcendent self. Just as looking at a map can provide the larger view needed to guide the way when traveling in unfamiliar territory.

A Metapsychiatrically oriented spiritual guide is a committed and well-seasoned fellow journeyer on the path of truth realization. The dialogue between seeker and guide is a joint endeavor in the search for what is true, meaningful and helpful regarding the issues and questions brought to the meeting by the seeker.

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Beyond Decision-Making

The Bible story of the prodigal son presents two life choices: cultural conformity by the dutiful son, and non-conformity by the profligate son. At first it looks like one brother made good choices while the other made bad ones.

I was reminded of the above Bible story when a crossroad decision made years ago came to mind. When the decision was made I did what seemed right at the time, but it was now occurring to me that I had taken the path of “cultural conformity.” The other path, in the fantasy of hindsight at least, had the promise that “I could have been somebody;” perhaps done something important in the world.

Both thoughts are firmly established in the past, expressing the double whammy of: “I should have. .” and: “I could have. .”

Memories are dreams and dreams are thoughts about “who I think I am, and who I should have been.”

With this view it becomes clear that whatever done or not done in life, while meaningful and often full of drama, is not the substance of true fulfillment.

Either choice considered at the time came from influences about what I thought I was expected to do and to be.

The choice made merely pointed out the overriding interest at the time, with the resulting consequences. The remnant thought that “I coulda,” is of course, a “should” thought from another set of things I think I should have accomplished.

It dawns on me that the choice made many years ago was neither right nor wrong. It resulted in both good and bad due to the many common cultural thoughts swimming in my consciousness from the sea of mental garbage. Yet, at the same time, throughout my life, good ideas and good things happened.

The Good of life does not come from what I do or not do, what I have or don’t have. The Good of life flows from an orientation to what is wholesome and harmonious.

Even now decisions can present themselves as “urgent and life changing,” but this is not the truth. The real choice is to recognize whether something is in harmony with what Is, or not. The main question to consider as information and events unfold is: Is there PAGL? If there is, everything will work together harmoniously. If PAGL is not present, let go of the decision for now and be open to learning something.

The healing journey for both brothers in the Bible story was to discover the futility of seeking fulfillment through what they, or their brother, did or did not do, and to turn their attention to the context of Pure Love, as symbolized by their father. It then becomes possible to forgive the past and be grateful for the joy that is available right here, right now.

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