About Me

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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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Marriage is a One Way Street

Posted by Don Paine

It is also true that Marriage is a One Way Street.

This refers to the sense that we are traveling together with varying past experiences that create various automatic and autonomous responses that in themselves may be polarizing in relationship.

Just as the universe has many polarities but is moving through space in a natural way.  Just s the earth is moving around the son in a one way direction yet allows for multiplicity of opposites, so too a couple can learn to move in one way while retaining all their differences and even polarities but in a less threatened and threatening way.

If we are facing forward we are side by side.  In dance the "promenade" position is lead arms extended out, bodies open, faces cheek to cheek, body heart to heart, and side by side.  The stance is an open position, the direction is forward, and the posture is "side by side".  That is the one way street of a marriage.

Seeing all things as in form or behind but form a posture of "looking forward" and a position of "side by side with openness.

Marriage is a two Way Street

Posted by Don Paine

This no doubt refers to the fact that it is not "my way of the highway".  Many of us get into thinking in one way that contradicts or invalidates the other persons feeling or reality.

The discipline of hearing and respecting the other persons way of seeing the world, of feeling hurt, or of solving problems is at the heart of a "heart to heart" relationship.

Grand Slam Grand Opening

Posted by Don Paine

A Grand Slam Grand Re-Opening

The Public Market in West Stockbridge had a reopening holiday weekend.

In a day when huge multifaceted electronic communication devices and huge superstore markets this little “Ma and Pa” Shop reopened with a resurgence and revitalization that goes to the depth of human experience of community.  We have so many ways to connect why is their so much non connectivity. Why so much loneliness when we have so many people and so many ways of communicating.? Have we missed the art of "eye gazing into another's heart?"

The "Public Market" gives a hint!

Four distinct differences mark this as more than a “public market”.

11)   People say hello to you whether they know you or not as you come into the store even sometimes before you get in the front door.
22)   The personnel are all personal (they often know your name), friendly, and helpful.
33)   Products of all kinds are personally prepared, wrapped with care, and neatly offered to you.
44)   You are wished a good day and feel better after you go out of the store regardless of how much or how little you depend.

It was a grand slam of a weekend and a slam dunk for a place to stop even to go out of the way for.

As a local yokel,
I go in nearly every day.  It is a joy to be wished well and to wish others well every day. 

It is more than a “Public Market” it is a “Community Market Center”.  It is life the way it used to be and always should be.

As a note when I first came to West Stockbridge I needed someone to walk my dog.  I checked with Ann Fallon who was the then owner of the market and she gave me the name of Tim Butterworth who provided wonderful care and companionship for my dog while I was at work in Albany.  So whatever you need you can find help at the market as Tim Walsh and Andrea, the new owners pick up the same community minded focus of the past into the future.

Insecurity and Insensitivity are out,secure and safe in

Posted by Don Paine

I was working with a couple recently and they identified a somewhat common pattern of approach avoidance with a twist.

She acknowledged an insecure part that triggered in her partner a shut down part that withdrew and became distant.  This only exacerbated and furthered her insecure part.  She then complained that it was all about him and that he was incredibly insensitive.

In an attempt to not foster the traditional back and forth, accuse defend modality, I invited him to go inside and see what was going on inside his own mind.  This was hard as he was accustomed to defending himself and attacking her.

When he looked inside he noticed that he to had an insecure part.  His insecure part felt really triggered when she didn't trust him and became accusatory and/or judging him as insensitive or worse.  When I asked him what his insecure part needed form her it was trust.  His insensitive part was his protector that moved him away from a familiar childhood experience of distrust and accusing.

She began to notice that her insecure part was triggered by a childhood experience of "emotional injury" that carried the feeling of distrust.

They made a commitment to understand each others parts and their reactions as where the insecurity and insensitivity were fed.  They choose to begin to feed the "aware and sensitive" and the "safe and secure parts of each of them.

Awareness replaced judgment and fear of loss of relationship.  Trust replaced fear of abandonment and lack of safety.

The Secret of Job, Letting Go keeps me moving

Posted by Don Paine

Job is a Biblical character that is authentic and audacious, non-anxious and non-agenda driven.

The closer we look at Job the more we see true "willingness to sacrifice".

The context of this book is that God is thinking well of Job.  God is confident that regardless of what evil or good is thrown at him or taken form him, he will remain faithful.  To do this he would have to be willing to live with great courage and be thoroughly honest regardless.  Regardless of what happens he would not let fear of abandonment or desire to control things become his focus.  His focus would be always to perennially see God in all things while not seeing God as the sender of all things, to see hope in the hopeless, and help whenever helpless, and health in all illness.

When the dust settles at the end.  He has health, wealth, and family restored.  What happens when I am willing to let go of all things is that all things are welcome even the loss of things not just the gain of things.  So in the end what Job had he never took as certain for all that he had learned is that compassion and courage are the only certain qualities of eternity.

In Job 42:8 when he prayed for his friends he let go of everything infusing his frustrations with God's presence and friends with compassion.  Then all he had lost became gain and all he gained was never as important as it once was.

What Price Eternal Life

Posted by Don Paine

When the rich man asked Jesus "Good teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

He got a comment: "Why do you call me good there is none good except God" and an answer:  "Keep the commandments".

His response was I have been a good boy keeping all the commandments till now.

Really, do any of us think we are that good.  The audacity to believe that I am that good is not so good, honest or humble.  Did he really believe that about himself.  Notice, God did not debate that issue but went to a deeper issue.

Jesus said, so be willing to sacrifice all that you have and give to the poor and then come and follow me then you will have riches in heaven!".  The man went away very sad as he had much riches.  He was sad that the part of him that did not want to give up what he had was greater than the part that wanted eternal life.

Was Jesus saying if you keep the commandments you will have eternal life or if you give up all and follow him you will have eternal life or something more?

Jesus, himself, was willing to give up al the riches of heaven and come to earth to live among us and die for us to teach us how to live free of the fear of death or the holding on to things.  Following his example of "willing to give up everything" to transform us form people who try to hold on to things to people who let go of all things so that the life that is everlasting can live in us here and now.

What seems to be "no where" on earth that is a place of heaven is "Now Here" when the Kingdom of God that is already within us is free of the things of earth that weigh us down.

The rich man went away sad because he was not willing to let go of what he had to discover who he was free of that weight.  You cannot buy eternal life, you cannot do enough to get eternal life you simply have to be glad regardless of anything and "eternal living is in you".

Melchisdek or bust

Posted by Don Paine

Who is Melchisdek?

Yesterdays lectionary reading was in Hebrews 5:1-10 which mentions the priest Melchisdek.

The primary place to go for information about this priest is Genesis 14.  This means this man was appointed a high priest not by a religious organization or political machinery but appointed by God. So Jesus was appointed by God directly as a high priest in the "same order".  This is very different than the order of priesthood in our day which is driven and directed by men.

Melchisdek was a "priest of the Most High God".  This most high God is above all religions.  This God is about authentic presence and attributing oneness.  Notice in Genesis 14:18, that Melchisdek was   the King of Shalom, Salem or Peace.  Jesus is spoken of as the "Prince of Peace", a priest of the Most HIgh God who  is maker of heaven and earth".  He broke bread and shared wine as a way of blessing Abram and of attributing to Abram blessing.

Before Judaism and the Passover, before Christianity and the Communion Table, "bread and wine" were the way people celebrated communion and communicated blessings to and from God!

This is not about church this is about being "the church".

Either we as the church will get that it is not about us but about God or we will self-destruct.  If we do get it, we will construct a vibrant community of Faith, Hope and Love.

Religion: None, is misleading

Posted by Don Paine

I read an article, in Times Union, Sunday, October 21st, www.timesunion.com  by Kristen Brown on how the growing norm among responders to a question about having religion is, "none".  It was a good article and challenges us who are in the church to be more "in the world" though not "of the world".

Organized church has taken people out of the world while being of the world.  The world says life is about power and control which it is not.  The organized church has used power and control to manipulate and mandate things to people.  I call that being of the world. Being in the world with an authentic and non-anxious presence is what people are to be.  People are to be caring and compassionate not controlling and counter-pointing.

This article challenges those of us who are in the church to stop the controls and the counterpointing and get "in the world" in a real and authentic way.  Then the "none" will become "one".

In my opinion that movement has already despite, within and without the church.  It is called the rise of concern for spirituality as a corollary to "old time religion".

If you changed the question and instead of asking people if they are part of or practice religion, you asked people if they "practice any form of spirituality" the answers would be very different.

While organizations are formed to perpetuate an organism, in the churches case the organization has killed off the organism.  St Francis of Assisi said to a Pope after asked, "Francis what shall we do we cannot say as Peter of old, silver and gold have we none", said "Yes and neither can we say rise up and walk!".

The none of religion will become one in faith hope and love when the organized religions of the world give up their agendas and people begin "to live as one" (John Lenin).  If you recall he had a line that called for "no religion too".

Dreamers see hope when others fear loss.  I dream that one day the church will be the church in the world.  We will not be of the world but of a mind set beyond the chaos and conflict of the world in order to bring to that world the courage and compassion it needs to live as one!

Awards are Nice, Life is Better

Posted by Don Paine

Last weekend I received an award as Alumnus of the Year.  Most of the responses have been positive in multiple ways like:  to be happy for me, to congratulate me, to say way to go, etc.

Two responses were negative and I really understand and receive the truth behind them.  One was to say, "awards are not what life is about, life is what life is about" and another "awards and diplomas" are meaningless caring for people is what matters.  I agree with both statements.  I wonder why they needed to be made.  Maybe each person felt I was flaunting my award.

At the ceremony I spoke about how this is just an award that honors "transforming the pain, suffering, death and loses of life into lessons that breed life and love, passion and compassion".  I focused on thanking Nyack College and my brother (who died three years ago) as the ones who God used to have gifted me a ministry that focuses on "transforming death into life, heartache into hope, and loss into faith.

So indeed pain suffering death and loss on our journey are what God helps us to transform into life lessons that we live before people and family into whom we pour our life lessons.

Slamming is what I have learned I do to myself and others when I have unhealed untransformed hurt and pain.  When hurt runs deep, we cannot just be happy.  When we enter into happiness, we leave the road of bumps and bruises into the way of blessing and peace.

Romans 14:13 tells us "Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or trap before a brother or sister".

I receive the true comments of all even those two negative ones as they are true.  I see that "transformative living" removes all things that are obstacles or traps that muffle or mute the message that it is "God who is at work in all of us" and God works through the least of us the greatest work.

Nike and Ekin

Posted by Don Paine

I recently was in a fund raiser race and as I walked up to the registration table I noticed a teenager walking toward me with a t-Shirt with the Nike Message in huge letters:

As I thought about it I began to see an alternative or alternating opposite Nike message, an Ekin:


Some times we need to with great courage and strength "just not do" something.  Other times we need to with the same great courage and strength "just do" something.  All the time we need the wisdom to know the difference.

"With Age comes wisdom, Sometimes age comes alone"
"With Wisdom comes a sage, Sages are Wise"

Judgment and Righteousness

Posted by Don Paine

I was at Nyack College to receive an "award" as simply an honoring of the ministry that god has called me to, and has poured into my life through pain and suffering.

The exact quote on the award is: "For exemplifying the Integration of Faith, Learning, and Spiritual Transformation to Fulfill God's Call to a Life of Influence".

This is an honor because it is the reflection of the transforming of my mind into what I believe to be the mind of Christ.  Christ focus was to love people no matter what. So I owe this honor to the Christ who is in me and the me who is in Christ.

In Mark 10 Jesus is approached by a rich man who wanted to know, "What do I have to do to gain eternal life?".  Jesus told him keep the commandments.  The rich man. "I have kept all of them since I was a little boy".  Jesus looked at him and loved him.  Jesus could have spoken for other parts of him like the part that said, "really you want me to believe you have kept all the commandments".  He could have spoken to the rich man's "selfishness", spoken shaming judgment, or just shake his head and walk away.  Please also note that Jesus could have questioned him about his very idea that you "inherit" eternal life.  What Jesus did was from the deepest and core arena of his soul, "he looked at the man with the look of love and compassion".  The look of love is what transforms people. Only when they are willing to be honest with themselves about themselves are they ready to be transformed.  Jesus then said, "sell everything, give up everything you have, give it all away and follow me and you will have riches in heaven".  The text tells us he went away sad in heart because he had great riches.  Was Jesus telling him the way to heaven is "to trade one inheritance in for another? No, he was inviting him to be honest with himself.  Honesty with oneself is the key to personal transformation.  Attacking others or defending or inflating yourself gets in the way.   Peter who was listening said, "we have left it all and followed you" as if he had a part that wanted to be affirmed and promised eternal life.  Jesus said it is hard for the rich to enter heaven as hard as it would be for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle but with God all things are possible.

What is the transformational truth here?  That nothing you do or have is at issue but so many think that is the issue.  Some are sad when they are asked to give up their wealth because they have a lot, their pride because they have a lot, their self condemning parts because we all have inner critics, or their self inflating parts, etc. etc. etc.

Having the look of love in your eyes is what is both transforming and the result of transformation.  It is not about being right in our judgments or in our positions but it is about being right in our hearts toward others.  This is my aspiration and to which God inspires me.  I fail often when I think it is about what I do or when I try to do things to make myself look good.  It is sad when I do not see what God wants me to see.  I walk away sad or I pay the price of "giving it up" and "taking it in".  I like the rich man and the disciples realize it is not about being good or doing good.  It is about goodness, kindness and love in you and coming out of you.  That is letting eternity into the here and now.

Personal transformation is about looking with a transformed mind and heart.  It is not about me it is about me in Christ and about Christ in me.  It is about the "look of love" that transforms all hearts that are willing because the heart that is willing is transformed.

The Lie, The Truth

Posted by Don Paine

When I was embroiled in church conflict, I wanted to tell everyone the truth.  The truth I wanted to tell everyone was my truth.  Behind that truth was a lie.  Others wanted to tell their truth.  Behind their truth was their lie.

When I was a kid I heard and used the expression:  "Liar liar, pants on fire!"

Today, I know that lies promote other lies and those lies can be presented as truth only to result in a greater lie.

I lie not.  I am scared to death to blog this blog.  Scared that no one will understand and many will misunderstand what I am about to say.  I have learned the brevity and bravery are good friends so I will attempt to be brief:

  • The First Lie   "In the Day you eat of this fruit you will be as God, you will not die".
  • The Second Lie  "In the Day you eat of the bread and of the cup, you will live and if you do not eat of the bread and drink of the cup you will surely die, go to hell, or at least be annihilated"

The first lie was fabricated to make people feel that they had to do something or they would be missing out on something for ever.  If Adam and Eve did not eat they would miss something good, pleasant, and right for them to have and if they chose not too they would die without it.  They had a part hat felt they had to have it.  They had to eat or else.  So they ate.

The second lie was fabricated to make people feel that if they did not become Christians, eat of the body and drink of the blood of Christ, they would be missing something for ever.  Anyone who did not eat would not live.  The church has set up a part that says if you do not eat, you will die which perpetuates the agenda of the church being needed if not necessary of salvation.   This is essentially self-serving theology diametrically if not diabolically antithetical to the message of Jesus the founder of faith but perhaps not the founder of the church.

What lie are you hearing right now?  What truth are you hearing right now?

The take eat of self indulgence is present in the Garden of Eden.
The take eat of self sacrifice is present in the Garden of Gethsemane the Rock of Golgotha.

The church while intentionally and understandable wanting to promote and prompt faith in the Jesus of Calvary has forgotten or neglected the Jesus of Nazareth.  The human Jesus and the divine Jesus are fully present in him and can be fully present in you. 

The TRUTH is that when you live in the balance and harmony of self-sacrifice (compassion and love toward all) and self-serentity (calmness and peace towards all)  you eat of that which is good and healthy and you reject that which is not.  The TRUTH is that there is nothing missing in me, nothing outside of me that I need, nothing inside of me that is essentially bad, nor anything inside of me that is not essentially good.   I am created in the Image of the Creator.  The creator is peace and love.  I do not need anything outside of me and everything I need is already inside of me.  Parts of me doubt that other parts believe it but all parts will surrender to the Peace and Love that they know already exist within. 

Jesus is THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE but not in the way or with the truth or with the life that the church has presented it.  Jesus is the Way of Serenity as he lived and died in perfect peace without any agenda or fear, fearless and agenda free.  Jesus had no fear of loss or desire to win(gain).
Jesus is the Way of Sacrifice/Love as he lived and died in perfect love for all without any defense, disdain, or regret.  Jesus had no fear of suffering so was full of compassion.  Jesus was so full of compassion and peace (calm) he felt no suffering and had no fear.  Peace and Love un-eclipsed by anything, embracing everyone and everything, promoting nothing except the way of "peace and love".

That is the Way of Jesus that is the ONLY way and it is not the way of any particular church, synagogue, temple or mosque or hut.  The Way of Jesus is the Truth and the Life beyond all human and religious truths and ways.

The Truth is that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6) but not as presented by the church for that presentation is itself contradictory to the truth.  My desire is to present the Truth free of the prejudices and perspective of the church but as a challenge to the church to be the church that Jesus wants us to be not an exclusive club but an all inclusive club by simply changing the lie that we do not live and living the truth that is no lie.

What is your truth?  What is your lie?

My pants are not on fire but my heart is on fire with love and peace toward all because I choose the way of lot sand peace inside.  I believe in Jesus in a new way to a new end for a renewal of the message of "peace on earth good will toward all humanity".  I believe that was the message of the angels on a particular day in time.  A message not to one person or one group but message to all and for all.

Thank you for noticing

Posted by Don Paine

So many things people do go un-noticed.

One of my alma maters, Nyack College, Nyack NY www.nyack.edu/homecoming elected me "Alumnus of the Year" for "Transformational Ministry".  I am still unsure who nominated me for this honor.  I am sure that it reflects my life long passion to "make a difference in people's life" and "to help people make sense of non-sense".

"Transformational Atonement" a concept I began presenting a year ago fosters the idea that while Jesus died for our sins for we could not atone for our own wronging doing, he did not die because an angry wrathful God needed a blood sacrifice.  Jesus died to transform the way we live by teaching us to "be willing to sacrifice everything to be set free of trying to hold on to things and be free to let go and gain the peace and love that is transformational".  Transformational atonement sees God's working in Christ as leading us to "be not conformed to the way the world lives and thinks but to be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Romans12:2).  The renewed mind thinks as God originally created us to think:  "it is not only about me it is always about us".

So I trust you do not hear pridefulness in my blogging about this honor for it is the pain and suffering of my life that has led me to believe in "Transformational Atonement" as a parallel concept to "Substitutionary Atonement".

The award will be presented on Saturday October 13th which happens to be my brothers birthday.  He died suddenly three years ago and his loss, the pain and suffering that it brought into my life is part of where the focus of "Transformational Atonement" came from.  God literally transformed the way my mind was thinking into a renewed sense of God's presence in all things.

I thank God for this honor for all the good that I do as a reflection of the goodness of God in all things and in all people.

Necessary or Not They are here to stay

Posted by Don Paine

Would it be wonderful if there was no pain or suffering in our world?

As I was driving to work this morning I heard an academic minute (NPR) by a microbiologist who was researching why it is that the cellular system has not in the process of natural selection and mutation not discarded "unnecessary parts" that seemed to have no function and therefore were deemed "unnecessary".

He likened it to a construction site building a roller coaster at the sight of a sky scrapper.  An engineer would just eliminate the waste of energy and the waste of space and scrap the roller coaster and just build the sky scrapper.

What the research and study the biologist conducted proved is that while the part seems unnecessary it is preserved because it maintains some hidden role of balance in the system that does not seem necessary but serves a necessary purpose.

I began to muse: what if pain and suffering is exactly that.  While most of us would like to get rid of them they may serve a utilitarian seemingly unnecessary role to balance the system.  All parts of the system are important to the function and survival of the system even if they do not seem so.

So pain and suffering are here to stay.

Perhaps one of their functions is to call forth compassion and courage as partners in living with and making sense of suffering.

I do not like pain and suffering as I watch it happening to others or feel it myself.  It is here and if I hear its message I may hear it say: "Make peace with your pain and suffering and it will lead you into greater courage and compassion".

Self and the Couple Relationship

Posted by Don Paine

I was recently at an IFS Conference that focused on healthy togetherness and came up with the following plan for a Couple's Retreat:

Blending together the principles of Internal Family Systems and Parakalein System of Being into redefining being a couple, a family, and Global Community of Life and Faith

 Three Principles woven as a cord of three strands, a stance of three ideas into a dance of intimacy

1.  All parts in all people are All Welcome

2. The SELF is an inner and eternal essence of healing, hope, honor, honesty, and humility.  It is an agency of peace and love without agendas except to nurture peace and love

3.  All parts are invited to, called to, and created for an "alongside of and with" all other parts in balance and harmony that promotes togetherness.  

Summary:  Polarization and paralysis are the natural reactions of a disharmonious system of opposite parts. While it is not the intention of a part oppose another part it is often the belief of a part.  Oppositional defiance and oppositional compliance are equally unhealthy to any system.  A system is healthy when opposites are seen not as compensatory opposites but  as complimentary opposites. 

Parallels and propellants of community are the natural reactions of an harmonious system that welcomes all parts, all experiences, all burdens, and all beliefs as one.  Burdens that propel disharmony are released of their burden. Beliefs that propel disharmony are shifted to beliefs that promote healing and wholeness for all so we become one yet many, many yet one.

Shame, Blame and Guilt

Posted by Don Paine

Have you ever touched someone in a bruised part and watched them flinch.  A normal touch to a normal arm conveys love and care.  A gentle touch to a wounded spot causes a response in each.  The wounded person winces in pain.  The touching person flinches in fear as he sees the unintentional hurt caused by his inadvertent touch.  For the wounded time and sensitive un-touching combine for healing over time.

Shame blame and guilt bring attention to wounded parts and add to the experience and expression of those wounded parts.  Shame, blame and guilt are protective and defensive parts but they are not redemptive parts.  They lead to the call for calm (non-defensive), compassionate (uncritical), and courageous (unproductive) qualities that invite redemptive healing.  Redemptive healing is healing that returns the person to the former state of wellness through the way of calm, compassionate, courageous, and recreative energy.

The redemptive purpose of Shame, Blame and Guilt is to lead us to the well of Grace, Goodness, and Gentleness that are restorative. Having learned the lesson of hurt and wounds of healing we become more cued into the hurt and wounds of others.  The healing balm is present in the wounded healer.  By the stripes that represent pain and hurt, that evoke shame and blame, and that are mentors of care and compassion we are healed of all strife.

Famous Peanut Butter: Altruistic Competition

Posted by Don Paine

I heard a report on NPR about a special kind of peanut butter produced in Haiti, begun by a humble woman in St Louis, to provide the nutrients that mal-nutiritioned kids need in an easy accessible product. It has been reported to be doing just that in Haiti (rich in peanut farming) and other areas of the world as well.

A second company is building a competitive factory in Haiti to produce the same or a similar product.  They say that it is not about competition.  It seems the original conveyer of the product freely share her focus, purposes and recipe.  Both companies are focused on helping children in an altruistic way.  I mused so why not cooperate adn collaborate rather than compete.  Why not build one huge factory and work together for the shared cause of healthy children.

Then I realized this is human nature at its best and worse in the same moment.eh best is an altruistic focus.  The worse is a particular agenda, a competitive profit focus.

It is similar to church life.  The purpose of all churches is to introduce all people into "inner peace", peace with God and peace form God and into "loving kindness" towards others as the outgrowth of receiving loving kindness form God.  The altruistic focus of all churches is to introduce peace and love into peoples lives so that they live in peace and love.  With such altruistic motives why is there so much competition.  Why do we who go to any church set aside all our particular differences and work together and build one factory that would produce one message to help the world live as one! Churches say it is not about competition but I wonder.  What would happen if we united all the altruistic forces of faith into one movement of and for peace and love, what would happen? Peace and Love through out the earth?

Society does the same as there are so many cancer research centers competing for the cure.  They all want a cure.  They all work for the cure.  They all raise funds for an altruistic cause.  What if they all set aside their particular agendas as an agency or group and combined forces and funds, and cooperated and collaborated as one, what would happen?  A cure for cancer?

Altruistic competition is agenda driven. It is good but Altruistic Compassion, Cooperation and collaboration is the best and betters everyone and everything.

Working as one will result in the world profiting as one but the price is everyone has to not care about their profit but embrace the profit of all.

You may say I am a dreamer.  I am not the only one!  We can live and work as one!

Saying on Vulnerability Strength and Strong Power

Posted by Don Paine

There is nothing so invincible as strong vulnerability
Nothing so vulnerable as invincible strength

True Intimacy, One and All are One

Posted by Don Paine

John 17:21

"That all of them who believe may be one, even as you Father are in me and I am in you"

The bullet of intimacy is not a bullet fired with a gun but a bullet of love fired in all from above.
As I mediated on this verse it hit me like a bullet that lodged in my heart and brain at the same time. True intimacy is being so into the other person that everything in the other person is in me and the other person being so into me that everything that is a part of who there are is in me.

True intimacy is a shared union of opposites that results in a communion of togetherness that is not about competitive achievements or  compensating opposites but as a complementary differences being more as one that anyone could be separated from the essence of community.

Just as everything that is in the Father is in the Son and everything that is in and known by the Son is in and known by the Father so everything is in all of us and all of us are in everything.

Be in others and in your self with equity and equality and the communion of opposites will heal the burdens that separate people and nations from the truth that we are all the same only different all different yet the same.

We are one.

Live as one and living will be one for all and all for one and all.

Esther, A Women of Courage and Compassion

Posted by Don Paine

Esther and the Feast of Purim are the Old testament illustration of being the salt of the earth (see Esther 5-7, and Mark 9:38-50.

Esther flavored everything and everyone with God's Favor.

She calls all of us through her life to be willing to say, "If I perish, I perish" which fosters humility.
She calls all of us to be willing to sacrifice what we have every right to preserve for the strength to risk everything for the community of people which fosters honor.
She calls all of us to hold on to what is ours and speak truthfully while respecting others which fosters honesty.

Haman and his wife, Zeresh plotted for the annihilation of the Jews in the days of King Xerxes.  They were filled with hatred and erected a gallows of hatred for Mordecai.

Moredecai approached Esther as the woman who God had put in the palace as the Queen.  She could not use her position for herself but for her people she was willing to risk everything even her life.  She stood tall as a woman of honor, honesty, humility, courage and compassion.

With the support of all the people who had fasted adn prayed for three days become a communion of the fellowship of suffers, she boldly and emboldened by them entered the Kings presence uninvited and was accepted and offered up to half the kingdom.  She could have profited herself and sold out her people but she was willing to sell out on profit to cash in on her compassion and courage.

She told the King of Haman's design to kill off all her people clarifying it was not about her anger or hatred as she would have said nothing is it was just about selling them into slavery as they had done that before and thrived. His design was annihilation and sporting slaughter thus humiliating and disgracing her people.  Full of grace in the face of this disgrace she asked for the king to spare the lives of her people.  Hatred always fuels more hatred which is why Jesus teaches to love those who hate.  Flavor them with favor.

Haman who was so consumed by hatred was inviting if not summoning hatred to himself and while intentionally begging the Queen for mercy having witnessed the King's anger, he did so while reclining in her presence which appeared to the King like he was attempting to rape his wife the Queen.  The King ordered him hung on the same gallows he had erected to hang Mordecai.

This is the story of human hatred as it finds its way back to its beginning.
This is the story of human honor, honesty and humility that leads to courage and compassion and returns all things to their beginning in balance and harmony with the creator loving God of all things and all people.

Whether I perish or not is never the issue how I live is always the issue.

Living with an intention to flavor everything with God's favor regardless of anything is to be as Esther,
a salty woman of courage and compassion.

Jesus said, "be the salt of the earth", flavor everything with God's favor.

Crazy People filled with Care

Posted by Don Paine

We went to Castle Island in Boston for the ALS walk to support a friend 47 who is losing the battle but still fighting!  After the walk we went with some of the family to a mall for lunch.  A food court seemed a great idea as everyone could get their own food to their own liking.  I rounded up a section of 4 tables and 12 chairs.  Three of us sat at the table while the guest of honor, our ALS friend, found his way in his huge wheel chair to the sitting area.  As we were attempting to save the space for the group, a woman came and sat down at the end table. She began to unwrap her good to eat at this table which by the way I had cleaned off, wiped down and set up. Somewhat surprised, I politely and quietly spoke to her that we were saving these chairs for our party.

 She loudly and quite undiscerning said, "I am just gonna eat my sandwich, this is not a high school where you can save seats for your friends".  I quietly went to the chair next to her and spoke softly to her letting her know that this was a group from the ALS Walk in Boston and we were saving the space so the ALS patient could have his friends around him at lunch.  She announces that she did not know why this was such a problem that  she would be done before he arrived and that we were rude to save spaces as this is not high school.

Quite frankly I moved from surprised to stunned by her indifference and rudeness.  The too ladies in our group at the other end of the table part of our group were also in shock.  Looking at each other and me in unbelief.

She shacked her head as she got up to leave as if we were the rude insensitive ones and that she was highly offended by our behavior.

She reminded all of us if we live without consideration, compassion, and respect for others it is because we have lost all self respect and other perspective.

I hope she never has a family or firmed suffering from this vicious disease.  The community of compassion and care of the thousands of walkers was not abated by her lack of community or compassion.  I had actually invited her to join us but wanted her to know that the table will be filled with caring supportive people.  With that she got up an left.  Obviously caring and compassionate people are too much for her to stand.

Love wins!

8 years of hard Goodness, Deepening Peace and Love

Posted by Don Paine

I sat in a room overlooking Monument Beach Bay on Cape Cod, with 28 or so people all introducing themselves.  When it came my turn I said something I had not thought of before it was as if it just cam out of me.  Some of what I said was previously felt, thought or experienced but none of it had been strung together as the string of words came out of my mouth.  Today I know why it happened that way! Here is a recollection of that moment:

(Written as on September 7th, 2012)  "As I sit here today I reflect on this place, a beach where my father taught me to swim some 50 years ago.  I think of how the strangle hold of death has gripped me over the past 7 years.  Nearly 8 years  years ago a young woman client of mine was killed by her husband who then killed himself. I began my IFS (Internal Family Systems....www.selfleadership.org) . Then Nearly 6 years ago, my father died during level 1 training.  Then 3 years ago my brother and Karen Reed (my co-presenter of IFS) both died suddenly 5 days apart.  I descend into the death pangs of hell itself, was depressed, despairing  and had lost all sense of Self or  Calmness or Compassion in me.  With the help of supportive and loving family and wife and with the help of an IFS therapist,  I was immersed in death and emerged out to life.  Out of the depths of despair into the depths of compassion. I am here today, alive and well and wanting to deepen my experience of life and relationships.  Anyone who wants to go swimming with me when we are done I am going swimming in honor of my dad and in honor of new life."

It was well received.

Today, October 1st is the eighth anniversary of the murder of my client who began my journey into a deeper depth of appreciation for life and death than I could ever know without experiencing both the trauma of death and the wonder of life.  A person who shared in the trauma of her death shared today in the wonder of her healing in a special way.  Amazing connections continue to happen in the road that intersects the grace of living and the grief of losing.

I know today better than ever the wonder of this 8 year journey into the depths of Love and Peace of Death and Grief to a renewed sense and presence of the Glory and Grace of God.

Thank you Liza Warner.
You died on this day and you live in so many today!
"Be the Change"