Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.


Articles by Dr. Friedman
Video and Audio Clips
Annotated Resource Links
Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology:

Dr. Friedman's Practice
Dr. Friedman's Approach
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Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: Free the Ego and You Are Free

The Grand Banquet

© 2011 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

An Adapted Sacred Story by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
—Patrick Dennis, Auntie Mame 

One clear portrait of humankind from the beginning to the present can be found in the primal act of breaking bread, thus ingesting life. Once you get off your knees in the darkness, your chances of standing on your feet in the light increase exponentially. Once you're able to empty your cup, naturally your cup fills with nectar as a blessed gift.


Once upon a time there was a breath-taking banquet unlike any other, ever. Table upon table were decorated with the finest of linen, the most sparkling crystal glasses, the brightest gleaming china and radiantly shining silverware. Every imaginable delicacy, culinary creation and nutritious food lay on one beautiful platter after another.

Candlelight's set a warm, romantic glow, creating an elegant ambiance that made the occasion truly unique. Messengers were sent heralding the news that everyone was invited to the grand banquet.

Incredibly, at the appointed time, the chairs remained nearly empty. An occasional guest sat down here and there and enjoyed the sumptuous feast, but where was everybody else? How odd it seemed to the Host. Surely, certainly, everyone was invited!

There gradually arose a terrible commotion nearby. Underneath the tables a fierce battle was being fought for the crumbs left by the few guests above!

Astonishing beyond belief, yet plainly true. What possessed the countless slumbering individuals under the tables not to take their rightful, first class seating alongside those already awake and seated? Did they not know where they were? Not know of the spread above? Not know of the Source animating it all?

Were they asleep and unaware of the distinguished Host who was catering this lavish and generous affair?? Did they not care to awaken, be aware and present? When would they awaken, take their first class seating and slowly taste, savor and ingest the fine delicacies? When would they all partake of the splendid grand banquet?

George Demont Otis    Where the Water Meets the Land

By the way, after the lovely meal, a sweet lady or gentleman may come to each dinner guest with a dessert tray filled with mouth-watering, scrumptious desserts of every variety. So many guests for loving service, so limited the time living in the relative world. If you respond with, "I don't care", or "I don't know", or "It doesn't matter to me", then the server with all smiles move on to the next guest. When the dessert tray does come back, which desserts remain? Wouldn't the powers that be want us to savor life's meal?


The irony of thinking you are aware in plenty while acting as if you are sleepwalking amidst scarcity is hard to miss. No different than the fire station burning to the ground or calling a foolish person clever or dying of thirst amidst a sea of fresh water, ironies of every variety are abundant. How ironic to be invited to the banquet of life, then scrounge and scramble on the floor for crumbs and tidbits? How ironic to have a wealth of scientific findings and wisdom about lifestyle choices, speak and write endlessly about them, while doing little or nothing in action to create greater health and wellness? How ironic to have an active, caring listener bring to your attention the absolute brilliance that just came flowing off your tongue that you neither heard nor acknowledged? Impertinent questions all. The truth is that we are not born to be beggars, outcasts and refuges; we are born to be benevolent royalty, practical idealists and loving stewards. It is our birthright and great privilege to know ourselves as heirs and claim our True Self, our Original Nature, who we truly are. Our keystone is to move through our surface indifference to the High Voice's call in order to begin filling our cups and dishes with sacred nutrition.

© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

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